Is There a Difference Between Sprains and Strains?

How many times have you limped home after a sporting activity only to be slowed by the pain and swelling. to move the injured body part. Do you know whether you have a sprain or strain?

Is there a difference between sprains and strains?

There are many similarities between these two types of injuries. Both have varying degrees of severity ranging from 1st to 3rd degree. And both are used to describe a stretching or tearing injury to the body.

The difference lies in the type of tissue that has been injured.

A sprain occurs when there is damage to a ligament. Ligaments are strong bands of tissue that connect bone to bone, and can be found at all the different joints in the body. A strain is diagnosed when there has been damage to a muscle or a muscle tendon. The muscle tendon is what connects muscle to bone.

This difference also extends into the healing process. A sprain, or ligament injury, will normally take longer to heal. This is mainly because ligaments do not have the same ample blood supply that muscles do. Making it difficult for ligaments to repair themselves once injured.

It is possible for both of these injures to occur at the same time. For example, landing sideways onto the ankle while running or jumping will likely cause a degree of tearing to the tissue around the ankle. If the landing force is great enough you can have tearing of both the ligaments and the muscles.

Generally to injure a ligament there needs to be a certain amount of force applied. Resulting in immediate pain. A strain on the other hand can occur without you even knowing how it happened. This is because muscles adapt to the position they are in most. So poor posture causes muscles to shorten or lengthen depending on the position. However, muscles can only adapt so far. If the muscle is lengthened too greatly it will begin to stretch or even tear under the stress. This usually occurs in the back and neck area, and is a common cause of pain.

Treatment of strains and sprains are similar. The primary goal in the first 48 hours is to rest the injured area.

1) Put ice on the injury for 20 minutes at a time. It is often advised to do this 4 to 8 times a day.

2) Compress the injury using bandages.

3) Elevate the injured limb.

How to Keep Grapes Longer

Proper Grape Storage

Grapes are a great snack to keep around. They are healthy, tangy, and juicy enough to satisfy your sweet tooth while keeping you fit as a fiddle. However, like all fresh fruits, storage is a bit of a problem with grapes.

Learning how to keep grapes longer is essential if you want to enjoy a fresh snack minus the yucky taste or moldy patches, so read on to learn a thing or two about storing these grapes:

Choose fresh, firm grapes. The first thing to keep in mind when learning how to keep grapes longer in storage is to choose grapes that are fresh and firm. Their skins must be smooth and intact, the grape bunches tightly packed together, the stems strong and healthy, and the absence of any soft or battered spots in the fruits themselves.

Another thing you should be particularly careful about is hidden molds in the middle of the grape clusters. These molds have the potential to grow into large patches, even in the cold extremes of a refrigerator; resulting in ruined, inedible clusters of grapes.

Make sure to select clusters that are free from molds if you plan to keep them in your fridge.

Avoid washing before storing. Another mistake people make when storing grapes is washing them before storing.

While this may clean them and get rid of dirt on them, the water will have a negative effect on the skins of the grapes; making them mushier and promoting bacterial growth in the process.

This bacterial growth will eventually lead to decay, and that is one thing you do not want to happen when you want to happen. So if you want to learn how to keep grapes longer, leave the washing for when you are just about to serve the grapes.

That will clean them nicely without risking rot or decay in the refrigerator.

Use plastic bags to store grapes in your refrigerator. Another common mistake people make in storing grapes is simply shoving them unprotected into the fridge.

While the frigid air inside will slow down the growth of bacteria and molds, it will also dry up any fresh fruit or vegetables that are left exposed inside it.

If you want to learn how to keep grapes longer in your fridge, you have to keep them inside a zip-lock plastic bag to preserve their freshness and prevent the cold air from drying out the skins. This will help keep them fresh and juicy for up to a week.

One last thing about grapes: they bruise easily. Be very gentle when handling and storing grapes if you do not want them to be all soft and squishy when you pull them out of the refrigerator a few days later.

Also be careful when shoving things inside your fridge, especially when the grapes have been inside for a few days now. The longer the grapes are stored the more sensitive and prone to bruising they are.

Remember to keep all these pointers in mind, and you will be able to learn how to keep grapes longer, fresher, juicier and even a bit crunchier for up to a week at a time.

How To Prevent Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a debilitating disease in which the bones become brittle and prone to breaking. Though osteoporosis affects all bones in the body, of particular concern are fractures of the spine and hip. A spinal fracture or a fracture of the hip can have devastating consequences ranging from excruciating pain in the back or hip, temporary or permanent immobility, deformity in the bone structure and even death.

This can be prevented to a large extent if the proper precautions are taken at the proper time. A healthy lifestyle that promotes strong bones, particularly before the age of thirty is the best defense against osteoporosis. While the further progress of osteoporosis can be managed to a certain extent, there is no permanent cure.

Here’s what you can do to protect your bones and yourself from getting osteoporosis. Remember all four steps work in conjunction with each other and each of them is equally important in the fight against osteoporosis.

1. Make sure you get your recommended daily dose of Calcium. Bones need calcium, to grow and to stay strong. Not getting sufficient calcium can be a major factor in the development of osteoporosis.

2. Vitamin D, which is got from direct sunlight as well as from egg yolks, fortified milk and liver, is used by the body to enhance absorption of calcium. Lack of vitamin D inhibits the body’s ability to extract and absorb calcium from foods. Vitamin D3, also called cholecalciferol, is the form of vitamin D that is ideal for health of the bones.

3. Weight bearing exercises, including walking, jogging, stair climbing, hiking and dancing are hugely beneficial to the bones. Individuals who exercised regularly during childhood and adolescence are more likely to have denser bones.

4. Tobacco leaches the calcium from the bones. A healthy lifestyle that includes no smoking or excessive alcohol is a great way of taking care of your bones.

Lipid Digestion

Most natural whole foods have inherent enzymes capable of completely or partially digesting lipids if the enzymes are not destroyed through heat and processing. This widely underestimated value of whole, raw, fresh foods has been by and large ignored.

A common argument against the value of inherent food enzymes is the presumed inhospitability of the gastrointestinal tract to all complex proteins. In other words, it is argued that enzymes within the food would simply be broken down into individual amino acids and would not have a chance to effect their enzymatic action which depends upon intact secondary and tertiary structure, the folding of protein chains.

