The Alternative – Mens Health

June 7, 2011 by  
Filed under VIDEO

I just found this health related video on YouTube … and thought you might enjoy it!

Introduction – Vox-pops from the case studies. Dr. Ian Banks, Men’s Health Forum, introduces the programme by exploding the myth that men don’t care about their health and instead points to the way society does not expect men to discuss their health. Throughout the programme he introduces the different issues: stress, prostate health, exercise and maintaining your identity as you get older. Case Study 1 – Graham was dragged off to yoga by his girlfriend. Case Study 2 – Randy, our second case study. Case Study 3 – Using clear, concise language, together with pictures, the therapist Max Tomlinson is able to describe the prostate gland. Case Study 4 – The final item in the programme shows how complementary medicine can help those men who are going through some kind of change or stressful time in their life.

Tell us what you think about this video in the comments below, or in the Battling For Health Community Forum!

The Alternative – Women’s health

May 4, 2011 by  
Filed under VIDEO

I just found this health related video on YouTube … and thought you might enjoy it!

Introduction – Vox-pops from the case studies. Nick Avery, a GP and Homeopath, has taken an interest in the relationship between hormones and women’s health problems. He describes how difficult it is to treat hormone problems because even if you have a blood test progesterone and oestrogen vary widely within the normal range. Case Study 1 – We hear from Anne, who had been treated extensively with hormones by her doctor to try and combat painful and almost continuous periods. Case Study 2 – Annette had been trying to have a baby for over a year before she was diagnosed as experiencing early menopause. Case Study 3 – Dr. Marilyn Glenville is a nutritionist who provides a natural alternative for people not wanting to go on HRT. Case Study 4 – Scilla, however, approached the menopause another way under the supervision of zero balancing therapist, John Hamwee.

Tell us what you think about this video in the comments below, or in the Battling For Health Community Forum!

Depression in MS patients

July 7, 2010 by  

As if pain and impaired mobility are not enough, multiple sclerosis (MS) patients are also plagued by another comorbidity – depression. It is estimated that people with MS have up to 50% lifetime risk for developing depressive symptoms. However, very little is known about the causes and influencing factors of MS-related depression. In a way, this type of depression is quite puzzling. It can occur at any stage of the disease and is not related to the severity of the symptoms. Scientists think that depression in MS patients is not simply a normal reaction to the debilitating symptoms but has a neurological reason.

According to lead author Dr. Stefan Gold

“Depression is one of the most common symptoms in patients with multiple sclerosis. It impacts cognitive function, quality of life, work performance and treatment compliance. Worst of all, it’s also one of the strongest predictors of suicide.”

Thus, researchers at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) decided to investigate the cause(s) of MS-linked depression. Their hypothesis is that it is not a simply psychological problem but rather due to structural changes in the brain, i.e. “atrophy of a specific region of the hippocampus, a critical part of the brain involved in mood and memory, among other functions.”

The researchers used high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to study the MS brain and found three key sub-regions of the hippocampus that were smaller in people with MS when compared to those without MS. This observed atrophy was also linked to the hyperactivity of three interacting glands of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. This axis plays a role in the regulation of reactions to stress other physiological processes. In depressed MS patients, the HPA axis released excessive amounts of the stress hormone cortisol.  The researchers believe that this hyperactivity results in dysregulation and atrophy of the hippocampus that leads to the development of depressive symptoms.

The researchers found similarities between MS-linked depression and depression in people without MS but these should be further investigated in future studies.

According to co-author Dr. Nancy Sicotte

“Interestingly, this idea of a link between excessive activity of the HPA axis and reduced brain volume in the hippocampus hasn’t received a lot of attention, despite the fact that the most consistently reproduced findings in psychiatric patients with depression (but without MS) include hyperactivity of the HPA axis and smaller volumes of the hippocampus….So the next step is to compare MS patients with depression to psychiatric patients with depression to see how the disease progresses in each.”

A gentle touch: therapy for MS patients

October 15, 2009 by  

hand_hang_onHealthy people take for granted simple everyday tasks such as lifting cup or dripping a fork and a knife. For those with neurological disorders such as multiple sclerosis (MS), these simple movements are a challenge. For these patients, lifting and manipulation these ordinary objects lead actually to tight gripping and excessive force, which in turn results in fatigue and even pain.

Physical therapists at the University of Chicago in Illinois report that a simple gentle touch can help MS patients regain control and coordination. The technique entails applying a gentle touch of a finger using the unaffected hand on the affected hand.

The study looked at eight adults with MS and compared them to eight without the disease. The participants were matched in terms of gender-matched and comparable in terms of age.

According to Alexander Aruin, professor of physical therapy.

