Sunday, 1 December 2013

Preventing Kidney Stones

An abnormal accumulation of mineral salts that are formulated in the kidneys give rise to kidney stones. Stones have three origins as follows: those formed from calcium oxalic acid; those formed from uric acid; and those formed from cysteine, resulting from consuming too much protein.

The symptoms of kidney stones are severe pain in the lower back, radiating to the bladder area in the lower front part of the abdomen. Pain is severe when the stone is exiting the kidney into the ureter; it then tries to work its way down the ureter to the bladder and out of the body. Some types of kidney stones grow to such a large size that they are unable to exit the kidney. These stones will eventually block the filtration mechanism in the kidney and will have to be removed surgically. Other stones are of such a tiny size that they pass through the urinary tract painlessly.
An unbalanced diet is the main cause of kidney stones. A deficiency in magnesium causes urine to have a high alkaline content which results in the formation of stones. Magnesium is also required to balance calcium in the body. If calcium in not balanced, it can proliferate, store in the kidneys and form stones. A deficiency in vitamin B6 can raise oxalic acid and thereby give rise to stones. Diets either too low or too high in protein can cause stones. Too little vitamin D decreases calcium absorption resulting in the formation of stones. Too much calcium from food such as dairy products and dark green leafy vegetables can give rise to stones. A lack of fibre in the diet can also result in stones forming over time.
Conventional medicine has responded to the problem of kidney stones with the following:  removal of the stones by surgery; removal of the stones through a lighted tube inserted into the urethra; lithotripsy which entails bombarding the stones with ultrasonic radiation to make them smaller and easier to pass;  medication in the form of drugs to dissolve stones. Removal of the stones by surgery or other means doesn’t address the reason why the stones formed in the first instance. Medication depresses the immune system to the degree that it can cause autoimmune disease. Total loss of kidney function can result in uremic poisoning and death.
It is therefore best to pay attention to diet in order to control the susceptibility to kidney stones. Foods and drinks to be avoided are dairy products, nuts, seeds, dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach, chard, kale, cabbage, rhubarb, organ meats, processed meats, white sugar, dried legumes, sorrel, pasta, cocoa, chocolate, coffee and tea.
Foods and beverages beneficial to the kidneys are oats, whole grain cereals, wholegrain bread, apples, almonds, asparagus, celery, cucumber, watercress, bananas, watermelon, pears, beetroot juice, cranberry juice, dandelion tea, lemon and ginger tea and water. Protein needs to be limited to 55 grams daily for the average adult.  Do not underestimate the importance of water in this context: you should be drinking at least six glasses of water daily in order to flush out the kidneys.
Herbs having a positive effect on the kidneys, for the reasons stated, are as follows: parsley tones up the urinary system; garlic has a diuretic effect and tones the digestive organs; marshmallow helps remove mucous from kidneys and is soothing to the urinary tract; ginger helps with kidney cleansing; uva ursi acts as a solvent to urinic deposits; and comfrey aids balancing calcium and phosphorus.  
The following food supplements can help with keeping the kidneys in good working order: vitamin B6, 100mg.three times daily, acts as a diuretic; magnesium citrate, 400mg twice daily, and vitamin B2, 100 mg twice daily, are needed to insure the proper absorption of vitamin B6;vitamin A fish liver oil, 25,000 IU, and beta carotene, 25,000 IU, can fend off the accumulation of kidney stones; phosphorus, as per label, raises body acidity and dissolves blood calcium so it does not store in the kidneys; vitamin C,  1,000 mg, four times daily, helps keep urine in an acid state, lecithin, 1,200 mg six times daily, helps purify the kidneys; vitamin E, 400 IU once daily, helps clear up kidney problems; and zinc picolinate,30 mg twice daily, has a positive effect on the acid- alkaline balance. 
If you are susceptible to the formation of kidney stones, you now have a method of tackling the problem, as outlined above, using mainly natural produce and some food supplements.   

