Nail Fungus – 3 Nail Fungus Myths

There are various myths and misleading information related to nail  fungus . In this article, I’m going to discuss about some myths regarding fungal growth in nails.

Myth 1: It is Impossible To Cure Nail  Fungus  Nail  Fungus  is caused by a  fungus  that belongs to a  fungus  group known as dermophytes. It is also caused by Yeasts and molds. These microorganisms are best suited to thrive in environments in which we expose ourselves. Example: bathrooms, swimming pools. These organisms can be killed by medications. But it doesn’t guarantee a permanent elimination. They will continue to regrow. They also have the ability to spread to other nails. This has led to a misconception that it’s not possible to cure toenail  fungus .

Myth 2: Nail  Fungus  can be cured quickly It is not possible to eliminate the  fungus  in a day or two no matter what medication you use. Drugs can cause rapid changes. These changes can be noticed in a week or two. But drugs come with a variety of dangerous side effects. All diseases take time to be cured. Fungal growth in nails also takes time to be cured. Depending on the extent of the fungal growth and the type of medication involved, we can judge the time taken to eradicate the toenail  fungus . Studies have shown that it takes at least one or two months to eradicate the toenail  fungus  completely.

Myth 3: Toenail  Fungus  is a result of poor hygiene Poor hygienic conditions do promote the growth of the  fungus  but it isn’t the main cause. Scrubbing and footbaths can help in cleaning the nails affected by the  fungus  but cannot eradicate the  fungus  completely. However there are certain solutions in the market available that contain a mixture of natural oils and chemicals that help in eradicating toenail  fungus .

Genetics of Food Allergy and Intolerance

Can genetics explain if you are allergic to some pollens or foods?

White blood cell patterns determined genetically and designated as HLA DQ and DR genes have been identified with an increased risk of pollen, dust, latex, and food  allergies . The intriguing part of this story is that there is an advantage to knowing your HLA DR and DQ type when evaluating your risk for pollen  allergies  and their associated food  allergies  or cross reactions.

Genetics of Food Reactions and  Allergies 

As I explain in more detail in my articles on the genetics of gluten sensitivity, we all have proteins on the surface of our cells that are genetically determined. These patterns are easily detectable by testing cells from blood or from the mouth obtained by a Q-tip type swab. Specific patterns have been associated with increased risk for autoimmune conditions, gluten sensitivity and celiac disease.

HLA DQ Genetics and Celiac or Gluten Sensitivity

HLA DQ2 is present in more than 90% of people who have celiac disease while HLADQ8 is present in most of the rest, though not all people with celiac have been found to have DQ2 and/or DQ8.

DQ and DR Genetic Patterns Associated with Food and Pollen  Allergies  or Sensitivities?

Now it appears certain DQ or DR patterns are associated with food and pollen  allergies  as well. As the Food Doc, I continue to search the literature for more information about genetic links to food  allergy  and intolerance. My search has led to me to a couple of interesting articles in the unusual area of oral  allergy  syndrome (OAS). The relationship between seasonal and perennial nasal  allergies  and food  allergies  is certainly well established but not generally known by most doctors or patients. It appears that some of us need to avoid eating certain foods if we have hay fever or  allergies , especially during the hay fever season. This problem also appears to be inherited.

Research Documents Genetic Association With Certain Food and Pollen  Allergies 

Boehncke, et al. from the University of Frankfurt reported in 1998 that certain white blood cell types known HLA class II genotypes or HLA DQ and DR genetic patterns were found more frequently in people with certain pollen associated food  allergies . HLA-DQB1*0301 is present in more people with grass pollen  allergy . Those with HLA-DRB1*08, an inherited white blood cell protein pattern linked with a grass pollen  allergy , have six times the increased risk of peanut  allergy . Those who have inherited the HLA-DRB1*12 white blood cell pattern are 13 times higher at risk for carrot  allergy .

Tree Pollen  Allergy  to Birch Tree Pollen Appears to be Worst

Birch pollen associated hazel nut  allergy  is linked to HLA-DRB1*01, DQA1*0101, and DQB1*0501. Hazel nut, almond, walnut and apple are the most common food  allergies  associated with birch tree pollen.  Allergies  to those foods are commonly associated with birch tree pollen in other studies.

Weed  Allergies  Also Associated With Food Reactions

In 2004, Wang et al. from China published that the inherited white blood cell type DQA1*0302 is found in more people with Artemisia pollen-induced allergic rhinitis, hay fever due to Mugwort or Sagebrush weeds. Mugwort  allergy  is associated with several food  allergies  including apple, celery, hazelnut, pistachio, lettuce, almond, peanut, and carrots.

Where to Get Genetic Testing

There are three commercial labs that I am aware of that offer full HLA DQ typing. They are Quest Laboratories, The Laboratory at Bonfils in Denver, and Enterolab. Bonfils runs the Enterolab genetic tests. Enterolab offers the test run on samples of cells obtained from a Q-tip swab of the mouth. The test can be obtained directly from Enterolab without a doctor’s order though it is not covered by insurance. It however is very reasonable from a genetic testing standpoint at $149. Bonfils also does the DQ typing on cells obtained from blood samples sent to them from other labs.

