Sunday, May 01, 2011

Treating Illnesses and diseases with herbs and acupuncture

Illnesses and diseases that I treat with herbs and acupuncture

Some patients have been asking why I don't have a page of medical services available for reference. They'd like to refer to some 'list of illnesses' treatable well with herbal or acupuncture medical treatments. I remember I once wrote a page of diseases recognized by WHO to be treatable with acupuncture a long while ago.

And so I decided to write a page of diseases I treat in my clinical practice.

Below are some illness and diseases which I use herbs and acupuncture for treatments. The names of illnesses and symptoms are simply put and some simple explanations, if necessary, follow. And as a result they're more like phrases; I beg your pardon.

In short, the table of contents is as:

(Gynecology):
- [Menstruation related]:
- [Vaginal discharge related]:
- [Pregnancy/ Pre-natal related]:
- [Post-natal related]:
- [Other gynecological illnesses]:

(Pediatrics):
- [Common illnesses]:
- [Seasonal illnesses]:
- [Miscellaneous]:
- [Newborn illnesses]:

(Internal Medicine):
- [Lungs]:
- [Heart]:
- [Stomach-gastrointestinal]:
- [Liver and gallbladder]:
- [Kidneys and bladder systems]:
- [Diseases related to Men]:
- [Treatments related to Women]:
- [Illnesses related to endocrine system]:
- [Diseases and illnesses related to energy, blood, and fluids]:
- [Illnesses related to limbs and meridians]:

(Others):
- [Illnesses related to bones and joints]:
- [Diseases related to skins]:

FOOTNOTE: (Some clarifications...)
- [Consultation process]:
- [Other illnesses and diseases?]
- [Cure or treatments or both?]
- [Treatment methods]:
- [Are the needles or the herbs safe?]
- [Treatment course/time]:
- [Cancer patients or not?]
- [Drop me questions?]:

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(Gynecology):

- [Menstruation related]: Menstrual period can be early, late or alternating in between. And the amount of bleeding can be little, or more. There are times period is prolonged and dragging. There can be bleeding in between two proper menstrual periods (dysfunctional uterine bleeding). Prolonged and severe cases lead to over-bleeding of menstruation or absence of menstrual period (Amenorrhea).

And of course one of the quite common complaint is period pain (Dysmenorrhea). Endometriosis is one of the causes. And there are a few different body types that contribute to it.

There are many different patterns of pre-menstrual tension syndromes (PMS). Some continue during the menstruation. Among them are: fever, headache, dizziness, body aches, nausea, diarrhea, energy bloating (a form of body swelling), breast distention/tenderness, painful nipples, emotional upsurge, mouth ulcers, hives and body dryness.

Pelvic inflammatory disease too.

And there are climacteric syndromes (menopause) for ladies getting to year of 49 years old, plus and minus.

- [Vaginal discharge related]: Vaginitis; infection or not, yeast related, bacteria etc. The color and time of occurring is important clues. Some are related to cervical inflammation and even pelvic infection.

- [Pregnancy/ Pre-natal related]: Illnesses of pregnancy related problems differ greatly depending on body types. This is why even the more experienced ladies in giving birth can't understand why things can be so different with different pregnancies. Anyway, I mostly treat nausea, lower abdominal pain, vaginal bleeding, lower lumbar pain, lower abdominal unease. The vaginal bleeding, lower lumbar pain and lower abandonment pain can lead to threatened abortion. They can be early symptoms of miscarriage. Great care must be taken to ensure the continuation of pregnancy. There are ladies who have had abortions (forced or voluntary) for a few times and who have difficulty continuing any pregnancy or who have difficulty getting pregnant again.

There is also case of slow growth of fetus. Other symptoms seen are nausea and vomiting (upsurge of stomach gas), water retention; those that are related to high blood pressure are energy or water retention coupled with dizziness and seizure. Cases with too much or too little amniotic fluid.

