Arthritis and Alternative Medicine

If there is someone in your life who has arthritis, you have probably from time to time noticed that an entire industry has sprung up around relieving the symptoms of the disease. It is believed that there are about a thousand different kinds of remedies and supplements for arthritis – examples of arthritis alternative medicine if you will. It is an industry that is worth $25 billion. With this many products pulling at your sleeve for your attention and your money, how on earth are you to know whom to trust or what to buy? An article in the medical publication American Family Physician not long ago reviewed many of the formulations that stack the store shelves – to try to tell the genuine article apart from the dross.

Of all the odd, the rare and the curious that you will find in products for arthritis alternative medicine, the top pick by unanimous vote is always glucosamine sulfate these days. This is a substance that is distilled out of the material that makes up seashells. While most examples of arthritis alternative medicine are poorly studied and poorly proven, this one is the exception – it has been studied everywhere, it has been subjected to harsh scientific research with large scale trials, and almost everywhere this is done, it is enthusiastically approved of.

There is enthusiasm in evidence, even if the results are not altogether consistent. There are numerous glucosamine formulations on the market and no one seems to be able to agree over the best way to study their effectiveness. What you do see in the studies is that not all formulations on the market are all good. Glucosamine sulfate for instance, is shown to work quite well; another compound, called glucosamine hydrochloride, has been shown to be quite poor in its potential. The effect, when you take the right kind, glucosamine sulfate, is not a particularly strong or miraculous one. The effects are stable, modest, and reliable. There are lots of glucosamine formulations for arthritis alternative medicine that supplement makers have designed out of the cartilage found in cows’ limbs. The substance is called chondroitin, and there are many glucosamine formulations around with chondroitin. No study so far has found that at a chondroitin does any good at all though. Drug makers also like to mix in other products with Glucosamine – MSM and turmeric among others. The researchers feel these make no difference to you though, other than to add to the price.

Some arthritis alternative medicine choices will include also a product known as S-adenosylmethionine or SAMe. Elderly people who suffer from osteoarthritis are often prescribed a conventional anti-inflammatory pill called Celebrex. SAMe is found to work just as well as Celebrex – it helps patients with pain and other effects just as well. So why would anyone want SAMe if it only works just as well as established route you ask? The established drug Celebrex really does not get along with our digestive system. People who take it for an extended period of time end up with headaches, stomach aches, and it can really mess up your system with any other drugs you are taking. But unlike glucosamine which is cheap and affordable, SAMe can typically cost two or three times as much.

You could easily go buy SAMe if you do not mind the expense, but you would not believe how inconsistent product quality is across batches. If you go out and buy a bottle of your favourite soft drink, you expect it to pretty much taste the same as the one you had last time. No such luck with SAMe, which happens to be a very unstable product. Most of the batches you will find on the shelves will have little or none of the active ingredients you need. It is just the way it works.

Author: Noel Benjamin D’Costa

How To Reduce the Risk of Dementia

You cannot alter your age or the genes you are born with, but there are lifestyle changes you can adopt which may reduce your chance of developing dementia by as much as 20%.
The BBC convened a panel of independent experts, chaired by the Alzheimer’s Society, which evaluated more than 70 research papers and articles to come up with a series of tips for reducing your risk.
It may sound young, but the age of 35, they suggest, is high time to start thinking about these recommendations. If more of us acted on these, thousands of cases of dementia could be prevented in the future.

There is very strong evidence for the following:

EXERCISE

Prof Clive Ballard gives his top tips on how to cheat dementia
What is good for the heart is good for the brain. Exercise can have a beneficial effect at any age to help protect against dementia. To help reduce the risk at least 30 minutes of exercise, five times a week is suggested. It does not have to be the gym – a brisk walk is a perfectly acceptable alternative. Whatever form of exercise gets your heart pumping and leaves you somewhat out of breath is doing the trick. Exercise helps maintain a healthy weight and blood pressure, and so is indirectly thought to reduce the risk of dementia.
There is also growing evidence that regular exercise has other health effects such as promoting cell and tissue repair mechanisms including growth of new cells in the brain.

NOT BEING OBESE

Being seriously overweight is deemed a risk factor for developing dementia. This really matters in mid-life – between the ages of 35 and 65. Obesity increases the likelihood of developing Type 2 diabetes – believed to be a risk factor – but whether this causes the disease, or is simply more likely to develop in those who are also more prone to dementia is unclear. Obesity is also associated with higher cholesterol and blood pressure – again, known to be risk factors. You are deemed clinically obese – very overweight – if you have a BMI of 30 and above.

BRING DOWN HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE

Again, the key here is having consistently raised blood pressure in mid-life – anything above 140/90mmHg. It is thought that this increases the chance of dementia by causing damage to the brain. This may happen as a result of a stroke – in which blood supply to part or all of the brain is cut off – or due to microvascular disease, a condition which slows the flow of blood through the body thereby damaging cells and nerves in the brain. If you are over 40, or have a history of dementia or cardiovascular disease in your family, then get your blood pressure checked regularly.

REDUCE CHOLESTEROL

It is mid-life levels once more which appear to pose the greatest problem. Like high blood pressure, high levels of cholesterol raise the risk of stroke and microvascular disease. But cholesterol is also thought to be involved in the mechanism which causes amyloid protein plaques – the protein deposits that characterise Alzheimer’s disease – to build up. Again if you are over 40 or have a family history, get your cholesterol checked. The Department of Health recommends a total cholesterol level of less than 5.0mmol/l.

NOT SMOKING

This had been an area of confusion, as some studies had suggested nicotine could have a protective effect – with the chemical reducing plaques when administered to animals in water. But the way in which we smoke tobacco, and the other chemicals inhaled in the process, negates this benefit. As well as raising the risk of vascular disease – a risk factor for dementia – smoking can result in low oxygen levels in the brain which in turn can promote the production of the protein found in brain plaques.

