Causes of Kidney Stones

Making about 3 million visits to doctors and healthcare providers each year, stones in the kidney are of the most painful of disorders in urology. This is not a problem that is new; in fact it was found that an Egyptian mummy around 7000 years old also had evidence of stones in the kidney. Causing enough issues to those that have them, kidney stones have people ending up in emergencies each year.

When they pass out of the human body without having the necessity for a physician to intervene, kidney stones most of the time do not cause problems. However, it is when they cause problems that last that they have to be treated using techniques of various types. Surgery is not involved in most of these.

Kidney stone – what is it?

In the urinary tract, when crystals separate from urine, they may develop into a mass that is hard. These hard crystal masses are kidney stones. Normally, there are chemicals within urine that work to prevent the formation of such crystal masses; however, these inhibitors likely may not work in some people. A combination of calcium with phosphate or oxalate, these stones are formed using the chemicals that the body gets from the diet of the person.

Kidney stones – who gets them?

In the United States, the number of people with stones in the kidney has been increasing over a period of the past 30 years and it has been observed that Caucasians have more of a tendency to getting stones in the kidney than African Americans. Also, men have more of a tendency to develop stones in the kidney and when they enter into the 40s, the problem rises dramatically and continues until they are in their 70s. In women, the problem peaks when they are in their 50s.

Kidney stones – what causes them?

Stones in the kidney may be caused by certain foods in those people that are susceptible. It is likely that stones will develop in a person if there is a history in the family. In addition, infections and disorders such as cystic kidney disease, hyperparathyroidism (a metabolic disorder), urinary tract infections as well as renal tubular acidosis which is a rare diseases that is hereditary are factors that cause people to develop stones in the kidney. Stones in the kidney are caused by hyperoxaluria and Cystinuria that are rare and inherited disorders of a metabolic nature – too much of amino acid is produced and when this does not dissolve in urine, it leads to stones made of cystine and the body producing too much of the oxalate salt causes hyperoxaluria.

About more than 50 percent of people with stones in the kidney may have the issue of Hypercalciuria. The excess of calcium that is absorbed into the urine, forms crustals of calcium phosphate or calcium oxalate either in the urinary tract or in the kidneys themselves. When urine that contains more oxalate than it can dissolve and stones are formed when crystals settle. Hypercalciuria can be inherited.

Hyperuricosuria is another disorder of the metabolism of uric acid and results when excessive Vitamin D is absorbed, infections or blockage of the urinary tract happen. Certain calcium-based antacids and diuretics (called water pills commonly) my cause the increase of calcium in the urine.

People who have chronic bowel inflammation or have been operated for intestinal bypass or ostomy surgery may have the formation of stones made of calcium oxalate. In people with infections of the urinary tract, struvite stones are a likely possibility. Taking indinavir (a protease inhibitor to treat infection due to HIV) may also put people at a risk for developing stones in the kidney.

How Do You Get Diabetes

Diabetes is characterized by the inability of the body to control it’s blood sugar level. High blood sugar is known as hyperglycemia and is controlled by the hormone insulin. So diabetes interferes with the creation and secretion of insulin.

There are three types of diabetes and they disrupt the normal secretion of insulin in different ways.

The first type of diabetes is known as Type 1 diabetes, insulin dependent diabetes mellitus or juvenile diabetes . It is often called juvenile diabetes to indicate the age that most people acquire it. It is unusual to acquire Type 1 diabetes past your mid 20’s.

Although it is not known how you get Type 1 diabetes, it is understood what causes the condition and some theories about why it occurs.

Type 1 Diabetes is known as an autoimmune disorder. This means that the body destroys the cells that produce insulin because it thinks that they are harmful to the body. These cells are called the beta cells found in the islet cells that are located in the pancreas. Because the insulin producing cells are destroyed blood sugar levels cannot be regulated by the body so insulin has to be injected into the body to perform this function.

Type 1 diabetes lasts for life and insulin replacement therapy must continue throughout. It is thought that a combination of genetic and environmental factors cause type 1 diabetes. People are thought to inherit genes that will tell the body to destroy beta cells. This, combined with exposure to poor diets, air pollution or poor quality environments could cause the disease to occur. Research continues.

Type 2 diabetes, sometimes known as adult onset diabetes because it was thought to occur in later life (although this is changing) is caused by insulin resistance. The beta cells in the pancreas continue to produce insulin but the body needs more insulin than secreted to process the glucose or the insulin is less effective in converting glucose into glycogen and thus reducing the blood sugar level.

Again, it is not completely clear why Type 2 diabetes occurs but being overweight is a common condition of most Type 2 diabetic people. The common assumption is that a lifestyle of eating unhealthy foods and not taking regular or adequate exercise could contribute to causing this disease.

It is believed that hereditary genes may predispose a person to acquire Type 2 diabetes but most advice on avoiding this condition is to lose weight, eat healthily and do more exercise.

Gestational diabetes is acquired during pregnancy and is a consequence of hormonal changes in the body during the pregnancy and, again, hereditary genes. Gestational diabetes generally stops after childbirth.

Type 2 diabetes is the most common of the 3 types of diabetes. It is estimated that 90% of diabetics suffer from this form of the ailment. It also seems that there is more data on how to avoid and prevent this condition than any of the others. Exercising more regularly and eating a healthy, balanced diet can significantly reduce the chances of contracting the disease. If you already have it, exercise and healthy eating can make it less intrusive to your lifestyle.

Diabetes – Diseases Caused By Obesity

The health risks linked to  obesity  are clearly recognized by experts and one of the most common of these is diabetes. Diseases caused by  obesity  are debilitating, even life-threatening and will result in many people dying ten to twenty years earlier than they would otherwise have done. Perhaps the most shocking aspect of this is the fact that many children and teenagers are becoming obese and as a result some of them will die before their parents. If  obesity  is the cause, many cases of these serious illnesses are preventable.

