You’re a Homeschool Parent – Trust Yourself!

Sometimes parents ask me if there are any particular keys to homeschool success. I have to laugh, because there aren’t any no-fail formulas that work for everyone, but I do have some advice that my midwife gave to me the day that my eldest son was born, and I will pass it on to you here.

She handed me my baby, and gave me the only advice that I need to know, which is ‘know your child and trust yourself.’ In the same way, when you homeschool and really know your child, you can trust your own instincts. People think that maybe there’s a magic wand that they can wave and everything is going to work out. But it’s really that love and knowing your child that will ultimately make the difference.

I was getting my hair done one day and listening to two moms talk about their children, who were enrolled in public school. One of the moms was describing how her child simply could not make it through a Pre-Algebra class because it was too hard for him, but the public school insisted that he move on to Algebra 1. She didn’t think it was a good idea, but the school wouldn’t let him retake Pre-Algebra the next year because that would mean a failing grade this year, and they didn’t want that because he would be left behind. She asked her son how it was going during the first weeks of Algebra 1, and he said that he was lost, had no clue what was going on, and that he was going to fail. Two weeks into the quarter, she learned that her son had accidentally been signed up for a Calculus class. Instead of taking and failing Algebra, he was taking and failing Calculus.

Now, homeschoolers are not perfect, but there’s no way in homeschooling that we would make that mistake! Parents know their child better than that. When you know your child and trust yourself; nobody else is better-suited to make decisions about your situation. When people ask me for advice about things, I can give them suggestions and ideas, but I don’t know their child. As their parent, you know your child best. So be confident and trust yourself! The love of your child will help you succeed!

Common Reasons For Pregnancy Nausea in Third Trimester

For most pregnant women, nausea and vomiting are most likely to develop in the first month or two of pregnancy and start tapering off by the end of the first trimester-by week 18 at the outside. But as many as 20 percent of women may find that their symptoms of pregnancy nausea lasting into the third trimester, and 5 percent experience nausea and vomiting right up to delivery.

For some women, morning sickness stops after a few weeks at the start of their pregnancy, only to return again around week 27 or after. Still other women have no nausea at all in early stages, and are quite surprised to find it developing in the last three months.

Of course, at any time, a sudden onset of nausea and vomiting can be due to a virus or other illness. Especially if it is accompanied by diarrhea, it could be the flu or food poisoning. If such symptoms are severe at any time during pregnancy, it’s important to be wary of dehydration and make sure to replenish the fluids being lost.

Starting around week 27, hormone activity tends to pick up again, after having leveled off somewhat for most women during the mid-stages of pregnancy. Women who maintain high levels of the hCG hormone are particularly likely to find that their NVP also continues throughout pregnancy.

Another instigator of nausea and vomiting the later stages of pregnancy is simply the size of the growing fetus. At this time it’s most common for nausea to strike immediately after a meal, often accompanied by heartburn. As the baby gets bigger, the uterus exerts more pressure on the stomach causing heartburn and nausea when the stomach is filled. At this point, stomach capacity is even smaller, and it’s even more important to stick to smaller meals to reduce this stress.

So nausea in the third trimester isn’t necessarily unusual or worrisome. However, there are a couple of serious late-pregnancy liver diseases that can also lead to nausea and vomiting, including acute fatty liver of pregnancy and HELLP syndrome. Though both of these ailments are truly rare, they are also life-threatening if untreated. For this reason, doctors now recommend that any woman experiencing nausea and vomiting accompanied by upper abdominal pain and “malaise” in the third trimester of pregnancy have her liver enzymes and renal function evaluated, along with a complete blood count.

Also, any woman who is experiencing nausea and vomiting in combination with severe headaches, facial swelling, sudden swelling, abdominal pain, and visual disturbances (e.g., seeing spots) should call her physician immediately. These are signs of preeclampsia, an illness that can develop quite rapidly anytime after the 20th week of pregnancy and that affects as many as 8 percent of pregnancies. Preeclampsia can cause strokes and kidney damage, liver failure, blot clots, fluid in the lungs, seizures, and even death of both the child and the mother.

There is one final factor that can lead to nausea in late pregnancy-though in this instance it is a bit easier to diagnose. If nausea, vomiting and diarrhea coincide with cramps, backache, pelvic pressure, and contractions occurring less than 10 minutes apart, labor has begun.

While not uncommon, then, nausea late in any pregnancy merits a consultation with your care provider. In most cases there are ordinary and harmless reasons for it, but there is an outside chance that is a symptom of one of these several serious illnesses that occasionally arise during the late weeks of pregnancy.

Campylobacteria – A Major Cause of Food Poisoning

The commonest cause of food poisoning in the US, responsible for 2.1 to 2.4 million episodes of poisoning every year, is a rod-shaped Gram negative bacterium called Campylobacter jejuni. Although most episodes of Campylobacteria food poisoning are relatively mild, resolving within a week or two, the infection occasionally triggers an autoimmune response that can lead to serious, even life-threatening complications. A related concern about this organism is that an increasing number of Campylobacteria infections show resistance to the usual antibiotic therapies. Young children, the very old, people with chronic illnesses, and those with compromised immune systems from HIV or other causes are at particular risk.

In medical care, lost work hours, and pain and suffering, Campylobacteria infections cost the US economy $18.8 billion every year.

The commonest sources of Campylobacteria infection are uncooked poultry, especially skin and giblets, raw (unpasteurized) milk, and untreated water. Some studies have identified campylobacter contamination in hamburger and in veal.

