What to Do With Your Ingrown Toenail

An ingrown toenail is a common condition for both men and women. It happens when the corner or side of one of your toenails grows into the soft flesh of that toe. It usually affects one of your big toes and if not taken care of properly can lead to pain, redness, swelling and sometimes infection. This usually happens when the toenail breaks the skin and bacteria enters and causes an infection. Sometimes, skin may start to grow over the ingrown part of the nail.

Many people with ingrown toenails take care of the condition by themselves. Warm soaks and proper nail trimming may be what is needed, but sometimes it is best to see a foot specialist when you first feel the pain and the pressure. If the pain is severe or it is spreading, a podiatrist can usually relieve your discomfort and help you avoid more complications of an ingrown toenail.

If you have diabetes or another condition that causes poor circulation to your feet, go directly to your doctor rather than risk any complications.

The signs and symptoms of an ingrown toenail include:

  • Pain and tenderness in your toe along one or both sides of the nail.
  • Redness around your toenail.
  • Swelling of your toe around the nail.
  • Infection of the tissue around your toenail. 

There are many reasons why ingrown toenails develop some of which are congenital. For instance, your toenails may be too large. People whose toenails curl under are also prone to the condition. Stubbing a toe or having a toe stepped on or some other trauma can cause a piece of the nail to jam into the skin.

High heels are also a problem because the heel transfers most of your body weight toward the front of the foot. This puts more pressure on the big toe and often deforms them over the years. This can also lead to ingrown toenails.

However, the most common cause is cutting your toenails incorrectly causing them to re-grow into the skin. Tight hosiery or shoes with narrow toe boxes make matters worse.

What You Can Do About an Ingrown Toe Nail 

Left untreated or undetected, an ingrown toenail can infect the underlying bone and lead to serious infection. If your symptoms are minor such as the toe being red and not very painful, and you don’t have a complicated condition such as diabetes, you can take some simple measures at home to treat your ingrown toe nail.

  • Soak the foot in lukewarm water 2 or 3 times a day for 15 minutes. I always add Epsom salts but I’m told there’s no scientific evidence this will heal anything or help the pain.
  • Massage the skin at the side of the toenail gently pushing it away from the nail.
  • Some suggest placing cotton under your toenail after soaking to help the nail grow above the skin edge. Some doctors say this is too risky because it traps bacteria.
  • However, do apply a topical antibiotic such as Neosporin or Polysporin or bacitracin. Cover the area with a band aid.

Preventing Ingrown Toenails

  • Wear sandals or other low-heeled open-toed shoes whenever possible.Wear low-heeled shoes that have enough room at the toes. If you wear stockings wear moisture-wicking socks so your toes move freely.
  • Keep your feet clean and dry.
  • Use a toenail clipper (not a fingernail clipper).
  • Cut your toenails across, going with the curve. Do not round the corners down and don’t cut the toenails too short.

If you toenail becomes infected it is  time to see a doctor such as a podiatrist (foot care specialist) or a dermatologist. You may need to take oral antibiotics for an infection and the doctor may have to remove the ingrown part of your nail.

Ankle Sprains – What Are They?

Ankle sprains are the most common sports injury and occur thousands of time each week. Of course, they can also happen in daily life and high heels are responsible for many a sprained ankle! Intensely painful, they seriously disrupt daily living as well as get in the way of your continued enjoyment of sport.

Given that ankle sprains are the most common sports injury, it is surprising how little they are understood and how often the term is misused. A sprain is the term used to describe a painful lesion on one or more ligaments, without the joint being dislocated.

What are the ligaments? The ligaments link one bone to another to form a joint. They are made up of several bundles and they are especially vulnerable to sports injuries because they are not very easily extended. When there is a shock or an unnatural movement, the ligament can find itself stretched beyond the extent which it can comfortably accommodate.

In a mild sprain, this can be just a simple elongation of the ligament as it is stretched. In a severe sprain, the ligament may rupture completely.

Typical symptoms include pain and swelling. It’s time to get out the first aid kit! In the ankle, a sprain most commonly affects the external lateral ligament. This is the anterior talofibular ligament – which has the dubious claim to fame of being the most frequently sprained ligament in the human body.

This happens because of the foot twisting inwards. This is of course a very common sports injury as this can easily occur when running or jumping, especially if you land badly or have an accidental collision. When the full body weight bears down on the twisted ankle, the ligaments are stretched beyond their natural capacity, resulting in a sprain.

The best advice for how to deal with an ankle sprain can be remembered through the acronym PRICE. This is an easy way of remembering the regime ‘Protect, Rest, Ice, Compress, Elevate’. Ankle supports and ankle braces offer a range of benefits. They can alleviate pain and also help the ligaments to heal as they aid compression and bring welcome rest to the affected ligaments. Ankle supports also help protect your ankle.

These days, ankle supports and ankle braces are usually made from elasticated material or neoprene. This aids with the degree of compression and helps support the joint, increasing stability. For the most serious ankle sprains, rigid ankle splints are used.

When returning to sporting activity after a trauma it is always a good idea to wear an ankle support to help injury prevention in future. This is because unfortunately after you have suffered one ankle injury, you are more likely to suffer another in future as the ligaments are likely to have been weakened.

This is why so many professional sportsmen have recurrent sporting injuries affecting their knee or ankle. So it is really important to wise up about injury prevention as well as how to use rehabilitation products effectively to recover from a sports injury.

Bite Mark Forensic Evidence

BITEMARK HISTORY

In struggles between assailants and victims, there is a tendency for teeth to be used as a weapon. Sometimes it is the only defensive tactic for a victim to inflict serious injury on the assailant. It is a well known fact, that in sexual attacks including sexual homicide, rape and child sexual abuse, the assailants more often than not bite their victims. This can be viewed as an expression of dominance, rage and animalistic behaviour. Not many people have the view that teeth can be such violent weapons (Sweet & Pretty, 2001).

Early recognition of bite marks is seen in old English Law where ‘member proper for defence; included arms, legs and anterior teeth’. The first bite mark case in the United States was the famous Salem Witch Trials, in 1692. Rev. Burroughs who was convicted and hanged used to bite his victims. During the trial his bite marks and of other people were compared to the victim’s marks. The judges readily accepted the bite marks as evidence. In 1870, A.I Robinson was suspected of murdering his mistress. Five bite marks were found on her arm. The bite mark evidence did not hold and Robinson was acquitted. Despite the negative outcome of the Robinson case, by 1890 bite mark evidence started to be recognized in scientific circles (Vale as cited Dorion, 2004).

Prior to 1950, the number of cases where bite marks were used as evidence was small when compared to today. A large proportion was reported in Europe and Japan, but most cases originated in the USA. In 2002, over 400 forensic odontologists were listed in the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS) (Dorion, 2004).

A major development in bite mark investigations in the USA began in 1962 when courses in forensic odontolgy began at the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology (AFIP) in Washington D.C. The development of forensic odontology was furthered by the publication of a book in 1966 by Gustafson, called ‘Forensic Odontology’. This book had a substantial chapter devoted to bite marks and was the first major work to be published on this subject. Then in 1970, forensic odontology became a department in the AAFS, and became recognized as a specialty in forensic science. In 1976, the American Board of Forensic Odontology (ABFO) was organized. This was a step towards professionalism in the sector of forensic odontology. The ABFO started to provide a programme of certification in forensic odontology. This furthered the science of forensic odontology and made it more reliable (Dorion, 2004).

FORENSIC ODONTOLOGISTS

A forensic dentist is not an ordinary dentist; s/he is a board- certified specialist who deals primarily with bite mark evidence. Although, one does not have to be a specialist to become an expert witness, it helps to strengthen the validity of the scientific evidence in court (O’Conner, 2006).

Forensic odontolgy is a branch of forensic medicine that in the interest of justice deals with dental evidence presented in the courts of law. The work of a forensic odontologist is to identify human remains through dental records, estimate age of both living and deceased persons, analysis of bite marks on victims and other substances such as foodstuffs and presentation of bite mark evidence in court as an expert witness (Sellar, 2002).

HUMAN BITE MARKS

Of all the components of the human body teeth outlast all other parts after death. Their durability makes it perfect for identification. Sometimes, they are the only means of identification left. A clear example is Adolf Hitler’s dental records, which identified his corpse. It is claimed that no two people have identical teeth. Unlike fingerprints which remain unchanged, teeth become unique with wear and tear. For successful identification both ante and post mortem data should be available, even one tooth can be useful for identification (Evans, 2004).

There are about two hundred different tooth charting methods in the world, which provide an almost 100 % reliable means of identification. The American approach, which is known as the Universal system, gives a number to each of the thirty two adult teeth. Information is then recorded on each tooth according to the five visible surface of the tooth. With this information, the odontologists can complete a dental grid, unique to that person (Evans, 2004).

Human bite marks are found when teeth are used as weapons. They can be used as weapons of anger; weapons of excitement; weapons of control or weapons of destruction (Lotter, 2008). Bite marks are usually found on the skin of the victim. Females are usually bitten on the breasts and legs during sexual attacks, while men are usually bitten on the arms or shoulders and when in defensive postures bites can be found on the hands and arms (Sweet & Pretty, 2001).

The marks left by the teeth in a person may be used to identify an individual. Nowadays forensic odontologists have become reasonably skilled at identifying bite marks and relating it back to the person who has inflicted the mark (Horswell, 2004). A human bite mark is usually described as an elliptical or circular injury and the differences in size and shape of teeth can sometimes be easily noticed especially when teeth are missing or prominent (Lotter, 2008). However, a bite mark is not an overall accurate representation of the teeth; it also depends on the jaw movement and use of the tongue. The lower jaw is moveable and is the one that gives the most biting force, while the upper jaw is usually stationery and holds and stretches the skin (Evans, 2004). The most common type of bite marks are contusions. Incisions offer the best three dimensional images of the teeth. If avulsions and artefacts are combined, one can produce a three dimensional image too. There are seven types of bite marks; haemorrhage which is a small bleeding spot, abrasion which is an undamaging mark on skin, contusion which is a ruptured blood vessel bruise, laceration which is punctured or torn skin, avulsion were there is removal of the skin and artefact were a piece of the body is bitten off. These are then further divided into four degrees of impression, which when analysed can help to note what kind of violence was exerted and may be used as aggravating circumstances.

1. significant pressure

2. first degree pressure

3. violent pressure

4. skin violently torn from body

(O’Conner, 2006).

BITE MARK ANALYSIS

In odontology, for a physical comparison of a bite mark to be successful, the questioned evidence (Q) photograph of the bite mark must be accurately produced. It must then be recreated in a life size dimension, and is then called the Known (K) evidence. After this is done, the plaster cast of the defendant’s teeth are used to identify any similarities in shape, positioning and so on and forth (Bowers & Johansen, 2004). The methods typically used include the older ones for example hand tracing the teeth perimeters on clear acetate, then Xeroxing the dental casts and then tracing them on acetate too. The dental cast teeth are then pushed into wax and filled thereafter with metallic powder. After this is done an x-ray film is used to capture the teeth impression. The direct superimposition of Q and K photographs are used when dentists testify in court, to show that there is sufficient identification value to reach a result. These are all meticulously made to scale to be able to provide rigorous and accurate comparison results (Bowers & Johansen, 2004).

