Lump on Throat – What Exactly is It? Are They Tonsiliths

Does it feel like there is a lump in the back of your throat? However, when you look in the mirror is it hard to see anything?

If so, then you might be suffering from tonsil stones?

Essentially, tonsil stones are little whitish balls of bacteria, debris and old food that form in the crevices of your tonsils. They can build up to the size of golf balls which is why it can sometimes feel like there is a giant lump on the back of your throat.

Many people assume that a lump on the back of your throat automatically means that you have an infection with your tonsils. This is not actually the case. Tonsil stones, or tonsiliths are not an infection and they cannot be removed with a couple doses of antibiotics.

They are not that easy.

To determine whether or not you have tonsiliths, you need to open real wide and see if there are any white balls on the back of your tonsils. They may be too hard to see but if you do catch a glimpse of something white back there, then you have these stones.

Other symptoms of tonsiliths include bad breath and a sore or scratchy throat caused by the enlarged white balls in the back of your throat.

The reasons we get tonsil stones are not exactly known. Some people are prone to them while others are not. This may have something to do with your oral hygiene or it may have something to do with the bacteria inside your mouth. Some people have larger tonsil crevices while others are blessed with small tonsil crypts. There’s no point questioning why we get them. The main question when it comes to tonsil stones is- how do I get rid of them?

There are a few methods you can use to get rid of these awful little bumps. First off, you can try to cough or hack them out. You can also use a cotton swap or a toothpick and try to lift them out. This can be difficult for those with a poor gag reflex. You can also use a syringe to squirt salt water onto the stones which can loosen them.

Keep in mind that the best way to prevent these awful smelling balls from coming back is by practicing good oral hygiene. Stay one step ahead of the bacteria tonsiliths and say goodbye to that lump on your throat.

Do You Recognize the 10 Early Warning Signs of Candida Infection?

Candidiasis, commonly known as candida or yeast infection or thrush, is a fungal infection ranging from superficial, such as oral thrush and vaginitis among women and superficial infections of skin and mucosal membranes by Candida causing local inflammation or discomfort common in many human populations, to systemic and potentially life-threatening diseases like those that develop among severely immuno-compromised persons such as cancer, transplant, and AIDS patients, whereas Although frequently associated with female health systems, it can also occur on the male genitals. Children suffer from this ailment during the years between three and nine. If there are white patches around the mouth, then it could be possible that the child is infected with candida infection.

Regardless of age or gender, here are ten common Candida symptoms:

1. Adult onset allergies to foods and/or airborne chemicals with the number of offending substances increasing until an individual becomes so sensitive to the everyday environment that they must live in isolation

2. Incessant fatigue after eating

3. Gastrointestinal or signs of poor digestion such as constipation or diarrhea, gas, bloating, cramps, heartburn, nausea, gastritis and colitis

4. Neurological symptoms such as cravings, irritability, mood swings, headaches, migraines, “fogged-in” feeling, inability to concentrate/mind “wanders off”, poor memory, confusion, dizziness, M.S.-like symptoms (slurred speech, loss of muscle co-ordination, vision affected), depression and/or anxiety without apparent cause (often worse after eating), paranoia without apparent cause, not in total control of one’ actions (know right thing to do but unable to execute), mental incompetence, a variety of other behavioral disturbances.

5. Genito-urinary symptoms such as vaginal infections, menstrual difficulties, impotence, infertility, prostatitis, rectal itch, urinary tract infection/inflammation or burning.

6. Respiratory symptoms that reflect compromised immune system. Frequent colds, flu’s, hay fever, mucous congestion, postnasal drip, asthma, bronchitis, chest pain, frequent clearing of throat, habitual coughing.

7. Development of various skin infections like athlete’s foot, jock itch, skin rash, hives, dry brownish patches, psoriasis, ringworm, rough skin on sides of arms which gets worse at certain times of the month or under increased stress.

8. Hypochondriac and/or neurotic tendencies, which are resistant to standard modes of therapy

9. Early childhood clinical history with any of the following ADD, ADHD, hyperactivity, aggressiveness, skin problems like cradle cap, diaper rash, thrush, respiratory problems, chronic ear infection, tonsillitis

10. Heightened sensitivity to cold temperatures with arthritis-like symptoms

If you have some combination of these symptoms, you may have candidiasis and it is imperative that you take measures. A thorough intestinal clean-up using Caproyl antifungal, Psyllium cleanser and Bentonite detoxificant, will improve your overall condition, regardless of what you are suffering from. The safest option of course is to see your local physician or health expert.

Diagnosing Fibromyalgia: Tests Your Doctor Should Run in the Course of Your Treatment

Fibromyalgia is often missed or misdiagnosed for a number of reasons. There aren’t definitive blood tests or X-ray to diagnose Fibromyalgia and it shares symptoms with many other diseases and conditions.

Diagnosing Fibromyalgia is a combination of taking the patient’s symptom history, a physical exam testing the Patient’s Trigger Points and exclusion.

Today I’m going to focus on the exclusion portion of diagnosing Fibromyalgia. Sometimes people are diagnosed with Fibromyalgia because their doctor failed to run the necessary tests to uncover a different, and perhaps serious condition.

If you feel terrible and are experiencing a variety of symptoms common to Fibromyalgia, you are going to go to your doctor.

After taking your history, your doctor is going to want to run some tests to begin excluding diseases.

What Diseases & Conditions Should Your Doctor Test for when Diagnosing Fibromyalgia?

The following diseases & conditions share some of the symptoms of Fibromyalgia and they should be excluded. Sometimes doctors who aren’t as familiar with Fibromyalgia fail exclude some of these serious and life threatening diseases. You have every right as a patient to ask your doctor to test you for all of the following:


Easily tested for with a blood test

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

There isn’t currently a blood test for this condition, however they recently discovered that CFS is caused by an autoimmune virus and I suspect there will be a blood test forthcoming. Talk to your doctor about Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

Hepititis B & C

Easily tested for with a blood test

Lyme Diseases

Doctors often overlook Lyme Disease and do not test for it. This is an oversight on their part and you should ask to be tested.


There isn’t a definitive test for Lupus however your doctor should run a ANTI NUCLEAR ANTIBODY Test. If you have high autoimmune activity in your blood (a trait of Lupus), this test will detect it.

