Worried About Dining Out? What to Eat if You Have Acid Reflux

Posted in Health & Fitness on January 29th, 2008

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Which Option Is Best For Treating Acid Reflux Naturally

Posted in Health & Fitness on January 23rd, 2008

There are a variety of different ways that you can treat Laryngopharyngeal reflux and acid reflux naturally.  For many people who suffer from frequent acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), natural and non-drug remedies are the preferred method for not only treating their symptoms, but also preventing them from recurring.

The following are examples of common natural remedies for acid reflux.  However, keep in mind that not all natural treatments will benefit everyone who suffers from reflux, because every condition is specific to the individual.  In other words, what works for one person, will not always work for another. 

Lifestyle change - Lifestyle change is usually the first step to treating acid reflux naturally, because this form of treatment is designed to stop an acid reflux sufferer from subjecting their body to the many factors that can trigger symptoms by weakening the LES.  Lifestyle changes will vary depending on the individual but generally involve:
- Eliminating foods and beverages that trigger reflux (I.E. spicy and fatty foods, citrus and tomato products, caffeinated beverages, alcohol, etc.)
- Eating smaller meals more frequently and not gulping food. Chew food thoroughly to start the digestion process.
- Not eating 2-3 hours prior to bed and sleeping with head and shoulders elevated about 3-6 inches
- Losing excess pounds if you are overweight or obese
- Stop smoking and avoid smoky environments where you can breathe in a lot of second hand smoke
- Wear non-constricting clothing (I.E. avoid corsets, belts, tight pants, etc.)
- Reduce stress levels as this can lead to behavior that encourages acid reflux.

Water – Believe it or not, but water is actually one of the simplest ways to treat and prevent acid reflux naturally.  Drinking plenty of water a day (I.E. eight, 8 oz. glasses of water per day), helps to improve digestion and flushes residue acid out of the esophagus.

Herbal and food remedies – There are many different herbs, fruits, and other foods that are recommended for soothing and preventing heartburn and other acid reflux symptoms including:
- Ginger
- Chamomile
- Dandelion root
- Slippery Elm
- Lemon balm
- Active Manuka honey
- Apple cider vinegar
- Ripe papaya fruit
- Bananas

Natural food remedies are typically ingested raw before, during or after meals.  Herbs can be eaten in natural form, taken as capsules, or in the form of tea before, during or after meals.

Alternative treatment – Common alternative treatments used to remedy acid reflux naturally include:
- Acupuncture – A technique based on Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) that involves inserting very fine needles into specific points of the skin to stimulate the body and encourage it to control symptoms, reduce pain, and heal.
- Acupressure – Follows the same principles as acupuncture accept that fingers, thumbs or knuckles are used instead of needles to apply pressure to specific points to stimulate healing.
- Homeopathy – An alternative treatment based on the Law of Similars. The belief that natural substances prepared in a specific way, and used in small doses, restores health in the ailing individual, that would otherwise cause a healthy person to become ill. 

Regardless of how you choose to remedy acid reflux naturally, remember that it is imperative you follow all directions and recommended doses carefully, as well as learn if there are any side effects or drug interactions you should be aware of. 

You need to understand that while natural non-drug remedies may be very beneficial in treating your acid reflux/GERD symptoms, not every natural remedy will benefit all acid reflux sufferers.  The main reason is because not everyone with acid reflux experiences this digestive problem for the same reasons.   For instance, while digestive enzymes such as ripe papaya fruit may help treat acid reflux symptoms that result from too little acid production; it may make symptoms worse in a person who produces too much acid.

For people prone to acid reflux/GERD because of a peptic ulcer, hiatal hernia, Barrett’s esophagus, gastroparesis (delayed stomach emptying), or another condition, such as diabetes, or asthma, natural treatment may not be enough, and is often combined with other methods of treatment such as medication and possible surgery.

