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Why Probiotics Are Not Merely Digestion Propellant

Probiotics, the beneficial live micro-organisms present as a part of your gut flora are far more helpful than just in the process of digestion. 
Though proper digestion and stomach health are the primary benefits offered by good bacteria, surprisingly they are not the sole reasons for introducing probiotics into the system. 
On the contrary, human beings are greatly profited by their presence when it comes to oral health, skin conditions, metabolic activities and most importantly immunity. 
Here are some of those noticeable benefits brought about by the presence of helpful micro-organisms. Take a look.
Reducing Cholesterol
Researchers state that the overall cholesterol level is reduced in the presence of probiotics. Probiotics are known to break down the bile salts formed by cholesterol thus inhibiting their re- absorption by the gut walls.
Good Oral Health
For healthy teeth and gums, the probiotics prove astonishingly helpful. As bad oral health can lead to severe conditions like diabetes, heart disease and also low birth weight, omitting the cause can ensure a better life. 
Certain probiotics like the Lactobacillus reuteri kills the tooth decay bacteria and also subdues the effects of gingivitis. 
By including the probiotics as a part of your daily diet you can easily omit the risks of tooth loss or perpetually bleeding gums.
Effect on Tonsillitis
Certain probiotic elements like BLIS and K12 are known to have a positive impact on people suffering from tonsillitis and strep throat. 
A measured dose of these bacteria can have a considerable effect on the throat condition thus reducing the recurring episodes of throat disease almost by 90 percent.
Reducing Diarrhea Episodes
Whether due to unhealthy food intake or as a side effect of antibiotics, diarrhea is a horrible experience. However, if you consume probiotics along with the antibiotics served to you, these diarrhea systems have all probability of vanishing within a very short time period.
Female Urinary Tract Condition
One of the primary focuses of the probiotics is used to maintain a healthy urinary tract in females. Females are mostly affected by the presence of spermicides, antibiotics, birth control pills etc due to which the balance between good and bad bacteria is completely disturbed. Introducing probiotics in the form of supplements like Syntol and Floracor or as a part of daily diet can prove quiet effective but only after consulting a doctor.
Eczema
Mothers with skin condition such as eczema run a high risk of passing on the disease to their next generation. However, if the pregnant moms are prescribed to include a regular intake of probiotics either as diet or supplements, chances of the progeny inheriting this disease are slim.
Minimizing the Signs of Colics
The condition when babies cry continuously and is there no apparent way to confirm them is quite a devastating sight for parents. 
This symptom in babies can be reduced if the mother takes in probiotics as a regular part of the diet during the breast feeding period as they cannot be prescribed to infants.
Even if certain reports present otherwise, probiotics though not a miraculous cure for diseases definitely are not harmful. 
Eating certain berries, fruit or fermented stuff cannot exactly bring about some drastic change in your health but it definitely strengthens your body’s immune system gradually.
Charles D Funkel takes great interest in studying the functions of enzymes on the various functions of the body. She believes that Syntol is effective in improving the metabolic functionalities of human body. 
She has several articles online on the effectiveness of Trevinol.
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9 Foods That Reduce Blood Cholesterol Level

Bringing down the amount of fats floating in your blood stream can reduce the blood fibrin level to a great extent thus balancing the blood thickness. 
In cases where the cholesterol is extremely high the immediate step taken to stop the blockage formation is to cut down on fat foods and to start eating fat burning or cholesterol free substances. 
Here are some handy food items available right in your kitchen which you can be included into your daily diet to provide necessary nutrients and cut down on fats and cholesterol.
Oats and Cereals
Let us start with the breakfast choices. Oats and fortified whole grain cereals like bajra, barley, whole wheat serve as the complete breakfast ingredients. They consist of highly soluble fibers which reduces the risks of heart disease.
Beans
Beans are primarily rich in soluble fibers. A diet containing beans as the principal food item is good for reducing the blood fibrin levels. 
The veggie being a versatile food is available in different varieties like black eyed peas, kidney shaped ones, lentils, garbanzos etc. You can prepare them in a variety of ways to suit your tastes.
Eggplant and Okra
These two vegetables are extremely low in calorie and therefore preferable for patients with cardiac blockages.
Citrus Fruits
Besides supplying the body with vitamin C, apples, grapes, strawberries, oranges and pineapples are rich in pectin, a kind of soluble fiber that lowers the level of blood cholesterol. 
Add strawberries, oranges and apples to your breakfast in order to give yourself a wholesome breakfast.
Nuts
Since nuts like peanuts, walnuts, almonds are rich in omega 3 fatty acids they prove as a wonderful dietary intake for patients with chronic high cholesterol levels. 
