I’ve Had My Gallbladder Removed – What Do I Do Now?

The gallbladder is a small, pear-shaped sac on the underside of the liver, on the right side of the abdomen that holds approximately one half cup of yellowish-green fluid called bile. The liver produces liquid bile and it then moves it into the gallbladder where it becomes 4-12 times more concentrated than it was in the liver.

Approximately 700,000 people in the United States had their gallbladders taken out last year. The number of these surgeries has increased in the decades since laparoscopy was introduced. Because of the popularity of laparoscopic surgeries, many people believe that gallbladder removal surgery is simple and safe. Though the procedure is not particularly risky, complications after surgery occur on regular a basis.

Doctors refer to these complications as post-cholecystectomy syndrome (PCS). Cholecystectomy is the removal of the gallbladder and syndrome refers to the group of symptoms that can result after a cholecystectomy. PCS may occur even after a surgery that is performed by a brilliant surgeon with perfect surgical technique who has performed a surgery without complications.

Uncertain diagnosis and emergency surgery are risk factors for developing future complications. In most cases, the longer the symptoms have lasted before the surgery, the greater the risk of developing problems. If the cholecystectomy is performed to treat gallstones, approximately 20-29% of patients develop PCS. Younger patients have an increased possibility of developing PCS.

The deciding factor for gallbladder removal is the presence of gallstones and severe inflammation. Surgery can remove the gallbladder but surgery alone cannot eliminate all of the actual causes of the stones and inflammation. Also, removal of the gallbladder causes additional problems for digestion, proper work of the pancreas, liver, and colon.

What are essential functions of the gallbladder, and why it is important to have a healthy gallbladder?

• The most important function of bile is that together with pancreatic enzymes it helps the body digest fats. When semi-digested food moves from the stomach into the first part of the small intestine (the duodenum) it is the signal for the gallbladder to contract. Large amounts of the concentrated bile releases through the bile ducts into the duodenum for digestion of fatty foods.

• Bile aids in removing harmful fat-soluble toxins, heavy metals, pigments, bile acids and cholesterol from the body.

• Concentrated gallbladder bile has antimicrobial properties that help to keep the duodenum from harmful invaders such as bad bacteria, parasites, and yeasts.

• In a perfect and normal state, alkaline bile neutralizes acidity and creates the most positive condition for the pancreatic enzymes to digest food.

• The gallbladder also serves as a buffer reservoir to prevent high pressure in the bile and pancreatic ducts.

• Bile from the gallbladder stimulates the peristaltic movement of the intestines.

• Concentrated gallbladder bile aids in digestion and assimilation of the fat-soluble vitamins such as A, D, E, and K.

Once the gallbladder has been removed, all these functions are diminished or impaired. Improperly digested food is collected in the small intestine where it harbors an overgrowth of bad bacteria and yeasts. This causes constant fermentation of food, which creates gas and irritation of the small intestine. Indigested food spoils inside the GI-tract while the body struggles to get rid of this toxic material.

Our body has only two openings for this: either the mouth or the anus. Therefore, in an attempt to throw out poisons through the mouth, one suffers from belching, heartburn, nausea and vomiting. As undigested food moves through the intestinal tract diarrhea, constipation and lower abdominal pain occur. Doctors call this condition Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth.

With no gallbladder to collect the acidic bile from the liver bile constantly leaks into the intestine, even when no food is present. It irritates the linings of the duodenum creating spasmodic contractions of the intestinal walls which leads to “wrong way traffic” – refluxes. The corroded, aggressive mix of bile and pancreatic enzymes flows into the stomach causing heartburn, inflammation and ulcers. When these aggressive bile acids from the liver move down into the colon it causes diarrhea, colon inflammation, or even colon cancer.

This resulting indigestion leads to inner toxicity and deficiency of the vital nutrients with psychosomatic symptoms such as depression, anxiety, low tolerance to pain or IBS, fibromyalgia, food sensitivity and food allergies.

This variety of problems and symptoms require a range of treatments. Once a gallbladder has been removed, a number of drug-free, non-surgical alternative approaches can be very beneficial in reducing the consequences of gallbladder removal.

The goal is to reduce the body’s acidity, lessen cramps and pains, improve the quality and quantity of the liver bile, decrease inner toxicity, restore proper digestion, replace nutritional deficiencies, etc.

Healing Treatments

It is important that a person suffering from gallbladder problems eat a healthy diet of alkaline organic foods, eats often, and in small portions. Many persons who have had gallbladder surgery have a problem with the digestion of fatty foods. Undigested fats cause oily, liquid, foul-smelling stools. For that reason, trans-fats, animal fat and fried foods should be avoided.

People without a gallbladder often suffer from food sensitivity and food allergies that require a restricted diet, especially during attacks. Keep away from alcohol, white flour, sugars, sodas, and spicy food. Drinking 8-12 glasses of water daily thins the bile, flushes out the toxins and decreases the whole body’s acidity. Drinking clean and purified water, fresh diluted vegetable juices and blends, herbal teas and healing mineral water is recommended.

Healing mineral water has a long tradition throughout the globe including Europe, Israel, China, and Japan. Yet despite its popularity among people in Europe, this kind of healing is basically unknown in the United States and Canada. The most popular drinking healing mineral water is from Karlovy Vary – one of the most famous spas in Europe. The Czech town of Karlovy Vary (Carlsbad) has been an eminent worldwide healing resort since the 1700s.

Demand for this water was high, so Czech doctors began to manufacture the salt from the evaporated thermal spring water. European doctors have used Karlovy Vary mineral water for healing people after gallbladder surgery for more than 100 years. Since then, hundreds of clinical texts and articles have been published, illustrating the healing effects of the water prepared from Karlovy Vary spring salt on both animals and humans without gallbladders.

Karlovy Vary healing mineral water lessens digestive disorders, strengthens the digestive system, normalizes the acid-alkaline balance, and helps with the proper metabolism of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. Its most important action is the improvement of liver function by increasing the production and flow of bile, promoting peristalsis of the intestines, and preventing stagnation of food in the digestive tract.

Another alternative approach for post-cholecystectomy syndrome is acupuncture. Two thousand years ago doctors in the Orient knew about the importance of the gallbladder. From the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) standpoint, the functions of the Gallbladder are that it:

Stores and excretes bile

Governs decision making

Controls sinews

Effects dreams

Works in conjunction with the liver

According to TCM, the liver and the gallbladder both play an essential role in the smooth flow of Qi (energy) throughout the body. In order to have a healthy life, which is a function of the liver, one needs good decision-making skills, which is a function of the gallbladder.

Many scientific articles about the normalizing action of acupuncture after the post-cholecystectomy syndrome have been published in recent years. Acupuncture can help alleviate abdominal pain and various symptoms such as nausea, heartburn, belching, diarrhea, low mood and energy, insomnia, fibromyalgia, etc.

Other alternative medicine approaches for post-cholecystectomy syndrome may include herbs, nutritional supplements, probiotics, colon hydrotherapy, medical hypnosis and more.

Summary

So, you have had gallbladder surgery – your gallbladder is gone. Now is the time to educate yourself in improving your health and eating healthier. Following the suggestions above can help you to alleviate the side effects of gallbladder removal.

