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Gout and the Risk of Kidney Stones

Posted in Health & Fitness on February 27th, 2007

Despite what joints may be affected by gout, this particular form of arthritis can cause another complication – kidney stones.

What are kidney stones and what causes them?  Kidney stones are small masses that are rock-like in substance.  They can be small enough to be passed through urination, or large enough to block the flow of urine.  Passing kidney stones is often an extremely painful experience that most people don’t soon forget.  Kidney stones can occur for different reasons.  However, in the case of gout, kidney stones form as a result of too much uric acid in the urine.

Who is most at risk for developing kidney stones?  Essentially, anyone who has recurring cases of gout is at risk for developing kidney stones.  However, middle aged men, and the elderly (both women and men) are more likely to develop kidney stones, due to the fact that they are the primary gout sufferers, and have higher levels of uric acid.

Furthermore, kidney stones are most likely to occur in those who suffer from secondary gout and primary gout.  Approximately 42% of those diagnosed with secondary gout will experience kidney stones.  However, only 10 – 25% of primary gout sufferers will develop stones.  

Why is the risk so much higher for secondary gout sufferers?  The reason is because unlike those who have primary gout - high levels of uric acid without a known cause, those with secondary gout have high levels of uric acid because of their long-term medication (IE. diuretics, aspirin, levodopa, etc.) or health condition (IE. alcoholism, obesity, diabetes, kidney dysfunction, etc.)

Additionally, people who have experienced kidney stones are more likely to develop stones again in the future.

What are the signs and symptoms of kidney stones?   Although in some cases there may be no symptoms at all, most people who suffer kidney stones report the following:
- Sudden extreme painful cramping that occurs in the lower back, side, groin or abdomen.
- Nausea or vomiting caused by severe pain
- Blood in urine
- Fever and chills may occur if there is an infection in the urinary tract

If you have any of the above symptoms, you should visit your doctor or the emergency room to make sure that what you are experiencing is indeed kidney stones.

How are kidney stones treated?  Although the sudden onset of pain may compel you to take a trip to the emergency room, the chances are after you’ve been x-rayed and diagnosed, a doctor will likely prescribe you pain medication and tell you to drink plenty of water and wait for the kidney stone to pass naturally.  Most stones pass within 48 hours when significant fluid is ingested.  Symptoms should stop as soon as stones pass.

If the stone will not pass naturally due to its size, a doctor may perform:
- Lithotripsy – A common procedure that uses a shock wave to break up the large stone into small pieces so they can be passed.
- Surgery – there are a few techniques used to surgically remove the stones.  These surgeries are often uncomplicated.
How to prevent uric acid kidney stones – The following are ways a gout sufferer can reduce their risk of developing stones:

- Avoid or limit alcohol intake
- Eliminate or limit foods in your diet that raise uric acid levels such as: organ meat, red meat, shellfish, mushrooms, asparagus, dried peas and beans, etc.
- Drink plenty of water and stay well hydrated all the time
- Exercise regularly
- Loose weight realistically – If you are overweight or obese avoid crash diets to lose weight quickly.  Losing weight too fast can cause a rise in uric acid levels and increase the risk of stones.
- Medication – Talk to your doctor about medication that can help lower and control uric acid levels.

By Lisa McDowell. Sign up for a free newsletter & discover whether you are experiencing a gout symptom treatments. On the site you’ll also find more on proven gout remedy options and how deal with a gout attack.  

Finding Support For Adult Autism

Posted in Health & Fitness on February 26th, 2007

Toys are a great way to stimulate autistic children, but what about adult autism?  All autistics, regardless of their age or degree of autism require proper care and support.  That being said, although high functioning autistics do require support, they don’t always require constant care like those who have low functioning autism.

High functioning autistics (HFA)
 High functioning autistic adults can be very successful and live relatively normal lives.  They can work, care, and support themselves, live independently, and in some cases, even have a family.  However, in order to be successfully independent an HFA adult must have had the proper education growing up.  If an HFA child is effectively taught and understands accepted behaviors and social responses, by the time they reach adulthood, they can contribute to society like everyone else.

Of course, not all high functioning autistics are independent, and even those that are may still struggle with finding suitable employment and suffer with social interaction.  For this reason, those with high functioning adult autism require support to help them take care of themselves, and live the best life they can live.

