Category Archives: Alternative Health

Manage Chronic Pain in 5 Natural Ways

It’s likely that you, or someone you see every day, is fighting to manage chronic pain, a condition that affects 100 million Americans. This is more than the numbers dealing with heart disease, diabetes and cancer combined. Chronic pain is considered any pain that lasts longer than three months, and it can cause changes in your nervous system that get worse over time. Relief seems like an impossible goal. Many rely on strong pain medication to manage their problem, though this has the risk of dependency and accidental overdose.

If you’re dealing with chronic pain and looking for a more natural way to manage it, try one of these practices and see if your pain doesn’t get better.

1. Massage

It sounds like expensive pampering, but massage is a treatment option that’s backed by research showing how effective it is in treating chronic pain in many parts of the body, including the lower back and shoulders. Painful knots or trigger points are often the reason for this pain. Because those with chronic pain are super sensitive to touch, a massage therapist (no matter what technique used) needs to take care not to over stimulate the area of pain. A skilled practitioner with experience working with trigger points and chronic pain will know where to put their hands to ease out the knots, without making things worse.

2. Acupuncture

Another costly treatment, this option often makes people cringe at the thought of being stuck with needles, but they are sterile, hair thin so you feel little if anything when they’re inserted. Acupuncture has been used safely for centuries to treat chronic pain and other conditions. Its gained wider acceptance in the U.S. with studies showing that it can successfully reduce levels of discomfort that are part of life when dealing with chronic pain. It can be very effective for those who can’t tolerate medication or who don’t want to take it.

You should be sure that the source of your pain is not a ligament tear, break in a bone or another structural issue before you consider acupuncture. Usually 6 treatments are needed before you can tell if your pain is getting better.

3. Proper Workouts

If a particular exercise ups the intensity of your pain, then you’re not ready for that yet. It can help to gradually add strengthening exercise to your routine, however they can hurt you more if you start them before you have your pain under control. When you do an exercise you increase muscle tension and this can make soft tissue pain worse. Experts suggest you start with stretching exercises that are research proven to help chronic pain related to the lower back. Yoga can also be helpful, but you need to talk with the instructor to change poses as needed. Being in tune with your body, so you know what makes pain worse, is super critical here.

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Manage Chronic Pain in 5 Natural Ways Continued…

4. Stress Management

Studies show a link between sustained stress and chronic pain. When stress is pushed inward, this can bring on muscle tension. You need an outlet that’s safe and healthy to release that excess energy. There are lots of choices in terms of stress management (deep breathing, mindfulness meditation, guided imagery), so you’ll need to do a bit of research to find what feels right for you.

5. Sleep

Research finds that skipping sleep may exacerbate your pain, so getting the good, quality rest you need is very important for keeping chronic pain in check. Sleep is one of the best medicines in terms of pain, just as Mom used to say. It can help to set up a pre sleep routine that helps you wind down and sends a signal to the body that sleep is soon to come. Chamomile, mint and passionflower teas are very calming. If you wake during the night, try to avoid walking about, putting on lights or checking your devices; relax quietly and rest instead.

To your good health,

5 Ways To Identify Alternative Medicine From Quackery

These days alternative medicine has become mainstream. People who never would have considered something “holistic” before are more open to the idea, even if they don’t follow the therapy. Many hospitals have dietary supplements on their list of stocked medications, make reiki masters available to cancer patients or teach medical students how to manipulate healing energies.

In fact, 42% of hospitals make some form of alternative therapy available to patients. This comes from a survey conducted in 2010 that included 5,800 facilities, and when asked why, the hospitals replied “patient demand”. Private practitioners suggest megavitamins, dietary supplements, acupuncture, chiropractic, homeopathy and naturopathy. It’s true that there is value to these treatments, but there are also times when a line is crossed… when unsubstantiated promises are made and unattainable goals promoted.

Here are five sure signs that the therapy you’re considering might be quackery.

1. You’re offered medicines that don’t work in place of drugs that have proven useful to many other patients with your condition. Anyone who has nothing but negative things to say about prescription drugs or traditional medicine is too one sided, skilled professionals in alternative medicine want you to take advantage of all forms of treatment. A heartbreaking example of this is Steve Jobs who didn’t have the traditional (surgery) treatment, that has a 95% cure rate, choosing acupuncture, herbal remedies and bowel cleansings, and dying as a result of his illness.

