2010 March

Blood Pressure Diuretics

Diuretics, also known as water pills, together with ACE Inhibitors are a favorite front-line prescription drugs for most hypertension specialists. Diuretics work very well for most people with high blood pressure and its different subtypes such as malignant hypertension, isolated systolic hypertension and isolated diastolic hypertension.

Water pills work by removing excess water from a patient’s body there by reducing hypertension readings. Excess water in the blood increases blood volume which is critical for hypertension. The drug comes hundreds of brand name variations and is also available as a generic drug in most countries. This makes it easier to access and less expensive than other non-generic drugs.

Patients on a diuretics prescription tend to visit the restroom more often than normal. It is for this reason that daily dosage should be taken were possible during the day in order to allow a good night’s sleep with little or no disturbances. The other downside of diuretics is that through water loss they also wash out potassium an important mineral in treating blood pressure.

The loss of potassium makes it of paramount importance to combine diuretics with a good hypertension diet with foods that lower blood pressure such as lots of fruits and veggies. This would include oranges, beans, celery and many others. Potassium supplements are strongly discourage with patients encourage to source their potassium supplies from fruits and vegetables alone. Patients on diuretics will also need to reduce the consumption of alcohol and smoking. Introduction of lots of fluids into the body system opposes the purpose of diuretics.

When used in isolated systolic hypertension patients which normally involves the elderly, extra care should be taken to ensure that diastolic blood pressure does not fall to abnormal levels. Left to fall to abnormal levels low blood pressure may result in shock and organ failure.

The following are side effects of diuretics:

  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Muscle cramps
  • Upset stomach
  • Frequent urination

Patients will need to consult a doctor as soon as possible at the first signs of severe rush, gout and problems breathing and swallowing. Breastfeeding mothers will need to take note that diuretics possibly pass to the infant via breast milk. Patients with already existing urinating problems should also seek doctor advice. This also includes people with liver and kidney problems and the elderly.

About Ischemic Colitis

Questions like “what is pseudomembranous colitis” and “what is ischemic colitis” are often asked and browsed through several web pages. Did it ever make you wonder why such queries are being frequently asked these days? Well, there could only be one answer to that – it is because such kinds of disease are commonly occurring from all over the world. As to why such occurrences are happening, we have no answers to that. However, it would be helpful to know everything there is about a disease problem. It can guide us to both prevention and treatment of an illness.

What is Ischemic Colitis – The Causes

What is ischemic colitis and its causes? Unlike the other inflammatory bowel diseases, ischemic colitis has a few known causes, and these are: previous heart surgeries, history of stroke or cardiovascular problems, decrease in blood pressure, diabetes, congestive heart failure and exposure of the abdomen to radiation. All these causes lead to an interference in blood flow going to our large bowel. It can cause the circulation in the intestines to stop, thus causing an ischemic or frozen colon.

What is Ischemic Colitis – The Symptoms

What is ischemic colitis and the symptoms associated with it? The signs and indicators of ischemic colitis are more or less similar to other inflammatory bowel conditions. They all manifest abdominal pain, fever due to the inflammation in the bowel, vomiting, bright red blood in the stool, and diarrhea. The symptoms will worsen as the condition progresses to higher levels. If stopped and controlled immediately, the disease can be greatly prevented.

What is Ischemic Colitis – The Exams and Tests

What is ischemic colitis and the exams needed to detect it? Like the other inflammatory bowel problems, ischemic colitis has a few diagnostic procedures which can detect its occurrence. However, there are only two tests needed to clarify it to make sure that the disease is really present, and the exams are: colonoscopy and angiography. A doctor can easily detect the presence of the disease through these exams. If done during the early stage, the disease can be given immediate treatment to prevent further complications.

What is Ischemic Colitis – The Treatment

What is ischemic colitis and the treatments associated with it? The treatment process for ischemic colitis is a bit different from the other inflammatory bowel conditions. Usually, management of the blood pressure can manage the disease. However, other medications are also needed by the bowel such as vitamin supplementation and corticosteroids to relieve the inflammation in the linings of the bowel.

A planned diet can also help in the healing process. Although the dead colon cannot be relieved or treated, there are many possible ways to alleviate the patient’s condition. However, it is vital to remember that compliance and adherence to the therapy is always a must.

