Benefits of Whey Protein

In recent years, the subject of whey protein has come up often in health discussions. Know what whey protein is, its possible benefits and side effects and more as you read on.
What is Whey Protein
Whey protein is actually a term used to describe a group of globular proteins that can be separated from whey. When cow’s milk is used to manufacture cheese, it also leads to the production of whey, which may or may not be discarded. It is a mixture of lactoglobulin, alpha-lactalbumin and serum albumin.
Similar to protein found in egg white, whey protein can also be irreversibly changed by heat. When made part of the pasteurization process, it becomes less bio-active. If not, whey protein naturally becomes bio-active which basically means it contains a high concentration of cysteine and consequently glutathione, an antioxidant that is essential to improved fitness and health.
Bio-active whey protein is an active source for protein but exposure to extreme heat can easily reduce the amount of cysteine in it without affecting its protein content and basic food value. Native whey protein
What Makes It Good for the Body
Because whey protein contains an inordinate amount of essential and non-essential acids, it frequently plays a prominent role in most low-carb and high-protein diets. Another reason for this is because of its low content of fats and of course, carbohydrates.

Why Pregnant Mothers Love Whey Protein
A number of OBs have advised their gravid patients to increase their intake of whey protein because it will provide the basic amount of amino acids needed by the growing infants inside their bodies. An increased intake of whey protein will naturally improve and speed up the development of the baby. Also, increased intake of whey protein will indirectly improve the immune system of the baby. In its growing stages, it is highly vulnerable to different types of illnesses. With the help of whey protein, it grow faster and better and more equipped to defend itself against any health complication.

Whey Protein for Bodybuilding Enthusiasts
For bodybuilders, muscle growth is everything and that’s why they love whey protein so much. Studies have satisfactorily proven that whey protein can lead to acceleration of muscle development. This is welcomed news especially for bodybuilders who are only a few weeks away from the date of competition but is still in high need of muscle growth.

How it Helps Athletes Busy Recovering from Old Injuries
In this case, whey protein saves the day once more because it can be used to supplement diets of individuals who are suffering from compromised immune systems. Basically, it helps athletes heal faster and feel better.

A Weapon against Degenerative Diseases
Although you can’t truly say that any disease is less painful than the other if both have life-altering consequences, it is an inarguable fact however that degenerative diseases are one of the worst health complications to suffer from. These illnesses tend to subject people to a protracted form of suffering and with symptoms with increasing levels of severity. They commonly affect three systems in particular: the nervous system, the muscular system and the skeletal system.

Although rarely curable, degenerative diseases can be treated through chemotherapy, surgical operations and the proper diet. Whey protein is often a part of this diet because of its rehabilitative benefits especially when it comes to muscle growth. Cancer, diabetes and AIDS have symptoms that causes muscle strength and growth to deteriorate – an undesirable effect that can be combated with increased intake of whey protein.

Where to Buy Whey Protein
Are you sufficiently convinced of the benefits of whey protein then? If so, you should be happy to know that you can avail of commercial whey protein product in most supermarkets and specialty food stores specializing in healthy food.

Ending with a Warning
Whey protein is good for the body – no doubt about it – but too much consumption of anything is never beneficial. Too much intake of whey protein can lead to unnecessary complications of your liver. And need we remind you that the liver is the next most important organ in the body? Lastly, lactose intolerant individuals must consume whey protein isolate rather than the normal variety as the former has less lactose content.

The Importance of Working Your Core Muscle

Suppose that at a distance you see a short, stooped figure walking with short, slow steps. Most likely, you will conclude that the person is old. The hunched posture gives you the clue.

Why does aging contort so many bodies in this way? The reason is that many people, throughout their lives, never extend the neck to its full range, and so the muscles shorten. Long hours of reading, sewing, typing, or standing at a workbench take their toll. Eventually deposits of calcium salts in the joints complete the process of immobilization. Once this calcification takes place, nothing can be done to reverse it.

