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Tuesday, December 9, 2008

My Father Pompeyo's Bout With Emphysema


Hereunder is the testimonial account by Ms. Vivian Zeta of Quezon City on her family's experience with the herbal products promoted by  Kinetics Philippines, Inc.


"My father, Pompeyo Zeta is 85 years old and was a World War II veteran. He was a scout ranger and was always sent off to far-flung areas. His duties have led him to a challenging and difficult life in the mountains and forests.

"Due to cold and harsh weather, my father had to resort to smoking to endure the extreme climate. He became a heavy smoker ever since, and would consume two (2) packs of cigarettes a day.

"I grew up seeing my father suffer from excessive coughing, and it was in October 2003 that his condition took a turn for the worse.

"He was confined at the Veterans Hospital and was diagnosed with Emphysema, a degenerative disease of the lungs that usually develops after many years of smoking and exposure to other toxins that pollute the air. My father's left lung was filled with phlegm and became swollen, making it difficult to breathe.

"I was introduced to Mr. Allan Wu of Kinetics Philippines, Inc. and he offered
IMMUNOL and RESPIROL for my father to take. 
"Initially, I didn't let my father try the products until one night, he became very ill and had a hard time breathing. He removed the oxygen and dextrose apparatus that were attached to his body.

My family and I thought that we were going to lose him. I decided to give him tw0 (2) capsules of
IMMUNOL and RESPIROL.

"After an hour, he fell asleep and we were expecting that he would pass away that night.

"To everyone's surprise, my father woke up the following morning and started to ask for food.

"From then on, I supplemented my father's regular medication with Kinetics herbal products.

"For 3 to 5 days, my father began coughing heavily and he would expel phlegm. However, after a week, he started breathing normally without the aid of an oxygen mask and was finally released from the hospital.

"Next to God, I am truly grateful to Mr. Allan Wu, Ms. Tina Lin, and the rest of the Kinetics Family for helping my father recover and for sharing these highly effective herbal products."


Vivian Zeta
Quezon City


Saturday, December 6, 2008

Products Promoted by Kinetics Philippines, Inc.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Cirrhosis of the Liver

The liver weighs about 3 pounds and is the largest solid organ in the body.  It performs many important functions, such as:

1. Manufacturing blood proteins that aid in clotting, oxygen transport, and immune system function.

2. Storing excess nutrients and returning some of the nutrients to the bloodstream.


3. Manufacturing bile, a substance needed to help digest food.

4. Helpi
ng the body store sugar (glucose) in the form of glycogen.

5. Ridding the body of harmful substances in the bloodstream
, including drugs and alcohol.

6. Breaking down saturated fat and producing cholesterol.

What is cirrhosis?  

Cirrhosis ("suh-ROH-sus") is a very serious condition. It is a slowly progressing disease in which healthy liver tissue is replaced with scar tissue, eventually preventing the liver from functioning properly.

The scar tissue blocks the flow of blood through the liver and slows the processing of nutrients, hormones, drugs, and naturally produced toxins. It also slows the production of proteins and other substances made by the liver.

According to the National Institutes of Health, cirrhosis is the 12th leading cause of death by disease.

When a person has cirrhosis, scar tissue (fibrosis) replaces healthy tissue and prevents the liver from working as it should. For example, the liver may stop producing enough clotting factors, which can lead to bleeding and bruising.

Bile and poisons may build up in the blood.

Scarring can also cause high blood pressure in the vein that carries blood from the intestines through the liver (portal hypertension). This can lead to severe bleeding in the digestive tract and other serious problems.

Cirrhosis can be deadly. But early treatment can help stop damage to the liver.

What Causes Cirrhosis of the Liver?

Hepatitis C, fatty liver, and alcohol abuse are the most common causes of cirrhosis of the liver in the U.S., but anything that damages the liver can cause cirrhosis, including:

1. Fatty liver associated with obesity and diabetes.

2.
Chronic viral infections of the liver (hepatitis types B, C, and D. Hepatitis D is extremely rare).

3.
Blockage of the bile duct, which carries bile formed in the liver to the intestines where it helps in the digestion of fats. In babies, this can be caused by biliary atresia in which bile ducts are absent or damaged, causing bile to back up in the liver. In adults, bile ducts may become inflamed, blocked, or scarred, due to another liver disease called primary biliary cirrhosis.

4. Repeated bouts of
heart failure with fluid backing up into the liver.

5. Certain
inherited diseases such as:
  • Cystic fibrosis.
  • Glycogen storage diseases, in which the body is unable to process glycogen, a form of sugar that is converted to glucose and serves as a source of energy for the body.
  • Certain inherited diseases such as:
    • Cystic fibrosis

    • Glycogen storage diseases - in which the body is unable to process glycogen, a form of sugar that is converted to glucose and serves as a source of energy for the body.

    • Alpha 1 antitrypsin deficiency - an absence of a specific enzyme in the liver.

    • Diseases caused by abnormal liver function, such as hemochromatosis, a condition in which excessive iron is absorbed and deposited into the liver and other organs, and Wilson's disease, caused by the abnormal storage of copper in the liver.
Although less likely, other causes of cirrhosis include reactions to prescription drugs, prolonged exposure to environmental toxins, or parasitic infections. 

Cirrhosis can have many causes.  Some of the main ones include:

1. Long-term, heavy use of alcohol - This is the most common cause of cirrhosis in the United States.  Alcoholic cirrhosis can develop after 10 or more years of heavy drinking (5 or more drinks a day for a man or 3 or more drinks a day for a woman).   