Multiple Sclerosis

MS is also difficult to diagnose, however they do use MRI to test for MS. While you shouldn’t run off and get an MRI just yet, talk to your doctor about Multiple Sclerosis.

Rhuematoid Arthritis

Easily tested for with a blood test

Sjogrens Autoimmune Disorder

Easily tested for with a blood test

Thyroid Disease

Most doctors only test your thyroid with a THYROID STIMULATING HORMONE Test. However, you might have a thyroid issue even if your thyroid is functioning properly – I do! Fibromyalgia Patient’s often have thyroid issues in conjunction with Fibromyalgia so running in depth tests is a must. Ask your doctor to run the following tests:


T3 and T4



Other Blood Tests Your Doctor Should Run for a Fibromyalgia Diagnosis:

CBC: Checks your Complete Blood Count. Looking for issues such as anemia and other diseases.

COMPREHENSIVE METABOLIC PANEL: Tests your kidney, liver and overall health.

HEME PROFILE + ELECT DIFF: Checks for unusual activity in your white or red blood cells.

FOLATE: If not included in your CBC, checks your folate levels.

SEDIMENTATION RATE: Checks for inflammation in your body

SERUM PROTEIN ELECTROPHORESIS:Tests for autoimmune diseases

VITAMIN B12:Checks your B12 levels if not done in your CBC.

VITAMIN D: Checks your D levels. Vitamin D is the Sunshine Vitamin. Ask your doctor to run the Vitamin D test that checks both your D3 and D2 levels. This is a hot topic because scientists are re-evaluating what they previous believes. Research is showing that while your combined D level is within normal range if your D3 and D2 levels might be individually low and this could be an issue. (My D2 is zero).

The Mental-Emotional Cause of Diabetes

Adult-onset diabetes (Type II Diabetes Mellitus) has an insidious cause that most conventional doctors know nothing about: the mind and emotions. This cause is well-known in metaphysical circles and it is common knowledge there that to remove the cause is to cure the disease. To determine what could have caused your own diabetes, look back to when it started. What was going on in your life at that time? Be really honest with yourself and look deeply into what your emotional state was.

Most of the time people who develop diabetes have some triggering event. The event is usually deeply emotional and made them feel like “All the sweetness in life has been taken away.” Before you tell yourself that it can’t be that simple…yes it can, and usually is. Look back at what changed so dramatically during that time. It is common for those who lose a loved one to develop diabetes within one year after the loss. The loss can be through death or through the break-up of the relationship. Either way, it is a loss; the more sudden, the more traumatic.

Those who lose a job they love, develop a devastating disease, or some kind of big lifestyle change are also susceptible. Of course, not everyone who goes through such losses develops diabetes. The ones who go into this disease are the ones who were unprepared to cope with the changes. The preparation has to do with mental-emotional coping skills, not financial (although financial preparedness softens the blow somewhat).

While the dietary indiscretions of excessive alcohol consumption and sweets overloads are well-known causes of diabetes, these are actually behaviors that are symptoms of the deep distress of the person. Get to the core of the issue to heal the problem. You know, Life isn’t ‘fair’, nothing is guaranteed, and just because you have a life you love now doesn’t mean it will continue unabated in such lovely manner.

Preparation for life’s challenges goes beyond the physical and well into the mental-emotional, metaphysical and spiritual. Develop good coping skills now, before you need them. If you are already in diabetes, it’s not too late. With proper care and assistance, you can reverse most medical conditions (short of losing a part of the body of course). Sure, it takes work…lots of work…and it takes the determination that you are healthy. It’s a matter of mind over matter and the force of your Will, but plenty of people have created ‘miracles’ in their lives. Conventional doctors call such things ‘unexplained remission’ of the disease, while traditional doctors snicker and call it the ‘how the body is supposed to work’. If you want a ‘miraculous healing’, make it happen-it’s all up to you.

©2010 Dr.Valerie Olmsted All Rights Reserved

Fenugreek – Fights Diabetes, Heart Disease, Obesity

Although fenugreek seeds are used extensively in the recipes of countries in the Middle and Far East, in the West it is not as well known as many other spices.

Not only does fenugreek impart a characteristic flavour and tang to food but it also has several very important disease preventing characteristics.

In traditional medicine, fenugreek has been used to treat a number of conditions including diabetes, sore throats, and in poultices used to treat sores and abscesses. Recent investigations into the medicinal properties of this spice suggest it is important not only as a preventive for chronic diseases such as diabetes, but also for enhancing normal physiological processes, especially with respect to athletic


As with most spices it contains many antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds such as apigenin,

genistein, kaempferol, quercetin, rutin, selenium and superoxide-dismutase. It also contains compounds such as trigonelline that has shown to prevent the degeneration of nerve cells in neuro-degenerative diseases.

Medicinal properties of fenugreek

Cardiovascular disease and blood lipids

Fenugreek has a strong modulating effect on blood lipid levels and can substantially reduce the risk of atherosclerosis. In diabetics, who usually suffer lipid imbalances, it has demonstrated a remarkable ability to lower cholesterol, triglycerides and LDL levels while raising HDL levels. Another property of fenugreek is the reduction of platelet aggregation which, in turn, dramatically reduces the risk of abnormal blood clotting associated with heart attacks and strokes. Like most spices, fenugreek also contains many important antioxidants and has the added benefit of protecting other dietary and internally produced antioxidants from free-radical damage. This has important cardioprotective benefits, as well as helping to fortify the body against a range of other chronic conditions.


Fenugreek, which has comparable antidiabetic potency to cinnamon, is one of the most valuable spices for the control of glucose metabolism and thus the prevention and treatment of Type II diabetes.

Owing to its many properties it helps in the prevention and treatment of diabetes in several ways.

Working in a similar way to the common antidiabetic drug glibenclamide, fenugreek lowers cellular insulin resistance and controls blood glucose homeostasis. It has been shown to lower blood glucose levels of Type II diabetics by as much as 46 percent.

It also increases the levels of several important antioxidants and reduces the damaging oxidation of lipids associated with diabetes.

As an added bonus, fenugreek seeds are a very rich in a type of dietary fibre that modulates post-prandial blood glucose levels by delaying the absorption of sugar in the intestines. This mucilaginous fiber also reduces the absorption of fat and cholesterol from the intestines thus providing additional protection against heart disease and obesity.