2. You hear nothing about the dangers or side effects of a therapy. We often think of alternative medicine as more natural and therefore less dangerous than the traditional kind. But a medication is a medication and any drug/therapy that has a positive effect can also have a negative effect. The example here is the deaths of 86 people who have died when acupuncture needles have lodged in the wrong place or been the mode of transmission for a virus. Chiropractic manipulations have killed at least 26, all by ripping the vertebral artery that’s located in the neck. Supplements can cause trouble too, and what’s worse, aren’t regulated by the Food and Drug Administration.

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5 Ways To Identify Alternative Medicine From Quackery Continued…

3. The therapist is making money; you’re not getting better. Parents of children
with autism, or patients with chronic Lyme disease or cancer often are victims
of questionable treatments like ion exchange machines, lymphatic drainage massage,
electrical or magnetic stimulation, oxygen chambers, intravenous immunoglobulins
and stem cell transplants. What they all share is the cost, and the chance of
really working… which is zero.

4. The therapy promotes “magical thinking” and appeals to our sense of magic, but in truth has no evidence that backs it. Any therapy that claims healing can “only” come from that one therapy should sound a warning. A treatment that ground breaking would make news and be used by everyone if it worked as well as the seller claims.

5. The therapy needs to be held to the same high standards of safety and effectiveness as a traditional treatment. If research hasn’t been done, don’t offer your body as the subject of study without being very sure of what you’re signing up for, and the risks to you.

Those who have a serious disease will do better to look at approaches that make the best of both, traditional and alternative treatments, to manage their condition. Staying informed and asking questions of your healthcare team are also important parts of treating, and surviving, any disease.

To your good health,

Surprising Ways To Keep The Heart Healthy

Attitude may be more important than we ever thought when it comes to finding ways to keep the heart healthy. A new review published by the Harvard School of Public Health and appearing in the American Psychological Association’s Psychological Bulletin finds that those with a more upbeat, optimistic outlook appear to have a lower risk for both diseases of the heart and vascular system. In fact, among subjects who had known risk factors for heart disease, those who were the most upbeat were less likely than their least-optimistic counterparts to have a stroke or heart attack.

The analysis includes over 200 studies published in two of the leading scientific databases, making it the largest ever to look at the impact of a positive attitude on the risk of either heart attack of devastating stroke.

Truth is, there’s been lots of research examining how the negative emotions (depression, anger, anxiety, hostility) might impact the health of the heart. But not so much work on the flip side – how a state of psychological well-being – might impact the risk of these same dangerous health conditions.

In fact, the negative impact of depression on both heart attack and risk for stroke is well known. Cardiologists understand how important it is to treat depression in those who have heart disease. More than one study has found that once a patient has a heart attack or stroke, the prognosis is a lot bleaker if they are also suffering from an untreated depression.

The American Heart Association tells us that 2,200 Americans lose their lives to heart disease every single day. On top of this, strokes account for almost one of every 18 deaths in the U.S.

Harvard researcher Julia K. Boehm, Ph.D. along with Harvard associate professor Laura D. Kubzansky, Ph.D. sought to understand how psychological well-being and cardiovascular disease might be related. They saw that happiness and an optimistic outlook, satisfaction with life and contentment tended to predict better future health.

Upbeat subjects were also more likely to report having a healthier lifestyle – exercising more, eating better, getting the right amount of sleep – and this might be the reason behind their more favorable outcome.

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Do Happier, More Optimistic People Have Healthier Hearts..? Continued…

The more optimistic subjects were also less likely to have risks, things like high blood pressure, high cholesterol numbers or carrying enough weight to be considered overweight/obese, than those who had a more negative outlook on life.

What’s more, an optimistic outlook brought benefits even after accounting for factors like age, socioeconomic and smoking status… even body weight. The more optimistic subjects had just about a 50% lower risk of that initial heart event compared to the less upbeat peers.

