HERBS FOR HEALTH MANAGEMENT

Herbs are a foundational root in medicine and health treatments, dating back thousands of years throughout every culture around the world. Modern Western herbalism comes from ancient Egypt. The Greeks developed a comprehensive philosophy of herbal medicine by 100 BCE and the Romans built upon it to create a variety of medical practices, some of which are still used today.

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ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE IMPACTS PSYCHOLOGICAL HARDINESS

Psychological hardiness is an individual’s resistance to stress, anxiety and depression. It includes the ability to withstand grief and accept the loss of loved ones. Alternative medicine is a more popular term for health and wellness therapies that have typically not been part of conventional Western medical approaches but are often used along with conventional medicinal protocols.  Coping and dealing with stress in a positive manner play a major role in maintaining the balance needed for health and well-being.

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ALTERNATIVE REMEDIES FOR ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION

Interest in complimentary and alternative medicine (CAM) is increasing as consumers and health care professionals search for additional ways to treat anxiety, depression and other mental health disorders. Some of these remedies include:

St. John’s Wort.  More than 30 studies show it to be effective for treatment of mild forms of depression,…

….FULL ARTICLE

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Nicolaides led a clinical trial in 2017 with 1,620 pregnant women at high risk of early-onset preeclampsia that showed those who took a daily dose of 150mg of aspirin beginning in the 11th week to the 14th week of pregnancy reduced their risk of preeclampsia by 62 percent, compared to those who took a placebo. A 2018 meta-analysis of 16 clinical trials of aspirin for preeclampsia, led by epidemiologist Stéphanie Roberge of the National Institute of Excellence in Health and Social Services in Quebec, found high-risk women who took a daily dose of aspirin reduced their risk of preeclampsia by about 70 percent if the dose was more than 100mg and began before the 16th week of pregnancy. Aspirin may play a role in the remodeling of spiral arteries, a process that is complete by 16 to 18 weeks of pregnancy.


Researchers have been pursuing a simple, portable and inexpensive blood test to detect preeclampsia in the first trimester. From 2016 to 2018, an international research group at Vienna University of Medicine analyzed preeclampsia biomarkers. Initial results show the doctors were able to rule out preeclampsia within one week of taking a sample. Oxford Nanopore Technologies is trying to develop a handheld, mobile-sized DNA sequencing device to test for preeclampsia with a drop of blood from the finger. One day clinicians will be able to give mothers a simple blood test to catch preeclampsia.

PREDICTING  PREECLAMPSIA: BLOOD TESTS ARE FORTHCOMING

ANGELA S. HOOVER

Angela is a staff writer for Health & Wellness magazine.

more articles by Angela s. hoover

Risk factors for preeclampsia include a history of high blood pressure, obesity, carrying more than one baby and being under 18 years of age or over the age of 40 years. Symptoms include decreased blood platelets, headaches, visual disturbances, sudden weight gain, swelling in the legs and feet and proteinuria – a high amount of protein in the urine.


Proteinuria is a telltale sign that a pregnant woman has already developed preeclampsia. Researchers have developed about 70 prediction models for preeclampsia in the first trimester, but these screening protocols are complicated and expensive to implement. A 2018 study led by Kypros Nicolaides, a professor of fetal medicine at King’s College in London, showed detection of preeclampsia in the first trimester was possible using a combination of 17 tests called Screening Program for Preeclampsia (SPREE). SPREE combines maternal risk factors and medical history with testing for four predictors of preeclampsia. However, the SPREE protocol isn’t a practical solution for many clinical settings. These screening methods use complicated algorithms, sophisticated sonography and other equipment often unavailable to women and doctors in low-income countries.

Preeclampsia is serious condition that affects up to 9 percent of pregnant women. Once known as pregnancy poisoning, it is the second most frequent cause of death for pregnant women. About 76,000 of the 10 million pregnant women worldwide die each year from preeclampsia. About half a million babies die annually from preeclampsia – 10,500 in the United States.


Early in a normal pregnancy, the spiral arteries – blood vessels that feed the uterus – open up like funnels to provide the fetus blood and oxygen. In preeclampsia, this remodeling process does not occur normally. The opening of the funnel is too narrow to give an adequate blood supply to the fetus. Preeclampsia can develop into eclampsia (the word comes from the Greek eklampsis, meaning lightning bolt) – a life-threatening complication characterized by seizures and coma.


Preeclampsia progresses rapidly. The signs and symptoms don’t appear until after the 20th week of pregnancy, so the only options are to monitor the mother closely and/or deliver the baby early. In its most severe forms, preeclampsia can lead to brain hemorrhage, edema (excessive watery fluid) of the lungs and kidney failure. Babies delivered prematurely as a result of preeclampsia often suffer lifelong problems, such as cerebral palsy, epilepsy, blindness, deafness and learning disorders.