IN THIS ISSUE:
  • Yoga, Meditation May Help Dementia Patients and Caregivers Alike

    Life with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias can be difficult for the affected individual and his or her caregiver. But a small British study suggests that a “holistic” program involving yoga, meditation and other interventions can ease the burden for both.

  • 5 or More Bad Sunburns While Young Tied to Higher Melanoma Risk

    White women who get five or more blistering sunburns between the ages of 15 and 20 have an 80 percent increased risk for melanoma — the most deadly form of skin cancer, new study findings indicate.

  • Daily Aspirin Regimen Not Safe for Everyone, FDA Warns

    Taking an aspirin a day can help prevent heart attack and stroke in people who have suffered such health crises in the past, but not in people who have never had heart problems, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

  • Gastro Woes More Common in Kids with Autism

    What many parents of children with autism have long suspected — that autism and gastrointestinal complaints often go together — is now supported by a new study.

  • Saturday is National Drug Take-Back Day

    If you have expired, unused or unwanted drugs in your medicine cabinet, you can safely dispose of them on National Drug Take-Back Day this Saturday.

  • Bowel Illnesses Sometimes Coincide in Kids

    Children suffering from irritable bowel syndrome are four times more likely than other kids to have a condition called celiac disease — an allergy to gluten — Italian researchers report.

  • Yoga Big on West Coast, Chiropractors Popular in Midwest

    Folks on the West Coast are faithful followers of yoga and meditation. Midwesterners turn to chiropractors or osteopathic doctors for their aches and pains. And nearly one in every five Americans uses herbal supplements like ginseng, Echinacea, ginkgo biloba and St. John’s Wort.

  • Getting in Front of Back Pain

    Even though back pain affects nearly 10 million Americans a year, there’s a lot you can do to avoid the problem, an expert says.

  • Pain, Pain Go Away: Natural Remedies for Arthritis

    Many of us experience minor aches and pains as we get older. But for the 50 million Americans who suffer from arthritis, these aches and pains can range from mild to severe, and can even be debilitating. And contrary to popular belief, arthritis isn’t just a disease of old age-two-thirds of people with this condition are under the age of 65, including 300,000 children.

  • Super Supplements for Joint Health

    Osteoarthritis, also known as degenerative joint disease, is caused by the breakdown of cartilage in the joints. With its gel-like nature, cartilage provides a cushion in the joints and acts as a shock absorber.

  • A Doctor’s ‘People Skills’ Affect Patients’ Health

    A doctor’s “bedside manner” seems to have a real effect on patients’ health, a new research review suggests.

  • Health Tip: What May Trigger Tension Headaches

    While there is no definitive cause for tension headaches, there are things thought to trigger or worsen these painful episodes.

  • Teens’ Screen Time May Affect Their Bone Health: Study

    Spending too much time sitting in front of screens may be linked to poorer bone health in teen boys, according to a new study from Norway.

  • Low Back Pain Leading Cause of Disability Worldwide: Study

    Low back pain causes more disability than nearly 300 other conditions worldwide, according to new research, and nearly one in 10 people across the globe suffers from an aching lower back.

  • Ways to Cut Your Colon Cancer Risk

    Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death, but there are ways of reducing your risk.

  • Rashes from Wipes, Liquid Soaps on the Rise

    Allergic skin reactions to a preservative used in pre-moistened wipes and liquid soaps are on the increase, a doctor says.

  • Health Tip: Understanding Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

    Chronic fatigue syndrome is a complex disorder that involves extreme tiredness that doesn’t go away after rest or sleep. The cause hasn’t been identified. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention mentions these common symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome.

  • Timing Is Key to Massage’s Benefits for Neck Pain: Study

    Massage can relieve neck pain if it’s done often by a professional therapist and for the correct length of time, according to new research.

  • Healing Facts: Papaya

    Papaya contains papain, an enzyme that helps the body digest proteins, and can help treat conditions such as indigestion, chronic diarrhea, hay fever, and allergies.

  • Gut Bacteria May Play Role in Chron’s Disease

    The community of bacteria that typically live in the human gut is radically altered in patients with Crohn’s disease, a new study shows.
    Overall, patients with Crohn’s have less diversity among their intestinal bacteria than healthy individuals. And certain types of harmful bacteria appear to be increased in Crohn’s patients, while the amounts of beneficial bacteria are decreased, the study found.

  • 5 Reasons to Eat More Celery

    Celery is one of those vegetables we tend to keep in the bottom of our vegetable drawer and only think about when its time to make soup, as it’s a basic ingredient for most soup broths. It’s a humble and often overlooked vegetable. However, there are good reasons to find ways to eat more of it.

  • Exercise Helpful During Pregnancy

    Pregnancy-related backaches afflict women with low mobility more than those who exercise regularly, said the head of the 20th Annual Seminar of Rheumatology Research Center.

  • Women at Higher Risk of Heart Attacks than Men

    A new study has revealed that there are some significant differences between men’s and women’s hearts, and these differences may put women at a much higher risk for heart woes than their male counterparts.

  • Reduce Inflammation to Feel Better

    Nutrition plays a key role in both promoting anti-inflammatory responses and combating harmful processes from occurring. The research is undeniable — intake can affect the immune system and disease.

  • Food Remedies for Daily Ailments

    It’s time to start considering food as a remedy for your daily ailments. Some foods can act like good old natural medicine and help you ward off anything from an aggravating headache to a sleepless night. Stock up your cabinet with these healing foods and be ready for whatever life might throw at you.

Yoga, Meditation May Help Dementia Patients and Caregivers Alike

Posted June 9, 2014

By Alan Mozes

HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, June 5, 2014 (HealthDay News) — Life with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias can be difficult for the affected individual and his or her caregiver.

But a small British study suggests that a “holistic” program involving yoga, meditation and other interventions can ease the burden for both.

“This is an activity that caregivers and patients can do together,” said study lead author Yvonne J-Lyn Khoo, a researcher with the Health and Social Care Institute at Teesside University in Middlesbrough, U.K. “Because everyone is doing the program together, caregivers have peace of mind to at least allow themselves to ‘let go’ and do some exercise.”

One expert in the United States said programs like this are sorely needed.

“Caregivers for people with dementia are under so much stress,” said Catherine Roe, an assistant professor of neurology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. “They often neglect themselves and have no time do things like exercise or mediate. So this is one way that might be possible,” she said.

The study, which received assistance from the U.K. Alzheimer’s Society, was published recently in the Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies.

The program, called “Happy Antics,” involved eight patients with dementia, five of their caregivers, and two research volunteers. Participants ranged between 52 and 86 years of age when the study launched in 2013, and over the course of six weeks 70 percent of the group completed all six 45-minute sessions.

Sessions included some combination of group discussion, stretching, bending, breathing exercises, tai chi, yoga, meditation, qigong and dance. Movement was accompanied by music and was described as “nonstrenuous,” and usually occurred while seated, Khoo explained.

“The general impression is that people with dementia don’t exercise, won’t exercise or can’t exercise,” Khoo said. “But our findings show that it may not necessarily be that way.”

In fact, in post-program interviews, all of the patients and caregivers said “Happy Antics” helped them be more social, and they looked forward to each session. One patient with dementia said, “I feel better after it,” while another patient stated, “Good company, nice people. Feeling part of a team.”

Caregivers felt rewarded, too. The exercises “help me to relax, just [have] a feeling of well-being afterwards,” one caregiver said. Another said, “Everyone is enjoying themselves, which is what we come for.”

“Caregivers themselves also feel supported throughout the sessions,” Khoo said. “On the other hand, the presence of the caregiver is reassuring to the patient, and this feeling of security and familiarity supports the exercise environment.”

Three people involved in the program also cited pain relief as an added benefit, while three others said they felt empowered by the experience.

Will “Happy Antics” continue? Janet Baker, activities coordinator for the Dalton Court Care Home in Cockermouth, U.K., said a trial session held after the study was finished was “well received.”

“The majority of the residents in the lounge participated in one form or another,” Baker said. “Some were very active throughout while others sat and watched, taking it all in, tapping a foot on the floor, patting a hand on their leg, or following each movement closely with their eyes. The physical movements, which were at varying speeds, were easy to follow with the choice of music, which added to the fun. Some residents couldn’t manage all the actions, as they were laughing so much as they sang along to the familiar tune.”

For her part, Roe said “Happy Antics” should be commended for its inclusion of caregivers with patients, and as a proof of concept.

Khoo’s team “have shown that holistic classes like this are possible,” Roe said. “The next step would be to test this in a larger group, and actually measure whether, and how much, this program actually improves quality of life for both people with dementia and their caregivers.”

Copyright © 2014 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

By Alan Mozes

HealthDay Reporter



THURSDAY, June 5, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Life with Alzheimer's disease or other dementias can be difficult for the affected individual and his or her caregiver.



But a small British study suggests that a "holistic" program involving yoga, meditation and other interventions can ease the burden for both.



"This is an activity that caregivers and patients can do together," said study lead author Yvonne J-Lyn Khoo, a researcher with the Health and Social Care Institute at Teesside University in Middlesbrough, U.K. "Because everyone is doing the program together, caregivers have peace of mind to at least allow themselves to 'let go' and do some exercise."



One expert in the United States said programs like this are sorely needed.



"Caregivers for people with dementia are under so much stress," said Catherine Roe, an assistant professor of neurology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. "They often neglect themselves and have no time do things like exercise or mediate. So this is one way that might be possible," she said.



The study, which received assistance from the U.K. Alzheimer's Society, was published recently in the Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies.



The program, called "Happy Antics," involved eight patients with dementia, five of their caregivers, and two research volunteers. Participants ranged between 52 and 86 years of age when the study launched in 2013, and over the course of six weeks 70 percent of the group completed all six 45-minute sessions.



Sessions included some combination of group discussion, stretching, bending, breathing exercises, tai chi, yoga, meditation, qigong and dance. Movement was accompanied by music and was described as "nonstrenuous," and usually occurred while seated, Khoo explained.



"The general impression is that people with dementia don't exercise, won't exercise or can't exercise," Khoo said. "But our findings show that it may not necessarily be that way."



In fact, in post-program interviews, all of the patients and caregivers said "Happy Antics" helped them be more social, and they looked forward to each session. One patient with dementia said, "I feel better after it," while another patient stated, "Good company, nice people. Feeling part of a team."



Caregivers felt rewarded, too. The exercises "help me to relax, just [have] a feeling of well-being afterwards," one caregiver said. Another said, "Everyone is enjoying themselves, which is what we come for."



"Caregivers themselves also feel supported throughout the sessions," Khoo said. "On the other hand, the presence of the caregiver is reassuring to the patient, and this feeling of security and familiarity supports the exercise environment."



Three people involved in the program also cited pain relief as an added benefit, while three others said they felt empowered by the experience.



Will "Happy Antics" continue? Janet Baker, activities coordinator for the Dalton Court Care Home in Cockermouth, U.K., said a trial session held after the study was finished was "well received."



"The majority of the residents in the lounge participated in one form or another," Baker said. "Some were very active throughout while others sat and watched, taking it all in, tapping a foot on the floor, patting a hand on their leg, or following each movement closely with their eyes. The physical movements, which were at varying speeds, were easy to follow with the choice of music, which added to the fun. Some residents couldn't manage all the actions, as they were laughing so much as they sang along to the familiar tune."



For her part, Roe said "Happy Antics" should be commended for its inclusion of caregivers with patients, and as a proof of concept.



Khoo's team "have shown that holistic classes like this are possible," Roe said. "The next step would be to test this in a larger group, and actually measure whether, and how much, this program actually improves quality of life for both people with dementia and their caregivers."



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5 or More Bad Sunburns While Young Tied to Higher Melanoma Risk

Posted May 31, 2014

FRIDAY, May 30, 2014 (HealthDay News) — White women who get five or more blistering sunburns between the ages of 15 and 20 have an 80 percent increased risk for melanoma — the most deadly form of skin cancer, new study findings indicate.

Researchers also found these women have a 68 percent greater risk for two other forms of skin cancer known as basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma.

“Our results suggest that sun exposures in both early life and adulthood were predictive of non-melanoma skin cancers, whereas melanoma risk was predominantly associated with sun exposure in early life,” according to Dr. Abrar Qureshi, professor and chair of the department of dermatology at Brown University and Rhode Island Hospital in Providence.

“Parents may need to be advised to pay more attention to protection from early-life sun exposure for their kids in order to reduce the likelihood of developing melanoma as they grow up. Older individuals should also be cautious with their sun exposure, because cumulative sun exposure increases skin cancer risk as well,” Qureshi said in a news release from the American Association for Cancer Research.

In conducting the study, published May 29 in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, the researchers followed nearly 109,000 white female nurses for about 20 years. When the study began, the women were aged 25 to 42. They were asked about their medical history. The researchers also assessed their risk factors for skin cancer, such as the number of moles they had, if they had a family history of the disease and the number of blistering sunburns they had in their late teens.

Over the course of the study, the investigators collected more recent information from the women on their skin cancer risk. Specifically, they were asked for updates on their family history as well as their use of tanning beds, alcohol and cigarettes.

The study participants lived in 14 different states. The researchers took this into account and calculated each woman’s total ultraviolet (UV) light exposure, depending on how long they lived in any given place. The women were placed into three categories based on this UV exposure: low, medium and high.

Roughly one-quarter of the women experienced painful blistering sunburns at a young age and one-quarter admitted to using tanning beds. The researchers also found that about 10 percent of the women had more than five blistering sunburns when they were between the ages of 15 and 20.

Nearly 7,000 were diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma. Squamous cell carcinoma affected 880 of the women and about 780 were diagnosed with melanoma. Of the women who developed melanoma, 445 had invasive cancer, the investigators found.

The study authors pointed out that the women who had the greatest exposure to the sun’s harmful UV rays when they were adults did not have an increased risk for melanoma. These women, however, had a roughly 2.3-fold greater risk for basal cell carcinoma and a 2.5-fold increased risk for squamous cell carcinoma.

“Pattern of sun exposure was not uniformly associated with the risk for all the three main skin cancers we see in the United States, suggesting that there are some differences in the [development] of these skin cancers,” noted Qureshi.

“An individual’s risk of developing skin cancer depends on both host and environmental risk factors. Persons with high host-risk traits, such as red hair color, higher number of moles and high sunburn susceptibility, should pay more attention to avoid excessive sun exposure, especially early in life.”

– Mary Elizabeth Dallas

Copyright © 2014 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

FRIDAY, May 30, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- White women who get five or more blistering sunburns between the ages of 15 and 20 have an 80 percent increased risk for melanoma -- the most deadly form of skin cancer, new study findings indicate.



Researchers also found these women have a 68 percent greater risk for two other forms of skin cancer known as basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma.



"Our results suggest that sun exposures in both early life and adulthood were predictive of non-melanoma skin cancers, whereas melanoma risk was predominantly associated with sun exposure in early life," according to Dr. Abrar Qureshi, professor and chair of the department of dermatology at Brown University and Rhode Island Hospital in Providence.



"Parents may need to be advised to pay more attention to protection from early-life sun exposure for their kids in order to reduce the likelihood of developing melanoma as they grow up. Older individuals should also be cautious with their sun exposure, because cumulative sun exposure increases skin cancer risk as well," Qureshi said in a news release from the American Association for Cancer Research.



