Monthly Archives: May 2014

Improve your Memory, Naturally!

Forgetfulness is annoying, and sometimes scary- especially when it happens daily. To improve your memory and sharpen your thinking skills, you sometimes have to nourish the brain with healthy nutrients, while also making certain lifestyle changes that benefit cognitive functioning. Here are some excellent natural-living tips that help to aid memory retention.

Improve your Memory, Naturally!

Alzheimer’s disease is often the first thing people worry about when they begin to notice themselves forgetting things often. The good news is that rarely is dementia the cause of memory loss in your 40’s, 50’s, or even your senior citizen years.

Sometimes, an underlying condition can be the contributing factor to slips in memory. Vitamin B12 deficiency, for example, causes short-term memory loss, fatigue, anxiety, depression, and a host of other mental and physical ailments.

Do this to improve your memory!

Listed are some things to put on your to-do list for ultimate brain health.

Check your vitamin B12 levels.

Vitamin B12 is one of the most important nutrients for memory, stamina, mood, and the relaxation response. When vitamin B12 is very low, you many feel continuously depressed, preoccupied, confused and fidgety.

To find out if you have vitamin B12 deficiency, ask your doctor for a blood screening to check vitamin B12 levels in the blood. You may need to up your vitamin B12 intake for several months or longer.

Vitamin B12- Because you just need Energy

Get plenty of sleep at night.

Studies show that practicing good sleep hygiene is crucial for your brain and memory. Alternatively, not getting enough good quality, refreshing sleep each night is a common cause of memory loss, anxiety, depression, and “brain fog.”

Check your thyroid!

A sluggish thyroid can trigger insomnia and depression, both of which lead to frequent slips in memory. If you’re often fatigued and forgetful, then ask your doctor for a blood test to check your thyroid gland functioning.

Visit a doctor.

Talk to your doctor about specific problems that you’re having with your memory. Some symptoms to include are feeling spaced out, fatigued, forgetting numbers or codes, missing appointments, forgetting names or words, or having difficulty just organizing your day.

Get regular exercise!

Studies have shown that including low-impact exercise into your daily routine is a great way to sharpen your mood, improve your memory, sleep better at night, maintain a healthy weight, and boost general happiness. Try walking for half an hour each day, or take on a new sport, such as biking or tennis.

Don’t do this- it will ruin your memory!

If you’re having difficulty paying attention, or you’ve found that you constantly forget something that you just reminded yourself about a second ago, then you may have to make certain changes to your routine lifestyle. Listed are some things to avoid when improving your memory.

Avoid certain drugs.

Don’t stop taking any prescription medications without speaking to your doctor, but do recognize side effects, such as memory loss, that can occur with certain medications.

Medications that can interfere with good memory and also cause confusion, poor concentration or other cognitive problems include:

  • Tranquilizers
  • Antidepressants
  • Blood pressure medications
  • Heartburn medications
  • Antihistamines

Don’t stress.

Make an effort to decrease the amount of stress in your life; not only does it make you unhappy, but it also makes it hard to focus on everyday tasks, as worries and anxieties take up too much mental space.  If you’re having trouble concentrating or remembering things because of stress, then talk to a friend…take a walk…read a book…or confront the stress head-on.

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Can you add any other great tips on how to improve your memory? Please share below!

Image courtesy of Master isolated images


  • Getting help for pernicious anemia

    Getting Help for Pernicious Anemia

    Pernicious anemia (PA) is a condition that occurs with vitamin B12 deficiency. Getting help for pernicious anemia requires intense supplementation of vitamin B12, in addition to treatment of any underlying causes that may interfere with your ability to absorb vitamin B12 from foods.

    What is Pernicious Anemia?

    Pernicious anemia is a condition that can occur as a result of an autoimmune dysfunction or gastritis (damage to the parietal cells of the stomach).  With pernicious anemia, your body is unable to digest satisfactory amounts of vitamin B12 from foods such as beef, chicken, fish, or dairy products. As a result, you begin to suffer the ill effects of severe vitamin B12 deficiency.

    Vitamin B12- Essential for Chronic Pain Management

    One of the most devastating signs of pernicious anemia is your body’s inability to produce enough healthy, functional red blood cells, which are needed to deliver oxygen to your brain, organs, and tissues. Many of the ailments you experience with pernicious anemia (brain fog, fatigue, memory problems) are a natural result of insufficient oxygen in your blood supply.

