Thursday, December 27, 2007

Massage Provides Pain Relief Following Surgery

Nurses don't have time to perform massage in the hospital. This wasn't always the case. Massage used to be taught as a normal part of Nursing curriculum. Massage time meant that you could speak with your patient, assess their pain status and perform a good overall examination that included providing comfort and healing touch. Now there are just too many time constraints and this practice has been eliminated.

Massage is being revisited as a means to help patients manage pain following major surgery. This stems from a trial that is published in the December publication of the Archives of Surgery. The study results suggest that pain management after surgery should probably involve more than one approach.

The study was performed on Veterans, between Feb, 2003 and Jan, 2005. During the first four days following surgery, the group of Veterans who received either individualized massage from a therapist, or an evening backrub, had a faster decline in pain. The participants also described less "unpleasantness" associated with pain.

Since massage is much less dangerous that medications, the authors of the study suggest using massage as a safe therapy for managing pain after major surgery, and that Nurses become properly trained to provide bedside massage.

I think it's a great idea to reintegrate massage as a routine part of patient care. Massage has so many benefits. I'd personally like to see every hospital admission kit stocked with a bottle of healing massage oil. I also think that the long term outcomes should be studied.

Ref: Arch Surg. 2007;142:1158-1167. ◦

Thursday, December 20, 2007

December Health News

Update on Animal Cruelty
Mars Candy Animal Research - New Video

Walk to Reverse Metabolic Syndrome

Brisk walking is now more definitively seen as a means to successfully manage metabolic syndrome. A new study has provided evidence that it is not necessary to perform intense exercise to receive substantial health benefits and reverse metabolic syndrome.

Metabolic syndrome is a combination of conditions, consisting of high blood pressure, high blood sugar, low levels of HDL (the good) cholesterol, high triglycerides, and abdominal obesity, or increased waist circumference.

The STRRIDE (National Institutes of Health-funded Studies of a Targeted Risk Reduction Intervention through Defined Exercise) trial, published in the December 15,2007 issue of the American Journal of Cardiology has produced results indicating that moderately intense exercise can significantly reduce metabolic syndrome. The benefit was evident even when no dietary changes were made by the study participants.

In the past, walking was viewed as a means to modify the components that make up metabolic syndrome,that is to reduce hypertension, manage diabetes and cholesterol and help control weight. Now moderate exercise is viewed as a means to treat metabolic syndrome in total,leading to an increase in overall health.

Each STRRIDE study participant had at least three components of metabolic syndrome. The groups were assigned different levels of exercise. At the end of the study, it was determined that the group who performed high intensity exercise did not receive any greater reduction in metabolic syndrome than did the low exercise group.

The reason is quoted here:

..Rigorous exercise recruits more fast-twitch muscle fibers and utilizes glucose to a much greater extent than low-intensity exercise. Low-intensity exercise, on the other hand, tends to recruit slow-twitch fibers and uses free fatty acids as a substrate for energy. This.. is more beneficial for preventing or reversing the metabolic syndrome.

This is good news. We knew walking was beneficial for many health conditions. Now it's clear that walking has great overall health benefits.

Read more about Metabolic syndrome and why it's important to target this health issue:

Metabolic syndrome: new guidance for prevention and treatment
Metabolic Syndrome - What is It?

Honey - A Safe and Inexpensive Remedy for Your Child's Cold Symptoms

Honey has been widely used for the treatment of cough that accompanies upper respiratory infections. Honey has been recently studied to see if it might be beneficial to treat cough and provide rest in children who are less than twelve months of age to provide relief of cold symptoms. The use of honey to treat a cough has long been endorsed by the World Health Organization.

Children’s cough remedies, purchased over the counter have not been very successful, and their safety has recently been under fire.

Ian M. Paul, MD, MSc, an associate professor of pediatrics and public health sciences at the College of Medicine, Pennsylvania State University has studied whether or not honey might help relieve cough and cold symptoms in children. Dr. Paul felt that since honey is a natural, inexpensive choice that it should be further investigated by obtaining feedback from parents who enrolled in the study.

During the study, children either received no treatment, buckwheat honey at bedtime, or honey flavored DM (dextromethorphan).

Parental satisfaction was highest in the group that was given a single dose of honey at bedtime. Satisfaction was low when no treatment was provided. Past studies showed that using DM is not effective, plus the cumulative effects of this medication are risky because it can cause hallucinations.

The conclusion:
Try honey to treat cough in children. It could decrease visits to the hospital when combined with traditional treatment, such as a humidifier, fever control and nasal irrigation with saline.
You should be aware, that during the study there were complaints of nervousness, hyperactivity and irritability in the group that was given honey, but it was mild. Since buckwheat honey was used, recommendations for the use of other types of honey cannot be substantiated.
Investigation will be ongoing. It is assumed that honey should provide cough relief for adults.

Obesity and Fitness

People who are obese, but physically fit have a lower chance of dying from overall risks, such as stroke, or heart attack, than those who are inactive and not overweight.

A study* targeting people who were over age sixty showed that people who are physically fit live longer, even after other factors are taken into account, such as waist circumference, smoking, and percentage of body fat. Of course, the risk is decreased even more for persons who have normal weights and higher levels of physical fitness.

It is suggested that walking for 30 minutes several days a week (or everyday) can cut the risk of deaths from all causes. Doctors should probably suggest fitness for their patients rather than weight loss. It's discouraging to exercise, try to eat well and not gain more weight, but to never drop the pounds. Now, evidence shows that activity is good for you regardless.

It's still important to try to address the obesity problem, but the truth is, that's been going on for about the last twenty years, yet obesity is currently an epidemic.
This is good news, and should make the prospect of a healthier lifestyle more attainable, even if you have felt discouraged about being overweight.

It has been only recently that waist circumference was believed to be one of the biggest predictors of overall mortality risk. This new study adds another dimension to how we approach self help for overall health and well being.

* Included were 2603 adults aged 60 years or older (mean age, 64.4 years; 19.8% women) enrolled in the Aerobics Center Longitudinal Study who completed a baseline health examination from 1979 to 2001.

Smoking Vaccine

A vaccine that produces antibodies to Nicotine has been tested and proven to been successful when compared to placebo. People in the group who were given a placebo experienced a 6% success rate in smoking cessation after 12 months. The group receiving the nicotine vaccination had 16% success after 12 months.

The vaccine, Varenicline (NicVax), was responsible for a threefold increase in success when compared to the group that merely received a placebo. The use of other smoking cessation aids, such as Nicotine patches and medication made it twice as likely that people will stop smoking without assistance.

The vaccine contains a chemical which is connected to a protein. The chemical is similar to nicotine, but it produces antibodies. This chemical prevents the way the brain responds to nicotine, rendering it less addictive and not enjoyable. Varenicline prevents nicotine from crossing the blood/brain barrier, so your brain never gets the signals telling you that nicotine is a pleasure. Varenicline vaccine provides a specific target for smoking cessation when compared to other medication.

NicVax is still in the production phases. The FDA has not approved it until further studies are done. The availability of even more methods to cure nicotine addiction should make it easier for everyone. There is no one thing that works for everybody, and the more methods that are available, the better. ◦

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Random Acts of Kindness

12/17/07 Today's Act of Kindness Bloggers Unite

Today is the day. Mine has just ended. I really didn't know what I would do today, so I decided to sit still and listen to my inner voice.

I recently had a friend who has had a terrible misfortune. The story starts eleven horrible days ago. My friend has lost everything, ending up at the Salvation Army, starting his life all over again.

We have become Internet friends, through a mutual admiration of each other's blog: e-mailing and visiting each other's postings. My friend had been very productive, on sabbatical up until eleven days ago when he decided it was time to get back to the real world. But the world as he knows it became surreal.

I received a message saying that he had no had been stolen and squandered away while he was gone; having entrusted his money management to a relative. He had nowhere to go, and no money to get there. He was arrested for vagrancy and jailed.

Through a leap of faith and against the advice of everyone I know, I decided to lend a hand. I've managed to help him get through this.

I now have a friend for life. I may never have put myself on the line without the impetus offered by Blog Catalog to perform this kindness.

All if well; the world isn't so ugly, and not everyone you meet on the Internet is a creep.

Read more at Blog Catalog

I'm a member of BlogCatalog. On December 17th, participating BlogCatalog members are devoting themselves to acts of kindness.

