What is Manipulation Under Anesthesia?

Term Manipulation under anesthesia is just what it sounds like. Manipulating your muscles while under anesthesia. This has been around since the 1930’s and used by osteopathic physicians.

Manipulation Under Anesthesia (MUA) is performed while the patient is lightly anesthetized to a state of relaxation. Adjustments and stretching movements are performed that would normally be way too painful if the patient was awake.

This procedure is done as an out-patient with post-procedure treatment and exercise.

MUA can be very valuable for people suffering from chronic back, joint and neck problems caused by long term disabilities, injuries, and accidents.

Here is a list of some common and general indications that MUA could be effective:

  • Chronic myofascitis
  • Torticollis
  • Chronic re-injury
  • Fibro adhesion buildup
  • chronic disc problems

These are just to name a few. Some chiropractic patients who have reached a plateau by using traditional therapy may also significantly improve their quality of life.

MUA works since the patient is in a “Twilight” state, which allows the patient to be responsive but not apprehensive. The adjustments a patient will receive using MUA are the same as the regular chiropractic visits, but require less force simply because of the state of relaxation.

During the procedure the chiropractor will perform stretching exercises and manipulating movements, when this is complete the patient is put into recovery for 15 – 20 minutes. The chiropractor will remain there until the patient is released and sent home. The patient must continue to exercise and see the chiropractor for the next several weeks and maintain the exercise prescribed.

Following the last MUA procedure, the patient should follow an intensive therapy program for 7 to 10 days. This post MUA therapy should be the same stretches accomplished during the MUA

procedure and adjustments made in the doctor’s office. This is followed by rehabilitation for the next two to three weeks, including stretching, flexibility and strengthening exercises, plus periodic adjustments as required by the doctor. A regimented program of post-MUA therapy will help the patient regain both pre-injury strength and help prevent future pain and disability.

Sore Throat Home Remedies – 7 Recipes to Make a Gargle on Your Own

Sore throat is usually accompanied with a pain when swallowing and sometimes even with a sensation of burning and tightness in the throat. A gargle can help you to avoid experiencing the unpleasant feelings.

  1. Gargle warm salt-water. Salt possesses strong antibacterial and disinfectant features. But – do not overdo it! If you gargle too salty water frequently, you make your mucous membrane vulnerable, and it becomes an easy target for viruses. Weak salt-water prevails over strong one. Add a point of knife of salt or even less to a glass of warm water and the gargle is ready.
  2. Mix 4-5 drops of calendula tincture with a glass of warm water and gargle.
  3. Infuse 2 tablespoons of granulated herbs of common plantain with a glass of boiling water. Leave for 20 minutes to brew and the gargle is ready. You can drink the decoction as well. Drink one fourth of a glass of the mixture 3 times a day.
  4. Boil a tablespoon of oak bark in a glass of water on small fire for 15 minutes. Decant the mixture and wait till it becomes cold. Gargle 3 times a day.
  5. Infuse a tablespoon of granulated tops of hedge hyssop with a glass of boiling water. Cover for 10-15 minutes to brew. Gargle 3-4 times a day.
  6. Infuse 2 teaspoons of Johnny Jump Up with a glass of boiling water. Cover to let the tincture brew. When the decoction has become cold, decant it. Gargle as often as needed. You can drink the tincture as well.
  7. Infuse a tablespoon of chamomiles with a glass of boiling water. Cover and leave for half an hour to infuse. Afterwards decant the tincture and gargle every 3 hours.

Metabolic Syndrome and Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome – Tackling it Head on With the Medifast Diet

One disease that has broken the hearts of many people wishing to have a family is a form of infertility that is directly linked to Metabolic Syndrome. Known as Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), the body’s sex hormones are altered, often making the ovaries unable to release viable eggs for fertilization. If your doctor has just diagnosed you with PCOS, you’re probably seeking some definitive answers on what this means to you personally, to your ability to have children, as well as what it means to your long term health status.

Individuals with PCOS also have trouble with Metabolic Syndrome, a pre-diabetic state that is a result of a combination of genetic predisposition and unhealthy lifestyle choices. It’s important to grasp exactly how metabolic syndrome impacts your health, including your fertility, in order to tackle it head on. One diet plan that has successfully helped many individuals who struggle with this pre-diabetic status shed pounds and transition into a healthy lifestyle is the Medifast Diet.

The result of living with unchecked Metabolic Syndrome over time is insulin resistance, also known as glucose intolerance. The scenario looks like this. Cells are inundated over a long period of time by too much sugar in the diet. The body responds to high sugar levels by releasing large amounts of insulin to bring the dangerous sugar levels down. Insulin stores the sugar as body fat, mainly storing it in the abdominal cavity. Additionally, abdominal fat is metabolically active and affects various hormone levels, including sex hormones, in negative ways. This pattern repeats itself over and over, until the pancreas begins to get tired from being overworked.