Friday, 1 November 2013

Preventing or Excreting Gallstones

Gallstones are formed of an accumulation of crystallised cholesterol and bile. The condition is found most often in women who are over 40, overweight and have had children. Gallstones can also affect diabetics, the obese and the elderly. The general symptoms are: jaundice (skin turns yellowish); clay coloured stools; and dark urine. The following specific symptoms can occur within a few hours of eating a heavy meal containing fats or fried foods: severe right upper abdominal pain that may radiate to the shoulder and back; vomiting; and nausea.

The main causes of gallstones are as follows: liver dysfunction causing the production of abnormal amounts of cholesterol and bile; insufficient amounts of fibre in the diet; a deficiency in vitamin C having a negative effect on the body’s ability to convert cholesterol into bile acids.
Conventional medicine has responded to this problem with surgery to remove the gallstones and/or the “non-essential “ organ the gallbladder. Other methods such as dissolving the gallstones have been tried but with limited success. Any surgery carries risks associated with it; and removal of the gallbladder does not address the reasons why the stones formed in the first instance.
The best approach to gallstones is to prevent their occurrence by mainly paying attention to diet. Avoid foods and beverages containing high amounts of saturated fats such as dairy products, meat products, fried or scrambled eggs. Avoid adding sugar as well as purchasing sugar-laden foods and soft drinks. Avoid stress because it can have a bearing on the overproduction of cholesterol by the body.
Foods and drinks which help the function of the liver are cabbage, avocados, lemons, watercress, artichokes, eggplant , asparagus , black radish, chicory, lettuce, potatoes, tomatoes, pineapple, cherries, strawberries, grapes, walnuts, green tea and dandelion tea. Foods which contain high fibre contents are legumes, whole grains, wholemeal or rye bread, brown rice, wholegrain pasta, wheat or oat bran, potatoes with their skins and apples.  
The following food supplements can be employed to prevent gallstones: lecithin, 1200 mg. capsules, six times daily; 1 or 2 multiple digestive enzymes with each meal; a multi-vitamin and mineral tablet once a day; vitamin C, 500 mg capsule, four times daily; fish oil, 180 mg EPA, 8 capsules daily; and psyllium husks, as directed on the label, to make up for any deficiency in dietary fibre
The following herbs, for the reasons stated, can help prevent gallstones: buckthorn breaks bile down into its component parts; hydrangea prevents stone deposits; parsley is good for liver functions; silymarin (milk thistle) rebuilds liver cells; cascara sagrada helps the body rid itself of gallstones; and chervil aids both digestion and circulation.  
If you fail to prevent stones from forming by paying attention to diet as outlined above, there is something you can do about it without going under the knife in a hospital. You can employ a simple flush to rid yourself of most gallstones unless they are in the very large category. To execute the flush, you need to have ready 450 grams (16 ounces) of olive oil and 12 lemons. Do the following:
1.     On the day of the flush, do not eat anything in the afternoon.
2.     At 9 pm, take 4 tablespoons of olive oil followed by 2 tablespoons of lemon juice.
3.     Repeat 2 at 15 minute intervals until 10.45pm, and then stop.
4.      Go to bed at midnight and lay on the right side.
Bowel movements over the next few days should rid the body of the stones unless they are very large. The bile duct actually expands, and is lubricated by the oil dislodging the stones causing them to move into the intestines and out of the body with each bowel movement.

Medical experts commenting on gallstones fail to promote the flush as an alternative to surgery despite the evidence that it is a safe method of dealing with the problem applicable to the vast majority of cases. 

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Preventing or Combatting Digestive Disturbances

A digestive disturbance is the inability to break down food in the stomach and intestines causing un-metabolised food retention, malnutrition and possible disease. Digestive disturbances can, in severe cases, be very restrictive of a person’s ability to carry out his or her daily work.

