Thursday, March 21, 2013

Health Benefits of Bachelor's Button

Bachelor's Button is a daisy like plant that produces small flowers that are shaped like buttons and look like miniature carnations. They are usually blue, but some plants produce pink, purple or white blossoms. It is a perennial member of the aster family. Bachelor’s Button are treated like weeds in some areas because of their ability to self-seed. 

Bachelor's Button is also known as feverfew, Tanacetum parthenium featherfew, flirtwort, altamisa, featherfort, febrifuge plant, midsummer daisy, nosebleed, Santa Maria, wild chamomile and wild quinine. More common names are Basket Flower, Blue Bonnet, Blue Bottle, Blue Bow, Blue Cap, Cornflower, Boutonniere Flower and Hurt Sickle. 

Bachelor's Button has been used for over 2000 years for medicinal purposes. The uses of Bachelor's Button can be traced back to the ancient Egyptians and Greeks who used it for headaches, joint pain, stomach aches and fever. It can also be used for migraines, as a slight sedative, dizziness, arthritis, colds, fevers, cramps, worms, menstrual cycle regulation, as an antiseptic, psoriasis, toothaches, insect bites, labor pain, infertility, asthma, allergies, tinnitus, nausea and vomiting. A tea made of the leaves or flowers can be used for colic, colitis, indigestion, colds, arthritis, osteoporosis, bursitis, alcoholism, flatulence, menstrual cramps and tendonitis. The dried leaves of Bachelor's Button are used to make supplements that include capsules, tablets and liquid extracts. Sometimes the leaves are eaten fresh.

Bachelor's Button has side effects that include canker sores, swelling and irritation of the lips and tongue and loss of taste, nausea, digestive problems and bloating. There is also a possibility of allergic reaction. Bachelor's Button has not been evaluated by the FDA for safety effectiveness or purity.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Alcoholism and Diabetes: The Conclusion

Two of my previous posts have included the research I have done in order to find the link between Alcoholism and Diabetes. Although I am yet to completely confirm if one actually can cause the other I am concluding my research with this post. I have found enough information to satisfy my wonder for now.
I have found that Native Americans are particularly vulnerable to adult-onset diabetes early on in their drinking careers. I have not been able to find a definite answer as to why, so if anyone can better inform me on this it would be appreciated.
Diabetes is often found in a grandparent within an alcoholic family. Again, I was unable to find out why.
Diabetes and Alcoholism are both related to problems in blood sugar regulation. I found this interesting. This proves that Alcoholism is a physical disease, which is sometimes hard for people to understand. This shows the relationship between the two, but it still wasn’t what I was looking for.

An elevated insulin response to carbohydrates exists in both pre-diabetics and alcoholics. This is really interesting, but it still just shows the relationship that the two diseases have, unless I’m missing something somewhere. Anyone have any ideas?

As I may have stated in my previous posts 75% to 95% of alcoholics are hypoglycemic, which means they have low blood sugar. This doesn’t mean that they are diabetics. This also doesn’t mean that all people who are hypoglycemic are or will become an alcoholic or diabetic. Dr. Douglas M. Baird stated that he has never seen an alcoholic who wasn’t hypoglycemic. He also stated that this isn’t something that just happens but that it is actually the same problem. 

Bill Wilson, the founder of Alcoholics Anonymous first established the link between alcoholism and hypoglycemia. He also established the need for biochemical treatment using Niacin and B Vitamins. This information, for whatever reason, was never incorporated into the present AA practice.
Scientific research demonstrates that the physiological effects of sugar, caffeine and tobacco are the major causes of alcoholic relapse. This doesn’t really have much to do with my initial research, but I found it very interesting and so I thought I would throw it in.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Alcoholism and Type II Diabetes Part 2

Studies have shown that low blood sugar can induce the craving for alcohol. The studies also show that a craving for sweets may be an early indication of alcoholism. I had no idea that a sugar addiction could actually predict an alcohol addiction. Reducing the intake of sugar and maintaining a stable blood sugar level can lower the cravings for alcohol. It is important to also reduce caffeine intake because it hinders the ability to stabilize blood sugar levels.

I also found out that nutrition therapy can aid in the recovery from alcoholism. Two study groups were developed. One study group was given traditional therapy while the other group was given traditional therapy and nutrition therapy. The second group had a greater number of participants to stop drinking than the first.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Alcoholism and Type II Diabetes Part 1

My sister is an Alcoholic and a Type II Diabetic and so was her father. This has often lead me to wonder if the two are related in some way. I’ve done a lot of research in an attempt to confirm my suspicions and although I haven’t found exactly what I was looking for I did find out some interesting things.

