Dealing With Depression

Most individuals wage a silent war against depression without the knowledge of the rest of the world. Classified as a burgeoning problem that has crippled a chunk of the world population in the new age, depression is a mental disorder that should not be taken lightly. As debilitating and heart-breaking as this disorder is, it can be overcome by making a few simple – albeit radical – changes to one’s lifestyle.

For starters, most people suffering from depression tend to exhibit low levels of serotonin in their brain. This unbalance of ‘happy-hormones’ triggers waves of mood swings or solemnity that is not easily cured by traditional medication. However, eating and sleeping right has proven to alleviate the symptoms of depression according to miscellaneous research resources. Nutrition plays a critical role in maintaining the core body’s function and processes. Consumption of food and drinks rich in vitamins and minerals, especially B12 (cobalamin) such as shellfish, beef liver, fortified soy products, fish oil and even spinach on a daily basis has proven to exert positive effects on the brain and central nervous system, which is often afflicted in severe depressive cases.

Acquiring a restful day’s worth of sleep with a minimum of eight hours per day also helps the body repair and regenerate itself, and essentially allows the brain to attain some much needed rest and relaxation. Insomnia or aberrant sleep patterns scrambles the levels of ‘good’ and ‘happy’ hormones in the brain, and more often than not, can lead to severe bouts of depression in the long run. Therefore, attaining some much needed rest and sleep is critical in making sure the body is kept at an optimal condition.

Of course, acquisition of proper nutrition and sleep might stave off certain symptoms of depression, but will not be the ultimatum in combating the disorder itself. More often than not, proper medication and therapy is required to resolve depression in the long term. Enlisting the help of a trained psychologist or psychiatrist to aid in the treatment of depression is probably the most crucial course of action. With the bevy of breakthroughs in the medical field occurring almost daily, clinical disorders such as depression can now be treated more effectively and efficiently with the utilization of specific drugs.

Common drugs that are used to treat depression include Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors, also dubbed as SSRIs. Since Serotonin is the main chemical compound responsible for the feelings of euphoria and overall happiness in the human body, these drugs selectively block the reuptake of these hormones in the brain, thus allowing them to circulate for a longer period in the body. This in turn allows a depressive individual to feel ‘happier’ and be less prone to feelings of despair and sadness.

Although drugs might provide a quick biological fix in the brain, most depressive individuals harbor underlying psychological issues that can only be corrected with intense therapy coupled with rigorous counseling sessions. In this case, only a trained psychologist or psychiatrist must step in to render their services. Probably the most effective mode of therapeutic treatment for depression is Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), which helps depressive individuals correct their perceptivity and way of thinking, thus reducing the chances of a depressive relapse.

Besides this, strong emotional support is also appreciated as well. Friends and family play a key role in ensuring that they stand as sturdy pillars of emotional support for their depressive brethren. Individuals with depression may also seek out support groups both online and in the local vicinity. It is always helpful to have a shoulder to lean on, and with proper support, guidance, nutrition, sleep, therapy and medication, these radical lifestyle changes can aid in conquering depression once and for all.

A Countdown of the 10 Most Common Phobias

Phobia has affected most people suffering from it in almost every way how they live. These people are deprived of living a normal life due to uncontrollable fear and panic triggered by phobias. Here is a list and a bit of information about the top 10 most common phobias that preoccupy both the consciousness and sub-conscious of earth’s population.

A countdown of the top 10 most common phobias:

10. Necrophobia – fear of death and dead things.

9. Brontophobia – Fear of thunderstorms.

8. Cacinophobia – fear of cancer

7. Emetophobia – fear of vomit

6. Acrophobia – fear of heights

5. Claustrophobia – the fear of being in small confined spaces

4. Agorophobia – an intense fear of places that would be difficult to escape.

3. Aerophobia – fear of flying.

2. Social Phobia – fear of social rejection and public humiliation.

1. Arachnophobia – fear of spiders.

These 10 most common phobias are the reasons why people are not able to experience normal things that a normal person is able to do. Understanding the causes and the things or situations that triggers the phobia which eventually causes panic and anxiety helps a lot in getting control over emotions and be able to react less negatively. Having one of these 10 most common phobias should not put you down; there are lots of studies conducted to better understand phobias. One way to overcome fears is to confront them gradually and slowly lose the fear and develop confidence in facing those fears. But do not take my word for it; always consult experts and professionals when it comes to your personal well being.

Toenail Fungus Infection – 7 Causes and Reasons Of How Toenail Fungus Can Occur

If you have been suffering from toenail fungus problem for any length of time and uncertain how you have contracted it then this article will provide some hints of how it may have happened.

It is more likely that toenail fungus (aka dermatophyte) occur in toenails than finger nails because covered shoes are not normally aerated, causing the feet to sweat easily and thus creating moist environment favorable for breeding of toenail fungus in them. Fungi are tiny microscopic organisms that do not need sunlight to survive.

1. Wearing Tight Covered Shoes

Wearing shoes so tight that pinches the toes causing tearing of skin around the toe area or between the toenail and the nail bed creates a very easy environment for the toenail fungus to survive in the nails because it is a very habitable condition for it to grow in.

