Archive for June, 2011

Lymphedema pumps are used to treat a condition that can cause swelling and when left untreated can result in a chronic and more dangerous condition. Lymphedema is thought to affect approximately 3 million people in the U.S. Caused by a variety of reasons, such as surgery for different types of cancers, including lymphoma, prostrate and breast cancer as well as appearing for no obvious reason, Lymphedema is swelling of the lymph nodes or vessels.

This occurs many times after surgery involving the lymph nodes. They will often become blocked due to damage caused by the surgery. Fluid will build and cannot drain as it would normally, causing swelling. The arms or legs are the areas most often affected.

Although Lymphedema is not curable, a Lymphedema pump can help to control this disease. By imitating the flow of the Lymphatic system, the pump inflates and deflates an attached sleeve that is placed on the affected area. This helps to pump fluids back into the Lymphatic system, thereby reducing swelling.

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The swelling associated with Lymphedema can become so uncomfortable that often people are unable to perform everyday tasks. Dressing themselves, walking or getting up and down becomes almost impossible. Often called compression therapy, the pump will provide the affected area with the resistance needed to help the fluid that has built up to return to the Lymphatic system.

Pneumatic compression is the most common way of reducing swelling and allowing those with Lymphedema to control this disease. Left untreated, it can cause a variety of problems, including infections, permanent disfigurement, gangrene and amputation of the affected limb. Once a person develops Lymphedema, it can never be cured, but it can be controlled.

There have been many people who have experienced this problem for years. Only recently have researchers discovered the best treatment. Studies have been focused on understanding Lymphedema in order to find the most effective treatment. The latest in technology has gone into the design of the Lymphedema pump so that sufferers of this condition can experience a noticeable improvement. By lessening the swelling caused by Lymphedema, the activities that were almost impossible become much easier.

In addition, when Lymphedema is experienced, it can stop immune cells from going to where they are needed. Part of the treatments for Lymphedema includes minimal exercise programs. This can be virtually impossible when swelling is experienced, since the affected area is so painful. This is another way in which the Lymphedema pump can help. When swelling is lessened, following a doctor-recommended exercise regimen can be accomplished more easily.

If you are experiencing Lymphedema, this is an easy to use pump that will radically change your life. It can be used to stimulate the flow of blood to an affected area to promote faster healing. It is portable, lightweight, and so quiet to use that many do so while watching television. Many insurance companies cover the cost of a Lymphedema pump when considered to be medically necessary.


A family of fungi called dermatophytes is responsible for causing the ringworm infection. When a person is infected with ringworm, the most common symptom is the appearance of rough circular patches that have raised edges on the skin. The ringworm infection causes a lot of itchiness on the infected areas and can be very uncomfortable. The ringworm infection is easily spread to other parts of the body when the affected person scratches the infected parts and then touch themselves on some other part. It is also highly contagious and so any physical contact with an infected person or with infected clothing can easily spread the infection. Lack of personal hygiene and sweat accumulation on parts of the body can cause ringworm, but in most cases hygiene has nothing to do with it as it can be spread in a number of ways and can affect anybody.

Ringworm and Natural Cures

Perhaps the best way of keeping a ringworm infection away is to always keep your skin clean especially after a visit to the gym or swimming pool as the fungi grows in damp environment. To cure the infection, you can also use some known home remedies like rubbing the areas infected with pieces of raw papaya. Alternatively, a mix of some water and dried papaya seeds powder can make a paste that could be used to smear on the patches and the infection should disappear withing a few days. Another remedy is soaking mustard seed in a half full cup of water for some hours, after which you will grind them to make a paste that will be applied on the infected areas of the skin. This also gets rid of the infection within a few days.

Instructions for yet another remedy is cut a fresh lemon in half, use a little salt to sprinkle on the inner parts of the lemon and rub affected area using the slices. You should use the other slice in the same way before rinsing and using a dry cloth to dry gently. The salt and the lemons acidic juice act as a disinfectant and destroys the microbes that cause the ringworm infection. For another alternative, you can get some holy basil leaves, crush them to extract the juice and thrice a day you will dab the skin with the juice which arrests the germs growth and treats the ringworm. All these may not be scientifically tested but they are all good examples of known natural cures against a ringworm infection.

