Do Natural Cures For Psoriasis Actually Work?

Are you frustrated with the natural cures for psoriasis? If you are you’re not alone. When you scan the Internet for natural cures or home remedies, you’ll be bombarded with all sorts of information and advice. But do these supposed experts really know what they’re talking about? Let’s take a closer look at some of these possible natural cures and see if they really do work.

Before you begin using any type of natural cure for psoriasis, you first need to understand what it is you’re trying to cure. The real cause of psoriasis is actually in our own immune system that is overproducing skin cells, and this is the cause of the red scaly patches you often see on people with this condition. So to really treat psoriasis you need to cure from the inside out.

Many of these natural cures for psoriasis involve putting some type of cream or lotion on the affected area of your skin. I don’t know about you, but this seems a little silly. I recently read an article on home remedies that suggested using avocado oil, buttermilk, or even cabbage leaves to treat this skin condition. Yeah, there’s always some people that claim these natural treatments work but most people will quickly realize that these type of home remedies are simply a waste of time.

At the very best, they will only treat the symptoms but won’t actually cure your psoriasis. Furthermore, if you have any type of allergies, these types of all-natural treatments could actually make your condition much worse and cause a whole host of other problems. At this point you must be asking, so now what should do I do?

If you really are serious about curing your psoriasis condition, the first thing you should look at your diet. Because psoriasis affects our immune system, what you eat can actually help improve your condition. The first thing you should do is to try to avoid processed foods as best you can. Next, make sure to include a well-balanced diet. This means plenty of fresh vegetables, nuts, fruits, and meats.

The next thing you should do is make sure you drink plenty of water. I know this sounds too simple to be true, but most people don’t drink enough water. Put the soda down, and throw away the carbonated beverages. These are not going to help your condition, and they are probably making it worse. Stick with all natural purified water and your body will thank you.

Now that you understand the truth about natural cures for psoriasis, you are now ready to begin actually treating your condition properly. This all begins with your diet, and a proper diet is the cornerstone to curing any ailment, including psoriasis.

What Is a Toenail Fungal Infection?

If you have a thickened, yellow or brown discoloured toenail, you may be suffering from a toenail fungal infection.

Known medically as onychomycosis or tinea unguium, this fungal infection can do considerable damage to the nail plate and underlying structure which may lead to the loss of part or whole of the toenail itself.

The principal And most common organism involved in fungal nail infections is the dermatophyte Trichophyton rubrum (the second is Trichophyton mentagrophytes which causes ringworm) and may affect the fingernails as well as toenails.

The fungus thrives in dark damp conditions such as those found within tight enclosed footwear, between the toes and under the nail plate but it will also thrive in areas where the male may be damaged, for example, whether on multiple layers of nail polish who solvent is destroying the nail. The fungus feeds on keratin which is the protein that the body uses in the formation of skin and nails.

It is prevalent in around 18% of the world population (about 2.5 million Americans) and can affect anyone of any age except it is unlikely in children or those below the age of 18. However many people fail to recognise or diagnose the condition in time to perform an early treatment, or think the condition is not serious enough to treat in the first place, even no it can be easily transmitted.

What you are looking for are a yellowish brown discolouration or white markings under the nail with or without thickening or detachment of the now play itself. You may be able to remove soft dark debris from under the nail or smell a dank odour. If the condition is left, the nail may eventually come away completely but will not necessarily grow back normally if the matrix (growth area) is affected also.

Although these dermatophyte’s live in the air around us you are more likely to become infected in public areas such as swimming pools or gyms whether our shower areas. The best way to avoid picking up the fungus is to wear something on your feet whilst in these bathing areas.

Early diagnosis is obviously preferable as it may be easier to treat the early stages of a fungal nail and waiting for its detachment to occur, therefore it is a good idea to visit your doctor or podiatrist who should be able to take a nail cutting and send it to the lab to confirm a onychomycosis infection as opposed to psoriasis for example.

They should also be able to give you the correct course of action to treat the fungus and advise on foot hygiene and natural toenail fungus home remedies that you may be able to take. However here are some basic things that you can do:

  • Wear open and comfortable shoes
  • Use a clean towel for your feet only
  • Observe good foot hygiene
  • Where clean, loose socks and hosiery daily
  • Avoid communal showers without footwear
  • Disinfect toenail scissors and cutters
  • Use tea tree oil and apply beneath the nail plate

The best way to treat your toenail fungal infection will be with either a topical over-the-counter anti-fungal such as Loceryl (containing amorolfine) or Lamisil (containing terbinafine), or by taking Lamisil or another oral antifungal, such as Sporanox (containing itraconazole) prescribed by your doctor. Note: there are side effects with some of these oral medications.

If all else fails you may be able to get a course of laser treatments on your fungal nail although these are expensive at around $1000 a treatment and bear in mind the relapse rate for a fungal toenail infection is between 10 to 20%.

The best place to start if you’re worried about toe nail fungus is to visit your chiropodist/podiatrist who will be able to advise you in the first instance. Your toenail fungal infection does not have to be suffered, remember there are many effective treatments out there, so don’t despair.

Allergic Reactions Can Cause Confusion

An allergic reaction is a sign that something is wrong with our bodies. Many times throughout the course of life we have symptoms that seem like they can be something as simple as a cold only to find out later you were allergic to something in the air. It doesn’t even have to be something in the air like pollen. Though many people consider that the definition of an allergy.

