From Our Readers – Comments & Suggestions 09-23-09

Finding a Therapist Practicing Iyengar Yoga for Low Back Pain

Re: The article – “Low Back Pain? Depressed? Special Yoga Helps More than Standard Medical Treatment, NIH-Funded Project Finds”

Q: I believe this would work for me. I've had low back pain for 30 years, and none of the Standard Medical Treatments have helped for more than approximately 30 minutes at a time. I bought a machine just recently that gently stretches the muscles in the back and lower back. I can tell a difference in just 3 weeks of using it only once a day. Therefore, I believe [this] Special Yoga would be wonderful for the low back pain, and you would get much more than just the one stretch. I'm anxious to find out where I can find a class in this close to my home. I believe it would be a back saver for me. I need help now… this sounds like the best option for me. Please let me know how I could find this Special Yoga. I want to sign up now ! – L

A: The type of yoga tested in the major NIH trial is known as Iyengar Yoga and is used especially by rehab therapists. The following sites may help those wishing to locate a therapist in Canada, the U.S., or the UK.

In the U.S., we found this site (, which allows you to search for teachers by state ( The site also features a little background on the woman who designed the NIH study, with a link to the article describing her earlier pilot study.

If you’re in Canada, the Iyengar Yoga Association of Canada might help ( They offer a list of 130 certified teachers in Canada with an e-mail link to each.

In the UK, you may find a practitioner through the Iyengar Yoga Association UK, and various regional centers offer informational websites.


Finding a Manual Lymph Drainage Therapist

Re: “Comparison of Manual Lymph Drainage Therapy and Connective Tissue Massage in Women With Fibromyalgia”

Q: I am a FM patient, and also a breast cancer patient. Unfortunately, I suffer with significant lymphedema in my left arm, and have done so since I had the tumor removed in June. There is a great deal of swelling, and while I wear a prescribed sleeve, it does not seem to do much good and the pain is terrible. The surgeon is not yet prepared to drain the area, wishing to wait a little longer.

I have been reading your article regarding "Manual Massage," and it is something that appeals to me. However, I live in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, and am wondering if you are aware of any therapists in our city/area other than the one listed in Toronto which is quite frankly too far for me to go to on a daily/weekly visit should it be required. – P

A: You may locate a registered massage therapist with lymphedema certification at this Canadian site: ( Scroll down to find phone numbers of Treatment Teams in Ontario (each is associated with a medical center), and perhaps one will be close enough to investigate. There is also a link at the bottom to lists of trained therapists, and basic information about the Lymphedema Clinics & Treatment Center.

For others wishing to locate a Manual Lymph Drainage therapist in a specific U.S. state or in any of 30 other countries, try searching this site. (Click on Therapist Directory.)

Another option is to post your question on the ProHealth Community Message Boards – on the FM, Cancer, and Alternative Therapies Message Boards, for example.


Confused by Different Vitamin D Test Recommendations

Q: I get confused by articles suggesting healthy levels of vitamin D in the blood – some talk about ng/ml and some about nmol/l. How can I convert one to the other?

A: Vitamin D experts advise that “Vitamin D levels should be monitored and contained within acceptable limits. These are thought to be 40 to 60 ng/ml [nanograms per milliliter] or 100 to 150 nmol/l [nanomoles per liter] of 25 (OH) Vitamin D. (Conversion ratio: 1ng/ml equal to 2.5nmol/l). Some recommend more.”


Fun Online Tutorial Helps to Understand & Pronounce Medical Words

For those of us who have trouble understanding some of the words that our doctors & other healthcare providers use. The National Library of Medicine has created a free, fun online tutorial ( that teaches about the words related to our health care. (“Sometimes even words you think you understand can have a different meaning to your doctor.”) It covers topics like abbreviations and how to break up medical words to understand them:

• Word Roots: The "root" of a medical word is often a body part, like "derm" (skin) in dermatitis.

• Beginnings and Endings: hyper- (above normal); hypo- (below normal), etc.

And much more. Can be very helpful. – T


Two-Minute Stomach Acid Test

Re: “Lack of Stomach Acid – Hypochlorhydria – Can Cause Lots of Problems”

There is a simple test for stomach acid: On an empty stomach, drink a glass of water into which you have dissolved one quarter teaspoon of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate). Look at a clock or your watch, and time how long it takes for you to burp. If you don't burp within two minutes, your stomach acid is low. – R


Quinoa is a Great Grain for a Gluten-Free Diet – My Recipe

I love quinoa, which is actually a seed rather than a grain although it seems like a grain when cooked. It has complete protein and is gluten free. It also provides good amounts of magnesium, fiber, and iron. Here's a link to a food nutrition site I like:

I buy quinoa from the bulk section of Whole Foods. It has a natural protective coating with a bitter taste, so you have to rinse it thoroughly before cooking. I bought a very fine strainer for this purpose because the grains fell through the strainers I already had.

