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Category : All ; Cycle : February 2011
Medical Articles
Gerson Therapy for Cancer
Throughout our lives our bodies are being filled with a variety of disease and cancer causing pollutants. These toxins reach us through the air we breathe, the food we eat, the medicines we take and the water we drink. As more of these poisons are used every day and cancer rates continue to climb, being able to turn to a proven, natural, detoxifying treatment like the Gerson Therapy is not only reassuring, but necessary.

The Gerson Therapy is a powerful, natural treatment that boosts your body's own immune system to heal cancer, arthritis, heart disease, allergies, and many other degenerative diseases. One aspect of the Gerson Therapy that sets it apart from most other treatment methods is its all-encompassing nature. An abundance of nutrients from thirteen fresh, organic juices are consumed every day, providing your body with a superdose of enzymes, minerals and nutrients. These substances then break down diseased tissue in the body, while enemas aid in eliminating the lifelong buildup of toxins from the liver.

With its whole-body approach to healing, the Gerson Therapy naturally reactivates your body's magnificent ability to heal itself - with no damaging side-effects. Over 200 articles in respected medical literature, and thousands of people cured of their "incurable" diseases document the Gerson Therapy's effectiveness. The Gerson Therapy is one of the few treatments to have a 60 year history of success.

Although its philosophy of cleansing and reactivating the body is simple, the Gerson Therapy is a complex method of treatment requiring significant attention to detail. While many patients have made full recoveries practicing the Gerson Therapy on their own, for best results we encourage starting treatment at a Gerson Institute licensed treatment center.

The Gerson therapy has been developed by the German Physician Dr. Max Gerson to treat cancer and other diseases. It is based on the role of minerals, enzymes, and other dietary factors. There are 3 key parts to the therapy:

Diet: Organic fruits, vegetables, and whole grains to give the body plenty of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and other nutrients. The fruits and vegetables are low in sodium (salt) and high in potassium.
Supplementation: The addition of certain substances to the diet to help correct cell metabolism (the chemical changes that take place in a cell to make energy and basic materials needed for the body's life processes).
Detoxification: Treatments, including enemas, to remove toxic (harmful) substances from the body.

The Gerson therapy is based on the idea that cancer develops when there are changes in cell metabolism because of the buildup of toxic substances in the body. Dr. Gerson said the disease process makes more toxins and the liver becomes overworked. According to Dr. Gerson, people with cancer also have too much sodium and too little potassium in the cells in their bodies, which causes tissue damage and weakened organs.

The goal of the Gerson therapy is to restore the body to health by repairing the liver and returning the metabolism to its normal state. According to Dr. Gerson, this can be done by removing toxins from the body and building up the immune system with diet and supplements. The enemas are said to widen the bile ducts of the liver so toxins can be released. According to Dr. Gerson, the liver is further overworked as the treatment regimen breaks down cancer cells and rids the body of toxins. Pancreatic enzymes are given to decrease the demands on the weakened liver and pancreas to make enzymes for digestion. An organic diet and nutritional supplements are used to boost the immune system and support the body as the regimen cleans the body of toxins. Foods low in sodium and high in potassium are said to help correct the tissue damage caused by having too much sodium in the cells.

How is the Gerson therapy administered?

The Gerson therapy requires that the many details of its treatment plan be followed exactly. Some key parts of the regimen include the following:

Drinking 13 glasses of juice a day. The juice must be freshly made from organic fruits and vegetables and be taken once every hour.
Eating vegetarian meals of organically grown fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
Taking a number of supplements, including:
Lugol's Solution (potassium iodide, iodine, and water).
Coenzyme Q10 injected with vitamin B12. (The original regimen used crude liver extract instead of coenzyme Q10.)
Vitamins A, C, and B3 (niacin).
Flaxseed oil.
Pancreatic enzymes.
Pepsin (a stomach enzyme).
Taking coffee or chamomile enemas regularly to remove toxins from the body.
Preparing food without salt, spices, or oils, and without using aluminum cookware or utensils.