Recently, digital imaging software and image capture devices have created a more advanced and accurate way to avoid any discrepancies and allows the examiner to use the computer functions into a microscope for comparison. The computerized system of analyzing bite marks has the benefits of creating accurate means of measuring physical parameters of crime scene evidence, corrects common photographic distortion and size discrepancies, helps to eliminate any examiner subjectivity, betters the control of image visualization, standardizes comparison procedures, helps to create reproducibility of results between separate examiners and is ideal for electronic transmission and archiving (Bowers & Johansen, 2004). The better the bite mark, the better an expert can make a reliable comparison (O’ Connor, 2006).

The American Board of Forensic Odontology (ABFO) follows bite mark standards and guidelines. The ABFO provides a list of generally accepted methods that meet the criteria of the scientific model. This is to help forensic odontology to achieve the objective of universally acceptable methodology. The ABFO provides guidance on how to preserve bite mark evidence, which are saliva swabs of bite site, photographic documentation of the bite site which includes lighting and scale, obtaining impressions of bite site including victim’s dental impressions, tissue specimens. Guidelines are also formulated on the evidence collection of suspected dentition and these include the photographic documentation of the dentition, clinical examination with extraoral and intraoral considerations and dental impressions. In 1994 the ABFO indicated that the most widely used methods of comparing bite mark evidence were; the generation of overlays (acetate), test bite media such as wax exemplars, Styrofoam and so on and comparison techniques mostly using acetate.

All ABFO diplomats are expected to use the most analytical standards and methods suggested. Certain vital information must always be recorded and noted. These are done both in the case of a living victim as a deceased individual. Demographics include details such as name of victim, case number and date of examination, person to contact, age of victim, sex and name of examiner. The location of bite mark, which includes the anatomical location, description of surface contour and whether it is flat, curved or irregular and a description of the tissue characteristics with details on the underlying bone, cartilage, muscle and fat structure and if the skin is fixed or mobile. The shape of the bite mark must be described for example if it is round, ovoid, crescent, irregular etc. The colour of the bite mark is also important to note, e.g. red, purple.

The size is also to be noted, whether it is vertical or horizontal and preferably noted in the metric system. The injury can be a petechial hemorrhage, contusion, abrasion, laceration, incision, avulsion or artifact. Other information that is to be gathered if possible is whether the skin surface of indented or smooth (Bowers & Johansen, 2004). Since the skin is elastic, and depending on the victim some bite marks may last for hours while others may last for days. All bite marks alter themselves as time elapses, therefore it is important to photograph the bite marks as consistent intervals over a period of hours and days as recommended by the ABFO (O’Connor, 2006).

BITE MARKS AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM

The criminal justice system has long endorsed odontology as a major source of valuable aid. Apart from identifying perpetrators of crime, odontology has also helped in the identification of unidentified persons (FBI Laboratory, 1989 as cited in Brennan, Gray- Ray, & Hensley, 1997).

Differences in teeth are as different as those marks found by other tools and fingerprints. Though a person’s teeth may look the same, they are different in size, shape, arrangement, wear, damage, age, quality and quantity and habits of the individual (Levine, 1972 ac cited in Brennan, Gray- Ray, & Hensley, 1997). The FBI Laboratory in 1989 has concluded that dental uniqueness is beyond any reasonable doubt.

Bite mark analysis and evidence has been judicially accepted in the United States since 1954 (Doyle vs. State). It was only in 1975, that bite mark evidence gave us the Marx standard of admissibility (People vs. Marx, 1975). The identification of a biter has been useful and instrumental in criminal investigations especially in cases of homicide; sexual abuse and child abuse cases (Pretty & Sweet, 2000 as cited in Bowers & Johansen, 2001). The USA has quite a developed system of dental records based on the Universal system and this helps considerably especially in identifying ‘John/ Jane Doe’ victims (O’Connor, 2006).

The forensic weight and value of the bite mark is based on the characteristics of the bite marks that are similar to the defendant’s. Most dentists’ though, rely on a ‘rule in’ or ‘rule out’ fashion and therefore provide a weak linkage. So at this stage, the forensic weight of this evidence can be argued (Bowers & Johansen, 2004).

Forensic odontology is still new to criminal justice officials and its success in the criminal justice field has never been researched as yet. In the meantime two leading experts in the field, Dr. Haynes and Dr. West have been doing well by using ultra violet lighting to detect human bite marks on rape victims. With this method they have helped to capture and convict ten rapists. Bite marks in the investigation and prosecution of rapists is vital, since many rapists bite their victims. Bite mark evidence can be as conclusive as both DNA and fingerprint evidence in the case of rape. Valuable information can be obtained from the analysis of the bite mark. Odontology has proved to be exceptionally accurate in violent rape cases, since bite marks are mostly present in violent rape cases (Haynes and West, 1992 as cited in Brennan, Gray- Ray, & Hensley, 1997).

It must be kept in mind that bite marks are not limited to skin. Teeth leave impressions on a number of things and if these are found at the crime scene they can help in the investigation, for e.g. a piece of chewing gum or food like cheese or chocolate (Geberth, 2006). As far back as 1906 in the UK, two burglars were convicted after one of them bit a piece of cheese which was found on the crime scene. The prosecutors then showed that imprint matched exactly his front teeth (Evans, 2004).

The quality of the physical evidence, the variable nature of skin bruising and the inability of dentists to accurately and scientifically prove that teeth are unique, create problems in the determination of positive identification to be used in court (Bowers, 2004). Legal challenges for bite mark evidence are usually two: reliability of analysis and whether it violates constitutional rights (Stimson & Mertz, 1997).

Though there are strong arguments that sustain that each human has a unique dental profile and is discernable in bite marks this has not been proven valid by any experiments and thus causes serious problems when presenting bite mark evidence in the courts of justice. The amount and degree of detail of the bite mark may vary from case to case and if it is assumed that human dentition is unique it is enough to use as forensic evidence. In the case where it is not known whether this individuality is specific, the most a bite mark can do is to exclude or include a person, as bite mark evidence is not sufficient to get a conviction (Bowers, 2004). More research is needed to prove beyond doubt that each human dentition is unique (Sweet & Pretty, 2001).

Other problems that are encountered with expert witnesses in court are that it is high unlikely that their qualifications will ever be challenged on stand and most of the time odontologists work only on a part time basis with a law enforcement agency. Another issue is the problem if a standard protocol. In this particular field, specialists tend to use their own methods. There is also the digital divide, while others use the older methods (acetate). When comparing results this causes difficulties since the methods used are not the same and therefore blind reviews reflect poorly on the professionalism of odontologists (O’Connor, 2006).

FAMOUS BITEMARK EVIDENCE CASES

The most famous case where bite mark evidence led to a conviction is definitely the case of the serial killer Ted Bundy. Nowadays when referring to bite mark evidence, people still talk about the Bundy case. Bundy was never caught until the expert testimony of Dr. Sauviron secured a conviction and subsequent execution. In the trial, photographic evidence of the bite marks and Bundy’s teeth were shown. The acetate of the bite mark was then placed over the photo of Bundy’s teeth leaving no doubt whose teeth had left the impression.

Nobody is certain how many people Bundy killed between 1973 and 1978, but he was finally convicted for the murder of Lisa Levy of Florida. This was done because of the bites that were found on her body. Forensic bite mark analysis showed beyond doubt that the impressions were left by Bundy’s irregular teeth (Lotter, 2008).

There were other cases were men were unfortunately convicted because of erroneous bite mark identification evidence. Ray Krone was jailed for ten years for a crime he had not committed. A waitress, in Phoenix was murdered in 1991 and Krone was sentenced for her murder. After DNA testing was done, Krone was free and the true perpetrator was identified. Forensic DNA was not available at the time of the prosecution and only a bite mark found on the victim’s breast connected Krone to the murder. Even though the evidence was very weak, he was convicted because of the bite mark a forensic odontologist had said matched the dentition of Krone. After an appeal, the tank top the victim was wearing was re examined and salvia was found that did not belong to Krone (Unknown Author, 2008). In 1992, Roy Brown was convicted of stabbing, beating, biting and strangling a social worker in New York. The case rested on one piece of evidence, a bite mark. A local dentist testified that they matched Brown’s teeth. He has been released in January 2007. DNA testing has proved that the saliva left in the bite mark did not match Brown’s. Other inconsistencies were that Brown has two missing front teeth, but the expert testified that these could have been filled by twisting the skin (Santos, 2007).

Unfortunately there were cases were the prosecution used bite mark evidence to secure convictions, even if the person was innocent. With DNA and other evidence becoming more widely available, most cases have been overturned where justice had not been served. Bite mark evidence must be used carefully and the over zealousness of prosecutors in acquiring a conviction must not interfere with evidence. In fact, in 1995 forensic odontologists have started to avoid using the term ‘match’ to eliminate errors, since other evidence should be produced together with bite marks (Santos, 2007). CSI effects on the general public has exaggerated the accurateness of bite mark evidence. Bite mark evidence can determine whether a subject can be excluded or whether the suspect could be the one who inflicted the bite. More research is needed since bite mark evidence on its own does not always produce conclusive results.

What Causes Lower Left Side Back Pain?

Many people experience lower left side back pain, which can last for days, weeks or months at a time. Common symptoms may include localized pain below the ribs and around the side of the torso. In addition, lower left side back pain may be intermittent in frequency in which it is more tolerable during certain hours of the day. Often times, people who have lower left side back pain will notice a stabbing or dull, aching pain. Many people may also be hyper-sensitive to touch, which stays localized to the lower left side of the back. For others, the pain remains unaffected even with changes in dietary habits. Some people who have lower left side back pain may also experience discomfort when taking deep breaths, lying still or during exercise. Changes in bowel movements may also be accompanied with lower left side back pain.

Frustration can be a common emotion for many people experiencing these symptoms because many doctors have trouble finding an accurate diagnosis. Even extensive testing such as medical imaging, colonoscopy, ultrasound, heart scan, blood tests, urine tests and stool tests may all come out normal.

Your doctor may prescribe pain medication, which may or may not help alleviate your pain. Although it is difficult to remain patient during period, please remember that lower left side back pain can be caused by many factors, which make it very difficult to diagnose your condition. If you and your doctor have tried every approach to diagnosing and treating your pain, ask your physician to refer you to a specialist. If you have tried this approach without much success, you may want to consider seeing a new physician. Doctors are very knowledgeable about medical conditions but some may have more expertise and relevant experience with your particular condition. The key to your success is finding a physician who is willing to work with you in treating your condition.

Here is a list of conditions which can cause pain in the lower left side of the back:

Hypochondrial pain: Symptoms include pain under the rib cage, which can be referred from the colon or spleen.

