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Archive for January, 2014

Rashes – Tests and Diagnosis

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The attributes of the skin rash is observed. Whether the rash has ulcers or is scaly, bullous, vesicular, pustular, papular or macular will help ascertain the source of the rash.


  • Papular or macular rash – can be the result of a reaction to a drug, pityriasis rosea, exoliative dermatitis, contact dermatitis or eczema.
  • Pustular rash – Fungal skin infection, scabies or staphylococcus.
  • Bullous or vesicular rash – nummular eczema, impetigo, pemphigus, contact dermatitis, dermatitis herpetiformis or chicken pox.
  • Scaly rash – Drug side effect, exfoliative dermatitis, fungal skin infection, lichen planus, psoriasis or ichthyosis.
  • Ulcerative rash – Indication of basal cell carcinoma.


Distribution of the Rash in the Body


  • Focal rash – This may indicate impetigo, nummular eczema, skin tumor, contact dermatitis, scabies or fungal skin infection
  • Diffuse rash – Possible indication of tinea versicolor, pityriasis rosea, pemphigus, dermatitis herpetiformis, drug side effect, eczema, lichen planus or psoriasis.


The type of rash can also be diagnosed depending on the area of the body affected.


  • Rashes in the extremities – Can suggest insect bites, psoriasis or atopic dermatitis.
  • Lower leg rashes – Dermatitis herpetiformis, necrobiosis lipoidica, stress dermatitis, nummular dermatitis, erythema nodosum or keratitis pilaris.
  • Rashes on the knees (front) – Psoriasis.


Meningococcal Rash


This type of rash does not change the skin’s color, at least in its later stages.  This rash needs to be observed regularly to avoid getting a wrong diagnosis especially during its early stages. A pressure test is performed which entail putting pressure on the rash to see if it dissipates or not. One pragmatic way to do this is to press a crystal clear drinking on the rash to observe how the rash reacts.



Blood tests can also be performed on the patient. These tests involve:


  • Viral serology tests, if requested
  • IgE level count if atopic dermatitis is suspected
  • RAST test – A radioallergosorbent testing is performed for testing of certain allergens that may be causing eczema.
  • Blood cultures – This is performed if the patient has a fever or feels sick
  • Full blood count


Skin tests


  • Viral culture testing – If the patient is suspected of having a viral infection, this test will determine if chicken pox (varicella zoster), shingles (herpes zoster) or herpes simplex is positive for skin rashes.
  • Swab of discharge – This is a test to determine the presence of fungi or bacteria that may have caused the rash.
  • Skin scraping sampling – The scraped skin is microscopically examined to see if skin burrows exist that might indicate the presence of scabies mite or skin rash that may dismiss any fungal infections.
  • Skin biopsy
  • Patch testing – To detect any allergy of the skin


Christina Prieto is an Orlando acupuncturist, a certified Yoga instructor and the founder of Harmony Wellness center in central Florida.

Written by Valerie

January 25th, 2014 at 11:36 pm

Posted in Acupuncture

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Pneumonia – Risk Factors

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Pneumonia can strike people of all ages but two age groups are particularly the greatest risks to develop this condition:

  • Babies two years old and below – These babies are just starting to develop their immune system.
  • Older people 65 years old and older

There are other factors and conditions that also increase the risk for getting pneumonia.  These may be from a lung disease and other kinds of health issues like:

  • Sickle cell anemia
  • Heart failure
  • Diabetes
  • Bronchiectasis
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • Asthma
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Emhpysema

Being in a ventilator in a hospital can make you also likely to catch pneumonia.

A suppressed or weak immune system (due to HIV or AIDS or any type of serious disease, for example) gives you greater susceptibility to catch pneumonia. Prolonged steroid use, chemotherapy, marrow and blood stem cell transplant or having an organ transplant can lead to a suppressed immune function which raises your risk for pneumonia.

You are also highly likely to get pneumonia if you have swallowing difficulties or have suffered a stroke and now find it difficult to cough.  You can also catch pneumonia if you are unable to move around that much due to use of medications that make you sleepy or drowsy.