There is considerable evidence, however, that enzymes as well as other macromolecules are able to survive the rigors of digestion. Examples include the ability of bacteria, salivary ptyalin, amylase and pollen to not only survive the digestive tract but be absorbed into the circulation.1-3 Another interesting example of the importance of natural food enzymes is the capability of bile activated lipase in milk to pass into the small intestine intact. This enzyme has thus far been identified in human, dog, cat and non-human primate raw mammary milk. If the enzyme is destroyed through pasteurization, growth has been shown to be cut in half compared to those receiving the enzyme in the whole, raw, natural product. 4-6

Although inherent food enzymes may be a virtue of raw natural foods since they can assist in the digestive process, they are often the enemy in processed foods. Lipase, for example, has the capability under the right conditions to begin hydrolyzing fatty acids from their glycerol backbone. However, this is undesirable in processed foods since once the fatty acids are split they may then more readily degrade and create various off-flavors as well as potentially toxic oxidized molecules. Lipoxygenase found in some raw seeds can catalyze the oxidation of unsaturated fatty acids. Such nutrient degrading enzymes are inactivated by heat (and germination — a better way) in processing methods. 7

Fresh “from the vine” fatty acids are still ensconced within protective cells and normally do not degrade unless separated from their natural context. Lipoxygenase in soybeans, for example, is activated as soon as the bean is split. Thus food enzymes are an enemy to the food processor who seeks shelf life, but a potential nutritional benefactor.

Food enzymes prepared from microbiological cultures can be used as supplements to replace enzymes lost during processing. These dried, or oil emulsified products, are activated only when hydrated in the digestive tract and can assist in the digestive process.8


Endogenous digestion proceeds through many steps. When a food is eaten, mastication helps separate the fats from the other components of the food. This permits digestion by enzyme systems which allow less than 5% of fats to pass undigested. Digestion can begin with the secretion of serous glands on the back of the tongue in some species, including humans, continue in the stomach through the action of gastric lipase, and be completed by pancreatic lipase excreted into the small intestine. As lipids enter the duodenum, various hormones such as secretin and cholecystokinin are stimulated. These hormones influence lipid digestion by affecting the pH of the intestinal contents, the release of pancreatic lipase, and the secretion of bile.

The increase in pH that occurs as the food bolus moves into the duodenum is necessary for the activity of pancreatic lipase. Secretion of bile salts from the liver emulsifies the products of lipolysis incorporating them into micelles which are complexes of bile salts, phospholipid molecules, and cholesterol. (Fig. 11)

[ Micelle Transport Image ]


Shorter chain fatty acids complexed with albumin are capable of being absorbed both in the stomach and in the small intestine. Longer chain triglycerides are disassembled in the small intestine by lipase, solubilized in micelles, and transported into mucosal cells (enterocytes) as free fatty acids. monoglycerides and small amounts of glycerol, diglycerides, cholesterol, and phospholipids. Once in the mucosal cell these components are reassembled into triglycerides, then complexed with protein, carbohydrate or phosphate and incorporated into chylomicrons which are a type of lipoprotein that permits transport of lipids within the watery medium of the blood. The inner core of the chylomicron is composed of nonpolar triglycerides and cholesterol esters, and the membrane is polar being made up of phospholipids, cholesterol, and proteins which permit solubility in blood. (Fig. 12)

[ Lipid Absorption Image ]


Many more details of lipid digestion have been worked out quite intricately by researchers.9-14 It is interesting to note in this process that the principle of nothing working in isolation holds particularly true. The coordination of a variety of factors within the food itself and within the organism makes possible delivering lipids to the organism for energy and myriad metabolic processes.

Fats are not simply consumed and then passively absorbed through the walls of the intestine. Rather they are prepared by intricate emulsification systems, broken down in specific patterns by enzymes, absorbed by complex mechanisms, reassembled, and prepared for delivery to the body through complexing with a variety of other nutrients. These processes make it possible for non-water-soluble lipid components to be delivered efficiently throughout organisms which are comprised primarily of water… an incredible feat.

References available within book text, click the following link to view this article on


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Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) And Elimination Diets

Foods may cause irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) symptoms: In the U.S., most doctors have been, and continue to be, skeptical that foods cause symptoms of (IBS) and elimination of specific foods can improve these symptoms. This is despite almost 70% of people diagnosed as having IBS reporting symptoms related to specific foods. There is accumulating evidence, though still criticized because of limitations of studies that make it difficult to prove, that specific foods may be the cause of symptoms in many people labeled as having IBS.

Food intolerance testing and elimination diet based on IgG antibodies may be beneficial: Atkinson (Gut, 2004) randomized people to either an elimination diet based on elevated IgG antibody levels (YorkTest Laboratories) for specific foods or a sham diet. Those who avoided specific foods based on their IgG antibody tests had improvement in IBS symptoms (10-26% reduction) and global rating of quality of life significantly improved. Re-introducing foods for which they tested positive resulted in worsening. Zar (Am J Gastro, 2005) reported significant improvement of IBS symptoms such as pain, bloating, and alterations in bowel habits based on six month elimination of elevated food-specific IgG4 antibodies in 25 people.

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is very commonly diagnosed in adults: No diagnostic tests can confirm IBS. It is a diagnosis of exclusion. It is a syndrome, that is, a collection of symptoms that cannot be explained by other diseases resulting in the diagnosis of IBS. Common missed diagnoses that are blamed on IBS include lactose intolerance, Celiac disease, gluten sensitivity or gluten intolerance, colitis, Crohn’s disease, parasite infections such as giardia, bacterial overgrowth in the intestine or alterations in gut bacteria levels and types (  dysbiosis ), food allergies, food intolerance, and food hypersensitivity.

Celiac disease, colitis and Crohn’s disease should be excluded before diagnosing IBS: Celiac disease, colitis and Crohn’s disease can be diagnosed or excluded by blood tests, stool tests, and biopsies of the intestine. Food allergy, intolerance and sensitivity are not only more difficult to confirm or exclude but frequently missed because of limitations of blood tests, stool tests, allergy skin tests and biopsies. Adverse food reactions have to be considered as a potential cause of the symptoms attributed to IBS.