Fenugreek is also effective against diabetes-related cataracts which occur commonly in diabetics. The enzymes that control glucose uptake into the lens of the eye do not function normally in diabetics and, as a result, glucose and its metabolites, fructose and sorbitol, accumulate in the lens tissues. The lenses of diabetic patients are also prone damage by enzymes that would normally protect against destructive free radicals, and a combination of these factors leads to the gradual opacification of the lens known as a cataract. As fenugreek has been shown to partially reverse both the metabolic changes in the lens and to reduce the density of the cataract, it is likely to be even more effective as a prophylactic agent against cataract formation in diabetics.

Alzheimer’s and other neuro-degenerative diseases

Fenugreek contains the compound trigonellene that has shown to stimulate the regeneration of brain cells. This property has stimulated further research to see whether it can help in the prevention of diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.


One of the greatest difficulties facing athletes who compete in endurance events is maintaining a readily available supply of energy in the body. In order to achieve this, muscle carbohydrate stores, in the form of glycogen, must be continuously replenished. In an event lasting more than one-and-a-half hours, glycogen stores become depleted, and for the remainder of the event the athlete has to rely on external sources of energy, such as high carbohydrate drinks, which are inferior to glycogen as an energy source. Post event re-synthesis of glycogen is also very important, and the two hours immediately following prolonged exercise is the crucial time for this process to occur.

Fenugreek has been shown to have a strong effect on glycogen replenishment; increasing post-event re-synthesis by over 60 percent in some endurance athletes. While its effects on glycogen re-synthesis during an event have yet to be tested, fenugreek is likely to exhibit a similarly beneficial effect during, as well as after, exercise.


Fenugreek is one of the richest sources of phytoestrogens and is thus a very useful spice for women who have low oestrogen levels. Phytoestrogens are also thought to help protect against certain types of cancer, and fenugreek may well be proven to have anti-tumourigenic effects should this property be investigated in the future.


Fenugreek is one of the richest sources of selenium, which is among the most important antioxidant micronutrients. When consumed regularly, selenium appears to have a protective effect against a range of cancers, including those of the colon, lung and prostate. Recent evidence also shows that selenium helps to prevent the progression of HIV and other chronic viral illnesses.

While other spices like chilies and cinnamon hold the culinary and medicinal headlines, the research into fenugreek is showing us that this spice has health benefits on a par with, or even superior to, those of the better known spices.

However it is important to appreciate that synergism between different spices enhances the bioavailability and efficacy of their respective bioactive compounds. Therefore, to obtain optimum benefit from fenugreek, it is important to use it with other common spices in both the prevention and treatment of disease.

Natural Home Remedies to Allergy Rash, Itching, and Scratching at Night

The baby was crying all night long. It had that awful allergic rash on its skin that was itching constantly, so the child tried to scratch it. Only in the morning did the parents find out that the child scratched itself to blood. They were too tired during the night to notice, and too preoccupied with soothing the child’s pain. In the morning the child fell asleep, but the parents could not sleep any longer. The mother had to take care of the older children, prepare them for school, and the father had to drive the kids to school and go to work. When the children came to the kitchen and saw the parents, they were terrified. Their parents looked and moved like zombies.

Sounds familiar? Did that happen to you? Did you try to do everything to help your baby fall asleep, and get some sleep yourself? If yes, read on. There are a few simple ways to soothe the baby’s itching and to prevent your kid from scratching themselves to blood.

The rash on your kid’s skin can be a symptom of food allergy or other allergy caused by, for example, the washing powder you use, the soap or the shampoo, presence of pets, dust or dust mite, and many other allergens. In that case you will have to find the cause, but before you do let’s look how to reduce the itching effect of the symptoms.

One of the best way to relieve someone from itching is the starch bath. In order to prepare starch bath, you’ll need:

1 tablespoon of starch (potato starch and rice starch are the best)

2-3 teaspoons of cold water

1/2 l (ca. 1 pint) boiling water.

First mix the starch with cold water. Then pour it onto the boiling water and mix well. Boil for a while until thick.

Pour the mixture into the bathtub and add water to reach the temperature of 37 degrees C/99 degrees F.

Bathe your baby for around 15 minutes WITHOUT any other cosmetics.

Helps very often.

The next thing to remember is that itching can be triggered and increased by inappropriate clothing. Pajamas or night gowns can be too hard thus irritating the child’s skin. You must take special care to dress your baby in soft, natural cotton clothes which not only do not irritate skin, but also help it breathe. The same concerns bed clothing. The sheets must be as soft as possible, therefore natural cotton seems the best solution again.

Finally, we have to protect the child from scratching during sleep. Children and adults alike scratch the itching places without waking up very often, and they can hurt themselves this way. The simplest way to protect your child from scratching their body is to put mittens made of soft material on their hands. This way, even if they scratch, they won’t harm themselves.

These are of course basic things, but believe me, they can save you many sleepless nights if you just apply them.

What to Do When Sex Leaves Penis Skin Dry and Itchy

Sex is supposed to be a pleasurable activity, allowing a couple to experience sensations that simply aren’t accessible in any other way. There are times, however, when a long sex session can leave the skin of the penis dry and flaky, and the intense itching this condition can cause might make men worry about leaving the house, much less attempting sex in the future. While dry and itchy penis skin can be distressing and uncomfortable, proper penis care can help to soothe the skin, and a few preventive steps could keep future attacks from taking place.

Lack of Lubrication

During sex, a woman’s body is designed to produce lubrication that can ease the way for a man’s penis. However, lubrication can dip for all sorts of reasons, including:

  • Dehydration
  • Hormone imbalances
  • Nervousness or fear
  • Pain
  • Alcohol or medications

When lubrication levels are low, sex can turn into a friction session, abrading the skin of both partners. In the heat of the moment, discomfort might be easy enough to push through, but when the rush of sex is over, the damaged skin is easier to see and the pain is much harder to ignore.

Amending the Situation

When the tingle of friction begins, it’s time to take notice. Sex isn’t only about thrusting, after all, and some women find that their natural lubrication returns when their partners spend a bit more time on foreplay. Even simple snuggling and cuddling could allow fears about performance to ease, and the sex after a session like this might be much less dry and painful.

