Archive for January, 2007

The Little Known Link Between Premature Birth and Candida

Posted in Health & Fitness on January 27th, 2007

It is important to understand that eating the right diet plays a major role in controlling your Candida overgrowth. This is knowledge that is especially true for expecting mothers, and couples who are planning to become pregnant. Why? Scientific research is finding that many premature babies are born from mothers who have cases of Candidiasis. Furthermore, the infection within the mother was likely passed on to the baby while developing within the womb.

In fact, research has discovered that an expecting mother who has Candida overgrowth has a higher chance of putting her child at risk for premature birth, brain damage, or bowel or lung complications.

How is this possible? Systemic fungal infections, such as Candidiasis, that exist in the mother’s blood, can easily be passed to her developing baby by entering the amniotic sac. The amniotic sac is where the fetus develops. The fetus is protected by amniotic fluid which is produced by the placenta during the early stages of pregnancy. After the 4th month of gestation, the baby’s kidneys begin to work and create amniotic fluid. However, by the 14th week of pregnancy, fluid (blood) from the mother’s circulatory system flows into the amniotic sac. If the fluid is contaminated with bacteria, yeast or viruses, it can be passed to the baby through amniotic fluid that has become infected.

Unfortunately, more and more babies are now being born with systemic fungal infection. In other words, yeast is present in the baby’s stomach. To make matters worse, studies have found that yeast existing in the amniotic fluid can paralyze the baby’s gut wall, which makes the baby constipated at birth. Constipation at this time can be very serious due to the fact that the baby lacks the ability to eliminate inherited toxins from his/her system; toxins that include metals such as mercury.

Systemic fungal infections, such as Candidiasis, are quite common among pregnant women of today. Many believe the reason is because during pregnancy a woman’s progesterone naturally increases, as does her blood sugar. These natural changes in a pregnant woman, who already has chronic problems with Candida, or an existing infection, will only encourage Candida growth, resulting in an acute yeast infection. The presence of these infections is what likely triggers premature labor.

How can a mother find out if she has Candida and protect her unborn baby?
Since an expecting mother might not know she has Candida overgrowth and is putting her baby at risk, one of the biggest problems is being able to detect in-utero infections when there are no symptoms.

However, it’s now being discovered that by profiling amniotic fluid proteins, health care providers have a better chance of predicting the possibility of premature birth, and can even detect infections in pregnant women that could be potentially dangerous to the fetus. Even though tests are still being developed, researchers strongly believe that detecting and diagnosis intra-amniotic infection or inflammation is vital to the wellbeing of the unborn baby.

Finally, the best thing future parents can do to help ensure the health of their upcoming baby is to make certain their bodies are cleansed of toxins and their gut flora well balanced. This can be achieved by following an anti-Candida diet, which should be started and maintained 6 months prior to becoming pregnant. Both parents should be involved in this anti-Candida program as both parents contribute to the health of the fetus.

Talk to your health care provider to learn more about Candida and pregnancy.

For further information about candida in children and the effects please visit Naturally Eliminating Candida, where you can sign up for a free newsletter.

Losing Weight With PCOS

Posted in Health & Fitness on January 21st, 2007

One of the major obstacles facing women with PCOS is the weight gain that has become synonymous with it. Approximately 50 to 60% of all women with PCOS are classified as obese. One of the major reasons why obesity is common in PCOS sufferers is the body’s inability to process insulin. Insulin is a hormone that regulates the conversion of sugar, starches and other food into energy for the body to use or into fat for the body to store. Women with PCOS make too much insulin; therefore a special diet must be adhered to in order to prevent weight gain. In healthy women, studies have shown that losing just 5% of your body weight can lead to an improvement in skin clarity, improve the regularity of menstrual cycles and decreased insulin levels. So for women with PCOS, losing even a small amount of weight can have massive benefits.

The common sense diet that most healthy people use to lose weight might not work for many PCOS sufferers. Adding extra carbohydrates to your diet, especially in the form of sweets, white bread and white rice, also know as refined carbs, will rapidly turn to sugar in the body and cause higher levels of insulin. High levels of insulin have been known to cause a myriad of health problems for PCOS sufferers. A better way to approach dieting for women with PCOS is a low glycemic diet (Low G.I). This is essentially any diet that limits foods that the body can quickly turn into sugar.

Once you’ve cut down on the amount of refined carbs in your diet, it may take some guesswork to find the optimal balance for your body. There are several dietary suggestions available, such as the food pyramid, which states that you should receive approximately 55% of your calories from carbs, a diet called “The Zone”, which says 40% is the desirable target and even diets like Atkins which say no more than 20% of your calories should be from carbs. There is no way to say which dietary plan will work for you, personally. Every woman is different, and that difference is amplified with PCOS.

Recent studies have shown that for women suffering from PCOS, a diet with approximately 50% of calories from carbs is recommended, but only if you’re not obese and you exercise regularly. If you’re obese and you’ve shown to be resistant to insulin, you shouldn’t consume more than 40% of your calories from carbs, or even less depending on your degree of carb resistance. These, however, are only guidelines. The most important thing you can do before staring a dietary regimen is to consult a doctor who is knowledgeable about PCOS.

