Archive for March, 2007

Herbal Teas for Crohns Disease

Posted in Health & Fitness on March 30th, 2007

Herbal crohn’s teas can be an effective remedy, and can often be used in conjunction with vitamin supplements and the proper diet to further relieve and prevent gastrointestinal symptoms.   Although herbs that are considered beneficial for crohn’s can be taken in forms other than tea (I.E. pills) herbal tea tends to be the best way to treat gastrointestinal issue.

Why?  According to some studies, warm liquid is easy for the body to digest, and allows herbs to come in direct contact with the walls of the stomach and intestines. Conversely, herbal crohn’s supplements in pill form can be difficult to digest, and may contain alcohol which often results in most of the herb being absorbed in the mouth.

The following information is focused on the herbal teas that are considered the best for herbal crohn’s treatment.

Peppermint Tea
Peppermint is made up of the essential oil menthol.  When ingested, menthol produces powerful antispasmodic effects that directly soothe the muscles in the digestive system, aiding in digestion.  Furthermore, peppermint tea has a very calming aroma which can help relax nerves and subdue a nervous stomach.   Peppermint tea can also alleviate stomach cramps and cramping of the intestinal muscles.

Peppermint tea helps alleviate the following crohn’s symptoms:
• Bloating
• Gas
• Flatulance
• Abdominal pain
• Irregular bowel movements

It is best to consume peppermint tea after large meals and before bed.

Chamomile Tea 
Chamomile has been used for centuries in treating a variety of health ailments including common gastrointestinal issues, and is an ideal herbal crohn’s remedy.  Chamomile is a mild sedative and has anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, and carminative properties that help aid in digestion and soothes and heals the mucous membrane of the digestive tract. 
Chamomile tea alleviates and prevents the following crohn’s symptoms:
• Gas
• Flatulance
• Digestive discomfort
• stress

Chamomile acts as a mild sedative, and is therefore best taken before bed.
Note:  Chamomile is part of the daisy family.  Therefore, if you are allergic to daisies you should not drink this tea.

Fennel Tea
Fennel has a calming effect on the stomach and is one of the most effective herbal crohn’s remedies for relieving gas pain and reducing flatulence.  Fennel tea aids the digestive tract, and is also recommended for use in conjunction with an herbal laxative to reduce cramps.  In addition, fennel is known for its ability to boost the metabolism and works as a detoxifier.

Fennel tea is considered effective for relieving the following crohn’s symptoms:
• gas pain
• flatulence
• bloating
• stomach pain

Fennel tea is best taken after meals or when symptoms are present.

The following are five herbal crohn’s teas that aid in digestion which you can try:

1. Peppermint tea – see above
2. Chamomile tea – see above
3. Fennel tea - see above
4. Ginger tea – Relieves gas, bloating and pain.  Ginger is exceptional at relieving nausea and vomiting.  It does not have sedative properties, but it can make the body generate more heat and the warm feeling in the stomach may cause discomfort.
5. Lemon balm tea – Relieves pain and discomfort of indigestion, as well as gas and bloating.  Lemon balm is also effective in alleviating anxiety, nervousness and mild insomnia.  Lemon balm is like mint in the sense that it has a soothing effect on the stomach.

Where can you find herbal teas and which are best?  You can find herbal teas in your local grocery store, health food or nutrition stores and online.  Although loose leaf tea is best, teabags are fine as long as you can clearly smell the distinct aroma of the herb through the bag.

In addition, make sure herbal teas are caffeine free as caffeine can irritate the gastrointestinal tract and trigger symptoms.  You should also ensure that the herb is the only or primary ingredient listed in the tea.

Grab your free copy of Sharon Dobson’s brand new Crohn’s Disease Newsletter - Overflowing with easy to implement methods to help you find out about acupuncture and crohns and for information on botanical crohns please visit Breakthrough Crohn’s Disease Guide

How Water Can Relieve Gout Disease

Posted in Health & Fitness on March 29th, 2007

Drinking plenty of water is one natural gout home remedy that is effective in relieving and preventing gout disease.  However, ingesting water isn’t the only way it can be beneficial to gout sufferers.  In fact, different hydrotherapy methods involving hot and cold water temperatures for external treatment of gout can also be an excellent way to relieve pain. 

