Improve Your Hearing Naturally With Secret Hormone

This Secret Supplement Improves Your Hearing Naturally

Aldosterone is an adrenal steroid hormone from the mineralocorticoid family that is essential to your life. This is because it regulates kidney function and makes sure the amounts of electrolytes (potassium, sodium, chloride and bicarbonate) in your body are in balance. This type of hormone is secreted naturally by your adrenal cortex and simultaneously regulates your electrolyte levels by helping to maintain blood pressure and bodily fluids, or it can be fatal.

An insufficiency of this hormone has also been shown to negatively affect your hearing ability. Brought back to the right balance, it can also improve your hearing naturally. But that’s not the secret supplement. That comes later.

Hormones are some of the most powerful substances known to man

If your aldosterone levels are out of balance, a variety of symptoms can result. Low levels of aldosterone have been indicated in diseases such as Addison’s, Diabetes, AIED (autoimmune inner ear disease), or people with Meniere’s and High Blood Pressure just to name a few.

Researchers have clearly discovered a direct link between the levels of aldosterone we have in our bodies and our ability to hear normally. A direct link! However, before I bog you down with research about what it is or what it can do for you, or even what country you can find it in, first a little history.

Ancient Chinese Wisdom Supports Aldosterone Research

The hormone aldosterone has been around for thousands of years. You can find references throughout history where women shared this little anti-aging secret. However, it was first recorded in ancient China as a hormone replacement therapy. Apparently the older female nobility at the time would use the dried urine from young women to counteract their difficulties with menopause. The understanding for this type of therapy was that the waste products contained the metabolic waste, was progesterone, testosterone and estrogen.

According to naturopathic physician Dr. Eric Chan: “There is a theory in traditional Chinese medicine that the kidneys open up to the ears, and thus symptoms such as tinnitus (ringing in the ears), vertigo, and hearing loss may indicate insufficiency in kidney system regulation. In Chinese medicine, the patient’s kidney system corresponds to both the kidney organ itself, and the hormones secreted by the adrenal glands. Adrenal, means beside kidney.”

Without Hormone Replacement Therapy, Addison’s Sufferers Die

If you have an insufficient amount of aldosterone production in your adrenal glands, it can cause a disorder called Addison’s disease. Without hormone replacement therapy, Addison’s patients would die from heart failure due to sodium-potassium imbalance, low blood volume and low blood pressure.

Conversely, if you have an excess of aldosterone production, that can lead to hypertension, or high blood pressure that results from an increase in sodium retention and an increased blood volume. Curiously, an unusual compound in licorice called glycyrrhizinic acid can also produce the same effects as the excess of aldosterone.

Careful, Too Much Or Too Little, Could Be Lethal.

Bio identical hormones were first available as early as the nineteen thirties. Except that the way to administer them intramuscularly was painful. Since pharmaceutical companies couldn’t patent natural bio identical substances and the method of getting the hormones painlessly into the body wasn’t available yet. Science came up with something else by the 1940s called CEE’s.

By the forties researchers had developed a synthetic hormone from equine urine called Conjugated Equine Estrogen’s or Cee’s. This is the first time where they prescribed progestins and estrogens that are not part of the human body. Thus began the first hormone/estrogen replacement therapy or ERT.

The product ‘Pre-mar-in’ that is used today means: Pregnant Mare Urine

As a result of mass marketing, estrogen-only replacement therapy (ERT) stayed popular until the mid 1970s, when ERT was associated with endometrial cancer.

It wasn’t until the scientists uncovered that women whose ovaries produced the proper amount of progesterone and estrogen didn’t have any significance of cancer whatsoever.

Women whose HRT included a synthetic form of progesterone called progestin, had the hearing loss that was usual for women up to a decade older, and showed problems both in the inner ear, and in the portions of the brain used for hearing.

In the nineteen eighties a synthetic non-human form of progesterone called progestin was developed to balance the non-bioidentical estrogens in commercially available HRT preparations. In the late 1980s, the micronization of bio identical steroids allowed for absorbing progesterone orally. That means that the solids were micronised into smaller particles so they could be ingested.

Smaller than a micrometer in fact. All the way to nanometer size. That’s what lets us use trans dermal patches for estradiol, estriol and testosterone in exact therapeutic amounts.

Women who use this therapy today have the same hearing later in life as a person who is 10 years older than they are.

This new micronized ‘human’ progesterone first started to became available in Europe in the late 1980s and up in Canada by 1995, by which time it was approved by the U.S. FDA in 1998. It had been available from U.S. compounding pharmacists for years, if you can find one, and the active component is bio identical to endogenous progesterone.

By using non-bioidentical hormones, women trade off perimenopausal symptoms for unwanted side effects and incomplete symptom relief.

When you use synthetic progestins, they tend to increase the bad LDL and decrease the good HDL in cholesterol. They also decrease sex hormone binding globulins. This decrease in globulins can result in an increase in sex hormone levels and potentially increased androgenicity or male characteristics. Deficiencies in any of the nutrients, minerals, vitamins, hormones or antioxidants will create a host of other imbalances, dysfunctions in the rest of your body also.

While on the subject of hormones, women who take hormone replacement therapy experience a hearing loss of 10 to 30 percent more than those who do not. However, all is not lost. Today through a physician in Tahoma Washington by name of Dr. Wright. He has identified that a Bio identical hormone called aldosterone, that can actually restore your hearing.

Women Taking Hormone Therapy Stand A Greater Chance Of Hearing Loss

Dr. Wright commented on one of his studies saying: “Age-related hearing loss may be retrievable, “By supplementing three patients with the bio identical hormone aldosterone, all of the men who were either losing their hearing or who had lost a lot of their hearing were able to restore much of what had been lost.”

Dr: Wright commented on the research of Dennis Trune, Ph.D., of Oregon Health Sciences University where he pioneered research showing that the naturally occurring adrenal steroid hormone aldosterone can often reverse hearing loss in animals.

Dr. Wright went on to say that based on Dr. Trune’s work, “I’ve had aldosterone levels tested in many individuals with hearing loss (most of them “older”), and a significant number turned out to have low or “low normal” measurements.

Aldosterone Is One Of Our Many Hormones In Decline As We Age

But after taking bio identical aldosterone in “physiologic”, or balanced quantities. Amounts that would naturally be present in adult human bodies, more than half of these individuals have regained a significant proportion of their “lost” hearing.”

He continues to say that he was: “surprised by two aspects of bio identical aldosterone treatment for hearing loss. First, when it works, it works relatively rapidly, restoring a significant degree of hearing within the first two months. In fact, a few of the people I’ve worked with have literally heard improvement within just two to three weeks.”

A 50 Decibel Increase In Your Hearing Should Be Hailed As A Miracle.

In one case, an 87-year-old man who was diagnosed with hearing loss in 1994 was found to have low aldosterone levels. After six weeks of taking aldosterone, the man visited his audiologist and found that his hearing had increased 30-50 decibels in one ear, and 20-30 in the other. His ability to discriminate words from a noisy background also increased significantly.

None of the people that worked with Dr. Wright have had any adverse effects from aldosterone therapy. This is probably because the use of Bio identical, physiologic based doses of aldosterone, restores levels to those normally found in the body anyway.

Twenty Years Of Research And No side Effects To Using Aldosterone

Dr. Wright goes on give a strong warning about using Aldosterone. He say’s that: “Unless you are an M.D., D.O., or N.D. who can prescribe bio identical aldosterone and order lab tests for sodium and potassium (sodium and potassium regulation are two of aldosterone’s major responsibilities), please don’t take aldosterone, bio identical or not, if your measured levels are perfectly normal!”

For additional details about the research behind this treatment and safety concerns, see the May 2006 issue of Nutrition & Healing.

Aldosterone is not advisable if you already have high blood pressure.

Other studies have clearly shown that a combination of vitamins A, C, and E, as well as magnesium, can protect your hearing. In one animal study, a high-dose combination of these vitamins were given to animals an hour before exposure to a loud noise, and then taken once a day for five days after. Even after a prolonged exposure to sounds that were as loud as a jet taking off at close range, surprisingly, the animals were protected from permanent noise induced hearing loss.

Blood pressure medication actually inhibits aldosterone production.

According to Dr. Jim Howenstine, MD. “Deficiencies of vitamin D can cause hearing loss that sometimes reverses with supplementation of 3000 to 4000 I.U. of vitamin D daily. Gingko Biloba and vinpocetine are other nutrients that may offer some relief from hearing loss by increasing blood flow.”

The Research Shows Hands Down That Supplements Work!

Aldosterone may play a preventive role in age-related hearing loss, also known as presbycusis. In 2005, a group of researchers reported a clear correlation between the low blood levels of aldosterone and hearing loss in the elderly.

