By Natural Advocate | March 27, 2008 - 10:57 am - Posted in Natural Depression & Anxiety Relief

When depression hits us “normal people”, we often think of it as a mental disorder that only afflicts us, and the rich and affluent could not possibly feel this.  After all, national recognition and money couldn’t possibly go hand in hand with depression!?  Well, that’s not the case, and as a matter of fact, those with money and fame may be a little more inclined to feel cut off and hopeless in many cases. 

A lot of famous people have admitted to struggles with depression including funny man Jim Carey, Kirstie Alley, and even George Clooney after he suffered an injury that he said was so painful he contemplated suicide.  And who could ignore the daily headlines about a very followed pop princess, Britney Spears, suffering with depression, anxiety and possibly a personality or mood disorder?

Depression affects everyone, no matter what your status in society, your socioeconomic place, your family’s background, or the friends and company you keep.  That’s why there are so many resources dedicated to helping find suitable medications and remedies for depression, including natural and herbal remedies for depression and anxiety, therapies that go beyond taking any pills such as cognitive therapy, talking to a therapist without taking medication, and relaxation techniques such as sauna therapy and yoga, among other new age techniques for relaxation and depression busting.

JK Rowling, the famous author of the Harry Potter books, who is now a millionaire many times over, has just come forward and talked about her severe depression before she wrote her first Harry Potter book, but her depression actually was connected to life events and the fact that she felt as a single mother she could not provide for her only daughter after her husband left. 

She now admits that she had such severe depression that she had frequent suicidal thoughts, and that the main reason she seeked help for the way she felt was because of her daughter, and she felt that she couldn’t be a good mother to her daughter in the state she was in.  Look at her now, she’s happy and she’s successful, so she’s a success story of how therapy can help someone who suffers even severe depression.

She pulled herself out of it and went on to write books she loves and enjoy spreading happiness to children everywhere, who the books she writes really connects with. 

By Natural Advocate | March 24, 2008 - 6:05 am - Posted in Foods

When I was growing up, coffee and caffeinated beverages were for adults to drink.  Today, there are a large variety of drinks containing excessive amounts of caffeine that are targeting young consumers.  The most recent popular drinks high in caffeine for the young people are the variety of energy drinks. 
Some of these include Red Bull with 115 mg. of caffeine, Rockstar with 180 mg.  and Sobe No Fear with 130 mg. per 12 oz. serving.  These energy drinks are sweetened and marketed to entice the youth population.  While caffeine does provide energy and increases mental attentiveness, the large doses on the market in so many products are reaching younger and younger people all the time. 
The effects of large quantities of caffeine on children cause concern for both parents and pediatricians.  Among these concerns is the fact that caffeine can cause behavior problems in children.  In research done at Johns Hopkins University, it was found that several cans of caffeinated soft drinks raised the blood pressure and decreased the pulse rate in children.
Other causes for concern with caffeine intake in children is that it can cause anxiety, irritability, sleeplessness, headaches, nausea, diarrhea, muscle tremors and abnormal heart rhythmns.  Some pediatricians are seeing the effects of high caffeine intake with complaints of headaches, insomnia and jitteriness.
Parents should not buy energy drinks or highly caffeinated soft drinks for their youngsters or teens. Pediatricians advise that they don’t need the “empty calories” and the caffeine can cause behavioral problems, headaches and other problems.  Children and teens should simply be encouraged to drink water.  Other products that contain high amounts of caffeine such as NoDoz or Jolt gum should be discouraged by parents of youngsters too.

By Natural Advocate | March 22, 2008 - 12:20 pm - Posted in Medical News

Prescription medications that are meant to help us can do just the opposite if there is an error of some sort in administering them.  There are safeguards you, as the patient, can take to ensure your prescription will do the healing and none of the harming.
Before your doctor writes a prescription, communicate any known allergies or major health issues you have.  Don’t be afraid to ask if the medication is really necessary.   Find out what foods, supplements or activities to avoid while taking this medication.  Ask how long you should take this drug, how soon it should work and if you will need a refill. 
Find out what the medication is for and what the risks are.  Tell your doctor if you are pregnant and if you are having any problems with your present medications.  Look at your prescription before you leave the office. 
Ensure that the written prescription matches exactly to what the doctor verbally told you.  Make sure you understand any abbreviations used in the writing of the prescription.  When you take the prescription to the pharmacist, review the dosage and instructions again.  Make sure everything is the same as it was instructed in the doctor’s office. 
Find out about side effects and if this drug is safe with the other medications you are taking.  Ask how to store the medicine.  Request written information about the medication and read all of the instructions.
If the medication does not seem to be working or if you experience side effects, call your doctor for advice.  Do not change a dosage yourself without medical consultation with your doctor.  Choose your pharmacist  as carefully as you choose your doctor.  Look for a pharmacist that takes their time to explain things to you and answers any questions you may have.

By Natural Advocate | March 20, 2008 - 10:26 am - Posted in Natural and Herbal Treatments

Well, this is a disappointing bit of news, but I’m still a bit stubborn to totally accept is as “fact” since I think smelling certain things definitely helps me with my anxiety and many times can lift my mood and give me a peace of mind that cannot be gotten by anything else. 

Researchers at one of my home state’s colleges, Ohio State University, ran what they called one of the most rigorous tests on various arometherapy scents that have been known to help ease certain physical ailments of help keep peace of mind and anxiety at bay, lemon and lavendar and they could not find one physical response to these scents, not one they said. 

Lemon oil has been touted as being a mood booster, and even had been noted in predominant medical journals as a mood boosting element, however researchers at OSU said that when they ran tests of any type of brain activity changes, blood pressure, and other tests of physical changes in the body, they found no significant changes at all. 

Also, in somewhat of a placebo experiment, more than 50 percent of men and women showed the same or more responses internally to the “scent” of distilled water than they did to common arometherapy scents that we all know and love.  Is this bound to change the aromatherapy industry, in this day and age when scented candles, sachets and aroma dispensers are at an all time popularity high? 

No would be my answer.  We still think it does something for us, and if it makes us feel emotionally better, then that is what is going to keep us coming back and buying it.  It’s still pleasant to be around and makes us feel more at home, so I say there’s enough therapy in that.  Hey, you can’t quantify that type of pleasure, right? 

By Natural Advocate | March 18, 2008 - 9:11 pm - Posted in Alternative & Herbal Health News

You know how sometimes there is a finding that goes against conventional thought, which then has an effect on how something is treated, or how something is diagnosed?  Well there may be that exact thing happening right now when it comes to spotting and diagnosing colon cancer, or the beginnings of colon cancer. 

Colon polyps, those growths in the colon that look sort of like a stem growth, are many times benign and harmless, but oftentimes may be removed if they are spotted via colonoscopy because they could eventually become cancerous.  Well, the conventional thought has been twisted, because now it has been found that the flat growths are more likely to either be or become cancerous, something that was often overlooked in colonoscopies prior to this discovery.

Experts are saying that a new way of doing colonoscopies, or at least the awareness in doctors that look at results in what to look for now, is extremely important if they are to be proactive and getting colon cancer before it truly takes hold.  Experts are also saying that it may be counterintuitive, but the smaller growths, which also can be flat or actually depressed into the colon wall, are the really dangerous spots to look out for.

How much more likely are these flat or depressed spots to be cancer than plain old polyps?  Well, its quite significant – ten times more likely, so I’m sure you can see why it’s important to detect these many times more difficult to detect spots before they spread.  This is another reason you may want to look into herbal colon cleansing programs as well, as it is thought that colons and digestive systems that are “clogged” are the most likely to become cancerous. 

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