Consumption of these nuts reduces the LDL level to considerable extent. Moreover, the additional nutrients present in the nuts nourish the heart to become healthier and discard the cholesterol and insoluble fiber protein blockages.
Fatty Fish
Fatty fish rich in omega 3 fatty acids is a smart replacement for meat. It reduces the level of triglycerides present in the blood stream. Thus it protects the heart and prevents it from going into unnatural spasms.
Soy
Food like soybeans, soy milk and tofu are moderately powerful in reducing the high LDL levels. 10 ounces of soy milk can reduce about 5 to 6 percent of cholesterol levels.
Garlic
Besides anti inflammatory properties, garlic reduces the blood fibrin levels quite noticeable. It also helps reduce the joint pain. 
A regular consumption of garlic either as part of other food recipes like stews and curries, taking crushed garlic with a glass of water every morning helps a lot in reducing the blood fibrin levels.
Fibrin reducing supplement
Food supplements like Trevinol containing enzymes like Nattokinase should be introduced into the diet in order to clear the blockages in blood vessels for long term. 
This enzyme is suggested to be taken in the form of supplements since it is a fermented compound with a dirty sock smell which is difficult to consume directly. 
Uses of these supplements provide a permanent solution to blockages and accumulation of fibrin. However, they need to be used under a prescription from a registered physician.
Charles D Funkel takes great interest in studying the functions of enzymes on the various functions of the body. She believes that Syntol is effective in improving the metabolic functionalities of human body. 
She has several articles online on the effectiveness of Trevinol.
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Start Here: 1 Tip for Health

Start paying attention.
It doesn’t have to be any more complicated than that.
It’s that easy. Whatever lifestyle or diet plan you follow, start paying attention to what you eat.
Think about how you look, feel, and perform. Not just immediately after but for the next few days. Think about the times you’ve gotten a lot of work done while feeling great. 
Next, think about the times where you’ve felt slow and sluggish. Chances are what you’ve just eaten has played a big role in how your feeling. Remember that nutrition plays a large role in mood and figure out what works the best for you.
The simple act of paying attention to what you eat makes you care more about it.
When you start caring, you start doing. You’re here because you care about health and reaching your maximum potential. For people who start to pay attention and care, change can happen.
Next, take the smallest action that has a meaningful outcome to achieve your goals. You only have to start paying attention to that one thing. 
It doesn’t matter whether that means reading labels, writing stuff down, mindfully eating, or anything else.
Start as small as possible.
You have my permission to ignore everything else (for now).
Do you already pay attention to what you eat? Want some easy next steps. Check out these tips for optimal performance.
Drink enough fluids – Feeling thirsty? Dehydration diminishes physical and cognitive performance in a number of ways. 
Just 2% dehydration impairs performance in tasks requiring attention, memory, and psychomotor skills. By maintaining adequate hydration you perform at your best.
Correct nutrient deficiencies – Micronutrient deficiencies are associated with a vast array of symptoms from depressed mood to degenerative and age-associated diseases. Without the right building blocks our bodies don’t function efficiently or correctly.
Balance gut bacteria – Many people have poor gut health with lots bad and not very many good bacteria. Eating highly processed foods wrecks havoc on your digestive system. 
Take some pre/probiotics and eat fermented foods. Your gut brain influences your mood and cognitive performance so take care of it.
Dump highly processed foods – Read the label of everything you buy. If you don’t recognize or can’t pronounce the names of the ingredients they are probably not that good for you. 
Shop on the outer section of the grocery store buying fresh or frozen natural earth grown nutrients, not the pre-made boxed junk.
Do you know someone who this would help? Share it!
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Don’t Take This Vitamin: A Load of Hogwash

Actually, if you ate properly, you won’t need any!
But who has the time, energy or resources to get the perfect food, just like they are supposed to be?
First, food isn’t what it was a hundred years ago. Factory farming and unsustainable practices have led to our soils being depleted of natural vitamins and minerals. 
Soil wasn’t meant to grow the same thing over and over again for decades with only a chemical fertilizer. You can only take so much out of the soil before it dies.
And it is dying. Much of the great plains are so depleted of nutrients, crop yields are dwindling and farmers, who have had generations on the same land, are going broke. 
Crops just aren’t growing as tall, strong or healthy. Sometimes, there isn’t enough nutrient to grow at all.
That means the food has the bare minimum require to live. The bare minimum means smaller fruits, stringier flesh and less taste. It means we can’t get the nutrients out of our foods we used to.
Smaller farms are doing better. They know, and have always known, you do not grow the same stuff over and over again. 
