CDC Says 50 Million Americans Suffer Joint Pain – Arthritis

A surprising jump in the number of Americans hobbled by arthritis may be due to obesity, health experts said.

About 22 percent of U.S. adults have been told by a doctor that they have arthritis, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported. The statistic comes from national telephone polling of tens of thousands of adults in 2007 through 2009.

That translates to nearly 50 million people with the joint disease. It’s also roughly the same percentage with arthritis as reported in a 2003-2005 study.

But there was a significant jump in adults who said their joint pain or other arthritis symptoms limited their usual activities, to 9.4 percent from 8.3 percent. That means more than 21 million adults have trouble climbing stairs, dressing, gardening or doing other things, up from less than 19 million only a few years before, the CDC researchers estimated.

That jump was “more than we would have expected,” said Dr. John Klippel, president of the Atlanta-based Arthritis Foundation.

Klippel said the increase probably was due mainly to baby boomers, who are at an age when they are more likely to suffer osteoarthritis, the most common form of arthritis. It breaks down cartilage and causes pain and joint stiffness.

He added that a complicating factor is high rates of baby boomers who are overweight and obese. Extra weight puts more pressure on arthritic joints, making the problem worse, he said.

The percentage of people who were hobbled was more than twice as high in obese people as those who were normal weight or were underweight, the CDC researchers found. Obesity can lead to or worsen osteoarthritis in the knees, the researchers wrote.

The study is published in a CDC publication, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Hazelnuts- Good Fuel For The Body

If a national research group has its way, U.S. farmers will soon add a new crop to their fields — hazelnuts.

The U.S. currently produces only about five percent of the world’s hazelnuts.

Traditionally known as a European crop used to make sweets and healthy cooking oils, hazelnuts may have even bigger potential as a bio-fuel and feed for livestock, researchers say. And hazelnuts are environmentally friendly to grow according to researchers at the Arbor Day Foundation, a tree conservation organization.

The U.S. currently produces only about five percent of the world’s hazelnuts — and almost all of that comes from Oregon, an area of the U.S. with a climate ideal for tree growth. But a consortium of the Arbor Day Foundation and three universities — the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Oregon State University and Rutgers University — thinks the U.S. can do better.

To increase the hazelnut’s presence in American fields, researchers first have to develop a hybrid that will grow well in a variety of climates across the country.

The group, which has been conducting research for more than a decade, received a $1.3 million grant last fall from the U.S. Department of Agriculture — it’s largest to date — to help make hazelnuts a commercially viable crop. The research had previously been funded by smaller grants or by the institutions themselves.

Scott Josiah, state forester and director of the Nebraska Forrest Service says both the economic and environmental potential of hazelnuts were likely motivating factors behind the USDA’s decision to award the grant.

“They are looking for crops that show potential,” said Josiah. “Hazelnuts will grow where other crops won’t — such as on sloped terrain.”

The versatility of the hazelnut is what makes it so appealing as a new crop, researchers say. It’s used in candies and as a food supplement. As a cooking oil, it has a similar composition to olive oil with a high content of Omega-9 and Omega-6.

Communication Gap Seen Between Patients, Doctors

What doctors think they are telling hospital patients, and what those patients actually hear, may be very different, a small study suggests.

The findings, from a study of 89 patients at one U.S. hospital, add to research showing that doctors and patients are often not on the same page when discussing diagnoses and treatment.

In interviews with the patients on the day of their discharge, researchers found that only 18 percent even knew the name of the main physician in charge of their hospital care. Meanwhile, just 57 percent left the hospital knowing what their diagnosis was.

In contrast, two-thirds of the 43 physicians interviewed thought their patients knew their name, and 77 percent believed their patients were aware of their diagnosis.

Drs. Douglas P. Olson and Donna M. Windish of Yale University School of Medicine in New Haven, Connecticut, report the results in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

The finding that many patients were unsure of their diagnosis or their doctor’s name may sound surprising, but it is not new, according to Olson. Past studies have found that the majority of hospital patients cannot name their main physician, and frequently cannot name their medical problem.

However, the current study also shows that many doctors mistakenly believe their patients know more than they do.

“What’s new here is the discrepancy between doctors and patients,” Olson told Reuters Health. “Patients aren’t really getting the take-home message.”