Support for high functioning autistics
The following are ways in which HFA adults can find support:

Locally – Finding support locally may be a challenge if you don’t know where to look.  Nevertheless it doesn’t hurt to try searching with the help of:
- Health care providers – Talk to any doctors or those who provided you therapy over the years.  They may be able to get you in touch with local organizations or support groups.
- Government – Call or visit the government website to learn about support for those with adult autism
- Yellow Pages – Search the phone book to see if any support groups are listed locally
- The internet – Conduct a search by using the name of your city and “autism support”
Online - There are many support groups online.  The following are some websites that offer support and may be helpful for employment and information:
- http://www.csaac.org/
- www.udel.edu/bkirby/asperger

Low functioning autistics
Low functioning adult autism means that these individuals are unable to measure up to societal standards and can not function independently, regardless of how they are educated as children.  Therefore, these autistics typically live at home with their parents or in special residences where their needs can be continually addressed.  Nevertheless, due to the fact that residential facilities or group homes are quite costly, many low functioning adults (and even some HFA adults) live with their families.

In these cases, the ones who require support and assistance are the caregivers.  Caring for an autistic can be extremely overwhelming and stressful, especially when you are faced with:

- Learning everything you can about adult autism
- Locating the necessary services, treatments and supports needed
- Dealing with different health care service providers
- Financial burden
- Socially isolating yourself in your home, as making social calls can be difficult
- Focusing all your attention on one child and giving less attention to the rest
- Discrimination from others

Support for caregivers of autistics
There are different services you can look for to help you cope with adult autism, such as counseling, reducing stress, learning new techniques, financial advice, etc.  Support can be found in the following ways -

Locally – The same methods used in HFA support listed above can be used to find local support.
- Friends – If you have made friends who also have autistic children, use them as support and find out if they have any new information they can provide for a particular problem you may be facing.

Online – There are many support groups online.  Check out the following:
- http://www.autism-society.org/
- http://www.autismsociety.ca/
- http://www.bbbautism.com/
- http://www.autismlink.com/
- http://www.udel.edu/

Each provides you with information, resources and support groups for adult autism.

By Rachel Evans. Sign up for a free newsletter and discover how to understand and manage an autism diagnosis. On the site you’ll find more information about high functioning autism.

Treating Fibromyalgia with Trigger Point Therapy

Posted in Health & Fitness on January 27th, 2007

Trigger point therapy is a treatment that has helped many people who suffer from fibromyalgia. It is an impressive therapy that effectively reduces trigger point pain. Trigger point therapy is used to relieve pain, and is a massage treatment that is frequently used to treat a variety of conditions including sports injuries, repetitive strain injury, accident trauma, myofascial pain syndrome and fibromyalgia.

Trigger point therapy is also known as myotherapy or myofascial trigger point therapy. It was established in the United States during the 1940’s by Dr. Janet Travell.

What is trigger point therapy?
Trigger point therapy is a technique that applies pressure through touch to sensitive muscle tissue known as trigger points. Pressure is applied by fingers, knuckles or elbows and is maintained for up to 10 seconds and released. Pressure is then reapplied in a pumping motion for another 30 seconds and released. After this treatment, the muscles are then stretched to improve flexibility.

The purpose of the therapy is to alleviate pain and dysfunction in other areas of the body, and improve muscular flexibility. Trigger point therapy is able to effectively reduce pain because the pressure that is applied during treatment increases blood flow to the targeted area. As a result, oxygen and nutrients can freely flow to the spot and work to heal the muscle. Furthermore, the applied pressure stimulates the body to release endorphins (natural painkillers) to help reduce pain.

What are trigger points?
Trigger points are the areas of your body that are extremely sensitive. Usually when they are touched, trigger points are painful, increase stiffness in muscles and limit motion. A trigger point will feel like a tight knot in the soft tissue that lies just beneath your skin. Trigger points generally form as a result of poor posture, exertion, stress or an illness such as fibromyalgia.

