Prostate cancer : Caring for Daddy through the treatment

Prostate cancer : Caring for Daddy through the treatment

Dad was diagnosed 4 years ago with prostate cancer. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) cancer report more than 1.1 million new cases have appeared since 2012 in men. In 84 countries globally, it is the most common type of cancer.

It was a really rough two years after he was diagnosed through a routine check- up at the doctors. Immediately he underwent heavy chemotherapy and many long days in hospital because of his rapidly deteriorating condition. He went from being an active man with frequent fun evenings with mom and their friends to endlessly sick from all the treatments they prescribed. My parents had no more life, which took a damper on their moral. We were all terribly heartbroken and lacked happy thoughts but we continued to give him the best care we could whether at home or in the hospital with as much positivity as we could.

Little by little we organised a tight schedule where we could all help given our commitments and workload. The greatest part of this illness in our family life, is that it brought us all together and gave us a sense of team building striving for a common goal of getting him better fast.

Since Dad had to stop working, Mom was the only breadwinner left. It was so hard to balance out the house chores, care for dad and continuing working. Us children helped where we could but it became so tough to monitor the medication times and drive him frequently to the hospital for all his treatments.

Months into the situation, we found ourselves giving up so much of our personal development and all we did was care for Dad night and day. We all got together and decided to outsource a lot of the daily and nightly care in order to get our lives back. We all agreed that it was best to move forward in order to have the moral strength and happiness to authentically give him some positive energy and not pretend anymore as that was definitely not helping the situation.

A miracle occurred as we hired these wonderful caregivers that eased our life during all the rough medical patches in order to make room for our happiness. Dad was soon clear of cancer! It was really worth the time and money and made working harder in our jobs so much more enjoyable. He has been cancer free for 2 years now and according to Wikipedia, if he is cancer free for 5 then he has a 99% recovery rate. He has now returned to being his same old wonderful self and taken up all his activities as well as exploring new ones as you realise that you only live once.

Fore more information and statistics : http://www.webmd.com/prostate-cancer/

Think You Might Have a Thyroid Disorder? Here’s All the Ways to Tell

Think You Might Have a Thyroid Disorder? Here’s All the Ways to Tell

Since your thyroid is key to many hormonal feedback loops within the body, making sure that it’s functioning properly is definitely worth your attention. Here are all the ways thyroid disease can show up, and how it may feel if and when it does.

Butterflies in your…throat

Your butterfly-shaped thyroid is a gland that sits at the base of your neck—just above your collarbones. As is the case withall glands, your thyroid produces a selection of hormones—calcitonin, triiodothyronine (T3), thyroxine (T4). While it is possible to possible to develop any number of nodules or tumors on the thyroid itself (a result of benign tissue enlargement and/or cancer) it’s far more common for hormone production disruptions to occur.

Thyroid hormonal imbalances often start out slowly. Therefore, symptoms can be attributed to other causes and overlooked on routine health exams. But since the thyroid plays a part in so many vital bodily functions (metabolism, bone health, heart rate and temperature regulation, and blood pressure) correcting the imbalances is quite necessary, no matter how well you feel.

Is that a goiter, or are you just happy to see me

Generally speaking, thyroid disorders arise from either the production of too many hormones (hyperthyroidism), or too few (hypothyroidism). The following is a list of the most commonly diagnosed thyroid malfunctions and their associates symptoms. If you feel that you may have a thyroid issue going on, a simple blood test can tell you definitively.

  • Hypothyroidism — Your thyroid is under-functioning. As a result you may experience fatigue, weight gain, brittle hair and nails, a swollen neck, a persistent “chilled” sensation, slowed heart rate, constipation, irregular menstrual cycles, dry skin, and tingling in your hands. Treatment for this condition involves taking medication and monitoring lab values and is pretty easily managed.
  • Hyperthyroidism — Your thyroid is over-functioning. Symptoms are the yin to hypothyroidism’s yang and include: anxiety, irritability, unexplained weight loss, fast heart rate, insomnia, hair loss, sweating/hot flashes, blurry vision, tremors in the hands, menstrual cycle disruptions, diarrhea, and weakness. Treatment includes taking medication and monitoring lab values; resistant cases sometimes require a complete removal of the thyroid.
  • Hashimoto’s Disease — Your body attacks and damages your thyroid as part of an autoimmune disorder, causing too few hormones to be released. This can be hereditary; symptoms and treatment are similar to hypothyroidism.
  • Grave’s Disease — Another autoimmune disease where the thyroid is targeted, but in this case, excess hormones are released. Besides mimicking hyperthyroidism symptoms, people with Grave’s Disease have a classic “bug-eyed” appearance.
  • Thyroid Storms — Hypothyroidism left unchecked can lead to a phenomenon known as a “thyroid storm.” Cholesterol quickly rises, and can cause strokes and heart attacks to occur; body temperature drops so low that is causes comatose conditions; lasting complications as a result of bone density loss and heart issues can also persist.
  • Thyroid cancer — If you have to get a type of cancer in your life, thyroid cancer has one of the best prognoses. Lumps in the neck are usually detected on physical exam, or by ultrasound. Treatment generally consists of surgery followed by radioactive iodine or radiation therapy.

