An Easy Cure For "Math Phobia"

Why is it that one person enjoys math, while another person hates it?

Why does one child happily and quickly calculate a simple sum, while another won’t even attempt it because they’re convinced they’re simply “no good with numbers”?

The problem certainly isn’t caused by lack of intelligence.

In fact there are many examples throughout history of seemingly “stupid” people who could do amazing things with numbers.

Take the case of Jedediah Buxton (1702-1772), an illiterate laborer who became famous for his number skills. His employer once asked him:

“In a body whose 3 sides are 23,145,789 yards, 5,642,732 yards, and 54,965 yards, how many cubical eighths of an inch are there?”

Before giving the answer, Buxton asked “which end” of the 28-digit answer he should start at, as he could recite it just as easily forwards or backwards!

Of course, mathematical prodigies are born, not made. But it does beg the question:

“If somebody who can’t even read or write is able to perform these kinds of breathtaking calculations, what stops other people from doing even simple sums?”

Clearly, something went wrong along the way.

Young children naturally enjoy numbers. And even people who now have an intense dislike for math often say they once enjoyed it.

What has happened to them is generally an unfortunate event in their past.

Perhaps they were ridiculed for a mistake they made with numbers, in front of the entire class.

Maybe they missed some crucial math lessons and never really caught up.

Or perhaps they were taught to handle numbers mechanically – when what they really needed was some explanation of why the numbers work the way they do.

Whatever the specific reason, bad experiences with numbers left an emotional scar, which developed into a phobia to keep the sufferer safe from further harm.

The point here is that if you have “math phobia” or “math block”, it isn’t a permanent state of mind.

As a perfectly normal, healthy human being, you can do math and enjoy it as much as anyone.

You can make this change yourself, anytime you want. You just need to ignore the disliking attitude and actually try manipulating a few numbers from time to time.

Start with something easy, like adding small numbers in your head, or on paper if you prefer.

Next time you get some change in the shop, check it’s correct. Or better still, reckon up the change you expect while you are waiting to pay.

Avoid perfectionism, especially in the early stages. Realize there are two ways of working with numbers: approximate and exact. Often, an approximate answer is all you need.

For example, when you pick up a grocery item priced at $3.98, just call it “four dollars”. The next thing you pick up in the shop is priced at $7.95, so call that “eight dollars”. Add them together and you now expect to pay “nearly twelve dollars”.

Try it and you’ll see how easy it is.

The cure for math phobia is to allow a few numbers back into your life. Don’t make a big thing of them, just do whatever you feel comfortable with.

To summarize:

1. Recognize you have an aversion to math, whether it’s full-blown math phobia or just a few math blocks here and there.

2. Make a conscious decision to do something about it.

3. Give yourself a regular math workout, however small to start with.

You’ll find it all gets easier, and you’ll soon enjoy math once again.

How to Treat Anxiety Disorders Using Resource Anchors

An anxiety disorder is a general term mental health professionals use to describe a condition of abnormal and pathological fear and feeling of anxiousness. Although there are many different types of anxiety related disorders, including generalized anxiety disorder, phobic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, social anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and panic disorder, the traditional treatment approach usually involves a combination of medication and talk therapy.

What is an Anxiety Disorder?

The common theme across most anxiety-type disorders identified in the DSM-IV ™ is the expression of fears that are irrational and usually not founded on fact. The problem is both persistent and pervasive throughout many aspects of a person’s life. In severe instances, the fears and associated feelings interfere with an individual’s ability to cope with daily life. Anxiety can occur in lesser degrees than a full-blown anxiety disorder. Test anxiety is a great example of an irrational fear that people develop, which in turn negatively affects their ability to perform well on an exam. People who experience test anxiety may or may not meet the diagnostic criteria for an anxiety disorder, but situationally, their feelings of stress can be equally as debilitating.

Anxiety is a mental and emotional state (in the head) that is expressed in a variety of terms: heart pounding, shaking, difficulty breathing, chest and abdominal pain, nausea, dizziness, restlessness, fatigue, keyed-up, irritable, difficulty sleeping and/ or concentrating, muscular tension, and extreme fear (of death, loss of control, and insanity). In most cases, the feelings are known as internal kinesthetic representations. This means the feelings of anxiety are felt (kinesthetic) internally as a response to the irrational thoughts and fears. Interestingly, the descriptions provided in the DSM-IV TM are cognitive based. The thoughts and fears may be irrational creations of the mind, but the reactions to the events are physical. This article will focus on how to treat anxiety disorders in such a way that alters the internal representations.

Types of Internal Representations

Internal representations are the ways we think about represent the world in our minds. They are formed as a result of sensory input (seeing, hearing, touching, tasting and smelling) we receive from the outside world. In the case of anxiety, internal representations are created, not necessarily from information we receive from the outside world, but as distorted representations created in the mind. For example, a person who suffers from arachnophobia (extreme fear of spiders) at the mere mention of the word spider may create a picture in their head of a huge spider that is scarier and more frightening than any real spider they might encounter. That picture is both Visually created (Vc) and internally Kinesthetic (Ki) because of the physical reaction the person feels.

Because different people have different processing approaches, effective treatment of anxiety disorders should involve the discovery of an individual’s representational strategy-how the process and store information in memory. Many people, even those without an anxiety disorder, engage in negative and self-destructive self-talk. That is, they say things to themselves like “I could never do that”, “I’m not good enough for… “, or “I’m not smart enough to… “. The negative self-talk creates what is called an Auditory Digital (Ad) internal representation that then might be expressed with a Kinesthetic (Ki) response such as muscle tension, shortness of breath, etc. When an individual’s strategy involves multiple representational systems overlapping working together, the strategies involve synesthesia-a perceptual condition of mixed sensations.

Our “As If” World

Why do people use synesthesia as a processing strategy? According to Ericksonian therapist David Higgins, we all live in an “as if” world. We constantly make guesses about what will happen next. We justify this behavior by thinking our guesses are be based on past experiences, but in reality, they are future generated hallucinations. As such, they have the potential to generate feelings of hope or fear, happiness or pain. This is an active ongoing process that can be healthy and invigorating. If the representations go awry, however, it can generate the feelings of stress and fear associated with anxiety disorders. Severe anxiety is a disorder of the “As if” process that results from cognitive distortions of the internal representations.

How to Treat Anxiety Disorders by Changing Internal Representations

Some of the most debilitating effects of anxiety disorders are the kinesthetic (feeling) responses that interfere with the ability to function. If an individual is experiencing a pounding heart, shortness of breath, and muscle tension, it will be very difficult from them to participate in any sort of cognitive task (work, school, sports, etc.) including talk therapy. The physical response will take over shadow any ability to reason. As such, one of the first steps to treatment should be to identify the individual’s strategy for forming internal representations, and then create what is known in the Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP) world as a Resource Anchor or anchoring a resource state. A resource state is a mental state that represents the thoughts a feelings a person desires such as calmness, joy, satisfaction or confident. The resource state can be anchored in such as way that the individual can access it whenever anxiety becomes an issue.