It is possible the following may have an impact:

ALCOHOL

There is no need to start drinking if you do not already
In fact the studies are quite clear that drinking a modest amount appears to protect against cognitive decline. Moderate drinking is defined as keeping within the recommended daily limits – up to two small glasses of wine for a woman, and three for a man. The problem is that these studies compare drinkers with non-drinkers – and people who abstain may do so for health reasons, which in turn may affect their chances of developing dementia. The message is if you are drinking within your weekly guidelines there is no need to stop, but there is no need to take up drinking or increase the amount you consume, as heavy drinking may in fact increase your risk.

FOLLOWING A MEDITERRANEAN DIET

Several recent studies have highlighted the potential for this diet to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s Disease. It involves eating lots of fruit and vegetables, whole grain foods, fish and plenty of olive oil, but it is relatively low in dairy products and processed foods. Further long term research is needed to confirm the effects of eating this way.

BEING SOCIALLY ACTIVE

Some evidence suggests that an active social life throughout life can be protective, with both the social ties one enjoys with others and non-physical leisure time deemed important. However, examining these factors and designing studies which can separate their effects is very difficult – consequently the conclusions which can be drawn from results are limited. One particular study has found that being single and living alone is a risk factor for dementia: social isolation is thought to have negative effects on health generally, increasing depression and cardiovascular disease.
Studies have also suggested that engaging in non-physical leisure activities such as gardening, and knitting may have a protective effect, a benefit that is likely to accumulate gradually over decades.

But the jury is out on:

BRAIN TRAINING

It sounds both attractive and plausible that giving your brain a “workout” could guard against dementia, and there is some evidence that very intensive brain training under strict conditions can improve specific functions like reasoning and problem solving. But there is no evidence as yet that doing a crossword a day or a number puzzle – or even learning a new language at 50 – will protect against dementia. That does mean they do not – simply that the proof that they do is presently lacking.

VITAMIN SUPPLEMENTS

There is no consistent evidence either way as to whether B vitamin supplements – folic acid, vitamin B12 or B6 – are effective in reducing the incidence of dementia. Research continues. However vitamin E supplements, which it was once hoped could prevent and even reverse early neurodegenerative changes, have not appeared to be effective in trials.

Chinese Herbal Health Care System

Chinese herbal medicine is a health care system which has been around since ancient times. It is also known by the acronym CHM. As the causes of illness that afflict mankind have evolved in time, CHM has also undergone developments continuously. Along with modern medicine, state hospitals in China use herbal medicine for various ailments and diseases.

All forms of diseases can be treated by Chinese herbal medicine. The traditional view in Chinese herbal medical system is to prevent diseases before they occur.

The majority of the world population uses Chinese herbal medicine since ancient times and it still is the most extensively used medical system. In comparison to commonly produced pharmaceutical drugs, Chinese herbal medicine rarely gives an adverse reaction.

Depending upon the disease’s severity the duration of the medication is expanded to get the best results and cure. Allergies, digestive disorders, respiratory conditions pertaining to respiratory tracks, immune system disorders, pain, problems due to psychological disorders, children’s diseases and gynecological problems can be effectively treated using Chinese herbal medicines. Find more info at [http://www.onlinepharmacyresource.info]

People of all ages and constitution can take Chinese herbal medical treatment. Symptoms of current illness and previous history will be taken into consideration by the practitioner before prescribing the medicine. Even pregnant women and children can be given treatment using Chinese herbal medicines.

Traditional and modern versions of Chinese herbal medicines are available in number of formats. At first the unusual taste of the herbal medicine will be difficult to adjust to, but quickly the patients will get used to the taste. Chinese herbal treatment does not have any standard price structure. Nowadays many health insurance companies are covering herbal treatment too.

Colonic dialysis therapy is a form of treatment in Chinese herbal medicine which enables the body to eliminate toxins effectively and quickly and helps to overcome addictions.

PLA Institute of Drug Dependence Treatment and Rehabilitation is doing research to observe the effects of using colonic dialysis therapy in persons addicted to heroin and to find out whether this treatment can help them abstain from the craving for heroin.

An evaluation of an ancient Chinese remedy for dermatitis was done by doctors at the Royal Free Hospital in London. A mixture of 10 herbs was prescribed to a group of forty adult patients with longstanding and widespread atopic dermatitis in a trial which lasted 5 months. Over an eight week period each patient was randomly allocated to receive either the herbal remedy or a similar tasting placebo. This was followed by a four week wash-out period. 31 patients completed the study and showed a continued and rapid improvement in the extent of redness of skin (erythema) and surface damage during the time they were taking the prescribed Chinese herbal medicine. The research concluded that the remedy is effective in treating adult atopic dermatitis.

Keep Acid Reflux Away Naturally

In this time and age when technology is at a rapid pace, it is quite surprising that alternative herbal medicine can outweigh the traditional drug-based medicines. This is true in the cure for acid reflux or heartburn, where various acid reflux herb cures are more popular than the drugs.

Whereas acid reflux herb cures as alternative medicine still need further analysis and the dosage is a mere guessing game. A lot of people prefer them over the traditional drugs. People seem to overlook the fact that drug medications have undergone extensive research. These include various tests and scientific researches to avoid any adverse reactions when consumed by the patient.

Traditional medicines include antacids, H2 inhibitors, bismuth subsalicylate and Proton pump inhibitors as against medicinal herbs for acid reflux. Herbal medicines are as simple as the herbs they contain.

Here are some popular herbs that are proven to cure acid reflux. Though considered as natural or organic, a doctor’s recommendation is still needed before trying any of these acid reflux herb medicines:

1. Ginger- Known to cure acid reflux due to its anti-inflammatory ingredients; you can boil fresh ginger and drink it similar to tea or you can sprinkle ginger powder on your food.

