Foods That Fight Erectile Dysfunction

Can you certain nutrients boost your sexual performance? Find out which foods may prevent erection problems — and how they work.

Type 2 Diabetes and Sleep Troubles

Having type 2 diabetes and trouble sleeping create the ultimate catch-22: You need sleep to stay healthy, yet the condition makes it hard to get a good night's sleep. Here's some help.

Sleep is important for everyone, but it’s especially important when your body experiences changing blood sugar levels and other symptoms of type 2 diabetes. “Sleep deprivation causes changes in the effectiveness of the body's control of appetite, which can lead to weight gain, higher blood sugar, and increased resistance to insulin,” says Richard Castriotta, MD, director of the division of pulmonary, critical care, and sleep medicine at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston.

Diabetes and sleep

Although sleep is very important when you’re experiencing symptoms of type 2 diabetes, you may find you can’t sleep when you need it most. One explanation for the problem seems to be the connection between diabetes and sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a condition that’s characterized by periods of halted breathing while you’re asleep, which wakes you up repeatedly throughout the night, leaving you fatigued and not well rested in the morning.

Both type 2 diabetes and sleep apnea are health concerns that are linked to obesity, so experts have long recognized a connection between the two. But only recently has it been realized how closely these conditions are tied to one another. “There’s much more interrelation between the two conditions than we thought,” says Betul Hatipoglu, MD, a physician in the Cleveland Clinic’s department of endocrinology, diabetes, and metabolism. “In fact, one may actually contribute to causing the other, and vice versa. Recent studies have shown that sleep apnea actually increases insulin resistance, hunger, and other type 2 diabetes symptoms,” Dr. Hatipoglu says. “Other studies have shown that treating sleep apnea also improves the symptoms of type 2 diabetes.”

Other Sleep Issues You Might Face

Another problem that disrupts sleep is frequent urination, a common symptom of type 2 diabetes. You can’t sleep if you have to keep getting up to go to the bathroom. Hatipoglu says this problem is usually tied to high blood pressure, which is also common with type 2 diabetes. As your blood pressure goes up throughout the night, the need to urinate increases. “If this occurs more than once a night, we view it as an issue that needs to be treated,” Hatipoglu says.

Having type 2 diabetes may also lead to other disorders that make it harder to sleep. “In addition to sleep apnea, people with type 2 diabetes are at increased risk for restless leg syndrome (RLS) and periodic limb movements in sleep (PLMS), as well as neuropathy and pain-associated sleep disruption,” Dr. Castriotta says. “RLS causes difficulty falling asleep because of strange feelings in the legs beginning in the evening before sleep. PLMS may cause either sleep-maintenance insomnia (difficulty staying asleep) or a feeling of non-refreshing sleep and daytime sleepiness due to slow, rhythmic limb movements during sleep.”

Tips to Get a Good Night’s Sleep

The first step in managing your sleep problems with type 2 diabetes is to see a doctor or a sleep specialist. Sleep apnea is a serious, potentially life-threatening problem that needs medical attention to remedy. Frequent urination and other sleep-depriving issues should also be treated by a medical professional.

In addition to talking to your doctor and seeing a sleep specialist, here are some additional strategies you can try if you have type 2 diabetes and can’t sleep:

  • Reduce your caffeine intake. Caffeinated beverages can keep you up at night and increase the urge to urinate throughout the night. If you can’t cut caffeine out entirely, Hatipoglu recommends to at least eliminate your intake in the afternoon and evening.
  • Curb the use of electronics in the bedroom. Television is a no-no in the bedroom, as it will keep you up when you need to be focusing on resting. Watch TV in another room, and turn it off at least an hour before you want to nod off. Try reading a book or listening to relaxing music instead.
  • Keep your bedroom cool, dark, and calm. Removing all light from the room, using light-blocking curtains, and outfitting your bed with appropriate bedding helps to create an atmosphere that is conducive to sleep.
  • Create a regular bedtime schedule. Hatipoglu says you need to train your body to get a good night’s sleep. One of the most important ways you can do this is to create a scheduled bedtime and stick to it as closely as possible each night. You can incorporate things into this routine that get your body ready for bed, such as having a few sips of relaxing chamomile tea, meditating, or doing deep breathing exercises before you close your eyes.

