Obesity Surgery Risks To Be Aware Of

In order to lose weight, you need to make some serious changes to your lifestyle. Excess weight is a risk in itself. It is known to be a major cause of diabetes, stroke, heart diseases and some types of cancers. Obesity can severely damage a person’s quality of life and in the long term cause depression too. Drastic improvements in food habits and regular exercise are the key to a healthy life and weight. However, in some cases, this does not help. This is exactly where medical interventions such as weight loss surgery can help. These surgeries ensure that the food intake is reduced and the person feels full sooner.

Well, just like any other surgery, obesity surgery has its own risks. Since the weight loss is not gradual, it has greater risks.

Here are some of the risks involved in obesity surgery

Complications immediately after surgery

Complications can occur immediately after the surgery or even during surgery. Infection is one of the most common complications. It affects one in twenty people that undergo this surgery. Blood clots appearing in the legs or lungs are another known complication. This affects one in a hundred people. Lastly, there could be bleeding. This affects one in a hundred people.

Excess skin

This surgery removes the excess fat from the body. But however, with the removal of the excess fat, the skin sags and is not as tight or firm as it used to be. This means that after the surgery, you will be left with excess folds of skin especially on the tummy, hips and limbs. Cosmetic surgery is used to remove this excess skin and make your obesity surgery worth it.

Gallstones

Typically ten months after the surgery, around 1 in 12 people develop gall stones. These stones are made of cholesterol and form in the gall bladder. There are no notable symptoms that indicate the formation of gallstones. They become trapped in a duct and cause irritation and inflammation in the bladder.

Psychological effects

There are a number of psychological effects of rapid weight loss. The very first is the feeling of extreme happiness! The improvements in your overall appearance are very appealing and it puts you on the top of the world. Many of the health related issues are sorted out and you feel at ease due to drastic improvement in your quality of life too.

It’s important to note that it could take months for patients to resume their daily activities and would be required to be on a liquid diet following the surgery. Solid food will be introduced slowly a per the doctor’s recommendation.

Overall, weight loss is essential for health and happiness, but surgery will only be considered for those who have tried all other means such as exercise, diet control and medications. Surgical interventions are always considered as the final option. You should discuss all your non-surgical treatment options before you decide. The potential benefits of this surgery greatly outweigh the risks depending on the overall health and lifestyle of the patient.

Self-Hatred of Celestial, Human Body in a Materialistic Drama

Hating your body is like hating your eternal being. Do you hate your body?

‘Of course not. I just love it’ – you might answer.

I know that it is so easy to write and say but difficult to feel that.

I may announce that I hate my body.

Is it something wrong to assume my bad attitude here? I am not scared to escape

from the truth, I want to face it.

One thing is clear: it is good to hate your body.

Yes, this is starting point to get rid of negativity from the mind and end up your personal drama.

Do you think that self-proclaimed gurus who teach that negative emotions are part of us are right?

Moreover, negative experiences are like a ticking bomb inside of a soul.

If you keep feelings inside such as sadness, hurt, betrayal, you are holding toxicity.

Does self-hatred exist? Yes, for the moment those feelings are playing a role to be a part of us.

Like a doll starts to give an audience sort of illusion of a real girl. But humans never question the fact that this little girl is fake and non-human.

If we move beyond our limited perspective, we get a desire to know the truth.

I am sure you want to know the truth right now…

As you are essential, eternal individual being, you might see things from different angles.

First of all, you might reject the truth.

So, what I see, feel and notice is that negative feelings don’t belong to humans.

An authentic, real positive feelings have more delightful, enrich, dense quality,

unknown for humanity these days.

That’s simple: observe, acknowledge, get rid of toxicity.

In other words, you will discover inner strength, happiness, and freedom.

Maybe you are fat; maybe you are too slim, too bulky. What do you think and feel about your body then?

You don’t want to be there. You believed in those lies, and you want to leave it, or at least change it into another one.

Would you feel safe if you left your body? If you are honest with yourself and listen to your heart, you feel naked, cold and unprotected.

Right now I think that it is never a good idea to leave your body. Without your body, your life force energy gets lost.

But if you decide to take a challenge and end up this drama, a glimpse of hope is still inside of your heart.

The most important thing in human existence is to be present in your body.

Then you are resilient to life and able to expand your strength, freedom, and happiness.

