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Infactual Articles » 2007 » March

Archive for March, 2007

Is Hidden Caffeine Aggravating Your IBS?

Posted in Health & Fitness on March 28th, 2007

There are many things that can trigger bouts of IBS, but there are times when you might not know what is doing it. There are many things in the diet that can cause the bloating, cramping, constipation, or diarrhea that comes with flare ups, but some of them are easier to pick out than others. Have you considered that hidden caffeine is aggravating your IBS symptoms? It’s quite possible. You may have cut out coffee and caffeinated soda, but there are other places where you might be unknowingly getting enough caffeine to upset your system.

Diet Products:  There are many different diet products on the market that you might be taking. Some are supplements that help with energy or with appetite suppression. There are weight control bars that are much like granola bars, and other products that are closely related. These often contain natural substances that have caffeine in them. It won’t necessarily say so on the label though, so you have to know what to look for. If you don’t recognize anything on the label, make sure you look each thing up to see what it really is and if it might contain caffeine. Guarana is one of these that claims to be a natural alternative to caffeine, but it’s basically the same thing and will have the same effect on your IBS symptoms.
Coffee:  You probably already know there is caffeine in coffee, and you may have had to cut it out of your diet. Some like to have decaffeinated coffee instead so they can still enjoy the taste of coffee. The problem is that there are some brands that are called decaf, yet they still have some caffeine in them. The amount may be small, but it still might be enough to aggravate IBS.

Coffee Flavoring:  Though you might think that ice cream and yogurts would only contain an artificial flavor that mimics the taste of coffee, many of them really have caffeine in them. Check the labels carefully to see if there is caffeine. You may have not thought to look, but if you eat these products often, this might be a troublesome source you never considered.

Candy:  Sadly, chocolate contains caffeine, and it might contain more than you think. This includes chocolate drinks like hot cocoa. Something as small as a Hershey’s Kiss has caffeine, though it should only contain 1 mg.

Medications:  There are some medications that claim they are non-drowsy. These are supposed to help with your symptoms while keeping you awake. It makes sense. No one wants to take something for a cold only to fall asleep at work during a meeting. The problem is that some of them use caffeine to help keep you awake, and you probably don’t realize it. This is also a problem with some children’s medications also. Children should have very little, if any, caffeine.

Eliminating these things might help, but if it seems to make no difference, it might not be hidden caffeine that is aggravating your IBS symptoms. You may be able to tolerate some of them on occasion if you choose ones that have a very low amount. When it comes to decaf coffee, you might have to experiment with a few different brands until you find one that it totally caffeine-free.

Grab your free copy of Susan Reynolds’ brand new IBS Newsletter - Overflowing with easy to implement methods to treat IBS & help you find out about rid of IBS and for information on cause of IBS please visit Irritable Bowel Syndrome Relief Secrets.

Should You Consider Orthotics for Your Foot Pain?

Posted in Health & Fitness on March 9th, 2007

Many people with arthritis foot pain benefit from orthotic inserts. Orthotics is the science of constructing or custom designing foot appliances such as arch supports, shoe inserts, shoes, etc., to aid in preventing and correcting deformities that may inhibit normal, comfortable movement in a person. Orthotics also assists in supporting and properly aligning the foot to help improve the overall function of the body’s moveable part.

Although you may think a good athletic shoe (I.E. walking, running) provides you with enough support, this is untrue for someone who suffers or is prone to foot pain. The reason is because while an exceptional shoe can provide your feet with cushioning and motion control, it doesn’t provide adequate arch or heel support, or shock absorption.

Therefore, after you purchase a well-made pair of shoes, you need to take out the insole that came with the shoe, and replace it with an orthotic insole.

What types of foot pain benefit from orthotics? Orthotics are generally recommended for treating those who suffer from the following foot problems causing pain –
- Arch strain and pain
- Bunions
- Calluses
- Corns
- Crooked toes
- Hammer toes
- Heel pain
- Heel spurs
- Metatarsalgia (pain in the ball of the foot)
- Over-pronation
- Plantar fasciitis

Is there more than one type of orthotic insole? Yes. Orthotics come in various sizes and can be used for a number of different shoe styles. However, before we take a look at the different orthotics, keep in mind that not all insoles are orthotics. If the word “orthotic” is not on the packaging, the insoles are not made with the same science. Unlike other insoles, orthotics are designed to mold themselves to the foot when worn. The following are the different types of orthotics -

Functional orthotics – This type of orthotic is designed to correct defects of the arch including over-pronation, common in people with flat feet, and supination, common in people with high arches. Both foot problems can cause heel pain (plantar fasciitis) and puts excessive strain on muscles and joints throughout the back, hip and leg. Functional orthotics provides proper correction of these foot problems.