What exactly is diabetes and how is it related to  obesity ?

There are two types of diabetes, the cause of Type 1 is unknown and it occurs when cells in the pancreas which produce insulin are damaged and fail to do their job. This can happen after a viral infection or if a person has had a severe shock. Type 2 diabetes generally occurs in people over 40, often with a family history of the illness and around 80% of the people in this group are overweight. In Type 2 Diabetes, the body does produce insulin, but it either doesn’t produce enough or it can’t use insulin properly. Insulin is needed by the body to convert sugar into energy. Type 2 is the most common form of diabetes in the developed world and is now becoming increasingly common amongst younger people. Symptoms include excessive thirst, frequent urination and tiredness. Diabetes can lead to heart and kidney problems, as well as blindness and so it is important to make sure it is controlled.

Although the causes of diabetes are unknown, scientists have established that there is a definite link between overeating and type 2. Therefore developing a healthy eating pattern and taking sufficient exercise are important factors, both in prevention and disease control.

Anyone who is very overweight is at risk of diabetes. Diseases caused by  obesity  can, however, be prevented. Adults who are affected should take steps to reduce their weight and parents should teach their children about the dangers and help them to develop habits which will enable them to avoid these in later life.

© Waller Jamison 2007

Soccer and Brain Fitness

While running on the treadmill this morning I was watching a soccer game on TV and had the realization that soccer is really a great game for brain fitness. I have played and been around the game all of my life but hadn’t really made the full connection to brain fitness until now.

In my last couple of posts, I’ve been introducing the concept of EPIQ performance. The fitness of your brain controls your Emotional, Physical and Intellectual performance. Soccer, and many youth sports, contributes to each aspect of your EPIQ performance by challenging all of these individual pieces.

Improving Body Control

The physical part is a ‘no brainer’. Kids and adults actively engaged in a sport will improve their physical intelligence. This may be your brain’s ability to regulate your cardiovascular function – as in aerobic sports; your brain’s ability to control fine motor skills – as in most sports; or both. Soccer is a great game for both cardiovascular conditioning and motor skills, which will improve your physical intelligence.

Strengthening Emotional Response Circuits

Soccer and other sports also boost your Emotional intelligence (EQ). Why? Sports teach kids how to deal with failure – if they have a supportive team environment. Everyone needs to learn to deal with failure and defeat and sports are a great way to learn how to do that in a safe environment. They teach you how to get back in the game after making a mistake or simply getting beat.

Sports can also teach you incredible control over your emotions – again, as long as you are playing in a supportive environment. How? In sports, you need to charge your emotions up so that you can compete at your best. You need to play with high levels of intensity. Furthermore, in contact sports, like soccer, you need to play with great bursts of aggression to compete for the ball.

But then you need to turn it all off in an instant. One second you are struggling with everything you have against an opponent and the next second, the play is over, and you need to be able to let that go and treat your opponent with respect.

Sports are a great opportunity to learn how to control your temper. Players have countless opportunities where they feel wronged by an opponent or an official – but they must learn to manage their response to be effective in the game. In the 35 years I have spent on the soccer field, I have never seen an official change his call because a player got angry.

Many people fail to master this part of sports. Kids must learn how to bring their intense emotions to bear during the play, and then let them subside when the play is over. This is where games like soccer can boost your EQ (and your game) if you can focus on the skill of emotional regulation.

IQ Boosting Sports Experience

Finally, soccer can also improve your intellectual performance or IQ. You say – come on. How can that be true? Soccer is a very dynamic game, meaning the play is changing all of the time. Many people who don’t know the game are surprised to learn that there are very few set plays in soccer. A good team just reads each other on the fly and figures out what to do next.

Because of this, playing soccer and other sports, always challenges you to reevaluate your situation and adapt in that instant. To be a good player, you need to constantly monitor what is going on around you and figure out your next move – whether you have the ball or not.

The dynamic nature of the game is constantly challenging you brain to read, interpret and respond – over and over again. This works on problem solving skills and decision-making capabilities at the same time. Not only that, but the environment that this learning takes place in is charged with high levels of emotion and intensity – which is known to enhance the learning process.

So next time you watch your kids play a soccer game, understand that they are getting much more than a physical workout. They are learning to regulate emotions, solve problems and make decisions. They are increasing their EPIQ performance that will help them in other areas of life as well.

Names of Rashes – Why Do I Itch?

 Rash  is a general word used to describe a sudden breakout of spots on the body that changes the way the skin looks and feels. In addition, it’s a popular term used to describe different skin conditions. It is important that you remember how similar various skin disorders look to keep analyzing the situation in order to get a proper diagnosis.. Furthermore, the common names of  rashes  consist of categories such as scaly patches of skin without infection, patchy skin cause by bacteria or fungal infection and red, itchy patches or bumps on the skin.

A well known skin  rash  that consists of scaly and patchy skin is eczema. In addition, atopic dermatitis is one of the most common forms of eczema. Dermatitis means a red irritation of the skin. Atopic means having a disease relating to allergies and the disease could be genetics. This skin problem is hereditary and begins in childhood. The  rash  will appear on the arms, legs, torso and scalp. Often a dermatologist will recommending someone to use a prescription strength cortisone cream to help with improving eczema.

Certain  rashes  that appear on the skin are caused by fungal or bacteria infections. Names of  rashes  related to fungal infection would be a skin  rash  such as ringworm. Fungal infections don’t occur as much as eczema infections. In addition, yeast infections are caused by fungi and cause skin  rashes . The yeast will affect the folds of the skin and cause the area to become red which results in a skin  rash . Impetigo is a common bacteria skin  rash . Impetigo can be caused by strep or staph germs and common in children compared to adults. Bacitracin and Neosporin are not as effective with curing impetigo. Oral antibiotics or creams with the same strength as prescription medications are the best treatment for curing this skin condition.