2. Using Infected Nail Files And Nail Cutters

If an individual has nail fungus problem patronizes the manicure and pedicure salons where they do not take care of their nail files, then when other customers unaware of their own injured skin conditions comes along, the fungus may simply spread to him/her while using the infected nail files. Another possible cause is the sharing of nail cutters. If the user of the nail cutter has fungus infection it might get to you.

3. Walking Barefooted In Public Areas

Nail Fungus are tiny fungus organisms that can be easily contracted anywhere. When using shared bathrooms, swimming pools, showers and locker rooms, it would be good to wear slippers as frequent as possible and ensuring that the toenail areas are washed, cleaned and wiped dry thoroughly as often as it is necessary. The fungus which gets deposited on the floor as people walk around gets picked up by those who did not have them previously just by walking across the floor. So it is important to pay attention to this.

4. Frequent Prolonged Standing

Those who do a lot of standing such as athletes and dancers are prone to get infected if good hygiene habit is not observed. So whenever there is noticeable symptoms of nail fungus infection, treat the infection soonest you can.

5. Not Changing To Clean Socks Frequently

It is common among those who have sweaty feet to get infected. You should also be wearing socks and shoes that don’t hinder ventilation and allow to absorb the perspiration. If an individual doesn’t maintain good hygiene habits of wearing clean socks daily, then this is allowing dermatophyte to thrive in their socks and increase the chances to creep into their toenails.

6. Older Adults With Diminished Blood Circulation

Let me explain. Nail fungus is more common among older adults for several reasons. Those who are anywhere around 65 years old and above have diminished blood circulation, more years of exposure to nail fungi and because nails may grow more slowly as well as thicken with aging, making them more susceptible to nail infection.

7. Individuals With Circulatory Diseases

It is also not uncommon amongst those who are diabetic and other forms of circulatory diseases to suffer from nail fungus problems. If a person have diabetes, the blood circulation and the nerve supply to the feet can become impaired. This could be a challenge for the weakened immune system to treat the nail fungus problem. For such situation, one must consult a doctor and monitor the conditions very closely.

Hand and Wrist Pain From Boxing Training and Martial Arts

Standard boxing protective equipment

Spend any amount of time in a serious boxing gym and you’ll probably run into a few professional fighters. They come in all shapes and sizes, but the one thing they all have in common is: they each know how to separate fighting and training. When they fight, they go all out. Whatever it takes to win is what they expect from themselves and their opponents.

But during training, they are there to prepare themselves for the big night. There is no need to show how tough they are by engaging in reckless practices.

Every workout, the first thing a professional does is wrap his hands (or have them wrapped for him). Without this handwrap, he is naked and vulnerable. With it, on the other hand, he has fists of steel.

You can not work out effectively unless your hands are wrapped. In the short term, your workout can’t be as intense when you have bare hands, and in the long term, you will suffer repetitive-stress injuries which make your career stall before it even gets a chance to get started.

Hand wraps do a lot more than just prevent you from breaking a bone in your hand. Used properly, they prevent the wrist pain that often accompanies hooks and other looping punches.

Good form during training is essential

Training is just that: practice for the real deal. There is no need to go berserk during a training session. In fact, it would be counterproductive.

Never let your machismo get the better of your common sense. When your form degenerates, you risk injury, especially during sparring and on the heavy bag. If your hands are hurting, something is wrong with your form. You have to reevaluate your training and change whatever needs fixing.

Pace yourself: you can’t learn it all at once

Boxing training is rough on the hands and wrists. There is no way around it. Everyone knows the dangers inherent in high-impact sports activities, but few people understand that it is not the immediate, acute injuries that are the most common, but the long-term, repetitive-stress injuries.

If your hands are well-protected and your training sessions are conducted with good form, but you fail to pace yourself over the long-term, you risk serious injury.

Don’t let hand and wrist pain sneak up on you: make sure your training sessions start at a reasonable pace, then only increase the intensity and duration when you are sure that your joints are capable of withstanding the additional workload.

The Best Stop-Snoring Nasal Strips You Can Buy

If your snoring problem stems from a nasal blockage, you’ll want to read this to get some facts about the different nasal strips available to you. You’ll need to get a good night’s sleep one of these days and maybe the nasal strips are going to help you do just that. Understanding the different types and what they will offer you will help you make an informed decision. Let’s take a quick look at the different products that are on the market today.

