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Healthy Living Last Updated: Apr 16th, 2012 - 18:57:46


Get Relief for Everyday Aches & Pains
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May 27, 2011, 19:56

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Get Relief For Everyday Aches and Pains
By Douglas MacKay, N.D.

 
Everyday aches and pains may not leave you stuck in bed but they can certainly take some pep out of your step.
Often, readily accessible dietary supplements and home remedies can relieve minor-but no less annoying-ailments. Common problems like acid reflux (heartburn), upset stomachs, achy backs and that occasional run-down feeling can strike just about anyone. Here are some simple ways to treat minor complaints:
HEARTBURN:  A nagging case of heartburn can keep you from eating your favorite foods, and even prevent you from enjoying your favorite activities.
For occasional reflux and heartburn, calcium carbonate helps soothe symptoms and can be taken as chewable tablets or as an effervescent powder. A form of the popular herb licorice - deglycyrrhizinated licorice (DGL) - coats and protects the mucus lining of the stomach and esophagus and is helpful in soothing cells irritated by reflux.
A chewable DGL tablet maximizes contact between the herb and the esophageal surfaces, where relief is often most needed.
UPSET STOMACH: Ginger can help with mild cases of nausea and upset stomach. Several studies have shown that ginger can potentially benefit several forms of nausea, from upset stomach to morning sickness. Recent research has even shown ginger to help with nausea associated with the side effects of chemotherapy (if used under the supervision of a doctor).
For an upset stomach, try sipping a cup of chamomile or peppermint tea. Both ingredients have been used for centuries to soothe upset digestive systems.
For a more long-term approach, consider incorporating probiotics into your daily routine. Our bodies have good bacteria that live in our guts called probiotics. In fact, we have more bacteria in our gut than we have cells in our body, and these bacteria have important health-promoting functions. They manufacture nutrients that break down food and protect us from infection.
Consuming probiotics helps regulate digestive system function and is a healthy step toward possibly preventing future digestive mischief. Yogurt is a good source.
ACHING MUSCLES: Many of us have suffered from muscle cramps or a stiff back. Several good options are available for relief.
Making sure you get adequate amounts of omega-3s in your diet is an excellent way to ease those sore, tight muscles. Omega-3 fats play an integral role in human physiology by counterbalancing excess inflammation resulting from activities of daily living. Inflammation is a normal response to physiologic stresses, such as exercise. Inflammation in excess, however, can be harmful and trigger tight muscles and muscle cramps. 
Studies have shown that Omega-3 supplements can reduce inflammation and relieve chronic neck and low back pain. Home remedies such as a warm epsom salt bath or compress can provide instant relief for sore, tight muscles. Epsom salts are available at most pharmacies (check package directions).
Also, try adding a few drops of lavender essential oil to a warm epsom salt bath for additional effect. Lavender has been used traditionally for calming anxiety, stress, tension and relaxing muscle spasms.
POOR NUTRITION: Of course, making sure your getting the proper nutrients is key to how you feel overall on a day-to-day basis. You can incorporate vitamins and minerals into your daily health regimen to fill any nutrient gaps. This may also prevent some common maladies down the road.
For example, calcium and magnesium are two essential minerals often insufficiently consumed via diet alone. Both are important for normal muscle function but can also help you avoid muscle cramps and aches. A multivitamin is another supplement to consider.
We all suffer occasional aches and pains, sometimes because we eat too much or eat the wrong things; perhaps we pushed to hard during a game of hoops; or sometimes, just because. Of course, if your heartburn is more than occasional, if your stomach is upset a little too often, or if your back or knees ache a little too much, visit your doctor.
(Douglas Duffy is Naturally Savvy's Supplement Expert. He is a licensed Naturopathic Doctor and a former senior editor of the peer-reviewed clinical journal Alternative Medicine Review. NaturallySavvy.com is a website that educates people on the benefits of living a natural, organic and green lifestyle. For more information and to sign up for their newsletter, visit www.NaturallySavvy.com) (http://www.NaturallySavvy.com).
(C) 2011, NATURALLY SAVVY

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