My 83-yr old mother’s fight against liver cancer

She does not want to be bed ridden or be dependent on others but she is always feeling fatigue, nauseous, itchy skin, constipated, have diarrhea, severe headache and in severe body pain.

After working for more than 18 years in the bay area in home care setting, she is now fighting liver cancer.  We wanted to not let her know of the liver cancer diagnosis but she was adamant. She knows her body well.

We use the following holistic healing ways with combination medical treatment to cleanse her body from liver cancer:

  • Prescribed meds for pain, constipation, diarrhea
  • IV of Vitamin C
  • Supplements
  • Whole foods
  • Massage
  • Sunshine
  • Fresh ocean air
  • Sleep
  • De-stressing tools

nay 1

card mother

 

Sensory signals of Epilepsy and natural therapies

Epilepsy

Natural and Complementary Therapies

Many natural compounds also affect the brain and may be able to influence epilepsy; natural compounds will likely be most beneficial as adjuvants to conventional therapies.

Vitamins and Minerals

Epilepsy patients should also be aware that long-term use of anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs) can negatively affect their vitamin and mineral status. For instance, patients taking anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs) have significantly lower levels of vitamin D in their blood (Menon and Harinarayan 2010, Shellhaas and Joshi 2010, Pack 2004, Valsamis et al. 2006, Mintzer S et al 2006). This is because many AEDs increase the activity of a liver enzyme known as cytochrome P450, which also breaks down vitamin D. Vitamin D is essential for the absorption of calcium; consequently, patients taking AEDS absorb less calcium in their diet, which increases their risk of developing osteoporosis. Patients who are taking AEDs may need to take vitamin D and calcium supplements (Fong et al. 2011).

Anti-epileptic drugs have also been shown to reduce levels of several B vitamins, including folate and vitamins B6 and B12 (Sener et al. 2006Linnebank et al. 2011) These vitamins are critical for controlling metabolism in the body; low levels of these vitamins can also lead to low red blood cell levels, causing fatigue and pallor. One of the most serious consequences of the low folate levels caused by AEDs is high levels of the compound homocysteine, a risk factor for heart disease (Sener et al. 2006; Kurul et al 2007, Apeland et al 2001). Elevated levels of homocysteine have been implicated in the increased risk of heart disease seen in epileptics. Moreover, some studies have indicated that elevated homocysteine may contribute to AED resistance or increase seizures in epileptics (Diaz-Arrastia 2000). Based on these findings, some researchers call for routine supplementation with the B vitamins, especially the metabolically active form of folic acid, L-methylfolate, to reduce homocysteine levels (Morrell MJ 2002). Folate deficiencies can also lead to seizures, particularly in infants. Impaired folate transport in the body can be a cause of seizures that do not respond well to typical treatments (Djukic A 2007). In addition, epileptics often have reduced folic acid levels, possibly due to the use of AEDs (Asadi-Pooya 2005). Doctors of epileptics should routinely monitor folic acid, vitamin B12 and homocysteine levels in patients to help prevent an increased risk of cardiovascular disease that could otherwise be treated.

Some forms of epilepsy are directly linked to vitamin B6 deficiencies; these convulsions, known as pyridoxine-dependent seizures, can only be treated with high doses of vitamin B6 (Asadi-Pooya 2008). Low vitamin B6 levels are also associated with general epilepsy. Even in patients without pyridoxine-dependent seizures, low levels of pyridoxine might increase seizure sensitivity, although more research needs to be done to determine if pyridoxine can treat seizures (Gaby 2007). Some types of seizures cannot be treated with pyridoxine, but they can be effectively managed with pyridoxal-5-phosphate, the biologically active form of vitamin B6 (Tamura et al. 2000, Jiao et al. 1997, Wang et al. 2005).

Antioxidants, such as vitamin Evitamin C and selenium are able to mitigate mitochondrial oxidative stress in the brain and other tissues, lowering seizure frequency in various types of epilepsy (Tamai et al. 1988, Zaidi et al. 2004, Savaskan et al. 2003, Yamamoto et al. 2002, Ogunmekan et al. 1979, 1989 and 1985). Animal models have shown that alpha-tocopherol alone is able to prevent several types of seizures (Levy et al 1990; Levy et al 1992). Epileptics are also more likely to have low vitamin E levels, though this may be a result of taking anti-epileptic drugs (Higashi et al. 1980).

Magnesium helps maintain connections between neurons. It has been shown to suppress EEG activity and limit seizure severity in animal models, and magnesium deficiency is associated with seizures in humans (Oladipo 2007; Nuytten et al 1991, Borges et al. 1978). Within the body, ionic magnesium acts as a natural calcium channel blocker, offsetting the excitatory influence of ionic calcium in a manner similar to the calcium channel blocker class of conventional AEDs (Touyz 1991). Moreover, magnesium levels decline sharply following seizures in patients with idiopathic epilepsy (Gupta 1994). In fact, intravenous or intramuscular magnesium is often administered to women to safely prevent eclampsia, a pregnancy-associated disorder characterized by seizures (Bhattacharjee 2011).

A recently developed form of magnesium, known as magnesium-L-threonate, may be particularly effective in epilepsy and other neurological disorders. This form of magnesium appears to be better at penetrating the blood-brain barrier and thus is more efficiently delivered to brain cells (Slutsky et al. 2010, Abumaria et al. 2011). In fact, in an animal model, magnesium-L-threonate boosted magnesium levels in spinal fluid by an impressive 15% compared to virtually no increase with conventional magnesium. Moreover, oral magnesium-L-threonate was able to modulate learning and memory, indicating that it does indeed impact the central nervous system (Abumaria 2011).

Thiamine, manganese and biotin are often low in epileptics as well (Gaby 2007).

Melatonin plays an important role in the brain, particularly in regulating the brain’s sleep-wake cycle. It also exerts a calming effect at the neuronal level by reducing glutaminergic (excitatory) signaling and augmenting GABAergic (inhibitory) signaling (Banach et al. 2011). Melatonin is widely used as a sleep aid and to treat jet lag; the side effects of taking melatonin are mild and it is one of the most commonly used supplements in the United States. Animal models have shown that melatonin can be effective in reducing epileptic seizures (Lima et al. 2011, Costa-Latufo et al. 2002). Melatonin has also been beneficial in humans with epilepsy and is particularly effective in the treatment of cases of juvenile epilepsy that do not respond well to anti-epileptic drugs (AED’s) (Banach et al. 2011). Due to its widespread use and minimal side effects, melatonin has potential to improve control of epilepsy (Fauteck et al. 1999).

Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids (PUFAs), such as omega-3 fatty acids, are a type of essential fat that play an important role in maintaining central nervous system health. Animal studies have suggested that PUFAs, including omega-3 and some omega-6 fatty acids, may be able to modulate neuronal excitability (Blondeau et al. 2002, Taha et al. 2010). This is further supported by the fact that children on the ketogenic diet often have higher levels of PUFAs in their cerebrospinal fluid, which suggests that increased PUFA levels is one of the ways that the ketogenic diet prevents seizures (Xu et al. 2008, Auvin 2011). Clinical trials in adults have yielded mixed results. In one such study, 57 epileptic patients were given 1 g EPA and 0.7 g DHA daily. Seizure activity was reduced over the first six weeks, although the effect was temporary. The researchers called for more in-depth studies, with larger doses and larger observational groups (Yuen AW et al 2005). However, a randomized controlled trial did not find that fish oil reduced seizure frequency; although, the study did find, that PUFAs reduced seizures when administered in an open-label format, meaning when subjects knew that they were not receiving a placebo (Bromfeld et al. 2008). An ongoing National Institutes of Health-sponsored trial is examining the effects of fish oil on cardiac health in epileptics (ClinicalTrials.gov).

Life Extension suggests that the omega-6 to omega-3 ratio should be kept below 4 to 1 for optimal health. More information on testing and optimizing your omega-6 to omega-3 ratio can be found in the Life Extension Magazine article entitled “Optimize Your Omega-3 Status“.

Resveratrol, derived from red grapes and Japanese knotweed (Polygonum cuspidatum), and the plant Bacopa monnieri both appear to be promising in the management of seizure-related neurotoxicity. Resveratrol and bacopa-derived compounds have been extensively studied in experimental settings and consistently shown to guard against neuronal damage (Jyoti 2007; Hosamani 2009; Kanthasamy 2011; Chung 2011). In the context of epilepsy, numerous mechanisms by which resveratrol might prevent seizures have been proposed (Shetty 2011), and, indeed, in an animal model resveratrol prevented chemical-induced seizures (Wu 2009); though studies on epileptic humans have yet to be performed. Likewise, bacopa has been the subject of several animal model experiments, many of which have revealed a clear benefit relating to seizure frequency and post-seizure brain cell damage (Pandey 2010; Mathew 2010; Krishnakumar 2009). Nonetheless, bacopa also has yet to be studied in a controlled manner in a population of epileptic humans.

Phytocannabinoids (pCBs), which are compounds found in marijuana that closely resemble chemicals the body produces naturally called endocannabinoids, have shown great potential in the treatment of epilepsy. Phytocannabinoids can affect both the central and peripheral nervous system because neurons have receptors that respond directly to binding by cannabinoids. One of the major effects of pCBs is to reduce neuronal excitability by modulating electrical activity around synapses; as a result, these chemicals are sometimes referred to as potential “circuit breakers” for neurological disorders, including epilepsy (Wallace et al. 2003, Katona and Freund 2008). Therefore, researchers have been studying the effects of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and other phytocannabinoids on the brain to try to develop new mechanisms for treating epilepsy (Hoffman and Frazier 2011, Hill et al 2012). One small clinical trial found that the phytocannabinoid, cannabidiol, did reduce seizures in epileptics who were already taking AEDs (Cunha et al 1980). Another study that was largely based on epidemiology found an association between marijuana use and decreased risk of seizure (Ng et al 1990). Moreover, it has been reported that patients treated for epilepsy subjectively feel that marijuana use helps eases their epilepsy (Gross et al 2004). More research is needed to determine the efficacy and safety of natural and synthetic cannabinoids for the treatment of seizures. A comprehensive review of studies examining the effects of cannabinoids on seizure frequency in humans is currently being carried out by the Cochrane Epilepsy Group (Gloss and Vickrey 2011). Marijuana is illegal except as a prescribed treatment for medical problems in certain states; Life Extension does not recommend consuming illegal drugs as a treatment for epilepsy. However, the benefits of these phytocannabinoids do suggest that marijuana-derived compounds may soon become an accepted form of therapy for epilepsy and other neurological disorders.

Lifestyle Modifications

Seizure Interruptions. Although auras do not occur in all individuals with seizure disorders, some people are aware of a change in their sensory perception (whether auditory, olfactory, sensory, visual, or gustatory, sometimes involving malaise, vertigo, or the sense of deja vu) that signals the onset of a seizure. Anecdotal reports indicate that some people have learned to interrupt their seizure process by replacing the aura-induced perception with another. In these individuals, the aura is a known signal of seizure onset. For example, if the aura is a smell or unpleasant odor, these individuals can often interrupt the seizure by immediately smelling something else (in general, something with a more pleasing smell than the aura).

Some people are able to take the interruption technique a step further. By simply relying on mental imagery (e.g., remembering a pleasant, positive smell), they can arrest a seizure. Some find that anger can effectively interrupt a seizure; they are able to arrest their seizures by yelling at them. Other individuals who have seizures with an observable onset pattern enlist a support person to shout at them or give them a quick shake when the pattern commences. The techniques that successfully “interrupt” an aura vary from patient to patient and must be performed at a specific time to stop the seizure (Wolf 1994). However, the use of aura interruption may be able to help reduce or eliminate seizures (Elsas et al. 2011).

Stress Reduction Getting a good night’s sleep on a regular basis is a very important component of seizure prevention. Some scientists hypothesize that one major function of REM sleep is to reduce the brain’s susceptibility to epileptogenic influences (Jaseja H 2004). Stress reduction and relaxation techniques such as meditation may also aid in reducing seizures (Swinehart 2008).

Physical exercise can also be an important way to relieve stress that may be particularly beneficial for epileptics. Not only can exercise reduce stress, improve social integration and improve quality of life, regular physical exercise may directly help reduce seizure frequency (Arida et al. 2010). Physical exercise may “desensitize” neurons to emotional stress, helping avert seizures brought on by other triggers (Arida et al. 2009).

