Bell’s Palsy Treatments and Drugs

A lot of individuals fully regain their health from Bell’s palsy without the need for treatment. If you are seeking for faster resolution from Bell’s palsy there are many ways to do this with minimal risk for complications.

Drugs

Prednisolone

Recent research has found that prednisolone, a steroid, is one of the most potent medicines for treating Bell’s palsy. If you have been prescribed with prednisolone, it needs to be given within 3 days when the symptoms manifest. Antivirals have been said to quicken facial muscle rehabilitation but there is scant evidence for this claim.

Prednisolone acts by treating swelling and inflammation helping to hasten recovery from Bell’s palsy. More often than not, prednisolone is prescribed to individuals suffering from Bell’s palsy by their doctors that need to be taken two times a day for a duration of 10 days.

Like all types of pharmaceutical medication prednisolone has certain side effects. These side effects include:

Dizziness
Oral thrush
Sleeping problem
Increased appetite
Indigestion
Increased sweating
Headache
Nausea

There are some who may experience depression or anxiety or other mood changes after taking prednisolone within minutes. You may need to see your doctor as soon as you experience bothersome side effects or start to be aware of any mood changes.

Breastfeeding and pregnant women should consult their physician prior to using prednisolone.

Eye care

The eyes are protected by tears which are very important for keeping the eyes m free from pathogens and dirt that can destroy the health and function of the eyes. Sufferers of Bell’s palsy usually have problems completely shutting their affected eye. This problem can cause the tears to dry up and leave the eye very susceptible to issues. The eye needs constant lubrication which tears provide.

Your doctor usually recommends eye drops with some type of ‘artificial tears’ that should be applied during the day. At night eyedrops and ointment should be applied to the affected eye. For people who cannot close their eye at night, doctors usually will provide surgical tape to close their patient’s affected eye.

You may need to consult with an ophthalmologist if your eye condition worsens.

Botox injections

Botox or Botulinum toxin injections are also applied to address the face of people stricken with long-term Bell’s palsy. This medication is administered into the affected part of the face. Botox helps relax the taut facial muscles or helps lessen any uncomfortable or painful muscle movements. Sometimes the facial muscles unaffected by Bell’s palsy can become dominant or hyperactive, Botox can be applied on these facial muscles to balance the movement of the face and sedate muscle activity.

Botox injections can also address complications that have emanated from Bell’s palsy. These complications can involve:

Eye-mouth synkinesias
“Crocodile tears” or tearing when eating

These types of injections are usually may need to be given every four months.

Most Bell’s palsy patients usually experience complete healing within nine months. For some though, recovery may take a lot longer and besides that, there is a danger of wider nerve damage which may require then further treatment.

If this is the case, physiotherapy can be an effective way for resolving this problem.  To tone the facial muscles to enhance their range of movement and coordination, your physiotherapist may instruct you to perform a number of facial exercises.

A great number of Bell’s palsy patients have benefits a lot from physiotherapy though It may not be effective for all Bell’s palsy sufferers.

One other option for Bell’s palsy is plastic surgery. Even if the cosmetic surgeon is unable to repair nerve function, he may greatly improve the symmetry and appearance of your face.

Some patients have tried acupuncture and biofeedback to help quicken the healing process of Bell’s palsy and regain the function of the facial nerve with a great degree of success.

Acupuncture

Facial palsy is the term traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) gives for Bell’s Palsy. TCM practitioners think that Facial palsy is due to internal organ weakness and other external factors. They believe that facial palsy has three main causes. These include:

Wind wreaks havoc on the internal organs
Phlegm and dampness blocks the meridians
Blood and Qi (Chi) deficiency

Acupuncture treatment is used based on observation-based diagnosis and on the patient’s symptoms. Various forms of TCM such as acupressure massage, moxibustion, Guasha therapy or Fire Cupping therapy among others can be given along with acupuncture to get a much better result.

Acupuncture works by enhancing the flow of Chi and blood and helping remove toxins from internal organs.

Patients with facial palsy show symptoms such s cold, depression, nervousness, anxiety or fatigue.

Biofeedback

Biofeedback today is mostly computerized and is one of the most effective ways of improving your facial symmetry and control if you suffer from Bell’s palsy.

Electromyography (EMG) biofeedback is an ideal way of addressing facial droop. It works by relaxing the muscles on the normal part of your of your face while at the same time contracting the muscles on the affected part of your face.

During a session of biofeedback, a computer monitor shows your facial muscle activity, enabling you to actively participate in your facial muscle exercises. You will know how to relax your normal facial muscles and at the same time causing your problematic facial muscles to be taut.

