Q: Over the past year I have been experiencing sharp pinpoints of pain. It started in my upper back between my shoulders and then spread to underneath my right arm. It further spread from my upper abdomen to my lower abdomen. At the same time it seemed my right leg did not want to move at the same speed as my left. I have had acupuncture, cupping, chiropractic treatment, massage therapy and I started a yoga class for the back. The massage therapy and yoga classes gave temporary relief. Through MRIs it was diagnosed that I was suffering from neuropathy, and I have some arthritis in my lower spine. I also suffer from type 2 diabetes, which is controlled by diet and medication. I have started mega doses of Vitamin B for about five weeks and have seen some relief. Please advise for both conditions. -Terry Burlew
A: Neuropathy is a complication of diabetes. You can take capsules of Ashwagandha and Shilajit, one each once a day. You can also take a half teaspoon of Turmeric powder and a half teaspoon of Amla powder once a day with water. Diabetes medication should not be stopped. For yogasanas, please refer to Yoga Helpline in this issue.
Q: I was wondering if you know of anything that might help me with esophagus sensitivity. I have trouble swallowing food, and it sticks and scrapes my esophagus so badly that it leaves my chest in severe pain almost anytime I eat. I may have some scar tissue on the esophagus from acid reflux and I am on various treatments for acid reduction. I had an endoscopy two years ago and the doctor found eosinophils. Doctors have insisted that these symptoms will go away after time. I have done the allergy treatment, NAET. I have also taken Slippery Elm, Wild Yam and Magnesium supplements, but experienced no relief so far. Kindly suggest some Ayurveda remedies. -Ryan
A: Eosinophilic esophagitis is an increasingly recognized, chronic inflammatory condition of the esophagus characterized by dense eosinophilic infiltration. You can take capsules of Amla twice a day, and a half teaspoon of Mulethi (Glycyrrhiza glabra) twice a day with water. Also drink fresh coconut water. Follow the Pitta-reducing dietary plan.
Q: Do you have any advice for polycystic ovaries? -Maureen
A: Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), also known as Stein-Leventhal syndrome, is a hormonal problem that causes women to have a variety of symptoms like irregular or no menstrual periods, obesity, excess hair growth, infertility, high cholesterol levels. Women who have PCOS do not regularly ovulate; that is, they do not release an egg every month. This is why they do not have regular periods. You can take two tablets of Kachnaar Guggul and two tablets of Kaishore Guggul, twice a day with water for three to four months. Avoid sugar and a high-fat diet. Eat more roughage and exercise regularly.
Q. My husband is 30 years old and suffers from hypothyroidism. He is taking the medicine prescribed by his doctor. Will his condition get cured? Can you recommend some additional herbal supplements? -Sunaina
A: Your husband has an underactive thyroid. This condition cannot be cured, but can be controlled and managed by thyroid hormone replacement therapy. He can take Guggul tablets twice a day and two capsules of Triphala at bedtime. You should get his TSH and T4 levels checked after six weeks.
Q: I have been recently diagnosed with a pre-diabetic condition. I have been a very healthy vegetarian for the last several years and it goes well with my spiritual path, my beliefs and my meditation practice. I have been told that I have to start eating animal protein in order to keep blood sugar levels down. I am wondering what the perspective of Ayurveda is on this subject. I also have elevated cholesterol levels. I exercise regularly, don’t smoke or drink, and I am not terribly stressed. I would like to stay a vegetarian but don’t know if this is possible. -Nanette
A: You can control diabetes and cholesterol levels by following a vegetarian diet. You can take a half teaspoon of Turmeric powder and a half teaspoon of Amla powder once a day with water to control diabetes and its complications. To control the high levels of cholesterol, you can take tablets of Guggul (Commiphora mukul) daily and one Garlic pill a day. Avoid dairy products in your diet. Ensure that you eat a high-fiber diet including oats.
Q: I was a victim of a serious car accident at the age of 20. I suffered from multi-trauma, resulting in fat emboli from my broken tibia traveling to my lungs causing them to collapse (Adult Respiratory Distress Syndrome). I was in serious condition for several weeks, being sedated into a coma. During this sedation I underwent gall bladder removal and exploratory surgery. My lung capacity has remained just above 70 percent, and I have had some issues with arthritis. Now 18 years later, I am a proud mom. And I have pain issues randomly throughout my body. I hope you may have some recommendations that could help strengthen my lungs, keep my joints and muscles strong, as well as some overall health pointers for a body that has succumbed to such trauma. -Peterson
A: I appreciate your willpower. You have come out of multi-trauma injuries and this is no small feat. To strengthen the immune system, you can take capsules of Guduchi and Guggul, twice a day with water.
For yogasanas, please refer to Yoga Helpline in this issue.
Q: I would like to know how to slim down the belly area. I am 75 years old, weigh 172 pounds and height is 5’ 10”. My problem is my weight. I have reduced my food intake, though this has not resulted in weight loss. What should I do to reduce weight and belly fat? -Deejay
A: To reduce weight you should cut down on sweets and fatty foods. Eat a high-fiber diet. Drink plenty of water. You can take capsules of Guggul and Triphala tablets twice a day. Do abdominal exercises under the guidance of an expert. For yogasanas, please refer to Yoga Helpline in this issue.
Q: I suffer from labile high blood pressure and sympathetic nervous system problems. I am currently taking several medications to control both, the HBP and anxiety/nervous system problems. I would like to find an Ayurvedic alternative to my current medications. I currently do yoga on a daily basis and this seems to help with both issues to a certain degree. Can you please suggest some options for me? -Cecilia Mencia
A: You need to rule out the causes for high blood pressure, whether it is due to high cholesterol levels, disturbed kidney function, or stress. You can take one capsule of Ashwagandha daily with your mainline treatment.
Q: Please recommend some turmeric remedies for cold and pain. -Pushpa
A: You can take a half teaspoon of turmeric powder by mixing it in one cup of milk, daily at bedtime.