Posts tagged: health facts

Do You Know The Difference Between Underactive And Overactive Thyroid?

Do You Know The Difference Between Hypothyroidism and Hyperthyroidism
Do You Know The Difference Between Hypothyroidism and Hyperthyroidism?
Graphic © herbshealthhappiness.com. Herbal images – Wikimedia commons (see foot of page for sources)

Check out this chart and list of underachieve and overactive thyroid symptoms – and try not to get confused by the similarity of the terms “hypo” (which means “too little”) and “hyper” (which means “too much” of something). To remember it – just think of someone who is hyperactive – they show too much activity.

Note that a few of the symptoms of these conditions are the same. Please note also that this is not medical advice and not a substitute for a real professional diagnosis. If you have these symptoms, you should get a medical checkup and your doctor can perform the tests to measure your actual levels of thyroid hormones, plus any other relevant tests you may need.

Hypothyroidism (Underactive Thyroid):
Dry, coarse hair
Loss of eyebrow hair
Puffy face
Enlarged thyroid (goiter)
Slow heartbeat
Weight gain
Constipation
Nails splitting
Arthritis risk increased
Cold intolerance
Depression / moodiness
Dry skin
Fatigue
Forgetfulness
Infertility
Heavy menstrual periods
Muscle aches
Moodiness.

Hyperthyroidism (Overactive Thyroid):
Hair loss
Bulging eyes (Graves Disease)
Enlarged thyroid (goiter)
Rapid heartbeat
Sweating
Weight loss
Frequent bowel
movement
Warm, moist palms
Tremors
Soft / splitting nails
Sleeping disorder
Heat intolerance
Irritability
Muscle weakness
Nervousness
Irregular menstrual periods.

For More Thyroid Tips: check out our other page 10 Signs You May Have A Thyroid Problem (And 10 Things You Can Do About It)

Infographic info sources (lic. under Creative Commons:)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:EchinaceaPurpureaMaxima1a.UME.JPG
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Gardenology.org-IMG_2804_rbgs11jan.jpg
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Ajuga_reptans_atropurpurea_0.11_R.jpg
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:WithaniaFruit.jpg
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Starr_070815-8055_Bacopa_monnieri.jpg
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Eleutherococcus_senticosus.jpg
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Fucus_vesiculosus_Wales.jpg
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Brown_Flax_Seeds.jpg
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Black_Walnut_Juglans_nigra_Nut_2400px.jpg
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Melissa_officinalis01.jpg

6 Troubling Signs You Need More Water

6 Troubling Signs You Need More Water
6 Troubling Signs You Need More Water. Graphic © herbshealthhappiness.com. Photo © AdobeStock 57954146 (under license)

Your body simply cannot function properly if it is dehydrated – and the more dehydrated you are, the more problems will occur. All throughout the day, and even while we sleep, our body uses water. The “water” we see expelled through our sweat and urine is essential to the removal of toxins, and we actually need more than the amount we put out to make up for the losses. This is because every single cell in our body uses H2O to function. That doesn’t even count the activities we participate in every day, like exercise and yes, even thinking. Our brain cells need a lot of water in order to function.

1. Dark, Infrequent Urine:

This one is probably the most obvious and best signs. Ideally, you should always aim to be observant regarding the color of your urine as it is an immediate indicator of your hydration level. Your urine should be pale in color. If it is dark, it is too concentrated and you need more fluids. Also if you haven’t urinated for several hours, you probably are not drinking enough.

2. Bad Breath:

Without enough water, our bodies start to withhold whatever water it can, wherever it can. Feeling extremely hot yet being unable to sweat, or being unable to pee, are signs of severe dehydration, but these signs occur later on. One of the first parts of the body that get depleted of water is the mouth. Xerostomia, or dry mouth, can cause a foul odor to build up in our mouths due to the lack of saliva and its cleansing properties. [1]

Drinking water is also a good way to wash off the plaque and bacteria that build up in your mouth. So the next time you’re offered a mint, you might want a glass of water or two to go with that.

3. Dry Skin:

Dry skin, especially on the lips and eyes, are clinical signs of dehydration. When your skin is thirsty, chances are most of the cells inside of your body are getting thirsty as well. Moisturizers and creams don’t work as well as getting enough H2O every day to fix dry, dull skin.

Regularly drinking water also fixes premature wrinkles and fine lines. Taking a water bottle from home with you wherever you go might help you get your water fix daily.

4. Muscle Cramps:

Muscle cramps are a sign of a great many alarming things, including dehydration. [2] The most common cause of cramps is insufficient nutrients like magnesium, potassium, or sodium, but you can have a lot of these in the diet without enough water to transport them to the muscles that need them.

5. Headaches and/or Irritability:

Your body may be in need of more water if you’re suffering an unusual headache. [3] If you’re finding tasks more difficult than usual, or if you’re feeling slightly moody, then it might be time for a break and a glass of water as well. [4] Difficulty concentrating is also a sign that you’re slightly low on H2O.

6. Constipation:

We all know that the number one culprit for constipation is usually lack of fiber. In some cases, however, lack of water is more of a problem than lack of green leaves in the diet. [5] The next time you’re having trouble with bowel movement, drink a couple of glasses of water and see if it helps.

How Much Water Do I Really Need?