The communication gaps go beyond names and diagnoses, the study found. Of patients in this study who were prescribed a new medication during their hospital stay, one-quarter said their doctor never told them about it. And very few — 10 percent — said their doctor discussed the drug’s potential side effects with them.

In contrast, all physicians in the study said they at least sometimes told patients about any new prescriptions, and 81 percent said they described the possible side effects at least some of the time.

In recent years, the medical community has increasingly focused on improving doctor-patient communication. In residency programs at academic hospitals, for instance, doctors-in-training are taught to include patients in discussions rather than talking amongst themselves in front of patients, Olson pointed out.

“But there’s still a disconnect,” he said, adding that even when patients say they understand, that often turns out not to be the case.

One explanation, according to Olson, may be that many hospitalized patients are elderly and have complex medical problems — not just one diagnosis, but several co-existing health conditions — and the information they receive during their stay “could understandably be overwhelming.”

And compared with 30 or 40 years ago, Olson noted, patients’ hospital stays are now typically much shorter; that leaves them with less time to absorb and fully understand information about their condition and any treatment changes.

One potential way to address the communication gaps would be to give patients and families written information, in addition to spoken explanations, during the hospital stay — and not only at discharge, Olson said.

“It’s important for us to take a step back and see how some system changes might improve communication,” he said.

Steps patients and their family members can take include writing down any questions as they come up so they can raise them with the doctor later, according to Olson.

Family involvement is important, he noted, particularly for older patients with more complex medical problems and multiple medications.

“How is my life going to be different when I leave the hospital?” is a good general question that patients can ask their doctors, Olson recommends. It can help start a discussion about a range of concerns, including any lifestyle adjustments and medication changes that need to be made, he said.

Olson also advised that patients lacking a primary care doctor get the number of someone at the hospital whom they can call with any questions after they are discharged.

Basic Vitamin & Supplement Glossary

Amino Acids. The building blocks that make up proteins. Humans need 20 different amino acids to function properly. Some are made by the body. Others, called essential amino acids, must be obtained from foods.

Antioxidant. Substances, like vitamins A, C, E, and beta-carotene, that protect your body from the damage of oxidation caused by free radicals.

Botanicals. Substances obtained from plants and used in food supplements, personal care products, or pharmaceuticals. Other names include “herbal medicine” and “plant medicine.”

Daily Value. Found on food and drink nutrition labels, this number tells you the percentage of the recommended dietary allowance provided by one serving of the food or drink in question.

Fat Soluble. Fat-soluble vitamins, such as A, D, E, and K, are absorbed by the body with dietary fats. Your body stores excess fat-soluble vitamins in your liver and body fat, then uses them as needed. Ingesting more fat-soluble vitamins than you need can be toxic, causing side-effects like nausea, vomiting, and liver and heart problems.

Fortify. To increase a food or drink’s nutritional value by adding vitamins, minerals, or other substances. For example, milk is fortified with vitamins A and D.

Free Radicals. An atom or molecule with at least one unpaired electron, making it unstable and reactive. When free radicals react with certain chemicals in the body, they may interfere with the ability of cells to function normally. Antioxidants can stabilize free radicals.

Herb. Herbs are plants used as flavorings in cooking, but herbs can also be used as supplements for health or medicinal reasons.

Megadose. Supplements that provide more than 100% of the daily value of the body’s required vitamins and minerals.

Micronutrients. The name given to vitamins and minerals because your body needs them in small amounts. Micronutrients are vital to your body’s ability to process the “macronutrients:” fats, proteins, and carbohydrates. Examples are chromium, zinc, and selenium.

Minerals. Nutrients found in the earth or water and absorbed by plants and animals for proper nutrition. Minerals are the main component of teeth and bones, and help build cells and support nerve impulses, among other things. One example is calcium.

Multivitamin. A pill, beverage, or other substance containing more than one vitamin.

Oxidation. A chemical reaction in which oxygen combines with a substance, changing or destroying its normal function. Oxidation can damage cell membranes and interfere with a cell’s regulatory systems, but it is also part of our normal-functioning immune system.

Phytochemicals. Health-protecting compounds found in fruits, vegetables, and other plants. Phytochemicals (sometimes called phytonutrients) include beta-carotene, lycopene, and resveratrol.

