Dementia describes a collection of symptoms that are caused by disorders affecting the brain. It is not one specific disease. Dementia affects thinking, behaviour and the ability to perform every day tasks. Brain function is affected enough to interfere with the person’s normal social or working life.
The hallmark of dementia is the inability to carry out everyday activities as a consequence of diminished cognitive (thinking) ability.
People with dementia may have difficulty solving problems and controlling their emotions. They may experience personality changes, agitation, delusions or hallucinations.
The exact symptoms experienced by a person with dementia depend on the areas of the brain that are damaged by the disease causing the dementia. With many types of dementia, some of the nerve cells in the brain stop functioning, lose connections with other cells, and die.
Dementia is usually progressive. This means that the disease gradually spreads through the brain and the person’s symptoms get worse over time.
Research has shown that diabetes can increase the risk of developing both Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia. This is thought to be because the mechanisms behind diabetes development can damage small blood vessels in the brain, which is likely to contribute towards vascular dementia.
It is also thought that diabetes-related blood vessel damage could lead to a reduced blood flow to the brain, which may be a factor in Alzheimer’s disease development.Making a conscious effort to maintain healthy blood sugar levels now could pay dividends in the future by reducing your risk of being stricken with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia.
The key characteristics found in the development of heart disease and stroke — clogged arteries and inflammation in cells also affect the brain.What is good for the reduction of diabetes risk is also good for reduction of the risk of cognitive impairment.
Research studies indicate that those who receive education to better control their diabetes — within the established guidelines for normal diabetes control had better blood sugar control and slower cognitive decline compared with those who did not have the intervention.
There is no known cure for any type of dementia, and medications can’t prevent the condition or reverse the brain damage it causes. However, various drugs can provide some symptom relief.
The two most commonly prescribed medicines for dementia are cholinesterase inhibitors and memantine (Namenda). Doctors use them mainly to treat the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, which is the most common kind of dementia. They prescribe them for other kinds of dementia as well.
There are currently five prescription drugs that have been developed for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) that can delay and slow the progression of dementia in patients with AD. Four of these drugs are called cholinesterase inhibitors, and are usually known by their brand names:
Razadyne® (formerly known as Reminyl®)
Cognex® (no longer actively marketed)
They work by preventing the breakdown of a brain chemical called acetylcholine, and are usually only effective in mild to moderate cases of dementia. Because these will only work for a limited time to delay symptoms, it is important to start treatment as early as possible for maximum effect, which is why early diagnosis is so critical.
There is also a fifth drug, Namenda®, which is used to treat moderate to severe cases of dementia and works by an entirely different mechanism. It regulates another brain chemical called glutamate and helps to prevent cell death, but as in the other four drugs it can only delay the progression of the dementia and cannot “cure” it. Namenda® may be used in conjunction with any of the four cholinesterase inhibitors.
Drugs used for dementia are limited by side effects, short duration of action, and the need for frequent monitoring of blood levels or other laboratory values to prevent toxicity.
Dementia is partially a lifestyle-related disease and obesity, lack of exercise, smoking and excessive drinking are risk factors both for dementia and type 2 diabetes.
Cognitive decline is associated with inflammation so it is critical to avoid highly inflammatory foods. Highly inflammatory foods include refined sugars and grains, food additives and preservatives, GMO foods, and foods with pesticides .
Specifically, eating fish and leafy green vegetables (for example, spinach, kale, and romaine lettuce) and cruciferous vegetables (for example, broccoli and cauliflower) has a positive effect. A colourful diet may also be important because fruits and vegetables that are high in color often contain chemicals called antioxidants that help protect cells from damage.
Certain dietary supplements have shown some benefit in improving cognitive function and slowing the effects of dementia. If you plan on taking these supplements, let your doctor know first.
Your doctor can advise you on safe dosages or potential interactions with medications or other supplements.
Omega-3 is certainly one of the more popular options in natural remedies for dementia. Studies have shown that taking 1,700 mg DHA and 600 mg EPA helps ease brain inflammation, which helps slow dementia.
Vitamin B deficiencies have been associated with cognitive decline. Taking 1000 mcg per day either alone or as part of a vitamin B complex helps lower homocysteine levels, which might help improve symptoms of dementia.
Vitamin D deficiency increases the risk of dementia and diabetes, studies have claimed.
You can increase your vitamin D levels by getting sensible sun exposure, and by eating more vitamin D-rich foods.Dosages of 1000-5000IU a day could have a positive effect on cognition.
Low levels of vitamin E have been linked to memory problems. Using 400 to 700 IU each day might produce beneficial results for improving memory.
A 2014 study showed that taking 2000 IU per day slowed cognitive decline in people with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease. For the best results, use supplements with alpha-tocopherol, which is vitamin E in its natural form.
Low levels of zinc have been linked to a higher risk of dementia. Taking 25 to 30 mg of zinc per day might lead to improved cognition.
Regular moderate exercise can reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes by half. Moreover, efforts to reduce abdominal fat may reduce the rate of cognitive decline, since carrying significant belly fat raises the risk of late-onset Alzheimer’s disease in both middle-aged and elderly people.
While additional research is required, studies have demonstrated that mental exercises, such as puzzles and brain training games may assist in slowing the progression of cognitive issues, such as memory loss and thinking skills.
Popular brain exercises include Sudoku, crossword puzzles, and Lumosity (a website that offers cognitive games). Other brain exercises that might be helpful include playing board games , card games and reading books.
Individuals with dementia may benefit from massage therapy . Where massage therapy stimulates movement and the flow of blood and lymph in the body,
Massage therapy provides the opportunity for touch and the release of stress, depression, and pain that may underlie many of the behavioral and psychiatric problems that can arise in individuals with dementia.
Art and music therapy or aromatherapy, may help individuals with dementia remember and experience memories more fully through the use of familiar colors, sounds, and smells.
In addition, the use of particular essential oils might help persons with dementia to relax. For instance, there has been research that associates the use of lavender oil with the reduction of aggressive behavior.
Did you know that certain jobs could protect against Alzheimer’s?Humans are social creatures, and working directly with other people instead of primarily with data or things seems to offer protection against Alzheimer’s.
Researchers found that those who worked closely with people in complex work situations were able to tolerate brain damage better than those who worked in more isolated settings. Those who worked in more social settings, examples may include teachers and doctors, seem to be able to better maintain cognitive function.
If you work in isolation and can’t do much to change that, take extra steps to be as social as possible after work hours and on your days off to make your brain more resilient.
Living a life full of purpose, including having a sense of direction, could help to prevent dementia.Find something that makes you happy, or something you’re passionate about.
Researchers uncovered an interesting connection between a person’s sense of purpose and dementia risk.Study participants who reported the highest scores on the life purpose test were 2.4 times less likely to develop Alzheimer’s compared to people with the lowest scores.
By taking measures to reduce your risk of Type 2 diabetes, leading a healthy lifestyle by maintaining a healthy weight, staying active, reducing your alcohol intake and not smoking, and managing conditions such as high blood pressure and cholesterol are also potentially helping to reduce your risk of developing dementia.
We know that not all cases of dementia can be prevented through risk reduction, but reducing those that we can will be enormously beneficial.
Diagnosing diabetes early in people who already have dementia will ensure they receive regular review and management of the risk factors that can lead to developing diabetes damage. Complications are identified quickly and treated as required.
If necessary, medications can be started to relieve the symptoms of high blood glucose which will improve quality of life(e.g. reduce tiredness, frequency of urination, thirst) and avoid hospital admissions for very high blood glucose levels.
Scientists at Lancaster University examined the diabetes drug Victoza as a potential Alzheimer’s therapy. Victoza falls into a class of drugs designed to stimulate natural insulin production for Type 2 diabetics. But researchers believed it could also prevent the buildup of beta-amyloids on brain cells.
They injected Victoza into mice suffering from late-stage Alzheimer’s. After two months, the drug had reduced beta-amyloid plaques on the brain by 30 percent. And it actually protected brain cells from damage. These results have led to clinical trials to determine if the drug has the same effect on humans.
Research has clearly established a strong connection between dementia and blood sugar disorders such as insulin resistance and diabetes. The link is so clear that Alzheimer’s disease is often referred to as type 3 diabetes. A great strategy to improve blood sugar levels is to implement the ketogenic diet and lifestyle.
Glucose and insulin mechanisms in the brain are impaired when an individual has dementia . The brain has difficulty burning glucose for fuel which can lead to sluggish brain activity, brain shrinkage, and even death of brain cells.
The ketogenic diet may slow or reverse symptoms of dementia by providing an alternative fuel source. While brain glucose utilization declines in dementia, ketone body utilization does not.
The ketogenic diet can benefit brain health through numerous mechanisms including increasing ketone body levels, reducing brain glucose consumption, lowering insulin, altering insulin signaling, increasing long- and medium chain-fatty acids and reducing inflammation.
We all have heard of the mind-body effect. Well, there is also a body-mind effect. So you can impact your brain through your diet and heal your body.Balance your blood sugar with a whole-foods, low-glycemic diet.
You can achieve this by taking out the bad stuff (refined carbs, sugar, alcohol, caffeine, processed foods, dairy, and inflammatory, omega-6 rich oils such as vegetable and seed oils) and putting in the good stuff (healthy fats like avocados, walnuts, almonds and cashews, grass-fed meats, pastured chicken and eggs, olive and coconut oil).
Chronic stress takes a toll on your body and brain. Relaxation isn’t a luxury if you want to prevent or reverse dementia and Type 2 diabetes. Whether that involves deep breathing, or prayer, find something that helps you calm down.
Studies show poor sleep becomes a risk factor for cognitive decline and Type 2 diabetes. Aim for at least 8 hours of quality sleep every night.
Daily management of diabetes involves maintaining a careful balance between food, medicine and physical activity. The symptoms of dementia make this increasingly difficult.
In the early stages of dementia people may still be able to manage their self-care tasks by following simple, regular routines and using written reminders and other strategies.
Over time, an increasing number of these management tasks may need to be done by others.When supporting a person to complete tasks ask their permission to assist them and, where possible,support them in doing things themselves.
Even when a person cannot complete a task by themselves, they can still be involved to some degree. For example, they may be able to do their own finger prick test with supervision or observe and discuss testing done by someone else.
It may be difficult for the person with dementia to accept the help of other people. The person may not remember or understand why they need a finger prick test or an injection and they may become fearful of these being done.
To deal with resistance to assisting with diabetes care, begin by validating the person’s feelings, stay calm and explain what you are doing and why it is important. If the person becomes upset or distressed wait until they calm down before you approach them for the task again.
People with diabetes need to achieve a reliable method of taking their medicines to avoid diabetes complications. If someone you are supporting is having difficulty managing medicines, report your concerns; the person may require referral to district nursing services.
People who have only mild cognitive impairment may benefit from following
regular daily routines for taking medicines. They may also find using pillboxes or blister packs and memory prompts such as diaries, calendars, and phone
alarms helps to improve adherence. The person’s pharmacist, GP or geriatrician can also offer support.
Autism is a complex neurological disorder that affects the connections between various regions of the brain, impacting a person’s ability to produce and process language and to read the nonverbal social cues that are an otherwise intuitive part of human communication.
Researchers at Johns Hopkins University published a study showing that mothers with Type 1 diabetes have up to a three times greater chance of having a child who has autism. (See the article here for more information.)
Also recent research ventures have found that individuals with autism have an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The largest study to date that investigated this link took place in Taiwan and was published in 2016.
It turned out that 1.6 percent of the autistic population developed type 2 diabetes, whereas the rate for the control group was a mere 0.4 percent. In other words, autistic people were at significantly higher risk of type 2 than neurotypical (non-autistic) people.
If you’re not familiar with autism (or “Autism Spectrum Disorder” known as ASD), it’s actually a wide-spectrum disorder, meaning people diagnosed with it will have their condition manifest in different ways.
From “high-functioning” autism, like Asperger’s Syndrome, to “low-functioning” autism, people with this disorder often have communication issues, behavioral issues, and sensory issues. Many with autism can have an unusual interest in repetitive behaviors, from schedules to activities to food.
More people with autism experience weight issues than their neurotypical peers, putting them at risk for type 2 diabetes. Estimates indicate that 32 percent of autistic kids are overweight, versus 23 percent of neurotypical kids.This may be due to medication, picky eating, and genetic factors linked to both autism and weight issues.
For example, it is known that women with gestational or type 2 diabetes during pregnancy have a higher chance of giving birth to an autistic child and/or a child who goes on to develop type 2 diabetes at some point. There also exists a gene, GL01, that is implicated in both type 2 diabetes and autism.
Research tells us that autism tends to run in families. Changes in certain genes increase the risk that a child will develop autism. If a parent carries one or more of these gene changes, they may get passed to a child (even if the parent does not have autism).
Other times, these genetic changes arise spontaneously in an early embryo or the sperm and/or egg that combine to create the embryo. Again, the majority of these gene changes do not cause autism by themselves. They simply increase risk for the disorder.
Research also shows that certain environmental influences may further increase autism risk in people who are genetically predisposed to the disorder. Importantly, the increase in risk appears to be small for any one of these three risk factors:
Scientists have conducted extensive research over the last two decades to determine whether there is any link between childhood vaccinations and autism. The results of this research is clear: Vaccines do not cause autism. The American Academy of Pediatrics has compiled a comprehensive list of this research.
There are three groups of medications considered appropriate for autism: those used to treat co-occurring ADHD symptoms, antidepressants/anti-anxiety medications, and atypical anti-psychotic medications.
Medication is not a ‘cure’ for autism spectrum disorder (ASD). There’s no medication that has been proven to address the core characteristics children with ASD show in the areas of communication and social relations.
But for some children, medication can help with challenging behaviour associated with ASD, which might be interfering with their ability to learn and respond to interventions. In these cases, the appropriate medication depends on the behaviour that’s causing the most trouble and how severe the behaviour is.
Before deciding whether medication is right for your child, it’s important to understand what the medication does and what its side effects are.These medications should be considered only when all avoidable causes for problem behaviors have been considered and ruled out.
There are only two types of medications that are currently approved by the FDA in treating some of autism’s challenges: antipsychotics risperidone and aripiprazole, which are known to lead to weight gain.
Another side effect of risperidone relates to how it increases the body’s production of the hormone prolactin. This can interfere with bone building and cause breast swelling. This side effect doesn’t last indefinitely. Prolactin tends to return to near-normal levels after around one year.
At one time an autism diagnosis automatically precluded a diagnosis of ADHD. Not so anymore. We now know the two conditions frequently occur together. In fact, nearly half of all kids with autism demonstrate ADHD symptoms — an added burden that undermines academic, behavioral, and social progress.
Ritalin and Concerta are prescribed to help children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). They can also reduce hyperactive behaviour in some, but not all, children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This might allow children to concentrate on a task for longer and think more before they act.The main side effect of these medications is lower appetite. This can mean that children using them might not gain enough weight, or might even lose weight.
Common challenges for children with autism include persistent anxiety or obsessive behaviors. These behaviors, such as avoiding or running away from new or unknown situations, separation anxiety, or compulsive checking or washing behaviors, cause big problems in day-to-day life.
Children with autism are also at risk for developing depression, another family of symptoms that sometimes become severe enough to require medication.
For these symptoms, the most commonly prescribed medications for children are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), such as sertraline (Zoloft) or fluoxetine (Prozac). Some of these medications have been studied and approved for use with children, although not specifically for autism. This group of medications may help with mood, anxiety, or obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors. As with most mental health medications, side effects should be closely monitored.
These side effects include weight gain and a risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, among others. Weight, blood sugar, and other measures should be monitored when children remain on these medications for any length of time.
Up to one-third of people with ASD have seizures at some stage in their lives. Some people with ASD have a lot of seizures.This problem can usually be treated effectively with anti-epilepsy medication. There are many different anti-epilepsy medications, so the best one for your child depends on the type of seizures your child has. It also depends on any other problems your child has or other medications he/she’s taking.
Side effects vary with different anti-epilepsy medications. Common side effects include sleepiness ,behaviour changes and tummy troubles.
Some scientists say environmental and lifestyle factors, such as picky eating, may explain the increased diabetes risk among individuals with autism. They have less access to competent healthcare services and support for healthy lifestyles.People with autism also tend to have poor access to employment, housing, transportation and social support.All of these factors are known to impact health.
Many parents of children who have an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) choose to consider complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) to help treat overall health and potential behavioral problems.
We know that food is medicine.Nutritional support for people with autism includes enhancing digestion and gut health, stabilising blood sugar, and increasing vitamin and mineral intake, particularly B6, vitamin A and zinc.
There are certain foods that should be added or increased in the diet while there are several that should ideally be avoided altogether.
For an individual with autism, the breakdown of dietary protein into smaller peptides, and eventually amino acids, as per regular digestive function, just doesn’t happen.
Studies found that partially broken down components of original proteins are able to pass from the intestine into the bloodstream. This is due to incomplete digestion and/or an intestinal lining defect. Two of the diet’s most common proteins causing this are gluten and casein.
Some of the components that are released into the bloodstream have opioid (morphine-like) properties. These proteins are triggered by the brain receptors and express the symptoms of autism.
This means reducing or eliminating gluten and casein from the diet.Gluten is a protein in the seeds of wheat and other grains, such as barley and rye. Gluten is in many food products and can cause digestive problems.
Casein is a protein in milk products, and it may be another common source of digestive issues. It’s thought that both gluten and casein can be inflammatory and that reducing them from the diet can help overall health and behavior in those who have autism.
Sugar can cause fluctuations in blood sugar leading to behavioral problems. Avoid any forms of concentrated sugar including candy, desserts, soda, or fruit juices. Sugar has also been shown to have major negative effects on the brain.
Soy is a common food allergy and contains phytic acid, a type of antinutrient that impairs nutrient absorption and can irritate the intestines causing leaky gut syndrome.
Unhealthy gut and nutritional deficiencies are some of the most common causes of autism. Intestinal permeability has a major link towards autism. Hence, probiotics are considered to be one of the best home remedies for autism.
The reason mainly being that probiotics stimulate the growth of healthy and good bacteria in the gut. Good bacteria enables efficient absorption of nutrients and prevents any further infections. Some of the best probiotics supplements are dairy products.
Food additives may be problematic for ADHD, it is best to eat unprocessed nutrient-dense whole foods prepared at home.Bone broth (ideally made from scratch) provides important amino acids and minerals that can help heal leaky gut and improve mineral deficiencies.
Proteins from meat, chicken, turkey, fish, nuts, and beans are made of tiny building blocks called amino acids. These are extremely important as they are used to construct large substances in the body.Parts of every cell, parts of hormones, and most importantly in autism, our brain chemicals.
Serotonin is made from tryptophan, dopamine is made form phenylalanine, GABA is made from theanine. If your child isn’t eating enough protein or your child isn’t digesting the protein, then they won’t have the fuel to build brain chemicals. Altered neurotransmitters affect their mood, sensation, and learning abilities.