Hay fever type symptoms are not the only allergic reaction that you can have though it is the most common especially in the spring and fall. It is hard to miss the commercials for all sorts of nasal allergy sprays and pills. Various kinds of pollen are the culprit and what causes an allergic reaction in one person doesn’t mean that another person with allergies will react the same.

Another interesting twist is that allergic reactions can change over time. As a child you may be allergic to specific pets, foods and even dust but your body can change and actually not react to the same allergic trigger in the same way. This is the good side of the twist because as you get older you may find that you are allergic to things in your older age. Some people get nasal allergies when they are older. Sometimes it can be attributable to a change in their bodies but sometimes their environment may have changed. As the weather has changed throughout the world it has affected the spread of pollen and the intensity of the seasonal allergy season.

Other allergic reactions may be to topical reactions to things such as hair dye and certain other chemicals. Different chemicals and even natural ingredients are used in shampoos and deodorants as well that can cause the skin to have an allergic reaction.

Given the range of causes getting your adverse reactions diagnosed is critical. The best person to do this is a specialist like an Allergy Doctor who based on your symptoms can administer tests to identify what you are allergic to. Though you may get loosely diagnosed as having an allergy by your general practitioner the more severe your allergic reaction increase the odds of being referred to a specialist. Though allergy testing is not full proof it can help narrow down your allergies by identifying what you are not allergic to.

Food allergies are usually considered the most serious because the most severe allergic reaction can be anaphylaxis. Your throat swells and you basically are asphyxiated. This of course can lead to death and since the most discussed food allergy of our time is peanut allergy it is critical to identify if this is a problem for you or your child. Peanut oils can be found in so many foods.

Though there appear to be hereditary factors in whether someone is allergic to certain substances and food the allergic reaction may not be the same. From an awareness perspective it is definitely good to discuss allergies amongst family members as it helps to clarify some of the confusion that may come from mysterious symptoms that are basically allergic reactions.

In conclusion you need to be sure not to dismiss strange symptoms that seem to occur consistently. Don’t be afraid to bring up something that you consider small. It may be the clue your doctor needs to direct you to the right diagnosis and treatment for your allergic reaction.

5 Key Causes of Ringing in the Left Ear

There are a number of possible causes of ringing in the left ear. I fact I have shared some of them in my previous writings. Below I have decided to provide a helpful list that you should be able to read through right to the end with ease.

You may find that the cause is as a result of one or more of these. Whatever the case I can guarantee you that there is a cure.

1. You may be stressed or anxious about something. This can be due to a passed or upcoming event. Stress normally causes some chemical imbalances, which have a direct effect on the fluids in your ears.

2. Lack of Exercise or activity: If you are always seating and not doing anything then chances are you will cause some problems in your body that can manifest as that humming or buzzing sound in your ear.

3. Bad eating habits: Junk food and alcohol can be the reason why your ear sounds like a train or car motor. Cut back on the alcohol and try to eat vitamin rich foods.

4. Exposure to loud sound or loud noise in ears: Some of the causes of ringing in the left ear can be cause by being at a concert, night club or through being exposed to loud sound like rock music.

5. Childhood Surgery: Chances are when you were young some surgery tubes were inserted in your ears. This may have damaged your inner parts and may also be leading to some headaches and irritability. If this is the case chances are it’s only going to get worse hence the need to get it treated as soon as possible.

Depression – What Really Causes It

Many people think they are depressed because they are sad about something terrible that has happened in their life. Maybe they lost a loved one. Maybe they even just lost a job. You may be surprised to find out that outside of physical abnormalities inside the brain, depression is not caused by sadness.

Depression is a very difficult condition to diagnose. In many people, there are no real physical signs, especially in people who have become very good at hiding their feelings. Depression isn’t like somebody who falls and breaks his arm where the break is visible to an x-ray. Depression is not something you can see. Not even trained professionals can always correctly diagnose somebody who is clinically depressed. What makes this condition even more difficult to diagnose is the misconception of what causes depression. Outside of those physical abnormalities, depression is not causes by sadness but is caused by conflict.

If you’re scratching your head wondering exactly what this means, the best way to explain it is with a hypothetical example.

You’re dating a nice girl. You’ve been dating for quite some time and you fall in love with her. You are so sure that she is the girl of your dreams. Then suddenly you find out something about her that makes you realize that if you were to marry this girl you would have some serious problems. Well, you’ve got a real problem. You can’t live without her because of the way you feel about her but you also know that you’re not really going to be happy if you go ahead with the wedding. You are confronted with a serious conflict. If you think this doesn’t cause depression you need to think again. This is the major cause of depression.

The reason for it is simple. There’s no solution. At least no simple solution. If you break up with the girl then you’ve lost a really great love. If you marry her, you doom yourself to a life that you know won’t be as happy as you were hoping for. Either choice you make, you lose. It’s a no win situation until you can resolve the conflict. That is the hard part. That is where psychiatrists can help. They do this by trying to get you to work through which option would be the better of the two. Eventually, after a lot of therapy and a lot of pain, a decision is reached, the conflict is resolved and the depression lifts.