The information on this article is presented for educational, informational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for the diagnosis, treatment, and advice of a qualified licensed professional.

Why Isn’t My Thyroid Medication Working?

If you have symptoms of a hypothyroid or a combination of hypo and hyperthyroid symptoms and your lab tests came back normal, or your medication is not working, it may not be your thyroid that’s responsible for your problems. Your doctor typically runs only one or two thyroid panels to determine whether or not you have the thyroid problem. And even if they run the whole gamut of thyroid panels it may not give them the true cause of the problem.

Symptoms of hypothyroidism:

  • fatigue
  • weight loss even when dieting
  • depression
  • constipation
  • sensitivity to cold
  • poor circulation and numbness in hands and feet
  • muscle cramps
  • catch colds easily
  • have slow wound healing
  • require excess amount of sleep
  • G.I. disturbances
  • dry, itchy skin
  • dry or brittle hair
  • dry skin
  • low body temperature
  • edema, especially in the face
  • loss of cutter most portion of eyebrows

Symptoms of hypothyroidism:

  • heart palpitations
  • inward trembling
  • increased pulse rate, even at rest
  • feelings of nervousness or emotional distress
  • insomnia
  • night sweats
  • difficulty gaining weight

There are many things that can cause the symptoms that you are experiencing, your own immune system could be attacking your thyroid (Hashimoto’s thyroiditis) or the enzymes that help process or facilitate the use of thyroid hormones. A poor blood sugar metabolism could also be causing your symptoms as well as gut infections, adrenal problem, and hormonal imbalances can all depress thyroid function. So if you are on Synthroid, Armor, or Levoxyl and your symptoms aren’t getting any better it might be time to run more tests.

If you been to an alternative healthcare professional they may have recommended iodine, thyroid glandulars or tyrosine but if your thyroid symptoms aren’t being caused by your thyroid this will offer little to no help and can actually make your condition worse.

So what’s the answer to your thyroid symptoms if your thyroid isn’t actually causing the problem?

The only way to find out is to run tests, otherwise you’re just guessing. If you’ve already been to an endocrinologist or alternative health care professional and they were unable to help you then chances are you have something that may not be caused by primary hypothyroidism. There are many different things that can cause the symptoms that you’re experience and you have to rule them all out. You may have more than one underlying cause. Even if you find a positive test which indicates one of the possible causes, and you stop testing, you may have missed something.

There 12 cups on the table turned upside down, you can’t see what’s underneath the cup. The rules of the game are this…there is at least one ball under the cups, there may be more than one ball under the cups. To win the game you must find all of the balls. If you find one ball but there are more balls and you didn’t find them, you lose. How many cups would you like to look under? The obvious answer is you would like to look under all 12 because you want to win.

The best way is to look everywhere the problem or problems may be.

The 4 Deal Breakers

The 4 deal breakers in every difficult chronic health condition are anemia, blood sugar metabolism, gut issues and liver and gallbladder issues. If you have a problem with any of these you have to handle them first, otherwise you’re just spinning your wheels.

After you have dealt with the 4 deal breakers above, you can proceed on to the other possible causes.

A Good Word Picture

Patients typically don’t understand exactly how they can have thyroid symptoms and it not be a thyroid problem. So instead of going into all the physiological processes and using medical terminology that you may not understand, We can simplify the explanation by comparing the inter-workings of the thyroid to ordering something online.

Most of us have at one time or another ordered something online. You go online, find something that you want, and place your order. If you haven’t received your item within a reasonable amount of time you contact the person you placed your order with. The person that you’re talking to verifies on their computer that you have indeed placed an order. This is much like running a TSH panel because a TSH panel is simply verifying that your thyroid gland received an order to ship out thyroid hormone to your body.

If that is the only test that is checked, to see if our order was received, it doesn’t solve your problem because your real problem is that you haven’t received your item. But there are many other places where the problem may have occurred.

The second most obvious place is the thyroid gland itself. It’s like the warehouse where the item that you ordered is being stored. If the warehouse is damaged you may not get your package at all. This is a good case for using thyroid hormones.

If the worker who actually places your item into the package and hands it off to delivery person, doesn’t show up for work or is unable to work it will affect you getting your package. If, when the delivery person arrives to picks up the package, there are more boxes than he can fit in his truck, that will delay you from receiving a package. If, when the delivery person takes your package to their central hub or warehouse for rerouting to its final destination, that warehouse is backed up that can delay your package. Once your package is handed off to the delivery person who is responsible for delivering it to your home, if you’re not there to receive it, you don’t get your package.

Now that’s a very simplified explanation to the process but I think it helps to see that there are many places where things can go wrong that have nothing to do with the thyroid itself.

Taking the above example you represent the brain, you send an order via your computer (hypothalamus), the message is forwarded to the operator (pituitary), who then relays the message to the warehouse (thyroid) where a worker (TPO enzyme) puts your item in a box and hands the box over to a delivery person (TBG, a protein that transports thyroid hormones in your body) who delivers the package to the central hub or warehouse (liver, which can be sluggish, delaying your package). The next delivery person (TBG, again) delivers your package to it’s final destination (gut, reversed T-3 and the peripheral tissue).

If you don’t have normal gut flora 20% of the thyroid hormone can’t be utilized, it’s like not being home when the delivery person attempts to deliver your package.

There are several other places where things can go wrong that were not mentioned in the story above. For example, you can have too many TBG proteins. It may not seem like a problem to have too many transport vehicles but when there is not enough of the thyroid hormone these proteins will not release their package. You may have a case where you have too much of one thyroid hormone (T3, T4) and not enough of the other( over conversion or under conversion). You also have a situation where the thyroid hormone is delivered to the cell but the cell cannot accept it because of damage to the cell wall caused by inflammation or infections.

Another problem can occur when your body’s 5’deiodinase, an enzyme responsible for converting T4 to T3 in the heart, muscle and nerve cells, isn’t working properly. This can happen for a variety of reasons, you can have a deficiency of cofactors, you can have gut dysbiosis, elevated cytokines, elevated cortisol, deficiencies of serotonin, deficiencies of dopamine or elevated testosterone (even in women).

As you can see there are many places where things can go wrong that have nothing to do with the thyroid itself. So if you’re still suffering from thyroid symptoms in your medication continually needs to be adjusted or isn’t working at all you may need to have further testing to find the underlying cause of your problem.

Menstruation Disorder VII – How to Treat Menorrhagia With Nutritional Supplements

Menorrhagia is an abnormally heavy and prolonged menstrual period with excessive menstrual bleeding lasting longer than 7 days or blood loss exceeding 80 ml caused by abnormal blood clotting, disruption of normal hormonal regulation of periods, or disorders of the endometrial lining of the uterus. In this article, we will discuss how to treat dysmenorrhea with nutritional supplements

1. Iron

Iron is essential for women suffering from menorrhagia. Since excessive bleeding causes the loss of iron causing iron deficiency, without enough iron our body cannot reproduce red blood cells to replace those lost in bleeding resulting in symptoms of paller, weakness, fatigue as well as increasing the risk of inflammation.

2. B complex

B complex is a liver tonic vitamin. It helps the liver to convert the bad estrogen, xanooestrogen into weaker and less dangerous forms and converts omega 6 oils into a form that can be used by the body to produce the good type prostaglandins instead of dinoprostone resulting in reduced bleeding during menstruation.