2. Liquorice or licorice- This is a legume found in most parts of Asia and southern Europe. This is used in soft drinks and candies as flavoring due to its sweet aftertaste. Since ancient times, this is also used as an effective expectorant.

3. Black pepper- Helps in the digestion of food hence, best for people suffering from acid reflux.

4. Aloe Vera or Medicinal Aloe- Aloe Vera gel is commercially used as ingredients in beverages, desserts and yogurts. Further medical evaluation is still needed regarding its healing properties for heartburn.

5. Slippery elm or red elm- Used in North America for centuries as herbal medicine in the treatment of ulcers, skin inflammation, wounds, burns and boils. As a nutritional food, it is similar to oatmeal and can easily be digested by people with intestinal problems or gastritis. However, extensive scientific research is still needed for its medical properties.

6. Bladder wrack- This is an algae in the form of seaweeds found on the shores of British Isles. Commonly used as ingredients of over-the-counter drugs for heartburn and components in nutritional supplements.

As in any form of medication whether acid reflux herb cure or drug based, medical consultation is still a must. This is due to the fact that limited medical research was spent on it. It is known to happen that expecting too much of herbal medical power results to complications rather good results.

There are acid reflux herbs already in the market and commercially distributed by reputable drug companies. These herbal medications now come in the form of capsule, tablet or drops. Their main purpose is to soothe and relieve the stomach lining as well as to strengthen the whole digestive system. Accordingly, taking this herbal cures does not need to be in daily dosages just to be effective.

Nevertheless to be really effective, there is also a need to change your eating habits and your diet. Regardless of the type of medication you decide on, your road to recovery also requires discipline. Treatments include rehabilitation, hence acid reflux herb medicines will only succeed if you watch what you eat.

Dr. Jason Gittman Joins US Tele-Medicine

We are pleased to announce the appointment of Doctor Jason Gittman to the staff of US Tele-Medicine. Doctor Gittman is a Board certified specialist in Pulmonary Diseases and a member of the National Board of Medical Examiners.  He is also an experienced Primary physician and a published author.

TeleMedicine_Logo_JPG_lgDoctor Gittman received his MD from the New Jersey Medical School in 1975 .He also has a Degree in Psychology from New York University achieved in 1971. Doctor Gittman’s thirty four years of medical practice centers primarily in Arizona.  Doctor Gittman is in practice in Phoenix and serves as the Medical Director of the Physicians’ Medical Legal Consultants.

US Tele-Medicine is a leading national Family and General Practice group  performing the true functions of a Family physician. Our programs ease patient overflow and reduce costs for hospitals, HMO’s, specialty physician groups, self-insured companies and governments.  Our medical services are now available in California, Nevada, Washington, Hawaii, New York, Maine, Arizona and Massachusetts.

US Tele-Medicine is specifically designed to provide chronic care management needs and medical care requirements, for issues such as CHF, diabetes, allergies, anxiety, obesity, blood pressure, body pain and many other conditions.

Dr. Gittman will concentrate his efforts in the diverse Arizona communities, who easily identify with Dr. Gittman’s local expertise and experience.  Dr. Gittman will provide his skilled and acclaimed pulmonary and Family care,  to all US Tele-Medicine e-patients wanting or requiring such treatments.

We provide effective medical care supported by a variety of easy-to-use wireless devices, placed in a e-patient’s home, office, or used on the go. These devices gather and monitor vital data and that information is sent immediately to our Doctors.  So using real time diagnostic markers allows us to supply superb chronic care management.

Telemedicine condenses and strengthens the interaction between patient and doctor, irrespective of how many miles away the patient might be, and that leads to better health and wellness.

For more information on US Tele-Medicine, or to reach

Doctor Gittman, please Call us Toll Free at: 800-498-1081

or email us at:

medreview@ustelemedicine.com


Visit Our Web Sites:
www.ustelemedicine.com
www.epatienthealthcare.com

Vitamin E Effective For “Silent” Liver Disease


Vitamin E has been shown effective in treating nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), an obesity-associated chronic liver disease that can lead to cirrhosis, liver cancer, and death. NASH also is related to or a part of type 2 diabetes, lipid disorders and cardiovascular disease.

The often asymptomatic condition affects 2 to 5 percent of Americans, although an additional 10 to 20 percent of the population has fat in their liver, but no inflammation or liver damage, a condition called “fatty liver” that is a precursor to NASH. There is no established treatment.

The government-funded multicenter study was organized by the Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis Clinical Research Network of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, and is the largest ever placebo-controlled randomized trial of treatment for NASH. Results are published in the April 28 online edition of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Beginning in the late 1990s, study of vitamin E for NASH was pioneered in pilot trials by Dr. Joel Lavine, now a faculty member in the Department of Pediatrics at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and chief of gastroenterology, hepatology and nutrition at NewYork-Presbyterian/Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital. Researchers followed patients at nine centers, including the University of California, San Diego, where Dr. Lavine was previously on faculty.

“There is an increasing prevalence of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis in this country, something that is directly related to the obesity epidemic,” says Dr. Lavine, co-chair of the Network’s steering committee and a co-author of the study. “The good news is that this study showed that cheap and readily available vitamin E can help many of those with the condition. We also looked at the drug pioglitazone, which showed some benefits, although not as dramatic as with vitamin E.”

Dr. Lavine cautions that there are risks with any therapy, even vitamin E, and all treatment should be done under medical supervision. “Individuals who are overweight or have a family history of liver disease should ask their doctor to be tested for the condition. In addition, physicians should be aware that liver enzyme levels considered normal are actually elevated. Healthy levels are <30 U/L for a man and <20 for a woman.”

In the Pioglitazone or Vitamin E for NASH Study (PIVENS), investigators randomly assigned 247 nondiabetic adults with biopsy-confirmed NASH to receive vitamin E, pioglitazone or placebo. Vitamin E functions as an antioxidant while pioglitazone improves the sensitivity of cells to insulin, a hormone that controls both sugar and fat metabolism.

