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Suffering From an Autism Food Allergy?

Posted in Health & Fitness on September 13th, 2008

An autism food allergy is a very serious problem.  In fact, autism induced by allergies has recently been identified and occurs when a child’s diet influences his or her autism symptoms.  The children who are at the highest risk of an impact from an autism food allergy are those who have regressive autism.  Regressive autism is the form of the disorder that occurs when the child’s first symptoms appear at around the age of two after having developed normally until then.  Other autistic children at risk are those with behavioral and neurological problems in conjunction with serious digestive problems.

Kids with an autism food allergy struggle to digest essential food proteins such as gluten and casein.  Gluten is a protein found in many kinds of grains, such as wheat, and is frequently added to food products during the manufacturing process.  Casein is a protein found in milk and is also added to other foods as they are manufactured.

Some children with food allergies are unable to properly digest gluten and casein.  These proteins are digested only partially and leave a byproduct to which the children react in a very similar way to the drug morphine.  This substance is able to slip through the wall of the digestive tract, a condition known as ‘leaky gut syndrome’, and circulates through the bloodstream and into the brain.

When a child has an intolerance to gluten or casein an altered protein can also be found in the urine after the child consumed food containing these two compounds.  It is believed that this occurs as a result of the creation and absorption of the morphine-like chemical created by the body of the child when trying to digest gluten or casein.  The child may then behave in a “spaced out” way.  Furthermore, it can create somewhat of an addiction in these children, causing them to crave foods containing gluten and casein.

Because children with an autism food allergy struggle to digest food properly, they are also unable to remove toxins and chemicals as efficiently as they should from their body.  This can include not only waste in the traditional sense of digestion, but also fertilizers, pesticides, cleansers and detergents, pollution, artificial flavorings and colorings, preservatives, chemical food additives, and other forms of chemical that can build up and become toxic over time.

Symptoms of an autism food allergy usually appear within an autistic child at around the age of three.  Though the symptoms may come about as a result of intolerance to pollutants in the food, others will react to chemical additives, and again others will react to the basic composition of the food.  Though reactions can be caused by essentially anything, the most common allergies are to foods such as corn, citrus fruits, wheat, dairy and sugar. 

Though the symptoms of an autism food allergy may not be obvious to those around the child, medical testing and observation shows frequent diarrhea, bloating, low blood sugar, excessive sweating, redness in the ears and face, rhinitis (runny nose), the inability to regulate the body temperature, and dark circles under the eyes are common.

The only way to treat an autism food allergy is to pinpoint the food of foods that are causing the problem and then eliminate it from the diet entirely.  It is important to note that this won’t cure autism, however symptoms will often improve substantially when a diet free of those items that cause a reaction is followed. Parents will still be faced with the same issues in socializing and communicating with autistic children even after an altered diet is introduced, and change will still need to be carefully managed.

To discover which foods your child reacts to, an exclusion diet is a good way to determine what items are potentially contributing to their autism symptoms and digestive issues. However, before starting an exclusion diet ensure you consult a qualified health professional to ensure your child continues to receive adequate nutrition.

Once you have the go ahead, start by eliminating the common culprits i.e. wheat, dairy, sugar, corn and citrus fruits for a two to four week period and then slowly reintroduce the removed items one at a time and monitor behaviors and digestive changes carefully.

This process can help identify those food items that are problematic for your child. An alternative is to have blood testing done to look for antibodies that are produced when an allergic reaction takes place. Your doctor should be able to arrange this for you or refer you to the appropriate professional.

There is currently a study about to get underway being carried out by researchers at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston that will be scientifically studying the effects of gluten and casein on autistic children which should help to answer the autism food allergy question.

Grab your free copy of Rachel Evans’ brand new Autism Newsletter - Overflowing with easy to implement methods to help you and your family find out about autism food allergies and for more information on allergy induced autism please visit The Essential Guide To Autism

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Is Your Favorite Drink Causing Your Gout Attack?