[See the picture to learn what one drinks.]

2. Chronic viral hepatitis - Cirrhosis develops in ab
out 10 to 20 out of 100 people with long-term (chronic) viral hepatitis (mainly hepatitis B or C).

Often it takes up to 20 years or longer for cirrhosis to develop from hepatitis. It may happen much sooner in people with viral hepatitis who drink a lot of alcohol.


3.
Auto-immune diseases - such as auto-immune hepatitis or primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC).  In some people, the immune system attacks the liver, causing inflammation that leads to cirrhosis.

4.
Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) - NASH is liver inflammation caused by a buildup of fat in the liver. Although the cause is not known, NASH seems to be related to some other conditions, including obesity, high cholesterol and triglycerides, and diabetes.

5.
Blocked bile ducts - A disease called primary biliary cirrhosis develops when the ducts that carry bile out of the liver become inflamed and blocked. The exact cause is unknown, but it may be related to a problem with the immune system.

6.
Inherited diseases - such as Wilson's disease, cystic fibrosis, or hemochromatosis. Cirrhosis can also be caused by a condition called alpha 1-antitrypsin deficiency, in which a protein collects in the liver and causes damage.

Less common causes of cirrhosis include severe reactions to medicines or long-term exposure to poisons, such as arsenic.  Some people have cirrhosis without an obvious cause. 

What are the symptoms?

You may not have symptoms in the early stages of cirrhosis. As it progresses, it can cause a number of symptoms, including:

1. Extreme tiredness and weakness
2. Nosebleeds and easy bruising
3. Weight loss
4. Belly pain or discomfort
5. Yellowing of the skin (jaundice)
6. Itching
7. Fluid buildup in the legs, called edema (say "ih-DEE-muh"), and in the belly, called ascites (say "uh-SIGH-teez")
8. Bleeding in the stomach or in the esophagus, the tube that leads from the mouth to the stomach
9. Confusion

How is cirrhosis diagnosed?

The doctor will start with a physical exam and questions about your symptoms and past health. If the doctor suspects cirrhosis, you may have blood tests and imaging tests, such as an ultrasound or CT scan. These tests can help your doctor find out what is causing the liver damage and how severe it is.

To confirm that you have cirrhosis, the doctor may do a liver biopsy. This means he or she will use a needle to take a sample of liver tissue for testing.

How is it treated? 

It is important to get treated for cirrhosis as soon as possible.  Treatment cannot cure cirrhosis, but it can sometimes prevent or delay further liver damage.

Treatment may include medicines, surgery, or other options, depending on what caused your cirrhosis and what problems it is causing.

There are things you can do to help limit the damage to your liver and control the symptoms:

1. Do not drink any alcohol. If you don't stop completely, liver damage may quickly get worse.

2. Talk to your doctor before you take
any medicines. This includes both prescription and over-the-counter drugs, vitamins, supplements, and herbs. Drugs that can be dangerous include acetaminophen (such as Tylenol) and anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin and ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin, for example).

3. Make sure your immunizations are up-to-date. You are at higher risk for infections.

4. Follow a low-sodium diet. This can help prevent fluid buildup, a common problem in cirrhosis that can become life-threatening.

Symptoms may not appear until a problem is severe, so it is important to see your doctor for regular checkups and lab tests. You may also need testing to check for possible problems such as:

5. Enlarged veins, called varices (say "VAIR-uh-seez"), in the digestive tract. Varices can bleed.

6. Liver cancer. People with cirrhosis are at higher risk for liver cancer.

If cirrhosis becomes life-threatening, then liver transplant may be an option. But transplant is expensive, organs are hard to find, and it doesn't always work. For these reasons, doctors have to decide who would get the most benefit from a liver transplant. Ask your doctor what steps you can take now to improve your overall health so you can be a good candidate for transplant.

If your cirrhosis is getting worse, you may choose to get care that focuses on your comfort and dignity.  Palliative care can provide support and symptom relief so you can make the most of the time you have left.

You may also want to make important end-of-life decisions, such as writing a living will.  It can be comforting to know that you will get the type of care you want.

It can be hard to face having cirrhosis. If you feel very sad or hopeless, be sure to tell your doctor.  You may be able to get counseling or other types of help.

Think about joining a support group.  Talking with other people who have cirrhosis can be a big help.


Thursday, November 6, 2008

B.E.E. (Bio-Enhanced Extraction) Process

What is B.E.E.?

B.E.E. (Bio-Enhanced Extraction) is a proprietary, patent-pending, manufacturing method that is comprised of a three-step process of isolation, purification and enhancement from bio-active parts of plants that have been determined to be the most beneficial for people.


B.E.E. is not just an extraction method nor is it just a chemical process.

B.E.E. is a combination of molecular biology and technology that covers the complete manufacturing process from species selection to the completion of the finished product. 

Why is the extraction method used during B.E.E. better than other extraction processes used in the industry today?

B.E.E. preserves the active ingredients in the herbs through our proprietary micronizing technique,while most traditional methods expose the herbs to high temperatures and pressures, which can destroy or severely damage the active ingredients.

The B.E.E. process does not expose the raw material to very high pressures or temperatures. During extraction, we use mainly water, regular water, extraction with the occasional help of sodium or the use of a centrifuge at a pre-determined speed.  No alcohol is ever used during the entire process.

