Archive for the 'Health & Fitness' Category

Is Hypertension Stimulated by St Johns Wort?

Posted in Health & Fitness on May 13th, 2007

It is important to be able to recognize the signs of high blood pressure, but it is also important to know what can cause blood pressure to increase, so you can avoid these factors if you a prone to hypertension. For instance, not only can certain foods and medications impact your blood pressure, but so can some natural herbal remedies. In fact, hypertension caused by St Johns Wort, a herb commonly used to treat mild depression, can be dangerous for those who suffer from or are prone to high blood pressure.

St Johns Wort is a bright, yellow flower. Its petals are used as an herbal remedy that can be administered as a topical ointment for healing burns, but it is primarily used as an oral dietary supplement to treat mild depression.

Studies have found that one of St Johns Wort’s active ingredients, hypericin, affects neurotransmitters (brain chemicals) in a similar way as antidepressant medications. The reason why the active ingredient is so effective is because it mirrors monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors, which is the ingredient found in major antidepressant drugs.

How is hypertension caused by St Johns Wort?
St Johns Wort can cause an increase in blood pressure because the hypericin ingredient that is similar to a MAO inhibitor, produces a powerful and dangerous reaction when mixed with the amino acid tyramine.

Reactions that can occur when tyramine is taken in excess with this herb include a fast rise in blood pressure, severe headaches, and irregular heartbeat. However, it should be also stated that although these reactions can occur, there have not been frequent reports of such occurrences.

Nevertheless, until more is understood about the interaction, a person taking St Johns Wort should dramatically limit or avoid foods or beverages high in tyramine including:
 Aged, dried, smoked, pickled or processed fish or meats (I.E. bologna, salami, pepperoni, herring, etc.)
 Chicken liver
 Aged cheese
 Soy sauce
 Yeast/protein extracts
 Legumes
 Over-ripe fruit
 Figs or raisins
 Alcoholic beverages including ale, beer, red wines, sherry and liqueurs.

It is also suggested that individuals taking St Johns Wort also limit their intake of caffeine.

Moreover, aside from being aware of hypertension caused by St Johns Wort due to the tyramine interaction, you should also know that like all herbs, there is a risk that St Johns Wort may interact with other medications, including those used for controlling high blood pressure.

In addition, some users of the herb have also reported St Johns Wort caused a spike in their blood pressure when other prescribed anti-depressant and over-the-counter medications were taken with it.

Although, studies have found there is only a small reaction when other medications are taken with St Johns Wort, until further research can conclude the side effects or risks involved it is highly recommended that those using St Johns Wort to treat mild depression not take any other form of medication and also have their blood pressure checked regularly.Finally, since hypertension caused by St Johns Wort is a possibility, individuals with high blood pressure, who have previously had high blood pressure, or who are prone to the condition, should avoid taking this herb. Speak to your doctor about other alternative remedies that do not increase the risk of high blood pressure if you suffer from mild depression.

Grab your free copy of Paul Johnson’s brand new Blood Pressure Newsletter - Overflowing with easy to implement methods to help you find out about hypertension exercise and for information on anti hypertension please visit Natural Blood Pressure Prevention.

The Candida Yeast Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Connection

Posted in Health & Fitness on May 12th, 2007

The reality of Candida yeast in the body and what effects it might have on a person are highly debated. It would seem that there are many who believe it causes a host of problems in some people, and there are others who say it is harmless, and it is not to blame for many of the medical conditions that seem to be fairly new to our world. Some find that they have to turn to Chinese medicine if they want to be taken seriously when they have problems with the yeast. Then there’s the possibility of a Candida yeast Chronic Fatigue Syndrome connection.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is something that is still very much a mystery. This is usually a diagnosis of elimination. The symptoms are often very hard on a person’s life. They might feel tired all of the time, weakness is common, and many may have Fibromyalgia at the same time. That leads to poor sleep and poor immune system function.

CFS is usually diagnosed after every other medical possibility has been ruled out. The reason for the condition is often unclear, and there seems to be no medical answer as far as a cure. Because an overabundance of Candida yeast weakens the immune system, there may be a link between CFS and this yeast, but the answers are not clear cut in each case.

Those with CFS often not only tend to have Fibromyalgia, but they often have IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) as well. Candida yeast has been tentatively linked to IBS, so it makes sense that it might have also be a contributory factor of CFS for some people.