Recommended daily intake of water may vary per region, and this may be because climate also affects how much water you need a day. In the U.S., the typical daily water intake for males is 3.7 liters and 2.7 liters for females. In the UK, the recommendation is 1.8 liters for both. [6] In the desert, you’ll need more. Keep an eye on your urine color.

8 glasses a day with a 240 mL glass measurement is a more popular rule of thumb, and it helps a lot of people remember to stay hydrated throughout the day. People with renal problems should consult with their doctor for their recommended daily water intake.

References:

[1] Bad Breath (Halitosis.) Patient.co.uk. http://www.patient.co.uk/health/bad-breath-halitosis

[2] Cramps. Wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cramp

[3] Mild Dehydration Affects Mood in Healthy Young Women. The Journal of Nutrition. http://jn.nutrition.org/content/142/2/382.short

[4] Mild dehydration impairs cognitive performance and mood of men. British Journal of Nutrition. http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=8425835&fileId=S0007114511002005

[5] Mild dehydration: a risk factor of constipation? European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. http://www.nature.com/ejcn/journal/v57/n2s/full/1601907a.html

[6] Drinking Water. Wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drinking_water

How To Remove Uric Acid Crystallization In Joints

How To Remove Uric Acid Crystallization in Joints
How To Remove Uric Acid Crystallization In Joints. Graphic © herbshealthhappiness.com. Illustration © AdobeStock 74442059 (under license)

It’s common to hear complaints of joint pain and difficulty walking as a person ages. But why do you think this happens? In the area where the joint meets the socket, there is fluid called synovial fluid to cushion the bones; this fluid lessens with age. Without synovial fluid to cushion joint movement, the bone can damage the tissue surrounding it, causing pain and inflammation. This condition is typically called arthritis. But did you know that another cause of arthritis is a problem with the production of uric acid crystals?

The Link Between The Thyroid and Uric Acid Levels

The thyroid is a small, butterfly-shaped organ found in the neck. [1] It is part of the body’s endocrine system – which is responsible for the production and regulation of hormones in the body. The thyroid specifically produces hormones that regulate growth and metabolism, which explains why thyroid problems often affect a person’s weight and energy levels. But the hormones produced by the thyroid also regulate the amount of uric acid found in the blood. In hypothyroidism, the kidneys don’t excrete uric acid adequately, leading to their build-up in the joints as crystals. In hyperthyroidism, the body coverts purines to uric acid too fast, leading to build-up in the joints as well. [2] These crystals damage the tissues in the joint, which causes pain during movement. Prolonged damage to the tissue can cause repeated inflammation and eventual scarring, causing poor mobility to complete immobility.

Can An Alkaline Diet Help?

To counteract the high uric acid levels in the blood, alkalinization therapy is often part of the medical management of gout. [3] But can an alkaline diet work just as well? It has long been debated whether or not alkaline diets have health benefits or is just a passing fad, with counterarguments stating that the body’s pH is maintained at a very constant level despite the acidity of the food being consumed. However, it goes deeper than this: A recent study in 2010 published in the Nutrition Journal by Kanbara, A., et. al. revealed that an alkaline diet can cause an increase in uric acid excretion through the urine. On the other hand, acidic diets suppress uric acid excretion in the urine. [4]

This study strongly suggests that by adjusting the diet to include alkaline food, it can promote the removal of uric acid in the blood, [5] which implies hope for the removal of formed uric acid crystals in the joints. However, recent research on the favorable effects of dietary modification that specifically targets uric acid crystals in gouty arthritis has yet to be published (the most recent study was in 1959!) [6]

Eating More Alkaline Food

An alkaline diet is typically high in vegetable and legume intake – food that has high pH or low acid content. An alkali diet can include the following food products: [4]

• Rye bread
• Tofu
Okra
• Green soybeans
• Carrots
• Green, leafy vegetables
• Tomato
• Red and yellow pepper
Pumpkin
• Green onion
Cucumber
Cabbage
• Lettuce
Garlic
• Dried seaweed
Olive oil

Note also how the typical acidic or acid-forming diet contains high levels of sugars, processed foods, bread and meat. Another interesting anomaly here is lemons. Lemons are very acidic yet are considered by proponents of this system to be alkaline forming.

Different studies have shown how beneficial alkaline therapy and alkaline diets can significantly reduce the levels of uric acid in the blood, which paves the way for research on their effects on uric acid crystals. Can you believe that simply tweaking your diet to include more greens and other fruits and vegetables and help reduce the symptoms of gouty arthritis? Medical research indicates that this idea has potential. Surely we have reached the point where “we have the technology”: We can analyze these ideas using metadata and large numbers of people in order to arrive at solid conclusions.

References:

[1] Dorion, D. (2013). Thyroid Anatomy. http://reference.medscape.com/article/835535-overview

[2] Giordano, N., et. al. (2001). Hyperuricemia and gout in thyroid endocrine disorders. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11791637

[3] Emmerson, B. (1996). The Management of Gout. http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/nejm199602153340707

[4] Kanbara, A., et. al. (2010). Urine alkalization facilitates uric acid excretion. http://www.biomedcentral.com/content/pdf/1475-2891-9-45.pdf

[5] Saag, K. & Choi, H. (2006). Epidemiology, risk factors, and lifestyle modification for gout. http://www.biomedcentral.com/content/pdf/ar1907.pdf

[6] Atsmon, A., et. al. (1959, 2004). Dissolution of renal acid uric acid stones by oral alkalinization and large fluid intake in a patient suffering from gout. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0002934359900713