After 96 weeks of treatment, vitamin E improved all features of NASH with the exception of the amount of scar tissue in the liver; 43 percent of those treated with vitamin E met the primary endpoint of the trial, which was a composite of the scores for several features of NASH indicative of disease activity, compared with only 19 percent of those who received a placebo. Pioglitazone also improved many features of NASH and met the primary endpoint in 34 percent of individuals who received it but fell short of statistical significance. Pioglitazone treatment led to an average weight gain of 10 pounds over the 96-week duration of this study. Liver enzyme tests, which are commonly used to assess liver injury, also improved in those who received either pioglitazone or vitamin E. However, upon stopping the medications, the liver enzymes worsened again suggesting the need for long-term treatment.

Introducing – Tongkat Ali – The Modern Day Herbal Medicine

According to scientific studies, Tongkat Ali adds muscle to the body especially to men. The Sports Medicine of the British Journal stated that a study has been done using a double-blind placebo experiment, with using Tongkat Ali extract it added 5% to the group that took it while nothing happened to those who weren’t given the extract. 5% in 5 weeks is a big change that you will notice as a whole.

Similar to each alternative medicines and therapies, there are statements that are false and true concerning the legality has this increasingly better-known substitute cure.  Frequently, this substitute medicine is prepared from using products that are all natural, which are also non-habitual and produce side effects that are minimal.

There are rumors that say that when you use Tongkat ali extract there’s an improvement in ones performance sexually, the general health improves, it improves the circulation of blood and boost libido. The fact is it has been centuries since the Indonesians and Malaysians have been getting benefits from in using this medicinal herbal root powder. The powder is usually combined with tea or coffee to cover up the acidic taste. Having this extract produced is a new development. Its measures are proficient, but this extract is a medicine that is quite strong and you just need to take a small dose.

It’s not true that Tongkat Ali shouldn’t be taken with other herbs.  According to Chinese doctors wants this taken with other herbal cures. They have stated that it would be further effectual in using Tongkat Ali with other herbal remedy.

With the use of Tongkat ali consistently those who takes it could have an increase from 30% up to 50% in their testosterone levels. Many of the users in effect increase their stage as high as 100%.

The method that creates the Tongkat ali extract is somewhat competent in the herbs capability to take superiority on the estrogens and androgens that informs the body to end the testosterone production. This standard aids in creating further testosterone levels. With the further increase in the testosterone level, the testicles and penis will build up in size. Conversely, Tongkat ali is as well being used with other accompanying herbs to give a extensive choice of medicinal healing all throughout Southeast Asia.

Parents of Autistic Children Turning to Alternative Treatments

About one in five children with autism uses alternative treatments to help with the neurodevelopmental disorder, most often a special diet, a new study finds.

Of 1,212 children with an autism spectrum disorder included in the study, about 17 percent were on special diets. More than half of those were on a gluten-free, casein-free diet, which eliminates wheat and dairy products. Other common dietary changes included avoiding processed sugars and taking probiotics, microorganisms found in foods such as yogurt and supplements that may help maintain gut bacterial flora.

“People turn to complementary and alternative treatments anytime they perceive conventional medical treatments as either not doing the job or being too expensive, or that the complementary and alternative treatments are more natural,” said Dr. Daniel Coury, medical director of the Autism Treatment Network and a professor of pediatrics and psychiatry at Ohio State University. “We see the same sorts of reasons among children on the spectrum.”

The study was to be presented Sunday at the Pediatric Academic Societies’ annual meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Other alternative treatments parents reported trying for their kids ran the gamut from hyperbaric oxygen, which involves pressurized chambers with oxygen-rich air that usually are used to treat divers with the bends, to chelation therapy, a treatment that removes heavy metals from the body. That treatment stemmed from fears that mercury causes autism, Coury said.

Despite significant publicity about the methods, less than 1 percent of parents had tried them, the study found. And that’s a good thing, Coury said, because there’s no evidence that either works and some evidence that they might be dangerous.

Parents might be turning to special diets because of reports that autistic children are more prone to gastrointestinal (GI) problems. Though earlier studies have had mixed results about the prevalence of GI issues, a second study also slated for presentation at the meeting found that parents reported GI symptoms in nearly half of the children.

For that study, families of 1,185 children enrolled in the Autism Treatment Network filled out questionnaires about GI symptoms, behavior, sleep and quality of life.

About 45 percent reported their children had GI symptoms, such as abdominal pain, constipation and diarrhea. The problems were more common as children got older, affecting about 9 percent of children younger than 5 and 51 percent of children 7 and older.

Their symptoms were bad enough to affect the quality of their lives, with about 70 percent of children with GI symptoms having sleep problems, compared with 30 percent who didn’t have GI issues, the study found.

Kids with GI issues also have more behavioral issues, possibly because of their lack of sleep, suggests a third study from the meeting, which included 1,056 children in the Autism Treatment Network. It found an association between sleep problems and behavioral issues that included emotional problems and anxiety.

Autism is a complex disorder, and parents are driven by the desire to help their children, said Dr. Paul Law, director of the Interactive Autism Network at the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore. He said he’s seen hundreds of alternative treatments tried by parents: supplements and vitamins, acupuncture, acupressure, bathing in distilled water and various types of animal therapy, among them. One mother, Law said, had tried 68 different methods.

Though it’s not hard to find testimonials about the effectiveness of one treatment or another, medical evidence that they work is scanty, and the placebo effect can be powerful, Law said.

“There is an adage in medicine that the more you don’t know about how to treat something, the more treatments there are,” Law said, noting that medications can treat some of the symptoms of autism, but no medication treats the autism itself.

Coury agreed. “For the majority of these treatments, there is no good research to support their effectiveness,” he said.