Fortunately, older persons can take action before it is too late. The best action is regular exercise that stretches the muscles and improves flexibility, with special considerations on the core muscles. This kind of response is relatively important for a number of factors that when taken for granted will only lead to serious health problems.

What Are Core Muscles?

Core muscles pertain to the muscles found at the obliques, abdominals, lower back, and the glutes. These four areas of the body are the ones that usually frame the posture of a person. Hence, a good posture reflects the good condition of these muscle areas.

What people do not know is that core muscles are actually the “core” or the central part for all the strength that is needed to boost carry out different physical activities. This only means that if an individual’s core muscle is physically powerful, it will maintain equilibrium on the body and will stabilize the system every time the person is working out and moving.

Strengthening Core Muscles

The main responsibility of the core muscles is to provide enough power to the body in order to enable it to cope up with the dynamic challenges of every physical activity that a person encounters.

For this reason, many health and fitness experts have realized that it is relatively important to strengthen the core muscles than with the other muscles in the body. Through some series of experiments and research, they have found out that having a stronger core can lessen a lot of health problems concerning posture.

For instance, a well-conditioned core muscle can project good posture. It can also improve the endurance of the back all the way through the day.

Why? Because muscles that are included in the group of core muscles are actually the ones that initiate the proper stabilization of the whole upper and lower torso.

So, for those who wish to know and understand why it is important strengthen the core muscles, here is a list of some of the benefits that you can use as references:

1. Strengthening core muscles will improve posture and prevent low back pain of the muscular origin.

This means that as you incorporate stretching exercises in your routine, taking a particular focus on the muscles of the upper and front part of the trunk, including the abdominal and trunk muscles, the activity has the tendency to strengthen the muscles of the back that extend to the spine.

2. It will help tone the muscles, thereby, avoiding further back injury

Exercising your core muscles will strengthen and tones your lower back muscles and buttocks while stretching the hip flexors and the muscles on the front of the thighs.

Achieving this state will deter you from any serious lower back injury.

3. Improves physical performance

Exercising the core muscles with slow, static stretching is just as effective in relieving stiffness and enhances flexibility. Once the flexibility of a person has improved, it follows that he will be able to perform his physical activities at a better state.

4. They do not cause sore aching muscles

Static stretching for core muscles is best for the muscles and connective tissues. And because it employs slow stretches only, it will not cause any soreness, as do the quick, bouncing exercises that rely on jerky muscle contraction.

5. Lengthen muscles and avoid unbalanced footing as you get old

Core muscle exercises lengthen the muscles that have contracted as a result of pain. It also prevents pain from vigorous exercise if they are included at the end of each workout.

Health and fitness experts highly recommend starting core work out immediately and repeating the routine at least 2 times a week. The process can be done after the workout or even during the activity, for about 10 to 20 minutes only.

Indeed, core muscles are absolutely important in determining the good posture of the body. Strengthening them can absolutely eliminate those nuisances of back pains.

Deciding to Stop Smoking: Rising Above Withdrawal Urges

When you smoke, your body is exposed to nicotine, a very addictive substance. The longer period that the body is exposed to nicotine, the harder it is for the body to function properly without such substance. This is the reason why people who smoke, especially those who have been smoking for a long time already, may find it difficult to stop smoking. They have become addicted to nicotine, and they will need longer time just to cleanse their system from the nicotine. So, even if they have finally stopped from smoking, they are still faced with the urge to go on a relapse and smoke again. This is commonly known as nicotine withdrawal urges.

Withdrawal symptoms may come in different forms, and has different effects on different people. Some urges may take form in the following:

* Difficulty to sleep
* Always being nervous and worried
* Unable to concentrate
* May feel depressed
* May feel irritable
* May feel the urge to light up another stick of cigarette
* Increased hunger and need to eat

Thus, before you finally stop smoking, you should first have an idea on how to fight these withdrawal symptoms, because if not you may end up starting on the process all over again.

