The Signs, Symptoms And Stages Of Lyme Disease

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Lyme disease continues to be a hot topic in the news, likely because it is increasing at an alarming rate due to climate changes and other factors.

Between 2004 and 2009 reported cases of Lyme disease rose 94%. What?!

And they continue to rise today.

Fortunately, many people are starting to take notice of this disturbing trend.

But, if Lyme disease continues to spread, often unrecognized and untreated, it won’t take long before everyone either knows someone who has it, or they have it themself.

Lyme is now much more common than AIDS, West Nile Virus, and other vector-borne illnesses.

Knowing what to look out for is crucial.

I’m going to share the signs, symptoms, and stages of Lyme disease below so you know what to watch for. I truly hope this will help you protect yourself and your loved ones.

signs, symptoms and stages of Lyme diseaseSigns Symptoms And Stages Of Lyme Disease

1. Early Localized Lyme Disease (1 to 4 weeks)

This stage can develop from days to weeks after becoming infected.

Symptoms may include:

  • Rashes – Less that 50% of Lyme patients remember developing a rash. Sometimes the rash looks like a bulls-eye. This is referred to as erythema migrans (EM). It is a myth that you must  have this rash to have Lyme disease (1). I did not ever see a bull-eye rash, but have developed a number of unusual red and splotchy rashes since the tick bites (for more on rashes, keep reading below).
  • Flu-like symptoms, such as fever and chills, fatigue, headache, pain or stiffness in the neck and swollen lymph nodes (2).
  • Nausea, dizziness and vomiting

Stage 2: Early Disseminated Lyme Disease Infection (1 to 4 months)

This stage develops when the disease is not found and/or treated properly soon after infection. At this point the infection can begin to affect the joints, heart, nervous system and skin.

Symptoms may include:

  • More rashes that start to appear in different parts of the body due to the infection spreading
  • Paralysis of the facial muscles, or Bell’s Palsy
  • Fainting
  • Headaches or migraines
  • Painful, swollen joints, such as the knees
  • Heart palpitations or Lyme carditis
  • Conjunctivitis, or pink eye
  • Meningitis – swelling of the brain

Late Persistent Lyme Disease, Or Chronic Lyme

Failure to treat Lyme promptly can cause damage to the brain, joints and nervous system. This is the most serious stage.

Symptoms may include:

  • Extreme exhaustion which is not relieved by sleeping or resting
  • Inability to control facial muscles
  • Heart problems, such as pericarditis
  • Tingling and numbness of the hands and feet
  • Arthritis, often in the larger joints, such as the knees
  • Short-term memory loss
  • Confusionsigns symptoms and stages of Lyme disease
  • Difficulty thinking or reasoning
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Getting lost, even in familiar areas
  • Anxiety, panic attacks
  • Seizures
  • Tremor
  • Sensitivity to sound, light and smells
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Mood swings, depression
  • Sleep disorders
  • Migrating joint and muscle pain
  • Vertigo
  • Difficulty hearing
  • Vision difficulties
  • Weight gain or loss
  • “Air hunger”
  • Pain in the chest or ribs
  • “Heart block”
  • Neck pain, stiffness and cracking
  • Night sweats
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Heart murmur or valve prolapse
  • Light-headedness, dizziness
  • Menstrual irregularity

The Takeaway

This list of signs, symptoms and stages of Lyme disease is not exhaustive. I’ve talked to a lot of people with Lyme and many of our symptoms are similar, but others are different.

My friend, if you are struggling with an illness and the doctors have been unable to help you, you may want to consider this list to help you rule out (or in) Lyme disease, especially if you spend a lot of time outdoors or live in a tick-infested area.

And of course, if you know you’ve been bit by a tick, mosquito, etc and aren’t feeling well, please get yourself checked out immediately.

Here is a list of doctors who specialize in treating Lyme patients. I would highly recommend starting here.

Do you have any of these symptoms? Or do you have an unexplained illness and can’t seem to get answers?

Please share your comments below in the comment section. I love hearing from you!

For more on Lyme disease, you may want to check out:

Connect With Me Below:

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This post contains affiliate links. You can read our Affiliate Policy here.

Finally, the information provided in this article has not been evaluated by the FDA and is not intended to treat, prevent, diagnose or cure any disease or health problem.