“We studied how this light touch application changes the way people apply force to an object they want to grip. In each case, the grip force required to lift an object decreased.”

During the test, the participants were asked to grip and lift different objects in different ways and directions. In all the touch, the simple light finger touch helped the participants in the coordination.

The mechanism behind the effectiveness of the touch is poorly understood but the authors speculate that it might be due to “auxiliary sensory information from the contra-lateral arm”.

Aruin explains:

“When we use our second hand and touch the wrist of the target hand, available information to the central nervous system about the hand-object interaction may increase. Without the touch, the information needed to manipulate an object comes only through vision and sensory input from just the target arm and hand.”

These findings have relevant application on developing therapies for rehabilitation and training to counteract fatigue and weak muscles in people with neurological disorders, not only MS, but also Parkinson’s disease, or limb weakness due to stroke. This type of therapy has the potential to significantly improve the patients’ quality of life.

Breastfeeding may prevent MS relapse

July 16, 2009 by  

breastfeedingThere are about 2.5 million people worlwide suffering from multiple sclerosis (MS). The disease commonly afflicts young people in their prime, between the ages of 20 and 40. It is no surprise that many MS victims are women of reproductive age – mothers and wanna be mothers.

However, there are certain restrictions to moms with MS. Most MS drugs cannot be taken during pregnancy and while breasfeeding. The drugs can get into the mother’s milk and taken in by the baby.

Breastfeeding is the best thing for babies. It is healthy, economical, and green. Moms with MS however, have to choose between restarting medications immediately after delivery or breastfeeding their babies.

A recent study indicates that breastfeeding may not be just good for babies but for moms with MS.

Tracking 32 women with MS and 29 without MS during the gestation period and up to one year postpartum, the study results suggests that breastfeeding actually prevents MS relapse even without the medications.

The actual figures are as follows:

  • 52% of moms with MS did breastfeed or stopped prematurely in order to restart taking their medications.
  • 36% of moms with MS who exclusive breastfed has a relapse within the follow up period.
  • In contrast, 87% of those who partially breastfed or did not breastfeed at all had an MS relapse during the same period.

According to Annette Langer-Gould of Kaiser Permanente Southern California

“While 87 percent of the women who did not breastfeed exclusively had a relapse in the year after giving birth, only 36 percent of the women who did breastfeed exclusively relapsed in that postpartum year.”

The study results indicate that breastfeeding lowers the incidence of MS relapse whereas restarting MS medications two months after delivers seems to actually increase rather than decrease the incidence of relapse.

Breastfeeding seems to provide protection in moms with MS but the mechanisms are not so clear. However, this is not surprising since other studies have reported health benefits for breastfeeding moms, from decreased risk for hormone-related cancers, to improved cardiovascular health.

Breastfeeding is the natural way to go, the way nature designed it to be. It is no wonder that both mom and baby benefit from it.

According to Dr Eleanor Bimla Schwarz of the University of Pittsburgh Center for Research on Healthcare, PA

“During pregnancy, the body stores up a bunch of nutrients with the plan that it’s going to release much of this in the form of breast milk, a very calorific food. If this doesn’t happen, what we see is that the woman’s body pays the price. Breast-feeding really helps bring you back to your baseline, and it helps women recover from the stress test that pregnancy entails.”

Photo credit: stock.xchng

All About Multiple Sclerosis

December 27, 2007 by  

By Robert Groth

Introduction to Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple Sclerosis is known to affect more than 250,000 people world wide and 400,000+ people in the United States of America alone! This disease affects more women than men, and most people show the first signs of this degenerative disease between 20 to 40 years of ages.

A chronic and potentially incapacitating disease, Multiple Sclerosis (MS) affects the central nervous system or the brain and spinal cord areas in your body. Believed to be an autoimmune disorder, MS is a condition where the patient’s immune system produces antibodies against their own body.

These antibodies and WBCs (White blood corpuscles) are then directed against proteins in the “myelin” sheath. The myelin sheath is made up of fatty substance that protects the nerve fibers in the spinal cord and brain. This attack usually results in injury and swelling to the myelin sheath and ultimately to the surrounding nerves. The injury leads to scarring or sclerosis in multiple areas of the central immune system, thus damaging the nerve signals and control muscle coordination as well as vision, and strength.

The nature of it is unpredictable and it can vary in severity from person to person. While some people experience only mild illness, it can lead to permanent disability in many others. Treatments for MS can help in modifying the course of this illness while relieving symptoms as well.