Again, there are types of depression that are actually caused by physical imbalances of certain chemicals in the brain. For these cases of depression, certain drugs can help correct these imbalances and the sufferer can live a normal life. Yes, there are side effects, some of which aren’t too pleasant. So the patient needs to keep this in mind.

Depression is a terrible thing. But with the proper treatment, whether it be for chemical imbalances with drugs, or with therapy for emotional conflicts, depression can be controlled and even conquered. It’s a life long battle. But it is one that can be won.

What’s Wrong With Having a Few Phobias in Your Life?

Are we all a bunch of scaredy cats? It seems that as we grow older we become more and more fearful of the things we used to take for granted. We’re fearful of risks and taking chances. Let’s face it; we’re not the daredevils we once were or thought we were, some more so than others. How did it all come about?

Risk taking is for the young and unstable. They (we) are accustomed to living on the edge. Look at the sports that the young take up: BASE jumping, skydiving, even skateboarding (ever seen a sixty year old on a skateboard, or anyone other than the former President George H.W. Bush skydiving)? Those are risky sports. They require the ability of the participant to suspend all reasonable belief in his or her mortality for the brief feeling of exuberance.

But this article is more about fears than risks. In a sense, they are related. I think the reason people are fearful is because they are afraid of taking risks. Over time, those phobias grow stronger because we have not conquered them or even made an earnest attempt to conquer them. In fact, we work around these phobias because it’s just easier to do that. We work around them by avoiding them, because avoidance is much easier to handle than confronting them head on. Confronting them would take courage and, here’s that word again, risk.

What we need to do, then, is to take those fears and phobias that have been developing (and fermenting?) over the years, and we need to set realistic goals for overcoming them. We could continue on our merry little way but that’s not the point. If we don’t go toe to toe with the issue, it will consume us. As it is now, we struggle to think of fresher ways of circumventing our fears.

Overcoming long-held and long-nursed fears is difficult, I’ll admit. But, it’s certainly not impossible, though, as we contemplate the steps we take to defeat the fears, it seems overwhelming. Here are a few practical steps we can take with each phobia we have.

  1. Recognize that you have a phobia. That’s how people enrolled in Alcoholics Anonymous look at it. If they are not willing to admit that they have a drinking problem, they cannot begin the road to recovery. Taking that first step is huge and should not be overlooked in the least. It may very well be like the 1200 pound elephant in the room: it’s there and everyone in the room knows it’s there, but we pretend it’s not. Phobias are like that.
  2. Recognize that you probably are not the only person in the world with this fear. There are lists online that tell you the kind of fear it is and the name associated with it. If the phobia has a name, then it also has people who know exactly what it is and are either avoiding it or are taking steps to tackle it. The fact that the fear has a name is significant.
  3. “What About Bob” is a favorite movie of mine. It has some hilarious scenes, but it has a larger point than the humor: baby steps, baby steps. You can use all sorts of cliches to talk about what taking baby steps really is, but the point is, take a little at a time when you can. If you choose to conquer all your phobias at once, you’ll be paralyzed and won’t be able to continue. Take measured, small steps to begin the process of conquering your fears. It’s a time tested model.
  4. Lastly, reward yourself when you do well, even in the smaller phases of you overcoming these fears.

As you probably have noticed, I have taken great pains to avoid specific solutions to your fears and phobias. Why? Because each fear is different just as each person is different. What may work for you may not work for your next door neighbor. These four principles will, however, help guide you through your circumstances. They are time-honored and logical principles.

The Neurotransmitters Involved In Anxiety Disorder

Anxiety disorder is one of the most common mental disorders in the United States. There are different types of this disorder such as obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), generalized anxiety disorder(GAD), and post traumatic stress disorder(PTSD). There are several causes for an anxiety disorder. Mostly, it is due to abnormal levels of certain chemicals, which are known as neurotransmitters, in the brain.

The brain continuously secretes neurotransmitters to balance mood levels and keep them stable. When mood levels are not stable, a person faces mood problems, such as anxiety, stress and depression. Anxiety is also often seen as a sign of depression. Most of these mood disorders can be treated with help of various medications. However, it is important to consult a doctor before taking any medications.

Serotonin is one of the chemicals that plays an important role in maintaining stress levels. A decreased level of serotonin as well as reduced activity of this neurotransmitter can result in anxiety, according to the US Surgeon General. If the anxiety disorder is due to low serotonin levels, it can be treated with the help of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). In fact, these medications are better treatment options for people suffering from OCD and PTSD.

Gamma amino butyric acid, or GABA, is a neurotransmitter that has a calming effect on people. Like serotonin a deficiency in this neurotransmitter can cause anxiety disorders. To treat lowered levels of GABA, benzodiazepines are frequently prescribed. These medications bind with the GABA receptors and boost the inhibitory response of the neurotransmitter. As a result the person gets quick relief from anxiety. However, these medications are not meant for long-term use, as they can be addictive.

Norepinephrine is another neurotransmitter that can cause anxiety disorders, if not found in right levels. This neurotransmitter is also known as nonadrenaline. It excites a person and prepares him/her for the flight-or-fight response. When the body perceives a stressful situation, this neurotransmitter is released by the adrenaline gland. However, if the person is under chronic stress, norepinephrine is constantly produced by the adrenal glands and the body is always in the state of flight-or-fight response. As the result, the person is always stressed out and jumpy. This type of anxiety disorder can be treated with the help of SNRIs or serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors. These drugs are approved by the US FDA for treating depression, but they can also be used for anxiety disorders, according to Mayo Clinic. Some of the side effects of these drugs include dryness of the mouth, tremors, nausea and insomnia.