Many red, itchy patches or bumps on the skin are caused by viral infections or allergic reactions. Most viral skin  rashes  tend to spread all over the body. Chicken pox is an example of a viral skin  rash . Also, viral skin tends to last about a week to two weeks. Many people with viral  rashes  need relief from itchy skin. In addition, allergic skin  rashes  will occur as an allergic reaction to using new medication. If you suspect that a medication is causing the  rash  then you should stop taking it. You should watch the skin for around five days and see if the skin  rash  goes away after stopping the medication. There are other items that can cause allergic skin reactions like foods, detergents and soaps.

There are different types of treatments that can be used to treat skin  rashes  such as creams, natural supplements and penicillin. In addition, you should seek help for the  rash  while it’s in the early stages. If not, the  rash  will continue to flare up and cause discomfort. Psychologically, practicing stress reduction tips is helpful so that sleep and calmness can increase and the immune system can strengthen.

Cold Sores Skin Disease

Cold sores are another very common skin infection. They are caused by a virus called herpes simplex. The mention of herpes usually raises a lot of anxiety, as most people associate this name with a sexually transmitted disease. Indeed the cold sore virus is related to the one that causes genital herpes, but it has a very different mode of infection.

The cold sore infection is probably acquired by most people at some time in childhood. It is so widespread that it is practically impossible not to be exposed to it. Some people seem to have a natural resistance, while others suffer from severe attacks. It all depends on the way you’re made.

The first attack of cold sores can be quite severe, and can cause a very painful ulcerated mouth, associated with an unpleasant illness which makes the child quite unwell. After this the body’s immune system holds the virus in check, but seems never to be able to get rid of it completely. As a result, minor attacks recur at irregular intervals, usually when the child has a cold, or gets sunburnt or has other illnesses. Usually, with time, these attacks get less frequent and severe, but cold sores can keep recurring all through life. This is a nuisance, but is not dangerous.

The usual place for cold sores is on the lips, but they can occur on other parts of the face, and rarely on the rest of the skin. The sore itself is preceded by a tingly feeling, and soon after a group of clear blisters appear, which quickly form a scab, healing after about a week.

Once a cold sore has formed, there is little that can be done to stop it progressing, or speed up healing. Various cold sore remedies are sold by the chemist. What these do is minimise the symptoms of the cold sore, but they don’t stop the natural progression. If cold sores become a really severe problem, and fortunately this is rare, see your doctor, as preventative treatment is available.

Scalp Psoriasis

Psoriasis appears as raised, red patches or lesions covered with dead skin cells on the skin. Scalp psoriasis can be mild, with fine scaling or thick with crusted plaques, covering the entire scalp. The areas of the skin grow very rapidly and form red, scaling patches. Patients experience severe itchiness, a feeling of tightness and soreness, accompanied by hair loss. Scalp psoriasis is a common form of psoriasis affecting over 50% of patients.

Treatments for scalp psoriasis are generally temporarily effective and continued over a long period. Moderate exposure of the scalp to sunlight and regular washing of the head helps reduce the spread of the condition. Certain shampoo treatments control the spread of psoriasis. Other treatments prescribed by doctors include coal tar, dithranol, salicylic acid, cortico-steroids and Vitamin D derivatives.

The correct method of application of the treatment is important. The hair is parted into sections and the medication is rubbed into the exposed area. It is necessary to comb and brush the hair regularly in order to remove scaling. Shampooing with a coal tar based shampoo followed by a cortisone lotion rubbed into the scalp is recommended. A frequent break in the regimen ensures that the psoriasis does not become resistant to treatment.

Topical medications like corticosteriods are effective against scalp psoriasis. They are available in solutions, gels, creams, lotions and ointments. A two-week cycle of treatment is commonly recommended for strong steroids.

In cases of mild scalp psoriasis, doctors inject the scalp lesions with steroid medications. The medication is absorbed into the system and is therefore sparingly used.

Systemic medications or prescription medications are administered to patients with moderate to severe scalp psoriasis. Biologic drugs that are made from living human or animal proteins block or eliminate various immune system cells involved in scalp psoriasis.

Since psoriasis is known to be a waxing and waning condition, it usually subsides with regular treatment. It is unusual for anyone to suffer extensive scalp psoriasis for a long time, especially if they seek medical help and use treatments as directed. Any medical regimen for psoriasis needs to be closely supervised by a dermatologist.

Food Allergy – The Body’s Cry For Help

If you often feel bloated, tired, or not so good after a meal; if you gave frequent have stomach pains, cramps, or bowel problems; if you have strong food cravings or food dislikes; if you experience a collection of symptoms that you just cannot explain, or sometimes become more anxious, irritable, or depressed f you may be suffering from food allergy.

Allergy has reached epidemic, proportions, and it has been estimated that at this rate, half of Europe will have allergies in a few years. Food allergies are of particular concern, as they are now being recognized as a factor in many health problems and diseases, especially in children.

Many scientists and health practitioners believe that a poor diet and the sheer quantity of toxins that are now present in our food are major factors in this unprecedented rise in the number and severity of allergies over the last decades.

When Food Harms Instead of Helping

Much of our food is over-processes and treated with toxins all the way from production to sale. Instead of being a major source of true health and resilience, therefore, the food we eat can actually undermine our body’s ability to deal effectively with daily stresses, and to clear out the toxins that assault us from all sides. No wonder that more and more of our bodies are reacting with food allergies.