After contaminated food is consumed, the Campylobacteria begin to multiply in the intestine. Within two to five days the colony grows large enough that its toxins begin to disturb the body, with symptoms of diarrhea, often bloody, and muscle pain, nausea and abdominal cramping, headache and fever. Symptoms persist for a week to two weeks, gradually abating as the body expels the bacteria and their toxins. In most cases, as long as the patient is reasonably healthy, antibiotics aren’t used, because the illness is self limiting. In about 25% of cases, the patient will relapse some weeks or months later.

For one victim in a thousand, the episode doesn’t end there. Campylobacteria infections have the potential to trigger intense responses from the victim’s own immune system. These take the form of reactive arthritis, sometimes called Reiter’s syndrome, or Guillain-Barre Syndrome, a rare progressive paralysis. Reactive arthritis is a painful inflammation of the joints which can persist for up to six months, with unpredictable recurrences. Other symptoms can include painful urination and irritation of tissues in the eye, with burning, tearing and light sensitivity.

Guillain-Barre Syndrome, also triggered by Campylobacteria infections, is an autoimmune disorder in which the immune system attacks the myelin sheathing that surrounds nerve fibers. Onset is hours to days or weeks after the original infection. Early symptoms are subtle, a tingling or pins-and-needles sensation in the toes and fingers, and for some people, in the facial muscles. The victim experiences muscle weakness that progresses from the feet and lower legs up through the rest of the body. Weakness increases, gait and balance are affected, and muscles become paralyzed, sometimes within a matter of days. Diagnosis and prompt treatment are essential to prevent the victim from suffocating if muscles involved with breathing are affected. If you or a loved one experiences these symptoms, you should seek medical treatment immediately.

There is no known cure. Supportive treatment, including placing the patient on a respirator and heart monitor, aims at assisting with body processes. Plasmapheresis, exchanging the patient’s plasma, which contains the antibodies, and high-dose immunoglobulin therapy are used to shorten the episode and mitigate its effects. For most people the paralysis recedes within a few weeks or months, but recovery is not always complete; some degree of muscle weakness may persist.

Campylobacteria are abundant in soil and in untreated stream and pond water. They are routinely found in the intestinal tracts of chickens and turkeys, cows, and other animals raised for human consumption. They are too widespread to eradicate. The key to protecting humans from this dangerous infection is to practice thorough hygiene at every step in the food processing and food handling process.

A Brief Overview of Mouth Ulcers Causes

A mouth ulcer is either an open sore, developed on the inner side of the mouth or a laceration in the mucous membrane of the mouth. Mostly they have a small and round appearance. They can cause serious pain and can really impede you oral activities. Their two main types are aphthous ulcers (canker sores) and cold sores. Whenever you are experiencing any of the above mentioned types, certain foods like pepper can really generate severe pain. Usually they come in crops of three or four and can generally last for a few days or even a week. A number of individuals experience them regularly, while others may just dig up the occasional ulcer once in a year.

Amongst the various reasons of this problem, one of the biggest is emotional stress. When you are feeling any type of stress, you are more prone to have an oral ulcer. So if you want yourself to remain away from this trouble, you do have to make yourself stress-free.

With regards to diet and nutrition, there are more than a few reasons, mainly if recurring mouth ulcers are a difficulty. A number of people can be anemic i.e. lacking sufficient iron or folic acid. Perhaps, Zinc insufficiency is one of the major nutritional grounds. So, Zinc lozenges can be considered as very suitable, particularly if there aren’t any dental issues. There are a good number of patients, suffering with recurring ulcers, having food allergies or hypersensitivities. So if you notice to have an allergic relationship with any food stuff, then you have to minimize its usage for your long term benefit.

The second leading reason of this problem is the unintentional damage to your gums, tongue or inner cheek lining. For instance eating hot foods, mistakenly biting cheek lining or tongue, a pointed broken tooth and badly-fitting dentures may all be contributory factors.

For some women, they are more expected to occur before their menstrual period. This perhaps suggests that hormones like estrogen and progesterone have a strong effect in this domain. In addition, a decline in the stress hormone “Cortisol” can well be involved. This is for the reason that Cortisol is one of the most vital anti-inflammatory bodily hormones formed by the adrenal gland in stressful conditions. After constant stress, Cortisol becomes exhausted which can leave the individual more susceptible to inflammatory conditions like mouth ulcers.

Another reason you may develop this discomfort is that you have a basic medical condition such as Celiac disease, Ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease. Now, if you do have such an underlying medical state for which you are consuming a pharmaceutical drug, then this might be the reason for it. A good number of pharmaceutical drugs induce a burning sensation in the mouth and digestive path, particularly if taken incorrectly. So consult your doctor if you are taking a pharmaceutical drug and believe this to be the only reason of your problem. Although, these types of reasons of mouth ulceration are very rare, but if your problem is not departing, you should necessarily consult your medical doctor.

Chemicals like alcohol or aspirin that come in direct contact with the mucous membrane of the mouth may cause necrosis (pre-mature loss of living tissues), forming an ulcerated surface. Similarly, Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), one of the key components of most toothpaste, has been found to have an involvement in increased occurrence of this oral disorder.

It is quite frequent for smokers to have multiple oral ulcers within a week of smoking cessation. The time duration varies from individual to individual and may range from a month to even a year.

5 Highly Alkaline Foods That Can Help Cure Your GERD, Acid Reflux Or Heartburn

You want to know how to cure your GERD? Know how and what to eat.

Food choice is essential for those who want to naturally cure their GERD. The selection of the type of food and the quantity of which it is consumed in a regular basis will help relieve acidity symptoms and prevent further aggravation from occurring. You should be able to have an acid-alkaline food chart at all times (these can be easily found in the internet by a simple search), as this will aid you a lot during the treatment stage. For the record, you will find that most of these foods listed below are in the fruit and vegetable category.

