New studies reinforce dangers
For the second time in three years, rosiglitazone, a substance used in medicines for type 2 diabetes (known as non-insulin dependent), was associated with increased heart problems. One possibility that is on the table is to remove this circulating molecule.

New studies will be evaluated between now and tomorrow by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the US agency responsible for the evaluation of medicinal products in the United States. The European Medicines Agency (EMEA), regulator of the European market, also announced that it will start to re-evaluate “the risk-benefit balance” of this substance at the next group meeting, to be held between 19 and 22 July. In Portugal, the molecule which serves to increase the sensitivity to insulin is present as isolated only one drug: Avandia, GlaxoSmithKline. However, also in the composition of the Avandamet (rosiglitazone and metformin) and Avaglim (glimepiride and rosiglitazone) of the same pharmaceutical.

Infarmed – Drug National Authority said in response to PUBLIC, that “in the last ten years have been registered with the Infarmed seven reports of suspected mild or moderate adverse reactions” to Avandia, but “none were related to the occurrence of cardiac events” .

Also the president of the Portuguese Society of Diabetology explained that “these drugs are less and less used,” especially in patients with diabetes for several years or cardiovascular disorders problems. José Manuel Boavida assured that there are alternatives on the market which are safe and effective, as is the case of pioglitazone, but warned that the molecule of Glaxo is especially important in the case of young patients or prediabetic – a group in which pioglitazone not yet proven to be as effective, he said. The last time the EMEA evaluated the cardiovascular safety of rosiglitazone included more precautions in their prescription in cases of “patients with ischemic heart disease and / or peripheral arterial disease” and “acute coronary syndrome, as some types of angina and myocardial infarction, due to the fact that this drug has not been subjected to controlled clinical trials in this particular patient group. ”

Thus, according to the PUBLIC it managed to ascertain, it is difficult to further restrict use of the drug on the market since 1999, so that a decision can spend for its ban. The US decision is not binding on Portugal, but influences the EMEA. In 2007, a 42 studies meta-analysis published in the New England Journal of Medicine highlighted the association between rosiglitazone and cardiovascular complications, noting that the drug increases more 40 percent the risk and had already caused more than 80,000 heart attacks.

There has, however, a change of address now being the stronger focus on heart failure (chronic disease) than myocardial infarction (acute situation, and commonly known as a heart attack). This is the case of the 700-page document published last week on the FDA website. Meanwhile, GlaxoSmithKline UK, said in a statement reinforced by Murray Stewart, vice president of the lab, the drug is safe: “Since 2007 we examined results of six clinical trials that tested the cardiovascular safety of Avandia and proved that this drug does not increase the risk of heart attack, stroke or death. “stable Sales Avandia is part of the group of simple glitazones, ie the drugs that reduce insulin resistance. According to data provided to the PUBLIC by the consultant IMS Health Portugal – which, however, not only isolate this medicine – from July 2009 to June this year were sold by wholesalers to pharmacies almost 172,000 packs of this group, which corresponds to a volume of business six million euros. In the same period in 2009 were sold 161 681 packaging and July 2007 to June 2008 were 151,181. In 2008, the last year for which data were disclosed isolated, were sold only 23,000 packages of Avandia.


Service returns hearing the baby with profound deafness and back to enter his name in the history of Portuguese medicine

It is a pioneering intervention in Portugal: the team of Otorhinolaryngology (ORL) of the Coimbra Hospital Centre (CHC, EPE) held this week the first cochlear implant in a child under the age of one year.

The intervention, which will return the hearing to a 11-month baby with profound deafness, so back to register the name CHC service, EPE in the history of Portuguese medicine.

“Cochlear implantation in children under one year of age is an important milestone. The sooner the child is deployed, the sooner your hearing and your neurons are stimulated, and therefore be better able to develop language skills, “advances the director of HCC of the ENT Service, EPE, Carlos Ribeiro.

Moreover, the same expert explains, “If the deployment is not early enough, the child may never fully recover their ability to understand and use language.”

