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Archive for May, 2012

Discovering Arthritis

Posted by rhondascooking on May 25, 2012

Image source Medicinenet, Inc.

Throughout the month of the May, the Arthritis Foundation has been raising awareness about arthritis a through its movement called Arthritis Action Month. The organization is encouraging people to take action in a number of ways to help raise awareness. One way that the Arthritis Foundation is raising awareness is through its Tip Share application (app), which encourages people by share tips and advice. The app is now available on multiple devices.

The following are some key facts about arthritis:

What is Arthritis?
Simply put, arthritis is inflammation in the joint. Though many times the word arthritis is used as if it is one disease, there are over 100 types of arthritis that have been identified to date[1]. The most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis (OA), rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and gout. There are over 46 million Americans who have been diagnosed with some form of arthritis[2].

What are the signs and symptoms?
The most common signs or symptoms are joint pain, stiffness and inflammation. Depending on the arthritis type, a person could experience these symptoms in the following areas: wrists, fingers, knees, ankles, toes, hips, shoulders and elbows.

What is the difference between osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis?
These two types of arthritis are the most common types.

    Osteoarthritis is a condition that occurs when the joint cartilage breaks down. The cartilage is the smooth, tissue that covers the ends of the bones where they meet, preventing them from rubbing each other. Osteoarthritis is the most prevalent form of arthritis, and usually effects people over age 45.
    Rheumatoid Arthritis is an inflammatory disease in which the body’s immune system attacks its own healthy tissues. RA can affect anyone at any age.

What is gout?
Gout occurs when there is a buildup of uric acid, a waste product of the urine cycle, which deposits razor-sharp crystals in the joint spaces between bones[3].

What tests can be performed to diagnose arthritis?
There is not just one test to diagnose arthritis. Depending on your health care provider and the patient’s symptoms the tests will vary. For instance, conventional medical physicians tend to start with blood tests and X-rays. On the other hand, alternative holistic physicians tend to do a variety of tests understand the cause, some of which include, allergy tests, hormone tests, digestive function tests, tests for parasites, and heavy metal toxicity.[4]

What causes arthritis?
The causes will vary depending on the type of arthritis. For osteoarthritis, some of the causes occurs from wear and tear on the joints over one’s lifetime, obesity, hormone imbalance, or food allergies. On the other hand for rheumatoid arthritis, some of the causes that drive inflammation include, but not limited to food allergies, toxicity, nutritional deficiencies, intestinal permeability and microorganisms.

How can arthritis be treated?
Depending on the type of arthritis, the treatment plan will vary. Conventional treatments (ordered by traditional medical physician) tend to start with NSAIDs (Non-steriodal anti-inflammatory drugs) such as ibuprofen (Motrin) or naproxen (Aleeve) and then transitions to a treatment that include COX-2 inhibitors such as Vioxx, Celebrex or Enbrel. Many of these conventional drugs have been known to increase the risk of heart attacks and sudden cardiac death! Sometimes if NSAIDs aren’t effective, some patients turn to injections of cortisone (corticosteroids) or methotrexate.

Are there any alternative treatment therapies for arthritis?
There are a number of treatment options such as dietary changes (food, vitamin supplements), detoxification, exercise, and stress reduction. However, food is a major factor in triggering inflammation in the joints and by reducing one’s daily intake of foods that are pro-inflammatory, can minimize and stop the pain! To see a list of foods that trigger inflammation, click here.

Even if you do not have arthritis, do your part in raising awareness about arthritis and share this with your loved ones and your social network! Don’t forget to download the Tip Share app!


Sources:
[1][3][4]Kamhi, Ellen and Zampieron, Eugene. Arthritis. Celestial Arts: California, 2006.
[2]”Link Between Arthritis and Heart Disease.” Arthritis Foundation. http://www.arthritis.org/heart-disease-connection.php

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What is Celiac?