You need to let the soil rest every couple of years. That’s why small farms are still producing healthy, vibrant crops packed with nutrients.
That’s why you should be shopping at the farmer’s markets for all your vegetables and fruits. It’s fresh, tasty and cheaper.
If you get the stuff in the grocery stores, it is already several days to several weeks old. It may have been frozen, gassed or even irradiated to keep it looking perfect. 
Looks are what matters in the grocery store, not taste, health or viability. Plus they charge more because they have to pay the middle man.
This is all if you are eating lots of fruits and vegetables. When you add meats, you should have the same ideas in mind: shop local.
Local farms, with small amounts of animals, can allow their animals to live a low-stress, free lifestyle where they eat lots of natural grasses and weeds and wander around getting exercise. The meat is healthier, richer, and actually tastes like meat.
The grocery stores carries the cheapest, most uniform meats. It comes from factory farms. These warehouses are often cited for inhumane treatment of animals and unhygienic processes. The animals are force fed, loaded with medications and growth hormones and produce a tasteless, unhealthy meat. But it’s cheap.
Pound for pound, you get better quality, nutrition and taste from a small, local operation. Dollar for dollar, you get more satisfaction and quality. 
Yes, it does cost more to buy local, from a butcher, but you save because you are healthier and need less to be happy and satisfied.
Have you ever added up what it costs to buy pre-packaged foods? Many have and found the 10 minutes of extra work to make it yourself saves average of $3 per serving. That can be $12 per meal for a family of 4. That can be $100 per week!
What you pay extra for is the cardboard, plastic and water. And the middleman. And the chemical preservatives.
Every single time, you will find making it yourself and buying local will save you money and give you health. As a perfect example, I feed myself, my husband and a 13-year-old boy on $60 per week! Only half is spent at the grocery store for things like toilet paper and rice.
Christina Major is the Naturopathic Doctor and Holistic Nutritionist of Crystal Holistic Health Consulting. 
Crystal Holistic Health helps people, especially women, who have Type II Diabetes, High Cholesterol and High Blood Pressure lower their numbers, get off medication and increase their energy so they can save money, take back control of their lives and improve the health and happiness of their families. 
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Gluten Intolerance

Definition 
Gluten, from Latin meaning “glue”, is a protein composite found in foods processed from wheat and other related grain species such as barley and rye. 
Gluten is a composite of a gliadin and a glutenin proteins which gives elasticity to dough, helping it rise and keep its shape and gives it a chewy texture. 
It is said that gluten was discovered around 7th century by Buddhist monks who were vegetarians and were trying to find a substitute for meat. 
They discovered that when they submersed dough in water, the starch washed off and all that was left was a meat-like, textured, gummy mass – gluten.
Mechanism of action 
Gluten’s action on the gastrointestinal (GI) system has been shown to be complex involving the activation of both the inflammatory and the immune systems.
When gluten containing foods reach the gut, tissue transglutaminase (tTG), an enzyme produced in the intestinal wall breaks down the gluten into its protein building blocks, gliadin and glutenin. One of the other functions of this enzyme is to keep the microvilli in the gut intact.
As gluten proteins pass through the gut, the immune system lining the gut called gut-associated-lymphoid-tissue (GALT) determine if these proteins are potentially safe or unsafe. 
If recognized as harmful, as in individuals with gluten intolerance, the immune system of the gut produces antibodies against the gluten proteins producing the symptoms of gluten intolerance.
There are two distinct types of intolerance that are ascribed to gluten, namely ‘Gluten Sensitivity’ and ‘Celiac Disease’.
Gluten sensitivity, also known as non-celiac gluten sensitivity, may be best described as a direct reaction to gluten when the body views the gluten protein as an invader and fights it with inflammation both inside and outside the digestive tract.
In celiac disease, on the other hand, the immune system doesn’t mount a direct attack against gluten; instead, gluten ingestion triggers the immune system to attack the intestinal lining.
Effects of gluten sensitivity: 
The mal-effects of gluten sensitivity on the body as a whole can be diverse and involve many organs. Multiple mechanisms are proposed by different researchers to explain the reason for such a profound effect on the body, some of which are mentioned below.
1- Leaky gut. In gluten intolerant individuals, gluten can cause the gut cells to release a protein called zonulin. Zonulin in turn can break down the intestine’s natural protective barrier called tight junction leading to leaky gut syndrome. 
When the intestine’s tight junction is disrupted, undesired substances such as toxins, microbes, undigested food particles and antibodies can leak through to the rest of the body via the blood stream.
2- Autoimmune disorder. When antibodies leak and gain access to the rest of the body then other organs, such as thyroid or brain, are at risk of being attacked by these antibodies, leading to secondary autoimmune disorders.
