Monthly Archives: November 2007

Lip Sores & Cold Sores

Causes of Lip sore:
The following medical conditions are some of the possible causes of Lip sore. There are likely to be other possible causes, so ask your doctor about your symptoms.
1.Aphthous ulcer

2.Herpes simplex

3.Cold sores

4.Canker sores

5.Impetigo

6.Dermatitis

7.Contact dermatitis

8.Candidiasis

9.Leukoplakia

10.Mucocele cyst

11.Lip burn

12.Hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia

13.Zinc deficiency

14.Lichen planus

15.Behcet’s syndrome

16.Erythema multiforme

17.Chancre

18.Lip cancer

19.Certain drugs

But in In general the following most common:

1) People are often allergic to products containing petroleum and even some products labeled “hypoallergenic”. Occasionally people are allergic to their toothpaste and more often to their lipstick/lip balm. Many people are allergic to Neosporin and Chap Stick. I recommend Mentholatum Lip Balm often. It comes in tube, like Chap Stick. There are also homeopathic remedies to detox the body of what it is allergically responding to.

2) Sores on the outside corners of the mouth are usually vitamin deficiencies—especially vitamin B6.

3) Sores on the top and bottom lip edge are often allergies to something being put on the lips and often this can be aggravated by sunshine.

4) Canker sores, herpes sores and cold sores are often related to what it is in the person’s life that they are “biting their tongue” about or not saying out loud and is also accentuated by stress, poor diet, not enough raw foods, and sleep issues (in combination of course).

5) Sores inside the lip and under the tongue can sometimes be viral in origin or an allergy to something. I know a few people who are allergic to nutmeg which causes a little vesicle to form under the tongue on the frenulum.

6) White sores on the mouth are usually caused from yeast (Candida). Try getting a lip product that contains Myrrh essential oil. You will also have incorporate lifestyle changes to overcome the yeast inside your system.

click to see the pictures

Click to learn more about treatment of Cold Sores, fever etc. http://www.animated-teeth.com/cold_sores/t4_cold_sores_treatments.htm

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Home Care :

Mouth sores generally last 10 to 14 days, even if you don’t do anything. They sometimes last up to 6 weeks. The following steps can make you feel better:

  • Gargle with cool water or eat popsicles. This is particularly helpful if you have a mouth burn.
  • Avoid hot beverages and foods, spicy and salty foods, and citrus.
  • Take pain relievers like acetaminophen.

For canker sores:

  • Rinse with salt water.
  • Apply a thin paste of baking soda and water.
  • Mix 1 part hydrogen peroxide with 1 part water and apply this mixture to the lesions using a cotton swab.

Nonprescription preparations, like Orabase, can protect a sore inside the lip and on the gums. Blistex or Campho-Phenique may provide some relief of canker sores and fever blisters, especially if applied when the sore initially appears.

Additional steps that may help cold sores or fever blisters:

  • Apply ice to the lesion.
  • Take L-lysine tablets.

Anti-viral medications for herpes lesions of the mouth may be recommended by your doctor. Some experts feel that they shorten the time that the blisters are present, while others claim that these drugs make no difference.

When to Contact a Medical Professional :

Call your doctor if:

  • The sore begins soon after you start a new medication
  • You have large white patches on the roof of your mouth or your tongue (this may be thrush or another type of lesion)
  • Your mouth sore lasts longer than 2 weeks
  • You are immunocompromised (for example, from HIV or cancer)
  • You have other symptoms like fever, skin rash, drooling, or difficulty swallowing

What to Expect at Your Office Visit:

Your doctor will perform a physical examination, focusing on your mouth and tongue. Medical history questions may include the following:

  • Are the sores on your lips, gums, tongue, lining of your cheeks, or elsewhere?
  • Are the sores open ulcers?
  • Are there large, white patches on the roof of the mouth or on your tongue?
  • How long have you had the mouth sores? More than 2 weeks?
  • Have you ever had sores of this type before?
  • What medications do you take?
  • Do you have other symptoms like fever, sore throat, or breath odor?

Treatment may depend on the underlying cause of the mouth sore.

A topical anesthetic (applied to a localized area of the skin) such as lidocaine or xylocaine may be used to relieve pain (but should be avoided in children).

An antifungal medication may be prescribed for oral thrush (a yeast infection).

An antiviral medication may be prescribed for herpes lesions (although, some feel that this does not shorten the length of time that the lesions are present)

Antibiotics may be prescribed for severe or persistent canker sores.

Prevention :

You can reduce your chance of getting common mouth sores by:

  • Reducing stress and practicing relaxation techniques like yoga or meditation
  • Avoiding very hot foods or beverages

You can avoid mechanical irritation by:

  • Visiting your dentist right away if you have a sharp or broken tooth or misfitting dentures
  • Chewing slowly
  • Using a soft-bristle toothbrush

If you seem to get canker sores often, talk to your doctor about taking folate and vitamin B12 to prevent outbreaks.

If you get cold sores often, taking L-lysine tablets or increasing lysine in your diet (found in fish, chicken, eggs, and potatoes) may reduce outbreaks. DO NOT use L-lysine if you have high cholesterol, heart disease, or high triglycerides.

To prevent the spread of herpes sores, do not kiss or have oral sex with someone with a cold sore or fever blister. Do not participate in these activities when you have an active cold sore. Do not share razors, lip balm, toothbrushes, or lipsticks.

To prevent cancerous mouth lesions:

  • Do not smoke or use tobacco.
  • Limit alcohol to 2 drinks per day.
  • Wear a wide-brimmed hat to shade your lips. Wear a lip balm with SPF 15 at all times.

