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December 2008

What Are Hemorrhoids and What Are the Symptom of Hemorrhoids? What is the Right Diet to Help?

Don't suffer in silence anymore! And don't be embarrassed about it! Hemorrhoids are very common. It is estimated that more than 11 million Americans have hemorrhoids and 3.3 million of them seek medical treatment for hemorrhoids each year! Don't make the mistakes of assuming that hemorrhoids will go away without any treatment. In fact, hemorrhoids never go away if left untreated. It merely subsides temporarily. If conditions worsen, hemorrhoids sufferers can develop serious anal fissures that can only be treated with painful and expensive surgery.


Hemorrhoids are abnormally swollen veins in the rectum and anus. They are similar to varicose veins you might see on a person's legs. When bulging hemorrhoid veins are irritated, they cause surrounding membranes to swell, burn or itch. This can become very painful, and bleeding may even occur.

Hemorrhoids are caused by too much pressure in the rectum, forcing blood to stretch and bulge the walls of the veins, sometimes rupturing them.

There are two types of hemorrhoids (external and internal) and the symptoms for both are different.

External Hemorrhoid Symptoms

External hemorrhoids cause most of the hemorrhoid symptoms we commonly hear about such as pain, burning, and itching. An external hemorrhoid is usually a form of hemorrhoids outside of the anus. Swollen veins will form a lump around the anal opening and if a blot clot develops, the lump will become a thrombosed hemorrhoid. This is extremely painful and one of the most obvious signs of hemorrhoid.

Internal Hemorrhoid Symptoms

Internal hemorrhoids are a lot less painful and thus its symptoms are harder to detect. This form of hemorrhoids is less painful because of the lack of nerve endings inside your anal canal. The basic symptom of internal hemorrhoids is itchiness. Another good sign of internal hemorrhoids is a slight bleeding (you'll be able to see some blood on toilet paper or in your toilet bowl) after a visit to the toilet.

Hemorrhoids are dilated blood vessels or veins in the anal or rectal area. They can occur on the outside where they are felt as small bumps when wiping. Internal hemorrhoids however are not seen or felt as they are in our anal canal. They are also harder to detect as they are usually painless. Internal hemorrhoids usually develop due to chronic constipation and are also prone to develop during a woman's pregnancy period.

Symptoms of Internal Hemorrhoids

Internal hemorrhoids are more difficult to detect than external hemorrhoids because there is very little pain or sometimes even none at all. The common symptoms are an itch or an unexplainable irritation in your anus canal. The more obvious symptoms would be some blood on toilet paper or in the toilet bowl after bowel movement.

Internal Hemorrhoid Treatments

Several non surgery methods can be used to treat internal hemorrhoids. They include:

Rubber band ligation: A rubber band is placed around the base of the hemorrhoid inside the rectum. The band will cut off blood circulation to the area causing the hemorrhoid to wither away within a few days.

Sitz baths: Soak the rectal area in hot water for about 15-20 minutes 3-4 times a day. This is a simple and effective internal hemorrhoids treatment that will not only help ease the itch but also shrink the hemorrhoid.

Sclerotherapy: Also known as injection therapy. This treatment is commonly used on small internal hemorrhoids. A hardening agent is injected into the hemorrhoid, resulting in a loss of blood flow that causes the hemorrhoid to shrivel away.

When an internal hemorrhoid persists or the lump grows too large, doctors turn to hemorrhoid surgery. This treatment is especially recommended when the internal hemorrhoid becomes prolapsed or becomes very large after basic treatment. The types of internal hemorrhoid surgery are as follows:

Infrared Coagulation: A special device utilizing infrared light is used to burn of hemorrhoidal tissue. This causes the hemorrhoid to shrink and finally recede. Although this sounds scary it is very safe and simple.

Hemorrhoidectomy: This treatment is only used for severe cases where the hemorrhoid does not go away and the bleeding continues to persist after non-surgery treatment. During this hemorrhoid treatment the hemorrhoid is surgically removed while you are under anesthesia. Depending on cases, you may be required to be hospitalized and usually a recovery period will be set by the doctor.

Hemorrhoids are a form of vericose vein. They occur when the veins in and around the rectum and anus become swollen. External hemorrhoids are located near the anus and feels like a large lump. It is sensitive to the touch and will bleed if it is ruptured.

Causes of External Hemorrhoids

Hemorrhoids are commonly caused by too much pressure in the rectum. This will force blood to stretch and bulge in the walls of the veins, sometimes rupturing them. The most frequent causes of external hemorrhoids are as follows:

Pregnancy

Diarrhea

Constipation

Constant sitting

Symptoms of External Hemorrhoids

The symptoms of external hemorrhoids are much more obvious than those of internal hemorrhoids:

Bleeding: Usually seen after bowel movement and a common symptom of hemorrhoids. There will be blood on the toilet paper or in the toilet bowl.