Supportive orthotics – These orthotics are designed to fix problems that occur in the arch, and provide the arch with proper support.

Weight-dispersive or accommodative orthotics –These orthotics are designed to provide padding and help support sesamoid bones (bones embedded in a tendon) metatarsal heads, collapsed tarsal bones, inflamed toes and sores. They help relieve pain and pressure from these areas.

Where can you obtain orthotic inserts? There are two ways a person can obtain orthotic insoles –

1. Ready-made orthotics -There are a variety of ready-made orthotic insoles sold online and in local super centers, drug stores and pharmacies. Most ready-made orthotic insoles provide arch support and a certain level of correction and cushioning to a person’s step. The following is a list of ready-made orthotic product brand names you can look for – Dr. Scholls, Spenco Insoles, and Footlevelers.

2. Custom orthotics – Custom orthotics will provide you better relief than ready-made orthotics because they are designed specifically for your foot and to treat your specific foot issue. The only problem is custom orthotics are hundreds of dollars, making them significantly more expensive than the ready-made variety.

Custom made orthotics are prescribed by health care professionals such as a family practitioner, chiropractor or podiatrist. The actual fitting of orthotic insoles is done at an orthotics lab by a pedorthist. The pedorthist constructs custom orthotics based on the diagnosis of the doctor and by taking a plaster cast of the patient’s foot.

Despite the type of orthotic insoles you decide to obtain for your feet, remember that you should always have your doctor diagnose your foot pain and ask for recommended treatment options.

By Dave Wilson. Sign up for a free newsletter & discover how to treat your foot pain with targeted footpain relief treatments. Discover how lifestyle changes can get rid of footpain.

High Blood Pressure vs Garlic

Posted in Health & Fitness on March 1st, 2007

Milk protein may be the answer to lowering high blood pressure in some people; however, it isn’t the only alternative. In fact, did you know that making something as natural as eating garlic apart of your regular diet can actually reduce blood pressure and help you manage your hypertension?

Garlic is a vegetable that is extremely beneficial to the heart and the entire cardiovascular system. It is considered to be a natural remedy for high blood pressure that has significant, positive effects when made part of a daily diet. Studies have found that by eating a single small garlic clove per day, a person can effectively manage their hypertension.

In fact some clinical studies have found garlic to decrease the systolic blood pressure by as much as 20 mm Hg to 30 mm Hg, and the diastolic blood pressure by as much as 10 mm Hg to 20 mm Hg in participants.

For instance, one 12 week study concluded that participants with high blood pressure who ingested a single clove of garlic per day had significant reductions in their systolic and diastolic blood pressure by the end of the study.

In addition, studies have also been conducted on testing the effectiveness of garlic powder taken in the form of a supplement for controlling blood pressure. These studies also found a significant reduction in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure in participants who suffered from mild hypertension.

How does garlic lower blood pressure? It is believed that garlic can effectively lower blood pressure because it reduces spasms that occur in the small arteries. It also slows the pulse rate and modifies the rhythm of the heart. In addition, garlic can relieve gas in the digestive tract, numbness, dizziness and shortness of breath. Thus, garlic has been used as a herbal remedy as an effective method for treating various health problems aside form hypertension including infection, inflammation and heart disease.

Moreover, research has found that there are three chemicals found in garlic that are exceptionally helpful in treating high blood pressure. These chemicals are alliin, allinase, and allicin, and are particular effective for improving blood circulation.

How can you add garlic to your daily diet to manage your blood pressure? The following are two recommendations:

1. Eat fresh raw garlic cloves - you can eat a single raw clove of garlic per day with a meal or by itself. You don’t need to eat an exceptionally large clove, a small one should suffice. Just make sure the clove is fresh, as dried garlic no longer contains the properties that are beneficial for health.

2. Take garlic supplements in capsule form – This is often the preferred method, as most people don’t enjoy chewing on a raw piece of garlic. Herbalists recommend taking 300mgs of garlic capsule supplements three times daily (I.E. 3 capsules per day). Note: Be sure to read the instructions on the back of supplements before taking them.

If you decide to take garlic supplements, keep in mind that you should only do so under the supervision of a health practitioner. The reason is because garlic can thin the blood and can interact with other drugs and supplements that are prescribed for blood thinning such as Trental (pentoxifylline) and Coumadin (warfarin), aspirin, gingko, and vitamin E. Furthermore, it is often recommended that those who will be undergoing surgery should stop taking garlic as treatment a few weeks before and after surgery.

If you think garlic is a remedy you would like to try as treatment for managing your high blood pressure, be sure to talk to your doctor first for recommendations.
By Paul Johnson. Sign up for a free newsletter & discover proven natural methods to help you lower blood pressure naturally. On the site you’ll also find more about suitable hypertension exercise and the most common sign and symptom of hypertension.