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose

Resources:

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003059.htm

http://ezinearticles.com/?Six-Common-Causes-of-Lip-Sores&id=421609

http://www.wrongdiagnosis.com/symptoms/lip_sores/causes.htm

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Tobacco

Botanical Name: Nicotiana tabacum (LINN.)
Family: N.O. Solanaceae

Synonyms:
Tabacca. Tabaci Folia (B.P.C.).
Part Used: Leaves, cured and dried.
Habitat: Virginia, America; and cultivated with other species in China, Turkey, Greece, Holland, France, Germany and most sub-tropical countries.

Description: The genus derives its name from Joan Nicot, a Portuguese who introduced the Tobacco plant into France. The specific name being derived from the Haitian word for the pipe in which the herb is smoked. Tobacco is an annual, with a long fibrous root, stem erect, round, hairy, and viscid; it branches near the top and is from 3 to 6 feet high. Leaves large, numerous, alternate, sessile, somewhat decurrent, ovate, lanceolate, pointed, entire, slightly viscid and hairy, pale-green colour, brittle, narcotic odour, with a nauseous, bitter acrid taste. Nicotine is a volatile oil, inflammable, powerfully alkaline, with an acrid smell and a burning taste. By distillation with water it yields a concrete volatile oil termed nicotianin or Tobacco camphor, which is tasteless, crystalline, and smells of Tobacco; other constituents are albumen, resin, gum, and inorganic matters.

click to see the pictures

Cultivation

Broadleaf tobacco
Tobacco plants growing in a field in Intercourse, Pennsylvania
Sowing
Tobacco seeds are scattered onto the surface of the soil, as their germination is activated by light. In colonial Virginia, seedbeds were fertilized with wood ash or animal manure (frequently powdered horse manure). Seedbeds were then covered with branches to protect the young plants from frost damage. These plants were left to grow until around April.

In the nineteenth century, young plants came under increasing attack from the flea beetle (Epitrix cucumeris or Epitrix pubescens), causing destruction of half the United States tobacco crop in 1876. In the years afterward, many experiments were attempted and discussed to control the flea beetle. By 1880 it was discovered that replacing the branches with a frame covered by thin fabric would effectively protect plants from the beetle. This practice spread until it became ubiquitous in the 1890s.

Today, in the United States, unlike other countries, tobacco is often fertilized with the mineral apatite in order to partially starve the plant for nitrogen, which changes the taste. This (together with the use of licorice and other additives) accounts for the different flavor of American cigarettes from those available in other countries. There is, however, some suggestion that this may have adverse health effects attributable to the content of apatite.

Transplanting
After the plants have reached a certain height, they are transplanted into fields. This was originally done by making a relatively large hole in the tilled earth with a tobacco peg, then placing the small plant in the hole. Various mechanical tobacco planters were invented throughout the late 19th and early 20th century to automate this process, making a hole, fertilizing it, and guiding a plant into the hole with one motion.

Harvest
Tobacco is harvested in one of two ways. In the oldest method, the entire plant is harvested at once by cutting off the stalk at the ground with a curved knife. In the nineteenth century, bright tobacco began to be harvested by pulling individual leaves off the stalk as they ripened. The leaves ripen from the ground upwards, so a field of tobacco may go through several “pullings” before the tobacco is entirely harvested, and the stalks may be turned into the soil. “Cropping”, “pulling”, and “priming” are terms for pulling leaves off tobacco. Leaves are cropped as they ripen, from the bottom of the stalk up. The first crop at the very bottom of the stalks are called “sand lugs”, as they are often against the ground and are coated with dirt splashed up when it rains. Sand lugs weigh the most, and are most difficult to work with. Originally workers cropped the tobacco and placed it on animal-pulled sleds. Eventually tractors with wagons were used to transport leaves to the stringer, an apparatus which uses twine to sew leaves onto a stick.

Some farmers use “tobacco harvesters” – basically a trailer pulled behind a tractor. The harvester is a wheeled sled or trailer that has seats for the croppers to sit on and seats just in front of these for the “stringers” to sit on. The croppers pull the leaves off in handfuls, and pass these to the “stringer”, who loops twine around the handfuls of tobacco and hangs them on a long wooden square pole. Traditionally, the croppers, down in the dark and wet, with their faces getting slapped by the huge tobacco leaves, were men, and the stringers seated on the higher elevated seats were women. The harvester has places for four teams of workers: eight people cropping and stringing, plus a packer who takes the heavy strung poles of wet green tobacco from the stringers and packs them onto the pallet section of the harvester, plus a driver, making the total crew of each harvester 10 people. Interestingly, the outer seats are suspended from the harvester – slung out over to fit into the aisles of tobacco. As these seats are suspended it is important to balance the weight of the two outside teams

(similar to a playground see-saw). Having too heavy or light a person in an unbalanced combination often results in the harvester tipping over especially when turning around at the end of a lane. Water tanks are a common feature on the harvester due to heat, and danger of dehydration for the workers. Salt tablets sometimes get used as well.

Constituents: The most important constituent is the alkaloid Nicotine, nicotianin, nicotinine, nicoteine, nicoteline. After leaves are smoked the nicotine decomposes into pyridine, furfurol, collidine, hydrocyanic acid, carbon-monoxide, etc. The poisonous effects of Tobacco smoke are due to these substances of decomposed nicotine.

Medicinal Action and Uses: A local irritant; if used as snuff it causes violent sneezing, also a copious secretion of mucous; chewed, it increases the flow of saliva by irritating the mucous membrane of the mouth; injected into the rectum it acts as a cathartic. In large doses it produces nausea, vomiting, sweats and great muscular weakness.

The alkaloid nicotine is a virulent poison producing great disturbance in the digestive and circulatory organs. It innervates the heart, causing palpitation and cardiac irregularities and vascular contraction, and is considered one of the causes of arterial degeneration.

Nicotine is very like coniine and lobeline in its pharmacological action, and the pyridines in the smoke modify very slightly its action.

Tobacco was once used as a relaxant, but is no longer employed except occasionally in chronic asthma. Its active principle is readily absorbed by the skin, and serious, even fatal, poisoning, from a too free application of it to the surface of the skin has resulted.