Energetic Acupuncture

A few days ago I received a call from a woman who told me this:

“I have just been to see my GP, and she told me that for what I was suffering I should consult an acupuncturist, but not any kind of acupuncturist. It must be somebody dealing with energetic Chinese acupuncture, which is a kind of higher level of practice. Do you practice energetic acupuncture?”

I do get this kind of question from time to time. Depending on my state of mind or my mood the answers I give can be quite different. I might be quite curt because actually the question could be interpreted as having some rude implications (if I don’t do energetic acupuncture I am not good enough). But usually I just say that the acupuncture I apply is efficient, modern, adapted to our world, and based (partly) on a scientific understanding of what is happening in the body when I treat patients with acupuncture.

Depending on my disposition of the moment I could eventually explain that I have been practicing for forty years, that I teach, write, promote and defend quality acupuncture, that actually my life IS acupuncture.

The people who ask me this kind of question about acupuncture can be quite persistent.

“Yes, but what about the energies? Do you control them enough to treat this or that disorder?”

What can I say? The term “energies” (yes, plural) has got so many meanings, people understand it in so many different ways that it is a little bit discouraging to try to explain anything. From the Chinese Qi, a beautiful concept to express what is happening in the body, a very dynamic and adaptable notion, to the theories of Einstein on the relation between mass and energy, landing nowadays in an understanding that everything in the body is moved by energies. Every culture has its own perception of this term: Tibetan, ayurvedic, maya or Aztec, Egyptian or shaman, related to a specific religion or not. But each time it weaves around life a more or less complex network of beliefs.

I know of course that the persons asking me candidly this question are talking about the Chinese idea of energy and not the Australians aborigines or the First inhabitants in Canada or in the US. But even then, to translate the idea of Qi by energy is in itself an anachronism and a kind of betrayal. So whatever the answer I give to the question I feel uncomfortable, even though I have to defend my position and what I believe in.

So to the last person who asked me the question this is what I said:

“Madam, whether we want it or not, as soon as we put a needle in the body, we interfere with the stability of energies in the body, whatever significance you give to the term. When I treat patients I know that I trigger some kind of electrical or chemical movement within the neurological web which can result in harmonizing the general state of the body or some specific and localized disorder. In other words the body itself will change its balance because its natural tendency is to strive for the best possible existential equilibrium, physical, mental, emotional. Practicing acupuncture always implies that one deals with the energies of the body, whatever the meaning we give to that term. But it is true that, while I am thinking as a western trained doctor in treating patients, simultaneously I reason in terms of Qi, meridians, points, needles of course.”

Obviously this person appreciated what I said because I have already treated her twice for recent headaches, and her condition has already improved. Next time I see my students in my “how to do acupuncture” courses, I will tell them that story. It is an interesting topic with never ending discussions and exchanges, but I find it personally very stimulating. And in a near future I will write more on the subject. Or maybe I will insert it in one of the chapters of my next acupuncture book.

Heel Pain in Children

Heel pain is not uncommon in children, and can make sports and other activities difficult to participate in. The cause of most heel pain in children differs somewhat from heel pain in adults, and is therefore treated a little differently. This article discusses the nature of heel pain in children, and how it can be relieved.

Heel pain is common across all age groups and activity levels. In adults, this pain is usually caused by inflammation of a ligament on the bottom of the arch called the plantar fascia. Commonly referred to as a heel spur since a bone spur sometimes accompanies this condition (although the spur itself is not the source of pain), this painful injury is usually caused by abnormal foot structure straining the arch tissue. It is commonly found in those with flat feet, high arches, or those who work on ladders or stairs frequently. Treatment involves reducing the inflammation with medicine, stretching the arch, and supporting the foot structure with shoe inserts. Some children can also get this condition, particularly if they are flat footed or are obese. However, the majority of the time, heel pain in children is caused by a natural process that affects the growth plate in the heel bone (calcaneus).

As humans grow, the bones become longer and wider. Although some foot bones initially develop from cartilage molds before birth, the majority the foot bone size develops from growth plates found within each bone. These growth plates are soft areas found at one end of the bone or the other, and are set up to produce bone like a factory, constantly pushing bone out in a direction away from the growth plate. This effectively lengthens and widens the bone. Eventually, in the late teen years, this growth stops and the growth plates themselves fuse into bone. In the heel bone, the growth plate is located along the bottom back of the bone, where the heel bone is rounded to form the ‘ball’ of the heel. Sometime in late childhood to the early teen years, inflammation and swelling can begin to develop in the growth plate region. Not every child experiences this condition, also known as Sever’s disease. It can develop on its own without injury or overactivity, although chronic repetitive stress can have a role. Girls seem to develop it earlier, presumably because of earlier growth activity. There is no inherent problem with the growth plate during this process, and growth continues uninterrupted. The inflammation continues until it runs its course, although continued athletic activity during this time prolongs the inflammation. From a physiological perspective, the inflammation can technically continue until the growth plate fuses into bone in the late teen years, although it is uncommon for this condition to last so long. However, most kids suffer through the discomfort for several months at least.

