By Natural Advocate | September 30, 2011 - 9:18 am - Posted in General Health Updates

Every time I read a story about people dying from carbon monoxide poisoning, it really saddens me. These people went to sleep at night fully trusting that they would wake in the morning to a brand new day, a brand new chance to live the lives they love.  I think carbon monoxide poisoning so scares us because it is so insidious.

It is invisible to the human eye, and sometimes can even be undetectable to the nose, although the fumes that cause it may have a smell to them in certain cases, such as from a car engine running and producing the toxic fumes.

I just read a sad story about how carbon monoxide poisoning took the life of five bikers who were attending a charity event in Tennessee.  They were camping out in an RV.  The RV was overcome with toxic fumes from a generator because it had a storage hatch on it that would not close properly, and the toxic fumes were able to seep into the RV while they were sleeping, unkowingly poisoning them.

It is wise to have a carbon monoxide detector both in your home and in your RV if you own one. I think RV’s are important too because they represent such a confined space.  Keeping a window cracked is always prudent as well, so that just in case it happens, you can have a safety net in letting some of it escape.

Most experts recommend that you keep the CO2 detector on hand at all times though, and make sure the batteries are always charged. You can tell on most models by looking at the light on the device. Usually, it has some sort of indicator when the battery is going dead and needs to be replaced, especially if it is one that works by electric and battery.

Carbon monoxide poisoning actually robs the brain of oxygen, and this is how it takes life.  Severe exposure can lead to death since the brain may be robbed of oxygen for too long, cutting it off from its very lifesource – air with oxygen in it, for too long a time for a person to recover brain activity.

Less severe exposure can lead to dizziness, nausea and confusion. If you feel any of these, get out of where you are and into fresh air immediately.

By Natural Advocate | September 28, 2011 - 9:05 pm - Posted in Medical News

Yeah, I never heard of these either, so don’t feel bad. These are actually the little yellow globs of fatty substances that are sometimes seen in the eyes, often on more elderly people.  They are not just merely “there” though, according to new reports.

They actually may indicate serious heart problems, and the person who has them should go to the doctor to get a checkup as soon as they can to confirm their heart health.  These little globby things that are yellow in color can be indicators of heart troubles, and they can also be indicators of death, so they shouldn’t be taken lightly.

Men who had these strange little things in their eyes actually tested for a 12% higher risk of heart disease and death than men their age who did not have these in their eyes, so it is safe to assume that there is a connection between the two.

SO, what are xanthelasmas?  They are actually clusters of cells that are literally stuffed with cholesterol. It means you literally have cholesterol coming out of your eyes. It used to simply be a sign of high cholesterol levels, but with all we know about cholesterol’s connection to heart disease and stroke, these little globs can have much higher implications.

However unattractive they may seem, they actually give a person a visual clue that all may not be okay in their bodies, and may now prompt them to go get their cholesterol and other vital signs and levels checked once more by a doctor.

There are good tests for cholesterol out there now, however, not everyone goes and gets them regularly. Also, not everyone may even know they have a problem. Obesity is a higher risk for high cholesterol, but that does not mean that thinner people can’t have high cholesterol too, so it’s important that we all do it. Especially as we get older and our own internal cholesterol controls get a little worn.

By Natural Advocate | September 26, 2011 - 11:01 am - Posted in Natural Depression & Anxiety Relief

A recent article referenced seratonin, one of the key emotionally balancing, joyful  chemicals in our brain and body, and its connection to anger reactions in the human brain.  Seratonin is a vital chemical that affects our feelings of well being. Without adequate levels of seratonin, we feel depressed, anxious, lethargic and generally express a malaise about life.

Needless to say, this chemical is vital and precious.  It has been found now that when the levels of this important chemical are fluctuating in the body, it produces more expressed emotions of anger when one is faced with a daunting or angering situation. It also produces more stress in our body, and this leads to higher levels of anger expression as well.

Seratonin actually helps regulate human behavior. It can modulate our agression and reduce our response to angering situations. I suppose you can call it on of the ultimate “om” chemicals in our body. It helps us to remain in a state of calm peacefulness, and allows us to be much more productive than when our levels are low.