Being undernourished, drinking too much alcohol or cigarette smoking heightens the risk of you catching pneumonia and this condition can also be easily caught if you’re exposed to harmful materials like toxic fumes, pollutants or specific chemicals or if you had just caught  the flu or cold.

You can also catch pneumonia if you lie down on your back for an extended amount of time. Staying in this position for a long while forces mucus and fluid to accumulate in your lungs and gives the chance for bacteria to develop in the lungs. Therefore, people who are bed ridden from serious illnesses, surgery or a bad injury are prone to catch pneumonia.

Even ethnicity can provide a greater risk for developing pneumonia and Native Americans and Native Alaskans have been found to be high risk groups for acquiring pneumonia.


DeJongh Acupuncture Clinic
2929 SW 3rd Ave #610
Miami, FL 33129
(305) 677-3214


Written by Valerie

January 19th, 2014 at 6:40 am

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Menopause Risk Factors

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Typically women begin to experience menopause symptoms from ages 40 up to 55. However, certain risk factors can alter a woman’s reproductive function and rhythm that can lead to an early onset of menopause.  Menopause that comes much earlier than expected is called premature ovarian failure or just plain premature menopause. Premature menopause starts before the woman reaches the age of 40 when she normally begins to experience menopause. In the United States, about 1% of women experience premature menopause each year.

Certain surgeries like oophorectomy, which is the surgical removal of the ovaries can cause the sudden onset of menopause. Radiation treatment particularly ones that damages the ovaries can also trigger premature menopause. A female can also experience early onset of menopause when she suffers from certain autoimmune conditions or a genetic disorder.


When a woman has an oophorectomy or even a hysterectomy, which is the surgical extraction of the uterus, the levels of progesterone and estrogen in her body drop dramatically. A lot of women experience premature menopause after undergoing pelvic surgery or cervical cancer surgery. If a woman has a bilateral oophorectomy, which is the taking out of both her ovaries, this will lead to her immediate menopause.

Radiation Therapy and Chemotherapy

The harmful radiation a woman is exposed to during radiation therapy can severely damage or destroy her ovaries and ovarian tissues leading to early menopause. The toxic drugs in chemotherapy also can likely damage or destroy not only her ovaries or ovarian tissues but her entire reproductive system as well.

Chromosome Defects

Flaws in the chromosomes of a woman can cause premature menopause. Turner syndrome is a condition wherein a girl is born with a chromosome set that is incomplete. This syndrome causes the girl’s ovaries to dysfunction and one of the effects of this dysfunction is her early entry into menopause.

Autoimmune Diseases

One typical symptom of a lot of autoimmune disease is premature menopause. When a female has an autoimmune problem, her immune system mistakenly recognizes a part of her body as a foreign object and therefore attacks it. The female’s ovaries and her ovarian tissues are often attacked and destroyed by her immune system when she has rheumatoid arthritis or thyroid disease, both autoimmune diseases. The attack and damage to her ovaries and ovarian tissues invariably leads to the early onset of menopause.


For some reason, studies have shown that women suffering from epilepsy are at high risk for premature menopause.  Women with epilepsy often experience ovarian failure before the age of 40.  The study indicated that about 5% of women with epilepsy had premature menopause compared to only 1% of women who don’t suffer from any epileptic conditions.


Premature menopause can be an inherited disorder and women who have family members or relatives who experienced premature menopause are at high risk to experience it themselves.


There is a direct link of smoking women to premature menopause. Some studies have proven that certain chemicals in cigarettes are toxic to the eggs making them die prematurely.

Written by Valerie

January 19th, 2014 at 6:37 am

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Dandruff Treatments and Drugs

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You don’t need to take in oral medications if you want to resolve your dandruff. This condition is quite harmless and you can treat it at home without any need for prescription medicines.

The best and most common ways to treat dandruff are to use an anti-dandruff shampoo and to regularly brush your hair.