The causes of digestive disturbances are as follows: food allergies; food not properly broken down by chewing; a slowdown in the production and potency of digestive enzymes and hydrochloric acid in the stomach as people age; the pancreas is malfunctioning and not braking down fats, proteins and carbohydrates; the liver’s production of bile, which breaks down fats, is lessened; the muscular action of the stomach and intestines needed to transport food is weakened as a result of undernourishment; stress causing the overproduction of hormones which interfere with digestion; the eating of spicy type foods which require higher amounts of  enzymes to be broken down; the natural enzymes present in food is destroyed by overcooking;  processed foods laden with chemical additives and preservatives being more difficult to break down; fatty foods using a higher amount of hydrochloric acid from the stomach and thereby causing heartburn; disruption to the normal digestive process through eating sugar-laden foods requiring the body to respond with a high amount of insulin; and lack of sufficient amounts of fibre in the diet.   
Conventional medicine has responded to digestive disturbances with prescription drugs in the form of antacids and antispasmodics. These drugs can have some serious side effects such as brain cell deterioration, blurring of vision and difficulty urinating. Their use should therefore be avoided if at all possible.
It is best to prevent a digestive disturbance from occurring in the first instance by paying attention to the following:
·        Avoid any foods to which you are allergic.
·        Eat slowly and chew food well.
·        Avoid discussing stressful topics while eating.
      ·    Avoid spicy foods.
·        In so far as it is possible, avoid processed foods.
·        Avoid foods containing a lot of fat.
·        Avoid sugar- laden foods and drinks.
·        Do not drink liquids within 30 minutes of meal times.
·        Avoid poor food combining such as starchy foods and proteins at the same meal; and eat fruits separately from main meals
·        Drink water regularly between meals.   
In general, it is best to increase your dietary fibre intake, eat lots of fruits with their skins, and eat lots of fresh vegetables either raw or lightly cooked. Foods good for digestion are wholegrain cereals, wholegrain bread, apples, pineapples, oranges, grapefruit, peaches, rhubarb, celery, cabbage, fennel, sorrel, potatoes, Jerusalem artichokes, chick peas, meat, black radish, horseradish, low-fat yogurt with live cultures, bananas, raspberries and gooseberries. Foods bad for digestion are processed meats, meats derived from game (deer, boar etc.) chocolate, biscuits  (cookies), lard, oysters and sugar-laden soft drinks (sodas).  
The following supplements can help with digestive problems: 1 or 2 digestive enzymes taken with each meal; peppermint oil to be taken as the directions on the label, vitamin B complex, 50 mg twice daily, to aid digestion and break down carbohydrates; psyllium husks as directed on the label to make up for any deficiency in dietary fibre.
The following herbs, for the reasons stated, can be employed to alleviate problems with digestion: parsley acts as a diuretic eliminating toxins from the body; wormwood helps maintain proper stomach acidity; chicory stimulates bile secretions; lemongrass helps to improve the digestive system; papaya has natural digestive enzymes; peppermint is a good stomach sedative; thyme is a general tonic with healing powers; and ginger alleviates nausea.
The reasons for digestive disturbances are so varied that you will need to give careful consideration to identifying the cause (or causes) of any one occurrence before pursuing a remedy in accordance with the guidelines outlined above.  

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Preventing or Getting Relief from Back Pain

Many people suffer from back problems in the form of mild to severe pain and aching, usually in the lower back, sometimes accompanied by muscle spasms. This condition can be severely restrictive of a person’s movements, and sometimes result in compete immobilization.