In conducting the study, published May 29 in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, the researchers followed nearly 109,000 white female nurses for about 20 years. When the study began, the women were aged 25 to 42. They were asked about their medical history. The researchers also assessed their risk factors for skin cancer, such as the number of moles they had, if they had a family history of the disease and the number of blistering sunburns they had in their late teens.



Over the course of the study, the investigators collected more recent information from the women on their skin cancer risk. Specifically, they were asked for updates on their family history as well as their use of tanning beds, alcohol and cigarettes.



The study participants lived in 14 different states. The researchers took this into account and calculated each woman's total ultraviolet (UV) light exposure, depending on how long they lived in any given place. The women were placed into three categories based on this UV exposure: low, medium and high.



Roughly one-quarter of the women experienced painful blistering sunburns at a young age and one-quarter admitted to using tanning beds. The researchers also found that about 10 percent of the women had more than five blistering sunburns when they were between the ages of 15 and 20.



Nearly 7,000 were diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma. Squamous cell carcinoma affected 880 of the women and about 780 were diagnosed with melanoma. Of the women who developed melanoma, 445 had invasive cancer, the investigators found.



The study authors pointed out that the women who had the greatest exposure to the sun's harmful UV rays when they were adults did not have an increased risk for melanoma. These women, however, had a roughly 2.3-fold greater risk for basal cell carcinoma and a 2.5-fold increased risk for squamous cell carcinoma.



"Pattern of sun exposure was not uniformly associated with the risk for all the three main skin cancers we see in the United States, suggesting that there are some differences in the [development] of these skin cancers," noted Qureshi.



"An individual's risk of developing skin cancer depends on both host and environmental risk factors. Persons with high host-risk traits, such as red hair color, higher number of moles and high sunburn susceptibility, should pay more attention to avoid excessive sun exposure, especially early in life."



-- Mary Elizabeth Dallas



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Daily Aspirin Regimen Not Safe for Everyone, FDA Warns

Posted May 8, 2014

TUESDAY, May 6, 2014 (HealthDay News) — Taking an aspirin a day can help prevent heart attack and stroke in people who have suffered such health crises in the past, but not in people who have never had heart problems, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

“Since the 1990s, clinical data have shown that in people who have experienced a heart attack, stroke or who have a disease of the blood vessels in the heart, a daily low dose of aspirin can help prevent a reoccurrence,” Dr. Robert Temple, deputy director for clinical science at the FDA, said in an agency news release.

A low-dose tablet contains 80 milligrams (mg) of aspirin, compared with 325 mg in a regular strength tablet.

However, an analysis of data from major studies does not support the use of aspirin as a preventive medicine in people who have not had a heart attack, stroke or heart problems. In these people, aspirin provides no benefits and puts them at risk for side effects such as dangerous bleeding in the brain or stomach, the FDA said.

Also, there’s no evidence that taking aspirin every day is safe and effective for people who have not had heart problems or a stroke but have a family history of heart attack or stroke, or have evidence of arterial disease, Temple said.

He noted that a number of large studies are being conducted to assess the use of aspirin in preventing heart attack and stroke in people with no previous history of heart problems, and that the FDA is monitoring those clinical trials.

Anyone thinking about taking low-dose aspirin needs to discuss the risks and benefits with their doctor, Temple emphasized. It’s also important to have your doctor determine the dose and frequency that’s appropriate for you.

If your doctor does recommend daily aspirin to reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke, closely examine drug labels. Some drugs combine aspirin with other pain relievers or ingredients and should not be used for long-term aspirin therapy, the FDA said in the news release.

– Robert Preidt

Copyright © 2014 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

TUESDAY, May 6, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Taking an aspirin a day can help prevent heart attack and stroke in people who have suffered such health crises in the past, but not in people who have never had heart problems, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.



"Since the 1990s, clinical data have shown that in people who have experienced a heart attack, stroke or who have a disease of the blood vessels in the heart, a daily low dose of aspirin can help prevent a reoccurrence," Dr. Robert Temple, deputy director for clinical science at the FDA, said in an agency news release.



A low-dose tablet contains 80 milligrams (mg) of aspirin, compared with 325 mg in a regular strength tablet.



However, an analysis of data from major studies does not support the use of aspirin as a preventive medicine in people who have not had a heart attack, stroke or heart problems. In these people, aspirin provides no benefits and puts them at risk for side effects such as dangerous bleeding in the brain or stomach, the FDA said.



Also, there's no evidence that taking aspirin every day is safe and effective for people who have not had heart problems or a stroke but have a family history of heart attack or stroke, or have evidence of arterial disease, Temple said.



He noted that a number of large studies are being conducted to assess the use of aspirin in preventing heart attack and stroke in people with no previous history of heart problems, and that the FDA is monitoring those clinical trials.



Anyone thinking about taking low-dose aspirin needs to discuss the risks and benefits with their doctor, Temple emphasized. It's also important to have your doctor determine the dose and frequency that's appropriate for you.



If your doctor does recommend daily aspirin to reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke, closely examine drug labels. Some drugs combine aspirin with other pain relievers or ingredients and should not be used for long-term aspirin therapy, the FDA said in the news release.



-- Robert Preidt



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Gastro Woes More Common in Kids with Autism

Posted April 29, 2014

By Brenda Goodman

HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, April 28, 2014 (HealthDay News) — What many parents of children with autism have long suspected — that autism and gastrointestinal complaints often go together — is now supported by a new study.

The study, a review of medical research, found that children with autism are more than four times as likely as their typically developing peers to have digestive difficulties such as abdominal pain, diarrhea or constipation.

The study authors stress that doesn’t mean the gastrointestinal troubles are the cause of autism, as one widely discredited theory has suggested, or that something about the biology of autism causes stomach complaints.

No cause-and-effect relationship has been established.

But the researchers say the link between the two problems is strong enough that it deserves more investigation.

“We really searched high and low for good studies, and we only found 15 studies on this over 32 years,” said study author William Sharp, a behavioral pediatric psychologist at the Emory University School of Medicine, in Atlanta.

“This is something that is a prominent concern for kids with autism, and that we should refocus our scientific endeavors to get an evidence-based approach for assessment and treatment of these kids,” said Sharp, who specializes in feeding problems in children with autism.

For the review, published online April 28 and in the May print issue of Pediatrics, Sharp and his colleagues combed the medical literature looking for studies of digestive problems in autism. Then they narrowed their search to studies that included a comparison (“control”) group. These control groups were usually typically developing peers or siblings of children with autism.

Out of a pool of 961 possible studies, only 15 included a control group. But even those studies had some problems, Sharp conceded. They used different definitions for frequent complaints such as diarrhea and constipation. Many relied on reports from parents to document a problem while others only counted stomach issues if they were noted in a child’s medical chart.

After smoothing out those differences as well as they could, researchers found high rates of gastric problems in children with autism. Diarrhea and constipation were the most frequently reported problems. Kids with autism were almost four times as likely to have diarrhea or constipation compared to typically developing children, the investigators found. And they were more than twice as likely to experience abdominal pain.

Doctors don’t yet know why kids with autism are more prone to digestive problems, but they believe a lot of it may be behavioral.

Some studies have suggested that as babies, children with autism don’t breast-feed well. Breast milk helps to develop and protect an infant’s intestinal tract. That may be something children with autism miss out on. They can also be picky eaters.

“If a parent says their child has occasional constipation, is that enough to say a kid has a GI issue, if they’re very selective and only eat white rice?” asked Cynthia Johnson. She is the director of the autism center at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. She was not involved in the research.

Until more is known, Johnson said, parents should bring digestive issues to a doctor’s attention.

“They need to know to raise their concerns with their pediatrician to make sure their child doesn’t need to be seen by a gastroenterologist,” she said. “But if it seems diet-related, they probably need to talk to a dietitian for a recommendation.”

Copyright © 2014 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

By Brenda Goodman

HealthDay Reporter



MONDAY, April 28, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- What many parents of children with autism have long suspected -- that autism and gastrointestinal complaints often go together -- is now supported by a new study.



The study, a review of medical research, found that children with autism are more than four times as likely as their typically developing peers to have digestive difficulties such as abdominal pain, diarrhea or constipation.



The study authors stress that doesn't mean the gastrointestinal troubles are the cause of autism, as one widely discredited theory has suggested, or that something about the biology of autism causes stomach complaints.



No cause-and-effect relationship has been established.



But the researchers say the link between the two problems is strong enough that it deserves more investigation.



"We really searched high and low for good studies, and we only found 15 studies on this over 32 years," said study author William Sharp, a behavioral pediatric psychologist at the Emory University School of Medicine, in Atlanta.



"This is something that is a prominent concern for kids with autism, and that we should refocus our scientific endeavors to get an evidence-based approach for assessment and treatment of these kids," said Sharp, who specializes in feeding problems in children with autism.



For the review, published online April 28 and in the May print issue of Pediatrics, Sharp and his colleagues combed the medical literature looking for studies of digestive problems in autism. Then they narrowed their search to studies that included a comparison ("control") group. These control groups were usually typically developing peers or siblings of children with autism.



Out of a pool of 961 possible studies, only 15 included a control group. But even those studies had some problems, Sharp conceded. They used different definitions for frequent complaints such as diarrhea and constipation. Many relied on reports from parents to document a problem while others only counted stomach issues if they were noted in a child's medical chart.



After smoothing out those differences as well as they could, researchers found high rates of gastric problems in children with autism. Diarrhea and constipation were the most frequently reported problems. Kids with autism were almost four times as likely to have diarrhea or constipation compared to typically developing children, the investigators found. And they were more than twice as likely to experience abdominal pain.



Doctors don't yet know why kids with autism are more prone to digestive problems, but they believe a lot of it may be behavioral.



Some studies have suggested that as babies, children with autism don't breast-feed well. Breast milk helps to develop and protect an infant's intestinal tract. That may be something children with autism miss out on. They can also be picky eaters.



"If a parent says their child has occasional constipation, is that enough to say a kid has a GI issue, if they're very selective and only eat white rice?" asked Cynthia Johnson. She is the director of the autism center at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh. She was not involved in the research.



Until more is known, Johnson said, parents should bring digestive issues to a doctor's attention.



"They need to know to raise their concerns with their pediatrician to make sure their child doesn't need to be seen by a gastroenterologist," she said. "But if it seems diet-related, they probably need to talk to a dietitian for a recommendation."



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Saturday is National Drug Take-Back Day

Posted April 26, 2014

FRIDAY, April 25, 2014 (HealthDay News) — If you have expired, unused or unwanted drugs in your medicine cabinet, you can safely dispose of them on National Drug Take-Back Day this Saturday.

The free and anonymous service is offered from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at collection sites across the nation. To find a site near you, go to the National Take-Back Initiative website and type in your ZIP code.

One major goal of the program is to reduce prescription drug abuse and overdose deaths. In 2010, more than 22,000 people in the United States died of prescription drug overdoses.

Family and friends are the source for access to over half of all abused prescription drugs, and in many of those cases users simply take the drugs from other people’s medicine cabinets, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration noted in a news release.

In 2010, nearly three-quarters of prescription drug overdoses involved powerful prescription painkillers called narcotics, or opioids (such as oxycodone), according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In 2011, there were more than 420,000 emergency department visits related to the misuse and abuse of prescription narcotics in the United States, a number that nearly doubled over five years, the news release noted. In 2012, more than 12 million Americans abused prescription narcotics by taking them without a doctor’s orders or for reasons other than their original purpose.

This is the eighth Take-Back Day in four years and the previous events have been highly successful, collecting more than 3 million pounds (1,733 tons) of prescription drugs, the FDA said in the news release.

The agency also noted that you should safely dispose of medicines throughout the year. The FDA’s Disposal of Unused Medicine website offers advice on how to do this.

More information Here’s where you can find the National Take-Back Day website.

Robert Preidt

Copyright © 2014 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

FRIDAY, April 25, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- If you have expired, unused or unwanted drugs in your medicine cabinet, you can safely dispose of them on National Drug Take-Back Day this Saturday.



The free and anonymous service is offered from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at collection sites across the nation. To find a site near you, go to the National Take-Back Initiative website and type in your ZIP code.



One major goal of the program is to reduce prescription drug abuse and overdose deaths. In 2010, more than 22,000 people in the United States died of prescription drug overdoses.



Family and friends are the source for access to over half of all abused prescription drugs, and in many of those cases users simply take the drugs from other people's medicine cabinets, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration noted in a news release.



In 2010, nearly three-quarters of prescription drug overdoses involved powerful prescription painkillers called narcotics, or opioids (such as oxycodone), according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.



In 2011, there were more than 420,000 emergency department visits related to the misuse and abuse of prescription narcotics in the United States, a number that nearly doubled over five years, the news release noted. In 2012, more than 12 million Americans abused prescription narcotics by taking them without a doctor's orders or for reasons other than their original purpose.



This is the eighth Take-Back Day in four years and the previous events have been highly successful, collecting more than 3 million pounds (1,733 tons) of prescription drugs, the FDA said in the news release.



The agency also noted that you should safely dispose of medicines throughout the year. The FDA's Disposal of Unused Medicine website offers advice on how to do this.



More information Here's where you can find the National Take-Back Day website.



-- Robert Preidt



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Bowel Illnesses Sometimes Coincide in Kids

Posted April 23, 2014

By Steven Reinberg

HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, April 21, 2014 (HealthDay News) — Children suffering from irritable bowel syndrome are four times more likely than other kids to have a condition called celiac disease — an allergy to gluten — Italian researchers report.

More than 2 million people in the United States have celiac disease, or about one in every 133 people, according to the U.S. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK).

Irritable bowel syndrome, another condition, causes cramping, abdominal pain, bloating, gas, diarrhea and constipation. Some symptoms may overlap with those of celiac disease.

“If you have a child with symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, he or she has a four times higher risk of celiac disease as compared to the general population,” said lead researcher Dr. Ruggiero Francavilla, with the interdisciplinary department of medicine, in the pediatric section of the Giovanni XXIII Hospital at the University of Bari.

In celiac disease, the body’s immune system reacts to gluten, causing damage to the small intestine and making the body unable to absorb vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. This condition can lead to malnutrition, anemia or osteoporosis, according to the NIDDK.

Gluten is found in wheat, rye and barley and grains derived from them, such as durum, semolina and spelt.

For the new study, Francavilla and colleagues looked at 782 children with stomach problems. Of these children, 270 had irritable bowel syndrome, 201 had chronic indigestion and 311 had stomach pain. All these children were tested for celiac disease.

In all, 15 children tested positive for celiac disease — 12 with irritable bowel syndrome, two with chronic indigestion and one with stomach pain, the researchers found.

Given their findings, Francavilla thinks that only those children with irritable bowel syndrome need to be screened for celiac disease.

“Celiac screening should be addressed only in irritable bowel syndrome children rather than all the population with abdominal pain, since in those with abdominal pain not related to irritable bowel syndrome, the risk of having celiac disease is identical to the general pediatric population,” he said.

Identifying irritable bowel syndrome as a high risk for celiac disease might make screening routine for children with the condition, while not screening all children with chronic stomach pain, Francavilla said.

While the study found a link between having inflammatory bowel syndrome and a higher risk for celiac disease in children, it did not prove a cause-and-effect relationship.

The report was published online April 21 in JAMA Pediatrics.