Lubrication issues caused by medications, pain or hormones can’t be cured with sexual techniques, however, and personal lubricants can help to smooth the way in these situations. These products are designed to help reduce skin-to-skin friction, and they’re safe to use on delicate penis and vaginal tissues. Partners who continue to bump up against friction issues even with a personal lubricant might consider adding condoms to their sex sessions. A barrier between partners might help to reduce skin-to-skin abrasions and help the couple enjoy sex without pain.

Healing from Prior Episodes

Penis warts, bleeding sores and other rashes might merit a visit to the doctor. These types of issues are sometimes associated with sexually transmitted diseases, and medications might be needed to keep outbreaks at bay. If the skin is simply dry and a little sore, however, a few home care tips might be all that’s needed to put men back on the road to wellness.

Step one of the healing plan involves abstinence. Dry, peeling, itchy penis skin is much too sensitive for sex. Condoms might provide men with some protection as they heal, but a rough and dry penis might even be abraded by a condom, and the pressure placed on a penis during sex might slow down the healing process. The same could be said of masturbation, as the rough skin of the hands could do serious damage to already roughened penis skin. Abstinence might not be entertaining, but it can allow the skin to rebuild without facing concurrent damage.

In addition, close attention to penis hygiene might help abraded skin to heal. A daily wash with mild soap followed by a thorough rinse with warm water can help men to remove dead flakes of skin while allowing new cells to emerge. Using a penis health crème (most experts recommend Man 1 Oil) can help to nourish that new skin. The emollients in these creams can keep new skin soft and smooth, and the vitamins included can help the skin of the penis to resist the signs of aging. When the healing is complete, men will have skin that’s soft, supple and responsive.

Dandruff and Itchy Scalp Conditions Explained Simply – Psoriasis, Eczema and Dermatitis

Read on to find out the causes of these scalp conditions and the best ways to treat each one of them – because not all scalp treatments and anti-dandruff shampoos are the same!

Seborrhea dermatitis & eczema

Dermatitis is a word that means ‘inflamed skin’ and it’s a common cause of scaly, red patches and an itchy scalp. It looks similar to dandruff, but the scales created by eczema and seborrhoeic dermatitis are larger and the scalp is often inflamed. It may also affect the face, eyebrows, beard and central chest area.


Greasy or dry scalp and scaling

Yellow-red scaling on any of these areas:

The hairline


Creases between the nose and the lips

Bridge of the nose

Inside or behind the ears

Middle of the chest


This type of skin irritation often occurs in areas which have a lot of large oil glands. The inflammation happens as a reaction to a ‘yeast fungus’ on the scalp and to hair products that break-down the oil secreted by the oil glands.

What factors make seborrhoeic dermatitis worse?

HIV and neurological conditions like Parkinson’s disease increase the symptoms of scaling, dry scalp and itchy scalp greatly.

Physical or emotional stress are known triggers.

Genetic factors – close family members also suffer from this condition.

This condition tends to be more severe during the winter.


This is another common itchy scalp condition, which can also affect the knees and elbows.


Small, separate patches of red inflamed skin with very thick scaling.

When only the scalp is affected, it may be mistaken for a severe case of dandruff.


Genetic – psoriasis often affects several members of the same family.

Emotional or physical stress are known triggers.


Itchy scalp conditions can be easily treated with a medicated anti-dandruff shampoo containing the correct balance of chemical ingredients, such as:


Selenium sulphide

Zinc pyrithione or zinc omadine – can be toxic

Piroctone olamine – less toxic than zinc pyrithione

Antifungal agents

Always ask your doctor for a diagnosis and the correct treatment.


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As an experienced hair care provider and stylist, I have been using LA BIOSTHETIQUE in my salon for many years. I often have clients with dermatitis and psoriasis and know how distressing these conditions can be.

LA BIOSTHETIQUE produce a wide range of specialist hair care products – from anti-microbial dandruff shampoos to the especially gentle LA BIOSTHETIQUE Hydro lipid Balm for dry, sensitive scalps, which provides a soothing, natural companion to any psoriasis treatment.

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Traveler’s Foot May Be Athlete’s Foot

Athlete’s foot is a fungus that is easily transmitted among unwary travelers. By following some simple advice, you can make sure you don’t contaminate your feet in your hotel room or the barefoot extravaganza known as the airport security checkpoint.

Athlete’s foot is the most common fungal infection of the feet. Every day, podiatrists see people with feet that are burning, itching and peeling. Although many different species of fungus and yeast can cause the problem, the ways that you as a traveler can prevent it are simple and effective.

The fungus that cause athlete’s foot thrives in places that are dark, warm and moist. Shoes are the perfect habitat for fungus. Unfortunately for business travelers and vacationers, there are many places in airports, hotels and vacation spots that are covered in fungus just waiting to infect your feet.

Whenever living foot fungus or fungal spores (which are basically seeds for fungus waiting to sprout) stick to bare skin or enter through tiny little openings in the skin, it can take hold and start to grow. As the fungus grows, it pulls water from the surrounding skin.

This causes peeling and itching of the skin as the fungus does damage and causes delamination or peeling away of the skin’s outer layers. Frequently the infection starts in the moist area between the toes of on the bottom of the foot.

Foot doctors often describe a “moccasin distribution” pattern with athlete’s foot infections. This means that the areas of the feet that turn red and start peeling are usually those that would be in contact with moccasins. The tops of the feet and ankle don’t usually become involved.

Fortunately for you, the most effective prevention measures are also very easy… don’t step in the fungus! When you are traveling, you just have to know where not to step.

You have to make sure to guard your shoes against fungus. The shoes need to be a safe haven for your feet. Any time you get live fungus or fungal spores in your shoes, you run the risk of getting fungal toenails or an athlete’s foot infection.

No matter what you do, when you travel, your feet will prespire. A hurried stressful pace in airport terminals, trying to make that connection while toting a laptop and carry-on bag will make you (and your feet) sweat like crazy.

Since fungus needs moisture to live, you want to do anything you can to reduce the moisture in your shoes. A good place to begin is with well ventilated shoes that breathe while you are on your trip. Shoes that have breathable mesh uppers made of nylon, mesh, or cotton breathe fairly well and let the moisture escape. Leather, plastic and rubber tend to hold the fungus in your shoes encouraging fungus to grow.

