Archive for December, 2007

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:
Alcohol
Chocolate
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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