One of the most feared diseases by women is breast cancer. Although it occurs mainly in women, in some rare cases it occurs in men as well. Many women are very afraid of this disease as it might cause them to lose their breasts. Even worse, it can also be deadly, like any other cancer cases. It is believed that all women have the possibility to suffer from this disease if they mistreat their body. There are, however, several things that you can do to minimize the side effects of breast cancer.

The simplest thing that you can do by yourself to detect breast cancer is by feeling your breasts. This method is called Breast Self-Examination. Usually, after you have finished your monthly period, the lump that is potential to be the cell of breast cancer is more touchable. You just have to feel your breast for any lumps. If you find one, do not panic. It is normal for you to be wary but you should keep in mind that it is somehow curable depending on how bad the cancer cell is. You can go to a doctor to for a mammogram or ultrasound procedure in order to find out if you really do have breast cancer, find out the severity of the cancer and to know what future actions you should undertake in order to cure it.

After you have done the check-up, usually your doctor will give you two options. To remove the cancer cell, you can either undergo a surgery or take chemotherapy sessions. Your doctor will most likely suggest you to take chemo. You will be advised for a surgery only if the condition of the cancer cell in your breast is too severe. Many people fear chemotherapy because of its potential side effects, such as hair loss. Even so, it is proven effective by many people in treating cancer.

Besides chemotherapy and surgery, another option is to try alternative medication. However, this treatment won’t work effectively by itself. It can be used to complement chemotherapy sessions. It is intended to minimize the side effects of chemo that most women fear of. Some of the methods of alternative medication include acupuncture therapy, taking herbal drinks like ginseng, and even healthy diet. All of these can be quite helpful to help patients cope with their chemo sessions that can be quite stressful.

In short, although breast cancer is lethal, it is curable. What matters the most is that you need to detect the symptoms as early as possible because it increases the chances for a successful treatment.

What is Osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis is a loss of bone mineral density often associated with old age, leading to bone fragility and fracture. Because the bones are weakened, such fractures can result from relatively minor traumas such as carrying grocery bags or even a sneeze! Fractures to the hip can be due to a fall and can significantly compromise quality of life and ability to walk. Statistics show that 1 in 4 American women and 1 in 8 American men over 50 have osteoporosis. This is a very disheartening statistic considering that osteoporosis is a largely preventable condition. Osteoporosis is also usually clinically silent until a fracture occurs, so it can go unnoticed for years. This is why bone density scans (DEXA scans) are often recommended to postmenopausal women.

Risk Factors:

There are both modifiable and non-modifiable risk factors for osteoporosis. Well known non-modifiable risk factors include age, female gender, family history of osteoporosis, being fair-skinned and having European descent. Women who have had hysterectomies are also at a higher risk because hormones such as estrogen have a protective effect on bone density. Certain metabolic diseases and medications can also affect the body’s chemistry and bone mass. What we are most interested in, however, are modifiable risk factors. Modifiable risk factors are lifestyle choices. Some such risk factors include: smoking, having a sedentary lifestyle, low body mass and certain dietary factors.


Prevention of osteoporosis starts now! Peak bone density occurs between the ages of 25 and 35, gradually reduces with age and then at menopause the downward slope becomes steeper. Here are some great tips

1. Exercise:

Exercise is the most important preventative strategy for osteoporosis. Weight-bearing aerobic activities help to maintain and even increase bone mass. Weight-bearing exercises are any exercise done on ones feet such as jogging, hiking, stair-climbing, step aerobics, dancing and weight lifting. The body adapts to the stresses placed on it by building stronger muscle and bone. Wolff’s law pertains to bone – bone remodels over time to become stronger when loaded. The converse is also true – when bone is not regularly loaded, it becomes weaker.

2. Maintain a healthy body weight:

Being underweight is a risk factor for osteoporosis, thus maintaining a healthy body weight is important.

3. Stop smoking:

Those who smoker have 10% lower bone density than an average person of the same age. Fractures also heal more slowly in smokers and overall healing is compromised.