The symptoms of this condition are fairly specific. The pain begins with walking, running, or standing for awhile. It is located along the bottom back part of the heel, and may include some pain traveling up the Achilles tendon. Arch pain can sometimes be felt, but this has more to do with irritation of the arch due to limping from the heel pain than from the growth plate pain itself. Skin swelling, warmth, redness, or other external signs of this inflammation are rarely seen. The child with this condition will have difficulty participating in sports or other activity due to the pain, but usually will persist with that activity since the pain is rarely severe enough to outright prevent them from staying active. Unfortunately, this will only prolong the condition. The Achilles tendon also plays a role in this condition. Since the Achilles tendon attaches to the heel bone along the near side of the growth plate, any tightness in this tendon can exert excessive pressure on the growth plate. The pressure, which essentially is extra traction on the back of the growth plate, causes further inflammation and irritation. On rare instances, the growth plate itself may not be inflamed from a natural process but rather from an injury that has caused a fracture. Growth plate fractures in the heel bone are rare, but do occur. Causes can include a fall from a moderate height as well as a hard kick backwards onto a firm object.

Treatment centers around supporting the inflamed growth plate and allowing it to settle down on it’s own. Rest from running and other impact activities is vital, and may be necessary for weeks to months. Icing the heel several times a day helps, as do over-the-counter children’s medications like ibuprofen. Heel stretching will relieve any traction the Achilles tendon will place on the heel bone itself, and the use of inserts with a deep heel cup can control heel pressure and side to side motion in shoes. Unfortunately, it is this author’s experience to see many kids with this condition who participate in year round sports, and who will not reduce their activity to allow this condition to resolve. Sometimes it is because the parents are not forceful enough in enforcing the rest period in kids that don’t want to stop activity, and sometimes it is the parent’s refusal to keep their kids out of sports temporarily out of some misguided need to keep their kids ‘fresh in the game’. Regardless, the reality of the situation is simple: most children are not world-class athletes whose fame and fortune rests on continuing in the sport, and they certainly don’t have professional athletic trainers and therapists at their disposal each game dedicated to getting them through the pain. Taking a few months off is not going to adversely effect their future. Parents and children need to take a step back and realize that this condition needs to be rested, as it can potentially linger into the late teen years where the potential to participate in collegiate athletics can definitely be effected.

It should be noted as well that this condition can potentially return after it resolves if the growth plate has not yet fused. Although less common, repeated bouts of the inflammation are possible, especially in very active children.

Although this condition is generally treated easily at home, and although growth plate inflammation is usually at fault to begin with, there is a possibility that the heel pain can be due to a another reason. As mentioned earlier, fractures do occur, though rare, and other injuries around the heel region can mimic this growth plate inflammation. At times, heel pain can have complicated causes, some of which can include nerve damage or may indicate diseases elsewhere in the body. A proper evaluation by a foot specialist can determine the true cause of the condition, and will ensure the best treatment course possible for the underlying cause. Even if a parent simply concludes that their child’s heel pain is due to the growth plate based on this and other internet articles, a foot evaluation by a podiatrist is recommended to be absolutely certain. With proper care, growth plate inflammation can be easily resolved, and, if there are other conditions present, long term problems can be avoided if early medical intervention is given.

Bulimia Effects

There are many effects of bulimia and the health complications can be varied in each individual. Bulimia is normally characterized by behaviors of binging and purging.

Binging can be defined as a large consumption of food in a short time period, but the word “large” can mean different things for different people. Some consider a large amount of calories to be binging while others may think a regular portion of food at a mealtime may be too much. Others may consider a piece of cake and ice cream at a party to be a binge. As you can imagine, the word “large” is relative to what each person believes to be “too much food at one time”.

Characteristically, after binging, the person feels so guilty, so bad about themselves, over their action that they feel the need to get rid of all the food they just ingested. This is where the purging behavior starts.

