Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Gout

An extremely common disease, gout is a kind of arthritis that occurs when uric acid builds up in blood and causes joint inflammation. Acute gout is a painful condition that typically affects one joint, while chronic gout is repeated episodes of pain and inflammation, which may involve more than one joint.

Gout is caused by having higher-than-normal levels of uric acid levels in your body. This may occur if:
  • Your body makes too much uric acid
  • Your body has a hard time getting rid of uric acid
  • If too much uric acid builds up in the fluid around the joints (synovial fluid), uric acid crystals form. These crystals cause the joint to swell up and become inflamed.

People with diabetes, kidney disease, obesity, anemia, leukemia and other blood cancers are susceptible to gout.

The big toe, knee or ankle joints are most often affected. The pain starts suddenly, often during the night and it is often throbbing. The joint may appear warm and red. It is very tender...it hurts to lay even a thin cloth over it.

Gout can be prevented by:
  • Drinking plenty of water to flush out uric acid.
  • Eating foods rich in folic acid, like cabbage, spinach, methi, mint, coriander etc
  • Eating vitamin C -rich foods grapefruit, celery, pineapple, cherries and citrus fruits
  • Avoiding liver, kidney, red meat, fish, shellfish, oats, yeast, mushrooms, vinegar and alcohol

Remedies for Gout:
  • Make a mix of equal parts of dried mint powder, cumin powder, flax seed powder, dried parsley, fennel and turmeric powder.Have 2 tsp of this mix after lunch and 1 tsp after dinner.
  • Drink 2 liters of water infused with 15 mint leaves and 10 basil leaves.

Stay blessed with good health .…always !!!

Warm regards,

Charmaine D’Souza

Monday, 29 January 2018

Kidney Stones 

Kidney stones and urinary tract stones are a common problem. They are hard mineral matter formed in the kidneys or urinary tract. However, contrary to popular belief, kidney stones are due to a deficiency of the mineral magnesium, not an excess of calcium. Magnesium helps to keep calcium soluble.
Blood in the urine and severe pain in the abdomen and groin can be attributed to kidney stones or renal calculi.

The kidney and urinary bladder form the urinary system. The kidney is a filtration and excretory organ. The bladder is a temporary storage and elimination organ. The kidneys assist the liver in filtering the blood of toxins such as urea. The kidneys also ensure the resorption of useful organic substances like minerals.

Stones can form for different reasons: 
  • An improper ratio of dietary calcium: magnesium.
  • Excessive vitamin D supplementation.
  • Sugar, salt, oxalate-containing foods like spinach and excessive consumption of calcium-containing antacids, diuretics etc may foster stone formation.
  • People with gout (high uric acid), high blood pressure, inflammatory bowel disease, hyperparathyroidism, and diabetes are susceptible to kidney stones….as are people who have had intestinal bypass surgery.
  • Dehydration is a major risk factor.
  • As is a decrease in the volume of urine excreted.
  • High calcium in the urine can cause kidney stones.
  • Diet and hereditary factors also play a role in stone formation.
  • Pregnancy-related changes can cause kidney stone formation in a small percentage of pregnant women.
  • Frequent urinary tract infections can also lead to stone formation.
  • Alcohol intake will tax the functioning of the kidneys.
  • Damage to the kidneys can also be caused by the harmful effects of certain diseases, such as diabetes, and by some prescription drugs, such as ibuprofen.
  • Uremia, a condition produced by the retention of toxins which the kidneys normally excrete, is a result of severe kidney damage and is treated through dialysis
Recommendations: 
An appropriate preventive therapy is to drink two liters of pure water daily. Avoid tap water and water softeners. Replace tea and coffee with herbal teas that have a beneficial effect on the urinary tract, and restrict intake of alcohol.

Dietary changes include a vegetarian diet high in dietary fiber. Foods high in oxalates such as beans, cocoa, instant coffee, parsley, and spinach can aggravate existing kidney problems due to a lack of good bacteria in the intestines. Recent studies found that a naturally occurring gut bacterium, Oxalobacter formigenes prevents the formation of oxalates and can help prevent stones. Fermenting these foods will also prevent the formation of oxalates.

The greatest contributors to high sodium content are processed foods, red meats, and cheeses. Urinary tract infection is sometimes successfully relieved by drinking large amounts of cranberry juice and taking vitamin C, because of the acidifying effect of these substances. Canned asparagus (with its juice) is also a good natural remedy. Lemon barley with mint and apple cider vinegar is a beverage that can help kidney stones.

Nutrients that support the kidneys are vitaminB6, pantothenic acid, beta-carotene, magnesium, and potassium.

The kidneys are known as the ‘seat of fear’. When the kidneys are weak or become diseased, it could indicate a fear buried deep in the psyche. There may be a tendency to blame others for one’s own problems. Recognizing personal needs and taking responsibility for one’s life is a good step towards healing the kidneys.

Stay blessed with good health .…always !!!

Warm regards,

Charmaine D’Souza

Monday, 15 January 2018

Tea

Tea is the most commonly consumed beverage around the world after water. People have been known to consume herbal teas for as long as they have known how to heat water. Unlike green, black, and oolong teas, herbal teas have been made from virtually any plant, and from any part of the plant, including the roots, flowers, seeds, berries, or bark.
There are some herbs, such as echinacea, ginkgo leaf, saw palmetto, and milk thistle, that are NOT effective at healing when taken in tea form because their active components are not water soluble, and the concentration needed for the medical potency is so high it can be obtained only from an extract, pill, or capsule.
Different herbal teas, have their own distinctive healing uses and are very good for revealing mild to moderate ailments such as upset stomach, sore throat, coughs, stuffy nose, and insomnia.

BLACK TEA 
  • It undergoes natural fermentation and retains its flavour for several years.
  • It is a strong antioxidant and it helps improve heart health.
  • It lowers blood sugar and raises insulin levels after a meal as it stimulates the pancreas to release more insulin.
  • It lowers ovarian cancer risk.
  • It improves the strength of your bones.
  • It helps reduce stomach ulcers.
  • The polyphenols in black tea help lower the risk of Parkinson’s  and Alzheimer’s disease
Note 
  • If consumed in large amount then the tannins in black tea can cause constipation.
  • Excessive consumption can also cause anxiety, faster breathing, increased heart rate, restlessness, insomnia, frequent urination and diarrhoea.
  • Due to its high caffeine content, large amounts of black tea can cause seizures or may decrease the effectiveness of drugs that help prevent seizures.
  • It can increase eye pressure and its consumption should be avoided by glaucoma patients.

CHAMOMILE TEA
  • It reduces inflammation, stimulates the appetite and aids digestion and sleep.
  • It acts as a diuretic and nerve tonic.
  • It is helpful for colitis, diverticulosis, fever, headaches and pain.
  • It is good for easing menstrual cramps.
  • It is a traditional remedy for stress and anxiety, indigestion and insomnia.
  • It is useful as a mouthwash for minor mouth and gum infection.
  • It also helps fight diabetes.
Note
  • Do not use if pregnant or nursing.
  • It may interact with warfarin or cyclosporine, so patients taking these drugs should avoid it.

GREEN TEA 
  • It boosts immunity and metabolic rate and aids weight loss.
  • It acts as an anti-viral and anti-inflammatory agent. 
  • It may help prevent cancer. 
  • Green tea can help regulate blood sugar and insulin levels. 
Note
  •  It contains vitamin K which can make anticoagulant medication less effective as it reduces the clotting tendency of blood.
  • It contains caffeine so pregnant women or nursing mothers and people with anxiety issues, heart issues and those who are sensitive to caffeine may want to limit their intake of green tea.
  • The caffeine in green tea could cause insomnia, anxiety, upset stomach, nausea or diarrhea.

WHITE TEA
  • Its antioxidants may reduce the risk of premature aging and protect the skin against the harmful effects of UV radiation.
  • It inhibits the growth of various bacteria that may cause plaque formation. The fluoride content found in this tea may also be effective in reducing the risk of dental caries or tooth decay/cavity.
  • It may be beneficial in preventing cancer especially cancer of the lungs.
Note
  •  If taken in large amounts it can cause insomnia, dizziness and gastrointestinal discomfort due to its caffeine content.

HIBISCUS TEA
  • It can help reduce blood pressure because of its anti-inflammatory properties.
  • It helps lower ‘’bad’’ LDL cholesterol.
  • It helps cleanse the liver and remove free radicals.
  • It can help prevent cancer because of its antioxidant properties.
  • It is rich in vitamin-C and helps to boost immunity.
Note
  •  Consuming hibiscus tea can lower estrogen levels. This can impair reproductive ability. So skip hibiscus tea if you are planning to conceive, are using HRT or are on birth control treatment of any form. 
  • Avoid if taking blood pressure lowering medications as it can cause BP to plummet further.
  • Hibiscus tea can cause major complications when taken along with cancer medications. So avoid if you are undergoing chemotherapy or radiation.

Many herbal teas are available in tea bag form. They can also be prepared from raw herbs. To make an herbal tea, gently crumble leaves and flowers and break roots and bark into pieces (cutting the herbs causes the essential oils to dissipate) and place them in a ceramic or glass container. Cover the herb parts with boiling water (do not bring the herbs themselves to a boil), and allow them to steep. Most herbs should be steeped for four to six minutes, although some herbal teas, such chamomile, need to be steeped for fifteen to twenty minutes in a covered container in order to deliver their full therapeutic effect. 

Enjoy your cup of tea today  !!!

Stay blessed with good health .…always !!!

Warm regards,

Charmaine D’Souza