CystitisCystitis is an inflammation of the urinary bladder, most often due to a bacterial infection. The irritation of cystitis prompts the bladder nerves to signal a sudden and urgent need to urinate, even though the bladder may be relatively empty. Urination is accompanied often by pain or a burning sensation, and if the infection is severe, only small amounts of urine may pass, usually containing blood. Other possible symptoms include a low grade fever and pain in the pubic area. Most bladder infections are caused by Escherichia coli, bacteria that normally live in the intestines. Chlamydia, a sexually transmitted organism, also causes cystitis. These can invade the bladder through the urethrathe tube through which urine leaves the body. Women are especially vulnerable to cystitis because the female urethra is short about two inches compared with 8 to 10 inches in men and is located near the vagina and anus where bacteria can flourish. Also, sexual activity can cause bacteria to be introduced into the urethra, resulting in “honeymoon cystitis.” An over sized diaphragm, which may apply pressure to the urethra and bladder, also promotes cystitis. Other contributing factors include the hormonal changes of menopause and allergic reactions to tampons, spermicides, and lubricants .

Diagnostic Studies And Procedures

Diagnosis is based on a physical examination and analysis of a urine sample to identify the causative bacteria. A nonprescription home kit, available at most pharmacies, contains urine dipsticks that can confirm a bacterial Cranberry juice can help prevent recurrent cystitis, because it acidifies the urine, creating an environment that is inhospitable for bacteria. infection. A doctor’s visit will still be necessary, however, because home tests do not indicate the causative organism.

Medical Treatments

Ideally, therapy should not begin until after a culture has identified the organism, enabling a doctor to prescribe the best antibiotic to eradicate it. In some cases, however, a broad spectrum antibiotic such as sulfamethoxazole with trimethoprim (Bactrim or Septra) or nitrofurantoin (Macrodantin and others) may be prescribed to quickly alleviate symptoms while awaiting results of the urine studies; lab tests may be repeated several days later to make sure that the drug has worked. The duration of antibiotic therapy varies. Some doctors prescribe a single large dose; others favor a 7- to 10- day course, or an even longer regimen for recurring infections. It is important to take the full course, even though symptoms may disappear within a few days . Some doctors recommend that women who have recurrent cystitis take a low dose antibiotic on a continuing basis as a preventive measure. Urinary pain usually abates within a few hours of starting antibiotic therapy. If not, a bladder analgesic such as phenazopyridine (Pyridium) may help.

Alternative Therapies

Alternative therapies will not cure the infection but may relieve symptoms.


Needles along the bladder, liver, kidney, and spleen meridians are usually helpful in relieving the pain of cystitis.

Herbal Medicine.

Alfalfa, which is reputed to be a natural diuretic, is often used to treat urinary tract infections.


Either sarsaparilla or cantharis may be advocated for painful urination. Cystitis, or bladder infection, is common in women because the urethra, vagina, and rectum are so close together that bacteria from the rectum and vagina can easily enter the urethra.


Warm sitz baths can help soothe urinary burning sensations as well as ease pain.

Nutrition Therapy

Antibiotics that are prescribed to treat cystitis often kill beneficial bacteria as well, resulting in a vaginal yeast infection and diarrhea. Nutrition therapists advise taking acidophilus capsules three times a day or eating yogurt with active acidophilus cultures. Some also recommend drinking cranberry juice because it appears to contain a bacteria killing compound; it also acidifies the urine. However, it may cause bladder irritation.

Self Treatment

The following self care measures can alleviate cystitis pain, hasten healing, and prevent recurrent infections:

  • Drink at least 8 to 10 glasses of fluids daily to help flush out the bladder. However, avoid alcohol and caffeine, which cause bladder irritation.
  • Women should urinate and then drink a full glass of water before sexual intercourse. Wait for an hour afterward and then urinate again; this allows the bladder to fill and wash out bacteria.
  • Do not use vaginal deodorants or other potentially irritating substances.
  • Wear cotton underwear and avoid tight garments to allow the genital area to remain dry. Avoid sitting around in a wet bathing suit.
  • If you use a diaphragm, make sure you are fitted correctly or consider some other birth control method. Also, use sanitary pads instead of tampons.
  • After a bowel movement, always wipe from front to back, this reduces the spread of bacteria from the rectum to the urethra.