While balancing your facial muscles, a speech specialist may help you regain proper speech. You can observe your facial muscle activity on a computer monitor enabling you to properly control activity.

EMG biofeedback sensors that are safe and painless to use are placed over the facial muscles involved in smiling.

The entire treatment course to attain complete restoration of facial muscle control is usually attained after a dozen 12 sessions. This implies that you are exercising and practicing at home as taught by your neurologist, speech pathologist or other health care professional.

There are speech pathologists that recommend exercising twice or thrice a day.  Success depends on how much you want to attain facial symmetry once again.
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Itching – Treatments and Drugs

The first rule of treatment for skin itching is to stop scratching since this may cause skin damage leading to secondary infections and other complications.

 

Washing your body can help relieve the itching in a safe way especially if you have been in contact with irritants, have folliculitis or perspire excessively.

 

After washing, try to stay cool to lessen the itching sensation in your skin. If your skin still feels itchy after you have bathed, you can apply camphor, eucalyptus, menthol, pramoxine or calamine lotion on the itchy area. You can also use cold compresses and apply it to your skin to numb the itchiness. This will help a lot especially if your itching comes from causes like:

 

  • Allergies
  • Insect bite
  • Contact dermatitis
  • Bacterial skin infection such as folliculitis

 

Moisturizers or Emollients

 

You can avail of these over-the-counter emollients/moisturizers easily and apply them on the affected skin areas after showering or bathing. These products should have no or at least minimal chemical additives in them as possible. You can also gently massage the itchy areas while you apply these products to minimize the itching.

 

Antipruritics

 

Antipruritics come in sprays or creams and can easily be purchased over-the-counter. Some of these drugs are prescription meds if they need to be taken orally.

 

Antihistamines

 

These are taken when the itching is caused by allergies. Diphenhydramine is the most widely known form of antihistamine. Antihistamines can make a person drowsy and so should not be taken if the person is driving or will drive. There are some antihistamines that do not cause drowsiness, fexofenadine and loratidin being two of these nonprescription drugs. Topical antihistamines strangely can cause side effects like allergic dermatitis to a person and should not be used when addressing itchy skin.

 

Corticosteroids

 

These often come in topical creams with 1% hydrocortisone concentration to address skin inflammation. Oral corticosteroids are given for systemic inflammatory problems like multiple sclerosis or extreme arthritis among others.

 

Local Anesthetics

 

These drugs can numb your skin to prevent you feeling any intense burning or itching sensation. Benzocaine topical cream is the most commonly used type of this drug.

 

Opioid-receptor Antagonists

 

These drugs are used to address severe pruritus caused by liver or kidney disease. Some opioid-receptor antagonists include naltrexone tablets, butorphanol intranasal spray and naloxone.

 

Tricyclic Antidepressants

 

For severe pruritus. These drugs include selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) like fluoxetine or paroxetine, tetracyclic antidepressants like mirtazepine and amitriptyline and Doxepin

 

Astringents

 

Astringents constrict mucous membranes and skin vessels to lessen ithch and inflammation. Some examples of astringents include Burrow’s solution (with aluminum acetate). Astringents can also be applies as a cold compress to help lessen swollen and inflamed skin caused by cellulitis or hives (from poison ivy) or to relieve vaginal or vulvar itch

 

Topical Creams and Ointments

 

  • Capsaicin ointment – This medication can be effective in addressing localized tingling and back itch.
  • Tacrolimus ointment – For atopic dermatitis
  • Crotamiton/Eurax cream – For scabies

 

Exchange Resins

 

Drugs like cholestyramine helps relieve itch stemming from liver disease with cholestasis

 

Chelating Agents

 

These medications address itching caused by toxic metal contact.

 

Pramoxin

 

For rosacea

 

Low Protein Diet

 

This can be effective in relieving itchy skin due to chronic renal failure

 

Rifampin

 

Helps in itching relief due to bile flow obstruction

 

Aspirin

 

This can be effective when addressing itchy skin not caused by allergy. Aspiring should not be given to children with itch caused by viral infection since it can lead to Reye’s syndrome, which is a rare liver condition.