Poultry like organic turkey contains tryptophan, an amino acid, helps produce serotonin (a calming neurotransmitter). Research has shown that people with autism spectrum disorders may have decreased “tryptophan metabolism,” which can change brain development, neuroimmune activity and mitochondrial function.
Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) are considered “essential” because they are needed throughout the human life cycle, cannot be produced in the human body, and therefore must be provided through the diet. EFAs help with brain and nerve development, cellular communication, oxygenation, metabolism and immune response.
A diet high in omega-3s is critical for brain health and research has shown it can be particularly helpful for someone diagnosed with ASD and hyperactivity.Long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, specifically the EPA/DHA in fish oil, is critical for brain function and is highly anti-inflammatory.
Supplementing with omega-3 fatty acids like fish oil is one of the most commonly used complementary and alternative practices in children with autism spectrum disorder.
Arginine is an amino acid that is beneficial for your blood vessels as well as detoxification. It causes small blood vessels to dilate, bringing more blood to certain areas, such as the brain by converting to nitric oxide. This may improve cognition in children.
Taurine is an amino acid that has a calming effect on the brain. Most beneficial in children that have had a history of seizures, it can aid in insomnia, anxiety, and hyperactivity. Many people assume taurine is a stimulant as it is an ingredient in many energy drinks (maybe they want you to calm down so you need another).
Vitamin D deficiency is more common in children with autism compared to children without autism. This is a key vitamin required for healthy brain function. A vitamin D deficiency in a pregnant mother may also increase autism risk in her offspring.
Magnesium is specifically relevant for those suffering from autism. Magnesium deficiency can lead to a number of symptoms that are in line with commonly seen behavioral patterns in autistic children, including rocking, teeth grinding, anxiety, poor concentration, and a low attention span.
By ensuring that magnesium is a part of every day’s nutrient intake, those symptoms can be reduced, allowing for more productive behavioral therapy and improved behavior.
One of the most closely related symptoms/conditions to autism is poor sleep habits. The disruption in normal sleep cycles can cause irritability, lack of focus and concentration, social anxiety, and chronic stress.
Melatonin, however, is a soothing, sedative substance that can ensure healthy, restful nights of sleep, thereby helping autistic children to maintain a more relaxed schedule. The related behaviors of poor sleep will diminish, enabling more effective practice of social and communication skills.
Autism sufferers appear to have higher frequency rates of scurvy, as though their bodies do not process or intake it well enough.Keeping a high vitamin C intake in the body helps with the development of collagen, antioxidant activity, cognitive function, and cellular repair and health throughout the body, all of which could improve the symptoms and sensitivities of certain autistic individuals.
As one of the most potent and versatile herbs in common use, turmeric offers antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant effects to the body. This can significantly improve the health of the gut and ensure proper nutrient intake so that many of the symptoms of autism can be lessened.
Olive leaf is one of the many herbs that kill offending yeast in the intestines. Many children are given nystatin or diflucan for months or even years, but herbs are sometimes more effective. While many herbs are beneficial, olive leaf seems to have the best taste and best compliance.
Managing Autism and Diabetes Together
A major challenge for the person diagnosed with both ASD and diabetes is communication. More so, difficulties with communication can be downright dangerous if physical pains and medical needs (like low blood sugar or an upset stomach) cannot be properly expressed. But there is a silver lining too; both disorders are best managed when a structured regimen is in place.
Most children do best when meal times are the same time, place, situation every day.
Use visual timetables and visual schedules. Written timetables or picture symbol schedules detailing when and where they will eat, what will be eaten and the type of behaviour expected at meal times makes mealtimes more predictable and a less anxious occasion for the child.
Whilst children should not be restrained, seating that encourages staying at the table can be helpful.
Establish as calm and comfortable environment as possible.
Some children eat more when they have a video or music on, whilst for others this may be too distracting.
Work to broaden the variety of a child’s diet expanding on already accepted food groups e.g.: different types of vegetables.
Do not assume that the child will automatically refuse a food in a new environment.
Setting small goals in stages will allow the child step by step to reach a larger goale.g. before encouraging a child to eat vegetables, they may need to learn to accept a small amount on their plate first. The amount may be as small as a pea but this allows the child to remain secure within the environment they are familiar with.
By making diet and exercise part of the daily routine, a parent makes it easier for his or her child to adopt eating habits that keep the little one healthy. Also, setting medical checkups at the same time, on a weekly or monthly rotation, can help a child practice and learn how to express his or her physical feelings accurately.
If you need a painkiller but suffer from high blood pressure, heart failure, or kidney disease, it’s best to steer clear of some commonly used over the counter pain relievers.While you may not think twice about taking them when you have a headache or back trouble, there are some risks associated with over the counter pain relievers you may not be aware of.
The most commonly used types of over-the-counter (OTC) painkillers are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) — ibuprofen (Advil), and naproxen (Aleve) and acetaminophen (Tylenol), also sold under other brand names.
In most cases and when taken properly for pain, these drugs are very safe. That’s why they’re sold over-the-counter in the first place. But there are some situations where you can put yourself at risk by using these pain drugs improperly.
One of the most well-known risks of painkillers is liver damage from acetaminophen.Although acetaminophen has been used for years and overall is extremely safe, liver toxicity can occur with use of more than 4,000 milligrams in a day.
Liver damage or failure may also occur at lower doses in those who drink alcohol regularly or who have pre-existing liver disease, such as hepatitis C.Because acetaminophen is often incorporated into other drugs, you may not be aware of exactly how much you’re taking, which further compounds your risk.
Taking ibuprofen and naproxen doesn’t pose as great a risk to liver function as acetaminophen. However, some damage to the stomach lining is a possibility, which can lead to blood loss from the irritated area, stomach pains (gastritis), and even ulcers.
This is also true of aspirin, which is related to NSAIDs and has many of the same properties. And if you use aspirin along with ibuprofen or naproxen, the risk to your stomach is even greater!
Ibuprofen, naproxen, and aspirin have a mild blood-thinning effect. This isn’t a problem for most people, but for those already on blood-thinning medications, it can be an issue.
People on blood thinners such as Coumadin or Plavix to prevent clots, these medications [NSAIDS and aspirin] can lead to the unintentional over-thinning of the blood and excessive risks of bleeding.
Additionally, these NSAIDs have been shown to raise blood pressure. In most cases the increase is small, but it can be variable.
Research studies found that women taking NSAIDs during the first 20 weeks of pregnancy are more than twice as likely to have a miscarriage. The researchers theorized that these drugs may interfere with levels of prostaglandins, hormones that are important in inducing labor.
If you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy and want to take any medication, including painkillers, be sure to discuss it with your doctor first.
One thing that is clear when it comes to chronic pain and the pain drugs you take for it: It’s important to talk to your doctor about the risks involved if you are using them frequently.
You don’t need to reach for the medicine cabinet to fight pain and inflammation. Here are some natural pain relievers you can try instead.
Rather than having just one or two natural remedies for pain, it is best to choose the natural product that has been shown to be helpful for specific types of pain.
Always discuss the best dose for you and your condition with a knowledgeable health care professional.Also Refer to our article Using Herbal Remedies Safely!
Natural Pain Relievers For Diabetic Neuropathy
If you’re diabetic, chances are you might have some form of neuropathy or nerve damage, a condition that’s common in almost 60–70 percent of those with diabetes.Your first line of defense is actually managing your diabetes.By keeping your blood sugar levels in check, you can better manage diabetic neuropathy and its symptoms.
Monitor your blood sugar regularly.Maintaining blood sugar consistently within a healthy range is the most important thing to prevent permanent damage to the nerves, blood vessels, eyes, skin and other body parts before complications develop.
The best way to do this is through a combination of frequent blood glucose testing, eating a healthy diet, exercising, and working with your doctor to determine if you need diabetes medicine and/or insulin therapy.
If you have high blood pressure, your blood pressure needs to be monitored regularly too.
Physical treatments for chronic pain can include applying heat or cold to the part that hurts, massage, exercise, and rest. Sensations of heat, cold, and touch travel on the same nerves as pain sensations, but they travel faster.
A sensation of gentle touch, heat, or cold will therefore beat a pain signal to the next pain gate and block the pain from getting through.
One of the easiest natural home remedies for getting relief from diabetic nerve pain is taking a warm bath.Heat provides comfort and helps the healing process, as it improves blood circulation to the site of the damaged nerve. Moreover,a warm water bath makes you get rid of stress and feel relaxed.
Certain substances including capsaicin (chili pepper extract) provide a sensation of heat when rubbed on the skin that may keep a pain gate blocked for hours.
Eat healthy. Your food should be high on fresh produce and whole grains and fiber and low in saturated fat, sugar, salt, and trans fats.Different foods may well make your pain worse or better. You may want to keep a log of what you eat and how it affects your pain.
Vitamin B12, in particular, has a fundamental role in maintaining normal nervous system function. Not getting enough of the nutrient can cause loss of the protective myelin sheath around the nerves and impair nerve function. So consume more of vitamin B12-rich foods.
Ayurvedic herbal remedy ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) can help, whether it’s to keep your diabetes under control or manage symptoms of diabetic neuropathy.It can help bring down elevated serum insulin or blood glucose levels and also improve glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity. As a result, your neuropathy symptoms will also improve and may even grow less severe.
Alpha-lipoic acid (ALA), a kind of fatty acid is another possible alternative remedy to treat diabetes-related nerve pain.ALA helps fight free radicals, which cause cell damage and secondly it even help restore the functioning of damaged nerve cells and prevents further damage.ALA also helps the body to be more sensitive to insulin.
You can find alpha lipoic acid in foods like Brussels sprouts, broccoli, peas, rice bran, and potatoes.
When your body experiences a sugar spike or hyperglycemia, it can trigger issues with nerve and muscle function in the digestive system and cause gastric problems. Ginger can help you with these gastric symptoms associated with diabetic neuropathy, such as gastroparesis where food leaves the stomach very slowly.
Ginger can be taken in a simple tea made by boiling slices of fresh ginger in water. You can also add ginger to your food as a spice.
Exercise – every day if possible, even if it is just a short walk.Strengthening muscles eases pressure on the joints and tendons. It also gives you a greater sense of control, which really helps people deal with pain.
Stretching to increase your flexibility can also be helpful for pain relief, when done as part of a regular exercise routine. Walking, sitting, and moving with good posture and balance can take pressure off tender muscles and nerves. You may want to consult a physical therapist to find exercises that are right for you.
Relaxation exercises, meditation, and prayer also help nerves calm down. So can doing relaxing things like spending time in nature, playing with a pet, or engaging in a hobby like knitting or painting.or even just listening to music to unwind and de-stress. Stress could cause blood sugar levels to rise.
Your thoughts can affect pain severity.When pain is a source of fear, anger, or grief, it usually hurts more.Distraction is one of the best short-term mental approaches.Several studies show laughter is among the best medicines for pain. In Japanese studies of arthritis, people who watched a humorous show reduced their pain by more than 50% for as long as 12 hours.
Since chronic pain is a whole body–mind experience, your total physical and mental health has a lot to do with your pain. In addition to improving your blood glucose control, you might consider losing some excess weight which can take the pressure off your back, hips, knees, and feet, possibly reducing pain in these areas.
Smoking is a big no-no if you’re trying to manage neuropathy. It could not only worsen symptoms but even raise the risk of foot problems linked to neuropathy.
Get routine foot exams to check for visual signs like callus formation, increased warmth, cuts/breaks, and lesions. This will help to get early and timely treatment before it presents bigger problems.
Topical use of essential oilsblended in a base or carrier oil may also provide pain relief for those with neuropathy.
In one study, a blend of lavender, geranium, tea tree, eucalyptus, and bergamot oils was used to help alleviate foot pain associated with peripheral neuropathy. It helped decrease the pain experienced as early as 30 minutes after application. Which means you could potentially use such oil blends every day to ease the discomfort you live with.
Natural Pain Relievers For A Headache
Headaches are characterised by a feeling of tenseness in the neck, shoulder and scalp whereas migraines are basically pulsating headaches, often on one side of the head.
It’s important to figure out what type of headache is causing your pain. If you know your headache type, you can treat it correctly.
Tension headaches, the most common type, feel like a constant ache or pressure around the head, especially at the temples or back of the head and neck. Not as severe as migraines, they don’t usually cause nausea or vomiting, and they rarely halt daily activities. Tension headaches can last anywhere from 30 minutes to a whopping 7 days depending on the root cause.
One of the first things you can do to help prevent future tension headaches is to find out if you have any food intolerances or allergies. You can do this through an online service like EverlyWell or get a blood test done by your doctor which will help you avoid specific foods and additives that may be causing your tension headaches.
Once you have eliminated any possible foods that cause you to react, it’s time to go one step further and remove processed foods from your diet and start incorporating more nutrient dense whole foods.
If your tension headaches are caused by blood sugar imbalances, then eating well rounded meals made with whole food ingredients will help keep your sugar from spiking or plummeting.
Instead of popping a pill when you get a headache, toss back some almonds. For everyday tension-type headaches, almonds can be a natural remedy and a healthier alternative to other medicine.
It acts as a pain reliever because it contains something called salicin, which is also an agent in popular over the counter killers. Try eating a handful or two of these wholesome nuts when you feel the ache start to set in.
Avoid foods that contain dairy, caffeine, and artificial sweeteners as well as alcoholic beverages to help further prevent tension headaches from occurring.
Dehydration is one of the leading causes of headaches because the muscles of the head, neck, and shoulders aren’t as smooth and supple as they should be, which can cause them to cramp up and tighten.
it is recommended that you drink a glass of water every 2 waking hours in order to combat and prevent tension headaches caused by dehydration.
While suffering from a tension headache the last thing one feels like is doing is exercising, but light to moderate exercise can actually stop a headache in its tracks. Regular exercise can also increase cardiovascular and circulatory health and help reduce the likelihood of chronic headaches.
Emphasizing the healing power of the body, chiropractic is a hands-on approach most often used for neuromuscular complaints, such as back and neck pain, joint pain, and headaches.
The hallmark of chiropractic care is the “spinal manipulation”, which is also called a “chiropractic adjustment.” The purpose of the adjustment is to restore joint position and mobility by manually applying a controlled force to a restricted joint.
This restores proper function, relieves pressure on the surrounding nerves, reduces pain and muscle tightness, and allows tissues to heal. There are over 20 different adjusting techniques, which can be used alone or in combination.
Many doctors of chiropractic also use other therapies, such as ultrasound, electric stimulation, massage, or soft tissue manipulation.
Aspirin was originally made from white willow bark, so it’s no wonder it works so well for relieving the pain associated with tension headaches. It is a highly effective pain reliever that’s much easier on the digestive system and liver than OTC medicines.
Magnesium is known to help prevent muscle tension, improve healthy blood flow to the brain, and keep serotonin levels within normal range.
Believe it or not, it is often unchecked serotonin levels that cause the vascular spasms in our head that instigate tension headaches and migraines.
Studies have shown that 5-hydrotryptophan (5-HTP) is effective at preventing tension headaches as it has a direct effect on serotonin levels which are known to effect circulation in the blood vessels of the brain. It also raises the body’s endorphin levels which are a form of natural pain killer.
Adults should take 50-100mg up to three times daily.
Peppermint essential oil has a long-lasting cooling effect when applied to the skin which helps inhibit muscle contractions and stimulates healthy blood flow.
Using it on the temples, the back of the neck, and on the forehead, is known to be one of the best natural remedies for tension headaches, especially when used in 15 minutes intervals.
Adults – dilute 3 drops of peppermint essential oil in 1/4-1/2 tsp of carrier oil and apply to temples, back of the neck, forehead, and shoulders every 15 minutes until symptoms dissipate.
If your tension headaches are related to stress or lack of sleep, then lavender essential oil may be just what you’re looking for.
According to research, lavender essential oil is rapidly absorbed through the limbic system due to its linalool and linalyl acetate constituents. It is because of this that lavender is so effective at treating tension headaches quickly and effectively.
Cluster headaches, which affect more men than women, are recurring headaches that occur in groups or cycles. They appear suddenly and are characterized by severe, debilitating pain on one side of the head, and are often accompanied by a watery eye and nasal congestion or a runny nose on the same side of the face.
During an attack, people often feel restless and unable to get comfortable; they are unlikely to lie down, as someone with a migraine might. The cause of cluster headaches is unknown, but there may be a genetic component. There is no cure, but treatment can cut the frequency and duration.
People who suffer from cluster headaches typically have low blood levels of magnesium and can benefit from magnesium supplementation or injections.
To relieve cluster headache symptoms and reduce attacks, take 400 milligrams of magnesium three times a day, taking one capsule before bedtime because attacks are most common in middle of the night.
Eating magnesium-rich foods like spinach, chard, pumpkin seeds, yogurt, almonds, black beans, avocado and bananas can also be helpful.
Vitamin B2 may decrease the severity and frequency of cluster headaches. It’s an important vitamin that also acts as an antioxidant in the body, maintaining healthy blood cells and boosting energy levels.
Apply a small amount of capsaicin cream to the inside of your nostril (the same side that’s experiencing the pain). The main ingredient in capsaicin cream is cayenne pepper, which works by blocking nerve pain signals.
People with cluster headaches experience a relief of symptoms after receiving oxygen during an attack. This can be done naturally by getting outdoors and taking deep breathes of fresh air.
It’s important that people who experience cluster headaches stick to a regular sleep schedule. Cluster periods may actually begin when there are changes in your normal sleep routine, so it helps to stay consistent. If you can’t sleep, that could also trigger cluster headaches, so do everything you can to ensure a regular, quality sleep schedule.
Sinus headaches-When a sinus becomes inflamed, often due to an infection, it can cause pain. It usually comes with a fever and can be diagnosed by symptoms or the presence of pus viewed through a fiber-optic scope.
Some natural ways to get your sinuses draining and relieve sinus pressure include drinking plenty of fluids; using a humidifier; avoiding cold, dry air; taking plenty of steamy showers; and drinking a cup of hot tea or soup.
You can also alternate warm and cold compresses to relieve sinus pain and sinus pressure. Here’s how to do it: Start by placing a hot towel or washcloth across your sinuses for about three minutes. Then place a cold compress across your sinuses for 30 seconds. Alternate two more times, and repeat the treatment about four times a day.
Many people find that spicy food like peppers or hot mustard opens up their nasal passages and gives them some relief from sinus pain. There is good evidence that capsaicin, which is the active ingredient found in chile peppers, is effective in relieving sinus pain.
Some people report that humming for one hour improves sinus pain.Humming may increase both airflow through your sinuses and the level of nitric oxide in your sinuses. The combination of nitric oxide and airflow may reduce your risk of sinusitis.
Techniques that take advantage of the mind-body connection, such as deep breathing practices , relaxation exercises and prayer can be very effective for relieving sinus pain.
Sold as a supplement, bromelain is a protein found in pineapple stems. For years, it’s been used by prize fighters to reduce swelling. Bromelain appears to be beneficial and helps reduce swelling in the nasal passages.Just be sure to talk to your doctor first, because bromelain may interact with other medications you’re taking. And be sure to follow exact dosing instructions.