Internal water therapy
Drinking plenty of water is a great way to treat gout disease and prevent future attacks.  Keeping the body well hydrated is important to every person’s health, but is especially important for those who are prone to gout or suffer from a chronic case.

Drinking plenty of water for gout helps -
• Prevent attacks
• Lubricate joints
• Flush excessive uric acid out of the body
• Prevent kidney stones
• Pass small kidney stones
• Those who are overweight lose weight

Dehydration reduces kidney function, which can lead to an uric acid build up resulting in gout, kidney stones, kidney infection, and even kidney failure in severe cases.   Dehydration can occur from the high consumption of alcohol and caffeinated beverages including coffee, tea and soda.  Therefore, should you consume dehydrating beverages, be sure to combat these drinks with water.
 
To ensure you are obtaining enough water daily for preventing and relieving gout disease symptoms, 12, 8 ounce glasses are recommended daily.  Other hydrating drinks you can include in your daily fluid intake are decaffeinated tea and fruit juice.  However, make sure that your water consumption is higher than any other beverage.

External water therapy
Hydrotherapy for gout disease can be administered in two ways.

1. Contrast hydrotherapy – Urate crystals in joints can be dissolved during a gout attack by applying hot and cold compresses.  This form of hydrotherapy also helps to alleviate inflammation and reduce pain.  Contrast hydrotherapy involves applying a hot compress to an affected joint for 3 minutes, removing this compress and immediately applying a cold compress for 30 seconds.

A hot compress can be a heating pad, hot towel or fill a bath, sink or bucket with hot water (between 90 – 95 degrees F.)  For a cold compress use ice packs or place ice in a plastic bag.  You can also fill a bucket or sink with cold water.  Note: Just remember that if you use water, you’ll need to have both the cold and hot water near each other so you can quickly switch from one temperature to the other.

A session of contrast hydrotherapy for gout disease should last for no more than 20 minutes, and it’s best to wait at least an hour before your next treatment.  Finally, remember to end this therapy with a cold compress, never hot. 

Contrast hydrotherapy should be used during a gout flare up.

2. Standard Hydrotherapy – Standard hydrotherapy involves submerging all or part of the body in water.  Water relieves stress from joints as it provides a feeling of weightlessness creating a relaxing sensation.  This is due to the fact that water decreases up to 90% of body weight.  The buoyancy in combination with warm water is what helps to ease pain and decrease muscle spasms.

One of the best hydrotherapy treatments for gout is to immerse your body, or your affected joint, in a whirlpool tub with hot water (90-95 degrees F), or a tub that has jets. Heat raises the body temperature and the massaging bubbles the jets create dilate blood vessels.  This causes circulation to improve and allows blood to carry more nutrients and oxygen to the rest of the body.  This aids in healing tissues that are tired or damaged.

In addition, the combination of hot water and massage triggers the body to release endorphins (natural painkillers).  This helps to relieve pain and ease sore joints. 

Treatment should last no longer than 20 minutes and can be used to treat symptoms and to prevent gout.

Consult your doctor before starting hydrotherapy treatment.  Your health care provider can provide you with recommendations, answer your questions, and monitor your progress, as you may also require medication to treat your condition if hydrotherapy is not successful at relieving your gout disease symptoms.

Grab your free copy of Lisa McDowell’s brand new Gout Newsletter - Overflowing with easy to implement methods to help you find out about gout recipe and for information on gout symptom please visit Cure Gout Now

How Water Can Relieve Gout Disease

Posted in Uncategorized, Health & Fitness on March 27th, 2007

Drinking plenty of water is one natural gout home remedy that is effective in relieving and preventing gout disease. However, ingesting water isn’t the only way it can be beneficial to gout sufferers. In fact, different hydrotherapy methods involving hot and cold water temperatures for external treatment of gout can also be an excellent way to relieve pain.