Biofeedback, another relaxation technique, can also be helpful. When the autonomic nervous system (or the involuntary nervous system) is in a state of overarousal, the likelihood of seizure activity can increase. Biofeedback is a technique that uses displays of some form of biological monitoring, such as an EEG, to help patients identify how their body responds to certain situations. By observing changes in EEG readings, patients are able to learn how to partially control the electrical activity in their brains and can develop the ability to reduce their risk of having seizures. Although most clinical trials involving biofeedback have been small (Tozzo CA et al 1988; Andrews DJ et al 1992; Ramaratnam S et al 2001), a comprehensive review of many studies found that biofeedback can provide significant relief for epileptics, particularly those that have not had success with anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs) (Tan et al. 2009). On average, almost 75 percent of people who try EEG biofeedback for epilepsy will experience fewer seizures. Biofeedback using other biologic responses, such as slow cortical potential feedback and galvanic skin response has also been promising (Nagai 2011).

Other behavioral interventions may reduce seizure frequency as well. Yoga can improve quality of life and result in fewer seizures (Lundgren et al. 2008, Khan et al. 2010) Acupuncture may also be helpful in seizure prevention. A thorough review of published trials found that acupuncture may be beneficial, but that more and better designed studies need to be done (Cheuk 2008). Studies of the benefits of other relaxation techniques and cognitive behavioral therapy have also found a possible benefit (Ramaratnam 2004).

https://www.lifeextension.com/Protocols/Neurological/Epilepsy/Page-02

Balance your Serotonin, Dopamine and Endorphins with Happy foods

dopa ser.JPGPain and itch are influenced by two chemicals , Serotonin and Dopamine. Eat the following whole foods to balance Serotonin, Dopamine and Endorphins and do get a hug too.  Hugging can increase the production of dopamine in your brain.  Endorphins are endogenous opioid neuropeptides and peptide hormones in humans and other animals. They are produced by the central nervous system and the pituitary gland.  Scratching an itch causes minor pain, which prompts the brain to release serotonin. But serotonin also reacts with receptors on neurons that carry itch signals to the brain, making itching worse.  It has been observed that the release of the neurotransmitter dopamine stimulates this brain center to feel pleasure in “peak experiences,” such as from solving a difficult problem.

Raw pumpkin seeds
Spirulina
Raw spinach
Sesame seeds
Raw almonds
Bananas
Raw dried dates
Oats
Watercress
Sunflower seeds
Horseradish
Pumpkin leaves
Turnip greens
Cacao
Buckwheat
Millet

All of the above are geared toward a vegan diet and they all offer the perfect balance to help enhance your mood through the natural production of serotonin.

Non-vegans may add:

Mussels
Lobsters
Eggs
Cottage cheese
Turkey

aym pumpkin 4aym pumpkin 3aym pumpkin 2aym pumpkin

 

$86000 per year MS drug or go natural from whole foods to supplements

Multiple sclerosis

For 23 years, Diane Whitcraft injected herself every other day with Betaseron, a drug that helps prevent flare-ups from multiple sclerosis. The drug worked well, drastically reducing Whitcraft’s trips to the hospital. But as her 65th birthday approached last September, she made a scary decision: to halt the medication altogether.

With health insurance through her job, Whitcraft had paid a $50 or $100 monthly co-pay for the drug; she hadn’t even realized that the price of Betaseron had soared to more than $86,000 a year. Shopping around for drug coverage through Medicare, the out-of-pocket costs were mind-boggling: close to $7,000 annually.

“I was just feeling really bad that my disease was going to affect our retirement budget,” Whitcraft said. “You’re retired; you’re on a fixed income. And it just really was bothersome to me. I was doing this to us. This disease was doing this to us.”


By Dr Axe

Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disease of the central nervous system that can develop at any age.

Multiple sclerosis (MS) affects women more than men.

The disorder is most commonly diagnosed between ages 20 and 40, but can be seen at any age.

MS affects 2.5 million people worldwide and around 400,000 people in the United States.

Multiple Sclerosis Causes

MS is caused by damage to the myelin sheath, the protective covering that surrounds nerve cells. When this nerve covering is damaged, nerve signals slow down or stop.

The nerve damage is caused by Inflammation which occurs when the body’s own immune cells attack the nervous system. This damage can happen anywhere in the brain or spinal cord.

Although no specific cause is known, some possible causes include: infections, mold toxicity, emotional stress, hormonal imbalances, toxic exposure, vitamin D deficiency, food allergies, and immunizations.

Multiple Sclerosis Symptoms

Multiple sclerosis symptoms can vary widely but the most common symptoms include:

  • Blurred or double vision
  • Trouble thinking
  • Lack of coordination
  • Loss of balance
  • Numbness
  • Tingling
  • Weakness in an arm or leg

For everyone, MS symptoms can display differently.

You may have a single symptom, and then go months or years without any others. A problem can also happen just one time, go away, and never return. For some people, the symptoms become worse within weeks or months.

The good news is there are natural treatments for multiple sclerosis that are effective and in many instances the condition can be reversed or greatly improved.

 

 

Foods for Multiple Sclerosis Diet 

In order to help recover from this disease, following a multiple sclerosis diet that is high in healthy fats and nutrients is key:

Unprocessed foods – Choose whole, organic, unprocessed foods as often as possible.

Coconut Oil – Coconut oil contains large amounts of medium chain fatty acids (MCFA) that support the brain and nervous system.

Fresh fruits and vegetables – Aim for a variety of colors to provide antioxidants that can help prevent free radical damage.

Omega-3 fats – The EPA/DHA fats found in wild-caught fish can help reduce inflammation.

Cabbage and bean sprouts – Foods high in lecithin may help strengthen the nerves.

MS Diet Foods to Avoid

Processed foods – Reduce your exposure to chemicals and toxins by avoiding any foods that are processed.

Gluten – People with MS generally have a gluten-intolerance and gluten can make symptoms worse.

Potential food allergens – Allergens can make MS symptoms worse, avoid any foods you might be allergic to.

Sugar – Lowers the immune response and causes systemic inflammation and premature aging.

Alcohol – Increases inflammation and can create a toxic environment.

Top 5 Natural Treatments for Multiple Sclerosis 

#1 Fish Oil (2,000mg daily) can help reduce inflammation and promote better nerve functioning.

#2 High potency multi-vitamin Provides basic nutrients needed for immune function.

#3 Digestive enzymes (1-2 capsules with meals) May help with digestion and reduce autoimmune reactions to foods.

#4 Vitamin D3 (5000 IU daily) helps modulate the immune system and support brain and nervous system.

#5 Vitamin B12 (1000 mcg daily) helps with the formation of nerves.

Bonus Remedy Astaxanthin, a powerful carotenoid antioxidant found in wild caught salmon can support the brain and nervous system.  Take 2 mg 1-2x daily.