Posted in Health & Fitness on August 15th, 2008

If you want to do everything you can to prevent a gout attack, then you may want to look into your favorite beverages to make sure that they’re not increasing your chances of a gout recurrence.  A recent study published on BMJ.com in January, 2008, called “Soft Drinks, Fructose Consumption, and the Risk of Gout in Men: Prospective Cohort Study”, by Hyon Choi and Gary Curhan showed that men who regularly consume foods and beverages containing fructose have a notably higher risk of a gout attack.

Gout levels in the United States have doubled throughout the last few decades.  This increase in gout attacks mirrors the increase in fructose consumption through soft drinks and other sugary foods.  Fructose is a simple form of sugar that is now known to increase the production of uric acid in the body.

Though patients who suffer gout attacks are typically instructed by their doctors to cut alcohol, organ meats, and legumes from their diets, as they are high in purines – organic compounds that encourage uric acid production in the body – it is rare for patients to be told to limit their consumption of fructose-filled foods such as soft drinks.

American and Canadian researchers examined the relationship between the intake of high-fructose foods such as soft drinks and the risk of a gout attack. They looked into more than 46,000 men who had no history of gout attacks, and who were aged 40 or older.  They followed these men for 12 years, compiling data on food consumption regarding more than 130 different beverages and foods including both regular and diet soft drinks, as well as fruits and fruit juices which are also naturally quite high in their fructose levels. From the start of the study, the researchers collected weight, medication use, and medical condition data.  During that time, there were 755 new cases of gout attacks diagnosed within the participants.

The major findings of the study included the following:

- The more sugar-sweetened soft drinks were consumed by the participants, the higher their risks of a gout attack would be.

- When men who drank fewer than one serving of soft drinks in a month were compared to participants who drank over five or six servings every week, the risk of a gout attack was increased by 29 percent.

- The participants who drank two or more servings of soft drinks daily increased their risk of a gout attack by a significant 85 percent when compared to those who consumed fewer than one serving of soft drinks every month.

- Participants who consumed only soft drinks did not increase their risk of a gout attack.

- Fructose-rich foods such as fruits and their juices also increased the risk of a gout attack.  However, the study’s authors caution that the interpretation of the impact of fruits and fruit juices on the risk of gout should be interpreted with care as eating some fruits and vegetables is important for the prevention of high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease, and some cancers, and should therefore perhaps be considered more beneficial than hazardous.

The study’s results occurred independently of other gout attack risk factors, such as age, body mass index, blood pressure, diuretic use, alcohol consumption, and the rest of the diet of the participants.

One thing to remember from any study is that they are generally conducted based on statistical analysis… and you are not a statistic.

Gout is a complex metabolic imbalance, where too much or too little of some a foods or beverages in the diet can “tip the scales” and encourage Uric Acid build up or conversely reduce the levels of uric acid.

It’s of course important that this study is taken in context. Generally fresh fruit is good for our wellbeing overall in the right amounts, and as part of a gout friendly diet. However, an excess of any food or beverage, making the diet unbalanced can have a detrimental effect.

In order to minimize the possibility of uric acid build up replace beverages with water where possible as this has effect of hydrating the body and “flushing out” uric acid.

Also, if you are having fruit, try to eat the whole fruit as there are many other beneficial compounds in them and the fruit sugars are usually less concentrated than in fruit drinks.

If you are currently taking cherries or cherry juice and it is helping, just be aware of and perhaps reduce other fructose consumption in your diet.

Grab your free copy of Lisa McDowell’s brand new Gout Newsletter - Overflowing with easy to implement methods to help you find out about preventing gout attacks and for information on gout prevention diets please visit Cure Gout Now

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Gout Pain Relief Through Ayurvedic Medicine

Posted in Health & Fitness on July 18th, 2008

Gout pain relief is available not only through conventional western medicine, but also through alternative medicines such as the ancient form of ayurvedic medicine.  In ayurvedic medicine, gout is referred to as vatrakta.