Purging can be defined as the elimination of food/calories by means of vomiting or using laxatives. Different individuals will use one method or the other and some will combine methods. This is very individual to each person. Binging and purging can lead to serious health complications. These health complications may at times be severe and even life threatening. The type of purging used may determine the severity of those health complications.

A person’s normal body functions are disrupted by the behaviors characterized by bulimia. Some of the more common complications of bulimia affect your cardiovascular, digestive, and dental health. The potassium levels in your body fluids can also be affected by bulimia and may lead to drug and medication abuse.

Some of the cardiovascular problems caused are rapid heart rate, irregular heartbeats, chest pains, imbalances in electrolyte levels, breathing problems, and possibly even cardiac arrest. Bulimia may also lead to low blood pressure, lightheadedness, fainting, and dizzy episodes.

Some of the digestive problems caused are swelling and sores in the throat and mouth. You may rupture the lining of your esophagus or stomach. Long term use of laxatives may lead to drug dependence and adversely affect the normal bowel functions. Pancreatitis, peptic ulcers, bloating, and stomach pain may also be health complications resulting from bulimia.

The acid coming back up from your stomach through your throat and mouth can destroy your tooth enamel and thus lead to more tooth decay and cavities. Your teeth may become more sensitive to hot and cold foods and become crumbly or fall out. Intensive work on the teeth may be needed to get them back to the condition they were once in before bulimic activity was initiated.

Bulimia may also cause loss of or irregular menstruation, mood swings, depression, kidney and liver damage, possible hair loss, and anemia. As you can see, the effects of bulimia can be MANY and are varied from individual to individual.

Bottom line, if you or someone you know, has bulimia, please get the information you need to get treatment. The time to get healthy again is NOW, not later. Get help, please.
I am a recovered teen bulimic.

It’s been 30 years since I stopped my bulimic behaviors and I am still dealing with health issues caused during that time even now, and on a daily basis.

Correct Cholesterol Levels

Trying to keep correct cholesterol levels steady in a healthy range is no easy task, after all having a delicious pizza the night before your blood lipid test could raise both your cholesterol and triglycerides levels by as much as 15 percent. Throw in a little anxiety about your home’s value continually declining and all of the sudden you have managed to take a healthy LDL (bad cholesterol) reading of 210 and turn it into an unhealthy one of slightly over 250.

While a person’s correct cholesterol level can fluctuate wildly under certain circumstances there are a number of steps you can take to make sure that your next trip to the doctor doesn’t turn into a lecture on heart health and family genealogy. After all, most of us have a least one close relative who either has had a heart attack or looks like they are a walking heart attack. Let’s take a few minutes to explore a few heart healthy ideas so your doctor will give you a smile and a friendly pat on the back rather than a prescription for his favorite prescription cholesterol busting statin medication.

For me exercise has been the key. I do realize it is not for everyone and some of you who have couch potato written across your forehead will tune out right about now in order to catch your favorite television show along with a big bag of cholesterol laden potato chips. I don’t take it personally and my suggestion to you is have a extra bag for me along with an extra large tub of high saturated fat dip, just to add a little artery clogging punch.

Exercise is not about winning the New York or Boston marathon. It is about finding some form of activity that you can consistently do at least five days a week for minimum of 30 minutes. I am fortunate to have some great walking trails close to where I live along with two National Parks. These provide a great way for me to get away from my computer, website, telephone, digital device, television and all that other stuff that often gets in the way of a healthy lifestyle. If you are trying to establish or maintain correct cholesterol levels leave these toys behind for an hour or so. You can always return those calls when you get back or record your favorite show.

Another tip for maintaining healthy correct cholesterol levels is to clean out your pantry and ice box paying special attention to the saturated fat content in every item. If the label has a saturated fat content over 20 percent either throw it away, give it to one of your couch potato friends, or a find a way to cook it that drains away the saturated fat. According to the American Heart Association your daily saturated fat intake should not exceed 15 percent of total calories consumed, and ideally should be around 10 percent of total calories consumed.

Extend Your Life

Many people mistakenly believe that the process of aging is normal and inevitable. Forward thinking researchers now believe the process of aging is a disease process which can be thwarted through dietary calorie restriction, appropriate exercise, stress-reduction and controlling post meal blood sugar levels. While genetics does play a role in the aging process, we can modify the effects through lifestyle modification and ensure our senior years are healthy, vibrant and disease free.