Also called Syndrome X, the term Metabolic Syndrome refers to a group of genetic and lifestyle risk factors, aggravated by obesity, making one at risk for diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer, arthritis, asthma and stroke. For those predisposed to Metabolic Syndrome who are not vigilant about making healthy choices, the body’s endocrine system, sex hormones, and ability to utilize insulin in particular, end up operating at sub-prime levels in which disease can develop. In other words, the body develops an environment systemic with inflammation.

Your physician is looking for at least three of the following risk factors — a waistline that measures over 35″ for women and 40″ for men; high cholesterol coupled with low HDL and high LDL; high triglycerides; elevated C-reactive protein (which is a result of the systemic inflammation mentioned earlier); elevated blood pressure; high fasting blood sugar levels; sedentary lifestyle.

Obviously, the more risk factors you have, the higher your risk for developing disease. Because arthritis and asthma tend to develop at much higher rates in people in a pre-diabetic state exercise, a key ingredient necessary to fight all of these diseases, is much more difficult. Body fat is literally stored fuel that can’t be burned until things drastically change. Unfortunately, the resulting diseases make these changes difficult to execute. It’s a vicious cycle.

A lifelong commitment to a healthy lifestyle must be established early on. Parents should make modeling these habits a priority for their children, enabling them to escape the sentence of Metabolic Syndrome, particularly when genetics are not on your side. Begin by arming yourself with knowledge. Deal with any emotional issues that may be coming into play. Work on changing one or two habits at a time. Consider establishing a team of experts to help you deal with your various challenges — nutritionists, fitness experts, physicians, and therapists can all be a part of your team.

Diabetes in Children: An Emerging Epidemic

Type 2 diabetes used to be called “adult-onset diabetes” for a reason — it occurred in middle-aged adults primarily and rarely, if ever, in children. But within the last decade, a serious change in diabetes trends made the description “adult-onset” no longer applicable, because adult-onset diabetes is becoming increasingly common in children.

An estimated 3,700 Americans under 20 are diagnosed with what is now more commonly referred to as simply “type 2” diabetes every year, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Because type 2 diabetes in this young of an age group is such a new phenomenon, no one knows for sure just what health toll the disease will take, but given its long list of associated risks, which are dangerous enough when they first begin in your 50s or 60s, it could be significant.

Heart Attacks and Kidney Problems in Their 20s and 30s?

Diabetes is known to quadruple your risk of having a heart attack or stroke. It’s the leading cause of blindness and kidney failure in the United States. It also significantly increases your risk of high blood pressure, nervous system damage, gum disease and lower-limb amputations.

These statistics are primarily for people who develop diabetes in their middle-age years and beyond, and it stands to reason that the longer a person has diabetes, the worse the complications may become. So it’s possible that a generation of children with diabetes could be facing a slew of formerly “adult” diseases, like high blood pressure and heart disease, while they’re still in their youth.

No One Knows How Many Kids are at Risk

Under 4,000 new diagnoses of type 2 diabetes in kids under 20 each year may not seem like that high of a number, but it’s likely that a far greater number of American youth are teetering on the edge of a diabetes diagnosis than initially meets the eye.

Estimates of undiagnosed diabetes are unavailable for children, but consider this: already, 24 million Americans have diabetes, but one-quarter of them do not know they have it. An estimated 57 million also have pre-diabetes, a stepping-stone to the actual disease, and again many do not know it. This is because symptoms often develop slowly, sometimes over a period years, and may be easy to miss. Some people also have no symptoms at all.

Given that more than twice the number of U.S. adults that have diabetes are suffering from “silent” pre-diabetes, it’s likely that an untold number of U.S. kids also have pre-diabetes and are only months or years away from a full-blown diabetes diagnosis.

Further, the number of children with diabetes is growing at an alarming rate. In one nationwide study of children’s hospital discharge records from 1997, 2000 and 2003, rates of hospitalizations for type 2 diabetes increased 200 percent. [1]

Is Obesity to Blame?

Childhood obesity has more than tripled in the last three decades. According to the latest statistics from the CDC, “The prevalence of obesity among children aged 6 to 11 years increased from 6.5% in 1980 to 19.6% in 2008. The prevalence of obesity among adolescents aged 12 to 19 years increased from 5.0% to 18.1%.”

As in adults, excess weight in kids increases their risk of related complications ranging from heart disease and cancer to type 2 diabetes. Disease development does not occur overnight, of course, which means that kids who are overweight today may develop diabetes 10 years or so down the line, when they reach their teen years or enter young adulthood.

Further, overweight or obese kids are more likely to become overweight or obese adults, so those who escape a diabetes diagnosis in their youth are still at increased risk as adults, assuming they’re still overweight. And adding to the vicious cycle is the fact that babies born to women with type 2 diabetes are at an increased risk of type 2 diabetes as well, which suggests the diabetes trend among youth may soon start to skyrocket even higher.

Prevention and Early Intervention are Key

Children are at risk of type 2 diabetes for many of the same reasons as adults, with poor diet that is focused on soda, sweets and refined processed junk and fast foods, and lack of exercise among the top culprits. Not only will this increase your child’s risk of becoming overweight or obese, but it can also lead to diabetes directly.