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8 Ways To Improve Your Communication Skills: Your Friends And Family Will Love You For It

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Having good communication skills is vitally important in many areas of life. Yet it is sometimes, dare I say, neglected.

Whether at the office with co-workers, socializing with friends or at home with family learning how to communicate effectively is essential to developing good relationships with others. Not only can improved communication help you enhance your relationships, but it can also reduce feelings of stress and anxiety.

So, whether you’re a beginner with much room for improvement or a pro, here are eight steps you can take to develop amazing communication skills.

8 Tips To Improve Your Communication Skills

1. Listening is key.

Do you remember Verizon’s “Can you hear me now?” ad campaign?

It turns out there’s a big difference between hearing and listening. Hearing happens, “with or without your consent“. Hearing is passive and doesn’t require any effort on your part.

On the other hand, listening requires concentration and attention. You must consciously choose to listen.

Everyone wants to know they are being heard. So really listen to what the other person is saying without interrupting.

And without formulating a response in your head.

Barking Up The Wrong Tree‘s Eric Barker outlines the basics of active listening:

  • “Listen to what they say. Don’t interrupt, disagree or “evaluate.”

  • Nod your head, and make brief acknowledging comments like “yes” and “uh-huh.”

  • Without being awkward, repeat back the gist of what they just said, from their frame of reference.

  • Inquire. Ask questions that show you’ve been paying attention and that move the discussion forward.”

2. Eliminate distractions.

Put down your cell phone, shut your laptop, turn off the T.V. or whatever it is that might distract you from giving the other person your undivided attention.

This not only helps you pay better attention, but shows the other person you’re focused on them and what they have to say.

3. Pay attention to your body language.

Avoid sending out negative signals through negative body language such as tapping your feet nervously, avoiding eye contact and crossing your arms.

Instead, use open body language. Keep your arms uncrossed with palms up. Maintain good eye contact. And smile (when appropriate).

This positive body language sends the message that you’re approachable and interested in what the other person has to say.

4. Consider who you’re talking to.

For example, if you’re talking to your best friend it’s fine to use informal language, including slang.

If you’re a twin, you may enjoy “twin talk” with your identical sibling. No one else will understand what you’re saying but you two will, and that’s all that matters.

And if you’re conversing with your boss, it’s generally best to keep that in mind too. To sum up this tip, simply try to keep the other person’s perspective in mind.

5. Ask questions and paraphrase.communication

So I’ve been told I ask a lot of questions.

I’ve also been told curiosity killed the cat.

But I digress…

Ask questions to clarify your understanding of what the other person said.

Also, paraphrasing is a great tool to use to show the other person that you’re really listening. Here’s an example: “So Sam, what I’m hearing is that you’d prefer to go to the conference next week?”

6. Don’t finish other people’s sentences.

I know it can be tempting to “help” people when they’re struggling for a word or thought, but please avoid this temptation.

I admit I’ve done this before, usually thinking I’m being helpful, but simply put, it’s just not.

When you finish another person’s sentence, you’re actually stealing power from them in the conversation by taking over, and this never feels good or garners either of you the respect you wish for.

7. Avoid being judgmental.

Some conversations are fun and easy. Often this is because we feel comfortable and perhaps know the other person or have things in common.

But even the most difficult conversations can have successful resolutions.

It’s essential to put aside judgement and criticism about the other person if we want to be good communicators.

8. Be assertive and set boundaries.

Developing an assertive communication style has many benefits, especially when it comes to your health. According to www.anxietybc.com, assertive communication:

“can help you to relate to others more genuinely, with less anxiety and resentment. It also gives you more control over your life, and reduces feelings of helplessness. Furthermore, it allows OTHER people the right to live their lives.”

Assertiveness is based on mutual respect, which is an essential skill when communicating.

It’s also important to keep in mind that assertiveness is completely different from aggressiveness (or passive aggression).  The aim of aggressive behavior is to control and dominate others.

On the other hand, AnxietyBC points out assertive behavior is:

“the honest expression of one’s own needs, wants and feelings, while respecting those of the other person. When you communicate assertively, your manner is non-threatening and non-judgmental, and you take responsibility for your own actions.”

According to The Mayo Clinic, learning to be more assertive is a healthy skill which can help you control feelings of anger and stress, while boosting your self-respect.

