Teens Susceptible to Hepatitis B Infection despite Vaccination as Infants

Story at-a-glance

  • If you are opposed to the hepatitis B vaccine for your baby at birth, you can amend the “consent for medical treatment” forms you sign upon entering the hospital before giving birth by writing on the form that you do not give consent for your baby’s hepatitis B vaccination but, unfortunately, that is no guarantee Continue reading

Homeopathy for Pets – Safer and More Effective than Toxic Drugs

shepHomeopathy is a specific form of alternative (holistic) medicine which was developed by Samuel Hahnemann, M.D., a German physician, in the late eighteenth century. At that time, people were being treated with poisonous substances to get the “bad humours” out of them by making them vomit, have diarrhea, sweat, salivate, and bleed. Many patients died from these treatments which included Continue reading

How Your Gut Flora Influences Your Health

A new study in the journal Nutrition in Clinical Practice shows that microorganisms in the human gastrointestinal tract form an intricate, living fabric of natural controls affecting body weight, energy, and nutritioni. The findings may offer new ideas on how to treat nutrition-related maladies, including obesity and a range of serious health consequences linked to under-nutrition, the scientists said. Continue reading

Your Immune System Can Kill

Sometimes the disease itself doesn’t kill; the killer is the victim’s own immune system.

A growing amount of research shows that this can happen with certain infections, such as those that cause Lyme disease, syphilis, mycoplasmal pneumonia, and especially viral infections of the nervous system. Death and severe neurological damage come from an attack by our own body’s immune system and not from the damage done by the invading microorganism.

Activation of the body’s immune system triggers the release of glutamate which slowly kills brain cells by a process called excitotoxicity.

A recent study examined a viral infection of the central nervous system of mice which produced severe damage to the hippocampus area of the brain and to the spinal cord, and resulted in death in all of the mice in a little over a week. In some of the mice, researchers used an AMPA type glutamate receptor blocker, which prevented death in most of the animals and also prevented spinal cord damage.

Ironically, at the time the animals were protected from the damage by the glutamate receptor blocker, Continue reading

The Many Medicinal Benefits of Cat’s Claw

Cat’s Claw is an herb that has received very favorable but limited press. Word of mouth has boosted sales. But too few know enough about this miraculous yet inexpensive Peruvian mountain rain forest herb. Consider this article as a primer or introduction to Cat’s Claw and its healing capabilities.

The Herb

The vine was named for the hooked thorns resembling cat claws on its twigs. Cat’s Claw, or una de gato, is technically known as uncaria tomentosa. It has been used traditionally for many centuries by Peruvian medicine men for a variety of ailments.

Cat’s Claw’s bark and roots provide most of its immune boosting qualities via oxindole alkaloids. Continue reading

Multi-Drug Resistant TB on the Rise in Australia

MELBOURNE – Showing that the incidences of multi-drug resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) are on the rise, a report has stressed the need for an overhaul of Australia’s TB strategy.

Based on a review of Victorian Health Department data, the report points out that 31 persons were diagnosed with MDR-TB, a mutant strain that is resistant to two of the most effective antibiotics used to treat TB, from 1998 to 2007.

It further reveals that most of the cases occurred in the final few years of the 10-year review window, with seven recorded in each of 2004, 2006 and 2007.

“Our study revealed that there was a clear increase in the number of patients diagnosed with MDR-TB,” the Australian quoted Caroline Lavender, a scientist at the Victorian Infectious Diseases Reference Laboratory, as writing.

“New data available since the completion of our study reveal that the increase … appears to have been sustained in 2008,”

According to the review, the cases of MDR-TB have risen five-fold as a proportion of all TB notifications in Victoria.

In a paper published in the Medical Journal of Australia, Lavender says that the upward trend has “significant implications for public health policy and planning”.

MDR-TB is the result of improper use of these antibiotics during treatment of patients with ordinary TB.

People with the resistant strain must be put on alternate, and less effective, TB-fighting drugs that require specialist nurses and a longer hospital stay, treatment in a negative-pressure rooms and more lab tests.

About 29 out of 31 MDR-TB patients were born overseas, with almost two thirds coming from India, Vietnam or China.

Lavender says that new TB control strategies are needed, and the use of molecular tests should be increased for the rapid detection of drug resistance.

“Another measure that might prove useful is providing information to people at high risk of TB on arrival to Australia, so they know to seek medical attention early should they develop a persistent cough or other symptoms suggesting of TB,” she said.