The good news is that a change in attitude can be learned, even for those who aren’t hardwired as upbeat by nature. A lot of it comes from how you talk to yourself. Before you look anywhere else, listen to your own thoughts… to what you say to yourself. How often have you decided you’ll have bad luck before you do? How often have your ridiculed your own imagined shortcomings before anyone else could?

If future work supports these findings on ways to keep the heart healthy, treatment for those with heart disease might also focus on bolstering psychological strengths.

Health Benefits Of Capsaicin

Like spicy foods… then you’ll love this new report on the health benefits of capsaicin. The same compound that gives cayennes, jalapenos, habaneros and other chili peppers their full, zesty flavor may also be supplying some heart healthy benefits as well, according to new research just presented at the national meeting of the American Chemical Society. Capsaicin has long held an acknowledged role in the treatment of pain, and thanks to the current study, science knows more about how this substance works to help the heart stay healthy.

Science has been looking at capsaicin’s benefits, and you probably recognize the name as a treatment for the pain associated with arthritis, as well as neuropathy pain or the itch of psoriasis. Capsaicin works by encouraging the body to make endorphins that reduce our perception of pain.

The team from the Chinese University of Hong Kong examined how capsaicinoids (the technical name for capsaicin and compounds like it) work on the blood vessels of hamsters. The team fed the subject hamsters diets that were high in cholesterol (sound familiar?) and spiced the foods for some groups of animals with different levels of capsaicinoids.

The hamsters that were fed any level of capsaicinoids had lower cholesterol levels, especially when it came to LDL (bad) cholesterol. What’s more, they had less plaque in their arteries compared to the group of hamsters that did not receive capsaicinoids. In fact, the substances were shown to be beneficial in improving a whole range of factors that are known to be related to heart and blood vessel health.

Zhen-Yu Chen, Ph.D., a professor of food and nutritional science, study author and presenter hopes that the outcome of the research adds to the understanding of how spicy foods might work to make our hearts healthier.

The take home message is that spicy foods like these can be a nice supplement for those who enjoy the flavor anyway. Something that tastes good, and is good for you.

There has also been research suggesting capsaicin might be helpful in protecting against prostate cancer, that it might be able to kill off the cells. At least that’s how it worked in test tubes, where researchers found a relationship between capsaicin and increased cell death. There is also work that finds those who eat a lot of chili peppers have less prostate cancer. It may be that the natural carotenoids and flavonoids in these foods that are known to scavenge free radicals in the system, are the reason for less prostate cancer. No one can say for now, nor does it mean that hot peppers cure this form of cancer.

And then there’s this…

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This Spicy Compound Might Help Your Heart… Continued…

Spicy foods can improve metabolism. Research published in 2011 from the Journal of Nutrition found that foods flavored with turmeric, paprika, cinnamon, rosemary, oregano and garlic powder brought down both triglyceride levels and insulin after a 1,200 calorie meal eaten by overweight but otherwise healthy men. It may be that the antioxidants naturally a part of the spices help fight oxidative stress, and thus the risk of chronic conditions. The amount of spice used in the study was one, large dose, 14 g, the antioxidant equal of five ounces of red wine or a 1.4 ounce serving of dark, delicious chocolate.

So, if you like the burn of these foods, enjoy them in moderation, as part of your overall healthy eating plan.

And yet, a caution. Take the heat warnings about spicy foods seriously. Pure capsaicin extract is rated at over 15 million Scoville units (a measure of capsaicin present) and should be used in moderation, and only as directed by a physician. Be sure to follow the instructions on the label, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water after applying so you don’t risk getting any in your eyes. It may take up to two weeks before the health benefits of capsaicin on pain begin to be noticed.

Using Your Diet For Skin Health

That rosy, glowing, healthy complexion we all want may have nothing to do with the beauty products you use and much to do with the fruits and veggies you eat as part of your regular diet says a new study. According to researchers, within a six week period, the fluctuations in consumption of fruits and vegetables was associated with an observable change in skin color. Not only did using your diet for skin health result in it looking healthier at the end of the study, it was judged to be more attractive too.

Doctors know that the look of your skin is a reflection of your overall health. If your skin is healthier, it works better and helps the rest of your body stay healthier too. If you’re healthy on the inside, your skin will be healthier looking as well.