Vatrakta is indicated biochemically of:

- An augmentation in the concentration level of serum urate.
- Recurrent acute pain attacks within the joints, which may become persistent and chronic in nature.
- Occurrence of monosodium urate mono hydrate crystals within the fluid spaces inside the joints at the time of an acute attack.

Ayurvedic gout pain relief is not a generalized form of treatment and is therefore not the same for everyone. The recommended treatments vary from person to patient depending on the physical and psychological health and status of the individual. However, there are certain single and compound formulations that are used for gout pain relief as well as to minimize other symptoms of the condition.  Some of the more commonly used formulations are:

- Guduchi
- Manjisth
- Punarnava
- Yashtimadhu
- Mahamanjishthadi kwath
- Shilajitwadi vati
- Panchitkta churna

Diet is very important to Ayurvedic gout pain relief methods, as everything that will increase the production of uric acid is to be eliminated from the diet.  Foods that are considered to be purine-rich should therefore be avoided as they encourage uric acid production, these commonly include:

- Yeasts
- Legumes (peas, dried beans, lentils, etc)
- Beer and other beverages containing alcohol
- Oil-packed sardines, anchovies, roes from fish, herring
- Organ meats (kidneys, liver, sweetbreads, etc)
- Meat extracts (gravies, consommés, etc)

Foods that are often recommended during Ayurvedic gout pain relief treatments may include the following:

- Dark skinned berries such as cherries as they contain substances that act within the body to reduce levels of uric acid as well as minimize inflammation.

- To eat tofu in place of meats.

- Foods high in certain fatty acids (such as omega 3), for example, olive oil, flax oil, and certain nuts.  These fatty acids contain important anti-inflammatory properties that help to ease inflammation in the joints.

Another level of gout pain relief in the ayurvedic style can include panchakarma, which can involve either a form of massage using medicated oils or snehana therapies, which have shown very beneficial results when treating gout.

If you are considering ayurvedic treatments for gout pain relief, you should first make sure to speak to your doctor or another trained health professional in order to assess your unique health needs and determine whether ayurvedic medicine is the right choice for you. 

You may find that there are also other treatments available for gout pain relief that may work better or in conjunction with ayurvedic methods.  These may include techniques such as uric acid manipulation through the pH level of the body.  The only way that you will be able to make this decision is by speaking to your health practitioner and learning about the various techniques and treatments for gout sufferers before coming to a decision on the best approach for your individual situation.

Grab your free copy of Lisa McDowell’s brand new Gout Newsletter - Overflowing with easy to implement methods to help you find out about gout pain relief and for information on how to get rid of gout naturally please visit Cure Gout Now.  

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How Much Do You Know About Gout and Diet Prevention?

Posted in Health & Fitness on May 19th, 2008

Recently, a gout and diet prevention study was published in by Dr. Hyon K. Choi and Gary Curhan in Arthritis Care & Research’s June 2007 issue which examined the fact that, contrary to popular belief, coffee may not be as bad for gout sufferers as previously thought.  Although gout patients have been told to stay away from coffee, there may be an ingredient in the beverage that can actually help to lower the uric acid levels in the body.

Though it is not yet known what part of coffee is responsible for lowering the uric acid levels in the body, it is known that it is not just the caffeine content, as the same results were not found from drinking caffeinated tea.  Whatever the cause, when participants drank one to two cups of coffee every day, the levels of uric acid in the blood reduced dramatically.  Furthermore, as coffee consumption increased, uric acid levels decreased. 

A similar study in Japan looked into the same concept, but used decaffeinated coffee.  Similar, though not equal, results were witnessed.  This is why it is now thought that components of coffee other than soley caffeine are responsible for lowering the uric acid levels in the body.

Considering that until this study, gout sufferers had been discouraged from drinking coffee, many gout sufferers may now be wondering what other gout and diet prevention beliefs may soon turn out to be disproved.  For example, though tea has not been found to reduce uric acid levels in the body as has now been demonstrated with coffee, tea is often thought to be unacceptable as a part of a gout and diet prevention strategy.  Instead, tea can indeed be a part of a gout diet as long as it is consumed in moderation and as long as its dehydrating effect is compensated for by taking in additional water.