Treatments that have been shown to work include behavioral interventions and medications that can help curb aggressive and other behavioral issues, Law said.

About 27 percent of children with an autism spectrum disorder are taking at least one medication to manage their behavior, according to a fourth study from the meeting. It found that the most common reasons for medication use were hyperactivity, repetitive behaviors, irritability and problems with attention.

Of the children taking medications, nearly half were taking two or more medications.

Medication use became more common as children got older, the study found. About 60 percent of children aged 11 and older took medication, compared with 44 percent of children aged 6 to 10, 11 percent of children aged 3 to 5 and 4 percent of kids younger than 3.

The most common medications were stimulants to treat attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and risperidone (Risperdal), approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat irritability, aggression, temper tantrums and self-injurious behavior.

About one in 110 U.S. children has autism, which is characterized by difficulties with social, language and communications skills and restricted or repetitive behaviors or interests.

The Autism Treatment Network, run by Autism Speaks, a New York-based research and advocacy organization, includes 14 treatment and research centers in the United States and Canada for children with autism who are 2 to 18 years old.

Alternative Medicine for Treating Cancer

Cancer is the name given to any illness resulting from one of our body’s own cells growing out of control. There are many processes that control a cell’s growth and division, each of which can go wrong. Several of these control mechanisms need to be damaged before a cell becomes cancerous. There are more than 200 different types of cancers, which are categorized in to carcinoma, sarcoma, lymphoma and leukemia based on the cells from which they arise.

The principles involved in treating cancer are either directly destroying the cancer tissues or indirectly destroying them by depriving them of blood supply and/or their nutrition. But the irony is that whatever conventional treatment is used to destroy cancer cells do affect to some extent the normal cells also. They may damage the skin, liver, intestine the bone marrow and other rapidly multiplying cells. Sometimes the effect of the treatment is more devastating than the disease itself.

Role of Alternative Medicine in treating cancer

A larger study of Alternative medicine use in patients with different types of cancer was published in the July 2000 issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology. It was found that nearly 70% of the patients used at least one form alternative medicine along with the conventional treatment. The National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) are sponsoring a number of clinical trials at medical centers to evaluate alternative medical therapies for cancer.

Alternative medicine includes therapies like herbal remedies, vitamins, special diets, and acupuncture among others.

Acupuncture: effective in the management of chemotherapy associated nausea and vomiting and in controlling pain associated with surgery. Now used in a trial to reduce the symptoms of colorectal cancer

The Budwig Diet – Protocol

Homeopathy

-Ayurveda

-Shark cartilage: Being tried in non-small cell lung cancer. it prevents new blood vessels growth

-Hyperbaric oxygen: In patients who had larynx removed for larynx cancer

-Massage therapy: for cancer related fatigue

-Pancreatic enzyme therapy along with specialized diet for the treatment of pancreatic cancer

-Mistletoe extract: for the treatment of solid tumors

-Wheatgrass therapy

-Macrobiotics: The macrobiotic diet is strictly vegetarian and requires you to consume about half of your daily calories from whole grains, about a quarter of your calories from vegetables, and the rest of your calories from beans, seaweed and soups

-Bioelectric therapies

-Moerman’s Anti-Cancer diet

-Hoxsey herbal therapy

-Essiac herbal therapy: Essiac is a herbal tea mixture that relieves pain and reduces the size of tumors. It contains four herbs- burdock, rhubarb, sheep sorrel and slippery elm

-Pau D’Arco herbal therapy

-Chaparral herbal therapy

-Laetrile (amygdalin): a chemical found in lima beans, raw nuts and the pits of many fruits. Amygdalin produces cyanide, which proponents claim kills cancer

-Alkaline diet: such as fruits and vegetables and restricting acidic foods

-Antioxidant found in fruits and vegetables

-Vitamins A, C and E: These are very good anti oxidants

-Detox therapies including Gonzales nutritional metabolic therapy, colon therapy, and Gerson therapy

The most successful practitioners integrate various components of the alternative cancer treatments for a better outcome.

Using Alternative Medicine to Alleviate Thyroid Headache Pain

Health Implications

Headache pain is a common part of our daily lives and often is simply attributed to stress or other acute health conditions. For those with a thyroid disorder, the onset of chronic headache pain is part of the side

effects of hypothyroidism, and often can be challenging to treat. If you are looking for ways to alleviate your chronic headache pain, without impacting your thyroid treatment, you may want to consider using alternative medicine options.

Thyroid disorders, such as hypothyroidism, can cause chronic headache pain to develop – including the risk for developing migraine headache pain. In most cases, these head pain complications are attributed to the fluctuation in metabolism, digestion, and the fluctuation in hormone management. It is important, therefore, to not disrupt your thyroid treatment and to find ways in which to naturally cure, and prevent, your chronic headache pain from continuing.

Natural solutions for headache pain can be quite varied. Many thyroid disorder sufferers are turning to acupuncture as a viable way to not only treat headache pain but to also prevent headache pain from developing. With acupuncture treatment that is regular, typically once per week, many thyroid disorder patients are reporting improvement in their headache pain as demonstrated by reduced frequency.

Should acupuncture not be an alternative medicine approach you wish to consider for your headache pain, then you may want to talk to your doctor about the use of natural vitamins and other supplements. It is important not to initiate the taking of vitamins and supplements for your headache pain until your doctor has approved the use as some medications, vitamins, and supplements can adversely interact with your thyroid hormone replacement medications. Vitamins and supplements typically used to naturally alleviate headache pain include magnesium and Feverfew.

More Hospitals Offer Reiki

More doctors are now prescribing Reiki and more hospitals are offering it as complementary alternative medicine.

Celebrated heart surgeon Dr. Mehmet Oz is the co-founder of the Complementary Care Centre at New York’s Columbia Presbyterian Hospital. He is also the host of his own show, aptly named The Dr. Oz Show.