3. Cod liver oil

Cod liver oil contains high amounts of omega 3 fatty acids that control heavy bleeding during periods. Since red meat and dairy products contain arachidonic acid without balancing intake of omega 3 fatty acid, this causes the over production of dinoprostone leading to increased blood flow, and reducing blood-clotting ability.

4. Zinc

Besides having an important role in treating enlarged prostate in men’s health, this mineral is vital for the healthy functioning of the reproductive system in women as well as maintaining hormone balancing.

5.Flavonoid

Flavonoid is a powerful antioxidant activity. It helps to protect small blood vessels from damage resulting in protecting against the blood loss of menorrhagia during menstruation.

6.Vitamin A

Vitamin A is an antioxidant. It works together with iron and copper to help enhance the production of red blood cells. Vitamin A deficiency has been found in women with menorrhagia.

7. Vitamin C

Besides being an antioxidant that helps our body to fight against free radicals from building up and help the digestive system’s metabolism to reduce menstrual pain, it also helps excessive blood flow during menstruation as a resulting of strengthening small blood vessels known as capillaries.

Facts About Gallbladder Disease

Gallbladder disease is one of the leading causes of problems with digestion that result in hospital admissions. Did you know that around 10% of the population (on average) in most Western countries has gallstones? Most of these are “silent” but about 4% of patients with stones develop symptoms each year. For about half of them, the symptoms reoccur within 12 months. More men than women suffer from acute gallbladder inflammation (cholecystitis), whereas more women than men experience gallstones (men have more kidney stones), and married women with children have more gallstones than unmarried women. The term “gallbladder disease” is in one sense a misnomer, for it is the liver, bile ducts and gallbladder that form the system that enables your body to digest fats and all are likely to participate in gallbladder problems.

I have always said that doctors generally see health problems as conditions with symptoms requiring drugs, whereas surgeons see health problems as conditions requiring the knife, and when a patient is admitted with abdominal discomfort surgeons are often keen to remove the gall bladder as it is believed that it ‘serves very little purpose’ and that the patient can “live comfortably without it”. This is a ridiculous and very untrue notion however, and I want you to think twice about having your gallbladder removed, because over half of people I have seen who had their gallbladder removed still had the same digestive problem they started with in the first place unresolved, yet now without their gallbladder. Once it is out that is it, it does serve a purpose like every organ you were born with and having your gallbladder removed will affect your health to some degree. For some patients, the removal of their gallbladder had a major consequence on their health down the track. For others, it was a minor consequence.

A surgeon I once spoke to many years ago mentioned that the gallbladder operation was one frequently performed in larger hospitals by the younger surgeon to “bring them up to speed” in the operating room. He said that it was a relatively easy operation lasting from thirty to forty minutes enabling them to gain surgical experience before they move onto “bigger and better things” as far as abdominal surgery is concerned. I can’t help wondering if all the gallbladder operations performed are really that necessary, because they are so quick to take it out these days. The apprentice mechanic will first be introduced to the engine by learning to replace the spark plugs before he is allowed to work deeper into the engine. If the plugs were removed, carefully cleaned and then replaced they generally last a long time. But then again, today more than half the stuff we buy is made in China and it is “chucked” as soon as it is even slightly defective!

What is the gallbladder’s function?

Your gall bladder’s main function is to collect and concentrate bile produced by the liver that the body uses to digest fats. Think of bile a bit like you would dishwashing liquid. Have you ever tried to wash dishes with fat or grease on them in water without dishwashing liquid? Not really effective is it? Not at least until you squirt a little dishwashing liquid into the warm water then they are clean in no time. Your gallbladder makes plenty of its own type of “degreasing liquid” called bile. Bile becomes up to twelve times more concentrated in the gallbladder (and hence much more effective) than it was in your liver. Think about this, with your gallbladder gone, your liver now has to produce, store and secrete bile. It can do this but not as effectively as it can without that little purse called the gallbladder hanging by its side.

The liver makes between 600 – 900 mls of bile each day, and what is not sent during meals to the duodenum (beginning of your small bowel) directly via the liver’s main duct to emulsify fat, it is diverted through a smaller duct (branching off the main liver duct) to the gallbladder for storage until required. When fat in a meal reaches the duodenum (where most of the food you eat is digested and absorbed), hormones enter the circulation and along with nerve signals, stimulate the gallbladder to contract. This contraction, assisted by the small intestine’s contractions, induces the gallbladder’s small round muscle and the stored bile is propelled into the duodenum where it mixes with food from your stomach and pancreatic juices from the pancreas by way of the pancreatic duct. If you eat a fairly fatty meal (fish and chips for example) your gallbladder can empty completely within one hour. It is this combination of bile and fats that can make one feel “queasy” at times after a fatty meal.

Bile itself is made up of water, salts, fatty acids, lecithin, cholesterol, bilirubin, and mucus and has two main functions. The first function is to help in the absorption and digestion of fats, and the second to eliminate certain waste products from the body, especially excess cholesterol and the haemoglobin from worn out red blood cells, which have an average lifespan of 3 months.

In particular, the bile

(1) increases the solubility of fat-soluble vitamins, fats and cholesterol to assist in their absorption,

(2) stimulates secretion of water by the colon to help move its contents along,

(3) is a medium for excretion of bilirubin (the chief bile pigment) as a waste product of destroyed red blood cells, other waste products, medical drugs and their degradation products, and other toxins.

Bile salts are in fact re-absorbed into the small intestine, and re-secreted into the bile after extraction by the liver. All bile salts in the body re-circulate some 10 to 12 times a day by means of this so- called enterohepatic circulation. In each circulation small amounts of bile salts enter the colon where bacteria break them down for excretion with the feces.

Who is the greatest at risk of gallstones?

o Female gender: women outnumber men at least 2:1.

o Family history

o Forty or more years of age

o 3 children or more

o Diet: low calorie, low cholesterol, low fat. (especially a diet like this after a diet high in fat)

o Diet: previously high in refined carbs, alcohol, chocolate, chips, etc.

o Smoking

o High cholesterol history

o Constipation history

o Rapid weight loss

o Obesity

o Food allergy history

o Dehydration due to not enough water

o Liver problems like cirrhosis or past hepatitis infection

o Sensitive to penicillin antibiotics

Signs and symptoms of gallbladder problems

I have seen many women in the clinic who have for years on and off never felt quite well in terms of their digestion. Many have experienced a low grade ill feeling, a digestive discomfort which was put down to indigestion, constipation or diarrhoea or even a “grumbling appendix”. They go on for years and years with digestive symptoms and never realise that they may be related to a gallbladder problem. That’s because they are so inter-related with other digestive symptoms and too easy for their doctor to say: “You are fine; there is nothing to worry about”. Constipation is one of the most commonly missed complaints, and so is farting. Don’t be embarrassed here, we all fart, some men (and plenty of smallish children) enjoy boasting about it but women do it too and are generally totally embarrassed. Flatus is most common in bed when you first lie down, during the night or when you get up. This is because your bowel changes its position and gas more easily escapes through the anus with the large intestine in a horizontal rather than in a vertical position. Don’t laugh, but do you sometimes feel fat, frumpy and farty and at times “sicky” after eating a fatty meal like fish and chips or chocolate? Does your partner joke about how much you “let off”? Then you may very well have a gallbladder issue.