Food allergies not only harm our bodies (and our minds), they also prevent us from deriving the full nutritional benefits from the healthful foods we do eat. By causing damage to our digestive systems, they can prevent complete breakdown of foods into essential nutrients, and interfere with the body’s ability to properly absorb what nutrients are available. This can lead to nutrient deficiencies and malnutrition, even though you might be eating lots of good food.

Another problem is that food allergies can restrict your ability to eat the foods you need. A diverse diet offers maximum assurance that you are getting the nutrients you need, but if you live in fear of a reaction, you might find yourself limiting your diet more than you need to. For instance, a person with an allergy to swiss chard or silverbeet might eliminate all greens from their diet, when really, they might only be reacting to a particular chemical found in plants of the ‘beet’ genus. By eliminating all greens, this person is losing many health-giving properties of greens, which are outstanding sources of chlorophyll, calcium and magnesium.

Allergenic foods

An allergenic or reactive food is one that causes an allergic reaction, such as hives, wheezing, stomach cramps or stuffy nose. The foods that tend to be most highly allergenic (especially to children) are: milk wheat corn sugar soy nuts eggs.

Other highly reactive foods are: oats, yeasts, chocolate, seafood, beef and citrus.

However, you can develop an intolerance, sensitivity or allergy to any food. The degree of sensitivity to a food depends on your tolerance ‘threshold’ for that food. You might be able to eat small amounts of a food, but react to larger amounts. Or some foods may be eaten without reaction once in a while, but not more frequently.

In fact, you may not be reacting to the specific food, but to one of more of the components of that food. It might surprise you to learn that the most common problematic substances are the vitamins and minerals in foods. They can cause us to have allergic reactions to many foods we eat on a daily basis. Other major causes of food allergy are food additives, sulphur, pesticides, biotechnology and genetic engineering.

Symptoms of Food Allergy

There are many warning signs that indicate that you might have a food allergy: dark circles under the eyes, frequent sniffing or throat-clearing, irritability, moodiness, hyperactivity, or frequent fatigue. Other signs may include headaches, stomach aches, bowel problems, muscle pain, coughing or wheezing, and frequent digestive or respiratory problems. Symptoms vary from person to person. Common signs of food allergy include the following:

Digestive problems – Reactions to food allergens can damage to walls lining the digestive tract, and also disrupt the balance of hormones and chemicals needed for proper digestion and elimination. This can lead to problems such as Leaky Gut syndrome, where the walls of the small intestine leak partially-digested food into the blood stream. This can lead to bloating, stomach cramps and inflammation, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, autoimmune and immune deficiency diseases, and many other problems.

Blocked airways – Food allergens are responsible for excess mucus in many allergic people, leading to chronic blocked noses, and mucuosy throats – as well as ear infections. Babies have very small upper airways and it takes very little to block them. When the allergens are removed from the diet, the mucus dries up.

Middle Ear infections – Over 70% of children suffer from middle ear infection at some time or other, and it believed by many researchers to arise from food allergies, particularly to milk and wheat. One study reported that 78% of the children with otitis showed allergies milk, wheat, egg white, peanuts, and soy, and when these foods were eliminated from their diet, 86% experienced significant improvement.

Psychological or emotional problems – Food allergies have been clearly linked to a range of psychological and behavior disorders such as autism and hyperactivity in children, anxiety, depression, inability to concentrate, mood swings, and ‘fogginess’.

Food addictions – If you are addicted to a food, you are probably allergic to it. This is because allergic reactions in the body trigger the release of certain chemicals, among them, opioids, which make you feel good. If you feel happier when you eat that food, you can develop a craving for it.

Types of Food Allergies

If you are allergic to a food, you can experience either an immediate or a delayed reaction to food. The immediate reaction pattern is referred to as Type l food allergy. Immediately or within a short time after eating the food, you show clear and often dramatic symptoms. If you are allergic to fungus, you might develop abdominal cramps within an hour of eating a ragout containing mushrooms. A child with a type 1 reaction to kiwi fruit might experience severe itching in the mouth or vomiting within 15 minutes of eating a kiwi fruit.

The most dangerous Type l reaction is called anaphylaxis – a severe reaction that can be fatal within minutes. If you or your child experiences light-headedness), swollen tongue or throat, difficulty breathing, fainting or facial swelling immediately after eating food, seek immediate emergency care.

Type l food allergies are easy to diagnose. They respond to allergy skin tests, and show up on blood tests because they result in an excess of IgE antibodies. For many doctors, this is the only kind of real food allergy. Recent estimates show that that Type l food allergies occur in between 3-5 % (sometimes to 8%) of children, and in 1-2 % of adults.

Type ll food allergy does not involve IgE antibodies. Instead, IgA, IgG and IgM antibodies may be produced. This reaction pattern is associated with the release of inflammatory substances by the immune system. Many food allergies are of this type, therefore, they are not detected by standard allergy tests, which usually only test for the IgE antibodies.

Some reactive patterns are ‘hidden’. Delayed patterns of food allergy (referred to as Type lll food allergy) often go unrecognized because the symptoms are not usually obvious, and may occur days after the food is eaten. Also, since they do not involve the production of excess IgE antibodies, delayed allergy reactions to not show up on skin tests or IgE antibody tests. Rather, they tend to show up as clusters of physical, behavioral and learning problems affecting several body systems at once.

You may experience Type lll allergy as a combination of recurring or persistent symptoms such as breathlessness, frequent clearing of throat, episodes of hyperactivity and emotional hypersensitivity, chronic stuffy nose, and frequent flu-like symptoms. Another person may experience recurring headaches, frequent itching of the eyes, abdominal pains, fatigue, bouts of depression, sleep problems, and swelling of the lymph nodes. These delayed reaction patterns of food allergy are difficult to diagnose. Yet according to many health practitioners, they account for the majority of food allergies, especially in children.