4. Modify your diet:

Excessive alcohol consumption inhibits calcium absorption and is associated with osteoporosis. Diets high in protein (animal meat), caffeine and soft drinks (containing phosphoric acid) area also problematic, resulting in calcium loss. High consumption of fiber, oxalates and high zinc foods decrease calcium absorption from diet. Conversely, alkaline forming foods (such as fruits and vegetables) appear to be beneficial. Legumes containing phytoestrogens (such as soy, chickpeas and lentils) also appear to have protective effects on bone mass. Nutrition has a very important role in bone health so it is essential to ensure a healthy, balanced diet with adequate intake of the necessary vitamins and minerals.

5. Improve your digestion:

Poor absorption leads to deficiency. Consider low allergenic diet and probiotics.

6. Consider supplementation:

Supplementation is not a replacement for a healthy, balanced and nutritious diet. A healthy, balanced diet is a must! However, it may become necessary when deficiencies arise. There are also some vitamin and mineral supplements that are specially formulated to address low bone density. The following seem to have protective effects on bone density: calcium citrate, vitamin D, vitamin K, magnesium, boron, isoflavones and omega-3 fatty acids.

Managing Osteoporosis and Low Bone Density:

Much of the same advice for prevention of osteoporosis and low bone density is also used for the management. It is also important to eliminate fall risks so as to prevent fracture. Your family doctor may recommend a medication. Unfortunately, many medications have unwanted side effects. Be sure to ask a lot of questions regarding benefits as well as risks for some of the options such that you may make an informed decision regarding your health.

Can I Still See a Chiropractor if I Have Low Bone Density or Osteoporosis?

Many chiropractors offer gentle techniques for individuals who have low bone density or osteoporosis. Be sure to tell your chiropractor if you are aware that you have this problem.

Ringworm in humans turns the skin ugly and can somehow affect a person’s self esteem. The rings spread quickly and before you know they have formed red patches on your beautiful skin. In humans, they commonly attack the scalp, face, hands, groin, inner thighs, and the upper body. If you are suffering today, you definitely want to know how to get rid of ringworm illness. Even if the internet offers many ways to heal this infection, the wisest thing to do is to see your doctor. This is important even if your condition does not look very bad. After paying your doctor a visit, he or she will carry out a diagnosis.

What does it entail? A diagnosis is just a thorough examination of the affected skin patches. The doctor extracts scraps from the infected skin and observes them under the microscope. Even so, the doctors are applying the culture test more today. The tests are more accurate and reliable in determining the precise dermotophytes responsible for the illness in humans and animals. The microorganisms that cause ringworms in humans start with the word “tinea” and the second word is used to identify the affected body part. For instance, ringworm of the scalp is called tinea capitis while that of body is called tinea corporis.

Proper and accurate diagnosis is often very necessary as it helps the physician in determining the best prescriptions to recommend. He or she may suggest taking oral medicines and you may want to ask how to get rid of ringworm with topical creams too. Some of us do not like taking oral tablets or capsules although sometimes we cannot avoid it. If your doctor thinks that tablets are the best form of treatment just obey him or her. For future treatment purposes, however, you can ask the physician to recommend the strongest and safest creams and lotions in the market.

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If you want to use over the counter cures, the best thing is to get a doctor or pharmacist’s recommendation first. Then use the internet to locate a genuine store that stocks genuine over the counter creams for healing ringworm. A low price is another reason why you want to shop online. Since there are many web stores competing for your business, it is very easy to pay a little less for a drug or cream you can find in your local shop as well. Even if you manage to eradicate ringworm today it does not mean that you are done with the fungi as well.

There is need to decontaminate the surroundings to prevent another outbreak in the near future. What are some of the simple steps that you can follow to achieve this?

First, accumulate all clothes, bedding and other garments that might be contaminated. Wash them thoroughly with the machine or manually using warm water and soap. Sterilize any infected objects such as hair accessories, bathtubs, and other tools with hot water or bleach. If the pets are sick as well, you can sanitize their bedding as well.


Other tips on how to get rid of ringworm include natural cures and they are accessible on the internet.

You’ll be glad to hear that, despite the so-called medical ‘facts’ you’ve probably heard or read, which say there is no cure for Herpes Genitalis, there is another more positive view.

There is evidence that it is possible not just to find effective natural treatment for viral infections such as Herpes & even AIDS, but even to experience a complete cure.

So far medical research has found no way to eradicate Herpes.

So if you’ve tested positive for the virus you’ve probably been told there are now drugs to treat the symptoms and shorten the length of the acute attack – but that you can never get rid of the Herpes virus altogether.