Internal water therapy
Drinking plenty of water is a great way to treat gout disease and prevent future attacks. Keeping the body well hydrated is important to every person’s health, but is especially important for those who are prone to gout or suffer from a chronic case.

Drinking plenty of water for gout helps -
• Prevent attacks
• Lubricate joints
• Flush excessive uric acid out of the body
• Prevent kidney stones
• Pass small kidney stones
• Those who are overweight lose weight

Dehydration reduces kidney function, which can lead to an uric acid build up resulting in gout, kidney stones, kidney infection, and even kidney failure in severe cases. Dehydration can occur from the high consumption of alcohol and caffeinated beverages including coffee, tea and soda. Therefore, should you consume dehydrating beverages, be sure to combat these drinks with water.

To ensure you are obtaining enough water daily for preventing and relieving gout disease symptoms, 12, 8 ounce glasses are recommended daily. Other hydrating drinks you can include in your daily fluid intake are decaffeinated tea and fruit juice. However, make sure that your water consumption is higher than any other beverage.

External water therapy
Hydrotherapy for gout disease can be administered in two ways.

1. Contrast hydrotherapy – Urate crystals in joints can be dissolved during a gout attack by applying hot and cold compresses. This form of hydrotherapy also helps to alleviate inflammation and reduce pain. Contrast hydrotherapy involves applying a hot compress to an affected joint for 3 minutes, removing this compress and immediately applying a cold compress for 30 seconds.

A hot compress can be a heating pad, hot towel or fill a bath, sink or bucket with hot water (between 90 – 95 degrees F.) For a cold compress use ice packs or place ice in a plastic bag. You can also fill a bucket or sink with cold water. Note: Just remember that if you use water, you’ll need to have both the cold and hot water near each other so you can quickly switch from one temperature to the other.

A session of contrast hydrotherapy for gout disease should last for no more than 20 minutes, and it’s best to wait at least an hour before your next treatment. Finally, remember to end this therapy with a cold compress, never hot.

Contrast hydrotherapy should be used during a gout flare up.

2. Standard Hydrotherapy – Standard hydrotherapy involves submerging all or part of the body in water. Water relieves stress from joints as it provides a feeling of weightlessness creating a relaxing sensation. This is due to the fact that water decreases up to 90% of body weight. The buoyancy in combination with warm water is what helps to ease pain and decrease muscle spasms.

One of the best hydrotherapy treatments for gout is to immerse your body, or your affected joint, in a whirlpool tub with hot water (90-95 degrees F), or a tub that has jets. Heat raises the body temperature and the massaging bubbles the jets create dilate blood vessels. This causes circulation to improve and allows blood to carry more nutrients and oxygen to the rest of the body. This aids in healing tissues that are tired or damaged.

In addition, the combination of hot water and massage triggers the body to release endorphins (natural painkillers). This helps to relieve pain and ease sore joints.
Grab your free copy of Lisa McDowell’s brand new Gout Newsletter - Overflowing with easy to implement methods to help you find out about gout cure and for information on natural cure for gout please visit Cure Gout Now.

Is Hidden Caffeine Aggravating Your IBS?

Posted in Uncategorized, Health & Fitness on March 27th, 2007

There are many things that can trigger bouts of IBS, but there are times when you might not know what is doing it. There are many things in the diet that can cause the bloating, cramping, constipation, or diarrhea that comes with flare ups, but some of them are easier to pick out than others. Have you considered that hidden caffeine is aggravating your IBS symptoms? It’s quite possible. You may have cut out coffee and caffeinated soda, but there are other places where you might be unknowingly getting enough caffeine to upset your system.

Diet Products: There are many different diet products on the market that you might be taking. Some are supplements that help with energy or with appetite suppression. There are weight control bars that are much like granola bars, and other products that are closely related. These often contain natural substances that have caffeine in them. It won’t necessarily say so on the label though, so you have to know what to look for. If you don’t recognize anything on the label, make sure you look each thing up to see what it really is and if it might contain caffeine. Guarana is one of these that claims to be a natural alternative to caffeine, but it’s basically the same thing and will have the same effect on your IBS symptoms.