In fact, food allergies are so common – and still so frequently undiagnosed – that you should take any undefined pattern of illness that involves different symptoms and different body symptoms as a sign of food allergy until proven otherwise.

Treatment

It used to be accepted that children outgrew food allergies, and adults sometime report the same, but we now that allergies just evolve and change over time. For instance, allergies to milk or eggs can evolve into respiratory or other allergies, or as various health problems. For true healing to occur, the underlying allergies must be addressed.

The most common treatment for food allergies is avoidance. This will relieved the symptoms and prevent further damage; however, it can mean a lifetime of restrictive diets.

There is some evidence that eating organic foods can decrease the incidence or severity of allergic reactions to food, and may even help protect against allergic reactions. Organic foods provide more of the quality nutrients needed to build up the immune system, which is always weak in those with allergies. Certainly, a diet high in organic foods decreases the chances of developing allergies to food additives and pesticides, and can reduce the incidence of allergies.

However, if you already have food allergies, the damage they have already caused still needs to be corrected.

The best solution to food allergies is desensitization. There are different treatment options available, some of them immunizing the body to allergens with extracts taken under the tongue or injections. Acupuncture has also been shown effective in treating some allergies. The problem is that these therapies may not address the underlying health issues, such as nutrient deficiencies, toxin overload or stress, that caused food allergies in the first place.

For a real solution to food allergies, choose a program that involves detoxification to clear the body of toxins that contribute to allergies, corrects other underlying health problems, and desensitizes you to the allergens that are affecting you.

Once the food allergies are under control or eliminated, it is important that you obtain solid nutritional advice to help you maintain and build the health of your immune system. If you don’t eat enough of the right foods, or eat too much of the wrong foods, you are at risk of developing new allergies or other problems. A good diet is still your best protection.

Why Does Irritability Occur During Menopause?

Most of the time, women will go through menopause in their forties or fifties. The first sign of the arrival of menopause is an entire year of missed menstruation. Only after that will the stage of menopause actually be confirmed. The start of menopause may also depend on the personal history of the woman, though, like when her mother started menopause.

Still, menopause is a very natural stage of female life. It isn’t a condition or an illness; it simply means that the menstrual cycle has come to an end. With this, the woman’s progesterone and estrogen levels will also become imbalanced, and this could bring about certain symptoms, like irritability. In fact, the majority of women out there will experience irritability when they go through menopause.

What is Irritability?

Irritability is one of the bodily changes that you will experience in menopause, but don’t worry – it will pass eventually. The best treatment for it, really, would be self-control, lots of exercise and a healthy diet. Walking every single day, most of all when you feel sad, happens to be a great way to avoid stress, in general, while enrolling in a gym and doing yoga also prove to be great antidotes.

What Causes Irritability During Menopause?

Doctors say that irritability mainly stems from fatigue and this makes sense. See, near the beginning of menopause, women usually need to attend to various people’s needs, like their teenage children and aging parents, and they get too exhausted because of it. This is why sleeping and resting well are very imperative things to do during menopause.

What Other Changes Will Occur During Menopause?

During menopause, certain changes might occur on the skin, hair and nails of the woman, and inside her body. Some women might notice thinner hair and ridged, brittle nails, while other women might notice drier skin and an onset of facial hair.

Conversely, the women who experience hot flashes and night sweats during menopause will also experience a loss of sleep during this time. Because of this, they will need to follow certain routines everyday in order to avoid irritability in the long run. It would be highly advisable to avoid stress from teenagers and work during this stage and it would be highly recommended not to overload yourself, either. It would also be vital to sleep well and eat healthy at all times.

Can These Symptoms During Menopause be Treated?

Fortunately, all of these things can be treated. Self-care is highly important during menopause, so take vitamins for your hair and nails and keep your skin lubricated with lotion. Not every woman will experience all of these symptoms, though, so only work on what you need to.

Additionally, there are some synthetic estrogen products in today’s market that you can buy without prescriptions and could help you with your menopausal symptoms. Sadly, as available as prescription medication is, a lot of side effects have become a warning flag for most women.

Overall, self-control will really play a major role during menopause and remember not to extend your daily routines and to always stay positive. Avoid stressful situations whenever you can, as well, and if your irritability gets worse, you can also turn to professional help.

5 Easy Ways To Fight Depression

Most people nowadays are having difficult, troubled and extremely stressed times and it’s easy to find yourself depressed. Depression doesn’t choose its victim. Even rich and successful people often find themselves drowned and drained because of it. Sadly, depression is capable of taking your life or someone else’s. Even if you can endure it physically, it’s still effective in sucking the life out of you. Fortunately, there are ways to combat depression before it gets worse. In addition to getting help from your doctor or therapist, here are some things that you can do to feel better.