As a parent, you can therefore play an important role in helping your child to avoid this potentially deadly disease by instilling, and modeling, healthy lifestyle choices. Among them, try:

  • Eating dinner as a family.Sitting down to a healthy, balanced meal each night is one of the best ways to get your kids to eat right. Limit soda, fast food and other junk foods.
  • Encouraging physical activity.Young kids shouldn’t have to set aside special time to “exercise” — they should be getting plenty of physical activity naturally by playing outdoors with friends, riding bikes with the family or taking the dog for a walk.
  • Avoiding rewarding your kids with food.This sets them up to use food (and typically unhealthy foods) to satisfy their emotional needs.
  • Limiting TV and video game time.This will not only cut down on the number of junk-food advertisements your child sees, but it will also help to discourage sedentary behavior. If all else fails, at least give active video games a try.

If your child has already been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes or is showing signs of high blood sugar levels, early intervention is key. A knowledgeable health care practitioner can help guide you on how to prevent, manage and ultimately reverse diabetes using lifestyle interventions along with identifying the unique underlying causes of the condition in your child.

Reference

1. ABC News March 23, 2007, Findings presented at the 2007 annual meeting of the Pediatric Academic Societies, in Toronto

Obesity In The United States

Obesity in the United States has significantly risen in the past 20 years. Over 60 million adults and 9 million children are obese! If you are overweight, this is extremely dangerous for your health. You need to get to a normal weight.

Obesity is caused by an energy imbalance which results from consuming too many calories and not getting enough exercise. Behavior and the environment are the biggest causes of people being overweight today. However, this can be prevented and changed.

Being overweight increases your risk for many health conditions and diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, dyslipidemia, stroke, osteoarthritis, gallbladder disease, sleep apnea, respiratory problems and even some cancers.

There are several ways that doctors use to decide if a patient is obese. The most common way is to use the BMI (body mass index). The BMI takes into account a patient’s weight and height and comes up with their body mass. For most people, this is an accurate way to get the amount of body fat in your body. Other ways to estimate body fat include measuring skin fold thickness, waist circumference, ultrasounds, waist to hip circumference ratios, MRI and computed tomography.

Obesity in the United States just seems to be getting worse and worse. In 1991, only four states had obesity rates of 15 to 19% and no states had obesity rates above 20%. In 2004, this had dramatically changed. Seven states had obesity rates of 15 to 19%, 33 states had obesity rates of 20 to 24% and 9 states had obesity rates that were more than 25%.

There are many reasons why obesity is so prevalent today which include behavioral reasons, environmental reasons and genetic reasons. In the past 20 years, the environment and people’s behavior has drastically changed, causing this jump in obesity. Fast food restaurants, soft drinks and pre-packaged foods are much more readily available than they were 20 years ago. Grocery stores also have more foods than before.

People are eating much more than they used to. Everyone is taking larger portions and eating more snacks. There are so many unhealthy snacks being sold and everyone buys them. This is very unhealthy because people are consuming so many calories and not burning them off.

Something everyone can do to prevent becoming obese or to lose weight if you are already obese is physical activities. You need to do activities that use energy so you can burn off calories. Some physical activities include washing floors, washing windows, gardening, yard work, farming, waiting tables, construction work, carpentry, walking, biking, swimming, skating, dancing, sports, aerobics and anything else that involves movement. Physical activity is good for your health; it not only controls your weight, buy it also decreases the risk of diabetes, high blood pressure and colon cancer.

Most Americans no longer do physical activities, which is a big problem. Technology has eliminated the need to do physical activities. Cars are used instead of walking or riding a bike. Elevators, dishwashers, computers and televisions also are causes for our inactivity. People need to get up and move around. Anything that involves movement will use energy and burn calories.

This rise in obesity is a big concern for us. We need to make sure that we are doing all we can to maintain a healthy weight. Everyone needs to try to eat healthier and do physical activities. If you do not get to a normal weight, it is an enormous health risk for you.

Skin Rashes – Causes of Different Skin Rashes

Skin rashes are repulsive and can make us very uncomfortable and too sensitive to glances of other people. It is the reason why someone would do anything just to rid this awful condition. What most sufferers don’t understand that a skin rash can be caused by many factors and some of them are bacterial, fungus, viral infections, and allergic reactions.

Contact to flowers and bites from creepy crawlers can also give you skin rashes. While others react negatively to nickel and material because their skin is too sensitive, this is called contact dermatitis. All these can be the causes or source of your skin breakouts, if you ever develop breakouts due to any of these stay away from them completely.

Another reason for skin irritations is dry skin it happens when you are too dehydrated or when the climate is way too hot. A skin can lose its moisture anytime if you neglect to be concerned by it. You will know you have rashes due to dehydration if your skin becomes reddish and you develop spots over some part of your body.

Drinking lots of waters a day can quickly replenish the loss fluid and moisturizes the skin. Using powder can add to your rashes as it tends to dry the skin, something you’re trying to avoid. Humidifiers should be use during cold days to avoid wrinkling the skin.

Dirt can also make the skin reacts negatively, although it does not make the skin irritated right away because of the pollution, but if left unclean then your skin will irritate. Proper washing using mild soap or cleanser is important, and don’t forget to pat the water off your skin rather than rubbing the towel into it.

