Catering Food With Care

Last week it was my Son’s birthday and we planned to take the kids for a picnic to the lakeside park. We decided to make a salad and pack some sandwiches & drinks for the picnic. We prepared the sandwiches at night and took along with us for the morning trip. By mid-day we were at the lake. As we spread the sheets on the grass the kids felt hungry and demanding food. As I opened the basket I smelt something weird.

The sandwiches with chicken filling was giving out unpleasant smell. The food had gone bad. To our good fortune we figured out that it had gone bad and decided not to eat it. Such instances happen with each one of us in our day to day life. We often prepare food at home and then take it somewhere else to be eaten. A lot of people cater from home and supply food to people. As the person preparing or handling the food, it is your responsibility to make sure your food does not make the guests ill. Food poisoning is a miserable and potentially dangerous experience.

You will need to take extra care if any young children, pregnant women, older people or anyone who is ill will be coming to the function. This is because if anyone in these vulnerable groups gets food poisoning, they are more likely to become seriously ill. In spite of using fresh ingredients to prepare food, it goes bad so soon. Let’s figure out what really went wrong?

The most common errors which lead to food poisoning are:

Poor storage of Food

Cold foods not kept cold enough or hot foods hot enough

Inadequate cooking

Not separating raw and ready-to-eat food

Food contamination can happen at any stage be it cooking, transportation and even storage. Inappropriate storage is often reported as the cause of food poisoning outbreak. Food is left unrefrigerated for prolonged period which makes it prone to bacteria infestation. If you are planning to prepare food for a large group ensure that you have an appropriate sized refrigerator and freezer to store food and you use proper wrapping paper and bags to store food.

Raw food and Ready to eat food should never be stored together. This increases the risk of bacterial activity.

Cooked foods that need to be chilled should be cooled as quickly as possible, preferably within an hour. Avoid putting them in the fridge until they are cool, because this will push up the temperature of the fridge. To cool hot food quickly, place it in the coolest place you can find – often not in the kitchen. Another way is to put the food in a clean, sealable container, and put it under a running cold water tap or in a basin of cold water, or use ice packs in cool bags. Where practical, reduce cooling times by dividing foods into smaller amounts.

Once the food is prepared, getting it to where the function is being held can be a problem. This can be particularly difficult when there are large quantities of perishable food involved. Use cool boxes. You will also need to check that the facilities at the place where the function is being held are adequate for keeping hot foods hot and cold foods cold. Adequate fridge and cooker capacity there is just as important as in the home.

Cooking food thoroughly is the key to killing most of the harmful bacteria that cause food poisoning. Large meat joints or whole poultry are more difficult to prepare safely, so take special care with them.After having learnt all this I realized why the picnic food got spoilt. I let the chicken sandwiches out unrefrigerated for way too long and I did not care to separate salads and ready to eat food. I could have used cool box for transporting the food. But I guess we all learn from our bad experiences.

Stress is Not to Blame For Stomach Ulcers

For many years,  ulcers  were blamed on stress, unhealthy lifestyle or too much spicy food. Today, doctors know the true cause of this painful digestive order. You may not always be able to control whether or not you will suffer from  ulcers , but you can find successful treatment, both from your doctor and at home.

How Do You Know It’s An  Ulcer ?

Peptic  ulcers  are sores in the lining of the stomach or small intestine. The most common symptom is burning pain, felt anywhere from your belly button to your breast bone. The pain is caused by stomach acid coming in contact with the ulcerated area. It can last for just a few minutes or several hours, and it may be worse when your stomach is empty.  Ulcer  pain may flare up at night, and it tends to go away for a few days only to return. Acid-reducing medicines may temporarily relieve the pain, but do not treat the underlying condition.

If stress and diet are not the root causes of  ulcers , what is? The most common culprit is a bacterium called Helicobacter pylori, or H. pylori. It exists around the world and is estimated to be found in 50% of people over 60 years of age. H. Pylori live in the mucous that protects the tissue lining the stomach and small intestine. Often, it will cause no problems at all.

Trouble occurs when H. pylori causes inflammation in the mucous layer, resulting in  ulcers . Why this happens in some individuals and not others is uncertain. It is not completely clear how H. pylori spreads, but may be transmitted through contaminated food and water. It can pass from person to person via close contact, like kissing or drinking from the same glass.

H. pylori are not the only cause of  ulcers . Regular use of pain relievers, both prescription and over-the-counter varieties, can weaken the stomach lining and make you vulnerable to  ulcers . Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin and ibuprofen, naproxen (Aleve) and ketoprofen (Orudis KT) can lead to  ulcers . Taking NSAIDs with food can reduce the risk of damage to the stomach lining.

Smoking is also a risk factor for  ulcers . Nicotine causes your body to produce more stomach acid, making you vulnerable. Smoking can also slow down your recovery after being treated for  ulcers . Excessive alcohol consumption is thought to contribute to ulceration, but other factors such as H. pylori may need to be present to cause an  ulcer .

Types Of Treatment

If H. pylori is the cause of your  ulcer , your doctor will treat you by killing the bacteria and reducing the levels of stomach acid in your body. Antibiotics are required to eliminate H. pylori. You will only need to take them for one to two weeks, along with a proton pump inhibitor or PPI. PPIs reduce stomach acid, allowing the  ulcer  to heal. Examples of PPIs are Prilosec, Prevacid, Aciphex, Protonix and Nexium. If you do not have H. pylori, PPIs will be used on their own.