1. Lemons – contrary to the public notion that they are acidic, lemons are in fact alkaline. Very alkaline. 2 lemons a day is good for you and some people have opted to gradually increase their consumption daily (lemon therapy). Although others have found that it does not work well for their stomach (but not for acidity reasons), it does not discount the fact that this fruit helps.

2. Apples – you’ve heard the saying, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”. Well, if you are experiencing acid reflux and have had multiple visits to the hospital, there is definitely truth to this timeless saying. Rich in antioxidants, 1-2 apples daily can go a long way in relieving a problematic stomach. You can consume the first between breakfast and lunch, and the second one between lunch and dinner. Treat it as a snack. Personally, I have stuck to this fruit strategy until now.

3. Mangoes – this fruit is very alkaline as well, and you can combine it with any of the first two fruits mentioned. Besides its antioxidant and anti-cancer properties, the mango is a fruit with a superb taste!

4. Spinach – for those of you who are familiar with the cartoon character, “Popeye the Sailor”, I am most certain that he did not have a history of GERD. This vegetable contains a great deal of vitamins and most importantly minerals – which can restore pH balance, especially if you are suffering from high acidity (which prompts your immune system to get minerals from other parts of your body).

5. Watercress – here’s a highly alkaline vegetable that’s often overlooked in the supermarket. Again, like spinach it is highly nutritious and serves as a natural mineral supplement.

You can also increase your chances of recovering from any digestive problem, if you combine your natural alkaline-rich diet with other natural ways of treatment.

Health Benefits of Amalaki – Liquid Multi Vitamins and Minerals

With a lot of debate going on about the nutritional and health benefits of different fruits, common man is confused as to what to use and what not to. The golden rule however says that fruits in general all are helpful. Their plenty of vitamin and mineral content help us rejuvenate our bodies and maintain stress free attitude. However, certain fruits have gained the value of medicines in our medical community. More than medicines these fruits are termed as power-fruits that help us conquer life’s odds pretty easily. Some of such fruits are amalaki, acai, rhodiola, goji, pomegranate etc.

Out of these fruits, here we are going to see benefits of amalaki. The meaning of amalaki in Sanskrit language is “sustainer”. The name itself therefore suggests its utility value. It is one of the richest sources of vitamin C that is 20 times more than what is found in orange. Also it is rich source of bioflavonoids, flavones, carotenoids, and polyphenols. No wonder many pharmaceutical companies use this fruit as one of the strongest ingredients of health supplements.

Let’s see some of the important health benefits amalaki offers:

1) Amalaki is one of the richest sources of powerful anti-oxidants. These anti-oxidants play a crucial role in the body to drive away free radicals and restore health.

2) Cardiovascular health: These anti-oxidants are powerful tools to detoxify the body and with the destruction of free radicals, they help in reducing arterial plaque formation. This in turn enhances good circulation and cadiac pumping is improved. Thus heart attacks, strokes, and related illnesses like hypertensions are prevented.

3) Gastro-intestinal tract: Due to its innate abilities, amalaki is thought to prevent constipation and hyperacidity. Obviously one can cope up with increased acid production and esophagitis and acid reflux. The fruit is also thought to impact relief to people with mild to moderate hemorrhoids and colitis. Its clearing effect on gastrointestinal tract is very helpful for people on weight-reduction regimens.

4) In Indian subcontinent, the fruit is used since thousands of years as an augmenter of vitality and youth. Its effects on mind as an energizer and mood elevator have been lauded in Indian literature.

5) In traditional medicine, amalaki is lauded for its utility in pyrexia, cough, asthma, heart problems, etc.

6) Due to its detoxifying effects relevant to high anti-oxidants content, it is thought of as one of the best blood purifiers in traditional medicine.

7) Its anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties have been utilized in infectious diseases. It has shown some promising results for prevention of many infectious and non-infectious ailments.

8) Its cholesterol lowering properties are well known and people who take regular amalaki supplements are protected from cardiac maladies for the same reason.

9) Due to its high vitamin C content, it augments the clotting mechanism of blood when required.

10) Even due to its rich anti-oxidants, amalaki is thought to prevent cancers of all origins.

Well, no doubt the fruit Amalaki is a “rejuvenator” and whole body is benefited positively with its usage. Why not select a health supplement that contains natural form of amalaki and other power-fruit extracts so that we get benefits from all in one formula?

Reactive Hypoglycemia Causes, Symptoms and Diet

Reactive hypoglycemia is also known as postprandial hypoglycemia. It is a medical term that describes episodes of symptomatic hypoglycemia, and it takes 2 to 4 hours to occur after you take high carbohydrate meal or oral glucose load. It believes that it represents the result of excessive insulin release. The carbohydrate meal is behind this phenomenal change. This process, derived from the meal goes through the digestion and glucose disposal. The definitions of Reactive hypoglycemia are controversial. The term, Reactive hypoglycemia meeting the Whipple criteria corresponds to symptoms that can measure low glucose and higher glucose dose and it relieves. Idiopathic postprandial syndrome is similar and not documented for abnormally low glucose levels.

Causes

Fifteen percent people, having had stomach surgery belongs to Alimentary Hypoglycemia, a consequence of dumping syndrome. Hormonal hypoglycemia lacking hormone is hypothyroidism. Helicobacter pylori induces gastritis, and the cause behind is the bacteria that impels reactive hypoglycemia. Late Hypoglycemia relates to occult diabetes that delays release of early insulin from pancreatic B cells. It results in initial exaggeration of hyperglycemia during a glucose tolerance test. Idiopathic Reactive Hypoglycemia is a term that is not existing, as because researchers know the causes of Reactive Hypoglycemia. A hyperglucidic breakfast or ambulatory glucose test is the current standard.

