Archive for the ‘Health’ category

Alternative Health

There are many reasons why people are starting to turn to natural health remedies instead of the conventional prescription drugs. If you went out onto the street and ask lots of people what they think of natural and alternative therapies then you’d get varying answers. Some will talk about what they’ve read in a magazine or watched on TV whilst others might have personal stories to tell.

Although I have been lucky enough not to have dealt with any real health ailments in my life, I have taken a keen interest in health supplements, food, exercise and all of these types of topics. The reason is because of what I’ve had to witness from my own parents.

My mum was officially diagnosed with Multiple Scleroses (MS) 13 years a go. There were many different tests done at the time including a lumber puncture and brain scans. When the doctor told her that it was MS he effectively said for her to go home and forget about it. If you have ever watched anything on tv about ms or read about it, you will know that it is a degenerative condition which leaves people in wheelchairs, or even in much worse conditions. Simply going home and acting like everything is normal is not at all possible. Because of the lack of help from conventional medicine, my mum and dad both read considerable amounts of information about this condition via books. They read about nutrition, exercise and natural health supplements. They also had consultations with natural health practitioners (including Jan de Vries) who said that it wasn’t as bad as MS and it was actually ME. They are both 2 of th e many different types of autoimmune condition.

I won’t go into a great amount of detail about what natural health therapies that were used but there were many vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids (evening primrose oil and fish oil). Although she still gets tired and has to take a nap every day, she has never needed to use a wheelchair or anything like that.

My dad’s health problems were back pain and digestion problems. First of all he hurt his back whilst taking heavy carrier bags from the shopping trolley and placing them in the boot of the car. Carrying the heavy weight whilst twisting round caused him major pain. His doctor told him to go home and rest but my dad wasn’t happy with this medical advice. So he got lots of books on back pain and they said that he should exercise. This advice is now common practice but at the time my dad’s doc wasn’t happy about him going against his professional opinion.

The other health problem related to digestion. My dad had put anti freeze into the car but realized he put in too much. SO he got a straw and sucked some out and then spit it out before he swalled any. Unfortunately some of this got into his system and it made him very ill very quickly afterwards. It’s thought that it damaged in the inside of his stomach causing food and nutrients not to be absorbed as well as they should. Luckily after a lot of different health advice and supplements he is now able to eat properly again. When he had this condition he couldn’t eat a single thing with yeast or wheat in it. Now is body had recovered.

It’s funny that when a doctor can’t see with his own eyes what is wrong with a patient they think that the patient is a hypochondriac. The doc had asked about his symptoms, when the occurred and if there was any pattern. My dad wasn’t sure so he decided to take a diary of everything he had eaten along with how he felt. The doctor said that he was thinking way too much about his condition and that he should stop. Instead of looking for proper treatments, he wanted to give my dad antidepressants.

Although you should always take the advice of a trained medical practioner, you can also ask if you can receive alternative treatments. Here in the UK, my gran gets acupuncture for nothing on the NHS because of her joint pain. Luckily there are more and more natural therapies being used and they aren’t seen as being mumbo jumbo. Unfortunately I think we still have a long way to go before your doctor will look at alternative therapies before prescribing any drugs.

Unfortunately not everyone in the health care industry can be trusted and it doesn’t matter whether they are self-employed or work for the NHS.  I don’t know if they do this on purpose or whether they just aren’t very good at their jobs but my mum has been having a lot of trouble with her neck recently and has gone to various people.  There was an osteopath who really didn’t help at all and charged her a small fortune for the privelage.  When my mum described the treatment she received to a physio she was told that it was of no help what-so-ever.  Luckily things are getting better due to the physiotherpay.

Smoking is a big problem that so many people try to stop.  There are so many different tips on stopping smoking.  I’m afraid I really don’t know what is good as I have never smoked before.  There are people who have done well with hypotherapy but even this doesn’t always work over the long term.  If you do give up smoking make sure that you keep away from people who smoke a lot because they will badly influence.  Apart from acupuncture and hypnotherapy I’m not sure about any other natural health remedies that can help.