The Future of Genetic Testing in Pollen and Food  Allergies 

In the future such testing should be very helpful in evaluating suspected food  allergies , intolerance and pollen  allergies . In the meantime those of us interested in this interesting story anxiously await more research findings in this exciting area. Dr. Fine, founder of Enterolab, has previously published the HLA DQ patterns associated with microscopic colitis. He has found that microscopic changes in the colon or large intestine are similar if not identical to what is seen in the small intestine in celiac disease. Several articles now document that a gluten free diet works in many people with microscopic, lymphocytic and collagenous colitis. It also helps many with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

A finding of intraepithelial lymphocytosis in the distal small intestine (terminal ileum) is associated with an increased incidence of celiac disease in the proximal small intestine. Now, adding to the intrigue, are these articles linking certain inherited white blood cell protein gene patterns to pollen  allergy  and food  allergy  cross reactions that are well recognized but rarely pursued clinically. Oral  Allergy  Syndrome (OAS), also called the “burning mouth syndrome”, occurs in many people but frequently goes undiagnosed. Symptoms include burning, painful and/or itching sensation of mouth or throat with or without swelling that occurs almost immediately after eating certain foods. The foods causing these reactions are commonly associated with pollen, latex or dust  allergies .

Unusual Association of Pollen  Allergies  and Mouth Burning or Food Reactions

This unusual association of tree, grass, and weed pollens, latex and house dust mite  allergies  to food reactions, though well documented in the medical literature, is not commonly recognized by doctors or patients. The OAS literature contains numerous reports of food  allergy  or intolerance reactions that are associated with specific pollen, dust, mold or latex  allergies . One of the best examples is ragweed pollen  allergy . It is associated with a higher risk of food  allergy  or intolerance to only a few foods. These include foods in the gourd family (cucumbers and melons) and bananas. On other the hand, Birch tree pollen  allergy  is associated with sensitivity to many foods. The list includes those foods in the Rosacea family (apples, pears), tree nut family (hazelnut, almond, walnut), potatoes, and carrots. Reactions include classic allergic reactions such as skin rashes (atopic dermatitis, hives), wheezing (asthma), runny nose (allergic rhinitis), as well as the burning mouth OAS symptoms and other food intolerance symptoms.

If You Suspect Food  Allergy , Intolerance or Sensitivity Get Evaluated By an Expert

Individuals who suspect food  allergy  or intolerance are encouraged to review the food-pollen connection and undergo appropriate evaluations for food  allergy , intolerance and sensitivity. Food sensitivity includes gluten sensitivity and cow’s milk (casein) protein sensitivity. Food intolerance includes lactose intolerance. Food  allergies  are separate and distinct from either food sensitivity or food intolerance.

Consider Getting Genetic Testing or Asking Your Doctor to Test You

This new information about the link of white blood cell protein patterns, HLA DQ types, suggests that we should consider having genetic testing done. After an adequate evaluation,

Establish a Baseline Symptom Score and Start a Food Symptom Diet Diary

I encourage everyone to establish a baseline symptom score. A detailed food symptom diary before a trial of elimination diet is also extremely helpful. An elimination diet that excludes major food lectins (dairy, grain, legumes, and nightshades) and any foods from the pollen list that one is allergic is recommended before accepting diagnoses of IBS, fibromyalgia, unexplained neuropathy or headaches, and chronic fatigue syndrome. Any symptoms not readily explained or improved with other diagnoses and treatment should be considered to be possibly due to a food reaction until proven otherwise.

Selected Bibliography

Boehncke, et al. Clin Exp  Allergy . 1998 Apr;28 (4):434-41.

Fine KD et al. Am J Gastroenterol. 2000 Aug;95(8):1974-82.

Wang et al. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg Feb; 130(2): 192-197.

Recognizing Diabetic Symptoms

For most people the symptoms of diabetes do not seem very serious when they first experience them. In fact a great majority of diabetics go undiagnosed. There is an estimated 17 million diabetics in the United States alone and it is estimated that 5.9 million have yet to be diagnosed with this life threatening disease.

Many people may even express some sort of disbelief when they are diagnosed with diabetes. The diabetic symptoms can seem so minor that saying “I don’t feel any different” or ” I don’t feel sick” is a pretty standard response for many people newly diagnosed. Because the symptoms can seem rather minor when they first start they can be attributed to other conditions or problems. Unfortunately diabetes is a serious disease and is the sixth leading cause of death by disease in the United States today.

According to the American Diabetes Association the most common symptoms of diabetes include:

o Frequent urination – Caused by high blood glucose which increases blood flow to the kidneys.

o Excessive thirst – Results from dehydration from the increased urinary output.

o Extreme hunger – Because glucose is unable to get into the body’s cells from the lack of insulin the body suffers from an energy deficit, causing hunger.

o Unusual weight loss – Despite eating more the body actually loses weight as it breaks down proteins and fats to make up for the perceived energy deficit.

o Increased fatigue – Caused by the decrease in energy

o Irritability

o Blurry vision – Caused by the increased blood volume that causes a swelling of the lens of the eye.

It’s easy to see why these symptoms may be mistaken for something other than diabetes. There are many day to day conditions that could cause some of these symptoms. For instance the stress of everyday life can lead to fatigue or irritability and as can depression which can also cause weight loss. Any number of minor illnesses such as colds or the flu can also cause diabetes like symptoms.

As the diabetes gets progressively worse so will these symptoms. Another thing to keep in mind is that unlike symptoms associated with an illness or other problems in life these will not go away. If your experience any of these symptoms and they do not go away it is important to schedule a doctors appointment and discuss your symptoms with a physician.

The sooner diabetes is diagnosed the sooner preventative treatment can be undertaken. This is important because the longer it is left untreated the more damage it can do to the body and its organ systems. While there is no cure for diabetes it can be successfully managed with positive lifestyle changes.

Depression and Women

Last year, a study reported that despite the improvement in women’s lives, their happiness relative to men has declined since the ’70s, when the reverse was true. This held true across racial and socio-economic lines in several industrialized countries. Women’s happiness also declines with age. In contrast, men’ happiness has increased and increases with age.

