Friday, July 14, 2017

Holistic Approaches to Angina

Anyone who has angina should be under a doctor's care. And just about anyone who has stable angina should consider a therapy called EECP, for which you need a doctor's referral, But there are things you can do to improve the results of medication, percutaneous coronary intervention, and exercise. Just be sure to be willing to discuss anything you do with your cardiologist.

Natural Remedies for Belching and Burping

In ancient times, the unavoidability of belching was recognized both by scholarship and by imperial decree. The great physician Hippocrates wrote, “Belching is necessary to well-being.” The Roman Emperor Claudius decreed that “All Roman citizens shall be allowed to pass gas whenever necessary.” Unfortunately, no such authorities ease the social pain of uncontrollable belching and burping in public settings today.    
Physiologists studying the phenomenon of belching frequently refer to it as “gas without gas,” since dozens of studies have failed to yield a consistent explanation of the condition. Although it would seem logical that belching is the release of swallowed air, x-rays of patients with chronic belching problems frequently reveal flat bellies and no gas. Swelling of the peritoneal cavity in conditions such as ascites and extreme obesity would seem to be a likely cause of belching, but it is not. And patients with mechanical bowel obstruction and gas problems that are visible on x-rays usually complain of cramps, not gas.        

Natural Remedies for Bee and Wasp Stings

What should you keep on hand for treating bee and wasp stings?

Natural Remedies for Bedwetting

If there’s anything encouraging to tell parents about bedwetting, it is that it usually is not associated with other behavioral or emotional problems, and it usually disappears by the time the child is 8 years old. In the meantime, there are things parents can do that don't involve drugs or humiliation.

Monday, July 10, 2017

What Can Do You About Baby's Colic?

I was told I was the grand champion baby of all time for most episodes of colic. Fortunately, my mother knew what to do, and I (and she) survived. Here's a reprint of my entry for colic in my book Healing without Medication.

Natural Treatments for Bell's Palsy: Acupuncture, Exercise, and More

About 20 years ago I wrote an article on natural treatments for Bell's palsy, acupuncture, exercise, massage, vitamins, and the like. I'll start with what people who have Bell's palsy really want to know, which is what they can do about it right now without buying anything or seeing a doctor.

Natural Remedies for Brittle Nails

As many as 4 million people a year buy home healthcare products for brittle nails, a condition known in the medical literature as onychoschizia. About 1 in 5 people has brittle nails, one survey finding the problem in 27 percent of women and 13 percent of men. Brittle nails typically peel from the nail’s free end, breaking off in horizontal layers. Less often, the nail splits vertically. Brittle nails are more common in women than in men.

What causes nails to split and peel?

Brittleness is usually caused by trauma to the nail: repeated exposure to detergents and water, failure to wear gloves when using solvents or excessive use of nail polish remover, or simply excessive washing and drying. Brittle nails can also be caused by an underlying medical problem, such as malnutrition, hypothyroidism, chronic lung infections, psoriasis, Raynaud’s phenomenon, or Sjogren’s syndrome. They may be a side effect of medication with carbamazepine or phenytoin for bipolar disorder or seizures.

Brittle nails may be a temporary complication of antibiotic therapy. They are a common problem among dialysis patients, and they can also be caused by overdosing selenium supplements. Since brittle nails can be a symptom of a serious health condition, self-treatment is only appropriate when brittle nails are the only symptom.

Treatment Summary
Nutritional Supplements
∆    Biotin: 300–600 micrograms daily.
∆    Avoid high doses of pantothenic acid (vitamin B5).

A small-scale but carefully controlled clinical study confirms the usefulness of biotin supplements in treating brittle nails. Researchers used an electron microscope to examine nail clippings taken from 8 women who were given 2.5 mg of biotin daily for 6–9 months. They also examined nail clippings from 10 women who were not given biotin. Microscopic examination of the nails confirmed that nails were thicker and stronger in the women who took biotin. A later, larger but uncontrolled study got similar results.

It may be necessary to take biotin for up to 6 months to get results. There are no adverse interactions between biotin and prescription drugs reported in the medical literature. Be sure to take biotin if you take antibiotics, since antibiotics kill the intestinal bacteria that make this vitamin.                High doses of pantothenic acid (vitamin B5) compete with biotin for transport sites in the lining of the large intestine. Avoid high-dose vitamin B5 therapy when taking biotin.