Posted by rhondascooking on May 15, 2012

It’s National Celiac Awareness Month. In honor of raising awareness, I’d like to provide my readers with a few nuggets about Celiac Disease as well as helpful websites for additional information.

What is Celiac Disease?
Celiac (pronounced as See-lee-ak) Disease (CD) is an autoimmune disease that damages the small intestines whenever a person eats anything with gluten. In fact, some research has indicated that when people with this disease eat foods that contain gluten, it creates an immune-mediated toxic reaction that causes damage to the small intestine and does not allow food to be properly absorbed. [1]

What causes Celiac Disease?
Similar to many other autoimmune diseases, the cause of Celiac Disease is still not known. Consequently, it sometimes takes a couple of years before a person is properly diagnosed with this disease. According to the latest data, about 27 million people in the US walk around not knowing that they have Celiac Disease!

What are the signs and symptoms?
The most notable signs or symptoms include abdominal cramping, stomach bloating, chronic diarrhea or constipation, weight loss or weight gain. There are other signs and symptoms, but these are the biggest signs of CD.

How is Celiac Disease diagnosed?
There are special blood tests that can be used to test for Celiac Disease. Please visit the Celiac Disease Foundation site to view the list of tests and discuss it with your health care provider. Request that you be tested for Celiac Disease if you possess many of the signs and symptoms.

Is there a cure for Celiac Disease?
There is no medicinal cure at this time for Celiac Disease. The only way that someone can be healed is to transition to a 100% gluten free lifestyle–diet, cosmetics, household goods, etc.

What is Gluten?
Gluten is made of two protein found in grains such as wheat, rye, and barley and is an important component in baking. Simply put it is the glue-like or sticky texture in baked goods and it is responsible for causing the baked goods to rise. Note that gluten does not impact everyone.

What foods are gluten-free?
Some examples of gluten-free foods are as follows: brown rice, corn, buckwheat, quinoa, millet, flaxseeds, hemp seeds, tapioca, brown rice flour, cornmeal, sorghum, beans, soy (use caution), poultry, beef, fish, mushrooms, vegetables, etc. There are a lot of foods that are gluten free, but the key thing to remember is that sometimes foods have hidden gluten ingredients, so make sure that you verify before you purchase. Read the labels or ask questions.


[1]”Celiac Disease.” Celiac Disease Foundation
.

Other Sources:
http://celiacdisease.about.com/b/2012/05/01/happy-national-celiac-disease-awareness-month.htm
http://www.csaceliacs.info/celiac_disease.jsp

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May is National High Blood Pressure Awareness Month

Posted by rhondascooking on May 11, 2012

The Center for Disease Control has marked May as National High Blood Pressure Awareness Month in an effort to raise awareness of its impact on one’s health. According to research, 1 out of every 3 American adults faces high blood pressure and every 40 seconds someone has a stroke! High blood pressure is the fourth leading cause of death in United States of America! [1]

The following are FIVE things you should know about this health issue [2]:

1. The definition of High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure (sometimes called hypertension) is the force of blood pushing against the walls of the arteries as the heart pumps blood. It can cause a number of things to occur such as coronary heart disease, heart failure, stroke, kidney failure, etc.

2. How would I know if I have High Blood Pressure?
Sometimes the symptoms aren’t obvious, such as numbness or weakness of the arm or leg or trouble seeing in one or both eyes, and other times the symptoms are distinguished like chest pains/tightening, severe headaches, slurred speech, dizziness, trouble walking/balancing. If you experience any of these symptoms, seek medical assistant immediately!

3. How to interpret blood pressure levels
Blood pressure is measure by Systolic and diastolic numbers. A normal blood pressure should have a systolic number of 120mmHG and a diastolic number of 80mmHG or lower for each. If the numbers are higher, then you will be categorized as the following:

  • Pre-hypertension: 120 – 139mmHG (systolic) or 80 – 89mmHG (diastolic)
  • High blood pressure (Stage 1): 140 – 149mmHG (systolic) or 90 – 99mmHG (diastolic)
  • High blood pressure (Stage 2): 150mmHG or higher (systolic)or 100mmHG or higher (diastolic)

4. The Causes High Blood Pressure?
There are a number of factors that could cause high blood pressure to occur. This is a subset of some of the causes.

