Daily Blogs about the Family, Men, Women, Children, our Dogs and Cats, and even Horses health

Learn more about the wonderful natural herbal/holistic remedies that can make your life or a loved one much more healthy and rewarding. I will be providing many interesting and timely descriptions of human and pet remedies that will make our health and wellbeing so much better for years to come. Please let me know if I can help you with any kind of aliment that you need information about or herbal/holistic/homeopathic remedy that you would like to know more about.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Scabies Rash

What is Scabies Rash?

A scabies rash is an extremely itchy and persistent rash that that is caused by an infestation of scabies mites. These tiny eight-legged creatures are extremely contagious and can be passed on from even the briefest contact with skin or clothing of an infected person. As the mites crawl about and burrow into the skin to deposit their eggs, they cause incredible itchiness and irritation to the skin which soon develops into a rash.

In the early phase of infestation, no rash is present and when it does occur it is often confused with other skin conditions such as dry skin, eczema, seborrhea, or chicken pox (especially in children). One of the characteristic symptoms of a scabies rash is that the itching is intense and tends to be worse at night, or after a hot shower.

People may also develop pimple like irritations or scaly skin as a resulting sign of the burrows and eggs in the skin. Allergies to the mite eggs and waste matter also intensify the itching and sores often develop as a result of incessant scratching.

What Causes Scabies Rash?

A scabies rash usually develops in characteristic areas such as the between fingers and toes, in the creases of wrists, knees and elbows and in areas such as the shoulder blades, breasts, buttocks and groin.

In infants and the elderly, the rash tends to be more wide spread and generalized. If you suspect a scabies rash or have any skin irritation that does not go away on its own, it is important to seek a medical opinion where an accurate diagnosis can be made.

Scabies rash is very itchy and frustrating and it helps to know that there are natural treatments to bring relief from this pesky problem. The homeopathic ingredient Psorinum, which is actually derived from scabies, is excellent at soothing itchy skin and mite related skin irritation.

The homeopathic remedy Staphisagria is commonly used externally to treat itchy skin and parasites and is also said to be fatal to the itch mite which causes scabies. Lastly, Viola tri is an excellent remedy for intolerable itching and other skin complaints so often associated with mite rashes and skin reactions.

Herbal Remedies

How to treat and prevent scabies rash

* Scabies is incredibly contagious and so it is essential to treat the whole family and other people in close proximity if one person in it is diagnosed with scabies. Even those who have no symptoms need to be treated to avoid re-contamination.
* Make sure to wash and iron all bedding and clothing that may be infected.
* Spray tea tree oil on belts, shoes and other items that cannot go through the wash, but which may be infected.
* Other items that cannot be washed can also be sealed in plastic bag and left for a week or two. Mites will die if they do not have a host to feed off for over a week.
* When dealing with contagious mites such as scabies it is important to vacuum clean all carpets, rugs, mattresses, curtains and upholstery and afterwards immediately discard the vacuum bag.
* Soak in a cool bath, or use a cool face cloth to sooth irritated skin.
* Do not scratch. Scratching may break the skin and cause sores and infection. Rather, rub the area with a wet face cloth, as will also help to remove some of the mites.
Please visit:

My Zimbio

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Benefits of Stopping Smoking

Do You Want to Quit Smoking? / Why is Smoking Addictive?

There is no doubt about it: Smoking kills. One of the best ways to live a longer, healthier life is to stop smoking. This however, has proven to be one of the hardest things for smokers to do. It is hard for smokers to quit because they are addicted to nicotine. Nicotine is a powerful, highly addictive drug found in tobacco that is considered to be as addictive as heroine and cocaine.

But, nicotine is not the only harmful drug found in tobacco. There are over 4000 toxic chemicals and gases that are toxic and addictive, including arsenic, methane, ammonia, carbon monoxide and formaldehyde. The smoker becomes physically and psychologically dependent on the nicotine and other chemicals and this is what sets up the ever increasing addiction. When smoke is inhaled, these chemicals enter the bloodstream via your lungs and move throughout the body.

Nicotine also acts as a stimulant, increasing your heart rate and producing pleasant, satisfying feelings making you want to smoke more. The health and wellbeing of others are also affected when you smoke around them. Second-hand smoke is just as dangerous as active smoking, and that is why smoking in public has been prohibited.

Dangers of Smoking

Smoking is responsible for serious medical conditions such as lung cancer, bladder cancer, heart disease, systemic organ damage, emphysema, and chronic bronchitis to mention just a few. It also causes premature wrinkles, bad breath stained teeth, fertility problems, low energy levels, and places you at a greater risk of illnesses like colds and flu.

Women who smoke during pregnancy stand a greater chance of having a miscarriage or a low birth-weight baby. There are also implications if you smoke while breastfeeding, as nicotine is passed through the breast milk to the baby. If you are over the age of 35, smoke and use birth control pills, you have a much higher risk of having a stroke or a heart attack.

Kicking the habit and stopping smoking is extremely difficult and requires willpower, determination and support. Once you have made the decision that you want to stop smoking, there are various treatment options available to assist you such as:

* Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) which is available over-the-counter or by prescription in the form of nicotine patches, gum, microtabs, lozenges, inhaler, nasal spray or inhalators
* Prescription medication such as Zyban and Champix which are variations of antidepressant drugs prescribed to help people stop smoking
* Laser therapy treatment
* Acupuncture
* Counseling
* Hypnosis

Herbal Remedies

Natural and holistic treatments can also lessen the urge to smoke and help you to restore balance in your body. Treatments like herbal and homeopathic remedies are safe and effective to use. They contain a combination of ingredients such as Avena sativa, Garcinia cambogia and Gotu Cola (Centella asiatica) to reduce nicotine cravings and balance the mood. Consult a reputable homeopath, herbalist or naturopath for guidance on a management plan tailored to suit your needs.

The benefits of stopping smoking include:

* Immediate health benefits for men and women and increased life span
* Decreased risk of lung and other cancer, heart disease, stroke, pneumonia and bronchitis
* Women who stop smoking before pregnancy or during the first 3 to 4 months of pregnancy reduce their risk of having a low birth weight baby to that of women who have never smoked.
* Increased energy levels and improved fitness
* Better looking skin and less wrinkles
* Whiter teeth and fewer dental problems
* A better sense of taste
* Saving money that you would have spent on cigarettes
Please visit:

My Zimbio

Monday, June 28, 2010

About the Pancreas

The pancreas is a large organ approximately six inches long and is a key part of the digestive and endocrine systems. It is located deep within the upper abdomen, surrounded by the stomach, small intestine, liver and spleen.

This organ is shaped like a pear, broad at one end and narrow at the other end. It is divided in three sections – the broad end of the pancreas is called the head, the midsection is called the body and the narrow end is called the tail. If pancreas health is compromised a number of serious disorders can occur within the body.
Functions of the Pancreas

The pancreas performs two important functions within the body.

Exocrine pancreas

The first function belongs to the exocrine pancreas. The pancreas produces digestive juices and enzymes to help digest fats and proteins. When food has been partially digested by the stomach, it is pushed into the duodenum (the first part of the small intestine).

Secreting its enzymes into the duodenum helps to prevent the protein-digesting enzyme known as trypsin from eating the protein-based pancreas or its duct. Pancreatic digestive juices and enzymes are released through a small duct attached to the duodenum to mix with the food. The exocrine pancreas also produces enzymes that break down carbohydrates (amylase) and fats (lipase) as well as sodium bicarbonate which helps to neutralize the stomach acids in food.

Endocrine pancreas

The second function belongs to the endocrine pancreas. The pancreas produces the hormone insulin together with a variety of other hormones. Insulin helps to control the body’s blood sugar (glucose) levels. It is produced by small groups of pancreatic cells called the Islets of Langerhans, which are also known as the “islet cells”.

Insulin is secreted when your blood sugar is raised and it causes the muscles and other bodily tissues to take up glucose from the blood to fuel their activity. Insulin also promotes the absorption of glucose into the liver, where it is stored as glycogen for use in response to stress or exercise. If the islets of Langerhans produce too little insulin, glucose levels in the blood are raised and can result in Diabetes as well as increasing the risk of a number of other problems throughout the body.

Diagnosing a Pancreatic Disorder

Pancreatic Disorders can be discerned by their symptoms. Symptoms of pancreas problems can resemble unrelated ailments so it is a good idea to be checked out by a medical professional if you feel that something is wrong. A doctor can perform some basic tests to determine the underlying cause of your symptoms, and then diagnose whether a pancreatic disorder is to blame.
Symptoms of a Pancreatic Disorder

* Pain in the upper abdomen
* Yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice)
* Bloating
* Back pain
* Loss of appetite
* Vomiting
* Nausea
* Diarrhea

Types of Pancreatic Disorders

Symptoms of pancreas problems can be caused by many different factors. It’s important to get an accurate diagnosis before beginning any type of treatment in order to make sure you are treating the correct underlying condition.
Acute Pancreatitis

Acute pancreatitis refers to sudden-onset inflammation of the pancreas. This disorder is caused when the pancreas becomes inflamed as a result of enzymes not leaving the pancreas. It leads to burning and irritation, and the enzymes may also eat into the abdominal cavity.