Coffee: You probably already know there is caffeine in coffee, and you may have had to cut it out of your diet. Some like to have decaffeinated coffee instead so they can still enjoy the taste of coffee. The problem is that there are some brands that are called decaf, yet they still have some caffeine in them. The amount may be small, but it still might be enough to aggravate IBS.

Coffee Flavoring: Though you might think that ice cream and yogurts would only contain an artificial flavor that mimics the taste of coffee, many of them really have caffeine in them. Check the labels carefully to see if there is caffeine. You may have not thought to look, but if you eat these products often, this might be a troublesome source you never considered.

Candy: Sadly, chocolate contains caffeine, and it might contain more than you think. This includes chocolate drinks like hot cocoa. Something as small as a Hershey’s Kiss has caffeine, though it should only contain 1 mg.

Medications: There are some medications that claim they are non-drowsy. These are supposed to help with your symptoms while keeping you awake. It makes sense. No one wants to take something for a cold only to fall asleep at work during a meeting. The problem is that some of them use caffeine to help keep you awake, and you probably don’t realize it. This is also a problem with some children’s medications also. Children should have very little, if any, caffeine.
Grab your free copy of Susan Reynolds’ brand new IBS Newsletter - Overflowing with easy to implement methods to treat IBS & help you find out about cause of IBS and for information on rid of IBS please visit Irritable Bowel Syndrome Relief Secrets.

Ensuring Adequate Nutrition from Your Crohns Diet

Posted in Health & Fitness on March 19th, 2007

Following a specific crohns diet is one of the best self healing remedies you can implement in your lifestyle.  The reason is because without proper nutrition a crohn’s sufferer puts themselves at greater risk of malnutrition.  Malnutrition is a problem for many people with crohn’s, as it is estimated that as many as 80 percent of people with the disease experience considerable weight loss.

There are many factors that may cause malnutrition in a crohn’s sufferer.  Malnutrition may occur from –
- Excessive diarrhea
- Difficulty eating due to gastrointestinal discomfort, pain, nausea and diarrhea
- Badly damaged bowel
- Bowel shortened by surgery can prevent the absorption and digestion of sufficient nutrients.
- Certain medications may reduce the body’s stores of some vitamins and nutrients.

Thus, it is imperative that adequate nutrition is absorbed through the right crohns diet to prevent malabsorption.

What is malabsorption?  Malabsorption is when the body does not effectively absorb nutrients (vitamins, minerals, proteins, fat, sugar, etc.) from ingested food.   In order for the body to absorb the nutrients from food, the pancreas, liver, bile ducts, and the lining of the small intestine need to be functioning properly.  It is through the small intestine that nutrients are absorbed into the blood stream.  That is why in most cases, the impairment of food digestion primarily occurs in the small intestine.

The symptoms of malabsorption include: diarrhea, weight loss, dehydration, fatigue, bloating, abdominal pain, skin changes, oily stool and undigested food in stool.

Malabsorption can result in malnutrition, if the body does not receive the sufficient amount of nutrients it requires.  Malnutrition is a serious condition that can lead to total parenteral nutrition (nutrition provided intravenously) if not taken care of by a crohns diet.

To ensure their diet contains adequate nutrients, a crohn’s suffer needs to make certain that their diet consist of –

- Lots of hydrating fluids (approximately 10 glasses per day), especially water. Certain herbal teas (I.E. mint, ginger, etc.) may also be added.  These fluids help to prevent constipation.

- Eat fiber – When you are not suffering symptoms, make sure your crohns diet is rich in insoluble fiber such as bran, apple, raw vegetables, brown rice, wholegrain bread, etc.  However, if you are experiencing crohn’s symptoms or you are prone to diarrhea, focus your diet more on soluble fiber such as the flesh of fruit, oatmeal, soda crackers, cooked vegetables, etc.