Sleep issues are a troubling side effect of type 2 diabetes that can leave you feeling tired all the time. By taking these steps and working with your medical team, you should be able to have sweet dreams every night.

Last Updated: 08/04/2011
This section created and produced exclusively by the editorial staff of © 2011; all rights reserved.

Toxins Found in Brand-Name Clothes

Traces of toxic chemicals harmful to the environment and to human health have been detected in products made by 14 top clothing manufacturers, Greenpeace said Tuesday.

Samples of clothing from top brands including Adidas, Uniqlo, Calvin Klein, H&M, Abercrombie & Fitch, Lacoste, Converse, and Ralph Lauren were found to be tainted with the chemicals, known as nonylphenol ethoxylates, the watchdog said at the launch of its report "Dirty Laundry 2."

Greenpeace campaigner Li Yifang said that nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPEs), commonly used as detergents in industries including the production of natural and synthetic textiles, were detected in two-thirds of the samples the group tested.

Read more: Toxins Found in Brand-Name Clothes
Important: At Risk For A Heart Attack? Find Out Now.

Never Fear Cancer Again

"Cancer is an out-of-control epidemic, and conventional treatments don't work," says Raymond Francis, an MIT-trained scientist and chairman of The Project to End Disease. The reason that the "war on cancer" is a failure is that conventional treatments only treat the symptoms and side effects of cancer and not the biological process that causes it in the first place, Francis tells Newsmax Health. He says you can prevent cancer from ever developing in your body to begin with, and he maintains that even if you already have it, you can turn it off — regardless of the type you have — and regain your health.

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Important: At Risk For A Heart Attack? Find Out Now.

Bad Economy Pushing Americans to Buy Cheaper Food

Kimberly Reed, executive director of the International Food Information Council Foundation, tells Newsmax that price rather than taste is increasingly becoming a major factor Americans consider when they shop for food.

Reed’s foundation is a Washington-based organization that provides information on food safety, healthy eating, and nutrition.

In an exclusive interview with Newsmax.TV, Reed explained the origins and goals of her group.

“Twenty years ago, we recognized that there was a need for a science-based organization to help consumers, health professionals, and journalists get the facts about food and understand important topics ranging from obesity and energy balance to the latest food safety disaster.

Read more: Bad Economy Pushing Americans to Buy Cheaper Food
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New drug could cure nearly any viral infection

Researchers at MIT’s Lincoln Lab have developed technology that may someday cure the common cold, influenza and other ailments.

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Anne Trafton

Most bacterial infections can be treated with antibiotics such as penicillin, discovered decades ago. However, such drugs are useless against viral infections, including influenza, the common cold, and deadly hemorrhagic fevers such as Ebola.

Now, in a development that could transform how viral infections are treated, a team of researchers at MIT’s Lincoln Laboratory has designed a drug that can identify cells that have been infected by any type of virus, then kill those cells to terminate the infection.

In a paper published July 27 in the journal PLoS One, the researchers tested their drug against 15 viruses, and found it was effective against all of them — including rhinoviruses that cause the common cold, H1N1 influenza, a stomach virus, a polio virus, dengue fever and several other types of hemorrhagic fever.

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Colon cleansing: Not so healthy, analysis says

It has been touted as a natural way to improve your heath and cleanse the soul. But doctors are now finding the procedure known as colon cleansing can cause dangerous side effects.

Colon cleansing, technically known as colonic hydrotherapy or colonic irrigation, is a popular treatment, usually performed at spas. It often involves the use of chemicals in the body and in hydrotherapy, the colon is flushed with water through a tube inserted in the rectum.

But oral home remedies are also available and have become popular, especially over the Internet. Now researchers from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. say there's no evidence any of these colon cleansing treatments work and, in fact, when used improperly can cause cramping, kidney failure and in some extreme cases, death.

"There can be serious consequences for those who engage in colon cleansing whether they have the procedure done at a spa or perform it at home," says the lead author, Dr. Ranit Mishori, a family medicine physician at Georgetown University School of Medicine. "Colon cleansing products in the form of laxatives, teas, powders and capsules... tout benefits that don't exist."