Common causes include drinking too much alcohol and gallstones blocking the bile tubes. Other contributing factors may also include drugs, physical damage to the pancreas, mumps or pancreatic cancer.

Chronic Pancreatitis

Chronic pancreatitis refers to recurring episodes of inflammation. When inflammation persists, it destroys part of the pancreas and reduces its ability to function. Common symptoms include digestive upsets and fatty, foul-smelling stools. Alcoholics are at increased risk of developing chronic pancreatitis.

Pancreatic Cancer

Pancreatic cancer infects the cells of the duct and spreads into the body of the pancreas. Blood vessels and nerves which are near to the pancreas may also become involved in the spread of the cancerous cells. Risk factors include cigarette smoking, chronic pancreatitis and advanced age (over 65 years old). If left untreated, pancreatic cancer can spread to all the abdominal organs as well as other parts of the body.


Diabetes occurs either when the pancreas stops producing insulin or the body is unable to use the insulin it produces. Both result in glucose, the body's fuel, not being absorbed by the cells and building up in the bloodstream. Insulin is needed to be present and working for this absorption into the cells to occur. There are two types of diabetes.

Type 1 Diabetes is insulin dependent and diabetics must inject themselves with insulin daily to control blood sugar levels. In type 2 diabetes, the body produces its own insulin, but the cells are unable to respond to it properly. This form of diabetes is associated with obesity and in some cases pregnancy. Complications of high blood sugar levels can result in kidney damage, eye damage, nerve damage and increased risk of stroke or heart attack.

Herbal Remedies

Help for Pancreatic Disorders

Treatment for pancreatic disorders depends on the cause. These are serious disorders and intensive medical treatment and care is required. Lifestyle changes including adjustments to diet and elimination of alcohol and smoking are also required.

Surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy and life long medication such as insulin may be necessary to treat individual disorders of the pancreas.

Natural Remedies for the Pancreas

Natural and holistic remedies can be highly effective when used in combination with other conventional treatments. These remedies manage to address the symptoms of pancreas problems as well as the individual’s overall health and wellbeing. Herbal and homeopathic remedies are gentle, yet effective without the harmful side effects of conventional medicine.

Herbs such as Galega officinalis maintain pancreatic health and healthy insulin levels while Vaccinium myrtillus (Bilberry) is traditionally recommended to promote healthy blood sugar levels as well as healthy insulin production. Gymnema sylvestre is a well-known and highly respected Ayurvedic remedy which is also known as the 'sugar killer' as it is said to remove the taste for sweet foods.

Another powerful herb is Ginkgo biloba which has a beneficial effect on peripheral and cerebral circulation and can therefore help to promote pancreas health as well as healthy body tissue and circulation. Remember to find a remedy that suits your individual needs obtain all herbal and homeopathic remedies from a reputable source.
Please visit:

My Zimbio

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Being Overweight

What does it mean to be Overweight?

The term “overweight” has come to mean anything from a couple of pounds over your ideal figure to bordering on serious weight-related health concerns. Being overweight is something that many people struggle with in today’s modern society, and it can be difficult to overcome.

In essence, being overweight comes down to eating more calories than the body expends (or burns up). If this process is prolonged, and the weight continues to climb, this can result in obesity.

Not only does being overweight come with a number of health concerns, it also has a negative impact on self-esteem and emotional well-being. In addition to this, westernized societies tend to place huge emphasis on the “ideal” body weight and this has lead many people down a dangerous path of yo-yo diets and “quick-fix” methods of weight loss in pursuit of that illusive slender figure.

However, these weight loss techniques often confuse the metabolism and cause it to be sluggish and less effective. Fluctuations in weight are especially counter-productive for anyone trying to lose weight, and should be avoided! This does not mean that you are doomed to carry those extra pounds with little hope of fitting into that bikini by summer, it just means that any weight loss should be done gradually and healthily, and the best way to help yourself if you are overweight, is to change the destructive lifestyle habits that that perpetuate the problem.

What are the Consequences of Being Overweight?

While the consequences of obesity are generally well documented and accepted amongst medical practitioners, for people who are considered overweight health risks are somewhat more controversial. It is however important to acknowledge that being overweight (according to the BMI) does increase the risk of those complications shared by obesity. Studies have shown that the chances of death increases between 20 and 40 percent in people classified as overweight.

If you are overweight health risks you are at risk of developing include:

* Heart disease
* High blood pressure
* Type 2 diabetes
* Elevated cholesterol levels
* Certain cancers
* Asthma
* Snoring
* Obstructive sleep apnea
* Loss of libido
* Pregnancy and birth complications
* Depression
* Liver disease
* Reduced immune system function
* Swollen joints and fluid retention
* Muscular aches and pains
* Gout

In addition,psychological wellbeing is also affected and self esteem issues are often the result. If you are overweight health risks that affect your psychological wellbeing include depression, anxiety, guilt and poor self image.

Are you Overweight?

The most common measurement used to determine whether you should be concerned about you weight is the BMI (body mass index) which calculates your body weight in relation to your height. This ratio measurement is compared to other categories clinically classified as underweight, healthy, overweight or obese, and will give you a fairly accurate idea of whether your body weight is in the normal or excessive range.

How Does the Body Mass Index Test Work?

Body mass index is determined by dividing your weight in kilograms by your height in meters squared and multiplying by 100. It can also be calculated by dividing your weight in pounds by your height in inches squared and multiplying by 705.

The Body Mass Index (BMI) measurements are classified as follows:

Underweight: BMI below 18.5
Healthy weight: BMI between 18.5-24.9
Overweight: BMI between 25-29.9
Obese: BMI 30 or higher

A BMI score that is above 25, is considered overweight and your risk of weight-related health concerns increases from this point.

Causes to become Overweight

There are a number of reasons why people become overweight although most commonly it is the result of consuming more calories each day than the body can expend and convert into energy. Excess calories are then stored as fat and the result is weight gain.

Causes and Factors in Weight Gain

* Genetics – Some people are genetically more likely to gain weight than others. Obesity and weight-gain tend to run in families and while this is largely due to the poor family eating habits, it also points to a specific genetic link.
* Metabolism - Some people have faster metabolic rates than others do. Poor dietary habits, little exercise and crash diets all slow down the metabolism and make weight loss difficult.
* Crash diets - When we diet or drastically reduce our intake of food, our bodies "think" that we are starving because there is a famine or lack of food available. The body then goes into crisis mode and slows down metabolism in order to conserve or make the most of the little food it is getting. The longer the 'famine' lasts, the slower your metabolism will become. Sooner or later (because we are depriving our bodies of essential nutrients) we will be forced to 'binge' or break our diet. When this happens, the body 'hangs on' to every bit of fat, carbohydrate or 'storable' food taken in, because the metabolism is still slow and the body will want to lay in 'provisions' for any future famine by storing food 'just in case'. The more we crash diet, the more our bodies become convinced that our food supplies are unreliable and the more they will therefore tend to store fat. When this happens, we will put on weight even while eating a normal, healthy diet.
* Psychological – Comfort eating is common problem that causes weight-gain. This can sometimes be due to boredom and inactivity, but is often linked to depression and low self esteem. Because food is often used as a reward or connected with a pleasurable experience, it becomes associated with good feelings and before long, food becomes akin to an emotional addiction.
* Sociocultural factors – Modern living often means a diet of fast foods and quick energy needs. This can lead to weight-gain and many people find they soon become overweight due to inactivity and years of eating the incorrect foods.
* Sedentary lifestyles – Lack of physical exercise is one of the leading causes of weight gain. With the introduction of computers, television, TV games and other technological advances that make life “easier”, we find that there is little necessity or even opportunity for physical exercise.
* Medical conditions – There are some medical conditions that can cause weight gain and obesity, for example: Hypothyroidism; abnormalities or injury to the hypothalamus region in the brain; Cushing's disease and polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), a common hormonal disorder in women.
* Side-effects of certain medication – Some prescription medications can cause you to gain weight. Examples include: corticosteroids; certain female hormone treatments including some oral contraceptives; some antidepressants, and other psychoactive drugs, including certain antipsychotics, lithium, and antiseizure agents. Weight gain due to medication is usually temporary and generally does not lead to obesity proportions.
* Pregnancy – While weight gain during pregnancy is expected and essential for a healthy baby, many women struggle to lose weight after childbirth, commonly referred to as “pregnancy weight”.

Help for those who are Overweight

There’s always a new diet being flashed about in the media, the most recent magazines, and the latest celebrity-fad. However, in most cases, these diets land up costing you a fortune and the weight that is lost is quickly gained thereafter. There are however a few successful weight loss treatments , the most long-term of which are the more gradual and natural approaches.

Drug Treatment

In an effort to lose weight, some people turn to prescription or over the counter medicine to control appetite and help them to 'starve' the extra weight off. Many of these products contain stimulants which raise heart rate and can cause anxiety and other health problems. Even some so-called 'natural' products contain ephedra and other harmful stimulants. Ultimately the body suffers and the lost pounds often return with a vengeance after the product is stopped.

Psychotherapy is usefull

If you find that being overweight is linked to emotional issues, it is well advised to confront and deal with your emotions head on. Consider some form of psychotherapy to help you identify emotional triggers and come up with positive alternative ways to cope.