The Takeaway

Learning and implementing excellent communication skills can help you be more successful in life. Knowing how to effectively communicate is an essential part of improving your relationships at work, with friends and family. And having these skills can help you enjoy better health and less stress and anxiety.

Do you have thoughts or more tips to share about being a better communicator?

Please share them below in the comment section. I love hearing from you!

 If you enjoyed this, you may want to check out:

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Spring Break Adventures With The Family And Tips For Traveling With Chronic Illness

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Hey guys! I’ve been out of the blogosphere for a few days because we took the family on a little spring break adventure to Florida.

I’ve missed being in touch and posting, so I thought I’d share a bit about our trip to let you know what’s been going on in my world.

I took my laptop on the trip thinking I’d write along the way, but between being so busy and feeling pretty wiped out from the fast pace, it simply didn’t happen.

David and I agreed it was one of our favorite trips with the kids yet. I was so thankful the boys could come because they’re often busy with work or other activities like college kids are.

Every family has their own vibe and when we all get together, there’s usually a lot of laughter, and with the 6 of us, things can get pretty loud.

We all love music, joking around, the occasional debate (some more than others-ha!), and having fun.

Spring Break, 2017

traveling with chronic illness
MO State Basketball – David and the girls

The weekend before our flight left for Florida we’d been in Columbia, MO for the Class 4 State Basketball Tournament where our Bolivar High School boys played in the championship game.

They played hard and did a great job!

We went back home for a night and repacked for Florida.

The next afternoon we flew into Orlando and moved into our hotel near SeaWorld.

Universal Studios, Islands Of Adventure

We woke up early the next morning, ate a big breakfast and headed to Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure.

traveling with chronic illness
The kids at the Harry Potter castle.
traveling with chronic illness
Sweet Emma enjoying a Butterbeer.

Drew and Cooper have read the Harry Potter books and seen the movies, and Maddie and Emma have read and seen some too, so this was definitely something they wanted to check out!

Some of the kids even tried the Butterbeer.

We rode ALL the rides we were interested in riding and then some. Thankfully we all love to ride roller coasters so no one was left out and it was a blast. 🙂

Talk about a G-force extravaganza!

And we did a lot of walking! At the end of the day my fitbit said I’d taken over 15,000 steps!

traveling with chronic illness
Cooper trying Butterbeer.
traveling with chronic illness
David and Drew at Universal

Wowza!

By 5:00 we’d conquered all the rides and had such a fun and full day.

We were hungry! So we headed out to Freddy’s for giant burgers and fries and frozen custard (because vacation ;)).

Then back to the hotel to crash around the pool and go to sleep.

SeaWorld

Rest.

Rinse.

And Repeat.

Woke up early. Ate a big breakfast. Headed to SeaWorld first thing.

traveling with chronic illness
Love them.

SeaWorld has changed so much since when D and I were kids. I thought it was pretty cool then, but they have some of the best coasters now, including Mako, Kraken and Manta.

The weather was gorgeous! The lines to the rides were short. I don’t think we had to wait more than 10 minutes to ride anything so we were loving that!

Plus, the shark aquarium is super cool and the Antarctica penguin exhibit

traveling with chronic illness
Coop and penguins

is so fun! Are penguins not the cutest little birds?!

We talked to some beautiful parrots…”Polly want a cracker?”

And petted the stingrays. The leopard print ones were my favorite!

We saw several shows, all of them entertaining and impressive

  • dolphins
  • killer whales
  • sea lions  (arrr, arrr, arrr!)
traveling with chronic illness
Not sure what this is about, but I like it. 😉

Overall, it was another super-fun day! And my fitbit said I had walked

about 14,000 steps….much more than I’ve done lately. Thankful.

But, whew, was I feeling the burn!

We were all hungry for dinner and went to Moe’s and filled up on giant burritos and burrito bowls made with fresh ingredients, including cilantro lime rice and guacamole (my personal favorite).

Then back to the hotel for some relaxation by the pool until we were ready to turn in for the night.

Tips For Traveling With Chronic Illness

If you or someone you love have a chronic illness, you probably understand how difficult traveling can be.

For me, traveling is one of my favorite things to do. I love the beach and won’t pass up an opportunity to go if humanly possible.

But since getting Lyme disease and a host of related medical issues, traveling is often challenging in ways that I never considered before when I was healthy.

