Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Harvard Doctor Say's Supplements Are Dangerous

The original article posted by Business Insider, was titled "Supplements are more dangerous than other processed foods, according to a Harvard doctor". And I'd say "Yep, you are right if you buy cheap, non-regulated supplements that give no guarantee of potency (meaning what is on the label is in the tablet); purity (lack of toxins or non-intended ingredients); and bio-availability (disintegrates in the gut).

On the back of virtually any bottle of supplements are two words that strike fear into the heart of Pieter Cohen. The words are printed inside a small square on the back of the bottle beneath bold lettering which claims to list the supplement's ingredients: "Proprietary blend." Under the protective umbrella of these two words, a supplement maker does not have to list all of the details of what's in its product, according to Cohen, an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School.

This "allows companies to put in ingredients without telling us the amounts," says Cohen, who spoke on a recent panel put on by The Forum, an event series organized by the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health. "And those tend to be the higher-risk product." The risks can be serious. Several supplements have been linked with an increase in certain cancers; others have been tied to an elevated risk of kidney stones. Although this research has been widely published, supplements continue to send roughly 20,000 people to the emergency room every year.

Cohen likes to compare the safety framework for supplements with that for food. "In food," says Cohen, "they have to meet what's known as the "generally recognized as safe," or GRAS, standard. That’s not the standard for ingredients introduced to supplements. The standard is not anywhere near that level of scrutiny."

There are some laws regulating dietary supplements, however. In 1994, Congress established the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) to address the labeling and safety of supplements, and several more recent regulations mandate that manufacturers observe what are known as "good manufacturing practices," or GMPs, including ingredient testing.

MyAchingKnees Comment: Taking supplements that are manufactuered under food grade GMP's don't guarantee you are getting what's on the label; nor if the product is fre of toxins. How many foods, including baby foods, have you see re-calls on? I'll tell you one thing - knowing what I know know, starting this journey of a healthy lifestyle relatively late in my life, I would not consume most of the products off the shelfs of stores,..and I would never, ever take fish oil supplements that were not manufactured by under pharamceutical grade processes.

Under the DSHEA, ingredients listed under the "proprietary blend" category don't have to include information about individual amounts of ingredients in that category. Instead, they only have to list the total amount and list the ingredients within the "blend" in order by their weight. This can be a huge problem when it comes to dosages, as certain amounts of the listed ingredients could have dangerous side effects or negative interactions with prescription drugs. "From a regulatory perspective they’re all presumed to be safe but the reality is many people….are harmed by supplements," says Cohen.

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Tuesday, May 9, 2017

10 Cancers That Can Show No Signs or Symptoms

My wife and several friends of mine are cancer patients. My sister recently died from cancer, so the early detection of cancer is important to me. In the past several years researchers in the Medical community have been driven to consider that many types of cancer are not genetic - that they may likely be caused or at least fueled by the environment and our lifestyles. I certainly believe that. I believe that eating poorly, lack of nutrients in our diets, and a daily exposure to toxins contribute significantly to cancers. Sugar, of course, feeds cancer - a moron could figure that out once they get a PET/CT scan where a sugar drink is introduced to the body and detected in the cancer cells during the scan. If you want to spend the last years of your life dying slowly while being pumped full of chemo - then continue your poor lifestyle.

Article from the fitness Cheat Sheet, titled "Silent Killers! 10 Cancers That Can Show No Signs or Symptoms".

While you may think visiting the doctor yearly and getting your routine check-up should be enough to prevent cancers of all types, the truth is that many cancers can be tough to catch early no matter the preventative measures taken. Eating nutritious foods, knowing your family history, and getting plenty of physical activity is a great start for preventing cancer. But knowing exactly what signs and symptoms to look out for, even if you think your health and lifestyle is top-notch, can be life-saving.

Some cancers in particular can be difficult to detect — the American Cancer Society explains the signs and symptoms depend on the location of the cancer itself, how large the area is, and if the cancer has spread. Some cancers fail to show any symptoms until they have grown or spread, or the symptoms that are shown may easily be mistaken for symptoms of something else (fever, fatigue, and weight loss can be common in this case). The following 10 cancers can be particularly hard to detect because of their lack of symptoms early on, so continue to receive check-ups annually and know your family history in case you’re more susceptible to any that are listed.

1. Pancreatic cancer.

The pancreas itself is a small organ that rests within the abdomen, and in general, its uses vary from helping with the digestion of food to secreting hormones that help with maintaining proper blood sugar levels. Pancreatic cancer is one of the most difficult to diagnose because many people don’t experience symptoms during the early stages. According to the American Society of Clinical Oncology, there are also no reliable tests for people who may have this cancer if there are no symptoms present.