3- Nutritional imbalance. Since most nutrients are absorbed through the intestinal wall, any damage done to the surface area of the intestinal wall, as is the case with gluten intolerance, can lead to nutritional deficiencies. Such nutritional deficiencies can lead to a vicious cycle of leading to other disease states.
Clinical Symptoms 
The symptoms attributed to gluten intolerance vary greatly and many studies are documenting the direct and indirect association of gluten sensitivity with multiple symptoms, signs and disease states. 
A large number of individuals with gluten intolerance either do not have any symptoms or do not experience any clear cut symptoms. 
The symptoms of both celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity are very similar which makes it impossible to determine which type one might have without the use of laboratory tests. 
The incidence of celiac disease seems to be significantly higher in the elderly than the general population.
The following are some clinical manifestations that in some patients, directly or indirectly, may be associated with gluten intolerance:
1- Digestive issues: Gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), Crohn’s disease, and ulcerative colitis. 
2- Skin and hair issues: Alopecia, eczema, dermatitis herpatiform, and keratosis pilaris, (also known as ‘chicken skin’ on the back of arms). 
3- Autoimmune disorders: Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, arthritis, lupus, psoriasis, scleroderma, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, and Sjögren’s syndrome. 
4- Neurologic symptoms: Ataxia, clumsiness, dizziness, migraine headaches, ‘brain fog’, and peripheral neuropathy. 
5- Nutritional deficiencies: Fat malabsorption, malnutrition, iron deficiency or anemia and vitamin D deficiency. 
6- Hormone imbalances: Hypothyroidism, menorrhagia, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), unexplained infertility, delayed puberty, and short stature. 
7- Musculoskeletal issues: Osteoporosis, swelling or pain in joints, bone pain, and muscle spasm. 
8- Psychiatric issues: Anxiety, depression, mood swings, ADD, autism, and seizures. 
9- Dental and mouth: Teeth with horizontal grooves, oral ulceration and canker sores, dental enamel defect, and bleeding gums. 
10- Other symptoms: Body ache, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, low energy, weight loss, and urticaria or anaphylaxis in those who use non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication (aspirin, ibuprofen, etc.) 
11- Abnormal laboratory levels: Elevated liver enzymes, low alkaline phosphatase levels.
Causes and contributing factors 
Although the cause is unknown, a seemingly sudden increase in the rate of wheat and gluten intolerance has been occurring in the past several decades, forcing researchers to postulate and look for explanations involved in this rapid rise. 
Gluten intolerance is becoming a major public health issue and according to a Mayo clinic study for example, undiagnosed celiac disease can quadruple the risk of death. 
Below are some of the proposed causes and contributing factors that may be involved in increasing gluten and wheat intolerance.
1. Consumption of larger amount of gluten. We consume more wheat and other gluten containing foods than before. It is estimated that each American now consumes about 55 pounds of wheat flour every year.
2. Increased craving for gluten. Gluten in the gut is converted into shorter proteins, “polypeptides,” called “gluteomorphins.” 
Gluteomorphin (also known as Gliadorphin) is an opioid peptide classified as “exorphins”, which act like endorphins and opioids and can bind to the opioid receptors in the brain. 
They can thus cause addictive eating behavior, including cravings and bingeing. These exorphines have been implicated as a contributing factor, by some neurologist, to some neurological conditions such as depression, ADHD, dementia, schizophrenia and autism.
3. Hybridization. It is referred to a process of combining different varieties of an organism such as wheat to create a particular strain with desirable characteristics, and breed them to reinforce those characteristics. 
We’re no longer eating the wheat that our parents ate. The modern wheat is shorter, browner and far higher-yielding than wheat crops were 100 years ago. 
Dwarf wheat and semi-dwarf wheat crops have replaced their taller cousins, and these wheat strains require less time and less fertilizer to produce a healthy crop of wheat berries. 
The problem is that this hybrid form of wheat produces more gluten than its ancestors. It is also estimated that 5 percent of the proteins found in hybridized wheat are new proteins that may lead to increased systemic inflammation, widespread gluten intolerance and higher rates of celiac. 
To make things worse this type of wheat also contains more starch called amylopectin A which is very fattening and increases one’s blood sugar significantly. This raise in blood sugar also worsens and fuels an existing inflammatory process.
4. Deaminatetion. Today’s wheat has also been deamidated, by acid or enzymatic treatment of gluten, which allows it to be more water soluble. 
Deamination may produce significant immune response in some people and result in symptomatic gluten-sensitive enteropathy.
5. Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). Wheat has been hybridized and not considered a GMO, which by definition is only created by a laboratory process that inserts genetic material into a plant DNA. 
