Many beautiful and creative children who are having difficulty focusing in the classroom have been given the label ADD or ADHD. Once given this label, these spontaneous and high-energy children may be placed on Ritalin and other pharmaceutical amphetamines to control their behavior. These drugs may have serious side effects and can also give children the message that using drugs to solve one's difficulties is an answer. Take a drug for this or that, no worries, we can fix your problems.

Additionally these labels, used to put a child into a certain medical-insurance category, can lead to feelings of shame and separation. "Why am I so messed up?" and "How come I am not good enough?" may race around in the mind of these young children. Children may begin feeling different from their classmates and playmates, developing poor self esteem issues, issues that may plague them into adulthood. Many parents, teachers, holistic practitioners and more and more allopathic physicians are beginning to question the wisdom of pharmaceutical practices to deal with ADD and/or ADHD. More information is now available to parents. They can find support in many varied therapies including herbal and nutritional supplements. These supplements can help supply their children with the needed nutrients for a happy focused brain.

It might also be useful to mention here that all children do not learn in the same way. Everyone learns in their own style, whether it be kinesthetic, visual or in an audio context. Most school systems do not take this factor into consideration. It may also be that children of today are realizing more and more that what is being taught in schools today may hold little relevance to their needs, what they feel is important to learn or have an interest in learning.

Research indicates that although considered hyperactive, which seems to indicate a more active brain, these children may actually need a boost in their brain's metabolism. A deficiency in the neurotransmitters may be the biochemical cause of ADD and ADHD. Drugs like Ritalin target these neurotransmitters.

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter associated with "feeling good" and stimulates the frontal lobes of the brain which are responsible for coordinating thoughts, feelings, sensory information and the body's response to motor activity. All of this helps us to focus on what needs to be done next. When Dopamine is low one can become unfocused. Dopamine deficiency can be caused by toxins found in the environment, food and other allergens, or internal toxins created when we are under emotional or physical stress. We can see how what a child is eating, drinking, thinking or breathing can be effecting neurotransmission in the brain. Food allergies are many times related to milk proteins (casein) or wheat proteins (gluten).� Therefore, eliminating these foods could be helpful. Also, reducing or removing toxins in the childs environment could be of benefit, creating a less stressful environment.

You can read more about toxins in the environment and what you can do to eliminate or reduce them by visiting this page on my website.

You can also check out the products pages of this website to read about some non toxic household cleansers that are available. Products such as Ultra-Safe and Ultra Safe Plus.

To read more about EMOTIONAL HEALTH and ways to decrease stress, visit this page on my website.

Here are some of the nutrients to include into your child's diet. You can go to my whole food products page to read more about whole food supplements that include many of these nutrients, enzymes, antioxidants and essential fatty acids, To read about PERFECT FOOD, LIVING MULTI, CLEAR ENERGY, ORGANIC COCONUT OIL, FRUITS OF LIFE and RADICAL FRUITS click here

or to read about ALOE IMMUNE, ALPHA LIPOIC ACID or DMAE click here

L-tyrosine is the amino acid that the body uses to synthesize Dopamine and Norepinephrine. It can be of help in ADD/ADHD, therefore it is important to include tyrosine rich foods into the diet. These include proteins from meat, poultry, seafood, beans, tofu and lentils.

DMAE (Dimethylaminoethanol Bitartrate) also has a role as it enhances brain function and concentration. It is naturally occuring in the brain and seems to be deficient in children with the ADD/ADHD label. It is a highly bioactive nutritional precursor to Acetylcholine. We know Acetylcholine is a key neurotransmitter playing a crucial role in higher cognitive functions. DMAE is found in fish and may be helpful to all nerve conductivity and regeneration, contributing to healthy nerve cells.

Magnesium is important in transmiting nerve signals and along with zinc helps process essential fatty acids into biochemicals used by the brain. Beans are magnesium-rich foods.

DHA is one of the essential fatty acids that contributes to cerebral development and effective interaction among brain cells. It is found in cold water fish such as Salmon, Cod and Halibut. Including an antioxidant or high quality antioxidant type foods, such as berries and greens, can help protect fatty acids so they can do their job, without free radical damage.

Lecithin which contains fatty acids used to build nerve cells would be another good food to include in the diet. It can be sprinkled on foods such as, cereals, grains, vegetables, salads, puddings, juices and smoothies. Blended into smoothies, lecithin makes them creamy and thick.

I like to make a super essential fatty acid spread for whole grain breads, pancakes, muffins and crackers by mixing flax oil, olive oil and coconut oil into my softened organic butter. I then refrigerate it to hardened. Many people are amazed by how good it tastes and it is so much more nutritious than plain butter.

During digestion the body breaks down carbohydrates with the help of enzymes into simple sugars which are formed into the glycoproteins and glycolipids important in cell communication and healthy brain functioning. Having proteins and complex carbs in the diet helps to regulate blood sugar levels by introducing them into the blood circulation at a more even pace.

Whole grains, fruits and vegetables will metabolize slowly. Keeping processed sugars such as maltodextrin, sucrose and maltose which have high glycemic indexes out of the diet is a must. These sugars found in most processed foods, candy, cakes, cookies, pastries and sodas create a rapid rise in blood sugar levels. Even alternatives such as maple sugar, honey, molasses, malt syrup, rice syrup, and beet sugar create sugar fluctuations that can contribute to a lack of concentration. Read labels carefully as many foods and products supposedly created to help increase focus may contain these sugars.

Use products such as Stevia to sweeten foods. Stevia is nutritious, containing magnesium, niacin, potassium, and vitamin C. It has been shown to stabilize blood sugar levels. Products such as Aloe Immune which contain food grade polysaccharides can be helpful in regulating blood sugar levels. Be sure, in your attempts to cut back on sugar, you do not use sugar substitutes containing: Aspartame, Neotame, Sucralose (Splenda), Saccharin,Acesulfame-K (Sunette, Sweet & Safe, Sweet One), Cyclamates, Refined Sugar #,
High Fructose Sweeteners #, Sugar Alcohols (xylitol, sorbitol) #, All of these are less than healthy substitutes. They are harmful. You can read more about such products on my webpages: here and will find links there to other sites that can give you a wealth of information..

Those items marked with "#" can be used in very small amounts only.

Keep the diet balanced, having small frequent meals to provide a steady energy stream of glucose to the brain, without radical ups and downs is the best. Remember to include essential fatty acids in your child's diet, especially the Omega-3 variety, which is found in salmon and tuna. A diet of simple, fresh, unprocessed natural food, organic when possible is your best choice always. Always avoid hydrogenated fats, chemicals and additives. Read labels and know exactly what you are feeding your children.

High levels of yeast overgrowth seem to be prevalent in hyperactive children and those with ADD/ADHD. Yeast overgrowth seems to affect over 40 million people. This fungal imbalance can be treated with products such as FUNGAL DEFENSE, PRIMAL DEFENSE and OMEGAZYME. A diet low in gluten, sweets and carbohydrates, with alcohol, vinegar, fruits and aged cheeses being avoided, is best adhered to when yeast and fungus are a problem. Maintaining good intestinal health is of utmost importance to prevent the overgrowth of yeast and fungus. You can read more about intestinal balancing products, such as those mentioned, on my web page here.

