Benefits Of Fish Oil

What is Fish Oil?

Fish oil can be obtained from eating fish or by taking supplements. Fish that are especially rich in the beneficial oils known as omega-3 fatty acids include mackerel, herring, tuna, salmon, cod liver, whale blubber, and seal blubber. Two of the most important omega-3 fatty acids contained in fish oil are eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Make sure to see separate listings on EPA and DHA, as well as Cod Liver Oil, and Shark Liver Oil.

Fish oil is FDA approved to lower triglycerides levels, but it is also used for many other conditions. It is most often used for conditions related to the heart and blood system. Some people use fish oil to lower blood pressuretriglycerides and cholesterol levels. Fish oil has also been used for preventing heart disease or stroke, as well as for clogged arteries, chest pain, irregular heartbeat, bypass surgery, heart failure, rapid heartbeat, preventing blood clots, and high blood pressure after a heart transplant.

Fish oil is also used to for many kidney-related problems including kidney diseasekidney failure, and kidney complications related to diabetescirrhosis, Berger’s disease (IgA nephropathy), heart transplantation, or using the drug called cyclosporine.

Fish may have earned its reputation as “brain food” because some people eat fish to help with depressionbipolar disorder, psychosis, attention deficithyperactivity disorder (ADHD), Alzheimer’s disease, developmental coordination disorder, migraine headacheepilepsyschizophreniapost-traumatic stress disorder, and mental impairment.

Some people use fish oil for dry eyescataractsglaucoma, and age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a very common condition in older people that can lead to serious sight problems.

Fish oil is taken by mouth for stomach ulcers caused by Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori), inflammatory bowel diseasepancreatitis, an inherited disorder called phenylketonuriaallergy to salicylate, Crohn’s disease, Behcet’s syndrome, and Raynaud’s syndrome.

Women sometimes take fish oil to prevent painful periods; breast pain; and complications associated with pregnancy such as miscarriage (including that caused by a condition called antiphospholipid syndrome), high blood pressure late in pregnancy, early delivery, slow infant growth, and to promote infant development.

Fish oil is also taken by mouth for weight lossexercise performance and muscle strength, muscle soreness after exercisepneumoniacancer, lung disease, seasonal allergieschronic fatigue syndrome, and for preventing blood vessels from re-narrowing after surgery to widen them.

Fish oil is also used for diabetesprediabetesasthma, a movement and coordination disorder called dyspraxia, dyslexiaeczemaautismobesity, weak bones (osteoporosis), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), osteoarthritispsoriasis, an autoimmune disease called systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), multiple sclerosisHIV/AIDScystic fibrosisgum diseaseLyme diseasesickle cell disease, and preventing weight loss caused by some cancer drugs.

Fish oil is used intravenously (by IV) for scaly and itchy skin (psoriasis), blood infection, cystic fibrosis, pressure ulcers, and rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

Fish oil is applied to the skin for psoriasis. Read More

Benefits Of Emu Oil

What is Emu Oil?

The emu is a flightless bird that resembles a small ostrich. Emu oil is taken from the fat of this bird during processing. It is used to make medicine.

Emu oil is taken by mouth for improving cholesterol levels, as a source of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids, for weight loss, and as a cough syrup for colds, H1N1 (swine) flu, and flu.

Some people apply emu oil to the skin for relief from sore muscles, aching joints, pain or inflammation, carpal tunnel syndromesciaticashin splints, and gout. It is also used topically to improve healing of wounds, cuts, and burns from radiation therapy; to reduce bruises and stretch marks; to reduce scarring and keloids; to heal surgical wounds caused by removing skin for skin grafts; to reduce redness due to acne; and to soften dry cuticles and promote healthy nails. Emu oil is also used topically for athlete’s foot; diaper rashcanker sores; chapped lips; poor circulation; and skin conditions, including cancerdry skindandruffeczemapsoriasiswrinkles or age spots. It is also used to protect skin from sun damage and to promote more youthful looking skin.

Emu oil is also applied to the skin to reduce pain and irritation from shingles, bedsores, hemorrhoids, diabetic nerve paininsect bites, earaches, eye irritation, “growing pains,” and frostbite. It is used for rashes, razor burn, and nicks.

Some massage therapists apply emu oil to clients’ skin as part of their treatment.

Some people put emu oil inside the nose to treat colds and flu.

Emu oil (7%) is used in combination with glycolic acid (10%) for lowering blood fats including triglycerides, and low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol; preventing and treating allergies; preventing scarring; treating headaches, especially migraines; preventing nosebleeds; treating and preventing cold and flu symptoms; and relieving discomfort associated with menstruation.

In veterinary practice, emu oil is used to reduce swelling in joints, prevent cracked or peeling paws, calm “hot spots,” and reduce irritation of flea bites.

