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Herpes

Herpes

Herpes zoster or Shingles is a viral infection that causes a painful rash. Although shingles can occur anywhere on your body, it most often appears as a single stripe of blisters that wraps around either the left or the right side of your torso.

Shingles is caused by the varicella-zoster virus — the same virus that causes chickenpox. After you've had chickenpox, the virus lies inactive in nerve tissue near your spinal cord and brain. Years later, the virus may reactivate as shingles.

While it isn't a life-threatening condition, shingles can be very painful. Vaccines can help reduce the risk of shingles, while early treatment can help shorten a shingles infection and lessen the chance of complications.

Symptoms

The signs and symptoms of shingles usually affect only a small section of one side of your body. These signs and symptoms may include:

  • Pain, burning, numbness or tingling
  • Sensitivity to touch
  • A red rash that begins a few days after the pain
  • Fluid-filled blisters that break open and crust over
  • Itching

Some people also experience:

Pain is usually the first symptom of shingles. For some, it can be intense. Depending on the location of the pain, it can sometimes be mistaken for a symptom of problems affecting the heart, lungs or kidneys. Some people experience shingles pain without ever developing the rash.

Most commonly, the shingles rash develops as a stripe of blisters that wraps around either the left or right side of your torso. Sometimes the shingles rash occurs around one eye or on one side of the neck or face.

Treatment

There's no cure for shingles, but prompt treatment with prescription antiviral drugs can speed healing and reduce your risk of complications. These medications include:

Shingles can cause severe pain, so your doctor also may prescribe:

  • Capsaicin topical patch
  • Anticonvulsants, such as gabapentin
  • Tricyclic antidepressants, such as amitriptyline
  • Numbing agents, such as lidocaine, delivered via a cream, gel, spray or skin patch
  • Medications that contain narcotics, such as codeine
  • An injection including corticosteroids and local anesthetics

Shingles generally lasts between two and six weeks. Most people get shingles only once, but it is possible to get it two or more times.

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Things To Know About Spinal Stenosis Treatment!

Things To Know About Spinal Stenosis Treatment!

Spinal Stenosis is basically the narrowing of the spaces in the spine that further causes pressure on the spinal cord as well as nerves. It has been observed that nearly 75% of cases, mainly occur in the low back that requires lumbar spine treatment. The type of spinal stenosis treatments received for this problem may vary, as it totally depends on the location of the stenosis and the severity of your signs as well as symptoms.

Here are some treatments offered by a spine specialist:

1. Medications 
Sometimes, medications are prescribed by spine physicians to control the pain associated with spinal stenosis. Some of the common medicines prescribed are mentioned below.

• NSAIDs (Onsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs that help to ease the pain and reduce the inflammation. These mainly include ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) and naproxen (Aleve), that are easily available without prescription.

• Muscle relaxants help to calm the muscle spasms that occasionally occur and these medicines includes cyclobenzaprine (Amrix, Fexmid).

• Antidepressants like amitriptyline are recommended to be given as tricyclic nightly doses to ease chronic the pain.

• Anti-seizure drugs are commonly used to reduce pain caused by damaged nerves and these medicines include names like gabapentin (Neurontin, Gralise, Horizant) and pregabalin (Lyrica).

2. Therapy 
People suffering from stenosis tend to become less active to reduce the pain caused by physical activities. This further leads to weakness in the muscles that is even more painful. Therefore a physiotherapist teaches some exercises to build up the strength, maintain stability as well as flexibility in the spine and improvement in maintaining balance.

3. Steroid injections 
Because of this ailment nerve roots become a little irritated the spots that are pinched gets swollen. Thus injecting corticosteroid around that constriction that reduces the inflammation and gives relief to the pressure. Theses injections sometimes don't work for everyone and if they are repetitive, they can cause weakness in the nearby bones as well as the connective tissue. Therefore, only a few injections per year are suggested.

4. Surgery 
Surgery is considered, only if the other treatments don't work or a patient is disabled by its symptoms. The main aim of a surgery is to relieve the pressure on the spinal cord or nerve roots which is done by creating more space within the spinal canal. The main examples of surgeries suggested includes Laminectomy, Laminotomy and Laminoplasty.

In most cases, these space-creating operations help in the reduction of the symptoms of spinal stenosis. But sometimes the symptoms do not fully disappear or even get worse after surgery. Surgery even includes some risks like infections, blood clot in a leg vein, neurological deterioration or even a tear in the membrane that covers the spinal cord.

 

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Pain Management for Chronic Back Pain

Pain Management for Chronic Back Pain

Back pain may occur due to various reasons. Chronic back pain is the one that remains for 12 weeks or more than that even after the cause of the pain has been treated. There are several ways of treating chronic back pain. Its treatment depends upon the nature of injury or the actual underlying cause of the pain.

The treatment for back pain has been listed below:

  1. Short-term methods: Initially, people use short-term remedies for tackling back pain. Over-the-counter painkillers and home remedies are used to cure the patient. This might show useful results within six weeks.
  2. Continue movement: Although traditionally, patients with back pain were advised to take complete bed rest. However, doctors today are of the opinion that patients should not take complete bed rest. The patient should try to move around a bit. It may be hurting first, but slowly it will heal the pain. One can take up brisk walking for best results.
  3. Painkillers: Patients are first prescribed to take paracetamol. However, some people take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen for faster relief. There are stronger painkillers like codeine. But one must keep in mind that painkillers are not good for health. They have side effects. Long-term use of painkillers can cause damage to the kidneys. If these are not effective, the doctor might switch to muscle relaxant like diazepam.
  4. Hot and cold compress: Patients are advised to take hot or cold compress to get relief. A hot bath or compress with hot water can be useful. Otherwise, using ice pack can also produce effective results. Often, alternate hot and cold compress are advised to get rid of the pain.
  5. Change your sleeping style: The pain can be reduced to a great extent by changing one's sleeping pattern. Use pillows to change the sleep pattern.
  6. Exercise: The patient might have developed back pain due to faulty posture or obesity. In order to get rid of the pain, one must address these issues first. Shred the extra pounds b exercising the correct way to get cured of the pain.
  7. Acupuncture: It is a kind of treatment in which fine needles are put at different points of the body. This helps in reducing the pain.
  8. Oil massage: There are various kinds of massage techniques available. These improve the circulation of blood. This in turn, rejuvenates the muscles and bones by providing sufficient oxygen supply.
  9. Antidepressants: These are prescribed when painkillers don't show effective results. Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs), such as amitriptyline are given to the patient. However, these are given in small doses.
  10. Stay calm and positive: It is important to have a positive frame of mind to get rid of the pain. One has to be patient and not lose hope while the treatment is on. If you wish to discuss any specific problem, you can consult a pain management specialist.
4104 people found this helpful

Pain Management For Chronic Back Pain - Know More!

Pain Management For Chronic Back Pain - Know More!

Back pain may occur due to various reasons. Chronic back pain is the one that remains for 12 weeks or more than that even after the cause of the pain has been treated. There are several ways of treating chronic back pain. Its treatment depends upon the nature of injury or the actual underlying cause of the pain.

The treatment for back pain has been listed below:

  1. Short-term methods: Initially, people use short-term remedies for tackling back pain. Over-the-counter painkillers and home remedies are used to cure the patient. This might show useful results within six weeks.
  2. Continue movement: Although traditionally, patients with back pain were advised to take complete bed rest. However, doctors today are of the opinion that patients should not take complete bed rest. The patient should try to move around a bit. It may be hurting first, but slowly it will heal the pain. One can take up brisk walking for best results.
  3. Painkillers: Patients are first prescribed to take paracetamol. However, some people take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen for faster relief. There are stronger painkillers like codeine. But one must keep in mind that painkillers are not good for health. They have side effects. Long-term use of painkillers can cause damage to the kidneys. If these are not effective, the doctor might switch to muscle relaxant like diazepam.
  4. Hot and cold compress: Patients are advised to take hot or cold compress to get relief. A hot bath or compress with hot water can be useful. Otherwise, using ice pack can also produce effective results. Often, alternate hot and cold compress are advised to get rid of the pain.
  5. Change your sleeping style: The pain can be reduced to a great extent by changing one's sleeping pattern. Use pillows to change the sleep pattern.
  6. Exercise: The patient might have developed back pain due to faulty posture or obesity. In order to get rid of the pain, one must address these issues first. Shred the extra pounds b exercising the correct way to get cured of the pain.
  7. Acupuncture: It is a kind of treatment in which fine needles are put at different points of the body. This helps in reducing the pain.
  8. Oil massage: There are various kinds of massage techniques available. These improve the circulation of blood. This in turn, rejuvenates the muscles and bones by providing sufficient oxygen supply.
  9. Antidepressants: These are prescribed when painkillers don't show effective results. Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs), such as amitriptyline are given to the patient. However, these are given in small doses.
  10. Stay calm and positive: It is important to have a positive frame of mind to get rid of the pain. One has to be patient and not lose hope while the treatment is on.
4144 people found this helpful

Post-Herpetic Neuralgia Chronic Pain Management!

Post-Herpetic Neuralgia Chronic Pain Management!

The condition of persistent pain in the body, where an outbreak of the Varicella Zoster virus has caused Shingles, is termed as post-herpetic neuralgia. It is a debilitating complication of the herpes zoster virus. The blisters that occur in shingles develop a crust formation and neuralgia begins after these crusts are formed. It may also occur in people who do not produce the crustaceous lesions. A burning pain that is long-lasting, even after the rash and the blisters disappear, is observed. There is a criteria of the pain to be persistent for around three months for the confirmation of post herpetic neuralgia.

The cause of this condition is damage of the sensory nerves that can occur due to the movement of the reactivated Herpes Zoster virus from the nerves to the skin. In an individual affected with chickenpox, the infection can involve dorsal root ganglia, where the virus lies dormant. Under conditions like stress due to infection or in an immuno-compromised individual, after a period of time, reactivation of the virus takes place. This reactivation causes production of Shingles on the body. The dormant virus reaches the skin and reactivates to produce lesions.

With an increase in age, the chances of developing post-herpetic neuralgia also increase. It primarily affects older individuals in the age group of 60 to 70 years. Treatment is aimed at pain management and providing symptomatic relief, with improvement of the neuralgia over a period of time. Symptoms of this condition are limited to the area of shingles’ outbreak. Trunk is commonly affected on a unilateral site. It can also occur on face. Common symptoms include pain lasting 3 months or longer after healing of the shingles rash, allodynia, numbness over the affected area and itching. Even a slight touch of cloth over the affected area can cause alleviated pain to the individual. Disturbed sleep and development of clinical depression is usually associated with post herpetic neuralgia. The medications given for post herpetic neuralgia are aimed at pain relief and resolving of symptoms. Management of chronic pain can be brought about by the use of a combination of pain relieving drug classes.

Some commonly used drugs for treatment of post-herpetic neuralgia are as follows:

  1. Topical Agents: Numerous topical agents have been effectively used in the treatment of post-herpetic neuralgia. In patients with allodynia or an alleviated pain sensation, topical lidocaine patches are very effective. The nociceptive activity of small nerve fibers is decreased by use of Lidocaine. Also, the brush of clothing is avoided by the patch serving as a protective barrier itself. Another topical agent that has proved effective in pain relief is Capsaicin. Its clinical use is limited due to the burning sensation caused by its application. With regular use, however, the burning sensation gradually reduces. Capsaicin should be used for a minimum period of a month to aid pain relief. Low systemic absorption of the topical agents ensure few side effects caused by them.
  2. Antidepressants: The standard drug therapy for treatment of post-herpetic neuralgia include the use of antidepressant drugs. Drugs like Nortriptyline, Amitriptyline are the most commonly used drugs amongst the tricyclic antidepressants for pain relief in post-herpetic neuralgia. These drugs are however associated with various adverse effects like sedation and cardiac dysrhythmias. Other drug classes like Serotonin reuptake inhibitors are used in individuals with low tolerance to the tricyclic antidepressants. Depression symptoms are relieved by the use of this drug class. Specific relief of the chronic pain of post-herpetic neuralgia is not achieved much efficiently though.
  3. Anticonvulsants: Neuropathic pain can be relieved by many anticonvulsant drugs. Drugs like Pregabalin have lesser side effects and also require a lesser monitoring than previously used anticonvulsant drugs like Carbamazepine.
  4. Opioids: Long term use of opioids shows significant risks like sedation and mental clouding. These drugs are considered safe for use without causing cardiac or hepatic adverse effects. When opioids are prescribed, stool softeners and laxatives should also be given to avoid constipation. Other pain management protocol includes cryotherapy, ablation of the affected roots of nerve, anterolateral cordotomy and even the use of electrical nerve stimulation. The physician should evaluate the best suitable pain management option and provide treatment accordingly.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

4238 people found this helpful

Interstitial Cystitis - Causes, Symptoms, Precautions And Its Treatments!

Interstitial Cystitis - Causes, Symptoms, Precautions And Its Treatments!

What is Interstitial cystitis?

Interstitial cystitis is chronic inflammation of the bladder. It is a combination of uncomfortable bladder pressure, bladder pain and sometimes pain in your pelvis, which can range from mild burning or discomfort to severe pain.

Symptoms of Interstitial cystitis-

  • Discomfort or pain in the penis and scrotum
  • Chronic pelvic pain
  • A persistent, urgent need to urinate
  • Pain during sexual intercourse

Causes of Interstitial cystitis-

  • Abnormality of the bladder lining
  • Abnormalities of the immune system
  • Overactivity of nerve cells of the bladder

Risk factors of Interstitial cystitis-

Complications of Interstitial cystitis-

  • Reduced bladder capacity
  • Pain may interfere with social activities, work and other activities of daily life.
  • Emotional stress
  • Relationship troubles 

Diagnosis of Interstitial cystitis-

Diagnosis of Interstitial cystitis involves the following tests:

Precautions & Prevention of Interstitial cystitis-
There is no way to prevent interstitial cystitis. It can be reduced by avoiding the following foods or drinks:

  • Caffeine-containing beverages
  • High-acid citrus fruits
  • Spicy foods
  • Chocolate
  • Fermented foods
  • Alcohol

Treatment of Interstitial cystitis-

  • Homeopathic Treatment of Interstitial cystitis
  • Acupuncture & Acupressure Treatment of Interstitial cystitis
  • Psychotherapy Treatment of Interstitial cystitis
  • Conventional / Allopathic Treatment of Interstitial cystitis
  • Surgical Treatment of Interstitial cystitis
  • Dietary & Herbal Treatment of Interstitial cystitis
  • Other Treatment of Interstitial cystitis

Homeopathic Treatment of Interstitial Cystitis-

Homeopathic Treatment of Interstitial cystitis helps in relieving frequent, intense urges to urinate with cramping, burning pains. Some of the homeopathic remedies for treatment of interstitial cystitis are:

  • Stigmata
  • Berberis
  • Belladonna
  • Terebinth
  • Cantharis
  • Merc C

Acupuncture & Acupressure Treatment of Interstitial Cystitis-

In the Acupuncture Treatment of Interstitial cystitis, a practitioner places numerous thin needles in your skin at specific points on your body. This helps in relieving pain and other symptoms by rebalancing the flow of life energy. It also boosts the activity of your body’s natural painkillers.

Psychotherapy and Hypnotherapy Treatment of Interstitial Cystitis-

Psychotherapy and hypnotherapy can help in stress relief. They can help in better coping and early relief.

Conventional / Allopathic Treatment of Interstitial cystitis-

Allopathic Treatment of Interstitial cystitis involves the following medications:

Surgical Treatment of Interstitial cystitis-

Surgical Treatment of Interstitial cystitis involves the following surgeries:

  • Bladder augmentation
  • Fulguration
  • Resection

Dietary & Herbal Treatment of Interstitial cystitis-

  • Avoid carbonated beverages, caffeine
  • Avoid citrus products and food containing high concentrations of vitamin C

Other Treatment of Interstitial cystitis-

  • Easy stretching exercises may help reduce your interstitial cystitis symptoms.
  • Try methods such as visualization and biofeedback, and low-impact exercise
     

 

What Is Interstitial Cystitis ( Painful Bladder Syndrome)?

What Is Interstitial Cystitis ( Painful Bladder Syndrome)?

Diagnosis -
The following may be helpful in diagnosing interstitial cystitis:

  • Medical history and bladder diary - Your doctor will ask you to describe your symptoms and may ask you to keep a bladder diary, recording the volume of fluids you drink and the volume of urine you pass.
  • Pelvic exam - During a pelvic exam, your doctor examines your external genitals, vagina and cervix and feels your abdomen to assess your internal pelvic organs. Your doctor may also examine your anus and rectum.
  • Urine test - A sample of your urine is analyzed for signs of a urinary tract infection.
  • Cystoscopy - Your doctor inserts a thin tube with a tiny camera (cystoscope) through the urethra, showing the lining of your bladder. Your doctor may also inject liquid into your bladder to measure your bladder capacity. Your doctor may perform this procedure, known as hydrodistention, after you've been numbed with an anesthetic medication to make you more comfortable.
  • Biopsy - During cystoscopy under anesthesia, your doctor may remove a sample of tissue (biopsy) from the bladder and the urethra for examination under a microscope. This is to check for bladder cancer and other rare causes of bladder pain.
  • Urine cytology - Your doctor collects a urine sample and examines the cells to help rule out cancer.
  • Potassium sensitivity test - Your doctor places (instills) two solutions — water and potassium chloride — into your bladder, one at a time. You're asked to rate on a scale of 0 to 5 the pain and urgency you feel after each solution is instilled. If you feel noticeably more pain or urgency with the potassium solution than with the water, your doctor may diagnose interstitial cystitis. People with normal bladders can't tell the difference between the two solutions.

Treatment -

No simple treatment eliminates the signs and symptoms of interstitial cystitis, and no one treatment works for everyone. You may need to try various treatments or combinations of treatments before you find an approach that relieves your symptoms.

  • Physical therapy - Working with a physical therapist may relieve pelvic pain associated with muscle tenderness, restrictive connective tissue or muscle abnormalities in your pelvic floor.
     
  • Oral medications - Oral medications that may improve the signs and symptoms of interstitial cystitis include:
    • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen (advil, motrin ib, others) or naproxen sodium (aleve), to relieve pain.
    • Tricyclic antidepressants, such as amitriptyline or imipramine (tofranil), to help relax your bladder and block pain
    • Antihistamines, such as loratadine (claritin, others), which may reduce urinary urgency and frequency and relieve other symptoms.
    • Pentosan polysulfate sodium (elmiron), which is approved by the food and drug administration specifically for treating interstitial cystitis. How it works is unknown, but it may restore the inner surface of the bladder, which protects the bladder wall from substances in urine that could irritate it. It may take two to four months before you begin to feel pain relief and up to six months to experience a decrease in urinary frequency.
       
  • Nerve stimulation - Sacral nerve stimulation.
  • Nerve stimulation techniques include:
    • Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (tens. With tens, mild electrical pulses relieve pelvic pain and, in some cases, reduce urinary frequency. Tens may increase blood flow to the bladder. This may strengthen the muscles that help control the bladder or trigger the release of substances that block pain.
    • Electrical wires placed on your lower back or just above your pubic area deliver electrical pulses — the length of time and frequency of therapy depends on what works best for you.
    • Sacral nerve stimulation. Your sacral nerves are a primary link between the spinal cord and nerves in your bladder. Stimulating these nerves may reduce urinary urgency associated with interstitial cystitis.
    • With sacral nerve stimulation, a thin wire placed near the sacral nerves sends electrical impulses to your bladder, similar to what a pacemaker does for your heart. If the procedure decreases your symptoms, you may have a permanent device surgically implanted. This procedure doesn't manage pain from interstitial cystitis, but may help to relieve some symptoms of urinary frequency and urgency.
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Homeopathy For Forgetfulness / Memory Loss

Homeopathy For Forgetfulness / Memory Loss

Memory slips are aggravating, frustrating, and sometimes worrisome. When they happen more than they should, they can trigger fears of looming dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. there are many mundane—and treatable—causes of forgetfulness. Here are seven common ones and how can homeopathic treatment can help you.To know more about homeopathy and homeopathic treatment read more.....

Lack of sleep.

Not getting enough sleep is perhaps the greatest unappreciated cause of memory slips. Too little restful sleep can also lead to mood changes and anxiety, which in turn contribute to problems with memory.

Medications.

Tranquilizers, antidepressants, some blood pressure drugs, and other medications can affect memory, usually by causing sedation or confusion. That can make it difficult to pay close attention to new things. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you suspect that a new medication is taking the edge off your memory. As shown in the table below, alternatives are usually available.

*Medications* that may affect memory and possible substitutes
If you take these drug, ask about switching to one of these drugs:
1.paroxetine (Paxil) another antidepressant such as fluoxetine (Prozac) or sertraline (Zoloft), or a different type of antidepressant such as duloxetine (Cymbalta) or venlafaxine (Effexor)
2.cimetidine (Tagamet) a different type of heartburn drug, such as lansoprazole (Prevacid), omeprazole (Prilosec), or esomeprazole (Nexium)
3.oxybutynin (Ditropan) or tolterodine (Detrol, Detrusitol) other medications for an overactive bladder, such as trospium (Sanctura), solifenacin (Vesicare), or darifenacin (Enablex)
4.amitriptyline (Elavil), desipramine (Norpramin), or nortriptyline (Aventyl, Pamelor) another type of medication, depending on why your doctor has prescribed a tricyclic antidepressant (neuropathic pain, depression, etc.)

5.*captopril (Capoten)* a different type of ACE inhibitor, such as enalapril, lisinopril, or ramipril
cold or allergy medication containing brompheniramine, chlorpheniramine, or diphenhydramine loratadine (Claritin) or other non-sedating antihistamine
(Adapted from Improving Memory: Understanding age-related memory loss, a Harvard Medical School Special Health Report)

 

Underactive thyroid

A faltering thyroid can affect memory (as well as disturb sleep and cause depression, both of which contribute to memory slips). A simple blood test can tell if your thyroid is doing its job properly.

Alcohol.

Drinking too much alcohol can interfere with short-term memory, even after the effects of alcohol have worn off. Although “too much” varies from person to person, it’s best to stick with the recommendation of no more than two drinks per day for men and no more than one a day for women. One drink is generally defined as 1.5 ounces (1 shot glass) of 80-proof spirits, 5 ounces of wine, or 12 ounces of beer.

Stress and anxiety.

Anything that makes it harder to concentrate and lock in new information and skills can lead to memory problems. Stress and anxiety fill the bill. Both can interfere with attention and block the formation of new memories or the retrieval of old ones.

 

Depression.

Common signs of depression include a stifling sadness, lack of drive, and lessening of pleasure in things you ordinarily enjoy. Forgetfulness can also be a sign of depression—or a consequence of it.

If memory lapses are bugging you, it’s worth a conversation with your doctor to see if any reversible causes are at the root of the problem. Something like getting more sleep, switching a medication, or a stress reduction program could get your memory back on track.

TREATMENT PROTOCOLS FOR POOR MEMORY

Spleen Kidney and heart are the 3 organs which provides memory

●Following are the three patterns of poor memory :

1) spleen deficiency causes poor memory, inability to concentrate and study.

2) deficiency of kidney essence causes poor everyday memory.

3) heart deficiency causes poor memory of past events , forgetting names.

1) Spleen deficiency causes
poor memory inability to concentrate
and study:
Main symptoms :
1) poor memory
2) tiredness
3) poor appetite
4) *pale tongue*
5) *weak pulse*

Treatment principle :
1) tone the spleen
2) strengthen intellect. Spleen houses intellect , which controls memorisation, study and concentration.

2) Kidney essence deficiency
causes poor memory everyday.
Main symptoms :
1) poor everyday memory
2) can not remember names , faces, roads etc.
3) dizziness
4) tinnitus
5) weakness
6) if kidney yang is deficient , tongue will be
pale
7) if kidney yin is deficient the tongue will be
red

Treatment principles :
1) tone the kidney
2) nourish essence and marrow

3) Heart deficiency causes

  • Poor memory of past events 
  • Forgetting names 

Main symptoms :

1) poor memory of past events
2) forgetting names
3) absent mindedness
4) tiredness
5) slight breathlessness
6) if there is heart yang deficiency the tongue will be pale with heart cracking
7) if there is heart yin deficiency the tongue will be red with heart crack

Treatment principle :
1) *tone the heart*
2) strengthen the mind and memory

Homeopathic treatment

There are many remedies in homeopathy to treat this condition. It requires a detailed study of the patient to know his/her lifestyle and life circumstances to be able to diagnose at the correct cause/causes so as to administer the right remedy. Since homeopathic medicines do not have sideeffects this is a very great advantage.

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6 Magical Tips to Cope with Migraine Attacks

6 Magical Tips to Cope with Migraine Attacks

Migraines affect up to 18 percent of women and 6 percent of men in the United States. Today, migraines affect as many as four out of every five people in America.  Doctors are still unraveling the mysteries of migraines. Most doctors believe a combination of things that cause people to have migraines. The causes of migraines range from genetics to neurovascular imbalances in the brain.

Why Do Most People Experience Weather Related Migraines?

It is not entirely clear why some people experience more migraines around the change of weather.  Even though the cause of weather related migraines has not been identified, there are ways to decrease the severity, reduce and prevent migraines from occurring.

In a recent survey by the National Headache Foundation, headache sufferers were given a list of possible causes. They were asked to rank them in terms of what commonly brought on their migraines. Three out of every four respondents said that weather triggered their headache pain.

Specific weather triggers included:

  • Changes in humidity
  • Changes in temperature
  • Storms
  • Extremely dry conditions

Most people have an idea of what causes their migraines, but the real question is what can you do to help reduce the amount of migraines, decrease the severity or prevent the migraines from occurring?   Below are six tips to help you cope and find a solution to preventing your migraines. 

6 Tips on How to Cope With Your Migraines

Tip # 1 – Keep a Diary of Your Migraines:

Keeping a diary is the first step toward finding a solution, so your migraines do not disrupt you and stop you from having a healthy, happy and productive life.  The first step is to try to figure out what triggers your migraines.  One way to do that is to keep a diary of all your migraines.  If you think weather is a reason for your migraines then record any of the common weather and environmental factors that may have initiated your migraines. Keep a detailed diary and bring this diary to your doctor, so your doctor can figure what the best treatment is for you.

In your diary, you should include:

  • What part of the brain do you feel the pain?
  • What does the pain feel like?
  • The time your headache began and when it ended
  • Any changes in the weather, such as storms, high winds, or high humidity
  • Any warning signs – symptoms before the migraine occurred
  • Any treatment you tried, and whether it helped or made the migraine worse

Tip # 2 – Making Changes in Your Daily Regimen:

Making changes in your everyday life can help reduce the number and severity of migraines you are experiencing. Here are some changes you can incorporate into your life that can help improve the number of migraines you are experiencing.

  • Sleep: Make sure you get enough of sleep and try going to sleep around the same time each night.  Interruptions in your sleep schedule, getting too much or too little sleep, can trigger a migraine.
  • Exercise regularly: Research has shown that regular, moderate aerobic exercise may reduce the severity, duration, and number of migraines in many people. Regular exercise also helps control stress, another migraine trigger.
  • Eat regular meals: Eating healthy meals regularly are important to maintain level blood sugar. A drop in blood sugar can trigger a migraine.
  • Drink plenty of water: Make sure you drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration, which can trigger migraine.
  • Limit stress: For many migraine sufferers, stress is plays a big factor. Take time each day to relax. Find something that helps you relax like listening to soothing music, taking short walks, meditating or doing yoga.
  • Try complementary therapies: Try using complementary therapy to help prevent migraines. For example, you may be able to manage stress and prevent migraines through acupuncture, massages and cognitive behavioral therapy.

Tip # 3 – Incorporate Certain Foods into Your Diet:

If you are a migraine sufferer like me, you are constantly looking for prevention ideas. Certain foods can help fight off and prevent migraines.  These foods include:

  • Cayenne: Cayenne peppers are widely recognized as culinary ingredients that add intense heat and flavor to southwest American, Caribbean, Indian and Asian dishes. However, this pepper may also offer healing benefits. Capsaicin, the chemical that gives cayenne peppers their heat, may help reduce blood vessel constriction. This may help prevent rapid blood pressure fluctuations that can trigger migraine headaches.
  • Coffee: When it comes to coffee, caffeine can give you migraine relief. It is a major ingredient in many headache medications. However, if you consume too much, it can actually cause migraines. Moderation is key!
  • Flaxseed and Fish: An anti-inflammatory diet is beneficial to preventing migraines.  Flaxseeds and fish are packed with omega-3s and fiber can actually help prevent migraines.
  • Riboflavin-rich Foods: Riboflavin, also known as vitamin B-2, is one of eight B vitamins necessary for the metabolism of nutrients and protection of your central nervous system. A deficiency of this vitamin may also contribute to headaches, particularly migraines. Adding foods high in riboflavin may help stop recurring migraines by correcting deficiencies. Eggs, avocados, broccoli, romaine lettuce, alfalfa, asparagus, walnuts and mushrooms are abundant sources of riboflavin.
  • Magnesium-rich Foods: About 60 percent of migraine sufferers may have magnesium deficiencies. Magnesium is a trace mineral that may help normalize nerve impulses in your brain that transmit pain signals. This may help stop intense pain associated with migraine headaches. It may also help regulate the production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter chemical that may contribute to sudden changes in blood pressure – a contributing factor of migraines. Increase your magnesium intake by consuming foods such as kale, tofu, lima beans, kelp, garlic, apples, bananas and apricots.

Tip # 4 – Consider Dietary Supplements:

  • Magnesium: This is probably the most important one as it contributes to relaxing the brain blood vessels that cause the pain. Magnesium penetrates cell membranes, including the mitochondria. Some of the best drugs used to treat migraines are calcium channel blockers.
  • Vitamin B2: (riboflavin) – Riboflavin, which is vitamin B2, converts energy from carbohydrates. The riboflavin gives your brain more energy, which makes it less likely to be bothered by migraine triggers.
  • Vitamin B6: Vitamin B6 is needed so the body can properly use serotonin and dopamine. These neurotransmitters are necessary for normal nerve cell communication. Researchers have found lower levels of serotonin in people with migraine headaches. Therefore taking Vitamin B6 may help the body better use these crucial chemicals and it is thought be a key vitamin for migraine aura and a natural remedy for migraines.
  • Vitamin B12 & Folic acid:  Vitamin B-12 supplements may also be effective for migraine relief if taken along with vitamin B6 and folic acid. A study published in “Pharmacogenetics & Genomics” in June 2009 showed that participants who took all three supplements together saw a reduction in migraine headache frequency and the severity of their pain.

Tip # 5 – Consider the Possibilities of Herbal Supplements:

For centuries, many people have used alternative therapies to help or cure common conditions.    Certain herbs have been used to help reduce or prevent migraines.  Some can be just as strong or effective as prescription drugs. Therefore, it is important to remember, if you consider using any type of herbal supplements, consult your doctor first.  Make sure it does not conflict with any medications you are currently taking.   You should not take any herbal supplements or drugs unless your doctor says it is OK and if you are pregnant, you should not take any herbal supplements because it may harm the baby.

Herbal supplements used to reduce and prevent migraines include the following:

  • Alfalfa Leaf
  • Barberry Root
  • Bay Leaf
  • Brazilian Guarana
  • Butterbur
  • Catnip
  • Cayenne
  • Chamomile
  • Dong Quai
  • Evening Primrose
  • Feverfew
  • Ginger Root
  • Green Tea
  • Griffonia Seed
  • Hawthorne Leaf
  • Honeysuckle
  • Kola Nut
  • Lemon Balm
  • Passion Flower
  • Peppermint Leaf
  • Valerian Root
  • White Willow Bark
  • Wintergreen
  • Wood Betony

Tip # 6 – Prescription Medications:

Not all experts would recommend using medication to prevent temperature-change-related migraines.  However, if you have tried natural, holistic and alternative therapies to try to eliminate your migraines and nothing seems to be effective then you should focus on other alternatives such as prescription medications specifically made to help people suffering from migraines.

Below are some prescription medications for patients suffering from migraines:

  1. Antiepileptic drugs: Certain medications used to control seizures are also effective for preventing migraines as well. These drugs may work by calming the neurons in the brain. Neuron “hyperexcitability” plays a role in migraine and epilepsy. Up to 20% of people with epilepsy also suffer from migraines including myself.  Anti – seizure medications that help migraines include:
    1. Depacon (valproate)
    2. Depakote (divalproex)
    3. Topiragen, Topamax (topiramate)
  2.  Beta-blockers: These medications are frequently used to treat high blood pressure and heart disease. It is not clear how they help prevent migraines. Nevertheless, beta-blockers improve the blood flow and this may be significant reason why beta-blockers help prevent migraines.  Beta-blockers that have been proven effective for the prevention of migraines include:
    1.  Blocadren (timolol)
    2. Inderal, Innopran XL (propranolol)
    3. Lopressor, Toprol XL (metoprolol)
  3. Antidepressants: These medications affect the level of the brain chemical serotonin. Research has shown that Elavil (amitriptyline) and Effexor (venlafaxine) work well for preventing migraines.
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