Essential Oils for Multiple Sclerosis 

Essential oils of frankincense and helichrysum support the neurological system.  Take 2 drops of frankincense internally 3x a day 3 weeks, then take 1 week off and repeat that cycle.

Rub 2 drops of helichrysum to temples and neck 2x daily. Also, basil oil and cypress oil can improve circulation and muscle tone and can help reduce MS symptoms.


From Connie:

Quality supplements, anti-inflammatory, try AGELOC and Likepak at:

http://www.clubalthea.pxproducts.com

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Treating acid reflux naturally by WikiHow

Hyperacidity, as known as acid reflux or heartburn, is the irritation of the esophagus that results when acid from the stomach is released into the esophagus.

This occurs because of a dysfunction in a muscular valve, known as the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), which normally keeps stomach acid in the stomach. The LES may open too often or it may not close tightly enough, allowing stomach acid to leak through. Acid reflux isn’t a serious medical problem unless it becomes constant and chronic, in which case it becomes GastroEsophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) and requires treatment.[1] If you follow a few simple steps, you can diagnose acid reflux and learn to treat it naturally.
See When Should You Try This? to learn more about when natural remedies for acid reflux might be most beneficial.

 Using Lifestyle Modifications for Acid Reflux

Change the way you eat. You can change the types and amounts of foods you eat in order to make your acid reflux better. Decrease the amount of food you eat at any one time. This reduces the stress pressure on your stomach. Don’t eat for 2-3 hours before bedtime in order to reduce the risk of food putting pressure on the LES as you try to sleep.
    • Try to eat slowly because it allows the food to be digested more easily and quickly, leaving less food in the stomach adding pressure on the LES.[2]
  1. Avoid food and beverage triggers. You need to figure out exactly what kinds of food trigger your acid reflux. Start keeping track of foods and beverages you eat and note any that cause you any problems. Use a common triggers list to begin with and add any foods or beverages that you know you are sensitive to. If any food you eat bothers you an hour later, you should eliminate that food from your diet.

    • For example, if you eat spaghetti and meatballs with tomato sauce for dinner and experience acid reflux within an hour, your trigger could be the spaghetti, the meatballs, or the tomato sauce. Next time, eliminate the tomato sauce. If you have no hyperacidity, you know that the tomato sauce is the trigger. If you still do, it could be the pasta or the meatballs. Next day, have some leftover pasta alone with no meatballs and no sauce. If you have hyperacidity, the pasta should be eliminated from your diet.[3]
  2. Shift your habits. There are certain things you can change in your everyday habits that can help with your acid reflux as well. Wear clothing that doesn’t constrict your stomach or abdomen. This causes unnecessary pressure on your stomach, which can cause acid reflux. You should also stop smoking because it increases the amount of acid in your stomach.

    • Try to lose weight, especially if you are severely overweight or obese. This will help reduce pressure on the LES and relieve your acid reflux.[4]
  3. Rethink the way you sleep. Some people have bad acid reflux overnight. If you have this problem, raise the entire head of the bed to allow gravity to help keep the acid in your stomach. This way, the acid will not creep into your esophagus overnight and cause you problems.

    • Piling up pillows won’t really help much as these tend to bend your neck and body in such a way that it actually increases the pressure and makes the hyperacidity worse.[5]

Using Herbal Remedies for Acid Reflux

  1. Talk to your doctor first. There a number of different herbal approaches to treat hyperacidity, but you need to be careful. Talk to your physician first before trying these remedies. In general, natural remedies are very safe, but it is best to be certain they are safe for you. Combining these herbal approaches with the lifestyle modifications should significantly improve how you feel on a daily basis.

    • If you are pregnant, speak to your physician about using any of the herbs to ensure they won’t hurt your baby. [6]
  2. Drink aloe vera juice. Aloe vera is not just good for the outside of your body. Aloe vera juice has many healing qualities as well. Buy organic aloe vera juice. Pour 1/2 cup into a glass and drink. You can sip this multiple times throughout the day, but since aloe vera can act as a laxative, you may want to limit it to a total of 1-2 cups a day.

    • Aloe juice decreases inflammation and acts to neutralize the stomach acid. [7]
  3. Try apple cider vinegar. Although it may seem counter-intuitive, you can use apple cider vinegar to help with acid reflux. Add 1 tablespoon of organic apple cider vinegar to 6 ounces of water. Stir it together well and drink. The vinegar doesn’t have to be organic, but only use apple cider vinegar.

    • Other vinegars don’t work as well and can end up making your problem worse.[8]
  4. Make citrus water. You can use citrus fruits to make a drink similar to lemonade or limeade that will help with your acid reflux. Squeeze a few teaspoons of pure lemon or lime juice and add water to taste. Add a bit of honey or a tiny bit of stevia, a natural sweetener, to the drink if you want to make it a little sweater. Drink this before, during, and after meals.

    • To make the drink more interesting, you can add both kinds of juices if you want.
    • The extra acid in the juices tell your body that it can shut down acid production by a process called feedback inhibition.[9]

  5. Consume more apples. Just as the old saying goes, you should eat at least one apple a day. Apples are very good for you and help to calm acid reflux. The pectin in the apple skin acts as a natural antacid.[10]

    • If you don’t like eating plain apples, try adding them to a salad or putting them in a smoothie.
  6. Drink ginger tea. Ginger acts as an anti-inflammatory and a soothing agent for the stomach. It can also help with nausea and vomiting. To make your own ginger tea, cut up about 1 teaspoon of fresh ginger and add it to boiling water. Let the mixture steep for about 5 minutes. Pour it into a mug and drink.

    • Do this anytime during the day, but especially about 20-30 minutes before meals.
    • You can buy ginger tea bags if you don’t have any fresh ginger.[11][12]
  7. Try other types of tea. You can make a few other varieties of tea to help with your acid reflux. Fennel helps settle the stomach and decreases the acid levels. To make fennel tea, crush about a teaspoon of fennel seeds and add it to a cup of boiled water. Add honey or some stevia to taste and drink 2-3 cups a day about 20 minutes before meals.

    • You can also use mustard seeds or powder to make a tea. Mustard acts as an anti-inflammatory and as an acid neutralizer. You can dissolve it in water to make a tea. If you are up to it, you can take 1 teaspoon of mustard by mouth.
    • You can also try chamomile tea to calm the stomach and act as an anti-inflammatory agent. You can buy chamomile tea in bags or as loose leaf tea.[13]
  8. Take other herbal remedies. There are a few other herbs that can be taken to help your acid reflux. Deglycyrrhizinated licorice root (DGL) works very well to heal the stomach and control hyperacidity. It comes as chewable tablets, but bear in mind that the taste might take some getting used to. The standard dose of DGL is 2-3 tablets every 4-6 hours.