Deploy a child under one year is, however, a process “very complex”, underlines Carlos Ribeiro. “Surgery is only part of a much longer process from the screening, through early diagnosis, for the clarification of the parents and the definition of the implant is in fact the best option for the child, and not a prosthesis hearing, for example. Now able to meet all these phases of the protocol in such a short space of time and with such a small child, is only possible with a technically evolved multidisciplinary team, “he stresses.

This is the first time in Portugal that a child under one year of age receive a cochlear implant. Until then, the youngest child within, the Hospital Centre of Coimbra, this procedure had already 16 months old.
“The realization of this surgery is the corollary of the efforts of a large number of professionals from very different fields: ENT , Anesthesia, Audiology, Speech Therapy, Pediatrics, Neuroradiology and genetics among others.

Moreover, the surgical procedure itself has complexity increased, because it is a child of age and reduced weight, which is a challenge from the technical point of view but also from a medical point of view and with regard to anesthesia “said Carlos Ribeiro.

The ORL Service of the CHC, EPE, back well to make history in Portuguese medicine, after having been a pioneer, with the double surgeons Manuel Filipe Rodrigues and Fernando Rodrigues, in cochlear implantation in Portugal of adults (1985) and children (1992). To date, it has performed 352 cochlear implants in children.

It is further recalled that the service, already under the direction of Carlos Ribeiro, was also responsible for carrying out the first hybrid cochlear implant in the country in 2009, an intervention that made the Portuguese medicine was for the first time, able to respond regardless of the level of a patient deafness.


Three years after the regulation of the voluntary interruption of pregnancy Act (IVG), some women still resort to clandestine abortion embarrassed to go to health services or because they missed the legal deadline.

However, “that the answer to the National Health Service (NHS) has made ​​it possible to resolve practically the problem of illegal abortion, which is a health gain quite large and in dignity,” he told Lusa the Executive Director the Association for Family Planning (APF). “But we know that there are still illegal abortion practices” in Portugal, said Duarte Vilar, who was speaking to Lusa the purpose of the third year of the publication of the rules of the law of IVG, marked today. Some women even resort to illegal abortions do so because they exceeded the legal period for termination of pregnancy (ten weeks), explained Duarte Vilar, who considers “short” this time in relation to other European legislation ranging up to 12 or 14 weeks. Although most of the applications they fit within ten weeks, argues that “it would be to consider extending the period of the law up to 12 weeks.” Duarte Vilar also said that there are women who resort to unsafe abortion by “lack of health culture and lack the appeal of health services. “” There are women who prefer to use self abortion methods such as drugs, than go to health services, “often out of shame. However, he said,” most Women who want to terminate a pregnancy has had an adequate response by the health service. “


The formation of warts is the most characteristic and frequent manifestation of HPV infection.
Cervical cancer is the most serious consequence of infection by HPV (Human Papilloma Virus), the high-risk virus, particularly serotypes 16 and 18, referred to in the previous article, they are responsible for most cases of this type of cancer.

The types of cancer that are somehow associated with HPV include: cancer of the cervix, anus, vulva, penis and head and neck. Of these, the most important (in the sense that it was one in which is found a higher correlation rate to infection) is cancer of the cervix, considering that 95% of cases or more, are due to HPV .

The transformation into malignant cells is a slow process, and occurs in people who have persistent infection and for a long time. However, this infection can not be associated with events such as warts, which justify the need for regular screening tests.

Regarding the most common signs and symptoms of HPV, the majority of cases the infection with HPV have no symptoms. The virus can however lie dormant in the body for long without manifest, although it can be transmitted. In certain situations, such as during pregnancy or a higher stress phase, in which immune suppression occurs, the virus may develop in different forms.

The formation of warts is the most characteristic and frequent manifestation of HPV infection, the warts are benign hyperproliferative lesions called papillomas also. However, different HPV subtypes are responsible for preferential infection in different areas, being able to cause various diseases.

Warts are usually caused by cutaneous subtypes such as HPV-1 and HPV-2, and may occur in places such as the hands, feet and face, among others. The virus transmission form includes casual contact with infected areas, may occur autoinoculation (spread) to new areas in the same person. This type of expression is often associated with younger individuals, and does not appear to be related to an increased risk for cancer.