Ectopic pregnancy: A woman with a developing ectopic pregnancy may not display any signs or symptoms of being pregnant. Symptoms include lower abdominal pain, vaginal bleeding, cramping or stabbing pain around the pelvic area, dizziness and felling lightheaded.

Endometriosis: Symptoms may include pain in the pelvis, abdomen and lower back. Heavy flow of vaginal bleeding may accompany these symptoms.

Pancreatitis: Symptoms that are chronic may include indigestion, abdominal pain, back pain, weight loss and steatorrhea (stool that is appears oily and foul smelling).

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS): Also known as spastic colon, IBS may be accompanied by abdominal pain, diarrhea, headaches, low back pain and chest pain.

Peptic Ulcer: Symptoms may include a burning pain in the chest, nausea, vomiting, weight loss, change in appetite and back pain.

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disorder: Symptoms may include heartburn, chest pain, back pain, difficulty swallowing or dry cough.

Gastrointestinal bleeding: Common causes include esophageal varices, stomach ulcer, erosions of the esophagus, duodenum or stomach; duodenal ulcer, abnormal blood vessels, colon cancer, anal fissures, colon polyps, diverticulitis, inflammatory bowel disease, internal hemorrhoids and inflammation of the large bowels.

Celiac Disease: Symptoms of celiac disease may mimic those of other conditions such as anemia, parasite infections, irritable bowel syndrome, gastric ulcers and skin disorders. Symptoms may include joint pain, weight loss, back pain, weakness and fatigue, bone disorders such as osteoporosis, diarrhea, abdominal cramps and anemia.

Radicular pain: This occurs when there is irritation or compression along the nerves exiting the spine. Symptoms include pain that is accompanied by weakness, numbness or a tingling sensation. Causes of radicular pain can be due to injury, trauma, soft tissue, disc degeneration, disc herniation, facet syndrome or bony changes to the vertebral column.

Kidney stones: Symptoms include pain below the ribs, pain around the torso and back pain. It is also common to experience pain radiating into the lower abdomen and groin region. Other symptoms include pain during urination, nausea and vomiting.

Gallstones: Symptoms may include pain between the shoulder blades, pain in the center and upper right region of the abdomen, back pain and pain into the right shoulder. Additional symptoms may include abdominal pain after eating meals.

Problems with the adrenal gland: Common symptoms include headaches, dizziness when standing up or changing positions quickly, sensitivity to bright lights and low back pain.

Menstrual Irregularity

Now, after much talk about perimenopause and menopause, we will take a u-turn and answer some very basic questions about your body.

The first question that brings you to us, or any physician, regarding your reproductive system is (usually) a menstrual irregularity. There might be many questions on your mind pertaining to the seriousness of the issue.

* Is my menstrual cycle telling me something about my body?
* Is an irregularity telling me something about my body?
* Do I have to be concerned about this irregularity?
* Do I need to see a doctor for this irregularity?

We will be answering all of these queries, but not right now. For that you will have to follow our series on Menstruation.

Like always, we will first begin with the basics, the menstrual cycle.

Understanding a normal menstrual cycle
What goes on in a normal menstrual cycle?

Until a few years back, one was constrained in terms of acquiring knowledge and information, sometimes irrelevant, but often very germane. Today, the internet has fulfilled this basic motive of universal access to knowledge. Educating oneself was never so easy.

This means fewer people lack knowledge about a normal menstrual cycle. However, a lot of bad information is available as well. menstrual2Often there is no check on the quality of content. We believe strongly in the credibility of content, and so we will address both relevant and irrelevant questions about the menstrual cycle. You may often come across questions like "will a tubal reversal restore my normal menstrual cycle" or "will my uterus fall out after menopause." The accuracy of some of this information, as well as the kind of information available, is not always correct.

Your menstrual will not be affected by a tubal reversal (until you get pregnant after your tubal reversal). A tubal reversal does not affect your ovarian function or your uterine lining, so your menstrual cycles will remain the same.

Your uterus will not fall out after menopause … unless you have pelvic support issues. These will be addressed in another series on our blog. Uterine prolapse is an issue related to the support structures of the pelvic floor, and these are more commonly affected by genetic factors and childbirth trauma.

A menstrual is a perfectly normal physiological occurrence that is supposed to happen after a female has reached puberty. More than just the cycle of monthly bleeding, menstrual cycles bring about some very essential hormonal changes which alter the appearance of a female body as well.

Only humans and some of our Darwin relatives (ie chimpanzees) have been blessed with the menstrual cycle. Although the rest of the mammals do have a uterus, their reproductive cycles differ and are called estrous cycles.

The main difference between a menstrual and an estrous one is the show of blood. A menstrual cycle is completed with blood flow out of the body where as in an estrous cycle the bleeding is inside the body where the blood mostly stays inside the body. We hope you will not wonder about the menstrual cycles of your pet animals anymore now.

Is an essential cycle required for a female before she can reproduce. Inability of a menstrual cycle to occur is read as a definitive issue with the reproductive system. We will discuss more of that and the normal physiological changes in menstruation in the next article.

Simply put, the brain produces a hormone that is transported in the blood to the ovaries. This hormone causes the ovary to produce a follicle. Inside of the follicle, an egg is developed. Ovulation is induced by another hormone from the brain sent down through the blood. Once this occurs, ovulation causes the follicle to break open and release the egg that has developed inside. The ruptured follicle (called the Corpus Luteum) will then begin to produce yet another hormone that makes the uterus a better place for the implantation of the fertilized egg (if it gets fertilized by a sperm). If the egg does not get fertilized (for example, a tubal ligation would prevent this) then the uterine lining is shed and released into the vagina. This is referred to as your menstrual.

What is a "Normal" Bowel Movement?

With every new exam I ask the same question…

“How many bowel movements do you have each day? Do you see any mucous, blood, diarrhea or constipation?”

Feces, crap, stools, shit, poop, manure, BM, #2, dung, droppings, and bowel contents are all the same thing. I use all these terms as sometimes my clients don’t know what feces or stool is. If I can’t communicate with my clients, I can’t help them.

Feces contains water, indigestible fiber, undigested food, sloughed off intestinal cells, living and dead bacteria, bile, and worn out red blood cells. A normal stool should be brown to light brown, formed but not hard or too soft, cylindrical but not flattened on any side, fairly bulky and full bodied but not compact, easy to pass, and it shouldn’t have an extremely foul smell. Each bowel movement should be in one piece, about the size and shape of a banana being tapered at the end. Sometimes this will not be discernable if the feces breaks up in the toilet. Some people feel that if the body is absorbing all the minerals from the food that the stool will float. Others believe that the stool should sink. I think the important thing is that there are no air bubbles in the stool and that it doesn’t drop like a brick in the toilet. It should be somewhere in between.

An occasional deviation from this pattern is acceptable. Any chronic deviation from the above pattern is not healthy and should be dealt with.

It’s amazing how many people don’t even look at their stools in the toilet. It’s so important. Stools can reveal a lot about your health if you learn to read them. Digestion happens. It’s a shame that few of us are unable to talk about them without embarrassment. For instance:

o Air or bubbles in the stool can mean that we have a gut or flora imbalance and that gas producing bacteria are overgrown and competing with the healthier flora.

o Alternating bouts of diarrhea and constipation can be cause by irritable bowel syndrome, food allergies, red meat, spices, sugar, alcohol, stress, lack of fiber, irregular bowel habits.

o Color: Stools are usually the color of the food.

o Constipation can occur leading to impaction–the presence in the rectum of a mass of feces too large to pass. Fecal impaction is usually the result of poor bowel habits, a diet with too little liquid and roughage, too much protein and inadequate physical activity.

o Diarrhea, whether acute or chronic, can disrupt the bowel’s normal rhythm and lead to irregularity. It can mean that your large intestine is not functioning properly. The large intestine is in charge of removing excess water from the feces. Rule outs can include food poisoning, lactose intolerance, anxiety, stress, too many antacids, antibiotics, parasites like Giardia or Coccidia, Balantidia, Coccidoidiomycosis or other parasites, viruses, bacterial overgrowth, inflammatory bowel disease and irritable bowel syndrome. A healthy bowel will take about a quart and a half and condense it down to 1 cup of stool. That’s pretty amazing.

o Frank red blood (obvious bright red bleeding) can be a sign of hemorrhoids, colitis, Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome, colon cancer or be caused from impacted stools passing through the rectum telling us we need to drink more water.

o Horrible smelling stools–too much protein, flora imbalance.

o If the stools are black, tarry and sticky (called melena), this can mean that there is bleeding from the small intestine. These types of stools usually have a distinctive bad odor. If you’ve ever smelled a dog with Parvo, corona or rotavirus, you know what I mean.

o Light green stools–Too much sugar, fruits or vegetables and not enough grains or salt (or in the case of animals, too much grass)Mucous can reveal diverticulitis and gut inflammation due to allergies or parasites.

o Oily or greasy looking stools that usually float and can be large can mean that your pancreas or small intestine are not functioning well enough and not releasing enough digestive enzymes. Normal stools are about 1% fat. When this percentage increases to about 7%, the stool will look oily and greasy. This is called steatorrhea. High fat meals can cause this to happen but should be temporary.

o Pale or clay colored stools can mean that your gallbladder or liver is not working correctly.

o Pencil thin or ribbon-like stools can mean you have a polyp or growth on the inside of the colon or rectum.

o Presence of food: If the stool breaks up easily and you can see bits and pieces of the food you ate, maybe you are not chewing your food thoroughly enough. This can cause GERD, acid reflux, abdominal bloating and diarrhea.

o Red or magenta stools– ingestion of beets.

o Very dark stools: Too much red wine, too much salt in the diet, not enough vegetables. Blueberries, Pepto Bismol (the bismuth in it) and iron pills can also be responsible for dark stools.

Normal bowel habits not only improve the quality of life, they help prevent several common diseases–for example, diverticulitis and fecal impaction. Gall stones, appendicitis, colon cancer, hiatal hernia, diabetes, and heart disease have also been related to the quality of bowel movements and the foods that affect them.

Number of bowel movements: Healthy bowel activity is considered one or two movements of moderate size every day. Every other day or once or twice a week bowel movements can harm you because the bowel contents release toxins back into the body through the mucous membranes. You’ve got to keep that waste moving!

Fecal incontinence (uncontrollable diarrhea) should be dealt with by a professional. Often with this particular symptom (and irritable bowel syndrome) I will pick up a bowel parasite. A bottle or two of Bowel Pathogen Nosode drops does an awesome job most of the time in clearing up these cases.

Healthy bowel habits:

There is usually a time of day when bowel movements are more likely to occur. In anticipation of this time, the patient should participate in activities that stimulate a normal bowel movement. It is also important for the patient to recognize the urge to defecate and to respond right away to that urge. The longer stool sits in the rectum, the more water the rectum will absorb from it, making it harder and more difficult to pass.