Also, the extraction efficiency in other methods is relatively low and the botanical bio-activity can be destroyed during the process.

Further, the concentration vessel and heat exchanger produce sub-optimal yields of herbal concentrate.  A certain amount of concentrate is lost due to foaming, a certain amount of concentrate is burned at the bottom and sides of the concentration vessel and other concentrate becomes trapped in the heat exchanger.
 
In most traditional extraction methods, the concentrate liquid contains complex compounds that are both active and inactive.  Such compounds are then put into medicine. The efficacy may not compare with the botanical active monomer further isolated from concentrate. The chemical solvents used in many other methods today may not recycle completely and the residual chemicals may be harmful to the body.

In the traditional process, dealing with heavy metals is not paid sufficient attention.  Serious problems may arise, such as neural harm, kidney harm, and even cancer if they are taken for a long time or a large amount at one time.

Why are your products so fast-acting and effective?

Our products work so quickly and effectively because of B.E.E. (bio-enhanced extraction) process.

Currently, most herbal product manufacturers usually break the raw material into small pieces or powder prior to extraction.   However, most active ingredients in the botanicals are within the cell wall and the common extraction methods do not break the cell wall.

With B.E.E., we are able to break the cell wall by using our proprietary extra-micronizing smashing machine, so that the active ingredients disassociate out. These active ingredients are then used in our final products.

It is already a well-known fact that the micronized degree of the powder closely associates with the absorbency and bio-availability of the medicine. The common smashing process which most manufacturers utilize, hardly breaks the cell wall, so the active compounds inside do not come out completely. The effect of extraction is thereby not very satisfactory.

We use the extra-micronizing smashing machine that can turn the raw materials into powder as small as only 5 mm or less.   Under this size, the botanicals' cell wall has been mostly broken and the compounds inside dissociate out, so the efficiency of extraction during future steps may be increased.

Most of the unextracted ingredients that we put in our finished products have been extra-micronized so as to ensure more active compounds and better clinical effects.  The active ingredient is left with only the active constituent, which results in better absorption and assimilation.

Our product works on the cellular level, binds to the cells more efficiently and is thereby more potent and targeted.

Can your products be taken in combination with prescription drugs, other supplements, and herbs?

Yes. So far, all of our products have been determined to be safe enough to be used in combination with prescription drugs, other supplements and herbs.  There hasn't been a single reported incident to date of any harmful interactions using our formulas in combination with other products.

We have conducted full toxicity studies on all of our products and the results show that our products are non-toxic and extremely safe. The results of the toxicity studies are outlined in detail on our website at www.hamidapharma.com.

However, if prescription drugs are currently being taken, one may wish to work closely with his or her doctor when deciding how and when to start using our products in combination with the prescription medication.

Sometimes it may be hard to tell which product is working if the prescription medication is still being taken at the standard dosage while adding our product.
We do not recommend reducing or stopping the use of the prescription medication without the doctor's consent. In a majority of the cases, reducing the amount of the prescription medication while beginning to take one of our products generates positive results.

A person could then consult with his or her physician to determine whether or not to stop the use of the prescription drug to see if our product can generate positive results on it's own.

We do recommend that the patient closely monitors his or her condition on a daily basis while using our products whether or not they are used on their own or in combination with other products.

Why are your products so expensive?

Our products may seem expensive when compared to most traditional herbal formulas sold on the market today, but keep in mind that no other product in the world is manufactured using the exclusive B.E.E. procedure.

B.E.E. is a very extensive, time-consuming process that results in such an incredible product. Through this process, we can get purified products that contain abundant active compounds and little impurity.

The extracting rate of this method is only about 2-5%, but common water extraction is about 30%, and alcohol extraction is about 15%. This is because we have efficiently removed the impurity and liquid component.

Through these processes, we can remove the component that easily absorbs moisture and enhances the stability of the finished products.

Another important point is that the process can remove heavy metals very effectively and completely.

Besides the above method, according to the molecular recognition principle, our researchers have developed a new method that allows us to extract and isolate active compounds from complex botanicals.  We mainly use HPLC (combining with MS (Mass Spectrum) to complete isolation, purification, selection and identification of botanicals active compounds.
Our company also only uses the finest quality raw materials. Because of the fact that our extracting rate is only 2-5%, we have to use more raw materials than most manufacturers in order to produce a very potent and targeted end product.

Also, most herbal formulas in today's market have to be taken over a long period of time before positive results are obtained.  Because of B.E.E., the positive benefits from using our products are usually felt or seen within the very first dosage.

An individual using our products might have to invest a little more money in the beginning, but he or she usually ends up saving money in the long run because our products work so quickly in helping the body heal itself.

In most cases, our products need only be taken for a short period of time.   Many individuals who have used our products have reported that they felt completely better and no longer needed to take our products or they only needed to take the products occasionally for maintenance purposes.

People usually save money by using our products because they don't have to pay as much for prescription medication or spend as much money taking a bunch of supplements or other herbal products.

What makes your products different from other herbal formulas on the market today?

Again, our proprietary B.E.E. procedure results in an end-product that is unlike any other herbal formulation or supplement found in the world today.
During the B.E.E. process, our staff scientists employ innovative manufacturing methods that have never been used in the herbal industry previously.  No other company in the world performs the level of extraction or purification that we employ on a regular basis.