Dr. Mitchell Cohen, co-author of an accompanying journal editorial, said, “We can help diagnose and treat children with celiac disease by screening children with irritable bowel syndrome. However, if the approach is not selective, many children will have false-positive test results that will cause more endoscopy and false worry.”

Routine screening for celiac disease of any child with chronic stomach pain is not recommended. However, selective screening of children with irritable bowel syndrome is recommended, said Cohen, vice-chair of pediatrics for clinical affairs at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.

Another expert takes a broader view of screening for celiac disease. Dr. William Muinos, co-director of the division of gastroenterology at Miami Children’s Hospital, said, “We always think of the possibility of celiac disease in children with chronic abdominal pain and some bowel dysfunction.”

Muinos added that it’s hard to tell the difference between irritable bowel syndrome and other causes of stomach pain. “It’s a lot of medical history, and perception of the physician.”

In his own practice, Muinos said, he screens most for celiac disease in children who have chronic pain and other symptoms, such as bowel bleeding or vomiting.

“Celiac disease can cause symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome,” Muinos said. “Celiac disease is something you can treat once you find it,” he said.

Copyright © 2014 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

By Steven Reinberg

HealthDay Reporter



MONDAY, April 21, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Children suffering from irritable bowel syndrome are four times more likely than other kids to have a condition called celiac disease -- an allergy to gluten -- Italian researchers report.



More than 2 million people in the United States have celiac disease, or about one in every 133 people, according to the U.S. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK).



Irritable bowel syndrome, another condition, causes cramping, abdominal pain, bloating, gas, diarrhea and constipation. Some symptoms may overlap with those of celiac disease.



"If you have a child with symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, he or she has a four times higher risk of celiac disease as compared to the general population," said lead researcher Dr. Ruggiero Francavilla, with the interdisciplinary department of medicine, in the pediatric section of the Giovanni XXIII Hospital at the University of Bari.



In celiac disease, the body's immune system reacts to gluten, causing damage to the small intestine and making the body unable to absorb vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. This condition can lead to malnutrition, anemia or osteoporosis, according to the NIDDK.



Gluten is found in wheat, rye and barley and grains derived from them, such as durum, semolina and spelt.



For the new study, Francavilla and colleagues looked at 782 children with stomach problems. Of these children, 270 had irritable bowel syndrome, 201 had chronic indigestion and 311 had stomach pain. All these children were tested for celiac disease.



In all, 15 children tested positive for celiac disease -- 12 with irritable bowel syndrome, two with chronic indigestion and one with stomach pain, the researchers found.



Given their findings, Francavilla thinks that only those children with irritable bowel syndrome need to be screened for celiac disease.



"Celiac screening should be addressed only in irritable bowel syndrome children rather than all the population with abdominal pain, since in those with abdominal pain not related to irritable bowel syndrome, the risk of having celiac disease is identical to the general pediatric population," he said.



Identifying irritable bowel syndrome as a high risk for celiac disease might make screening routine for children with the condition, while not screening all children with chronic stomach pain, Francavilla said.



While the study found a link between having inflammatory bowel syndrome and a higher risk for celiac disease in children, it did not prove a cause-and-effect relationship.



The report was published online April 21 in JAMA Pediatrics.



Dr. Mitchell Cohen, co-author of an accompanying journal editorial, said, "We can help diagnose and treat children with celiac disease by screening children with irritable bowel syndrome. However, if the approach is not selective, many children will have false-positive test results that will cause more endoscopy and false worry."



Routine screening for celiac disease of any child with chronic stomach pain is not recommended. However, selective screening of children with irritable bowel syndrome is recommended, said Cohen, vice-chair of pediatrics for clinical affairs at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center.



Another expert takes a broader view of screening for celiac disease. Dr. William Muinos, co-director of the division of gastroenterology at Miami Children's Hospital, said, "We always think of the possibility of celiac disease in children with chronic abdominal pain and some bowel dysfunction."



Muinos added that it's hard to tell the difference between irritable bowel syndrome and other causes of stomach pain. "It's a lot of medical history, and perception of the physician."



In his own practice, Muinos said, he screens most for celiac disease in children who have chronic pain and other symptoms, such as bowel bleeding or vomiting.



"Celiac disease can cause symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome," Muinos said. "Celiac disease is something you can treat once you find it," he said.



Copyright © 2014 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

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Yoga Big on West Coast, Chiropractors Popular in Midwest

Posted April 18, 2014

By Dennis Thompson

HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, April 16, 2014 (HealthDay News) — Folks on the West Coast are faithful followers of yoga and meditation. Midwesterners turn to chiropractors or osteopathic doctors for their aches and pains. And nearly one in every five Americans uses herbal supplements like ginseng, Echinacea, ginkgo biloba and St. John’s Wort.

Those are just some of the findings of a new federal government report on complementary and alternative medicine trends in the United States.

The report, derived from national health survey data collected in 2012, shows clear regional trends in the way Americans choose to use complementary medicine, said report co-author Tainya Clarke.

“It is important to continue to monitor the use of these complementary health approaches among the U.S. population, and this is the most recent national data out there,” said Clarke, a service fellow with the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“By highlighting regional differences, we can stimulate further research and help people make informed decisions,” she said.

After looking at data on almost 35,000 people across the country, the researchers found that:

  • Yoga with deep breathing or meditation is about 40 percent more common in the Pacific and Mountain states than in the country overall.
  • Use of chiropractic or osteopathic manipulation is nearly twice as high in the “West North Central region” — from the Dakotas and Minnesota down to Kansas and Missouri — than the rest of the United States.
  • People in the Pacific, Mountain and West North Central states are more likely to use massage therapy, compared with the rest of the country.
  • In general, people living in southern and Mid-Atlantic states have less use for complementary or alternative medicine, the researchers found.

There was one notable exception, however — in all parts of the country, large numbers of people appear to be using herbal dietary supplements.

Use of such supplements ranges from a high of 28.7 percent of Mountain state residents to a low of 13.1 percent in the South Atlantic states.

Herbal supplements constitute the most popular complementary health trend in the United States, according to the report, published April 16 as a NCHS Data Brief. About 18 percent of Americans use herbal supplements, more than double that of the next most popular complementary medicines — chiropractic and osteopathic manipulation (8.5 percent) and yoga (8.4 percent).

The findings are important and will help practitioners of alternative medicine better focus their efforts, said Dr. Molly Roberts, president of the American Holistic Medical Association (AHMA).

“It is good to see the CDC putting its attention to where Americans are seeking care in today’s marketplace,” Roberts said. “At the AHMA, we feel that listening to our patients is the best way to help them find the healing they need. We applaud this study and are working to create greater dialogue around how we can help transform health care.”

While the new study didn’t look into why these regional differences exist, Clarke said it’s likely the result of several factors such as education, culture and the availability of complementary health services.

For example, people in the Pacific and Mountain states are more likely to use yoga and massage therapy, which both focus on wellness and disease prevention, she said.

“You have a lot of yoga in California and those regions, and you see less evidence of disease treatments like chiropractic care,” Clarke said. On the other hand, people in the Midwest who partake less in wellness practices may be more apt to get injured and need chiropractic manipulation, she added.

The dearth of complementary and alternative medicine use in the South could come down to the fact that such services aren’t offered as frequently there, Clarke added.

“You don’t find as many yoga studios in more rural areas,” she said. “You’re not going to have a lot of other people using some of these complementary health approaches.”

Copyright © 2014 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

By Dennis Thompson

HealthDay Reporter



WEDNESDAY, April 16, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Folks on the West Coast are faithful followers of yoga and meditation. Midwesterners turn to chiropractors or osteopathic doctors for their aches and pains. And nearly one in every five Americans uses herbal supplements like ginseng, Echinacea, ginkgo biloba and St. John's Wort.



Those are just some of the findings of a new federal government report on complementary and alternative medicine trends in the United States.



The report, derived from national health survey data collected in 2012, shows clear regional trends in the way Americans choose to use complementary medicine, said report co-author Tainya Clarke.



"It is important to continue to monitor the use of these complementary health approaches among the U.S. population, and this is the most recent national data out there," said Clarke, a service fellow with the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.



"By highlighting regional differences, we can stimulate further research and help people make informed decisions," she said.



After looking at data on almost 35,000 people across the country, the researchers found that:
  • Yoga with deep breathing or meditation is about 40 percent more common in the Pacific and Mountain states than in the country overall.
  • Use of chiropractic or osteopathic manipulation is nearly twice as high in the "West North Central region" -- from the Dakotas and Minnesota down to Kansas and Missouri -- than the rest of the United States.
  • People in the Pacific, Mountain and West North Central states are more likely to use massage therapy, compared with the rest of the country.
  • In general, people living in southern and Mid-Atlantic states have less use for complementary or alternative medicine, the researchers found.
There was one notable exception, however -- in all parts of the country, large numbers of people appear to be using herbal dietary supplements.



Use of such supplements ranges from a high of 28.7 percent of Mountain state residents to a low of 13.1 percent in the South Atlantic states.



Herbal supplements constitute the most popular complementary health trend in the United States, according to the report, published April 16 as a NCHS Data Brief. About 18 percent of Americans use herbal supplements, more than double that of the next most popular complementary medicines -- chiropractic and osteopathic manipulation (8.5 percent) and yoga (8.4 percent).



The findings are important and will help practitioners of alternative medicine better focus their efforts, said Dr. Molly Roberts, president of the American Holistic Medical Association (AHMA).



"It is good to see the CDC putting its attention to where Americans are seeking care in today's marketplace," Roberts said. "At the AHMA, we feel that listening to our patients is the best way to help them find the healing they need. We applaud this study and are working to create greater dialogue around how we can help transform health care."



While the new study didn't look into why these regional differences exist, Clarke said it's likely the result of several factors such as education, culture and the availability of complementary health services.



For example, people in the Pacific and Mountain states are more likely to use yoga and massage therapy, which both focus on wellness and disease prevention, she said.



"You have a lot of yoga in California and those regions, and you see less evidence of disease treatments like chiropractic care," Clarke said. On the other hand, people in the Midwest who partake less in wellness practices may be more apt to get injured and need chiropractic manipulation, she added.



The dearth of complementary and alternative medicine use in the South could come down to the fact that such services aren't offered as frequently there, Clarke added.



"You don't find as many yoga studios in more rural areas," she said. "You're not going to have a lot of other people using some of these complementary health approaches."



Copyright © 2014 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

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Getting in Front of Back Pain

Posted April 15, 2014

SATURDAY, April 12, 2014 (HealthDay News) — Even though back pain affects nearly 10 million Americans a year, there’s a lot you can do to avoid the problem, an expert says.

It begins with healthy habits, including not smoking along with maintaining proper weight through good nutrition and exercise. Good posture, balance, strength and flexibility help increase core strength to support the back.

“All these elements can preserve a good back, keep our bones and bodies strong and help the body heal should injury occur,” Kathy Dieringer, a National Athletic Trainers’ Association board member, said in a news release from the organization.

To maintain good posture, keep your shoulders back when sitting, avoid slouching and don’t sit for more than 30 minutes without moving around.

It’s also important to support your back when sitting or sleeping. Sit with your knees slightly bent and higher than your hips. When in bed, try to maintain your lumbar curves and use pillows if necessary, Dieringer said.

Core muscles make up the “powerhouse” in the center of your body, according to the Federal Occupational Health website of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Core muscles include abdominal muscles, back muscles and muscles in the pelvic region.

Dieringer advised strengthening your core using exercises such as crunches, modified crunches with weights or medicine balls, planks, bridges and back extensions. When exercising, be sure to work on both lower and upper back muscles. It’s also important to do exercises that help maintain back flexibility.

If you’re inactive, get moving. Walking is a great way to maintain good back health, according to Dieringer.

Remember to lift with your legs, bend at the knees and keep your back straight. Don’t twist when carrying objects. Turn your entire body and keep your hips and shoulders facing the same direction. If you’re doing work — such as gardening — that requires lots of bending or stooping, take frequent breaks and stretch your back when you stand up.

If you do experience back pain, stop your activity, rest and consult your doctor. Ignoring back pain can lead to complications, Dieringer warned.

“By following a healthy regimen to maintain good posture, proper back and body mechanics, your movements should be easy, pain-free and with great range of motion,” she said.

Robert Preidt

Copyright © 2014 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

SATURDAY, April 12, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Even though back pain affects nearly 10 million Americans a year, there's a lot you can do to avoid the problem, an expert says.



It begins with healthy habits, including not smoking along with maintaining proper weight through good nutrition and exercise. Good posture, balance, strength and flexibility help increase core strength to support the back.



"All these elements can preserve a good back, keep our bones and bodies strong and help the body heal should injury occur," Kathy Dieringer, a National Athletic Trainers' Association board member, said in a news release from the organization.



To maintain good posture, keep your shoulders back when sitting, avoid slouching and don't sit for more than 30 minutes without moving around.



It's also important to support your back when sitting or sleeping. Sit with your knees slightly bent and higher than your hips. When in bed, try to maintain your lumbar curves and use pillows if necessary, Dieringer said.



Core muscles make up the "powerhouse" in the center of your body, according to the Federal Occupational Health website of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Core muscles include abdominal muscles, back muscles and muscles in the pelvic region.



Dieringer advised strengthening your core using exercises such as crunches, modified crunches with weights or medicine balls, planks, bridges and back extensions. When exercising, be sure to work on both lower and upper back muscles. It's also important to do exercises that help maintain back flexibility.



If you're inactive, get moving. Walking is a great way to maintain good back health, according to Dieringer.



Remember to lift with your legs, bend at the knees and keep your back straight. Don't twist when carrying objects. Turn your entire body and keep your hips and shoulders facing the same direction. If you're doing work -- such as gardening -- that requires lots of bending or stooping, take frequent breaks and stretch your back when you stand up.



If you do experience back pain, stop your activity, rest and consult your doctor. Ignoring back pain can lead to complications, Dieringer warned.



"By following a healthy regimen to maintain good posture, proper back and body mechanics, your movements should be easy, pain-free and with great range of motion," she said.



-- Robert Preidt



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Pain, Pain Go Away: Natural Remedies for Arthritis

Many of us experience minor aches and pains as we get older. But for the 50 million Americans who suffer from arthritis, these aches and pains can range from mild to severe, and can even be debilitating. And contrary to popular belief, arthritis isn’t just a disease of old age-two-thirds of people with this condition are under the age of 65, including 300,000 children.

Different Forms of Arthritis

According to the Arthritis Foundation, arthritis can take many different forms, but three of the most common diseases that make up arthritis are the following:

  • Osteoarthritis (OA): The most common form of arthritis, OA is a progressive joint disease characterized by the breakdown of joint cartilage. It’s associated with risk factors such as overweight/obesity, a history of joint damage, and age.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis (RA): This systemic disease is characterized by the inflammation of the membranes lining the joint. This causes pain, stiffness, swelling, and sometimes severe joint damage.
  • Juvenile arthritis (JA): This umbrella term is used to describe the many autoimmune and inflammatory conditions that can develop in children ages 16 and younger.

Arthritis is the leading cause of disability in the United States, and according to the Arthritis Foundation, the number of people with this condition will soar in the next 20 years unless the trend is reversed. Fortunately, diet and lifestyle go a long way in preventing and reducing the pain and inflammation associated with arthritis.