 

Antimicrobials

 

Bacterial, parasitic or fungal infections can be neutralized by oral or injectable antibiotics or by soaps or antimicrobial ointments. Viral infections like cytomegalovirus, herpes zoster or Epstein-Barr virus can be addressed by oral acyclovir or acyclovir ointment

 

Phototherapy

 

Phototherapy uses ultraviolet B rays to relieve skin itching caused by a number of conditions (aquagenic pruritus, AIDS, atopic dermatitis, prurigo nodularis and renal failure to mention some). PUVA or psoralen plus ultraviolet A phototherapy is used in treating in polycythemia

 

There are times when despite all forms of treatment have been used, the itch just would not go away. Waiting for the condition to heal by itself may be the only thing you can do. When time does heal the itch, the next step is to prevent the condition from repeating itself. This situation may apply for:

 

  • Ciguatera toxicity
  • Allergies
  • Contact dermatitis
  • Viral hepatitis
  • Pseudomonas or staphylococcal folliculitis
  • Almost all forms of viral skin infections

 

Acupuncture

 

According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, itching has four categories: psychogenic, neurogenic, neuropathic and pruriceptive. When body chemicals like norepinephrine and serotonin become imbalanced, the body experiences psychogenic itching that is usually treated with antipsychotic drugs or antidepressants. When the nervous system suffers from dysfunctions or damage, it can cause neuropathic itching.  Neurogenic itching, on the other hand, is caused by kidney or chronic liver disease. Pruriceptive itching comes from skin problems caused by skin inflammation, eczema, drug reactions and hives.

 

In treating itching acupuncturists carefully observe the symptoms of their patients to customize a treatment plan that specifically addresses their patient’s complaints. Even if patients report the same complaints they may be getting treatments different from each other. For itching symptoms like itch, red skin, acupuncture needles may be inserted along meridians of the Gall Bladder organ located on the thigh. For itching caused by eczema a Urinary Bladder meridian will be treated, usually located near the spine (at the back). For itching due to acne or hives another Urinary Bladder meridian will be treated by one or more acupuncture needles.

 

Dale Roach is a licensed acupuncturist and the founder of Dale Roach, MD,L.Ac in Larchmont, NY.

Gastritis Treatment and Drugs

Medicines Used for Gastritis

Antibiotics

Amoxicillin – Amoxicillin is the most widely used antibiotic for the resolution of gastritis. This antibiotic is very potent against the kind of gastritis caused by H. Pylori infections. Usually the doctor requires the patient to take this medicine three times a day for about two weeks to fully eliminate the bacterial infection.

Clarithromycin – If amoxicillin for some reason or another proves ineffective for bacteria-caused gastritis, clarithromycin can be a good replacement to help eliminate bacterial infections of the stomach. This antibiotic is actually stronger than amoxicillin and can be used to kill H. Pylori bacteria and treat stomach ulcers caused by this infection.

Antacids

The function of stomach acids is to break down foods for proper digestion. The problem for people with gastritis is that their stomach acids cause irritation and inflammation in the stomach lining; when this happens the person feels intense stabbing pain in his abdomen.  It then becomes quite urgent to take medicines that help neutralize stomach acids.  The medicines best used to control stomach acidity are antacids. These are prescription meds that are specifically created to lessen stomach acidity. The following are the most commonly used prescribed antacids in the market today:

Pepto-Bismol
Gaviscon
Maalox
Mylanta

Acid Blockers

Acid blockers are designed to reduce the body’s production of stomach acid. They are prescribed often when antacids fail to reduce stomach acid production.  In effect, acid blockers are the next line of treatment when antacids fail to address the gastritis symptoms. The more popular acid blockers available today are:

Cimetidine
Famotidine
Ranitidine

Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs)

Proton pump inhibitors have proven effective to help lessen the production of acid in the stomach. The stomach lining contain cells that act as miniature pumps that pump out stomach acids for effective digestion. PPIs inhibit these cells from pumping out stomach acids helping reduce stomach acids. The most popular proton pump inhibitors used include:

Esomeprazole
Omeprazole
Rabeprazole
Lansoprazole

Gastritis Treatment

Usually a combination of gastritis medications is utilized to effectively resolve the patient’s gastritis problem. Antibiotics combined with antacids often provide superior results compared to the use of only one medication. The antibiotic/antacid tandem is a potent combination and is deemed to be very effective to treat gastritis within a shorter time period than using only one type of gastritis drug.

You need to remember though that the aforementioned medications for gastritis are prescription drugs and can only be dispensed with the approval of your doctor. These medicines only work when the schedule of antibiotic therapy is followed faithfully.  You should neither exceed the prescribed dose nor decrease it or else the result of the treatment would not be as desirable or as effective as it should be. Limiting or abstaining alcohol and other precautionary measures are likewise required in order to better manage your gastritis symptoms.

Acupuncture

Tests published by the National Institutes of Health have shown clear and solid evidence of the effectiveness of acupuncture in treating gastritis. Acupuncture and Chinese medicine unlike Western medicine concentrate its treatment on the person’s underlying cause of symptoms. Moreover, they concern themselves with the balance and harmony of the body’s systems. The restoration of the body’s healthy and natural state of balance is the aim of acupuncture.

