Category Archives: Ayurveda

Hormonal Imbalance and It’s Natural Cure for Female and Male

Hormones are an important component of the human body. The body cannot function without it. Hormones are chemical messengers present in the body which are responsible for controlling many bodily processes like reproduction, metabolism, growth, weight, and mood, etc. Hormones are produced by the endocrine glands these glands work as a unit. When these glands produce hormones in excess or too little, it leads to a hormonal imbalance in the human body, owing to various kinds of ailments rising because of it.

Hormonal imbalance is a condition where one hormone is secreted less, or more and other glands have to pitch in balancing the bodily requirements in an individual. With the advent of time and lifestyle changes these days, hormonal imbalance is a common ailment that both men and women have fallen prey to. Sometimes, some hormones decline with age and some erode due to the fast-paced modern lifestyle we have. Therefore, it is important that hormonal imbalance is taken care of and it can be done by being mindful.

Causes and signs of hormonal imbalance in men

Multiple underlying reasons cause a Hormonal Imbalance in men. The following causes could be specific to males.

  • Prolonged stress
  • Type 1 & 2 diabetes
  • Lower or higher blood pressure
  • Obesity/Anorexia
  • Overuse of steroids
  • Deficiency of Iodine
  • Gland injuries
  • Poor diet
  • Hypogonadism
  • shrunken or under-developed testes
  • Hereditary Pancreatitis, etc.

Males do not have the same abrupt hormonal shift that of females. A few hormones in males tend to decline slowly, over the years due to aging, however, a few of these cases mentioned above could be why males even in their early 30’s suffer from hormonal imbalance.

Causes and signs of hormonal imbalance in women

Some hormonal changes in women can debilitate them, while a few hormonal shifts are normal. Even though the imbalance is common to both genders, what may differ are the causes and the signs since the body of a male and a female are different. A few causes for hormonal imbalance in women are –

  • Hormone drugs such as birth control pills
  • Cysts in the glands
  • Tumors (Breasts and other organs)
  • Poor diet and nutrition lead to irregular periods
  • Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
  • Premature menopause or Primary Ovarian Insufficiency
  • Turner Syndrome where the woman only comes with one functioning X chromosome
  • Consumption of soy products that contain Phytoestrogens (a naturally-occurring plant estrogen)
  • Hypogonadism – shrunken or under-developed ovaries

Also Read: Menopause Symptoms, Causes, and Treatments

Common symptoms of hormonal imbalance

Many signs and symptoms characterize hormonal imbalance. Many symptoms depend on which glands or hormones are not functioning correctly. A few common symptoms to both men and women are –

  • Experiencing constant fatigue
  • Sudden weight gain or loss without much effort
  • Higher sensitivity to cold or hot temperatures
  • Constant diarrhea
  • Sudden dry skin or puffy face
  • Weakened muscles as daily chores seem like a task
  • Pain and stiffness in the joints regularly
  • Thinning of hair
  • Decreased sexual drive
  • Constant mood changes
  • Skin Problems (Sudden breakage of acne)
  • A feeling of anxiety and depression
  • Blurry vision
  • Pink Stretch Marks
  • Increased thirst
  • Changes in Blood sugar and pressure
  • Disrupted sleep, etc.

Treating hormonal imbalance naturally by way of supplements

Listed, are a few natural ways to treat hormonal imbalance. However, it is advisable to seek medical advice before trying any of these remedies.