How to Anchor a Resource State

  1. Identify a mental state you would like to experience more often (E.g., confident, content, empowered, relaxed, etc.).
  2. Identify a specific time when you fully experienced that state. Relive the experience. See through your own eyes, hear through your own ears, and feel the sensations in your body.
  3. Select an anchor by choosing a part of your body that is easy for you to touch, but not a part that is usually touch during daily activities. Examples of possible anchor locations include an earlobe, knuckle, skin between two fingers, etc.
  4. Re-access the resource experience you identified in step 2. As you feel that the state is about to reach its maximum intensity (just before the peak experience), touch or squeeze the part of your body you selected as your anchor site. Adjust the pressure of your touch to match the degree of intensity of your feeling of the resource state.
  5. Repeat step 4 as often as necessary, each time enhancing your experience of the state. NOTE: If done correctly, you should need to anchor the feeling only once to be effective.
  6. Test your anchor by clearing your mind and simply touching your self-anchor experience. Touching you anchor site should bring back the desired feeling or emotional state. If it doesn’t, repeat the anchoring process until it does work.

Once you have easy access to your resource state, it should be simple to access the relaxed, confident, or other desired state you anchored. There are no limits to the number of anchors you can create. Just be careful to select different anchor sites unless you are stacking anchors to make one anchor especially intense.

It is also possible to create internal anchors by imaging a color vividly in your mind’s eye. You can then associate the imagined color with a desired feeling or state.

Other Tools for Reducing Treating Anxiety Disorders

Reframing

Reframing is an NLP that involves using language patterns to “reframe” the perceptual distortions typical of anxiety disorders. Nothing that exists in this world has meaning on its own. People assign meaning according to their beliefs, values, likes and dislikes, and other preoccupations. The meaning of an experience, then, is dependent on the context of the experience. Reframing is a strategy that works to change the way someone perceives an event and thereby changes the meaning. When the meaning changes, the response and behavior also changes.

Alter the Submodalities

In NLP, submodalities are the specific characteristics of the Internal Representation. For instance, we’ve already mentioned Visual and one form of internal representation. Visual images have distinctive characteristics like black and white vs. color, near or far, do you see yourself in the picture or are you looking through your own eyes, size of the picture, and bright or dull. Sometimes changing the submodalities of an experience can reduce the intensity of the experience.

Integrating Beliefs

It was stated earlier that anxiety disorders are based on irrational thoughts and feelings. Anxiety and panic responses are incongruent with the rest of a person’s life. It’s as if the part of the person that is control at the time of the panic or anxiety attack has its own intentions, beliefs and behavior that are different from the intentions, beliefs and behavior of the same person when they are calm. There are numerous NLP techniques that are useful for integrating the parts to create congruency in the person’s thoughts and feelings and eliminating the irrational thoughts and feelings that create the anxiety. Examples of these techniques include, but are not limited to: Parts Integration, Timeline Therapy, Mental Emotional Release and Core Transformation TM.

Conclusion

The purpose of this article was not to argue with techniques for treating anxiety disorders involving medication and traditional counseling approaches. Rather, it was to describe approaches that deal directly with the source of the problem that is common to all anxiety-related disorders. Working with internal representations and their submodalities offers new options for individuals who suffer from anxiety disorders as well as for people who work to treat anxiety disorders in the everyday practice. The combinations of techniques that are a part of the practice of NLP are relatively easy to use and have a lower risk factor than some of the more traditional approaches to treatment.

How Hyperarousal Causes Chronic Insomnia and the First Step to Dealing With It

One of the most perplexing causes of insomnia is hyperarousal. Although the name might seem a little foreign to some people, it is simply a prolonged version of the stress response or the fight-or-flight response. Self-protection is the intended reason for the stress response.

When faced with danger, hyperarousal causes you to have heightened sensory response. Your heart and respiration rate goes up. You have a greater awareness of what’s around you. Your blood levels of stress hormones increase dramatically. You are ready for some real action.

This is all great if you are really facing danger and you need to make a life-or-death decision between fight or flight. It is certainly not something that you want, though, when it leads to chronic insomnia.

Hyperarousal is one of the leading causes of insomnia because its sole purpose is to protect ourselves when we’re facing danger. And one of the best ways to do this is by keeping us awake and alert. This is pretty logical — you aren’t very good at defending yourself and your loved ones when you’re sound asleep!

As long as we are awake, we can see our surroundings and be aware of potential dangers. Once we fall asleep, though, those dangers can more easily sneak up on us and harm us. As part of our stress response, we can go for days without sleep or on little sleep as a defense mechanism.

The All-Too Familiar Downside of Hyperarousal and The Stress Response

After a few nights without sleep, whether there’s a real danger or not, we start to feel the effects of chronic insomnia. It’s the “tired yet wired” situation.

You feel really tired. You want to go to sleep. Unfortunately, you body does not want you to go to sleep. Your mind is racing, and your heart is probably beating like crazy. Despite feelings of exhaustion, you are unable to get to sleep.

Your hyperarousal, although a good thing when it is needed, is causing you sheer misery when you can’t sleep… even though you want to more than anything.

As you face your insomnia, you might want to fight it and fight yourself!

You’re angry. You just want to be able to sleep. You’re exhausted. You don’t want to face this stress response when sleep is the only thing that you want. Hyperarousal is second to only sleep anxiety as one of the paradoxical causes of insomnia — meaning that the more you want it, the further away you get from having it.

And because of that paradox, there is really no one magic solution to cure it. It’s really a process your mind has to go through.

Your first step in dealing with your chronic insomnia should be realizing the cause. If it is caused by the stress response, then accept this as the cause. If you have felt these “wired” feelings — the pounding heart and racing mind — you know that that at least one of the causes of it is hyperarousal.

Now comes what might seem like a strange step. Instead of seeing this as a negative thing, your enemy that you have to fight off, you need to view the cause in a positive light as a good thing — an instinctual response with good intentions, but just misguided in the present circumstances!

As much as you want to fight it and hate your hyperarousal state, you can only start to cure your insomnia by viewing it as a positive thing. Only at that point can you again begin to welcome real sleep back into your life. Why? Because a mind and body that is fighting with itself cannot relax and let go. Acceptance is the door you must open to get back on the path to a quiet mind and a peaceful body.

Do All Flat Feet Need Surgery?

Studies suggest 20-30 percent of all people suffer from flat feet. Duck feet, as some may call it, is medically describes as pes planus. Though flatfoot is a well recognized diagnosis, its cause is not as well defined. Flatfoot can be seen in young children and is actually considered normal up to the age of two or even five years old. Some flatfoot conditions occur much later in life and in reality; flatfoot can be encountered at any age and cause a broad range of pain from absolutely none to physically debilitating.

The most basic way to describe a flatfoot is rigid or flexible. A rigid flatfoot is flat all the time. Whether standing or sitting, the foot never appears to have an arch. A flexible flatfoot on the other hand looks and appears normal when non-weight bearing but as soon as one stands up the arch disappears and the foot collapses to the floor. Generally, those with a rigid flat foot experience more pain. Those with flexible flatfoot have a wider range of discomfort. Some experience no discomfort at all.