Treatment of Conjunctivitis

If you want to know what conjunctivitis is then you will discover that it has to do with mucous membrane that covers your eyelid and the white part of your eye, this is called the conjunctiva.  It becomes inflamed which isn’t very nice for you. If you are unlucky enough to have Conjunctivitis it is probably going to be one of the two main types.  Quite often you will call Conjunctivitis pink eye instead as this is what a lot of people call it.  You get pink eye because of bacteria or a viral infection or even a bad reaction to an allergy.

We don’t realize how important our eyes are until something happens to them.  There are so many different types of eye condition and it can really affect the way we live our lives.  However Conjunctivitis is probably not the worst sort of eye condition you can get.  If you have infected eyes then the Conjunctivitis is caused by bacteria.  This sort is very contagious and is usually spread with the germs on your hands.  If you get allergies then the Conjunctivitis will be because of seasonal allergies which is the most likely cause.

Suffering from Conjunctivitis is not all that nice and is certainly not something you are going to want to have for the rest of your life.  It can really make you very unhappy and you’ll not feel like doing things you might normally want to do.  This is why you should look for Conjunctivitis treatments.  Although you should also try and prevent it happening in the first place.  Conjunctivitis isn’t a nice condition so preventing it occurring will mean you don’t have to think about the different treatments.  Be careful about facial products and cosmetics you use on your face.  These products can act as irritants to your eyes and this is what causes Conjunctivitis.  The good thing is that you don’t have to worry about transferring the condition to other people as both irritant Conjunctivitis and allergic Conjunctivitis aren’t contagios so you don’t need to worry about passing it to your friends and family.

Symptoms of Conjunctivitis

If you have or think you might have conjunctivitis then you will want to know if you have it or not.  In order to be able to do this you should have a basic understanding of what the symptoms of conjunctivitis is.  If you aren’t sure, always contact your doctor as there might be other things wrong that you didn’t realize.  Infected Conjunctivitis tends to give the sufferer watery and sticky eyes, they also feel gritty and feel as if they’ve been somehow glued together when you first wake up in the morning.

Another one of the symptoms include a little bit of soreness.  The part of the eye that is normally white will also become red or pink, which is why Conjunctivitis has earned the nickname ‘pink eye’.  Quite often you will notice that Conjunctivitis often flares up with the onset of a common cold.  You might also find yourself having a runny nose, sore throat and even a mild fever.

If you have developed the allergic form of Conjunctivitis then you will notice that your eyelids are puffy and eyes are itchy.  There might even be some sort of discharge from the eyes which can be white, ropy or watery.

Who is at risk?
Nobody is totally safe from Conjunctivitis and because there are so many different causes it can be pretty difficult to prevent.  Always make sure that you do your best not to pass it onto anyone if you have the contagious variety.  I know that it’s very difficult, but make sure that you don’t rub your infected eyes as it will make matters worse and only provide very temporary relief.  Make sure you wash your hands well and often so that you kill the germs and bacteria as you don’t want these nasties to rub off on anyone else.  It’s amazing how much bacteria can spread when it’s on your hands.

allergic conjunctivitis treatment  Some people have a history of allergies and hay fever is probably one of the most common types of allergy.  If you often get allergies then you will find yourself at an increased risk of allergic conjunctivitis.  Avoid drinking wine as this has histamines in it.

infectious conjunctivitis treatment  When you have Infective Conjunctivitis with the pink eye then you will probably also have a cold which makes your problems with your eyes easier to detect.  In addition a person with known allergies knows whether or not they have allergic Conjunctivitis.

Treatment for infective Conjunctivitis that is caused by bacteria includes the antibiotic ointment or antibiotic drops will help a lot.  For viral infections the condition is normally allowed to go its course and heal itself, in the same way you would allow a cold to go away on its own.  Generally however, it is difficult to determine whether infective Conjunctivitis has resulted from bacteria or a virus so oftentimes, no treatment is prescribed.

No matter what type of conjunctiviis you have always be very strict with your hygiene by cleaning your eyes and hands with warm soapy water.  Always use your own towels and never allow any other member of your family to share them otherwise the problem may pass onto them.  The same goes with pillows.  If you are a contact lens wearer then make sure you don’t wearer them until the problem with your conjunctivitis has passed.

Money and Health: A Conflit of Interests?

For those of you who live outside of the UK, let me introduce you to Carol Verderman. She is a TV presenter, mathematical whiz and has released a number of best-selling health books. Despite being in her 40s she has a figure that many people in their 20s would be envious of. My Mum even bought her book Carol Vorderman’s Detox Recipes.