The smoke acts on the brain, causing nausea, vomiting and drowsiness.

Medicinally it is used as a sedative, diuretic, expectorant, discutient, and sialagogue, and internally only as an emetic, when all other emetics fail. The smoke injected into the rectum or the leaf rolled into a suppository has been beneficial in strangulated hernia, also for obstinate constipation, due to spasm of the bowels, also for retention of urine, spasmodic urethral stricture, hysterical convulsions, worms, and in spasms caused by lead, for croup, and inflammation of the peritoneum, to produce evacuation of the bowels, moderating reaction and dispelling tympanitis, and also in tetanus.

To inject the smoke it should be blown into milk and injected, for croup and spasms of the rima glottides it is made into a plaster with Scotch snuff and lard and applied to throat and breast, and has proved very effectual. A cataplasm of the leaves may be used as an ointment for cutaneous diseases. The leaves in combination with the leaves of belladonna or stramonium make an excellent application for obstinate ulcers, painful tremors and spasmodic affections. A wet Tobacco leaf applied to piles is a certain cure. The inspissated juice cures facial neuralgia if rubbed along the tracks of the affected nerve.

The quantity of the injection must never exceed a scruple to begin with; half a drachm has been known to produce amaurosis and other eye affections, deafness, etc.

The Tobacco plant was introduced into England by Sir Walter Raleigh and his friends in 1586, and at first met with violent opposition.

Kings prohibited it, Popes pronounced against it in Bulls, and in the East Sultans condemned Tobacco smokers to cruel deaths. Three hundred years later, in 1885, the leaves were official in the British Pharmacopoeia.

Externally nicotine is an antiseptic. It is eliminated partly by the lungs, but chiefly in the urine, the secretion of which it increases. Formerly Tobacco in the form of an enema of the leaves was used to relax muscular spasms, to facilitate the reduction of dislocations.

A pipe smoked after breakfast assists the action of the bowels.

The pituri plant contains an alkaloid, Pitarine, similar to nicotine, and the leaves are used in Australia instead of Tobacco. An infusion of Tobacco is generally used in horticulture as an insecticide. In cases of nicotine poisoning, the stomach should be quickly emptied, and repeated doses of tannic acid given, the person

kept very warm in bed, and stimulants such as caffeine, strychnine, or atropine given, or if there are signs of respiratory failure, oxygen must be given at once.

Medical Uses Of Tobacco

A history of the medicinal use of tobacco 1492-1860.

Tobacco: The antibody plant; Medical uses of tobacco

Uses of Tobacco in the New World
Other Species:
Tobacco (Nicotiana rustica). Turkish Tobacco is grown in all parts of the globe.

N. quadrivalis, affording Tobacco to the Indians of the Missouri and Columbia Rivers, has, as the name implies, four-valve capsules.

N. fruticosa – habitat, China – is a very handsome plant and differs from the other varieties in its sharp-pointed capsules.

N. persica. Cultivated in Persia; is the source of Persian Tobacco.

N. repandu. Cultivated in Central and southern North America. Havannah is used in the manufacture of the best cigars.

Latakria Tobacco (syn. N. Tabacum) is the only species cultivated in Cuba.

N. latissima yields the Tobacco known as Orinoco.

N. multivulvis has several valved capsules.

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider

Resources:

http://botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/t/tobacc21.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tobacco

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Foods May Affect Offspring’s Gender

LONDON: Eating certain foods in the run up to conception may influence the sex of a woman’s offspring, suggests a new study conducted on mice.

The new study may give credence to common belief that expecting mothers who want a boy should eat more red meat and salty snacks and fish, vegetables, chocolates and sweets if they want a girl. Lead researcher Elissa Cameron and colleagues at the University of Pretoria in South Africa examined how changes in diet might influence sex ratios — the proportion of males to females in a population.

For this, they altered the levels of blood sugar in female mice during conception, by feeding the mice a steroid called dexamethasone (DEX) — a steroid which inhibits the transport of glucose into the bloodstream.

The scientists gave 20 female mice water dosed with DEX during conception. They gave it during the first three days when the females were exposed to males. Afterwards, the mice were given plain water. The researchers measured the blood-sugar levels of these mice, as well as that of 20 controlled females several times during the experiment.

The average blood-glucose levels in mice that received steroid dropped from 6.47 to 5.24 millimoles/litre. The team found that 53% of the pups born to the control females mice were male whereas only 41% of those born to the mice receiving DEX were male, reported the online edition of ‘New Scientist’.

However, the scientists said exactly how a drop in blood sugar causes more female births remains unclear. But the opposite also seems to work. A previous study involving diabetic mice, found that rodents with high blood sugar levels produced more male offspring than expected.

Off late, research into eating and smoking habits during conception has thrown up lot of information. A recent study linked moderate drinking during pregnancy to thousands of serious childhood disorders including autism.

Dr Maggie Watts, vice chairman on alcohol for the Scottish Association of Alcohol and Drug Action Teams, fears that even low levels of drinking could be related to a range of behavioural problems in young children, the cause of which has previously been a mystery.

Sources: The Times Of India

Brand-New Day

Inner Sunrise
When today is not going well, it is tempting to focus on tomorrow as a blank slate with all the possibilities that newness provides. It is true that tomorrow will be a brand-new day, but we do not have to wait until tomorrow to start fresh. We can start fresh at any moment, clearing our energy field of any negativity that has accumulated, and call this very moment the beginning of our brand-new day.

There is something about the sunrise and the first few hours of the morning that make us feel cleansed and rejuvenated, ready to move forward enthusiastically. As the day wears on, we lose some of this dynamic energy and the inspiration it provides. This may be why we look forward to tomorrow as providing the possibility of renewal. Many traditions consider the light of the rising sun to be particularly divine in its origins; this is why so many people in the world face east when performing ritual. We too can cultivate that rising sun energy inside ourselves, carrying it with us to light our way through any time of day or night, drawing on its power to awaken and renew our spirits.