Genetics or hereditary is also another source of skin rashes. Oily face, acne, rash, and eczema are the usual result of this condition. To make sure which factors is the root of your rashes, consult a dermatologist to find out what is a best treatment to help your skin.

Six Common Causes of Lip Sores

Comment from my mailbox: Hi Dr. Moffat –I just wanted to let you know that my lips cracking in the corners are all healed up today! Looks like the call on the lip balm was perfect — I started using mint lip balm from Trader Joe’s after I got your message on Monday. The little bumps on the upper edge of my lip is also gone and the corners aren’t all puffy anymore either. Thanks again for testing that for me. The fact that it wasn’t healing was driving me nuts. Sheila.

Sheila was having a couple different challenges with her lips. Because they were not responding, she kept trying new things. We found several things she was using occasionally and a couple of things she was using more consistently that she was allergic to.

This is a common thing that people do for both themselves and their pets (trying lots of products when something isn’t working then not knowing which products are causing the problem.) Unfortunately sometimes this only makes the problem worse and difficult to decipher–unless you use muscle testing which is what we did.

In general though:

1) People are often allergic to products containing petroleum and even some products labeled “hypoallergenic”. Occasionally people are allergic to their toothpaste and more often to their lipstick/lip balm. Many people are allergic to Neosporin and Chap Stick. I recommend Mentholatum Lip Balm often. It comes in tube, like Chap Stick. There are also homeopathic remedies to detox the body of what it is allergically responding to.

2) Sores on the outside corners of the mouth are usually vitamin deficiencies–especially vitamin B6.

3) Sores on the top and bottom lip edge are often allergies to something being put on the lips and often this can be aggravated by sunshine.

4) Canker sores, herpes sores and cold sores are often related to what it is in the person’s life that they are “biting their tongue” about or not saying out loud and is also accentuated by stress, poor diet, not enough raw foods, and sleep issues (in combination of course).

5) Sores inside the lip and under the tongue can sometimes be viral in origin or an allergy to something. I know a few people who are allergic to nutmeg which causes a little vesicle to form under the tongue on the frenulum.

6) White sores on the mouth are usually caused from yeast (Candida). Try getting a lip product that contains Myrrh essential oil. You will also have incorporate lifestyle changes to overcome the yeast inside your system.

I hope those clues can empower you to figure out the cause of the most common lip challenges. Sometimes they make your lips itch, they can make you feel ugly, and you certainly don’t want to kiss anybody! We don’t want that for you as loving yourself is the most important thing you can do for your family and your planet!

Top 5 Herbal Teas for Psoriasis

Herbal teas can work wonders for psoriasis sufferers and provide a great alternative for those looking for more natural remedies. These special brews may not cure psoriasis but they will certainly bring some relief. Below is a list of herbal teas reputed for helping psoriasis.

Ginseng Tea

A 7000 year old medicinal brew – with age comes wisdom! Made from the root of the Ginseng plant, this ancient remedy has been concocted especially for its healing properties. Containing plenty of healthy ginsenosides and antioxidants, Ginseng Tea has also been found to help psoriasis. There are several types of Ginseng teas – Siberian, American, Chinese and Korean – try them all to find a favourite! One word of warning though – it is not recommended for those with high blood pressure or children.

Slippery Elm Tea

It tastes as good as it sounds (not good, that is) but has been found to be good for psoriasis. Also termed the ‘Medical Tree,’ Native Americans recognized Slippery Elm’s special healing properties, using the mucilage of the inner bark in many of their skin ointments. In 2004 ‘Alternative Medicine Review,’ reported on a study where participants found that their skin improved after drinking this slippery tea! Why not have a go too.

Alfalfa Tea

Packed with plenty of vitamins, minerals and protein; how can Alfalfa Tea not be good for your psoriasis? A little Alfalfa plant contains over 300 nutrients! It was traditionally used as animal feed for livestock (the cows must have been damn healthy!), but now more and more people are discovering its benefits for humans too! It has been found to purify the blood, which is why it is so great for the skin.

Milk Thistle Tea

Another ancient remedial brew for treating your psoriasis! For about 2000 years, Milk Thistle has been turned to for its therapeutic properties. Not only does it help detoxify the liver, which in turn helps to keep the skin healthy, but it helps to reduce inflammation – meaning that it can help reduce the angry redness of those psoriasis patches.

Ginger Tea

Ginger is best known for its culinary role in the kitchen but many don’t realize just how special this fibrous spice is. Ginger possesses amazing anti-inflammatory powers and is wholeheartedly recommended to psoriasis sufferers. Don’t just add it to your cooking; add it to your tea! If you find it too strong then add a squeeze of lemon or a teaspoon of honey.

Fungus in the Rainforest

To most people the word fungus is a dirty word conjuring images of

skin irritations, green fur on leather shoes in the tropics, and mould on bread.

Others may think more kindly in terms of mushrooms and culinary

delights.