That would mean that even when you are over the first attack and you are no longer showing any symptoms the virus is still in your system and later you will probably have a flare up intermittently and need another course of treatment.

However – it seems there are other much better possibilities than those offered medically.

I certainly believe there are more effective ways to deal with the virus than you will be offered medically.

The first time I saw someone successfully use a natural health method to prevent any recurrence of Herpes Genitalis was in someone who took large amounts of Tahitian Noni Juice for natural healing and then continued to take it on a regular basis over many years – and never had a recurrence of the virus after the first proven infection.

Though she was convinced the Noni juice had saved her from further problems it is of course impossible to say whether the result was due to the Noni juice or to some other factor – such as her absolute belief in this natural treatment, for example, or perhaps some other factor in her diet or in her life – including perhaps her own healing powers that she was not at that time aware of.

In fact it is always impossible to be certain in human beings what is the cause of a cure when it does occur – whether the person used medical or natural treatment – because there are always so many other factors that could have been involved. Even when someone takes a drug and gets better for example we cannot be certain it was the drug that produced the healing – for the same reasons.

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However – the point is – this girl was cured – by something – which shows that healing is possible.

Over the years I have studied and used various forms of natural healing – from diets and supplements – to energy healing, laughter therapy and mind training – in an attempt to help patients who were not getting results with medical treatment or who wanted to avoid the side-effects of various medications. And although not everyone was cured there have been many cases where the healing results have been far beyond medical possibility and medical explanation.

While still running my own medical practice for example I saw some amazing results with natural treatments. One lady was cured completely of pancreatic cancer. Another – who had been suffering severe infected psoriasis all over her body for many years – despite all medical treatments – was completely clear within a month of starting a natural treatment.

And early in 2011 I modified my own already successful natural healing techniques after learning about university laboratory studies in which a 100% cancer cure was produced in mice – using only natural healing.

With Winter approaching, many people will get cold & flu that seems like it will never go away. Other than going to the doctor & taking medicine prescriptions, there are certain other things you can do to make sure the sickness goes away quickly. You should consider yourself as having mold poisoning, especially if you have a basement in your home or wet showers.

Having toxic black mold in your home can lead to illnesses such as coughing, abdominal pain, itchy eyes, sore throat, flu, dizziness, chest & kidney pains, skin rash, sweating, increase/decrease in body temperature, diarrhea & more.

There are also less common symptoms that black mold causes including respiratory infections, seizure, heart attack, chronic fatigue, infertility, swollen lymph nodes, multiple sclerosis, depression, anxiety, stress & inability to deal with stress, weight gain, panic attacks, etc. These symptoms are typically amalgamated with other sicknesses such as extreme fatigue.

If you believe you have mold poisoning, it is best to see a doctor immediately. Your doctor can check for mold poisoning by doing blood tests in your bloodstream for the effects of toxic molds on specific systems of your body. Using these tests, the doctor can recommend a specific treatment path to remove this poisonous fungus from your body. Your doctor will also recommend vitamins & minerals that will increase the strength of your immune system. Finally, don’t forget to clean your home of any black or pink mold that you see.

Illnesses from Black Mold Poisoning

Great video that shows all possible medical conditions that could develop as a result of mold poisoning. This becomes even more important if you work in a moldy environment such as antique shops, construction areas, Saunas, farms, mills, flower shops, Greenhouses or Summer cottages. Some sicknesses mentioned in this video include:

  • Anxiety
  • Asthma
  • Bladder incontinence or infections
  • Breast Cancer
  • Stomach Cancer
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • Cystic Acne, Depression
  • Dizziness
  • Ear Infections
  • Hearing loss
  • Heart Palpitations
  • Damage to Immune system
  • Insomnia
  • Loss of Balance
  • Loss of Taste
  • Migraines
  • Neuropathy
  • Panic attacks
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Sinus infections
  • Swallowing disorders
  • Toenail fungus
  • Sudden weight loss
  • Vomiting & Nausea
  • Yeast infections

How do I know I have Mold?

Mold can be found in various places inside & outside the home. It appears often in wet or moist areas that have excess hot air. Mold can be identified by its fuzzy, velvety, or slimy stainish appearance or its musty smell. Mold cannot grow without water or moisture so it is important to dry out wet areas of the home using exhast fans, dehumidifiers, etc. Typically, this should be done within 24 – 48 hours after mold detection as mold grows & multiplies rapidly.