I love to be on the go and be involved and it really bums me out when I can’t keep up with everyone else (but it won’t stop me from trying).

Even so, there have been plenty of trips when I’ve been stuck in the hotel room with a migraine, or in too much pain or too exhausted to move, etc. I can definitely be pretty stubborn when it comes to accepting this and have a lot of work to do in this area. But trust me, I get it. It really stinks to be shut in when everyone else is out exploring and having fun.

But then again, I’m praying and working towards recovery of my health so I’m not willing to give in.

I’ve learned the hard way plenty by overdoing it (as I’m sure many of you have too) and then spending a week or more recovering flat-out exhausted.

We all make our choices I suppose.

But you know what? You only live once, and (assuming your doctor hasn’t put restrictions on your activities) sometimes, to me, it’s so worth it to have to take a few days off to recover when I return from a trip.

Like right now, I’m wiped out, but I’m thankful to be able to write this blog post.

This particular trip I made the mistake of forgetting my turmeric curcumin supplement I take for  body pain.

Nothing is perfect, but if we can learn to go with the flow it helps!

Tips To Help When Traveling With Chronic Illness

  • Pack your medicines, supplements, etc. ahead of time to make sure you have everything you’ll need. Research the area you’re visiting. Not to be a Debbie Downer, but do they have a hospital nearby in the case of an emergency? It’s good to be prepared.
  • Communicate with your family or friends you’re traveling with. Be honest about your medical limitations and how you’re feeling.
  • Give yourself grace! You probably won’t be able to do everything you want to do but that’s okay. This is the hardest concept for me but I keep repeating it to myself and it really helps.
  • Be thankful for the small things. Focus on the positives. They are always there. Sometimes we just have to look a little harder to find them.
  • Keep a gratitude journal. I’ve found the more I’m aware of all I’m grateful for, the less I’m aware of the frustrations that come with my illness.
  • Show kindness to your travel companions. Say thank you. When you’re not feeling well it’s so easy to forget this, for me anyway. Try to remember that your illness is not only difficult for you, but can be hard on your loved ones too….because they love you and care about you and want you to feel better.
  • Drink lots of water! Eat healthy, whole foods.
  • Move your body. Gentle stretching is wonderful. If you’re up for a short walk that’s great too.
  • Get some fresh air. Take in the sunset in a comfy chair. Go barefoot outside.
  • Be flexible when scheduling outings.
  • Have fun!

    traveling with chronic illness
    Push ups by the pool

The Takeaway

Thanks for letting me share about our family trip with you!

We’ve enjoyed plenty of “staycations” and they can be super fun too, but I’m thankful it worked out for us to get away together this time.

I want you to know that if you enjoy traveling like I do, you don’t have to give it up just because you have a chronic illness.

Remember to be prepared, honestly communicate how you’re feeling with your travel buddies, give yourself grace, be flexible with your travel plans, focus on the positives and get some fresh air.

Do you enjoy traveling? Do you or someone you love have a chronic illness? What tips would you add to this list?

Please share your thoughts in the comment section below. I love hearing from you and will reply to your comments as soon as possible!

If you liked this, you might want to check out:

Connect With Me:

Pinterest — /LoriGeurin
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Twitter — @LoriGeurin
Instagram — @LoriGeurin
Bloglovin — lorigeurin
Email — healthylife@lorigeurin.com

This post contains affiliate links. You can read our Affiliate Policy here.


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The Media’s Impact On Kids And Body Image And What You Can Do To Help

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Media has a huge impact on our everyday lives.

It’s impossible to escape the in-your-face photo-shopped images everywhere we turn, on magazine covers in the grocery store, on billboards, commercials, T.V., and movies.

And these unattainable images are especially confusing and unhealthy to the younger generation.

Kids And Body Image

In fact, kids are quite perceptive of the images they see on magazine covers, as well as the impossibly thin models on t.v., in the movies and music videos.

Kids are young and impressionable and they internalize so much of what they see presented as the “ideal”.