It was also believed at one time that eating rich foods was the root cause of gout.  Indeed, some rich foods are high in proteins and purines and therefore may contribute to gout flare-ups, however low fat dairy products have now been shown to have a preventative effect. Also Gout is believed to be caused by many factors, including being heredity.

A similar belief was once applied to alcohol.  It was thought that spirits, wine, and beer were the true cause of gout.  Indeed, drinking to excess can be harmful to gout sufferers, especially due to the resulting dehydration of the body.  Hydration is especially important to gout sufferers as it allows the body to flush the uric acid out of the blood, preventing its buildup as crystals on the joints.  However, drinking alcohol is not a direct cause of gout.

It is important to speak with your doctor and dietician about gout and diet prevention and what you should be eating to help to control your gout. However, it is also wise to keep up with the latest research, as the “truths” that we know about gout diets are always changing.

Grab your free copy of Lisa McDowell’s brand new Gout Newsletter - Overflowing with easy to implement methods to help you find out about gout and diet prevention and for information on getting rid of gout through natural means please visit Cure Gout Now

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Are You Getting Frequent Hiccups? Acid Reflux May Be Why

Posted in Health & Fitness on April 3rd, 2008

If you are experiencing hiccups, acid reflux could be a contributory factor and you may need to find a remedy to find relief from this non-serious, yet distressing symptom.

Hiccups, also called hiccoughs, result when the diaphragm suddenly contracts.  The diaphragm is the thin muscle located under the heart and lungs that separates the chest from the abdomen and assists with inhaling.  After the diaphragm contracts, the top portion of the windpipe known as the glottis, immediately closes which creates the characteristic “hic” sound of hiccups.

A hiccup is a reflex you have no control over and can be hard to stop.  That being said, the interesting fact about hiccups is that unlike other reflexes (I.E. sneezing, coughing, etc.), a hiccup does not appear to have a useful purpose.

What is the hiccups acid reflux connection?  Most people have a case of the hiccups every once in a while, and in many of these instances, the spell of hiccups is brief, and there is no apparent reason why it was experienced.  However, if hiccups are related to acid reflux, it is not uncommon for hiccups to be persistent and last for hours, this could be because of:

- Temporary swollen stomach – This could be caused by eating too quickly, overeating, drinking carbonated beverages, swallowing air.
- Alcohol – This is more common with fizzy alcohol drinks such as beer, sparkling wine, and mixed drinks.  Too much air may also be swallowed while drinking alcohol.
- Excessive smoking – taking in too much air
- Emotional stress – when stressed many people tend to overeat, eat too fast, drink alcohol, smoke excessively, and are more prone to gulping air.

How can you treat hiccups?  In many cases, there is no need for treatment because hiccups will typically disappear as quickly as they occurred.  However, the following are some remedies you can try to treat mild hiccups:
- Drink a full glass of water
- Sip ice water
- Suck on an ice cube
- Hold your breath for 30 seconds
- Breath rapidly
- Breath into a paper bag
- Pull your knees into your chest
- Gasping from sudden fright
- Distract your mind from thinking about the hiccups

The above hiccup remedies will usually only work with short bouts of hiccups, and will not cure persistent hiccups that last for longer than 24 hours, or hiccups that recur frequently throughout the day.  If you have persistent hiccups, they could be the cause of acid reflux, in which case you should be experiencing other acid reflux symptoms aside from the hiccups including heartburn, belching, regurgitation, coughing, etc.  Therefore, try the following to remedy your acid reflux hiccups:

- Avoid drinking alcohol and carbonated beverages
- Stop smoking
- Eat and drink slowly.  You should also eat small portions of food to prevent overeating.
- Reduce stress.  Find ways to relax or release bottled up energy through exercise, meditation, or taking part in activities you enjoy.