But in spite of the alert in Australian Geographic, April-June 2005, to

be on the lookout for the fruiting bodies of fungi which erupt in their hundreds

on the forest floor, we were scarcely prepared for the kaleidoscope of colours

and shapes which burst forth.

Since purchasing Quamby Falls Lodge in the Gold Coast Hinterland and

establishing it as a Couple’s Retreat focussed on romance and our rainforest

environment, we have experienced several years of green drought. But this winter

was warm with frequent rains and fungi burst forth as brilliant orange brackets

on fallen logs, white lace on lush green moss carpets, luminous fairy

toad-stools, golden goblets brimming with rainwater, minute scarlet toadstools

on needle slender stems, gold tops and mauve mushrooms on the lawn. Even red

phallus fungi emerge erect from the leaf litter on the forest floor, competing

for kinky attention with the life-size black phallus appearing in an orange

net-like singlet complete with attendant flies! Nature burst forth to play her

most frivolous games proffering fungi in a myriad of colours, shapes and sizes –

her imagination seemed to have no limitations. One could be forgiven for

searching for elves and fairies who alone could be imagined responsible for such

inventive and mischievous forms.

But not all types are so friendly. Some smell like rotting carrion;

nature’s trick to have flies assist in the dispersal of fungal spores.

Strangely, flies and mosquitoes are not common in our rainforest so the

competition for attention is fierce.

We take guests on a guided bush walk to Quamby Falls which, being 120

metres high is the highest permanent waterfall on both our property, and in

Southern Queensland. With 50 acres of rainforest of World Heritage quality, and

surrounded by World Heritage National Parks, we are home to a plethora of rare

and endangered species of birds, trees, shrubs and smaller plants. This

extraordinary biodiversity has attracted the research of visiting scientists

investigating environmental issues ranging from the reversal of the Magnetic

Pole; botanical studies; the genetic breeding distribution of log-runner birds,

a living fossil dating from Gondwanaland; and the cross-sectional examination of

a geographic region derived from volcanic activity which occurred 22 million

years ago and as revealed in the example of Quamby Falls. Exploring the

environmental treasures, abundant at Quamby Falls, usually takes about 1 ½ to 2

hours. With the advent of the fungi, however, many of the walks extend to 4

hours to traverse just 1 ½ kilometres of walking track.

Identification of genera, species and varieties of macrofungi has been

undertaken by Dr Tony Young and Nigel Fechner of the Queensland Herbarium. The

books “Common Australian Fungi- a bushwalkers guide” by Tony Young (2005) and

published by UNSW Press; “Fungi

Down Under” by Pat & Ed Gray (2005) and published by Royal Botanic Gardens

Melbourne; and “A field guide to Australian Fungi” by Bruce Fuhrer (2005) are

very helpful publications for those wishing to learn more about this fascinating

subject.

As only an estimated 10-20% of the macrofungal species in Australia have

been formally identified, the chances of discovering something new and

undescribed are very high for any nature lovers or bushwalkers anywhere. Even

children can participate in and enjoy this tremendous journey of

discovery.

Natural Allergy Relief Products – A Welcomed Concept For Allergy Sufferers

Going green is a growing concept for thousands of allergy sufferers. The core health of the body is an important and a on going factor for allergy sufferers everywhere. Natural allergy relief is not a new fad, concept or idea that has sprung up to promote a new retail product. Herbal remedies have been passed down to the next generations for centuries.

Millions of allergy sufferers are locked into using, synthetic, chemical products with different levels of success. It is well known that many allergy sufferers face potential side-effects from these chemical allergy relief products that can often times worsen the actual allergy problem and or create other health issues. However, thousands of allergy sufferers who have switched to natural allergy relief products have found that they work really, really well – diminished their allergy symptoms as well as improved their overall health.

Allergies, such as seasonal allergies, hay fever allergies and respiratory allergies are caused by exterior environmental elements, (allergens), effecting the immune system, respiratory system, and other parts of the body impairing proper system function. Allergies can develop from food and or outdoor influences. Do you seemingly have cold like symptoms every year about the same time? Allergies can be seasonal, a certain time of year, or year round.

Allergies can develop from:

* Nature Environments – pollen, grasses, flowers, airborne substances and even sunlight.

* Foods – peanuts – milk products – proteins etc.

* Cosmetic Products – foundations – mascaras – eye shadows etc.

* Toiletries – skin care – perfumes – soaps etc.

* Cleaning Products – laundry soaps – dish soaps – hand soaps – household

Allergies can cause:

* Breathing Problems

* Wheezing

* Chest Congestion

* Mal-Functioned Immune System

* Weakened Respiratory System

* Skin Diseases

* Lack of Concentration

Savvy Consumers are seeking superb allergy relief as well as to strengthen core health systems. Big Country Herbs exclusive natural allergy relief products are more natural to the body (No Chemicals), easily absorbed, no side-effects, minimizes stress and fatigue, improves energy, endurance and stamina as well as strengthens core health systems.

Consumer awareness about safe, non-drowsy natural allergy relief products are changing the way thousands of allergy sufferers are dealing with their allergy issues every day. Many poor health conditions are directly related to allergies of all sorts. 50 million people are effected by allergies, every year, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA).