Staying hydrated helps your body in many ways, including keeping your sinuses moist. Although recommended fluid intake differs from person to person, an easy guideline is to drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day.
One of the most important things to avoid is over-the-counter nasal decongestant sprays. They may give some fast relief, but after a few days they make sinus pressure and nasal congestion much worse.
Some other things you can do to prevent sinus pain include avoiding alcohol, which can aggravate sinus pain and congestion; cleaning your humidifier to avoid fungal allergies; washing your bedding in hot water to decrease allergy exposure; and avoiding swimming, diving, or flying when you have sinusitis, a common cold, or nasal allergy.
If sinus pain lasts for a week or more and you have a fever, you should see an ear, nose and throat specialist, because you may need more aggressive treatment than natural remedies provide.
Rebound headaches–Overuse of painkillers for headaches can, ironically, lead to rebound headaches.
Culprits include over-the-counter medications like aspirin, acetaminophen (Tylenol), or ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil), as well as prescription drugs.
One theory is that too much medication can cause the brain to shift into an excited state, triggering more headaches. Another is that rebound headaches are a symptom of withdrawal as the level of medicine drops in the bloodstream.
What is agreed on is that in most cases the only way to stop these forms of headaches is to stop taking certain medications as your body has basically become immune to them.
The first sign that you are beginning to develop this form of head pain is the occurrence of a headache virtually every day, especially when you first wake up in the morning.
Once this starts to occur and you continue to take the same medication, they will subside only to return as soon as these medications begin to wear off.
Once you see these symptoms, the next will be a head pain that is now persistent for the entire day and will intensify with any type of physical or mental stress.
However, this is just the beginning of the symptoms as you may also experience neck pain, restlessness, a diminished ability to concentrate, as well as short term memory issues.
If these pains become severe enough, you may all become agitated very easily, depressed, as well as develop a chronic runny nose.
There are also some real danger symptoms or signs you can watch for and if any of these develop, you need to seek immediate medical attention.
This list includes a very sudden or severe headache followed by fevers, any type of a rash, a stiff neck, seizures, double vision, any type of numbness, as well as a sudden inability to speak properly.
Fever few has been used for centuries to fight all forms of headaches and it is an anti-inflammatory agent that is believed to inhibit chemicals in your brain that can trigger head pains.
Butter-bur also has very similar properties and is finally getting the credit that fever-few has received for fighting head pains.
Vitamin D is perhaps best known for what can do for your bones and its association with calcium.
However it is also well documented that a deficiency of this nutrient can also trigger headaches, especially migraines.
In fact, if you are tested for chronic head pain one of the first tests done will be to test the levels of Vitamin D in your bloodstream.
Remember that sugar is a headache fuel – the more sugar available to the brain, the more fuel for the migraine fire. The less sugar, the less strongly it can burn.
So avoid sweets, sodas, or processed foods of any sort. And significantly reduce the amount of fruit, rice, potatoes, or any food high in easily digestible carbohydrates.
Stress hormones are bad news when trying to conquer rebound headaches.Sleep is absolutely essential to good health, happiness, and migraine freedom.
If you are in the midst of a bad bout of rebound headaches, fasting is one of your greatest allies. There’s no better way to avoid blood sugar spikes and the attendant surge of stress hormones than to simply not put food into your stomach.
The best treatments address root causes; figuring out why the body has malfunctioned to begin with, and assisting it in returning to its healthy baseline.
Migraine headaches–Migraines can run in families and are diagnosed using certain criteria.
1.At least five previous episodes of headaches
2. Lasting between 4–72 hours
3.At least two out of these four: one-sided pain, throbbing pain, moderate-to-severe pain, and pain that interferes with, is worsened by, or prohibits routine activity
At least one associated feature: nausea and/or vomiting, or, if those are not present, then sensitivity to light and sound
A migraine may be foreshadowed by aura, such as visual distortions or hand numbness. (About 15% to 20% of people with migraines experience these.)
Diet plays a vital role in preventing migraines. Many foods and beverages are known migraine triggers, such as:
foods with nitrates including hot dogs, deli meats, bacon, and sausage
cheese that contains the naturally-occurring compound tyramine, such as blue, feta, cheddar, Parmesan, and Swiss
alcohol, especially red wine
foods that contain monosodium glutamate (MSG), a flavor enhancer
foods that are very cold such as ice cream or iced drinks
cultured dairy products such as buttermilk, sour cream, and yogurt
If you suffer from migraines on a regular basis, consider making one small switch to your diet: more nuts. Nuts can work as both a pain reliever and a preventative method to stave off future onsets.
Although it may be painful to consider heading out into the sunlight when you’re struggling to stop a migraine, getting close to nature can help—if you have an herb garden nearby. Ginger, peppermint, and cayenne can provide some natural pain relief and can treat both a headache and nausea that often comes with a migraine.
More Natural remedies that may help with migraine include:
Light is painful when you’re suffering from a minimal headache, a hangover, and especially a migraine.To achieve quick relief, shut out as much light as you can. Turn down the brightness by shutting off the lights in the room you’re in, and make sure to close the blinds or curtains.
If you’re in need of even greater help, don’t be afraid to wear sunglasses, either indoors or out. The lenses can protect you from both natural and unnatural light. You could even grab a sleep mask to block out the light and lie down for a little while.
A regular massage may seem like a luxury, but when a migraine strikes, it can be the best way to relive all that’s built up in your head.
Learn how to give yourself a calming and pain relieving massage, and you can prevent your migraines from growing worse, quickly. As you stretch and massage both the neck and the base of the scalp, you will stimulate blood flow and relaxation, sending the pain away from your head.
During pregnancy, menstruation, menopause, and any other times of hormonal change, be extra careful with what you do. Small things can trigger the migraine attack because your hormones are in flux.
Stress is one of the worst migraine triggers and one we can’t always avoid. Try to limit stress as much as possible. If that means changing your job or altering the way you handle home life, so be it. Your health matters, and reducing stress is a key to preventing migraines!
An important part of pain treatment is the support of other people. Being with other people who live with pain and understand what you’re going through makes you feel better and gives you courage.
You may not be able to completely eliminate pain. But you can eliminate suffering. You can make pain a smaller part of your life and become healthier in the process!
Currently, a lot of of the world’s population have used or are using some type of herbal supplement.As the popularity of these supplements continues to increase, some people use these supplements in place of traditional medications. It is important that everyone be informed about the safe use of herbal supplements before taking them.
Using herbal supplements to fix health problems and heal injuries seems like a win-win situation. Herbal medicines are those with active ingredients made from plant parts, such as leaves, roots or flowers.Today, herbal remedies can come in a variety of forms such as: pills, powders, teas, extracts, and fresh or dried plants. Such remedies are believed to be safe as they are made from natural plants but arent.
Otherwise known as botanicals, herbs which can be found in both foods and supplements differ from vitamins and minerals in that they can be used for health-supporting purposes, and generally support a particular area of health such as bones or the liver.
The fact that something comes from a plant does not mean it is harmless. There are numerous plants out there sporting poisonous leaves or other plant parts.
Unlike conventional medications, herbal supplements do not undergo rigorous scientific study using randomized, controlled clinical trials that are designed to measure objective “end points.”
In the same way that conventional medications can have unpleasant side effects or dangers if taken together, plant-based therapies can potentially interact in undesirable ways.
A major misconception is that plant-based remedies, like food plants, are safe in any amount and for an unlimited amount of time. The reality is that taking too much or using them for too long is as risky as over using traditional medications.
Only a medical professional or trained herbalist should determine if a particular substance is harmless and effective. (Keep in mind that not all doctors are experts in alternate therapies. It is to a patient’s advantage to do some research and bring the results to the doctor.)
Researching safe dosages, and following the product maker’s guidelines are vital steps. And be sure to know the proper interval between doses and how long it takes for the remedy to produce results.
Always start with low doses and pay close attention to how you are responding to it. Slowly increase the dose until you reach the recommended dosage. Some herbs may act pretty quickly, others take a week, several weeks, or sometimes up to a couple of months to show results.
Of course, many herbs have been tested and work well for their intended purpose. Many are also quite safe, but the word “natural” will not tell you which ones are safe and which ones are not safe.
How to Choose and Use Herbal Remedies Safely
These tips can help guide you through the processes of finding and using herbal remedies safely.
It’s tempting to blindly follow trends and load up your shopping cart with every great-sounding supplement on the market. Research wisely, gaining enough knowledge to understand the supplement’s potential benefits and its potential risks and side effects.
Look closely at the claims made about the product. How is the product described? Is it a “miracle” pill that “melts away” fat? Will it work faster than regular care? Is it a secret your health care provider and drug companies don’t want you to know? Such claims are red flags. If something’s too good to be true, it probably is not.
Remember “real-life stories” are not scientific proof. Many products are promoted with real-life stories. Even if the quote comes from a provider, there’s no proof that other people will get the same results.
Consult with a trained herbalist or naturopathic physician both of whom can steer you in the right direction . This is your health that’s at stake!
Herbal supplements are comprised of powerful components that, when mixed with other medications (as well as certain foods and alcohol), may interfere with the ways in which other chemicals are processed ,intensifying the side effects of some medications while weakening the therapeutic benefits of others.
You must understand your own symptoms first and foremost,the more that you understand about yourself and your health conditions, the easier it will be to choose a herbal remedy.
Before trying a product, talk with a professional herbalist.I made an error here myself I bought some chinese and indian medicine online to help me with my menopausal symptoms but it interfered with my Type 1 diabetes medication that is my insulin so I stopped taking it and it gave me other side effects too such as vagina infections such as thrush.
So be very careful when it comes to taking herbal medicines because they can have dangerous side effects especially for us diabetics.
However this is not true for everyone it is a matter of trial and error and if you contact a trained herbalist with a lot of knowledge in this area herbal medicine can be very beneficial so I wouldnt rule out using it !
Its just a matter of getting the correct advise which I failed to do but I learned my lesson and I have found that a healthy diet full of plant based foods makes the menopause symptoms less severe!
Anyway that’s all I want to say on the matter here.I hope you find this article useful but it’s not intended to turn you off using herbal medicine just to warn you of the potential dangers of using herbal medicine for a long period of time without the right guidance!
Ask for a good herbalists opinion. Is the product safe? What are the chances it will work? Are their risks? Will it interact with other medicines? Will it interfere with your treatment?
The same precautions apply as any other medicine. The more you know about herbal medicine and their impact on the body, the better equipped you’ll be to safeguard your well-being.
Check for a seal of approval
Different brands offer different ingredients and concentrations. Once you know which natural herbs might be right for you, inspect their labels carefully.
What you should be looking for is whether the herb is standardized—a method in which the herb is chemically tested to determine the potency of its active compounds.
Buy only from companies that have certification on the label, such as “USP Verified” or “ConsumerLab.com Approved Quality.” Companies with these certifications agree to test the purity and quality of their products.
Additionally, check the label to ensure that the supplement meets the FDA’s Current Good Manufacturing Practices (CGMP), which certifies that manufacturing processes are up to present standards and details the product’s strength, quality, purity and identity while also screening for contaminants, deviations, mix-ups and other errors.
Happen upon an ingredient that seems suspicious? Don’t hesitate to consult your doctor or herbalist. After all, when it comes to your health, it’s smarter to err on the side of caution.
Know the source
Recent reports reveal that some herbal medicines from different countries aren’t what they say they are.
It’s imperative to know where your supplement was sourced. Is the manufacturer reputable? Where does the herbal supplement come from ? In what type of environment was it cultivated and processed? How and when?
DO NOT give herbal medications to children or use them if you are older than 65. Talk to your health care provider first.
Since older individuals may have a greater incidence of having multiple medical conditions and are more likely to take multiple medications, it is imperative that they also consult with their primary health care provider before using any herbal medicine to avoid any possible interactions .
DO NOT use them if you are pregnant or breastfeeding without consulting your healthcare provider.
Although herbs are natural, not all herbs are safe to take during pregnancy. The FDA urges pregnant women not to take any herbal products without talking to their health-care provider first. Women are also urged to consult a trained and experienced herbalist (or other professionals trained to work with herbs) if they want to take herbs during their pregnancy. Some herbal products may contain agents that are dangerous during pregnancy.
Herbs may contain substances that can cause miscarriage, premature birth, pregnancy contractions, or injury to the fetus. Few studies have been done to measure the effects of various herbs on pregnant women or fetuses.
Depending on the source, some information will list a herb as safe to consume during pregnancy, whereas another source may list the same herb as unsafe. Therefore, it is best to consult with your health care provider or someone trained in using herbs before taking any natural medicine or herb during pregnancy.
The following herbs have been rated Likely Safe or Possibly Safe for use during pregnancy:
Red Raspberry Leaf – Rich in iron, this herb has helped tone the uterus, increase milk production, decrease nausea, and ease labor pains. Some studies have even reported that using red raspberry leaf during pregnancy can reduce complications .
There is some controversy about whether this should be used throughout pregnancy or just in the second and third trimester, so many health care providers remain cautious and only recommend using it after the first trimester.
PeppermintLeaf – Helpful in relieving nausea/morning sickness and flatulence
Ginger root – Helps relieve nausea and vomiting
Slippery Elm Bark – (when the inner bark is used orally in amounts used in foods) Used to help relieve nausea, heartburn, and vaginal irritations
Oats & Oat Straw – Rich in calcium and magnesium; helps relieve anxiety, restlessness, and irritated skin
Blond Psyllium – when used orally and appropriately
Black Psyllium – when used orally with appropriate fluid intake
Garlic – when used orally in amounts commonly found in foods
Capsicum (Cayenne, hot pepper) – when used topically and appropriately
Depending on what type of health care provider you see, he/she may recommend using herbs to help promote the health of your pregnancy. Remember, never try to self-dose or diagnose with any medications, including herbs. Because each pregnancy is different, the best way to use herbs is under the care of a specialist herbalist, naturopathic or homeopathic doctor.
DO NOT use herbal remedies if you are having surgery
People should stop taking herbal remedies two to three weeks before surgery, because some natural remedies can lead to excessive bleeding, heart instability or a reduction in blood sugar levels.
Yet studies suggest as many as 70% of patients don’t tell their doctors they are taking herbal supplements.
It is important that patients tell their doctors about all the medications they are taking, including herbal supplements, before surgery. And doctors should provide patients with a list of supplements to avoid.
Listed below are common herbal supplements that could be a problem if you need to have surgery:
Echinacea. This herb comes from the purple cornflower and is taken for colds, infections, arthritis, and ulcers.
Ephedra. When combined with some anesthesia medicines, it can cause high blood pressure and abnormal heart rhythms.
Garlic. Garlic supplements are used to lower blood pressure and cholesterol. Garlic can increase the effects of medicines used to control blood sugar, blood thinners, and some OTC pain relievers, and it can increase bleeding during or after surgery.
Ginkgo. Ginkgo biloba is used to improve memory. But it may cause prolonged bleeding during or after surgery and make the sedation effects of anesthesia last longer.
Ginseng. Ginseng is commonly used for an energy boost or to lower blood sugar levels. During surgery, ginseng may cause high blood pressure and a rapid heart rate.
Kava. Kava is used for muscle relaxation and to calm the nerves. It may be dangerous for people having surgery because of its interactions with other medicines. It may also cause liver damage.
St. John’s wort. Also known as goatweed, this herb is taken to relieve depression and anxiety. During a surgical procedure, St. John’s wort may interfere with some anesthesia medicines and make it harder for you recover from the effects of anesthesia.
Valerian. This herb is used to relieve anxiety. It may increase the effects of anesthesia and make it more difficult to wake up after surgery. It may also cause irregular heart rhythms.
Other herbal supplements that may increase bleeding include feverfew, ginger, and saw palmetto. Herbal supplements that could interfere with your blood pressure during surgery include goldenseed, licorice, and milk thistle.
The best advice is to talk with your healthcare provider about all medications and herbal supplements you’re taking. If you have any surgery scheduled in your future, have this discussion as soon as possible. Also, plan to stop these herbal supplements in the weeks before your operation.
This online database can help you to find interactions between drugs and natural medicines.
However, despite the fact that the process to find and safely using herbal remedies may appear difficult, herbal remedies can be a highly beneficial to support or improve your daily lifestyle and overall wellbeing.
Inflammation has a positive and negative affect in your body. Inflammation has a positive side because it helps your body respond to stress. But chronic, low-grade inflammation is thought to be one of the leading causes of disease, premature aging, and illness.
When you get a cold, your body responds with inflammation in the form of a fever that helps you heal. The inflammation does its job, gets rid of the virus, and disappears. But if your immunity is compromised and your body is constantly stressed, you might experience chronic low-grade inflammation that leaves you more susceptible to illness and disease.
Scientists are just beginning to understand how widespread the effects of chronic inflammation may be throughout a person’s body and what kind of damage it might do. Chronic inflammation stresses arterial walls and is associated with the development of atherosclerosis, the buildup of fatty deposits in arterial linings.It’s also becoming clearer that inflammation may be behind insulin resistance, the reduced ability of the cells to respond to insulin, which is a cause of high blood glucose in Type 2 diabetes.
Decades ago, researchers identified higher levels of inflammation in the bodies of people with type 2 diabetes. The levels of certain inflammatory chemicals called cytokines are often higher in people with type 2 diabetes compared to people without diabetes.
Markers that indicate inflammation and are predictive of heart disease are higher in people with Type 2 diabetes than in those without, even when matched with other risk factors for inflammation such as body-mass index, smoking, and high alcohol consumption.
Lifestyle habits over time may play a role in chronic inflammation.Obesity and inactivity have long been known to be the most important risk factors that drive the development of type 2 diabetes.Excess body fat, especially in the abdomen, causes continuous (chronic), low levels of abnormal inflammation that alters insulin’s action and contributes to the disease.
Emotional stress can also increase levels of the chemicals of inflammation. It’s unknown whether stress by itself can contribute to the development of diabetes, though.
Physical activity releases a flood of anti-inflammatory chemicals into the body. Exercise also causes the body’s cells, especially muscle cells, to dramatically increase their sensitivity to insulin.
The increased insulin sensitivity from exercise also helps reduce chronic inflammation. The benefits are seen even with moderate exercise, like regular walking.Weight loss and increased physical activity can have strong anti-inflammatory effects and both are important for reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Diet can also contribute to chronic inflammation. And some foods have anti-inflammatory properties.To move toward an anti-inflammatory diet and anti-inflammatory foods, we primarily move away from the abundance of overly processed, unbalanced diets of the West and toward the ancient eating patterns of the Mediterranean.
An anti-inflammatory diet is rich in fish, vegetables, fruit, and nuts.The evidence is clear that such anti-inflammatory foods can regulate the immune system and impact the way inflammation affects our bodies and our lives.
Choose the right foods, and you may be able to reduce your risk of illness. Consistently pick the wrong ones, and you could accelerate the inflammatory disease process.
Typically, foods known for their anti-inflammatory effects are rich in antioxidants, minerals, vitamins, and nutrients, which help the body combat inflammation and supply the body with essential components that support optimal function.
