11 Worst Snacks for Your Gut Health, Say Dietitians

11 Worst Snacks for Your Gut Health, Say Dietitians

Claremont Colonic Newsletter

A dietitian weighs in on the worst snacks for your gut and why you should limit these treats.

Your digestive tract is (obviously) the vehicle for food to nourish your body. But as you reach for everyday snacks, how much do you think about choosing foods that nourish the gut itself? You don’t have to be living with a digestive disorder to want to encourage a healthy, happy gut via your snacking. Maintaining good gut health has a variety of benefits, no matter who you are! From promoting more regular digestion to helping prevent disease, the microbiome—aka the sum total of beneficial bacteria in your GI tract—plays an important role.

You might know that fermented foods like yogurt, kimchi, and miso promote a friendly environment for good gut bugs, but on the flip side, other foods do the opposite. Many common snacks aren’t doing your gut health any favors.

We tapped dietitians for their advice when it comes to smaller bites that can mess with your gut. Here are their picks for the top 11 offenders. Then, make sure to check out 5 Best Drinks To Improve Gut Health.

1. Candy

Overdoing it on sweet treats isn’t a smart move for all sorts of health issues, gut health included. “We know that a diet high in sugar has many downstream health effects, but often, folks forget gut health,” says Caroline Thomason, RD, CDCES. “A high-sugar diet can disrupt the balance of good and bad gut bugs and may contribute to worsening gastrointestinal symptoms like bloating, gas, pain, and loose stools.”

Fortunately, that doesn’t mean all desserts are bad news for your belly. According to Thomason, research shows that dark chocolate might be one sweet treat that improves gut health! “Rich in fiber and nutrients and low in added sugars, you might be better off with a square of dark chocolate instead of reaching for the candy bowl,” she says.

2. French fries

When swinging through the drive-thru for a mid-day snack, protect your gut by steering clear of the French fries. “Deep-fried foods like salty French fries are high in saturated fats and salt,” says Steph Magill, MS, RD, CD, FAND, of Soccer Mom Nutrition. “They reduce the healthy gut bacteria and may even lead to more gut inflammation,” says Magil. Consider a fruit salad or yogurt parfait as a better option for fast food snacking.

3. Potato chips

Real, whole potatoes have beneficial nutrients for your gut, including fiber and resistant starch—but just like French fries, potato chips are fried, significantly lowering their health factor. “Snack foods like salty potato chips can have the same impact [as French fries] on gut health,” says Magill. “High-fat foods also have an impact on slowing digestion, which affects your gut health.”

4. Sugar-free sweets

If regular candy is off the table for gut health, you might think artificially sweetened treats would be a helpful substitute—but these have drawbacks of their own.

“Artificial sweeteners can disrupt the communication between bacteria in the microbiome and increase inflammation within the gut,” says gut health dietitian Julie Balsamo, MS, RDN, of Nutrition by Julie. “Recent research also suggests that artificial sweeteners could cause changes in the microbiome that may impact insulin resistance and weight gain.” If you want a sugar fill, fresh fruit makes the best gut-friendly choice for a sweet fix.

5. Refined wheat crackers

“Foods that are heavily processed can damage the gut microbiome, as they are filled with unhealthy additives like sugar and preservatives and are low in fiber,” says Moushumi Mukherjee, MS, RDN.

Crackers made with refined wheat, such as artificially flavored cheese crackers or graham crackers, definitely fall into the “heavily processed” category, making them some of the worst snacks for gut health. “These foods do not provide the ideal conditions for the growth of healthy bacteria. The sugar allows bad bacteria to flourish even more, while not having enough fiber in our gut inhibits the growth of healthy bacterial colonies,” says Mukherjee.

6. Bologna

When it comes to the worst snack for gut health, America’s favorite lunch meat makes the list. Scientific evidence shows that processed meats like bologna, kielbasa, and bacon are some of the worst culprits for inflammation. “These meats have been found to have pro-inflammatory effects on the gut and may alter the gut microbiome,” says Lisa Andrews, MEd, RD, LDN.