Corticotrophin releasing hormone (CRH) plays a very important role in managing stress disorders, according to the Surgeon General of the United States. CRH is released in increased quantities in the case of anxiety disorder. An article published in 2008 in the European Journal of Pharmacology states that drugs that target CRH receptors in the cells could hold the key to effective treatment of depression as well as other anxiety disorders.

Home Remedies for Nail Fungus

Home remedies for nail fungus infections have been popular for many years for a variety of reasons. Fungal nail infections have been troubling people down through the millennia, so people have naturally sought a cure for the problem. Drug treatments for the condition are relatively recent, and they are still expensive and prone to cause side effects. For these reasons, home remedies still outnumber medical solutions. The new global village however, interconnected through the internet, has mixed the home remedy lore of many cultures to create a third group of solutions – alternative and homeopathic remedies for fungal nail infections.

The most popular home remedy for nail fungus is probably soaking the affected nail in a solution that will kill the fungus. Common soaking solutions contain dilute chlorine bleach, household vinegar, hydrogen peroxide or Listerine mouthwash. It requires daily soaking for weeks or months to clear the infection, and better results are often obtained if the nail is filed from the top to make it thinner, which allows for better penetration. Other home remedies for nail fungus involve the direct application of these same substances, as well as others like Vicks VapoRub and various essential oils. Again regular application over a long period, combined with filing and good foot and hand care bring the best results.

Tea tree oil, a product from Australia, is among the essential oil home remedies for nail fungus that show great promise. An extract of the leaves and stems of the tea tree, tea tree oil has been scientifically proven to have some antifungal properties, and it appears to penetrate a thick distorted infected nail better than many other topical products. Tea tree oil is available in pure form or in a blend of other ingredients, and is usually applied directly to the affected nail. If you are shopping for an alternative or homeopathic home remedy for nail fungus, those that contain this essential oil are good choices.

A product from the Czech Republic called Saprox may also be helpful. This is a therapeutic antifungal mud that is particularly recommended for the treatment of fungal skin infections, but it can also be used as a home remedy for nail fungus. The action of this product will likely be enhanced if it is combined with other measures, such as regular soaking in one of the solutions mentioned above. Like all the home remedies for nail fungus this approach will take time, but keep in mind that prescription drugs for fungal infections are slow acting as well, and come with greater risks of side effects.

Before using any of the home remedies for nail fungus, see your doctor to confirm that your nail is, in fact, infected with fungus. Your doctor can take samples for laboratory testing if the diagnosis is in doubt, and help you decide on a course of treatment that’s right for you.

A Simple Twisted Ankle – What Can You Do?

It’s so easy to sprain the ankle stepping off a footpath without watching, or running to catch a train or bus, let alone injuring it on the sports field. Do you know what to do with a simple, straightforward ankle sprain?

First, you need some idea of how to self assess the amount of injury. Most ankle sprains involve the soft tissues only: muscle and ligaments. These cases respond well to home management in the first few days. Signs that suggest more significant damage include the fact that the fall was accompanied by a strong sensation of something tearing or snapping apart in the outer ankle. Complete inability to take any weight on the foot may be significant, as is the immediate onset of swelling within minutes of the fall. The only way to categorically confirm bone injury is an x-ray.

Thankfully, soft tissue damage is far more common than broken bone in an ankle sprain. If you can take some weight on the foot, and walk or limp a little after the injury, it is fairly safe to assume you have not broken a bone. The following advice is applicable to every acute or recent injury. The rule to remember is RICE: Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation.

Rest is obvious. If it is sore to take weight or use the injured part, rest it. Put it up for the evening. Give up activities such as going to the gym or dancing class for a few days to allow symptoms to subside.

Ice next. At the time of injury, the body was in action, working muscles were pumping blood around the leg, even if the injury only occurred walking along a footpath.

When the sprain occurred, small blood vessels were overstretched and torn. Bleeding occurred in the area. Cooling the damaged part is just like turning off the hot tap. Blood vessels in the area respond to cooling by tightening up, reducing blood pumping into the damaged region.

Pure ice, wrapped in a cloth, applied for 15 minutes an hour, every hour for the first 3-4 hours post injury works best.

Compression. Just as we put manual pressure on a skin cut to stop bleeding, compression reduces bleeding under the skin and reduces swelling. An easy way to compress a damaged ankle is to tie on the ice with a bandage or scarf.

Finally, elevation. In normal daily life, the leg is down at the floor most of the day. In this position, gravity pushes everything downwards. If you leave an injured ankle down, it will swell more. It makes sense to use gravity’s effects to your advantage, so sit with the ankle raised higher than the level of the hip, to allow any extra fluid in the limb to drain away. If possible sleep with a pillow under the ankle to assist this process.

How long to recover? If the ligaments were just momentarily overstretched, take it easy for 5-10 days, let all symptoms subside and within 2-3 weeks everything will have settled and recovered. With more damage it can take up to 12 weeks to fully recover.

