Posts tagged ‘Natrium phosphate’

Water Retension and Menopause

Water Retention and Weight Gain

It is very common for even healthy adults to experience weight fluctuations due to water retention, which account for many day-to-day fluctuations on the scale. While most people can retain up to five pounds of “hidden” water weight within the natural fluid that surrounds cells, known as extra-cellular fluid, those who are overweight or suffer from obesity people may retain up to eight to ten pounds.

Water Retention and Menopause

As women enter menopause, nearly 90% will gain weight from a shift in hormones. While most women expect to experience hot flashes, many are surprised by weight changes. However, some of this weight is just appearance-based due to water retention and bloating from decreased progesterone levels. While this isn’t fat-related weight gain, many women will notice a change in the way their clothes fit and experience the feeling of being heavier.

However, even the weight unrelated to water retention is not necessarily unhealthy per se, as it helps prepare the body against osteoporosis and other illnesses. Try to focus on health and maintaining an active lifestyle, and water retention and bloating will generally resolve itself within a few months.

Water Retention and Hypertension

High blood pressure and water retention go hand in hand, as hypertension can result from too much fluid in normal blood vessels or from normal fluid in narrow blood vessels. Blood pressure measures the force of blood against the walls of your blood vessels, and if it remains high over time is called hypertension. It is therefore very important to manage fluid levels, which can affect blood pressure.

Water Retention and Diuretics

Many people are interested in using diuretics to treat water retention. Whether natural or synthetic, diuretics increase the amount of urine excreted, and are usually used prescribed for patients with blood pressure, congestive heart failure, and liver disease. Diuretics also have the potential for creating a vicious cycle of water retention, known as rebound edema, as they alter salt- and water-retaining hormones. When the diuretics are stopped, hormone levels are out of balance.

In addition, prolonged use of diuretics can lead to dehydration, which can cause kidney damage and an imbalance in normal levels of electrolytes (e.g., sodium and potassium), which are vital to heart, kidney and liver function. When electrolytes are out of balance, heart failure and sudden death.

Many people also turn to diuretics for weight loss, which only leads to temporary results and potentially other health problems. Since water retention has many causes, it is important not to begin taking water retention medication without proper medical supervision.

Diagnosing Water Retention

The diagnosis of water retention is determined by a physical examination, the symptoms presented as well as medical history. Various tests such as blood tests, urine tests, liver and kidney function tests, chest x-ray or an electrocardiogram (ECG) may also be performed to determine the cause.

If water retention is a symptom of a serious underlying disorder, the disorder must be treated first.

* Feeling of puffiness, especially the feet, ankles and legs
* Appearance of shiny, stretched skin
* Dimples/indentations upon pressing the skin
* Swollen, stiff and painful joints
* Headaches
* A bloated or enlarged abdomen
* Breathing difficulties
* Decreased flexibility of the joints (ankles, wrists and fingers)
* Sudden or rapid weight gain

Shortness of breath, chest pain, redness or heat in the swollen edematous area(s) are rare but serious symptoms that should receive immediate medical care.

What Causes Water Retention?

Causes of body water retention depend on a wide range of factors including a high salt intake, as a reaction to hot weather, gravity, nutritional deficiencies, burns as well as sunburn and as a side effect of certain drugs. Pregnancy, oral contraceptives such as the pill, the menstrual cycle and menopause are also known causes of body water retention.

One of the main causes of weight-related water retention can be attributed to sodium intake, particularly from processed foods. In addition, since sodium is present in all foods, a higher intake of food in general also contributes to weight gain from fat stores and subsequent water retention.

People dieting may experience frustrations in weight fluctuations related to water retention. Many people turn to diuretics or water pills, which create a false sense of weight loss. Reducing calories too quickly also forces the body to use up stores of carbohydrates and breakdown protein in the muscles, which also leads to water weight stored in those cells- sometimes with up to 75% of weight loss related to water weight. However, after calorie ingestion is resumed to a normal level, the water weight is restored as well.


Fluctuating hormone levels, hormonal imbalances, and a loss of progesterone can attribute to water retention in menopausal women. Unless the weight gain is excessive, it should not be a cause of concern and can be self-managed.