    Getting Help for Pernicious Anemia

    First, visit your doctor regularly for blood tests, vitamin B12 supplements, and check-ups. Outside of your doctor’s office, getting help for pernicious anemia can be as simple as spending a few hours on the internet combing the various websites that provide the most up-to-date medical publications and advice for vitamin B12 deficiency and pernicious anemia.

    Pernicious Anemia Support Groups

    There are few support groups available for pernicious anemia- perhaps because it is no longer deemed a life-threatening illness, thanks to the modern invention of vitamin B12 supplementation. Listed are a few advocacy groups online that provide helpful information about pernicious anemia.

    Pernicious Anemia on Facebook

    Facebook has many advocacy and support group pages for pernicious anemia that can also be wonderful resources. Some of these groups are closed, so you will have to ask the administrator permission to join.

    Read more about Pernicious Anemia

    Pernicious Anemia Symptoms

    Vitamin B12 deficiency blood testing is just one way of diagnosing pernicious anemia- and it’s not really the most accurate indicator, as the blood tests are designed only to catch lethally-low levels of vitamin B12, not medium-low levels that can still cause debilitating symptoms, such as nerve damage, memory loss, and immobility.

    The best gauge for measuring vitamin B12 levels is the existence of symptoms that correlate strongly with pernicious anemia. That’s why it’s vitally important to recognize the signs and inform your doctor should they appear.

    Typical symptoms of pernicious anemia include:

    • Constant fatigue
    • Long-time depression
    • Short-term memory loss
    • Slow speaking
    • Painful numbness and tingling in the hands and feet
    • Anxiety
    • Brain fog (confusion)
    • Poor attention levels
    • Poor problem-solving
    • Headaches
    • Muscle spasms
    • Partial paralysis
    • Weakness
    • Poor motor skills coordination
    • Poor balance
    • Electric shock sensations in the neck

    We’d love your opinion!

    Can you add to our list of support groups or advocacy associations that offer help for pernicious anemia?

    If you suffer from pernicious anemia or vitamin B12 deficiency, have you found this helpful?

    What is your favorite method for supplementing vitamin B12- injections or alternative forms of vitamin B12 that dissolve into the bloodstream?

     Vitamin B12- Because you just need Energy

     Image by tigger11th


  • Neuropathy Awareness Week 2014- What is Dysautonomia?

    What is Dysautonomia? A disorder of the autonomic nervous system (ANS), and for Neuropathy Awareness Week 2014 (May 13-17), let’s find out more about this disabling condition affecting  millions of people, and linked to so many debilitating illnesses. Neuropathy Awareness Week 2014- What is Dysautonomia? If you suffer from dysautonomia, then get out your purple ribbon. Neuropathy Awareness Week 2014 (May 13-17) has begun, and it’s important to educate people about the signs and risk factors associated with dysautonomia, which represents a breakdown of the autonomic nervous system- sympathetic and parasympathetic.

    What is dysautonomia?

    Dysautonomia defines a host of illnesses that occur as a result of autonomic nervous system malfunctioning, or as a secondary side effect. Your ANS controls all your major bodily functions that occur in the background- things like heart rate, digestion, blood pressure and body temperature are all examples of round-the-clock tasks that our autonomic nervous system regulates while we’re busy working, sleeping, or eating. Neuropathy (nerve damage) in the autonomic nervous system results in symptoms of dysautonomia.

    What are symptoms of dysautonomia?

    Many conditions are linked with dysautonomia, such as diabetes, POTS, and Sjogren’s Syndrome. These occur when your body reacts inappropriately to trigger, such as weather, stress, or food. Metabolic disorder and thyroid disorder are also forms of dysautonomia that many people struggle with. Common symptoms of dysautonomia include dizziness, weakness, brain fog, erratic blood pressure, and stomach ailments. Neurocardiogenic syncope (fainting), the most common type of dysautonomia, affects nearly 22% of all people.

    Treatment

    Dysautonomia can be primary or secondary.  According to Dysautonomia International, there’s no cure for the disorder itself. Still, secondary illnesses that occur (such as diabetes, hypertension, Sjogren’s Syndrome) can be treated through medications, lifestyle changes, and supplementation of vitamins and minerals that increase energy and promote healthy nervous system functioning.