Natural Helpers

Exercise is one of the most valuable tools in the fight against arthritis. There’s strong evidence indicating that both endurance and resistance exercise provide considerable benefits for people with OA. Exercise is essential for managing weight, which helps to avoid joint injury and lessens the pressure on the joints. In fact, every one pound of weight loss results in a whopping four pounds of pressure taken off each knee!

One of the best approaches to any form of arthritis is to eat a diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables. These foods are rich in dietary antioxidants like vitamin C, beta-carotene, vitamin E, and selenium. Studies show that the risk of RA his highest among people with the lowest antioxidant levels.

Excellent sources of antioxidants include berries (all berries-blueberries, cranberries, raspberries, strawberries, and cherries); yellow and green veggies like squash, sweet potatoes, carrots, and cabbage family vegetables. Anti-inflammatory pineapple and ginger are also helpful. Studies have show that ginger helps to relieve pain, improve joint mobility, and decrease stiffness and swelling.

Juicing for Arthritis

One effective (and delicious!) way to relieve arthritis pain and inflammation is to juice fresh fruits and veggies that are packed full of nutrients that are beneficial for arthritis. Michael T. Murray, ND, recommends the following fresh juice recipes for arthritis.

Go Away Pain

1-inch slice of fresh turmeric or ginger

1 cup blueberries

1/4 pineapple with skin, sliced

4 celery ribs

Juice the turmeric, followed by the blueberries, pineapple, and celery.

Ginger Hopper

1-inch slice of ginger

1 apple, cut into wedges

3 carrots

Juice the ginger, followed by the apple and carrots.

Pineapple-Ginger Ale

1-inch slice of ginger

1/2 pineapple with skin, sliced

Juice the ginger, then the pineapple.

For more information:

The Arthritis Foundation, http://www.arthritis.org

The Complete Book of Juicing by Michael T. Murray, ND (Clarkson Potter, 2013), doctormurray.com

© 2014 Living Naturally

Many of us experience minor aches and pains as we get older. But for the 50 million Americans who suffer from arthritis, these aches and pains can range from mild to severe, and can even be debilitating. And contrary to popular belief, arthritis isn't just a disease of old age-two-thirds of people with this condition are under the age of 65, including 300,000 children.



Different Forms of Arthritis



According to the Arthritis Foundation, arthritis can take many different forms, but three of the most common diseases that make up arthritis are the following:
  • Osteoarthritis (OA): The most common form of arthritis, OA is a progressive joint disease characterized by the breakdown of joint cartilage. It's associated with risk factors such as overweight/obesity, a history of joint damage, and age.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis (RA): This systemic disease is characterized by the inflammation of the membranes lining the joint. This causes pain, stiffness, swelling, and sometimes severe joint damage.
  • Juvenile arthritis (JA): This umbrella term is used to describe the many autoimmune and inflammatory conditions that can develop in children ages 16 and younger.
Arthritis is the leading cause of disability in the United States, and according to the Arthritis Foundation, the number of people with this condition will soar in the next 20 years unless the trend is reversed. Fortunately, diet and lifestyle go a long way in preventing and reducing the pain and inflammation associated with arthritis.



Natural Helpers



Exercise is one of the most valuable tools in the fight against arthritis. There's strong evidence indicating that both endurance and resistance exercise provide considerable benefits for people with OA. Exercise is essential for managing weight, which helps to avoid joint injury and lessens the pressure on the joints. In fact, every one pound of weight loss results in a whopping four pounds of pressure taken off each knee!



One of the best approaches to any form of arthritis is to eat a diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables. These foods are rich in dietary antioxidants like vitamin C, beta-carotene, vitamin E, and selenium. Studies show that the risk of RA his highest among people with the lowest antioxidant levels.



Excellent sources of antioxidants include berries (all berries-blueberries, cranberries, raspberries, strawberries, and cherries); yellow and green veggies like squash, sweet potatoes, carrots, and cabbage family vegetables. Anti-inflammatory pineapple and ginger are also helpful. Studies have show that ginger helps to relieve pain, improve joint mobility, and decrease stiffness and swelling.



Juicing for Arthritis



One effective (and delicious!) way to relieve arthritis pain and inflammation is to juice fresh fruits and veggies that are packed full of nutrients that are beneficial for arthritis. Michael T. Murray, ND, recommends the following fresh juice recipes for arthritis.



Go Away Pain

1-inch slice of fresh turmeric or ginger

1 cup blueberries

1/4 pineapple with skin, sliced

4 celery ribs

Juice the turmeric, followed by the blueberries, pineapple, and celery.



Ginger Hopper

1-inch slice of ginger

1 apple, cut into wedges

3 carrots

Juice the ginger, followed by the apple and carrots.



Pineapple-Ginger Ale

1-inch slice of ginger

1/2 pineapple with skin, sliced

Juice the ginger, then the pineapple.



For more information:



The Arthritis Foundation, www.arthritis.org



The Complete Book of Juicing by Michael T. Murray, ND (Clarkson Potter, 2013), doctormurray.com



© 2014 Living Naturally

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Super Supplements for Joint Health

Osteoarthritis, also known as degenerative joint disease, is caused by the breakdown of cartilage in the joints. With its gel-like nature, cartilage provides a cushion in the joints and acts as a shock absorber.

When cartilage starts to break down, the symptoms can be subtle-maybe some joint stiffness in the morning or pain that gets worse with prolonged activity. But as osteoarthritis progresses, you may experience tenderness, swelling, and pain. Without cartilage in the joint, bone rubs against bone, causing inflammation, pain, and limited joint motion.

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) have become the conventional treatment for osteoarthritis, but these drugs only provide short-term relief of symptoms and don’t address the underlying cause of the problem-and they may actually increase the rate of degradation of cartilage in the joints. These drugs are also associated with significant risks and side effects.

Along with regular exercise and a diet packed with antioxidant-rich fresh fruits and vegetables, your local supplement aisle has a lot to offer when it comes to relieving arthritis naturally. Here are a few of our favorite remedies.

Vitamins and More

B vitamins: The B-complex vitamins help to increase blood flow, reduce swelling, and help prevent nerve damage. The B vitamins work best when taken together, so look for a B-complex supplement.

Vitamin C: This vitamin’s anti-inflammatory effects can help to relieve osteoarthritis pain. Look for a formula that contains bioflavonoids to boost the activity of vitamin C.

Omega-3s: Essential fatty acids help increase the production and activity of anti-inflammatory prostaglandins, helping to control arthritis pain and inflammation.

SAMe: This naturally occurring molecule delivers sulfur to the cartilage, helping to build strong joints. Without enough SAMe, we can’t maintain healthy cartilage. Research suggests that SAMe may relive joint pain and improve joint function as effectively as drugs like ibuprofen and aspirin.

Glucosamine and chondroitin: These two supplements are made from substances naturally found in cartilage, and they support healthy joints, ligaments, and tendons. Studies show that glucosamine sulfate, alone or in combination with chondroitin sulfate, helps relieve pain, improve joint mobility, and slow damage to the joints from osteoarthritis.

Helpful Herbs

Curcumin, found in the herb turmeric, has potent anti-inflammatory properties. It has been shown to relieve tenderness and swelling of the joints.

Ginger contains anti-inflammatory compounds called gingerols. Studies show that ginger can help reduce pain levels and improve mobility in people with osteoarthritis.

Boswellia has anti-inflammatory effects and aids in improving the blood supply to the joints. This herb can also be used topically to relieve pain.

Look for these natural arthritis relievers individually, in joint health formulas, and as part of a high-quality multivitamin/mineral supplement.

© 2014 Living Naturally

Osteoarthritis, also known as degenerative joint disease, is caused by the breakdown of cartilage in the joints. With its gel-like nature, cartilage provides a cushion in the joints and acts as a shock absorber.



When cartilage starts to break down, the symptoms can be subtle-maybe some joint stiffness in the morning or pain that gets worse with prolonged activity. But as osteoarthritis progresses, you may experience tenderness, swelling, and pain. Without cartilage in the joint, bone rubs against bone, causing inflammation, pain, and limited joint motion.



Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) have become the conventional treatment for osteoarthritis, but these drugs only provide short-term relief of symptoms and don't address the underlying cause of the problem-and they may actually increase the rate of degradation of cartilage in the joints. These drugs are also associated with significant risks and side effects.



Along with regular exercise and a diet packed with antioxidant-rich fresh fruits and vegetables, your local supplement aisle has a lot to offer when it comes to relieving arthritis naturally. Here are a few of our favorite remedies.



Vitamins and More



B vitamins: The B-complex vitamins help to increase blood flow, reduce swelling, and help prevent nerve damage. The B vitamins work best when taken together, so look for a B-complex supplement.



Vitamin C: This vitamin's anti-inflammatory effects can help to relieve osteoarthritis pain. Look for a formula that contains bioflavonoids to boost the activity of vitamin C.



Omega-3s: Essential fatty acids help increase the production and activity of anti-inflammatory prostaglandins, helping to control arthritis pain and inflammation.



SAMe: This naturally occurring molecule delivers sulfur to the cartilage, helping to build strong joints. Without enough SAMe, we can't maintain healthy cartilage. Research suggests that SAMe may relive joint pain and improve joint function as effectively as drugs like ibuprofen and aspirin.



Glucosamine and chondroitin: These two supplements are made from substances naturally found in cartilage, and they support healthy joints, ligaments, and tendons. Studies show that glucosamine sulfate, alone or in combination with chondroitin sulfate, helps relieve pain, improve joint mobility, and slow damage to the joints from osteoarthritis.



Helpful Herbs



Curcumin, found in the herb turmeric, has potent anti-inflammatory properties. It has been shown to relieve tenderness and swelling of the joints.



Ginger contains anti-inflammatory compounds called gingerols. Studies show that ginger can help reduce pain levels and improve mobility in people with osteoarthritis.



Boswellia has anti-inflammatory effects and aids in improving the blood supply to the joints. This herb can also be used topically to relieve pain.



Look for these natural arthritis relievers individually, in joint health formulas, and as part of a high-quality multivitamin/mineral supplement.



© 2014 Living Naturally

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A Doctor’s ‘People Skills’ Affect Patients’ Health

Posted April 13, 2014

By Amy Norton

HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, April 10, 2014 (HealthDay News) — A doctor’s “bedside manner” seems to have a real effect on patients’ health, a new research review suggests.

The review, of 13 clinical trials, found that when doctors were given training to hone their people skills, patients typically fared better in their efforts to lose weight, lower their blood pressure or manage pain.

Experts said the findings, reported online April 9 in the journal PLOS One, show that the doctor-patient relationship can have an impact on people’s health.

The effects in these studies were small, but still “impressive,” said Alan Christensen, a professor of psychology at the University of Iowa. Christensen, who was not involved in the research, studies the issue of health care provider-patient relationships. He pointed out that many of the training programs in the studies included in the new review focused on fairly “general” skills — such as maintaining eye contact with patients, and listening without interrupting.

So it’s encouraging to see that these training programs translate into specific health benefits at all, according to Christensen.

“It’s important to be able to demonstrate that clinicians can learn to change how they interact with patients, and that it affects health outcomes,” he said.

Dr. Helen Riess, the senior researcher on the new study, agreed. “I think that intuitively, people think that if you have an open, caring relationship with your provider, that’s beneficial.” But to really know if there are objective health effects, clinical trials are key, said Riess, who directs the empathy and relational science program at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

For its review, she said her team chose only rigorous clinical trials that measured “hard outcomes,” such as blood pressure changes — as opposed to subjective experiences like patient satisfaction.

The researchers ended up with 13 clinical trials from around the world. In each, health providers — most often doctors — were randomly assigned to either stick with their usual care or have some kind of training on patient interaction. Some focused on building “warmth” and empathy, Riess said, while others taught providers specific techniques, like “motivational interviewing.”

In most of the trials, though not all, patients seemed to benefit. Obese and diabetic patients tended to lose more weight, arthritis patients reported less pain, and people with high blood pressure did a better job of lowering their numbers.

Those effects were “modest” overall, Riess and colleagues found. But the magnitude of the benefit was similar to what’s been seen in studies testing low-dose aspirin or cholesterol-lowering statins for preventing heart attack, according to the new research.

“That’s important because aspirin and statins are widely prescribed, and everyone agrees they should be used to reduce the risk of heart attack,” Riess said.

It’s not clear, she added, exactly why the trials in this review found benefits: Is it the improved empathy, or the motivational interview technique, for example? And of course, individuals differ in what they consider a “good” relationship with their doctor, Christensen noted.

“People clearly differ in how much information they want,” he said. “Some people want greater self-management, and see it as having more control. Some people see it as a burden. Some people like being asked about their personal life, beyond their health condition. Some don’t.”

But the bottom line, Christensen and Riess both said, is that the provider-patient relationship matters. “Patients need to understand that it’s OK to look for a doctor who meets your preferences and expectations,” Christensen said.

Or, since finding a new doctor can be tough, Riess suggested talking to your current doctor. “If you’re unhappy, there are polite ways to speak up,” she said. “Patients should feel empowered to say, ‘I didn’t understand that language you used. Can you explain it in laymen’s terms?’ You can tell (your doctor) if you feel rushed or anxious.”

And don’t worry about offending your doctor, Christensen advised. He said most doctors do care, and say they try to “tailor” how they communicate to individual patients. But if patients don’t speak up, Riess noted, a doctor might not realize there’s a problem.

Copyright © 2014 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

By Amy Norton

HealthDay Reporter



THURSDAY, April 10, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- A doctor's "bedside manner" seems to have a real effect on patients' health, a new research review suggests.



The review, of 13 clinical trials, found that when doctors were given training to hone their people skills, patients typically fared better in their efforts to lose weight, lower their blood pressure or manage pain.



Experts said the findings, reported online April 9 in the journal PLOS One, show that the doctor-patient relationship can have an impact on people's health.



The effects in these studies were small, but still "impressive," said Alan Christensen, a professor of psychology at the University of Iowa. Christensen, who was not involved in the research, studies the issue of health care provider-patient relationships. He pointed out that many of the training programs in the studies included in the new review focused on fairly "general" skills -- such as maintaining eye contact with patients, and listening without interrupting.



So it's encouraging to see that these training programs translate into specific health benefits at all, according to Christensen.



"It's important to be able to demonstrate that clinicians can learn to change how they interact with patients, and that it affects health outcomes," he said.



Dr. Helen Riess, the senior researcher on the new study, agreed. "I think that intuitively, people think that if you have an open, caring relationship with your provider, that's beneficial." But to really know if there are objective health effects, clinical trials are key, said Riess, who directs the empathy and relational science program at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.



For its review, she said her team chose only rigorous clinical trials that measured "hard outcomes," such as blood pressure changes -- as opposed to subjective experiences like patient satisfaction.



The researchers ended up with 13 clinical trials from around the world. In each, health providers -- most often doctors -- were randomly assigned to either stick with their usual care or have some kind of training on patient interaction. Some focused on building "warmth" and empathy, Riess said, while others taught providers specific techniques, like "motivational interviewing."



In most of the trials, though not all, patients seemed to benefit. Obese and diabetic patients tended to lose more weight, arthritis patients reported less pain, and people with high blood pressure did a better job of lowering their numbers.



Those effects were "modest" overall, Riess and colleagues found. But the magnitude of the benefit was similar to what's been seen in studies testing low-dose aspirin or cholesterol-lowering statins for preventing heart attack, according to the new research.