Here are the best anti-inflammatory foods to add to your diet.
Berries (Health Benefits)
Over the past 10 years, research has revealed the health benefits of berries, including their impact on chronic diseases, including cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and age-related cognitive regression.
All berries, including raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries are high in antioxidants called flavonoids. Flavonoids contribute to anti-inflammatory effects by reducing free-radical damage to cells.
Cherries provide a delicious treat with many health benefits. Filled with antioxidants, essential vitamins, and additional nutrients, cherries burst with good stuff. Consuming about 45 (280 g) sweet Bing cherries can significantly decrease circulating concentrations of inflammatory biomarkers in the blood.
Anthocyanins, pigments found in both cherries and berries, are powerful antioxidants that work like magic-makers in the body. The darker the fruit, the more anthocyanins it contains, and the better it is for you. Anthocyanins are crammed with anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, and anti-cancer properties.
There’s really no reason not to try to up your berry intake. Experts recommend aiming for 1 cup a day.
Turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, garlic, cayenne and clove are just a few examples of spices that can reduce inflammation and the pain associated with it. These ingredients have been used in Eastern Medicine practices for centuries; incorporating them into our cooking is an easy way to reap their benefits and makes our food taste even better.
Turmeric is a bright yellow spice often used in Asian cooking. Turmeric contains the active ingredient curcumin, which is an antioxidant that demonstrates anti-inflammatory properties in conditions such as arthritis, muscle sprains and other injuries.
In addition, turmeric may prevent and slow cancer growth, protect against liver disease and help reduce symptoms of digestive conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome. Simply adding turmeric to your daily cooking will increase consumption and enhance flavor.
Ginger contains very potent anti-inflammatory compounds calledgingerols. These substances are believed to explain why so many people with osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis experience reductions in their pain levels and improvements in their mobility when they consume ginger regularly.
For that reason, ginger should be considered as an all-natural remedy for treating a wide variety of inflammatory ailments, from migraines and headaches, to sore muscles, arthritic joints, and even menstrual cramps.
Drinking ginger as a ginger tea, ginger water, ginger juice, or ginger extract has shown to be an effective remedy for soothing digestive ailments or nausea. It can even be applied topically, though it may cause some skin irritation. Ginger supplements may also be taken for treating nausea and inflammatory purposes.
Cinnamon is best known as a blood sugar stabilizing superhero, and also contains a host of antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial compounds, making it a powerful tool for preventing blood sugar spikes and systemic inflammation.
Apart from the beneficial effects on insulin resistance, cinnamon can lower blood sugar by several other mechanisms.
First, cinnamon has been shown to decrease the amount of glucose that enters the bloodstream after a meal.
It does this by interfering with numerous digestive enzymes, which slows the breakdown of carbohydrates in the digestive tract .
Second, a compound in cinnamon can act on cells by mimicking insulin.
This greatly improves glucose uptake by cells, although it acts much slower than insulin itself.
Numerous human trials have confirmed the anti-diabetic effects of cinnamon, showing that it can lower fasting blood sugar levels by up to 10-29%.
Also Cinnamon has been linked with reduced risk of heart disease, the world’s most common cause of premature death.
In people with type 2 diabetes, 1 gram of cinnamon per day has beneficial effects on blood markers.
It reduces levels of total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, while HDL cholesterol remains stable .
Cinnamaldehyde, the main active component of cinnamon, may help fight various kinds of infection.
Cinnamon oil has been shown to effectively treat respiratory tract infections caused by fungi.
It can also inhibit the growth of certain bacteria, including Listeria and Salmonella.
The antimicrobial effects of cinnamon may also help prevent tooth decay and reduce bad breath .
Garlic is packed with antioxidants that prevent and treat colds, and it is also known for its anti-bacterial and antiviral properties. Garlic can benefit you on many different levels: it can boost your immune system, it can help you get rid of acne, it can help you keep your immune system under control .
In addition to its antibacterial, antiviral, and antioxidant properties, garlic also contains a sulfuric compound called allicin, which has an anti-inflammatory effect. It’s also a super-easy (and tasty!) addition to almost anything you’re cooking up—veggies, soups, meat, sauces—and the finer you chop it, the more allicin is released. Research shows it may also help you lose weight.
Cayenne is most commonly known as a food spice but it may have a number of health benefits, particularly for inflammation. Cayenne pepper has been shown to have more antioxidant activity than many vegetables. Also known as capsaicin, the active chemical in cayenne has been used to treat gastrointestinal disorders, arthritis and pain and may be of use in certain types of cancer.
It’s also used for conditions of the heart and blood vessels – including to improve poor circulation, reverse excessive blood clotting, lower high cholesterol and prevent heart disease.
Cayenne pepper is typically added to food in either its natural or powdered form, and some people use it as a cream or capsule in order to take advantage of its detoxifying properties.
Cloves have extremely high antioxidant values. In fact, one study that evaluated food from around the world found that cloves have the most antioxidants per gram weight of all foods sampled.
Cloves contain one compound that is particularly potent when compared to other components of the herb. This compound is eugenol, and it acts in a very similar manner to cinnamaldehyde.
Eugenol works partially by inhibiting an enzyme that’s responsible for causing an inflammatory response. This is actually the same enzyme that non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs target, making cloves and clove oil one of the most potent natural anti-inflammatories that you can find.
Dosages of clove oil can be effective at reducing inflammation topically with as little as a single drop.
There are many anti-inflammatory spices out there and it’s important to know which ones are effective and what doses you should take for the best benefit.
Refer to another excellent article on the health benefits of Turmeric!
They’ve also found that omega-3s can help fight diabetes in obese mice, pointing the way to potential therapies in humans.
Omega 3 Polyunsaturated Fats consist of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and alpha linolenic acid (ALA). The body cannot manufacture them, so it is important we get enough through the diet. This is why they are sometimes referred to as ‘essential’ fatty acids. EPA and DHA are the most potent of the Omega 3’s with the highest anti-inflammatory effect.
Oily fish, like salmon, mackerel, tuna and sardines, are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which can help reduce inflammation. In a 2009 study, men who consumed the most omega-3s each day from baked or boiled fish (as opposed to fried, dried or salted) cut their risk of death from heart disease by 23 percent, compared with those who ate the least.
Fatty fish is also rich in B vitamins, which are key in helping your body convert food into energy, and also in repairing your DNA. To reap the benefits of omega-3s, aim to eat fish several times a week, cooked in healthy ways.
Not a fan of fish? Fish oil supplements may help lower inflammation. Also, reduce your intake of omega-6 fatty acids (found in processed foods and some vegetable oils); a healthy balance between omega-3s and omega-6s is essential!
Leafy green veggies like kale,celery, Swiss chard, collard greens and spinach are rich in antioxidants that restore cellular health, as well as anti-inflammatory flavonoids. They also provide a concentrated dose of important vitamins and minerals like vitamins A, C, and K, as well as potassium.
Kale is rich in anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer nutrients, as well as antioxidants. In addition to vitamin E, Kale is rich in vitamin K and Omega 3 fatty acids – both of which are powerful anti-inflammatories.
In addition to containing powerful anti-inflammatory vitamins and nutrients, kale is packed with other nutritionally rich vitamins and minerals. Combine all that nutrition with its low calories – about 33 calories per one cup of chopped Kale – and you’ve got yourself one healthy snack.
In addition to its anti-inflammatory properties, broccoli has the potential to help recover from vitamin D deficiency – a common deficiency worldwide.Broccoli is rich in vitamins K and A, both of which are necessary to help keep vitamin D metabolism in equilibrium.
Cauliflower is rich in antioxidant and anti-inflammatory nutrients. In addition to the powerful antioxidants vitamin C and manganese, cauliflower contains phytonutrients, which have a wide variety of antioxidants to fight harmful free radicals that damage and kill cells.
Cauliflowers vitamin K content makes it a powerful anti-inflammatory food. By fighting chronic inflammation and oxidative stress – cauliflower significantly decreases our risk of cancers and chronic diseases.
Like many green vegetables, brussel sprouts are a great source of fiber, which is important for lowering cholesterol. In addition to lowering cholesterol, brussel sprouts contain powerful anti-inflammatory properties such as glucobrassicin and vitamin K. Glucobrassicin, helps inhibit the inflammatory response in its early stages. Vitamin K helps regulate and protect against excessive and chronic inflammation.
Crunchy, crispy celery is well known for being low in calories, but its health benefits go far beyond use as a diet food. Celery contains useful phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals. It’s a convenient on-the-go snack as well as a vegetable that can be incorporated into cooked dishes, stir-fries and salads.
Celery juice contains over 20 anti-inflammatory compounds that not only lower your blood pressure and reduce the secretion of stress hormones, but it also helps strengthen the immune system, keeps cholesterol levels healthy, fights cancer and aids in natural weight loss.
Celery is a nutritional powerhouse. It contains a high concentration of vitamin C, which is important for a strong and healthy immune system. It also helps eradicate free radicals and prevents mutated DNA (which normally leads to cancer).
Spinach contains over a dozen different anti-inflammatory phytonutrients. With two different categories of phytonutrients that fight inflammation – flavonoids and carotenoids – spinach stands out against other leafy vegetables. These natural chemicals give spinach powerful anti-inflammatory and pain relieving properties.
Swiss chard, in particular, is packed with antioxidants that can help protect your brain against oxidative stress caused by free-radical damage. As a general rule, the darker the shade, the more nutritious they are, so pile on all the greens!
Dark, leafy green vegetables are a fantastic source of many of the crucial vitamins and nutrients your body needs to stay healthy. If you’re not already incorporating them into your daily diet – you should start today! Not only will it help reduce your risk of cancer or chronic diseases, it will help provide relief from inflammation and pain.
Coconut oil has long been touted for its wide-ranging health and medicinal benefits, and coconut beauty products are garnering lots of attention. But with all of its amazing uses, it’s easy to forget that simply cooking with the stuff is one of the best ways to utilize this versatile oil.
The unique type of fatty acids found in coconuts are more easily metabolized by the body than fats from other oils, making coconut oil a great source of energy and also a potent weight-loss tool.
It also contains lauric acid, which, when digested, helps fight off harmful bacteria, viruses, and fungi in the body.
Lauric acid, found in coconut oil is a particular form of fatty acid. For many years, people have avoided fatty acids such as lauric acid because people believed they were unhealthy. In actual fact, this lipid (another term for fat) is vital for the cells in the body and is essential to stop the body from starving.
The fatty acids, including lauric acid, are vital in protecting our vital organs and cushioning cell membrane to give our bodies further defence. Not only are they protective in nature, but they also provide invaluable energy and help with hormone production.
Unlike other fatty acids, lauric acid stands apart because of its incredible disease-fighting powers. As this lauric acid is digested, enzymes in the body can draw out a powerful substance, monolaurin. Monolaurin can then halt the growth of nasty, infectious pathogens and combat viruses. With coconut oil, the monolaurin production acts as a killer of infections and bacteria helping to treat serious conditions so that you can recover faster.
By taking coconut oil, you can help to treat infections such as the common cold, influenza, herpes and even HIV/AIDS. Not only does it help with these types of viruses, but it can also help with fungal infections. Instead of antibiotics, which are becoming less effective through their resistance, you may be able to treat fungal infections with delicious, healthy and affordable coconut oil.
Coconuts are well known to be the best source of this potent lauric acid (coconut oil is around 50% lauric acid), but you can also find traces of lauric acid in grass-fed cows butter, palm oil and genetically modified rapeseed oil.
Coconut oil is a tried-and-true superfood.Coconut oil is not only anti-inflammatory, it also boosts metabolism, helps balance hormones, is an anti-microbial agent and tastes delicious too.
Adding coconut oil into your daily routine is an excellent way to boost your immune system and protect yourself with its anti-viral properties. Including just one tablespoon of pure organic coconut oil into your diet every day can significantly help your body to fight bacteria and kill off any lurking infections.
Beetroot helps dilate vessels and improve blood circulation. It is one of the best anti-inflammatory foods that help reduce pains.
In the same family as spinach and chard, beets contain vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber. They are also high in vitamins C and B6, folate, manganese, betaine and potassium.
Beets are a powerhouse of nutrients that help you process toxins, repair tissue and feed your mitocondria! Beets can literally push toxins out of your body. Beets contain a group of phytonutrients called betalains that support detoxification through increasing enzymes such as glutathione S-transferase, an important detox step in the liver.
When your liver is able to detoxify chemicals and toxins more effectively, then your body is better able to balance your hormones, keep your cholesterol levels in check, and improve your energy levels.
Betalain, the compound that gives beets its rich colour, is an exceptional rich source of antioxidants and protects cells from oxidative stress, a key factor in the development and progression of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Beet juice can actually lower the amount of glucose in the blood. This benefit is due to the soluble fibers found in beets.
Also Beetroot juice can lower blood pressure. In fact, when you consume the juice, you will find your blood pressure drop instantly and stay lowered for up to twenty-four hours.
Researchers believe that this impact on blood pressure is due to naturally occurring nitrates found in beets. All vegetables contain nitrates, but an average-sized beet contains 20 times more dietary nitrates than any others. In fact, beets are top-rated for Nitric Oxide production.
Research has indicated that beets are a rich source of a mineral called boron that is directly linked to the production of sex hormones. In addition, the nitric oxide that is produced in the body when you eat beets increases blood flow and give your sex drive a kick start.
Keep in mind naturally occurring nitrates are healthy but the ones found in processed food like hot dogs and lunch meet are not.
Researchers have found that beets can help fight against both cancerous tumors and leukemia. In a recent clinical trial, 22 patients with advanced inoperable cancers were given 10 ozs. of beet juice for 3-4 months and showed dramatic improvements.
Beets contain an antioxidant called beta-carotene which is also present in many other vegetables like carrots and famously aids vision and eye health.This compound can slow down macular degeneration which is often linked to the damaging effects of free radicals.
Beets are an especially good choice for women during pregnancy because they contain many of the B vitamins including folate which can help your fetus to develop properly. A deficiency in folate has been linked with certain neural birth defects.
It is not difficult to add beets to your diet. They are absolutely delicious whether you choose to juice them or add them to your salad dishes.
Many people simply throw away the beet greens but they have plenty of nutritional value that should not be wasted.
Beet greens are a great source of minerals like zinc, potassium, manganese and copper. And as regards iron, beets actually contain more of it than spinach!
Pineapple juice may reduce inflammation associated with arthritis and other joint disorders, and reduce the swelling of soft-tissue injuries. The bromelain in pineapple juice may also ease inflammation in digestive disorders, such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, according to research studies.
When you use pineapple for inflammation, it is obviously best to eat them fresh and raw. Bromelain is present in its highest concentration in the skin of the fruit. Many people assume that it is in the pulp, but this is not true. This is why you should not throw away the skin of pineapples. The recommended daily intake of pineapples is two standard-sized slices.
When you eat pineapples, it is only natural that you do not eat the skin. However, when you are making the juice, leave the skin on. It is the best way to gain all the benefits this delightful fruit has to offer.
You can also take bromelain supplements to treat inflammation and other problems. These supplements can be found in capsule, tablet, and liquid forms. According to experts, you should take 500 to 1,000 milligrams of bromelain supplements on a daily basis.
Although natural treatments are free from side effects, it is best to consult your doctor before using them, especially as supplements.
In some cases, bromelain may cause diarrhea or vomiting, an increase in heart rate or allergic reactions .
People with high blood pressure, liver disease, kidney disease or bleeding disorders should be careful while using bromelain supplements, and must use them only under a doctors’s supervision.
Most common nuts – including almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, peanuts, pecans and pistachios – contain more monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs), particularly oleic acid, than polyunsaturated fatty acids.
The great thing about most of these nuts is that they’re very versatile, making a great between meals snack or adding flavor to any main dish or side dish.
Most nuts and seeds are loaded with vitamin E, either in the form of alpha-tocopherol or gamma-tocopherol.
Alpha-tocopherol, which is abundant in almonds, hazelnuts, pine nuts and sunflower seeds, has been shown to exert anti-inflammatory effects through multiple mechanisms, including decreasing levels of CRP and pro-inflammatory cytokines and inhibiting the activity of protein kinase C and other enzymes, such as cyclooxygenase-2.
Also gamma-tocopherol – a type of vitamin E found in high amounts in Brazil nuts, cashews, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios, walnuts, flaxseed, pumpkin seeds, poppy seeds and sesame seeds – has been shown to exert anti-inflammatory activities in some laboratory and animal studies.
Research shows that walnuts have double the antioxidant activity of other nuts. Antioxidants fight free radicals that damage cells and trigger inflammation. Plus, you don’t need to eat a lot of walnuts to get the benefits, only about seven walnuts a day. That’s doable!
You can add chopped walnuts to salads, hot cereal, or grind them up finely and sprinkle them on vegetables. The healthy fats in walnuts boost the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins too. Walnuts also contain the highest content of short-chain omega-3s of all nuts, a type of fat with anti-inflammatory activity.
The protein and fiber in nuts and seeds promote satiety, which in turn may help combat obesity, a common risk factor for chronic inflammation. Just keep in mind that nuts and seeds are also pretty high in calories, so only eat them in moderation to keep your overall calorie intake in check.
Yes, nuts and seeds do fight inflammation and they each have their own special benefits. To get the benefits of all, enjoy mixed nuts and seeds as an alternative to processed unhealthy snacks, like crisps. Your body will thank you!
Studies have shown that if we decrease our water intake our fat deposits will increase. Conversely, an increase in water intake will reduce fat deposits.
Severe dehydration is dangerous. It can bring on seizures, brain damage, and even death. Minor dehydration can aggravate conditions like constipation or urinary tract infections.
Even dental problems can arise from dehydration due to a lack of saliva in the mouth, which can be a problem for aging teeth. In otherwise healthy people, dehydration is most likely to occur after a bout of vomiting or diarrhea.
Our bodies are comprised of 70% water. That water must be continuously replaced. What we replace it with makes a profound difference to our health.
Water maintains moisture in the body; it transports oxygen to the blood, and helps carry nutrients through blood. Water is necessary to maintain an ideal internal body temperature – in fact, nearly every biological function requires the help of water.
Unfortunately, in today’s society, too many people replace their fluids by drinking soft drinks, coffee and other highly acidic fluids.Many researchers believe that acidosis, or an excess of acids in the body is epidemic in society today and may be a direct cause of most unhealthy inflammatory conditions.
This is why health professionals stress water as the best replacement fluid.
We all like to have a “cuppa” throughout the day and in the evening. This can be a great way to manage inflammation. Green tea is known to be high in anti-oxidants, which help reduce inflammation and fight disease. If you drink green tea made with ionized water regularly, it may be the best “medicine” you can take.
Finally, when it comes to how much water you should be drinking each day, let your body be your guide. You have a built-in hydration meter: your urine. If it’s dark yellow or orange in color, or if it has a distinctive or strong odor, you may be dehydrated, though certain medications can turn urine orange.
The usual colour for healthy urine is light yellow, or straw-colored. Remember: your body will use water from any source, including healthy fruits and vegetables !