  1. BreathRight Nasal Strips – You’ve seen their commercials all over the place and started wondering. Well, if you visit their website, they’ll even send you out a free sample just to try. They are that confident that you will invest in their product. These strips are simply applied to the outside of your nose, stretching out the nasal cavity, allowing more air to freely pass through. They are drug free, and you can get them from any pharmacy without a prescription. These strips are made up of spring like bands and can help you if you are suffering from nasal congestion from allergies or sickness, deviated septum or snoring. They have multiple uses and the best part is, you can get a few free right now.
  2. Snoreeze – This company has a line of different products and ships internationally. They offer Snoreeze Nasal strips for snoring due to blockage. These strips are a little wider than BreatheRight Nasal Strips, but they’ve got the same flexible band for ensuring maximum widening of the nasal cavity. They won’t even bother your skin, because they’ve been made to be hypoallergenic. So even you sensitive types can get some good rest at night. They contain no latex, just in case you were allergic, and they are painless to remove in the morning, leaving no marks. These strips are medically certified and adhere to a pharmaceutical standard. They come in three different sizes: small, medium and large. Be sure to choose the best nasal strip for your size nose. Be sure not to use these strips if you have sores, sunburns or irritated skin. Only use for a maximum of 12 hours per day. If a skin irritation does happen to occur, immediately discontinue usage. Theses strips are fairly small, so they should also be kept out of reach of small children. Snoreeze makes no guarantee that they will be 100% effective to stop your snoring, but they do say you will be relieved of some of your symptoms of snoring at the very least. Do not use for OSA (Sleep Apnea).

When it comes to nasal strips, make sure you take caution in choosing the right on for you. You can talk to your pharmacist about the different brands that are on the shelves and the different benefits they provide. Nasal strips are probably one of the most cost effective ways to stop snoring. Just keep looking for the right one and you will find it.

Get Heartburn, Indigestion and Ulcer Relief Using DGL

In the 1940’s licorice was discovered to be useful in treating peptic ulcers. Unfortunately it had side effects that lead to high blood pressure, potassium loss, and fluid retention.

Researchers discovered that the ingredient in licorice that caused those side effects was “glycyrrhizin.” They were able to remove 97% of this chemical and the result was a product call “deglycyrrhizinated” licorice, DGL. DGL maintained its healing properties but had no side effects.

DGL was first used to heal ulcers in the stomach and duodenum without suppressing stomach acids. DGL worked just as good as the drugs Zantac or Tagamet that are designed to suppress stomach acid.

As more people used DGL, they found they got relief from a variety of stomach issues – heartburn, acid reflux, indigestion, bloating, and gas. In addition, they found using DGL was better than using antacids or acid blockers.

DGL works by improving and restoring the integrity of the esophageal, stomach and duodenum lining. It does this by promoting mucus release and cell rebuilding. The mucus released provides gastrointestinal lining protection from acids and gives the lining time to rebuild and regenerated. The result is healing and strengthening of the affected tissue.

Here’s how to use DGL. DGL comes in large tablets that you place in your mouth and allowed to melt. You can chew them slightly but not swallow them since it is your saliva that helps activate the DGL.

By allowing DGL to melt in your mouth the resulting liquid will now run along your esophagus and start the healing process where ever there is tissue inflammation or damage.

Use two tablets 3-4 times a day on an empty stomach. Do not use any water when you are taking the tablets. You can take the tablets at least an hour before you eat and an hour after you eat.

Although DGL provides relief for heartburn, acid reflux and other stomach disturbances it does not totally provide a cure. It does provide recover from damaged gastrointestinal lining as occurs with ulcers, but does not change the level of stomach acid.

In some cases Heartburn is caused by to little or to much stomach acid. When too little acid is causing heartburn or acid reflux it makes no sense to use antacids or acid blocking drugs which decrease your stomach acid even more. Low levels of stomach acid leads to serious illnesses.

Because so much is still unknown about the cause of acid reflux or heartburn, it is known that DGL can give you some acid reflux relief and in some case mild cases cure it.

Use DGL for mild or severe cases of heartburn or acid reflux and you will be surprised at the results you get.

Perimenopause and Phantom Periods

If you’ve experienced symptoms exactly like those that may occur when you’re expecting your period, but no period is present or ever arrives, it’s most likely that you’re having a “phantom” period.

Phantom periods are described as a period minus the menses. In other words, you may feel irritable, bloated, fatigued, experience headaches and cramps, but the presence of blood is non-existent. Most women notice phantom periods while they’re experiencing perimenopause, the transitional period prior to menopause.

It’s important to remember that menstruation has been a regular occurrence in your life for many years and, therefore, the transition into menopause can take several years, as well. During perimenopause it’s not unusual to experience phantom periods, as well as several other symptoms, such as irregular or unpredictable periods, difficulty sleeping, irritability or depression, hot flashes and weight gain, especially around the mid-section.

If you’ve been experiencing phantom periods it’s a good idea to talk with your health care provider to rule out the possibility of other health conditions that could be contributing to your symptoms. Once you’re certain that you are indeed having phantom periods, there’s no need for concern, as there are no known health risks to women who experience phantom periods.

Just as with normal periods, P.M.S. and menopause, many of the symptoms associated with phantom periods can be reduced and even eliminated by making some very simple lifestyle changes.

It’s been well documented that regular exercise contributes to eliminating many physical and emotional symptoms experienced by women who are pre-menstrual, having phantom periods or noticing signs of perimenopause. Unfortunately, until women actually begin exercising and personally experience the positive results of physical fitness, most simply don’t believe or understand just what a difference a healthier lifestyle can make.