In a controlled study, 47 healthy men and women, between 58 and 84 years old were given several types of hearing tests. They all had their aldosterone blood levels measured. Individuals that had severe hearing loss had approximately half as much aldosterone in their bodies as those with normal hearing. This is a highly significant difference. The researchers all concluded that the “aldosterone hormone may have a protective effect on hearing in old age.”

Of All The Bio Available Hormones, Only This One’s Barred By FDA

Bio identical Aldosterone is difficult to find in the US. The FDA has outlawed the use of bio identical aldosterone, even though it is a natural molecule found in everyone’s body. This is very unusual because the FDA usually allows other natural hormones to be sold in their bio identical form. Even compounding pharmacies that make Aldosterone compounds are hard to find.

This wouldn’t be the first time the FDA banned a natural substance

to protect the profits of a pharmaceutical company!

One possible reason for this is that there is a synthetic analog or similar compound of aldosterone on the market today. The present drug is called fludrocortisone. It is made by Barr Industries under the brand called Florinef. Because fludrocortisone is a synthetic, it is treated by the body as an invasive molecule, that induces many of the similar side effects that occur when taking prednisone. Sadly, to date it has not been tested for SSHL (sudden sensorineural hearing loss) commonly called presbycusis.

The Term Used To Describe Age Related Hearing Loss Is, Presbycusis

One approach is to take your findings about Aldosterone and Dr. Wright’s work to your general Practitioner and show them his protocol or idea. There are Dr.’s in your area that deal specifically with hormone replacement therapies. Show them Dr. Wright’s protocol and many will let you try it after signing a release. Or just to get a prescription to obtain it from a Canadian pharmacy instead?

Canada Will Supply Aldosterone For You. Eh!

Alternatively, Aldosterone can be obtained from two Canadian compounding pharmacies with a US doctor’s prescription. Kripps Pharmacy since 1947 is one. Canada Global Drugs is the other. They are then shipped directly from Canada.

At this point I have given a clear explanation of what Aldosterone is, what it does and does not do. I’ve detailed the history and the prolific studies up the yin yang proving it’s efficacy. I’ve given you personal anecdotes and warnings. I’ve even commented on the FDA’s politics of Aldosterone and even offered suggestions about where to buy it from another country. So what does all this add up to?

All This Has Lead Up To This One Statement: “Do It Yourself!”

That’s right! Do it yourself. That’s what this whole article is about! There are a number of foods, vitamins, minerals and supplements, that when consumed are called Aldosterone precursors. This means that they pre set the body up to make more Aldosterone for you naturally. that show how taking these supplements will definitely increase your hearing ability.

As Your Skin Ages, It Can No Longer Synthesize Vitamin D From The Sun

Here are some steps that could help stop the progression of age related hearing loss. If you are starting to lose your hearing, you have one of two options. You can lose more of your hearing and wind up buying a hearing aid. Or you can get your aldosterone levels checked and start supplementing with potassium, getting sodium in it’s proper balance is really important, and taking other nutrients if necessary. That’s all it takes to transform your life and your hearing.

If you do decide to go the aldosterone method, I recommend following these steps:

  • Even before you visit a doctor you can increase your potassium.

Beside the nutrients suggested for restoring hearing in our free e-book, try upping the amount of natural and supplemented potassium in your body. Lots of leafy greens. Lots and lots.

As we age, our bodies convert less of their essential nutrients from food.

Potassium is also abundant in fruits and green vegetables. You can increase your intake of vegetables with homemade vegetable juices. Juicing makes the potassium from food more available. Put a little less emphasis on eating fruits because of their higher sugar and calorie content. For this reason take some potassium supplements as well. It is still safe to take a potassium supplement of 500-600 milligrams a day.

  • Cut your sodium intake a little. Perhaps just stop adding salt to your food. But don’t go completely “low sodium”. Not without working with a physician who is skilled and knowledgeable in the area of natural medicine. Warning: stopping salt altogether can severely imbalance your sodium uptake. So reduce it, don’t abolish it. Several solid studies have documented higher cardiovascular mortality associated with low sodium diets. Be careful!

To stop for a moment here and say that the balance you are looking for between sodium and potassium in your bodies should be the opposite of what it is. Breaking news here! Generally in this culture today, instead of twice as much potassium than sodium, we all have twice an much sodium as potassium. My wife is a Certified Nutritionist and goes on at length about this in her writings.

  • After that check with a physician to have your aldosterone levels measured. Preference is given to the 24 hour urine collection method. This one not only measures aldosterone but also estrogens, testosterone,

DHEA, and a host of other naturally occurring steroids. All of which are helpful for older individuals. But an aldosterone only blood test is acceptable, even though it is somewhat less accurate.

Recently quoted in Suzanne Somer’s book, “Breakthrough,” Dr. Wright says, “I definitely recommend the twenty-four-hour urine test and never, ever believe the doctor who says, well, the normal range on serum aldosterone is 5 to 30 and yours is 6, so you must be okay. No… It’s just like with other bio-identical hormones, we want to put you in the optimal ranges which would be closer to 30.” Dr. Wright is currently giving seminars to help other anti-aging physicians on the benefits of aldosterone and hearing loss.

  • If your test results show a level of aldosterone below the average and you’re losing your hearing, your physician can prescribe Bio identical aldosterone for you. They need to be be sure to monitor your electrolytes (potassium, sodium, chloride and bicarbonate) at regular intervals. They also need to monitor your aldosterone to make sure it stays within the normal psychologic or natural range. Since it’s naturally present in our bodies anyway, Bio identical aldosterone generally is safe, although not perfectly safe.
  • Bio identical aldosterone generally is safe, although not perfectly safe.

Even if your hearing is normal. If you’re 55 or older and one or both of your parents suffers from hearing loss as they have gotten got older, it can’t hurt to increase your potassium intake. Then have your aldosterone levels checked with your other hormones. You might stop the most common kind of hearing loss called age related hearing loss or presbycusis, before it has a chance to show up.

If you choose to take the natural method of increasing your aldosterone levels in your body organically. Take all the necessary foods, vitamins and minerals along with a health dose of exercise and start noticing the difference in how your body can improve your hearing naturally.

When Your Body Circulates Better. Well, You Circulate Everything Better.

Whatever course you wish to take, do it well. If it’s a dietary change. Keep to the new one steadfastly for a period of time, for it to work for you. Three months at least. If it’s a supplement regimen, do it faithfully for the same period of time, before you make up your mind about how it works or not.

Except I’m not going to stop here. If you are really serious about getting your hearing back, look beyond supplements and vitamins and try checking out a liver cleanse. When you circulate better, well, you circulate better. A big part of hearing loss depends on improved circulation. How about trying better on for a change. A liver cleanse using olive oil and epsom salts is a great eye opener to the first time holistic health care seeker. It feels great. It makes your eye’s smile.

When’s The Last Time You Did Something To Make Your Eye’s Twinkle?

But don’t stop there. There are these great new understandings about what makes us live longer and die sooner today, called telomeres. They look like the trunks of two letter “Y”s placed together. Like a dog’s bone. Science and the G- nome has opened up our DNA helix and the mitochondria, an appendage that carries our personality in it. We only have up to go from here. Isn’t that awesome?

Go find some of those life lengthening Telomere’s to ingest and get on the “let’s just not age bandwagon.” There’s a supplement out there right now that can start making the difference you may be looking for right now.

You don’t have to be a noble person from China to have the best in life. Just learn a little to keep your main hormones balanced and in good shape and there isn’t any reason you shouldn’t live a longer life and be able to improve your hearing naturally. Thanks!

Good health is the reflection of a good Spirit.

It’s time to shine.

Using "423 Meridian Qi Gong" to Treat Type 1 Diabetes

I am an Insulin Dependent Diabetic, and have been so since I was in my early 20s. Until that time I had been a reasonably fit and quite healthy specimen. Unfortunately for me at that time, as a typical Australian male in the prime of my life, I refused to see a doctor, believing instead that what ever was wrong with me would pass. It wasn’t until my wife pressured me and then threatened to leave me that I decided to do something about it.

By this time I had lost so much weight I looked like a skeleton with a thin covering of skin. I was about 82.5Kg or 182 pounds and in a period of around 2 weeks I dropped to about 38Kg or around 84 pounds. Things got so bad for me that when I stood from sitting, I had to drag my left leg behind because it wouldn’t work for walking straight away. I was pretty sick! Anyhoo, I went into hospital for treatment and started learning how to manage this incredibly complex illness that had befallen me. For many years, I hated the world and got to a point where I felt I was owed something. Guess what?? I didn’t get it!