There are common foods that cause adverse food reactions: Common foods reported by IBS sufferers, whose symptoms improve with elimination, are wheat, barley, and rye (gluten); dairy including cow’s milk protein (casein) and/or lactose (milk sugar); the legumes (peanut) and soy; yeast used to bake or brew foods; corn; shellfish and fish; nuts (almond, Brazil nut, cashew, and walnut); fruits (apple, orange, and strawberry); vegetables (celery, cabbage, and lettuce); the meats (pork, beef, and chicken); and nightshades (potato and tomato).

Individual specific and food-specific elimination diets are based on a variety of tests and a food-symptom diet diary: Elimination diets based on the common foods causing allergic reactions and non-allergic food reactions have been used for quite some time and are often prescribed with or without a food symptom diet diary. Interestingly, to my knowledge, no one has looked at approaching these people and their adverse food reactions individually, based on tests for Celiac disease, gluten intolerance or sensitivity (elevated blood gliadin IgA or IgG antibodies and/or stool gliadin IgA antibody without diagnostic blood tests or biopsy for Celiac), casein intolerance (stool IgA anti-casein antibody or blood IgG antibody), oral allergy syndrome (OAS) history and thorough food allergy testing (skin prick testing, IgE RAST or CAP RAST tests, intradermal skin testing or patch skin testing).

Specific food elimination diet trials based on such information (see the table at has been helpful in my experience. Food-pollen cross reaction in OAS is well documented. A diet symptom diary combined with specific food elimination based on results of food allergy tests, food intolerance of food sensitivity tests, and known pollen allergies should be considered as a possible approach to elimination diet. This should not exclude evaluation for and treatment of established Celiac disease, lactose intolerance,  dysbiosis , colitis or Crohn’s disease.


Atkinson W, Sheldon TA, Shaath N, Whorwell PJ. Food elimination based on IgG antibodies in irritable bowel syndrome: a randomised controlled study. Gut 2004;53:1459-1464.

Choung RS, Talley NJ. Food allergy and intolerance in IBS. Gastroenterology & Hepatology October 2006;2(10):757-760.

Zar S, Benson MJ, Kumar D. Food-specific serum IgG4 and IgE titers to common food antigens in irritable bowel syndrome. American Journal Gastroenterology 2005;100:1550-1557.

Zar S, Mincher L, Benson MJ, Kumar D. Food-specific IgG4 antibody guided exclusion diet improves symptoms and rectal compliance in irritable bowel syndrome. Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology. 2005;40:800-807.

Did You know Women Can Be Fertile Twice a Month?

It’s true… and it’s all because of the moon.

Most women watch their menstrual cycles and are taught that their prime time to fall pregnant is during mid cycle or biological ovulation.

What they might not know is that the moon can trigger ovulation and bring on fertility at any time during the menstrual cycle including before, after or even during your menstrual period. It all depends on what phase the moon was in when you were born.

The moon has been linked to female fertility for thousands of years. In fact, the ebb and flow of the moon is responsible for the spawning, mating and birthing behaviour of many creatures on our earth. So really, why should we humans be any different?

Intuitively, women have always understood that the moon, their menstrual cycles and fertility are intimately connected. In folklore and ancient traditions the connections between the three are taken as fact.

Consider the following:

  • A healthily fertile woman’s menstrual cycle runs its course in about twenty-nine days, one lunar cycle.
  • A standard healthy pregnancy runs for 42 weeks or 10 lunar months.
  • The relationship between the moon’s cycles and menstruation is so basic that our words, ‘menstruation’, ‘moon’ and ‘month’ all come from the Greek word for ‘measure of time.’

Recent scientific research has revealed how the moon plays its part in female fertility. They have discovered that the production of the hormone Melatonin is controlled by the amount of moonlight reaching the eye.

The Body Clock, which is also responsible for our sleep / wake cycle, responds to the levels of moonlight reaching the eye to produce varying amounts of Melatonin. These Melatonin changes tell the ovaries, through other hormones to develop the egg at the beginning of the menstrual cycle and to release the eggs at mid cycle, so ovulation will occur.

When we all lived in huts or caves without artificial light, women generally bled on the new moon and ovulated and gave birth on the Full Moon. That’s just the way it was.

But as humankind has embraced artificial light, the female fertility clock has been disturbed. Women now ovulate and give birth at any time during the lunar month. This means that women now have two fertility cycles to work with.

The truth is that the FULL Moon still exerts a powerful influence on women even if they were not born under that phase.

Many women find that they do in fact ovulate with the full moon. But if they were not born under the full moon phase then they will have a SECONDARY LUNAR fertility pattern that can and does trigger spontaneous ovulation.

Remember the moon’s trigger effect is increased by two factors – stress and sexual intercourse. That is, if you are having sex during your lunar fertile time, the chances of ovulation being triggered and conception occurring increase.

This can come as quite a surprise to many people and can be very worrying for women who are not looking to get pregnant.

Being aware of lunar fertility and synchronising you biological cycle to your lunar cycle can be beneficial for many women.

For example:

  • if you are trying to avoid pregnancy it is essential to know when your natal lunar fertile time occurs so you are prepared with appropriate contraception.
  • if you are trying to fall pregnant, synchronising your cycle maximises your chance of falling pregnant at your fertile time, and
  • if your menstrual cycle is irregular then using the moon can be a simple, non invasive technique to help you get regular again.


The Relation between Ulcer and Bacteria

Until recently, medical scientists believed that  ulcer  was solely caused by an overproduction of digestive fluids at the level of the stomach. Considering that stomach and duodenal  ulcers  occurred as a consequence of excessive acidity, doctors commonly prescribed antacids as a main form of treatment for gastric disorders. However, these medications alone were unable to completely overcome  ulcer  and medical scientists had to come up with more reliable drugs. In their attempt to find a better cure for  ulcer , scientists have revealed new aspects of the disorder, findings that suggested the involvement of various other factors in the occurrence of digestive disorders.

