Category Archives: Ailments: M-N

Miscarriage

Quite a high percentage of early pregnancies miscarry.  It can occur when you do not realize it – you may think your period was abnormally heavy.

This is often nature’s way of rejecting an embryo that is abnormal or malformed. Miscarriages are often known as spontaneous abortions and people in medical occupations often use the words interchangeably.

Miscarriages in the first 28 days of pregnancy are often caused by a hormonal imbalance. The body does not produce enough of the hormone which will sustain the pregnancy throughout the term. Instead it goes through it’s normal hormonal changes had you not been pregnant. This results in a partial period. You may experience either a heavy or light period, back ache or an ache around the womb area.

Miscarriages can also result from genetic abnormalities in the embryo. The embryo in this case cannot survive and is aborted. The abnormality may have been the result of an abnormality in the egg or the sperm.

Another reason for miscarriage is a week or abnormal cervix. The cervix may not be able to support the pregnant uterus. The cervix is then described as incompetent.

Miscarriages can occur if the mother is suffering from certain illnesses or severe malnutrition.

Signs of miscarriage

  • bleeding from the vagina – the blood may be brighter than normal or a rusty colour.

  • pain

  • contractions of the uterus may start – to rid the body of the embryo

You will need to go to bed immediately and call your doctor. You may also have to go to hospital for observation.

If the bleeding stops, you may still be able to proceed with the pregnancy but if your cervix has dilated, miscarriage will happen.

If the fetus and placenta are completely expelled from your body, you have had what the medical profession call a complete abortion. If they have not removed themselves, you will need to undergo a D & C (Dilatation and Curettage).

In either case your doctor will need to 
examine you immediately


Macular Degeneration

What to look for

  • dim or distorted vision, especially while reading.

  • gradual, painless loss of precise central vision.

  • blank spots in your central field of vision; straight lines that appear wavy.

Because the symptoms usually do not appear in people under 55 years of age, the disorder is often referred to as age-related macular degeneration (ARMD).

If you are over 65, macular degeneration may already affect your central vision, even though most sufferers of the disease maintain functional side, or peripheral, vision throughout life. The disorder occurs in two forms, dry and wet. The less common wet form of ARMD requires immediate medical attention; any delay in treatment may result in loss of your central vision.

See Vision Problems

Causes

Macular degeneration is scarring of the macula, a spot about 1/16 inch in diameter at the centre of the retina. The macula enables you to read, watch television, drive, sew… anything that requires focused, straight-ahead vision. Although the rest of the retina can continue to process images at the sides of your field of vision, the scarring distorts or obscures part of the central image that your eye transmits to your brain.

In the dry form of ARMD, tiny yellow deposits develop beneath the macula, signaling a degeneration and thinning of nerve tissue. A small number of cases develop into the wet, or neovascular, form of ARMD, in which abnormal blood vessels grow beneath the macula. As these vessels leak blood and fluid onto the retina, retinal cells die, causing blurs and blank spots in your field of vision.

You are more susceptible to ARMD as you get older, especially if there is a history of the disorder in your family. atherosclerosis, diabetesheart diseasehigh blood pressure, and nutritional deficiencies are also risk factors.

Your ophthalmologist will inspect the macula as part of a routine eye exam. A painless photographic procedure, fluorescein angiography, shows the pattern of your eye’s blood vessels and can detect any abnormalities.

Traditional Treatment

Macular degeneration is not reversible, so people who develop dry ARMD typically compensate with large-print publications and magnifying lenses for everyday activities. Wet ARMD may be successfully treated with laser surgery. Both forms respond positively to ophthalmology treatment as well as to alternative remedies.

The more common dry macular degeneration cannot be cured, but it can be kept from getting worse under an ophthalmologist’s care. For the wet form, a surgical procedure called laser photocoagulation destroys leaking blood vessels that have grown under the macula, halting the damaging effects to your vision. This procedure must be done before leakage from abnormal blood vessels causes irreversible damage.

Alternative/Natural Treatments

Drawing on the body’s natural abilities and functions, alternative treatments attempt to restore nutrient deficiencies that can damage the macula.