Also, our proprietary extra-micronizing smashing machine, which results in the effectiveness and fast-action of our products, is only used by our company at our manufacturing facility.

Are your products homeopathic?

No.  Our products are not allopathic or homeopathic.  They are considered herbal supplements or neutraceutical products.

Our products do work in similar ways to a homeopathic remedy in that they target the disorder by working in combination with the body's own natural healing process.  However, our products work because of B.E.E., not because of a homeopathic process.

Are your products organic?

Yes.  Our products are 100% organic, as are the extracts from the plants that we use.  We only use the finest quality herbs in our products and the only capsules that we use are veggie-caps.

Have your products been clinically tested?

Yes.  Some of our products have been clinically tested at well-known clinical trial sites.

We conducted an efficacy study of Hypertenol or HYPERTRIL at the Institut de Cardiologie De Montreal, an efficacy study of Arthritol at the University of Jilin in China and we are currently undergoing Phase 2 testing of Cardiopril or CARDIPRIL on humans at UC Irvine in California.

We are also about to begin small, clinical trials on each of our products using humans.   The studies should be completed in the first quarter of 2003.

Are your products solvent-free? Pesticide-free?  Free of heavy metals? Non-irradiated?

Yes. All of our products are solvent-free, pesticide-free, free of heavy metals and non-irradiated.

In fact, during the purification phase of B.E.E., we are able to reduce the levels of heavy metals to under 1.0 ppm. The levels of heavy metals in our products never exceed 3.0 ppm.

We are also able to remove the sometimes harmful, natural plant toxins that are contained in the various plants used during manufacturing.

Again, the purification portion of the B.E.E. procedure is unlike any other method used in the herbal industry today.
Our toxicity studies showed no harmful side effects when taking our products at levels greater than 2000 times the standard dosage.

Are your products room temperature or low-heat processed?

All of our products are processed at room temperature. We do not expose our products to high temperatures because we feel that the active constituents could be genetically altered or even completely destroyed when exposed to certain high temperature levels.

On some of your products, the ingredients that you have chosen to use have no scientific data supporting their useful function in targeting the disorders to which your products are intended. How do you justify the use of such ingredients?

Each of our products is developed and manufactured based on the laws of science. Every formulation that we use has been demonstrated using specific theories and tests.

Some of the ingredients that we use in our products may not seem to associate directly with a certain disease on the surface, but that does not necessarily mean that the ingredient cannot be used for the specific disease.

The main principle that we adhere to during our formulation process
is based upon the "whole body" theory. We formulate our products to treat the body in its entirety as opposed to focusing on individual body parts or symptoms.

Our formulations combine the newest forms of scientific discovery, the highest levels of advanced technology and the foremost principles of folk medicine. This combination of theo
ries is what makes our products so unique.

For example, we use chamomile (B.E.E.) extract in our product for high blood pressure, Hypertenol or HYPERTRIL. There is hardly any direct evidence indicating chamomile as useful for the treatment of high blood pressure.

Why did we then select this particular plant?

In Asian and European folk medicine, there were many precedents for using chamomile when suffering from high blood pressure.

We then conducted our own research and we scientifically determined that hypertension is related to impaired vascular endothelial nitric oxide and that nitric oxide a
nd increased super oxide anion production may be controlled by certain antioxidants.

We then extracted active parts from chamomile that act as a very powerful antioxidant. We also scientifically determined that chamomile's antioxidant properties were only part of the reason why this plant is successful in normalizing high blood pressure.

Through testing, we were able to determine the other parts of the chamomi
le plant that helped to decrease high blood pressure, so we extracted those properties as well. We also selected certain vitamins and minerals to support chamomile's effect.
Recently, through the demonstration of pharmalogical tests, Hypertenol or HYPERTRIL has an excellent effect on hypertension.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Wild Yam Relieves Menstrual Cramps and Morning Sickness

Overview:

In the 18th and 19th centuries, wild yam (Dioscorea villosa ) was used by herbalists to treat menstrual cramps and problems related to childbirth, as well as for stomach upset and coughs. In the 1950s, scientists discovered that the roots of wild yam (not to be confused with the sweet potato yam) contain diosgenin, a phyto (derived from plants) estrogen that can be chemically converted into progesterone, a hormone. Diosgenin was used to make the first birth control pills in the 1960s.

Although wild yam continues to be used for treating menstrual cramps, nausea, and morning sickness associated with pregnancy, inflammation, osteoporosis, menopausal symptoms, and other health conditions, there is no evidence that it works. Indeed, several studies have found that it has no effect at all. That is because the body cannot change diosgenin into progesterone; it has to be done in a lab. Wild yam, by itself, does not contain progesterone.

General

Early Americans used wild yam to treat colic; another name for the plant is colic root. Traditionally, it has been used to treat inflammation, muscle spasms, and a range of disorders, including asthma. However, there is no scientific evidence that it works.

Menopause and Osteoporosis

Although wild yam is often touted as a natural source of estrogen, there is essentially no scientific evidence of wild yam's effectiveness in treating menopausal symptoms or osteoporosis. In fact, several studies have found that wild yam does not reduce the symptoms of menopause (such as hot flashes) or increase levels of estrogen or progesterone in the body. Some preparations of wild yam may contain progesterone, but only because a synthetic version of progesterone (medroxyprogesterone acetate or MPA) has been added to the herb.