There are two different trigger points:
1. Active trigger points – These points result in pain when they are pressed, but do not cause pain in other parts of the body.
2. Latent trigger points – These points result in pain when they are pressed but can also cause pain in other parts of the body. For example, a trigger point in the neck may cause pain in the back when pressed.
If trigger points are not looked after, they can develop into satellite trigger points, the term given to trigger points that have spread from the original source. Satellite trigger points evolve into more painful symptoms.
How can trigger point therapy help fibromyalgia? Trigger point therapy has been proven to be very beneficial for fibromyalgia sufferers. Fibromyalgia is a disease that causes various tender areas in the body. These sensitive spots often cause muscle stiffness, pain and other discomforts. This is why trigger point therapy is usually a successful treatment for those with fibromyalgia, because the treatment helps to eliminate the tender areas and the resulting symptoms. The following is how trigger point therapy works to help fibromyalgia sufferers:
• Decreases the stiffness in muscles
• Improves motion range and flexibility
• Encourages circulation to allow the body to heal
• Reduces anxiety and depression
Trigger point therapy should only be performed by a qualified therapist who has previous experience with treating fibromyalgia. Furthermore, it’s a good idea to tell the therapist the exact location where you are feeling pain, so that they can focus the therapy on these particular points to provide you with the best relief.
If you are not ready for trigger point therapy, and would like to try something first that doesn’t involve a therapist, consider trying relaxation techniques.

For more information on other Fibromyalgia treatment options please go to EliminateFibromyalgia.com

The Missing Link Between Gout and Alcohol Consumption

Posted in Health & Fitness on January 14th, 2007

Although there are many factors that can contribute to a build up of uric acid within your system, alcohol consumption appears to be a leading factor in gout development. However, this doesn’t mean that people who drink alcohol modestly on a regular basis will develop gout. Furthermore, research has discovered that different types of alcoholic beverages have different impacts on uric acid levels.

For hundreds of years, medical researchers have suspected that gout is linked to specific lifestyles such as diets high in red meat, salt and alcohol, combined with little to no exercise. This type of lifestyle, which many people in Western countries tend to adopt as they become older and closer to middle age, is very much like the lifestyle that was once led by English kings. In fact, gout is often called “the disease of kings”.

Today, researchers that have conducted studies on men in relation to alcohol consumption and its link to gout, have found that men who drank excessive amounts of certain forms of alcohol – especially beer – greatly increased their risk for developing gout.

What has been discovered is alcohol may not only affect the production of uric acid, but also its removal from the body. It appears that when alcohol is changed into lactic acid, it decreases the quantity of uric acid that the kidneys are able to remove from the body. The reason is because uric acid has to compete with the lactic acid in order to be removed by the kidneys.

In addition, researchers have found that certain types of alcohol have less risk of causing gout than others. Of all the alcohols studied, it appears that Beer poses the highest risk of gout, while moderate consumption of wine or spirits has little to no increased risk of gout.

What’s so risky about beer? Some researchers believe that beer has a non-alcoholic ingredient that makes the increase of gout even higher than other alcoholic beverages. Beer is apparently the only alcoholic beverage to include purines, and an excessive amount of purines in the system can lead to higher production of uric acid. Conversely, other researchers do not believe it is the purines in the drink that increase the risk of gout. These researchers don’t believe that having too many purines in the diet increase the risk of gout. Their reasoning is based on a study that was conducted on vegetarians from Taiwan who indulged in a diet that was high in purines. The study revealed that theses individuals actually had a lower risk of developing gout.

So, if it’s not the purines in beer then what is it? Some experts have a hunch that excessive beer drinkers have a higher risk in contracting gout due to their lifestyle. For instance, a person who drinks wine usually has their alcoholic beverage with a meal, or with healthy snacks such as fruits, vegetables, crackers and cheese. A beer drinker, on the other hand, will often indulge in eating salty and fatty snacks such as peanuts and chips, while they sit and watch TV on the couch hour after hour. Thus, enthusiastic beer drinkers are likely to have a more sedentary lifestyle.

Regardless of the alcohol beverage you enjoy, you can dramatically reduce your risk of developing gout by drinking modestly (IE a glass of wine or beer per day). Overindulging in alcohol on occasion isn’t going to have a dramatic effect on your chances of getting gout, but regular overindulgence may eventually lead to a serious pain in the big toe.

For more information about Gout diets take a look at Cure Gout Now.

Biofeedback For Blood Pressure - The facts

Posted in Health & Fitness on January 12th, 2007

Biofeedback is a system that provides you with real-time information about your body — blood pressure, heart rate, muscle tension, and skin temperature, for example — on the theory that if you are aware of this information, you can control it. You’re not usually aware of your heart rate, for example, so you may not know if it’s too high. Biofeedback makes you cognizant of it, thus allowing you to take measures to regulate it if necessary.