The Four F’s

Have you heard about the four f’s? We learn when we study medicine that women who are “fat, fertile, forty and flatulent” are often the gallbladder girls. They are much more prone to having gallstones or a sluggish liver and gallbladder. The following list provided here may be related to gallbladder but please bear in mind that it could also be something else. The first four symptoms mentioned are the most indicative of gallbladder issues. It is not necessary to have all or many symptoms to have gallbladder problems but the more you have from this list, the more confirmation you have that your gallbladder is involved. Please note that it is still advisable to consult your GP for an accurate diagnosis.

Signs and symptoms of impending gallbladder problems (If you answered yes to the first four (with an asterisk) go to your health-care professional for a more accurate diagnosis.)

  • Pain or tenderness under the rib cage on the right side, could be central too*
  • Pain between shoulder blades, central but could be under the shoulder blades*
  • Stools light or chalky colored*
  • Indigestion after eating, especially fatty or greasy foods*
  • History of gallstones or gallbladder removal in your family
  • Weight gain after recent digestive troubles or after gallbladder removal
  • Frequent use of antacids
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Bloating
  • Farting
  • Burping or belching up gas easily after meals
  • Feeling of fullness or food not digesting
  • Diarrhea (or alternating from soft to firm)
  • Constipation (or simply skipping a day here or there)
  • Headache over eyes, especially right
  • Bitter fluid comes up after eating, could be a slight reflux and very subtle
  • Frequent use of laxatives

Being big is actually in itself a big risk factor in gallbladder problems, and women with a BMI (body mass index) of 30 or greater are more than double at risk than women who have a BMI of 25 or less. Although a decrease in weight reduces the risk of gallstone formation, there is a 15 to 25 percent increase in gallstone formation during or immediately following weight loss! I have seen this with several patients over the years; they have lost weight and are proud of if only to experience digestive problems and then a bad bout of pain within twelve to eighteen months after the weight loss. A major heart study in America discovered that women with Type 2 Diabetes were almost twice as likely (41.8 percent versus 23.1 percent) that non diabetics to have gallstones, and the risk was highest amongst the 30 to 59yr old group.

I always ask a person these standard questions when they come in with a (suspected) gallbladder dysfunction – “Did you loose weight recently, say in the past two years?” “Have you been on a fat free diet lately?” “What kind of foods/drinks do you like to habitually have?” By asking the right questions, you would be surprised how many will actually tell you what is wrong with them, and their answers can point right to the heart of the problem. In my observation, the main factors leading to gallbladder attacks and dysfunction are obesity (and rapid weight loss (for example1 pound a week); “fat-free” diets are especially bad.

Poor dietary habits – especially too many fatty and fried foods, alcohol, too much dairy food like cheeses and full cream milk, refined sugars and starches, high protein foods (in excess), food allergies, parasites, long-term use of birth control pills, and a sedentary (couch potato) lifestyle. The Atkins diet craze caused a lot of gallbladder problems, for example. Once these factors are operating, bile produced in the liver and flowing through the biliary ducts into the gallbladder becomes too thick, the bile ducts may then become obstructed, gravel and stones may form (90% of all gallstones are cholesterol), and the whole biliary system may become clogged. Other causative factors include insufficient water consumption, a weak immune system (increases likelihood of infection in the gallbladder), as well as diabetes and various liver diseases.

Prevention of gallbladder problems lies in controlling obesity, diet and adequate intake of consuming water, and the use of appropriate physical exercise. Louise Hay, an interesting lady who wrote the famous book “Heal Your Life” way back in 1976 with regard to how emotions can trigger physical problems, mentions that anger, aggressiveness, and bitterness can result in gallbladder problems. Keeping the immune system strong and the liver and small intestine healthy is very important too. Let’s look now at some non-medical alternatives once gallbladder problems are evident, and also how to prevent this problem in the first instance.

Food allergies

Often finding and eliminating food allergies can stop frequent attacks of gallbladder pain and prevent unnecessary surgical removal. In one study, avoidance of allergens relieved symptoms in 100% of 69 patients with symptomatic gallstones or post-cholecystectomy (after the operation) syndrome (uncontrolled trial commented on by Dr. Alan Gaby, USA). I’m not convinced just testing for antibodies in terms of food allergies is the way to go, try also: muscle testing, you may know somebody who does do electro-dermal testing. Either way, try going on an elimination or allergy diet, it may be the answer to your problems.

For recurring gallbladder pain – suspect food allergies in just about 100% of patients. On average I find that they are reactive to 4 or 5 foods, and according to Dr. Jonathon Wright, one of America’s most experienced natural medicine doctors, egg is generally always one of the prime food allergens involved. There are over 800,000 cholecystectomies (gallbladder operations) performed in USA per annum, they cost $5,000 US to perform. If you do the math here, effective preventative natural medicine treatment could spare 4 billion US dollars with gallbladder conditions alone. I can imagine how many of the operations are performed needlessly in NZ each year, and it is truely amazing how many people I have seen who have their gallbladder out only to find that it did not fix up the problem they originally went to the doctor for in the first place.

Other medical methods of handling gallstones in the gallbladder include attempts to fragment them with sonic shock waves (lithotripsy). Of course there are other times when surgery may become necessary, such as in perforation of the gallbladder (often from gangrene) or where for example non-benign tumours and cancers are present. All this is what I call “crisis medicine,” so common in the orthodox medical procedures used in the hospital system. Does it not make sense to prevent a gallbladder condition in the first place rather than waiting for disaster to strike and then to take action?

How is your back?

See your Chiropractor; you may have mid-thoracic vertebral subluxations. If you have back issues, your fourth thoracic vertebrae may a bit “dodgey”, you could be looking at a subluxations which means a slight dislocation (misalignment) or biomechanical malfunctioning of the vertebrae (the bones of the spine). These disturbances may irritate nerve roots and the blood vessels which branch off from the spinal cord between each of the vertebrae, and if this is what is happening around the middle of your back it could be affecting your gallbladder.

Gallbladder removed? – take bile salts

I always recommend that a patient who has had their gallbladder removed take bile salts (digestive enzymes) because fats & oils are not properly digested and absorbed by these folk. I always give bile salts when I give them fish-oil, or Vitamin A. Digestive enzymes are essential for those who have had their gallbladder removed, they will feel a lot better for taking them regularly. Their digestion will improve, their bowels will work better and they will feel less full and bloated. For patients who do not improve their diet following surgical removal of the gallbladder the removal leaves the person with an increased risk of colon cancer. Although fast relief of some symptoms can follow this surgery, the relief is often short-lived and the basic causes are still present. If you have lost your gallbladder, the regular use of bile salts at the start of meals can help substantially, including better processing of the fat-soluble essential nutrients such as essential fatty acids and vitamins A, D, E, and K. Probably the best way to tell if you are using enough bile salts is to monitor the colour of the stool. If the colour is lighter than the normal brown colour, or is even a light beige or yellow, this implies insufficient bile flow; with it’s under absorption of essential nutrients, and a need for more bile salts. Such a need for more bile salts will be greater after a meal with greater amounts of fats and oils. Talk to your Naturopath more here, he or she can recommend a product which should work well. I generally find that the digestive enzymes prescribed by your Naturopath to be stronger and much more effective than the retail (health-food shop) products. That is why they are classified as “practitioner-only” products. My website (see resource box) explains more about “practitioner-only” products.