The urge to defecate is often strongest in the morning: Just getting up triggers the movement of the large intestine. The stomach also sends a signal when it expands after a meal. This gastrocolic reflex is the reason many people, and especially children, need to go to the bathroom soon after eating. The reflex gets weaker with age, which is one source of constipation problems and the reason why good and consistent bowel habits are helpful.

Laxatives: Some patients are so convinced they need daily laxatives that they are afraid to do without them. It takes time for a changed diet to affect the bowels and for the bowel to regain its normal rhythm. Be patient. Enemas are a better solution.

Healthy bowel movements require ingestion of a large amount of liquids and bulk foods. The patient should drink two to three quarts of liquids every day. Bulk comes from unrefined foods. Oat bran, wheat bran, brown rice, green vegetables, apples, and pears are a few examples of high residue, high fiber foods.

Some patients will benefit from adding bulk preparations of psyllium, but others find that psyllium will cause extreme amounts of gas. For these people, the addition of WHOLE flax seeds (eat without chewing them) and bran will help. And one single 8-ounce cup of coffee in the morning often helps people get a regular bowel movement.

Natural Laxatives include:

o Anti-Constipation Paste

o Coffee

o DSS (dioctyl sodium sulfosuccinate)

o Glycerine suppositories

o Nature’s Sunshine LBS II (excellent)

o Oil enemas

o Prune juice

o Saline purges

Fleet enemas are used only for people and dogs. They are very toxic to cats and can kill them. These are OK to use occasionally, but the other enemas we are talking about are better for healing purposes.

Soap suds enemas can be a little harsh to the intestine. Use these only occasionally if necessary

Some Notes on Intestinal Bacteria Replacement: Inside a healthy lower intestine are billions of beneficial intestinal bacteria or microflora. These bacteria are of the Lactobacillus acidophilus and Lactobacillus bifidus strains and were transferred by breast-feeding into our intestines as newborn infants. The body uses L. acidophilus and L. bifidus in the final stages of digestion reproducing themselves as necessary to keep in total harmony with the body.

When the good bacteria can’t keep up, bad bacteria overpopulate the gut to give a gut flora imbalance resulting in lower bowel diseases, gas, diarrhea, IBS, and Crohn’s. The devitalizing effect caused by harmful bacteria in the intestine is rarely diagnosed near the beginning of this imbalance. Headaches, skin infections, weakness and constipation can also be symptoms of depleted intestinal bacteria.

What Causes A Gut Flora Imbalance?

o Toxins, especially drugs such as antibiotics and narcotics.

o Severe diarrhea can damage or destroy these beneficial bacteria, allowing harmful bacteria to take over producing by-products like ammonia, purines and ethionine, which can eventually cause colon cancer.

o Fasting can also deplete the beneficial bacteria because large quantities of toxins are dumped from the lymph glands into the colon at the time of the fast. Also during a fast, with certain diets and with eating disorders, there is an absence of foods that the good bacteria thrive on.

o Using enemas also depletes the beneficial bacteria, especially if chlorinated water is used.

To reestablish intestinal bacteria, do a couple enemas with liquid acidophilus or live acidophilus. These products should be stored and purchased refrigerated. Off-the-shelf products are not so effective for replacing gut flora. You can also mix a couple tablespoons of active plain yogurt to your enema mix along with a tablespoon of the liquid acidophilus. Add some warm water, but do not heat the mixture or use chlorinated water. After blending the mixture, pour it into the enema bag. Use less water for these types of enemas (only 1-2 cups) and try to retain the liquid within the colon for ten minutes to allow the beneficial bacteria to pass up through the intestine. This procedure will ensure that a healthy culture will propagate within the intestines.

You can also start adding L. acidophilus and L. bifidus to your foods a day or two before you break a fast. Use repeat dosages as per bottle instructions once a week for about 5 weeks.

FOS (Fructooligosaccharides) are also good for reestablishing gut flora. These are long-chain sugars that feed friendly flora. You can purchase this in concentrated pill form or eat lots of apples, Jerusalem artichokes, or pears. These foods have high amounts of FOS in them.

Well…That’s the scoop on poop. (Some people take things so seriously.)

Septated Ovarian Cyst – What Makes Septated Ovarian Cysts Different and Potentially Dangerous?

Septated ovarian cysts’ structure and components make these growths very different than simple ovarian cysts. Septated cysts consist of both liquid and solid segments separated by membrane walls. Septa means wall.

Doctors typically use ultrasound to assess the thickness of a septated cyst’s inner walls. This thickness is a vital measurement when determining whether or not a cyst is malignant. Thicker walls can be an indication of cancer at the time of the ultrasound or a warning that the cyst may become cancerous.

Certain septated ovarian cysts require immediate attention

Once your physician evaluates a septated cyst’s characteristics, the growth may have to be removed via laparoscopic surgery for further evaluation. While malignancy is uncommon, it requires immediate surgical attention. It is also possible — due to a cyst’s excessive size — that your doctor will advise the cyst’s surgical removal regardless of its type.

However, it is very common that a simple septated cyst will only require another ultrasound examination at a later date. Simple cysts can be eliminated easily by a number of treatment approaches.

Symptoms

Whether a cyst is septated, complex or simple, it can cause a number of symptoms including abdominal tenderness, mood changes, nausea, bleeding and discomfort during and after sexual intercourse.

Pain accompanied by a feeling of fullness is not unusual because as the cyst grows in diameter it exerts pressure on adjacent internal organs and blocks blood circulation. This reduced blood flow can severely damage these organs.

That’s why it is vital for you to get medical attention to determine the cause of lingering lower abdominal soreness. Many women confuse such discomfort with menstrual pain or cramps.

Pregnancy similarities

A woman might think the general fatigue and cramps she is feeling are due to pregnancy. However a septated cyst’s growth can have the same affect. So it is important that you determine the cause of fatigue and cramps and not assume you’re expecting a baby.

Surgery is frequently unavoidable

More often than not, your physician will recommend surgery to completely eliminate a septated ovarian cyst. In some instances, medications can assist in reducing a cyst’s size or even entirely eradicate it.

Consider natural treatments to rid your body of septated cysts

Many women are unaware that they can avoid surgery and medications to rid their bodies of ovarian cysts. They can benefit from all-natural treatment methods that thousands of women rely on for relief.

Holistic, natural remedies have been proven the most effective when treating septated and all other types of cysts because conventional remedies only treat the symptoms.

It is vital to go deeper with a treatment because cysts are formed due to many causes. A holistic system focuses on all potential causes and treats each one separately.

This natural, holistic approach not only rids your body of existing ovarian cysts, but it prevents cysts from again forming.

Simple Thrush Cures to Stop Thrush From Recurring

Regardless of whether you are male or female, young or old, you can be at risk for thrush. And if you are not careful, you could be a repeat offender. Everyone has a little Candida and when you do not eat properly or take care of your body you are at risk of an overgrowth that can lead to a lot more symptoms than those that you most commonly hear about. The following information is going to show you some simple thrush cures to prevent the problem coming back.

We all know that taking care of our bodies is essential to everyday living. But most of us are just too busy to bother eating right let alone get a good night sleep. Both of these are vital to fighting yeast overgrowth from overpowering your body and causing the infection. Getting enough sleep and eating the proper foods can go a long way to prevention and keeping you in shape. Limiting the amount of foods that have yeast is a great way to have a healthy diet and you may just notice some weight advantage!

As mentioned earlier, taking care of your body is essential to not only saying goodbye to thrush but is also crucial to future prevention. Yes you take showers and yes you go to the gym to get your cardio workout but are you thorough after the fact? After showering, it is important to take your time and be sure that you are dry before you dress. Warm areas that create moisture are a breeding ground for yeast infection so you want to keep those areas clean and dry as much as possible. So, as you are pampering your skin in the shower remember to do so once you get out as well.

Another thing to take into consideration when it comes to simple cures to stop thrush recurring is your sex life. Naturally, most of us do not want to even think about it when there is an issue down under but, unprotected sex with your partner-even a long-term partner or spouse-could be the cause of your infections. Thrush is transmittable and you could give to your partner. Although it is not classified as an STD, it is still uncomfortable to try and explain or remedy. So, condoms are a must during sex so you do not keep passing it back and forth.

You should also refrain from oral sex as well until the infection is gone. And, both parties need to be checked since men can have yeast infections for years without any visible symptoms.

You can see that there are several simple thrush cures to stop thrush recurring.

It is important to know that you not only want to treat yourself on the outside but you want to get to the root of the problem as well-something that over-the-counter remedies don’t do. This means treatment on the inside as well. Find out more by reading my complimentary report on some simple home remedies to cure the problem on the inside.

Symptoms of Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A is a liver infection caused by the hepatitis A virus, which causes inflammation in the liver and affects its ability to function properly. People mostly get infected with this highly contagious virus by consuming contaminated food or water or by being in close contact with someone who is already infected. Let's have a look at some of the causes of this infection before going onto the symptoms of this disease.

Causes of Hepatitis A

As mentioned earlier, the hepatitis A virus is the reason behind hepatitis A. This virus is highly contagious and can spread when tiny amounts of contaminated fecal matter are consumed by the individual. Here a few ways that this virus can enter your body:

If someone infected with this virus does not wash his or her hands properly after using the toilet and handles the food that you eat

  • If you drink contaminated water
  • If you eat raw shellfish taken from water that has been polluted with sewage
  • If you come in close contact with someone who has the infection
  • If you have sex with someone infected with the virus
  • If the blood that you receive during a blood transfusion contains the virus

Once the virus enters the body, it will infect the liver cells and cause inflammation in this organ. This can impair its function and cause you to experience the signs and symptoms of Hepatitis A.

Symptoms of Hepatitis A

The common signs and symptoms of hepatitis A include the following:

  • Fatigue
  • Dark-colored urine
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Pain or discomfort in the area where the liver is located, that is on the right side of the abdomen beneath the lower ribs
  • Loss of appetite
  • Low-grade fever
  • Pain in the muscles
  • Itching
  • Pale or clay-colored stools
  • Jaundice or yellowing of the skin and eyes

Not everyone with the virus develops these signs and symptoms, however, an individual infected with this virus may develop these symptoms within two to six weeks of getting infected.

Treatment of Hepatitis A

There is not any specific treatment for hepatitis A, however, rest is recommended during the phase when the symptoms are at their peak. Most people get better within three months. Others may need six months to get better. Alcohol, fatty foods, and other substances that can be toxic to the liver should be avoided during this period.

You should consult your doctor if you have any of the above signs and symptoms of hepatitis A. Vaccine or immunoglobulin therapy can help if you think you have been infected by the virus. Make sure to consult your doctor if you ate in a restaurant that reports a hepatitis A outbreak, someone close to you is diagnosed with this disorder, you had sexual contact with someone infected with the virus, or if you shared injected drugs with someone who may be infected with the virus.

Does Applying Turmeric To The Face Alleviate Wrinkles?