Many people have droopy eyelids which become more pronounced in old age. Some people can compensate for ptosis by raising their forehead muscles. It can make them tired and also they may lose peripheral vision in the upper field of gaze. In children, if droopy eyelid is blocking the vision, it may result in amblyopia. Excess eyelid skin, droopy eyelids or eyelids that turn inward or outward are common problems. They can cause eye discomfort, and even limit vision. Fortunately, such eyelid conditions are correctable by surgery.

Ptosis: Upper Eyelid Drooping

Ptosis is apparent at birth or develops with age. A child with congenital ptosis may tilt his or her head backward in order to see, so it does not always lead to poor vision. Eyelid Surgery Mountain View to correct ptosis is commonly recommended in the preschool years to make it easier for children to see and to improve appearance. The type of surgery varies, depending upon how much the eyelids droop.

Involutional ptosis develops with aging. It may worsen after other types of eye surgery or eyelid swelling. Ptosis may limit your side vision. If it occurs in one eye, it may create an uneven appearance. Eye Surgeon Fremont of the eyelid often leads to better vision and improved appearance.

Excess Eyelid Skin

Over time, many people develop excess eyelid skin. Eyelid skin is the thinnest skin of the body, so it tends to stretch. In the upper eyelid, this stretched skin may limit your side vision. The same problem causes “bags” to form in the lower eyelids.

The excess skin in the upper eyelids can be removed surgically by a procedure called a blepharoplasty to improve side vision and other symptoms. Removal of the excess skin in either the upper or lower eyelids may improve appearance. If excess fatty tissue is present, it may be removed at the same time.

Ectropion: Outward Turning of the Lower Eyelid


Stretching of the lower eyelid with age may cause the eyelid to droop downward and turn outward. Eyelid burns or skin disease may also cause this problem. Ectropion can cause dryness of the eyes, excessive tearing, redness and sensitivity to light and wind. Surgery may restore the normal position of the eyelid, improving these symptoms.

Entropion: Inward Turning of the Lower Eyelid

Entropion also occurs most commonly as a result of aging. Infection and scarring inside the eyelid are other causes of entropion. When the eyelid turns inward, the eyelashes and skin rub against the eye, making it red, irritated and sensitive to light and wind.

If entropion is not treated, an infection may develop on the clear surface of the eye called the cornea. With surgery, the eyelid can be turned outward to its normal position, protecting the eye and improving these symptoms.

Eyelid Plastic Surgery Using Laser

Eyelid Surgery Mountain View is almost always performed on an outpatient basis under local anesthesia. First, eyelid measurements are taken and if needed, a visual field test is performed. External photographs will also be obtained. If you are a good candidate, a laser will be used to perform the surgery. This surgery is generally safe. However, as with any surgery, there are some risks:

The Vision Correction Surgeon will attempt to make both eyes look similar, but differences in healing between the eyes may cause some unevenness in appearance following surgery. A black eye is common, but will go away quickly. The eye may feel dry after surgery because it may be more difficult to close your eyes completely. This irritation generally disappears as the eyelids heal. Serious complications are rare. The risk of losing vision is estimated to be less than one in 5,000 surgeries. Infections and excessive scarring occur infrequently.

The improvement in vision, comfort, and appearance can be very gratifying.

Elevated liver enzymes are something that can be detected in blood tests. They don’t point to one particular disease or condition, but can actually be a sign of many different medical items. This article talks about some of the reasons that liver enzymes may be raised above their normal levels. Remember that this list is not comprehensive. Additionally, there are multiple enzymes that may be measured in testing, such as: gamma glutamyl transpeptidase, alanine transaminase, and others.


Yes, having diabetes may cause one to have elevated liver enzymes. Keep in mind that there are multiple types of this illness. For instance, there is type 1 diabetes, that used to be known as juvenile diabetes. In it, there is a lack of the hormone called insulin. That means the patient needs insulin replacement, which usually is given to the patient through injections.

Another form is type 2 diabetes. This was previously known as the adult-onset kind. Although the person may have a lower than normal amount of insulin, the condition revolves around a resistance to said hormone. Some patients with this disease do need replacement of insulin, but in many cases it can be managed, initially, with things such as getting more exercise and modifying one’s diet. Avoiding, as much as one can, high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels are also important.