The Condyloma acuminata or genital wart is an STD (sexually transmitted disease). There are more than 30 HPV variants that infect the genital region, although the types 6 and 11 are primarily responsible for about 90% of cases and can cause warts on the vulva, penis and anus. These warts occur chiefly in adult populations and sexually active, being more frequent in women (roughly two-thirds of cases).

The respiratory papillomatosis is a rare event which originates the formation of warts along the respiratory tract and can cause obstruction to air passage, forcing the applicants surgical interventions for its excision. Affects infants, children and adults and can be fatal. A child can develop respiratory papillomatosis if the mother is infected with HPV types 6 and 11, passing the infection to the child during delivery.


There are issues that, out of fear, lack of courage or shame, many people are afraid to ask. Experts respond to questions which can also be its
Fear of the diagnosis of a disease, embarrassed to discuss certain topics and unfounded myths related to health are some of the reasons that prevent many patients try to answer your questions in a medical consultation. In various specialties, regardless of the patient’s sex, the reality repeats itself. To end the doubts once and for all, we bring together two experts who agreed to answer questions sometimes difficult to do. Take this opportunity.

Why I wake in the morning with bad breath?

“The causes of bad breath are very varied. You may be suffering from problems in the oral cavity, the area of ​​the sinuses, the respiratory tract or digestive preview. During the night, often in the form of breathing causes dryness of the nasal and oral mucosa. Also taking medications or gastroesophageal reflux may contribute to this condition, “explains Pedro Vale do Lobo, general practitioner, who adds that” good oral hygiene before bedtime or saline into the nostrils can help. ”

Avoid taking drug because of side effects. I can feel all the reactions that appear on the label?

“No. The drug name implies by the health and medical authorities that the notion of your prescription is more beneficial to the health of those who take it than to those who do not. Some people have allergic and / or side effects reactions, but it is a smaller group. The physician should ask the patient about any allergic reactions before prescribing a drug. The prior reading of the bull is essential, “explains Pedro Vale do Lobo, a specialist in general medicine.

After the first few days I forget to take the drugs. It is severe?

“It may possibly be serious if the product has a specific period of effect, since the lack of take can cause complete lack of substance in the body. For example, if you do not take the pill one day there is the possibility of an unwanted pregnancy, but there are cases, such as tablets osteoporosis, where the failure of one day taking in is not a problem, ‘says Peter Vale do Lobo.

After the birth of my son, I lost sexual desire. Is it normal?

“Motherhood is at the center of the feminine universe and the birth of a child is something fantastic, but we must contextualize the family, the relationship with their partner. The baby care should be shared, family tasks must be reorganized because children require attention, but the marital relationship can not be undervalued. We must be rational and reserve space and time for life together, “advises Daniel Pereira da Silva, gynecologist.

I have a strange feeling of tiredness as repeatedly tired Agreement and without reason. Am I sick?

“If the feeling appeared suddenly and without apparent cause, you should consult your doctor for observation and a check-up. If the situation is due to some repair and insufficient sleep, overwork or physical and mental activity, the more fragile emotional state, should fill those circumstances to reverse the situation, “explains the general medicine doctor Pedro Vale do Lobo.

My partner has difficulties in having sex. How should I react?

“You can be in the presence of an erectile dysfunction”, alert the urologist Thomas Lopes. «It must talk openly about it and make your partner look quickly expert advice. This is usually done by a urologist and engagement to perform specific tests. Currently there are simple and highly effective treatments for this problem, “further explains the expert.

Usually I have hemorrhoids and feel unease when I go to the bathroom. What should I do?

“The piles are varicose veins in the anal area. Some foods should be avoided, such as pepper or olives. The intestinal transit should be as normal as possible, contributing to this fiber intake. Diarrhea or constipation can contribute to the worsening of this condition. It is important to have a proper diagnosis because, often, blood in the stool can be a sign of other more serious problems, such as rectal cancer ‘, says Peter Vale do Lobo.

My husband refuses to take the exam of the prostate. How can I convince you?

“By informing him that the exams for regular evaluation of the prostate are simple and easy to do. They include a blood test is the PSA (prostate specific antigen) and the observation of the prostate via digital rectal examination.The greatest fear of man is the digital rectal examination. It should be clarified that this examination performed by an experienced physician is simple, painless and very fast execution, “says Thomas Lopes, urologist.