Turmeric is a spice best loved for its distinct aroma, flavor, and yellow color. Usually, you’ll find it in curry (chicken and pork) dishes, egg dishes, fish soups, and oriental rice dishes. Drizzled over stir-fried vegetables, potatoes, and pastas, turmeric blended with butter makes dishes more exciting to the palate. Turmeric is also used in the preparation of mustard, butter, margarine, cheese, fruit drinks, and pickles.

Turmeric Nutritional Value and Medicinal Uses

Turmeric is probably one of the most nutritious spices with protein, fat, minerals, dietary fiber, carbohydrates, calcium, phosphorus, iron, carotene, thiamine, niacin, potassium and manganese. With these properties, and the fact that it has curcumin (an ingredient that in itself is already of great therapeutic value) it does not sound surprising if the spice comes with medicinal uses, too.

Among the medicinal uses of turmeric are the following:

  • A carminative, turmeric can relieve gas and bloating, and improve digestion, including digestion of fat, at the same time.
  • A liver tonic, turmeric is also useful in managing liver problems that include hepatitis and cirrhosis.
  • An anti-inflammatory agent, turmeric can delay tumor growths or stop the progression of cancer cells.
  • Heart-friendly, turmeric can prevent arterial blockage by regulating bad cholesterol levels by means of inhibiting or preventing the oxidation of the bad cholesterol.
  • A pain reliever, turmeric can reduce pain in individuals suffering from joint problems, just like osteoarthritis.
  • An antispasmodic, turmeric offers relief for menstrual cramps. Women are suffering from menstrual cramps need to take turmeric extract for two weeks before the expected date of the menstrual period.
  • An antibiotic, turmeric can be used in wound care to prevent the spread of infection.

Turmeric and Skin Care

Another benefit of turmeric is in skin care. The spice is widely used in cosmetics and hair products. Turmeric extracts are found to be especially beneficial in:

  • healing and preventing dry skin
  • treating dandruff
  • treating acne, psoriasis
  • providing relief for chicken pox
  • delaying the development of skin aging symptoms, especially wrinkles

Turmeric and Wrinkles

The idea that turmeric can erase wrinkles sounds really interesting, but it’s consistently on the pages of home remedies for wrinkles, so it must work pretty well. To alleviate wrinkles, mix a pinch of turmeric with two tablespoons of buttermilk to create a paste. Apply it around your eyes or on any other area where wrinkles are evident and let your skin absorb the paste for some twenty minutes, then rinse it off with cold water. Do this regimen two or three times in a week.

Turmeric Precautions and Side Effects

But while many practically swear by the wonders of turmeric, it is not totally free of side effects. Being a natural ingredient does not exempt it from causing adverse reactions, especially when taken in large doses.

If you are using turmeric supplements, watch out for signs of symptoms of excessive bleeding that may include:

  • severe headaches, general numbness, weakness in the extremities, vision and speech problems – these indicate bleeding in the brain
  • bruises that bleed profusely
  • dark-colored stools, presence of blood in the stool, vomiting of blood – these suggest internal bleeding

In animals, the excessive use of turmeric has shown to trigger liver disorders, but although it has not yet been proven to cause the same reaction to human beings, it always pays to be extra careful when taking turmeric supplements.

Applying turmeric on the skin may also cause irritation in some people. If you react negatively to the solution, just stop using it.

And while turmeric is generally well-tolerated, people with diseases of the heart, the gallbladder, and those who are pregnant and lactating, are advised not to use any form of turmeric supplement excessively without doctor’s advice.

4 Methods For Kidney Stone Removal

Kidney stone removal has four procedures/methods:

1. Extracorporeal Shockwave Lithotripsy (ESWL)

Kidney stone removal of ESWL uses non-electrical shock waves that are produced out of the body to pass through the skin and body tissues until the shockwaves hit the solid stones. The stones turn out to be sand-like and are passed.

For removal of this procedure, patient acre located in a tub of warm, purified water or onto water cushion machine that operates as a means for passing on these non-electrical shockwaves.

2. Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy (PNL)

Different from removal method mentioned above, Percutaneous nephrolithotomy is regularly utilized when the stone is very large or in a place that does not permit effectual use of ESWL.

In this procedure of kidney stone removal, the surgeon makes an insignificant incision in the back and makes a tunnel immediately into the kidney. By means of an instrument called a nephroscope, the stone is positioned and removed. For large stones, an energy probe (ultrasonic or electrohydraulic) perhaps required to break down the stone into smaller pieces for removal.

The benefit of this procedure over lithotripsy is the physical removal of the stone fragments rather than relying on their natural passage from the kidney to the outside.

3. Ureteroscopic Stone Removal

Ureteroscopic stone removal is accomplished by passing a small fiberoptic instrument (an ureteroscope) through the urethra and bladder into the ureter. The surgeon afterward locates the stone and either removes it with a cage-like tool or breaks it with a particular instrument that creates a form of shockwave. A small tube (or stent) possibly left in the ureter for more than a few days after treatment to assist the lining of the ureter to heal.

This removal procedure is operated under common anesthesia to treat stones found in the middle and lower ureter. Small stones are removed and large stones are broken by a laser or similar device.

4. Open (incisional) Surgery

This last removal method includes opening the affected area and removing the stone(s). In this procedure, run in an operating room after a person has been given anesthesia, the surgeon creates an incision in the skin and unlocks the pelvis of the kidney or the ureter in order that the stone can be manually removed. Since open surgery is a principal operation, healing may need four to six weeks.

City of the Dead

There is little debate among Savannah residents; they live in America’s most haunted city and there is one unifying reason. Savannah is built on its dead.

There are as many as seven partial cemeteries under Savannahs 2.2 square mile historic district. The total number of bodies under Savannah is anyone’s guess. The estimates range from inconsequential to over ten thousand.

I dismiss anyone who will attest to the exact number of souls or cemeteries under our streets but we can be sure of these:

a. Parts of Colonial Park Cemetery interred at least 11,000 of Savannahs citizens from 1750 until 1853.

b. A slave burial ground exists in the Calhoun square area, said to be the largest un-exhumed cemetery of the eighteenth century.

c. There are numerous Illegal burial sites preserved in and around Old Candler hospital.

Understanding the relationship the city has with the residents under its sidewalks is complex. However, it appears that living atop so many of its former citizenry has created a dysfunctional connection between us and them. The fractured relationship was set in motion during Savannah’s earliest childhood, when the living played the role of absent parents to the latchkey dead.

Adding fuel to the paranormal fire are the ways in which death came. They are mostly tragic, mostly untimely and mostly horrific in nature.

War

Besides innumerable skirmishes, the two greatest wars fought on U.S. soil were fought in and/or around Savannah. Predictably, the city has buried a great many casualties of war; most notably, those mortally wounded during the Siege of Savannah. This battle saw the bloodiest hour of the Revolutionary War and the second most deadly conflict of the entire war. American and British soldiers, enemies in life, now lay in eternal rest, side by side.

Yellow Fever

“All I desire for my own burial is not to be buried alive.” – Lord Chesterfield, 1769.

Yellow fever arrived in deadly waves as improvements in sea travel allowed the vector for spreading the epidemic to survive long enough to reach Savannah’s shore. The subtropical climate, combined with large amounts of standing water from frequent spring rains made ideal breeding grounds for the virus-carrying mosquito.

According to The Georgia Historical Society, the first major epidemic struck in 1820 and had sinister undertones, claiming 666 victims. Many say the ominous symbolism of the number, prevented Savannah from putting the exact tally of victims on the memorial marker located in Colonial Park Cemetery. Instead, it commemorates an estimate of the dead as “… nearly 700”.

It was a dark warning of things to come. Savannah was ravaged at least three more times from major yellow fever outbreaks and thousands more lives were claimed.

Contracting yellow fever was alarming was but there were more horrific possibilities which made the epidemic so feared. Chief among them was not dying and suffering the unimaginable possibility of a live burial. It was a very real fear for hundreds of years in America and yellow fever offered one of the best opportunities to be prematurely laid to rest.

You can hear tales of these live burials; stories of scratch, claw and bite marks found underneath coffin lids unearthed during expansion, or the habit of tying bells to thin ropes that were positioned in the hands of those placed in the coffin. In the event a person was buried alive, they could pull the rope from inside the casket; alerting anyone within earshot and offering hope to be “saved by the bell”.

Those saved by the bell appeared yellow and gaunt after returning from the grave. In Savannah they were referred to as “the dead ringers”. Today the term “dead ringer” is defined as an exact replica of an original. Many believed the survivors to be copies; soulless versions of the loved one they had laid to rest… the walking dead… zombies if you prefer.

Fear gripped the town and myths about how the fever was transmitted ran wild. Unfortunately, it would not be until the turn of the century that mosquitoes would be identified as the cause.

In the meantime, cannons were fired down Bay Street in bizarre attempts to kill whatever was in the air causing the sickness. Fires were set ablaze in strategic locations to ward off the unknown cause and curfews were imposed to keep the population from panicking or fleeing the city by night. People were ordered indoors while mass burials were ghoulishly carried out under the cover of darkness.

This presented a curious problem because a late term symptom of yellow fever is a coma-like sleep. As the sickness continued to claim victims, the doctors and competent caregivers were among them. At that point, untrained volunteers were employed to help care for the sick and dying. Without modern medicine, hasty night burials and the ill-equipped overseeing the panic, many people in fever-induced comas were prematurely pronounced dead. It isn’t hard to imagine what came next, even if it seems impossible to imagine what it must have been like.

The doomed soul would wake in the small coffin, claustrophobically pinned in the supine position. The air would have been stale, hot and pitch black. As the body continued to wake from the coma, oxygen consumption would resume at a near normal rate and slow suffocation would begin.

The victim would surely be drowsy and nauseous. Even uncrossing their arms in the blackness would have proved challenging in such a tight space. Attempts to push the immovable weight would have been futile. The desperation of clawing and scratching into the lid of the coffin would cause nausea to worsen. Likely, they would begin to vomit the oxidized blood in their stomach, which would now resemble coffee grounds. Unable to sit up, they would likely choke to death on the black vomit, as it was known, before having the opportunity to run out of air.

The fear of live burial followed us into modern times and patent filings show us safety coffins were designed to avoid being buried alive even as late as the 1980’s. According to the United States Patents Office, one such device was called, “The Improved Burial Case” (Patent No. 81,437 Franz Vester, Newark, New Jersey. August 25, 1868.) The coffin came complete with a ladder, rope and bell… just in case.

‘The Strangers’

The hardest numbers of tragic deaths to estimate are the ones Savannah simply refers to as “strangers”.

Early Savannah was small, concentric and built to be easily defended because of the military mission assigned it (Guarding South Carolina from the Spanish threat in Florida).

Immigrant populations and slave ships pulled into port weary and sick from long term ocean voyages. Those that died during the journey, or shortly after, were buried in the outlying woods while their family and loved ones moved on to settle in other places.

The dead were left behind in makeshift graves throughout what would later become greater Savannah. They were soon hard to distinguish, since no one was left to tend the site or memorialize its location. The innumerable unmarked graves stand in stark contrast to the formal places of rest, and eventually most of them were lost to development and forgotten.