Thousands of consumers have agreed on one thing about Big Country Herbs exclusive natural allergy relief products “Why take chemical engineered products when we don’t have too.” Consumer awareness is turning “Back to Nature” to achieve the desired allergy control with an eye on health quality as a whole. Overall, The option to use natural allergy relief products is solely up to the individual as one should use good judgment to bring about a healthy change for the future.

H Pylori – How H Pylori Causes Vitamin B12 Deficiency That May Lead to Depression and Fatigue

Scientific research suggests that H pylori can cause vitamin B12 deficiency. This may be one of the reasons why patients feel tired, depressed or anxious as a result of having chronic H pylori infection. It may also explain why some patients also struggle with headaches and migraines that disappear when H pylori bacteria are eradicated.

Unfortunately, conventionally trained medical professionals tend not to associate digestive infections with symptoms outside the gut. But anything that disrupts the proper digestion and absorption of food has the potential to cause nutritional deficiencies which, themselves can cause problems in any and every area of the body.

H pylori is known to have the ability to cause autoimmune reactions against the parietal cells of the stomach. These parietal cells are very important because they make and secrete stomach acid and intrinsic factor – a substance that is needed for vitamin B12 absorption – into the stomach.

Stomach acid helps to break down food, releasing vitamins and minerals from the food you eat so that your body can absorb them. Intrinsic factor is absolutely critical for the absorption of vitamin B12. In fact, you can take as many vitamin B12 pills as you want, but without intrinsic factor you will not be able to absorb them.

Therefore, anything that slows down or prevents the production of stomach acid and intrinsic factor can cause symptoms associated with vitamin B12 deficiency.

If you have H pylori and it is causing problems related to parietal cell function, there is a good chance that you are going to have low stomach acid levels and decreased intrinsic factor secretion.

Antacid medications such as Omeprazole, Pantoprazole and other members of the proton pump inhibitor family of drugs can also shut down stomach acid production. H2 blockers and over the counter medications can also suppress acid production.

This acid suppression is an important consideration because the antacids drugs are commonly prescribed to treat the heartburn and reflux symptoms commonly experienced with H pylori.

Symptoms of Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Deficiency in vitamin B12 is know to cause neurological symptoms, some of which can be serious. The brain commands the nervous system so inadequate vitamin B12 may lead to a range of symptoms:
Fatigue
Depression
Poor memory
Irritability
Behavioural and Personality Disorders

When Helicobacter pylori and other digestive infections are present, these neurological symptoms may or may not be accompanied by digestive symptoms. In other words, you can have H pylori and feel tired and depressed, but you may not have the common digestive symptoms that lead doctors to recommend testing and treatment.

Many symptoms can develop elsewhere in the body as a result of the collateral damage that is being done by stomach and intestinal infections.

Other Causes of B12 Deficiency

Whilst H pylori can certainly contribute to vitamin B12 deficiency and its associated symptoms, it is not the only cause. Other causes include:

Inadequate dietary intake of vitamin B12, especially in vegetarian and vegan diets.
Surgical removal of the small bowel due to chronic or serious disease.
Genetic polymorphisms (e.g. MTHFR)
Gluten intolerance and celiac disease.
Chronic intestinal infestation by the fish tapeworm, which competes for vitamin B12 for its own use.
Bacterial overgrowth in parts of the small bowel are thought to be able to absorb B12, making it unavailable to the body.
Some studies have shown that Giardia infestation can also lead to the malabsorption of vitamin B12. Giardia parasites can coat the small intestine and often result in fatigue in addition to classic diarrhoea symptoms.
Chronic alcohol abuse.

Treatment of B12 Deficiency

The medical approach to the treatment of B12 deficiency would typically be to prescribe B12 supplements (sprays, pills, sublingual drops) or injections. These treatment options may bring benefit and many patients will testify that B12 repletion has improved their quality of life considerably.

But when you look at the true underlying causes of the deficiency, it becomes apparent that a more holistic view to treating B12 deficiency is likely to bring better results.

Simply taking B12 supplements really does not address the underlying cause of the problem. Taking B12 on its own does not address low stomach acid or intrinsic factor levels, H pylori, parasites and other reasons why the deficiency occurred in the first place.

The Functional Medicine Approach To B12 Deficiency

I functional medicine, we look to address symptoms from the root cause. We do not simply recommend taking medications or supplements to mask the symptoms.

We have identified several possible causes of vitamin B12 deficiency and so it makes sense to address all the possible causes in addition to using B12 to top up levels. When we do use B12 supplements, we make sure they are taken under the tongue so that they absorbed better.

Testing & Assessing Vitamin B12 Levels

It is possible to check vitamin B12 levels in a blood sample and this will certainly provide useful information. A blood test is available from your doctor.

In order to perform its functions, vitamin B12 must move out of the blood and into the tissues of the body. Therefore, we also use urine testing called Organic Acid testing to evaluate B12 levels in our clients.

The advantage of this testing is that it tells us whether certain key metabolic pathways are being blocked because there is not enough vitamin B12.