Make sure you rotate your shoes during your trip. Have at least two pairs of shoes so you can wear them on alternate days. This will allow them enough time to fully dry out before you wear them again.

If you are very active or if your feet sweat a lot, try changing your socks half way through the day. This is one of the easiest ways to keep your feet dry and fungus free. Wear synthetic socks and avoid cotton to keep moisture away from your feet. There are also newer socks available that have copper fibers woven into them. Copper seams to decrease the likelihood that fungus will take hold in the sock material.

Because even the most relaxing vacations involve lots of walking through airports, hotels and site-seeing, choose comfortable walking shoes for your trip. Many vacationers opt for sandals or flip flips when on vacation, however these can lead to friction blisters that let the fungus in and start the infection.

Make sure you avoid the fungus hotspots. The carpet you feel under your sock-clad feet while waiting to get through security is a haven for athlete’s foot-causing fungus. All day and night, sweaty feet emerge from their shoes and shuffle along the carpet. Everyone steps and stands in this continual stream of perspiring feet and shedding foot fungus. As you trudge through the line, your sweaty socks pick up fungal spores. Then you put your feet back in your shoes that act as incubators to start your own little foot fungus farm.

Unfortunately most airport security checkpoints now require that every pair of shoes goes through the xray machine. But this doesn’t mean you can’t protect your feet. One simple solution is to wear an old worn out pair of socks to the airport. Carry a clean pair in your pocket. Take of your shoes, and go through security wearing your old worn out socks. After you get through the checkpoint, take off the old socks and put on the clean ones before you put your shoes back on. Throw the old socks away. Now you can start your vacation fungus-free!

The next place to avoid is the hotel carpet and bathroom. You never know how clean those places are, regardless of how expensive the hotel is. Just because it costs as much as a hospital room, doesn’t mean it is just as clean. If you wear socks in the hotel room, just don’t put your shoes on until you change socks.

Make sure you also step on the terry cloth mat when you step out of the shower. If possible, get a clean mat with clean towels every day. If you go down to the sauna in the athletic facility, make sure you wear shower shoes. All of the heat and moisture creates the ideal fungal environment. Fungus can also grow on the tile around the pool and hot tub, but the chlorine in the water actually helps keep it from being as big of a problem.

If your trip takes you to someplace where you can head to the beach, make sure you wear sandals to protect your feet. Don’t forget that any tiny little cuts or abrasions are the best way for fungus to get in and start an athlete’s foot infection.

Now that you understand the basics about foot fungus and where it tends to thrive, you can easily side-step it. Between the airlines and security, travel has enough aggravation. You certainly don’t need anything else getting under your skin.

Dry Itchy Penile Skin – Could It Be an Allergy to Vaginal Fluid?

It is not uncommon to hear from men – or their female partners – that they believe they have a skin allergy to a woman’s vaginal fluid; and it can be easy to understand why men who have frequent problems with dry, itchy penile skin after sex might think so. Men who have adverse reactions following intimate contact may feel frustrated or even angry and blame their condition on a partner – and this, of course, can lead to serious relationship problems. Fortunately, while there may be a real penis health problem to contend with, the answer is rarely a skin allergy to vaginal fluid. Here are a few of the more likely possibilities, as well as what men can do to soothe an itchy penis and prevent problems in the future.

Reasons that sex might cause dry, itchy penile skin:

1. A partner with a yeast infection. Although most people are more familiar with the feminine yeast infection, which is caused by the Candida yeast, men can also be affected. Symptoms of a Candida infection include dry, sometimes cracked skin, moderate to severe itching, a thick, whitish discharge and inflammation. Partners can easily transmit the infection back and forth, even when one partner does not have any obvious symptoms. A yeast infection can be cleared up using over-the-counter medications, but it is important that both partners are treated at the same time to prevent reinfection.

2. A partner with bacterial vaginosis. There are a large number of bacteria present in the female canal – some are beneficial, and some are not. Under normal conditions, the “good” bacteria cancel out the bad, but when the body’s natural chemical balance is disrupted, the “bad” bacteria can take over and cause an infection known as bacterial vaginosis. Not all women are aware they have this condition, but contact with an affected woman may cause male symptoms such as dryness and itching. Treatment by a doctor can eliminate the infection.

3. Allergy to latex. If men find that they develop dryness and itching following most encounters with a partner, it is important to consider all of the factors that might be at play. In many cases, it may be something the man himself is doing that is causing the problem. One cause of dryness and itching may be a latex allergy; switching barrier protection to a non-latex material may be the answer in this case.

4. Irritation caused by a personal lubricant. Personal lubricants often contain fragrances, flavors, or warming or cooling agents that are meant to enhance the sensual experience. However, these additives may include chemical irritations that can cause drying, redness, itching, soreness and a number of other uncomfortable symptoms. Sticking to neutral, water-based lubes may solve the itching problem for good.

5. Lack of lubrication. Another mistake that men may make during sex is to skip on the lube altogether. In this case, an excess of friction can cause minute tears in the surface of the skin that can leave him feeling sore, itchy and uncomfortable. To avoid this problem, it is best to make sure to have a lube on hand in case the natural fluids produced by the body are not sufficient.

Soothing dry, itchy penile skin

Although it is important to narrow down the source of the problem, and then to treat any underlying conditions and avoid triggers of skin reactions in the future, the first concern that most men likely have is to soothe the itch and ease the discomfort.

While a doctor should always be consulted, here are a few self-care tips that can help – just remember never to apply any medications, creams, lotions or other topical preparations to broken or inflamed skin.

1. Wash the area carefully with warm – not hot – water and a gentle cleanser; this will ensure that all traces of any irritants are washed away. Rinse thoroughly afterward and pat dry with a soft cloth.

2. For severe itching, try a colloidal oatmeal bath. Soaking in a lukewarm oatmeal bath is often recommended due to its skin-soothing properties.

3. Follow up with a nutrient-rich penis health crème (health professionals recommend Man1 Man Oil) that contains a natural emollient such as Shea butter, which is ideal for most skin types and is widely known for its moisturizing and healing ability.