Bone and coffin fragments from this time in the city’s history are undeniably present. Slave remains were discovered even in this century as utility workers attempted to install a new meter on the edge of Calhoun Square.

Not far away, line workers found partial skeletons in the branches of a live oak. In all probability, these were victims of one of Savannah’s devastating floods over a hundred years ago. We know that Hurricane Katrina victims are still being found in the trees of New Orleans. If Savannah is any predictor, they will continue to be for many years, if not centuries, to come.

It is reasonable to wonder why so many of the departed were simply built over rather than reinterred. Some were relocated but many were unable to afford the process, while countless others were lost to rapid development.

Expansion came, in part, after the death of Major General Nathanael Greene; a Revolutionary war hero awarded Mulberry Grove Plantation for his service during the war. By all accounts, he was one of George Washington’s best officers and the husband of Catherine “Caty” Greene. They worked the plantation together until Nathanael died suddenly from sunstroke. In desperation, Caty began working the land by herself, until one day, she met a young man who was tutoring her neighbor’s children. The man’s name was Eli Whitney.

Whitney moved onto the plantation to work on his inventions, one of which was expected to help Caty process her crop of short staple cotton. Together, they put the finishing touches on one of history’s greatest inventions, the cotton gin.

According to the Wikipedia entry for Caty Greene, it is widely believed she actually provided a great deal of input for the device. However, Eli received sole credit as social norms inhibited women from filing patents at the time.

With the development of gin technology, Savannah moved away from a small military settlement into a vibrant city. Developers and fortune seekers, along with the trades that serviced them, flocked to its shores. Since few people had land or money to move their dead, and so many left unclaimed, the city simply built over them.

Many believe this was the final act to set the wheels in motion. Savannah had developed a psychic disassociation and sense of amnesia about its dead.

Eventually, the city recovered from its neurosis and not only acknowledged death, but also paved the way for America to celebrate it as an extension of life during the Victorian era and even into modern times. A grand example of this can be viewed at beautiful Bonaventure Cemetery, which ironically translates, Good Fortune.

The emerging funeral parlor industry helped drive ease of burial, taking much of the responsibility for dealing with deceased loved ones away from the family and placing it in the hands of professionals. With this newfound free time, it became not only acceptable to memorialize the dead, but to celebrate their life graveside.

This new culture gave sculptors, like John Walz, a stage to display their memorial craft and Bonaventure residents like Savannah poet, Conrad Aiken, socially acceptable latitude to infuse creativity into the monuments representing them. Aiken’s tombstone was carved into a bench so that people could rest while they visited, watch the ships leaving the harbor, and enjoy a Martini with their picnic lunch as was Conrad’s custom during his life.

Today Savannah’s dead are remembered; visits to Bonaventure Cemetery thrive, famous lives are retold in books and on tours in the city. Others are recognized for different reasons; those who loved Savannah too much, died tragically, or left behind worldly business so pressing they refuse to move on to the next phase. Their stories are commemorated nightly throughout the city in any number of humorous, somber or chilling tales.

Savannah’s polarized attitude toward death, from passive denial to open celebration, seems to have exacerbated the rift in the underworld… bringing it to a constant fluid state. This jagged ethereal motion expanded Savannah’s borders beyond just a port city; it was now a portal city as well.

Dog Nutritional Products Should Include a Detoxifier

As we domesticate the dog more and more each day, canine health problems continue to more closely follow human disorders. As the natural dog is separated further and further from their wild environment their health problems increase dramatically. One of the major contributors to this canine health problem is the constant exposure to harmful toxins. The most damaging of these are the metals aluminum, lead, mercury, arsenic, and cadmium. They contribute to everything form dog teeth cleaning problems and dog bad breath to worsening allergies and skin diseases to serious life threatening illnesses such as cancer, arthritis, kidney failure, congestive heart disease, liver diseases, diabetes, deteriorate defenses against infections bacterial, viral and fungal diseases.

In our modern day society the domesticated dog is exposed to these harmful toxic metals in alarming amounts. The natural dog was not exposed to these toxins and is not able to defend himself as humans can in their new domestic world. These harmful metals are all around us and sometimes more so around our pets. They can be found in municipal water supplies, our soil, natural water sources, our food supply, as well as in sewage sludge, fungicides, pesticides, everyday products, including cosmetics, fabric softeners, batteries, inks, latex, paints, plastics, solvents, and wood preservatives. I mention all of these items because your dog doesn’t know this and thinks nothing of drinking contaminated water, chewing on batteries, plastic bottles or laying in the yard after the exterminator left completing his monthly spraying. Your dog is at further risk then yourself due to their relatively small size compared to humans making them more vulnerable to smaller amounts of these toxins.

Disturbing as it is, a major source of all these metals is commercial dog foods. Tests of many recognized and respected products both canned and kibbled have shown various levels of aluminum, mercury, cadmium and lead. The amounts of these metals were greater in kibble versus canned due to the refining and dehydration through the high temperature extrusion processes.

The Government and other agencies have long been assessing, regulating, protecting, and providing information to the public on toxic substances such as heavy metals. Organizations such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the World Health Organization (WHO), the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) and the Occupational and Safety Health Administration (OSHA) have been in existence for years. In comparison little has been done for our pets. So we must learn from human experiences and adapt these to the natural dog. On ATSDR’s “Top 20 Hazardous Substances “the heavy metals arsenic, lead, mercury, and cadmium appear #1, #2, #3, and #7 respectively. Therefore we must assume that if this is the case for humans it is likely also true if not more so for our “Best Friend” the domesticated natural dog.

The staff at Vitahound.com recommends both the addition of certain natural foods and herbs to the dog diet and the use of oral chelation cleansers to purge toxins from the body and return your friend back to their natural dog condition. Before we discuss these techniques it is useful to learn more about several of the more harmful heavy metal toxins that are adversely affecting your dog’s health. Information is provided below on the most common and worst toxins that are exposed to domesticated dogs. Each is covered separately in a few short paragraphs. You will find similar facts across all the metals but we intentionally repeated the information under each metal to emphasize to the reader the threat and the importance of understanding each metal by itself especially if one wants to return to this dissertation to refresh themselves on one particular heavy metal toxin.

Aluminum

Aluminum is the most plentiful metallic component in the outer layers of the earth. It infiltrates our air, water, and soil thus finding its way into nearly all our food and water supplies. Numerous municipalities treat their water supplies with aluminum sulfate and fluoride. This combination is problematic because the body has trouble excreting through the kidneys and urine this particular compound of aluminum fluoride. But by far like most heavy metals, the leading source of aluminum comes from Acid Rain. The strong acids produced by this common environmental condition react with the aluminum molecules in the earth around us releasing them as free agents. These free agents them easily find their way into our crops and livestock food chains.

Commercial dog food is one of the foremost sources of the toxin. Independent testing has found it in many of the off-the-shelf name brand dog foods in toxic levels. Eating is the principal means of introducing aluminum into the body since it is easily absorbed by the body through the digestive tract. In addition it is absorbed via breathing (lungs) and physical contact (skin). Testing labs have reported it as the most prevailing metal toxin found in all animal hair samples. Once in the body, aluminum accumulates over time inclining to find its way to brain and nervous tissues. This means it can eventually affect every body organ though nerve connections. The array of health problems is therefore plentiful. It contributes to arthritis, kidney failure, congestive heart disease, liver diseases, colic, rickets, diabetes, multiple allergies and skin diseases, thyroid problems, pancreatic problems affecting ability to digest food properly, Cushing’s Syndrome, anemia, and blood clotting ability. A serious consequence of high levels of aluminum accumulating in the body is that dogs cannot fight infections effectively leading to a higher death rate attributed to bacterial, viral, and fungal diseases.

Symptoms of aluminum toxicity in dogs include extreme nervousness, weak muscles, seizures, loss of balance, and loss of energy.

Lead

Like the other metals Lead is stored in the body and is cumulative over long periods of time. Unlike some of the other metals is has no known need or benefit for your dog and is extremely toxic. If the body does not excrete it through the digestive system it is absorbed through the blood into body tissue. The body treats it the same way as calcium storing it even at low levels in the bones. It then continues to build-up concentration in the bones over the entire life of your dog. At any time but usually during some stressful or drastic change in some body function the lead can leave the bones once again entering the bloodstream.

Whereas exposure to aluminum comes from natural sources such as the earth’s crust, air, water, and food supplies high levels of lead are introduced into the body through man-made substances. It is one of the most widely used metals in the United States today. The problem with these everyday common substances and products is that dogs cannot read warning labels or know what should not be chewed on, eaten, smelled, or innocently rolled on. Lead poisoning can often be attributed to exposure to common household and outside pesticides which contain large amounts of lead. Lead-based paints that were applied years ago can produce harmful dust during home renovations. This dust in turn can contaminate dog food, dog beds, and even the dog’s coat and skin. People often use old or discarded bowls for watering that can contain lead paint or glazing. Puppies are especially in danger of lead poisoning from their constant need to chew. Electronic gadgets such as remote controls, cell phones, batteries, golf balls, ammunition fishing lures and sinkers are all common things they can find laying around.

At toxic levels lead prevents various basic enzyme functions. For instance the body relies on minerals like selenium and sulfur to act as strong antioxidants to protect cells from free radical damage. Lead lessens this function exposing the cells to serious damage. In your dog this results in damage to the heart, kidneys, liver, gastrointestinal tract, and nervous system. Lead poisoning then can eventually leads to blindness, paralysis of the extremities, liver failure, and even coma and death.

As mentioned, exposure to lead in dogs can take years before it reaches dangerous levels and therefore is commonly seen in older dogs. Symptoms of lead toxicity in dogs include lack of appetite, vomiting, abdominal pain, constipation followed by diarrhea, crunching of jaws, blindness, seizures or muscle spasms, behavior changes, circling, and loss of balance and agility.

Mercury

This heavy metal is also exceptionally toxic and lethal, actually more so than lead. This contagion is used in fungicides and pesticides but also in products we used daily in a variety of undertakings. It is often used in household products that are dogs are exposed such as batteries, light bulbs, fabric softeners, latex gloves, paint, plastics, ink, and solvents. If mercury vapors are ever present from such things as house renovations involving old paint, broken thermometers or thermostats it will concentrate at floor level were dogs are laying or walking. Even some cosmetics contain it…when is the last time your dog licked your face. Because of this plentiful list of everyday products that contain mercury this heavy metal toxin eventually ends up in either our sewage or landfills finding its way into our soil, water, and food supply. As for food, methyl mercury chlorine bleach is even used on certain grains and seeds. Mining operations and paper industries are significant producers of mercury especially into the atmosphere which can get dispersed across large regions or even globally. Acid rain then returns it the earth. Well known is the fact since our waters are contaminated with mercury it can be found in fish and sometimes in large amounts especially common ones eaten such as orange rough, swordfish, tuna and halibut.

