Primary dysmenorrhoea is caused by uterine contractions which are too strong and occur too frequently. Between the contractions, the uterine muscle does not relax properly, and there is an abnormally high ‘resting tone’. The overall effect is a reduction in the amount of blood flowing through the uterine muscle (ischaemia) which causes the pain known as primary dysmenorrhoea. The most usual cause of primary dysmenorrhoea is an imbalance in the prostaglandins levels. Prostaglandins are complex hormone-like substances found in most body tissues. There are many different types of prostaglandins which control bodily functions by working together as an integrated team. When the different types of prostaglandins are present in normal ratios, menstruation proceeds normally. An imbalance in the ratios in favour of the type of prostaglandins which increase muscle spasm will cause period pain. Their role in menstruation is complex and is discussed in ‘Prostaglandins’. The uterine tonics The uterine tonics, Aletris farinosa, Caulophyllum thalictroides, Angelica sinensis and Rubus idaeus, are used to treat pain because they are believed to regulate the muscular activity of the uterus and help initiate contractions which are Read more [...]
Archive for category Diseases and disorders'
Generalized anxiety disorders (GAD) Generalized anxiety disorder is a syndrome of ongoing anxiety and worry about many events or feelings that the patient generally recognizes as extreme and inappropriate (DSM-IV-TR). Individuals manifest both physical and psychological symptoms leading to significant distress or impairment. Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) People suffering from obsessive-compulsive disorder tend to have bothersome and intrusive thoughts that generate anxiety (obsession) and perform repetitive actions (compulsion). Obsessions include unwanted thoughts, impulses, or images that cause great anxiety. Compulsions include repetitive behaviors or mental acts that those affected feel driven to perform. Panic disorder People suffering from panic disorders often have panic attacks, defined as discrete periods of sudden symptom onset usually peaking in 10 minutes and can occur with most anxiety disorders. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) Individuals with posttraumatic stress disorder avoid stimuli associated with the trauma and feel an extreme amount of fear and anxiety after presenting stimuli. Stress is a condition which affects physiological and psychological homeostasis. Evidence indicates Read more [...]
Over the centuries herbal medicinal products formed the basis of medicaments in Africa, China, India and in many other civilisations. Traditional healers have long used herbal products to prevent or to cure infectious conditions but scientific interest in natural antivirals is more recent, spurred on by the rapid spread of emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases. Additionally the rapid rate of species extinction leads to irretrievable loss of structurally diverse and potentially useful phytochemicals, compounds which are often species/strain-specific with diverse structures and bioactivities, synthesised mainly for defence against predators. The herpes virus The herpes virus belongs to Herpesviridae, a family of DNA viruses that cause diseases in humans and animals. There are eight distinct viruses in this family, known to cause disease in humans. Viruses of the herpes group are morphologically indistinguishable, share many common features of intracellular development, but differ widely in biological properties. All human herpes viruses (HHV) contain a large double-stranded, linear DNA with 100-200 genes encased within an icosahedral protein capsid wrapped in a lipid bilayer envelope, called a virion. Following Read more [...]
Cardiovascular diseases constitute one of the major causes of disability and death all over the world. Increased mechanisation, Westernisation of lifestyle and genetic factors, coupled with an increase in life expectancy owing to control of infectious diseases, have contributed to its rise in the developing world as well. Despite remarkable advances in the identification of various risk factors and our enhanced knowledge regarding the aetiopathogenesis of cardiovascular diseases and molecular targeting for drug development, effective drug management of cardiovascular diseases still eludes medical researchers. There continues to be an unmet need for better and safer drugs to treat as well as to prevent cardiovascular diseases. In this regard, it is important to remember that many of the cardiovascular diseases are preventable, either by lifestyle modification and/or by drugs. The past few decades have witnessed the introduction of a remarkable number of not only new drugs, but also new classes of drugs, for the treatment of cardiovascular diseases. These include calcium-channel blockers, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, angiotensin-receptor blockers, various hypolipidaemic agents, and various antiplatelet Read more [...]
The Nature of Pain Pain has been described by the International Association for the Study of Pain as an “unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage, or described in terms of such damage.” Although pain is a reaction of the body to harmful stimuli and is therefore a protective early warning system, the sensation of pain in postoperative patients, cancer patients, and other chronic pain patients has little positive effect. The stress response to pain can alter the healing process by evoking massive sympathetic discharge that in turn alters blood flow, tissue perfusion, and immune function. In addition, in certain painful conditions the patient has reduced respiratory function. Hence, the term pain, derived from the Latin poena for punishment, reflects the deleterious effects that can be inflicted upon the body. Since millions of Americans suffer from some form of pain each year, resulting in the expenditure of billions of dollars for various treatment modalities, pain and its underlying causes are a major public health problem. The nature of pain is highly subjective. Pain has both sensory (somatic) and psychological (affective) components. One person may feel pain Read more [...]