The excitement and community input has been uplifting. BlogCatalog has members from all corners of the globe. What a wonderful way to spread good will. Kudos to the administrators for their promotion of such an endeavour.

Watch the video that this community has put together. Join in. How could this ever be anything but sooo right?

What do you think is most needed?

Tell me what you think. If you were the recipient of that act of kindness, would it open your eyes and heart? Would you believe that the world is indeed a better place because of this?

Please join us.

Here's a wonderful video from anoher member of BlogCatalog.


Tuesday, December 4, 2007

November Health News

High Blood Sugar

Maybe you've been diagnosed with diabetes, or maybe your doctor has told you to watch your diet in order to control your blood glucose levels. Here are some highlights, recently published from the Institute for Point of Care Testing regarding hyperglycemia.

Hyperglycemia is associated with a number of serious health complications, especially in the presence other medical disorders. Critically and acutely ill patients with elevated blood glucose levels experience higher rates of complications during hospitalization. Serious infections following surgery are more common. Death is more common in the Intensive Care Unit.

Hospitalized patients experience spikes in blood glucose levels, perhaps as the result of stress; as a means for the body to adapt to illness. The phenomenon exists even in non diabetic patients.

Aggressive treatment of new hyperglycemia in hospitalized patients has not been routinely targeted. It is not uncommon to see glucose levels above 200. The normal range is 80-110. It is now obvious that hyperglycemia results in higher death rates following surgery, trauma to the head, burns, stroke and heart attack. Hyperglycemia increases the severity of strokes and heart attack.

The risk is worse in persons who are not diabetic, in other words, new onset of hyperglycemia.

The DIGAMI (Diabetes and Insulin-Glucose Infusion in Acute Myocardial Infarction) study has shown that providing insulin therapy for three months following new onset of hyperglycemia decreased the relative risk of death from complications by 30%. Follow up at 3.4 years showed an absolute reduction in deaths of 11%. The risk reduction was seen in diabetics who had not previously been on Insulin and who had no risk factors for heart attack.

To summarize, intensive control of blood sugar is needed to help the body fight infection, prevent death from complications of illness, reduce the extent of heart attack and stroke, slow the progression of damage to the organs and improve overall quality of life.

If you are diabetic, or have been told that your blood sugar levels are high, take care with your diet. Monitor you blood sugar levels and report abnormalities to your physician. Though it may seem harmless, the risks associated with high blood sugars have a definite negative impact on the body's ability to heal. Hyperglycemia clearly contributes to complications of existing illness.

If you have a family history of diabetes, see your doctor for regular screening and follow up.

Free Diabetic Supplies

Fasting May Reduce Your Risk of Heart Disease

Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-day Saints (LDS) live longer than the non LDS population. Researchers have investigated lifestyle to determine what might account for the increase in longevity. The Mormon population regularly fasts for twenty four hours once a month, and is a non smoking group.

It's possible that regular fasting plays a role. There also seems to be a lower incidence of cardiovascular disease among non LDS members who regularly fast; 66% lower for LDS members and 61% lower for non LDS study participants who regularly fast. Dr Benjamin Horne (Intermountain Medical Center, Murray, UT) presented the results of the study during the American Heart Association (AHA) 2007 Scientific Sessions.

The Intermountain Heart Collaborative Study first conducted interviews with 4600 participants. Risk factors for coronary artery disease were determined among the participants. Of the 4600 people, 1467 regularly fast and are not part of the religious group. Both groups, regardless of religious beliefs, had a lower risk of heart disease when coronary angiogram (cardiac catheterization) was performed. Angiography was performed on 515 members of the study.

To explain the effect, it’s possible that fasting signals the body's metabolism to "dip" into its storage of nutrition, altering the way the body processes glucose (sugar) and insulin. It's also speculated that people who fast may simply have better overall control over their dietary habits.

Further investigation is needed to completely define what role fasting seems to play in cardiovascular health. Presently, the potential benefit is just implied. Diabetics should not consider fasting as an option for the reduction of heart disease.

It's a concept that hopefully will be further explored. It should be noted that people who restrict their intake of calories also live longer.

Qigong (Chi Gung) Exercise Shown to Reduce Neck Pain

Qigong has its roots in traditional Chinese medicine. Qigong or Chi Gung exercise involves breathing and movement designed to provide harmony to the body.

In the aforementioned study, one group received exercise, the other Qigong therapy. The participants all had been experiencing long term neck pain. Those excluded from the study included chronic tension-type headache, migraine, traumatic neck injury, neurologic findings, rheumatic diseases, fibromyalgia or other severe physical diseases, and treatment with antidepressive and anti-inflammatory drugs.

The study was performed between 2001 and 2004 and involved exercises over a period of three months for twelve treatments. Both groups showed improvement, making Qigong and exercise equally effective for the treatment of neck pain.

The researchers report that improvement was greater than 50% in both groups and was maintained for six to twelve months following therapy.

The study group was admittedly small and was not compared to a group receiving no therapy. It is felt however, that it would be safe to offer Qigong as a method for self management of unspecified chronic neck pain.

The results come from a study performed by Lansinger and colleagues.

Watch the video. Notice the flowing movements. Qigong is a very gentle way to help your body promote healing.

Reach for the moon with Llewellyn
Purchase ChiGung for Beginners $8.42 (cost effective therapy) - click the image to review.

America Public Health Association Takes a Stand on Climate Change

The American Public Health Association, (APHA) held their annual meeting. The executive director, Dr. Georges C. Benjamin has made a statement that the association is about to take a role in policies that affect climate change.

The effort is aimed at involving the public to make individual lifestyle changes. The goal is to improve our climate as it affects global health.

"Until now...most of the public dialogue has focused on ecological devastation. As a result, few Americans are aware of the very real consequences of climate change on their daily lives today," Dr. Benjamin said. "Climate change is one of the most serious public health threats facing our world, and public health needs to have a seat at the table for this conversation." Dr. Benjamin points out that what happens in one part of the world affects us all. He reminds us that we are globally interconnected.

Between now and April 2008, Dr. Benjamin will be designing a piece by piece plan to present to health practitioners to use in promoting public awareness and lifestyle changes. A plan will be devised to include simple steps that we all can take to diminish the effects of climate change. Examples of needed change include better urban design, decreased use of cars and more physical activity.

Dr. Benjamin states: "The prospect of $200 a barrel oil," more than twice the cost today, "is a very powerful incentive for major change." His belief is that people should be thinking about what they can be doing on a daily basis about climate issues that impact health.

Research will be needed to determine how to change existing behaviors. Considerations for economic impact must be also addressed. Participation in this endeavor will be facilitated through meetings with groups, individuals and through participation in the APHA blog which is expected to contain about 50,000 members.

Stay tuned for what you can do as an individual to improve the health of everyone by changing the way you live. Think about it every day. I urge you to do what you can.

Meat, poultry, vegetables feel heat from global warming

11/21/07 Updates: reprinted from Care 2
"Kansas Says No to Global Warming. On October 18, Kansas became the first state to reject a coal-fired power plant because of its global warming impacts. Kansas now leads the national surge against coal power expansion. Thanks to Earthjustice and to the many activists who took action to defeat the plant."

"Target Commits to Reduce PVC. Target has finally agreed to reduce its use of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastic. The company is reducing PVC found in many of its owned brand products including infant products, children's toys, shower curtains, packaging and fashion accessories. Thanks to Care2 members, concerned citizens and the Center for Health, Environment and Justice."

Watch the video. Breathe in and out slowly. Look at our beautiful world and see if you can "connect".

Simple Measure you can take:
Give Free Rice by Just Playing a Word Game
Visit Brilliant Energy
Thirty small suggestions
How to Save the Planet
Directory of Green Products

Do You Want to Stop Smoking?

I won't even try to talk about smoking. Everyone knows it's expensive.

Okay, if you think that was silly, then good. I'm soft peddling the issue. We all know it's bad for your health. Good news is here, and I think if you're serious at all about quitting, this should be encouraging.

Hypnotherapy has been again scrutinized as a viable means to help people stop smoking. Hypnotherapy outperformed all other methods after six months in terms of success. Fifty percent of patients who received hypnotherapy in the hospital remained smoke free when evaluated at six months as compared to those who tried to quit on their own. To further tout the advantage of hypnotherapy - that statistic is double the success rate when compared to those who used patches and nicotine replacement to quit.

