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I was reading the newspaper and I saw this article about yogurt. It has been a known fact that yogurt is healthy for our bodies (just see how companies market it so much these days). However, there would be a relative population who needed some push to believe so I’m pasting below the article. Hope you enjoy reading this then grab a tumbler of yogurt!

Yogurt for health? Yo!
MIND YOUR BODY By Willie T. Ong, MD (The Philippine Star) Updated March 02, 2010 12:00 AM

Have you tried eating yogurt? Yogurt, one of the world’s healthiest foods, is actually made from fermented milk. Yogurt is regarded by experts as a complete food, having the perfect combination of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. Yogurt has calcium for the bones, potassium for the muscles, and vitamin B for the nerves.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture, a cup of regular yogurt (100 grams or 3.5 ounces) gives the following nutritional values: 61 calories, 4.7 grams (g) of carbohydrates, 3.5 g of protein, 4.7 g of sugar, 3.3 g of fat, 121 mg of calcium, 250 mg of potassium, 16 mg of magnesium, and the B vitamins.

But more than your regular milk, yogurt has the added health value of probiotics, the good bacteria our body needs, such as your lactobacilli. Let us look at the possible ways yogurt can help us:

• For those who can’t tolerate milk. A substantial number of Asians (including me) can’t tolerate milk. Some people have trouble digesting milk proteins and the sugar lactose in milk. They develop bloating and diarrhea. As an alternative, eating a cup of yogurt a day doesn’t give the same unwanted effects.

According to Dr. John Briffa, a London physician, columnist, and nutrition expert, yogurt is less likely to cause an upset stomach for two reasons. First, the healthy bacteria used to make yogurt help in partially digesting the milk proteins. Second, these friendly bacteria also digest the sugar lactose, converting it to lactic acid. Thus, yogurt contains less of these diarrhea-inducing components.

• May help prevent stomach cancer, ulcer, and colon cancer. Dr. John Briffa writes that the healthy bacteria in yogurt have the potential to help people with stomach ulcer, food poisoning, constipation, diarrhea, and other bowel-related problems. The presence of good bacteria in yogurt somehow helps ward off and displace the bad bacteria.

One such annoying bug, called Helicobacter pylori, is known to cause stomach ulcers. A Taiwan study shows that two probiotics in yogurt — lactobacillus and bifidobacterium — help treat patients with ulcers and are taking medicines to treat Helicobacter pyloriinfection.

• For strengthening the immune system. Several studies have shown that yogurt assists our immune system. A breakthrough study by Dr. Georges M. Halpern of the University of California School of Medicine shows that eating two cups of yogurt a day for four months can increase our body’s gamma interferon (substances fighting infections) by five times. Dr. Halpern and colleagues found that yogurt with specific live active cultures (containing Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus) boosted interferon levels.

In addition, a one-year follow-up study by Dr. Halpern shows that eating six ounces of yogurt a day can help prevent colds, hay fever, and diarrhea. And if ever the patients developed a cold, the symptoms were less troublesome.

Yet another research done on elderly people shows a significant reduction in the duration of illness (including gastrointestinal and respiratory illness) in those taking yogurt. Because of its effect on the immune system, yogurt is believed to be beneficial, too, for people with allergy, various cancers, and HIV-AIDS.

• For those taking antibiotics, especially children. Whenever you take antibiotics, it’s commonsense to take a cup of yogurt every day. Although antibiotics are extremely helpful medicines, they can sometimes destroy the good bacteria, along with the bad bacteria. Some experts believe that eating yogurt will help replace the good bacteria that may have been destroyed by the antibiotic. One study suggests that eating certain probiotics (named L. casei, L. bulgaricus, and S. thermophilus) can also reduce the incidence of diarrhea, a possible side effect caused by taking antibiotics.

• To help prevent osteoporosis. We know that both calcium and vitamin D play a major role in preventing osteoporosis. And since a cup of yogurt contains 12 percent of our daily calcium needs, this can help protect our bones. Check the labels because some yogurt preparations are made with added vitamin D. Other food sources with vitamin D are eggs and sardines. Early morning sunshine also helps our bodies produce vitamin D.