Mayo doctor is no fan of cleanses

Although colon cleansing has been around for centuries as a way to rid the body of unwanted toxins, the American Medical Association determined in the early 1900s that the procedure was invalid; there was no evidence to show the methods worked. And even though there still remains no solid evidence these products do what they claim, colon cleansing has been making a comeback, mainly because manufacturers claim it also helps people lose weight.

"If this method were the key to weight loss, it would be amazing. But there is no evidence that this helps people lose weight,” says Mishori. "Manufacturers don't describe how it works. The statements are a little empty. They say it will enhance your immune system, up your metabolism, give you energy. It’s all pretty vague. Some people swear by it, but it could be a placebo effect. And companies can make these claims, because the federal government doesn't regulate their products."

Not expecting miracles, but I love my cleanses

According to the report released this week in the Journal of Family Practice, Mishori and her colleagues examined 20 studies published in medical literature over the last 10 years.

Investigators noted while these reports showed little evidence of colon cleansing benefits, there were a number of side effects reported following the use of these cleansing methods. Those effects included cramping, bloating, nausea, vomiting, electrolyte imbalance and renal failure. And in some cases, ingredients in these remedies were toxic.

"Some herbal preparations have also been associated with aplastic anemia and liver toxicity," Mishori said.

Researchers also noted that many of the "spas" that offer colon cleansing have no trained clinicians and even organizations such as the National Board for Colon Hydrotherapy and others who promote colon cleansing require technicians who perform professional colon cleansing to have little more than a high school diploma.

"When you flush your colon out with a hose, it's like giving yourself an enema on steroids. You shouldn't put things up there that really don't belong there," stressed Mishori. "Imagine 60 liters of water going through your colon. The stress it puts on the system, and the hose, if not used correctly, could puncture the organ."

As for the home remedies, Mishori says there's no need for them. "We poop and pee for a reason. If you are a healthy person, the body does it for you."

When asked what was the best way to cleanse the body, Mishori was quick to respond.

"Eat a balanced diet, exercise regularly," she stressed, "Get six to eight hours of sleep and see a doctor regularly. But no one wants to do that," she said with exasperation. "But they'll use a hose to flush themselves out! The use of these methods are unhealthy. And what's scary is we only examined the cases that were reported to hospitals and doctors. Imagine all the people who are using these products and methods and have side effects and never go to the hospital. We don't know about them. The numbers could be staggering."

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Childrens Car Seats Contain Chemicals

More than half of children's car seats sold in the United States contain hazardous chemicals, according to a study published Wednesday by a nonprofit environmental group.

Sixty percent of 150 car seats tested by the Michigan-based Ecology Center were found to contain chemicals that can be harmful to human health such as bromine and chlorine, which points to the presence of polyvinyl chlorate (PVC).

Studies in lab animals have found that bromine-containing flame retardants can permanently affect the developing brain, while PVC has been classified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Administration as a known human carcinogen.

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pH Levels and Cancer, Alkaline and Acidic Foods – Kevin Hayden

The human body is an amazing machine. One of the most important functions of this vessel is its ability to regulate its own acidity levels to a very fine degree. Cells will only function normally within relatively narrow limits of pH. The body regulates its pH by constantly adjusting physiological processes, such as kidney and lung function.

However, the foods you eat can play a role in increasing or decreasing body pH, and some foods can be more alkalizing than others. An acidic body is a magnet for sickness, disease, cancer and aging. Eating more alkaline foods helps shift your body’s pH and oxygenates your system, keeping your body healthy and functioning correctly, preventing cancer, among many other diseases.

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The coming war on vitamins

A consumer walking down the aisle of a local drugstore can choose from a wide variety of supplements, vitamins and nutrients for his or her particular needs. Whether it’s a pill to treat a specific ailment, nutrients and minerals to supplement a deficient diet or vitamins tailored to age and gender to promote long-term health, supplements provide significant benefits to the consumers who rely on them. Yet if Sen. Richard J. Durbin, Illinois Democrat, and the Food and Drug Administration have their way, many of these products will disappear.

Earlier this month, Mr. Durbin and the FDA released proposals for a time-consuming and costly approval process for vitamins and nutritional supplements. The proposals would force companies to pull these products off the shelves for months, if not for good, and significantly raise prices, making the remaining supplements expensive and harder to find. While it isn’t a direct ban, regulatory hurdles such as these are a means by which government bureaucrats get in the way of individuals’ ability to make their own decisions about their health care.