Friday, 27 April 2012

An Approach to the Treatment of Depression

Depression is the most complex of all possible conditions to come to a conclusion about. The causes of it can be any one, or more than one, of the following: loneliness or lack of social support; stressful life experiences; relationship problems; history of depression in the family; financial problems; drug or alcohol abuse; sexual abuse; unemployment; on-going health problems; residual problems left after child abuse or neglect; miscarriages of justice; problems to do with sexuality; problems associated with poor housing; neighbourhood or environmental problems; homelessness; and poor diet.
Because the reasons for depression are so varied, a doctor faced with a person suffering from it needs carefully to consider the following, in the order given: the circumstances giving rise to the condition; the state of the person’s mind; and the state of the patient’s body.
In considering the circumstances causing depression a doctor may need to, in addition to any treatment given, refer a patient to any of the following: the police (in sexual abuse or neighbourhood problems cases); specialist support services in relation to drug or alcohol abuse; the housing authorities (in the case of poor housing or homelessness); environmental agencies; welfare services; marital help counselling; or legal help services. Only when the underlying cause of the problem has been fully assessed, should consideration be given to the mind and body. 
The main conventional treatments for depression are anti-depressant medicines, psychoanalysis and behavioural therapy. Clearly what has to change ,in most cases, is the person’s outlook on life. Irrespective of what has happened in the past, there is a need to in-still in the patient a more positive outlook in relation to the rest of his/her life.
If a patient is severely depressed or suicidal, then the use of prescription drugs may be appropriate. In situations where drugs are prescribed, it should be pointed out to the patient that they are only a short-term measure to treat the symptoms; and that the long-term solution lays both in a change in outlook and behaviour.
There isn’t much evidence to support the view that psychoanalysis works for people suffering from depression. Several thousands of people have gone through this process and the indications are most felt no better at the end than they did at the beginning.
Therapy is probably the most constructive approach to the problem, provided the therapist understands that each person is unique, and it can be tailored to address the main cause of the problem. Positive thinking and behaviour in relation to the patient’s problems can be cultivated during therapy sessions.  A therapist needs to explain to the person under care that the main object of the limited-time therapy is to empower the individual to help themselves after the sessions have finished.
Lastly, what goes into the depressed person’s body by way of food and drink needs consideration.  A diet consisting mainly of protein and complex carbohydrates is best. The patient should avoid anything that contains added sugars, or anything that easily converts to sugar, in order to stop a sudden hike in blood sugar levels followed by a swift drop. Sugar in the diet should be obtained from eating mainly raw fruits to ensure the stability of blood glucose levels. Products containing caffeine, such as coffee, should be avoided because they can lead to mood swings; and there is a need to stay away from alcohol because it causes depression.
Vitamins B1 and C, as well as the mineral zinc, are so crucial to the diet in cases of depression that these should be taken as food supplements in addition the other dietary choices indicated above.
If you agree, disagree or have anything say on this post, why not leave a comment on it in the box provided ? 

