Celiac disease is a malabsorption syndrome and chronic digestive disorder. The intestine is not able to absorb vital dietary nutrients from foods containing gliadin, an alcohol-soluble portion of gluten. This condition which is often hereditary means the sufferer has a serious intolerance to wheat (including durum, semolina and spelt), rye, oats, barley, and related grain hybrids such as tritaclae and kamut.

Arthritis refers to inflammation of the joint. The most common form of arthritis is osteoarthritis which is characterised by joint degeneration and loss of cartilage. Rheumatoid arthritis is a type of inflammatory arthritis which is also an autoimmune disorder. In this case the body's immune system attacks its own cartilage and tissue surrounding the joints.

Some detoxification experts advocate fasting, while others do not. It is known that the components of any well-designed detox program will stimulate the body to cleanse itself, but people who are underweight, are undernourished, have weak hearts, have blood sugar issues or are ill should avoid fasting. Some studies have shown that restricting food intake can actually lead to bingeing.

Hemorrhoids are extremely common in industrialised countries and it is estimated that fifty percent of persons over fifty years of age have symptoms of hemorrhoidal disease. Although most people may begin to develop hemorrhoids in the twenties, the symptoms do not become evident normally until in ones thirties!

High Cholesterol: natural treatments

What is cholesterol?

High cholesterol or hypercholesterolemia is defined as total cholesterol greater than 200 mg/dL with the high risk category greater than 240 mg/dL. The ratio of LDL: HDL should be at least 4:1 because each HDL can pick up and transport 4 LDL back to the liver. Keeping cholesterol levels in the proper range is an important step in prevention of heart attack or stroke. The risk of heart disease can be reduced dramatically by lowering LDL cholesterol while raising HDL cholesterol. Although in most cases, elevations of blood cholesterol levels are due to dietary and lifestyle factors, elevations can also result from genetic factors. Elevations in cholesterol levels may be the result of low thyroid functions as well.

Without cholesterol, your body would be unable to make hormones, cell membranes or vitamin D. Normally, cholesterol flows through the blood vessels without causing any damage or the build-up of atherosclerosis plaques. It is only if cholesterol becomes oxidised by free radicals in the body that it can become problematic. Therefor it is very important to eat foods rich in antioxidants.

How can I treat high cholesterol naturally?

The most important approach to lowering cholesterol levels is a healthy diet and lifestyle. It's not just about counting cholesterol and calories from saturated fat in your diet that determines your cholesterol levels, but which foods you choose to eat.

It is very important to eat foods rich in antioxidants. Foods rich in antioxidants, such as vitamins E, C and beta carotene, can help prevent the oxidation of cholesterol and the damage it may cause to blood vessels. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables and low in saturated fats, soluble fiber from foods such as oats, peas and beans (especially soy beans), has been found to lower elevated levels of LDL and improve the ratio of LDL to HDL. Cold water fish, garlic and onions, olive oil and other sources of monounsaturated fats have also been shown to lower LDL, while cranberries, soy foods and niacin have been found to raise HDL.

Dietary changes and lifestyle changes can have a dramatic effect on lowering your cholesterol levels. A study published in the July 2003 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association in which a whole foods diet was compared head-to-head with treatment by statin drugs found the whole foods approach to be so effective that the Comment accompanying this JAMA article is entitled, "Diet first, then medication for hypercholesterolemia (high cholesterol)."

High cholesterol- Natural treatments and remedies
Diet for treatment of high cholesterol

Eat foods high in:

Soluble fibre such as oat bran, barley, peas, beans and nuts. This will benefit you by lowering LDL and raising HDL

Antioxidants protect damage to artery walls from free radicals and high cholesterol

Niacin (if LDL levels are already high you may benefit from taking a niacin supplement). Foods high in niacin are salmon, tuna, chicken, calf liver, halibut, asparagus and cromini mushrooms. Niacin helps decrease the bodies production and increase its elimination of cholesterol, prevents oxidation of LDL's and can increase HDL's

Vitamin E such as swiss chard, sunflower seeds, spinach, kale, mustard greens, almonds and walnuts. Vitamin E helps prevent the oxidation of LDL's. Almonds are a leading food source of vitamin E: a one-ounce handful provides 7.4 mg or about 50% percent of the RDA for this important antioxidant, plus health-protective monounsaturated fats, dietary fiber, protein and important minerals. So snack on a handful of almonds or add them to your daily meals. You'll significantly boost your vitamin E levels and improve your cholesterol profile, both of which promote your cardiovascular health. One caveat: pass on highly salted almonds and those roasted at high temperatures.

