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Temazcal, Heat, and Humidity Help Pudendal Neuralgia

  No one likes to talk about their private parts, especially when things aren’t going well. But sometimes, let’s face it, things go wrong down there. Recently, my husband had a strange nerve sensation at the tip of his penis that would radiate down his leg into the base of his foot. Needless to say, this problem, which he self-diagnosed as pudendal neuralgia, was distressing. Nothing seemed to help and after several months of this strange sensory anomaly, he’d decided that it was something he’d just have to learn to live with.   Last year, I went to a Rolfer for sciatica and lower back pain that just wouldn’t go away and at this time, I learned a little bit about nerves. One important thing that I learned was that nerves aren’t well understood and when they get stretched or entrapped, we really aren’t trained to recognize it. Most of the nerve pain that I was having (sciatica) was due to a nerve problem, not a muscular problem. But I’d been treating my pain as a muscular issue…I spent a lot of time stretching my muscles every day trying to make myself feel better, but with no success. Then I read the book, Ultimate Back Fitness and Performance by Stuart McGill, PhD and learned that what my back and my sciatic nerve really needed was rest. I needed to find physical positions and movements that didn’t aggravate the nerve…namely pain-free positions and movements. The goal was to position my body and move my body in a way that didn’t cause me pain or discomfort. Only then would my nerves stop screaming at me.   And you know what? That worked. I’ve been without back-pain for almost a year now, but I don’t do yoga anymore.   So when my husband started having this strange sensation that went from the tip of his penis to his foot, I immediately thought it was a nerve issue. Women often develop pudendal neuralgia or pudendal neuropathy after childbirth, but men can develop the problem as a result of constipation and chronic straining that put stress on the pudendal nerve. What was weird about his problem was that he wasn’t experiencing pain, but the nerve sensation that went from the tip of his penis to the bottom of his foot was distressing. We decided that his nerves might be compressed or irritated. It’s possible for nerve signals to get crossed and for a nerve... read more

Hormonal Imbalance in Women: Birth Control Pills vs. Herbal Remedies

If you go to the doctor because you’re a woman and you’re having hormone issues or menstrual problems, chances are your doctor will prescribe birth control pills if you aren’t already taking them. Most women these days take the pill or use some form of birth control product that uses synthetic hormones. For sexually active women, unless you have perfectly timed periods, with perfect “flow”, and you’re using a diaphragm or condoms, it can be hard to escape from synthetic hormones.   But are synthetic hormone treatments really safe?   There are a number of studies demonstrating that synthetic hormones are not very safe. Women who have used synthetic hormones to help them weather the symptoms of menopause have a higher risk of cancer, heart disease, and stroke. In fact, the increased risks associated with the use of synthetic hormones by menopausal women was so high that the Women’s Health Initiative closed down a synthetic hormone study before it was slated to end [1][2][3]. Bioidentical hormones aren’t necessarily a better choice, even though they’re purportedly identical to the hormones found in the female body [3].   Effects of Birth Control   Many women take birth control pills as a form of contraception. If this is your situation, you’ll need to find another form of contraception if you decide to use herbs to control your hormone levels. Herbal remedies won’t help you prevent pregnancy.   On the other hand, if you’ve been prescribed birth control pills to control aspects of your monthly period that are undesirable, you might want to try using herbs to control the symptoms first. Herbs are generally safer (at least the ones I recommend below) and they won’t interfere with your ability to become pregnant later…in fact, they may even help with problems like infertility. My doctor prescribed birth control pills when I showed up at her office because I’d been getting my period every two weeks. I wanted to have her check me out first to make sure I didn’t have cancer, or fibroids, or some other problem. I didn’t. I got my prescription filled since I was going to be leaving soon on a three month trip to Egypt and I didn’t want to be without a solution to my problem while I was abroad. But before I took the pills, I decided I’d try some herbal remedies for my problem first. I wasn’t excited about taking the pill because when I was in... read more