If an  ulcer  has become aggravated to a certain point, bleeding may occur. In this case, an upper endoscopy is performed. In this procedure, the doctor inserts a small scope through your mouth to repair the  ulcer . If an  ulcer  has created holes in the stomach lining, surgery may be necessary.

Home care for  ulcers  is fairly straightforward. Avoid acidic and spicy foods, which may increase discomfort. If you have an  ulcer , it is necessary to see a doctor for treatment so complications like bleeding may be avoided.

Some natural remedies to try include licorice, manuka honey and bananas. Found in health food stores.

Licorice should be consumed as De-Glycyrrhizinated Licorice (DGL). Glycyrrhizin increases water retention and blood pressure. A double-blind, placebo-controlled trial reported that 16 people with significant stomach discomfort showed an average improvement of 78% when given 360 mg of DGL thrice daily, compared to 34% in the placebo group. Other trials have compared DGL to prescription drugs showing that 760 mg DGL 3 times daily is as effective as the popular prescription drug cimetidine. Deglycyrrhizinated licorice causes no water retention or increase in BP.

Taking one to two tablespoons of manuka honey each day may inhibit growth of the bacteria responsible for  ulcers . Eating two bananas per day may neutralize the acidic gastric juices that cause irritation to  ulcers .

You can speed your recovery by avoiding things that produce excess stomach acid like cigarettes and alcohol. Do not over use NSAIDs for pain. Medications like containing acetaminophen (Tylenol and others) are a good alternative. Some people believe milk helps  ulcers , but this is not the case. It temporarily soothes pain by coating the stomach, but it can end up making the  ulcer  worse.

If you suspect an  ulcer , stay calm and see your doctor as soon as possible. It is likely that he or she will be able to treat this common condition quickly and easily. Although we now know  ulcers  are not caused by stress, worrying about your health is still harmful! Seek treatment so you can return to feeling better as soon as possible.

Ayurvedic Diet – Your Dosha and Other Facts You Should Know!

No matter what problem you have, you are sure to find one or more ayurvedic remedies for it. However, before trying out any ayurvedic diet, ayurvedic diet test or ayurvedic cleansing diet, you may want to find out your ‘dosha’ – that is, your ayurveda mind and body type. This helps you to determine what ayurvedic diet dosha is best for you and what ayurvedic diet chart you should use. There are places online that would help you find out your dosha for free.

Pita Dosha:

Pita body types are described as a mix of fire and water. Persons in this category tend to be soft hearted and sensitive, and yet at the same time they anger easily. Those with a pita dosha, according to ayurveda, are more prone to heart disease, liver disorders, early aging, hyperacidity, skin disease and blood infections.

An ayurvedic diet pita should include a lot of sweets. Sweet foods, controversial as it may sound, are said to help such a person remain calm. A variety of herbs are recommended; Pushkarmool and Arjuna herbs should be taken together to prevent heart problems, Nagkeshar and Chandana are said to cool both the inside and outside of your skin, and Kutaki, Bhumyamalaki, Daruharidra and Guduchi are helpful for the liver. Doing an ayurvedic cleansing diet from time to time will also help your liver to stay healthy.

Vata Dosha:

Those with a Vata body type are energetic, love the outdoors and always want to be on the move. However, Vata people also have a hard time concentrating on specific tasks and suffer from sleep disorders, digestive problems, joint and bone problems and dry skin. These types of people also use up a lot of nervous energy on fidgety habits, such as cracking their knuckles or biting their fingernails.

It is especially important for a person of the Vata body type to choose a good ayurvedic diet; many of these people eat foods that are incompatible with this particular kind of dosha and because of this have problems with flatulence and constipation. Herbal Vata Tea is also recommended for those with a Vata dosha, as it helps to calm the body and ease the nerves.

Kapha Dosha:

A person with a Kapha body type has a lot going for them. In fact, a person with this particular dosha can be far healthier than someone from another dosha, if they have a balanced diet and lifestyle. However, those of the Kapha body type are more inclined to bad habits such as overeating, eating too many sweets or fatty foods, lethargy, over-possessiveness and stubbornness.

It is important for such a person to use an ayurvedic diet chart, or ayurvedic food chart, to see what they are eating and whether they are overindulging in unhealthy foods. Due to their weakness in this regard, those with a kapha dosha are prone to diabetes, obesity, atherosclerosis and oily skin. People of this nature are also susceptible to digestive problems and kidney stones.

Eat a healthy diet with lots of fruits, vegetables and whole grain foods. While some ayurvedic herbal capsules can help a person of this nature to avoid gaining too much weight, they should always be used in combination with a healthy diet.

If you have a kapha dosha, it is also very important that you take regular exercise. Choose a form of exercise that you enjoy and make time for it in your schedule. It does not matter whether you prefer to swim, jog, run, go to the gym or work out to an exercise video. Regular physical activity is a must; do some form of exercise at least three times per week. Exercises combined with a good ayurvedic diet and ayurvedic remedies are most suitable for those of this dosha.

Be your dosha whatever it may, you first should what to find out what it is and then follow the particular Ayurvedic diet that recommended for your dosha.

What Is Betaine?

Betaine (AKA: glycine betaine) is a substance that was originally found in sugar beets. It is quite useful in preventing diseases of the heart and liver, and it is also helpful as a digestive aid. Betaine is also very helpful in supporting a healthy metabolism and assists people in gaining muscle weight rather than gaining fat. Betaine aids intestinal function and supports the production of new cells. When choline, folic acid and the vitamins B6 & B12 are present, the benefits of Betaine are enhanced.