A really easy exercise from day two onwards is simply to balance on the sore leg. Count to 10 seconds, then 20, with the other leg off the floor. This exercise works all the muscles around the ankle, using your own body weight as resistance.

Some light gym work (non-impact) can begin from 3-4 days post injury. Until you can walk without pain running or contact sports should be avoided.

Warning Signs of Anorexia – Dangerous Eating Disorders

Anorexia Nervosa, otherwise known as anorexia is an eating disorder where one starves themselves due to generally underlying emotional issues. Anorexia is a serious eating disorder that can result in death if not treated. Warning signs of anorexia are not always easy to spot. People who suffer from this eating disorder deny the problem exist and explain away questions regarding their weight or eating habits. Being able to spot the signs of anorexia may make the difference between a life being saved or lost.

A universal symptom of anorexia is continued weight loss. The person afflicted may claim to be on a diet, but even thin continues to diet and lose weight. After 15 % of normal body weight for is lost and there is continued weight loss would be a very strong indication that this is a person struggling with anorexia. A thin person restricting intake of foods due to fear of gaining weight, obsession with nutritional labels, documenting faithfully food intake, stating they have ate when in reality they haven’t, hiding food so they do not have to eat it, and obsessing over food yet still has little intake are all strong warning signs of anorexia. Anorexia suffers may feel awkward or refuse to eat in public places or may exhibit peculiar eating habits.

Anorexics obess over self body image; seeing themselves as fat regardless of how thin they are. This distorted way of thinking keeps the cycle going. They deny that they are thin, become preoccupied with mirrors and their body image. They often exercise excessively in a ritualistic fashion, such as running two miles before allowing any intake of food. Anorexics will weigh themselves frequently and often documented the results religiously.

Anorexia affects a person’s medical health extremely. Some medical warning signs are the person’s lack of ability to think right or clear, they may be unstable, depressed, ill-tempered, show signs of memory loss or exhibit fainting spells. Their hair becomes thin and brittle due to lack of nutrients, blood pressure and heart rate lower, and may develop heart palpitations. Anemia is another problem that arises from anorexia. Weak muscles, swollen joints, brittle bones that are easily fractured or broke, development of kidney stones or failure, body fluids lack proper nutrients, constipation, bloating, and cease of menstrual cycle are just some of the other medical warning signs anorexia. Body temperature will fluctuate and the anorexic will often feel cold, their skin will bruise easily and lack elasticity. Other indicators that one may be suffering from anorexia are a development of fine hair growth all over the body and their skin becoming dry with a yellowish hue.

Anorexics often use diet pills, laxatives, and/or diuretics to aid in their weight loss or ease some of the effects from being an anorexic. When types of products are found hidden or being used is another strong indicator there is a serious problem. Purging after eating is yet another behavior exhibited by anorexics.

There are biological, psychological and social environmental causes to anorexia and anyone can suffer from it. As anorexia advances, so do the signs and symptoms and the risk of death elevates. With proper treatment and support, recovery is achievable. If you or a loved one is showing warning signs of anorexia, talk to them and help them to get the help they need.

Chronic Pancreatitis Could Mean Liver and Gallbladder Problems

What should you do after you or a loved one has been discharged from the hospital after an attack of acute pancreatitis? Should you try to get on with your life and pretend the pancreatitis attack didn’t happen?

Each year, a large number of people are hospitalized with acute pancreatitis, a sudden and painful swelling of the pancreas. Once the initial symptoms have subsided (pain, nausea, bloating, fever and so on) they are frequently discharged without receiving further treatment information about the underlying causes of their pancreatitis.

Once discharged, these people frequently resume the very lifestyle that led to pancreatitis in the first place. Consequently, there is a high risk of them having a second attack of acute pancreatitis. And statistics show that many people who have had one to two attacks of acute pancreatitis go on to contract the chronic form of this condition.

Therefore, the first attack of acute pancreatitis should be a signal to people to change their diet and their lifestyle because chronic pancreatitis is a much more intense and complicated disease. And patients should also learn about and focus on liver health.

The health of the liver is inextricably bound up with the health of the pancreas. To understand the liver / pancreas connection it is necessary to recognize that all of the organs of the upper GI tract (such as the stomach, liver, gallbladder, pancreas and duodenum) work together as a group. If any single organ fails, then the whole system is thrown out of order. Digestive hormones and the nervous system are also vital to the proper functioning of the GI tract.

The liver performs many vital tasks. Most importantly the liver manufactures and releases bile. Bile facilitates the process of digestion. Everything we eat makes its way to the liver, and the liver uses the food to produce vital nutrients for our cells – and for our whole body!

The liver also removes toxins from our body. There are two types of toxins: water-soluble substances and fat-soluble substances. The liver makes water-soluble waste less toxic and releases it into the bloodstream. The blood then moves the waste to the kidneys for elimination from the body. The liver moves the fat-soluble wastes into the bile to be broken down before moving the wastes through the small and large intestines and out of the body.

The proper functioning of bile is therefore very important for removing wastes from the body. The process starts when liver cells secrete bile into a network of small ducts. These many small ducts meet to form the common bile duct, which carries bile from the gallbladder and liver.