In one of his shows, Dr. Oz focused on alternative medicine. He featured a Reiki therapist and provided the audience with a short demonstration of healing through Reiki. At the end of the show, he gave his audience three recommendations, the first of which was, “Try Reiki.”

Since the late 1990s, Dr. Oz had been a staunch proponent of Reiki and the only doctor who publicly explored Reiki. Much has changed since. Today, more and more doctors are recommending Reiki.

More Doctors Recommend Reiki

In an article entitled “Reiki: Hype or Help” which appeared in “Discovery Health,” Therese Droste writes about Neursosurgeon Clinton Miller, a former skeptic turned believer. After experiencing a Reiki session, Miller said, “I went from high personal excitation to feeling like I was floating in the ether.” Like Dr. Oz, Miller now prescribes Reiki for his patients.

Then there is cardiologist Dr. Stephen Sinatra, who is also the head of the New England Heart Center in Manchester. Sinatra recommends Reiki to patients when he thinks that an energy blockage is preventing a patient from healing.

Says Droste in her article: “Many healthcare professionals and others are beginning to incorporate Reiki in their treatment of illnesses ranging from asthma to cancer to depression. Reiki sessions are being used for pain management, to accelerate recovery from surgery and reduce medication side effects.”

Such acceptance from the medical profession is supported by personal experience, feedback from patients and more importantly, by various research studies.

Pre and Post Surgery Reiki

In April 1999, the Journal of Nursing Care Quality published an article by Patricia and Kristan Alandydy on the effects of Reiki on surgical patients. Eight hundred and seventy patients confined at the Columbia/HCA Portsmouth Regional Hospital in Portsmouth, New Hampshire were asked to participate. All the participants were given 15 minutes pre- and post-surgery Reiki treatments. As a result of the Reiki treatments, there was less use of pain medications, shorter length of hospital confinement and increased patient satisfaction.

The effects of Reiki on Alzheimer’s disease have also been explored. An empirical study was conducted, which aimed at exploring the efficacy of Reiki in improving memory and behavior deficiencies in patients with mild cognitive impairment or mild Alzheimer’s disease. This quasi-experimental study showed that “Reiki treatments show promise for improving certain behavior and memory problems in patients with mild cognitive impairment or mild Alzheimer’s disease.”

A paper presented by Mary Ann La Torre, Wardell DW, Engebretson J., at Universtity of Texas Houston Health Science Center in Houston, Texas explored the biological effects of Reiki. The aim of the study was “to test a framework of relaxation or stress reduction as a mechanism of touch therapy (TT).” The study was conducted in 1996 and 23 healthy subjects were asked to participate. It was intended to be a close examination of select physiological and biochemical effects after 30 minutes of Reiki, which was considered a form of touch therapy.

The biological markers that were related to stress-reduction response included: state of anxiety, salivary IgA and cortisol levels, blood pressure, galvanic skin response (GSR), muscle tension and skin temperature. Biological marker levels were measured before and after the 30-minute Reiki sessions. Test results showed that anxiety was significantly reduced. Skin temperature increased and electromygraph decreased during the treatment, although the before and after changes were not significant. It was concluded that the “findings suggest both biochemical and physiological changes in the direction of relaxation.”

Reiki as Biofield Therapy

According to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine at the National Institutes of Health (which is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services), Reiki falls under the category of Energy Medicine. It is considered part of a number of healing modalities categorized as “Biofield Therapies which are intended to affect energy fields that purportedly surround and penetrate the human body.”

Reiki is now proving to be very useful in hospices, nursing homes and hospitals. The number of hospitals offering Reiki is increasing. It is now offered in several other hospitals such as Mercy Hospital in Portland, Maine, Wilcox Memorial Hospital in Hawaii, Center for Integrative Medicine at George Washington University Hospital, Tucson Medical Center in Arizona, California Pacific Medical Center, Portsmouth Regional Hospital in New Hampshire, Marin General Hospital in California, University of Michigan Hospital, Foote Hospital in Michigan.

Indeed, Reiki has come a long way since the time it was first introduced in Japan by Mikao Usui -a Japanese spiritual seeker who called it a “natural method of healing.”

Which Ear Wax Removal Product To Buy

If there is a common ailment that many people have, the market becomes flooded with products that you can use to treat yourself. Many times these products are junk and the only way you can find out what truly works is through trial and error or talking to someone that has already done the trial and error.

If you suffer with excessive ear wax and ear wax buildup you will be aware of the fact that there are many ear wax removal products on the market today. There is actually a very wide variety of ear wax removal product available. Some are all natural, while others use chemicals. I am sure you have heard of ear candling and then there are those kits that you can buy to help you get rid of wax buildup in your ears. There is even effective home remedies that will show you how to remove this wax from your ears. Fighting earwax buildup is serious business.

The body produces earwax for a reason and due to this the body also has a mechanism in place whereby the earwax is removed from the body to make space from new fresh ear wax to take its place. But sometimes our bodies need this additional help in order to clear our ear canal of excessive wax. Some people have excessive earwax production, other peoples earwax is of a different consistency which makes it hard to remove, more often than not people try to remove ear wax but they end up pushing the ear wax further in the ear canal and causing a buildup. That buildup gets harder and thicker over time, and it can cause a loss of hearing, slight pain and even ringing in your ear.

If you have only started to notice the symptoms of earwax build up then, chances are that you only have a small buildup. Instead of rushing out to spend your money on an ear wax removal products you can try the time tested method of lying on a hot water bottle. This helps to melt the wax and allows it to flow out of your ear canal. This is one of those down home cures that have been passed on from generation to generation, and actually can work very well if your build up is small enough.

If your earwax buildup has been happening for a while, then this is when ear wax removal products come into play. Getting rid of that build up or plug can be tough and if you do not chose the right product you can start to feel frustrated and annoyed by the whole process! Luckily there are natural removal products that are very effective and inexpensive. You should look for all natural products as they are best for our bodies. When all the symptoms that you have been suffering from disappear, you will feel like a new person!

