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Gazette News » 2007 » February

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Archive for February, 2007

Nutritional Therapy A Natural Cure For Gout

Posted in Health & Fitness on February 27th, 2007

Acupressure can provide wonderful relief for gout attacks and it can be used as a complimentary treatment with medication or with other natural remedies like nutritional therapy. Nutritional therapy is type of natural cure for gout that is based on the belief that food contains the natural medicines our body requires in order to obtain and sustain health. 

How can nutritional therapy help gout?  Although it is often used as a complimentary treatment with medication, nutritional therapy can help gout sufferers find relief from gout attacks by reducing inflammation.  It can also prevent gout from recurring by lowering and controlling uric acid levels in the blood.  In addition, proper nutritional therapy is safe to use for most people.

What is proper nutritional therapy?  The term “proper” has been used to clarify that like any other treatment; nutritional therapy can produce negative effects or be ineffective if used incorrectly, such as –
- Ingesting too little or too much of one substance
- Ingesting something with ingredients you are allergic too
- Combining different products that may not be compatible

How is nutritional therapy taken? Nutritional therapy primarily includes vitamins and minerals and is usually taken in the form of a supplement. 

What is the nutritional therapy prescribed for gout relief and prevention?  The following is a list of some nutritional therapy recommended for gout sufferers, and includes the benefits and precautions associated with each –

Folic Acid – This is the synthetic version of Folate (a water-soluble B vitamin that is naturally found in dark leafy green vegetables and citrus fruits) that is used in supplements.
Benefits – Studies have found that high doses of folic acid may help reduce uric acid levels.
Caution – Extremely high doses of folic acid can lead to digestive stress and may not be safe for pregnant or nursing women, or those who suffer from seizures, kidney or liver disease.

Vitamin C – This is an essential antioxidant water-soluble vitamin (found in citrus fruits and green leafy vegetables, etc.)
Benefits – Studies have found that high doses of vitamin C can increase urinary excretion of uric acid, and lower uric acid in the blood.
Caution – Taking extremely high amounts of vitamin C may change uric acid levels in the body which can result in an acute gout attack.  High doses can also cause other side effects.

Bromelain – A proteolytic enzyme (found in pineapple)
Benefit – Studies have found Bromelain to be effective in reducing inflammation.  It appears to be a more suitable choice over other prescription anti-inflammatory meds used to treat gout.
Caution – Not recommended for those allergic to pineapples, pregnant women, those with high blood pressure, kidney or liver disease.  This nutritional therapy may not be compatible with other medications and can cause side effects such as nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.  It is designed for short-term use.

Quercetin – A bioflavonoid that acts as an antioxidant (found in onions)
Benefit – Restrains xanthine oxidase, the enzyme that creates uric acid.  Studies have found it to have anti-inflammatory affects.
Caution – More studies need to be conducted to find out the true benefits and side effects of this nutritional therapy.

Other nutritional therapy that is recommended which may prove effective in relieving and preventing gout include:

- Vitamin A
- Vitamin E
- Pantothenic acid (vitamin B5)
- Selenium
- Evening primrose oil
- Fish oil
- Aspartic acid

Keep in mind that you can obtain the above nutritional therapy by naturally incorporating them into your diet, as they exist in many foods.

Before starting a nutritional therapy regimen for as a natural cure for gout, you should consult your doctor about your decision and ask for specific recommendations and about proper dosage.  It is also a good idea to have your doctor monitor your condition when taking anti-inflammatory supplements.

 By Lisa McDowell. Sign up for a free newsletter & discover how diet can be used as an effective gout home remedy. On the site you’ll also find gout recipe options and exactly what a gout joint symptom is.

Anti TNF The next generation of Treatment for Your Crohns Symptom?

Posted in Health & Fitness on February 26th, 2007

Despite the alternative treatment methods one uses to treat Crohn’s symptoms, in many cases, especially severe case of the disease, these treatments are often not enough. Most people still require medications to help control symptoms and put the disease in remission. A new type of medication that shows promise is Anti-TNF drugs.A number of recent medical studies have found that anti-TNF may be an effective way to treat those who suffer from moderate to severe Crohn’s disease. What exactly is anti-TNF and how is it beneficial? The following information will help you better understand this medication and why it may be a breakthrough treatment for Crohn’s sufferers.