- Avoid dairy if you are lactose intolerant.  If you suffer from lactose intolerance, your body can not properly absorb milk sugar which can lead to symptoms such as gas, bloating and diarrhea.

- Eat a crohns diet rich in protein – Fish, eggs, beans, nuts, lean meats, etc.

- Lower your intake of caffeine, alcohol, fats and sugars (especially sorbitol – a type of sweetener) as these foods are known to trigger diarrhea.

Essentially, the key to avoiding malnutrition is to eliminate foods in your diet that trigger or worsen symptoms (particularly severe diarrhea), and introduce other “safe” foods that contain the nutrients your body needs that it cannot obtain from the foods that have been eliminated from your crohn’s diet. 
Since you may not be able to work certain foods into your diet, you may want to talk to your doctor about taking a multivitamin or a specific vitamin and/or mineral supplement to obtain the nutrients your body requires.

Sign up now for a free newsletter that has proven methods for managing Crohn’s Disease naturally at Natural Crohn’s Disease Relief. On the site you’ll also find more about crohns diets and information on natural crohns remedies.

Autism Understanding Furthered by International Genetic Study

Posted in Health & Fitness on March 8th, 2007

Autism understanding begins when a person realizes that autism is a disorder that affects people differently. Although autism affects the normal functioning of a person’s perception, attention and thoughts, autism is not characterized by one type of perception, attention and thought. Instead, it covers a broad spectrum of disorders that may be mild or severe. Due to the fact that autism is such a complex disorder, medical research is still in the process of understanding how it develops and why it affects certain individuals.

One particular medical project with the aim to find better autism understanding by identifying the gene that causes autism, is the 5 year Autism Genome Project (AGP). So far, phase I of the AGP has identified a gene and parts of a chromosome to be linked with the occurrence of autism. The findings of this particular autism study was published online in the Nature Genetics February 18, 2007 issue.

The Autism Genome Project is a global research consortium that is funded by Autism Speaks and the National Institute of Health. Autism Speaks is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to raising the awareness of autism and raising funds to help research it.

The AGP involves more than 120 scientists from 50 institutions in 19 countries around the world. The researchers who have collaborated on the project combined their autism expertise, and shared all of the data and samples they had to help identify autism-related genes.

As was mentioned, phase I of this project began 5 years ago in 2002, and it allowed the team of medical experts to gain autism understanding by identifying a single specific gene known as neurexil 1, and part of chromosome 11 which could likely be the cause of autism in children. These findings are based on the largest autism genome scan that has ever been done.

Scientists have known for many years that autism is a genetic disorder, but only until the AGP have they been able to use special “gene chip” technology to search for genetic similarities in autistics. Genetic similarities were found in practically all of the autistic individuals within each of the twelve hundred families that that were made part of the project. The scientists also checked the DNA of each family to look for copy number variations that are believed might be connected to autism and similar disorders.

What the researches discovered in their study was that one particular gene known as neurexin 1 plays a significant role with glutamate; a neurotransmitter that has been formerly linked to autism. Researchers also uncovered an area of chromosome 11 that is suspected to contain a gene that may be involved in the occurrence of autism. However, this particular gene in chromosome 11 has yet to be identified which is required for further autism understanding.

Based on previous research, and the research that has been uncovered by the study so far, scientists speculate that there may be as many as 6 main genes and 30 additional genes linked to autism. However, these numbers are only theories, as scientists point out that the actual number of genes could exceed their theory. Nevertheless, despite the number of genes that may be involved, researchers admit that it is still far too early to dictate how these genes may be responsible for autism.

Currently, phase II of the Autism Genome Project has been announced. The promising discoveries found in phase I makes scientists hopeful that discovering the genes that cause autism will provide new steps toward autism understanding. With greater understanding, more effective methods of diagnosis, preventing and treating the disorder can be taken.

By Rachel Evans. Sign up for a free newsletter and discover more about understanding autism. On the site you’ll find more information about high functioning autism and adult autism.