In recent years, people have begun to use biofeedback as a means of lowering their blood pressure. A biofeedback device called Resperate, helps people relax by slowing their breathing, which in turn reduces hypertension. There are other things you can do, too, that involve keeping tabs on your blood pressure and responding accordingly to keep it in check.

First is something called autogenic training, which involves learning to control body conditions such as muscle tension, heart rate, and blood flow. Much of this involves a mind-over-matter attitude. By seeing your blood pressure go up (through a monitor you can use yourself), you can identify the stressors that are causing it to happen. Then, having identified the things that cause your blood pressure to rise, you can take steps to overcome them, either by eliminating the stressors or learning to deal with them positively.

There is ample information on the Internet about autogenic training, including many stress-reducing exercises you can do from your desk or at work.

Another way to deal with hypertension through biofeedback is “temperature training.” Some research indicates that the temperature of your finger is an accurate indicator of your blood pressure. High stress causes your finger temperature to drop as the fight-or-flight response sends blood quickly away from the extremities and toward the vital organs. This means an increase in blood pressure — thus, lower finger temperature equals higher blood pressure.

There are devices you can buy that monitor your finger temperature. Then, with relaxation techniques and stress management, you can lower your blood pressure, which will manifest itself in a higher finger temperature.

These techniques usually won’t help people with extreme hypertension. Those who can benefit from biofeedback include people with normal-to-slightly-high blood pressure or mild hypertension, and those with a family history of high blood pressure who want to take preemptive measures against getting it themselves.

It should be stressed that while biofeedback and relaxation techniques can be helpful in reducing blood pressure, they are not to be substituted for a healthy diet, regular exercise and whatever medication your doctor has prescribed. Biofeedback should be in addition to those things, not instead of them. As a medical technique, biofeedback has proponents and detractors. It’s certainly not going to hurt your health, but it may not always help it, either.

If you are looking for more help for Blood Pressure Reduction symptoms please visit NaturalBloodPressureReduction.com and sign up for a free newsletter.

Natural Ways to Beat Endometriosis

Posted in Health & Fitness on January 5th, 2007

There are different dietary and herbal supplements that can be taken to help alleviate symptoms caused by endometriosis. That being said, before taking any form of supplement, you should always consult your doctor first. This is especially important for any woman who suffers from kidney, liver or heart problems.

The following is a breakdown of the common types of dietary (vitamins and minerals) supplements used to treat endometriosis:


B Vitamins - biotin, choline, cobalamin, folic acid, inositol, niacin, PABA, panthothenic acid, pyridoxine, and riboflavin - Every member of the B vitamin family works to breakdown carbohydrates, fat and protein in the body. Folic acid is particularly important as it distributes oxygen to tissue, and a deficiency in this particular B vitamin can cause anemia. B vitamins also help to improve emotional symptoms caused by endometriosis.

Vitamin C – helps build and preserve collagen in the body, simulates the immune system, encourages healing, and resists disease. Caution: Although fruit is an excellent source of vitamin C, it also contains bioflavinoids that can mirror estrogen effects on the body and cause severe cramping.

Vitamin E – helps strengthen immune system. When taken with selenium it can decrease inflammation associated with endometriosis. Caution: Women should not take vitamin E supplements if they are on anticoagulants.


Calcium – approximately two weeks before menstruating, calcium levels decrease in women. This drop in levels can result in headaches, pelvic pain and muscle cramps. Note: Calcium requires vitamin D to be absorbed into the body; therefore, if taking a calcium supplement, ensure it contains vitamin D.

Iron – During menses, the average woman loses an estimated 30 mg of iron, and some women who have endometriosis may lose even more due to heavy menses. Iron deficiency can cause weakness, serious fatigue and mental haziness.

Potassium – aids in muscle contraction, heart rate regulation, and the balance of body fluids among other things. Women who experience diarrhea during their menses can become deficient in Potassium which can result in bloating, fatigue, and weakness.

Magnesium – Helps to relieve cramping during menstruation. Magnesium deficiency can lead to muscle and/or menstrual cramps.

Zinc – aids in the reproduction of cells and is vital for enzyme activity. It is believed that zinc helps women cope better with their emotions during menstruation and reduces irritability.Herbal remedies are another form of alternative medicine used to treat endometriosis. The objective of herbal therapy is to decrease pain in endometriosis sufferers, improve pelvis circulation, and establish hormonal balance. The following are a few herbs commonly used to treat endometriosis.