Some attribute this change to the demands of work and motherhood, but as discussed in my last post, working women and working mothers are happier. Research shows that work outside the home provides stimulation and another identity that protects against depression.

Another theory suggests that the women’s movement raised women’s expectations, and reality has failed to deliver. Today, many more women are college-educated and seek professions previously reserved for men, but then hit the glass ceiling. Moreover, old cultural beliefs that undermine women’s self-esteem haven’t changed very much. Women are more highly educated now and jobs may have opened up, but most women lack the instrumental qualities of self-efficacy, assertiveness, and autonomy that lead to self-esteem and professional success. It’s not surprising that independent and assertive women are less depressed. Some women incorrectly believe that being assertive and autonomous will jeopardize their relationships, a priority for women. Yet, women who suppress their anger are more subject to depression.

I believe that current culture contributes to our unhappiness. A recent University of Michigan study found that college students are about 40 percent less empathic than were coeds 20-30 years ago. Social networking, new technologies and speed, though affording many benefits, have also decreased the amount of time people spend with each other-dancing, socializing, and even watching television together. More time online means less time with others, in nature, or pursuing crafts and hobbies. Innovations and gadgets that feed men starve the feminine. Picture Aphrodite online!

Not surprisingly, women are twice as likely as men to experience depression. After heart disease, depression is the most debilitating illness for women, while it’s tenth for men. The signs of depression are feelings of sadness, worthlessness, and/or guilt, crying, loss of interest in usual activities, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, irritability, social withdrawal, and changes in sleep, weight, or appetite. Ten to 25% of women will experience major depression in their lifetime. Each depressive episode makes another more likely. Rather than building resilience, we become more vulnerable and sensitive. Depression may be acute, lasting several weeks, or it may be less severe but chronic, lasting years, called dysthymia. Risks for depression among women include the following:

1. Passive, dependent, and pessimistic personality traits.

2. Sexual or physical abuse.

3. Having several, young children.

4. Poverty.

5. Inability to have children that they want.

6. Homosexuality.

This gender difference with males first appears at puberty, arguably due to hormonal changes. But Harvard professor Ronald Kessler attributes the shift to girls’ lower self-esteem, described in my earlier blog on “Self-Criticism­-Self-Esteem’s Saboteur.”

Another difference from men is that more women live in poverty and suffer greater discrimination and abuse. Those physically or sexually abused account for half of depressed women. Additionally, our brains are different from men’s. We synthesize 52% less of mood-elevating serotonin, and our estrogen increases the amount of cortisol, a stress hormone. Hard-wired for emotional and empathic responses, we are more sensitive to loss of attachment and problems at home and with children. A significant loss, such as divorce, doubles a woman’s risk of depression. Whereas men distract themselves to cope with loss and pain, the fact that we have better recall than they do, and in more vivid detail, contributes to our greater rumination of painful events. Greater rumination leads to greater depression. If women coped like men, the incidence of depression between genders would be the same.

Women are much more likely to be diagnosed and misdiagnosed with depression by male clinicians, and they are over-prescribed medication-82% more than men are given anti-depressants.

If you are or have been depressed in the past, develop a strong support system, which can protects against depression and helps you recover from it. It’s important to develop good coping strategies and beliefs to deal with stress and negative life events. Becoming more autonomous and assertive leads to greater happiness and empowerment, while protecting against depression. Therapy can assist in all of these areas; with treatment, 80% of people improve. Depression is an illness affecting brain chemistry. Self-blame is typical with depression, so don’t let guilt or shame stop you from getting help needed to recover, as you would for any physical illness.

For a FREE REPORT: From Self-Criticism to Self-Esteem, see

©Darlene Lancer, MFT 2010

How to Drive Away His Commitment Phobia

You may be having a relationship with a guy who seems to stall at the dating stage. He may also appear to be quite lacking on the emotional front. How can you ever influence him to make a commitment? You may wonder.

There are some men who suffer from what can be described as commitment  phobia . They are so emotionally distant and appear determined never to get married. 

Understand your man

You should understand that there is a great difference between an emotionally unavailable guy and a player. You need different approaches in handling the two types.   Some men have a fear of commitment due to their past disappointing experiences. Once bitten twice shy.

For instance, perhaps he had been dumped by a girlfriend he had invested all his hopes in, the girl he had expected to marry. His fear of rejection may make him stay aloof. Alternatively, he may have been married only to get divorced, leaving him discouraged. 

Once you understand your man, you will be in a better position to handle him well and make him have a change of heart. 

The secret to winning a guy for commitment

No matter the experiences that your guy has gone through, you can actually influence him to get out of his shell of commitment  phobia . The secret is really quite simple. Be special.   It is only when you have special qualities, completely unlike the other women he has associated with, that you will be able to draw a man to you. It is only when a guy notices that you are indeed very special that he will crawl out of his state of commitment  phobia 

If you are deeply interested in a man and would like him to commit in spite of his commitment  phobia , you need to stand out among the other women.

Learn how you can be special in his eyes and you will manage to make him walk down the aisle with you. 

Signs of Social Anxiety Disorder – Main Symptoms

Social anxiety disorder (SAD) limits a sufferer’s life in every way, it is often the reason why they miss out many good opportunities, it can often cause other problems like stress and depression. It is very important to start curing social anxiety as soon as possible. If you think that you may have SAD, then you can find signs of social anxiety disorder from this article.

Feeling nervous or uncomfortable in social situations is not sign of social anxiety. It usually means that you’re shy, but there is a big difference between SAD and shyness. Shyness doesn’t usually put limits to persons life, they still go out and enter social situations, but SAD sufferers tend to avoid going to public places and they avoid social situations.