Slowly over time, I put weight back on and started to rebuild muscle. I still have troubles in my legs almost 20 years later. From day 1 it seemed that I would have nothing but trouble managing my blood glucose levels with the correct insulin regime. Doctors changed the types of insulin I was on 3 times before they found the one that seemed to work. Even then though I was still using a lot. I would take between 50 and 60 units of slow acting insulin in 2 injections every day, as well as nearly 80 units of fast acting insulin in 6 injections daily. I tell you it can get bloody annoying…

Then one day in early 2006, my best friend told me about this DIY health maintenance system that he’d been taught called 423 Meridian Qi Gong. He went on and on about it over the phone and told me how it worked. I must admit I was a little bit sceptical, but decided to give it a go anyway. Being the typical Australian male that I am, I decided to try it with only the limited instruction that I’d had over the phone. It didn’t matter, it worked anyway. That same day, within a few hours, my blood glucose levels dropped so severely that I kept going into a hypoglycaemic state. For the next week I used almost no insulin and the few times that I did inject, I had to keep checking my sugar levels to make sure I didn’t go too low.

It was amazing and even today 3 almost 4 years later my insulin requirements are less than half what they were. I still use the 2 types of insulin, slow acting morning and night, and the fast acting before  each meal. Except that I no longer need it for my afternoon tea break. These days though, I only use a maximum of 34 units of the slow acting insulin and  40 – 50 units of the fast acting in only 5 injections per day.

On top of this with the continued use of 423 Meridian Qi Gong, I have put on muscle and my health continues to improve steadily. I was so impressed with the results that I was only too happy to assist in the filming of Professor Lius’ Home Study DVD which is available at the Meridians For Health website and I have also been accredited by Professor Liu as an instructor.

423 Meridian Qi Gong consists of 4 Pressure Points, 2 Breathing Exercises and 3 Physical exercises. The pressure points are easy to find and won’t cause any pain. The breathing exercises are so easy, you do 1 before you get out of bed in the morning and the other one you can do anywhere. The physical exercises are low to no impact, and basically they are there just to get the energy system in your body pumping. If you are a diabetic and you find that nothing works to keep you in control, you owe it to yourself to have a look at 423 Meridian Qi Gong. You can buy the DVD at the Meridians For Health website. You’ll find the link in my resource box.

The Good and The Bad About Sugar

While current research has shown that people in general have reduced their consumption of fat, there are more alarming findings about sugar consumption. Obesity has now been declared a worldwide epidemic and statistical evidence suggests that obesity has more to do with sugar consumption than fat consumption.

We need a reasonable understanding of different sugars in order to make the right choices. As this may get a little too technical for some people, I have relegated a list of definitions to the end of this article.

Sugars of one type occur naturally in foods like fruits and vegetables. Processed sugars which have a different constitution are added to foods, fruit juices and other drinks as sweeteners in order to make the products more palatable. Herein lies the difference between what is good and what is bad.

We need to differentiate between sugars classified as monosaccharides and disaccharides and then we need to get familiar with the terms fructose, sucrose, glucose, lactoseand galactose. Then, there’s the role glucose vs. glycogen in our bodies. It gets complicated so let’s keep to the essentials.

Monosaccharides

Monosaccharides are the simplest form of sugar and include fructose, glucose and galactose.

Fructose occurs naturally in fruits, honey, berries and most root vegetables. Your consumption of the foods in which it occurs naturally is healthy. Other monosaccharides include glucose and galactose.

A U.S. survey reveals that about 9% of average caloric intake comes from fructose. Only one-third of this fructose comes from fruit, while the other two-thirds come from added refined sugars; this is where you will find a correlation between unhealthy sugar consumption and obesity.

Disaccharides

Disaccharidesare carbohydrates that are created when two monosaccharides are joined. The best known disaccharides is sucrose, commonly known as table sugar, in which a fructose molecule is joined with a glucose molecule. Another common disaccharide is lactose, found only in milk, in which a glucose and a galactose molecule are combined.

Glucose

Glucose is a sugar that our metabolism converts into energy. Our brain and other tissues require a constant supply of blood glucose to survive. Glucose, transported via the bloodstream, is the primary source of energy for the body’s cells; it is the prime metabolic fuel source for most organisms, from bacteria to humans.

Our body produces glucose when we digest the sugar and starch that are contained in carbohydrates. Such foods include rice, grains, pasta, potatoes, fruits and vegetables. Enzymes break down the starch and sugar into glucose which is absorbed into our bloodstream. The glucose combines with insulin and together they provide the energy for our muscles and brain.

It is vital to our health to keep glucose levels within a normal range. Because the energy originates from the foods we eat, our body has a mechanism for maintaining a normal range. This mechanism is seated in our liver which stores excess glucose as glycogen.

Glucose and glycogen

Our body absorbs glucose from the foods we eat and this may obviously occur irregularly. The glucose that the body does not use immediately is converted into glycogen.

Glycogen is a chain of glucose sub-units stored primarily in the liver and in our muscles. This glycogen is used to buffer our blood glucose level. For example, our muscles use the glycogen stored in the liver for energy during strenuous exercise.

What is important in our pursuit of fat loss is the fact that any glucose in excess of the needs for energy and storage as glycogen is converted to fat. This is the underlying cause for the common argument that claims as follows:

  1. Fruit contains fructose.
  2. Fructose turns to fat.
  3. If you want to lose fat, do not eat fruit.

This argument is essentially false because it ignores the way in which our body metabolizes fructose.

Fructose and glycogen

Fructose can stimulate lipogenesis which means the accumulation and storage of fat. However, fructose is primarily stored in our liver as glycogen. The liver can comfortably handle a daily intake of 50 grams of fructose without storing any extra fat and it can store 100 grams of glycogen.

This is an important observation. A normal piece of fresh fruit contains approximately 6-7 grams of fructose so you would need to eat more than 5-7 pieces of fruit in a day to absorb 50 g. In contrast, you can very easily absorb more than 50 g of fructose by drinking a lot of carbonated soft drinks, or drinks sweetened with fructose corn syrup.

High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) consumption has increased dramatically and is now a main contributor to obesity. You need to understand the following misconceptions:

  • People confuse HFCS with fructose that occurs naturally in fresh fruit.
  • The entire weight of a piece of fruit is not made up of fructose; most of the weight is fiber.

Conclusion

You will suffer no ill effects from eating several pieces of fresh fruit on a daily basis. What you need to steer away from is HFCS consumption and processed sugars added as sweeteners to food products and drinks.

Additional definitions:

Fructose

Fructose, or fruit sugar, is one of three dietary monosaccharides, the other two being glucose and galactose. All three are absorbed into our blood stream during digestion.

Fructose is a naturally occurring sugar, typically found in fruits, honey, berries and most root vegetables. It is the most water-soluble of all sugars. In plants, fructose may exist as a monosaccharide and/or a component of sucrose. in scientific terms called a disaccharide.

Commercially, fructose is derived from sugar cane, sugar beets and corn. Derived from these sources, it comes in three forms:

  • Crystalline fructoseis the monosaccharide and has high purity when it has been dried and ground.
  • High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is a mixture of glucose and fructose.
  • Sucrose (see definition below) is commonly added to foods, fruit juices and other drinks as a taste enhancement.

Sucrose

Sucrose is a complex carbohydrate that exists naturally in fruits and vegetables and occurs in greatest quantities in sugar cane and sugar beets. The food industry separates the sugar from these plants to produce table sugar and sweeteners which are added to foods, fruit juices and other drinks.

During digestion, sucrose is broken down into its constituent monosaccharides, glucose and fructose. The glucose and fructose molecules are absorbed into our blood stream and causes a rapid rise in blood glucose levels. This can cause problems for people who suffer from hypoglycemia or diabetes.

Galactose

This is a simple sugar found in lactose that is less sweet than glucose (table sugar). It is a monosaccharide (see above) that comes mainly from milk and milk products. Galactose is metabolized primarily in our liver into glucose 1-phosphate.

Lactose

A sugar formed by galactose and glucose found mainly in milk where it occurs at 2-8% by weight. When we consume milk, an enzyme called lactase breaks down lactose into glucose and galactose. Because of hereditary factors of food sources, European people are generally far more tolerant of lactose than people from Africa and Asia. People who are intolerant to lactose may suffer bloating and flatulence when they consume milk products.

The Use of Chinese Herbs for Lyme Disease

A number of Chinese herbs can be useful for the many different facets of Lyme Disease. Lyme Disease is a bacterial infectious disease caused by the spirochetal organism, Borrelia Burgdorferi. It is usually caused by a tick bite. The prevalence of the disease is greatest in the northeastern United States, but there have been cases of the illness in all lower 48 states. The disease is easy to treat with antibiotics in its initial stages, but it is often not detected at that point. There is a bull’s eye rash that is characteristic of the disease, but many people never get the rash. The rash looks different in people with darker pigmentation, making it easy to mistake it for other skin conditions, including bruising or eczema. The wide variety of symptoms that a person can have in its later stages makes it hard to obtain a proper diagnosis, and the medical testing for the illness is still not very accurate in many cases.