Herbal Therapies – Collagen, one of the most abundant proteins in the body, plays an integral role in maintaining the strength and function of your eye tissue. The collagen structure of your retina may be strengthened and reinforced by taking bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus) extract daily. Collagen, one of the most abundant proteins in the body, plays an integral role in maintaining the strength and function of your eye tissue. The collagen structure of your retina may be strengthened and reinforced by taking bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus) extract daily.

Dried ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba) may guard against damage to your macula by free radicals, unstable molecules found in the body that can harm cells.

Dietary Considerations

Many older people exhibit deficiencies in zinc, which normally appears in high concentrations in the retina. Speak with your doctor about taking a zinc supplement to help protect the retina from damage and improve sharpness of vision.

Antioxidants are said to fight the negative effects free radicals have on your retinal blood vessels.

Personal Care

Your eye doctor will suggest large-print reading material, magnifiers, and other aids to enhance your eyesight.

Eat more fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin C, such as citrus fruits, cauliflower, and broccoli. Snack on nuts and seeds, which contain vitamin E. Yellow vegetables containing carotene, as well as cherries, blackberries, and blueberries, all of which contain antioxidants.

Cut back on consumption of alcohol, cigarettes, and coffee, all of which may aggravate eye problems.

When to seek further professional advice

  • you exhibit any of the symptoms listed in the description section and have never seen an ophthalmologist. Ask your doctor for a referral.

  • you exhibit any of the symptoms listed in the description section and have hypertension, diabetes, or heart disease. You are in the high-risk category for the advanced wet form of macular degeneration. Any abnormality in your vision is a sign that you may be developing the disorder.

  • you have been diagnosed with age-related macular degeneration and then you discover blank spots in your field of vision, printed matter appears distorted, or straight lines appear wavy. You may be developing the advanced wet form of macular degeneration

     

Malaria

Malaria is an infectious tropical disease spread by mosquitos.

What to look for

  • fever – sometimes the only symptom

  • other flu like symptoms such as – headache, fatigue, and nausea.

  • sudden chills and severe shaking.

  • profuse sweating.

Malaria is an infectious disease transmitted by mosquitoes. Almost all tropical areas (Asia, Africa and India) have malaria-transmitting mosquitos.

Early symptoms of malaria include flu like characteristics. The disease has three distinct stages – a cold stage, a hot stage and a sweating stage.

Causes

Malaria is caused by a bite from the infected Anopheles mosquito, which injects the malaria parasites into the bloodstream. Once in the bloodstream, they travel to the liver, where they multiply at a tremendous rate and begin to destroy red blood cells. This is what causes the symptoms of malaria.

There is one species of parasite which is fatal and it is highly resistant to anti-malaria drugs.

Others may lay dormant in your liver for years without making their presence known.

You will be given a blood test to determine if you have malaria.

Traditional Treatment

Left untreated malaria can be fatal. Quick and appropriate conventional treatment, however, can result in a speedy and complete recovery.

Alternative/Natural Treatments

Alternative therapies can treat the symptoms of malaria and help your body recover from conventional medications.

Herbal Therapies – Boneset (Eupatorium perfoliatum), sometimes called feverwort, was used by Native Americans and early American colonists to treat feverish illnesses, including malaria.  Boneset (Eupatorium perfoliatum), sometimes called feverwort, was used by Native Americans and early American colonists to treat feverish illnesses, including malaria. 

Homoeopathy – Remedies prescribed for malaria include Arsenicum album and Sulphur. Consult a Professional for dosages and length of treatment. Remedies prescribed for malaria include Arsenicum album and Sulphur. Consult a Professional for dosages and length of treatment.

Prevention

Immunisation is the best prevention of this disease especially if you are travelling anywhere in the tropics.

  • Take a preventive antimalarial medication before, during, and after the trip.

  • Sleep under mosquito netting treated with an insecticide

  • Stay in buildings with air conditioning or screened doors and windows.

  • Stay indoors from dusk to dawn, the time when mosquitoes feed.

  • If you go out in the evening, wear long pants and a long-sleeved shirt.