  • Exercise. People who are depressed don’t have the drive for physical activities. Most of them just want to lock themselves in their rooms and stay in bed. Doing so would just make things worse. Exercise can help remedy that by stimulating the body to produce endorphins. Endorphins are the body’s natural pain and stress fighters, and can give you that natural high without leading to addiction. So whenever you’re feeling down, get up and have a walk, jog, dance, or bike if you prefer. Yoga, breathing exercises and meditation will do wonders as well.
  • Eat right. Depression can lead to loss of appetite, or in some cases, overeating. Either way, it’s not healthy. Be mindful of what you eat. Have a balanced diet and stick to fruits and vegetables. Dark chocolate for dessert is also a good choice as it contains antioxidants, boosts endorphin levels and also contains serotonin which is the body’s natural antidepressant. But be careful not to overindulge.
  • Get out more. It may not be applicable at all times especially during a bad weather, but if you have a chance to go out then do so. Visit old places that remind you of fun memories or new places that can give a refreshed feeling such as the beach or somewhere with a beautiful scenery. If you can have someone accompany you the better. Breathe in fresh air, absorb the warmth of the sunlight and enjoy the beauty of nature. You are born to enjoy these things.
  • Express yourself. Depression blocks a person’s creativity. Whether painting, singing, playing music, writing, or simply imagining, these talents simply do not work when depressed. Forcing your creative juices to flow mostly results to frustration and can lead to further depression. Find a different way to express yourself. If you can’t paint the picture that you want, then visit an art gallery and get inspiration. Listen to music. Read a funny book or watch a funny movie with a friend. Expose yourself to things that can bring you happiness or laughter. Happiness is still inside you even if you’re depressed. You just have to help yourself let it out.
  • Find a spiritual connection. You were born surrounded by people who love you. They took care of you and filled you with love and happiness. Never forget that you are important, loved and you are not alone. Find these people and connect with them. Be honest with your feelings and let it out. Family and friends can give you insights and advice which can help you clear things up in your head. Most of the time, their presence alone is enough to give you a sense of security. Do not let depression shut you out from the world. Lastly, do not forget to pray. If you’re alone, now is the time to connect to God. Talk to him, cry if you have to. Depression is like a caged animal who’s desperate to get out. The more you keep it in, the more it’s going to destroy you from the inside. Let go and let God.

These are just some of the ways that can help you fight depression. Reading this guide alone will not help much, you must get up and act on it. It’s never too late to find happiness in whatever situation you may be.


Why do you stay in prison when the door is so wide open?

~Jalal ad-Din Rumi

Feel free to talk to us. If you have advice or suggestions that you would like to share to our readers about depression, do not hesitate to right it down in the comments. Let’s help each other discover a healthier and happier life.

Fear Vs Phobia

Phobias:

A phobia is any excessive or unreasonable fear reaction which is linked to an object, place or situation. Phobias are extremely common. They develop usually after an incident in which our subconscious wrongly links fear to an object, place or situation.

There are many ways a phobia can be created and some start without any apparent or discernible cause. One way a phobia can begin is what I call the ‘startle response’. To use the fear of a spider as an example. If there is a sudden or unexpected movement most people will start or jump as the body and mind focuses towards the new stimulus. Even those unafraid and comfortable around spiders might jump if a spider startled them, it’s a normal human response. However most people would then normally dismiss their reaction with the thought “oh it’s only a spider, it can’t do me any harm” and they would forget about it.

But sometimes if a person is preoccupied before the event perhaps particularly stressed by a totally unrelated issue to a spider like work or life in general, and then were startled by a spider a phobia could be born.

Then the stress you already had overflows into a startled response and in your mind the spider becomes associated with feelings of panic. When in fact you were already stressed before you saw whatever it is you have a phobia about. Then you may find that your subconscious mind wrongly links the object, or place. It’s a kind of inbuilt self preservation instinct if your subconscious believes there to be harm associated with an object it tries to steer you clear by fostering a fear or apprehension.

It is an associated link again. Like a song you once heard automatically reminds you of a feeling in a situation from the past because you have made an associated link.

The human mind works by association, when we experience two things together for a little while, one will automatically remind us of the other in the future. Hypnosis can replace that negative association with a more positive feeling.

With the help of hypnosis you will begin to relax around the idea of the trigger for a phobic reaction. The only reason you think you have a fear or phobia is because you remember what happened the last time you saw the object, a place or situation due to the association that you created. But after hypnosis and a reframing of past and present feelings around that incident that should never happen again.

I Hate Anxiety

I wish to share my story. I hate anxiety, its so horrible feels like you are going to die. For me, a panic attack is almost a violent experience. I feel disconnected from reality. I feel like I’m losing control in a very extreme way. My heart pounds really hard, I feel like I can not get my breath, and there’s an overwhelming feeling that things are crashing in on me.

It started more than 10 years ago. Working pressure may cause this to happen. I was sitting in a business seminar in a hotel and this thing came out of the blue. I felt like I was dying.

Panic attacks dominated my life whether I was awake or asleep. My agoraphobia would prevent me from leaving home most of the time. Just go anywhere I need to be accompanied by a friend. But sometimes my job requires me to travel alone. This is disrupting my work. I was terrified and the symptoms were off the scale. At that time, I also experienced overwhelming feelings of depression and depersonalization. Most people don’t know or understand how much I fight to control my emotions and fears, even though they are my very close friends.

My anxiety attacks and the associated symptoms ruled my very existence – it was a life only half-lived!

I hate anxiety and panic attacks, its so horrible feels like you are going to die. I’m sure you have experienced the same feelings too.

The doctor gave me zoloft (sertraline 50mg) as a medicine. For over 10 years has become my routine to see a doctor every three months. There is no doubt it provides relief, but this has made me too dependent on medication.

Everything changed when I found an article that suggested the use of this method. Starting from that, I search more information about the method in internet. I am very impressed with the track record of the method, 13 years of practice, helping over 136,000 sufferers to recover all around the world. Dr Francis Teeney, Research Psychologist from Queen’s University, Belfast has endorsed this method. This method also recognized as the drug free solution to anxiety disorders by the government health organization, and also receiving referrals from psychologists, doctors, psychiatrists, health authorities, insurance companies and other organizations from around the world.

At that time I was determined to be free from anxiety and panic disorder. I want to be free from the prison in myself. I want to be free and get my life back. I want to regain happiness with my family. Replace all the lost time I have sacrificed to my anxiety and panic attacks. Turn back the clock to before I had anxiety and panic attacks. Get the second chance that I deserve. I swear to myself to start afresh, free from panic attacks and anxiety.