"That's important because aspirin and statins are widely prescribed, and everyone agrees they should be used to reduce the risk of heart attack," Riess said.



It's not clear, she added, exactly why the trials in this review found benefits: Is it the improved empathy, or the motivational interview technique, for example? And of course, individuals differ in what they consider a "good" relationship with their doctor, Christensen noted.



"People clearly differ in how much information they want," he said. "Some people want greater self-management, and see it as having more control. Some people see it as a burden. Some people like being asked about their personal life, beyond their health condition. Some don't."



But the bottom line, Christensen and Riess both said, is that the provider-patient relationship matters. "Patients need to understand that it's OK to look for a doctor who meets your preferences and expectations," Christensen said.



Or, since finding a new doctor can be tough, Riess suggested talking to your current doctor. "If you're unhappy, there are polite ways to speak up," she said. "Patients should feel empowered to say, 'I didn't understand that language you used. Can you explain it in laymen's terms?' You can tell (your doctor) if you feel rushed or anxious."



And don't worry about offending your doctor, Christensen advised. He said most doctors do care, and say they try to "tailor" how they communicate to individual patients. But if patients don't speak up, Riess noted, a doctor might not realize there's a problem.



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Health Tip: What May Trigger Tension Headaches

Posted April 12, 2014

(HealthDay News) — While there is no definitive cause for tension headaches, there are things thought to trigger or worsen these painful episodes.

The Cleveland Clinic mentions these factors that may trigger tension headaches:

  • Getting insufficient sleep.
  • Having poor posture.
  • Having depression or emotional stress.
  • Dealing with major causes of stress, such as problems at work or worsening health.

— Diana Kohnle

Copyright © 2014 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

(HealthDay News) -- While there is no definitive cause for tension headaches, there are things thought to trigger or worsen these painful episodes.



The Cleveland Clinic mentions these factors that may trigger tension headaches:
  • Getting insufficient sleep.
  • Having poor posture.
  • Having depression or emotional stress.
  • Dealing with major causes of stress, such as problems at work or worsening health.
-- Diana Kohnle



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Teens’ Screen Time May Affect Their Bone Health: Study

Posted April 7, 2014

FRIDAY, April 4, 2014 (HealthDay News) — Spending too much time sitting in front of screens may be linked to poorer bone health in teen boys, according to a new study from Norway.

It included 484 boys and 463 girls, aged 15 to 18, who underwent bone mineral density tests. They were asked about lifestyle habits, including how much time they spent in front of the television or computer on weekends, and their levels of physical activity.

Boys had higher levels of screen time than girls, the researchers found. And the more time boys spent in front of a computer and the TV, the lower their bone mineral density throughout the body.

However, girls with four to six hours of screen time had higher bone mineral density than those with less than 1.5 hours of screen time per day.

The study was scheduled for presentation Friday at the World Congress on Osteoporosis, Osteoarthritis and Musculoskeletal Diseases, in Seville, Spain. The findings also appear in the April issue of Osteoporosis International.

“Bone mineral density is a strong predictor of future fracture risk. Our findings for girls are intriguing and definitely merit further exploration in other studies and population groups,” lead author Dr. Anne Winther, at the Arctic University of Norway, in Tromso, said in an International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) news release.

“The findings for boys on the other hand clearly show that sedentary lifestyle during adolescence can impact on [bone mineral density] and thus compromise the acquisition of peak bone mass,” she added. “This can have a negative impact in terms of osteoporosis and fracture risk later in life.”

While the study found an association between teens’ screen time and their bone density levels, it did not establish a cause-and-effect relationship.

The skeleton grows from birth to the end of the teen years and bones reach their maximum strength and size in early adulthood. Nutrition and physical activity are major factors in bone growth. That’s why there is growing concern over the effects of inactivity on youngsters’ bone health, according to the IOF.

About one in five men older than 50 will suffer a fracture due to osteoporosis, but levels of awareness about osteoporosis risk and bone health in males are extremely low, the IOF pointed out. This concern led the group to make osteoporosis in men a key focus of 2014 World Osteoporosis Day in October.

Robert Preidt

Copyright © 2014 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

FRIDAY, April 4, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Spending too much time sitting in front of screens may be linked to poorer bone health in teen boys, according to a new study from Norway.



It included 484 boys and 463 girls, aged 15 to 18, who underwent bone mineral density tests. They were asked about lifestyle habits, including how much time they spent in front of the television or computer on weekends, and their levels of physical activity.



Boys had higher levels of screen time than girls, the researchers found. And the more time boys spent in front of a computer and the TV, the lower their bone mineral density throughout the body.



However, girls with four to six hours of screen time had higher bone mineral density than those with less than 1.5 hours of screen time per day.



The study was scheduled for presentation Friday at the World Congress on Osteoporosis, Osteoarthritis and Musculoskeletal Diseases, in Seville, Spain. The findings also appear in the April issue of Osteoporosis International.



"Bone mineral density is a strong predictor of future fracture risk. Our findings for girls are intriguing and definitely merit further exploration in other studies and population groups," lead author Dr. Anne Winther, at the Arctic University of Norway, in Tromso, said in an International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) news release.



"The findings for boys on the other hand clearly show that sedentary lifestyle during adolescence can impact on [bone mineral density] and thus compromise the acquisition of peak bone mass," she added. "This can have a negative impact in terms of osteoporosis and fracture risk later in life."



While the study found an association between teens' screen time and their bone density levels, it did not establish a cause-and-effect relationship.



The skeleton grows from birth to the end of the teen years and bones reach their maximum strength and size in early adulthood. Nutrition and physical activity are major factors in bone growth. That's why there is growing concern over the effects of inactivity on youngsters' bone health, according to the IOF.



About one in five men older than 50 will suffer a fracture due to osteoporosis, but levels of awareness about osteoporosis risk and bone health in males are extremely low, the IOF pointed out. This concern led the group to make osteoporosis in men a key focus of 2014 World Osteoporosis Day in October.



-- Robert Preidt



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Low Back Pain Leading Cause of Disability Worldwide: Study

Posted March 27, 2014

By Serena Gordon

HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, March 25, 2014 (HealthDay News) — Low back pain causes more disability than nearly 300 other conditions worldwide, according to new research, and nearly one in 10 people across the globe suffers from an aching lower back.

A second study, which looked at the condition in specific types of jobs, found that low back pain is responsible for about a third of work-related disability.

“Low back pain is something that almost all people experience at some point in their lives. It is something common across sexes, age groups, countries, socioeconomic groups, education levels and occupation,” said the lead author of the first study, Damian Hoy, a senior research fellow at the University of Queensland’s School of Population Health, in Australia.

“For the majority of people with low back pain, the specific cause is unclear,” he said, but “there are certain factors that seem to put people at risk of having low back pain.”

Older age, low education, obesity, having stress, anxiety or depression — as well as occupations that require significant heavy lifting or are extremely stressful — are all factors that increase the risk of low back pain, according to Hoy.

One U.S. expert said the results didn’t surprise him.

“Back pain is the number one cause of lost work days in the U.S,” said Dr. Anders Cohen, chief of neurosurgery and spine surgery at the Brooklyn Hospital Center, in New York City.

For the first study, Hoy and his colleagues reviewed 117 published studies that included information on low back pain prevalence. They also reviewed surveys done in 50 countries on back pain prevalence and severity.

Compared to 291 other health conditions, the researchers found that low back pain causes more global disability than any other health problem studied. Back pain affected 9.4 percent of people in 2010, their analysis showed.

Men were more likely than women to have back pain — an average of just over 10 percent of men had back pain compared with 8.7 percent of women.

Back pain also varied significantly by geographic area. “Prevalence was highest in Western Europe followed by North Africa/Middle East, and lowest in the Caribbean followed by Central Latin America,” Hoy said.

In Western Europe, the average prevalence of back pain was 15 percent, and in the North Africa/Middle East region, it was 14.8 percent. The lowest rates were found in the Caribbean, where the prevalence rate was 6.5 percent, and in Central Latin America, where it was 6.6 percent, Hoy reported. Low back pain prevalence was 7.7 percent in high-income areas of North America.

Higher levels of exercise, shorter height, higher pain thresholds, and less access to health insurance may be reasons why developing countries reported slightly lower rates of low back pain, Hoy suggested.

The second study — done by researchers in Australia and the United States — looked at data from 187 countries from 1990 and 2010. Just over one-third of all work-related disability was related to low back pain, the study found.

The risk of low back pain was nearly four times higher for people working in agriculture, animal husbandry, forestry, fishing and hunting compared to other professions, reported a team led by Dr. Tim Driscoll of the University of Sydney, in Australia.

People working in production, laborers and transport equipment operators had a 54 percent higher risk of low back pain, while service workers had a 47 percent increased risk, according to the study. Clerical work was associated with the lowest rates of low back pain.

Staying in shape is one of the best ways to prevent back pain, according to U.S. expert Cohen. “The average young adult may be athletic and in pretty good shape,” he said. “Once you get into your job life, you may not keep up your normal fitness level and combine that with aging and then exercising a lot on the weekends, and you end up with a situation that’s not good for your back,” he explained.

He said it’s important to maintain core strength and flexibility to keep your back healthy.

For people who already have low back pain, Dr. Rachelle Buchbinder, a co-author on Hoy’s study and a professor of epidemiology and preventive medicine at Monash University in Australia, had suggestions for their doctors.

“For nonspecific low back pain — which explains the majority of back pain — evidence-based management involves reassurance about the favorable prognosis, advice to continue usual activities and stay active, and the prescribing of simple analgesics [painkillers] as needed,” Buchbinder said. Both she and Cohen said surgery isn’t often necessary.

“With aging and growing populations, low back pain is an enormous burden in developing countries,” lead author Hoy said. “This is predicted to grow substantially over coming decades and will likely have an enormous impact on individual livelihoods, health care systems and economies.”

Both studies were published online on March 24 in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.

Copyright © 2014 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

By Serena Gordon

HealthDay Reporter



TUESDAY, March 25, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Low back pain causes more disability than nearly 300 other conditions worldwide, according to new research, and nearly one in 10 people across the globe suffers from an aching lower back.



A second study, which looked at the condition in specific types of jobs, found that low back pain is responsible for about a third of work-related disability.



"Low back pain is something that almost all people experience at some point in their lives. It is something common across sexes, age groups, countries, socioeconomic groups, education levels and occupation," said the lead author of the first study, Damian Hoy, a senior research fellow at the University of Queensland's School of Population Health, in Australia.



"For the majority of people with low back pain, the specific cause is unclear," he said, but "there are certain factors that seem to put people at risk of having low back pain."



Older age, low education, obesity, having stress, anxiety or depression -- as well as occupations that require significant heavy lifting or are extremely stressful -- are all factors that increase the risk of low back pain, according to Hoy.



One U.S. expert said the results didn't surprise him.



"Back pain is the number one cause of lost work days in the U.S," said Dr. Anders Cohen, chief of neurosurgery and spine surgery at the Brooklyn Hospital Center, in New York City.



For the first study, Hoy and his colleagues reviewed 117 published studies that included information on low back pain prevalence. They also reviewed surveys done in 50 countries on back pain prevalence and severity.



Compared to 291 other health conditions, the researchers found that low back pain causes more global disability than any other health problem studied. Back pain affected 9.4 percent of people in 2010, their analysis showed.



Men were more likely than women to have back pain -- an average of just over 10 percent of men had back pain compared with 8.7 percent of women.



Back pain also varied significantly by geographic area. "Prevalence was highest in Western Europe followed by North Africa/Middle East, and lowest in the Caribbean followed by Central Latin America," Hoy said.



In Western Europe, the average prevalence of back pain was 15 percent, and in the North Africa/Middle East region, it was 14.8 percent. The lowest rates were found in the Caribbean, where the prevalence rate was 6.5 percent, and in Central Latin America, where it was 6.6 percent, Hoy reported. Low back pain prevalence was 7.7 percent in high-income areas of North America.



Higher levels of exercise, shorter height, higher pain thresholds, and less access to health insurance may be reasons why developing countries reported slightly lower rates of low back pain, Hoy suggested.



The second study -- done by researchers in Australia and the United States -- looked at data from 187 countries from 1990 and 2010. Just over one-third of all work-related disability was related to low back pain, the study found.



The risk of low back pain was nearly four times higher for people working in agriculture, animal husbandry, forestry, fishing and hunting compared to other professions, reported a team led by Dr. Tim Driscoll of the University of Sydney, in Australia.



People working in production, laborers and transport equipment operators had a 54 percent higher risk of low back pain, while service workers had a 47 percent increased risk, according to the study. Clerical work was associated with the lowest rates of low back pain.



Staying in shape is one of the best ways to prevent back pain, according to U.S. expert Cohen. "The average young adult may be athletic and in pretty good shape," he said. "Once you get into your job life, you may not keep up your normal fitness level and combine that with aging and then exercising a lot on the weekends, and you end up with a situation that's not good for your back," he explained.



He said it's important to maintain core strength and flexibility to keep your back healthy.



For people who already have low back pain, Dr. Rachelle Buchbinder, a co-author on Hoy's study and a professor of epidemiology and preventive medicine at Monash University in Australia, had suggestions for their doctors.



"For nonspecific low back pain -- which explains the majority of back pain -- evidence-based management involves reassurance about the favorable prognosis, advice to continue usual activities and stay active, and the prescribing of simple analgesics [painkillers] as needed," Buchbinder said. Both she and Cohen said surgery isn't often necessary.



"With aging and growing populations, low back pain is an enormous burden in developing countries," lead author Hoy said. "This is predicted to grow substantially over coming decades and will likely have an enormous impact on individual livelihoods, health care systems and economies."



Both studies were published online on March 24 in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.



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Ways to Cut Your Colon Cancer Risk

Posted March 24, 2014

SATURDAY, March 22, 2014 (HealthDay News) — Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death, but there are ways of reducing your risk.

“Colorectal cancer is largely preventable with early screening and detection,” Dr. Anne Lin, assistant professor of general surgery for the University of California, Los Angeles, Health System and David Geffen School of Medicine, said in a UCLA news release.

Taking the following measures can help you lower your risk of developing colorectal cancer, according to UCLA experts.

If you have a normal level of risk, you should get regular screenings beginning at age 50. If you’re at high risk — with a personal or family history of colorectal cancer, other cancers or inflammatory bowel disease — you should talk to your doctor about beginning screenings before age 50.

Every day, eat 25 to 30 grams of fiber from fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans or whole-grain breads and cereals. It’s also important to eat a low-fat diet, because colorectal cancer has been linked to diets high in saturated fat. You should also include foods with folate, such as leafy green vegetables.

If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation. If you’re a smoker, quit. The combination of drinking and smoking is associated with colorectal and other gastrointestinal cancers, according to the news release.

Get at least 20 minutes of exercise three or four days a week. Moderate activities such as walking, climbing stairs or gardening may reduce your risk of colorectal cancer.

A healthy weight is important because obesity might boost the risk of colorectal cancer. Tell your doctor about symptoms such as a change in bowel habits, blood in the stool, abdominal pain, weight loss or narrower-than-usual stools.

Robert Preidt

Copyright © 2014 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

SATURDAY, March 22, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death, but there are ways of reducing your risk.



