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Archive for the ‘remedies’ Category

It is that time of year again (groan!). Welcome to the cold and flu season. Your first inclination may be to head to the closest drugstore and stock up on tissues and cold medication. If you dread the thought of a runny or stuffed up nose, sneezing, sinus congestion, a headache, the chills and a dry scratchy throat, be proactive.

How can you accomplish that? Get regular physical activity (even walks will fit the fitness bill in the fall and winter months) and improve the work of your overworked immune system by paying attention to your nutrition.

Here’s how:

One – Think healthy protein:

One of the many tasks of protein is to improve the body’s ability to produce antibodies that fight diseases and infections. Choose high-protein foods that are also are made up of healthy fats. Examples of these include ground turkey breast, white-meat chicken, beans, fish, nuts, tofu and non-fat dairy. Stay away from fatty red meats and dairy foods that are high in their fat content. These foods promote inflammation around the heart and should be avoided.

Two – Enjoy a cup of black tea:

To improve your body’s ability to fight viruses, drink more black tea. Those who consume five cups (approximately three mugs) of black tea on a daily basis, produce 10 times more “virus-fighting interferon” than those individuals who drink coffee.

Three – Add some color to your diet:

Fruits and vegetables come in every color of the rainbow- well practically! Load up on as many colors as you can. Bell peppers, broccoli, kiwi fruit, oranges, strawberries and tomatoes are all excellent sources of vitamin C and flavonoids. These essential substances support the body in sending out protective immune cells. You need these foods so eat up as often as possible!

Four – Choose cereals that are 100 percent whole-grain:

Oatmeal and shredded wheat are two whole-grain cereals that are rich in the nutrients beta glucan, selenium and zinc. These three nutrients are particularly beneficial in the winter months because they enhance the work of the immune system.

Five – Fight illness with spiced up chicken soup:

Even with the best efforts, it is still possible to catch something during the cold and flu season. If you do come down with something, turn to the old standby, chicken soup. Chicken soup has the potential to shorten the duration of your illness by as much as 50 percent.

There have been many theories proposed as to why this may be the case. One of the theories has to do with an amino acid called cysteine.  When chicken is cooked, it releases this amino acid, which is chemically similar to a drug for bronchitis called acetylcysteine.

To enhance chicken soup’s power to fight the flu and a cold, add some garlic and hot red pepper to your soup. Garlic is excellent at fighting viruses while hot red pepper contains capsaicin, which is a very strong decongestant. Chicken soup with a little dill weed added to it can also do your infection a world of good.

Stay well!

Becca

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If you feel a terrible pain tear through your heel when you place your foot on the floor and begin to walk around, you may have developed a bone spur in your heel. This is a medical condition that can cause a great deal of pain and discomfort if left untreated. Let’s talk about it.

What is a Bone Spur?

A bone spur, also known as an osteophyte, is a bony projection that develops around the joints. It is a calcium growth on a bone that causes pressure on the tissue that surrounds it, as well as on the skin that is found beneath the tissue. Bone spurs are most often found on the feet, such as heel bone spurs, but bone spurs in the neck region are also common, as are those that form along the spine.

A Look at Bone Spurs:

Bone spurs form where they do as a result of the increase of pressure on the surface area of a joint. A bone spur, whether it be a foot spur or whether it be elsewhere on the body, can cause a great deal of pain to the person who suffers from it. Joint movement may be limited in some individuals who suffer from this condition.

Bone spurs are very common and affect a tremendous amount of people across the globe on an annual basis. The heel spur is the most common of all bone spurs and is associated with a great deal of pain. The reason for this is because you must walk on your feet and therefore the entire weight of your body comes down on your heels. The heel bone will be very sore and uncomfortable every time you put pressure on it.

Heel spurs are most often found in heavier people, including women who are pregnant.

However, anyone regardless of their weight can develop a bone spur. Athletes are also very prone to spurs, due to the nature of their work.

Bone Spur Treatment:

The best thing to do about a spur is to find effective means of treating it and ways to alleviate the pain of having it. While corrective surgery may be performed in extreme cases, most of the time this is not necessary.