7. Deli ham or turkey

You may want to add other processed deli meats to your list of snacks to avoid as well. “One food to watch out for when it comes to maintaining a healthy digestive system is lunch meat, like deli ham or turkey,” says Kristin Draayer, MS, RDN. “Research has shown that these processed meats can increase the risk of both bowel and stomach cancers.”

That said, if you love a savory turkey or ham sandwich, you don’t have to give up this convenient mini-meal entirely. “It’s a good idea to try to enjoy them less frequently and in smaller portions,” Draayer says.

8. Store-bought cookies

There are plenty of ways to make healthier cookies at home, like using whole wheat flour, mashing a banana or avocado into the mix for softer batter, or adding a cup of high-fiber oats. But most store-bought cookies don’t employ any of these healthier baking techniques. Instead, they rely on refined grains, sugars, and preservatives to create a sweet finished product.

All this processing isn’t a route to smoother digestion. “There is a growing body of research to show that consuming a diet high in ultra-processed foods can have negative effects on gut health,” says food scientist and dietitian Dr. Shyamala “Shy” Vishnumohan, PhD.

Granted, this doesn’t mean store-bought cookies should never make an appearance as an afternoon or post-dinner treat, but Vishnuomohan encourages re-thinking how often you consume them. “Instead of fearing a particular food, take a look at the percentage of ultra-processed foods you are feeding your gut microbes. This is a good place to start with re-assessing your diet.”

9. Pork rinds

As fried foods, pork rinds won’t make any lists of good-for-you snacks. With their combination of ultra-processing, complete lack of fiber, and high fat content, these crispy bites are an especially poor choice for your gut. In fact, a 2021 animal study found that pork fat significantly altered the microbiome and was unbeneficial to intestinal health. For a better crunchy choice, consider veggie chips or lightly salted nuts.

10. Snack cakes

Snack cakes are another epitome of ultra-processing, containing high amounts of sugar, fat, preservatives, and artificial flavors and colors. According to Melissa Hooper, MS, RDN, founder of Bite-Size Nutrition, foods like these can wreak havoc on gut health.

“Sugar is well known to increase inflammation, which can change the microbiome in the gut as well as damage the gut lining, which can decrease good bacteria,” she says.

11. Soda

“Soda has been known as a poor food choice for quite some time, however, it can be particularly bad for gut health too,” says Kimberley Wiemann, MS, RDN. According to Wiemann, soda’s added sugars can pull extra water into your digestive tract, leaving you with side effects like diarrhea, while the caffeine in some soft drinks can also make digestion undesirably speedy. “Diet sodas may be even worse for gut health because the artificial sweeteners can disrupt the healthy bacteria in your gut,” she says.

Contributor: Sarah Garone, NDTR -Eat This, Not That!

16 Illnesses Water Can Prevent and Heal

16 Illnesses Water Can Prevent and Heal

Claremont Colonic Center Newsletter
Water is by far the most important resource in the world, yet it garners the respect of so few. How often do you find yourself standing with the fridge door open looking for something to drink – completely ignoring your jug of filtered water that sits before your eyes?
The truth is, water should always be the beverage of choice. While the human body can go about 3 weeks without food, it cannot survive for more than 3 days without water.

Water is essential to every bodily function. No other liquid can sustain your body like water, and the body needs a certain amount of water to function well.

About 80% of the human brain is water, blood contains 83% water, the lungs 79% and muscles 76%. All in all, the human body is comprised of about 75% water. Every function in the body is dependent on a steady supply and flow of water.

Water transports such things as hormones, chemicals and nutrients which are vital to efficient organ function. Without water we would not be able to digest or absorb minerals or nutrients and our kidneys would fail from toxic overload.

Water is, in fact, a sort of miracle elixir – but have you ever thought of it that way?

Here are just a few of the amazing things that water can do for your health:

  • keep skin vibrant and supple
  • escort toxins from the body
  • support healthy metabolism
  • improve energy
  • remove body heat
  • lubricate joints
  • improve mental and physical performance
  • support digestion

But hold on… we are just getting started. Water, yes, simple, plain old water, the same water that you might bypass for something more glamourous… not only sustains life but holds within it the capacity to heal. Here are sixteen illnesses that water can help prevent and reverse. We hope that after reading this article you will be convinced that water should ALWAYS be your first beverage of choice.