All of the patients who entered the study decided how they wanted to quit smoking. Men primarily chose cold turkey; most of the women chose hypnotherapy and other chose a combination of nicotine replacement and hypnotherapy.

Please visit my partner for help on how to change your life - Order Subliminal Products Direct

Try it! What's to lose? Read more from the Mayo Clinic to dispel any myths and for a full explanation of hynposis and how it works. ◦

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Global Health

Okay, you will always find something here to do. On your list today, for the good of us all, for the health of YOUR earth and for your personal health, um, would you just consider, please signing this petition?

Here's the copied and pasted "skinny" from Care2:

"We need to take every step to reduce emissions contributing to global warming, and increasing the use of freight trains is a practical way to start.

Freight railroads are by far the most environmentally friendly mode of transportation. In fact:

A train can move a ton of freight 423 miles on one gallon of fuel.
One train can carry 280 trucks between cities, freeing up the highway for cars and commuters.
Since train fatality rates are four times lower than other modes of transporting goods, moving more freight by rail will also save lives.
Freight trains are more than three times as fuel-efficient as trucks. They’re also three times cleaner. Unfortunately, bills are going through Congress right now (S. 953 and H.R. 2125) that would reregulate the railroads and put the brakes on rail expansion!"

I know there is skepticism about greenhouse gas emissions. I understand that the UN's statement is under scrutiny. I'm not sure I want to debate this. What would be the point? Later on I can say, oops, they were right? At least read this balanced position statement from the Weather Channel.

Here's the link if you wish to sign the Care2 petition:

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Internet Health

The news today has simply been sad. I've been listening all day about crimes related to the Internet. Everything I've heard is a terrible indication of the unhealthy state of cyberspace. That unhealthy state is very reflective of a terribly unhealthy, restless and misguided society.

I realize it's much more complex than that; it's not the fault of the Internet - or could it be? Either way, worldwide use of the internet opens up a Pandora’s Box of illness. I have to think it also contributes.

So far the news today involves the poor victim of internet abuse who hung herself, child internet pornography found in the basement of a deceased sexual development counselor and the possible death of a teen, Emily Sanders, who was met at a bar by an internet "friend" and is yet to be located.

Many things come to mind about the overall health of our society and the mental health of our youth when I hear these tragic reports. First of all, if you're a parent, it's time to get involved, very involved with your children. You absolutely have to learn who they're speaking with on the Internet. More importantly, it's time to get away from the computer and encourage face to face socialization and friendship.

There are programs available for purchase that allow you to track conversations as well as site visits that your children or family members are conducting on the Internet. It might be a worthwhile investment to have one installed.

Take the time to set limits on what your child is allowed to do on the Internet. Use parental controls and block access to sites. I'm not so sure MySpace is a good thing. I'm beginning to think that social chatting over the internet should be entirely discouraged. The Internet should provide a vehicle for sharing and unity and a chance to experience cultural diversity. Obviously, we, as a society are not ready to use it toward enough good.

I'm not saying this should never be done. I realize for instance that dating websites have put many people together. It's just time to be really smart about how we use the Internet.

If anyone has experienced chatting or e-mails that are bullying or aggressive, I think it's important to talk to someone about it. It's possible that many a dreg of society could be recognized and halted before he or she does harm. If we all get a bit smarter and start paying attention to what a healthy balance in life is all about maybe some of the tragedy can be reversed. At this rate, it's only going to get a lot worse.

We sit in front of the TV and computer while the world around us is disintegrating. We don't care about that because we're no longer looking. We've lost our connection to core values, to mother earth and to the meaning of love and life. I'm convinced that things are very out of balance.

I'm out of here. I'm going for walk. Yes, I'll turn off the news. ◦

Sunday, November 25, 2007

I've Been Tagged

This morning I was tagged by my friend at CatnipCorner to write seven random or weird facts about myself and then tag 7 more bloggers to do the same. If I've tagged you, here are the rules:

Link to the person that tagged you and post the rules on your blog. Share seven random and/or weird facts about yourself. Tag seven random people at the end of your post, and include links to their blogs. Let each person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

Here's my random/weirdness(es) then:

I love nature.
I love to sail. I'm never happier than when I'm on the water.
I can't kill a bug, not any.
I am very silly.
I use an old fashioned push mower on the lawn.
I've never met a flower I didn't like, so my garden is highly disorganized.
My shoes and purse never match.

I've tagged.
Debasis Ray
Michael Dycus, Ph.D
Yang Town
Legal Thriller Blogspot
Mooqi Health Blog
The Deviant Attitude
Nutrition for Vegheads
The Rogue Professor's Blog

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Adenovirus Type 14. The Lethal Cold Virus

A lethal virus that causes cold symptoms and severe pneumonia has been responsible for several deaths in the United States. This virus can prove fatal even for healthy individuals with no medical problems

Officials from the Center for Disease Control are calling the virus "challenging". It is much more virulent than past strains of the adenovirus. Adenovirus expert Gregory C. Gray, MD, MPH is calling it a "mystery" and is concerned about the "uniqueness" of this particular strain.

The virus has been seen in four States and has caused ten deaths. It was first documented in New York in May 2006 when the virus killed a 12 day old infant.

Adenovirus 14 has been seen in Oregon when patients with severe pneumonia sought treatment in April of this year at the same hospital. Seven of the thirty people treated died.

May 2007, four patients were treated from the same residential facility in Washington State. One patient died who also had AIDS. The three survivors had adenovirus, or Ad 14.

Recruits at Lackland Air Force Base were found to have AD14 in February 2007. Twenty seven recruits tested positive between February and June; one died and five were treated in the ICU. Six of 218 healthcare workers who treated the recruits tested positive for Ad14. No test results are available past September.

One of the common elements associated with this virus is obesity. Other inflammatory disease of the lungs complicates the illness.

Since most laboratories can't test for the virus, and it's more active in the winter months it will be difficult to track the illness should it become epidemic. Testing is done by blood sampling, but most laboratories are not set up to perform the test, and the blood might need to be sent to a speciality lab for analysis.

The adenovirus has been around since the 1950's, but this strain is more potent and seems very different from the original adenosvirus.

It will be a medical challenge to closely monitor patients who have lingering respiratory symptoms. Laboratory testing is indicated for anyone with worsening cold symptoms. Intensive treatment is needed to treat the virus.

Watch yourself closely. Watch your children. Go to the doctor and get yourself to the doctor if you develop a severe cold in the coming months.

Be especially careful around others. Viruses are spread through coughing and sneezing. Adenovirus is common among children and can be found in feces. The virus lives for weeks on contaminated surfaces and can linger in swimming pools. Symptoms occur two to nine days after exposure.

Take good care of yourself. Seek medical care for your loved ones if you have any concerns. Get yourself treated if you have any suspicion that you may have been in contact with the adenovirus.

Other new posts:
Qigong for Neck Pain

Stretching is Shown to Increase Endurance
The eyes may be a reservoir for MRSA

Friday, November 16, 2007

Random Acts of Kindness

I'm a member of BlogCatalog. On December 17th, participating BlogCatalog members are devoting themselves to acts of kindness.

The excitement and community input has been uplifting. BlogCatalog has members from all corners of the globe. What a wonderful way to spread good will. Kudos to the administrators for their promotion of such an endeavour.

Watch the video that this community has put together. Join in. How could this ever be anything but sooo right?

What do you think is most needed?

Tell me what you think. If you were the recipient of that act of kindness, would it open your eyes and heart? Would you believe that the world is indeed a better place because of this?

Please join us.

Here's a wonderful video from anoher member of BlogCatalog.



High Blood Pressure Vaccine Shows Promise

There is a vaccine in the making to control hypertension. The vaccine works against angiotensin II by creating antibodies, and is effective for four months. It has been studied in persons with mild to moderate hypertension.

Drugs currently on the market to treat high blood pressure block the release of angiotensin II. Angiotensin II is a naturally occurring chemical that causes narrowing of the blood vessels. Angiotensin II also causes the release of the hormone Aldosterone. Aldosterone stimulates fluid and sodium retention in the body. Blocking the release of angiotensin allows the blood vessels to relax, or widen, providing an effective means of blood pressure control.