So my question is: Why is she now appearing on adverts for Farmfoods after all the good work she has been doing to promote a healthy lifestyle?

Again, for those of you not familiar with Farmfoods, they basically just sell all the junk under the sun. Deep fried junk, tinned junk, frozen junk, chocolate-covered junk… You get the idea.

I have had a look through the detox recipe book and can honestly say that you couldn’t make a single meal by going to Farmfoods for your shopping.

Call me an idealist but I still like to think that people have morals and certain standards. Is she that strapped for cash that she has to promote a company diametrically opposed to what she writes about in her books?

In today’s celeb culture so many members of the public follow the advice that these people give out. If Victoria Beckham went on a cardboard soup diet you can bet your bottom dollar that people out there would follow suit. I just think people in the public eye should be more careful about what companies they promote.

OK, rant over. What do you think?  BTW, I think that saving money is very important but don’t let this affect your health.  Also look at this best way to save money info.  I also think celebrities are putting their names to way too many products, you see them advertising anything from debt consolodation to cheap Tonik health insurance.

Medtronic Defibrillator Recall

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If you or a loved one has had a defibrillator fitted in America then you should urgently check to see if any of the following models were fitted:-

• Sprint Fidelis 6930
• Sprint Fidelis 6931
• Sprint Fidelis 6948
• Sprint Fidelis 6949

The problem is that within 30 months of these units being fitted, the lead can fracture causing serious problems and even death. Medtronic have estimated 4-5 thousand patients will be affected by these faulty defibrillators yet they refuse to pay for the cost of replacing them.

If you think you are affected by this Medtronic defibrillator recall, contact a lawyer such as Mark & Associates who will be able to advise you further.

What are the Health Benefits of Christmas Spice?

Ever wondered why Christmas spices are called Christmas spices and not Easter spices or Independence Day spices? I’m not actually sure where the tradition of eating foods with cinnamon, cloves, ginger and nutmeg at Christmas came about but if you have a look at the health benefits all may become clear…


Cinnamon has been used for centuries in India and helps warm you up and stimulate appetite (ah so that’s the reason I ate so much cake last year?!) It also has an affect on metabolism, controls blood glucose levels and can help with diabetes. In 2000 the nutrition lab at US Agricultural Research Service found that it can help increase your cells’ responsiveness to insulin. Nowadays, herbalists use the oil for helping with IBS, colds and flu.  You might want to attatch a few twigs onto your holiday garland.


Clove oil was used in Ancient China where it was rubbed onto gums to freshen the breath. Even today dentists rub the main constituent of cloves (eugenol) onto patients’ gums as it has an anaesthetic and antibacterial effect. Recent research has found it to be effective against superbug staphylococcus when combined with eucalyptus, lemon, thyme, tea tree and alcohol. Due to its antiseptic properties it can also helps with flu, colds, and bronchial congestion.


Ginger can be enjoyed in so many ways; you can use it in Indian and Chinese cooking, put it into cakes, make it into a preserve and eat it crystallized with sugar. Traditionally it’s been taken for morning sickness, travel sickness (and after-Office-party sickness??) If you are suffering from a cold then add 2 tablespoons of grated ginger to boiling water and drink 2-3 times a day. Alternatively, add a few slices of fresh ginger or a few drops of ginger oil to some hot water and inhale.


Nutmeg may not look the most interesting of spices but it has been used for everything from embalming Ancient Egyptians; a treatment for piles in the Middle Ages to being a well-known alternative to marijuana. Natives of the Banda Islands, Indonesia rub nutmeg oil on the stomach as a treatment to flu and also rub it onto the forehead to treat headaches.

It would seem the reason so many of these spices appear in the foods we eat at Christmas is due to the fact they are all associated with treating colds and flu. We all tend to take these spices for granted but hundreds of years ago they were the third most expensive commodity in the world after gold and silver. In the 17th century a pound of nutmeg in the Banda Islands cost only 1p however in Europe the price jumped to a whopping £2.10. It’s for this reason that people wanted their homes to smell of nutmeg to show off their wealth – I suppose in the way that people have lots of fancy gifts sitting under their 12 foot Christmas trees.  It’s the perfect and healthy way to get festive.