Most TCM clinics are not equipped for acute cases (unless you're in TCM hospitals in China, where they practice modern and traditional medicine hand in hand), so please only visit TCM practitioners or acupuncturists for chronic treatments or after A&E treatments.

There are cases of urinary tract infections and coughing during pregnancy. They're not strictly pregnancy related illness but they occur quite common among pregnant ladies. So I see them quite a lot too in my practice.

Toward the trimester some ladies may have improper baby position. In common words we say the head isn't going downward or doesn't go into the pelvis cavity; we may either do acupuncture or herbs or both to help. Sometimes there are overdue cases too.

Those that I don't mention are not commonly seen in my practice; they're usually taken care by modern medicine. It's important to know when to use what.

Uterus fibroid (6cm or smaller), poly-cystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), Infertility.

- [Post-natal related]: Loitering vaginal bleeding can be observed. Feverish muscle ache is also common. Some ladies with weak body may have dizziness. There are cases of lower abdomen pain and body aching. Losing too much blood can also cause muscle cramping. Urinary blockage/retention or incontinence can take place. Constipation may also occur after pregnancy.

There are those who're breast-feeding may ask to have more milk supply. Vice versa, there are also ladies who ask to have their milk supply stopped. Some ladies develop breast inflammation, partly due to improper breastfeeding.

- [Other gynecological illnesses]: Infertility is commonly seen in my clinical practice. Fallopian tubes may be blocked and other reasons as well. Lower abdomen pain of either or both sides is common too. There are cases of uterine fibroid and ovaries cysts. Sexual dysfunctional problems and low sexual libido.

Breast inflammation; acute or chronic with multiple nodules of hyperplasia of breasts (mammary glands).

There is also depression due to menstrual periods, pregnancies, post-natal, and menopause.

Among those involve vagina are vaginal itchiness, vaginal infection, 'vaginal farting', swollen and pain in vagina or labia areas.

(Pediatrics):

- [Common illnesses]: Cough is among the most common symptom. It can be an isolated illness or just one of the symptoms of other illnesses. Flu or common cold is next. Feverish symptom is another symptom common to many illnesses. There are plenty of cases of asthma, acute or chronic. And that asthmatic cough due to lung infections sometimes seen. Mouth ulcers are common too.

Those related closely to stomach and spleen systems are: nausea/vomiting, infantile diarrhea, abdominal pain, poor appetite, food stagnation, malnutrition, seizure, epilepsy, and so on.

- [Seasonal illnesses]: There are cases of flu/common cold, measles, German measles (Rubella), chicken pox, heat stroke and etc.









- [Miscellaneous]: There are cases of bet-wetting (Enuresis) and frequent urination, night crying. Occasionally there are babies or children who sweat a lot or have palm sweating. Others are growth problem involving hair, speech, teeth. There are also cases of weak limps, legs and muscles.


- [Newborn illnesses]: Jaundice is among the number 1 problem I see in newborn. Then there are indigestion, phlegmy breath, constipation, chronic mild fever and so on. Babies with G6PD-Deficiency must avoid six (6) distinct herbs in the prescription.

(Internal Medicine):

- [Lungs]: Among the common illnesses I treat are coughs, bronchial asthma, common cold (wind heat or wind cold or others) and influenza. Other lungs related symptoms are: persistent cough (whooping cough-like), coughing with blood, nose allergy/rhinitis/ sinusitis, sore throat with infections and etc. Many symptoms caused by bronchitis and pneumonia can be treated. Chronic cough with tuberculosis-like patterns are actually on the rise too. Heat stroke can be seen too.

Herbal and acupuncture treatments for quitting smoking are provided too.

Related to nose are: rhinitis (chronic, allergic), nasal polyp, nosebleed.