Anti-Dandruff Shampoos

There may be a lot of anti-dandruff shampoos in the market but not all of them are the same. Certain types of these shampoos contain active ingredients like:

Ketoconazole – Brand names include Xolegel, Nizoral A-D and Extina
Selenium sulfide – Brand names include Selsun, Head & Shoulders Clinical Strength and Dandrex
Salicylic acid – T/Sal and Neutrogena
Sulfur and salicylic acid – Sebulex and Sebex
Pyrithione zinc – Head & Shoulders, Neutrogena T/Gel Daily Control Dandruff Shampoo and Selsun Blue for Itchy Dry Scalp
Coal tar preparations – Scytera, Neutrogena T/Gel and Denorex Therapeutic Protection

If the anti-dandruff shampoo you are using begins to lose its effectiveness you may need to use other types of anti-dandruff shampoos to maintain good control of your dandruff.

The regularity of your shampoo use can entail its every day use to only two times a week. To ascertain the frequency of its use, read the directions on the bottle.

Be sure the rub the shampoo into your scalp well enough when you shampoo your hair. Let the shampoo linger on your hair and scalp for about five minutes or depending on the direction of the shampoo’s use prior to rinsing it.

Thoroughly wash your head since any shampoo residue can irritate your scalp.

You may decrease the frequency of use of your anti-dandruff shampoo when you think your dandruff problem is well under control.

With firm steady strokes, brush your hair and your scalp. This way you will be able to spread the oil from the scalp, prevent oil accumulation and enable your hair to become healthy and shiny.

When to See a Doctor

After having used over-the-counter shampoos, you see that you are still shedding skin in the scalp and feeling itchy in that area, you may need to see your doctor. He may recommend prescription shampoo for your stubborn dandruff.


More and more people nowadays are trying acupuncture for dandruff control after unsuccessfully trying all available dandruff treatments. This type of treatment is designed to help stimulate nerves and certain acupuncture points to spur hair growth with the use of hair thin, sterilized acupuncture needles. A seven star needle can be utilized to tap the area where hair is gradually thinning.  Just with any form of acupuncture treatment, however, acupuncture for hair loss in women and men should only be done by a skilled and experienced practitioner trained in the field since a wrong procedure can lead to long-term damage.

According to traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) dandruff is usually due to energy/blood deficiency in the Liver organ. TCM states that blood moistens the body and so blood deficiency means that your blood does not provide moisture to your scalp well enough causing skin and scalp dryness ad thus dandruff.

Other acupuncturists believe that dandruff can be also caused by “heat” which manifests in redness and itchiness in the scalp ad other parts of the body.  Another belief is that dandruff is the result of excessive ‘damp’ which implies that there is fluid stagnation in your body system that cause your hair to become greasy.  All these theories have their own corresponding acupuncture treatment. Acupuncture is often combined with Chinese herbal medicine to quicken and enhance the treatment results and make them long lasting.

Aiyana Acupuncture & Chinese Herbs
41 Union Square West, Suite 519
New York, NY 10003
Phone: 212-894-0767

Written by Valerie

January 15th, 2014 at 1:23 am

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Bell’s Palsy Risk Factors

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A lot of risk factors can lead to Bell’s palsy. These can include:


Viral infections such as mononucleosis, meningitis, mumps, chicken pox, shingles and herpes can make you highly prone to acquiring Bell’s palsy. Bacterial infections including typhoid fever, TB, syphilis, Lyme disease, and ear infections are considered risk factors for an episode of Bell’s palsy. These viral and bacterial infections can all cause swelling and inflammation of the facial nerve affected in Bell’s palsy.

Weakened Immune System

Health problems that debilitate the immune system can be risk factors for Bell’s palsy. AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome) or HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) for example, are associated with Bell’s palsy. Certain kinds of hepatitis, cancer and chemotherapy can also increase the chances of Bell’s palsy in the patient.

Neurological Conditions and Injury

Tumors that pressure the facial nerve or injury to your face or head can also lead to Bell’s palsy. Bell’s palsy can also be due to certain neurological disorders. These can include neurosarcoidosis, multiple sclerosis and Guillain-Barre syndrome. A stroke can also lead to Bell’s palsy although Bell’s palsy itself is not a stroke.