Discovering what natural remedies will work for you will likely be a process of elimination, so don’t become discouraged.  Furthermore, you will find it is easier to discover what remedies are best for treating your acid reflux naturally, by learning what the specific root cause is that triggers your acid reflux symptoms.  Therefore, you should have your condition properly diagnosed by a health care professional, as well as seek treatment advice from your doctor.

Grab your free copy of Kathryn Whittaker’s brand new Acid Reflux & GERD Newsletter - Overflowing with easy to implement methods to help you find out about treating acid reflux naturally and for information on acid reflux alternative medicine please visit Stop Acid Reflux Now

Learn GERD Triggers and Avoid Heartburn

Posted in Health & Fitness on January 23rd, 2008

When it comes to preventative action, you need to learn GERD triggers that affect your body the most and cause your symptoms to become aggravated.  There are many different theories on the cause of acid reflux - but the majority focus on the behaviors and condition of the lower esophageal sphincter (LES - a valve-like muscle which is located at the top of the stomach where the esophagus and the stomach meet). 

Acid reflux tends to occur when the LES valve is functioning abnormally and is allowing stomach acids, pancreatic digestive juices, bile salts, and even food to rise to the esophagus.  Such abnormal functioning can include a lower-than-normal pressure in the valve, or it may open at inappropriate times for some reason.  If you have a condition called a hiatal hernia, your sphincter may have displaced into your chest, causing it to function abnormally.  When acid reflux occurs and the aforementioned substances rise up to the level of the esophageal lining; severe irritation and discomfort usually follows.

There are many different kinds of triggers that can set off these irritations and symptoms.  If you experience acid reflux, you should be aware of the various common GERD triggers so that you know what to do to prevent is recurrence.  Such triggers can include the following, which cause the lower esophageal sphincter to relax and therefore contribute to the worsening of its symptoms:

- Lifestyle - many different lifestyle choices can cause you to experience more acid reflux symptoms, so learn GERD unfriendly activities in your life to allow yourself the opportunity to correct them and ease your symptoms.  These unfriendly activities may include drinking alcohol, smoking, being overweight or obese, and slouching or maintaining poor posture.  Living a high-stress lifestyle is also among the most common contributors to aggravating acid reflux symptoms.

- Diet - many foods are known to lead to acid reflux symptoms.  Foods to avoid include high-acid foods such as citrus fruits and tomatoes, spicy foods, fried and fatty foods, chocolate, caffeinated beverages, sulfuric foods such as garlic and onions, and mint flavorings.

- Eating Habits - beyond the food you’re eating, your eating habits can also encourage or discourage heartburn. GERD eating habit triggers include eating large infrequent meals instead of several smaller meals, sudden dietary change, and eating before lying down or sleeping instead of waiting two or three hours.

- Medications - sometimes the drugs you’re taking for other conditions can aggravate your acid reflux symptoms.  Drugs known for encouraging heartburn are theophylline (Tedral, Marax, Hydrophed, Bronchial, and Quibron), calcium channel blockers, antihistamines, and nitrates.

- Health Conditions - these can include many different kinds of medical, health, and body conditions, such as pregnancy, rapid weight gain, diabetes, the release of certain hormones, a hiatal hernia, or even over-exercising. 

If you want to learn GERD triggers and how to manage them to prevent acid reflux symptoms, it’s a good idea to speak to your doctor.

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Getting Started with Autism Music Therapy

Posted in Health & Fitness on January 22nd, 2008

Studies and anecdotal evidence alike are clearly showing that therapy based on music can have a significant impact on reducing the symptoms of autism in children including undesirable autistic behaviors. Music therapy is a form of autism treatment based on carefully planned musical exercises and experiences.  It is carefully evaluated before, during, and after every session so that it can be altered to best suit the individual needs of the autistic child.  There are many different elements involved in autism music therapy, including:

- Listening to music
- Creating music
- Singing along to music
- Moving or dancing to music
- Playing musical instruments of any kind

This form of music therapy can have a notable positive outcome when treating children with various types and levels of autism.  Participation in this kind of therapeutic assistance provides the children with the chance to be exposed to carefully measured and chosen, non-threatening stimulation, since no human contact is required. 