Anyway, hating a body is only transient state of being.

Only if you do your essential work, then you end up with hatred for good.

When you end up with your emotional problems, you are free.

But this is a process of constant work and self-evaluation

I encourage you: ‘Feel your being.’

IGA knows what the problem is in your life.

She can help you to discover your true self-empowerment to find the way out from the prison of your mind.

Freedom is possible, happiness is a piece of cake.

Do a work with me and you will understand what I mean.

Everything You Need to Know About a Pulmonary Function Test

A Pulmonary function test involves a set of tests that help to measure the functioning of the lungs. It examines how well the patient is able to breathe and how effectively the lungs are capable of bringing oxygen to rest of the body parts. These tests are also known as Spirometry or lung function tests. Pulmonary function test cost is inexpensive in nature and can be performed at any diagnostic centre of India.

Why are these tests done?

A doctor may order these tests-

If one is suffering from symptoms of lung problems.
As a part of the routine test.
To evaluate the effectiveness of the ongoing treatment.
To assess if the lungs are functioning properly before surgery.
A Pulmonary function test is also ordered to test Asthma and several other vital lung conditions. Some of them are-
Allergies,
Chronic Bronchitis,
Respiratory infections,
Lung Fibrosis
Scleroderma- a disease that affects the connective tissue,
Bronchiectasis- a condition in which airways in the lungs are widened and stretched.
Sarcoidosis- a condition that causes inflammation to the lungs, liver, lymph nodes, skins, eyes and other tissues.
Pulmonary tumour, etc.
How to prepare for the test?
To prepare for a PFT test, the patient needs to consult with the doctor regarding medications. The doctor might ask the patient to stop taking medicines before performing the test. One needs to make sure not to eat heavy meal before the test. This is because, a full stomach just before the test prevents the lungs from inhaling properly. A doctor also asks to avoid in taking food and drinks containing caffeine, such as – coffee, chocolate, tea, etc. One should also avoid smoking and strenuous exercise before the test. He or she should wear loose-fitting clothes.

What are the types of measurement used for a pulmonary test?

Pulmonary function test interpretation can vary from one laboratory to another. However, the types of information that are obtained from this test can be categorized into four groups-

Lung Volumes- The lung volumes help to measure the maximum volume of the lungs.
Flow Rates- Flowrates help to measure the maximum flow of air that passes in and out the lungs.
Diffusing capacity- Diffusing capacity measures the amount of air that can be transferred from the alveolar space to the blood stream capillary.
Maximal inspiratory and expiratory pressures- It helps to measure the applied strength of the respiratory muscles.
What are the risk of taking pulmonary function test?
Pulmonary function test or PFT test possesses minimal or no risk and is safe for all. However, as because, the test requires one to breathe in and out quickly, people may feel nauseous and dizzy. It can cause problems if -

One recently suffered a heart attack.
One had a recent eye, chest, abdominal surgery.
The patient has suffered from a severe respiratory infection and heart-related disease.
The author is an avid health blogger who writes about diseases related to respiratory problems, related tests and treatment options.

Useful Home Treatments for Constipation

Constipation is a condition of the digestive system where someone experiences tough bowel movements which happen less frequent than normal. Everyone has experienced constipation at some point in their life, and they can attest that it is not a very pleasant experience. Though it is not chronic, everyone would give anything to get their bowels back on track. The amount of time between bowel movements varies widely from one person to another.

Most people have them three times in a day while others have them twice or even once! However going for more than three days is enough to cause alarm. This is because food takes longer in the digestive tract which means the colon absorbs more water from the stool. This makes the stool hard and dry and therefore difficult and even very painful to eliminate.

Causes of Constipation

1. Low Amounts of Fiber in the Diet

Fibers act as cleaners to the digestive tract. Diets that lack fibers result in an unclean digestive tract. This, consequently, results in accumulation of food particles and wastes that block the passage and thus cause constipation

2. Physical Inactivity

People who are physically inactive, for example, those who are bedridden for several weeks, are more susceptible to constipation. This is because physical activity helps us maintain a high metabolism, and thus body processes such as digestion happen more rapidly.