Pregnancy is a high risk factor for Bell’s palsy. Some pregnant women may experience Bell’s palsy in the third trimester of their pregnancy. This situation is a mystery to medical researchers. Majority of these females fully get well within six months while unfortunately for some, the condition has never resolved by itself. Half of pregnant women in one study who developed Bell’s palsy with complete facial paralysis got well to a degree they deem satisfactory. Pregnant women with Bell’s palsy are also at high risk of experiencing preeclampsia or pregnancy-induced hypertension.

Restricted Blood Supply

Research has shown that individuals with diabetes have a quadruple chance of developing Bell’s palsy compared to other individuals. Smoking and high blood pressure are also risk factors for Bell’s palsy. These two risk factors can lead to limited blood flow to the nerves.


Galina Semyonova is a licensed acupuncturist and massage therapist in New York City. She has studied extensively in the fields of biofeedback therapy, SCENAR therapy, Chinese herbal treatments and Chinese and Western nutrition.

Written by Valerie

January 13th, 2014 at 11:00 am

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Treatments and Drugs for Allergy

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If you suffer from an allergy naturally you would want an effective and quick treatment for its symptoms. This article will deal with some of the best conventional and natural alternative treatments to ease the distressing symptoms of your allergy.

There might still be no real cure for allergy at this time but there are a lot of treatment approaches you can avail of that would aid you in relieving allergy symptoms like congestion and runny nose among others. Some of the most commonly used conventional medications include corticosteroids, combination drugs, antihistamines and decongestants that bring you prompt relief from your allergy symptoms.

Natural Allergy Treatments

Herbal supplements – Supplements like goldenseal herb tonic, freeze-dried nettles or saline nasal spray are just some of the natural alternative medications that can effectively neutralize your allergy symptoms. Other noteworthy natural plant alternatives for allergy reactions like a flavonoid ingredient called quercetin and grape seed extract are very good treatments for seasonal allergy.


Acupuncture benefits the body in two ways:  First, it balances the body. Second, it relieves allergy symptoms like fatigues, headaches, stuffiness and itchy eyes.

By inserting very thin, sterile and non-hollow needles into the side of the nose and the head, the stagnant and blocked energy called chi and blood start to move normally throughout the body improving the immune function and strengthening the organs affected by the energy imbalance. When the balance of energy is achieved, the allergy symptoms start to disappear and the person starts to feel well again. Acupuncture gives the body all the tools it needs to treat itself of its allergy condition.

Conventional Allergy Treatments


Antihistamine – These kinds of drugs often come in liquid, capsule and tablet forms.  As its name suggests, antihistamines inhibit or block histamines hence stopping the symptoms of allergy.  People who take antihistamine drugs are advised not to drive as this drug causes drowsiness.

Decongestants – Decongestants help to lessen the swelling of tissues and blood vessels helping to relieve congestion. These drugs are offered in nasal sprays, nose drops, liquids and pills. Decongestants may lead to insomnia and a feeling of anxiety. If these side effects persist, then you need to cease taking them although more often than not these symptoms are a short-term issue.

Anticholinergic Nasal Allergy Spray – This medication is sprayed into the nostrils of the allergic person. The spray limits secretions from the glands lining the nasal airway and helps in stopping or limiting runny nose symptom. One of the best type of nasal spray is saline nasal spray as it cleanses your nasal airways, lessens or stops postnasal drip and help thin the mucus. The best thing about this spray is that is does not have any side effects.

Steroid Nasal Sprays – This spray reduces the inflammation of the nasal airways reducing nasal allergy symptoms in the process. Side effects of this drug are sore throat or nose bleed.

Anti-allergy Eye Drops – Eye drops are often made from antihistamine drugs and relieve watery and itchy eyes as well as eye irritation and puffiness. Some of these types can be bought over-the-counter and are effective in battling hay fever and other allergy symptoms. The side effects of this drug include tearing, eyelid swelling, bloodshot eyes, itchy or burning eyes.