Developing a healthy eating plan can sometimes seem difficult but like anything that is new, it becomes second nature over time.
And the payoff is well worth it: With a proper diet, you can take a proactive stance against inflammation, aging, and disease by incorporating these superfoods into your life.
One of our readers recommended great information on healthy diet.
Both Crohn’s disease and Diabetes have a profound impact on the lives of patients .
Unfortunately, many people who suffer from Crohn’s disease also have to cope with some form of diabetes.
New research finds that patients who have both diabetes and Crohn’s are six times more likely to require surgery for Crohn’s than patients without diabetes.
Both diseases are chronic, or life-long, and there is no cure for either. But both Crohn’s and diabetes are increasingly diagnosed worldwide for unrelated reasons. Type 2 diabetes is often associated with obesity, while the causes of Crohn’s are still unknown.
Crohn’s disease is a chronic and painful condition attributed to inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract.
People with Crohn’s disease can experience periods of severe symptoms followed by periods of remission that can last for weeks or years. The symptoms of Crohn’s disease depend on where the disease occurs in the bowel and its severity. In general, symptoms can include:
Chronic diarrhea, often bloody and containing mucus or pus
Abdominal pain and tenderness
Feeling of a mass or fullness in the abdomen
Severe inflammation and obstruction of various parts of the gastrointestinal tract due to swelling and scar formation can cause other problems like bowel perforation, abdominal distension (swelling), severe pain, and fever. This can be life-threatening.
Experts agree that stress can trigger symptom flair-ups, worsen digestive health overall, and increase the chance of experiencing complications.
Of course stress is a part of daily life, and not all stress is going to be within your control, however there’s a lot you can do to reduce your reactions to stressful events. Regular exercise, getting adequate rest, taking time to relax, spending time outdoors, and fostering supportive relationships can make a huge impact.
Your doctor will likely diagnose Crohn’s disease only after ruling out other possible causes for your signs and symptoms. There is no one test to diagnose Crohn’s disease.
Your doctor will likely use a combination of tests to help confirm a diagnosis of Crohn’s disease, including:
1.Tests for anemia or infection
Your doctor may suggest blood tests to check for anemia — a condition in which there aren’t enough red blood cells to carry adequate oxygen to your tissues — or to check for signs of infection. Expert guidelines do not currently recommend antibody or genetic testing for Crohn’s disease.
2.Fecal occult blood test
You may need to provide a stool sample so that your doctor can test for hidden (occult) blood in your stool.
This test allows your doctor to view your entire colon and the very end of your ileum (terminal ileum) using a thin, flexible, lighted tube with an attached camera. During the procedure, your doctor can also take small samples of tissue (biopsy) for laboratory analysis, which may help confirm a diagnosis. Clusters of inflammatory cells called granulomas, if present, help confirm the diagnosis of Crohn’s.
2.Computerized tomography (CT)
You may have a CT scan — a special X-ray technique that provides more detail than a standard X-ray does. This test looks at the entire bowel as well as at tissues outside the bowel. CT enterography is a special CT scan that provides better images of the small bowel. This test has replaced barium X-rays in many medical centers.
3.Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
An MRI scanner uses a magnetic field and radio waves to create detailed images of organs and tissues. MRI is particularly useful for evaluating a fistula around the anal area (pelvic MRI) or the small intestine (MR enterography).
For this test, you swallow a capsule that has a camera in it. The camera takes pictures of your small intestine, which are transmitted to a recorder you wear on your belt. The images are then downloaded to a computer, displayed on a monitor and checked for signs of Crohn’s disease. The camera exits your body painlessly in your stool. You may still need endoscopy with biopsy to confirm the diagnosis of Crohn’s disease.
For this test, a scope is used in conjunction with a device called an overtube. This enables the doctor to look further into the small bowel where standard endoscopes don’t reach. This technique is useful when capsule endoscopy shows abnormalities, but the diagnosis is still in question.
There is currently no cure for Crohn’s disease, and there is no one treatment that works for everyone. The goal of medical treatment is to reduce the inflammation that triggers your signs and symptoms. It is also to improve long-term prognosis by limiting complications. In the best cases, this may lead not only to symptom relief but also to long-term remission.
Treatment might involve drugs, nutritional supplements, surgery, or a combination of these therapies. Treatment choices depend upon where the disease is located and how severe it is. They also depend on the complications associated with the disease and the way the person has responded in the past to treatment when symptoms recurred.
There are several types of drugs used to treat Crohn’s disease. The first step usually involves reducing inflammation.
Many people are first treated with sulfasalazine (Azulfidine). Mesalamine (Asacol, Canasa, Pentasa) or 5-ASA medication.Oral 5-aminosalicylates have been widely used in the past but now are generally considered of limited benefit.
Corticosteroids such as prednisone are another class of drugs that reduce inflammation. A doctor is likely to prescribe an initial large dose of prednisone when the disease is very active. The dose is then tapered off.
A problem with corticosteroids is the large number of possible side effects — some of them serious — such as a higher susceptibility to infection and stomach ulcers.
Crohn’s disease may also be treated with drugs that stop the immune system from causing inflammation. Immunomodulators change the way the immune system behaves. Immunosuppressants decrease the activity of the immune system. Immunostimulators increase the activity. Immunosuppressants prescribed for Crohn’s disease include:
azathioprine ( Azasan, Imuran)
6-mercaptopurine (6MP, Purinethol)
Methotrexate (MTX, Rheumatrex, Trexall)
Other substances that may be prescribed to treat Crohn’s include:
1.Antibiotics to treat bacterial infections and overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestine; types of antibiotics commonly prescribed include:
2.Antidiarrheal agents to stop diarrhea.A fiber supplement, such as psyllium powder (Metamucil) or methylcellulose (Citrucel), can help relieve mild to moderate diarrhea by adding bulk to your stool. For more severe diarrhea, loperamide (Imodium A-D) may be effective.
3.Fluid replacements to counteract dehydration.
4.Nutritional supplements to provide the nutrients that may not be absorbing properly.If you have chronic intestinal bleeding, you may develop iron deficiency anemia and need to take iron supplements.
Crohn’s disease can cause vitamin B-12 deficiency. Vitamin B-12 helps prevent anemia, promotes normal growth and development, and is essential for proper nerve function.
Crohn’s disease and steroids used to treat it can increase your risk of osteoporosis, so you may need to take a calcium supplement with added vitamin D.
If diet and lifestyle changes, drug therapy, or other treatments don’t relieve your signs and symptoms, your doctor may recommend surgery. Nearly half of those with Crohn’s disease will require at least one surgery. However, surgery does not cure Crohn’s disease.
During surgery, your surgeon removes a damaged portion of your digestive tract and then reconnects the healthy sections. Surgery may also be used to close fistulas and drain abscesses.
The benefits of surgery for Crohn’s disease are usually temporary. The disease often recurs, frequently near the reconnected tissue. The best approach is to follow surgery with medication to minimize the risk of recurrence.
Natural Theraphy For Crohn’s Disease
Crohn’s disease treatment, the natural way, involves making a number of scientifically proven changes to your lifestyle and diet.Natural treatments are sometimes called alternative, complementary, or integrative medicine.
Here are some of the top ways you can start healing your body and improve Crohn’s disease symptoms the natural way.
There is no scientifically proven diet for inflammatory bowel disease. Most experts believe, though, that some patients can identify specific foods that trigger their gastrointestinal symptoms, particularly during disease flares.
By avoiding your “trigger foods,” you may find that your symptoms of gas, bloating, abdominal pain, cramping, and diarrhea are more manageable. At the same time, you will give your inflamed intestines time to heal.
Many people with Crohn’s disease find that one or more of the foods on the following list aggravate symptoms during disease flares. It’s possible that at least some of these listed foods will trigger your symptoms:
10.nuts and seeds (peanut butter, other nut butters)
13.red meat and pork
15.whole grains and bran
Keeping track of the foods you eat each day can help you identify the “offenders” — foods that may trigger symptoms. Avoiding these foods, especially when your disease is active, may give you better control of the symptoms.
You can also use a daily food diary to help you and your doctor determine if you’re getting a properly balanced diet. It can show whether you are getting enough protein, carbohydrates, fats, and water. It can also show whether you are getting enough calories to maintain your weight and energy.
To start your diary, record the foods you eat each day and the serving sizes in a small notebook. Enter the date, food, and any symptoms you might feel after eating this food in the notebook.
If you want to avoid a Crohn’s disease flare-up, it’s best to stop overloading your body with over-sized meals. By eating smaller meals you put less stress on the gastrointestinal tract, which can help reduce some Crohn’s symptoms like bloating, gas and cramping.
You can try eating smaller meals more often throughout the day, rather than 2-3 big meals, to help with absorption of nutrients, improving energy and controlling symptoms.
It’s possible to lose a high amount of fluid due to frequent diarrhea. Make sure to drink at least 7 glasses of plain water per day. Caffeine-free herbal tea, bone broth and kombucha are also good choices, since these not only provide water but also electrolytes, amino acids and probiotics.
Artificial sweeteners increase the presence of Proteobacteria — microbe bacteria found in E. coli, Salmonella and Legionaelles — in individuals suffering from Chrohn’s or other inflammatory bowel diseases and is the primary cause of increased white blood cell enzymes in the gut. About 10–15 percent of Chrohn’s patients report that sweeteners worsen their disease.
Avoiding alcohol, caffeine, and tobacco may also ease symptoms.
Consuming more prebiotics, a special form of dietary fiber that promotes the growth of healthy bacteria (probiotics) which combat bad bacteria, is a smart idea for people with Crohn’s disease.
Prebiotic foods include things like asparagus, bananas, honey and oats, all of which make excellent addition to any Crohn’s disease diet.
However because prebiotics are a type of fiber, it’s important to monitor your systems and pay attention to how you feel. If particular prebiotic foods, or foods high in fiber, are causing worsened symptoms then try replacing with other foods until you find what works.
Ask your doctor or dietitian about vitamin and mineral supplementation. For example, many people with Crohn’s disease have a vitamin D deficiency.
Zinc is needed to repair intestinal cells damaged by Crohn’s disease. Supplementation may offset some of the deficiency caused by Crohn’s-related malabsorption.
Bromelain is a mix of enzymes present in pineapples that helps break down proteins. It also has anti-inflammatory properties. Animal studies have found that it can ward off proinflammatory cells which play a part in gut inflammation.
Snacking on pineapples may help ease the inflammation associated with Crohn’s disease. But since they contain both insoluble fiber and fructose, some people may not tolerate pineapples well. If you find that pineapples trigger symptoms, bromelain supplements can be considered instead.
There is evidence that some people with Crohn’s disease may benefit from a high-calorie liquid diet, particularly during a flare. By giving the intestines a much needed rest, the liquid diet can help suppress symptoms of Crohn’s disease.
In addition, the liquid diet or special high-calorie liquid formulas can help people with Crohn’s who need extra nutrition short-term or those whose intestines cannot absorb proper nutrition from whole foods.
Your gastrointestinal tract contains “good” bacteria, which help with digestion and offer protection against “bad” bacteria. If you’ve taken antibiotics or have an illness, you may not have a sufficient supply of the good bacteria.
Probiotics are living microorganisms that you can consume. They are found in certain foods or you can take probiotic supplements. They act very much like the good bacteria in your gut. Probiotics may be more or less beneficial depending on the location and stage of your disease. Some strains might work for one person but not others.
Although yogurt is one of the most common sources of probiotics, many people with Crohn’s disease are sensitive to dairy products. Other foods that contain probiotics include sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir and kombucha.
Probiotics have been shown to help people with Crohn’s disease reduce the incidence of diarrhea. A good probiotic also encourages enhanced synthesis of vitamin B12 (studies suggest people with Crohn’s often suffer from vitamin B12 deficiency and/or folate deficiency), and support digestion of difficult substances like gluten and lactose.
If you decide to try probiotics, talk to your doctor first.
There are some herbal and botanical treatments that may help ease the symptoms of Crohn’s disease. These include:
Slippery elm — Slippery elmis an herbal remedy and demulcent (a substance that protects irritated tissues and promotes their healing). It contains mucilage, a substance that becomes a slick gel when mixed with water. This mucilage coats and soothes the mouth, throat, stomach and intestines, making it excellent at calming Crohn’s flare-ups.
Curcumin —With anti-inflammatory properties, studies have found that people with inflammatory bowel disease who took curcumin reduced their symptoms and their need for medicines. Various clinical studies have suggested that curcumin might be a potential candidate for the prevention and/or treatment of a variety of colonic diseases, such as ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease and colonic cancer.
Glutamine —Glutamine is an amino acid found in the body that that helps the intestine function properly. Since it’s good for overall intestinal health, it can offer help for Crohn’s. It’s best to take glutamine on an empty stomach.
Omega-3 fatty acids — Omega-3s like those found in fish oil can help fight inflammation and reduce the chances of recurrence of Crohn’s. Studies have been mixed, but some sufferers find omega-3s to be helpful.
Green Tea-Green tea has many health-promoting benefits for Crohn’s disease due to its anti-inflammatory, anti-carcinogenic and antioxidant properties. Plus, green tea has a positive impact on the immune system, and even reduces the risk of colon cancer.
Chamomile and peppermint tea are beneficial for gas, colic, and diarrhea that come with Crohn’s disease. They help to soothe the lining of the stomach and intestines and to reduce spasms in these parts of the body that lead to symptoms. Warm tea infusions of chamomile or lemon balm should be taken frequently.
Spearmint oil is used to treat diarrhea, gas, indigestion, nausea, gastrointestinal tract spasms, bile duct and gallbladder swelling (inflammation) gallstones, and irritable bowel syndrome.
Frankincense essential oil — Frankincense essential oil speeds up the secretion of digestive enzymes, increases urination production, relaxes the muscles of the digestive tract and also helps to improve circulation.
Overall, it improves digestive health and has been shown to be beneficial in reducing symptoms of Crohn’s disease as well as leaky gut syndrome, chronic colitis, ulcerative colitis and IBS.
Add one to two drops of oil to eight ounces of water or to a tablespoon of honey for relief. If you’re going to ingest it orally, make sure it’s 100 percent pure oil, and don’t ingest fragrance or perfume oils.
Lemongrass essential oil — Lemongrass essential oil can help relieve pain from gas irritation in the stomach and bowels. Lemongrass has anti-inflammatory properties that come from the limonene that’s present.
Inflammation is associated with just about every health condition, including Crohn’s disease, and since lemongrass fights inflammation, it makes a great addition to any Crohn’s disease diet.
Adding one to two drops of lemongrass oil or infused lemongrass water to your tea or soup can treat stomach pains, nausea and diarrhea.
Again, talk to you doctor before trying any herbal or botanical treatments. Some can interact dangerously with medications you might be taking. They may also have undesirable side effects.
Balancing Your Hormones
If you have had Crohn’s disease symptoms for longer than a year, or if you have taken any kind of steroid or immune suppressant drug, then it is highly likely your thyroid gland is not functioning properly, and quite likely your adrenal gland isn’t either. Ideally, you should see a doctor who specializes in hormone balancing and have your endocrine system (glands that produce hormones) tested properly.
You should then follow a natural hormone supplement program tailored to your specific needs.
As always, it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor about any other therapies you’re considering. Some therapies may work well in conjunction with the medical treatments you currently use. Others may interact dangerously with your medical treatments.
Coeliac disease is an autoimmune disease that causes the immune system to attack the lining of the small intestine when gluten is consumed. Gluten is a protein found in wheat.
Symptoms of coeliac disease include stomach pain and bloating, diarrhea, vomiting, constipation, weight loss, fatigue and delayed growth and puberty.
Another symptom of coeliac disease is a rash known as Dermatitis Herpetiformis. This itchy rash is commonly found on elbows, knees, buttocks, or back, but can be anywhere on the body.
In many cases of undiagnosed celiac disease, however, there are no symptoms at all.
Once diagnosed, the only treatment for celiac disease is a lifelong, complete elimination of gluten-containing foods from the diet. With gluten elimination, symptoms may disappear within a few days, but complete healing of the small intestine may take three to six months or, in some cases, up to two years.
Eating even a small amount of gluten can make a person sick again. In a small percentage of people, a gluten-free diet does not improve symptoms; these people may need to be treated with steroids or immunosuppressive drugs.
Women are about twice as likely to have coeliac disease as men, and the disease is most common in people of European descent (the incidence is particularly high in Scandinavian countries, Italy, and Ireland).
Coeliac disease commonly shows up in children, but it has been diagnosed in people of all ages, mainly because not everyone with coeliac disease experiences symptoms right away.
Since coeliac disease is an inherited disease, all first-degree family members – parents, siblings, and children of people with coeliac disease should be screened. About 10% to 15% of first-degree family members will also have coeliac disease.
Type 1 diabetes is highly linked to coeliac disease on a genetic level, and 5 to 10 percent of people with type 1 diabetes also have coeliac disease. Because celiac disease is usually diagnosed later in life, it is most common to have diabetes first.
It’s quite uncommon for someone to be diagnosed with celiac disease first and then develop type 1 diabetes, unless the person is diagnosed with celiac disease very young.
The link between type 1 diabetes mellitus and celiac disease was first established in the 1960s. The estimated prevalence of celiac disease in patients with type 1 diabetes is approximately 6%, and about 1% in the general population.
Due to the significantly higher prevalence of celiac disease in diabetes patients, many doctors recommend getting screened for celiac disease after a diagnosis of type 1 diabetes, as well as celiac disease patients getting screened for type 1 diabetes.
Several blood tests have been developed that can be used to screen people who are at risk for coeliac disease. The tests detect the presence of certain antibodies that occur in higher numbers in the blood of people with coeliac disease.
The gold standard for confirming a diagnosis of coeliac disease if preliminary blood tests are positive is an intestinal biopsy, in which a long, thin tube called an endoscope is threaded through the mouth and stomach to the small intestine to take a small tissue sample.
If the biopsy reveals villous atrophy, a diagnosis of coeliac disease is established.You should not start a gluten-free diet before having the biopsy, as this may falsify the diagnosis.
There is no established link between type 2 diabetes and celiac disease. Type 2 diabetes does have genetic components, but they are not associated with celiac disease genes like type 1 diabetes are.
Managing both diseases is difficult, but it is possible. If the diet is not balanced, it can lead to nutritional deficiencies and a rise in Hba1c.
Coeliac disease affects diabetes by making it more difficult to keep the blood sugar in a good range. When someone with coeliac disease is eating gluten, it can cause the blood sugar to be low because no food is being absorbed. Also, many gluten-free foods have different amounts of carbohydrates than foods with gluten, and that can make it hard to dose insulin.
Find a dietitian and educator that are specialized in both. They can identify foods that are beneficial for both conditions. It is important to note that one disease should not be considered more important than the other, so the diet needs to fit both of their requirements to avoid any complications.
In people with Type 1 diabetes, malabsorption of nutrients from undiagnosed coeliac disease can lead to frequent, unexplained low or high blood glucose readings. Insulin needs are frequently lower during the time before diagnosis. Once treatment of coeliac disease has begun and nutrients are better absorbed, insulin doses may need to be adjusted.
