Thursday, 28 March 2013

Avoid These Foods if You Have Arthritis

Arthritis is a generic medical term to describe an inflammation of the joint or some disorder cause by a joint inflammation. There are a number of variations of this condition so there is no such thing as an ‘arthritis diet’ designed to treat all arthritic disorders. The two most common forms of arthritis are rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and Osteoarthritis (OA). There are dietary therapies recommended for these conditions but the focus is especially on providing a good balance of all essential foods and a diet which promotes weight loss. Weight reduction is an important part of arthritis therapy because it reduces the stress on the damaged joints and slows down the progression of the condition. On occasions, dietary supplements have been recommended and have been found to benefit some patients.

There are several different opinions about what’s right and what’s not in an arthritis diet. Some clinical trials have taken place and many myths have been blown. Foods that have been reputedly effective are accepted to have only a placebo effect.

Foods that could aggravate arthritis
If you suffer from arthritis, there are certain foods you need to avoid if you don’t want to worsen your condition and the pain associated with it. This doesn’t mean that you may have to say no to some of your favorite foods but that’s a sacrifice you will need to make in the interest of your health and comfort.
  • One of the things you will have to strive for is minimal calcium to phosphorous ratio. This is because the more phosphorous you have in your body, the more calcium you are going to lose which tends to aggravate your condition. Foods rich in phosphorous are red meats, processed meats, fish with red flesh, organ meats like kidneys and liver and soft drinks. Red meat is also high in uric acid which is a further irritant.
  • Avoid caffeine which causes you to lose vitamins and essential minerals from your body. As far as possible avoid decaffeinated drinks too because though they are advertised as such they do in fact contain a certain amount of caffeine.
  • Sugar is a no-no because it does not absorb calcium and nutrients. This is another good reason to say no to soft drinks which have a high sugar and phosphorous content.
  • Because acids are designed to neutralize stomach acids they also block the absorption of nutrients and are hence best avoided.
  • Keep off vegetable oil and fried food including margarine. All these foods are high in Omega 6 which worsens the inflammation.
  • Gluten is believed to aggravate arthritis so keep off or reduce your intake of wheat, oats and barley.
  • Avoid alcohol which blocks alcohol absorption. The same goes for salt and vinegar.
  • Oxalic acid is not good for you so push away those plums, cranberries and chards.
  • Foods from the solanum family are reputed to be bad for arthritis to capsicums, eggplant, potatoes and tomatoes are best avoided.
  • Full-fat dairy and baked products are high in saturated fat so should be handled carefully. The same goes for dairy products in general
  • Keep of dry roasted nuts but raw nuts are good for you.
Foods you can eat
You are probably wondering what you can eat. Here are some foods for thought which you can eat with a clear conscience.
  • Oily fish like tuna, sardines, salmon and supplements containing cod liver oil
  • Vitamin C found in many fruits like peaches, oranges and kiwifruit.
  • Anti-inflammatory spices like ginger and turmeric
Finding what helps and what doesn't
The only way to be certain of the effect a particular food has on you is to closely monitor what you eat and keep a journal. If you experience pain after eating a particular food note it down. If a pattern begins to emerge you know that food is not good for you. Stop it for a week and observe your reaction.

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Home remedies to treat foot fungus

What is foot fungus?
Foot fungus is a highly contagious disease more commonly known as ‘Athlete’s Foot’ or ‘Ringworm’ of the foot. The medical term for this disease is ‘Tinea Pedis’. This contagious condition is caused by microscopic fungus which thrives and rapidly proliferates in a warm and moist environment so the feet provide ideal conditions. Some people are more prone to foot fungus because their feet sweat more. This fungus is picked up generally in public bathing places like the floors of swimming pools, gymnasiums and locker rooms.

What are the typical symptoms of foot fungus?
Foot fungus causes the affected skin to itch acutely, scale and flake. Blisters might also appear and the skin could crack leading to rawness and inflammation of the tissue. The affected area might also swell up and begin to pain. The areas most commonly affected are the bottom and sides of the foot, and between the toes.

The infection sometimes spreads to other parts of the body typically the groin and less often the armpits, both areas being warm and moist and providing ideal conditions for fungal growth.

How is it diagnosed?
Diagnosis is generally done through visual inspection, but where there is doubt a microscopic examination of a skin scraping might be necessary. The microscope will show up the distinctive fungal hyphae.

How do you prevent foot fungus?
You can’t beat good old-fashioned hygiene to prevent foot fungus together with keeping your feet cool and dry. Another preventive measure is to avoid sharing towels and socks. If someone at home has contracted foot fungus using a disinfectant to clean the floors helps prevent the spread of the condition while those at home should always use sandals and avoid walking barefoot.

What are the best home remedies for treating foot fungus?
  • Tea Tree Oil is a natural antiseptic which works well with fungal infections. If you have foot fungus use a mixture of three parts tea tree oil and one part aloe vera which you rub well into the affected area twice a day. This requires patience because it takes from six to eight weeks to eradicate all signs of the condition.
  • Baking soda works as a soothing agent neutralizing the burning and itching associated with foot fungus. Make a thick paste of one tablespoon of baking soda with water and rub it well on the affected areas especially between the toes. Keep it there for five to ten minutes before washing off with cool water. Dry the feet thoroughly with a clean towel and lightly dust the feet with cornstarch to absorb sweat and other moisture. Repeat thrice daily till the fungus is eliminated.
  • A salt water soak is ideal for disinfecting the affected area and soothing it. In a basin dissolve 2 teaspoons of salt in a quart of warm water. Soak your feet in the brine solution for five to ten minutes. Repeat several times daily till the infection disappears.
  • Yogurt plain and unflavored contains a live culture – acidophilus bacteria. which kills fungus and contains its spread. Apply yogurt to the affected area using a cotton swab then let it dry fully. Rinse after ten minutes with warm water. Repeat thrice daily till the infection clears up.
  • Mustard powder is another natural agent which contains a powerful acid which kills fungus. In a shallow basin pour some warm water, add a teaspoon of mustard powder and soak your feet for 30 minutes twice a day till the fungus vanishes. If you have no mustard powder use mustard oil instead.
Most cases of foot fungus can be treated at home but if it is severe or persistent you should visit your doctor.