The following studies of the Gerson therapy were published:

In 1983-1984, a retrospective study of 38 patients treated with the Gerson therapy was done. Medical records were not available to the authors of the study; information came from patient interviews. These case reviews did not provide information that supports the usefulness of the Gerson therapy for treating cancer.
In 1990, a study of a diet regimen similar to the Gerson therapy was done in Austria. The patients received standard treatment along with the special diet. The authors of the study reported that the diet appeared to help patients live longer than usual and have fewer side effects. The authors said it needed further study.
In 1995, the Gerson Research Organization did a retrospective study of their melanoma patients who were treated with the Gerson therapy. The study reported that patients who had stage III or stage IV melanoma lived longer than usual for patients with these stages of melanoma. There have been no clinical trials that support the findings of this retrospective study.
A case review of 6 patients with metastatic cancer who used the Gerson therapy reported that the regimen helped patients in some ways, both physically and psychologically. Based on these results, the reviewers recommended that clinical trials of the Gerson therapy be conducted.

Dr. Vaman

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A man is almost always born with the dream of global welfare. However he rarely identifies it. If he identifies it, then he begins to pursue it, according to his capability and bent of mind. Thus some people get satisfied with ad hoc, incomplete and superficial symptomatic solutions and enter political, social, commercial, artistic, academic, industrial, agricultural, philanthropic careers.

Some people however try to go to the root of the problems so as to realize the dream of universal welfare.

Many of these get lost into the fleeting ideologies, unrealistic concepts and self deception. Many others come to terms with the deception and in turn; deceive people under the guise of political revolution, spiritual renaissance, sat yug and so on!

Some of these however, try to go to the roots of the problems for realizing the dream of global unity and harmony holistically and after extensive study and experiments, spreading over life time; almost reach holistic and universal perspective, policies, plans and actions. They differ in terms of details; but not in essence.

The most important common factor amongst these people is the tangible perception of universal unity and harmony.

It is this sublime experience, which is sought by everyone. Hence these people are sure that the universal unity and harmony is not merely a dream or imagination but a reality of near future.

They realize that the prerequisite for universal unity and harmony (reality of the near future) is self realization and self expression (SUPERLIVING); the core of which is universal practice and promotion of NAMASMARAN! Being a cosmic being; is indeed a reality for them; though not for most of us who are casual in approach.

We can get that most cherished experience of being a cosmic being; if we keenly practice and promote NAMASMARAN; in every possible way; as a matter of greatest privilege, golden opportunity and top most priority. Alternatively; we would get painfully dragged (by global momentum) in that experience; after severe trials and tribulations; against our wretched reluctance and resistance.

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Stress Delusion And Conflicts - Doctor Shriniwas Kashalikar
We are taught to stand, walk, jump, run, talk, read, write and many such skills! But we are not inspired and guided to know and be ourselves! In fact we don’t even seem to realize that such inspiration and guidance; is even needed!

This statement may appear strange; but if we ponder over it; a bit seriously; then we would be convinced about it.

As a result we live; reflexly, superficially and casually; in accordance with the stimuli impinging and interacting with our sense organs, endocrine glands, autonomic nervous system and central nervous system; from environment inside and outside our body! This amounts to being in the imprisonment of our subjective and individualistic realm; with ever increasing dissatisfaction and not living in the state of freedom of being ourselves.

Since we are not trained to yearn and be ourselves; the process of decent and shackling in our pettiness continues.
Our petty choices compete with and continue to sabotage our sublime urges springing from the depths our being; and drag us to into perennial and infectious abyss.

This kind of life full of delusions about our true identity; dragging and drowning us in those petty delusions; is the root cause of stress, anarchy, chaos, degeneration and decay in individual and global life; in the form of inappropriate perspective, policies and actions; at individual and global levels.

These delusions that our physical senses, endocrine glands, autonomic nervous system and central nervous system inputs are eternal (mere thought of loss of these causes depression, fear and misery); are not usually discussed in psychology, sociology, politics and stress management etc.

Total stress management, the core of which is NAMASMARAN; embodies; knowing and being our true selves; and expressing ourselves in perspective, policy making, planning, execution and administration at all levels! This ensures; moment to moment contentment and fulfillment to our innate core that is our true self.

In absence of total stress management; all the piecemeal and superficial efforts towards; globalization, development, progress, advancement, modernization, health care, charity and stress management; are bound to fail, in blossoming us and the universe!