All individuals possess in their body an energy force the Chinese call “Qi” or “Chi” (pronounced chee). Chi like blood travels throughout the body not through blood vessels but through a network of invisible energy pathways called meridians. Chi like electricity is made up of two opposing forces, Yin (negative force) and Yang (positive force).  These forces need to be in constant balance in order for the body to maintain health.

Through the use of acupuncture, the practitioner evaluates a patient’s specific condition to come up with a course of action best suited for the patient. In the case of gastritis, traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) can diagnose this condition as an energy imbalance specifically a deficiency in the stomach’s Yin. If this is the diagnosis, then selected acupuncture points are inserted with acupuncture needles to help stimulate the flow of Qi and restore balance the Yin and Yang of the stomach.

Acute gastritis is seen by TCM as the effect of a blockage of the Stomach Qi. Treatment focuses in facilitating the movement of Qi and harmonizing the digestive functions to treat pain. If the diagnosis includes consolidation of toxin (due to food poisoning, for example) the treatment plan would then also involve detoxification. If emotional distress is involved treatment for depression is also applied and this entails treating specific trigger points along the affected meridian.

When seen in a Western medicine point of view, acupuncture is a safe, holistic and healthy therapy that can be utilized in combination with Western medical therapy to help relieve/treat the painful symptoms of gastritis.

 

Tonsillitis Complications

If left untreated or improperly cared for tonsillitis most likely will lead to complications. Tonsil swelling complications include sleep disturbances, abscess and sometimes complications affecting the kidneys and heart.

Sleep Apnea

The swelling of your tonsils can be substantial enough to block your airways that can lead to a sleeping problem called sleep apnea. A blocked airway often causes breathing difficulty. Besides this, sleep apnea can also cause you to breathe with your mouth, snore and suffer from other sleep disturbances.

Dehydration

An extremely bad tonsil inflammation can cause dehydration in a person. Tonsillitis results in swallowing difficulty and pain. The effect of these is the sufferer’s lessening of fluid intake leading eventually to dehydration.

Abscess

One other complication of untreated tonsillitis is peritonsillar abscess. A peritonsillar abscess is an accumulation of pus between the tonsil and its surrounding soft tissues. This type of complication is the most common result of an untreated acute tonsil inflammation.  The abscess usually develops on one side of the throat causing a muffled voice, difficulty in opening the mouth, drooling, fever and very bad throat pain. The abscess is often treated with antibiotics and on occasions, the doctor may perform a minor operation to draw out the pus.

The abscess can also cause complication of its own. It can enter the chest, neck space and bloodstream and infect the blood (termed septicemia).  From the bloodstream the bacteria can then be conveyed to your joints, bones and lungs. The abscess can be readily treated with antibiotics. It can become deadly if undiagnosed.

Blood Vessel Infection

Rarely does the tonsil infection spread to other parts of the body but when it does the large vein located in your neck may be affected.  An infected large vein can cause you stiffness in the neck, pain, chills and high fever. The vein infection can be readily addressed with antibiotics as well as a small surgery to remove the infected veins and the pus.

Nephritis and Rheumatic Fever

Streptococcal  bacteria is a bacteria that can cause tonsillitis and a tonsillitis-related complication termed nephritis which is the inflammation of the kidneys. During the time when antibiotics were not used to control this condition, nephritis was a common experience, now however, this condition is rare.

The streptococcus pathogen can also cause heart problems and the most dangerous heart complication that it can cause is called rheumatic fever. This problem can damage the heart valves. It is a painful condition with symptoms like other heart problems, stiff joints and swelling.

Sinus and Ear Infections

Tonsil inflammation can result in the aggregation of pus in the middle ear causing it to become inflamed. This problem is termed otitis media. Also, when your tonsils are infected, the infection can go to sinuses causing sinus inflammation or sinusitis.

 Vickery Health & Wellness
18455 Burbank Blvd #306
Tarzana, CA 91356
(818) 578-6730
http://www.vickeryhealth.com/

Definition of Tinnitus

Tinnitus is defined as a ringing, whistling, chirping, hissing or buzzing or other sound sensation in the ears. Tinnitus sensations can either be continuous or intermittent and can differ in volume or loudness. This condition can get worse when background noise is minimal making it more prominent at night when you are in a quiet room and trying to get some sleep. In some conditions the tinnitus sound can be a pulsatile tinnitus meaning the sound rhythm is in sync with your heart beat.

Tinnitus affects around 50 million adult Americans and is quite a prevalent condition. Most people with tinnitus view it as a mere nuisance but in certain extreme cases, tinnitus can cause concentration and sleeping problems in a person. This condition can be so difficult that it can disrupt a person’s normal life and cause problems in his relationships which can lead to psychological distress.