Because of this, the majority of women would rather suffer the many symptoms of “feminine conditions” rather than invest a small amount of time and energy to ensure that they look and feel fantastic well into their 40’s, 50’s and beyond.

I encourage you to at least give physical fitness a trial run. If, after 60 days, you’ve not benefited and have decided this is not the solution for you, go ahead and discontinue exercising. You stand to lose absolutely nothing – other than a few pounds and several inches from your body. I seriously doubt you’ll discontinue, however, once you see for yourself just how much better you’ll look and feel. Go ahead – accept this challenge so that you may begin to look and feel better than you ever thought possible.

Getting to Know the Signs of Gallbladder Inflammation

The gallbladder stores the digestive juice that the liver secretes. If tiny food particles or other infected materials get stuck in the bile duct, the pancreatic juice will not be able to reach the gallbladder. This disruption in the natural flow of the bile or pancreatic juice may lead to gallbladder inflammation. Once this happens, you will start to feel inflamed gallbladder symptoms. Although very mild gallbladder symptoms may go away on its own as your body corrects itself, you should never ignore the situation. Note that gallbladder symptoms may be a sign of some other underlying medical conditions so make it a point to see your doctor if you notice some signs and symptoms of gallbladder inflammation.

Pain In The Abdominal Area.

Abdominal pain in the right side of the body is one of the earliest signs that your gallbladder is inflamed. In most cases, the abdominal pain will occur right after you had a big meal. However, not all types of stomach pain that you experience after having a big meal is related to gallbladder disorder. According to experts, stomach pain may only be linked to gallbladder disorder if the area around your gallbladder feels tender and painful when touched. If the right side of your abdomen feels tender when touched, there is a big chance your gallbladder is inflamed.

Heartburn And Mild To Moderate Chest Pain.

Heartburn accompanied by mild to moderate chest pain that is often located under your breastbone is another inflamed gallbladder symptom that you should watch out for. According to experts, when your bile duct is blocked, the bile spills over from the gallbladder and into the nearby tissues. Once this happens, you begin to experience gallbladder symptoms such as heartburns and chest pains. However, heartburns can also be a sign of other forms of disorders such as GERD or acid reflux so you should not jump into conclusions regarding your condition. Moreover, you should not try to self-medicate especially if you suffer from severe heartburns and chest pains. Forget about popping anti-acid pills into your mouth for relief. Antacids may help you get rid of heartburns but they will not cure your underlying medical conditions. Instead of popping pills into your mouth, go to your doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Chills And Sweating.

Chills and sweating are some of the most noticeable gallbladder symptoms. Most people who have severely inflamed gallbladder experience these symptoms. However, not all episodes of chills and sweating are related to gallbladder infection so you should not jump into conclusions right away. To determine as to whether or not your episodes of chills and sweating are related to gallbladder infection, consult your doctor.

Fever.

Fever is a common sign of gallbladder infection. Raising the body temperature is one of the defense mechanisms that our body employs to fight off infection. According to experts, fever in itself is not a disease but rather a symptom of some underlying medical condition. In most cases, low grade fever that does not reach more than 98 degrees Fahrenheit does not need medical attention. In fact, this type of fever should not be treated to give the body a chance to fight off the infection on its own. Remember that our body’s immune system works better if our temperature is slightly up so we should not pop pills into our mouth to bring the fever down. Instead of popping pills, we should drink plenty of liquids and rest. On the other hand, if your fever exceeds 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit and it keeps coming back even after you have taken medication, something must be seriously wrong inside you so you should see a doctor right away.

Jaundice.

Jaundice is one of the most noticeable inflamed gallbladder symptoms. Studies show that when our liver and gallbladder do not function well, bilirubin buildup in our system and our skin and eyes start to turn yellow.

Always consult your doctor before using this information.

This Article is nutritional in nature and is not to be construed as medical advice.

How to Cure Anemia Naturally

Those who suffer from Anemia either have a reduced number of red blood cells or a reduced amount of hemoglobin (the component of red blood cells that attaches to oxygen and transports it in the blood). Since there is less oxygen available to the cells in the body, Anemics have less energy to perform normal functions. The most common cause of Anemia is iron deficiency… iron is used to make hemoglobin. Most Anemics are on medication for life. We are interested in fixing the nutritional deficiencies underlying the condition to heal the ailment completely.

Iron is a trace mineral of vital importance to the body. Although there is only about a teaspoon of it in your body at any one time, it is essential in the formation of Hemoglobin, the red pigment of blood. There are two types of iron: Heme and Non-Heme. Now, Heme is more easily absorbed by the gastro-intestinal tract (10-30%) while Non-Heme is only about1-10% absorbed. Heme is available in the tissues of animals. That’s right, the more available source of iron is found in meats and dairy than in plants. But we suggest only obtaining your iron from vegetable sources. Why?

The interesting fact is that despite a less absorbable form of iron, vegetarians are no more likely to suffer from iron deficiency than non-vegetarians. Draper and Wheeler have stated there is no indication of increased prevalence of iron deficiency amongst vegetarians. Anderson found the iron status of long-term vegetarian women to be adequate, despite a high intake of fiber and phytate which INHIBITS the absorption of iron!