One problem is that medications wear off after 24 hours. Most cardiovascular events, such as heart attack and stroke occur in the morning, when blood pressure tends to run highest. Another problem is that many people don't take their medication. Hypertension is difficult to control. It's estimated that only 25% of blood pressure problems are adequately treated.

Treatment with the vaccine, given in high doses, showed a significant reduction in both morning and daytime blood pressures. The study was conducted over a four month period.

The only side effects reported with the vaccine (CYT006-AngQb) was headache. Both the placebo and vaccinated group reported pain and redness at the injection site, an expected issue. Following the first injection, a strong antibody response to Angiotensin II was measureable.

Further research is necessary to refine the dosing. Hypertension also needs to be better understood, but the vaccine is reported as showing promise for treatment of a chronic and significant problem.

Ref: American Heart Association Scientific Sessions 2007: Abstract 2519. Presented November 6, 2007.

Walk for Blood Pressure Control

High blood pressure problems seem to be worse in the winter months. The report comes from a study presented at the American Heart Association's 2007 Scientific Sessions.

Speculation suggests that blood pressure medication adjustments might be necessary during the cold season. It's not clear why this happens, but thoughts lean toward weight gain and lack of exercise as a possible culprit.

I would think that dietary intake might play a role. Fresh fruits and vegetables aren't as abundant in the winter months. Also, I don't know about you, but I'm sure my salt intake increases around the winter holidays. Canned goods, full of sodium make their way out of the cupboard during the winter months. We should all remember that frozen vegetables are a better dietary choice. Buy freshly canned fruits vegetables whenever possible.

This is a good time to reinforce the importance of maintaining a proper diet. Find ways to continue exercise even when the cold and damp arrives. Many people walk by going to the Mall. Walk for 30 minutes three times a week to maintain your weight, improve circulation and maintain a healthy immune system. Walking at your local Mall is great way to socialize, avoid costly gym membership and maintain health throughout the winter. Make a vow to yourself and please stay well as winter approaches.

About High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure is on the rampage. It's estimated that by the year 2025 1.5 billion people will be diagnosed with high blood pressure - that's staggering. Present statistics estimate that 50 million people are affected with hypertension in the United States.

Many people think high blood pressure is cured with medication and stop their treatment when blood pressure values return to normal. Guidelines for blood pressure have changed in recent years. High blood pressure is not benign just because it doesn't always make people feel bad. Your blood pressure should be kept under control. Hypertension "silently" damages the kidney, heart and major blood vessels. Over time, every organ in the body is adversely affected when blood pressure levels are high. Once this happens, the damage that occurs cannot be reversed.

Blood pressure can be controlled by exercise, reducing salt intake, weight loss and limiting alcohol use, but people don't adhere to any of these. Medication treatment then becomes necessary, but not everyone responds the same to medication. High blood pressure is now being diagnosed in children!

Adult blood pressures need to be less than 140/90. If you have kidney disease, diabetes, coronary artery disease or other disease of the blood vessels, it should be less than 130/90. For those with heart failure it's advisable to lower blood pressure even further. In fact, blood pressures greater than 130/85 greatly increase your risk of heart disease.

Prevention is the best approach of course. Stop smoking, lose weight, eat healthy foods and hopefully you won't find yourself on multiple medications. Lose abdominal fat. Even if you're just a bit "pudgy" in the middle, thinning down around the waist yields great benefits for overall cardiovascular health, decreases your chances of being diagnosed with diabetes and reduces your risk of many other illnesses, such as cancer.

Helpful Link:
Hypertension –

Friday, November 9, 2007

Celestial Cows

This is just mind boggling.

I write about how you can take good care of your health. Eat right, watch your blood pressure, exercise, wash your hands, get a massage; then I read a story about a cow that "dove" off the cliff, falling onto someone's car. He weighed in at 600 pounds.

Though this isn't EXACTLY a health matter, it's worth discussing life's ironies. Certainly, a cow careening from the sky can be bad for your health.

You can really strive toward good health, explore prevention of illness, learn self help methods for existing problems, but I'm stumped about what you can do if a cow falls and hits your car. Talk about disempowerment.

I'm glad the couple was alright. They would have been killed had the cow not landed on their hood. Their guardian angel was watching. Otherwise, I hope the poor cow didn't suffer. ◦

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Exercise at Home.

Stretching is Found to Have Strengthening Benefits

Here's something just about anyone can do. S-T-R-E-T-C-H. Yes, simply stretching has been reported to help endurance and improve strength.

Start for forty minutes three times a week. It's a perfect solution if you have physical restraints that prevent you from conventional exercise routines such as walking or weight training. If you've just been discouraged about exercise for whatever reason you can start to feel good again.

A study published in the American College of Sports Medicine reports that stretching actually has some of the same benefits as weight training, though on a smaller scale.

You know you need exercise, but haven't been able to figure out a way to help yourself - try stretching. It's attainable, safe, doesn't require much space and doesn't require equipment or other expense. It can be done in privacy and I guarantee you'll feel better from just moving.

Incorporate stretching with synchronized breathing and feel better all over.

Helpful Link
Flexibility Series from My Fitness Hut

Yoga At Home

Here's a short Yoga Video that anyone can practice at home. If you wish you only have to repeat the moves as your endurance and desire for Yoga benefit increases.
Browse other videos using the menu button. Enjoy!

Exercise Downloads

I'm getting ready to download the ITrain Ballet program. I do Yoga regularly, but I really believe in changing things up a bit.

I've partnered with the ITrain website and am so excited about what they offer that I want to actually talk about it. If you're reading, you have a computer. You can download their workout programs on your MP3 player, CD, or computer for pennies as compared to health club memberships. It's portable!

There are many exercise programs to choose from - Yoga, running, stretch, ballet, eliptical. You just have to check them out. You can even get gift certificates.

No excuses. Exercise at home. It should be great fun. I do Yoga in front of my computer from MyYogaOnline and I love it. Now, I'll be trying ITrain. Got to go get started!

Check it out! Gain strength and lean out fast with iStrength - all levels. Download on a computer, a CD or a mp3 player.


Friday, November 2, 2007


MRSA Update

It's been discovered that MRSA somehow renders the body's immune cells defenseless. We all have cells in our body to fight bacteria, but MRSA attacks our germ fighting neutrophils in the blood and causes them to actually burst.

The neutrophils are basically a type of white blood cell. They are "called to action" when bacteria enters the body. Both white blood cell and neutrophil levels increase in numbers when we have to fight infection.

The neutrophils possess enzymes, contained in tiny sacs that "gobble" bacteria when the enzymes are released. Lower numbers of neutrophils in the body actually decreases our immune response. Neutrophil counts are decreased when viruses are present in the body also.

Since MRSA is so resistant to antibiotics, researchers are focusing efforts to find a way to neutralize the substance (peptides) in MRSA that destroys neutrophils. Another focus is in finding ways to boost immunity.

The news is interesting and drives home once again how important it is that we continue to help ourselves maintain healthy lifestyles.

MRSA Isolated in the Eye

A new study focused on isolating a potential source of community acquired MRSA reveals that MRSA has been cultured from the eye, eyelids and conjunctiva of people with no history of exposure to MRSA in the hospital. It has been defined as community acquired MRSA, or CA-MRSA.

The study was specifically designed to see if the MRSA was responsible for eye infections and how many incidences were resistant to antibiotics, and not hospital acquired. The study was conducted from 2000-2005. MRSA data was collected regarding patients who had been treated for eye infection. The majority of MRSA (50%) was found in the orbits of the eye, lesser percentages in the conjunctiva and eyelids.
Forty one percent of those infections were potentially resistant to antibiotic and community acquired.

The conclusion is that MRSA can be found in the eye area even when an outbreak is not present, making the area a harbinger of the bacteria.

Ophthalmologists will likely begin to see more patients with community acquired MRSA when performing surgery and in contact lens wearers.

The study was presented at the American Academy of Ophthalmology 2007 Annual Meeting.

Ref: American Academy of Ophthalmology 2007 Annual Meeting: Scientific Poster PO293. Presented November 12, 2007.

About MRSA

MRSA - it's in all the news. What is it? It stands for Methicillin (a type of Penicillin) Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus. You have probably heard the term "staph infection" in the past

Staphylococcus Aureus live on our skin. In fact, it's what's contained in the common "zit" (or pustule if you want to be technical). Staphylococcus is the offender when you get a boil.