Betaine is the body’s source of hydrochloric acid (stomach acid). This acid has a low pH and can kill off a number of microorganisms and bacteria that may be ingested. It occurs naturally in the stomach where it breaks down proteins and fats and aids with digestion. It is essential for proper absorption of calcium, iron, and vitamin B12.

You will often find betaine in products that contain creatine and it’s precursor, glycocamine. The inclusion of betaine in this mix supports the production of creatine and inhibits the production of homocysteine. This is what helps you with both muscle strength and growth.

Carnitine is a nutrient that is created in the kidneys and the liver and stored in semen, and within the brain, heart, and skeletal muscles. It helps the body to metabolize fat properly and protects the internal organs from damage. Without enough betaine anhydrous in the system, carnitine will be in low supply – a circumstance which will cause myriad problems.

Betaine also helps metabolism by working with taurine, a semi-essential amino acid. When taurine and betaine work together, blood pressure is lowered and metabolism runs more smoothly. Betaine and taurine form an unbeatable antioxidant combination to support a strong immune system.

Be sure not to get betaine HCL and betaine anhydrous confused. Betaine HCL is a form of hydrochloric acid. People whose stomachs do not produce enough gastric acid can benefit from the use of betaine hydrochloride. It can take the place of natural stomach acids that work to break down fats and protein and help with the absorption of nutrients into the blood stream. If you specifically experience digestion problems due to low levels of natural betaine and stomach acid, you will want to take pure betaine, which is quite acidic. It can be used in limited amounts, on a short term basis to help with low stomach acid; however, it can be dangerous to use too much for too long. In fact, overusing betaine HCL can cause skin problems, gastritis and sensitivity to the sun.

Betaine citrate anhydrous is the dehydrated, powder form of betaine citrate. Betaine citrate is one of the citrate salts. It is a synthetic form of betaine. Trimethylglycine (tmg),is another name for betaine anhydrous; however, recently glycine betaine is the term you will hear most often. Glycine betaine is a byproduct of the sugar industry. There is a slight difference in trimethylglycine and betaine anhydrous. It lies in the chemical structure.

Betaine anhydrous is beneficial for general health support. It is used in a lot of health and medical applications. It is an antioxidant, preservative, and nutrition redispersing agent that has been shown effective in the treatment of cardiovascular disease. It has a very positive effect on the metabolism of fat, and it is known for helping the liver to regenerate. Betaine anhydrous has a mild taste. In fact, it is actually sweet tasting. Although more research on the safety of betaine citrate is needed, it seems to be easily metabolized by the body and so far has been shown to have few, if any side effects.

Both forms of betaine are taken orally, with food, two times daily, usually at the recommendation of a doctor. Be sure to measure carefully: 350 – 650 mg or 3 – 6 grams daily is the usual dose. You can mix betaine with food or drink. Remember that betaine hcl is very acidic tasting, so you may have to experiment with what sort of food or drink will work best for its consumption. Use 4-6 ounces of liquid or mix the powder with soft food and consume the drink or food right away.

Another purpose of betaine is the prevention of dehydration at a cellular level. Betaine helps strengthen cell walls. This is especially true of the cells in the kidneys and the epithelial cells. Betaine helps protect your cells from stress. This is very important for people whose lifestyles are stressful and those who engage in extreme workouts. Building muscle can be very stressful to the body.

Knowing Angioedema

Angioedema, which is also called by others as Quincke’s   edema , is the swelling occurring in the tissue under the skin’s surface. The skin ailment is usually an allergic reaction to a medication or food.

Occurrence of Angioedema should also be given proper attention and focus because it may indicate an underlying condition of more serious ailment or sickness like leukemia or Hodgkin’s disease.

In the medical world, there are two basic divisions or classification of angioedema. One, it can be hereditary angioedema or HAE—this is genetically acquired or inborn and will tend to constantly recur despite intense treatment.

The other is termed ‘acquired angioedema or AAE, which as the name suggests is acquired through other means beyond genetic factors.

Angioedema can take minutes or even hours to completely develop. One interesting thing about angioedema is that it can infect or affect one side or area of the body, while the other side, or other areas, is not affected.

It is important to know basic facts, prevention and treatment of angioedema because the skin ailment could be fatal if untreated.

Identifying angioedema

Symptoms and indications that a person has angioedema vary. Usually, the disease affect the eyelids, the tongue, the lips, the palms, the soles, the throat, and shocking as it may be, in several instances in the genitals. Any from these body areas can feel pain and burning sensation. Often, the infected part is also swollen.

Breathing troubles, especially those instances characterized by swollen or tight-feeling throat with hoarseness can also indicate the presence of angioedema.

In some recorded instances, there were also abdominal pain and diarrhea. These can be accompanied by reduced or diminished appetite and sometimes, nausea or vomiting.

Physically, one can simply tell if a person has angioedema if the area surrounding or around the eyes of a person is extraordinarily swollen. To verify the suspicion, check if the person has discolored rashes or patches in the face, the feet, the hands, and if it will possible to check on this body area, the genital or sex organ.

There is another type of angioedema that is also called angioedema-eosinophilia syndrome, when the person feel like having fever, hives or itchiness. This form of angioedema is also characterized by high level or count of white blood cells, muscle pain, weight gain or decreased or diminished urination.

Treating angioedema

Doctors and hospital personnels’ first and primary concern when treating angioedema is making sure that airway is unblocked or open or that the breathing is practically not disturbed.