You can read more about healthy living throughout my web pages and about digestion and assimilation by visiting this page: here.

Some research has shown that TV watching and Video game playing can decrease brain activity. Help your child to make healthy lifestyle choices. Encourage them to connect with nature and play outdoors, exerting physical energy. In this way, playing will increase circulation and deep breathing, bringing oxygen and nutrients to the brain. Play creative games with your children to challenge their thinking. Help them use their abundant energy in conscious ways.

You can also read more information about how to healthfully address aspects of ADD and ADHD by visiting: this page. You can also look for books written by Thom Hartmann.

Learn more about ADD/ADHD research being done at Bastyr College by going to this website:

Another good resource is the work of Dr. John Taylor. You can find him at

A breakthrough for autistic children

This article is from Alternative Medicine Magazine and was written by Melanie Haiken. It contains a wealth of information.

On a typical morning, five-year-old Luis Hernandez starts the day with pancakes made from hazelnut flour. But his unusual breakfast doesn't stop there. Before serving Luis his pancakes, his mother, Mary, sprinkles them with gamma linolenic acid oil. Then she pours her son some juice--actually a teaspoon of honey mixed w ith water because he can't tolerate fruit juice--and stirs in more nutrients, including super-concentrated vitamins A and B.
Along with his fortified honey water, Luis takes supplements, including digestive enzymes, fish oil, oil of oregano, grapefruit seed extract, and an array of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. Downing them all--a process that's played out at dinnertime, too--usually takes about 30 minutes. And once this routine is complete, Mary also rubs two creams containing glutathione and magnesium sulfate into her son's skin before he heads out the door to school.

The Hernandezes' daily routine is part of an alternative therapy program developed by specialists to treat children like Luis who suffer from autism spectrum disorders (ASD), which include Luis's problem, pervasive development disorder (PDD). Since he was diagnosed a year and a half ago, Mary has made it her mission to find out everything that's going on in cutting-edge autism treatment, a world of practitioners and therapies unsanctioned by any mainstream medical group and yet reporting remarkable progress in both identifying potential causes of autism and devising treatments. For what they put her and her son through every day, Mary feels nothing but gratitude. "I can't believe the difference a year has made," she says. Before Luis started his new diet, he spoke very few words and didn't even know how to point. "When he was hungry, he'd just grab me and push me toward the refrigerator,"

Mary says. Luis had also developed compulsive routines that tied the family's schedule in knots, such as refusing to get into the car until he had spent ten minutes riding around it on his toy ride-along car. He suffered from extreme night terrors; trivial events often triggered uncontrollable rages. He had terrible stomachaches and diarrhea. Perhaps worst of all, though, says Mary, was his detachment from those around him. "He'd sit and stare into space and seem completely uninvolved in anything," she says. "It was heartbreaking to try to get through to him."

A perfect example of the contrast between then and now was the way Luis celebrated his last two birthdays. When he turned four, he sat alone in a corner, refusing to acknowledge his playmates while his three-year-old sister Ana opened all his gifts for him. "It was questionable whether he even knew what was going on," says Mary. This year, he came to his party. "Luis was happy and excited to see everyone, and he had to open each present himself and play with it," says his mother. "It was so wonderful to see him act like any other five-year-old."

Mary is not the only one noticing her son's progress. His teachers say they're happy to participate in his program--even though it means giving him supplements with his lunch and rubbing his skin with creams at recess--because they can see the results. And Luis's progress is quantifiable. The first time he was evaluated using the Autism Treatment Evaluation Checklist, a score developed by the Autism Research Institute to measure autistic behavior and track response to treatment, he rated 127, or "severe." On his most recent test he scored a 30, placing him at the mildest end of the spectrum.

That's extraordinary growth for a child who received no treatment before age four; most autism experts believe a child has the best chance of doing well if behavioral therapy starts by age three. "His autistic symptoms are very mild at this point," says Mary. While he still shows a significant language delay, Luis has made so much progress that, with the help of an aide, he will attend a mainstream kindergarten in September.

Dietary salvation
The idea that parents like Mary have reason to hope for something akin to a cure is so radical that most autism experts won't even entertain the possibility. Autism, a complex developmental condition also known as a spectrum disorder (because it takes so many different forms), severely impairs a child's ability to learn, communicate, and participate comfortably in day-to-day life.
Children with these disorders, which include Asperger's syndrome as well as PDD, often have severe speech delays or no speech abilities at all, poor social skills, trouble sleeping and eating, and a tendency to get caught up in repetitive motions such as rocking and head banging. Until recently, there was no reason to think people with autism could ever lead anything close to a normal life.

Yet today stories of such miraculous awakenings as Luis's abound. "I've seen kids who just sat curled up in a ball, humming to themselves, and then a month after beginning biomedical treatment, they walk into my office smiling and saying hello," says Kenneth Bock, director of the Rhinebeck Health Center in Rhinebeck, New York, who estimates he has treated 600 to 800 autism patients over the past ten years.

The therapies that have worked such wonders for kids like Luis have been pioneered by a group of doctors and practitioners linked by their membership in a nine-year-old group called Defeat Autism Now! (DAN!). The DAN protocol, as it is known, has mushroomed into a long list of potential treatments, most of which are studied by DAN-affiliated doctors and publicized through biannual DAN conferences. Mary Hernandez was introduced to these treatments by Peta Cohen, a New Jersey nutritionist and DAN practitioner, who has been treating children with autism spectrum disorders for six years.

The cornerstone of the DAN treatment, also known as the biomedical approach, is addressing the digestive disorders and metabolic problems that practitioners believe literally starve the brains of kids with autistic spectrum disorders, as well as the heavy metal toxicity that DAN members think underlies these conditions. Treatment is highly individualized since autism manifests itself differently in each child, but a typical regimen would likely include a specialized diet such as the gluten-free, casein-free (GFCF) diet, a broad variety of supplements to compensate for poor absorption and digestion of nutrients, chelation to remove heavy metals, and treatment for dysbiosis, or an overgrowth of harmful bacteria, yeast, or parasites in the gut.

No one knows how many kids are being treated by some version of this approach. But Bernard Rimland, the researcher who started the Autism Research Institute, the parent organization of DAN, estimates that DAN practitioners, who number about 350, are reaching several thousand children. And while there are no hard data on the numbers who have benefited, Bock says the vast majority of the children he treats respond to at least some portion of the biomedical plan. "It's an incredibly exciting time because each research breakthrough suggests new treatment directions," says Bock. "We're actually able to turn some of these kids around, and it's just the most amazing thing to see. We're so far ahead of where we were even two years ago."

The mercury question
Even more astonishing, perhaps, is how few parents of autistic children ever hear of these new developments. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) does not account for any biomedical treatment approaches in its position paper on autism, and most pediatricians and pediatric neurologists--the doctors an autistic child is most likely to see--don't recommend anything beyond behavioral therapy. There are signs of change, however: A growing number of doctors acknowledge that autistic spectrum kids have gastrointestinal problems, for instance. Many even suggest that parents try a GFCF diet for these children.