  • Use a mosquito repellent

When to seek further professional advice

  • you experience the symptoms of malaria while in the affected areas of the world or up to several months after returning

     

Manic Depression

This is a condition where the person’s moods swing wildly from elation to severe depression.

What to look for

Mood swings which are obvious and unexpected characterise this disorder. There are two strongly opposing phases the person swings from:

In the manic phase:


  • over-excited and elated

  • euphoria or irritability.

  • excessive talk; racing thoughts.

  • inflated self-esteem.

  • high energy levels

  • impulsiveness – shopping sprees, excessive spending, promiscuity

  • hallucinations and delusions

In the depressive phase:

  • depressed mood and low self-esteem.

  • overwhelming apathy.

  • sadness, loneliness, helplessness, guilt.

  • slow speech, fatigue.

  • insomnia.

  • suicidal thoughts and feelings

Manic-depression or bipolar disorder is a disturbing illness both to the sufferer and there families. It is characterised by cyclical swings between euphoria and despair. There is no set pattern to the swings between the manic phase and the depression phase and no exact frequency with which they occur. Some people are continuously in this alternating cycle, for other more fortunate people it only happens once in their life. In most instances, the patient is depressed longer than they are manic.

Much evidence suggests that the illness has a genetic basis, but its actual cause is still baffling doctors. The symptoms apparently result from chemical imbalances in the brain. This illness interrupt the patients life and that of their family, but it can also have dangerous consequences if the patient commits suicide.

The disorder usually takes one of two different types. In one type the patient has very disruptive and over-excited mania phases alternating with depression, while there is another type in which the mania phase is less pronounced and not very excessive.

In the first type, patients are likely to be very intense and often will pace about, shouting and screaming or they may flit from subject to subject rapidly. Both are thought to be genetically linked.

The symptoms of this illness can be controlled through the use of medications and other treatments.

The illness is sometimes linked to a seasonal disorder, with depression occurring in late autumn or winter and progressing to mania in the summer.

Usually the disorder starts in early adulthood, with the first episode in men likely to be manic and the first in females usually depressive. With age the occurrences of phases come more frequently and last longer.

Causes

A possible cause of manic-depression is a chemical imbalance in the brain, caused by a defective gene. Among the neuro-transmitters possibly involved are serotonin and norepinephrine, these two chemicals influence mood. A low level of serotonin may produce an unstable mood while an imbalance of norepinephrine alters the direction of the mood swing. It is reported that a low level is associated with depression and a high level produces mania. This area is complex and not completely understood. In a number of cases, there is some family history of mood swings, depressive illness, or suicide which indicates that genes do play some type of role.

In most cases, manic depression will commence with no outside influence or cause, however in some cases tension or dysfunctional upbringing may stimulate an episode.

Many cases are not treated and the reason may be that patients do not want to acknowledge that anything is wrong because of the negative stigma attached to mental illness. In addition, doctors often do not recognise the symptoms and misdiagnose the illness.

In attempting to diagnose, psychiatrists will investigated the patient’s history and also the family history. This is to eliminate other disorders.

The patient should go through a physical examination as well which includes a blood and urine test. The doctor may also perform a thyroid examination as medication for this illness may affect your thyroid.

See Thyroid Problems

Traditional Treatment

Doctors usually treat this disorder with both medication and psychiatric therapy. Hospitalisation will usually only occur in extreme cases.

You will need to be under regular supervision by your doctor so he or she can monitor your progress and the levels of the drug in your blood stream.

Alternative/Natural Treatments

Natural therapies may not always be very helpful with this disorder while the patient is having either a manic or a depressive episode. However, they can often be helpful in between occurrences.

Talk to your doctor about the benefits of magnesium. It has been reported that this mineral has the same affects as lithium (the drug most used in the treatment of manic depression). Do not ever treat yourself. This disorder should always be monitored by your doctor.

Another option is the use of some Chinese herbs. However it is vitally important that you see a Chinese Herbalist who is experienced in treating mood disorders – not all of the practitioners are.

Personal Care

If you live with a person who is manic depressive or if you have this disorder yourself, try to have a tranquil home especially when the person is having a manic episode. Getting enough sleep is very important. Loud parties, lots of television watching and loud music can bring on a manic symptom.