Lifestyle changes should be the first treatment option when you wish to lose weight. While changing years of bad habits is not an easy thing to do, it is not as complicated as many people think, and once you adopt a healthy lifestyle, your body will feel the benefits and you may wonder how you got this far without it. Try incorporating the following tips into your daily life:

Herbal Remedies

* A healthy and balanced diet that includes all food groups in moderation.
* A regular exercise routine
* A positive and healthy mental approach to food
* Identifying and dealing with emotional connections with food

The important thing to remember about a change in lifestyle is that it is a gradual process and so be patient and don’t expect immediate results!

Natural Remedies and Solutions

There are many herbal and homeopathic remedies can help you reach your goal weight in a healthy and effective manner. Herbs such as Garcinia cambogia, Taraxacum officinalis, Glycorrhiza glabra, and Capsicum minimum are especially known for boosting metabolism functioning and stimulating the digestive system, while helping to curb food cravings.

In addition, the sea vegetable Fucus vesiculosis contains a concentrated source of minerals including iodine, which assists in the production of thyroid hormones necessary for maintaining healthy metabolism in all cells of the body.

Homeopathic remedies such as Kalium Phosphate, Calcium Phosphate and Calcium Fluoride also help to improve metabolism while assisting in the breakdown of dietary fat. When used regularly, these natural ingredients can help to assist your body in weight loss while also helping rid your body of harmful toxins. The result is a slimmer, more energetic and healthier you!

Tips for Losing Weight and Eating Healthy

* Drink at least 8 glasses of water a day and try beginning each meal with a glass of water. This ensures that you are getting enough fluids through out the day, and it tends to take the edge off of an active appetite.
* Cut down on the sugar! We often consume much more sugar than we are aware of on a daily basis. Try cutting out the sugar in your tea and coffee and find an aspartame-free alternative if you need to satisfy that sweet tooth.
* Watch what you cook and how you cook it. Choose baking and steaming over roasting and frying and always look for the lower fat food products. You can cook or flavor with lemon juice, herbs, garlic or ginger to your heart's content. You can also use Oriental spices like turmeric, chili, masala, etc - but no MSG! Moderate amounts of salt are OK, but don't overdo it!
* Try to have your main meal at midday, so that you have a chance to digest it. You should try avoiding food for at least 4 hours before bedtime, as once you are in bed, you have no opportunity to burn off those calories.
* Eat according to an eating plan. By planning healthy meals in advance, you will be less likely to eat unhealthily on the spur of the moment.
* It is a good idea to keep a daily record of your meals - it helps you to commit yourself and to be able to identify where things go wrong.
* If you are tempted to deviate from your eating plan, get up and DO something! Go for a walk, visit a friend, write an email, put on some music and dance - anything! But, most importantly, get away from the food that is tempting you!
* Avoid calorie-counting, food weighing and obsessive weight watching! These things tend to stress you out and tend to trigger emotional eating spurges.
* Try your best not to 'cheat' or 'lapse', but if you do - don't despair! Don't give up in misery and guilt. Accept that you are human; give yourself a 'pep talk' and start afresh!
* Identify free foods which can be eaten as much as you like, such as apple, raw carrot, celery sticks, raw mushrooms, and cucumber.
* Reward yourself with something other than food when you make progress with your goal weight.
* Become active and take up a physical activity that you enjoy! Learn to love exercise and see it as something you get to do for yourself, and not as a must-do chore. Even 30min a day will help to increase your metabolism.
* Remember to love your body, and what ‘god gave you’. No one is perfect, but if you address your weight from a health point of view, success can be that much easier to achieve! Eat to live, don’t live to eat
Please visit:

My Zimbio

Friday, June 25, 2010

Nightmares and Night Terrors

Nightmares are scary dreams that awaken children and often make them afraid to go back to sleep. They usually occur during the REM (rapid eye movement) period which happens during the last third of sleep and so are most common in the very early hours of the morning. Although adults also experience nightmares, because young children are learning new information and absorbing new experiences at an exceptionally rapid rate, they are more prone to bad dreams and waking up during the night.

From about the age of 6 months, it is normal for children to have the occasional bad dream. For example a toddler going to kindergarten for the first time may have nightmares about being separated from his or her parents. The older child may have nightmares about real dangers or even death.

Children waking from a bad dream are usually fully conscious and aware of their surroundings, although they may be a little confused and obviously upset. This can be very distressing for both parent and child and the interrupted and disturbed sleep that can result often leaves everyone feeling groggy the next day.

What is the difference between night terrors and nightmares?

Nightmares (especially very traumatic ones) are sometimes confused with night terrors. While they are in fact very similar, they do have distinct differences. Nightmares occur during Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep (also known as dream sleep) which is more common towards the later part of the night or early hours of the morning.

This differs from night terrors which occur during slow wave sleep or deep sleep. This deep sleep state tends to take place about 90 minutes into sleep and so night terrors generally occur in the early hours of the night. Another difference is that a child having a nightmare will often wake up and have a memory of the bad dream.

Children waking from a nightmare may be able to tell you vivid details of what had scared them and may even be too scared to go back to sleep or go to bed the following night. On the other hand, a child having a night terror is generally only aware of the panic and feelings of fear and very little else.

The fear is usually not accompanied by a feared situation or object (as in a nightmare) because it occurs during a dream-less state, and once the child goes back to sleep, he or she often doesn’t remember anything the next morning. Thrashing movements and screaming are fairly common during a night terror, while markedly uncommon during a nightmare.

Should I worry about my child’s nightmares?

Nightmares are a normal part of childhood and if they are infrequent or occur during understandably distressing life events they are generally not something to be concerned about. Most children grow out of their nightmares; however, if any of the following apply to your child you may consider consulting your health care practitioner or psychologist:

* If the nightmares seem to be getting worse or happening more often;
* If night time fears start to interfere with daytime activities and regularly disrupt sleep patterns
* If the nightmares persist 6 months after a traumatic experience and occur with other post-traumatic stress symptoms
* If your child seems increasingly anxious at all times
* If your child shows any signs of jerking, stiffening or drooling. This may indicate a seizure rather than a nightmare
* If you feel that excessive family stress may be a factor
* If you have any other fears, questions or concerns about your child’s nightmares

What causes Nightmares?

There are a number of reasons why children have nightmares. Mostly, they are a normal part of growing up and they reflect the difficulties, problems and fears that most children struggle with. In most kids, nightmares are a result of developing new fears such as of spiders or monsters, starting a new school or daycare, trying to conceptualize a new life problem or experience. Other causes include:

* Physical conditions such as illness or fever

* Unresolved psychological conflicts such as chaotic home environment, overheard arguments, anxiety, some form of loss or grief
* A traumatic experience or stressful life events
* Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
* Violence on television
* Side effects of certain medications such as antihistamines, decongestants, beta blockers, and antidepressants, as well as withdrawal from addictive drugs.

There is help for Nightmares

Most children grow out of their nightmares or learn to deal with them better as they get older. As children begin to understand that no harm actually comes from a nightmare they recognize that dreams both good and bad are products of their own minds. Nightmares then become less distressing for both the child and the parents. Treatment options may include:

Drug treatments: Drug treatments are seldom necessary and generally not a suitable treatment option for children. If sleep patterns are severely disrupted, a doctor may prescribe sleeping tablets however; these can be highly addictive and may cause other side-effects or withdrawal symptoms.

Note: It is strongly advised that you thoroughly research any prescription medication and its side-effects before deciding on what would be the best option for your child. For more information on these drugs see www.rx.com

Psychotherapy: In more serious cases, or situations where nightmares follow a traumatic or stressful experience, some form of psychotherapy may be necessary. Child therapy or counseling can help a child deal with unresolved anxieties and stressful events. Play therapy or art therapy is especially useful when dealing with young children who lack the ability to appropriately communicate their thoughts and emotions.

Re-scripting: This is a simple yet effective technique that parents can do with their children to help combat bad dreams. By simply discussing the dream and letting the child come up with different and happy endings, the child will soon learn that they have the power in their dreams. Some suggestions are humorous endings, empowering endings or endings where love wins out in the end. Alternatively, get the child to draw a picture of the nightmare the following day and ceremoniously shred the piece of paper.

Gentle soothing and affectionate reassurance; anxiety-reducing techniques such as deep breathing; as well as natural calming herbal or homeopathic remedies that encourage sleep and reduce fear are also effective in dealing with nightmares.

Nightmares can be very disruptive for both children and their parents, especially when little ones are difficult to console and parents are tired. Natural herbal and homeopathic remedies are a gentle, yet effective way to help settle your child after a nightmare, while also helping to restore healthy sleep patterns in the child who suffers from frequent night time disturbances. A number of natural ingredients are traditionally used to provide comfort and to settle your little one in times of fear and anxiety.