As with most heavy metal toxins mercury is a cumulative poison. Your dog’s body, as in humans, has no natural mechanism to stop mercury from reaching tissue and cells. It is accumulated in the brain and central nervous system. Once it reaches and is stored in the cells, it seriously affects their normal critical body functions. It affects the processes at both ends, first prohibiting minerals and nutrients from entering the cells and then likewise preventing waste to be purged. Mercury also adversely affects your dog’s overall immune system by attaching to the immune cell structure altering their ability to function normally. Mercury can cause permanent kidney, cardiac, respiratory problems arthritis, and gum disease in your dog. Ultimately blindness and paralysis can occur.

Symptoms include loss of balance, fatigue, vomiting, hair loss, diarrhea, weakness, and excessive salivation. High levels can also interfere with enzyme activity, resulting in blindness and paralysis.

Arsenic

As with the aforementioned heavy metals, arsenic is also highly poisonous, remember it is listed #1 on ATSDR’s “Top 20 List.” It also is cumulative and remains in the body for years. Arsenic can be found in a multiplicity of commonly used products including fungicides, pesticides, herbicides, laundry products, secondhand cigarette smoke, paints, and wood preservatives. Global industries such as mining and smelting, chemical and glass manufacturing produce arsenic as a by-product. This in turn finds its way into our water supplies and food sources. Once again, as with other heavy metals, arsenic is found in fish such as haddock, tuna, and halibut.

For years the most common cause of arsenic poisoning in dogs (as well as children) was the consumption of rodent trap, pesticides (ant bait) which relied on arsenic to kill the pests. In the late 1980’s the federal government started regulating the use of arsenic in consumer products such as pesticides and since then the incidences of accidental arsenic poisoning of dogs has steadily reduced. The common use of heartworm medications for both prevention and treatment has introduced yet another opportunity for arsenic poisoning of dogs or at least facilitating the buildup to toxic levels. These products contain organic forms of arsenic such as diethylcarbamazine citrate (Brand names Dimmitrol and Filaribits) or thiacetarsamide (Brand name Caparsolate). One warning concerning such medications states: “Low margin of safety. Need to have an accurate weight before starting treatment. May see damage to the lungs, kidneys, or liver. Signs may include staggering, lethargy, depression, tremors, drooling, panting, difficulty breathing, vomiting, collapse, coma, and death.” They could have just stated “Arsenic Poisoning.” Obviously, extreme care must be taken when administering these products.

Arsenic is stored in the hair follicles, skin, and nails and as mentioned will accumulate over long periods of time. Since the lethal dose only is 1 to 12 mg of arsenic per pound of your dog, this buildup of arsenic can cause serious health problems. Therefore it is important to know the symptoms of arsenic poisoning whether the result of an accidental consumption of a household product or the slow accumulation over time. Symptoms include drooling, vomiting, bloody diarrhea with mucous in, bloody urine, muscle cramps, weakness, hair loss, skin rash, gastrointestinal pain, convulsions, trembling, and staggering.

Arsenic toxicity affects the blood, lungs, skin, kidneys, liver, gastrointestinal tract, and the central nervous system. Arsenic compounds can create reactions in the body that disrupt enzymes that are involved in respiration of cells, fat and carbohydrate breakdown and their proper absorption into the body. Certain types of cancer have been linked to arsenic as well. The accumulation of toxic levels of arsenic can result in paralysis, coma, cardiovascular collapse and death.

Cadmium

Cadmium although not as well-known as aluminum, lead, mercury and arsenic makes the list of heavy metals to be aware of that adversely affects dog health. Cadmium has no known required body function in the natural dog. It is extremely toxic with tolerable levels one tenth that of most of the other heavy metal toxins. It is has no definite taste or order and thus is hard to detect or know if you have been exposed. Moreover it is one of the largest industrial pollutants globally. Cadmium is widely used in industry as a plating material, in galvanizing coating on iron, steel, and copper, inks, and dyes. The vast array of the plastic and rubber products we use everyday use cadmium in the processing of the base materials. One of the main threats to dogs is its use in many fungicides and fertilizers. These agricultural products introduce cadmium into our food supply mainly rice and wheat crops both a common ingredient in commercial dog food. Like the other heavy metals it has contaminated our waterways and is commonly found in shellfish and others such as halibut, cod, haddock and tuna. One good aspect of cadmium is the body tends to not retain it passing it through the digestive system excreting it successfully and it is not easily absorbed through the skin. If inhaled as with your dog sniffing fertilizers and fungicides it is more likely to remain in their body being stored in lung tissue. But with this said a fundamental problem with cadmium absorption by the dog is linked to the beneficial metal zinc. Zinc is critical to proper dog health. It is a component of many vital enzymes promoting a healthy immune system, liver, and bones. It inhibits the absorption of cadmium by the body. When the proper level of zinc is not present the body replaces it with cadmium. So here is the problem. Our modern day commercial dog food refining processes removes most of the zinc. Therefore, when zinc is removed, much more cadmium is absorbed, stored in the liver, bones, and kidneys accumulating over time.

Its effects on the dog body are many, and it can be even worse than mercury and the other heavy metals. It causes a reduction in the production of the critical white blood cells (T-Lymphocytes) which defend the body by destroying harmful free radicals and cancer cells. The list of dog diseases that cadmium can promote is extensive including cancer, diabetes, arthritis, cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, bone disorders, and digestive problems. Cadmium toxicity can even contribute to the loss of the natural dog critical sense of smell.

Symptoms include fatigue, hair loss, increased susceptibility to infection, slow healing of wounds, skin lesions, loss of smell, yellow coloration of teeth, inflammation of mucous membrane of the nose, and loss of appetite.

Testing the Dog for Toxic Levels of Heavy Metals

Testing for toxic levels of the heavy metals in your dog include blood, urine, hair, fingernail, and fecal analysis. Most Veterinarian offices are not equipped to perform these tests and samples must be sent to appropriate laboratories that perform such testing. For measuring effects due to exposures within days or as long as sometime several months, blood, urine, and fecal analysis is the best. For long term and cumulative effects hair and fingernail tests are best. Consistent Minimal Risk Levels (MRL), acceptable levels or toxic levels for dogs are hard to find in the literature. Remember we mentioned the Government is looking out for dog owners but are not yet serious in their efforts for dogs. In addition as research and testing is increasing (usually in major University Veterinarian Schools), once proclaimed safe levels of toxins is now considered either borderline or unsafe especially over the lifetime of your dog. The following data is from the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry Agency (ATSDR) and is for humans but as a rule can be used for dogs adjusting to body weight. Test results need to be interpreted by your veterinarian or a medical toxicologist.

Aluminum: MRL 1mg/kg/day; Blood or Urine 3ug/L; Hair.05 ppm

Arsenic: MRL.005mg/kg/day; 1-25 mg/kg is lethal

Cadmium: MRL.01mg/kg/day; Blood 5ug/dL; Urine 10ug/dL

Lead: Blood 1.5ug/dL; Urine.677 ug/dL

Mercury: MRL.05ug/kg/day; Blood 5ug/dL; Urine 10ug/dL

Oral Chelation Therapy as Treatment to Heavy Metal Toxicity

Oral chelation therapy has long successful track records. It has been recommended by doctors for years for humans and can also be effective with dogs. Chelation was developed initially by Alfred Werner who received the Nobel Prize in 1913. G. T. Morgan coined the term chelation in 1920 deriving it from the Greek word “chele”, meaning a crab’s claw which refers to the pincer-like manner in which the metal is bound. This process stabilizes the heavy metal particle by binding it to the chelating agent, usually amino acids or organic compounds changing it to a chemically inert form that can be excreted via the kidneys without further damage to the body.

There are many effective chelation agents. Each one affects absorbability of minerals needed by the body and also the ability to bind potentially to different toxic metals making them inert. We discuss below five effective agents: Fulvic Acid, Glutamic Acid, Ferulic Acid, Malic Acid, and Lipoic Acid.

Fulvic Acid

Grandma said “It never hurt to eat a little dirt.” What she was really saying was “Fulvic acid is very beneficial to your good health.” Modern day and ancient civilizations such as China, Mexico, India, and South America have known the health benefits of fulvic acid and use it as a natural medicine. Fulvic acid comes from humus material which is organic material that has decomposed over very long periods of time. It therefore naturally contains practically all if not all the substances we and our dogs need for a long healthy existence. Since humus over this long decomposition period assimilates a vast multiplicity of natural organic plant material, it and the resulting fulvic acid contain an immense collection of naturally occurring phytochemicals and biochemicasl along with 70 minerals and nutrients,18 amino acids, and 3 essential fatty acids. This in turn supplies natural antioxidants, enzymes, antivirals, hormones, and antifungals. For antiviral use it is one of the best there is for your dog. Fulvic acid also has antibiotic benefits without creating strains of disease that become resistant as with the common synthetic antibiotics of modern medicine.

Fulvic acid is one of the most aggressive antioxidants capable of neutralizing harmful free radicals, making it an effective chelation agent of heavy metal toxins with the ability to not only purge them from the body but repair damage to the cells as well. It can likewise eliminate food poisoning ill effects within minutes.

Fulvic acid is water soluble. This enables it to makes cell walls more permeable enabling substantially more amounts of nutrients and minerals to be absorbed. This characteristic prolongs the effectiveness of minerals and nutrients in the body metabolic processes.

Because of our modern agricultural methods that use synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, and fungicides fulvic acid finds its way less and less into our food supply. Farm lands today have only a fraction of the humus soil base that they did even 100 years ago. Commercially processed dog food is even worse than our food supply when it comes to supplying sufficient amounts of fulvic acid. Therefore it is best today to use dog supplements to supply the necessary fulvic acid to your dog’s diet.

Fulvic acid is considered very safe with few side effects reported when used for either humans or dogs. Diarrhea and/or change in the smell of feces can occur but usually only last a few days.

Glutamic Acid

Amino acids are the building blocks of protein, and glutamic acid was the most common amino acid found in the natural dog’s body. It accounts for approximately 20% of the total body protein. It produces the most common excitatory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system. The amino acid composition of the brain is more than 50% glutamic acid.

Glutamic Acic is an effective antioxidant and heavy metal chelation agent. But has many other health benefits for you dog. It fights heart disease, strengthens the immune system, helps to reduce inflammation, helps prevent and heals ulcers, and increasing overall energy levels. It is commonly also used as an additive to food to deter dogs from eating their own feces. It mixes with other acids in the digestive system making the stool bitter to the taste.

Glutamic acid is found naturally in high-protein foods like beef, pork, chicken, fish, eggs, corn tomatoes, soybeans and milk. Even through many of these can be found in commercial dog food the high temperature processing of these foods destroys the usefulness of the glutamic acid.

Ferulic Acid

Ferulic acid (FA) is a phytochemical commonly found in fruits (apple, pear, orange, pineapple), vegetables (tomato, spinach, asparagus, carrot, sweet corn), brans (wheat, rice, oat). Phytochemicals are natural chemical substances and nutrients formed a plant’s normal metabolic processes. Phyto is the Greek word for plant. There have been thousands of different types of phytochemical identified and research is proving their benefits to good health in both humans and dogs.