Gelatin is frequently recommended as a treatment for brittle nails, as are ceratin, collagen, cysteine, methionine, millet, vitamin A, brewer’s yeast, zinc, and the herb horsetail. So far, there is no systematic evidence that any of these remedies help most cases of brittle nails, although they will not harm brittle nails. Zinc supplements are useful in a rare condition called acquired acrodermatitis enteropathica, in which brittle nails are only one symptom, along with perioral and perianal dermatitis, diarrhea, mouth sores, and hair loss. Usually brittle nails are a later symptom of the condition. In acrodermatitis enteropathica, zinc sulphate supplements work best. 

Also helpful to keep in mind are:

 ο    Brittle nails are more of a problem in low humidity and high heat, such as in desert climates or in overheated houses in winter. In low humidity or high heat conditions, apply lotions containing alpha hydroxy acids or lanolin to the nails anytime you get your hands wet.
 ο    Buff the nails in the direction the nail grows, not in a back and forth motion.
 ο    Do not use metal instruments to push back the cuticle.
 ο    If the fingernails are weak but the toenails are strong, the problem is external pressure, not a nutritional deficiency.
 ο    Nail polishes with nylon fibers strengthen brittle nails.
 ο    Shape and file the nails with a very fine file. Round tips in a gentle curve. Filing snags and irregularities every day helps prevent further damage.
 ο    Try to wear gloves when performing chores that involve getting the hands wet. Heavy-duty vinyl gloves worn with a thin cotton liner are best.

 ο    There are some reports that the supplement methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) can help build both harder nails and shinier hair. A typical dosage would be 3,000 mg per day.

Home Remedies for Athlete's Foot

Athlete’s foot does not always cause scaling, itching, blisters, and a rash. Sometimes deep furrows and “wear and tear” on the sole of the foot are signs of a persistent fungal infection your immune system can’t quite shake. In these cases, ironically, making sure the skin of the foot is moisturized is essential for recovery.

Why Removal of Arsenic From Drinking Water Is So Important

If you live anywhere in the US where cotton used to be sprayed with arsenic compounds to kill its leaves, or if you live in Middle East or South Asia, chances are you need to be drinking water with the arsenic removed. If you aren't, you need to take some steps to reduce the progression of long-term arsenic poisoning.

Is There a Holistic Approach to Treating Brain Tumors?

Five years ago I was diagnosed with a brain tumor. I didn't have surgery. I didn't have radiation. I didn't have chemo or immunotherapy. I'm still here, and as far as I can tell, my brain still works pretty well. Are there holistic approaches, or natural approaches, to treating brain tumors and/or brain cancer?

What Can You Do About Hair Loss in Patches on the Head?

Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disease that causes loss of hair. The latest scientific understanding of the condition

Natural Remedies for Allergies

Just about everyone knows the usual symptoms of seasonal allergies:

Itching of the nose, eyes, mouth, throat, or skin
Runny nose
Impaired sense of smell
Sore throat
Teary eyes

But did you know allergies can also cause:

Stomach cramps
Feeling dizzy, especially around electronic devices and cell phones
Lesions on the genitals that can be mistaken for STD’s
Skin tumors (under tattoo ink)
Dark “age” spots on the skin
Swollen tongue
Baboon syndrome, bright redness on the buttocks and/or around the anus

What Can I Do About My Achilles Heel?

The important thing to remember about Achilles heel injuries is that this kind of tendonitis is a condition caused by inflammation, but sustained by infiltration. That is infiltration by white blood cells into the tendon over the long term.

A Different Way of Treating Diabetic Foot Infections

Diabetic foot infection mostly healed.
Most diabetics assume they will never get a foot infection. After all, germs are carried by dirt, and if you change your socks and don’t walk around in moldy gym shoes all the time, who would expect to get an infection?

The reality is, unfortunately, that diabetic foot infections are an eventuality for many diabetics who have neuropathy, even those of fastidious foot care habits.

The Peril of Moldy Pot

No, this isn't a warning about the dangers of marijuana along the lines of Reefer Madness. But if you are going to use marijuana, you should not store it in damp places. There's a very important health reason why.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Natural Remedies for Cystic Acne

It's easy to see how someone who develops cystic acne would think it's just plain unfair. Many of the people who develop unsightly, painful, red, infected cysts on their faces and necks in late adolescence or early adulthood started out with beautiful skin.

Richer, deeper, brown and black skin tones seem to act like some kind of cyst magnet. And just about everything you would naturally do to treat cysts at least temporarily makes them worse. Cystic acne is surprisingly common and surprisingly hard to treat.