Therefore, hypoglycemia can occur as a side effect of some diabetes medications. It includes insulin or oral diabetes medications. Pills increase insulin production. These can be Chlorpropamide (Diabinese), Glimepiride (Amaryl), Glipizide (Glucotrol, Glucotrol XL), Glyburide (DiaBeta, Glynase, Micronase), Nateglinide (Starlix), Repaglinide (Prandin), Sitagliptin (Januvia), Tolazamide and Tolbutamide. There are certain combination pills cause of Hypoglycemia that include glipizide + metformin (Metaglip), glyburide + metformin (Glucovance), pioglitazone + glimepiride (Duetact), rosiglitazone + glimepiride (Avandaryl), and sitagliptin + metformin (Janumet).

Symptoms

The symptoms vary according to the hydration level and sensitivity to the rate or declining magnitude of blood glucose concentration of the individual. The symptoms of hypoglycemia, induced by food can be coma, heart palpitation or fibrillation, fatigue, dizziness, light-headedness, sweating, headaches, depression, nervousness, irritability, tremors, flushing, craving sweets, increased appetite, rhinitis(runny nose), epileptic-type response to rapidly flashing bright lights, nausea, vomiting, panic attack, and numbness or coldness in the extremities.

Diet of Reactive Hypoglycemia

The sample menu of breakfast can be half cup orange juice, third-fourth cup cornflakes, 1 slice whole wheat toast, 1 tsp margarine, 1 cup of skim milk, and coffee, creamer or sugar as substitute. Launch can be 2 oz lean hamburger, 1 hamburger bun, lettuce or tomato slice, half cup cooked carrot, salad, 1 tbsp Italian dressing, 1 fresh apple, sugar free gelatin, and 1 cup skim milk. The dinner can be 2 oz baked chicken breast, half medium-baked potatoes, half cup green beans, half cup sliced strawberries, 1 roll dinner, 1 tsp margarine, and diet soda. The breakfast snack can be orange 1 med, launch snack includes 1 cup skim milk, 3 Graham crackers and supper snack can be one-third cranberry juice, 1 tbsp peanut butter and 6 saltine crackers.

Diabetes Impacts Eyes

Diabetes impacts eyes because diabetics have an increased risk of developing eye complications which, if left untreated, can lead to poor vision and blindness. However, 98% of serious vision loss from diabetes can be prevented with regular eye examinations and early treatment. Glucose crystals as a resultant of too high sugar readings are damaging your organs. However, this can be avoided with regular eye examinations.

How Does the Eye Work?

The eye works a bit like a camera. Light enters through the cornea and the pupil before passing through the lens which focuses the light onto the retina. Special cells in the retina detect the light, forming the focused image like film in an old fashioned camera. The image is sent along the optic nerve to the brain. At the centre of the retina is the macula which is responsible for the ‘seeing’ straight ahead part of our vision while the retina is responsible for ‘seeing’ from the edges of our vision.

Diabetes Impacts Eyes How

High blood glucose levels can cause changes in the shape of the lens which can temporarily cause blurring of your vision. This commonly occurs before being diagnosed with diabetes or when diabetes isn’t well managed. The blurriness usually disappears when blood glucose levels are reduced through appropriate treatment. Therefore getting new glasses should be delayed until blood glucose levels are back within the recommended range.

High blood glucose levels for long periods of time can increase the risk of more serious eye problems in people with diabetes, including:

  • Diabetic Retinopathy
  • Macular edema
  • Glaucoma
  • Cataracts

Most diabetics underestimate the fact that diabetes impacts eyes and sight, partly because they do not notice changes in their vision until the condition is very serious, it is essential to have regular eye examinations so that problems can be detected early and treated promptly. Few diabetics get the luxury of early warning signs, often the damage is done before you even begin to get any symptoms.

Diabetic Retinopathy

  • Non-Proliferative

The longer you have diabetes, the greater the risk of small blood vessels at the back of the eye being damaged by high blood glucose and high blood pressure. This can result in leakage and often progresses to blockage of the vessels that supply the retina with nutrients. This stage is called non -proliferative or background retinopathy and there may be no noticeable change in your vision.

  • Proliferative

Without early detection and treatment, non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy can progress and the retina may grow new blood vessels. This advanced stage is called proliferative retinopathy. The new blood vessels are weaker and can bleed onto the retina or the vitreous, the jelly-like centre inside your eye. Vision can be affected, sometimes seriously and suddenly.

The growth of new vessels may also lead to developing scar tissue which can cause further problems such as a retinal detachment. Once these changes occur it is hard to

restore any lost vision and the resulting damage can lead to blindness. Sometimes new vessels may grow on the iris and this can lead to neovascular glaucoma (see below).

Macular oedema

Blood vessels in the macula, the central area of the retina, can leak fluid causing swelling and can result in central vision loss.

Cataracts

Changes or problems in the lens can result in clouding and decreased vision known as cataracts. Although ageing is the main risk factor, people with diabetes tend to develop cataracts more rapidly and at a younger age.

Glaucoma

Glaucoma is an eye disease in which the optic nerve is damaged. The progression of glaucoma is usually slow. Glaucoma can affect anyone but it appears to be more common in people who have diabetes. People with diabetes may also have a less common form of glaucoma which develops as a complication of severe diabetic retinopathy or neovascular glaucoma.

What Are the Symptoms of Diabetes Related Eye Complications?