Signs and Symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis

The signs and symptoms are wide and varied. More often than not, they depend on the area where nerve fibers have been affected. Some of the common symptoms of it include:

– Feeling of weakness or numbness in one or both limbs. The feeling usually starts on one side of the body or begins in the bottom half of the body.
– Full or partial loss of vision, typically starts with one eye at a time accompanied by some pain when making eye movement
– Blurring of vision or experiencing double vision
– A tingling or painful sensation in some parts of the body
– Experience of tremor, inability to walk straight, or lack of proper coordination
– Dizziness
– Fatigue
– Muscle stiffness or spastic movement
– Slurred Speech
– Full or Partial paralysis
– Issues with bowel, bladder or sexual functions
– Forgetfulness/memory loss
– Lack of concentration

There are 3 forms of multiple sclerosis:

* Relapsing-remitting MS: Almost 80% people are affected by this type of MS. There are visible relapses with some amount of recovery in between.

* Secondary progressive MS: Technically secondary progressive MS is a form of progressive MS, but chances of relapse are mainly in early-to-mid stages. There is slow and regular loss of cognitive and physical functions. 50% of those who suffer from relapsing remitting MS develop this type of within 10 years of diagnosis.

* Primary progressive MS: There are no relapses in this type of multiple sclerosis. However, there is loss of cognitive and physical functions over a period of time. About 10% people are affected by this type of it.

© CG Groth Inc 2007

Robert Groth, author and speaker was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 1990. Receive more information and a free inspirational daily email on how you can beat multiple sclerosis at

Article Source:

What is Multiple Sclerosis?

December 20, 2007 by  

By Robert Groth

Multiple sclerosis is a chronic disease that affects your central nervous system. It is believed to be an autoimmune disease, a condition in which your immune system attacks parts of your body as if they’re foreign. These attacks may be linked to environmental factors such as viruses.

In multiple sclerosis, the body mistakenly attacks the myelin sheath, a fatty substance that insulates nerve cells, or neurons, in your brain or spinal cord. This myelin sheath helps the neurons to carry electrical signals carrying information between parts of the body. These electrical signals are also how the brain controls the rest of the body. The interference with the signals results in a variety of symptoms.

As these causes attacks on the myelin sheath, inflammation and injury occur. This results in scarring (sclerosis) of the myelin sheath, further complicating the disease. These scars can be seen through brain imaging such as an MRI. It is hard to diagnose in the early stages. It is most often diagnosed to young people between the ages of twenty and forty. Women are twice as likely to be diagnosed as men.

Multiple sclerosis is very unpredictable, and affects everyone differently. In some people it is a mild illness, and can be controlled through diet and environmental factors. For others, it can lead to permanent disabilities. Some people respond well to treatments, which may relieve symptoms and lead to a type of remission. Others may not be affected by treatment at all, while a few may suffer negative results from medication.

While much is known about how it causes damage, not much is known about the cause of the disease. While several risk factors have been identified, researchers still do not know how much they really contribute to the disease. There is no known cure for this.

© CG Groth Inc 2007

Robert Groth, author and speaker was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 1990. Receive more information and a free inspirational daily email on how you can beat multiple sclerosis at

Article Source:

MS Express

April 25, 2006 by  

It began as a joke between Carlo and his wife Angela. When bed-confined during his early years of Multiple Sclerosis, Carlo faithfully watched Katie Couric on the Today Show every morning. He joked to Angela that he was going to visit Katie when he was stronger.

Then, after an antique, electric wheelchair named Blu came into Carlo’s life, Angela playfully argued that Carlo was spending too much time with his new toy. “I’m going to pack my bags to go see Katie Couric,” Carlo joked. That’s when the dream began ~ the dream to travel across the country in an antique, electric wheelchair to share his spirit of hope with others.

As he thought through the idea, it grew until it became The MS Express, a six-month, 4,300 mile antique, electric wheelchair trek from Seattle to New York City with three-legged assistance dog Katie along for the ride. For a chronically ill man, this may seem like a daunting endeavor. For Carlo, though, it’s a more than just a trip – it’s a mission. A mission that Carlo hopes will improve the lives of others. For the last five years, Carlo has been planning this incredible journey. Having to cancel it twice due to health issues, Carlo is determined to make it happen in 2006. With much hoopla and fanfare, his departure will be held at the Seattle Mariners’ Safeco Field.

Following a magnificent kick-off, Carlo will begin his six-month journey along the northern United States. In addition to faithful companion Katie, Carlo will be accompanied by a support team in a handicapped accessible chase van, donated by Foley RV and Crossroads RV, two of Carlo’s many generous sponsors. As he travels across the country, Carlo will make keynote stops as the Ambassador for the City of Anacortes (Washington). With the goal of sharing handicapped accessibility information and raising awareness, Carlo will make official visits with city dignitaries, store owners, civic groups, community organizations, and others afflicted with chronic diseases.