Even if it is connected to loss of hearing (hearing loss contribute to tinnitus), tinnitus does not contribute to loss of hearing. Most people with tinnitus have normal hearing function and some people having tinnitus even possess sharp hearing acuity (hyperacusis) that forced them to mask or lessen the sounds that they hear.

Some tinnitus cases can stem from blockages or infections in the ear. When these blockages or infections have been addressed, the tinnitus likewise goes away. The problem is that in many cases after the underlying condition has been addressed, the tinnitus still lingers one. When this happens, other alternative or conventional therapies can be provided that will result in a substantial relief of the problem which may either take a covering up or a lessening of the irritating sound.

Types of Tinnitus

  • Subjective tinnitus – This is the most typical form of tinnitus. The tinnitus sound is only heard by the affected person.
  • Acute tinnitus – This type of tinnitus usually appears without any warning. Its duration    can be from 3 months (acute) to up to a whole year (subacute).
  • Chronic tinnitus – This type of tinnitus lasts over a year.
  • Compensated tinnitus – This is a mild form of tinnitus that does not qualitatively disrupt the life of the affected person.
  • Uncompensated or chronically complex tinnitus – The life of the affected person is severely disrupted by this type of tinnitus in such a way that it attains pathological significance.

 

Needles & Moxa Wellness Center
700 S Red Rd
Miami, FL 33144
Ph: (305) 265-5265
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Irritable Bowel Syndrome Risk Factors

Gastroenteritis is the only risk factor doctors definitely know is caused by irritable bowel syndrome or IBS. However, researchers are baffled by the fact that certain individuals are prone to developing IBS symptoms while others are not.

 

Gastroenteritis

 

This condition is sometimes referred to as the “stomach flu” or infectious gastroenteritis. It is a condition caused by pathogens like bacteria or viruses or even parasites that causes vomiting and/or diarrhea. Oftentimes gastroenteritis is caused by viruses, is rampant during the winter season and can be acquired by eating unclean or uncooked foods. This disease is quite contagious and widespread because people often eat foods that are not cooked well enough; however, not all people who get gastroenteritis will develop IBS.  Actually only about a fourth of gastroenteritis cases develop to IBS. A study done in Spain revealed that people who acquired gastroenteritis due to salmonella poisoning were highly likely (about 8X more likely) to get IBS later on.

 

Other Potential Risk Factors for development of IBS

 

Some other ways why certain individuals get IBS:

 

  • High or low levels of serotonin – Serotonin controls the movement of bowels in the body
  • Excessive or low amounts of beneficial bacteria in the large intestine
  • Neural dysfunction in the gastrointestinal tract – Problems in the way the intestinal nerves function affect the way the intestines move bowels in the body. These problems also distort the way the intestines function. Example, you may feel that your intestines are full but actually are not
  • Colon inflammation that damages the walls of the colon making the person at risk of developing IBS

 

Food and Stress

 

Some sufferers of IBS activate its symptoms by drinking or consuming certain drinks and foods respectively. Some of these drinks and foods include:

 

  • Alcohol
  • Chocolate
  • Dairy products
  • Fatty foods

 

Some of IBS sufferers may have a colon that can easily weaken due to stress. IBS patients often report flare up of their symptoms after experiencing a stressful situation.

 

Gender

Females are more prone to IBS symptoms than men at least in the United States. Women are likely to experience IBS during their menstrual period probably due to hormonal changes although other GI symptoms other than IBS can also be experienced by other women during their period.

 

Because there is no known clear-cut cause for IBS, no real cure for it can be made. Happily, IBS is not a chronic or long-term disease and there are many ways that people can avail of to relieve its symptoms.

 

Nawei Jiang is a licensed acupuncturist and the founder of Nawei’s Acupuncture Clinic in Colorado Springs, CO.

Low Blood Pressure Lifestyles and Home Remedies

  • Consume smaller meals with less carbohydrate – In order not to experience sudden drops in your blood pressure after eating, you can eat frequently with smaller meals and with low carbohydrate content. This means eating less of bread, pasta rice and potatoes. You can also raise your blood pressure by taking in caffeinated tea or coffee along with your meals to increase your blood pressure even if it’s just on a temporary basis.
  • Try to move slowly when you want to change your body position so as to lessen the possibility of lightheadedness and dizziness that can happen among certain hypotensive individuals when they move from a prone to a standing position. If you want to rise from bed in the morning, try not to abruptly stand up from a lying down position. Give yourself a few minutes to breathe deeply and then slowly sit up before standing. Rather than using a pillow to elevate your head and upper body during your sleep use blocks to elevate the head of your bed to make the blood flow from your upper body to your lower body much smoother. When you start to feel dizzy or lightheaded while standing, you can elevate one foot on a chair or stool and lean your body forward as much as you can or cross your thighs in a scissors fashion to help improve circulation from your lower body to your heart.
  • Eating a regular healthy diet consisting of foods like fish, lean chicken, vegetables, fruits and whole grains can help improve your blood pressure. Salt is essential in increasing your BP but if you are not fond of putting more salt in your foods, you can  use dressings, dips, dry soup mixes and natural soy sauce instead.
  • Drinking lots of fluids, except alcohol helps you avoid being dehydrated. Alcohol is actually an agent that causes dehydration in the body.