What is anti-TNF and how does it work? It is a group of medications that have been specially designed to locate tumor necrosis factor (TNF-alpha) a cytokine protein created by the immune system. Anti-TNF works to find TNF-alpha in the bloodstream, and then removes it by binding it to blood cells and cell membranes before it reaches the intestine and causes inflammation. This treatment does not directly treat inflammation; it targets the immune system which helps alleviate inflammation.It is a group of medications that have been specially designed to locate tumor necrosis factor (TNF-alpha) a cytokine protein created by the immune system. Anti-TNF works to find TNF-alpha in the bloodstream, and then removes it by binding it to blood cells and cell membranes before it reaches the intestine and causes inflammation. This treatment does not directly treat inflammation; it targets the immune system which helps alleviate inflammation.Studies have found that cells which are affected by Crohn’s disease contain TNF-alpha, leaving many researchers to believe that the overproduction of TNF-alpha may be the leading cause of intestinal inflammation that results in Crohn’s disease. Thus, the theory is that by stopping TNF-alpha from reaching the intestines of Crohn’s sufferers, they’ll be able to find relief from their symptoms and prevent future attacks. In addition, studies are also finding that the use of anti-TNF for treating Crohn’s appears to be helpful in preventing and healing fistulas.

It is a group of medications that have been specially designed to locate tumor necrosis factor (TNF-alpha) a cytokine protein created by the immune system. Anti-TNF works to find TNF-alpha in the bloodstream, and then removes it by binding it to blood cells and cell membranes before it reaches the intestine and causes inflammation. This treatment does not directly treat inflammation; it targets the immune system which helps alleviate inflammation.Studies have found that cells which are affected by Crohn’s disease contain TNF-alpha, leaving many researchers to believe that the overproduction of TNF-alpha may be the leading cause of intestinal inflammation that results in Crohn’s disease. Thus, the theory is that by stopping TNF-alpha from reaching the intestines of Crohn’s sufferers, they’ll be able to find relief from their symptoms and prevent future attacks. In addition, studies are also finding that the use of anti-TNF for treating Crohn’s appears to be helpful in preventing and healing fistulas.How can anti-TNF treatment help fistulas? It can help prevent the formation of fistulas by reducing attacks of Crohn’s and putting the disease in remission. As far as healing fistulas, anti-TNF medication is found to be effective when used in combination with surgery, particularly in those who suffer from complex fistulas. Studies found that using anti-TNF treatment with surgery successfully healed the fistula without recurrence.

The most studied anti-TNF drug used for treating Crohn’s patients is Infliximab, also known as Remicade. Multiple studies have proven that infliximab is both an effective and well tolerated treatment for managing acute Crohn’s disease. In fact, because this particular anti-TNF has been so successful, it has obtained the approval of the European Medicines Evaluation Agency and the FDA.

Of course, like any radical treatment, infliximab still presents some problems even though it is considered to be a medical breakthrough for treating Crohn’s. For instance, due to the fact that it contains a mouse protein, it can cause a delayed allergic reaction in some people. Furthermore, it increases the risk of infection, and is not deemed a safe remedy for people who suffer from or have had certain conditions including, cancer, congestive heart failure, tuberculosis and seizures.

In addition, there are concerns about immunogenicity occurring with the anti-TNF antibody which could cause the development of lymphoproliferative disorders and human antichimeric antibodies (HACA). Thus, more studies need to be conducted to further establish what the exact role anti-TNF antibodies play in maintaining the remission of Crohn’s, and how long the treatment will remain effective in patients who respond well to it.

Although Infliximab is the primary anti-TNF treatment used for Crohn’s, other anti-TNF medication being studied for possible treatment for Crohn’s disease include etanercept (Enbrel) and adalimumab (Humira).

Only time will tell if anti-TNF antibodies is the breakthrough treatment that Crohn’s symptom sufferers have been waiting for. Neverthless, the future looks bright.

By Sharon Dobson. Sign up for a free newsletter that has proven methods for managing Crohn’s Disease naturally at Crohn’s Disease Relief. On the site you’ll also find more about crohn’s relaxation and information on crohn’s treatments

Is Hypnosis an Effective Menopause Remedy?

Posted in Health & Fitness on February 19th, 2007

Exercise can help keep your body strong and healthy and alleviate menopause symptoms. However, for some women experiencing menopause, although exercise may help improve or prevent symptoms, it isn’t always the best menopause remedy when it comes to relieving the sudden onset of a symptom such as a hot flash. For this reason, many women are turning to hypnosis for relief.

