IT’S all rubbish!” cry the sceptics steeped in conventional medicine. Yet for all their clamour, it’s clear that complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) works, and can sometimes rid people of chronic disease. How do we bridge this gap? Do we continue to treat one branch of medicine as science and the other as magic? Perhaps there’s a third way.
Conventional medicine regards the body as a machine, like a jumbo jet or a computer. It assumes that the body becomes diseased in much the same way a machine breaks downwhen a specific part goes wrong.
CAM has a very different philosophy: the idea that the healthy body is a system in balance, and that disease can be created by a fault that is distributed over the whole body. Because this idea is so obviously at odds with convention, CAM has always appeared unscientific. Continue reading The Intelligent Body by Michael Hyland
Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment (OMT) significantly reduces low back pain. The level of pain reduction is greater than expected from placebo effects alone and persists for at least three months. Additional research is warranted to elucidate mechanistically how OMT exerts its effects, to determine if OMT benefits are long lasting, and to assess the cost-effectiveness of OMT as a complementary treatment for low back pain. Continue reading Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment for Low Back Pain: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials
Common Food Allergies
In children, common allergy-provoking foods include cow’s milk protein, egg white from hens, wheat, soya bean, cod fish and peanuts.
In adults, nuts including Brazil, almond, hazelnut, peanut and walnut are common allergens. Seafood such as fish, mussels, crab, prawn, shrimp and squid may also cause allergic reactions.
Localised oral allergies may occur in young adults in association with silver birch tree pollen allergy. They get an itchy mouth and throat on eating certain fresh fruit (apple, cherry, peach and nectarine), raw vegetables (carrot, celery and potato) and nuts.
Discuss any suspected food allergies or intolerances before putting a child on a restricted or elimination diet. Self-diagnosis can lead to malnutrition. Continue reading Food Allergies
What is IBS?
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is the most common gut condition and affects about one in ten people at some time. It is most common among people aged between 25 and 45 but can cause problems at any age. Women are more often affected than men.
Symptoms of IBS
The symptoms of IBS include:
- Abdominal pain, bloating and wind
- Diarrhoea or constipation, or episodes of both
- Passing mucus when you open your bowels
- A feeling of incomplete emptying of the rectum
- Nausea and vomiting
- Depression, anxiety and stress
Other possible symptoms that aren’t related to the gut include backache, tiredness, headaches, and urinary or gynaecological symptoms. Continue reading IBS
Rickets – the cause of fractures in a young baby whose parents were wrongly accused of his murder – was once almost eradicated.
But factors including poor diet and a lack of exposure to sunlight mean there has been an increase in cases of rickets in UK children in recent years. It affects the bones, causing them to become weaker and softer than normal. It can lead to serious bone deformities, such as bowed legs or curvature of the spine.
A lack of vitamin D and calcium is the most common cause. Our bodies absorb vitamin D from the action of sunlight on our skin and from foods such as oily fish, breakfast cereals and eggs.
Vitamin D is essential for a child to form strong and healthy bones because it helps the body absorb calcium from food. Rare forms of rickets can also be passed on from a parent to a child and, occasionally, rickets develops in children with rare forms of kidney, liver and intestinal conditions. Continue reading Child Dies of undiagnosed Rickets
What is osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is a condition where the bones become thin and weak, and break easily. It frequently goes undiagnosed until a fracture occurs, as there are no warning signs. The spine, wrist and hips are particularly vulnerable to fracture.
Occasionally a person develops a dowager hump or kyphosis at the top of their spine due to collapse of the vertebrae, and notices they have lost height. But mostly the thinning bones remain hidden away inside the body, with no symptoms or signs to alert someone to the fact that they have osteoporosis, until a minor bump or fall causes a bone fracture such as a broken hip or a crushed vertebrae. Continue reading Osteoprosis
There are many ways that diabetes can affect the muscles and joints. Sugar sticks to the collagen in cells and affects its ability to function. Diabetes can damage blood vessels and a poor blood supply results in scarring and damage in the body’s elastic tissues.
We know that some diabetic patients can have problems with changes in the gristle of their hands – and in men, the penis. Most experts think that frozen shoulder in diabetics arises for the same reasons
Diabetes is known to affect the shoulder in several ways. Frozen shoulder seems to be the commonest – with up to 20% of diabetic patients developing it at some time or other. Continue reading Frozen Shoulder and Diabetes