    • Try some slippery elm, which you can have either as 3-4 ounce drink or as a tablet. It coats and soothes irritated tissues. Slippery elm is considered safe in pregnancy.
    • Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions.[14][15]

Trying Other Home Remedies for Acid Reflux

  1. Make a baking soda drink. Baking soda is a base, which means it helps counteract the effects of acid. This holds true for the acid in your stomach. To make this drink, dissolve a teaspoon of baking soda in about 6 ounces of water. Stir it well and drink. It is very effective in neutralizing the acid.

    • Make sure you get baking soda and not baking powder. Baking powder is not nearly as effective.[16]

  2. Chew gum. After you eat, pop in a piece of sugar-free gum. This appears to work because chewing the gum stimulates the salivary glands, which releases bicarbonate into the saliva. The bicarbonate help neutralize the acid in your stomach.[17]

    • Don’t chew sugary gum because it may contribute to the acid in your stomach.
    • Do not chew gum on an empty stomach.
    • You can also chew mastic gum. Mastic gum is made from a resin of the mastic tree, known as Pistacia lentiscus. It has antibacterial properties and has been used to kill the H. pylori infection often associated with peptic ulcers or too much stomach acid.[18]
  3. Attempt the heel drop. There is a chiropractic approach that is used to treat hiatal hernias that is also effective for acid reflux. Drink a 6 to 8 ounce glass of slightly warm water the moment you get out of bed in the morning. While you are standing, bring your arms straight out to the sides and bend them at the elbows. Then, bring both hands in to meet at your chest. Stand up high on your toes, then drop down on your heels. Repeat 10 times.

    • After the 10th drop, keeping your arms up, pant in short, quick, shallow breaths for 15 seconds. Repeat every morning until you get relief.
    • This process seems to realign your stomach and diaphragm, so the hernia does not interfere with your esophagus.[19]
  4. Use coconut oil. Coconut oil has antibacterial properties that help stop acid reflux. This may be the reason that chronic H. pylori stomach infections respond quite well to this simple home remedy. The bacterium H. pylori is often associated with reflux esophagitis.

    • Take 1/2 a tablespoon of coconut oil in warm orange juice, or directly by mouth if you can, three times daily. You can work this up to one to two tablespoons of coconut oil three times daily.
    • Stop three days after your symptoms have subsided.[20]

  5. Eat probiotics. Probiotics are mixtures of a variety of bacteria normally found in your gut, which may include saccharomyces boulardii yeast, cultures of lactobacillus, and bifidobacterium. These good bacteria tend to improve overall well being, help with stomach health, and are all naturally found in your intestines.

    • You can easily get probiotics by eating yogurt with active cultures in it. You can also take a supplement, though make sure you follow the manufacturer’s warnings.[21]

Managing Stress to Help Acid Reflux

  1. Take quiet time. Stress, especially chronic stress, has been linked to acid reflux. To help with your condition, you need to destress everyday. To relax, go into a quiet room or a quiet space outside and breathe deeply for a few minutes. Inhale through your nose slowly, and exhale through your mouth. Take twice as long to exhale as you do to inhale. If you have trouble keeping straight how long you breath, counting can be helpful. Inhale for the count of 6 to 8 counts and exhale, counting to 12 to 16. Repeat as often as you can.[22]

  2. Try progressive muscle relaxation. Since stress is such a common problem, the American Psychological Association (APA) has come up with multiple ways to help you relax. They suggest progressive muscle relaxation. For this exercise, stand straight up. Contract the muscles in your feet and lower legs, tightening them as much as possible for 30 seconds. After this amount of time, slowly release the tension. Move on to your upper legs and repeat.

    • Continue these exercises for your hands and lower arms, upper arms and shoulders, and finally your stomach and abdominal muscles. Repeat daily.[23]

  3. Take a mental vacation. The APA also suggests that, no matter where you are and even if you can’t go on an actual vacation, you can take a mental vacation. Take a few deep breaths, relax, and close your eyes. Imagine the most beautiful place you have ever been or your dream vacation spot.

    • Try to experience that place as fully as you can, smelling the smells, feeling a breeze, hearing the sounds. Repeat daily.[24]

  4. 4

    Try emergency stress relievers. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends certain emergency stress relievers. They suggest that, if you find yourself under too much stress, count to 10 before you speak, take 3-5 deep breaths, walk away from the stressful situation, and say you’ll handle it later. You can also try going for a walk to clear your head.

    • To reduce stress, don’t be afraid to say “I’m sorry” if you make a mistake.
    • Avoid stressful situation by setting your watch 5-10 minutes ahead to avoid the stress of being late, driving in the slow lane, and avoiding busy roads to help you stay calm while driving.
    • Break down big problems into smaller parts. For example, answer one letter or phone call per day, instead of dealing with everything at once.[25]
  5. Practice good sleep hygiene. Your sleep hygiene is your daily routine of sleep related activities and your sleeping patterns. The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) recommends that you avoid naps during the day because naps tend to disturb the normal cycle of sleep and wakefulness. Also avoid stimulants, which include caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol, too close to bedtime. Alcohol can help you get to sleep, but can disrupt sleep later on as the body begins to metabolize the alcohol.

    • Only do vigorous exercise in the morning or late afternoon. Try more relaxing exercises, like stretching or yoga, later at night to help get a full night’s sleep.
    • Avoid large meals, chocolate, and spicy foods around bedtime.
    • Make sure you get exposure to natural sunlight. Light exposure helps maintain a healthy sleep-wake cycle.[26]

  6. Establish a relaxing bedtime routine. Try to avoid any emotional, physical, or mental upset before trying to go to sleep. Try not to dwell on problems in bed. If you find yourself reviewing the day or reviewing problems you have, try getting up again for 10-15 minutes.

    • During this time, do something that relaxes you like reading a book, doing deep breathing exercises, or meditating. Then, try going back to bed.
    • Associate your bed with sleep. Don’t use the bed to watch TV, listen to the radio, or read. If you link your bed with activities, your body will not want to sleep while in it.[27]

  7. Seek medical attention if necessary. If you have faithfully tried the lifestyle modifications and the natural remedies recommended and still have no relief after about 2-3 weeks, call your physician. You may need more direct medical help.