In therapeutic potencies, certain homeopathic ingredients such as Aconite, Kali phos and Nat. sulph can be very helpful, while herbal remedies such as Passiflora Incarnata and Chamomile are safe for children, have a calming and relaxing effect and are especially useful in cases of sudden fright and nervous restlessness. To ensure maximum safety and effectiveness, remember always to source your natural remedies from a reputable company who offers support and advice especially in the case of children.
Tips for coping with your child’s Nightmares

Herbal Remedies

* Get your child into a healthy bedtime routine. A quiet unwinding time that lets your child slowly calm down, both physically and mentally, is often essential for a good night’s sleep. Reduce stimulation by dimming the lights and talking in hushed tones. This time is also perfect for a bed-time story (not a scary one!) or casual conversation about the day just passed. These bed-time rituals will become comforting to your child and often provide a sense of security.
* Monitor TV watching. Ensure that your child is not watching violent or scary TV programs as this is a well known cause of nightmares. Although your child may enjoy watching these programs, they may be causing undue anxiety. Even some cartoons screened for kids are filled with violence and scary monsters that may affect a sensitive child. Also monitor TV and computer games.
* Keep your child active during the day. A child that is energetic and kept active during the day will fall asleep faster and enjoy a deeper sleep with fewer night-time interruptions.
* Avoid high sugar intake or other stimulants. Even though pudding before bed may be a household habit, keeping sugar intake low especially before bed will help reduce nightmares. Also watch out for chocolate as it contains caffeine and acts as a mental stimulant.
* Leave your child’s door open or leave a night light on. Even if your child has stopped sleeping with the light on, a small night light left on can be reassuring on waking up from a nightmare and able to recognize where he or she is. If they can’t sleep with a light on, then leave their door open and keep a corridor light on to reassure them that the rest of the family are near by.
* Introduce a comfort item. This could be a favorite soft toy or a comforting blanket that will make your child feel safe and secure. You can also be imaginative here and introduce a make-believe fairy that chases bad dreams away. Sometimes just knowing that they are safe and protected goes a long way to reduce nightmare induced anxiety.
* Provide sympathetic reassurance. Hugs, verbal reassurance that it was just a dream and an attentive listening ear go a long way in comforting a distressed child after a nightmare. Sit with your child until calm, and encourage going back to sleep in his or her own bed.
* Don’t spend too long searching for the ‘monster’. If your child is convinced there’s a monster under the bed, a quick look and reassurance is sufficient. Too much searching will make it seem that monsters really do exist!
* Rewrite the bad dream with your child. Encourage your child to talk about the bad dream and together, come up with happier alternate endings. Let them know that they have the power to change a scary dream into a happy dream – they hold the script!
* Resolve underlying issues. The following day, ask your child to talk about the dream, draw a picture of what happened or act it out. Look for clues about any issues that may have brought the nightmares about. Sometimes children’s nightmares are quite literal and can be traced back to a scary experience or a fear that needs to be resolved. Have a conversation about these underlying issues and resolve any conflict or uncertainties that they have on the subject.

While distressing nightmares are more commonly associated with children, adults can experience them too. Many adults have nightmares that leave them feeling anxious and disturbed upon waking and can even leave the individual feeling drained and tired after a full night’s rest. As with children, many nightmares in adults are caused by life stressors and anxieties that reflect in the sub-conscious mind during sleep.

In many cases, recording and examining your nightmares can provide great opportunities for self-exploration and reflection. Unresolved issues surface in our dreams and sometimes these issues need to be addressed. For many people, keeping a dream journal can be quite a therapeutic process that can allow for much positive change. Other common causes of nightmares in adults include:

* Alcohol or drug use
* Adverse reaction to prescription medication including some heart medication, antibiotics such as ciprofloxacin, antihistamines, appetite suppressants such as fenfluramine, antidepressants, and ulcer drugs such as cimetidine.
* Nicotine patches left on over night
* Withdrawal symptoms from alcohol, cigarettes or certain medications, especially sleeping pills
* Negative emotions such as grief, guilt, anxiety and depression
* Physical conditions such as illness or fever
* Pregnancy
* Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
* Sleep disorders such as sleep apnea
Please visit:

My Zimbio

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Signs and Symptoms of a Muscle Cramp

What are Muscle Cramps?

A muscle cramp occurs when your muscle involuntarily contracts and does not relax, and becomes locked in a spasm. It can occur at any time, most often when you least expect it during activities such as exercising, swimming, playing golf, sleeping, or after sitting too long in one place without moving or flexing a muscle. Muscle cramps can last anywhere from a few seconds to fifteen minutes or longer, and can recur several times before going away.

Cramps can affect any muscle under our voluntary control known as skeletal muscles such as the legs, feet, hands and arms. They generally occur in three different muscle groups including the back of the lower leg or calf called the gastrocnemius muscle, the back of the thigh or hamstrings and the front of the thigh, quadriceps. Muscle cramps can also affect various organs of the body such as the stomach, uterus, blood vessel wall, intestinal tract, biliary system, bronchial tree and urinary passages. Muscle cramps have different degrees of intensity and vary from a slight twitch to excruciating pain.

Cramps can affect anyone but they are more common in adults than in children. Endurance athletes such as marathon runners and tri-athletes get muscle cramps regularly because they exert themselves physically. Older people, specifically over the age of 65, are also more predisposed to cramps because they become less active and lose muscle. People who are ill, overweight, take drugs or certain medications, or people who perform strenuous physical activities are at risk of developing cramps.
Diagnosing Muscle Cramps

The common signs and symptoms of a muscle cramp include:

* Muscle pain
* Loss of muscle function
* Abnormal muscle rigidity
* Loss of muscle contraction control
* Pain in the affected area

What Causes Muscle Cramps?

Muscle cramps can occur as a result of:

* Overexertion
* Dehydration
* Electrolyte imbalance (not enough fluid in the body and lack of sodium, magnesium, calcium and potassium)
* Numerous medications
* Vitamin deficiencies
* Inactivity and poor circulation

Muscle cramps are usually not serious and can be easily treated. Anti-inflammatory medication may sometimes be recommended to relieve inflammation and ease the cramps. If muscle cramps are severe and occur often, it is advisable to consult a doctor to discover the underlying cause. They could be indicative of more serious conditions such as osteoporosis, thyroid disease, cirrhosis of the liver and Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Natural Remedies

Using herbal and homeopathic remedies as a natural approach to treating muscle cramps, can alleviate symptoms without the harmful side effects of conventional medicine. Herbs such as Passiflora incarnata and White Willow can help to relax the muscles and provide pain relief, while biochemical tissue salts such as Mag. phos. can treat and prevent recurring muscle cramps.

Complementary therapies can also provide all round support and encompass holistic healing, addressing physical, mental and emotional health. There are various natural and alternative therapies to relieve recurring muscle cramps and pain. These include:

* Aromatherapy
* Ayurvedic practices
* Homeopathy
* Hydrotherapy
* Acupuncture
* Relaxation and meditation

Tips to Relieve Muscle Cramps

Herbal Remedies

* Gently stretch and massage the cramping muscle holding it in stretched position until the cramp stops.
* Apply heat packs to tense, tight muscles, or ice to sore, tender muscles.
* Drink plenty of fluids at regular intervals, so as not dehydrate.
* Increase your intake of calcium, magnesium and Vitamin E supplements.
* Massage therapy and acupuncture can increase the blood flow.
Please visit:

My Zimbio

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Leg Cramps: during the Day and at Night

A leg cramp is a sudden, painful involuntary contraction of a muscle in the lower limbs. These painful knots, often referred to as ‘charley horses’, are caused by muscle spasms. Cramps usually occur in the muscles that cross two joints such as the calf, hamstring, and quadriceps. This is a common complaint and frequently occurs at night. The cramp usually lasts from a few seconds to fifteen minutes or more, and can be extremely painful.

Get More Info on Leg Cramp Away - Homeopathic remedy temporarily relieves muscle spasms, cramping and discomfort in the legs

The exact causes of leg cramps have not been determined, but there are factors contributing to this condition:

* Muscle fatigue
* Heavy exercising
* Dehydration
* High weight (not necessarily obesity)
* Electrolyte imbalances
* Medications
* Pregnancy
* Magnesium or calcium deficiency

A severe case of leg cramps may result in tenderness and even muscle fiber necrosis. Chronic diseases of the motor neuron can also cause recurrent severe cramps.
Who is Most at Risk for Leg Cramps?

Athletes, tri-athletes and other sportsmen are most prone to leg cramps. They also occur quite frequently during pregnancy, but the people most at risk for leg cramps are the elderly, those who are overweight, and those who are ill.
Help for Leg Cramps

Leg cramp treatment depends on the severity of the injury. The easiest way to get rid of a leg cramp is to massage and stretch the muscle. If the leg cramp is mild, topical muscle relaxants, massage oils, or oral analgesics could relieve symptoms. However, if the injury is more serious and severe pain is presented, a doctor should be consulted.

Herbal Remedies

Various conventional medications have been known to cause leg cramps and worsen symptoms. However, natural and alternative treatments provide a safe and effective solution to help alleviate leg cramp symptoms.

A combination of herbal and homeopathic ingredients such as Ruscus acluteatus, Aesculus hippocastum (Horse Chestnut) Zinc met. and Mag. phos can reduce the severity of leg cramps. A healthy diet (with all the needed vitamins and minerals), adequate exercise and fluid intake, and enough sleep will help you to attain good health and physical vitality.