Leukotriene Inhibitors – Leukotriene inhibitors are those drugs that stop or limit leukotrine production in the blood. Leukotrienes are substances that cause inflammation during an allergic reaction.  When the amount of leukotrine is reduced, inflammation is then also reduced.

Mass Cells Inhibitor – This drug is designed to hinder the release of histamines as well as other chemicals that can give rise to allergy symptoms when mast cells come into contact with allergens. Mast cell inhibitor drugs are usually available in nasal sprays and they are often used to relieve itchy eyes and runny nose.

Allergy Shots – These shots also go by the rarely-used term “immunotherapy” and are administered to allergic prone patients to make them more resilient to allergic reactions. People with serious allergic reactions and those who have had persistent allergic reactions for three months in one year are given these shots.  These shots, however, do not treat the allergy but only decrease the person’s sensitivity to specific allergens. They are given on a regular basis and the doses are increased gradually as time goes by.

Allergy Fighting Foods – A study conducted a few years ago had shown that eating foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids does help reduce the symptoms of allergy compared to individuals who do not eat foods with this substance.  Some of the foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids are eggs, meat from grass-feeding animals, walnuts, flaxseed and cold-water fishes. People suffering from a lot of allergic reactions are highly advised to partake of these foods to lessen their allergy discomforts.

1245 West Broadway #302
Vancouver, BC V6H 1G7, Canada
(604) 733-2632

Written by Valerie

January 13th, 2014 at 10:57 am

Posted in Acupuncture

Eczema Tests and Diagnosis

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If you have a skin disorder carefully look at the affected areas of the skin, you need to see if your skin:

  • Has a rash that is itchy
  • Is dry and coupled with a scaly or red rash
  • Has a rash that has developed in the past
  • Is thicker in that area compared to the rest of the skin in the body

If you are positive to any of these conditions, then you may need to see a skin specialist, preferably a dermatologist, allergist or immunologist who can identify and properly diagnose your skin with eczema and afterwards chart a plan of treatment for it. The doctor or specialist can get your medical and family history and recommend certain diagnostic tests, if necessary, for you. Thee tests may be:

  • A thorough medical history
  • Allergy tests
  • Skin biopsy and blood tests

Medical history

A well studied medical history of yourself is the most essential and effective method for diagnosing eczema. Your doctor/skin specialist will query you a number of questions to know the frequency of your rash, where it typically appears and when it appears. Questions about your itching as well as other attributes of your skin condition will also be asked. Certain questions about potential triggers: climate changes, inhaled allergens or foods and other things found in your work and home that can trigger eczema flare ups will also be asked.

Writing down all possible information regarding your skin condition before your doctor’s appointment will come in very handy because a lot of people tend to forget information when they are in the doctor’s office and these information are very important in helping the doctor come up with an accurate diagnosis

Allergy challenge tests

If your medical history indicates that you have eczema, the doctor can then recommend certain tests. These tests will see if there are certain things in your food and/or surroundings that trigger or worsen your eczema. Knowing then these triggers will help you avoid these triggers.

If your eczema flare up is suspected to be triggered by a food allergen, the specialist can perform a food challenge.  This is termed a challenge because you are “challenged” by eating certain foods suspected to be allergens in progressively increasing amounts. During this time, you are closely monitored and observed for any allergic response.

Blood and skin tests

Specific tests can reinforce the eczema diagnosis or reveal additional health problems that are likely the ones causing the symptoms instead. These tests may be:

  • Buccal swabs – The sides of your mouth are swabbed using a cotton swab to get specimens to identify for changes in the Filaggrin gene.
  • Patch testing – This procedure entails utilizing small patches laced with allergenic substances and placed on the skin for two days. Afterwards, the patches are removed and the affected skin is analyzed for 3 or 4 days. A patch test can recognize contact allergy to certain chemicals like rubber, lanolin, metals and fragrances among others.
  • Allergy skin testing – This test uses a prick skin procedure to see if you are sensitive to various kinds of allergens.
  • Skin biopsy – This test is done to exclude other skin diseases like psoriasis or low grade skin cancer. In this procedure the doctor locally anesthetizes the skin and later on extracts a few small pieces of skin. The skin is then analyzed by a pathologist using a microscope to detect allergens or pathogens.
  • Blood tests – A small blood sample is extracted using a hypodermic needle in the arm. One specific blood test detects for spiked levels of eosinophils. Another type of blood test detects for enhanced rates of IgE antibody. This antibody rises in level when a person has dermatitis and other kinds of atopic diseases.  The allergen-specific IgE test appraises the levels of this antibody that can identify a specific allergen.