Useful herbal supplements with liver & gallbladder complaints: Swedish bitters, milk thistle, chamomile, peppermint, greater celandine, gymnema, gravel root, dandelion leaf & root, chicory, rhubarb, burdock, cramp bark, ginger root, fennel, and turmeric.

Homeopathic medicine: one of the most specific homeopathic medicines is Chelidonium 30C, and I recommend this remedy for patients who complain of right-sided pains radiating through the back, pains radiating to the right shoulder blade region. It is mainly thought of as a liver remedy, but I find it fantastic for gallbladder disorders as well.

Diet

Eliminate refined sugar and other refined carbohydrates, because it is these foods which in particular increases the cholesterol saturation of bile. Gallbladder problems don’t generally happen in under developed countries, they are a phenomenon of the Western developed world. We call these sorts of health problems the “diseases of modern civilisation”. You will find that our Western diet is the highly refined one, most people eat foods from the supermarket and our diets are the ones high in the refined sugars, starches and flours. Foods and drinks to strictly avoid One of the worst beverages to drink with gallbladder issues is coffee whether decaffeinated or not, it aggravates symptoms by causing the gallbladder to contract along with sugar. So, sugar and coffee is not a good idea! I also tell patients to avoid chocolate, deep fried foods and saturated animal fats in general. Most tell me that they cannot tolerate these foods anyway, so listen to your body and avoid what makes you feel unwell or sick.

Gallbladder foods which have a particular favourable effect include beetroot, Brussels sprouts, fennel, sauerkraut, parsley, artichokes, pears, granny smith apples and the bitter foods such as rocket, endive, chicory, and capers.

Consume a little olive oil daily One way to prevent build-up of gallstones is to eat some oil, particularly extra virgin olive oil, daily; this encourages the gallbladder to contract and to daily “sand dump” its contents into the small intestine, preventing sludge from accumulating and forming gallstones.

Treatments

Warm castor oil packs. All you need is 200ml castor oil (try the chemist or supermarket), and old saucepan, an old cloth, and an old towel. Just warm the old cloth in the pot of oil until it is quite warm, squeeze it out and apply it over the region of the gallbladder – central a little to the right just near where your ribcage finishes. Cover with the old towel, place a hot water bottle on top for added warmth and lie down for fifteen to twenty minutes, then rub the area for 2 minutes with an ice cube in a cloth-repeat 3 times once daily for a week can sometimes dislodge gallstones, and is especially a powerful treatment if used in conjunction with the flush and dietary approach. Careful with castor oil, it can stain.

Liver and gallbladder flush

there are many different gallbladder and liver flushes that will work if you have had recurrent gallbladder problems and your diet has been typically Kiwi. You really need to work in with your health-care professional like your naturopath here. I have guided many patients through this procedure the past twenty years and have never experienced a problem, and to be honest have very rarely found somebody with a “gallstone too big to pass” as some may fear.

For a gallbladder “attack” try these recipes Here are a couple of tips to try with acute pain, if the pain doesn’t subside, seek medical opinion.

o Drink 1 tbsp of apple cider in a glass of apple juice (warmed). This should relieve the pain quickly.

o In a small glass add ¼ tsp turmeric, ¼ tsp cumin, and ½ tsp Manuka honey – top with boiling water, stir to dissolve and mix together, drink when warm. Take: 3 times a day.

o Citrus tea: have 3 glasses daily of tea made by boiling for 20 minutes in water the rind of a grapefruit.

Recommendations stopping future gallbladder attacks

1. Each morning, drink a “gallbladder attack flush”; 300mls Apple juice (or dilute with water), 3 cloves of raw finely chopped garlic, 1-2 inches of raw finely chopped ginger root, mix well in blender. This drink helps soften sludge and helps prepare your gallbladder to dump rubbish.

2. Liver & gallbladder flush. One simple flush is to drink 3 Tbs of extra-virgin olive oil with the juice of a lemon before retiring and on awakening for at least 3 days, or until no more stones pass. I have other flushes but tend to use them in a consultation with the patient only. This is one procedure in my opinion you are best not to do yourself at home without any guidance, but get the advice from a qualified Naturopath, preferably one with experience in this area.

3. Eat a well balanced diet of 50% raw or partially steamed foods and fresh juices, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and nuts/seeds. This low saturated fat, high fiber diet is a must for healing gallbladder disorders. Flaxseed and olive oil are great additions to your diet for repair and prevention of gallstones. Bitter foods (see below) are a great addition, and will help prevent a build up in future. The two top foods to consume? – Lemon juice and olive oil.

4. Increased your intake of Vitamin C can help with gallbladder ailments. Replenish your vitamin C stores by eating plenty of vitamin C-rich fruits and vegetables on a daily basis. Good sources include capsicums (red/green/yellow), berries, lemons, and broccoli/green leafy veg. I recommend a high grade Vitamin C powder daily for the prevention and maintenance of many conditions in the body.

5. Herbal detoxification products may be helpful in stopping and reversing a gallbladder attack. I suggest using formulas that use organic, whole herbs. There are some excellent products available, just ask your herbalist or naturopath.

3 tips for after the gallstones have passed

o Dr. Dick Versendaal, a Chiropractor from America recommends his “carotid-umbilicus technique”. For the best results, it is to used every 15 minutes for 1-3 hours as follows (it’s easier if someone else does it on you than you try to do it yourself ): using the index finger, apply a steady pressure into the belly button for 5 minutes, such as to depress the belly button 1-1 ½ inches (but avoiding pain). Do this once a day for up to 12 weeks after the stones are passed, it will help your gallbladder a lot.

o Firm rubbing for at least 30 seconds1-2 times a day of the neuro-lymphatic reflexes (these points may feel quite tender if you have gallbladder issues) between ribs 3 and 4, and ribs 4 and 5, just to each side of the breastbone, and between ribs 5 and 6 just under the nipple of the right breast can be quite helpful.

o Also softly holding (not pressing or rubbing) for at least one minute the neurovascular reflexes at the anterior fontanel (front of head the baby’s soft spot near crown of head- locate at tip of middle finger when the wrist crease of either hand is placed on the eye brows and the middle finger extended onto the midline of the skull) and at the hairline on the forehead directly above the outer corner of each eye. Look for the “tender spots”, you will find them.

A Fibroid Tumor – How to Avoid a Hysterectomy

A fibroid tumor of the uterus, otherwise known as a myoma, is the most common reason that a woman visits her gynecologist in the ten years leading up to menopause and also one of the most common reasons for a woman in her thirties or forties, to be advised to have a hysterectomy. Fibroid tumors are round, non cancerous lumps of the muscular wall of the uterus, made up of smooth muscle and connective tissue and they normally occur in groups. They start off fairly small but can grow to the size of a grapefruit and are normally accompanied by heavy, painful and irregular periods.