Processed Foods Lead to Disease

Cutting edge scientists are beginning to believe that the human body has a normal life span of nearly 120 years. Presently life expectancy is around 80 years, with many living their latter years in declining health. By adopting a diet consisting in large part of processed and refined foods and avoiding exercise, we are actually taking years away from our biological potential. Eating foods which have been stripped of nutrition for years and decades causes our cellular metabolism to decline. The body can amazingly compensate for a period of time, but eventually it will take its toll. Further, we live in an environment which continually subjects us to increasing pollutants, electro-magnetic radiation and a host of synthesized chemicals which we absorb from cleaning and beauty products. We rely on pharmaceuticals to keep us healthy, but in most cases these drugs only add to the assault placed on our body.

Calorie Restriction Proven to Extend Life

Research which began back in the 1930’s has demonstrated that a dietary lifestyle known as caloric restriction can extend healthy lifespan in mammals, and indications are that it does the same in humans. By reducing the amount of calories consumed by 25% we cause the body to revert to a ‘starvation survival’ mode, where our evolutionary ancestors would have been able to survive a famine when food was scarce. We don’t have that problem today, but our genetics are still wired to react to calorie reduction by setting in place a very complex chain of molecular reactions which put the brakes on heart disease, cancer proliferation, dementia, and many of the diseases we associate with aging. A simple 25% reduction in calories and the associated weight loss over a period of two years has been shown to directly lead to a reduction in arterial plaque and heart disease risk.

Monitor Blood Sugar to Avert Diabetes

We typically don’t think about what happens at the cellular level and in our blood every time we eat a meal. The body is a very efficient machine, breaking down every food item into the vitamins, minerals, proteins and fats which are made available for energy and metabolism. The Standard American Diet (SAD) of highly refined carbohydrates and trans fats floods the blood with these breakdown products, overwhelming our capacity to mop up the excess glucose and lipids which hit the blood. This is known as post-prandial disorder, and when allowed to continue meal after meal directly leads to disease which will shorten our life.

High post meal blood sugar is one of the most damaging and controllable conditions.
By regularly using a simple and inexpensive blood glucose meter, we can monitor and regulate the blood glucose surges after meals. Check your blood sugar readings one and two hours after eating, and ensure that the readings are not over 140 mg/dl and 120 mg/dl respectively. Extensive data indicates that extended blood glucose readings over 140 mg/dl lead to death of the pancreatic beta cells which produce insulin, and once gone they do not regenerate. Eventually this leads to diabetes and dramatically increased risk of heart disease and many cancers.

Elevated Blood Pressure Doubles Risk of Heart Attack

Blood pressure has been called the ‘silent killer’ for a very good reason. Elevated readings as small as 20 (mm Hg) over the optimal reading of 115/75 are associated with a doubled risk of heart attack. Many people of all ages are walking around with elevated blood pressure which act as a ticking bomb waiting to explode in their arteries. Higher pressure in the arteries causes small cracks of the inner lining of the vessels which the body expediently fills with a foamy substance called plaque. This creates an increased burden for the heart and results in higher blood pressure. Interestingly, a recent study found that lowering blood pressure by commonly prescribed pharmaceuticals did not equate to lowered risk of future disease. Following a natural, non-refined diet with adequate exercise and stress reduction works far better than any drug at reducing and virtually eliminating heart disease risk.

It is possible to avoid many of the common ailments which claim the lives of so many Americans and extend your natural life cycle by following several critical modification tips. Calorie Restriction, Blood Glucose and Blood Pressure Monitoring are key lifestyle tenants which when started early enough, have been proven to maximize the limits of your healthy later years. While we don’t know exactly how long the average human life can be extended by using these techniques, we do know that living a disease free existence is a significant benefit.
Optimal Health Resource

John Phillip regularly reports on the cutting edge use of supplements and lifestyle modifications to enhance and improve the length and quality of life. Health problems can be avoided and overcome with a sensible approach to monitoring key health factors such as weight, blood glucose, blood pressure and body temperature. His intent is to discuss the relevant findings on nutritional factors as they become available, and how you can incorporate this latest information to better your lifestyle.

End Panic Attacks

Most people may not think of panic attacks when they consider terrible recurring conditions; at least those who have never had them anyways. Those who have dealt with this disorder would tell you it is one of the most terrifying experiences of their lives, and most have them more than once. If you or someone you know suffers from panic attacks, there are things you can do. You can be panic attacks help for someone.

