Important Tips For Stroke Patient Caregivers

Important Tips For Stroke Patient Caregivers

 

 

 

 

Life for the Jack Meadows family changed forever in December 1989 when this husband and father suffered a stroke. The massive incident in his brain left him with no use of his right side.

 

Months of rehabilitation restored strength and balance but could not return him independence in daily routines of self-care. He has a strong left arm and weak left leg to provide limited mobility. In addition, frustrating his life even greater is the lack of communication. He definitely has cognitive processes as is evident when following conversations and watching television quiz shows. But, thoughts have difficulty connecting to words and words in the brain do not translate to speech. 

His family has chosen to assist him at home. While visiting nurses and aides have contributed valuable services over the years, the major day-to day attention to his needs has been and continues to be given by his wife. A son, daughter and a few good friends frequently assist.

We (his family) have learned tremendous lessons about the skills our stroke patient has retained or developed. We have also acquired extensive knowledge and mastered many competencies in our twenty-four hour a day, seven days a week responsibility.

Over the years Mr. Meadows has required services in several hospitals and many doctors’ offices. Our experience has been that doctors and nurses do not know readily how to meet his needs. We can only surmise that they learned about stroke patients and other handicapped individuals in their schooling and on-the-job training but have not had the amount of direct experience as when a family provides care at home.

Our intention is to share the wisdom we have attained and to contribute to the quality of care accorded to all persons with physical restrictions.

 

 

Communication With a Stroke Patient

 

 

First, be sure you have the full attention of your patient.

 

While eye contact is important the individual who has had a stroke may look you square in the eyes but not have focus on the conversation.

Position yourself in front of your patient and tune out all other sights and sounds in the room. Turn down the volume of the television, radio and block the talk of any other people in the area. Make contact by touching the hand, chin or cheek, an area not affected by the stroke. Sometimes our family member is helped by directing him to look at the speaker. Saying, “look at my face,” does not offend him and gains his concentration. Use a normal volume and speak clearly.

Express one idea at a time in simple terms and repeat if needed to assure yourself that the two of you understood each other. For example, “do you want coffee?” and then follow up with “coffee?” More complex thoughts can also be conveyed in this manner. Ask, “were you on Omaha Beach?”… “Omaha Beach?”… “you were there during World War II?”

 

 

Hand gestures can assist with clarification.

 

Both the care giver and the stroke patient can benefit. Ask your client to point to what he wants or needs. He will develop a repertoire of pointing for such daily items as the television remote, newspaper, eyeglasses, radio, drapes, an uncomfortable foot or arm or headache. When going through complicated maneuvers such as using the mechanical lift to get in and out of bed the patient can work in coordination with the attendant. Instruct him to place his hand on the release lever of the lift and push in. Point to the lever or guide his hand to the lever. Demonstrate a pushing motion at the same time as saying, “push.”

 

 

Recommended: Pictures and Words Communication Flip Chart

 

 

At times when communication is not working, give it a rest.

 

Take time out and try again later. Sometimes the family or friend has exhausted the twenty questions and both parties are becoming frustrated. Tell the patient, “we will think about it,” or “we can try again later.”

 

 

 

Daily Care and Activities for Stroke  Patients

 

Have the person who had a stroke do as much routine self care as possible.

 

This may seem very little with one good arm but we have discovered many surprising tasks that our husband and father can do well. Every task he found he could do for himself raised his pride and confidence.

Recommended: OXO Easy Grip Flatware Set

 

 

He can operate a television remote, secure a towel around his neck before eating, use a spoon to eat most anything, pick up food morsels he has dropped, use a cordless razor to shave and put a cassette in a tape player.

 

His more complicated skills include leafing through a magazine or newspaper, folding towels from the laundry and using the overhead bar to slide himself up in bed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vary the day but follow a routine.

 

This piece of advice may seem contradictory but really is no different for the person who lives with a stroke than the family around him. To make the most of the day a schedule provides security and comfort for both the stroke client and the caregiver.

For instance, a schedule of getting dressed in the morning, eating breakfast, moving into a comfortable chair and watching favorite television programs gives the patient peace of mind. He also can feel he has some control over his day as he watches the clock knowing certain activities will occur at specific times.

Additionally, within the day, activities could be varied so that the person who can not move himself does stay in one place, one position for such a length of time that the body and mind become numb. Thus, the assistant must move the client from the bed to the wheel chair to the easy chair and so forth several times in the course of the ordinary day. Staying in one place for hours at a time is neither comfortable physically or mentally.

 

 

The Routine

 

The routine for our stroke patient includes sitting in a recliner in the morning to watch television, moving to the wheel chair and into the kitchen for lunch, return to the bed after lunch for a nap or listening to music. In the afternoon he moves to the recliner again and enjoys watching children coming from school or birds dining at the feeder. Again he moves to the wheelchair and the kitchen for his supper. In the evening he may sit in the recliner again or sit in bed to watch television, read the newspaper or listen to the radio.

 

 

Recommended: Easy Comfort Lift Chair Recliner

 

 

 

 

Recommended: Hoyer Hydraulic Patient Body Lift

 

A mechanical ‘lift’ (such as one manufactured by Hoyer) is a necessity. With practice it is easy to use and makes possible the mobility of a person weighing over two hundred pounds by the helper who is five feet tall.

 

A lift could be available in every wing of a nursing home, rehabilitation center, doctor’s office and hospital department. The lift seldom breaks down and takes wear and tear over the years.

 

Every care giver should learn to use this invaluable tool.

 

 

 

Use the stroke patient’s good side.

 

Place a tray or table where the mobile hand can easily reach. Items the patient wants at his access include tissues, cup, spoon, pills and cough drops. The television remote or the nurse call button must be on the side where the patient can handle them. 

 

 

Recommended: Carex Overbed Table

 

 

Carex Overbed Table

 

 

 

 

Be prepared for normal body functions at all times.

 

If the stroke patient uses a bedpan or underpads, a supply could be kept at the bedside. The patient can’t wait until a nurse or aide walks down the hall and back with the needed items. The same is true for saliva and nasal mucus. Tissues kept at the patient’s hand usually prevent a mess and embarrassment.

 

 

Stroke Patient Needs and Wants

 

 

Find those special traits that each person maintained in spite of the stroke or developed afterward.

For example, our patient can read a clock and point out directions when riding in the car. We also discovered that he can sing and his words are correct for the song and intelligible. At times he will try to sing a word that when spoken is not making sense to his listeners.

 

 

The member of the family who has had a stroke can be involved in everyday decisions.

This is accomplished by offering choices. The easy tasks such as what to have for dinner can be accommodated by asking, “what do you want, chicken or fish?” More difficult choices can also work in this manner. “What should we give our granddaughter for a wedding gift, money or a clock?”

 

 

Be patient and willing to try innovative approaches.

One great frustration is learning to eat with one hand, the opposite of the dominant hand. Our patient required many trials before being able to get more food in his mouth than on the tablecloth but eventually his persistence won.

 

 

In the process we found that a flat dinner plate did not work well. When a pie plate with sides was substituted he could scoop food into a spoon instead of pushing it over the edge.

He occasionally requires assistance with cutting food and picking up the last morsels. The person who sits to his right can assist by using his or her fork to push the food onto the spoon. This method allows him to master cleaning up well liked but difficult foods such as peas.

 

 

 

 

 

Special ‘treats’ rouse the spirits of everybody involved with the stroke patient.

We can’t take for granted the common events such as going for a ride in the car or giving a biscuit to the dog. The stroke patient who has difficulty getting around thrives on getting a change of scenery or visiting places he used to frequent. For our patient going past the plant where he worked for thirty-five years boosts his mood for days at a time. Other special treats include visits from friends and cards from school children. 

 

 

Include the stroke patient in as many events as possible.

Although he may not communicate easily, including him in conversations is good for his positive mental outlook. Moving him around is a difficult task for the family but one which must be undertaken to maintain his emotional well-being. For our patient the trip to his granddaughter’s wedding and reception was a huge undertaking but one worth the effort when the joy was shared by all. Other times to include him are more easily accomplished. For example, we arrange gifts for him to give at Christmas and birthdays. He participates in the selection and wrapping. 

Living with the stroke patient at home is not for every family. One member of the family needs to become the driving force behind the effort. In the Meadows family that person is the patient’s wife. Medications must be closely monitored. Services of doctors, nurses, aides and therapists must be scheduled. Doctors, hospital and pharmacy bills and Medicare and insurance payments are accurately watched and recorded. 

Overall, our family experience has been rewarding. The little triumphs from day to day far outweigh the effort and frustrations. Taking time, being composed and possessing boundless energy are necessary but not easy. Employing innovative thinking and maintaining focus on the solution to daily obstacles to the patient’s comfort and happiness is a challenge to family, friends and caregivers. 

 

Based on an article by Nancy Meadows

 

 

Recommended Reading:  Stronger After Stroke Your Roadmap to Recovery, Second Ed.

by Peter G. Levine

 

Stronger After Stroke puts the power of recovery in the reader’s hands by providing simple-to-follow instructions for reaching the highest possible level of recovery. Basic concepts covered include repetition of task-specific practice, proper scheduling of practice, setting goals and measuring recovery.

Sections new to the second edition cover the latest research from neuroscience, treatments for recovering sensation as well as recovery strategies for the young stroke survivor. Also included is a breakdown of the phases of recovery and how these phases can provide structure to efforts towards recovery.

 

 

 

Stronger After Stroke promotes:

  • Repetition of task-specific movements
  • Proper scheduling of practice
  • Challenges at each stage of recovery
  • Setting goals and recognizing when they have been achieved

The second edition is completely revised throughout incorporating feedback from readers and the latest research data. Peter has written a new chapter on “recovery core concepts” that defines the stages of recovery and explains how these stages can structure efforts toward recovery. There is also a new Question and Answer section culled from the talks Peter regularly gives on the subject.

