The Facts About Kidney Stones

Previously, we published an article entitled Facts about the Kidneys. This article focuses on the facts about kidney stones. Kidney stones are on the rise for a number of reasons that will be highlighted as well.

What are Kidney Stones?

Kidney Stones
Kidney Stones

Kidney stones (aka renal calculi, nephrolithiasis, or urolithiasis) are solid deposits composed of minerals and salts that develop inside the kidneys and stick together in concentrated urine.

There are various types of kidney stones depending on how they are produced and the substances that form them. Typical forms of kidney stones include uric acid stones, calcium stones, struvite stones, and cystine stones.

What Causes Kidney Stones

Kidney stones can have an effect on any part of the urinary tract, including the area from the kidneys to the bladder. Frequently, stones appear when the urine becomes concentrated, which allows minerals to crystallize and stick together.

Diet, additional body weight, certain medical conditions, and certain supplements and medications are among the various causes of kidney stones. These causes are explained in detail below.

Inadequate Hydration – Poor hydration is one of the most common causes of kidney stones. The crystallization progression that forms kidney stones is more likely to take place if the body suffers from persistent low hydration. Poor hydration can be the consequence of inadequate water intake or excess sweating during physical activity.

Drinking adequate amounts of water daily can keep the body hydrated and therefore reducing the risk of developing kidney stones. If an individual sweats too much for any reason, exercises intensely, or carries out physical activity over long periods, that person should make an effort to sip water throughout the day.

Foods With Excessive Oxalates – Even though leafy green vegetables have positive benefits, eating them in excess is a potential cause of kidney stones. This is because foods like spinach, rhubarb, and beets contain high

All about Kidney Stones - Oxalatesamounts of oxalates, which are compounds that combine with calcium to form a majority of kidney stones.

When foods high in oxalates are consumed in moderate quantities, the oxalates are usually excreted in the urine. However, when an individual frequently consumes large amounts of foods high in oxalates, the quantity of oxalates becomes too elevated for excretion. Therefore, when the oxalates combine with calcium, calcium stones form. Because of this, It is best to avoid being over-enthusiastic while eating foods high in oxalates. Additionally, there are leafy green vegetables that are low in oxalates, like kale.

Excessive Sodium (Salt) Intake – Excessive sodium intake is another probable cause of kidney stones. High sodium ingestion leads to increased calcium levels and exhausted citrate levels in urine. Citrate is known to hinder stone formation. These two factors increase the risk of kidney stone formation.

Studies indicate that reducing salt intake to no more than 1,200 mg per day and limiting protein intake cut down recurrent kidney stone formation by half among people who suffer from chronic kidney stones. According to the study, reduction in salt intake has significantly better results than reducing calcium intake.

The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) recommends that the general population consume no more than 2,300 mg of table salt per day. In addition, those individuals with high blood pressure and who are middle-aged or older should limit their intake to no more than 1,500 mg a day.

Protein From Animals – Animal protein can lead to high urine acidity, for example, beef and shellfish. The digestion of animal protein creates uric acid, which is known to bring about gout. Uric acid can also gather in the kidneys and result in kidney stones. Animal protein can additionally increase calcium levels in urine as well as reduce the amount of citrate in the body. Both these factors increase the risk of kidney stone formation.

However, this does not mean that animal protein should be avoided altogether. In contrast, consuming animal protein in moderate amounts and monitoring other known dietary causes of kidney stones can reduce the risk considerably.

Insufficient Calcium Intake – While extra calcium can unite with oxalates to form calcium stones, low calcium intake can also lead to kidney stone development. Calcium readily binds to oxalates, which works completely when there is the right amount of calcium in the diet.

Dietary calcium combines with oxalates in the small intestine. This combination enables the oxalates to be expelled in the stool instead of being absorbed into the bloodstream. However, when calcium intake is insufficient, the oxalates are soaked up into the bloodstream. Once they arrive at the kidneys, they combine with the available calcium to form calcium stones. Shop for calcium online [affiliate link]

Digestive Issues – Some gut problems are potential causes of kidney stones. Inflammatory bowel diseases, such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, can bring about diarrhea, which results in severe fluid loss. Fluid loss, in turn, reduces the amount of water accessible for urine production.

Low hydration additionally directs to a high concentration of minerals and acids in the body, particularly in the kidneys and the urinary tract. Large amounts of minerals and acids in the urinary system and the subsequent low urine volume increase the risk of kidney stones.

Excess Weight-Obesity – Obesity, which is identified as a body mass index (BMI) bigger than 30, has been connected to the development of kidney stones. Additionally, being overweight or obese causes numerous other health problems, including type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease.

According to some research, obesity directs to insulin resistance. Consequently, this lessens the urinary secretion of ammonium compounds from the body. This reduction increases urine acidity and leads to the buildup of uric acid in the kidneys and the urinary tract. These increased uric acid levels in the urinary system can cause uric acid stones to form.

Excessive Sugar – Excessive sugar ingestion may lead to the formation of kidney stones. A large number of foods, mainly processed foods, either contain sugar or are broken down into sugar. Therefore, when individuals consume products such as soda, french fries, bread, and cakes, the body can be inundated with a lot of sugar. These large amounts of sugar interfere with the absorption of minerals, for instance, magnesium and calcium, which increases the risk of developing kidney stones.

Researchers connect the increasing number of young children with kidney stones to the increased ingesting of sugary foods. Additionally, studies have found that reducing sugar intake reduces the risk of recurrent kidney stones.

Medications – Individuals taking medications such as diuretics and high-calcium antacids have a higher risk of developing kidney stones. Diuretics decrease the quantity of water in the body. This decrease in water raises the level of minerals in the kidneys and the urinary tract, making kidney stones more likely. In addition, the long-term use of high-calcium antacids increases the amount of calcium in the urine.

These medications increase the risk of developing calcium stones in the kidneys and the entire urinary system. In addition, taking large amounts of vitamin A and vitamin D or drugs such as indinavir, phenytoin, and antibiotics such as ciprofloxacin and ceftriaxone may additionally amplify the risk of getting kidney stones.

Heredity – Individuals are more susceptible to getting kidney stones if other family members have had them. Hypercalciuria, or continually high calcium levels in the urine, is a basis for hereditary kidney stones. In a majority of cases, kidney stones consist of calcium. The condition can be passed down from generation to generation and is a predisposing factor for kidney stones.

Hereditary diseases that affect people’s capability to process compounds like oxalate, uric acid, and the amino acid cysteine additionally increase kidney stones risk. Renal tubular acidosis is an additional genetic condition in which kidney stones are more likely to transpire.

Symptoms of Kidney Stones

Depending on the size and location of the stone, it can cause different signs and symptoms. Usually, kidney stones cause no symptoms if they are small enough to leave the body through the urine. The majority of the symptoms All about Kidney Stones - Symotoms of Kidney Stoneslinked to this condition are due to stones that have become trapped in some areas of the urinary tract. These are usually the ureters, which are the tubes that connect the kidneys to the bladder.

Abdominal Pain – Abdominal pain is an ambiguous indicator linked with many conditions. The location and characteristics of the pain can assist in distinguishing between different diseases and conditions, and it can be beneficial information to the clinicians to provide an accurate diagnosis.

When a kidney stone becomes lodged in the urinary tract, it can cause a tremendous amount of pain. Once a stone has become trapped, the ureter will spasm, causing the classic renal colic. Renal colic is described by sharp and sudden pain in the affected side of the abdomen. Generally, the pain comes and goes as the ureter spasms repetitively. This pain is known to be extremely rigorous and may last a few hours until it starts to calm down. The pain has been equated with childbirth labor pains.

Back Pain – Pain in the lower portion of the back is one of the most common medical complaints worldwide, next to pain in the neck. It is also a non-specific symptom associated with numerous conditions. It can have a severe start that is usually seen in conditions affecting the musculature of the back. However, sometimes, it can have a subtle onset that makes it difficult to diagnose.

Depending on where the stone is located, it can cause different signs and symptoms. For example, kidney stones that become lodged in the lower portion of the ureter, where the ureter and bladder meet, cause lower back pain. It is additionally possible for the back to be tender to the touch if the affected kidney is struggling to push urine out due to the blockage in the urinary tract.

Pain in the Groin – Groin pain is yet another non-specific symptom associated with numerous conditions. Given the many muscles located in this region, it is usual to experience groin pain due to muscle cramps, tears, and strains. Muscle injuries generally have a sharp and sudden start right after the causing trauma takes place. Other conditions such as hernias and even nephrolithiasis are also known to cause pain in the groin.

Kidney stones that become trapped in the lower portion of the ureter can cause groin pain. Individuals with stones have also reported testicular pain in males and pain in the labia majora for females. This is called referred pain (pain felt at a location different from the injured or diseased organ or body part).

Dark or Red Urine – Hematuria is the medical name used to explain the blood in the urine. When an individual sees blood in their urine, this is called macroscopic hematuria. On the other hand, some patients may have blood in their urine, and the amount is so minuscule that it is only visible during a urine analysis, which is called microscopic hematuria.

More than half of the individuals in distress from kidney stones have either macroscopic or microscopic hematuria. As the stone travels through the urinary tract, it can damage it, causing blood to be seen in the urine.

Urinating Pain – Dysuria is the medical term used to express the presence of pain in the course of urination. It is an imprecise indicator linked with numerous conditions such as urinary tract infections (UTI), kidney stones, and sexually transmitted infections (STI), to name a few. This symptom is frequently depicted as a burning sensation during urination, and it can be an extremely painful experience.

This symptom can be seen in patients with kidney stones lodged at the point where the ureter joins with the bladder. It may additionally be a sign that an underlying urinary tract infection might be at hand as well.

Other possible symptoms include:

  • Nausea
  • Frequent Urination
  • Increased heart rate
  • Fever

Treating Kidney Stones

The treatment for kidney stones differs, depending on the kind of stone and the origin.

Most small kidney stones do not require invasive treatment involving surgery. An individual may be able to pass a small stone by:

  • Drinking water. Drinking as much as 2 to 3 quarts (1.8 to 3.6 liters) a day will keep the urine diluted and may avert stones from forming. Unless a doctor indicates otherwise, drink enough fluid, ideally water mostly, to produce clear or nearly clear urine.
  • Pain relievers. Passing even a tiny stone can cause some distress. To relieve mild pain, a physician may suggest pain relievers such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB Profen, others) or naproxen sodium (Aleve).
  • Medical therapy.
    A physician may give an individual a medication to help pass the kidney stone. This kind of medication, known as an alpha-blocker, relaxes the muscles in the ureter, helping to pass the kidney stone faster and with less pain. Illustrations of alpha-blockers include tamsulosin (Flomax) and the drug combination dutasteride and tamsulosin (Jalyn).

On the other hand, kidney stones that are too excessive in size to pass on their own or initiate bleeding, kidney injury, or constant urinary tract infections may necessitate more extensive treatment. Procedures can include:

  • Using sound waves to crumble stones. For specific kidney stones, based on size and location, a physician may advise a method called extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL).

ESWL uses sound waves to create strong vibrations (shock waves) that

All about Kidney Stones - Treatment 2
Kidney Stone Treatment

shatter the stones into tiny pieces that are passed in the urine. The process lasts about 45 to 60 minutes and may cause moderate pain. Therefore, an individual may be under sedation or light anesthesia to make them comfortable.

ESWL can bring about blood in the urine, bruising on the back or abdomen, bleeding around the kidney area and other neighboring organs, and irritation as the stone fragments passes through the urinary tract.

  • Surgery to eliminate the large stones in the kidney. A procedure known as percutaneous nephrolithotomy (nef-row-lih-THOT-uh-me) involves surgically removing a kidney stone using small telescopes and instruments placed through a small incision in the back.

The patient will receive general anesthesia during the surgery and will remain in the hospital for one to two days to recover. The physician may advise this surgery if ESWL is not successful.

  • Using a scope to eliminate stones. To remove a smaller stone in the ureter or kidney, a physician may insert a thin, lighted tube (ureteroscope) equipped with a camera through the urethra and bladder to the ureter.

Once the stone is sited, special tools can ensnare the stone or break it into pieces that will pass in the urine. A physician may then place a small tube (stent) in the ureter to relieve swelling and promote healing. General or local anesthesia is administered during this procedure.