When bacteria experience an overgrowth in your body, it can become dangerous because it takes control. Overgrowth occurs when bacteria become very strong, or when a person's immune system is compromised. When immunities are compromised the bacteria seizes the opportunity to take over. Overgrowth of bacteria also happens when normal bacteria in the body are out of balance. A good example is the female patient who develops a yeast infection from using antibiotics.

MRSA is becoming more resistant to antibiotic treatment. I was reviewing an article about MRSA from 2004. At that time, there was discussion about how it mutates. Infections from MRSA have been common in hospital settings, as many years back as I can remember. The more antibiotics we consume, the more difficult infections become to treat.

The most common way MRSA has been contacted in the past, is in the hospital. You can contact it in the community from places like computer keyboards, countertops, faucets, and other surfaces. The bacteria needs a point of entry, so if you have no broken skin or open wounds, and have healthy immunity, you wouldn't be likely to become infected. The recommended treatment for MRSA is with the antibiotic Tetracycline, unless it's severe, then intravenous antibiotics might be used.

Since I've devoted this blog to self help, this is a good time to discuss what you should do about the MRSA news. Wash your hands. Wash them at work; wash them when you get home. Use antibacterial soap.

Stay healthy. Eat foods that boost immunity, like fruits and fresh vegetables. Be smart about lifestyle choices. Stay home if you have a fever, cold or flu. We all want to be productive, and we're all "indispensable", but now is a good time to rethink how we go about our daily lives.

If anyone in your workplace should develop an infection, advocate for a thorough cleaning of all surfaces with whatever agent your local public health agency recommends. In fact, in my opinion, now would be a good time for most public places to put some good overall cleaning policies into effect: a little more than dusting and sweeping.

If you use public restrooms, wash your hands well. Throughout the ages, hand washing has been touted to stop the spread of germs. It was never as pertinent as it is now.

Links: (Updated Frequently)
From Pittsburgh
From the Washington Post
New Article from Forbes
The Times of India
"Wipe It Out" Campaign in the UK
Suggestions for MRSA Treatment from the UK 1/08 ◦

Friday, October 26, 2007

Animal Cruelty Does Not Help Your Health

12/11/07 Newest Video

Learn more at


For those of you who realize that we are all interconnected and that animal cruelty really does have no place in the world, here is some year end news. It's only with feedback that we learn what we do can and does make a difference.

Watch the slideshow at the Human Society of the United State's web site. It's Christmas! See if just maybe you can make a small donation for the health of our loving cohabitants.

Celebrating Animals.

Reach for the moon with Llewellyn

Take Action: Click Here and Read How You Can Help

Help Me Fight?

I thought twice about using my blog as a platform for this subject, but then decided I had to be true to myself. I don't sign every petition that comes along, but when it comes to unnecessary and cruel animal testing, I surely don't mind jumping in. I purchase cruelty free products for my own consumption.

So, with Halloween coming up I've signed the following petition which can be edited before you decide to sign. Consider supporting this cause. I can't find any value to this sort of industry behavior. I really don't think these experiments are going
to create great strides toward the overall health of mankind.

Here's the letter

"I was shocked to learn that Mars is still funding deadly animal tests even though the tests are not required by law, more reliable human studies could be used instead, and your chief competitor, Hershey's, refuses to test its products on animals. Please follow Hershey's lead by promising not to fund or conduct experiments on animals.

Unless I hear that Mars has ended all support for animal tests, I will be buying my Halloween candy from a more compassionate company this year and will encourage my friends and family to do the same."

And I will....

Here's the link if you would like to contribute to the well being of some of God's littlest creatures.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Healthy Food

The President's Cancer Panel

One of the pitfalls to healthy eating is the expense of organic foods, foods that aren't overly processed, additive free, not full of soybean, corn syrup (I swear, it's in everything), and high fructose (all bad stuff).

The latest statement from the Presidential panel on cancer asks the government to stop being the "purveyor" of foods that are not healthy. The public should be encouraged to eat fruits, vegetables and exercise more and we're simply not. Look at all the food commercials. Physical education in schools has about disappeared.

The current cost of healthful foods and the lack of physical education focus in schools don’t provide the best environment toward this initiative. Politicians don't protect our health. One third of cancers are caused by inactivity and obesity, and all the additives in food lead to obesity.

The advice from the President's panel includes the following:

Greater tobacco restrictions - increased cigarette tax
Get unhealthy foods out of schools
Regulate food advertising and stop subsidizing agricultural sectors that grow foods that are unhealthy in their processed forms.

"This country must not ignore its moral obligation to protect the health of all Americans. We can and must empower individuals to make healthy choices through appropriate policy and legislation, and the panel urges you to use the power of your office toward this life-saving goal," the panel, chaired by Howard University's Dr. LaSalle Leffall, wrote in a letter to Bush.

Interesting…..finally. Thank you Dr. Leffall.

Healthy Recipes from

All things in moderation? It's a hard lesson to learn, especially for me when it comes to chocolate. Of course, chocolate is very good for you - in moderation.

But, that's not the purpose of the Healthy food section here. I actually want to share these Swedish recipes from great blog just full of fresh food recipes - fruit, fish, chicken - and not just your usual fare. There's a chocolate raspberry cake that only takes fifteen minutes to make! The author is Karin and I'd love to spend a day in her kitchen.

Once you visit, you'll get lost. Start with the Swedish Herring recipe - full of Omega 3 fatty acids. Enjoy.

Friday, October 19, 2007


LDL and HDL Cholesterol
There is always something new regarding how we're supposed to manage our cholesterol, so the subject really needs a section of its own.

Adopting a healthy lifestyle involves total lifestyle changes. Genetics play a big role in determining your risk for the development of stroke, diabetes and many other illnesses.

There's no question that high cholesterol levels contribute to cardiovascular disease. But each component of cholesterol has been closely studied.

We've been hearing more and more about how it's necessary to manage our LDL (bad) cholesterol levels . The newest guidelines state that your LDL cholesterol level needs to be less than 70, especially if you are at high risk - that is, if you have a family history of heart disease or have already experienced heart problems.

However, if your HDL (good) cholesterol levels are not high enough, it's "always bad" according to recent studies.

Exercise will raise your HDL cholesterol, but not by a lot. Sometimes you just have to take the medications prescribed to treat your cholesterol levels. A lot of people don't want to do this because of side effects.

One of the most frequently prescribed medications to raise HDL is Niacin. Many people develop "flushing" after they take Niacin. To prevent the flushing, your doctor probably will tell you to take an aspirin 30 minutes prior to taking your Niacin. Not many people want to keep adding medications - this is common feedback and I understand it from a patient perspective.

Your risk of heart attack is very real if your HDL is too low. If you know, you fall into this category, please discuss it with your doctor and explore your options.

Eat right, exercise, and learn to relax. If you smoke, consider a stop smoking program. Smoking cessation is one of the most effective measures you can take to get your HDL cholesterol levels higher. Sometimes cholesterol problems are simply hereditary, but it doesn't mean you shouldn't do everything you can to help yourself.

You should have a complete cholesterol profile from your doctor to best learn your risks. Investigate your personal risk factors. Prevention is the key to good health.

Helpful Links

All about Cholesterol
American Heart Association
Testing Kits
Cholesterol –

Low LDL Cholesterol Linked to Cancer

Well, it seems that the old adage, "everything is a trade off" again rings true. It's been found that there is a definite link between low LDL (the bad) cholesterol and cancer.

The question arises as to whether the cardiovascular benefits of lower LDL levels outweigh this risk. Cholesterol lowering medication is called a statin.
"The statin trials have clearly shown that statin therapy, overall, reduces cardiovascular risk," said senior investigator Dr Richard Karas (Tufts-New England Medical Center, Boston, MA). "These findings don't change that. They're based on the same studies. But a component of that, perhaps one of the costs of that, is a relationship between the LDL lowering and cancer risk."

Dr. Karas has expressed concern that his statement might lead to medication noncompliance in patients who are taking cholesterol lowering drugs. He points out that research is still trying to understand the risk associated with lower LDL levels. In other words, it's not the medication causing Cancer and the blame isn't to be placed on the actual therapy itself. Does lowering LDL levels introduce or accelerate cancer? A "definite and linear relationship" between LDL and new onsets of cancer exists. The cancers found once LDL levels reached target had no common denominators; were not of a particular type or in the same place.

