Friday, October 31, 2008

Chinese Medicine for Chronic Fatigue

Regardless of Western medical terminology, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) characterizes all illnesses as imbalances of organ function or poor circulation of qi (pronounced chi), or energy, and blood in the body’s channels. In chronic cases with many diverse symptoms, we try to ascertain how, where, and why organ and channel dysfunctions are happening, and we work to restore an original, natural state of health with a combination of Chinese herbal medicines and acupuncture.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is a complex pattern of symptoms, including fatigue, depression, fibromyalgia, chemical sensitivity, headache, “brain fog,” poor memory, changes in appetite, and sleep disturbances.

I believe the true source of CFS is one or more pathogenic microbes, including viruses, bacteria, or protozoa that enter the body during an acute illness that often resembles the flu. The pathogenic microbes can damage a cell’s mitochondria (the cell’s energy factories), leading to profound fatigue. In the case of viruses, the pathogen can disturb DNA replication, leading to the chronic nature of the illness.

In addition to direct microbial invasion, many practitioners in the natural healing arts believe CFS can result from “leaky gut syndrome,” or small-intestine colitis. Leaky gut syndrome usually manifests after one consumes antibiotics, either as medicines or in animal foods. By inadvertently killing the thousands of beneficial and protective intestinal bacteria, the antibiotics allow harmful fungi, such as Candida albicans, or pathogenic bacteria to proliferate. These can then irritate and inflame the internal lining of the small intestine and allow absorption of foods into the blood before they’re fully digested. The body’s immune system will see these as allergens and attack them.

In the end, the intestines’ permeability disintegrates, and microbial and chemical toxins are absorbed into the blood, overwhelming the immune system as well as the liver’s ability to detoxify. Some chemicals stay in the blood, affecting brain function. Others precipitate into the connective tissue surrounding muscles, causing fibromyalgia.

The key treatments in Chinese medicine focus on regulating and detoxifying the liver and repairing small-intestine inflammation and permeability. This requires specific herbs to move liver qi and blood and to cool any inflammatory heat. As the liver regains its ability to detoxify, poisons exit the body.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Benefit of Beans

Beans also are high in insoluble fiber that helps cleans your colon of well, you know. Since 80% of women are irregular, beans should be a part of their diet. During the fermentation process in the large intestine, bacteria break down resistant starches producing short chain fatty acids (SCFA). These acids help reduce the occurrence of pre-cancerous lesions. Soluble fibers tend to regulate the passage of insoluble fiber through the colon allowing the entire colon to benefit from the SCFA production. In addition to improving regularity, beans may reduce the risk of colon and rectal cancer. Beans are high in antioxidants. Studies have shown that antioxidants are great at grabbing cell damaging free radicals in your body. This is believed to reduce aging and cancer risk, possibly even prevent certain types of cancer. Darker colored beans like black beans and red beans are very good sources of antioxidants. Beans contain phytoestrogen, a vegetable form of the estrogen naturally produced in the body. Phytoestrogen or dietary estrogen helps reduce the risk of breast cancer. There are conflicting studies on the benefits of phytoestrogens, but they generally agree that in healthy women they reduce breast cancer risk. In women with cancer histories they may stimulate tumor growth. Then people with a history of cancer would be more likely to have a recurrence. If you have a history of cancer, consult your physician. Beans help fight HIV/AIDS. No there is no magic anti-retrovirus in beans, they are just good nutritionally and do contain peptides. They do contain a little nutritional magic. Beans and staples like rice, bread and other starches combine during digestion to make valuable protein. In poorer nations with a high incidence of HIV/AIDS, this low cost protein helps maintain a healthier population. Beans also contain peptides that help inhibit HIV entry into healthy cells. For any AIDS sufferer, the combination of the colon cleansing properties and nutritional value of beans improve digestion. Beans and bacteria in the large intestine combine to form gas. This is not a bad thing or there would be less humor in the world. Seriously, eating beans regularly helps reduce gas production in the large intestine by letting your digestive tract adapt. Initially, if you are not a bean eater, you will experience more gas with beans or any high fiber food. What happens during the adaption process is a little vague, since there is no change in bacterial fermentation products or bacterial levels. The why may be questionable, but regular consumption of beans will reduce embarrassing gas attacks as mentioned by North Dakota State University agriculture department.

Friday, October 10, 2008

How it Works Your Heart

The normal heart is a strong, hard-working pump made of muscle tissue. It's about the size of a person's fist. The heart has four chambers. The upper two chambers are the right artium and left atrium, and the lower two are the right ventricle and left ventricle (see Figure A in diagram). Blood is pumped through the chambers, aided by four heart valves. The valves open and close to let the blood flow in only one direction. The four heart valves are:
Each valve has a set of "flaps" (also called leaflets or cusps). The mitral valve normally has two flaps; the others have three flaps.

Dark bluish blood, low in oxygen, flows back to the heart after circulating through the body. It returns to the heart through veins and enters the right atrium. This chamber empties blood through the tricuspid valve (B) into the right ventricle.
The right ventricle pumps the blood under low pressure through the pulmonary valve into the pulmonary artery. From there the blood goes to the lungs where it gets fresh oxygen (C). After the blood is refreshed with oxygen, it's bright red. Then it returns by the pulmonary veins to the left atrium. From there it passes through the mitral valve (D) and enters the left ventricle.
The left ventricle pumps the red oxygen-rich blood out through the aortic valve into the aorta (E). The aorta takes blood to the body's general circulation. The blood pressure in the left ventricle is the same as the pressure measured in the arm.