In fact, because iron can be stored in the body, too much iron can cause problems. Too much iron consumption leads to the production of free radicals (a molecule with an extra electron that will steal a negatively charged hydrogen electron from DNA, tissues, or organs which causes disease and aging). High levels of iron have also been found in association with heart disease and cancer. The buildup of iron in the tissues has been associated with a rare disease known as hemochromatosis, a hereditary disorder of iron metabolism that causes bronze skin pigmentation, cirrhosis of the liver, diabetes, and heart disorders. All of this leads us to the conclusion that despite animal foods, you should never get your iron from a supplement. First, the pill will not have all of the other organic nutrients (copper, manganese, molybdenum, Vitamin A, and the B complex) necessary to absorb the iron safely. Second, in pills, you will get something like ferrous oxide (oxidized iron: In other words, RUST).

Symptoms:

Weakness, fatigue, overall pallor, dizziness, pale lips and eyelids, depression, pale and brittle nails, and coldness of the extremities

Recommendations:

  • An all natural whole food supplement can be helpful. VITAFORCE(TM) is extremely abundant in organic iron and has extraordinary blood building properties. Iron is up to 16 times more absorbable if taken with Vitamin C and this is properly balanced naturally in VITAFORCE(TM). It is also extremely rich in all the other nutrients necessary for healthy blood.
  • If you are anemic, then drink juices rich in chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is responsible for the green pigment in plants (called the “blood” of plants). Chlorophyll has almost the exact same chemical makeup of hemoglobin (less one iron molecule), both are responsible for carrying oxygen in the blood. Since the chemical makeup is almost identical, chlorophyll can quickly and easily be converted to hemoglobin. If the juices are rich in organic iron, then you have all the qualities for a blood transfusion. For example, the fresh organic juice of carrots, beets and beet greens dramatically increases the red blood cell count in the body. Dark leafy vegetables and especially They have extraordinary blood-building properties.
  • Other foods that contain iron are asparagus, bananas, beets, dulse, kelp, whole grains (esp. millet & kamut), leafy greens, raisins, parsley, peas, plums, squash, prunes, purple grapes, broccoli, and yams.

Things to Avoid:

  • All inorganic supplemental forms of iron; none of the iron supplements use organic iron, so you cannot absorb any of it and it gets pissed away or lodged in your tissues where it can cause disease.
  • Caffeine and tannins (in tea), and calcium inhibit iron absorption. So, avoid coffee and tea.
  • Beer, candy bars, dairy products (milk, cheese, butter, ice cream, etc…), and soft drinks. Additives in these foods interfere with the absorption of iron.
  • Foods containing oxalic acids inhibit the absorption of iron. Eat only in moderate amounts; almonds, cashews, chocolate, cocoa, soda, and most nuts and beans.

References:

1) James F. Balch, M.D, Phyllis A. Balch, C.N.C, “Prescription for Nutritional Healing,” (1997)

2) Anderson, B. et al. The iron and zinc status of long-term vegetarian women. Am J of Clin Nutr v.34 (6),(1981):p.1042-1048.3) Draper, A. & Wheeler, E. The diet and food choice of vegetarians in Greater London. Center of Human Nutrition, London.(1989)

Holistic Treatment of Ovarian Cysts

Having an ovarian cyst can be a very scary time in a woman’s life. To know you have something growing that could become cancerous is obviously going to worry you. Well the good news is that most ovarian cysts are harmless and the majority tend to disappear of their own accord without any treatment. However, there are some cysts that will grow and cause considerable pain and naturally women need help to manage this pain whilst they make decisions as to their treatment options. Traditionally women suffering with pain from ovarian cysts have been led to believe that medication and surgery are their only options but women are becoming disillusioned with these options and are turning to natural or holistic treatment of ovarian cysts instead.

So why is a holistic approach a better option? Conventional medicine only serves to treat any current symptoms whilst surgery will remove cysts that are on the ovaries but will not guarantee that that they do not come back again. Painkillers just mask the symptoms and are not safe to take in the long term, so it is better to look at holistic forms of treatment that actually work with the body and get to the core of the problem. Because cysts are thought to be caused from hormonal imbalances and possibly emotional problems such as stress or even guilt, the holistic approach to healing will need to include measures to balance and improve physical, emotional and mental health. Additional preventative measures include dietary changes, herbal supplements,

hot and cold compresses and daily exercise and stress management. Treatment for existing cysts can include Chinese medicine and homeopathy and naturopathic medicine.

Compresses are a very effective treatment of ovarian cysts because they stimulate circulation and healing in the ovaries. One way of making a hot compress is to cover a hot water bottle with a towel that has been soaked in castor and essential oils and apply it to the lower abdomen near to the ovaries. Essential oils such as lavender, rosemary or chamomile are recommended. Bags of ice covered with towels can be alternated to increase the circulation in that area.

You can work at reducing your stress levels through yoga, meditation, exercise and even breathing exercises.