Between 75% and 95% of Alcoholics are hypoglycemic. This is interesting, but I’m still wondering if any percentage of these people were hypoglycemic before they were Alcoholics. I can understand why a person who be hypoglycemic after becoming an Alcoholic. I really want to find out if having Diabetes can increase the risk for Alcoholism.

Alcoholism is a physical disease like Diabetes. Alcohol is treated as an emotional problem but the base of it is physical. As with any illness, there are mental, emotional and spiritual components. For instance, I have chronic pain and while the pain is physical, it has caused me to suffer from depression and anxiety. The same is true with Alcoholism. Many people, my husband included, don’t understand Alcoholism and don’t view it as a physical disease. They view it as a lack of will power and overall selfishness. 

Part 2 will cover the relationship between sugar addiction and alcohol addiction.  

The Stages of Alzheimer's Disease

You’re in your home of many years, walking down the hall to a bedroom, but before your reach your destination you realize that you don’t remember where you are or where you’re going. You suddenly lose your feelings of safety and security, and your life no longer feels like your own. You become a victim of an unknown force. What is it? It is the first terrifying sign of Alzheimer’s disease. This disease has become a part of my grandmother’s life and coping through the different stages has been a difficult situation. Although it is an endless battle, there is help available.

Alois Alzheimer, a German neurologist, first described Alzheimer’s disease or A.D. in 1906. A.D. is the most common cause of the progressive loss of intellectual abilities, know as dementia. It is a devastating and incurable disease that chiefly affects the elderly. It is already a major public health problem and it will become an even greater problem as the number and proportion of the elderly population increases.

My grandmother was diagnosed with A.D. in 1993. Prior to her diagnosis, we noticed that her memory was deteriorating quite rapidly. She would forget names of family member, the proper names for things, such as the mail box, which she would call the post office, and she would forget her normal every day tasks.

“I wish someone would help me with my memory,” my grandmother said when she became frustrated one day. It was heart breaking because there was nothing we could do to help her. Finally when her memory became really bad and she started having terrible mood swings we decided to take her to the doctor. The diagnosis wasn’t a total shock because in the back of our minds we expected it, but it was still a pretty hard blow to all of us. Now it was time to prepare for a very long battle.

As my grandmother entered the moderate stage, the battle had truly begun. Her mental state worsened, and it was clear that A.D. was taking over her life. It was eerie how the disease progressed and how it changed this loveable and caring wife, mother, grandmother and friend into a confused, hateful and temperamental woman.

This brave woman became terrified of everything. Holiday socials with the family could no longer be held at her house because large numbers of people set her off into a frenzy. By this time she had forgotten who some of our family members were, such as the ones she only saw a few times a month. It was a hard situation because we knew that someday when would forget us all.

Besides the deterioration of her memory, confusion was the most noticeable symptom, during this stage. One day as I was sitting with my grandmother in her home she began saying, “When are we going home? I want to go home.” I tried to tell her that she was home, but she looked at me angrily and said, “This isn’t my home.”

With the confusion, came the inability to make decisions of any kind, and handling the finances were out of the question. She simply became a child allover again, and it was sad because you could see the fear and uncertainty in the eyes of someone who used to be so strong and brave.
Although the pain and the hurt ruled our lives, we knew that we couldn’t give up so we continued to put our faith in God and we prepared ourselves, as she entered into the advanced stage.

A few years had passed, and she was now showing signs of the advanced stage. Mental disabilities were obvious. By this time we had put my grandmother in a nursing home because she needed more care than we could provide.

Then the day came that we prayed would never come. She forgot who everyone was, even my grandfather. Now and then she would remember, but for the most part she only knew that we were family.

What scared me the most was when I noticed she had gone back to what seemed to be her early childhood. She acted like a defenseless five-year-old. My mom was talking to her and she said, “I want my mommy. I want to be with the kids.

Physical changes began to take place with my grandmother. She, at times was unable to control her bodily functions and she was sleepy all the time.

All we could do was watch her fade away into the oblivion of this disease. We couldn’t help her mentally and there was only so much we could do physically.

My grandmother had remained in the advanced stage for quite some time when she leaped right into the Latter Stage seemingly right before our eyes in 2003. Severe cognitive decline is the hallmark of the latter stage. My grandmother’s sense of confidence and dignity were lost. Depression over took her and communication grew impossible. She had trouble breathing and was put on oxygen. Soon after, she stopped eating and a feeding tube was put in. Then one night she drifted off to an endless slumber.

Alzheimer’s disease is devastating for everyone involved but you don’t have to face it alone. There are support groups, financial help, and it’s amazing how far a simple hug can go when your nerves have reached the end. For more information about this disease contact the Alzheimer’s association in your area or go to your local library. By doing this you will find that you are not alone in the endless battle.