Read reviews.

 

 

Thoughts, questions, tips?  Feel free to comment below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Why SLE Lupus Sufferers MUST Start Taking Turmeric

 

Studies PROVE Turmeric Helps Lupus Sufferers

 

 

 

 

Lupus is a chronic disorder affecting as many as 5 million people in the world. It is an autoimmune disease wherein the immune system starts attacking its own tissue as if it were to attack a pathogen.

Lupus is not confined to a particular organ but the whole immune system  is affected which can cause systemic inflammation. That’s why individuals suffering from lupus need to constantly monitor themselves in case of flare up.

Lupus is not contagious. Around 1.5 million Americans are affected with lupus and mostly women of child bearing age.

There are different kinds of lupus, but we are talking about systemic lupus erythematosus or SLE.

 

Other types include:

 

• Discoid lupus- the type of lupus that majorily affects the skin

• Drug induced lupus- certain prescription medications may cause symptoms similar to lupus

• Neonatal lupus- when a mother passes autoantibodies to her child at birth

 

One of the most crucial problems with lupus is autoantibodies. Antibodies are produced by our immune system to attack infective agents primarily but when they are produced to attack our own tissue, due to some errors in immune function, they are known as autoantibodies.

The most common type of autoantibody produced in lupus is antinuclear antibody which attacks the nucleus (a cell organelle that stores genetic information) and destroys the cell. This can affect any organ during flare up.

No exact cause of lupus has been identified but a combination of factors such as genetics, environmental factors and lifestyle factors have been said to trigger lupus symptoms.

 

The common symptoms of lupus include:

• Skin rashes

• Pain, specially in the joints

• Fatigue

• Headache

• Chest pain

• Fever

• Confusion

 

 

 

 

If the inflammation spreads to specific organs then this can lead to complications such as endocarditis, pleuritis, vasculitis, nephritis, (inflammation of heart, lungs, blood vessel and kidney respectively) psychosis, seizures, oral ulcers etc.

Weakened immune function can increase risk of infection.

Treatment generally involves non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, steroids and immunosuppressants. These are directed towards controlling inflammation and maintaining remission.

 

 

Here’s Why SLE Lupus Sufferers MUST Start Taking Turmeric

 

Turmeric Inhibits Activity of Lupus Autoantibodies

 

 

Bright JJ, in his paper ‘Curcumin and autoimmune disease’ comments that curcumin ameliorates conditions like multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, inflammatory bowel disease etc. It does so by regulating the activity of inflammatory agents and pathways activated in immune cells.

In their paper ‘Heat-solubilized curry spice curcumin inhibits antibody-antigen interaction in in vitro studies: a possible therapy to alleviate autoimmune disorders’, Kurien et. al demonstrated that heat solubilised curcumin and turmeric attenuated binding of autoantibodies in serum samples of SLE patients by 52% and 70% respectively.

Similar results were also proven in Sjogren’s syndrome.

In other words this experimental study shows that curcumin inhibits autoantibodies produced in lupus from binding to target cells and these findings, if proven in humans, pretty much solves the issue of ‘there is no cure for lupus.

One interesting point the scientists mentioned that the main issue that hinders us from making the most of curcumin is its bioavailability issue. So what they did here was they boiled both curcumin and turmeric in water for 10 minutes before using it in the study.

Curcumin’s solubility was increased by 12 folds and turmeric’s solubility was increased by 3 fold.

Also this study found that turmeric resulted in better inhibition than purified curcumin and researchers stated that this could be possible because some curcuminoid is lost in purification process.

A  rather intriguing thought – it could also be possible that this could be a result of other compounds present in turmeric apart from curcumin.

Kurien et. al recently published a study in Lupus Science & Medicine, 2015 where they used ultrasoluble curcumin and turmeric in animal model of lupus. Here the solubility of curcumin in water was increased by 35 folds using heat and pressure.

Curcumin reduced lesions, production of autoantibodies, prevented increase in lymphocytes (type of white blood cells), reduced kidney damage and protected salivary glands. Curcumin and turmeric increased the survival rate.

However this study did have some limitations which warrant the need for more research in this direction.

These findings need to be further confirmed in more animal models, but till then these results are enough to bind hope for curcumin’s therapeutic potential in SLE.

 

What does this mean?

 

 

Research shows that curcumin and turmeric inhibits binding of autoantibodies in serum samples obtained from SLE patients. Autoantibodies are the main factors causing damage and attacking organs in SLE and these findings suggest that curcumin may help attenuate severity of SLE.

 

 

 

 

There are plenty of  turmeric curcumin choices available.

I personally use and recommend Schwartz Bioresearch Premium Ultra Pure Turmeric Curcumin.

 

 

 

 

 

Lupus has Immunomodulatory Actions

 

 

One of the major myths that stops people from using turmeric for lupus is that turmeric and curcumin are immune boosters so they should be avoided in lupus..

It is true that turmeric boosts immunity. Thats the main reason why almost every Indian household consumes Turmeric milk or ‘Haldi doodh’. And even research recommends including turmeric as a part of nutrition to help in cancer induced cachexia.

In cancer, immunity is compromised and if turmeric can help with it, that means that turmeric has immune stimulating properties. So people assume that in lupus one already has a hyperactive immune system whose responses are not regulated, so adding turmeric would fuel it even more.

But that’s not what the studies mentioned in Benefit No 1, show right?! So whats the paradox?

Turmeric and curcumin are immunomodulating agents- they regulate immune responses. ‘”Spicing up” of the immune system by curcumin’ co authored by Jagetia GC and Dr. Bharat Aggarwal throws some more light on this point.

Curcumin as an immunomodulatory agent regulates the activity of various immune cells like T cells, B cells, macrophages, neutrophils, natural killer cells, and dendritic cells. It also reduces production of inflammatory cytokines.

Further, they comment that at low doses curcumin can stimulate immune responses and help in fighting infections by producing antibodies. South et. al in 1997 proved that dietary curcumin enhances antibody response in rats.

In case you are already convinced that turmeric will benefit you in lupus and you are wondering whether what dose you should take, then don’t worry the subsequent dosage section towards the end of the article will help you.

Srivastava et.al comment that this immune modulating property has been found to be useful in many inflammatory and metabolic diseases.

A very interesting point they put forth: ‘During inflammation the functional influence of lymphocytes and the related cross-talk can be modulated by curcumin to achieve the desired immune status against diseases.’

Excuse me for the technical jargon, but what they are trying to say here is that curcumin regulates the activity of WBCs and interacting biochemical pathways to achieve the desired immune response in that particular disease and this immune status could be boosting or suppressing.

So you don’t have to worry  about curcumin and turmeric being immune booster; curcumin is a unique pleiotropic molecule- one molecule that interacts with multiple enzymes, pathways and molecular targets.

 

What does this mean?

 

 

Curcumin and turmeric are immunomodulatory agents- they regulate immune responses. Dose dependently they may stimulate immune response as defence against infection and regulate inappropriate immune responses in case of autoimmune diseases such as lupus.  So you can safely say good bye to the myth that turmeric is an immune booster and hence you can not take it to treat lupus or any autoimmune disease for that matter.

 

 

Curcumin Restores Immune Function in SLE  Patients

 

 

A very recent concept that is being researched in the field of SLE is the balance between T helper cell 17 (Th17) and regulatory T cells. I won’t get much into the details but these are type of immune cells and there is an imbalance in their populations in SLE.

If this balance can be achieved, then the body would start regulating immune responses and attenuate autoimmune reactions. Currently there is no drug that can help achieve this.

As I discussed previously, curcumin has immunomodulatory responses: it can stimulate as well as suppress immune function depending on the dose and function.

A study published in Central European Journal Of Immunology, 2015 examined whether this immunomodulatory property of curcumin can actually help in achieving balance in immune cell populations in SLE. And guess what!?

It actually did do that at low doses!

All newly diagnosed SLE patients were included in this study with a disease duration of 8-12 months. Their blood samples were collected and their T cells (type of immune system cells) were collected, cultured and treated with low doses of curcumin.

The same thing was done with blood samples of healthy individuals. It was found that curcumin reduced the numbers of Th17 and increased the levels of Treg cells, thereby helping regulate immune responses.

And curcumin did not reproduce these effects in T cells from healthy individuals. Handono et. al commented that curcumin can be used as a novel therapeutic agent for SLE by alleviating immune response and balancing Th17 and Treg cell population.

Now this is the first study to demonstrate this mechanism of action of curcumin in SLE and there should be more study to identify the details as in the pathway involved.

 

What does this mean?

 

 

Curcumin is proven to balance the population of immune cells in samples taken from SLE patients. Also, these findings suggest that Curcumin can help in regulating immune responses and thereby prevent progression of SLE.

 

 

Turmeric Has Anti-Inflammatory Action

 

 

 

One of the major medicinal properties of turmeric due to which it has received so much attention in terms of research as well as for therapeutic purposes is its anti-inflammatory action.

Inflammation is a result as well as trigger of incorrect immune responses in lupus. Since the immune system can’t differentiate between foreign bodies and host tissue, a number of functions are hampered such as high rate of cell death, reduced clearance of such dead cells from the body etc.

 

 

Accumulation of such damaged cells creates an environment favourable for inflammation and production of autoantibodies.

Curcumin as well as curcumin free turmeric, has anti-inflammatory properties. Unlike regular non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs which inhibit only COX enzyme, curcumin inhibits both COX and LOX, two important enzymes that participate in inflammation.