Pain: External hemorrhoids are extremely painful. This is the common reason why external hemorrhoids are detected.

Itching: The anus area may feel a little irritated and itchy. Do NOT scratch it even though the urge to do so is very strong.

Lumps: Sensitive lumps around the anus are also an obvious symptom that you have external hemorrhoid.

Treatments for External Hemorrhoids

Sitz Baths: A Sitz bath is the simplest of treatments. All you need to do is soak in warm water for approximately 10 minutes or so to relieve the swelling and pain of hemorrhoids. This treatment is especially good for prolapsed hemorrhoids.

Moist Wipes: Wiping with toilet paper that is dry may irritate external hemorrhoids. Instead, use moist wipes or just wash down after bowel movement. Medicated pads containing witch hazel (a natural medication) can also be bought from pharmacies. It can help reduce the swelling of your hemorrhoid and more importantly, relive some of the pain that comes with having external hemorrhoids.

Ice Packs: Ice packs is a temporary treatment that can also be used to relieve some of pain and swelling caused by external hemorrhoids.

Applying Cream: Creams that treat external hemorrhoids should be available at any pharmacy. Almost any cream containing witch hazel will work and help reduce the swelling, itching and pain of the hemorrhoid lump.

Hemorrhoids have two main causes: diet and toilet strain. Studies have also shown that these two causes are linked because eating bad food can lead to constipation which then leads to straining on the toilet.

A diet that lacks fiber contributes to hemorrhoids. This is why the western diet which is rich in processed foods has been linked to causing hemorrhoids. The simple treatment or solution to this is to take in more fiber foods such as fiber rich cereal, bananas and bread (just a few examples).

The style of our modern toilets seems to be more comfortable, but actually encourages straining. And people who read while sitting in the toilet also stand a higher chance of getting hemorrhoids due to the extra pressure to the anal veins which are caused by sitting in the toilet for too long.

While diet and toilet straining seem to be the main cause of hemorrhoids, there are other factors involved. Other common hemorrhoid causes include aging, diarrhea, constipation, overuse of laxatives and even pregnancy.

Regardless of the causes of hemorrhoids, you should seek treatment immediately because hemorrhoid rarely heal by itself (hemorrhoids may subside and disappear it is bound to recur). Hence, you should use a hemorrhoid cure that can help you get rid of hemorrhoids permanently once and for all!

Whether you have hemorrhoids or you're trying to prevent it, there is a right hemorrhoids diet that you can and should follow.

Fiber is an important part of a hemorrhoids diet. If you are currently suffering from hemorrhoids take bulk fiber supplements daily. This can help with your current hemorrhoids condition as well as prevent hemorrhoid recurrence. Just note though that bulk fiber may take a few days to work.

Apart from supplements, including more natural foods in your diet such as bran, whole-grain breads, cereal, fruits and leafy vegetables are a healthy way to include the much needed fiber into your system.

You should also drink more water to soften your stool and to avoid straining. Aside from reducing straining, passing softer stool also helps ease irritation and pain on existing hemorrhoids. 8 glasses of water a day is the ideal and recommended number.

To prevent hemorrhoids, it is also best to avoid processed food (fast food is a good example) in your diet. This is because refined or processed foods have small amounts of fiber content. Foods like these do not contain enough roughage for the intestine to pass stool easily which causes strain in the rectum during bowel movement.

A hemorrhoids diet means that you should avoid foods that could cause indigestion, gas and diarrhea.

Learn more about how to avoid hemorrhoids and natural treatments by clicking here


What Are Omega 3 Fatty Acids and the Health Benefits Associated With Taking Them From Fish Oil?

Omega-3's belong to a group of fatty acids known as long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids. Because the body does not manufacture them, Omega-3's are classified as "essential fatty acids" (EFA's), as it is essential they be obtained from food. There are three important Omega-3 fatty acids: alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). EPA and DHA are found in fish, while ALA is found only in plant foods such as flaxseed meal. The body can convert ALA into small amounts of EPA and DHA, but recent studies have indicated that our bodies are somewhat inefficient in this conversion. Therefore, it is necessary to supplement your diet with these nutrients in order to significantly change your levels of Omega-3's.

The Omega-3's EPA and DHA are recognized for their health benefits in all life stages. They are important building blocks for every cell in your body, which requires these crucial components to grow, develop and maintain health. These fatty acids are an integral part of cell membranes and are precursors of several important cellular messengers. Studies have demonstrated that EPA is important for optimal brain function and contributes to the reduction of cellular inflammation. DHA has been recognized for brain, visual and nervous system health and development. Additionally, these essential fatty acids work together to contribute to good heart health.