Start by knowing the possible urges that you may experience once you have finally stopped smoking. By doing so, you would have ideas on how to manage them properly when they eventually manifest. There several products which can assist you as you begin to cut down your exposure to nicotine. There are nicotine gums and patches which are available in the market to satisfy your need for nicotine without the need of smoking a cigarette. However, if you choose to buy these products, you should realize that you would still have to stop using them eventually because you would want your system to be cleansed from nicotine.

There are also medicines and prescription drugs which can help you overcome depression after you have stopped smoking. Sometimes, these medications may also help with other withdrawal symptoms aside from depression. However, before you take any of these drugs, you should consult your doctor first so that you would be guided accordingly.

These withdrawal urges may come and go throughout the day. You just have to wait it out until the urge passes. You have to fight hard not to smoke despite such strong urges. After several times of being able to fight off the urge to smoke, you will feel that such urges will become less powerful, and you will find it easier to defeat such tendencies. You just have to stay strong because it is not easy to flush out the nicotine from your body, and will surely take time before you are absolutely cleansed from it. So, as you wait, you have to stay strong, firm, and focused. Try hard not to relapse; otherwise you might end up on the starting line again, and you’d waste your efforts. Do your best to divert your attention to healthier activities so that you will not think of smoking as often as necessary. Remember your reasons for quitting, and hold on to them. The process you need to go through to stop smoking may not be easy, but it shall be worth it.

Skin Cancer Screening Tour Is Making A Difference

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More than one million people will be diagnosed with skin cancer this year. Fortunately, a screening tour is helping to warn people about skin cancer and improve those statistics.

Skin Cancer Screening Tour Is Making A Difference

More than one million people will be diagnosed with skin cancer this year. Moreover, the incidence of skin cancer is on the rise, making early detection and treatment more critical than ever. To raise awareness and encourage regular skin examinations with a dermatologist, Doak Dermatologics, a leading specialty pharmaceutical company, and The Skin Cancer Foundation have joined forces on an innovative public service campaign called The Skin Cancer Screening Tour.

Free Skin Exams Offered

A 38-foot, custom-built Mobile Diagnosis Vehicle (MDv) is traveling across the country offering the public free skin cancer examinations by local, board-certified dermatologists in more than 20 cities. The Tour kicked off in early March at Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco and has traveled to Los Angeles before heading to Phoenix, Dallas, Houston and Tampa, so far.

The Skin Cancer Screening Tour is already making a difference. Dermatologists volunteering at the MDv have conducted more than 1,000 patient examinations while looking for four primary forms of skin cancer or precancerous skin conditions. So far, the doctors have identified incidences of these conditions in a number of people, including:

• 271 with Actinic Keratosis (AK)-AK affects 1.3 million people annually. AK is the most common type of precancerous skin lesion. If left untreated, AK can lead to Squamous Cell Carcinoma.

• 24 with Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC)-SCC is a form of skin cancer that affects 200,000 Americans each year. SCCs can metastasize (spread) quickly.

• 111 with Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC)-BCC is a common form of skin cancer, affecting more than 800,000 Americans annually. Chronic exposure to sunlight is most often the cause of BCC, which occurs most frequently on exposed parts of the body.

• 11 with Melanoma-Melanoma is the most serious form of skin cancer and has increased more rapidly than any other form of skin cancer during the past 10 years. By 2010, the number of Americans with melanomas is projected to rise to 1 in 50. If melanoma is diagnosed and removed early, it is almost 100 percent curable.

“We’re very proud of the results The Skin Cancer Screening Tour has achieved so far,” says Daniel Glassman, president and CEO of Bradley Pharmaceuticals, Inc., the parent company of Doak Dermatologics. “We hope this program will encourage those at risk for skin cancer to be aware of the need to visit a dermatologist regularly.”