NAMASMARAN being the core of total stress management; can certainly realize this.

But what is NAMASMARAN?

NAMASMARAN usually embodies; remembering the name of god, guru, great souls; such as prophets and whatever is considered as holy for example planets and stars. It is remembered silently, loudly, along with music, dance, along with breathing, in group or alone. Further, NAMASMARAN is either counted by some means such as fingers, rosary (called smarani or japamala), or electronic counter; or practiced without counting. The traditions vary from region to region and from religion to religion.

However the universal principle underlying
NAMASMARAN is to reorient our physiological and social being with; our true self and establish and strengthen the bond between; our physiological and social being; with our true self; and finally reunification or merger with actually being; our true self!

Since individual consciousness is the culmination of every activity in life; and NAMASMARAN the pinnacle of or culmination of individual consciousness; NAMASMARAN is actually opening the final common pathway to objective or cosmic consciousness; so that individual consciousness in every possible activity gets funneled into or unified with he (our true self)!

Thus NAMASMARAN is in fact the yoga of yoga in the sense that it is the culmination of consciousness associated with every possible procedure and technique in the yoga that we are familiar with; and also because; it embodies the cosmic consciousness in which culminate all the activities in the universe!

It is yoga of yoga; also because everybody in the world irrespective of his or her tradition and the beliefs; would eventually, ultimately and naturally reach it; in the process of liberation. Even so called non believers also would ascend into this yoga; as they may remember their true self through one symbol or another!

Just as NAMASMARAN is yoga of yoga it is meditation of meditation also! This is because the natural and ultimate climax of every form of meditation; is remembering true self or merging with cosmic consciousness effortlessly!

In short namsmaran is super bounty of cosmic consciousness for every individual to realize it (cosmic consciousness)! This is truly a super bounty because a person, who experiences it, rises above mercenary, commercial and even professional and charity planes and manifests super transactions in his or her life! This is superliving.

These are just few observations to give rough idea about what is NAMASMARAN. NAMASMARAN is an ocean of bliss. Its true meaning is beyond description in words and has to b experienced, not by one or few persons sporadically; but by billions!

The last point is; NAMASMARAN would certainly enlighten, empower and enable some people; out of those billions practicing NAMASMARAN; to evolve, guide and consolidate the global conscience and thereby manifest global unity and harmony and justice, through globally benevolent proper policies!

NAMASMARAN should not be blindly believed or blindly disbelieved with casual approach! It has to be taken seriously and studied, thought over, argued, discussed etc. But all doubts vanish through practice only; and we then realize that NAMASMARAN has to be practiced, encouraged, taught, preached, advised, imparted, promoted, and advertised with top priority for individual and global blossoming.

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Whenever we ask our friends “how are you?” they usually respond by saying “fine”! This is because our asking and their answering is casual and does not mean the words we speak! In fact; usually we speak and communicate from a very superficial and casual stratum of mind. We are not aware enough to think of the deeper meaning or purport of what we speak!

Often we say; that we are fine, when in fact we are not; because we don’t know whether we are happy or not and what could be the causes of happiness or sadness of a person.

It is often said by the spiritual masters (who appear to know and experience “true happiness”) that we should conquer the six enemies; desire, anger, attachment, jealousy, arrogance, craving (KAMA, KRODHA, LOBHA, MOHA, MADA, MATSARA); to be happy!

But our usual experience is that we can not conquer these and we come to terms with life and keep declaring that we are happy; even amidst conflicts, problems and misery!

In fact we begin to explain ourselves and convince that even the great spiritual masters suffer; and hence drawbacks and suffering are inevitable parts of life. We accept our defeat and call the “defeat” itself “success”; and “misery” itself “happiness!!

Being happy is actually a product of our growth, development and blossoming! It is like getting a prize; after studying and passing each test! But just as for passing in each test; the bare minimum prerequisite is to appear for the test; similarly for getting the gift of happiness we have to be; during after every ordeal; in connection with our inner self; through NAMASMARAN (or whatever means, endeavors, techniques we trained and convinced to be in).

Being happy is like blossoming of flowers and ripening of fruits. “Being happy” declares itself undeniably and unequivocally! Further more; “being happy” showers benevolence on others in various forms; but especially global perspective, policies, plans and programs!