- [Heart]: Insomnia is definitely more seen. Palpitation, chest pain, or numbness around the upper chest are common. These symptoms may be caused by cardiac arrhythmia, some coronary heart diseases. Some dizziness/giddiness are related to heart problem too. Stroke or its side effect with half body paralysis is treated. Epilepsy, mostly the primary one, is treated. More and more emotional illnesses are showing; among them the depression, mood or stress-related disorders. Schizophrenia is treated. High blood pressure (hypertension) and low blood pressure (hypotension) are common too. Bad memory.

- [Stomach-gastrointestinal]: Stomach ache (acute or chronic gastritis), upper bloated sensation (some by reflux problem, or functional indigestion), lower abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting (or food poisoning related), hiccup, burping, diarrhea (or enteritis or dysentery), and constipation. Symptoms shown by IBS, hemorrhage of gastrointestinal nature, mal-absorption can be treated. Bad breath.

Some forms of internal bleeding are closely related to spleen system. Body slimming is a common request these days. Breast enhancement too.

- [Liver and gallbladder]: Jaundice related to viral hepatitis, liver cirrhosis, gall stone formation, gallbladder infections. Fatty liver, metabolic illnesses related to diet. Side chest pain, the hypochondrium, one-sided or both sides, again it's related to many illnesses involving liver, gallbladder; some is about the nerve system around the area. Symptoms related to herpes zoster. Malaria-like fever is categorized here too.

- [Kidneys and bladder systems]: Edema, or simply water retention, urinary tract infection (UTI), or stones in the urinary tract, blood in urine (hematuria), bubbles in urine, frequent urination (may or may not be related to Diabetes), incontinence, difficulty in urination, and so on.

Related to ears (Kidneys' opening is at the ears; TCM theory is special huh?) are: Meniere's disease, ear ringing (tinnitus), middle ear infection (Otitis Media).

- [Diseases related to Men]: Infertility issues such as lack of sperms, non-liquefaction of semen, teratozoospermia (structural deformation), dead sperms. Sexual impotence (prostate related or not, and/or erectile dysfunction ED), premature ejaculation, nocturnal emissions, prospermia (premature ejaculation) and also symptoms related to prostate enlargement and prostatitis.

- [Treatments related to Women]: Breast enlargement/enhancement, body slimming.







- [Illnesses related to endocrine system]: Hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism, simple goiter are quite common in clinical practice. Occasionally some cases with hyper-cortisol-ism for people who have been on corticosteroid drug for some time... More often than not I'm treating the side-effects more than the disease itself...


- [Diseases and illnesses related to energy, blood, and fluids]: Depression (also a heart related problem), blood issues (nose bleeding, gum bleeding, coughing blood, vomiting blood, blood in stool, blood in urine (pinky or blood threads, or red blood cells microscopically), skin purpura), perspiration issues (involuntary sweating, hyperhidrosis, night sweating), Diabetes Mellitus (frequent urination, lots of water drinking, lots of foods intake), internal fever (chronic fever of various causes), chronic fatigue syndrome, obesity.

- [Illnesses related to limbs and meridians]: Headache (including migraine, and internal or external related), paralysis, rheumatism, muscle atrophy, spasm, tremor, lumbar pain and etc. Some symptoms shown by rheumatic fever, rheumatoid arthritis can be treated accordingly. Occasional some cases of facial spasm, sciatica.

(Others):

- [Illnesses related to bones and joints]: Cervical spondylosis, osteoporosis, shoulder periarthritis, neck soft tissue injury, waist sprain (acute and chronic).





- [Diseases related to skins]: Eczema, urticaria/hives, psoriasis, herpes zoster, acne, hair loss.

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FOOTNOTE: (Some clarifications...)

- [Consultation process]: Regardless of the main and secondary complaints, many symptoms will be consulted for determining the body type. Usually the below will be inquired upon: Temperature adjustment, cough, breathing, thirst, the upper or lower abdomens, appetite and favorite foods or drinks, perspiration, the head or alertness, energy level, stamina or fatigue, bowel motion, urination, retention of energy or water, and etc. Some people find this weird as TCM doctors seem to be asking irrelevant questions about the main complaint. Actually they're very relevant to knowing the body type/syndrome, which is usually the cause of the type that causes the main or secondary complaints.