Prenatal Vitamins. Specially formulated multivitamins that ensure a pregnant woman gets enough essential micronutrients. Prenatal supplements generally contain more folic acid, iron, and calcium than standard adult supplements.

Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA). The amount of nutrients needed daily to prevent the development of disease in most people. An example is vitamin C; the RDA is 70 milligrams, below which, for most people, there is the risk of developing scurvy.

Supplements. Vitamins, minerals, herbs, or other substances taken orally and meant to correct deficiencies in the diet.

U.S. Pharmacopeia (USP). A nonprofit authority that sets standards and certifies supplements that meet certain quality, strength, and purity standards. Many supplements carry the USP symbol on their label.

Vitamins. Naturally found in plants and animals, vitamins are vital to growth, energy, and nerve function. There are two types of vitamins used by the body to support health: fat-soluble and water-soluble.

Water-Soluble. Water-soluble vitamins like B-6, C, and folic acid are easily absorbed by the body. Your body uses the vitamins it needs, then excretes excess water-soluble vitamins in urine. Because these vitamins are not stored in the body, there is less risk of toxicity than with fat-soluble vitamins, but a greater risk of deficiency.

An Erectile Dysfunction Primer

E.D.  Checklist

An occasional problem achieving an erection is nothing to worry about. But failure to do so more than 50% of the time at any age may indicate a condition that needs treatment. Are you at risk for erectile dysfunction (ED)? Take the following quiz and find out.

  1. Are you overweight?  Yes or No
  1. Do you have any of the following conditions?
    • Diabetes
    • High cholesterol
    • Depression
    • Atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries from plaque)
    • Kidney disease
  1. Do you:
    • Smoke
    • Drink alcohol
    • Use recreational drugs
  1. How often do you exercise?
    • Daily
    • Once or twice a week
    • A couple of times a month
    • I never seem to get around to it
  1. How often do you feel stressed?
    • Much of the time
    • Sometimes
    • Rarely

Answers:

  1. Overweight men are more likely to have ED
  2. Common causes of ED include nerve diseases, psychological conditions and diseases that affect blood flow. A number of prescription drugs and over-the-counter drugs may also cause ED by affecting a man’s hormones, nerves or blood circulation
  3. Tobacco, alcohol and recreational drugs can all damage a man’s blood vessels and/or restrict blood flow to the penis, causing ED
  4. Regular exercise can reduce the risk of ED
  5. Stress and anxiety are leading causes of temporary ED

Questions to Ask Your Doctor

  • Does my erectile dysfunction stem from an underlying illness?
  • Could any of my medicines be causing this problem or making it worse?
  • Could stress or a psychological problem be to blame for my erection difficulties?
  • Are there medications I can take?

Did You Know?

  • Misinformation about erectile dysfunction includes the notion that ED, also called impotence, is an unavoidable consequence of aging. ED is not considered normal at any age, nor is it normal for a man to lose erectile function completely as a result of being older.
  • Another myth is that tight underwear causes ED. While physical and psychological conditions can lead to ED, tight underwear is not to blame. Tight underwear may be a factor in producing a low sperm count.
  • ED can be treated with oral medications, sex therapy, penile injections and surgery, such as penile implants.
  • Intercavernous injection therapy is a medication injected directly into the penis to treat ED.
  • Intraurethral therapy is a suppository medication that is inserted into the urethra to treat ED.
  • Urologist is a doctor specially trained to treat problems of the male and female urinary systems, and the male sex organs.

Know Your Numbers

  • At least 20 million American men have some degree of erectile dysfunction, and about one in 10 adult males suffers from ED long-term.
  • About 40% of men in their 40s report at least occasional problems getting and maintaining erections. So do more than half (52%) of men aged 40 to 70, and about 70% of men in their 70s.
  • Failure to achieve an erection less than 20% of the time is not unusual; treatment is rarely needed.
  • Atherosclerosis alone accounts for 50% to 60% of ED cases in men 60 and older. Between 35% and 50% of men with diabetes have ED, and ED may be a predictor for other vascular problems.