“Being happy” is being one with every bit of growth and blossoming of everything and every being; such as the rivers, mountains, gardens, animals, plants and people; in any and every part of the world; and every victorious action; to conquer every bit of disease, distress, degeneration, decay, decomposition and destruction in the world!

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From time immemorial; life is inseparably associated with stress and therefore stress management. Various philosophies, ideologies, religions, traditions, customs, conventions; and in short; different ways of life actually constitute the process of traditional stress management.

In India (Bharat) the traditional path of progress (blossoming), which embodies the ancient wisdom manifesting in different semantics according to varying periods and socioeconomic situations; keeps us going in traditional stress management. This path identifies the four progressive stages in traditional stress management.

These four stages of our traditional stress management take us to the perfection, self realization, objective existence, eternal truth, sacchidananda, ishwar, paramatma or parmaeshwar.

Traditionally these stages are identified as baddha, mumukshu, sadhak and Siddha.

Baddha means completely oblivious to one’s true self and totally lost in one’s subjective or petty self. One can say, totally individualistic.

Mumukshu means one who gets ambiguous but haunting “wake up” calls promptings from the core of his or her heart. The restlessness begins. The search of the “self” though, without direction or clarity begins. There doubts, distractions, disturbances and frantic activity like that of a person who just begun to learn swimming.

Sadhak stage begins when the mumukshu gets the guidance and direction for the search. The efforts get rectified and refined. The pace, the swiftness and the momentum increase. The progress however is full of subtle, conflicting, confusing, harrowing, dreadful spells of ordeals in physical, instinctual, emotional and intellectual realms of an individual. These are often destabilizing, uprooting and violent in nature. These are essentially the ordeals which destroy all kind of subjective frameworks of an individual and bring him closer to objective state of existence.

Siddha is a stage; marked by the final and extremely subtle processes of dissolution of subjective or individual self into cosmic self. The struggles in this stage are often beyond the comprehension through language of digits and letters. These stages are beyond the comprehension of different levels of individual consciousness and also beyond three dimensions.

When we are in the first three stages of traditional stress management; we are tender and delicate within. We are amenable, accessible, vulnerable and susceptible to damaging and harmful influences and inflictions coming from within us; and from the people trapped in various phases of the stage of baddha, which manifest in many ways. But; possibly the most dangerous manifestations are the powerful inflictions or onslaughts of skepticism, cynicism and sarcasm. These manifestations of the baddha individuals are stupefying, disorienting, distracting, distorting, dragging and devastating in nature. The baddha individuals knowingly or unknowingly manifest these and energize, expedite, facilitate the process of dementia, amnesia i.e. loss of memory of our self or our soul consciousness; and suck us in the hell of VINASHA!

The meaning of VINASHA i.e. ghastly total destruction; can be compared to the fire setting is due to short circuiting. According to Geeta, Dnyaneshvari and Dasbodh; and in my experience also; VINASHA is obliviousness or forgetfulness of God i.e. our true self.

Hence it is said; “To prevent VINASHA; avoid the company of those, who forget, deny or denounce God i.e. self; and/or malign their motherland, guru, mother and father! Such avoidance; whether physical, mental or intellectual; is possible; only through the unshakable and steadfast persistence in the practice of NAMASMARAN.

Is it not possible to successfully tread through the four progressive stages of traditional stress management and prevent VINASHA in some other simpler ways and/or through some short cuts? In my experience; NO! It is not possible in any way other than NAMASMARAN!

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The causes of stress are called stressors. These are inside as well as outside.

The outer stressors can usually be easily identified and described in many books on stress management.

But the inner stressors, which often create unbearable conflicts; are not easy to recognize. These stressors are like hidden or invisible enemies! They are located so deep within our thoughts, emotions and our instincts and hence often in our subconscious mind, that they not accessible to our thoughts and reasoning. They elude even our spouse, family members, counselors, guides, friends, teachers, close relatives and so on!

In view of the stressors and the stress (and subsequent degeneration, deterioration, degradation, downfall and destruction) they cause; the traditional wisdom emphasizes on being in satsang i.e. being in good company.

The real meaning of satsang is being in selective company of the truth outside as well as inside; even amidst the presence of falsity.