High Cholesterol

Researchers have theorized that taking wild yam may help reduce levels of cholesterol in the blood, although studies have shown mixed results. Diosgenin seems to block the body from absorbing cholesterol, at least in animal studies. But in studies of people, cholesterol levels have not gone down (although fats -- triglycerides -- in the blood have decreased). More research is needed to say whether wild yam is beneficial for people with high cholesterol.

Plant Description:

Also known as colic root, wild yam is a twining, tuberous vine. One species is native to North America; another is native to China. Both contain diosgenin and have similar medicinal properties. There are an estimated 600 species of yam in the genus Dioscorea, many of them wild species that flourish in damp woodlands and thickets, and not all contain diosgenin. Wild yam is a perennial vine with pale brown, knotty, woody cylindrical rootstocks, or tubers. Unlike sweet potato yams, the roots are not fleshy. Instead they are dry, narrow, and crooked, and bear horizontal branches of long creeping runners. The thin reddish-brown stems grow to a length of over 30 feet. The roots initially taste starchy, but soon after taste bitter and acrid.

The wild yam plant has clusters of small, greenish-white and greenish-yellow flowers. The heart-shaped leaves are long and broad and long-stemmed. The upper surface of the leaves is smooth while the underside is downy.

What's it Made of?:

The dried root, or rhizome, is used in commercial preparations. It contains diosgenin, a phytoestrogen that can be chemically converted to the hormone progesterone; however, diosgenin on its own does not seem to act like estrogen in the body.

Available Forms:

Wild yam is available as liquid extract and as a powder. The powdered form may be purchased in capsules or compressed tablets. The fluid extract can be made into tea. Creams containing wild yam are also available.

How to Take It:

Pediatric

It is not known whether wild yam is safe for pediatric use, so it should not be given to children.

Adult

The following are recommended adult doses for wild yam:

  • Dried herb to make tea: 1 - 2 tsp dried root to 1 cup water. Pour boiling water over dried root, steep 3 - 5 minutes. Drink three times a day
  • Tincture: 40 - 120 drops, three times a day
  • Fluid extract: 10 - 40 drops, three to four times per day
  • Creams: Contain 12% of wild yam extract; use as directed

Note: Wild yam is often combined with other herbs said to have estrogen-like effects, such as black cohosh. Creams containing wild yam, as well as tablets and powders, may contain synthetic hormones. Check the ingredients carefully.

Precautions:

The use of herbs is a time-honored approach to strengthening the body and treating disease. Herbs, however, can trigger side effects and can interact with other herbs, supplements, or medications. For these reasons, herbs should be taken with care, under the supervision of a health care practitioner.

Although it does not appear to have hormone-like effects in the body, there is a slight risk that wild yam could produce effects similar to estrogen. Because of that risk, anyone with a personal or family history of hormone-related cancer should check with their doctor before using any form of "natural” hormone replacement, including wild yam.

Pregnant women and nursing mothers should avoid wild yam.

Possible Interactions:

If you are currently being treated with any of the following medications, you should not use wild yam without first talking to your healthcare provider.

Hormone Replacement Therapy or Birth Control Pills -- An animal study indicated that the active component of wild yam, diosgenin, may interact with estradiol, a hormone that occurs naturally in the body and also is used in some birth control medications and certain hormone replacement therapies.

Alternative Names:

Dioscorea villosa

  • Reviewed last on: 6/15/2007
  • Steven D. Ehrlich, N.M.D., private practice specializing in complementary and alternative medicine, Phoenix, AZ. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.

Supporting Research

Accatino L, Pizarro M, Solis N, Koenig C. Effects of diosgenin, a plant derived steroid, on bile secretion and hepatocellular cholestasis induced by estrogens in the rat. Hepatology. 1998;28(1):129-140.

Boban PT, Nambisan B, Sudhakaran PR. Hypolipidaemic effect of chemically different mucilages in rats: a comparative study. Br J Nutr. 2006 Dec;96(6):1021-9.

Bone K, Mill S, eds. Principles and Practices of Phytotherapy, Modern Herbal Medicine. London: Churchill Livingstone; 2000.

British Herbal Pharmacopoeia. 4th ed. Great Britain: Biddles Ltd, Guildford and King's Lynn; 1996:187.

Carroll DG. Nonhormonal therapies for hot flashes in menopause. Am Fam Physician. 2006 Feb 1;73(3):457-64. Review.

Chang WC, Yu YM, Wu CH, Tseng YH, Wu KY. Reduction of oxidative stress and atherosclerosis in hyperlipidemic rabbits by Dioscorea rhizome. Can J Physiol Pharmacol. 2005 May;83(5):423-30.

Foster S, Tyler VE. Tyler's Honest Herbal. Binghamton, NY: The Haworth Herbal Press; 2000:381-382.

Gruenwald J, Brendler T, Jaenicke C. PDR for Herbal Medicines. 2nd ed. Montvale, NJ: Medical Economics Company; 2000:817-818.

Komesaroff PA, Black CV, Cable V, Sudhir K. Effects of wild yam extract on menopausal symptoms, lipids and sex hormones in healthy menopausal women. Climacteric. 2001;4(2):144-150.

Robbers JE, Tyler VE. Tyler's Herbs of Choice: The Therapeutic Use of Phytomedicinals. New York, NY: The Haworth Herbal Press;1999:187-188.

Taylor M. Alternatives to conventional hormone replacement therapy. Compr Ther. 1997;23(8):514-532.