It is estimated that over 52 million adults in the United States have some form of arthritis – which literally means “joint inflammation”. The pain and discomfort of this condition varies from a minor inconvenience to a full-blown disability. Millions of dollars are spent on anti-inflammatory and pain medications that often have harsh side effects.

Persons suffering from arthritis are often subjected to a life sentence to these harsh drugs, but there may be a better way. The most important thing that someone with arthritis can do is to make sure that their joints are lubricated, and water can do this. Water not only lubricates but also pads joints and reduces the friction that causes pain.

A suction-like motion pulls water from bone marrow to the joint cavity; this helps joints glide easily. If there is not enough water available it causes friction and eventually pain. If you are severely dehydrated, dry cartilage can die and peel off from the contact surface of the bones.


Gout, being a form of arthritis, is also markedly improved if not completed kept at bay with a proper consumption of water. Water helps to remove uric acid and other toxins from joints that build-up causing swelling and pain.


This painful condition is characterized by low bone mass and a structural breaking down of bone tissue. Over 10 million Americans suffer from osteoporosis and over 34 million have low bone mass – a precursor to this disease. Although there are certain risk factors that are out of our control, such as race and gender, there is much that we can control – such as how much water we consume. Water not only helps prevent this condition but it can also help sufferers cope.

Heart Disease

Often called the silent killer, taking the lives of almost 2,200 people daily – yes, we said daily. Heart disease is rampant and we seem to be able to do little to control it. However, it appears as though there is a strong relationship between water and coronary health. One study demonstrated that drinking 5 or more glasses of water per day can cut the risk of dying from a heart attack by 50%. Study leaders say that drinking water is as important as exercising, not smoking and diet in preventing heart disease.


Constipation is an annoying and often painful condition that millions of Americans suffer from. If you have less than 3 stools per week you are constipated. If you have less than one stool a week, you are severely constipated.

The cause of constipation can be traced back to any number of things, including poor diet, medication, poor bowel habits, dehydration, hormonal disorders and laxative abuse. For many people, the discomfort of constipation becomes so great that they reach for over-the-counter medications for relief. Unfortunately, many of these medications only mask the symptoms and can make the problem worse.

It is important to consume a diet that contains healthy fats, fibers, vitamins and minerals, but it is equally important to consume adequate amounts of water. Not only does water help rid the body of toxins but it also supports healthy digestion. When you are hydrated, less water will be taken from the colon – leaving stools softer and easier to pass.


Many people have high blood pressure and don’t even know it. Of course such things as dropping a few pounds, adopting a healthy diet and exercising can all help keep blood pressure in its normal ranges – but did you know how important it is to drink water as well?

When you don’t consume enough water the body actually hangs on to sodium to preserve fluids. Dehydration forces the shutdown of capillary beds and puts a tremendous pressure on both capillaries and arteries which elevates blood pressure. So, staying well-hydrated is a very important part of keeping hypertension at bay.


Starve a fever – feed a cold, is a common saying we hear a lot. What about hydrate a fever instead? Having a fever actually means that the body is fighting off an illness or an infection and is a good sign that things aren’t quite right. Having a fever leads to dehydration because the body will drain water from cells. Fever causes fluid loss and it is paramount that you replace these fluids – water is the best choice. Dehydration can make symptoms worse and cause additional discomfort.

Skin Issues

You may not think about your skin as an organ but in fact, it is the body’s largest organ and is comprised of cells that are made up of water. Just like any other organ, skin needs water to be healthy. Many skin conditions such as overly dry, flaky or blotchy skin may be the result of dehydration. Without adequate water, skin can age prematurely and develop a greater number of wrinkles.

Sleep Disturbances

One in three persons suffer from some kind of sleep disturbance, more commonly known as insomnia. Characterized by a persistent problem falling asleep or staying asleep, insomnia can interfere with your work and social life and also contribute to serious health conditions.