People who are in the manic phase often take part in risky activities and they should be watched and prevented if possible from taking risks. Food and drinks containing caffeine or any other energy lifting substance should be avoided during the manic phase as should alcohol.

When to seek further professional advice

  • you notice some of these symptoms in yourself or a family member

     

Measles

This is an infectious viral disease, characterised by small red dots that occur all over the body.

What to look for

There are two stages of this disease. In the first stage, your child will have cold-like symptoms such as runny nose, eyes, and mouth, cough and a husky voice. The child’s eyes may be red and watery. There may also be a high fever and sneezing.

The second stage (usually from third or fourth day), the child’s temperature falls and the characteristic rash appears. This is usually a reddish colour with raised spots. The spots group together in patches. Then the temperature rises on the day the rash appears. The skin may start to peel after 2 or 3 days.

Measles is highly contagious and is a very severe childhood disease. (Adults can get measles but it is rare). Immunisation is compulsory for children as this disease can have serious complications which can be fatal.

Causes

Like most viruses, measles is spread in droplets of saliva which is carried through the air when an infected child coughs or sneezes. Your child is most contagious 2 days before symptoms appear, although he is still contagious for 4 days after the rash begins.

Traditional Treatment

If you suspect that your child has measles, you should always consult your child’s doctor, who will wish to monitor your child’s progress through the disease. Your child should not return to school until a week after the rash appears.

Bed rest, a soft-foods diet, and increased liquid intake are usually prescribed by most doctors until the symptoms subside.

Alternative/Natural Treatments

Always see your conventional doctor as this disease can have serious consequences if not treated.

Herbal Therapies – No herbs treat measles specifically. However, a number of preparations may help alleviate the symptoms. Teas of yarrow (Achillea millefolium), catnip (Nepeta cataria), and linden (Tilia spp.) may help reduce fever. An eyebright (Euphrasia officinalis) eyewash or a chamomile (Matricaria recutita) compress may ease the eyes. No herbs treat measles specifically. However, a number of preparations may help alleviate the symptoms. Teas ofyarrow (Achillea millefolium), catnip (Nepeta cataria), and linden (Tilia spp.) may help reduce fever. An eyebright (Euphrasia officinalis) eyewash or a chamomile (Matricaria recutita) compress may ease the eyes.

Personal Care

  • Keep your infected child away from all other children and yourselves if you have not been immunised against measles or if you have never had the disease.

  • Calamine lotion will relieve the itching.

  • A humidifier can ease a bad cough.

Prevention

Many alternative practitioners feel it is better for an otherwise healthy child to contract measles than to be vaccinated, because fighting the illness strengthens the immune system. However, it is normally highly recommended that all children be immunised in Australia.

When to seek further professional advice

  • you think your child has measles

     

Meningitis

Meningitis is the inflammation and infection of the meninges, the membranes covering the brain and spinal cord.

What to look for

  • fever and drowsiness.

  • severe headache usually associated with pain in the eyes.

  • stiff neck, shoulders, or back.

  • severe shooting pain down the back of the neck

  • vomiting.

  • seizures and coma.

  • in infants, a bulge in the soft spot on the skull.

  • in infants, a stiff neck and a floppy body.

There are two types of meningitis – the viral and bacterial forms. Viral meningitis is common and not as dangerous. (It is still important to consult a doctor who will confirm which meningitis strand the patient has).

The symptoms are usually flu-like and/or more severe. The other type is a bacterial form and is called meningoccal meningitis which sometimes occurs in local epidemics. This is a very serious illness and it is vital to have immediate conventional medical attention or death may occur in hours.

This illness can occur in spina bifida babies and also very young children in general.

Meningitis can be contagious among people living close together.

Causes

Bacterial meningitis is caused by any one of several bacteria. These bacteria are often spread from person to person through coughing and sneezing. Some research indicates that people are more vulnerable to bacterial meningitis after a bout of the flu or if there is already an infection present in the body at the time.

Viral meningitis can be triggered by a variety of viruses. These viruses can be spread through contact with infected rodents. Another cause is fungal often found in pigeon droppings

Confirmation of meningitis requires a lumbar puncture, or spinal tap.