Changes in food preferences and the impact of modern food processing in Western society have led to a significant decrease in average dietary intake of Omega-3 fatty acids. As a result, most American diets contain far more Omega-6's than Omega-3's. In fact, it is estimated that the average American has between twenty to fifty times the amount of Omega-6's as they do Omega-3's. Recent studies have indicated that this kind of imbalance can set the stage for a host of health problems. To promote a healthier fatty acid ratio, it is advisable to avoid Omega-6's (which are commonly found in fried foods, commercial baked goods and some margarines), and eat more baked or broiled seafood and supplement the diet with a high-quality fish oil.

Scientific evidence has indicated that a diet rich in Omega-3 essential fatty acids helps support:

A Healthy Brain

A Healthy Heart

A Healthy immune system

Healthy joint movement

Healthy kidneys

A balanced mood and sense of wellbeing

Strength and stamina

And helps maintain cholesterol levels that are already within the normal range

We invite you to review our extensive research section, which provides summaries of recent scientific inquiries into the health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil by clicking here


What is Restless Leg Syndrome and How to Treat it Naturally

23274831 Restless leg syndrome is a condition in which your legs experience an unpleasant sensation causing an irresistible urge to move them - often during sleep or when trying to fall asleep or when at rest, either lying or sitting down. By moving the legs, the uncomfortable sensation eases and goes away temporarily. Restless leg syndrome may also occur in the arms. This condition can disrupt sleep routines, most frequently during the evening or early part of the night, making it hard to fall asleep and stay asleep.

Usually when symptoms of RLS worsen at night, it leads to insomnia. Because people with RLS struggle to get enough sleep as a result of persistent leg movements, they often experience daytime drowsiness. Consequently, RLS can affect your concentration, ability to travel, performance at work, interaction with family and friends, daily and social activities. It can also affect your mood, lead to mood swings and bring about depression.

Restless leg syndrome occurs more frequently in women, especially during the last months of pregnancy. It can, however affect both men and women. People with RLS are generally diagnosed in middle age, but there are often cases with symptoms of RLS beginning before age 20. This condition also tends to run in families.

There are two types of RLS, primary RLS and secondary RLS.

Primary RLS is also referred to as idiopathic RLS. With primary RLS, the cause is unknown and once it starts, it becomes a lifelong condition. Over time, symptoms tend to get worse and occur more frequently - particularly, if symptoms began in childhood or early in adult life. In mild cases of RLS, when you are still or awake for a long time like on a lengthy airplane trip, symptoms may last for a limited period or there may be long periods of time without symptoms.

Secondary RLS is caused by an underlying condition or disease, or from taking certain medications. In most cases, symptoms disappear when the condition or disease is controlled or the medication is stopped.

Most people suffering from RLS also develop a condition called periodic limb movement disorder (PLMD). PLMD is a condition in which a person experiences involuntary, rhythmic limb movements such as jerking and twitching, while awake or asleep. While RLS disturbs sleep by delaying sleep, PLMD causes repeated awakenings that disturb or reduce sleep. People with PLMD are sometimes not even aware of their symptoms until a bed partner brings it to their attention.

Here are some self-help tips for those of you experiencing Restless Leg Syndrome -

Although restless leg syndrome is a life-long condition, there are many coping strategies that you can develop.

Follow a moderate exercise program which includes walking or jogging, but remember not to overdo it or exercise late during the day

Stretch your legs, bend your knee and rotate your ankles during and at the end of the day

Massage your legs to help you relax and soothe restless sensations

Wear compression stockings, tight pantyhose or wrap legs in ace bandages to relieve symptoms

Increase your intake of iron supplements if your iron levels are low

Practice relaxation techniques such as meditation, yoga or deep breathing

Reduce caffeine, alcohol and tobacco intake

Keep a sleep diary to monitor the effects of medication and strategies of RLS

Soak feet in hot water or apply a heating pad or cold compress to affected area

Maintain a regular sleep schedule by going to bed at the same time every night and every morning

Lie on your side with a pillow between your knees to initiate sleep

Join a support group where you can share information with others who are also suffering from RLS

To learn more about what causes Restless Leg Syndrome, it's symptoms and how to treat it naturally please click here

Learn more about Leg Calm to help Restless Leg Syndrome


The Cookie Diet by Dr Siegal - Eat Cookies! Lose Weight!

Dr. Siegal and his COOKIE DIET™ have been featured on ABC’s Good Morning America, Fox News, CNN, the New York Post and dozens of other media outlets in the U.S. and Canada. More media appearances are scheduled.