    • If you are pregnant or nursing, call your physician for advice on dealing with hyperacidity. Don’t try any of these approaches without discussing it with your physician first.
    • If you are taking medications and believe that your hyperacidity may be caused by these medications, call your physician and see if the medications or dose can be changed.

Taking Over the Counter Medication to Help Acid Reflux, monitor and see your doctor regularly

Understanding Acid Reflux

  1. Recognize the symptoms. Acid reflux can be quite common. Typical symptoms of acid reflux include heartburn, or a burning sensation in the chest. This can occur after eating or while you sleep. You may also experience a sour taste in the mouth, bloating, dark or black stools, burping or hiccups that won’t stop, nausea, dry coughs, or pain that gets worse when you bend over or lie down.

    • You may also experience dysphagia, which is a narrowed esophagus that feels as if there is food stuck in your throat.[33]

  2. Learn the triggers. There are a number of possible triggers for acid reflux. These triggers include smoking, overeating, stress, and lack of adequate sleep. It can be triggered by certain foods and beverages that you may be sensitive to, such as citrus fruit, caffeinated beverages, chocolate, tomatoes, garlic, onions, alcohol, fatty foods, and spicy foods.

    • Certain medications including aspirin, NSAIDs, muscle relaxants, and blood pressure medications can make acid reflux worse. Also, antibiotics, tetracycline, bisphosphonates, and some iron and potassium supplements can be a problem and make acid reflux worse.[34]

  3. Understand the causes. The actual cause of acid reflux is complicated and often includes many different causes. The cause, despite its name, is not the production of too much acid. Factors that can contribute to acid reflux are pressure on your stomach or esophagus. This can be caused by pregnancy, constipation, being overweight or obese, or a hiatal hernias, which is when the upper part of the stomach moves above the diaphragm.

    • It can also be caused by LES abnormalities, abnormal contractions in the esophagus, and slowed or prolonged emptying of the stomach.[35]

When Should You Try This?

  1. Use herbal remedies as an adult with acid reflux. Most natural acid reflux remedies are safe for the majority of adults. Note that some herbal remedies, however, may not be safe for children or teenagers. It’s best to try mild lifestyle changes first if you need to treat acid reflux in an adolescent. If these do not work, consult your doctor or do some thorough research before giving an adolescent an herbal remedy.

    • For example, you should not give aloe juice to children under the age of 12 since it typically results in abdominal pain, diarrhea, and cramping.[37]

  2. 2

    Try natural remedies in moderation. Most herbal remedies and other natural treatments will be safe in moderate amounts, but too much of a good thing can quickly become bad. When using herbal supplements, check the label for dosing instructions. For any natural remedy that does not have dosage instructions readily available, do some research to find out how much you should safely be able to endure.

    • For instance, aloe juice can cause stomach pain and other forms of digestive upset, especially if the juice contains aloe latex. Long-term use of large amounts can also result in kidney problems, muscle weakness, and heart problems. Make sure that any juice you drink contains no more than 200 mg aloe or 50 mg aloe latex to avoid complications.[38]
    • Consuming apple cider vinegar is usually considered safe short-term, but drinking 8 oz (250 ml) per day for several weeks or months may result in low potassium.[39]
    • High or prolonged doses of licorice root can result in headaches, fatigue, high blood pressure, heart attacks, and water retention. Do not take licorice for more than four to six weeks.[40]
  3. Consider natural remedies if you’re not pregnant or breastfeeding. If you are not currently pregnant or are not at risk of becoming pregnant, most natural remedies are likely safe for you. However, for acid reflux connected to pregnancy, always talk to your doctor before treating your symptoms to make sure you do not inadvertently harm your baby. It’s important that you do this before trying any herbal remedy, dietary fix, or lifestyle change.

    • Similarly, if you are currently breastfeeding, you may need to stay away from certain ingested remedies since they could get into your breastmilk and harm your baby. Most lifestyle remedies will likely be safe, though.
    • Potentially problematic remedies for pregnant and breastfeeding women include, but are not limited to, aloe juice, apple cider vinegar, ginger, fennel, licorice, and slippery elm.[41]

  4. Exercise caution if you have other medical conditions. In addition to pregnancy, certain medical conditions may also make herbal remedies or other natural fixes unsafe. If you have a known health concern other than acid reflux, talk to your doctor or do your research before trying any particular home cure.

    • Avoid aloe juice if you have diabetes, intestinal conditions, hemorrhoids, or kidney problems.[42]
    • Avoid apple cider vinegar if you have diabetes.[43]
    • Ginger may cause problems if you have a bleeding disorder, a heart condition, or diabetes.[44]
    • If you are allergic to celery, carrot, or mugwort, you may have an allergic reaction to fennel. You should also avoid fennel if you have a bleeding disorder or hormone-sensitive condition, like estrogen-sensitive cancers.[45]
    • Licorice root may cause problems if you have heart disease, heart failure, hormone-sensitive cancers, fluid retention, hypertension, diabetes, kidney disease, liver disease, or low potassium.[46]
    • If you have an immune system disorder, you may need to avoid taking probiotic supplements.[47]
    • Additionally, you may need to consult your doctor or avoid herbal remedies if you take certain medications, including medications for congestive heart failure, insulin, anti-diabetes drugs, stimulant laxatives, blood pressure medication, diuretic drugs, anticoagulant drugs, antiplatelet drugs, birth control pills, antibiotics, or estrogen pills.
  5. Treat your acid reflux after talking with your doctor. While most healthy adults can safely treat acid reflux at home using natural remedies, it’s never a bad idea to confirm the diagnosis with your doctor and discuss treatment options before making any major changes. This is especially important if you’ve already been trying home treatments and they haven’t worked.

    • If your condition worsens after following natural remedies or does not improve after two to three weeks, you may need to make an appointment with your doctor.
    • If you experience acid reflux symptoms more than twice per week or if you are unable to swallow/eat because of your symptoms, call your doctor before trying home remedies.
    • In addition to guiding your treatment and possibly prescribing stronger medications to treat your acid reflux, your doctor can verify that acid reflux is the problem and rule out other conditions that may behave in similar ways.

Restore your vision naturally y Dr. Mercola

yellow

Contrary to popular belief, deteriorating vision is primarily a side effect of modern lifestyle. Aging does not automatically mean you will lose your eyesight. The key is to properly nourish your eyes throughout the years, and avoid chronic eye strain.
For example, I noticed my near vision started to deteriorate around 20 years ago, but after applying these principles, at 61, I don’t wear reading glasses unless I need to see small print and there is very little light.