Preventing Leg Cramps

* Stretching regularly to relax muscles and prevent cramps
* Exercising regularly— but not over exerting oneself, as this can cause leg cramps
* Drinking plenty of water during and after exercise, as dehydration can prompt leg cramps
* Increasing your intake of calcium, magnesium, and vitamin E supplements
* Placing a *heat pack on the sore muscle* to help relieve the pain
* Using massage therapy or acupuncture
Please visit:

My Zimbio

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Causes of Knee Swelling

All about Common Causes of Knee Swelling

Swelling of the knee causes the knee to become stiff and tight and will restrict one’s ability to straighten or bend the knee properly. Swelling is one of the most common knee problems that doctors see and it is something that needs to be evaluated, especially if the swelling lasts longer than 48 hours, or if it is accompanied by intense pain that is not eased with pain relief medication.

Get More Info on InflammaGo - Homeopathic remedy temporarily relieves joint and muscle pain, inflammation and stiffness

There are a number of causes of knee swelling, the most common of which is arthritis. Other causes include the following:

* Cruciate ligament tear
* Meniscal tear
* Collateral ligament tear
* Fluid build up from infection, blood or joint fluid
* Bursitis
* Gout
* Tendonitis
* Chondromalacia patella (a condition that causes a softening of the cartilage)
* Over-use or strain during exercise
* Trauma or injury to the knee
* Infection (Infection of the knee is serious and requires swift medical treatment)

Help for Knee Swelling/
Natural Remedies

Swelling of the knee can be an uncomfortable and painful experience that may affect your ability to move freely and comfortably. Many people that suffer from inflammation are now turning to natural remedies as an alternative to pharmaceutical anti-inflammatory medications which often have unwanted side-effects.

Homeopathic ingredients such as Magnesium phosphoricum and Matricaria recutita both have powerful anti-inflammatory properties and both are renowned for their soothing effect on aching muscles and stiff joints.

Arnica is also a well known ingredient that helps promote the healing of connective tissue, cartilage and bones while Dulcamara is another excellent anti-inflammatory often used in the treatment of inflammatory conditions such as arthritis.

Herbal Remedies

The ingredients Bryonia and Berberis are also excellent when trying to relieve inflamed joints. In addition, the homeopathic ingredient Rhus tox can be used to relieve pain and stiffness, and works well to heal fibrous tissue, markedly joints, tendons, and sheaths.
More Information on Knee Swelling
How to prevent and treat knee swelling

* If you have knee swelling or soreness that lasts longer than 48 hours, or is accompanied by intense pain or a fever, then you should seek medical attention where a proper diagnosis can be made and any underlying conditions ruled out.
* Avoid putting weight on the sore, swollen knee as much as possible until the swelling has gone down.
* Use a cold compress. Wrap some crushed ice in a cloth and keep it on your knee for 20 minutes on to help reduce swelling. Repeat this every 2-4 hours, and when using the compress, be sure to keep your knee elevated using pillows.
* If you suffer from arthritis in the knee, then it is important to keep up with stretching and toning exercises. These exercises can help to warm and stretch the muscles and are especially useful after long periods of rest.
* Regular exercise to improve muscle tone and fitness can be very beneficial. Remember not to push yourself too hard if you are unfit. Choose a gentle exercise that won’t cause pain such as yoga or swimming.
* If you are over-weight then now is a great time to consider losing weight naturally. Excess weight places extra pressure on all the joints and muscles, especially those in the knees and ankles.
Please visit:

My Zimbio

Monday, June 21, 2010

Jaundice and Its Effects

Jaundice is the term used to describe the yellowish appearance of the skin and whites of the eyes that occurs when the blood contains an excess amount of pigmentation. This pigmentation is known as bilirubin, a natural product that occurs from the normal breakdown of red blood cells by the spleen in the body. It is then carried to the liver to be excreted in the bile. Jaundice is not a disease, but is most affected as a result liver diseases.
Diagnosing Jaundice

The diagnosis of jaundice is based on the symptoms, medical history and physical examination – checking if the inside of your mouth is yellow and your eyes are yellow.

Certain tests will be performed and they include:

* Blood serum bilirubin
* Liver function test
* Cholesterol test
* Prothrombin time
* Complete blood count
* Ultrasound of the abdomen
* Liver biopsy
* Urine and fecal urobilinogen

Symptoms and signs of Jaundice

* Fatigue
* Headache
* Fever
* Loss of appetite
* Constipation
* Nausea
* Yellow discoloration of the eyes, tongue, skin and urine
* Dull pain in liver region
* Itching with obstructive jaundice

Causes of jaundice in children

* Newborn jaundice
* Breast milk jaundice
* Breastfeeding jaundice
* Viral hepatitis, which includes hepatitis A, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, hepatitis D and hepatitis E
* Autoimmune hepatitis
* Malaria
* Biliary atresia
* Hemolytic anemia
* Disorders present since birth that cause problems processing bilirubin such as Gibert’s syndrome, Dubin-Johnson syndrome, Rotor’s syndrome or Crigler-Najjar syndrome.

Get more info on Liver Dr. to improve functioning of the liver and promote health

Causes of jaundice in adults

* Blocked bile ducts by infection, tumor or gallstones
* Viral hepatitis (hepatitis A, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, hepatitis D, and hepatitis E)
* Drug-induced cholestasis as a result of bile pools in the gallbladder because of the effects of drugs
* Drug-induced hepatitis triggered by antidepressants, anti-cancer drugs, steroids, oral contraceptives, testosterone
* Biliary stricture
* Alcoholic liver disease (alcoholic cirrhosis)
* Cancer of the pancreas
* Primary biliary cirrhosis
* Ischemic hepatocellular jaundice caused by inadequate oxygen or inadequate blood flow to the liver
* Intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy (bile pools in the gallbladder because of the pressure in the abdomen with pregnancy)
* Hemolytic anemia
* Disorders present since birth that cause problems processing bilirubin (Gilbert's syndrome, Dubin-Johnson syndrome, Rotor's syndrome, or Crigler-Najjar syndromes)
* Chronic active hepatitis
* Autoimmune hepatitis
* Malaria

Herbal Remedies

Help for Jaundice

Treatment of jaundice depends on the underlying causes such as a gallstone, hepatititis or a virus. Other conditions that may affect the liver include haemolytic anemia, typhoid yellow fever, malaria and tuberculosis. Very often the common cause of jaundice is associated with a gallstone being lodged in the common bile duct. In this case, the gallbladder may have to be removed.

Because jaundice is a symptom of other problems, it is vital that the underlying cause be treated immediately. The most important thing is to prevent kernicterus, which involves toxic levels of bilirubin accumulating in the brain. Jaundice in babies should be treated immediately. Phototherapy or light treatment is used to reduce bilirubin levels. Occasionally, a change of blood is required.

People have used herbal remedies for many years to promote liver health and functioning. Herbal ingredients are not only extremely effective and safe to use for liver problems, particularly jaundice, but also gentle enough for the body’s system. Popular herbs such as Silybum marianus (Milk Thistle) and Taraxacum officinale (Dandelion) are beneficial for the liver and digestive system. In addition, Verbena officinalis (Vervain) is an excellent hepatic tonic but is also effective for overall health.
Please visit:

My Zimbio

Friday, June 18, 2010

Insect Bites

About Insect Bites...

Summertime is that time of the year when you are most likely to be bitten by all sorts of insects. An insect bite is characterized by a small, red lump or raised puncture which causes itchiness. Insects such as lice, mites, fleas, bedbugs, mosquitoes, spiders or scorpions are capable of injecting venom into humans and animals when they bite.

This venom contains proteins and other substances such as histamine that trigger an allergic reaction. Some people are more sensitive to insect bites than others, and often react badly to them. When you are bitten for the first time, a local reaction occurs depending on your level of sensitivity. If you are continuously exposed to insect bites, you may become immune to the bite and have no reaction at all.

Symptoms and signs

The common symptoms and signs of an insect bite include:

* Itching
* Redness and swelling
* May develop into a weal (inflamed area may be filled with fluid)

If you experience symptoms after being bitten by an insect such as swelling, the bite does not clear up after two days and develops into a rash, flu-like symptoms as well as swollen glands, you should consult with a doctor immediately.

Get more info on Pure-Heal Gel - formulated for Wounds, Burns, Abrasions and Insect Bites

What Causes Insect Bites?

There are a number of factors that may contribute to being bitten by an insect and these include:

* Unsanitary living conditions, especially where overcrowding occurs
* Pets such as dogs and fleas are often flea infested
* Occupations such as landscapers, gardeners or forestry workers are most at risk of being bitten by ticks. People who work in warehouses, factories or on the docks are also at risk of being bitten by mites
* Participate in outdoor activities such as camping or hiking
* Travel bites are caused by insects when traveling to foreign destinations
* Old furniture and upholstery may contain bedbugs

Diagnosing Insect Bites

The diagnosis of an insect bite is usually based on your physical symptoms. To confirm a diagnosis, your doctor will check if your skin is irritated as a result scratching or rubbing of the area. If your symptoms are more severe, a fever may occur.

Occasionally, a bullous reaction (fluid-filled blisters) may develop in the lower legs of children. Another condition known as papular urticaria occurs when children are particularly sensitive to the bites of fleas, lice, mites, or bedbugs and presents itself small, raised bumps or lesions.

Herbal Remedies

Help for Insect Bites

Most insect bites do not require medical treatment and occur as a small, local reaction which clears up in a day or two. These reactions can be treated by applying a cold compress on the affected area and taking painkillers such as ibuprofen and paracetamol. To soothe the pain of the bite, an anaesthetic or steroid cream may help.