Evening Primrose Oil – These herbal seeds are high in essential fatty acids which boost the production of prostaglandin E1. Caution: women who are prone to seizures should not use this herbal remedy.

Vitex agnus castus – This herb has been considered useful to relieve endometriosis cramping and discomfort during menses because it reduces prolactin. Caution: women taking oral contraceptives should not use this herb as it can reduce contraceptive efficacy.

Cimicifugae racemosae rhizome– This herbal remedy is used to treat many forms of pain such as dysmenorrhea. Dandelion Tea – This herb helps to alleviate edema and swelling. It is believed that it can aid endometriosis by relieving the congestion in the pelvis.

Colic root – Works as a muscle relaxant, and is used to relieve bowel symptoms and cramping related to endometriosis.

Dong Quai – this herb helps relieve dysmenorrhea, constipation, abdominal discomfort/pain and anemia; conditions related to endometriosis. Caution: this herb should not be taken with anticoagulants as it increases the risk of bleeding.

Dietary supplements and herbs are not the only alternative treatments used to help women with endometriosis. Therapeutic massage can be another beneficial form of treatment.

For more information on all aspects of endometriosis please visit Treating Your Endometriosis

6 Fibromyalgia Pain Relief Strategies

Posted in Health & Fitness on December 19th, 2006

Treating the pain associated with Fibromyalgia can be a difficult task since cures that help one person might not help you. Here is a list of popular and common pain remedies that should help your symptoms.

  1. Entering into a consistent and relaxing exercise routine is one of the easiest and most beneficial ways of dealing with Fibromyalgia. Not only does exercise help keep you fit and trim, it also helps with blood flow throughout the body. It can also help normalize sleep patters and reduce the amount of time it takes for your body to recover from injury. Please remember to never start an exercise routine without consulting a doctor first.
  2. A low carb and high protein diet is another popular way to help relieve Fibromyalgia pain. Not only will eating right help your body overall, by eliminating high amounts of saturated fat, refined white sugar, caffeine and alcohol, you can eliminate many common symptom triggers. Combine that with a beneficial exercise routine, and you will be well on your way to a healthier body and less pain.
  3. As any long time sufferer of Fibromyalgia can tell you, nothing feels better than a good heating pad. Pads help with circulation and also help to loosen up muscles and joints that can ache during severe bouts of Fibro flare-up. There are many different pads you can use, cordless and the old-fashioned plug-in kinds. There are also chemical heating pads that you can you and even wear under your clothes during the day. Some of these pads can last up to 8 hours.
  4. The use of topical pain medications is another popular way to deal with Fibromyalgia. But a quick trip to your local drug store reveals an overwhelming choice in pain relief rubs. The industry standard is, of course, Bengay. But if you’ve tried it and didn’t care for the results, there are literally a dozen other choices available. And if none of the name brand medications seem to do the trick, there are also a slew of homeopathic remedies and all-natural creams that many sufferers swear by.
  5. Meditation might not be a cure-all for pain, but it can help relieve a lot of stress that can be a major trigger for Fibromyalgia symptoms. Meditation is a very personal, and for most a private practice. Most people require a quiet place, maybe some soothing music and the ability to completely relax. Meditation can also give a big boost to self-confidence by putting practitioners in the mindset that they can control their Fibromyalgia, and thus their pain, as well.
  6. A final helper for pain is deep tissue massage. By helping to stimulate blood flow in the joints and muscles that are aching, symptoms and pain can be reduced. This works much the same way as a heating pad, but many Fibromyalgia sufferers swear by the deeper and more complete relief of a massage. You may need to experiment with this option. Try and find a massuse who has dealt with fibro patients before as initially the pain can stop you continuing with the massage.

Fibromyalgia can be a painful and debilitating ailment. Luckily, there are many non-drug methods of dealing with the chronic pain caused by this condition. You may have to try several methods before you find one that is right for you, but there is hope for everyone with Fibromyalgia.

For more information on overcoming Fibromyalgia symptoms please visit Eliminate Fibromyalgia.

Understanding How Your Knee Works

Posted in Health & Fitness on December 11th, 2006

The knee is a lower extremity joint connecting the femur and the tibia. Because the knee is responsible for supporting almost the entire weight of the human body, the knee is especially vulnerable to injury and to the development of osteoarthritis.The knee is a very complex joint, made up of bone, cartilage and tendons. The knee is actually made up of two separate joints. The femoro-patellar joint consists of the “kneecap” or patella, which sits inside the anterior thigh muscles tendons, and the patellar groove on the front of the femur bone through which it slides. The femoro-tibial joint connects the thigh bone, known as the femur, with the tibia, the large bone in the lower leg. One unique feature of the knee is that the joint is surrounded with a thick fluid found inside a membrane.The knee also contains the following ligaments, which most sports fans could probably list off verbatim considering the high number of incidents of highly paid professional athletes tearing one or more of them.