Music therapy is beneficial as it can be tailored to specifically meet the unique needs of the child based on their own autism symptoms and their tastes and preferences.  This ability to customize the therapy is very important as every case of autism is different from others and what may be very effective for one child may create negative results in another.  To accomplish this customization, there are several kinds of music therapy that can be used on their own or in conjunction with one another. 

The results of autism music therapy is far reaching and touches on many elements in the child’s life.  This includes, but is not limited to the following:

- Socio-emotional development – Autistic children frequently struggle with (or ignore) social contact efforts made by other people.  Using music therapy, children can be drawn out of social withdrawal through their relationship with the music or an instrument of their choice.  The music works as an intermediary between the child and people around them.

- Verbal and non-verbal communication – Singing and dancing to music helps autistic children to improve their speech vocalization and express themselves physically.  Many mental processes are stimulated by listening to and producing music, such as symbolizing, conceptualizing, and comprehension.  Often, autistic children find it easier to accept different sounds than verbal speech.  Music is therefore a good transition to get them used to sounds.  Furthermore, when playing wind instruments and singing, the children become more familiar with the various parts of their mouths and how to manipulate them for speech and other purposes.

- Emotional fulfillment – Many autistic children struggle to respond effectively with stimuli in their environment, making it difficult to enjoy a full emotional experience.  Therefore, since the majority of autistic children respond well to the stimulus of music therapy experience, autistic kids can enjoy a fear-free experience for a full emotional moment.

Autism music therapy sessions are generally very flexible, allowing the children the opportunity to learn and express themselves at their own pace and to their own preferences and taste, achieving great emotional satisfaction.

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Your GERD Diagnosis and the Procedures You Should Know About

Posted in Health & Fitness on January 17th, 2008

Weight Loss for Gout Part 3 - The Best Diets for Gout

Posted in Health & Fitness on January 14th, 2008

The best diets for gout are those that can trim your waistline while keeping in mind that there are some foods that you must eat and others that you must avoid to help prevent a gout attack.  You will need to dedicate yourself to gout “friendly” foods in portions that will allow you to shrink your waistline as well as build in enough time for the appropriate levels of activity.

The best diets for gout feature foods that are generally low in purines as these foods raise the body’s uric acid levels which can lead to a painful gout attack.  Eating foods containing purines, as well as drinking excessive alcohol can cause uric acid to build up in the joints. Beer, specifically, is considered to be among the worst food choices for gout sufferers.

If you want to make sure that you’re following the ‘best’ diet for gout, then try putting the following tips into action:

- Make sure that you drink between two and three liters (around eight - 10 8-ounce glasses) of water every day.  This is vital for diluting the uric acids that have been produced in your body and encouraging quicker elimination.

- Limit your intake of fat and fatty foods as they can encourage uric acid production in your body.  Also this will help with buy xenical weight loss.

-  As already mentioned, it is important to avoid eating foods that are high in purine.

- Aim to achieve and maintain a healthy body weight.  This will decrease your risk of a gout attack, make it easier to exercise, and give you more energy overall.

- Avoid fad diets and those that are high in protein, particularly animal protein.  A high-protein diet can aggravate symptoms of gout.

- Low-fat dairy products and tofu are good substitutes for the nutrients you usually receive from meats and full fat dairy products.

Of course, after hearing about eating “low purines” so often in order to prevent gout, you might be wondering exactly what these mysterious purines are, and how to cut them from your diet.

Generally speaking, foods that are high in purines are organ meats, fatty meats, and shellfish.  Specifically, foods very high in purines include sardines, mussels, sweetbreads, and yeast.  More foods that are also high in purines are mutton, anchovies, bacon, scallops, and pheasant.