  1. Coconut Oil – One can include consumption of cold-pressed coconut oil as a part of their daily intake. Coconut Oil contains fatty acids that are very advantageous for overall health and provide hormones to build naturally. The acids present in the coconut oil help in reducing inflammation internally that may have been caused due to the imbalance. Consumption of coconut oil is also beneficial in weight loss as it boosts metabolism and aids in reducing anxiety and stress. One can consume 1-2 tbsps of 100Z% virgin Coconut oil or use it as dressings in salads and foods.
  2. Avocados – Avocados are rich in fatty acids which have inflammatory properties that aid in treating the hormonal imbalance. Consuming avocados also promote heart health and keep in check the required fibers and nutrients needed to maintain overall health. Consumption of avocados also helps in minimizing the weight gain that may have been caused by the hormonal imbalance. Consumption can be either in a raw form or blended into a smoothie.
  3. Ashwagandha – Also known as winter cherry, it is an evergreen shrub that is highly regarded as herbal medicine. Ashwagandha is an adaptogen (herbal pharmaceutical) that helps the body overcome stress by regulating the brain’s hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. The HPA axis is responsible for producing many hormones, that initiate the body’s response to stress. Ashwagandha is also useful in treating thyroid hormone imbalance. Consumption can be in the form of Ashwagandha powder or tablets that are easily available in the market. About 300-500mg of the dosage daily, for about 8 weeks can prove beneficial in treating the hormonal imbalance.
  4. Omega -3 Fatty Acids – Omega 3 acids are inflammatory in nature and works like a charm to keep the hormones intact and balanced. They aid in the growth and building of hormones and help in alleviating stress and anxiety. One can consume these fatty acids in the form of supplements like tablets or consume foods that have Omega 3 Fatty Acids like Salmon, Sardines, Chia seeds, flax seeds, walnuts, kidney beans, soybean oil, etc.
  5. Vitamin D and C – Vitamins are important for the body to function at a normal pace. They provide nutrients to the cells to aid in bodily functioning. However, sometimes hormonal imbalance also can be due to the inadequate presence of vitamins in the body. Consuming either multivitamins supplements or Vitamin D and Vitamin C supplements separately can be beneficial in aiding the imbalance. One can also avail these vitamins through vitamin-rich foods like eggs, fish, mushrooms, citric foods. Sitting under the sun for 30 minutes every day can do wonders for one’s health.
  6. Protein Intake – Consuming proteins in daily foods is important. These proteins provide amino acids to the body that the body cannot produce on its own and hence, must be consumed to maintain health. Proteins reduce hunger pangs in humans that is a key to maintaining a diet that’s required to maintain hormonal imbalance. Eating protein-rich foods like cottage cheese, soy, eggs, meat can surely be a game-changer for those who are looking to cure hormonal imbalance.

Treating Hormonal Balance Naturally in Other Ways

  1. Engaging in regular exercise – Physical Activity is monumental for one’s good health. A major benefit of exercise is that it increases insulin levels. Insulin is a hormone that has many functions like using sugar and amino acids from the bloodstream for energy and maintaining muscle. However, the presence of insulin has to be of a nominal amount, and exercising regularly can help maintain it, and reduce the risk of heart diseases, diabetes, cancer.
  2. Avoiding Sugar and refined carbs – Sugar and refined carbs attract multiple health problems like obesity, diabetes and also contribute to hormonal imbalance as these foods release fructose that promotes insulin resistance. An attempt must be made to shift from refined sugar and carbs to more organic foods that aid insulin and not resist it.
  3. Maintaining a balanced diet – One should avoid overeating and undereating as both these leads to weight gains and loss that is not healthy for the body. One should focus on eating healthy food with adequate carbohydrates, vitamins, nutrients that the body needs to effectively function. Too much calorie intake can pressure hormones to secrete in excess or at minimal, thereby paving a way for hormonal imbalance.
  4. Sleeping – Poor sleep cycle is a primary reason why a few have imbalances of hormones like Insulin, Leptin, Growth Hormone, Ghrelin, Cortisol – all required for the body to function effectively. The human brain needs uninterrupted sleep for a couple of hours every day for the hormones to repair the wear and tear. The number of hours of sleep is immaterial, what matters is the quality of sleep and this can be improved by making lifestyle changes.

Our hormones are involved at every stage of our health. Ignoring the signs and not making lifestyle changes for curing hormonal imbalance is not acceptable for one’s well-being. While all the remedies stated here are natural, one should consult a medical professional before implementing natural remedies. They know better!

Disclaimer: The information included here is only for knowledge sharing purposes, and the blog is not intended to be a substitute for diagnosis, medical advice, or treatment by a healthcare professional. Because individual needs appropriate advice, the reader should consult their doctor to determine the appropriate disease depending on their situation.

