Health Intuitive

Alternative Medicine News

Monthly Archives : September, 2013

Causes of Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Since the roost cause of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is still a mystery to western medical science, scientists have resorted to observing certain mental and physical health problems that seem to cause IBS. They believe that the some of the probable causes of IBS include:

Sensitivity to certain foods – IBS sufferers usually report that certain drinks and foods cause them symptoms of IBS. These include alcohol and coffee and fatty foods, spicy foods and carbohydrates. However, not all people with sensitivity to specific foods show typical signs and symptoms of food allergy. Scientists believe that symptoms can show if the person suffers from bile acid or sugar mal-absorption which prevents the breaking down of fats that should lead to easy emptying of waste materials in the body.

Genetics – Statistics have revealed that people with a family history of IBS do have a high likelihood for developing this disease. Still researchers debate if the people in question have the IBS because of GI symptoms or of environmental factors.

Body chemicals – Clinical tests from people with IBS have revealed that IBS sufferers have abnormal levels of neurotransmitters and gastrointestinal hormones in their body although researchers still do not know what role these neurotransmitters and hormones play in the development of IBS.  Postmenopausal women show lesser IBS symptoms than women who are still menstruating, and women who are menstruating show more symptoms than those who are not menstruating. This observation may mean that hormones dealing with reproduction can have a role in worsening IBS symptoms

Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth – Or SIBO, for short. This is a condition where the small intestine has a larger-than-normal number of bacteria or has a different type of bacteria than the ones normally residing in it. These bacteria can affect the function of the small intestine and result in a person’s weight loss, excess gas in the stomach or diarrhea. Some experts think that SIBO can result in IBS but results of their studies are inconclusive showing the link between small intestinal bacterial overgrowth and IBS.

Bacterial gastroenteritis – The connection between bacterial gastroenteritis and the development of IBS is highly suspected but researchers are baffled why some people with bacterial gastroenteritis develop IBS while some do not. Some of the researchers believe additional factors like problems in the lining of the GI tract or psychological stress problems can bring about IBS in people with bacterial gastroentieritis.

Mental health issues – Mental problems like post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety or panic disorder can result in IBS in some people. As of now there are still no clear cut links that can be cited between these problems and the rise of IBS. People who have undergone past sexual or physical abuse often suffer from specific GI problems like IBS.

Hypersensitivity – Low pain intolerance when the anus is stretched from the passing of stool or gas are experienced by people who have IBS compared to people who don’t have IBS. Scientists suspect that those with IBS have a different way in processing pain signals from the bowel than those not suffering from IBS.

Gastrointestinal motor issues – People with IBS are suspected to have either slower or faster than normal movement of their gastrointestinal tract particularly in the movement in their colon. Slow movement can result in constipation while fast movement can result in diarrhea. People with IBS also suffer from severe muscle contractions or spasms in their GI system. The can also suffer from too much contractions of the bowel because of excessive stress or eating.

Brain-gut communication issues – The function of the intestines are normal when there is good communication signal between the brain and the nerves of the large and small intestines. Bad signals traveling between these nerves and the brain can result in GI dysfunctions like IBS.

Scott Paglia is a licensed and board certified acupuncturist in Bellingham, WA and provides master level pulse diagnosis, Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture in Whatcom County, WA.

Causes of Pneumonia

Many types of fungi, viruses and bacteria can cause pneumonia. The body has devised ways to effectively filter out the pathogens from the air we breathe that might lead to infection.  These ways involve the immune system, the physiological shape of the throat and nose, the function of coughing and the role of small body structures called cilia to prevent the pathogens from reaching the lungs.

These ways are not always 100% successful and some germs do reach the lungs and infect them. Germs are likely to succeed in infecting the lungs if:

  • The body is unable to filter the air pathogens that you manage to breathe in
  • The pathogens are strong and resilient
  • You have a weak immune system

When germs reach the lungs, the person’s immune system combats the germs by dispatching antibodies. The antibodies causes the air sacs called alveoli to inflame, turn red and fill up with pus and fluid. They are some of the symptoms of pneumonia.