Dr. Karas admits the finding was a surprise. It wasn't one of the health issues being studied. Another interesting note is that several studies from the 1970's, before the widespread use of cholesterol medication, documented higher incidence of cancer in persons with low cholesterol levels, once again highlighting the need to find what the link is between low cholesterol and cancer.

The researchers were hesitant about publishing the findings over concerns that it could possibly do harm if people stopped taking their medications. In the end, all agreed it is just too important not to disclose. Investigation is ongoing.

J Am Coll Cardiol. 2007;50:409-422. ◦

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Health News October

Drinking Alcohol is Good for Your Lungs

I've developed sort of a knack for finding healthy news that's really good. In fact, one of my physician employers regularly relied on my updates re; chocolate is good for you, German researchers found lots of beer get the drift.

Here's another not so bad research result. The American College of Physcians, at their annual meeting, suggested that consuming moderate amounts of alcohol may have some benefits toward reducing your risk of lung disease.

The recommendation is two drinks per day, correlating with a 20% reduction in lung disease. Here we go again...moderation is indeed a key to good health.

Hooray Broccoli!

Broccoli Lotion May Prevent Skin Cancer

It may be possible to prevent skin cancer by applying a topical preparation derived from broccolli sprouts. The solution promotes the production of protective skin enzymes, making the skin cells resistant to UV harm.

The news comes from a Team of scientists at Johns Hopkins.

It sounds quite naturally promising.

Global Health - Everyone's Concern

Here is an interesting video and article about "Global Health" - a "Peacecorp for Health"

Rapid Treatment of Mini Strokes 10/20/07

Many of you have at least heard the term "mini stroke". The Medical term is TIA, or transient ischemic attack. It's a minor stroke that usually resolves without treatment. The symptoms vary, but commonly seen are short periods of memory loss, weakness, or difficulty speaking. It doesn't last long and then it simply goes away.

Patients having a TIA usually are not admitted to the hospital. Doctor follow up and testing is always recommended, but not with so much urgency.

Now there is a focus toward rapid assessment and treatment of even a small stroke, TIA, or "mini stroke". Preventive treatments for stroke already exist - lowering cholesterol, controlling blood pressure and blood thinners if indicated.

The risk reduction for another stroke dropped by 80% with rapid and agressive preventative treatment.

If you have a condition that has caused you to experience mini strokes don't be alarmed if you find your Doctor being a bit more aggressive about your treatment plan. If not, advocate for yourself - get tested and discuss preventive measures with your doctor.

The study is published online October 9 in the Lancet.

Caffeine with Tylenol May Cause Liver Damage 10/19/07

Researchers at the University of Seattle in Washington have done a study to see what effect caffeine and coffee have on the liver.

The published results warn that the combination of Tylenol and Caffeine actually triples the amount of a toxic Tylenol by-product - N-acetyl-p-benzoquinoneimine (NAPQI). This is especially true for heavy caffeine drinkers. Toxins in the body are filtered by the liver, so this by-product poses a large burden on the liver.

The liver works constantly to help the body maintain a state of balance - it is one of the body's filtering mechanisms. Many medications are broken down in the liver. You can imagine the increased burden if you have any pre-existing liver problems or are already taking other medications, so beware.

The combination of alcohol and Tylenol (Acetomenophen) is a known toxic combination, for the same reasons as above - the Tylenol interacts with the alcohol, releasing the toxic enzyme and causing liver damage and possibly liver failure.

Think twice before you choose your hangover or headache remedy. The combination of alcohol the night before, several cups of coffee in the morning and Tylenol should really be avoided.

New AIDS Drug Approved

AIDS is a difficult disease to treat, and it presents many challenges to our healthcare providers and to society.

Current approaches for treatment involve a "cocktail" of different medicines used in conjunction with each other in an effort to control the effects, or symptoms of HIV -and the outcomes vary greatly.

The FDA has approved a drug that is completely unlike drugs currently on the market to treat AIDS - it is the first drug, in an entirely new class, that blocks an enzyme that other medications have not been able to target.

The drug is called Raltegravir and it actually lowers the amount of HIV in the blood. In addition, Ralegravir raises the body's immunity, encouraging the body to fight this difficult disease.

I'd say this is very good news!

New Help for Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple Sclerosis ravages by destroying the myelin sheath. The Myeln sheath surrounds nerve cells and speeds up the conduction of nerve impulses. When the sheath is destroyed, and depending on what location, a variety of symptoms can occur - one of the reasons that patients with Multiple Sclerosis have different presentations, or symptoms of this illness.

Researchers at the Mayo clinic have successfully been able to restore the myelin sheath in studies done on mice. In as little as five weeks, the mice showed repair with the injection of an antibody.

Chewing Gum Gets Approval

Three chewing gums have won approval from the American Dental Association - Wrigley sugar-free gums Orbit, Extra, and Eclipse. All three are shown to prevent cavities, remove plaque and strengthen teeth.

Chew Wrigley's three times a day for twenty minutes, after meals. The result is your teeth will be bathed in minerals such as calcium, phosphate, and fluoride.

House Calls

Your doctor just might make a house call. There is a nationwide trend in medical practice to see patients at home, a hotel, or even at your office - to the tune of out of pocket $250 to $450 on the spot.

You can call about minor illness such as a sore throat or sprained ankle, but be prepared to pay.

About Your Appendix

I've never understood exactly why surgeons used to be so quick to remove everyone's appendix. Years ago, if you had abdominal surgery, the appendix automatically went, simply because the surgeon was "in the area". That practice has disappeared.

It used to be thought that our appendix had no real function. It never made sense to me.

Now it's been determined that the appendix releases "good germs" that help the gut. The study, published in The Journal of Theoretical Biology, says the appendix helps to regulate the large colonies of germs residing in the intestinal tract.

Go figure!

Heart Attacks Linked to Panic Attacks
A study has determined that women who have at least one panic attack per six months are three time more likely to have a heart attack or stroke in the next five years - strong evidence again that stress leads to major health problems.

Dr. Jordan Smoller of Boston's Massachusetts General Hospital says panic attacks must be added to the list of other mental illnesses that cause major health problems, such as depression, fear and hostility which are already known to lead to heart problems.

Take Your Vitamin D

Vitamin D has been getting a lot of attention recently. Studies are continuing to document the benefit of Vitamin D in decreasing overall mortality rates.

It is thought that deaths from cancer, heart disease and diabetes may be related to
low levels of Vitamin D.

Use of vitamin D supplementation at ordinary doses of 400 to 830 IU daily is associated with reduction in mortality.
Vitamin D supplementation has not shown any significant adverse effects.

"The authors hypothesized that by increasing vitamin D intake, we may be correcting a deficiency caused by a lack of natural sources of vitamin D especially from sunlight, and this may explain its greater beneficial effects. Deficiencies in vitamin D are known to be associated with increased risk for falls and fractures among other risks."

FDA Issues Drug Warning

Fentora, also known as Fentanyl buccal has been responsible for at least four fatalities. Fentanyl is a pain medication prescribed to patients who have what is described at "break through" pain - meaning other powerful pain killers are not providing pain relief. Fentanyl also has been prescribed for other patients who are intolerant of opiates (Morphine, Hydrocodone and the like).

I read about public health advisories for health care consumers and professionals all the time. As a Nurse I've definitely come to realize that well being lies in the hands of each and every one of us. This advisory is yet another reason why we need to remain healthy, work on disease prevention and help ourselves whenever possible.

Pain is a serious issue. No one should have to live with chronic or debilitating acute pain. But the answer doesn't always lie within a pill or capsule - at least not for the long term, except in cases of terminal illness, such as Cancer.

Pain management should be individualized, but with the help of all that is at our disposal, do we really need to subject ourselves to so many dangers in order to have a quality existence?

The FDA warns that Fentanyl should not be given to opioid-intolerant patients and those with acute pain, postoperative pain, headache/migraine, or sports injuries.

Patients, caregivers and healthcare professionals are being advised to report any of these symptoms if observed during Fentanyl use: trouble breathing or shallow breathing; tiredness; extreme sleepiness or sedation; inability to think, talk, or walk normally; and feeling faint, dizzy, or confused.

Healthcare professionals should report adverse events potentially associated with use of fentanyl buccal tablets to the FDA by phone at 1-800-FDA-1088, by fax at 1-800-FDA-0178, online at, or by mail to 5600 Fishers Lane, Rockville, MD 20852-9787.