The best temporary treatment for a bone spur in the foot is to stay off of it as much as you can. You will only irritate it further by continuing to exert pressure on it. Rest your foot as much as you can.

Applying an ice pack to the affected area can also provide relief. Ice can be used for 20 minutes on, 20 minutes off for the first 48 hours. After that you should turn to heat. Apply warm moist towels or a heating pad to the affected area. This helps to increase blood flow and also encourages the drainage of the lymphatic system. Both will help to facilitate the healing process.

If the pain is too much to bear, an over-the-counter painkiller and anti-inflammatory such as ibuprofen should bring you some much needed relief. Buy a felt or foam heel pad to place inside your shoe to absorb the shock when you are walking.  Insoles can help to cushion the foot and make walking less uncomfortable.

Your physician may recommend injections for you, special orthotics or physiotherapy sessions. He might also prescribe anti-inflammatory medication for you and suggest that you lose weight. Talk with him about the treatments that are best for the spur (or spurs) that you have.

Becca

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If you have been to your doctor and received a diagnosis of an infection called thrush, you want to learn as much as you can about this medical problem. Don’t worry; it is easy to get rid of. Here we cover the most important aspects of what you need to know about thrush.

What is Thrush?

Thrush is an infection that develops in the mouth. It is caused by a fungus called Candida Albicans. Thrush is a type of yeast infection. This infection can appear in other places on the human body besides the mouth. For instance, it is responsible for causing vaginal yeast infections in women and it can also bring about diaper rash in infants.

Thrush can affect people of all ages and is not limited to just one age group. It is also common in those who have compromised immune systems.

The Causes of Thrush:

Yeast is naturally occurring throughout the human body and it has its advantages. There are small amounts of Candida Albicans yeast to be found on the skin, in the mouth, in the vagina and in the digestive tract of healthy individuals. The yeast is kept in check by good bacteria and microorganisms in the body. There are times however when there is an imbalance of yeast, which can lead to the development of an infection. Too much of it can cause the level of bad bacteria to increase and to overwhelm the level of good bacteria.

Medications, certain kinds of illnesses and stress have the potential to upset the balance of yeast and can cause this fungus to start to grow. If left to its own devices, Candida can start to wreak havoc on the part of the body where it is growing. Thrush will be the result.

There are several types of medications that have the potential to upset the balance of healthy bacteria that live in the mouth and may give way to thrush. These include birth control pills, antibiotics and corticosteroids. There are some illnesses and health conditions that can also increase a person’s chances of developing it. Examples of these include cancer, dry mouth, HIV infection and diabetes that are not under control.

Pregnant women are also at a greater risk because of the hormonal changes that accompany pregnancy. Smokers are at a higher risk as are people who wear poor fitting dentures. If an infant has developed the infection, it is very possible for him or her to transfer it to the mother as a result of breast feeding.

The symptoms of thrush tend to vary from person to person. They can range from mild to moderate to severe. The symptoms may be worse for those with weakened immune systems. Treatment generally consists of anti-fungal medications that are most often taken for 10 to 14 days. Your doctor will help you to decide which medication is best for you.

Medication can kill off the bad bacteria, but also some of the good bacteria as well. To rebuild your arsenal of good bacteria (your protectors), take a probiotic supplement. It would also be a good idea to consume more yogurt because it contains live bacterial cultures. Stay away from the brands of yogurt that are high in sugar or are sweeten with sucralose.

Samantha

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You do everything you can to take care of yourself as naturally as possible but sometimes the need to take an aspirin is there. Before you reach into the medicine cabinet for the bottle of aspirin, there are some things you need to know. Here we look at enteric coated aspirin.

Be aware that aspirin with an enteric coating offers control over the area of the digestive system that it is absorbed in. An enteric coated aspirin is not released into the body until it finds its way to the small intestine.

Uses and Benefits of Aspirin:

Aspirin has many uses, as well as benefits. It can be used to relieve mild to moderate discomfort due to such things as head colds, headaches, toothaches and aches in the muscles and joints. It can also be used to reduce fever and to reduce pain and swelling that often accompanies medical problems such as arthritis.