The key to getting rid of your cysts forever and not having to suffer another painful day, is by getting to the core of the problem and this can be done by balancing the body through holistic practices. Living a healthier lifestyle and making a few simple dietary changes can make a world of difference.

Lifestyle Changes That Prevent Heart Disease

Heart disease is the number one killer in the US, and results from decades of dietary and lifestyle abuse leading to damage of the delicate arteries that supply blood to the heart. The condition is called coronary artery disease (CAD) and is the primary type of heart condition which leads to sudden death from a heart attack, as foamy plaque builds up in the lining of the vessels and increases the risk of a clot blocking blood flow to this critical muscle. Fortunately you can lower your risk of disease by taking charge of the factors which precipitate CAD.

Create a Plan to Reverse Heart Disease

Medical research continues to provide important information which reveals that the negative effects of poor diet and lifestyle can be reversed by implementing a structured plan to correct poor habits. The results of a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association demonstrates that making the correct food choices is more heart protective than taking statins.

The study highlights a small group of super foods which affect heart function and have been shown to lower the risk of heart disease development, and can actually work to reverse the buildup of coronary plaque. In addition to adding these foods to your diet, there are essential lifestyle modifications you can incorporate which can significantly reduce your risk of a heart attack.

Super Foods for the Heart

Every bite of food we eat has a direct and calculable effect on our genes, and specifically our heart. Eliminating sugar, refined carbohydrates and hydrogenated trans fats from the diet is an important first step toward regaining control over heart health. As you slowly cut damaging foods from your diet, substitute these super foods to improve your heart healthy menu.

Salmon and Omega-3 Fat Sources: Salmon and most fish are excellent sources of the Omega-3 fats, EPA and DHA which have been shown to lower the risk of sudden death from a heart attack by one-third. Omega-3 fats reduce dangerous blood fats known as triglycerides, and help to prevent the formation of blood clots. Eat salmon or fatty fish twice a week, or supplement with fish oil for maximum benefit.

Blueberries: Blueberries are packed with powerful antioxidants which have been shown to alter the plaque forming characteristics of oxidized LDL cholesterol. This means that this damaging form of cholesterol is less likely to become incorporated into plaque which narrows the arteries supplying the heart. Blueberries also taste great and play an important role in brain health as well.

Make the Right Lifestyle Changes

Once you’ve made the appropriate changes to your diet, researchers have identified specific lifestyle alterations which provide protection against heart disease. Plan to make changes slowly and you’ll be more likely to maintain them for life.

Physical Activity: Next to diet, incorporating regular exercise into your daily routine will have the most impact on heart health. You benefit by strengthening this critical muscle and the supporting vascular system, lowering blood pressure and stabilizing blood sugar and insulin response. Plan at least 20 to 30 minutes each day.

Lose Weight: Excess weight forces the heart to work much harder than necessary, and eventually the heart enlarges in an attempt to keep pace with the increased load. Studies show that losing as little as 5 to 7% of your body weight can have a dramatic effect on heart health.

No Smoking: Smoking is the leading preventable cause of heart disease, as it negatively affects every organ in the body, especially the heart. Smoking causes dangerous constriction of the blood vessels which forces the heart to work much harder. Get professional help to drop the habit, as studies show positive heart health benefits after just 6 months.

Reduce Stress: The effects of stress can be as devastating as smoking. Often referred to as a silent killer, continual stress causes the release of hormones such as cortisol which increase blood pressure and systemic inflammation. Stress reduction techniques such as yoga and meditation are helpful in negating the damaging effects of stress.

Heart disease is preventable and reversible with a solid plan to improve diet and lifestyle. Substituting heart healthy super foods such as blueberries and salmon can have an immediate impact on your heart. Make time for daily exercise, lose weight and eliminate the cause of stress which is harming your health. You can minimize or even eliminate the risk from heart disease by taking charge of your total lifestyle.

Night Sweats And Their Common Causes

Nocturnal hyperhidrosis episodes are periods of heavy perspiration that take place during the night. Many times, those who experience such episodes awaken to damp sheets and soaked sleeping attire. Although not an uncommon condition, it is a decidedly unpleasant one.

Causes of sweating at night can range from the very simple, such as an overheated bedroom, to causes that are more complex in nature, such as underlying medical conditions that may be difficult to diagnose.

Common Causes of Nighttime Perspiration

There are many causes of night sweats, and a person may have more than one condition associated with the troublesome symptom. Some common causes include diabetes, excessive anxiety, drug or alcohol abuse, indigestion and gastrointestinal reflux disease – GERD. In certain cases, which are a source of frustration for both the patient and the doctor, the condition is concluded to be idiopathic-for no known cause.

The Role of Medication

Medication is often a culprit behind excessive nocturnal sweats, and is typically one of the first causes a doctor will attempt to rule out. Medications used to treat high blood pressure, such as metaprolol or lisinopril, often list nocturnal sweating as a common side effect on packaging information. High doses of aspirin, most anti-depressants, acetaminophen, and almost all anti-psychotics have the potential to cause nighttime sweating. In addition, certain vitamins can cause the condition. Many people are surprised to discover that calcium and niacin supplements, when taken in the evening, can lead to heavy night-time perspiration.