  • Staring at a computer screen for hours on end is a common cause of blurred vision, short-sightedness, and other eye problems.
  • Spending time outdoors is helpful, and research suggests that children playing outdoors for at least 40 minutes a day have a reduced risk of short-sightedness.
  • Your diet may be paramount though. Chronic vitamin A deficiency, for example, can lead to total blindness. Other nutrient insufficiencies significantly contribute to the development of macular degeneration.
  • Macular Degeneration Can Be Slowed or Prevented

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the most common cause of blindness among the elderly, followed by cataracts. There are two forms of macular degeneration:3 dry and wet.

Dry macular degeneration is the milder version that causes few symptoms, but it can degenerate into the wet form, in which blood vessels start growing in the back of your eye, causing your vision to blur.

A hallmark of wet AMD is loss of vision in the center of your field of vision. A healthy diet can likely prevent AMD in the first place, but supplements have also been shown to help slow down or stop the progression from the dry to the more advanced wet form.
“The federally funded Age-Related Eye Disease Study… found that people at high risk for advanced age-related macular degeneration could cut that risk by about 25 percent by taking a supplement that included:
500 milligrams of vitamin C, 400 I.Us of vitamin E, 10 milligrams of lutein, 2 milligrams of zeaxanthin, 80 milligrams of zinc, and 2 milligrams of copper.”

Antioxidant-Rich Diet Protects Your Vision

Macular degeneration and cataracts are largely driven by free radical damage, and may in many cases be largely preventable by eating foods rich in antioxidants, such as:

Anthocyanins, found in blueberries, bilberries, and black currants
Lutein and zeaxanthin,5 found in green leafy vegetables and orange and yellow fruits and vegetables.
Research shows those who consume the highest levels of lutein and zeaxanthin have a 40 percent lower risk of advanced wet macular degeneration compared to those who eat the least6

High quality animal-based omega-3 fats like those found in krill oil and wild-caught Alaskan salmon
Bioflavonoids found in tea, cherries, and citrus fruits
Vitamin D, found to some extent in various foods such as meats, but primarily created in response to direct sun exposure on bare skin. Vitamin D is particularly important for those with genetic risk factors for AMD.
Recent research7,8,9 found that middle-aged women who have a high-risk genotype and are vitamin D deficient are 6.7 times more likely to develop AMD than those without this genetic risk factor who also have sufficient vitamin D.

Lutein and Zeaxanthin — Two Key Nutrients for Your Eyes

Lutein and zeaxanthin are two key nutrients for eye health,10 as both of them are found in high concentrations in your macula,11 the small central part of your retina responsible for detailed central vision.

Lutein is also found in your macular pigment – known for helping to protect your central vision, and aid in blue light absorption — and zeaxanthin is found in your retina.

Though there’s no recommended daily intake for lutein and zeaxanthin, studies have found protective benefits at a dosage of 10 mg of lutein per day, and 2 mg per day of zeaxanthin.

Lutein and zeaxanthin are often found together in foods, although zeaxanthin is far scarcer than lutein. They’re primarily found in green leafy vegetables, with kale and spinach topping the list of lutein-rich foods.

Carrots, squash, and other orange and yellow fruits and vegetables also contain high amounts. In fact, the word lutein comes from the Latin word “luteus,” which means “yellow.” If you remember this, it may help you pick out vegetables likely to contain higher amounts of these two nutrients.

According to a 1998 study in the British Journal of Ophthalmology,12 orange pepper had the highest amount of zeaxanthin of the 33 fruits and vegetables tested.

Egg yolk from organically-raised, free-range pastured eggs is another source of both lutein and zeaxanthin that is well absorbed by your body. Interestingly, research13,14 shows that adding a couple of eggs to your salad can increase the carotenoid absorption you get from the whole meal as much as nine-fold.

Astaxanthin, a Powerful Promoter of Eye Health

Astaxanthin is a highly effective antioxidant produced by the microalgae Haematococcus pluvialis. When the water supply dries up, this microalgae produces astaxanthin to protect itself from ultraviolet radiation. There are only two main sources of astaxanthin: the microalgae that produce it, and the sea creatures that consume the algae, such as salmon, shellfish, and krill.

Compelling evidence suggests astaxanthin may be among the most important nutrients for the prevention of blindness. As noted by Valensa:15 “[A]ntioxidants which can cross the blood brain/eye barrier would be expected to provide enhanced protection of the retina particularly if the antioxidant can reach the central retinal macula.”

Dr. Mark Tso,16 who works at the Wilmer Eye Institute at Johns Hopkins University, was the head of clinic when I worked at the University of Illinois Eyebank in the1970s. He has demonstrated that astaxanthin easily crosses the eye barrier, and exerts its effects with more potency than any of the other carotenoids — including lutein and zeaxanthin — without any adverse reactions.

Other researchers17,18 have confirmed Dr. Tso’s findings, and studies have demonstrated that astaxanthin offers potent protection against a number of eye-related problems, including:

• Cataracts
• Age-related macular degeneration
• Cystoid macular edema
• Inflammatory eye diseases (i.e., retinitis, iritis, keratitis, and scleritis)
• Diabetic retinopathy
• Glaucoma
• Retinal arterial occlusion
• Venous occlusion
Astaxanthin also helps maintain appropriate eye pressure levels that are already within the normal range, and supports your eyes’ energy levels and visual acuity. Depending on your individual situation, you may want to take an astaxanthin supplement. I recommend starting with 4 mg per day. Krill oil also contains high quality animal-based omega-3 fat in combination with naturally-occurring astaxanthin, albeit at lower levels than what you’ll get from an astaxanthin supplement.

Black Currants and Bilberries, Two Powerful Berries for Eye Health

Dark blue or purplish, almost black-colored berries like black currants and bilberries contain high amounts of the antioxidant anthocyanins. Black currants contain some of the highest levels. They’re also rich in essential fatty acids, lending added support to its anti-inflammatory properties. For medicinal purposes, many opt for using black currant seed oil, but eating the whole food is always an option, especially when they’re in season.

Bilberry,19,20 a close relative of the blueberry, also contains high amounts of anthocyanins, just like the black currant. Research suggests the bilberry may be particularly useful for inhibiting or reversing macular degeneration. A 2005 study in the journal Advances in Gerontology21 found that rats with early senile cataract and macular degeneration who received 20 mg of bilberry extract per kilo of body weight suffered no impairment of their lens and retina, while 70 percent of the control group suffered degeneration over the three month long study.