"Colorectal cancer is largely preventable with early screening and detection," Dr. Anne Lin, assistant professor of general surgery for the University of California, Los Angeles, Health System and David Geffen School of Medicine, said in a UCLA news release.



Taking the following measures can help you lower your risk of developing colorectal cancer, according to UCLA experts.



If you have a normal level of risk, you should get regular screenings beginning at age 50. If you're at high risk -- with a personal or family history of colorectal cancer, other cancers or inflammatory bowel disease -- you should talk to your doctor about beginning screenings before age 50.



Every day, eat 25 to 30 grams of fiber from fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans or whole-grain breads and cereals. It's also important to eat a low-fat diet, because colorectal cancer has been linked to diets high in saturated fat. You should also include foods with folate, such as leafy green vegetables.



If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation. If you're a smoker, quit. The combination of drinking and smoking is associated with colorectal and other gastrointestinal cancers, according to the news release.



Get at least 20 minutes of exercise three or four days a week. Moderate activities such as walking, climbing stairs or gardening may reduce your risk of colorectal cancer.



A healthy weight is important because obesity might boost the risk of colorectal cancer. Tell your doctor about symptoms such as a change in bowel habits, blood in the stool, abdominal pain, weight loss or narrower-than-usual stools.



-- Robert Preidt



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Rashes from Wipes, Liquid Soaps on the Rise

Posted March 24, 2024

SUNDAY, March 23, 2014 (HealthDay News) — Allergic skin reactions to a preservative used in pre-moistened wipes and liquid soaps are on the increase, a doctor says.

“In the last two or three years, we’ve suddenly seen a big increase in people with this type of allergy,” Dr. Matthew Zirwas, director of the contact dermatitis center at Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center, said in a center news release. “For some patients, their rash has been unexplained and going on for years.”

The chemical preservative, methylisothiazolinone, is found in many water-based products, including pre-moistened wipes, cosmetics, liquid soaps, hair products, sunscreen, and laundry and cleaning products.

“Concentrations of the preservative have increased dramatically in some products in the last few years, as manufacturers stopped using other preservatives like paraben and formaldehyde,” Zirwas said.

The preservative can cause an itchy, painful rash that can include blisters and resembles a reaction to poison ivy. Areas of the body most often affected by an allergic reaction to methylisothiazolinone include: the buttocks and genitals from using moistened flushable wipes; the fingers and hands from handling the wipes; and the face from using soaps and shampoos.

“If someone suspects an allergy to moistened wipes, they need to stop using them for at least one month,” Zirwas said. “A week or two isn’t enough time.”

He added that manufacturers are aware of the problem and are trying to develop alternative preservatives.

Robert Preidt

Copyright © 2014 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

SUNDAY, March 23, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Allergic skin reactions to a preservative used in pre-moistened wipes and liquid soaps are on the increase, a doctor says.



"In the last two or three years, we've suddenly seen a big increase in people with this type of allergy," Dr. Matthew Zirwas, director of the contact dermatitis center at Ohio State University's Wexner Medical Center, said in a center news release. "For some patients, their rash has been unexplained and going on for years."



The chemical preservative, methylisothiazolinone, is found in many water-based products, including pre-moistened wipes, cosmetics, liquid soaps, hair products, sunscreen, and laundry and cleaning products.



"Concentrations of the preservative have increased dramatically in some products in the last few years, as manufacturers stopped using other preservatives like paraben and formaldehyde," Zirwas said.



The preservative can cause an itchy, painful rash that can include blisters and resembles a reaction to poison ivy. Areas of the body most often affected by an allergic reaction to methylisothiazolinone include: the buttocks and genitals from using moistened flushable wipes; the fingers and hands from handling the wipes; and the face from using soaps and shampoos.



"If someone suspects an allergy to moistened wipes, they need to stop using them for at least one month," Zirwas said. "A week or two isn't enough time."



He added that manufacturers are aware of the problem and are trying to develop alternative preservatives.



-- Robert Preidt



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Health Tip: Understanding Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Posted March 18, 2014

(HealthDay News) — Chronic fatigue syndrome is a complex disorder that involves extreme tiredness that doesn’t go away after rest or sleep. The cause hasn’t been identified.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention mentions these common symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome, which should be evaluated by a doctor:

  • Flu-like symptoms that may come and go, accompanied by weakness and extreme fatigue.
  • Fatigue for longer than 24 hours, even after sleep, and after exercise.
  • Aches and pains in the joints and muscles without redness or swelling.
  • Headache, typically of unusual severity or pattern.
  • Sore throat.
  • Tenderness in the lymph nodes of the neck or underarms.

— Diana Kohnle

Copyright © 2014 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

(HealthDay News) -- Chronic fatigue syndrome is a complex disorder that involves extreme tiredness that doesn't go away after rest or sleep. The cause hasn't been identified.



The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention mentions these common symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome, which should be evaluated by a doctor:
  • Flu-like symptoms that may come and go, accompanied by weakness and extreme fatigue.
  • Fatigue for longer than 24 hours, even after sleep, and after exercise.
  • Aches and pains in the joints and muscles without redness or swelling.
  • Headache, typically of unusual severity or pattern.
  • Sore throat.
  • Tenderness in the lymph nodes of the neck or underarms.
-- Diana Kohnle



Copyright © 2014 HealthDay. All rights reserved.



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Timing Is Key to Massage’s Benefits for Neck Pain: Study

Posted March 16, 2014

By Kathleen Doheny

HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, March 14, 2014 (HealthDay News) — Massage can relieve neck pain if it’s done often by a professional therapist and for the correct length of time, according to new research.

One-hour sessions two or three times a week appear to be best, said study researcher Karen Sherman, senior scientific investigator at Group Health Research Institute in Seattle. “In the short term, 60 minutes of massage is better than 30, and you want to do multiple treatments a week for the first four weeks,” she said.

Her study, which tested the effects of a month of massage, is published in the March/April issue of the Annals of Family Medicine.

Persistent neck pain is common and stems from numerous causes — car accidents, sleeping in awkward positions or spending hours hunched over a computer, among them, Sherman said.

Doctors often recommend anti-inflammatory medicines, but these drugs frequently don’t provide enough relief, she noted. “People with back and neck pain aren’t usually satisfied with what they get from their doctor, so they are looking around for something that works,” Sherman explained.

Previous studies of massage for neck pain have produced conflicting results, so Sherman’s team decided to look closer. Specifically, they wanted to determine what dose of massage is ideal. In a previous study, Sherman had found that benefits of massage were evident after four weeks.

For the new study, she randomly assigned 228 men and women, aged 20 to 64, to one of six groups. These included 30-minute massages two or three times weekly, one-hour massages one, two or three times weekly, and a comparison group receiving no massage.

Assessing neck functioning and pain levels a week after treatment ended, the researchers determined that patients getting one hour of massage three times a week showed the most gains after four weeks of massage.

Compared to those who got no massage, “people getting massage three times a week were almost five times as likely to have a clinically meaningful (meaning important or noticeable) improvement in function and over twice as likely to report a clinically meaningful decrease in pain,” Sherman said.

Many patients who get therapeutic massage for chronic neck pain may not reap benefits if they undergo shorter or less frequent sessions, the authors suggested.

Jeanette Ezzo, a massage therapist and researcher in Takoma Park, Md., called the study “an important contribution to understanding the massage dosage necessary to relieve neck pain.” Ezzo has published research on the effectiveness of complementary medicine practices, including massage.

Nationwide, the average cost for a one-hour massage by a professional massage therapist is $65, according to the American Massage Therapy Association. However, in large cities the fee can be much higher.

Insurance coverage varies, said Sherman. Whether massage therapy would work in elderly patients isn’t known as the average age of her patients was in the 40s.

Sherman cautioned against having a family member or friend attempt to massage away your neck pain. “We used extremely experienced massage therapists,” she said. Treatment sessions also assessed range of motion and looked at how the patient’s body compensated for the neck pain, which the average person is unable to do, she said.

Dr. Fredrick Wilson, a spine specialist at the Cleveland Clinic, stressed the need to use a professional massage therapist. “If done incorrectly, [massage] can actually cause muscle tightening and spasm,” he said. For neck or back pain, “it seems the training and experience make a difference in the amount of pain relief patients get,” he added.

However, Wilson said he is waiting for a study that shows longer-lasting effects before he recommends massage for patients complaining of neck pain. The authors agreed that studies with longer follow-up are warranted.

People with chronic neck pain might also ask their doctor about special neck exercises, Sherman said.

Neck pain accounts for more than 10 million medical visits a year in the United States, according to background information in the study. When patients were followed up one to five years later, at least half reported persistent or recurrent problems, previous studies found.

Copyright © 2014 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

By Kathleen Doheny

HealthDay Reporter



FRIDAY, March 14, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Massage can relieve neck pain if it's done often by a professional therapist and for the correct length of time, according to new research.



One-hour sessions two or three times a week appear to be best, said study researcher Karen Sherman, senior scientific investigator at Group Health Research Institute in Seattle. "In the short term, 60 minutes of massage is better than 30, and you want to do multiple treatments a week for the first four weeks," she said.



Her study, which tested the effects of a month of massage, is published in the March/April issue of the Annals of Family Medicine.



Persistent neck pain is common and stems from numerous causes -- car accidents, sleeping in awkward positions or spending hours hunched over a computer, among them, Sherman said.



Doctors often recommend anti-inflammatory medicines, but these drugs frequently don't provide enough relief, she noted. "People with back and neck pain aren't usually satisfied with what they get from their doctor, so they are looking around for something that works," Sherman explained.



Previous studies of massage for neck pain have produced conflicting results, so Sherman's team decided to look closer. Specifically, they wanted to determine what dose of massage is ideal. In a previous study, Sherman had found that benefits of massage were evident after four weeks.



For the new study, she randomly assigned 228 men and women, aged 20 to 64, to one of six groups. These included 30-minute massages two or three times weekly, one-hour massages one, two or three times weekly, and a comparison group receiving no massage.



Assessing neck functioning and pain levels a week after treatment ended, the researchers determined that patients getting one hour of massage three times a week showed the most gains after four weeks of massage.



Compared to those who got no massage, "people getting massage three times a week were almost five times as likely to have a clinically meaningful (meaning important or noticeable) improvement in function and over twice as likely to report a clinically meaningful decrease in pain," Sherman said.



Many patients who get therapeutic massage for chronic neck pain may not reap benefits if they undergo shorter or less frequent sessions, the authors suggested.



Jeanette Ezzo, a massage therapist and researcher in Takoma Park, Md., called the study "an important contribution to understanding the massage dosage necessary to relieve neck pain." Ezzo has published research on the effectiveness of complementary medicine practices, including massage.



Nationwide, the average cost for a one-hour massage by a professional massage therapist is $65, according to the American Massage Therapy Association. However, in large cities the fee can be much higher.



Insurance coverage varies, said Sherman. Whether massage therapy would work in elderly patients isn't known as the average age of her patients was in the 40s.



Sherman cautioned against having a family member or friend attempt to massage away your neck pain. "We used extremely experienced massage therapists," she said. Treatment sessions also assessed range of motion and looked at how the patient's body compensated for the neck pain, which the average person is unable to do, she said.



Dr. Fredrick Wilson, a spine specialist at the Cleveland Clinic, stressed the need to use a professional massage therapist. "If done incorrectly, [massage] can actually cause muscle tightening and spasm," he said. For neck or back pain, "it seems the training and experience make a difference in the amount of pain relief patients get," he added.



However, Wilson said he is waiting for a study that shows longer-lasting effects before he recommends massage for patients complaining of neck pain. The authors agreed that studies with longer follow-up are warranted.



People with chronic neck pain might also ask their doctor about special neck exercises, Sherman said.



Neck pain accounts for more than 10 million medical visits a year in the United States, according to background information in the study. When patients were followed up one to five years later, at least half reported persistent or recurrent problems, previous studies found.



Copyright © 2014 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

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Healing Facts: Papaya

Posted March 15, 2014

By Michael T. Murray, ND

As a native to Central America, the papaya is a tropical fruit with a soft consistency and sweet taste. The papaya became a favorite of Spanish and Portuguese explorers, who spread the fruit to subtropical lands including India, the Philippines and regions of Africa. In the twentieth century, papaya was brought to the United States and has been cultivated in Hawaii since the 1920s.

Nutritional Highlights:

  • Papayas are a great source of antioxidant nutrients such as carotenes, vitamins, and flavonoids.
  • They are also a source of folic acid, vitamins E and A, potassium, and dietary fiber.
  • A 3.5-ounce serving contains about 39 calories.

Health Benefits:

  • Papaya contains papain, an enzyme that helps the body digest proteins, and can help treat conditions such as indigestion, chronic diarrhea, hay fever, and allergies.
  • Papayas can also help prevent cancer, heart disease, and other diseases associated with free-radical damage.

To enhance the flavor of the papaya, sprinkle it with fresh lime juice and enjoy it as is. Add papaya to fruit salad, or even carve a divot in a papaya and fill it with fruit salad. A delicious dish is to combine diced papaya, sliced cooked chicken breast, onions and cashews with soy mayonnaise for a tropical chicken salad. Papaya is also a great addition to any salsa, adding a depth of flavor to the spicy condiment.

Dr. Michael T. Murray is one of the world’s leading authorities on natural medicine and the author of more than 30 bestselling books, including The Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine. He is a graduate and former faculty member, and serves on the Board of Regents, of Bastyr University in Seattle, Washington.

© 2014 doctormurray.com

By Michael T. Murray, ND



As a native to Central America, the papaya is a tropical fruit with a soft consistency and sweet taste. The papaya became a favorite of Spanish and Portuguese explorers, who spread the fruit to subtropical lands including India, the Philippines and regions of Africa. In the twentieth century, papaya was brought to the United States and has been cultivated in Hawaii since the 1920s.



Nutritional Highlights:
  • Papayas are a great source of antioxidant nutrients such as carotenes, vitamins, and flavonoids.
  • They are also a source of folic acid, vitamins E and A, potassium, and dietary fiber.
  • A 3.5-ounce serving contains about 39 calories.
Health Benefits:
  • Papaya contains papain, an enzyme that helps the body digest proteins, and can help treat conditions such as indigestion, chronic diarrhea, hay fever, and allergies.
  • Papayas can also help prevent cancer, heart disease, and other diseases associated with free-radical damage.
To enhance the flavor of the papaya, sprinkle it with fresh lime juice and enjoy it as is. Add papaya to fruit salad, or even carve a divot in a papaya and fill it with fruit salad. A delicious dish is to combine diced papaya, sliced cooked chicken breast, onions and cashews with soy mayonnaise for a tropical chicken salad. Papaya is also a great addition to any salsa, adding a depth of flavor to the spicy condiment.



Dr. Michael T. Murray is one of the world's leading authorities on natural medicine and the author of more than 30 bestselling books, including The Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine. He is a graduate and former faculty member, and serves on the Board of Regents, of Bastyr University in Seattle, Washington.



© 2014 doctormurray.com

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Gut Bacteria May Play Role in Chron’s Disease

Posted March 13, 2014

By Brenda Goodman

HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, March 12, 2014 (HealthDay News) — The community of bacteria that typically live in the human gut is radically altered in patients with Crohn’s disease, a new study shows. Overall, patients with Crohn’s have less diversity among their intestinal bacteria than healthy individuals. And certain types of harmful bacteria appear to be increased in Crohn’s patients, while the amounts of beneficial bacteria are decreased, the study found.