People with later stages of Lyme need treatment on a number of different levels. At the very basic level, herbs that are anti-bacterial, specifically against spirochetal bacteria, are an important component of treatment. Herbs that have been shown to have activity against spirochetal bacteria include coptis (huang lian), andrographis paniculata (chuan xin lian), isatis (ban lan gen/qing dai), phellodendron (huang bai), scute (huang qin), forsythia (lian qiao), smilax (tu fu ling), and gardenia (zhi zi). Garlic is also a useful antibacterial supplement for those with Lyme Disease.

Lyme disease can lower body temperature and create poor blood circulation. A person is also likely to feel cysts, lumps, and swellings in different areas of their body that often change and move. The bacteria walls itself off, and creates an environment in which it can grow and thrive and the person with the disease ends up in severe pain, with horribly low energy, and neurological problems. The disease thrives in a low temperature, low oxygen environment, and that is the environment it creates within the body. People with the disease often have signs and symptoms similar to someone with severe altitude sickness (also caused by a low oxygen environment). Chinese herbs that clear blood stasis and break blood stagnation can be very useful for this aspect of the disease. The herb, pseudoginseng (san qi), can be extremely beneficial for people with Lyme Disease. It promotes blood circulation and oxygenation in the body, and can force open the cysts that protect the bacteria from being killed off. It also can help clear some of the brain fog that people with this disease have by improving blood circulation and oxygenation to the brain. Frankincense (ru xiang), and myrrh (mo yao) can also help by improving blood circulation, especially to the joints, where the bacteria often hides in cartilaginous tissue where blood circulation tends to be poorer. An herb that is frequently used by people with Lyme Disease, teasel root, is beneficial because it improves circulation in the body and also has a warming affect. All of these herbs can help significantly with the intense and chronic pain that those with later stages of Lyme disease experience.

Certain Chinese herbs can be used to reduce the person’s sensitivity to cold and improve microcirculation in the body. Herbs such as clove, cinnamon, ginger, and siegesbeckia can be useful for this purpose.

The lymphatic system and the metabolism are often compromised in people with Lyme Disease. The bacteria frequently hides inside the walls of white blood cells, and results in swollen and congested lymph glands. People with the disease often have symptoms of hypothyroidism and a slowed metabolic rate even if all of their thyroid tests are normal. In Chinese Medicine, herbs that treat phlegm are frequently used for conditions related to a slow metabolism and a congested lymphatic system. The Chinese herb, prunella vulgaris (xia ku cao), and scrophularia (xuan shen) are very useful for inflammation, congestion, and infection of the lymphatic system. Herbs such as citrus aurantium, kelp, epimedium, and Siberian ginseng, can be beneficial for improving a sluggish metabolism in people with Lyme Disease who have signs or symptoms of an underactive thyroid.

Another aspect of Lyme Disease is severe and debilitating fatigue and a total lack of energy. This can be due to a host of different factors. Poor oxygenation and blood circulation and lowered metabolism and body temperature are part of the picture. The person’s adrenal glands may not be functioning properly either. Someone with Lyme Disease may also have a host of digestive problems that result in a lack of adequate nutrition. The disease itself can trigger chemical changes in the brain that create severe depression and an inability to concentrate, which is debilitating as well.

In Chinese medicine, herbs that nourish the qi and blood can help this lack of energy. The herbs can improve the person’s digestive functioning, support the functioning of the brain, support proper functioning of the adrenal glands, and improve the person’s ability to handle stress. They can also help the proper functioning of the mitochondria in their production of ATP in the cells, which helps a person’s energy at a very fundamental level. Siberian ginseng, schizandra, licorice, and astragalus are all good herbs for improving a person’s energy level, digestive functioning, and their ability to handle stress. White peony, dong quai, and wolfberry nourish the blood and reduce fatigue. Polygonum and eucommia can help improve a person’s adrenal response and can improve brain functioning. Bupleurum, longan fruit, zyzyphus seed, dragon bone, oyster shell, and magnolia bark can be beneficial for the depression, anxiety, lack of concentration, and sleep problems that people with Lyme Disease experience.

As you can see, Lyme Disease is a complex illness with many facets. Chinese herbal medicine has numerous herbs in its pharmacopia that can treat the many different aspects of this disease in a comprehensive and holistic manner.

Uncommon Home Remedies

Have you seen that movie, “My Big Fat Greek Wedding”? The Greek father in it has an amusing compulsion to treat every human malady with a spray of Windex! That’s right, the window cleaner. I’d never heard of using Windex for anything other than cleaning windows, but if it does work, I guess it would be due to the alcohol in it that did the trick as alcohol is an antiseptic.

Now, don’t go spraying Windex on yourself, especially not internally! I wouldn’t want you to wind up in the emergency room having to tell the staff there that you tried to Windex your sore throat. They may keep you longer than you had hoped in a more secure wing of the hospital.

As goofy as that whole scenario sounds, as long as there have been cuts, bruises, insect bites, fungal nails, bad breath, and a whole host of other minor human ailments, there have been some off-the wall remedies for them.

So, in a lighter departure from my usual advice to you, I’d like to share some of these uncommon home remedies with you here that you may find work for you.

Toenail fungus: How about Vick’s Vaporub? Yep, reported to remove toenail fungus is old-time Vick’s Vaporub. After you clean your feet and affected toenail/s completely, rub some Vicks Vaporub into the nail/s. Do this everyday for 2 weeks and watch the improvement. The menthol in Vicks suffocates the fungus and kills it off.

Warts: Have warts? Got duct tape? Yes, duct tape. It really works to remove them. In a study published in the Archives of Adolescent Medicine, duct-taping warts removed 85% of them, compared to 60% with freezing method. Cut a small piece of tape, adhere it over the wart, remove in 3 days and use emery board or pumice to remove the dead skin. Repeat if necessary.

Toothache: Until you can get to your dentist, soak a cotton ball, or Q-tip, in vanilla extract and apply directly to the tooth to immediately relieve pain. Rinsing your mouth with some hydrogen peroxide in water (don’t swallow!) will kill bacteria in infected tooth tissues.

Hiccups: Swallow 1 tsp of plain table sugar to relieve hiccups quickly.

Foot odor: Bathe your feet in Vodka or Gin. The alcohol kills bacteria as well as dehydrates skin moisture that allows fungus to grow.

Joint pain: Gin soaked raisins is said to ease arthritic joint pain. 2 cups golden raisins, 1-cup gin made from juniper berries. Place raisins in a glass bowl; pour gin over them completely covering them. Let soak for 10 days at room temperature. Eat 10 gin-soaked raisins per day.

Tension headache: When you’re stressed out, you tend to clench your jaw and create a lot of tension in your temporal muscles. This can create a tension headache. Place a pencil between your back teeth but do not bite down. This forces the jaw muscle to relax and the headache to abate.

Aching feet/heel spurs: Get a 16 oz soda bottle and fill it with water and freeze it. When frozen, place the frozen bottle beneath your sore feet, one at a time, and roll the bottle back and forth beneath it. This helps cool the inflammation of the heel spur and relaxes the foot muscles.

Rough, dry foot calluses: Get some coarse kosher salt, or a little sea salt; add a tablespoon or 2 of olive oil to it. Rub the mixture into the dry callused area of your foot. The salt abrades the dry skin and removes it and the olive oil adds moisture to the area making it smooth and soft.

Under eye bags: We’ve all had mornings when we didn’t sleep enough the night before and woke up with puffy bags under our eyes. A home remedy that models and actors use to get rid of them is to apply Preparation H hemorrhoid cream to the under eye area. The same ingredients that decrease hemorrhoid swelling also decrease the under eye bags.

Urinary tract infections: If you’re prone to frequent urinary tract infections, try drinking 8 oz of cranberry juice with 1/4 tsp of baking soda in it. Reduces bacteria and alkalizes the urine. If infections persist, see a doctor.

Blisters: Stop pain by drying them out quickly with Listerine mouthwash. Apply to affected areas 3 times a day with a cotton ball until dried out.

Sore throat: My grandmother never let us forget this old world remedy – 1 tsp of salt in a glass of warm water. Gargle. Repeat several times a day until the sore throat is gone. The salt dries out and kills the bacteria in the back of your throat that is making it sore.

Excessive armpit sweating: Apple cider vinegar, or limejuice, applied to clean armpits before bed, and let air-dry, then wash off in the morning. Both are acidic agents and may balance the acid/alkali environment of the sweat glands.

Natural toothbrush: Forgot your toothbrush? Eat an apple, preferably a green Granny Smith type that is full of malic acid. Not only will the apple clean way debris from your teeth, the malic acid helps get rid of stains.

Mosquito bites: Summer is not far away and either are mosquito bites! If you hate them as much as I do, get yourself some bottled limejuice and apply with cotton balls to take the itch out of them. A paste of salt and water applied to the bite will do the same. Both dry out the fluid that swells around the bite that causes the itch.