Nicotine Patches to Help You Stop Smoking

Those who try to simply stop smoking face a big pain: withdrawal symptoms. Their bodies, which have been so used to having nicotine in the bloodstream, craves for the same amount. Without the normal dosage – yes, smoking is like a drug that’s regularly administered – the smoker’s body goes through symptoms familiar to those who quit and took up smoking again: depression, insomnia, irritability, and an undefined sense of something lost.

Website and homebrew remedies details some ways to help the quitting smoker get a hold of himself or herself through the process, so that a relapse will not follow after the decision to stop smoking. One way to help through the process is to use nicotine patches. But one should keep in mind that this, too, like a drug, have conditions for it to work as expected on the quitting smoker. It’s not a one-size fits everyone solutions, it’s not an overnight magical answer.

The patch reduces craving. Contrary to what some who want to smoke thing, the nicotine patches do not completely eliminate the cravings they go through. Smoking carries with it some physical and mental effects on one’s person, and some aspects cannot be handled by nicotine patches.

There are also reported side effects of using patches. Some of them just as unpleasant as not having patches at all, as reported by those who had already tried them. These discomforts include headaches, constant vomiting, stomach pains, and nausea. In some cases, these are the outcome of overmedication using the patches; in some cases these effects are temporary. But it pays to know the side effects before going completely headstrong into nicotine patches. Some who stop smoking did so with out them.

So how does one approach whether you should or should not use nicotine patches to stop smoking?

Step one. Don’t just rush into buying the patches themselves. Consult with your doctor if you have medical conditions that may get aggravated when you take patches. You don’t want to rake in more medical bills on the off chance you get worse.

Step two. Should your doctor approve, the first application of the patch will tingle a bit, so choose a section of your skin that’s got less hair. Also, vary the areas you stick the patch to. Inspect the areas well, they should not have open wounds and rashes. Should you feel any sudden palpitations of breathing changes, go to your doctor and have yourself checked out.

Step three. Mind the doses. Also, note that you may have to try lower doses after maybe two weeks, as your body will have gotten used to them by then. These things vary from person to person. Hence the need to be monitored by a physician through consultations. You may experience a surge in appetite, so bear with it.

Just remember to consult with your doctor before you try the nicotine patch, and to stay in touch during the process. If anyone could simply stop smoking, nicotine patches and other ‘remedies’ won’t be needed. Sadly, nicotine addiction is a medical condition wherein your body craves a substance. So weaning yourself away from the substance by getting less and less of it is key to your decision to stop smoking. In this case, nicotine patches help a great deal in dealing with the withdrawal symptoms.

Early Diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis: Difficult But Important

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How does one make a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis early in its course when treatment can best prevent damage to the brain and spinal cord? The succinct answer is: “With difficulty.”

multiple sclerosis,ms,diagnosis,treatment,MRI,csf,cerebrospinal fluid,neurologist,lumbar puncture

The principal dilemma in current management of multiple sclerosis is that while early diagnosis enables damage-sparing treatment to begin, diagnosing MS too early increases the likelihood of treating people who don’t actually have the disease. Current disease-modifying drugs are all given by injection and cost about $14,000 per year. Apart from being inconvenient and expensive, there is some risk of harm from them which, if the patient doesn’t actually have MS, occurs without any offsetting benefit.

The dilemma would not be great if multiple sclerosis was easy to diagnose, but unfortunately MS is among the most difficult diagnoses in all of medicine to make, at least while still in its early stages. Early in the course of symptoms, MS can resemble other conditions; moreover, other conditions can resemble MS.

Affecting 2.5 million people worldwide and 350,000 people in the U.S. alone, multiple sclerosis is not exactly a rare disease. It affects women at least twice as often as men and begins early in adulthood with most cases starting between the ages of 20 and 40.