The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). The ACL is probably the best known of the knee ligaments and is extremely important in good knee health. The ACL keeps the tibia bone from being moved too far to the front of the knee in relative position to the femur bone. The ACL is one of four major ligaments inside the knee. It connects from the back and outside part of the femur bone to the front and inside part of the tibia bone.

The posterior cruciate ligament (PCL). Not to be confused with the Pacific Coast League of minor league baseball, the posterior cruciate ligament is the second of the four major ligaments in the knee. It connects the back intercondylar area of the tibia bone to the medial condyle of the femur. An exam called the posterior drawer test is used by doctors to detect injury to the PCL. During the test, the doctor will position himself sitting on the end of the patients foot with the knee turned 80 degrees. The doctor then jerks the tibia backwards. If there is excessive movement, a tear in the PCL is probable.

The Capsular Ligament. Also known as the joint capsules or articular capsules form a space for the bone joints to move in. Each capsule is made up of two layers – an outer layer made up of white, fibrous tissue, and an inner layer which secretes fluid.

The Ligamentum Patellae. The Patellar ligament is an anterior ligament and is a strong and flat band about 8 cm long and is attached to the kneecap and to the tibia. Its fibres stretch over the front of the kneecap with the tendon from the quadriceps.

The Medial Collateral Ligament. The MCL protects the side of the knee from being bent open from a force from the other side of the knee.

The Lateral Collateral Ligament. The LCL protects the knee from a bending force from inside the knee.

The Oblique Popliteal Ligament. The OBL is a broad, flat, fibrous band.

As you can see with all these different aspects to the knee there is a high possibility of things going wrong within the joint.

For more information on treating and preventing knee pain please visit:

Banishing Knee Pain.



Smoking vs IBS

Posted in Health & Fitness on July 23rd, 2006

Just as all stimulants seem to affect IBS sufferers harder than those without IBS, tobacco is one of the most extreme. Whether you smoke or chew, tobacco is a powerful gastro-intestinal stimulant, irritant and carcinogen. Because people with IBS have extremely sensitive intestinal tracts anyway, tobacco should be avoided at all costs. But even if you don’t have IBS, the effect tobacco has on your GI tract is severe.Tobacco has shown to be harmful to the entire digestive system. Two of the most common ailments caused by smoking is heartburn and acid reflux, which are conditions that people with IBS are already more likely to suffer from. Tobacco weakens the sphincter in the oesophagus, therefore allowing stomach acid to flow upward into the oesophagus. Tobacco has also been known to double your chance of developing a peptic ulcer and chemicals in tobacco also hinder the healing of ulcers and make sufferers more likely to develop additional ulcers later in life. The exact increase is unknown but it’s thought to be as high as 10 times as likely. Doctors also believe that there is a link between the development of Crohn’s disease and the possible development of gallstones in tobacco users.
The addictive and poisonous part of tobacco, nicotine, can cause many health problems on its own. Additional weakening of the sphincter of the oesophagus, increased acid production in the stomach and a decrease in the pancreas making sodium bicarbonate, which neutralizes stomach acid. But nicotine isn’t the only problem with tobacco. There are over 400 toxins and at least 43 known carcinogens in tobacco, all of which will hit someone with IBS harder than they would hit a healthy person. A seldom considered side effect of smoking is increased air consumption, which can lead to bloating and flatulence.And of course, the most common result in long-term cigarette smoking or tobacco chewing is the development of cancer, including cancer of the digestive tract, such as colon, bladder, pancreas, kidney and stomach cancer. It’s not known if IBS sufferers are at a higher risk to develop cancer of the digestive tract, but the additional irritation and stimuli to the body tends to not be favourable for IBS patients.