To show you what I mean, check out these alarming statistics:

  • 81% of 10-year-olds are scared of being “fat”.
  • 51% of 9 and 10-year-old girls say they feel better about themselves when they’re dieting.
  • 13% of 15 to 17-year-old girls acknowledge having an eating disorder.
  • One study found adolescent girls were more fearful of gaining weight than getting cancer, nuclear war or losing their parents.
  • By the time they’re 17, girls have seen 250,000 TV commercials telling them they should be a decorative object, sex object or a body size they can never achieve.

    kids and body image
    Though not discussed as much, boys are also affected by impossible “ideal” body shapes they see in the media.
  • Nearly 18 percent of adolescent boys have concerns about their bodies and their weight. Among those boys, half wanted to gain more muscle and a third wanted to gain muscle and get thinner.

Troubling, right?

Fortunately, there are ways you can help safeguard your child’s body image.

Protect Your Child’s Body Image

As you probably already know, as parents (or grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc) we can’t protect our children from everything. But there are steps we can take to lessen the amount of exposure our kids have to these unrealistic, airbrushed images. and help protect their body image. Here are some ideas  that we’ve used with our kids that might help:

  • If you enjoy subscribing to magazines, focus on purchasing educational or hobby-related ones. Our daughter loves Outdoor Photographer. We also get Bicycling and Popular Science. We have them in a basket in the living room for easy access.  Try to avoid having gossip and fashion magazines lying around as these tend to be full of photo-shopped images.
  • Talk to your kids and make sure they know they can come and talk to you about anything. Encouraging free communication opens the door to many fun conversations! Admittedly, some can be awkward, but we’ve survived, even with 4 teenagers! The bottom line is to keep talking because even if you don’t think your kids hear a word you’re saying, they are listening!
  • Be aware who your child is friends with. I always wanted our house to be a place
    kids and body image
    Get to know your child’s friends.

    where our kids’ friends could hang out.  This allows you to get to know their friends better, observe interactions and offer a safe environment. After our boys left for college, things have quieted down a bit. But the girls enjoy having their friends over, playing ukuleles or ping-pong.

  • Model  a positive self body image. I realize for some of us this may be a struggle, especially if we have our own body image issues to contend with. But, you can do it! Try to avoid the words “fat” and “diet” in your house. If you’re constantly on a diet and counting calories your kids will notice, especially if you have girls. And they may think that’s what you’re supposed to do. In fact, an alarming number of very young girls are dieting these days. And it’s unhealthy for their developing bodies.
  • Avoid labeling foods as “bad” or “good”. Focus on foods you eat anytime or often (such as fruits and veggies) and foods you eat on occasion or rarely (such as dessert).

The Takeaway

Constant exposure to photo-shopped images in the media can have a negative impact on body image, especially for young children. Adults can help kids by modeling a good self body image, being involved in their child’s life through active and frequent conversations and being aware of who their child’s friends are.

What is your opinion about media’s impact on society? What tips would you add to this list?

Please post your comments below in the comment section. I love hearing from you!

Also, if you enjoyed this post you might want to check out:kids and body image

Finally, this post contains affiliate links. This simply helps cover expenses to keep the blog up and running. You can read our Affiliate Policy here.


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What Is Body Shaming And Why We Must Stop

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A shocking 30 million people will suffer from an eating disorder sometime in their life.

About 1,000 women die each year from eating disorders due to malnutrition, heart attack and suicide.

81% of 10-year-olds are scared of being “fat”.

51% of 9 and 10-year-old girls say they feel better about themselves when they are dieting.

9 and 10-year-olds!

body shaming
Many young girls are concerned about being “fat”.

Just let that sink in for a minute.

Not much gets me riled up lately quite like body shaming…Just ask my husband. 🙂 Not that he has or ever would body shame me because he hasn’t.

When we’re at home we might giggle when our “hilarious” daughter, Maddie (who so lovingly refers to me as “Mama Nori”) sometimes says in her deepest voice, “Big Mama Nori Hungry!” the lasting affects of body shaming are no laughing matter.

As you read in the statistics above, eating disorders (ED) are a serious problem for many people. And, according to the stats, ED patients are getting  younger and include more people.

Some of the reported causes of ED include teasing, bullying and dieting to “look better”, all of which could be related to body shaming.

What Is Body Shaming?

According to the dictionary, body shaming is “the action or practice of humiliating someone by making mocking or critical comments about their body shape or size.”

According to Walden Eating Disorders, body shaming shows up in different ways:

  1. Criticizing your appearance or comparing yourself to someone else (“I’m so fat.” “She’s so much prettier than me.”)
  2. Bashing another person’s appearance to their face (“You’re never gonna get a date until you lose 20 pounds.”)
  3. Criticizing another person behind their back (“At least you look better than him.” “She’s so skinny. I know she’s anorexic.”)