Bacteria are the type of pathogens that commonly cause pneumonia among adults. Older people are likely to get pneumonia after a cold or flu condition.

Bacterial pneumonia often affects only one lung or lobe, this type pneumonia is termed lobar pneumonia.

The streptococcus bacterium is the number one cause of pneumonia in the United States.

Atypical Pneumonia

This type of pneumonia usually involves three types of bacteria. They are:

  • Chlamydophila pneumoniae – This is one kind of pneumonia that anyone can acquire all year round. It often infects people who are 65 to 80 years old.
  • Mycoplasma pneumonia – This is another common form of pneumonia that usually strikes individuals 40 years old and younger. It is easily treatable with antibiotics and has mild symptoms.  Mycoplasma pneumonia can also be a cause of hemolysis and skin rash.
  • Legionella pneumophila – This disease is also known as Legionnaire’s disease and can infect a wide group of people in a short span of time. Areas highly likely to catch this disease can include decorative fountains, whirlpool spas and cooling towers.


About a third of pneumonia infections in the United States are caused by viruses each year. Viral pneumonia is the number one cause of pneumonia among children 5 years old and below.  Viral pneumonia usually poses mild risks and the patient often gets better in about a week to three weeks although there may be serious cases that may require hospitalization. There is a high risk of acquiring bacterial pneumonia if you have viral pneumonia. Influenza is one very common type of viral pneumonia. Some lesser known kinds of viral pneumonia can include:

  • SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome)
  • Herpes simplex virus
  • Rhinovirus
  • Respiratory syncytial virus


In the United States, there are three kinds of soil fungi that can cause pneumonia. They include:

  • Cryptococcus – Found in soil with bird droppings and in bird droppings themselves.
  • Histoplasmosis – Typically found in the Mississippi and Ohio River Valleys
  • Coccidioidomycosis – This fungus grows in the Southwest desert and in Southern California

These fungi rarely affect people and if they do, those affected may need prompt treatment to avoid any complications. People who get seriously affected by these fungi usually possess weak immune systems which often happen from prolonged use of medications that affect their immune systems or from the AIDS of HIV virus.

Pneumocystis jiroveci – This is a unique type of fungal pneumonia and cannot be addressed using antifungal drugs. This type of pneumonia was formerly called Pneumocystis carinii.  People who get infected with this condition are those who:

  • Use medications that have an effect on their immune systems
  • Underwent marrow blood stem call transplant and/or an organ transplant
  • Have AIDS. HIV or cancer


Willow Tree Wellness Clinic
1607 NE 16th Avenue
Portland, OR 97232
Ph: 503-281-0030

Asthma – Coping and Support

Asthma is a chronic condition and people suffering from asthma will need long-term treatment from it.  Dealing successfully with your asthma will involve following an asthma action plan and other ways to actively deal with your attacks.

Your asthma action plan is formulated by both you and your doctor.  It is a plan that includes quick relief and long-term medications you need to take and the steps to handle specific situations dealing with your asthma including the handling of exacerbations you may undergo someday. This plan also makes you aware of the indoor and outdoor factors that trigger your asthma so you may be able to avoid contact or exposure to them. Another important point of the plan is knowing when to avail of immediate emergency care especially if the asthma attack plan fails to relieve your attack.

Older children who can manage their asthma attacks on their own, particularly those aged 10 years and older, should be part of the creation of their asthma attack plan with their doctor. Usually individuals who faithfully their asthma attack plan live fairly normal lives. They usually go for regular check ups and will go for emergency medical treatment when they have severe exacerbations that their plan is unable to address well.

Another thing to remember to better cope with your asthma condition is learning to use your medicines properly. When you use your inhaler for the first time, make sure that your doctor has shown you the proper way of using it. If you are prescribed long-term asthma meds, be sure not to skip your intake or take dosages not indicated by your physician.

Track your asthma attacks as diligently as possible and if your doctor recommends you to use a peak flow meter, use it to see how well how your lungs functions. Listing down the time of your asthma attacks and the reading of peak flow meter measurements for at least two weeks prior to your doctor’s appointments can be studied by your doctor during your appointment in order to assess your health status and determine what asthma medicines can work best for your type of asthma.