The common bile duct then joins with the pancreatic duct. The pancreatic duct carries the pancreatic juice containing digestive enzymes from the pancreas into a small cavity, the Ampulla of Vater. It is very important that the pressure in the pancreatic duct is always higher than the pressure in the bile duct so that bile cannot reach the pancreatic cells. A blend of bile and pancreatic juice goes through the Ampulla of Vater into the duodenum.

In the duodenum’s wall there is a valve called the Sphincter of Oddi. The Sphincter of Oddi controls secretions from the liver, pancreas, and gallbladder moving into the duodenum section of the small intestine. It is necessary to keep this valve functioning properly.

Spasm or blockage of the Sphincter of Oddi may cause pancreatic juice to back up, thereby increasing the pressure inside the pancreatic duct. Digestive enzymes trapped inside the pancreas start to digest pancreatic cells, causing congestion, inflammation, pain, cysts and finally the death of pancreatic tissue.

There are a wide variety of health issues that can cause the bile to be thick and make it difficult to for the bile to move through the ducts, including: Hepatitis, fatty liver, parasites, congestion, inflammation, infection and other liver and gallbladder problems.

Gallbladder stones can also block bile movement, increasing the pressure into the Ampulla of Vater and backing up the pancreatic juices. This is a condition that doctors call biliary pancreatic reflux. There are many causes of gallbladder stones, including: poor eating habits, body acidity, hormonal changes, lack of exercise, or being overweight or obese. The size of gallbladder stones can range upwards from the size of a piece of sand.

Liver, Gallbladder, and Pancreatic disorders are difficult to treat with conventional Western medicine. Yet it is important to care for chronic pancreatitis because it is associated with a reduction in life expectancy.

Complementary allopathic and non-drug therapy can prevent the exacerbation of chronic pancreatitis and improve quality of a patient’s life. Many of the alternative therapies listed below can help decrease pressure inside the pancreas, promote proper digestion, lessen inflammation, and alleviate pain.

o A prescribed alkaline diet and healing foods

o Herbal medicine

o Acupuncture

o Nutritional supplementation

o Point massage and chiropractic adjustment

o Drinking Karlovy Vary Healing Mineral Water made from the Genuine Karlovy Vary Thermal Spring salt

o Relaxation techniques, hypnosis, and self-hypnosis by using a CD at home

o Colon hydrotherapy, which can restore friendly intestinal flora

o Anti-Candida program

Many of these modalities could be safe and effective combine with medications, surgeries, endoscopic operations, physical therapies, etc. Today medical practitioners look at the chronic pancreatitis and make different point of view on cause, development and possible treatment of this disease according to their own specialty. But today successful treatment of chronic pancreatitis is generally difficult and requires different approaches.

For example, one of these approaches has been used for 250 years and has a great deal of scientifically research by European doctors. This is drinking of healing mineral water prepared from the Genuine Karlovy Vary Thermal Spring Salt. This therapy is still largely unknown in the United States and Canada, despite its popularity among doctors and patients in Europe.

How it is work? This healing mineral water preparing from the genuine Karlovy Vary Thermal Spring Salt stimulates the stomach and small intestine (duodenum) for releasing the digestive hormones. These digestive hormones regulate the whole digestion, promote secretion and elimination of bile and the pancreatic juices, and control the proper function of the bile and the pancreatic ducts and valves.

Beside that, Karlovy Vary Healing Mineral Water supplies the pancreas with the minerals, trace elements and bicarbonates – the main ingredients of the pancreatic juices. Healing mineral water preparing from the genuine Karlovy Vary Thermal Spring Salt may help with two major problems: pancreatic inflammation and pancreatic insufficiency.

By dissolving the vaporized spring salt in warm water at home (salt is available in North America), one can produce the same healing mineral water found in Karlovy Vary healing mineral spa. Czech doctors determined that the water manufactured from the genuine Karlovy Vary thermal spring salt has the same healing properties as the water from the spring.

European doctors and scientists found also that the healing mineral water can promote secretion and increase the activity of pancreatic enzymes in healthy volunteers, people with chronic pancreatitis, even in patients after surgeries.

In all these studies, Karlovy Vary Healing Mineral Water increased not only the amount of pancreatic juices and activity of digestive enzymes, but also decreases the pressure inside the pancreatic duct.

These beneficial actions of Karlovy Vary Healing Mineral Water promote healing chronic pancreatitis and other pancreatic problems.

Water simultaneously relieves digestive disorders, strengthens the digestive system, normalizes the acid-alkaline balance and improves the metabolism of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates.

It’s most important actions are:

o Enhancing the liver function by increasing the production, releasing and flow of bile,

o Promoting the function of pancreatic gland by manufacturing and releasing of pancreatic enzymes,

o Supporting the slightly alkaline environment for proper function of digestive enzymes,

o Stimulating peristalsis of the intestines,

o Restoring the friendly intestinal flora,

o Preventing of stagnation of food in the digestive tract,

o Normalizing body’s acid- alkaline balance, etc.

These effects are caused by beneficial complex composition of potassium, sodium, magnesium, calcium, sulfates, bicarbonates, chlorides, and a lot of trace minerals such as zinc, cobalt, selenium, lithium, copper and more in ionic form.

According European doctors drinking Karlovy Vary water made from the Genuine Karlovy Vary Thermal Spring Salt alleviates inflammation, pain, dyspepsia, malabsorption, and loss of fat with stool (steatorrhea).