3. Some Drugs

Some of the drugs that cause constipation include

Antacids that contain aluminium such as Basaljel
Diuretics such as chlorothiazide
Antidepressants such as imipramine
Narcotic pain relievers such as hydromorphone

4. Irritable Bowel Syndrome

People who suffer from this condition suffer from constipation more frequently

5. Aging

As we grow older, our metabolic rate slows down. This results in a reduced rate in body functions such as digestion and thus cause constipation

6 Not Drinking Enough Water

This results in more absorption of water from the food which makes the stool hard. The result is constipation

7. Not Emptying Your Bowels when Needed

Ignoring this vital call of nature means the stool spends more time in the colon. As a result more water is absorbed from it leaving it hard and dry.

The Remedies for Constipation

1. Add Fiber-Rich Foods to Your Diet

The main role of fiber in our body is cleaning the digestive tract. They clean up the system by scrubbing off food leftovers and waste particles and even soaking up the water, thereby treating and preventing constipation. Some of these foods include cereals, almonds, beans, barley, vegetables, and fresh fruits, among many others. You should also drink plenty of water

2. Mint or Ginger Tea

Research has proven mint and ginger to be handy home remedies to digestive problems. Methanol that is contained in peppermint has an antispasmodic effect which helps relax the digestive system’s muscles and thereby allow rapid movement of food. Ginger, on the other hand, helps the digestive tract generate more heat thereby speeding up digestion through increased metabolism as heat increases the metabolic rate.

3. Healthy Facts

Oils from avocados, nuts and olive oil help in lubrication of the digestive tract and hence ease constipation.

4. Lemon Water

Citric acid present in lemon juice helps stimulate the digestive system and also flush out harmful substances such as wastes. Taking a glass of fresh lemon juice every morning or adding lemon to your tea will not only help treat and prevent constipation but also make you drink more water everyday.

5. Coffee

Coffee is a good stimulant to your body. It works by increasing metabolism through heat and thereby speeding up your trips to the toilet. Other hot drinks work just as well.

6. Raisins

Other than being rich in fiber, raisins contain tartaric acid which helps loosen stools. Research shows that people who take raisins have their food go through their digestive track in half the time it takes people who don’t. When should you call your doctor? If you experience sudden constipation that is accompanied by belly pains, cramping, or you are not able to pass stools or gas, call your doctor immediately.

7. Water

Taking a cup of water after waking up is recommended. Water helps in peristalsis and therefore helps prevent constipation.

8. Massage

Massaging the abdomen also helps in relieving constipation. It achieves this by stimulating intestinal muscles that are involved during bowel movements.

9. Taking Honey

Honey is a natural laxative. Taking a cup of honey water will help loosen stools and hence prevent and even relieve constipation.

10. Using a Sitting Stool

Using a stool to sit on during defecation helps you adopt a squatting position which helps open up the colon more and helps achieve an easier and more effective elimination of stools.

Eucalyptus Oil Therapeutic Uses

Eucalyptus essential oil is a natural oil that comes from the Eucalyptus tree. This essential oil has many uses including therapeutic uses. Eucalyptus oil is used in many ways to help the body and mind. It also has practical uses.

One of the practical issues of Eucalyptus oil is for cleaning. Did you know Eucalyptus essential oil helps to get rid of mold? It does. Put a few drops on a cloth and wipe the place that has mold. No more mold! You may also make a cleaning solution to clean mold and other parts of the house such as bath tubs, counter tops and sinks. Mix a few drops of Eucalyptus essential oil with 1/4 cup water and a couple of tablespoons of baking soda. This makes a nice, non-toxic cleaning solution.

A very common therapeutic use for Eucalyptus oil is to help with respiratory problems. If you have allergies, a bad cold or sinus issues which cause you to have trouble breathing Eucalyptus essential oil can help. You can add a few drops of Eucalyptus oil to a bowl of hot water. Put your head over the bowl. Cover your head with a towel and inhale the Eucalyptus aroma. This will help your nasal cavity to open up and you will be able to breathe better. Many times an infection causes the nasal cavity to swell which is why there is trouble with breathing. Eucalyptus oil has healing properties that can reduce swelling in the nasal passage.

If you have a bad cold or need mucus in the lungs to break up you may wish to use a lotion or salve with Eucalyptus oil in it. Rub it on your nose and chest to improve breathing. You can make your own emergency therapeutic lotion by using an unscented lotion found at the store and adding a few drops of Eucalyptus oil. Mix together and apply to your chest. This lotion also works well for healing dry skin. Never apply essential oil directly to the skin. Never drink or ingest it directly.