4 Tips for a Stress-Free Job Interview

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This is the time of year when many people take on extra jobs or start thinking about finding a better paid job in order to pay for the excesses of Christmas. Unfortunately job interviews and stress also tend to go hand-in-hand. It certainly is for me.

Here are a few tips based on my mistakes at interviews:-

1. Leave the House in Plenty of Time – There was a really cold snap once when I went for an interview. I had been sitting around for ages waiting for a train when someone came up to me and told me the trains had been cancelled. Oh great! I had no idea what bus to get so went home in hope that my Mum could drive me into town. Unfortunately the car still had to be de-iced which then took some time. We finally go the car started when en-route it (temporarily) broke down.

Luckily I had left so well in advance I was perfectly on time. Phew!

2. Take Note of Interviewer’s Name – Once I totally forgot to take note of the name of the person I was to be interviewed by. It’s a bit embarrassing to be asked by the receptionist who I’m there to talk to when I have no idea!

3. Be Prepared to Repeat Yourself – My boyfriend told be that a good interviewer has a conversational tone in their questions – ie they don’t totally rely on reading questions off a paper. Unfortunately most interviewers don’t have this skill. Whenever they asked me a question I’d try and answer as fully as possible, unwittingly answering the next couple of questions on the sheet. This meant I had to repeat myself which made me feel a bit of a prat.

4. It Could be Worse – My cousin has just been accepted into the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. He told me a bit about the gruelling interviews he had to go through and I have to admit to felling a bit ashamed for getting stressed about the uneventful interviews I’ve been too. It’s somewhat ironic though that he wants to join the Army because our Granddad successfully got out of the Army be pretending to be insane! I assume my cousin didn’t mention that fact at any of his interviews. 😉

What Are the Health Benefits of Garlic?

garlicSo you think garlic gives you nothing but bad breath? Well, OK, it does, but it’s also one of the healthiest foods you can eat. For centuries, garlic has been considered a “cure-all” and is said to be able to treat just about every ailment from the cold to the Plague! I don’t think there are too many Plagues about these days so here are a few other ways you can use garlic to improve your health:- » Read more: What Are the Health Benefits of Garlic?

Health Tips for the Misguided

Yawn. Things are getting a bit boring round here don’t you think?! Eat your greens blah, blah, blah… Don’t worry, I try not to take myself too seriously so here are a few unconventional health quotes for you to enjoy:-

  1. Don’t eat me. I have a wife and kids. Eat them.
  2. Homer Simpson

  3. My doctor told me to do something that made me slightly out of breath, so I started smoking again.
  4. Jo Brand

  5. Never eat anything at one sitting that you can’t lift.
  6. Miss Piggy

  7. The word aerobics comes from two Greek words: aero, meaning “ability to,” and bics, meaning “withstand tremendous boredom.”
  8. Dave Barry

  9. I went on a diet, swore off drinking and heavy eating, and in fourteen days I lost two weeks.
  10. Joe E. Lewis

  11. Muscles come and go; flab lasts.
  12. Bill Vaughan

  13. All the things I really like to do are either illegal, immoral, or fattening.
  14. Alexander Wolcott

  15. To be stupid, selfish, and have good health are three requirements for happiness, though if stupidity is lacking, all is lost.
  16. Gustave Flaubert

  17. Health nuts are going to feel stupid someday, lying in hospitals dying of nothing.
  18. Redd Foxx

  19. I don’t like food that’s too carefully arranged; it makes me think that the chef is spending too much time arranging and not enough time cooking. If I wanted a picture I’d buy a painting.
  20. Andy Rooney

  21. If you ever have to support a flagging conversation, introduce the topic of eating.
  22. Leigh Hunt

  23. Your food stamps will be stopped effective March 1992 because we received notice that you passed away. May God bless you. You may reapply if there is a change in your circumstances.
  24. Department of Social Services, Greenville, South Carolina

  25. Canada has never been a melting pot; more like a tossed salad.
  26. Arnold Edinborough

  27. Eating words has never given me indigestion.
  28. Winston Churchill

  29. I do not like broccoli. And I haven’t liked it since I was a little kid and my mother made me eat it. And I’m President of the United States and I’m not going to eat any more broccoli.
  30. George Bush, US president, 1990

