By Natural Advocate | September 28, 2008 - 6:13 am - Posted in Natural and Herbal Treatments

I was reminded about how important it is to treat genital warts caused by HPV when I just recently had my yearly gynecological exam done.  My doctor went over with me how many women are infected by the HPV virus, and how the new vaccine was being offered to young women to prevent HPV (which by the way I wish they’d take off the market, it’s not good for you, and it’s protection is so minimal and misrepresented it’s a joke). 

Women need to get an annual pap smear, which is where they take a small sample scraping from your cervix (yes, it’s not very comfortable, but it’s a necessary evil I suppose) and put it under a microscope to determine whether you have any cancerous or precancerous cells that are growing on the cervix. 

They have concluded that the HPV virus, which infects so many women that there are more infected than are not because it is so common, is responsible for many cases of cervical cancer, and this pap smear procedure is supposed to mitigate that risk by showing whether the cells growing on the cervix are healthy, precancerous, or showing any signs of becoming cancerous so that they can freeze the tissue and actually take it off if it becomes a threat. 

For those who suffer from occasional genital warts from HPV, there is a natural remedy for it that is supposed to work very well.  It is a topically applied spray called the Wartrol natural treatment for HPV warts that contains effective calming and soothing ingredients that help when you have a flareup.  It’s always good to have natural alternatives since we all know that natural remedies can work just as well or better than their medical counterparts, and now there is a natural alternative for treating HPV warts that works too. 

By Natural Advocate | September 25, 2008 - 4:43 pm - Posted in Natural and Herbal Treatments

I think we all may have been through some bouts with insomnia, and we can all attest to the fact that it can make us feel as if we are temporarily insane when we have to actually face the day’s challenges, and especially when we have to face people who may be challenging and want to tell them what we REALLY think of them! 

All kidding aside, insomnia can seriously affect your health.  And if you have a job that depends on you getting there in the morning and happen to have insomnia the night before, you have no reprieve because it’s not like you can sleep in and catch up on sleep if you have to be somewhere. 

My boyfriend and I haven’t had problems with insomnia too bad, but we’ve also been taken natural sleep aids like Melatrol with melatonin and other natural ingredients in it for a few years now.  We even tried another one that’s called valerian root a while ago, but it ended up making us feel like we were drugged and couldn’t move in the morning.  Sure, it helped us fall asleep, but it zonked us out so bad that we felt like we had a hangover in the morning and couldn’t function without copious amounts of coffee or some other caffeine laden drink.

Valerian also has a curious effect on some where they either have very vivid dreams or they also get RLS or restless leg syndrome at night, which I think also happened to me on valerian root.  I had to laugh when I was listening to a radio show the other morning and one of the jockeys on the program was saying how he tried valerian and his girlfriend woke him up because he was “running” in bed, because I remember having similar bizarre experiences on valerian. 

Meltonin based products like Melatrol (see full review) on the other hand, are great because you fall asleep and you sleep through the night, but you do not wake up feeling exhausted or drugged, and you’re ready to face the day instead of feeling like you want to crawl back into bed immediately after brushing your teeth.  Look into it if you haven’t already because it’s a great way to ensure a full and complete night’s sleep that is quality sleep and not just surface sleep that leaves you dragging in the morning even more. 

By Natural Advocate | September 23, 2008 - 1:59 pm - Posted in Natural Depression & Anxiety Relief

I live a very active, very busy life, and I’m definitely not above the occasional bout of depression.  I’m generally a happy and positive person, but there are times when it seems my hormones get the best of me and I become pessimistic, timid and afraid of where my life may be taking me.  This is classical depression, and it is often coupled with anxiety and other feelings of low self worth, fear, and listlessness.  Once I start to feel that way I try to figure out why first and foremost, and I also try to figure out if it could be my diet or my exercise that may be influencing my mood.

For me personally, if I am not getting my exercise in, I do get depressed.  This has been true since I was just 14 years old and started working out.  I believe for me the problem is low seratonin levels.  This combined with the fact that I did suffer from bulimia in my teens and twenties, makes me think that I am naturally deficient in seratonin, which typically is a feel good chemical produced by the brain.  Seratonin also control appetite and mood, and because I had such terrible bouts with bulimia, I do believe my problems wtih occasional depression stem from that.  I also tend to want to eat constantly when I’m feeling depressed.

I did some research online about natural remedies for depression and anxiety and came up with one I had never tried called 5htp.  5htp is a relatively inexpensive remedy that is partly comprised of tryptophan, that chemical in Thanksgiving turkeys that makes you feel relaxed and tired after eating a big meal with turkey.  This is a component of the chemical that makes you relax and may help with the anxiety part of depression.