There are several drugs that are often prescribed to treat the disease. Among them are antihistamines, corticosteroids and epinephrine.

If the angioedema attack is somehow severe, make sure the patient is rushed to the nearest hospital because professional personnel will have to first open blocked airways to help stabilize the victim’s condition.


There are several food additives and foods that are known to trigger angioedema attacks on several people. If you have an angioedema history, it is important to stay away or eliminate the following food from your daily diet.

-       Berries 

- Chocolate
- Legumes
- Seafood
- Milk
- Eggs
- Nuts

Some people are also advised not to eat citrus fruits and food and beverage with sulfites, including some fermented beverages.


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3 Secret Natural Tips to Get a Strong Heart Instantly

Your heart is the most important organ in our body! If we didn’t have a heart, our body will not function and will cease to exist. The heart is an organ in which it pumps blood around our body and bring nutrients to our organs and also takes away all the waste from our body. So if we want to live longer and more healthier, we need to make our hearts strong! Here are 3 secret natural tips to get a strong heart!

1. Sweat at least 30 minutes a day!

Sweating is a sign of your heart being stressed. When you stress your heart in the correct way, such as exercising, you can make you heart feel very strong. So the best way to get it stronger is by running at least 30 minutes a day so you sweat for at least 30 minutes. This is one of the best way to get a strong heart!

2. Drink 8 glasses a water a day!

The heart requires blood to pump. If there isn’t much blood in the heart, then the heart gets weaker. So always maintain a good level of blood in your body and the best way to get a good level is by drinking 8 glasses of water a day!

3. Have good straight posture!

Posture is one of the best way to get a good strong heart. If your posture is bent over, for instance if you have a hunch back, you can compress the heart. That is, when you hunch over, the chest wall is close to your abdomen (tummy) which puts pressure on the heart. This will make the heart weaker. The heart works its optimum best if you have a straight spine, so always have good posture!

Why Coconut Oil is Good For You

Coconut oil is a saturated type of fat. Below 76F it is solid and above this temperature it is liquid. The family of saturated fats also include real butter, lard and palm oil. Saturated fats have been wrongly accused of being responsible for atherosclerosis, heart attacks and cardiovascular disease in general. The confusion started when a great deal of misleading information came out by the media and was amplified beyond control. At the same time, artificial refined vegetable oils (made from mixtures of soya, cotton, rapeseed oils etc) and margarines became popular as a healthy alternative to the “mean” and unhealthy saturated fats.

The fact is that when butter and lard were used, up to 1930, heart attacks were responsible for less than 3,000 deaths per year in USA. In 1950 when margarine and vegetable oils had taken over the world, myocardial   infarction  was already claiming 500,000 lives every year. Also native populations in Asia follow a diet heavily based on coconut products, overall extremely high in saturated fats but are free from cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

So, coconut oil is healthy. The fact that it is saturated makes it an excellent choice for cooking with it. Saturated fats are very stable at high temperatures. This has to do with their chemistry and how they react with other molecules. Heat cannot cause any chemical or structural changes to natural saturated fats. Except for this important fact, coconut oil has been found to have significant antimicrobial and antiviral properties. This makes a big difference during digestion, when the contents of our stomach proceed to the gut. The gut and the digestive tract in general is the barrier between the internal part of the body and the external environment.

The food we consume is full of bacteria, dust and many other potential pathogens that go undetected. It is massively important for our body to prevent all these dangerous agents from being absorbed along with the valuable nutrients. So, if the very oil we cook our food into is antimicrobial, imagine how much this helps in cleansing the food from harmful pathogens and how much this alleviates our body’s defence systems! Coconut oil consists at least 40% of a fatty acid called Lauric acid. This fat is found in breast milk and research since the 60s has shown that this very substance is responsible for the antiviral and antimicrobial protection babies receive from their mother’s milk. Further research showed that the human body uses Lauric acid to produce a chemical derivative, which subsequently attacks and dissolves the membrane many viruses are covered with in order to be able to infect healthy cells.

Finally ladies, you will be happy to know that coconut oil has anti-aging and incredible weight loss properties. In the 40s, farmers tried coconut oil to fatten their animals, which instead became lean and slim! Coconut oil has the ability to stimulate thyroid function. Active thyroid means elevated metabolic rates and more efficient fat loss even while you sleep! In the presence of adequate thyroid hormone, cholesterol is converted in extremely important hormones (anti-aging steroids, progesterone, pregnenolone etc) that fight off heart disease, obesity, cancer and other degenerative diseases.

The farmers of the story were obviously very disappointed to see their animals lean and fit so when it became known that coconut oil stimulates the thyroid function, tried to feed the animals anti – thyroid drugs to shut their thyroid gland down and make them fat. While this happened, they also developed cancer in higher rates. Then, they realized that they could have the fattening result without the cancer if they just fed their livestock with soy bean and corn! So now you have the full story about coconut oils and vegetable oils coming from soya, corn, cotton, rapeseed etc.

Signs of a Heart Attack

If you suspect that you are having a heart attack, it is vital to act on time to avoid serious consequences. Dial 911 immediately to avoid potential death or permanent disability. Heart attacks are a life threatening situation, and every split second matters. If any of the signs listed below are displayed, then it is vital you get to a hospital immediately. Of course, not all of these symptoms will be displayed in every instance of a heart attack. Or, you might find that one or more of the symptoms are recurring. If this happens to you, be sure to get help immediately.