Vitamin C such as citrus fruit, broccoli, red bell peppers, kale. brussel sprouts and kiwifruit. Vitamin C helps prevent the oxidation of cholesterol

Flavanoids such as citrus fruit especially grapefruit lower LDLs

Beta carotene in foods such as carrots, sweet potatoes, winter squash and kale help prevent the oxidation of LDL's

Phytosterol containing foods such as sesame, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds help lower cholesterol

Polyphenol containing foods such as cranberries, grapes, blueberries and olive oil will help prevent oxidation of cholesterol and increase HDL levels.

Unsaponifiables as in brown rice also lower LDL cholesterol

Omega Fatty Acid rich foods such as found in cold water fish, flax seed and walnuts and monounsaturated fats such as found in olive oil, avocado and almonds and all the vegetables (garlic and onion for e.g.) are also helpful in lowering cholesterol

Oats, via their high fiber content, are already known to help remove cholesterol from the digestive system that would otherwise end up in the bloodstream. Now, the latest research suggests they may have another cardio-protective mechanism.

Fruit and vegetables. No matter your age, education, smoking status or physical activity, the more fruits and vegetables you eat, the lower your blood level of LDL (potentially harmful) cholesterol, suggests research from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute published in the February 2004 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

A Mediterranean Diet Lowers Heart Disease Risk More than Low-Fat Diets. In just 3 months, eating a Mediterranean-style diet can reduce risk of heart disease by 15%--almost twice as much cardiovascular risk reduction as that seen on a low-fat diet. Walnuts are one of the best sources of the omega-3 fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid. Replacing a major portion (35%) of the monounsaturated fat in the Mediterranean diet with walnuts appears to significantly improve cholesterol and triglyceride levels in people with high cholesterol. Almonds, although not as well studied as walnuts, appear to have similar effects when used as a substitute for a portion of monounsaturated fats in low-fat diets.

Whole soy foods, (but not isolated soy protein or isoflavones), have also been shown to significantly lower LDL while raising HDL cholesterol.

Reduce or cut out these foods:

Saturated Fat and Cholesterol Excessive dietary intake of foods rich in saturated fat and cholesterol, which are found primarily in meat, particularly red meat, and other animal products, is strongly associated with increased risk of atherosclerosis and heart disease.

Iron. High levels of stored iron are associated with increased free radical production and therefore increased risk of heart attack, especially in individuals with high cholesterol levels.

Trans-Fatty Acids (Hydrogenated Fats). Trans fats are so-called since their chemical structure is the mirror opposite of that found in vegetable oils. These abnormally structured fats can be made from vegetable oils by subjecting them to a chemical process that transforms them into solid fats. Also called hydrogenated fats, trans fats increase LDL cholesterol and lipoprotein(a) levels, may be more damaging to the heart and blood vessels than saturated fat, and should be eliminated from the diet. These unnatural fats are virtually absent from whole foods, but are the predominant component in margarine and are frequently added to processed foods, baked goods, coffee creamers, and snack foods.

Coffee in large amounts can elevate cholesterol levels

Supplements for treatment of high cholesterol

Niacin: Supplemental niacin has also been found to not only help reduce LDL levels, but to raise levels of protective HDL; however, it is important that you check with your health care practitioner before taking supplemental niacin for this purpose. Niacin is available in a number of different forms, one of which may be significantly more helpful for you than another. In addition, some forms of niacin may cause unpleasant flushing in some individuals. generally it is best to take niacin in the form of inositol hexaniacinate. Your health care practitioner can help you maximize the benefits and minimize the potential side effects of supplemental niacin.

Gugulipid: is the standardised extract of the mukul myrrh tree, native to India and is used for hypercholesteremia. It is useful in lowering lipid levels and has also been shown to prevent atherosclerosis and aid in the regression of preexisting plaques.

Garlic. A garlic supplement may be necessary if dietary intake of garlic and onion cannot be increased. garlic is highly beneficial in lowering cholesterol levels for some people.

L-carnitine is produced in the liver and kidneys from the amino acids lysine and methionine. It is stored in skeletal muscles and the heart and may be beneficial in treating conditions such as chest pain, heart attack, heart failure, diabetes, and abnormal cholesterol. In several human studies, supplementation with 2 to 3 g per day of L-carnitine led to a significant reduction in total cholesterol and triglycerides, and to increases in HDL cholesterol levels.

Red yeast rice, the fermented product of rice and red yeast, has been used in China since at least 800 AD to make wine and preserve food, and for its medicinal properties, which are believed to include, among other things, improvement in blood circulation. Recent well-designed studies have shown that red yeast rice significantly reduces total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglyceride concentrations.

Lifestyle guidance for treatment of high cholesterol

Get regular exercise to significantly help in lowering LDL lipid levels.

Don't smoke

Loose weight if necessary

Get a good amount of sunlight...the lack of sunlight has been shown to have adverse effects on cholesterol levels.