Cholesterol Levels Explained

HDL Cholesterol

When it comes to HDL cholesterol — “good” cholesterol — the higher the number, the better it is for your health. This is because HDL cholesterol protects against heart disease by taking the “bad” cholesterol out of your blood and keeping it from building up in your arteries. The table below explains what the numbers mean.

HDL Cholesterol HDL-Cholesterol Category
60 and above High; Optimal; helps to lower risk of heart disease
Less than 40 in men and less than 50 in women Low; considered a risk factor for heart disease

Triglycerides

Triglycerides are the chemical form in which most fat exists in food and the body. A high triglyceride level has been linked to the occurrence of coronary artery disease in some people. Here’s the breakdown.

Triglycerides Triglyceride Category
Less than 150 Normal
150 – 199 Borderline high
200 – 499 High
500 or higher Very high

Total Cholesterol

Your total blood cholesterol is a measure of LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, and other lipid components. Doctors recommend total cholesterol levels below 200

Total Cholesterol Category
Less than 200 Desirable
200 – 239 Borderline High
240 and above High

Safe Foods for Acid Reflux Sufferers

Safe Foods for the Acid Reflux

Food Group Foods With Little Potential to Cause Heartburn
Fruit • Apple, fresh
• Apple, dried
• Apple juice
• Banana
Vegetables • Baked potato
• Broccoli
• Cabbage
• Carrots
• Green beans
• Peas
Meat • Ground beef, extra-lean
• Steak, London Broil
• Chicken breast, skinless
• Egg whites
• Egg substitute
• Fish, no added fat
Dairy • Cheese, feta or goat
• Cream cheese, fat-free
• Sour cream, fat-free
• Soy cheese, low-fat
Grains • Bread, mult-grain or white
• Cereal, bran or oatmeal
• Corn bread
• Graham crakers
• Pretzels
• Rice, brown or white
• Rice cakes
Beverages • Mineral water
Fats / Oils • Salad dressing, low-fat
Sweets / Desserts • Cookie, fat-free
• Jelly beans
• Red licorice
• Potato chips, baked

Foods To Be Consumed In Moderation

Food Group Foods To Be Consumed With Discretion
Fruit • Orange juice, low-acid
• Apple cider
• Peach
• Blueberries
• Raspberries
• Strawberries
• Grapes
• Cranberries, dried
Vegetables • Garlic
• Onion, cooked
• Leeks
• Sauerkraut
• Scallions
Meat • Ground beef, lean
• Chicken salad
• Scrambled eggs, in butter
• Eggs, fried
• Fish, fried
• Tuna salad
• Hot dog, beef or pork
• Ham
Dairy • Yogurt
• Milk, 2 percent or skim
• Frozen yogurt
• Cottage cheese, low-fat
• Cheddar cheese
• Mozzarella cheese
Grains • Garlic bread
• Muffin
• Granola cereal
Beverages • Non-alcoholic wine
• Beer
• Non-alcoholic beer
• Cola
• Root beer
Fats / Oils • Ketchup
Sweets / Desserts • Cookie, low-fat

What is the Feldenkrais Method?

Feldenkrais is a form of movement re-education developed by nuclear physicist and engineer Moshe Feldenkrais after suffering a sports-related injury. Rather than undergo surgery, he explored alternatives and created his own form of rehab integrating physiology, anatomy, martial arts, psychology, and neurology.

A key principle of Feldenkrais is that the way that a person speaks, moves, and thinks is based on the self-image that person has developed over the years. In order to change the way we move and carry ourselves, we have to change how we see ourselves.

Feldenkrais recognized the importance of proper breathing to movement. He also believed that postures and movements reflected the state of the mind and body. For example, a depressed person may have hunched shoulders.

Conditions Treated

  • Muscle pain
  • Back pain
  • Neuromuscular conditions, such as cerebral palsy and fibromyalgia
  • Repetitive strain
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Performance enhancement for dancers, actors, athletes
  • Sports injuries

What a Typical Feldenkrais Treatment is Like

With Feldenkrais, there are two approaches:

  • Awareness Through Movement group classes – Led by a teacher, these classes increase mobility and help replace old patterns of movement with new, improving breathing and blood circulation. Classes are popular with actors, musicians, and dancers.
  • Functional Integration individual sessions – One-to-one sessions, using touch and tissue manipulation, where the practitioner actively directs the client’s body through various movements tailored to individual needs.

10 Natural Aphrodisiacs

According to folklore, natural aphrodisiacs may help to raise libido and increase desire. They’re being used by an increasing number of people to give their sex lives a boost.

But some of them may cause side effects or interact with medications and others haven’t been proven. Here are the facts about 10 popular aphrodisiac herbs and supplements.

1) Ginseng

Ginseng is one of the bestselling herbs in the United States. In much of Asia, ginseng is prized as a revitalizer for the whole body, partly due to the human-like shape of the root.

2) Horny Goat Weed

According to folklore, horny goat weed’s reputed aphrodisiac qualities were discovered when a Chinese goat herder noticed increased sexual activity in his flock[ after they ingested the weed.

3) Fo-Ti

Fo-ti is also called he shou wu, which means “black-haired Mr. He” in Chinese. This name refers to a legend of an older villager named Mr. He who took fo-ti and restored his black hair, youthful appearance and sexual vitality.

4) L-Arginine

L-arginine is not a herb but an amino acid that has numerous functions in the body. It has been used for erectile dysfunction and is often promoted as a Viagra alternative.

5) Damiana

Damiana is a plant native to Mexico and the southern United States. It has been widely used as an aphrodisiac in Mexico for men and women.

6) Tribulus Terrestris

Tribulus terrestris is a herb that has been used in the traditional medicine of China and India for centuries. It was only in the mid-90s when Eastern European Olympic athletes claimed that tribulus contributed to their success that tribulus became known in the North America

7) Tongkat Ali

] Tongkat Ali is a tree native to Malaysia, Thailand, and Indonesia. It was dubbed the “Asian Viagra” in a May 1999 report in the New Sunday Times.

8) Maca

According to folklore, ancient Incan warriors took maca before going off to battle to make them physically strong. However, they were later prohibited from taking it, in order to protect conquered women from their heightened libidos.

9) Muira Puama

Muira puama, also called “potency wood” is a small Brazilian tree that grows across the Amazon river basin. It has a long history of use in Brazilian folk medicine as an aphrodisiac.

10) Yohimbe

Yohimbe is an evergreen tree that grows in western Africa in Nigeria, Cameroon, the Congo and Gabon. Yohimbe bark extracts are widely promoted online and in health food stores as a natural aphrodisiac to increase libido and treat erectile dysfunction

Home Remedies Series – Dizziness

Dizziness is commonly described as a feeling of light-headedness, unsteadiness and the feeling that you are about to faint. Dizziness is also commonly associated with the feeling that you or your surroundings seem to rotate endlessly. Such type of dizziness is medically referred to as ‘vertigo’. Dizziness essentially shakes the balance of the individual. The sense of balance depends on a variety of information processed by the brain after receiving inputs from eyes, inner ears and the nervous system.

Loss of balance or feeling dizzy is experienced in the event of signals sent to the brain not being processed due to contradiction in messages or mal- function in sensory systems. Dizziness is among the most common complaints after backache to be experienced by a large majority of people especially older adults. There are various causes that lead to dizziness. Dizziness can be a single short experience or lead to occasional or frequent spells. Though it is not a serious disorder it is important to diagnose the cause and eliminate the reason.

Symptoms of Dizziness

The common symptoms experienced during a spell of dizziness

– Loss of balance

– Light headedness

– Feeling of fainting

– Weakness

– Feeling of continuous rotation of self or surroundings

– Blurring of vision as head spins

– Nausea

Causes of Dizziness

The key causes that lead to dizziness

– Sudden drop in blood pressure or dehydration may inhibit blood to the brain causing lightheadedness.

– Dizziness may be accompanied by various disorders such as: allergies, hypoglycemia, common cold, fever, diarrhea, vomiting or flu.

– Loss of balance or spinning sensation may be related to a malfunction in at least two of three main organs that contribute to our sense of balance: inner ears, eyes or the nervous system.

– Serious disorders that may cause dizziness are: stroke, heart attack, severe drop in blood pressure.

Common home remedies to treat dizziness

– Enhance maintaining balance by learning exercises from a trained physiotherapist

– Reduce stress

– Practice Aerobic exercises

– Develop a regular sleep pattern

– Treat the disorder which is causing dizziness

Diet for Dizziness

People prone to dizziness are advised to avoid foods/ drinks such as

– Iced Tea

– Pina Coladas

– Diet Drinks/ Artificial Sweetener

– Caffeine

– Alcohol

– Tobacco

– Eating sweet and salty foods together

It is important to drink ample water, a minimum of 8-12 glasses of water to ensure blood pressure doesn’t drop due to exercise, high stress activities or due to a hot climate.

Other suggestions and Tips

– It is advisable to sit immediately when you feel dizzy to avoid any possible injuries

– Avoid taking on high stress or concentration requiring activities such as driving a car or operating machinery if you experience frequent dizziness spells

– Rise slowly from bed or spend a few minutes in bed before waking up this helps normalize blood pressure

– Dizziness could be an outcome of side effects caused by intake of certain drugs such as antihistamines and blood pressure medications. Check with the doctor before continuing the dosage

Bahrain Clinic Says Magnetic Waves are Key to Healing

(MANAMA) – You might not know this, but your body is surrounded by an electromagnetic field that changes color depending on your mood and physical state.  Or at least that is the theory behind a new treatment being offered in Bahrain, which first surfaced in Germany in the 1970s.

Its proponents claim it can treat an assortment of different ailments including bronchial asthma, pain, stress, migraines, skin conditions, obesity and even help people quit smoking. They include practitioner Dr Yasser Elnajjar, professor and chairman of the alternative medicine department at Zagazig University, in Egypt.

He explained the basics to the GDN during a weeklong visit to Bahrain to train staff at the Bahrain Medical Group on how it works. Among the machines now in use at the clinic, in West Riffa, is the Bicom Optima device – which he claimed could filter the body’s electromagnetic waves and remove abnormalities that lead to ill health.

Known as “bio resonance therapy”, the treatment is a form of alternative medicine belonging to the field of electromagnetic therapy.  Dr Elnajjar said it works by identifying a deficiency that absorbs “colors” from the body, but then replenishing those “colors” using a “Sobre-tuning” machine.  He believes each area of the body has a specific sensitivity to certain colors, while each color treats a specific disease.

The theory is that when a deficiency absorbs some colors from the body, the Sobre-tuning machine balances your body by supporting a color that it needs. According to practitioners, toxins such as nicotine also disturb frequency patterns – impairing bodily functions.

They claim that using the Bicom Optima device, frequency patterns that cause illness can be transformed back into normal patterns.  “The body is made up of electromagnetic waves – the machine identifies the nicotine wave and sends it back to the patient in a corrected form, thereby eliminating the craving for nicotine,” said Dr Elnajjar.

It might sound complicated – and it is.

I spent the next 20 minutes trying to get my head around the jargon that seems to come as standard with the treatments – of which the Bicom Optima device is one of several. But Dr Elnajjar insisted the terminology shouldn’t get in the way of results the technology could achieve.

During the last 10 years he claims to have successfully treated 8,000 people for a range of conditions using alternative medicine, such as bio-energy, homoeopathy and supplements.  “The Bicom Optima machine is versatile and features 1,000 programs which can be used to treat many different conditions,” he claimed.

“The clinic now has a number of other machines, which compliment the Bicom Optima, and can be used to treat pain, stress, migraines and Bronchial asthma etcetera.” When I had finished asking questions and receiving answers I quite honestly didn’t understand, it was insisted that I try out the “Acugraph” machine to test my overall health – and since I hadn’t been to a doctor in a while, I didn’t see the harm in trying.

Plus the treatments at the centre aren’t cheap and can set you back BD150 to BD200 for a full course (US$396 – US$528).

The machine claims to measure deficiencies in organs of the body, as well as improvements after treatment.

I was first told to take off my shoes and socks before placing one foot on the table in front of me.  Then using what can only be described as a prod to poke my feet and wrists, Dr Elnajjar used it to check my internal organs and energy levels.  The results were not what I had expected and, according to the device, I carry a lot of stress in my heart and in my stomach.

Fortunately for me, however, Dr Elnajjar was on hand with a laser – which he aimed at a specific area on my fingers and toes for a few seconds. I honestly can’t say I felt any different afterwards, but I did enjoy the 20-minute sit down while he conducted the test.

But apparently I had improved around 20 per cent after the treatment, which is always good to hear.

The technology at the centre will be overseen by consultant chest physician and director of the Bahrain Medical Group, Dr Hassan Fakhro. He said this was the first time such equipment had been available in the Gulf. “No-one else in the Gulf has as much diagnostic and therapeutic and bio-medical equipment as us,” he said. “We want to use this equipment to launch a national campaign against smoking, which is the most serious health hazard in the world.”

–Charlie Holding

Importance of Oral Re-Hydration

Oral rehydration therapy (ORT) involves the replacement of fluids and electrolytes lost during an episode of diarrheal illness. Diarrheal illnesses are pervasive worldwide, and they have a particularly large impact in the developing world. Children under the age of five are the major victims and account for over 3 million deaths a year due to dehydration associated with diarrheal illness. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that over one million deaths are prevented annually by ORT. An oral rehydration solution (ORS) is the cornerstone of this treatment. Between 90 and 95 percent of cases of acute, watery diarrhea can be successfully treated with ORT.

Ancient civilizations in India and China made use of sugar and starch solutions to treat dehydration. Oral rehydration solutions make use of the ability of glucose to increase the resorption of fluids and salts into the intestinal wall. The current understanding of ORT was developed in 1968 by researchers responding to a cholera epidemic that began in 1958 in Bangladesh. Intravenous rehydration was inaccessible to much of the population that diarrhea affected, and it was found that oral rehydration solutions could replace such treatment cheaply and effectively. Most importantly, it was easily accessible in the form of prepackaged or homemade solutions.

WHO and UNICEF are the principal sponsors of global rehydration projects. These projects involve the development and distribution of prepackaged solutions, combined with education efforts for instruction in home preparation and delivery. There is some variation among packaged solutions, but the principle ingredients are glucose, sodium, and potassium. The UNICEF recipe for a simple homemade solution contains five cupfuls of boiled water, eight teaspoons of sugar, and one teaspoon of salt, resulting in one liter of solution. Double-sided measuring spoons have also been distributed to standardize measurement. In addition, fruit juices, coconut water, and other indigenous solutions can adequately approximate ORS.

Oral rehydration therapy has increased in use since its development, and it has potential for even greater use. However, severe cases of dehydration continue to need supervised medical care.

Introducing – Fo-Ti

Other Names: Polygonum multiflorum, He shou wu

Fo-ti is a plant native to China that is also found in Japan and Taiwan. The medicinal part of the plant is the root. In traditional Chinese medicine, it is often boiled in a liquid made with black beans — this is known as red fo-ti. White fo-ti is the unprocessed root.

Fo-ti is called He shou wu, which means “black-haired Mr. He” in Chinese. This name refers to a legend of an older villager named Mr. He who took fo-ti and restored his black hair, youthful appearance and vitality.

Why People Use Fo-Ti

In Chinese medicine, fo-ti is a longevity tonic that is used for greying hair, premature aging, weakness, vaginal discharge, and erectile dysfunction. Red fo-ti is considered a tonic to increase vitality and energy, strengthen the blood, kidneys and liver. White fo-ti is used for constipation.

There is evidence that fo-ti can lower serum cholesterol, decrease hardening of the arteries, and improve immune function.

* Atherosclerosis
* Constipation
* Fatigue
* High cholesterol
* Insomnia
* Immune function
* Erectile dysfunction

Parkinson’s disease
Alzheimer’s disease

There are no controlled studies on the effectiveness or safety of fo-ti in humans. Preliminary studies with animals have found that fo-ti may attenuate diet-induced increases in plasma cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and plasma triglycerides. In animal studies, there is some evidence that fo-ti may enhance learning and memory and prevent the degeneration of nigrostriatal dopaminergic neurons in the brain.

Possible Side Effects and Safety Concerns

Rarely, people develop an allergic skin rash after taking fo-ti. Other side effects include loose stools. Taking more than 15 grams of the processed root can cause numbness in the arms and legs.

There have been three published case reports of acute hepatitis following the use of a fo-ti product called Shou-wu-pian, which is manufactured in China. It is not known whether it was due to fo-ti or product contamination.

One study tested 32 plants used for menopause in traditional Chinese medicine. They found that fo-ti had the greatest estrogenic activity. People with estrogen-related cancers of the breast, ovary, uterus, and prostate should take extra caution because the effect of fo-ti in humans is not known.

Home Remedies Series – Bloating

Bloating is a general swelling in any part of the body, but is usually experienced in the abdominal area. Bloating can essentially cause an increase in the abdominal area. The diameter of the abdomen could increase either slightly or excessively.

Symptoms of Bloating

The characteristic symptom of bloating is tightness in the chest, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and vomiting. There is a significant change in the bowel movements. The stools become dark and could even be bloody. The consistency of stool may change, becoming either watery and loose or hard and constipated.

Due to the excessive gas inside the stomach, there could be increased burping and flatulence. You will experience discomfort in the abdomen and your appetite could decrease significantly. Due to the decreased appetite and discomfort, you may also lose weight. Bloating may also cause you to feel incessant fatigue, cramping in the stomach, and breathing problems.

In certain cases the cramps and the pain caused by bloating are so severe that it seems you are experiencing pain in your heart. If the pain occurs towards the right hand side of the body, it can be often mistaken for appendicitis or stones in the gall bladder. Hiccups are another symptom of bloating.

Causes of Bloating

There are several causes of bloating; however, the most common is the accumulation of gas and liquids in the intestines. There are also specific diseases affecting the gastrointestinal tract which may cause bloating. Ailments such as Crohn’s Disease, may cause obstruction of the bowels and may contribute to the bloating symptoms.

When food is not ingested properly, or water intake is not adequate, that too is a cause of bloating. The excessive intake of fatty foods can cause the formation of a layer of fat on the body, causing pressure and bloating.

Intolerance towards foods like lactose, fructose, and proteins can disrupt the digestion process, causing the release of gases and liquids and ultimately resulting in bloating. Some of the other causes of bloating are food allergies, overeating, swallowing of air while eating, irritable bowel syndrome, obstruction of the bowels, rapid emptying of the bowels, constipation, menstruation, and cysts in the ovaries.

Bloating is usually not considered a very serious disorder and can be managed with home remedies. The most effective home remedies for bloating are herbal teas. You can brew chamomile, ginger, peppermint or basil tea. Another option is to add a few drops of clove oil to a glass of water and drink it every morning. This will help improve digestion and release excessive gases. Eucalyptus oil can also be used instead of clove oil.

Another effective natural remedy is to boil one tea spoon of ground cinnamon with water. To improve the taste, you can add some honey.

Diet for Bloating

When you are feeling bloated, you may feel abdominal discomfort but don’t stop eating. Drink a lot of water and avoid carbonated drinks. Eat foods which are seedless and have been peeled and cooked properly.

Exercising regularly can help alleviate the symptoms of bloating.

Legumes – Protein Powerhouse for 800 Million Malnourished People

(BEVERLY HILLS) – Legumes could turn out to be a nutritional powerhouse to help overcome malnutrition among an estimated 800 million undernourished people in the developing world, says a report.
Published in an upcoming issue of Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety, the report points out that providing safe, nutritious and wholesome food for poor and undernourished populations has been an increasing challenge for the developing countries, where protein-energy malnutrition is among the most serious problems.

And this is because of increased populations, scarcity of fertile land, and degradation of natural resources. Thus, wild and underutilized legumes have emerged as cost-effective alternatives to the unreliable supply of animal-based protein in developing nations.

Although common legumes such as soybeans and cowpeas are available, the demand for these protein-rich sources is not being met. On the other hand, researchers throughout the world are tapping into natural wild and underutilized legumes to alleviate hunger and overcome malnutrition in developing nations.

Several species of wild and underutilized legumes, such as Sesbania, Mucuna and Canavalia, possess strong nutritional and pharmaceutical value.

With proper processing of these legumes, food scientists are certain that with further research these plants will provide food for humans and animals as well as a potential way to overcome protein malnutrition issues that currently affect developing nations.

“Further research is needed to explore the entirety of the underutilized legumes’ nutritional potential and researchers hope to find them to be a source of nutraceuticals for new food formulations, biofortification and new product development,” said lead researcher Rajeev Bhat.