Other Causes of Urinary Problems

Painful urination may be caused also by a bladder disorder called interstitial cystitis, by a sexually transmitted disease such as gonorrhea or, in men, by prostate enlargement. Blood in the urine may be triggered by a stone in the urinary tract, or cancer of the bladder, kidney, or prostate.



Psoriasis is a recurrent disorder in which patches of skin become red and covered by dry, silvery scales. About 5 million Americans have the condition, which usually develops during young adulthood through late middle age. Although psoriasis is seldom serious medically, the unsightly lesions can lead to emotional problems. Normally, the skin is in a constant state of renewal, with new cells forming in the dermis, or inner layer, and pushing upward into the epidermis, which sheds the old, dead cells. With psoriasis, the skin makes new cells so fast that they form silvery scales. Then, new blood vessels are created to nourish these immature cells, resulting in the typical reddening of the skin. The initial patches typically form on the scalp, behind the ears, on the back of the neck, between the shoulders, and on elbows and knees or near fingernails and toenails. Some patients also develop psoriatic arthritis, a potentially crippling joint disorder that resembles rheumatoid arthritis. In unusual cases, the entire body is covered with red, scaly patches, a variation called exfoliate psoriasis. Another form, pustular psoriasis, is characterized by blisters, usually on the palms and soles. The cause of psoriasis is unknown, but it is thought to be an autoimmune disorder, perhaps with an inherited predisposition. The condition tends to wax and wane, with symptoms often disappearing for months or even years at a time. Recurrences can be triggered by a severe sunburn, a reaction to a medication, an injury, or stress.

Diagnostic Studies And Procedures

Diagnosis is usually made by inspecting the skin for the typical layers of dry, silvery scales, but a skin biopsy may be ordered in some cases. If joints are painful and inflamed, X-rays and blood studies will be done. The absence of rheumatoid factor in the blood serum distinguishes psoriatic arthritis from rheumatoid arthritis.

Medical Treatments

If only small patches of skin are affected, self treatment or application of a prescription strength corticosteroid ointment may be effective. Calcipotriene (Dovonex), a topical drug derived from vitamin D, appears promising in slowing the growth of new skin cells. Severe cases can benefit from photo chemotherapy, a treatment in which the skin is exposed to ultraviolet A light rays following administration of psoralen, an oral medication that enhances the healing potential of the light. This approach is known as PUVA, an acronym for psoralen plus ultraviolet A. Very severe conditions may be treated with anticancer drugs, such as methotrexate, which slow the production of new cells. Etretinate (Tegison), an anti psoriatic drug, or isotretinoin (Accutane), a derivative of vitamin A used to treat severe cystic acne, are effective against pustular psoriasis.


Alternative Therapies

Herbal Medicine

Herbalists and naturopaths recommend applications of a mixture of lavender and olive oils, or bergamot and comfrey oils, to the scaly patches. Yarrow oil added to bath water is also said to help reduce scaling. A combination of the tinctures of burdock, sarsaparilla, and cleavers in equal parts, taken in doses of 1 teaspoon three times a day, may also be helpful.


Warm compresses applied to affected skin for several minutes each day may be soothing. Some people with severe psoriasis have traveled to the Dead Sea area in Israel for special water and sun treatment. Sun bathing in this locale is beneficial because of its unique geography, 1,300 feet below sea level. At this altitude, the concentration of ultraviolet A light rays is higher than anywhere else on earth. Salt and mud mixtures from this region are also sold as treatments for psoriasis.


Because stress is known to provoke psoriasis, this and other relaxation techniques can be preventive.

Nutrition Therapy

Although it has not been proved that psoriasis is related to food allergies or sensitivities, some people appear to benefit from dietary changes. To identify possible offenders, eliminate a food or group of foods for a few weeks to see if there is any improvement. Then return the food to the diet; if it produces a flare up, it may well playa role in triggering psoriasis. High doses of vitamin D have been found effective for treating psoriasis. Because this approach is still experimental, patients should not attempt to treat themselves with it.