Links and Resources
Tackling Arhtritis Pain
Relieve Stress and Pain Without Drugs
CFIDS and Fibromyalgia Self-Help
Arthritis Foundation Self Help Program
The Healing Mind
Guided Imagery for Self-Healing Book and CD Set
Natural, Restful Sleep
Anxiety Relief
Preparing for Surgery

Please Note. None of these self help options are intended to take the place of conventional medical care. Good health can be obtained more readily through a combination of self help and doing what your Doctor recommends.

Blood Test May Detect Lung Cancer

There's now a blood test that can be used to detect the possibility of lung cancer.
The test shows promise and can detect the level of the protein human aspartyl (asparaginyl) ß-hydroxylase. (HAAH)

To date, there have been no blood tests at all that could let your doctor know if further testing for lung cancer might be necessary. Not only is a blood test less costly, but it could lead to earlier detection which is the key to survival when dealing with cancer.

More good news! ◦

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Men's Health

Viagra - New Drug Warning 10/18/07

A man has reported sudden hearing loss after taking Viagra. The FDA is including this as a new new warning on the labels for Cialis and Viagra.

Apparently twenty nine cases of sudden hearing loss have been reported in association with these drugs, but in two thirds of the cases the hearing loss was ongoing.

Just to clarify what warnings on drug labels mean - if anyone reports an unusual or unexplained event while taking a medication it is reported to the FDA as an adverse or untoward drug effect.

It doesn't always mean that the medication is responsible. In this instance, the warning will be on the label, but the FDA is investigating further.

Take good care of yourself. Exercise - and get your cholesterol treated if it's high. You'll be less likely to need either of these medications.

Testicular Health

Testicular cancer is a serious issue - early detection is the key to treatment. This video will show the proper way to examine your testicles. Remember, testicular cancer is a young man's disease, so please take this seriously.


Non Compliant With Your Health?

Non Compliant With Your Health
by Andrew Pacholyk, MS, L.Ac.

Non compliance is one of the biggest issues health care practitioners face today. It even happens among ourselves. Practitioner or not, we all have some degree of this. There is a resistance to not taking better care of ourselves! I hear these excuses in my practice daily:

"I want to get better/exercise/eat right... I just don't have the time/money/energy".
"I can't remember to take my herbs or supplements!"
"I just can't afford the treatments".

Translates to: I don't love myself enough. I am not worthy. I don't deserve to feel better. I choose to neglect myself. I don't really want to get better. How will I get sympathy and attention if I am not sick?

Resistance to change, being unaware, making assumptions or preconceived ideas, fear, as well as our own belief systems are the most notable culprits when it comes to non compliance.

1. Try the 3 M's: Get motivated, get moving, get out the mirror!

2. Motivating ourselves is the fire, which jump starts our actions. Find a good reason to be motivated...good health, better career, a new relationship....whatever your reason, make your choice and stick to it! Then use tools to get you motivated. Try inspiring music, the power of scent (lemon, orange, floral scents) or a more mind centering process like yoga, meditation or hypnosis.

3. Moving is the action to your motivation! There is a mountain of proof that movement is the best thing for mind, body and spirit. Moving helps with depression, increases our cardiovascular system, moves energy (Qi) and blood, stimulates the brain, increases hormone production and takes us from one place to the next. Use movement as a tool.

4. A mirror is a reflection of ourselves. How many times have we seen ourselves in others, both the good and the bad. A mirror is also a great tool. A mirror will tell you the truth. Look into one. What do you see? Since it can reflect back our true self, take advantage of its power and speak your positive affirmations into it. An affirmation is a word, phrase or statement asserting the existence or the truth of something. It is the act of affirming, asserting or stating something. Speaking your affirmation into the mirror is the best way to make your words a reality.

5. Be More Aware: Learn what your resistance is about. Why are you not "taking your herbs", "listening to other's opinions instead of your practitioner's advise" or not "finding time to do your exercises"? Look inside yourself (try the mirror by speaking the truth into it). What do you see. Is it a deep seated belief holding you back? Is it the lack of self love, self respect, self discipline? Whatever the reason....acknowledge it. Do not judge it. See it for what it obstacle in the way of change. A blockage that is not allowing you to transform. What is the reason behind this belief?

6. Make Room for Change: Make it a nourishing, self respecting place for change to take place in your mind. In the same way, create a life affirming, positive path to reach your goal. Make no excuses. Procrastination is the bi-product of feeling unworthy. Self worth leads us in the right direction.

7. A lack of awareness + not being grounded + being unfamiliar = FEAR. Become familiar with what your goal is. Once you are familiar with the reasons why your goal is important and familiar with the information you did not know or understand about your goal, this takes the fear out of it! Take initiative and responsibility in seeing your true goal through to completion. Once you are familiar, there is less fear and you become more grounded in your approach.

8. Make Every Effort: to do something each day that brings you closer to your goal. You will do this now, because you understand why you want to reach this goal, what it means to you and the fear behind it is gone. You will make the effort now because your are aware of the fact that you love and respect yourself more and deserve to make the effort.

9. The Honoring of Ourselves: is something we tend to lose sight of, especially as we grow older. "Excuse instead of action" seems to be the norm, instead of the exception. Honoring everyone else first (husband, wife, children, family, friends, colleagues) is the path we so often go down first, before we take care of our own needs. If you are not in tip top (mind, body, spirit) shape, how can you effectively care for others?

10. The attaining of your goal is one of the most rewarding and self gratifying accomplishments we can do for ourselves. And guess what? You deserve every single bit of it! ◦

Friday, October 12, 2007

Health Studies

Are Flu Shots Beneficial to Elders?

Influenza is responsible for thirty six thousand deaths annually. About ninety percent of those deaths occur in persons age 65 and older.

It's uncertain whether or not flu vaccine is of any benefit to our elderly population according to Lone Simonsen, from George Washington University in Washington, DC, and colleagues. This doesn't mean you shouldn't get a flu shot. The challenge here is for better studies - few studies have actually included persons who are at least seventy years old. Yet, elders are the ones specifically targeted to receive flu vaccine.

As we age, our antibody response decreases, according to the few studies that have been done. Since 1960, the World Health Organization has endorsed targeting influenza vaccination for elders and people with increased susceptibility. More people receive flu vaccine than in the past, but studies are unable to document that deaths have declined from flu.

Knowledge about the aging immune response should lead researchers to develop better policies regarding vaccinating our elderly population.

Be sure to get your flu shot so you won't spread it to anyone at high risk; and thank our scientific community for bringing this issue to light.

Resource Links
Cold and Flu Health
Flu Tips
Holistic Remedies

Drink Tea to Prevent Osteoporosis

A new study has found that women between the ages of seventy and eighty five who drank tea had greater hip bone density than those who did not consume tea. More density simply means heavier, stronger bones, less osteoporosis, and less risk of fractures from accidents.

Researchers believe that the antioxidants in tea may be responsible for the good news. Hip fractures occur frequently with even minor falls. Preventing osteoporosis is a constant challenge post menopause.

The study appeared in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

To get the best benefit of the antioxidants found in tea, you should consume green tea, as it has the highest level of flavinoids - the substance responsible for consuming free radicals (damaging substances in the body). But, not to worry if you don't like the taste of green tea: there are many choices and they're all good for you.

If you have health reasons to avoid caffeine, or just prefer to do so, decaffeinated teas are readily available as an alternative. It doesn't matter if you drink it hot or cold, but instant tea is not your best choice.

It's been known for a long time that tea can strengthen immunity, aid digestion and rid the body of free radicals.

Now we have another potential benefit!

Exercise, drink tea and make sure you have a balanced diet to help yourself maintain a quality lifestyle.

Visit our partner for great gift ideas. Make it a tea party for health!

Tea Gifts

Cardiac Rehabilitation

Cardiac rehabilitation is available to Medicare recipients. If you've had open heart surgery (CABG) or a heart attack (MI), you should ask your doctor to refer you to this formal program that allows you to be observed closely when exercising.

A staff of nurses and exercise physiologists in Cardiac Rehabilitation monitor your EKG (electrocardiogram), educate you about heart disease and help with nutrition.

Researchers have concluded that very few Medicare recipients receive this service. The results vary widely from state to state. The report was published in the October 9th issue of Circulation, authored by Dr. Jose A. Suaya and colleagues at Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachusetts.

