Tuesday, 22 December 2015

How to Prevent Digestive Disturbances

An average doctor's workload entails dealing on a daily basis with lots of ailments arising from poor digestion. These problems can largely be prevented. A digestive disturbance is defined as one in which the sufferer has the inability to break down food in the stomach and intestines causing disease , malnutrition or unmetabolised food.

The causes of digestive disturbances can be many as listed as follows: the breaking down of food is not performed properly; the tube from the mouth to the stomach is not functioning properly; there is a slowdown in the production and effectiveness of digestive enzymes and hydrochloric acid in the stomach as people age; there is a slowdown in the digestive enzymes produced in the pancreas, which are required to process different types of food effectively; the liver's production of bile is lessened; the muscular action of the stomach and intestines is lessened by poor nutrition; stress causing the overproduction of hormones which deactivate certain areas of the body such as the stomach and intestines; eating spicy foods which require higher amounts of enzymes to be broken down; consuming too much processed , fatty or sugary type foods; and poor food combining.

The conventional treatments for digestive disturbances are to prescribe drugs in the antacid or antispasmodic categories. Both of these drug types have serious side-effects which interfere with the natural function of the body causing more serious reactionary problems than the condition being treated. It is therefore best to identify what an individual can do to prevent digestive disturbances occurring in the first instance.

Foods and drinks good for digestion are: red beats, raw green vegetables, apples, bananas, sweet potatoes, avocados, oatmeal porridge, wholegrain cereals, cod liver oil, blueberries, kiwis, papaya, peaches, tomatoes, carrots, spring water, natural yogurt, cucumbers, ginger, lemon juice, pineapples, grapes, oranges, rhubarb, parsley, chic peas, raspberries, gooseberries, lean meats, high fibre foods and lemon and ginger tea.

Not good for digestion are processed, fried, spicy or sugary foods. Most types of fish, meats derived from game animals or birds, chestnuts and garlic also do not promote good digestion. Avoid stress in so far as this is possible. Poor food combining should be avoided, such as eating starches and proteins in the same meal. Starches with greens, or proteins with greens, are good combinations. Generally, eat fruits separately from the main meals of the day.

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Wednesday, 28 October 2015

How to Keep The Blood Thin

While some people are more prone to developing blood clots-deep vein thrombosis (DVT) - than others, this condition can largely be prevented by paying attention to the lifestyle you lead as well as diet. Lack of adequate daily exercise, smoking, obesity and dehydration can increase the risk of developing DVT. Changing your daily habits to healthy ones and making the correct food choices can reduce the risk of developing blood clots significantly.

In order to keep the blood thin and avoid the possibility of developing blood clots, you need to do the following:                                                                                                                                          1.Do at least 30 or more minutes of exercise daily. The exercise could be walking, running, jogging, swimming, cycling , dancing, or any other activity that takes your fancy. Adequate daily exercise helps the blood flow throughout the body and negates the possibility of the blood clotting.                                                                                                                             2. Avoid becoming obese. You will first need to establish with your doctor if you are in this category, or approaching it by being overweight. Obesity can be caused by the malfunction of one or more of the bodily organs, by genetic influences, by stress or simply overeating. From once the cause is established, an appropriate diet can be worked out which needs to be rigidly adhered to.                                                                                                                                     3. If you are a smoker, give this unhealthy habit up because the nicotine deposited in the body as a result of smoking restricts the smooth flow of the blood to all the crucial areas that it needs to get to, thereby increasing the possibility of the blood clotting.                                                                                                                            4. There is evidence to suggest that drinking adequate daily amounts of water, or other suitable liquids, can help keep the blood thin. Six or more glasses of water is sufficient on a daily basis for this purpose. Green tea, lemon and ginger tea and cider are also liquids which can help keep the blood fluid.                                                                                                                                 5. The choice of foods eaten at meal times can have a significant bearing on the fluidity of the blood. The following foods are recommended for all persons seeking to thin the blood except those already on medications for that purpose. Anyone in the latter group, should consult their doctor first before embarking on a blood thinning diet in addition to their medication. Here are lists of foods which help to keep the blood fluid::                                                                                                                              (a) Herbs such as garlic, ginger, peppermint, thyme, cinnamon, dill, tumeric, oregano, curry powder and cayenne pepper. .                                                                               (b) Fruits such as grapes, raisins, prunes, cherries, cranberries, blueberries, tangerines, strawberries, oranges and apples. .                                                                                 (c) Foods containing omega 3 fatty acids such as anchoves, salmon, tuna, mackerel, trout and herring.                                                                                                            (d) Foods high in vitamin E such as whole grains, .coconuts and sunflower seeds.                                                                                                                                         (e) Healthy oils such as olive oil and sunflower oil, and the ancient food used by the Incas, quinoa, can also aid the thinning of the blood.

You now have sufficient information on this subject to take action, and prevent the consequences of blood clots having a harmful effect on your health 

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Alkalize the Body to Prevent Health Problems

Many health problems arise from the body being too acidic. Examples of these are type 2 diabetes, certain cancers, osteoporosis, muscle loss, fractures, kidney stone formation, high blood pressure, heart disease and thyroid problems. Therefore achieving the correct pH (acid/alkaline) balance in the diet is important in order not to put yourself at risk of developing a health problem arising from the over- acidity of the body, or acidosis as it is commonly known.

The organs of the body generally do a good job in expelling waste from the body such as excess acids, which are the waste products of metabilism. However, health problems can occur when the body is overloaded with too many acids arising generally from the consumption of too much animal protein instead of vegetal protein. Modern processed and manufactured foods can also be a problem. A lifestyle involving not enough exercise, or not drinking enough water, on a daily basis can also lead to acidosis.

Proteins in foods contain a variety of acids such as sulphuric, phosphoric, hydrochloric, nitric and uric. Acid-producing proteins form the basis of our nutrition since the animo acids which make them up contribute to the proper functioning of the body. Health problems can arise when people consume too much protein. About 50 grams ( 2 ounces) of protein on a daily basis is sufficient for most people; but those involved in heavy manual work, or strenuous physical exercise, could consume 20%-30% more without any adverse consequences in relation to their health.