On the other hands, foods that are considered to be low in purines, and therefore are good to include in gout diet are: fruits, low fat dairy products, eggs and green vegetables. These also have the added benefit of being foods low in fat, with the exception of eggs. However, you can’t live off these ingredients alone.

A well balanced diet for gout sufferers should be low in saturated fats and higher in complex carbohydrates, which are useful for gout prevention and give you a feeling of “fullness”.  They can also be good for keeping your body weight down as long as you watch your portion sizes. Even better, they’re generally high in minerals, vitamins, and fiber.

Add foods such as cereals, rice, and pasta to your gout diet, and include foods with unsaturated fats that may be good for your uric acid levels. Unsaturated fats can be found in olive oil, nuts and avocados.

Now that you understand what goes into the best diets for gout, you’re ready to create your own and get it started.

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The Autism B12 Vitamin Connection?

Posted in Health & Fitness on January 1st, 2008

There are many different types of treatments that parents can try when they have a child with autism, however some can be controversial. Autism B12 vitamin therapy seems simple and safe enough, but it is important to be aware that problems may arise if it is administered improperly.

Perhaps the biggest danger in utilizing B12 vitamin therapy for the treatment of autism is the possibility of an overdose.

We all need vitamins, but is wrong to assume that these vitamins are safe no matter how they are used. Though vitamins are indeed good for us, with many being essential for optimum health, they can be dangerous too; particularly when someone takes too many.

The majority of the vitamins and minerals we need are obtained from a healthy varied diet. However when there is a deficiency in certain minerals or vitamins it is possible to supplement them.

The risk of taking supplements is that too much of a good thing can actually be harmful to health. When the body has an oversupply of vitamins that it can not use it excretes the excess via the liver. When excess vitamin consumption occurs on a regular basis, the liver may not keep up and the excess vitamin may then become a toxin that the body is unable to expel.

When taken in correct doses however, B12 vitamin therapy may be beneficial for a child with autism. Some believe that autism can be caused or symptoms worsened by severe nutritional deficiencies.

What this means is that the body is not receiving enough of certain vitamins, or that it is not able to absorb the nutrients that are fed through the system; causing the body to lack the essential elements it needs to function properly.

Vitamin B12 is an essential vitamin for healthy brain function.  It is important in helping to manufacture the myelin sheath - a protective layer surrounding nerves in the brain – and it also helps the brain to produce neurotransmitters, which are vital for communication within the brain.
When taken intravenously, some feel that vitamin B12 therapy can improve a range of functions including the absorption of all essential nutrients into the body. This then helps the nervous system to work as it should, allowing potential benefits and improvements in behaviors to be seen.

On a cautionary note, so far, many positive stories about the improvement in individuals after receiving B12 vitamin therapy are still only anecdotal.  While parents and individual doctors have noted some encouraging progress, there have only been a handful of controlled studies involving small groups of children regularly injected with vitamin B12.  Though some have shown improvement in social communication, overall the results have deemed to be inconclusive.
Therefore, while formal tests are still in the early stages, if carried out safely, there is no reason why parents cannot try this autism B12 vitamin therapy under their doctor’s close supervision and guidance. Even if there seems to be no improvement in the symptoms of autism, parents may notice better overall health in their children, and that may be reason enough to continue safely with the therapy.

Grab your free copy of Rachel Evans’ brand new Autism Newsletter - Overflowing with easy to implement methods to help you and your family find out about the autism B12 link and for information on autism resources please visit The Essential Guide To Autism

Great Gout Home Remedies That You Can Try Today

Posted in Health & Fitness on December 22nd, 2007

When eating a low purine diet that avoids the common gout triggers, taking your medications, and doing all you can to prevent gout attacks does not seem to be working for you, you can be left feeling frustrated with the effect this condition is having on your life. However, have you thought about taking a natural approach to treatment? There are some proven gout home remedies that you can try, and most of them are rather simple and very effective when other methods of relief seem to fail.