In manufacturing, emu oil is used to sharpen and oil industrial machinery, for polishing timber and leather, and for conditioning and waterproofing.

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for…

  • Headaches.
  • Reducing cholesterol.
  • Weight loss.
  • Coughs.
  • Skin and hair conditions.
  • Burns.
  • Wounds.
  • Muscle and joint problems.
  • Earaches.
  • Eye irritation.
  • Shingles.
  • Hemorrhoids.
  • Insect bites.
  • Diabetic nerve problems.
  • Other conditions.

More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of emu oil for these uses.

How does Emu Oil work?

Emu oil contains chemicals called fatty acids that might reduce pain and swelling (inflammation). There is some evidence that emu oil might work better for sudden (acute) inflammation than for ongoing (chronic) inflammation. Read More

What is Crohn’s Disease? : Symptoms, Causes, Diet

Crohn’s (or Crohn) disease is a type of chronic bowel inflammation. It usually affects the small intestine and less commonly the colon, but it can involve the entire gastrointestinal tract, including the mouth, esophagus, and stomach. The chronic inflammation that is the basis of Crohn’s disease causes ulceration, swelling, and scarring of the parts of the intestine that it involves. It eventually requires surgery for most people. Other names for Crohn’s disease include granulomatous enteritis, regional enteritis, ileitis, and granulomatous colitis when it involves the colon

What Causes Crohn’s Disease?

The cause of the chronic inflammation in Crohn’s disease is unknown. The leading theory is that inflammation is initiated by bacteria that reside within the intestine. Whereas most inflammation usually is suppressed, and the disease caused by the inflammation subsides, in Crohn’s disease the inflammation is not suppressed, and the inflammation continues. The continuing inflammation probably occurs because of environmental factors (i.e., the bacteria) as well as genetic factors that affect the immune system. Crohn’s sometimes runs in families, too. Having a parent or sibling with the disease raises your own risk.

Crohn’s Disease in Children & Teens

Crohn’s disease most commonly affects children in their late teens and young adults in their 20s and 30s. Nevertheless, it can affect infants and young children as well. Crohn’s disease is not rare; 100,000 teens and preteens in the U.S. have Crohn’s disease. For children, the social problems created by the symptoms of Crohn’s disease are difficult to deal with since the disease can restrict activities. The chronic inflammation can also add to the social difficulties with stunted growth and delayed puberty. Emotional and psychological factors always must be considered in young people with Crohn’s disease.

How Does Crohn’s Disease Affect the Intestines?

The first signs of Crohn’s disease are small ulcers, called aphthous ulcers, caused by breaks in the lining of the intestine due to inflammation. The ulcers become larger and deeper. With the expansion of the ulcers comes swelling of the tissue, and finally scarring of the intestine that causes stiffness and narrowing. Ultimately, the narrowing can obstruct the flow of food being digested in the intestines. The deepening ulcers can fully penetrate the intestinal wall and enter nearby structures such as the urinary bladder, vagina, and parts of the intestine. These penetrating tracts of inflammation are called fistulas.

How is Crohn’s Disease Different from Ulcerative Colitis?

Both Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are chronic diseases of intestinal inflammation. Whereas ulcerative colitis only involves the colonic portion of the gastrointestinal tract, Crohn’s disease can affect any portion of the gastrointestinal tract from mouth to anus. Whereas the inflammation of ulcerative colitis involves only the superficial lining of the colon, the inflammation of Crohn’s disease goes deeper into the intestinal walls and, as previously mentioned, even beyond the walls.

Inflammation in ulcerative colitis is continuous; that is, the inflammation does not skip areas. Thus, the colon is involved from the most proximal margin of the inflammation – be that ascending, transverse or sigmoid colon – all the way to the anus. On the other hand, the inflammation of Crohn’s disease can be present in several portions of the intestines with skipped areas without inflammation in between. Read More

Benefits And Health Risks Of Eating Bananas

Bananas are one of the most popular fruits worldwide. They contain essential nutrients that can have a protective impact on health.

Eating bananas can help lower blood pressure and may reduce the risk of cancer.

This article will take a look at the potential health benefits of bananas, such as improving heart health and promoting regularity. It also examines the possible health risks that doctors have associated with bananas.

The following sections explain some of the possible health benefits of bananas.

The nutrition information comes from the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) FoodData Central database.

Daily requirements are from the 2015–2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. These are for adults, but they are approximate, as the values vary according to a person’s age and sex.

Blood pressure

The American Heart Association (AHA) encourage people to lower their intake of salt, or sodium, and increase their consumption of foods that contain potassium. Potassium can help manage blood pressure and reduce strain on the cardiovascular system.

A medium banana provides almost 9% of a person’s daily potassium needs, according to the nutritional information from the above sources.