Acidifying foods strip your body of essential minerals. These types of foods include the following: meats, processed meats, fish, pasta, white sugar, semolina, tea, coffee, alcohol, sugar-laden soft drinks, chocolate, refined oils, hard fat, strong fermented cheeses, refined white flour and derivitive products (white bread, pastry, biscuits etc.), peanuts, asparagus, artichokes, Brussels sprouts and egg whites.

Generally speaking fruits and vegetables are alkaline foods with the exception of those mentioned in the previous paragraph. Milk is also alkaline if consumed in the form of yogurt or non-matured cheese. Because these foods are rich in minerals, they should comprise a major part of the diet. Here is a list of alkaline-rich foods: fruits, unsweetened fruit juice, egg yolks, yogurt, powered milk, vegetable leaves and roots, vegetable stems (except asparagus),vegetable broth, onions, garlic, potatoes, soyabeans and derivitive products, and herbs such as rosemary, thyme, chives and parsley.

It is best healthwise, in order to avoid the consequences of acidosis, to weight your intake in a 2:1 ratio in favour of  alkaline type foods, as well as taking daily action on the exercise and consumption of water fronts. However, some foods have almost a perfect pH balance. These are listed as follows: fresh good quality butter, whole grain cereals, sprouted grains, green beans, millet, fresh walnuts, rye bread, wholegrain pasta and sweet peas. 

Saturday, 7 March 2015

Why Detox Diets Are Unnecessary

You generally do not need to detox if you treat your body properly as it is a self-cleansing machine. Whilst detox diets are everywhere, sometimes endorsed by celebrities, they can actually do you harm if they confine you solely to drinking fruit or vegetable juices for more than a few days, thereby denying your body of the essential nutrients it needs causing the loss of muscle mass. The immune system, liver, kidneys, lungs and other organs do a good job in expelling toxins from the body if they are serviced regularly with organ-friendly foods and drinks.  

Even if you have been ill treating you body by regularly consuming junk foods for example, all you need do to remedy the situation is give them up and supplant them with a balanced diet of good foods and drinks. What you generally need are foods high in fibre, an adequate amount of fresh fruits and vegetables, wholegrain cereals, fish, lean-meat protein, water and exercise on a daily basis in order to detoxify the body naturally.

Depriving yourself of essential nutrients for more than a few days is counter-productive as it will fool the body into thinking it is not going to get the level of sustenance it had before, and it will therefore hoard calories in the body when you quit the diet in order to compensate for the famine period which it will assume will return. Putting on weight when you leave an unreasonably restrictive self-imposed diet is therefore probable -likely to happen.

If you want your body to be self-cleansing, the first thing you should do is ensure you are taking on board adequate amounts of fibre on a daily bsais. Fibre is found in wholemeal or rye bread, brown rice, wholegrain pasta, French beans, kidney beans, celery, wholegrain breakfast cereals, fruits with their skins after thoroughly washing to remove any chemicals arising from sprays. An adequate amount of fibre in the diet daily will ensure the bowels move regularly and there is no risk of constipation.

It is best to derive the majority of protein in the diet from vegetal sources with a heavy bias towards raw foods. Good sources of vegetal protein are: oatmeal, whole wheat, barley, soya beans, kidney beans, almonds and walnuts. Raw foods could consist of cabbage, kale, spinach, lettuce, leeks, tomatoes, apples, pears, plums, kiwis, blackberries, raspberries and blueberries. Herbs like garlic and parsley contain lots of beneficial properties and help to expel toxins from the body.

Fish is the best source of animal protein with a preference for the oily varieties such as salmon, tuna, mackerel or sardines. White meat such as chicken or turkey should be used in preference to red meat . The latter should not be eaten more than twice per week. Eggs are also a good source of animal protein containing various beneficial vitamins, minerals and all the essential animo acids.

It is best to drink six glasses of water daily in order to flush out toxins from the body. The quantity of water can be reduced if you drink green tea, lemon and ginger tea, or dandelion tea on a regular basis. If you take on board enough liquids daily, there is no chance of dehydration becoming a health issue.

Lastly, you need to do at least 40 minutes of exercise daily. The exercise could be running, walking, jogging, swimming, cycling, dancing, or anything else you fancy, as long as you engage in it on a regular basis. Exercise helps all the vital organs to function properly, and encourages the body to excrete anything accumulating there that is excess to requirements.

If you have anything to say on this post, do so via the comments box below.

Friday, 6 February 2015

Consider the Alternatives to Prescription Drugs

I have neglected this blog over the past couple of months due to a move to facilitate my retirement which involved moving from the United Kingdom, where I have spent many happy years, back to the land of my birth- Ireland. I always heard that moving home is a stressful time to which I will add: if you are moving country as well as home, it can be twice as stressful.

I arrived in Ireland only to find my older brother, Kevin, in a very poor state of health. Kevin has a complicated medical history due to which he has been on drugs, prescribed by his local doctor, for bronchritis, blood pressure, prostate problems and sleep deprivation to name just a few. Then two years ago, he was diagnosed as having colon cancer as well as all the other health problems.

Kevin was referred to the local cancer hospital for treatment on the discovery that he had the disease. The hospital recommended that he undertook chemotherapy for his cancer to which he agreed in principle. However, the chemotherapy drugs in addition to the other drugs have had a signifaicant impact on his mental and physical wellbeing due to which he suffered irrational moments, blackouts and falls.

The compunded effects of many prescription drugs acting within a person's body can bring about such reactions as suffered by Kevin. When you consider the possible adverse side effects that a single drug can have on a person, many drugs administered at once can have multiple side effects as well as the possibility of clashes between individual drugs within the whole cocktail administered.

The best way to avoid the compounded effects of many prescription drugs, as suffered by Kevin, is not to go down the drug route to the solution of a health problem in the first instance. You may say this is easier said than done but, if you are computer literate, it can easily be done by entering a search term such as " natural cures for bloodpressure " in a search engine such as Google as an example, and then going through each of the results thrown up by the search.