Cognition Improved By Mindfulness Meditation

Some of us need regular amounts of coffee or other chemical enhancers to make us cognitively sharper. A newly published study suggests perhaps a brief bit of meditation would prepare us just as well.

While past research using neuroimaging technology has shown that meditation techniques can promote significant changes in brain areas associated with concentration, it has always been assumed that extensive training was required to achieve this effect. Though many people would like to boost their cognitive abilities, the monk-like discipline required seems like a daunting time commitment and financial cost for this benefit.

Surprisingly, the benefits may be achievable even without all the work. Though it sounds almost like an advertisement for a “miracle” weight-loss product, new research now suggests that the mind may be easier to cognitively train than we previously believed. Psychologists studying the effects of a meditation technique known as “mindfulness ” found that meditation-trained participants showed a significant improvement in their critical cognitive skills (and performed significantly higher in cognitive tests than a control group) after only four days of training for only 20 minutes each day.

“In the behavioral test results, what we are seeing is something that is somewhat comparable to results that have been documented after far more extensive training,” said Fadel Zeidan, a post-doctoral researcher at Wake Forest University School of Medicine, and a former doctoral student at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, where the research was conducted.

“Simply stated, the profound improvements that we found after just 4 days of meditation training are really surprising,” Zeidan noted. “It goes to show that the mind is, in fact, easily changeable and highly influenced, especially by meditation.”

The study appears in the April 2 issue of Consciousness and Cognition. Zeidan’s co-authors are Susan K. Johnson, Zhanna David and Paula Goolkasian from the Department of Psychology at UNC Charlotte, and Bruce J. Diamond from William Patterson University. The research was also part of Zeidan’s doctoral dissertation. The research will also be presented at the Cognitive Neuroscience Society’s annual meeting in Montreal, April 17-20.

The experiment involved 63 student volunteers, 49 of whom completed the experiment. Participants were randomly assigned in approximately equivalent numbers to one of two groups, one of which received the meditation training while the other group listened for equivalent periods of time to a book (J.R.R. Tolkein’s The Hobbit) being read aloud.

Prior to and following the meditation and reading sessions, the participants were subjected to a broad battery of behavioral tests assessing mood, memory, visual attention, attention processing, and vigilance.

Both groups performed equally on all measures at the beginning of the experiment. Both groups also improved following the meditation and reading experiences in measures of mood, but only the group that received the meditation training improved significantly in the cognitive measures. The meditation group scored consistently higher averages than the reading/listening group on all the cognitive tests and as much as ten times better on one challenging test that involved sustaining the ability to focus, while holding other information in mind.

“The meditation group did especially better on all the cognitive tests that were timed,” Zeidan noted. “In tasks where participants had to process information under time constraints causing stress, the group briefly trained in mindfulness performed significantly better.”

Particularly of note were the differing results on a “computer adaptive n-back task,” where participants would have to correctly remember if a stimulus had been shown two steps earlier in a sequence. If the participant got the answer right, the computer would react by increasing the speed of the subsequent stimulus, further increasing the difficulty of the task. The meditation-trained group averaged aproximately10 consecutive correct answers, while the listening group averaged approximately one.

“Findings like these suggest that meditation’s benefits may not require extensive training to be realized, and that meditation’s first benefits may be associated with increasing the ability to sustain attention,” Zeidan said.

“Further study is warranted,” he stressed, noting that brain imaging studies would be helpful in confirming the brain changes that the behavioral tests seem to indicate, “but this seems to be strong evidence for the idea that we may be able to modify our own minds to improve our cognitive processing – most importantly in the ability to sustain attention and vigilance – within a week’s time.”

The meditation training involved in the study was an abbreviated “mindfulness” training regime modeled on basic “Shamatha skills” from a Buddhist meditation tradition, conducted by a trained facilitator. As described in the paper, “participants were instructed to relax, with their eyes closed, and to simply focus on the flow of their breath occurring at the tip of their nose. If a random thought arose, they were told to passively notice and acknowledge the thought and to simply let ‘it’ go, by bringing the attention back to the sensations of the breath.” Subsequent training built on this basic model, teaching physical awareness, focus, and mindfulness with regard to distraction.

Zeidan likens the brief training the participants received to a kind of mental calisthenics that prepared their minds for cognitive activity.

“The simple process of focusing on the breath in a relaxed manner, in a way that teaches you to regulate your emotions by raising one’s awareness of mental processes as they’re happening is like working out a bicep, but you are doing it to your brain. Mindfulness meditation teaches you to release sensory events that would easily distract, whether it is your own thoughts or an external noise, in an emotion-regulating fashion. This can lead to better, more efficient performance on the intended task.”

“This kind of training seems to prepare the mind for activity, but it’s not necessarily permanent,” Zeidan cautions. “This doesn’t mean that you meditate for four days and you’re done – you need to keep practicing.”

Asthma/Allergy Trigger Control Plan

Because you have asthma, your airways are very sensitive. They may react to things called triggers (stimuli that can cause asthma episodes). Your airways may become swollen, tighten up, and produce excess mucus in the presence of one or more of the triggers below. These triggers may make asthma symptoms worse or keep you from getting better. It’s important to find out what your asthma triggers are. Learn ways to avoid them. If you cannot avoid triggers, and your medicine plan does not work as well as you and your health care provider think it should, you both should discuss allergy shots (immunotherapy).

Ask your health care provider to help you find out what your triggers are and to decide which actions will help the most to reduce your asthma symptoms.

 Number each action item in order of importance. Carry out these actions first.

Once you have completed these actions, move on to actions that are of lesser importance.

Discuss the results of these efforts with your health care provider.