If you try the above remedies and they do not work, you should see your doctor to discover what the underlying cause of your hiccups are.  You may discover that your hiccups and acid reflux are not related.  The reason is because there are more than 100 conditions that can cause hiccups.  Usually when the underlying cause is identified, persistent hiccups can be cured.

Grab your free copy of Kathryn Whittaker’s brand new Acid Reflux & GERD Newsletter - Overflowing with easy to implement methods to help you find out about hiccups and acid reflux and for information on acid reflux relief please visit Stop Acid Reflux Now

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Strategies for IEP Goals Autism Experts Recommend Most

Posted in Health & Fitness, Living on February 21st, 2008

The IEP goals autism sufferers typically attempt to achieve include more effective learning, minimized symptom behavior, and an individualized understanding experience. 

An IEP is the individualized education plan created for your child’s learning experience at school. The IEP provides a uniquely tailored document that steers the educational development for the individual child, allowing teachers, parents, and experts to recognize whether or not progress is truly being made. 

The IEP goals parents are seeking are an overall outline that includes measurable elements so that progress – or lack thereof – may be recognized.  No two plans are the same and they each have their own individual purpose and steps for achieving further educational development. 

Parents often wonder exactly what role they play in the development of their child’s IEP, its goals, and its practice.  Fortunately, there are many resources that help to guide parents along this sometimes daunting road.

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1. Before the meeting occurs, review your child’s information, including that provided about home, the community (such as doctors, tutors, therapists, etc.), and schools.  If you find that the information fails to show the complete picture, make an effort to fill in as many of the missing pieces as possible.  You want to be certain that the picture you’re painting of your child’s unique situation is as accurate as it can be.  Bring your records to the meeting, including pictures your child has drawn or painted, any work your child has done, audiotapes, and/or videotapes that demonstrate any insights or specific concerns that you would like to share.

2. If your child will be in attendance for all or a portion of the IEP meeting, make sure to let him or her know in advance exactly the way the meeting will function.  Inform your child that it is a very important meeting and that any ideas or opinions that he or she may have to contribute will be helpful.  You may need to prepare your child about every part of the meeting and that he or she may need to speak up.  Speak with your child about the ways that he or she can express feelings and ideas.

3. Brainstorm with the people who know your child well – family members, friends, teachers, therapists, tutors, and consultants, for example – to get some ideas to bring to the IEP meeting.  Write everything down so that you won’t forget.

4. Ask questions to any team member at the IEP meeting so that you always understand.  Never hesitate to request further explanation.  If you don’t agree with something, ask more questions and request backup information that will support that person’s claim.  If you have information that states something different, don’t hesitate to share it.

5. Be thorough about your efforts at the meeting.  Make sure that you agree completely with what is being suggested, and with all of the language used in the document.  Before any of the IEP goals autism processes are finalized, make sure that you’re certain your child’s unique needs will be met and that you haven’t left any doubts in your mind.

Grab your free copy of Rachel Evans’ brand new Autism Newsletter - Overflowing with easy to implement methods to guide you and your child through setting up IEP goals autism strategies and for information on other autism resources please visit The Essential Guide To Autism.

How to Modify Your Diet for Acid Reflux

Posted in Health & Fitness on February 1st, 2008

Bananas and many other foods are a safe and beneficial part of a diet for acid reflux.  Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for all foods.  There are many types of foods that can trigger or make acid reflux symptoms, such as heartburn, worse.  The following is information regarding five common types of foods linked to acid reflux, as well as suggestions for acid reflux friendly alternatives.

Fatty foods – Foods high in fat (I.E. red meat, sausages, bacon, ham, fast food, most processed foods) tend to be harder to digest and remain in the stomach longer.  The longer food stays within the stomach, the higher the risk of acid reflux because there is a delay in the stomach emptying its contents.

Alternative:  You need to avoid fatty foods and eliminate them whenever possible from your diet.  Opt instead for lean white meat, fish and eggs, instead of red meat, and if you eat meat on occasion, eat only a small portion of lean meat that is grilled or baked - never fried!