The causes of back problems are as follows: osteoarthritis; accidents and injuries; degeneration of the joints, ligaments or muscles; heavy lifting; inactivity; structural defects such as swayback, scoliosis, or a difference in leg length; poor posture; sports involving twisting, lifting, bending, jumping, or sudden starts and stops; exercising before muscles are warmed up; getting up from bed or a seated position the wrong way; and the wearing of high heeled shoes.
Conventional treatment for back problems has involved the following methods: traction and/or bed rest; surgery such as laminectomy or fusion of the spine; injection of the intervertebral disc; medications; and braces. All of these methods have low success rates, and medications can have serious side effects.
Most back problems are caused by weakened muscles, ligaments and tendons which have lost their ability to support the back. Specific back-strengthening exercises can be learned under the supervision of a physical therapist, physiatrist, or from a video put online by a professional authority in this area.
Engaging daily in physical exercises such as swimming, cycling, rowing, stretching, yoga and walking are generally good ways to exercise the crucial supports to the back and thereby prevent problems. It is equally important to avoid things that can lead to back problems such as the failure to keep the knees above the hips when seated for long periods, and the wearing of high-heeled shoes.
Avoid foods such as potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant and peppers if the problem is caused by arthritic changes. Animal foods and sugar-laden foods should be avoided during the treatment of back problems as they cause the loss of oxygen in the bloodstream which will slow healing. The herbs valerian root, yucca, liquorice root and ginger all have positive effects for different reasons on back problems.
The following food supplements, for the reasons stated, can help with back problems: Bromelain, 500mg twice daily, acts as an anti-inflammatory; Vitamin B1, 250mg twice daily, acts as a muscle relaxant, Vitamin B12, 1,000 mcg twice daily, cuts down nervous tension enabling the back to relax; Vitamin C, 1,000mg three times daily, builds up the collagen that strengthens and rebuilds the back muscles.
About six months ago, I got talking to a 74 year old man called Joe who lives on the same road as me. Joe revealed to me that he had been suffering from back problems for years. I asked him if he was computer literate to which he replied that he wasn’t but he lived with his daughter who owned a computer. One Saturday morning, when I was clear of other chores such as trading, I went along to Joe’s house and took him to an online video on back problems put there by the NHS (National Health Service) in the UK.
As Joe was already suffering from back pain, I advised him to start with the least onerous methods outlined in the video which were The Kneeling Stretch  and The Knee Rotation exercises, and to gradually introduce the more difficult ones. Joe’s progress was as follows: after three days, he felt some relief; he felt much better after seven days; all the pain had gone after 14 days; he now only uses The Superman exercise 3-4 times a week as a preventative measure but doesn’t expect the problem to reoccur.
The NHS video, which anyone can use as a preventative or treatment measure, can be accessed here. A good video is worth more than a 1,000 words when it comes to describing back-strengthening exercises !
Other methods which have had some success with back problems include acupuncture, acupressure, massage, reflexology treatments, chiropractic adjustments and bed board treatment.  
If you have anything to say on this post, use the comments below for that purpose. 

Thursday, 1 August 2013

How to Prevent or Counteract Arthritis

Arthritis can take many different forms but the most common types are rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis is a disease of the autoimmune system which overreacts to foreign matter in the joints thereby damaging bone and cartilage. Osteoarthritis is either the result of age or high intensity exercise or sports causing continual friction between the bones which initiates an inflammatory process resulting in stiffness and pain.   