In the 80’s, the findings of Robin Warren and Barry Marshall revealed that  ulcer  was in fact caused by infection with bacteria. At that time, the discovery came as a great surprise for medical science, and most physicians denied the implication of bacteria in the occurrence and development of  ulcer . Scientists believed that bacteria couldn’t populate the interior of the stomach, as it was a very acidic and hostile environment, inappropriate for the proliferation of infectious microorganisms. However, the research conducted by Australian scientists Robin Warren and Barry Marshall suggested the fact that bacteria had a major contribution in the development of digestive disorders such as  ulcer .

In spite of their efforts to prove the major implication of Helicobacter pylori bacteria in the occurrence of  ulcer , the hypotheses sustained by Robin Warren and Barry Marshall were considered to be unfunded and medical gastroenterologists refused to assimilate the ideas presented by the two Australian scientists.

After conducting various experiments regarding the involvement of Helicobacter pylori bacteria in the progression of  ulcer , Robin Warren and Barry Marshall were finally able to confirm their initial statements. The two scientists proved that people affected by  ulcer  could be effectively cured with the means of antibiotic medications. Patients who were administered a course of amoxicillin along with the usual treatment with antacids experienced a rapid amelioration of their symptoms and they were less likely to suffer a relapse.

Nowadays, it is known for a fact that Helicobacter pylori bacteria are the leading cause of  ulcer . The bacteria are responsible for causing both duodenal and stomach  ulcers  by interfering with the normal activity of the gastrointestinal system. Helicobacter pylori bacteria affect the internal activity of the body on two levels: they weaken the mucosal protective cover of the internal organs and they stimulate an overproduction of digestive fluids.

In present, most medical treatments for  ulcer  include both antacids and antibiotics. By corroborating these two types of medications in the treatment for  ulcer , patients can recover rapidly and the chances of relapse are minimal.

Where to Get the Best Homeopathic Cure for Acid Reflux

Those who have recurrent problem of reflux disease may try a good the natural home remedy for acid reflux, which can tackle this condition tactfully. Now the question arises, from where the best variety of the natural home remedy for acid reflux could be obtained? The good thing is that there are several real stores, which sell out varieties of these products that you can purchase according to your need and the cause illness. At the time of purchasing, make sure to get the variety of home remedy for acid reflux, which can effectively treat the cause of your illness, if you want to get rid of this problem permanently.

The Local Stores

The local retail stores are the most appropriate places in order to get the required home remedy for heartburn. These stores, although don’t have a number of varieties of these products. However; you can find there the homeopathic cure which is commonly required by the people. These homeopathic remedies are made for those cases, which occur frequently due to the food items or due to some other reasons. These stores do not provide any stronger homeopathic cure for acid reflux, which is necessary to tackle the severe illness. The remedies which are displayed in these stores could be used for the occasionally occurring episodes of heartburn disease.

The Varieties Displayed at Holistic Stores

The holistic stores are the places, which can provide the homeopathic cure for heartburn according to the requirement. These stores can furnish two types of preparations. The first preparation is one, which is smaller and could be carried by the people all the time. On the other side, the second type of the homeopathic cure for heartburn is one, which is larger in size and, which can only be kept in the house near your reach. These varieties of the homeopathic cure for heartburn which are available at holistic stores, are being manufactured by different companies, and supplied throughout the world. There are many people, who prefer taking the natural remedy for heartburn, since these remedies do not contain any harmful substance and do not produce any side effect on the body. The choice of the natural remedy for heartburn depends upon your preference and the severity of the illness.

Stores for Natural Food

If you are not able to find any good place in order to purchase the natural remedy for heartburn, you would have another good option in the form of the stores which sell out the natural food items. People prefer to have the natural home remedy for heartburn rather than getting any other item from the natural food stores, on behalf of their good quality.

Gallbladder Disorders And How To Treat Them Using Natural Remedies

The gallbladder is a 3 to 4 inch-long pear-shaped organ located on the right side of the body, directly under the liver. One of the functions of the liver is to remove poisonous substance from blood so that they can be excreted from the body. The liver excretes all these gathered toxins in a digestive agent called bile. Bile also contains cholesterol, bile salts, lecithin, and other substances. The bile (about one pint of it every day) goes first to the gallbladder, which holds it until food arrives in the small intestine. The gallbladder then releases the bile, which passes through cystic and bile ducts into the small intestine. Ultimately, the toxins are passed out of the body through the feces.

Abnormal concentration of bile acids, cholesterol and phospholipids in the bile can cause the formation of gallstones. The presence of gallstones is known to doctors as cholelithiasis. It has been estimated that 20 million Americans have gallstones, so she is not alone. In fact, one in ten people have gallstones without knowing it. However, if a stone is pushed out of the gallbladder and lodges in the bile duct, this can cause nausea, vomiting, and pain in the upper right abdominal region. These symptoms often arise after the individual has eaten fried or fatty foods.

Gallstones can range from the size of a tiny grain of sand to larger than a pea-sized mass. Seventy five percent of gallstones are cholesterol stones, with the remaining 25 percent being pigment stones. Pigment stones are composed of calcium salts. Although the cause of pigment stones is unknown, factors such as intestinal surgery, cirrhosis of the liver, and blood disorders can increase the rate risk.

The presence of gallstones creates a possibility that cystitis, inflammation of the gallbladder, may develop. This can cause severe pain in the upper right abdomen and/or across the chest, possibly accompanied of fever, nausea, and vomiting. Other symptoms of gallbladder disease include constant pain below the breastbone that shoots into the right or left shoulder and radiates into the back. The pain can last from 30 minutes to several hours. The urine may be tea- or coffee-colored, and there may be shaking, chills, and a yellowish discoloration of the skin and eyes. Gallbladder attacks occur often in the evening and can take place sporadically. Abdominal pain that occurs on a daily basis may be a problem unrelated to the gallbladder. A gallbladder attack may mimic a heart attack, with severe pain in the chest area.

Inflammation of the gallbladder requires immediate treatment. If left untreated, it can be life threatening.

I recommend

Alfalfa cleanses the liver and supplies necessary vitamins and minerals. Twice a day for two days, take 1,000 milligrams in tablet or capsule form with a glass of warm water.

Peppermint capsules are used in Europe to cleanse the gallbladder.

If you have gallstones, or are prone to developing them, turmeric can reduce your risk of further problems.