A good way to tell if the diet is “working” is if you have fewer cravings and a higher energy level, weight loss, decreased insulin levels in the body and regular periods.

Please be aware that some of the popular diets out there tell people to replace carbs in their diets with fat. This isn’t a wise choice for women with PCOS, since PCOS raises a woman’s chances of heart disease and a high fat diet seriously raises the risks further. Make your diet as healthy as possible, it’ll be easier to follow and the results will be better for you!

For more information on living with and treating PCOS discover the PCOS Matters Gold Audio Interviews. By listening to these interviews you will learn:
* Gentle and effective therapies…with no dangerous or embarrassing side effects
* A thorough medical view of PCOS…never feel at a loss with your doctor again
* Medical, nutritional and natural remedies for a successful, healthy pregnancy:

If you are looking for more ways to experience PCOS relief please go to where you can sign up for a free newsletter.

IBS and Acupuncture

Posted in Health & Fitness on January 19th, 2007

Acupuncture is becoming one of the more popular alternative and complimentary therapies used by IBS sufferers to help alleviate symptoms. Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese medicine that is designed to restore health by improving and bringing balance to qi - the body’s natural energy flow. Acupuncture works to restore the proper function of organs, muscles, glands, nerves and vessels.

How can acupuncture improve IBS symptoms? Acupuncture is recognized as being an effective therapy for treating the following conditions which are often symptoms of IBS:
• Muscle cramps
• Abdominal pain
• Constipation
• Diarrhea

In addition, acupuncture effectively reduces stress and other negative issues that often cause IBS symptoms to occur. Some of these include:
• Nervousness
• Anxiety
• Insomnia
• Premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
• Menstrual cramps

As was previously mentioned, acupuncture is based on improving and brining balance to qi that flows through all of the 14 unseen channels in the body known as meridians. A person with IBS usually has a deficiency of qi in the spleen, lung, liver, kidney and large intestine meridians, so these are the areas that will likely be targeted during an acupuncture session. That being said, you need to understand that each person is treated differently depending on where their discomfort is located.

In order to help improve the qi flow within the targeted meridians, tiny, solid, disposable needles are individually inserted into specific acupoints within the body. How deep the needles are inserted depends on the thickness of the muscle. Acupoints (trigger points), are precise points of the body where the meridians surface has deeply penetrated into the tissues and organs.

The insertion of the needle is usually painless and is a sensation often described as a mosquito bite. Most people only feel a slight achy or numbing feeling in the targeted area.

After the needle has been inserted, they may be twirled or connected to an electrical current to help stimulate the targeted meridian. Needles may be left in between 20 – 60 minutes. All sensations that are experienced during an acupuncture session disappear with the removal of the needles.

Aside from acupuncture needles, another popular technique that acupuncturists use for IBS is moxibustion. This is a method in which mugwort herb is burned over precise acupoints. Moxibustion is used because it is believed to penetrate deeper into the body than the needles.

Although Chinese medicine believes that acupuncture is successful at relieving symptoms due to reestablishing balance to qi, Western medicine believe that acupuncture treatment causes inflammation in the body, which causes it to release natural pain killing hormones - endorphins. Despite what the actual truth may be, it is clear that for many IBS sufferers, acupuncture has provided them relief from abdominal pain, cramping, bloating, constipation and diarrhea.

Acupuncture is a safe alternative treatment for most people, but you should discuss acupuncture treatment with your doctor first before engaging in the therapy. You should also know that it often takes several acupuncture sessions before a person begins to feel relief from their symptoms. Finally, make sure you seek treatment from a qualified and experienced acupuncturist.

If you are looking for more information on IBS and acupuncture please visit

Gout Linked to Diabetes

Posted in Health & Fitness on January 14th, 2007

Gout and diabetes have been together longer than peanut butter and jelly. These two sinister diseases have been wreaking havoc on the human population for many years, but why?

Before we discuss the connection between diabetes and gout, let’s review exactly what diabetes is. Diabetes is a disease where sufferers inject insulin to treat high levels of sugar in the body. A diabetes sufferer doesn’t make enough insulin by themselves so they need injections on a daily basis. Sometimes, patients need multiple injections per day to remain healthy.

While this may not sound like such a big deal, the major headache associated with diabetes come from the practically endless list of long-term problems that result from it.

The list of complications associated with diabetes reads like a laundry list of debilitating diseases: cardiovascular disease, kidney failure, severe eye damage, nerve damage, sexual dysfunction and possible gangrene, which can lead to amputation.

It’s here that gout shows its ugly face. The connection between gout and diabetes is linked to poor blood circulation in the limbs. The chances of coming down with gout increase when poor circulation in the feet result in a build-up of uric acid in the joints. Poor circulation is a hallmark of diabetes, so the two illnesses are closely associated.

