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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a tongue brush, a tongue scraper or special cleaners. Mouth rinsing is another important oral hygiene practice. Choose your mouth rinse carefully. Some rinses have fluoride intended to decrease cavities, but this does nothing for gum disease or bad breath. Other rinses are meant to be used prior to brushing. The best types of mouth rinse for gum disease and bad breath – which are of great concern for people with diabetes – address bacteria and their byproducts that contribute to these problems. Mouth rinses containing oxidizing agents are recommended, and they should also be sugar-free. Another concern for people with diabetes is the amount of alcohol in a rinse because it has a drying effect. Saliva plays an important role in oral health. Anything that dries out oral tissues is likely to increase oral health problems, including the potential for bacterial growth.

Diabetes is linked to increased periodontal disease, tooth decay and tooth loss. Periodontal disease is a chronic bacterial infection that affects the gum and bone supporting the teeth. It begins when the bacteria in plaque causes the gums to become inflamed. It is a serious infection that, if left untreated, leads to tooth loss. For diabetic patients, it can be life threatening. People with diabetes are more likely to have periodontal disease than others; more than 70 percent of diabetic patients also have periodontal disease. This is probably because diabetics are more susceptible to infections.


Research suggests the link goes both ways: Periodontal disease may make it more difficult to control blood sugar and uncontrolled blood sugar can make it more difficult to eliminate periodontal disease. Severe periodontal disease can increase blood sugar. Research has shown that after treating periodontal disease, it is easier to manage a patient’s diaetes.


Diabetes increases the likelihood of tooth decay. “In diabetic patients, due to the slow glucose metabolism rate and low immunity, a high glucose level in saliva leads to bacterial infection, resulting in diabetic oral manifestations like swollen gums,” said Dr. Vikas Goud. “The insulin, which would have helped in glucose metabolism, is now used to fight infections. Therefore, the sugar level goes up further, posing a risk to

DIABETES AND DENTAL HEALTH

ANGELA S. HOOVER

Angela is a staff writer for Health & Wellness magazine.

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diabetic patients. Once the sugar level comes down, the swollen gums become normal.”


A recent study from the University of Buffalo School of Dental Medicine showed people with diabetes were more than twice as likely to lose all their teeth than people without diabetes. A cohort study from 1971 to 2012 found this risk is highest in non-Hispanic blacks.


Oral Care for People with Diabetes


Regular oral hygiene and visits to the dentist are imperative for people with diabetes. Teeth should be brushed at least twice daily with a soft brush. When possible, brush them about 30 minutes after meals. Brushing with soft bristles is important because stiff bristles or brushing too vigorously can damage the gums and increase the potential for dental problems. Teeth should also be flossed at least once a day.


Tongue brushing is a good practice for oral health. You can use a tooth brush,