It also acts on other inflammatory agents like prostaglandins, interleukins etc. and even inhibits activity major molecular targets in inflammation like tumor necrosis factor-alpha and nuclear factor kappa B.

These properties combined with curcumin’s immunomodulatory properties can help control and prevent spread of inflammation to other organs in lupus. An edge curcumin and turmeric have over other NSAIDs is that they do not cause side effects like gastric erosion.

 

What does this mean?

 

 

Turmeric’s anti-inflammatory property can help in controlling as well as preventing spread of inflammation to other organs in lupus.

 

 

Turmeric Protects Skin From Eczema

 

70-80% of the individuals suffering from lupus present with skin lesions or rashes. These can be painful, itchy and photosensitive. Topical immunomodulators or steroids are prescribed to treat such rashes.

Turmeric is traditionally used to treat skin diseases including inflammation and research suggests that curcumin can be a novel treatment in skin disorders. In fact it does remedy eczema and itching.

Curcumin is  identified as a topical immunomodulator.

 

Curcumin is found to be as effective as steroids or immunomodulators in autoimmune skin conditions like psoriasis.

Tacrolimus is a common topical steroid prescribed for lupus and psoriasis; studies show that curcumin may have synergistic action with tacrolimus. More studies should be focused on the aspect of using curcumin and turmeric as topical agents in skin related symptoms of lupus.

 

 

 

What does this mean?

 

 

Curcumin’s anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory and skin protective properties make it a potential therapeutic compound for skin related symptoms of lupus.

 

 

 

Turmeric Helps Arthritis-Like Symptoms

 

 

 

Arthritis in lupus is a very common symptom and can affect any joint including hands, knee, hip and cause pain and disability.

Turmeric is a very popular alternative treatment for arthritis. Apart from its anti-inflammatory and painkilling properties, it has a unique ‘chemopreventive action’ in rheumatoid arthritis.

 

 

The damaged cells in arthritis are resistant to cell death and thereby provoke inflammation.

Curcumin kills such cells and prevents progression of the disease. It also has anti-arthritic properties, prevents bone loss, affects genetic expressions of proteins involved in arthritis and also protects from side effects of medications taken in arthritis.

These properties make turmeric a viable therapeutic aid in attenuating arthritis symptoms in lupus.

 

 

What does this mean?

 

 

Curcumin and turmeric have a number of pharmacological properties that make it a safe anti-arthritic agent.

 

 

 

 

There are plenty of  turmeric curcumin choices available.

I personally use and recommend Schwartz Bioresearch Premium Ultra Pure Turmeric Curcumin.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Turmeric Reduces Pain Better than NSAIDs

 

Curcumin works as a natural painkiller- it attenuates various kinds of pain.  Curcumin’s analgesic or pain killing effect has been proven in experimental model of postoperative pain.

 

2g of Meriva (400 mg curcumin) is found to have analgesic activity comparable to 1g (100 mg) of paracetamol and it has lesser side effects than painkillers like nimesulide and paracetamol.

Curcumin has synergistic activity with painkiller like diclofenac. Curcumin derivatives are found to have better analgesic activity than aspirin.

 

 

 

In treatment of osteoarthritis, curcumin is found to be as effective as the painkiller ibuprofen and also has reduced side effects on stomach.

In fact recent research shows that turmeric could possibly be better than opioid painkillers and protect from their side effects.

 

 

What does this mean? 

Curcumin found in turmeric is proven to have natural pain killing properties and in many studies it has been proven to outperform conventional painkillers. Also it does not cause any side effects such as gastric erosion like NSAIDs.

 

 

 

Turmeric Fights Fatigue

 

 

 

Systemic inflammation, joint pain, blood and bone related abnormalities contribute to negative effects on health in lupus thus paving the way for fatigue and sleep disturbances.

 

 

 

Turmeric’s anti-inflammatory and analgesic action help reduce pain in arthritis. Additionally animal studies show that by virtue of its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activity curcumin reduces chronic fatigue.

Curcumin may even protect from side effects of sleep deprivation and reduce sleep disturbances.

 

What does this mean?

 

In addition to relieving symptoms of lupus, turmeric may also help in alleviating chronic fatigue in lupus.

 

 

Turmeric Alleviates Depression

 

The link between SLE and depression is controversial. Some state that as a result of disease activity as well as treatment outcomes, depression is an outcome of the disease and there is no need for psychiatric help while some state that only treating the disease will not treat depression.

Studies show that curcumin is as good as Prozac when it comes to serving as anti-depressant and many researchers agree that it can be an adjuvant therapy in depression.

Its ability to modulate neurotransmitters as well as its anti-inflammatory action, contribute to its therapeutic action in depression and anxiety.

In the past 2 years, several randomized controlled trials have found support for the efficacy of curcumin in the treatment of Major Depressive Disorder (MDD). Though it is too soon to explicitly recommend it as a treatment for depression, “curcumin does have an effect on several physiological systems that are implicated in the causes of depression,” Roger S. McIntyre, MD, a professor of psychiatry and pharmacology and head of the Mood Disorders Psychopharmacology Unit at the University of Toronto, told Psychiatry Advisor. “It certainly would be a reasonable hypothesis that it could be in possession of antidepressant properties.”

Lupus fog is a term used to describe a state of confusion occurring as a symptom in lupus. If suffering from such symptoms it is best to consult a doctor about it.

 

What does this mean?

 

Curcumin will help regulate immune responses, reduce pain and inflammation in lupus and thereby contribute to better health but interesting enough it can also specifically alleviate depressive symptoms occurring in lupus.

 

 

 

Turmeric Treats Lupus-Related Kidney Damage

 

 

 

Lee et. al demonstrated that curcumin treats lupus nephritis by interacting with T reg cells. In this animal study it was observed that curcumin reduced proteinuria (excess of proteins in urine occurring as a result of damaged kidney function) and reduced inflammation in the kidney.

 

 

A very popular study highlighted when talking about turmeric’s utility in lupus is ‘Oral supplementation of turmeric decreases proteinuria, hematuria, and systolic blood pressure in patients suffering from relapsing or refractory lupus nephritis: a randomized and placebo-controlled study’.

In this study 24 individuals with relapsing or treatment resistant lupus nephritis were enrolled. 12 were treated with 500mg turmeric (22.1mg curcumin) thrice a day while 12 were treated with placebo.

A significant decrease in proteinuria (excess protein in urine) was seen and reduction in blood in urine and systolic blood pressure (minimum blood pressure your heart experiences when filling with blood) was observed.

Researchers stated that short term turmeric supplementation can attenuate symptoms of lupus nephritis and aid as a safe adjuvant therapy.

 

What does this mean? 

 

Whole turmeric powder supplementation can reduce kidney damage in lupus nephritis.

 

 

 

Turmeric Acts at Genetic Levels

 

Lupus could manifest as a result of genetic errors and one such genetic error is DNA methylation. For simplicity sake I would say that DNA methylation is a process that controls gene expression or activates your gene and error in that mechanism results in abnormalities.

Curcumin is found to have the ability to regulate such epigenetic processes. It can regulate the activity of enzymes involved in gene expression.

Though not assessed in relation with lupus, this property of curcumin is found to be beneficial in cancer , neurodegenerative and inflammatory disorders.

 

What does this mean?

 

Further research can throw some light on the ability of curcumin to alter genetic expressions and thus alleviate severity of disease in lupus.

 

 

 

Turmeric Protects from Lupus Medication Side Effects

 

 

 

Curcumin is proven to protect the body from side effects of many drugs.

Cyclophosphamide is a drug prescribed in lupus to reduce activity of immune system. Curcumin can protect from side effects of cyclophosphamide such as damage to reproductive system and urinary system, DNA mutation, lung injury etc.

 

 

 

 

Methotrexate is another immune suppressing drug prescribed in lupus and arthritis.

Research shows that curcumin can protect from side effects of methotrexate that affect heart ,kidney , intestine and liver.

 

 

 

 

 

What does this mean?

 

Curcumin exerts a protective effect on almost all systems in the body and thereby can help reduce the side effects and toxicity posed by medications prescribed in lupus.

 

 

Ideal Turmeric Dosage

 

According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, the following are standard doses for adults:

  • 5—3 g fresh cut root, daily
  • 1—3 g dried powdered root, daily
  • (1:1) 30—90 drops fluid extract, daily
  • (1:2): 15—30 drops, tincture, 4 times, daily

 

 

There are plenty of  turmeric curcumin choices available.

I personally use and recommend Schwartz Bioresearch Premium Ultra Pure Turmeric Curcumin.

  • 100% SATISFACTION GUARANTEE: Feel healthier and stronger or your money back, no questions asked!
  • HIGHEST POTENCY AVAILABLE TURMERIC PILLS ENHANCED WITH BIOPERINE: Schwartz Bioresearch turmeric formula has 1500mg of Turmeric Curcumin with 95% Standardized Curcuminoids (the Highest Potency Available) and 10mg of BioPerine (black pepper, curcumin with black pepper) for enhanced absorption and bio-availability.
  • ALL NATURAL, NON-GMO, FILLERS, BINDERS OR PRESERVATIVES: This professional grade turmeric with bioperine (curcumin with bioperine) is natural turmeric powder and has better absorption than turmeric tea. Our Curcumin is also FREE Of gluten, soy, milk, egg, shellfish, corn, wheat, and peanuts.
  • DOCTOR FORMULATED MADE IN USA TURMERIC CAPSULES:  Schwartz Bioresearch Turmeric Curcumin is formulated by doctors and manufactured in the USA in a FDA-approved facility following strict GMP guidelines. Our turmeric with bioperine is third Party Tested to assure the highest quality and purity of each batch.
  • HIGHEST QUALITY INGREDIENTS: Not only is this tumeric curcumin supplement more potent, it contains a  patented BioPerine (10mg per serving) for increased absorption and bioavailability. Turmeric with black pepper is essential in good curcumin supplements (turmeric supplement).  According to a study, published in Planta Medica, taking turmeric in combination with black pepper, which contains bioperine, improves turmeric absorbability throughout the entire body. They added 20mg of piperine to 2000mg Turmeric, and it increased the bioavailability of Turmeric 154 percent!

