3 Natural Remedies to Treat Gingivitis

3 Natural Remedies to Treat GingivitisIf you’ve ever brushed your teeth and noticed that your gums were red, pink, or swollen, there’s a possibility that you may have gum disease. The first stage – and most common – is called gingivitis.

There are other symptoms that may indicate that you are in the early stages of gum disease: a sour taste in your mouth, ill-fitting dentures, and pain while chewing are just a few signs that a trip to the dentist may be in order.

Ignoring this chronic condition can lead to big trouble for your health. Untreated gingivitis can advance to periodontal disease – a condition that can lead to receding gums, as well as deteriorating connective tissue and jaw bones.

Gingivitis occurs when there is a buildup of plaque on your teeth. Because plaque can form within 24 hours of brushing, regular oral hygiene is paramount to preventing this condition. When you don’t remove all of the plaque from your teeth with good oral hygiene, tartar can form after a few days. Unlike plaque, tartar is not easily brushed away. You’ll need a trip to the dentist to remove it.

There are several conditions that can also create an environment for gum disease to thrive. Here are just a few:

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Do Men Go Through Menopause?

Do Men Go Through Menopause?

Do Men Go Through Menopause?

Menopause. It’s a word that we most often associate with women. However, did you know that some doctors believe that men go through a similar transition as they age?

According to researchers at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, approximately five million men in the Unites States alone experience symptoms similar to what women feel during menopause.

Some physicians attribute it to a drop in testosterone levels in older men. On the other hand, many researchers point out that all men experience a decrease in testosterone as they age, yet not all men experience menopausal symptoms. In fact, men who have been diagnosed with heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and high blood pressure are more prone to live with menopausal-like symptoms. Therefore, it’s likely to be more complex than a drop in testosterone and most likely to be a result of a combination of other chronic conditions.

While male menopause is subject for debate, the fact remains that many men do notice changes in their bodies as they age, such as the following:

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Night Sweats and Acid Reflux

Night Sweats and Acid RefluxIf you’ve ever awakened in the middle of the night sweating, you know how uncomfortable that can be and how difficult it can be to get back to sleep. Regardless of whether you sweat slightly in your sleep or drench the sheets in perspiration, night sweats can affect your slumber, making it difficult to function optimally during the day.

Did you know that your nighttime sweating may be caused by acid reflux? It’s true.

Sweating occurs as the body’s natural defense to cool itself down. When stomach acid enters the esophagus, your body initiates the cool-down process. Although you may feel uncomfortable, there is a good reason why you’re perspiring.

Sweating drenches the internal flame caused by stomach acid or other irritating conditions and infections.

If, however, acid reflux is causing you to sweat at night, there are some steps you can take to turn down the heat.

Elevate your head 4-6 inches while sleeping. Acid reflux may go unnoticed during the day; however, as soon as your head hits the pillow at night, gravity is not there to help stomach acid stay where it belongs.

You may use bed risers or wooden blocks to raise the bed frame or invest in a wedge pillow. Sleeping with your head elevated should significantly reduce the symptoms of reflux.

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5 Facts You Should Know About Shingles

Mild case of shingles rash on the side of the body.

Mild case of shingles rash on the side of the body.

Regardless of whether you’ve had chickenpox or not, you may be at risk for developing shingles.

Before the chickenpox vaccine was approved for use in the United States in 1995, nearly all of us could expect to contract this childhood disease. In fact, many mothers would – and still do — expose their children to chickenpox purposefully through “pox parties” so they will develop a natural immunity. While most of us survived this disease without complications, there were nearly 11,000 hospitalizations each year and 100 chickenpox-related deaths prior to the vaccine. Today, the chickenpox mortality rate is approximately 15 deaths each year.

Chickenpox is caused by the varicella-zoster virus. Once it enters your body, it’s there for life. In fact, if you’ve had chickenpox, it’s now in the nerve cells under your skin, hiding near your spine. For most individuals, the chickenpox attack is their only experience of the varicella-zoster virus. For about 25 percent of us, however, this virus will emerge again as shingles.

The bad news is that shingles is much more painful than chickenpox. Unlike chickenpox – which can last up to 10 days – shingles can last for a few weeks. In fact, most people will endure a shingles attack for three to five weeks. For some, however, the pain can last for months, even years. This is called postherpetic neuralgia (PHN), a form of neuropath pain. Again, unlike chickenpox, the pain of shingles can be excruciating and feels like a stabbing, burning, or electrical pain.

Although there is no cure for shingles, antiviral medications have proven effective for decreasing the pain and duration of this condition. Additionally, topical creams, pain medications (acetaminophen, aspirin, or ibuprofen), and antidepressants can go a long way to reduce pain.

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Natural Ways to Treat Tinnitus

Natural Ways to Treat TinnitusRinging in the ears. It can be bothersome, particularly if you experience it on a regular basis. Regardless of whether your ears ring a little or a lot, tinnitus can compromise the quality of your life. If you’re one of 50 million Americans who experience phantom sounds in one or both ears, you know how distressing it can be.