Whether experiencing pain or not, the general public and many of patients are quite concerned about their flatfeet. As if the flatfoot is a ticking time bomb that will ruin their life, everyone wants to know what they can do for their flat feet! There is truth to when your feet hurt your whole body hurts, but often, the trick to keep your feet happy is not taking them under the knife. With that said, there are a considerable number of people who benefit greatly from surgical reconstruction of their foot. These people have exhausted all conservative treatments that have all failed to bring them relief.

Where to start? If you are asymptomatic, don’t worry so much. There is nothing you can do short of surgery that will recreate an arch. When you have a flatfoot, it is often a combination of soft tissue failure and boney alignment dysfunction. The biomechanics of your foot becomes compromised. You can still walk but for some, it is not without discomfort. Simple measures such as orthotics and bracing are often all that is needed to rid the discomfort. This also means that shoes play an important role. Every day of the summer I have patients strolling into my office in flip flops and other poor excuses for shoes. Low and behold, this only creates problems for flatfooters.

Parents often get very anxious when they see their child flopping around on archless feet. Studies have shown that athletic performance or injury rates have zero correlation to flat feet. If the flat feet are asymptomatic, no treatment is eminent through research is lacking to really determine the value of an orthotic on long term symptoms. For children that have symptoms, they may have an underlying coalition, meaning they may have bones in their foot that are fused that shouldn’t be. These children improve significantly with surgical procedures to correct this deformity.

Generally, my rule of thumb is pain needs to be treated and concerns of your health should always be addressed. Flatfoot does not mean you need a complex surgery. Though surgical procedures for flatfoot can greatly improve one’s symptoms it is not for everyone.

Causes of Ingrown Toenail

Ingrown toenails, also called hangnails, are toenails that grow into the flesh of the toe rather than straight up. This causes pain and in many cases, severe infection.

There is a wide variety of causes for this condition. The most common is the improper trimming of the toenail. This is more common in women probably because they have pedicures more frequently than men.

Some pedicurists trim the nails lower on the sides for a more elegant look. However, this will make the toenail grow back right into flesh, thus causing the pain and swelling. To avoid getting an ingrown toenail this way, it would be better if you cut your nails on your own or at least tell the salon people not to trim it too low or too close to the nail bed.

Another factor that helps in the development of an ingrown toenail is the wearing of very tight fitting shoes. When the footwear is too constricted and the toes are constantly pressed against each other, the toenails will be forced to grow into the flesh.

Also, tight closed shoes, especially those made from synthetic materials, make it impossible for air to circulate freely around your feet. The heat makes your feet sweat which then softens the flesh of the toes surrounding the toenail, making it more easily penetrable by the growing nail. This is probably the reason why athletes are also more prone to having an ingrown toenail.

Other causes of ingrown toenails are obesity, hyperhidrosis or excessive sweating, diabetes, hyperthyroidism or the overproduction of thyroid hormones, and other congenital conditions.

An ingrown toenail has three main stages of development. During the initial stage, the pain caused by the ingrown toenail is quite tolerable. It is more of a discomfort than actual pain. The nail is just beginning to embed itself into the flesh of the toe.

The second stage of an ingrown toenail involves the secretion of thick fluid around the nail. The pain will be much more and it will be impossible to wear closed shoes. The third and final stage is where the granulation tissue is already very apparent in the lateral nail fold. The infection will be at its advanced stage and the pain will become unbearable. Even walking will become an agonizing ordeal during this stage.

To avoid experiencing these extreme effects of an ingrown toenail, it is advisable to go in for treatment once you see the first symptoms. When the infection has not yet started, you can try soaking your foot with the ingrown toenail in a basin of warm water to soften the granulation tissue that has formed over the nail. You can then use a silver nitrate ointment to completely remove the tissue.

In more advanced cases, you will need to take medication to bring down the swelling and to remove the infection for nail and health before attempting to remove the granulation tissue or the embedded toenail.

Gout Symptoms – 5 Ways to Tell If You Have Gout

Are you suffering from terrible joint pain?

Would you like to know for certain whether or not you are having a gout attack?

If you are suffering from these 5 gout symptoms, chances are you are suffering from this painful disease.

1. Your pain began in the middle of the night. This arthritic problem often begins at night. When you are sleeping the synovial fluid responsible for cleaning your joints doesn’t flow enough to properly clear out the excess debris. This allows uric acid crystals to accumulate causing swelling leading to terrible pain. So ask yourself, did this pain come on suddenly in the middle of the night. If you were not suffering when you went to sleep, but woke up in pain, chances are you have gout.

2. You don’t remember injuring your affected joint. One of the problems with a new onset of this condition is thinking you have a sprained foot or ankle versus having gout. The most common place for pain is in the big toe. However, this is not always the case. Often attacks occur in the ankle and many have felt they sprained their ankle. After a couple weeks of getting worse and not better many realize they don’t remember injuring their ankle. So ask yourself if you remember injuring your ankle or foot. If the answer is no, you possibly have gout.

3. Your pain is getting worse. As mentioned in the last point, if your pain has not subsided over a few days, but is actually getting worse with increased swelling and redness, you could possibly have gout. When you suffer an injury the swelling will usually subside after a few days whereas gouty arthritis will continue to increase in intensity.

4. Your pain has spread to other joints. Sometimes gout will jump from one joint to another. You can have pain in your foot today and have it spread to your knees, elbow, wrists, and fingers. Sometimes it can feel like you have tendonitis, but in reality, it is gout.

5. Even the slightest pressure causes intense pain. For regular patients with this disease, it has been noted that even the slightest pressure from even a bed sheet can cause immense pain.

If you have these symptoms, what can you do?

Get a blood test to determine if your symptoms point to having gouty arthritis. Other arthritic diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis or pseudo gout can have similar symptoms. Blood tests can determine your base uric acid levels and enable a physician to properly diagnose you. Regardless of which disease you have, though, the treatments are often similar.

The Essential Oil of Helichrysum – A Valuable Anticoagulant

Helichrysum (Helichrysum italicum) also known as Everlasting, is in the daisy family (Asteraceae or Compositae) and the oil today comes from Yugoslavia, Corsica, Utah and Ecuador. Helichrysum is an aromatic shrub with silvery-grey lance like leaves and clusters of small bright yellow flowers. When dried, the plant keeps its shape and the flower heads their yellow color-hence the name “everlasting.” It is also known as the Italian straw flower.

Traditionally in Europe it was used for asthma, whooping cough, arthritis, headaches, liver ailments and skin conditions including burns, allergies and psoriasis. Usually it was taken in the form of an infusion and the herb was taken to help expel worms.