The addictive and poisonous part of tobacco, nicotine, can cause many health problems on its own. Additional weakening of the sphincter of the oesophagus, increased acid production in the stomach and a decrease in the pancreas making sodium bicarbonate, which neutralizes stomach acid. But nicotine isn’t the only problem with tobacco. There are over 400 toxins and at least 43 known carcinogens in tobacco, all of which will hit someone with IBS harder than they would hit a healthy person. A seldom considered side effect of smoking is increased air consumption, which can lead to bloating and flatulence. And of course, the most common result in long-term cigarette smoking or tobacco chewing is the development of cancer, including cancer of the digestive tract, such as colon, bladder, pancreas, kidney and stomach cancer. It’s not known if IBS sufferers are at a higher risk to develop cancer of the digestive tract, but the additional irritation and stimuli to the body tends to not be favourable for IBS patients.Tobacco irritates the lining of the intestines, which can cause diarrhoea, intestinal cramping, pain, bloating and gas in IBS patients. Nicotine has been reported to highly increase the frequency of stomach cramps in IBS sufferers. Tobacco use also decreases the efficiency of food digestion and it can also dramatically slow down the metabolism of those with IBS. This can alter bowel movements, which are already a huge problem for those with IBS, and cause bloating. Withdrawal from nicotine can cause both constipation and diarrhoea, again, already a big problem for those with IBS.

So for those people with IBS, sometimes just a small amount of stimuli to the digestive tract can be too much. The effects of tobacco use are universally negative for an average person and can be dramatic for those with IBS. There is no known cure for IBS and treatment options are not widely agreed upon, even by experts. But one treatment everyone can agree on is to reduce or eliminate tobacco use, even if you don’t have IBS!
If you are a smoker and suffer with IBS, now is the time to quit! But don’t worry, help is at hand Click Here For More Information .

4 Common Gout Drugs

Posted in Health & Fitness on July 16th, 2006

It is not generally advised for prescription drugs when treating hyperuricaemia as these drugs are generally used when there is an attack on the kidney stones. The following are four common drugs that are used to keep gout symptoms under control.

  1. Allopurinol – This inhibits uric acid synthesis and has been associated with eruptions of the skin and blood vessels as well as toxins in the liver. Renal function tests and overall complete blood counts of the patient should always be done before giving the patient Allopurinol.
  2. Colchicine This drug is used to alleviate gout attacks. But this drug has side effects which can be very serious and in some cases can cause death if the dose is too high. Many stomach problems can occur when taking this drug such as diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, and cramping. Some of the more serious side effects of the drug are problems occurring in the marrow of the bone, inflammation of the muscle, and anemia. If a patient has kidney function problems than Colchicine is generally not used or the doses are adjusted accordingly.
  3. Indomethacin – This drug is an anti inflammatory drug which is not steroid based. Indomethacin is the drug that is used the most when the onset of gout attacks occurs. This drug also has a very high toxicity but by measuring the doses correctly the drug is a one that is very successful in the short term.
  4. Prednisone – Prednisone is a drug that is becoming more widely used these days to treat gout. Prednisone is an immunosuppressive drug that is needed in some cases and is sometimes associated with long term side effects such as bone loss, cataracts, a weakening of the immune system, as well as others. Osteoporosis is a serious side effect that can occur with bone loss. The general side effects are longer healing and longer time fighting infections throughout the body with weakening of the immune system, retention of sodium, acne, night sweats, muscle and bone problems, and higher blood sugar.


As you can see from the above, although drugs will help to alleviate gout symptoms they are not without there side effects. If you are interested in avoiding or limiting the use of such drugs then there are natural ways to treat this condition. 

High levels of uric acid in the blood can bring about gout so it is advantageous to try to limit the food intake if it is high in purine. Alcohol should definitely be cut out completely or at least limited as it is very high in uric acids, especially during a flare-up.

One way to help avoid getting gout is to flush out your system by trying to drink at least two to three liters of fluids every day. By drinking lots of fluids you can aid in diluting the uric acids that can bring about gout.

Try to moderate your protein intake such as fish, meat, and poultry. There are other foods rich in proteins which are low in purines such as dairy products and are lower in fat as well, like eggs and even tofu. Try to limit the amount of fat that you eat by choosing meats that are leaner and meats and foods that are prepared with less oil.

By following a diet that takes into account these suggestions it will aid your body in keeping uric acid levels low. If you can keep your gout under control through natural methods it means you can avoid the nasty side effects that come with the gout drugs mentioned above.

Please bear in mind that you should always consult a physician prior to making any dietary changes and you should never stop taking any prescribed medication without gaining physician approval first.


For more information about Gout and the natural treatments available take a look at Homeopathic Remedies for Gout