Dermatographia: Symptoms, Causes and Ayurvedic Treatment

Dermatographia or dermatographism is a skin condition. It’s one of the most common types of inducible urticaria occurring in 2-5% of the population. Categorized under physical urticaria, the term Dermatographism means ‘Skin writing’ or ‘to write on skin’. An urticarial eruption is formed on the application of even mild downward pressure in the form of a linear wheal in the shape of whichever external force is applied. A wheal is a circumscribed dermal edema also known as welt or a hive.

Urticaria dermatographia or dermatographism urticaria can be broadly categorized as symptomatic and asymptomatic.
Symptomatic dermatographism is often associated with pruritus, stinging, prickling sensation, and erythematous wheals which is the rarer but more troublesome type of dermatographism. It is idiopathic in nature but often severe at night and aggravated by heat, minor pressure, exercise, stress and emotion, helicobacter pylori, bites, scabies, systemic mastocytosis.
An asymptomatic dermatographism is only presented with the formation of wheal in the shape of trauma-induced.

Dermatographia

 

Dermatographia causes

Although the exact cause for dermatographia disease is unknown, its pathogenesis involves the release of histamine from mast cells.

Although not conclusive the exaggerated biological response called, ‘ the triple response of lewis’, triggered by the mechanical trauma which releases some antigens that react with the bound IgE on mast cells. This leads to the release of histamine and other inflammatory mediators.

  1. The dilated capillaries produce a superficial erythematous phase
  2. Axon-reflex flare and sensory nerve fiber communication causes broadening erythema from arteriolar dilation
  3. Formation of linear wheal from fluid transudation

This is the triple response of lewis. The entire response takes about 5-10 minutes after an external stimulus.

It is known to be seen in diabetic, hyper/hypothyroidism, menopausal(onset), pregnant(mostly second trimester), or medication-related (penicillin) people. Other known risk factors associated with this condition are;

  • Age: mostly in young adults, peak in the second and third decade.
  • Hypereosinophilic syndrome in atopic children
  • Traumatic life events and psychological co-morbidities.
  • Behcet disease
  • Systemic mastocytosis (Congenital symptomatic dermatographism)

Dermatographia Signs and symptoms

  • Formation of erythematous wheals in the form of mechanical trauma induced on the skin even by mild stroking within 5-10 minutes. Except for a very rare type of delayed dermographism where tender urticarial lesion reappears 3 to 8 hours after the initial injury that persists up to forty-eight (48) hours
  • It May or may not be associated with pruritus.
  • Wheals can persist anywhere between 15-30 minutes unlike the normal triple response of lewis that subsides within 10 minutes. Deeper edemas into the dermis form larger wheals.
  • Mostly seen on trunks and extremities. Very rarely on the scalp and genital area(except for dyspareunia and vulvodynia)
  • Histopathologically, dermal edema with few perivascular mononuclear cells is seen.

Also, Read All You Need To Know About Lipomas

Rare subtypes of Dermatographism

  • Red dermatographism (small punctate wheals on repeated friction, predominantly on the trunk, possible association with seborrheic dermatitis)
  • Cholinergic dermographism (large erythematous line with by smaller punctate wheals surrounded by macular erythema with purpura in severe cases)
  • Follicular dermographism (transitory discrete follicular urticarial papules against the bright erythematous background)
  • Cold-precipitated
  • Exercise-induced
  • Familial (probably autosomal dominant inheritance)

Differential Diagnosis

  • False dermographism- Presents with similar symptoms but different mechanisms are involved. They are white, black, and yellow dermatographism. White dermatographism is caused by a blanching response from capillary vasoconstriction secondary to allergic contact dermatitis and is prevalent in atopic individuals. Black dermatographism is a greenish or blackish discoloration of the skin that occurs after contact with metallic objects. Yellow dermatographism is due to the deposition of bile pigments on the skin.
  • Latex allergy mimicking symptomatic dermographia is mostly seen on hands and genital region due to physical contact of latex in gloves, contraceptives, toys, etc.
  • Mastocytosis.