While it is not entirely known why high blood pressure occurs, a strong genetic component has been indicated. Other risk factors for high blood pressure include smoking, alcoholism, and high salt intake, being overweight, lack of exercise, and high levels of stress. Conditions known to cause secondary hypertension include Cushing’s syndrome, diabetic nephropathy, kidney disease, hyperthyroidism, obesity, and many more.

Since many of the above conditions are linked to water retention such as salt intake and obesity, it is important to receive a proper diagnosis and take measures to control blood pressure and fluid levels in the body.

This condition may also be symptomatic of other serious diseases such as heart failure, liver disease, arthritis, allergic reactions, thyroid disease such as hypothyroidism, chronic lung diseases, malignant lymphoedema or kidney disease

Help for Water Retention

Treatment involves rectifying the underlying causes of body water retention. A low dose of diuretic (water pill) may be prescribed to reduce swelling. In more severe cases of water retention, where the blood vessels are blocked or damaged, surgery may be required.
Natural Remedies for Water Retention

Natural and holistic treatments provide gentle water retention remedies. Those seeking a natural remedy for water retention may use herbs such as Uva ursi, Horse chestnut and Buchu for their excellent diuretic properties. Taraxacum officinale (Dandelion) and Olea europea help to balance blood pressure, assist liver and gall bladder functioning and improve circulation.

Water retention remedies that use herbal and homeopathic remedies are safe and effective and not as harsh as prescription diuretics.

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May 1, 2010 at 2:50 am 5 comments

Bipolar disorder

What is Bipolar Disorder?

It is normal to experience ups-and-downs, good days and bad days and the occasional I should never have gotten out of bed day, but as a general rule it is important to retain an inner calm or a middle ground to which we always return.

However, individuals with Bipolar disorder experience extreme fluctuations of mood. They tend to lose their inner balance, finding themselves at the far ends of the emotional spectrum.

They may even find themselves alternating between periods of exuberant elation or mania, when anything seems possible, and periods of deep despairing depression that leaves them in bed for weeks and unable to function in their day-to-day lives.

Symptoms of Bipolar disorder (sometimes referred to as manic depression) differ greatly between individuals. Some may enter a state of hypomania which is a milder form of mania, while others may have full blown manic episodes.

These episodes often involve elaborate ideas, an elevated state of happiness and wild plans. For example, a person having a manic episode may max out three credit cards and start tearing down walls with the idea of building themselves a mansion.

At the time, these irrational ideas seem absolutely possible and will lead to great success and fortune. People with Bipolar disorder (manic phase) may have a contagious optimism where life is limitless and so is their energy.

Some individuals with Bipolar disorder may experience mixed states where the symptoms take the form of great restlessness, agitation and even rage. But what goes up must come down and, as a result, these manic states are often followed by periods of deep depression as the individual comes down from their high.

When making an appointment with a health care practitioner, it is advisable to arrange for a close friend or family member to accompany you to the appointment. They will be able to help you provide a clearer picture of your symptoms and how they are affecting your daily life, as well as the lives of people closest to you.

A medical check may be necessary to ensure that the symptoms are not caused by thyroid problems or the affects of certain drugs in your system. If Bipolar disorder is confirmed, remember to ask your doctor about ALL possible treatment options, their long-term effectiveness and any potential side effects.

Bipolar Disorder affects men and woman equally with the average age of onset being between 18 and 22 (although some cases do begin in childhood). Ranging from a severely debilitating medical condition, to a mildly disruptive ailment, the prognosis of Bipolar depends on the severity of the symptoms.
However, with the appropriate treatment, the prognosis is often good. While there is no quick-fix cure, many treatment options are available to help manage the disorder, and it may be possible to lead a normal life free of the disruptions of manic and depressive episodes.