  31. Seafood brought in by customers will not be entertained.
  32. Restaurant sign in Langkawi, Malaysia

  33. Eat whatever thou likest, but dress as others do.
  34. Arab Proverb

  35. The secret of staying young is to live honestly, eat slowly, and lie about your age.
  36. Lucille Ball

  37. Eat bread at pleasure, drink wine by measure.
  38. Randle Cotgrave

  39. Avoid fruits and nuts. You are what you eat.
  40. Jim Davis (Garfield the Cat)

  41. The only way to keep your health is to eat what you don’t want, drink what you don’t like, and do what you’d rather not.
  42. Mark Twain

  43. Never invest in anything that eats or needs repairing.
  44. Billy Rose

  45. An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.
  46. Winston Churchill

  47. Mattie’s Restaurant and Yogurt Palace, “An alternative to Good Eating”
  48. Restaurant Business Card from Decatur, Texas

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How to Treat Fungal Nail Infections Naturally

Let’s face it, nail fungus probably isn’t one of the nicest health topics to talk about but it is certainly one which affects a lot of people. The condition is caused by micro-organisms called Dermatophytes. It lives on the nail bed and eats the keratin which is the protein in your nail. Normally it will start at the end of the nail and work its way down to the base if left untreated. The end result is a nail which is thick and deformed and in some cases can affect the surrounding skin. Typically the big toe is affect first, spreading to the other toes later.

What Causes Fungal Nail Infection?

  • Dermatophytes love warm and moist conditions such as sweaty socks and shoes. Buy cotton socks instead of nylon and used an anti-fugal powder if you suffer from sweaty feet.
  • Sometimes the fungus can infect the nail via the skin. This can happen due to an ingrown toe nail or damage to the nail.
  • If you have circulation problems, diabetes or HIV you have an increased chance of infection.
  • If you suffer from athlete’s foot make sure you treat it quickly to prevent it turning into a fungal nail infection.

Treatment of Fugal Nail Infection

First of all before deciding what treatment to go for, please understand that it can take at least 3 months for the problem to go away. It can take 18 months for a nail to replace itself so this is not going to be a quick fix.

  1. Tea TreeTea Tree is a wonderfully potent natural antibacterial essential oil. Simply apply a few drops to the affected area a few times per day.
  2. Hydrogen Peroxide – Either apply Hydrogen Peroxideto your nail with some cotton wool and allow to dry or soak in a mixture of 50% HP and 50% water.
  3. Vinegar – soak your feet daily in 50% vinegar, 50% water. Soak your feet for at least half an hour and it’s recommended you do this three times per day. There is a surprisingly large selection of vinegars available including wine vinegar and coconut vinegar. You can use any of them but generally it is Apple Cider or white vinegar which is used for nail infections. The reason vinegar works is because it is acidic and fungi don’t like acid conditions.
  4. Saprox Saprox is a natural mud which is high in sulphur. Apply liberally to the toe and allow it to dry in. It is suggested that combining with another treatment will help speed up results.
  5. There are a number of other natural treatments to try including: Vitamin E Oil, Oregano Oil, Thyme Oil and Essential Oil Cinnamon Leaf.

If you are bothered by fungal nail infection it is definitely worth trying natural remedies first. Although there are a number of prescription drugs you can take they are not always effective and can be harsh on the liver. If you are at all unsure please always consult with a doctor or chiropractor.

In the UK 8 older people will die every hour due to the cold

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Startling statistic isn’t it? Our governments are so concerned about the threat of terrorist attacks yet very little attention is given to the fact that the cold kills more people than Al Qaeda could ever dream of.

It’s not just elderly people that should be aware of cold winters. When we moved into our house this time last year I’m surprised none of us suffered from pneumonia. The heating wouldn’t work properly, the house had very little insulation and the windows were very drafty. I’m not sure what the exact temperature was but put it this way, ice cubes didn’t melt at “room temperature.”

Even if you have a well-insulated home you never know when your heating system will break down. And if it does break down and you phone an engineer, chances are they’re going to be very busy or charge you a fortune.

By owning a portable heater you can bring them out for use in emergencies or to supplement your existing heating system. You can even take them places that don’t have heating such as your garage.

A couple of years ago my manager’s heating system broke down and she had trouble getting some one out to repair it. If she had a portable heater things would have been a lot more comfortable for her family.