Even after your appointment, tracking your asthma attacks and your peak flow meter readings before and after taking medications will help you gauge how well you’re handling your asthma over time and help your doctor decide whether to stick to your present plan of treatment or modify it.

If your asthma symptoms are getting worse with your asthma attack plan, you need to go to your doctor and tell him about difficulties in managing your attacks. He will need to create a new form of plan that should better address your condition. Some of the signs to look for that may indicate the worsening of your asthma can include:

  • Using your inhaler more frequently than normal and if you need to take your quick relief meds more than twice in a week. Both of these show poor handling of your asthma.
  • The necessity to go to the emergency room or the sudden need to see your doctor because of your asthma
  • Being unable to work, go to school or do daily activities because of your asthma

When you experience any of these, consult immediately with your doctor. Your doctor may need to change your medications or make a new plan to better control your asthma.

Anxiety – Tests and Diagnosis

A lot of factors can be considered major contributors for the psychological and physical anxiety symptoms. A person may feel anxiety that is caused by a more basic health problem or he may suffer from anxiety due to a mental state or of a certain phobia. The problem in diagnosing anxiety is that this disorder is complex and often mixed with a number of indefinite causes.  Anxiety diagnosis is often a difficult task for specialists trained in diagnosing and treating mental health problems.

Anxiety disorders, chronic and long-term problems they often are can start from a distressing event like the loss of someone you love one or a major illness.

People with anxiety often are clinically depressed which makes determining whether anxiety or depression as the primary problem rather difficult. Some people suffering from anxiety, especially from post traumatic stress disorder often suffer from sexual problems like feeling pain during copulation, erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation and low sex drive.

People with these kinds of sexual problems (and some of them have these problems that have not been caused by anxiety) are often embarrassed to talk about them with their doctor but they need to tell their doctor in order for him to make the right diagnosis and provide the right treatment plan for the patient.


Medical specialists need pertinent information from the patient in order to properly identify their disorder especially when it comes to anxiety.  Through questions asked by the specialist about your family medical and mental history as well as your own medical and health history, the specialist can get some information which may serve as clues that would indicate a psychological or medical cause for your anxiety problems.

Some of the questions the doctor can ask may be a bit personal for you. This is to see if there is a pattern in your condition and the seriousness of your issue. Although these questions are personal and can make you uncomfortable, you need to understand that the doctor does this not to pry into your personal life but to find a way to help you overcome your anxiety problems – you can let the doctor be aware that you feel uncomfortable answering these questions, this will force the doctor to modify his questions and consider your sensitivities.

Children who suffer from anxiety may need to be left alone by their parents when the doctor asks him certain diagnostic questions.  He may feel that if the child answers these questions privately, the child may give more accurate answers than when a parent is around to hear them. If you know beforehand the type of questions the doctor will ask your child then try to openly discuss them with your child prior to the appointment. Some of these questions will be for test for ADHD or ADD

Mental Health Assessment

Doctors usually refer their patient to a psychiatrist or psychologist if they deem their patient suffers from severe anxiety. The psychiatrist or psychologist will give a psychiatric health test to the patient as well as specialized procedures to determine what the causes of the patient’s symptoms are. The specialist will study if the patient’s symptoms indicate anxiety disorder, he will also see if this disorder is the reason for his social disability.

The patient should have been suffering from symptoms of anxiety disorder for a minimum of six months in order to be diagnosed with having this problem. The symptoms should be severe enough that they greatly impact his life every day.

Blood Testing

A blood test is needed to see if certain physical issues are the causes of a patient’s anxiety problem. Blood tests can see if the patient has diabetes, thyroid problems or heart problems that can be causing a person’s anxiety. Elevated amounts of insulin and hyperthyroidism are two physical health problems that may result in physical symptoms of panic attacks and anxiety. High blood pressure that is chronic or hypertension can also create problems associated with anxiety. No lab tests yet exists that help diagnose anxiety. Tests are the only ones that can determine anxiety in a person.