 

To better manage your symptoms of orthostatic hypotension, some suggestions can include (in addition to the aforementioned suggestions):

 

  • Wearing compression stockings – This can slow down the flow of blood from your upper body to your lower body. It can also aid in reducing the pooling of blood in your legs enabling you to reduce your likelihood to experience orthostatic hypotension symptoms.
  • Do not bend at the waist- Instead of bending your waist to pick up something on the floor just use your knees and squat to pick up the object.
  • Exercise – In particular, focus on exercising your calf muscles although it is important to pace yourself and not to move abruptly to prevent any symptoms of orthostatic hypotension.

 

Nelya de Brun, DAOM
Classical Oriental Medicine, LLC

3459 Woolbright Rd
Boynton Beach, FL 33463
(561) 932-3905
http://www.acu-wellness.com/

Insomnia Treatments and Drugs

For short-term or acute insomnia relief, lifestyle modifications are needed. These modifications can help you sleep easier and better and help you stay asleep the whole night.

One therapy named cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) can address any anxiety issues you have that may be causing ongoing or chronic insomnia. Anxiety causes your insomnia to endure much longer.

There are medications that can be used to relieve insomnia and help you regain your normal sleeping schedule. If your insomnia is a side effect or symptom of another problem, then you may need to address the underlying problem to treat your insomnia. Your doctor can recommend prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) drugs to help you with your insomnia.

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy

This type of therapy zooms in on the actions and thoughts that may disturb your sleep. CBT promotes good sleeping habits and relies on several techniques to remove any sleep anxiety you have. Two of these techniques include biofeedback and relaxation training during sleep time to help lessen anxiety. These techniques help improve your mood, muscles, heart rate and breathing.

CBT also entails the use of positive thinking in lieu of sleep anxiety that conditions your mind to associate being in bed with being asleep. CBT also educates you in ways to help you fall asleep if you cannot fall asleep within a certain amount of time.

This therapy can also include consulting with a therapist in group or one-on-one sessions to help you consider your feelings and thoughts regarding sleep. CBT can enable you to describe your thoughts that race through your brain and describe them in how they sound, feel and look. The aim of this therapy is to prevent your mind from racing and to settle down instead.

CBT also teaches you to avoid falling asleep during the day. It utilizes a way to help you set a sleeping schedule. It may initially help you limit your total time in bed to the typical number of your sleeping hours.

You get more tired actually following this schedule because your sleeping time will be added to the time it takes you to fall asleep. However, this is deliberately done to make you more tired enabling you to fall asleep much faster. As time progresses, the number of hours of actual sleep is increased until you get a full night of sleep.

In order to get optimal results form CBT you need to consult with a therapist who can give you this therapy. The duration of CBT is around two to three months and done once a week. This therapy is much better than medications because its effects are long-term.

Individuals having major depressive disorder and insomnia may be given CBT along with antidepressants. This combination has proven effective for relief of these two problems.

Medicines

Prescription Medications

Prescription drugs for treating insomnia abound. There are drugs for both short-term and long-term insomnia.

Consult with your physician about the side effects and benefits of insomnia medications. There are insomnia medications that make you fall asleep but they may also cause you to feel drowsy in the morning.

There may be side effects to these drugs although they rarely happen. They can include sleep walking, sleep eating or even driving while asleep. If you experience these side effects or if the drugs are ineffective, talk to your doctor about these problems. Your doctor usually will prescribe you a different medication. Some of these medicines may be habit-forming as well so you need to talk to your doctor about the benefits and side effects of these medications.

Over-the-Counter (OTC) Medications

OTC products for insomnia are also widely available. These medications usually contain valerian teas or extracts, L-tryptophan supplements and melatonin.  There are some OTC sleeping products that may include antihistamine ingredients and are labeled as sleep aids. You may need to first consult with your doctor before trying out these kinds of products and if they have any beneficial qualities for you. Antihistamines may be potentially bad for some people and they may not be the best treatment choice for your insomnia.