Another common use of Eucalyptus essential oil is in bath salt or soap to help reduce pain in the muscles and joints. If you have Fibromalgia, Arthiritis or a pulled muscle, relaxing in a bath with Eucalyptus oil can help those muscles to feel better. You may wish to use a little Eucalyptus bath salt or Eucalyptus bath oil in your bath. This helps your mind to relax as well as your joints and muscles. Many times tense or strained muscles are the reason why your body is in pain. Eucalyptus essential oil has a strong smell so you don’t need to use much.

Scientists Breakthrough on Peanut Allergies

This has been hailed with excitement today as scientists announce that trials conducted to overcome peanut anaphylactic shock has been successful. Although it won’t be available for some time for the general public they demonstrated that at their subjects are now free of the condition after the experiments ended. Children have reportedly died after coming into oral contact with the nut that has set up an immediate reaction.

The danger they face is horrendous as they cannot eat anything from school canteens, in public restaurants, or anywhere else that may serve something that has nut residue in it. Even drinks are apparently not always advisable without they are known to be nut free.

This has prompted manufacturers to label their products with a warning that they may have been in contact with peanuts or words to that effect. This puts a lot of stress on the shopper who must read every label to ensure the safety for such an allergy sufferer.

While my health has always been great and I can supposedly eat anything without a reaction in recent times strange things have happened. One of the things that brings up a reaction now is Omega 3 oil which comes from fish. My throat tends to swell and this is dangerous as it can stop air getting into the lungs.

Another incident happened at a restaurant where I had a meal with chips. As they were ingested my body suddenly turned pale and a draining feeling came over me. My son took me outside to recover in the fresh air. Feeling better I resumed the meal and when another chip was eaten I sunk to the floor almost in a faint. Whatever those chips were cooked in they set up an allergic reaction.

This demonstrates how careful someone with an allergy to nuts or anything else has to be when choosing to dine out. The stress for the one involved is horrendous and that makes the scientific new today all the more exciting for them.

How to Control Acid Reflux

Heartburn usually kicks in when you lie down to sleep, especially after a heavy meal.

You wake up in the middle of the night with a fire in your throat and a sour taste in your mouth. A blob of something vile pops up from your stomach and you have to spit it out.

After you get rid of it, your throat feels sore and you sound hoarse when you talk. Sometimes you start to cough or your chest sounds wheezy.

What you have experienced is heartburn… which has nothing to do with your heart.

It happens when stomach acids, which you use to digest your food, flow back into your oesophagus (the long tube between your mouth and your stomach). These acids irritate and burn the lining of your oesophagus and throat.

Everyone experiences some heartburn now and then. But it can become chronic, ie recur constantly. If you experience heartburn a few times a week, it is likely you have gastroesophageal reflux disease, otherwise known in short as GORD (or GERD if you are American).

The chronic condition should be treated with seriousness for several vital reasons.

What chronic acid reflux (GORD) does to your body

The constant backflow of stomach acid into your oesophagus can lead to:

[1] Dental problems… stomach acids in the mouth can wreak havoc on tooth enamel, requiring more trips to the dentist than usual.

[2] Voice and throat problems… stomach acid in the throat can cause hoarseness and laryngitis, and even changes in the voice. However these problems tend to resolve easily when GORD is treated.

[3] Asthma … studies have found that up to 80% of patients with asthma also have chronic acid reflux. Whether asthma causes GORD or chronic heartburn causes asthma is not known, but some medical scientists are of the opinion that acid that backs up from the stomach can get into the airways and damage them.

[4] Other respiratory problems… GORD has been statistically linked to other respiratory conditions including… chronic bronchitis, chronic cough, chronic sinusitis, emphysema, pulmonary fibrosis (scaring of the lung), and recurrent pneumonia.

[5] Narrowing of the oesophagus… chronic acid reflux can, over time, produce scarring (strictures) that narrow the opening of the oesophagus. This can make swallowing difficult. It can also cause oesophageal spasms that can mimic a heart attack (a frightening experience).

The weird thing is that people who develop strictures find a bit of relief from their heartburn… as the narrowing stops the stomach acids from refluxing into the oesophagus.