Urine Tests

Urine tests are indispensable to record the amount of drugs in your body. Chronic utilization of barbiturates, amphetamines and opiates can result in or increase anxiety signs.

Blood Pressure Tests

When the doctor suspects you suffering from anxiety, he then might require you to go through blood pressure observation exams to assess if you’re likely to suffer from  hypertension.


An electroencephalogram or EEG for short is primarily used to observe the brain’s electrical activities. Specialists might require the administration of this test to see if epilepsy is the one forcing anxiety in the patient.


AcuHealing Medical Center
2700 SW 3rd Ave #2
Miami, FL 33129
(786) 449-9026

Anemia – Coping and Support

Anemia is easily treatable and if you exhibit symptoms and signs of anemia, then you need to find immediate diagnosis and treatment. Doing so will guaranty you a better quality of life, improved activity and energy levels and a longer healthier life.

Most cases of anemia that have been treated properly are short term and mild. Still, there are kinds of anemia caused by trauma, a chronic disease or genetics that can be prolonged, severe and even deadly.

Anemia in Children or Teens

Because of their very fast growth spurt, babies and young children will have a substantial need for iron. Anemia in babies and young children can mean devastating effects in their physical and mental development. Extra care is provided for low birth weight and premature babies and they are often monitored closely for anemia.

Seek advice from your physician who may prescribe iron supplements for your infant if you are giving him milk formula without iron content or breast milk and particularly if he is over 6 months old.

Because cow’s milk is notoriously low in iron required for normal growth, children who often drink it are prone to getting anemia.

The bulk of your iron intake and that of your child comes from the food you and your child eats. In order to eat the healthiest kind of diet, consult with your doctor to know the best sources for protein, folic acid, vitamins B12 and C and iron. Only give your child iron supplements to your child if your doctor prescribes them. And if you give these supplements to your child be sure to follow the doctor’s instructions.

Teens are also in the age group at high risk for anemia because this is the phase of life when they experience dramatic growth spurts. Teens often undergo routine screenings for anemia in school. Teens and older children who suffer from severe anemia are at high risk for infections and injuries. Refer to your doctor if your child should avoid contact sports and other high risk activities.

Girls who start to menstruate are likely to lose iron due to their monthly period.  They and other females who experience substantial blood loss during their monthly period or have low iron intake are likely to suffer from anemia. Regular screenings and follow-ups may be required for these females.

Anemia in Pregnant or Postchildbirth Females

The woman’s plasma production increases during her first six months of pregnancy. The production of red blood cells may not be fast enough to match the plasma production and the blood therefore becomes diluted leading to anemia. To cope with this imbalance the woman needs to take in foods rich in folic acid and iron to increase development of the red blood cells. Developing a serious type of anemia during pregnancy may affect the baby leading to a low birth weight or premature baby. It is very important for pregnant women to be screened for anemia when they go for their initial prenatal visits. Also regular followup care should be integrated in their prenatal care.

Test for anemia are performed on postpartum women especially if they had:

  • Multiple births
  • Substantial hemorrhaging during pregnancy, delivery and post childbirth
  • Anemia which they’ve had for at least the third trimester of their pregnancy

Anemia in Seniors

Older adults acquire anemia usually from three causes:

  • Poor nutrition
  • Iron deficiency
  • Chronic diseases
  • Other medical problems

To counter these aforementioned factors, the physician will prescribe diet modification requiring foods rich in vit B12 and iron for the anemic senior. The doctor will also deal with the diseases and medical problems that may be causing the patient to become anemic.

If your anemia is caused by cancer, your doctor may recommend synthetic types of erythropoietin which can stimulate the bone marrow to produce adequate amounts of red blood cells.

A blood transfusion is also highly recommended for those suffering from severe anemia.

Vickery Health & Wellness
18455 Burbank Blvd #306
Tarzana, CA 91356
(818) 578-6730

Causes of Weight Loss

Weight loss can be the result of a lot of causes.  With the epidemic of obesity now plaguing not only the United States but the whole world as well, losing weight may be a welcomed outcome.  However, there are instances that weight loss can come unintentionally and sometimes inexplicably. Health problems like hypothyroidism and diarrhea can cause fluid retention but make the person look fluffy.