Symptoms of Bipolar DisorderBipolar Disorder symptoms include alternating patterns of emotional lows (depression) and emotional highs (mania). Bipolar Disorder symptoms vary between individuals, as do the patterns of mood swings and cycles.
While one person may be in an elated mood for half the day, and become depressed within an hour (rapid cycling), others may experience manic episodes for days or weeks on end, before slipping into a deeply depressed state for months (slow cycling).
It is also common for some individuals experiencing Bipolar Disorder symptoms to have long periods of normal emotion and only the occasional depressive and manic episode.
Manic symptoms may include:
Increased energy, activity and restlessness Decreased need for sleep Feeling a sense of euphoria or being in an excessively good mood Talking fast and jumping between ideas so that conversation may be difficult to follow Agitation, irritability or rage Easily distracted and lack of concentration Feelings of grandeur or unrealistic beliefs about one’s own abilities Substance abuse Irrational, spontaneous behavior and recklessness Poor judgment Failure to recognize that there is a problem Exaggerated optimism and heightened self-esteem Increased sex drive Excessive spending Depression symptoms may include:
Depressed mood Loss of pleasure or interest in previously enjoyed activities Change in appetite or unintentional weight loss or gain Sleep disturbances; difficulty falling or staying asleep (insomnia) or sleeping too much (hypersomnia)Difficulty thinking and concentrating Difficulty making decisions Fatigue or loss of energy Feeling physically slow, agitated, or restless to the degree that others begin to notice Physical complaints such as headaches and stomach aches Low self-esteem, feeling worthless or excessively guilty Low libido or diminished interest in sex Suicidal thoughts or intent, or continuous thoughts of death and self-harm Close

What Causes Bipolar Disorder?

The cause of Bipolar disorder is not yet fully understood. The neurotransmitters that regulate mood, such as serotonin, seem to be out of balance and brain functioning differs in individuals with the disorder. Studies have shown that this phenomenon runs in families, which suggests a strong genetic component.

More than two-thirds of individuals with Bipolar disorder have at least one relative who have suffered either from the same condition or major depression. Other theories suggest that manic states could be triggered by drug abuse, sleep deprivation and stressful life events.

One of the biggest difficulties with Bipolar disorder is that those suffering from the disorder are often unaware of the severity and disruption caused by their alternating mood states. In the throws of a manic episode, the individual is usually convinced that there is absolutely nothing abnormal about his or her behavior, and may even assert that they have never felt better.

For this reason, it is often family, friends or health care practitioners who notice that there is a serious problem and suggest professional help. Left untreated, the effects of Bipolar disorder can be very disruptive and even fatal.

People in manic states have often taken huge irrational risks that could have serious consequences such as bankruptcy, car accidents, losing a job or unintentionally harming themselves or others.

Depressive states are equally dangerous and suicide rates are extremely high in this disorder. If you notice these symptoms in yourself or others, it is advisable to seek or encourage professional help.

Prescription medication is often the first line of Bipolar Disorder treatment once it is diagnosed. The most commonly prescribed drugs are:
Lithium (Lithobid)Anti-seizure medications such as valproic acid (Depakene) or topiramate (Topamax)Mood regulators such as lamotrigine (Lamictal)Anti-psychotics such as rispiridone (Risperdal) or olanzapine (Zyprexa)Anti-depressants such as fluroxetine (Prozac) or quetiapine (Seroquel). However, there is some controversy regarding whether antidepressants should be prescribed for Bipolar Disorder as they have the potential to trigger manic episodes.All of these medications have various side-effects, some of which can be quite serious. For example, some anti-psychotic drugs increase the risk of high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity. Ensure that you research all the options and are aware of all the side-effects and precautions of taking any prescribed medication before making a decision. Remember not to discontinue any prescription medication for Bipolar Disorder without first consulting your doctor.

Another extremely useful Bipolar Disorder treatment is Psychotherapy. This form of therapy can be extremely useful in helping you manage your Bipolar Disorder. Your psychologist may help you uncover the triggers of your bipolar episodes such as high stress or too little sleep, or may assist you in changing certain behaviors during manic or depressive states.

Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT)
Some doctors may recomend ECT as a part of Bipolar Disorder treatment This controversial treatment has been used with an 80% success rate in temporarily relieving the symptoms of bipolar and major depression. The procedure involves the administering of a muscle relaxant and short-acting anesthetic followed by a small shock of electricity sent to the brain which causes a generalized seizure that lasts for about 40 seconds. ECT is often considered useful for those individuals that fail to respond to drug treatments or are unable to use the medication prescribed, such as pregnant woman, those that suffer adverse drug side-effects, or individuals that need immediate relief from symptoms. While the response rate to ECT is usually very fast, most studies show that it only has a short-term effect and should only be used for immediate relief from a severe bipolar episode. As with other treatment options, it is important to research all the precautions and possible side-effects of ECT. Memory loss has been implicated as a serious side-effect and has made ECT a controversial issue.
Natural Herbal and Homeopathic Remedies