You have to know what a panic attack is to be able to understand why what you are doing is important. Panic attacks are fits of high anxiety that complicates breathing and in some extreme cases thought patterns. It is usually accompanied by a present fear of dying or something bad happening.

This information is best served being used by someone with someone else having a panic attack. If you are someone with these attacks, you typically know what works best for you. These episodes are said to last 5-20 minutes, and with some of these guidelines of what you can do, you can keep it in that range.

Communicating is very important when you are with someone experiencing an attack. If you are calm and rational, you can get helpful information from them to assist you in seeking out proper treatment. If in your talking you determine this is the first time an attack has taken place, you should seek medical help. Staying calm is one of the most important things, because if you get stressed and anxious, it will only be worse for them.

If they allow you to speak with them, because some will not, try to figure out specific things to assist the situation. Meaning, you can often have them tell you exactly what is getting them so upset. The natural second thing to determine would be what you can do. Perhaps they need your help to get away from this fear, or could just use a reassuring voice to let them know that everything is going to be okay. Suggesting some activities might be of assistance as well to distract them to the point of calming down.

Relating to the sufferer is crucial. They are genuinely afraid of something or some possibility and you should allow them to understand that its not ridiculous. This can open the window to them understanding that they are not irrational, and you are someone who is trying to help.

Breathing complications are considered to be one of the indications or symptoms of a panic attack. So naturally, on of the helping things you can strive to do is to get the person breathing normally again. This can usually be done with simple breathing exercises such as breathing in your nose and out your mouth or counting breaths up to ten and starting over.

A thing to remember is that this is a real condition affecting real people every day. By simply listening to someone, you can help an attack from escalating out of control. But if it is out of your means, seek medical help. This means that you care, and that’s what everyone needs… Someone who cares.

One out eight Americans are looking for solutions to help them end panic attacks. Panic Attacks affect a wide range of people. It does not matter if you are rich or poor, if you have children or are married. Panic attacks do not discriminate.

People with panic disorders are not pigeon holed to certain symptoms. There are varying degrees of panic attacks and not everyone exhibits the same symptoms. Some people actually get the so bad that they fear leaving their house… Some people only get dizzy or nauseous. Either way if you don’t end your panic attacks they make your life challenging to lead.

What are some ways to end panic attacks?

1) Learn more about panic attacks. Learning about panic attacks helps you effectively treat them. When you know exactly what’s happening to you it helps to become less fearful of the symptoms. If you know what’s going on and what to expect it helps to take some of the mystery and anxiety away. When you have a good grasp on your body and you know why it’s reacting a certain way; you have completed the first step towards ending panic attacks.

2) Keep a diary. Keeping your thoughts on paper is a useful way to help end panic attacks. Update it whenever you feel anxiety or after you get a panic attack. Document how you felt and what made you feel that way. You will probably notice some patterns emerge. If you write everything out you can identify what triggers your panic attacks. When you know what your triggers are it’s a lot easier to deal with them.

3) Give yourself goals. Once you have documented all of your triggers in your journal you should start to work on some of your triggers. If a certain situation gives you anxiety you can easily identify it and start to work on it. Just knowing what your triggers are helps you deal with them Panic attacks stop being so mysterious and you can now work on stopping them.

The best way to end panic attacks is to modify you behavior towards anxiety and fear. You don’t need medications that keep you drugged up for your whole life. In changing your behavior you are tackling panic attacks head on and not just masking the symptoms that accompany them.

Stroke: Traditional Chinese Medicine

Patients and doctors alike have resorted to eastern methodologies in search for a cure to the damage caused by stroke. Ancient techniques such as Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) have become popular alternatives for stroke rehabilitation as results have shown more effective than the western approach.

Traditional Chinese Medicine, which already is popular among stroke patients, comes in the form of herbal medication and century-old therapeutic techniques like Acupuncture and Tong Ren Therapy.

Acupuncture, as scary as this may sound, is a painless procedure of inserting and manipulating threadlike needles into specific points on the body for stimulation and treatment. There are other types of acupuncture besides the Traditional Chinese Acupuncture. These are the Japanese Style Acupuncture, Korean Hand Acupuncture, and Auricular Acupuncture.

Regardless of type used, acupuncture can facilitate nerve regeneration and redirect surviving nerve cells pass stroke-damaged parts of the brain. Acupuncture also dilates blood cells, decreases blood viscosity, and prevents the aggregation of blood cells. Stroke patients have experienced relief from headaches, dizziness and hypertension besides improvement in walking, balance, mobility, and emotions.

