Prescription medications account for a large amount of sleep disturbances, as insomnia is a side effect of many drugs. I have meet many patients whose sleep has improved dramatically as a result of simply weaning off unnecessary medications, and replacing them with healthy diet and lifestyle changes. A woman called me once and told me that she had stopped taking five prescription medications and replaced them with a multi-vitamin and vitamin E. Most of her symptoms disappeared, and her sleep returned to normal.
Interstitial cystitis is a chronic bladder inflammation characterized by deterioration and tightening of the urinary bladder. The symptoms are painful, frequent and burning urination, blood in the urine, reduced urinary capacity and generalized lower abdominal pain over the bladder area. In gross appearance, there is hyperemia (blood congestion) in the mucosa, often with exudate. Eventually it leads to a thickening and inelasticity of the bladder wall, and a persistent fibrosis. Mast cells are often predominant, which means there may be an autoimmune component.
Dysbiosis problems are extremely common, expecially among women, and failure to properly diagnose and treat them can lead to a great deal of misery and frustration. In my experience, untreated dysbiosis can be a causative factor in a multiplicity of difficult disease conditions, including thyroid problems, eye inflammation, chronic fatigue and others.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome accounts for up to 50% of all visits to gastrointestinal doctors (Pittler MH et al. 1998). Typical symptoms of IBS include intestinal spasm and pain, abdominal pain relieved by defecation, constipation and/or diarrhea, and abdominal distension and bloating.
Ideopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) is an autoimmune hemorrhagic disorder characterized by progressive platelet loss and bleeding. It is a systemic illness that produces purple patches caused by small hemorrhages from mucous membranes. Women are affected by this condition three times as often as men are. Platelet counts decline due to an immune attack triggered by antibodies that target specific antigens on the platelets. When the platelets enter the spleen, they are destroyed.
There are many nutrient and herbal methods for avoiding heart problems, along with the well known benefits of exercise and healthy diet. • The flavonoid nutrients found in many herbs reduce inflammation and help repair the membranes on the inside of the heart and blood vessels. Foods that are high in flavonoids include wine that is made from red grapes, and berries of all sorts. Both are very good for keeping the heart healthy. • Many agents found in herbs help prevent vessel clogging. These include blood thinning herbs such as carthamus flower, salvia root and prickly ash, as well as antiinflammatory herbs such as boswellia gum, turmeric root and arjuna bark.
Formation of stones in the kidney or the urinary tract is a frequent problem, affecting 5-10% of Americans in their lifetimes (Pak, 1993). They develop when substances like calcium oxalate or phosphate, uric acid, magnesium phosphate etc. are too concentrated in the urine. Eventually they precipitate out, forming crystals that eventually become stones. This can be very painful, as the stones move down the urinary tract or out of the kidney via the ureters, and is a medical emergency requiring immediate medical attention
To treat simple cases, you can find slippery elm bark or horehound (Marrubium vulgare) lozenges at your health food store. Herbal teas can often be useful treatments for even serious cases. Make a strong tea from herbs that fight heat, infection and inflammation, like honeysuckle flowers, tulsi, forsythia fruit, peppermint leaf, ginger root, echinacea, mullein flowers, licorice root, scute root and high doses of Andrographis (A. paniculata) and isatis root or leaves.
Longevity has been a cherished goal of humankind since the beginning of time. Perhaps the oldest known comprehensive medical text is the Charaka Samhita, the Ayurvedic encyclopedia compiled by the physician Charaka based upon the original work of the sage Atreya, who lived about 2500 years ago. The book begins, "Now I shall expound upon the subject of longevity. . . .When disease appears, it creates great impediments to penance, abstinence, study, religious observance and lifespan. The holy sages, out of sympathy for all living creatures, assembled at the side of the Himalayas to seek a solution."