Samples of your blood, urine, and secretions from your nose or ears may also be taken.

Traditional Treatment

The bacterial form of meningitis in particular is life-threatening. Immediate medical treatment is vital

If you have meningococcal meningitis, your doctor may recommend that people with whom you have been in close contact undergo preventive antibiotic treatment.

Alternative/Natural Treatments

Because meningitis is a serious and potentially fatal disease, you should use alternative treatments only after you have received emergency medical care.

Dietary Considerations

To maintain a healthy immune system and prevent recurrences of infections that can lead to meningitis, eat a low-fat, high-fibre diet, avoid sugar and processed foods. Vitamin supplements can also be helpful.

When to seek further professional advice

  • you develop the symptoms listed in the description section

     

Menopausal Problems

The time when a woman ceases to ovulate can cause some problems and some uncomfortable symptoms.

What to look for

  • hot flushes

  • night sweats.

  • pain during intercourse

  • increased nervousness, anxiety, or irritability.

  • increased need to urinate

  • swollen ankles

  • headaches

  • painful intercourse

Menopause refers to the time in a woman’s life when she stops ovulating and is a process not a final event. She may or may not have any symptoms.

Menopause usually occurs in women between the ages of 45 – 55 but it can happen earlier or much later.

Some symptoms are only temporary and will go in time. But more-permanent problems can also result.

Causes

It is caused by a decrease in the levels of oestrogen and progesterone. Her periods will cease over time and ovaries will slow and cease their normal functions.

Traditional Treatment

A popular yet still controversial treatment is the hormone replacement therapy. It simply replaces the oestrogen levels in the body but may still have certain side effects.

Alternative/Natural Treatments

Chinese Herbs – Some Chinese herbs – including Dong Quai (Angelica sinensis) and Asian Ginseng (Panax ginseng) – contain a form of oestrogen. Exact proportions are important – consult a Professional. Some Chinese herbs – including Dong Quai (Angelica sinensis) and Asian Ginseng (Panax ginseng) – contain a form of oestrogen. Exact proportions are important – consult a Professional.

Herbal Therapies – Phytoestrogen is found in a variety of herbs and foods. Extracts and teas made from Black Cohosh (Cimicifuga racemosa) may supply beneficial amounts of Phytoestrogen. Phytoestrogen is found in a variety of herbs and foods. Extracts and teas made from Black Cohosh (Cimicifuga racemosa) may supply beneficial amounts of Phytoestrogen.

Certain herbal creams may help relieve vaginal dryness and dry skin. Combinations of Motherwort (Leonurus cardiaca), Chaste Tree (Vitex agnus-castus), Wild Yam (Dioscorea villosa), and other herbs may help with the rapid heartbeat that comes with hot flashes.

Dietary Considerations

Eating foods high in plant estrogens, such as soy beans and lima beans, may alleviate symptoms; other sources include nuts and seeds, fennel, celery, parsley, and flaxseed oil. Some foods high in B vitamins may assist with nerves and emotional problems. These are brewer’s yeast, yeast extracts, eggs, wheatgerm, breads, wholegrains, organ meats, pulses and cereals.

Personal Care

 

  • Raise your calcium intake and engage in weight-bearing exercises to avoid osteoporosis and maintain general good health.

  • Take vitamin E daily to treat hot flushes and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

When to seek further professional advice

  • you experience bleeding after menopause

     

Menstrual Problems

What to look for

Menstruation occurs when an ovary releases an egg, at this time the lining of the uterus grows and becomes flooded with blood. If the egg is not fertilised, the ovary releases progesterone, which causes menstrual flow. This happens every 28 days until interrupted by pregnancy or ended by menopause.

Menstrual Synchrony

The symptoms of the onset of the period varies in each woman. As well as this your own period may vary occasionally. This is usually normal, but at times this can be the result of something more serious.

The three main categories of menstrual irregularities are lack of period, painful periods, and heavy periods. 

LACK OF PERIOD

Although sometimes is no cause for concern, can be a sign of an underlying problem. Menstruation may not start at puberty or for some reason periods stop during your adult life. If your periods have never occurred it may be hormonal problems, or it may signal (in very rare cases) ill formed or non-existent ovaries.

