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,…

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they want to stop a certain pill,” Vandergrift said. “When you start taking them, you might notice a little fluctuation in mood, which is your body adjusting to hormones. All pills contain estrogen but there are different types of progesterone, which is what makes the difference in the pills. Some women have breast tenderness but that gets better.”


You want to make sure the side effects are manageable. “It is a medication so there can be side effects, but if you have blood clots, headaches, unusual vision changes, shortness of breath or swelling in the legs, come in for an evaluation,” Vandergrift said. “I tell women if you do not feel like yourself or are having extreme mood swings or headaches that you did not have before, come back and we will see if we can change you to something else.”


If you are over age 35 years and a smoker, that limits the type of birth control you can be on. “You don’t want to be on a pill that contains estrogen because it puts you at increased risk of having a blood clot,” Vandergrift said.


Typically, patients come back to see their doctor within three months to make sure everything is going well. After that, it is good to see your gynecologist once a year.

UNDERSTANDING BIRTH CONTROL PILLS

JAMIE LOBER

Jamie Lober is a Staff Writer for Health & Wellness Magazine

more articles by Jamie Lober


The pill has not changed much over the years.  “There are more options out there than there used to be and there are also ones that have been out there forever that still get used,” Vandergrift said. “Some new ones have iron or folic acid in them and some give you a period four times a year instead of every month. Sit down with your provider, talk about what is important to you and pick a pill that you think works best for your life.”

Before deciding to take birth control pills, do your research and understand what they will do for you. Every woman makes the decision to use birth control for different reasons.


“There are women as young as 14 starting birth control pills, all the way up through women who have not gone through menopause yet who just want birth control,” said Trenna Vandergrift, nurse practitioner at the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department. Many girls take birth control pills because they have irregular periods. Birth control pills make their menstrual cycles more predictable.


The most important thing to remember is you should take the pill at the same time every day. “There are 28 pills in a package,” said Vandergrift. “The first 21 are birth control pills and the last seven are placebo or reminder pills that you take when you have your period.”


There are many types of pills available so it is important to sit down with your doctor and evaluate them all. “The doctor will take the patient’s medical history and [learn her] reason for wanting to go on birth control pills into consideration,” Vandergrift said. “You typically start with a low-dosage hormone pill and work up to a higher dosage if it is not working.”


Most women tolerate the pill well, but it can take time to get regulated. “I recommend patients give it about a month or two before deciding