Research cited in several textbooks has now informed us that Organic Acid testing is able to detect B12 deficiency at a much earlier stage than basic blood testing.

Make no mistake, H pylori and other factors that disrupt digestion can cause vitamin B12 deficiency and make you feel depressed, anxious and tired. If you know you have H pylori and you are suffering with these symptoms, be aware that simply eliminating H pylori may not be enough. You may need to have your B12 status checked and corrected, along with other nutrients such as B6 and folic acid.

If you have already been tested for B12 levels and have been told they are too low, it would be advisable for you to get checked for H pylori, gluten intolerance, celiac disease and other potential causes of the deficiency. If you do not do this it may be very hard to correct your symptoms.

Finally, if B12 capsules or tablets are not working for you, try sublingual drops or injections under the care of a qualified professional.

What Is Depression?

Wikipedia defines depression as a state of low mood and aversion to activity that can affect a person’s thoughts, behaviour, feelings and physical well-being. There may be a loss of interest in activities that once were pleasurable. There may be a change to appetite – a loss of appetite or over-eating. There may be insomnia or excessive sleeping. There may be loss of energy and unexplained aches and pains. There may be contemplation of self-harm or suicide. For all these reasons, it is important to understand that depression is real – it is a medical condition.

For me depression has always been quite physical. A weightiness. A darkness. And a familiarity such as you might feel with a loved animal come to share your lap.

But what is depression really? Perhaps it would be easier to eliminate what depression is not.

Depression is not about having a bad day, a ‘blue’ day. That is actually just normal life! The difference is how long those feelings last. Because they shouldn’t last for days or for weeks…. or for months. And if you suffer from depression, they do indeed last for long, long days…

Neurotransmitters in the brain help nerve cells communicate. These neurotransmitters are called serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine. And these substances can change and get out of balance. Why? The reasons are many. It could be an illness. It could be hormonal changes. It could be medication. It could be ageing. It could be the result of an injury.

Or, it could be a reason which is not so easy to understand. A failed business venture. The death of a loved one. The ending of a relationship.

Whatever the reason, the change in the way that the nerve cells communicate, the change in the balance of the chemicals produced in the brain, results in what is called depression. The imbalance is a chemical one. The condition is real. And whether it has been triggered by something tangible or something not quite so tangible, it is diagnosable and treatable.

Depression knows no boundaries and has no favourites. It affects people of all ages, genders, races and socio-economic background. Is it reaching epidemic proportions? Consider this – by 2020, it is believed that depression will be the second most common health problem in the world.

So if you suffer from depression, know that you are not alone. And know that there is excellent help and plentiful resources available to you now.

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How to Stop Phobias

To show you how long phobias have been with us there was a doctor, overwhelmed with terror as soon as he heard the first note of a flute being played. He would cower away from the sound of the flute as quickly as he could in horror from the noise. The name of the doctor was Hippocrates, and the fear is called aulophobia. Who would think that the sound of a melodic instrument would cause such anguish?

Phobias are very debilitating to the individuals that suffer from them and there are as many different kinds of phobias as there are people that have a fear of them. There are 3 types: single, social and agoraphobia. The first is avoiding your particular fear. It could be a certain place situation or an object. The second is for people who fear losing control in public gatherings because they think other people are watching them and waiting for them to humiliate themselves. The third is agoraphobia: a fear of unfamiliar places.

In all of them is an impulse of fear and of having a sudden attack and losing control. It is not being in control, which is the fear. A phobia is always irrational, it is thinking of it that causes the fear. You have to avoid thinking negative and seeing terrifying images. You have to think positively. Write down positive thought that will help you to overcome your fear when you have to deal with it. Not confronting your fear means you will never free yourself of it.

Try exposing yourself a little at a time. If you have fear of spiders (arachnophobia) looking at a picture of one for a few seconds and slowly increasing the time you look can have a beneficial effect. Then when you are at ease with that look at a dead one and then when you can cope with that a live one until ultimately you can control your fear of spiders. This method can be applied to all phobias by adapting it to your particular fear. Each time you feel some fear, tackle your fears head on a bit at a time and you will see your worse fears do not happen.

Here are 7 ways to help you control your phobias:

1. Games with the mind: Is a good way of taking your mind of your phobia when you feel an attack is imminent. Time your breathing repeatedly over 10 seconds (the slower the better) do mental arithmetic in your head, occupy your time in something that needs your undivided attention is a good way to take your mind off your fear.

2. Thought patterns and the length of them is a good indicator to when you are going to have an outbreak of your fear. Grade them on whether they are high or low intensity. If you know what activates them you have the means to be able to teach yourself to controlling them.

3. If you give yourself positive thought on likely outcomes and don’t stray into areas of negativity which might trigger your fear; you have a better chance of success if you stay optimistic Think: “there is a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow or when I get on that plane I am 3 hours away from those sandy beaches and the waves breaking on the shore. Not: “the planes going to crash if I get on it.

4. Operating in relative calm with the fear of an attack at anytime hanging over you is a big accomplishment. Successfully dealing with it gives you a possible way of finding an answer to controlling your phobia.