In other words we have to shield ourselves from (or overcome) the destructive influence of people opposed to individual and global blossoming; at physical, instinctual, emotional and intellectual levels.

This can be done by
1. Avoiding or overcoming the influence of physical presence by not attending certain social events or leaving certain places as early as possible
2. Avoiding or overcoming the influence of certain seductive exhibitions, movies, which are designed to trap our instincts; especially sexual passions
3. Avoiding or overcoming the influence of plays, movies, speeches, literature etc, which ignite prejudice, hatred, division, disruption by trapping our emotions
4. Avoiding or overcoming the influence of intellectual sarcasm, cynicism, skepticism and other arguments which trap our intelligence into bigotry, fanaticism, pettiness and meanness
5. Sublimating our own physical, instinctual, emotional and intellectual sensations; producing urges, cravings, feelings, desires and compulsions, which time and again weaken us and drag us into situations for which we have repent later.
6. While choosing the company of truth outside is very difficult; choosing the company of truth inside is even more difficult.
7. The tradition has provided us with the powerful gadget (the practice of NAMASMARAN) that empowers us to select and cling to the truth outside and inside; amidst the harrowing and stupefying falsehood; i.e. be in satsang!

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It is often said that practice is more important than preaching and promotion. This is true with respect to gross self deception by those who intentionally and deliberately preach and promote with ulterior motive; some thing for petty gains and practice something else also for petty gains such as money, power and adulations at the cost of others.

But if we go to the essence of the words practice and preaching, then it would be evident that as we live every day life (practice) we invariably share at least some of the impressions, understanding and experiences with others (preaching and promotion)!

Actually we are born with the dream of global welfare. But we rarely identify it. If and when we identify it, then we get charged and possessed by it and begin to pursue it, according to our predisposition and capability. Thus some of us get satisfied with ad hoc (incomplete, superficial and symptomatic) solutions; and enter political, social, commercial, artistic, academic, industrial, agricultural, philanthropic careers.

Some of us however are not satisfied with ad hoc solutions and try to go to the root of the problems so as to realize the dream of universal welfare. Many of them get lost into the fleeting ideologies, unrealistic concepts and self deception. Many others come to terms with the deception and in turn; deceive people under the guise of political revolution, spiritual renaissance, sat yug and so on!

Some of them however, try to go to the roots of the problems for realizing the dream of global unity and harmony; with holistic perspective. After extensive study and experiments spreading over life time; they almost reach holistic solutions in terms of universal perspective, policies, plans and actions, which differ in terms of details; but not in essence.

The most important common factor amongst them is the tangible perception and experience of universal unity and harmony.

They know that while they are practicing NAMASMARAN; the whole universe is actually going through the process of self realization, unity, harmony and justice; along with them. This experience is so ecstatic; that they cannot resist themselves from preaching and promoting NAMASMARAN in every possible way; as a matter of greatest privilege, golden opportunity and of top most priority.

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Non-surgical treatment for Uterine Fibroid & Adenomyosis by Uterine Artery Embolization
Non-surgical treatment for Uterine Fibroid & Adenomyosis by Uterine Artery Embolization

Uterine fibroids are the most frequent tumors of the female genital tract: Almost 77% women of childbearing age have a fibroid. And about 30% of uterine fibroids are associated with Adenomyosis (bulky / enlargement of uterus) an estimated 40% need treatment, many of whom are forced to go through emotional, physical and financial trauma of hysterectomy i.e. removal of uterus. Others survive on pain medications.

Adenomyosis are commonly misdiagnosed as fibroids, because the symptoms are similar. In India most of the patients still depend on their family doctors & consulting gynecologist for their complete medical information. While in USA & Europe, people now go through internet for getting best information & hence can chose the best possible treatment options.

Fibroids and Adenomyosis, they may cause:
1. Heavy, prolonged painful menstrual periods with clots lead to anemia.
2. Lower abdomen, back or leg pain.
3. Lower abdomen pressure or heaviness.
4. Bladder pressure leading to a constant urge to urinate.
5. Pressure on bowel, leading to constipation and bloating
6. Abnormally enlarged abdomen
For Fibroid and Adenomyosis (enlarged uterus / bulky uterus) many women unfortunately have to undergo hysterectomy (surgical removal of uterus) thinking that no other treatment is available for this.