At first I was a little confused by the statement “YOU ARE NOT ILL! Not physically, not mentally!”. However, I was fascinated by the fact that anxiety, panic attacks, OCD and phobias are behavioral conditions which have resulted from an adjustment in the subconscious mind in the Amygdala. The Amygdala, like a light switch, is either anxiety ON or anxiety OFF and under normal circumstances this is only triggered when REAL danger exists. In anxiety conditions, the ‘switch’ gets artificially stuck in the ON position, causing constant anxiety symptoms even when no REAL danger exists.

It’s not magic. Without exception, every sufferer of inappropriate anxiety, stress and depression has a condition which is stored and activated by a small organ in the brain. This organ, called the Amygdala, is 100% responsible for activating the anxiety response, which becomes ‘re-set’ at a higher ‘benchmark’ anxiety level in anxiety disorders.

Scientists now confirm that the Amygdala is instrumental in the control of anxiety disorders. The NIMH and many other research institutions publish their findings regularly. I’ve been watching the documentary about amygdala in Discovery Channel too.

What I want to say is that I have practice the methods since 4 months ago. Significantly, it is effective, although it is not immediately. The proof is that now I no longer need to take medication. At first, I have discussed with my doctor to reduce my intake of two tablets daily medication to 1 tablet per day. Then the doctor advised me to take medication every other day. After that I only take medication once a week. Now I dare to declare I free from anxiety and panic disorder. This is the power of knowledge.

If it is had an effect on me of course it is also effective to you and others too. I recommend you to get this product. Consider deeply. Where you would like to see yourself in 3, 6 or 9 months from now, still suffering from high anxiety, panic attacks or phobias; still half living your life, restricted and scared; OR challenging yourself, taking pleasure in every moment again, enjoying your children, partner, holidays, job and social life again. DO NOT dismiss this opportunity to return to an anxiety free life.

This method contains no spiritual or religious bias. It does not contain self-hypnosis or any form of ‘subliminal programming’ – just scientific, practical and simple advice that will remove your anxiety, panic attacks, phobias and OCD permanently.

Take action now. Do not continue to destroy your life. I hate panic attacks and anxiety and you hate too. Stop anxiety disorder, panic attacks, OCD and phobias NOW. Ask yourself, how long you want to live in darkness? Do you want to spend the rest of your life scared of things you shouldn’t be scared of……or do you want the chance to be the very best you can be?

Enjoy life fully like you used to, anxiety and panic attacks FREE. Travel anywhere – NO panic attacks, no high anxiety, no fear! Return to being a fulfilling partner, husband or wife.

Insomnia – Common Causes

There are a lot of different sleep disorders out there that are affecting millions of people. This can be so frustrating since sleep is meant to help our bodies regroup and regenerate to help us tackle the toils of each passing day.

One of the most common sleep disorders out there is that of insomnia.

Insomnia is the inability for a person to be able to enjoy a good night’s rest. Most people that have insomnia will stay up for hours in their bed and feel restless and anxious. In order to treat this disorder you have to understand what the causes of insomnia are.

There are many different causes of insomnia but some of the biggest ones are related to psychological issues and believe it or not diet.

1. Stress and Depression

If you are constantly stressed out because of your career, schooling, relationships, and family, then you are a good candidate for insomnia.

This stress will cause you to stay awake at night worrying about upcoming events and potential issues. In order to get rid of stress induced insomnia you have to learn how to relax and have hope for the future.

Another cause of this sleep disorder is depression and anxiety. If an individual is depressed about their life then they will have anxiety about starting another day. This leads them to stay awake into all hours of the night worrying about things.

2. Diet

Now how often have you found yourself sitting down for a quick snack before bed? Maybe to enjoy your favorite ice cream, cookie(s) or even worse chips and a soda right before crawling into bed.

All of these types of snacks not only do damage to your mid section but also give you an unnatural boost of energy…the last thing you need right before going to bed. Even the tiniest bit of caffeine or sugar has a very negative effect on your bodies ability to relax.

So… we all have stress in our lives in some form right?

And if you have a problem convincing yourself not to grab that evening snack right before bedtime then what are you supposed to do?

Offset it with an all natural supplement containing a few key ingredients that will help your body and mind relax so you can get a good night sleep. Look for a product that contains these proven sleep delivering ingredients like GABA (gamma-amino butyric acid), Melatonin and 5 HTP (which helps your body produce melatonin naturally).

These nutrients in combination will help you get a good night sleep and wake up refreshed and ready to take your day head-on.

Mouthpieces for Sleep Apnea – How They Work

Sleep apnea and the role of mouthpieces

When a person sleeps the muscle tissue that supports the throat, oral cavity, thorax relaxes and the airway and/throat contracts giving a smaller passage for the air to flow as your breathe. If it is partially obstructed enough snoring may happen as body parts vibrate. Apnea is even more serous condition than snoring in that the obstruction is total so a person can’t breathe. The body reacts by have the person gasping for breath, this wakes a person up (causes the muscle tissue to be at normal “awake” status) and happens numerous times as a person with sleeps. With this problem you not only have the problem of quality and quality of sleep, also this condition can put a strain on the heart. This type of condition is called obstructive sleep apnea. The role of the mouthpiece is to tighten up the muscles structures of the throat and oral cavity by pushing the lower jaw forward. This is designed to keep the airway open while you sleep.

How to know if a mouthpiece is a solution

If you have moderate or mild sleep apnea this may be the right solution the plus are it is much more inexpensive than CNAP machine and any surgical option. The device may work your physical makeup to clear your air way from obstructions enough to limit and/or eliminate the obstruction in the airway. These may be also beneficial for snoring reduction as well. You will only know for sure by trying and this may involve experimentation between different mouthpiece types and brands,

Different fittings and choices

The different mouthpiece types and choices revolve around primarily how specialty made the device is made to your physical characteristics. The first kind and the more generic is the out of the box kind can be bought over the counter or on the internet. With this type of device the fittings are not as specific for you. Having this work for you can be a least expensive option. There is a second option which is do a fitting yourself and send the impression back to a company that will produce the item, this mostly done through the internet. And the last most expensive but most custom fitted mouth piece is one that through a dentist or orthodontist.