One simple way to do this is to carry an image or a photograph of the rising sun with us in our wallet or purse. We can also post this image on our wall at work or at home, or have it as our screensaver on our computer. When we feel the need to start fresh, we can take a moment to gaze at the image, allowing its light to enter into our hearts. As we do this, we might say out loud or quietly to ourselves, I am ready to let go of the past and start anew. We might visualize anything we want to release leaving us as we exhale, and as we inhale, we can take in the fresh energy of the eastern sun, allowing it to light the way to a brand-new day.

Sources: Daily Om

10 Ways to Teach Your Children the Value of a Healthy Lifestyle

1. Practice what you preach. It’s considerably easier to convince your children to adopt healthy habits if you’re doing the same

. 2. Involve the whole family. Establishing a regular pattern of exercising as a family accomplishes two important things: It keeps everyone in shape and serves as important bonding time.

3. Limit screen time. Too much time watching television or playing video/computer games can lead to excessive snacking and a sedentary lifestyle.

4. Make it fun. Let your children discover which specific healthy activities they truly enjoy. If they don’t like it, they won’t stick with it.

5. Focus on the positives. Celebrate your children’s successes and help them develop a healthy self-image. Low self-esteem can lead to poor eating, exercise and lifestyle habits.

6. Set goals and limits. If goals are excessively restrictive or vague, children are less likely to rise to the challenge. Establish clear nutrition and exercise goals (dessert two times a week; a half-hour walk five times a week, etc.).

7. Reward wisely. Rather than rewarding children with desserts or sugary snacks (a common tactic), find healthy ways to show a job well done.

8. Turn them into chefs. Get your children involved in planning and preparing meals; then sit down at the dinner table together and enjoy the healthy meal you’ve created together.

9. Knowledge is power. Teach children the value of reading food labels and being aware of the healthy (and not so healthy) ingredients in the foods they eat.

10. Don’t pass the buck. You’re the parent – that means it’s up to you to teach your children about good health. School and health care providers can only do so much.

Sources:Your Health Newsletter (dctyh@mail4.mpamedia.com)

Tending The Emotions

Having A Breakdown
Most of us have had the experience of holding back our emotions for such a long period of time that when they finally come out, we have something resembling a breakdown.
For a certain period of time, the overwhelming flood of feelings coursing through our bodies consumes us, and we stop functioning. Often, these outbursts take us by surprise, welling up within us as we drive to or from work, watch a movie, or engage in some otherwise mundane task. We may feel like we do not know what triggered us, or if we do know, it does not make sense of our overpowering emotional response. This is because we are releasing feelings that have accumulated over a long period of time, and whatever inspired the release was just a catalyst for a much larger, much needed catharsis.

When we find ourselves in the midst of such an experience, it is important that we allow it to happen, rather than fight it or try to shut down. Wherever we are, we can try to find a private, safe place in which to let our feelings out. If we can not access such a place immediately, we can promise to set aside some time for ourselves at our earliest possible convenience, perhaps taking a day off work. The important thing is that we need to give our emotional system some much-needed attention. It is essential that we allow ourselves to release the pent-up emotions inside ourselves so that they do not create imbalances in our bodies and minds.

When you are feeling better, make a plan to find a way to process your emotions more regularly. You can do this by employing a therapist or making a regular date to talk to a trusted friend. Journaling can also be a great way to acknowledge and release your emotions, as can certain forms of meditation. Making room in your life for tending your emotions on a regular basis will keep you healthy, balanced, and ready for life.

Sources: Daily Om

The Digestive System and How It Works

The digestive system is a series of hollow organs joined in a long, twisting tube from the mouth to the anus(see the figure below) . Inside this tube is a lining called the mucosa. In the mouth, stomach, and small intestine, the mucosa contains tiny glands that produce juices to help digest food.

Two solid organs, the liver and the pancreas, produce digestive juices that reach the intestine through small tubes. In addition, parts of other organ systems (for instance, nerves and blood) play a major role in the digestive system.

Why is digestion important?

When we eat such things as bread, meat, and vegetables, they are not in a form that the body can use as nourishment. Our food and drink must be changed into smaller molecules of nutrients before they can be absorbed into the blood and carried to cells throughout the body. Digestion is the process by which food and drink are broken down into their smallest parts so that the body can use them to build and nourish cells and to provide energy.

How is food digested?

Digestion involves the mixing of food, its movement through the digestive tract, and the chemical breakdown of the large molecules of food into smaller molecules. Digestion begins in the mouth, when we chew and swallow, and is completed in the small intestine. The chemical process varies somewhat for different kinds of food.

Movement of Food Through the System

The large, hollow organs of the digestive system contain muscle that enables their walls to move. The movement of organ walls can propel food and liquid and also can mix the contents within each organ. Typical movement of the esophagus, stomach, and intestine is called peristalsis. The action of peristalsis looks like an ocean wave moving through the muscle. The muscle of the organ produces a narrowing and then propels the narrowed portion slowly down the length of the organ. These waves of narrowing push the food and fluid in front of them through each hollow organ.

……………………………….digest.gif

The first major muscle movement occurs when food or liquid is swallowed. Although we are able to start swallowing by choice, once the swallow begins, it becomes involuntary and proceeds under the control of the nerves.

The esophagus is the organ into which the swallowed food is pushed. It connects the throat above with the stomach below. At the junction of the esophagus and stomach, there is a ringlike valve closing the passage between the two organs. However, as the food approaches the closed ring, the surrounding muscles relax and allow the food to pass.

The food then enters the stomach, which has three mechanical tasks to do. First, the stomach must store the swallowed food and liquid. This requires the muscle of the upper part of the stomach to relax and accept large volumes of swallowed material. The second job is to mix up the food, liquid, and digestive juice produced by the stomach. The lower part of the stomach mixes these materials by its muscle action. The third task of the stomach is to empty its contents slowly into the small intestine.