MS is a so-called autoimmune disease, meaning that a person’s immune system–ordinarily useful and essential in fighting off infections–becomes overactive and attacks the individual’s own bodily tissues. Rheumatoid arthritis is another example of an autoimmune disease, but in MS the immune attack is not directed against joints as it is in rheumatoid arthritis. Instead, the immune system attacks large clusters of nerve-fibers generally deep within the central nervous system which includes the brain and spinal cord.

These attacks can produce a wide variety of symptoms depending on what the usual function was of the nerve-fibers that are under attack. When the attacked nerve-fibers have to do with vision, the symptoms are visual, like loss of visual clarity or even doubling of vision. When the nerve-fibers are involved with the process of bodily sensation, then the symptoms can be numbness or tingling. In fact, visual or sensory symptoms are the most common initial symptoms in multiple sclerosis. But initial symptoms might instead consist of dizziness, weakness, clumsiness or difficulty with urination. The sheer diversity of early symptoms that can be due to multiple sclerosis is one of the chief difficulties in recognizing it for what it is and properly diagnosing it.

It’s useful in this regard to consider the twin issues of “false-positives” and “false-negatives.” In short, every medical test and every diagnosis is subject to these errors. False-positive means that a test or a doctor indicates that a disease is present when it is, in fact, absent. A false-negative error occurs when a test or a doctor indicates that a disease is absent when it is, in fact, present. Despite the increased confidence that expanding medical knowledge and ever-more sophisticated tests provide, false-positives and false-negatives are a fact of life and still apply to every test and every diagnosis.

In multiple sclerosis there are three cornerstones to the diagnostic process. In usual descending order of importance they are the clinical evaluation, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanning and examination of the cerebrospinal fluid. Each of these is important in its own way, but one component almost never stands on its own merits, requiring one or both of the other components for corroboration.

The clinical evaluation refers to the time-honored process in which the physician elicits the history of the symptoms and performs a physical examination. The physical examination consists mainly of the neurological examination, which is a battery of mini-tests that inventories the performance of different components of the nervous system.

Even a test as high-tech and powerful as the MRI scan can lead to diagnostic errors. False-positives often occur when a patient has a scan for a totally unrelated reason–like headaches, for example–and has pockets of increased signal within the brain for which the radiologist raises the possibility of multiple sclerosis. When the abnormal scan leads to consultation with a neurologist, the neurologist often determines that multiple sclerosis is out of the question, and the areas of increased signal are either benign or due to another problem entirely. MRIs less frequently produce false-negatives for multiple sclerosis, but even so, this imaging test is believed to show just the tip of the iceberg in this disease, failing to demonstrate important changes that occur at the microscopic level.

Examining the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) is another valuable tool in diagnosing MS. The CSF bathes the inside and the outside of the brain and the outside of the spinal cord, so its cellular and chemical composition often reflects what’s going on within those structures. CSF is obtained by means of lumbar puncture, also known as spinal tap, a safe procedure in which a needle is inserted through the lower back and into the CSF space. The fluid is collected as it drips out the back of the needle. In cases of active MS there are usually abnormal proteins produced by the immune system that can be detected and measured in the CSF. However, here too there are false-positives and false-negatives, so that some people with abnormal proteins don’t have MS and other people with normal proteins still do have the disease.

So the diagnostic process–including clinical evaluation, MRI scanning and CSF examination–is fraught with the possibility of error at each step of the way. Yet there is considerable incentive to make the diagnosis as early in the disease as possible (which is also when the risk of diagnostic errors is greatest) in order to initiate treatment that tames the out-of-control immune system. Sifting through the diagnostic information to make a timely and accurate diagnosis almost always requires the assistance of a neurologist, and even with the help of these specialists in disorders of the nervous system, sometimes the diagnosis gets revised as time passes and clues become more definite.