Whilst doctors across numerous developed counteries may vary in skill and competence, their attitude to prescription drugs is generally much the same in that they consider them safe because their use has been approved by the health authority in the particular country in which they are domiciled. They rarely give thought to, or are ignorant of, the side effects; and don't appear to take into account the compounded effects on a patient of numerous drugs for different health problems at all. Lack of time can also have a bearing on a doctor's decision to prescribe drugs.

You therefore would be well advised to bring up on a visit to a doctor about a health problem what the alternatives to prescription drugs are in its treatment, thereby forcing him or her to at least outline the different courses of action available. Some of the alternative methods of treating a heath problem may involve you in engaging in something on a daily basis, such as doing an adequate amount of exercise for example, which may put some patients off. However, in most health instances there is no " magic pill " that can replace the pursuing a healthy diet, taking sufficient amounts of exercise, and drinking six glasses of water on a daily basis as preventative measures against health problems occurring in the first instance.

Sunday, 2 November 2014

How to Prevent Prostate Problems

Most men over the age of 50 suffer an enlargement of the prostate to some extent. The prostate is a walnut-sized organ that surrounds the male urethra at the base of the bladder. The prostate secretes semen, a milky fluid that is ejected with sperm. The urethra is the canal from the bladder to the exterior of the body. When the prostate enlarges it squeezes the urethra diminishing the flow of urine. In extreme cases, it can stop the flow altogether. Unless problems in this area of the body are detected early, one of the consequences could be prostate cancer.

The causes of prostate problems are as follows: lack of proper nutrients; clogged artries causing slow circulation in the prostate thereby depriving it of the nutrients it needs; poor circulation; high fever; atherosclerosis- which slows the circulation of blood in the tiny capillaries of the prostate; arteriosclerosis- where the arteries and capillaries become hardened and lose efficiency; a silica deficiency.

Conventional medicine has responded to prostate problems with the following treatments: surgery to remove the prostate; transurethrai resection involving scrapping away the inner core of the prostate either using instruments or a laser; hormonal therapy. The effects of surgery can leads to problems with scar tissue and a weakening of the immune system. Hormonal therapy only provides temporary respite from the symptoms and does not address the underlying cause of the problem.

It is therefore best to try and prevent prostate problems from occurring in the first instance by paying proper attention to diet. First, avoid a silica deficiency. Silica acts like an internal cement combating the effects of aging. Good sources of this mineral are plants which have strong leaves and stems like horsetail. Other sources include the peel of fruit, the husks of grains, onions, garlic and shallots.

Eat tomatoes regularly. Tomatoes are rich in a powerful antioxidant called lycopene. The higher your intake of tomatoes on a daily basis the lower your risk of developing prostate cancer. Ten or more portions of tomatoes (or products derived from them) weekly is recommended.

Eastern men who consume soya regularly have a much lower incidence of prostate problems than their counterparts on a Western diet. Therefore add cooked soya beans to stews, and add mashed tofu to mashed potatoes or other vegetables. Soya flakes, milk and yogurt can also be used, where appropriate, at meal times.

Strict vegetarians only have prostate problems at half the rate of meat eaters. Therefore derive most of the protein that you consume daily from vegetal sources. Therefore consume whole grains, nuts, beans, lentils and leafy green vegetables on a daily basis. Fish is also preferable as a source of protein to red meat.

Pursue a high fibre diet as studies have shown that people who do this have a much lower incidence of prostate problems. Brown bread, rye bread, brown rice, wholegrain pasta, baked beans, potatoes with their skins, wholegrain breakfast cereals and fruits with their skins are good sources of fibre in the diet.

Drink at least six glasses of water daily. Water helps keeps the whole urinal tract in a good condition, and the tendency to cut back on water intake if one is experiencing difficulty urinating due to an enlarged prostate is not recommended.

Herbal capsules containing saw palmetto berries, taken three times daily, can help heal the problem; taking magnesium chloride supplements, two or three every morning, can help prevent prostate problems; and chelated zinc capsules, 50mg taken three tomes a day, can help shrink an enlarged prostate.

Things to avoid in the diet are saturated fats found in red meats and dairy products. When you eat meat, favour skinless white meat such as chicken or turkey, and go for low-fat dairy products. Avoid smoking, alcohol and overly spicy foods. If your prostate is in an enlarged state, avoid sugar-laden foods and soft drinks as they make the problem worse. 

Thursday, 2 October 2014

How to Combat Obesity

You are said to be obese if you are 20% or more above the normal bodyweight for a person of your sex, height and build. If you consider yourself to be overweight, you should consult your doctor who should confirm whether or not you are in this category by applying a measure such as the BMI (Body Mass Index) to establish the facts. Being obese can put you at risk of developing type 2 diabetes, certain cancers, arthritis and cardiovascular problems so it needs to be addressed as a health problem

Obesity can arise from many causes as follows: pathological-caused by a mental or physical malfunction; genetic; linked to stress; caused by overeating; eating the wrong type of foods; and lack of exercise. It is best to first establish which of these causes give rise to your obese state, in order to consider the most appropriate treatment options available. Whilst obesity arising from a pathological problem needs specialist treatment to overcome it, all other causes can be treated by paying attention to diet, and the amount of daily exercise you execute.

In order to reduce weight, your primary goals should be to: reduce your intake of saturated fats; engage in any daily exercise for at least 30 minutes per day in order burn off excess calories. Carbohydrates are the main source of fat in the diet: but they spit into simple carbohydrates containing fast assimilation sugars which are bad for you, and complex carbohydrates containing slow assimilation sugars which are beneficial in moderate amounts.

You therefore should avoid sweets, cakes. candy, soft drinks, crackers, crisps, chocolate, ice cream, bananas, sweetened fruit juices, canned fruit in syrup, fresh cream, honey, white bread, white rice, cocoa and coffee. You should also avoid almonds, peanuts, hazelnuts, walnuts, coconuts, pine nuts and cashew nuts. Also avoid heavily salted foods such as processed meats, smoked meats, smoked fish, olives, shrimps or commercial salad dressings or sauces. Try and avoid fried foods in general, and especially fried or scrambled eggs- eat boiled or poached eggs instead.