Several factors affect emptying of the stomach, including the nature of the food (mainly its fat and protein content) and the degree of muscle action of the emptying stomach and the next organ to receive the contents (the small intestine). As the food is digested in the small intestine and dissolved into the juices from the pancreas, liver, and intestine, the contents of the intestine are mixed and pushed forward to allow further digestion.

Finally, all of the digested nutrients are absorbed through the intestinal walls. The waste products of this process include undigested parts of the food, known as fiber, and older cells that have been shed from the mucosa. These materials are propelled into the colon, where they remain, usually for a day or two, until the feces are expelled by a bowel movement.

Production of Digestive Juices

The glands that act first are in the mouth—the salivary glands. Saliva produced by these glands contains an enzyme that begins to digest the starch from food into smaller molecules.

The next set of digestive glands is in the stomach lining. They produce stomach acid and an enzyme that digests protein. One of the unsolved puzzles of the digestive system is why the acid juice of the stomach does not dissolve the tissue of the stomach itself. In most people, the stomach mucosa is able to resist the juice, although food and other tissues of the body cannot.

After the stomach empties the food and juice mixture into the small intestine, the juices of two other digestive organs mix with the food to continue the process of digestion. One of these organs is the pancreas. It produces a juice that contains a wide array of enzymes to break down the carbohydrate, fat, and protein in food. Other enzymes that are active in the process come from glands in the wall of the intestine or even a part of that wall.

The liver produces yet another digestive juice—bile. The bile is stored between meals in the gallbladder. At mealtime, it is squeezed out of the gallbladder into the bile ducts to reach the intestine and mix with the fat in our food. The bile acids dissolve the fat into the watery contents of the intestine, much like detergents that dissolve grease from a frying pan. After the fat is dissolved, it is digested by enzymes from the pancreas and the lining of the intestine.

Absorption and Transport of Nutrients

Digested molecules of food, as well as water and minerals from the diet, are absorbed from the cavity of the upper small intestine. Most absorbed materials cross the mucosa into the blood and are carried off in the bloodstream to other parts of the body for storage or further chemical change. As already noted, this part of the process varies with different types of nutrients.

Carbohydrates. It is recommended that about 55 to 60 percent of total daily calories be from carbohydrates. Some of our most common foods contain mostly carbohydrates. Examples are bread, potatoes, legumes, rice, spaghetti, fruits, and vegetables. Many of these foods contain both starch and fiber.

The digestible carbohydrates are broken into simpler molecules by enzymes in the saliva, in juice produced by the pancreas, and in the lining of the small intestine. Starch is digested in two steps: First, an enzyme in the saliva and pancreatic juice breaks the starch into molecules called maltose; then an enzyme in the lining of the small intestine (maltase) splits the maltose into glucose molecules that can be absorbed into the blood. Glucose is carried through the bloodstream to the liver, where it is stored or used to provide energy for the work of the body.

Table sugar is another carbohydrate that must be digested to be useful. An enzyme in the lining of the small intestine digests table sugar into glucose and fructose, each of which can be absorbed from the intestinal cavity into the blood. Milk contains yet another type of sugar, lactose, which is changed into absorbable molecules by an enzyme called lactase, also found in the intestinal lining.

Protein. Foods such as meat, eggs, and beans consist of giant molecules of protein that must be digested by enzymes before they can be used to build and repair body tissues. An enzyme in the juice of the stomach starts the digestion of swallowed protein. Further digestion of the protein is completed in the small intestine. Here, several enzymes from the pancreatic juice and the lining of the intestine carry out the breakdown of huge protein molecules into small molecules called amino acids. These small molecules can be absorbed from the hollow of the small intestine into the blood and then be carried to all parts of the body to build the walls and other parts of cells.

Fats. Fat molecules are a rich source of energy for the body. The first step in digestion of a fat such as butter is to dissolve it into the watery content of the intestinal cavity. The bile acids produced by the liver act as natural detergents to dissolve fat in water and allow the enzymes to break the large fat molecules into smaller molecules, some of which are fatty acids and cholesterol. The bile acids combine with the fatty acids and cholesterol and help these molecules to move into the cells of the mucosa. In these cells the small molecules are formed back into large molecules, most of which pass into vessels (called lymphatics) near the intestine. These small vessels carry the reformed fat to the veins of the chest, and the blood carries the fat to storage depots in different parts of the body.

Vitamins. Another vital part of our food that is absorbed from the small intestine is the class of chemicals we call vitamins. The two different types of vitamins are classified by the fluid in which they can be dissolved: water-soluble vitamins (all the B vitamins and vitamin C) and fat-soluble vitamins (vitamins A, D, and K).

Water and salt. Most of the material absorbed from the cavity of the small intestine is water in which salt is dissolved. The salt and water come from the food and liquid we swallow and the juices secreted by the many digestive glands.

How is the digestive process controlled?

Hormone Regulators

A fascinating feature of the digestive system is that it contains its own regulators. The major hormones that control the functions of the digestive system are produced and released by cells in the mucosa of the stomach and small intestine. These hormones are released into the blood of the digestive tract, travel back to the heart and through the arteries, and return to the digestive system, where they stimulate digestive juices and cause organ movement.

The hormones that control digestion are gastrin, secretin, and cholecystokinin (CCK):

  • Gastrin causes the stomach to produce an acid for dissolving and digesting some foods. It is also necessary for the normal growth of the lining of the stomach, small intestine, and colon.
  • Secretin causes the pancreas to send out a digestive juice that is rich in bicarbonate. It stimulates the stomach to produce pepsin, an enzyme that digests protein, and it also stimulates the liver to produce bile.
  • CCK causes the pancreas to grow and to produce the enzymes of pancreatic juice, and it causes the gallbladder to empty.