One very simple remedy can work wonders when you are in the midst of an attack and the pain is unbearable. Place a bag of ice on the effected joint to effectively help numb the pain and reduce the swelling, though you may have to reapply this as needed. To apply, use crushed ice put into a baggie and sealed, and then wrapped with a towel and placed over the joint. The towel is needed to stop the ice from ‘burning’ your skin. This has a numbing affect that helps with the pain for a time. You can leave it on for about ten minutes and then remove and repeat as needed.

A similar remedy that some sufferers find helpful is to alternate hot and cold on the joint, with submersion in cold and then hot water or by using an ice pack and heat pad. This can help lessen both pain and some swelling. Alternate the hot and cold every ten seconds for about five minutes - two or three times a day. Try adding some vinegar to the hot water.

Celery seed is another popular natural approach that many sufferers use to find relief. Celery see can be found in the form of a supplement, and is often used for a remedy for gout when other methods of controlling the condition are not working well, or may not be working at all. One of the very best things that celery seed can do for your gout symptoms is to help ease inflammation, which is part of the reason gout is so painful. Follow the supplement directions and see how it goes for you. You may need to take more, or less, depending on how it works in your system. Please note that celery seed may be dangerous for pregnant women, so make sure you talk with your doctor if you are pregnant or thinking of becoming so.

Another common gout home remedy is taking vitamin C. As with other medications, too much of this can have a detrimental effect, so discuss this option with your doctor before trying this remedy. You should never exceed 2,000 mgs a day, and for some people, even that is too much. Vitamin C works well for gout because it lowers levels of uric acid in the body, and helps prevent uric acid crystals from forming in your joints. It is best used as a preventative measure as once an attack is underway it probably won’t help much to reduce the pain.

There are plenty of other gout home remedies that gout sufferers have found to be helpful for both preventing and controlling gout attacks. However, it is important to check with your doctor before taking any home remedies to ensure they won’t react to any medications that you may already be taking.

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Is Prescription Medication For Acid Reflux The Answer?

Posted in Health & Fitness on December 1st, 2007

For many acid reflux sufferers a visit to the doctors results in a prescription medication for acid reflux to treat the symptoms, however little is usually offered in the way of preventing or treating the underlying cause of why acid reflux developed in the first place.

Acid reflux medication can be very effective in dealing with symptoms however, it is usually only prescribed in short course of 4 –8 weeks. Unless the cause of the acid reflux is addressed it’s likely that there will be many more trips to the doctor in the future for a repeat prescription. Is this something you want to have to do over and over again as you go through life?

There are many people who have an aversion to taking any type of medication. Some won’t bother with a painkiller when they have a headache, and would rather let it go away on its own. Others fear what medications can do to their bodies in the long run and rarely think it is a good idea to take anything. For others, cost is an issue – repeat prescriptions can start to get rather costly. If the thought of being reliant on medication to control your acid reflux concerns you then you’ll have to find an alternative way of dealing with the issue.

If you really want to avoid taking prescription medication for acid reflux, making some simple lifestyle changes can successfully address the underlying cause of your condition. You may find it beneficial to take medication to get your reflux under control initially, especially if there is damage to the delicate esophagus lining, but implementing lifestyle changes at the same time means that you’re targeting the cause immediately.

If you are overweight, you should try to lose the excess weight. The extra weight can weigh heavily on your stomach and esophagus, especially when lying down. This can place excess pressure on the muscle at the top of the stomach (lower esophageal sphincter) that holds your stomach contents in, leaving it weakened and unable to close properly.

Plus, if you’re a smoker, you should aim to stop or at the very least cut down significantly as smoking also acts to weaken the lower esophageal sphincter muscle.