An alarming number of people turn to both prescription and over-the-counter sleeping pills to ease their suffering. However, these pills are dangerous and can be highly addictive. Like so many other conditions, an adequate water intake is essential to reducing overall inflammation which can interfere with a good night’s sleep. When combined with a healthy diet, stress management and exercise, it is possible to develop a healthy sleeping routine without the use of medication.

Yeast Infection

Yeast infections, caused by a fungus, are annoying and can be very painful. Almost 75% of women will be impacted by one of these infections in their lifetime – some more than others. Although many people turn to garlic and yogurt to combat these infections, one of the best tools is actually pure and simple water.

The more water you drink, the more you flush out excess sugars that can cause yeast infections. If you are prone to yeast infections, adding plenty of water to a healthy diet along with managing stress can prove to be one of the most effective tools for keeping infections at bay.


According to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in Bethesda, MD., Americans suffer over one billion colds each year. Oh the dreaded cold; runny nose, sore throat, lack of energy and the host of other uncomfortable symptoms that go with it drag so many people down.

Over-the-counter drugs only seem to keep symptoms at bay – and some, don’t do this very well. The truth be known, once you get a cold virus there is very little you can do but ride it out as comfortably as possible.

However, you can do things to keep a cold from turning your life upside down in the first place – including washing hands and eating a healthy diet. While you may do these things, it is easy to forget that one of the best ways to keep yourself healthy is to replace lost fluids with water. Water helps to flush out toxins and also helps the body to produce mucus. When fighting off a cold, the body needs more water than usual and can easily get dehydrated.

Blood Sugar

According to French researchers, drinking four or more 8 ounce glasses of water per day can prevent the development of high blood sugar – a condition known as prediabetes. One in three Americans have this dangerous precursor to diabetes.

Researchers state that a hormone called vasopressin (an antidiuretic hormone) helps to balance water retention. When we become dehydrated, the levels of this hormone increase which causes the kidneys to conserve water. Studies indicate that there are vasopressin receptors in the liver – which produces glucose in the body and that higher levels of vasopressin may cause a rise in blood sugar.

Bladder Infection

Although the bladder passes fluids from the body – it needs water to do its job. The elastic muscle fibers of the bladder allow it to expand and store up to 750 ml of fluid. Pressure on the bladder walls trigger the need to urinate. Bladder infections are the result of bacteria entering the urine, which in turn creates the same urge to urinate as a full bladder. Consuming 6-8 glasses of water each day can help keep the bladder healthy and free from bacteria.

Kidney Stones

A proper supply of water helps to keep the kidneys functioning properly. Kidneys, along with the liver and urinary tract, are responsible for ridding the body of toxic materials. If the kidneys stop doing its job for just two days, metabolic toxins would accumulate and cause poisoning. When bacteria and proteins build up, stones (crystals) form – these are very painful and can be difficult to pass. Studies indicate that dehydration can increase the chance of stones to develop.

Asthma and Seasonal Allergies

According to studies, a lack of water vapor in the lungs can cause airways to constrict and produce mucus – this can bring on an asthma attack. For this reason it is vital that persons suffering with asthma drink plenty of water each day. At least ten 8 ounce glasses are recommended.

If you suffer from seasonal allergies, it is also highly important to stay hydrated. Drinking water helps the body flush out irritants, thins mucus and helps with sinus drainage.

What kind of water should I drink?

There are some people who drink enough water but are not consuming the right water. Perhaps you are under the assumption that your tap water is safe because the government says it is safe? In fact, your tap water might contain up to 80 so called “regulated” contaminants and many unregulated toxins.

Perhaps you purchase bottled water in an attempt to stay safe, however, there is a major problem with deceptive labelling in the bottled water industry.

Don’t be fooled by marketing campaigns that state that the water is from a spring or pristine pool. Bottled water is just water and a very, very big business. Each year, over $75 billion dollars are spent on bottled water.