  • Stress
  • Unhealthy Eating Lifestyle (High sodium diet, large intake of processed foods, large amount of alcohol consumption, smoking, or lack of physical activity.)
  • obesity
  • Age
  • Certain medications
  • Kidney or thyroid disease
  • Sleep apnea

5. Ways to prevent or reduce blood pressure?
First, consult your health care provider before beginning any changes in diet or medication. Secondly, work with your health care provider/nutritionist to transition to a healthier lifestyle one that includes exercise with a healthy diet—more vegetables, less sodium and less processed foods. You will start to see improved results!

High blood pressure impacts many families, especially many African American families, including mine! Let’s do what we can to spread the awareness!

Sources:
[1]“May is Stroke Awareness Month; Know Your Risks.” National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Million Hearts™. April 23, 2012. <http://www.cdc.gov/Features/HighBloodPressure/&gt;.
[2] “What Is High Blood Pressure?” National Heart Lungs and Blood Institute. April 01, 2011. <http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/hbp/&gt;.

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Whole Foods Market Partners with Rhonda’s Cooking for Celiac Awareness Month

Posted by rhondascooking on May 4, 2012

Rhonda Peters, Founder of Rhonda’s Cooking, LLC and author of the award winning cookbook So, What Can I Eat Now?!-Living Without Dairy, Soy, Eggs and Wheat, is partnering with several Whole Foods Market stores in the Phoenix Metro Area in an effort to celebrate Celiac Awareness Month and highlight cooking options for Celiac Disease sufferers. Throughout the month of May, Ms. Peters will be onsite at various Whole Foods Market locations  performing cooking demonstrations; all of which will feature tasty, gluten-free dishes.  To date, the only cure for Celiac Disease is consuming a gluten-free diet.  The schedule of cooking demonstrations is as follows:

  • Sunday, May 6, Whole Foods Market Chandler, 3pm (5120 S Rural Road, Tempe AZ 85282)
  • Thursday, May 17, Whole Foods Market Paradise Valley, 6pm (10810 N Tatum Blvd, Phoenix, AZ 85028)
  • Sunday, May 20, Whole Foods Market Scottsdale, 3pm (7111 E. Mayo Blvd., Phoenix, AZ 85054)
  • Sunday, May 27, Whole Foods Market Tempe, 3pm (5120 S Rural Road, Tempe AZ 85282)

To register for any of these free classes, email AZSpecialEvent@wholefoods.com.


About Rhonda’s Cooking

Founded in 2005, Rhonda’s Cooking LLC is an award winning publishing company with a mission of distributing healthy cookbooks and promoting alternative cooking options for food allergy sufferers and those who are ordered to consume restricted diets. Rhonda Peters, CEO of Rhonda’s Cooking and author of So, What Can I Eat Now?!, is a Hypoallergenic Food Specialist, Certified Nutritional Counselor and the featured Gluten Free Examiner for the Phoenix, AZ area. To follow Rhonda’s Cooking on Twitter, visit www.Twitter.com/RhondasCooking or become a fan of the company on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/SoWhatCanIEatNow.

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CDF: Arizona East Valley Chapter hosts First Annual Celiac Awareness Week

Posted by rhondascooking on May 3, 2012

May is Celiac Awareness month, and in an effort to continue to educate the community about Celiac source arizonaceliac.orgDisease and provide support to those with the disease, the Celiac Disease Foundation: Arizona East Valley Chapter is hosting its First Annual Celiac Awareness Week. There will be a number events ranging from Celiac night with the Arizona Diamondbacks to Celiac movie night at Harkins Theaters to a gluten free cooking class at Williams and Sonoma, there will be a host of activities for everyone to enjoy!

For a list of the events and information on where to register, please click here.

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