"Ten years ago, the mainstream take on autism was that it was 100 percent genetic," says Lynne Mielke, a psychiatrist who opened her autism treatment practice in Pleasanton, California, one year ago after her own autistic son was helped immensely by the DAN protocol. "Now the medical establishment is openly acknowledging that some unknown environmental factors may also be involved."

What continues to divide alternative and mainstream doctors is the role that mercury does--or doesn't--play in autism. Members of DAN see more than coincidence at work in the timing of the recent rise in autism cases--from 4 to 5 per 10,000 children in the early 1980s to 34 per 10,000 in 1996, according to one study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. Researchers note that at least some of this increase is due to a broader definition of autism.

But DAN members, among many others, counter that during that same period, the government upped the number of recommended routine vaccinations, many of which contained a mercury-based preservative called thimerosal. Before the FDA directed vaccine manufacturers to remove it from most vaccines in 1999 (flu shots still contain it), the levels of mercury in a typical six-month-old who had received all the vaccines was 187 micrograms, more than double what it had been ten years earlier.

And vaccines may be just part of the problem, some experts say; mercury can reach fetuses and breast-fed infants through their mother's dental fillings or contaminated fish she may have eaten during pregnancy, among other sources.

The main reason mercury could be such a risk factor for autism, say DAN members, is that certain kids are predisposed to a metabolic malfunction that makes it hard for them to excrete it and other heavy metals. "Some kids appear to be born with a genetic defect that makes their bodies less efficient at getting rid of toxins like thimerosal," says Bock.

In such cases, a buildup of heavy metals in their bodies would compromise their immune systems and cause brain damage. The situation for these children grows even worse, says Bock, when they are inoculated with the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine at 12 to 15 months, and again at four to six years.

This vaccine doesn't contain thimerosal, but a child whose immune system has already been compromised by mercury exposure can overrreact to the live measles virus in it, which can inflame the gut and lead to the gastrointestinal problems that are a hallmark of autism, some alternative practitioners say. These stomach problems make it even harder for already sick kids to efficiently absorb nutrients, thus worsening brain damage by essentially depriving the brain of nutrients. "Heavy metals poison the body in every imaginable way," says Mielke, "and what you end up with are three layers of problems: brain damage, gut inflammation, and immune deficiency."

Mainstream medicine doesn't buy it. In May, the well-respected Institute of Medicine released a report concluding that, after an extensive review of multiple studies, it found no statistical link between thimerosal and autism. Autism is mostly the result of bad luck and genetics, say mainstream experts, though some unknown environmental factors may be partly to blame, including complications during pregnancy.

The reaction from the alternative community was what you might expect: outrage. DAN practitioners and organizations like the National Autism Association and SafeMinds criticized the report for reviewing what they say were flawed studies and for being driven by political concerns to protect the national vaccination program. "For some reason the institute considered a number of studies that had methodological flaws or betrayed conflicts of interest," says Bock, "and chose to ignore the powerful information that was presented."

In the meantime, autism practitioners continue to press forward with their innovative experiment, which is being conducted largely on the basis of shared information and individual success stories. In fact, little of what they do has been corroborated by large formal studies--most of it is just too new. Though many studies are now under way, several small studies have already suggested that a significant number of autistic children do respond to certain kinds of nutritional therapy. In one of the most recent studies, at least one theory--that heavy metals profoundly interfere with cellular function in autism patients--received some validation.

Writing in the journal Molecular Psychiatry, Richard Deth, a molecular pharmacologist from Northeastern University in Boston, found good evidence to suggest that thimerosal and alcohol inhibited the activity of an enzyme that is key to the way cells communicate with each other. This enzyme, in fact, tends to be low in autism patients. In follow-up studies, which have not yet been published, he concludes that the reason for the lower enzyme activity was that these substances limit the formation of a B vitamin called methyl B-12.

"This is a critical enzyme for normal mental function," he says, "and it appears that a deficiency of methyl B-12 could be interfering with its function in these kids." He's now working with DAN-oriented doctors like Kenneth Bock to see if injections of methyl B-12 can jump-start the metabolic pathways that appear to be blocked in those with autism. "This is the hottest thing in autism treatment we've seen for some time," Deth says.

No cure, but better
By the time Danny Dubrow- sky's mother, Rosemarie, began experimenting with alternative approaches, Danny was four years old, and she didn't believe she had any choice. "I had completely given up on doctors," Rosemarie says, explaining that she was forced to resort to doing her own research after Danny's doctors failed to offer any treatment options. "I walked out of two gastroenterologists' offices," she says.

"There he was at three years old, with an ulcer and reflux so bad that his back teeth were falling out, and they couldn't help me."
Diagnosed with autism at 27 months, Danny suffered from constant digestive problems. Rosemarie put him on the GFCF diet, which reduced his symptoms by about 60 percent. "But he still had his ups and downs," she said. Next she tried secretin therapy, a controversial approach that seems to work for a small percentage of ASD kids by replacing a neurohormone that certain children appear to be deficient in. That was the first big breakthrough for Danny. "Within three days, all his physical problems were way better," Rosemarie says.

Danny then underwent a homeopathic detoxification regimen--gentler than the one prescribed by DAN--to remove contaminants and bacteria from his body. Each step resulted in some improvement. Barely verbal, Danny began uttering phrases for the first time. "He began to be more interactive, to ask for things and say what he wanted," says Rosemarie.

A bigger turning point for Danny came when he tried a series of homeopathic growth factors developed by former NIH scientist Barbara Brewitt. Marketed by Brewitt under the name Cell Signal Enhancers, the growth factors, one of which is called IGF-1, are designed to improve the body's ability to utilize nutrients. Among the more controversial of the cutting-edge autism treatments, the homeopathic growth factors are difficult for even the experts who use them to explain. Basically, they help the body recognize mercury and other chemicals, and get rid of them.

Gregory Saunders, a naturopath in Adrian, Michigan, whose practice has a six-month waiting list, thinks this therapy can make a difference. "I had one child who was completely nonverbal, and six months later he was not only talking, he was reciting the alphabet," he says. The growth factors helped Danny with language, too,

Rosemarie says. "He went from where none of his words were recognizable to where he would say 'cracker,' 'water,' 'chip'--and suddenly we could understand him." For Danny, though, the most rewarding changes have come recently through the biomedical interventions of Kenneth Bock. Bock prescribed many aspects of the DAN regimen, including chelation therapy, digestive enzymes, and supplements.

The boy's sleeping improved almost immediately. "Danny never slept more than three hours at a stretch," says his mother. He now sleeps nine hours a night. Even more significant, says his mother, is that the treatments have helped Danny begin to emerge from his shell. "These latest treatments have made an amazing difference in his personality," she says. "He's much more energetic and aware." Unfortunately, nothing has proved to be a miracle cure for Danny, who still struggles with basic communication skills and requires extensive behavioral therapy.