The Anxious Worrying Personality Style

Anxious worrying is one of several personality styles identified as a risk factor to developing a depressive disorder. The other personality styles, which have been described in previous articles are:

– Irritable

– Perfectionist

– Social avoidant

– Personal reserve

– Self-critical

– Self-focused

– Sensitivity to rejection.

Not all of them are considered to be risk factors for depression.

People with high levels of anxious worrying in their personality style are more likely to have a parent who suffers from anxiety, more likely to have demonstrated traits of behavioural inhibition and school refusal as a youngster, more likely to have DSM-IV Cluster C personality traits (such as rejection sensitivity, irritability and self-criticism) and score highly on measures of neuroticism, trait anxiety and worrying. In comparison to other presentations of non-melancholic depression, they are more likely to have developed the depressive disorder at an earlier age and suffer more frequent and lengthier depressive episodes. We suggest a strong genetic component to the anxious worrying personality style which, together with the irritable style, is underpinned by a temperament characterized by high levels of autonomic arousal. Such characteristics increase the risk to depression and, when challenged by a life stressor, amplify those anxiety features and shape the phenotypic picture of ‘anxious depression’. People who have this type of personality style are more likely to report that they have ‘always been a worrier’. They may be able to relate several incidents in their lives where periods of unchecked worry dominated their thinking for days on end. Anxious worriers are possibly more likely to report somatic symptoms such as muscle tension, headaches and gastrointestinal problems. Over time, they possibly would have developed a number of strategies to help them cope with their high levels of anxiety, some of which may only be effective in the short-term. Some people with predominant features of this personality style may actively seek reassurance while others may withdraw from their friends and family members and stew over their problems.

On interview, anxious worriers are more likely to report:

– That they have ‘Always been a worrier’

– Several periods in their lives where they have worried or stewed over problems for hours or days at a time

– Somatic symptoms of anxiety such as muscle tension, headaches and gastrointestinal problems

– Possible history of prior strategies to help curb their anxiety and worries.

Cognitive and Behavioural Characteristics of the Anxious Worrier

The key feature of this personality style is the cognitive aspect of long-standing worry which worsens when depressed. Worry may focus on any aspect of their lifestyle or on current problems. Many with this personality style will describe periods of hours or days of worry. Underpinning these worries is usually a set of dysfunctional cognitive structures which serve to drive the content of their current concerns. Some of these dysfunctional cognitive schemas are:

– The world is a dangerous and unpredictable place

– No matter how hard I plan, things always go wrong

– It’s a disaster when things don’t go to plan

– If I worry about something enough a solution may be forthcoming

Without the necessary psychological tools, it is unlikely that these cognitive structures would have been actively challenged. New experiences of worry will tend to reinforce such entrenched beliefs rather than help to dispute their validity.

At a behavioural level, the anxious worrier is likely to stew over their problems and withdraw into themselves. People with features of this personality style may continue to interact with others at a superficial level while ruminating about their problems. If worries are unchecked their lifestyles may become somewhat limited to those areas that cause them the most worry. When depressed, the anxious worrier is likely to find themselves overwhelmed by anxiety and worry. Seeking reassurance from others can help alleviate some of the worries. In the long-term however this is largely inadequate as a coping strategy especially when others are unavailable or unintentionally reinforce the content of their worry. Some may have discovered that strategies that help to alleviate the anxiety, such as exercise or meditation, may also curb their level of worry. Others may have tried several ways to distract themselves from their worries. However, when the distraction is removed, worries usually return. A history of self-medicating with alcohol and/or benzodiazepines may be found among those with features of this personality style.

Behavioural strategies to reduce worry may include:

– Seeking reassurance from friends and family

– Using anxiety reduction strategies such as exercise and meditation

– Using distraction to cope with worries

– Alcohol and benzodiazepine use to curb anxiety and worry

Origins of the Anxious Worrier Personality Style

While there are many theories about the origins of personality, these may be roughly grouped into those that essentially espouse developmental factors (eg. delayed or retarded stages of development) and others that rely on early parenting, learning and possible exposure to traumatic experiences. This type of personality style seems to be related to heightened levels of autonomic arousal and people with features of this personality style also return high scores on questionnaires assessing the personality construct ‘neuroticism’ which, in turn, is thought to have a genetic/ physiological basis. Non-melancholic depression characterised by high levels of anxiety may result when individuals with personality styles of anxious worrying are challenged by salient stressors.

Possible Associations of Anxious Worrying with Personality Styles and Other Disorders

As mentioned in previous articles, the key personality styles identified by the our research into non-melancholic depression reflect dimensional constructs. Individual patients may present with a combination of several personality attributes which contribute to the overall presentation of their non-melancholic depressive episode. We have found that in a sample of community volunteers responding to a web-based survey, anxious worrying as a personality style was found to be highly correlated with the other personality styles of rejection sensitivity, irritability and self-criticism. In clinical practice, this has implications for the development of management plans which need to accommodate influences of such personality styles in short- and long-term outcomes.

An anxious worrying personality style can be associated with generalized anxiety disorder if depression is not the primary diagnosis. Research is required to examine this possible association and, if so, whether it is mediated by high levels of autonomic arousal. Another possible association is with a diagnosis of adjustment disorder, especially where there may be a mixture of anxiety and depressive symptoms. It is also possible that anxious worrying may be associated with high levels of alcohol and benzodiazepine use. However, this has yet to be formally investigated.

A detailed psychiatric history is necessary to rule out the possibility of a melancholic (or psychotic) depression. In melancholic depression, worries tend to focus on guilt and importuning (wondering ‘what will become of me’). It should be noted that diagnosing melancholic and psychotic depression is also based on a number of other key characteristics which have already been discussed in previous articles. Patients with personality styles characterized by high levels of anxious worrying as compared with other personality features are possibly more likely to seek help when depressed. However, by the time they do present for treatment they are likely to feel overwhelmed by and ineffective in their day-to-day activities. Once engaged in therapy, they are more likely to complete the course and to be compliant with homework tasks. It is possible and, at times, desirable to treat so-affected individuals in small groups within a supportive structured therapy format where they can discuss and challenge irrational or unrealistic catastrophic worries to other group participants. Strategies that target the reduction of high levels of autonomic arousal, challenge catastrophic thoughts and break the spiral of dysfunctional thinking are particularly effective.