In addition, Carlo will share his Able Neighbor message with hundreds of school children and communities nationwide. “There’s a phrase that goes like this, ‘Count the day lost upon the setting sun that sees not a worthy deed done,’” Carlo said. “I’m just trying to do a good deed. That’s all.” After dozens of stops and raising an estimated $1 million for MS research, Carlo will conclude his trip in New York City where he has promised to treat Angela to dinner at the finest Italian restaurant he can find. “It’s the journey, not the destination,” Carlo said of his cross-country trek.

“My goal is to bring awareness to people, to help those with MS, and to share my spirit of hope.” Meet The MS Express Team Carlo Magno Born in Los Angeles, California in 1951, Carlo was the middle child of a loving Italian family. Growing up in the family car business, Carlo developed salesmanship and promotional skills at an early age.

This experience became the foundation for a 26-year career in sales, marketing and promotions. Following high school, Carlo attended a number of colleges and universities in the west to further his education. He has been married to wife Angela, the love of his life, for 9 years. They live in Anacortes, Washington near the Pacific coast.

Carlo has two children, Anna, 33, and Guy, 18, from previous marriages. In July of 1995, Carlo was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. After recovering from an initial flair-up with the disease, he suffered a life-threatening fall at KBRC Radio where he worked at the time. For the next five years, Carlo was either hospitalized or housebound with injuries and illnesses, including pleurisy, blood clots, and trigeminal neuralgia. By the winter of 1999, Carlo had virtually given up and considered euthanasia to end his suffering.

He questioned whether or not he would live to see the new millennium. Then Carlo met Blu, an antique, electric wheelchair. Blu gave Carlo a reason to get out of bed in the morning. As Carlo gradually gained strength, he worked on Blu, restoring her to her original glory. Now, at 54, Carlo feels that he is in the best health of his life – mind, body and spirit. He wants to share his experiences with others to raise awareness for Multiple Sclerosis and to increase accessibility for the disabled in towns across the country.

“I want to define my disease,” Carlo said. “I don’t want my disease to define me.” Carlo’s next grand adventure is The MS Express, a 4,300 mile trip from Seattle to New York City, June 1st 2006. Carlo and his three-legged dog Katie will journey across the country in Blu. Katie Carlo had dogs as a child but never as an adult. In recent years, however, he wanted to adopt a three-legged dog. His prayers were answered two years ago when Katie, a four-year-old Australian Red Heeler came into his life. With little but skin and bones left of her, she had been found near the Skagit River, missing a leg and having just birthed a litter of pups. Carlo adopted her as his assistance dog.

She has been his faithful companion ever since, never leaving his side. “It was like two crippled ships meeting in the night,” Carlo joked. “She’s my assistance dog, but I like to think that I’m Katie’s assistant person.” Carlo’s beloved dog was named for Today Show co-anchor Katie Couric who Carlo vowed to visit when his confinement ended. Blu Blu is a 1955 Autoette Cruise About, a 24-volt, battery-powered, electric wheelchair conveyance, which can be operated by a 96 percent quadriplegic.

Designed and built out of WWII surplus materials by the Autoette Electric Car Company in Long Beach, California, Blu is the predecessor of today’s golf carts and motorized scooters used by the disabled today. She and others like her were introduced to the Washington State Legislature by Anacortes resident Bill Mitchell. Blu and her fellow Autoettes were granted legal access to all Public Access Routes in the State of Washington.

Blu came into Carlo’s life when he was homebound, spending most of his days in bed. Intrigued by the well-loved but worn antique, Carlo made Blu his reason to get out of bed every day, thanks to Bob Jeffcott who sold the wheelchair to him. “I think he needed Blu more than I did,” Bob said of the wheelchair.

“She has a soul and couldn’t be allowed to die.” With a lot of hard work and unmatched devotion, Carlo has transformed Blu into the beauty she once was – “a magnificent obsession.” With her Bombay Taxi Bell onboard, Blu looks shiny and new and is ready for her cross-country adventure! Printed with permission.


March 22, 2006 by  

17 March 2006

A DRUG to lower cholesterol could also help multiple sclerosis sufferers, say researchers.

Tests on mice with a similar auto-immune condition produced remarkable results when cholesterol busting statin Lipitor was combined with MS drug Copaxone.

It helped prevent or reduce paralysis, said scientists at the University of California and Stanford University Medical Center in California.

Team member Dr Olaf Stuve said: “It represents a potential new strategy for treating MS.” The MS Society said: “These are promising results.”


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NOTE: The contents in this blog are for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as medical advice, diagnosis, treatment or a substitute for professional care. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health professional before making changes to any existing treatment or program. Some of the information presented in this blog may already be out of date.