Zava DT, Dollbaum CM, Blen M. Estrogen and progestin bioactivity of foods, herbs, and spices.Proc Soc Exp Biol Med. 1998;217:369-378.


SOURCE:

University of Maryland Medical Center

Wild Yam Root

Wild Yam Root (Dioscorea villosa) is a species of a twining tuberous vine that is native to and found growing wild in North America. Its fame is based on its steroid-like saponins which can be chemically converted to progesterone contraceptives; and cortisone.

Wild Yam is believed to be helpful to the liver and endocrine system. It regulates the female system, particularly during menstrual distress and menopause,as well as used in treating infertility. Used with chaste berry and dandelion it is an effective treatment for morning sickness.
Usually found wild in the eastern half of North America, it is a perennial plant that is a low creeper, and occupies average to poor soils and full sun.

It has been hypothesized that wild yam (Dioscorea villosa and other Dioscorea species) possesses dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA)-like properties and acts as a precursor to human sex hormones such as estrogen and progesterone. Based on this proposed mechanism, extracts of the plant have been used to treat painful menstruation, hot flashes, and headaches associated with menopause. However, these uses are based on a misconception that wild yam contains hormones or hormonal precursors - largely due to the historical fact that progesterone, androgens, and cortisone were chemically manufactured from Mexican wild yam in the 1960s.

It is unlikely that this chemical conversion to progesterone occurs in the human body. The hormonal activity of some topical wild yam preparations has been attributed to adulteration with synthetic progesterone by manufacturers, although there is limited evidence in this area.


The effects of the wild yam saponin constituent "diosgenin" on lipid metabolism are well documented in animal models and are possibly due to impaired intestinal cholesterol absorption. However, its purported hypocholesterolemic effect in humans and the feasibility of long-term use warrant further investigation.


There are few reported contra-indications to the use of wild yam in adults. However, there are no reliable safety or toxicity studies during pregnancy, lactation, or childhood.

SOURCE: Wikipedia

Monday, October 13, 2008

How To Remedy Urinary Tract Infections in Adults?

Introduction

Urinary tract infections are a serious health problem affecting millions of people each year.

Infections of the urinary tract are the second most common type of infection in the body. Urinary tract infections (UTIs) account for about 8.3 million doctor visits each year. Women are especially prone to UTIs for reasons that are not yet well understood. One woman in five develops a UTI during her

 lifetime. UTIs in men are not as common as in women but can be very serious when they do occur.

The urinary system consists of the kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra. The key elements in the system are the kidneys, a pair of purplish-brown organs located below the ribs toward the middle of the back.

The kidneys remove excess liquid and wastes from the blood in the form of urine, keep a stable balance of salts and other substances in the blood, and produce a hormone that aids the formation of red blood cells. Narrow tubes called ureters carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder, a sack-like organ in the lower abdomen. Urine is stored in the bladder and emptied through the urethra.

The average adult passes about a quart and a half of urine each day. The amount of urine varies, depending on the fluids and foods a person consumes. The volume formed at night is about half that formed in the daytime.

The Urinary System and How It Works


What are the causes of UTI? 

Normally, urine is sterile. It is usually free of bacteria, viruses, and fungi but does contain fluids, salts, and waste products. An infection occurs when tiny organisms, usually bacteria from the digestive tract, cling to the opening of the urethra and begin to multiply. The urethra is the tube that carries urine from thebladder to outside the body. Most infections arise from one type of bacteria, Escherichia coli (E. coli), which normally lives in the colon.

In many cases, bacteria first travel to the urethra. When bacteria multiply, an infection can occur. An infection limited to the urethra is called urethritis. If bacteria move to the bladder and multiply, a bladder infection, called cystitis, results. If the infection is not treated promptly, bacteria may then travel further up the ureters to multiply and infect the kidneys. A kidney infection is called pyelonephritis.

Microorganisms called Chlamydia and Mycoplasma may also cause UTIs in both men and women, but these infections tend to remain limited to the urethra and reproductive system. Unlike E. coliChlamydia and Mycoplasma may be sexually transmitted, and infections require treatment of both partners.

The urinary system is structured in a way that helps ward off infection. The ureters and bladder normally prevent urine from backing up toward the kidneys, and the flow of urine from the bladder helps wash bacteria out of the body. In men, the prostate gland produces secretions that slow bacterial growth. In both sexes, immune defenses also prevent infection. But despite these safeguards, infections still occur.

Who is at risk?

Some people are more prone to getting a UTI than others. Any abnormality of the urinary tract that obstructs the flow of urine (a kidney stone, for example) sets the stage for an infection. An enlarged prostate gland also can slow the flow of urine, thus raising the risk of infection.

A common source of infection is catheters, or tubes, placed in the urethra and bladder. A person who cannot void or who is unconscious or critically ill often needs a catheter that stays in place for a long time.

Some people, especially the elderly or those with nervous system disorders who lose bladder control, may need a catheter for life. Bacteria on the catheter can infect the bladder, so hospital staff take special care to keep the catheter clean and remove it as soon as possible.

People with diabetes have a higher risk of a UTI because of changes in the immune system. Any other disorder that suppresses the immune system raises the risk of a urinary infection.

UTIs may occur in infants, both boys and girls, who are born with abnormalities of the urinary tract, which sometimes need to be corrected with surgery. UTIs are more rare in boys and young men. In adult women, though, the rate of UTIs gradually increases with age.