If your periods have just stopped, it might indicate, that you have low levels of oestrogen in your body. Or it may signal a lack of progesterone. Of course if your periods have ceased it may also indicate that you are pregnant. Stress can also cause problems in this area as can Anorexia nervosa. Sports injuries can have the same effect as can ovarian cysts. Excessive exercise and very low body fat is also a cause.

Traditional Treatment

Treatment for a lack of periods is usually simply waiting to see if nature takes its course. For a girl who exercises strenuously or who is very thin, a doctor might advise a lighter training regimen or an effort to gain weight. Treatment for anorexia nervosa might also be necessary. Always see your doctor if you are worried.

If your periods have stopped – look at all the possibilities. If you think stress may be to blame, take steps to reduce stress in your life. If you are underweight, your doctor will advise you to gain some weight and try to maintain it. If you have been diagnosed with some other condition that may be causing amenorrhoea (such as endometriosis or an ovarian cyst) seek treatment for that. Always see your doctor.

Alternative/Natural Treatments

Herbal Therapies – To help initiate menstrual flow, make a tincture of one part chaste tree (Vitex agnus-castus), two parts blue cohosh (Caulophyllum thalictroides), and two parts mugwort leaf (Artemisia argyi); take 2 ml three times daily until menstrual flow begins. To help initiate menstrual flow, make a tincture of one part chaste tree (Vitex agnus-castus), two parts blue cohosh (Caulophyllum thalictroides), and two parts mugwort leaf (Artemisia argyi); take 2 ml three times daily until menstrual flow begins.

Dietary Considerations

Try taking supplements of or eat foods rich in zinc (fish, poultry, lean meats) and vitamin B complex (brewer’s yeast, wheat germ), CEmagnesiumcalciumpotassiumironevening primrose oil.

Aromatherapy – Try either Fennel, Geranium or Rose to regulate your period. Put several drops into a carrier oil and massage clockwise into your abdomen. Do not use Fennel on epileptics or near them. Do not use Fennel during pregnancy. (for more information see the aromatherapy section). Try either Fennel, Geranium or Rose to regulate your period. Put several drops into a carrier oil and massage clockwise into your abdomen. Do not use Fennel on epileptics or near them. Do not use Fennel during pregnancy. (for more information see the aromatherapy section).

PAINFUL PERIODS

This slightly unpleasant problem is however, usually quite normal. There are occasions when painful periods can signify a more serious condition.

Causes

Doctors are unsure of the exact cause of painful periods, however it may be the result of an excess of prostaglandins, a substance released from the cells lining the womb.

This condition may, however, also be caused by an underlying condition, such as endometriosis, an infection, or growths in the uterus.

Traditional Treatment

Analgesics such as aspirin can relieve mild discomfort, but if your pain is more intense, try an analgesic available over-the-counter. See your doctor if this treatment does not remedy the condition.

Alternative/Natural Treatments

Most of the alternative therapies for menstrual cramps focus on promoting the relaxation of tense muscles or on reducing tension in general.

Aromatherapy – Chamomile rubbed on the lower abdomen, back and legs is usually very helpful. Chamomile rubbed on the lower abdomen, back and legs is usually very helpful.

Herbal Therapies – To relieve cramps, drink a hot tea of 2 tsp cramp bark (Viburnum opulus) simmered for 15 minutes in 1 cup water; use this three times a day. Bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus) and bromelain will also relax muscles. Dong quai (Angelica sinensis) and feverfew (Chrysanthemum parthenium) can relax uterine muscles; feverfew may work as well. Valerian (Valeriana officinalis) helps relax cramping muscles; however, it should be used only for a limited time. Consult a Professional.  (See our Herbal Section). To relieve cramps, drink a hot tea of 2 tsp cramp bark (Viburnum opulus) simmered for 15 minutes in 1 cup water; use this three times a day. Bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus) and bromelain will also relax muscles. Dong quai (Angelica sinensis) and feverfew (Chrysanthemum parthenium) can relax uterine muscles; feverfew may work as well. Valerian (Valeriana officinalis) helps relax cramping muscles; however, it should be used only for a limited time. Consult a Professional.  (See our Herbal Section).