[6] Oesophagitis… the sensitive lining of the oesophagus can be injured by refluxing acid and this can cause a painful inflammation called oesophagitis. Eventually the acid causes bleeding which, if it is heavy enough, it can pass into the digestive tract and show up as dark tarry stools.

Oesophagitis can also cause painful ulcers on the lining of the oesophagus.

[7] Barrett’s oesophagus and cancer… in a small number of people, long-term acid reflux can lead to a condition (Barrett’s oesophagus) in which abnormal cells take the place of cells damaged by the acid. These cells have the potential to turn cancerous.

Persons with Barrett’s oesophagus have an increased risk of cancer of the oesophagus. This risk is increased if you smoke, are obese or are a white male over the age of 50.

A few decades ago, most cancers of the oesophagus were caused by cigarette smoking and alcohol. But over the last 15 years oesophageal and other cancers of the upper digestive tract caused by GORD have been developing into an epidemic. This is likely caused by changes in diets in the modern world.

Whatever the cause, it is obvious that putting a stop to the backflow is vital. There are many ways in which this can be done successfully once you understand what is going on.

What causes heartburn?

Your oesophagus joins your pharynx (at the back of your throat) to your stomach. A ring of muscle called the lower oesophageal sphincter (LES) controls the junction between the oesophagus and the stomach. The LES acts like a valve, opening and closing the entry to the stomach.

When you swallow the LES opens to allow the food or drink coming down the oesophagus to enter the stomach. The LES then closes to prevent the food and your digestive juices flowing back up the oesophagus. Each time you swallow, the LES relaxes and allows the food into your stomach.

Certain medical conditions can weaken the LES and prevent it from closing properly after you swallow. These include:

Hiatal hernia (an abnormality where a part of the stomach slides up into the chest cavity)
Obesity
Some asthma medicines
Pregnancy
Smoking
Diabetes
Delayed stomach emptying (a consequence of nerve damage, often due to diabetes)

Acid reflux statistics

In both Europe and America, chronic heartburn is becoming extremely widespread, affecting about one-third of the populations on both continents.

There is a strong link between chronic heartburn and being overweight. Research shows that people who are overweight are 50% more likely to have GORD compared to persons who are at a healthy weight. Persons who are obese are 200% more likely to have the disease.

Diabetics are also likely to suffer from GORD. A study published in 2008 in the World Journal of Gastroenterology found that about 40% of people with diabetes suffer from chronic heartburn.

The researchers also found it to be more common in people with diabetes who also had neuropathy or nerve damage due to diabetes. In addition, the study showed that people with both diabetes and neuropathy were more likely to have the disease, regardless of their weight, compared to people without neuropathy.

Medical treatments for heartburn

Conventional doctors have several approaches to treating chronic heartburn.

Antacids such as Tums®, Maalox® and Rennies® are very popular. These products come in the form of tablets that you chew or dissolve in your mouth. They work by using simple mineral salts such as calcium carbonate and magnesium carbonate to neutralize stomach acid.

You do get temporary relief from your symptoms… but they treat the symptom, not the cause. Using them, however, is unlikely to damage your health.

Some doctors prescribe H2 blockers (more properly called histamine H2-receptor antagonists) such as like Zantac®, Tagamet® and Gertac®. These medications block the action of histamine, which normally stimulates the secretion of stomach acid. Personally, I have found that Gertac®, which contains ranitidine, to be gently effective in reducing GORD.

Proton-pump inhibitors (PPIs), such as Nexium, Prilosec and Prevacid, also block the production of stomach acid. These drugs target the last stage in the production of stomach acid and the blockage is irreversible. These drugs are significantly more effective than H2 blockers and reduce the secretion of gastric acid by up to 99%.

With more than 100 million prescriptions written for these three medicines every year, Big Pharma makes a cool US$14 billion a year on just these drugs. Many professional organizations recommend that people take the lowest effective PPI dose to achieve the desired therapeutic result when used to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease long-term. In the USA, the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has advised that no more than three 14-day treatment courses should be used in one year.

For good reason… here is why blocking the production of stomach acid is not a smart thing to do:

Why you should NOT use proton-pump inhibitors (PPIs)

The parietal cells in your stomach secrete the stomach acid used in the digestion process. The secretion of the acid is governed by proton pumps which provide energy for the process.

Proton-pump inhibitors prevent the proton pumps from working and so reduce the amount of acid produced by the parietal cells. This prevents acid reflux (no acid, no reflux!).