Friday, 20 April 2012

How to Reduce Your Chances of Getting Cancer

The numbers confirm that conventional medicine has a high failure rate in treating cancer patients with any of the methods which it usually employs, which are drugs, surgery, radiation or chemotherapy. In some circumstances when a patient is diagnosed as having cancer, a death sentence is passed, which is usually expressed in months to live, putting the patient concerned  into an emotional state in addition to having to confront the disease.
Whilst the various medical establishments haven’t come to conclusions about the causes of cancer, there is enough known about the influences common to cancer patients to identify the culprits, and take the appropriate evasive actions if necessary. It is much better to take sensible preventative measures than to risk getting the disease, and consequently put yourself at the mercy of what man has devised by way of treatments for it.
The following have shown themselves to be the main reasons why people get cancer in the first instance: smoking and exposure to smoke; poor diet involving sugar-laden products; environmental issues; stress; unsafe exposure to the sun; lack of exercise. This being so, I have devised a nine point plan of preventative measures that can greatly lessen your chances of getting the disease, as follows.
Steps to take to reduce the risk of cancer:
      1.  Avoid smoking and exposure to other people’s smoke.
2.  Eats lots of fruit and vegetables: at least 6 or more portions daily.
3.  Limit your intake of red meat and animal fat; eat more fish and poultry instead.
4. Avoid any product where sugar is added, and especially carbonated soft drinks that contain sugar substitutes; drink more water.
5.  Limit your daily intake of alcohol to two units daily
6.  Safely expose yourself to the sun for 10-15 minutes daily if you are of white Caucasian origin, or 100-150 minutes daily if of black African origin. Use a sunscreen for any further daily exposure to the sun than this.
7.  Engage in regular exercise like walking or jogging for 40 or more minutes daily
8.  Try and avoid stress at home or at your place of work; take steps to resolve disputes rather than leave them lingering.
9.  Avoid, if possible, exposure to chemicals, toxic sprays or contact with high power lines at your place of work.

In addition to the above, it is prudent for women to have themselves screened for breast cancer regularly; and for men to have their prostate checked on visits to their doctor.

I am of the opinion that adhering to the preventative measures outlined above can reduce your chance of getting any form of cancer by more than 65%. 

Friday, 13 April 2012

Exercise Improves Health

Exercise is good for your health. An adequate amount of daily exercise can provide the following health benefits: greatly improves circulation; reduces blood pressure; lowers the amount of sugar (glucose) circulating in the body; helps reduce weight by lowering body fat.
All of the above benefits are inter-related. If you concentrate on improving circulation by engaging in daily exercise, all the other benefits will naturally follow as a consequence. Any of the following problems can indicate poor circulation: overall fatigue; brain fog; numbness in any limb; tingling sensations in toes or fingers; pain in the legs when walking; shortness of breath; and feeling cold without reason.
Good circulation benefits the entire body, including mental capability, hearing and vision. Poor circulation can result from a number of things, as follows: inflammation; plaque build-up, which causes a hardening of the arteries; fatty deposits; clots; hormone imbalances; peripheral artery disease; or chronic venous insufficiency.  A sedentary lifestyle, excess weight, smoking and a poor diet can also have a negative impact on circulation.
Peripheral artery disease (PAD) can remain hidden in certain individuals to the extent that they don’t know they have it. PAD is a strong predictor of heart disease; it increases the risk of a stroke or heart attack 4-5 times. Without proper treatment, one third of those with PAD will die within five years, while others will lose limbs. These outcomes could be avoided if detected in time and treated.
Chronic venous insufficiency (CVI) makes it difficult for veins in the legs to pump blood back to the heart. Blood clots and varicose veins are two common causes of CVI.  The main symptoms are swelling in the lower legs or ankles, and pain when walking or soon after stopping. Obesity, inactive lifestyle or weak leg muscles can put a person at risk of developing CVI. It is important to see your doctor immediately if you have any of the symptoms.
Moderate daily exercise can do wonders for your circulation and your body in general. You only need to engage in exercise for 30-45 minutes daily. This amount of time can be split into two or three lots, if necessary, to suit your daily schedule.  A good time to exercise can be 30 minutes or so after having a meal.
The basic exercise that most of us engage in is walking.  A brisk walk for 10-15 minutes duration after breakfast, lunch and dinner would suffice in this regard.  Jogging, cycling, swimming or doing exercises in the gym also qualify as activities that exercise the muscles necessary to benefit the body. Whatever your circumstances, you need to get in30-45 minutes of daily exercise in order to reduce the risk of developing any of the life –threatening conditions mentioned above.
It is best to do the exercises outdoors if possible but this is not a requirement. Due to the vagaries of the British climate not always cooperating, I personally have developed an exercise called “indoor jogging “. This entails taking off my shoes, putting down a mat in a spare room, using the mat like a treadmill lifting myself a few inches off the floor each time, all while counting to 600 for one of my three daily sessions. Don’t use foul weather as an excuse for not exercising!
It is best to support your exercise routine with food that nourishes your body with the nutrients that it needs. Foods high in fibre, containing lean protein and with liberal amounts of vegetables are best for this purpose. Water is the best beverage to use in preference to the sugar-laden soft drinks (sodas). 

