Home Making

ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE: SELECTIVE SEROTONIN RE -UPTAKE INHIBITERS

The SSRI drugs are relatively new and work by blocking the breakdown of the body’s main ‘happy juice’ neurotransmitter, known as serotonin. If ever a drug was to have a holistic approach, this must be it. This group is less sedative than its better-known rivals, the tricyclic antidepressants, and have fewer side effects. Fewer side…

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ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE: SALAZOPYRIN

A salicylic acid or aspirin-based derivative, this drug works as a potent anti-inflammatory agent used predominantly in bowel inflammation and particularly ulcerative colitis. Salazopyrin definitely has a beneficial effect in inflammatory bowel disease and may reduce inflammation and prevent operations if taken either alone or in conjunction with steroids. If prescribed, withdrawal should be under…

Home Making

ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE: RITALIN

This drug is sold as part of a treatment programme for attention deficit disorder and hyperactivity disorders. The manufacturers suggest that it should only be used as a last resort, although, especially in America, its use is becoming much greater. The drug must be prescribed by a specialist and even then the safety is questionable….

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ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE: REGAINE

This topically applied drug, minoxidil, has gained fame by acting as a hair follicle stimulant in male-pattern baldness. The drug was initially discarded from its original intended use as an antihypertensive drug because of severe side effects. One of these was hair growth. Some clever boffin applied it directly to the skin and a whole…

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ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE: PROGESTERONE

Progesterone is infrequently used because of the artificial forms being 40 times stronger than naturally made progesterone. Certain conditions require its use but plenty of alternatives exist for all but the most serious of problems. Natural progesterone is available in a cream and may be far more effective than oestrogen in many hormone-related conditions, including…

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ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE: PHENYTOIN

This is an anticonvulsant or antiepileptic drug. It acts by reducing the sensitivity of neurological cells, thereby preventing the electrical impulses that flash through the brain causing epilepsy. It is an extremely effective and successful drug, although some side effects are associated. Phenytoin is usually only prescribed by specialists when no other options are available….

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ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE: PARACETAMOL

Paracetamol is a mild but potent analgesic similar in its effect and strength to aspirin but with far less anti-inflammatory effect. Because, holistically speaking, inflammation is part of the body’s repair mechanism, paracetamol is preferred to aspirin as a first-line pain relief. Paracetemol is, however, far more toxic to the liver than aspirin and should…

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ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE: ORAL CONTRACEPTIVE PILL

When the ‘Pill’ was first produced in the late 1950s its claims were: socially enormous and medically safe. Nearly 40 years later the social implications have been supported and indeed the number of unwanted pregnancies and the serious complications that go with this, such as terminations , will also support its beneficial claims. It takes…

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ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE: OPIOID ANALGESICS

The body produces natural painkillers, the most effective of which is a group called endorphins and enkephalins. These powerful analgesics are produced when the body is in severe pain or has undergone trauma, but can also be produced through heavy muscular exercise. These hormones also carry a sense of euphoria. ‘Man-made’ opiates have a very…

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ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE: NON-STEROIDAL ANTI-INFLAMMATORY DRUGS

These drugs, as the name suggests, are antiinflammatory drugs. They are a step up from aspirin, paracetamol and acetaminophen, and a step down from steroids. Inflammation is the body’s natural healing process and should only be suppressed as a last resort. Alternative and complementary medical treatment should be tried first before an anti-pain drug is…

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ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE: MORPHINE

Morphine is the most potent pain reliever. It is similar to the body’s own painkillers known as endorphins and enkephalins, and also similar in structure and efficacy to heroin. Morphine is profoundly addictive, not so much psychologically but certainly physiologically. This means that when its use is stopped the body will be much more sensitive…

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ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE: LITHIUM

Lithium carbonate is a drug used specifically in psychiatry for people with psychotic or schizophrenic disorders. It is generally prescribed by psychiatrists initially and these specialists and Gps will monitor levels very accurately because too little will be ineffective and too much can be toxic, causing liver and bone marrow problems. It is a remarkably…

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ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE: LAXATIVES

Laxatives are principally of four kinds: Compounds that increase bulk Compounds that pull or keep water in the bowel Drugs that stimulate peristalsis of the large bowel Stool softeners As discussed in the section on constipation these drugs should be avoided if possible. If dietetics and a complementary medical practitioner cannot solve a problem of…

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ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE: INSULIN

Insulin is prescribed when investigations suggest that the pancreas is unlikely to be able to produce enough insulin and/or diet and antidiabetic drugs are not working. Most types of insulin are extracted from pigs, although newer types are obtained from humans. The latter are proving to be more effective but also have more side effects….

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ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE: INFERTILITY DRUGS

Infertility drugs for both men and women are principally hormonal in character and stimulate the production of sperm in men and eggs in women. These drugs have considerable side effects and are only prescribed by specialists. Try alternative treatments before using these progressive drugs and if you do you use them use complementary therapy alongside…

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ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE: IMMUNOGLOBULINS

The body has a remarkable defence system. Part of its immunity is the production of specialized molecules called immunoglobulins that attach to invading or foreign matter within the bloodstream to form a larger molecule that is removed from the system by entrapment in lymph glands or envelopment by white blood cells specialized in recognizing immunoglobulin-antigen…

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ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE: HYDROGEN PEROXIDE

Used most commonly in a dilute topical solution against acne, this molecule containing two oxygen atoms is also found in intravenous techniques for increasing oxygen levels in the blood. The topical applications are safe provided that the solution is dilute enough, although they will only treat the symptoms and not any underlying cause of skin…

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ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE: HORMONE REPLACEMENT THERAPY DRUGS

These drugs are principally oral contraceptives and the pros and cons can be read about in the relevant sections . In principle, 50 per cent of ladies who embark upon HRT will not be using the medication within the first year. The side effects are pronounced and efficacy against the symptoms of menopause is limited….

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ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE: HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE DRUGS

Treating high blood pressure is discussed fully in the main text. Diuretics and beta-blockers are discussed elsewhere here and should be the first-line treatments from Gps and specialists. If complementary methods and these basic drugs do not work, people with high blood pressure will be introduced to calcium antagonists or ACE inhibitors. Calcium antagonists block…

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ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE: HEAD LICE PREPARATIONS

Head lice are a common and irritating infestation that are often amenable to complementary medical treatments. The topical drug preparations have been cited as causing illnesses, possibly cancer, although these compounds have been withdrawn from the market in the UK. If an alternative treatment schedule does not solve the problem swiftly then I think the…