"My child is not a poster child for anything," says Rosemarie. But he's no longer the child who was so aggressive and self-destructive that he had to be stopped from biting himself. "Now, when you walk in the door, he calls out "hi!' and runs to find you," she adds.

For the first time ever, Danny would rather spend time with his parents than alone, and his mother is elated. "When you've gone from no words, no interaction, and huge medical issues, to pointing, clapping, speaking, and running across the room to give you a hug, then everything's a miracle," she says.

Doing Your Homework: 7 Treatment Strategies
The good news for parents of children with autistic spectrum disorders is that there's no need to reinvent the wheel; whatever your question, many concerned parents and dedicated clinicians have been there before you.

Tap into the latest thinking.

Research Your first stop is the Autism Research Institute,, where you can order a copy of the DAN protocol. You can also call 619.281.7165, or send $30 (California residents add $1.75 tax) to Autism Research Institute, 4182 Adams Avenue, San Diego, CA 92116.

Also visit physician Jeff Bradstreet's International Child Development Resource Center at

Read. Several books describe unconventional approaches to treating autism with an emphasis on nutrition.

Three of the most popular include Karyn Seroussi's now-classic book, Unraveling the Mystery of Autism and Pervasive Developmental Disorder: A Mother's Story of Research and Recovery

Children with Starving Brains: A Medical Treatment Guide For Autism Spectrum Disorder, by Jaquelyn McCandless, M.D.;

Facing Autism: Giving Parents Reasons for Hope and Guidance for Help, by Lynn Hamilton.

Find a DAN Practitioner.
The biomedical approach to treating autism is far too complicated to tackle on your own. To find a doctor or practitioner qualified to supervise treatment, use DAN's state-by-state listing, available at

Once you've found a practitioner, he or she can test your child and then help you find the most appropriate options.

Treatment strategies.

Test Before Treating. A series of blood, urine, stool, and sometimes hair tests will reveal a great deal about the toxins your child has been exposed to, the condition of his or her digestive system, and the nutritional deficiencies and metabolic imbalances your child most likely suffers from.

Deal with Diet. Kids with autistic spectrum disorders appear to benefit significantly from specialized diets.

For guidance on the popular glutein-free casein-free (GFCF) diet, or specific carbohydrate diet, visit, or the Autism Network for Dietary Intervention (, or breakingtheviciouscycle, a website built around the work of nutritionist Elaine Gottschall.

Supplement with Vitamins and Minerals. To treat the metabolic issues that accompany, and perhaps underlie, autism, you'll need a host of vitamins and minerals, including magnesium, zinc, B vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamin A. Showing particular promise is a so-called quintet of metabolic enhancers, including tri-methyl-glycine, folinic acid, glutathione, allithiamine, and methyl B-12.

Experiment with Enzymes. In addition to specialized elimination diets, many parents trying the DAN protocol report benefits from digestive enzymes, including those made by Houston Neutraceuticals ( and EnZymAid by Kirman. A useful resource is Enzymes for Autism and Other Neurological Conditions by Karen DeFelice; she also has a website at

NOTE: Garden of Life offers a wonderful digestive enzyme which is in a powder form, making it easy to incorporate into your childs diet. To learn more go to this page.

DAN practitioners favor chelation therapy as a way to rid the body of contaminants; some parents prefer the gentler route offered by homeopathy. Amy Lansky describes the dramatic improvement her son Max underwent, for instance, after undergoing homeopathic treatment in Impossible Cure: The Promise of Homeopathy.

You may wish to check into Maxam Labs alternative to chelation, called clathration.

Check with for the best prices on these expensive products. They are much less expensive then chelation therapy, as well as being, non-invasive and less challenging to the body.

Consider Growth Factors. These substances, such as IGF-1 developed by Barbara Brewitt, are showing promise in treating some children with autistic spectrum disorders. For more information, visit

Keep up. New treatments and products are being developed all the time; stay abreast of the latest research by visiting the DAN website ( and attending autism conferences.

Back to the top



Diabetes Mellitus is a degenerative disease that affects more than 17 million people. This figure is up more than 5 million from the figures I read in 1994 and represents roughly 6% of the population.

Diabetes is a condition in which the body is unable to properly metabolize sugar so it is usable as food for the cells of our body. There are two types of diabetes. In juvenile diabetes (type 1) the insulin producing part of the pancreas is damaged and there is insulin insufficiency. In type 2, or adult onset diabetes, enough insulin is produced however, utilization is being blocked by the effects of a high fat diet (and/or excess sugar consumption which turns to fat in the body). This high fat diet also causes liver stagnation, which leads to imbalances in the spleen-pancreas complex. This supports the creation of less effective insulin secretions. Excess use of alcohol and caffeine deplete the spleen-pancreas.

Low mineral levels of chromium, zinc and manganse are often associated with diabetes. These minerals are factors in the control of blood sugar levels and are removed during refining processes. It is important to only eat complex, unrefined carbohydrates that have the bran intact, not white sugar, white flour and denatured grains. The bran which is removed is also high in silicon, which supports the pancreatic function. Allergies and hypothyroidism also seem to accompany the malfunctioning of the pancreas and liver. It is important to eat foods that support the thyroid and remove any allergens from the diet that can act as stressors.

In either form of diabetes, type 1 or 2, too much sugar enters the blood stream. The body does not utilize this sugar at a cellular level. Therefore the kidneys must now excrete it along with other fluids. Urination becomes frequent and excessive and as the body fluids drop, extreme thirst is experienced. Other symptoms of diabetes include; constant hunger, inflammation, infection, weight changes (manifesting as obesity or wasting), red tongue, dry itchy skin, lack of energy, hypertension (high blood pressure), accelerated aging, bladder and prostate problems. Complications of diabetes can also include blindness, neuropathy, heart disease, circulation problems and kidney failure.

The incidences of adult onset diabetes, which usually emerges in middle-age (hence the name) is more recently affecting younger children. In fact, this trend has been increasing at an alarming rate. The Center For Disease Control says if the trend continues, 1 out of every 3 children born in 2000 will have diabetes. This is becoming epidemic and directly linked to the extremely industrial diet many people are eating these days. It is a result of the high carbohydrate and high sugar diet of modern man.

Following a low fat, high fiber diet for several weeks, based on complex carbohydrates such as unrefined grains in moderation, vegetables (mostly those that grow above the ground) and legumes in moderation, can make a difference.

In type 1 diabetes, which is hard to cure, a reduction in insulin by about one-third has been achieved with such a diet. A reduced incidence and severity of diabetic complications was also noted. In type 2 diabetics following this diet, approximately 80% of those involved could stop taking insulin and the other 20% could reduce their dosage of insulin. Most type 2 diabtetics can reverse this condition with lifestyle changes in diet, exercise and stress loads.

CAUTION: Never decrease your insulin dosage without consulting your personal health provider.

Here are some recommendations to follow.