For people with diabetes and coeliac disease, starting a gluten-free diet requires learning the carbohydrate content of new, gluten-free foods, so they can be introduced into a meal plan or so that insulin doses can be adjusted accordingly.
A registered dietitian in both diseases can help you figure this out and make adjustments to your meal plan or insulin regime.
When substituting new, gluten-free ingredients into your favorite recipes, add up the carbohydrate grams in each ingredient and divide by the number of servings the recipe yields. Write this information on your recipe cards so you will only have to do these calculations once.
Foods that contain gluten are any derivative or variation of wheat, rye, or barley, including bulgur, couscous, triticale, spelt, einkorn, farina, graham flour, semolina, and durum wheat.
Obvious foods to avoid on a gluten-free diet are most pizzas, breads, bagels, crackers, cookies, cakes, pies, gravies, and flour-based sauces. But there are many less obvious sources of gluten.
Communion wafers contain gluten; cooking sprays may contain grain alcohol; malt and malt flavoring, found in cereals, syrups, and beer, are usually made from barley (although some malt products are made from corn). Many licorice candies contain gluten.
For this reason, it is very important to read the ingredients list on the label of every food product you purchase and to scrutinize the fine print right down to the seasonings, preservatives, and thickeners, many of which contain gluten.
Gluten is even used in nonfood items, such as some medicines, toothpastes, mouthwashes and makeup. Ask your pharmacist if any of your medicines contain gluten.
Calling the manufacturer of a product to ask if it is totally gluten-free is a good habit to get into.
Plain meats, fruits, vegetables, and most dairy products are all gluten-free, as long as they have not been breaded or cooked in the same pan with food that has been breaded.
Rice, potatoes, arrowroot, tapioca, beans, nuts, most soy products (except soy sauce), flaxseed, buckwheat (which is not actually a cereal but the seed of a flowering plant), sorghum, amaranth, quinoa, millet, and teff can be included in your meal plan.
Packaged gluten-free cakes, cookies, waffles, pancakes, and pizza crust, as well as a wide variety of gluten-free baking mixes are available from specialty stores, some mainstream grocery stores, or from online or mail-order food companies.
There are also bean, rice, and nut flours, which can be substituted in recipes that call for wheat flour. Mixing two or more types of flours when substituting for wheat flour gives the product a better texture.
A gluten-free cookbook will give you tips for mixing flours and making conversions. These flours should be kept tightly sealed and stored in the refrigerator to prevent rancidity.
It’s important to keep foods strictly segregated in households where those who don’t have coeliac disease consume those grains. If anyone in the household uses wheat flour in cooking or baking, be aware that it can remain in the air for up to 24 hours. It can also remain on hands that are not washed thoroughly. Cooking utensils that have touched foods containing gluten must be cleaned carefully before preparing gluten-free food.
There are numerous worldwide organizations that provide information on celiac disease and foods to eat or avoid. Gluten-free cookbooks can help you find tasty recipes and provide you with tips on how to substitute gluten-free products in your favorite dishes.
Straying from a gluten-free diet even just a little bit can trigger the immune system reaction that damages your intestines, whether or not you experience symptoms.
Many gluten-free foods are low in vitamins, iron, protein, and fiber. It is very important to take a multivitamin to ensure you are getting all of the nutrients that you need.
Just as adjusting to diabetes requires changing eating patterns and lifestyle habits, learning to prepare and enjoy gluten-free foods and avoid gluten can be a challenge at first, but it doesn’t have to mean a lifetime of tasteless meals.
The variety and availability of gluten-free foods is greater now than ever before, and food manufacturers and restaurants are becoming increasingly sensitive to the needs of people with food intolerances.
In the end, better health, higher energy, and improved blood glucose control are worth the effort of adjusting to your new meal plan.
Alternative Natural Treatments For Coeliac Disease
There is no known cure for coeliac disease, which is chronic and autoimmune in nature, so there are only ways to minimize symptoms and help rebuild the immune system. First and foremost, it’s crucial to follow a completely gluten-free diet if you have coeliac disease by avoiding all products containing wheat, barley or rye.
The ideal diet for treating coeliac disease has no sugar, limited alcohol (particularly beer), no mushrooms, limited yeast and reduced caffeine. Foods should be organic whenever possible.
Eat more garlic and onion– these are helpful for improving the function of the immune system in general.
All processed foods should be avoided, and artificial sweeteners should never be used as sugar substitutes. Natural sweetener substitutes such as stevia are fine.
Avoid microwaved foods, because they are nutritionally depleted. People with coeliac disease are already somewhat malnourished.
One of the greatest things anybody with coeliac disease can do to remedy the disease is to completely chew their food before they swallow. What this does is that it enhances the consumption of nutritional elements so that they can become absorbed more effectively.
Fish oil is widely used for a number of health conditions, but one of the most effective uses of fish oil is as a coating for your intestinal lining. By consuming fish oil, it can keep your small intestines from becoming inflamed, therefore preventing a painful flare-up of coeliac symptoms if you accidentally consume some gluten.
Many people that have coeliac disease didn’t know for many years, which means that their intestinal villi are badly damaged, and the efficiency of nutrient absorption in their body is poor. Yogurt is known to stimulate beneficial bacteria and promote the healing of the digestive tract, so coeliac patients are often encouraged to increase their intake of yogurt.
Yogurt will stimulate the existing beneficial intestinal flora, and add good bacterial reinforcements. Use only plain yogurt without flavorings or sugars. Organic yogurt is best. Yogurt will also suppress the bad bacteria at the same time. Yogurt is absolutely critical. Use two tablespoons five times a day if possible.
Research shows that patients with longstanding coeliac disease, whose absorption of nutrients has been impaired by the disease, have significant and faster improvement in their overall health when their gluten-free treatment is augmented with B-vitamin supplementation.
Vitamins A, E, folate (folic acid), and the mineral zinc participate in beneficial antioxidant functions to reduce oxidative stress in the cellular lining of the gut. In this manner, they assist in the overall repair process. Some of the gut barrier functions, such as IgA secretion, can be enhanced by these vitamins.
If your doctor detects any deficiencies, they will prescribe you supplements including calcium, magnesium ,iron, vitamin D, K, and B12, zinc, etc. These supplements should be gluten-free and should be given through injections, as pills can cause further damage to the intestinal tract.
Some supplements can help the small intestine to produce the enzymes to recognize gluten properly. Afterwards, they minimize the response of the immune system. These supplements are known as papain supplements.
One can buy them from general health food stores. It is rapidly getting popular among people who don’t want to modify their diet overnight. In fact, it helps them to adopt the renovated diet gradually.
However, these supplements don’t work for everyone. There are many cases where even after taking them, coeliac patients still suffer from the symptoms.
There are several nutrients that are beneficial in reducing severity and recurrence of coeliac symptoms:
Carnitine – in the form acetyl-l-carnitine, helps to heal the stomach and intestines very effectively and quickly (and this effect is enhanced so that it works even better when used in combination with zinc)
Digestive enzymes – bromelain and other digestive enzymes are excellent at helping the stomach and intestines digest and absorb the nutrients in food properly
Essential fatty acids – help to reduce inflammation in the body and which can reduce severity and duration of symptoms. The most effective essential fatty acids (EFA) are the omega 3 fatty acids, DHA and EPA and also the omega 6 fatty acid, gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) , which have been shown in many studies to reduce inflammation, especially when taken together in a ratio of 1:1 or 2:1 (ratio of the omega 3:omega 6 fatty acids)
Glutamine – the conditionally-essential amino acid glutamine is an excellent nutrient for the stomach and small intestine as it helps the intestines function more effectively. In addition, glutamine also helps the white blood cells of the immune system function more effectively too. Glutamine is also needed to make the non-essential amino acid and neurotransmitter GABA, required for mood regulation and relaxation, so this is another way GABA can help to reduce symptoms
Glutathione – the non-essential amino acid glutathione is an excellent antioxidant for the gastrointestinal tract and especially helps the immune system function more effectively, which helps reduce symptoms
Probiotics – the live cultures in probiotics help to populate the gastrointestinal tract with “friendly” bacteria that will help with digestion and absorption and reduce some of the symptoms associated with this condition by reducing “bad” bacteria and ensuring proper digestion and absorption of nutrients occurs more effectively.
Olive leaf extract is commonly used in the treatment of coeliac disease because it helps to regulate and protect the immune system, thereby reducing the auto-immune effects on the small intestine, lessening the severity of a celiac disease. Furthermore, chamomile is another good herb to reduce the digestive inflammation and upset stomachs that are associated with coeliac disease.
Echinacea and goldenseal can help accelerate this process of healing immensely. These two herbs help to boost the immune system, and they are frequently combined in capsules since they work so well together.
You might also find goldenseal and echinacea mixed together with marshmallow, geranium, slippery elm, and quite a large variety of herbs, really. This particular mixture is created by numerous companies since it is so popular.
The digestive tract is helped immensely by this formula by making a favorable layer of slime that helps to aid digestive tissues in the body. Most online and local shops should carry a combination herb of this nature due to its popularity.
Goldenseal and echinacea are valuable herbs since they have anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. One note of caution about these, though: Usually, 2 weeks on and 2 weeks off for a period of time of up to 2 months is recommended for these 2 herbs. You should never take them for overly long periods of time without a break.
Paprika is known for its anti-inflammatory properties. It can prove beneficial for small intestine inflammation. You can consume it in different ways for gaining benefits. They are by adding it in the drinks, sprinkling on foods, etc. Besides, you can also prepare a special drink of lemon juice, honey, and paprika powder.
Another great herb for healing the small intestine is Turmeric. Most likely, you don’t have to go anywhere for it as it is available right in your kitchen. This anti-inflammatory spice will assist in healing the swelling of the small intestines. Moreover, it also helps in the detoxification process.
Many studies show that peppermint oil is very effective at reducing spasm in the intestines and so are often prescribed by doctors for people who have crampy type gastrointestinal pains.
Peppermint tea is also useful, but not as effective as the concentrated oil. Some people though, are not able to tolerate the peppermint oil and experience side effect symptoms from trying it – your doctor will advise you if this is suitable for you
You might be aware of the fact that Ginger has strong healing properties in it. Besides, it works excellent for treating gastrointestinal disorders. Nonetheless, it will provide you relief from various symptoms of Coeliac. It will not only assist in restoring the functions of small intestines but also pancreas and liver. Usually, the gastrointestinal disorders are responsible for damaging other vital organs. For getting maximum benefits, you should have ginger tea for at least two times daily.
Horsetail tea is known for eliminating the swelling in the small intestines and digestive tract. Besides, it will also strengthen your digestive system.
It is a well-known fact that acetic acid in vinegar improves digestion. And it is one of the best anti-inflammatory drink. Besides, it maintains a healthy balance of stomach bacteria. It may speed-up the healing process in small intestines.
The juice of cabbage contains “substance U” which has proven ulcer healing properties and it can provide relief for symptoms by healing the mucosa of the intestinal wall, which means it can help reduce (and even prevent) symptoms.
Drink spring water, or water which has been filtered through a Berkey water filter having fluoride removal add-ons. Fluoride should be eliminated as much as possible, so in addition to filtering the water, patients should use fluoride-free toothpastes.
Tips That Can Help Diabetics With Coeliac Disease
1.Eat foods that are as minimally processed as possible (vegetables, fruits, fish, poultry, eggs, nuts, milk, etc.)
2.Avoid fried or breaded foods (restaurant cooking oils are often contaminated with gluten, and breadcrumbs typically contain gluten)
4.Choose whole grains (brown rice, quinoa, amaranth and buckwheat) and legumes (chickpeas, beans, lentils, soybeans, etc.) to optimize your intake of fibre and protein
5.Use your own toaster oven and your own jars of jams and spreads (mayonnaise, mustard, etc.) to avoid cross-contamination
6.Avoid hidden sources of gluten, such as soy sauce, seafood substitutes (pollock), grain-based alcohol (beer), certain soups and soup stocks, sausages and cold cuts.
7.Read all food labels – it is vital to read all food nutrition labels to see if there is any gluten in the produce; usually most products will state if it is gluten-free, but if they do not, take care not to use any products with thickeners as they will be gluten based.
8.Relaxation – it is really important to help the immune system (and in fact, the whole digestive system too) calm down by engaging in some form of relaxation, such as prayer and meditation.
9.If you have Type 1 Diabetes and you have not been screened for coeliac disease, talk to your doctor about it. 10% of people with Type 1 Diabetes have coeliac disease.
10.Coeliac disease if untreated, can not only cause short term stomach problems, but because none of the food is being digested it causes long term problems like osteoporosis, infertility, anemia, weak teeth, and neuropathy. This doesn’t even count the complications that diabetes can cause!
Always ensure that you notify your medical practitioner of any supplements that you want to take – it may interfere with other medication or conditions you have. Confirm with your doctor it is safe to take BEFORE you try it.
The best approach to cancer is a positive outlook and a healthy lifestyle.So when I heard that people I know have had or did have cancer I decided to accumulate information on cancer and see if I could come up with a natural solution rather than a pharamaceutical one.
As I mentioned in a previous article I was a Research And Development analyst in Teva Pharmaceuticals in Waterford where I spent many happy years working on pharmaceutical products so I learned that pharmaceuticals are not the best way to go to treat an illness or to manage an illness.So I decided to come up with a more natural approach.
When I worked in Teva I was friendly with Deidre a women who was great at cancer fundraising she raised money for cancer by selling mugs I bought one and I still have it today.
I had a cuppa and two hobnob biscuits as my blood sugar levels were dropping.It is a very colourful mug with a pretty flower what do you think?
While more research is needed to better understand the complex relationship between diabetes and cancer, we do know that a dual diagnosis is relatively common. It’s estimated that as many as one in five cancer patients has diabetes as well.
Researchers suggest that the link between the two diseases may be partly due to shared risk factors, including aging, overweight and obesity(mainly type 2 diabetes), unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, alcohol and smoking.
Lifestyle choices can influence risk of both diabetes and cancer. Many strategies that decrease risk of cancer also promote control of diabetes.
Maintaining a healthy weight, not smoking, and being physically active are lifestyle measures that can reduce the risks of both diseases.
Dietary recommendations to reduce cancer risk focus on predominantly plant-based diets emphasizing a wide variety of vegetables, fruits, whole grains and legumes.
The three most obvious means by which diabetes could influence the development and spread of cancer are insulin, blood glucose, and inflammation.
People with type 2 diabetes are insulin resistant which increases the body’s production of insulin and also increases blood glucose levels which leads to inflammation.
Experts now theorize that high blood sugar levels increase the growth of cancer cells.The most important thing to remember is that stable blood sugar levels are essential and so is a healthy lifestyle as well as good diabetic management such as monitoring blood glucose levels regularly.
Both diabetes and cancer are thought to have an inflammatory cause. Uncontrolled blood sugar can lead to chronic inflammation, which may cause the types of changes in cells that can increase the risk of cancer.
While cancer alone is difficult to treat, it becomes an even bigger challenge to try to treat cancer with diabetes. This is because many anti-diabetic medications interfere with conventional cancer treatment. Similarly chemotherapy also interferes with blood sugar levels that may lead to poor diabetic control.
Radiation therapy and some types of chemotherapy may impact your blood sugar levels causing high blood sugar that leads to dehydration. Taking extra care to manage your blood sugar levels and keep them stable can help you feel better during treatment.Uncontrolled blood sugar levels also can have a negative impact on all your organs.
It is vital, to take the diabetes into consideration as part of the cancer treatment.That means assembling a multidisciplinary team of caregivers that may include an endocrinologist ,a medical oncologist and a dietitian for nutritional education and counseling.
The good news is that experts can generally predict how certain treatments such as surgery and chemotherapy will affect diabetes management and advise accordingly.
Stress of any sort can affect blood sugar control, Consequently, blood sugar levels need to be closely monitored through surgeries and other forms of treatment.
Some chemotherapy drugs can damage the nerves in your body. This can cause pain and changes in sensation. These effects can be worse if you already have nerve damage caused by diabetes.
Focus on a healthy eating plan that’s rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains and low in fat and calories. You can help keep your blood sugar level in a safe range by ensuring there’s a balance of these foods in your diet throughout the day.
If you’re finding that it’s difficult to eat healthy foods, talk to your doctor or schedule an appointment with a dietitian who is also a diabetes educator to find ways to get these foods into your diet.
Exercise when possible. This can help you maintain a healthy weight, which plays a key part in controlling your diabetes. Studies have also shown that exercising during treatment can ease side effects and improve quality of life for many patients.
It is recommended that women have no more than two drinks per week and men have no more than four drinks per week. (A drink serving is defined as 12 ounces of beer, five ounces of wine or 1.5 ounces of liquor.)
Remember, if you have diabetes, the best thing you can do is to make sure your blood sugar levels are under control. That’s true before, during and after cancer treatment.
I picked up several medical information brochures in the Waterford Medical Centre!
See below a number of brochures on differnt kinds of cancer.
Herbal medicine is one of the most commonly used alternative therapies by people with cancer. Some studies have shown that as many as 6 out of every 10 people with cancer (60%) use herbal remedies alongside conventional cancer treatments.
People have used herbal medicine for centuries to treat many different health conditions. It is often promoted as a natural way to help you relax and cope with anxiety and depression.
Herbal medicine uses plants, or mixtures of plant extracts, to treat illness and promote health.
Herbal medicine aims to restore your body’s ability to protect, regulate and heal itself. It is a whole body approach that looks at your physical, mental and emotional well being.
Many modern drugs are made from plants. But herbalists don’t extract plant substances in the way the drug industry does. Herbalists believe that the remedy works due to the delicate chemical balance of the whole plant, or mixtures of plants, not one particular active ingredient.
We can use food as medicine in our natural cancer approach.The following foods are very helpful in combating cancer these include fruit and vegetables,herbs and spices,green tea,omega 3 fatty acids such as fish and low glycemic index foods such as salads and vegetarian stir frys.
The ketogenic diet detoxes the body and it helps people to remove processed foods from their diet and to include healthy foods such as those foods listed above.
Pastured beef and dairy products, organic poultry, good fats such as coconut oil and avocados, low carbohydrates fruits and vegetables such as asparagus, cabbage, lemon and limes are all ketogenic approved foods with cancer protective properties.
A ketogenic diet has been shown to significantly delay the progression of cancer tumors and increase survival rate periods by more than 50%!
Hyperbaric Oxygen Chamber
Hyperbaric oxygen chamber therapy helps to remove two of the major bodily problems which contribute to cancer,lack of oxygen to cells and excessive acidity. This treatment increases the amount of oxygen that circulates around the body and therefore also decreases acidic conditions.
Unlike cancer cells, healthy cells cannot flourish without an adequate oxygen supply. Hyperbaric oxygen chamber therapy is an effective strategy to increase the oxygen flow to all cells and organs and also neutralise the pH of your body’s environment to better equip cells to maintain their normal functions.