Bottled water in the United States falls under the authority of the FDA. Since over 70% of bottled water never crosses a state line for sale, it is exempt from the scrutiny of the FDA.

Tests done on bottled water have turned up traces of carcinogenic compounds, pharmaceuticals, fluoride, and arsenic to name a few. Bottled water is not a good value and creates mounds and mounds of trash that ends up in our oceans and landfills, no matter how much we recycle.

Toxins in Drinking Water


Known as an extremely dangerous toxin, fluoride is added to water sources including municipal water as well as bottled water. Adding fluoride to water has been banned in other countries but remains a common practice in many American cities; although some have rejected this practice since as early as 1990.


Arsenic is a heavy, toxic metal that is classified by the International Academy for Research on Cancer as a Category l carcinogen. This means that it is a known cancer causing metal. The Environmental Protection Agency set the acceptable standard for arsenic at 10 parts per billion in tap water. Many states exceed this standard.


Inhaling chlorine is dangerous to health and ingesting it is even more so. Chlorine is added to water to kill certain bacteria. Once chlorine enters the body, it joins with other compounds to form Trihalomethanes which trigger free radical damage. In a recent study, chlorine was added to the water supply of rats who developed tumors in their intestines, liver and kidneys.

The United States Council of Environmental Quality, states that people who consume water with chlorine have an over 90% higher risk of developing cancer than those who don’t. Even after the results of this and other similar studies have been presented before the government, chlorine continues to be added to water.


So, after reading this you may be thinking, what should I drink if I cannot drink tap or bottled water? Here are a few options; as with anything, be sure that these options are suitable for your needs and do your research before making a purchase. Some systems are better than others at removing harmful contaminants. Arrange to have your tap water tested so that you know what it is you need to filter out.

There are a few options to consider when it comes to improving the quality of your drinking water. A whole house water filtration system may set you back a few bucks, but it is worth it in the long run. A good system will filter multiple impurities including chlorine from your entire water supply and requires only minor maintenance like changing the filter.

Reverse osmosis systems, either countertop, under the counter or whole house types can be costly and actually strip water of just about everything, including healthy trace minerals. Do not use a reverse osmosis filter system unless you are going to supplement your diet with trace minerals. Pitcher filtration systems that go in the refrigerator are inexpensive, but many often fall short of removing all water contaminants. However, we have found one type of pitcher filtration system that actually does work and leaves the water tasting amazing.

How much water should I drink?

If your urine has low odor and is pale colored, you are most likely on track. Some health practitioners say to aim for at least ten glasses a day, while others recommend half of your body weight in ounces.

Of course, if you are working out or spending time outdoors in the heat, it is essential that you replace water lost due to perspiration. You can also pull the skin on the top of your hand to see if it bounces back. If it stays up for a while, grab a glass or two of water, your tank is probably low.

So, it is clear, the next time you really want something to drink – push the soda, fruity juice concoctions, energy drinks, etc. aside and satisfy yourself with pure and natural water – your body will thank you.

Contributor: The Alternative Daily

Elle Sez Series-Know Your Body: The Urinary System

Claremont Colonic Center

Elle Sez Series-Know Your Body: The Urinary System

Claremont Colonic Center
The urinary system includes the kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra. This system filters your blood, removing waste and excess water. This waste becomes urine. The most common urinary issues are bladder infections and urinary tract infections (UTIs).

What is the urinary system?

The urinary system works as a filter, removing toxins and wastes from your body through urine. It uses a series of tubes and ducts to pass this waste. These tubes are connected to your blood vessels and digestive system. Your urinary system helps the rest of your body work properly.


What does the urinary system do?

Your urinary system filters your blood to get rid of what your body doesn’t need. It eliminates extra water and salt, toxins, and other waste products. Different parts of the urinary system perform tasks including:

  • Filtering blood. Separating the toxins you don’t need from the nutrients you do need.
  • Storing and carrying urine out of your body.

How does the urinary system clean my blood?