Fried and spicy foods – Spicy foods (I.E. black pepper, Chile peppers, Chinese, Indian and Mexican cuisine.) and foods that are deep fried, fried in butter or stir fried (I.E. potato chips, fried tortilla chips, French fries, fried rice, etc.) can be hard to digest, increase acid production, and relax the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), all of which increases the possibility of acid reflux.

Alternative: Use herbs to add zing to your meals and limit the amount of spice you put in your food. Instead of deep or pan frying, bake, steam or grill most of your food.

Dairy products –Dairy products (I.E. milk, cream, butter, cheese, ice cream made from real cream, etc.), especially when consumed frequently or before bed, tend to encourage acid production and can cause heartburn.

Alternative: If you are not allergic to dairy products, you can still enjoy them in moderation, but they should be consumed in small quantities during the daytime.  If, on occasion, you wish to have a glass of milk at night, accompany the milk with a food high in carbohydrates (I.E. bread) to help speed up digestion and minimize acid production.

Caffeinated and carbonated beverages – Carbonated beverages (I.E. soda and carbonated water) trigger burping, which, in turn, can encourage acid reflux. Caffeinated beverages (I.E. soda, coffee, tea and decaffeinated coffee) also encourage acid reflux because they cause the LES to relax.

Alternative:  The ideal beverage is plain water.  However, if you would like to include a warm beverage in your diet for acid reflux, warm water with honey, herbal tea, or caffeine free coffee are ideal options.  If you wish to drink soda, drink non-caffeinated soda and let it go flat before drinking to reduce the carbonation.

Citrus fruits – Citrus fruits (I.E. oranges, pineapples, lemons, limes, etc.) trigger acid reflux because they stimulate acid production in your stomach.

Alternatives:  Although citrus fruits should be avoided, there are many other fruits   such as bananas and apples that you can eat, and are considered very beneficial at suppressing acid and treating acid reflux symptoms.  Other fruits that can be added to a diet for acid reflux are berries such as blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries.

Keep in mind, though many of the alternative food suggestions are suitable for the majority of acid reflux sufferers, every person responds differently to food.  Therefore, it is important that you find out which foods trigger your symptoms so you can limit and avoid these foods when creating your diet for acid reflux.

Grab your free copy of Kathryn Whittaker’s brand new Acid Reflux & GERD Newsletter - Overflowing with easy to implement methods to help you find out about following a diet for Acid Reflux and for information on acid reflux foods to eat please visit Stop Acid Reflux Now.

Gout Medical Research Suggests Coffee May Help

Posted in Health & Fitness on January 19th, 2008

Recently, gout medical studies have found that coffee can actually be beneficial for treating gout. The results of these studies are very interesting as coffee has long been considered a beverage that should be avoided by gout sufferers, as it is believed caffeine raises uric acid levels (increased uric acid levels in the blood is the main culprit behind gout attacks. Gout is characterized by swelling and intense pain in an affected joint – commonly the big toe). However, though caffeine may still be a risk factor, there appears to be an ingredient(s) in coffee that has the opposite effect.

Gout medical research that concluded in the spring of 2007 discovered that the more coffee men consume the lower their risk of gout. In this Canadian/American study which was published in the Arthritis & Rheumatism journal June 2007, it was found that men who drank a minimum of 4 cups of coffee daily, lowered their gout risk by as much as 40%.

The study was based on data that was collected from over 45,000 male medical professionals who participated in the study. It was found that after 12 years of study, just over 750 of the more than 45,000 men who drank tea and coffee developed gout. Based on self-reports kept by each medical professional, those conducting the study were able to determine that while tea had no effect, the more coffee the men consumed, the more they reduced their risk of developing gout.

The gout medical study found that men, who drank 1 – 3 cups of coffee per day, lowered their risk of a gout attack by 8%. However, those who drank 4 – 5 cups per day reduced their risk by 40%. Additionally, those men who proved to be ‘coffee addicts’ and drank 6 or more cups per day had almost a 60% lower gout risk.