The Role of Medication and Alternative Treatments

Patients presenting with a non-melancholic depression and an anxious worrying personality style tend to achieve considerable benefit from the SSRIs. These mute the worrying and emotional dysregulation, allowing distance from perceived problems. Patients commonly report that the problems remain but they feel that, with an SSRI, they are coping much better with their concerns. The SSRIs have the capacity to normalise worry. However, too high a dose can make patients feel numbed and not “worried enough”. Some such patients will need to stay on SSRIs for extended periods, others benefit from receiving such medicine for a period sufficient to re-set their own “rheostat”, while others benefit from a second phase of more focused non-medication therapy and no longer need medication.

While many natural and alternative treatments may be of assistance to most expression of non-melancholic depression, specific types of such treatments may have differing efficacy across varying personality styles. Alternative treatments may be divided into three categories listed below.

Lifestyle factors that may help the anxious worrier include:

– Exercise and dance or movement therapies

– Massage

– Meditation or yoga

– Relaxation training.

Non-prescription alternative medications that may be helpful include:

– St John’s Wort

– Valerian

Dietary changes can also help to alleviate high levels of anxiety. These may include:

– Reducing caffeine intake

– Reducing sugar consumption

– Modifying problem drinking (if applicable)

The anxious worrying personality style is one of the most common patterns found in non-melancholic depression.

Is Acai Berry Good For Depression?

There are many people with depression that take antidepressants, and many of these people do not realize that there are many natural alternatives. Prescription drugs that many doctors give out on a daily basis can be more harmful to their patients than the disease itself. There are side-effects, both in the short term, as well as long term, and some of these medications are highly addictive.

One of the more recent discoveries that has been made is the Acai berry. It comes from the Amazon Rainforests of Brazil, on the Acai Palm. In reality, this berry is smaller than a grape, and most of it is just seed. In fact, only 10% of the berry is actual fruit. However, this small amount of fruit is highly packed with all sorts of nutrients that our bodies need, and while it does not actually cure depression itself, you can use it to treat many of the symptoms without antidepressants.

For one thing, the Acai berry is full of antioxidants that our body needs. It is great for treating a number of symptoms that relate to depression. Some antidepressants are geared towards raising serotonin levels in the brain, and sometimes, these reduced levels are a result of the brain being inflamed. Acai berry reduces inflammation, both in the brain as well as elsewhere, and can bring these levels back to normal. It can also improve the communication of the cells in the brain, and help improve your metabolism.

Antidepressants have other effects on your body, besides treating depression. One of these is its sedative like qualities that can cause you to fall asleep. This is because people who suffer from this disease may have trouble sleeping. Another part of the problem that goes along with depression is weight control. Either they do not eat enough, or they eat too much, causing weight gain, which makes them self-conscious, and adds to being depressed. It can be a vicious cycle.

Depression also affects your energy levels, and using antidepressants really does not help in this area. In fact, some medications can actually make you more lethargic, and cause you to not want to do anything at all. In order to fight the effects of depression, you need to get out and do things, like exercise, and still do activities that you would normally do. Acai berries help boost your metabolism, it gives you energy and gets you going without harmful stimulants.

Some of the symptoms and causes of depression are because of the build up of free-radicals in our system. While we all have these in our bodies, too much can be harmful. If you do not know what a free-radical is then here is a short explanation. Free-Radicals are organic molecules that are unstable, whether it be from natural cell processes, or from external sources, like eating an unhealthy diet, being around pollutions, etc. These molecules are unstable because they do not have enough electrons, and so they try to steal these from other cells in the body, which in turn cause healthy cells to become radicals and so on causing a virtual domino effect. While some are not too bad, the problem is that when there are too many it can speed up the aging process, cause a run down effect, speed up tissue damage, and even cause some diseases. Antidepressants not only do nothing for this, they can in fact create more free-radicals in the body, contributing to these problems even more.

Because these berries are full of antioxidants, which get rid of these free-radicals, taking them can have a good overall effect at treating depression, without the harmful effects of antidepressant drugs. It also has the highest oxygen radical absorbent capacity, or ORAC than any other fruit or vegetable. ORAC is the capacity for absorbing oxygen free radicals in the body, and while some fruits and vegetables do have high levels, about 2,400 for blueberries, the USDA recommends eating 3,000 to 5,000 units daily. Acai berries score more than this, at 5,500 ORAC.

So where can you get Acai berries to help treat your depression naturally and without antidepressants? You can not go out to your local market and get them fresh. They are an extremely delicate fruit and only last about twenty four hours before going bad. You can buy drinks and powders, as well as different kinds of tablets. However, you need to be extremely careful, because some people will try to scam you with inferior quality.

Agoraphobia and Social Phobia – What’s the Difference?

What’s the difference between agoraphobia and social phobia?

I get this question all the time. That’s because the two disorders have some similarities that can make them hard to distinguish from one another. For example, both the agoraphobic and the social phobic are afraid to be in public settings. Both develop a similar pattern of avoidance behavior. Both experience similar physical symptoms associated with panic and anxiety. And since both are classified as phobias, both conditions can be successfully treated with a program of cognitive-behavioral therapy.

So what are the differences between these two conditions? How can you tell them apart?

The main difference between agoraphobia and social phobia can be found in the nature of the fear causing the avoidance behavior. People with social phobia are afraid of social settings that involve groups of people or crowds.

The fears of people with social phobia include the presence of or interaction with other people. For example, a person with social phobia would feel safe walking alone in the forest on a secluded beach.

Agoraphobia, on the other hand, is the fear of open and public spaces, in the presence or absence of other people. People with agoraphobia typically avoid crowds or social situations because they fear having a panic attack and embarrassing themselves.

But people with agoraphobia, unlike those with social phobia, would also be afraid to walk alone in a forest or on a secluded beach because no one would be around to help if they had a panic attack or medical emergency.

But the good news is, you can completely recover from agoraphobia.

How Yoga Can Help in General Anxiety Disorder Treatment

Other than the conventional methods adopted by clinicians and psychiatrists to treat anxiety disorder, often people also come up with their own ways to deal with their problem. Some believe that keeping pets can make significant difference in dealing with their anxiety problem, while some take help of physical exercises. There are also those who feel that yoga can be of real help for patients with general anxiety disorder.

