February 8, 2017

Childbearing and raising of children are extremely important events in every human’s life and are strongly associated with the ultimate goals of completeness, happiness and family integration. It is widely accepted that human existence reaches completeness through a child and fulfils the individual’s need for reproduction. Human fertility, compared with other species of animal kingdom, is unfortunately low.

Female Infertility is defined as the inability of getting pregnant after trying for at least 6 months or one year, for women over 35 years old, without use of birth control means and while having normal sexual intercourse. Infertility may also be referred to as the inability to carry a pregnancy to the delivery of a live baby.

More than 1 out of 10 couples experience infertility. Infertility isn’t just a woman’s problem. Men can have fertility problems, too. When a couple is having a hard time getting pregnant, it is just as likely to be caused by a problem with a man’s fertility as it is with a woman’s fertility.

Natural conception occurs when sperm cells, after sexual intercourse, migrate up through the cervix and uterus and into the fallopian tubes. Somewhere along the fallopian tube the sperm will meet the egg and a single sperm will penetrate the egg and fertilize it. The fertilized egg (called a zygote) continuously divides to form a ball of cells as it travels down the fallopian tube. By the time the fertilised egg has reached the uterus it has developed into a blastocyst.

A blastocyte has an inner group of cells that will become the embryo, and an outer group of cells that will attach the blastocyst to the uterus wall to form the placenta. The placenta carries oxygen and nutrients from the mother to the foetus and waste materials from the foetus to the mother. The blastocyst attaches to the lining of the uterus, where is starts to receive nourishment from the mother’s bloodstream. The implantation of the blastocyst to the uterus lining usually occurs about 10 days after the sperm first penetrated the egg in the fallopian tube. Natural conception is a complex process that relies on a number of factors in order to be successful. These factors include:

  • The production of healthy sperm by the man
  • The production of healthy eggs by the woman
  • Unblocked fallopian tubes to allow the sperm to reach the egg
  • The ability of the sperm to fertilise the egg when they meet in the fallopian tube
  • The ability of the egg to move into the woman’s uterus and become implanted in the uterus wall
  • A good quality embryo
  • Suitable hormonal environment in the woman

When a couple has a problem achieving pregnancy, it’s estimated that about –

  • 1 out of 3 times it’s due to a problem with the man’s fertility
  • 1 out of 3 times it’s due to a problem with the woman’s fertility
  • 1 out of 3 times it’s due to a problem with both the woman’s and the man’s fertility, or a cause cannot be found for the problem

That’s why both the woman and the man usually get tested for fertility problems when a couple is having infertility problems.


Ovulation disorders

Problems with ovulation are the most common cause of infertility in women, experts say. Ovulation is the monthly release of an egg. In some cases the woman never releases eggs, while in others the woman does not release eggs during come cycles.

Ovulation disorders can be due to:

  • Premature ovarian failure – the woman’s ovaries stop working before she is 40.
  • PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome) – the woman’s ovaries function abnormally. She also has abnormally high levels of androgen. About 5% to 10% of women of reproductive age are affected to some degree. Also called Stein-Leventhal syndrome.
  • Hyperprolactinemia – if prolactin levels are high and the woman is not pregnant or breastfeeding, it may affect ovulation and fertility.
  • Poor egg quality – eggs that are damaged or develop genetic abnormalities cannot sustain a pregnancy. The older a woman is the higher the risk.
  • Overactive thyroid gland
  • Underactive thyroid gland
  • Some chronic conditions, such as AIDS or cancer.

Poorly Functioning Fallopian Tubes

Tubal disease affects approximately 25% of infertile couples and varies widely, ranging from mild adhesions to complete tubal blockage.  Treatment for tubal disease is most commonly surgery and, owing to the advances in microsurgery and lasers, success rates (defined as the number of women who become pregnant within one year of surgery) are as high as 30% overall, with certain procedures having success rates up to 65%.  The main causes of tubal damage include –

  • Infection – Caused by both bacteria and viruses and usually transmitted sexually, these infections commonly cause inflammation resulting in scarring and damage. A specific example is Hydrosalpnix, a condition in which the fallopian tube is occluded at both ends and fluid collects in the tube.
  • Abdominal Diseases – The most common of these are appendicitis and colitis, causing inflammation of the abdominal cavity which can affect the fallopian tubes and lead to scarring and blockage.
  • Previous Surgeries -This is an important cause of tubal disease and damage. Pelvic or abdominal surgery can result in adhesions that alter the tubes in such a way that eggs cannot travel through them.
  • Ectopic Pregnancy – This is a pregnancy that occurs in the tube itself and, even if carefully and successfully overcome, may cause tubal damage and is a potentially life-threatening condition.
  • Congenital Defects – In rare cases, women may be born with tubal abnormalities, usually associated with uterus irregularities.

Problems in the uterus or fallopian tubes

The egg travels from the ovary to the uterus (womb) where the fertilized egg grows. If there is something wrong in the uterus or the fallopian tubes the woman may not be able to conceive naturally. This may be due to –

  • Surgery – pelvic surgery can sometimes cause scarring or damage to the fallopian tubes. Cervical surgery can sometimes cause scarring or shortening of the cervix. The cervix is the neck of the uterus.
  • Submucosal fibroids – benign or non-cancerous tumors found in the muscular wall of the uterus, occurring in 30% to 40% of women of childbearing age. They may interfere with implantation. They can also block the fallopian tube, preventing sperm from fertilizing the egg. Large submucosal uterine fibroids may make the uterus’ cavity bigger, increasing the distance the sperm has to travel.
  • Endometriosis – cells that are normally found within the lining of the uterus start growing elsewhere in the body.
  • Previous sterilization treatment – if a woman chose to have her fallopian tubes blocked. It is possible to reverse this process, but the chances of becoming fertile again are not high. However, an eight-year study showed tubal reversal surgery results in higher pregnancy and live birth rates and is less costly than IVF.


Some drugs can affect the fertility of a woman. These include:

  • NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) – women who take aspirin or ibuprofen long-term may find it harder to conceive.
  • Chemotherapy – some medications used in chemotherapy can result in ovarian failure. In some cases, this side effect of chemotherapy may be permanent.

Behavioral Factors

It is well-known that certain personal habits and lifestyle factors impact health; many of these same factors may limit a couple’s ability to conceive.  Fortunately, however, many of these variables can be regulated to increase not only the chances of conceiving but also one’s overall health.

  • Diet and Exercise – Optimal reproductive functioning requires both proper diet and appropriate levels of exercise. Women who are significantly overweight or underweight may have difficulty becoming pregnant.
  • Smoking – Cigarette smoking has been shown to lower sperm counts in men and increases the risk of miscarriage, premature birth, and low-birth-weight babies for women. Smoking by either partner reduces the chance of conceiving with each cycle, either naturally or by IVF, by one-third.
  • Alcohol – Alcohol intake greatly increases the risk of birth defects for women and, if in high enough levels in the motherís blood, may cause Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Alcohol also affects sperm counts in men.
  • Drugs – Drugs, such as marijuana and anabolic steroids, may impact sperm counts in men. Cocaine use in pregnant women may cause severe retardations and kidney problems in the baby and is perhaps the worst possible drug to abuse while pregnant. Recreational drug use should be avoided, both when trying to conceive and when pregnant.
  • Stress – Excessive physical or emotional stress that results in amenorrhea (absent periods).

Environmental Factors

The ability to conceive may be affected by exposure to various toxins or chemicals in the workplace or the surrounding environment.  Substances that can cause mutations, birth defects, abortions, infertility or sterility are called reproductive toxins.  Disorders of infertility, reproduction, spontaneous abortion, and teratogenesis are among the top ten work-related diseases and injuries in the U.S. today.  Despite the fact that considerable controversy exists regarding the impacts of toxins on fertility, four chemicals are now being regulated based on their documented infringements on conception.

  • Lead – Exposure to lead sources has been proven to negatively impact fertility in humans. Lead can produce teratospermias (abnormal sperm) and is thought to be an abortifacient, or substance that causes artificial abortion.
  • Medical Treatments and Materials – Repeated exposure to radiation, ranging from simple x-rays to chemotherapy, has been shown to alter sperm production, as well as contribute to a wide array of ovarian problems.
  • Ethylene Oxide – A chemical used both in the sterilization of surgical instruments and in the manufacturing of certain pesticides, ethylene oxide may cause birth defects in early pregnancy and has the potential to provoke early miscarriage.
  • Dibromochloropropane (DBCP) – Handling the chemicals found in pesticides, such as DBCP, can cause ovarian problems, leading to a variety of health conditions, like early menopause, that may directly impact fertility.

Risk Factors

  • Age – With increasing age, the quality and quantity of a woman’s eggs begin to decline. In the mid-30s, the rate of follicle loss accelerates, resulting in fewer and poorer quality eggs, making conception more challenging and increasing the risk of miscarriage.
  • Weight – If a women is overweight or significantly underweight, it may hinder normal ovulation. Getting to a healthy body mass index (BMI) has been shown to increase the frequency of ovulation and likelihood of pregnancy.
  • Sexual history – Sexually transmitted infections such as chlamydia and gonorrhea can cause fallopian tube damage. Having unprotected intercourse with multiple partners increases the chances of contracting a sexually transmitted disease (STD) that may cause fertility problems later.


The signs and symptoms of infertility in women depend on the underlying condition causing the infertility.  In women with regular menstrual cycles (periods), 95% of the time one egg is released in each cycle (each month). Women who have problems in releasing eggs are likely to experience infrequent or absent periods (amenorrhea).

Polycystic ovary syndrome is the most common hormone disturbance for women with infertility which results in irregular periods. With this condition some women will experience unwanted hair growth on the face and body, patchy hair loss from the scalp (alopecia) and too much weight gain.

Women with endometriosis are likely to have painful and heavy periods, lower abdominal pain, painful sexual intercourse or a combination of these symptoms.


Medications for Ovulation disorders – If the woman has an ovulation disorder she will probably be prescribed fertility drugs which regulate or induce ovulation. These include –

  • Clomifene (Clomid, Serophene)
  • Metformin (Glucophage)
  • Human menopausal gonadotropin, or hMG, (Repronex)
  • Follicle-stimulating hormone (Gonal-F, Bravelle)
  • Human chorionic gonadotropin (Ovidrel, Pregnyl)
  • Gn-RH (gonadotropin-releasing hormone) analogs
  • Bromocriptine (Parlodel)


  • Fallopian tube surgery – if the fallopian tubes are blocked or scarred surgery may repair them, making it easier for eggs to pass through them.
  • Laparoscopic surgery – a small incision is made in the woman’s abdomen. A thin, flexible microscope with a light at the end (laparoscope) is inserted through the incision. The doctor can then look at internal organs, take samples and perform small operations. For women with endometriosis, laparoscopy removes implants and scar tissue, reducing pain and often aiding fertility.

IVF (in vitro fertilization) – Sperm are placed with unfertilized eggs in a Petri dish; the aim is fertilization of the eggs. The embryo is then placed in the uterus to begin a pregnancy. Sometimes the embryo is frozen for future use (cryopreserved).

Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) — Semen is collected from a man. A procedure called “sperm washing” is done to separate the healthy sperm from the rest of the semen. A health care provider puts the sperm directly into the uterus. This puts the sperm closer to the egg. It cuts down the time and distance sperm have to travel to reach an egg. IUI is often referred to as donor insemination, alternative insemination, or artificial insemination.

Assisted hatching -This improves the chances of the embryo’s implantation; attaching to the wall of the uterus. The embryologist opens a small hole in the outer membrane of the embryo, known as the zona pellucid. The opening improves the ability of the embryo to leave its shell and implant into the uterine lining. Patients who benefit from assistant hatching include women with previous IVF failure, poor embryo growth rate, and older women. In some women, particularly older women, the membrane is hardened, making it difficult for the embryo to hatch and implant.

Embryo Transfer – One to three days after the eggs are retrieved, up to four healthy embryos are inserted into the uterus with a thin plastic tube that is passed through the cervix.

  • Gamete Intrafallopian Transfer (GIFT) is a more sophisticated variation of the basic IVF procedure and usually produces a slightly higher pregnancy rate.
  • Zygote Intrafallopian Transfer (ZIFT) is the latest variation on the IVF-GIFT technique. The freshly fertilized eggs (zygotes) are placed into the fallopian tubes during a laparoscopy after they have reached the embryo stage.

Lifestyle Changes – Although there are no dietary or nutritional cures for infertility, a healthy lifestyle is important. Some ovulatory problems may be reversible by changing behavioral patterns. Some tips include –

  • Maintain a healthy weight. Women who are either over- or underweight are at risk for fertility failure, including a lower chance for achieving success with fertility procedures.
  • Stop smoking. Smoking may increase the risk for infertility in both men and women. Everyone should quit.
  • Avoid excessive exercise if it causes menstrual irregularity. However, moderate and regular exercise is essential for good health.
  • Avoid or limit caffeine and alcohol.
  • Avoid any unnecessary medications.

Alternative Treatment


Vitamin D- Vitamin D deficiency is very common in America, especially during the winter, and can be very detrimental to overall health. Recent studies link inadequate vitamin D with infertility and miscarriage.

Vitamin C– A potent antioxidant, vitamin C is good for both male and female infertility.

Folic Acid– Folic acid is well known as a necessary vitamin in early pregnancy to prevent complications, but it is most beneficial when taken for several month before the pregnancy as well as during. It helps cell division and promotes ovulation.

Zinc– It is very important for cell division including sperm production and ovulation.

Selenium– Helps protect the body from free radicals and protects sperm and egg.

B-Vitamins– Deficiency of b-vitamins is common in anyone who consumes large amounts of processed foods, grains or sugars. Optimizing b vitamin levels can increase lutenizing hormone and follicle stimulating hormone to improve fertility.

Bioflavonoids – Helps strengthen the uterus by promoting healthy blood vessels.

Flaxseed oil – A healthy fat that can help normalize hormones and is essential to health.


Black cohosh (Cimicifuga racemosa)—Balances hormones.

Chaste tree (Vitex castus)—Raises progesterone levels, lowers estrogen levels, and helps correct ovarian dysfunction.

Dong quai (Angelica sinensis)—Nourishes and balances the female reproductive system.

False unicorn (Helonias dioica)—Has a reputation for promoting fertility, is recommended for ovarian dysfunction and as a uterine tonic.

Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra)—Balances hormones and is anti-inflammatory and sweet tasting (good flavoring for teas).

Red raspberry (Rubus strigosus)—Nourishes and strengthens the female reproductive system.

Squaw vine (Mitchella repens)—Also known as partridge berry. Recommended for fertility as a uterine tonic.

Wild yam (Dioscorea villosa)—Has a reputation for promoting fertility.

To Avoid –

Avoid Estrogen – Estrogen can have a negative effect on the development of the female reproductive tract. Therefore, it is important to reduce or eliminate excess estrogen or estrogen-like chemicals in your body. Avoid all dairy products where cows have been fed hormones. The drop in sperm counts since the 1940s parallels a rise in the consumption of dairy products.

Chemicals, such as PCBs, dioxin, etc. are weakly estrogenic and degenerate very slowly, they hang around for years in our environment. Avoid the use of toxic substances such as fertilizers, cleaners. Also avoid all fatty animal products where chemicals may be stored up without being degraded.

Avoid Heavy Metals – Sperm are affected by lead, cadmium, arsenic, and mercury. There are many sources of exposure to these heavy metals such as deep-sea fish, cigarette smoke, and water from old pipes. Just as with men, lead, cadmium, or mercury can impair fertility by affecting sex hormones.

Avoid free radicals – We have all heard that free radicals (the hungry and unstable oxygen in our bodies) can cause cancer, heart disease, and increase the aging process. Like –

  • Cigarette smoke
  • Sunlight
  • Unsaturated oils (corn oil may be the worst)
  • Heating oils to too high a temperature when cooking
  • Foods left out of the refrigerator (oxidation causes butter to turn a slight yellow and cut apples to turn brown)

Caffeine and Alcohol – Both can impair female fertility. Excessive alcohol causes prolactin to rise and too much or too little prolactin is associated with infertility. Caffeine causes a decrease in serum prolactin. Caffeinated soft drinks may also reduce the chance of conception.


  • Flower Essences – The flowers of plants may be prepared in a similar way to homeopathic remedies so that the “essence” of the plant is harnessed in a medicinal way. An example is Pomegranate. Its use is described as a treatment for imbalance, i.e., women who are ambivalent or confused about the focus of feminine creativity, home or career, creative or procreative, those who attempt to balance both possibilities may feel drained and the psychological tension may be profound resulting in physical illness especially in the female organs.
  • Stress Reduction/Relaxation Therapies
  • Diaphragmatic Breathing Exercise


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February 8, 2017

Endometriosis is a medical condition that occurs when the lining of the uterus, called the endometrium, grows in other places, such as the fallopian tubes, ovaries or along the pelvis. Women with endometriosis may experience infertility, pelvic pain, or both.

Every month a woman’s body goes through hormonal changes. Hormones are naturally released which cause the lining of the womb to increase in preparation for a fertilized egg.  If pregnancy does not occur, this lining will break down and bleed – this is then released from the body as a period.

In endometriosis, cells like the ones in the lining of the womb grow elsewhere in the body. These cells react to the menstrual cycle each month and also bleed. However, there is no way for this blood to leave the body. This can cause inflammation, pain and the formation of scar tissue.

Areas of endometrial tissue often called implants, occur in the following places –

  • Peritoneum
  • Ovaries
  • Fallopian tubes
  • Outer surface of the uterus, bladder, ureters, intestines and rectum
  • Cul-de-sac (the space behind the uterus

About 5 million women in the United States have endometriosis, but the true number of cases may be much higher, because not all women with the condition have symptoms. Endometrosis occurs in about one in ten women of reproductive age. It is most often diagnosed in women in their 30s and 40s.

However, with the right endometriosis treatment, many of these issues can be addressed, and the symptoms of endometriosis made more manageable.


The actual cause of endometriosis is unknown. There are several theories about the cause of endometriosis, but none fully explains why endometriosis occurs. It is possible that a combination of the following factors could be causing endometriosis to develop in some women –

Retrograde menstruation – When women have periods, some of the endometrium (womb lining) flows backwards, out through the fallopian tubes and into the abdomen. This tissue then implants itself on organs in the pelvis and grows. It has been suggested that most women experience some form of retrograde menstruation, but their bodies are able to clear this tissue and it does not deposit on the organs. This theory does not explain why endometriosis has developed in some women after hysterectomy, or why, in rare cases, endometriosis has been discovered in some men when they have been exposed to oestrogen through drug treatments.

Lymphatic or circulatory spread – Endometriosis tissue particles are thought to somehow travel round the body through the lymphatic system or in the bloodstream. This could explain why it has been found in areas such as the eyes and brain.

Genetic Factors – Some research suggests that endometriosis can be passed down to new generations through the genes of family members. Some families may be more susceptible to endometriosis but the causes of this are unclear.

Immune dysfunction – It is thought that, for some women, their immune system is not able to fight off endometriosis. Many women with endometriosis appear to have reduced immunity to other conditions. It is not known whether this contributes to endometriosis or whether it is as a result of endometriosis.

Environmental causes – This theory suggests that certain toxins in our environment, such as dioxin, can affect the body, the immune system and reproductive system and cause endometriosis. Research studies have shown that when animals were exposed to high levels of dioxin they developed endometriosis. This theory has not yet been proven for humans.

Metaplasia – Metaplasia is the process where one type of cell changes or morphs into a different kind of cell.  Metaplasia usually occurs in response to inflammation and enables cells to change to their surrounding circumstances to better adapt to their environment. In the case of endometriosis, metaplasia would explain how the endometriosis cells appear spontaneously inside the body – and how they appear in areas such as the lung and skin. It would also explain the appearance of endometriosis cells in women with no womb – or in men who have taken hormone treatments.

Risk Factors

Endometriosis can happen in any girl or woman who has menstrual periods, but it is more common in women in their 30s and 40s. The risk factors include –

  • Never had children
  • Menstrual periods that last more than seven days
  • Short menstrual cycles (27 days or fewer)
  • A family member (mother, aunt, sister) with endometriosis
  • A health problem that blocks the normal flow of menstrual blood from the body during periods


Symptoms of endometriosis can include:

  • Pain – This is the most common symptom. Women with endometriosis may have many different kinds of pain. These include:
  • Very painful menstrual cramps – The pain may get worse over time.
  • Chronic (long-term) pain in the lower back and pelvis
  • Pain during or after sex – This is usually described as a “deep” pain and is different from pain felt at the entrance to the vagina when penetration begins.
  • Intestinal pain
  • Painful bowel movements or pain when urinating during menstrual periods – In rare cases, you may also find blood in your stool or urine.
  • Bleeding or spotting between menstrual periods – This can be caused by something other than endometriosis. If it happens often, you should see your doctor.
  • Infertility, or not being able to get pregnant.
  • Stomach (digestive) problems – These include diarrhea, constipation, bloating, or nausea, especially during menstrual periods.


Infertility – The main complication of endometriosis is impaired fertility. Approximately one-third to one-half of women with endometriosis have difficulty getting pregnant.

Ovarian cancer does occur at higher than expected rates in women with endometriosis. But the overall lifetime risk of ovarian cancer is low to begin with. Some studies suggest that endometriosis increases that risk, but it’s still relatively low.


Pain Medication – Some over-the-counter pain medications such as aspirin, acetaminophen, and ibuprofen may lessen the discomfort for women when dealing with endometriosis. Prescription medication may be needed if the pain does not respond to over-the-counter drugs.

Hormonal Drug Therapy – Hormonal drugs are given to try to stop ovulation for as long as possible in order to keep the implants or lesions from being aggravated. These can include oral contraceptives, progesterone drugs, and GnRH agonists.

Surgery – Conservative surgery is used to diagnose, remove growths, relieve pain, and increase the chances of pregnancy. Conservative surgery is usually done through a laparoscopy or a laparotomy. In some cases, a more radical surgery such as a hysterectomy is recommended for treating endometriosis.

Birth Control Pills simulate a pregnancy state in the body. They reduce menstrual bleeding by thinning the endometrial lining, thereby shortening and lightening the period. These pills must be taken for a minimum of six months.

Danazol – This drug suppresses estrogen levels and increases the amount of testosterone circulation. This form of medical therapy stops patients from ovulating and menstruating. It also shrinks the uterine lining and prevents new tissue implants from forming. However, side effects may occur, such as –

  • Fluid retention
  • Acne
  • Hot flashes
  • Dry vaginal wall (atrophic vaginitis)
  • Increased hair growth

Alternative Treatment

Omega-3 fatty acids are found in fish such as salmon, mackerel, sardines, and anchovies. They are also available in fish oil capsules, which may be the preferable form because good brands contain minimal amounts of PCBs and dioxins.

All of the B vitamins strengthen the liver, and directly assist the body in disposing of excess estrogen.

Licorice is one of the most commonly used herbs in China, and it is well known for its beneficial effect on the liver.

Dandelion strengthens the liver and kidneys.

Milk thistle is renowned for strengthening the liver.

Selenium has been historically given to cows by farmers to prevent endometriosis. Endometriosis hinders fertility, so farmers work hard to prevent a disease that results in fewer calves. The best single source of selenium is Brazil nuts, followed by tuna, cod, and meats. It can also be purchased in supplement form.

Vitamin E is known to ensure that animals have healthy uterine linings, and it has been used by farmers since the 1930’s. Vitamin E and selenium are believed to work together to prevent damage to cell membranes, and protect against oxidation. Do not take blood thinners like vitamin E during the menstrual period, because they will increase bleeding.

Chlorophyll  – Due to the link between endometriosis and dioxins, it would be wise to supplement with chlorophyll. Chlorophyll can remove dioxins from the body, and it can be purchased as a liquid concentrate.

Folate or folic acid – Folate is necessary for the body to make heme (the iron-containing, non-protein part of hemoglobin) for the red blood cells. Too little folate can cause nutritional megoblastic anemia (large red blood cells that cannot transport oxygen well). It is known to help regulate and balance the hormones. Folic acid assists in the chelation of lead, and helps the body to properly utilize zinc. There is a strong connection between folate and the liver, because liver disease increases the loss of folate.

Radishes were used in Traditional Chinese Medicine to cure endometriosis, and to fix liver problems, including jaundice. It would be wise to include them in the diet.

Flaxseeds are high in lignans and fiber, which have been found to be beneficial for estrogen-related conditions.

Hydrotherapy – A contrast sitz bath is often recommended by alternative practitioners for endometriosis. It is a home remedy and has not been studied.

Acupuncture – The insertion of thin needles at various points in the skin is said to bring relief to women suffering from Endo pain, menstrual cramping, and post-operative pain as well.

Exercise is a demonstrated stress reliever, pain reducer, and depression fighter. It also provides obvious benefits such as weight control and improved cardiovascular health.

Biofeedback – This involves the altering of body processes such as heart rate, muscle activity, skin temperature, and brain wave activity. This is done through the use of electrodes attached to the skin which convert minute physiological, chemical or electrical changes into auditory or visual signals.

Chiropractic treatment – This differs from osteopathic treatment in that Chiropractors believe the disease can be relieved by correcting dislocations (subluxations) in the musculoskeletal system alone.


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February 8, 2017

Diabetic neuropathies are a family of nerve disorders caused by diabetes. It has been defined as presence of symptoms and/or signs of peripheral nerve dysfunction in diabetics after exclusion of other causes, which may range from hereditary, traumatic, compressive, metabolic, toxic, nutritional, infectious, immune mediated, neoplastic, and secondary to other systemic illnesses.

About 60 to 70 percent of people with diabetes have some form of neuropathy. People with diabetes can develop nerve problems at any time, but risk rises with age and longer duration of diabetes. The highest rates of neuropathy are among people who have had diabetes for at least 25 years. Diabetic neuropathies also appear to be more common in people who have problems controlling their blood glucose, also called blood sugar, as well as those with high levels of blood fat and blood pressure and those who are overweight.

Types of Diabetic Neuropathy

There are different types of diabetic neuropathy. The distinction depends upon which types and location of nerves are affected.

  • Diabetic peripheral neuropathy refers to damage to peripheral nerves, most commonly the nerves of the feet and legs.
  • Diabetic proximal neuropathy affects nerves in the thighs, hips, or buttocks.
  • Diabetic autonomic neuropathy affects the autonomic nervous system, the nerves that control body functions. For example, it can affect nerves of the gastrointestinal, urinary, genital, or vascular systems.
  • Diabetic focal neuropathy affects a specific nerve or area at any site in the body.

Neuropathy is damage to nerves, and diabetic neuropathy is damage to nerves that occurs as a result of diabetes. Diabetes is thought to damage nerves as a result of prolonged elevated levels of blood glucose. Diabetic neuropathy can affect different parts of the body, and symptoms can range from mild to severe. Diabetic neuropathy is the most common complication of diabetes.


High glucose and lipid (fat) levels in the blood, and the toxic byproducts they generate through their metabolism, are thought to be the major causes of neuropathy associated with diabetes. However, good glucose control in people with type 1 diabetes can reduce neuropathy by 60 per cent.

It’s possible that elevated blood glucose levels damage the tiny blood vessels that lead to the nerves. If the blood vessels are damaged, they don’t bring oxygen and nutrients to the nerves as they should, which eventually can cause nerve damage.

Other factors may include –

  • Age – Diabetic neuropathy takes time to develop, so it’s much more common in older people who have had diabetes for 25 years or more.
  • Genetic factors – Unrelated to diabetes that make some people more susceptible to nerve damage.
  • Lifestyle choices – It seems that alcohol and smoking make the symptoms of neuropathy worse.
  • Nerve injury – Whether the nerves have been damaged through inflammation or through a mechanical injury (such as nerve compression associated with carpal tunnel syndrome), it’s possible the previously-damaged nerves are more susceptible to developing diabetic neuropathy.

Risk Factors

The longer a person has diabetes and the worse the control of their diabetes, the more likely they will develop diabetic neuropathy.

Those people experiencing complications of their diabetes elsewhere in their body (such as in the kidneys, heart or eyes) are also more likely to have or develop neuropathy, as the same factors that cause these problems also contribute to neuropathy. Smoking, high blood pressure and being overweight also make it more likely that people with diabetes will get nerve damage.


The symptoms of diabetic neuropathy depend on what type of neuropathy  the  person has. Symptoms are dependent on which nerves have been damaged. In general, diabetic neuropathy symptoms develop gradually; they may seem like minor and infrequent pains at first, but as the nerves become more damaged, symptoms may grow.

As mild symptoms can indicate the beginning of neuropathy, the following should be noted – pain, numbness, weakness, or tingling—even if it seems insignificant.

Peripheral Neuropathy Symptoms – Peripheral neuropathy affects nerves leading to the extremities—the feet, legs, hands, and arms. The nerves leading to the feet are the longest in the body, so they are the most often affected nerves (simply because there’s more of them to be affected). Peripheral neuropathy is the most common form of diabetic neuropathy. The symptoms include –

  • Pain
  • Numbness (loss of feeling)
  • Tingling
  • Muscle weakness
  • Muscle cramping and/or twitching
  • Insensitivity to pain and/or temperature
  • Extreme sensitivity to even the lightest touch

Symptoms get worse at night.

Proximal Neuropathy Symptoms – Proximal neuropathy affects the buttocks, hips, thighs, and legs. Its symptoms aren’t usually long-term; they may go away after several weeks or months.

Symptoms include –

  • Weakness in the legs
  • Trouble standing up from a seated position without help.

Autonomic Neuropathy Symptoms – The autonomic nervous system is in charge of the “involuntary” functions of the body. It keeps the heart pumping and keeps the digestion healthy.

  • Cardiovascular System
    • Dizziness just after standing
    • Fainting just after standing
    • Irregular heart rate
  • Digestive System
    • Bloating
    • Constipation
    • Diarrhea
    • Nausea
    • Vomiting
  • Eyes
    • Vision trouble at night or during sudden light changes (e.g., when stepping into a dark building from the sunlight)
  • Reproductive System
    • Sexual problems—erectile dysfunction in men; vaginal dryness in women
  • Sweat Glands
    • Profuse sweating, especially at night or when eating particular foods (cheese commonly causes excessive sweating, for example, although that’s not true for every person with diabetic neuropathy)
    • Reduced sweating, especially in the legs and feet
    • Urinary System
    • Bladder dysfunction

Focal Neuropathy Symptoms – This affects the head, torso, or legs. Symptoms include –

  • Head
    • Vision trouble—double vision, ache behind an eye, difficulty focusing
    • Sudden paralysis of one side of the face (Bell’s palsy)
  • Torso
    • Pain in the chest
    • Pain in the stomach
    • Pain on the side
    • Pain in the low back
  • Legs
    • Pain in the front of the thigh
    • Pain on the outside of the shin
    • Pain on the inside of the foot


he first treatment step is to bring blood glucose levels within the normal range to help prevent further nerve damage. Blood glucose monitoring, meal planning, physical activity, and diabetes medicines or insulin will help control blood glucose levels. Symptoms may get worse when blood glucose is first brought under control, but over time, maintaining lower blood glucose levels helps lessen symptoms. Good blood glucose control may also help prevent or delay the onset of further problems. As scientists learn more about the underlying causes of neuropathy, new treatments may become available to help slow, prevent, or even reverse nerve damage.x`

Medications – People with severe nerve pain may benefit from a combination of medications or treatments and should consider talking with a health care provider about treatment options.

Medications used to help relieve diabetic nerve pain include – Tricyclic antidepressants, such as amitriptyline, imipramine, and desipramine (Norpramin, Pertofrane) and other types of antidepressants, such as duloxetine (Cymbalta), venlafaxine, bupropion (Wellbutrin), paroxetine (Paxil), and citalopram (Celexa) Anticonvulsants, such as pregabalin (Lyrica), gabapentin (Gabarone, Neurontin), carbamazepine, and lamotrigine (Lamictal), Opioids and opioidlike drugs, such as controlled-release oxycodone, an opioid; and tramadol (Ultram), an opioid that also acts as an antidepressant.

Treatments that are applied to the skin—typically to the feet—include capsaicin cream and lidocaine patches (Lidoderm, Lidopain). Studies suggest that nitrate sprays or patches for the feet may relieve pain. Studies of alpha-lipoic acid, an antioxidant, and evening primrose oil suggest they may help relieve symptoms and improve nerve function in some patients.

A device called a bed cradle can keep sheets and blankets from touching sensitive feet and legs. Acupuncture, biofeedback, or physical therapy may help relieve pain in some people. Treatments that involve electrical nerve stimulation, magnetic therapy, and laser or light therapy may be helpful but need further study. Researchers are also studying several new therapies in clinical trials.

Treating gastroparesis – For gastroparesis, in which the stomach is not emptying properly, physicians at Joslin may prescribe metoclopramide (Reglan®), which will help the stomach push food and get it through the rest of the digestive process. These may be used in conjunction with sucralfate (Carafate®), which “helps to sop up extra acid that may be sitting in the stomach,” Dr. Gibbons says.

Treating bladder neuropathy – For those experiencing bladder neuropathy, which results in the bladder never completely emptying, bethanechol (Urecholine®) may be prescribed. “This is a urine propellant that helps to keep the bladder clear,” says Dr. Gibbons. “Because patients with this problem will be more likely to develop frequent urinary tract infections, the physician may also prescribe chronic antibiotic therapy to try and keep the bacterial count in the bladder and urinary tract at a manageable level.”

Treating impotence – Impotence in men that is a result neuropathy or blood vessel damage (versus psychological causes or due to medications such as anti-depressants or blood pressure medication) can be treated using certain drugs that are either inserted into the end of the penis or injected to cause an erection before intercourse. Vacuum devices that enable an erection to be achieved or a surgically implanted prosthesis are also options to be explored with a physician.

Alternative Treatment

  • Alpha lipoic acid is one if the most important nutrients to consider for diabetes. Alpha Lipoic acid has been evaluated for blood sugar control, and it may also be considered in diabetic neuropathy and kidney disease. Alpha-lipoic acid may improve symptomatic diabetic polyneuropathy.
  • Acetyl-L-carnitine is helpful in the treatment of diabetic neuropathy. It improves pain, nerve regeneration, and vibratory perception in patients with chronic diabetic neuropathy.
  • Benfotiamine has been evaluated in diabetic neuropathy with positive results
  • B vitamins could be helpful, perhaps combined with gabapentin (Neurotin). Vitamin B12 is a possible supplement to take for diabetic neuropathy. Vitamin B12 may be more effective than nortriptyline in improving painful diabetic neuropathy. It is more effective than nortriptyline for the treatment of symptomatic painful diabetic neuropathy.
  • Ginkgo biloba herbal extract has the best effect with the combination of folate for diabetic neuropathy.
  • Capsaicin applied to the skin, capsaicin cream can reduce pain sensations in some people. Side effects may include a burning feeling and skin irritation.
  • Vitamin B6 deficiency may be associated with the development of peripheral neuropathy. In addition, in the form of pyridoxine HCl, high doses of B6 have been implicated as a cause of PN.
  • Chromium is an essential mineral, chromium plays an important role in facilitating glucose metabolism.
  • Coenzyme Q10 is a cofactor used in oxidative respiration and is produced endogenously. Supplementation of coenzyme Q10 is especially popular for cardiovascular diseases.
  • Magnesium is an abundant mineral in the human body involved in numerous biochemical processes, including glucose metabolism. It Increases insulin sensitivity.
  • Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) are one of the most common dietary supplements taken in the United States. Studies indicate reductions in coronary artery disease and sudden cardiac death based on omega-3 PUFA intake. In patients with type 2 diabetes, a meta-analysis of omega-3 PUFA supplementation set of type 2 diabetes.60
  • Vanadium is a mineral with no known biological importance or deficiency-associated disease.


February 8, 2017

Diabetes or Diabetes mellitus is defined as a metabolic disorder of multiple etiologies characterized by chronic hyperglycemia with disturbances of carbohydrate, protein and fat metabolism resulting from defects in insulin secretion, insulin action, or both. is a defect in the body’s ability to convert glucose (sugar) to energy. Glucose is the main source of fuel for the body.

Foods that affect blood sugars are called carbohydrates. Carbohydrates, when digested, change to glucose. Examples of some carbohydrates are: bread, rice, pasta, potatoes, corn, fruit, and milk products. Individuals with diabetes should eat carbohydrates but must do so in moderation. Glucose is then transferred to the blood and is used by the cells for energy. In order for glucose to be transferred from the blood into the cells, the hormone – insulin is needed. Pancreas—an organ, located between the stomach and spine, that helps with digestion—releases a hormone it makes, called insulin, into the blood. Insulin helps the blood to carry glucose to all the body’s cells. Sometimes the body doesn’t make enough insulin or the insulin doesn’t work the way it should. The blood glucose levels get too high and can cause diabetes or prediabetes.

What is prediabetes?

Prediabetes is when the amount of glucose in the blood is above normal yet not high enough to be called diabetes. With prediabetes, the chances of getting type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke are higher. With some weight loss and moderate physical activity, it can be delayed or prevented.

Over time, diabetes can lead to blindness, kidney failure, and nerve damage. These types of damage are the result of damage to small vessels, referred to as microvascular disease. Diabetes is also an important factor in accelerating the hardening and narrowing of the arteries (atherosclerosis), leading to strokes, coronary heart disease, and other large blood vessel diseases. This is referred to as macrovascular disease. Diabetes affects approximately 26 million people in the United States, while another 79 million have prediabetes. An estimated 7 million people in the United States have diabetes and don’t even know it. Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States.

Types of Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes occurs most frequently in children and young adults, although it can occur at any age. Type 1 diabetes accounts for 5-10% of all diabetes in the United States. There does appear to be a genetic component to Type 1 diabetes, but the cause has yet to be identified. In type 1 diabetes, the body no longer makes insulin or enough insulin because the body’s immune system, which normally protects the body from infection by getting rid of bacteria, viruses, and other harmful substances, has attacked and destroyed the cells that make insulin.

Type 2 diabetes is much more common and accounts for 90-95% of all diabetes. Type 2 diabetes primarily affects adults, however recently Type 2 has begun developing in children. There is a strong correlation between Type 2 diabetes, physical inactivity and obesity. Type 2 diabetes usually begins with insulin resistance—a condition that occurs when fat, muscle, and liver cells do not use insulin to carry glucose into the body’s cells to use for energy. As a result, the body needs more insulin to help glucose enter cells. At first, the pancreas keeps up with the added demand by making more insulin. Over time, the pancreas doesn’t make enough insulin when blood sugar levels increase, such as after meals.

Gestational diabetes affects females during pregnancy. Some women have very high levels of glucose in their blood, and their bodies are unable to produce enough insulin to transport all of the glucose into their cells, resulting in progressively rising levels of glucose. Overweight or obese women have a higher chance of gestational diabetes. Also, gaining too much weight during pregnancy may increase the likelihood of developing gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes most often goes away after the baby is born. However, a woman who has had gestational diabetes is more likely to develop type 2 diabetes later in life. Babies born to mothers who had gestational diabetes are also more likely to develop obesity and type 2 diabetes.


Diabetes causes vary depending on your genetic makeup, family history, ethnicity, health and environmental factors. There is no common diabetes cause that fits every type of diabetes.

Type 1

Type 1 diabetes is caused by the immune system destroying the cells in the pancreas that make insulin. This causes diabetes by leaving the body without enough insulin to function normally. This is called an autoimmune reaction, or autoimmune cause, because the body is attacking itself. There is no specific diabetes causes, but the following triggers may be involved:

  • Viral or bacterial infection
  • Chemical toxins within food
  • Unidentified component causing autoimmune reaction

Underlying genetic disposition may also be a type 1 diabetes cause.

Type 2

Type 2 diabetes causes are usually multifactorial – more than one diabetes cause is involved. Often, the most overwhelming factor is a family history of type 2 diabetes. This is the most likely type 2 diabetes cause. There are a variety of risk factors for type 2 diabetes, any or all of which increase the chances of developing the condition. These include:

  • Obesity
  • Living a sedentary lifestyle
  • Increasing age
  • Bad diet

Other type 2 diabetes causes such as pregnancy or illness can be type 2 diabetes risk factors.

Gestational Diabetes

The causes of diabetes in pregnancy also known as gestational diabetes remain unknown. However, there are a number of risk factors that increase the chances of developing this condition –

  • Family history of gestational diabetes
  • Overweight or obese
  • Suffer from polycystic ovary syndrome
  • Have had a large baby weighing over 9lb

Causes of gestational diabetes may also be related to ethnicity – some ethnic groups have a higher risk of gestational diabetes.

Other Causes

  • Pancreatitis or pancreatectomy as a cause of diabetes. Pancreatitis is known to increase the risk of developing diabetes, as is a pancreatectomy.
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). One of the root causes of PCOS is obesity-linked insulin resistance, which may also increase the risk of pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes.
  • Cushing’s syndrome. This syndrome increases production of the cortisol hormone, which serves to increased blood glucose levels. An over-abundance of cortisol can cause diabetes.
  • Patients with glucagonoma may experience diabetes because of a lack of equilibrium between levels of insulin production and glucagon production.
  • Steroid induced diabetes (steroid diabetes) is a rare form of diabetes that occurs due to prolonged use of glucocorticoid therapy.

Medications and Chemical Toxins – Some medications, such as nicotinic acid and certain types of diuretics, anti-seizure drugs, psychiatric drugs, and drugs to treat human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), can impair beta cells or disrupt insulin action. These drugs can increase the risk of pancreatitis, beta cell damage, and diabetes. Also, glucocorticoids—steroid hormones that are chemically similar to naturally produced cortisol—may impair insulin action. Glucocorticoids are used to treat inflammatory illnesses such as rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, lupus, and ulcerative colitis.

Many chemical toxins can damage or destroy beta cells in animals, but only a few have been linked to diabetes in humans. For example, dioxin—a contaminant of the herbicide Agent Orange, used during the Vietnam War—may be linked to the development of type 2 diabetes.


Diabetes often goes undiagnosed because many of its symptoms seem harmless or don’t always appear right away. Recent studies show that early detection of diabetes symptoms and treatment can decrease the chance of developing the complications of diabetes.

Symptoms of diabetes include:

  • Increased thirst
  • Increased hunger
  • Having to urinate more often – especially at night
  • Feeling very tired
  • Weight loss
  • Blurry vision
  • Sores that do not heal
  • Tingling/numbness in the hands and feet

People who are concerned that they might have diabetes should talk to their doctor or health care provider to find out how to get tested for diabetes.

If blood sugar is consistently high, over time it can affect the heart, eyes, kidneys, nerves, and other parts of the body. These problems are called complications. Sometimes people with diabetes don’t realize that they have the disease until they begin to have other health problems. For example, a doctor or health care provider may detect signs of diabetes damage even though the patient does not know that he/she has the disease.

Other Complications

  • Heart Disease – People with diabetes have a higher risk for heart attack and stroke.
  • Eye Complications – People with diabetes have a higher risk of blindness and other vision problems.
  • Kidney Disease – Diabetes can damage the kidneys and may lead to kidney failure.
  • Nerve Damage (neuropathy) – Diabetes can cause damage to the nerves that run through the body.
  • Foot Problems – Nerve damage, infections of the feet, and problems with blood flow to the feet can be caused by diabetes.
  • Skin Complications – Diabetes can cause skin problems, such as infections, sores, and itching. Skin problems are sometimes a first sign that someone has diabetes.
  • Dental Disease – Diabetes can lead to problems with teeth and gums, called gingivitis and periodontitis.
  • Erectile dysfunction– Male impotence.
  • HHNS (Hyperosmolar Hyperglycemic Nonketotic Syndrome)– Blood glucose levels shoot up too high, and there are no ketones present in the blood or urine. It is an emergency condition.


Insulin Shots

  • Insulin shot – The patients use a needle attached to a syringe—a hollow tube with a plunger—that is filled with a dose of insulin. Some people use an insulin pen, a penlike device with a needle and a cartridge of insulin. Never share insulin needles or insulin pens, even with family.
  • Insulin pump – An insulin pump is a small device filled with insulin that you wear on your belt or keep in your pocket. The pump connects to a small, plastic tube and a small needle.
  • Insulin jet injector – This device sends a fine spray of insulin through the skin with high-pressure air instead of a needle.
  • Insulin injection port – The patient or the doctor inserts a small tube just beneath your skin, where it remains in place for several days.


  • Metformin is usually the first treatment offered, however, and it is the most widely used oral antihyperglycemic. Metformin is a sensitizer in the class known as biguanides; it works by reducing the amount of glucose released by the liver into the bloodstream and increasing cellular response to insulin.
  • Sulphonylureas are secretagogues that increase pancreatic insulin secretion. There are several drug names in this class, including – Chlorpropamide, Glimepiride, Glipizide, Glyburide.
  • Glitazones (also known as thiazolidinediones) are sensitizers – they increase the effect of insulin in the muscle and fat and reduce glucose production by the liver.
  • Alpha-glucosidase inhibitors are intestinal enzyme inhibitors that block the breakdown of carbohydrates into glucose, reducing the amount absorbed in the gut.
  • Dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP4) inhibitors include alogliptin, linagliptin, saxagliptin and sitagliptin. Also known as gliptins, DPP4 inhibitors have a number of effects, including stimulating pancreatic insulin (by preventing the breakdown of the hormone GLP-1). They may also help with weight loss through an effect on appetite.
  • Sodium-glucose co-transporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitors include canagliflozin and dapagliflozin. They work by inhibiting the reabsorption of glucose in the kidneys, causing glucose to be excreted in the urine (glycosuria).
  • Meglitinides include repaglinide and nateglinide. They stimulate the release of insulin by the pancreas. Meglitinides are associated with a higher chance of hypoglycemia and must be taken with meals three times a day.

The side effects of above drugs include – flatulence, diarrhea and bloating, urinary infection, nausea and vomiting, weight gain or swelling etc.

Alternative Treatment

Alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) – ALA is a chemical compound that is found in food (especially high in spinach, broccoli, and tomatoes), produced endogenously, and sold as a nutritional supplement. As an antioxidant, ALA may mitigate high levels of oxidative stress, which in patients with diabetes contributes to insulin resistance and secondary complications such as diabetic neuropathy.

Chromium – As an essential mineral, chromium plays an important role in facilitating glucose metabolism.

Coenzyme Q10 – Coenzyme Q10 is a cofactor used in oxidative respiration and is produced endogenously. Supplementation of coenzyme Q10 is especially popular for cardiovascular diseases.

Magnesium – Magnesium is an abundant mineral in the human body involved in numerous biochemical processes, including glucose metabolism.

Omega-3 fatty acid – Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) are one of the most common dietary supplements taken in the United States.3 Major sources of omega-3 PUFAs include fish, marine-derived supplements, and prescription formulations. Based on multiple studies, high omega-3 PUFA intake does not prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes.

Vanadium – Vanadium is a mineral with no known biological importance or deficiency-associated disease. Although three controlled studies of vanadium for type 2 diabetes reported significant decreases in fasting blood glucose levels, small sample sizes and lack of randomization limit these results.

Ginseng –  The panex genus contains multiple species described as ginseng, with two varieties most frequently used and studied: panex ginseng (Asian ginseng, Chinese ginseng, Korean ginseng) and panex quinquefolius (American ginseng). The root of this herb traditionally has been used in Asia and is one of the most popular botanicals in the United States.

Botanical products and Herbs like Allium sativum (garlic), Aloe vera, Coccinia indica (ivy gourd), Gymnema sylvestre (gymnema), Momordica charantia (bitter melon), Opuntia streptacantha (prickly pear cactus, nopal), Trigonella foenum graecum (fenugreek) are very essential for Diabetes.
















February 8, 2017

Cushing syndrome is a rare endocrine disorder caused by the body’s exposure to an excess of the hormone cortisol. Cortisol affects all tissues and organs in the body. These effects together are known as Cushing’s syndrome.

The disorder, which leads to a variety of symptoms and physical abnormalities, is most commonly caused by taking medications containing the hormone over a long period of time. A more rare form of the disorder occurs when the body itself produces an excessive amount of cortisol.

In 1932, a physician named Harvey Cushing described 8 patients with central body obesity, glucose intolerance, hypertension, excess hair growth, osteoporosis, kidney stones, menstrual irregularity, and emotional liability. Hence, the name Cushing’s syndrome.

What leads to Cushing’s Syndrome?

Cortisol is a powerful steroid hormone, and excess cortisol has detrimental effects on many cells throughout the body.  Keep in mind that Cushing’s syndrome is rare, occurring in only about 10 patients per one million. On the other hand, simple obesity can be associated with some of these symptoms in the absence of an adrenal tumor; this is related to the slightly different mechanism by which normally-produced steroids are metabolized by individuals who are obese. Since cortisol production by the adrenal glands is normally under the control of the pituitary, overproduction can be caused by a tumor in the pituitary or within the adrenal glands themselves.

When the adrenal glands develop a tumor, like any other endocrine gland, they usually produce excess amounts of the hormone normally produced by these cells. If the adrenal tumor is composed of cortisol-producing cells, excess cortisol will be produced. Under these conditions, the normal pituitary will sense the excess cortisol and will stop making ACTH in an attempt to slow the adrenal down. In this manner, physicians can readily distinguish whether excess cortisol is the result of a pituitary tumor or an adrenal tumor.

An estimated 10-15 per million people are affected every year.  Pituitary adenomas (Cushing’s disease) account for more than 70 percent of cases in adults and about 60-70 percent of cases in children and adolescents.  Cushing’s syndrome most commonly affects adults ages 20-50 and is more prevalent in females, accounting for about 70 percent of all cases.


Cushing’s syndrome can be caused by overuse of cortisol medication, as seen in the treatment of chronic asthma or rheumatoid arthritis (iatrogenic Cushing’s syndrome), excess production of cortisol from a tumor in the adrenal gland or elsewhere in the body (ectopic Cushing’s syndrome) or a tumor of the pituitary gland secreting adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) which stimulates the over-production of cortisol from the adrenal gland (Cushing’s disease).

Other causes may include –

Pituitary Adenomas – When the cause of excess cortisol is a pituitary adenoma, this is called “Cushing’s disease”. The excess ACTH produced by the pituitary tumor stimulates the adrenal to secrete excess cortisol. Adenomas are benign, or non-cancerous, tumors of the pituitary gland which can secrete increased amounts of ACTH. Women are affected 5 times as often as men.

Adrenal Tumors – Sometimes, an abnormality of the adrenal glands, most often an adrenal tumor, causes Cushing’s syndrome. The average age of onset is about 40 years. Most of these cases involve non-cancerous tumors of adrenal tissue, called adrenal adenomas, which release excess cortisol into the blood.

Ectopic ACTH Syndrome – Some benign or malignant (cancerous) tumors that arise outside the pituitary can produce ACTH, which leads to excess cortisol production by the adrenal glands. This condition is known as ectopic ACTH syndrome. The most common forms of ACTH-producing tumors are carcinoid tumors, which can be benign or malignant and small cell lung cancer, which accounts for about 25 percent of all lung cancer cases.

Adrenocortical carcinomas, or adrenal cancers, are the least common cause of Cushing’s syndrome. Cancer cells can secrete excess levels of several adrenal cortical hormones, including cortisol and adrenal androgens.

Familial Cushing’s Syndrome – Most cases of Cushing’s syndrome are not inherited. Rarely, however, some individuals have special causes of Cushing’s syndrome due to an inherited tendency to develop tumors of one or more endocrine glands. In Primary Pigmented Micronodular Adrenal Disease, children or young adults develop small cortisol-producing tumors of the adrenal glands.


  • Weight gain – particularly around the gut or mid-section
  • “Moon face” – a rounded shape of the face that develops from a specific pattern of fat distribution.
  • Easy bruising – the arms and legs are frequently covered with multiple bruises.
  • “Buffalo hump” – a mound of fat at the base of the back of the neck.
  • Abnormal hair growth – women with Cushing’s syndrome may develop more hair growth on the face or near the belly button.
  • Edema (leg swelling) – due to excess fluid buildup in the lower legs and feet.
  • Stretch marks (purple striae) – most common around the sides and lower abdomen, these may have a pink, red, or purple color.
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Diabetes (high blood sugar levels)
  • Mood changes – many patients feel “hyper”, others may experience sudden emotional ups and downs or be quick to anger.
  • Thinning of the skin – the skin may develop a shiny, paper-thin quality and may rip or tear easily.
  • Ruddy complexion (plethora) – a reddening of the face or cheeks.
  • Muscle weakness – the arms and legs may become skinny like twigs from muscle wasting.
  • Menstrual disturbances – a woman’s period may be irregular or stop altogether.

Patients who have too much cortisol but do not have any clear signs or symptoms of hypercortisolism are said to have “subclinical Cushing’s.”


  • Bone loss (osteoporosis), which can result in unusual bone fractures, such as rib fractures and fractures of the bones in the feet
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Diabetes
  • Frequent or unusual infections
  • Loss of muscle mass and strength


Tumour of the pituitary gland – The tumour is surgically removed. Other options include radiation therapy and drug therapy to shrink the tumour and stop it from producing hormones. Various hormone replacements may be required after pituitary surgery.

Tumour of the adrenal gland – The tumour is surgically removed. Replacement hormone therapy may be necessary for a short while.

ACTHproducing tumours – Treatment includes surgery to remove the tumour, followed possibly by chemotherapy, immunotherapy and radiation therapy. Medication can reduce the ability of the adrenal glands to make cortisol.

MEN1 – Radiation therapy and surgery are used to remove the tumours and associated glands. Ongoing hormone replacement therapy is needed after surgery.

Glucocorticoid hormone therapy – Induced Iatrogenic Cushing’s syndrome – symptoms will gradually resolve if treatment can be reduced or stopped, which depends on the activity of the disorder. Treatment should never be stopped suddenly because of the possibility of adrenal suppression.

Alternative Treatment

Stop exposing the brain and head to strong magnetic or sound vibrations.

DHEA – DHEA may help to protect against the overproduction of cortisol from the adrenal glands and enhance the immune system. This is an important factor since too much cortisol accelerates aging and causes immune system disorders. Studies show that DHEA deficiency may actually debilitate immune status

Vitamin C – Studies show that vitamin C and aspirin can attenuate and influence cortisol, inducing an anti-inflammatory response to prolonged exercise and stress. Vitamin C has been shown to reduce the elevation of cortisol in response to heavy exercise.

Melatonin – Melatonin is secreted by the pineal gland and functions to regulate circadian rhythm and induce sleep. Melatonin circadian secretion in patients with pituitary- or adrenal-dependent Cushing’s syndrome was shown to be significantly lower compared to healthy control groups.

Phosphatidylserine (PS) – Phosphatidylserine is a phospholipid that is a structural component of the biological membranes in animals and plants. In studies, supplemental PS has been shown to improve mood and blunt the release of cortisol in response to physical stress.

Antioxidants – Antioxidants may improve immune functioning. Choosing a wide variety of low-potassium fruits and vegetables may help.

Fiber – A high-fiber diet can help maintain normal blood glucose levels.

Refined starches – Eliminating refined starches, following a consistent carbohydrate diet, and eating five or six small meals a day may help decrease carbohydrate cravings that typically occur with Cushing’s syndrome.

Dandelion – Helps normalize adrenal function. It is also an excellent tonic for the liver and kidneys. Dandelion reduces inflammation in the body and also contains vitamins and minerals necessary for hair growth.


Reference –
















February 8, 2017

Adrenal insufficiency, also known as Addison’s disease, is a rare endocrine, or hormonal disorder that affects 1 in 10,000 people. It occurs in all age groups and afflicts men and women equally.  It occurs when the adrenal glands do not produce enough of the hormone cortisol and in some cases, the hormone aldosterone. Hence, the disease is sometimes called chronic adrenal insufficiency, or hypocortisolism.

What are Adrenal Glands?

The adrenal glands are located at the top of the kidneys, one on each side of the body. It produces the steroid hormones that are essential for life; cortisol and aldosterone. Cortisol mobilizes nutrients, enables the body to fight inflammation, stimulates the liver to produce blood sugar and also helps control the amount of water in the body. Aldosterone regulates salt and water levels which affect blood volume and blood pressure. The adrenal glands also produce sex hormones known as adrenal androgens; the most important of these is a hormone called DHEA.

Adrenal Insufficiency is caused by failure of the adrenal glands to produce sufficient or any amount of cortisol and aldosterone. Prolonged lack of cortisol leads to severe fatigue, chronic exhaustion, depression, loss of appetite and weight loss. Lack of aldosterone leads to a drop in blood pressure. Loss of DHEA production by the adrenals results in loss of hair in pubic and underarm areas and also potentially reduced sex drive and low energy levels in women affected by adrenal insufficiency. A specific dark pigmentation of the skin is also sometimes observed, particularly in areas where the clothes rub against the skin and in areas exposed to increased xrddi98ck8riction, such as the creases of the hands.de

Cortisol is important for life and its production by the adrenal glands is especial\lly important at times when the body experiences intense ‘stress’, such as surgery, trauma or serious infection. If the adrenal glands cannot produce enough cortisol, the body might not be able to cope with this kind of major stress, which can be life-threatening.

Types of Adrenal Insufficiency

  • Primary insufficiency (Addison’s disease) – There is an inability of the adrenal glands to produce enough steroid hormones. The most common cause for this in the developed world is autoimmune disease.
  • Secondary insufficiency – there is inadequate pituitary or hypothalamic stimulation of the adrenal glands.


Adrenal Insufficiency is most often caused by autoimmune disease where the body’s immune system mounts an attack against its own adrenal cells. However, it can also be caused by infection, most importantly by tuberculosis. Sometimes both adrenal glands are surgically removed for various reasons; this is called a bilateral adrenalectomy and is another cause of primary adrenal insufficiency.

  • Autoimmune Factor – Up to 80 percent of Adrenal insufficiency cases are caused by an autoimmune disorder, which is when the body’s immune system attacks the body’s own cells and organs. In autoimmune Addison’s, which mainly occurs in middle-aged females, the immune system gradually destroys the adrenal cortex—the outer layer of the adrenal glands.
  • Genetic Factor – The inborn causes of adrenal insufficiency which are caused by spelling errors in the genetic code. This includes the disruption of hormone production in the adrenals by different variants of congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH). In CAH, there is a spelling error in the gene responsible for the production of the protein that helps to generate cortisol in the adrenal; as a result cortisol and often also aldosterone levels are low. Another inborn cause of adrenal insufficiency is a condition called X-linked adrenoleukodystophy (ALD) or adrenomyeloneuropathy (AMN) that affects boys and men and can cause both adrenal insufficiency and neurological symptoms.
  • Infections – Tuberculosis (TB), an infection that can destroy the adrenal glands, accounts for 10 to 15 percent of adrenal insufficiency cases in developed countries. When primary adrenal insufficiency was first identified by Dr. Thomas Addison in 1849, TB was the most common cause of the disease.
  • Other Causes – Less common causes of Addison’s disease are
    • Cancer cells in the adrenal glands
    • Amyloidosis, a serious, though rare, group of diseases that occurs when abnormal proteins, called amyloids, build up in the blood and are deposited in tissues and organs
    • Surgical removal of the adrenal glands
    • Bleeding into the adrenal glands
    • Medication-related causes, such as from anti-fungal medications and the anesthetic etomidate, which may be used when a person undergoes an emergency intubation—the placement of a flexible, plastic tube through the mouth and into the trachea, or windpipe, to assist with breathing.

Pituitary Gland and Adrenal Insufficiency – Another important cause of adrenal insufficiency is disease affecting the pituitary gland, an endocrine gland located behind the nose at the bottom of the brain.

Environmental Factors

  • Nutritional Deficiencies are a common cause. The need for nutrients is much greater during Adrenal insufficiency. Carbohydrates, when excessive in the diet, stress the adrenals. Diets low in protein may also create deficiencies. Inadequate or poor quality water affects oxygenation of the tissues. Most diets are low in nutrients required by the adrenals. These include B-complex vitamins, vitamins A, C and E, manganese, zinc, chromium, selenium and other trace elements. The reasons for this begin with how food is grown. Most food is grown on depleted soils. Processing and refining further deplete nutrients. Habits such as eating in the car or while on the run further diminish the value derived from food. Also, allergic reactions to foods such as wheat and dairy products can damage the intestines and reduce the absorption of nutrients.
  • Toxic metals and chemicals often play a large role in adrenal burnout. Everyone is exposed to thousands of chemicals in the air, the water and the food. Other sources are dental materials and skin contact with chemicals. Over-the-counter and prescribed medications add to the body’s toxic load. Most people do not realize that antibiotics and many other drugs accumulate to some extent in the liver and other organs. Toxins may also be generated within the body due to impaired digestion. When food is not properly digested, it either ferments or rots in the intestines, producing many harmful substances that are absorbed into the body. A healthy body has the ability to eliminate many toxins on a daily basis. However, as adrenal weakness develops the body’s ability to eliminate all toxins decreases. This produces a vicious cycle in which weaker adrenals impairs the elimination of all poisons, which then further weakens the adrenals.
  • Stimulants damage the adrenal glands. They whip the adrenals. Caffeine, sugar and alcohol are among the most common stimulants.


The most common symptoms of adrenal insufficiency are

  • Chronic, or long lasting, fatigue
  • Muscle weakness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Abdominal pain

Other symptoms of adrenal insufficiency can include

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Low blood pressure that drops further when a person stands up, causing dizziness or fainting
  • Irritability and depression
  • Craving salty foods
  • Hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar
  • Headache
  • Sweating
  • Irregular or absent menstrual periods
  • In women, loss of interest in sex
  • Hyperpigmentation, or darkening of the skin

Adrenal Crisis

Sudden, severe worsening of adrenal insufficiency symptoms is called adrenal crisis. If the person has adrenal insufficiency. In most cases, symptoms of adrenal insufficiency become serious enough that people seek medical treatment before an adrenal crisis occurs. However, sometimes symptoms appear for the first time during an adrenal crisis. Symptoms of adrenal crisis include –

  • Sudden, severe pain in the lower back, abdomen, or legs
  • Severe vomiting and diarrhea
  • Dehydration
  • Low blood pressure
  • Loss of consciousness

If not treated, an adrenal crisis can cause death.


Conventional –

  • Adrenal insufficiency is treated by replacing, or substituting, the hormones that the adrenal glands are not making. The dose of each medication is adjusted to meet the needs of the patient.
  • Cortisol is replaced with a corticosteroid, such as hydrocortisone, prednisone, or dexamethasone, taken orally one to three times each day, depending on which medication is chosen.
  • If aldosterone is also deficient, it is replaced with oral doses of a mineralocorticoid hormone, called fludrocortisone acetate (Florinef).
  • Standard therapy involves immediate IV injections of corticosteroids and large volumes of IV saline solution with dextrose, a type of sugar, in cases of adrenal crisis that involves – low blood pressure, low blood glucose, low blood sodium, and high blood levels of potassium can be life threatening.
  • Replacement therapy for DHEA in adolescent girls who have secondary adrenal insufficiency and low levels of DHEA can improve pubic hair development and psychological stress.

Alternative Treatment

  • Vitamins & Minerals – There are a number of vitamins and minerals that Adrenal insufficiency sufferers tend to be lacking. There are other valuable supplements (vitamin D, vitamin E and others) but I will keep this section as simple as possible. It is important to note that not all of these will be appropriate for each individual.
  • Vitamin B12, B6 and B5 – These important B vitamins play an important role in cell metabolism. Improving your metabolic pathways boosts your energy levels and is a great way to reduce the fatigue often felt during AI. B5 helps to produce co-enzyme A, which contributes to cellular respiration and the breakdown of fats, proteins and carbohydrates. B6 acts in several of the pathways that are used to create adrenal hormones. And B12 helps with energy production, cell repair and the maintenance of our red blood cells.
  • Vitamin C – This powerful antioxidant vitamin is directly involved in the production of cortisol in your adrenals. So besides the other health benefits it carries (boosting your immune system, protecting from free radicals), vitamin C is also an essential building block for the recovery of your adrenal glands.
  • Magnesium – Studies suggest that 75% of Americans are deficient in magnesium. In very simple terms, magnesium helps to maintain energy flow, so you can see that deficiency might be a problem.
  • Probiotic – By improving the digestion, probiotics enable the body to extract more of the nutrients present in the foods that is eaten. This allows the body to get more of the essential vitamins and minerals that are needed to maintain the energy levels and produce the hormones that aree needed. Additionally, they support the immune system and prevent regular illness from weakening our adrenals further.
  • Licorice Root – This is an herb that has long been used to stimulate hormone production, maintain energy levels and increase endurance. It is a great choice for many individuals with AI, as it helps the cortisol to circulate for longer, but there is one significant drawback.
  • Maca Root – Research has shown maca to have beneficial effects on cortisol regulation and blood sugar. It also allows for more efficient uptake of hormones into the cells, increasing their effectiveness. If somone suffers from Adrenal Insufficiency and have low hormone levels, maca helps the body to make the most of those low hormone levels.
  • Omega 3 – Most of the people are deficient in Omega-3 fatty acids, although the body tends to have an adequate supply of Omega-6. This imbalance can lead to increased inflammation, which requires an increase in cortisol production to manage. Taking a good Omega-3 supplement can reduce inflammation throughout the body and relieve the workload placed on your adrenals.
  • Acetyl–L–Carnitine – This supplement is particularly useful for boosting metabolism and increasing energy levels. Acetyl-L-Carnitine increases the production of certain neurotransmitters in which people are often deficient, and it helps to move fatty acids into the mitochondria where the body needs them to produce energy.
  • CoQ10 – The body produces CoQ10 and uses it to produce energy for growing and maintaining the cells. Some find that it increases endurance and improves recovery time after exercise. Good food sources include beef, sardines and various organ meats, but if you are not getting enough from food then supplementation might be an excellent choice.
  • DRibrose – This supplement is another way to sustain higher energy levels throughout the day without placing any stress on your adrenal glands. D-Ribose is actually a form of sugar, but it won’t spike the blood sugar like glucose or other sweeteners. Instead, it goes directly to forming ATP, the molecule that facilitates the transfer of energy between the cells. Tissues in the heart and muscles respond particularly well to D-Ribose supplementation, and many AI sufferers find it gives a useful boost to their energy levels.
  • Ashwagandha – Known as an adaptogenic herb, ashwagandha regulates various systems in the body. If cortisol is too high, it acts to lower it, And if cortisol is too low, it acts to raise it.


Reference –



















February 8, 2017

UC is a chronic inflammatory condition of the colon (large intestine) that often occurs in teenagers and young adults, but also can occur in older individuals. The symptoms can include abdominal pain, bowel urgency, diarrhea, and blood in the stool. The inflammation begins in the rectum and extends up the colon in a continuous manner. While there is currently no known cure, there are many effective therapies to keep the inflammation under control.

Ulcerative Colitis is a chronic condition. This means that it is ongoing and life-long, although you may have periods of good health (remission), as well as times when symptoms are more active (relapses or flare-ups). UC is a chronic inflammatory disease of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, called inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Crohn’s disease and microscopic colitis are the other common IBDs. Read more in Crohn’s Disease and Microscopic Colitis: Collagenous Colitis and Lymphocytic Colitis.

Understanding the Large Intestine

The large intestine is part of the GI tract, a series of hollow organs joined in a long, twisting tube from the mouth to the anus—an opening through which stool leaves the body. The last part of the GI tract, called the lower GI tract, consists of the large intestine—which includes the appendix, cecum, colon, and rectum—and anus. The intestines are sometimes called the bowel.

The large intestine is about 5 feet long in adults and absorbs water and any remaining nutrients from partially digested food passed from the small intestine. The large intestine changes waste from liquid to a solid matter called stool. Stool passes from the colon to the rectum. The rectum is located between the lower, or sigmoid, colon and the anus. The rectum stores stool prior to a bowel movement, when stool moves from the rectum to the anus and out of a person’s body.

Ulcerative colitis (UC) is an idiopathic inflammatory bowel disease that occurs more often in industrialized countries. This disease affects both men and women similarly. The disease may be acute and chronic with unpredictable relapses and remissions. Major advances have been made in many aspects of inflammatory bowel disease, including new information on the molecular basis of the disease, epidemiological considerations, immunology and genetics. The clinical and scientific understanding of ulcerative colitis has been greatly expanded far beyond our earlier knowledge.

Types of Ulcerative Colitis

There are several subtypes of ulcerative colitis that are named according to the part of the large intestine affected –

  • Ulcerative proctitis, which affects only the rectum
  • Proctosigmoiditis, which affects the rectum and lower segment of the colon, or the sigmoid colon
  • Left-sided colitis, which affects the rectum, sigmoid colon, and descending colon up to where there is a sharp bend in the colon near the spleen
  • Pan-ulcerative or total colitis, which affects the entire large intestine

Who is at risk?

Ulcerative colitis can occur in people of any age. However, it is more likely to develop in people –

  • Between the ages of 15 and 304
  • Older than 601
  • Who have a family member with IBD
  • Of Jewish descent
  • Males and females appear to be affected equally.
  • Men are more likely than women to be diagnosed with ulcerative colitis in their 50s and 60s


  • Overactive intestinal immune system – Scientists believe one cause of ulcerative colitis may be an abnormal immune reaction in the intestine. Normally, the immune system protects the body from infection by identifying and destroying bacteria, viruses, and other potentially harmful foreign substances. Researchers believe bacteria or viruses can mistakenly trigger the immune system to attack the inner lining of the large intestine. This immune system response causes the inflammation, leading to symptoms.
  • Genetic Factor – Ulcerative colitis sometimes runs in families. Research studies have shown that certain abnormal genes may appear in people with ulcerative colitis. However, researchers have not been able to show a clear link between the abnormal genes and ulcerative colitis.
  • Environmental Factor – Some studies suggest that certain things in the environment may increase the chance of a person getting ulcerative colitis, although the overall chance is low. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs,1 antibiotics,1 and oral contraceptives may slightly increase the chance of developing ulcerative colitis. A high-fat diet may also slightly increase the chance of getting ulcerative colitis.

Some people believe eating certain foods, stress, or emotional distress can cause ulcerative colitis. Emotional distress does not seem to cause ulcerative colitis. A few studies suggest that stress may increase a person’s chance of having a flare-up of ulcerative colitis. Also, some people may find that certain foods can trigger or worsen symptoms.


The most common symptoms of ulcerative colitis are episodes of bloody diarrhoea and pain in the lower abdomen. There may also be a sensation of urgent need to pass a bowel motion.  The bowel motions may be explosive and may contain mucous or pus.

Other symptoms that may be experienced include –

  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • A general feeling of ill health
  • Weight loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Bloating of the abdomen

Symptoms vary in frequency and severity. Approximately half of all sufferers will experience only mild symptoms. However for others, symptoms will be more severe. The severity of the symptoms tends to be related to how much of the colon is affected.

Ulcerative colitis is characterised by episodes where symptoms are problematic (“flare-ups”) and episodes where symptoms are absent (remissions).

Ulcerative colitis patients may experience signs or symptoms outside the colon, such as ulcers in the mouth, inflammation of the iris (eye), arthritis, skin lesions, blood clots and anaemia.

There is an increased risk of bowel / colorectal cancer in patients who have had extensive ulcerative colitis for a number of years.


There are some complications related to ulcerative colitis. Possible complications include –

  • Severe bleeding
  • Dehydration
  • Perforated colon (a hole in the colon)
  • Kidney stones
  • Osteoporosis (loss of bone strength)
  • Toxic megacolon (severe abdominal swelling accompanied by a fever, rare)
  • Liver disease (rare)


Treatment for ulcerative colitis aims to prevent complications of the condition by reducing inflammation and maintaining periods of remission.

The type of treatment recommended will depend on the extent and severity of the condition. A person’s age, general health, lifestyle and personal choice will also be taken into account.

Stress reduction – While stress does not cause ulcerative colitis, it can worsen symptoms in some people. Developing techniques to reduce stress can be helpful in managing the condition.


  • Corticosteroids (such as prednisone and budesonide) also reduce inflammation by controlling the body’s immune system response. Steroid medications are effective for short-term control of a flare-up, however they are not recommended for long-term use because of their significant side-effects.
  • Immunosuppressants (such as 6-MP and azathioprine) may be recommended if your condition does not respond to other treatments. These medications suppress (reduce) the activity of the body’s immune system to control inflammation, however, they also weaken the body’s ability to fight infection.
  • Biologics (such as infliximab, adalimumab and Golimumab) are powerful medications used for people with moderate-to-severe ulcerative colitis when other treatments have been unsuccessful.

Surgery – About 10 to 15% of people with ulcerative colitis may eventually need surgery to treat their condition, if medical therapy is not successful or complications arise. Ulcerative colitis surgery usually involves removing the entire colon and rectum (proctocolectomy).

Alternative Treatment


Vitamin B-12 is absorbed in the lower section of the small intestine (ileum). People who have ileitis or those who have undergone small bowel surgery may have vitamin B-12 deficiency. If diet and oral vitamin supplements don’t correct this deficiency, a monthly intramuscular injection of vitamin B-12 or once weekly nasal spray may be required. Folic acid (another B vitamin) deficiency may occur in IBD patients who take the drug sulfasalazine or methotrexate.

Vitamin D deficiency is common in people with UC. Vitamin D is essential for good bone formation and for the metabolism of calcium. A vitamin D supplement of 800 IU per day is recommended, particularly for those with active bowel symptoms. A vitamin D deficiency can lead to a calcium deficiency, which can also occur in people with UC in the small intestine or who have had a section of the intestine surgically removed.

Iron deficiency (anemia), which results from blood loss following inflammation and ulceration of the intestines, can occur in people in people with ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s (granulomatous) colitis. Anemia is treated with oral iron tablets or liquid, usually taken one to three times a day or intravenous infusions of iron taken weekly for eight weeks.

Calcium is also needed for strong bones. Calcium at certain doses may interfere with some medications.

Probiotics – Several studies indicate that taking probiotics, or “good” bacteria, can help reduce symptoms. One study found that giving Lactobaccillus, Bifidobacteria, and a nondisease causing type of Streptococcus to people with chronic pouchitis helped prevent the condition. Sacchromyces boulardi may also help improve the overall health of the intestine.

Folic acid – Many people who have ulcerative colitis have low levels of folic acid in their blood. In addition, some medications, such as sulfasalzine, may cause levels of folic acid in the body to drop. People with ulcerative colitis also have a higher risk of developing colon cancer, but some studies have found that taking folic acid can reduce that risk. Folic acid can mask a vitamin B12 deficiency.

Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil – At least one study has found that, compared to placebo, fish oil supplements containing omega-3 fatty acids may reduce symptoms and prevent recurrence of ulcerative colitis.

N-acetyl glucosamine – Studies suggests that N-acetyl glucosamine supplements or enemas may improve symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease. More studies are needed to know whether glucosamine would have any effect on ulcerative colitis.

Aloe vera is widely used topically for wound healing and pain relief. It is also thought to have anti-inflammatory properties.

Psyllium seeds – Psyllium is a type of insoluble fiber, and may be irritating to some people, especially during flares.

Boswellia – Boswellia has anti-inflammatory properties. One small study suggests that people who took boswellia had similar improvement as people who took the prescription drug sulfasalazine.

Curcumin or turmeric – Turmeric shows anti-inflammatory properties in test tubes. One small study found that people with inflammatory bowel disease who took curcumin reduce their symptoms and their need for medication.

Licorice root is a demulcent (it coats mucous membranes to relieve irritation) and an expectorant (it helps bring up mucus) that has been used for thousands of years to treat many conditions.

Butyrate is a fatty acid that is actually produced as a byproduct in our intestines. Butyrate enemas have been studied as a treatment for left-sided (or distal) ulcerative colitis.

Biofield therapies affect energy fields that allegedly surround and penetrate the body. These energy fields have not yet been scientifically measured. Biofield therapies involve the application of pressure or the placement of hands in or through these energy fields. Examples include Reiki, qi gong, and therapeutic touch.

Bioelectromagnetic-based therapies utilize electromagnetic fields for the purposes of healing. Examples include magnetic therapy, sound energy therapy, and light therapy.

Manipulative and body-based practices involve manipulation or movement of one or more parts of the body as a means of achieving health and healing. Examples include chiropractic and osteopathic manipulation, massage, reflexology, Rolfing, Alexander technique, craniosacral therapy, and Trager bodywork.


Reference –










Posted in IMMUNITY
February 8, 2017

Transverse myelitis is a rare disease of the central nervous system involving inflammation in the spinal cord. Transverse’ refers to the inflammation being across the width of the spinal cord and ‘myelitis’ refers to the specific part of the spinal cord affected.

What is Spinal Cord? The spinal cord carries messages (nerve impulses) from the brain to the body and from the body to the brain. It is made up of different types of cells. The cells responsible for transmitting messages are called neurons. Neurons have long extensions called axons which carry the messages up and down the spinal cord. Axons are arranged in bundles called tracts. Some of the tracts carry motor function messages which stimulate muscles to produce movement and some of them carry sensory messages which control sensations such as touch, pain and temperature. To increase the speed at which the messages travel, most axons are surrounded by a whitish fatty substance called myelin which forms a protective covering (sheath) around them. Myelin is produced by specialised cells called oligodendrocytes.

Transverse myelitis is a disease causing injury to the spinal cord with varying degrees of weakness, sensory alterations, and autonomic dysfunction (the part of the nervous system that controls involuntary activity, such as the heart, breathing, the digestive system, and reflexes). The inflammation causes swelling which can block messages (nerve impulses) travelling along the spinal cord. The inflammation can also damage or destroy the myelin sheath surrounding the axons in the spinal cord, probably by damaging the specialised cells which produce myelin (the oligodendrocytes). Messages (nerve impulses) cannot be transmitted properly as myelin is stripped off the axons causing scarring.

The inflammation most commonly occurs in the thoracic section of the spinal cord (the middle section below the neck and above the stomach). The damage affects this area but it can also affect the areas of the spinal cord below the thoracic section: the lumbar section (lower back) and the sacrum (between the hips). Most people with transverse myelitis experience weakness and a change in sensation (unusual feelings) in the lower half of the body and have problems with their bowel and bladder.

Transverse myelitis may be caused by viral infections, spinal cord injuries, immune disorders (including systemic lupus erythematosus, Sjogren’s syndrome, sarcoidosis and multiple sclerosis) or insufficient blood flow through the blood vessels in the spinal cord. It may occur as a complication of such disorders as optic neuromyelitis, multiple sclerosis, smallpox, and measles, or as a complication of chickenpox or rabies vaccinations. Transverse myelitis may be caused by viral infections, spinal cord injuries, immune disorders (including systemic lupus erythematosus, Sjogren’s syndrome, sarcoidosis and multiple sclerosis) or insufficient blood flow through the blood vessels in the spinal cord. It may occur as a complication of such disorders as optic neuromyelitis, multiple sclerosis, smallpox, and measles, or as a complication of chickenpox or rabies vaccinations.

Who gets TM?

Transverse myelitis occurs in adults and children, in both genders, and in all races. Females have a higher risk of transverse myelitis than males. No genetic pattern is known. Transverse myelitis is not related to family history. A peak in incidence rates (the number of new cases per year) appears to occur between\ ages 10 and 19 years and 30 and 39 years. Although only a few studies have examined incidence rates, it is estimated that about 1,400 new cases of transverse myelitis are diagnosed each year in the United States, and approximately 33,000 Americans have some type of disability resulting from the disorder.


Immune System – Although a cause cannot be established in cases of idiopathic transverse myelitis, the inflammation is thought to be the result of the immune system mistakenly attacking the spinal cord. This is called an autoimmune reaction.

Virus and Infection – Transverse myelitis often develops at the same time as, or soon after, a viral or bacterial infection. The cases of transverse myelitis are also believed to be the result of an autoimmune reaction. Rather than the viral or bacterial infection itself directly causing the inflammation, it is thought that the immune system is stimulated to fight the infection and, mistakenly, also attacks the spinal cord. Viruses that can infect the spinal cord directly are herpes viruses, including the one that causes shingles and chickenpox (zoster) and West Nile virus. Other viruses may trigger an autoimmune reaction without directly infecting the spinal cord.

Vaccinations – Transverse myelitis can also develop after vaccinations, although this is very rare. Again, it is thought that the immune system is triggered to respond to the vaccination and mistakenly attacks the spinal cord.

Multiple sclerosis is a disorder in which the immune system destroys myelin surrounding nerves in the spinal cord and brain. Transverse myelitis can be the first sign of multiple sclerosis or represent a relapse. Transverse myelitis as a sign of multiple sclerosis usually manifests on only one side of your body.

Neuromyelitis optica (Devic’s disease) is a condition that causes inflammation and loss of myelin around the spinal cord and the nerve in the eye that transmits information to thebrain. Transverse myelitis associated with neuromyelitis optica usually affects both sides of the body.

Because some affected individuals also have autoimmune diseases such as systemic lupus erythematosus, Sjogren’s syndrome, and sarcoidosis, some scientists suggest that transverse myelitis may also be an autoimmune disorder. In addition, some cancers may trigger an abnormal immune response that may lead to transverse myelitis.


There are four classic symptoms of transverse myelitis (TM). Patients may have only one symptom, or a combination of the following –

  • Weakness of the legs and/or arms – Some patients report stumbling, dragging one foot or notice that both legs seem heavier than normal. Depending on the level of involvement within the spinal cord, coordination or strength in the hands and arms may also be affected.
  • Sensory alteration – Patients who are experiencing altered sensitivity usually report numbness, tingling, coldness or burning. Up to 80% of patients experience heightened sensitivity to touch. Some even report that wearing clothes or a light touch with a finger causes significant pain.
  • Pain – Up to half of those with TM report pain as the first symptom of the disorder. It can be localized to the back, or appear as sharp, shooting pain that radiates down the legs, arms or around the torso. Loss of the ability to experience pain or temperature sensitivity is one of the most common sensory changes.
  • Bowel and bladder dysfunction – Some patients report bowel or bladder dysfunction as their first symptom of TM. This may mean an increased frequency or urge to urinate or defecate, incontinence, difficulty voiding, and sensation of incomplete evacuation or constipation.


  • Intravenous Steroids – Although there are no clinical trials that support a unique approach to treat patients experiencing TM, it is well recognized as a standard of care that patients suspected to have acute myelitis receive high-dose intravenous methyl-prednisolone for 3-5 days, unless there are compelling reasons not to. The decision to offer continued steroids or add a new treatment is often based on the clinical course and MRI appearance at the end of 5 days of steroids.
  • Plasma Exchange (PLEX) This is often used for those patients with moderate to aggressive forms of TM who don’t show much improvement after being treated with intravenous and oral steroids. Again, there has not been a clinical trial that proves PLEX effectiveness in TM but retrospective studies of patients with TM treated with IV steroids followed by PLEX showed a beneficial outcome. PLEX also has been shown to be effective in some patients with other autoimmune or inflammatory central nervous system disorders. Patients particularly benefit from early treatment, and will typically be started on PLEX within days of starting steroids. Particular benefit has been shown if started within the acute or subacute stage of the myelitis or in those patients who exhibit active inflammation on MRI. However, because of the risks implied by this procedure this intervention is determined by the treating physician on a case-by-case basis.
  • Antiviral medication – Some people who have a viral infection of the spinal cord may be treated with antiviral medication.
  • Pain medication – Chronic pain is a common complication of transverse myelitis. Medications that may lessen muscle pain include common pain relievers, including acetaminophen (Tylenol, others), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) and naproxen sodium (Aleve).
  • Cyclophosphamide – It is a chemotherapy drug that is often used to treat lymphomas or leukemia, is sometimes used. Patients receiving this treatment are carefully monitored for potential complications that may arise from immunosuppression.

Alternative Treatment



Posted in IMMUNITY
February 8, 2017

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic inflammatory disorder of the central nervous system (CNS). CNS is made up of brain, spinal cord and optic nerves.

Multiple Sclerosis is caused by a disturbance of immune function. Generally, the antibodies produced by the immune system help protect the body against invaders of the human body (viruses, bacteria etc). In this condition, the disturbance allows cells of the immune system to attack myelin, the insulating sheath surrounding the nerve fibers (axons) located in the CNS which helps messages (electrical impulses) travel quickly and smoothly between the brain and the rest of the body. When the myelin is damaged, electrical impulses cannot travel quickly along the never fiber pathways in the brain and spinal cord. The loss of myelin is called demyelination. The disruption caused to electrical conductivity results in fatigue and disturbances of vision, strength, co-ordination, balance, sensation and bladder & bowel functions.

The situation produced my demyelination can be better understood by taking an example of an electrical lamp. When the insulating surface, surrounding an electric lamp cord, is disrupted by cracks or tears on it, the lamp will short circuit and the light bulb will flicker or no longer illuminate. Similarly, loss of myelin sheath surrounding the nerve fibers results in short circuits in nerves traversing the brain and spinal cord, hence resulting in the symptoms of MS. As oppose to a single wire pathway in a lamp cord, there are numerous nerve pathways in the brain and the spinal cord .i.e. CNS. The damage to myelin – resulting in dense, scar like tissue, occur in many places throughout CNS, hence the name ‘Multiple Sclerosis’ or many scars.

There are 4 types of MS. Their names are according to the way the disease acts on the body over time. They are:

  • Relapsing Remitting MS (RRMS) – It is the most common disease course, characterized by clearly defined attacks of worsening neurological function. People with RRMS have temporary periods called relapses, flare-ups or exacerbations- are followed by partial or complete recovery periods (remissions), during which symptoms improve partially or completely and there is no apparent progression of disease. About 85% of people with MS are initially diagnosed with RRMS.
  • Secondary Progressive MS (SPMS) – SPMS follows after the relapsing-remitting course. In SPMS, symptoms worsen steadily over time, with or without the occurrence of relapses or remissions. Most people who are initially diagnosed with RRMS will eventually transition to SPMS.
  • Primary Progressive MS (PPMS) – This type of MS is not very common. It is characterized by slowly worsening the symptoms from the beginning with no relapses or remissions. About 10 percent of people with MS are diagnosed with PPMS.
  • Progressive Relapsing MS (PRMS) – It is the least common of the four disease course and is characterized by steadily progressing disease from the beginning and occasional exacerbations along the way. People with this form of MS may or may not experience some recovery following these attacks; the disease continues to progress without remissions. About 5% of people with MS are diagnosed with PRMS.


Multiple Sclerosis is most commonly diagnosed between 20 to 50 years of age, although onset may be earlier. While anyone can get MS, it is 2 to 3 times more common in women than in men. In the US, approximately 10,000 to 15,000 new cases of MS are diagnosed every year. Around 2.5 million people have been diagnosed with MS, worldwide.

Although the exact cause of MS may remain unknown, but studies suggest that a combination of several factors may be involved.

  • Environmental & Immunological Factor

The environmental theory proposes that an environmental factor triggers the immune system to cause the symptoms of MS. Studies have explored the possibility that exposure to viral or bacterial infections, environmental toxins, duration of sunlight, changes in temperature and humidity, or diet might in some way produce or aggravate MS.

The immune system appears to go out of control and attack the myelin sheath. Mainstream medicine usually sees this as an immune system malfunction, but actually the immune system is working just fine. The immune system’s job is to distinguish self – that which belongs in the human body – from non-self; the immune system then does its best to destroy that which is non-self and doesn’t belong and can cause harm.

The problem occurs when the body’s own cells combine with something else, forming a self/non-self hybrid that the immune system goes after. If these outside toxins combine with nerve cells and the immune system attacks the damaged cells, lesions or damage occur on the myelin and MS symptoms can result.

  • Exposure to Heavy Metals – One of the biggest culprits is the toxic metal mercury, which is especially attracted to the brain and to nerve cells. Its greatest source is usually right in your own mouth, in the form of those silver to black metal fillings. Studies suggest that dental workers have a much higher incidence of MS than the general population due to their greater mercury exposure.
  • Harmful Chemicals – Chemicals present in pesticides and solvents are oil-soluble, and the myelin sheath is mostly fat and hence these chemicals are attracted to it. These chemicals combine with the myelin, causing the kind of immune system attack as described earlier.
  • Dental Cause – Mercury poisoning is not the only problem that can be caused by metal fillings. Metal in the mouth can cause the Battery Effect, in which a mixture of metals combined with saliva can put out measurable electrical charges. Since the nervous system is electrical, these opposing, random charges can stimulate and disrupt nervous system signals. Fluoride found in most water supplies and added deliberately for the unproven purpose of preventing cavities, is a nerve poison. It is best to drink filtered water and to not use fluoride toothpaste, supplements, or dental treatments.
  • Viral and Other Infectious Agents – Research and studies show that common virus or other infectious agent may play a role in the cause of MS. Environmental studies suggest that some factor – probably infectious – must be encountered before the age of 15 in order for MS to develop later in life. Several viruses and bacteria, including Epstein-Barr, Chlamydia, pneumonia, measles, canine distemper, and human herpes virus-6 have been or are being studied to determine if they may trigger MS.
  • Vitamin D Deficiency – Vitamin D plays a role in the body’s immune and nervous systems and how they work. Studies suggest that children who are exposed to s of sun are less likely to develop MS than someone who grows up in a place where there is little sun.
  • Mycotoxins – Patients with autoimmune disease are actually living or working in environments that have toxic mold. Toxic molds produce mycotoxins, which are volatile organic compounds (VOC), which can be toxic to genetically susceptible people.
  • Leaky Gut – In order to absorb nutrients, the gut is somewhat permeable to very small molecules. Many things including, gluten, infections, medications and stress can damage the gut, allowing toxins, microbes and undigested food particles – among other things – directly into your bloodstream. Leaky gut is the gateway for these infections, toxins and foods like gluten to begin to cause systemic inflammation that leads to autoimmunity.
  • Gluten – Gluten is a huge problem for most people these days because we hybridized it, modified it and it’s in everything. The most severe of all is that, it can wreak havoc on the gut and set the body up for a leaky gut. Once the gut is leaky, gluten can get into the bloodstream and confuse the body’s immune system. When the proteins in the consumed food resemble the proteins that make up myelin, the immune system can get confused and accidentally attack the myelin coating your nerves. This process is called molecular mimicry and can occur with inflammatory foods like gluten and dairy.
  • Genetic Factors

Though MS is not hereditary, having a first degree relative i.e. parent or sibling with MS condition may significantly increase an individual’s chances of developing MS. Studies suggest that there is a higher prevalence of certain genes in populations with higher rates of MS. Similar genetic factors have been found in some families where there is more than one patient with MS.

The most significant genetic link to MS has been identified in the major histocompatability complex (MHC), a cluster of genes on chromosome 6 that are essential for immune system function. Rare MS cases may be due to variations in interleukin-7 (IL-7) and interleukin-2 (IL-2) gene receptors, which are also related to immune system regulation.


The symptoms of multiple sclerosis depend largely on which particular nerve fiber pathway is involved in the CNS. Tingling, numbness, sensations of tightness, or weakness may result when loss of myelin occurs in the spinal cord. If the nerve fibers to the bladder are affected, urinary incontinence may follow. If the cerebellum of the brain is affected, imbalance or incoordination may result. Since the plaques of MS can arise in any location of the CNS, it is easy to understand why no two MS patients have exactly the same symptoms.

The symptoms are divided into 3 following parts:

  1. More Common Symptoms
    • Fatigue
    • Numbness or Tingling
    • Weakness
    • Dizziness & Vertigo
    • Walking Difficulties
    • Spasticity – Refers to feelings of stiffness and a wide range of involuntary muscle spasms; can occur in any limb, but it is much more common in the legs.
    • Vision Problems
    • Bladder & Bowel Problems
    • Cognitive Changes – Refers to a range of high-level brain functions affected in 50% of people with MS, including the ability to learn and remember information, organize and problem-solve, focus attention and accurately perceive the environment.
    • Depression
    • Sexual Problems
    • Emotional Changes 
  1. Less Common Symptoms
    • Speech Problems
    • Swallowing Problems
    • Tremor – Respiration problems occur in people whose chest muscles have been severely weakened by damage to the nerves that control those muscles.
    • Itching
    • Headache
    • Hearing loss
  1. Secondary & Tertiary Symptoms
    • Bladder dysfunction can cause repeated urinary tract infections.
    • Inactivity can result in loss of muscle tone and disuse weakness (not related to demyelination), poor postural alignment and trunk control, decreased bone density (and resulting increased risk of fracture), and shallow, inefficient breathing
    • Immobility can lead to pressure sores.
    • Social, Vocational and Psychological complications

Treatment for MS 

  • Conventional Medicine

Conventional medication focuses only on treating the symptoms and not on getting out the root cause of the disease.            Most drugs available in the market are designed to slow down the development of the disease and reduce the number of relapses rather than treating the root cause.

  • Interferons – Avonex, Betaseron, Extavia, and Rebif are all interferon beta products. The interferon drugs seal off the blood brain barrier and inhibit the T-lymphocytes (T cells) – type of white blood cell that circulate around our bodies, scanning for cellular abnormalities and infections, from being activated. This prevents the T cells from entering the central nervous system and destroying myelin, and ultimately the nerve axons.
  • Capaxone – The struacture of capaxone is similar to that of myelin protein. The effects of this drug are usually less dramatic than the interferon, but the side effects only include chest pain, shortness of breath, and flushing.
  • Tysabri – Tysabri was the first humanized monoclonal antibody approved for the treatment of MS. Tysabri works by blocking the receptors on white blood cells that allow them to enter the brain and spinal cord.
  • Lemtrada – Lemtrada is administered as intravenous infusions – for five consecutive days initially and for three consecutive days one year later. Because of its safety profile, Lemtrada should generally be reserved for people who have had an inadequate response to two or more MS therapies.
  • Aubagio – Aubagio (teriflunomide) is a pyrimidine synthesis inhibitor that inhibits the function of specific immune cells that have been implicated in MS. The prescribing information contains a boxed warning about the potential for liver damage in the parent compound (leflunomide). Also, Aubagio should not be used during pregnancy.

These drugs have different mechanisms of action and unique side effect profiles.

Functional Treatment

At our center, we study the patient’s entire medical history and perform Comprehensive Diagnostic workup which gives us the root cause of the disease.

  • Chelation Therapy – We are exposed to heavy metals in a number of different ways: amalgams, fish consumption, and the environment. It is one of the causes of MS. The Center for Occupational and Environmental Medicine specializes in safely treating toxicity from heavy metals such as lead and mercury. It involves detoxifying our body from all the heavy harmful metals.
  • Removing Gluten from the diet – People with MS should completely remove gluten from their diet as its simply an inflammatory food.
  • Total Body Stress Load – The body’s total stress load is derived from multiple sources including allergies, exposure to toxins, infections, and emotional stresses. It is important to evaluate and manage all factors of the total stress load if we are to regain and maintain our health.  The old saying “the straw that broke the camel’s back” appropriately illustrates this concept, as we envision the camel as the body and the straw as the stresses.
  • Healing the Gut – Healing the gut is very essential for healing the disease.
  • Immune System Support – Supplements like vitamin D, omega-3 fish oils, and glutathione are powerful immune modulators, which means that they can help support the immune system. Vitamin D has been shown to help regulate the immune system. Omega 3 fish oils help to reduce inflammation in the entire body. Glutathione is the most powerful antioxidant in the body which can help reduce inflammation and improve detoxification in the body.

The treatment method also includes the following:

  • Acupuncture and acupressure
  • Alexander Technique
  • Aromatherapy
  • Chiropractic
  • Cannabis and cannabis extracts
  • Herbal medicine
  • Honey bee venom
  • Hyperbaric oxygen therapy
  • Homeopathy
  • Massage
  • Reiki
  • Relaxation and meditation
  • Shiatsu
  • T’ai chi

At our center, we find the root cause of your illness and reverse your disease. You say Multiple Sclerosis, we say It can be cured…

Posted in IMMUNITY
February 8, 2017

Monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance or MGUS is a disorder where plasma cells (specialized bone marrow cells that secrete antibodies/immunoglobulins) begin to function abnormally, producing increased quantities of an immunoglobulin that does not work normally. When this immunoglobulin is produced from genetically identical (clonal) plasma cells, it is able to be identified on a blood test (serum protein electrophoresis). This abnormal protein is called a paraprotein (monoclonal gamma globulin, hence “monoclonal gammopathy”).

MGUS is linked to the immune system, which helps the body fight infection and disease. The immune system is made up of organs such as the bone marrow, the spleen, lymph nodes (or lymph glands) and a type of white blood cell called lymphocytes.

Lymphocytes are made in the bone marrow (inside the bones). The two main types of lymphocytes are Bcells and T-cells. Some B-cell lymphocytes develop into plasma cells and make antibodies to help fight infections. Antibodies are made from a protein called immunoglobulin.

MGUS occurs when particular plasma cells produce abnormally large amounts of one type of antibody. This abnormal antibody or immunoglobulin is called a paraprotein (or M-protein). The paraprotein doesn’t do anything useful, and it isn’t harmful.

MGUS is not a cancer. Some cancers, such as myeloma (a cancer of the plasma cell) and lymphoma (cancer of the lymphatic system), also produce large amounts of paraproteins. Although the levels of paraprotein are raised in MGUS, they’re not as high as the amount produced in people with cancer. Most people with MGUS remain well and never have any problems related to it. A small number of people may go on to develop more serious problems, so everyone with MGUS has regular checks.

MGUS is much more common in older people over 70. The cause of MGUS is unknown. It’s more common in people with conditions that affect the immune system, such as rheumatoid arthritis and certain infections.


The cause of MGUS is not fully understood at this time. It is thought that genetic damage to a single plasma cell gives this cell a survival advantage, leading to proliferation of this plasma cell. It is known that there is an increased risk of MGUS in first-degree relatives of patients with MGUS and myeloma. This does not mean all first-degree relatives will get MGUS, only that the risk is increased compared to the general population. It is not known at this time if this is due to shared genetic factors, or shared environment (same upbringing).

Risk Factors

Factors that increase the risk of monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance include –

  • Age – The risk of monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance increases as people get older. The highest incidence is among adults age 85 and older.
  • Race – Blacks are more likely to experience this condition than are whites.
  • Sex – Monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance is more common in men than it is in women.
  • A family history – If other people in the family have monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance, the risk of developing the disorder may be higher.


MGUS does not typically cause any symptoms. There is no evidence of bone damage, kidney damage, anemia (low levels of red blood cells), or elevated calcium levels. The average risk of progression to multiple myeloma is one percent per year. The risk of progression to malignancy is about 20 to 25 percent of people during their lifetime.

It has always been recognized that some cases of MGUS progressed to symptomatic multiple myeloma but recent studies have shown that multiple myeloma is consistently preceded by MGUS.


Some people with monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance develop a more serious condition, such as multiple myeloma or other cancers or blood disorders.

Doctors can’t definitively predict who will go on to develop a more serious condition, but they can determine who has the greatest risk. The doctor takes into account several factors when determining the risk, including –

  • The amount of M protein in the blood
  • The type of M protein
  • The amount of another small protein (free light chain) in the blood

The risk of developing a more serious condition increases the longer people had monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance. Also, the more risk factors people have, the higher the risk of developing a more serious condition.

Other complications associated with monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance include fractures and blood clots.


MGUS does not require any active treatment, however monitoring is recommended.  Monitoring of MGUS includes regular clinical assessment and follow up measurements of serum protein. The serum protein should be checked after 3 months and then again at 6 months to establish a firm diagnosis of MGUS.

A risk-assessment model can predict the risk of progression to multiple myeloma. This model uses the size and type of the abnormal protein and a special blood test called the serum free light chain assay.

If some have monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance and bone loss, the doctor may recommend treatment with medications called bisphosphonates that help increase the bone density. Examples of bisphosphonates include alendronate (Binosto, Fosamax), risedronate (Actonel, Atelvia), ibandronate (Boniva) and zoledronic acid (Reclast, Zometa).

Alternative Treatment

Alpha lipoic acid is an antioxidant that is commonly used in supportive therapy for peripheral neuropathy in people treated for multiple myeloma. It is an antioxidant that is normally made in the body, but people can also take extra alpha lipoic acid through supplements.

Calcium – People with MGUS may take calcium along with vitamin D to help support their bones. However, bone breakdown during multiple myeloma also releases unhealthy amounts of calcium in the blood, so patients should consult their doctors before considering calcium supplements.

Curcumin, a compound found in the spice turmeric, may work to kill myeloma cells and prevent them from multiplying. For those who have the pre-cancer conditions monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS) and smoldering multiple myeloma, curcumin may slow progression to active multiple myeloma, but this has not yet been supported by clinical research.

Fish oils commonly contain plenty of omega-3 fatty acids, which may boost peripheral nerve health. For this reason doctors sometimes recommend them for MGUS.

Green Tea – A compound found in green tea, called epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), may aid in killing myeloma cells and prevent MGUS. However, it may also block the anti-cancer activity of Velcade, leading researchers to advise people with multiple myeloma undergoing Velcade therapy to avoid green tea products and EGCG supplements.

Magnesium may help with peripheral neuropathy. It also helps regulate calcium levels and can help strengthen bone. Green leafy vegetables, almonds, cashews, and halibut are all good sources of this essential mineral.

Iron – Anemia (low red blood cell counts) is a symptom of multiple myeloma and is also a common side effect of many myeloma treatments. Iron supplements may help certain people with their anemia.

Potassium – Doctors may recommend potassium for people getting treated for MGUS.

B vitamins, including vitamin B-1 (thiamine), vitamin B-2 (riboflavin), vitamin B-6, vitamin B-12, and folic acid, are important for the formation of red blood cells, enhance the immune and nervous systems, and more.

Vitamin C – As an antioxidant, vitamin C helps protect cells from environmental damage that may lead to cancer. It also functions in protecting the immune system.

Vitamin D works with calcium to build bone, and recent research suggests it might be important in reducing some signs and symptoms of MGUS.

Vitamin E – For those suffering from MGUS, vitamin E supplements may help. This antioxidant vitamin may protect nerves during therapy, especially with Velcade or thalidomide.


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Posted in IMMUNITY
February 8, 2017

Leukoplakia is a white or gray-white patch in the mouth that cannot be wiped off. The patches usually develop slowly, over weeks or months. They are rarely cancerous. A test called biopsy may be done to determine if they are cancerous or not. A biopsy involves removing a small section of the patch so it can be examined in a lab. If the patch is small, all of it is removed.

Leukoplakia is more common in people exposed to –

  • Chewing tobacco
  • Cigarette, cigar or pipe smoke
  • Sun on the lips
  • A mouthwash or toothpaste that contains sanguinarine

Leukoplakia is often seen on the lip or inside the cheeks or gums. Patches vary in size. Leukoplakia is usually benign (not cancer). On average, 4% to 5% of these patches develop into oral cancer. Patches in some areas of the mouth are more likely to be cancer –

  • On the tongue
  • On the lip
  • Under the tongue, on the “floor” of the mouth

People infected with HIV sometimes have a condition called oral hairy leukoplakia. It consists of hairy, painless white patches. Usually the patches are on the sides of the tongue. They can be one of the first signs of HIV infection

Leukoplakia usually isn’t dangerous, but it can sometimes be serious. Although most leukoplakia patches are noncancerous (benign), some show early signs of cancer. Many cancers on the floor of the mouth — beneath the tongue — occur next to areas of leukoplakia.


Leukoplakia affects the mucus membranes of the mouth. The exact cause is not known. Doctors think it may be due to irritation such as –

  • Rough teeth
  • Rough places on dentures, fillings, and crowns
  • Smoking or other tobacco use (smoker’s keratosis), especially pipes
  • Holding chewing tobacco or snuff in the mouth for a long period of time
  • Drinking a lot of alcohol
  • The disorder is most common in elderly persons.

A type of leukoplakia of the mouth called hairy leukoplakia is caused by the Epstein-Barr virus. It is seen mostly in persons with HIV/AIDS. It may be one of the first signs of HIV infection. Hairy leukoplakia can also appear in other people whose immune system is not working well, such as after a bone marrow transplant.


Leukoplakia causes patches on the tongue, gums, or inside of the cheeks. These patches may appear as –

  • White, gray, or red in color
  • Thick, slightly raised, or hardened on the surface
  • There may be pain or signs of infection. The patches may also be sensitive to touch, heat, or spicy foods.

In some cases, leukoplakia looks like oral thrush, which is an infection also associated with HIV infection and suppressed immune function.

Untreated leukoplakia can turn into cancer. Some types of leukoplakia carry a higher risk of turning into cancer than others.


If the patches do not fade as expected, the doctor may advise:

  • Topical medications or solutions that are applied to the patches
  • Medicated mouthwashes
  • Oral medications, such as retinoids, vitamin A, beta carotene, or lycopene
  • Antiviral medications—if the leukoplakia is due to viral infection (more common in people with suppressed immune function)
  • Treat dental causes such as rough teeth, irregular denture surface, or fillings as soon as possible.
  • Stop smoking or using other tobacco products.
  • Do not drink alcohol.

Removal of leukoplakic patches – Patches may be removed using a scalpel, a laser or an extremely cold probe that freezes and destroys cancer cells (cryoprobe).


  • Avoiding all tobacco products – This is one of the best steps you can take for your overall health, as well as being one of the main ways to prevent leukoplakia. Talk to your doctor about methods to help you quit. If friends or family members continue to smoke or chew tobacco, encourage them to have frequent dental checkups. Oral cancers are usually painless until fairly advanced.
  • Avoiding or limiting alcohol use – Alcohol is a factor in both leukoplakia and oral cancer. Combining alcohol and smoking may make it easier for the harmful chemicals in tobacco to penetrate the tissues in your mouth.
  • Eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables – These are rich in antioxidants such as beta carotene, which reduce the risk of leukoplakia by deactivating harmful oxygen molecules before they can damage tissues. Foods rich in beta carotene include dark yellow, orange, and green fruits and vegetables, including carrots, pumpkin, squash, cantaloupe and spinach.

If removing the source of the irritation does not work, the doctor may suggest applying medicine to the patch or using surgery to remove it.

Alternative Treatment

Vitamin A is very useful in the treatment of leukoplakia. Vitamin A can help improve general health and immunity of your body. It is very effective in treating leukoplakia and preventing remissions. Retinoids are derived from vitamin A and used in ointments to treat leukoplakia topically.

Vitamin E is a natural antioxidant and helps protect cell membranes from any harm due to free radicals. It is very beneficial in the treatment of leukoplakia and is recommended to be taken along with vitamin A to get its best health benefit.

Vitamin C is widely prescribed for the treatment of leukoplakia. Vitamin C is an antioxidant and helps to keep the body cells healthy. It also helps in the regeneration of new skin cells.

Vitamin B6 plays a vital role in production of new red blood cells and is also useful in strengthening the immune system. It is indicated for people suffering from leukoplakia as it has been observed that people with vitamin B6 deficiency are more likely to develop this condition.

Vitamin B9 – Also known as folic acid, this vitamin is very useful in the treatment of leukoplakia. It plays an important role in the synthesis of nucleic acid and helps to repair the DNA and RNA.

Beta-carotene – this compound has been the universal treatment supplement in all patients. he efficacy of the compound and its ability to deal with leukoplakia.


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Posted in IMMUNITY