Aiyana Acupuncture & Chinese Herbs
41 Union Square West, Suite 519
New York, NY 10003
Phone: 212-894-0767

Written by Valerie

January 5th, 2014 at 2:27 pm

Posted in Acupuncture

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Dandruff Symptoms

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The appearance of gray or white dry flakes on your hair and scalp is the main symptom of dandruff. The flakes become more obvious if they start to fall from your scalp on to your shoulders. Dryness and itchiness in your scalp are symptoms of dandruff that are oftentimes likewise experienced.

Seborrheic dermatitis

Sometimes skin conditions like seborrheic dermatitis can cause dandruff. If your dandruff is related to seborrheic dermatitis you may then have additional symptoms. The extra conditions you may experience include itching and scaling of the skin. These symptoms commonly affect specific parts of the body. They include:

Body parts where the skin folds together – They include the inner thighs, groin and armpits
Between the shoulder blades and the front of the chest
Around and inside the ears
The face
The scalp

The skin can have different degrees of scaling. It can vary from some mild pink patching to widespread thick crusts of skin.

There are instances when the scales become infected. This can result to the patches discharging fluid and pus and becoming red and painful.

In certain instances where the patching in your scalp can be severe enough, the condition might lead to hair loss.

Cradle cap

Seborrheic dermatitis that develops in the scalp of babies can manifest as greasy scaly yellow patches on their scalp. Some often refer to this condition as cradle cap.

Babies who have cradle cap usually develop this in the initial two months of their life that endures typically for a few weeks or months. Cradle cap normally clears as the baby reaches two years of age although of course there are exceptions where the condition can last a lot longer.

When to seek medical advice

If you notice no positive changes after applying anti-dandruff shampoo for about half a month, you may then need to consult with your doctor. Your doctor will often prescribe a stronger treatment.  You can also consult with your doctor if you suspect you have developed seborrheic dermatitis symptoms. The doctor may also prescribe stronger medication to help you control this condition.
Galina Semyonova is a licensed acupuncturist and massage therapist in New York City. She has studied extensively in the fields of biofeedback therapy, SCENAR therapy, Chinese herbal treatments and Chinese and Western nutrition.

Written by Valerie

January 5th, 2014 at 2:25 pm

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Colitis Treatments and Drugs

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The main aim of ulcerative colitis treatment is to normalize the function of the patient’s immune system. In spite not having a real cure for ulcerative colitis and its corresponding flare ups, treatments abound that can control this condition including its symptoms to enable you to lead a relatively normal and much happier life.

IBD diseases like ulcerative colitis have treatments that entail the use of medicines, surgical procedures and alternative treatments use. Surgical procedures are usually done to repair or take out the diseased parts of the patient’s GI tract.


Drugs to treat ulcerative colitis can contain the inflammation of the colon which then enables the affected parts to heal. Abdominal pain, bleeding and diarrhea symptoms can be lessened and regulated with potent medicines. Besides suppressing and controlling symptoms (inducing remission), medicines are also useful to mitigate the number of colitis flare ups (maintaining remission). Extending these treatments over a certain time period can lead to the substantial reduction of symptom flare ups.

There are around five types of medications utilized for the treatment of ulcerative colitis: these include

Aminosalicylates (5-ASA) – Examples of these drugs include balsalazide, olsalazine, mesalamine and sulfasalazine. They are not particularly sanctioned by the US Food and Drug Administration for treatment of ulcerative colitis. These drugs, however, can effectively lessen inflammation by protecting the lining of the GI tract. They are effective in resolving mild-to-moderate bouts of colitis as well as become maintenance therapies to block relapses of this condition. Aminosalicylates (5-ASA) are most potent in the colon but may be less effective when treating ulcerative colitis in the small intestine.

