Depression and Your Gut
Regular contributor and avid proponent of a healthy digestive system, Sherry Brescia (USA) presentsinformation on the link between what is going on in our gut and the emotional activity in our brain – “It’s true that depression is classified as a psychiatric disorder, but evidence is mounting that shows this devastating condition is NOT all in your head.While many of the symptoms are mental in nature, there’s a lot more to depression than meets the eye. One of the factors that is gaining recognition as having a major role in depression is your gut.” Sherry citesresults from several studies into the gut-brain connection and points out the side effects that can be experienced by those who take anti-depressant medication. Her article contains some positive information on the nutrients and food sources considered important for mental well-being.
Nocturnal Leg Cramps
Most people have probably experienced annoying cramps in their feet or legs whilst in bed or asleep. Generally these cramps pass quickly if we stretch the affected muscles and relax. But for some people such cramps are extremely painful and long-lasting. Dr. Sandra Cabot (Australia) explains that “cramps like that aren’t just a nuisance; they are an indicator that something in your body is not in balance” and points out that such cramps are usually due to a deficiency of one or more minerals. She provides a list of the minerals needed to avoid muscle cramps and mentions other lifestyle factors that can contribute to their occurrence.
Magnets – Do They Work?
Some people have found relief for muscular aches and pains through wearing magnetic jewellery or products containing magnets. In this article from the U.S.A National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine it is noted that “magnets are often marketed for many different types of pain, including foot pain and back pain from conditions such as arthritis and fibromyalgia. Various products with magnets in them include shoe insoles, bracelets and other jewelry, mattress pads, and bandages.” The NCCAM presents information from studies on this form of therapy.
Why Microbes Matter
Keeping our bodies and homes germ-free is something that is high on most peoples’ personal care agenda, but as Professor Rob Dunn (USA) reveals in his article, microscopic organisms are very much a part of who we are – “Your odor, your health, and even your behavior are all shaped by the species you encounter or fail to encounter—species including those we often call ‘germs’.” Professor Dunn and his North Carolina team have been gathering information on microbes from over 1400 homes and have found more than forty thousand kinds of fungi and eighty thousand kinds of bacteria. “We have begun to learn a little about some of the patterns found in the life around us, patterns almost certainly relevant to our health and well-being.” He lists ten facts about the microbes they found.
Naturopath and iridologist Natasha Flynn (Australia) gives a brief overview of how she applies iridology in her practice. With her focus on helping people improve their health through lifestyle and dietary changes she concedes that there is a limit to what she can do for some people. “Some people have almost accepted that wellness is something that they are unable to obtain – and they are probably right. They have a mindset which cannot be changed by anyone, except themselves.”
Baby Boomer Sexuality
Sex therapist Dr. Shannon Chavez (USA) explains that older age is no reason for people to consider themselves beyond sexual expression. “Aging and sexuality go hand-in-hand. Both require new learning and awareness of changes that have to be made in order to improve the quality of life.” Her focus in this article is on Baby Boomers, people born between 1945 – 1963. “Boomers are the biggest aging population and are enjoying the benefits of living longer, staying healthy, traveling and retirement. Boomers are one of the largest populations that are having their very own sexual evolution. There are many myths regarding sexuality as you age and the media doesn’t help by putting out negative messages about how to be sexual if you are a boomer.” Dr. Chavez presents some practical tips on how to maintain the sexual side of life for those in this demographic.
Flowers have been a part of ancient cuisines for thousands of years. Recently a team of scientists in the USA has found that some flowers also have health benefits. Learn how to safely include flowers in your food for health reasons as well as aesthetic enhancement.
Nutrition and Alzheimer’s Disease
Many researchers now refer to Alzheimer’s disease as ‘diabetes of the brain’ or Type 3 diabetes, attributing it primarily toa failure of the brain to properly use glucose as a fuel. We present part one of an article by nutritional therapist Amy Berger (USA) who explores the link between Alzheimer’s Disease and nutrition. She explains that “it is of primary importance that we uncover the causes of AD because addressing the problem at its source is the only hope we have of preventing, slowing the progression of, and possibly even reversing this frightening form of neurodegeneration. Because we have not yet been able to address the source, the vast majority of pharmaceutical drugs targeting the condition have failed to demonstrate beneficial effects. In fact, some initially promising drugs have actually caused AD to worsen.”
Strength Training Without Muscle Damage
Strength training and muscle toning is considered an important aspect of health maintenance, but unless it is done properly there can be damage to muscles and tissues. Naturopathic doctor Emily Kane (USA) points out that“if you are committed to optimal health you must schedule exercise into your week and keep the appointment. Meaningful exercise tends to not happen spontaneously in our gadget-filled realities. If you are lucky and get to work outside or work in a physical profession, you will probably still need to round out with aerobic and flexibility training.” She provides a series of exercises that work on different body parts and an explanation of supplements to improve muscle function.
Hepatitis C and Baby Boomers
Hepatitis Chas become a rapidly spreading health issue worldwide, but one age group in Western countries seems to suffer a particularly high incidence of this disease. Dr. Martha Grout (USA) writes that “baby boomers are more than 5 times more likely to be infected with Hepatitis C than anyone else.(It is estimated) that 3.2 million Americans are currently infected with the virus. An estimated 15 – 25% of them will clear the virus from their bodies. The remaining 75 – 85% of people who become infected go on to develop chronic infection – in other words, do not heal, do not eliminate the virus, but rather simply live with it and sometimes die from it.” There are a range of drugs used to treat Hepatitis C, all of which come with potential side effects. Dr. Grout proposes other treatment options that work to improve liver health and prevention of the disease.