Today helichrysum is an extremely valuable oil for healing. It is one of the few known oils that can stop hemorrhaging. It has been found to be anticoagulant, anesthetic, antispasmodic, antiviral, a liver protectant, detoxifier and stimulant, it chelates chemicals and toxins and regenerates nerves. It is used for the Herpes virus, arteriosclerosis, atherosclerosis, hypertension, blood clots, liver disorders, circulatory disorders, skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, scar tissue and varicose veins. What makes helichrysum unique is its ability to regulate the blood. Among its chemical constituents are a group of ketone-like compounds called beta-diones. It is this group of molecules within the oil that contribute mainly to its anticoagulant action, making it applicable in the treatment of any severe bruising that results in hematomas. The fragrance opens hearts to the unseen energies that affect our lives here in earth. For emotional healing, it is used to encourage calm, acceptance, dreams, patience, perseverance, inner strength, and awareness.

Helichrysum mixes well with bergamot, cedarwood, German chamomile, clary sage, cypress, frankincense, geranium, grapefruit, juniper, lavender, lemon, palmarosa, pine, rosemary, sage, thyme linalool, rose, and ylang ylang. You can apply 2-4 drops on location, temple, forehead, back of neck or outside of ear. For cuts or more sever hemorrhaging, apply the oil directly to the wound to coagulate the blood. For bruises, rub the oil over the bruise area to help re-absorb the blood in the tissues. It can be directly inhaled, diffused or taken as a dietary supplement. As for safety, helichrysum is non-toxic, non-irritant, and non-sensitizing. Want to learn more about the healing properties of helichrysum and other essential oils? Consider becoming a certified aromatherapist. Educational courses in healing energy and aromatherapy can help you understand how essential oils heal the body/mind/spirit.

Glycoproteins and Their Benefits For Health

INTRODUCTION

In 1999 the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded to Gunter Blobel for the discovery that proteins have intrinsic signals that govern their transport and localisation in the cell. It was based on this research into how cells use these signals that the functions of glycoproteins were discovered.

Glycoproteins are molecules that have a sugars and protein bonded together. The sugar chains of glycoproteins play a role in determining their destination in the cell or body. The bonding of sugars to proteins to form glycoproteins significantly alters the properties of these proteins.

There are eight sugars that predominantly bond with proteins to form glycoproteins, these are: xylose, galactose, glucose, mannose, fucose, N-acetylgalactosamine, N-acetylglucosamine and N-acetylneuraminic acid.

WHAT ARE THE FUNCTIONS OF GLYCOPROTEINS?

Glycans contain biologic information and are the specific sequence of sugars in a glycoprotein that determine its recognition and interaction with other molecules in the cell, often resulting in a biologic effect or response. These impart their function to glycoproteins.

Glycoproteins have many functions in the human body. A few functions of interest is that they are used structurally in the body to form some types of collagen; or are involved in cell-cell interactions, such as in the proteins involved in sperm-egg interactions during fertilisation or how cells stick together to form tissues and communicate with each other. They also function in cell signalling.

Cell signaling is the related study of how healthy cells respond appropriately in health to various stimuli e.g., hormones, growth factors, drugs, cell-cell contact, etc. Glycoproteins on the surface of one cell bind to glycoprotein receptors on another cell, which allows the cells to communicate with one another. These communications then result in other cellular events, such as secretion of bioactive substances, killing of bacteria and cell debris, inhibition of adherence necessary for bacterial infection. Conversely, the responses may be inappropriate in certain diseases, such as cancer and cancer cell metastasis.

Lectins, for example, are proteins that selectively bind glycans. One lectin will recognize and bind mannose at the end of a glycan, whereas others will recognize and bind to glycans containing fucose, galactose, or other sugars. A class of lectins called selectins helps white blood cells to sites of inflammation.

WHAT IS GLYCONUTRITION?

Glyconutrition is the supplementation the 8 principal sugars that are needed by the body to from glycoproteins. They are considered essential nutrients, much the same as essential amino acids or essential fatty acids, which means you have to get them from your diet.

WHY IS GLYCONUTRITION CONSIDERED ESSENTIAL?

Metabolic pathways exist for synthesis of non-glucose sugars from glucose, and it has long been thought that glucose is the most important dietary sugar; it has recently been shown that glycoprotein formation actually prefer to utilize non-glucose essential sugars (e.g. mannose) provided in the diet as substrates. In fact, if only glucose is supplied, the liver severely malfunctions, due to a lack of the other essential sugars, indicating that the body simply cannot synthesize all the other essential sugars from glucose to the extent that they are needed.

WHERE ARE THE 8 SUGARS OBTAINED FROM IN THE DIET?

These 8 sugars will only appear in fruit and vegetables that are vine ripened; this essentially means the fruit or vegetable ripens on the plant. However this is a process that no longer happens in modern agriculture. Much of our fruit and vegetables are picked when green, and artificially ripened prior to being put on the shelves at the supermarket. This means sadly that we have to supplement with them to obtain the eight necessary sugars essential for health.

HOW MAY CORRECT GLYCOPROTEIN FORMATION CONTRIBUTE TO DISEASE MANAGEMENT?

As can be seen from the preceding paragraphs, glycoproteins are vital in the health and maintenance of the human body; so much so, that extensive research has been conducted on them in relation to certain diseases.

Implications for cancer. Research has shown that there are changes to the sugars in glycoproteins of cancer cells. These changes relate to adhesion properties of the cancer cell and their ability to adhere to other cells in the body or to metastasize. These altered glycoproteins may also relate to the ability of the tumour to avoid the responses of the immune system. Altered glycoproteins have been found in intestinal, pancreatic, liver, ovarian, prostate, and lung cancers.

Glycoproteins that have mannose in their structure has been shown to activate macrophages (an immune system cell), one of the most important cells involved in fighting cancer. Also, the release of substances from the macrophage is stimulated, which activates natural killer cells (another immune system cell involved in the elimination of cancer cells).

Implications for chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia. The principle symptoms of these conditions include muscle and joint pain, chronic fatigue, non-restorative sleep, chronic tension, migraine headaches, and bowel and bladder irritability. The immune, endocrine (e.g. hormones), nervous (e.g. neurotransmitters, sleep pathways, psychological stress), and muscular (e.g. tender points) systems of the body are all intimately involved in these syndromes. Glycoproteins all play important roles in maintaining the health and normal functioning of these systems. Therefore supplementation with the 8 simple sugars may positively impact on these syndromes.

Implications for inflammation. Inflammation in itself is not a disease, but rather occurs as result of tissue injury, such as in bacterial infection. Inflammation is usually beneficial to the individual. However, this process can get out of hand, as many diseases that affect us are inflammatory in origin. As noted earlier, glycoproteins help guide immune cells to sites of inflammation, as well as they are involved in the process of allowing the immune cells to traverse the wall of blood vessels and enter the tissues at the site of inflammation.

Implications for peptic ulcers induced by Helicobacter pylori bacteria. Helicobacter pylori attach to 2 specific glycans on the cell surfaces of stomach and duodenum. Once attached, the bacteria release various enzymes that along with the acidic content of the stomach, results in ulceration. Glycans are the first molecules encountered by bacteria as a means to attach to cells. The 8 sugars compete with bacteria for attachment to the glycans, and is one way of blocking bacterial adherence.