 

 

Thoughts, questions, tips?  Feel free to comment below.

 

 

 

 

 

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The Best Way to Rid Excess Ear Wax at Home

The Best Way to Rid Excess Ear Wax at Home

 

 

 

 

Excess ear wax buildup is called cerumen impaction, and may cause one or more of the following symptoms:

 

  • Earache, fullness in the ear, or a sensation the ear is plugged – If you develop earaches regularly or suddenly (with no exposure to pollution, debris, or water), it may be the result of an ear wax ball pressing on the auditory nerve.

 

  • Partial hearing loss, which may be progressive

 

  • Tinnitus, ringing, or noises in the ear – If your ears tend to ring or buzz, it is usually caused by something in your ears. Ear wax build up is the most likely cause – though old age, loud noises, and stiffening of your ear bones can also contribute to the problem.

 

  • Itching, odor, or  dark discharge – If your ear wax is dark-colored,  it’s a good sign the wax is filled with debris, dust, dirt, and microorganisms.  When this happens, your body will often increase ear wax production, increasing your risk of ear wax build up.

 

  • Coughing

 

 

Causes of Excess Ear Wax

 

 

  • Genetics – Some people produce more ear wax than normal. It is simple genetics at play; if you have a family history of excessive ear wax or ear problems, you’re likely to develop similar problems.  Some people just naturally have problems with producing too much ear wax, which increases their chances of an ear wax build up.

 

  • Environment – If there is a lot of dust, debris, pollen, and microorganisms in the air, these particles may get into your ear canal. If this happens, your ear produces more wax–often leading to excessive wax production.

 

  • Habits – If you listen to loud music or use headphones often, more ear wax will be produced in order to protect your ears. The headphones or earphones may also prevent the ear wax from falling out properly.

 

  • Incorrect Ear Cleaning – If you try to remove ear wax build up incorrectly – using a cotton swab, bobby pins, car keys, pens, or other sharp objects – you may scratch the skin. Your ears will produce more ear wax to prevent irritation and infection.  Even if you don’t scratch the skin, you may push the wax further into the ear canal, preventing your ears’ self-cleaning mechanism from getting rid of wax.

 

 

 

Cleaning Out the Excess Wax

 

 

To clean the ears, wash the external ear with a cloth, but do not insert anything into the ear canal.

Most cases of ear wax blockage respond to home treatments used to soften wax. Patients can try placing a few drops of mineral oil, baby oil, glycerin, or commercial drops in the ear. Detergent drops such as hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide (available in most pharmacies) may also aid in the removal of wax.

Irrigation or ear syringing is commonly used for cleaning and can be performed by a physician or by using a high quality home irrigation kit.

Common solutions used for syringing include water and saline, which should be warmed to body temperature to prevent dizziness. Ear syringing is most effective when water, saline, or wax dissolving drops are put in the ear canal 15 to 30 minutes before treatment.

Caution is advised to avoid having your ears irrigated if you have diabetes, a hole in the eardrum (perforation), tube in the eardrum, skin problems such as eczema in the ear canal or a weakened immune system.

Manual removal of earwax is also effective. This is most often performed by an otolaryngologist using suction or special miniature instruments, and a microscope to magnify the ear canal. Manual removal is preferred if your ear canal is narrow, the eardrum has a perforation or tube, other methods have failed, or if you have skin problems affecting the ear canal, diabetes or a weakened immune system.

 

Recommended:  If you are looking for an at-home excess earwax cleaning system, I recommend the Elephant Ear Washer Bottle System by Doctor Easy. I have used this system successfully several times on my daughter, who is prone to recurring wax buildup.

 

 

 

I find the Elephant Ear system is practical and inexpensive;

 

  • you simply fill bottle 1/4 full with hydrogen peroxide, and fill up the rest of the bottle with warm water. 
  • Then you slowly insert the small clear tube until the stopper is flush against the ear.
  • Have the person tilt his/ her head towards the shoulder area and place some type of catch basin under earlobe, as water will be trickling out. Squeeze trigger slowly and adjust as you get the flow of water going. Keep squeezing until the wax begins to come out.
  • I also use 1/2 bottle in one ear and the other half in the opposite ear. At first it may take several times in each ear.

 

It has worked well for us every time.  You can view over 1,600 reviews of this product on Amazon to see how it has worked for others.

 

 

 

About Cotton Swabs

 

 

 

Wax blockage is one of the most common causes of hearing loss. Excess ear wax buildup is often caused by attempts to clean the ear with cotton swabs. Most cleaning attempts merely push the wax deeper into the ear canal, causing a blockage.

 

 

 

The outer ear is the funnel-like part of the ear that can be seen on the side of the head, plus the ear canal (the hole which leads down to the eardrum). The ear canal is shaped somewhat like an hourglass narrowing part way down. The skin of the outer part of the canal has special glands that produce earwax. This wax is supposed to trap dust and dirt particles to keep them from reaching the eardrum. Usually the wax accumulates a bit, dries out, and then comes out of the ear, carrying dirt and dust with it. Or it may slowly migrate to the outside where it can be wiped off.

 

 

 

About Ear Candles

 

 

Ear candles are not a safe option of wax removal as they may result in serious injury.

Since users are instructed to insert the 10- to 15-inch-long, cone-shaped, hollow candles, typically made of wax-impregnated cloth, into the ear canal and light the exposed end, some of the most common injuries are burns, obstruction of the ear canal with wax of the candle, or perforation of the membrane that separates the ear canal and the middle ear.

 

 

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) became concerned about the safety issues with ear candles after receiving reports of patient injury caused by the ear candling procedure. There are no controlled studies or other scientific evidence that support the safety and effectiveness of these devices for any of the purported claims or intended uses as contained in the labeling.

Based on the growing concern associated with the manufacture, marketing, and use of ear candles, the FDA has undertaken several successful regulatory actions, including product seizures and injunctions, since 1996. These actions were based, in part, upon violations of the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act that pose an imminent danger to health.

 

 

 

Should You See Your Doctor?

 

If the home treatments discussed in this leaflet are not satisfactory or if wax has accumulated so much that it blocks the ear canal (and hearing), a physician may prescribe eardrops designed to soften wax, or she may wash or vacuum it out.

Occasionally, an otolaryngologist (ear, nose, and throat specialist) may need to remove the wax under microscopic visualization.

If there is a possibility of a perforation in the eardrum, consult a physician prior to trying any over-the-counter remedies. Putting eardrops or other products in the ear with the presence of an eardrum perforation may cause pain or an infection. Certainly, washing water through such a hole could start an infection.

 

Thoughts, questions, tips?  Feel free to comment below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Best Coccyx Cushion For Tail Bone Pain

The Best Coccyx Cushion For Tail Bone Pain

Tailbone pain, also known as coccydinia, coccyx pain, and coccydynia, may occur due to a number of factors, including childbirth, direct trauma, pressure, tumors, and infection. Trauma and excess pressure are the most likely cause of tailbone pain, and the cause is often related to the inflammation around the joints and ligaments that have been traumatized due to the excessive pressures or impact that have strained them.

 

 

 

Scroll down for my full review of the Coccyx Cushion I recommend.

 

 

 

In most cases, actual fractures to the coccyx bones or tears to the soft tissues are quite rare, and a combination of rest and anti-inflammatory treatments will be sufficient to improve the symptoms of the condition.

 

Typical anti-inflammatory treatments include Cox-2 inhibitors and NSAIDS, and applying cold packs and ice to the painful bottom area.

 

Other treatments for this condition include manual manipulation, injection, ultrasound, stretching, and the avoidance of sitting or other movements that add stress to the area.

 

 

For the longer term management of this condition, patients may need a back product that allow them the ability to sit on various types of seats without putting added pressure on their tailbones.

One of the answers to the problem may be a coccyx cushion.

 

 

 

 

 

A coccyx cushion is a padded seat with an opening along its center or middle that redistributes the force of gravity away from the tailbone

 

 

How to Use a Coccyx Cushion

 

 

 

There are many people who might think that the “U” shaped cut out is supposed to be facing forward. However, that’s not the correct way to position the cushion.

When you place it on a chair or car seat, the “U” shape should be facing the back because that’s where your coccyx will go. Also make sure that the cushion is placed in the center of whatever surface you put it on.

 

 

 

 

The cushion itself adds about 3 inches of extra seating height, so you might want to make sure that you adjust your chair’s height accordingly. Ideally your knees and hips should be at about 90-degree angles while seated.

 

 

 Tip:  Use the Coccyx Cushion EVERYWHERE

 

 

 

Coccyx cushion treatment will be most effective if you can use the cushion in the car, at home, at work and everywhere else you need to sit down.

 

 

 

 

You can purchase several inexpensive cushions or opt for one that can travel with you and be used everywhere.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tip:  Sit in a Chair with a Back

 

 

Use the coccyx cushion in a chair with a back that will give you extra support. The cushion naturally helps improve your posture by slightly elevating your hips, and sitting in a chair with a back will help you sit up straight and eliminate pressure on your spine and pelvis.

When using a cushion on a chair that is a comfortable height for you, your thighs may be slightly higher than usual. To offset this difference, try using a footstool to make sure your lower body is still in a comfortable position. If the chair is adjustable, then you can also adjust the height of the seat to make yourself more comfortable.