Dermatographia Diagnosis

Primarily, dermographism urticaria is a clinical diagnosis. It is usually made by observing the response in the subject after using moderate pressure to scratch or stroke the skin gently. A tongue depressor is used for this purpose. The site of pressure application is of importance because of the reactiveness of areas the dorsal area or back which is protected from the external environmental influences and pressure than that of more exposed parts like buttocks or limbs. The exaggerated triple response of Lewis points to the diagnosis.
A spring-loaded stylus called a dermographometer is used to apply graded pressure and record skin responses. Its use is mostly limited to the research settings due to its reproducibility.
Hematological and biochemical screening tests are usually normal, except for few cases where increased blood histamine is recorded after experimental scratching.

Dermatographia Treatment

Dermatographia, a benign condition, seldom governs treatment until it is symptomatic. Mostly seen in young adults this condition resolves itself after approximately five years to ten years in the majority of the cases.
Symptomatic dermatographia requires medical attention due to its presentations. It is mostly treated with antihistamines. H1 antihistamines like cetirizine, loratadine are the drugs of choice, and H2 antihistamines like diphenhydramine, hydroxyzine are combined in required cases. Omalizumab has also been considered for treatment and is under research for its efficacy. Phototherapy with Narrowband ultraviolet (UV)-B and oral psoralen plus UV-A therapy has also been advised in a few cases. Adjunctive treatment with vitamin C is also used as a dermatographia cure.
Antihistamines are to be taken under strict medical supervision only as certain activities like driving, operating heavy machinery have to be avoided.
Apart from major pharmacological therapy, prevention and avoidance of aggravating factors such as physical stimuli play a major role in controlling this condition. Good skincare and use of emollients can reduce dry skin thereby aggravating dermographia due to scratching. Wearing soft clothes, reducing stress and anxiety, and practicing yoga all play a key role in controlling this.

Dermatographia Ayurvedic Treatment

Ayurveda, the ancient medicine system of India under the broad heading of twak vikara encompasses many dermatological conditions. Udarda, a Kapha dominant condition, is mainly treated with shodhana ( bio purification procedures) and shamana aushadha ( pacificatory medicines) based on the patient. The internal medications mainly will have the quality of ushna, teekshna, Vata anulomana, and pachana. They subside both Kapha and Vata along with vimargagami pitta. Along with pathya and apathya, dietary and lifestyle modification suitable to patient and disease, Ayurveda has a potential holistic approach to dermatographia. Medicines like Haridra khanda, ardraka khanda, amrita satva, arogyavardhini vati, gandhaka rasayana, aragwadha amrutadi kashaya, dashamoola haritaki,, varanadi kashayam, ayaskriti, abhyanga with katu taila, vardhamana pippali rasayana, etc.

Although not life-threatening, dermatographism is a distressing condition. Asymptomatic dermographism requires no treatment but symptomatic dermographism should be treated till the condition is controlled or resolved. Reach out to our experts at VIMS today, for proper guidance. Our expert team of doctors from ayurvedic and modern fields of medicine is always within your reach.

Also, Read Ayurvedic herbs for skin 

Disclaimer: The information included here is only for knowledge sharing purposes, and the blog is not intended to be a substitute for diagnosis, medical advice or treatment by a healthcare professional. Because of individual needs appropriate advice, the reader should consult their doctor to determine the appropriate disease depending on their situation.

Best Ayurvedic Herbs List – Should Not Miss

Age-old scientific practices always hold a torchlight in our hard times. A peek into the ancient history of India will show us how blessed we are to have gained the knowledge of Ayurveda passed down through generations.

Ayurveda tells us how to correct our lifestyles to lead a healthy lifestyle. The various treatises on this ancient science of holistic healing teach us that food is healthy. Including a few Ayurvedic herbs in our diet will help us get rid of the ailments that bother us frequently.

Having an Ayurvedic herbs list handy will help us take care of ourselves without using too many health spoiling medications. We have provided the same below for your easy reference.