Fruits and veggies are naturally full of good for you plant compounds that keep skin healthy, strong and offer protection for the damage that can come from the sun.

For the study, Whitehead and his team examined the fruits and vegetable eating of 35 subjects over a six week time period. They saw that the redness and yellowness in the skin went up with just two added servings of fruits and veggies likely because of the carotenoids (red/yellow pigments) in these foods being distributed to the surface of the skin.

The carotenoids examined in the study were beta-carotene and lycopene, well known and rather potent disease fighters. Good sources of beta-carotene are carrots, yams, spinach, pumpkins, peaches and apricots. Lycopene is in apricots as well as watermelon, tomatoes and pink grapefruit.

Based on the study findings, about three servings of fruits and veggies a day over a six-week time frame is enough to bring perceptible improvements in the healthy and attractive look of the skin. That golden glow that people notice. Interesting that those who did not eat enough fruits and veggies looked paler, less healthy.

The researchers were not only surprised that even small improvements in fruit and veggie intake brought visible benefits to the skin, the results came more quickly than anyone expected.

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Study: Fruits And Veggies Also Work As Beauty Aids… Continued…

It would seem that the expression “You are what you eat” holds more than a grain of truth. There are studies that show a diet full of high antioxidant foods (nuts, olive oil, less red meat and dairy, more fruits and veggies) helps skin resist aging and may protect against dangerous, disfiguring skin cancer. Experts believe that only 25% to 30% of Americans eat the recommended amounts of fruits and veggies each day, though efforts to increase this consumption haven’t been all that successful.

When it comes to eating these good for your foods, look for a rainbow of colors as each has a unique benefit. Also, go for the whole fruit (including skin and pulp) instead of juice. The whole food offers you lots more in terms of benefits than the processed juice does.

The team of researchers are currently running trials in Scotland to see if being shown the potential appearance gains on your own face are motivating enough for people to change their diet for skin health. The findings are encouraging, though more work is needed, as all of the study subjects were white, so experts need to see if these results would hold for different populations.

Links Between Sunshine And Health

There are lots of statistics on stroke, but here’s one that will get your attention – every 40 seconds someone in the U.S. has a stroke. A pair of studies on sunshine and health presented at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference 2012 offer some fascinating insights into the risk of stroke. More than half of those who have a stroke are able to recover and live as they did before, the remainder are left unable to take care of themselves, making stroke a leading cause of serious, lasting disability.

The first study presented examines the link between sunlight and stroke, and was conducted by Leslie McClure, PhD, of the University of Alabama who had seen work showing a strong link between cognitive impairment and stroke and wondered about the impact of sunlight on stroke.

While we’ve come to believe sunlight is bad for us because of skin cancer risk, sunlight may also offer some positive benefits.

The University of Alabama study included over 16,000 adults already taking part in a long-term research project examining racial and geographical differences in risk of stroke.

The subjects completed detailed questionnaires on where they’d lived during their lifetime as well as undergoing physical exams and had no history of stroke or heart disease.

Participants were contacted once every six months to check on their health, and over the 5-year study, 351 of them had a stroke.

Next the data was analyzed by a bit of software developed by NASA that accounts for clouds, smog and other things to figure out the sunlight exposure at a particular longitude and latitude. In short, the software calculated how much monthly sun exposure study participants had based on where they lived.

When all the data was analyzed, and other factors that can affect stroke risk also accounted for, the greater the sun exposure had been, the lower risk of stroke. And those who lived in locations with less than average sun exposure had a 60% higher risk of stroke.

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Intriguing Information On Sunshine And A Lower Stroke Risk… Continued…

McClure is making an observation, and can’t be sure about the reason for the relationship. But she points out, we do know that exposure to the sun is our most natural way to get helpful vitamin D. The “sunshine” vitamin has been associated in other studies with heart and blood vessel health – but there’s no evidence that vitamin D (natural or in supplement form) prevents strokes or heart attacks.

A second study, led by Suzanne Judd, PhD, also from the University of Alabama, found a link between vitamin D and the brain. Over 30,000 subjects were broken into three groups based on their vitamin D (diet and supplements) intake.

