Control Xerostomia … Start with acupuncture & Chinese herbs

Radiation is a method used by conventional medicine to treat cancer. High energy beams (x-ray, gamma ray) are projected through the affected tissue. Radiation exerts its cell inhibitive effect through the creation of a high concentration of free radicals that create high local oxidative stress. The oxidative stress causes irreparable DNA damage and results in cell death. Since the cell death caused by radiation is not selective to cancer cells the whole radiated area is affected and the body responds to it with a strong inflammatory reaction. Xerostomia occurs as both a chronic and acute complication of radiation administered in the treatment of head and neck cancer. In addition to mouth pain and difficulty speaking resulting from xerostomia, alterations in taste and difficulty swallowing can compromise nutritional status, and changes in the oral flora can lead to dental caries and even jaw infections TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) views radiation as an extreme external attack of heat and dryness that damages the yin fluids and the Spleen qi, with local accumulation of heat, fire and toxins. Inhibition of the Spleen's ability to transform pure from impure and results in a complex picture of heat-fire dryness above, stagnation of heat toxins locally and deficient damp-heat below. In order to increase the cell killing effect of radiation and control its local side effects, what is needed is to provide oxygenation to cells, and promote peripheral blood flow. A ScienceDaily (apr. 25, 2009) report shows that twice weekly acupuncture treatments relieve debilitating symptoms of xerostomia - severe dry mouth - among patients treated with radiation for head and neck cancer. Another study published in the july 2008 issue of BMC Complementary Alternative Medicine found that the acupuncture point, Large intestine 2 (LI2), increased saliva production as well as brain activity that is associated with saliva production. Xerostomia is under estimated and under treated.Don't wait for the onset of symptoms; damage to the lining of the mouth occurs on the first day of cancer therapy. – Control xerostomia ask your doctor about starting acupuncture & Chinese herbs


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