Your kidneys are an essential part of filtering your blood. Here’s how the urinary system works:

  • Your blood enters each kidney through lots of little arteries.
  • Your kidneys filter your blood, separating toxins from nutrients.
  • Vitamins, minerals, nutrients and proteins return to your bloodstream.
  • Waste products and urine move through your ureters to your bladder. Your bladder stores urine until you use the toilet.
  • Urine leaves your body through your urethra.


What are the parts of the urinary system?

The kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra make up the urinary system. They all work together to filter, store and remove liquid waste from your body. Here’s what each organ does:

  • Kidneys: These organs work constantly. They filter your blood and make urine, which your body eliminates. You have two kidneys, one on either side of the back of your abdomen, just below your rib cage. Each kidney is about as big as your fist.
  • Ureters: These two thin tubes inside your pelvis carry urine from your kidneys to your bladder.
  • Bladder: Your bladder holds urine until you’re ready to empty it (pee). It’s hollow, made of muscle, and shaped like a balloon. Your bladder expands as it fills up. Most bladders can hold up to 2 cups of urine.
  • Urethra: This tube carries urine from your bladder out of your body. It ends in an opening to the outside of your body in the penis (in men) or in front of the vagina (in women).

Conditions and Disorders

What conditions and disorders affect the urinary system?

Many conditions can affect the ureters, kidneys, bladder and urethra. Infections, diseases, or problems can appear at birth or develop as you get older. Some common urinary disorders are:

  • Infections: Urinary tract infections and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) can cause issues in the kidneys, urethra, or bladder. These infections occur when bacteria or viruses enter your urinary tract through your urethra. Your doctor can prescribe medication to treat an infection.
  • Structural problems: Sometimes babies are born with birth defects that affect the way their urinary tract is formed. These abnormalities can cause urine to back up in the kidneys and cause infection. Later in life, a bladder prolapse can occur after pregnancy or as women age. A prolapsed bladder drops into the vagina or hangs out of the vaginal opening. Sometimes structural issues need surgery to repair the issue.
  • Kidney stones: These masses form when waste products in urine clump together. Kidney stones or ureteral stones (kidney stones that move to the ureter) can cause severe pain and block the flow of urine. Your doctor may use ultrasound (sound waves) to break the stones into tiny pieces so they’re easier to pass.
  • Urination problems: Loss of bladder control, or urinary incontinence (leakage), causes urine to leak a little or a lot. Urinary incontinence most often occurs in women, usually after pregnancy or later in life. It can be worse when you cough, laugh, sneeze or jump. Overactive bladder happens when you feel the sudden urge to urinate often. Medications can help treat these conditions.
  • Urinary tract obstruction: Growths or cancerous tumors in the abdomen can affect the flow of urine. In men, an enlarged prostate (also called benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH) can block the ureter so it’s harder to urinate. BPH can be treated with medications or surgery. Other causes of ureteral obstruction include pregnancy and gastrointestinal (GI) issues like Crohn’s disease.
  • Kidney disease: The most common causes of chronic kidney disease are high blood pressure and diabetes. Managing blood pressure and blood sugar is crucial to lowering your risk of kidney disease. A genetic condition called polycystic kidney disease causes fluid-filled cysts to form inside the kidneys. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen (Advil®) or naproxen (Aleve®), may damage your kidneys. The usual recommended dose of acetaminophen (Tylenol®) is safe for your kidneys. Check with your doctor to learn which over-the-counter pain medicines are safest for you. Overdoses of almost all medicines — prescription and over-the-counter — can cause your kidneys to work too hard when filtering waste, which can lead to kidney failure. Kidney failure may require dialysis or a kidney transplant.
  • Interstitial cystitis: Also called painful bladder syndrome, this condition causes inflammation (swelling and irritation) in the bladder. Medications and physical therapy can improve the symptoms of painful bladder syndrome.

How common are these conditions?

The most common urinary issues are bladder infections and urinary tract infections (UTIs). UTIs are more common in women than in men. More than 60% of women will get a UTI in their lifetime.

About half of women over 65 experience urinary incontinence, usually because of stretched muscles from pregnancy and childbirth. Kidney stones are also fairly common, occurring in about 1 in every 10 people.