In today’s world, we have the benefit of new and improved treatments and medications for heart attacks and strokes that were not available in the past. Clot busting medications can stop heart attacks in progress and save lives while also reducing the level of potential disability. But in order to be effective, these medications need to be administered immediately – they will not be effective if they are administered too late. This is why it is essential to seek medical treatment as soon as heart attack signs begin to appear.

In addition to smoking and obesity related illnesses, coronary heart disease is responsible for the most deaths in the United States. Strokes are also a leading cause of death, and perhaps the most common cause of permanent disabilities. By keeping informed, you can reduce the risk that a stroke or heart attack will happen to you, realize that you are having a heart attack or stroke, and know what to do in the event that it happens to you.

Signs of a heart attack can be brutal and intense, with heavy chest pain. But oftentimes, the symptoms are so mild that one does not even realize a heart attack has occurred until after the fact. The latter situation is particularly dangerous, because often a person will not seek help until it is way too late. Below, we will take a look at some of the most common signs that a heart attack is in progress.

Common heart attack symptoms include intense chest pains, which can often be felt also in the left arm or jaw, profuse sweating, and a sense of impending doom or morbid fear. Yet many heart attack victims do not have any of these symptoms at all. Or they might experience them in mild form, or have localized pain in their shoulders, arms, back, or abdomen. Sometimes the only symptom is a feeling of heartburn or nausea. When experiencing these mild symptoms, often times people will not regard it as a problem and refuse to seek medical help. It is estimated that around thirty percent of all heart attacks are actually diagnosed as such after the fact. Thus, it is incredibly important that people who are at risk for heart attacks pay attention to anything unusual that occurs in the upper half of their bodies.

If you think you are having a heart attack, get help immediately. It could mean the difference between life and death.

Kidney and Heart Disease – Consequences

Heart disease itself is a serious medical concern. When kidney and heart disease occur in combination, the challenge is even greater.

Kidney and heart disease may begin separately, and then progress together, becoming one disease. Heart disease may also spark the beginning of kidney disease. Whichever occurs first, kidney and heart disease affect each other’s progress.

Since kidney and heart disease are so closely related, anyone who has heart disease, or is at risk for developing it, should ask his or her physician to order urine and blood tests that are designed to identify kidney disease.

Kidney Functions

Most people know that the kidneys remove wastes and fluids from the body. In addition to these functions, kidneys also perform other important jobs. Among them, several are vital to heart health.

* Regulate water in the body

* Regulate blood chemicals: calcium, phosphorus, potassium, and sodium

* Remove drugs and toxins from the body

* Release hormones that regulate blood pressure and create red blood cells.

Kidney Disease Consequences

Kidney disease that is uncontrolled can become chronic kidney disease (CKD). As CKD worsens, the kidneys can not adequately regulate water in the body. The blood may become too thick, placing an increased work load on the heart.

At the same time, blood chemicals will go unregulated. If the heart lacks the important electrolyte chemicals, it cannot function efficiently.

CKD will also allow drugs, toxins, and other wastes in the blood to build to high levels. These high concentrations of toxic materials can take a toll on the whole body, including the heart.

High blood pressure and anemia (low red blood cell count) can be linked to failure of the kidneys to release necessary hormones.

Kidney and heart disease will then become a combined concern.

How to Prevent the Lethal Combo

Early detection of kidney and heart disease is important. Both can be treated more successfully if detected in their early stages.

Ask your physician about these three simple tests: blood pressure, serum creatinine test, and urine test.

If you have high blood pressure, be sure your physician tests for kidney disease. If you have kidney disease, insist that your physician test for high blood pressure. One can cause the other.

The kidney and heart disease combination is most likely to hit those with diabetes, hypertension, and a family history of kidney disease. If you are African American, Hispanic, a Pacific Islander, a Native American, or a senior citizen, you are at greater risk for kidney and heart disease.

Kidney and heart disease do not always go hand-in-hand, but if you have one or the other, you increase the risks of both.

CAUTION: The author is not a medical professional, and offers the information in this article for educational purposes only. Please discuss it with your health care provider before relying on it in any way.

Miracle Mineral Supplement Explained

In middle 1996, deep inside the mining jungles of South America, a United States scientist, named Jim Humble, made a breakthrough discovery… A discovery that would shift the course of human health history forever. Out of one small mining team’s fight for survival, came a simple, yet all-prevailing remedy for nearly every pathogen-borne disease recognized to mankind. It started with a cure for malaria. Caused by a protozoan parasite, this disease downs over one million people each year.

After more than 75,000 registered successful interventions of this disease, many of which had effect in less than four hours, it was observed to experience similar results on diseases, induced by viruses, bacteria, fungi and proteins. Diseases like… AIDS, Hepatitis A, B and C, Typhoid Fever, BSE (mad-cow disease), Cancers, Herpes, Pneumonia,   Tuberculosis , Arthritis, Asthma Attack, Colds and Flus… including H5N1 (“Bird Flu”).

In the summer of 2007, Jim Humble heroically stepped out of the shadows to giveaway this info freely to all humankind. He thinks the long-term accessibility of this substance (called “miracle mineral solution”) may soon be heavily controlled by “the powers that be”. The elements of the Miracle Mineral Supplement are few…

The chemistry, simplified. The science, strong. The material (right now)… abundant. Chances are, you’ve never heard of this substance from your local doctor, a few medical doctors are practicing chemists. Unfortunately, you won’t find Miracle Mineral Supplement at your local drugstore any time shortly. Nature can’t be patented. Pharmaceutical companies profit from “treatments”, not remedies. Ironically, even so, this content has already been authorized for various usage by the FDA. Applied in some industries, for eradication of pathogens outside the body, it’s safety for man consumption has hardly been disclosed to the world.