Scientists are not sure why women have more urinary infections than men. One factor may be that a woman's urethra is short, allowing bacteria quick access to the bladder.

Also, a woman's urethral opening is near sources of bacteria from the anus and vagina. For many women, sexual intercourse seems to trigger an infection, although the reasons for this linkage are unclear.

According to several studies, women who use a diaphragm are more likely to develop a UTI than women who use other forms of birth control. Recently, researchers found that women whose partners use a condom with spermicidal foam also tend to have growth of E. coli bacteria in the vagina.

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Recurrent infections

Many women suffer from frequent UTIs. Nearly 20 percent of women who have a UTI will have another, and 30 percent of those will have yet another. Of the last group, 80 percent will have recurrences.

Usually, the latest infection stems from a strain or type of bacteria that is different from the infection before it, indicating a separate infection. Even when several UTIs in a row are due to E. coli, slight differences in the bacteria indicate distinct infections.

Research funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) suggests that one factor behind recurrent UTIs may be the ability of bacteria to attach to cells lining the urinary tract.

A recent NIH-funded study found that bacteria formed a protective film on the inner lining of the bladder in mice. If a similar process can be demonstrated in humans, the discovery may lead to new treatments to prevent recurrent UT

Is. Another line of research has indicated that women who are "non-secretors" of certain blood group antigens may be more prone to recurrent UTIs because the cells lining the vagina and urethra may allow bacteria to attach more easily.

Further research will show whether this association is sound and proves useful in identifying women at high risk for UTIs.

Infections in pregnancy

Pregnant women seem no more prone to UTIs than other women.  However, when a UTI does occur in a pregnant woman, it is more likely to travel to the kidneys.  According to some reports, about 2 to 4 percent of pregnant women develop a urinary infection.

Scientists think that hormonal changes and shifts in the position of the urinary tract during pregnancy make it easier for bacteria to travel up the ureters to the kidneys. For this reason, many doctors recommend periodic testing of urine during pregnancy.

What are the symptoms of UTI?

Not everyone with a UTI has symptoms, but most people get at least some symptoms. These may include a frequent urge to urinate and a painful, burning feeling in the area of the bladder or urethra during urination. It is not unusual to feel bad all over -- tired, shaky, washedout -- and to feel pain even when not urinating.

Often women feel an uncomfortable pressure above the pubic bone, and some men experience a fullness in the rectum. It is common for a person with a urinary infection to complain that, despite the urge to urinate, only a small amount of urine is passed. The urine itself may look milky or cloudy, even reddish if blood is present.

Normally, a UTI does not cause fever if it is in the bladder or urethra. A fever may mean that the infection has reached the kidneys. Other symptoms of a kidney infection include pain in the back or side below the ribs, nausea, or vomiting.

In children, symptoms of a urinary infection may be overlooked or attributed to another disorder. A UTI should be considered when a child or infant seems irritable, is not eating normally, has an unexplained fever that does not go away, has incontinence or loose bowels, or is not thriving.

Unlike adults, children are more likely to have fever and no other symptoms.  This can happen to both boys and girls.  The child should be seen by a doctor if there are any questions about these symptoms, especially a change in the child's urinary pattern.

How is a UTI diagnosed?

To find out whether you have a UTI, your doctor will test a sample of urine for pus and bacteria. You will be asked to give a "clean catch" urine sample by washing the genital area and collecting a "midstream" sample of urine in a sterile container.

This method of collecting urine helps prevent bacteria around the genital area from getting into the sample and confusing the test results. Usually, the sample is sent to a laboratory, although some doctors' offices are equipped to do the testing.

In the urinalysis test, the urine is examined for white and red blood cells and bacteria. Then the bacteria are grown in a culture and tested against different antibiotics to see which drug best destroys the bacteria. This last step is called a sensitivity test.

Some microbes, like Chlamydia and Mycoplasma, can be detected only with special bacterial cultures. A doctor suspects one of these infections when a person has symptoms of a UTI and pus in the urine, but a standard culture fails to grow any bacteria.

When an infection does not clear up with treatment and is traced to the same strain of bacteria, the doctor may order some tests to determine if your system is normal.

One of these tests is an intravenous pyelogram, which gives x-ray images of the bladder, kidneys, and ureters. An opaque dye visible on x-ray film is injected into a vein, and a series of x-rays is taken. The film shows an outline of the urinary tract, revealing even small changes in the structure of the tract.

If you have recurrent infections, your doctor also may recommend an ultrasound exam, which gives pictures from the echo patterns of soundwaves bounced back from internal organs. Another useful test is cystoscopy. A cystoscope is an instrument made of a hollow tube with several lenses and a light source, which allows the doctor to see inside the bladder from the urethra.

How is UTI treated?

UTIs are treated with antibacterial drugs. The choice of drug and length of treatment depend on the patient's history and the urine tests that identify the offending bacteria. The sensitivity test is especially useful in helping the doctor select the most effective drug.

The drugs most often used to treat routine, uncomplicated UTIs are trimethoprim (Trimpex), trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole (Bactrim, Septra, Cotrim), amoxicillin (Amoxil, Trimox, Wymox), nitrofurantoin (Macrodantin, Furadantin), and ampicillin (Omnipen, Polycillin, Principen, Totacillin). A class of drugs called quinolones includes four drugs approved in recent years for treating UTI. These drugs include ofloxacin (Floxin), norfloxacin (Noroxin), ciprofloxacin (Cipro), and trovafloxin (Trovan).