Corticosteroids – Methylprednisolone and prednisone are administered rectallly or orally. These medicines inhibit the immune system to aid in the resolution of moderate to severe types of ulcerative colitis. Corticosteroids are notorious for short-term and long-term side effects and are not recommended for maintenance therapy.  A patient who cannot stop taking steroids without suffering symptoms relapse should be prescribed replacement medicines by his doctor for better management of his condition.

Immunomodulators – Immunomodulators lessen the body’s immune system response thus preventing inflammation. They are typically used for patients who were unsuccessfully treated with corticosteroids and aminosalicylates. Immunomodulators can be effective in lessening or removing the patient’s need for corticosteroids. They can also be used as maintenance drugs for patients who are not responsive to other medicines that are allegedly designed for this purpose. The beneficial results of Immunomodulators can take a while (several months) to be seen.

Antibiotics – These drugs are especially helpful in treating infections like abscesses when they occur. Antibiotics can help treat fistulas that may develop around the vagina and the anal canal. Some antibiotic drugs taken for the treatment of GI tract bacterial infection can include ciprofloxacin, ampicillin, metronidazole and others.

Biologic Therapies – Biologic therapies are new techniques that are designed to treat moderate-to-severe ulcerative colitis. These treatments target TNF or tumor necrosis factor which is a chemical in the body that causes inflammation. Biologic therapies help the body produce antibodies that stick to TNFs and then causes the destruction of these chemicals that in the process lessens the inflammation.

Surgery – Sadly, about a third of patients given the above aforementioned treatments does not respond satisfactorily to them or have had complications due to these treatments. Surgery may then be their next option under these circumstances. Colitis surgery entails the excision of the colon called a colectomy. Colectomy guarantees that colitis can never occur again in the patient not like Crohn’s disease which after surgery in all likelihood can come back. A certain type of surgery for the patient may depend on factors like his overall health, age and the severity and scope of his disease. One type of surgery entails the extraction of the rectum and the entire colon and at the same the creation of an external stoma (a hole in the stomach where body wastes go to and are emptied into a pouch attached adhesively to the skin) or of an ileostomy.

The development of newer surgical procedures can provide patients with surgical options that are much more convenient and effective.  A new procedure also entails the extraction of the colon, but now without the need for an ileostomy. The surgeon instead creates an internal pouch from the small bowel that is attached to the muscles of the anal sphincter. This helps eliminate the need of wearing an outside ostomy pouch and also helps in bowel integrity.

Alternative Treatments

Curcumin, Tumeric – This is a spicy herb that time and time again has been used with mainstream ulcerative colitis treatments like sulfasalazine or corticosteroids to help better symptoms. It also renders unnecessary the need for using larger doses of mainstream medications thus preventing serious side effects. This statement is true as evidenced from a couple of clinical studies. Additional research may be required before this therapy can be recommended into mainstream medicine.

Acupuncture – This treatment addresses colitis by treating the spleen and liver meridians with acupuncture needles to prevent stress, anxiety and anger from becoming too excessive causing in the process imbalances in the spleen and liver organs that can lead to ulcerative colitis.

The 2006 edition Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterolgy revealed that moxibustion and acupuncture treatment for ulcerative colitis provided positive effects in the health and quality of life of patients.

Aloe vera – The juice of this plant has been reported to possess anti-inflammatory attributes beneficial for individuals suffering from ulcerative colitis. When taken orally, aloe vera can also become a laxative which is good for those with ulcerative colitis.

Fish oil – This ingredient also possesses anti-inflammatory properties that can be helpful for patients with ulcerative colitis.

Probiotics – Adding more beneficial bacteria (probiotics) into the GI system of an individual suffering from ulcerative colits can help neutralize the disease.


1245 West Broadway #302
Vancouver, BC V6H 1G7, Canada
(604) 733-2632

Written by Valerie

January 5th, 2014 at 2:22 pm

Posted in Acupuncture

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