How to Get Rid of a Yeast Infection: Candiasis

  I travel internationally a lot and it isn’t always easy to find over-the-counter yeast infection treatments especially in third world countries. I usually try to bring along a couple of yeast infection treatments on longer trips, but they take up a lot of space in my bag and honestly, sometimes they don’t always work. I’ve had my fair share of recurrent yeast infections that just won’t quit and I’ve learned to not put too much faith in prescription or over-the-counter medicines to solve the problem. We always have yeast in our bodies and in fact, it’s part of a delicate balance that’s not only necessary, but healthy. We don’t want to obliterate the yeast. We want balance. So I’ve learned a few tricks when it comes to treating a yeast infection using stuff that’s available almost anywhere in the world.  Stuff that won’t completely wipe out your intestinal flora or cause other weird side effects.   What is a yeast infection?   Many vaginal yeast infections are caused by an over-proliferation of yeast in the colon (candida albicans—not the yeast you’d use to make bread or beer). What happens in the colon spreads easily and directly to the vagina since the vagina and the rectum are located close to each other on a woman’s body. Normally, the vagina contains a few candida albicans cells and other bacteria that keep the population of candida under control, but a variety of things can cause an imbalance. Then, the candida do a coup and take over causing yeast infection symptoms like itching and vaginal soreness. A yeast infection can cause pain or burning when you pee or have sex. Some women (including myself at times) mistake a yeast infection for a urinary tract infection or cystitis. A clumpy, white, cottage-cheese like discharge is common.   The colon’s involvement in the yeast infection is why many yeast infections include a feeling of being bloated and swollen. I’ve had trouble finding information online about yeast infections in the colon, though I did find an article that talked about the sparsity of data about yeast infections in the colon despite the fact that they do happen [1]. I spent several years going to the doctor every other month for urinary tract infections and cystitis and every-so-often, the doctor would tell me that my problem was yeast and that I should be particularly hygienic whenever I’d wipe myself (“front to back”, they’d say…as though I... read more

Unconventional Treatment for Infertility in Women: Parasite Cleansing for Conception

I always felt like I’d find an explanation someday for my fertility issues. I have one healthy child but my husband and I have had two miscarriages and one stillbirth. I’m not infertile. I can conceive. But for me pregnancy usually only lasts about three months and then I have a miscarriage. As time has gone one, my pregnancies last for shorter and shorter periods of time. First, we had a stillborn baby at 5 months. Then, a year later, I had a miscarriage at 4 months. Five years ago we had another miscarriage at 3 months.   Recently, it’s come to my attention that I (and my husband and my daughter) have an infestation of parasites in our intestines. You can read more about our parasite story here but suffice it to say, I thought I was going to die and so I started looking for the problem. And I didn’t find it at a doctor’s office. I found the answer in forums and individual posts by people with stories similar to mine.   So what does an intestinal parasitic infection have to do with female infertility? Some worms will crawl out of your butthole to lay eggs at night and then “get lost” and go up the “wrong hole” into the uterus or the bladder. Inside the bladder and the uterus, they may lay eggs or take up residence creating all sorts of disruptions (including cystitis, for example). Parasites in the ovaries could cause the ovaries to shut down (theoretically that is, although I doubt that studies have been done on parasites and human ovaries). The ovaries are the organs that make female sex hormones and so it would obviously be undesirable to have a parasite in an ovary hijacking your body’s hormonal balance, especially if you’re trying to conceive.   Parasites in the uterus may compete with an embryo for resources ultimately leading to a miscarriage or a stillbirth. It makes me angry to think that doctors could have suggested a parasite cleanse before I became pregnant (or even following a miscarriage), but modern medicine doesn’t buy into parasites. At the ultrasound while our stillborn baby was still alive, my husband and I commented to each other about how skinny he was. I would guess that there were worms feeding off of my placental while I was pregnant and our baby starved to death. But if you go to the doctor to talk about parasites, be... read more

Menstruation Problems and Parasites

I have one healthy child. I’ve had two miscarriages and 1 stillbirth. I’m not infertile, but my babies only survive for about three months in the womb. As a 39 year old woman, I’ve made peace with my past, but it’s upsetting now to think that my menstrual cycle problems and infertility issues could have been resolved through a simple parasite cleanse every six months.   Before I say anything else, it’s important that you know that you should NEVER take wormwood during pregnancy.   Wormwood, the most potent anti-parasitic herb is unique in that it’s an emmenagogue. It facilities menstrual activity, clearing up female menstrual cycle problems. Even though it facilitates menstrual activity, that doesn’t mean that it will make you have extended menstrual periods, heavy periods, or cause you to get your period before it’s due. Rather, it will help regularize your periods. Before doing our parasite cleanse, I was getting my period every two weeks. This was odd for me. Normally my cycle was between 25 and 32 days. I was waking up at night having night sweats around 3:00 AM every night. I thought perhaps I was going through menopause. After we realized that we had intestinal parasites and we started taking the wormwood concoction, I could tell that I wasn’t going to get my period in two weeks like I had been. It was like my hormones came back after having been absent for several months.   My 15 year old daughter’s periods had been affected by intestinal parasites too. She started skipping periods which was strange for her. Her cycle was very regular at 27 to 30 days normally, but she didn’t get her period for 6 weeks or not at all sometimes. Shortly after starting our cleanse, she got her period (on schedule). It was a little heavy, but nothing out-of-control considering that she’d skipped her period for a month and a half.   Wormwood is often prescribed by herbalists to regularize periods and simply help women with menstrual problems. It’s possible that the stuff works because it also rids the body of certain types of parasites that have made their way up into the uterus and fallopian tubes, hijacking normal menstrual activity and hormone balance. For several years prior to our parasite cleanse, I’d used Vitex Berry (also known as Chaste Berry) to keep my periods regular. Vitex Berry is supposed to be especially helpful to women after menopause, but as... read more

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