Conventional medicine says there is no known cure for arthritis which isn’t very promising for the hundreds of millions of sufferers worldwide. A summary of the methods employed to treat arthritis is as follows: surgery for replacement of the diseased joint; physical therapy involving specific exercises; anti-inflammatory drugs and muscle relaxants; gold therapy; and the employment of devices such as back and knee braces and cervical collars. None of these methods have brought permanent relief to sufferers.
The source of the pain caused by arthritis is damaged cartilage. When cartilage is supple and elastic, it protects joints; when it is brittle and eaten away, it loses its protective properties and bones become deformed. Supple strong cartilage allows the ends of the bones to rub against each other without causing damage. Whilst the exact causes of arthritis are not known, experts believe it is linked to aging, repeated shocks to joints and to nutrition.
To keep on regenerating cartilage, your body needs sufficient amounts of the basic element silicon. The latter is the most abundant element on the planet after oxygen. However, the older you get the more difficult it becomes for your body to assimilate silicon, and most foods eaten contain very little of this element. To remedy this situation, some plant therapists prescribe horsetail in capsule form. However, most people over 50 years of age are silicon deficient.
Every time you jump some of your joints are subjected to as much as 2000 pounds of pressure. The heavier you are the more pressure there is. This is the reason why it is critical to keep your weight down if you suffer from arthritis. In some cases cartilage breaks down under repeated pressure, to be replaced by bony growths which are not nearly as supple and do an inferior job.
Modern processed foods tend to cause a build-up of acids in the body –a condition known as acidosis. These acids destroy minerals and accelerate the development of a silicon deficiency. An excess of copper or iron can upset the body’s mineral balance which can lead to a variety of health problems including arthritis. A person can therefore largely prevent arthritis by making the right food choices.
Ideally you should increase your intake of silicon-rich foods as a preventative measure against arthritis. Silicon-rich foods include the following: rye bread or porridge; millet; barley; potatoes; whole wheat products; horsetail; the peel of fruits and husks of grains; onions; garlic; and shallots. Other recommended foods are; apples, pineapple banana, melons, grapefruit, pears, blackcurrants, sorrel, whole grain bread, carrots, celery, cabbage, cucumber, watercress, lettuce, tomatoes, herring, sardines, salmon, cod liver oil and milk.
Some foods, such as cocoa, red meat, processed meats, processed foods or drinks with added sugars promote the production of uric acid which is bad for the joints and therefore should be avoided. Oleaginous fruits and nuts such as olives, peanuts and sunflower seeds should be avoided as they cause the build-up of excess copper or iron in the body.  One remedy for the latter is to make sure you are not deficient in zinc or vitamin C.
Whist it is best to prevent arthritis by being selective in what you eat and drink, there is something you can do from once it is confirmed you have it in order to get relief from the pain. A medical researcher, after decades of work on it, found a form of organic silicon that could easily be assimilated by the human body. He formulated an organic silica gel that could be applied externally to the area of the pain in order to bring relief to sufferers of arthritis or rheumatism.
The best organic silica gel on the market is Artrosilium. In addition to organic silica, it contains a plant called Queen of the Meadow, a kind of vegetal aspirin that relieves the pain without any of the side effects of regular aspirin. It also contains blackcurrant known to have a beneficial effect on arthritis. Artrosilium Gel can be bought over the Internet. Just make sure “ Artrosilium “ is in the title description of what you purchase as there are many similar silica gels on the market.

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Why Giving Blood is Beneficial to the Donor

Giving blood is beneficial for the donor as well as the recipient. Studies carried out in the UK,USA and Finland on tens of thousands of people have demonstrated there are many benefits accruing to the donor from giving blood which are not normally understood by the general public.  The main benefits for the donor are: a reduced risk of a stroke or heart attack; a lesser chance of getting cancer; and a loss of weight resulting from the blood donation itself.

When you give blood, the body replaces the amount donated within two days but it takes up to 56 days to replace all the red blood cells. Forcing the body to create new blood as a consequence of a donation, means the new replacement blood introduced is more fluid thereby having a thinning effect on all the blood in the body. If your blood before the donation was thick or sticky, putting you at risk of a stroke or heart attack because this type of blood puts pressure on the heart to pump it to all the vital areas of the body, the thinner blood resulting from your donation is therefore beneficial to the body.

If you suspect that you are at risk of a stroke or heart attack, one constructive thing you can do is give blood regularly. Because of the 56 days it takes to replace the red blood cells, most national health services will forbid you from making a further blood donation until your body has fully recovered from the last one. However, you could schedule your donations at 3 monthly ( ninety days) intervals quite easily and thereby reap the compounded benefits of forcing the body to keep the blood more fluid and less viscous.   
Giving blood also reduces the amount of iron in the blood. The latter has a bearing on the susceptibility to getting cancer. One study in Finland involving 3,000 people found a significant decrease in the number of people getting cancer who gave blood regularly (at least once every six months) compared to those who didn’t contribute at all. The National Cancer Institute in the UK in its Journal also links increased iron levels in the body with an increased risk of developing cancer as a consequence of free radical damage.