Well, there you have it, some uncommon home remedies for some everyday ailments. All of these have been proven to work not only anecdotally by people who have used them but also by researchers who have studied peculiar home remedies. Give one or a few a try. However, if you see that your problem ailment is not going away, do consult your doctor.

Mark Rosenberg, M.D.

Institute For Healthy Aging

Panchakarma – The Major Treatment of Ayurveda

According to Ayurveda, human body is composed of the three Doshas, the seven dhatus and three malas. Equilibrium of the dosha, dhatu and mala maintains the healthy state of body and mind. But imbalance in any of them gives rise to disease. The purpose of Ayurveda is to maintain this equilibrium. This can be achieved by two methods. One is to pacify the dosha or by eliminate the dosha by nearby route i.e. Panchakarma. Panchakarma acts as curative as well as preventive therapy. It is purifying as well as rejuvenating procedure. Panchakarma is the soul of Ayurveda. As promised by Ayurveda, Ayurveda believes in treating the disease at its root, not just symptomatic treatment and boosting the body’s capacity to resist and fight disease. Panchakarma Chikitsa(treatment) for diseases like Infertility, Psoriasis, Insomnia, early ageing, irritability, lowered concentrating capacity, Hypertension, Hyperacidity following stress and strain of today’s day to day life problems. With Panchakarma principle, we also treat chronic diseases like Diabetes, Arthritis, Asthma, Spondilosis, Chronic Constipation, Colitis and Skin Diseases like Psoriasis. Principles of Panchakarma Chikitsa(treatment) are also followed for women in pre and post menopausal syndrome like hot and cold flashing irritability neuritis excessive sweating, weight gain, menstrual irregularities and leucorrhoea, menorrhagia the excessive menstrual bleeding etc.

The Panchakarma treatment of Ayurveda requires years of hands on clinical training and experience to be effective. Ayurvedic type massage offered in spas and center not dedicated Ayurvedic Medical health care, may appear similar, but are decisively different. Without the proper training in Ayurvedic Medicine, these Panchakarma therapies cannot be administered properly and may even aggravate or worsen the person’s condition.

Before doing Panchakarma there are certain steps to be followed which are called as Poorvakarmas. They are Snehana (oleation) and Swedana (sudation). Snehana can be done by two ways, application of oil internally and externally. There are four types to promote sweat in Swedana. The purpose of Poorvakarma is to liquefy and guide the provoked Doshas (impurities) to the mainstream to facilitate the Sodhana karma. Diseases occur when toxins get accumulated in body and clog these channels. Unhealthy diet, lifestyle, stress, changes in environment etc lead to accumulation of toxins in body. These accumulated toxins have to be expelled out in order to keep our body healthy. Through Panchakarma therapy these toxic clogs are removed to normalize the physiological process. Hence Panchakarma therapy is called as detoxification therapy. Panchakarma therapy can be administered to a normal person to prevent diseases and keep his body healthy. Panchakarma therapy is also used as a purifactory therapy to cleanse the body before starting a treatment. A diseased body can be compared to a soiled cloth which can not be colored as we desire. Hence to attain the maximum benefits, the body has to be purified or cleaned before starting the treatment. The cleared channels help medicines to penetrate the deeper tissues. SNEHAN It is the oilation therapy. It is of two kinds, internal and external. Internal Snehan: in this treatment medicated oils and ghee (clarified butter) etc. are given for internal use. These sneha are so subtle that they can enter into minute pores of cell membrane. They have a tendency of pushing or mobilizing the impurities from there so that their elimination becomes easy. Ghee (clarified butter) prepared from cow’s butter is best for this use. External Snehan: this comprises of different kinds of massage. Medicated oils are applied on the body and different methods are used for that. These massage techniques are many times used in the treatment of muscular fatigue, loss of motor functions, arthritis, paralysis, migraine, spondylities and bodyache. They also induce sound sleep by relaxing the nervous system, increase immunity of the body and are beneficial to increase skin’s lustre. SWEDANA It is the second Purvakarma. It means fomentation or heating therapy. Different types of fomentations like steam bath and poultices are used on specific parts of the body. Many kinds of warm medicated oils, water, milk and herbal decoctions are also used. They are either used in a bath tub or are poured on the body. These types of fomentation treatments are very beneficial in diseases like pains in the joints, neck, lumbago, hemiplegia, urinary disorders, renal diseases, muscular dystrophy, common cold, asthma and loss of muscle functions. Swedana or fomentation liquefies or digests the Doshas and opens the mouth of blocked channels and pores of cell membrane. This makes the elimination of wastes easy when the actual Panchakarma are performed. So after doing these Purvakarma or preparatory treatments, the main karmas (Panchakarma) are done.

WHY PANCHAKARMA: – to eliminate the toxic matter from the body. – to enhance the power of digestion and metabolism. – to get rid of diseases from the very root out of the systems. – to restore normal health. – to gain the strength, increase the virility and improve the progeny. – to have more clearer complexion. – to increase the power of sense organs and motor organs.

Quarantine and Medicate-Treating Arowana Illness and Disease

Successful treatment of a sick fish depends on a variety of factors. Water quality and the condition of the fish prior to the onset of illness, the swiftness and accurateness of treatment and the severity of the disease all affect how well an Arowana heals. Many of these factors are controllable, and a proactive approach to your Arowana’s health aids recovery from illness or disease.

The Quarantine Tank

Even with years of trouble-free Arowana care behind you, it is extremely wise to keep a Quarantine tank running. If you house tank mates with your Arowana, use it to isolate and observe new arrivals for several days prior to introduction to the main tank. Fish that appear to be stressed or becoming ill outside of the observation period can be removed to the Quarantine tank for treatment. This prevents dosing the main setup and disrupting biological filtration. It also prevents exposing healthy fish to antibiotics unnecessarily.

If you keep only one Arowana, a small quarantine tank is still a wise investment. It can be used to isolate live foods and plants for observation and parasite control. A quarantine tank can also serve as a place to administer healing salt baths should your Arowana become ill or stressed. In the event of a tank emergency, it is always of benefit to have a fully cycled, smaller tank on hand. A 55 or even a 29 gallon tank can suffice as temporary Arowana housing.

Three Types of Fish Medication

There is a wide variety of fish medications available on the market. It is extremely important to spend some time learning how to use basic medicines. Not only must you be able to identify Arowana diseases, you must know how to treat them swiftly and safely.

There are three basic types of fish medicine: Bacterial antibiotics, anti-parasitic medications, and antifungal medications. Regardless of the name brand, each group contains specific drugs or chemicals that function similarly. Aim to become familiar with at least two drugs within each group. Be sure to have enough of each on hand to treat an Arowana for 10 days. Many medications require only a few days of dosage, but it is best to be prepared for more aggressive treatment.

1. Bacterial Antibiotics:

These work by stopping the growth or killing off bacteria. Broad spectrum medications are effective against a variety of bacteria, while narrow spectrum antibiotics only affect a few.

Some bacterial antibiotics destroy beneficial bacteria in your tank. Pay particularly close attention to water quality during treatment with these medications, as many also require the removal of carbon from filtration units. In the interest of preserving your tank’s water quality, it is best to use bacterial antibiotics only in a Quarantine setting.

Common antibacterial medications: tetracycline (minocycline), erythromycin, nitrofurans, quniolones.

2. Anti-parasitic Medications:

These are designed to treat the many parasites that can infect Arowanas. There are three types of parasites: single-celled protozoa, worms, and crustaceans. The latter two are often visible to the naked eye, and the protozoa “ich” can also usually be spotted. In other instances, magnification may help with parasite identification.

Some anti-parasitic medications are effective against more than one parasite. Some are harmful to plants or rays, and some may affect biological filtration. Many color tank water and require safe handling procedures. While quarantining generally prevents parasite infestations, if your main tank becomes infected it must be treated for complete elimination.

Common anti-parasitic medications: Malachite green, formalin, copper, and quinine.

3. Antifungal Medications:

Fungal infections often attack an Arowana at the site of a wound. Injury or parasite infestation commonly initiates fungal growth. Water molds begin to feed on fish by secreting enzymes which digest tissue cells. True fungal infections are challenging to treat, and repeated or extended treatments are often necessary.

Common antifungal medications: Malachite green, formalin, copper, methylene blue.

Simultaneous Treatment

Some medications are designed to be used together and are effective at treating more than one illness. A good example is malachite green and formalin which are often sold as one treatment. Copper is another multi-purpose remedy. These medications may treat both parasitic and fungal infections. If you suspect your fish has secondary infections from parasitic wounds, try a dual purpose medication.

If you are uncertain about using two medications simultaneously, look for a quality manufacturer and contact them directly. Alternatively, you could consult with a veterinarian or professional Arowana keeper. Never simply “guess” at what medications to use in combination with each other. Fish medications are essentially chemicals and require special handling and care.