Often diabetes-related eye complications have no signs or symptoms and there may be no obvious deterioration in vision until the condition is quite advanced. Changes in vision may also be so gradual that you do not notice it for some time.

Where signs and symptoms are present, they can include:

  • Floaters and flashes
  • Blurry, blocked or dim vision
  • Poor night vision
  • Halos around lights or sparkles
  • Sensitivity to light and glare
  • Need for brighter light for reading and other activities
  • Distortion or ‘holes’ in vision
  • Frequent changes in eyeglass prescriptions

If you are a diabetic any change in your vision should be checked by your optometrist, ophthalmologist or doctor.

Caring for Your Eyes

  • You should be told as soon as your diabetes is diagnosed that diabetes impacts eyes, Be aware of your personal risk
  • Have an eye examination by an eye care professional when you are first diagnosed with diabetes and then at least every two years (or more often as indicated by your doctor or eye care professional).
  • Examination of your eyes involves viewing the back of your eyes. This will involve adding eye drops to dilate the pupils or taking a photograph of the back of your eyes.
  • If retinopathy is detected, you will need to have your eyes examined more often and you may be referred to a medical eye specialist (ophthalmologist).
  • Notify your eye care professional immediately if you notice any changes in your vision.
  • Keep your blood glucose levels, HbA1c, blood pressure and cholesterol within the recommended ranges. High blood glucose, cholesterol and blood pressure increase the risk of developing eye complications as well as increasing the severity of eye complications.
  • Have regular health checks including blood pressure readings, cholesterol measurements and kidney function tests as recommended by your diabetes care team. Diabetes impacts eyes and other organs.It is important that you discuss the results with your doctor and seek further advice for any results that are not in the recommended range.
  • If you smoke, stop!
  • Maintain a lifestyle that includes regular physical activity and healthy eating to better manage your blood glucose levels.
  • Always take your medications as instructed by your doctor.

Can Diabetes-Related Eye Complications Be Treated?

Most eye complications can be treated successfully if detected early. Early detection and treatment can also prevent eye complications from getting worse. However, treatment generally cannot restore vision once it has been lost. Regular eye examinations and early treatment are therefore important to prevent vision loss.Diabetes impacts eyes in all cases and this is not something you can ignore.

The most common treatments for eye complications are:

Laser This involves the use of a special form of light of a specific wavelength that is able to heat retinal tissue and blood vessels. This can minimise leakage from blood vessels and cause regression of any new and fragile vessels.

Surgery

A surgical procedure called a vitrectomy is used in cases of advanced retinopathy. It involves the use of fine instruments inside the eye with the aim of repairing the most severe damage caused by diabetic retinopathy.

Pomegranate Juice – A Myriad of Health Benefits

The juicy red kernels of a pomegranate are a favorite with both the young and old alike. Apart from its richness and delicious taste, pomegranate juice has also become popular for its health benefits. And this only continues to increase with more and more people becoming aware of a healthy diet and lifestyle. This fruit contains many different nutrients which are absolutely essential for health and fitness. Hence drinking a glass of this juice daily can boost your health in more ways than one.

There are many scientific studies that have shown that this fruit contains certain compounds that can help fight breast cancer. The studies revealed that the compounds attack malignant cells and destroy these while keeping the healthy cells intact. There are also other scientific studies being conducted across the globe with regard to the benefits of this juice in fighting liver cancer and prostate cancer. Both the group of studies conducted in mice has shown that pomegranate contains compounds which can fight or slow down the cancerous cells and boost the growth of the healthy ones.

Another important finding is that pomegranate juice can help to keep the levels of the prostate specific antigen stable in men with prostate cancer. A group of fifty men were chosen for the study and administered eight ounces of this fruit juice every single day for a month and it was observed that the levels came down and became stable doing away with the need for further chemotherapy. People who suffer from osteoarthritis can also benefit a lot from taking this juicy, red fruit. Cartilage deterioration can be reduced which protects the joints and brings down the painful effects of this disease. This juice also offers a range of nutrients for the pregnant mother and can help in the normal development of her neonate’s brain especially after an injury has occurred.

Heart protection is another benefit that you derive when you take this fruit on a regular basis. The compounds present can help to lower the cholesterol levels especially the levels of LDL cholesterol which is called as bad cholesterol in layman’s terms. It also protects the heart by preventing the buildup of plaque inside the arteries and thereby reducing the risk of a stroke or myocardial infarction. Blood pressure can also become stable in those who suffer from hypertension. So grab yourself a glass of pomegranate juice to stay fit and healthy and say goodbye to diseases.

Stress and Heart Attack – Can Stress Cause a Heart Attack?

Over a million people have heart attacks every year in the United States alone. The startling fact is that it’s no longer restricted to people over 65. Reports of heart attack among women and even younger people are on the rise in recent times. While various factors are responsible for heart attacks like high cholesterol, lack of exercise, obesity and blood pressure, the contribution of stress seems to be the most.

In one research, when a group of people with past history of heart attack where given stressful tasks, blood pressure and heart rate increased in all of them. However, in the group who had suffered an attack due to stress, it took a significantly longer time for the blood pressure to return to normal compared to the group whose cause of previous attack was not stress. Also, the former group had higher number of clot forming platelets in their blood. Platelets are formed to stop the bleeding when tear occurs in the heart vessels due to an attack. However, these clots can also cause a blockage restricting the blood flow to the heart.

