7 Causes and Cures for Edema

7 Causes and Cures for EdemaIf you’ve ever awakened in the morning with your ring feeling tighter on your finger or have been surprised at the sight of puffy eyes looking back at you in the mirror, you know how uncomfortable – and sometimes embarrassing – edema can be. Edema – swelling caused by excess fluid in the tissues – is most often experienced in the hands, arms, legs, ankles, and feet, although other parts of the body, such as the face, may also be affected.

In most cases edema is not a sign of a serious medical condition. In fact, a few lifestyle changes may be all you need to eliminate the excess fluid that causes your body to swell. With a few modifications, you should see a reduction in symptoms within a few days.

Here are seven causes of edema and steps you can take to naturally rid your body of it.

Inactivity – Inactivity can cause an increase in fluid retention. That’s why it’s a good idea to get moving when edema becomes an issue. Take a brisk walk to get the blood flowing or head to the gym for a heart-pumping workout.

Elevated or Reduced Sodium Levels – When you have a sodium imbalance, low or high, your body responds by retaining fluid. Furthermore, potassium levels must also be in balance because it works with sodium to regulate the transport of nutrients and to regulate waste within the body. By drinking plenty of water and regulating sodium intake, you’re likely to notice a reduction in swelling. Before self-regulating sodium, however, it may be worth your while to visit your doctor to determine if excessive – or not enough – sodium is the cause of your edema.

Heat and Humidity – Many individuals notice that heat and humidity lead to excessive swelling, particularly during summer months. Drink more water, reduce sodium intake, and get moving to reduce swelling in the tissues.

Dehydration – When we do not get enough fluid intake, the body will naturally hold onto fluid because metabolic processes require the presence of water in our bodies. To curb edema caused by dehydration, the best course of action is to drink more water.

Menopause – Menopause brings an array of bodily changes, and water retention is one of them. To reduce swelling, increase your fluid intake and elevate your feet at night so that they are above your heart. Adding vitamin B supplements can also go a long way toward reducing swollen ankles since vitamin B deficiency can also lead to water retention.

Chronic Medical Conditions – Although in most cases a simple case of edema can be eliminated by avoiding salty foods, drinking more water, and engaging in an exercise routine, there are times when fluid retention may be a sign of a chronic medical condition. If you have prolonged edema, it could be a red flag that warrants attention. Here are just a few diseases that cause bodily swelling:

• Damaged or weakened veins in the legs
• Cirrhosis
• Congestive heart failure
• Kidney damage or disease
• Insufficient lymphatic system

If you suspect your fluid retention may be symptomatic of an underlying medical condition, schedule an appointment with your physician as soon as possible.

Reaction to prescription medication – There are a variety of medications that may cause edema. Here are just a few.

• Birth control pills
• Menopausal hormone therapy
• Blood pressure medication
• Corticosteroids
• Antidepressants
• Antipsychotics
• Endocrine agents

The list goes on.

If you experience edema that does not go away within a few days, contact your physician to schedule an appointment. You can also turn to The MAP for answers at the cellular level.

The MAP uses a saliva and urine test to determine the root cause of symptoms and then provides a series of recommendations using natural home remedies to improve your overall health. The MAP is an important tool to identify underlying health issues and recommend nutritional supplements and other lifestyle changes to treat and/or eliminate edema and the underlying causes of it.

If you’d like to learn more about The MAP and arrange for your own private diagnostic evaluation, enter your first name and e-mail address in the field on the right-hand side of this page. We’ll register you to attend our next webinar and show you how The MAP can help you create a personalized road map to good health.

The Diabetes/Gum Disease Connection

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If you have diabetes, you know that it puts you at risk at developing other chronic conditions; however, did you know that there is a direct link between diabetes and gum health? It’s true.

Individuals who develop diabetes are at a much higher risk of developing serious dental conditions such as periodontitis – an infection of the gums that can be managed but not reversed. In its milder state, called gingivitis, the dentist can clean away tartar during regular dental checkups and effectively treat this condition. However, when left untreated, tartar build-up can cause the gums to bleed, recede, and, if left untreated for prolonged periods of time, gingivitis can progress to periodontitis – one of the leading causes of tooth loss.