Other beneficial herbs include barberry root bark, catnip, cramp bark, dandelion, fennel, ginger root, horsetail, parsley and wild yam. DO NOT USE BARBERRY DURING PREGNANCY.

If you have an attack, drink 1 tablespoon of apple cider in a glass of apple juice. This should relieve the pain quickly. If the pain does not subside, go to the emergency room to rule out other disorders such as gastroesophogeal reflux disease or heart problems.

For inflammation of the gallbladder, eat no solid food for a few days. Consume only distilled or spring water. Then drink juices such as pear, beet, and apple for three days. Then add solid foods: shredded raw beets with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, fresh lemon juice, freshly made uncooked applesauce made in a blender or food processor. Apple juice aids in softening gallstones.

For gallstones, take 3 tablespoons of olive oil with the juice of a lemon before bed and upon awakening. Stones are often passed and eliminated in the stool with this technique.

Eat a diet that contains 75 percent raw foods. Include in the diet applesauce, eggs, yogurt, cottage cheese, broiled fish, fresh apples, and beets.

To cleanse the system drink as much apple juice as possible for five days. Beet juices also cleanse the liver.

Avoid sugar and products containing sugar. People who consume an excessive amount of sugar are much more likely to form gallstones. Avoid all animal fat and meat, saturated fats, like chocolate, fried foods, soft drinks, spicy foods, and full-fat dairy products.

While you have pain, nausea, fever and or vomiting, try the fasting recommendation and very important to use coffee enemas for a few days.

If gallstones show in x-rays but there is no symptoms, then surgery it is not necessary.

When Your Heart Hurts

Every day, your heart tirelessly pumps hundreds of liters of blood to supply your body’s needs. It does not even stop for a single minute to rest. Over time, however, your heart grows tired and begins to manifest symptoms of ‘wear and tear’. It may first exhibit its gradual deterioration in occasional chest pains that may often feel like your heart is breaking. What characterizes a chest pain and when should this alarm you?

Chest Pains-an Overview

Chest pains can occur in varying degrees. Some of these can be nothing more than a dull ache that radiates to your neck and arms. The other can be as painful as a sharp stab, causing burning and crushing pain to spread to your jaw, neck, and back or arms. In all cases, sufferers experience recurring pressure and painful tightness in the chest that could last for several minutes.

Pain in your chest is a symptom of an underlying problem – either with your heart or other body organs. A common case of it is heartburn, which makes the sufferer feel a painful and burning sensation behind the breastbone, indicating problems with either the heart or the stomach. When this symptom is a prelude to a heart attack, it occurs along with nausea, dizziness, cold sweat, and shortness of breath. When it occurs due to a non-heart problem, the sufferer experiences a kind of pain that may seem to get better with a change in body position but intensifies with coughing and deep breaths.

No matter what the underlying cause for this chronic inflammation is, it requires medical attention. See your doctor immediately if you think you are experiencing a heart attack. Those with heart conditions may find it beneficial to take natural heart supplements such as forskolin that helps ease the blood flow, regulate blood pressure, and prevent heart attacks.

The paragraphs below will outline some heart-related, digestive, and muscular causes of chest pain.

Heart-Related Causes

There are several heart-related causes to some forms of chest pain.

1. Heart attack – A heart attack occurs when your blood clots and obstructs the flow of your blood to your heart muscle.

2. Angina – Angina occurs due to plaque buildup on the inner walls of your arteries that constrict blood flow.

3. Aortic dissection – This fatal medical condition occurs when the inner layers of your aorta separates, forcing blood to flow between the layers and causing it to rupture.

4. Pericarditis – This medical condition occurs when the sac that surrounds your heart, the pericardium, swell and causes sharp stabs of pain that get worse when you lay down or inhale.

Digestive Causes

Some chest pains occur due to problems in your digestive organs.

1. Heartburn – Like the previous paragraphs mention, heartburn causes a painful and burning sensation behind the breastbone; this occurs when acid from your stomach washes up into your esophagus.

2. Swallowing Disorders – Your chest pain could be a result of some abnormalities in your esophagus, making it difficult and painful for you to swallow.

3. Pancreas and Gallbladder Problems – Individuals who have problems in their gallbladders and pancreas experience abdominal pain that can radiate to their chests.

Bone and Muscle Causes

1. Costochondritis – This type of chest pain occurs when the cartilage joining your breastbone to your ribs swell, causing you pain.

2. Sore muscles – Fibromyalgia, a type of chronic pain syndrome, can cause frequent muscle-related chest pain.

3. Injured ribs – Chest pain can also be due to a broken or injured rib.

Lymphedema Leg – Causes and Treatment

Primary lymphedema, a hereditary condition, is one among the many causes of leg lymphedema. The genetics of the individual are usually responsible for this condition. In such instances, the lymphatic system is deformed at birth, leading to the accumulation of lymph fluid in the lower part of the body, resulting in a swelling. Family history of swelling in the legs is also apparent.

Any injury to the lymph glands like a radiation treatment for cancer in the pelvis, abdomen or groin area may be a causative factor for leg lymphedema. Breast cancer is a common cause for lymphoedema in the upper limbs while it is generally present in the legs in case of cancer treatment for the lung, liver or the prostrate. Excess fluid generation in the stomach area may be another factor to cause a swelling in the legs.

Immediate treatment is advisable once the first symptoms are visible. The most obvious sign is a lump-like, painful swelling. Some other symptoms include a swelling or an accumulation of fluid behind the inner knee area or heaviness in the ankles. You must ensure that you consult with your doctor at the earliest opportunity if you see any suspicious-looking swellings in the leg region.

Initial treatment of lymphadema prevents the disease from progressing and getting out of hand. The swelling can be reduced with some simple treatment in the early stages. Keeping the feet elevated and the use of elastic stockings is essential to reduce the swelling. In order to encourage the lymphatic flow at night, you can cover the legs with elastic wraps and keep the foot elevated with the help of pillows.