 

 

 

 

 

Tip:  Place the Coccyx Cushion Directly on the Seat

 

Do not use a coccyx cushion with other cushions. Adding extra pillows or cushions will cause you to sit unevenly and in turn, distribute your weight and pressure unevenly, which is unhealthy for your back. The placement of the cushion on the seat can either be flat or slightly slopping. This is most people’s preference.

If you are putting the cushion on a very soft seat, like couch or plush chair, put a rigid board under the cushion for support.

 

 

 

Pain Relief Ice Pack with Strap for Hot & Cold Therapy

 

 

Tip:  Add Ice Packs or Hot Packs to Your Coccyx Cushion Therapy for Added Relief

You can add flat ice or hot packs to your coccyx cushions for hot or cold therapy. Wrap the packs in towels and place one on either side of the cut-out area in the cushion.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tip:  Keep Your Coccyx Cushion Clean

 

Try to get a coccyx cushion with a removable cover that can be machine washed, such as the Alyio Cushion. This will help you keep your cushion is clean and sanitary.

 

 

 

Review of  the Aylio Coccyx Orthopedic Seat Cushion

 

 

The first thing you’ll notice about the Aylio Coccyx Orthopedic Comfort Foam seat cushion is the way the cover feels. The texture is similar to that of velour and it actually feels like touching a kitten’s fur.

Unlike most seat cushions, the foam in the Aylio orthopedic seat cushion is removable. The soft cover unzips so that you can remove the foam if you need to wash the cover.

 

 

 

 

 

In terms of design, you’ll notice that the Aylio orthopedic seat cushion has a unique shape – especially in the area where your tailbone will go. There’s a “U” shaped cut out which helps to reduce the pressure on your tailbone when sitting.

 

You’ll also see that there are subtle grooves on each side of the top surface where your thighs will be. This is to ensure that your hips remain in alignment, which helps your posture. The grooves also help to balance out your weight on both sides when you’re sitting at your desk for hours at a time. The idea is that the design helps to minimize any overall pain or numbness, which is great for tailbone pain relief.

 

If you have lower back pain or spinal stenosis, this cushion will definitely help you. It keeps your body aligned without giving you that uneven tilt that some other cushions give you.

 

 

How the Alyio Cushion Feels

 

Once you sit on the Aylio orthopedic seat cushion, you’ll notice that it places your body in an upright position. In fact, if you usually slouch your back when seated, you’ll actually feel weird doing it while using this coccyx orthopedic cushion. So you can’t help but want to sit upright.

The cushion isn’t extremely thick nor does it flatten out when you sit on it. It’s a lot better and more comfortable than using the original donut cushions for sure.

Plus, if you have a tailbone injury, pressure sore or any kind of pain “down there”, the Aylio orthopedic seat cushion prevents you from aggravating it.

 

 

 

Final Thoughts

 

 

Is this the best cushion for tailbone pain relief you’ll ever buy? It would be naive to think so; somewhere a doctor or engineer is working on the next best thing and we have no idea what it is.

However, the Aylio Coccyx Orthopedic Comfort Foam seat cushion fulfills its purpose. It’s comfortable, relieves pressure where it’s supposed to, and its feels like you’re sitting on soft fur.

 

 

Finding an orthopedic seat cushion for tailbone pain shouldn’t be rocket science. I liked the Aylio coccyx cushion because it worked for me. You may like it or you may find something else that works for you and that’s okay; consumers need choices.

But, until the next best thing comes around, I recommend easing your tailbone pain with the soft comfortable surface of Aylio’s Coccyx Orthopedic Comfort Foam Seat Cushion.

 

 

 

So, in my opinion, this orthopedic seat cushion is a go.

You can see over 9,800 customer reviews on Amazon, as well as 370 answered questions.

For further investigaion, you can also compare the Aylio cushion to  numerous other coccyx cushions to see if it’s the best cushion for your particular situation.

Please share your recommendations and experience with treating tail bone pain.

 

 

 

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Planning a Family Meeting to Discuss Caregiving

 

Planning a Family Meeting to Discuss Caregiving

 

 

 

 

When taking care of an elderly parent or another relative, family members need to work cooperatively.

 

The more people participating in care, the less alone a caregiver feels in his/her role. Books and articles about caregiving often mention the family meeting as a way to facilitate this process.

But how does one go about having such a meeting?

Each family is different. In some families, only a husband/wife and their children are considered “family.” In other families, aunts, uncles, cousins, current and ex-in laws and close friends may be included in the definition of family. When planning a family meeting, it is important to include everyone who is or will be part of the caregiving team, and this may include a family friend, neighbor or paid caregiver.

 

 

Who Should Be Included at the Meeting?

 

It is also sometimes helpful to engage the help of an outside facilitator, such as a social worker or minister to help the family communicate about difficult subjects during the meeting. (This is discussed in more detail below.)

A decision must also be made about whether or not to include the ill family member in the meeting. Family members usually do not want to be excluded from family events and their preferences for care must be considered. However, if someone has dementia or another condition where he/she might misunderstand the purpose of the meeting, it might be appropriate to hold at least the first meeting without him/her present. Also, other family members may need to share with each other thoughts or feelings that would be painful for the ill person to hear. Consider holding one meeting to focus on those matters, and holding a second meeting with the ill person present.

Communication is the key to working successfully with a group of people. If it’s difficult for some family members to travel to the location of the meeting, technology can help: a conference call or the use of a speaker phone can make it easier for them to participate. A videotape or an audiotape of the meeting can also be sent out to all family members who are unable to attend. With the use of email, even those who are not nearby can also be kept up to date on how things are going.

 

 

Preparing an Agenda

 

Prior to a meeting, you’ll find it helpful to prepare an agenda. Someone in the family will generally introduce the idea of a meeting and arrange the date and location. That person can also create an agenda for the meeting and send it out to all the family members ahead of time. Family members can then share their ideas and suggest other items to include.

 

An agenda might include topics such as:

 

 

  • The latest report from the physician
  • Sharing of feelings about the illness/caregiving

 

Fears: 

  • About death and dying 
  • About being overwhelmed 
  • About what will happen to family members after the death 

 

 

  • Sadness, confusion, anger, guilt, shame 
  • What does the person who is ill want and need? 

 

 

Daily Caregiving Needs:

 

  • Should the sick person move in with us? 
  • Does she/he need to be in an assisted living facility or nursing home? 
  • How much time does each family member have to visit? 
  • Other ways each person can help? What other help might be available? 

 

 

Financial concerns:

 

  • How much will it cost? 
  • How much work can family members afford to miss? 
  • What financial help might be available from outside? 
  • Who will make decisions (e.g., financial, medical, hiring a caregiver, etc.) and how will they be made? 

 

 

Division of Responsibilities:

 

  • What support role does each person want to play? 
  • What sort of support does the primary caregiver need? 
  • Need for respite (a break from caregiving)
  • Help with meals, shopping, cleaning, laundry, etc. 
  • Emotional support by telephone or email 
  • Help with chores—i.e., taking the care recipient to doctor’s appointments 
  • How will the caregiving and support needs change as the illness progresses? 
  • Problem Solving 
  • List of tasks that need doing 
  • Summary of meeting and schedule for next meeting 
  • Written summary of what each person has agreed to 
  • Email or telephone tree for regular updates

 

It will probably be difficult to cover all these issues in one meeting, so additional meetings will be helpful. Each ensuing meeting should have a clear time table and a definite beginning and ending time. Be sure to stick to the time table; if meetings get to be too long, fatigue sets in, minds will wander, and people may resist coming to future meetings.

 

 

Meeting Location

 

As with all high-level negotiations, deciding where to hold the meeting is as potentially controversial as the meeting itself. Whether you hold it in an office, a restaurant or someone’s home, keep in mind that you want a setting that the majority of the participants will find comfortable and convenient and that presents as few distractions as possible (e.g. noise, small children who need attention, etc.).

 

 

 

Making Sure Everyone is Heard

 

A successful family meeting gives everyone a chance to be heard. All feelings are appropriate and need to be expressed and acknowledged. People will be more willing to talk about their feelings regarding the situation if they feel safe. For example, the brother who is never present may reveal that he is unable to stand seeing someone sick, and the sister who is doing all the work may not realize how she pushes others away when they offer to help. Another sibling may be having marital problems which he or she has not yet shared with the family, and yet another sibling might be worried about losing a job. Each person needs to balance his/her own fears, concern, love and desire to help with available time, strengths, weaknesses and hopes.

 

Until the depth and breadth of the issues concerning the ill family member are explored, it is important to not try to solve the problems. Recording the problems in a list as they are shared, however, will be useful during the problem-solving portion of the meeting.

 

 

It is important for each family member to learn to use “I” messages, as well to say “I need…” rather than “You should…” Even when disagreeing, try to find the part of what is said that you can agree with. The goal of the meeting is to work as a team in caring for the person who is ill, even if there is conflict among family members in other areas.

At the conclusion of the meeting, make sure everyone has a clear understanding of the issues and considerations discussed. When the solutions to issues have been established, make sure that each person understands what he/she has agreed to do.

 

 

Plan for Future Family Meetings

 

The most important thing for family members to remember is that the meeting is not a one-time event. Family meetings need to take place regularly. It is helpful to schedule them at a given time, perhaps at the same time each month. However, if this is not possible, they at least need to take place when the caregiving situation or other situations in family members lives change. Holding regular meetings puts less pressure on family members to get everything resolved in just one meeting, and allows more time for processing of information and decision-making. When a family member is unable to attend a meeting, keep in touch with them by phone, mail or email.