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Water Is Essential to Health

The water that you drink is very important as far as your health is concerned. Traditionally water has been credited with having the following positive effects on health: transporting food to different parts of the body; assimilating food; eliminating waste through sweat and urine; building cells; and regulating body temperature. 
However, a leading expert in using water for health problems, Dr Batmanghelidj, states that in addition to the above stated benefits, many common ailments and “diseases” can be cured by water because they are actually caused by dehydration in the first instance. In an interview that he gave to Mike Adams of Natural News, Dr B. outlined examples of health problems that he cured using water. The main points of the interview are summarised in the following paragraphs.  
DR.B. discovered the healing power of water purely by accident. He had a patient who was doubled up in terrible abdominal pain from a stomach ulcer, and could barely move. As he had nothing else to give him at that time, he gave  him two glasses of water. The patient’s pain subsided after just three minutes; and on giving him further water, the pain completely went after about eight minutes. Dr B. then advised his patient to drink two glasses of water every three hours as a preventative measure, which he did without any recurrence of the pain. He then cured thousands of his patients with stomach ulcers in the same way with a positive outcome each time.
Following this, Dr B decided to study the healing power of water in detail, and experimented with some patients where he suspected that  dehydration was a problem. He came to some unique conclusions about the healing power of water, which challenges conventional medicine in the treatment of certain health problems.
He discovered that soft drinks (sodas), tea, coffee and alcohol act so differently in the body in comparison to water that it is possible to become dehydrated while taking them. He found that allergies, hypertension, diabetes and asthma are all related to the amount of free water in the body. Moreover, he claims that millions of American children could be instantly cured of their asthma simply by switching from drinking soft drinks (sodas) to water.  
Dr B. further states that thirst perception is not a reliable indicator of whether or not you need water, especially as you get older. Consequently, he recommends that everybody makes a conscious effort to drink six or more glasses of water per day as a preventative measure against health problems. One check you can easily do to see if your body is deficient in water is watch the colour of your urine: to see that it runs colourless (h'asnt got an yellow in it) at least once on a daily basis.

In the interview generally, he was critical of conventional medicine’s approach in using drugs to treat health problems to the exclusion of anything else; and advanced the view that the sole motive of the pharmaceuticals is profit.
The above is just a very brief summary of what he said in the interview. If you want to access the full account of what was said, which I thoroughly recommend that you do, go to the following link:

Friday, 30 March 2012

Why Fibre Is Crucial In the Diet

Fibre has lots of beneficial effects on the body, which includes helping to regulate the amount of fat and sugar in the blood. There are two types of fibre, as follows: not water soluble; and water soluble.
The insoluble type of fibre is found in whole grain wheat, rye, brown rice, cherries, grapes, pineapples, rhubarb, melons, prunes, berries, turnips, beets, tomatoes, all green vegetables, beans, legumes and nuts.  
The insoluble type of fibre provides the following health benefits: helps slow down the movement of foods from the stomach to the intestines; improves digestion and alleviates hunger pangs; helps reduce cholesterol by eliminating any excess; helps prevent gallstones; and helps prevent constipation.
The soluble type of fibre is found in oat bran, oatmeal, barley, apples and citrus fruits. The soluble type of fibre provides  the following health benefits: it makes you full more quickly, so you eat less; it slows down the absorption of fats and sugars into the small intestine, thereby regularizing metabolism and reducing the amount of insulin secreted by your body.
The possible effects of a fibre deficiency can result in health problems, as follows: obesity; type 2 diabetes; appendicitis; cancer of the colon and rectum; constipation; haemorrhoids; heart problems; and bladder problems.  
The recommended intake of fibre is 30- 40 grams per day. One possible consequence of an excess of fibre is decalcification. If you eat a lot of foods high in fibre, increase your intake of dairy products to avoid such a reaction.
The following table shows the fibre content in grams per 100 grams of different foods:
Dried Apricots: 24
Whole cereals: 11
Lentils: 4
Pears: 3
Cabbage: 4.6
Leaks: 3.3
Artichokes: 4.2
Cooked spinach: 5
Hazelnuts: 9
Apples: 2.5
Bananas: 2
Dried figs: 18.3
Olives: 6.3
Potatoes: 1
Broccoli: 4.3
Rasberries: 7.4
Oranges: 2.9
Prunes: 16
Peanuts: 7.5
Gooseberries: 6.8
Wholemeal bread: 6.5
Raisins/sultanas : 6.5
Carrots: 3.4
Red beans: 3.5
Peaches: 2.3
Brown rice: 4.5
Celery: 6
Dried beans: 4.5
Peas: 5.3
Rye: 44
If you cannot achieve your daily requirement of fibre from food sources, then there is a need to supplement with fibre capsules in order to achieve a balanced diet. Psyllium husks, which are readily available for purchase from health food shops, are an adequate choice in this regard. If you are getting some fibre from food sources but not enough, then you will have to do a calculation on the amount of supplementation that is required in order to make up the deficit.
I hope the British spelling of fibre used in this post hasn’t in any way interfered with  my American visitors' understanding of the points made.

Friday, 23 March 2012

Sunshine Is Good for Your Health

We are now in springtime in the northern hemisphere, and over the next six months or so there is likely to be a lot of sunshine. One of the most constructive things you can do from a health point of view, is expose your body to the healing power of the sun.
The action of direct sunlight on the skin is the main provider of vitamin D because there are not many food sources of it. The only known food sources of vitamin D are cod liver oil, oily fish such as sardines, salmon, herring and mackerel. Eggs and milk contain only small amounts, although milk fortified with vitamin D can be purchased. 
A synthetic version of vitamin D can be obtained if you take a multivitamin and mineral tablet daily, but it is only likely to provide you with 40% of your recommended daily requirement of a 1,000 IU (international units). However, in addition you could take a vitamin D supplement separately on its own to make up for the deficit.
A vitamin D deficiency can cause osteoporosis, rickets and schizophrenia.  It is crucial in forming strong bones and teeth. A deficiency can also: exacerbate type 2 diabetes by impairing insulin production in the pancreas; and negatively   affect calcium absorption by the body.
One of the world’s leading experts on sunshine and vitamin D, Dr Michael Holick, from studies carried out has concluded that a sufficiency of vitamin D in the body helps prevent prostate cancer, breast cancer, ovarian cancer, colon cancer, depression and schizophrenia.
Women who are deficient in vitamin D at the birth of a child, can put the child’s health at risk of developing such diseases as type1 diabetes early in life. Where this is a known problem, supplementation is recommended for the child from an early age.
Dr Holick recommends sensible sun exposure. If you live in the northern hemisphere and are of Caucasian origin, this may typically mean exposure to direct sunlight for 5 -10 minutes daily, 3 times or more weekly exposing head, neck, arms and legs to the sun. Persons of African origin, however, need about 10 times the above stated amount because of the skin pigmentation providing a natural resistance to the sun.  
Only sunshine directly on the skin triggers the production of vitamin D.  Therefore sunshine absorbed through glass does not count for this purpose. If, for example, you work in a greenhouse you would need to take in sunshine away from where you work in order to get your daily requirement.
The sunscreen industry have been emphasising the harmful effects of the sun for years in order to sell their products. The healing effects the sun’s rays have on the body never get mentioned in their literature. Consequently, some people apply a sunscreen before venturing out into the sun, which is a mistake as some products can block as much as 95% of the sun’s rays. It is much better to get your daily requirement of sunshine as outlined above first, and then apply a sunscreen for the duration of the time you are exposed.
Use the summer months to keep the vitamin D level in the body, which acts like a tank in this regard, at a high level. During the winter months when the sun isn’t shining, seriously consider taking  a vitamin D supplement or cod liver oil capsules to avoid any deficiency.
If the pharmaceuticals could bottle sunshine, they would, then sing its praises and sell it at a hefty price per bottle. Because it is free resource, not many people point out its beneficial effects. Do not underestimate the healing power of the sun. !