Pancreatic cancer is one of the cancers that has increased since 2002. Ana Castro, medical expert in oncology, warning that it takes more investment in prevention.

At a time are known to data released by Eurostat of the 28 countries of the European Union, concerning cancer mortality, it is urgent to create and effective implementation of health policies, to enable primary care to the appropriate screenings, base population, and identify risk groups in which to strengthen surveillance for certain type of oncological pathologies, which would otherwise only be diagnosed late.

These new data highlight that come pancreatic cancer, as has already been reported by Globocan, is one of the cancers that has increased since 2002 and is expected to maintain this trend in the coming years. To this contribute a less healthy lifestyle with excessive consumption of fat and alcohol, smoking, diabetes and increasing life expectancy (the most common cancer in people 65 years and older).

Fourth most deadly cancer

Eurostat highlights the mortality of pancreatic cancer, compared with other types of cancer and is indicated as the fourth most deadly cancer – is 78 000 of all deaths associated with cancer. The Statistics Office also points out that Portugal remains a growing trend with regard to mortality from colon cancer, which unlike breast cancer, reflects a population-based screening policy still insufficient.

Based on the latest recommendations of the Health General Directorate on the Cancer Diseases should work to greater investment in conducting population-based surveys and that this should be made a priority.

One way to minimize the increasing pancreatic cancer, as there is no way to scientifically proven screening, may pass through the identification of risk groups and promotion of a monitoring plan for primary health care, in the sense that we can act on early diagnosis and decrease the number of patients with metastatic disease at diagnosis, where it is harder we can intervene successfully.

Although the exact causes are unknown pancreatic cancer, investigations have revealed that individuals with certain risk factors are more likely to develop this cancer. Given these investigations, the factors that can help identify and monitor more closely the risk groups are for example: smoking, high-fat diet, pancreatitis (hereditary or not), diabetes, excessive alcohol consumption.

The General Directorate of Health states that should be developed a set of comprehensive measures in different areas such as smoking cessation and dietary behaviors, which are still undervalued but that in the future may contribute to stabilizing the structural fabric of the health system.

Tobacco and cancer

In this same report is made to the reference impact of smoking on the development of pancreatic cancer, as referred to 30,8% of cases of pancreatic cancer in men is due to smoking.

Given the difficulty of early diagnosis and lack of screening tools, prevention is essential, and can be reinforced by health education and the risk of people monitoring in primary care, with a properly established plan.

In pancreatic cancer if early diagnosis is essential and makes all the difference in the therapeutic plan and purpose of each patient.


We put to the test some beliefs that many people still have to be true. Check out already withstood the scientific knowledge

Your safety is guaranteed 24 hours a day, an extremely intelligent army. It called immune system and defends the body from virus attacks, bacteria and fungi. Comprised by blood and lymphatic system, is welded listed as phagocytes, T cells and antibodies, proteins and cells that circulate in the body fluids. And rather than blindly attack, able to distinguish foreign organisms of friends cells. Its effectiveness depends mainly on the genetic inheritance, but can be influenced by lifestyle. You know what to do to help?

1. We must stimulate the immune system?

No, it’s a myth! Stimulate the immune system too much is as bad as not encouraging at all, both situations can lead to disease. For example, subjecting a child to recurrent infections can lead to disease, but protect it too prevents the immune system to learn how to defend itself against threats. The aim is to regulate and not stimulate the immune system. Contact with nature and have a varied diet, not sterile, early on, help you find that balance.

Stimulate the immune system too much is as bad as not encouraging at all, both situations can lead to disease. For example, subjecting a child to recurrent infections can lead to disease, but protect it too prevents the immune system to learn how to defend itself against threats. The aim is to regulate and not stimulate the immune system.Contact with nature and have a varied diet, not sterile, early on, help you find that balance.

2. Good nutrition helps fend off disease?

Yes it’s true! A varied diet, rich in fresh produce and non-sterile outweighs any dietary supplement, since foods contain many nutrients that work together to promote health. For example, fruit and vegetables are rich in antioxidant nutrients like vitamins C and E, beta carotene, zinc and selenium. Avoid periods of fasting, and drinking alcohol and foods high in sugar and fat.