Some studies, however, link consumption of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) with gluten-related disorders and suggest GMOs might be an important environmental trigger and may exacerbate gluten-related disorders, including celiac disease. 
Nine GMO foods are being currently grown which constitute as much as 80 percent of conventional processed food in the U.S. 
They include, soy, corn, cotton (oil), canola (oil), sugar from sugar beets, zucchini, yellow squash, Hawaiian papaya and alfalfa.
6- Genetic predisposition. There are some genes that are found to contribute to gluten sensitivity, mainly human leukocytic antigen (HLA), or HLA-DQ2/8. The presence of these genes makes one more susceptible to developing gluten intolerance.
7- Non-gluten effects of grains. Some of the ill effects of wheat might be contributed to lectin, a non-gluten substance found in wheat and other grains, beans, seeds, nuts, and potatoes. 
Wheat germ agglutinin (WGA) a non-gluten glycoprotein or lectin is found in highest concentrations in whole wheat and can increases whole body inflammation. 
It is suggested that lectin-WGA protects wheat from insects, yeast and bacteria. Foods with high concentrations of lectins, may be harmful if consumed in excess. 
Adverse effects may include nutritional deficiencies, and immune reactions. Possibly, most effects of lectins are due to gastrointestinal distress through interaction of the lectins with the gut epithelial cells.
Incidents 
1. It is estimated that celiac disease affects about 1 in 133 people, or close to 1% of the population. However, as few as 5% affected may know they have the condition. 
2. Gluten sensitivity, only recently recognized as a stand-alone condition, seems much more prevalent than celiac disease.
Some studies estimates that the condition affects 6% to 7% of the population, while other studies place the number as high as 50% of the population.
Treatment 
The only treatment for gluten intolerance is strict avoidance of dietary gluten. This requires awareness of obvious and “hidden” sources of gluten in our food as well as awareness of gluten free options.
Gluten containing grains: Wheat, including spelt, Khorasan wheat, faro, durum, bulgur, semolina; Barley; Rye; and Triticale.
Other gluten containing foods: Gluten is often present in other foods such as beer and soy sauce, and can be used as a stabilizing or binding agents in more unexpected food products and medications.
Avoid unless labeled ‘gluten-free’ 
• Beer 
• Breads 
• Cakes and pies 
• Candies 
• Cereals 
• Cookies and crackers 
• Croutons 
• French fries 
• Gravies 
• Imitation meat or seafood 
• Matzo 
• Pastas 
• Processed luncheon meats 
• Salad dressings 
• Sauces, including soy sauce 
• Seasoned rice mixes 
• Seasoned snack foods, such as potato and tortilla chips 
• Self-basting poultry 
• Soups and soup bases 
• Vegetables in sauce 
• Food additives, such as malt flavoring, modified food starch and others 
• Medications and vitamins that use gluten as a binding agent 
• Play dough
Gluten free foods. 
Many grains and starches, listed below, can be part of a gluten-free diet. You might want to choose those gluten free foods that are labeled non- GMO. 
o Amaranth 
o Arrowroot 
o Buckwheat 
o Corn and cornmeal 
o Flax 
o Gluten-free flours 
o Hominy (corn) 
o Millet 
o Quinoa 
o Rice 
o Sorghum 
o Soy 
o Tapioca 
o Teff
Other allowed foods
Many foods are naturally gluten-free including: 
o Beans, seeds, nuts in their natural, unprocessed form 
o Fresh eggs 
o Fresh meats, fish and poultry (not breaded, batter-coated or marinated) 
o Fruits and vegetables 
o Most dairy products
How about Oats: There is a great deal of conflicting information regarding the inclusion of oats within a gluten-free diet. 
Oats are frequently contaminated with wheat during growing or processing which partially explains the different gluten intolerance reactions to oat that can happen. 
Recent studies indicate that there may also be different amounts of gluten present in different cultivars of oat. For the above reasons oats are generally not recommended.
Diagnosis: 
If you have symptoms of celiac (any digestive, allergic, autoimmune or inflammatory disease, including diabetes and obesity) or do not feel well and think that you might have gluten intolerance, you might want to follow the following steps.
1- First find a physician familiar with this condition that can help you diagnose and treat this condition. Please note that in a large number of patients, other issues such as leaky gut, autoimmune reaction, inflammation and nutritional deficiencies must be addressed before the desired outcome is achieved.
2- Rule out celiac disease through celiac disease blood tests or through a small intestinal biopsy.
3- Look for a family history of Celiac disease or gluten intolerance. Check your genes to see if you have the genes that predispose you to gluten (HLA DQ2/8).