Those who had the highest intakes were 13% less likely to have a stroke, 25% less likely to suffer cognitive impairment than those who had the lowest intakes. Here too, the team accounted for other risk factors when examining the data, but still found that eating plenty of vitamin D rich salmon, tuna, eggs and fortified foods may offer protection against stroke and memory loss.

While both studies on sunshine and health were presented at a medical conference and should be considered preliminary until further review, they do suggest that more attention and investigation be put into what connection exists between sunlight, vitamin D and stroke.

Lower Blood Pressure With Food By Eating Purple Potatoes

Here’s an unexpected suggestion to lower blood pressure with food… two servings of purple potatoes a day.

When subjects in recent research conducted by Joe Vinson, a chemistry professor at the University of Scranton included two servings of these regal, richly colored potatoes in their diet for a month, they not only brought down their blood pressure, but they didn’t gain any weight. The research appears online in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

In fact, the royally colored spud has many of the same beneficial plant pigments as purple fruits do – rich in antioxidants like anthocyanins, carotenoids and phenolic acids that may bring down chronic inflammation associated with both stroke and heart disease. These potatoes also have high levels of chlorogenic acid, a substance that animal research has shown to bring down high blood pressure.

For the research, the team kept track of 18 middle aged adults, half asked to eat the skin and flesh of 6-8 small Purple Majesty potatoes at both the midday and evening meals for four weeks; the other half didn’t eat the veggie.

During the second four-week period, the groups switched – purple potato eaters not eating them, and the non-eaters adding them to both mid-day and evening meals.

The potatoes were microwaved and eaten with their skin on.

Those who ate the purple potatoes had a drop, on average, of just over 3% in systolic (top number, while the heat beats) and just about 4% in diastolic pressure (bottom number, while the heart rests).

A total of 14 of the participants in the study were diagnosed with high blood pressure, and continued to take medication for it during the research. The good news is that even a small drop in a blood pressure reading can reduce the odds of dangerous heart disease.

And though the subjects eating potatoes did take in more calories, their weight didn’t go up. This is good news considering several of the study participants were obese or overweight.

White potatoes are a popular vegetable, with the average American eating the equal of one medium sized potato per day. These veggies are a great source of potassium and vitamin C, and eating the skin gives you more fiber as well. The fat and calorie content goes up when you take this veggie and mash it, fry it or serve it au gratin or topped with lots of sour cream and butter… as you might expect.

Experts don’t know if the white variety of potatoes, with fewer plant pigments and antioxidants, would do the same for blood pressure as the less popular purple variety does. More work will be needed; still Vinson feels that this is some evidence that purple potatoes may bring some benefit.

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These Purple Vegetables May Lower Your Blood Pressure… Continued…

Estimates from the American Heart Association have one in three U.S. adults with high blood pressure, many undiagnosed. Normal blood pressure is any reading below 120/80. Readings between 120/80 and 139/89 are considered pre hypertension, and a reading of 140/90 or over puts you in the high blood pressure category.

Since high blood pressure has no outward symptoms, damage to your body can be happening without you even knowing, or feeling, a thing. Your first step therefore, if you don’t know your reading, is to find out.

If your numbers are higher than they should be, you run an increased risk not only for heart disease, but kidney disease, hardening of the arteries, damage to your eyes and debilitating stroke. Getting treatment right away, and making the lifestyle choices (eating a balanced diet to lower blood pressure with food and exercise) necessary to keep your body healthy are the best ways to ensure you don’t suffer any of these unwelcome complications. Purple potatoes are optional.

Gain Health Benefits From Green Tea

Good news for green tea drinkers! A Japanese study involving thousands of subjects has found that regular drinkers gain health benefits from green tea, appearing to show less age related disability than those who don’t enjoy the beverage. The work, appearing in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, examined the question – do green tea drinkers have a reduced risk of becoming frail and disabled as the years pass?

Researcher Yasutake Tomata from Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine and his team studied nearly 14,000 Japanese adults, all 65 or older, and followed them for a period of three years. Information on green tea consumption as well as other lifestyle factors was collected using a questionnaire.

