Health and Disease, Uncategorized

Do You Have Ringing In Your Ears?

Tinnitus, or chronic ringing in your ears, affects about 1 in 5 people. While it’s typically not serious, it can significantly impact your quality of life, and it may get worse with age or be a symptom of an underlying condition, such as age-related hearing loss, ear injury or a circulatory system disorder.1

In the majority of cases, tinnitus is diagnosed after the age of 50 years, however, recent research has shown that tinnitus in youth is surprisingly common and on the rise, likely due to increased exposure to loud music and other environmental noise.2

Worse still, it may be a sign of permanent nerve damage that could predict future hearing impairment.

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One-Quarter of Youth May Experience Tinnitus, Risk Hearing Loss Later in Life

In a study of 170 students between the ages of 11 and 17 years, researchers from McMaster University in Canada found “risky listening habits,” including exposure to loud noise at parties or concerts, listening to music with ear buds and use of mobile phones excluding texting, were the norm.

More than half of the study participants reported experiencing tinnitus in the past, such as experiencing ringing in the ears for a day following a loud concert.

This is considered a warning sign; however, nearly 29 percent of the students were found to have already developed chronic tinnitus, as evidenced by a psychoacoustic examination conducted in a sound booth.3

Youth with and without tinnitus had a similar ability to hear, but those with tinnitus had significantly reduced tolerance for loud noise and tended to be more protective of their hearing.

Reduced sound level tolerance is a sign of damage to the auditory nerves because, when nerves used to process sound are damaged, it prompts brain cells to increase their sensitivity to noise, essentially making sounds seem louder than they are.

Prevention Is the Best Solution to Tinnitus

Auditory nerve injury that’s associated with tinnitus and heightened sensitivity to loud noises cannot be detected by typical hearing tests, which is why it’s sometimes called “hidden hearing loss.” Further, such damage is permanent and tends to worsen over time, causing increasing hearing loss later in life.

Because there is no known cure, the best solution is prevention. Study author Larry Roberts, Ph.D., of McMaster University’s Department of Psychology, Neuroscience and Behaviour has compared the emerging risks from loud noises to early warnings about smoking.

At this point, many people are unaware that listening to loud music via earbuds or at parties may be permanently damaging their hearing, particularly since they may still hear normally at this point in time.

If more people were aware of the risks, more would take steps to turn down the volume and give their ears a break. Roberts told Science Daily:4

“It’s a growing problem and I think it’s going to get worse … My personal view is that there is a major public health challenge coming down the road in terms of difficulties with hearing …

The levels of sound exposure that are quite commonplace in our environment, particularly among youth, appear to be sufficient to produce hidden cochlear injuries … The message is, ‘Protect your ears.'”


Tinnitus Is Associated With Psychiatric Disorders and Stress

In adults, the majority of people with tinnitus (77 percent) may suffer from co-existing psychiatric disorders ranging from anxiety to personality disorders. Further, 62 percent of tinnitus patients may suffer from depressive disorders while 45 percent may have anxiety disorders.5

Further, there appears to be a close link between tinnitus and stress, such that stress may make tinnitus worse and vice versa. In one study, emotional exhaustion — or the feeling of being drained due to chronic stress — was a strong predictor of tinnitus severity.6

In addition, chronic stress may be as large a risk factor for developing tinnitus as exposure to occupational noise. Research has found that exposure to highly stressful situations and occupational noise each double the risk of tinnitus.7

Further, stress is especially influential in the transition from mild to severe tinnitus, with researchers concluding, “Stress management strategies should be included in hearing conservation programs, especially for individuals with mild tinnitus who report a high stress load.”8

Also of note, many people with tinnitus first noticed the ringing in their ears during a stressful life event, such as divorce, being laid off, sickness in family members, accidents or surgery. As noted in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry (JNNP):9

These events can heighten the brain’s arousal, and the tinnitus may be noted cortically [by the cerebral cortex]. This interaction between reduced auditory sensation and brain compensation might explain why some people are very bothered by their tinnitus and others just adjust to it.”