The best diet for people who are obese is a high protein, low carbohydrate one. You should concentrate on getting protein from fish, white meat, low fat yogurt with live cultures, and from foods in the complex carbohydrate category such as potatoes with their skins, wholegrain bread, rye bread, brown tice, wholegrain pasta, whole grain cereals , oatmeal, beans, vegetables and dried fruit. The following vegetables/herbs stimulate the evacuation of waste: celery, chicory, fennel, parsley and dandelion. You should try and get 6 grams of protein daily per kilogram of weight ( 2.2 pounds), and balance animal and vegetable sources of protein evenly.

It is beneficial to your condition to drink 6-8 glasses of water daily preferably in between meals. Drinking water frequently fills you up so you will eat less at mealtimes; it also aids the clearing out of your internal organs so they work more efficiently. Other drinks which can be employed gainfully are green tea, ginger tea , dandelion tea and raspberry tea.

You should engage in at least 30 minutes of physical exercise daily. This could be walking, jogging, cycling, swimming, dancing or anything else that takes your fancy. Alternatively, you could go for a brisk walk for 15 minutes duration after each of your main meals of the day. Exercise burns up excess fat and improves the whole digestive system. 

Monday, 18 August 2014

Benjamin Netanyahu Is Blocking Peace

Since my post in November 2012 titled " Imagine ", I have not commented on this blog on world events affecting the welfare of people generally, or in a specific area of the planet. In the past few years, great numbers of people have been displaced as a result of ongoing conflicts in Syria, Iraq and Palestine to name a few. I intend to solely concentrate on the Palestinian issue in this post simply because it has gone on for the longest period of time, and generates lots of emotions worldwide relating to its ultimate resolution.

Benjamin Netanyahu, the current prime minister of Israel, is an impediment to peace in the Middle East in my view. During periods of calm, he refuses to negotiate freely with all the Palestinians. He says he cannot negotiate with Hamas because they refuse to recognise the state of Israel. Yet, as the present troubles testify, Hamas represent the people of Gaza, and he is therefore bound to negotiate with them if there is to be a meaningful and lasting settlement. His refusal to negotiate with this wing of the Palestinians means he doesn't want a settlement of the problem during his premiership.

The siege of Gaza by Israel due to which all land, sea and air routes into this narrow strip of land are blocked creates " prison " conditions within it, and greatly interferes with all normal living conditions for the 1.8 million people affected by it. This continued siege gives rise to hatred starting at an early age, and support for Palestinians who want to destroy Israel by force. Therefore Netanyahu's policy towards Gaza is only serving to continue a very unstable situation, thereby ensuring continued suffering and bitterness for Palestinians down the generations.

If Netanyahu thinks there is no precedent in world history for negotiating with "terrorists" , he should talk to the British. In October 1921, both the then British prime minister, David Lloyd George, and Winston Churchill, sat down at a table with Michael Collins to negotiate what has become known as "The Irish Treaty". In November 1920, less than a year earlier, Collins and his men had scores of British agents operating in Dublin rounded up and killed, and the British press at the time labelled him " a terrorist and number one enemy of the country ". Collins didn't see himself as a terrorist but a freedom fighter who did not recognise Britain's right to rule Ireland.

In more recent times, the British cleverly used Sinn Fein to arrive at an understanding with the IRA in Northern Ireland that if significant concessions were made at the negotiating table in favour of the nationalist community then the violence would cease. At the present time, the agreements so reached on many issues, and embodied in the Good Friday Agreement in 1998, appears to be holding. The lesson to be learned from Ireland says: there is a good chance violence will stop if the underlying issues giving rise to the violence are addressed and fixed in a way that allows peace to prevail.

I do recognise Israel's right to defend itself. However, the corresponding right of the Palestinian people to a state operating alongside Israel is what has been neglected for the past 60 years or so. The onus therefore is on all parties with an interest in the region, peace and justice to deliver to the Palestinian people a viable functioning state they can call home. If such a state were delivered to the Palestinians, would there then be any support in a place like Gaza for people who want to launch rockets into Israel ? I don't think so, and if it did happen they would be quickly apprehended by Palestine's own security forces. The main stumbling block to peace appears to be Benjamin Netanyahu in that, judging by his performance to date, I cannot see him making the big moves necessary to deliver it.

If you have got anything to say on this post, use the comments box below for that purpose.
 

Monday, 4 August 2014

How to Prevent Constipation

Constipation is the cause of lots of health problems including colon cancer. Whilst definitions of what constitutes constipation can vary dependant upon who you listen to, my definition is that you are constipated  If your bowels do not move once per day on average. What I am saying is If you do not go to the toilet for a pooh at least once per day, you should assume that you are constipated and take action as outlined in this post. If you bowels are sluggish and only move two or three times per week, then you are constipated and should take action to remedy the problem.

The main causes of constipation are as follows: insufficient intake of water or other suitable liquids; lack of fibre in the diet; lack of raw fruit or vegetables in the diet; drinking too much coffee or tea; eating too many fried foods; consuming too many sugar- laden foods and drinks; and lack of exercise. One of these, or a combination of more than one, can give rise to constipation thereby having a negative effect on your health.

In lots of cases, the problem of constipation is not reported to the doctor at all because the patient is unaware of the problem. In cases where it is reported, doctors have generally responded by prescribing laxatives, stool softners, bulking agents or mineral oil. The first three bring about a dependency on a substance to cure a problem which could be solved naturally by paying particular attention to what constitutes diet; and mineral oil can remove essential minerals and vitamins from the body as a side effect of its use.

The first measure you should take to combat constipation is to make sure you are drinking 6-8 glasses of water or other suitable liquids daily. Water softens stools and aids their elimination from the body via the anus. Other suitable liquids can be fruit or vegetable juices which have no sugar added. Green, herbal, dandelion  or ginger teas are also in this category.

