Wednesday, 28 May 2008

Cocktail, Anyone? Delicious Recipes For Summer!

Summer is well on it's way now, with a little bit of luck, and it's time to start thinking about the party season. BBQs and parties with your friends are not the same without good food and good drink! The sun will no doubt put you in a good mood, so why not tantalize your tastebuds with some of the best summer cocktails around? Easy to prepare at a moment's notice, the Pimms Paradise, American Cobbler and the Peach Bellini are the perfect summer cocktails... Delicious too!

For the recipes and a little more informtion take a look at this article: Three Perfect 4th Of July Cocktails. Your tastebuds will be glad you did!

Tuesday, 27 May 2008

The ARD Factfile

A couple of weeks ago I posted a blog on the subject of adhesions (ARD - Adhesion Related Disorder) because I felt that it was something everyone should be aware of, especially women given the possibility of health complications. Ever since I have been reading up on ARD and have put together a few facts that may be of interest.

It is important to remember that these facts are based on extensive research that has been performed by medical professionals over a number of years. None of the figures have been pulled out of thin air, regardless of what you may otherwise hear (please see the note at the end of the post). Some of them are startling and some extremely frightening, but the more we know the more we can combat ARD and prevent the suffering of others:

* Adhesions are actually described as abnormal bands of scar tissue. They work to adhere your internal organs to each other, whichis why they cause excrutiating pain.
* Adhesions are common in those women who suffer with endometriosis, STDs and/or pelvic inflammatory disease (PID).
* 93% of patients that have had pelvic surgery or abdominal surgery will be afflicted with adhesions.
* 74% of all bowel obstructions that occur are the result of ARD.
* Between 15% and 20% of all cases of female infertility arise from adhesions caused by pelvic/abdominal surgery.
* Adhesions can cause pelvic pain, pain during sexual intercourse, infertility, intestinal obstruction and bowel obstruction in women.
* Over 300,000 people were admitted to hospital for surgery to remove adhesions in the US in 1998 alone. There are no figures regarding how many operations were successful but unfortunately many are not. This cost over $2.2billion.

All of the figures above were taken from Women's Health Solutions, which features all of the available research sources so you can read a little more for yourself if you want to.

There is also an article called Women's Health: Vital Facts About Adhesions that you can read. It is a very recent article so it has all of the latest info.


Before I draw this post to a close I would just like to say something about my blog. This is my personal health blog. I enjoy writing about a variety of topics connected to general health, healthy eating and also illnesses like this one. As I said in my previous post, everyone has heard of breast cancer but it is illnesses like this that go unnoticed. Sufferers should not have to put up with a wall of silence. My mother had breast cancer twice and I am an ardent supporter of cancer charities as a result, but I dedicate my time and energy to illnesses like this as well because women deserve to know what is out there. There are so many things we don't know because nothing is ever said and it is just not good enough.

I encourage everyone to post a comment, whether they agree/disagree with my posts, want to add their 2 cents or just simply like what I write. I love a good debate because that is the basis of how we learn and progress in society.

However, that being said, I WILL NOT accept comments that deliberately include defamatory statements. Also, I WILL NOT be bullied out of publishing my opinion. This obviously doesn't apply to 99.9% of you reading this (so apologies for the rant), but the one person it does apply to knows who she is. I had to delete a comment that was made on the last ARD post I wrote because it was aimed solely at destroying the career of an esteemed doctor and branding a friend of mine a liar. I don't want to have to do that again.

ARD can be a horrendous illness, which is made worse by people hiding the truth. I am not one of those people. Please educate yourself by looking at official research and reading about the personal experiences of sufferers. Please then make up your own mind. After all, everyone has a right to that so make the most of it!

Monday, 26 May 2008

Allergy Season Is Upon Us!

Allergy season is most definitely upon us. After waking up with extremely dry eyes, a headache and a blocked nose, I decided it was time to turn to the hayfever medication that I usually take at this time of year. I'm only usually affected by hayfever for a couple of weeks before feeling OK for the rest of Spring, but I decided to look into allergies this year instead of popping pills for the duration of the fortnight and found soe great natural remedies.

Hayfever and other allergies are signs of an over-active immune system, believe it or not. I always thought that it was an immune deficiency but apparently not. Hayfever and allergies are your body's reaction to elements that it perceives to be dangerous, hence the streaming nose and eyes. However, you don't need to spend a fortune on medication and supplements to fight it off when you can make home remedies to help you.

APPLE CIDER VINEGAR is very useful in helping fight off allergies. Take a tablespoon full in a cup of boiling water with a spoonful of honey and a dash of lemon juice. The apple cider vinegar will clear your symptoms and your sinuses, whilst the honey and lemon will soothe your throat and ease your blocked nose. This mixture is packed full of nutrients and tastes good but don't take the vinegar on its own because it is really bitter.

There are also other things you can eat to help ease your allergies. TUMERIC and GARLIC are both useful in the battle against allergies. Tumeric is safe to use all the time but beware of eating or taking too much garlic as it can thin the blood and cause untold problems. You can consume both in your food but can also get supplements to make it a little easier. They're definitely better for your body than medication but may help yu fight your allergies given half a chance!

Tuesday, 6 May 2008

ARD - Adhesion Related Disorder

As a woman, women's health is obvious important to me, but I do not feel that some topics are covered as much in the media as they should be. We all know about breat cancer, myself from personal experience as my mum has the illness twice whilst still in her 30s. We all know a little about PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome)as a result of some high profile celebrities being diagnosed with the condition, Victoria Beckham being one of them. And yet we know little about ARD, or Adhesion Related Disorder.

Doctors are well acquainted with ARD today and yet nobody talks about it. It can actually be very debilitating, and yet I had never heard of it before until a friend on Facebook formed a cause to proote awareness because her daughter suffered from it. Now I know this is a little off topic because this blog usually concerns healthy eating and other similar topics. However, I believe that it is worth mentioning because we do need to raise awareness of this women's health issue sooner rather than later.

ADR actually occurs in both women and men but is more common in women as a result of our reproductive organs being internal. In fact, over 93% of people that have had major pelvic or abdominal surgery suffer with ARD today and the number is rising. It is not the surgery that causes ARD but rather infections and inflammation that seems to come hand in hand with surgery these days. The adhesions that result from infection and inflammation can cause serious abdominal illness and excrutiating pain.

Furthermore, although doctors know about ARD, very few diagnose it correctly first time. Instead, the majority of that 93% are diagnosed incorrectly and thus receive the wrong treatment as a result. This can make the illness worse instead of better and some people often have lifelong pain as a result.

If you do want to find out more about ARD then you can go to the UK Adhesion Society website or read an amazing book by a lady that has experienced it first hand. Karen Steward had to stand by and watch her daughter battle against ARD for 14 years and her book is an account of their story. You can find a description and order the book here.

Karen has actually set up a cause on Facebook to help raise awareness of ARD. If you have a Facebook account then you can sign up and show your support here. It is important to get the message out so spread the word today!