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Health Guides


Definition: viral infections of the skin causing raised lumps

Causes: caused by a papillomavirus, most warts are on the skin. Those on the bottom of the feet are called plantar warts and are flat due to the pressure of the body on them. However, some warts are sexually transmitted diseases, particularly those in the genital, cervical, and anal areas, and should be seen by a physician and treated. Genital warts are the most common sexually transmitted disease. 

Signs and symptoms:

Usually there are no symptoms, although there may be tenderness with plantar warts due to the pressure, and with anal and genital warts there may be itching. They may be flat or raised, and are usually no longer than half a centimeter. It usually takes 2 to 18 months after an exposure for a wart to develop, and warts often recur.


Medically, treatment is aimed first of all at removing the warts, either with liquid nitrogen, acid, electrocauterization, or laser. Other the counter medications may also be used, but it may take time using these solutions. 

Alternatively, zinc may help with warts by helping the immune system. One study showed acupoint injection with B12 was 100% effective in eliminating or greatly improving warts.


Use of condoms is the most important way to prevent the spread of genital and anal warts, but a person may be still infectious even if none are visibly present. Avoid contacts with warts, and wear protection on the feet in public showers to reduce the risk of developing plantar warts. 

Varicose Veins

Definition: enlargement of veins

Causes: Veins return blood to the heart and have valves to help prevent backflow. However, with prolonged standing or sitting, obesity, pregnancy, or no exercise, these valves can fail and blood can pool, causing enlargement of the veins. 

Signs and symptoms:

Most varicose veins and close to the surface of the skin and are present in the legs, although they may be present anywhere veins occur. Dull pain may be present, sometimes with itching, and in worse cases there may be swelling.


Medically when varicose veins are bad enough, surgical intervention may occur or a laser may be utilized. Before this, however, they are treated with elevation of the legs or reduced standing, and the use of compression hose.

Alternative treatment for varicose veins includes the use of flavonoids, such as from buckwheat, to help strengthen the walls of the veins (flavonoids include compounds such as quercentin, hesperidin, rutin, and citrus bioflavanoids) and herbs such as horse chestnut and collinsonia or stone root. 


Prevention includes maintaining a normal weight, avoiding prolonged standing with minimal movement, and eating a diet rich in flavonoids. Exercise such as walking is very helpful.


Dermatol Ther 2003 June;16(2):106-13.

Urinary Tract Infections – Cystitis, Kidney Infections, Bladder Infections

Causes: most common in women, but also present in men, children, and infants, most are caused by bacteria. Sometimes they are caused by a sexually transmitted disease known as trichomonas. In men, they are often caused secondarily by prostate problems.

Signs and symptoms: Frequent urination with urgency, pain or burning with urination, and sometimes blood in the urine. At times the urine is cloudy and foul-smelling, and itching can be present in the urethra. Others experience lower back pain or pain in the lower abdomen. Sometimes a fever is present, especially if it involves the kidneys.


Medical treatment involves the use of antibiotics to treat the infection. If antibiotics are given, also take an acidophilus supplement to help avoid secondary yeast infections. Avoid sexual intercourse during the infection.

Alternative treatment begins with a change in diet, eliminating refined sugars from the diet and any other food allergen, as well as dairy. Cranberry is very important, and cranberry pills are recommended over juice since many cranberry juices contain sugar. Drink a lot of water, and only water. Avoid alcohol and caffeine containing substances. Wear cotton underwear and loose clothing. Take supplements such as multi-vitamins and herbs such as Echinacea and goldenseal that will boost the immune system.


A proper diet low in refined sugars and carbohydrates is essential. Drink a lot of water and urinate frequently. Bubble baths or bath oils can be aggravating, as can be frequent douching and perfumed vaginal products. Some women react to substances on toilet paper. 


Definition: erosions in the protective lining of the stomach or small intestine – those in the stomach are gastric ulcers and the most common ulcer is the duodenal ulcer in the upper small intestine.

Causes: ulcers are the result of inflammation brought about by an imbalance in the acid-secretion and mucosal defenses of the body, which may be started by medications such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as Ibuprofen or aspirin, smoking, over secretion of stomach acids, or a bacterial infection by Helicobacter pylori. 

Signs and symptoms: Some ulcers cause no signs or symptoms, but often a person has upper abdominal pain approximately 45-60 minutes after eating, or during the night, that is relieved by food or antacids. The pain is often described as gnawing, burning, aching, or cramp-like, often like heartburn. Sometimes the pain will radiate to the back. The person may be nauseous and vomit small amounts of acid. If black, tarry stools are present, there may be a bleeding ulcer. See a physician if this occurs. A perforated ulcer must be treated immediately. 


Medically various drugs are used to block acid production, such as Pepcid, Zantac, Axid, or Tagamet. If caused by a bacterium, antibiotics are used. If you are put on antibiotics, use acidophilus supplementation along with it. Over the counter medications such as antacids may also be effective in mild cases.

Avoid hot and spicy foods if they irritate, but most people can eat a normal diet. Avoid alcohol, caffeine, aspirin, ibuprofen, and stop smoking. 

Alternatively, in addition to the above changes, eat a higher fiber, low glycemic index diet, and reduce stress. Take vitamin A and zinc to help with healing the lining of the intestinal tract. Ginger can help with a bacterial infection by H. pylori. Comfrey is also helpful. The amino acid glutamine also helps heal the intestinal lining.


In addition to a good diet, prevention of ulcers involves avoiding those substances that can cause the ulcers, such as smoking and pain relievers. Use other methods to address the pain than pharmaceutical pain relievers. 

Sunburn and Burns

Causes: overexposure to the sun

Signs and symptoms: pain, redness of the skin in a first-degree burn; with severe sunburn, there may be blisters and swelling, which are a second-degree burn, since it involves the deeper skin layers. Fires or chemicals that involve the deeper layers of skin but only cause blisters are also second-degree burns. A third-degree burn can involve muscle, bone, and internal organs, and has severe pain.


Third-degree burns require medical attention immediately.

Various topical solutions are available over the counter to soothe a sunburn. If the sunburn is severe enough, an antibiotic may be needed to prevent a secondary infection. Aspirin or other pain relieves can be used for the pain, but never given aspirin to children or teenagers. Use cool compresses or baths to ease the pain of a sunburn, first-degree burns, or mild second-degree burns. If the second degree burn is bigger than two or three inches or involves the face, hands, feet, groin, buttocks, or is completely around a major joint, seek emergency care. DO NOT apply blankets, towels, or tissues to burns; use a clean sheet or sterile dressings. Do not use Vaseline, butter, oils, or creams on the burns. Never break a blister as an infection may result.

Various supplements and herbs help with sunburns. Aloe is one of the primary herbs, used topically on the affected areas. Vitamins A, C, and E help with various aspects of the healing stages of the skin. Anti-oxidants are important to help prevent the long-term damage that is done to the skin by the sun.


Use a sunscreen with SPF of at least 15, and preferably 30 or above. Apply at least 15 minutes before exposure and thereafter every two hours. Wear hats and long sleeves when out in the sun, and reduce sun exposure during peak times such as 11 AM to 1 PM, even when it is cloudy. Sun exposure is worse around water or snow and in high altitudes. 

Experience of this author has shown that dosing up on calcium in the form of calcium lactate or citrate before sun exposure and then afterwards, along with taking essential fatty acids such as in fish oils helps immensely in preventing sunburn. A product known as Cataplex F by Standard Process Labs is very helpful when combined with calcium. 

Use smoke detectors and have fire extinguishers in the house. Make your house and work place fire safe. 

Seborrheic Dermatitis – Dandruff

An inflammatory condition of the skin causing scaling and flaking

Most likely multi-factorial, including hormones, nutrition, and stress.

Signs and symptoms:
Dry scales of skin, with or without redness of the skin, present on the scalp, face, chest, back, or in skin folds of the body. The areas may or may not itch. In the scalp it is known as dandruff. 

If there are underlying causes such as stress, address those factors first. Over the counter medications or treatments such as Selsun Blue or Head and Shoulders can be helpful. Use a mild soap to prevent further aggravation to the skin. Alternative treatments include B vitamins, essential fatty acids such as in fish oils or evening primrose oil, and a diet free from food allergens.

Eat a good diet, and in the winter use a humidifier inside. 

Am J Clin Dermatol 2000 Mar-Apr;1(2):75-80.

Heartburn and Reflux

Heartburn and Reflux

Heartburn. Acid Reflux. Both are common terms for what is known properly as GERD - Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease. Some estimate that GERD affects approximately 10% of Americans on a regular basis. You might have GERD if you have:

- Heartburn - a burning sensation that rises up the sternum from the stomach
- A sour or bitter taste after eating or possibly some regurgitation of food
- Difficulty in swallowing
- Frequent coughing or hoarseness to the voice

GERD is worsened when a person has another condition along with it, a hiatal hernia. A hiatal hernia occurs when part of the stomach protrudes through one of the normal openings in the diaphragm, protruding into the chest cavity. This causes a malfunction in the circular muscle, the esophageal sphincter, which would normally close off and prevent stomach acid from entering the lower esophagus. Long term this can cause damage to the lower esophagus.

It is important to differentiate GERD and hiatal hernia from angina, which is a problem of the heart, and gallbladder problems. Angina is often relieved somewhat with rest and worsened with exertion. Gallbladder problems are worsened with meals high in fat.

Treatment for GERD

Medical doctors usually prescribe medications to reduce the acid produced by the stomach so there will be less acid to cause the burning sensation and irritation to the esophagus. These medications include non-prescription medications such as Pepcid, Tagamet, and Zantac. Some prescription medications include Prilosec, Protonix, Nexium, Prevacid, and Aciphex. The old standby is the antacid - Tums, Maalox, Rolaids, and Mylanta. However, there is always a consequence of changing the way the body was meant to function. When the acidity of the stomach is changed, the digestive tract is not able to digest food properly, especially proteins. Proper digestion requires acidity in the stomach to first of all digest, or break apart the food, and then for proper absorption of some nutrients. For example, calcium is best absorbed in an acid medium. That is why Tums with calcium are counter productive. Tums reduce the acidity that is needed to absorb the calcium properly.

An Alternative Approach to GERD

Alternative medicine has a different approach to GERD. Many practitioners believe that the basic problem is actually a lack of stomach acid to properly digest foods. They believe that due to the lack of stomach acid and other enzymes, combined with our poor diet, food actually begins to ferment or putrefy in the stomach, causing the bloating feeling and producing acid from the rotting of the food in the stomach. This is the acid that will regurgitate into the esophagus causing the discomfort of the heartburn or GERD. Eventually this rotting, acidic matter can cause an ulcer. The stomach is not able to ever completely digest the food properly, so it stays in the stomach longer, causing discomfort and bloating, and eventually, as it travels down the intestinal tract, will allow more discomfort and eventually lower bowel gas as bad bacteria act upon the matter.

The solution to this problem is to re-acidify the intestinal tract. To help the digestive tract, alternative practitioners recommend an outside source of hydrochloric acid, such as Betaine Hydrochloride, and digestive enzymes. With these digestive enzymes, the food can be broken down properly and absorbed properly. This will decrease the bloating, gas, and acid reflux. At our office we recommend digestive supplements from Standard Process Laboratories, either Zypan or just Betaine Hydrochloride. If these irritate the stomach when taken, a person could have developed the beginnings of an ulcer already, in which case we recommend Comfrey-Pepsin to allow the stomach to heal. It may take awhile to heal the tract and re-acidify it, so a person may have to take these supplements for several months.

In addition to decreased acidity, some alternative practitioners believe that food allergies, or better stated food sensitivities, may cause some GERD. Identifying and eliminating these foods from the diet can be helpful. We usually recommend the diet from the book Eat Right 4 Your Type, which recommends specific foods depending on your blood type.

Increased activity of the nerves going to the stomach and esophagus can also lead to reflux. If there is also irritation to the nerves that go to the esophageal sphincter, it can malfunction and cause reflux. This is best evaluated by a chiropractor. If this is a factor in your condition, you will most likely be very tender in the mid back, usually at the level of the 5th or 6th thoracic vertebra. With chiropractic adjustments, the irritation to these nerves can be reduced, and the esophageal sphincter and stomach muscles can work normally again. Some people find that this alone will solve their problem.

Sometimes soft tissue work can help with reflux, especially if a hiatal hernia is involved. Some chiropractors are trained in techniques to help traction the stomach down from where it has ascended through the hiatus, or opening, in the diaphragm. A person can also be taught how to traction this down on his or her own between visits to give some temporary relief.

Occasionally people find that acupuncture helps in this problem. Since stress is often a factor, we use techniques in our office to address emotional aspects of a person's problem.

Additional Hints

The following suggestions will not only help in the recovery from GERD, but will also help prevent it from developing:

1. Chew food thoroughly before swallowing.
2. Instead of eating three large meals quickly, eat five or six smaller meals throughout the day. This also helps in regulating blood glucose.
3. Eat fresh fruits and vegetables, and reduce refined carbohydrates and fried foods. Cut out alcohol, and reduce caffeine and chocolate.
4. Herbs can help in digestion, so use them in cooking. Mint, dill, caraway, ginger, and cinnamon are helpful herbs.
5. Don't eat for three hours before going to bed.
6. Stop smoking.
7. Use an acidophilus supplement or eat a good brand of yogurt (no sugar added) if you have a lot of intestinal gas.
8. Some people have found that apple cider vinegar helps in acidifying the digestive tract. Drink about a tablespoon in a big glass of water once or twice a day.

Finally, remember that it took you years to get to this stage. It may take two to four months to really see the benefits when using a natural approach, but in the long run it will actually begin to correct the problem, rather than cover it up with medication. That way you will not become dependent on the medication. Instead, your whole health will improve as your digestive tract becomes healthy again!

Call today for help if you have GERD or believe that you may have it. The symptoms of GERD are a warning signal - take heed and start to heal today!


Definition: abnormally frequent discharge of fluid fecal material from the bowel

Causes: While most bouts of diarrhea are self-limiting requiring no cause for concern, if it continues the cause may need to be discovered to help treat it. Causes include nervousness, reactions to drugs, viral/bacterial/parasitic infections, food intolerances or lactose intolerance, problems with the liver or gallbladder, small bowel diseases such as celiac sprue, hyperthyroidism, and sometimes even cancers of the intestinal tract, among other causes. The presence of blood in the stools is cause for concern and a doctor should be consulted. If diarrhea lasts more than three days, a physician should also probably be consulted. Diarrhea alternating with constipation may be a sign of irritable bowel syndrome.

Signs and Symptoms:

In addition to the watery stools, a patient may experience fever if caused by infection, abdominal pain, cramping, vomiting, and nausea. See a physician if blood is present in the stools.

The first concern with diarrhea is to correct the changes produced by the diarrhea, meaning depletion of electrolytes and acid/base balance. Do not eat much for the first 24 hours, mainly ingesting clear liquids or broths and electrolyte solutions such as Gatorade or Pedialyte. If caused by an infection, antibacterials or antiparasitics may be required. If caused by other diseases, that disease may be treated. Sometimes the BRAT diet is advised: bananas, rice, apples, and toast.

For chronic diarrhea, changing the diet is important. Avoid irritating foods such as dairy products, sugar, wheat, chocolate, artificial sweeteners, and caffeine. Fiber is important also in alleviating chronic diarrhea. Vitamin A helps with the lining of the intestinal tract. An acidophilus supplement is very important in restoring the normal intestinal tract flora, as well as products such as Florastor. 


Wash your hands well before preparing foods and clean the area where you prepare foods. Eat a good high fiber, low glycemic index diet. If you have been on antibiotics or are taking antibiotics, take an acidophilus supplement along with it. Be careful when you travel. Drink mainly bottled water when you travel to reduce exposure to infectious agents. Avoid dairy and wheat and other irritating foods. 


J Pediatr 2003 Mar;142(3):297-304


There are two main types of diabetes: 

Type I (juvenile diabetes) results from an inability of the pancreas to make insulin. People with type I diabetes must take insulin. Since they do not make the insulin they need, glucose (sugar) is not absorbed into the cells, staying in the blood and creating dangerously high levels of blood sugar while starving the cells for the sugar they need to fuel their activities. They are at higher risk for developing other diseases such as liver and kidney diseases, eye diseases, infection, heart disease, stroke, and delayed healing.

Type II (adult-onset) diabetes, the person usually makes insulin but the cells do not respond to it, resulting in the same effects as those with type I, and the same risks for developing other diseases. Improper diet is usually the culprit implicated in type II diabetes.

Signs and symptoms:

Type I diabetics often increased urination and thirst initially, as well as weight loss and sometimes disturbed sensation. Type I diabetes usually develops rapidly. Type II diabetes usually develops slowly, and there may be no symptoms initially. The diagnosis is confirmed with blood tests. Type II diabetics may also be obese, but not necessarily.


Conventional medical treatment of type I requires insulin. Type II may or may not include insulin, and now there are many medications that can hopefully slow the progression of the diabetes or help regulate the utilization of glucose in the body and help prediabetics. Many times the symptoms of hypoglycemia precede the development of type II diabetes.

Maintaining proper weight is the key to type II diabetes management, first of all through eating a low glycemic index diet that is high in fiber, restricting alcohol intake, decreasing smoking, and exercising regularly. Taking these steps can help prediabetics avoid becoming diabetic, and may help those with full type II diabetes decrease their need for medication.

Supplements shown to be helpful with diabetes include fish oils, alpha lipoid acid (found to be very helpful with the neurological effects of diabetes), chromium, anti-oxidants, and magnesium. 


Curr Diab Rep 2002 Oct;2(5):448-56.
Am J Clin Nutr 2003 Sep;78(3 Supp):610S-616S.
J Cell Mol Med 2003 Jul-Sep;7(3):322-9.
Am J Clin Nutr 2003 Dec;78(6):1128-34.
Diabetes Care 2003 Apr;26(4):1277-94.

Dermatitis / Eczema

Definition: an inflammatory condition of the skin

Causes: Atopic dermatitis is more likely to occur in those with a history of asthma, hay fever, or other allergy, and certain foods such as wheat, eggs, nuts, and citrus may contribute to it. Contact dermatitis is caused by contact with chemicals such as detergents. Other types of dermatitis are caused by stress. 

Signs and symptoms:

Dry, scaly skin on the face, neck, hands, elbows, wrists, and knees. Itching is common, but scratching should be resisted as it can lead to infection of the skin. The skin can become red and at times will weep. 


Topical solutions, either over the counter that contain hydrocortisone, or by prescription that contain corticosteroids, can be helpful. Avoidance of offending substances is important. 

Nutrients that help epithelia/skin are important, including fish oils or other essential oils such as evening primrose and borage, vitamin A, and possibly vitamin E. Eat a low glycemic index allergen free diet, and avoid chemicals that could irritate the skin by using hypoallergenic soaps and makeup. Use unscented skin products to decrease the possibility of irritation. Do not dry the skin out, and do not take too many or too long of a shower or bath. Use moisturizers on the skin. 


Definition: lowered mood and sadness

Causes: Depression can be genetic/familial/organic, the results of past experiences, or due to the stresses of life, as well as a side effect to medications and other diseases such as hypothyroidism.

Signs and symptoms: 

Symptoms include sadness to feelings of guilt, worthlessness, and hopeless, difficulty in thinking and concentration, loss of interest in activities, and sometimes body complaints such as headaches, sleep changes, loss of energy/fatigue, decreased sex drive, and anxiety. At its worst, it can cause insomnia, delusions, and suicidal thoughts.


Various drug treatments are currently used for depression as well as counseling. Counseling can be a valuable tool when the cause of the depression is past experiences in life or the current stresses of life. Find out if depression is a side-effect of a current medication and discuss this with your physician if it is. Rule out other causes of depression such as a low functioning thyroid.

Alternative treatment of depression starts with a regular program of exercise and a low glycemic index diet. Loss of control of glucose levels in the blood can lead to depression, and correcting this problem can help modulate brain chemicals to decrease depression. Avoid the common food “allergens” such as dairy, wheat, corn, artificial sweeteners and food additives, and caffeine. 

Supplements that can help depression include iron, since iron deficiency anemia can cause depression, B vitamins such as B9 and B12, fish oils or evening primrose oil, and 5-HTP, a precursor to serotonin, the body’s neurotransmitter that helps prevent depression. A trace mineral supplement can also be helpful. St. Johns’ wort (hypericum is the homeopathic version, which is very safe) may also be helpful, but it can interact with some medications, so consult your pharmacist or physician. S-adenosyl-L-Methionine (SAMe) has also been shown to be effective.


.Nutri Neurosci 2003 Feb;6(1):63-5.
Am J Psychiatry 2003 May;160(5):996-8.
J Nutr 2003 Oct;133(10):3233-6.
CNS Drugs 2003 17(8):539-62.
Pharmopsychiatry 2003 Nov;36(6):283-7.
Biol Psychiatry 2003 Oct 15:54(8):833-9.


Cause: colds are viral illnesses mainly caused by rhinoviruses. A cold will usually develop within two to six days of exposure.

Signs and symptoms: A runny nose, sore or scratchy throat, low-grade fever, headache, sneezing, watering eyes, non-productive cough, and swollen lymph nodes are common symptoms. If the discharge from the nose is bad smelling and yellow or gray-green, there is probably a bacterial infection also. 


Medical treatment is aimed at the symptoms of the cold by using pain relievers (never use aspirin with children or teens), nasal decongestants (but not for over three days), antihistamines, or cough suppressants. 

Vitamin C and zinc have both been shown to help with colds. The herb Echinacea can also be helpful if taken at the first sign of a cold. Drink a lot of fluids and get a lot of rest. A cool mist vaporizer can help with congestion. Sometimes nasal irrigation with a salt water rinse will help, such as with a netti pot or the product SinuCleanse.

Prevention is the best treatment – use supplements that help build the immune system, such as vitamin C and A, zinc, an anti-oxidants, and eat a good diet low in refined sugars. 

Cold Sores

Cause: Cold sore and fever blisters are called by oral herpes, herpes simplex type 1 virus. The vast majority of people are infected with this virus in early childhood, and then the virus will become active at different times, such as when under emotional stress, the immune system is functioning low, after dental work, with fevers, or exposure to food allergies or the sun. 

Signs and symptoms: small fluid filled sores appear on the skin and the mucous membranes around the mouth. The sores may weep and then form a scab before healing. Sometimes the skin will tingle or itch before the sores appear.


Topical agents are available over the counter and by prescription for cold sores. The drug acyclovir (Zovirax) is often used as it is an antiviral and can help prevent frequent or severe outbreaks. 

The amino acid lysine has been shown to be very beneficial in decreasing the recurrence of cold sores. Substances that help the immune system, such as vitamin C and zinc, are also helpful. Topical zinc may also help. Avoid food allergens. Since sun exposure may also activate cold sores, taking calcium and essential fatty acids during periods of high sun exposure may help prevent outbreaks. 


Altern Ther Health Med 2001 May-Jun;7(3):49-56.

Canker Sores (aphthous ulcers)

Definition: an ulcerative lesion of the mucous membranes of the mouth

Causes: unknown, but probably due to an autoimmune reaction, and some foods such as citrus, nuts, and chocolates seem to cause flare-ups. They can also accompany other diseases such as inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn’s, mono, and fevers. Stress or trauma to the inside of the mouth can also contribute to them.

Signs and Symptoms:

Usually measuring only 1-2mm in diameter, but sometimes larger, they are flat, round ulcerations with a yellow center and red periphery, accompanied by pain. They occur on the mucous membranes of the mouth.


Medical treatment is aimed at reducing the pain, with several topical ointments available. 

Alternatively, taking iron, B vitamins (B9 and B12 in particular), and zinc can be helpful. Correcting underlying irritation to the digestive tract is also helpful, such as avoiding wheat/gluten, food allergies, and taking supplemental acidophilus to aid bowel flora. 

Taking a strong salt water solution and holding it in the mouth so the ulcers are bathed in it is a home remedy that often will work. Although it stings, salt directly on the ulcer will usually cause healing within 24 hours. 


Definition: chronic candidiasis occurs when there is an overgrowth of the normal Candida in the intestinal tract.

Causes: chronic candidiasis usually occurs after something upsets the normal bowel flora balance, such as antibiotics, the use of pain relievers such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, or other drugs or chemicals.

Signs and symptoms: The signs and symptoms of chronic candidias are often vague and can be components of other illnesses, but usually include multiple allergies and the symptoms of allergies, including chemical sensitivity, fatigue; gastrointestinal disturbances such as bloating, flatulence, diarrhea and constipation; chronic sinusitis; depression and other disturbances of mood; headaches; recurrent vaginal yeast infections.


Many in the conventional medical community do not accept chronic candidiasis as a diagnosis, but those that do may prescribe nystatin (Nizoral) or Diflucan, which are antifungal medications. Sometimes people experience symptoms of “die-off” as these medications work. 

Alternative treatment of candidiasis begins with a diet free of yeast, sugars, dairy, wheat, nuts, alcohol, and other food allergens. Severe cases may also require avoidance of fruit and fruit juices. The use of acidophilus supplements is essential, and use of products such as Florastor can also help rebalance the gastrointestinal flora. Use digestive enzymes to help repair the digestive tract. Avoid offending substances such as the hormones, pain relievers, and antibiotics that contributed to the problem in the first place. Herbs such as garlic, oregano, and thyme have been shown to have some antifungal properties and should be incorporated into cooking or taken in an encapsulated form. 

Bruising and Capillary Fragility

Causes: bruising is usually occurs after some type of trauma to the skin, causing discoloration and swelling. For frequent or chronic bruising, other causes should be ruled out, such as blood diseases such as leukemias, hemophilia, and multiple myeloma, kidney and liver disorders, or as side-effects to medications. 


Medical treatment is aimed at correcting any underlying problem that could have caused the bruising, such as the disorders above, or changing the offending medication. If the bruise is just due to trauma, use ice on the area initially for several days, then alternate between heat and cold. 

Alternative treatment for bruising and capillary fragility is aimed at increasing the intake of substances that strengthen the blood vessels. This includes vitamin C and flavonoids such as quercetin, hesperidin, rutin, and citrus bioflavanoids, as well as vitamin A. 


Alt Med Rev 2003 Nov;8(4):359-77.


Definition: inflammation of the mucous membranes of the bronchi, the tubes that lead to the lungs

Causes: acute bronchitis is caused by an infection by either a bacterium or a virus, or sometimes by allergens or exposure to irritating chemicals
Chronic bronchitis is caused by a prolonged irritation to the lining of the bronchi, usually by smoke, inhaled allergens, or other inhaled toxins.

Signs and Symptoms: 

Acute bronchitis is usually preceded by signs and symptoms of an upper respiratory tract infection such as a cold: fever, sore throat, fatigue, nausea, and runny nose. The cough is at first dry or non-productive.

Chronic bronchitis is a cough that has lasted for several months and is usually productive, meaning that phlegm/mucus is brought up, especially in the morning. There is often difficulty breathing upon exercising or other exertion. 


Acute bronchitis is usually treated with antibiotics of some type and avoidance of irritating factors. In addition, expectorants could be given to help cough up the phlegm. Bronchodilators may be given to those with chronic bronchitis. 

Alternative treatment for acute bronchitis includes Echinacea to support the immune system, vitamin C to support anti-oxidant activity, and vitamin A to help repair the lining of the bronchi and to also give anti-oxidant activity to fight the infection. Fenugreek acts to think mucus, and horehoud and mullein help with coughs. Use a cold mist vaporizer to help you breathe. 

Chronic bronchitis treatment includes the above vitamins and herbs, but they must be taken for a longer time. Studies in rats have shown that beta carotene helps with chronic bronchitis. In general, any anti-oxidant will help, as well as substances that help decrease inflammation in the body, such as fatty acids found in fish oils and evening primrose oil. N-acetylcysteine, approximately 600 mg/day, and glutathione have also been shown to be helpful. 


Cessation of smoking is the most important action that one can take to prevent bronchitis. Next is a good quality low glycemic index diet with a lot of anti-oxidant filled fruits and vegetables. Avoiding allergens such as dairy foods (which tend to produce mucus), wheat, and sugar also help. Avoid carbonated beverages also. Reduce your exposure to other irritants such as chemicals and solvents. Sometimes reducing allergens in the home such as by cleaning air ducts, removing carpeting, and sealing mattresses and pillows also helps. 


Chin Med J 2003 Apr;116(4): 514-6.
Free Radic Biol Med 2001 Jun 15;30(12): 1400-6
Arch Fam Med 2000 Mar;9(3):241-5
Clin Ther 2000 Feb;22(2):209-21

Bloating / Indigestion

Causes: Indigestion, or upset of the intestinal tract, and bloating, a feeling of fullness in the abdomen, often results from problems with digestion of foods, although sometimes indigestion is caused by irritation to the intestinal tract as in gastritis, an ulcer, or acid reflux. 

Signs and Symptoms:

The main symptoms and signs of indigestion are bloating, belching, flatulence, and discomfort in the abdominal region. 


If due to gastritis, ulcer, or acid reflux, those conditions must be treated. 

Antacids and medications to decrease the acidity of the stomach, such as Prilosec, Prevacid, Zantac, Tagamet, and Pepcid, among others, are used medically to treat indigestion.

From an alternative perspective, much of the bloating and indigestion, if not due to acid reflux, is due to LOW acidity in the stomach, and betaine hydrochloride with meals is helpful. Digestive enzymes with food will also help digest food and decrease bloating, and acidophilus supplementation is helpful. Avoid foods that aggravate the intestinal tract. Sometimes the bloating is due to lactose intolerance, and dairy products should be avoided. Caffeine and alcohol can also be irritating. 

Bell’s Palsy

Definition: paralysis of the facial muscles caused by caused by a disorder of the seventh cranial nerve, the facial nerve.

Causes: Diabetes and high blood pressure predispose a person to Bell’s palsy, but the cause is unknown. It can occur after a viral infection of the upper respiratory tract. 

Signs and symptoms: Usually one side of the face is affected, with drooping of the eyelids and mouth on the affected side. It is usually a rapid onset, and the person has difficulty closing the eye and speaking. The eye may begin to get dry.

Treatment: Steroids are often prescribed to counteract any inflammation, and eye drops may be given to help protect the affected eye. Most cases of Bell’s palsy will resolve within six to twelve months, but some become permanent or chronic.

Alternatively, chiropractic adjustments of the upper cervical spine have been shown to be helpful. Acupuncture may also help, as well as cranio-sacral therapy. The B vitamins could be helpful, as well as anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients.

Bad Breath – Halitosis

Definition: a foul odor from the mouth

Causes: Although bad breath can result from many causes, 85% of the cases of bad breath originate from the mouth. It affects anywhere from 50-65% of people. Causes include bad oral cleanliness habits, periodontal disease, chronic sinusitis, ulcers, liver and kidney diseases, lung diseases, diabetes, and cancer at times. The foul odor usually comes from sulfur-containing gases produced by bacteria in the mouth or sinus drainage. Sometimes no cause is found, and a few healthy individuals think they smell something which is not really present.

Signs and symptoms:

Other than the odor, sometimes periodontal disease or sinus drainage is present, or other factors that will explain the odor.


Most treatment is aimed at the causative factor. First rule out more serious causes such as ulcers, diabetes, and cancers. Next take care of any periodontal diseases and keep the mouth clean by brushing and using mouth washes. Rinses that contain zinc have been shown to be helpful in killing the odor-causing bacteria. Address any sinusitis (see sinusitis). Tongue scraping, using a special tool to scrap the coating off the tongue, performed several times a day, reduces the amount of odor-causing bacteria in the mouth.

Alternative treatments are aimed at the underlying causes of the halitosis. However, parsley is helpful as an herb, and vitamins C with bioflavanoids and B, and calcium are helpful for periodontal disease.


Rev Stomatol Chir Maxillofac 1999 Oct;100(5):240-4.

Athlete’s Foot and Jock Itch

Definition: properly known as tinea pedis, this is fungal infection of the skin of the feet. Jock itch is known as tinea cruris.

Causes: fungal infection of the skin

Signs and symptoms: The first symptom is usually itching, usually between the toes. The skin may be scaly, with occasional thickening and cracking of the skin, with sometimes redness and peeling of the skin. If inflammation is involved, there may be damp vesicular lesions. At times the nails may become involved. Jock itch involves the groin area, and the affected area spreads with a centrally clearing red lesion. 


Medically there are many different topical anti-fungal creams that can be used. In severe cases, an oral antifungal may be used. Recently, for infection that has spread to the nails (which is notoriously difficult to treat), a combination of two different anti-fungals has been shown to be effective.

Alternatively, tea tree oil can be used topically to heal the lesions.


Go barefoot for athlete’s foot, and wear cotton socks and underwear, and change them often. Keep the affected areas dry, and dry thoroughly after showering or getting the areas wet. Wash used clothing in hot water with detergent. Keep shoes dry, and in public showers, wear flip-flops or other water-resistant footwear. 


Definition: a condition of the lungs where the airways narrow, restricting outflow of air

Causes: Asthma is understood as an inflammatory disease of the airways of the lungs, the inflammation caused usually by an allergic reaction to allergens, including cold. Some drugs can caused asthma, as well as congestive heart failure and exposure to environmental agents in the workplace. Exercise-induced asthma occurs in those already diagnosed with asthma, and usually an attack begins 5-10 minutes after beginning to exercise. This may be due to loss of water from the bronchial surface or heat loss.

Signs and Symptoms: 

An asthma attack is characterized by wheezing, chest tightness, difficulty breathing, and a cough. Sometimes the attack is after exposure to a known irritant. 


Medically, various steroid medications or bronchodilators are used. 

Various alternative therapies are helpful with asthma. The basics of a good diet are fundamental to managing asthma conservatively – a low-glycemic index diet. Avoiding food allergens such as wheat, sugar, food additives, sulfite-containing foods, salicylate containing foods, and dairy are also helpful. A food elimination diet where suspected foods are eliminated for several weeks and then gradually re-introduced can help identify offending substances. Just be careful when re-introducing substances. Anti-oxidants such as vitamin C and A and lycopene have been shown to help, as well as minerals such as magnesium. Anti-inflammatory supplements such as fish oils and evening primrose oil also help. In short, a good diet, supplemented with anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant nutrients can decrease the frequency and severity of asthma. The herb butterbur has been shown to be helpful.


Along with diet, reducing exposure to known allergens is important. Stay inside on days with high pollen counts. Clean out ducts in the house, stop smoking, get rid of pets, remove carpets, and seal mattresses and pillows to decrease exposure to dust mites. Drink plenty of water, and use the supplements above. 


J Asthma 2003;40 Suppl: 47-53.
Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol 2003 Apr;90(4):371-7.
Clin Exp Allergy 2003 Oct;33(10):1355-9.
Respirology 2003 Dec;8(4):473-8.
Clin Exp Allergy 2004 Jan;34(1):110-114.


Definition: inflammation and/or degeneration of a joint

Causes: While there are many types of arthritis, the two most common are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis is non-inflammatory and rheumatoid arthritis is inflammatory.

Osteoarthritis occurs when there is injury to the joint, usually over an extended period of time. The cartilage that protects the joint starts to break down as is bears weight unevenly, and the joint begins to thin. It can then begin to form spurs, where calcium deposits. It is most common with advancing age, and tends to occur in the knees, hips, spine, hands, and feet.

Rheumatoid is an auto-immune disease (the body’s immune system attacks the body) that causes inflammation in the lining of the joints of the body. The inflammation destroys the joint, causing the symptoms. Rheumatoid arthritis may affect other structures in the body, too, such as various organs. It also tends to affect younger people at onset and more women than men.

Signs and symptoms:

Osteoarthritis is characterized by pain and stiffness in joints, and sometimes swelling, usually worse with activity/motion and relieved by rest. There may be stiffness that is worse in the morning. Sometimes the bony spurs can be felt. Eventually there may be reduced motion in the joint.

Rheumatoid arthritis is characterized by pain and stiffness and swelling in joints, often with a low-grade fever. The pain does not go away with rest, and obvious joint deformities form, such as changes in the angulation of the fingers and toes. There may also be fatigue and general feeling of non-wellness. It will tend to affect joints on both sides of the body.


Various pain relievers are used to treat osteoarthritis, as well as rheumatoid arthritis. With rheumatoid arthritis, sometimes steroidal medications are used. With both types of arthritis, when damage is severe enough, joint replacement may be utilized.

Several supplements have been shown to be helpful with osteoarthritis. Glucosamine sulfate at a dosage of 500 mg per 50 pounds of weight per day has been shown to help, as well as chondroitin sulfate. Vitamin E and anti-oxidants are also helpful. The herb Boswellia has shown to be helpful. 

Rheumatoid arthritis supplements include anti-inflammatory supplements such as fish oils, borage, and evening primrose oil, and anti-oxidants such as vitamin E. 

With both types of arthritis, food allergies/sensitivities may be a factor, especially rheumatoid arthritis, and eating a low glycemic index, low allergen diet may be helpful. Common allergens implicated in arthritis include sugar, gluten (wheat), meats, dairy, eggs, and food additives. An elimination diet, gradually eliminating and then re-introducing foods to see how it affects your health, may be helpful in identifying offending substances. Caffeine may also be an irritant.

Chiropractic care can be very helpful in osteoarthritis and is sometimes helpful in rheumatoid arthritis. Acupuncture may also be helpful with the pain of arthritis. Certain homeopathics such as arnica can be used for pain control. 


A low glycemic index diet that helps maintain a normal body weight is essential in preventing arthritis. Regular exercise also helps, along with prompt management of injuries using rest and ice for injured joints. Avoid repetitive or overuse injuries to joints. 
Regular chiropractic care may slow the progression of osteoarthritis.


J Fam Pract 2003 Aug;52(8):645-7.
Rheumatology (Oxford) 2003 May;42(5):652-9.
J Hum Nutr Diet 2003 Apr;16(2):97-109.
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Phytomedicine 2003 Jan;10(1):3-7.
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Drug Discov Today 2004 Feb 15;9(4):165-72.


Definition: irregularity in the heart beat

Signs and Symptoms: Most people experience a fluttering in the chest which makes them more aware of the heartbeat. Sometimes there is anxiety, confusion, or a feeling of faintness, or lightheadedness. An arrhythmia can be confirmed by an EKG or other testing by a medical doctor.

Treatment: Sometimes underlying conditions such as anemia or heart disease causes an arrhythmia, and must be treated first. Various medications are utilized for arrhythmia, and if the irregular rhythm becomes a problem, sometimes surgical intervention is utilized or a pacemaker used. Abrupt arrhythmias that are life threatening may be treated with a defibrillator, and some people have defibrillators implanted if the condition is serious enough. 

Alternative treatment of arrhythmia consists of avoiding substances that could have contributed to the atypical rhythm, such as caffeine or food allergies/sensitivities. The use of magnesium and B vitamins can also help with an irregular heart beat, as do fish oils.


Anesthesia 2003 Apr;58(4):363-5.
Am Heart J 2003 Sept;146(3):420-30. 


Definition: an apprehension of danger and dread. It must be differentiated from depression. 

Causes: while some anxiety is due to emotional factors, sometimes it is in response to other conditions such as heart problems, hormonal problems, respiratory problems, or neurological problems. 

Signs and symptoms: Those with anxiety have an abnormal fear or dread of future events. Symptoms in addition to fear include difficulty in concentration, rapid heart beat, rapid breathing, palpitations, tremor, sweating, difficulty sleeping, and sometimes irritability.


After ruling out and treating any underlying problems, various medications such as Ativan and Xanax have helped. Sometimes anti-depressant medications help. Counseling is also helpful. 

The herbs kava, valerian, and St. John’s wort have been shown in some studies to help with anxiety disorders. Kava can safely be used for up to six months without disruption, but avoid taking it without a physician’s supervision if you are on Valium or like medications. Selenium and essential fatty acids such as in fish oils are also helpful. Acupuncture and meditation are also helpful in dealing with anxiety disorders. 


Good general health habits will help with anxiety disorders, and refraining from refined sugars/carbohydrates by eating a low glycemic index diet helps. 


Nutr Neurosci 2003 Feb;6(1):63-5.
Phytomedicine 2003;10 Suppl 4:25-30.
Int J Psychiatry Med 2003;33(1):55-69.
Phytomedicine 2003 Nov;10(8):631-9.


Chest pain due to decreased oxygen to the heart muscle

Angina, or angina pectoris, is usually caused by atherosclerosis, although at times the heart arteries (coronary arteries) may spasm. It usually occurs during activity and is relieved by rest. Attacks may also come after eating or an emotional upset. 

Signs and symptoms: Angina symptoms are not usually characterized as pain, but rather as tightness, squeezing, pressure, or burning. The person prefers to sit up that lie down, and often has a fist over the mid chest area. It is usually of short duration. The pain may radiate to the throat, jaw, or one or both arms. 

Medically, several medications are utilized, from aspirin to calcium channel blockers to nitrates such as nitroglycerin to beta blockers. Several supplements help with heart health. Vitamin E, the B vitamins, coenzyme Q10, and a calcium and magnesium supplement all help the heart work better. Essential fatty acids, such as fish oils or evening primrose oil, are also helpful. 

Prevention is the best treatment for most heart conditions. Lose weight by following the low glycemic index diet, and exercise regularly. Stop smoking also, and decrease stress in your life. Eliminate coffee and other caffeine from your diet. Assess your heart rate (pulse); if you have a heart rate above 80 beats per minute, you probably need to make changes to keep your heart healthy. 

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Prev Cardiol 2000 Winter;3(1):24-32.

Aneurysm and Stroke

Definition: a ballooning out or dilation in an artery – when this occurs in the central nervous system and then bursts, causing bleeding, it is known as a stroke. Not all strokes are caused by aneurismal bleeding, however; some are caused by blood clots, which interrupt blood supply to the brain. A transient ischemic attack (TIA) is decreased blood supply to the brain temporarily. 

Causes: an aneurysm occurs when the wall of an artery is weakened, such as from atherosclerosis or other disease processes. Abdominal aortic aneurysms are the most common aneurysms. In a stroke, the person usually has a history of high blood pressure, diabetes, heart valve disease, or atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). 

Signs and symptoms: 

An aneurysm may have no signs or symptoms until late. In a stroke, there are definite neurological signs, such as loss of consciousness, weakness, numbness, inability to move and arm or leg (inability to raise both arms above the head is a good sign), slurring of the speech, seizures, sudden headache, loss or blurring of vision or comprehension, and difficulty swallowing. 


Medically, until the aneurysm is so bad that it requires surgery for bypass or stent or other procedure, includes exercise, weight loss, and smoking cessation. A person may also be prescribed medication to help prevent blood clots. A stroke is a medical emergency, as is a transient ischemic attack. A person may be prescribed aspirin or anti-coagulant drugs. 

Alternative management of aneurysms and strokes involves supplements that strengthen the walls of the arteries. These include vitamins A and C, and flavanoids such as quercetin, hesperidin, rutin, and citrus bioflavanoids. Supplementation with fish oils can be beneficial. Anti-oxidants are helpful. 

Prevention involves a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, which has been shown to lower the risk of strokes. Exercise and maintaining a normal weight have been shown to be essential. Reduction of salt intake and controlling high blood pressure, along with controlling diabetes will help prevent strokes and aneurysms. Smoking cessation also will help prevent both strokes and aneurysms. 


Definition: a condition in which the number of red blood cells and hemoglobin is reduced, reducing the capacity to carry oxygen


There are many types of anemia, but the most common include iron deficiency anemia, due to decreased ingestion or utilization of iron or excessive bleeding causing iron loss; pernicious anemia which is due to malabsorption of vitamin B12 due to absence in the diet or decreased secretion of intrinsic factor from the stomach which is necessary for absorbing B12; and various anemias due to blood diseases or genetic disorders such as sickle cell anemia.

Signs and Symptoms:

Fatigue, weakness, and inability to concentrate are the most common symptoms of iron deficiency anemia. Sometimes mood changes and a rapid heart beat are present. The symptoms of iron deficiency can occur before anemia develops, however. A blood test is the only way to definitively test for anemia.

Pernicious anemia is characterized by the above symptoms. At an advanced state, neurological symptoms develop, including numbness or tingling in the peripheral nerves and problems with balance. The patient may also appear pale. 


Medically, depending on the type of anemia, a person may be prescribed iron or B12 injections or supplements. With both type of anemias, it is important to identify the cause of the anemia, whether it be chronic bleeding in iron deficiency anemia or simply decreased ingestion of iron, or gastrointestinal causes for B12 deficiency. Treatment of the underlying cause will result in the best outcome. Chronic alcoholism can also lead to deficiency of B12 and must be addressed.

Alternative treatment includes the above supplementation, along with digestive enzymes, including hydrochloric acid, for better utilization of nutrients in the food. Strict vegetarians are at risk for B12 deficiency anemia since B12 almost exclusively comes from animal sources. Eating good quality meat or eggs will help with both types of anemia. 


Definition: a disease of progressive loss of memory and function with age

Cause: the exact cause of Alzheimer’s is unknown. Certain brain chemicals may be involved, but the presence of amyloid plaques (clumps of protein outside of nerve cells) and tangles (twisted proteins inside of cells) is a hallmark of the disease. There is progressive death and malfunction of nerve cells. Research shows that a history of head trauma increases the risk of developing the disorder, as well as family history of the disease and heart disease. One model involves the role of the mitochondria, the part of the cells that create the energy of the cells, in the development of Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative conditions. As they start to die, depending on the area affected, different neurological disorders begin. 

Signs and symptoms:

Signs include memory loss, difficulty performing familiar tasks, problems with language, disorientation, problems with mental tasks, misplacing objects, poor or decreased judgment, and mood and personality changes. 


Although there is no cure for Alzheimer’s, several drugs have been used to slow the progression of the disease, including Aricept. If there is an underlying disease process such as heart disease, that also needs to be addressed. Cognitive activities such as reading and brain-building activities seem to help protect the brain.

Alternative treatments include the use of N-acetyl-L-carnitine, fish oils, vitamins E and C, the B vitamins, and antioxidants. Some studies have tied the development of the plaques in the brain with problems of glucose regulation, so a low glycemic index diet may be very important. The herb gingko is also helpful.


Nutr Rev 2003 Feb;61(2):69-73.


Definition: a reaction of the body’s immune system to a substance such as a food, airborne particulate, or chemical

Causes: The original cause of the reaction of the immune system is unknown, and why some people are allergic to one thing and not another. Some people become sensitized to certain substances and then react to them. Sometimes allergies are life-threatening, such as peanut allergies, causing massive responses by the immune system. Sometimes the reaction is mild, and is often called a “sensitivity”, such as reactions to certain foods. While not true allergies, some people group food intolerances such as lactose intolerance with allergies. Many food allergies/intolerances may be due to lack of proper digestion from lack of digestive enzymes or damage to the intestinal lining known as “leaky gut syndrome” in which substances such as antibiotics or other medications have made the intestinal tract more porous than it should be, allowing absorption into the body of bigger particulates that the body identifies as foreign and then attacks. 

Signs and symptoms:

Symptoms include not feeling “well”, nasal discharge/sinus problems, itchy eyes, dark circles under the eyes, sore throat, asthma, eczema, and hay fever, as well as headaches. Grass, pollen, dust, molds, certain foods, some metals, animals, and some chemicals can all be allergens. They all provoke a release of histamine in the body, which results in the symptoms. Some people react to many substances, and this is often known as multiple chemical sensitivity.

MANY health conditions have been linked by researchers or authors to allergies, from arthritides and gastrointestinal problems to depression and other neurological problems. Faced with any health condition, lowering the stress on your body by eating a low allergen diet will probably be helpful. 


Medically, various antihistamines and decongestants are available. Many are available over the counter now as side effects are generally very mild. For people with life threatening allergies, medications such as epinephrine should be kept ready at all times.

A food rotation diet or food elimination diet is helpful for those with allergies to see if the offending substance(s) can be determined. Correcting underlying bowel problems with the use of digestive enzymes with meals and healing the intestinal tract by using probiotics such as acidophilus or Florastor and the amino acid glutamine will also help immensely in conditions such as leaky gut syndrome. Other vitamins that heal linings in the body, such as vitamin A, are helpful. Some people have found that bee pollen or alfalfa have helped with cases of hay fever or other airborne allergic responses.

Other therapies may be helpful, including homeopathics, acupuncture, and chiropractic adjustments. 


Prevention starts with avoiding irritating substances such as allergenic foods and then substances that would harm the intestinal or respiratory lining, such as chemicals, antibiotics, and medications such as aspirin or Ibuprofen. Use dehumidifiers in basements and ridding the house of mold, having air ducts cleaned and using HEPA filters on furnaces and air conditioners, avoiding smoking, cleaning carpets and bedding, no pets, and avoiding activities such as mowing can all help. If you have a lot of allergies, consider being tested for thyroid dysfunction. 


An addiction to alcohol, various forms of treatment have been utilized medically and alternatively. Medically, there are drugs to help cause aversion to alcohol, and programs such as AA and other treatment programs, along with counseling, have helped others to deal with alcoholism. One of the better programs alternatively to address alcoholism is the one developed by the Health Recovery Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Viewing addictions as a sub-conscious attempt to correct and underlying physiological imbalance, treatment here aims at restoring normal physiological balance by treating the hypoglycemia and vitamin deficiencies of alcoholism. Treatment of the hypoglycemia is paramount. See the web site of this organization for a much fuller explanation of the treatment program: www.healthrecovery.com Prevention: If you agree with the findings of the founder of the Health Recovery Center, the most important thing one can do to prevent alcoholism is to eat a low-glycemic index diet to treat the hypoglycemia.


Definition: ADD (attention deficit disorder) and ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) 

Causes: although no definitive cause is known, theorizes range from a problem in the executive function controlling parts of the brain (in the prefrontal cortex) to reactions to allergens to nutritional deficiencies, among others.

Signs and Symptoms: ADD/ADHD is usually characterized by impulsivity, lack of or inability to sustain concentration, and sometimes excessive physical activity. While most people associate this with children, it is also present in adults. Because there are no universally accepted criteria as to what is “normal” behavior for each age, the diagnosis of this is often subjective. 


Several medications are utilized to modify brain chemicals to help with ADD/ADHD. The best known are Ritalin and Adderall. Both medications are stimulants.

Several approaches may help when treating ADD/ADHD alternatively. One of the most common is the use of hypoallergenic diet, avoiding the most common substances such as sugar, wheat, corn, chocolate, food additives, and dairy. Other foods or substances could also be a contributing factor, so astute observation of reactions after ingesting substances can be helpful. A low-glycemic index diet is very important also in that regulating the blood glucose levels also regulates some brain chemicals.

Certain nutrients are helpful with ADD/ADHD. These include fish oils, which contain essentially fatty acids necessary for brain development, calcium and magnesium, and zinc. Inositol can also be helpful.

The use of brain-based exercises to develop the prefrontal cortex may be a promising approach to ADD/ADHD. If, as one prominent theory proposes, the symptoms of ADD/ADHD are due to a low functioning prefrontal cortex, primarily on the right, then strengthening that area with various brain exercises can be very helpful.


Definition: acne, or properly acne vulgaris, is an inflammation sebaceous, or oil glands, of the follicles on the body, primarily the face, back, and shoulders, usually during puberty. It includes blackheads, pimples, whiteheads, and cysts.

Causes: Although the causes are unknown, it is activated by male hormones, which is why it is more common in males. The sebum of the sebaceous glands and dead skin cells block the pore of the follicle, and inflammation occurs. 

Signs and symptoms:

Acne is present mainly on the face, shoulders, and back. The follicle may be sore, painful, or itch, and may be red and raised. 


Medically, several topical solutions have been used to decrease the incidence and severity of acne. Many of these can be purchased over the counter. For severe acne, antibiotics are sometimes prescribed, or high doses of vitamin A.

Alternatively, a good diet may or may not influence acne. Vitamin E and other supplements that affect hormones may be helpful, as well as lower doses of vitamin A. Some believe that food allergies/intolerances can cause more acne. 


The best prevention is a good regimen of cleanliness of the affected areas with soap and thorough rinsing of the skin.