Implications for stress. Research has shown that the formation of glycoproteins is significantly altered in various types of stress, such as in infection, inflammation and trauma.

Stress exists in many forms, whether it is psychological (as in nervous system dysfunction), environmental (as in extreme heat or chemical toxins) or physicochemical (such as in exercise). Glycoproteins prevent and repair damage to cells as a result of these stresses.

Implications for Rheumatoid Arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an inflammatory condition, and glyconutritions are known to positively affect inflammation.

RA is an autoimmune condition, meaning that antibodies are produced against the body’s own tissues; this implies that there is a miscommunication between the immune system and the joint tissue. The abnormal antibody produced is IgG, which has less than normal amounts of galactose in its structure, and during remission this reduction of galactose is reversed.

It has also been found that fucose is markedly reduced in RA patients. The greater the deficiency of fucose in RA patients, the more severe the symptoms will be.

Supplementation of the necessary sugars, i.e. galactose and fucose, needed by the body to combat this illness.

On the topic of auto-immune conditions I would like to share a case of mine successfully treated with the ise of these 8 essential sugars. Mrs T. presented to me with discoid lupus, which is a milder case of lupus which predominantly affects the skin, causing hard ‘scar-like’ lesions. She had these lesions spread throughout the body. I prescribed the sugars in a powder, 5g/day. After using them for a period of 3 months, all of her skin lesions were completely healed, as well as her anti nuclear factor had dropped right down to normal blood levels.

In my personal experience with these sugars I have found that they are the best in treating auto-immune conditions such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis etc. If you have any questions regarding the use of the 8 sugars for your health condition/s, feel free to contact me.

CONCLUSION

As can be seen from the above article, proper glycoprotein formation plays an important role on the maintenance of health and combating of disease. Sadly six of the eight sugars no longer appear in our food supply, and it has become necessary to supplement with these sugars in order to maintain optimum health.

"Why Am I So Angry?"- Understanding Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)

When it comes to PMS and other menstrual disorders, women are often frustrated with the lack of understanding and proper care they receive from conventional sources. “One week before my period, I’m so irritable I could rip my husband’s head off” is a frequent statement. Oral contraceptives seem to be the one-stop treatment of choice for many of these complaints and although artificial stabilization of hormones can bring relief for the issues of PMS, it does not help to find the cause of the problem.

Natural medicine has much to offer for PMS sufferers as it targets the root of the problem. In my practice in Brisbane, I help women unravel the cause of their particular PMS symptom picture

Let’s take a look at what’s going on.

PMS is defined as the well known myriad of symptoms which start 1-2 weeks before the period. These include

  • Breast pain
  • mood changes such as anger or depression
  • headaches
  • acne
  • digestive complaints such as bloating, constipation, or diarrhea
  • weight gain and water retention
  • sugar cravings
  • fatigue often 1-2 weeks before the period.

All symptoms MUST resolve with the onset of the period to be classified as PMS or something else is going on.

Hormonal Balance

From the first day of the period to ovulation (typically around day 14), oestrogen rises slowly and declines after the egg is released from the ovary. In a normal menstrual cycle, progesterone is the main hormone after ovulation-it helps to offset some of the strong effects of oestrogen.

A common finding in PMS sufferers is an elevated oestrogen/progesterone ratio in which oestrogen is abnormally elevated compared to the level of progesterone. This can be due to an inefficient liver clearance of oestrogen or mild progesterone deficiency.

Another reason why progesterone is low in the 2nd half of the cycle is stress. Stress raises a hormone called cortisol. When stress is continuous, progesterone is taken from the menstrual cycle to convert to cortisol. This is a protective mechanism –as the body thinks it is running from a tiger it considers cortisol more important than the reproductive hormone progesterone.

Irritability and Depression

Not only can high oestrogen cause all of the symptoms of PMS, but an elevated oestrogen/progesterone ratio has also been shown to impair proper neurotransmitter synthesis such as the “feel-good” serotonin. This may be due to oestrogen depleting B6 levels which is a necessary vitamin to produce proper serotonin levels.

B6 levels are frequently low in depressed patients, especially those taking oestrogens such as the birth control pill or menopausal medication such as Premarin.

Anger is also often experienced by women with PMS. Energetically, anger can be a frequent sign of liver congestion and oestrogen overload.

Oestrogen Dominance

The total amount of oestrogen in your body is determined by

  • how much you make yourself (technically, all oestrogen starts as testosterone and is converted in the ovaries or fat tissues-known as endogenous oestrogen)
  • how much comes from the outside (from hormones in animal products, chemicals in cosmetics etc-known as exogenous oestrogen)
  • and how well you detoxify both

Too high oestrogen is known as oestrogen dominance, a condition associated with PMS, breast cancer, uterine fibroids, and endometriosis.

Other hormonal influences

In addition to the above mentioned effects, excess oestrogen has also been implicated in a rise in aldosterone secretion from 2-8 days prior to menses, causing fluid retention, a common complaint in PMS. Endogenous and exogenous oestrogen can also increase prolactin secretion by the pituitary gland. Elevated prolactin has been linked to progesterone deficiency, breast pain, fibrocystic breast disease, and hypothyroidism.

Hypothyroidism affects a large percentage of women with PMS, and should therefore not be underestimated. If symptoms persist, a simple blood test can identify blatant thyroid dysfunction.

Natural Approaches to PMS

It is always important to know what type of PMS you are experiencing before embarking on a treatment plan. The suggestions below are just examples of a wide variety of professional treatments.

Diet: In my practice, diet and lifestyle recommendations are always the foundation on which I build my treatment plan. I often start the treatment with a cleansing diet for 2-4 weeks, after which I focus on specific diet changes. Depending on the symptom picture, a typical dietary recommendation for a patient with PMS may be to reduce all animal products to decrease exogenous oestrogens as well as saturated fats. To put this into context: vegetarian women excrete two to three times more oestrogens in their faeces and have 50% lower free oestrogens than their omnivore counterparts. Overall reduction of fat, sugar, and salt all has been shown to significantly improve PMS symptoms in some women.

Liver Detox: the liver is a very important organ of detoxification. Oestrogens are detoxified through the 2 main detox pathways of the liver. Abstaining from alcohol, caffeine, chemicals and processed foods can lower the total detox burden of the liver. Cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, cabbage) contain Indole-3-carbinol-a potent compound that aids in the liver detoxification of oestrogen. This is also available in pill form from a qualified naturopath.

The Gut: Another important aspect of PMS treatment is to establish proper bowel flora. To detoxify oestrogens, the liver binds it to glucuronic acid which prevents the reabsorption of oestrogens from the bowel. Certain undesirable gut bacteria produce the enzyme beta-glucuronidase which cleaves this bond and allows these oestrogens to re-enter the circulation, adding to the total oestrogen pool. Increasing fibre and adding probiotics to the treatment protocol can be very beneficial.

Exercise and stress reduction have been clearly documented in the literature for reducing symptoms of premenstrual syndrome.