Avoid scratching the affected area as you may damage the skin and it can lead to infection. Large, local reactions may be treated with oral antihistamine pills or analgesics. If you experience a severe allergic reaction to an insect bite with symptoms such as wheezing, hypertension or breathing difficulties, you should call for medical assistance immediately.

Natural remedies

Herbal and homeopathic remedies are a more natural but still highly effective alternative to treating insect bites. These remedies are soothing and gentle on the skin, and also support the body’s natural ability to maintain harmony. Herbal ingredients such as Aloe ferox, Urtica urens and Calendula officinalis (Marigold) support and promote skin health, especially if outside irritants are the cause.

Other essential herbs include Hamamelis virginianum (Witchhazel) which acts as an excellent astringent herb with anti-inflammatory properties while Melaleuca laterifolia (Tea Tree Oil) has wonderful soothing and calming properties to lessen ‘angry’ skin. In addition, Lavendula officinalis (Lavender) is a sweet-smelling essential oil that also has strong supportive properties for the skin and promotes a relaxed spirit while Vit. E oil promotes skin healing.
Please visit:

My Zimbio

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Cats and Hair Shedding

What Causes Shedding?

As annoying as it may be, shedding is a natural process that is affected by seasonal and temperature changes, your cat’s age and diet. There are two things you can do to help prevent and manage your cat's hair loss which will go a long way to helping both you and your pet.

The first consideration is diet. Always feed your pet a high quality, balanced diet rich in nutrients and minerals. Poor quality or inappropriate diets can affect your cat’s digestive system. This in turn contributes to unhealthy skin and coat and results in excessive shedding.

The next important consideration is grooming. While most cats are good self-groomers, many need additional brushing and bathing. Long-haired cats should be brushed everyday and bathed from time to time to stop excessive shedding and prevent fur-balls and matted hair.

Regular baths will help to loosen and get rid of excess hair and can help with shedding. When you do bath your cat, make sure you use natural ingredients. There are many natural ingredients that can help improve the quality of your pet’s coat and reduce hair loss in cats.

One beneficial cleansing herb is catnip. While catnip is widely known as a cat’s favorite, this herb is also known for its sedative and calmative effects and its ability to repel insects and kill insect larvae.

Chamomile is another beneficial bath-time herb and its soothing and relaxing properties help to reduce the stress of bathing. Another excellent cleansing herb is Cleavers which helps to reduce dandruff, and promote healthy skin and coat. Lastly, nettle can be used to encourage healthy skin and hair and when your cat’s coat is in good condition, shedding is likely to be reduced
Get more info on PetAlive Clean-Cat Shampoo - Non-irritating, calming cleansing shampoo formulated for cats

Tips for shedding cats

* Many pet foods advertise as being the best for your pet, but are actually not suited to their digestive systems or nutritional needs. Explore dietary options and choose a food that best suits your pet.
* Seasonal changes mean more shedding and during this time it may be necessary to increase grooming sessions.
* Stress is a common cause of shedding so be sure to take measures to keep you cat calm and free of anxiety. This won’t always be possible, so be sure to brush your cat well after a particularly stressful day or event.

Herbal Remedies

* During times of excessive shedding, it may help to invest in a few throws to protect the furniture. These can be taken off when guests arrive, and thrown in the wash when they become too full of hair.
* A wet rubber or latex glove is a wonderful tool for removing loose fur from a shedding cat
* Address any allergies that your cat may have. A cat with skin allergies is more likely to scratch and as a result lose hair.
* Control fleas and other skin parasites. Skin parasites irritate the skin and can cause hair to fall out, not to mention all the scratching involved!
* Take your cat for regular check-ups at the vet. Many diseases can cause poor skin and coat condition and hair loss. If your cat’s shedding is excessive, unrelated to seasonal changes and accompanied by any other symptoms, a visit to the vet may be necessary.
Please visit:

My Zimbio

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Gum Disease can Be very Expensive to take care of for a Loved Pet

Gum disease is one of the most common dental problems affecting pets. Research shows that most animals over the age of 2 years suffer from gum disease. As important as it is for you to maintain good dental care by brushing your teeth everyday, eating correctly and having regular dental check-ups, the same rule also applies to your dog or cat.

Although gum disease can affect both dogs and cats, certain dog breeds such as Boxers or Terriers tend to be more susceptible to this disease. Gum disease occurs as a result of a build up of food particles, saliva and bacteria known as plaque on the teeth. Plaque then hardens or calcifies into tartar under the gum line and on the teeth and causes infection. It is very painful and uncomfortable for your pet, particularly because he has no way of telling you.

When an infection develops it not only damages the gums and bones around the teeth but can also spread into the blood stream. If left untreated, bad breath, tooth loss, abscesses, gingivitis, tooth, root and jawbone infection may develop. More severe cases of gum disease can lead to kidney, liver and heart disease as well as joint disease and even organ failure.

The most common symptoms and signs of gum disease include:

* Bad breath
* Loose teeth
* Discolored teeth
* Bloody, inflamed gums
* Receding gums
* Pawing at the mouth
* Salivation
* Reluctance to eat or chew food, particularly hard food
* Drops food when eating
* Behavioral changes such as depression, irritation or aggression

What Causes Gum Disease?

There are several factors that may contribute to gum disease and these include poor nutrition and dental hygiene, eating hard rocks, sticks or other foreign objects, the age of the animal, genetics, breed, and arrangement of teeth, as well as grooming habits, bacterial infections and overall health.
Diagnosing Gum Disease

The diagnosis of gum disease is based on a thorough dental examination of the mouth, gums and teeth. Certain tests such as radiographic imaging will be performed.
Help for Gum Disease

Treatment generally depends on the severity of the gum disease. It involves brushing your dog or cat’s teeth daily with a veterinary prescribed toothpaste, cleansing, polishing and fluoride application to control plaque build up and prevent loss of teeth. All procedures are done under general anesthesia so that no pain is experienced.

This is then followed by cleaning the spacing between the teeth and gums to reduce the size of the spacing between teeth. An antibiotic gel is also applied to restore periodontal tissues. More severe cases will require procedures such as periodontal splinting, bone replacement and tissue regeneration. Looking after your pet’s teeth remains your responsibility and entails feeding him a healthy and nutritious diet, daily home dental care and regular veterinary check ups.

More and more pet owners are choosing to treat their pets holistically. Natural remedies are safe, gentle alternative for your animal’s health and wellbeing without the harsh side effects of conventional treatments. Well known herbs such as Arthrospira (Spirulina), Equisetum arvense (Horsetail) and Taraxacum offinale (Dandelion) helps to maintain healthy, strong teeth and gums. Homeopathic ingredients such as Silica, Calc. fluoride and Calc. phos are essential for healthy teeth, skin and bones.
More Information on Gum Disease
Tips to prevent gum disease in pets

Herbal Remedies

There are certain things that pet owners can do to prevent gum disease and maintain the overall dental health and these include:

* Feed your pet high quality, commercial food or a well balanced, all natural diet without preservatives, additives or colorants
* Incorporate large, raw marrow bones into your dog’s diet and raw chicken necks for cats. Make sure that the marrow bones for your dog are large enough so that they cannot be swallowed
* Brush and clean your pet’s teeth and gums daily to prevent gum disease
* Use a toothbrush with a small head to brush your pet’s teeth – you can obtain specially designed toothbrushes for pets from your local vet
* Check your pet’s mouth, teeth and gums regularly for bleeding, bad breath, inflamed gums, and tartar buildup
* Cats generally do like their mouths been opened, therefore start handling his mouth when he is still a kitten so that he may become accustomed to this experience
* Never use human toothpaste or baking soda to brush your pet’s teeth – use a veterinary prescribed or natural toothpaste
* Give your pet dental toys, treats and chews such as pig’s ears, rawhide bones, trotters and noses – these treats encourage them to chew and also helps to remove plaque
* Make sure that your pet has an annual dental cleaning from your vet
Please visit:

My Zimbio

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Fungal Infection that can affect Dogs and Cats

Fungal infections affect cats and dogs just like they do in humans. Most parasitic fungi live as organisms in the soil - decaying leaves, plants, feces and animal matter.

There are several types of fungal infections and these include:

Blastomycosis is caused by the fungal organism. Blastomyces dermatitidis which breeds in moist soil that is rich in bird or bat droppings. This infection develops when the fungal spores are inhaled and typically affects one or all of the body systems – for example, the respiratory system, nervous system, musculoskeletal system and the skin. It is common in dogs but rarely cats. Common symptoms and signs include coughing, fever, rapid breathing, pneumonia, lesions or seizures.

Candidiasis is common in both dogs and cats, and is caused when there is an overgrowth of candida in the body of the animal. It may develop in one specific part of the body or spread to the entire body. It typically affects the skin, gastrointestinal system including the oral cavities. Common symptoms include white, cotton-like growths in the mouth, crusty skin lesions, fever or diarrhea.

Coccidiomycosis is caused by the Coccidiodes immites organisms and affects the respiratory organs but can spread to other parts of the body. It affects dogs and cats, but tends to be more common in young, large-breed, male dogs.