Friday, 16 March 2012

Why One Person's Ordeal Is Significant

One of the most harrowing tales that I've heard of in relation to a health problem concerns a now elderly lady from a small town in Florida, USA. Her name is Margie Garrison, and her picture is on the left.

When she was still just a teenager, Margie Garrison was suffering from pains in her joints and went to her local doctor to see what the problem was. After a series of examinations and consultations, she was diagnosed as having rheumatoid arthritis. She was told that there was no known cure for arthritis but was prescribed drugs to relieve the pain. She took the drugs which gave her some temporary relief from the pain but had some unpleasant side effects. After a few years with the same doctor, she decided to change to another in the same locality.

The second doctor on examining her, agreed with the diagnosis made by the first doctor, told her there was not known cure for arthritis and prescribed further drugs to relieve the pain. After a few years with the second doctor during which time her condition had not improved as she was still in pain daily, Margie concluded that he was no better than the first and again changed her medical adviser.

Over the next 30 years or so, she changed her doctor several more times. Most of them repeated to her that there was no known cure for arthritis and typically told her: " go home and learn to live with it is a prescription for some drugs to relieve the pain". One of them put her through gold therapy which did nothing to improve her condition. By the year 1979, she had suffered from arthritis for more than 40 years and had seen 13 doctors or specialists about her condition. By this time, she had spent thousands of dollars on doctor's bills and medications that did not work.

She then heard of a doctor called Jack Goldstein, who was reputed to be different from the others in that he put the emphasis on homeopathic remedies and natural cures for health problems. On her first meeting with him, Margie could hardly believe her ears when she heard him say "arthritis is the easiest disease to cure". She was sceptical at first but decided to implement whatever he said. Dr Goldstein advised her to do the following: follow a natural treatment without drugs or side effects; adhere to a strict diet involving foods and drinks that were good for her condition; do some daily exercises; and engage in positive thinking about her condition.

 After a few days of this new approach, she felt better; after a few weeks, she felt much better and could now engage in activities that she could not touch beforehand; and after about 3 months, she was completely cured of the condition that had afflicted her for more than 40 years.

Margie was now enjoying a pain- free life for the first time since she was a young girl.  When she heard that the US Arthritis Foundation were holding a convention at a nearby hotel, she decided that she would go there and speak to let the people attending know that their arthritis could be cured by natural means without the use of prescribed drugs. When the organisers of the convention heard what she was proposing to say, they decided they would not let her speak and marched her out of the convention using security personnel.

On her next visit to Dr Jack Goldstein, Margie told him about what happened at the convention and he expressed no surprise at all saying the suppression of information was endemic in the US health service. He had earlier cured his own colitis by natural means but was shunned by his peers when he tried to publicise this fact at a medical gathering.

Margie Garrison today is known in her local community and on the internet as " The Arthritis Lady ". She now runs a website advising people on natural cures for arthritis which can be accessed by anybody. She has written an e-book on arthritis from her own experiences, which costs less than $20 to buy and is available online for immediate download.

Her story reveals what goes on in the American health service in the following ways: doctors place too much emphasis on drugs to treat health problems as a first option;  doctors, specialists, chemists and pharmaceuticals all make a lot of money out of their patients' suffering; disease associations and foundations cannot be relied upon to tell their members the truth as they have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo; the whole medical establishment is skewed away from natural cures for health problems towards prescription drugs and conventional treatments.

I hope you will agree with me that the Margie Garrison story was worth telling because of the light it has shone on a biased and corrupt system of delivering healthcare to patients in the world's leading nation. However, the lessons to be learned from it do have worldwide implications.