Self Treatment

Mild cases often can be controlled with diligent self care that includes regular use of lubricants such as white petrolatum or a vegetable shortening. Using an oatmeal soap and adding a cup of sea salt to bath water may also help. If scaling persists, nonprescription cortisone cream or coal tar ointments, creams, or shampoos, such as Pentrax lotion, P&S Plus gel, or Sebutone cream or solution, can be tried. Their use should be checked beforehand with a dermatologist, but a typical regimen calls for applying the cream or lotion at night, covering it with plastic wrap, washing it off in the morning, and then exposing the skin to the sun or artificial ultraviolet light. Thick scalp plaques can be treated with overnight applications of a solution of mineral oil and 10 percent salicylic acid. To enhance the effectiveness and keep the preparation off bedding, wear a shower cap to bed, Judicious exposure to the sun often helps, but care is needed because too much sun can worsen psoriasis.

Other Causes of Skin Scaling

Seborrheic dermatitis (dandruf, can cause scalp scaling, though the lesions are usually greasy and yellow. Other conditions that should be ruled out include squamous cell skin cancer, dermatitis, fungal infections, eczema, and lichen planus, a recurrent itchy rash.

Preventing Cancer

There are many men who ask me what to take as a supplement to prevent cancer in general. This is a difficult question to answer, as we still do not fully understand the workings and intricacies of cancer in many cases. Certainly there are now established links between smoking, exposure to toxic substances and pesticide sprays, the high consumption of alcohol and cancer. There are also genetic links, especially in relation to prostate cancer and bowel cancer. Long-term stress, obesity, radiation exposure, hormonal imbalance and deficiencies in nutrients have all been linked to cancer too.

There are now active ingredients in certain herbs and foods that have anti-carcinogenic properties. I highly recommend you incorporate them into your diet on a regular basis. It is also wise to take one or more of the following supplements if you have had exposure to the any of the risk factors.

However if you are undergoing chemotherapy treatment, it is advisable not to take any anti-oxidants or anti-cancer supplements as they exert such a powerful influence that they can actually stop the chemicals from penetrating the cancer. Always check with your doctor or health professional if you’re unsure.

Treatment & prevention program

  • The diet for health and vitality in is high in anti-oxidant foods, which have been shown to help prevent cancer. Incorporate this into your life, along with some exercise and relaxation such as meditation for 20 minutes a day.
  • An extract of green tea (Camellia sinesis) contains an active anti-tumour agent called epigallocatechin gallate. Take two tablets, two to three times a day, of the recommended dose of the standardised extract (5 g).
  • A lycopene extract, which is made as a standardised extract from tomatoes, has been found to be a powerful anti-oxidant and has specific anti-cancer properties in relarion to prostate.
  • Other anti-oxidant/anti-cancer foods and herbs are rosemary, turmeric, flaxseed oil, selenium, fish oils, vitamin E, coenzyme Q10, and vitamin BI2 with folic acid. You can obtain tablet forms of most of these substances; ask you naturopath for the dose suitable for your needs.
  • An anti-oxidant herbal tablet made from St Mary’s thistle, turmeric, rosemary, grape seed and green tea is a must for my cancer patients.
  • After any cancer treatment, keep the immune system boosted by such herbs as astragalus and cat’s claw.

Cholesterol and Heart Disease – Guidelines for CPR

If you don’t know CPR already, take the time to learn it. The American Heart Association and International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation adopted new CPR guidelines in September of 2000. According to these guidelines, the first thing to do when you find an unresponsive adult is to call 911, then begin CPR. Exceptions to this rule include adult victims of submersion, trauma, and drug intoxication and infants and children up to age eight. In any of these cases, perform CPR before taking the time to dial 911. Children younger than age eight should receive about one minute of CPR before 911 is called.

If you feel that someone may have suffered a stroke, get the victim to a hospital as soon as possible. Be sure to call the hospital and let them know you are on the way.

If there are no signs of circulation-such as normal breathing, coughing, or movement-the guidelines recommend that you provide two breaths, known as rescue breaths. If there continue to be no signs of circulation or breathing after the rescue breaths have been provided, begin chest compressions. When there are one or two rescuers giving an adult CPR (that is, a victim age eight years or older), you should perform about 100 compressions per minute. For every fifteen compressions, give the victims two breaths. When giving CPR to a child or infant, you should still perform the same 100 compressions per minute, but give the victim one breath for every five compressions. Chest-compression-only CPR is recommended only when the rescuer is unwilling or unable to perform mouth-to-mouth rescue breathing.

Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy is a neurological disorder that affects basic functions, including movement, speech, and posture. Between 500,000 and 700,000 Americans have it in varying degrees. There are several types including: spastic, in which movement is stiff and difficult, athetoid, in which movement is involuntary or uncontrolled; ataxic, in which balance and depth perception are abnormal, and mixed, a combination of types. Cerebral palsy is caused by brain and nervous system damage sustained before birth, during labor, or shortly after birth. Depending upon the area and extent of the damage, symptoms may include spasms, tics, gait abnormalities, seizures, and poor muscle tone. Sight, hearing, speech, and intellect also may be affected.

Diagnostic Studies And Procedures

The disorder may be obvious at birth, or it may not become apparent for several months. Early diagnosis is important, however, so that therapy can begin as soon as possible. If cerebral palsy is suspected, a pediatric neurologist should be consulted for diagnostic tests to determine the extent and location of brain damage and to rule out other disorders. Tests are likely to include electroencephalography to measure the brain’s electrical activity; electromyography, or EMG, to measure electrical activity in the muscles during movement; and a CT scan to look for brain abnormalities. Blood and urine samples will also be studied to rule out other disorders that produce similar symptoms.

Medical Treatments

Planning of treatment should involve a team of health professionals, including physical, speech, and occupational therapists; a psychologist; a neurologist; and an orthopedist. Because there is no cure for cerebral palsy, the goal is to help the child achieve as much independence as possible. Seizures can often be controlled with anticonvulsant medications. Orthopedic treatment may include braces, splints, and casts to prevent contractures and other deformities of the arms and legs. Some children need orthopedic surgery to cut contracted muscles and tendons, thus allowing them to stretch, or to fuse together certain bones to stabilize joints. Such surgery can enable a child to walk or to maintain balance better.

Alternative Therapies

Several allied health professions and alternative practices play an important role in helping children with cerebral palsy to develop their full potential.

Dance And Music Therapies

These approaches can help children to improve their coordination, build muscle tone and strength, and gain self confidence. It is important, however, that the instructor be specially trained to work with handicapped children. Massage Therapy. This is beneficial in alleviating spasms and reducing muscle contractions. The therapist should consult the child’s primary care doctor in planning the therapy.

Physical, Occupational, And Speech Therapy

Professionals in these fields specialize in teaching living skills. Physical therapists use exercise and relaxation techniques to teach children how to walk with the aid of braces, crutches, and other devices, or how to transfer from a wheelchair to a bed and chair. They also show parents how to incorporate therapy into the child’s daily routine. Occupational therapists help a child develop useful skills such as typing or mastery of special devices to perform routine tasks. Speech therapists teach communication skills, including sign language for children who are unable to speak.

Self Treatment

Cerebral palsy is a life long condition that usually demands adaptation and training in order to achieve self sufficiency. The earlier a diagnosis is made, the sooner a child can receive special education services. Many children with cerebral palsy attend regular public schools, but others require special classes, and the more disabled may need developmental day care programs that are geared especially to their needs. Parents can do a great deal to provide a home environment that stimulates the child to learn and to explore. Regular exercise, beginning in infancy, is critical to achieving as much movement control as possible. Initially, passive exercises performed by parents or other caregivers are used, but at an early age, the child should be encouraged to participate in and eventually perform appropriate exercises. Toilet training is usually delayed and difficult to achieve if the nerves that affect bowel and bladder control are damaged. talking to other parents who have been through this stage may yield helpful tips. Special large handled eating utensils, toothbrushes, and dressing aids, such as those used by people with severe arthritis, are valuable in learning to perform basic self care. A large number of cerebral palsy cases could be prevented by improved prenatal care. Several types of infections, including toxoplasmosis, genital herpes, rubella, and cytomegalovirus, increase the risk of cerebral palsy. A woman with any of these diseases should consult an obstetrician who specializes in high risk pregnancies. Some studies indicate smoking and alcohol use during pregnancy also increase the risk.

Other Causes of Palsy

A head injury, brain tumor, stroke’, and brain infection are among the possible causes of palsy.