Another type of diabetes is the gestational form. This affects women who are pregnant, and a case is only classified under this category if she had not previously had some form of the disease. In many cases, the addition of exercise and alterations to the diet are the treatment methods used, but in some cases medicine is required — with insulin as one of those.

High triglycerides

If a patient has high level of triglycerides in his blood, he may end up with elevated liver enzymes. A triglyceride is an ester. It comes by way of three fatty acids, plus glycerol. According to the American Heart Association, anything below 150 mg/dL is a normal amount. Numbers above that but below 200 are considered borderline to being high. Actual “high triglycerides” are considered to be counts that are 200 or above.

Triglycerides are one of the things measured in total cholesterol tests, even though they are not technically a form of a cholesterol. The other two things that are typically measured in such a test are HDL and LDL. HDL is called the “good” form of cholesterol, while LDL is known as the “bad” kind. The reason behind these labels is that it is thought that high levels of HDL are protective, while raised amounts of LDL are considered to assist in the development of certain medical problems.

If you are a sufferer of osteoarthritis I don’t need to tell you that the major complaint is – the achy stiffness, discomfort, pain and eventual inflammation. As the symptoms progress and cartilage erodes, the pain gets increasingly worse to the point that in many cases pain relief is required to simply function on a daily basis. This is what drives most people to have the offending joint or joints replaced with artificial ones. However, this option is only open to those with hip or knee problems and does nothing for those suffering from osteoarthritis of the hands or spine. Even for those who choose to attempt to heal their condition through lifestyle changes, nutritional re-balancing, and re-mineralization will have to continue to deal with the discomfort until their body has had time to return to balance. Depending on the progression of the condition the healing process can take some time. So at the end of the day, whether one is awaiting surgery, dealing with the condition in an area of the body without a surgical solution, or is taking the time and effort to heal their condition, dealing with pain is the common primary concern for those with osteoarthritis.

The standard allopathic response to this issue is naturally a pharmaceutical one. Unfortunately the types of drugs commonly prescribed in these situations are associated with many adverse drug reactions (ADRs), especially after long term use. The group of drugs to which I am referring are among the most widely used in the developed world. They are called NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). These are drugs with analgesic (pain-reducing) and antipyretic (fever-reducing) properties. One report published in Clinical Cornerstone stated that NSAIDs account for 70 million prescriptions and $30 billion in over-the-counter sales in the United States alone. Whether or not these numbers are accurate, the market is obviously huge. Some common names that you may be familiar with in this category of drugs are ibuprofen (Advil and Motrin), naproxen sodium (Aleve), ketoprofen (Orudis KT) and even good old aspirin, to name a few.

The main ADRs associated with prolonged or over-use of NSAIDs are well documented and on the increase. One of the immediate effects is on the gastrointestinal system. The molecular nature of NSAIDs is acidic, which causes irritation of the gastric mucosa. This in turn leads to digestive problems including nausea, gastric ulceration and intestinal bleeding, and even diarrhoea. Another area of concern with overuse of NSAIDs is that of renal interference. They impair the synthesis of prostaglandins, which are vasodilators. This in turn leads to the restriction of blood flow to the kidneys, which can cause fluid retention, sodium-potassium imbalance, as well as potential hypertension (high blood pressure). Of particular interest to OA sufferers are the studies going back as far as the late 70s that also indicated an acceleration of cartilage breakdown. Yes, that’s right. When you take these pain medications to relieve headaches, migraines, menstrual pain, postoperative pain, arthritis pain, or any kind of pain, you may be actually accelerating the breakdown of your cartilage. If you are currently using one of these drugs to treat your osteoarthritis, you might want to consider potential alternatives for pain control, especially in the case of long term use.

In this area there are a few options that can be used individually or combined that have been shown to be effective in various studies. Given our acquired metabolic strengths and weaknesses, some experimentation may be required to find out which product or combination of products works best for you. In my experience the efficacy of a supplement is often determined by quality, sourcing, and processing, which will speak to issues of bio-availability. In this regard you usually get what you pay for, so caveat emptor.