Asthma

A 2007 study suggested that eating bananas might help prevent wheezing in children with asthma. One reason for this could be the antioxidant and potassium content of bananas. However, more research is needed to confirm these findings.

Cancer

Laboratory investigations have suggested that lectin, a protein that occurs in bananas, may help prevent leukemia cells from growing.

Lectin acts as an antioxidant. Antioxidants help the body remove molecules known as free radicals. If too many free radicals build up, cell damage can occur, potentially leading to cancer.

In 2004, researchers noted that children who consumed bananas, orange juice, or both appeared to have a lower risk of developing leukemia.

The study authors suggested that this could be due to the vitamin C content, as this, too, has antioxidant properties.

Heart health

Bananas contain fiber, potassium, folate, and antioxidants, such as vitamin C. All of these support heart health.

A 2017 review found that people who follow a high fiber diet have a lower risk of cardiovascular disease than those on a low fiber diet. Those who consumed more fiber also had lower levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or “bad” cholesterol.

Diabetes

The American Diabetes Association recommend eating bananas and other fruit as they contain fiber. They note that eating fiber can help lower blood sugar levels.

The author of a 2018 review concluded that eating a high fiber diet could reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes and may lower blood sugar in those who already have the disease.

Digestive health

Bananas contain water and fiber, both of which promote regularity and encourage digestive health. One medium banana provides approximately 10% of a person’s fiber needs for a day.

Bananas are also part of an approach known as the BRAT diet, which some doctors recommend for treating diarrhea. BRAT stands for bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast.

Diarrhea can lead to a loss of water and electrolytes, such as potassium. Bananas can replace these nutrients.

High fiber foods can trigger bloating, gas, and stomach cramps in people with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), according to a 2012 study. However, bananas may improve symptoms, the authors concluded.

The Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America recommend banana as a snack food in their diet plan.

Preserving memory and boosting mood

Bananas contain tryptophan, an amino acid that may help preserve memory, boost a person’s ability to learn and remember things, and regulate mood.

Potassium

Bananas are rich in the mineral potassium. Potassium helps maintain fluid levels in the body and regulates the movement of nutrients and waste products in and out of cells.

Potassium also helps muscles to contract and nerve cells to respond. It keeps the heart beating regularly and can reduce the effect of sodium on blood pressure. Read More

What Causes Muscle Cramps?

What are muscle cramps?

A muscle cramp is an involuntarily and forcibly contracted muscle that does not relax. When we use the muscles that can be controlled voluntarily, such as those of our arms and legs, they alternately contract and relax as we move our limbs. Muscles that support our head, neck, and trunk contract similarly in a synchronized fashion to maintain our posture. A muscle (or even a few fibers of a muscle) that involuntarily (without consciously willing it) contracts is in a “spasm.” If the spasm is forceful and sustained, it becomes a cramp. Muscle cramps often cause a visible or palpable hardening of the involved muscle.

  • muscle cramp is an involuntarily and forcibly contracted muscle that does not relax.
  • Muscle cramps can occur in any muscle; cramps of the leg muscles and feet are particularly common.
  • Almost everyone experiences a muscle cramp at some time in their life.
  • There are a variety of types and causes of muscle cramps.
  • Muscle cramps may occur during exercise, at rest, or at night, depending upon the exact cause.
  • Dehydration is a common cause of muscle cramps.
  • Numerous medicines can cause muscle cramps.
  • Most muscle cramps can be stopped if the muscle can be stretched.
  • Muscle cramps can often be prevented by measures such as adequate nutrition and hydration, attention to safety when exercising, and attention to ergonomic factors.

Muscle cramps can last anywhere from a few seconds to a quarter of an hour or occasionally longer. It is not uncommon for a cramp to recur multiple times until it finally resolves. The cramp may involve a part of a muscle, the entire muscle, or several muscles that usually act together, such as those that flex adjacent fingers. Some cramps involve the simultaneous contraction of muscles that ordinarily move body parts in opposite directions.

Muscle cramps are extremely common. Almost everyone (one estimate is about 95%) experiences a cramp at some time in their life. Muscle cramps are common in adults and become increasingly frequent with aging. However, children also experience cramps of muscles.

Any of the muscles that are under our voluntary control (skeletal muscles) can cramp. Cramps of the extremities, especially the legs and feet (including nocturnal leg cramps), and most particularly the calf (the classic “charley horse”), are very common. Involuntary muscles of the various organs (uterus, blood vessel wall, bowels, bile and urine passages, bronchial tree, etc.) are also subject to cramps. Cramps of the involuntary muscles will not be further considered in this review. This article focuses on cramps of skeletal muscle. Read More

Symptoms Of Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes

  • Diabetes is a chronic condition associated with abnormally high levels of sugar (glucose) in the blood. Insulin produced by the pancreas lowers blood glucose. Absence or insufficient production of insulin, or an inability of the body to properly use insulin causes diabetes.
  • The two types of diabetes are referred to as type 1 and type 2. Former names for these conditions were insulin-dependent and non-insulin-dependent diabetes, or juvenile onset and adult-onset diabetes.
  • Some of the risk factors for getting diabetes include being overweight or obese, leading a sedentary lifestyle, a family history of diabetes, hypertension (high blood pressure), and low levels of the “good” cholesterol (HDL) and elevated levels of triglycerides in the blood.
  • If you think you may have prediabetes or diabetes contact a health-care professional

How does diabetes make you feel?