- [Other illnesses and diseases?] Those diseases or illnesses not listed above may still be consulted; if I have no confidence in helping even for the first time I'd guide the patients to somewhere or someone more professional. TCM treats diseases and illnesses especially those involve complex and complicated causes. It's no surprise to see patients with unknown or rare situations looking for help.

- [Cure or treatments or both?] Often time patients and friends and family members of patients ask me if there is a cure to his or her illness. Depending on the illnesses, sometimes there's no cure and lousy treatment results; sometimes there are treatments with good control of symptoms; and sometimes there can be complete cures. The list above are the illnesses or symptoms I use herbs and/or acupuncture for treatments; the efficacy or the result depends on many other factors yet to be determined individually.

- [Treatment methods]: Herbs are to be prescribed and taken orally. Acupuncture with needles on points and meridians where they interact with our internal organs to achieve a desired state of body. Sometimes I prescribe washable liquids (herbal based) for washing or flushing on skin diseases, vagina related cleansing. On top of these, advices on diet, living lifestyle and even mental adjustments are shared based on individual body and mind, usually after I get to know the particular patient better.

- [Are the needles or the herbs safe?] Yes, they are and No, they are not; depending on how you define “safe”. If you're asking about hygiene, yes, they are safe. Needles used are pre-sterilized, one-time and disposable, never reused on the same patient or different patients. Herbs are GMP grade condensed extract of the real herbs. So they're safe in this regard. If a physician prescribes them (the combinations of herbs, or the needle prescription or the manipulation methods) not so appropriately, the patient may experience some side effects. So are they safe? Yes, they are, if the doctor does it right.

- [Treatment course/time]: How long it takes to solve the problem? It depends. For acute cases such as common cold, it may take 3 days, or slight longer. For some not so stubborn constipation, 3 weeks may be good enough. For regulation of menstrual cycles, it usually takes 3 months and above. So, whether it's 3 days, or 3 weeks or 3 months or even 3 years, it depends on the nature of the illnesses and the body type of ours. Oh, by the way, for most cases some forms of diet change, lifestyle change or even mental adjustment maybe necessary.

- [Cancer patients or not?] Hardly take cancer patients because of a few reasons: (-) If it's been operated upon and main tumor removed; herbs are only/mainly used to treat the heaty body (usually dry and heaty) left behind by chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy procedures. (-) I don't have much experience in it. (-) I don't look old enough to convince people I'm experienced in cancer treatments; even if I desperately want to. (-) I'd usually recommend them to other more qualified TCM doctors who specialize in cancer treatments/post-cancer operation treatments.

- [Drop me questions?]: Please do.

2 comments:

Celeste said...

Good day!

I just came back from johor, and found out that you have updated your blog.

I think I'm lucky.


My dad went for a check up few weeks ago due to his prostate enlargement problem, and his PSA test result at that time was around 10ng/ml.
After 6 weeks, he was requested to went for the second time. The result raised to 21ng/ml and the protatitis continues.

The doctor had given antibiotic and diuretic medicine as the treatment.

I'm wondering is there any other herbs/treatment in TCM that help to ease the problem, other than saw palmetto and nettle root?

Thank you.

Celeste

John J. C. Lew said...

Dear Celeste,

Symptoms related to protatitis can be pain in urination and frequent urination. Some people may also develop swollen prostate gland and it's called benign prostatic hypertrophy. The swollen gland makes more irritation and may cause dripping or waiting during urination.

These symptoms are quite treatable with herbs and acupuncture. And of course, we take into account the body type that contributes to the onset.

As for saw palmetto and nettle root, they may help but are restricted to symptomatic relief; not so catering to body type changes.

Regards,
John Lew