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Health Tips #75 ~ [Issue 1005-2]  Wellness Weekly
 Oct 14, 2005 10:22 PDT 

* Berry Lowers Cholesterol

Blueberries that tantalize your tongue may help you lower your
cholesterol, too. In a recent study, an antioxidant compound found in
blueberries appeared to lower cholesterol as effectively as a popular
cholesterol-lowering medication. The compound - pterostilbene - also
has powerful anticancer properties. Top your high-fiber cereal with a
handful of blueberries for extra cholesterol-lowering power. Not only
are blueberries high in three antioxidants - resveratrol,
pterostilbene, and piceatannol - that may fight cancer and help lower
cholesterol, but they are also high in fiber content. Additional
evidence suggests that pterostilbene may lower triglycerides and
protect against diabetes, too. Other important parts of cholesterol
management include weight control, regular exercise, and a healthy
diet that includes fiber and monounsaturated fats, such as olive oil
or canola oil.

* The Socks Make the Difference

If your feet sweat a lot during workouts, try switching to synthetic
socks or liners. These socks are very thin and help bring the
moisture away from your feet so it can dry faster. That can mean
fewer blisters and dryer feet and shoes. It can even help stop your
feet from smelling since the sweat has a chance to dry rather than be
trapped inside and pushed into the shoe. Also, whether you use cotton
or synthetic socks, wear white ones. Colored socks can release some
of their dye from your sweat. That dye can ruin your shoes, and some
people are even allergic to the dyes once they are released into
skin. White socks avoid all these problems.

* Kidney Stones

Patients who have kidney stones usually do not have symptoms until
the stones pass into the ureter. Prior to this, some people may
notice blood in their urine. Once the stone is in the ureter,
however, most people will experience bouts of crampy and spasmodic
pain. The pain usually begins between the lower ribs and the hip bone
and can spread or move to the inner thigh as the stone moves closer
to the bladder. Nausea, vomiting, extremely frequent and painful
urination, and obvious blood in the urine are common. Fever and
chills usually means that the ureter has become obstructed, allowing
bacteria to become trapped in the kidney causing a kidney infection.
Doctors can diagnose kidney stones from urine tests and x-rays. When
a patient is passing a kidney stone, it is important that all of his
or her urine is strained through a special sieve to catch the stone.
The stone can be sent to a lab for analysis to determine the
composition and, thus, the likely cause. A major aspect of treatment
while passing a stone is pain relief. Because of the severity of the
pain, narcotic pain medications (like morphine) are usually required.
It is believed that stones may pass more quickly if the patient is
encouraged to drink large amounts of water (2 to 3 quarts per day).
Although most kidney stones will pass on their own, some will not.
Surgical removal of a stone may become necessary when a stone appears
too large to pass or if the stone is causing serious obstructions,
pain that cannot be treated, heavy bleeding, or infection. Several
alternatives exist for removing stones. One method involves inserting
a tube into the bladder and up into the ureter. A tiny basket is then
passed through the tube, and an attempt is made to snare the stone
and pull it out. In another method, the stone is crushed with shock
waves and the stone fragments may then pass on their own or may be
removed through the incision. Alternative treatments for kidney
stones include the use of herbal medicine, homeopathy, acupuncture,
acupressure, hypnosis, or guided imagery to relieve pain. Prevention
of kidney stones depends on the type of stone and the presence of an
underlying disease. In almost all cases, increasing fluid intake so
that a person consistently drinks several quarts of water a day is an
important preventative measure. Changes in diet, vitamin supplements,
and daily medications may also help prevent kidney stones.
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