Taken as advised, it serves to kill all known pathogens inside the body… on contact, leaving behind just a worthless trace of sodium. What is this mystery panacea, named Miracle Mineral? A easy and stabilized dioxide ion, which, once in the human body, becomes the most strong killer of disease that has ever been known.

Miracle Mineral Supplement can be purchased and even easy made in your own home. A single bottle can last a whole family a year. Taken orally, it can save your life or the life of someone you know. There are literally hundreds of different reasons why everyone should have at least one bottle of MMS, if not more, on-hand. Learn more about Jim Humble’s story and his amazing gift (Miracle Mineral Supplement) to humanity.

Hair Loss – Will A Topical Hair Loss Treatment Be Enough?

Hair loss is one subject I am passionate about probably because I have fought the hair loss battle for over a decade, and at least up until this point consider my efforts to have been a success. In this article I will offer my opinion as to whether or not a topical hair loss treatment alone will be enough to deliver significant results.

Topical treatment come in many different forms with the most popular being the wide array of hair care products containing either 2 or 5 percent minoxidil.

Minoxidil was originally approved as an oral medication for blood pressure but now is primary used as a topical treatment for androgenic alopecia (male or female pattern balding). Statically, it is said to re-grow hair 80 percent of the time but the truth of the matter is only about 15 percent of the time does the new growth resemble hair. In fact, it has more the look and feel of peach fuzz. On the other hand the success rate rises substantially when the goal is to protect existing hair.

The reason for the low success rate when it comes to quality hair re-growth is the way male and female pattern baldness attack the scalp.

The driving force behind these two common conditions is the androgen hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT) which attacks the small pouch like structure just below the scalp called a hair follicle. Over time DHT starts to shrink and destroy these tiny pouches making hair re-growth difficult at best and impossible at worst.

Even more troubling is that both male and female pattern balding are progressive conditions that gradually spread turning what might be initially perceived as an inconsequential problem into a full blow case of baldness.

If you are only using a topical hair loss treatment you are focusing on the areas where the most damage has been done. These types of products are not designed to be used as full scalp treatments rather to help slow balding around the crown. They also are not suggested for the front part of the scalp and make no claim to slow a receding hairline.

As you now know by using only a topical treatment for loss of scalp hair you likely will always be a little behind the curve. For this reason I believe an oral treatment is needed to protect and nourish areas which have yet to be impacted.

There are couple of different ways to go when it comes to oral hair treatments. Some believe saw palmetto alone (for men) will do the trick. I disagree with this belief. On the other hand when saw palmetto is combined with biotin, or other hair stimulating ingredients, the result tend to be better.

The oral hair re-growth formulas that have produced the best result for me are those in liquid form which encourage healthy blood flow and circulation to the hair follicle and scalp while offsetting any other underlying problems (such as thyroid inconsistencies) that might be contributing to loss of scalp hair. Some of the ingredients commonly found in these types of hair re-growth formulas are ginkgo, rosemary, prickly ash, yarrow, and eastern purple coneflower.

In conclusion, in my opinion the best formula for reversing hair loss is the combination of oral and topical treatments. That said, perhaps the most important message when it comes to slowing, and hopefully reversing, loss of scalp hair is to address the problem before it gets out of control since it is always easier to protect existing hair than it is to produce new quality hair growth.

Brain Tumors in Dogs

Hopefully, you will never have to deal with a pet dog that has a brain tumor. If you ever do, this article should give a decent thumbnail sketch about what your pet might go through. A brain tumor exhibits specific symptoms, is relatively manageable, but is an incurable affliction. A brain tumor might be one of the saddest misfortunes that a dog can suffer through. There are several different methods for treating a dog with such a tumor, but the reality is that your dog will never be the same again.

Technically, the words “brain tumor” means a growth in the brain. Unfortunately, this definition has been sullied with the assumption that it is only cancer related. However, a brain tumor can simply mean an abnormal growth of tissue on the brain. A primary brain tumor is the result of brain cells growing abnormally within the brain and its membranes. The other kind is a cancer that has spread to the brain from elsewhere in the body. In the case of a cancerous tumor, there is no true cure that guarantee 100% remission. In fact, most brain tumors cannot be cured, but can only be treated.

Brain tumors can affect the forebrain, the brainstem and the cerebellum (just above the brainstem). That is to say, the front of the brain, the back of the brain and the tube that leads to the brain. Tumors affect each area of the brain differently. If a tumor is plaguing a dog’s brain, there is a general series of symptoms that can take place depending on the location of the tumor. It is wise to suspect a brain tumor if your dog is over 5 years old and has developed any negative neurological signs. A seizure is one of the key signs that your dog is suffering from a neurological disorder. Other visible neurological disorders might be the loss of balance, wobbly walking, difficulty swallowing, facial paralysis, head tilting leaning in a direction, loss of sight or hearing, loss of balance, head-shaking, difficulty jumping, spastic motions, eyes opening and closing strangely, weakness, a general lack of proper coordination, or even paralysis. If any of these behaviors are exhibited with an older dog, it is a good idea to at least check-in with a vet and see what might be afoot.