Pollen and Molds (outdoors)

 Stay indoors during the midday and afternoon when the pollen count is high.

 Use air conditioning, if possible.

 Keep windows closed during seasons when pollen and mold are highest.

 Avoid sources of molds (wet leaves, garden debris, carpet over concrete floors).

Cockroach Allergen

 Use insect sprays; but have someone else spray when you are outside of the home.

 Air out the home for a few hours after spraying.

 Use roach traps.

House Dust Mites

These are actions you should take to

gain control of dust mites:

______ Encase your mattress and box spring in an airtight cover.

______ Either encase your pillow or wash it once a week every week.

______ Avoid sleeping or lying on upholstered furniture.

______ Remove carpets that are laid on concrete.

______ Wash your bed covers, clothes, and stuffed toys once a week in hot (130° F) water.

These actions will also help you gain control of dust mites – but they may not be

essential:

______ Reduce indoor humidity to less than 50 percent. Use a dehumidifier if needed.

______ Remove carpets from your bedroom.

______ Use chemical agents to kill mites or to change mite antigens in the house.

______ Avoid using a vacuum or being in a room while it is being vacuumed.

______ If you must vacuum, one ore more of the following things can be done to reduce the amount of dust you breathe in: Use a dust mask, use a central vacuum cleaner with the collecting bag outside the home, use a vacuum cleaner that has powerful suction.

Animal Dander

Dander refers to flakes in the skin, hair, or feathers of all warm-blooded pets including dogs, cats, birds, and rodents. There is no such thing as an allergenfree dog. The length of a pet’s hair does not matter. The allergen is in the saliva, urine, and dander.

 Remove the animal from the house or school classroom.

 If you must have a pet, keep the pet out of your bedroom at all times.

 If there is forced air heating in the home with a pet, close the air ducts in your bedroom.

 Wash the pet weekly.

 Avoid visits to friends or relatives with pets.

 Take asthma medicine (cromolyn or beta2-agonist; cromolyn is often preferred) before

visiting homes or sites where animals arepresent.

Choose a pet without fur or feathers (such as a fish or a snake).

 Avoid products made with feathers, for example, pillows or comforters.

 Also avoid pillows, bedding, and furniture stuffed with kapok (silky fibers from the seed

pods of the silk-cotton tree).

Use a vacuum cleaner fitted with a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter.

Indoor molds

 Keep bathrooms, kitchens, and basements well aired.

 Clean bathrooms, kitchens, and basements regularly.

 Do not use humidifiers unless humidity drops below 15%

 Use dehumidifiers for damp basement areas, with humidity level set for less than

50% but above 25%. Empty and clean unit regularly.

Tobacco Smoke

 Do not smoke.

 Do not allow smoking in the home.

 Have household members smoke outside.

 Do not allow any smoking in your bedroom.

Encourage family members to quit smoking.

Their health care provider can help them quit.

 Use an indoor air-cleaning device (for smoke, mold, and dander).

Wood Smoke

 Avoid using a wood burning heat stove to heat your home. The smoke increases

lower respiratory symptoms.

 Avoid using kerosene heaters.

Strong Odors and Sprays

 Do not stay in your home when it is being painted. Allow enough time for the paint

to dry.

 Avoid perfume and perfumed cosmetics such as talcum powder and hair spray.

 Do not use room deodorizers. § Use non-perfumed household cleaning

products whenever possible.

 Reduce strong cooking odors (especially frying) by using a fan and opening windows.

 Avoid air pollution by staying indoors on days when the pollution count is high.

Colds and Infections

 Avoid people with colds or the flu.

 Get rest, eat a balanced diet, and exercise regularly.

 Talk to your health care provider about flu shots.

 Do not take over-the-counter remedies, such as antihistamines and cough syrup,

unless you speak to your health care provider first.

Exercise

 Work out a medicine plan with your health care provider that allows you to exercise

without symptoms.

 Take inhaled beta2-agonist or prescribed anti-inflammatory medicine before

exercising.

 Warm up before doing exercise and cool down afterwards.

Weather

 Wear a scarf over your mouth and nose in cold weather.

 Pull a turtleneck over your nose on windy or cold days.

 Dress warmly in the winter or on windy days.

Food Sensitivity

 You may want to avoid products that could possibly contain the preservative sulfite.

Among these are: precut or dried fruit, fresh mushrooms, processed potatoes, pickled

foods, shrimp, cherries , beer, or wine.

Remember: Making these changes will help keep asthma episodes from starting. An asthma trigger control plan is an important part of controlling asthma

Seaweed Extract Hold Promise For Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

BERKELY – Seaweed extract may eventually emerge as a lymphoma treatment, according to laboratory research presented at the second AACR Dead Sea International Conference on Advances in Cancer Research.

Lymphoma is a cancer of the immune system and is classified into Hodgkin‘s and non-Hodgkin’s types, which are then further classified into B-cell and T-cell groups.

“Some forms of B-cell lymphoma are especially resistant to standard treatment and thus new therapies are needed,” said Mohammad Irhimeh, Ph.D., assistant professor of hematoncology and stem cells at the Hashemite University in Jordan. “In this study, we looked at a new treatment strategy using novel active compounds derived from a natural source seaweed.”

Seaweeds containing fucoidan, a sulfated polysaccharide similar to heparin in chemical structure, have been reported to have anti-tumor activity in mice and some cell lines.

For the current study, Irhimeh and colleagues at the University of California, Berkeley, and Royal Hobart Hospital in Australia treated lymphoma cell lines with a commercially available seaweed extract.

They found that the extract had an inhibitory effect on the growth of lymphoma cell lines, while leaving the control healthy cells intact. The researchers also noted a significant pattern of activity in the genes known to be linked with apoptosis, or cell death, in lymphoma.

Irhimeh said they would continue to study the mechanism of action for these biological effects and had a goal of conducting phase II or III clinical trials.