By keeping your pH above 7, the body then acts as a “cancer treatment” for itself and goes to work to break down and dispose of any cancerous tumors!
The Awesome Power of Selenium!
Selenium has now been recognised by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as an anti-cancer nutrient. For this to happen, there has to be some strong evidence to prove selenium’s benefit in cancer prevention and treatment.
It was discovered that selenium alone was able to reduce the overall cancer mortality rate by a stunning 50%.Furthermore, it was able to reduce prostate cancer in men by 63%, and stomach cancers in all participants by 58%. It was also able to reduce lung cancer by 46%.
For selenium take green food (these foods also contain high amounts of vitamins C, E and beta carotene).
Also, eat plenty of Brazil nuts (buy the shelled kind) as they contain high amounts of selenium.
Power of Green Tea!
Researchers discovered that drinking at least 5 cups a day of green tea cut the rate of blood cancers(leukaemia) by an astounding 42%, and lymphatic cancer by 48%.
What’s more, these big reductions were found to be the same in both men and women as well as people with various body mass sizes.
Even more surprising was the fact that by combining green tea with a citrus fruit, the anti-cancer benefits of green tea were increased even more. It’s thought that citrus fruits stabilize the green tea ECGC antioxidants in the gut – enhancing the absorption rate significantly.
The powerful antioxidants contained in green tea are substances known as polyphenols or catechins (ECGc’s). These substances are a 100 times more potent at scavenging and disarming free radicals than vitamin C or vitamin E.
Further studies on green tea and cancer have also shown that green tea can actually reduce the incidence and size of tumors – by a small degree in many cases.
In Japan and China, where women regularly consume green tea, they have the lowest rates of breast cancer in the world. In fact, breast cancer is almost nonexistent in Japanese women! And Japanese men also have one of the lowest incidences of prostate cancer in the world.
Both men and women in Japan and China have the healthiest diet in the world!
Matcha green tea is definitely the most potent and beneficial green tea and tastes the best. Regular green tea will still do the job nicely. Just make sure that whatever type you buy is certified organic.
You can now buy green tea varieties that have been infused with citrus, or instead, simply make your own by adding a slice of orange and lemon (and ginger) to your Matcha green tea. It tastes amazingly good!
Effective healing requires the removal of accumulated toxins and bodily wastes. It is important to stop eating processed foods as they inhibit your recovery from cancer.
It’s also beneficial to begin a healing regimen with a cleanse of the kidneys, liver and colon to remove stored toxins. There are many effective cleansing formulas and procedures that can be found at health food stores, the internet, or through a holistic healer.
The liver is sometimes referred to as the “CEO of detoxification.” It detoxifies the blood, produces bile to digest fat, works to break down hormones, and extracts essential vitamins and minerals the body needs. In addition, your liver also helps to produce some major substances needed to keep your immune system and the rest of you working smoothly, including glutathione − the “mother” of all internally-produced antioxidants.
There are many factors that lead to a sluggish liver such as obesity and viral infections. The most important factor is drinking too much alcohol.
An organ that works hand-in-hand with the liver are the kidneys. If the liver is the great detoxifier, then the kidneys are the “great filters” since they help to remove toxins and waste from the body. Have you known someone (maybe even yourself) who has had the unfortunate experience of passing kidney stones? If so, you probably know that besides being extremely painful, kidney stones may be a huge indication that it is time to give these tiny but important organs some love.
You can help your kidneys daily by staying hydrated and also staying away from processed foods. For a cleanse of the kidneys, consider healing citrus juices that can be incorporated into your daily routine. Cranberries have been known to cleanse the body of excess calcium oxalate, one of the main substances in kidney stones. Be sure to use cranberry juice free of extra sugars and artificial ingredients.
Other fruits and veggies that can be juiced and are also great for the kidneys include beet, lemon, cucumber, spinach, green apples, and pineapple.
Toxic build-up can also be removed through fasting, which helps to heal and rejuvenate the body.
Deep, restful sleep is an important part of cancer recovery. During sleep our bodies undergo the processes of healing, rebuilding and detoxifying . The value of adequate sleep should not be overlooked because without it our cancer recovery will be compromised.
Other lifestyle changes include sunlight exposure and daily exercise.Regular exercise speeds up the elimination of toxins and is necessary to keep the body oxygenated . These therapeutic benefits can be achieved through moderate exercise at least three times per week .
Developing a positive attitude will reduce stress and profoundly aid the healing process. A cancer survivor can achieve this in part by becoming proactive through researching alternative options.There are innumerable books and websites like this one that outline alternative cancer therapies.
The link between diabetes and cancer remains unclear. What is clear is that physical activity, maintaining a stable weight and consuming a healthy diet will help prevent both Type 2 diabetes and cancer.
Until more is known about the possible link between diabetes and cancer, the best approach we can take is to strive to follow a healthy lifestyle.
Trigeminal neuralgia (TN) is considered to be one of the most painful afflictions known to medical practice. TN affects the trigeminal nerve, one of the largest nerves in the head that causes extreme, sudden or shock-like facial pain in the areas of the face such as lips, eyes, nose, scalp, forehead, upper jaw and lower jaw. The pain episodes last from a few seconds to as long as two minutes. The trigeminal nerve is one of 12 pairs of nerves that are attached to the brain that are divided into 3 parts, namely Ophthalmic, Maxillary and Mandibular.
Facial pain can be caused by anything from an infection to nerve damage in the face. Common causes for facial pain include:
2,Ulcers (open sores)
3.Skin abscess (collection of pus under the skin)
9.Sinusitis (sinus infection)
In some cases, the cause of trigeminal neuralgia is unknown.
The most frequent cause of trigeminal neuralgia is a blood vessel pressing on the nerve near the brain stem. Over time, changes in the blood vessels of the brain can result in blood vessels rubbing against the trigeminal nerve root. The constant rubbing with each heartbeat wears away the insulating membrane of the nerve, resulting in nerve irritation.
The symptoms of TN are found in those people who feel pain on their face or in their mouth and teeth. The pain can come and go suddenly and unpredictably.
Each attack may come on spontaneously (without warning) or be triggered. Common triggers include:
Touching your face
Brushing your teeth
Putting on makeup
Encountering a breeze
Washing your face or shaving
Attacks become more frequent and intense over time if left untreated.
People often use words like stabbing, lacerating, electric shock-like and shooting to describe the pain. Usually, the pain is felt on one side of the jaw or cheek, but some people experience pain at different times on both sides.
Each burst of pain lasts only a few seconds or minutes but some people might experience several bursts in quick successions and this can last for hours. Other people might experience more than 20 shorter attacks a day.
The disorder is more common in women than in men.Although infants, children and young adults may develop this disorder, it is rare in people younger than age 40.
Many people with diabetes have problems with their nerves, including neuralgia. The excess glucose in the bloodstream may damage nerves.
Diabetes is a risk factor to the development of classical trigeminal neuralgia and nerve damage due to hyperglycemia might be the linkage to the two diseases.
Stress is not the primary cause of trigeminal neuralgia. However, it has been identified as playing a role in triggering, and maintaining trigeminal neuralgia, especially where the condition has become chronic.
Some people have reported the onset of trigeminal neuralgia following major stressful life events such as divorce, death of close relatives, and unemployment/change of job.
Clinical studies have shown that psychological stress can make trigeminal neuralgia symptoms worse.
Suffering from trigeminal neuralgia can be stressful in itself. You may find it more difficult to cope with other stressful events in your life, in addition to living with this painful condition. It can become a vicious circle.
The pain associated with trigeminal neuralgia can occur suddenly and unpredictably. Not knowing when or where such the next attack might happen can lead to anxiety and stress. This can have a detrimental effect on your day-to-day life. It may mean having to have time off work or restricting your social activities.
Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and your medical history, including any history of multiple sclerosis, a condition that may cause similar or even identical symptoms. To help rule out medical and dental conditions that can have similar symptoms, your doctor also will ask whether you have a history of:
1.Recent trauma to your face or teeth
2.A recent tooth infection or root canal treatment
3.A tooth extraction on the same side as your facial pain – Sometimes a tooth extraction can cause pain in the area of the missing tooth.
4.Any areas of painful facial blisters – Painful blisters can be a sign that you have a viral infection involving your facial skin, such as herpes (which is caused by the herpes simplex virus) or shingles (which is caused by varicella zoster, the chickenpox virus). Facial pain can last for weeks after the blisters heal, especially in cases of shingles.
Next, your doctor will thoroughly examine your head and neck, including the area inside your mouth. The doctor also will do a brief neurological examination and concentrate on feeling and muscle movements in your face.
In almost all cases of trigeminal neuralgia, the results of these examinations are normal.
If necessary, your doctor will order a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computed tomography (CT) scan of your head to check for blood vessel abnormalities, tumors pressing on your trigeminal nerve or other possible causes of your symptoms.
Your doctor will diagnose trigeminal neuralgia based on your symptoms, the examination and test results. There is no specific test to confirm the diagnosis of trigeminal neuralgia, so an important part of the diagnosis is excluding other explanations for the symptoms.
Trigeminal neuralgia is unpredictable. For unknown reasons, many people experience periods when the illness suddenly gets worse and causes repeated painful episodes over several days, weeks or months. This period may be followed by a pain-free interval that can last for months or years.
Because the cause of trigeminal neuralgia is unknown, it cannot be prevented.You should seek medical help immediately if you develop facial pain that fits the pattern of trigeminal neuralgia.
Medical Treatments ForTrigeminal Neuralgia
The first medical treatment for trigeminal neuralgia usually is carbamazepine (Tegretol and others). Carbamazepine is an anticonvulsant medication that decreases the ability of the trigeminal nerve to fire off the nerve impulses that cause facial pain.
If carbamazepine is not effective, other possible drug choices include phenytoin (Dilantin), gabapentin (Neurontin), lamotrigine (Lamictal), topiramate (Topamax), and valproic acid (Depakene, Depakote).
A muscle relaxant such as baclofen (Lioresal) can be tried alone or in combination with an anticonvulsant. Narcotic pain relievers, such as oxycodone, hydrocodone or morphine (several brand names), may be taken briefly for severe episodes of pain.
Some of these medications carry the risk of unpleasant side effects, including drowsiness, liver problems, blood disorders, nausea and dizziness.
For this reason, people taking any of these medications may be monitored with frequent follow-up visits and periodic blood tests. After a few pain-free months, your doctor may attempt to decrease the dose of the medication gradually or discontinue it.
This is done to limit the risk of side effects and to determine whether your trigeminal neuralgia has gone away on its own.
If medication does not stop your pain or if you cannot tolerate the side effects of medication, then your doctor may suggest one of the following treatment options:
1.Rhizolysis – In this approach, part of the trigeminal nerve is inactivated temporarily by using one of the following methods: a heated probe, an injection of the chemical glycerol or a tiny balloon that is inflated near the nerve to compress it. During the procedure a needle or a tiny hollow tube called a trocar is inserted through the skin of your cheek. These procedures provide immediate relief in up to 99% of patients, but 25% to 50% of people will have the problem return during the next several years.
2.Stereotactic radiosurgery – This form of radiation therapy uses a linear accelerator or a gamma knife to inactivate part of the trigeminal nerve. After your head is positioned carefully in a special head frame, many tiny beams of radiation are aimed precisely at the part of the trigeminal nerve that must be inactivated. Stereotactic radiosurgery is a fairly new treatment option for trigeminal neuralgia, and its long-term success rate is still being evaluated.
3.Microvascular decompression of the trigeminal nerve – In this delicate surgical procedure, a surgeon carefully repositions the blood vessel that is pressing on your trigeminal nerve near your brain. Because this procedure involves opening your skull, the ideal candidate for this procedure is someone who is generally healthy and younger than 65. Overall, the immediate success rate is approximately 90%, and 70% to 80% of patients have long-term relief. Microvascular decompression may be effective for patients who have not had success with one of the less invasive surgeries.
Natural Treatments ForTrigeminal Neuralgia
Literally hundreds of natural treatments are recommended for trigeminal neuralgia.Many claim they can “cure” trigeminal neuralgia, but like many conditions, there is no true cure for trigeminal neuralgia, only intervention and management.The most popular of the natural treatments that claim to offer relief are covered here.
B complex vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids are crucial for promoting healthy nerve function and reducing inflammation. By ensuring you have an adequate amount of these vitamins and fatty acids in your diet, you can help reduce trigeminal neuralgia pain. Luckily, there are many foods that are rich in these nutrients.
These include eggs, dairy products (i.e. milk, yogurt and cheese), leafy greens and legumes (i.e. beans, peas), whole grain products (e.g. breads, oatmeal), almond milk, soy milk, and flaxseeds.
By improving your diet and adding B complex-rich foods, you can easily give your body the vitamins it needs to prevent trigeminal neuralgia. Omega-3 fatty acids can also be taken in a fish-oil or flaxseed-oil supplement.
There are also non-dietary treatments for trigeminal neuralgia. One treatment for facial pain is ashwagandha oil, which is an anti-inflammatory that contains antioxidants. Not only can it help relieve nerve pain, but it can promote faster healing by boosting your immune system. The oil can be directly applied to your skin in a massage.
Natural Health studys mention the topical use of capsaicin cream or cayenne pepper, also called capsicum, for pain relief for trigeminal neuralgia. Capsaicin cream is available for purchase in pharmacies.
Alternatively, a pinch of cayenne pepper can be mixed with olive oil or other unscented facial cream and applied to the painful area.
Both capsaicin and cayenne pepper may produce hypersensitivity of the skin and the affected nerve. Discontinue use if this occurs. People who bleed easily should avoid using cayenne pepper.
Several Chinese herbs provide pain relief for those suffering from trigeminal neuralgia according to some studies.
Shao Yao Gan Cao Tang, a peony and licorice combination, is useful for calming spasmodic, sudden pains.
Qing Shang Juan Tong Tang helps relieve head pain in general, including facial pains.
Xue Fu Zhu Yu Tang helps to unblock trapped energy channels, increasing blood flow to the painful area.
Side effects may occur from the use of these herbs, and guidance from a qualified practitioner is recommended before using Chinese herbs for this condition.
Research findings state that trigeminal neuralgia is initiated by a viral infection which may have been laying dormant in the nervous system – similar to what initiates/causes a herpes or shingles outbreak.
So the best way to flush out and kill any and all viruses in the body and give yourself some welcome pain relief is with a combination of colloidal silver and DMSO.
The colloidal silver is first taken orally at 3-5 teaspoons per day (in divided doses) mixed in a full glass of water for a period of 8-12 weeks. This will eradicate all viruses, bacteria, fungicides and unwanted protozoa’s within the body. Colloidal silver is safe to use as well and doesn’t have any harmful side effects.
For external benefit and relief from trigeminal neuralgia, here’s what you need to do with the colloidal silver and DMSO:
Mix together 1 teaspoon (100 drops) of colloidal silver with 20 drops of pharmaceutical grade DMSO. Soak the mixture with a paper towel or cloth then place over the affected/painful area.
Leave on for 20-30 minutes. Repeat this process 3 times daily for 4-6 weeks. The colloidal silver will help to kill the virus, while the DMSO helps the silver to penetrate deep inside, along with providing powerful pain relief.
Magnesium and Boron
Magnesium and boron are both crucial for the health of nerve fibers and myelin sheath. They will not only help to restore the normal function of the trigeminal nerve (by restoring the myelin sheath), they will also help to reduce any swelling and inflammation.
To get your daily supply of absorbable magnesium, a transdermal magnesium oil spray is definitely the best solution. With the oil spray, the magnesium is absorbed straight into the bloodstream through the pores of the skin.
Spray the magnesium oil on your arms, legs, and stomach once to twice daily using 10-15 sprays per application. You’ll find it may tingle on your skin, especially the first few times you use it. This is normal and means it’s working. Leave on for at least an hour before showering. Use a natural skin moisturizer afterwards.
Anti-Viral Herbs and Coconut Oil
Anti viral herbs such as St John’s Wort (the most powerful), turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, garlic, cloves, oregano, lemon balm, and rosemary all help tremendously with trigeminal neuralgia by further helping to kill any unwanted viruses, along with boosting the immune system and calming the nerves.
Many sufferers recommend taking 300mg of St. Johns Wort together with a B-Complex once a day and they claim that within a week you will be pain free!!!!
Coconut oil is another potent anti-viral and anti-fungal food that many people claim helps reverse the effects of this condition.
Coconut oil is best consumed by taking 2-3 tablespoons per day (taken anyway you want) and with the other anti-viral herbs, just use them in your cooking and foods as much as you possibly can!
Compress can be prepared using heat packs and ice packs that are helpful in treating trigeminal neuralgia. Both kinds of compresses are helpful in relaxing the muscles. People suffering from trigeminal neuralgia can place ice packs over the cheeks and jaws that would provide instant relief.
Similarly, hot packs can be used as compresses for providing relief from the disease.Another method is to used hot pack and cold pack alternatively that would soothe the aching muscles. Gel packs that are reusable can also be used. These cold and hot gel packs can be stored in the freezer or microwave as the case may be.
Epsom salt is useful for the treatment of trigeminal neuralgia. Adding this salt in bath water and taking bath using this water would provide relief from the pain associated with trigeminal neuralgia.
This remedy is also helpful for relaxing the muscles that are tensed. The affected areas of the body can also be soaked under this water which is another way of using this remedy.
Avoid Beverages & Drink Water
People suffering from trigeminal neuralgia should avoid the consumption of alcohol and caffeine as these beverages can worsen the conditions. One should also not consume coffee, black tea or soda.
It is important to remove these nutritional stressors from one’s diet. Drinking water is beneficial for the patients suffering from trigeminal neuralgia. One should prefer the consumption of alkaline water or one can drink spring water.
Stress can trigger an attack of trigeminal neuralgia so it is important to try and stay calm and reduce stress. Take a relaxing bath, have a massage, go to bed early and try not to have an over-hectic schedule. If you are feeling stressed due to your neuralgia, talk to your friends and family. Sharing how you feel might help to reduce your stress levels.
Practice Healthy Habits
Get adequate rest, eat a healthy diet and engage in regular exercise. (Ask your doctor which exercises are safe for you.) Relaxation techniques like prayer meditation may also help you feel better.
Trigeminal neuralgia is not dangerous, but it can make your life miserable. It’s important to have the condition treated as soon as possible before it gets worse.
There are a variety of medications and surgeries that can eliminate the pain. There are also natural treatments that can help stop and prevent trigeminal neuralgia.Don’t suffer needlessly – take the right steps to eliminate your pain!
The ketogenic (keto) diet, high in fat and low in carbs, can potentially change the way your body stores and uses energy, easing diabetes symptoms.With the keto diet, your body converts fat, instead of sugar, into energy.
The “keto” in a ketogenic diet comes from the fact that it makes the body produce small fuel molecules called “ketones”.
This is an alternative fuel for the body, used when blood sugar (glucose) is in short supply.
Ketones are produced if you eat very few carbs (that are quickly broken down into blood sugar) and only moderate amounts of protein (excess protein can also be converted to blood sugar).