So, mindbodygreen.com, said in a recent article that body shaming can include the following behaviors:

  • A focus on dieting instead of nutrition (dieting focuses on looking a certain way, nutrition focuses on nourishing our body)
  • Refusing to ever indulge (it’s healthy to allow yourself occasional treats)
  • Idolizing body types presented by the media (God makes us all special, unique and created for a purpose)
  • Shaming people who are ‘’too skinny’’ (enough said)
  • Judging the variety of body types in the exercise room….or office, grocery store, etc.  (see above)
  • Judging others for conforming behaviors, despite understanding pressure we face from society (Can you relate?)
  • Judging personal expressions of sexuality  (believing certain body types should only wear certain styles of clothing)
  • Not knowing our own bodies  (such as avoiding looking at yourself in a mirror)
  • Defining beauty simply as a look, rather than a state of mind (believing beauty is only skin deep and missing the more meaningful attributes which make us who we are)

Dr. Jennifer Greenberg is a research director at Massachusetts General Hospital. She works with patients who suffer from severe fixations on their appearance. When asked about the constant barrage of the media influence she had this to say:

“The more that you’re exposed to these unrealistic, unattainable ideals, the more you’re likely to compare yourself or even compare others to those ideals, and the worse you tend to feel about yourself.”

Let’s Get Personal

body shaming
Love your body!

Have you ever experienced body shaming?

If so, how did you feel? Angry, hurt, or maybe even empowered?

Did you confront the body shamer?

Or, maybe you were the one doing the shaming.

Trust me. I’ve had plenty of “open mouth, insert foot” moments in my life, so let’s just be honest here.

What do you think led you down the path of body shaming in the first place?

Were you feeling lonely? Jealous? Or was it something else?

I think it’s important that we as a society examine what causes people to think body shaming is okay. In many circles is seems to be harmless acceptable norm.

May I just say, NOOOO!

It’s not okay, and we’re doing ourselves and our children a huge disservice by overlooking body shaming.

We need to confront body shaming when it happens. We don’t have to be all in your face about it. Just address what was said and how it makes you (or others) feel.

The Takeaway

Body shaming is a real problem in our society. It’s something people do to others. It is also something we do to ourselves and is not healthy.

It’s essential to confront body shaming when you witness it. Talk about how it makes you feel so you can work towards developing a healthy body image.

What are your thoughts or experiences with body shaming? Please share below in the comments section. I love hearing from you and will reply to your comments as soon as possible!

Also, if you enjoyed this post you might enjoy:

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13 Curcumin And Turmeric Benefits: An Impressive Healing Spice

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Turmeric is a spice belonging to the ginger family. It is commonly used in Asian food, such as curry. The vibrant yellow-orange color and zesty flavor make a delicious and healthful addition to a variety of dishes.

Curcumin is a yellow chemical produced by the turmeric plant. It is loaded with antioxidants!

Many studies show that turmeric is more effective than many prescription drugs. And, because turmeric is all-natural, it comes without the bothersome side effects of prescriptions.

Turmeric is one of the most impressive nutritional dietary supplements available. So read on to learn what makes this spice so unique.

13 Curcumin And Turmeric Benefits

1. A Powerful Anti-Inflammatory

When our body experiences long-term inflammation it can lead to a host of diseases. In fact, it’s now believed that most Western chronic diseases involve ongoing inflammation. This includes cancer, metabolic disorders, Alzheimer’s, heart disease and many other diseases.

Amazingly, the curcumin in turmeric is a powerful anti-inflammatory, as strong as effective as some pharmaceuticals without the side effects (1).

2. Can Help Prevent And Treat Cancer

Cancer is a horrible disease caused by out-of-control growth of abnormal cells.

Encouraging research studies show that curcumin may help prevent and treat different types of cancer. (2)

3. A Natural Painkiller

Results of a study in the European Journal of Pharmacology show that curcumin turns on the opioid systems in lab animals. This our body’s natural pain-killing response.

The U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research recommends that burn victims be treated with all-natural curcumin instead of addictive opioids. This trend away from prescription opioids is a very good one if you ask me.