Alternative Treatments

Melatonin – This is a supplement that is bought over the counter and is touted as a product for insomnia. Melatonin is produced by the body in progressing amounts beginning at twilight and tapering off in the morning. Melatonin greatly benefits older people although no scientific proof yet has been established as to its efficacy. Doctors deem melatonin as a safe product to use at least for a few weeks; its safety is unknown if melatonin is used long-term. Melatonin is usually taken in dosages from 0.3 to 5 mg a day.

Valerian – Valerian is also a dietary supplement that is likewise marketed as an insomnia treatment. The reason is that it has sedative properties. This product has not yet been thoroughly investigated and it has been connected with liver damage in certain individuals. This does not mean though that valerian actually causes live damage. It is usually taken in dosages of around 400 – 900 mg each day daily with an extract containing 0.4% to 0.6% valerenic acid.

Acupuncture – An acupuncture treatment for insomnia involves the insertion of hair thin acupuncture needles into strategic points in the body. This popular but unique form of treatment has shown to be quite effective in treating insomnia in a lot of people and is endorsed by the World Health Organization as a valid treatment for insomnia and dozens of other health conditions.

Dr. Jack Handlin is an experienced acupuncturist, Chinese herbalist and oriental reproductive medicine specialist at Tree of Life Acupuncture & Chinese Herbal Medicine in Bellevue, WA.

PMS Prevention

No real cure exists for premenstrual syndrome but there are a lot of ways that can help lessen the severity of the myriad of symptoms caused by PMS. Studies done several years ago have revealed that a proper diet along with certain lifestyle changes can greatly lessen the PMS symptoms of 85% of the women studied who are of childbearing age.

 

Sadly, however, there are women who suffer from a more severe form of PMS. This kind of PMS is called premenstrual dysphoric disorder or PMDD. This disorder may involve medical treatment to address its severe symptoms.

 

Exercise and Diet Prevents or Reduces PMS Symptoms

 

Other studies have revealed that following a healthy diet and doing regular exercise enabled women to experience milder PMS symptoms compared to women who seldom perform any physical activity and/or eat a poor diet. Health professionals recommend aerobic exercise for women for at least 3 to 5 five days a week.

 

Activities that are highly recommended can include tennis, brisk walking, swimming, running, gym workouts or other activities that increase heart rate and breathing. Another very good way to reduce symptoms of PMS is to get a good amount of quality sleep. The same health professionals recommend that a woman should get at least eight hours of sleep each night.

 

Eating a healthy well balanced diet can mean good general health for the woman as well as a great preventive measure for dealing with premenstrual syndrome; if you do already suffer from PMS symptom, a healthy diet can greatly minimize or better these symptoms. Eating more vegetables, fruits, whole grains and fiber and at the same time cutting down on alcohol, caffeine, red meat, refined sugars and salt are highly advised to prevent PMS symptoms from occurring. Smoking is notoriously known to amplify the symptoms of PMS and therefore needs to be stopped or at least limited especially during your premenstrual cycle.

 

Dietary Supplements for PMS

 

Some dietary supplements have shown to be effective in lessening certain PMS symptoms. Magnesium supplements can be effective in lowering the symptoms caused by PMS particularly when they are taken in 360 mg dosages thrice a day and when they are utilized two weeks before the onset of menstruation.

 

St. John’s Wort, an herbal supplement has also shown to reduce moodiness and depression in women suffering from PMS. Calcium supplements have also proven to lessen the anxiety level of some women suffering from PMS.

 

Exercise and Over-the-Counter Medications

 

Aerobic and stretching exercises like cycling, swimming, jogging, yoga and pilates are proven reducers of PMS symptoms in women. Health experts advice that performing a minimum of 3 to 5 times of the aforementioned physical activities each week for 20 to 30 minutes a day is a great way to prevent the rise of PMS symptoms.

 

Drugs that can be bought over-the-counter can also help prevent or control PMS symptoms. Some of these medicines include Tylenol PMS, Midol and Pamprin. Other pain relievers with ibuprofen can also work effectively for painful PMS symptoms.

 

Most of the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome can be readily addressed with lifestyle and dietary changes and over-the-counter medications. However, if your symptoms are so that they affect your daily life, you may need to consult with your doctor or gynecologist so you may be thoroughly evaluated for some other underlying condition.

 

Nawei’s Acupuncture Clinic
559 E. Pikes Peak Ave. Suite 212
Colorado Springs, CO 80903
Phone: 719-632-7103
http://acupuncturechinanawei.com/

Pneumonia – Preparing for your Appointment

When people suspect they may be suffering from pneumonia, they are likely to schedule and appointment with their doctor. The doctor may immediately send you to a lung specialist or may perform some tests and exams on you to see ascertain if you have pneumonia and send you to a lung specialist (pulmonologist) or a doctor specializing in infectious diseases if he diagnoses you positive for it.