According to a study – titled “Effects of Yoga versus Walking on Mood, Anxiety, and Brain GABA Levels: A Randomized Controlled MRS Study,” published in 2010 – due to yoga “there were positive correlations between improved mood and decreased anxiety and thalamic GABA levels.” The study, which was a collaboration of a number of renowned psychiatrists, doctors and scientists, also opined that yoga showed better promises than walking among participants.

Yoga is a low cost and highly effective technique which can aid in treating anxiety disorder. This holistic approach is steadily gaining momentum in modern psychiatrist practice. Besides, not having any side effects is one of the most endearing qualities of yoga. It remains to be seen how many treatment centers take to this holistic method as a complementary step in treating anxiety.

How yoga helps

Yoga induces a feeling of calm and relaxation in a practitioner, offering anxiety disorder patients some immediate relief to start with. The study claims that yoga increases the brain’s Gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA) levels, which is the chief inhibitory neurotransmitter in the mammalian central nervous system. GABA is vital for the proper functioning of regions in the central nervous system. It is directly proportional to feelings of relaxation in the body.

Low GABA level is a clear indication of anxiety and depression in people. The researchers reinforced that the yoga volunteers reported greater improvement in mood and greater decreases in anxiety than the walking group with same amount of respective intervention. They found that there were positive correlations between improved mood and decreased anxiety and thalamic GABA levels. “The yoga group had positive correlations between changes in mood scales and changes in GABA levels,” the researchers said. They concluded that impact of yoga on mood and anxiety is not solely due to the metabolic demands of the activity.

There are more studies that echo a similar view. One such study, conducted by the Massachusetts General Hospital in 2013, found identical effects of Bikram Yoga on anxiety and depression. Researchers noticed that the three elements of yoga, breathing, posture and meditation brought about a deeper level of physiological rest in participants which resulted in a rapid and positive change in metabolism, immune function and insulin secretion in them. The effect was similar to the release of serotonin, a feel-good chemical which is triggered by administering patients with antidepressants like Prozac.

Hence, practising yoga and meditation, despite undergoing other conventional treatments for anxiety disorder, will only complement them. It will surely expedite the healing process and ensure that there is a long-term recovery. And since practicing yoga is a life-long process, just like exercising, one can definitely predict a permanent cure for anxiety. As rightly said by Dr. Baxter Bell, a proponent of yoga himself, “Yoga has a sly, clever way of short circuiting the mental patterns that cause anxiety.”

Chronic Insomnia, Nightmares and Bad Dreams, What Fibromyalgia Sufferers Need to Know!

While the types of sleeping problems vary from person to person, practically all fibromyalgia sufferers can relate to the aches and pains, fatigue, and depression that chronic insomnia and sleep disturbances can cause. Repetitive and ongoing nightmares are common complaints. If you’ve been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, you learn quickly that the sleep difficulties you’ve experienced for years are part of a much larger picture.

For some people with chronic insomnia, even waking up after they finally fall asleep, is an ordeal. Pain, depression and anxiety often accompany waking. And then there’s the fatigue… it feels like you’ve been up all night. I’ve heard it described as “I feel like I’m running relay races in my sleep, even to the point of experiencing shortness of breath when I try to get up!”

Many chronic insomnia sufferers will tell you that they fight sleep as long as possible trying to avoid the dream state… or REM sleep cycle due to the unpleasant nightmares. Night terrors are not uncommon among fibromyalgia sufferers. As a child I experienced Flashing and colored lights, bizarre plaid designs, and kaleidoscopic patterns when I closed my eyes to sleep… but each person’s experiences are different. I remember trying to explain to my parents and doctors what I would see when I closed my eyes. The colors would blend into nightmarish shapes and visions that I couldn’t describe. And no one really understood what I was going through or provided me with a solution. As a result, I developed self-inflicted chronic insomnia… trying not to go to sleep.

As I got older, I either gradually outgrew most of my vision symptoms or learned to control them… I’m really not sure which. I still experience vivid colors in some dreams, but they’re not as strange now. And because vision and focusing problems can be a serious part of fibromyalgia symptoms, you should consult your eye doctor if they persist. Many doctors would probably say that my control has something to do with my state of mind, and my recognition of the vision issues and accompanying chronic insomnia, as symptoms of my illness. But I’ve also been working on another theory…

Since I was about 5 years, old I’ve suffered with symptoms of fibromyalgia. I had an accident that triggered my condition. It has given me a long time to develop coping techniques, and through trial and error, the ability to make some critical changes to my life and… to my nutrition!

If you believe that fibromyalgia symptoms like trigger point pain and fatigue are caused, at least in part, by chronic insomnia and poor sleep quality, you’re not alone. Many of the symptoms of fibromyalgia may result from or be adversely affected by a sufferer’s inability to get adequate rest. That’s why so many fibromyalgia sufferers take sleep inducing medication and end up dealing with the sometimes dangerous side-effects, drug interactions, and potential drug addiction. When one pill doesn’t help anymore, we take two… and so on.

What I learned from my own experience is that healing the body with proper nutrition will help to reduce and even eliminate fibromyalgia symptoms like sleep disturbances and chronic insomnia. When you have less pain and fatigue, you feel better. This in turn, helps you to feel less anxious and stressed… and sleep comes easier. Chronic insomnia in particular may be positively affected by making some simple dietary changes:

  1. Maintain a healthy weight and avoid foods that are known allergens.
  2. Go with a heart-smart diet… low sugar, low fat… add fruits, vegetables and whole grain.
  3. Avoid caffeinated beverages… and don’t forget the protein! Effective nutritional supplements for fibromyalgia sufferers should include an adequate supply of lean, digestible protein to repair and strengthen the body, as well as enzymes to aid with digestion and protein assimilation.
  4. It’s widely accepted that a diet complete with vitamins, minerals and amino acids… protein’s building blocks which support the muscles, nerves and brain… may help to alleviate the symptoms of fibromyalgia, like the trigger point pain and fatigue… and the chronic insomnia, nightmares and bad or vivid dreams.

For fibromyalgia sufferers with chronic insomnia, nightmares and sleep disturbances, there is hope. You can take control of your symptoms through proper diet, and get the restful sleep and healing that you need. Click on one of the links now for more information.

Find out how to survive fibromyalgia!