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Archive for 'Women’s Health'

ALTERNATIVES TO HRT: ‘NATURAL’ PROGESTERONE AND OESTROGEN

Posted on July 17, 2011, under Women's Health.

You need to be aware that progesterone creams contain a powerful pharmaceutical hormone that is made in a laboratory. Because the US FDA (Food and Drug Administration) won’t allow the manufacturers of the creams to make medical claims, they are sold as cosmetics, not as hormone replacements. It is because these creams contain a pharmaceutical agent that the UK’s Medicines Control Agency will only let them be sold under prescription, and rightly so. My main concern is that women are being duped into thinking they are buying a natural herbal remedy containing wild yam. They are not: they are buying hormone replacement – just a different hormone (progesterone instead of the usual HRT combination of a form of oestrogen plus progestogen). And they may not be buying anything truly to do with wild yam, which has a very respectable reputation as a herbal treatment for menstrual and menopausal problems. Although for centuries, herbalists have indeed used wild yam in a tincture form, the effect of the herb in its pure state is very different from that of the synthesized progesterone. This wild yam is taken orally and has traditionally been used as an anti-spasmodic and anti-inflammatory herb. As is the case with so many effective herbs it is not known precisely how it acts on the body. Since the essence of herbal medicine is that all the ingredients help towards the overall therapeutic effect, diosgenin alone cannot be responsible for the wild yam’s beneficial qualities. Herbs work because they contain a host of substances – active substances, balancing substances and substances that cope with any side effects of the active substances. They are holistic and truly ‘natural’. But the ‘natural’ progesterone that is being hyped is no more ‘natural’ than a number of the plant-based oestrogen preparations that form the basis of some HRT products.
These oestrogens are ‘natural’ in the same sense that plant-based progesterone is classed as ‘natural’. The oestrogens too are synthesized in the laboratory from soya beans and yams. They still have side effects, however. We need to be clear that these hormones, oestrogen and progesterone, which are synthesized in a laboratory from plants, are not natural to us. They may be chemically identical to what our bodies produce but they are powerful drugs, hence the need to put them on prescription. Plant-based progesterone is termed ‘natural’ because it has the same molecular structure as the progesterone molecule found in humans. This idea of different substances being chemically identical can be very misleading. For example, coal, diamond and graphite (the ‘lead’ in your pencil) are all chemically identical and yet they have very different properties and functions. They have the same molecular structure, but you wouldn’t expect to produce much heat by putting diamonds on the fire.
*21/101/5*
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PSYCHOLOGICAL THERAPIES FOR PMS: MEDITATION

Posted on February 9, 2011, under Women's Health.

Meditation is not really so much a therapy as a way of life. Once you have learnt how to meditate you will want to practise the technique every day – whether you’re in good health or bad.
Meditation is not a ‘religious’ exercise, though many religions around the world use meditation to induce a feeling of peace and inner calm. Nor is it simply a case of sitting still for ten minutes. You need to learn to blot out the world so that you have a chance to listen to your ‘inner self’.
If you haven’t tried meditation before you may need a little practice before you get the hang of it, but you will. You can learn meditation by yourself at home but the best way is to join a class and get taught property.
One of the simplest techniques involves the following steps:
• Sit with a straight back, either in a chair or cross-legged on the floor, with your hands resting in your tap and your feet firmly on the ground, feet slightly apart.
• Close your eyes and take several slow breaths – make sure your abdomen swells out when you breathe in and sinks back when you breathe out (it is hard to relax if you are breathing with your upper chest).
• Repeat a neutral word over and over again in your mind slowly – this word will be your ‘mantra’ (it can be any word but many people choose evocative ones such as ‘one’, ‘peace’ or ‘flower’).
• If you feel your mind wandering, and it is natural for it to do so, turn your mind back to your counting or your mantra.
• Do this for 15 minutes.
• At the end of that time stop and sit quietly for a minute or so before opening your eyes and getting up slowly.
Clinical research has shown that regular meditation can reduce stress levels and is of use in treating stress-related conditions. Patients treated for high blood pressure have even been able to reduce their medication after taking up meditation.
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PSYCHOLOGICAL THERAPIES FOR PMS: MEDITATIONMeditation is not really so much a therapy as a way of life. Once you have learnt how to meditate you will want to practise the technique every day – whether you’re in good health or bad.Meditation is not a ‘religious’ exercise, though many religions around the world use meditation to induce a feeling of peace and inner calm. Nor is it simply a case of sitting still for ten minutes. You need to learn to blot out the world so that you have a chance to listen to your ‘inner self’.If you haven’t tried meditation before you may need a little practice before you get the hang of it, but you will. You can learn meditation by yourself at home but the best way is to join a class and get taught property.One of the simplest techniques involves the following steps:• Sit with a straight back, either in a chair or cross-legged on the floor, with your hands resting in your tap and your feet firmly on the ground, feet slightly apart.• Close your eyes and take several slow breaths – make sure your abdomen swells out when you breathe in and sinks back when you breathe out (it is hard to relax if you are breathing with your upper chest).• Repeat a neutral word over and over again in your mind slowly – this word will be your ‘mantra’ (it can be any word but many people choose evocative ones such as ‘one’, ‘peace’ or ‘flower’).• If you feel your mind wandering, and it is natural for it to do so, turn your mind back to your counting or your mantra.• Do this for 15 minutes.• At the end of that time stop and sit quietly for a minute or so before opening your eyes and getting up slowly.Clinical research has shown that regular meditation can reduce stress levels and is of use in treating stress-related conditions. Patients treated for high blood pressure have even been able to reduce their medication after taking up meditation.*58\120\4*

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THE CANDIDA-ASTHMA CONNECTION: ALLERGIC AND PATHOGENIC POTENTIAL OF CANDIDA

Posted on January 13, 2011, under Women's Health.