Now a very effective & very patient-friendly non-surgical treatment is available for treatment of fibroids & adenomyosis called�Uterine Artery Embolization� is available that requires only 24 hrs hospitalization, no surgical scar on abdomen, short recovery than from hysterectomy or even laparoscopic surgery, all fibroids & adenomyosis are treated at one sitting, no blood loss or risk of blood transfusion, resolution of heavy bleeding in majority, within 24 hours. Emotionally, financially and physically � embolization has an overall advantage over major surgeries.

Dr. Pradeep Muley M.D. a Head & Senior Consultant Interventional Radiologist at Fortis Hospital, Vasant Kunj, New Delhi has made the India�s first UTERINE FIBROID CLUB for women who are suffering from uterine fibroids

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Lung cancer
Lung cancer has emerged as no one cancer in men in metros. The major reason being smoking.The incidence and prevalence is going to be higher and higher.
mangement of lung cancer has become extremely important and involves lot of skill. early stage lung cancer is operable,but we see less than 5% operable cancers. so our major problem is advnanced or localy advanced cancer. The management of this disease involves extremely skilled choice of drugs .What is more important is navigation between different lines of treatment.Multiple group of drugs are available but unless they are used in appppropirate fashion we can get best out o fthem Important factors are histopathology, status of the patient. For example if is adenocarcinoma one can start with pemetrexed. But for non adenocarcinoma the drug of choice would be gemcitabine carboplatin.One can think of targeted drugs but again in select group.

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Falling In Love Is The Best Arthritis Medicine Of All
Falling In Love Is The Best Arthritis Medicine Of All

Here's the good news: People with arthritis who go ahead and have sex, despite the pain in their joints, often report that their joints are pain-free for more than 6 hours afterward. Sexual arousal touches off a cascade of blissful hormonal changes, boosting the production of corticosteriod, a hormone that reduces pain and inflammation in the joints, as well as endorphins, the body's natural opiates. (By some lights, falling in love is the best arthritis medicine of all. Heart surgeon Christiaan Barnard, for instance, suffered from rheumatoid arthritis for years before he married a ravishing young woman named Barbara. "For several years after the wedding," he reported later in a book, "I virtually ceased to be a sufferer.")

Okay, now here's the bad news: About half of the Indians who suffer from some form of arthritis also complain that it interferes with their sex lives. In fact, people with rheumatoid arthritis, a severe form of the disease much more likely to affect women than men, have a higher divorce rate than people with most other kinds of chronic disease.

Some women with rheumatoid arthritis sail through menopause without a care while others experience a full menu of menopause symptoms: hot flashes, insomnia, mood swings, weight gain. Menopause can also increase symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, such as joint pain and fatigue.

There is actually a slight rise in new diagnoses of rheumatoid arthritis in women around the onset of menopause. The fact that menopause can aggravate rheumatoid arthritis symptoms are probably related to the body’s drop in estrogen, which is believed to affect rheumatoid arthritis. That may also be why pregnant women who have higher levels of estrogen while they're expecting may see their rheumatoid arthritis symptoms get better for a while.

Whether you've lived with rheumatoid arthritis for a while or just been diagnosed, menopause can pose new challenges to sex, intimacy, and overall well-being. You may feel that because menopause signals the end of fertility, it also means the end of sex. But women with rheumatoid arthritis can have a thriving sex life well past menopause. Work closely with your doctor, talk honestly with your partner, and try these strategies to help you move smoothly through this life passage.

Rheumatoid Arthritis, Menopause, and Vaginal Dryness
One of the first symptoms of menopause that many women experience is vaginal dryness. And it can be a special problem if you have Sjögren’s syndrome, a condition often seen with rheumatoid arthritis that includes eye, mouth, and vaginal dryness as well as fatigue and achiness. Vaginal dryness can make sex uncomfortable or even painful.

Lowered Sex Drive
Some women feel less interest in sex during or after menopause. That's true for some women even without rheumatoid arthritis. But living with rheumatoid arthritis can also stifle your libido. For example, if you take high doses of steroids to control inflammation, it may cause you to gain weight which in turn could make you feel less interested in sex.