The problem is that proton pumps are present in just about every cell in your body, not just the parietal cells in the stomach. These proton pump systems are necessary for the production of the energy used in a wide variety of your body’s processes. Though this energy can be produced in several ways, without proton pumps them these processes could not work at their best.

While proton-pump inhibitors are designed to interact specifically with the proton-pumps in the parietal cells in your stomach, research suggests that it is likely that their effects are not limited to the specific acid producing cells of the stomach.

There are many other good reasons why you should not use proton-pump inhibitors:

(1) Stomach acid is a critical part of your immune system

PPIs reduce the acidity of your stomach. This is dangerous as certain harmful bacteria thrive in low-acid environments. Examples include H Pylori, which is a major cause of stomach and duodenal ulcers, gastritis and can even cause gastric cancer (according to a report in Drug Safety in 2003).

Several recent studies have shown that PPIs alter the micro-organisms in the gut by reducing its overall diversity. As a result, dangerous pathogens, such as Enterococcus, Streptococcus, Staphylococcus, and E. coli, tend to be more prevalent in the guts of PPI users.

As stomach pH becomes less acidic, many ingested microorganisms that get in through the mouth but which would normally be destroyed are able to make their way into the gut. Those who use acid blockers increase their chances of acquiring Clostridium difficile, Campylobacter, Salmonella, Shigella, Listeria, and pneumonia compared to persons using other medications.

(2) PPIs impair the absorption of nutrients

Stomach acid is essential for the digestion and absorption of food, both macro- and micro-nutrients. Studies show that persons who use PPIs have an increased risk of vitamin and mineral deficiencies, including vitamin B12, vitamin C, calcium, iron, and magnesium.

Persons who use acid blockers can also end up with achlorhydria (a lack of stomach acid). This, combined with atrophic gastritis (stomach inflammation), allows bacteria, which compete with the host (you!) for the consumption of micronutrients such as vitamin B12, to flourish.

Studies have found an association between the use of PPIs and the total number of bone fractures in the elderly. The association was significant enough for the FDA in the USA to issue a warning in 2010. A more recent study has shown a similar association between PPI use and bone fractures in young adults.

(3) PPIs damage the cardiovascular system

A study published in May 2016 found a link between proton-pump inhibitors and the premature aging of blood vessels, with the cells losing their ability to split into new cells.

Other recent studies indicate that PPI users have a significantly greater risk of heart attack compared to person using other antacid medications.

PPIs reduce the production of nitric oxide, a nutrient that increases lung power, helps your heart pump blood and oxygen to your cells, and even helps with erectile function by allowing blood vessels to expand and relax when you are on the job.

PPIs also affect lysosomes. Those are acid-producing cells in your body that clear up unwanted debris. Without enough acid to remove the waste, the cells protecting your blood vessels age rapidly. That can lead to a stroke, heart attack or kidney failure.

(4) PPIs harm the kidneys

Patients using PPIs were compared to patients using H2 blockers, another common antacid drug in a study published in 2016.

The study indicated that, over five years, the PPI users were 28% more likely to develop chronic kidney disease and 96% more likely to develop end-stage renal disease.

(5) PPIs harm cognitive function

A study published in 2015 that assessed cognitive function in users of PPIs compared to controls found statistically significant impairment in visual memory, attention, executive function, and the working and planning function among the PPI users.

Another study in 2016 found that regular PPI users had a 44% increased risk of dementia compared to non-users.

Why this is so is not known. However, communication between brain cells requires the action of proton pumps. It may be that the proton pumps in the brain are affected by PPIs that target stomach acid.

(6) Rebound reflux

When your body senses a reduced production of stomach acid, it produces gastrin, a hormone that stimulates the secretion of gastric (stomach) acid by the parietal cells.

As a result, the individual parietal cells expand in size. Larger parietal cells have more proton pumps and can produce larger amounts of stomach acid. An overproduction of stomach acid caused by PPIs is called rebound hyper-secretion.

Rebound hyper-secretion illustrates why getting off PPI therapy is so difficult once you start using them… long-term use fundamentally changes the physiology of stomach cells.

The basic problem with PPIs is that they treat the symptoms of a condition (the production of acid that flows back up the oesophagus) rather than the underlying cause (a weakness in the lower oesophageal sphincter (LES)).