What exactly is hypnosis? It is an alternative therapy that allows a person to achieve a deep state of relaxation. In this state, the person under hypnosis is able to suppress their conscious state of mind and tap into their subconscious, a part of the mind that is typically unavailable to us while we are awake. In other words, hypnosis allows one to reach an enhanced state of awareness.

While in this special state of awareness, a person is presented with positive ideas, and concepts through talking, audio methods (IE. audio CD, music) or imagery, to promote psychological and/or physical healing or positive development. This particular form of hypnosis is known as hypnotherapy. Hypnotherapy may be self-directed (An individual puts themselves in a state of hypnosis for self-treatment), or it may be directed by another, usually someone skilled in hypnotherapy, such as psychotherapist.

What does hypnosis achieve? During hypnosis when the body is released from the control of the conscious, breathing is slower and deeper, there is a drop in pulse rate and the metabolic rate lowers. There are also changes in the hormonal channels and nervous pathways. These changes cause the symptoms the person is feeling to fade into the background and become less acute as they naturally are during the conscious state.

Does hypnosis work? Yes. Proper hypnosis is effective for most people (approximately 80%). The reason is because once a person puts their subconscious in control, the subconscious doesn’t know the difference between what is real or imagined. Therefore, whatever is perceived by the subconscious is believed true, and the body reacts accordingly.

Of course, although most people are generally responsive to hypnosis, it usually takes a number of sessions before a person is able to experience effective results. For this reason, many people often perform self-hypnosis in the comfort of their own home.

How can hypnosis improve menopause symptoms? Hypnotherapy with the use of guided imagery can relieve just about any menopausal symptom (IE. stress, anxiety, insomnia, hot flashes, etc.) if performed correctly. If you can put mind over matter, the mind can tell the body what it should and shouldn’t feel. For instance -

Hot flashes –Estrogen plays a role in regulating the temperature in the brain. When estrogen levels drop, the brain thinks the body is overheating, and goes into emergency cool down mode which results in excessive sweating and releasing heat through the skin. Due to the fact that hot flashes are clearly a malfunction of the brain, the mind can be used to influence the body by hypnotically cooling down hot flashes.

To help a woman get her menopausal symptoms under control during hypnosis, imagery may be used. For example, in her subconscious state, a woman could be prompted to imagine a control room full of valves, switches, and dials, all of which represents balancing her hormones and controlling her menopausal symptoms. All she needs to do is find the right dial or switch, related to her symptom (IE the “cool down” dial) and adjust it to the proper setting.

Before engaging in self hypnosis as a menopause remedy, you should first seek treatment from a trained professional so you know what the treatment feels like and how to perform it. You can try finding a hypnotherapist by asking a health care provider, looking in the yellow pages, or search for a local hypnotherapy clinic or hypnotherapist online, by using your city name and “hypnotherapy” as keywords in your search.

If you would like more information about other alternative menopause remedy ideas, please visit Natural Menopause Relief Secrets or browse through the rest of the blog.

Menopause Migraine Breaking the cycle

Posted in Health & Fitness on February 19th, 2007

Hypnosis may be effective in relieving some menopause symptoms, but when it comes to treating and preventing menopause migraines, women who experience this unpleasant symptom will likely require other remedies.

Unfortunately, severe headaches and migraines are quite common in perimenopausal and menopausal women. A migraine is the wickedest form of a headache, and is one of the worst menopause symptoms that can be suffered. A migraine can be so painful and intense that it can incapacitate its victim and spoil days of their life at a time.

What causes migraines to occur during menopause?

Psychological Factors include: emotional distress; anxiety; stress; overworking; fatigue.
If these factors are allowed to spin out of control, it can cause chemical imbalances in your brain which can have an affect on the functioning of the body, resulting in a migraine. These migraines are generally brought on by stress and are often alleviated when stress is reduced.

Physical Factors include: hormone imbalance; medication; genetics.
Physical factors are far more likely to be the cause of a menopause migraine than psychological factors. The reason is because many believe the drop in estrogen hormone is the main culprit behind migraines and headaches. When hormones fluctuate they cause the brain’s blood vessels to overreact which can lead to a headache or migraine. Thus, as estrogen levels decline, it is a likely migraines will occur more frequently and with greater intensity.

What are the signs and symptoms of migraines?