Aspirin is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) and also a salicylate. What this means is that it acts by blocking a substance that is naturally found in the body in order to reduce swelling, pain and overall discomfort. Aspirin therapy is often recommended for those who have high blood pressure or cardiovascular problems. In fact, aspirin works as a preventative for blood clots and is often used as a blood thinner for those who have recently had a surgical procedure performed for clogged arteries. Aspirin also reduces the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Aspirin can be life saving!

Aspirin Side Effects:

Enteric coated aspirin also has some side effects worth being aware of before you take it. An upset stomach and/or heartburn sometimes occur when a coated aspirin is taken. If you find this happens a lot then speak to your physician about it.

Serious side effects are not common with coated aspirin. However if you experience problems with your hearing, ringing in your ears, the tendency to bruise or bleed easily, persistent or severe nausea or vomiting then tell your physician right away. The same can be said if you notice a yellow cast to your skin or eyes or if you notice that your urine is getting darker. If you experience dizziness that cannot be explained, or find yourself suffering from fatigue then these are side effects that should not go untreated.

Taking Enteric Aspirin:

Before you start using enteric coated aspirin to treat yourself, you should talk it over with your doctor and then take it as prescribed. It is also important for you to read over the information in the package insert and then follow the directions carefully.

Aspirin is taken by mouth and should be consumed with a full glass of water (which is to say an eight ounce glass). Swallow the aspirin whole. Do not crush it or chew it. This will decrease the effectiveness of the enteric coating and may cause your stomach to become upset.

Samantha

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You love furry felines but oh how they cause you to suffer because of the allergies you have to them! What are you to do?

Suffering from an allergy to cats does not mean that you must deny yourself the pleasure of having a cat. Allergies to cats are quite common but coexisting with a feline friend is possible if you take the appropriate steps to control cat dander.

Steps to Take:

Before you try anything you may wish to speak with your physician or an allergist about animal allergies and what you can use to cope with cat symptoms. Sometimes a person believes that they have pet allergies when really there is something else to blame. For that reason talking to your health care professional about a potential allergy to cats is a wise place to start.

If you do decide that you cannot live without a cat then ask the vet if it is possible to purchase a spray for your cat’s coat that will reduce the amount of dander. If you are not clear about what dander is then here is a simple definition – it is the very small flakes of dried saliva that can be found on the skin of cats that lead to allergy symptoms.

Look into holistic remedies for reducing pet symptoms related to cat allergies. Ask others for treatment suggestions.

A weekly bath for your cat will minimize dander. Recruit a loved one who is allergy-free or a close friend to do this chore for you. Be aware however that unlike dogs most felines do not enjoy baths. Brushing your cat on a daily basis can also be of help. Perhaps you can get the same individual to help you with this task.

Other Steps to Take:

Buy an air purifier for your home. At the same time you should invest in a vacuum cleaner that comes with a Hepa filter. Vacuum your floors as often as possible. Wiping down floors on a regular basis is also strongly recommended for allergy sufferers.

Curtains and drapes can collect dander and fur very easily. If you have either in your home then replace them with blinds. The same can be said about carpeting and any rugs you may have. Tile floors and hardwood floors are not only easier to clean but they are also better for those who are allergic to cats.

Keep your cat out of your bedroom if at all possible. This will help to keep you allergy free if you are presently on the borderline of developing a cat allergy. Don’t give into those big beautiful eyes when they stare at you and want to hop on your bed when it is lights out at the end of the night.   If you are not a cat owner yet but want very much to be then select a short haired cat as opposed to a long haired one. Short haired kitties have a smaller percentage of dander.

Becca

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Dry scalp is a common problem that many people live with. If your doctor has suggested things that are not working for you then it may be time to look to other more natural means of finding relief. Here we look at what to do if you experience a dry and itchy scalp that is driving you around crazy!

Dry and Itchy Scalp- Ouch!

Having a dry scalp often leads to a scalp that is red, itchy and flaky and sore. This is an unpleasant experience that is especially common during the winter months. Colder climates often give way to hair and scalp issues. As well when you find yourself moving back and forth from the cold temperatures outdoors to warmer temperatures indoors this can lead to a dry itchy scalp and in some cases a flaking scalp as well.