Consume less food, especially those that can tax the liver, spleen and pancreas. These include; greasy and fatty foods (meats, eggs, cheese, butter, nuts, seeds, excess oils of any kind). Walnuts are a better choice of nuts as they are a source of Omega-3 oils, while most other nuts are high in Omega-6 oils. The omega-6 oils slow down the metabolic rate and help to create weight gain. Coconut oil from fresh coconut, not dried copra, goes directly to the liver and is converted to energy so it puts less strain on the liver, pancreas and digestive system in general. Along with olive oil it is the best oil to include in the diet.

Always avoid synthetic, refined or hydrogenated oils.

Avoid refined flours and sugars, chemicals and very salty, sweet or spicy foods.

Avoid late night eating and too many complex combinations of foods.

Always chew well, as this will help your food to digest better and be more easily assimilated. This is especially important for carbohydrate digestion which begins in the mouth.

Eating small, more frequent meals will be helpful in stimulating insulin production.

Minerals are also very important. You can increase your mineral absorption by eating more chlorophyll-rich foods. These are your vegetable (green) foods such as spirulina, chlorella, wheat and barley grasses. Chlorophyll is also helpful in the process of cell renewal; this is important to the pancreas which needs rebuilding in diabetics.

I recommend a wonderful product called PERFECT FOOD, which is filled with chlorophyll-rich ingredients, minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, enzymes and beneficial intestinal bacteria.

To read more about it go to my web page: here.

You can also include mineral-rich sea vegetables in your diet as. Minerals will alkalize your system.This is a bonus, as the pH is often acidic in diabetics. An alkaline pH will help decrease inflammations and assist in the removal of toxins from your system. You can read more about minerals on my web page: here.

Avoid all synthetic sweetners such as sucralose (splenda), which contains heavy metals and can decrease the size of the thymus gland, aspartame (equal and nutrasweet) and neotame. These type sweetners actually stimulate the appetite which is counter productive. You can read more about these dangerous substances

Learn to use stevia as a sweetener: You can read more about it on my web page, here.

There are other recommendations here.

We also know that GLA (gamma-linolenic acid) fatty oils help to regulate insulin. They also protect the heart, eyes and kidneys against the major complications of diabetes. These oils include evening primrose, borage and black currant seed oils. GLA is also present in Spirulina.

Alpha-Linoleic Acid (ALA) oils, such as flax, and other omega-3 oils from fish (EPA and DHA) have insulin-sparing qualities which enable insulin to be more effective. EPA and DHA are only in fish oils and can be used by the body directly. ALA found in flax, hemp, canola, soy, walnuts and greens require a bio-chemical conversion to be used so are less easily made available.

If you are using extracted omega-3 fish oils they are very concentrated, therefore, stick to 1 to 3 grams a day to prevent any healing reactions. When taken in the form of fresh fish, they will have the minerals, amino acids and other nutrients available as part of the digestion and assimilation process. This helps to make them less likely to cause a reaction.

You can read more about these oils on my
web pages here.

Here are some food choices beneficial in the treatment of diabetes.

CHLOROPHYLL FOODS: wheat and/or barley grass, spirulina, chlorella and liquid chlorophyll.

VEGETABLE & FRUITS: string bean, carrot (raw has less sugar than cooked ~ also true of beets), radish, Jerusalem artichoke, turnip, asparagus, yam, avocado, pear, plum, lemon, grapefruit, lime, blueberry and huckleberry. Whole fruits work better than eating fruit as juice since the fiber helps to release the fructose in a slower way and therefore the secondary levels of insulin are kept lower. HIGH insulin levels create a vicious cycle of lowering blood sugar then craving to raise a too low blood sugar. Avoid hybrid fruits, seedless varieties which contain more sugar than their non-hybrid counterparts.

ANIMAL PRODUCTS: (to be taken in moderate amounts only) raw organic goat's milk, organic cow's milk, organic yogurt, chicken, beef and organic pancreas organs from lamb, fowl, beef or pork. Choose grass fed animals products rather then corn fed ones. If you show signs of being a deficient type (those who are frail, thin or wasting, weak or having loose stools or diarrhea and excess mucous), avoid cow dairy products.

HERBS: dandelion root or leaf (except in very frail and deficient types--see above), cedar berries, yarrow flowers, blueberry and /or huckleberry leaf.

SWEETENERS: licorice tea or powder (except in cases of high blood pressure) and stevia powder or extract.

GRAINS & LEGUMES IN MODERATION: millet, rice, oats, fresh corn (non-GMO), whole wheat with its bran, fermented soy products (miso and tempeh), mung beans and garbanzo beans.

A low grain diet is helpful to release simple sugars in a slow way and keeps insulin levels low. Insulin is a fat building hormone. It helps the body to store fat for the winter or in times of famine.

Excess carbs in the diet actually lead to obesity more than high fat consumption. High carbs in the diet lead to an increased release of insulin, triggering a storage of food calories as fat and a lowering of the blood sugar level. There is a subsequent craving for more food, especially sweets, in response to the lowered blood sugar levels in order to raise the blood sugar level again. As you can see a vicious cycle is set in motion.

High levels of insulin also lower the levels of the fat burning hormone glucagen and the muscle building growth hormone. This contributes to weight gain and obesity as well. This condition is known as SYNDROME X. The tell-tale sign of this condition is a "spare tire" noticeable around the mid-section of those both young and old.

Be aware that corn is really a grain rather than a vegetable and is very high in sugar content. There are many corn derivatives in the processed foods on the supermarket shelves. In fact 55% of the sweeteners in the market place are corn derived sweeteners.

Some of the corn derivatives in the Standard American Diet (SAD) include corn syrup, fructose, high fructose corn syrup, dextrose, maltodextrin, corn oil, corn starch, cornmeal, MSG and xanthan gum. High fructose corn syrup usage has gone up from zero in 1966 to 62.6 pounds per person in 2001. High fructose corn syrup is a key culprit in obesity and diabetes. Another hiding place for corn derivatives in the diet is corn fed animal meats.

Also remember a program of vigorous excercise is as important as diet. Such exercise will reduce your need for insulin by lowering blood sugar levels and will help improve circulation which is generally poor in diabetics. An exercise program of 30-60 minutes, three times a week with another component of weight training is highly recommended. Build up slowly to this program. You can read more about exercise and its benefits in the arthritis section of this web page.

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Hypoglycemia or low blood sugar is another blood sugar imbalance that developes from poor dietary habits and a long history of sugar abuse. In diabetes there is a shortage of insulin, whereas in hypoglycemia there is too much insulin produced. Over time the pancreas becomes overworked from this excess production. This results in it being ineffectual in producing adequate or effective insulin supplies. This hypoglycemic condition may be a precursor to diabetes. In order to deal with this condition one must get insulin production into balance.