Skeeter Syndrome – Mosquito Allergy Information

Most people are familiar with the itching and mild discomfort usually associated with a mosquito bite. But for some individuals, a mosquito bite has much more serious consequences cause by an allergy to the polypeptides in the mosquitos saliva.

When a mosquito bites, in not only sucks blood, but it also injects saliva to thin the blood before sucking the blood. The saliva contains a variety of enzymes, this is what the body reacts to with a mosquito bite allergy.

In sufferers mosquito bites come with extreme swelling, and blistering. The affected area is hard and hot to the touch, and the swelling is similar to what accompanies a bee sting. In extreme cases a mosquito bite can lead to anaphylaxis, asthma and angioedema.

In some cases an individual with no previous history of Skeeter Syndrome will suddenly present with symptoms ranging from moderate to severe. Although there is no known reason, studies have shown that the reaction is an immunological one, where the body is trying to fight off the offending member. Because there are over 16 species of mosquito it is possible that a bite by an unfamiliar species brought on the allergic reaction.

Treatment of Skeeter Syndrome involves symptom control. Topical treatments to minimize itching and swelling, and taking antihistamines to control the reaction are used and allow the affected area to heal, are the most traditional forms of treatment. Individuals with a history of anaphylactic shock should keep an EpiPen on hand if they begin to show signs of a mosquito allergy.

As with most allergies, prevention is the best treatment. The use of mosquito nets at night, topical insect repellants, and insecticides are all important to helping keep you safe from mosquitos. Individuals who live in a marshy area or tropical zone should be particularly cautious and make sure to have screens on all doors and use mosquito pellets at night to prevent bites.

Skeeter syndrome can affect individuals of all ages, but is particularly common among young children & babies. Keeping a net over your child’s bed and making sure you apply insect repellant during the day are the best ways to avoid an unpleasant reaction. It is important that children who are allergic to mosquitoes avoid playing outdoors after dusk as well, as that is the time when mosquitoes become the most active. Because mosquitoes are so common, avoiding a bite can be very complicated.

Thankfully there are many treatments you can use to control the symptoms if and when they occurred. Adding a little baking soda to your child’s bath can help alleviate itching and swelling. Traditional antihistamines, like Benadryl, are also very helpful and can help speed up recovery time and lessen discomfort.

Skeeter Syndrome is a severe allergic reaction to mosquito saliva. Sufferers experience extreme swelling, pain, itching, blistering and in some cases even anaphylaxis. The best treatment is avoiding contact with mosquitoes; which is of course, easier said than done. Treating the symptoms with topical solutions and taking antihistamines orally can help speed up recovery and minimize the severity of the symptoms.

Top 15 Homeopathic Remedies For Kidney Disease

There are many things that lead to kidney failure. High blood pressure, diabetes, lupus, genetics and kidney stones, to name a few. Kidney problems will lead to chronic kidney or renal failure, if left untreated.

The normal medical treatment for kidney failure involves the use of drugs, kidney dialysis, and kidney transplants. These method however offers no cure, but only slows down the delay of complete kidney failure. To help treat damaged kidneys and stimulate the body’s immune system, you should consider using Homeopathic remedies.

The two major approaches of administering Homeopathic medicine is the classic and complex method. The use of a single remedy based on the patient’s constitutional type and symptoms is called the classic method. Most homeopathic practitioners use the complex approach. Various remedies are especially formulated and used to treat each serious aliment and disease symptom the patient has.

Homeopathic treatment for kidney failure is based on each individual patient, and the conditions associated with disease. The cardinal symptoms of kidney failure are often treated with some standard homeopathic remedies recommended by most homeopathic doctors.

Top Homeopathic Remedies for Kidney Disease

1. Ammonium carbonicum: mental sluggishness, fatigue, turbid, bloody, scanty or fetid urine and painful urination.

2. Apis mellifica: kidney inflammation, urine suppression and general edema.

3. Arsenic album: scanty and burning urination, difficult urination and nephritis.

4. Aurum metallicum: urine with mucous sediment and painful retention of urine.

5. Belladonna: inflamed kidneys.

6. Cannabis indica: urinary tract infections.

7. Chelidoniumm majus: copious urination, pale white urine and frequent night urination.

8. Cuprum Arsenicosum: painful urination, discolored urine and kidney function.

9. Cuprum Metallicum: clear watery urine, sharp pain in urethra, bed-wetting, urine suppression and frequent urination of fetid and viscid urine.

10. Glonoin: kidney inflammation and frequent night urination and helonia’s rubrics are anemia, irritability, kidney inflammation and dullness.

11. Juniperus Virginiana: heaviness in kidney region and water retention.

12. Opium: general edema, urine suppression, uremic convulsions, body sluggishness, black stool and white urine.

13. Phosphorous: uremia, turbid urine with sedimentation, kidney swelling and extreme fatigue.

14. Sanicula Aqua: kidney stones and inflammation and bladder irritation.

15. Terebinthina: kidney and urinary tract inflammation and discolored urine.

All kidney diseases, including the end stages where dialysis is usually considered the only viable treatment option, is helped by the use of homeopathic remedies. Homeopathic treatment has also been proven beneficial after a kidney transplant. It will help the patients immune system accept the donor kidney.

An added benefit of using homeopathic medicines is the low cost. Homeopathic remedies are only a fraction of the cost of pharmaceutical drugs, and, there are no worries of dangerous side effects. Kidney disease is a serious medical condition and should always be treated by a professional health care professional. Try to find a provider that uses and understands natural methods of treating your disease.

If you are suffering from any serious health condition, please be careful about attempting to treat yourself. You need the guidance of a good homeopathic doctor or a naturopath physician.

If you will use homeopathy and allopathic medicines, along with a strict diet of reduced sodium and protein intake, you will find much relief from your suffering. Also,keep your consumption of potassium, phosphorus and calcium under control.

You should not attempt to self-treat yourself using homeopathic remedies for kidney disease. Like any form of alternative medicine, it is better to consult your healthcare professional before starting homeopathy. Basically homeopathy with allopathic medicine, along with a strict diet of reduced sodium and protein consumption and controlling potassium, phosphorus and calcium intake can help treat your disease.

I believe homeopathic remedies for kidney disease is one of the best methods to treat your kidney disease problems.

Grad School Burnout – Mild Or Severe Depression, Anxiety and Stress Symptoms in Graduate Students

Education that is “a way of life” may create vulnerability

Grad school is a long haul educational enterprise. Many Doctoral programs last 5 to 7 years, on top of the five to six years typically required to get the BA and a Masters degrees which precede it. Students who aspire to graduate degrees usually have a history of dedicated scholarship which extends back into high school or even elementary school. For many Grad students education has literally been “a way of life”… sometimes the only way of life that is well known or familiar.

Linda Curci of the Caltech Counseling Center suggests that:

“Burnout is a process that happens gradually over time. It creeps up on a person through an accumulation of random minor negative thoughts, sporadic lost hopes, and a series of small disappointments in oneself. Burnout is a painful process that includes emotional exhaustion, a loss of pleasure in interpersonal relationships, and a diminished sense of self worth. Burnout is the result of trying too hard for too long in a situation where the odds are against meeting one’s expectations. People who burn out are intelligent, dedicated people who have high expectations for themselves.”

Grad school can be an emotional and psychological “trial by fire” and burnout tends to happen when you’ve been pushing too hard for too long and

The warning signs of burnout are:

  • Loss of interest in or questioning the meaning of your studies and research.
  • Chronic fatigue – exhaustion, a sense of being physically run down and emotionally flat
  • Anger at those making demands
  • Cynicism, negativity, and irritability
  • A sense of being besieged
  • Feelings of helplessness

From the point of view of a psychologist however, there is a bit more to be seen in some of the typical symptoms.

Perfectionism – As Curci suggests, one common area of difficulty lies in the impossibility of meeting expectations and all too often these exaggerated expectations are inner demands rather than outer ones.

Perfectionism, can create an inability to start or finish major tasks. Perfectionists are their own worst critics. Nothing is ever good enough and this constant self-criticism leads to paralysis or avoidance which sabotages progress.

Perfectionism is always a defense. Individuals with perfectionistic expectations hope, (wish), need, to protect themselves from all failure or criticism. This criticism which is imagined to be emanating from others is usually coming from within. This can create a vicious circle of fear-driven effort which no amount of external evidence of success ever seems to correct… if only because the possibility of failure cannot ever be reduced to zero.

Suffering in silence – Grad students are individuals who have accepted to put themselves under the yoke of a program of training. They have often given up or put aside valid needs and desires in the name of their studies. They have left countries, communities, families, and personal relationships to follow their studies and often set aside personal interests and pleasures to fulfill program requirements.

The pain and anger caused by these losses is real but because the demands have been undertaken “voluntarily,” individuals often feel they have no right to complain… or to grieve. These strong and relevant feelings, when unacknowledged can eventually insist on being experienced psychologically and emerge as depression, or as anger and cynicism towards a program which has been responsible for so much pain.