3. The more I exercise, I am more protected?

No at all! Besides promoting the release of endorphins, hormones associated with well-being, regular physical exercise increases the level of leukocytes, a blood cell that fights infections. However, prolonged strenuous exercise and depresses the immune system. Walking three or more times a week may be sufficient.

4. Can I get a flu or a cold floor for the cold?

This is another myth! It is natural to make membership in the cold, as it is during the winter that usually arise flu outbreaks and that the decrease in body temperature affect the immune response. In fact, flu and colds are caused by viruses, which survive longer when the temperature and ultraviolet radiation are low, but the spread occurs through contact with air or contaminated surfaces. For example, to go places with poor air circulation and touch the face after giving a handshake. To protect yourself, take the flu vaccine, avoid enclosed spaces and wash your hands regularly.

5. If walking stressed or tired, get sick more easily?

Is true! Hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline, released when we are under stress, modify the immune system.During deep sleep, the body releases substances that strengthen, so it is important to sleep well. Heart and hypertension problems are associated with chronic stress and in the long term, the deficit of sleep is associated with increased risk of diabetes and obesity.

6. Outdoor Walking strengthens my defenses?

Yes, it stresses. Take therefore the outdoors. People exposed to natural light (sun) are less vulnerable to infections than those who live and work with artificial light. Laugh and have a stimulating social network is also beneficial.


New Year, improved hearing! This is the objective of GAES – Hearing Centers, entering the spirit of the typical promises January and proposes a set of auditory resolutions that promise to improve hearing.
1. Ask your doctor to clean his ears: sometimes is enough to improve hearing. Use sharp objects worsens the situation and many experts disagree with the use of cotton swabs.

2. Always have a pair of earplugs with you: this way, when in noisy environments or if you feel uncomfortable, you can protect your hearing.

3. Coffee is an ally: a recent study conducted by Brigham and Women’s Hospital indicates the possibility that the intake of coffee reduces the risk of suffering from tinnitus. Women who consumed about one cup of coffee and half of caffeine per day had 15% more likely to suffer from tinnitus, than that consumed about three cups of coffee per day, the experts concluded. The caffeine stimulates the central nervous system, and previous research has shown that caffeine has a direct effect on the inner ear.

4. definitely Give up smoking and stay away from environments with a lot of smoke: a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association points out that the more a person is exposed to cigarette smoke, the more likely to have hearing loss later. Furthermore, smoking during pregnancy affect the fetus and has been associated with increasing hearing loss in adolescents whose mothers smoked while pregnant.

5. Exercise: the truth is that its benefits go far beyond the aesthetic aspect. Fit people tend to suffer less from hearing problems since aerobic exercise increases the flow of oxygen in the system and improves blood circulation to the ears.

6. Eat healthily: a Swedish study showed that a diet restricted calories has a positive effect on hearing, as well as slow down the signs of aging. Also: low magnesium levels may negatively influence the hearing, so bet on foods like avocado, spinach, oats, seeds … Likewise, researchers studied the relationship between various lifestyle factors and sudden deafness, and found that patients They had the habit to eat fresh vegetables daily, more than once daily, had the lowest risk for hearing loss.

7. Enjoy a glass of wine or beer: without exaggeration, the moderate alcohol intake may protect against hearing loss related to age, while drinking excessively has precisely the opposite effect.

8. Turn down the volume: the too loud music increases the risk of suffering from hearing loss. 31% of the Portuguese population, according to a study conducted by GAES, admits that the volume used in headphones is too high, increasing the risk of suffering hearing loss. Continued exposure to loud sounds [above 85 decibels (dB)], can lead to deafness.

9. Drink milk: calcium and vitamin D in milk are essential to keep all the healthy bones of the body and this includes the bones in the ear, especially the cochlea.