Ferulic Acid has excellent antioxidant properties and is effective in fighting diabetes, cancer, heart, blood and circulatory disease, bone deterioration and neurological problems. It is often added to the diet of very active dogs such as work dogs since it helps rebuild the muscles quickly. As a chelation agent it effectively binds to free radicals neutralizing and enabling them to be safely purged from the body.

Malic Acid

Malic acid is a very effective chelation agent. Malic acid creates a reaction in the stomach to enhance absorption of minerals. The acid reacts with the mineral to break the bonds with its original inorganic chelation agent. This frees the mineral to bond with the malic acid to create a malate or allows the free mineral to chelate to other organic bonds available in the stomach, i.e. citric acid (citrate), proteins (amino acid chelate) and so on. These more effective chelation agents allow for better absorption.

Malic acid is a powerful detoxifier of aluminium, and may offer benefit in the chelation and removal of heavy metals. When used orally, malic acid can cause mild gastrointestinal (GI) disturbances.

In addition to increasing energy levels, malic acid is also an effective metal chelator. This means it is able to bind to potentially toxic metals that may have accumulated in the body, such as aluminum or lead, and inactivate them. As a result, the risk of toxicity is considerably reduced. Heavy metal overload has been linked to serious problems like liver disease and brain disorders like Alzheimer’s disease.

Lipoic Acid

Lipoic acid (LA) is an organic compound that is found in every cell of the body therefore it is essential to numerous metabolic enzymatic process needed for proper dog health. This sulfur containing acid has the unique characteristic of being able to be dissolved and work both in water and fatty tissues. This is completely contrary to vitamins which are either water soluble (B-complex, C) or fat soluble, (A, D, E, K).

Lipoic acid converts glucose into energy thus reduce risk of diabetes. Even though it is an effective antioxidant it also the ability to reestablish the effectiveness of other antioxidants. One of the critical ones that it helps restore is glutathione. This also occurs in every cell of the body and is critical to your dog’s immune system. Through these processes Lipoic Acid helps slow aging. If you dog is on any type of therapy or medication such as cancer treatments which compromise the immune system supplemental Lipoic Acid can be extremely beneficial.

Lipoic Acid is also one of the most effective antioxidants in neutralizes harmful free radicals. Research has shown it is effective against heavy metal toxicity due to lead, mercury, and cadmium.

Lipoic acid is found in very low concentrations is almost all foods but in higher levels in kidney, heart and liver meats as well as spinach, broccoli and potatoes. Because of this low concentration and it is not readily available from the food sources due to the nature it is chemically structured, all lipoic acid supplements are chemically produced.

Helpful to Counteract Metal Toxicity

Aluminum

Nutrients: Pectin, Calcium, Magnesium, Coenzyme A, Vitamin E, L-Glutathione, LecithinS-Adenosylmethionine, Vitamin B-Complex**

Herbs: Garlic*, kelp, Burdock Root, Ginseng,Ginkgo, Biloba, Echinacea

Arsenic

Nutrients: Superoxide Dismutase, Vitamin C, Selenium, L-Cysteine, C-Methionine, Pectin

Herbs: Garlic*

Cadmium

Nutrients: Calcium, Magnesium,Coenzyme A, Vitamin E, L-Cysteine, L-Lysine, L-Methionine, Zinc,Lecithin, Rutin

Herbs: Garlic*, Alfalfa, Burdock Root, Red Clover, Milk Thistle

Lead

Nutrients: Alpha-lipoic Acid, Pectin, Calcium, Magnesium, Zinc, Vitamins A, C, E, B-Complex, L-Lysine, L-Cysteine, Selenium, L-Cystine, Methylsulfonfl-Methane, S-Adenosyfmethionine, Glutathione, L-Methionine, Lecithin

Herbs:Garlic*, Kelp, Alfalfa

Mercury

Nutrients: Glutathione, L-Cysteine, L-Methionine, Selenium, Pectin, Vitamin A, C, E, B-Complex, Lecithin

Herbs: Garlic*, Kelp, Alfalfa, Brewer’s Yeast

* Although garlic is a good detoxifier it should only be given to dogs in small amounts if at all.

** Extra B6 & B12 should be given

Chelation Agents Sources

Ferulic Acid

Brans (wheat, rice, oat)

Fruits* (apple, pear, orange, pineapple)

Vegetables (tomato, spinach, carrot asparagus, sweet corn)

Fulvic Acid

Humus Soil (need to use supplement)

Glutamic Acid

High Protein Foods (beef, pork, chicken, fish, eggs, soybean)

Tomatos, Corn, Milk

Lipoic Acid

Low content in nearly all foods

Higher content in kidney, heart, liver meats & spinach, broccoli, potatoes

(Due to very low concentrations and difficulty in extraction source from supplements is recommended)

Malic Acid

Fruits* (apples, cranberries, pineapple, apricot)

* Only use the “meat” of the fruit- never feed the seeds

Conclusion

We have found that heavy metal toxicity is a major factor that affects proper dog health, especially in the modern day domesticated natural dog. That it is almost impossible to keep our dogs free from exposures to heavy metals. This toxicity is an accumulative process in the dog’s body therefore overtime even small exposures are harmful. Exposure to such heavy metals as aluminum, arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury come from are environment, everyday products we use, and even commercial dog food. Commercial dog food producers are particularly deficient in their control of these toxins. There are symptoms we can look for that indicate possible heavy metal toxicity in our dogs. Exposure can be minimized by having a good knowledge of were the heavy metals exist around us. There are foods, herbs, minerals, vitamins, and supplements that we can use to help protect, minimize effects, and even purge these damaging toxins from our dog’s bodies constantly promoting good dog health. And finally that dog owners should consider chelation therapy that uses power antioxidants to cleanse the body of the accumulated heavy metal toxins.

NOTICE: The content in this article is provided for informational and educational purposes only. While we make every effort to present information that is accurate and reliable, the views expressed here are not meant to be a substitute for the advice provided by a licensed veterinarian. Please consult your veterinarian for specific advice concerning the medical condition or treatment of your dog and before administering any medication or pursuing any course of treatment that was presented in this article.

Why Royal Jelly is So Good

Unlike honey, Royal Jelly is not collected by the honey bees from flowers. It is a creamy white substance specially created by worker bees to feed the queen bee throughout her larval and adult life. The worker bees mix honey and bee pollen with enzymes in the glands of their throats to produce the jelly, an extraordinary and only food source for the queen bees and also often called “milk of bees” by many people.

Royal Jelly, an expensive item on the shelf, is increasingly becoming more and more popular as a beauty bee product. Precious and rare, and treasured as a beauty secret of royalty, Royal Jelly nourishes the body on the inside and revitalizes it on the outside as well. More and more girls are coming to understand what this stuff is as its benefits are extensively associated with healthier skin and hair and more youthful appearance. It is not only used in dietary supplements, but also as additions to skin lotions, creams and cosmetics. European women also have used it for its beauty benefits for centuries. Rich in estradiol, a major estrogen functioning as the primary female sex hormone, this natural substance is commonly known to be effective in treating women who have problems with their menstruation such as abnormal cycle, pain, discomfort, and fatigue.

Hailed “one of nature’s best kept secrets” by Royden Brown, author of the Bee Hive Product Bible (Avery, 1993), Royal Jelly contains an extraordinarily high concentration of vitamins B5, B6, and amino acids and is believed to be a potent antioxidant a special rejuvenating substance that promotes tissue growth, muscle and cell regeneration. It is taken as a health and energy tonic and remedy for a host of ailments such as:

1) Poor digestion

2) Stomach ulcers

3) High cholesterol

4) Insomnia

5) Menopausal symptoms

6) Fatigue

7) Colds and flu

8) Stress reactions

I found at the supermarket a drink called “Royal Jelly Honey”, which was basically honey mixed with the “bee jelly”. So far, I have already bought two bottles from the shop. My husband likes it a lot and will always ask me to mix him a glass of icy Royal Jelly honey drink whenever he has a sore throat. It tastes a bit sour and unusual when you first drink it but subsequently I think it really tastes great, especially that it was mixed with chilled water, very refreshing! Besides mineral, amino acid, and vitamins, this special jelly also contains 10-hydroxy decenoic acid which gives the sour taste. This acid can inhibit the bacterial growth and has the function of anti-cancer.

As the “milk of bees” is ultra sour and has a bitter taste and a strong odour, it is normally sold in capsule form for easy and convenient consumption. I have been advised that for best health results, the most ideal time to take this health supplement is in the morning when your stomach is empty.

Source: www.benefits-of-honey.com/royal-jelly.html

Can Bee Propolis Help in H Pylori Treatment?

A number of natural products have been shown to have activity against H pylori bacteria. One such product is bee propolis. Researchers have demonstrated that bee propolis has some antibacterial effects and a small handful of scientific papers have examined whether bee propolis can be used to treat H pylori either alongside or in place of conventional triple therapy.

In one study, Platsko and colleagues demonstrated that when 30-40mg of bee propolis was taken three times daily alongside standard triple therapy, H pylori eradication rates and ulcer healing improved compared to patients who used standard triple therapy alone. This particular study can be found in the 2002 edition of the medical journal Helicobacter).

In another scientific paper, Boyanova et al investigated the effect of 30% ethanolic extract of bee propolis against ninety-four different strains of Helicobacter pylori. The scientists found that propolis showed strong antibacterial activity against H pylori in a dose-dependent fashion. In other words, the more propolis used, the stronger the effect). This study can be found in the 2003 edition of the medical journal Helicobacter.

The problem with the second study from 2003 is that the research was conducted in vitro, which basically means “outside the body”. So what’s the problem?

Well, a test tube or petri dish containing a growth medium for H pylori in the lab is completely different from the environment in your stomach and intestine where H pylori lives. As such it is impossible to conclude that propolis can kill H pylori in the body in the same way as it does in the lab.

Nevertheless, propolis clearly does offer some promise in the treatment of H pylori.

The many practitioners around the world to whom we have spoken tend to choose other products to combat H pylori infection. These include concentrated garlic capsules, potent forms of mastic gum, berberine, oil of oregano, DGL and zinc-l-carnosine, lactoferrin and probiotics.

In addition to the use of these nutritional and herbal products, we recommend several key diet changes that can really help reduce stomach and intestinal symptoms even before H pylori is eradicated. Time and time again, our clients’ symptoms improve dramatically with these diet changes alone.

The reason these improvements occur is rather counter-intuitive. Some people have H pylori, but the H pylori itself is not causing any of their symptoms. Instead, common foods that cause immune responses in the gut are responsible for their symptoms. These include cow’s milk, soy, gluten and sugar.

Of course, the problem is that once H pylori has been diagnosed, it is assumed that the bacteria must be causing the symptoms, when in fact all that is needed for resolution of symptoms is plain old dietary changes. These diet changes also improve the eradication success of treatment regimens, whether those regimens are pharmaceutical antibiotics or herbs.