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Archive for May, 2013

healthy diet clears constipation

Constipation is not exactly a dinner topic, but it is a condition that affects almost every living person at one time or another. It’s a common complaint at the doctor’s office.

Constipation is defined as infrequent bowel movements or difficult passage of stools. The normal number of bowel movements for adults ranges from one or more per day to two to three per week. For most people, going without a bowel movement for several days is a temporary condition and does not lead to any obvious discomfort or health problems. One may begin feeling uncomfortable when constipation lasts more than a few days. It should be noted that constipation does not build up toxins in the gut, nor does it lead to cancer.

There are many causes of constipation, some of the more common being:

– Inadequate amounts of fiber in your diet.

– Insufficient liquid intake.

– Lack of physical activity.

– Side effect of some medications, especially narcotic pain medications such as Vicoden and Percocet.

– Changes in daily routine or lifestyle.

– Colon cancer (rare).

There are two methods of dealing with constipation including:

Life style changes

– A high fiber diet including beans, whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, and less dairy, red meat and processed foods.

– Adequate fluid intake.

– Regular exercise.

– Trying not to delay a bowel movement when one has the urge.

Laxatives

– Fiber supplements are natural and very safe. Examples include Metamucil and FiberCon which are safe and effective to use daily.

– Stool softeners, such as Colace and Surfak, add moisture to the stool.

– Stimulants help increase intestinal motility. Examples include Dulcolax, Senekot, and Correctol. (It’s best not to use these too often.)

– Osmotics bring more fluid into the intestines causing easier passage of stool. One of the most common which I recommend is Miralax available without a prescription.

– Saline laxatives also help to draw fluid into the intestines. Examples include milk of magnesia and Haley’s M-O.

– Lubricants, such as a dose of mineral oil, help the intestines to pass the stool more easily.

I want to take this opportunity to talk about colon cleansing which is enema therapy that is claimed to help flush the toxins out of the colon. There is absolutely no scientific proof that there are toxins in the colon which can cause any harm. Most substances good or bad have been absorbed into the body in the small intestine which is not affected by enemas. In fact, colon cleansing can flush out needed electrolytes before they can be absorbed by the colon and also wash out beneficial intestinal bacteria. Don’t flush your money down the toilet on this misguided treatment.

From my experience, if you suffer from constipation and follow my advice in this article, you can save a trip to your doctor. But if symptoms persist or worsen, by all means get professional advice.

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child

Small pox, polio, diphtheria, tetanus, measles, mumps and rubella are all potentially life-threatening diseases that have been almost completely eliminated from our society during our lifetimes. The reason for this is the routine childhood immunization program that has been widely accepted in the United States, as well as most of the modern world.

We often hear about the supposed side effects of immunizations, but we rarely hear about children getting the very diseases that the vaccines protect against. That’s because the immunization program has worked so well in preventing diseases that could have killed millions and caused untold suffering.

In fact, we’ve been so successful immunizing children and preventing diseases that some might wonder whether vaccines are still needed.

Here’s why immunizations are still necessary:

– Newborn babies are immune to many diseases, because they have antibody protection from their mothers. This immunity is mostly gone by the end of the first year of life, leaving unvaccinated babies susceptible to the abovementioned vaccine-preventable illnesses.

– Although our country has virtually eliminated these diseases, many Third World countries with poor immunization programs are still plagued by vaccine-preventable illnesses. These diseases are only a plane ride away. An infected traveler could bring such an illness back to the States, where it could spread rapidly if people were not adequately immunized.

– In the U.S., pertussis (whooping cough) is making a comeback, and tetanus is still infecting some people.

– Widespread immunization is necessary because it helps to keep a disease from spreading within a population. This helps to protect those few who, whether by choice or by necessity, are not immunized.

Immunizations are safe. A decade ago, an unsubstantiated study tried to link immunizations to autism. A well-publicized article from England sounded the alarm connecting the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine to autism. This started a grassroots movement that has led many to reject all vaccinations. However, the majority of the authors of that article have withdrawn their support for it, and the lead author was found guilty of professional misconduct and had his license to practice medicine revoked.

Many well-controlled scientific studies have all concluded that there is no scientific or statistical relationship between immunizations and autism.

Unfortunately, the rates of immunized children entering kindergarten in Santa Cruz County are some of the lowest in the nation, with only 84 percent fully vaccinated. The San Lorenzo Valley is even lower, with just 65 percent fully immunized.

Just recently, Felton had a measles scare, prompting a major investigation. The outcome was favorable this time, as it did not infect anyone except the carrier, but a significant epidemic could spread through our area in the future because of our low immunization rates.

Until vaccine-preventable illnesses are eliminated worldwide, as with deadly smallpox — a result of the most successful immunization program ever — I strongly recommend that as many of our children as possible be routinely immunized and thus protected from potentially life-threatening diseases.

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