Category Archives: Ailments and Options

SNORING

snoring

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CAUSES – You snore when you inhale during sleep and air enters the mouth or nose and passes across the soft palate (the soft part of the mouth root) on its way to the lungs.

TREATMENT – One useful technique is to try to keep from sleeping on your back.  Try losing some weight if necessary. Avoid alcohol, especially before going to sleep.  If you consistently smoke, try to quit.  This reduces inflammation and swelling in the airway, which may contribute to the narrowing of the airway.

PREVENTION – Avoid the use of alcohol and medicines that slow your breathing, such as sleeping pills.  Sleep on your side, not on your back. Sleeping on your back can increase snoring. Eat sensibly, exercise, and stay at a healthy weight.

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CHRONIC PAIN

hypnosis-chronic-pain-2CAUSES – Chronic pain may be related to a number of different medical conditions, previous trauma or injury. Chronic pain in older adults is often related to degenerative conditions that are caused by advancing age, including arthritis and wear and tear issues affecting the spine. These conditions commonly cause pain in the neck, knees, back, and hips.  Chronic pain may worsen in response to environmental or psychological factors.

Chronic pain can also lead to other problems, including:

  • A weakened immune system
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Depression
  • Anxiety, fear, feeling of hopelessness
  • Stress
  • Disability

 TREATMENT – The goal of pain management is to provide symptom relief and improve an individual’s level of functioning in daily activities. A number of types of medications have been used in the management of chronic pain. Interestingly, chronic pain can sometimes be relieved by reducing weight, and exercising.  A number of types of medications have been used in the management of chronic pain, including acetaminophen, ibuprofen, aspirin, antianxiety drugs, sedatives, and antidepressants.  You can also manage chronic pain by taking your medicines as prescribed by your physician, professional counseling, and doing physical therapy.

Alternative treatments for chronic pain can include exercise, physical therapy, counseling, biofeedback, acupuncture, hypnosis, and other treatments.  Alternative therapies may reduce pain, help you cope with stress, and improve your emotional and physical well-being.  These therapies include:

  • Acupuncture
  • Aromatherapy
  • Biofeedback
  • Chiropractic therapy
  • Healing touch
  • Homeopathy
  • Hydrotherapy
  • Hypnosis
  • Massage
  • Meditation
  • Naturopathy
  • Yoga

PREVENTION – By maintaining a regular exercise program, it can be key to minimizing and perhaps preventing chronic pain.

TENNIS ELBOW

Tennis elbow occurs when you damage the tendons that connect the muscles of your forearm to your elbow. The pain may spread down your arm to your wrist.Tendinitis can affect the inner or outer elbow. The most common symptom of tennis elbow is pain on the outside of the elbow. The cause of tennis elbow injuries can result from overuse or making aggressive twist.  Repeated movements that involve twisting of the elbow can cause small tears in the tendon, which then weakens it. Overuse depends on how hard or how long you do something.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can show problems in soft tissues such as tendons and muscles.The most important part of treatment is to rest the tendons.  A long rest from aggravating activity allows the small tears in the tendon to heal. You can also take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), including aspirin or ibuprofen.

Keep in mind that corticosteroid injections are not pain relievers. They reduce inflammation. When corticosteroids relieve pain, it is because they have reduced inflammation. Corticosteroid injections can help relieve pain for only a short period of time.  When your pain is gone, start doing stretching and strengthening exercises. You should then gradually increase these exercises and learn the correct techniques and which equipment is best for your activities.  The treatment of tennis elbow should be directed at both the tennis elbow as well as the underlying cause. Hypnotherapy may provide effective relief for pain associated with tennis elbow. Some other possible options for treatment may include:

  1. Body Therapy
  2. Mind-Body Medicine
  3. Acupressure Therapy
  4. Exercise Therapy
  5. Massage Therapy
  6. Herbal Therapy

By taking lessons to learn the proper technique for sports, such as tennis and golf that require grasping and twisting motions in the arm, you can prevent tennis elbow.  Other ways to prevent tennis elbow include:

  • Try to stay in good physical shape.
  • Using the correct techniques and movements during activities.
  • Using equipment appropriate for your ability, body size, and body strength.
  • Not overusing your arm with repeated movements that can injure your tendon.
  • Strengthening the muscles of your arm, shoulder, and upper back to help take stress off of your elbow.

tennis elbow

SWIMMER’S EAR

Excessive water exposure is often the leading cause of swimmer’s ear. Swimmer’s ear (otitis externa) is an inflammation or infection of the ear canal, the passage that leads from the outer ear to the eardrum. This condition is called swimmer’s ear because it commonly occurs in people who have been swimming. But other people can get it too.  The water can break down the skin lining the ear canal, allowing it to become infected. This condition can be caused by a bacterial infection, eczema. You can contract swimmer’s ear from swimming in polluted water or getting water in your ear while swimming, but you can also develop the condition in many other ways. It can occur after showering, scratching the ear while cleaning it, or putting objects in the ear, such as ear plugs or hearing aids that are contaminated with bacteria.  Symptoms of having swimmer’s ear may include:

  • The first symptom is often itching in the ear canal
  • A feeling of fullness in the ear
  • A yellowish or brownish discharge from the ear
  • Your ear canal may be swollen

swimmer's ear

 

Swimmer’s ear and a regular ear infection are painful. Common childhood middle ear infections don’t cause pain in the outer ear like cases of swimmer’s ear. If someone has swimmer’s ear, it will hurt when he/she wiggles the ear or puts a finger in it.  A doctor can usually tell whether you have swimmer’s ear by looking into your ear and asking questions about your symptoms.

Some home treatment can help swimmer’s ear. But it is important to see a doctor first.The most common treatment consists of antibiotic ear drops with or without an oral antibiotic. Pain-relieving medications such as acetaminophen or antihistamines to decrease itching may also be recommended along with antibiotics.  If the ear is swollen, your doctor may prescribe antibiotic ear drops that may contain steroids.  If the ear canal is completely blocked due to swelling or inflammation, your doctor may insert a wick made of cotton or gauze to promote drainage.

As an herbal therapy, garlic oil can be used as an antibiotic wash to rinse out your ears. It is also possible to make garlic oil at home.  Swimmer’s ear can usually be treated effectively at home with natural remedies. If you experience severe pain or your swimmer’s ear isn’t responding to home treatments, you should schedule an appointment to visit your doctor.  An antibiotic or anti-fungal ear drops may be needed.

The ear should be kept dry. While showering or swimming use an ear plug that is designed to keep water out.  Mineral oil ear drops can be used to protect the ear from water when a dry crusty skin condition exists. You may also want to use shower caps while bathing.  If you wear a hearing aid, make a point of leaving it out a few times a day to give your ears a chance to dry out.

RAYNAUD’S SYNDROME

CAUSES – Raynaud’s Disease is the term used to describe a vascular disorder of the circulatory system in the extremities.  In Raynaud’s disease, affected areas are fingers and toes, which become pale due to the constriction of the oxygen carrying blood vessels. When you have Raynaud’s Disease you experience a hyper reaction to cold temperatures or touching a cold item.  Numbness or tingling most frequently occurs in the toes or fingers.  Primary Raynaud’s is the restriction of blood flow to the extremities can be frequent but temporary and more common in women than men.

Statistics show more cases of this condition in cold climates and in the winter months.  The two forms of Raynaud’s syndrome are primary Raynaud’s, and secondary Raynaud’s.  Secondary Raynaud’s or Raynaud’s Phenomenon, is more often associated with another underlying medical condition like lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.  When someone has an attack of Raynaud’s phenomenon, the small arteries of the arms and legs shut down, which limits blood flow to the distal organs.  The Raynaud’s phenomenon attack usually lasts minutes, although sometimes it may last several hours.  Some common triggers for Raynaud’s include:

  • Going outside during frigid temperatures
  • Holding an iced drink
  • Walking into an air conditioned room
  • Putting your hands in the freezer
  • Putting hands under cold water
  • Emotional stress

Drug treatments can help, but the drugs used may have various side effects. Some of the drug treatments currently being used for Raynaud’s include:

  • Calcium channel blockers
  • Angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors

Studies have shown that biofeedback is capable of helping people with Raynaud’s Disease to control their hand temperatures and to increase blood flow to affected areas.  Allopathic medications that work on the principle of dilating the blood vessels in order to prevent the symptoms of Raynaud’s are calcium channel blockers.