10. Make a hearing diagnosis once a year: in this way can outwit any hearing loss.


Portugal is one of the few countries with laws that values ​​seven non-conventional therapies. Learn about and get to know the opinion of experts that recommend
The true calling of non-conventional therapies are in the therapeutic partnership and holistic doctors and therapists can create thinking about what is best for us. The experts we talked with have already found. “The Portuguese legislation is of the few in the world which includes seven non-conventional therapies [acupuncture, herbal medicine, homeopathy, naturopathy, osteopathy, chiropractic, traditional Chinese medicine]. In 2003, the law that legalized six of them was published and in 2013 added one more unconventional therapy [traditional Chinese medicine], ‘says Pedro Ribeiro da Silva, anesthesiologist.

“For the regulation to be concluded, it was still necessary to publish several ordinances that establish, for example, the conditions of offices, insurance, cycles of undergraduate studies, professional certificate … Most of these ordinances has been published, being the next of its termination process “further states the expert, the Lifestyle Division Healthy of Health General Directorate member. It is thus open the way for the consolidation of joint work between Western medicine and non-conventional therapies .

“Western medicine is more biomedical said, while unconventional better understand the join relationship between body and mind and take into account the fact that we are an energy body and energy imbalances can cause disease.More and more doctors to take this approach, although many still think that this is of the spiritual realm, ‘says Mario Cordeiro, one of the leading national pediatricians who, along with other experts we talked with, applaud their potential.

When alternative therapies are an ally

Helena Pinto Ferreira, medical specialist in family medicine, believes that complementary therapies have positive results “in the late 70s, at the end of medical school, I had contact with the Eastern philosophies that had an approach more generally disease , which led me to study acupuncture. During this journey, I contacted with colleagues from several European countries where other complementary approaches were more widespread, such as homeopathy, osteopathy, medicinal plants, some still little known in Portugal. ”

“The positive experience that instilled in me in relation to the advantage of its complementarity with conventional medicine enthused me and wanted to know more,” he complained. “Their usefulness has been positive, especially in certain chronic diseases, patients who take multiple drugs or in situations where conventional treatment is not satisfactory. The benefits depend on the type of treatment and the degree of the disease “, emphasizes the expert.

“But, for the treatment of pain, for example, acupuncture is more effective and has the advantage, allowing to reduce drug therapy, which is very important especially in patients who already take multiple medications due to other health problems,” stresses, Yet. “When conventional therapy does not provide satisfactory results can be beneficial to use unconventional therapy. But each case has to be assessed, it is difficult to give examples. Some studies have been conducted to evaluate the cost / benefit ratio of some complementary therapies by some insurers in European countries, namely the Netherlands and Switzerland, “he says.

The advantages and disadvantages of recourse to these techniques

The results show that patients treated by physicians who, beyond the conventional approach used one or more additional therapeutic lived longer consumed less medicines and fewer resorted to hospitals. “The treatment that has proved cheaper was homeopathy. The low frequency of adverse effects is also another advantage, “says Helena Pinto Ferreira. But not everything is positive. The disadvantages also exist.

“They hold up with the lack of clinical trials to prove its effectiveness and leads to distrust by many doctors, although there is already an extensive literature where the proof of therapeutic action there, but especially in pre-clinical trials. Acupuncture is the most studied therapy and more clinical studies demonstrating evidence in some clinical situations. There are, however, still a long way to go ‘, considers the expert.

“The risk is greater when these unconventional therapies are practiced by professionals who are not doctors when there is no previous diagnosis and may delay proper treatment of diseases that do not improve with these therapies, ‘says yet. Mario Cordeiro, pediatrician, believes in the effectiveness of osteopathy, acupuncture, traditional Chinese medicine, homeopathy. “I have always followed the evolution of non-conventional therapies and believed in its potential,” he points yet.

External influences

“The experience with my father, also a pediatrician, along with the study of human behavior and the holistic view that I received in college led me to understand that complementary therapies had an important role, since it worked with minimal scientific basis , common sense and qualified professionals. I turn often to osteopathy, acupuncture, traditional Chinese medicine and homeopathy. Often alone, for example in congenital torticollis or baby plagicefalia, “says the expert.

“And would strongly advise in situations of muscle strains, stress, sinus infections and diseases of the respiratory disorders … The various medicines can be articulated, but depends on the case and it should never be forgotten.What can harm the patient is the fact that various medicines observe a competitive behavior and assuming as alternatives to each other. Still, the most worrying is that there are bad professionals. The lack of regulation, there are many charlatans to engage in health, particularly in television programs’, also highlights.

Traditional medicine or alternative medicine?

Neither concepts. Mario Cordeiro, pediatrician, explains why, for the good of the patient, the dynamic between doctor and therapist should be based on logic rather ‘complementary’. “The complementarity between Western medicine and non-conventional therapies should always be analyzed case by case. Must be taken, however, very careful that people do not feel they have to choose to either. Unfortunately, their backs among many professionals with faults on both sides, eventually lead to this, and a clear case is the fact that many people use the alternative name ‘he says.

“The traditional terms or conventional are also erroneous, Chinese medicine, for example, is much older than Western medicine said,” emphasizes the expert. “There is already a predisposition of the user or therapist forcomplementarity between conventional medicine and non-conventional therapies, a fundamental attitude to distinguish between good and bad professionals. I hope that gradually find themselves in hospitals, health centers and clinics the various professional team, “he says.

“There is a lot to have this experience as a physician and know the benefits it brings. Also as user have the best to say of individuals, notably osteopaths, acupuncturists, doctors of Chinese medicine, massage therapists, homeopaths, among others, who have treated me» he says. Pedro Lobo Valley, doctor specializing in family medicine believes in the efficacy of herbal medicine, acupuncture and osteopathy. “It was still a medical student when contacted with therapeutic techniques such as herbal medicine, dietary supplements and dietary” he says.

The power of plants

Pedro Lobo Valley continues to parade memories. “I had a taste for travel and uncovered spaces Reformhaus in Germany, a type of store that did not exist in Portugal and offered very different and interesting options for the well-being,” he recalls. “One can, for example, help prevent constipation while taking echinacea, vitamin C and vitamin D, as well as in some cases of anxiety, hypericum perforatum and valerian turn out to be effective”, assures .

“The intake of a food supplement based valerian and melatonin can be useful, for example, in the case of a person in need of conventional therapy for hypertension, suffering from insomnia case much concurrent state. When the patient does not require surgical treatment for back pain, the use of turmeric-based supplements, glucosamine, chondroitin and the intervention of an osteopath will surely useful. And recurrent urinary tract infections benefit, in terms of prevention, taking cranberry red, ‘says yet.

“No, in other cases, the existence of fewer side effects, relative to drug therapies” is another advantage of pointing. “For example, there musculoskeletal situations where osteopathy can put the various elements of the osteoarticular system in its correct position, relieving tension and pain. Since acupuncture is useful in situations where the patient suffers from pain, such as neuralgia and other citalgias’ stresses.

Safety rules to take into account

A rule gold to the untreated conventional chosen is appropriate is to carry out a correct diagnosis which warnsPedro Lobo’s Valley, just happens “to experience clinic who recommended therapy is the proper. Physicians whouse or seek complementary therapies for patients must have knowledge of both. And the complementary techniques should be practiced by technical schools recognized to ensure their knowledge about pharmacology and therapeutic conventional ‘.

Benefits to public health

“Public health can benefit from the interaction between the various approaches.” So says Pedro Ribeiro da Silva, a physician and member of the Division of Healthy Life Styles of the Directorate General of Saúde. “There are diverse needs in that complementarity between the different approaches can be beneficial for the treatment and healing,” bails. The doctor ensures there benefits for public health with this interaction, subject to compliance with different practices, always acting on behalf of the patient, health promotion and disease prevention.

“For example, I attended a conference on production of a maxillofacial surgeon, the port, which operates very painful cases, such as cancers, in which the effective anesthesia is essential. There are people who can not be anesthetized by conventional processes and, in these situations, the surgeon has been working with an acupuncturist who interferes with the anesthesia and whose action has been successful ever “, ensures it.

3 situations where the alternative medicine is not the solution:

-Chronic diseases

“In urgent cases or conditions with tight medical supervision, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, infectious, and others where there is organ damage. Can be relieved some symptoms associated but always complementary and under regular medical supervision “, considers Helena Pinto Ferreira, doctor.

– Serious diseases

“There are cancer patients who want to avoid chemotherapy or radiotherapy and indulge in the hands of therapies that, however well-being that give, not directly fight the problem”, says Mario Cordeiro, pediatrician.

– Acute Diseases

alternative therapies are not solution ‘cases of acute conditions, serious including appendicitis, pneumonia, tuberculosis or required surgical treatment of pathologies », indicates Pedro Lobo Valley.

Glossary of alternative medicines


It consists in the manual application of needles in the skin which may also be triggered by electrical impulses.Allows “modulate the function of the nervous system, endocrine system, immune system and exocrine glands, ‘says the Portuguese Medical Society of Acupuncture.


Ancient technique that has its application in active ingredients of plant origin. It uses plants and some of its components to obtain a correct stabilization of the body.


It is governed by four principles, the law of similars, experimentation in healthy people, the infinitesimal dosage and unique medicine. “It consists of giving the patient in small doses, a substance which, administered to a healthy person, reproduce the symptoms observed,” describes the Homeopathic Society of Portugal.

Traditional Chinese medicine

Studies the energy balance of the human body. Born in China for thousands of years and groups a set of diverse practices as, for example, acupuncture or use of products derived from plants.


It has the purpose of keeping structural body particularly in terms of tissues such as joints, muscles, ligaments, and others. The technique used is in the hands of the therapist your tools with a view to eliminating the problem and identification of its origin.


Genetic in origin, this very rare disease, which belongs to the group of mucopolysaccharides storage disorders, has no cure. In Portugal affects 15 people
Morquio syndrome type A is an inherited disease of metabolism, extremely rare, chronic, progressive, debilitating and increased morbidity and mortality. It is usually diagnosed in early childhood, each affected individual differently and with varying rates of disease progression and involvement of organs. The new and unique therapy was approved at European level by the European Medicines Agency in April 2014 but in Portugal in early 2015, providing reimbursement process is ongoing, awaiting the opinion of Infarmed.

This therapy is exclusively hospital administration, weekly intravenously on day hospital regime. Like other lysosomal therapies, it has a very high cost, with full refund. Speaking to Prevent, Paula Garcia, Hospital Child Development Center Service pediatrician Coimbra, explains the problem of difficulties in diagnosis, the complications that the disease causes and treatments that already exist for the disease, a genetic disorder very rare with no cure in a group of mucopolysaccharides storage disorders and affects only 15 people in Portugal.

What are the major difficulties in diagnosing children with Morquio syndrome?

The main obstacle to diagnosis is the failure to recognize the physical signs suggestive of the disease. Since this is a very rare disease is of utmost importance that there be disclosure of its existence, investing in training of health professionals. Once recognized the possibility of diagnosis, confirmatory tests are direct and carried out in Portugal.

What are the complications that this disease can bring in terms of health?

Since this is a chronic and progressive disease, complications can be located and the general level of specific organs. The mostly affected are the bones, heart, eyes and lungs. In general, there is very short and the quality of life is compromised.

To be a very rare disease, treatments are costly. Nonetheless, believes that the investment by pharmaceutical laboratories for the study of these diseases is an added advantage for these patients?

Since long time which are used to alleviate the symptomatic therapies long list of complications of this disease.These non-specific treatments are important because they improve the pain and the functioning of the affected organs, but not treat the cause of the disease. The specific therapy that has been developed is unique in the treatment of Morquio A and brings new hope in controlling this disease, therefore, for the advancement of science and improvement of quality of life, it is important that have incentives to create new therapies.

In your opinion, what is the added value of Portugal’s participation in an international clinical trial in this rare disease, as currently happens?

In the background is the recognition of the quality and seriousness of our work.

Para melhorar a qualidade de vida destes doentes, é necessário uma interligação funcional entre diversas estruturas, onde a da saúde é apenas uma das peças do puzzle. È necessário melhorar a política de intervenção a este nível e criar modelos educativos, socioculturais, legislativos e de saúde verdadeiramente centralizados no doente e sua família.

No campo da saúde, a existência de equipas multidisciplinares completas e funcionais que incluam obrigatoriamente os cuidados primários são fundamentais. As associações de doentes deveriam ter um papel ativo nesta dinâmica.