Exercising the leg even with simple exercises helps to keep leg lymphoedema under control. An exercise routine or a daily walk can assist in circulation of the fluids and help to keep lymphedema in check. Just like in any other lymphedema condition, skin hygiene is a must in this case as well. Special care must be taken to wash the legs and feet thoroughly and dry out the creases between the toes to prevent infection. You must take immediate precautions to treat any infection for an ingrown toe nail, so as to avoid complications.

It is essential for leg lymphedema patients to wear comfortable footwear with soft padding to avoid foot injuries. While cutting toenails, utmost care must be taken to avoid injury. Wearing tight clothes, socks, or undergarments with tight elastic are a strict no-no.

This may squeeze the limb, increase the blood pressure and cause a swelling due to water retention, complications which a lymphedema patient cannot afford to have. While travelling by air it is essential to have on compression stockings. There may be no cure for lymphedema leg condition, but with proper care, the symptoms can be reduced and the onset of the disease, delayed.

Healthy Heart – Major Factors Behind Coronary Heart Disease

Today people are just too unaware about their everyday actions they perform that play a vital role in either helping to minimize, delay or prevent the effect of a coronary heart disease or even make it worst; getting a control over the risk factors is the key. Besides a family history of coronary heart disease, you cannot control this but you can surely control your behavior and delay the time as long as possible to when it might get you. Gender and age factor also play a vital role behind coronary heart disease.

Cholesterol level is the first major factor. Basically cholesterol resembles to a soft lipid fat like substance that works as a fuel source in the body. Atherosclerotic plaque builds up in cases of excessive cholesterol. A heart attack results in due to blockage in the blood flow because of plaques accumulating in the arteries. Bad cholesterol or LDL cholesterol gets transported throughout the body at different sites, hormones get made plus cell membranes get repaired with the use of this LDL cholesterol. It can easily get stuck on your arteries walls. On the other hand HDL or the good cholesterol goes to the liver directly being altered and removed out of the body.

The second major factor behind coronary heart disease is the blood pressure. A less then 130 mm of mercury for the systolic blood pressure and less then 85 millimeters for the diastolic blood pressure is said to be a normal blood pressure level. As this pressure rises because of anything, mostly because of stress or diet, it would put pressure on the brain and the heart. You should regularly check your BP levels. If you are someone normal then going once every year for a thorough checkup would be good, and if you are someone having such problems then regular checkups every month should be done.

Diabetes is the third major factor. It is a chronic disease caused when there is a high insulin resistance or deficiency. Type-2 diabetes is highly responsible for coronary heart disease and it comes because of obesity commonly. This can be prevented by keeping your body in shape, join a gym, exercise regularly, and eat a balanced diet. If you really want to stay away from coronary heart disease then give up smoking if you do smoke, get active in your life and reduce or leave alcohol consumption.

These were just a few major factors behind a coronary heart disease so watch out for everything that might get you in trouble.

General Information About Heart Attacks

General Characteristics

Each year, more than a million Americans suffer a heart attack. Although heart disease remains the leading cause of death in the United States, great strides have been made in the last decade, both in treating heart attacks and in helping people who have suffered one resume a full, active life.

The most common type of heart attack is caused by a coronary thrombosis, which occurs when a clot (thrombus) blocks one or more of the blood vessels that nourish the heart muscle. As a result of the lack of blood, part of the muscle may be damaged, and its ability to contract may be lost. This is known as a myocardial   infarction . If the infarct is small and the electrical impulses that control the heart’s contractions (beats) are not disturbed, chances for recovery are excellent.

Coronary Artery Disease

Coronary thrombosis is one of the manifestations of coronary artery disease. As we grow older, our blood vessels tend to lose their elasticity, a process known as arteriosclerosis. The arteries may also become narrowed or clogged with deposits of fatty material called atheromas, a condition called atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is progressive and usually does not produce symptoms until there is significant blockage in the blood flow. Sometimes, in fact, the first symptom of this heart disease is a heart attack.

Although the specific cause of atherosclerosis is not known, it has been found that certain risk factors help in identifying population groups that are more likely to develop it. Three major risk factors are high levels of cholesterol and other blood fats, high blood pressure (hypertension) and cigarette smoking. Others include diabetes, obesity, a sedentary life style, aging, being male and heredity.

Atherosclerosis begins forming as a fatty streak on the inner wall of an artery, usually at its branching-out point, and disturbs the smooth flow of blood. As patches of fatty tissue build up, the inner wall becomes narrower, which inhibits blood flow in a more significant way. An artery continues to narrow as the tissue buildup progresses, and in time, the fatty deposit becomes a hard mass of fatty tissue with a tough outer lining of cells – a plaque. As plaques spread and thicken, they erode the wall of the artery, which interferes with blood flow and makes it increasingly turbulent. This turbulence may trigger the blood to form a clot (thrombus), partially or completely blocking the artery. Further, a fragment of the clot (embolus) may be carried by the bloodstream and block an artery at some distant, narrower point.

Heart attacks sometimes occur in people with little or no coronary artery disease. Some experts believe that a spasm or sudden constriction of the coronary artery may be the cause of these heart attacks. It appears that a spasm may occur in a coronary artery that is totally free of atherosclerosis (as well as in one that is heavily affected by that condition), and this would explain why many people suffer angina and other cardiac problems without any evidence of underlying blockage in the arteries.

Symptoms of a Heart Attack

A heart attack can come on gradually, preceded by several attacks of angina over days, weeks, months or even years. (Angina is the name given to the chest pain that arises when the muscular wall of the heart is temporarily deprived of sufficient oxygen.) But a heart attack may also occur without any apparent warning, and in people who have never previously experienced any chest pain.

Typically, the pain of a heart attack is a sensation of constriction in the central chest area; it may vary in intensity from a feeling of tightness to one of agonizing crushing or bursting. The pain may be continuous, or it may last a few minutes, fade and then recur. It commonly spreads to the back, jaw and left arm. Although a heart attack may be precipitated by physical or emotional stress, the pain, unlike that of angina, does not subside when the stress ceases.

Pain is commonly accompanied by shortness of breath, sweating, nausea, dizziness and pallor. (Some people experience a heart attack without any of these symptoms. This is known as a “silent” infarct, which may be confirmed by changes in an electrocardiogram or certain other hospital tests.)