Evening primrose oil (Oenothera biennis) applied over painful areas can also bring relief, but don’t use it if there’s a chance you may get pregnant.

Tension, anxiety, and painful spasms may be relieved with treatments of black haw (Viburnum lentago), skullcap (Scutellaria baicalensis), and black cohosh (Cimicifuga racemosa). 

Dietary Considerations

Rather than three large meals, try eating a balanced diet consisting of small meals throughout the day and avoid sugar, salt, and caffeine. You may get relief from a multivitamin supplement containing vitamin B complexcalcium, and magnesium. Avoid caffeine and other stimulants.


HEAVY PERIODS

Menstrual flow that lasts longer than about eight days, saturates tampons within an hour, or includes large clots of blood can usually be classified as a heavy period.

Hormonal imbalances, endometriosis, a pelvic infection, use of an IUD, or uterine growths can often be the cause of heavy periods. Problems with ovulation, low levels of progesterone, or an excess of prostaglandins can also cause heavier periods.

Traditional Treatment

Usually treatment consists of iron or folic acid tablets to prevent anaemia and other deficiencies. Analgesics for the pain and hormones to correct any imbalance in your hormone levels..

There is a minor surgical procedure that your doctor can perform which often relieves the symptoms of heavier periods. You should ask your doctor for more information about this course of action.

Alternative/Natural Treatments

Aromatherapy – Practitioners of aromatherapy find that oils of geranium, juniper (Juniperus communis), and cypress, rubbed on the abdomen, may bring relief for sufferers of heavy menstrual flow. (See our section on aromatherapy for more information) Practitioners of aromatherapy find that oils of geranium, juniper (Juniperus communis), and cypress, rubbed on the abdomen, may bring relief for sufferers of heavy menstrual flow. (See our section on aromatherapy for more information)

Herbal Therapies – Tea made from yarrow (Achillea millefolium) may help control bleeding. You may also benefit from taking a tincture made of equal parts life root (Senecio aureus), shepherd’s purse (Capsella bursa-pastoris), and wild cranesbill (Geranium maculatum). Tea made from yarrow (Achillea millefolium) may help control bleeding. You may also benefit from taking a tincture made of equal parts life root (Senecio aureus), shepherd’s purse (Capsella bursa-pastoris), and wild cranesbill (Geranium maculatum).

Personal Care

 

 

  • calcium and magnesium have known to stop uterine muscle cramps and to lessen the flow.

  • Take a warm, relaxing bath.

  • Take analgesics

  • Drink herbal teas containing yarrow to help control bleeding.

Prevention

Try to keep within your normal weight range.

Take a multivitamin supplement including vitamins AB complexC, and E, as well as calcium and iron.

When to seek further professional advice

  • you have heavy menstrual flow that fills a tampon or sanitary napkin within an hour.

  • you experience sharp abdominal pain before periods or during intercourse

     

Motion Sickness

This is sickness resulting from the motion of the vehicle in which one is travelling.

What to look for

  • sweating, dizziness, drowsiness and nausea while travelling by many forms of transportation

Although quite uncomfortable motion sickness is not a dangerous ailment. The symptoms of motion sickness usually subside either once your body adjusts to your mode of travel or shortly after the trip ends.

Causes

Motion sickness results from an imbalance of information reaching the brain from the sensory organs. Your inner ear has a balance organ inside and detects motion more readily than your eyes do. Your central nervous system reacts to this stress-producing phenomenon by activating the nausea center in your brain.

Traditional Treatment

To stop motion sickness, it is a good idea to stop doing whatever is causing the discomfort. Reading usually causes this if you are in motion. If you are prone to this ailment, prepare yourself by taking medications with you on each long trip. The symptoms of travel sickness vary from person to person although you will always experience the same symptoms and in the same order.

You may be recommended over-the-counter pills to alleviate this condition.