Ketones are produced in the liver, from fat. They are then used as fuel throughout the body, including the brain. The brain is a hungry organ that consumes lots of energy every day,and it can’t run on fat directly. It can only run on glucose or ketones.
On a ketogenic diet, your entire body switches its fuel supply to run almost entirely on fat. Insulin levels become very low, and fat burning increases dramatically.
It’s based around the premise that your body was designed to run more efficiently as a fat burner than a sugar burner.
The diet was created in 1924 as a treatment for epilepsy, but the effects of this eating pattern are also being studied for type 2 diabetes. The ketogenic diet may improve blood glucose (sugar) levels while also reducing the need for insulin.
However, the diet does come with risks, so make sure to discuss it with your doctor before making drastic dietary changes.
Many people with type 2 diabetes are overweight, so a high-fat diet can seem unhelpful. The goal of the ketogenic diet is to have the body use fat for energy instead of carbohydrates or glucose. A person on the keto diet gets most of their energy from fat, with very little of the diet coming from carbohydrates.
The ketogenic diet has the potential to decrease blood glucose levels. Managing carbohydrate intake is often recommended for people with type 2 diabetes because carbohydrates turn to sugar and, in large quantities, can cause blood sugar spikes. If you already have high blood glucose, then eating too many carbs can be dangerous. By switching the focus to fat, some people experience reduced blood sugar.
There are several versions of the ketogenic diet, including:
Standard ketogenic diet (SKD): This is a very low-carb, moderate-protein and high-fat diet. It typically contains 75% fat, 20% protein and only 5% carbs.
Cyclical ketogenic diet (CKD): This diet involves periods of higher-carb refeeds, such as 5 ketogenic days followed by 2 high-carb days.
Targeted ketogenic diet (TKD): This diet allows you to add carbs around workouts.
High-protein ketogenic diet: This is similar to a standard ketogenic diet, but includes more protein. The ratio is often 60% fat, 35% protein and 5% carbs.
However, only the standard and high-protein ketogenic diets have been studied extensively. Cyclical or targeted ketogenic diets are more advanced methods, and primarily used by bodybuilders or athletes.
One study found that people on a ketogenic diet lost 2.2 times more weight than those on a calorie-restricted low-fat diet. Triglyceride and HDL cholesterol levels also improved .
Another study found that participants on the ketogenic diet lost 3 times more weight than those on the Diabetes UK’s recommended diet .
One study found that the ketogenic diet improved insulin sensitivity by a whopping 75% .
Another study in patients with type 2 diabetes found that 7 of the 21 participants were able to stop all diabetes medications.
There are several reasons why a ketogenic diet is superior to a low-fat diet. One is the increased protein intake, which provides numerous benefits.
The increased ketones, lowered blood sugar levels and improved insulin sensitivity may also play a key role .
Studies have now shown that the diet can have benefits for a wide variety of different health conditions.
The ketogenic diet can improve risk factors like body fat, HDL levels, blood pressure and blood sugar.The diet is currently being used to treat several types of cancer and slow tumor growth .
The diet may reduce symptoms of Alzheimer’s and slow down the disease’s progression .Research has shown that the ketogenic diet can cause massive reductions in seizures in epileptic children .One study found that the diet helped improve symptoms of Parkinson’s disease .
One animal study found that the diet can reduce concussions and aid recovery after brain injury .Lower insulin levels and eating less sugar or processed foods may help improve acne .
1.Some foods are ketogenic and some other food are anti-ketogenic.
Carbohydrates are 100% anti-ketogenic, meaning they completely turn into glucose once digested.
Fats are 90% Ketogenic, meaning 10% of the fat will turn into glucose in the bloodstream once digested.
Proteins are 46% Ketogenic and 58% anti-ketogenic,meaning that 58% of the proteins ingested will turn into glucose in the bloodstream.
2.Restrict your carbohydrates. Most people tend to only focus only on net carbs. If you want great results, limit both. Try to stay below 20g net carbs and below 35g total carbs per day.
3.Restrict your protein intake. Many people come over to keto from an Atkins diet and don’t limit their protein. Too much protein can lead to lower levels of ketosis. Ideally for weight loss, you want to eat between 0.6g and 0.8g protein per pound lean body mass.
INFOGRAPHIC – Calculating Protein Intake for Weight Loss And Reduced Risk of Type 2 Diabetes
While the exact cause of Type 2 diabetes is still not fully understood, it is known that being overweight or obese (having a body mass index – BMI – of 30 or greater) has a significant impact.
In fact, recent research suggests that obese people are up to 80 times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those with a BMI of less than 22.
So losing weight and bringing your BMI below this value is one of the most important, and controllable, ways to reduce your risk of Type 2 diabetes. And according to research, simply optimizing your protein intake can help you achieve rapid weight loss results – even with light-to-moderate exercising.
Thanks to Thinner You Centers, the following infographic on protein for weight loss contains science-based information about the effects of protein intake on body composition, and how to calculate your optimal protein intake for maximum weight loss potential!
4.Drink water. Try to drink a gallon of water a day. Make sure that you’re hydrating and staying consistent with the amount of water you drink. It not only helps regulate many vital bodily functions, but it also helps control hunger levels.
5.Stop snacking. Weight loss tends to do better when you have fewer insulin spikes during the day. Unnecessary snacking may lead to stalls or slow in weight loss.
6.Add exercise in. It’s a known fact that exercise is healthy. If you want to get the most out of your ketogenic diet, consider adding in 20-30 minutes of exercise a day. Even just a small walk can help regulate weight loss and blood sugar levels.
7. Fasting On your ketogenic journey, it’s important to know that your success is not only dictated by eating enough fat and protein and restricting carbs. When you eat, how often you eat, and how much you eat have a substantial impact on your health and function as well.
Fasting isn’t required to lose weight on a ketogenic diet. If it doesn’t work for you, then do not force yourself to fast. Restricting yourself unrealistically is pointless – it’s not worth it if it makes you unhappy.
There are 2 basic terms we need to understand feeding and fasting. Your body is in a feeding state when you are eating your food, and you are in a fasting state when you are between your meals.
Not sure what to eat on a ketogenic diet? Here’s a quick food list for you to reference.
In general, you can eat from the following food groups:
1.Fats & Oils
Try to get your fat from natural sources like meat and nuts. Supplement with saturated and monounsaturated fats like coconut oil, butter, and olive oil.
Fats will be the majority of your daily calorie intake when you are on a ketogenic diet, so choices should be made with your likes and dislikes in mind.
Fats are vital to our bodies, but they can also be dangerous if you are consuming too much of the wrong types of fats. There are a few different types of fat that are involved in a ketogenic diet.
Saturated Fats. Eat these. Some examples of these are butter, ghee, coconut oil, and lard.
Monounsaturated Fats. Eat these. Some examples of these are olive, avocado, and macadamia nut oils.
Polyunsaturated Fats. Know the difference. Naturally occurring polyunsaturated fats in animal protein and fatty fish are great for you, and you should eat these. Processed polyunsaturated fats in “heart healthy” margarine spreads are bad for you.
Trans Fats. Completely avoid. These are processed fats that are chemically altered (hydrogenated) to improve shelf life. Avoid all hydrogenated fats, such as margarine, as they’re linked to heart disease.
Saturated and monounsaturated fats such as butter, macadamia nuts, avocado, egg yolks, and coconut oil are more chemically stable and less inflammatory to most people, so they are preferred.
You also want to have a balance between your omega 3’s and omega 6’s, so eating things like wild salmon, tuna and trout can help provide a balanced diet of Omega-3’s. If you don’t like fish, or just prefer not to eat it, we suggest taking a small fish oil supplement. You can also take krill oil for omega 3’s if you are allergic.
Keep an eye on your intake for nut or seed based foods, as they can be quite high in inflammatory omega 6’s. These include items like almonds, walnuts, pine nuts, sunflower oil and corn oil. Eating fatty fish and animal meat, keeping snacking to a minimum, and not over-indulging in dessert items that are dense in almond flour is usually enough to keep your omega’s at normal ranges.
If you’re using vegetable oils (olive, soybean, flax, or safflower) choose the “cold pressed” options if they are available.
If you tend to fry things up, try to go after non-hydrogenated lards, beef tallow, ghee, or coconut oil since they have higher smoke points than other oils. This allows less oxidization of the oils, which means you get more of the essential fatty acids.
Try to stick with organic, pasture-raised and grass-fed meat where possible. Most meats don’t have added sugar in them, so they can be consumed in moderate quantity.
Cured meats and sausages can sometimes have added sugars and added processed ingredients avoid these. If you eat steak, try to choose fattier cuts like ribeye. If you like hamburger meat (ground beef), try to choose fattier ratios like 85/15 or 80/20 in some cases.
One thing you do need to be careful of when dealing with meat is your protein intake. Too much protein on a ketogenic diet can lead to lower levels of ketone production and increased production of glucose. You want to aim for nutritional ketosis, so you must not over-consume on protein.
Some examples of how to get your protein in on a ketogenic diet are below:
Fish. Preferably eating anything that is caught wild like catfish, cod, flounder, halibut, mackerel, mahi-mahi, salmon, snapper, trout, and tuna. Fattier fish is better.
Whole Eggs. Try to get them free-range from the local market if possible. You can prepare them in many different ways like fried, deviled, boiled, poached, and scrambled.
Beef. Ground beef, steak, roasts, and stew meat. Stick with fattier cuts where possible.
Poultry. Chicken, duck, quail, pheasant and other wild game.
Offal/Organ. Heart, liver, kidney, and tongue. Offal is one of the best sources of vitamins/nutrients.
Other Meat. Veal, Goat, Lamb, Turkey and other wild game. Stick with fattier cuts where possible.
Nut Butter. Go for natural, unsweetened nuts and try to stick with fattier versions like almond butter and macadamia nut butter. Legumes (peanuts) are high in omega 6’s so be careful about over-consumption.
Fresh or frozen doesn’t matter. Stick with above ground vegetables, leaning toward leafy/green items.
Vegetables are tricky on a ketogenic diet because we’ve been raised under the idea that vegetables are healthy and they are. However, almost all of the vegetables that we consume today contain carbs.
Some more than others so it’s important to understand the ones that have a safer number of Net Carbs.
Cabbage (Green Raw)
Green Beans (Steamed)
The best type of vegetables for a ketogenic diet are high in nutrients and low in carbohydrates. These, as most of you can guess, are dark and leafy. Anything that resembles spinach or kale will fall into this category and will be the best thing to include in anything you can.
If you can opt for organic as there are fewer pesticide residues, but if you can’t then don’t worry. Studies show that organic and non-organic vegetables still have the same nutritional qualities. Both frozen and fresh vegetables are good to eat.
Vegetables that grow below ground can still be consumed in moderation – you just have to be careful about the number of carbs that they have.In general, there’s no fitting rule that works perfectly. Try to choose your vegetables with carbohydrates in mind and portion them based on their carb counts.
Especially try to limit your intake of:
Higher carb vegetables. This includes onion, parsnip, garlic, mushrooms, and squash.
Nightshades. This includes tomato, eggplant, and peppers.
Berries. This includes raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries.
Citrus. This includes lemon, lime, and orange juice (or zest) in water and in recipes.
Completely avoid starchy vegetables and large fruits like potatoes and bananas.
Most dairy is fine, but make sure to buy full-fat dairy items. Harder cheeses typically have fewer carbs.Try to keep your dairy consumption to a moderate level. Most of your meals should be coming from protein, vegetables, and added fats/cooking oils.
Raw and organic dairy products are preferred here, if available. Highly processed dairy normally has 2-5x the number of carbohydrates as raw/organic dairy so it does add up over time. Make sure to choose full fat products over fat-free or low-fat as they will have significantly more carbs and less “filling” effects.
If you have lactose sensitivities, stick with very hard and long-aged dairy products as they contain much less lactose. Some examples of dairy you can eat on keto are:
Heavy whipping cream
Spreadables including cottage cheese, cream cheese, sour cream, mascarpone, creme fraiche, etc.
Soft Cheese including mozzarella, brie, blue, colby, monterey jack, etc.
Hard Cheese including aged cheddar, parmesan, feta, swiss, etc.
Mayonnaise and mayo alternatives that include dairy.
Dairy is a great way to add extra fats into meals by creating sauces or fatty side dishes like creamed spinach, but always remember that it does have protein in it as well. You should always take this into account when pairing dairy with protein-heavy dishes.
Some people experience slower weight loss when over-consuming cheese. If you notice that you have hit a plateau or slowed down in weight loss, you may want to consider reducing the amount of dairy you eat.
5.Nuts and Seeds
In moderation, nuts and seeds can be used to create some fantastic textures. Try to use fattier nuts like macadamias and almonds.
Nuts and seeds are best when they are roasted to remove any anti-nutrients. Try to avoid peanuts if possible, as they are legumes which are not highly permitted in the ketogenic diet food list.
Typically raw nuts can be used to add flavorings or texture to meals. Some people choose to consume them as snacks – which can be rewarding but may work against weight loss goals. Snacking, in general, will raise insulin levels and lead to slower weight loss in the long term.
Nuts can be a great source of fats, but you always have to remember that they do have carbohydrate counts that can add up quickly. It’s also particularly important to note that they do contain protein as well. Nut flours especially can add up in protein rather fast – so be wary of the amount you use.
Nuts can also be high in omega 6 fatty acids, so it’s good to be careful with the amount you consume. For typical eating, you want to stick with fattier and lower carbohydrate nuts.
Fatty, low carbohydrate nuts. Macadamia nuts, brazil nuts, and pecans can be consumed with meals to supplement fat.
Fatty, moderate carbohydrate nuts. Walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts, and pine nuts can be used in moderation to supplement for texture or flavor.
Higher carbohydrate nuts. Pistachios and cashews should rarely be eaten or avoided as they’re very high in carbohydrates (2 handfuls of cashews is almost a full day’s allowance of carbs).
If you have a nut allergy, a common substitution for almond flour is sunflower seed flour. Just keep in mind that this has higher levels of omega 6 fatty acids.
Stay simple and stick to mostly water. You can flavor it if needed with stevia-based flavorings or lemon/lime juice.
The ketogenic diet has a natural diuretic effect, so dehydration is common for most people starting out. If you’re prone to urinary tract infections or bladder pain, you have to be especially prepared.
The eight glasses of water we’re recommended to drink? Drink those, and then some more. Considering we’re made up of about two-thirds water, hydration plays a substantial role in our everyday life. We recommend that you try to drink as close to a gallon of water a day as possible.
Many people experience the Keto Flu when transitioning to keto due to dehydration and lack of electrolytes. Make sure that you replenish your electrolytes and drink plenty of fluids.
Some examples of commonly consumed beverages on keto are below:
Water. This will be your staple, go-to source for hydration. You can drink still or sparkling water.
Broth. Loaded with vitamins and nutrients. More importantly, it will kickstart your energy by replenishing your electrolytes.
Tea. Try to stick with green tea.
Coconut/Almond milk. You can use the unsweetened versions in the carton from the store to replace your favorite beverage.
Diet soda. Try to severely reduce or completely stop drinking this. It can lead to sugar cravings and sometimes insulin spikes in the long run.
Flavoring. You can alternatively add a squeeze of lemon, lime, or orange to your water bottle.
Alcohol. Beer and wine will be too high carb to consume. Frequent consumption of alcohol will slow weight loss down.
Seasonings and sauces are a tricky part of ketogenic diet foods, but people use them on a regular basis to add flavor to their meals. The easiest way to remain strict here is to avoid processed foods. There are many low carb condiments and products on the market, and there’s no way to list them all. A handful of them are great, but the majority use high glycemic index sweeteners – which you want to avoid.
Spices have carbs in them, so make sure you are adding them to your counts. Sea salt is preferred over table salt, as it is usually mixed with powdered dextrose. Most pre-made spice mixes will have sugars added to them, so make sure you read the nutrition label beforehand to make sure you know what’s inside. If you have the choice, never include added sugar into your spice blends or food.
Below you’ll find some common herbs and spices that people use on a ketogenic diet. Always remember that spices do have carbs in them, so you should make sure to adjust your nutrition based on this.
Both salt and pepper can be used for seasoning without worrying about the nutritional information.
When trying to shift from a high carb diet to a ketogenic diet, cravings can definitely get strong. It’s always best to try to clean house before you start so that you don’t have food around you that can lead to cravings. We recommend that when switching to keto, you restrict using sweeteners completely for the first 30 days. It normally leads to breaking sugar addiction and ultimately not having cravings.
If you’re still unsure about any products or food items that might not be keto friendly.
Below, you’ll find a list of foods that you should avoid:
Sugar. It’s typically found in soda, juice, sports drinks, candy, chocolate, and ice cream. Anything that’s processed and sweet you can think of most likely contains sugar. Avoid sugar at all costs.
Grains. Any wheat products (bread or buns), pasta, cereal, cakes, pastries, rice, corn, and beer should be avoided. This includes whole grains like wheat, rye, barley, buckwheat, and quinoa.
Starch. Avoid vegetables (like potatoes and yams) and other things like oats, muesli, etc. Some root vegetables are okay in moderation – be sure to read the section on vegetables.
Trans Fats. Margarine or any other spreadable replacement butter should be avoided as they contain hydrogenated fats (bad for us).
Fruit. Avoid any large fruits (apples, oranges, bananas) as they’re extremely high in sugar. Some berries can be consumed in moderation – be sure to read the section on fruits.
Low-fat foods. These tend to be much higher in carbs and sugar than full-fat versions. Make sure you read the package to make sure a mistake isn’t made.
The ketogenic diet may be a viable treatment option for some people with type 2 diabetes. However, it does have some potential side effects.
As the ketogenic diet entails switching to a different source of energy, it can lead to some side effects. These may include:
loss of salts
noticeable change in bowel habits, such as constipation
uncomfortable leg cramps
noticeable loss of energy
In most instances, the above side effects are just temporary and people experience no long-term problems.
Long-term effects can include the development of kidney stones and an increased risk of bone fractures due to acidosis.Children may also experience stunted growth due to reduced levels of an insulin-like growth factor that can lead to bone erosion. This can mean weak bones that are highly susceptible to fractures.
If you are pregnant or are nursing, you should not follow a Ketogenic diet.
You will not receive enough of the recommended carbohydrates, vitamins and nutrients necessary for yourself and your growing baby on this diet.
Your obstetrician will recommend how many carbohydrates you should consume per meal and for snacks during each phase of your pregnancy. They will likely refer you to a Certified Diabetes Educator for nutritional counseling as well.
Some studys suggest that people with type 2 diabetes taking oral medication to lower blood sugar levels may be more at risk for hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, when following a ketogenic diet.
Consult with your diabetes medical team including your endocrinologist and a registered dietitian who is also a certified diabetes educator before trying this eating plan. You’ll want to start the Ketogenic diet slowly, cutting carbohydrates gradually.
You’ll want to regularly test both your blood sugar and ketone levels to prevent serious side effects. You’ll also want to make sure you’re taking in a balance of nutrients — all of those important vitamins, minerals, fiber as well as the proper amount of calories and healthy fats.
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