Allergies

Allergies. See also Asthma and Food Allergies An allergic reaction occurs when the immune system misinterprets a normally nontoxic substance, such as grass, pollen, a detergent, or a certain food, as a harmful invader. The immune system then responds to this perceived threat, called an allergen, by releasing substances called…

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Bruises

Bruises A bruise is an injury caused by a blow or a bump that does not cut the skin but breaks blood vessels underneath the skin. Blood seeps out of these vessels, producing the tell- tale black-and-blue discoloration, as well as swelling and soreness. The deeper the bruise, or contusion,…

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Ulcers

Ulcers   Peptic ulcers most frequently affect the stomach and the duodenum, which is the upper part of the small intestine. Both the stomach and the duodenum process high quanti- ties of gastric juices. These juices have to be strong in order to break food down into digestible particles; in…

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Bad Breath (Halitosis)

Bad Breath (Halitosis)   If you’ve ever eaten garlic or onions—or stood next to someone who has—you know that certain foods reliably produce a sour or strong odor on the breath. These foods, usually ones that are pungent or spicy, contain foul-smelling sulfur compounds that are released not just into…

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Menopause

Menopause   Menopause is a good example of Western medicine’s focus on disease, rather than on health and wellness. In this case, a natural state—the end of menstruation—is defined by many conventional doctors as a disease that must be treated with medication. Women who don’t take their estrogen pills, Western…

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Kidney Stones

Kidney Stones   Kidney stones have become an increasingly common medical problem in Western society, mainly due to poor dietary habits. Although many kidney stones are so small that they pass unnoticed, they may sometimes become very large, up to the size of a marble. It is not hard to…

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Psoriasis

Psoriasis   Psoriasis, a common skin disorder, occurs when skin cells replicate too quickly. The skin produces new cells at about ten times its normal rate, but also it continues to slough off old ones at its usual, slower pace. With nowhere else to go, the new cells pile up…

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Memory Problems

Memory Problems   Misplaced documents. Forgotten names. Missed appointments. More than two-thirds of people over sixty-five say that they have trouble recalling old details and absorb- ing new ones. To some people, memory problems are just part of what used to be called “senility,” an unfortunate but natural part of…

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Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)   Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is characterized by symptoms of depression that develop in the dark winter months and that lift with the onset of spring and summer. Although many of us feel a little less energetic in the winter, people with SAD suf- fer from…

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Ear Infection

Ear Infection A comprehensive review of studies published in the British Medical Jour- nal found that there was no significant dif- ference in children with acute ear infec- tions when antibiotics were given, as com- pared  to a placebo. While ear infections can occur at any age, they are most…

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