One of the most common signs of social anxiety disorder is self-consciousness. Sufferers can’t relax at social situations, it feels like everybody are judging them. They have constant fear that they will do or say something wrong, and this is why they choose to avoid social situations. Also they are afraid that other people will notice that they’re nervous or see their physical symptoms, like shaky voice or blushing.

Fear of giving a public speech or presentation. This is something that many people suffer, even people without SAD, but for people with SAD it’s worse, they are worried about the presentation even if it’s days away, and in many cases they choose not to do it at all, or if they do then, if things go wrong they usually leave.

These are the most common psychological signs of social anxiety disorder. There are other symptoms as well, so if you have different symptoms then there is no need to worry.

When talking to larger audience or sometimes with just one person, SAD sufferers tend to have shaky voice and they can’t even finish a sentence before they need to take another breath. If they notice having these problems, the shaky voice usually gets worse.

Another typical sign of social anxiety is blushing, even if there is really no reason, while just talking to somebody or sitting next to somebody. Trying to hold it back usually makes it worse.

If you can relate with these signs, I highly recommend you to take action now, as it can develop if you wait and don’t do anything about it. There are many ways to cure it, like going to therapies or following a book to cure it.

How to Prepare For Sleep to Avoid Insomnia

There are many different types of “sleep aids” available to help people sleep once they get to bed. But sometimes people don’t know that they can improve the restfulness of their sleep by better preparing for sleep. Much like a home cooked meal tastes better and is more nutritious than a frozen entree, properly getting ready for bed can lead to a much better nights sleep than trying to switch from “day mode” to “sleep mode” in a couple of minutes.

It is best to get ready for sleep at least an hour beforehand as there are three different “sleep bodies” that must be prepared for a good nights rest. They are the outside sleep body, the physical sleep body, and the mental sleep body.

The “outside sleep body” is your sleeping environment including what you wear and where you sleep. Preparing your outside sleep body means getting your outside as comfortable and prepared as possible for a good nights rest. This means making sure your bedroom is as relaxing and calm as possible. It should be dimly but comfortably lit. If possible there should be no TV in this area or at least no TV watching an hour before bed. The bed, sheets and pillows should be clean and comfortable. And you might consider a warm bath or shower before going to bed. If you sleep clothed, make sure that what you wear is clean, loose fitting and comfortable as well. This will prepare your outside sleep body for a good nights rest.

The “physical sleep body” is your flesh and blood body. Preparing the physical sleep body means getting your physical being in the best state for a restful sleep. Your digestive system is one place that can be put in a restful mode by avoiding eating or drinking (especially alcohol) in the hour before bedtime. If you have eaten a big meal or are metabolizing alcoholic beverages right before bed, even after you fall asleep, your body will still be “working” while your mind is trying to rest. Why have half your body working when the other half is resting? Your muscles can also be prepared for a good nights sleep. If you exercise regularly, doing a light workout or stretching an hour or two before bedtime can also help promote a better sleep. Alternatively some light activity such as a short walk or simply deeply breathing for a few minutes can help your physical sleep body prepare for a restful night.

Finally the “mental sleep body” must be prepared for sleep. This means focusing on restful thoughts rather than stressful or worrying thoughts. If possible avoid arguments or intense conversations with your spouse or children. Other mentally stimulating activities such as watching TV and playing video games should be curtailed in the last hour before bedtime. If you meditate or pray a good time to do this is right before bedtime to calm the mind and get into a relaxed state.

Once you have prepared all three sleep bodies for a good night sleep it’s time to go to bed! Hopefully by following these helpful principals you can have a deeper and more restful sleep.

Crystal Nail Files Vs Emery Boards Vs Metal Files

You may own one yourself or have given one a test spin at a women’s show or local fair – the new crystal nail file. Its sleek, colorful and very chic, but is it worth its $7 price tag and is it really superior to the emery boards we purchase by the dozen?

Emery boards are cardboard with small grains of sand adhered to them and in fact are interchangeable with sandpaper. As you file, the emery board literally tears your nail, that is the nature of how it files.

With emery boards you must file in one direction in order to minimize damage to the nail during the filing process. Sandpaper on a stick aka emery boards, come in different grits so you can file your nail down in length, shape it and then do your best to tame those lethal jagged edges that always form when using an emery board.

Emery boards are rough on your nails but they do get the job done. The coarseness of file you choose to use also depends upon if you have weak, thin, fragile nails or hard, strong hooves.

Unfortunately in doing the job they are designed to do emery boards cause more harm than good to your nails. When using an emery board, you leave the tip of the nail “open” as opposed to being “closed”, just like pores on your face being open or closed. Leaving the nail edge “open” means dirt and water can leech inside the nail itself causing chipping, cracking, peeling and weakening of the nails. Also, the harshness of the grinding action of the sandpaper weakens the nail.

Because of the porous nature of the cardboard, glue and sand, dirt and debris can get imbedded into the file and fungus and bacteria can grow rampantly. Though you might not see it with your eyes, a good micro-biologist and a microscope will enlighten you on your science project on a stick! There is no way to clean, let alone sanitize an emery board and they are so subject to bacteria that you should toss out your emery board after each use. This is the mandated practice per the FDA in professional salons and this bring us to the environmental factor. The emery board scores very low on the “green-o-meter”. The number of trees used to make millions of files and the landfill space taken up by these little 5 inch sticks, is more enormous than you can imagine. At least one entire football stadium can be filled each year with tossed aside emery boards and it takes years for one to fully decompose in the ground.

Metal files fare slightly better than their bacteria on a stick friend, the emery board, but not by much.