With regard to your solid food intake, it is essential that you are getting enough fibre in the diet. An adult needs 20 grams or more (about an ounce) of fibre a day. Good sources of fibre are wholegrain bread, brown rice, potatoes with their skins, rye crispbreads, wholegrain breakfast cereals, natural green vegetables, fruits with their skins (after washing thoroughly in order to get rid of any preservative sprays). Fibre aids the excretion of digested foods from the body in a timely manner so they do not hang about inside and cause constipation.

Other foods which alleviate constipation are almonds, apricots, asparagus, blackberries, cabbage, carrots, cherries, figs, baked beans, french beans , kidney beans, leeks, lettuce, oats, oranges, peaches, plums. raspberries, red currants, rhubarb, spinach, strawberries, swiss chard, tomatoes, garlic and unsweetened yoghurt. For more on this, go to my June 2013 post titled "  Make Use of the Cleansers ". Foods and drinks to be avoided are fried foods, biscuits, cakes, tea, coffee, bananas, and both white rice and white bread.

Vitamin C taken to bowel tolerance (stop when diarrhoea occurs) can immediately bring relief from constipation. The latter taken in higher than recommended doses has proven to be safe. Magnesium oxide, up to 2000 mg daily, can also help. Psyllium husks taken as directed on the label can help combat a deficiency of fibre in the diet. The herb cascara sagrada increases the secretions of the stomach, liver and pancreas thereby aiding the breakdown of food. It also cleanses the colon and helps rebuild tissues. The herb senna increases intestinal movements and aids the removal of toxins from the body.

One adjunctive measure you should employ is to engage in at least 30 minutes of exercise daily. This could be brisk walking, jogging, swimming, cycling, dancing or anything else that takes your fancy. Regular exercise aids digestion and the efficient elimination of waste materials from the body.

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Drug Companies Are Under Scrutiny Worldwide

In my July 2012 post titled " Fraudulent Practices by Global Pharmaceuticals ", I brought to the attention of the readers of this blog some of the illegal an unethical practices used by the world's top drug companies in order to win business. Since then, things appear to have got worse in the fight of the top companies for global market share. However, some countries' regulatory authorities and police forces have now got drug companies in their sights in relation to the withholding of information about their drugs which should be readily available to the public, and any illegal activities practiced by them.

In the aforementioned post, I highlighted GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) , who are Britain's biggest drug company, who had just been fined three billion dollars by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) in the USA for withholding information and fraud in relation to some of their drugs on sale in that country. Since then, GSK has been accused of illegal activities by the Chinese in the form of attempting to bribe doctors and hospital officials to favour their drugs in preference to the competition. As a consequence of the accusation, GSK's chief executive in China at the time of the alleged wrongdoing has been moved elsewhere within the company. GSK are also under investigation on home soil by the Serious Fraud Office in the UK into the " commercial practices employed by the company and its subsidiaries" .

From interviews that I have seen done with GSK executives, they resent the fact that they appear to have been singled out for special scrutiny in many countries when the standards employed by the competition in order to win business are no better. There is some truth in this. Pfizer, Merck and Abbott Laboratories, for instance, have been fined billions of dollars between them over the last five years by the FDA in connection with their drugs on sale in the USA. In the case of China, GSK probably feel that if they did not employ underhand methods to win market share then an American or continental European drug company would probably use the same or similar tactics.
 
Should you trust the products of a drug company who have a history of either withholding information or lying about the drugs they sell ? The ethical standards of the top drug companies appear to be much the same as the top banks. The banks have got into trouble with the regulatory authorities over mis-selling, misrepresentation, manipulating the LIBOR rate and breaking sanctions in many countries. We know the banks are only in it for the money, but the idea that the top pharmaceutical companies care about your health is a big lie: they are just using health as a means of making the maximum amount of money possible.

The global publicity created by their past misdeeds have put drug companies on the radar of the regulatory authorities and the police in many countries. There is evidence to suggest that countries such as Australia, New Zealand, Belgium, Holland,Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Austria, Canada and others will not tolerate such behavour in future. Because there is such profits involved, a billion dollar fine for a global pharmaceutical is only like a light slap on the wrist which they can easily absorb. What needs to be done if they are found guilty of either withholding information or fraud, is to fine the company the equivalent of two years profits in relation to the particular jurisdiction involved, as well as jailing the top executives for up to five years.

Saturday, 24 May 2014

How to Prevent Headaches

Headaches are characterised by pain and pressure in different parts of the head. Headaches are not a disease but a symptom of an underlying condition. Sinus headaches are caused by the overproduction of mucous in the membranes; vascular headaches result from the tightening and contraction of the muscles in the area of the neck, forehead and scalp; and migraine headaches are caused by the alternating constriction and dilation of blood vessels in the brain. The common migraine is accompanied by an uneasy feeling, nausea, depression and tingling in the arms and legs. The severe migraine is preceded by visual disturbances such as flashing lights, sensitivity to noise, weakness and dizziness.

Headaches can result from many causes, as follows: nutrient deficiencies such as a deficiency in vitamins B6 or C; food allergies; side effect of medication; caffeine withdrawal; lack of sleep; premenstral syndrome; birth control pills; hunger; constipation; reaction to food additives; alcohol abuse; air pollution; bacterial and viral infection; eye problems including improper eyeglasses; tension; low blood pressure; overexposure to the sun; dehydration; a deficiency in red blood cell chlorine levels; and a reaction to foods containing tyramine which include some cheeses, chocolate and bananas.

Doctors have responded to headaches by prescribing painkillers, anti-depresssants, ergotamine, or metbysergide for the prevention of migraine headaches. There are problems with all of these. Strong painkillers can be addictive; aspirin can cause bleeding from the stomach; and Phanacetin can lead to chronic kidney disease. Anti-depressants may cause drowsiness, blurred vision, nervousness and weight gain. One side effect of ergotamine can be the destruction of arteries in the limbs, eyes or heart. Metbysergide may lead to fibroid growth in the kidneys.