Neurological disorders are rather easy to define, but there is a subset of other behaviors that could start that would take a much more discerning owner to connect the dots in a brain tumor direction. Some of these symptoms might include the loss of memories (not following commands so well), an obvious onset of depression, an increased or decreased appetite or thirst, uninspired aggression, vomiting, irritability, loss of bladder control,, and even can all be potential signals. Sometimes the dog acts like they are actually in pain, whimpering. One of the most interesting symptoms however, is the pressing of their head against hard surfaces (possibly to ease pressure?).

There are no known preventative measures for a brain tumor. They just happen. Age seems to be a common denominator though, with 95% of canine mengiomas (slow growing tumors that put pressure on the brain) occurring in dogs over 7 years old. Sometimes, the dog might go for a substantial amount of time with a tumor on their brain unbeknownst to the dog’s owner. Because such tumors are slow growing, the brain is in a position to adjust and possibly offset negative symptoms for a period of time.

It is unfortunate that dogs can’t talk and owners are left to make a determination if the behavior is serious based on their dog’s behavior. A dog owner shouldn’t blame themselves or their lifestyle for the tumor. Nor should they hold it against themselves for not knowing sooner. The onset of behaviors such as those mentioned in the previous paragraph can happen quickly or slowly over a period of time. Furthermore, a benefit to your dog is the fact that your dog has no idea what is happening.

The only way to truly be sure that your dog has a tumor on his brain is to have an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) administered, which is basically a brain scan. A tissue biopsy is needed to determine if the tumor is cancerous. It is also a good idea to get your dog a complete physical and some routine blood work. Without treatment the average survival time for a brain tumor is 6-10 months. With some treatment, a dog’s life can be increased up to 2 more years. Solutions are surgery, radiation, chemotherapy and Palliative (pain relieving, usually steroids such as dexamethasone, prednisone, and methylprednisolone to stop the swelling) care, also, a regimen of anti-epileptic drugs to control seizures. Possible solutions are surgery (where the tumor is cut out), radiation therapy, and chemotherapy

While there isn’t a preventative method or even a clear-cut definition as to the causes of brain tumors in dogs, we can use the causes for human brain tumors as a template. While some may be a bit extreme, the general assumption is that brain tumors in humans are caused by the following: genetics, radiation exposure, serious head injuries, pesticides, cancer-causing solvents, electromagnetic fields, and possibly even nitrosamines (found in processed meats). The theories are so broad that some feel that brain tumors could be the result of any number or combination of diet, environment, genetic, chemical or immune system factors.

One of the ugliest things a dog owner can go through with their pet is dealing with a brain tumor. There are a lot of signs that point to the existence of a brain tumor, but the diagnosis is what a dog owner needs. Unfortunately, the solutions are merely extensions in time and not an absolute solution. There are several different methods for treating a dog with a brain tumor, and hopefully someday there will be more than just a list of symptoms and methods to manage such a disease.

Can I Get Pneumonia Even If I Had the Pneumonia Shot?

Pneumonias can be caused by a variety of bacteria such as Staph, Strep, Klebsiela, as well as other bacteria and even other kinds of germs.

Pneumovax, the pneumonia vaccine or Pneumonia Shot, protects you from Strep Pneumonia only. Strep pneumonia was the most common and is one of the most serious forms of pneumonia. The vaccine was developed to protect susceptible people from catching this particular germ and developing the pneumonia that it causes.

Many other germs out there can cause pneumonia. These range from viruses, such as those responsible for the common cold, to the one that causes chicken pox. Some of these, like the chickenpox virus, can be treated with special antiviral medications. Most viral infections must run their course, as we do not have many antiviral agents for treatment. Some viral pneumonias, however, can be severe and may require hospitalization in order to maintain adequate breathing and oxygen supply.

As we noted previously, pneumonia can also be caused by bacterias like those mentioned above. These are treated with antibiotics. If the infection is severe, these will be administered in the hospital and the patient’s breathing and oxygen requirements will be supported too.

Additionally, pneumonia can be caused by tuberculosis and even some fungi. Valley Fever is caused by a fungus that lives in the dusty desert soil. It is called coccidiodomycosis when it infects us and can cause a serious pneumonia. Special antifungal medications may be needed to fight off these infections.

“Walking Pneumonia”, is the common term for a class we call “Atypical Pneumonias” and is caused by organisms such as Mycoplasma and Legionella. These respond quite well to certain antibiotics.

All pneumonias can be serious, some even life threatening. Pneumonias are infections of the lung tissue itself. They can be painful because they inflame and irritate the tender lining covering the lungs. They generally cause fevers, shortness of breath and productive coughs.

You have, luckily, been protected from one of the most common and more serious forms if you’ve had the “pneumonia shot,” but you may still come down with a pneumonia caused by the other germs. As we mentioned above, some of these can be serious.

Therefore, don’t hesitate to seek medical help, if you are ill with a fever and cough, especially if you are coughing up yellow, brown, green, or reddish sputum.

Remember too, we now know that the pneumonia shot is good for seven years, at which time you will need to be re-vaccinated to continue your protection.

Who should be vaccinated? Generally speaking, people with compromised pulmonary systems like those with asthma, emphysema, or chronic bronchitis. People with compromised immune systems also benefit from the vaccination. These would include people without a spleen, those on immunosuppressant medications, or those with HIV. Seniors are, in general, more susceptible to serious infection, and usually benefit from being vaccinated.

Talk to your doctor about whether you need the pneumonia shot.

* This information is intended for educational purposes only and not for definitive diagnosis or care. Always consult your doctor for health related problems.

I’m Heading to England

When you read this article I will be on the first day of my big trip to the United Kingdom.