When going for an appointment the best thing to do is to come prepared. To do this you can follow the following useful tips such as:

  • Bringing along someone else with you to the appointment – It helps to have someone around to help you remember some of the information said during the appointment which may have slipped your mind.
  • List down all your questions before the appointment and bring the list with you so you may not forget those questions.
  • Write down the replies of the doctor and be sure everything he says you comprehend fully. If it’s needed, ask him to clarify what he said.
  • Do not hold back asking any questions related to your pneumonia that you feel is pertinent to you to your doctor. Also ask where you can find more information about the topics you are talking about.
  • Write down all important information regarding your condition like the vitamins, medications and supplements you are presently taking, exposure to toxic substances you’ve experienced and the recent and past hospitalizations you’ve gone through among others.
  • Make a list of the symptoms you are presently suffering from or have recently suffered. These can include symptoms related or unrelated to pneumonia. Write down your daily body temperature.
  • Make sure you know and follow all restrictions required by your doctor before your appointment, like not eating specific foods, not smoking or drinking alcohol days before your appointment, etc.

You can write down questions to ask your doctor like:

  • Are my symptoms suggestive of pneumonia?
  • How do you think did I get infected?
  • Are my symptoms indicative of a certain kind of pneumonia?
  • Is the low oxygen level in my blood something to be worried about?
  • Do I have symptoms that indicate my pneumonia is progressing to a more serious type?
  • Do I show symptoms that can indicate any complications?
  • Is my pneumonia contagious?

Regarding the chance of getting pneumonia:

  • Do I have other symptoms or issues that make me highly at risk of getting pneumonia?
  • How can I lower my chance of acquiring pneumonia?

Regarding treatment choices:

  • Do I suffer from bacterial pneumonia? Can it be treated with antibiotics?
  • Is there any treatment for viral pneumonia?
  • What do you think might happen to me if I don’t get treated?
  • What medications can you recommend for my pneumonia?
  • What are the side effects of these drugs? What are their benefits?
  • Will these drugs have an effect with the other medications (drugs, vitamins, supplements) I am presently using?
  • Are there generic medications to the meds you recommend?
  • Are there any good alternative or complimentary therapies that can treat my condition?
  • Can you recommend any comfort measures for my condition?
  • Do I need to stay in the hospital?

Questions regarding lifestyle changes:

  • Can you advise me one any changes to my lifestyle that can make me heal faster and help me prevent any recurrence of my pneumonia?
  • What recommendations can you give me to help me cease smoking?
  • Do I need to stop any activities I normally do?
  • When do you think I can go back to doing my regular activities?

Regarding your outlook:

  • Will my pneumonia come back again?    How long could this last?
  • Will I develop any complications from my condition?
  • How long will my condition last?

Other questions you can ask you doctor can include questions like:

  • Are their other possible causes for my pneumonia than the one you suggested?
  • What tests do I need to undergo?
  • What kind of pneumonia do I have (chronic, acute or temporary)?
  • What best treatment approach do you recommend for my condition?
  • Do I need to see a specialist?
  • What restrictions am I required to follow?
  • Do you have any printed information regarding my condition I can bring and read at home?
  • Are there are helpful websites you may suggest for me?
  • What do you think needs to happen to me before you consider me needing hospitalization?

Things to Expect From your Specialist

The doctor will query you about things regarding your pneumonia to give him a better view of your condition.  Some of these questions you may have answers written down beforehand and you can read the answers to your doctor if he questions you about them. It is important to provide the doctor with an accurate answer to enable him to come up with an accurate diagnosis of your condition and thus the right treatment approach. Some of these questions may be like:

  • When was the first time you felt or saw these symptoms?
  • Are your symptoms coming up occasionally or is it continuous?
  • Are your symptoms severe or mild?
  • Do you do or take anything that betters your symptoms? What do you do or take that seems to worsen them?
  • Have you recently been on a trip? Have you been exposed to certain people with upper respiratory conditions or to any toxic materials?

Other things to do to prepare well for your appointment

  • Stop smoking and drinking alcohol.
  • Stay out of work, school or public places if you show signs of pneumonia and until the doctor tells you it’s OK.
  • Keep on drinking copious amounts of fluids
  • If your condition gets worse, go immediately to an emergency room

 

Nelya de Brun, DAOM
Classical Oriental Medicine, LLC

3459 Woolbright Rd
Boynton Beach, FL 33463
(561) 932-3905
http://www.acu-wellness.com/