Migraine with aura symptoms: The aura may begin anywhere from 15-60 minutes prior to the headache and cause -
• Visual distortion – IE zig zags, flashing light, color variations, complete loss of vision
• Pain around one eye that is accompanied by tingling or numbness in the surrounding area

Migraine without aura symptoms – This is the more common migraine experience and can cause –
• Unusual sensations
• Scalp tenderness
• Irritability
• Double vision; blind spots; seeing zig zag; partial blindness in a single eye
• Dizziness or lightheadedness
• Nausea and/or vomiting
• Pounding or throbbing head pain
• Sensitivity to sound and/or light
• Paralysis on one side of the face

All symptoms generally subside after the cessation of the migraine. However sensitivity to sound and smell, and a feeling of weakness and loss of appetite, may linger during migraine recovery.

How long can a migraine last? Anywhere from a few hours (3 or more hours) to a few days (3 or more days)

How can you treat migraines?
• Medication – some over-the-counter medications can provide migraine relief. However, depending on the severity of the migraine, some women may require prescription pills. Furthermore, migraine medication should be taken when first signs appear. Usually, a fully developed migraine will not respond to medication.
Note: talk to your doctor about your migraines and ask for medication recommendation

• Solitude – Seek the quiet comfort of a dark, cool room, lie down, and close your eyes. You may also want to try relaxation or meditative techniques that focus your mind on a positive image or thought to help relieve pain.

How can you prevent menopause migraines?

Reduce stress – If you are overworked, anxious, or suffering emotional distress you need to find ways to alleviate stress. Take breaks and enjoy time to yourself - relax.

Exercise – Exercise helps improve circulation, mood and reduces stress. Walking, swimming, or engaging in Yoga, are ideas you can explore.

Watch your diet – make sure you are eating a healthy diet that includes plenty of water, fruits and vegetables. Limit your intake of caffeine, alcohol and preservative foods, all of which can contribute to migraines.

Get proper sleep – Restful sleep is important for bodily health and balance.

Hormonal therapy – If your menopause migraines are not stress related, ask your doctor about taking hormonal therapy to increase estrogen levels to achieve hormonal balance.

If you would like more information on menopause migraines or other common menopause symptoms, please visit Natural Menopause Relief Secrets. Or browse through the rest of the blog.

How Guided Imagery Can Supplement Crohns Treatment

Posted in Health & Fitness on February 10th, 2007

Acupuncture isn’t the only alternative and complimentary treatment for Crohn’s sufferers. In fact, many affected by Crohn’s find that with the help of a special hypnosis technique known as guided imagery, they can obtain relief from their symptoms.

What is guided imagery? It is a type of hypnosis that is designed to help people use the power of their imagination to improve their emotional and physical wellbeing through personal, positive mental visualization. .

Guided imagery can be directed by others such as a psychotherapist. In this situation, a therapist helps the patient achieve the power of mental imagery by talking to them, or by using video or audio to guide the person through the relaxation and visualization exercise. On the other hand, guided imagery can also be self-directed. This is when a person is able to put themselves in a relaxed state and uses their own images to achieve the same result.

What are the benefits of guided imagery for Crohn’s sufferers? Extensive research has found a powerful link between a person’s mind and their physical well being. It’s been discovered hat positive mental imagery can indeed encourage physical relaxation which can lower stress, improve mood, alleviate pain, and boost the immune system, all of which can play a role in triggering and worsening Crohn’s symptoms.

Furthermore, guided imagery can also improve the functioning of the gastrointestinal system, allowing for the relief of common Crohn’s symptoms such as bloating and constipation.

Another excellent benefit is self-directed guided imagery can be done anywhere, at anytime. In addition, even though one may require some training in order to master the technique on their own, it is an inexpensive treatment that can be achieved by anyone regardless of their demographic, and has no side-effects.

How does guided imagery work? Guided imagery is a process with two parts. The first is geared towards reaching a deeply relaxed state. This can be achieved by closing the eyes and focusing on slowly inhaling and exhaling, or by focusing on releasing tension from the muscles throughout the body. Relaxation tapes that feature tranquil music or the sounds of nature are often used to help achieve relaxation, as is Yoga, aromatherapy and massage.

The second process of guided imagery focuses on visualization. There are various methods that can be used for guided imagery such as relaxation imagery, mental rehearsal, healing imagery and pain control imagery. The following are examples of the techniques that may be the most helpful in assisting Crohn’s sufferers in finding relief from symptoms:

Healing imagery –This imagery focuses on visualizations that promote healing. For a Crohn’s sufferer this could mean imagining their inflamed intestines are an inflated red balloon. They can imagine curing inflammation by deflating the balloon. As they watch the balloon shrink to nothing so does their inflammation.