Some of the intentional methods of weight loss include:

Dieting – This includes following a dietary plan that strictly measures the calories in foods to make sure the person just eats the right amounts of calories to lose weight gradually. Dieting is an ideal way to lose weight but your meals should always include the six classes of food to make them fully packed with nutrients. The one thing you need to cut is the amount of carbohydrates you take in each day.

Exercise – There are several ways to exercise. You can exercise by simply walking briskly or you can avail of treadmill or elliptical machines to not only make slim but tone your muscles as well.  You can also swim or rock climb if that’s what you’re into to help your body expend those extra calories and keep from gaining weight. Yoga for weight loss can also be considered a weight loss exercise and practitioners of yoga swear to its effectiveness in helping them lose weight and maintain their ideal weight.

Weight loss pills – Many of these pills are weight loss supplements to help you stay sated even if you eat light meals. Some are pep pills to help you lose your appetite for food. Weight loss pills help a lot in preventing you from eating too much but they may have undesirable side effects in the body.

Surgery – This is the most expensive way to lose weight and one of the most dangerous too. Weight loss surgery is called bariatric surgery and is performed on patients who are classified as morbidly obese.  People with a body mass index of 40kg/m² and over who have unsuccessfully lost weight through exercise and diet are ideal candidates for this type of surgery.

Nutritional therapy – This therapy combines supplements, good diet and biochemistry to help the body stay in optimum health and help it lose weight.

Traditional Chinese Medicine – The ancient Chinese way to lose weight includes among others herbal medicine and acupuncture.  These techniques assist the body to help itself burn calories faster and help it also to suppress food cravings.

The unintentional causes of weight loss include:

Ulcerative colitis – A gastrointestinal condition that can damage the entire digestive tract system. One of the effects of this dysfunction is low intake and absorption of nutrients leading to weight loss.

Tuberculosis – A major respiratory condition caused by the tubercle bacilli bacteria. One of the effects of tuberculosis is nausea and loss of appetite leading to low intake of nutrients and therefore weight loss.

Peptic Ulcer – This is another form of gastrointestinal problem resulting from damage to the intestinal linings. This condition can cause pain during eating which prevents the person from eating enough foods leading to weight loss.

Parkinson’s disease – Parkinson’s disease affects the nervous system of the body.  This disease weakens the function of the gastrointestinal tract and can lead to the weakening of the sensory functions. Parkinson’s disease also causes nausea and appetite loss.  All these factors eventually lead to lose of weight.

Overactive thyroid or hyperthyroidism – Hyperthyroidism leads to an increase in your body’s metabolic activity that leads to rapid weight loss since the body gets to burn an inordinate amount of calories each day.

Hypercalcemia – One of the effects of too much calcium in the body is dehydration and loss of appetite as well as nausea and vomiting.  All these factors can lead to weight loss in a person.

AIDS or HIV – Some of the symptoms of HIV or AIDS is diarrhea. HIV or AIDS can lead to a so-called Wasting Syndrome which leads to loss of body and mass. Worse, the loss of body mass may mean the loss of muscle mass, not necessarily that of adipose or fatty mass.

Heart failure – Oftentimes the result of heart attacks and strokes is a massive loss in weight, if not in life.

Major depression – One of the classical symptoms of major depression is the lack of interest in foods. A severely depressed person often has no appetite for foods or for basically anything at all.

Dementia – It is still a mystery why dementia in older people can result in weight loss although researchers suspect it may come from problems in the hypothalamic system of the brain.

Crohn’s disease – This problem is characterized by inflammation of the disgestive system leading to abdominal pain, loss of appetite, poor nutrient absorption and weight loss.

Cancer – Because cancer cells eat destroy the healthy cells as well, the cells that keep the body healthy slowly dies leading to loss in a cancer patient’s weight.

Addison’s disease – This disorder is due to the low production of hormones by the adrenal glands. It can lead to appetite loss, nausea, diarrhea and vomiting leading to a person’s weight loss.

Parasitic disease – Longstanding parasitic disease can lead to incredible malnourishment of the body including massive weight loss.