When the microscopic nerve endings in the inner ear become damaged – by exposure to high-decibel or loud sounds – tinnitus may result. In fact, it’s common for musicians to develop it over time. Pilots, carpenters, and landscapers are also at risk, as well as individuals who work with loud equipment.

Tinnitus may begin as a slightly audible sound, but over time it may become non-stop and so loud that it interferes with normal hearing function, concentration, and even sleep.

It’s important to note that tinnitus varies from individual to individual. If you hear one or more of the following phantom sounds in your ears, you may have this condition:

  • Ringing
  • Roaring
  • Buzzing
  • Clicking
  • Chirping
  • Whistling
  • Hissing

In rare cases, individuals may hear sounds that coincide with their heartbeat.

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The Benefits of Chromium Picolinate

The Benefits of Chromium PicolinateChromium picolinate is a supplement used to treat a variety of chronic conditions. Chromium is an essential trace element, and we need it to maintain optimal health. It aids in digesting food, and the good news is that most of us get enough chromium in our diets to assist in the digestion process.

For instance, chromium can be found in the following items:

  • Meat
  • Organ meats such as pork kidney
  • Whole-grain breads and cereals
  • Brewer’s yeast
  • Mushrooms
  • Potatoes
  • Peas
  • Cheese
  • Certain spices
  • Molasses
  • Fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Beer

Furthermore, if you drink hard tap water or cook your meals in stainless steel cookware, you’ll get all the chromium you need to thrive. However, many individuals choose to take chromium picolinate supplements because there are benefits to including more than the bare minimum of this essential element in your diet.

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Are You at Risk for COPD?

Are You at Risk for COPD?Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease – also known as COPD – can occur when there is chronic damage to your lungs over a period of years. COPD is considered the third leading cause of death in the United States, with more women than men dying from this disease. According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 24 million individuals in the United States alone live with this condition, although only about half have been diagnosed.

COPD is a progressive lung disease and refers to any of the following conditions, according to the COPD Foundation:

  • Emphysema
  • Chronic Bronchitis
  • Refractory (non-reversible) asthma
  • Some forms of bronchiectasis

In most cases, COPD is caused by smoking. If you are a smoker – or former smoker – and experience shortness of breath, a chronic cough, and expel phlegm when you cough, you may have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Other symptoms can include wheezing, tightness in the chest, or difficulty taking a deep breath.

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The Healing Properties of Flax Seed

The Healing Properties of Flax SeedFlax seed is a natural supplement that individuals add to their diets to treat and prevent a variety of chronic health conditions. Many people add flax seed to juice, hot cereal, or yogurt. You can also mix it into batter for muffins, cookies, and breads prior to baking.

To get optimal healing benefits of flax seed, it’s important to grind it first. Invest in a small coffee grinder to grind it just prior to adding it to your food or drink. Although it may be a time saver, avoid buying packaged flax mill because it loses some of its health benefits in the packaging due to oxidation.

Although there are many good reasons for adding flax seeds to your daily diet, there are also some drawbacks. Flax seed can block medication absorption, so you’ll want to wait a couple hours after ingesting it before taking your medication.

Furthermore, individuals who have the following conditions should avoid flax seeds:

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5 Ways to Control High Blood Pressure without Medication

5 Ways to Control High Blood Pressure without MedicationLiving with high blood pressure can be a scary experience because keeping your numbers in check is paramount to good health. For many people, controlling high blood pressure is equivalent to taking a pill – or two – every day to keep their blood pressure under control.

It doesn’t have to be that way.

There are several steps you can take to regulate your blood pressure without medication. Of course, you’ll want to do so under the supervision of your primary health care provider. You never want to stop taking high blood pressure medication “cold turkey” because it can cause your blood pressure to spike. Instead, change your lifestyle so that you may gradually wean yourself off your meds with medical supervision.

Consider taking these steps to naturally lower your blood pressure:

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Are Seizures Linked to Poor Nutrition?

Are Seizures Linked to Poor Nutrition?Seizures can be frightening, particularly since there is no one-size-fits-all predictor for the onset of one. Some individuals can feel the symptoms several days in advance; for others, the seizure may initiate without warning. While there are several treatment modalities for seizures – depending on the underlying cause — there are steps you can take to decrease seizures that may be linked to nutritional deficiency.

There is evidence to suggest that certain types of vitamin deficiencies may exacerbate seizure activity. In newborns, a vitamin B6 deficiency can result in seizures. However, in the population at large, there are conflicting reports on the effects of vitamin deficiencies and seizures. One study suggests that low levels of vitamin D may be linked to seizures and that increasing vitamin D levels may lessen seizure activity by 40 percent. Other studies indicate that certain vitamin deficiencies may play a part in seizure frequency in adults, but there is no solid evidence that proves it.

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