Pain control imagery – This imagery is designed to control pain through various imagery methods. One technique is for a person to produce a mental image of what they perceive the pain to look like, and then transform this image into something that is manageable and not so frightening; something the person feels confident they can control.

In order to be successful, a guided imagery session should be performed in a quiet and relaxing location. It should never be used while driving or when actively participating in something that requires your full concentration such as using tools or operating machinery.

There are many books, CD, DVD’s, etc. available at both online and local stores that can help you achieve self-directed guided imagery. However, you may want to think about finding a trained psychotherapist, especially if you have problems achieving visualizations on your own. To look for a hypnosis specialist in your area you can conduct a search online, and visit sites geared toward hypnosis such as academyforguidedimagery.com.

By Sharon Dobson. To find out more about vitamin and crohns and for information on Crohn’s Disease please visit Natural Crohn’s Disease Relief, where you can sign up for a free newsletter focusing on managing Crohn’s Disease naturally.

Acupuncture And Crohns Disease Does it Provide Relief?

Posted in Health & Fitness on February 10th, 2007

Remicade is a treatment that shows much promise for Crohn’s sufferers, but it’s not the only option available. Actually, many Crohn’s sufferers find that combining acupuncture and crohn’s, along with medical treatment, helps them effectively cope and find relief from their symptoms.

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) the body has approximately two thousands acupuncture points, and each of these points are connected by twenty pathways known as meridians. The meridians conduct qi (body life energy) between the internal organs and the body’s surface. Qi has a diverse effect on every acupoint it passes through, and helps to maintain balance within the body and mind. It is believed by TCM that intestinal disorders, such as Crohn’s disease, are a disruption of the spleen and liver and insufficient kidney support. Thus, it is usually the acupoints that affect these organs which will be focused on to relieve symptoms.

Although TCM believes the alleviation of symptoms is due to the stimulation of meridians via acupoints that brings balance to the body and mind, Western medicine has different theories on why acupuncture is effective. For instance, many believe that acupuncture stimulates the nervous system which blocks pain impulses from reaching the brain. Another theory suggests that acupuncture causes the release of endorphins (natural painkillers). While another believes that acupuncture may release opiods into the body which is another substance that provides pain relief. Despite what the real reason may be, the fact is that acupuncture provides relief.

Acupuncture is a common method for treating inflammatory bowel disease in China, and is being applied more and more in Western culture. Studies that have been conducted on the effectiveness of acupuncture for treating Crohn’s disease carefully observed changes in the overall life quality and well-being of participants with mild to moderate Crohn’s disease. It was discovered that traditional acupuncture was successful at alleviating Crohn’s symptoms in most of these participants.

Some of the Crohn’s symptoms acupuncture may alleviate include, but are not limited to:
• Abdominal pain
• Constipation
• Diarrhea
• Nervousness
• Anxiety
• Insomnia
• Menstrual cramps

How is acupuncture performed? It depends on the individual. Everyone is treated differently so that their own specific needs can be met. That being said, the following is a general description of how traditional acupuncture is administered to patients.

To stimulate the flow of qi, solid hair-thin needs are inserted individually into particular acupuncture points that pertain to the meridians being targeted. The needles are not inserted as deeply as hypodermic needles and do not draw blood. They are only designed to penetrate the meridian surface which is well seeded into the affected organs and tissues.

Acupuncture does not cause pain when needles are inserted correctly, but the patient may feel a slight tingling, aching or numbing sensation in the area where the needles are applied. Any discomfort that may be felt tends to disappear once needles have been removed.

Once inserted, the acupuncturist may twirl the needles or connect them to an electrical current in order to provide the targeted meridian with effective stimulation. Sometimes, specific herbs or oils are used in combination with the needles to help treat a condition and provide relief from certain symptoms. Despite the methods used, the entire treatment process may last anywhere from 20 – 60 minutes.

In order to receive effective treatment with successful results, it is important for you to undergo acupuncture from a qualified acupuncturist, especially one who is experienced in treating inflammatory bowel disease. It also isn’t a bad idea to consult your doctor about your decision to seek alternative treatment before you go ahead with it.

By Sharon Dobson. To find out more about acupuncture and crohns and for information on Crohn’s Disease please visit Natural Crohn’s Disease Relief, where you can sign up for a free newsletter focusing on managing Crohn’s Disease naturally.