A uterine fibroid tumor is caused by too much estrogen in the body which stimulates its growth whilst a lack of estrogen causes the fibroids to disappear. Many women in their mid thirties begin to experience non ovulating menstrual cycles and as they approach the decade before the menopause they are producing less progesterone than normal and possibly more estrogen. They retain water and salt, their breasts enlarge, they gain weight, become depressed, lose their sex drive, suffer mineral loss in their bones and they develop fibroids. All of these symptoms point to a dominance of estrogen. Conventional medicine would normally advise a woman at this stage to have a hysterectomy but it has been discovered that by balancing the hormones naturally, fibroids can be prevented from growing and may even decrease in size and then, once menopause is reached, the fibroids will naturally disperse of their own accord.

A natural way for a pre menopausal woman to balance the hormones and prevent the fibroid tumor from developing further is to reduce estrogen levels and to take a supplemental dose of progesterone. Taken regularly the progesterone will level out the hormone balance and prevent any fibroids from getting larger. An ultrasound after three months will hopefully show that the fibroids have either remained the same size or decreased. Other effective ways of slowing fibroid growth is by exercising, reducing stress levels and reducing calories. By adopting these methods there is every chance that that fibroids will not grow and cause problems and there will be no need for a hysterectomy to be carried out. If a woman can get her hormones balanced and her menstrual cycle in a regular pattern, then conditions such as uterine fibroid tumors and ovarian cysts, stand very little chance of occurring.

Understanding Cysts on Ovaries During Pregnancy

Cysts are generally tricky, but nothing can be trickier than cysts on ovaries during pregnancy. This is because, not one, but two lives are on the line – the mother’s and the baby’s. However, by knowing the nitty-gritty and the risks involved when cysts on ovaries during pregnancy are involved, you’ll find that it’s not really as bad as it sounds.

A Bundle With Your Bundle

The formation of cysts in your ovaries is part of your regular menstrual cycle. In essence, a fluid-filled sac builds up on the inside or on the surface of your ovaries. This is the egg that is starting to mature. When the egg has fully matured, the sac will burst and the fluid, along with the mature egg, will then enter the fallopian tube to wait for fertilization. These are called functional cysts, and are rarely found during pregnancy.

The cysts on ovaries during pregnancy which should be of concern are the large, solid, or semi-solid masses that form not out of the regular bodily processes, such as dermoid cysts. The problem with cysts on ovaries during pregnancy, regardless of size and whether they’re benign or not, is that these cysts may rupture and cause sepsis, or torque (twist on themselves). Needless to say, this will cause a lot of pain.

A cyst is considered large when it exceeds six to eight centimeters. These types of cysts on ovaries during pregnancy will not only place the woman in significant pain, they can also put pressure on the developing fetus, considering the fact they are in the same general area and are essentially competing for space. One can only imagine how cramped it can get in there with the presence of cysts on ovaries during pregnancy.

Treatment and Removal

The removal of cysts on ovaries during pregnancy is not a new procedure and is often necessary to save both the mother and the child. In fact, a vast majority of the procedures for the removal of cysts on ovaries during pregnancy have led to successful deliveries. But before the removal of cysts on ovaries during pregnancy, an ultrasound must be performed to determine the best course of action, seeing as how two lives will be affected by any treatment – surgery or otherwise.

If surgery is warranted, the best time to remove cysts on ovaries during pregnancy would be sometime in the second trimester – that is to say, between the fourth and sixth month of pregnancy – when the child is well into its development. Very rarely do cysts on ovaries during pregnancy turn out to be cancerous (the odds are around 1 in 25,000), but they do have to be removed as they pose a danger for miscarriage or pre-term labor.

While surgery may be needed to remove cysts on ovaries during pregnancy, which may include a large and open incision, most of the time, all that is needed is a laparotomy – a procedure that’s not as invasive, but one that easily takes care of the problem.

How To Get Rid Of Thrush In Your Mouth – Home Remedies For Oral Thrush!

It’s more then just possible to get rid of oral thrush in your mouth with only homeopathic methods. In this article I am going to show you how exactly you can do this and what you have to use. It’s possible, but not easy because the mouth is the perfect place for the Candida. Enough wasting time, let’s start…

Garlic is a very powerful way to get rid of thrush in your mouth. All you have to do is to take a piece of garlic, put it in the mouth and move it all over the tongue and other infected areas (except the throat of course). You can even help your self with your finger. Make sure you touch all the infected areas. Do this 3-4 times a day.

Onion is also a great remedy that kills Candida quickly. You can do the same thing you did with garlic or you can just cut a lot of little pieces of onion and sleep with it in your mouth just be very careful not to choke. Your morning breath will be horrible but since onion works very well you won’t have to use it for too long!

Tea tree oil has a lot of properties and one of them is antifungal. All you have to do is to do is to make a simple mouth wash from few drops of the tea tree oil and water. Use it for 5-10 minutes every time. You can also put few drops on the toothbrush if the thrush has spread to your gums!

Infectious Canine Hepatitis – A Look at Hepatitis in Dogs

Infectious canine hepatitis is a highly contagious disease. The virus that causes this disease can cause damage to your dog’s liver as well as other organs. If treatment isn’t sought quickly, the disease is usually fatal. Puppies are especially susceptible to life-threatening complications.

Cause

As mentioned earlier, hepatitis in dogs is caused by a virus. The specific virus is canine adenovirus type 1, also referred to as CAV-1. It is transmitted through contact with infected animals and objects. Common objects that can harbor the virus include feces, food bowls, and water dishes. The virus can also be transmitted by parasites such as mosquitoes, ticks, and fleas. In some cases, it can also be inhaled.

Symptoms

Dogs with infectious canine hepatitis develop a wide range of symptoms. They include vomiting, loss of appetite, and diarrhea. Your dog may also get a high fever. You may also notice that your dog’s stomach will appear enlarged. This is caused by the swelling of the liver.

Hepatitis in dogs also causes sensitivity to light. Your dog’s eyes will tear when exposed to light. In severe cases of the disease, symptoms include bloody gums, nose, vomit, and diarrhea. It is also common for dogs to experience seizures, which is usually a sight of impending death within days. Some dogs die within hours of showing symptoms.

Diagnosis

This disease is diagnosed based on a physical exam and clinical signs. Blood and urine samples will also be sent to the lab to be analyzed. There is also a test that can detect the presence of the virus in your dog’s stool.

Treatment

Unfortunately, there is currently no cure for infectious canine hepatitis. Dogs can usually fight the disease on their own as long as they have a healthy immune system. Treatment involves giving the dog intravenous fluids, enemas, and blood transfusions. Since the eyes usually become inflamed, your dog may also be given eye drops to get rid of the inflammation. Even after the disease has been treated, dogs can shed the virus for months after infection. Therefore, your dog will pose a threat of infecting other dogs.

Liver Treatment Medicine

Hepatitis A

You are likely to contract Hepatitis A if you have been in contact with water or food that has been contaminated with the virus. You might also contract the disease if you have come into contact with the blood or the stool of the person who has the disease currently. No medication is known to treat the hepatitis A symptoms; however, a vaccine or an immune globulin shot has proved to be most effective in preventing it.