  • hunger,
  • fatigue,
  • skin problems
  • slow healing wounds,
  • yeast infections, and
  • tingling or numbness in the feet or toes.

What is diabetes?

Diabetes mellitus is a group of metabolic diseases characterized by high blood sugar (glucose) levels that result from defects in insulin secretion, or its action, or both. Diabetes mellitus, commonly referred to as diabetes (as it will be in this article) was first identified as a disease associated with “sweet urine,” and excessive muscle loss in the ancient world. Elevated levels of blood glucose (hyperglycemia) lead to spillage of glucose into the urine, hence the term sweet urine.

Normally, blood glucose levels are tightly controlled by insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas. Insulin lowers the blood glucose level. When the blood glucose elevates (for example, after eating food), insulin is released from the pancreas to normalize the glucose level by promoting the uptake of glucose into body cells. In patients with diabetes, the absence of insufficient production of or lack of response to insulin causes hyperglycemia. Diabetes is a chronic medical condition, meaning that although it can be controlled, it lasts a lifetime.

How many people in the US have diabetes?

  • Diabetes affects approximately 30.3 million people (9.4% of the population) in the United States, while another estimated 84.1 million people have prediabetes and don’t know it.
  • An estimated 7.2 million people in the United States have diabetes and don’t even know it.
  • Over time, diabetes can lead to blindnesskidney failure, and nerve damage. These types of damage are the result of damage to small vessels, referred to as microvascular disease.
  • Diabetes also is an important factor in accelerating the hardening and narrowing of the arteries (atherosclerosis), leading to strokes, coronary heart disease, and other large blood vessel diseases. This is referred to as macrovascular disease.
  • From an economic perspective, the total annual cost of diabetes in 2012 was estimated to be 245 billion dollars in the United States. This included 116 billion in direct medical costs (healthcare costs) for people with diabetes and another 69 billion in other costs due to disability, premature death, or work loss.
  • Medical expenses for people with diabetes are over two times higher than those for people who do not have diabetes. Remember, these numbers reflect only the population in the United States. Globally, the statistics are staggering.
  • Diabetes is the 7th leading cause of death in the United States listed on death certificates in recent years. Read More

Early Warning Signs Of Psychosis

Psychosis is a condition that affects the mind and alters a person’s perception of reality. Early psychosis symptoms include change in thinking, feeling, perception and behavior along with hallucinations and delusions.

Psychosis happens over a period of time and describes when someone starts to lose contact with reality. It is a condition that affects the mind and alters a person’s perception of reality. If you are experiencing a psychotic episode, it means that you have lost your attachment to reality and may find it difficult to know what’s real and what isn’t. 

Psychosis is a symptom of a mental health condition like bipolar disorderdepression, or schizophrenia. It develops over time and can worsen as you experience more episodes. 

It may not always be easy to identify the early warning signs of psychosis. However, if you know what to look for, you may be able to treat it before it worsens. 

Psychosis can happen in children and adults. Sometimes, it may develop during teenage years, and there are different signs to look for in children and young adults. Some symptoms can last less than an hour and some may persist for months. 

It’s important to monitor yourself or someone you suspect is developing psychosis so you can get the proper mental health treatment.

Signs and symptoms of early psychosis

Early psychosis symptoms can be gradual or have a sudden onset. Psychosis is a symptom of a greater mental health condition. Monitoring your symptoms and understanding the signs of psychosis may help you be more aware of oncoming episodes and get the treatment you need. 

Early psychosis symptoms include: 

Changes in thinking

Before you are aware you are experiencing psychosis, your thoughts might race through your mind or come very slowly. You may get confused and your thoughts might get jumbled in your mind. If someone you know has psychosis, you may notice their sentences not being coherent or that they are sharing strange ideas. 

Changes in behavior

As psychosis develops, you may start to feel suspicious or like everyone is watching you. You may be paranoid and feel anxious or worried. These feelings may cause you increased stress and can affect your eating and sleeping habits.

Changes in feeling and perception

Changed perceptions may make you confused about what’s real and what’s imaginary. You may start to have strange or intense beliefs about people and the world. You could start perceiving people’s intentions differently than they are, which could also lead to paranoia about them. Read More

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