The researchers have suggested that tinnitus is not simply a condition affecting the auditory system but rather is neuropsychiatric in nature, which would explain why it often occurs alongside cognitive and behavioral symptoms.

Other Tinnitus Associations to Be Aware Of: Sleep, Trauma, Headaches and More

Tinnitus is often described as a symptom, not a disease in itself, and it may result from a variety of conditions. Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is one common cause, with nearly 40 percent of military personnel with TBI also experiencing tinnitus.10

Tinnitus is also associated with pain disorders and headaches, including migraines, and often leads to sleep difficulties such as delayed sleep, mid-sleep awakenings and chronic fatigue. In addition, tinnitus is also associated with cognitive deficits, including slowed cognitive processing speed and problems with attention.11

There are different types of tinnitus as well, and the variety may give clues as to its origin. For instance, tinnitus may occur in one or both ears and be described as:12

  • Throbbing or pulsing, which may be due to vascular tumors near the ear
  • High-pitched and continuous (this is most common)
  • Clicking, which may be related to muscle spasms in the roof of your mouth, which cause the Eustachian tube in your ear to open and close; temporomandibular joint (TMJ) issues may also cause a clicking sound in your ear
  • Buzzing or humming

Abnormal bone growth in the middle ear, known as otosclerosis, may also cause tinnitus, as can damage to your vestibulocochlear nerve, which transmits sound from your ear to your brain. Such damage may occur from acoustic neuroma tumor or drug toxicity, for instance.

Additionally, certain medications, including certain cancer drugs, sedatives, and anti-inflammatories like ibuprophen and aspirin may also trigger tinnitus.

If this condition is causing you serious emotional or physical distress, seek professional help. In many cases, however, natural interventions such as those described below may help.

Effective Tinnitus Treatments

A slew of pharmaceuticals, including antidepressants, anxiety drugs, mood stabilizers and anticonvulsants, have been used to treat tinnitus.  A meta-analysis of a range of tinnitus management strategies revealed only antidepressants had a possible benefit, but even that study could not conclude that antidepressants were the answer.13

Considering their risks, and the fact that some antidepressants may cause ringing in the ears, non-drug options present the best course of action — and of these there are many.14

In many cases natural interventions, including the following, may help:

Cognitive behavioral therapy: which has been shown to improve quality of life in people with tinnitus.15 Even internet-based guided CBT has been shown to effectively manage tinnitus.16

Acupuncture: which was found to improve tinnitus severity and patients’ quality of life.17

Nutritional interventions, herbal remedies and melatonin: specifically, zinc deficiency and vitamin B12 deficiency may be associated with tinnitus.18,19 Herbal remedies, including Japanese cornel, dogwood, bayberry, hawthorn leaf, ginkgo and black cohosh may also be useful.20

In animal studies, ginkgo extract led to significant improvement in tinnitus, including complete relief in some cases.21 Melatonin also shows promise, and in one study melatonin supplementation led to a significant decrease in tinnitus intensity and improved sleep quality in patients with chronic tinnitus.22

Organic black coffee: research has shown that women who consumed higher amounts of caffeine (mostly in the form of coffee) were less likely to have tinnitus.23

Specifically, women who consumed less than 150 milligrams of caffeine a day (the amount in about 12 ounces of coffee) were 15 percent more likely to develop tinnitus than those who consumed 450 milligrams to 599 milligrams.24 The researchers weren’t sure why caffeine may reduce tinnitus risk, although past research has shown it has a direct effect on the inner ear or may be involved through its role in stimulating your central nervous system.

Stress management: including exercise, relaxation exercises and the Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), is important for tinnitus treatment and prevention.