It is therefore best to concentrate on diet as a natural cure for headaches. If one food or drink is the root cause of your headaches, it is best to eliminate it from your diet completely. Avoid drinks containing caffeine such as coffee, tea or cola; or drink decaffinated versions of them instead. Avoid foods containing tyramine such as aged cheese, nuts, shell fish, pork, bananas, chocolate and wine. Avoid dairy products, in so far as you can, if they are the cause of your headaches. Eliminate cold foods, ice cream, and ice cubes from your diet; and cut down on or eliminate alcohol.

Some headaches, such as migraine ones, result from the body being in an acid condition. It is best therefore to try to keep the body as alkaline as possible by eating raw fruits, vegetables and sprouts. There is also evidence that almonds, brown bread, salmon, lettuce, cucumber, spinach, mushrooms and watermelon can provide some relief from headaches. Vegetable juices such as carrot and celery juice can also provide some relief.

The following food supplements can also be employed constructively to get relief from headaches: niacin, 100mg. three times daily; magnesium citrate, 400mg.three times daily; vitamin B complex, 50mg.three times daily; vitamin E, 400 I.U.twice daily; fish oil, two 1,000mg. three times daily; and vitamin C, 1,000mg. three times daily.

The following herbs, for the reasons stated, can also be used to treat headaches: feverfew gives relief from the pain of migraine headaches; basil draws poison out of the body; blessed thistle helps oxygenate the brain and improves circulation; ginger removes congestion; peppermint allows oxygen into the bloodstream; white willow bark relieves pain; and thyme brings general relief.

Other measures that can complement the foregoing are:
(a) Relaxation techniques such as meditation and imagery in order to reduce stress.
(b) Daily aerobic exercises to strengthen and enhance lung capacity in order to improve oxygen intake.
(C) A 3-4 day fast taking liquids such as apple, carrot or celery juice only, in order to eliminate toxins from the body.

You now have sufficient information, above, in order to tackle the problem of headaches without resorting to prescription drugs.

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Beware of the Mind-Body Relationship

There is a link between the mind and the body known about by some for thousands of years. The German philosopher, Goethe, once said: “the mind governs the body”.  If you can learn to maintain a balance between the principles of good health, and the often conflicting demands of your personality and lifestyle, you can lead a life free of disease and suffering.  On the other hand, if you simply let yourself go freewheel, making no effort to guide your life, you will remain in a constant state of imbalance whereby you experience setbacks of all kinds including mental and physical ones.

Your body and your life are merely reflections of your mind. It is the mind alone that shapes and determines your destiny. Even the most highly skilled doctors or surgeons, with the most modern equipment and medications, can only stimulate your inner healing powers, they cannot cure you by themselves. It is only through the power of the mind that you can achieve the real healing of both your physical and psychological health problems.  

Your mental or emotional state has a bearing on your health and vice versa. They are interdependent and support for one has an impact on the other. Lots of people are overweight, inactive, stressed and make poor food choices causing feelings of fatigue, anger, frustration and depression. Ignoring the mind-body connection over time can lead to serious mental or physical health problem requiring treatment or hospitalisation.

The following facts emanating from studies carried out in the USA and UK further confirm the mind-body connection:
·        Two- thirds of all visits to a doctor are for stress- related causes.
·        Hostility at home or at work can have a bigger impact on heart disease than being overweight, cigarette smoking or having high cholesterol levels.
·        People high in optimism were less likely to develop heart disease than their pessimistic counterparts.
·        Employees receiving mental health counselling were 35% less likely to have a physical complaint than those without.
·        People with high levels of anxiety have a much higher risk of developing a heart complaint.
·        Talk therapy is more effective for anxiety and depression than drug therapy.

Without being too pernickety about it, here are some practical things you can do daily to ensure your mind-body balance is in equilibrium:
1.     Try and find the root cause of anything affecting your mind. Your problem could possibly arise from a toxic substance such as mercury or lead, vitamin B12 or magnesium deficiency, reaction to a chemical or an allergy you have developed. By finding the cause, you are in a position to take remedial action.
2.     Learn how to relax or engage in activities which promote relaxation. Relaxation exercises, meditation, relaxation music, yoga, crafts, hobbies and sports can all play a part in reducing stress.
3.      Actively practice bringing about a state of calm. This might involve deep breathing, muscle relaxation, meditation, having a massage, making love, taking a bath or sauna, or going for a walk in the woods or by the sea.
4.     Do some daily exercise. It is a powerful way of reducing toxic substances in the body which may be affecting the mind, and is a lot more efficient in this respect than a prescription drug.
5.     Eat a balanced diet. Eliminate anything containing refined sugars, caffeine and cut down on alcohol consumption. Eat a least 5 portions of fruit or vegetables daily: and try and derive most of the proteins you eat from vegetables or fish instead of meat.
6.      Take a multivitamin and mineral tablet daily as insurance against a deficiency in the diet. Make sure there is no deficiency in vitamins C, B5,  B6, B12 or the mineral magnesium. 
7.     Use calming herbs in the diet. Valerian, peppermint, camomile, passionflower, lavender, lemon balm are all in this category.
8.     Keep well hydrated by drinking 6-8 glasses of water daily. Water is the most efficient way of expelling toxins from the body. You could reduce the amount of water you consume if you drink green tea, ginger tea, fruit or vegetable juices.
9.     Examine your attitudes and responses to problems you encounter regularly in order to reduce stress. Can you possibly overcome setbacks in your life with a sense of humour?
10. Build a network of friends, family and community. They are your most powerful allies in achieving long-term health. Interaction with a pet such as a cat or a dog can also have a positive influence on heath.
You now have enough ideas outlined above to begin to create a better relationship between the mind and the body, so that the effect of them working in harmony has a positive impact on your overall health and wellness.

Saturday, 8 March 2014

How to Prevent or Cope With Gout

Gout is a disease caused by pain, swelling and inflammation in the joints. A high uric acid content in the blood leaves deposits of uric acid crystals in and around the tissues of the joints at the extremities of the body, especially the big toe. Gout usually affects men. High uric acid levels are most often found in people of high intellectual achievement, overachievers and high aspirers.