There are two forms of macular degeneration. The common "dry" form occurs in 90% of cases. It develops slowly, and while it does not cause complete blindness, patients experience a significant loss of vision. About 10% of patients develop the "wet" form of macular degeneration. Blood vessels under the retinal begin to grow offshoots that exude and bleed into the retina, causing scarring and blockage. These new blood vessel offshoots are abnormal, and they easily become leaky. The resultant blinding can be rapid and severe
Male infertility is often associated with a low sperm count or weakened sperm motility. Average normal sperm counts range from 80 million to100 million sperm per ml. Male infertility is usually quantified at a count of 20 million sperm per ml or less. Male fertility in certain parts of the world has been falling in recent years at an alarming rate (Comhaire et al., 1999). Under investigation is the possibility that pesticides and other forms of pollution are responsible, because many chemicals have been shown to impair fertility and/or lead to impaired prenatal and perinatal development in experimental studies (Petrelli et al., 1999).
In keeping with the traditions of my practice, the first thing I tell patients is that menopause, the cessation of ovulation, is not a disease, and it should be welcomed rather than feared. It is a liberating life transition, a normal slowing of hormone production after passing the childbearing years. By the way, don't think for a minute that men don’t go through their own menopausal stage, called andropause. They are usually just unaware of it until they develop erectile dysfunction.
Menorrhagia is a term for excessive blood loss due to heavy menstrual bleeding or an extended menstrual period. Decline in hormones, especially progesterone, as a woman nears menopause, is the most common cause of menorrhagia. It is important to get a proper diagnosis before attempting to use natural medicine because you must determine whether the condition is caused by hormone changes, fibroids, polyps, endometriosis, or tumors. Another cause is von Willebrand disease, a membrane bleeding disorder affecting an estimated 1% of the population worldwide (Lusher, 1999).
Morning sickness is the characteristic nausea experienced by many
pregnant women upon awakening in the morning. Herbs can be very
• For minor cases either ginger root or peppermint leaf, taken in tea form, can offer sufficient relief.
According to TCM, since the blood nourishes the muscles, simply combining herbs from the digestive group and the blood-nourishing group can help heal this problem. Be sure to add strong pure tonics like dang gui root, astragalus root, Siberian ginseng root bark and ginseng root. In severe cases, I also recommend stronger pancreatic digestive enzyme pills.
Magnesium helps to maintain the intracellular homeostasis of potassium and calcium, so in natural medicine circles it is said "If it spasms, give magnesium" (Wright J., 1990). Nutrient supply can also decline as a result of poor circulation, poor nutrition, inflammation, mechanical trauma, and overuse of pharmaceutical medications. We must address each of these problems individually.
The musculoskeletal system is composed of muscles, connective tissue, bones and joints. The tough, dense and protective character of these tissues contrasts sharply with the softness of our internal organs. The bulk of the musculoskeletal system develops during the third trimester of pregnancy, forming a coating the shape and strength of which is intimately connected to our sense of self, as well as to our mobility, physical power, vital force and general well being.
Nephritis is a general term for inflammation of the kidneys, which causes the filtration system to break down. There are many types. Nephrosis refers to degenerative changes in the kidneys and renal tubules that result from disease. When the kidney's filtering vessels are damaged, proteins can leak out into the urine, and waste products accumulate in the blood.
• My favorite calming nerve tonics from our nervine group are ashwaghanda root (both forms), milky oat seed, scullcap, kava root and American ginseng root. • My favorite stimulating nerve tonics are ginseng root, shilajatu, bacopa, gotu kola, St. John's wort and ginkgo leaf.
Neuropathies include diabetic neuropathy, Guillain-Barré syndrome, post-herpetic neuralgia, and other forms of neuropathic pain/damage. Diabetic neuropathy is a common long-term complication that causes persistent painful sensation or loss of sensation, most commonly in the hands, feet and legs. It affects an estimated 1.3 million diabetic patients in the United States, and if severe, can lead to amputation of affected limbs. About 50% of diabetics develop neuropathy after 25 years, and approximately 56,000 amputations in the United States each year are due to diabetic neuropathy (Thomas, 1999, Resnick, 1999).