Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Alternative Treatments’ Category

WebMD (2/1, DeNoon http://tinyurl.com/fishy-psychosis) reported that twelve weeks of fish oil pills made teens at high risk of psychosis much less likely to become psychotic for at least one year.   A year after entering the study, 11 of the 40 teens treated only with placebo pills developed a psychotic disorder.  This happened to only two of 41 teens who began the year with 12 weeks of fish oil capsules rich in omega-3 fatty acids.    “The finding that treatment with a natural substance may prevent or at least delay the onset of psychotic disorder gives hope that there may be alternatives to antipsychotics for the prodromal phase”, Amminger and colleagues suggest.    People with schizophrenia tend to have low levels of omega-3 fatty acids, suggesting that the mental illness could be linked to a defect in the ability to process fatty acids.  There’s also evidence that fatty acids interact with chemical signaling in the brain and that omega-3 fatty acids protect brain cells from oxidative stress.  The study appears in the February issue of Archives of General Psychiatry.

Read Full Post »

The UK’s Daily Mail // (1/11, Ferrier http://tinyurl.com/adrenal-gland-fatigue) reports a  new syndrome coined Adrenal Fatigue is now so commonplace it has been recognized by the World Health Organization.  The umbrella term for a group of non-specific symptoms affects significantly more women than men.  Adrenal Fatigue occurs because the adrenals – walnut-sized glands that sit just above the kidneys – get overworked.  The adrenals are expected to churn out high levels of the hormone cortisol, traditionally during short-term periods of high stress. People suffering from adrenal fatigue often have to use coffee, colas and other stimulants to get going in the morning and to prop themselves up during the day.   When we are children, our cortisol levels fluctuate as we get excited and nervous, but as we get older, some of us live with permanently raised levels.  This wreaks havoc with our bodies and leaves many of us feeling deflated and anxious – and never more so than around the Christmas and New Year period, when we’re grappling with all manner of stress-inducing situations, from worrying about that upcoming credit card bill to dealing with in-laws.  The increasing prevalence of the syndrome presents one of the most interesting medical paradigms of our time.  First coined by Canadian alternative medicine specialist Dr James Wilson in 1998, the term Adrenal Fatigue is beginning to be recognized by mainstream health organizations.   The condition is difficult to diagnose because adrenal function is measured on a sliding scale, a bit like thyroid function. It’s only if a test shows you to have levels in the highest or lowest 2 per cent that you’ll be deemed ‘abnormal’.    So if your cortisol levels are in the lowest 5 per cent and you are suffering significant symptoms, it still wouldn’t be deemed a medical issue.   A good diet may be helpful in treating Adrenal Fatigue, including wholegrains, oily fish and fruit, supplemented by magnesium, B5 and vitamins C and B12. 

Read Full Post »

The Chicago Tribune (http://tinyurl.com/autism-alternatives 11/23, Tsouderos, Callahan) reports, “Thousands of US children undergo” alternative “therapies…at the urging of physicians who say they can successfully treat” some “children with autism.” However, “after reviewing…scientific studies and interviewing top researchers in the field, the Tribune found that many of these treatments amount to uncontrolled experiments on vulnerable children.” Some therapies include vitamin and supplement regimens, oxygen chambers, hormones, and even “chelation,” even though “last year, the National Institutes of Health halted a controversial government-funded study of chelation before a single child with autism was treated” after finding that “rats without lead poisoning showed signs of cognitive damage after being treated with a chelator.”

Read Full Post »

mindfulness-and-painWebMD (http://tinyurl.com/mindfulness-and-pain 11/11, Warner) reported that, according to a study published in the Journal of Pain, “as little as an hour of mindfulness training is enough to reduce pain.” In “a group of 22 college students [who] received three, 20-minute mindfulness training sessions over the course of three days,” researchers found that “mindfulness meditation training reduced the pain ratings of both ‘high’ and ‘low’ levels of pain more than math distraction and relaxation techniques,” and that “the meditation training seemed to have reduced general pain sensitivity even after the experiments were over.”

Read Full Post »

o3HealthDay (6/18, West) reported that, according to research published online in the Journal of Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, there may be a “relationship between low levels of omega-3 fatty acids and an increased risk of depression in heart patients.” For the study, researchers from the University of California-San Francisco “looked at 987 adults with coronary heart disease. Among those with the lowest levels of omega-3 fatty acids, 23 percent suffered from depression,” with “each unit decrease or increase in omega-3” being “reflected in a corresponding rise or lowering of depressive symptoms.” Among those patients “with the highest levels of the fatty acid in their blood,” however, “only 13 percent were diagnosed with depressive symptoms.” HealthDay noted that “the types of omega-3 measured in the study were docosahexaenoic acid and eicosapentaenoic acid.”

Read Full Post »