Hepatitis B

The hepatitis B virus can be spread by contact with body fluids or blood of a person with the infection. For those who have acute hepatitis B are not usually treated with medication. But those who suffer from chronic hepatitis B are given antiviral medication in case of liver damage. Medication choices include Interferons like interferon alfa-2b and pegylated interferon alfa-2a. Nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors or NRTIs like adefovir, lamivudine, entecavir and telbivudine and other medications prescribed to treat this liver condition.

Hepatitis C

This disease is the result of a virus induced liver infection that could lead to cirrhosis, permanent liver damage or liver failure over time. Chronic hepatitis C can only be treated with an antiviral. Medication choices include peginterferons which are a little similar to a protein present in your body that fights the infection. Combination antiviral therapy with ribavirin and interferons is also used to help your body get rid of the virus.

Liver cancer

Few drugs that are prescribed commonly to patients of liver cancer are Aldactone, Avastin, Lasix, Nexavar, Ambien, Capecitabine, Irinotecan, Oxaliplatin, Tarceva and pain medications.

Fatty liver

Fatty liver or steatosis hepatitis is a condition involving accumulation of large vacuoles of triglyceride fat in the liver cells due to steatosis.

You Can Dissolve Kidney Stones Safely and Naturally – Here’s How

Flush Kidney Stones Safely and Naturally:

Kidney stones are accumulations of mineral salts that can lodge anywhere along the urinary tract. 80% of the time, they are calcium stones (calcium oxalate), a condition known as hypercalciuria. This is mainly due to a diet consisting of too much animal protein. The consumption of animal protein is strongly associated with oxalate production. The body reacts by producing an excess of acids to digest meat and other high protein animal and fish foods. The excess acids cause the pH balance of the blood to become too acidic. The body leeches calcium (an alkaline mineral) from the bones to restore the ph balance in the bloodstream. The remaining calcium is eliminated through the urine in the form of calcium oxalate. When there is a high enough concentration of calcium, it begins to crystallize and form small clumps, which eventually become stones.

A health-supporting vegetarian diet that emphasizes low protein foods help prevent the formation of Calcium Kidney Stones in most people and would be of particular benefit to those who suffer from recurrent stones.

Symptoms:

Pain radiating from the upper back to the lower abdomen and groin, frequent urination, pus and blood in the urine, absence of urine formation, and sometimes chills and fever. The size of the stones can range from a microscopic speck to a fingertip.

Recommendations:

  • Herbal detoxification products may be helpful in dissolving kidney stones nad flushing toxins, chemicals, heavy metals, and thousands of other poisons out of the body. We suggest using formulas that use organic, whole herbs.If interested, take a look at the Kidney Bladder Formula and Hot Cayenne Extract.
  • We suggest a high quality whole food supplement, like VITAFORCE that is complete and made from whole foods which corrects nutritional deficiencies and boosts the immune system.
  • In the morning, drink the consuming the Kidney Flush drink; 8-16 ounces of distilled water. The juice of one lemon and lime. 5-15 drops of the Hot Cayenne Extract, and a touch of maple syrup for taste (optional). This drink may help eliminate toxins and dissolve kidney stones.
  • Eat a diet containing raw fruits, vegetables, juices , and whole grains, legumes Particularly, eat watermelon, garlic, potatoes, asparagus, parsley, watercress, celery, cucumber, papaya, and bananas. Eat the watermelon by itself.
  • Drink an 8-16 ounce glass of distilled water every hour; essential for urinary tract function.
  • Take organic, unrefined, cold-pressed Flaxseed Oil everyday as it has been shown to have favorable results with Kidney disease. American Journal of Kidney Disease, 25(2), February 1995, p. 320-329
  • Helpful herbs: Uva ursi, hydrangea, juniper berries, nettle, and marshmallow root.

Click Here for the Kidney Stones Detox Formula

Things to Avoid:

  • All Animal Foods: dairy foods (milk, cheese, butter, cream, ice cream), fish, meat, chicken, turkey, eggs, fried and greasy foods, margarine, and all other processed foods and animal derived products from your diet. These foods are laced with chemicals, pesticides, and toxins as well as high levels of saturated fats and excess protein which lead to kidney stones.
  • Salt, tobacco, caffeine, sodas, coffee, sugar, and refined white flour (breads, pastas, cereals- replace with whole wheat pastas, breads, and cereals). These products are extraordinarily destructive to the kidneys.

References:

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

2) A.J. Ingram, et al., “Effects of Flaxseed and Flax Oil Diets in a Rat- 5/6 Renal Ablation Model,” American Journal of Kidney Disease, 25(2), February 1995, p. 320-329

3) “Urinary Calcium and Dietary Protein,” Nutr Rev 38 1980, p. 9

4) W. Robertson, “Should Recurrent Calcium Oxalate Stone Formers Become Vegetarians?” British Journal Urology 51 (1979), p. 427

5) “Diet and Urinary Calculi,” Nutr Rev 38 (1980), p. 74

6) P. Shah, “Dietaryy Calcium and Idiopathic Hypercalcuria,” Lancet 1 (1981), p. 786

7) J. McDougall, M.D, “The McDougall Plan,” (1983): p. 222-223

Morning Sickness Help – Tips to Prevent That Awful Vomiting!

Are you planning to get pregnant or maybe you have already become pregnant? If so, you need to know that there is morning sickness help out there and you do not have to be vomitting daily just because you are pregnant. You must first understand why it happens in order to get help for it. Here is what you should know.

The reason that women get sick when they are pregnant is because of all the changes your body is going through. It is confused and thinks that the new hormones that are being created are not good for it. It also has to do with the baby using up a lot of nutrients that you need. You have to give yourself more of these in order to help prevent the sickness.

Another thing you have to understand is that the body will get sick at the time that it is most vulnerable. This is usually early in the day because you have not eaten anything or taken your prenatal vitamins yet. The problem is that if you get sick it is going to fatigue you and make things harder on you and your baby.

The last thing you have to know to get morning sickness help is that if you know when you will get sick, then you can help to prevent or at least lessen the chance you get sick with your prenatal vitamin. Take it about 2 hours before you usually get sick to give your body something it needs because you will not vomit with all those nutrients in your body.

What is HACCP? How to Prevent Food Poisoning

HACCP is basically health and safety for food so it doesn’t make you sick or even kill you through food poisoning, poor hygiene, sanitation or contamination. HACCP was devised by NASA (that’s right.. NASA) and Pilsbury Corporation (USA’s largest food manufacturer in the 60’s) in the build up to the space race between the USA and the USSR in the 50’s – 60’s. It was originally designed to ensure that the food the astronauts took into space was not contaminated with food poisoning bacteria, harmful chemicals or any other physical agent which might be dangerous to someone who eats it.

HACCP is now a legal requirement in all EU countries, the USA and many other countries worldwide. It is pushed by the World Health Organisation and the World Trade Organisation into countries legislation. Basically if you are a food business and want to export food to other countries you need a HACCP system in place. It is enforced by Environmental Health Officers in the UK and Health Inspectors elsewhere.

It’s really very simple; in order to have a HACCP Plan you need to:

1. Have a HACCP Team (kind of like the Health and Safety Team) who will draw up the documentation.

2. The HACCP Team then draws up a Process Flow Diagram of the food preparation or manufacturing process. E.g. Goods Inwards, Chilled Storage, Preparation, Packing, Finished Goods Storage, Temperature Controlled Delivery.