I orderd a few bottles and read that you must figure out what dosage is good for you because if you overdose you may have stomach problems and if you under dose it may not help you at all.  Also those that took 5htp without any food typically were the ones who had stomach problems afterwards.  Herbal remedies for depression have become popular since many people struggle with just occasional depression and may only need the occasional pick me up. 

There are also a lot of people like me who are terrified of medical antidepressants because of their side effects as well as their dependency issues for many who start taking them and can’t get off them. In the long run I personally believe that the natural way will be better for me and that is why I’ve chosen to try different things myself.  I’ll review 5htp in the weeks to come and let you know how it works on me. 

By Natural Advocate | September 21, 2008 - 8:17 pm - Posted in Alternative & Herbal Health News

Periodontal, or gum disease, effects many more people than you might expect.  Early stages of periodontal disease occur in more than half of the people over age 18.  After age 35, seventy five percent of people are affected by periodontal disease to some degree.
Periodontal disease destroys the gums that surround your teeth and also can destroy the bone supporting your teeth and holding them in place.  The incidence of periodontal disease has been linked to other health problems that involve more than just your teeth.
Other health concerns linked to periodontal disease include a weakened immune system, diabetes,stroke, lung disease, preterm babies, osteoporosis, gastric ulcers and heart disease.
Studies have pointed to a common strain of bacteria in dental plaque that may cause blood clots that could lead to heart attacks or strokes.  If a person has periodontal disease, their gums are chronically inflamed and it creates a path for the bacteria to enter the bloodstream.
There are early warning signs of periodontal disease.  Some of the signs and symptoms include gums that are red or swollen or bleed easily when you brush your teeth.  Other signs are gums that pull away from the teeth or the presence of pus between your teeth and gums.  Persistent halitosis, or bad breath, can be another sign of gum disease.
If you have permanent teeth that are becoming loose or separating, or a change in how your teeth fit together when biting, you may have periodontal disease.  A change of fit in partial dentures can be another sign of trouble.
Regular visits to your dentist can help you to come up with a course of treatment if you suffer from periodontal disease.  Your dentist can monitor your oral hygiene and health and suggest a homecare regimen to forestall any further damage if you have periodontal disease.

By Natural Advocate | September 18, 2008 - 9:34 pm - Posted in Alternative & Herbal Health News

Once you reach a certain age, I believe it is fifty, many times it is recommended that you begin to get regular (once a year) colonoscopies.  I know, it really sounds like the least appealing thing to do with your precious time off, but it could mean the difference between finding something early and making sure it does not turn cancerous and letting it evolve into cancer if it remains unchecked and is allowed to be irritated over time and grow into cancer.

What I’m talking about are colon polyps, which are the cause of many cases of colon cancer, as it has been estimated in the past.  Polyps are little growths that sprout off the side of the colon walls, usually due to irritation, bad foods and lifestyle habits (bad ones of course).  They can be totally benign and harmless, but they are also thought to be the beginning stages of colon cancer for some people, and they should be taken out if possible if they are discovered through a colonoscopy.

It is vital that you keep a clean, healthy colon (see our review of a good herbal colon cleanser that we believe may help you achieve a healthier, more regular colon and bowel habits), and it is also important that you try to stay away from certain foods in excess which are known to clog the colon and make it a more cancer-inviting environment.

Dairy foods in excess are not good for the colon, and specifically cheese is a known colon and intestine clogger.  Ever hear people complain of constipation after eating a couple pieces of double cheese pizza?  Well, it’s because of the cheese, that stuff’ll stop you up like there’s no tomorrow and it’s best to eat it in moderation.  Stay away from refined wheats, which includes things like pasta, white breads, crackers and other non whole grain items.  If you like starch, try to stick to whole grains – the bigger the grain, the better!

Eat plenty of leafy greens, as these are especially efficient at cleansing and “scrubbing” the colon walls out naturally.  Some excellent fruits for cleansing the colon naturally are pineapple because of all the natural enzymes, blueberries for their high antioxidant and fiber content, and other fiber and antioxidant rich berries like strawberries, raspberries and the acai berry, which can be bought as a liquid raw form at some health food stores. 

Some people believe that an occasional salt water bath is good for the colon and bowels, as is used in the Master Cleanse Diet, the jury’s still out on that.  I tried it and yes, it does work, but you better plan on not having to go anywhere for at least two hours, and be very close to a toilet to boot. 

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