Fear of graduation? Grad students, as noted above, are often individuals who have dedicated themselves for most of their young adult life to a particular academic world. As the end of a program of study comes into sight questions may arise about how to live in the real world. A whole different set of competencies may be felt, frighteningly, to be lacking.

Supervisory strain – While Grad school programs are often well organized to support academic development, supervisors vary in their ability to be helpful with the more personal challenges of their students. In fact if the interpersonal relationship is not optimum the supervisory relationship may even be an additional stressor.

Ill-Health and Computer crashes… The psyche’s hardware and software solutions to stress – Even when the strain of grad school is not extreme enough to create a full-scale burnout, it may manifest itself in chronic or minor health problems, particularly those which are significantly related to stress such as headaches, migraines, stomach problems, asthma, sleep difficulties…and if it’s not you getting sick, maybe it will be your computer…

Strategically timed computer crashes can be caused by inattention and neglect as the over-stressed psyche looks for ways to create time out.

Cumulative strains – Even if you have been sailing through Grad school for the most part without excessive perfectionism or personal sacrifices, the long term stress of grad school may interact cumulatively with other stressful events such as unavoidable major losses or personal setbacks and funding crises to throw even the most balanced student over the edge into depression or burn-out

Leading a whole human life – The world needs the passion and enthusiasm of those individuals who are willing to push forward into the highest levels of knowledge in their domains, to broaden and deepen what we think and know. It is a loss to us all if students burn out or drop out in despair after such significant investments in their studies.

But the excessive and exclusive focus on their values as scholars may lead Grad students to neglect other aspects of their humanity. Often what is most needed is compassionate and encouraging human contact and reassurance that they are valuable and valued in the world as individuals outside of their studies.

Some general notes on depression

Common signs and symptoms of depression include:

  • a persistent sad or “empty” mood
  • loss of interest or pleasure in activities that were once enjoyed
  • loss of appetite or weight loss
  • sleep problems
  • fatigue, despite adequate sleep
  • feelings of pessimism, guilt, worthlessness, helplessness
  • indecisiveness, difficulty concentrating
  • psychomotor slowing or agitation
  • thoughts of wanting to escape, hopelessness, suicidal thoughts

At its extreme end depression can become so severe that it can create suicidal feelings or thoughts. If you experience suicidal thoughts or feelings, it is very important to:

  • Make taking care of yourself your top priority.
  • Talk about these thoughts with someone. Don’t suffer in silence.
  • Contact your institution’s counseling center for an assessment or referral to community or other mental health services.

If these symptoms seem all too familiar, you might like to take an on-line depression screening test or contact your counseling center or a mental health professional for an assessment.

References:

Linda Curci, (Caltech Counseling Center) http://www.counseling.caltech.edu/InfoandResources/StressBurnout

How to Treat Pharmacophobia – The Fear of Medicine

Pharmacophobia is the fear of taking medicine. The common symptoms are breathlessness, excessive sweating, nausea, feeling sick, fear of dying, becoming angry, mouth becoming dry, shakiness, excessive anxiety, and a sensation of total detachment from the real world. This phobia, to the surprise of both the sufferers and non-sufferers, is not at all uncommon, even though it may seem strange.

Adults who suffer from this fear, albeit realizing that their fears are irrational, get sever panic attacks even while thinking about medicines, let alone while facing medicines.

However, there is a way out.

Imagine yourself in a situation where you no longer have fear of medicines, consequently becoming confident and at ease with yourself and everyone around you, when you can freely talk about your phobia as something of the past, like a character in fiction, not you. The aforementioned scenario is indeed possible.

Following are the treatments for pharmacophobia:

1.Hypnotherapy

2.Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP): It is the study and practice of how we create our reality. According to this, a phobia occurs when your programs or “constructs” that you have created don’t work very well. With NLP, these constructs are revealed and “re-programmed” so that the phobia is minimized and often eliminated. Usually the interventions are quite rapid and effective.

3.Energy Psychology: Energy Psychology is a very good and effective therapy for curing phobias as it is a rapid, safe, effective and long-lasting method. Even though few have heard about it, this sort of therapy has been around for a couple of thousand years. It could be called emotional acupuncture – without the needles- as it has the same foundations as acupuncture. Energy Psychology combines the benefits of the above treatment therapies.

Here are some myths about phobias

Myth 1. Phobias can be cured by exposure.

Cognitive Behavior Therapy: This consists of exposing you to the very thing you are afraid of and deconditioning you to the fear. For instance, if you have lizard phobia, you get exposed gradually to lizards. If you have fear of heights, you go to the top of a tall building gradually.

Even though this method can be successful, it involves a great deal of mental pain. It also requires frequent therapy sessions over several weeks, which for the modern day man, may not be possible.

Myth 2. Phobia can be treated by talking about it.

Talk Therapy: Traditional therapy, in which you sit or lie down and pour out your problems to a therapist, takes months or years to bring relief, and the results have shown to be not very predictable.

It is quite probable that you may feel at ease when you are talking about your phobia, but the real deal is when you actually encounter the situation, where you still find yourself wanting.

Myth 3. Drugs for the treatment of phobias are effective.

This method is very disadvantageous due to the expense, the possibility of side effects, the necessity to keep taking medication indefinitely and most of all, the existing probability of the phobia not even getting cured. After all, when it comes to medication, prevention is better than cure.

Five Steps to Help Post-Relationship Anxiety (Part One)

In the post-relationship phase of romantic attachments, it is highly likely that you might experience separation anxiety or stress due to the absence of your former flame. Even within the most troubled relationships, the soul connection between people longs to reunite with the possibilities of what “used to be.” What might you feel?

  • a sense of restlessness that exceeds your normative state;
  • inability to sleep or a drastic change in sleeping patterns;
  • compulsive thoughts about the person with whom you are splitting;
  • an overwhelming sense anxiousness at the potential of “forever” feeling that anxious;
  • physical agitation or need for movement/sleep;
  • change in attitudes or behaviors that are driven by your need to see/avoid the person.

Separation anxiety is your awareness of the vacancy a person leaves within your life and soul when they are no longer part of your active life. This form of anxiety often begins preceding the event – in the ending days or months of a breakup. Anxiety about ending a relationship can likely be the cause of “lingering” or staying in a situation that is unfulfilled, accounts for doubts for ending a connection that has died of its own natural causes. The first healthy step is to be aware that it is natural to feel anxious about major changes in life, and natural to feel the need to effectively navigate your anxious thoughts and feelings to a place of centering and peace.*

  1. Recognize the attachment. Why do we experience separation anxiety in a relationship that is not healthy for us overall? We form emotional and physical attachments to that which we see daily, even if the daily interaction is strained or filled with chaos. Not all attachments are human to human. I have close attachments to my historical house with its many varied nuances and random issues, and refer to it as though it has human qualities and value in my life. I am attached specific music and movies that hold meaning for me, and feel a sense of kinship and community with the people who represent them. Attachments can be fickle as well: you may find yourself inexplicably attached to a person or thing that is unhealthy for you. How do you recognize the attachment? First, consider what removing that person or thing from your life would feel like today, in a year and in a decade? Do you feel anxious when you consider it? Is your feeling driven by need, fulfillment, routine or constancy?
  2. Name the Feeling. You find yourself newly single and anxious over your loss. What do you actually feel? What is it telling you? Don’t just jump to “I love him/her” or “I’m hurt” and stop there – each feeling has something concrete to say to you. Perhaps the person brought out feelings of passion that you had not known prior to the relationship. You may fear that you will never experience that fulfillment again. Your feelings are telling you first that you need physical intimacy on that level, and second, that you associate it with this person. It is not likely, however, that this is the only person in the the world that can offer such an experience in a relationship. Once you know what the feelings are telling you (you have a need) it does offer you a rough framework for what you’re looking for in a relationship. The same thing follows for communication, community, common likes and past times, interests and all things physical – what you “miss” about the person that you miss is a road map to what you really want in life.
  3. Disassociate Feelings from the Individual. When I experienced drastic separation anxiety from my former flame, I had to reassess what I wanted in my life and how willing I was to move on. My identification with “happiness” was absolutely tied into my feelings for this individual. Happiness is not dependent on another person. In fact, if you are waiting for another person to “make you happy” you are ultimately going t be disappointed. It is the intensity and ignition of your relationship that engages the couple and creates a climate in which happiness is bred. An intense person mated to a person with no energy may love that individual but will ultimately feel unfulfilled because they cannot share or grow the part of their soul that drives their personality. A truly passionate sensual person cannot successfully mate with a person that has little self-identification with their own sexuality.Here is a simple question that you may not like to answer just now, but is important. Can you live without that person you are anxious over with relatively little effort? Try to disassociate how you feel with the person and instead focus on what your feelings are telling you about your own needs, desires and what is both right and wrong with your relational approaches. Is your anxiety driven by deeper issues with rejection or loss from your family of origin? Do you see a life long pattern of attachment or relationship failures?
  4. Habit or Addiction or Love? In the decade scenario, once the emotions have worn off, do you feel that removing yourself from the attachment would be beneficial or harmful? The person who is afraid or unable to imagine life outside of the chaos that often marks unhealthy relationships may crave the anxiety with which life is sustained; the individual who is subjected to repeated verbal abuse may feel guilty for considering healthy choices or actions that are not normative to their common living state. It may be that one partner, unknowingly, manipulates the other through life issues or “giving” until it is more passive aggressively controlling than apparent. Healthy relationships are marked by equal giving, trust and open dialogue that includes full self disclosure. Longevity, unfortunately, is not an indication of health in a relationship. I recently provided a listening ear for a woman who, married for 25 years and having 8 children, was divorcing her husband and asking one question: “Who am I?” Her dreams and need for fulfillment had been on the back burner for so long that her now strained relationship with the husband of her youth was both filled with resentment and anger. He, likewise, felt a lifetime of unmet need. Together they represent a failure in honest communication for neither one was honest enough to admit a lack of durable love toward their spouse as an individual. Presented with an empty house after the children had grown and left, they found they had little in common and even less to talk about.