High uric acid levels mainly occur from the inability to metabolise proteins from purine type foods. Uric acid crystals form in the joints causing the body to release harmful chemicals that cause inflammation and severe pain in the affected areas. Poor diet, age, diuretic type medications, excess weight, overindulgence in alcohol, drinking too much coffee can put a person at risk of developing gout.   


Conventional medicine has responded to this disease with the following: anti-inflammatory drugs; colchicine from the root of meadow saffron; medications to lower uric acid levels and promote excretion through the kidneys; and medications to prevent the formation of uric acid stones. There are problems with all of these as follows: anti-inflammatory drugs can cause dizziness, nausea, headache, diarrhoea, vomiting and internal bleeding; colchicine can cause numbness in the hands and feet, fever, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, hair loss and abdominal bleeding; and drugs to lower uric acid levels or prevent stones may weaken kidney function due to over-excretion of uric acid through the kidneys thereby causing them to work too hard.   


The main preventative measures you can take against developing gout are as follows:
  1. Maintain a healthy weight.
  2. Drink plenty of liquids such as water, green or herbal tea. 8-10 glasses per day should be sufficient.
  3. Limit your alcohol consumption to the occasional glass of wine.
  4. Limit your intake of purine type foods which include red meat, shellfish, tofu, organ meats, peas, anchovies, herring, asparagus and mushrooms.
  5. Eat potassium rich foods such as spinach, avocado, dried peaches, bananas, carrots, orange juice, baked jacket potatoes, lima beans and yams.
  6. Drink a warm glass of lemon and water each day after dinner.
  7. Avoid diuretic medications as they reduce the amount of potassium in the body.
If you already have gout, then you need to avoid all purine type foods as defined above, as well as fried foods, cream, ice cream, pastries, rich deserts, spices and alcohol especially beer.  Eliminate sugar- laden soft drinks in favour of water or green or herbal tea.
The diet should mainly consist of natural organic foods with a bias towards those having high fibre and potassium contents. A high fibre diet aids in eliminating uric acid by absorbing bile acids formed in the liver. Consequently, whole grain cereals, wholemeal bread, wholegrain pasta, brown rice, nuts, seeds, beans and potassium rich foods, as defined above, are all good for the condition. Other specific foods like sour cherries and strawberries can help combat a gout attack by getting uric acid out of the system at the onset. Grapes help alkalise the body and lessen the acidity of uric acid thereby encouraging the body to eliminate it.     


The following herbs, for the reasons stated, can help counteract gout: parsley acts as a natural diuretic; black cohash moderates blood activity; saffron neutralises uric acid build-up; devil’s claw is a natural cleansing agent for toxic impurities; nettle contains alkaloids which neutralises uric acid; and hydrangea is an anti-inflammatory.


Food supplements can be employed to help with gout as follows: vitamin C, 1000mg. three times daily; vitamin B5, 300mg. three times daily; folic acid, two 800mcg. tablets three times daily; bromelain, 500mg. twice daily, fish oil, two 1000mg. capsules three times daily; magnesium citrate, 400mg. three times daily; potassium tablets as directed on the label.
The following additional measures can help cope with gout:
  1. Take half a teaspoonful of bicarbonate of soda in water twice daily in order to alkalise the body.
  2. Soak a piece of white flannel in warm castor oil, wring it out and place it over the inflamed area, cover with plastic and apply a heating pad. Do this twice daily for one hour at each sitting.
  3. Fasting for three to four days at a time. Drink distilled water and five to six glasses of green vegetable juice or apple juice in lieu of food.        
If you have anything to say on this post, use the comments box below for that purpose. 

Saturday, 1 February 2014

How to Prevent Bowel Problems

Bowel problems affect a lot of people throughout their lives. The bowel includes the large intestine which is often referred to as the colon. The main function of the large intestine is to extract liquid from ingested food so it passes from the body in a bowel movement in a solid state. Problems occur when the colon becomes inflamed, or when waste material moves too slowly (constipation) or too rapidly (diarrhoea) through the large intestine. Overgrowth can occur in the colon from the proliferation of negative bacteria and thereby cause swelling.