Best Indian Ayurvedic Herbs With Their Health Benefits 

List of best Indian ayurvedic herbs with their health benefits

  • Ayurveda weight loss herbs: Obesity is one of the most common problems faced by millions in the current age. Including the below herbs in your diet can help you control your weight. Triphala: The Ayurvedic herbal preparation comprises Amalaki (Indian gooseberry), bibhitaki (Terminalia bellirica), and haritaki (Terminalia chebula). Kalonji or black cumin has shown improved weight loss efforts for all. Other herbs that aids weight loss is punarnava, aloe vera, ajwain, lemon-honey, pepper, horse gram, and ginger-garlic lemon.
  • Ayurvedic herbs for hair growth: The growing pollution, lack of proper nutrition, and stress are the prime reasons for hair loss. Using the following ayurvedic powders or oils made of the herbs will help you cleanse, manage, and grow your hair. The most effective and commonly used oil is coconut oil, which keeps fungal infections at bay. Other oils used to promote hair growth are almond oil, walnut oil, olive oil, and wheat germ oil. Fenugreek, Holy Basil, Gooseberry, hibiscus are other natural ingredients used for preparing different hair care products.
  • Immunity-Boosting herbs in Ayurveda: In testing times, like now – with Corona scare, immunity is the top priority of everyone. And the herb to top the list is Ashwagandha. It helps to manage stress levels and sleep-wake cycles besides promoting immunity. Other Ayurvedic herbs names that make it to the list of immunity booster herbs are – Triphala Churna, Cinnamon, Brahmi, Cumin, Turmeric, Licorice root, Gotu Kola, Giloy, and Cardamom.
  • Ayurvedic herbs for skin: Skin allergies are common in children as they venture out. At times, it can be treated with simple remedies mentioned in Ayurveda texts against running to a dermatologist. One of the basic treatments is to mix turmeric with coconut oil to the affected area. Other herbs used to treat primary skin infections are manjistha, aloe vera, neem, lavender, chamomile, and rosemary. For complicated skin allergies like eczema or psoriasis or patches on the skin, your Ayurvedic practitioner will prescribe specific herbs or capsules.
  • Ayurvedic herbs for diabetes: Diabetes, previously regarded as a rich man’s disease, is now a common man’s disease. It on-sets with an unhealthy lifestyle. Ayurveda helps to control and keep diabetes in check. Sometimes, maintaining strict diet control and leading a healthy lifestyle can cure diabetes. The common herbs used to treat diabetes are – Cinnamon, Aloe vera, Milk thistle, Fenugreek, Gymnema Sylvestre, Jamun, Ginger, and Giloy leaves.
  • Blood purifier herbs in Ayurveda: Some ayurvedic herbs help resolve one problem. The best example would be neem, amla, and manjistha. They are one of the best blood purifiers mentioned in the Ayurveda treatise. Besides these, other herbs used as blood purifiers are – Guduchi, Ginger, and Hibiscus.
  • Ayurvedic herbs for Kapha dosha: Among the tri-doshas, excessive Kapha in the body makes you lazy and creates an imbalance in body functions. Hence one should exercise caution to maintain a balanced diet and life. Some of the best Ayurvedic herbs to resolve Kapha dosha are Bibhitaki, Chitrak, punarnava, Ashwagandha, moringa, pepper, Triphala, turmeric, and Brahmi. People with predominant Kapha dosha should opt for pungent, astringent, and bitter-tasting herbs to balance the dosha.
  • Ayurvedic herbs for rheumatoid arthritis: Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) refers to inflammation and pain in joints. Few ayurvedic herbs used to relieve the pain and inflammation arising out of this condition are – Nirgundi, ajwain, dashmoola (a mixture of ten herbs), Shallaki, eucalyptus, ginger, and turmeric. Ayurvedic practitioners can cure RA depending on the severity by changing their lifestyle and necessary precautions.

Related: Benefits of Panchakarma in Ayurveda

The ayurvedic herbs mentioned above are just for reference. A practitioner will determine the diagnosis and severity of each condition and then prescribe the exact remedy for the same. Similar to other medications, Ayurvedic medicines should be consumed with precautions. So do not self-medicate and reach out to us for consultation. We wish you the best of health. Visit our other blogs to know more about the ancient holistic science of healing – Ayurveda.