On the other hand, it was discovered that men who drank 1 – 3 cups of decaffeinated coffee reduced their risk by 33%, while those who drank 4 cups of decaf or more, only reduced the risk of gout by 27%.

Although the medical research team does not know what the exact substance or substances within coffee that reduce the risk of gout, the gout medical team thinks that phenol chlorogenic acid, a strong antioxidant that exists in coffee, may be one of the major factors. Furthermore, it should be mentioned that the team believes that caffeine in coffee does not contribute to the reduction, as tea which also contains caffeine does not appear to offer any benefits.

It is important to note that the researchers focused their study on men aged 40 and older. Their reason for this was because men 40 years of age and older make up the highest gout population. Therefore, although coffee appears to make a difference in the average man that fits this age group, it is not known if coffee has the same gout reducing effect on women and younger men.

More studies will need to be conducted to confirm the precise reasons why coffee reduces the risk of gout. Therefore, while increasing the number of cups of coffee you drink per day may lower your chances of gout, the increase in coffee may not be beneficial for other health conditions. Therefore, be sure to talk to your doctor about the gout medical coffee study, and seek his/her advice before you consider increasing your coffee consumption.

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Concerned About Acid Reflux Breathing Problems?

Posted in Health & Fitness on December 15th, 2007

Most acid reflux sufferers who work to keep their acid reflux symptoms under control generally have fewer problems, but there are some exceptions. When you suffer from chronic acid reflux, which has been left untreated, you may end up with acid reflux breathing problems that can be serious if you continue to ignore them.

Many people don’t realize that when they sleep, acid can seep up into the lungs. This does not generally occur when acid reflux is controlled, but it does happen more often than people think. The esophagus can sustain damage from refluxed acid, but if acid reflux is treated either with medication, through lifestyle changes or a combination of both, that damage can be repaired.

However, the tissues in the lungs are very vulnerable, and when they are damaged by reflux acid complications can occur and much of the damage can be permanent. This can lead to acid reflux breathing problems that may be with you for the rest of your life.

When the tissues in the lungs are damaged, they simply cannot work as they used to. The tissues can not stand up to the erosive properties of the acid and it starts to alter. This new, tougher type of tissue that lungs produce to protect themselves from a continuing assault from stomach acid simply does not function as well as healthy lung tissue does. This means your lungs cannot draw in oxygen or filter impurities and toxins as they used to and it may cause shortness of breath. Another complication with acid reflux breathing problems can be the development or worsening of existing asthma. When this occurs it is not easily reversed, and can seriously impact on your quality of life.

In order to help prevent acid from reaching your lungs and giving you acid reflux related breathing problems, major modifications are required in the way you eat and how you sleep.

Firstly, avoiding heavy meals, and eating your last meal at least 3 hours before going to bed can have a positive impact on acid reflux symptoms. Also, eating smaller meals with the additions of snacks throughout the day rather than 3 large meals will keep your digestive system moving and avoid a build up of acid in the stomach. Eating large meals puts your stomach under pressure to digest the food eaten, which means that more stomach acid is produced and the lower esophageal sphincter muscle at the top of the stomach can be placed under pressure, weaken and open, allowing acid to escape into the esophagus.

The position you sleep in can also have an impact on whether acid can aspirate into the lungs. When sleeping you should elevate your upper body, either by placing a wedge under your mattress or pillow that lifts your head at least six inches higher than your waist and hips, or by placing blocks under the head end of the bed. Sleeping in this elevated position can reduce the risk of acid refluxing and being aspirated into your lungs while you sleep.

If you suspect that you have developed acid reflux breathing problems, you should contact your doctor at once. Suffering from related breathing complications is an indication that your acid reflux is not under control, and that you may be at risk for even bigger health problems in the future. Your breathing difficulties may not be acid reflux related, but you should always find out what is causing your breathing problems so that the suitable treatment can be sought.

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