Metal files are manufactured in two ways: one, there are actual tiny flakes of metal adhered to a metal or cardboard stick and two, a metal stick is formed and the stick itself is roughened to create the filing surface. In both cases tiny, minuscule bits of metal flake off when filing. While metal is a lot stronger and more durable than sand granules, the metal used to make the files is usually of a lower grade and actually quite soft as far as metals go.

Metal files also grind the nail and leave the nail tip “open” as opposed to “closed”. Due to the nature of the metal bits on the file, dirt and debris can be trapped between the tiny little metal-like “teeth” and can stick to the metal. Metal is non-porous so bacteria growth on the file itself is not likely, however bacteria can grow on the nail debris and any dirt caught in the file itself. You can rinse off a metal file but you need to be careful of rust forming in any cracks and crevices between the “teeth”.

The metal files cannot be sanitized to the FDA’s satisfaction for the ultimate in cleanliness.

On the green-o-meter metal files score slightly higher than their cardboard friend because of the lack of trees used in its production. Metal does off-gas some nasty chemicals during the production process and metal files should be thrown out after several uses since they cannot be efficiently sanitized. They do take a lot longer than emery boards to decompose in landfills.

Your highest quality crystal files are cut from actual crystal and the surface of the crystal is treated in the manufacturing process to roughen it, creating the filing surface.

The crystal nail file is very smooth as it glides over the nail tip. It doesn’t tear the nail like the emery board or metal file, so you can file in both directions and as an added bonus – no more jagged edges! When you file your nails with a crystal file, you’ll notice how smooth the nail tip is.

The crystal file closes the nail tip and actually seals it, preventing water and debris from leaching into your nail. After using a crystal nail file for a period of about one month, users report a noticeable difference in their nails being stronger and they “don’t chip and crack and peel as much”.

Crystal is non-porous and very hygienic. No bacteria or debris can grow on the filing surface, nor get trapped in the roughened surface of the crystal file. The same is true for the crystal pumice file which can be left right in the bathtub without fear of mold, mildew, fungus or bacteria growing in it or on it!

Your better quality crystal nail files are made from recycled crystal. There are some factories that make them from new, large sheets of crystal-glass, but your highest quality crystal factories have found a use for the crystal left over after making vases and stem ware. The crystal is melted down and formed into large sheets. From these sheets, the various sizes of nail files and pumice files are cut.

There are no varying grits of a crystal file, with the exception of the pumice file. The pumice file is made with a coarser surface and can be used for calluses, dry skin, toe nails and artificial nails.

Crystal nail files meet all of the sanitization requirements of the FDA. They can be sanitized in alcohol, under UV light, and baked in an autoclave. Because of their hygienic nature, crystal files are perfect for diabetics – especially the pumice file. You don’t have to worry about cutting yourself while you’re taking care of your feet, the way diabetics do.

Crystal nail files will last years, if not a lifetime. Crystal is naturally very hard when it is found in nature. When crystal is formed in the earth, it has a slow cooling rate therefore the crystal molecules have more time to form strong lattice type formations, which have a tough, sturdy bond. As compared to glass, which cools very quickly and the molecules don’t have time to form the sturdy lattice support system, crystal is the superior material.

The crystal nail file scores high ratings on the green-o-meter because its made from recycled materials and several factories use lead-free, environmentally safe dyes. They last for such a long time that landfills will not be largely impacted by constant consumption such as their cardboard and metal stick friends. One crystal nail file and pumice file could last a person’s entire lifetime!

Vinegar Nail Fungus Home Remedy

The reason why many people are now resorting to natural home remedies is in order to counter the harmful effects of hospital-based  nail   fungus  treatment which leaves the patients with many side effects besides not bringing a long-term solution   to the problem. The orally administered anti-fungal drugs are the most hazardous because they expose the user to the risk of liver damage. For pregnant and lactating mothers, the home remedy is an attractive option since all hospital-based treatment procedures for  nail   fungus  infections are dangerous to the baby.

One of the most common ways of identifying those nail disorders which are due to fungal infections is to look at any signs of whitish yellow spots at the tip of the toe after which the whole toe becomes discolored and generally appears swollen. The type of treatment which follows is associated with the type of  fungus  called onychomycosis.

Apple vinegar is a naturally occurring antifungal drug which is easy to prepare at home. It is generally a good treatment and control remedy for  nail   fungus  infections. Since  fungi  are microscopic organisms which are found in moist areas they quickly thrive inside the toes where there is enough dead matter for them to feast on. A viable home remedy has to put into consideration all the  nail   fungus  treatment facts.

All that is needed for you to harbor  fungus  between your  nails  is have a cut on your toe or a space between your toe and the flesh. Since this is almost unavoidable, you ought to be aware of the most effective home-based  nail   fungus  treatment procedures. For instance,  fungus , like all other microorganisms, can’t thrive in sunlight. You have to keep your toes dry and clean. Vinegar, as used in treating  nail   fungus  infection, is acidic and  fungus  finds it hard surviving in an acidic environment. The acidity of vinegar is at a level that is mild enough to be harmless to the body but strong enough to kill any form of  nail   fungus  infection.

To prepare vinegar for use at home is very easy. All you need is white vinegar which is distilled. Keep pouring on the nails two times a day. Continue for as long as it takes to rid you of all the  nail   fungus  infection. This way you will have discovered one of the best-known  nail   fungus  treatment procedures of all time, and, one which you can conduct in the comfort of your home.  You have to allow the infected  nail  to grow long enough to avoid spaces which harbor more  nail   fungus , posing a threat to the otherwise effective home-based programme of treating  nail   fungus .

Consistency of vinegar application is often emphasized to avoid re-infection of the edges of the nails. When the tail has increased in size and has grown out of the body, you may discontinue the vinegar application.  All you need to do is take prevention measures such as avoiding cotton socks which don’t keep moisture off your legs, otherwise the  nail   fungus  treatment may have to begin all over again.