(C) 2005 by Gary Cordingley

Advantages And Disadvantages Of Alternative Herbal Medicines

Alternative herbal medicines are considered to be the best solution to address the growing number of health-related concerns today. Rather than making use of synthetic medications commonly prescribed by their doctors, smart consumers today are looking for an alternative solution to address their health problems without having to dish out hundreds of dollars for treatment, as well as potential allergic reactions to the chemicals used on synthetic products.

Before starting out on your journey towards alternative healing, it would be best to know the advantages and disadvantages of herbal medicines to ensure that you are getting your money’s worth in addressing your health-related concerns.

Advantage 1 – Natural Ingredients

Medical and pharmaceutical companies that bring you herbal medicines only make use of natural ingredients for their products. Extracting the natural compounds found in plants is carefully formulated to ensure that every pill or tablet is filled with the essential nutrients to address your health concerns improve your body’s natural recovery process.

If you check out the labels of herbal products, you will see that they are mostly from the extracts of plants. No synthetic chemicals and formulas are needed to complete the medicine. There might be a few others that are integrated into the mix to improve its effects, but government health agencies ensure that it will not get in the way of your treatment.

Advantage 2 – Cost-Effective Solution

One of the advantages of herbal products is their price. They are a lot cheaper compared to synthetic medicines commonly prescribed by doctors today. In fact, low-budget consumers are opting for this solution to their health problems in order to get as much savings they can get to address their health-related concerns.

The reason why alternative herbal medicines are cheaper is because of the ingredients used in it. No expensive chemicals are used in the formulation of the medicine and the ingredients can be grown almost anywhere under the right conditions.

Advantage 3 – No Allergic Reactions

You don’t have to worry about what you eat when you take in herbal products for your health problems. Since the ingredients are 100% natural, you don’t have to be careful about your meals causing allergic reactions that will compromise your health.

But it would be best to have a doctor look at the herbal medicine you plan to use and undergo a serious of laboratory exams to determine that your system is compatible with it. Even if the product worked for some, there are no guarantees that it will have the same effect when you take it in yourself.

The Disadvantage Of Using Herbal Medicines

With all the advantages stated above in the use of herbal medicines as a treatment method, many would think that there are no complications when using it whenever they feel like it. This is a common misconception that often leads to more health-related problems.

We can never deny the fact that herbal products are classified as medicines and should be treated as such. Proper formulation and dosage is necessary for a safe use. Consumers are urged to follow the dosage indicated on the label of the herbal medicine or to consult a health expert or your family doctor to safely determine the proper usage of the product. It is also advisable to undergo a consultation and physical or laboratory examination to ensure that your body will not react with alternative herbal medicine for your health problems.

Vitamins and Supplements for Hair Loss

A well balanced diet along with vitamins and supplements definitely promotes optimal health, but it also promotes healthy hair, and in the process slows down hair loss. Vitamins and supplements are able to reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease, so why not hair loss? While there are no miracle cures to be found at the health food store, there are quite a few vitamins and supplements that can improve the quality of your hair.

While you should always make sure that you are getting enough of every vitamin and mineral in your diet, there are a few vitamins and supplements that be taken to specifically stop hair loss to some degree. Therefore, it is important to make sure that you are getting enough of these vitamins and supplements in your diet to promote healthy hair.

PABA, vitamin B12, vitamin B6, and folic acid are considered to be the most important vitamins for the hair. These vitamins not only improve the overall quality of the hair, but they also reduce the amount of grey in the hair. It has been shown in studies that these four vitamins used together significantly reduced the amount of grey hair in test subjects in a recent study. Brewer’s yeast, a supplement rich in vitamin B, is also shown to darken hair as well.

Vitamin E is another important vitamin for the hair. The beauty industry has promoted Vitamin E for many years as a hair improvement supplement, and with good reason. Vitamin E has been proven to work to make hair healthy, thick, and luxurious. Besides taking the vitamin itself, there are many other ways to get healthy doses of vitamin E in your diet. Wheat germ and wheat germ oil, rich in Vitamins E and B, are great dietary supplements for getting enough vitamin E to stimulate hair growth.