Potential problems and challenges in using this product

As with any sleep apnea aid there can tend to be potential problems with using this devices. One of the most common is if you nasal congestion you may have the mouthpiece fall out when trying to breathe through the mouth. Another problem is the device may not be comfortable to wear; it may not fit properly or cause irritation to the gums and/or teeth. If you have a more generic mouthpiece you may need to consider a more custom fitted type.

Conclusion

Mouthpieces may be just what you need to cure your sleep apnea. By understanding the types and principles in which they work can be a possibility to help you with reducing or eliminating sleep apnea

How to Get Rid of Nail Fungus

Finger and Toe  Nail   Fungus  Symptoms

The most common signs of  nail   fungus  are:

* Thickened nails

* Brittle, crumbling nails

* A mis-shapen, dull appearance

* Discoloration – yellow, brown, green or black

* Seperation of the nail from the nail bed

* An ‘off’ or ‘foul’ odor

Yellow Nail Syndrome

Yellow nails are sometimes caused by a condition known as “yellow nail syndrome”. The chances that you actually have this condition are very slim, especially if this is the first you’ve heard of it because it is accompanied by several much worse symptoms: Swelling of your lower extremities, pneumonia and bronchiectasis. If, however you’re one of those people who absolutely hates going to the doctor, and any of these additional symptoms sound familiar to you – get your butt in gear and get to your doctor ASAP! This is not a condition that heals on its own.

A Note to Diabetics

If you have diabetes, you should see your doctor at the first sign of toenail  fungus . As you probably already know, diabetes can cause poor circulation to your extremities resulting in a slower immune system response. This means that even a relatively minor condition such as  nail   fungus  could snowball into a much more serious condition if left untreated. Let your doc examine your feet and help you monitor the infection during the course of treatment.

Finger and Toe  Nail   Fungus  Treatments

Fungal nail infections aren’t usually dangerous, but they are pretty unsightly and can sometimes even be painful. If left untreated they usually do not go away on their own so depending on your unique perspective (and/or lack of health insurance) you may opt for one of several effective treatments for finger and toe  nail   fungus . Regardless of the method you choose, it can take a very long time to cure this condition. Any treatment you choose will only stop new nail growth from becoming infected – so you will have to wait for the old, nasty nails to grow out completely before you’re cured, and that can take a while. Taking a multivitamin can help speed this up.

Oral Medications for  Nail   Fungus 

Oral antifungal medications will need to be prescribed by a doctor, and include Itraconazole (Sporanox), Fluconazole (Diflucan), and Terbinafine (Lamisil). Because the  fungus  is living between your  nail  and the skin underneath, it’s not very accessible for a direct attack so taking one of these drugs will help your body eliminate  fungi-friendly  conditions in new  nail  growth. These medications should be combined with proper prevention which is addressed later on in this article.

Home Remedies for  Nail   Fungus 

There are quite a few home remedies for  nail   fungus  as well – and many of them are quite effective but you must make sure you apply them religiously AND follow the instructions in the next section on prevention. Though unverified, popular opinion says that these home remedy topical treatments work just as well as store-bought fungicidal creams and are much less expensive. Bear in mind that you will have to continue these treatments until all signs of  fungus  are gone which can take up to a year because you’re waiting for the infected parts of the  nail  to grow out and be replaced with healthy nail. You should start to see new  nail  growth which is free of the  fungus  within the first month. Stopping prematurely WILL result in re-infection.

Here are two popular and inexpensive natural remedies:

Foot Soaks

1. In a small tub or bowl just large enough to submerge the infected nails completely, mix equal parts Listerine mouthwash with white vinegar.

2. Soak the infected nails in this bath for at least 15 minutes, twice daily. You can re-use the same liquid for up to a week before replacing with a fresh mixture.

3. As your nails grow, keep them well groomed. Use nail clippers to cut them short and a file to rough the surface up. Store your grooming tools in a container filled with the same liquid you use for the daily soaks.

4. Wash your hands after every treatment.

* Alternative #1: Apply the mixture directly to the infected nails using a sponge or Q-Tip at least twice a day.

* Alternative #2: Roll up a paper towel, saturate it with the mixture and then wrap it around the infected fingers or toes for 15-20 minutes, twice daily.

Vick’s VapoRub

Coat the infected fingers and toes with Vicks VapoRub at least twice daily and right before bed. Wash your hands after every treatment.

Nail Removal

This is an extreme solution, and is only prescribed in cases where the infection is severe or painful. Removing the nail allows the infection to be treated directly and cured quickly – but is painful. Your nails usually grow back too, and in case you hadn’t guessed – this is something ONLY your doctor should do. 😉

 Nail   Fungus  Prevention

Here are some tips for keeping the environment around your  nails  inhospitable to  fungi  and bacteria.

* Thoroughly wash and dry your hands and feet after bathing, including the areas between your toes.

* When you wash your nails, scrub them with a soft bristled brush to remove dirt and dead skin.

* Trim your nails and keep them short.

* Clean any dirt out from underneath your finger and toenails with a toothpick.

* Wear only shoes and socks that allow your feet to breathe. Change your socks during the day if they routinely become moist.

* Regularly apply anti-fungal powder to your feet and footwear.

* Don’t go bare foot in public locker rooms or share footwear with others.

* Refrain from wearing fake nails.

Have a home remedy or cure that is not listed here? Maybe an experience with one of the above methods? Please add it here for others using the form at the bottom of this page.