Researchers found that those who drank the most green tea were the least likely to be identified with “functional disability” – problems with completing daily activities or basic functions like bathing or getting dressed.

Almost 13% of the adults who drank less than a cup of green tea a day became functionally disabled – compared to about 7% who drank at least five cups of green tea each day. Of course the study isn’t proof that green tea on its own keeps adults spry and able as they get older.

Green tea drinkers also had healthier diets (more fish veggies and fruit), as well as higher levels of education, lower rates of smoking, fewer strokes and heart attacks as well as better mental sharpness. They were also more socially active and thus had more family and friends as support systems in their lives.

Even after all other risk factors for disability were accounted for; green tea was still associated with a lower risk of age related disability. Subjects who had at least 5 cups a day were a third less likely to have disabilities than those who took in less than a cup a day. Those who drank 3 to 4 cups of green tea a day had a 25% lower risk of age related disability.

The Chinese have known about the medicinal benefits of green tea for thousands of years. Experts now know that green tea has powerful antioxidants (particularly epigallocatechin gallate, or EGCG for short) that help to hold off cell damage that can lead to disease.

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Green Tea Drinkers More Agile And Independent As They Age… Continued…

The delicious tasting drink has been studied by experts for its affect on cholesterol numbers and the risks of certain cancers, but thus far, results on green tea’s effectiveness have been mixed. And while the researchers on this study cannot explain how green tea might offer a buffer against disability, they do cite a recent study that found green tea extracts appeared to build leg muscle strength in older women.

And unlike the black and oolong tea varieties, green tea leaves are steamed, not fermented, which keeps the EGCG from being oxidized and turned into compounds that aren’t nearly as effective.

Small amounts of green tea, and its extracts, are considered safe for most people, though they do have caffeine and a small amount of vitamin K. This means that the beverage could interfere with medications that keep blood from clotting. Talk with your own doctor before adding this beverage to your diet – once you get the okay you can enjoy the health benefits from green tea by drinking it hot, warm, iced or mixed with other drinks.

Using Acupuncture For Migraine

Migraine sufferers will do anything to be free of the pulsing, throbbing pain of these debilitating headaches. Three times as common in women than men, sufferers can often tell when they’re about to get a migraine because of warning symptoms just before the headache starts. A new study that appears in the Canadian Medical Association Journal finds that using acupuncture for migraine helps reduce the number of days patients suffer, and might have longer effects on the body.

In the research, just about 500 adults were treated with either a sham treatment meant to mimic real acupuncture, or authentic traditional Chinese acupuncture. The subjects didn’t know which treatment they were getting during the study that lasted four weeks.

At the end of the trial, all participants reported fewer days with migraines than before the research started. They went from an average of six days of migraines to three days, on average, of migraines per month.

In the month after the treatment, all participants also reported that their headaches were less intense and less frequent than they had been.

However, truly lasting effects were only seen in study participants who had received the traditional acupuncture, not the sham treatment. Three months later, these individuals were still reporting a reduction in the number of days with migraine, as well as improvements in intensity and frequency. Those who got the sham treatment reported none of these things.

And though the current study only found a marginal benefit of real acupuncture over a sham procedure, researcher Claudia Witt, MD of Berlin’s University Medical Center Charite says that earlier study has found that those who respond best to acupuncture are those who haven’t been helped by other things, and those who’ve had past positive experiences with the treatment.

Acupuncture is one of the world’s oldest healing practices, seeking to restore and maintain health by stimulating specific points on the body to maintain a balance of body energies. Today acupuncture is widely practiced in the U.S. with an estimated 3.1 million U.S. adults (150,000 children) using the alternative treatment in the past year.

The U.S. FDA regulates acupuncture needles, requiring that they be manufactured and labeled according to specific standards. They must be sterile, nontoxic and used one time by qualified practitioners only.

Another study of 300 patients found that acupuncture is more effective than no acupuncture in treating migraine. Another study on migraine and acupuncture involved 800 subjects and found that 11 treatments over 6 weeks were at least as effective as the blood pressure drugs (beta blockers) used to prevent migraine.