• To help treat vaginal yeast infection. Symptoms of this common vaginal infection (called candida) are itchiness and the presence of a whitish discharge in the vaginal area. Doctors usually prescribe an anti-fungal suppository for seven days. Aside from medications, experts suggest eating a cup of yogurt for five days to help replenish the healthy lactobacillus in the body. One study reported that women who take a cup of yogurt a day had less vaginal yeast infection and less urinary tract infection (UTI). Yogurt researcher Dr. Georges Halpern believes that yogurt is especially beneficial for women, “Yogurt boosts immunity, delivers lots of available calcium, and helps prevent vaginitis.”

• To help treat canker sores (locally called singaw). Canker sores are small, shallow, and painful lesions inside the mouth. It’s not contagious, but it can make eating and talking very painful. It usually starts with a small injury (from teeth braces, accidental biting, and abrasion from the teeth).

From my own experience, ear, nose, throat specialist Dr. Elmer De La Cruz advised me to eat yogurt. According to Dr. De La Cruz, yogurt is particularly helpful because it coats all of the painful sores, even in places that are hard to reach, like the throat and inner gums. I tried it and it was a great relief! One technique is to take in one to two tablespoons of yogurt every hour or two, so as to cover the canker sores and hasten their healing.

• To help you lose weight. Compared with regular ice cream, yogurt has fewer calories, less fat, and less sugar. A small cup of yogurt yields only around 70 calories. In fact, a small study from the University of Washington in Seattle shows that eating yogurt makes one feel fuller and less hungry, compared to drinking fruit juices and other sugary drinks. So it pays to indulge in yogurt instead.

Some final tips when buying yogurt. First, you may choose the low-fat or fat-free variety. Second, make sure also that your yogurt has “live and active cultures,” which means that it has the healthy bacteria inside. Third, be sure it’s not yet expired.

And so, if you want to be healthy, many experts will agree: Have some yogurt today.


What is hypothyroidism:

Hypothyroidism happens when the thyroid gland is underactive and is not able to produce enough thyroid hormones to help your body function at the correct level. When a person’s thyroid is improperly formed at birth, surgically removed (all or in part), or becomes incapable of producing enough thyroid hormone, that person is diagnosed as hypothyroid.

In layman’s terms, hypothyroidism is when the thyroid glad does not give out the correct amount of hormones to our body. It can be compared to the situation of an undernourished plant having enough water but no sunlight.

What is the thyroid gland:

The thyroid gland is situated in the neck, just below the larynx (Adam’s apple) and produces thyroid hormones. The main hormones released by the thyroid are triiodothyronine (aka T3) and thyroxine (aka T4). These hormones are essential for physical and mental growth and development. They also play a vital role in many metabolic processes in the body.

What causes hypothyroidism:

One of the most common causes of hypothyroidism is the autoimmune disease called Hashimoto’s disease, in which antibodies gradually target the thyroid and destroy its ability to produce thyroid hormones. Other causes are:

– surgical removal of the thyroid gland

– radioactive iodine theraphy

– chronic inflammatory-like disease of the thyroid gland

– congenital malformation of the thyroid gland

– stress

Who are susceptible to hypothyroidism and the risk factor:

– genetic susceptibility: if it runs in the family it will occur in any family member

– over 50 years of age: usual explanation is because the body is experiencing a lot of changes and becomes slower in its functions

– female gender: females are dictated by hormones all throughout their lives. From the regular menstrual periods to child birth women has the greater reliance on their hormones to do function properly.

– iodine/drugs

– thyroid surgery and exposure of the neck to x-ray or radioactive treatments.

What are the signs and symptoms to Hypothyroidism: (they can include two or more of the following)

◊ Feeling very tired

◊ Weight gain or trouble losing weight

◊ Very dry skin or paler skin than usual

◊ Coarseness or loss of hair

◊ Increase of hair usually present only in males = Hirsutism (i.e. females having mustache or other facial hair, increase hair on the legs )

◊ Hoarse or raspy voice

◊ Enlarged thyroid gland (front and neck)

◊ Feeling cold all over

◊ Muscle or joint pains

◊ Constipation

◊ Having trouble remembering things

◊ Having trouble concentrating or slower thinking

◊ Feeling depressed

◊ Irregular or heavy menstrual period

◊ Infertility

◊ High cholesterol levels (Hyperlipidemia)

◊ Slower speech / ◊ slower reflexes / ◊ slow heart beat

◊ Swollen hands / ◊ cold hands / ◊ brittle nails

◊ Puffy face

Do you have two or more of these symptoms?