Here's how I cook it. You use a ratio of 1 part quinoa to 2 parts water or broth.
1. After thoroughly rinsing the quinoa, place in a large skillet.
2. Dry toast by heating the quinoa without oil or water until it smells toasty. This is an optional step. I think it improves the taste.
3. Add the liquid and bring to a boil. I also add a little sea salt.
4. Cover and simmer until all the water is absorbed.

After it's cooked you can eat it as is or let it cool a bit and use it for a salad. I like to let it cool some and then add a strong lemon and garlic vinaigrette. I also add a green such as parsley, arugula, or watercress and garnish it with nuts. – J


Study Linking Hives to Fibromyalgia

Re: "Chronic urticaria [hives] is usually associated with fibromyalgia syndrome"

Fascinating. I never would have thought of connecting the hives I get when it gets too warm (for me) with fibromyalgia. Just when I think I've got this crazy disease figured out it throws me another curve. Interesting connection. – N

I started breaking out in hives in May. I have had Fibromyalgia for twenty years so I did not make the connection between the hives and fibromyalgia. I just thought something else was going on. I have gone through 8 tubes of lanacaine in four months and am going to get tested for allergies. I have done a lot of research on fibromyalgia. Hives is not something I had come across before. I am writing a book on the subject. I guess I just got another chapter! – M


Online Archive of Helpful Presentations on Living with Chronic Illness

September 14-18 was Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week. It is sponsored annually by Rest Ministries, an organization founded by Lisa Copen that serves the chronically ill. This year a web-based radio conference featured 20 live seminars on aspects of living with chronic illness by leading advocates. To hear these archived presentations, go to

Examples Include:

• “Helping Others Understand Your Pain,” with Karen Lee Richards

• “Applying and Winning Disability Assistance When You are Chronically Ill,” with Attorney Scott Davis

• “Surgery Preparation,” with Curtis Dean Hall

• “Being a Teenager with a Chronic Illness,” with Naomi Kingery
– M


Xylitol Toxic to Dogs

Re: ProHealth’s new probiotic product for dental and gum health (EvoraPlus™), which contains the non-sugar sweetener xylitol.

Please let customers know that the natural sugar-free sweetener Xylitol is quite detrimental to dogs. Some dog owners give their pets probiotics thinking they are all the same. Thank you for your attention. – J

Note: You are correct. Never feed anything sweetened with xylitol to dogs, as they metabolize it differently than humans do and may be harmed by it (as is the case with chocolate). In canine metabolism, xylitol causes a drastic increase in insulin secretion, quickly causing blood sugar to plummet and potentially causing collapse, seizures, and liver failure. The exact toxic dose is unknown.


Depression/Suicide Hotlines, Help Sites

Here is the toll free number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline in the US: 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or call 911

In the UK: HopeLine UK: 0870 170 4000 or call your emergency number equivalent to 911 (I think it's 999 there)

Also, here are some really good websites for discussion, information and help. (in Canada) This site also has a quick-link to phone numbers of all the Crisis Centres in the country. (US, teen suicide prevention experts) (Suicide Awareness Voices of Education) (in the UK) Prevention of Youth Suicide
From their website:
"The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a 24-hour, toll-free suicide prevention service available to anyone in suicidal crisis. If you need help, please dial 1-800-273-TALK (8255). You will be routed to the closest possible crisis center in your area.

”With over 120 crisis centers across the country, our mission is to provide immediate assistance to anyone seeking mental health services. Call for yourself, or someone you care about. Your call is free and confidential.

”Para obtener asistencia en español durante las 24 horas, llame al 1-888-628-9454

”Why should I call the Lifeline? From immediate suicidal crisis to information about mental health, crisis centers in our network are equipped to take a wide range of calls. Some of the reasons to call 1-800-273-TALK are listed below. – Call to speak with someone who cares – Call if you feel you might be in danger of hurting yourself – Call to find referrals to mental health services in your area – Call to speak to a crisis worker about someone you're concerned about."

(Edited to add UK information and to reorganize website info.) Please keep safe! – N

__________________________________________ has Added a Multiple Sclerosis Message Board

In response to requests from Message Board users, ProHealth has created a Multiple Sclerosis Message Board, bringing the number of boards to 31.


Type 1 Diabetes after 50?

Re: Letter from woman diagnosed with type 2 diabetes after age 50, asking if she’s unique.

You probably have LADA (Latent Autoimmune Diabetes in Adults) or type 1.5. That is usually what it is when developed late in life. Most often it is thought to be type 2, only thing is that oral meds do not work. Insulin is a must. I have been type 1 for 55 years… It hasn't bothered me ever. I have had 2 healthy children and it has never kept me from doing anything that I have ever wanted to do. I have been on an insulin pump since 1997. They are simply awesome! – H
Note: This information has not been evaluated by the FDA. It is generic and anecdotal and is not meant to prevent, diagnose, treat, ameliorate or cure any illness, condition, or disease. It is very important that you make no change in your healthcare plan or health support regimen without researching and discussing it in collaboration with your professional healthcare team.

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