Probably the most pronounced symptom of CFS is the fatigue, and it is believed that the overgrowth of Candida yeast can sap anyone’s energy, and if it is spread though the body, it might be a chronic problem. Some people with CFS try to eat more carbs (or sugars) for the instant energy that it provides, but if candida is present these foods can actually make things worse as Candida loves sugars, and these sugars help it to grow and spread.

Some people with CFS have reported good results when taking a vitamin B12 supplement. When B12 is low, it can lead to anemia, which can then lead to an overgrowth of the Candida yeast. Some sufferers report that B12 supplementation has made them feel better and helped with a variety of problems. Though this link is pretty tenuous at best, it may go some way to substantiating the claim that Candida is causing more problems with the general health of many people than officially recognized.

If a patient with CFS has any of the symptoms of Candida (yeast infections, thrush, skin rashes, bloating, or frequent problems with sinus and respiratory infections) they should consider treatment for yeast overgrowth.

Though the Candida yeast Chronic Fatigue connection is not present in all cases you could speak to your doctor about Vitamin B12 supplements to improve CFS symptoms and help lower the amounts of the yeast in the system. If this brings relief, it should be something that is carefully monitored, as candida can come back if the immune system becomes unbalanced.

Grab your free copy of Jane Symms’ brand new Candida & Yeast Infection Newsletter - Overflowing with easy to implement methods to help you find out about anti candida diet and for information on baby yeast infection please visit Naturally Eliminating Candida.

Herbal Tea Home Remedy For Acid Reflux

Posted in Health & Fitness on May 4th, 2007

There are many things that cause problems for those who have GERD (otherwise known as acid reflux). There are some things you can’t eat, and some that you should. There are times when this can be very confusing, and many don’t want to rely on medications to make all foods tolerable. If you want a home remedy for acid reflux, there are various options you can try.

One of these is drinking herbal teas. Some of them will help, and some might make matters worse, so you should know which to have and which to avoid.

When choosing herbal teas, there is one important thing to think about when deciding what to try. Caffeine is a known trigger for acid reflux, and it should be avoided. That means that any herbal teas that you try must be caffeine-free. Though you can get decaffeinated coffee to drink, even that is known to aggravate GERD and should be avoided. This makes decaffeinated herbal teas the best choice when you seek a hot and soothing drink. Some of them might even help with some of your symptoms of acid reflux.

Many suggest that ginger can help soothe acid reflux symptoms, and if you can find it in a tea, a cup after a meal might help your stomach settle down for the night. You can mix peppermint with aniseed and lavender for a great tasting and soothing blend. You should boil a few cups of water and a teaspoon of your herbal mix, then drain the herbs after sitting for about ten minutes. If you boil this tea and want to have it sweetened, you might try honey instead of sugar or artificial sweetener.

Chicory Root can also be used to make a great herbal tea. You boil a few cups of this and then let sit for a while. You can then drink the tea with honey if you wish. Marshmallow tea might also help. This is not tea made from the marshmallows in your cupboard as the name might suggest, but from a root by the same name. This is known to soothe the digestive system. Another popular type of tea is Chamomile. This is also known to help relieve the symptoms of acid reflux.

You can make many of these on your own, but you can also find them in natural food stores or special sections of your grocery store. Any of these teas might help you feel better, but you won’t know until you try them. However, it is important that you talk with your doctor before you try them, as some can have side effects that you need to know about, and they might also mix badly with any prescription drugs that you might be taking for your acid reflux or for any other reason. You usually will not have any problems with this type of home remedy for acid reflux, but you don’t want to take a chance with your health.

Grab your free copy of Kathryn Whittaker’s brand new Acid Reflux & GERD Newsletter - Overflowing with easy to implement methods to help you find out about acid reflux disease diet and for information on acid reflux in toddlers please visit Stop Acid Reflux Now.

Is Hidden Caffeine Aggravating Your IBS?

Posted in Health & Fitness on April 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.

Eliminating these things might help, but if it seems to make no difference, it might not be hidden caffeine that is aggravating your IBS symptoms. You may be able to tolerate some of them on occasion if you choose ones that have a very low amount. When it comes to decaf coffee, you might have to experiment with a few different brands until you find one that it totally caffeine-free.

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 IBS symptom and for information on IBS recipe please visit Irritable Bowel Syndrome Relief Secrets.

Got IBS? Try Exercise

Posted in Health & Fitness on April 23rd, 2007

Those with irritable bowel syndrome know that there are many things you can do to your diet to help control some of the more troubling symptoms, but they may have never considered that exercising might be an answer. Though there are times that exercise can make matters worse, there are some forms of exercise that can actually help keep the symptoms at a manageable level. The trick is find the one that works for you. Exercise along with the right diet can help someone with IBS enjoy a better quality of life.