Although clinical descriptions of chronic fungal infections go back to the beginning of history, when Hippocrates first described the signs and manifestations of oral thrush, it has only been since original work by Dr Orian Truss, first published in 1978, that research in to the link between this organism and allergies really began. We have known for many years, however, that Candida albicans has the potential to invade many types of human tissue and to cause a multiplicity of health disorders. On the other hand, many (if not most) general practitioners considered the Candida organism to be responsible for only a limited number of conditions, notably vaginal, oral or nail thrush. They seem to have ignored the possibility that Candida albicans may sensitise a patient, quite separately from its ability to invade the body and cause localised infections.
There are over eighty species of Candida and at least six of these are known pathogens. The majority of Candida infections, however, are caused by Candida albicans and Candida tropicalis. The rates of Candida invasion are greater for hospitalised patients than for the population at large, making hospital a health hazard, at least as far as Candida is concerned.
The organism usually provokes an antibody’s response because of its adherence to mucosal epithelial surfaces in the respiratory, digestive and genital tracts. Candida glycoproteins have been shown to stimulate histamine release from mast cells and thus have a strong allergenic potential. Candida albicans has been found to be a factor in cases of urticaria (hives), irritable bowel syndrome, psoriasis and asthma.
Candida albicans is a potent bronchial antigen. In 1978 Dr Orian Truss proposed that the organism can cause sensitisation of other, distant organ systems and tissues. His work was later confirmed by other physicians and eventually expanded to show the existence of a ‘chronic candidiasis sensitivity syndrome’. That was the subject of one of my books by the same title, published in 1991, and of several papers I have given at Australian and international medical conferences.
This immune dysregulation can cause an increase in colonisation and eventually yeast by-products are released into the circulation.
Summary
Candida albicans can irritate, cause inflammation and disrupt intestinal mucosal surfaces (lumen) by adherence and thus cause indigestion and increase gut permeability (leaky gut).
Candida albicans can cause Type 1 hypersensitivities, such as urticaria and asthma; Type III sensitivity reactions, such as bronchopulmonary candidiasis; or Type IV reactions, altered cellular immune responses to Candida antigens.
The way in which an organism can be responsible for an allergy is known as its ‘sensitisation potential or capacity’.
*56\145\2*

THE CANDIDA-ASTHMA CONNECTION: ALLERGIC AND PATHOGENIC POTENTIAL OF CANDIDAAlthough clinical descriptions of chronic fungal infections go back to the beginning of history, when Hippocrates first described the signs and manifestations of oral thrush, it has only been since original work by Dr Orian Truss, first published in 1978, that research in to the link between this organism and allergies really began. We have known for many years, however, that Candida albicans has the potential to invade many types of human tissue and to cause a multiplicity of health disorders. On the other hand, many (if not most) general practitioners considered the Candida organism to be responsible for only a limited number of conditions, notably vaginal, oral or nail thrush. They seem to have ignored the possibility that Candida albicans may sensitise a patient, quite separately from its ability to invade the body and cause localised infections.There are over eighty species of Candida and at least six of these are known pathogens. The majority of Candida infections, however, are caused by Candida albicans and Candida tropicalis. The rates of Candida invasion are greater for hospitalised patients than for the population at large, making hospital a health hazard, at least as far as Candida is concerned.The organism usually provokes an antibody’s response because of its adherence to mucosal epithelial surfaces in the respiratory, digestive and genital tracts. Candida glycoproteins have been shown to stimulate histamine release from mast cells and thus have a strong allergenic potential. Candida albicans has been found to be a factor in cases of urticaria (hives), irritable bowel syndrome, psoriasis and asthma.Candida albicans is a potent bronchial antigen. In 1978 Dr Orian Truss proposed that the organism can cause sensitisation of other, distant organ systems and tissues. His work was later confirmed by other physicians and eventually expanded to show the existence of a ‘chronic candidiasis sensitivity syndrome’. That was the subject of one of my books by the same title, published in 1991, and of several papers I have given at Australian and international medical conferences.This immune dysregulation can cause an increase in colonisation and eventually yeast by-products are released into the circulation.SummaryCandida albicans can irritate, cause inflammation and disrupt intestinal mucosal surfaces (lumen) by adherence and thus cause indigestion and increase gut permeability (leaky gut).Candida albicans can cause Type 1 hypersensitivities, such as urticaria and asthma; Type III sensitivity reactions, such as bronchopulmonary candidiasis; or Type IV reactions, altered cellular immune responses to Candida antigens.The way in which an organism can be responsible for an allergy is known as its ‘sensitisation potential or capacity’.*56\145\2*

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