Less Common Causes

Cancers such as lymphoma or Hodgkin’s disease, and serious illnesses such as tuberculosis can result in episodes of nighttime sweating, but these diseases are not common, so one should not begin planning his or her funeral based on the presence of an occasional night sweat.

Excessive nighttime perspiration can also be gender specific. Sleep sweating in men is sometimes caused by abnormal testosterone levels, or the use of the prescription drug Viagra. Night sweats in women can be the result of hormone imbalances or pelvic infections. The symptom is also an irritating indicator that menopause has made its appearance.

A Cautious Approach

One should always ere on the side of caution regarding any physical symptom. While they are an aggravating occurrence, nights sweats are not usually cause for concern. However, it is still wise seek the opinion of a physician, as it would be disheartening for one to discover that he or she has ignored a symptom which later turned out to be the sign of a serious illness.

The Scary Truth About Soy Protein and Bodybuilding

Inevitably there’s a myth that soy protein is horrible for bodybuilding and that if you are any where near serious about working out or building muscle you will stay away from it. In fact, some sites show ‘studies’ that soy protein and soy products can be detrimental to your health. And while it’s true that early claims of soy wonders might not be entirely true, there’s also myth that soy protein is bad.

First off, there’s a concept called the Biological Value Scale that was developed to measure the quality of specific proteins. It basically rates how efficiently your body will use a given protein source. The higher the BV (biological value), the more amino acids and nitrogen your body is retaining from the foods you eat. In sum, it becomes a way to measure the potential for quality muscle growth and strength.

There was a time when egg whites were at the top of the BV with a score of around 100. Since then, whey proteins have toped out the scales around 106-159 BV. This means that whey protein is better used for quality muscle growth.

But first a warning!

This doesn’t mean that all you would utilize is whey protein for all your needs. Many times bodybuilders will use a variety of proteins depending on the BV and the times of day and if they just finished a workout.

Let me explain… Your protein needs in the morning are different then the middle of the day and are different again AFTER a workout and again different before bed.

All this means is that no one protein is the best for any given time. But before I get lost… let me show you the biological value scale in a simple form.

Type of Protein :: Biological Value Rating

Whey: 106-159 Egg: 100 Cow’s Milk: 91 Fish: 83 Casein: 80 Beef: 80 Chicken: 79 Soy: 74 Wheat Gluten: 54 Kidney Beans: 49

For all these reasons, you can and should see that soy protein is listed lower. That just means it’s not the most anabolic of proteins for optimal muscle growth.

But don’t get me wrong…

This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t eat soy protein if you enjoy it. It simply means that barring any religious beliefs or personal preferences, soy would not be the ideal protein source for enhanced muscle gains. This doesn’t mean you cannot have it or that it’s bad for you.

In fact, let’s continue on with a little example.

John Q. Public 13% body fat 184 lbs 160 lbs of LBM (lean body mass)

For simplification we’ll just say that for every LB of LBM (pound of lean body mass) John wants to get 1 g of protein.

John should be consuming 160 g of protein a day.

Here’s where the myth and some problems come into play! Read carefully.

If you get a vast amount of your protein from less BV sources then optimal (beans, soy) you will not prime your muscles for optimal anabolic growth. John shouldn’t be getting 150+ grams of soy protein a day IF he wants to create the most muscle mass and he has no personal reasons not to use better quality sources.

John also won’t be in jeopardy of losing muscle or wasting his efforts if he ingests small quantities of soy proteins because he likes them. Having soy in his cereal is not going to make a difference.

The myth that soy will cause men to produce estrogen is when VAST quantities are ingested. Far beyond what any rational person would want to do on a prolonged basis.

A bodybuilder that has soy will not feel any differences, be any less anabolic then another person who does not consume soy at all.

Fact: A long-term metabolic balance study in young men to assess the nutritional quality of an isolated soy protein and beef proteins (VR Young, A Wayler, C Garza, FH Steinke, E Murray, WM Rand, and NS Scrimshaw) was published in 1984 by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Am. J. Clinical Nutrition, Jan 1984; 39: 8 – 15.

After 84 days of two groups, one totally isolated soy protein and the other on beef proteins, found a conclusion that:

“Body cell mass measurements did not reveal any deterioration in protein nutritional status. These observations confirm the prediction, derived from previous short-term nitrogen balance studies, that the nutritional quality of isolated soy protein is high and that this plant protein can serve as the sole source of essential amino acids and nitrogen for protein maintenance in adults.”

So let me summarize and review…

Soy is not the most biological available source for optimal anabolic muscle growth. If you were to finish a workout, you would want to ingest some high quality whey protein vs. soy proteins. However, simply having soy doesn’t mean it’s bad for bodybuilding unless you are getting a majority of your protein from soy products. Then it’s not optimal. You’d also need to ingest quite a bit on a daily basis for any negative effects of soy to manifest (specifically aimed at males in this sentence).