Additional hormones in the digestive system regulate appetite:

  • Ghrelin is produced in the stomach and upper intestine in the absence of food in the digestive system and stimulates appetite.
  • Peptide YY is produced in the GI tract in response to a meal in the system and inhibits appetite.

Both of these hormones work on the brain to help regulate the intake of food for energy.

Nerve Regulators

Two types of nerves help to control the action of the digestive system. Extrinsic (outside) nerves come to the digestive organs from the unconscious part of the brain or from the spinal cord. They release a chemical called acetylcholine and another called adrenaline. Acetylcholine causes the muscle of the digestive organs to squeeze with more force and increase the “push” of food and juice through the digestive tract. Acetylcholine also causes the stomach and pancreas to produce more digestive juice. Adrenaline relaxes the muscle of the stomach and intestine and decreases the flow of blood to these organs.

Even more important, though, are the intrinsic (inside) nerves, which make up a very dense network embedded in the walls of the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, and colon. The intrinsic nerves are triggered to act when the walls of the hollow organs are stretched by food. They release many different substances that speed up or delay the movement of food and the production of juices by the digestive organs.

National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse

2 Information Way
Bethesda, MD 20892–3570
Phone: 1–800–891–5389
Fax: 703–738–4929
Email: nddic@info.niddk.nih.gov
Internet: www.digestive.niddk.nih.gov

Sources:http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/yrdd/index.htm#fig

GERD(Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease)

What is GERD?

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a more serious form of gastroesophageal reflux (GER), which is common. GER occurs when the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) opens spontaneously, for varying periods of time, or does not close properly and stomach contents rise up into the esophagus. GER is also called acid reflux or acid regurgitation, because digestive juices—called acids—rise up with the food. The esophagus is the tube that carries food from the mouth to the stomach. The LES is a ring of muscle at the bottom of the esophagus that acts like a valve between the esophagus and stomach.

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When acid reflux occurs, food or fluid can be tasted in the back of the mouth. When refluxed stomach acid touches the lining of the esophagus it may cause a burning sensation in the chest or throat called heartburn or acid indigestion. Occasional GER is common and does not necessarily mean one has GERD. Persistent reflux that occurs more than twice a week is considered GERD, and it can eventually lead to more serious health problems. People of all ages can have GERD.

 

What are the symptoms of GERD?

The main symptom of GERD in adults is frequent heartburn, also called acid indigestion—burning-type pain in the lower part of the mid-chest, behind the breast bone, and in the mid-abdomen. Most children under 12 years with GERD, and some adults, have GERD without heartburn. Instead, they may experience a dry cough, asthma symptoms, or trouble swallowing…..CLICK & SEE

What causes GERD?

The reason some people develop GERD is still unclear. However, research shows that in people with GERD, the LES relaxes while the rest of the esophagus is working. Anatomical abnormalities such as a hiatal hernia may also contribute to GERD. A hiatal hernia occurs when the upper part of the stomach and the LES move above the diaphragm, the muscle wall that separates the stomach from the chest. Normally, the diaphragm helps the LES keep acid from rising up into the esophagus. When a hiatal hernia is present, acid reflux can occur more easily. A hiatal hernia can occur in people of any age and is most often a normal finding in otherwise healthy people over age 50. Most of the time, a hiatal hernia produces no symptoms.

Other factors that may contribute to GERD include

  • obesity
  • pregnancy
  • smoking

Common foods that can worsen reflux symptoms include

  • citrus fruits
  • chocolate
  • drinks with caffeine or alcohol
  • fatty and fried foods
  • garlic and onions
  • mint flavorings
  • spicy foods
  • tomato-based foods, like spaghetti sauce, salsa, chili, and pizza

What is GERD in children?

Distinguishing between normal, physiologic reflux and GERD in children is important. Most infants with GER are happy and healthy even if they frequently spit up or vomit, and babies usually outgrow GER by their first birthday. Reflux that continues past 1 year of age may be GERD. Studies show GERD is common and may be overlooked in infants and children. For example, GERD can present as repeated regurgitation, nausea, heartburn, coughing, laryngitis, or respiratory problems like wheezing, asthma, or pneumonia. Infants and young children may demonstrate irritability or arching of the back, often during or immediately after feedings. Infants with GERD may refuse to feed and experience poor growth.

Talk with your child’s health care provider if reflux-related symptoms occur regularly and cause your child discomfort. Your health care provider may recommend simple strategies for avoiding reflux, such as burping the infant several times during feeding or keeping the infant in an upright position for 30 minutes after feeding. If your child is older, your health care provider may recommend that your child eat small, frequent meals and avoid the following foods:

  • sodas that contain caffeine
  • chocolate
  • peppermint
  • spicy foods
  • acidic foods like oranges, tomatoes, and pizza
  • fried and fatty foods

Avoiding food 2 to 3 hours before bed may also help. Your health care provider may recommend raising the head of your child’s bed with wood blocks secured under the bedposts. Just using extra pillows will not help. If these changes do not work, your health care provider may prescribe medicine for your child. In rare cases, a child may need surgery. For information about GER in infants, children, and adolescents, see the Gastroesophageal Reflux in Infants andGastroesophageal Reflux in Children and Adolescents fact sheets from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK).

How is GERD treated?

See your health care provider if you have had symptoms of GERD and have been using antacids or other over-the-counter reflux medications for more than 2 weeks. Your health care provider may refer you to a gastroenterologist, a doctor who treats diseases of the stomach and intestines. Depending on the severity of your GERD, treatment may involve one or more of the following lifestyle changes, medications, or surgery.

Lifestyle Changes

  • If you smoke, stop.
  • Avoid foods and beverages that worsen symptoms.
  • Lose weight if needed.
  • Eat small, frequent meals.
  • Wear loose-fitting clothes.
  • Avoid lying down for 3 hours after a meal.
  • Raise the head of your bed 6 to 8 inches by securing wood blocks under the bedposts. Just using extra pillows will not help.