Another group of researchers have also found that ambitious, aggressive, critical, self-demanding people are more susceptible to heart attacks than less ambitious and less competitive people. When one understands how stress is caused, it becomes clear why the research holds true. We get stressed when things go out of control or when we get too much attached to the outcome of our actions. Ambitious and aggressive people are often critical and demanding of themselves and others. This attitude puts a lot of stress on oneself. On other hand, less-ambitious and contented people do not have high expectations. Therefore they are much more relaxed.

One thing is clear, when it comes to managing stress, relaxation is the key.

Inflammation and Heart Disease

Numerous studies have shown that chronic inflammation may be the catalyst for heart disease. For decades doctors have viewed heart disease in terms of plaque build up and clogged arteries. Cholesterol and triglycerides were the villains. The theory was that years of poor diet fatty deposits or plaques would start to build up with in the arteries. Eventually this plaque would grow so large that they would cut off the blood supply to the heart resulting in angina (chest pain), high blood pressure, and for those left untreated with cholesterol lowering drugs, a heart attack. People began to be concerned about their total cholesterol levels and could even tell the difference between low-density lipids (LDL) or bad cholesterol and high-density lipids (HDL) or good cholesterol.

Doctors militantly advocated cholesterol levels below 200 (this number has steadily dropped over the years). The LDL and HDL levels became just as important. A high LDL and a low HDL spelled trouble. Cholesterol levels were attacked with lipid (blood fats) lowering drugs including the statins- Lipitor, Zocor, Crestor, Vytorin, and others.

However, there is a problem with this script. Half of all heart attacks occur in people with normal cholesterol levels! And to their surprise diagnostic imaging showed that the most dangerous plaques were not that large.

In fact half of all those who have coronary artery disease do not have any of the traditional risk factors as mentioned above.

Arterial Damage

There are dozens of theories, which attempt to explain the cause of atherosclerosis and arteriosclerosis. Scientific studies have documented the ill effects of total cholesterol, elevated low-density lipids (LDL), decreased high-density lipids (HDL), homocysteine, fibrinogen, oxidative stress, elevated C-Reactive Protein (CRP), inflammation, sedentary lifestyles, diabetes, obesity, infections, and stress.

The most widely accepted theory is based on the idea that injury to the arterial wall from the list above (inflammation, high blood pressure, elevated LDL, etc) initiates physiological changes that then create atherosclerosis.

The endothelial lining of the artery becomes damaged from physical, chemical, viral, bacterial, or immune reactions. Once damaged, the injured tissue becomes more permeable to lipoproteins (fat-carrying proteins). The arterial linings connective tissue begins to breakdown, which attracts cholesterol deposits. Large white blood cells known as monocytes and blood clotting platelets attach themselves to the injured area causing plaque to form.

A fibrous cap (consisting of collagen, elastin and glycosaminoglycans) forms over the injured area. Cholesterol and fat begin to build-up around the site and an arthroma is formed. The arthroma of fibrous coated plaque may continue to grow until it eventually blocks the flow of blood through the artery. It usually takes a ninety percent blockage before the symptoms of atherosclerosis is experienced.

Arthromas may calcify, hardening in a process known as arteriosclerosis. Atherosclerosis of the coronary arteries may lead to thrombosis (blood clot formation), which manifests itself as angina (chest pain) or a heart attack. Atherosclerosis of the cerebral (brain) arteries may trigger a stroke.

Elevated Fibrinogen

Fibrinogen is a protein that is involved in regulating blood clotting and platelet clumping.
Fibrinogen is increased by inflammation, oxidative damage, smoking, stress, oral contraceptives, and aging.

Elevated fibrinogen levels have also been shown to increase the incidence of stroke.
The New England of Medicine reports that those with elevated levels of fibrinogen were than twice as likely to die of a heart attack.

Research shows that it is best to keep fibrinogen levels below 300mg / dl.
Garlic acts as a natural blood thinner. This helps prevent the clotting associated with excess fibrinogen levels.

Recommended dose is 4,000 mcg a day.

Fish oil supplementation helps to reduce fibrinogen levels.79 Recommended dose is 4-9 grams a day.

Curcumin is the yellow pigment found in turmeric. It is a powerful antioxidant with potent anti-inflammatory properties. Curcumin's ability to reduce inflammation helps squelch excess fibrinogen levels.

Ginkgo Biloba has over 300 clinical trials that support its use in the management of cardiovascular and cognitive disorders. Ginkgo acts as a vasodilator to lower blood pressure, improve blood flow to the extremities (legs), and reduces fibrinogen levels.

One study showed that 40mg of ginkgo taken twice a day reduced the symptoms associated with intermittent claudication (decreased circulation to the legs) up to 45 percent.
Recommended dose is 120mg a day.

C-Reactive Protein

C-Reactive protein (CRP) is a marker associated with inflammation. A study reported in the New England Journal Medicine found that CRP is a strong predictor of heart attack and stroke. Men with the highest percentage points had three times the risk of heart attack and twice the risk for stroke.82

Elevated CRP may indicate inflammation and subsequent arterial wall damage that then sets off a chain reaction resulting in arteriosclerosis.
Stroke patients with the highest CRP levels were 2.4 times more likely to die with in the next 12 months compared to individuals with the lowest levels of CRP.

Vitamin C lowers C-reactive protein, blood pressure, fibrinogen levels, and Lp (a) levels.

A 10-year study revealed that the 11,000 plus individuals who had high levels of vitamin C extended lifespan and reduced mortality from cardiovascular disease by 45 percent.
Recommended dose is 2-6 grams a day.

Homocysteine

Homocysteine ​​is a byproduct of the conversion of the amino acids cysteine ​​into methionine. If homocysteine ​​is not converted into methionine it will start to accumulate in the endothelial cells of the arterial wall. This leads to plaque formation and possible arterial occlusion. Homocysteine ​​speeds up the oxidation (causing toxic damage) of cholesterol, which then becomes bound to small LDL particles. Macrophages then the particles and transform them into plaque.