Traditional Chinese Medicine also implores the Tong Ren Therapy, which is an energy healing technique.
Tong Ren Therapy is based on the Chinese belief that every person has energy that can be accessed through different points of the body and used for healing.

Though infamous compared to Acupuncture, Tong Ren Therapy is like acupuncture minus the needles that have healed numerous patients with problems in blood flow, hormones, and nervous systems.

Herbal medication, on the other hand, involves the consumption of a specific herb or a combination of herbs specifically formulated for stroke recovery. Chinese herbs are known to help improve blood circulation that reinvigorate internal systems and, in turn, restores the functioning of the brain affected by the stroke. Experience has shown that regular intake of Chinese herbs has treated stroke patients with aphasia, hemiplegia, disorientation, and impaired memory and language.

In particular, the Chinese herb Ginseng is prescribed to restore and tone the blood besides boosting body energy. Gingko Biloba, on the other hand, is thought to improve blood circulation especially blood flow in the brain, though, together with its other claimed properties such as lowering plasma cholesterol concentration, there are much debate about its efficacy

Nowadays, technology has made Traditional Chinese Medicine more accessible and convenient for stroke patients. One brilliant example is Neuroaid. Taking its origins in the TCM, this post-stroke treatment gives way to hope as it proved to be efficient in post stroke recovery. Neuroaid is now being prescribed by neurologists all around the world and has been proven to help stroke patients recover their functional skills. A large number of published article in reputable scientific journal points towards its property in restoring neurological functions such as motor skills, speech and vision. Interesting enough, the results of further scientific studies published early this February 2010 point out that Neuroaid is not only safe and efficient for stroke rehabilitation but could also be effective in reducing the severity of stroke if taken as a preventive measure.

Weight Loss Diet Programs

There are many varieties of diet programs that promote or claim to achieve rapid weight loss. Of these many programs, or systems, there are basically 3 main categories. These are as follows:

1. A Liquid-Based Detox Diet

This style of fast weight loss program became popular after being popularized by celebrities and then covered by the media who follow whatever the celebrities drink, eat or do. In essence, this is not strictly a diet and it was designed as a body cleansing detox program. Its purpose was to flush toxins out of the body and help you to feel rejuvenated. In its original form it was only ever meant to be used for 3 days periods but over time it has been adapted, or manipulated, into a quick weight loss system.

The formula basically consists of consuming a drink two or three times a day. The drink contains natural ingredients specifically combined for their individual properties. The main version uses hot water, known to help flush out your body. This is combined with lemon juice which contains acidic and citric acids, also good at promoting detoxification and chilli powder, again another ingredient that has detoxification qualities.

The extra ingredient added when the formula became used as a fast weight loss system was honey. The honey is supposed to supply your body with the sugar it need to keep going during this liquid-only fasting process. You will certainly lose weight quickly if you use this method but there are some serious concerns over its potential health risks if used over lengthy periods.
2. Low Carbohydrate, High Protein Diets

These became very popular after the explosion that was the Atkin’s Diet. That particular diet was an extreme form of this program and has now been proven to be a health risk. There are still variations on this theme and they are still very popular. The basis behind this style of diet is as the heading suggests – you are allowed to eat protein-rich food without any real restriction but are not allowed to consume many carbohydrates.

What this diet does is rob your body of its main fuel source – carbohydrates – this then encourages the body to burn its fat stores instead and hence the fast weight loss. The protein is for strength and is alleged to help with counteracting the weakness that comes from starving your body of its fuel source.

The danger of this diet is that it promotes ketosis, in a nutshell ketones are small carbon molecules produced when your body burns fat instead of carbohydrates. This happens because your body goes into a state of ketosis and while this can also suppress appetite it is proven to be harmful to your kidneys and other organs. The main weight loss from this diet comes from water loss and loss of muscle tissue.

3. Diet Every Other Day Diets

This last category has become increasingly popular over recent years and whilst there have been comments about the lack of research, there is now a sudden influx of new documentation becoming available. In fact, this style of diet was first discovered in the 1930’s by pure accident. An every other day diet works on the low-calorie system but is not as difficult to follow, the reason being that you only have to stick to the low-calorie regime every other day.