4. May Reverse Depression Symptoms

In one study, curcumin was shown to be as effective as prozac in treating patients with depression. (4) And, once again, without the side effects.

Evidence also suggests curcumin increases the brain’s serotonin and dopamine levels. (5, 6).

5. A Natural Treatment For Arthritis

Arthritis is a common condition that causes pain, inflammation and stiffness in the joints.

In a study published in Phytotherapy Research in 2012, patients with rheumatoid arthritis were given curcumin. It was found to be more effective than an anti-inflammatory drug for treating their arthritis symptoms. (7)

6. May Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that destroys the memory. One feature of Alzheimer’s is the buildup of Amyloid plaques. Research shows curcumin can help wipe out these plaques. (8)

7. Lowers Heart Disease Risk

turmeric benefits
Curcumin my lower the risk of heart disease.

Heart disease kills more people worldwide than any other disease.

There are many things that contribute to it, but curcumin may help reverse some of these processes. (9)

The endothelium is the lining of the blood vessels. It is essential in maintaining proper blood pressure and blood clotting. Studies show that curcumin can improve endothelial function, which is essential in preventing heart disease. (10)

8. A Powerful Antioxidant

Antioxidants protect our bodies from damage caused by free radicals. Curcumin is a potent antioxidant that can counteract free radicals. (11)

Curcumin can also activate the body’s antioxidant-producing enzymes. (12)

9. Lower Blood Sugar And Reverse Diabetes

Biochemistry and Biophysical Research Communications published a study in 2009 out of Auburn University that found turmeric can help reverse Type 2 Diabetes.

Furthermore, the study noted that curcumin is 200 times more potent than Metformin (a leading diabetes medication) when it comes to initiating AMPK, which improves insulin sensitivity. (13)

10. Can Help Heal The Gut

Over time, taking prescription drugs can damage the stomach floral and intestinal lining causing a host of gastrointestinal issues.

A review of all the studies assessing curcumin’s ability to manage inflammatory bowel disease found many patients improved so dramatically by taking curcumin that they were able to stop taking prescription steroids they’d been taking prior. (14)

11. Regulates Cholesterol

A 2008 study published in the journal Drugs in R & D found that curcumin was as effective or more effective at treating symptoms of high cholesterol than Lipitor. (15)

12. Reduces Risk Of Childhood Leukemia

Children under 5 are more susceptible to leukemia. However, in Asian countries there is a lower incidence of leukemia, likely related to diet. For example, curry is a popular dish there and curry contains turmeric.

Research shows that consuming turmeric may reduce childhood leukemia (12).

13. May Increase Longevity

Because turmeric is rich in antioxidants and helps prevent and reverse many serious diseases, it may add years to your life (or life to your years).

Either way you look at it, turmeric and curcumin are great choices if you’re searching for an anti-aging supplement. So read on for info about how to get the most benefits from this amazing spice.

How To Use Turmeric

turmeric benefits
Curcumin is used to flavor many dishes, including this vegetable curry.
  1. Add it to your food. Popular in curry dishes, it’s also a great way to spice up soups, eggs, meat and veggie dishes.
  2. Take it as a supplement. I recommend taking one with black pepper, which contains piperine. The piperine greatly enhances the absorption of the turmeric, like as much as 2000%. Here’s an example of a turmeric curcumin supplement with piperine.
  3. Drink turmeric tea. Here’s a simple recipe, courtesy of realsimple.com:

 Replace the water with coconut or almond milk if you prefer, and modify according to taste, adding spices such as cinnamon, ginger or cayenne and natural sweeteners.

  • 1-2 cups of boiling water
  • Add 1-2 teaspoon of ground or freshly-grated turmeric (preferably USDA certified organic to avoid contaminants and pesticides) to the boiling water. If too strong, use less turmeric. Simmer for about 10 minutes along with any additional spices. If using freshly-grated turmeric, simmer for a few minutes longer.
  • Strain the tea into a cup and add lemon, milk or honey to taste.

The Takeaway

In closing, turmeric has some awesome health benefits such as reversing diabetes and depression, preventing Alzheimer’s, cancer, childhood Leukemia, and managing cholesterol and pain just to name a few. It’s also easy to take as a supplement or use to flavor your food or beverages.

I hope you enjoyed reading about curcumin and turmeric benefits because it really is an amazing spice!

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