Simple Home Remedies May Provide Relief

If tinnitus is interfering with your quality of life, home remedies may help to relieve your symptoms (and if not, there’s no harm done in trying). Organic Facts compiled several examples worth considering:25

Warm salt pillow: fill a fabric bag with warm salt. Lie down on the pillow and alternate each ear on the bag. Reheat the salt as necessary and repeat several times a day. Foot baths: alternate your feet in hot and cold foot baths. This may dilate your blood vessels and stimulate blood flow toward your head, helping to relieve tinnitus symptoms.
Garlic oil: blend six cloves of fresh garlic with 1 cup of olive oil (the garlic should be finely minced in the process). Let the mixture steep for a week then strain out the garlic. Apply a few drops of the oil in each ear. Music: soft soothing music, white noise, nature sounds or even humming to yourself may help relieve tinnitus.
Stimulate your little toe: use a toothpick to gently stimulate the edge of your little toe near the toenail. This should result in a tingling sensation near the top of your toe. Doing this once a day may relieve tinnitus symptoms. Ear drumming: gently drum on each ear using your fingertips for two to three minutes twice a day to help relieve ringing.
Jawbone massage: massage the hollow and top areas of your jawbone behind your earlobes using coconut oil or sesame oil. You can also apply a hot compress to this neck area for relief.

How to Protect Your Ears From Loud Noise Exposures

While there are many causes of tinnitus, loud noise exposure is a primary culprit, especially among youth. It’s far easier to prevent related damage to your ears than it is to treat it. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends teens and young people take the following steps to protect their hearing and avoid hearing loss (although the advice applies to people of all ages):

Turn down the volume on personal audio devices Try a decibel meter app for your smartphone, which will flash a warning if the volume is turned up to a potentially damaging level Wear earplugs when you visit noisy venues (or when using loud equipment like lawnmowers or leaf blowers)
Use carefully fitted noise-cancelling earphones/headphones, which may allow you to listen comfortably at a lower volume Limit the amount of time you spend engaged in noisy activities Take regular listening breaks when using personal audio devices
Restrict the daily use of personal audio devices to less than one hour

J Mercola

P Carrothers

 

-People Start to Heal The Moment They Are Heard-

Health and Wellness Associates
EHS Telehealth

WordPress:  https://healthandwellnessassociates.co/

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Diets and Weight Loss, Uncategorized

Frozen Strawberry Yogurt Drops

Frozen Strawberry Yogurt Drops

yougurtstrawberries

 

Frozen Strawberry Yogurt Drops
Don’t these look so good ? You can make them by dipping strawberries (halved or whole) in vanilla yogurt (Greek might be best, because it’s thicker), then putting on a sheet pan lined with parchment or wax paper and freezing. Voila: Yogurt-covered strawberries!
You can also put strawberries in an ice cube tray and add yogurt.

-People Start to Heal The Moment They Are Heard-

Health and Wellness Associates
EHS Telehealth

WordPress:  https://healthandwellnessassociates.co/

Health and Disease, Uncategorized

Restless Legs Syndrome

What is Restless Legs Syndrome?

An Absolute Cure for Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS)

 

Have you ever seen someone who was sitting on a sofa, or laying down in bed and they can not stop moving their foot and let back and forth?

Restless legs syndrome (RLS), sometimes called restless leg syndrome,1 is a neurological disorder that can be characterized by an uncontrollable urge to move your legs. Crawling or tingling sensations are felt, often at night.

Also known as the Willis-Ekbom disease,2 it affects about 7.2 to 11.5 percent of the general population3— mostly women and people 45 years old and below, although it can occur to anyone at any age. Pregnant women are also said to be prone to this condition, according to an American Academy of Neurology study.4

The irresistible urge to move affects an individual’s quality of rest or sleep, resulting in excessive daytime sleepiness,5 reduced total sleep time, longer sleep latency and more frequent insomnia.6

What Causes Restless Legs Syndrome?

The cause of restless legs syndrome remains a mystery, as researchers are yet to determine its single unifying cause. But what they know is that it is often hereditary, which is referred to as primary or familial RLS.7

Restless legs syndrome is likely to develop if you are taking certain medications or if you are suffering from a disease.8 In some cases, underlying health conditions such as iron deficiency anemia or kidney failure may also cause secondary restless legs syndrome or uremic RLS.9 Other conditions linked to RLS are peripheral neuropathy, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), low iron (ferritin) levels and end-stage renal disease with dialysis.10

Other potential triggers of restless legs syndrome include:11,12

  • Medicines (anti-nausea, antidepressants, antipsychotics, antihistamines and calcium channel blockers)
  • Lack and defective use of iron
  • Increasing age
  • Frequent blood donations