The skin of the scalp is very susceptible to changes in temperatures and to the changing of the seasons. You may find that the skin of your scalp becomes red, itchy and feels tight, not to mention uncomfortable. You might even discover small flakes of dead skin when you brush or comb your hair. There is no reason to be alarmed by this. Scalp irritation can be frustrating but it is not indicative of a serious health problem.

Dry scalp conditions are often believed to be dandruff. However dandruff is a separate scalp problem.  It is also worth knowing that products that help to combat dandruff such as anti dandruff shampoos can actually make a dry and scaly scalp even worse. The good news is that there are plenty of hair shampoos and conditioners on the market that are able to treat both a dry scalp as well as a mild case of dandruff. In this way the treatment for dry scalp will be able to work double duty.

Dry Scalp Treatments to Put to Use:

If your head is driving you mad then there is relief in sight! When it comes to treatments for dry and itchy scalp you should invest in a deep conditioning treatment and use it at least once a week. Some of these treatments are applied before shampooing and must be left on the head for 10 to 15 minutes at a time before being rinsed off. Others are applied directly after shampooing and need to be left on for approximately the same length of time.

Hair products that contain the natural ingredients jojoba, aloe vera or tea tree oil can help a dry and itchy scalp to heal and can help you to stop scratching your head. Not only will these natural ingredients promote a healthy scalp but they will also promote healthy hair as well. You need to use them for a number of weeks or months at a time in order for them to prove effective. If you cannot find these natural ingredients in hair products then buy the tincture and apply the ingredients directly to your scalp. Massage in and leave for a few minutes. Then rinse out of your hair.

Scalp massages can help to improve the circulation to your head. There are also special creams, lotions and moisturizers that you can purchase to help to improve scalp conditions.

Samantha

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Yeast infections can be a terrible source of discomfort for any woman. While most people think of these bothersome infections as predominantly a woman’s problem they can happen to men as well. A vaginal yeast infection can be transferred to a man through intercourse. In fact the infection can go back and forth until it is diagnosed and treated.

Knowing what to do when a yeast infection happens to you can be of tremendous relief. Hopefully you will never develop such an infection but if you do then you will be prepared to cope with it ahead of time.

Natural Remedies for Yeast Infections:

While there are plenty of medical remedies that you can purchase in a pharmacy to help treat yeast infections you may also want to look into the natural yeast infection cures that are available to you. While a cream or suppository might be an effective remedy often times the treatment is very short lived and you end up getting recurring yeast infections. This is not what you want to happen at all!

Most home cures for yeast infections are geared towards females but it is worth noting that many of these yeast infection home treatments can be adapted accordingly to be useful for men who develop yeast related infections. To prevent reoccurring yeast infections and to deal with the symptoms of these infections try out some of the home treatments described here.

Plain yogurt is a natural cure for yeast infections that can help to fight yeast and keep it under control. Plain yogurt can be used as an internal yeast infection natural treatment as well as an external one. It is imperative that you purchase yogurt that is plain and unsweetened as yeast thrives on sugar.

Consuming plain yogurt will provide you with a source of good bacteria that will help with the digestive process. It is best to eat it before a meal. To use it internally apply plain yogurt to a tampon and insert it or if you prefer rub a small amount of plain yogurt on the outside of your body. Just leave the tampon inside for a few minutes and then remove it.

Other Yeast Infection Cures:

Eating more garlic or taking garlic pills offers a treatment for yeast infections that is welcome because yeast and garlic do not like each other very much! Kyolic garlic tablets and water can offer a yeast infection cure not just for female yeast infections but for yeast infections of the mouth as well. Garlic is considered to be a natural form of antibiotic that has many benefits to health.

Another treatment for vaginal yeast infection that you might want to try is apple cider vinegar. This natural remedy is very strong however and therefore a small amount goes a long way. Run a warm bath and add a cup of apple cider vinegar to it and then take a long, relaxing soak. This should help!

If none of these natural cures do the trick then you should see your doctor. It is possible that you may have another problem besides a yeast infection. However in most cases you will find that these alternative remedies will help you to feel better right away!

Samantha

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