The Benefits and Limitations of Natural Antibiotics

The Benefits and Limitations of Natural Antibiotics

But when it comes to natural medicines, can they (or a better question—should they) be used like antibiotics to treat infections? Seems plausible, considering the very first antibiotics were developed from fungus (penicillin, anyone).

Being able to use a natural alternative to a pill from the pharmacy is an appealing prospect. After all, the antibiotics of today contribute to drug-resistant “super-bugs,” cause harmful and unpleasant side effects at times, and can be lethal if taken by someone who’s allergic to them.

Read on for a round up of seven antibacterial foods and plants—many of which you may have in your kitchen and garden now—along with the benefits and limits to each.

Natural born killers

  1. Honey

For centuries, honey has been used to heal wounds. Likewise, several recent studies from the past few decades support this notion. Along with 59 other strains, honey has been shown to improve wounds infected with MRSA—one of the most drug-resistant bacteria out there!

  1. Echinacea extract

Some of the most terrible infections—strep, toxic shock syndrome, and necrotizing fasciitis—may be helped by echinacea’s ability to kill the type of streptococcal bacteria that causes them.

  1. Garlic

Mmmm, garlic. Fragrant, and….curative? Anyone that’s had food poisoning would be glad to know garlic can limit populations of both Salmonella and E. coli!

  1. Ginger

This tangy root soothes a seasick stomach, and can even regulate blood sugar. But did you know that scientific research also proves its capability to stop the growth of many bacteria, too?

  1. Cloves

The extract of cloves is an ingredient used prophylactically in dental procedures to prevent infection. It may be particularly helpful against strains of E. coli. 

  1. Goldenseal

You can consume this flowering plant in tea-form or encapsulated in a supplement. Its effectiveness at fighting MRSA, as well as with urinary and digestive infections, is well-documented.

  1. Oregano

Oregano in oil form has shown promise as a natural antibiotic. In addition, it may reduce inflammation, and boost the immune system by acting as an antioxidant.

The limits of natural treatments

While all of the above substances show immense promise at being antibacterial, there are times when they simply cannot substitute for pharmaceutical-grade antibiotics. In fact, it may be best to think of natural remedies as treatment-adjuncts, best to help ward off the likelihood of an infection developing, rather than a curative treatment for a diagnosed ailment.

A few reasons support this, but namely it comes down to verifiable testing. Because natural foods and substances go largely unregulated, there’s simply no way to tell how much of something you’re getting across different manufacturers. In addition, being “natural” doesn’t mean “without negative effect.” For example, even tasty garlic can increase one’s risk for excessive bleeding, and/or interact negatively with other prescribed medications.

If you are prescribed traditional antibiotics, it’s because your doctor feels you need them to treat a serious infection. Especially for people with other medical problems like diabetes, heart failure, cancer, immune-system dysfunction, antibiotics can mean the difference between life and death.

As research continues, expect to see more treatments derived from natural sources. And in the meantime, do you research (like reading this article), and be well!

Magnesium : The Vital Macromineral You Might Not be Getting Enough of

Magnesium : The Vital Macromineral You Might Not be Getting Enough of

Magnesium is a mineral that is involved in almost every functional aspect of the body. Like other major minerals, it assists with enzymatic functions—including muscle and nerve activity—as well as helps to regulate blood pressure and the immune system. More than half of all magnesium is stored in our bones, where it is doled out to the body as needed.

Pass the Garlic, Please!

Pass the Garlic, Please!

Its savory, aromatic flavor makes just about any dish better, so long as everyone at the table consumes it together. But garlic has also been used historically for its medicinal properties, too.

Have an Upset Stomach? Here Some Ways to Treat It Naturally

Have an Upset Stomach? Here Some Ways to Treat It Naturally

But did you know there are many ways to treat dyspepsia—the medical term for an upset stomach—right at home? Read on for some natural remedy ideas that bring relief, as well as when to seek professional guidance.

Do these symptoms sound familiar: heartburn, bloating and gas, sour breath/coughing, or nausea? If so, here’s a list of natural indigestion treatments that can help you to avoid the doctor’s office!