Medications

Your health care provider may recommend over-the-counter antacids or medications that stop acid production or help the muscles that empty your stomach. You can buy many of these medications without a prescription. However, see your health care provider before starting or adding a medication.

Antacids, such as Alka-Seltzer, Maalox, Mylanta, Rolaids, and Riopan, are usually the first drugs recommended to relieve heartburn and other mild GERD symptoms. Many brands on the market use different combinations of three basic salts—magnesium, calcium, and aluminum—with hydroxide or bicarbonate ions to neutralize the acid in your stomach. Antacids, however, can have side effects. Magnesium salt can lead to diarrhea, and aluminum salt may cause constipation. Aluminum and magnesium salts are often combined in a single product to balance these effects.

Calcium carbonate antacids, such as Tums, Titralac, and Alka-2, can also be a supplemental source of calcium. They can cause constipation as well.

Foaming agents, such as Gaviscon, work by covering your stomach contents with foam to prevent reflux.

H2 blockers, such as cimetidine (Tagamet HB), famotidine (Pepcid AC), nizatidine (Axid AR), and ranitidine (Zantac 75), decrease acid production. They are available in prescription strength and over-the-counter strength. These drugs provide short-term relief and are effective for about half of those who have GERD symptoms.

Proton pump inhibitors include omeprazole (Prilosec, Zegerid), lansoprazole (Prevacid), pantoprazole (Protonix), rabeprazole (Aciphex), and esomeprazole (Nexium), which are available by prescription. Prilosec is also available in over-the-counter strength. Proton pump inhibitors are more effective than H2 blockers and can relieve symptoms and heal the esophageal lining in almost everyone who has GERD.

Prokinetics help strengthen the LES and make the stomach empty faster. This group includes bethanechol (Urecholine) and metoclopramide (Reglan). Metoclopramide also improves muscle action in the digestive tract. Prokinetics have frequent side effects that limit their usefulness—fatigue, sleepiness, depression, anxiety, and problems with physical movement.

Because drugs work in different ways, combinations of medications may help control symptoms. People who get heartburn after eating may take both antacids and H2 blockers. The antacids work first to neutralize the acid in the stomach, and then the H2 blockers act on acid production. By the time the antacid stops working, the H2 blocker will have stopped acid production. Your health care provider is the best source of information about how to use medications for GERD.

Click to look for Alternative medication

Treatment – Mayo Clinic

Gastroesophageal reflux disease – Alternative Medicine

GERD & Herbal Medication

GERD & YOGA

Gerd & Homeopathy

Homeopathic Treatment for GERD

MEDITAION IS THE BEST WAY TO GET RID OF  GERD PERMANENTLY

What if GERD symptoms persist?

If your symptoms do not improve with lifestyle changes or medications, you may need additional tests.

  • Barium swallow radiograph uses x rays to help spot abnormalities such as a hiatal hernia and other structural or anatomical problems of the esophagus. With this test, you drink a solution and then x rays are taken. The test will not detect mild irritation, although strictures—narrowing of the esophagus—and ulcers can be observed.
  • Upper endoscopy is more accurate than a barium swallow radiograph and may be performed in a hospital or a doctor’s office. The doctor may spray your throat to numb it and then, after lightly sedating you, will slide a thin, flexible plastic tube with a light and lens on the end called an endoscope down your throat. Acting as a tiny camera, the endoscope allows the doctor to see the surface of the esophagus and search for abnormalities. If you have had moderate to severe symptoms and this procedure reveals injury to the esophagus, usually no other tests are needed to confirm GERD.The doctor also may perform a biopsy. Tiny tweezers, called forceps, are passed through the endoscope and allow the doctor to remove small pieces of tissue from your esophagus. The tissue is then viewed with a microscope to look for damage caused by acid reflux and to rule out other problems if infection or abnormal growths are not found.
  • pH monitoring examination involves the doctor either inserting a small tube into the esophagus or clipping a tiny device to the esophagus that will stay there for 24 to 48 hours. While you go about your normal activities, the device measures when and how much acid comes up into your esophagus. This test can be useful if combined with a carefully completed diary—recording when, what, and amounts the person eats—which allows the doctor to see correlations between symptoms and reflux episodes. The procedure is sometimes helpful in detecting whether respiratory symptoms, including wheezing and coughing, are triggered by reflux.

A completely accurate diagnostic test for GERD does not exist, and tests have not consistently shown that acid exposure to the lower esophagus directly correlates with damage to the lining.

Surgery

Surgery is an option when medicine and lifestyle changes do not help to manage GERD symptoms. Surgery may also be a reasonable alternative to a lifetime of drugs and discomfort.

Fundoplication is the standard surgical treatment for GERD. Usually a specific type of this procedure, called Nissen fundoplication, is performed. During the Nissen fundoplication, the upper part of the stomach is wrapped around the LES to strengthen the sphincter, prevent acid reflux, and repair a hiatal hernia.

The Nissen fundoplication may be performed using a laparoscope, an instrument that is inserted through tiny incisions in the abdomen. The doctor then uses small instruments that hold a camera to look at the abdomen and pelvis. When performed by experienced surgeons, laparoscopic fundoplication is safe and effective in people of all ages, including infants. The procedure is reported to have the same results as the standard fundoplication, and people can leave the hospital in 1 to 3 days and return to work in 2 to 3 weeks.

Endoscopic techniques used to treat chronic heartburn include the Bard EndoCinch system, NDO Plicator, and the Stretta system. These techniques require the use of an endoscope to perform the anti-reflux operation. The EndoCinch and NDO Plicator systems involve putting stitches in the LES to create pleats that help strengthen the muscle. The Stretta system uses electrodes to create tiny burns on the LES. When the burns heal, the scar tissue helps toughen the muscle. The longterm effects of these three procedures are unknown.

What are the long-term complications of GERD?

