My young adult son has developed epididymitis which is possibly related to groin strain. What natural treatment would you recommend?
A. Epididymitis refers to a swelling of the epididymis tube, which connects the testicle to the vas deferens. Tenderness and pain are typically felt at the back of the testicle or scrotum, but this condition can also be experienced as groin pain. Other symptoms include redness, swelling, firmness, and increased heat in the area.
It may be that the groin strain symptoms were early signs of infection, however, if he does a lot of heavy lifting or exercises with weights then he may have developed non-bacterial epididymitis. This can happen as a result of urine being forced backwards into the epididymis when under extreme strain or pressure.
It is worth checking for bacterial infection, as this is the most common cause of epididymitis and can be easily treated. While many cases involve an infection in the reproductive system, it can also be triggered by nearby infection in another area – such as the urethra, bladder, prostate, or kidneys.
If your son is prone to urinary tract infections, then this is a likely cause, with E. coli being the most common bacteria responsible. Sexually transmitted diseases can also lead to epididymitis, so if he is sexually active and hasn’t yet ruled out the presence of an STD, then he should get tested.
While it may sound a little odd, your son would do well to rest with his pelvis raised in order to elevate the area of inflammation above heart level to reduce swelling and help blood flow. Warmth to the area can help with pain while applying something cool for brief intervals will help with inflammation.
In a case of non-bacterial epididymitis, then it is best to use natural anti-inflammatory remedies. Boswellia serrata can be used effectively in place of ibuprofen, since the active ingredient - boswellic acid - supports the vascular system and helps to relieve inflammation and help reduce vessel constriction. To relieve pain, your son will need to take 150mg, three times daily. Boswellia is recommended in the treatment of headaches, sports injuries, carpal tunnel syndrome, arthritic conditions, and menstrual cramps.
If the cause is bacterial infection then he should support his immune system with a herbal remedy utilising the naturally antibiotic herb goldenseal, and drink plenty of fluids to flush out his system. You can find goldenseal as a single herbal remedy, or as part of a natural combination to treat infection, such as Dr Christopher’s X-Ceptic formula.
It may be that the best course of action is for your son to take antibiotics if the infection is severe. If this is the case, then he will also need to support his intestinal flora using a probiotic supplement. He can still take the goldenseal or X-Ceptic remedy after a course of antibiotics for immune support.
I've noticed vertical ridges developing on some of the nails of my left hand. Is this a sign of a mineral deficiency? Or maybe it has to do with my age - I'm 60 years old.
You are quite right in your thinking that mineral deficiency could be the underlying cause of these ridges in your fingernails. Calcium and magnesium in particular are indicated when the ridges run vertically down the nails. This is typically a result of higher than usual levels of stress.
The other key factor in vertical nail ridges is hormonal changes due to the menopause.
When the nails are lacking in moisture, they tend to form vertical ridges. Oestrogen is an important hormone for the retention of moisture, which is why so many women experience dry hair, skin, and internal tissues as levels of this hormone drop off. Make sure that you are getting plenty of healthy fats in your diet, and take the time to massage a rich moisturising cream or oil into your nails and the nail bed morning and night.
The ideal ratio of calcium to magnesium is 2:1 with the recommended dosage of 800mg of calcium to 400mg of magnesium daily. Note that it takes around three months to grow a new nail, so it will take some time before you see the benefits.