There are two main approaches you can take to dealing with chronic heartburn that focus on the underlying causes:

Heartburn avoidance techniques
Natural remedies for heartburn

How to avoid heartburn

Here are some simple ways you can prevent heartburn:

Eat smaller meals… this makes digestion easier and reduces the pressure in your stomach that causes reflux.
Eat slowly … digestion starts in the mouth and chewing your food thoroughly reduces the likelihood of reflux.
Avoid tight clothes… tight clothes can put pressure on your stomach, pushing food back up into your oesophagus.
Don’t smoke… smoking irritates the membranes of the throat and oesophagus. Nicotine also weakens the oesophageal valve, allowing stomach acid to come up to your throat.
Avoid certain foods… chocolate, tomatoes, fatty or fried foods, fatty meats (choose lean cuts), synthetic dressings (use olive oil), spicy sauces (choose mild or avoid), alcohol, cola and other sodas as well as caffeine are all contributors to LES malfunction.
Avoid certain spices… hot spices as used in curries and other hot Eastern foods, as well as cinnamon, can irritate your stomach and oesophagus causing pressure that forces acid back up through the LES.
Avoid peppermint tea… as it tends to relax the LES and allow acid to flow back up the oesophagus.
Raise the back of your bed… use short planks of wood between the legs of the bed and the floor to raise the pillow-end 4 to 6 inches higher than the foot-end; by sleeping with your head lightly higher than your feet you will be using gravity to reduces the chances of stomach acid flowing back up to your throat… this really does work in my experience.

Persons who take these simple steps to prevent acid reflux experience fewer and milder bouts of acid reflux.

Natural remedies for heartburn

There are several natural remedies for heartburn that actually work:

D-limonene
Magnesium
Ginger
Baking soda

Some of these ‘cure’ acid reflux for a time at least if not permanently. Others provide temporary but effective relief.

D-limonene

D-limonene is an extract from orange peel which is safe to use as a food additive or supplement.

Research at WRC Laboratories in the USA indicates that a daily intake of one 1000mg capsule of d-limonene every second day for 20 days reduces or eliminates acid reflux in most people for at least six months. This is supported by anecdotal evidence among researchers and further research that has yet to be published.

D-limonene is a cell rejuvenator yet scientists don’t know why it is so effective. Researchers have speculated, however, that as d-limonene is lighter than water, it floats to the surface of the gastric juices in your stomach.

The minor burping you experience with d-limonene causes it to be carried directly into the oesophagus. By coating the oesophagus, d-limonene may protect it against the caustic contents that are regurgitated during acid reflux. This would help heal and strengthen the lower oesophageal sphincter (LES) and heal erosion in the oesophagus.

It is also thought that d-limonene may promote quicker movement of food and gastric juices out of the stomach so that these oesophageal irritants promote less reflux.

Scientists also suggest that d-limonene may provide a barrier in the oesophagus and stomach against bacterial infection, such as helicobacter pylori, which are ingested in food or water. H pylori attack the lining of the stomach eventually causing ulcers and even stomach cancers.

The generally accepted opinion (or shrewd marketing) suggests that the best d-limonene, which is available in health food stores, is the Jarrow Formulas D-Limonene.

I recently took a 1000mg capsule of the Jarrow Formulas D-Limonene (sourced online through Amazon) each day for 30 days. There were no side-effects and it appears to have cured my acid reflux.

Magnesium

Magnesium is a calming and relaxing mineral. It is an ingredient in several antacids.

This mineral helps your LES to relax so that it can close properly, thus preventing the backflow of stomach acid that causes heartburn.

Magnesium chloride is absorbed better than other compounds of magnesium and is thus more likely to be effective in relieving your heartburn.

Take 450 to 500mg once or twice a day to see if it helps. Each dose should contain about 150mg of magnesium and about 350mg of chloride.

Ginger

Ginger is prized for its health-giving qualities in Asia, Africa, the Middle East and the Caribbean. Most of the health benefits of ginger are in the woody root of the plant, the rhizome.

Ginger is absolutely loaded with antioxidants. It has antibacterial, antiviral, antioxidant and anti-parasitic properties. It can relieve the discomfort of heartburn without side-effects.

Fresh ginger is best, though you can use dried ginger. When buying ginger root, make sure it feels firm and fresh. Fresh ginger, provided it is unpeeled, can be stored in a refrigerator for up to three weeks or in a freezer for up to six months.