In the second half of this article we will talk about step five, which is taking control of our thought life and assigning meaning to our suffering. I urge you to coherently visualize a life of healthy and happy living in the future, breathe deeply and take head on the ideas of “never feeling this way again” and “I love you” with the glaring, unblinking stare of clarity and reality. The truth of separation anxiety lay in this one life key: you truly have everything within yourself to live a fulfilled, meaningful life. It is within you to dream and imagine, and to make good on all of the promise and potential that you possess as gifts from a benevolent Creator.

The journey is the point.

*This article is intended only for general reading, and will not take the place of medical advice. It is important to note that symptoms of anxiety which include a desire for self/other harm, stalking, suicide – all of those are well beyond the norms of separation anxiety and truly need to be addressed by a therapist as soon as possible. If you feel that you need help coping with your relationship issues, it is important to contact a qualified medical/counseling professional that can help you with relationship skills and a safe space for your recovery.

SSRI and Sleep – The Affect of SSRIs on a Good Night’s Sleep

One of the more disturbing side effects of Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRI) is their possible sleep disturbances. It is true that more studies need to be done to determine the actual reason for sleep disturbances caused by SSRIs, but the correlation is very strong. However, if you are taking an SSRI, this does not mean you will no longer be able to get a good night’s sleep.

Positive Effects of SSRIs on Your Sleep

Though many people have reported sleep side effects from taking an SSRI, SSRIs do help many with sleep issues. Depression may cause insomnia in many sufferers, and if you are one of these people, an SSRI may actually improve your nightly sleep. By treating the depression, you may actually have a better chance at a good night’s sleep with an SSRI than without one.

Negative Effects of SSRIs on Your Sleep

According to studies and patient reports, insomnia affects 15 to 20 percent of those who take an SSRI, though less serious sleep problems occur in a larger percentage of users. Here is the quick list of the side effects with some discussion to follow.

  • Higher occurrences of sleep disturbances
  • Insomnia
  • Poor overall sleep quality/intense nightmares
  • Reduces REM sleep
  • Taking longer to fall asleep

The most striking effect that SSRIs have on sleep is the interference with REM sleep. REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep is considered the most important aspect of a person’s nightly sleep. It consists generally of only about 90 to 120 minutes of the entire night’s sleep, but it makes a significant contribution to your nightly recovery. REM sleep is where your memories are cemented into your mind. It is also when your most vivid dreams normally occur.

Many patients, as well as those taking part in sleep studies, have reported higher occurrences of sleep disturbances throughout the night. Most people with normal sleep habits will have periods of sleeplessness or wake up at some point throughout the night, and SSRIs can possibly increase this number in some patients.

It also may take longer for you to fall asleep if you are taking an SSRI. Many patients and those involved with sleep studies reported taking longer than one hour to fall asleep. A final side effect is an increase in extremely vivid nightmares reported by some SSRI users. All of these side effects can manifest themselves singularly in an individual, or they can all be present in one who is taking an SSRI.

How to Deal with Sleep Problems while Taking an SSRI

The side effects of sleep problems for those taking an SSRI do not manifest themselves in every patient. However, if they are a problem for you, there are options available to help alleviate these side effects.

  • Reduce Dosage
  • Switch to a different form of anti-depressant
  • Switch to a different SSRI
  • Take a sedative

How To Take Care Of Your Skin After Waxing To Stay Bump Free

Waxing is a very common treatment for getting rid of unwanted body hair. It creates a nice, clean, smooth look to your skin. the problem is that people don’t take care of their skin after waxing, which can lead to ingrown hairs. So that nice, smooth skin may only stay that way for a week until the ingrown hairs start to surface.

Most places that offer waxing treatment, the good ones anyways, will offer great advice to treat your skin after waxing. Not only that, they offer some excellent products that can help the cause. But unfortunately lots of people just view this as a sales pitch trying to sell expensive products. Sometimes this is the case, but if you’re more educated on the subject, you can spend the money on the things that actually work.

Here are a few tips on post waxing care:

1. Getting rid of dead, dry skin is a must to prevent ingrown hairs. It’s important to exfoliate the waxed area a few times a week to get rid of that dead skin. You want an exfoliator that’s grainy, but not too much that it will cause irritation. If you over exfoliate the area you may wind up causing redness and irritation, which may wind up causing ingrown hairs anyways.

2. It’s important to keep that area properly moisturized. Keep the area well moisturized by applying lotion to the treated area. You’ll want to choose creams that are antiseptic in nature, ones that contain aloe vera, tea tree oil or distilled witch hazel. Try to stay away from any lotions that contain perfume, which may wind up irritating the skin.

3. Soaking in a bath containing dead sea salt or epsom salt is a great way to prevent infection. Anti bacterial shower gels are also a great option. You may want to know that this may sting if done during the first 24 hours after treatment. However, after that, doing this several times per week can be extremely beneficial.

A few other things you may want to avoid are tanning, extreme heat exposure, or swimming in the first 24-48 hours after treatment. Also, sweating can cause the pores to get clogged, so try to avoid rigerous activity in the first 24 hours after treatment. You may also want to wear loose clothing during the first 24 hours to avoid any kind of rubbing or chaffing.

If you follow these tips you will greatly increase your chances of staying bump free. These are great tips for post mens chest waxing, ladies leg waxing or any other type of waxing over large areas. You may also want to think of getting rid of the hair permanently. Laser hair removal is an excellent way to get rid of unwanted hair for good.

Perfect Guide To Skin Lightening Products

Wrinkles are not the only features that can appear on your face, neck, and hands to advance the appearance of aging. Years of unprotected sun exposure and heredity work together to create areas of discoloration and sunspots. However, there are now effective skin lightening treatments that can help you fade these and sometimes get rid of them altogether.

Beta Arburtin

One of the most popular ingredients found in skin lightening treatments in Beta Arburtin, which is a natural extract from the bearberry plant. It is a safe, effective substance that, when used over time, will lighten the skin and fade areas of discoloration. Another substance, Alpha Arburtin, is a more recently created ingredient that works even better and more quickly but is chemically derived and may cause some irritation or side effects in individuals with sensitive skin.

Kojic Acid

Discovered only recently in 1989, Kojic Acid is a natural ingredient, derived from fungus, that has been a regular part of the Asian diet for years. It is now used almost solely in skin lightening treatments, and is a favorite among those seeking effective treatments that are not chemically derived. As a byproduct from the process of malting rice, it can be found in the Japanese wine, sake, and it works by inhibiting the production of melatonin.

Niacinamide

Vitamin B3, otherwise known as Niacinamide, is another effective ingredient in skin lightening treatments. This ingredient, also a known treatment for ridding oneself of acne, works to prevent the transfer of melanosome from melanocytes to keratinocytes, which, in turn, inhibits the storage of dark skin cells near the surface of your skin.

Put It All Together

These ingredients, as well as licorice extract, mulberry extract, and glycolic acid, and lemon juice extract, are all things you should look for on the ingredient list of any skin lightening treatments you are considering. However, a treatment that contains several of these items will be far more effective, as each one works in a different stage of the skin lightening process.

A Home Made Option

If you are seeking skin lightening treatments but prefer not to purchase your skin care products, you can make your own treatment at home. Several recipes for these treatments include almonds. One recipe suggests that you soak a bowl of almonds in water over night. In the morning, peel them and add an egg white and a few drops of lemon juice. Make a paste with the mixture and apply it to your face. Leave this on your face for 15 minutes and wash off. Do this once or twice a week for best results.