A Medical Emergency

Most deaths from heart attack occur within minutes to hours after the onset of symptoms. Therefore, when sudden and severe chest pain occurs, an ambulance should be called immediately and the individual taken to a hospital. Denying that these symptoms represent a life-threatening illness may cause a delay that could be fatal.

One of the major cause of death from coronary thrombosis is the development of abnormal heart rhythms in the hours immediately following the attack. Emergency treatment, therefore, concentrates on stabilizing the heart rhythm, as well as on relieving pain and preventing shock.

In the hospital’s intensive-care or cardiac-care unit, the rate and rhythm of the heart will be continuously monitored by an electrocardiograph machine. Blood tests to detect enzymes released from the heart aid in assessing the infarct further and various medications may be given. Mood changes and feelings of apprehension are very common following a heart attack, and a mild tranquilizer is often given to the patient.

Depending on the severity of the attack, the patient may be allowed out of bed within three or four days and be discharged after two weeks. Bed rest for more than a short time should be avoided, where possible, because it results in a rapid loss of the body’s muscle tone and in increased heart rate on exertion. Physical activity is gradually increased and most patients are able to return to their full range of normal activity within a few months.

Long-Term Treatment

Depending on such factors as the patient’s age and general physical condition, and the extent of the heart damage, a variety of different approaches may be taken to deal with the underlying coronary artery disease and to reduce the possibility of another heart attack.

Changes in life style. A number of steps can be taken to prevent or slow down the progression of heart disease. These include stopping smoking, exercising regularly and adopting a low-cholesterol diet.

Drug treatment. The use of drugs depends upon the nature of the heart attack and underlying coronary disease. Antihypertensive drugs may be prescribed to lower the blood pressure. Other drugs may be given to improve heart function, prevent chest pain or lower the level of blood cholesterol.

Other treatments A number of other treatments, including coronary bypass surgery, are available. Obviously, their use depends upon individual needs.

Summing Up

Heart attacks are a common occurrence, particularly among middle-aged and older men. An understanding of the risk factors involved in coronary artery disease, and the adoption of appropriate preventive measures may reduce the likelihood of an attack. If the typical pain of a heart attack does strike, prompt treatment greatly improves the chances of survival. Modern treatments enable most heart attack patients to resume a full, active life, although some changes in life syle probably will be required.

Heart Attack Risks In Women Over 50

There are over six and a half million women who have heart disease in America. Heart disease which leads to heart attacks is one of the leading causes of death among women over fifty. Heart disease kill six times more women than breast cancer every year.

So how can you reduce the risk of a heart attack if you are a woman over fifty years of age?

Follow these few simple steps:

Recognize The Symptoms: Most women experience one or more of the following symptoms at least a month before a heart attack: Unusual fatigue, muscle weakness, indigestion problems, anxiety, cold sweats, unable to breath properly, sleep disturbances, heart racing or palpitations, nausea, dizziness and a hot flushes. If you experience any of these symptoms, speak with a doctor soon. It may be nothing or it could be a sign your heart is not healthy and is under a lot of strain.

Menopause Can Increase Your Risk: Estrogen helps protect the heart as it balances out the cholesterol levels. After menopause women’s levels of good cholesterol drop and bad cholesterol increases. Women also experience elevated triglycerides levels which increases the risk of heart disease significantly. Once a woman reaches the age of sixty five, the risk of death from a heart attack will be much higher.

Diabetes Is A Contributing Factor: Diabetes combined with obesity, high cholesterol and hypertension can significantly increase the risk of heart attack in women over fifty. Diabetes doubles the risk of a women suffering from more than one heart attack during her lifetime.

Metabolic Syndrome: Research from Harvard Medical School suggests that women who have metabolic syndrome are more prone to having an attack. What are the symptoms of metabolic syndrome? A large waist, glucose intolerance, high blood pressure, elevated levels of bad cholesterol and high triglycerides. Speak with your doctor if you have any of these symptoms.

Smoking: Females that smoke are twice as likely to lead to heart disease over women who don’t. It is a well-known fact; smoking greatly increases the risk of heart attack, cancer, heart disease and other pulmonary issues such as COPD.

It is important to know, most women don’t experience crushing chest pain before a heart attack. Pain in the neck, shoulders and abdominal areas are more common. We hope you have found this article informative and understand more about heart attack risks in women over the age of fifty.

Trimming the Fat on Heart Disease

Did you know that over one million people die each year from a heart attack, and a heart attack almost always due to the slow, long term breakdown of their cardiovascular system? My name is Lee Sharp; an avid participant in the Green Gossip health blog here in Florida, and a long time advocate towards a better selection of heart healthy foods in our schools. Thanks to advancements in medical science and the simple fact that more Americans are choosing food wiser, the number of deaths resulting from heart attacks has been falling since the turn of the century; we need to keep these figures going in the right direction. After being a witness to a loved one who fell victim to this silent killer, I felt obligated to write about it for others before they too may have to suffer an unnecessary loss. Did you know that  heart   disease  is one of the most preventable killers on the menu of death?

Unfortunately, cardiovascular  disease  (i.e.,  heart   disease ) is still the number one killer in the United States, and the underlying problem with it is the difficulty in detecting it until is has progressed to advanced stages that usually consist of severely clogged arteries (i.e., arteriosclerosis). So often, the adverse effects of  heart   disease  develop over decades and then suddenly appear in the form of a stroke or  heart  attack. As many as fifteen million people in the U.S. alone have symptoms of  heart   disease  right now that may be getting overlooked during visits to the doctor, and approximately two million of these people will ultimately suffer from a  heart  attack at some point in their life. Fortunately, cardiovascular disease is one of the easiest illnesses to prevent, but some simple, yet mandatory diet and lifestyle changes must be adhered to by potential victims. The shocker to all of this  heart  hype is that we have essentially created this  disease  for ourselves and become our own worst enemy.