If you’re interested in finding some easy and safe cures for your  fungus  I found this great resource that goes over the different types of toenail  fungus  remedies people use.

Sprain Injuries and Their Treatment

A  sprain  is an injury to a ligament which is a thick tissue that connects bones together. The most injured ligament in the body are the ankles. Usually ligaments are injured by being stretched far from their normal position.

Having ligaments in your body holds your skeleton comprised of bones together in a normal alignment so that abnormal movements are prevented. When too violent much force is applied to a ligament it can be stretched, torn and pulled apart resulting in injury.

A  sprain  is classified into three different grades depending upon the amount of damage to the ligament. Going from mild in a Grade I and Grade II  sprain  which can usually be treated with ice, anti-inflamatories and physical therapy to Grade III which is the most serious type of  sprains .

In the worse case scenario an operation is needed to repair the ligament if torn or badly damaged!

A  sprain  can be very painful and can hamper movement. Once the  sprain  occurs it will create weak point in the body that will be prone to future injuries. This is especially true with ankles & knees which bear so much of the body’s weight.

Once twisted the tendency will be to favor the weak ankle or knee and this in turn puts more strain on the other ankle or knee which puts the body out of normal alignment. The best way to treat a  sprain  after recovery is to build up the muscles and ligaments through strength training which protects the ankle from inside out. If you are going to participate in any type of physical activity that may further damage the  sprained  ligament a good warmup and brace is recommended. These may not prevent further injury but may minimize the damage.

As careful as you are all it takes is a slip on ice or a missed step which causes the damage. Immediately after the injury keep it well iced and raised up in an immobile position to help reduce the swelling and inflammation. Aspirin or another type of anti-inflammatory is recommended according to your doctors advise. Topical treatments such as balms, ointments and rubs can be helpful at this point to provide pain relief to the damaged ligament and promote healing through the action of the active ingredients

Use only all natural products without synthetic compounds! The whole purpose of the topical rubs is to provide immediate pain relief to the affected area. Another benefit gained by using a good muscle rub is the healing properties of the particular muscle rub or balm many of which are utilized by holistic medicine practitioners and alternative therapy doctors.

All types of  sprains  especially ankles can be very painful and if you are going to use a topical treatment then possibly ultra r-x plus “advanced formula” can help relieve the pain while promoting the healing process. This all natural therapeutic balm consists of over twenty active ingredients which are the rare botanical essential oils blended in a pure beeswax and carrier oil base.

Capsicum, arnica and sweet birch are just a few of the proven natural botanical based compounds that help relieve pain that have been used for thousands of years. The powerful holistic synergy of Ultra R-X Plus is the result of all the rare essential oils blended with the carrier oils in a pure beeswax base. It is unparalleled in its ability to relieve muscle aches, joint pains,  sprains  and muscle tenderness. The blended carrier oils also work in harmony with the skin to provide a superior analgesic mixture that facilitates easy absorption of the rare essential oil formulation.

This transdermal absorption of the essential oils provides quick,deep penetrating & long lasting therapeutic relief where you need it most for only pennies per application! Instead of using products that only stay on the surface of the skin like most of the petroleum based topical rubs make sure you use something as good as Ultra R-X Plus which is easily absorbed through the skin and directly into the  sprained  area

Regardless of what you use remember it takes time for the healing to be completed and any further injury to the same ligament will increase the recovery time. If the  sprain  does not get batter in a week or so then it may require a visit to your doctor to ascertain the extent of the  sprain . There are three different grades, Grade 1, Grade 2 and Grade 3 which is the most serious.

Worse case situation may require a soft cast and crutches to keep weight off the  sprain  if it is located in your knee, ankle or thigh muscles. MRI’s are usually the last resort to determine if the  sprain  involves a break or fracture. If the  sprain  is serious enough it may be necessary to immobilize the  sprained  area until recovery occurs.

Paragliding – How Safe Is It, And What Are The Stats?

The good news is, it’s safer than it’s Extreme Sports image would have you think. Of all the so-called Extreme Sports, paragliding has perhaps the widest range of participants. In Japan, you will find old people serenely gliding across dormant volcano slopes. Through the Alps in France, you might spot daring young men pushing the limits of their skills and their paragliders while flying cross-country in challenging conditions.

Have you never flown in a paraglider, either alone or in a tandem wing? Are you hankering to just ‘give it a try’, but not yet sure whether you actually want to take it up as a sport? If the answer to both questions is ‘yes’, then this article is for you.

The advertisers of paragliding adventure holidays take advantage of the sport’s currently good safety record. You might see lines such as this:

“Bali Adventure Paragliding is safe, secure and is a totally new experience not to be missed.”

Well, the second bit is totally true, the first bit might be glossing over the occasional twisted ankle or bruise from beginners attempting their very first landings. But under ideal tourist-flying conditions, yes, it’s pretty safe and secure! And of course, you can’t go wrong if you are under a tandem wing with an instructor doing all the flying.

Now of course, every sport has its risks. Also, aviation in general has it’s risks. So Paragliding, being both an adventure sport and a form of aviation, also has a degree of risk. When it comes to safety though, the aviation side of paragliding is all-important. All pilots are trained to operate their aircraft safely, by minimizing potential risks. In some cases it’s a matter of pure judgement such as during an approach and landing. Or it might mean sticking rigidly to a check list while preparing to leave the ground. The joy of flying, year after year after year, is the reward for doing it right.