Dr. Siegal’s® COOKIE DIET™ was created in 1975 by renowned physician, author and weight-loss expert Sanford Siegal, D.O.,M.D. More than 500,000 overweight people have used Dr. Siegal’s hunger-controlling foods.  Learn more about The Cookie Diet

Dr. Sanford Siegal's COOKIE DIET™


Grooming - The Gift of Health! How a Little Pampering Goes beyond Pretty

While you may or may not indulge your pet in couture-inspired clothing or decadent faux diamond collars, you likely still have ideas in mind for how to reciprocate for the daily loving and affection received from your pet this holiday season.

According to statistics, in the United States, there are now more dogs per household than children, and in the UK, while the human birth rate has been falling over the past decade, nearly half the population now owns a pet, says the Norwich Union. Given these numbers, it seems many can agree that pets are like our “kids”, and treated as such with special attention in the household.

The holiday season is a wonderful opportunity to spend a little extra time and care on your pet, as he or she can help decrease stress levels, which are known to rise during this time of year.

Besides love and affection, providing pets with proper healthcare is the best gift we can offer. Early detection and regular maintenance can go a long way to building a strong foundation for your pet’s health.

Just like us, our pets may put a little extra strut in their step when they’re well-groomed, including fur, skin and nails. In addition, maintaining a healthy exterior for your pet can go a long way in internal health and functioning, too.

Being an organ of the body, the skin should not be seen in isolation. In fact, skin health and vitality are best achieved by pursuing systemic health. Following a healthy diet and exercise routine helps to support the body as a whole and can have excellent results on skin health if adhered to regularly. Remember that anything that affects your pet’s liver will definitely also affect the appearance of the skin and coat, as the liver and skin are closely linked in their efforts to purify and cleanse the body.

Natural remedies can be very effective in helping to support your pet's system in its natural process of elimination and purification, thereby providing a healthy solution to waste and toxin removal and promoting optimum general bodily functioning. Herbal and homeopathic medicine can also help to maintain all-round systemic functioning and promote health and vigor to pets.

In addition, be sure to show love for your pet in a healthy way. "… We also have to be sensitive to pets who have become accustomed to associating 'treats' with love and affection, and find other ways to show our love towards them… Instead of offering that tidbit, caress your pet - you will both feel much better for it,” says Michele Carelse, Native Remedies and PetAlive’s clinical psychologist.

Skin and Coat Tonic

Maintains healthy skin and glossy coat
Maintains strength of the hair shaft and follicle
Supports systemic health

LiverAid

Supports liver cleansing & purifying functions
Maintains normal blood sugar levels
Supports digestive and metabolic functions
Supports vitality and healthy energy levels


Can Your Divorce Destroy Your Pet's Health?

Article3 Some Say Yes and What You Can Do....

We often hear how children are negatively affected by their parent's splitting up but what happens when these "children" are our pets? In some cases, the effects can be the same-and can develop into stress-related health problems if not addressed and managed.

Unfortunately, since our pets cannot speak to us and express their feelings, we're left to decipher their emotions through their actions and behaviors. Often, these physical behaviors are accompanied by intense emotions that animal behaviorists and psychologists compare to depression, nervousness, and anxiety in humans.

This destructive and self-mutilating behavior can be attributed to feeling the emotional tension between the human partners splitting up, as animals are very perceptive and sensitive, similar to young children. It may also be attributed to an external factor, such as not being walked as often as before with two partners, or missing the interaction it received from the more attentive owner.

Unfortunately, few pet "parents" consider including their pet in their prenup agreement, and pets are still not treated like children in a court of law. While attorneys who specialize in pet custody cases do exist, they are difficult to find, and courts are not in favor of accepting pet cases. Animals are often referred to as "property", with most judges disregarding any involvement of pet disputes - no matter how much they are loved and respected within a household.

Therefore, pet owners are usually left to contend with pet "custody" on their own. However, especially since pets are sensitive to emotional and physical behavior problems initiated or aggravated by the divorce, it is important to come to an amicable agreement to help minimize drastic disturbances in a pet's routine, and help maintain stability.

While your own emotions may be running rampant, try and keep your pet's best interest in mind. Consider the typical process for what might happen for a human child during a split-up, including visitation rights, shared custody, etc. Be fair and work with your ex about managing your new shared or full-time schedule.

Signs of
Emotional
Distress
Excessive licking, which can lead to raw, chapped skin (known as acral lick dermatitis)
Restlessness and inability to settle down
Scratching, clawing, chewing or biting (and often destroying furniture and property)
Pulling out fur/hair
Defecating or urinating inappropriately in the house.

Natural Remedies Can Help

Aggression Formula Discourages routine restlessness and promotes soothed behavior in dogs and cats

PetCalm Effective tonic supports pet nervous system and harmony

Problem Pet Solution Supports good behavior and maximizes training efforts

Grief and Pining Formula Supports balanced mood and well-being