Use of Cardiac rehab was greatest in the North Central states and lowest in the South. Participation was also greater in the higher education and income population.

The researchers concluded that the reasons for the above included:

"1. Doctor's referral to cardiac rehab.

2. Patient's awareness of the benefits cardiac rehabilitation

3. Availability of cardiac rehab services near the patient's residence.

4. Appropriate reimbursement rates that allow cardiac rehab facilities to cover operational costs.

5. Patient's ability to get to cardiac rehab, for example, by public transportation, his or her own vehicle, or a ride with a family member." ◦

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Salivary Stones

I first recognized that I had a problem in my own salivary duct when I ate something sweet and the right side of my face became immediately painful and swollen.

It was a bit scary, but I felt otherwise alright. I noticed that my mouth was especially dry, that I didn't seem to be producing any saliva on the right side when I ate.

So I went off to the doctor to get a diagnosis because there were several possibilities about what could be wrong. I needed to make sure I didn't have some sort of malignancy for instance. A CT (CAT scan) definitively confirmed that I had a stone in my salivary duct.

I then poured through my medical journals and articles, reading all about salivary stones and followed my Doctor's advice. Ignoring the presence of a stone is uncomfortable plus if you can't salivate properly you can get an infection from the stagnation of your saliva.

That was several years ago and I still have the stone (sometimes they pass through the gland), but I've managed the pain and swelling without having any surgery. I get the most relief from frequent massages to my jaw area.

I can usually feel my jaw "tightening" and I get symptoms if I'm not well hydrated, or if it's been a day when I've eaten little.

If you've been diagnosed with a stone in your salivary gland, conservative measures, such as jaw massage, applying heat, getting plenty of fluids and using sour candy to stimulate salivation can keep things comfortable and prevent infection in the salivary gland.

When the gland gets swollen, massage it firmly several times throughout the day. If it's painful, apply warm compresses.

Links and Resources

Salivary Duct Tumors
I Village Health
Salivary Gland Disorders


Saturday, October 6, 2007

Put on a Healthy Face

Tips from Dermatologists

Here are some tips for fabulous skin from women dermatologists, over age 40. These are simple and inexpensive.

Products for the face that contain silicone help fill in the lines and creases and hold moisture in. Silicone allows other skin products and makeup to go on smoothly. When you're choosing your moisturizer look for dimethicone or cyclopentasiloxane. Olay Regenerist contains silicone and is great for under the eyes.

Dermatologist also recommend products with Vitamin C, E and Green or White tea because of the antioxidant effect.

Vaseline was recommended by one dermatologist for use on lips, eyelids and cuts to reduce scarring. She also uses vaselin on her hands and feet and as a makeup remover. Now that's a pretty inexpensive fix.

Use gentle cleansers. Many dermatologists recommend Dove soap because it is less drying for mature skin and less acidic. Cleansers that contain aloe and chamomile leave the face soft and don't remove beneficial oils.

Remember that after age forty, skin care becomes more of a challenge, but with just a little pampering you'll have fabulous skin.

I love my aesthetician, I really do. But sometimes I can't get in to see her. But mostly my skin care appointments are costly. Of course, I have to have glowing skin...I must!

Okay now you know beyond a doubt that I'm vain. But it's more than that. I want to look as good as I feel, I really do. Plus I've spent some time in the sun and now I have to undo some of that damage.

My aesthetician taught me some valuable things about face care. She also gave me the most wonderful facial massage. I didn't want to have to get up and go home.

Each visit was about $50 a pop...well worth it, don't get me wrong. But I didn't go back every four to six weeks like I was told.

I found a professional solution that I could use at home. Plus I'd been reading even more about the benefits of facial massage and decided I had to have the Fyola Facial Massager. I did the math and realized it would pay for itself in a matter of about five months. I've spent a lot more than that for my facials already.

Massaging your face makes your skin more elastic. It brings blood and nutrients to the skin surface. Blood carries oxygen to the skin and literally revitalizes the cells. All of this in turn stimulates collagen and elastin keeping those wrinkles and furrows at bay and improving the ones you already have. It also keeps your skin firmer providing a more youthful appearance.

The Fyola facial massager also makes it easier for my moisturizer to absorb so I'm not throwing money away on skin care products that are just laying on the surface of my skin.

Pro Acu Med Skin Care (Can Be Purchased Here - See Bottom of Page)

Cleanse, tone and remove skin toxins with the acu med skin care package. These products are made from organically grown teas and chinese herbs with proven medical benefits.

Kit includes a deep cleansing French Clay mask to remove impurities and revitalize the skin.

Pearl Cream to moisturize - good for all skin types. Pearl cream is a blend of deionized water, glycerin and vitamin A & E in a rich base of Aloe Vera and Green Tea Extract.

Moisturizing Pearl Cream is made from well selected pure precious pearls, which are reduced into a very fine powder. The pearl powder is then blended with rich moisturizing lotion, cooling Aloe Vera and soothing Vitamin E to give the skin a smooth layer of protection from the elements. The blend is balanced with the appropriate amounts of nutrients and moisture. Pearls are an excellent source of minerals, amino acids and calcium carbonate, the most absorbable form of calcium. Pearl Cream is recommended to speed the skin's natural metabolism in order to tone and rejuvenate complexion. It has been used to heal blemishes, minimize large pores and reduce redness. Pearl Cream and Pearl Powder are one of the best natural products for scar reduction!

Calendula, Basil, Dandelion and Red Clover herbal wash to cleanse and improve the overall condition of the skin.

Witch Hazel toner combined with Chamomile to close pores and protect the skin from the elements.

Floral scented face and body splash - the beautiful flowers of spring blended with distilled water and green tea extract.

All five products are available for $59.95. Choose from: Normal, Dry, Oily Problem/Combination Skin

What Your Diet Says About Your Face

We all want smaller waistlines. If that isn't enough to curb your sweet, tooth, consider the following:

Experts now believe that eating sugar can make your skin dull and wrinkled. Appropriately, the process is referred to as the AGE's process: a natural series of events where sugar attaches to proteins and form harmful molecules called Advanced Glycation End products - or AGE's. The process worsens as we eat more sugar, causing a cascade of events.

Collagen and Elastin are the targets of these harmful molecules and the process starts at age thirty five. Collagen is the most prevalent body protein; it's present in all of our cells. When collagen is damaged, it becomes dry and brittle - thus wrinkles and sagging skin.

Type III collagen is the most prevalent in our bodies. The Glycation process turns Type III collagen into Type I, and Type I collagen is more fragile.

It's never too late to build new collagen. Skin products that contain Retinol can be purchased over the counter. In addition, follow these steps for younger looking skin.

1. Limit added sugar in your diet. Sugar is present even in fruits and
Vegetables. High fructose corn syrup is the worst. Click here and find out how
many calories you should eat daily. Your sugar calories should be no
more than 10% of your total for the day.

2. Watch for hidden sugar. Prepared foods are the worse culprits. Try to eat
freshly prepared food. Look for ingredients like barley malt, corn syrup,
dextrose, fruit juice concentrate, maltose, maple syrup, molasses and turbinado
to find these hidden culprits. To help a bit more: the average consumer eats
about 31 tsps. of sugar daily - 465 calories. Ten percent of that is about 46
calories which should be your daily sugar intake maximum -one 12 oz can of
Coke or about six Hershey kisses.

So, when reading labels, find out how many grams of carbohydrates your food
contains. divide it by four (one tsp. of sugar equals 4Gms.) and you'll know
how many tsps. of sugar are in your food. Once you know what your calorie intake
should be it's easier to monitor.

3. Take B Vitamins - at least 1 mg. of B1 and B6 a day. They are potent AGE
inhibitors according to a number of studies. You can get them from food, but
taking a vitamin supplement will ensure that you're getting your "B's". If
you're over age fifty you should take 1.5 mg.

4. Wear sunscreen every day.

5. Eat fruits, nuts and vegetables (cranberries, walnuts and red bell peppers to
name a few). These foods keep sugar from attaching to proteins, halting the
Glycation or AGE process. Skin products with green tea, Vitamin C and E are
real skin savers.

6. Look for skin products that contain aminoguanidine and alistin - they block
the formation of AGE's.

Buy the Pro Acumed Skin Package .

Skin type