Friday, July 21, 2017

Fennel Confirmed as a Treatment for the Relief of Post-Menopause Symptoms

Fennel can be used to treat post-menopause symptoms.
Fennel, a regularly used herb for cooking, has a long history of reported health benefits, covering a myriad of health issues.  It has been known to be used to treat everything from digestive problems to pre-menstrual symptoms. New scientific research has recently confirmed that it is also effective for treating postmenopausal symptoms, as well.  These symptoms are experienced by many women and include such things as hot-flashes, insomnia, mood problems, and vaginal dryness.  An important note is that fennel has been shown to treat these issues without causing any serious, negative side effects. The results of the research are published online in Menopause, the Journal of The North American Menopause Society (NAMS).

The most widely-reported negative symptoms of menopause that are experienced by women are hot-flashes, vaginal dryness, sore and painful joints, insomnia and other sleep problems, fatigue, and mood-related issues.

The use of alternative medicines and therapies for the treatment of menopause-related issues has exploded recently, as more and more women have tried to find safe and effective alternatives to hormone therapy (HT). And although hormone therapy is generally considered the best treatment for relief from symptoms, some women have turned to alternative and herbal medicines since they may not be good candidates for HT, or may be anxious regarding the potential negative side effects of hormone therapy that they've heard about.

Fennel, which contains essential oils, has what are known as "phytoestrogenic properties."  These are attributes of particular chemicals found in plants that have been been used for managing a myriad of menopause symptoms.

The research study consisted of 79 participants who were Iranian women ranging from 45 to 60 years old.  The study participants received 100mg of fennel-containing capsules twice a day for a period of 8 weeks. The researchers compared the results between the treated and placebo groups at various intervals throughout the study.  A substantial statistical difference in the effects on the two groups was confirmed by the researchers.  It was concluded that fennel was both safe and effective for the relief of symptoms, and also resulted in no serious negative side-effects.  Fennel had also been previously studied and reported to have been successful for the management of premenopause symptoms.

The research was conducted in Iran, where the population of women generally enter menopause at a younger age than in the US and other western nations.  The average age for entering menopause in the US is 48.2 years old, versus 51 years old in Iran.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

The Treatment of Menopause Using Biomagnetic Therapy

Biomagnetic therapy can be used to treat menopause symptoms.
Biomagnetic therapy is potentially an effective treatment for menopause-related symptoms, claims researchers from the UK.

A study was performed on hundreds of women, and it was observed that utilizing biomagnetic therapy could help with symptoms ranging from anxiety and depression, to hot-flashes and cognitive-impairment issues. The vast majority of the participants in the study reported at least some improvement or relief from some of their specific symptoms. The research study revealed that a portion of the women reported improvement of nearly seventy percent of their symptoms including anxiety, fatigue, insomnia, incontinence and soreness of the breasts. Hot-flashes, night sweats, mood problems, lack of sex drive and memory issues were reported to improve by more than thirty percent.  Additionally, around twenty percent of the study participants had some amount of weight loss.  A portion of the participants lost more than twenty pounds after utilizing biomagnetic therapy on a continual basis for more than three months.

Magnetic therapy can be used as a simple alternative to more invasive treatments, such as hormone replacement therapy, which has been associated with breast cancer, heart problems, and strokes. Researchers still are not sure why the biomagnetic therapy was effective, but speculated that it might raise estrogen levels, which tends to reduce throughout menopause. The reduced levels contribute to, or cause, many menopause-related symptoms. Almost forty percent of women who are going through menopause seek out various medical treatments for their symptoms.

Previously performed research has found that magnetic therapy may help to reduce discomfort associated with menstruation, and may also help to promote the healing of wounds. It is theorized that magnets may affect the body in various ways, promoting healing by stimulating circulatory function and aiding in the reduction of pain by disrupting nerve-signals which transmit information regarding discomfort to the brain, via the central nervous system.

Fortunately, the majority of symptoms and issues associated menopause are temporary. Menopause is a totally natural phase of life, and the majority of women do not need medical treatment to deal with their symptoms. If you suffer from insomnia, try to reduce your consumption of caffeinated beverages and refrain from exercising right before bedtime. Try engaging in some relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing, guided visualization, and body relaxation techniques. To help reduce hot-flashes, be sure to exercise regularly, wear layered clothing, and try to figure out your triggers. They may include such things as hot drinks, spicy foods, warm temperatures, or alcoholic beverages.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Treating High Blood Pressure with Acupuncture

High blood pressure can be treated using acupuncture.
There are a wide variety of therapies and treatments, including medicines, various forms of natural treatment, and a myriad of alternative therapies that have been used to attempt to treat high blood pressure, one of the most common medical conditions today. However, acupuncture is the most widely used and trusted of all the alternative high blood pressure treatments.

High blood pressure, technically referred to as hypertension, is among the most widespread health conditions today, and primarily results from stress, poor diet, lack of activity, and genetic influences. However, it is also invariably connected with the process of aging, being overweight, smoking cigarettes, and drinking too much alcohol.  It can also have a higher rate of occurrence in conjunction with having other particular health problems and disorders..

High blood pressure is a health issue which is caused by the flow of blood through the veins beginning to exert an excessive amount of pressure against the walls of blood vessels. This constant, high level of pressure on blood vessels can damage the lining of capillaries, over time, which can result in a medical condition known as arteriosclerosis or, more commonly, referred to as "hardening of the arteries."

Individuals who suffer from high blood pressure often suffer with symptoms such as headaches, shortness of breath, nausea, fatigue, and blurred vision. If the condition can not be managed or kept under control, then it can often lead to more severe results such as strokes, blindness, heart attacks, or renal failure.

High blood pressure is most often treated using a variety of contemporary medical treatment methods.  However, many of the medicines that are commonly used to treat high blood pressure also can often cause any number of other negative side effects. This is one of the primary reasons why many patients with hypertension eventually seek out alternative treatments and therapies, including things like relaxation techniques and aromatherapy.

Acupuncture is generally believed to be useful for treating high blood pressure via the following mechanism. According to recent research, acupuncture has been found to lower high blood pressure by way of acting to block beta-acceptors of sympathetic nerves, in addition to stimulating the function of the adrenaline-angiotensin system.

Acupuncture, when used in conjunction with electric stimulation, may also be used to aid in the treatment of high blood pressure. This technique is generally referred to as electro-acupuncture. When low levels of electrical current are passed thorough ordinary acupuncture needles, a noticeable lowering of blood pressure has been measured. The needles are attached to a mechanism that produces minute electrical impulses, which are sustained at low levels.

This treatment generally consists of first inserting sharp, thin acupuncture needles into meridians, or trigger points, which are located at various points on the the arms, legs and wrists. This results in the stimulation of production of particular chemicals in the brain and results in a lowered excitation response of the cardiac system. This then results in a decreased level of cardiac activity along with the body's oxygen requirements, which causes the blood pressure to reduce.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Acupuncture Relieves Hot Flashes

Traditional Chinese acupuncture can relieve hot flashes.
A recent study has reported that the use of traditional Chinese acupuncture can help to relieve the severity of hot flashes, as well as various other symptoms associated with menopause. The research study was published in the journal Acupuncture in Medicine.

For the study, the researchers enlisted the help of 53 participants, all who were postmenopausal women, meaning they had not had a period for at least one year. The participant's menopause symptoms included the usual symptoms: hot flashes, vaginal dryness, urinary tract infections (UTIs), and mood problems.  The symptoms were measured utilizing a standardized 5-point scale.

Twenty-seven of the study participants received a treatment of traditional acupuncture two times a week for a period of about ten weeks.  For the treatments, acupuncture needles were kept in place in the epidermis for a period of twenty minutes.  There was no addition of either manual or electrical stimulation. The rest of the study participants received a fake, or placebo, form of acupuncture.

The women's hormonal levels were also measured before the initiation of the study.  The measurements included estrogen, FSH, and LH. These hormone levels were also measured and recorded after the initial treatment and after at the conclusion of the last treatment in order to detect any changes over the course of the study.

The data indicated that the study participants who were given the treatment of traditional acupuncture had substantially reduced scores for both hot flashes and mood swings, but not for vaginal dryness and urinary problems the conclusion of the ten week study than the women who had received the placebo treatment. The symptom that had resulted in the largest measured reduction in severity was hot flashes.

Additionally, the positive effects of the treatments appeared to be a cumulative effect, with more profound results being measured at the end of the course of the study.

There was also observed to be a raise in estrogen levels, while LH levels were lower in the study participants who received the actual acupuncture treatments. Both reduced levels of estrogen and elevated LH and FSH levels are signals common during menopause, due to the ovaries stopping function.

The scientists suggested that the mechanism behind the severity of hot flashes being measurably reduced could be due to the acupuncture treatments resulting in an increase in the production of endorphins in the body, which may play a role in regulating body temperature.

The researchers stated that their study was  a small, test trial and that, at the conclusion of the study, they did not continue to measure how long relief of symptoms persisted.  However, this study does suggest that traditional Chinese acupuncture may be a useful alternative therapy for women who can't or don't want to use the standard hormone replacement therapy to treat bothersome menopausal symptoms.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Yoga May Help Teens with Weight Loss

A new study which was presented at the American Heart Association's 46th Annual Conference on Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology and Prevention, investigated the effects of practicing yoga on the BMI (body mass index) of teenage study participants. A scientist from Hampton University (Virginia) conducted either a forty minute yoga and breathing class or regular activities (which served as the control group), to thirty teenage boys and girls.

The yoga group did about forty minutes of yoga and yoga breathing 4 times per week for a period of twelve weeks. The teenagers' dietary intake was not modified. The scientists measured their body mass index both at the beginning, and at the conclusion of the study.

The scientists discoevered that the body mass index of the yoga group decreased by about 5.7 percent, while the body mass index of the control group actually increased slightly. The mean body weight loss for the yoga group was about six pounds. There were no restrictions or rules regarding caloric intake on either of the groups. The weight loss in the yoga group may be due to a couple of factors: the breathing and yoga exercises themselves, and possibly lowered caloric intake by the yoga group due to a decrease in stomach size.

Dr. Shetty, the author of the study, has recommended about half an hour of yoga and yoga breathing (pranayama) 3 or 4 times per week. He is of the opinion that practicing yoga can be effective at helping to prevent obesity in teenagers and should be an integral component of physical eduction programs in schools.

More information at the Journal of Yoga & Physical Therapy.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Placebos as a Viable Treatment

A study performed by researchers at Harvard University has shown that placebos can be an effective treatment even when patients are not deceived into thinking they are taking actual medicine. The scientiests divided the 80 participants - all sufferers of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) - into two groups. One group was a control group and didn't receive any kind of treatment. The other group was given pills to take two times a day, however the scientists explained to the group that the pills were similar to sugar pills. The participants were never told that the pills contained any medicine, and even the container was labeled "placebo."

At the conclusion of the study, about thirty-five percent of the people who received no treatment at all reported an improvement in symptoms. Unexpectedly, nearly sixty percent of the participants who recieved a placebo reported an improvement in symptoms. Additionally, the placebo group graded their improvements similarly to the improvement generally reported by people who take IBS medications.

Two medications, Lubiprostone and Alosetron, have been approved by the FDA for the treatment of IBS, but they are used only as a last resort as they have a number of unpleasant or unhealthy side effects.

If a harmless placebo can have the same result, it is a better alternative than taking medications that may make patients feel worse than their actual illness. A number of other studies have reported between thirty and forthy percent of people who took placebos had an improvement in their conditions, but that was under deception, when the patients didn't know that they weren't taking actual medication.

And these findings are not only relevant for for IBS sufferers. Research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association reported that placebos have virtually identical effects as widely prescribed antidepressants on patients who suffer from mild to moderate depression.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Using Ginger to Treat Stomach Problems

Ginger could be used to effectively treat functional dyspepsia, reports a small-scale study published in the World Journal of Gastroenterology. A stomach condition which is characterized by pain in the abdomen, functional dyspepsia is often responsible for a painful, uncomfortable feeling of fullness after ingesting food (much like the symptoms associated with indigestion).

For this study, 11 participants who suffer from functional dyspepsia took either a ginger supplement or a ginger placebo before eating meals. Among the participants who were took ginger, the researchers reported faster gastric emptying (the amount of time it takes for food to exit the stomach and go into the intestines). However, taking ginger didn't seem to improve the gastrointestinal symptoms.

Ginger could be used to help treat other stomach-related problems. For example, research has shown that the anti-inflammatory herb ginger has been used to help relieve nausea caused by morning sickness. Some evidence also exists that ginger may used to help relieve upset stomach experienced by those who are undergoing chemotherapy.

Read more about herbs for treating ailments at the Herbal Supplement Blog.