Alternative/Natural Treatments

Herbal Treatments – Ginger is an extremely popular and successful cure for travel sickness. It causes none of the side effects of anti-nausea drugs and can be drunk as a tea, or taken in capsule form; it should be taken on an empty stomach. Ginger is an extremely popular and successful cure for travel sickness. It causes none of the side effects of anti-nausea drugs and can be drunk as a tea, or taken in capsule form; it should be taken on an empty stomach.

Homoeopathy – Homoeopathic remedies sometimes come in kits that contain motion sickness remedies, which can be taken before and during travel as directed. Homoeopathic remedies sometimes come in kits that contain motion sickness remedies, which can be taken before and during travel as directed.

Aromatherapy – Ginger is also useful if it is inhaled directly from the bottle or in a massage. (see the aromatherapy section for more information).

Prevention

There are many strategies you can use to lower your vulnerability to motion sickness. In addition to the suggestions above, the following may help:

  • Get plenty of fresh air

  • Keep your head as still as possible focus on the horizon.

  • Don’t read while in motion.

  • Eat light meals

  • Don’t drink or smoke.

If nausea does set in, try eating olives or sucking on a lemon;

When to seek further professional advice

  • you are planning a trip and are concerned that you will be bothered by motion sickness

     

Multiple Sclerosis

MS is a condition which affects the central nervous system.

What to look for

The first attack is generally mild, lasts only a few days, and is followed by a long period of remission perhaps years before the next episode. Symptoms vary considerably. They include:

  • weakness, stiffness, or numbness in one or more limbs.

  • sensations of tingling, pins and needles around the limbs or the trunk of the body

  • tremors or a lack of balance or coordination.

  • blurred or double vision, or rapid, involuntary eye movement.

  • bladder or bowel incontinence.

  • fatigue.

The effects of this disease can range from relatively minor physical annoyances to major disabilities.

In normal cases, the nerves in the body are surrounded by a fatty substance called myelin, which permits the efficient transmission of electrical impulses the nerve signals. Multiple sclerosis, or MS, occurs when this protective sheath becomes inflamed sometimes causing damage to the nerves themselves. The nerves may make faulty connections with each other or not work at all. The above symptoms will occur when the transmission of electrical impulses is interrupted.

You may be a teenager when you have the first attack and it may be brief and mild – it may pass unrecognised. You could be much older when you have the next attack and it could last longer.

When the nerves are inflamed repeatedly, they become scarred (sclerosis) and this occurs too quickly to be repaired. How severe the illness is depends on the individual, and varies from person to person. Some can lead normal healthy lives, while others are confined to wheelchairs.

Multiple sclerosis is unpredictable in its on-again, off-again designs and its array of symptoms.

Causes

The cause of MS still remains a mystery however, most researchers think the immune system plays a major role. As well as this other researchers believe the disease is an inherited problem. Some say that an extreme emotional shock can trigger an immune response causing MS.

People who eat high fat diets also tend to get this disease more than others.

Some researchers suspect environmental factors. The list of possible culprits includes lead, pesticides, diesel fumes, chemicals in tap water, solvents, fumes from domestic gas water heaters, and carbon monoxide pollution.

Traditional Treatment

It is hard to diagnose and to treat MS as the symptoms vary so much.

In general, medicines are effective only in treating the symptoms of MS, and then only to a limited degree.

Certain treatments have been helpful in patients –

  • Steroid treatment

  • Diet modification

  • Avoidance of gluten

  • Physiotherapy

Alternative/Natural Treatments

There are many alternative therapies available which may provide some relief from some symptoms, however always make sure that you get Professional advice.

Lifestyle

 


  • Exercise is highly recommended (not during an attack and not too strenuous).

  • Yoga exercises.

  • Regularly working your muscles is advised in order to keep them from atrophying.

Dietary Considerations

Avoid certain foods that can bring on attacks in some MS sufferers: Milk and dairy products, caffeine, yeast, tomato sauce, vinegar, wine, and corn can also prove problematic.

See your Doctor and ask about special diets which may help MS sufferers (Swank Diet).

Supplements:

  • Linoleic acid, found in sunflower oil,

  • Evening primrose oil

When to seek further professional advice

  • you or someone you know has symptoms associated with multiple sclerosis.