Copyright 2006 Marc David

Infant Breathing How To Tell Whats Normal And Whats Not

Infant Breathing:

When you bring your infant home from the hospital, you suddenly realize you’re on your own. Where are those wonderful maternal-infant nurses? Who do you ask for advice when you have questions about what is normal infant behavior and what warrants a call to the doctor? Among your many questions, no doubt you will have concerns about your baby’s breathing. It goes without saying that you should call your pediatrician immediately if you suspect your infant is having serious trouble breathing. However, there are some normal breathing irregularities that may cause you concern, but should not cause you to panic.

What’s Normal?

By the time your baby is born, he’s been essentially underwater for months. It takes time for his nasal passages to clear. According to pediatrician Robert Sears, “many newborns will have a stuffy nose for several weeks.” This harmless stuffiness can interfere with feeding and breathing, but is “virtually never a reason to page your doctor after hours.” Dr. Sears recommends a squirt of nasal saline into the nose and suction with a bulb syringe. (You probably left the hospital with the one used on your newborn).

Another mild breathing problem is chest congestion caused by saliva or regurgitated milk. Again, Dr. Sears states that this is not a reason to phone your doctor after hours. Try holding your baby upright and letting him sleep upright in your arms or a carseat, and telephone your doctor during business hours to be sure your baby’s symptoms are normal.

Newborns may also exhibit rapid breathing or panting. According to the Children’s Hospital of Philadephia, “rapid breathing is more than 60 breaths each minute.” An overheated baby or one who is upset and crying may breathe more rapidly, but once the baby stops crying or is no longer too hot, the rate should slow. If rapid breathing or panting comes and goes, and your baby has no other sign of illness, you probably have no reason to worry.

Babies occasionally will take in too much milk and get choked on it. This, too, is probably harmless. However, persistent coughing or choking warrants an exam by your pediatrician.

What’s Not Normal?

Any sign of your baby’s breathing irregularity is, of course, going to elicit your concern, but it is important to note when “normal” becomes “abnormal.”

Croup, with its seal-like, barking cough, sounds terrible, but pediatricians say that, unless a child is having trouble breathing, immediate treatment is not necessary. A parent listening to a croupy child, though, may have trouble distinguishing what is a normal symptom and what means respiratory distress.

Signs of respiratory distress in infants are similar to those in adults. Flaring nostrils, for instance, indicate the baby is struggling to take in oxygen. A blue color similarly indicates a lack of oxygen. If baby’s chest is caved in, or he is grunting, he may have a serious respiratory problem. If you see any of these symptoms, get immediate medical attention.

Just Be Safe

When it comes to your baby, you will consider any sort of breathing irregularity to be “abnormal,” so you should always trust your instincts and telephone your doctor if you have concerns for your baby’s safety. Keep in mind, though, that baby’s breathing is different from that of an adult, so your concern does not have to turn into panic, but just in case keep your pediatrician’s office number handy.

Best Ankle Braces For Arthritis

What is the cause of ankle arthritis? When the joint that connects the shin bone to the ankle bone gets worn, you may experience arthritis. It can cause swelling and pain in your ankle.

There can be several causes for the condition. The most common reason that people develop arthritis is due to a previous injury. For example, if you have sprained, dislocated, or fractured your ankle in the past you may have damaged the cartilage in it. A damaged cartilage can lead to arthritis.

If your injured ankle did not get the proper blood flow while it was healing, your bone may have been damaged. This can also cause arthritis. Infection can cause joint damage, and sometimes your genetic makeup can also cause you to develop the condition.

Too much weight on the joints can cause the joints to wear out more quickly. If you are overweight you are more likely to develop arthritis.

How do you know if you have ankle arthritis? Pain and swelling around the ankle joint is common. The duration and the level of pain varies depending on the individual. To be sure you have this condition you would really need to undergo a thorough examination from a medical professional.

There are 3 types of arthritis: Osteoartritis, Rheumatoid and Post-Traumatic Arthritis. Osteoarthritis is the most common and occurs from general wear and tear over the years. It is common in people after they have reached middle age. Ankle braces for ankle arthritis may help with the pain from arthritis.

How can ankle braces for ankle arthritis help? One way to treat your pain is to use a brace. You can choose from several types and styles of braces. Some of the best are: the Swede-O Thermoskin AFG Stabilizer, the Bioskin TriLok Foot & Ankle Control System, and the Dr. Bakst Magnetic Ankle Support.

Each of these braces helps to stabilize the ankle, reduce pain, and improve joint mobility. The best ankle brace for ankle arthritis may be the Swede-O thermoskin AFG Stabilizer. It is ideal for the treatment of arthritis because its heat therapy increases blood circulation and helps lessen your pain.

There are many braces for ankle arthritis to choose from, but the Swede-O Thermoskin is made to target arthritis pain. The Dr. Bakst Magnetic Support is $35.75. The Bioskin TriLok Foot and Ankle Control System is $55.95.

The Swede-O Thermoskin AFG Stabilizer is one of the least expensive braces for ankle arthritis at only $39.95. For arthritis pain, this brace may be the best value for your money.

The above prices have been referenced from Braceshop.com.