Cryptococcosis is caused by a yeast-like fungus, Cryptococcosis neoformans found in contaminated soil of bird droppings. Although, it affects both cats and dogs, cats are more predisposed to this infection. This infection occurs as a result of inhaling fungal spores and affects the upper respiratory system, nervous system and the eyes. Common symptoms include coughing, sneezing, breathing difficulties, nasal discharge and drainage, swelling of the eye, trouble walking, and circling as well as movement discoordination. Cryptococcosis can be quite severe, infecting the nervous system and eyes.

Dermatophytosis (ringworm) is caused by fungal spores in the environment and typically develops on the skin as lesions. It is highly contagious and affects both dogs and cats. Common symptoms include red, raised, crusty skin and circular patches of dry skin with hair loss.

Histoplasmosis is caused by Histoplasma capsulatum organism which can be found in organically enriched soil or bird manure. This infection develops when contaminated dust is inhaled and affects dogs, cats and humans. It affects the respiratory system starting in the lungs and then spreading to other parts of the body such as the spleen, gastrointestinal tract, bone marrow, liver and eyes. Common symptoms include coughing, fever, diarrhea, weight loss, lameness, skin changes and depression.

What Causes Fungal Infections?

Animals often develop these infections through ingestion or inhalation of the soil or the air. These infections range from mild skin infections to debilitating, often life-threatening systemic diseases.
Diagnosing Fungal Infections

The diagnosis of fungal infection is based on the symptoms presented and physical examination. Certain laboratory tests such as viewing the organism under a microscope, x-rays, smears collected from the skin, needle aspirations from the lungs, or biopsy of the intestines may be performed. Additional tests may also be performed to rule out any other health disorders.

Get More Info. on PetAlive Skin and Coat Tonic for Healthy Skin and a Glossy Coat in Pets

Help for Fungal Infections

Treatment depends on the type of fungal infection, the severity of the infection and your pet’s overall health. Your vet may prescribe anti-fungal shampoo or creams, or fungicidal antimicrobial medications. In more serious case, surgery may be performed and intravenous fluids administered. These medications can be very costly and may have some harsh side effects.

Herbal Remedies

Natural remedies

Natural and holistic treatments have proven to be extremely beneficial in strengthening the immune system, combating infection and improving overall health and wellbeing of pets. Herbal and homeopathic remedies are safe, effective and gentle to use on your cat or dog’s body without any negative side effects.

Herbs such as Taraxacum officinalis (Dandelion), Echinacea purpurea, Withania somnifera (Ashwagandha) and Sylibum marianus (Milk Thistle) cleanses and purifies the system, supports immune functioning, and maintains liver health. In addition, herbal and aromatherapy ingredients such as Melaleuca alternifolia (Tea Tree Oil), Azadirachta indica (Neem), Calendula officinalis (Marigold) and Hamamelis virginianum (Witchhazel) supports normal levels of dermal fungal and promotes a healthy skin.
Please visit:

Monday, June 14, 2010

Varicose Veins

Varicose veins symptoms include enlarged flesh-colored, blue or purple veins often found on the calf or on the leg. They often appear twisted and bulging, may be swollen and raised above the surface of the skin and can become quite painful.

Varicose veins symptoms encompass any vein that becomes varicose, but the veins most commonly affected are those in your legs and feet. That's because standing and walking upright increases the pressure in the veins in your lower body. Spider veins are similar to varicose veins, but they are just smaller and usually found on the legs and face (and are harmless).

For many people, varicose veins are just unsightly, but for others, varicose veins can cause aching pain and discomfort. Varicose veins can also signal a higher risk of problems with circulation.

What Causes Varicose Veins?

Every day the heart pumps blood filled with oxygen and nutrients to the whole body. Arteries carry blood from the heart towards the body parts. Veins carry oxygen-poor blood from the body back to the heart.

Veins have valves that act as one-way flaps to stop the blood from flowing backwards as it moves up the legs. If the one-way valves become weak, blood can leak back into the vein and collect there. Pooled blood enlarges the vein and it becomes varicose.

The causes of varicose veins vary from person to person and many factors can contribute to the risk of developing varicose veins. Causes of varicose veins include increasing age, having family members with vein problems or being born with weak vein valves. Other causes of varicose veins are hormonal changes due to menopause, pregnancy and puberty. Similarly so can obesity, leg injury, prolonged standing and other things that weaken vein valves. Varicose veins symptoms can cause also include sores, skin ulcers and rashes on the skin tissue around the varicose veins.

Conventional treatment often includes sclerotherapy (for spider veins), where the doctor injects a solution into the vein that causes the vein walls to seal shut. Also common methods of treatment are laser surgery or surgical removal of the varicose veins.

Get more info on Circu-Live - Natural cures for Raynauds Disease and herbal circulation supplement

Natural Remedies for Varicose Veins

Many herbal and homeopathic remedies have been used to promote circulation, and keep a healthy flow of blood pumping through the body and serve as a natural remedy for varicose veins. Astragalus membranaceous is a well-known revitalizing herb used for boosting circulation, while Ruscus acluteatus is known extensively in Europe to improve circulation and relieve pain and discomfort associated with leg conditions thus serving as a natural remedy for varicose veins.

Anther natural remedy for varicose veins includes homeopathic ingredients such as Rhus tox, Zincum metallicum and Magnesium phosphate all help to promote health in the lower limbs and keep lymph and blood flowing freely. Skin health can be promoted through homeopathic ingredients such as Natrium muriaticum, Kalium muriaticum and Kalium sulphate to distribute oxygen throughout the body and to each individual cell and keep all cell membranes healthy.

By providing essential oxygen to inflamed or infected cells, these ingredients effectively assists healing, reduces inflammation and removes infected or dead cells.

Herbal Remedies

Tips for the Prevention of Varicose Veins

* Wear Sunscreen to protect your skin from the sun and to limit spider veins on the face.
* Exercise regularly to improve your leg strength, circulation, and vein strength. Focus on exercises that work your legs, such as walking or running.
* Control your weight to avoid placing too much pressure on your legs.
* Do not cross your legs while sitting and always elevate your legs when resting as much as possible.
* Do not stand or sit for long periods of time. If you must stand for a long time, shift your weight from one leg to the other every few minutes. If you must sit for long periods of time, stand up and move around or take a short walk every 30 minutes.
* Wear elastic support stockings and avoid tight clothing that constricts your waist, groin or legs.
* Eat a low-salt diet rich in high-fiber foods. Eating fiber reduces the chances of constipation – which can contribute to varicose veins. High fiber foods include fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains, like bran. Eating too much salt can cause you to retain water and cause further swelling in the legs, feet or ankles.
Please visit:

Friday, June 11, 2010

Tooth Decay

Tooth decay is the process that occurs as a result of the destruction of the tooth structure. When a cavity affects the nerves, toothache and pain (as well as sensitivity to cold and hot foods and beverages) may also occur.

It affects children and teenagers as well as adults. Pregnant women tend to be more susceptible to tooth decay especially when they are experiencing a sugary food craving.
What Causes Tooth Decay?

Tooth decay develops when bacteria (that live in the mouth) convert food containing carbohydrates (sugar and starch) such as bread, milk, cereal, fruit, sweets or soda into acids. When the bacteria, acids, food debris and saliva combine, a substance called plaque or tartar sticks to the teeth.

If plaque is not removed by brushing and flossing your teeth properly it will accumulate and build up on the outer layer of the tooth. It is the acids in the plaque that dissolve and destroy the tooth’s enamel surface and as a result visible holes or cavities in the teeth are formed.

Diagnosing Tooth Decay

Your dentist will perform a thorough examination of your mouth, teeth and gums as well as review your dental history and perform x-rays. Treatment of dental caries generally depends on the severity of the tooth decay. Mild cases of tooth decay involve fluoride treatments and cavities will be filled with fillings.

More severe episodes of tooth decay may require include deep cleaning methods such as scaling and root planning, surgery or bone and tissue grafts. Practice good dental hygiene habits such as proper brushing and flossing, eating a healthy diet, quitting smoking and visiting your dentist regularly.

Help for Tooth Decay

Herbal Remedies

Natural Remedies

Natural and holistic treatments have been used through the ages to support teeth and gums and provide symptomatic relief. Homeopathic remedies are safe, effective and gentle to maintain oral health without being addictive.

Carefully selected homeopathic ingredients such as Acidum salicylicum, Silicea and Belladonna relieve pain, infection and inflammation. In addition, Merc sol, Ferrum phos and Hepar sulph also soothes tooth ache and pain and improves overall dental health.

Get More Info on Oral-Assist - Homeopathic remedy temporarily relieves common toothaches, plus promotes oral health and fresh breath

Tips for prevention of tooth decay

Click Here for more information on Triple Complex HaliTonic for natural relief of Halitosis (Bad Breath).

There are a number of ways to prevent tooth decay and these include:

* Brush your teeth properly twice a day for at least two minutes – if possible brush your teeth after each meal but always after waking in the morning and before bedtime
* Floss your teeth daily before brushing to remove plaque from those hard-to-reach places in your mouth
* Use a toothpaste that contains fluoride to help fight gum disease and prevents plaque build up
* Eat a healthy, well balanced meats packed with vegetables and fruit
* Limit your intake of sweets and sugary foods
* Visit your dentist every six months for routine checkups
* Use an electric toothbrush for more thorough cleaning as they are more effective than manual toothbrushes and are able to remove plaque below the gum line
* Stop smoking as it destroys gum tissue, causes tartar formation and bone loss
* Avoid long term use of certain drugs such as antidepressants, antihistamines or muscle relaxants as they dry out the mouth and can cause tooth decay and gum disease
* Replace toothbrushes every three months because new toothbrushes remove plaque more easily than used ones
Please visit:

Thursday, June 10, 2010

All about the Colon

What is the Colon?