    Have you been diagnosed with a form of dysautonomia? What do you do to control symptoms?

     


  • Vitamin B12- Essential for Chronic Pain Management

    According to chronic pain management experts, painful joints and muscle soreness could mean vitamin B12 deficiency. When vitamin B12 levels are down, symptoms similar to fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, and rheumatoid arthritis become more common… and debilitating. Listed are some typical chronic pain symptoms that occur with vitamin B12 deficiency.

    Muscle numbness, tingling, and spasms

    If you get painful “pins and needles” sensations whenever you sit down, then you may need to up your vitamin B12 intake. Vitamin B12 is  important for healthy nerve cell.  When  vitamin B12 levels suffer, so does your nervous system.

    Peripheral neuropathy (nerve damage) happens with vitamin B12 deficiency anemia (pernicious anemia) and multiple sclerosis (MS). That’s because both conditions involve destruction of myelin, a fatty layer that protects your nerve cells.

    Symptoms include painful tingling and numbness in the hands and feet, burning sore tongue, and muscle twitches.

    Slower reflexes

    Another sign of vitamin B12 deficiency from nerve damage is slow nerve reflexes. You may have difficulty walking in a straight line, controlling arm movements, or sitting up straight.

    Pain and feebleness

    Sore muscles, weak joints, and constant fatigue are symptoms associated with vitamin B12 deficiency , and they worsen chronic pain for people diagnosed with fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, lupus, or other autoimmune disorders.

    Vitamin B12 deficiency causes low oxygen from poor red blood cell production, which in turn causes crushing fatigue, dizziness, and muscle pain.

    Comorbid pain conditions

    Many people with chronic pain also suffer from vitamin B12 deficiency. This makes it difficult to  diagnose and treat low B12, as people (and sometimes doctors) assume that all pain symptoms are part of their chronic condition, when, really, they are suffering from a combination of chronic pain and comorbid vitamin B12 anemia.

    Chronic pain illnesses that are often comorbid with vitamin B12 deficiency include:

    • Fibromyalgia
    • Chronic fatigue syndrome
    • Rheumatoid arthritis
    • Migraines
    • Crohn’s disease
    • Lupus
    • Complex regional pain syndrome

    To find out if chronic pain is related to low vitamin B12, try taking large doses of highly-digestible vitamin B12 supplements. Many pain patients are surprised to find out that much of their suffering can be reduced just by replenishing vitamin B12 in their blood supply.

    More signs of low B12

    In addition to chronic pain and fatigue, other signs of vitamin B12 deficiency include:

    • Depression
    • Anxiety
    • Memory problems
    • Difficulty concentrating
    • Brain fog
    • Dizziness, vertigo
    • Tinnitus (ear ringing)
    • Heart palpitations

    Chronic pain management

    Vitamin B12 should be a regular part of your chronic pain management, especially if you’re a risk factor for autoimmune disorders- a common cause of pernicious anemia.

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  • Understanding Migraine Disorder

    It’s a myth that migraines are mainly really bad headaches; they’re so much more than that. Many migraineurs are surprised to learn that unusual symptoms like vision problems, vertigo, and olfactory hallucinations are linked to migraine disorder. By playing “connect-the-dots” you can come to a better understanding of how migraines work, and things you can do to prevent them.

    Understanding Migraine Disorder

    Migraine symptoms

    Chronic migraines are attacks that occur more than 15 times per month. Symptoms can vary between patients, and may not always include headaches.

    Signs of migraine attack can include the following:

    • Excruciating throbbing headache
    • Strong urge to vomit
    • Stomach cramps
    • Dizziness, vertigo
    • Weakness, fatigue
    • Visual disturbances (aura)
    • Partial numbness
    • Sensitivity to lights and noise
    • Neck pain
    • Difficulty communicating
    • Impaired spatial awareness

    Migraines are neurological

    Unless you’ve been to a neurologist or other migraine specialist, you may not have realized that your migraine attacks are caused by “overexcited” neurons in your nervous system.  Migraine disorder is classified as a neurological disorder that occurs when certain elements trigger migraine attacks in your brain.