The European Journal of Medicine reported that 40 percent of those who had strokes also had elevated homocysteine ​​levels compared to only 6 percent of controls.

Higher levels of homocysteine ​​increased the incidence of deep vein thrombosis.

A Norwegian study involving over 4700 men and women showed that for each 5-millimol / L increase in homocysteine ​​blood plasma caused the number of deaths from all sources to jump to 49 percent. This included a 50 percent increase in cardiovascular deaths and a 26 percent increase in cancer deaths.

Homocysteine ​​levels should be kept below 7micromol / L of blood plasma. Laboratories general advocate that homocysteine ​​levels are normal up to 15. However, the risk of heart attack greatly goes up when homocysteine ​​levels go above 6.3 points.

Based on random hospital blood tests the prevalence of elevated homocysteine ​​in the elderly with chronic illnesses is estimated to be at 60-70 percent. Seventy percent of those with vascular disease had elevated homocysteine ​​levels. And 63 percent of those with cognitive dysfunction had elevated homocysteine ​​levels.

Individuals with elevated homocysteine ​​levels should supplement with 500-800mcg of folic acid, 1000-3000mcg of B12, 100-259mg of B6, and if needed 500-900mg of trimethylglycine (TMG) otherwise known as betaine.

Lomatium Dissectum Root – What You Need to Know

A native of the far western coastal and inland areas of North America from California to British Columbia, Lomatium dissectum is commonly known as fern-leaved desert parsley and biscuitroot. It is a perennial herb of the carrot family, has a distinctly spicy fragrance, and grows to about three to four feet in height. The thick root is the part of the plant most commonly used for its medicinal qualities. Although not as active medicinally as the root, the leaves and stems may be used to make a tonic.

Constituents

Active compounds in this plant include the nutrients carbohydrates, proteins, fatty acids, and vitamin C. Although a complete investigation of the active constituents of the plant has not been undertaken, it appears that the plant, especially the root, contains essential oils, gums, resins, and glycosides including coumarins and saponin. The coumarins have many medicinal actions including being sedatives, phytoestrogens, and potent antibiotics and antivirals. The saponin components have tranquilizing and antitussive actions. They may also have anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor actions. Other compounds identified in the plant included luteolin, and luvangetin. Not enough research has been done on the plant to have a full list of constituents.

Traditional Uses

Indians of the Northwest coastal areas referred to Lomaium dissectum as “big medicine.” It was widely used to treat respiratory problems including colds, flu, and other disorders. It has been used to treat problems as severe as tuberculosis and pneumonia. The dried roots were made into a tea as a treatment for colds. Beyond use for colds and other respiratory problems, the herb has been used for a wide variety of ailments and was considered as a powerful panacea, an herb that is useful for treating all disorders. There are also reports of it being used as a heart tonic among tribal peoples in Nevada. Burning the root on hot coals and breathing the fumes was used to clear congestion in the lungs. Native Americans even chewed pieces of fresh root to relieve a sore throat. Used externally, a wash was made for skin problems and sores. Other uses by Indians include as a spring-time tonic, treating venereal diseases, relieving digestive problems, and treating illnesses caused by bacterial and viral agents. It is reported that during the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1917-18, the root was thought to have saved many tribal people from flu fatalities. One American doctor used the herb for that purpose with success after noting its use among the Indians.

Although not widely used by modern herbalists, an extraction of the root is thought to be effective in treating bacterial and viral illnesses including AIDS. Some herbalists have reported that Lomatium may have anti-HIV actions. It has been used for periodontal disease, skin infections, and other disorders resulting from bacteria and viruses. It is believed to be useful against the viral form of hepatitis. It is believed to be an adaptogen.

Research

Although little research has been conducted on the plant, the known constituents are medically active. The most apparent actions include the anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties. A study conducted in 1995 using an extract from the root found that it completely inhibited a rotavirus in the lab. 

Safety

A red rash may develop in people sensitive to the plant. After discontinuation of use, the rash usually subsides within days. Extracts from the root remove the element that causes the rash but using whole root should be done with caution.

How To Use Snake Oil For Your Hair

Many people use natural treatments for soft and luxurious hair. Snake oil is a little known option that’s used to treat dandruff as well as hair loss. It can also help hair retain its strength and shine. There are a few different snake oil products for the hair available today and it’s a good place to start for a natural, effective treatment.

If you’re noticing flakes in your hair you may want to start with a snake oil treatment, such as a solid shampoo containing the oil, to nourish the scalp. Solid shampoos are effective because they contain other natural ingredients like peppermint and lavender to kill the microbes that cause dandruff. To use a solid shampoo you simply let the bar melt in your hands for a few seconds before massaging onto your scalp and hair. Always allow the oil to soak for at least twenty minutes before rinsing it off to make sure it soaks into the skin and hair completely.

Dry, damaged, worn out hair can also benefit from oil treatments. If your hair is over processed or damaged from heat or cold, try applying this oil to your scalp and locks. Wrap your hair in plastic and leave the oil on for at least an hour, or overnight if you can. Snake oil is a healthy option that can repair damage while locking in moisture to prevent split ends and dryness.

Although not backed by any scientific studies, many men and women use snake oil and other oils to treat hair loss and to promote new growth. The belief is the oil can nourish hair and its follicles, keeping the hair and scalp healthy and preventing hair loss to a degree. It’s also believed that the oil can stop hair loss from getting worse, although not necessarily return hair that’s already gone.