“The results suggest that… long-term supplementation with bilberry extract is effective in prevention of macular degeneration and cataract.”

As for dosage, Total Health Magazine22 recently noted that “positive results in trials required the ingestion of 50 mg or more per day of anthocyanins. A prudent level of intake would be on the order of 90 or 100 mg of the anthocyanins per day.” Similar dosage suggestions are given by the editors of PureHealthMD,23 who note that:

“When looking for a bilberry supplement for the eye, choose one that also includes 10 to 20 mg lutein and 1 to 2 mg zeaxanthin. Patients should target 80 to 160 mg daily. Those seeking prevention of eye disease, or just protection of the cells, can target 40 to 80 mg daily in combination with other antioxidant vitamins or in fruit combinations, such as blueberry/bilberry/raspberry.”

The Bates Method May Help You See More Clearly
While it’s easy to assume that once your vision has begun deteriorating there’s no going back, this assumption may not be entirely true. According to Greg Marsh, a certified natural vision coach and the creator of the CD program Reclaim Your Eyesight Naturally, clear vision is achievable, even if you’re already wearing strong corrective lenses.

The method Greg teaches is known as the Bates Method, conceived by Dr. William H. Bates over 100 years ago. A board-certified ophthalmologist at the top of his field, Dr. Bates helped many people regain their vision with his technique. In fact, it was so effective that optometrists lobbied the local politicians to ban it! Unfortunately, they succeeded, and the Bates Method ceased to be used.

The method is based on a rather simple premise. When you strain your eyes, such as when you squint, this action squeezes your eyeballs, contorting them. This makes your vision blurry, as it alters where the field of vision “lands” on your retina. By identifying the source of the stress and strain, you can learn to let it go, relax, and thereby getting your vision back.

Basically, your vision is not compromised because of weak eye muscles. They’re strong enough. But, they’re too tensed to work properly, so you have to learn to relax them. Unfortunately, when you wear glasses, you’re actually retraining your eyes to strain in order to see all day long. So, ideally, you’ll want to remove your glasses whenever you can safely do so. Also make sure you have appropriate lighting, especially when reading.

Two Sample Bates Method Techniques

A technique called the Bates Long Swing can help your eyes relax by relaxing your body. Begin by simply swaying your body back and forth. The simple act of languidly moving your body, even just a little bit, has a very soothing effect on your brain and thought patterns, and that alone can sometimes help you feel more relaxed during stressful situations.

Your eyes also respond. Instead of being locked in a stare, like a deer in headlights, they can begin to relax and move naturally again. You can do the Long Swing just about anywhere, anytime, provided you’re standing up. One of the most famous Bates Method techniques is palming:

Start by looking around and noticing the level of clarity of your vision at present.
Place the center of your palms over your eyes. Relax your shoulders. You may want to lean forward onto a table or a stack of pillows, to facilitate relaxation. Relax like this for at least two minutes, focusing on relaxing your eyes, and sending love to your eyes through your palms. Feel free to engage your imagination here too, by imagining your eyes resuming their natural round shape.
After about two minutes, remove your hands, open your eyes, and notice whether anything looks clearer. Usually, it will.
To learn more about this method, listen to my interview with Greg Marsh. You can also find a lot of information about the Bates Method on the web. Greg’s program, Reclaim Your Eyesight Naturally, consists of six CDs and a 62-page guidebook that helps tie everything together. Just keep in mind that if you are looking for a quick fix, the Bates Method is probably not for you.

Computer Screens Are a Common Cause of Eye Strain

Many people these days spend a large portion of their days staring at computer screens of varying sizes, and this is a major source of eye strain and fatigue. A recent Epoch Times article24 offers a number of common-sense suggestions for minimizing computer-related eye strain, and All About Vision25 also lists helpful ways to protect your eyes when working in front of a screen. Some of these suggestions include the following:

Prevent screen glare by installing an anti-glare screen on your monitor, or a computer hood if you have large open windows causing glare on your screen. Darker colored walls with a matte finish are also preferable to bright white walls
Optimize your lighting by making sure your screen is the brightest thing in the room. According to All About Vision, “when you use a computer your ambient lighting should be about half as bright as that typically found in most offices”
Sit at least an arm’s length away from your computer screen, and make sure the screen is positioned just below eye level
Adjust the color temperature, brightness, text size, and contrast on your screen. If a website with white background glows like a light source, it’s too bright. Blue light is also associated with more eye strain than orange and red wavelengths, so reducing the color temperature (the amount of blue light) of your display may be helpful
Practice your distance vision. Every 20 minutes or so, take a break from the screen to look at something further away from you, such as across the street if you’re by a window
Other Natural Strategies That Help Protect Your Vision

In my opinion, there are natural, common-sense strategies you can employ to help protect your healthy vision, starting with your diet. As discussed above, certain foods are more or less necessary for optimal vision, and can go a long way toward protecting your eyesight throughout life. Besides the suggestions detailed above, here are a few other lifestyle strategies that can help optimize your eye health.

  1. Quit smoking, if you currently do. Smoking ramps up free radical production throughout your body, and puts you at risk for a number of conditions rooted in chronic inflammation, including poor vision.
  2. Care for your cardiovascular system by getting regular exercise. High blood pressure can cause damage to the miniscule blood vessels on your retina, obstructing free blood flow. A regular, effective exercise program consisting of aerobics, Peak Fitness exercises, core building, and strength training, can go a long way toward reducing your blood pressure. It’s also critical for optimizing your insulin and leptin levels.
  3. Avoid processed foods and added sugars, particularly fructose.26 This is another primary way to maintain optimal blood pressure. Consuming 74 grams or more per day of fructose (equal to 2.5 sugary drinks) increases your risk of having blood pressure levels of 160/100 mmHg by 77 percent.
  4. Normalize your blood sugar. Excessive sugar in your blood can pull fluid from the lens of your eye, affecting your ability to focus. It can also damage the blood vessels in your retina, thereby obstructing blood flow. To keep your blood sugar in a healthy range, follow my comprehensive nutrition guidelines, exercise, and avoid processed foods and excess sugar, especially fructose.
  5. Avoid trans fats. A diet high in trans fat appears to contribute to macular degeneration by interfering with omega-3 fats in your body. Trans fat is found in many processed foods and baked goods, including margarine, shortening, fried foods like French fries, fried chicken, and doughnuts, cookies, pastries, and crackers.
  6. Avoid aspartame. Vision problems are one of the many potential acute symptoms of aspartame poisoning.