You can peel ginger with a paring knife and add it to cooked dishes, mix it into a stir-fry or drop it into homemade chicken soup. But taking it as a supplement is not recommended as the ginger in capsules is not easily absorbed or used by your body.

In Uganda, doctors and herbalists use ginger tea to treat heartburn. The root’s anti-inflammatory properties speed up the digestive process, preventing the build-up of gas, and helping to regulate bile and gastric juices.

Adding a simple ginger tea to your daily diet will tighten your LES and help prevent the backflow of acid from your stomach according to a report by the Thai Medical Association in 2010.

Here’s an easy recipe:

Remove the skin from a piece of fresh ginger root and chop it into small pieces or slices
Fill a small pot with two cups of water and boil
Add the ginger and cover.
Let it simmer for about 10 minutes
Strain the tea

You can drink it hot or cold. You could try adding a pinch of cinnamon to boost the flavour.

I make a batch twice a week, store it in the refrigerator and drink a chilled glass first thing in the morning.

Bicarbonate of soda

Sodium bicarbonate, aka baking soda, offers a very quick remedy when you are having an attack of acid reflux.

Just mix a flat teaspoon of baking soda into a glass of water, stir and wait for it to dissolve and then drink it down. Relief will be fairly immediate.

Baking soda works because it contains bicarbonate which neutralises the acid in your stomach.

This is not a permanent solution for chronic heartburn. But it works a dream for a quick fix and there are no side effects.

Your Blood Pressure Reading May Predict Diabetic Retinopathy

In July of 2017, the online journal Scientific Reports (Nature) published an article on diabetic retinopathy and the importance to people diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes of keeping on top of their blood pressure reading. Workers at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil studied five hundred and forty-four Type 2 diabetics who were at high risk for developing diabetic retinopathy, a severe eye disease. Over the course of six years, the participants had an annual eye examination. Their blood pressure reading was taken as they went about their normal routines. Their aorta (artery from the heart to the rest of the body), was examined for stiffness. By the end of the study, one hundred and fifty-six of the participants either developed diabetic retinopathy or saw the condition grow worse. They had…

a higher blood pressure measurement,
a longer duration of having Type 2 diabetes,
a stiffer aorta,
poorer blood sugar control, and
higher LDL (“bad”) cholesterol measurements.

than the participants without diabetic retinopathy.

Diastolic (lower number) blood pressure and high LDL were the measurements most strongly linked with diabetic retinopathy.

To lower blood pressure…

engage in physical activity several times a week.
take your dog to the park.
go swimming.
walk up the stairs instead of taking the elevator.
park at the farthest reaches of the parking lot and walk to the shops.
normalize your weight or keep it in a healthy range.
take the blood pressure medication prescribed by your doctor.

To lower LDL…

eat different fruits, nuts, vegetables, and whole wheat products.
avoid fatty foods such as meat and dairy products.
cook with extra virgin olive or other vegetable oil instead of butter.

Diabetic retinopathy develops when sugar in the blood damages small arteries in the back of the eye. New, weak, incompetent blood vessels proliferate. Sometimes there is bleeding into the eye’s center. The condition often goes unnoticed until it has advanced sufficiently to cause sight issues. Usually, dots or lines (floaters) can be seen, problems with different colors are noticed as well as loss of vision.

Diabetic retinopathy is diagnosed by an ophthalmologic exam, which is one reason why regular eye exams are essential. When retinopathy is diagnosed, laser surgery can cauterize or stop troublesome blood vessels developing.

One study put together thirty-five earlier individual studies showing how much diabetic retinopathy exists in the world. The results showed about 34.6 percent of people diagnosed with diabetes have the condition. Preventing or controlling Type 2 diabetes protects many important parts of your body, and your eyesight is one of them. Unfortunately, many Type 2 diabetics fail to take their condition seriously because it does not hurt. Your eyes are two good reasons to keep your blood sugar and body weight under control.

Although managing your disease can be very challenging, Type 2 diabetes is not a condition you must just live with. You can make simple changes to your daily routine and lower both your weight and your blood sugar levels. Hang in there, the longer you do it, the easier it gets.

For nearly 25 years, Beverleigh Piepers has searched for and found a number of secrets to help you build a healthy body