How can I keep my urinary system healthy?

You can’t prevent most urinary tract problems. But you can try to keep your urinary system healthy with proper hygiene and a healthy lifestyle. To help your urinary system work the way it should, you can:

  • Drink plenty of water: Staying hydrated will flush out your system and can help you prevent kidney stones and UTIs. You can try drinking cranberry juice to ward off a UTI. Compounds in cranberries may stop bacteria from growing.
  • Eat a healthy diet: Low sodium, high-calcium foods may prevent kidney stones.
  • Wipe the right way: Women should always wipe front to back after using the toilet. Proper wiping reduces the risk of bacteria getting into the vagina and causing a UTI.
  • Empty your bladder after sex: If you’re a woman, you should use the bathroom after having sex. Peeing promptly can clear out bacteria and reduce your risk of a UTI.
  • Practice safe sex: Protect yourself from an STI with a condom. But be careful with spermicides because they can cause bacteria to flourish.
  • Do pelvic floor exercises: Also called Kegel exercises, these can reduce your risk of urinary incontinence by strengthening the muscles in your pelvic floor.

Frequently Asked Questions

When should I call my doctor if I think I might have a problem with my urinary tract?

If you’re having trouble or pain when urinating, you should visit your doctor. It may be a sign of an infection or another condition. Call your doctor if you have:

  • Blood in your urine.
  • Burning sensation, pain or difficulty urinating.
  • Pain in your pelvic area, lower back, genital area, or flank (the back and sides of your abdomen).
  • Trouble holding your urine or problems with leaking urine.
  • A feeling that something is bulging out of your vagina.

A note from Cleveland Clinic

Your urinary system plays a critical role in keeping you alive. It filters your blood and removes waste and excess water through urine. Your urinary system includes your kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra. Conditions like urinary tract infections, sexually transmitted infections, kidney diseases, and urinary tract obstruction can affect the health of your urinary system. If you have one of these conditions, talk to your healthcare provider about steps you can take to ensure your health.

Contributor: ClevelandClinic.org

What Your Feet Tell You About the Health of Your Arteries

What Your Feet Tell You About the Health of Your Arteries

Claremont Colonic and Nutrient Clinic
What can your feet tell you about the health of your cardiovascular system?
Actually, quite a bit. Atherosclerosis, the hardening of the arteries due to plaque buildup, can occur throughout the body, not just near the heart. When it occurs in the arteries that lead to your feet, it may be an indicator of an increased risk of heart disease.

The buildup of plaque in arteries leading to the extremities is known as peripheral artery disease (PAD). According to the Cleveland Clinic, some symptoms of PAD include pain the the legs, getting tired easily after exercise, and trouble walking distances. The Mayo Clinic states that sometimes people show no symptoms of PAD, however, many people experience muscle pain and cramping in the legs, usually in the calves.

Other symptoms listed by the Mayo Clinic include leg numbness, one lower leg or foot feeling colder than the other, a change in leg color, changes in hair growth on the legs or feet, shiny skin over the area, leg or foot pain even while resting (in severe cases) and an absent or weak pulse in the feet or legs.

The Cleveland Clinic recommends asking your primary physician to check the pulses in your feet if you show any symptoms of PAD, have a family history of PAD or heart disease, or have a history of smoking. This is a simple test that can be done during a routine examination. A physician can also do an ankle brachial index, which utilizes blood pressure cuffs and an ultrasound wave to detect a pulse in the region.

While detecting PAD can indeed tell you a lot about your greater cardiovascular risk, the Cleveland Clinic states that healthy individuals who do not smoke and do not have a family history of heart disease generally do not need to be screened, as the test can sometimes give a false positive. However, if you are concerned, talk to a health professional that you trust about your PAD risk, and whether it would be beneficial to check the pulses in your feet.

Even if your leg pain seems relatively minor, a conversation with a health professional is a wise idea, as PAD itself can lead to serious complications, including the loss of a foot or leg, if it worsens to a certain point. It is worth it to have the conversation, for the sake of your overall mobility and health.

Contributor: The Alternative Daily