It has been said that paragliding is as safe or as dangerous as the pilot makes it. There’s a lot of truth in this, from at least a couple of angles. Firstly, pilot’s choose what conditions to fly in. Secondly, they choose how far to stretch their piloting skills. Let’s make an analogy with driving a motor vehicle now.

A learner driver can choose to drive around the back blocks for a while, or head straight out onto the freeway at rush hour. That’s choosing driving conditions.

Secondly, he or she can choose to observe the speed limits and traffic signs, or push the pedal to the metal while running red lights and overtaking everyone in the way. That’s choosing how far driving skills are pushed!

Just for a moment, let’s consider what the most dangerous thing about paragliding might be. Many years of experience have led some instructors to believe that this is in fact the ease with which people can learn paragliding! After picking up the basics quite quickly, some novices can start to think that they know a lot more about flying than they really do. This can lead to over-confidence and increased risk-taking. The only way to get really good and fly safely in more challenging conditions is to fly frequently, over a long period of time.

For some reason, people who have a passing interest in paragliding also have an interest in the statistics of the sport. Particularly the fatalities count. Fair enough, I guess we all instinctively try to assess our risk of dying when trying something new and exciting! So let’s get the death-and-gloom out of the way first. The figures are actually quite reassuring, given the many, many thousands of people flying and the flight hours they are accumulating.

The stats for horse-riding and paragliding make for an interesting comparison. And… you guessed it, more people die from being thrown off a horse than crashing a paraglider!

In a similar vein, I came across an insurance report that listed paragliding fatalities per participant to be less than motorcycle riding. Now that doesn’t surprise me, I’ve never trusted those things! 😉 Motorbikes that is.

Another outdoor activity which compares with paragliding in terms of injury rate per participant is snowmobiling. Of which I know nothing, coming from The Great Dry Flat Land, Australia. 🙂

Despite there being quite a few thousand active paraglider pilots in the U.S. during 2005, only 3 people died in paraglider accidents. This continued a trend towards fewer paragliding fatalities each year in the U.S.

Now, to be accurate and truthful, the situation in Europe has been much worse in recent years, in terms of total fatalities. But in Europe, there are many times as many active pilots as there are in the U.S. And a big percentage of them are ‘pushing the envelope’ by flying in challenging weather over very challenging terrain. The Alps, no less! As a beginner, you will not fit that category, hence those particular stats need not worry you.

Enough of death and dying, I’ll just touch on a couple of U.S. stats now. In 2005, only 50 accident reports relating to paragliding were received, which was a 5 year low. Also in 2005 in the U.S., 32 pilots or passengers suffered paragliding injuries. 15 of these people required an overnight stay in hospital.

Browsing through some material the other day I came across a tandem pilot who has flown many passengers over the years. In all his 350+ hours of tandem flying, he has never had a passenger injured. This should give you a good feeling, since a great way to ‘just try’ paragliding is to go for a flight in a tandem paraglider! The pilot is behind, the passenger hangs in front. Air in your hair, and views to die for.. ooops.. I mean really really great views! :-O

Sex Positions To Conceive

The missionary is the most popular and the simplest position. The woman lies supine while the man is on top. This is one of the best sex positions to conceive as this formation allows the sperm to set down closer to the cervix.

From behind sex position is highly recommended for women at the later stage of pregnancy. As the man enters from behind, it allows deeper thrust and deeper penetration. It permits the sperm to swim through the egg more easily by gravity.

With all the given positions, spooning is the most sensual and intimate. The subtle aura in this position increase pregnancy chances by providing both parties an emotional and physical calmness. It is important that both parties are relaxed and are in pleasure as they make love.

Soon after sexual intercourse is done, the woman should lay flat on bed with the hips being raised by a small pillow or a rolled towel. This permits the body to relax. As the woman’s body relaxes, the sperm freely swims through the vaginal walls and reaches the egg readily.

If there are recommended sex positions to conceive, there are also sex positions to avoid.

Woman on top position is not advisable since it allows sperm to leak out instead of inclining to the woman’s body.

The standing position makes the man strangle the woman across his body. No calmness at all is being provided by this. Aside from the fact that it is rough and aggressive, the principle of gravity is being deserted as the woman stays above the point of sperm ejaculation.

While the list above are said to be good sex positions to conceive, there is no guarantee that women will surely get pregnant. These surely increase the chances of conception, but they do not claim certainty. Play with the rules, abiding with the different sex positions to conceive does not hurt a finger anyway.

Types of Bariatric Surgery

There are three basic types of bariatric weight loss surgeries: restriction procedures, predominantly malabsorptive procedures, and malabsorption procedures. Restrictive bariatric surgeries only reduce the size of the stomach and do not interfere with the digestive process. Predominantly malabsorptive procedures reduce the stomach size, however are primarily based on creating malabsorption. Malabsorption procedures reduce the size of the stomach and bypass the duodenum and sometimes the jejunum.

Restrictive Bariatric Surgeries

Different forms of restrictive bariatric surgeries are the Adjustable Gastric Banding (AGB) and the Vertical Banded Gastroplasty (VBG). These surgeries do not interfere with the digestive system however do reduce food intake. A postoperative patient is only able to intake ¾ to 1 cup of food per meal, If the patient eats more then the recommended amounts they risks vomiting as well as stretching the stomach available out reducing the effectiveness of he surgery. Vertical Banded Gastroplasty is also referred to as stomach stapling.

Its success rate is lower then malabsorptive procedures. Adjustable Gastric Banding is also known as a lap band and has been around since 1979. Variations of the lap band have been developed since then. The advantages of the lap band is that it has lower complications then other more involved procedures however it has a lower and slower weight loss ratio and cannot be used with people who have pre-existing medical conditions such as Crohn’s disease, large hiatal hernias, or gastric ulcers.