Karlovy Vary water made from the Genuine Karlovy Vary Thermal Spring Salt is a safe and effective non-drug alternative remedy for chronic pancreatitis and can improve the quality of life and life span of sufferers of chronic pancreatitis.

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.

Mind, Body and Acid Reflux (GERD)

Do you remember when you used to have butterflies in your stomach? You could hardly wait to get “that phone call” or see “that person” again. I still get them now – when I’m excited about an event or about seeing my family (on the East coast). The connection between emotions and the GI tract is just amazing. But years of stress – mental, emotional, and physical stress, can lead to…. BURNING! BURNING! BURNING!

Over 60 million Americans suffer from GERD each month, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). GERD (gastro-esophageal reflux disease) is commonly known as acid reflux, acid indigestion, dyspepsia or heartburn. Common symptoms are:

  • Heartburn (rising, burning sensation behind the breastbone).
  • Regurgitation of gastric acid or sour contents into the mouth
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Chest pain
  • Sore throat/Hoarseness.
  • Regurgitated acid into the lungs – coughing/wheezing
  • Tooth enamel deterioration
  • Gas/Bloating/Belching

What causes GERD? Problems at the sphincter muscle where the stomach and the esophagus meet. This lower esophagus sphincter is designed to let food pass through to the stomach and keep it there. When the muscle weakens, it allows contents of the stomach to flow back into the esophagus. This can cause structural damage (hiatal hernia) due to years of stress and unhealthy eating. This can be healed!

Here’s the thing. Some people spend hundreds of dollars per month on acid reflux medication. What if they were to heal the problem and not need to purchase prescription or OTC drugs for acid relief? Reflux, heartburn and GERD can be healed without prescription drugs. In fact, the drugs, OTC’s included, are actually detrimental in the long term, as they suppress stomach acid. The problem is that we are fooled when we feel acidity; we think there’s too much acid. But in actuality, GERD is a condition of TOO LITTLE ACID. The acid there is, escapes into the esophagus because of the weak sphincter muscle. It’s a body scam! What we feel is exactly the opposite of what is happening; we become hypo-acid (too little acid). In all fairness however, I will say that sometimes people are hyper-acid, having too much acid, and both hyper and hypo-acid conditions can benefit from the following food suggestions:

Eliminate Culprit Foods:

  • Coffee
  • Fast food and fried food (gall bladder stressors)
  • Cooked tomato products, pizza
  • Citrus fruit, juices
  • Shellfish and pork
  • Onions and garlic
  • Carbonated drinks
  • Wine, beer, hard alcohol
  • Highly spiced and seasoned food

So a deficiency of hydrochloric acid in the stomach, for the initial stages of digestion, is usually the cause of GERD. Also, most people have digestive enzyme deficiency, because the pancreas is not manufacturing the proper balance digestive enzymes. So gas, bloating, belching, diarrhea, constipation can result. We often see this in people with hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), who have over-stressed the pancreas with long-term, high carbohydrate consumption.

Over half of people over the age of sixty suffer from low gastric acidity.

Simple tests that natural health practitioners may offer to check for GERD, ulcers, low or high acidity:

  • Urine pH and lemon challenge test
  • Salivary pH (Check yourself at home to make sure your treatment program is working.)
  • Bio Terrain Urine Testing – checks for acidity, dehydration, vitamin and antioxidant deficiencies, infection and dysbiosis markers
  • Blood testing for Helicobacter Pylori bacteria in the gut, which can cause ulcers and gastritis
  • Complete digestive and stool analysis – checks for levels of good bacteria, bad bacteria, yeast and parasites, markers for inflammation, and digestibility of fats, protein, and carbs
  • Bio Feedback energy assessment of the body organs

Other suggestions for GERD, acid stomach:

  • Take hydrochloric acid supplements (Avoid if you have an ulcer.)
  • Utilize digestive enzyme supplements, aloe juice or pulp, glutamine (amino acid)
  • Elevate the head of your bed by 6 inches to stabilize the contents of your stomach
  • Avoid lying down for 2 to 3 hours after eating, giving the stomach a chance to clear things out

These very distressful and painful symptoms can be greatly relieved or prevented by lifestyle and dietary changes. We are digestion experts, so we see these issues balance out each day in our clinic. It is so fulfilling to know that people are empowered to handle their digestive problems on their own, because they’ve learned the tools and have the products in their “natural medicine cabinet” in their home.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The products suggested, are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Please check with your health care practitioner for your best health options.

Problems With Menstrual Cycles

When discussing women’s issues, first and foremost that comes to mind is the problems connected with their menstrual cycles.

Unlike men, women, right from the time their system starts producing eggs, begin menstruating in cycles of approximately 30 days, when there is flow of blood from their vagina, which is nothing but eggs that have not joined with sperm and do not result in conception, and flow away from the uterus through the vaginal opening. Since there is a rhythm in the body, the women can calculate when they are going to have periods approximately, and plan their activities, including keeping sufficient material to drain up and dry the flow through sanitary pads etc.

While every female is conversant with this fact of life, they have to take care that unwanted pregnancies do not happen, and teenage pregnancies are completely avoided, because this will have an effect on the health of a maturing woman both physically and psychologically. Unfortunately this natural cycle of menstruation has its own problems, which women have to face willy-nilly.