So, what can be done?

While there is no cure for diabetes, there are some treatments available to help increase blood flow to parts of the body.

One of the most basic treatment methods is the application of a warm, wet cloth or towel to the infected area. The heat and moisture can help dilate blood vessels in the foot, therefore increasing blood flow.

If this rudimentary treatment doesn’t work, there are other options.

Exercise is a common way to help increase blood flow to the limbs. This may be difficult, however, for sufferers of gout, since standing or putting any pressure on a gout-ridden foot tends to be excruciating. So this works best as a preventative measure.

Drinking an extra glass or two of water per day has shown to help blood flow problems.

There are also many all-natural supplements that you can add to your diet to help put an end to gout outbreaks associated with diabetes.

Cayenne tincture has been a long-used cure all for anyone suffering from circulation problems. The herb has shown in studies to not only increase circulation, but also help in clearing the arteries and strengthening the muscles around the heart.

Ginkgo biloba is another herb that has many benefits for the body beyond simply improving circulation. While it does a fine job in that, ginkgo can also help improve memory, help with asthma symptoms and helps strengthen blood vessels.

If you’re looking to improve your circulation, keep gout away and scare off vampires, than garlic is the herb for you. Not only will it help your blood move easier, it is an excellent blood cleanser and helps with high blood pressure.

In conclusion, diabetes and gout are inexorably linked. While you may not be able to fully avoid gout if you suffer from diabetes, there are ways to help lessen your chances of coming down with this painful joint condition.

If you are looking for more help for Gout symptoms please visit and sign up for a free newsletter.

What Every Woman Should Know About Menopause and Osteoporosis

Posted in Health & Fitness on January 9th, 2007

Maintaining a positive attitude towards menopause will help a woman cope with many menopausal symptoms, but it takes more than a positive attitude to protect her from developing osteoporosis.

Osteoporosis is a condition that affects the bones, causing them to become weak and brittle. This weakness makes the bones more susceptible to fractures, and can also result in height decrease and/or a humped back.

Osteoporosis is directly linked to menopause. It is estimated that more than 50 million American woman aged 45 and older are at risk of developing osteoporosis. Furthermore, research suggests that almost half of all women 60 and over will experience at least one fracture related to the disease. In addition, the average postmenopausal woman will lose approximately 10% of her bone mass within the first five years following menopause.

Why does osteoporosis typically occur in menopausal women? Estrogen is vital for aiding cells in building and maintaining strong, healthy bones. Thus, during menopause, the decrease in estrogen levels causes cell building bones to become less active. The result is in an increase in bone loss, because the bones are deteriorating faster than they can be rebuilt.

However, not every woman experiencing menopause will develop osteoporosis. Those who are at a higher risk are women with a peak bone mass that is already weakened from lack of calcium and vitamin D, and/or who have a family history of the disease.

Are their any signs or symptoms of osteoporosis? Unfortunately there are no warning signs you can watch for. Osteoporosis is a silent and fast moving disease that is usually not diagnosed until a person suffers a fracture.

Therefore, since osteoporosis isn’t usually detected until it’s too late; the best ways a woman can reduce her risk of developing the disease after menopause, is to eat a calcium rich diet and engage in regular exercise, or seek medical treatment.

The following are some ways to help prevent and treat osteoporosis:

Calcium and vitamin D – Women who are menopausal and postmenopausal require 1500 mg of calcium daily (if taking estrogen only 1200 mg is required). Calcium comes from a variety of foods, but is exceptionally rich in dairy products such as milk, yogurt and cheese.

Vitamin D is essential for maintaining healthy bones because it helps them absorb calcium. Women between the ages 51 – 70 need 400 units of vitamin D daily, while women over 70 require 600 units. The best sources for Vitamin D include the sun (15-20 minutes of unprotected exposure) and vitamin d-fortified milk (8 oz. = 100 units).

Since the average woman fails to ingest the significant amount of calcium or vitamin D that is required, many doctors will prescribe supplements to help ensure they receive the necessary daily doses of each.

Exercise – Engaging in regular exercise can help prevent osteoporosis. Exercising for 30 – 40 minutes every other day is highly recommended. The reason is because the right physical activity, such as weight bearing (exercises including fast walking, jogging, aerobics, dancing), stretching (exercises such as Yoga and Pilates), and strength training (exercises that involve the use of weights to strengthen and build muscle), can help improve bone mass and slow down osteoporosis.

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) – this is a medical treatment that replaces the estrogen a woman’s body no longer produces. HRT slows down, and can even stop bone mass reduction.

Other medical treatments – Additional medical treatments include: bisphophonates, strontium ranelate, and SERM’s (selective oestrogen receptor modulators).
There is no time like the present to start reducing your risk of osteoporosis. Just make sure you talk to your doctor before starting any treatment.

Kathryn Whittaker has an interest in Menopause. For further information on Menopause please visit understanding Menopause or Menopause resource blog posts.

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Posted in uncategorized on January 5th, 2007

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