So, what is the connection between gum disease and diabetes?

Each condition can directly influence the other.

The key to maintaining good dental health goes beyond regular dental checkups. It’s also important to keep your blood sugar under control. As long as you can maintain good control of your diabetes, your risk for developing peritonitis is no higher than individuals without diabetes.

While individuals with uncontrolled diabetes are more susceptible to gum disease, it is also true that gum disease has a direct correlation on blood glucose levels and may, in fact, contribute to the progression of diabetes.

Furthermore, if you have diabetes you may be at higher risk for fungal infections and cavities.

  • That’s why you’ll want to take a proactive stance to prevent complications of the teeth and gums due to diabetes.

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Cancer Caution

Dr Keith Scott-Mumby

Cancer … It’s the dreaded diagnosis none of us want to hear from our doctor.

In fact, cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States, with more than 1,500 individuals dying of cancer each day. The good news is you can survive cancer depending on the type you have, whether it is aggressive, and the stage in which it is diagnosed.

While many individuals do not suspect that they have cancer until they receive a definitive diagnosis, there are signs that serve as a red flag that cancer may be an issue. The American Cancer Society defines several warning signs with the acronym CAUTION.

Change in bowel or bladder habits – For instance, when bowel cancer is present, you may notice an increase in the frequency of your bowel movement. Bladder cancer may also increase the frequency of urination.

A sore that does not heal – Individuals who have skin cancer may have wounds that do not heal.

Unusual bleeding or discharge – Blood in your stool or urine may be an early warning sign of cancer.

Thickening or lump in the breasts, testicles, or elsewhere – Often, the first warning sign of cancer is the appearance of a lump under the skin. It’s important for women to do a self-check for breast cancer each month and to get mammograms as prescribed by their doctor. (Although less common, men can develop breast cancer too.) Men should also conduct a testicular self-check each month to discover any abnormalities.

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5 Ways to Prevent Aging

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5 Ways to Prevent AgingAging. It happens to all of us, but most of us don’t give it a second thought until we begin to show signs of it. Usually, during the middle years of our lives, the face is one of the first places to reveal the tell-tale signs that we are getting older. While we cannot turn back the hands of time chronologically, there are steps we can take to slow the aging process.

The good news is there are natural ways to look and feel younger. Here are five of them.

Smile. Did you know that your body releases endorphins when you smile? It’s true. Endorphins are not only responsible for making us feel happy, but they also make us feel less stressed. Consequently, the stress hormone cortisol decreases as endorphins increase, helping us feel calmer and more relaxed. Smiling also lowers blood pressure and boosts the immune system.

Here’s the kicker: your body does not know the difference between a fake smile and a genuine smile. That’s why you’ll get all the key benefits, regardless of whether you fake it or genuinely feel it.

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3 Health Concerns for Middle-Aged Men

3 Health Concerns for Middle-Aged MenAsk anybody when middle age begins, and you’ll get a variety of responses. Some say it begins at 50 while others think it begins as young as 35. Most experts agree, however, that the ages between the years of 40-60 are a fairly good measuring stick for when most of us meet the standard for middle age.

While it’s true that you may feel better during this period of your life than you did when you were in your twenties or thirties, it’s an undeniable fact that regardless of how much we may deny that we’ve entered this milestone of our lives, our bodies may remind us that we aren’t as young as we used to be.

Here are three mid-life issues that men may encounter.

Weight gain. Women are not alone when it comes to weight gain during middle age. In fact, men are also likely to pack on the pounds after the age of 40. There are steps, however, that you can take to lose the weight.

Eat more protein. You’ll need 10% more protein during this period of your life than you did when you were younger. Eat more protein, and you’ll keep your metabolic furnace burning much more efficiently. Cottage cheese, eggs, and Greek yogurt are optimal breakfast foods. For best results, eat within the first two hours of waking.

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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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