4- If the above tests are negative, try a gluten challenge, first eliminating gluten from your diet to see if your symptoms clear up, and then “challenge” it by reinstating it into your diet, to see if symptoms return.
For more information and an appointment contact Carolina Integrative Clinic (ciclinic) at 919-467-7110 or visit http://www.ciclinic.com
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Your Adrenals Are More Important Than You Think

If I asked you to pick which organ was most crucial to your daily health, well-being, and ability to resist disease, what would your answer be?
You might suggest heart, lungs, or even brain-but chances are, you would not even think of answering adrenal glands. 
Yet the adrenals are the “x” factor involved in just about every one of our illnesses and symptoms, not to mention those days when we simply feel suboptimal.
The adrenal glands are two small organs that sit on top of our kidneys. Whenever we perceive any type of threat-whether a physical threat such a car accident, or an emotional threat, such as a work deadline-our adrenal glands are cued by our brain to set off a primal stress response.
This complicated chemical cascade releases several different stress hormones, chiefly cortisol. Cortisol is critical for our health and well-being. 
It has a tremendous effect on just about every system in our bodies, most immediately our hormones, digestion, immune system, and nervous system. 
It affects our thyroid, pancreas, as well as ovaries for women and testes for men. It helps to determine our blood sugar levels and our insulin function. It also has a profound effect on the brain chemicals that determine mood, sleep, energy, and focus.
We need cortisol, but when we are stressed continually, then the adrenal glands either adapt in a healthy way, or they mal-adapt, leading to levels that are too high or too low.
Accordingly, imbalanced cortisol levels play a huge role in weight gain, mental clarity, anxiety and depression, motivation, and overall feelings of vitality or fatigue. 
Cortisol also affects our skin and hair, our blood pressure and circulation, and our lungs, muscles, and bones.
Our adrenal health helps to determine our cortisol levels-and our levels help determine how we feel.
When our levels are optimal, we feel terrific. When our they are less than optimal, we feel “off”: foggy, irritable, tired, unmotivated, and, frequently, plagued with symptoms: acne, weight gain, frequent colds and/or infections, allergies, sexual dysfunction, difficulties with the menstrual cycle and/or menopause, indigestion, sleep problems, fatigue, mood issues, mental fog, anxiety, and depression.
These symptoms in turn can become the harbingers of such serious conditions as auto-immune disorders, diabetes, cardiovascular problems, and cancer.
Cortisol is central to just about every health problem we face, which makes sense when we remember that stress is the primary condition of life, and cortisol is the stress hormone.
Cortisol is literally the medium through which stress affects us-and cortisol levels are individualized. We can’t guess our cortisol levels-which is what my research found. 
The only way to know how your adrenals are responding to stress is to measure your cortisol levels in your saliva.
This is why, as a practitioner, my first step in treating virtually every patient I see is to determine whether cortisol levels have varied from their optimal levels and, if so, to use herbs and nutrients to optimize those levels.
I know that until we have restored our cortisol levels back to their optimal state, health problems of some type will certainly continue.
Optimizing cortisol levels is my first step-by supporting the adrenals to have a healthy stress response and recovery. The good news is that once we can optimize our cortisol levels and heal our adrenals, good health will surely follow.
If you haven’t yet had your salivary cortisol levels measured, make sure you do! I consider it essential to your health.
Empowering your wellness, naturally!
Dr. Doni
DONIELLE WILSON, ND is a natural health expert and Naturopathic Doctor with a private practice in New York City, Port Jefferson, NY, and Connecticut. 
She specializes in showing women, men and children how to achieve their wellness goals by finally getting the answers they’ve been looking for to their most perplexing health challenges. 
To learn more about Dr. Doni and her unique approach to achieving health naturally, please visit Dr. Doni today at: http://ift.tt/18NglzJ.
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Common Symptoms of Post-Nasal Drip

You must know that post-nasal drip has a number of symptoms and causes. People who experience this disorder usually describe an unpleasant feeling of mucus in the back of the throat. 
Post-nasal drip causes an annoying sensation that makes a person want to constantly clear his/her throat. This irritating condition cause discomfort and can disrupt your day.
Excessive liquid contains inflammatory substances, which can trigger a cough that usually gets worse at night. Thick, sticky, green or yellow mucus in your nose causes congestion in the sinuses and nasal passages. 
As a result, you will notice difficulty in breathing through your nose. If your throat is sore or dry, you will also notice difficulty in breathing through your mouth. It is really irritating!
Symptoms of post-nasal drip
Sings of post-nasal drip vary in intensity, duration and frequency among individuals. Some of the common symptoms of post-nasal drip can be similar to the symptoms of normal allergic reactions.