 

 

Keep the Meeting Focused

 

Families come with history: a history of how each person relates to the others, a history of what role each person has played and currently plays within the family, a history of how each person feels toward the person who is sick, and a history of how each person deals with illness and adversity. And in each family there are rules about what can and cannot be said, what emotions are okay and not okay to express. These factors can make family meetings difficult. This is why a third party facilitator can be helpful.

Family members play roles based on position in the family, relationship to the person who is ill, special talents, etc. The person who is the caregiver may be different from the one who handles the money, who may be different from the person who is the information gatherer, who is different from the one who is the decision maker or the one who has some medical background. One person might play several roles. Also, often someone is the “blamer,” and someone else the “blamed.” One person may try to make peace, and another may try to sabotage the process. There will be secrets, old family rivalries, guilt, unequal burdens, differing investments, values and interests. Some will worry about past promises and about someone else not pulling his/her own weight. Everyone will need attention, power, love, control, and appreciation. It can help to acknowledge that there is probably no fair distribution of work and trying to make it even will fail.

A narrow focus for each meeting can help alleviate some of the pitfalls. Still, you will have to deal with some of the difficult issues when they get in the way of cooperation. Remember that you can’t resolve long-standing family issues with one such meeting. The task is not to “fix” the family, but rather to have everyone on the same team, as much as possible, in caring for someone who is ill.

If alcohol will detract from the main focus of the meeting or will lead to conflict, it is better not to offer it. However, each family has different ways of communicating, and in some families a drink may make everyone more comfortable and more able to talk. In any case, over-consumption should be avoided.

 

 

Consensus – Accept Approximations of a Good Solution

 

Not all the issues inherent in caregiving and decision-making can be solved; sometimes it is important to accept approximations of a good solution. Try to work toward consensus building. Change happens slowly, but when families meet regularly, the seeds that are planted can grow into more productive solutions. Often things do not change until there is a crisis, but the work that has been done during the family meeting will make decision-making easier when the crisis does come. Agreements can be made on a time-limited basis to see if the agreed-upon action will work. Future meetings can be used to evaluate these trials and revise them as necessary.

Respecting each person’s individuality and situation helps to create an atmosphere of acceptance and allows for creative solutions to problems. For example, Carol finds it difficult to be around sick people, so when her brother got lung cancer, she knew she couldn’t take care of him. However, she was more than willing to make the pastas of their native Italy and take them to him to comfort him during his illness. Jesse lives a thousand miles away, but can get time off from work to be with her mother while her brother and his family take a vacation. When Ed’s mother had surgery, Ed arranged to take care of his father with Alzheimer’s, while his sister worked full time and helped with the expenses. Gina takes her parents to medical appointments while her sister makes sure they get their medicines properly every night.

 

 

Compromise

 

http://peoplemastery.com/wp-content/uploads/Compromise.jpg

 

In order for these solutions to work, people have to learn to compromise. By being open to alternatives, you might get part—although maybe not all—of what you want or need.

We often hold out for only one solution to a problem, we don’t consider other possibilities that could assist us. Asking for help is one of the hardest things to do. Learning to graciously receive help offered can also be a struggle, not only for the person who is sick, but also for the person who is the primary caregiver. Being appreciative is the best reward you can give someone who is trying to help you, even if the type of help he/she is offering isn’t exactly what you wanted. When you make someone feel good about helping, he/she will want to help again. “Thank you” will take you a long way in working together. In creating the caregiving team, think about how each person should be acknowledged.

 

 

Put it in Writing:

 

 

A written agreement capturing the decisions and agreements made at the end of the meeting can be a helpful reminder for family members. Distributing a calendar with different days marked with responsibilities and commitments can also help each person honor the agreements made. If necessary, consider drafting a memorandum of understanding, and providing each attendee with a copy.

Although family meetings can be powerful and effective ways to connect and work with family members, they cannot magically solve all the problems of caring for an ill family member. When families have trouble working together or coming to agreements or when the family is divided on a big issue, it often helps to invite a neutral outside facilitator to attend. Sometimes a crisis precipitates the need for a meeting—perhaps someone is in the hospital and major life and death decisions need to be made. Time can be of the essence. Whatever work you have done together earlier will help you at these times of extreme stress.

 

 

If Necessary, Consider a Facilitator

 

Social workers from local caregiver organizations (such as Caregiver Resource Centers in California), as well as ministers, private case managers, social workers in home health or hospice, physicians, discharge planners in hospitals and nursing homes can help facilitate a family meeting or refer you to someone who can. Psychotherapists in private practice are trained in family counseling. If you find yourself in a difficult position, you might also want to see a psychotherapist privately. Don’t forget the support you can find with friends, colleagues and support groups. Sharing experiences with other caregivers can help ease the feelings and frustrations often involved in being a caregiver.

 

 

Plan for Future Family Meetings

 

The most important thing for family members to remember is that the meeting is not a one-time event. Family meetings need to take place regularly. It is helpful to schedule them at a given time, perhaps at the same time each month. However, if this is not possible, they at least need to take place when the caregiving situation or other situations in family members lives change. Holding regular meetings puts less pressure on family members to get everything resolved in just one meeting, and allows more time for processing of information and decision-making. When a family member is unable to attend a meeting, keep in touch with them by phone, mail or email.

 

Sources:

Share the Care, Cappy Capossela, Sheila Warnock, Simon and Schuster, 1995.

I’ll Take Care of You, Joseph Ilardo, Carole Rothman, New Harbinger Publications, Inc., 1999.

Taking Care of Aging Family Members, Wendy Lustbader, Nancy Hooyman, The Free Press, 1994.

The Caregiver Helpbook, Vicki Schmall, Marilyn Cleland, Marilynn Sturdevant, Legacy Health System, 2000.

How to Care for Aging Parents, Virginia Morris, Workman Publishing, 1996.

 

 

Recommended Reading:

How to Care for Aging Parents – A One-Stop Resource for All Your Medical, Financial, Housing and Emotional Issues

 

How to Care for Aging Parents, 3rd Edition: A One-Stop Resource for All Your Medical, Financial, Housing, and Emotional Issues by [Morris, Virginia]

 

 

 

Also Very Helpful:

The Caregiver’s Toolbox – Checklists, Forms, Resources, Mobile Apps and Straight Talk to Help You Provide Compassionate Care

 

The Caregiver's Toolbox: Checklists, Forms, Resources, Mobile Apps, and Straight Talk to Help You Provide Compassionate Care by [Hartley, Carolyn P., Wong, Peter]

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks for visiting and reading …

I hope this article provided you some helpful ideas.  I welcome your comments below.

-Laurie

 

 

 

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Keep Your Older Adult Safe This Winter

 

Keep Your Older Adult Safe This Winter

 

 

 

Winter is a special time for celebration. It should also be a time for added caution if you or someone in your family is an older adult. It is the season for falls, slips on icy streets and other dangers that can be especially harmful for older adults.

 

 

“Something as simple as a fall can be devastating for older men and women,” says Dr. Evelyn Granieri, Chief of Geriatric Medicine and Aging at NewYork-Presbyterian/The Allen Hospital and Assistant Professor of Medicine at Columbia University Medical Center. “Before the cold weather arrives, it is important to prepare.”

 

Dr. Granieri addresses some of the most pressing concerns mature adults have about their health and safety during the winter:

 

 

 

 

The Flu

 

 

Influenza is a serious illness that can be fatal in older adults, who often have chronic medical conditions. The vaccine offers some, if not complete, protection against the flu and its consequences and can be administered as early as September. The flu season begins in mid-October and runs through March. 

 

 

 

 

To learn more about the vaccines you need, see the Adult Immunization Vaccine Finder  at vaccines.gov (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services) to receive personalized vaccine recommendations based on your age, health status, location and other factors.You can also review the Adult Immunization Schedule  to see which vaccines you may need.

Don’t forget if you are traveling, you may need additional vaccines. See the travelers’ health page.

Talk to your healthcare professional about making sure you have all the vaccines you need to protect your health.

 

 

 

Hypothermia

 

 

Keep your thermostat set to at least 65 degrees to prevent hypothermia. Hypothermia kills about 600 Americans every year, half of whom are 65 or older, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Also, keeping the temperature at 65 or higher, even when you are not at home, will help prevent pipes from freezing. 

 

 

When you think about being cold, you probably think of shivering. That is one way the body stays warm when it gets cold. But, shivering alone does not mean you have hypothermia.  How do you know if someone has hypothermia? Look for the “umbles”—stumbles, mumbles, fumbles, and grumbles—these show that the cold is a problem.

 

Check for:

  • Confusion or sleepiness
  • Slowed, slurred speech, or shallow breathing
  • Weak pulse
  • Change in behavior or in the way a person looks
  • A lot of shivering or no shivering; stiffness in the arms or legs
  • Poor control over body movements or slow reactions

 

 

Remember that some illnesses may make it harder for your body to stay warm. These include problems with your body’s hormone system such as low thyroid hormone (hypothyroidism), health problems that keep blood from flowing normally (like diabetes), and some skin problems where your body loses more heat than normal.

 

Some health problems may make it hard for you to put on more clothes, use a blanket, or get out of the cold.

 

For example:

  • Severe arthritis, Parkinson’s disease, or other illnesses that make it tough to move around
  • Stroke or other illnesses that can leave you paralyzed and may make clear thinking more difficult
  • Memory loss
  • A fall or other injury

 

 

 

 

Icy Streets

 

 

When the winter air is crisp and the ground is covered with snow, there’s nothing like taking a walk to enjoy the beauty of the season — and walking is one of the best ways to keep fit.

On the other hand, winter can be a challenging time of year to get out and about. Freezing rain, icy surfaces and piles of hard-packed snow pose a hazard for the innocent pedestrian.