Cannabis for Seizure Disorders

Marijuana is increasingly popular as a treatment for seizure disorders (including Dravet’s syndrome and Lennox-Gault syndrome).

Cannabis for Inflammatory Bowel Disease

In 2011, a team of researchers in Israel published the results of a remarkable study of the use of marijuana in treating Crohn’s disease.  They did not find that smoking marijuana “cured” Crohn’s disease, but they did find that it was remarkably helpful in most cases.

Which Weed Do You Ask For At The Medical Marijuana Dispensary?

We're constantly hearing that cannabis cures (fill in the blank). But the reality is that not all strains of marijuana work equally well for all health conditions. Here's a brief summary of what you might expect to get at a medical marijuana dispensary for various common health concerns.

Diets That Work, Diets That Don't, What's the Difference?

If you pay attention to the diet experiences of the people you know, you have probably observed that:

• People lose weight on low-fat diets. People gain weight on low-fat diets.
• People lose weight on low-carb diets. People gain weight on low-carb diets.
• People lose weight on low-protein diets (believe it or not). People can also gain weight on low-protein diets.

But what exactly is going on that sometimes a diet plan works and sometimes it doesn't?

How Much Protein is Toxic?

Both men and women, sick people and healthy people, athletes and couch potatoes, can consume so much protein that they begin to get sick. How much protein is too much?

Is There Nutritional Value in Alcohol?

Too much alcohol is bad for you. But teetotalers tend to be worse off than people who drink moderately, at least in the US.

A New Diet Program: The No-TV Diet

When most people lose weight, they aren't really sure what they are doing right. You start to go back to your goal weight. You are making real progress. Then you just can’t figure out what went wrong so you won't do it again. It’s natural to consult a self-help guru. Most diet books tell you that you can eat more to weigh less and then give you impossible rules for choosing what to eat.

Does Urine Stop a Jellyfish Sting?

The urban legend is that if you get a jelly fish sting, you should pour urine on it (not necessarily have someone urinate on it) to reduce the toxicity of the venom in the skin. The urban legend is true.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Diabetes Foods to Avoid: Wheat, Oats, and Potatoes

Many American, Australian, and British diabetics notice changes almost like remission from diabetes when they travel abroad. The difference may be eating less wheat, potatoes, and oats so there is less inflammation in fat cells.

How Low Is A Low-Carb Diet for Diabetes?

Does the thought of bread fill you with dread? Have you been told that tofu is terrific but taffy is toxic? Is a low-carb diet the only type 2 diabetic diet for you?

Type 2 diabetics are often given dietary advice that is more appropriate for type 1's and for people with MODY. More than other diabetics, type 2's have a need for enough carbohydrate so they can think clearly, stick to their diabetes treatment plans and achieve their goals, leading happy and functional lives as they keep their blood sugar levels well controlled. This article tells you how much carb is enough carb without being too much for managing type 2 diabetes.

The Real Paleo Diet: Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting may seem like the latest and greatest diet craze, but it's really been around forever. Mostly because people didn't have food.

The Psychology of Binge Eating

What makes your appetite go out of control? Do you just lack willpower? Or is something causing binge eating?

Wheat and Weight: Is There Really Such a Thing as "Wheat Belly?"

Wheat gets blamed for the modern obesity crisis, but not everybody has a problem with it, and belly fat is actually activated not just by wheat but also by potatoes and oats.

Good Fiber, Bad Fiber:What's the Recommended Dietary Fiber?

Fiber is an essential part of a good diet. But fiber isn't essential for you. It's essential for the 20 to 50 trillion probiotic bacteria that live in your colon.

Good Carbs, Bad Carbs, Just Enough Carbs

Despite what you may have heard, everything about carbohydrates isn't bad. Glucose, in appropriate amounts, is a “good carb. ” The body doesn't just use it for fuel. It also uses it to make essential molecules such as glycosylated proteins—which you may have heard are always bad, but actually aren't—and phospholipids, which line every cell in the body to keep them from dissolving into the watery plasma of the bloodstream.

Fat As Fire Extinguisher

If you're fat, and I am, one of the reasons probably is that your body didn't want you to catch on "fire." There is an overlooked relationship between fat, sugar, insulin, and the stress hormone cortisol.

Monday, July 3, 2017

What Are the Symptoms of a Heart Attack?

Eighty percent of women DON'T have chest pain before they have a heart attack. Here's an essential list of symptoms, and how often they occur, for women, plus a list of unusual heart attack symptoms for men.