You may notice such sings as:
  • Running nose due to flow of mucus;
  • Coughing, wheezing, frequent spitting;
  • Constant swallowing, leading to an excessive air volume in the stomach which may cause discomfort;
  • Constant clearing of throat, tickling in the throat, difficulty in breathing;
  • Broken or cracking voice, chronic sore throat;
  • Mucus feeling in the throat, rigid burning sensation at the throat;
  • Bad breath (halitosis), frontal cranial pressure;
  • Oropharyngeal mucosa with cobblestone appearance;
  • Congestion in the sinuses and nasal passages;
  • Snorting to remove mucus from the throat and nasal passages that cannot be removed by blowing one’s nose;
  • Masses formed in the tonsils that are usually yellow or white (called tonsil stones);
  • Vomiting, nausea, fatigue.
Some of these symptoms you can easily recognize yourself without the doctor’s help. However, some of them only your physician can find out.
Causes of post-nasal drip
This irritating condition can be resulted from several reasons. For example, when a patient has a cold or flu, he/she often suffers from post-nasal drip. 
Excessive mucus in the throat can be also produced because of too cold or too hot temperatures. In some cases pregnancy and hormonal changes may also cause post-nasal drip. 
Apart from that, excessive mucus production can be resulted from such conditions as allergies, drug side-effects and structural problems (enlarged turbinates, enlarged adenoids or deviated septum).
Moreover, post-nasal drip can be produced by sinus or environmental irritants (smog, tobacco smoke), foreign bodies (particularly, if the flow is from one side), nasal infections, low humidity, advanced age and even stress.
Despite the fact that this disorder is not a medical condition, you should treat it as soon as possible; otherwise, it may cause serious health problems, especially if it lasts for a long time. 
You should see your physician as soon as you notice certain symptoms. He/she will give the right medicine for this disease, depending on the causes and intensity of your condition.
More useful information about post nasal drip symptoms you may see by clicking this link. Be healthy!

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What Is Post-Nasal Drip?

The glands in our body produce from 1 to 2 quarts of mucus every day, in the area of throat, nose and stomach, which helps our organism to destroy different bacteria. 
Normally, we don’t even notice the mucus from our noses because it mixes with saliva and harmlessly drips down. But as soon as our body starts to produce more mucus than it usually does, it becomes noticeable and here comes the post-nasal drip. 
What is post nasal drip? This is an inflammatory process in the nasal cavity, sinuses or in the nasal part of the pharynx, when the mucus is dripping into the lower respiratory tract.
Description
First, this condition was described in 1794 by Frank, who called it “a pharyngeal form of chronic catarrh”. 
Later, in 1886, Dobell discovered that post-nasal catarrh could be acute and chronic, and it was not an independent pathology, but a specific expression of other diseases.
Mostly, this syndrome progresses along with sinusitis, caused by pathology of the nasal cavity structure. Along with any inflammation in the upper respiratory tract, the mucus drips down the back of the throat right into the nasal part of the pharynx. 
Moreover, this effect depends on the position of the human body. So that when the person is in the horizontal position, the mucus, while dripping, gets into the areas, which stimulate cough. 
It doesn’t occur in vertical position, that is, the mucus drips anyway, but the person reflexively swallows it, so it almost doesn’t get on the epiglottis, receptors, which stimulate cough, therefore nothing irritates you.
Symptoms
Post-nasal syndrome symptoms are similar to the symptoms of regular upper respiratory tract infections. That is nasal congestion, cough, and difficulty in nasal breathing. 
A headache and pain in the sinuses, shortness of breath and wheezing are possible as well. But the main symptom – is mass congestion in the nasal passages and mucus dripping down the throat. 
These mucus bunches can sometimes be even orange-brown color. These symptoms are getting worse in the morning, and the ones who suffer from the post-nasal syndrome often wake up with a feeling of discomfort in their throat. 
This feeling annoys, and makes you want to constantly clear your throat.
What may cause post nasal dripping?
Except for previous diseases, there are a bunch of other factors that may cause this irritating process, such as dust, smoke, alcohol, excessive use of different nasal sprays, stress, anxiety, high blood pressure, or pregnancy.
Prevention measures
So what is post-nasal drip prevention? This lies in preventing and timely treatment of diseases which cause this syndrome. 
People with allergies, depending on the cause of the allergy, need to follow the calendar of plants blooming, to keep an eye on different animals around or follow the diet. 
Those, who easily catch cold, should steel themselves against diseases, take different vitamins, strengthen the body and of course dress warmer.