Should you wish to pursue a more natural approach to treatment there are various options that should be explored. Because Bipolar Disorder generally requires conventional drug treatment, caution should be exercised when combining the two as there are certain natural remedies for bipolar disorder which may be incompatible with the psychiatric drugs.
Natural remedies for bipolar disorder should feature calming herbs which are generally safe to use along with psychiatric drugs for Bipolar Disorder include Passiflora incarnata and Lavender. Biochemic Tissue Salts such as Natrium sulphate, Kalium phosphate and Natrium phosphate can also be used as natural remedies for bipolar disorder since they have a calming and restorative effect on the nervous system and help to balance mood and prevent mood swings. Homeopathic remedies such as Tarentula and Hyoscyamus can also be very helpful and may safely be used together with psychiatric medication without adverse effect. Consult a doctor, homeopath or naturopath for advice, especially when other chronic medications are also in use.

Other Conditions Related to Bipolar Disorder Bipolar Disorder is related to other disorders or problems such as:
Anxiety disorders Substance abuse Depression High suicide rates Close

Stick to your treatment plan! It is a common mistake for people suffering from Bipolar to stop their treatment when they begin to feel better. This often results in relapse.Avoid the use of alcohol and illicit or stimulant drugs. These sometimes trigger manic or depressive episodes. If you have a substance abuse problem, get immediate treatment – until that is dealt with, you will be less likely to stick to your treatment plan.Pay attention to your warning signs and patterns of mood changes. Keep a diary so that you begin to notice the patterns and triggers of your episodes. Involve family members and friends in watching out for these warning signs. If the signs suggest a pending episode, contact your doctor.Always consult a doctor before discontinuing or taking any new medications.Consider a support group or counseling with a licensed counselor. This may help you manage your disorder and deal with stress or other problems such as relationship difficulties.Get enough sleep! While most people can skip a few hours of sleep here and there with little consequence, loss of sleep has been shown to be a major trigger of bipolar episodes.Have an emergency plan! Ensure that you have details about your condition, important contact numbers such as doctor, employer, spouse and the names of any prescription medication you may be taking on you at all times. It may be important to appoint a back-up person that can handle all the necessary responsibilities such as fetching kids from school or feeding the pets in case of emergency.Have financial limits in place. Because spending-sprees are a common occurrence during manic states, you should set up precautionary measures. Do not keep a checkbook, and have strict limits put on any credit or debit cards. Have the bank notify a spouse or close family member if an excessive amount has been drawn or spent on any card.Get immediate help if you have any suicidal thoughts!People with Bipolar Disorder often have excellent social skills, creative personalities, great reserves of energy and many other strengths. Speak to family members or your therapist to explore ways in which you can constructively use these qualities in a realistic and positive way without going overboard. Close

Coping Tips for Family and Friends Try not to tip toe around your loved one wondering how you can help. Rather sit down and talk during a calm moment to discuss constructive ways of helping without being too intrusive or over-bearing. Discuss in-case-of-emergency situations and get permission to notify relevant people should one arise.Take note of early warning signs and mood patterns so that you can learn to predict future episodes and help curb them.Learn all you can about Bipolar Disorder. The more you understand the illness, the more prepared you’ll be to help and cope.Make a record of things that help and things that don’t.Plan ahead so that you know what to do in case of an emergency. Discuss limiting financial access or suggest that someone else be appointed ‘decision-maker’ over important matters during a manic or depressive episode. Agree beforehand on certain limits and boundaries to be set in place.Try not to blame your loved one for the illness. Be patient with the recovery process and offer unconditional love and support. While this does not make uncalled-for behavior acceptable, try not to take it personally.Set your limits. You need to take care of yourself and understand that sometimes your needs take priority. Do not become a slave to your loved one’s disorder.If someone close to you suffers from Bipolar Disorder and this places great stress on you, seek supportive counseling for yourself and work out ways to take time out, relax and manage your stress effectively. It will not help your loved one if you wear yourself out to the point of collapse!

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April 29, 2010 at 4:53 pm 29 comments

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