Bowel problems can show up in various ways in the body, and can be diagnosed as diverticulitis, colitis, Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome, colon cancer, appendicitis, polyps, tumours, food allergies, parasites and possibly lower back problems. Constipation and diarrhoea are forewarnings of possible bigger problems to come. The following are the most frequent symptoms of bowel problems: severe abdominal cramps with fever; rectal bleeding; diarrhoea for more than two days; constipation for more than two weeks; frequent vomiting; and sudden unexplained weight loss.   
Conventional medicine has responded to bowel problems mainly with anti-inflammatory drugs, surgery, chemotherapy, radiation and laxative type medications. There are problems with all of these as follows: drugs affect the body in such a way as to interfere with the natural production of its own anti-bodies; surgery only treats the symptoms and not the underlying cause of the problem, and possibly causes scar tissue; chemotherapy destroys the immune system in addition to the virus; radiation causes death to healthy cells in the area being treated; laxatives can become so addictive that a normal bowel movement no longer takes place.
I am convinced the major cause of bowel problems is an inappropriate diet. It is therefore this aspect I will mainly concentrate on in this post. It is essential that the diet is a high fibre one. The best food sources of fibre are wholegrain cereals, wholemeal or rye bread, brown rice, wholegrain pasta, dried apricots. almonds, celery, dates, dried figs, raspberries, French beans, prunes, plumbs, kidney beans, and potatoes with their skins.  You should consume 40 grams (1.5 ounces) of fibre per day. Other foods which help to prevent bowel problems include cabbage, cherries, grapes , leeks, melons, oranges, peaches rhubarb, strawberries, olive oil, and live natural yogurt.
Avoid processed food, junk food, fast food, fried food, chemicals and additives   in food, artificial food colourings, and foods with a high sugar content. Tea and coffee should be avoided because they are astringent in that they contract tissues, especially those comprising mucous membranes in the digestive tract.  These beverages can be replaced with others which have a positive effect such as cabbage juice, potato juice and water.
The following herbs, for the reasons stated, can help prevent bowel problems: comfrey sooths, heals and strengthens tissues; marshmallow root contains mucilage which helps healing; ginger relives gas and settles stomach; lobelia removes obstructions of mucous; peppermint oil aids digestion; slippery elm  acts as an anti-inflammatory; and cascara is  a natural laxative.
There are food supplements which can help with bowel problems as follows: vitamin A, 25,000 IU four times daily, helps keeps cavities in the intestine resulting from colitis from growing larger, and thereby trapping impurities which enter the bloodstream; folic acid, 50 mg. daily, helps replace folic acid that is lost and stimulates the production of hydrochloric acid which helps prevent parasites and food poisoning; pantothene, 300 mg. three times daily, acts as an anti-inflammatory; aloe-vera gel, two ounces three times daily, is important for healing inflamed intestinal tissues; psyllium husks as directed on the label to make up for any deficiency in dietary fibre. 
The following complimentary measures also need to be carried out:
  1. Drink 6-8 glasses of water daily in order to flush out the whole system. It is especially important to drink a lot of water if you are on a high fibre diet as is advocated in this post.
  2. Other drinks beneficial to the bowel are cabbage juice and potato juice in that they help replenish normal flora and help healing. 
  3. Do 30 or more minutes of your favourite exercise daily to help the whole body perform better.
  4. Give up smoking as it restricts the body from dealing efficiently with food and digestion.
  5. Limit alcohol intake to two units daily which equates to one pint of beer or two glasses of wine.
You now have outlined above a way of preventing or dealing with bowel problems in a mainly natural way. You should give your bowel serious attention when you consider what health problems can originate there. Colon cancer alone is the third most common cancer type in lots of developed countries. 

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

How to Cope with Insomnia

Insomnia is the inability to fall asleep within a reasonable time (say, twenty minutes) of going to bed, or the failure to stay asleep for more than three hours at a time. This condition affects a lot of people. Individual amounts of sleep can vary greatly from person to person. Whilst sleeping, the brain is the part of the body taking a rest; some people become irritable without sufficient sleep. The rest of the body doesn’t require sleep in order to repair itself. The need for sleep diminishes as we age; and studies have shown that some people have developed the ability to repair their brain without any sleep at all.

Insomnia arises from many different causes, as follows:
1.     Medical problems such as diabetes, migraines, asthma, ulcers, thyroid problems, emphysema and bronchitis.
2.     Psychological problems such as stress, worrying, depression, inability to relax having a bearing on sleep patterns.
3.     Environmental problems such as noise, light, temperature, the polar position of the bed being slept on, lack of an adequate mattress or sufficient blankets, and lack of space due to overcrowding.
4.     Dietary causes such as low blood sugar levels, too much caffeine, an excess of salt or sugar, alcoholic drinks, spicy foods or an allergic reaction to food.
Conventional medicine has responded to the problem with medications, tranquilisers, psychotherapy and behaviour modifications. Medications in the form of sleeping pills can become so addictive that people using them have problems falling asleep naturally. Medications can also cause dizziness, swelling of eyelids, slow heartbeat, unusual excitement, sore throat and fever.
In order to prevent insomnia, it is best to give consideration to things you can control like diet. A well-balance diet will contribute to overall good health and allow for normal sleeping. Sleep inducing foods are dairy products, eggs, salmon, turkey, chicken and lamb which are high in tryptophan and tyrosine. Other sleep enhancing foods are sprouted grains, wholegrain bread, cabbage,  lettuce, organ meats, split peas, fish, red meat and fresh fruit like peaches and apples (except at night).
The body should be in an alkaline state when sleeping at night as an acid state prevails during the day. To make the body more alkaline, take one teaspoon of powdered or liquid greens in the form of green magna, wheat grass or barley grass in 225 grams (8 ounces) of water an hour before going to bed. If you prefer, you can drink a glass of vegetable juice.
Foods and drinks to avoid are coffee, tea, peanuts, alcoholic drinks, sugar-laden foods and drinks. Foods or drinks with a high sugar contents cause the blood sugar levels in the body to plummet leading to disturbed sleeping patterns. Avoid eating cured meats, spicy foods and baked beans, which can lead to burping, heartburn or flatulence and thereby disturb sleep patterns.
Herbs which can help to promote sleep, for the reasons stated, are as follows: valerian root acts as a tranquilizer; skullcap relaxes the mind; hops reduce restlessness and promote sleep; blue vervian is a natural tranquiliser; camomile is good for the nerves; lady slipper has a calming effect on the body and mind; and passion flower is soothing to the nervous system.
The following food supplements can promote sleep. Vitamin B complex capsules as directed on the label to insure there are no deficiencies in this regard. Other specific supplements that can aid sleep are as follows: vitamin C, 500mg. four times daily; vitamin B6, 100mg. three times daily; manganese citrate, 500mg.three times daily; potassium citrate, 100 mg. five times daily; calcium citrate, 500mg.twice daily; and chronoset, 2mg, before bedtime. 
Other measures which can help with sleep include:
1.     Try aligning the body position by moving the bed either to a north-south or east- west position, and then experiment with what constitutes the head and foot positions.
2.     Take a leisurely walk one hour before bedtime.
3.     Take a warm bath 1 or 2 hours before bedtime.
4.     Engage in meditation for 10 to 15 minutes immediately before going to bed.
5.     Listen to calming new age or relaxation music at bedtime.
6.     Make sure the room you are trying to sleep in is properly aired: leave the windows open for a few hours per day even in wintertime.
7.     Drink a cupful of warm milk immediately before going to bed.
8.     If you suffer from psychological or emotional problems, take lithium as directed on the label. Good food sources of lithium, in its natural state, are whole grains and seeds.
You now have enough information to tackle the problem of insomnia.If you have anything to say on this post, use the comments box below for that purpose.