    A migraine trigger can be anything from a salami sandwich to a dry martini; from an intoxicating scent to a stressful day.

    Although there is no universal cure for migraines, doctors are sometimes able to reduce your odds of experiencing an attack by preventing such triggers from invading your nervous system.

    Trigger avoidance

    When a doctor prescribes antiepileptic medicine or antidepressants for migraine headaches, it’s because he believes that the same mechanism that occurs with epilepsy or depression may be related to your migraine attacks.

    Migraine trigger avoidance is an extended form of migraine prevention, as it focuses on elements in your daily life that make migraine headaches more likely to occur. There are hundreds of migraine triggers that affect migraine sufferers differently. By determining which ones are “red light” triggers, you can effectively reduce the number of migraine headaches you experience each month.

    Examples of migraine triggers are foods, scents, lights, weather, hormonal changes, stress, eating habits, sleep schedules, and loud noises.

    To identify your triggers, try using a migraine diary for at least a few months. Take note of things like food, mood, weather, medications, sleep, and anything else you think may be relevant.

    Migraine prescriptions

    Doctors recommend alleviating migraine headaches with over-the-counter medications before visiting a specialist. If NSAIDs fail to relieve migraines, then you may be able to get some help from a neurologist or headache clinic.

    However, many prescription migraine drugs come at a high cost- side effects can include memory loss, addiction, dizziness, anxiety, and even…headaches.

    Natural migraine supplements

    Alternative, complementary nutrients are finding their way into conventional migraine practices. Doctors have seen where magnesium or vitamin B deficiency can worsen or trigger migraine frequency. Certain vitamins, minerals, and herbs help to correct vitamin deficiency while also promoting healthy neurological functioning needed to sustain day-to-day living without migraines.

    In various clinical trials, doctors have found the most benefit when migraine patients take a combination of vitamin B2 (riboflavin), magnesium, coenzyme Q10, and PA-free butterbur root each day.

    Summary

    For migraines, the best approach is one that combines the best of conventional and natural applications.

    • Minimum painkillers, under doctor supervision
    • Preventive treatments, also under strict supervision
    • Simple lifestyle modifications
    • Relaxation and exercise
    • Supplementation of nutrients known to help migraines

    Try this:

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  • Topical Vitamin B12- Great for your Skin!

    Is dry, itchy eczema the bane of your existence? Many dermatologists advise topical vitamin B12 cream as a helpful supplement for painful swelling and inflammation caused by dermatitis, thanks to powerful nitric oxide-inhibiting agents found in vitamin B12 serums.

    Topical Vitamin B12- Great for your Skin!

    Topical Vitamin B12- Proof that it Works

    There have been many scientific reports testifying to the benefits of using topically applied vitamin B12 creams for treatment of dermatitis (eczema) in child and adult patients.

    In a placebo-based trial, scientists noticed positive results when vitamin B12 cream was applied to treat painful skin lesions and red scaly patches that occur with chronic eczema.

    In the study, patients who have been suffering severe eczema for two years or longer were given two creams to apply to affected areas- one containing vitamin B12, and another a placebo. None of the patients was able to distinguish between the two ointments, and was told to place one cream on one side of the body, and another on the other side.

    Several weeks later, by the end of the study, the majority of eczema sufferers rated the vitamin B12 lotion as extremely therapeutic in alleviating pain, itching, and dry skin, while about half of the participants studied reported minimal improvement from the placebo cream.

    Gentle and effective

    Researchers ascribe vitamin B12 for its ability to reduce nitric oxide (NO) as the underlying factor behind its efficacy in relieving symptoms of eczema- redness, swelling, burning, itching, and dry skin.

    Furthermore, the vitamin B12 topical cream provided no allergic reactions in any of the patients, making it a safe, gentle choice for treating dermatitis without any side effects. It has been used to treat babies, children, teens and adults with great results.

    Conversely, some prescriptions used to alleviate eczema, such as steroids, have harmful side effects, including increased risk for skin cancer and hormonal imbalances leading to infertility.

    Try This!

    Maxasorb Vitamin B12 Cream is safe, gentle, effective, and hypo-allergenic.  Highly absorbent vitamin B12 helps dry skin and inflammation by penetrating deep into your skin and reducing nitric oxide linked with chronic dermatitis.

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    Image by marin