Chronic GERD that is untreated can cause serious complications. Inflammation of the esophagus from refluxed stomach acid can damage the lining and cause bleeding or ulcers—also called esophagitis. Scars from tissue damage can lead to strictures—narrowing of the esophagus—that make swallowing difficult. Some people develop Barrett’s esophagus, in which cells in the esophageal lining take on an abnormal shape and color. Over time, the cells can lead to esophageal cancer, which is often fatal. Persons with GERD and its complications should be monitored closely by a physician.

Studies have shown that GERD may worsen or contribute to asthma, chronic cough, and pulmonary fibrosis.

For information about Barrett’s esophagus, see the Barrett’s Esophagusfact sheet from the NIDDK.

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Points to Remember

  • Frequent heartburn, also called acid indigestion, is the most common symptom of GERD in adults. Anyone experiencing heartburn twice a week or more may have GERD.
  • You can have GERD without having heartburn. Your symptoms could include a dry cough, asthma symptoms, or trouble swallowing.
  • If you have been using antacids for more than 2 weeks, it is time to see your health care provider. Most doctors can treat GERD. Your health care provider may refer you to a gastroenterologist, a doctor who treats diseases of the stomach and intestines.
  • Health care providers usually recommend lifestyle and dietary changes to relieve symptoms of GERD. Many people with GERD also need medication. Surgery may be considered as a treatment option.
  • Most infants with GER are healthy even though they may frequently spit up or vomit. Most infants outgrow GER by their first birthday. Reflux that continues past 1 year of age may be GERD.
  • The persistence of GER along with other symptoms—arching and irritability in infants, or abdominal and chest pain in older children—is GERD. GERD is the outcome of frequent and persistent GER in infants and children and may cause repeated vomiting, coughing, and respiratory problems.

Hope Through Research

The reasons certain people develop GERD and others do not remain unknown. Several factors may be involved, and research is under way to explore risk factors for developing GERD and the role of GERD in other conditions such as asthma and laryngitis.

For More Information

American College of Gastroenterology
P.O. Box 342260
Bethesda, MD 20827–2260
Phone: 301–263–9000
Internet: www.acg.gi.org

American Gastroenterological Association
National Office
4930 Del Ray Avenue
Bethesda, MD 20814
Phone: 301–654–2055
Fax: 301–654–5920
Email: member@gastro.org
Internet: www.gastro.org

International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders
P.O. Box 170864
Milwaukee, WI 53217–8076
Phone: 1–888–964–2001 or 414–964–1799
Fax: 414–964–7176
Email: iffgd@iffgd.org
Internet: www.aboutgerd.org

North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition
P.O. Box 6
Flourtown, PA 19031
Phone: 215–233–0808
Fax: 215–233–3918
Email: naspghan@naspghan.org
Internet: www.naspghan.org

Pediatric/Adolescent Gastroesophageal Reflux Association, Inc.
P.O. Box 486
Buckeystown, MD 21717–0486
Phone: 301–601–9541
Email: gergroup@aol.com
Internet: www.reflux.org

The National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse collects resource information about digestive diseases for the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) Reference Collection. This database provides titles, abstracts, and availability information for health information and health education resources. The NIDDK Reference Collection is a service of the National Institutes of Health.

Click for Home Remedy of Acid RefluxÂ

You may view the results of the automatic search on heartburn, gastroesophageal reflux (GER), and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

If you wish to perform your own search of the database, you may access and search the NIDDK Reference Collection database online.

Sources:http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/gerd/index.htm

Floating Amidst The Stars

Stargazing Meditation
Since the beginning of time, humans have gazed at the stars in the night sky with awe, seeking in their luminosity everything from answers to inspiration to guidance. We have emerged from our contemplations with stories of gods and goddesses, maps of the universe, astrology, astronomy, math, and art. We have worshipped, wondered, and even projected ourselves out into space in an attempt to understand their magical essence. We know more now than we ever have about what those celestial lights are, how far away they reside, and what will happen to them over time, but facts and information are still no substitute for experiencing them yourself.

Gazing at the stars is no doubt one of the earliest forms of meditation practiced by human beings, and it is readily available to this day. If you live in a city, you may have a hard time seeing the stars, but a short drive can take you far enough beyond the city lights to reveal their glory. If you live in a rural setting, all you have to do is wait for the sun to set and the night to settle to get the show of your life, every night. If you make a habit of it, you will begin to know the seasonal changes of the night sky, deepening your connection to the earth and the universe in which you live.

One of the best ways to stargaze is to lie down on a blanket so that your body can fully relax. This position allows your breath to move easily through your tranquil form as you settle down into the earth, connecting your consciousness to the sky. As you look deeply into its vastness, allowing your awareness to alternate between the pinpoints of light and the blue-black space that holds them, your breath expands and contracts your body, just as the universe expands and contracts to its own eternal rhythm. You may feel as if you are floating amidst the stars or that they are raining down upon you. You may feel peacefulness, joy, and connectedness, or any of a full range of emotions. Simply continue to breathe, experiencing the wonder of this universe and your place within it.

Source:Daily Om

Will We Soon Know the Cause of ‘Red Wine Headache’?

A new device may be able to detect chemicals in red wine that lead to the dreaded “red wine headache,” according to University of California, Berkeley researchers.

The chemicals are called biogenic amines, and they’re found in a variety of fermented foods including wine, cheese, olives, nuts, cured meats and chocolate.

Red wine headache is thought to be caused by two amines called tyramine and histamine, but other potential causes also exist.

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The new detector, which is the size of a small suitcase, can analyze a drop of wine and determine its amine levels in five minutes. The researchers are in the process of developing a pocket-sized version that you can take with you to a restaurant to test wine at your table.

Red wine and sake were found to have the highest amine levels, while beer had the lowest, researchers said.

Some experts recommend that those who do experience headaches after drinking red wine avoid amine-rich food and drinks. Aside from headaches, amines can also trigger high blood pressure, heart palpitations and elevated adrenaline levels.

Sources: