Sunday, May 24, 2009

Acupuncture; Does It Work?

Acupuncture is derived from Latin words "acus", meaning, needle and "punctura", meaning, penetration. Acupuncture was originated in China approximately 2000 years ago and is one of the oldest medical procedures in the world.

The traditional theory of Acupuncture involves qi, yin and yang, and the Five Elements.

There are number of physiologic models that have been proposed to explain the effects of acupuncture.

Proposed conditions with possible efficacy include:
  • Chronic Pain
  • Postoperative nausea and vomiting
  • Chemotherapy induced nausea
  • Acute pain including dental pain
  • Headache
  • Hypertension

Although there are difficulties in studying acupuncture, the best randomized trials suggest that acupuncture and sham acupuncture have similar efficacy. Given this, much or all of the effect of acupuncture may be related to the placebo effect.

Acupuncture is generally, very safe; as long as appropriate sterile techniques are followed.

In patient with chronic pain, both acupuncture and sham acupuncture appear to have much greater efficacy than when patients are left untreated. So patients with unavailability of safe alternatives with Chronic pain or other conditions may benefit from a trial of acupuncture.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Fish Oil: Good Stuff but Use Caution!

Fish oils are Omega-3 fatty acids. The fish oils are important for the production of nerve tissue, hormones, and cellular membrances.

These fats have anti-inflamatory activity, help lower high blood pressure, reduce elevated cholesterol and triglycerides, prevent atheroscleratic plaque formation, and improve skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.

Thus can indirectly help prevent heart attack, stroke and peripheral artery disease.

High doses may cause gastrointestinal upset, loose stools, and nausea.

Use with caution in individuals with diabetes or in those who may be predisposed to hypoglycemia; may alter glucose regulation. Effects of drugs like insulin and oral hypoglycemics may be potentiated. Blood sugars should be closely monitored and medications adjusted. This should be done under supervision of a healthcare providers.

Again, use with caution in individuals on antihypertensive agents. Fish oils can lower blood pressure and may have additive affect.

Patients with Diabetes and/or Hypertension might need less medicines to control their diseases.

Fatty acids are contraindicated in individuals with active bleeding eg, peptic ulcer and intracranial bleed. Use with caution in individuals with history of bleeding, bleeding disorders, or in individuals taking Warfarin, aspirin, Aleve, ibuprofen, motrin or like, or antiplatelet agents like ticlopidine, clopodogrel or plavix.

Discontinue use of fish oils at least 14 days prior to dental or surgical procedures.

Drug interactions theoretically with anticoagulants, warfarin, ASA, NSAIDS, Plavix, Antiplatelet agents, insulin, oral hypoglycemics, and antihypertensives.

Easy way to remember is to know fish oils can reduce blood sugars and blood pressures and can cause bleeding. Use Caution and always include your physician in your decision to take these or any other alternative medications.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Avoiding the Flu ?

You have more control than you think.

Wash your hands with soap and water often or clean with an alcohol based hand cleaner.

Use tissue or arm to cover your mouth and nose to sneeze or cough.

Remind those who feel ill to see the doctor and stay home.

Get vaccinated against the flu.

Tamiflu is affective if started within 48 to 72 hours of symptoms.

Symptoms include nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat, body aches, and fever.

The H1N1 influenza (Swine Flu) may be sticking around!


Tuesday, May 5, 2009

You Can Do Something About Reflux

Reflux Oesophagitis, better known as Reflux is when acid travels from stomach to the food pipe or Oesophagus. Usual symptoms are heart burns, bad taste in the mouth due to regurgitation, cough or/and chest tightness.

Complications include Cancer of Oesophagus, Asthma type illness or Pneumonia.

What you can do is to recognize it and do the following:

  • Sleep at 30 degree angle with the head end of bed raised or get a wedge. Sleeping with 1 pillow under the upper back and 2 pillows under the head may or may not help.
  • Avoid Spicy hot foods, Colas, Coffee, Tea and Caffeine at night time.
  • Chocolate can worsen Reflux as well.
  • Stop eating about 2 hrs before bed time.
  • Reduce Weight and be at a look out for Sleep Apnea, that can worsen Reflux.
  • Avoid getting Constipated and avoid tight at waist clothing.
  • Expect Reflux to get worse with Pregnancy.
  • Over the counter medicines might help. Mylanta or Maalox are good as needed medicines and Prilosec is better if taken regularly. Ask Physician before taking any medicine if Pregnant.
  • If symptoms persist seek medical Advice, sooner the better.

For your Asthma or Sleep Apnea needs visit,