Avoiding high fat and denatured foods that are mineral-deficient is one way to approach this condition. These unhealthy foods just do not have the needed nutrients to maintain proper metabolic function. The body must rob these needed nutrients from its own tissues and cells. Instability is thus created and little or no deep reserves are available. Blood sugar levels will fluctuate wildly depending on what is eaten. Besides mineral deficiencies, hypoglycemics are also lacking in adequate essential fatty acids. Many times a diet that is high in meat will be a factor in excessive sugar consumption. This happens in an attempt to establish a balance of proteins and carbohydrates. This excess meat eating generates prostaglandins which cause inflammation, pain and depression. Sugar and alcohol will be craved inorder to temporarily reduce these conditions.

According to Dr. Bernard Jensen, hypoglycemic symptoms occur in at least half of the population of America. Hypoglyemic symptoms may include: insomnia, sweating, fast pulse, hot flashes, noise and light sensitivity, ringing in the ears, temper tantrums, dry or burning mouth, worry, anxiety, dizziness, restlessness, lack of concentration, hyperactivity, pale skin, headache, low blood pressure, craving for sweets, cool wet skin, mental disturbances, shortness of breath, loss of appetite, constant hunger, blurred vision, depression, crying spells, numbness, irritability, loss of sex drive, impotence, weakness of the legs, muscle pains and cramps, fluttering feelings in the chest, drowsiness, swollen feet, eye-ache, distorted judgement, tightness in the chest, fatigue and cold hands and feet.

A high protein diet seems to work for hypoglycemia since proteins digest slowly and will gradually supply energy without triggering excess insulin production. A diet high in chlorophyll-type proteins seems to work the best. These include foods such as spirulina, chlorella, blue-green algae and cereal-grass products. Grains, vegetables and legumes are also good food choices as they break down slowly and contain adequate nutrition to regulate insulin production. These foods should be adequate in essential fatty acids (EFA), though it would not hurt to add extra EFAs in the form of fresh cold-pressed flax seed oil. You can tell if you are dealing with an EFA deficiency when symptoms such as dry hair and skin, low body weight, poor glandular function, irritability, depression, pain, nervousness, and cramps are present.

Chewing food well, having frequent small meals and using simple food combining is also recommended. If you are not overweight, then fatty foods such as cheese, nuts, seeds, avocado and butter can be added in small quantities. These foods provide long lasting energy. Protein and mineral-rich seaweeds are a good choice as a salt replacement. Salt tends to lower sugar levels so it is a must to avoided in the already low blood sugar levels of hypoglycemics. Fruit juices are too concentrated in simple sugars and are void of needed minerals. Consider eating whole fruits only. It is best not to over consume these whole fruits, in any case. Citrus lowers blood sugar quickly and therefore is best to be completely avoided. Healthy concentrated sweetners that metabolize slowly include molasses, rice syrup, barley malt and honey. You can eat these in moderation and on an occasional basis. Stevia is high in minerals and can be used as a sweetener without restrictions. You can read more about stevia on my web page: here.

All of the foods that I have recommended for diabetes are good for hypolycemia, with the exception of: citrus fruits, plum, radish, spinach, sweet rice, yarrow flowers and dandelion leaf (the root is fine to use as a tea). You can read more about these foods on my webpage here.

Low blood sugar can be at the root of many of the ills that plague us today. These include mental disorders, drug addiction, obesity, distractions, mental fogginess and schizophrenia. In children, the lack of adequate blood sugar levels can lead to retardation.

Sweeten up your life by takng charge of your health. Prevent the causes of hypoglcemia by altering your diet and providing yourself with the bounty of good health.

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Nearly one in seven people in the U.S.A. have arthritis. Overall, arthritis is an affliction of the middle-aged (29%) and elderly (50%), though it can affect young people (1%), as well. This condition in youths under the age of seventeen is called "juvenile arthritis." However, as more and more people eat poorly and take less care of their physical health we are seeing the increase of arthritis in younger and younger adults. Arthritis seems to strike women more than men, along with associated conditions, such as lupus and fibromyalgia. Associated conditions such as gout and arthritis of the spine (ankylosing spondylitis) are more common in men.

Arthritis really is a term that includes more than one hundred diseases that strike the joints. Other forms, such as lupus, can attack the skin, internal organs, blood and circulatory system. There are two main types of arthritis that we hear of most frequently. Sharing the same "arthritis" name, they tend to confuse people who do not realize they are actually two different conditions. One is osteoarthritis and the other is rheumatoid arthritis.

In osteoarthritis there is a wearing-down of the cartilage affecting the weight bearing joints. There are calcified deposits that are formed in these joints and the associated bones. The cartilage, which cushions the joints, is broken down and unable to protect the ends of the bones. There is generally a slow process of a wear and tear, with an eventual grinding of bone on bone at the afflicted joints.

Rheumatoid arthritis, however, is an auto-immune disease, which can progress rapidly. Here the joints are destroyed by the body itself as it perceives them as foreign invaders. There is marked inflammation of the connective tissue which may affect other areas of the body such as the skin, lungs, blood vessels and heart. Sufferers may have fever and extreme fatigue as well.Conditions such as gout, bursitis, neuritis and sciatica are related disorders.

For years doctors have thought these aches and pains were just part of the inevitable aging process. We now know this process can be relieved, halted and reversed by following a health program that creates balance. Work with your health care professionals to create a program best suited for you. I will give you some ideas and guidelines in these pages that you may want to discuss with them.

Let's start with osteoarthritis. About 35 million Americans suffer from osteoarthritis. Even though the word osteoarthritis literaly means bone/joint inflamation, there is usually not a problem with inflammation in his condition. For most people PAIN is the main symptom. This can be a mild constant ache to excruciating pain, with an increased lack of mobility in the affected joint(s). Since the cartilage is no longer allowing the bones to glide easily over each other friction arises.

The "gel like" cartilage tissue is made up mostly of water. It is like a sponge that soaks up fluid and releases it when the pressure of movement is applied. When there is no pressure on a joint this liquid, called synovial fluid, brings nutrients and oxygen to the cartilage. This keeps the tissue healthy and flexible. You can see what would happen if there was little or no fluid in the cartilage. This is why exercise is so important. It stimulates the flow of synovial fluid in and out of the cartilage, keeping it from drying out. Once dried out, pressure is no longer being cushioned and the bones are damaged. This will lead to more impact on the bones and continued damage to both the bones and cartilage.

Along with pain, you may also experience crackling (crepitus), a reduction of joint movement, hardening of the bones, bone spurs, cysts, inflammation, bone deformity, joint enlargement and general immobility.

The traditional treatment for osteoarthritis is nonsteroidal anti-inflammatry drugs (NSAIDs) and/or acetaminophen (Tylenol, Liquiprin and Datril). Acetaminophen is an anti-inflammatory and also can reduce fever. The NSAID's can be sold over the counter or as prescription strength drugs. Over time, acetaminophen can be harmful to the liver and kidneys while the NSAID's can be even more damaging. NSAID's work by blocking certain inflammation producing enzymes without addressing the enzyme imbalance which is the underlying cause of the problem in the first place. Enzyme preparations have been shown to be as effective in treating arthritis as NSAID's, with very little (if any) side effects. They are generally recognized as safe (GRAS) by the FDA.