Specific Herbs and Nutrients

A professional naturopath has many herbal remedies and nutrients to design an individualized treatment plan.

By far the most commonly used herb in PMS is Vitex agnus-castus (Chaste tree berry). It is so effective in regulating menses and lowering prolactin it has been written up in Europe’s prestigious “German Commission E” –a scientific database on herbal substances

B6 and Magnesium are important for proper serotonin production especially in cases of oestrogen dominance. It also seems to help with sugar cravings before the period.

Natural Ovarian Cyst Relief Secrets and Natural Cures For Cysts

Ovarian cysts do not always produce symptoms but when they do some of the symptoms include: abdominal fullness, abdominal pain, pelvic pain, pain during intercourse (dyspareunia), irregular menstrual periods, vaginal spotting, difficulty and/or pain during bowel movement and abdominal bloating. The good news is that there are natural ovarian cyst relief secrets and natural cures for cysts that help relieve the symptoms and decrease the factors that cause a cyst to grow. These methods are sensible and seek to relieve symptoms of ovarian cysts and prevent the cyst from enlarging as much as possible without resorting to drugs and their associated side effects or the risks of surgery.

If you suffer from ovarian cysts, I encourage you to jot down these tips or print this list out so you can readily refer to it when pain and discomfort attacks.

  • Empty your bladder as soon you feel the urge to urinate.
  • Apply a hot water bottle or heating pad to the lower abdomen. The heat helps to reduce discomfort, relax the tense muscles in the pelvis, and stimulate circulation and healing in the ovaries. Sitting for a while in a warm bath is also a natural ovarian cyst relief secret. Ice packs could also be used. Any of these hydrotherapy methods are effective cyst relief secrets.
  • One of the natural cures for cysts is by applying hot castor oil packs to the lower abdomen, it helps reduce inflammation and hasten a cyst to drain and disappear. However, please note that castor oil packs should not be used during pregnancy.
  • Gently massage the affected area.
  • One of the natural ovarian cyst relief secrets is to avoid constipation by eating lots of high fiber food like oatmeal, not because constipation is a cause of ovarian cysts, but because it increases pelvic discomfort. If you are already experiencing pelvic discomfort related to cysts, you don’t want to aggravate it.
  • Avoid rigorous exercises for a while to avoid the cyst twisting and/or rupturing. There are yoga exercises that help to increase circulation of blood in the lower abdomen.
  • Drink herbal teas like chamomile tea to help sooth the nerves, get anti-oxidants into the body and flush out toxins.
  • Limit to the barest minimum or better still totally avoid alcohol and caffeine intake. Consumption of drinks which contain caffeine and alcohol will only aggravate the cyst.
  • Try to wear loose and comfortable clothes.
  • Eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, as these help move waste matter and flush out toxins from the body. This is one of the natural cures for ovarian cysts.
  • Eat foods that are rich in Vitamins A and B like carrots and brown rice because these vitamins prevent abnormal cell growth.

Penis Discharge – Penile Disorders – How to Tell, Is It Thrush Or Balanitis By Symptoms

Why is there fluid coming out of my penis? Is this gooey discharge like that what women have? I know it’s not semen, so if it is discharge should I be worried? These are just some of the questions men ask when they first experience a problem of this nature with their penis. Some men even go as far as asking if they are going to die. You need to get the idea of dying out of your head. The chances of you dropping dead because you have discharge is very slim.

It’s perfectly natural to be alarmed seeing change of this sort, however, all changes are not bad. There is always going to be an explanation why you have an unhealthy penis and more times than not it’s one you’re likely to laugh off.

Infection is a popular cause of discharge. Thickness and color is what the GP takes into account before making a diagnosis. If unprotected sex is something you do a lot, you can’t rule out an STD. Discharge linked with sexually transmitted diseases usually shows another color other than white.

Men don’t often seek help for this problem, but because it can create problems for them in their sexual relations, and when they urinate, they are left with no choice but to talk to a doctor. But then you have the macho man willing to put up with the discomfort because he is too embarrassed to see a doctor, fearing he’ll get a lady nurse. What’s wrong with that, she is there to make you better. I bet there are times in your private life when you’re seriously busy showing off your manhood to the ladies, so there is no difference? Keeping quiet about the matter in hope things will fix it self is not good. If a genital infection is present it needs treating and gone.

The penis is one of the external structures of the male reproductive system. It is made up of three parts, the root which connects to the wall of the abdomen, the body, or shaft; and the glans penis, which is the cone-shaped end (head). The entrance of the urethra the tube that carries semen and urine is at the tip of the glans penis.

Male Thrush

Isn’t thrush something that affects women only? Apparently not! Men as well as women get yeast infections. Everyone has a certain amount of Candida in their body which is normally balanced by good bacteria so it stays on a low-level and causes no problems, however, if at any point the candida balance is upset there is a risk of developing the yeast infection called thrush. Vaginal thrush is common, but male thrush or penile yeast infection is fast catching up to being just as common.

Thrush is often passed on through sexual intercourse, but your own balance could have deteriorated making you receptive.

Male Thrush Symptoms

Spots on the tip of the penis which after time grow into small lumps

Itchy tip/head

Possible discharge

Smegma

Slight pain when urinating

Just like some other conditions, male yeast infection doesn’t always show signs to prove you have it. Symptoms can happen and then disappear of their own accord, but have they gone? As a precaution get a yeast infection cream and ask your partner to do the same. Even if the infection is small don’t ignore it, it can still re-infect your partner after being treated.

Treatment

Male Candida is usually treated with an antifungal cream which is applied twice a day for 7 to 14 days. Ointment for treating male and female thrush include, Clotrimazole, Canesten, and Pevaryl.

Balanitis is inflammation of the skin covering the head of the penis. Symptoms include redness or swelling, itching, rash, pain and a nasty smelling discharge.

This condition is more recognized in men and boys who have not been circumcised (had their foreskin surgically removed), or have bad hygiene. Swelling is likely if under the foreskin is not cleaned regular. Because a tight foreskin can prevent a thorough clean, irritation is common, and so is smell. Odor is likely a result of smegma, which typically accumulates under the foreskin.

If a man is diabetic it increases the risk of him getting this condition. Trapped glucose (sugar) in the urine under the foreskin serves as a breeding place for bacteria. Constant inflammation of the penis head and foreskin can lead to scarring, and possible outcome, tightening of the foreskin (phimosis)..

Particular sex diseases can produce similar symptoms to Balanitis, so see a doctor to be sure what it is you are dealing with. The underlying cause when determined will give the GP a better insight how to best treat the problem effectively. To enjoy life to the full your brain has to be active, as so does your penis!

Vaccination in Children – The Optional Vaccines

As soon as our children are born into this world, they receive what may seem like an endless number of vaccinations. There are those which are part of the National Immunization Schedule, which all children should receive. Then there are the optional vaccinations, which are also important. We discuss these vaccines in this article.