 

 

A few simple measures can make it safer to walk outdoors in the winter. Removing snow and ice, putting sand or salt on areas where people walk, and wearing the right footwear all make a big difference.

Just one bad fall on ice can have long-term consequences. These include: chronic pain in the affected area; a disabling injury that may mean loss of independence; or fear of another fall, which discourages a healthy, active lifestyle.

 

 

 

 

 

Here are some practical suggestions for safe winter mobility:

 

 

As winter approaches, outfit yourself for safe walking:

 

Choose a good pair of winter boots. For warmth and stability look for these features: well-insulated, waterproof, thick non-slip tread sole made of natural rubber, wide low heels, light-weight.

 

Ice grippers on footwear can help you walk on hard packed snow and ice. But be careful! Grippers become dangerously slippery and must be removed before walking on smooth surfaces such as stone, tile and ceramic.

 

 

Ultega 3-in-1 Carbon Telescopic Trekking Poles – Adjustable Length

 

Use a cane, or even a pair of walking poles to help with balance. Make sure they’re the right height for you. When your cane is held upside down, the end should be at wrist level.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If using a cane, attach a retractable ice pick to the end. Cane picks will be slippery on hard surfaces so be sure to flip it back as you get indoors.

Cane Ice Tip Attachment -Fits on all canes - For safer walking in ice and snow.
Cane Ice Tip Attachment -Fits on all canes – For safer walking in ice and snow

 

If you need further support, use a walker. The cost might be defrayed by government programs; talk with your doctor.

 

 

 

 

Tytex Safehip Hip Protector

 

 

Wear a hip protector (a lightweight belt or pant with shields to guard the hips). It can help protect the hips against fractures and give added confidence.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nathan Reflective Dots and Dashes

 

 

Help other road users see you by wearing bright colors or adding reflective material to clothing. 

 

These adhesive reflective strips are perfect for affixing to shoes or other clothing items to increase visibility.  They have high intensity reflectivity and a sticker backing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prevent heat loss by wearing a warm hat, scarf, and mittens or gloves.

 

Dressing in layers may also keep you warmer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Safe Paw Ice Melter – Pet and Child Safe

Once the snow and ice arrive, make sure your walking surfaces are safe:

 

Keep entranceways and sidewalks clear of ice and snow. Report hazards on sidewalks or pathways to your landlord or the City.

 

Contact your local home support agency or other community services for help with snow removal, transportation and grocery bus services.

 

 

Carry a small bag of grit, sand or non clumping cat litter in your jacket pocket or handbag, to sprinkle when you are confronted with icy sidewalks, steps, bus stops, etc.

 

Ask a passer-by to help you cross an icy surface.

 

 

 

Walking on Ice

 

 

Facing an icy surface can be a paralyzing experience. Not everyone has grippers and other safety aids. So, what should you do if it’s impossible to avoid an icy patch? Believe it or not, body movements can increase your stability on an icy surface.

Slow down and think about your next move. Keeping your body as loose as possible, spread your feet to more than a foot apart to provide a base of support. This will help stabilize you as you walk.

Keep your knees loose — let them bend a bit. This will keep your center of gravity lower to the ground, which further stabilizes the body.

Now you are ready to take a step. Make the step small, placing your whole foot down at once. Then shift your weight very slowly to this foot and bring your other foot to meet it the same way. Keep a wide base of support.

Some people prefer to drag their feet or shuffle them. If this feels better to you, then do so. Just remember to place your whole foot on the ice at once and keep your base of support approximately one foot wide.

Of course, it’s always better to avoid tricky situations by being prepared and planning a safe route for your walk.

 

 

House Fires

 

Make sure your smoke alarms are working. You should also have working carbon monoxide alarms.

 

 

 

 

 

Falling In The Home

 

Winter means fewer hours of daylight. Older people often need brighter lights in the home. You may also have difficulty adjusting to changes in light, and different levels of lighting may increase the risk of slips and falls. Make sure there are no great lighting contrasts from one room to another. Also, use night lights, especially in the bathroom, and don’t have loose extension cords lying around—tape them to the floor. Make sure rugs are not wrinkled or torn in a way that can trip you as you walk.

 

 

 

 

Strenuous Activities

 

Try to avoid strenuous activities like shoveling snow. You should ask your doctor if this level of activity is advisable. If you must shovel, warm up your body with a few stretching exercises before you begin and be sure to take frequent breaks throughout.

 

 

 

Dehydration

 

Drink at least four or five glasses of fluid every day. This should not change just because it is winter. You may not feel as thirsty as you do in the summer months, but as you get older, your body can dehydrate more quickly, putting you at greater risk for complications from a number of illnesses and also changing how your body responds to some medications.

 

 

U-Lactin Dry Skin Lotion - 16 oz.Winter Itch

 

This usually occurs because of dry skin. Wear more protective creams and lotions to prevent the dry and itchy skin commonly experienced in the colder months when humidity levels are lower. You should apply them after bathing and then daily. 

 

For winter, I like U-Lactin Dry Skin Lotion; its a non greasy, fragrance free lotion, made with 10% urea, a humectant, and 2% lactic acid, an alpha-hydroxy-acid.

 

 

 

Home Emergencies

 

Aid & Prep 250 Piece First Aid Kit

 

For older persons living alone, it is a good idea to have a way to communicate quickly with other persons or medical personnel. If you have a cell phone, keep it handy.

 

Another option is a personal emergency response system—a device worn around the neck or on a bracelet that can summon help if needed. Always have a fully-stocked home emergency First Aid kit on hand, as well.

 

 

 

 

If you are a caregiver, please remember to check on your loved one frequently. Offer to shop for her or him and check on medications when the weather is very cold and snowy. And remind any person who interacts with her/him to get a flu shot.

 

 

 

 

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Boswellia Serrata Eases Osteoarthritis

 

Boswellia Serrata Eases Osteoarthritis

 

 

 

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. It is estimated that 78 million adults above the age of 18 will be affected by arthritis and two thirds of those would be women.

 

 

 

 

Osteoarthritis involves degradation of the cartilage- the tissue that ensures better flexibility of bone joints. This leads to friction and wear and tear of the joints leading to inflammation and pain.

 

 

 

 

Osteoarthritis can affect joints like that of thumbs, fingers, neck, lower back, knee and hips. Treatment involves exercise and pain relief medications such as NSAIDs and opioids.

 

 

 

The current treatment available for arthritis is symptomatic based and designed to control progression of the disease but many individuals do not respond to this treatment.

 

Active research is being conducted to identify more effective treatments and part of this focus is diverted to alternative medicine.

 

 

 

 

 

Boswellia serrata is a tree that grows in dry mountainous regions of India, North Africa and Middle East and it is commonly known as Indian Frankincense. There as many as 25 species belonging to the Genus Boswellia.

 

 

 

 

Three other popular forms of boswellia include: boswellia carteri, boswellia frereana and boswellia sacra. The resin obtained from Bosweliia frereana is the most expensive brand available in the market.

Salai or oleo-gum resin is obtained from the bark of Boswellia tree which is solidified and chopped to form small pieces with aromatic scent.

Prior to being used for medicinal purposes, Boswellia serrata was used as incense, fumigant and for other aromatic purposes. Even today incense sticks and powder are prepared from it.

The resin is graded based on color, shape, flavour and size. The gum resin contains 30-60% resin, 5-10% essential oils and the rest are polysaccharides. The essential oils impart the fragrance and these are also extracted for commercial purposes.

 

The resinous part contains monoterpenes, diterpenes, triterpenes, pentacyclic triterpenic acids (boswellic acids) and tetracyclic triterpenic acids. These are the compounds that contribute to Boswellia serrata’s medicinal value.

Traditionally Boswellia serrata is used to treat diarrhea, dysentery, ringworm, boils, fevers (antipyretic), skin and blood diseases, cardiovascular diseases, mouth sores, bad throat, bronchitis, asthma, cough, vaginal discharges, hair-loss, jaundice, hemorrhoids, syphilitic diseases, irregular menses and stimulation of liver.

 

Current research proves that Boswellia serrata possesses pharmacological properties like anti-arthritic, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, hepatoprotective etc and this could offer relief in osteoarthritis.

 

 

Boswellia Serrata Arthritis Research

 

 

Study:  Boswellia Serrata Reduces Osteoarthritis Symptoms in 7 Days

 

Kimmatkar et. al have the studied the effect of standardized extract of boswellia serrata on knee osteoarthritis in 2003. The preparation contained 65% organic acids and 40% Boswellic acid (trade name WokVel).

The study lasted for 8 weeks and dose was 333mg thrice a day.

 

A decrease in knee pain, increased knee flexibility, increased walking distance and ability to climb stairs was reported but the symptoms returned on cessation of the treatment.

 

A clinical trial was conducted to assess the efficacy of 5-Loxin in knee osteoarthritis. This was published in 2008. 5-Loxin is a specialized extract of Boswellia serrata which contains 30% AKBA and inhibits the activity of 5-lipooxygenase enzyme to curb inflammation.

75 patients participated in the study and received 100 or 250 mg of 5-Loxin for 3 months. 250mg dosage was more effective than 100mg, improvement in pain score and joint function was seen as early as 7 days with 250mg dose.

Additionally a reduction in enzyme MMP-3 in the fluid lubricating the joints was observed. This enzyme is responsible for cartilage degradation. Overall 5-Loxin reduces inflammation, relieves pain, improves joint function and reduces bone degradation in osteoarthritis with effects visible within 7 days.

Aflapin is another formulation of Boswellia serrata. It is a novel synergestic compound obtained from resin of Boswellia serrata (enriched with AKBA and non volatile oil).