In 1886 my paternal grandfather was born in Hammersmith to a single mother. England was troubled economically and socially at the time. Jack the Ripper and the plague threatened its population. It was what Charles Dickens called “The best of times and the worst of times”. His works entitled “Oliver Twist” and “David Copperfield” painted the picture of how difficult life was for everyone back then – but especially for the children.

Many individuals rose up in England to help the poor and needy. Dr. Thomas Barnardo had wanted to be a missionary in China but his friend convinced him to stay in London because there was so much need there. He began setting up orphanages with the motto: “No Destitute Child ever Refused”.

When grandpa was five years of age, my great-grandmother contracted pleurisy and pneumonial fever. She knew that she couldn’t take care of her son and therefore willingly signed the Canadian Agreement so that he could immigrate to what appeared to be “the promised land”. Little Robert had to be prepared for his new life and so the Dr. Barnardo Homes sent him to work in an orchard. He lived in a number of foster homes and finally, when he had just turned eleven years of age, he sailed to Montreal. He was one of over 86,000 children who left England and immigrated to other countries around the turn of the nineteenth century

Grandpa was in a line up in Montreal when he heard the Customers Officer ask the boy ahead of him “Why did you come to Canada?” The boy replied “I am going to be a farmer”. When it was grandpa’s turn, he was asked the same question and replied “I guess I’ll be a farmer too”. He was sent to Wolseley, Saskatchewan and the occupation listed on the subsequent Census classified him as a servant.

Grandpa never saw his family again but built a life in Canada. He set an example of courage and good character for all of his descendants that will live long beyond his ninety-five years on earth. Grandpa left a hand-written journal for us that contained powerful thoughts. One that I love is: “People are like trees. If we grow up in sheltered places we would be too discouraged when the storm hits. A little buffeting about makes us stronger both physically and spiritually.” So true!

Over the years I have shared grandpa’s story with many people. A couple of years ago I was contracted to be a speaker on the Celebrity Cruise lines and, after telling the passengers about grandpa, was challenged by my son to find out more about our ancestors.

So, I purchased a membership for a genealogy website and now have traced the family back to 1642 Cornwall. I have birth and marriage certificates, addresses and interesting data back to my eighth great-grandfather.

On September 5th my daughter and I are flying to London and will spend two weeks tracing the footsteps of our ancestors. (I have promised her that we will intersperse our cemetery tours with stops at local pubs!)

Family is important. Tracing our past helps us to understand our identity.

While I am away, why not think about where you came from and how the choices of your ancestors influenced your life? And when I return, we can share stories.

A Guide To Understanding Herpes

Herpes is a virus, not a bacterial infection. A virus is small piece of nucleic acid which, when inside the cells of a living organism, begins to self-replicate. Herpes falls into this category. So far, only two types of herpes virus have been identified, type 1 or herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV1) and type 2, herpes simplex virus 2 (HSV2).

These two strains affect the genitals and other areas of the human body, such as the lips. In this article, we will dive deep into each type and how it affects the body, the symptoms of each strain and possible treatment methods.

HSV type 2 is known as genital herpes, and affects any area below the waistline. HSV type 1 affects areas of the body above the waistline, most commonly the lips. HSV1 is most commonly observed in the form of a cold sore, and it estimated that around 90% of the population carry this strain.

However, an individual with HSV1 can transmit the virus to another person’s genitals through physical contact, ie oral sex. A person with HSV2 will observe sores in the genital area and anus. The most common form of transmission of HSV2 is via physical contact during oral, anal and vaginal intercourse. Sores in the mouth can develop, increasing the risk of spreading the virus via saliva.

Symptoms of the herpes virus can fluctuate from one extreme to another. Many herpes carries observe no symptoms at all. According to medical research, almost 1 in 4 Americans carry the HSV2 virus, yet 80% of these people don’t even know they have the virus. This is because the carrier is not showing any noticeable symptoms. However, severe symptoms can the very painful and very distressing.

The early signs of an outbreak may in fact, be some muscular pain. Most people don’t link this to a herpes outbreak, instead putting it down to a pulled muscle or physical exercise. However, it is important at this point to try and think back a little and ask yourself, is there really a reason why my muscles are aching? If not, this is an early warning sign of an outbreak, and will provide you with precious time to help prepare.

The next physical symptom may be sores which typically manifest 1-7 days later. The sores first appear as red bumps which then become watery, red blisters. They can be quite painful, especially due to chafing. The sores eventually open and ooze fluid, and can take anywhere between 10-20 days to heal. Passing water can be painful also. Other symptoms herpes can display include feverish, flu type symptoms and headaches.

Treatment methods for herpes vary dramatically. Simple, small changes such as frequent washing and bathing, meticulous drying and changing your underwear to cotton only will help you to see a difference. Other treatment methods involve anti-viral medications, such as Zovirax, Famvir or Voltrex. These are prescription drugs which you can only obtain through your doctor. While these drugs are effective at clearing away an outbreak, their side effects can be unpleasant, including fatigue, stomach cramps/pains, and even some hair loss. If used long term, these anti-viral medications can begin to damage the liver, and should not be used for more than 12 months.

However, there are natural remedies available which are proven to prevent the risk of future outbreaks. There is no known cure for herpes, and once it has entered our body, the virus will always be with us. What we can do, is take preventative measures to stop further outbreaks occurring. This will involve some lifestyle changes, such as dietary changes and relaxation techniques. However, the benefits are well worth this.

Did you know that stress increases the risk of a new herpes outbreak? Learning to handle stressful situations and avoiding additional stress is something to consider.