Gluten is a particular kind of protein that is not found in eggs or meat but is in barley, rye, wheat and triticale (a cross between wheat and rye). Going gluten-free means avoiding these grains. A gluten-free diet is essential for those who have celiac disease, a condition that causes inflammation in the small intestines, or gluten allergies.  Symptoms of celiac disease include anemia, constipation or diarrhea, bloating, gas, headaches, skin rashes, joint pain and fatigue.



Have you noticed? Look around and you’ll see a majority of Americans who are either overweight or obese. Look in supermarkets and you’ll see a plethora of food products, many of them processed or high-fat and/or sweet laden.  Consuming such a diet often leads to poor health and weight gain. It is not surprising that the leading cause of death in the United States is heart disease. A number of diseases, including pre-diabetes, diabetes, stroke and depression, are linked to how we eat .....



Just what is in the food we eat? Considering the food chain, did you know adding antibiotics to food dates back to the 1940s? Antibiotic use has led to a dramatic reduction in illness and death from infectious diseases, yet there is a downside to this practice. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and others encourage health care professionals and patients to use antibiotics more wisely and seek education and understanding about both the risks and benefits of using them.


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Take care of yourself.

You’re likely suffering from your own heartache as you watch a loved one battle this disorder. When someone is depressed, he or she may say things that are hurtful or negative and your emotions are sure to take a hit. Your emotional health is just as important, and your loved one needs your positive strength to draw from. Keep doing things that make you happy. You may need someone to talk to as well. Seek support to work through your own thoughts and feelings about the situation.

Recovery is different for everyone who suffers from depression. Symptoms may only last a couple of weeks for some, but if left untreated, depression can last up to eight months. Understand recovery doesn’t happen overnight. Being persistent and patient with your loved are the best things you can do.  

Depression is a difficult diagnosis, not only for those who suffer from it, but also for their family members and friends. It’s tough to see a loved one unhappy and unmotivated, struggling with his or her mental state every day. You want to do everything you can to help him or her get back to his or her normal self and find the joy in life again, but what can you say and how much can you intervene without making things worse?

Where family members tend to get it wrong is in thinking depression is just a “bad mood” that can be fixed by “snapping out of it.” Depression is a disorder that is not easily understood and should not be underestimated in its seriousness. While this disorder can be treated, it takes time.

It’s common to feel helpless, frustrated, fearful, sad or even guilty when trying to help someone you love who has depression. Here are some things you can try to positively support your loved one’s recovery:

Learn about depression.

Part of the reason you may struggle to help your loved one is you haven’t experienced the illness yourself. You have no idea what is happening in his or her mind. Make an effort to understand what the person is going through. Understanding his or her thought process and feelings may keep you from saying hurtful things out of frustration.



Michelle Chalkey is a Des Moines-based freelance writer specializing in health and lifestyle topics. She enjoys helping businesses communicate their messages through blogging and effective storytelling. Connect with Michelle on Facebook or check out her blog for helpful tips on the writing process and productivity.

more articles by michelle chalkey

Express your willingness to help.

Provide assistance in any way the person is willing to accept. You may need to help the person make an appointment with a doctor or therapist, and other times you simply may need to offer your ears. Always listen with no judgment rather than giving advice. It may take time before your loved one accepts your help, but your persistence will let him or her know you haven’t given up on him or her.

Encourage uplifting activities.

Physical activity is one of the best things to do to get the blood moving and possibly lift one’s mood. Offer to take a walk with the person or play a game of tennis. Invite him or her out to see a funny movie or join you at a restaurant. Again, be lovingly persistent.

Don’t place blame or shame.

Understand the person is not choosing to be negative. Someone suffering from depression is truly unable to access positive feelings. He cannot force himself to be happier. Blaming the person for not trying will only make her blame herself for what she cannot help and make her feel more depressed.