  1. Hydration—your body needs proper hydration in order to digest food, plain and simple. Making sure that you are getting enough water is a preventative—rather than a treatment—measure to avoid indigestion. It’s a healthy habit that’s easy to overlook but an even easier one to correct.
  2. Staying upright—make gravity your friend! If you are prone to having an upset stomach, the worst thing you can do is lie down after eating. Remaining in a seated position for at least 30 minutes after eating can prevent heartburn, or if symptoms are already present, reclining while propped up on pillows for a few hours will help to quell symptoms faster than laying flat.
  3. Heat—tense muscles will not do your stomach any favors when it comes to digestion. Using a heating pad or even soaking (upright) in a warm bath can help to relax abdominal muscles and alleviate stomach pain.
  4. Mother Nature’s Medicine—certain herbs and roots can do wonders to ease stomach discomfort. Here are several that might help you the next time your stomach feels off:
    • ginger—a well known anti-nausea ingredient, ginger contains compounds that help to move food through the digestive tract, resulting in less noticeable symptoms overall.
    • mint—the cooling flavor of mint instantly soothes the sensation of burning in your digestive tract. Whether sucking on a candy, or making a spearmint tea, you may find that mint significantly reduces unpleasant symptoms quickly.
    • basil—a natural acid-reducer and anti-inflammatory agent, basil is widely regarded to support healthy digestion.
    • licorice—this root is known to reduce inflammation and even the severity of ulcers!
    • cloves—this sweet smelling spice helps to reduce cramps from excess gas.
    • cinnamon—packed with antioxidants, this spice reduces irritation throughout the entire gastric system and can reduce stomach symptoms like nausea, cramping and belching, too.
    • cumin—people have chewed cumin seeds for centuries to help with symptoms of heartburn. It’s believed to reduce inflammation through its antimicrobial properties.
  5. BRAT diet—this bland diet is full of “binders” known to slow diarrhea, and electrolytes to replace nutrients lost. It consists of:
    • Bananas—besides adding bulk, bananas replace B6, potassium and folate which help to ease stomach pain.
    • Rice—well known for its absorption of toxins as well as its ability to deliver a one-two electrolyte punch of magnesium and potassium, which are the missing electrolytes that can cause cramps.
    • Applesauce—apples contain pectin, a natural binder that helps to slow diarrhea.
    • Toast—adds bulk and fiber to the diet in times of gastrointestinal distress.
  6. Avoidance of:
    • cigarettes—although people claim smoking aids digestion, in all actuality the harsh chemicals and smoke irritate the lining in the throat and esophagus. Smoking also slows down healing, making it one of the worst things you can do when hoping to recover from digestive ailments.
    • alcohol—a toxin, plain and simple. If you are experiencing stomach upset, drinking alcohol will only worsen whatever symptoms are already present, in addition to adding a few more—like ulcers and liver/pancreatic damage.
    • hard-to-digest foods—this may seem like a no-brainer, but it bears repeating…if a food is hard to digest, chances are it will make any symptoms you’re experiencing that much worse. Steer clear of fried, rich and heavily preserved foods when indigestion acts up and you might be surprised how much faster you’ll recover.
  7. citrus juice/baking soda/water—this concoction produces carbonic acid, which is essentially a homemade TUMS. Mixing 1:1 of the lime/lemon juice with a teaspoon of baking soda in 8 oz of water can help neutralize acid and calm heartburn symptoms.
  8. figs—prunes aren’t the only natural constipation-alleviator, figs can also help move things along; they also contain natural indigestion-fighting compounds.
  9. aloe—clinically proven to reduce symptoms of heartburn, nausea and regurgitation, aloe juice promotes healthy gut microbes and overall digestive abilities.
  10. yarrow—eating the leaves of this plant have been shown to act on the vagus nerve—the main nerve controlling the digestive system—and by extension, acid regulation in the body.
  11. coconut water—lower in sugar than sport drinks, coconut water also contains electrolytes lost during episodes of diarrhea and can ease cramping.

 

Of course, home remedies are best used when symptoms are mild or infrequent. There are other signs and symptoms that must be taken seriously, especially if they occur often and with increasing severity. If you find that the above measures are not helping your symptoms at all, or if you experience any of the following, make sure to seek medical attention right away.  These include:

  • uncontrolled vomiting
  • bloody stools
  • unexplained weight loss
  • chronic constipation or inability to pass stool/gas
  • anemia (or dizziness/lightheadedness with a history of anemia)
  • urination discomfort
  • fever
  • arm pain
  • severe abdominal pain, or lumps
  • trouble swallowing
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