What is interesting is that it seems our diets and the foods we eat can really affect us pretty quickly. Study volunteers were given tryptophan on some days, in a blend that would enhance the production of seratonin, and on others they were given a blend that would supress it.

Just like that, in one day, their reactions to situations would be modified based on their levels of this important hormone.  So, your diet, the supplements you take, and your natural levels of this important chemical can greatly impact the way your perceive and handle stressful and angry types of situations.

If you think about it, you can probably trace a certain day or reaction to this. You may have felt one day that you literally could not control your anger and hostility toward a person or a situation, but then on the next day you may have had a more healthy attitude about it.

I’ve had days where it seems like I can control my anxieties about life, and other days where they seem to dominate my life in a parade of insecurity and uncertainty, or where I may blame outside factors for my problems.  I wish every day could be a high seratonin day for everyone!

It may be wise to look at a good natural depression or anxiety remedy if you experience these ups and downs too much. They may help you regulate your levels of the “feed good” stuff!

By Natural Advocate | September 24, 2011 - 5:30 pm - Posted in Alternative Therapies

It has long been thought and documented that a positive attitude goes a long way in helping us heal from various illnesses and afflictions.  Along with that same line of reasoning, the power of prayer, by ourselves and others, also has a positive power in our abilities to heal from illness successfully.  

Where medicine and faith used to have distinct boundaries separating them, they are now joining forces to heal the body and spirit simultaneously.  Science is now verifying that the power of prayer has a vital force in facilitating the healing process. 

It does not matter which religion you believe in.  What matters is that you believe in a higher power, spirit and soul and your connection to it.    With complementary and integrative approaches to medical care being on the rise, the power of the spiritual aspect of healing is being given more credibility. 

Along with the increasing believability of the power of prayer in healing, studies are being done on it’s impact on our recovery process from physical ailments and injuries. WayneStateUniversityconducted a study this year on the rehabilitation of traumatic brain injury patients. 

This study found that the patients that felt closer to a higher power did better with their rehabilitation process.  This success rate was not just about feeling emotionally better.  The spiritual connection actually helped the believers to have a better functional outcome.

At theUniversityofSouth Carolina, a researcher named Jane Teas had the opportunity to interview 135 people who felt that God helped to heal them.  The book, ” Faith Heals: Stories of God’s Love”, resulted from this particular study.  The study, itself, was published last year. 

None of the studies being done are intended to recommend that you abandon traditional medical care.  They are recognizing the whole body, mind and spirit to be worked with together with traditional medicine.  These studies are done for attaining healing power, spiritual and traditional to have the optimum effects for anyone suffering from illness or injury.

By Natural Advocate | September 22, 2011 - 4:55 pm - Posted in Smoking Cessation

In addition to the multiple ways that smoking is toxic to your health, women have yet another reason not to pick up the habit, or to quit smoking if they currently engage in this risky pastime.  Men do too, since they have a higher risk of prostate cancer among other things though, so men are by no way counted out.

But this article is about women. So, let’s talk about why women have yet another reason to stop smoking cigarettes.  New research has indicated that in addition to increasing women’s risk of heart disease and multiple kinds of cancer, smoking also apparently is linked to higher rates of bladder problems.

These problems include frequency of urination, discomfort in urination, and an increase in frequency and urgency both when it comes to urinating.  The women in the study who smoked reported much more incidence of urinary tract and bladder problems.

The study authors were careful to note that smoking in itself is not indicated to be the sole cause of urinary tract issues in women, however, there does seem to be a link. It may be that women who smoke also have other lifestyle habits or predispositions naturally.

There is no clear link between nicotine, smoke biproducts, or anything else that smoking emits that would cause incontinence, but there is some sort of link because the results of the survey indicate it. 

Researchers hope that younger smokers will use this as an excuse to quit smoking. This, coupled with the fact that smoking causes premature skin aging and teeth yellowing, may appeal to younger smokers a little more than other things that seem more unlikely to people at a young age like heart disease and cancer, so researchers are hoping they use this to their advantage and get more people to quit.

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