Another side effect of giving blood is that the donor loses weight as a consequence of this action. The University Of California in San Diego estimate that for every pint of blood donated 650 calories are burned as a result of the body’s efforts to replenish itself. This equates roughly to a pound (2.2 Kilograms) loss of weight per each pint of blood donated. If you donate regularly, the loss of weight over time can be quite significant.

Other benefits include donors in the USA getting a free blood test worth about $300 when contributing blood. Blood banks in that country test the blood for infectious diseases before using it, and if anything significant is found, they will let the donor know and the blood will not be used.

The NHS (National Health Service) in the UK advises donors to contribute blood for altruistic reasons rather than for donor benefits. I do not entirely agree with this as the satisfaction a person gets from helping others, in certain cases, can itself be a donor benefit. I don’t see any valid reasons why donor benefits shouldn’t be highlighted.  

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Make Use of the Cleansers

As the title above says, you should make use of the cleansers. Cleansers in this context mean foods and drinks which help eliminate wastes and toxins from the body. Natural foods are preferred here over proprietary products in order to detoxify the body.  Foods high in fibre are especially useful in excreting antigens from the body. The blood, liver, lungs, kidneys, arteries, intestines and urinary tract all need to be kept clean and clear of any substances interfering with their proper functions.

The following 14 foods can help to clear the body of toxic substances for the reasons stated:
1.     Garlic:  cleans the lungs and intestines; has a diuretic effect; and tones the heart and digestive organs.
2.      Onions:  facilitate expectoration; are a powerful natural antibiotic; and decongest respiratory passages.
3.      Apples:  are rich in pectin which helps remove radioactive residues from the body; help eliminate toxic build-up; and clean the intestines.
4.      Cabbage: cleanses the digestive tract; neutralises some of the damaging compounds found in cigarette smoke; and strengthens the liver’s ability to detoxify the body.
5.      Avocados: open blood vessels; block toxicity affecting the arteries; and help the liver detoxify the blood.
6.     Lemons: lemon juice kills harmful bacteria; is useful for combating liver attacks and angina; and aids digestion.
7.     Watercress: the antioxidant levels in it help prevent cancer of various body organs; gives relief from respiratory problems like bronchitis; and can help with liver or kidney fatigue.
8.     Grapefruit:  the pectin in it cleanses the blood; helps to excrete heavy metals from the body; it also contains antiviral compounds which destroys harmful viruses in the body. 
9.      Kale: the cleansing attributes of kale are very similar to those of cabbage as stated above.
10.   Seaweed: binds to radioactive waste and heavy metals and helps to escort them from the body.
11. Celery:  is an excellent blood cleanser and contain many anti-cancer compounds that help detoxify the body. 
12. Cranberries:  cleanse the body of bacteria and viruses that may be lingering in the urinal tract.
13. Blueberries: counteract harmful bacteria and toxins in the body.
14.  Walnuts:  contain high amounts of the amino acid arginine, glutathione and omega 3 fatty acids which help detoxify and cleanse the liver.
It is best to eat all fruit and vegetables raw as cooking destroys a lot of their nutritive value. If you cook a vegetable like cabbage by boiling it in water, then make sure, in addition to eating the cooked cabbage, you drink the juice resulting as it contains lots of nutrients displaced from the cabbage by the act of cooking.
The following three drinks help to cleanse the body of wastes and toxins:
·        Water:  drinking 4-6 glasses of water daily cleanses the whole system and flushes out any antigens from the body.
·         Green Tea: has plenty of antioxidants known as catechin, a compound which assists liver function.
·        Dandelion Tea: has properties which aids the cleansing of the liver and kidneys, and it also reduces water retention.
·        Lemon and Ginger Tea: aids digestion and increases blood flow.
Al the above can either be used individually or in combination to detoxify the body. Keeping the vital organs clean and clear of anything that interferes with their efficiency are measures which help prevent diseases and health problems generally.
If you know of a cleanser not mentioned in the above list, let me know of it via the comments box below.