  • Parathyroid gland surgery. Some calcium phosphate stones are caused by overactive parathyroid glands located on the four corners of your thyroid gland, just below the Adam’s apple. When these glands produce excess amounts of the parathyroid hormone (hyperparathyroidism), calcium levels can become too high, and kidney stones can form as a result.
  • Hyperparathyroidism occasionally occurs when a small, benign tumor forms in one of the parathyroid glands or an individual develop another condition that leads these glands to produce more parathyroid hormone. Removing the tumor from the gland terminates the formation of kidney stones. On the other hand, the doctor may recommend handling the condition that is causing the parathyroid gland to overproduce the hormone.

How to Prevent Kidney Stones

Prevention is better than cure. To prevent kidney stones, one may want to

The Facts About Kidney Stones - Kidney Stone Preventionention
Prevention is better than cure!!

include a combination of lifestyle changes and medications.

An individual may reduce the risk of kidney stones if he or she:

  • Consumes water throughout the day. Doctors usually recommend drinking enough fluids to pass about 2.1 quarts (2 liters) of urine for people with a history of kidney stones a day. A doctor may ask a patient to measure their urine output to ensure they are drinking enough water.

Individuals who live in a hot, dry climate or exercise frequently may need to consume even more water to produce enough urine. On the other hand, if urine is clear or light in color, enough water is being consumed in all probability.

  • Consumes fewer oxalate-rich foods. For individuals that tend to form calcium oxalate stones, a doctor may recommend limiting foods that are rich in oxalates. These include spinach, beets, sweet potatoes, nuts, tea, chocolate, black pepper, rhubarb, okra, Swiss chard, and soy products.
  • Chose a diet light in salt and animal protein. Reduce the amount of salt consumed and choose non-animal protein sources, such as legumes. Contemplate using a salt substitute.
  • Consumes calcium-rich foods, but use discretion with calcium supplements. Calcium in food does not affect the risk of kidney stones. Therefore, continue consuming calcium-rich foods unless a doctor advises otherwise.

It is best to consult with a doctor before taking calcium supplements, as these have been linked to an increased risk of kidney stones. An individual may reduce the risk by taking supplements with meals. In addition, diets low in calcium can escalate kidney stone formation in some individuals.

One can also ask a doctor for a referral to a dietitian who can help develop an eating plan that reduces the risk of kidney stones.

Medications can control the number of minerals and salts in the urine and may be helpful in individuals who form certain kinds of stones. The type of medication a doctor prescribes will depend on the type of kidney stones an individual may have.

Kidney stones are on the rise. One of the reasons is poor diet choices. Fast and processed foods contain large amounts of sodium. As you read earlier, excess sodium can lead to stones.

Kidney stones are also more apparent in the summer. The reason for this also due to calcium. Studies have shown that the body produces more calcium in the urine during the winter months, leading to hypercalciuria.

Kidney stones can be a severe condition. However, in most cases, they are preventable.

If you have a comment, question, or concern, or if you have had experience with kidney stones you’d like to share, please do so below.

Good Health!!

 

 

 

What is the Cortisol Hormone?

 

Cortisol, ever heard of it? Cortisol is a hormone that plays an essential role in the functioning of our bodies. So, what is the cortisol hormone? Read on to find out.

What is the Cortisol Hormone?

What is the Cortisol Hormone - Cortisol Functions
What Cortisol Does

Cortisol is the body’s principal stress hormone. It is more like nature’s integrated distress signal system. It works with specific segments of the brain to control an individual’s mood, motivation, and fear.

Cortisol is produced in the adrenal glands, which are triangle-shaped organs at the top of the kidneys.

What does the Cortisol Hormone do?

The cortisol hormone plays a vital role in several functions the body performs. For instance, it:

  • Boosts energy, which enables the body to handle stress and restores balance afterward
  • Controls the sleep/wake cycle
  • Increases blood sugar (glucose)
  • Keeps inflammation down
  • Controls how the body makes use of  carbohydrates, fats, and proteins
  • Regulates blood pressure

How Does Cortisol Work?

The hypothalamus and pituitary glands, both located in the brain, can detect if an individual’s blood contains the correct level of cortisol. If the level is too low, the brain adjusts the amount of hormones it produces. The adrenal glands react to these signals. At that point, they fine-tune the quantity of cortisol they release.

Cortisol receptors contained in most cells in the body receive and use the hormone in various ways. An individual’s requirements will differ from day to day. For example, when the body is on high alert, cortisol is able to alter or shut down functions that may get in the way. These can include the digestive or reproductive systems, the immune system, or even the growth processes.

Occasionally, the cortisol levels can get out of balance. After the pressure or danger has ceased, the level of cortisol should adjust to normal. At that time, the heart, blood pressure, and other body systems will get back to normal.

Excess Cortisol

If an individual is under constant stress and the alarm button stays on, it can disrupt the body’s most crucial functions. It can also lead to numerous health issues that include:

  • HeadachesWhat is the cortisol hormone - Excess Cortisol
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Memory and concentration problems
  • Heart disease
  • Problems with digestion
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Weight gain (mainly in the middle)

A nodule or mass in the adrenal gland or a tumor in the brain’s pituitary gland can trigger the body to produce excess cortisol. This situation can result in a condition called Cushing syndrome. This condition can lead to skin that bruises easily, rapid weight gain, diabetes, muscle weakness, and a host of other health problems.

If the wrong foods are chosen or certain foods are consumed at the wrong times, cortisol can be increased. The list below indicates which foods to avoid to prevent elevated cortisol.

Trans Fats – Trans fats are dangerous because they’re associated with a host of diseases, and there is evidence from animal studies that they raise cortisol.

In addition, human studies have shown a higher intake of trans fats is coupled with aggressive behavior and a greater risk of depression. Both of which are likely linked to unrestrained hormones.

It is best to avoid trans fats by preferencing whole foods over packaged “junk food” and reading all labels for “hydrogenated” or “partially hydrogenated” oils.

Vegetable & Seed Oils – Vegetable and seed oils, like corn, canola, sunflower, and, soy are highly processed oils that are washed, heated, and treated with the chemical hexane before placing them in chips, cookies, cereal, or bottling as a “heart” healthy oil.

This over-processing depletes these oils of nutrition and contaminates them with toxins. Subsequently, these oils are also easily destroyed by oxidation (free radicals), activating the immune system, causing inflammation, altering stress hormone balance, and damaging the body.

Also, most individuals consume excessive amounts of the omega-6 fats that vegetable and seed oils contain, making it wise to avoid these oils in favor of various reduced processed fats such as olive oil, butter, and coconut oil. If an individual has a skewed ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fats, disease risk and obesity are increased significantly.

Fruit Juice – Consuming fruit juice often is associated with an increased risk for diabetes and poor metabolic health. It is a situation that often leads to a changed cortisol curve and elevated inflammation.

Consuming fruit has the reverse effect, decreasing diabetes risk. The cause is that juice generally does not contain the fiber that naturally occurs in fruit. Lack of fiber causes a surge of events that involve increased cortisol.

The sugar contained in the juice results in a rapid spike in blood sugar and too much insulin released into the bloodstream, which leads to low blood sugar as insulin quickly shuttles all the energy from the blood into cells. As a result, cortisol is released, and we feel hungry again, often causing us to overeat.

Foods a person are Sensitive or Intolerant To – Food sensitivity is when individuals negatively react to eating a specific food because their immune system is triggered, causing cortisol to be elevated. It is much milder than an allergic response, so much so that most do not realize why they may feel lousy; they just know that they feel out of sorts

Individuals can develop a food intolerance to any food, especially if they live a high-stress lifestyle and have elevated cortisol. However, the most common ones are casein protein, beef, eggs, shellfish, tree nuts, and gluten grains.

Chocolate Cake – there are undoubtedly many varieties of chocolate cake, but the majority will have antioxidant-poor chocolate and a lot of refined sugar. Foods higher in refined sugar lead to a greater release of cortisol, adrenaline, and epinephrine—a combination that will make an individual feel great for a few minutes until he or she crashes and the so-called “sugar high” is over and, they just desire more.

For example, in one study, women who suffered more significant life stresses and had imbalanced cortisol levels consumed more chocolate cake and fewer vegetables at a lunch buffet. This indicates a mutual effect where altered cortisol drives the desire for sweet foods, which in turn elevates cortisol.

Factory Farm (processed) Beef – Regularly consuming factory-farmed beef is a wrong choice if the goal is to balance cortisol. Conventional beef derives from animals raised on combinations of antibiotics, hormones, genetically modified corn, chicken manure, and ground-up parts of other animals.

This beef additionally contains fewer omega-3 fats and additional omega-6 fats that are pro-inflammatory when not balanced with omega-3 fats. Factory-farmed beef additionally has more of the type of saturated fat that is detrimental to cholesterol (called myristic and palmitic acid). In contrast, grass-beef has more stearic acid, which is neutral for cholesterol.

Flavored Yogurts Fat-Free – High-quality yogurt that contains live probiotic bacteria has been found to lower cortisol. However, fat-free and low-fat flavored yogurts are merely junk foods masking as health food. In addition, they have a poor taste because all of the fat has been removed and substituted with sugar or artificial sweeteners, as well as fake flavorings and dyes.

These yogurts are not likely to retain any live probiotic bacteria because they tend to go through extensive industrial processing. Therefore, they will not benefit the gut, nor do the cortisols level any good.

Alcohol – Alcohol brings about oxidative stress in the liver, depresses mood, and has been found to raise cortisol levels, especially when consumed after intense exercise.

For example, a recent study found that when trained men consumed alcohol after a workout, they had elevated cortisol and a poorer free testosterone to cortisol ratio than a placebo group. Long-term use could be even more detrimental because it is associated with even more significant hormone imbalances.

Low-Fiber Carbs – Carbohydrates
that do not contain fiber can lead to elevated cortisol because they are quickly digested, leading to a more significant spike in blood sugar and insulin. This action is followed by cortisol release once blood sugar plummets. In addition, low fiber diets can lead to poor gastrointestinal function and inflammation, changing cortisol balance.

Carbs lacking fiber are likely to be refined or processed foods such as white bread, cereal, cookies, or crackers. Unprocessed fibrous carbs include practically all veggies and fruits.

Caffeine – Although it is viable to have healthy cortisol levels with caffeine use, individuals who bear the effects of high-stress lives may benefit from avoiding caffeine. For instance, new caffeine users encounter a significant cortisol spike that lasts throughout the day. Even long-term users who consume it in the morning and then again at lunchtime experience a big afternoon spike in cortisol. The effect is worsened if an individual is anxious or mentally stressed.

It is best to be wise about caffeine use and realize that having hormone imbalances or adrenal exhaustion reduces the ability to metabolize caffeine. In addition, specific genotypes have the same problem.

Cortisol Deficiency

On the other hand, if the body does not produce enough of this cortisol hormone, the result is a condition kWhat is the Cortisol Hormone -Cortisol Deficiencynown as Addison’s disease.

The symptoms usually appear over time. They generally include:

  • Changes in the skin, such as darkening on scars and in the skin folds
  • Constant fatigue
  • Nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting
  • Decrease of appetite and weight
  • Low blood pressure
  • Muscle weakness that increasingly grows worse

If the body is not producing enough cortisol, a physician may prescribe dexamethasone, hydrocortisone, or prednisone tablets.

Nutrition is a potent means to balance cortisol and improve the secretion of related metabolic and performance-boosting hormones. By planning a diet wisely, individuals can help lower cortisol post-workout or in the evening before bed. This will allow one to avoid food cravings, reduce stress, and get better fat loss results when improving body composition.

Balancing Cortisol Naturally

A natural approach is always the best way to prevent health issues. Below are some suggestions for balancing cortisol naturally.

  • Retire for bed each night at the same regular time, wake up at the same time, and move out into the sunshine. This practice will create a good circadian rhythm, which optimizes hormone balance naturally.
  • Limit alcohol consumption. An individual may think it relaxes them, but alcohol, in fact, increases cortisol.
  • Limit or avoid caffeine, sugar, and processed food. Better-eating guru Michael Pollen’s quote “Eat foods from a plant, not made in a plant,” is an excellent cue to consume food that is natural and whole.
  • Exercise. However, understand that running hard and overtraining without adequate rest can increase cortisol. In addition, the constant requirement for glucose to the muscles can produce a form of chronic stress. An individual may find pilates, yoga, or walking in nature to relax their mind while exercising the body.
  • Get a massage to reduce stress and relax muscles.
  • Consider talking to a physician or pharmacist about consuming dietary supplements such as vitamin B complex, vitamin C, and fish oil, as intake levels vary.
  • Try meditation to slow the mind down, diminish anxiety, and reduce cortisol levels. Deep breathing can also assist. For those who have never tried meditation, here is a guide to help you get started.