Predominantly Malabsorptive Bariatric Surgeries

Predominantly malabsorptive procedures reduce the size of the stomach but focus primarily on creating malabsorption. One such surgery is called theBiliopancreatic diversion also known as the Scopinaro procedure. This type of surgery is rarely used now days due to the high risks of malnutrition and has been replaced by the Duodenal Switch. In this procedure, the surgeon sections off part of the stomach creating a smaller stomach. The digestive system is altered. This reduces food intake and absorption for a while but within a few months, a patient can resume eating as they once did before. This procedure does still pose a small risk of malnutrition.

Malabsorptive Bariatric Surgeries

Malabsorptive bariatric procedures reduce stomach size and bypass the duodenum and sometimes the jejunum. They combine both aspects of he previously mentioned types of bariatric surgeries. Malabsorptive Bariatric Surgeries include Roux-en-Y commonly known as gastric bypass surgery, Fobi Pouch, and Biliopancreatic Diversion and Duodenal Switch. These are the most successful in achieving high weight loss but also pose a risk for malnutrition.

Other surgeries that are common as postoperative surgeries are cosmetic surgeries as well as gall stone removal. The gallstone may have to be removed if there are risks of developing gallstones. Many patients opt to have it removed at the time of their bariatric surgery where as others choose to use preventive medicines. Cosmetic surgeries are a common follow up months down the road for removal of excessive skin. Com cosmetic surgeries a bariatric patient may have are tummy tucks, body lift, thigh lift, and liposuction to name a few.

Candida Yeast Overgrowth How It Is Contracted Into the Human Body

When we are born the only exposure that we have to bacteria is through our mothers, it is passed on while we are still in the womb. Over the course of a lifetime, a healthy person becomes exposed to many different types of bacteria, no matter how sterile and clean we think our lives are. We drink bacteria in water, and we swallow them on our food, many are airborne so we breathe them into our lungs, they are present on our skin, in our mouths, in our sinuses, and in the gut.

Not all bacteria are dangerous or a Candida yeast infection, many are benign. Some bacteria have a neutral effect, while others are extremely beneficial and we would feel horrible without their presence. A healthy gut with plenty of “good bacteria” is crucial to the digestion of our food. Pro-biotic is a generic term for a substance, which promotes the growth of micro-organisms. Pro-biotic is marketed as foodstuffs which are good for us and are supposed to encourage the growth of healthy bacteria.

So how do our bodies handle damaging bacteria? Imagine a tight rope walker walking over a precipice, a thousand feet above a ravine. It is about balance, purely and simply. There are a number of situations that could create and imbalance in the body and cause it to produce an overgrowth of Candida yeast. One of the simplest and most common is the intake of and excess of complex carbohydrates in our every day meals. Dysbiosis is the name of the process that occurs when harmful bacteria becomes more prevalent than the good bacteria. When damaging bacteria prevail, it is always a systemic Candida attack, there is no such thing as a touch of Candidiasis, and there are no mild symptoms. A systemic attack means that the Candida infection attacks the whole body. However, we all suffer different symptoms because of our individual genetic makeup.

Candida is not and enemy, it is only when it becomes a fungi. As Candida it does not harm, only when there is an overgrowth. The trick is to take care of your body and stop the Candida yeast overgrowth from becoming life threatening. When you are young Candidiasis would not be fatal but as your body ages an imbalance can lead to conditions that will kill.

Oral Candida is a Candida Yeast Overgrowth of the mouth. This can be caused by many things, generally a depressed immune system and can be a seriously bothersome and painful thing to have. Our sexual behaviour can in certain circumstances transmit Candida yeast overgrowth to others, by intercourse, deep kissing contact with genitals, oral sex, or mouth genital contact. It does not always, if your partner is healthy, their immune system should protect them. If for any reason their immune system is compromised then it can be transmitted.

It is important to know that high fibre foods help to maintain a healthy colon. Low fibre intake has been associated with the proliferation of bacteria which produce endotoxins, which are definitely bad for the colon. High fibre foods reduce the colons pH value and promote good bacteria known as Lactobacillus.

Understanding a Dog’s Menstrual Cycle

Just like humans, dogs do have menstrual cycles, too. Also called the “heat cycle” due to their association with a dog’s fertility period and propensity to have sex, they have some very crucial differences from the cycle that humans do experience.

For the record, dog’s menstrual cycles aren’t really menstrual cycles. This is because their cycle is more of an estrous one. In fact, only primates do have a menstrual cycle. With that said, a dog’s estrous cycle is quite lengthy, with an entire cycle taking about 7 months to complete on the average.

A dog’s heat cycle is composed of 4 stages, with each stage being triggered by the production of certain hormones. The first stage of a dog’s menstrual cycle is called proestrus. Usually lasting for 9 days, this is characterized by a bloody discharge coming out of the vulva. During this period, a dog doesn’t have any interest in mating.

The second stage is the estrus stage. Commonly lasting for 7 days, this is the time wherein the dog is very much willing to mate. Ovulation takes place during this stage, with it typically happening on the second day of estrus. This is the time wherein a dog is “in heat” and most suspect to being pregnant.

The diestrus is the third stage of the cycle. If the dog is pregnant, this is when gestation happens. Diestrus usually last an average of 60 days, and during this period, the dog is not willing to mate, whether she is pregnant or not.

The fourth and final stage of the cycle is called anestrus. Usually lasting up to 5 months, this is a period of “dormancy” for the dog. After this, it goes back to proestrus, and the cycle is going to repeat itself.

Understanding your dog’s menstrual cycle is important if you’re intending to breed dogs, and knowing how this cycle works is going to help you better understand your dog’s behavior.