The bioavailability of AKBA- a strong boswellic acid is better in Aflapin than 5-Loxin. Bioavailabilty is absorption and distribution of a compound in the body.

Additionally it has better anti-inflammatory action than 5-Loxin. In a study (year 2011) comparing the effects of the two formulation on knee osteoarthritis improvement in pain score and joint function was seen as early as 7 days with 100mg Aflapin.

Both formulations were safe and effective for osteoarthritis but Aflapin was found more effective than 5-Loxin.

Vishal et. al report that 100mg Aflapin reduces pain and improves joint function in osteoarthritis as early as 5 days.

A dose of 6g per day in combination with topical application was found to reduce the symptoms in the course of 2 months.

 

 

Superior Labs Boswellia Extract

 

What does this mean?
Bioavailable forms of Boswellia serrata extracts – Aflapin and 5-Loxin ease  osteoarthritis symptoms as early as 7 days. Research suggests that Aflapin is faster acting than 5-Loxin. Topical application of Boswellia also hastens improvement.

 

Boswellia Serrata is widely available; a great example is the formulation from Superior Labs. It is 100% natural (not synthetic), made to the highest standards in the USA, and  designed to be fully bioavailable.  It is also a good value, and is highly rated by consumers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Studies Show Boswellia Serrata is an Anti-Inflammatory Agent

 

M.Z. Siddiqui in his paper ‘Boswellia Serrata, A Potential Anti-inflammatory Agent: An Overview’ speaks about how this herb exerts its anti-inflammatory property in a unique manner compared to other herbs and medicines.

Boswellic acids present in the resinous part are the compounds are responsible for its anti-inflammatory action. Most herbs and anti-inflammatory drugs reduced inflammation by inhibiting the activity of enzyme COX.

Boswellic acids, on the other hand, inhibit formation of leukotrienes (pro-inflammatory agent) by inhibiting the action of inflammatory enzyme LOX. It also inhibits the activity of enzyme human leukocyte elastase which triggers inflammation by damaging tissues.

This dual action is unique to boswellic acids. The most potent inhibitor of LOX among the boswellic acids is AKBA or 3-acetyl-11-keto-β-boswellic acid.

 

In an animal model, boswellic acids have demonstrated 45-67% anti-arthritic activity due to its anti-inflammatory action. In another experimental model of anti-inflammatory activity boswellic acids showed 35% inhibition of inflammation and its mechanism of action was unlike aspirin or steroids.

 

Boswellia serrata extract is found to inhibit the activity of inflammatory cells. It also regulates immune responses in order to reduce inflammation.

Incensole acetate, a novel anti-inflammatory compound present in the resin inhibits the activity of main protein controlling inflammation-nuclear factor kappa B.

Inhibition of other enzymes have also been reported which contribute to its anti-inflammatory effect and research suggests that boswellia serrata could be an alternative to NSAIDs (non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs).

 

Results of a clinical trial indicate that Boswellia extract is more effective than valdecoxib (anti-inflammatory drug that inhibits COX enzyme) in knee osteoarthritis. Boswellia is slow acting but its therapeutic effects are persistent even after stopping the therapy unlike valdecoxib.

 

 

What does this mean?
Boswellia Serrata has a unique way of reducing inflammation. It inhibits the activity of LOX enzyme which is involved in inflammation unlike other agents which act on COX enzyme (inflammatory enzyme).

 Research shows that its anti-inflammatory effect is more persistent than that of a conventional medicine that inhibits COX enzyme. 

I recommend the Life Labs pure, non-synthetic formulation of Boswellia Serrata.

 

 

 

Boswellia Serrata Reduces Pain Fast

 

FlexiQule ( a standardized Boswellia extract) in combination with standard treatment in symptomatic knee osteoarthritis is found to reduce pain and stiffness within 4 weeks.

 

Belcaro et. al studied the therapeutic efficacy of FlexiQule in hand ‘stress’ arthritis. Within 2 weeks of supplementation there was a marked reduction in pain.

 

No patient that received Boswellia supplement needed to take medications while the control group had to consume NSAIDs and steroids to reduce pain.

Indian researchers have studied the analgesic or pain relieving property of Shallaki, a standardized extract of Boswellia in humans. 250mg of Shallaki is found to reduce pain and increase pain bearing threshold in mechanical pain model in humans.

 

 

What does this mean?
Boswellia serrata has fast acting pain relieving property that can benefit in osteoarthritis.

I recommend the Life Labs pure, non-synthetic formulation of Boswellia Serrata.


 

 

 

 

Boswellia Serrata Prevents Deterioration of Bone Tissue

 

Sumantran et. al describe the effect of a herbal formulation containing Boswellia serrata on cartilage of knee osteoarthritis patients. This formulation demonstrated anti-inflammatory effect and protected cartilage from degradation.

Boswellia serrata present in this formulation is said to be responsible for this chondroprotective( protecting bone tissue) and anti-inflammatory effect.

Both Aflapin and 5-Loxin have bone protective properties ; but the inhibitory potential of Aflapin against MMP-3 (enzyme that degrades cartilage) is 14.83% better than 5-Loxin.

A herbal formulation containing Boswellia serrata and leucine (amino acid that build protein) is found to have chondroprotective action. It not only protects bone tissue but also aid in repair and regeneration.

 

 

What does this mean?
Apart from controlling inflammation, Boswellia serrata has chondroprotective property- it protects bone and cartilage from degrading which is the major feature of osteoarthritis. 

I recommend the Life Labs pure, non-synthetic formulation of Boswellia Serrata.

 

 

 

 

Topical Application of Boswellia Serrata Benefits Arthritis

 

Singh et. al have reported that Boswellia serrata exerts anti-inflammatory effect even via topical application. It aids in reducing swelling and arthritis in animal model.

Another animal study reports that topical treatment results in 2-6 folds higher concentration of boswellic acids in synovial fluid- fluid that lubricates joint and ensures smooth joint function.

Additionally topical treatment also protects cartilage and bone tissue.

 

 

Frankincense Oil Premium Therapeutic Grade 4 Ounce Essential Oil For Aromatherapy With Free Dropper and Ebook
Invivo Essential Premium Therapeutic Grade Boswellia Serrata Oil With Free Dropper and Ebook

What does this mean?
Topical application of Boswellia serrata also helps in controlling inflammation and protecting bone tissue from damage.  For topical application, try Invivo Essential Therapeutic Grade  Boswellia Serrata oil.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Boswellia Serrata  Works in Combination with Other Herbs and Medicines to Treat Osteoarthritis

 

 

Schwartz Bioresearch Turmeric Curcumin

Combining turmeric and boswellia serrata  is found to be more effective than 100mg celecoxib twice a day in osteoarthritis. Celecoxib is a medicine prescribed in treating arthritis and it inhibits the activity of inflammatory enzyme-COX. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Boswellia serrata in combination with ginger and other herbs shows potential anti-arthritic and bone protective properties.

Herbal formulations of Boswellia serrata are prepared in combination with other anti-arthritic herbs such as turmeric, ginger, ashwagandha, tinospora cordifolia etc.

A 6 month study involving 440 osteoarthritis patients demonstrated that an Ayurvedic formulation containing Boswellia serrata showed therapeutic efficacy equivalent to glucosamine and celecoxib.

Celecoxib are anti-inflammatory medicine and dietary supplement respectively used in arthritis treatment.

Boswellic acids may show synergistic activity with glucosamine in arthritis. Combination of methysulfonylmethane and boswellic acids is as effective as glucosamine in treating arthritis.

Diarecin is a slow acting drug of class anthroquinone used to treat osteoarthritis. Boswellic acids boost the anti-arthritic effect of diarecin.

 

 

 

What does this mean?
Boswellia serrata extracts are better than celecoxib (anti-arthritic drug) in treating osteoarthritis. Boswellia has therapeutic efficacy equivalent to that of glucosamine and works synergistically with it. 

 

 

I recommend the Life Labs pure, non-synthetic formulation of Boswellia Serrata.

 

 

 

Dosage

 

Boswellia serrata can be taken as capsule, tablet or bark decoction. If using the resin directly the daily dose is in the range of 2400-2600mg in divided doses.

In case of supplements you have to look for high quality encapsulated powder and check if its a standardized extract and the % of boswellic acids. % of boswellic acids is in the range of 35-65%.

Boswellia serrata is available under various brand names such as Boswellin, Shalaki, 5-Loxin, Aflapin, AprèsFLEX etc. and they have high concentrations of active ingredients. The dosage is somewhere around 100-250 mg daily.

Essential oils of Boswellia are available that can be taken internally or applied topically when mixed with a carrier oil. Conduct a patch test prior.

Cream based formulations of boswellia serrata are also available which can be applied topically for relief.

 

 

Precautions

 

No significant side effects with Boswellia serrata have been reported. Slight gastric discomfort is possible initially.

Boswellia serrata should not be consumed during pregnancy or lactation since it can lead to birth related problems or cause abortion.

It may have drug interactions with non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Its best to consult to a doctor or herbalist before taking boswellia serrata. Boswellic acids have anti-coagulant property; caution to be exercised if already on blood thinners.

 

 

 

Superior Labs Boswellia Extract

Conclusion

 

The active ingredients of Boswellia serrata have unique anti-inflammatory action. Also the herb protects bone tissue making it even more effective in osteoarthritis.

There is compelling evidence in case of Boswellia serrata’s utility in osteoarthritis and it is definitely one herbal supplement that must be considered as part of treatment in arthritis.

While Boswellia Serrata is widely available; I recommend the formulation from Superior Labs because it is 100% natural (not synthetic), made to the highest standards in the USA, and  designed to be fully bioavailable.  It is also a good value, and is highly rated by consumers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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