Whether those changes are a cause or a consequence of the disease isn’t known. But the discovery may help doctors diagnose patients more quickly and it may point the way to new treatments for the disease, which is estimated to affect about 700,000 people in the United States.

For the study, researchers recruited nearly 500 patients who were newly diagnosed with Crohn’s disease and more than 200 who were having intestinal problems without inflammation.

Crohn’s causes frequent bouts of diarrhea, abdominal pain, cramping and bleeding. The disease may be diagnosed at any age, but it tends to strike early in life. Patients who participated in this study were between the ages of 3 and 17.

Researchers needed to catch the patients early because they wanted to see what was going on in the gut before they had taken any medications that might have changed the bacterial picture.

Doctors took tissue samples from two different places in the gut — at the beginning and the end of the large intestine. They also collected stool samples from some patients. They then extracted all the genetic material they found. With the help of powerful computers, they targeted almost 46 million specific sequences of DNA present in the samples, says the study published March 12 in the journal Cell Host & Microbe.

These sequences acted like barcodes to identify the genetic signatures of the bacteria that were present, explained study researcher Dirk Gevers, a computational biologist at the Broad Institute, a joint project of MIT and Harvard in Cambridge, Mass.

Researchers confirmed those findings by checking them against samples taken from 800 more people who had participated in other studies.

Six types of harmful bacteria were elevated in patients with Crohn’s compared to those without inflammation, while levels of four varieties of bacteria that are thought to be beneficial to digestion and health were lower in those patients. The differences were even more pronounced in patients who had the most severe symptoms.

“We now know which organisms should be studied more closely,” Gevers said.

About 10 percent of patients in the study were taking antibiotics — not for Crohn’s, but for other reasons when the tissue samples were taken. Antibiotic treatment seemed to aggravate the bacterial imbalances seen in the study even further, suggesting that doctors may want to steer clear of these drugs, which are commonly prescribed for Crohn’s.

“We should probably be wary of giving antibiotics in the early stages of Crohn’s disease, because we may not be accomplishing what we want to accomplish,” said Dr. Balfour Sartor, a distinguished professor of microbiology and immunology at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine in Chapel Hill.

“Because most of the antibiotics that are used in Crohn’s disease are broad-spectrum antibiotics, you’re basically hitting both the beneficial and detrimental bacteria in the process, and maybe that’s really not a good idea,” said Sartor, who is also the chief medical advisor for the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation, which helped fund the study. He was not involved in the research.

It’s impossible to say whether the bacteria were present in response to the inflammation or if they may have caused it.

Sartor thinks it may be some of both. He said inflammation undoubtedly changes the bacterial environment. But some studies in mice have offered evidence that the bacteria may be the root of the illness. Those studies have shown that transferring gut bacteria from mice with Crohn’s-like inflammation to healthy, germ-free animals can make healthy mice ill.

“There’s pretty good evidence that some of these bacteria have causative and preventative activities, rather than just being secondary to the inflammatory response,” Sartor said.

Now that doctors have a bacterial signature for the disease, Sartor thinks there may soon be a time when they can take a quick tissue sample and quickly know if they are looking at Crohn’s.

Right now, he said, it takes an average of three years for doctors to diagnose someone who’s having symptoms. And most patients get two incorrect diagnoses before doctors zero in on the true cause of their problems.

Copyright © 2014 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

By Brenda Goodman

HealthDay Reporter



WEDNESDAY, March 12, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The community of bacteria that typically live in the human gut is radically altered in patients with Crohn's disease, a new study shows. Overall, patients with Crohn's have less diversity among their intestinal bacteria than healthy individuals. And certain types of harmful bacteria appear to be increased in Crohn's patients, while the amounts of beneficial bacteria are decreased, the study found.



Whether those changes are a cause or a consequence of the disease isn't known. But the discovery may help doctors diagnose patients more quickly and it may point the way to new treatments for the disease, which is estimated to affect about 700,000 people in the United States.



For the study, researchers recruited nearly 500 patients who were newly diagnosed with Crohn's disease and more than 200 who were having intestinal problems without inflammation.



Crohn's causes frequent bouts of diarrhea, abdominal pain, cramping and bleeding. The disease may be diagnosed at any age, but it tends to strike early in life. Patients who participated in this study were between the ages of 3 and 17.



Researchers needed to catch the patients early because they wanted to see what was going on in the gut before they had taken any medications that might have changed the bacterial picture.



Doctors took tissue samples from two different places in the gut -- at the beginning and the end of the large intestine. They also collected stool samples from some patients. They then extracted all the genetic material they found. With the help of powerful computers, they targeted almost 46 million specific sequences of DNA present in the samples, says the study published March 12 in the journal Cell Host & Microbe.



These sequences acted like barcodes to identify the genetic signatures of the bacteria that were present, explained study researcher Dirk Gevers, a computational biologist at the Broad Institute, a joint project of MIT and Harvard in Cambridge, Mass.



Researchers confirmed those findings by checking them against samples taken from 800 more people who had participated in other studies.



Six types of harmful bacteria were elevated in patients with Crohn's compared to those without inflammation, while levels of four varieties of bacteria that are thought to be beneficial to digestion and health were lower in those patients. The differences were even more pronounced in patients who had the most severe symptoms.



"We now know which organisms should be studied more closely," Gevers said.



About 10 percent of patients in the study were taking antibiotics -- not for Crohn's, but for other reasons when the tissue samples were taken. Antibiotic treatment seemed to aggravate the bacterial imbalances seen in the study even further, suggesting that doctors may want to steer clear of these drugs, which are commonly prescribed for Crohn's.



"We should probably be wary of giving antibiotics in the early stages of Crohn's disease, because we may not be accomplishing what we want to accomplish," said Dr. Balfour Sartor, a distinguished professor of microbiology and immunology at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine in Chapel Hill.



"Because most of the antibiotics that are used in Crohn's disease are broad-spectrum antibiotics, you're basically hitting both the beneficial and detrimental bacteria in the process, and maybe that's really not a good idea," said Sartor, who is also the chief medical advisor for the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation, which helped fund the study. He was not involved in the research.



It's impossible to say whether the bacteria were present in response to the inflammation or if they may have caused it.



Sartor thinks it may be some of both. He said inflammation undoubtedly changes the bacterial environment. But some studies in mice have offered evidence that the bacteria may be the root of the illness. Those studies have shown that transferring gut bacteria from mice with Crohn's-like inflammation to healthy, germ-free animals can make healthy mice ill.



"There's pretty good evidence that some of these bacteria have causative and preventative activities, rather than just being secondary to the inflammatory response," Sartor said.



Now that doctors have a bacterial signature for the disease, Sartor thinks there may soon be a time when they can take a quick tissue sample and quickly know if they are looking at Crohn's.



Right now, he said, it takes an average of three years for doctors to diagnose someone who's having symptoms. And most patients get two incorrect diagnoses before doctors zero in on the true cause of their problems.



Copyright © 2014 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

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5 Reasons to Eat More Celery

Posted Feb 28, 2014

By Dr. Michael T. Murray, ND

As far back as the 9th century B.C.E., celery leaves were used for medicinal properties. The use of celery as a food, however, took root in Europe in the 1700s.

Celery is one of those vegetables we tend to keep in the bottom of our vegetable drawer and only think about when its time to make soup, as it’s a basic ingredient for most soup broths. Its a humble and often overlooked vegetable. However, there are good reasons to find ways to eat more of it. Here are 5 of them.

1. It’s high in nutrients and fiber, low in calories. Let me dispel a myth. Celery is not a net-zero-calorie food. Some people believe that the body burns more calories eating celery than the vegetable itself contains. Not true. However, one celery rib only contains 20 calories, and because its such an excellent source of fiber, it will make you feel full and cost few calories. For people who have the need to crunch and chew, but are trying to cut down on caloric foods, celery cant be beat. Celery is also high in vitamin C, and contains potassium, folic acid, vitamins B6, B2, B1 and calcium as well.

2. It has phytochemicals that are protective against cancer. Celery contains phytochemical compounds called coumarins, which have been shown to help prevent cancer by enhancing the activity of white blood cells. Coumarin compounds in celery also aid the vascular system, and help ease migraines.

3. It can lower blood pressure and cholesterol. Celery contains 3-n-butylphthaline (3nb), a compound that has been found to lower blood pressure. In an animal study conducted at the National University of Singapore, a small amount of this compound lowered blood pressure by 12-14 percent and cholesterol by 7 percent. Humans can get the equivalent dose of this marvelous compound by eating just 4-6 ribs of celery.

4. It’s beneficial for people with pain of arthritis, fibromyalgia, and gout. The compound 3nB, mentioned above, has also shown tremendous promise as a pain reliever in arthritis, fibromyalgia and gout. The studies that have been conducted use a concentrated form derived from the vegetable-celery seed extract standardized to contain 85 percent 3nB. During one 12-week study out of University of Queensland, Australia, 15 subjects suffering from osteoarthritis, osteoporosis or gout received 34 mg of the celery seed extract twice daily. After three weeks of taking the celery seed extract, the average reduction in subjects pain scores was 68 percent, with some subjects experiencing 100 percent relief from pain.

5. It helps replenish electrolytes. If you’re an athlete who loses a lot of water from sweat during vigorous exercise, you probably know about the value of replacing your electrolytes. But instead of grabbing a sugary drink laden with artificial flavors, go for a rib of celery instead. Or better yet, juice some ribs. Celery juice can act as an electrolyte due to its high levels of potassium and sodium.

Dr. Michael T. Murray is one of the worlds leading authorities on natural medicine and the author of more than 30 bestselling books, including The Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine. He is a graduate and former faculty member, and serves on the Board of Regents, of Bastyr University in Seattle, Washington.

© 2014 doctormurray.com

By Dr. Michael T. Murray, ND



As far back as the 9th century B.C.E., celery leaves were used for medicinal properties. The use of celery as a food, however, took root in Europe in the 1700s.



Celery is one of those vegetables we tend to keep in the bottom of our vegetable drawer and only think about when its time to make soup, as it's a basic ingredient for most soup broths. Its a humble and often overlooked vegetable. However, there are good reasons to find ways to eat more of it. Here are 5 of them.



1. It's high in nutrients and fiber, low in calories. Let me dispel a myth. Celery is not a net-zero-calorie food. Some people believe that the body burns more calories eating celery than the vegetable itself contains. Not true. However, one celery rib only contains 20 calories, and because its such an excellent source of fiber, it will make you feel full and cost few calories. For people who have the need to crunch and chew, but are trying to cut down on caloric foods, celery cant be beat. Celery is also high in vitamin C, and contains potassium, folic acid, vitamins B6, B2, B1 and calcium as well.



2. It has phytochemicals that are protective against cancer. Celery contains phytochemical compounds called coumarins, which have been shown to help prevent cancer by enhancing the activity of white blood cells. Coumarin compounds in celery also aid the vascular system, and help ease migraines.



3. It can lower blood pressure and cholesterol. Celery contains 3-n-butylphthaline (3nb), a compound that has been found to lower blood pressure. In an animal study conducted at the National University of Singapore, a small amount of this compound lowered blood pressure by 12-14 percent and cholesterol by 7 percent. Humans can get the equivalent dose of this marvelous compound by eating just 4-6 ribs of celery.



4. It's beneficial for people with pain of arthritis, fibromyalgia, and gout. The compound 3nB, mentioned above, has also shown tremendous promise as a pain reliever in arthritis, fibromyalgia and gout. The studies that have been conducted use a concentrated form derived from the vegetable-celery seed extract standardized to contain 85 percent 3nB. During one 12-week study out of University of Queensland, Australia, 15 subjects suffering from osteoarthritis, osteoporosis or gout received 34 mg of the celery seed extract twice daily. After three weeks of taking the celery seed extract, the average reduction in subjects pain scores was 68 percent, with some subjects experiencing 100 percent relief from pain.



5. It helps replenish electrolytes. If you're an athlete who loses a lot of water from sweat during vigorous exercise, you probably know about the value of replacing your electrolytes. But instead of grabbing a sugary drink laden with artificial flavors, go for a rib of celery instead. Or better yet, juice some ribs. Celery juice can act as an electrolyte due to its high levels of potassium and sodium.



Dr. Michael T. Murray is one of the worlds leading authorities on natural medicine and the author of more than 30 bestselling books, including The Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine. He is a graduate and former faculty member, and serves on the Board of Regents, of Bastyr University in Seattle, Washington.



© 2014 doctormurray.com

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Exercise Helpful During Pregnancy

Posted Feb 25, 2014

Syndigate.info

Pregnancy-related backaches afflict women with low mobility more than those who exercise regularly, said the head of the 20th Annual Seminar of Rheumatology Research Center. Ahmad Reza Jamshidi said that most pregnant women suffer from localized backaches due to weight gain during pregnancy, adding that knee and back pains among women who have had less mobility before pregnancy are greater than those engaging in steady physical activities, ILNA reported.

He noted that risk-free exercises and physiotherapy can reduce back, spine and knee pains considerably.

Jamshidi explained that as pregnant women experience a weight gain of about 10 kilograms, which also is also mostly concentrated on particular points of body (in the belly), their back, spine and knees come under pressure.

He added that boosting back muscles and quadriceps femoris muscle can cut the pains resulting from the extra pressure on back.

Explaining that the use of painkillers is not recommended during pregnancy, he added that appropriate body posture in daily activities will be effective in alleviating such pains. He said that women who suffer from rheumatism, should refer to specialists a couple of months before becoming pregnant. “Pregnancy can intensify rheumatism,” he added. “Some rheumatic drugs are also harmful for the embryo.”

The effects of pregnancy on rheumatic diseases vary. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA), systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and APS typically are modified by pregnancy. For instance, symptoms of RA often improve in pregnant patients, frequently resulting in a reduced need for medication, but may flare up after delivery.

The relationship between lupus activity and pregnancy is more debated. In general, there is a tendency for mild to moderate flares, especially during the second half of pregnancy and the post-partum period. However, most of these flares do not endanger the mother’s or the baby’s life, nor do they substantially alter the long term prognosis of lupus. A prolonged period of clinical remission before conception decreases the chance of a flare during pregnancy.

Antiphospholipid syndrome (APS), increases the risk of clots in veins and arteries as well as obstetric complications such as miscarriage, prematurity or hypertension (high blood pressure) during pregnancy. When combined with kidney disease, the possibility exists for pre-eclampsia. Pre-eclampsia and eclampsia are conditions that may damage the mother’s kidneys and liver and also increase the risk of prematurity or death of the fetus. Thus, for women with APS, pregnancy–especially the time around delivery–is a particularly dangerous period and dictates special care.

© 2014 Iran Cultural & Press Institute. All Rights Reserved. Provided by Syndigate.info, an Albawaba.com company

Syndigate.info

Pregnancy-related backaches afflict women with low mobility more than those who exercise regularly, said the head of the 20th Annual Seminar of Rheumatology Research Center. Ahmad Reza Jamshidi said that most pregnant women suffer from localized backaches due to weight gain during pregnancy, adding that knee and back pains among women who have had less mobility before pregnancy are greater than those engaging in steady physical activities, ILNA reported.

He noted that risk-free exercises and physiotherapy can reduce back, spine and knee pains considerably.