If you have two or more of the symptoms:

I suggest that you seek medical help immediately. Common tests done to find out if you have hypothyroidism are:

– Physical exam to detect initial signs of hypothyroidism

– Blood tests (TSH, T4, T3, WBC)

– Thyroid scan (for thyroid imaging)

– Thyroid ultrasound (used in the diagnosis of thyroid nodules, to know whether the thyroid is enlarged)

Your age, weight, health status and the results of your blood tests will be assessed by your doctor to determine the starting dose. Usually, you may be required to repeat blood tests every 2 – 8 weeks until your doctor is sure that you have the optimal dose for your current situation

Note that not all hypothyroid case are the same. There are people who will require larger doses than others.

Medications and Treatment:

Usually endocrinologists will prescribe taking levothyroxine (Synthroid) which is a synthetic hormone provider. I will create another post that will wholly discuss synthroid.

Aside from taking levothyroxine, female patients are advised to also seek an OB-Gynecologist especially of you are having irregular or heavy menstrual flows. A problem in hormones directly affects the female reproductive system.

An as any old adage, taking medicines needs to go hand-in-hand with exercise and proper diet. This is very important with hypothyroidism because it generally causes an abnormal weight gain and a harder time to lose weight even though you are not eating a lot.

Living with hypothyroidism:

Periodic monitoring and compliance to medication are required to manage hypothyroidism and to judge your responses to medication. Your doctor will regularly monitor the amount of thyroid hormones in your blood. Depending on the result of laboratory tests it may be necessary to adjust the dose your thyroid medication.

Continued care by an endocrinologist (a specialist in thyroid disorders) is necessary for appropriate hypothyroidism management. It is also important that whenever there is a change in your status, go back to your doctor for your dose may need adjustments. For example, if you:

* gain or lose weight

* start any new medication

* reach 50 years of age

* become pregnant or is planning to become one

* develop diabetes

* develop new illnesses or existing illness gets worse

* enter menopause


1.Hypothyroidism (2009) A pamphlet of  Organon Philippines, Inc

2. Your thyroid gland – Pamphlet of Abbott

Asthma is affecting a lot of people today due to changes in our environment.  It is an ailment in the lungs that can be mild or severe. There are many ways to control and prevent asthma involving parts of a person’s lifestyle.

So, if you search around the net, asthma is described as  [1]“a chronic (long-term) lung disease that inflames and narrows the airways. Asthma causes recurring periods of wheezing (a whistling sound when you breathe), chest tightness, shortness of breath, and coughing.”

The thing that is happening inside someone who’s having an attack is that the airways are getting swollen or inflamed that the space for the air to flow is getting smaller and smaller making it harder for the air to reach the lungs.

Basically it’s like this. Imagine a pump tube for a balloon. Without anything pressing on the pump tube air flows in without difficulty. But when you press the tube or put something heavy on it the air will have a harder time going inside the balloon. This causes the difficulty in breathing for people who have asthma. It feels like someone is squeezing the air passage and is placing two sets of giant dictionaries over the lungs.

First symptoms for me are coughing and runny nose. My father’s family has a history of asthma but mine only surfaced when I was 16. I was told to avoid a lot of food (that usually triggers asthma attacks) and to drink antihistamines with steroids before. However, I rejected the option of using nebulizers. I had the inclination that if I got one I would become dependent over it.

Yet, the sad thing about getting asthma is that it’s for long term. People say that older people who obtains asthma will have to carry it with them for life. Unlike with young children where there are cases that they were able to outgrow them because they still had the time and opportunity to develop and strengthen their lungs.

So what I do is try to avoid food allergens (but I do take a bite from time to time), look at the weather reports (because sudden changes in weather contributes in attacks), buy hypoallergenic and natural stuffs, and always have a stash of antihistamine (now without steroids) in all of my bags.

If you are coughing for more than a week, until night time, and it’s not getting better with any form of cough medication or is recurring I suggest that you visit an EENT or an Allergologist.

[1] What is Asthma? (2008) U.S. Department of Health and Human Services – National Institute of Health

[2] Asthma – Wikipedia

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