Optional Vaccinations may include:

  1. Hepatitis A Vaccine
  2. Hib (Haemophilus Influenza Type B) Vaccine
  3. Chicken Pox Vaccine
  4. Influenza Vaccine
  5. H1N1 Vaccine
  6. Rotavirus Vaccine
  7. Pneumococcal Vaccine
  8. Human Papillomavirus Vaccine

Hepatitis A Vaccine

The Hepatitis A virus (HAV) causes acute hepatitis (inflammation of the liver). Symptoms of acute hepatitis include fever, jaundice, nausea, abdominal cramps and occasionally death. The virus is spread via the oro-faecal route ie. via eating of food contaminated with the HAV. This is the virus that can be caught by eating improperly cooked contaminated cockles (commonly confused with the Hepatitis B virus which is transmitted from contaminated blood and intercourse).

Dose:

2 doses given 6 months apart

Common Side Effects:

Mild fever, headaches and swelling over injection site.

Hib (Haemophilus Influenzae Type B) Vaccine

H. Influenzae type B is a bacteria which is responsible for millions of deaths worldwide through meningitis and pneumonia. It affects mainly children under the age of five, with those between four and eighteen months particularly vulnerable. It leaves up to 35% of survivors with permanent disabilities such as mental retardation or deafness.

Dose:

3 Primary doses at ages 3, 4 and 5 months, followed by 1 Booster dose at 18 months. It usually given as one of the components of the 4-in-1, 5-in-1 and 6-in-1 vaccination.

Common Side Effects:

Redness and swelling over the site of injection.

Varicella (Chicken Pox) Vaccine

Chickenpox is caused by the varicella virus. Symptoms include fever and blisters all over the body. The blisters dry up subsequently and become very itchy. It is a typically benign and self-limiting disease which is highly contagious. Complications (secondary bacterial infections, encephalitis and pneumonia) occur more commonly in adults, newborns and in immuno-compromised individuals.

Dose:

Previously, only 1 Primary shot was given at about 12 months of age. However, as of 2007, the CDC has issued a new recommendation that a Booster dose be given at about 4 – 6 years old. This is to reduce the 30% breakthrough infection rate with a single dose (although breakthrough infections tend to be mild). Hence, all require 2 doses regardless of age. Note that the MMRV (ie. MMR Vaccine combined with the Varicella Vaccine) is now available for use.

Common Side Effects:

Mild pain and swelling over injection site.

Influenza Vaccine

Influenza is a viral infection caused by the Influenza virus. Symptoms include a fever, body aches, headache, dry cough, sore throat and slight runny nose. Symptoms are generally self-limiting, and most patients recover on their own. However, in high risk groups (eg. young children, pregnant women, the elderly, and those with chronic medical problems), influenza can lead to a higher rate of complications. These complications include ear infections, sinus infections, bronchitis, pneumonia and even death.

Dose:

The vaccine is indicated for children above 6 months of age. In children under 9 years old who have never had the influenza vaccine before, they will need 2 doses at least 1 month apart. Subsequently, they will only need yearly vaccinations. In children above 9 years and in adults, only yearly vaccinations are required.

Common Side Effects:

Mild flu-like symptoms

H1N1 Vaccine

The Influenza A (H1N1-2009) virus is a strain of influenza virus that spreads from human to human, which raised concerns in 2009 about a possible worldwide pandemic. Symptoms are similar to that of seasonal influenza, with severe illness and death reported in a small number.

Dose:

2 doses at least 4 weeks apart are required in children under 10 years of age.

Common Side Effects:

Mild fever and flu-like symptoms.

Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine

Pneumococcal disease is a group of illnesses caused by the bacterium Streptococcus pneumoniae, also known as pneumococcus. Pneumococcal infections can result in: pneumonia, meningitis, otitis media, sinusitis and bacteraemia. In Singapore, 18 per 100,000 children less than 5 years old are infected with pneumococcal disease each year. In serious cases, 1 in 4 suffer complications (brain damage, permanent hearing loss, paralysis, mental retardation) and 1 in 16 die.

Dose:

Indicated in infants and children from 6 weeks through 9 years of age. Between 1 to 4 doses required, depending on the age of the child when the 1st dose is given.

Common Side Effects:

Fever, irritability, decreased appetite, occasional vomiting and diarrhoea.

Rotavirus Vaccine

Rotavirus is a virus that infects the gastrointestinal tract causing gastroenteritis. Nearly every child worldwide will have at least one rotavirus infection before their 5th birthday. 1 in 3 hospitalizations due to diarrhoea in Singapore are caused by rotavirus. Infections are most frequent and severe in infants between 3 – 24 months old.

Dose:

2 oral doses (Dose 1 at 6 weeks and Dose 2 at 24 weeks).

Common Side Effects:

Slight irritability, loss of appetite.

Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccine

The Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is one of the most common sexually transmitted infection, and certain species of HPV have an association with the development of cervical cancer, genital warts and some less common cancers. The HPV vaccine works by preventing the most common types of HPV that cause cervical cancer. 2 HPV vaccines are currently available: Gardasil and Cervirix.

It is important to remember that even after vaccination, one would still have to go for regular PAP smears.

Dose:

It is indicated for girls between the ages of 9 and 26 years. However, there are studies which suggest that they are effective in preventing cervical cancer for women up to 45 years of age. 3 injections are required over a 6 month period.

Common Side Effects:

Mild soreness over injection site. Mild to moderate fever.

The Four Main Symptoms Of Alcoholism

For most of us, a trip to the bar for a drink is no big deal. Many go out with friends to have a few while socializing. Some choose to celebrate a special occasion, such as a wedding, or a promotion. Others may even use it as an opportunity to blow off a little steam after a long week at work. To some though, the act of having a few can lead to serious problems. These people suffer from an addiction to alcohol. In other words, they suffer from alcoholism, otherwise known as being an alcoholic.

Those who suffer from alcoholism don’t always show signs of there being a problem. Just because they don’t always appear drunk, does not mean they do not have a problem.

There are normally four different symptoms for those who suffer from alcoholism.

Number 1: A strong craving to drink. The person will have a strong desire to drink which may not go away until satisfied. This means the person may go out of their way to get a drink, which could potentially lead to personal, as well as professional problems, if these cravings are allowed to disrupt a person’s normal activities.

Number 2: Losing the ability to control the amount of alcohol consumed. Most of us know when enough is enough. An alcoholic normally loses this ability, or chooses to ignore it. This can lead to frequent periods of drunkenness, which over time can lead to serious health concerns, such as cirrhosis of the liver, weakening of the immune system, brain damage, fetal damage in pregnant women, as well as an increased risk of some cancers.

Number 3: Dependency on alcohol to function. Frequent abuse of alcohol can eventually lead to dependence. This means the body will not only crave alcohol, but will need it just to function normally. Without it, the body will develop symptoms similar to those of drug addicts undergoing withdrawal symptoms. An alcoholic who is deprived of alcohol can become nauseous, shaky, sweaty, anxious and irritable.

Number 4: A high tolerance to alcohol. As anyone who has drunk regularly can tell you, over time a person will develop a higher tolerance for alcohol, the more they consume. For alcoholics this tolerance is usually far greater than for a normal person. This, along with not knowing their limits, puts an alcoholic at great risk of health problems, as mentioned previously.