These NSAID's have a long list of side effects which include; nausea, drowsiness, dizzness, depression, edema of the hands, feet and face, constipation, diarrhea, insomnia, rapid weight gain, dry mouth, ringing in the ears, tremors, tingling or numbness in hands and feet, ulcers in the mouth, blurred vision, rashes, confusion, convulsions, black or bloody stools, bloody urine, other unusual bleeding, excessive bruising, jaundice, fainting, chest tightness, rapid heartbeat, abdominal pain, weakness and fatigue. Some of these side effects are common (e.g. nausea and dizziness) while others, such as convulsions and bloody urine are rare. These are harmful drugs. This statement is represented by the fact that there are more than 75,000 hospitalizations per year directly related to NSAID's, with 7,500 deaths attributed to these drugs. They are also the number one reported cause of drug interactions every year.

We can see these drugs create a large problem. There are even some reports suggesting these drugs may interfere with the production of proteoglycans, which attract and hold the essential fluids to the cartilage in the first place. This is a sad state of affairs as many doctors do not think they have anything else but these drugs to offer their patients. Many of the rheumatoid artritis patients have been given steroids both orally and as injecions. The sad thing is many of these remedies may only provide temporary relief. In a short time the pain and inflammation is back with a vengance.

There is another approach to dealing with arthritis, one which relies on creating balance in the body/mind. This approach utilizes diet, exercise and some particular nutritional supplements. Let's take a look at some of these recommendations.

At the top of the list is eating a good, alkalizing diet of fresh and natural foods. It is important to have the right complement of vitamins, minerals, enzymes and anti-oxidants. It is important to learn how to cook in a way that will preserve nutrients, to avoid over-eating and if overweight, to lose weight. This will happen organically when you eat in a wholesome well-balanced nutritious way. There are many suggestions within these pages.

To read more, see

this page on vibrant health,

this page on environmental toxins,

this page on whole food products,

this page on natural liver therapy,

this page on minerals, and

this page on essentials on my web site.

Mineral imbalance is marked in arthritic condtions. It is important to avoid calcium inhibitors: excess meat or protein, intoxicants (alcohol, tobacco, coffee, marijuana and others), refined and all excess sugars, and excess salt. For permanent results you will need a vigorous dietary program that consists of non-mucous and non-sediment forming foods.

You can start with a brief liquid diet program, for several weeks perhaps, to detoxify the body and flush out inorganic mineral deposits. Start first thing in the morning during this phase with a glass of lemon juice and water or grapefruit juice. Potassium broths, carrot, beet, celery and/or cucumber juices and products such as Acid Defense, are also great ways to flush the system of these deposits and create an alkaline pH in your system. You can drink these throughout the day. At other times, apple, black cherry or papaya juices can be taken. Or green drinks such as those made from Perfect Food can be included. Chlorophyll-rich foods have many detoxifying and anti-inflammatory qualities. Miso soup with sea veggies is another good choice, as well as cleansing teas such as alfalfa/mint. Look on my mineral web pages to read more about the benefits of apple cider vinegar in your arthritis program.

Follow the cleansing-detox program with a diet that is high in raw foods. Include all the foods you used during your cleansing liquid diet regime while adding more nutritious alkaline ash foods. These can include: organic green salads; other organic whole fruits and vegetables, especially parsley, yams, sweet onions, garlic, potatoes, squahes, cabbage and artichokes, fermented soy products (non-GMO) such as tempeh, other legumes such as black beans, unrefined grains such as rice, quinoa, millet, oat and non-GMO corn, nuts, seeds, lecithin, wheat germ, brewer's and nutritional yeast, organic yogurt, eggs, organic old-pressed oils such as olive, coconut and flax, cold water fish, non-cream soups and herbs such as yucca, aloe vera, gingko biloba, devil's claw, turmeric, alfalfa and green tea.

FOODS TO AVOID include: refined foods; saturated fatty foods from meat and dairy products; wheat pastries and other high gluten, cholesterol-rich, sugary foods; caffeine; colas; chocolate; highly spiced foods and all nightshade family foods such as peppers, eggplants, tomatoes, potatoes (tobacco should also be avoided, as this is a nightshade family plant. It also tends to constrict small blood vessels, blocking adequate circulation, thereby, depleting oxygen and nutrient transfer to all cells). Foods high in oxalic acid should be restricted such as rhubarb, cranberry, plum, beet greens and spinach.

Supplements such as glucosamine, chondroitin, msm, shark cartilage, coral calcium, anti-inflammatory herbs such as turmeric, enzymes, quercetin, bioflavinoids, anti-oxidants, Cellfood, essential silica with Cellfood, Cellfood oxygen gel, arnica gel, progesterone cream, FYI (for your inflammation), as well as flax, primrose and other omega-3 fatty acid oils, can all be powerful tools in your arthritis care program. You must work with a health professional to determine which products you may want to use and the amounts that are right for you. Every person has individual needs. You can read more about these products on this page,     this page, and     this page on my web site.

The other important part of your arthritis plan needs to be an exercise program. This will help to re-hydrate and lubricate the cartilage. The "use it or lose it" adage is applicable in this case, just as it is with muscles. We can drop the "no pain no gain" adage however. Besides lubricating, exercise will strengthen the tendons, muscles and joints. Cartilage can break down from wear and tear, misaligned joints, accidents and trauma, poor nutrition, obesity and excessive strain on the joints.

Osteoarthritis can begin with a small tear in the cartilage, which can be caused by an accident, the clogging of the blood vessels to the joint, excessive weight, dehydration or poor joint alignment. Maybe the cartilage begins to dysfunction because of infection or malnutrition. No matter how it happens, the cartilage is not able to properly absorb and disperse pressure, this impacts on the bones, causing damage and pain.

Improper body mechanics, when done day in and day out, can lead to damaged joints over time. Learning how to move with correct biomechanic alignment is therefore very important to understand. The main principle is to distribute the force of movement in an even manner to avoid over-use or strain. Proper lifiting, standing, sitting, talking on the phone and sleeping all need to be done with conscious awareness to prevent damage. To learn more about these techniques check into Feldenkrais and Alexander technique information. Flexibility is important because without it, extra stress will be exerted on your joints as well as other areas. This can lead to over-compensation and osteoarthritis. When you are flexible and agile you are more likely to stay active. This keeps your joints lubricated, your weight down and helps you to be healthier in general.

Stretching is something that is important to do on a regular basis. It keeps us supple and flexible so we will not injure our muscles joints or ligaments. A slow and steady stretch of 30 seconds or more is an important rule to follow. According to Valerie Hunt, in her book, Infinite Mind, stretching increases the electro-magnetic field creating more coherency in the body cells. This increases our health and vitality.

Other considerations regarding stretching include:
taking five minutes of moderate activity to warm your muscles before stretching

breathing deeply and steadily,

relaxing into, during and while releasing your stretch, never bouncing while stretching

holding yourself in the stretch while feeling the tension release

stretching with good form to your own limit--do not over stretch or hurt yourself

starting on the tighter side of your body; you usually spend more time on the side you start with.