Minerals are also important to promote healthy hair. Two minerals that promote hair growth, magnesium and potassium, can be found in common multivitamin supplements. Silicon (Silica) is a supplement usually sold as a “healthy nails, skin, and hair” supplement. Silicon is necessary for bone and connective tissue (collagen) formation. Iodine is another trace mineral helpful for hair quality, usually purchased in the form of kelp tablets. The recommend daily dose of vitamin D, which is found in a multivitamin, is important for the proper assimilation of these minerals in the intestines.

Vitamin A and Vitamin F are also important vitamins to take when you want to have healthy hair; however, the best way to get them is through food intake. Vitamin A is more of a benefit to the scalp. It can be helpful with dandruff, and also a dry itchy scalp associated with other medical conditions. It is usually included in a multivitamin in small amounts, but the best place to find it is in cod liver oil. Vitamin F, or the essential fatty acids, are abundantly present in all unsaturated vegetable oils and in raw seeds and nuts. Unsaturated oils in the diet are considered to be valuable to the sebaceous glands, which are located in and around the hair follicles.

While a multivitamin can take care of the basics needed to stop or slow down hair loss, the extra benefits come from the vitamins and supplements that can be found at your local health food store. Taking vitamins and supplements aimed specifically at hair loss is the best way to stop it and the best way to keep a fuller head of hair.

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Colorectal Cancer – What You Need to Know

For both men and women, colorectal cancer is the third deadliest cancer there is. This is why it’s so important to get screened for it. As with all cancers, the earlier it’s found, the easier it is to fight off. So you need to know what to look for and what doctors do to screen for colorectal cancer. Here are the common signs and symptoms of colorectal cancer and the screening methods used to determine if you have it.

Signs and Symptoms of Colorectal Cancer

If you have any of these symptoms you should see your doctor.

* Constipation, diarrhea, or any change to the stool that lasts for more than a few days
* Rectal bleeding or blood in the stool
* Feeling like you have to have a bowel movement, but when you do go you are not feeling relieved
* Abdominal pain or cramping that is persistent. Gas or pain of any kind that doesn’t go away
* Weakness and fatigue
* Weight loss when you weren’t trying to lose weight

These symptoms can generally be explained away as other things such as a virus, infection, hemorrhoids, and inflammatory bowel disease. It’s important to see your doctor if these issues persist so these things can be ruled out.

There are often no early symptoms of colorectal cancer. Signs and symptoms may vary when it develops depending on where in the colon the cancer is located. You should be more concerned if you are over the age of 50 or have a family history.

Tests for Colorectal Cancer

If you present with any of the above symptoms, then your doctor will take a complete family history. He or she will feel your belly to see if he feels any masses. He might order some blood tests to see what exactly is going on, like a CBC (Complete Blood Count) to check for anemia, liver enzymes to check your liver function because colorectal cancer can spread to your liver, and tumor markers in someone who already has colorectal cancer or has had it.

If symptoms or the results of these tests suggests cancer, then further testing is recommended. This is usually a colonoscopy, but sometimes a sigmoidoscopy or an imaging test that uses a barium enema and a lower GI series. This helps doctors screen for polyps.

During a colonoscopy, if colorectal cancer is suspected the doctor will take a biopsy which is just a small piece of tissue that is removed for further examination under the microscope. In very rare cases, part of the colon may need to be surgically removed (a part less often used) to make the diagnosis.

Additionally, scans such as a CT scan might be performed. This is used more often to see if colon cancer has spread to other organs like the liver. It gives a detailed image of the soft tissues of the body.

An ultrasound might be performed to try to see tumors, but really all this would show is tumors in the liver, gallbladder, or pancreas. It cannot detect tumors in the colon. For that your doctor might recommend an endorectal ultrasound where a special transducer is inserted into the rectum. This way the doctor can see deep into the rectal wall to see where the cancer has spread, if at all, and it can look at the lymph nodes and nearby organs.