Often, a UTI can be cured with 1 or 2 days of treatment if the infection is not complicated by an obstruction or other disorder. Still, many doctors ask their patients to take antibiotics for a week or two to ensure that the infection has been cured.

Single-dose treatment is not recommended for some groups of patients, for example, those who have delayed treatment or have signs of a kidney infection, patients with diabetes or structural abnormalities, or men who have prostate infections.

Longer treatment is also needed by patients with infections caused by Mycoplasma orChlamydia, which are usually treated with tetracycline, trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole (TMP/SMZ), or doxycycline. A followup urinalysis helps to confirm that the urinary tract is infection-free. It is important to take the full course of treatment because symptoms may disappear before the infection is fully cleared.

Severely ill patients with kidney infections may be hospitalized until they can take fluids and needed drugs on their own. Kidney infections generally require several weeks of antibiotic treatment. Researchers at the University of Washington found that 2-week therapy with TMP/SMZ was as effective as 6 weeks of treatment with the same drug in women with kidney infections that did not involve an obstruction or nervous system disorder. In such cases, kidney infections rarely lead to kidney damage or kidney failure unless they go untreated.

Various drugs are available to relieve the pain of a UTI. A heating pad may also help. Most doctors suggest that drinking plenty of water helps cleanse the urinary tract of bacteria. During treatment, it is best to avoid coffee, alcohol, and spicy foods. And one of the best things a smoker can do for his or her bladder is to quit smoking. Smoking is the major known cause of bladder cancer.

Recurrent infections in women

Women who have had three UTIs are likely to continue having them. Four out of five such women get another within 18 months of the last UTI. Many women have them even more often. A woman who has frequent recurrences (three or more a year) can ask her doctor about one of the following treatment options:

  • Take low doses of an antibiotic such as TMP/SMZ or nitrofurantoin daily for 6 months or longer. If taken at bedtime, the drug remains in the bladder longer and may be more effective. NIH-supported research at the University of Washington has shown this therapy to be effective without causing serious side effects.

  • Take a single dose of an antibiotic after sexual intercourse.

  • Take a short course (1 or 2 days) of antibiotics when symptoms appear.

Dipsticks that change color when an infection is present are now available without a prescription. The strips detect nitrite, which is formed when bacteria change nitrate in the urine to nitrite. The test can detect about 90 percent of UTIs when used with the first morning urine specimen and may be useful for women who have recurrent infections.

Doctors suggest some additional steps that a woman can take on her own to avoid an infection:

  • Drink plenty of water every day.
  • Urinate when you feel the need; don't resist the urge to urinate.

  • Wipe from front to back to prevent bacteria around the anus from entering the vagina or urethra.

  • Take showers instead of tub baths.

  • Cleanse the genital area before sexual intercourse.

  • Avoid using feminine hygiene sprays and scented douches, which may irritate the urethra.

Some doctors suggest drinking cranberry juice.

Infections in pregnancy

A pregnant woman who develops a UTI should be treated promptly to avoid premature delivery of her baby and other risks such as high blood pressure. Some antibiotics are not safe to take during pregnancy. In selecting the best treatments, doctors consider various factors such as the drug's effectiveness, the stage of pregnancy, the mother's health, and potential effects on the fetus.

Complicated infections

Curing infections that stem from a urinary obstruction or other systemic disorders depends on finding and correcting the underlying problem, sometimes with surgery. If the root cause goes untreated, this group of patients is at risk of kidney damage. Also, such infections tend to arise from a wider range of bacteria, and sometimes from more than one type of bacteria at a time.

Infections in men

UTIs in men are often a result of an obstruction -- for example, a urinary stone or enlargedprostate -- or from a medical procedure involving a catheter. The first step is to identify the infecting organism and the drugs to which it is sensitive. Usually, doctors recommend lengthier therapy in men than in women, in part to prevent infections of the prostate gland.

Prostate infections (chronic bacterial prostatitis) are harder to cure because antibiotics are unable to penetrate infected prostate tissue effectively. For this reason, men with prostatitis often need long-term treatment with a carefully selected antibiotic. UTIs in older men are frequently associated with acute bacterial prostatitis, which can have serious consequences if not treated urgently.

Is there a vaccine to prevent recurrent UTIs?

In the future, scientists may develop a vaccine that can prevent UTIs from coming back. Researchers in different studies have found that children and women who tend to get UTIs repeatedly are likely to lack proteins called immunoglobulins, which fight infection. Children and women who do not get UTIs are more likely to have normal levels of immunoglobulins in their genital and urinary tracts.

Early tests indicate that a vaccine helps patients build up their own natural infection-fighting powers. The dead bacteria in the vaccine do not spread like an infection; instead, they prompt the body to produce antibodies that can later fight against live organisms. Researchers are testing injected and oral vaccines to see which works best. Another method being considered for women is to apply the vaccine directly as a suppository in the vagina.

Urinary Tract Infection in Adults At A Glance

  1. The urinary tract consists of the kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra.
  2. Some people are at more risk for urinary tract infections (UTIs) than others.
  3. One woman in five develops a UTI during her lifetime.
  4. Not everyone with a UTI has symptoms. Common symptoms include a frequent urge to urinate and a painful, burning when urinating.
  5. Underlying conditions that impair the normal urinary flow can lead to more complicated UTIs.

[Source:   National Institutes of Health, National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse]

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