As you practice stretching you will find your limits will increase, however, remember your flexibility can change from day to day. Do not think because you touched your toes one day you have to do it everyday. As with all things in life, take stretching from where you are on each particular day, not from where you think you should be.

Besides stretching there are exercises to improve agility and balance. These will help to keep you from jarring when transferring weight from one side of the body to the next. Learn to walk more quietly and with out pounding. Slowly climb steps one at a time with the muscle contraction of your thighs pulling you up, rather then your momentum propelling you. Balance on one foot or on tiptoes. Run figure eight circles or do side steps, side shuffles and lunges. All of these will help you gain balance and agility.

You need to design your exercise program to fit your own level of ability Check with your doctor or health provider before beginning any exercise program. It is important to include aerobic exercise in your program in order to build strength and stamina. It should not hurt to exercise, however, you want to push yourself to the edge. When your muscles are toned and strong your joints will be better stabilized. Do as much as you can and you will begin to increase your capacity as time goes on. You do not want to have your muscles shrink and stiffen up from lack of exercise.

With aerobics you want to get your large muscles moving long enough to get your heart rate up to 70-85% of its maximum rate for about 20 minutes, minimally and 30 minutes, perferably. Do anything you like-- walk, dance, run, bike, swim, roller skate, jump rope, play at sports, ski�just keep up a rapid pace and do not stop. Again, start where you are, if you can only do five minutes then start there. You will build up as time goes on. Try to work out two to three times a week. Remember to drink plenty of water. If you start to feel thirsty, you may already be dehydrated. Do low-impact exercise if you have severe osteoarthritis of the knees, ankles, feet, low back or hips. This could include swimming, biking or water aerobics.

You can also include strength training in your program by lifting weights. This will make bones and connective tissue thicker, besides building endurance, muscle mass and strength. Remember to practice using good form and take your time without rushing through your routine. Breathe evenly and steady with the exhale taking place as you exert. It is good to cover all the muscle groups even though you do not have to do them all on the same day. Two or three sets for each exercise generally works well.

Always have a spotter when you using free weights and never lift more than your limit. You can use lighter weights and do more repetitions rather than one or two heavy lifts. Create a routine you will stick to and learn to pace yourself so you do not overdo. Two to three times a week is good workout schedule. If you feel dizzy, faint breathless or light-headed take it easy because you are overdoing it. Always stop if you feel any pain or odd feelings in your joints.

A good book called Maximizing the Arthritis Cure, by Jason Theodosakis, M.D., Brenda Adderly, M.H.A., and Barry Fox. PhD. includes many good diagrams and instructions for stretching techniques, aerobic exercise, weight training plans and exercises for achieving flexibility and balance.�

Other therapeutic activities to include in your arthritis wellness program are: massage therapy using medicated oils, hot and cold hydrotherapy, castor oil packs on affected joints, epsom salt and essential oil baths, acupuncture and chiropractic adjustments. These adjustments will do much to bring relief and balance to your body. These therapies will support your immune system in healing and decreasing inflammation. Proper hydration is also important to remember. Being adequately hydrated will keep cartilage supple and the joints lubricated. One half ounce per pound of body weight is the ultimate guideline for daily water intake. For example, a 150-pound person would require 75 ounces of water during the day. Remember to increase the volume if needed because of strenuous exercising and increased sweating.

There are some considerations that are specific to rheumatoid arthritis. There are about 2.6 million people in the U.S.A. with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Since this is an auto-immune disorder, with inflammation as its primary symptom, RA seems to respond well to enzyme therapy. Inflammation which is a natural response in the body goes out of control and enzymes such as bromelain, trypsin, papain and chymotrypsin can be used as anti-inflammatory agents. You can read more about enzymes on my web page: here.

These enzymes work to reduce swelling, break up the antigen-antibody complexes involved in auto-immune reactions and break down small clots of fibrin in the tissues. In some cases such as with trypsin and chymotrypsin, the enzymes will alter the receptors on the cells involved with inflammation. Oral enzyme therapy has been tested in trials, comparing it with both gold and NSAID's. These are considered the standard treatments for RA, along with immunosuppressive drugs such as methotrexate and cyclosporin. Gold, though effective, has side effects such as liver problems and blood disorders. We have already talked about the vast list of NSAID side effects. The immunosuppressive drugs have many risks as well, osteoporosis, liver damage and blood disorders, to name a few.
With oral enzymes, taken two to three times a day, 30 to 40 minutes before meals, the most common side effect reported is a harmless change in the consistency, color or odor of the stools. You will need to work with a health professional to determine the dosages you will need. It is also important to make sure the brand you are taking has been coated or has a special delivery mechanism so it will not be broken down in the stomach. In the stomach it will only act as a digestive enzyme NOT an anti-inflammatory. Often times the effects of therapy may not be noticed for a week. It may even take up to three or four weeks. This is often the case with supplementation of glucosamine and chondroitin. Enzymes will not react harmfully with NSAID's, so if you are using them, you can continue taking them until the enzymes kick in. In time your pain will decrease and your RA laboratory blood test values will improve. You can then drop the more harmful NSAID's.

If you take too many enzymes on an empty stomach you could feel a sense of fullness or gas in the abdomen. Allergic reactions to enzymes are rare. The only time they would be contraindicated is with bleeding problems such as hemophilia, severe liver disease, other clotting disorders and dialysis patients. Enzymes can increase clotting time. The only drug reactions that have been observed when using enzymes are an increase in certain antibiotic concentration levels. Enzymes are very well tolerated in general. They can also be taken with glucosamine and chondroitin and are a wonderful adjunct when inflammation is present.

As with Osteoarthritis, the use of essential fatty acid oils will have anti-inflammatory benefits. Patients report less morning stiffness, joint pain and swelling. Gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) will reduce inflammation, improve blood flow and prevent platelets from sticking together when this clumping is not needed. It is found in borage seed, currant seed and primrose oils, borage being the highest of the three and primrose the lowest. A dose of 1.4 grams a day over a three month period has shown good results. GLA's are abundant in fish, vegetables, spirulina and other green foods. Start slowly if you are going to supplement, as these oils can worsen symptoms for the first few days. Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) is another beneficial omega-3 oil found in flax seed, fish and marine plants. A dose of 2.6 grams a day has been recommended when taking EPA. When buying oils, be sure you are getting a cold pressed product. Store it in the refrigerator or freezer and do not cook with it.

Another product that has been achieving good results for RA sufferers are the COX-II inhibitors. They block certain enzymes that are associated with forming prostaglandins, which cause inflammation in the body.You can read more about FYI on my web pages to learn more about COX-II inhibitors. Oral type II collagen, which is also found in FYI, works to desensitize the immune reaction of the body, slowing the attack on the joints. This is similar to desensitization programs that allergists perform. Results of such treatments are encouraging and there do not seem to be any significant side effects.

As you can see you will need to apply a vigorous program for arthritis recovery. It is not a condition that will respond to subtle lifestyle changes. Radical change is needed. All or any of these suggestions are part of a care plan that will improve health whether arthritis is present or not. So why not get started on your path to better health today?

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