One problem with IBS is that it can leave you feeling tired. When you feel this way, you are less likely to want to get up and get moving. You have to find a way to overcome that. If you have a friend that might be willing to work out with you, it can help you gain the motivation you need. If you have a favorite sport, you might want to try that instead of joining a gym and finding you never set foot through the door…. Whatever it takes, you have to find some motivation to get moving, even when it seems like it is the last thing that you want to do.

One thing you might want to consider when it comes to exercise to help with IBS is to take up something like yoga. Yoga is a stretching and muscle toning exercise program that also has one really great side effect. It is excellent at reducing stress. Episodes of stress are known to make the symptoms of IBS much worse. If you can combine your exercise and your stress management into one activity, you are going to be feeling better quickly, at least mentally. Concentrate on learning the deep breathing exercises that are associated with yoga, and use them any time that you feel overwhelmed, stressed, or overly excited.

If you think you want to join the gym, you should try a few easy exercise machines when you first begin. You shouldn’t overdo it or you may become discouraged and quit. Try whatever you think is fun, and limit your time until your body is adjusted to your new level of exercise, then you can turn it up. If you don’t like the treadmill or the elliptical, you can always take advantage of many different dance or aerobic classes that can offer you a great workout. Do what you think is fun and you will be more likely to stick with it.

Exercise will not be an instant cure for all of your symptoms. You have to keep at it to see results, though the stress management that comes with exercise will help you almost immediately. You will begin to look and feel better as time goes by, and you will notice that your symptoms will begin to happen less often. Combine that with a great eating plan designed to help with IBS, and you may find that you feel better, and that you can live a fuller life.

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 IBS recipe and for information on natural cure for IBS please visit Irritable Bowel Syndrome Relief Secrets.

What To Do About IBS Bloating

Posted in Health & Fitness on April 13th, 2007

There are many times in life when you might experience bloating, but when you have IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) this is something you might have to deal with on a regular basis. This bloating is not confined to just one area either. It can happen in the bowel and in the stomach. Because these two areas are so close together, you might not be able to tell the difference. If you understand why this happens in the first place, you will know what to do about IBS bloating.

Excess gas is a common reason why so many with IBS suffer from bloating. This can be attributed to eating the wrong foods. These foods might be okay for anyone else, but for someone with IBS, these foods can be very troubling to the digestive system. When the body does not like a certain type of food, or if there is an allergy involved, gas forms in the bowel. Passing gas can relieve most of the bloating that happens, or with a medication that relieves painful and troubling gas problems. Most of this type of bloating associated with IBS should go away on its own overnight if not treated.

Treating bloating for IBS can be tricky. The same foods that might help alleviate some of the other symptoms might actually make gas worse, which in turn leads to bloating. Eating foods that are higher in fiber is great for the bowels and might stop some of the cramping, but these same foods can cause excess gas. You might want to eat smaller meals throughout the day, and have just one of these fiber foods each meal. Don’t try to eat a bunch in once sitting, or your bloating might become out of control.

There are some medications that can help with bloating, but they aren’t really going to completely get rid of the problem. Some suggest that something like Bean-o be taken before a meal. This can help the body digest the foods more efficiently and reduce the amount of gas and bloating that someone with IBS has after a meal. There are also some antibiotics that help some patients with IBS because they take care of some of the bacteria that seems to be abundant in those with this condition. You should ask your doctor if one of these might be right for you.

Perhaps the best thing to do about IBS bloating is to find the main sources of your discomfort. You should keep track of what you eat and how you feel after each meal. You should soon notice a trend with some of the foods that you are eating. Take notice of the foods that seem to be causing you the most problems, and see what happens when you eliminate those foods from your diet. It might take a few weeks to see a huge difference, but you can soon learn what foods to avoid keeping bloating and gas at bay.

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 rid of IBS and for information on IBS symptom please visit Irritable Bowel Syndrome Relief Secrets.

Effective Fibromyalgia Chinese Herbs Treatment Options

Posted in Health & Fitness on April 8th, 2007

Fibromyalgia is often hard to diagnose, and you may find that some doctors will not give that diagnosis at all. The symptoms and problems with this condition are very hard to manage, but there are some things that can help. What works will depend on age and condition, as well as how much work you put into it. There are some lifestyle changes that can help, and there might also be some Fibromyalgia Chinese herbs that can help some with the condition feel better and find more rest.