Besides, in case there are any defects of nasal cavity structure, it is better to fix them in advance, so that these problems won’t cause the post-nasal drip in future.
If you have any of the post-nasal drip symptoms, do not hesitate and take the necessary measures as soon as possible.
You must know what is post nasal drip. Click this link and stay healthy!

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Want Invincible Hamstrings? Try The Floor Gluteal Hamstring Raise!

First it was the European and Russian weightlifters, then over 70 years later the rest of the western World found this exercise. If your reading this and never heard of this exercise you can add another 50+ years on top of that!
Also known as the Russian leg curl, Russian lean, Russian ham curl, kneeling Russian hamstring curl, Nordic ham curl, Nordic hamstrings, Nordic hamstrings lower, Nordic leg curl, Nordic reverse curl, glute-ham curl, bodyweight leg curl, natural hamstring curl, and bodyweight hamstring curl, plus I am sure there are many more!
Now even though this exercise has the word “Gluteal” in it does not mean its great for your butt! This exercise uses your glutes, however it is primarily a hamstring exercise where your glutes get some benefit also.
Most variations require the use of a machine or bench of some description which is great if you have access to one. If you don’t that’s OK you can do the partner variation as described below.
The version I perform myself when I don’t have a partner is to position myself close to a wall so the soles of my feet are pressing firmly against it. 
Then while I’m performing the movement I make sure that I am trying to push the wall over with my feet as this keeps my knees, shins and feet on the ground while I lower and raise my torso. It takes some practice and strength, but I know you can get there.
Technique Breakdown – Floor Gluteal Hamstring Raise – Hamstrings 
Start/Finish Position 
Begin on your knees with your upper legs and torso upright. If your using a partner, they will need to firmly hold your feet to keep you in position.
Movement Phase 
Lower yourself by extending at the knee, DO NOT flex the hips as you go forward, maintain a straight line from the top of your head to your knees. 
Place your hands in front of you as you reach the floor. 
Use your arms to lightly push off the floor to assist your return to the upright position. 
Hold for a moment and repeat for desired repetitions.
Breathing Directions 
Breathe in during the downward motion. 
Breathe out during the upward motion.
Tips 
You can use a partner for this exercise or brace your feet under something stable. 
This movement is very difficult and you may be unable to do it unaided, so lower yourself as far as possible and gradually grow in strength until you can reach the floor.
Training hamstrings is a very important part of any exercise regime. Especially if you’re an athlete as hamstring injuries are one of the highest injuries that can occur to you. 
It’s a troublesome muscle group that needs warming up, activation, working out, cooling down and rest all the time.
Following this pattern will ensure your hamstrings are on the path to become invincible.
Matt Goss is a Certified Personal Trainer with Bangin’ Bodz Health & Fitness and is also a member of The International Association For Health Coaches. 
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Improve Your Functionality With an Exercise Ball

The exercise or stability ball is a popular way to workout both at home or by taking a class. It may not look like it can provide a great workout but even some very fit individuals have been surprised at just how effective push ups and sit ups are when done using the ball.
A large stability ball makes a great seat when working at your computer. Once you get use to it, watch your posture and balance improve. 
With so many people today suffering from computer related injuries using, a ball as your seat might be a good solution to avoiding neck and back issues.
The first exercise balls were developed in 1963 by an Italian plastic manufacturer, Aquilino Casani under the name Swiss Ball. 
Physical therapists found them quite helpful in treating orthopedic problems and thus, their popularity increased.
There are many different ways to use an exercise ball. They are great for strengthening your core. As you perform the exercise you are required to use all those muscle for balance and control of the exercise. Over time, those muscle will become stronger.
When you first start using your exercise ball no doubt you will find it harder than you thought! There are a few safety precautions that you want to take into consideration as well.
Your first step is to choose the right size. The general rule of thumb is that when sitting on the ball your thighs should be parallel to the floor. 
You can achieve this by inflating it to the correct size. When purchasing your exercise ball most will have height and weight recommendations listed in the packaging.
Next you need to choose a good workout area. Even though the exercise ball is relatively small it will move and so you need a large enough area to allow for this.
Think about the clothing that you will wear as well. As your body will move around more, you want to wear exercise clothing that move with you. 
There is nothing worse than having scrunched up clothing and feeling as though your clothes have pinned you down!
When performing your exercises it is recommended to wear shoes as your bare feet or even with socks on could cause you to slip and lose your balance.
You are ready now to go have fun with your new stability ball. Most balls come with a workout sheet consisting of a group of exercises and instructions to start with. If not, you can easily find exercises by doing a quick search online.
Have fun getting on the ball and getting fit!
For the best health and fitness resources online, visit Options 4 Fitness.
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