Though the present generation is very well aware of the problems concerned with women’s health, and the role of nutrition in this respect, which have been well documented by pharmaceutical circles, unfortunately not much is known how natural products which are around us can help in regulating the menstrual cycle.

The usual disorders in women can be identified as missed menstrual period (amenorrhea), periods which are symptomatic of heavy or long discharge (menorrhagia), conversely very light discharge (hypomenorrhea), undetermined intervals (oligomenorrhea) apart from extremely painful periods (dysmenorrhea).

Women suffer from a number of problems including amenorrhea, problems connected with D&C operations, dysmenorrhea, late periods, and Fibroids.

Late Period

Women generally experience pain prior to their cycle, which is known as Premenstrual syndrome, and sometimes while menstruating. Women also suffer from cramps, tender-breasts, headaches and back pain during this time. All of these are caused by hormones and changes taking place due to casting away the uterus’ lining. The following natural remedies can be of great help to get rid of these conditions:

1. If you take a capsule of Black Cohosh which is a good remedy, for both pre and post menstrual problems, it helps by imitating estrogen in your body. It can stop hot flushes, get rid of depression problems.

2. Another ancient traditional Chinese herb, Licorice Root, is effective in solving female reproductive setbacks, which can also control water preservation.

3. The usage of Vitamin C boosts iron content and eliminates problems connected with lack of iron in the body. Daily dosages of nutrients, minerals and vitamins, can help reduce pains associated with periods; maybe a multi-vitamin and mineral table can help.

4. Flaxseed has good effect on hormones.

5. Don’t drink alcohol. Alcohol aggravates your problem. You can limit it to light wine only.

6. To strengthen your uterus, and decrease flow, drink one or two cups of tea made from Red Raspberry. Consume lots of fruits, seeds and nuts, pulses and vegetable oils, which provides you a number of nutrients to calm your muscles and nerves so that cramps can be got rid of. Herbs like shepherd’s purse can reduce heavy flow. For chronic heavy flows, these herbal treatments are the best.

Submucosal Fibroids – How to Cure Submucosal Fibroids Naturally

Having submucosal fibroids can be quite a hindrance. They can affect your life in many ways, including causing heavy bleeding, infertility, pain, and bloating. Instead of having to resort to surgery, many women search for natural cures for these growths. Some of the greatest cures for submucosal fibroids are:

1. Soy- Adding soy to the diet allows hormones to become balanced, leaving fibroids with nothing to grow on. If the taste doesn’t appeal to you, try adding it to your coffee or make pudding with it. Often, you will become accustomed to the taste after a short while.

2. Hormone Replacement Creams- You can find these at your local health food store, and it helps by replacing lost progesterone, a hormone that slows down after menopause. Be sure to follow the directions on the package, and do not exceed the recommended dosage.

3. Whole grains- These are full of lignins, which are a natural way to balance both progesterone and estrogen. The grain with the highest amounts of this is flax seed, and it can be mixed in with yogurt or cereal. Other foods rich in lignins are millet, buckwheat, and rye. These can also be mixed in food or eaten on bread.

4. Herbs- Submucosal fibroids can be shrank successfully with different herbal tinctures. One of these is Vitex berry tincture, taken 25-30 drops twice each day. After a few months, the size of the tumor will shrink. If you are suffering through heavy bleeding, shepherd’s purse will stop the bleeding rather quickly.

You will learn of an all-natural way to stop painful symptoms in just 12 hours, and destroy submucosal fibroids in just two months. With this treatment, they will never come back again! You can then finally begin living your life the way you want without the pain and bloating that occurs with submucosal fibroids.

How to Shrink Fibroids Naturally by Detoxing

Many women wonder how they can shrink fibroids naturally in a bid to either avoid surgery or to make life comfortable for themselves as living with fibroids is no joke! For many, the daily grind of living with solid growths in the abdomen is almost unbearable.

If a woman decides to try to shrink her fibroids naturally, it is important that she understands a little about the nature of the condition. Fibroids are not caused by a disease or germ, but brought about by a combination of lifestyle factors and fixed factors which we can do nothing about. To a certain extent, fibroids are brought about by some factors which are outside our control, such as race and heredity. However, there are many other factors which undoubtedly contribute to fibroid growth and these can be controlled.

Estrogen is very influential in the woman’s body and in susceptible individuals, there is no doubt that it can both spark off the growth of new fibroids and increase the size of existing ones. Fortunately, levels in the body can be controlled to a certain extent and one of the best ways of doing this is by diet. Estrogen is both stored in and manufactured by fat cells and the more we have, the more estrogen there is circulating in the body. By reducing body weight to a level which gives you a healthy “BMI”, you will be naturally reducing the amount of estrogen in the body and therefore potentially, the size of the fibroids.

There is another form of estrogen which is commonly found in the body of women suffering with fibroids and this is an estrogen-mimicking compound which becomes locked in the liver. Under normal circumstances, the liver is a highly effective detoxer without any help, but it cannot seem to remove this particular compound. This substances originates from environmental pollutants and toxins which are present in the world around us. A robust liver detox can help eliminate these substances, thus causing fibroid shrinkage and a cessation of growth. Herbs such as Milk Thistle and Camomile are particularly good detoxers, but there are a number of other methods, such as temporary fasting and dietary adjustments which can be beneficial.