Medical doctors have very few options when trying to treat Fibromyalgia. This is because it is often skipped over, or the complaints of the patients are not taken seriously. There is little that can be done in the way of medications, though some like to prescribe sleeping pills, pain pills, anti-depressants, or arthritic medications. These can work with varying degrees of success for some patients, but not everyone will find relief. This is when it’s useful to turn to other sources for help, and Chinese herbs may be just what you have been looking for.

Chinese medicine usually first concentrates on helping the overall well-being of a patient. It is believed that by helping the body to boost the immune system, the body can then do some self-healing.

Most medical doctors try to heal just one thing at a time, and it often works well, but in the case of Fibromyalgia, it might help to first concentrate on any auto-immune deficiencies that might be present. They would then treat the various systems of the body that are problematic for people with this condition. This might include the lungs, liver, and muscular system, just to name a few.

Because there are so many different variables when it comes to treating a patient with Fibromyalgia, there really is no list of Chinese herbs that will work for everyone. A practitioner must evaluate the history of the patient, and will need to know much more than what their symptoms are and how long they have had them. They will want to have a life-long medical history of not only the physical body, but the emotional and spiritual part as well. Only when these have been recorded can a true treatment with these herbs begin, and it is often used in conjunction with acupuncture treatments.

It is always a good idea to see someone who practices Chinese medicine before taking any type of herb on your own. You want to be under the care of your medical doctor as well. Some Fibromyalgia Chinese herbs can interact with prescription medications, and the side effects of this could be dangerous. Always let your medical doctor know what you are doing and whom you are seeing for treatment. Though Fibromyalgia Chinese herbs can be an effective alternative form of medicine, they are also very powerful, and it is always a good idea to have someone watching over your treatments from both ends of the spectrum.

Grab your free copy of Jane Thompson’s brand new Fibromyalgia Newsletter - Overflowing with easy to implement methods to help you find out about fibromyalgia sign and symptoms and for information on fibromyalgia pain relief please visit Natural Cure to Fibromyalgia.

Finding Relief From IBS Cramping

Posted in Health & Fitness on April 6th, 2007

When you have IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), you are probably looking for ways to relieve some of the more troubling symptoms. One of the ones that people have a lot of trouble with is the painful cramping.

This can be a particular problem for women, as it is often hard to tell the difference between the cramping in the bowel and the cramping that happens in the uterus during menses. Because the symptoms are often worse during women’s periods, they usually assume they just have bad uterine cramping. They are actually experiencing both at the same time. Though it will be different for each person, there are ways to go about finding relief from IBS cramping.

The symptoms of IBS can be very embarrassing and extremely uncomfortable for anyone who suffers. Cramping is painful, and gas and diarrhea can limit the quality of life for others. If you want relief from many of these symptoms, there are some things you can do. When it comes to cramping, you can try to stop them from happening, or you can do things to ease the pain that comes with them. Though it will be worse for women, men also have the same cramping problems and are seeking means of relief too.

Cramping is a sign that the bowel is contracting too much. There is a malfunction in the bowels that causes this excess cramping, and there are many things that can trigger this. Though emotional upheaval is not a cause of IBS as some assume, it can bring on bouts. Stress and excitement both can trigger IBS symptoms to act up. The symptoms can also be triggered by exercise, fatty foods, milk products, caffeine, smoking, drinking alcohol, and anything with carbonation i.e. soda.

If you want to find relief from the cramping, you can try to eliminate some of these things from your life. Anything with caffeine should be avoided, though this is hard to do. It would mean giving up soda, coffee, and even chocolate and you’ll have to watch out for small amounts in OTC medications.

Some sufferers have found relief by practicing yoga. Though exercise can trigger cramping, this type of relaxing, calm exercise can help you avoid it. Yoga is very relaxing if done right, and it can rid you of the stress that brings on cramping and other symptoms. You should try to introduce high fiber foods into your diet, as these may help as well. Just remember to space them out, as they can contribute to gas problems.

There are also some medications that can help with finding relief from IBS cramping. There are some drugs called antispasmodics that can be taken to help reduce cramping in some patients. By nature, these drugs will help smooth and soothe the muscles contained within the bowel walls. This will help alleviate some of the cramping. They are normally taken thirty minutes or an hour before eating.

Though most patients have no issues with using this for finding relief from IBS cramping, it should be noted that those with this condition who suffer from constipation might find that this medication will make it worse. However, a combination of this medication and avoiding foods that are problematic can provide the relief from cramping you were seeking.

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 IBS recipe and for information on IBS remedy please visit Irritable Bowel Syndrome Relief Secrets.

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.

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