With regular exercise, sleep, and a healthy diet, individuals can be better prepared to manage stressful situations and prevent stress from aggravating their health.

Please leave questions, comments, and concerns below.

Good Health!!

 

 

 

Melatonin: the Facts

Our body uses special chemicals known as hormones that travel through the bloodstream to tissues and organs and control most of our body’s major systems. Melatonin is one of the vital hormones that our bodies use to help us function properly. This article will shed light on melatonin: the facts.

What is Melatonin?

Melatonin is a hormone that the brain generates in response to darkness. It is primarily released by the pineal gland during the night and has long been associated with control of the sleep-wake cycle. It aids with the timing of the circadian rhythms (our 24-hour internal clock) and with sleep.

Research has suggested that melatonin plays other essential roles in the body beyond sleep, as it is also a powerful antioxidant, which may provide a variety of other benefits such as:

  • ease tinnitus symptoms
  • raise growth hormone levels in men
  • supporting eye health
  • treating stomach ulcers and heartburn

Melatonin used as medicine is generally made artificially in a laboratory. It is most frequently obtainable in pill form, but it is also offered in versions that can be placed in the cheek or under the tongue. This placement allows the melatonin to be absorbed directly into the body.

Melatonin is most regularly used for insomnia and improving sleep under different conditions. For example, it is used for jet lag, adjusting sleep-wake cycles in individuals whose daily work schedule changes (shift-work disorder), and helping people establish a day and night cycle.

How does Melatonin Work?

As mentioned earlier, melatonin works together with the body’s circadian rhythm.

In plain terms, the circadian rhythm is the body’s internal clock. It lets the body know when it is time to sleep, wake, and eat.

Melatonin additionally helps regulate the body’s temperature, blood pressure, and levels of some hormones.

Melatonin levels start to rise in the body when it is dark outside, signaling to the body that it is time for sleep (8).

It additionally attaches to receptors in the body that can aid the body with relaxing.

For example, melatonin attaches to receptors in the brain to aid in reducing nerve activity.

It can reduce levels of dopamine, a hormone that helps the body stay awake. It is additionally occupied in some part of the day-night cycle of the eyes.

Though the exact way melatonin aids in falling asleep is unclear, studies suggest that these processes can aid in falling asleep.

Conversely, light suppresses melatonin production. Light is one way that the body knows it is time to wake up. There is more on the causes of this suppression to follow.

Melatonin Deficiency

As melatonin helps the body prepare for sleep, individuals who do not produce enough of it at night may have trouble falling asleep.

Melatonin: the Facts - Melatonin Deficiency
Melatonin deficiency causes insomnia

Melatonin deficiency is a significant cause of insomnia and sleep difficulties. Inequities in the diurnal pattern (a pattern that occurs every 24 hours.) of the glucocorticoid hormone cortisol can additionally lead to sleep problems. It is formed by the adrenal glands and is often spoken to as the “stress hormone.”

Causes of Melatonin Deficiency

There are numerous aspects that may cause low melatonin levels at night.

Stress, smoking, exposure to excessive light at night (especially blue light), insufficient natural light during the day, shift work, and aging all affect melatonin production. Additionally, medications, both prescription and over-the-counter drugs, can cause a melatonin deficiency.

Taking a melatonin SUPPLEMENT can help offset low levels and normalize the body’s internal clock.

Symptoms of Melatonin Deficiency

Below are symptoms and conditions associated with melatonin deficiency

  • Age-Related Macular Degeneration & Cataracts
  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Anxiety
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) & Autism
  • Cancer (e.g., breast, prostate, brain)
  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Chemotherapy Side Effects
  • Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome
  • Depression
  • Headaches
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Jetlag
  • Male Pattern Balding
  • Perimenopause
  • Shift Work
  • Sleep Disturbances
  • Tinnitus
  • Wrinkles

How to Avoid a Melatonin Deficiency

Melatonin: the facts - Melatonin preventing deficiency
Preventing a melatonin deficiency will insure a good nights rest!

No matter how hard we try to live a balanced life, conditions can occur that are beyond our control. Below are some things that can help to avoid having a melatonin deficiency

  • Avoid artificial light after sunset with the installation of a blue blocker app on your smartphone, for example, Twilight for Android & Night Shift for iPhone. For the computers (laptop and desktop), the app F.Lux is suitable. Another way one can protect themselves in the evening is to wear blue blocker glasses.
  • The bedroom should be prepared for a peaceful night. Fresh and cool air lets an individual sleep optimally. Dark curtains keep the bright daylight out in the morning to avoid being woken too early.
  • Regular bedtime influences the synchronization of the biorhythms. Therefore, an individual should try to adopt a routine that best suits their needs.
  • Conclude your working day on a positive note by focusing on something peaceful. This will keep motivation up and reduces stress.
  • Nutrition – Certain foods contain melatonin: cherries, walnuts, mustard, corn, rice, ginger, peanuts, barley, oats, asparagus, and tomatoes.

Taking Melatonin

For an individual taking melatonin for the first time, start with a lower-dose supplement.

For example, begin with 0.5 mg (500 micrograms) or 1 mg ½ hour before bedtime. If that does not prove successful with assistance in falling asleep, the dose can be increased to 3–5 mg.

Consuming more melatonin than this likely will not assist an individual fall asleep faster. The objective is to find the lowest dose that will help an individual to fall asleep.

However, it is best to follow the instructions that come with the supplement.

Melatonin is widely available in the US. Shop for melatonin online. [affiliate link]

A prescription is needed for melatonin in other places, such as Australia and the European Union.

There are also natural supplements that contain a calculated combination

of vitamins and nutrients to provide healthy,

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Melatonin Side Effects and Safety

Current research evokes that melatonin supplements are safe, non-toxic, and not addictive.

Having said that, some individuals may experience mild side effects, such as:

  • dizziness
  • headaches
  • nausea

Melatonin additionally may interact with a variety of medications. These include:

  • *anticonvulsants
  • antidepressants
  • blood pressure medication
  • blood thinners
  • diabetes medications
  • immunosuppressants
  • oral contraceptives
  • sleep aids or sedatives

For individuals with a health condition or on any of the above medications, they should check with their physician before commencing taking a supplement.

There is additionally some concern that consuming too much melatonin will stop the body from making it naturally.

However, several studies have discovered that consuming melatonin will not affect the body’s ability to produce it independently.

Taking Melatonin with Alcohol

Drops in melatonin levels can take place following evening alcohol consumption. One study in 29 young adults established that alcohol consumption one (1) hour before bed can reduce melatonin levels by up to 19%.

Low levels of melatonin have additionally been identified in individuals with alcohol use disorder (AUD).

Additionally, melatonin levels rise slower in subjects with an alcohol dependency, meaning it can be harder to fall to sleep.

However, it is essential to note melatonin supplementation does not improve sleep in these cases. A study of people with AUD established that, compared to placebo, receiving 5 mg of melatonin a day for four weeks did not improve sleep.

It has been anticipated that the antioxidant effects of melatonin may assist in preventing or treating alcohol-related illnesses. Though, further research is required to investigate this claim.

Concerning Older Adults

Melatonin secretion decreases as an individual ages. These natural declines can possibly lead to poor sleep in elderly adults.

As with other age groups, the use of melatonin supplementation in elderly adults is yet being examined. Research indicates that melatonin supplementation can improve sleep inception and duration in older adults.

One literature review found some evidence for using low-dose melatonin for older people who are having trouble sleeping. However, more research is needed.

Melatonin may additionally assist individuals with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or Alzheimer’s disease.

Some studies have revealed that melatonin can possibly improve sleep quality, feelings of restlessness, and morning alertness in people diagnosed with these conditions. Research into this topic is continuing.

Even though melatonin is well medically tolerated in older adults, there are worries concerning increased daytime drowsiness. In addition, the consequences of melatonin may be lingering in older adults.

The most efficient dosage of melatonin for older adults has not been determined.

However, a recent recommendation recommends that a maximum of 1 to 2 mg be taken 1 hour before bedtime. It is additionally recommended that immediate-release tablets be used to prevent delayed levels of melatonin in the body.

Melatonin plays an important role in our overall health. Sleep is vital for our well-being, and melatonin is essential in initiating that process.

Questions, comments, and concerns are welcomed below.

Good health!!

 

 

 

 

 

What is Diabetes About?

Diabetes, also known as Diabetes mellitus is a disease that is increasing at an alarming rate. In the United States alone, according to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control), cases of diabetes have risen to an estimated 34.2 million. This was found on the National Diabetes Statistics Report for 2020. With numbers like these, one has to wonder, what is diabetes about? This article is all about diabetes.

 What is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a condition is initiated by the body’s lack of ability to create or
effectively use its insulin, which is produced by islet (specialized) cells found in the pancreas. Insulin is a hormone that assists to regulate blood sugar (glucose) levels that provide energy to the body’s cells and tissues. Its function is to open cells to receive sugar from the blood. Without insulin, the cells cannot open allowing sugar to remain in the blood, elevating blood sugar levels. Additionally, without insulin the cells of the body would be starved, causing dehydration and destruction of body tissues.

Since the cells in the pancreas have been damaged in this instance, insufficient amounts or no insulin is produced causing sugar to build up in the blood.

The body needs sugar, but the sugar should not be in the blood but in cells to combine with oxygen to produce the energy that is required by the body.

Types of Diabetes

There are some different types of diabetes:

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease. It occurs when the immune system strikes and destroys cells in the pancreas, which is where insulin is produced. It is uncertain as to what is the cause of this attack. About 10% of individuals with diabetes have this type.

Type 2 diabetes happens when the body becomes opposed to insulin. The body produces enough insulin but the body seems resistant to it. This leads to a sugar build-up in the blood. This is the most common type of diabetes.

Prediabetes is a condition that happens when the blood sugar is elevated or higher than normal, but it is not high enough for a full diagnosis of type 2 diabetes.

Gestational diabetes occurs when there is high blood sugar during pregnancy. Insulin-blocking hormones formed by the placenta are the cause of this type of diabetes. In addition to the placenta hormone, the stress hormone cortisol can stop insulin from working.

What is the Cause of Diabetes

Several causes are linked with each type of diabetes.

Type 1  – Health care professionals do not know precisely what causes type 1 diabetes. For some basis, the immune system erroneously damages and eliminates insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas.

Genes can contribute a role in some individuals. An individual is more likely to get type 1 diabetes if he or she is a child or teenager, they have a parent or sibling with the condition, or they carry certain genes that are linked to the disease.

It is additionally probable that a virus engages the immune system to attack.

Type 2 – Type 2 diabetes results from a combination of genetics and behavior factors. To be overweight or obese increases the risk also. Possessing extra weight, especially in the abdominal area, causes the cells to be more resistant to the effects of insulin on blood sugar.

This type can run in families. Family members share the genes that make them more prone to get type 2 diabetes and to be overweight (more on this to follow).

An individual’s risk for type 2 diabetes increases if he or she:

  • is age 45 or older
  • are overweight
  • are not physically active
  • have a parent or sibling with the diabetes
  • have  an African American, Hispanic or Latino American, Alaska Native, Pacific Islander, American Indian, or Asian American ancestry
  • have had gestational diabetes in the past
  • have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or high triglycerides
  • have prediabetes

Gestational diabetes – Gestational diabetes is the consequence of hormonal changes throughout pregnancy. The placenta creates hormones that cause an expectant female’s cells to be less sensitive to the effects of insulin. This may cause high blood sugar during pregnancy.

Individuals risk for gestational diabetes increases if they:

  • are overweight
  • are over age 25
  • had gestational diabetes during a past pregnancy
  • have a family record of type 2 diabetes
  • have polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)

Women who increase their weight too much during pregnancy are more likely to acquire gestational diabetes.What is Diabetes about - GestationalDiabetes

Women who acquire gestational diabetes during pregnancy are at higher risk for acquiring type 2 diabetes later on in life. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), women that give birth to a baby that weighs in excess of nine-pounds are additionally at greater risk.

Both genes and environmental components contribute a role in activating diabetes.

We often focus on sugar as the cause but sugar is not the only issue. When individuals consume carbohydrates such as potatoes, pasta, donuts, and bananas, they are broken down by enzymes into glucose (sugar). From there it enters the bloodstream and the pancreas produces insulin, which opens the cells that allow the glucose to enter the cells.

Genes and Family History – Genetics play a role in determining how likely an individual will develop some type of diabetes. Researchers do not completely understand the contribution of genetics regarding the development of diabetes. According to the American Diabetes Association, statistics show that if an individual has a parent or sibling with diabetes, the odds of he or she developing themselves increases.

Although research is not irrefutable, a number of ethnic groups seem to have a higher rate of diabetes. This is true for:

  • African-Americans
  • Asians
  • Hispanic Americans
  • Native Americans
  • Pacific Islanders

Genetic conditions like cystic fibrosis and hemochromatosis can both damage the pancreas paving the way to a higher probability of developing diabetes.

Monogenic forms of diabetes are the result of single-gene mutations. Monogenic forms of diabetes are rare as they account for only 1 to 5% of all cases of diabetes discovered in young individuals.

An individual’s family, preexisting medical conditions, and environment can all affect the odds of developing diabetes.

Complications of Diabetes

High blood sugar affects the entire human body as it damages organs and

What is Diabetes About - Diabetes Complications
Uncontrolled diabetes has devastating consequences. These are only a few.

tissues throughout. The higher the blood sugar is and the longer it exists, the greater the risk for complications.

Complications associated with diabetes include:

  • Heart disease, heart attack, and stroke
  • Neuropathy
  • Vision loss retinopathy and
  • Hearing loss
  • Damage to feet such as infections and sores that won’t heal
  • Skin conditions like bacterial and fungal infections
  • Depression
  • Dementia

Additionally, unrestrained gestational diabetes can lead to problems that affect both the mother and the fetus. Complications affecting the fetus can include:

  • Premature birth
  • Higher than normal birth weight
  • Low blood sugar
  • Jaundice
  • stillbirth

The mother can also develop complications such as high blood pressure (preeclampsia) or type 2 diabetes. The mother may also require a C-section also known as a cesarean delivery.

The mother’s risk of gestational diabetes in future pregnancies additionally increases.

Diabetes can progress to serious medical complications, but the condition can be managed with medications and lifestyle changes. The most common diabetes complications can be managed with the helpful tips that follow.

Symptoms of Diabetes

  • Increased thirst—due to the excess of sugar in the blood, the body releases water from the cells to dilute it. This causes dehydration of the cells causing the body to desire increased water.
  • Frequent urination—due to the excess sugar, the body attempts to rid itself What is Diabetes About - Diabetes Symptomsof the sugar through urination. This causes an individual to become more dehydrated resulting in even more thirst.
  • Hunger—since the cells are not receiving the sugar they need to make energy, they signal for food to obtain the energy they need.
  • Fatigue—the body does not have the energy it needs because of the malfunctioning cells.
  • Blurred vision—this is the result of damage to the arteries at the back of the eyes. It is not necessarily permanent.

In some cases, there may be no symptoms (especially pre-diabetes and gestational diabetes).

Treatments of Diabetes

What is Diabetes about - Diabetes Treatment
Diabetes Treatments

Physicians treat diabetes with a small number of various medications. Some are taken by mouth, others are available as injections.

Type 1 diabetes – Insulin is the central treatment for type 1 diabetes. It replaces the hormone that the body is not able to produce.

Four types of insulin are most commonly used. They are distinguished by how rapidly they begin to work, and how long their effects last:

  • – Rapid-acting insulin begins to work inside15 minutes and its results last for 3 to 4 hours.
  • – Short-acting insulin begins to work inside 30 minutes and lasts 6 to 8 hours.
  • – Intermediate-acting insulin starts to work inside 1 to 2 hours and lasts 12 to 18 hours.
  • – Long-acting insulin begins to work several hours after injection and lasts 24 hours or longer.

Type 2 Diabetes – Diet and exercise can assist some individuals to manage their type 2 diabetes. If lifestyle changes are not enough to lower their blood sugar, they will need to take medication.

Gestational diabetes – An individual with this condition will need to monitor their blood level several times a day during the pregnancy. If it is high, nutritional changes and exercise may or may not be sufficient enough to bring it down.

According to the Mayo Clinic, approximately 10 to 20% of females with gestational diabetes will require insulin to decrease their blood sugar levels. Additionally, insulin is safe for the growing fetus.

The drug or combination of drugs that a physician orders will depend greatly on the type of diabetes an individual has as well as its cause.

Controlling Diabetes

  • Lifestyle changes—obedience to the laws of health
  • Nutrition: High fiber diet, low glycaemic index carbs. [Baked potato instead of mashed, whole-wheat pasta instead of white, refined sugars] constant eating of highly glycaemic foods that dump large amounts of sugar into the blood will eventually lead to damage of the pancreas causing type 2 diabetes.
  •  Limit/avoid:
  • All animal products (milk, meat, including chicken & fish) because they do not contain any fiber. Animal milk contains sugar and causes diabetes in young people.
  • Junk, fatty, fried, and processed foods, caffeine, soft drinks, alcohol, tea, milk.
  • Mixing fruits and vegetables
  • Eating in between meals (snacking)
  • Overeating
  • Sodium Chloride (white table salt)
  • Eating and drinking at the same time (drink 30 min before & 2 hrs. after meals).
  • Eat plenty of:
    What is Diabetes about - Controlling Diabetes
    Controlling Diabetes
    • Raw fruits and vegetables
    • Add seeds to meals (whole or grounded)
    • Chia seeds, flaxseed, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds
    • Use genuine sea salt or pink Himalayan salt
    • Use Tumeric, ginger, and garlic in food liberally
    • Blend/juice the green vegetables for the phytochemicals
    • Green smoothie blend—spinach, cucumber, green apple, water.
    • Ensure meals have something raw (>51%).
    • A great thing to do with high blood sugar is to have a big bowl of green salad with some seeds.
    • Whole grains
    • Quinoa
    • Oats
    • Sorghum

      What is Diabetes About - Medix Select Glucose Reduce Ingredients
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    • Millet
    • Barley
    • Brown/Red Rice
    • Yellow Maize
    • Whole Wheat Pasta/Couscous
    • Herbs
    • Fenugreek
    • Psyllium husk (fiber)
    • Aloe Vera
    • Ginger
    • Turmeric
    • Ginseng
    • Okra (lady Fingers)
    • Ashwagandha (lowers the stress hormone—cortisol)
    • Milk thistle (supports liver function).
    • Exercise: makes cells more sensitive to insulin
    • Water: dilutes blood sugar levels and prevents dehydration
    • Sunlight: improves the function of beta cells of the pancreas—the cells that produce insulin.
    • Temperance: avoid food and drinks that are predisposing to a diabetic state—sodas, juices, donuts, white rice, and other refined sugars. Quinoa is the best grain
    • Air: reduced oxygen levels increase insulin resistance—use snake plants indoors.
    • Rest: lack of sleep results in unbalanced body hormones, causing high cortisol and low insulin. Shift work is a concern. Cortisol is supposed to be released 6 am-6 pm; 6 pm-6 am melatonin is to be released. However, during shift work, cortisol is needed to keep on alert and working. If there is stress at work, it is double jeopardy. It is best to be in bed by 10 pm.
    • Control stress: stress releases cortisol, which suppresses insulin secretion. We must let go instead of harboring bitterness. Forgiveness not only helps relationships but our health as well.
    • Supplements—supplements are for adding to our efforts and to support our bodies in what they are deficient in.
    • Supplements include:
    • Chromium
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    • Alpha-lipoic acid
    • Vitamin b1
    • Cinnamon
    • Magnesium
    • Probiotics
    • Coenzyme Q10
    • Vitamin D
    • Zinc
    • Vitamin C
    • Other Therapies
    • Fasting once a week—raw vegetables twice a day
    • Walking daily or muscle-strengthening exercises
    • Sunbathing—20 min.
    • Hydrotherapy [2 cups of Epsom Salt in warm water—soak for 20 min.

Diabetes, if not controlled can be a terrible condition with devastating consequences. For prevention, it is best to follow the laws of health listed above.

The rule to follow: prevention is better than cure!

Please feel free to leave any questions, comments, or concerns below.

Good health!!

All about Human Cells

We hear so much about cells. Namely, red blood cells, white blood cells, healing on the cellular level, etc. However, what exactly are cells, and what do they do? This article is all about human cells.

What are Human Cells?

Cells are the essential building blocks of all breathing things. To use an example, cells are to the body as bricks are to a house—without the bricks, there will be no house.

Cells are the smallest structures with the ability to maintain life, reproduce, and create all living things, from single-celled plants to multibillion-celled animals. The human body, which is comprised of numerous cells, begins as a single (1), recently fertilized cell. We all began as just one single cell!

The human body contains trillions of cells. They provide formation for the body, perform specialized functions, absorb nutrients from food, and transfer those nutrients into energy. Cells also comprise the body’s hereditary matter and have the ability to make copies of themselves.

Practically all human cells can only be seen through a microscope. To give an example of how small a cell is, one average-sized adult body, according to one estimate, contains one hundred trillion cells!

Cells consist of many parts, each one with a different function. Some of these parts, known as organelles, are dedicated structures that perform selected tasks within the cell. An organelle in a cell is equivalent to an organ in the human body.

The Anatomy of Human Cells

Human cells contain the following major parts:

Cell membrane – All cells in the body are surrounded by a cell covering known as the cell membrane. The cell membrane divides the material outside the cell (extracellular), from the material inside the cell (intracellular). It sustains the stability of a cell and manages the flow of materials into and out of the cell. All materials inside a cell must have admission to the cell membrane (the cell’s boundary) for the required exchange of materials.

The cell membrane is made up of two (2) layers of phospholipid molecules. Proteins in the cell membrane supply structural support, form channels for the passage of materials, act as receptor locations, perform as carrier molecules, and supply identification indicators. Each organelle carries out different tasks to keep the cell alive and healthy.

Nucleus and Nucleolus – The nucleus compares to the brain of a cell. It controls all actions that the cell undertakes. The nucleus, formed by a nuclear membrane is the control center of the cell. It also contains DNA (Deoxyribonucleic acid), the genetic material of the cell. DNA is the genetic design for the cell that includes all of the necessary information for cells to live, grow, reproduce, and die. This is what contributes to the nucleus’s absolute control of a cell.

The nucleolus is a coagulated region in the nucleus that contains RNA (Ribonucleic acid) and is the location of protein formation. The nucleus establishes how the cell will perform, in addition to the basic structure of that cell.

Cytoplasm – Cytoplasm is contained within the contents of the cell membrane. It is made up of a jelly-like fluid and other formations that encase the nucleus. It completely fills the cell membrane and accommodates the cytosol with ions, proteins, filaments, and macromolecular structures, and as well as other organelles suspended in the cytosol.

Cytosol – The cytosol is a semi-fluid material that fills the interior of the cell and implants the other organelles and subcellular compartments not including the contents within the organelles. The cytosol itself is surrounded by the cell membrane and the membranes of different organelles, therefore making up a separate cellular compartment.

A sizeable part of cell metabolism takes place here. However, the cytosol does not have a single function but instead is the location of multiple cellular processes. Examples of these processes include signal transduction from the cell membrane to sites within the cell, such as the cell nucleus, or the organelles.

Cytoplasmic organelles – Cytoplasmic organelles are tiny organs that are floating in the cytoplasm of the cell. An organelle is a minute formation in a cell that is enclosed by a membrane and has a definite function. Examples of organelles are the nucleus (mentioned earlier), mitochondria (structures that make energy for the cell), and lysosomes (sac-like containers filled with enzymes that digest and help recycle molecules in the cell). The nucleus is the most important organelle.

Each kind of organelle has a specific structure and a definite task in the function of the cell.

Cytoskeleton – The cytoskeleton is a system of long fibers that make up the cell’s formation framework. The cytoskeleton has numerous crucial tasks, including formulating cell shape, taking part in cell division, and allowing cells to move about. It additionally supplies a pathway system that manages the movement of organelles and other substances within the cells.

All about Human Cells - Cell Organelles
Cell Organelles

Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) – This organelle aids the process molecules created by the cell. The endoplasmic reticulum additionally transports these molecules to their precise targets either inside or outside the cell.

Golgi apparatus – The Golgi apparatus puts together molecules handled by the endoplasmic reticulum to be moved out of the cell.

Lysosomes and peroxisomes – These organelles are the recycling hub of the cell. They absorb foreign bacteria that attack the cell, clear the cell of contaminated substances, and recycle worn-out cell machinery.

Mitochondria – Mitochondria are intricate organelles that transfer energy from food into a form that the cell can use. They have their special genetic material, separate from the DNA in the nucleus, and can make duplicates of themselves.

Ribosomes – Ribosomes are organelles that administer the cell’s genetic commands to produce proteins. These organelles can drift freely in the cytoplasm or be linked to the endoplasmic reticulum (mentioned above).

How do Cells Function?

How do cells function? The cell has adequate genetic material to produce roughly one hundred thousand (100,000) different proteins, each with a different role. These are powerful little elements!

How does a cell know when to create a protein and what quantity of it to produce? This is determined by a process called gene expression. Certain genes are expressed (which means the code is read and used to make a protein) based on signals from the interior or exterior of the cell.

For instance, when a cell becomes too large, specific signals are created to instruct the nucleus to produce proteins required for cell division. Consequently, the nucleus then expresses those particular genes. In this way, cells manage themselves and each other, preserving balance and order in the body.

Cells normally receive signals in chemical form by the way of a variety of signaling molecules. When a signaling molecule connects with a proper receptor on a cell surface, this binding activates s a chain of events that not only carries the signal to the cell interior but also intensifies it additionally.

All about Human Cells - How do cells Function
Cells Functioning

These chemical signals, that are proteins or other molecules formed by a sending cell, are regularly secreted from the cell and discharged into the extracellular space. There, they can float sort of like messages in a bottle over to local neighboring cells.

Although cell-cell signaling involves the transmission of a signal from a sending cell to a receiving cell, not all sending and receiving cells are next-door neighbors, neither do all cell pairs exchange signals in the same way.

For this reason, there are four (4) fundamental groups of chemical signaling established in multicellular organisms: paracrine signaling, autocrine signaling, endocrine signaling, and signaling by direct contact. The major difference between the various groups of signaling is the distance that the signal travels through the organism to reach the target cell.

The Malfunctioning of Cells

All about Human Cells - Cells Malfunction
Cell Malfunction

Unfortunately, cells do malfunction on occasion. This occurs when one or more of the organelles of a cell are damaged causing injury to the cell.

Scientifically, cell injury can transpire because of the following factors:

  • Excessive or overly extended normal stimuli
  • The action of toxins and other adverse manipulates that could inhibit the vital cell functions
  • Insufficiency of oxygen and/or crucial nutrients and metabolites
  • Excessive free radicals

Some fundamental points regarding cell Injury:

  1. Cell injury may be reversible or irreversible.
  2. Hypoxia (insufficient oxygen) is the most central cause of cell injury
  3. Irreparable cell injury can be identified by changes in the shape of the nucleus and rupture of the cell membrane.

Cell injury leads to cell malfunction, which leads to disease. Death caused by disease is labeled death by natural causes.

There are four (4) major categories of disease: deficiency diseases, infectious diseases, physiological diseases (including both non-genetic hereditary diseases and genetic diseases), and hereditary diseases.

Deficiency Diseases – Deficiency diseases are diseases that are initiated by the lack of specific crucial nutrients, particularly vitamins and minerals, in an individual’s diet over an extended period.

Infectious diseases – Infectious diseases are diseases caused by organisms such as viruses, bacteria, parasites, or fungi. Numerous organisms live in as well as on our bodies. They are normally harmless or even helpful in some cases. However, under specific conditions, some organisms can cause disease. Various infectious diseases can be passed from individual to individual.

Infectious diseases may be caused by:

  • Bacteria. These one-cell life forms are to blame for illnesses such as strep throat, urinary tract infections, and tuberculosis.
  • Viruses. Even tinier than bacteria, viruses set off a large number of diseases varying from the common cold to AIDS.
  • Parasites. An organism that exists on or in a host organism and gets its food supply from or at the expense of its host. There are three (3) major classes of parasites that can cause disease in humans: helminths, protozoa, and ectoparasites.
  • Fungi. Any member of a group of spore-producing organisms that noshes on organic matter, together with molds, yeast, mushrooms, and toadstools.

Physiological diseases – physiological diseases are also known as a physiological disorder is an illness that intervenes with the way that the tasks of the body are carried out. Examples are Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Diabetes, leukemia, coronary heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, or any form of cancer.

Hereditary disease – A hereditary disease is frequently described as something that is “passed down through the family.” That is because it is passed down from one or both parents to a child, who may, in turn, pass it to his or her children. Since hereditary diseases are produced by genetic mutations, one may see the terms “hereditary” and “genetic” used interchangeably when communicating about an inherited disease. However, while a genetic disease is also the result of a gene mutation, it might or might not be hereditary. These mutations arise either arbitrarily or due to an environmental factor. They are not inherited from parent to child, as it is with a hereditary disease.

How to Maintain Healthy Human CellsAll about Human - Healthly Cells

For cells to function perfectly, they must have certain things in sufficient amounts and they need to make sure that there is not any toxic material that is building up.

Our bodies are constantly producing toxins: carbon dioxide, lactic acid but it has mechanisms to get rid of these toxic materials.

There must be an environment of sufficiency and non-toxicity. We achieve this through the windows of health:

  •  Nutrition
  •  Exercise
  •  Water
  •  Sunshine
  • Temperance—exercise doing the good things in moderation and avoiding that which is harmful.
  • Air
  • Rest

Since cells are the engines that build and keep the body operating efficiently, it behooves us to do what it takes to keep them in optimal condition.

Questions, comments, and concerns may be left below.

Good Health!!

 

 

 

The Dental Fistula

Recently, we published an article on this website entitled, All about Dental Care that focused on the importance of dental care. With this article, we address a specific dental issue, the dental fistula.

What is the Dental Fistula

Bacteria can contaminate and infect different regions of the teeth or gums, causing the area to fill with secretion (a.k.a. pus) and create what is known as an abscess. If the secretion from a contaminated area has nowhere else to go, it will occasionally form a new pathway to the tooth or gum surface. This new canal for the secretion to drain is called a dental fistula.

What Causes the Dental Fistula?

Fistulas take place when the discharge from an abscess produces pressure and is unable to drain properly. But what causes the infection to lead to an abscess in the first place?

The most common causes of an abscess at the root of a tooth are:

  • Improper dental hygiene
  • A former dental treatment (including after a root canal)
  • Injury

Notice that improper dental hygiene is at the top of the list. Therefore, an individual is more likely to cultivate an abscessed tooth and a resulting fistula if there is an improper dental routine, as well as a diet that is high in sugar or suffers from a dry mouth.

What are the Symptoms of a Dental Fistula

It is important to note that a fistula alone may not be painful, or the pain from the abscessed area may come and go. Regardless of the discomfort level, it is recommended to schedule a visit with a dentist or dental hygienist. They are the best at identifying infection and offering the best treatment that is needed.

The symptoms of a dental fistula can include:

  • The appearance of a small bump on the gums (otherwise known as a gum boil). It may vary by appearing and disappearing, which is an indication that infection does exist and the body is using the fistula to drain it. So it is best not to ignore the bump!
  • A discharge of secretion into the mouth, occasionally with an unpleasant bitter taste

The symptoms from an abscessed tooth will probably be easier to identify. These can include:

  • Inflamed lymph nodes in the neck or jaw area
  • Fever
  • Painful toothache that pulsates or radiates to the ear or neck
  • Swelling
  • Tooth sensitivity

In the event difficulty breathing or swallowing is experienced, it is crucial to seek immediate medical attention or dial 911.

How to Treat the Dental Fistula

Whether or not an abscess has a fistula, it is imperative
to seek treatment as soon as possible. Once an infection has advanced to this level, it will not heal on its own and need professional treatment. Untreated infections may spread, worsen, and lead to serious and potentially life-threatening complications. Without care, the infection can proceed to the jawbone and affect other parts of the body.

For the reason that abscesses cause dental fistulas, there is not much an individual can do to treat them directly on their own. Treatment for a fistula will include getting to the bottom of the fundamental cause of the abscess and infection.

According to science, remedy for a tooth abscess can include:

  • A root canal or extraction of the distressed tooth
  • Draining the secretion from the area of infection
  • An antibiotic prescription to treat the underlying infection

There are some steps an individual can take to decrease the discomfort or pain while waiting to see a dental professional. Bear in mind that these steps do not treat the underlying cause of these symptoms, and treatment is still required.

  • Apply a cold compress to the area of the cheek nearest to the painful area
  • Continue the normal oral care routine gently as not to further irritate vulnerable areas
  • Take over-the-counter pain medications(Tylenol, Motrin, etc.) as prescribed or instructed on the packaging
  • Flush or rinse with warm (but not hot) saltwater

Even though bacterial infections are the cause of tooth abscesses and dental fistulas, don’t take antibiotics without a prescription. Dental professionals will not prescribe these medications all of the time, as they are not always necessary nor the best option for every situation.

If Left Untreated

We frequently underestimate a small scratch; however, we should never do the same when it comes to toothache and tooth root infections. When experiencing a throbbing toothache, we should never hesitate to see a dentist, particularly if the gums are already swelling.

Bone Infection – The first target of bacteria is the bones surrounding the infected tooth, including the jawbone. Bone infection or osteomyelitis is the inflammation of the bone marrow or the bone because of the bacterial infection that ran through the bloodstream.

Severe cases of osteomyelitis are extremely painful and damage the bone structure. The worst case is when the bacteria win over the body and becomes life-threatening. The treatment consists of a string of antibiotics and antifungal medications that can last from four to six weeks.

Infection of blood vessels in the sinuses – Cavernous Sinus Thrombosis is the inflammation and infection of the blood vessels in the sinuses that result in a blood clot at the base of the brain. It is a rare and grave disorder where the infection from the eyes, nose, ears, or teeth travels through the veins around the face and causes more facial disorders.

It is extremely dangerous and should be treated without delay upon identification. The most favorable way to remedy this disorder is to identify the origin of the infection through a sequence of tests and drain the disease-causing bacteria.

Skin and fat infection (Cellulitis) – Cellulitis is the inflammation and infection of the inner layer of the skin next to fat. Cellulitis can surface in the face, breast, or anus. For facial cellulitis, there will be redness around the cheeks, nose, and eyes. It is painful and may lead to sepsis, which is a life-threatening condition (more to follow).

Cellulitis occurs when the bacteria from a tooth root infection travels through the veins on the skin and spreads the bacterial infection to the area. Mild cases of cellulitis will take up to two weeks of oral antibiotics, and severe cases can finish up with longer antibiotic treatments.

Parapharyngeal abscess – Parapharyngeal abscess is an infection that establishes itself at the deep part of the neck near the hyoid bone or the bone near the Adam’s apple. Swelling of the infected part can obstruct the airway and cause a patient to have breathing difficulties.

Signs of a Parapharyngeal abscess consist of a sore throat, fever, and puffiness of the neck. It is diagnosed by way of a CT scan and taken care of surgically to drain the abscess in the throat. If left undetected, the abscess can travel down to the carotid artery and becomes even more life-threatening.

Sepsis or blood infection – Last but certainly far from least, the most lethal consequence of untreated tooth root infection
is sepsis. It occurs when the bacterial infection has spread through the entire bloodstream, and the immune system triggers a system-wide inflammation that can rupture the organs and block arteries.

When there is not enough blood flow through the body, blood pressure will drop, and the kidneys, lungs, and liver will fail due to septic shock. Nearly all of the medical conditions related to the spread of bacteria in the blood can lead to sepsis.

As you can see, one infected tooth can have severe consequences. Therefore, tooth root infection can be a deadly condition and should never be taken lightly.

How to Prevent the Dental Fistula

The fact is that there is no mysterious solution for avoiding infection or the abscesses and fistulas that can occur from it. The best solution is to practice proper dental hygiene and sustain a healthy diet as part of a routine to prevent tooth decay and the resulting abscesses.

Abscessed teeth can be prevented by:

  • Brushing the teeth for two (2) minutes twice a day and using a flossing device once daily
  • By using a fluoridated toothpaste, mouthwash, or water (nearly all tap water has fluoride!)
  • Rinse with an antiseptic mouthwash such as Listerine
    [affiliate link] daily.
  • Maintaining a healthy diet that limits overly acidic or sugary foods [Sugar  adheres to the teeth and forms acid that damages tooth enamel]
  • Using sugar-free gum or ingesting dairy products to aid the promotion of saliva
  • Maintain a regular schedule with a dental professional (at least once a year).

If an individual should have a dental fistula or abscess, it is recommended that a dental appointment be made as soon as possible to treat the underlying issue. While it may be stressful to visit a dental professional, however, it will be a great choice for good health.

Maintaining good dental health cannot be stressed enough for overall good health as well as the prevention of more serious consequences.

Questions, comments, and concerns are welcomed below.

Good Health!!

 

 

 

Cresceo the Brain Supplement

One of the most common medical complaints today is memory difficulties. Depending on the degree of the issue, the cause can be anything from a serious medical condition to a diet deficiency. This article focuses on the latter. Supplementing our diets with a memory supplement may be the avenue to keep our memories sharp. Cresceo the brain supplement is one such supplement.

What is Cresceo?

Cresceo The Brain Supplement
Cresceo the premier brain supplement!

Cresceo is an all-natural supplement that is scientifically developed with hand-picked crucial nutrients. This natural stimulant demonstrates promise in improving cognitive performance.

Cresceo was created by the certified neurosurgeon Dr. Russel Blaylock and is manufactured by an American company named Medix Select. It is a powerful combination of four clinically proven ingredients that are essential to brain health. These naturally resulting components reportedly help in optimizing general brain health, easing age-related mental deterioration, and enhancing cognition performance. This dietary supplement is available in capsule form and is sold in bottles with quantities to serve for 1 to 3 months.

Dr. Russell Blaylock, M.D. in addition to being a neurosurgeon he is an author who authors a regular newsletter named The Blaylock Wellness Report. He has written four books, which include Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills, Health and Nutrition Secrets That Can Save Your Life, Natural Strategies for Cancer Patients, and Cellular and Molecular Biology of Autism Spectrum Disorders.

Currently, he is part of the Medix Select four-member Medical Advisory Board. Before joining the board and initiating his nutritional science studies, he performed neurosurgery for 26 years.

Medix Select produces and promotes high-quality dietary supplements, vitamins, and health products that support complete wellness and optimized function of the human body.

Medix Select, a division of Medix Health LLC. and was formed in direct response to the necessity for high-quality dietary supplements that focus on certain conditions and ailments. For example, there are supplements specifically for the eyes, thyroid, joints, heart, blood pressure, cholesterol, etc. The Company accomplishes these solutions by focusing on creating premium formulas with select ingredients.

These quality products and formulas are explicitly designed for the highest potency, safety, and efficacy. This is accomplished because:

  • All of the formulas are personally created by doctors, medical researchers, or scientists, causing these formulations to be the most advanced nutraceutical supplements available today.
  • Their state-of-the-art laboratories with highly qualified staff Ph.D. scientists put forward the most advanced technology available today.
  •  Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) certified facility outfitted with the most up-to-date technological advances, strictly conform to highest measures of GMP standards today, with full FDA-cGMP certification.

Additionally, I am using other Medix Select products and they all have been very effective. To sum up, their stuff works!

What are the Ingredients in Cresceo?

Medix Select asserts that Cresceo is a superb blend of natural ingredients that have been clinically studied for effectiveness and safety. There is assuring evidence that is based on several positive customer reviews that Cresceo can be effective in improving cognitive functions, increasing retention rates, and reducing age-related memory loss. The ingredients are as follows.

Gingko Biloba – having beem used in Asian medicines for centuries, this herb is flaunted for its brain-boosting resources. Gingko Biloba is believed to assist with cerebral insufficiencies by escalating the circulation of blood and oxygen to the brain. Additionally, studies have shown that the herb can enhance general brain capacity, minimize depression, and possibly control an assortment of neurodegenerative diseases such as schizophrenia and dementia. The amount of 300mg of Ginkgo Biloba contained in each capsule has been shown to increase circulation in the brain while sustaining cells in the hippocampus, which is where new memories are produced.

Ginkgo Biloba additionally aids in the enhancement of energy formation by

Cresceo The brain Supplement
All natural ingredients!

brain cell mitochondria, which is essential for memory and for aiding with the protection against excitotoxicity. As individuals age, a certain enzyme called MAO-B increases in the brain and adds to age-related cognitive impairment. Ginkgo helps inhibit MAO-B.

Although ginkgo extract has been widely examined, the machinery by which it aids in cognitive function is indecisive. Some researchers believe ginkgo is effective because it increases blood circulation, while others observe that it helps support the synapses in the brain which is the point at which a nervous impulse passes from one neuron to another.

In an arbitrary, double-blind, placebo-controlled study published in3.0.CO;2-C”> Phytotherapy Research,
thirty-one (31) volunteers ages 30 to 59 took 120 to 300 mg Ginkgo Biloba extract for two (2) days. The researchers reported enhancement in working memory, with the best results in 50 to 59-year-old individuals.

In another double-blinded, placebo-controlled study, reported in Psychopharmacology, one group of test participants were given 120 to 360 mg of Ginkgo Biloba and then measured their attention span after six hours compared with another group that received the placebo. As indicated by the report in Psychopharmacology, the researchers concluded that significant administration of Ginkgo Biloba could produce a sustained improvement in attention in healthy young volunteers.

Huperzine A – This is an extract resulting from a plant named Chinese club moss that is established in Southeast Asia and India. It is believed to be useful for issues such as cognitive function, mental decline, weakening memory, and having an effect on the levels of neurotransmitters in the brain.

Huperzine A acts as a cholinesterase inhibitor, which means that it reduces a chemical that would typically lessen choline levels in the brain. This can result in better memory and test performance.

In a double-blind study printed in Acta Pharmacological Sinica, 34 pairs of junior middle school students expressing issues with memory inadequacy were divided into two (2) groups. One group took 50 micrograms a day of Huperzine-A for four (4) weeks, whereas the control group obtained a placebo. After one month, the students that took Huperzine-A showed a 10.5% advancement in their “Memory Quotient,” which is a standard measure of memory, as opposed to the control group.

Bacopa Monnieri – Bacopa Monnieri (Brahmi) is a long-established Ayurvedic therapy that has proven advantageous for increasing cognitive function, memory, and lessening anxiety. Brahmi is an additional plant well-known for its potential to keep the mind sharp and the memory strong.

Findings point toward the antioxidants found in Brahmi that can assist in lessening the symptoms of Alzheimer’s by protecting the brain against neural oxidative stress (free radicals). For more information on oxidative stress and free radicals, please read the article, What are Free Radicals and why are they Bad, on this website.

Dr. Blaylock’s formula gives yields 300 mg of Brahmi daily. This is the most favorable dosage recommended by research.

Cresceo is reported to improve the speed of visual information processing while additionally boosting learning rate and memory. The makers of Cresceo refer to the results of a study when 67 adults received between 300 and 450mg of Brahmi a day. By the end of three months, Brahmi was shown to reduce the rate of forgetting newly acquired information (short-term memory).

Phosphatidylserine Isolate (PS) – Finally Yet Importantly, this is another main component in this brain and memory formula. This powerful nutrient is well-known for maintaining the brain cells in a healthy state, intact and performing most favorably. This chemical compound is believed to help restore receptors on brain cells, which helps neurotransmitters communicate more efficiently with one another.

For example, a study published in the journal Nutrition established that, for older individuals with moderate age-related cognitive impairment, phosphatidylserine has formed consistent modest increases in recall of word lists.

In another study, 157 patients chosen randomly received either PS or a placebo for fifteen (15) weeks. Verbal instantaneous recall in the PS group was appreciably improved. This result indicates that PS may assist in improving cognitive performance in non-demented elderly individuals with memory complaints.

Another study printed in Neurology followed one hundred forty-nine (149) patients taking either PS or a placebo for twelve (12) weeks. Individuals treated with PS improved their execution on tests related to learning and memory tasks of daily life. The researchers concluded that phosphatidylserine shows the potential of being a candidate for the treatment of memory loss later in life.

Credible research suggests PS can stem the progression of Alzheimer’s, boost memory, help with depression, and slow down the state of mental decline.

These four (4) ingredients work in concert to improve memory, learning, and cognition.

On top of the four (4) brain booster elements listed above, Cresceo includes a small number of other ingredients: Vegetable capsule ( Cellouse ethers), Leucine, Microchrystalline Cellouse, Silicone Dioxide, soy.

Where to buy Cresceo

Cresceo can be purchased online from the official MedixSelect.com website as follows:

— One Month Supply (30 Capsules): $39.95 plus shipping and handling
— Three Month Supply (90 Capsules): $89.88 plus shipping and handling
— Three Month Supply with Autoship Program: $79.92 plus free shipping – with autoship, a new supply is sent every three (3) months to avoid running out of supply. Autoship also yields the largest discount.

Cresceo The Brain Supplement
Get your supply today!

Cresceo can also be purchased from Amazon [affiliate link] as follows:

— One month supply (30 Capsules): $39.95 plus shipping and handling                                         — Three Month Supply (90 Capsules): $119.95 plus shipping and handling – Amazon does not offer autoship.

Medix select offers a 30-day money-back guarantee if not satisfied.

My Personal Experience

Positive

My experience with Cresceo is a positive one. I have used Cresceo for five years and in my personal experience, it does make a difference.

I was having an issue with recall. I found myself struggling to remember facts that I knew but just could not bring them out when I needed to. It was the only issue I was having but it was a cause for concern for me.

After taking Cresceo, I began to notice the difference and I can only wonder what it would have been like if I had not taken some action. My memory and recall are what I consider normal (at least for me). I am no scholar but I least I can remember and recall my name!

Negative

The only negative side of my experience with Cresceo is the amount of time it takes to notice the effects. For me, it began about a month and a half for me to notice the difference and it progresses gradually from there. In fact, the benefits still seem to be progressing after five years. In many cases, natural products do not work as fast as prescription-synthetic products but on the other hand, there is less of a concern for side effects.

I have not experienced any side effects from this supplement.

To be fair, about halfway through this five-year period, I stopped taking it and it took a couple of months for the effects of Cresceo to cease as well. I thought I was cured! However, after that observation, I immediately resumed my smartship plan with Medix.

Anyone who decides to try Cresceo should give it at least three months to see the benefits.

It is advisable before taking any supplement that a medical professional is consulted especially if an individual is taking medications for other conditions.

Any questions, comments, or concerns, can be left below.

Good Health!!

 

 

 

The Health Benefits of Lemon Water

One of the most beneficial substances for our bodies is water. Up to 60% of our body is water. However, what we add to our water can make it harmful or more beneficial for our bodies. One of the substances we can add to our water to benefit our bodies is lemon juice. Lemon Juice contains a host of benefits and the purpose of this article is to explain the health benefits of lemon water.

What are Lemons?

The origin of the lemon is basically unidentified, although lemons are believed to have first grown in Assam (a region in northeast India), northern Burma, or China. A genetic study of the lemon suggested that it was a crossbreed between bitter orange (sour orange) and citron.

The lemon’s origin is not exactly telling, but evidence has been well known of its value that goes back almost two thousand years. The lemon tree, which is a type of citrus plant, is grown in subtropical as well as tropical areas. The majority of lemons are grown in California, Florida, and Mediterranean countries that provide our food supply chains with fresh lemons all year.

The juice from lemons has a multitude of uses, from cooking to therapeutic. Lemons are used in beverages, desserts, as well as a garnish for fish and meat meals. Lemon juice is an organic cleaner and stain remover. Lemon oil also supplies the fragrance for soaps, perfumes, as well as skin creams.

However, we are going to take a look at lemon water and its health benefits.

What are the Health Benefits of Lemon Water

Lemon juice has been used medically for hundreds of years. Individuals have used lemon juice for virus avoidance and have combined it with ginger and honey as an effective cold treatment. Antiseptic compounds in lemons can alleviate mouth infections such as gingivitis and perform as a laxative in the digestive system.

Lemon juice is a first-rate reserve of Vitamin C. Research has shown that Vitamin C is a crucial nutrient in evading multiple diseases known to us today.

Vitamin C is crucial in the formation of bone, connective tissue repair, and gum health. It also supports the immune system by fighting infections and protecting against free radical damage of cells. Researchers have established that vitamin C treatment assists in the prevention of atherosclerosis by intensifying artery walls, and is effective in treating infertility and neurological ailments like Alzheimer’s.

A single tablespoon of lemon juice has:

    • Calories: 3
    • Carbohydrates: 1 gram
    • Fat: 0 grams
    • Fiber: 0 grams
    • Protein: 0 grams
  • Sugar: 0 grams

Antibacterial Effects – Lemon juice contains antibacterial and antifungal properties. The plant compounds in lemon juice distillate successfully subdued the growth of staphylococcus, salmonella, and Candida infections in one study. It was also useful against one particular antibiotic-resistant bacteria which causes pneumonia and blood infections.

Lowers Blood Pressure – Japanese researchers observed a possible relationship between lemon juice consumption and blood pressure. They discovered a contrary relationship, indicating that the more lemon juice a test individual ingested, the lower their blood pressure. However, more research is required to determine why lemon juice composites may lower blood pressure.

Cancer Prevention – Lemon juice is a significant resource of flavonoids that aid in the protection against cancer. These flavonoids have antioxidant properties and intervene with cancer development and spread. In one study, lemon juice was especially efficient in inhibiting the progression of leukemia cells in particular.

Aids in Digestion – Acid aids in breaking down food. This is why there is an abundance of it in the stomach. The acid contained in lemons may be particularly helpful in increasing stomach acid levels, which are likely to decline as we get older.

Helps with Hydration – The majority of individuals do not consume enough water. Initiating a daily lemon water habit is an easy way to get the day off on the right start. We can tell if we are drinking enough if our urine is practically clear but not totally.

Prevents Oxidation – As with all produce, lemons contain phytonutrients that protect the body against disease. These phytonutrients have potent antioxidant properties, which inhibit cell damage from oxidation; this is the same method that produces rust.

What are the Helath Benefits of Lemon Water? - Lemon Water Benefits
Lemon Water has numerous Benefits

Provides a Potassium Increase – The body cannot operate without potassium. It is required for transporting nutrients and waste, nerve-muscle communication, as well as blood pressure regulation. All Fruits and vegetables are important sources of potassium.

Aids in Preventing Kidney Stones – Lemon water aids in preventing painful stones in individuals who are deficient in urinary citrate (which is a form of citric acid). More significantly, increased fluids prevent dehydration that is a common cause of kidney stones.

It can help liver function – An additional benefit of lemon water is it helps the liver to do an even better job being the body’s filter. Increasing overall hydration can aid in improving the function of all organs in the body, including the liver. Additionally, animal studies have discovered that the citrus flavonoids in lemons may shield the liver against toxins and decrease fat in the liver, protecting against fatty liver disease. The liver is the body’s natural apparatus for cleansing out toxins. Claims of “detoxification” from lemon juice are not exactly proven; however, assisting the liver to work better could benefit the body.

It can promote healthy skin – Lemon water is also an accepted remedy for a variety of skin issues ranging from acne, rashes, and wrinkles to dark spots.

Possible Risks of Lemon Juice

The Benefits of Lemon Water - Lemon Water Side Effects
Too much lemon water can cause side effects

Even with all the benefits lemon juice offers, there can be some adverse effects. Since lemon juice has such strong ingredients, an individual should consult with their doctor before ingesting it or any other supplement. Therefore, the items below should be considered before consuming lemon juice:

Citrus Allergies – For individuals who are allergic to grass pollen or other citrus fruits such as grapefruit, limes, or oranges, may also be allergic to lemons. The most usual reactions are burning, itching, or swelling of the throat and mouth. Some individuals can experience gastrointestinal distress or headaches.

Can Possibly Erode Dental Enamel – There have been instances of dental erosion in individuals who consume lemon juice in large amounts. The natural acids contained in lemon juice can wear away dental enamel if ingested too frequently.

May Cause Migraines – Lemon juice is high in tyramine, an amino acid that helps regulate blood pressure. If an individual is sensitive to tyramine, drinking lemon juice can trigger migraine headaches.

Because of these effects, it is best for lemon juice to be diluted with water to mitigate them; hence lemon water.

 How to Enjoy Lemon Water

The Health Benefits of Lemon Water - How to Enjoy Lemon Water
A glass first thing in the morning is best!

Simply press the juice from half of a lemon into a glass of water. How much? When?

Lemon water is generally most valuable if ingested first thing in the morning. It is suggested to combine lemon juice with warm water for the reason that it helps obtain vitamin C and polyphenols from the lemon as well as its peel. Additionally, how much lemon water is consumed daily is important.

To obtain any health benefits of lemon water, an individual needs to drink it unfailingly.

When making lemon water, it is always best to use fresh lemons as opposed to lemon juice from a bottle.

To make lemon water, squeeze ½ of a lemon into 8 ounces of warm or cold water. To make the subsequent drink as beneficial as possible, use filtered water and organic lemons. Organic or not, be sure to wash them thoroughly.

More flavors can be infused or add a health boost to lemon water by adding:

  • a few springs of mint
  • a teaspoon of maple syrup or raw honey
  • a slice of fresh ginger
  • a dash of cinnamon
  • a sprinkle of turmeric
    [Which also has other great nutritional values—click the link to learn more]

Slices of other fresh citrus fruits for example limes and oranges or cucumber slices can be added also. Again—always cleanse the produce well before slicing and using.

Having lemon ice cubes on hand is a great way to add lemon to the water fast. Just wring the lemon juice into ice cube trays and freeze. Then place a few of the cubes into a glass of cold or hot water as desired.

One routine to adapt is to start the morning with a mug of warm lemon water and maintain a pitcher of refrigerated water permeated with a few sliced lemons to drink all through the day.

The Bottom Line

Research has shown that lemon water has loads of probable health rewards. In addition to those, adding lemon to water may help to drink more all through the day and keep the body hydrated. Staying hydrated is crucial to good health; therefore, lemon water is pretty much a win-win.

The Health Benefits of Lemon Water - Lemon Water
A great tool to have in our health tool boxes!

Lemon water is certainly not a cure-all, but if used properly, it can be a tremendous asset in the health toolbox for maintaining good health overall.

Good Health!!

You are welcome to leave questions, comments, and concerns below.

 

 

 

 

The Toenail Fungus

How much attention do you pay to your toenails? A great deal of us takes them for granted and don’t notice very much about them. However, there is a condition that affects a lot of toenails, especially for older adults. It is the toenail fungus.

Toenail fungus is particularly common. Medical experts estimate that toenail fungus affects 1 in 10 (10%) individuals overall. The number increases to 1 in 2 (50%) for individuals older than 70.

What is the Toenail Fungus?

Toenail fungus, also known as onychomycosis (on-ih-koh-my-KOH-sis), is a widespread fungal infection of the toenails. The most obvious symptom is a white, brown, or yellow stain of one or more of the toenails. It may well spread and cause the nails to thicken or crack. Less frequently, nail fungus can infect the fingernails.

What Causes the Toenail Fungus?

The most frequent trigger is a kind of fungus called dermatophyte. Yeast and molds as well can initiate nail infections. Fungal nail infections may occur in individuals at any age however, it is more prevalent in older adults. As the fungus progresses, the nail can become brittle and dry.

Dermatophytes are microscopic fungal microorganisms that are too small to see with the naked eye. They receive their nourishment off keratin, which is a protein found in fingernails and toenails. Keratin is what causes nails to be hard.

Several varieties of toenail fungi are rather contagious. An unhygienic individual can extend the fungus to another individual through direct contact. An individual can additionally get toenail fungus by touching an infected surface.

Nail fungi benefit from lukewarm, damp, dark places. Many individuals contract toenail fungus by:

  • Walking around the outer limits s of swimming pools.
  • Exercising a public shower or public locker room.
  • Walking barefoot in an open area.

The Risk Factors for Toenail Fungus

Some factors that can increase the risk of cultivating toenail fungus include:

  • Being older, as a result of reduced blood flow, increased years of exposure to fungi, and nails that grow slower.
  • Having athlete’s foot in the past
  • Having a minor nail or skin injury or a skin circumstance, for example, psoriasis
  • Developing diabetes, having circulation problems, or a weakened or destabilized immune system.
  • Perspiring heavily
  • Walking barefoot in damp public areas, like swimming pools, gyms, and shower rooms.

Toenail fungus can spread to other parts of the body but it usually does not spread beyond the toes. Several dermatophyte fungi can spread easily to the skin. (The skin and scalp also contain keratin.) When dermatophyte fungi relate to the skin, it is called ringworm.

Toenail fungus can spread to:

  • Groin area (known as jock itch).
  • Additional toenails.
  • Scalp (skin on top of the head).
  • The skin between your toes (known as athlete’s foot).

Anyone can become infected with toenail fungus although it often affects older adults, especially individuals over the age of 60.

There is a higher risk of developing toenail fungus if an individual has:

  • Athlete’s foot
  • Weakened immune system from an autoimmune disorder or HIV.
  • Psoriasis.
  • Poor blood circulation because of peripheral vascular disease.
  • Nail wound or injury.
  • Hyperhidrosis (a disorder that causes heavy sweating)
  • Diabetes

Symptoms of the Toenail Fungus

An individual may have toenail fungus if one or more of these symptoms exist

  • A dark color, produced by debris building up under the nail
  • Frail, crumbly, or ragged nail (s).
  • Indistinct in shape
  • Slightly foul odor
  • Thickened nail (s)
  • Whitish to yellow-brown discoloration (mentioned above)

Complications of the Toenail Fungus

The Toenail Fungus - Toenail Fungus Complications
Toenail Fungus can get serious

An acute case of nail fungus can be painful and possibly will cause permanent damage to the nails. Additionally, it could lead to other serious infections that spread beyond the feet if an individual has a suppressed immune system due to the utilization of medications, diabetes or, other medical conditions. For more information on inflammation, see the article, The Dangers of inflammation, on this website.

If an individual has diabetes, he or she may have reduced blood flow and nerve supply in their feet. They are additionally at greater risk of a bacterial skin infection known as cellulitis. Therefore, any relatively minor injury to the feet, including a toenail fungal infection, can lead to a more serious problem. If an individual has diabetes and believes they are developing toenail fungus it is highly advisable to see a health care professional.

Toenail fungus can change an individual’s toenail appearance in several ways. The toenail may:

  • Change color, appearing white, yellow, or brown.
  • Appear chalky or cloudy in some spots.
  • Thicken and possibly appear to look misshapen.
  • Breakaway from the nail bed (leaving space between the nail and the skin underneath).

While toenail fungus can be unattractive in appearance, it usually is not painful.

Treating the Toenail Fungus

The Toenail Fungus-Toenail Fungus Treatment
Toenail Fungus is treatable

Prescription drugs for the toenail fungus include oral antifungals, for example, terbinafine which is known as Lamisil, or fluconazole known as Diflucan, which are traditionally used to treat this condition. These treatments are commonly effective; however, they can cause serious side effects ranging from upset stomach and dizziness to severe skin problems and jaundice.

This may be the reason many individuals endeavor to try home remedies instead. Here are some of the more popular at-home treatments.

What is the most effective treatment for toenail fungus?  Vicks Vapor Rub is the best home remedy Vicks VapoRub is an ointment that is applied topically. Although it is intended for cough suppression, its most active ingredients, eucalyptus oil, and camphor can help treat the toenail fungus.

A 2011 study concluded that this Rub had a “positive clinical effect” in the healing of toenail fungus.

To use, rub on a tiny amount of Vicks VapoRub to the affected area at least once a day.

SHOP FOR VICKS VAPORUB ONLINE.  [affiliate link]

Snakeroot extract
Snakeroot (Ageratina pichinchensis) is an antifungal extract taken from plants in the sunflower family.

A 2008 study indicated that the treatment is as effective against toenail fungus as the prescription antifungal medicine ciclopirox.

For the study, snakeroot extract was applied to the affected area every 3rd day for the first month, twice a week for the 2nd month, and once a week for the 3rd month.

Tea Tree Oil – Tea tree oil, also known as melaleuca, is an essential oil with antifungal and antiseptic abilities.

According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, some minor scale clinical studies indicated that tea tree oil might be effective against toenail fungus.

To use, apply the tea tree oil exactly onto the infected nail twice daily with a cotton swab.

SHOP FOR THERAPEUTIC-GRADE TEA TREE OIL ONLINE. [affiliate link]

Oregano Oil – Oregano oil contains thymol, a medical disinfectant, and fungicide. Based on a 2016 review, thymol has antifungal and antibacterial properties.

To treat toenail fungus, apply oregano oil to the infected nail twice daily with a cotton swab. Some individuals use oregano oil and tea tree oil combined.

Take note that both products are potent and can trigger irritation or an allergic reaction. Using them together may increase this risk.

SHOP FOR OREGANO OIL ONLINE. [affiliate link]

Olive leaf extract – Oleuropein, an active substance in olive leaf extract, is considered to have antimicrobial, antifungal, and immune-boosting abilities.

Olive leaf salve can be applied directly to toenail fungus or taken orally in capsule form.

According to a 2012 review, taking 1 to 3 olive leaf capsules with meals twice a day is more effective than olive leaf salve in treating toenail fungus. It is recommended to drink plenty of water throughout this treatment.

Ozonized oils – Ozonized oils are oils such as olive oil and sunflower oil that are injected with ozone gas.

According to a 2011 study, this type of ozone exposure in low amounts for a short period can then disable many organisms like fungi, yeast, and bacteria.

Another study found ozonized sunflower oil was noticeable more successful in treating toenail fungus than the prescription antifungal topical, ketoconazole (Xolegel).

To treat toenail fungus with ozonized oil, massage the oil into the infected toenail twice a day.

Vinegar – Only vague evidence has surfaced that supports vinegar as a treatment for toenail fungus. Nevertheless, it is a reasonably safe home remedy to try.

To use, soak the infected foot in one (1) part vinegar to two (2) parts warm water for up to 20 minutes a day.

Listerine (mouthwash) – Listerine mouthwash is a popular folk remedy for toenail fungus because it contains ingredients like menthol, thymol, and eucalyptus, that have antibacterial and antifungal properties.

The recommended treatment is to soak the infected foot in a basin of the amber-colored version of Listerine for 30 minutes a day.

SHOP FOR LISTERINE ONLINE. [affiliate link]

Garlic – A 2009 review has concluded that garlic has certain antifungal and antimicrobial capabilities.

Toenail fungus may be treated with garlic by placing chopped or crushed garlic cloves on the infected area for 30 minutes a day.

It may be less of an odor by treating it with garlic capsules. Take them as directed by the manufacturer.

Diet – The relationship between diet and health is evident: The healthier we eat, the better chance the body has to fight off conditions such as toenail fungus.

Give the body the nutrients it requires by eating:

  • A diet loaded in essential fatty acids
  • Enough iron to avoid brittle nails
  • Enough protein to sustain nail regrowth
  • Foods rich in calcium and vitamin D, like low-fat dairy products
  • Yogurt rich in Probiotics

How to Prevent Toenail Fungus

The Toenail fungus - Toenail Fungus Prevention
Prevention is better than cure!

While there is not any way to guarantee against contracting toenail fungus, there are several steps an individual can take to assist in preventing it:

  • Avoid walking without shoes in communal areas for example locker rooms, public showers, hotel rooms/showers, and swimming pools. Most individuals come in contact with fungus in these situations. It is better to wear some kind of foot covering in these public areas.
  • If there is a family member with foot fungus or nail fungus, it is best to use a different shower or wear foot coverings in the shower to avoid coming in contact with the fungus.
  • Trauma due to accidental or forceful cutting of the nails can turn into gateways of entry for the fungus.
  • Clean the nail clipper before using it.
  • Never tear or rip a toenail on purpose.
  • For individuals with diabetes, follow all foot care recommendations from your healthcare professional.
  • Always keep the feet dry. Make sure to fully dry the feet after a shower.
  • It is best to soak toenails in warm water before cutting them. Alternatively, cut them after a shower or bath.
  • Cut toenails straight across (don’t round the edges).
  • Wear shoes that fit properly. They should never be too loose-fitting or tight around the toes.

Home remedies can be more successful than prescription medications in curing mild-to-moderate toenail fungus. Although home remedies in general have fewer side effects, there is less scientific proof that they work.

Many factors come into play when mitigating toenail fungus, such as nail penetration, the severity of the infection, and health overall.

It is important to note that home remedies can take longer to eradicate toenail fungus than prescription topical medications or oral systemic antifungals. Additionally, results may not be seen for several months and reinjection is common.

Once the infection is gone, it is imperative to keep toenails dry, clean, and rimmed properly.

In severe cases of toenail fungus, pain, and irreversible toenail damage can occur. If home remedies to treat the infection are chosen and they are not effective or result in side effects, consult your physician.

Comments, questions, or concerns can be left below. You will receive a response.

Good health!!

 

 

 

 

 

Do I have Brain Fog?

Have you ever wondered if you have brain fog? This article will help you to determine if you do and what you can do about it. Then you will no longer have to ask, do I have brain fog?

Brain fog is one of those conditions where our brains are simply not working as well as they usually do for some reason. It can produce difficult days at work because we are unable to perform our jobs accurately, and it can additionally affect our social lives as well because we find it challenging to relax and have an enjoyable time.

What is Brain Fog?

First, it is important to understand what brain fog is. The term Brain fog is not a medical or scientific one; it is used by persons to describe how they feel when their thinking is not clear but not sharp, sluggish, and fuzzy (aka fuzzy brain).

Everybody experiences this concern on occasion. Perhaps an individual may not think clearly when he or she was sick with an illness such as the flu or an illness of another kind. Perhaps they were jet-lagged and their thinking was sluggish because it felt it was 3 AM according to their home time zone. Alternatively, perhaps they took medication such as an antihistamine that made their thinking fuzzy for a while. In each case they probably desired to get back to normal, whether that meant recovering from the illness, adjusting to the new time zone, or simply waiting for the side effects of the medication to wear off.

What is Brain Fog Caused by?

There are several possible causes of brain fog and, most of them are reasonably easy to adopt. Typically, it only takes effort to make some adjustments to the daily schedule and an individual will be feeling much better again in no time. At times, however, it can be far more challenging to overcome, and might even be a sign of something serious.

Let’s look at some of those possible causes

Insufficient sleep – Possibly the most widespread reason for brain fog is a need for sleep. Most individuals require around 8 hours every night, although that figure will differ from person to person. If an individual often does not sleep well enough at night then he or she could be affecting their physical as well as their mental health.

One of the universal reasons for not getting enough sleep boils down to lifestyle preferences. Many individuals over-work themselves to their souls, while others might choose to stay up late gaming or watching TV. Other individuals may have trouble sleeping because of specific medical conditions. Regardless, it is best to get enough sleep if possible and it will make one feel much better as a result. For more detailed information on the impact of sleep, please read the article, The importance of sleep for health, on this website.

Improper diet – What we eat has a major impact on our total health. Not only is it crucial to eat the right type of food, but it is additionally important to eat enough, but also not to overdo it. Some individuals will also need to steer clear of certain foods for fear that it causes them unwelcome problems, including brain fog.

Among the most vital things to take into concern is to have a diet that is stuffed full of vitamins and minerals. Vitamin B12, specifically, is crucial for a healthy brain that allows us to think and concentrate clearly. A healthy diet is also crucial for many other components of our health.

Excess Stress – Stress is a natural process, and pretty much everybody will have experienced it at some point in his or her life. It is the body’s way of assisting to make sure that the body is alert and ready for certain situations, serving to ensure that the body is able to deal with the issue.

While it is vastly beneficial, too much of a good thing is a bad thing and stress is certainly not a good thing if there is an excessive amount of it. If an individual is going through episodes of extended stress then it can lead to brain fog, and longer-term mental health problems, high blood pressure, and other potentially serious mental conditions. If an individual is difficulties then they should think about speaking with a health professional to help conquer the root cause of it.

Hormonal imbalances – Hormones have an influential impact on the general performance of our bodies. For example, they assist to control our mood and the way a person thinks, in addition to ensuring that the bodily processes are operating evenly. If, for any reason, an individual’s hormonal levels were to be altered then it can result in some undesirable symptoms including brain fog.

Health issues such as menopause, menstruation, and pregnancy can have an impact on a female’s hormonal levels. This can lead to brain fog as a result, alongside some other unwelcome symptoms.

Medications – When we are under the weather, individuals will occasionally require some form of medication to aid recovery as quickly as possible. Medication can aid in remedying the underlying condition directly, while some medication will only assist to relieve the individual of the symptoms.

In addition to having many helpful properties, some medications will have some rather undesirable side effects. The majority of side effects from medications are fortunately not very serious, and one (1) example of this is brain fog. Other general side effects of medications can include dizziness, drowsiness, and, headaches. Some side effects can be significantly more serious, however. Therefore, we must take all necessary precautions when using drugs.

Cancer treatments-Chemo Therapy – Chemotherapy is a medical procedure that attacks cancer cells directly, to aid in the slowing of the progress of cancers. These are very potent drugs that are used in this procedure and while they can be quite effective at slowing down cancer, the treatment can also have some extremely unwelcomed side effects.

Do I have Brain Fog - Chemo Brain Fog
Brain Fog is a side-effect of Chemo

One of these undesirable side effects is brain fog, otherwise known as “chemo brain.” Individuals can have difficulty processing even the simplest of things and are subject to forgetting names, and the day of the week. Some individuals may experience chemo brain for quite a prolonged time after treatment, but the majority will find that the symptoms disappear reasonably quickly.

Chronic (recurring) Infections – Infections are comparatively general and the majority is not going to do us any severe harm. The greater of these will be cleared up within several days or so, however, others are going to linger around for much longer or perhaps even for life. The infections that do last for longer than usual will probably cause a number of symptoms including brain fog.

One common example is the infection, candida. Candida is a fungus that is residing in our stomach and, essentially, it is harmless. However, under some circumstances, this fungus has the ability to grow out of control, and this can affect the balance of bacteria in the digestive system.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome – It is actually completely normal for us to get tired, However, it is not normal for us to feel tired all of the time. We should be able to wake up in the morning feeling reasonably fresh and alert, although that is not always the case. If an individual is always feeling tired no matter what, then that individual may have chronic fatigue syndrome.

In addition to feeling tired all of the time, chronic fatigue syndrome can furthermore cause, you guessed it, brain fog, with the individual often feeling as though they are confused and unable to focus. There is no cure for this condition as of yet, however, medication and therapy may as a minimum help to improve the quality of the individual’s life.

 Multiple Sclerosis – Multiple sclerosis is a condition that can have an intense effect on an individual and those around them. It attacks the central nervous system, including the brain, and has an impact on the individual’s ability to move the muscles of their body.

It additionally has an injurious effect on the individual’s cognitive abilities. Individuals with multiple sclerosis can encounter difficulties with focus and memory—brain freeze. They will additionally often have problems with communicating and comprehending as the condition advances. Multiple sclerosis cannot be cured, but treatment and therapy can assist in slowing the beginning of the condition and improve the individual’s quality of life.

Depression – We have learned quite a bit concerning mental health, and it has been discovered that an astounding number of individuals suffer from some form of a mental health problem. Among the most widespread of all these problems is depression, which can be a very serious condition for sure. It can cause many symptoms, including brain fog.

Depression is frequently referred to as the silent killer. The reason being is because individuals with the condition will regularly suffer in silence, thus putting a brave face on things, and other individuals will often not be aware that they have a problem. The patient is often far from satisfactory, though, and depression is amid the leading causes of death along with otherwise healthy individuals.

Pregnancy – Many females discover that it is harder to retain information, which is a symptom of brain fog, during pregnancy. Additionally, during pregnancy, a fetus can change the body in many ways, and the chemicals released to protect and nourish the fetus may bring on memory problems.

Menopause – Females may find it difficult to learn or remember things when they arrive at this stage of life. It occurs about a year after their last menstrual cycle, which is usually around age 50. Along with brain fog, they also may have hot flashes, sudden sweating with an elevated heart rate and body temperature, and other body changes. Hormone supplements and other types of medication may help mitigate or eliminate these effects.

Lupus – This long-term disease initiates the immune system to attack the body, and the symptoms can be different on a case-by-case basis. About fifty percent of the individuals with lupus have problems with memory, confusion, or trouble concentrating. Unfortunately, there is no cure, but medication and treatment with a therapist can assist.

How to Treat Brain Fog

Brain fog treatment depends a great deal on what has caused it in the first place.

For example, if an individual is anemic, iron supplements may his or her production of red blood cells and thus reducing the brain fog. If an individual is diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, the physician could recommend a corticosteroid or other medication to decrease inflammation or restrain the immune system.

At times, relieving brain fog is simply a matter of correcting a nutritional insufficiency, changing medications, or improving the value of sleep.

Home remedies to improve brain fog include:

Do I have Brain Fog? - Brain Fog Treatment
Brain Fog Remedies
  • Exercising
  • Finding activities that one enjoys doing such as a hobby
  • Increasing the intake of protein, vegetables, fruits, and healthy fats
  • Managing stress by knowing individual limitations
  • Avoid excessive amounts of alcohol and Caffeine.
  • Getting proper rest – sleeping 8 to 9 hours per night
  • Strengthening brain power (e.g. solving brain puzzles)
  • Supplementation – A good multivitamin in addition to a proper diet can ensure the intake of the necessary vitamins, minerals, and nutrients needed for a strong mind and body.

For a vast selection of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients visit this link.

These remedies can also be engaged to prevent brain fog from occurring initially.

Any questions, comments, or concerns, can be left below.

Good Health!!