Continues below…


*Highly Recommended*

Announcing: Doctor Approved Store Cupboard Remedies that Really Work…

Do you buy over the counter drugs?

Stop right now and don’t waste any more money.

Did you know that you can easily treat illness without side effects, using only natural herbs, vitamins and nutrients?

Charles Silverman N.D. Certified Naturopathic and Herbalist Doctor has taken his 18 years research and experience and condensed it into a home remedy encyclopeida of the most powerful, and more importantly proven, home remedies.

You can eliminate the Flu virus, boost your immune system, and recover faster from colds using these doctor-approved home remedies…

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Acupuncture An Effective Treatment For Migraines..? Continued…

Acupuncture could well be an option for treatment of migraine that can work with other non-drug therapies to reduce the painful headaches. Experts from the National Headache Foundation believe that a patient needs a fair trial on both preventive and rescue medications before giving acupuncture a try.

Most experts believe that results from using acupuncture for migraine treatment will be very individualized. If you have headaches that you think might be migraines, talk with your doctor, a careful exam and discussion of your symptoms and family history, along with an MIRI or CT scan to rule out other conditions will give you a good idea. There is no definitive test for migraine, and no specific cure.

The goal is to keep migraines from happening by staying away from your own triggers. Keeping a headache diary can help you identify symptoms that appear before your headache… so you can see if patterns exist. It’s also best to treat migraine symptoms right away… before the pain gets ahead of you.

New Diet Prevents Symptoms Of IBS

Important news for people suffering symptoms of IBS. Australian researchers have found that a low FODMAP diet might help to ease symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), though it may not work for everyone.

A FODMAP diet eating plan is very low in some natural sugars so it’s tough to stick with, but if you do manage to restrict foods like rye, wheat, white breasts and pasta, apples, watermelon, ice cream and honey, you may well see a reduction in your bloating, gas, abdominal pain and other disruptive, uncomfortable symptoms.

IBS affects almost 55 million, mostly female, Americans and brings symptom like cramping, bloating and stomach distension, stomach pain, excess gas, nausea, diarrhea, constipation and fatigue. No one knows what causes IBS, but stress and some foods/drinks are known to make symptoms worse. The good news is that while IBS makes you feel awful, it does not do permanent harm, or lead to more serious disease.

Most patients can control symptoms reasonably well with a combination of eating right, stress management and taking prescribed medications as directed. But for some, IBS can be disabling, keeping them from work, social events or travel.

A number of studies, though small, have shown benefits to the FODMAP eating plan according to Peter Gibson, MD a professor of gastroenterology at Australia’s Monash University.

In a study published earlier this year, more than 80% of the 43 subjects who followed a low FODMAP diet did feel less bloating, stomach pain and gas. This compared to only 50% to 60% of those who followed other eating advice. Gibson and the diet developer, Sue Shepherd, PhD who is a Victoria Australia dietitian, spoke about the eating plan at the annual meeting of the American College of Gastroenterology.

Both Gibson and Shepherd believe that many more foods (those with natural FODMAP sugars) can also trigger the IBS symptoms.

So what’s this strangely named eating plan all about?

Continues below…


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Reduce Disabling Symptoms Of IBS With This… Continued…

FODMAP is an abbreviation for food molecules – Fermentable, Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols – all poorly absorbed by patients with IBS. When these foods are eaten they pull extra water into the stomach, bringing on the discomforts of IBS. Gibson believe that it is the sensitivity of the digestive system that may well determine who gets IBS and who doesn’t.

Long-term safety of the FODMAP diet has yet to be established, though it is gaining support in the U.S. healthcare community. Many aren’t sure if it is nutritionally sound enough, though Shepherd says this should not be a problem as long as the restricted foods are replaced with ones that add up to the same nutrition value.

Because the FODMAP diet is complex, you need to have a thorough exam to be sure you don’t have another condition besides IBS. Once you’re sure symptoms of ibs are your problem, you need to find a dietitian trained in low FODMAP eating so that you follow a plan that’s tasty and nutritionally sound as well. Eating this way is a big commitment, for both the patient and their family, but it may well prove to be a very helpful treatment for those whose symptoms are so severe that they interfere with daily activities.