3. You then take each of these process steps and try to identify things that could go wrong (i.e. hazards). For example, in the Chilled Storage step mentioned above, the fridge could break down and the temperature of the food could increase and bacteria present can them multiply. This would be described as a hazard “Bacterial growth (temperature not low enough)”.

4. Then we describe the control measure for the hazard. In the above example, the control measure would be “Effectively operating refrigerator”

5. What we do next is decide if the hazard is critical to food safety or not, i.e. is it a Critical Control Point (CCP). There are a number of ways to do this but basically it all boils down to this fact. We need to ask ourselves ‘If the control measure (in this case “Effectively Operating Chilled Storage”) were to NOT WORK, would someone get sick or die because of it?’ – If we answer yes to that question then this is a Critical Control Point. That means we must establish Critical Limits, a Monitoring Procedure and a Corrective Action. In our Chilled Storage example the answer to this question is often yes and therefore anything that involves refrigerated storage is usually a Critical Control Point.

6. Having identified a CCP we need to put some numbers on the hazard to decide what the ‘known and safe’ levels or Critical Limits would be for that hazard. In our example, we know that food is safe (i.e. bacteria don’t grow very fast) at 5oC so our Critical Limits are 1-5oC or <5oC.

7. So now we know what to measure we need a Monitoring Procedure that outlines how to measure the critical limit, how often to do it who is to do the measuring.

8. We need a Corrective Action so that we have a plan in place in the event that the Monitoring Procedure finds a Critical Limit outside the acceptable range, i.e. >5oc in this example’s case.

So there you have it, phew!! It’s a lot to take in and that’s why a lot of food businesses struggle with it but HACCP is a logical approach to ensuring food safety; it is international, comprehensive and a legal requirement in many countries.

How to Use Natural Remedies For Ulcers Caused by Helicobacter Pylori

One of the bacteria that live in your mouth and cause gingivitis is the helicobacter pylori or H. pylori. This bacterium is transmitted by kissing. Everyone have this bacterium in his or her mouth and stomach. You mostly likely got this when you were a youngster and were kissed by your parents and all kinds of relatives.

When these bacteria enter your stomach and small intestine, they wait for an opportunity to multiple. When you eat junk food, overeat, mix foods incorrectly, use NASID’s or have continual stress, excess stomach acid is created. This weakens the stomach lining and gives H. pylori a chance to embed into these weak areas and multiple.

So, how to do you use natural remedies to relieve a stomach ulcer? There are to two proven methods to do this.

First you can use Mastic Gum.

In a recent issue of Life Enhancement Ezine, this story appeared,

“My daughter was diagnosed with H. pylori. When her doctor insisted on giving her antibiotics, she declined, and the doctor thought she was foolish for doing so. Instead, my daughter went on a Bye-Lori II regimen. After 4 weeks, she was tested again, and her H. pylori levels had plummeted, showing a 50% decrease in the pathogen. Needless to say, her doctor was amazed. Mariann Hardington, Ontario”

Bye-lori II is product that contains mastic gum. Pure mastic gum capsules are available. Mastic gum, a resin, comes from the sap of the mastic tree in the Mediterranean.

Mastic gum’s action in the stomach or intestines is to kill the H. pyloric bacteria and to reduce and heal the ulcer inflammation.

Second you can use Deglycyrrhizinated Licorice or DLG.

DLG is a natural product made from the herb licorice root. Researchers have found DLG just as effective in treating ulcer as using the drugs Tagament, Zantac, Prilosec, or Prevacid.

DLG stimulates release of secretin, which protects the lining of the stomach or intestines. In the past, antacids were used to self-treat ulcers. Because antacids have excess sodium, aluminum, side effects such as diarrhea, constipation, and raise stomach acid, it is best not to use them.

DLG comes in tablets that should be chewed or dissolved in the mouth. DGL is activated by saliva to produce chemicals that help to regenerate cells in inflamed areas of your stomach and intestines.

Typical use for DLG is 750 to 1500 mg taken 30 minutes before meals. Use for around 7 – 15 weeks.

Foods to Eat For Heartburn Relief

Heartburn is something that many people may experience, but they may not know different ways they can get relief from this pain. People experience the pain of heartburn underneath their abdomen. This is a sharp pain that makes people uncomfortable whenever they experience it. There are some foods that people consume that may cause them to have heartburn. While these foods may be avoided once someone experiences pain, there are other foods that should be consumed as they can give people Heartburn Relief. Some of these foods include oatmeal and natural ginger.

Not all the same foods cause people to have heartburn. There is not one universal food that people all eat and have heartburn. Just as people are all different, the foods that bring on heartburn are different for different people. Some of the foods that have given people heartburn in the past include acidic foods and fatty foods. Different acidic foods that people may want to avoid include grapefruit, lemons, oranges, orange juice, grapefruit juice, and lemonade. Some fatty foods that may cause heartburn include hamburgers, french fries, chips, pork chops, deep fried chicken, and other fatty foods. These foods may not give people Heartburn Relief, and should not be eaten if they continue to give people problems.

Now that people know some foods that can give them heartburn, they will want to know what foods they can eat for Heartburn Relief. These foods include oatmeal and natural ginger. The one thing that these two foods have in common is the fact they are low in fat. Some studies in the past have shown that people who eat one bowl of oatmeal each day do not have heartburn as often as those who do not. Since heartburn happens as a result of problems with the esophagus, people can eat natural ginger to relax the muscles along the walls of the esophagus. This helps to relieve heartburn.

Oatmeal and natural ginger are two foods that people can eat for Heartburn Relief. It is a good idea to avoid any foods that give people heartburn. If people eat a great deal of fatty foods and experience heartburn, they should consider eating less fatty foods like ginger and oatmeal. Anyone can get rid of heartburn by taking action to change their diets.

Heartburn Home Cures – How to Cure Heartburn With Simple Home Remedies

Is taking medications for heartburn a proper way to treat this condition when it just comes back? Can one use an alternative to these drugs? The answer is yes, today we have many natural heartburn home cures which are not only very effective but also provide permanent relief.

Home cures are frequently used by people who prefer holistic treatments to synthetic drugs, or by people looking for effective but inexpensive way to treat all kinds of maladies. Luckily heart burn is one disease that is easy to treat with inexpensive home items found in just about any kitchen.

-Apple cider vinegar is a very popular relief method. Mix 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and ½ cup of water or apple juice. Drink it three times each day to decrease acid reflux occurrence. Apple honey is another simple remedy used to diffuse the stomach acids.

-Cinnamon is a very effective natural relief method which is also tasty and easy to use. Simply use it as cinnamon tea, or add it to chamomile tea.

-Chewing gum or sucking hard candy is also a great way to prevent acid reflux. It produces 8 to 10 times more saliva and diffuses the stomach acid.

-Ginger root is another effective natural cure, it works by absorbing the excess stomach acid. One can eat it fresh or as tablets or in the form of tea. It is economical, safe and helpful.

Heartburn home cures have many advantages over regular prescription or over the counter medications. First they are a lot cheaper, next they provide longer lasting relief and third they do not cause side effects like all antacids do. In addition for the long run it will be good if one was to change his or hers lifestyle and include exercise and proper for completely eradicating this problem.