Restless Legs Syndrome Symptoms to Watch Out For

The name of this condition implies its distinct symptom: the urge to move the legs. Other restless legs syndrome symptoms associated with movement include walking, jiggling of legs, tossing and turning, and stretching.13 People with RLS feel sensations of throbbing, pulling, itching or crawling in their legs. These symptoms may occur either on one side of the body, on both or alternately.14

This syndrome is also associated with insomnia, decreased quality of life, and increased morbidity and mortality in end-stage renal disease.15 According to the Restless Legs Syndrome Foundation, these are the five essential features of RLS:16

  • A strong urge to move your legs, which is caused by tingling sensations
  • Worsening of symptoms when resting or inactive
  • Fewer symptoms when moving or doing physical activities
  • Symptoms are only felt at night or worsen in the evening
  • Sleep disturbances that include failure to stay asleep and periodic limb movements (PLMs)

Most people who have restless legs syndrome also experience periodic limb movement disorder (PLMD), which can be identified by involuntary leg twitching or jerking movements during sleep. These usually occur every 10 to 60 seconds and may cause interrupted sleep.17

These symptoms may vary from one person to another — some may experience RLS once or twice a week, while for severe cases, it may occur more often.18 According to the National Health Service UK, although this condition is not life-threatening, its symptoms may worsen if the underlying cause isn’t identified and addressed.19

 

Restless Legs Syndrome in Children

Because they may not always be able to explain how they feel, diagnosing restless legs syndrome in children can be difficult. If they can’t describe it, a factor that may help determine childhood RLS is having a biological parent or sibling with RLS,20 in addition to the five essential features of RLS as mentioned above.

One of the common effects of RLS in children is sleep disturbance, as found by a 2007 study.21Periodic limb movement disorder is also likely to happen in children with restless legs syndrome.22

 

Be Cautious if You Experience Restless Legs Syndrome During Pregnancy

Restless legs syndrome during pregnancy is usually temporary, but it is considered a risk factor in developing chronic idiopathic restless legs syndrome.23 According to NHS, 1 in 5 pregnant women may experience the symptoms of RLS in their third trimester, but the condition wanes after they give birth.24 Aside from the symptoms mentioned, pregnant women with transient RLS exhibit lower hemoglobin levels and mean corpuscular volumes (smaller blood cells25).26

 

How to Get Rid of Restless Legs Syndrome: Treatment Options You Can Consider

One of the easiest ways to get rid of restless legs syndrome is through exercise, which was found to be effective in minimizing its symptoms.27 One study found that aerobic exercises may help alleviate RLS symptoms in people undergoing chronic hemodialysis,28 while yoga was found to help reduce stress and improve the mood and sleep quality of women with restless legs syndrome.29

Here are some lifestyle changes that you can follow to reduce the symptoms of restless legs syndrome:30,3132,33,34,35

  • Create and implement a sleeping schedule — Listen to your body so you would know when to schedule your best sleeping time — possibly when the symptoms are least pronounced. You may also check this article, “Military Method for Falling Asleep in Two Minutes, ” to learn how to fall asleep faster.
  • Balance exercises for older adults- Tight rope walk, flamingo stand, rock the boatDo moderate-intensity aerobic and leg-stretching exercises — Since inactivity may prompt the sensations caused by RLS, doing exercises such as hip rotation, hamstring stretch, straight leg stretch and knee-to-chest stretch may help alleviate the uneasy feeling.36 As found by a 2008 study, aerobic exercises may also help boost the functional ability, sleep quality and exercise capacity of people with RLS and on hemodialysis.37
  • Find an activity to distract your mind from RLS — To lessen the discomfort caused by the tingling sensations, keep yourself busy with activities such as solving puzzles, playing board games or doing needlework.
  • Exercises for Restless Leg Syndrome - Sit and Be Fit
  • Squeeze in quick leg exercises during breaks — If you’re working in an office, take a five-minute walk or do stretches at least every hour.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Additionally, here are some restless legs syndrome medications or approaches that were found to help ease its symptoms:

  • Rotigotine transdermal patch — In a 2010 study, rotigotine transdermal patches were found to help lessen the symptoms of RLS38 because of their dopamine agonist content, which are needed by the brain for movement control.39
  • Intravenous (IV) iron — The symptoms of RLS usually occur at night because this is when iron and dopamine levels dip.40 IV iron may help alleviate this,41 but remember to consult a health care professional first for proper dosing and to avoid the risk of Alzheimer’s disease due to a high iron level.42
  • Pneumatic compression devices (PCDs) — One study43 found that PCDs, which inflate to supply high pressure around the foot and calf, and then deflate, may help minimize RLS symptoms as they help increase blood flow.44

Before trying any of these, remember to seek your health care provider’s recommendations because some medications, such as opioids and benzodiazepines, may actually have more severe effects to your health.

How to Stop Restless Legs Syndrome Immediately

One of the easiest ways to stop restless legs syndrome immediately is by moving your legs. Constant movements such as walking back and forth, swaying your legs while sitting, and tossing and turning in bed may help minimize the sensations.46 Here are other ways on how to stop restless legs syndrome47,48

  • Place a cold or warm compress on your legs so you can be distracted from the tingling or crawling feeling
  • Take a walk to the bathroom, or simply get out of the bed
  • Gently massage your legs

 

Foods to Limit on a Restless Legs Syndrome Diet

While it may offer certain cognitive benefits53 to some people, caffeine, which stimulates the nervous system, may cause insomnia, anxiety and even depression among sensitive individuals. It was also found to be one of the major causes of restless legs syndrome.54 If you suffer from RLS, it’s best to limit your intake or completely avoid drinks and foods with caffeine such as tea, soft drinks and coffee.

Sugar intake must also be regulated to lessen the sensations felt at night,55 especially if the underlying cause of RLS is nerve damage induced by diabetes.56

 

Are There Supplements for Restless Legs Syndrome?

Aside from the remedies and lifestyle changes mentioned, some studies found that supplemental vitamin D,57 and magnesium in form of oral therapy58 and intravenous magnesium sulfate (for pregnant women)59 may be beneficial in minimizing the symptoms of RLS.

However, I recommend seeking your health care provider’s advice before considering supplementation. They may suggest certain supplements, especially if the underlying cause of your restless legs syndrome is vitamin deficiency.60

 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Restless Legs Syndrome

Q: What triggers restless legs syndrome?

A: Restless legs syndrome may be triggered by the following factors: medicine, nerve damage, lack of iron or defective use of iron, kidney failure, increasing age, pregnancy and frequent blood donations.

Q: Can anxiety cause restless legs syndrome?

A: One study found anxiety symptoms in people with RLS, but it was not the implied underlying cause.66

Q: Does restless legs syndrome hurt?

A: According to people with RLS, only unpleasant feelings like throbbing, pulling, itching or crawling sensations in their legs may be felt.

Q: How do I stop restless legs syndrome at night?

A: Because movements may help lessen the sensations, I recommend taking a short walk to your kitchen, bathroom or any part of the house. You may also gently rub or massage your legs when you’re having symptoms.67

Q: What vitamins help restless legs syndrome?

A: Studies have found that vitamin D and magnesium may help minimize the symptoms of restless legs syndrome.

Q: What foods should you avoid if you have restless legs syndrome?

A: Generally, food and beverages with caffeine content must be avoided.

Q: Do bananas help minimize the symptoms of restless legs syndrome?

A: Yes. Bananas are rich in magnesium,68 which may help alleviate the crawling sensations and other symptoms of RLS.

Q: How do you calm restless legs naturally?

A: You may reduce the tingling or crawling sensations by moving constantly. You may simply walk, sway your legs or gently massage them.

Q: Can ibuprofen help restless legs syndrome?

A: Yes, ibuprofen may help ease its symptoms,69 but I advise you to follow the home remedies and lifestyle changes mentioned instead, because this medication may expose you to other dangers, such as increasing your risk of heart attack.70

 

J Mercola

P Carrothers

 

-People Start to Heal The Moment They Are Heard-

Health and Wellness Associates
EHS Telehealth

WordPress:  https://healthandwellnessassociates.co/