In most cases, an alcoholic will not admit they have a problem, in many cases until they have hit rock bottom. If you suspect you, or someone you know many be an alcoholic, seek help immediately. There are many great organizations out there who can help with information, as well as treatment options.

If you know of a recovering alcoholic, talk to them about their experiences and if possible, develop a relationship to help further your own recovery. This can be a great tool for a newly recovering alcoholic. The mutual understanding and strength shared together can be a great source of motivation to stay sober and healthy well into the future.

Utila, Honduras – Off the Beaten Path With Hippies and Divers

Ever heard of Utila? Me neither. Utila is a tiny bay island off the coast of Honduras, less than 7 miles long and 3 miles across – at its widest. The population of 5,000 (including 1,000 to 2,000 tourists at any given time) resides primarily in Utila Town, off the protected southeast harbor.

Our trip to Utila began with a three-hour flight from Atlanta to San Pedro Sula, Honduras. While gathering our luggage I saw a large, healthy man struggling to remove a gold chain and cross. He accepted my help and told me crime is rampant in the city. After noticing that I was one of only a few people wearing jewelry, and that my diamond ring was getting a number of looks, I stashed all my jewelry away safely.

Delayed and cancelled flights are the rule rather than the exception with TACA, the local airline. They’ve earned their nickname, “Take A Chance Airline.” Rather than spend the night in crime-ridden San Pedro Sula and Take A Chance with TACA again the next day, we opted for a four-hour bus ride to La Ceiba (locals just say “say-ba”).

After an overnight in Ceiba, we caught the Utila Princess the next morning for the one-hour ferry trip to Utila. It, too, earns its nickname – the Vomit Comet. TACA has flights to the island and we will Take A Chance next time and avoid the ferry.

Once on the island, though, surrounded by mellow, laid-back SCUBA divers, hippies and hippie-divers, you’ll hear a mish-mash of English and Spanish spoken as well as a multitude of other languages. People from all over the world, many of them in their 20’s, flock to the island to attend the least expensive dive certification courses in the world at one of the island’s many dive shops. I put my jewelry back on as crime is all but non-existent.

Although Utila is a Mecca for divers, surrounded by dive sites and coral reefs, snorkelers are not left out. At the west end of the bay 30 Lempira “lemps” (two and a half dollars) buys dock privileges for the day, and the reefs are just a few moment’s swim away. You can also rent equipment and buy lunch off the grill, as well as other snacks and drinks.

With narrow, congested roads, cars are a rarity. Most of Utila Town gets around on foot or by bicycle, scooter, motorcycle or golf cart. All are available for rent on the island.

Don’t let Utila’s infamous sand flies scare you away. I saw plenty of pale people with the telltale red welts up and down their legs, but with proper preparation you can avoid this. Just bring repellant and use it. One long-time resident swore by a heavy coating of baby oil.

Hotels and rooms-to-rent are everywhere and unless you arrive during the August Sunjam festival, you can wander Utila Town until you find suitable accommodations. Most are budget hotels geared toward the backpacker-dive crowd. If you are looking for a full-service upscale resort, go to neighboring Roatan Island, not Utila.

Restaurants are also everywhere and sometimes take some detective work to find. Structures along the waterfront are often three deep. A street-side store, a bar on the water and an open-air restaurant nestled in-between. Signage is often missing or out-dated. Indian Wok, next to Tranquila Bar, was good and Munchies Café was always busy.

Nightlife is abundant. Only a certain number can stay open late each night, so the bars coordinate among themselves to even the playing field. I recommend Coco’s (formerly Coco Loco) next to the Passenger (ferry) dock.

It was at Coco’s that I met Sara, and there my Utila adventures began in earnest. Sara recently purchased Coco’s and I offered to go with her to Shelly Mac’s, the plant nursery, to help choose plants for hanging baskets. There I met Shelby, the owner, who invited me to visit him on his 14-acre farm north of town.

The next day, I walked up Pumpkin Hill and found Shelby’s farm. I wandered around calling for him until one of the young men tending fruit trees pointed me in the right direction. Shelby didn’t warn me about his guard goose and my left thigh sported quite the blood blister for some days!

After a quick snack of fresh bananas and mango, we toured the farm. I admired Shelby’s many fruit trees, medicinal plants, and so much more, including pineapple, bananas, mango, papaya, limes and lemons… never turning my back on the goose.

Shelby anchors the daily news for Utila’s only cable television station, HQTV. He asked me if I would be his co-host that night. The miracle fruit bushes were in full fruit and we would film my first experience with them as well as interview people on the street. How could I refuse such an adventure?

I sampled the miracle fruit and then cut up a lime. Miracle fruit changes your taste buds for several hours, rendering even the sourest tastes sweet. The lime tasted like limeade – delicious!

I hopped on the back of Shelby’s little motorcycle and we drove back to Utila Town, where we invited passers-by to sample miracle fruit followed by slices of lemon or lime, talking to them and taping the whole time. That night, we watched my Utila television debut at the Mango Café bar.

Too soon, another ferry ride back to mainland Honduras was imminent. We ferried one hour and twenty minutes on the Galaxy Wave to Roatan, which is three hours from Atlanta by air. It too, has earned the nickname of The Vomit Comet. Although now without appetite, we sampled one of Roatan’s all-inclusive beach-side resorts for the night and dreamed of Utila.

Dark Green Poop – Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment of Dark Green Bowel Movements

Many of the people do not know what actually poop is? Actually 75% of the poop comprises of water which would definitely differ from person to person. Further, the remaining 25% gets complimented by bacteria, undigested food residue, protein, salts, cholesterol and waste materials from the consumed food. Normally, the poop is of yellow color but at times due to numerous reasons it gets colored as black, green, very dark brown, white and red.

Dark Green Poop:

An individual might produce dark green stool due to numerous reasons. It would be harmless but it might be symptoms of digestive disorders also. In most of the cases the stool becomes green colored when a person consumes large amount of leafy vegetables. Moreover, it would also indicate that your diet contains huge amount of sugar.

Causes of Green Bowel Movement:

* Due to the consumption of large amount of green leafy vegetables

* Due to the presence of excessive sugar in your diet

* Green stool might even concern you when you are suffering from diarrhea and when your bile salts passes in an unchanged state through the intestine.

* Malabsorption

* Food poisoning

* Laxative use

* Bacterial overgrowth

* Crohn’s disease

Symptoms and Signs:

Dark green poop actually does not ring the danger alarm as it is caused due to medications and ingested food. Normally, it does not require any medication. However, if symptoms such as fever, constipation, diarrhea, rectal pain, weight loss or general malaise are also bothering you then you must visit your doctor as it might be a serious problem.

Treatments:

First try to find out the root cause which is actually causing green poop. If the above symptoms are also bothering you then you must consult a doctor. In order to avoid such problem you must opt for colon cleansing. It would flush out all the unwanted toxins from your body and help you to have regular bowel movements at ease.