Jamshidi explained that as pregnant women experience a weight gain of about 10 kilograms, which also is also mostly concentrated on particular points of body (in the belly), their back, spine and knees come under pressure.

He added that boosting back muscles and quadriceps femoris muscle can cut the pains resulting from the extra pressure on back.

Explaining that the use of painkillers is not recommended during pregnancy, he added that appropriate body posture in daily activities will be effective in alleviating such pains. He said that women who suffer from rheumatism, should refer to specialists a couple of months before becoming pregnant. "Pregnancy can intensify rheumatism," he added. "Some rheumatic drugs are also harmful for the embryo."

The effects of pregnancy on rheumatic diseases vary. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA), systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and APS typically are modified by pregnancy. For instance, symptoms of RA often improve in pregnant patients, frequently resulting in a reduced need for medication, but may flare up after delivery.

The relationship between lupus activity and pregnancy is more debated. In general, there is a tendency for mild to moderate flares, especially during the second half of pregnancy and the post-partum period. However, most of these flares do not endanger the mother's or the baby's life, nor do they substantially alter the long term prognosis of lupus. A prolonged period of clinical remission before conception decreases the chance of a flare during pregnancy.

Antiphospholipid syndrome (APS), increases the risk of clots in veins and arteries as well as obstetric complications such as miscarriage, prematurity or hypertension (high blood pressure) during pregnancy. When combined with kidney disease, the possibility exists for pre-eclampsia. Pre-eclampsia and eclampsia are conditions that may damage the mother's kidneys and liver and also increase the risk of prematurity or death of the fetus. Thus, for women with APS, pregnancy--especially the time around delivery--is a particularly dangerous period and dictates special care.

© 2014 Iran Cultural & Press Institute. All Rights Reserved. Provided by Syndigate.info, an Albawaba.com company

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Women at Higher Risk of Heart Attacks than Men

Posted Feb 24, 2014

ANI News

Washington, (ANI): A new study has revealed that there are some significant differences between men’s and women’s hearts, and these differences may put women at a much higher risk for heart woes than their male counterparts.

The research by Dr. Janine Austin Clayton, director of the Office of Research on Women’s Health at the National Institutes of Health, revealed a dangerous difference in the symptoms men and women experience during a heart, CBS News reported.

The hallmark chest painis more likely to be felt by men than women, and the latter may experience less obvious symptoms like trouble sleeping, nausea, indigestion, fatigue and jaw pain.

The study showed that men and women have substantive, clinically important differences in their bodies in all of health, from how their organs are structured to how they function.

One major difference is how the blood vessels of women with heart disease look compared to those of men.

Coronary heart disease is caused by plaque- made by cholesterol, fat and other substances- building up in the arteries that supply oxygen-rich blood to the heart muscle.

Clayton explained that in women, this buildup lines the walls of the blood vessels evenly- like the inside of a straw getting more narrow because the wall is thickening.

However, in men, this plaque buildup can be more concentrated in one area, as if a section of the straw is pinched.

The study was published in the journal of the American Medical Association. (ANI)

© 2014 aninews.in All rights reserved. Provided by Syndigate.info, an Albawaba.com company

ANI News

Washington, (ANI): A new study has revealed that there are some significant differences between men's and women's hearts, and these differences may put women at a much higher risk for heart woes than their male counterparts.

The research by Dr. Janine Austin Clayton, director of the Office of Research on Women's Health at the National Institutes of Health, revealed a dangerous difference in the symptoms men and women experience during a heart, CBS News reported.

The hallmark chest painis more likely to be felt by men than women, and the latter may experience less obvious symptoms like trouble sleeping, nausea, indigestion, fatigue and jaw pain.

The study showed that men and women have substantive, clinically important differences in their bodies in all of health, from how their organs are structured to how they function.

One major difference is how the blood vessels of women with heart disease look compared to those of men.

Coronary heart disease is caused by plaque- made by cholesterol, fat and other substances- building up in the arteries that supply oxygen-rich blood to the heart muscle.

Clayton explained that in women, this buildup lines the walls of the blood vessels evenly- like the inside of a straw getting more narrow because the wall is thickening.

However, in men, this plaque buildup can be more concentrated in one area, as if a section of the straw is pinched.

The study was published in the journal of the American Medical Association. (ANI)

© 2014 aninews.in All rights reserved. Provided by Syndigate.info, an Albawaba.com company

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Reduce Inflammation to Feel Better

Posted Feb 22, 2014

ProQuest

By Bobbie Randall

When something is inflamed, it is irritated — in flames — infected or just plain angry. Inflammation occurs in the body for many reasons and is usually accompanied with pain. Inflammation hurts.

It is also an indication of an increased risk for various chronic illnesses. Cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes and arthritis can be traced to inflammation.

The body’s immune system is the first line of defense against inflammation. The process of chronic inflammation to disease involves many different biological pathways.

Nutrition plays a key role in both promoting anti-inflammatory responses and combating harmful processes from occurring. The research is undeniable — intake can affect the immune system and disease.

Excess calorie intake increases the incidence of inflammation. The same holds true for eating too many carbohydrates. In fact, diets high in sugar and fat actually stimulate inflammation and directly increase the risk of disease.

To reduce inflammation in the body boost the intake of fruits and vegetables. Choose ones that are deep green, orange, yellow and purple. Serving sizes are small: 1/2 cup of cooked or frozen or 1 cup of raw fruits or vegetables. Aim to eat at least 5 servings daily.

Cut back on the fat and when possible cook with olive oil. Snack on walnuts instead of greasy snack chips. Walnuts have the healthy kind of fats that are good for your heart. A small handful a day is enough to make a difference.

Whole grain foods contain more fiber and with this fiber comes more nutrients. Replace white potatoes with sweet potatoes. Fried sweet potatoes are not a healthy way to eat this deep yellow vegetable.

Eat fewer fast foods. If you have to eat at fast food restaurants, order a grilled chicken sandwich without the mayonnaise or a salad with vinaigrette. Kids meals often contain interchangeable healthier options and come in smaller portions.

Fatty fish, such as salmon, contain more healthy fats than beef or pork. Omega-3 fatty acids can be obtained from fish or supplements and both are beneficial.

Eat more beans and lentils. They are a great source of protein and can replace high fat meats at mealtimes. Black beans are the “King of the Beans.”

Sugary drinks such as juice, soda and punch do not fight inflammation; in fact, they encourage inflammation in the body. Diluting juice or cider with water or adding fruit for flavor can enhance the anti-inflammation process.

Dark chocolate and fresh raspberries are loaded with antioxidants that fight inflammation. It does not take a pound of each to be effective; a small handful of each will boost immunities.

An angry body usually requires special attention. The sooner healthy foods are included, the less likely the body will become angry. Your body will thank you.

© 2014 ProQuest Information and Learning Company; All Rights Reserved.

ProQuest

By Bobbie Randall

When something is inflamed, it is irritated -- in flames -- infected or just plain angry. Inflammation occurs in the body for many reasons and is usually accompanied with pain. Inflammation hurts.

It is also an indication of an increased risk for various chronic illnesses. Cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes and arthritis can be traced to inflammation.

The body's immune system is the first line of defense against inflammation. The process of chronic inflammation to disease involves many different biological pathways.

Nutrition plays a key role in both promoting anti-inflammatory responses and combating harmful processes from occurring. The research is undeniable -- intake can affect the immune system and disease.

Excess calorie intake increases the incidence of inflammation. The same holds true for eating too many carbohydrates. In fact, diets high in sugar and fat actually stimulate inflammation and directly increase the risk of disease.

To reduce inflammation in the body boost the intake of fruits and vegetables. Choose ones that are deep green, orange, yellow and purple. Serving sizes are small: 1/2 cup of cooked or frozen or 1 cup of raw fruits or vegetables. Aim to eat at least 5 servings daily.

Cut back on the fat and when possible cook with olive oil. Snack on walnuts instead of greasy snack chips. Walnuts have the healthy kind of fats that are good for your heart. A small handful a day is enough to make a difference.

Whole grain foods contain more fiber and with this fiber comes more nutrients. Replace white potatoes with sweet potatoes. Fried sweet potatoes are not a healthy way to eat this deep yellow vegetable.

Eat fewer fast foods. If you have to eat at fast food restaurants, order a grilled chicken sandwich without the mayonnaise or a salad with vinaigrette. Kids meals often contain interchangeable healthier options and come in smaller portions.

Fatty fish, such as salmon, contain more healthy fats than beef or pork. Omega-3 fatty acids can be obtained from fish or supplements and both are beneficial.

Eat more beans and lentils. They are a great source of protein and can replace high fat meats at mealtimes. Black beans are the "King of the Beans."

Sugary drinks such as juice, soda and punch do not fight inflammation; in fact, they encourage inflammation in the body. Diluting juice or cider with water or adding fruit for flavor can enhance the anti-inflammation process.

Dark chocolate and fresh raspberries are loaded with antioxidants that fight inflammation. It does not take a pound of each to be effective; a small handful of each will boost immunities.

An angry body usually requires special attention. The sooner healthy foods are included, the less likely the body will become angry. Your body will thank you.

© 2014 ProQuest Information and Learning Company; All Rights Reserved.

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Food Remedies for Daily Ailments

By Racha Adib

It’s time to start considering food as a remedy for your daily ailments. Some foods can act like good old natural medicine and help you ward off anything from an aggravating headache to a sleepless night. Stock up your cabinet with these healing foods and be ready for whatever life might throw at you.

Headaches and Migraines

Before you go ahead and pop some painkillers, try eating a handful of crunchy magnesium-rich almonds. Magnesium deficiency is common in individuals who suffer from migraines. According to research, magnesium can relax your blood vessels and cure that throbbing headache. Other magnesium-rich foods include bananas, dried apricots, cashews, and seeds.

Scratchy Throat or Cough

Are you suffering from a persistent cough that keeps you up all night? Then you should probably listen to Grandma’s remedy and swallow some honey. Studies have found that honey can alleviate a scratchy throat and hack attacks as much as cough syrup. This is probably due to its antimicrobial properties. Manuka honey, a darker variety, has been found to be a better option due to its stronger antioxidant properties. Mix it up with some warm lemon juice for added antioxidant power.

Muscle Soreness After a Workout

Dreading the after effect of your workout? Instead of being stiff for the following two days, reach for some ginger. According to research, ginger has been found to reduce muscle soreness. The results of one study showed that subjects who consumed 2 grams ginger after a workout experienced a 25 percent reduction in post-workout pain. This effect has been credited to its content of potent antioxidants called gingerols, which have anti-inflammatory properties similar to certain pain-reducing drugs. You can eat it pickled, add it to your baking, or brew it.

Fatigue

Tired, drained, and beat? If you’re fatigued, then your best source of energy is water. Water is the most overlooked energizer out there. If you’re dehydrated, which happens to 20 percent of people, it can limit your physical abilities and mental capacities.

How can you tell? You might feel tired, cranky, or moody. You can also tell by checking your urine color. If the output is dark-colored, then you’re probably not well-hydrated.

It’s not enough to drink when you’re thirsty; that’s a sign you’re already dehydrated. Your best bet is to ensure 6 to 8 glasses of water per day. To get better control on your hydration levels, keep a water log. For high-tech individuals, you can download apps that pop up with reminders throughout the day.

Insomnia

We hear so much advice on the do’s and don’ts of ensuring a good night’s sleep, but I’m sure you have missed this one advice. The latest studies have revealed the benefits of eating two kiwis before bedtime. According to one study, those who consumed two kiwis one hour before hitting the sack fell asleep 14 minutes faster and had better quality sleep than their counterparts who didn’t. Kiwis contain many medicinal compounds, most importantly serotonin, a transmitter responsible for the snooze effect.

Bloating and Gas

Fennel is one of the fastest and most effective home remedies for bloating and gas. Fennel is a pleasant-smelling herb with yellow flowers native to the Mediterranean. Dried fennel seeds are often used in cooking as a spice.

Chew on some fennel seeds or make a tea by crushing the seeds and boiling them whenever you’re having one of those gassy moments. The compounds in these seeds relax the muscles in your digestive tract and allow trapped gas to pass within minutes. As an added value, you’ll also have fresh breath.

© 2014 MBC Group. All Rights Reserved. Provided by Syndigate.info, an Albawaba.com company

By Racha Adib



It's time to start considering food as a remedy for your daily ailments. Some foods can act like good old natural medicine and help you ward off anything from an aggravating headache to a sleepless night. Stock up your cabinet with these healing foods and be ready for whatever life might throw at you.



Headaches and Migraines

Before you go ahead and pop some painkillers, try eating a handful of crunchy magnesium-rich almonds. Magnesium deficiency is common in individuals who suffer from migraines. According to research, magnesium can relax your blood vessels and cure that throbbing headache. Other magnesium-rich foods include bananas, dried apricots, cashews, and seeds.



Scratchy Throat or Cough

Are you suffering from a persistent cough that keeps you up all night? Then you should probably listen to Grandma's remedy and swallow some honey. Studies have found that honey can alleviate a scratchy throat and hack attacks as much as cough syrup. This is probably due to its antimicrobial properties. Manuka honey, a darker variety, has been found to be a better option due to its stronger antioxidant properties. Mix it up with some warm lemon juice for added antioxidant power.



Muscle Soreness After a Workout

Dreading the after effect of your workout? Instead of being stiff for the following two days, reach for some ginger. According to research, ginger has been found to reduce muscle soreness. The results of one study showed that subjects who consumed 2 grams ginger after a workout experienced a 25 percent reduction in post-workout pain. This effect has been credited to its content of potent antioxidants called gingerols, which have anti-inflammatory properties similar to certain pain-reducing drugs. You can eat it pickled, add it to your baking, or brew it.



Fatigue

Tired, drained, and beat? If you're fatigued, then your best source of energy is water. Water is the most overlooked energizer out there. If you're dehydrated, which happens to 20 percent of people, it can limit your physical abilities and mental capacities.



How can you tell? You might feel tired, cranky, or moody. You can also tell by checking your urine color. If the output is dark-colored, then you're probably not well-hydrated.



It's not enough to drink when you're thirsty; that's a sign you're already dehydrated. Your best bet is to ensure 6 to 8 glasses of water per day. To get better control on your hydration levels, keep a water log. For high-tech individuals, you can download apps that pop up with reminders throughout the day.



Insomnia

We hear so much advice on the do's and don'ts of ensuring a good night's sleep, but I'm sure you have missed this one advice. The latest studies have revealed the benefits of eating two kiwis before bedtime. According to one study, those who consumed two kiwis one hour before hitting the sack fell asleep 14 minutes faster and had better quality sleep than their counterparts who didn't. Kiwis contain many medicinal compounds, most importantly serotonin, a transmitter responsible for the snooze effect.



Bloating and Gas

Fennel is one of the fastest and most effective home remedies for bloating and gas. Fennel is a pleasant-smelling herb with yellow flowers native to the Mediterranean. Dried fennel seeds are often used in cooking as a spice.



Chew on some fennel seeds or make a tea by crushing the seeds and boiling them whenever you're having one of those gassy moments. The compounds in these seeds relax the muscles in your digestive tract and allow trapped gas to pass within minutes. As an added value, you'll also have fresh breath.



© 2014 MBC Group. All Rights Reserved. Provided by Syndigate.info, an Albawaba.com company

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,



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