To minimize the risks of becoming a victim of  heart   disease  it is important to have a basic understanding of the certain ingredients in our food, as well as various lifestyle activities that play a predominant role in the development of this silent killer. Most of us have heard of the phrase “blood sugar” at one time or another. Often this term is used by a person who has Diabetes. It refers to the amount of glucose (i.e., sugar) that is present in a person’s blood. The term that we are concerned about with respect to  heart   disease  is a similar one called “blood lipids”. This is the measurement of the total amount of fat in our blood stream. A “lipid” is the name given to any kind of fat found either inside or outside the body. While there are indeed several types of names given to fats in our food chain: saturated, monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, trans, cis, cholesterol, phospholipids, sterols, etc; the ones that greatly assist in “hardening of the arteries” are cholesterol, saturated fats and trans fats.

The human body pumps billions and billions of red blood cells through a network of blood vessels consisting of arteries, capillaries, and veins, with each pump of the heart muscle. These cells carry vital nutrients and oxygen to all parts of our body. One of these nutrients, cholesterol, which is classified as a “sterol” fat, must travel through our blood stream also. Contrary to what many may think, cholesterol is essential for a healthy body and our body actually produces about 70% of this waxy substance on its own. The other 30% that our body needs must come from our diet. This waxy fat substance also needs a method of being able to travel through the blood, but cholesterol mixes with blood as easy as oil and vinegar blend together. Hence, there are special proteins called “lipoproteins” that are used to transport the cholesterol through the blood. The two types used are Low Density Lipoproteins (LDL) and High Density Proteins (HDL). These are also known to many as “good cholesterol” (HDL) and “bad cholesterol” (LDL).

The problem begins with the aforementioned 30% of cholesterol that comes from our diet. For most of us, the Standard American Diet (SAD) consists of foods that provide much more cholesterol than the body needs to function on a healthy level – amounts way in excess above the necessary 30%. Excessive consumption of foods high in cholesterol fulfills the first part of the  heart   disease  domino effect. Levels of cholesterol in the blood have a direct relation to the amount of plaque that builds up over a period of time in our blood vessels. “Plaque” is what the body uses as a natural defense mechanism to address damaged blood vessels. The problem is that even healthy blood vessels can be damaged due to a number of factors including everything from smoking, diabetes, and bacterial infections to hypertension, inflammation, and even high levels of LDL cholesterol. Once our body senses that a blood vessel has been damaged it sends plaque out to the rescue. Normal levels of LDL in the blood will help provide normal levels of plaque onto the walls of the blood vessel in distress. Higher than normal levels of this LDL bad cholesterol can disturb this finely balanced process and cause dangerous build ups of plaque on blood vessel walls, eventually leading to a blockage.

Fortunately though, a healthy body that detects excess levels of LDL cholesterol in the blood has the ability to perform an essential cleansing of it. Our liver, aside from the plethora of biochemical processes and tasks that it already has on hand, also takes on the crucial job of processing excess levels of LDL in the blood and keeping them at healthy levels. But when problems arise, primarily due to the over consumption of cholesterol filled foods, this otherwise standard function can be greatly impaired.

This next phase of the domino effect for  heart   disease  involves none other than… drum roll please… yes… Saturated Fat! We have all indulged ourselves with crispy fried chicken and delicious, greasy french fries more than once right? These foods portray the perfect example of what saturated fats are. Most are aware that saturated fats are not healthy to consume and that they do have some type of connection with  heart  health and cardiovascular  disease , but do you know what that is?

A saturated fat can be thought of as any type of fat that is solid at room temperature such as animal fat, vegetable shortening, margarine, butter, coconut oil, etc. These fats are useless to our body and can only be used as energy but pose no harm when they total no more than 10% of our daily caloric intake. When consumption of these saturated fats exceed the 10% threshold, as in over 90% of diets in the U.S., guess what organ process suffers the most? Yes, it is our liver’s natural cleansing process of LDL. When the liver senses excess levels of saturated fat, its natural function of managing the levels of LDL in our blood is impaired. This results in higher than normal LDL levels in the blood which ultimately leads to an increased build up of plaque on blood vessel walls. Consequently, this initiates the progression of hardening of the arteries or “arteriosclerosis”. The easiest way to combat this problem is to limit intake of saturated fats to not more than 10% of total calories – it really is that simple!

The final part of the  heart   disease  domino effect is…bet you heard of this one too…drum roll again…Trans-Fats! Once again, many of us know that trans fats are bad for us and some even go through the trouble to buy only foods free of this ugly fat, but how do trans fats play their part in  heart   disease ? A trans fat starts out as an otherwise good and healthy unsaturated fat. By the way, trans fats are made to help certain foods like pie crust’s come out better. They are manufactured to make the big food companies produce better looking and tasting food, but at the expense of your health! So this otherwise healthy unsaturated fat is taken and then an influx of hydrogen is added under pressure. This addition of hydrogen atoms actually alters the molecular shape of the fat and changes it to look just like our ugly friend “Mr. Saturated Fat”. This new altered fat molecule now is a semi-solid like a saturated fat and ready for all those great recipes. But wait, now that this new fat looks and acts just like Mr. Saturated Fat guess what? Sure, our body will be handling it just as so. Our liver’s natural LDL clean up will be once again impaired with the digestion of any trans fats! Additionally, trans fats have been proven to be a carcinogen and cause a breakdown of cell membranes allowing toxins to leak in. This in turn causes mutated genes and thus cancer cells to reproduce. Trans fats also destroy healthy fatty acids that our body needs such as the Omega-3 and Omega-6 essential fatty acids. There is not one good thing EVER proven about trans fats and they should be removed from all foods that we eat. But if we can not get rid of deadly cigarettes in our society do you thing we can get rid of bad fats?

So now that you know how saturated fat plays a leading role in heart health, unsaturated fats like Omega-3 (i.e., linoleic fatty acids) and Omega-3 (i.e., linolenic fatty acids) actually help lower LDL levels in the blood making them a healthy addition to any diet. Foods like pumpkin seeds, walnuts, flax oil, cold water fish like salmon and sardines, and cod liver oil are all high in Omega-3 unsaturated fat. Decrease your intake of saturated fats, increase your intake of Omega-3 unsaturated fats, and avoid all trans fats! It really is that simple! Eating trans fats is just not worth it and if you do, then be prepared to learn the true meaning of the cliche “risk versus reward”. In closing, a report from Harvard’s University “Women’s Health Watch” newsletter reported that in one study only a 2% increase in calories from trans-fats was linked to a 93% increase in the risk of  heart   disease .