On the other day, often referred to as an ‘up-day’ you can eat as you please, although there are some sensible restrictions and the better of these diet types do encourage nutrition, healthy eating and a balanced diet. The reason behind this one day on, one day off system is that it supposedly counteracts the usual problem of low-calorie starvation-style dieting – namely, the slowing down of metabolism or the body reducing its carbohydrate needs in response to it being starved – this then results in weight loss reduction.

An alternate day diet lets you eat normally every other day so the body does not consider itself starved. Another benefit to this method is that some people find it easier to follow and adhere to a low-calorie diet when they know they can eat normally the following day. Not everyone can stick to strict low-calorie diets and many have turned to this as a ‘best of both worlds’.

Perimenopause Treatment

It might be tempting to get a quick fix for hot flashes, but consider a different perimenopause treatment besides hormone replacement therapy (HRT). HRT may be inexpensive and easy, but its long-term risks outweigh the benefits – not to mention that it will likely further aggravate the symptoms of menopause! This outcome occurs because HRT causes estrogen dominance, a condition where there is far more estrogen than progesterone in the body. On the other hand, products that are natural for menopause-related symptoms will provide relief from your symptoms without causing estrogen dominance.

How is estrogen dominance related to traditional perimenopause treatments?
Estrogen dominance was a term coined by Dr. John Lee, the first doctor who published shocking findings on the dangers of HRT. His research was premised on the fact that a woman can experience serious health problems if she has normal or excessive estrogen, but little or no progesterone to balance out estrogen’s effects on the body. Progesterone inhibits estrogen’s effects on the body, e.g. when estrogen increases fat accumulation and weight gain, progesterone burns fat for energy. For these reasons, Dr. Lee suggested that giving progesterone supplements would benefit menopausal women more than estrogen-only HRT. However, his work was shunned by the medical community despite mounting evidence against HRT and the damage it causes. It’s easy to see why – when Dr. Lee’s research first came out in the 1980s, everyone was still caught up in the hype of estrogen HRT pushed by pharmaceutical companies.

Despite what you might be led to believe, HRT promotes unopposed estrogen. Women these days are very susceptible to becoming estrogen dominant, even when they are menopausal. The beauty products and cosmetics we use are laden with xenoestrogenic preservatives – manmade chemicals that behave like estrogen when they enter the body. Cows and chickens are also fed estrogen so they can grow and fatten up faster. On the other hand, we aren’t exposed to the same levels of progesterone. Taking HRT will only skew the balance of estrogen and progesterone, causing estrogen dominance and increasing the risks of various health problems.

  • Risks of estrogen dominance caused by medications for perimenopause

Below are just some of the risks faced by menopausal women when they take HRT.

  • Increased menopause symptoms

While restoring your estrogen levels might reduce hot flashes initially, it may also cause increased weight gain, poor sleep patterns, headache, anxiety, and depression if left unopposed.

  • Fibrocystic breasts and breast cancer

Researchers from Harvard University discovered that the longer your exposure to estrogens, the greater your risk of fibrocystic breasts (breast cysts) and breast cancer. In their Nurses’ Health Study, a study that tracked the health of 70,000 women for almost 20 years, they discovered that menopausal women who used estrogen had a 30% increased risk for breast cancer than women who didn’t take HRT. The risk for breast cancer was 40% more among women who took estrogen and progestin (a manmade progesterone). Those who were taking HRT for over five years had an elevated risk that increased with their age. The Nurses’ Health Study supports early evidence that HRT plays a significant role in the onset of breast cancer, even if progestin is added to balance out the estrogen.

  • Blood clots

Studies show that an increased risk of blood clots among menopausal women is triggered by two things: cigarette smoking and the use of synthetic estrogens.

  • Gallstones and liver problems

If you have a liver disorder, then you should definitely avoid HRT; estrogen affects the function of the liver enzymes. Research shows that women taking HRT have twice the risk of developing gallstones that require surgical removal.

  • Uterine cancer

Four to eight out of every one thousand menopausal women will develop uterine cancer because of HRT. Although the risk of uterine cancer is decreased when progestin is added, research shows that progestin will place you at risk for breast cancer. Other risk factors like cigarette smoking, a family history of uterine cancer, and abnormal uterine bleeding will also increase the likelihood of HRT-related uterine cancer despite the presence of progestin.
Unlike the symptoms of menopause, which are temporary, the side effects of HRT may last a lifetime. Avoid these risks and consider making lifestyle changes or using natural progesterone or phytoestrogens (plant estrogens) for perimenopause and menopause relief.