Worrying about pain during sex can kill desire too. And your partner may hold back from sex out of fear of hurting you.

Not Tonight, Honey. I’ve Got Joint Pain.
Swollen and painful joints can put a damper on having sex, and menopause and aging can increase joint pain and stiffness in some women. For women who have relatively severe disease, finding a comfortable position for intercourse may be challenging. In some instances, when pain is especially severe, a woman may not even feel like having intercourse.

Talking to a doctor can also open up discussion between you and your partner. Discussing sex openly is critical. It gives you both a chance to air your fears and feelings, and can make your relationship stronger.

You Can Enjoy Sex

Here are some other ways to make sex more painless and pleasurable.
Get ready. An hour beforehand, take whatever pain-relieving medication you're using. Avoid painkilling narcotics or other drugs that have sex-inhibiting side effects. Corticosteroids, for instance, may relieve pain in men, but they also suppress erection.

Loosen up. While you relax and get in the mood, try doing a few gentle range-of-motion exercises to limber up your joints.

Warm up. Take a warm bath or shower in preparation- or better yet, invite your partner to join you. Turn it into a slow, soapy, delicious form of foreplay.

Stay toasty. Try an electric blanket- it may keep your limber while it keeps you warm. Or what about a heated waterbed? Some arthritis sufferers say it makes all the difference.

Don’t' forget to touch. Don't forget that physical love doesn't only mean intercourse- there's always kissing, hugging, caressing, stroking, massaging and a thousand other variations on the ecstasy of touch.

Lubricate. Some times women who have arthritis also suffer from Sjogren's syndrome, an unpleasant side effect that causes dryness of the mucous membranes around the eyes, mouth and vagina. It may help to use a germ-free, water-soluble suppository lubricant like K-Y Jelly, Lubrin or Steri-lube, which are available without a prescription in drugstores. (Petroleum jelly products and other oily substances should not be used, because they may harbor germs and cause infection.)

Experiment with times. Most people with rheumatoid arthritis have their most severe symptoms in the morning when they awaken. Symptoms are often lowest in midafternoon and tend to worsen later in the day. Try adjusting your timetable for lovemaking to coincide with the periods during which symptoms are less severe.

Experiment with positions. The usual missionary position may be very uncomfortable if the woman has arthritis in her hip or the man has it in his knee, leg or arm. The Arthritis Foundation puts out a nice little booklet about sex and arthritis called Living and Loving, which (among other things) describes seven positions likely to be more comfortable.

Reducing Fatigue
Menopause can increase fatigue, which you may already be feeling thanks to your rheumatoid arthritis. If that’s the case, the only thing you may want to do in bed is sleep. Menopause can also lead to insomnia, another problem for some women with rheumatoid arthritis.

Other tips: I suggests trying yoga, which may help with sleep, or talking to your doctor about a mild prescription sedative.

Intimacy and Depression
Depression is about twice as common in people who have rheumatoid arthritis as in people who don’t. It’s not uncommon to feel depressed by rheumatoid arthritis pain or by not being able to do some things that you used to do.

Menopause can also bring on or increase depression. Some women, with or without rheumatoid arthritis, find that it takes a toll on their self-image, making them feel old, less attractive sexually, and insecure. Often those feelings pass. But if you’re worried about depression or you're having severe menopause symptoms, you may want to talk to your doctor about antidepressants.

The benefits of antidepressants go beyond relieving sadness and anxiety: They may reduce menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes as well the pain of rheumatoid arthritis. However some antidepressants may reduce your libido, so talk to your doctor if this is a concern.

Get Moving to Get Through Menopause
One of the keys to having a healthy sex life during menopause and beyond is taking care of your overall health. Eating well, keeping your rheumatoid arthritis symptoms under control with medication, and getting enough vitamins and minerals are essential.

Menopause may be a good time to try yoga, if you haven’t before. It has shown promise in promoting joint health and emotional well-being, as well as reducing hot flashes.

The many benefits of exercise can also enhance self-image and that’s good for anyone’s sex life.

Sexual communication- letting your partner know what feels good and what doesn't- is so important. Good communication is important in any sexual relationship, of course, but when you've got arthritis hanging over the bed, there's a great potential for hurt feelings.

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