Preventative measures are important in primary and secondary RP regardless of the severity. Simple initial care involves keeping the body warm, especially the extremities. Warm clothing in colder environments is essential. Barefoot walking should be minimized.

raynauds

POST NASAL DRIP

Postnasal drip is when mucus accumulates in the back of the nose and throat leading to, or giving the sensation of, mucus dripping down the naso-pharynx (back of the throat).  Post-nasal drip can be caused by excessive or thick secretions. Post-nasal drip may lead to chronic sore throat or chronic cough. Allergic rhinitis is a very common cause of rhinitis. It is caused by allergies and is characterized by an itchy/runny nose, sneezing, and nasal congestion. Vasomotor rhinitis is thought to occur because of abnormal regulation of nasal blood flow. Vasomotor rhinitis can become pronounced with humidity and temperature changes.

The following may cause thickened secretions:

  • low humidity
  • sinus or nasal infections
  • environmental irritants (tobacco smoke, smog)
  • hormonal problems

Prompt treatment of infection by your physician, with antibiotics, along with supplemental medications will help to re-establish the normal drainage pathways.  Allergy medications, such as antihistamines, are used for allergic rhinitis and post-nasal drip. Allergy medications, such as antihistamines, are also frequently used to allergic rhinitis and post-nasal drip. Oral decongestants temporarily reduce swelling of sinus and nasal tissues leading to an improvement of breathing and a decrease in obstruction. They may also stimulate the heart and raise the blood pressure and should be avoided by patients who have high blood pressure.

You should not take oral decongestants without a doctor’s approval. By treating Post Nasal Drip with Holistic remedies, the causes as well as symptoms are addressed – resulting in a long-lasting solution to post nasal drip. Irrigating the nose with salt water is very useful therapySteam from a hot cup of tea, bowl of soup or a humidifier can help clear out nasal passages, reducing post nasal drip.  An aromatherapy combination of eucalyptus, tea tree, rosemary or peppermint oil with water in a humidifier during the day, and the essential oil of lavender at night, can help clear the nasal passages and aid with sleep.  Chinese medicine generally uses herbs brewed into tea and drunk at regular intervals for the treatment of many ailments.

Upper respiratory infection prevention may include:

  • if you are ill, remain at home until you are no longer contagious;
  • avoid touching your nose, eyes, and mouth;
  • cover the cough and sneeze
  • wash your hands often

OVARIAN CANCER

OvarianCAUSES – Ovarian cancer starts in the ovaries. The ovaries are the female reproductive organs that produce eggs. Doctors do not know exactly what causes ovarian cancer.  There are some factors and conditions that may increase a woman’s risk of developing ovarian cancer.  A family history of breast or uterine cancer also confers an increased risk for the development of ovarian cancer.  If a woman has ovarian cancer and her daughter develops ovarian cancer, the daughter will probably develop the cancer at a relatively young age. Women who have never given birth have a greater risk of developing ovarian cancer than women who have had children.  The number of childbirths correlates directly with a decrease in risk for developing ovarian cancer. 

TREATMENT – Surgery is the usual first treatment for ovarian cancer. Surgery is used to treat all stages of ovarian cancer.  Surgery performed by a specialist in female reproductive cancer has been shown to result in a higher success rate. For earlier stage of ovarian cancer, surgery may be the only treatment. Surgery involves:

  • Removal of the uterus (total hysterectomy)
  • Removal of both ovaries and fallopian tubes (bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy)
  • Partial or complete removal of the omentum, the fatty layer that covers and pads organs in the abdomen
  • Examination, biopsy, or removal of the lymph nodes and other tissues in the pelvis and abdomen

PREVENTION – It is best to discuss with your doctor about specific treatments if you are considered high risk for ovarian cancer.