The colon is part of the body’s digestive system. The colon, or large intestine, forms part of the end portion of the human gastrointestinal (GI) tract which extends from the mouth to the anus. The colon is about 5 feet long and begins at the end of the small intestine or small bowel, and ends where it joins the rectum. The colon is a vital organ; important to the health and proper cleansing of the body as it expels waste material from the body.
Main Functions of the Colon

The main function of the colon is to absorb water and minerals from the ingested foodstuffs and to form and eliminate feces. The colon contains different types of bacteria to aid digestion, promote vital nutrient production, to maintain pH (acid-base) balance, and to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria. These good bacteria play a vital role in that they synthesize folic acid and valuable nutrients from foods during metabolism.

The small intestine is the primary site of digestion and absorption. It absorbs all the nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, proteins, carbohydrates and fats that you eat which are then transferred into the bloodstream. The undigested food is passed into the large intestine where water and nutrients from the food are reabsorbed and where the remaining waste is turned into stool. The waste passes from the colon and collects in the rectum at the end of the large intestine and leaves the body through the anus.

The process of digestion from ingestion to defecation normally takes 12 to 24 hours if the colon is fully functional and non-toxic. Because the colon rids the body of waste, it also cleanses the body. Poor health can be the result of poor detoxification. Irregular or infrequent bowel movements and constipation can result in toxic residues from the by-products of undigested foods accumulating.

If you have a healthy colon, you should be having between 1 to 3 bowel movements per day, often shortly after a meal. Colonic irrigation procedures can sometimes help to flush out the colon and help the body to detox, However, the procedure should be done by a professional health care provider.

Composition of the Colon

The colon consists of several segments:

o The cecum, the first portion of the colon, just after the small bowel
o The ascending colon
o The transverse colon which absorbs fluids and salts
o The descending colon which holds the resulting waste
o The sigmoid colon, an S-shaped portion near the end of the colon
o The colon ends at the rectum, where stool is stored until it is released

Disorders related to the colon include:

* Colon cancer
* Constipation
* Hemorrhoids
* Colitis
* Irritable Bowel Syndrome
* Crohn’s disease
* Diverticulosis
* Diverticulitis
* Ulcerative colitis

In addition, smaller health problems can also be attributed to colon-related problems such as halitosis, acne and spider veins.

The evaluation of colonic processes, and diagnosis of disorders, is usually performed with an endoscopic procedure known as a colonoscopy. Sometimes, x-rays or radiologic scans using dye within the bowel can help to make an accurate diagnosis prior to surgery.
Help for Colon Problems

There are a wide variety of over-the-counter and prescription medications available to treat disorders associated with the colon. Antibiotics and anti-inflammatories such as Sulfasalazine, Asacol, Pentasa, Dipentum and corticosteroids reduce pain and inflammation. However, while these drugs may provide symptomatic relief, they may also suppress the immune system with negative side effects. In more severe cases, the treatment of colon disorders usually involves the partial or total removal of the colon. A surgical procedure such as a laparoscopy where the colon is removed may be necessary. After surgery, only clear liquids are ingested until normal bowel function resumes.

Get More Info on Natural Remedies for Stomach and Digestive Disorders

Natural Remedies

Research has indicated that a combination of natural remedies, regular exercise and dietary changes can make a significant difference to the lives of people suffering from digestion problems and complaints. Natural remedies such as herbal and homeopathic remedies are gentle, yet effective - without the harmful side effects of conventional drugs.

Herbal Remedies

Therapeutic herbs such as Matricaria recutita (German Chamomile) acts as an anti-inflammatory, with anti-spasmodic and calming properties, while Filipendula ulmaria (Meadowsweet) effectively reduces the pain of digestive disorders and ulcers. In addition, herbs such as Ulmus fulva (Slippery elm) also reduces digestive pain and ulcers, and Sutherlandia frutescens ('Cancer Bush') has been used as a powerful tonic to treat acute and chronic digestive complaints.

Please visit:

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Living with Backache: Tips to Help ease and Avoid Backache

Backache is described as mild to severe pain or discomfort occurring in the lower back or lumbar area. More strain is placed on the lower part of the back because it carries the weight of the upper body in addition to your own weight. The pain may be caused by an accident, injury, swelling, degenerative changes, congenital or metabolic disease or development of a tumor. Often the pain and discomfort becomes worse when a person bends forward.

Older people may find that they also experience problems in their legs because of the undue pressure on the spinal nerves. Most cases of backache may be acute or chronic. Acute backache starts suddenly and severely, and lasts for a short period of time. There are often recurrences that may lead to chronic backache. Chronic back ache may be triggered by the slightest movements and is more stubborn, often persisting for three months or longer.
Symptoms and signs

* Pain across the middle and lower back that sometimes spreads into the hips, buttocks, back of the thighs and groin
* Muscle spasm surrounding the spine
* Limited movement of the spine when leaning back and bending forward
* Back may tilt to one’s side and cause a change in posture
* Pain sometimes occurs with a tingling sensation or numbness in the back, buttocks or leg

Diagnosing a Backache

The diagnosis of backache is determined by a full physical examination as well as your medical history will be taken. Your doctor will most probably enquire about the duration, frequency and nature of the pain – when did the pain start; what triggered the pain; is it a throbbing, burning or piercing pain; and what worsens the pain? Inform your doctor if you have also experienced any previous back injuries or backache.

Certain tests will be ordered if pain is very severe, treatment is not working and to rule any other underlying conditions.

These tests include:

* X-rays
* MRI (magnetic resonance imaging)
* CT scans (computerized tomography)
* Bone scan
* Discography
* Myelography
* Electrodiagnostic studies

What Causes a Backache?

Backache may be as a result of an accident or injury or an underlying condition (degenerative, metabolic or congenital).
Conditions that may cause backache

Conditions that may cause backache include:

* Degenerative diseases such as spinal stenosis, spondylitic disease; discogenic disease; facet joint hypertrophy
* Traumatic injuries or accidents such as vertebral fractures; lumbar strains and sprains; ligamentous injuries, musculoskeletal injuries
* Inflammation such as arachnoiditis; arthritis (e.g. Ankolysing Spondylitis)
* Bacterial or viral infections such as meningitis ; vertebral osteomyelitis; epidural absess; urinary tract infection; intervertebral discitis; radiculopathy
* Congenital diseases such as spondylosis; tethered cord syndromes
* Metabolic diseases such as osteoporosis; Paget’s Disease; diabetic radiculopathy
* A tumor, which can either be a benign tumor or malignant. A malignant tumor can be primary or metastatic.

Get More Information on JointEase Plus for Arthritis and Fibromyalgia.

Contributing factors to a backache

Several factors may contribute to and increase the risk of backache:

* Sedentary lifestyle
* Poor posture
* Ageing
* Obesity
* Hereditary
* Pregnancy
* Smoking
* Psychological factors
* Work-related factors

Help for a Backache

Mild symptoms of backache may be relieved by applying a heating pad or hot water bottle to the affected area. Over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen or paracetamol can help to reduce swelling and ease pain. More severe symptoms of backache may be treated with analgesics, NSAIDs, muscle relaxants, trigger point and ligament injections.

Physical therapy that involves TENS (trans-electrical nerve stimulation), behavioral therapy, back exercises, spinal manipulation and EMG feedback is also beneficial. Your doctor may also refer you to a chiropractor for spinal manipulation. Other treatment options that are effective when used together with medication include acupuncture, massage, hydrotherapy, biofeedback, meditation and yoga.

Natural and holistic medicine has been used for thousands of years to treat the pain and discomfort of backache. Treatments such as herbal and homeopathic remedies are safe and gentle to use without the unwanted side effects of prescription medicine. These herbs do not only provide symptomatic relief but are also effective for your overall health and wellbeing.

Herbal ingredients such as Harpagophytum procumbens (Devil’s Claw) boasts powerful properties that help to maintain back health while Glucosamine sulphate is excellent for joints and cartilages. In addition, Boswellia serata promotes joint and muscle comfort and mobility.

Herbal Remedies

Tips to help prevent backache

There are several useful tips to avoid backache and these include:

* Improve your posture
* Regular back and abdominal exercises can keep your back in excellent physical condition
* Ensure that your mattress provides firm support
* Sleep on your side (in an “S” shape) or place pillows between your knees to provide comfort to your back
* If you lift heavy objects, bend at the hips and knees, and keep your back straight
* Wear flat shoes with a good arch support if you stand for long periods of time
* Take regular breaks and move around rather than sit or stand in one position for several hours
* Sit on an ergonomic chair when working on a computer or make sure that your chair supports the small of your back
* Reduce the weight of your handbag, as a heavy load creates stress on your spine
* Avoid wearing high heeled shoes, as they can lead to back pain
Please visit: