Five Things You Can Do To Help Your Indigestion

From time to time, everyone experiences symptoms of indigestion or heartburn. Often, these symptoms occur following a big meal. An estimate five million men in the United States alone are affected by indigestion at one time or another. However, some people experience more frequent digestive problems.

There are a number of steps you can take to improve your digestive health and reduce the chance of indigestion. Here are five specific things that can help.

1. Eat a Diet High in Fiber

Not only will adding plenty of fiber to your diet prevent indigestion, it will also improve your overall digestive health. The modern person eats a diet made up of too much junk food and fast food. In addition, most people eat high-fat meals made of mostly meat. These types of foods only help to worsen episodes of indigestion.

In addition to improving digestion, a high-fiber diet can also aid in preventing heart disease, diabetes, colorectal cancer, hemorrhoids, and a host of other diseases. To increase the amount of fiber in your diet, add more fresh fruits and vegetables, and whole grain breads and cereals.

For those that suffer with frequent indigestion, it may also be wise to avoid food that can give you gas, such as cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, baked beans, and carbonated drinks and sodas. Drinking enough water is also a good idea, as it helps to lubricate the food within the digestive tract, and helps dissolve minerals, vitamins and other nutrients so they are more easily absorbed by your body.

2. Chew your Food

Proper chewing may be one of the most forgotten of all the habits for good digestion. Chewing helps to break down your food, and the motion signals the body to begin to release digestive enzymes. Take the time to ensure that you chew each bite well.

In addition, make sure you don’t overeat. It can be an easy thing to do, especially with the portion sizes doled out in many restaurants. The larger your meal is, the more acid your stomach needs to produce to properly digest the food. In turn, this extra acid can increase the your chances of developing heartburn or indigestion.

3. Exercise Regularly and Avoid Stress

Regular exercise will help you maintain a healthy lifestyle, while improving your digestive health. Regular exercise can help to avoid obesity, which can lead to such digestive problems as diarrhea, stomach pain, and irritable bowel syndrome.

Excess stress can also have a negative effect on your digestion. Stress reduces blood flow to the abdomen. It also can reduce the production of digestive enzymes, which in turn slows the digestive process and can lead to indigestion and heartburn.

4. Don’t Overuse Antacids

When trying to rid yourself of heartburn or indigestion symptoms, you may be tempted to take more than the recommended dose of your favorite anatacid. Stomach acids can sometime reflux, or back up, into the esophagus which causes the burning sensation of indigestion.

Over-the-counter antacids usually work to neutralize stomach acid, but overuse can cause more harm than good. Too much antacid can cause your stomach to lose acidity, which will impair its ability to properly digest your food, and leave you susceptible to bacterial infections.

5. Supplement your Digestive System

Digestive enzyme supplements can be a great way to decrease the occurrence of heartburn. These enzymes are source from plant fiber, and help to enhance your body’s ability to digest food and absorb nutrients.

If you are in poor health, or have an unhealthy diet, you likely do not have adequate amounts of digestive enzymes. Even otherwise healthy people can benefit from digestive supplements, especially if they are experiencing heartburn or indigestion.

While there are certainly other things you can do to reduce your chances of experiencing indigestion, these five will get you well on your way, not only to eliminating your symptoms, but to an overall healthier body.

Cancer And Its Link Between Fruit And Vegetables

Fruit, Vegetables & Cancer

Despite the fact that no basis can be found proving that any single food is capable of causing cancer, there is a great deal of evidence that certain kinds of foods can protect us against cancer. As a generic food group, fruit and vegetables should be eaten at least 5 times a daily. While many American and European doctors recommend5, they do so because they feel that 5 is a manageable number, yet 8 is more realistic and some doctors even recommend 8 vegetables and 3 fruits.

However, whatever the number of fruit and vegetables that should be eaten a daily, most of the cancer studies agrees that the level of cancer is low when the intake of fruit and vegetables is high. Equally important is the fact that there is no recorded study any where in the world that has blamed a single case of cancer on a fruit or a vegetable.

Initially it was thought that the antioxidant effect was responsible for the protection that fruit and vegetables seem to confer on vegetarians. The antioxidant nutrients in fruits and vegetables prevent oxidative damage to the cells and DNA by free radicals, and they prevent the initiation of damage that starts the cancer in the first place.

There is a strong belief that these nutrients also protect the lipids which are present in the cellular membranes, and may contribute to the stabilization of cells. The promotion of certain kinds of food that have been called super foods has arisen because of a marketing technique, rather than science. The growth of the use of food to promote health and reduce the risk of disease has led to the rapid development of food that possesses these capabilities.

Blueberries and bilberries or Vaccinium myrtillus, contains anthocyanin. These specific nutrients make up the dark blue purple color and they are found in many foods of a similar color. Bilberry can protect against damage from radiation and it strengthens the capillaries.

However, bilberries or any other berry is not a super food and no amount of eating bilberries will give more protection than eating a wide range of fruit and vegetables. Even if you eat a kilo of bilberries it is still only one fruit from a nutrition point of view. In general increasing the amount of unprocessed food such as fruit and vegetables, wholegrain cereals nuts and seeds will confer a greater health benefit than concentrating on the miracle qualities of Tropical rainforest berries.

There is moderately strong evidence that stomach and colorectal cancers occur less in communities that routinely eat over 500g of fruit and vegetables a day. There is less strong evidence that the same levels of fruit and vegetables protect against esophagus breast and lung cancers.

Cancer Of The Bladder

Bladder cancer is a tumor within the bladder, usually starting with the cells lining the bladder walls. These abnormal cells multiply without control. The tumor may or may not be malignant depending on the invasiveness of the type of cancer involved. The cause of bladder cancer is uncertain as with most types of cancer. Studies have shown that several risk factors may contribute to the development of bladder cancer.

About 25 percent of bladder cancer can be attributed to the exposure to cancer-causing chemicals or carcinogens in the workplace. The chemicals that belong to the Arylamines and Benzidine families are considered the most responsible. Arylamines exposure used to be very high in Dye, Rubber, Aluminum, Leather industry workers along with truck drivers and pesticide applicators but most arylamines usage has been reduced in the workplace because of government regulation.

Radiation therapy for women with cervical cancer have an increased risk of developing bladder cancer. Certain drugs are known to result in a high risk factor to developing bladder cancer such as chemotherapy agent cyclophosphamide and the analgesic phenacetin. Repeated or chronic bladder infections may also lead to the type of cancer called squamous cell bladder cancer. This type of bladder cancer is very slow growing and as with all cancers, early detection can lead to a higher cure rate.

According to the TNM (tumor, lymph node, and metastases) classification system the cancer stage is classified by the location, size and aggressiveness . Recently the TNM staging system has become very popular with the medical industry to describe all types of cancer. The TNM staging system is divided into 5 main stages along with several sub stages using the following scale.

Stage 0 – Tumors limited to the bladder lining but do not extend through the bladder wall lining.

Stage 1 – Tumors involve the layer beyond the lining of the bladder and beyond but do not involve the muscles of the bladder.

Stage 2 – Tumors involve the muscles in the bladder.

Stage 3 – Tumors involve the fatty tissue surrounding the bladder, the prostate gland, the vagina or uterus.

Stage 4 – Tumors have spread into the lymph nodes or other areas of the body such as the liver, lungs and bones.

The following symptoms of bladder cancer can also be associated with non-cancerous conditions. Nerveless any symptom of a suspicious nature should be always evaluated by a trained urologist. Early detection is critical in the successful outcome of all cancer treatments.

A medical professional should always be consulted if you have blood in the urine or if the urine becomes cloudy. The color of ones urine does give great insight into the internal condition of the urinary track.

Urinary frequency, increased frequency in the need to urinate. This could also be sign of a bladder infection called cystitis, bladder irritation called interstitial cystitis, or from a kidney stone.

Painful urination could also be caused by a bladder infection, kidney stone or another serious problem.

Urinary urgency just after using the restroom and when you do you only urinate small amounts. Could be a bladder infection called cystitis, bladder irritation called interstitial cystitis, or from a kidney stone.

Urinary incontinence. Some women report this symptom after childbirth and may be caused from a weakness in the bladder due to childbirth or ageing. This weakness is called stress incontinence. Suggested reading the kegel exercise and vaginal weight training.

Common Vitamins and over the counter products can help with treating Bladder problems such as Vitamin A, Cranberry Juice, and L-cysteine.

Vitamin A deficiency may increase the risk of cancers of the lung, larynx, bladder, esophagus, stomach, colon, rectum and prostate.

Cranberry Juice may also help prevent kidney and bladder infections. If you are taking COUMADIN then check with your doctor before using cranberry.

L-cysteine is another immune system stimulant but should always be taken in conjunction with Vitamin C to reduce the risk of developing stone formation in the kidneys and bladder.

Always consult your doctor before using this information.

This Article is nutritional in nature and is not to be construed as medical advice.

Skin Cancer – The Truth About Skin Cancer & Melanoma Myths

There are times when you think you are protecting yourself from skin cancer only to realize that the protection you think you’re providing yourself is actually putting you at more risk. There are various skin cancer myths that could be doing you more harm than good. This article uncovers certain myths associated with skin cancer. Continue reading before you schedule your next tanning appointment!

Myth #1 – Stay away from the sun.

Although it is true that too much sun exposure is a cause of melanoma, it is a complete myth that you should avoid the sun altogether. The right amount of sun exposure is essential for the production of Vitamin D, which plays an important role in protecting you against other forms of cancer. Vitamin D is activated by sunlight, so you still need to expose yourself to a little bit of sun in order to get the benefits of this vitamin in your skin.

Myth #2 – Sun tanning beds will not give you skin cancer.

Most people have the mistaken idea that switching to sun tanning beds instead of sunbathing under the sun is far safer. However, tanning beds pose the same amount of risk, if not higher, as sunlight. The truth is most tanning beds produce a more intense light than the sun, which poses additional risks such as damage to the cornea and retina.

Myth #3 – The sun is solely responsible for the development of skin cancer.

It’s a little known fact that changes in our diet are making us more susceptible to various kinds of cancers. People who do not consume antioxidant-rich foods in their diets are at a higher risk for skin damage. A poor diet can lead to the development of cells that are easily susceptible to oxidative stress caused by free radicals.

Myth #4 – Sunscreen is enough for a day at the beach.

Sunscreen offers limited protection especially if you are spending the entire day at the beach. Experts recommend using sun block with a high SPF level and reapplying sun block each time after you get wet. It is also a good idea to cover up when you are on the beach.

There are many myths associated with skin cancer. However, it is important that you understand the facts in order to know which factors can increase your risk for cancer and which do not. Improve your diet, use a high SPF sun block, and avoid sun tanning beds if you can help it.

Do You Suffer From Stress-Induced Brain Fog?

Do you ever have moments when you just can’t seem to process what’s going on? You can’t think clearly, remember what you need to do, find the right words, or make a decision. Your brain seems muddy and overloaded. This situation happens to all of us sometimes. It’s called “brain fog.” In this article, we’ll look at what causes it and what to do about it.

Brain fog can be the result of fatigue, dehydration, pregnancy, or a reaction to chemotherapy. It could be from low blood sugar, anemia, metal toxicity, or a serious medical situation such as fibromyalgia, Alzheimer’s, cancer, or brain injury. If you have constant or increasing symptoms, it’s wise to check with your doctor to rule out that second group. Most often, for most of us, brain fog is intermittent and the result of stress.

Not only is stress a major cause of intermittent brain fog, it is also a contributing factor in all the conditions above. When your body is under stress not only is your mental function compromised, but so is your digestion, your immune response, and your ability to detoxify, repair, and regenerate on a cellular level.

Why is that?

When your brain is overloaded with information or the demands on your time, energy, and attention are too great, your brain will switch into “survival mode.” The emotional processing center in your mid-brain sends signals to your pituitary and adrenal glands to produce stress hormones that shift your body into high gear to deal with the perceived pressures or threats. As the stress hormones, adrenaline and cortisol, rush through your system they initiate a cascade of physiological effects: your higher brain functions of complex focused attention, learning, and problem solving are shutdown, while blood is shunted away from your internal organs to prepare your limbs for action.

Your stress response relates to brain fog in two ways, immediately and over time. The immediate effect is that your ability to think clearly, weigh alternatives, and make complex decisions is severely compromised in favor of being able to react instinctively and quickly to external dangers. If your stress response is prolonged over time, free radical and chemical damage begins to have a degenerative effect on learning, memory, and decision-making centers in your brain.

Furthermore, if your stress response is activated by chronic psychological fears or persistent feelings of anxiety, your stress hormones may never fully shutdown. You may be on low-grade alert most of the time. In that case, neuro-degeneration can become severe. Not only might you begin to lose your mental capacities but you also set yourself up for more life-threatening conditions.

If you find yourself plagued by brain fog, the time to catch it and do something about it is “as early as possible.” The sooner you address the issue of stress the easier it is for your body to downshift into recovery mode and activate natural repair mechanisms that will bring your mental and physical capacities back online. Your body and brain have amazing abilities to regenerate if given the opportunity.

Shampoo Ingredient Can Increase Breast Cancer Risk

Even at low levels, a class of preservatives widely-used in consumer products like shampoos, cosmetics, body lotions, and sunscreens can contribute to development of breast cancer, suggests new research.

The estrogen-mimicking chemicals called parabens also have implications for other diseases that are influenced by estrogens, the study noted.

These chemicals are considered estrogenic because they activate the same estrogen receptor as the natural hormone estradiol.

Studies have linked exposure to estradiol and related estrogens with an increased risk of breast cancer, as well as reproductive problems.

As a result, the use of parabens in consumer products increasingly has become a public health concern.

“Although parabens are known to mimic the growth effects of estrogens on breast cancer cells, some consider their effect too weak to cause harm,” said lead investigator Dale Leitman, a gynecologist and molecular biologist at University California, Berkeley in the US.

“But this might not be true when parabens are combined with other agents that regulate cell growth,” Leitman noted.

However, existing chemical safety tests, which measure the effects of chemicals on human cells, look only at parabens in isolation and fail to take into account that parabens could interact with other types of signaling molecules in the cells to increase breast cancer risk.

To better reflect what goes on in real life, the researchers looked at breast cancer cells expressing two types of receptors: estrogen receptors and HER2, or human epidermal growth factor receptor 2.

The study demonstrated that parabens may be more potent at lower doses than previous studies have suggested, which may spur scientists and regulators to rethink the potential impacts of parabens on the development of breast cancer.

The findings were published online in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.

The study clearly shows that, few of the preservatives widely-used in consumer products like shampoos, cosmetics, body lotions, and sunscreens can contribute to development of breast cancer, suggests new research.

Breast Cancer Support: Being There With Food

Sharing food is a central act in life. It has a power that extends beyond providing for nutrition and physical survival. The offering of bread is central to so many of the world’s religious celebrations’ it obviously feeds the soul along with the body. There is a healing power in these food traditions which is rooted in the heart of community.

Getting news of a friend’s breast cancer diagnosis sets the mind racing, wondering how best to support her and her family during upcoming treatment. It is only natural that your mind would settle on the idea of meal preparation as the most immediate of physical helps for a family going through the challenges of illness. However, now more than ever and with the patient and family under this new strain, it is important to keep lines of communication open to make sure that you are truly helpful and not otherwise.

A few thoughtful considerations can go a long way in ensuring that you will be welcomed when you ring her doorbell or step in through the back door over the next few months. Before automatically assuming that your cooking is what she wants, be direct and ask her family. Sometimes there is a family member who already does that job and finds comfort in the task. You certainly would not want to try to disrupt this. Maybe in that case your friend would prefer knowing that you could help with laundry or cleaning on some scheduled basis. These tasks are often overlooked by individuals hoping to help.

If meal provision still appears a viable way to really contribute, ask your friend or her spouse to be up front about food preferences and allergies. Perhaps they can name some favorite dishes or recipes the family would enjoy. Ask what days of the week would be best for delivery of hot meals. Avoid cooking rich foods that would cause the family to suffer from the same after affects of being on a cruise liner. Remember to respect the dietary guidelines of vegetarians or religious dictates.

Deliver meals in non-returnable containers. Individual sized servings pre-wrapped for the freezer is often a good idea for a family that must stay on the go while Mom is not up to par. Keep in mind that the breast cancer patient is going to have her dietary ups and downs in response to her treatment and plan to inquire about these along the way so that you can add some special accommodations for her as necessary.

To make the task easier for yourself, enlist mutual friends in coordinating a cooking and delivery schedule with you, a communal sharing of effort and expense. Helping stock the freezer with dishes of self-contained meals may be the right way to go for both the casserole brigade and your friend. Don’t forget to let the family know that under no circumstances are they to be burdened by writing Thank You notes. Tell them that the best thanks you could ever hope to receive is their well-being.

Medicare and Preventative Benefits

Not too many years ago, we would take calls from people turning age 65 and investigating Medicare supplement plans.  Invariably, the conversation would turn to preventative benefits which have long been available on the individual and group market for people not on Medicare.  The voice on the other side would go silent when we informed them that neither Medicare or Medicare supplement insurance plans would cover preventative benefits.  It really was a shocker since you couldn’t blink without seeing another article or tv show on the important of preventative benefits to not only remain healthy but bring down the cost of health care in general since catching a big problem before it’s a big problem is pennies on the dollar in today’s world.  Luckily, we finally have better news on that front when we get those calls.  Let’s take a look at Medicare and preventative benefits.
 
First, let’s look at traditional Medicare where most of the preventative benefits reside now.  Preventative benefits are covered under Part B of Medicare.  We’ll get into the current benefits offered but it’s important to mention that you get a preventative benefit covered when first enrolling and then once per year after that which will be covered at 100% by Medicare.  Preventative benefits are not covered by the Medicare supplement insurance although Advantage plans may have additional benefits beyond what Medicare dictates as part of its preventative benefit offering.  Now, let’s take a look at the actual benefits as they exist today.  It’s important to look at your current Medicare and You Handbook under Part B benefits or online to confirm any changes or additions to Preventative benefits.  Part B co-insurance, deductibles, etc may apply to certain preventative benefits so make sure to check first to understand your full out of pocket expense if any.

Make sure to check the Medicare site for Preventative services as these can change going forward and this information is based on 10/1/11.

Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Screenings
A one-time screening ultrasound for people at risk.

Bone Mass Measurements
Helps to see if you are at risk for broken bones. This service is covered once every 24 months (more often if medically necessary) for people who have certain medical conditions or meet certain criteria.

Cardiovascular Screenings
Helps detect conditions that may lead to a heart attack or stroke. This service is covered every 5 years to test your cholesterol, lipid, and triglyceride levels.

Colon Cancer Screenings (Colorectal)
Medicare covers colorectal screening tests to help find pre-cancerous polyps (growths in the colon) so they can be removed before they turn into cancer.

Diabetes Screenings
Diabetes screenings are covered if you have any of the following risk factors: high blood pressure (hypertension), history of abnormal cholesterol and triglyceride levels (dyslipidemia), obesity, or a history of high blood sugar (glucose). Based on the results of these tests, you may be eligible for up to two diabetes screenings every year.

Diabetes Self-Management Training
Your doctor or other health care provider must provide a written order.

EKG Screenings
Medicare covers a one-time screening EKG if you get a referral for it as a result of your one-time “Welcome to Medicare” Preventive Visit.

Flu Shots
Covered once a flu season in the fall or winter.

Glaucoma Tests
Covered once every 12 months for people at high risk for glaucoma.

Hepatitis B Shots
This is covered for people at high or medium risk for Hepatitis B. Your risk for Hepatitis B increases if you have hemophilia,End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD), or a condition that increases your risk for infection. Other factors may increase your risk for Hepatitis B, so check with your doctor. You pay 20% of the Medicare-approved amount, and the Part Bdeductible applies.

HIV Screenings
Medicare covers HIV screening for people with Medicare who are pregnant and people at increased risk for the infection, including anyone who asks for the test.

Mammograms
Medicare covers screening mammograms once every 12 months for all women with Medicare age 40 and older. Medicare covers one baseline mammogram for women between ages 35-39.

Medical Nutrition Therapy Services
Medicare may cover medical nutrition therapy and certain related services if you have diabetes or kidney disease, or you have had a kidney transplant in the last 36 months, and your doctor refers you for the service.

Pap Tests and Pelvic Exams
Medicare covers these screening tests once every 24 months, or once every 12 months for women at high risk, and for women of child-bearing age who have had an exam that indicated cancer or other abnormalities in the past 3 years.

Preventive Visits
Medicare will cover two types of preventive visits–one when you’re new to Medicare and one each year after that.

Pneumococcal Shots
Most people only need this preventive shot once in their lifetime.

Prostate Cancer Screenings
Medicare covers a digital rectal exam and Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) test once every 12 months for all men with Medicare over age 50.

Smoking Cessation (counseling to stop smoking)
Medicare covers smoking cessation counseling as a preventive serviceand you’ll pay nothing for the counseling sessions.

Spaying OR Neutering Your Pet Is A Must!

Every year, after the cold winter months have past, pet owner begins considering spaying or neutering their pet. To spite what you may have heard, this practice isn’t cruel or inhumane.

This procedure is a must for families with children as pets that haven’t been fixed may act more aggressively when in heat. If you are having any doubts about going through with this important procedure keep in mind that not only does the surgery keep the animal population in check bu there are a slew of health benefits associated with it. Getting your pet spayed or neutered is as simple as picking up the phone and calling your local vet and making an appointment.

Spaying your pet cat or dog will greatly lower her chance of developing uterine or mammary cancer. Neutering your pet will help prevent prostate cancer and completely eliminate testicular cancer. You will find that after the procedure your pet is much more friendly and docile. All the aggression and primal urges to leave home and mate will be gone and your pet will lead a more relaxed and happy life.

What needs to be done? 1. Make an appointment with your local vet or clinic. 2. Routine blood work will need to be done (to check for certain diseases). 3. Bring your pet in and either pick them up that day or the next.

Before a vet or clinic will be willing to do this simple procedure, they will have to do blood work on your pet to check for any abnormality or disease, this is perfectly normal. Once your the test are done you can have your pet spayed or neutered. I assure you that this will be only mildly uncomfortable for your pet and they will be back to their old loving self in no time. So what are you waiting for do whats right for your beloved pet.