Diet also plays an important role when controlling acid reflux symptoms naturally. There are a number of common trigger foods that can bring on symptoms in most acid reflux sufferers including:
Fatty or fried foods
Spicy or rich foods
Fatty red meats
Tomatoes and tomato based sauces
Onion and garlic

When and how much you eat can also have an impact on your acid reflux symptoms and can be just as important as what you eat. Rather than having 3 large meals a day aim for 5 – 6 smaller meals and don’t rush your food. By eating smaller meals more frequently and chewing food thoroughly, you reduce the risk of developing acid reflux symptoms.

Eating your evening meal earlier can also help you avoid acid reflux or heartburn symptoms when you get into bed at night. Try to eat at least 3 hours before you go to bed to allow your food time to digest and leave your stomach.

Sleeping with the upper part of your torso elevated allows gravity to do its job and keep acid in your stomach where it belongs. Try this by either propping up your bed head with some bricks (making sure it’s sturdy) or through pillows – either purpose bought acid reflux pillows or by stacking ordinary pillows. Sleeping on your left-hand side can also help to reduce the risk of nighttime acid reflux.

These simple lifestyle steps can help you keep acid reflux at bay, however it’s important never to stop taking prescription medication for acid reflux without first consulting your physician.

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What May Surprise You About Some Foods High In Uric Acid

Posted in Health & Fitness on November 17th, 2007

One of the first warnings you may get from your doctor when diagnosed with gout is to watch out for foods high in uric acid producing properties known as purines. Purines, when metabolized, lead to the development of uric acid. When excess levels of uric acid are reached it can result in the formation of uric acid crystals in the joints. As you know this can make your condition worse and multiple the number of attacks you have to suffer through. Some doctors may provide you with a list of common gout trigger foods that can exacerbate your condition. While following the list recommendations should offer relief, there are new thoughts about the different types of foods that are known to be higher in purines. Some foods high in purines that previously where on the ‘do not eat’ list are now considered safe additions to your diet.

The foods high in purine that should still be avoided are those that fall into the meat category. But even here there are degrees of avoidance. The most important meats to avoid due to their likelihood of triggering a gout attack are any type of organ tissue. Seafood is also best avoided, especially shellfish. Red meat, game and fatty meat are also best avoided but a small amount infrequently maybe okay. Remember, purines are only part of the total equation when it comes to experiencing or controlling a gout flare-up.

There are many foods high in purines that were once thought to be as bad as organ meats, red meats, and seafood, but following recent research are now considered to form an acceptable part of a gout sufferers diet.

In 2004, the New England Journal Of Medicine released findings stating that vegetables which are high in purines do not have the same effect as the meats and seafood that gout sufferers are advised to avoid. The same report found that low fat diary products are beneficial to those who suffer from gout, and may offer a measure of relief in the long run.

During studies that measured the effects of foods high in purines, many vegetables with higher levels of purines did not bring on gout attacks, as they were not processed in the same way by the body as meats and seafood. The studies also confirmed that meats, organ meats, and especially seafood were most likely the common culprits for raising uric acid levels with the body, and may directly increase a gout sufferers risk of experiencing a gout attack. Diets low in dairy products were also seen to increase the risk of suffering from a gout attack.

As a result, the food recommendations for gout sufferers have been revised. It is still recommended that patients with gout, or who are prone to gout due to family history and other issues, maintain a low consumption of red meats, yeast breads, seafood, alcohol, and organ meats. These foods are all still potent foods high in purine that lead to increased uric acid levels. However, many of the high purine vegetables like peas, spinach, and mushrooms that were once on the list of foods to avoid are now items that gout sufferers can reintroduce to their diet without much concern about the affect they will have on uric acid levels. Dairy and these vegetables may in fact aid a gout sufferer in their quest for better health.

Grab your free copy of Lisa McDowell’s brand new Gout Newsletter - Overflowing with easy to implement methods to help you find out about gout symptom and for information on gout home treatment please visit Cure Gout Now.