If you don’t have any symptoms of colorectal cancer but are of a certain age or have a family history, there are screening tests that can be done. Tests that find both colorectal polyps and cancer are perfect. This way if polyps are found they can be removed during the screening to help prevent them from turning into cancer. For less invasive screening, tests that check the stool can be used. However, this doesn’t find polyps.

The colonoscopy is the most common test performed to screen for polyps and cancer. However, the CT scan and the barium enema are used to screen for polyps and cancer as well.

To screen just for cancer, tests like the Fecal Occult Blood test is used. Fecal matter is screened for the occult blood which cannot be seen with the naked eye. If there is blood in the stool, a colonoscopy would need to be performed to determine where exactly the bleeding is coming from.

Check with your doctor to see what he recommends based on your symptoms or lack thereof and your family history. While colorectal cancer is the third leading deadly cancer, the development of tests and screenings has been increasing the survival rate.

Vitamin E as a Supplement to Fight Aging

Are you looking for a solution to fight the aging process? Vitamin E supplements have long been used to keep people feeling and looking younger. Vitamin E is the number one supplement that is universally accepted to fight aging above all other antioxidants. In fact, the anti-aging properties of Vitamin E supplements have become legendary among researchers worldwide. The claims of success with Vitamin E supplements to fight aging have become so strong, that some medical professionals feel that Vitamin E is the most important supplement consumers should take to fight the aging process.

But what makes Vitamin E supplements so powerful? Vitamin E supplements fight the gradual clogging and hardening of the arteries, technically known as atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis occurs mainly because bad-type LDL blood cholesterol is chemically altered by attacks from free radicals in the blood stream. This chemical alteration, or oxidation, makes this cholesterol able to enter the artery walls, where it becomes plaque. This plaque then builds up on the artery walls and eventually clogs and hardens the arteries. Vitamin E enters the LDL cholesterol molecule and prohibits it from oxidizing, thus preventing heart disease in older adults.

Vitamin E supplements also rejuvenate the immune system. A university study on aging proves this point. A group of people over the age of sixty with poor immune systems were given Vitamin E for thirty days. The results were that their immune systems shot back up to almost the level of people in their twenties. This was an improvement of almost 80-90%. It is believed that this works because Vitamin E as a supplement helps guard the fat in the membranes of immune cells from being oxidized by free radial attacks. It must be noted that because the people in the study were not deficient in Vitamin E, it was the extra dose of Vitamin E from the supplements that caused the improvement in the test subject’s immune systems.

Because it stops the free radical chain reaction that destroys cells, Vitamin E supplements fight a lot of other illnesses caused by aging as well. Vitamin E also prevents cancer and blocks the growth of cancer cells and protects the brain from degenerative diseases. It relieves arthritis symptoms; fight cataracts, and helps with decreased blood flow to the arteries. Incredibly, Vitamin E supplements are almost a one-stop shop when it comes to fighting the aging process in the human body. Vitamin E can also be applied topically to the skin as well. Vitamin E creams and lotions have all kinds of healing and anti-aging properties to reduce the look of aging.

If you are suffering from any ailments caused by free radicals that are destroying healthy cells in your body, Vitamin E supplements may help stop this process. Studies show that as little as 100 IU’s of Vitamin E daily, in addition to the Vitamin E that you get from food can produce measurable results. However, in order to see real benefits, the daily dosage should be at least 400 IU’s on a daily basis. This seems to be the agreed upon amount of Vitamin E needed to effectively tackle the free radicals that may be destroying healthy cells. Studies further show that it appears safe to take up to 800 IU’s of Vitamin E a day for this purpose. However, like any alternative medication, it is important to check with a doctor before you take any dosage of Vitamin E to fight free radicals in your bloodstream to fight aging.

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