5. If you suffer from frequent attacks it may be because you are sensitive to caffeine. People that get repeated outburst are more than likely very sensitive to caffeine. You need to remember that you also get caffeine in tea and some soft drinks, as well as coffee so check the can or bottle before you drink.

6. Adrenalin plays a big part in panic attacks, because you have excessive amounts in your body during an unexpected incident. To burn up the adrenalin you must move around or exercise, do not sit cringing waiting for it to go away.

7. If for some reason you cannot move around try tensing and releasing the muscles in your body. The big muscles like your thigh, arms and legs or whichever muscle you can use. This will help to disperse the adrenalin.

Understanding Panic Attacks and Extreme Anxiety

Anxiety disorder is a condition that puts a person in a constant state of alertness and fear. Anxiety is otherwise a normal reaction to stress that people commonly experience at various points in their lives. Generally speaking, anxiety helps people to cope with difficult situations until they are resolved (tense situations at work, harder studying for an exam, focusing on an important speech…).

However, for about one in every twelve people anxiety is so persistent and severe that it creates serious problems. Anxious feelings may be so uncomfortable that result in avoiding everyday activities and can escalate into anxiety and panic disorders such as panic attacks.

Panic attacks are episodes of intense fear or anxiety that comes without warning and without any obvious reason. They are far more intense than just having a feeling of being stressed out which most people experience. Panic attack happens suddenly and can be particularly debilitating because they can occur at any time, even during sleep. Many people (about one-third) who suffer from panic disorder often become agoraphobic.

Agoraphobia is the abnormal fear of being in a situation where one might experience anxiety or panic attack. People suffering from agoraphobia may experience severe panic attacks in situations where they feel trapped, out of control, or too far from their personal comfort zone or an area where they have control of their environment. Agoraphobia is a debilitating condition that can bring fear, shame and isolation to those who suffer from it.

Symptoms of anxiety and panic attacks?

Anxiety panic attacks are characterized by development of several symptoms which may include:

  • pounding heart, increased heart rate (tachycardia)
  • chest pain (you feel like having a heart attack)
  • sweating, chills, or hot flushes
  • shaking and trembling
  • nausea
  • stomach cramps
  • muscle aches and pains
  • dizziness (feel lightheaded and unstable)
  • fear of losing control, paranoia
  • fear of dying
  • hyperventilation
  • a sense of suffocation
  • derealisation (distorted sense of reality)
  • depersonalisation (feeling disconnected from your body, like you are in a dream)

Beyond these symptoms, a key symptom is also the persistent fear of having future panic attacks.

Panic attacks are usually brief, lasting less than ten minutes. Although the exact causes of these disorders are not fully known, studies have shown that a combination of biological and environmental factors may be involved. In many people, the symptoms develop in association with major life changes (like getting married, having a child, starting a new job, etc.) and major lifestyle stressors.

Why so many people today suffer from anxiety and panic attacks is also partially due to our high-stress modern society.

Insomnia Cures – End Insomnia Tonight

Is your insomnia keeping you awake? When you can’t sleep, your body can’t repair itself, and this can have long term health consequences. Let’s look at some insomnia cures which will help.

Many people suffer from the inability to sleep occasionally. However, for ten per cent of the population, insomnia is long term, and chronic. If you’re a sufferer, you can retrain yourself to sleep as soon as you go to bed, and if you take the time to do this, the benefits are enormous.

Let’s look at three popular insomnia cures. One is sure to work for you.

1. Herbal Insomnia Cures

The major benefit of herbal cures is that they’re gentler on your overall health than drugs. It’s best to use the herbal insomnia cures in combination with the next two cures, especially exercise.

Popular insomnia cures include chamomile (as a tea), hops (also as a tea), and valerian, which may be taken in tablet or liquid form. While valerian’s taste won’t thrill you, it’s very effective and will help you to get a good night’s sleep.

2. Get Daily Exercise

Our next insomnia cure is exercise. Exercise is vital because it helps your body to remove stress hormones, particularly adrenaline, which cause insomnia. Please note that before you undertake any exercise program, you should visit your doctor for a checkup.

You can take any form of exercise which is easy for you. Many people choose walking, because you don’t need special equipment, and you can go for a walk at any time. You can also opt to swim daily, or to join a gym.

Whichever form of exercise you choose as an insomnia cure, ensure that you take it daily. Aim to develop a light sweat; this ensures that you’re burning off stress hormones.

3. Develop a Sleep Routine

A sleep routine is an insomnia cure which is often overlooked. However, a good sleep routine will do more to ensure that you sleep well every night, than anything else. Sleep is a habit, and you can train yourself to fall asleep within minutes of getting into bed.

Start by removing the TV and computer from your bedroom. If you drink anything with caffeine, have your last drink before 3PM. Go to bed at ten o’clock, and definitely before midnight.

In your sleep routine, the operative word is “routine.” Do the same thing every night. Within a couple of weeks, you’ll find that you start yawning when it’s close to bedtime.

There are many insomnia cures. Find the right one for you, and you’ll get a great night’s sleep, starting tonight.