One of the oldest and most overlooked treatments for joint pain is sulphur, which tends to occur naturally in many hot springs and is probably why people with arthritis find relief after bathing in them. Elemental sulphur used to be present in our drinking water but has been long lost to our diets through municipal filtration. In supplemental form it is usually found as a compound called methylsulphonylmethane (MSM). To my knowledge the clinical trials are scant and inconclusive; however, the ones I have looked at that show marginal success are dealing with pretty low dose ranges. Dr. Al Sears in a recent newsletter was recommending a daily dose of 850 mg for the treatment of joint pain. What MSM appears to do is to improve the permeability or flow-through of your cellular membranes. If this flow-through is impaired, toxins can build up in the cells, contributing to cellular pressure, inflammation and discomfort. When the flow-through is improved toxins are released, pressure is relieved, and inflammation decreases. This form of sulphur also appears to function as an effective anti-oxidant, which is always a good thing.

I suppose glucosamine sulfate needs to mentioned given that it is the most common non-vitamin, non-mineral supplement purchased by American adults. In the case of glucosamine, clinical studies appear to be all over the map with some showing improvement of symptoms while others show it to be no more effective than a placebo. Anecdotally it would appear that some people do experience significant relief of symptoms but only after many weeks or months of use. This probably has to do with the absorbability of glucosamine, which some studies have indicated may be as low as 15-20% of dose. This would indicate that glucosamine is not likely to be of use in the short term for control of pain.

Omega 3 oils have been shown to be a worthwhile investment for their many benefits to health in general. Their anti-inflammatory properties as well as the general metabolic need for omega 3s have been well documented and there are now numerous studies showing improved joint mobility. The turning of our collective diets away from saturated fats to seed and corn oils has led to an over abundance of omega 6s and 9s and fewer omega 3s than would have been present in a more traditional or evolved diet. Over abundance of omega 6s and 9s actually contribute to the potential for increased inflammation. When it comes to supplementing with omega 3s, source and processing will I believe determine effectiveness to a large degree. Although fish oil has been popular in the past, they can easily become rancid through oxidation, thereby losing any anti-oxidant effect they would have in the body. Another more contemporary issue with fish oil is the potential for bio-accumulated toxins like mercury and PCBs. This problem will obviously increase the further up the food chain you go for sourcing. For my personal use I have found the best bang for the buck is with a good quality Krill product. Krill is one of the largest biomasses on the planet; in fact, some large species of whales feed on it exclusively. Since it is harvested from relatively cleaner Antarctic waters, as well as being at the bottom of the food chain, bio-accumulated toxins become a relative non issue. Krill also contains the highest levels of a ‘super’ anti-oxidant called astaxanthin, which protects the omega 3 oils from becoming rancid and improves bio-availability and activity immensely.

From Ayurvedic Eastern traditions we know that turmeric has long been used as another potent anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory. The most active component of turmeric is curcumin, which is what gives turmeric the intense yellow colour. There are now a growing number of studies as well as anecdotal evidence indicating a significant decrease in discomfort and increase of mobility for osteoarthritis sufferers, described by some as equivalent to the effect of NSAID’s. Turmeric appears to be another one of those ‘super’ anti-oxidants that have many beneficial effects throughout the metabolism and seems particularly adept at helping the body deal with chronic low-grade inflammation. I have been using turmeric myself for some time now and can personally attest to its benefits. The turmeric powder which is used in food and medicinally is ground from the root of the plant. As with any supplement, sourcing is everything and you’re probably best to find an organic source raised and harvested in the Ayurveda tradition. After all, they’ve been at it for 5000 years so they should know what they’re doing by now.

One last potential alternative I would like to make mention of is something called Pycnoginol, which is a registered trade mark. I came upon this product quite recently while attending a webinar so I’m still in the process of investigation myself. However, given what I’ve read so far in the research, this product certainly warrants further investigation. Pycnoginol is an extract made from the bark of a maritime pine tree which only grows on the southwest coast of France. The claims of the manufacturer are backed by 280 published scientific studies and reviews as well as data collected from 7000 patients in 98 clinical studies. I’ll leave this one simply as a heads up to provide further options in the pursuit of pain relief.

Given the problems inherent with the long term use of NSAID’s, I hope this information, if nothing else, has at least provided options that can be used safely and in the end possibly do more to correct your osteoarthritis rather than contributing to its progression.