If you’re interested in trying a snake oil product to nourish your hair select one that is natural and includes other beneficial oils and herbs to soothe, nourish and treat your scalp and hair effectively. Many people swear on its ability to treat dandruff and the benefits it offers to dry, over processed hair is obvious. Although it’s not the most common hair treatment available, snake oil is definitely worth a try.

More common oils include olive, almond, coconut and castor oil for hair. If snake oil is not for you, try one of these.

Brain Cancer – Symptoms of Brain Cancer

Brain cancer is a disease of the brain where cancer cells (malignant) grow in the brain tissue. Cancer cells grow to form a mass of cancer tissue (tumor) that interferes with brain tissue functions such as muscle control, sensation, memory, and other normal body functions. Tumors composed of cancer cells are called malignant tumors, and those composed of noncancerous cells are called benign tumors. Cancer cells that develop from brain tissue are called primary brain tumors. Statistics suggest that brain cancer is not rare and is likely to develop in about 20,000 people per year.

There are two main types of brain cancer. Primary brain cancer starts in the brain. Metastatic brain cancer starts somewhere else in the body and moves to the brain. Brain tumors can be benign, with no cancer cells, or malignant, with cancer cells that grow quickly.

Primary brain cancer rarely spreads beyond the central nervous system, and death results from uncontrolled tumor growth within the limited space of the skull. Metastatic brain cancer indicates advanced disease and has a poor prognosis.

Metastatic brain tumors are made of cancerous cells from a tumor elsewhere in the body. The cells spread to the brain from another tumor in a process called metastasis. About 25% of tumors elsewhere in the body metastasize to the brain.

Symptoms of Brain Cancer

Brain tumors can damage vital neurological pathways and invade and compress brain tissue. Symptoms usually develop over time and their characteristics depend on the location and size of the tumor.

Cancers are typically painless at first. As they grow, the first symptom is often a mild discomfort, which may steadily worsen into increasingly severe pain as the cancer enlarges. The pain may result from the cancer compressing or eroding into nerves or other structures.

The symptoms are caused by the tumor pressing on or encroaching on other parts of your brain and keeping them from functioning normally.

A sign is also an indication that something is not right in the body. But signs are defined as things that can be seen by a doctor, nurse, or other health care professional. Fever, rapid breathing rate, and abnormal breathing sounds heard through a stethoscope may be signs of pneumonia.

As the skull is made of bone, there is a fixed amount of space for the brain to take up. The growing tumor increases the pressure inside this fixed space. This is called ‘raised intracranial pressure’.

Motion sickness is a very common disturbance of the inner ear that is caused by repeated motion such as from the swell of the sea, the movement of a car, the motion of a plane in turbulent air, etc. In the inner ear (which is also called the labyrinth), motion sickness affects the sense of balance and equilibrium and, hence, the sense of spatial orientation.

Brain tumors can often present different symptoms depending on the location of the tumor. There are general brain tumor symptoms that need to be checked out by a doctor if they are experienced.

Fits are one of the commonest symptoms of brain tumors. About 1 in 4 people with a brain tumor first go to their doctor because they have had a fit. A fit can just be jerking or twitching of a hand, arm or leg.

At the late stages of the disorder, dramatic changes in blood pressure may occur. Seizures are a common symptom of benign brain tumors and slow-growing cancers. Tumors can cause a part of the body to weaken or feel paralyzed. Hearing, sight and the sense of smell can be affected.

Herbs For Pneumonia and Poison Ivy

Pneumonia often starts with a bad cold but spreads to the lungs, where it causes infection. You may have a mucous cough and may have difficulty taking a deep breath. Severe pneumonia often requires a hospital stay. Mild pneumonia may be treated with herbal remedies, especially if you are prone to this type of condition. Always have your condition checked by a doctor to ensure that it does not progress in severity.

_ Echinacea – This immune boosting herb is often effective by helping the body fight off infections. This is available in capsule form as well as in a tea or tincture.

_ Goldenseal – This herb helps fight bacteria and can also help stimulate the body’s immune system. You can take this in capsule form or as a tea or tincture. In capsule form, take up to 1,000-milligrams three times per day.

_ Mullein – This herb is known to help the respiratory tract and can help fight inflammation. It also eases coughs, helping the body get needed rest.

Usually used as a tea, steep the dried root in hot water for 10 minutes

Remove the herbs and drink the tea. You may drink up to 3 cups of tea per day

Poison Ivy and Poison Oak

Allergic reactions to poison ivy and poison oak range from mild to severe Reactions start with red and itching skin followed by blisters and oozing. If exposed, rinse the effected area as soon as possible with water. For severe reactions you should seek medical attention by a doctor. Mild reactions, however, are often easily helped with herbal remedies.

_ Jewelweed – This plant is known to help skin rashes caused by poison ivy, oak and sumac. Use the fresh, crushed leaves in a compress and hold on the effected skin. You can also apply a tea rinse to the skin. Mix a strong tea and apply to the skin with a clean cloth.

_ Aloe – The juice from the aloe plant helps heal wounds and acts as an anti-inflammatory. You can use it right off the plant by breaking off a small piece and applying the gel directly to the skin. Aloe lotion is available commercially. Look for gel that is 100% aloe.

_ Witch Hazel – This herb is cooling, soothing and drying, three things that will help heal rashes quickly. Readily available at drug stores, apply topically to the skin as often as needed. You can soak a cloth with witch hazel and lay over the effected skin area.

_ Cucumber – Cucumber acts as a coolant and helps calm inflamed skin

You can use a fresh cucumber applied directly to the skin. You may also mash the cucumber and use by placing small amounts on the skin.