Some symptoms of pancreatic cancer include pain in the upper abdomen or upper back, the swelling of extremities due to a blood clot, bloated stomach, weakness, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting, chills, fever, and weight loss. Because pancreatic cancer prevents the body from properly digesting fats, those with the disease may have abnormal stool. Many of these symptoms could easily be seen as a bad stomach virus setting in or even the flu, though, thus making the beginning stages of pancreatic cancer very difficult to detect.

When the cancer begins to spread, jaundice is a common sign, and it can be seen in both the yellowing of the skin and eyes. Fluid in the abdomen and early-onset diabetes are also more advanced signs of the disease.

2. Prostate cancer.

Prostate cancer and other diseases related to the prostate are becoming more prevalent in American men; about one in eight men will develop prostate cancer, and 50% of these cases will occur in men over the age of 50. Prostate Advocates Aiding Choices in Treatments explains prostate cancer can be incredibly difficult to detect because of its general lack of symptoms, and by the time signs are noticeable, the cancer has most likely spread to the bone, where it then becomes much more difficult to treat.

The prostate itself is a gland located at the base of the bladder and around the urethra, and it produces the fluid for sperm. Because the symptoms for prostate cancer and benign prostate enlargement are so similar and become a more common occurrence with age, many men commonly ignore these slight indicators. Some signs to look out for include urinary tract infections and a weak urine stream, blood in the urine, erectile dysfunction, and back pain. If you’re aware that you have a family history of the disease, then watching for these symptoms is crucial, and working to limit your caffeine and alcohol intake as you age can also help to avoid prostate irritation.

MyAchingKnees comment:  I take a Saw Palmetto product.  Lycopene's, good source would be tomato's, are also thought to be good for prostate health.  My PSA used to 3.9 until I got a handle on things and now the last score was 0.7

3. Bladder cancer.

While bladder cancer also does not come with a long list of noticeable symptoms, it’s also not a very well-known or heavily discussed disease, which makes it all the more dangerous. According to the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center, about 70,000 cases of this disease are diagnosed in the U.S. each year. This cancer is also more likely to occur in older adults, and the exposure to tobacco, industrial solvents, paints, and paint thinners raises this risk.

The most common symptom of bladder cancer is blood in the urine, but that’s about it. You may also notice a more frequent need to urinate or painful urination as well. Signs like pain in the midsection or the bones in the bladder area indicate it’s already spread. If bladder cancer is in your family history and you experience blood in your urine, it is important to check with an urologist to ensure that you are cancer-free.

4. Colon cancer.

Most people are aware blood in the stool is a common symptom of colon cancer, but what makes this type of cancer a silent killer is the fact that this blood does not always appear as the bright red color you may expect. Colorectal cancer arises from a tumor forming in the inner wall of the large intestine says MedicineNet, and most cases form from polyps, which are growths on the inner lining of the colon. Because there are often no symptoms associated with the very early signs of colon cancer, removing any known polyps can greatly reduce your risk of cancer development.

As for symptoms of colon cancer, the most common is having blood in the stool that is dark, black, or tarry, according to Men’s Health. Having blood in your stool does not automatically mean cancer, however; it can also mean you have a bleeding ulcer or ulcerative colitis. Abdominal pain, weight loss, and a loss of appetite can also signify colon cancer.

MyAchingKnees comment:  The intake of dietary fiber is important for colon health. Ensure you are getting your daily amount,..plus some.  I do the easy thing, I take a fiber mix in my morning protein shakes, that way I leave the house having already consumed about 80% of my daily needs.

5. Testicular cancer.

The scary thing about testicular cancer is it’s just as likely to affect men between the ages of 20 and 45 as it is older males, says the American Society of Clinical Oncology. Testicular cancer typically develops in the germ cells, which are sperm-producing cells. While these cancerous tumors typically grow within the testicles, they can also grow near the spine or between the lungs. While testicular cancer sounds daunting, the good news is that it is almost always curable if detected early, and it is typically still treatable even when it hits a later stage.

Some men do not experience many noticeable symptoms at all in the early stages of testicular cancer, but there are a few hallmark signs to look out for and notice if they are to arise. One of the first signs is usually a small lump on the testicle or enlargement of the testicle itself. Though this lump may be no larger than a pea, it’s important to get it checked by a doctor just in case, even if you do not experience any pain or tenderness. Testicular cancer may also cause unevenness in the size of the testicles as well, or an ache in the lower abdomen or groin area.

6. Kidney cancer.

Kidney cancer may not be a type you hear about as frequently as others, but UCLA Health says it affects thousands of men and women each year. If diagnosed early, the chances of survival increase, but once the disease has advanced into later stages, it can be very difficult to treat. The tricky thing, though, is there often aren’t many symptoms early on.

It’s possible to experience pain between the upper abs and back on the side where the cancer is located, and it’s also possible to experience flu-like symptoms, fever, rapid weight loss, and fatigue. Unfortunately, most people do not experience any signs or symptoms until the cancer has reached a more serious stage. When the cancer progresses, blood can be found in the urine, but even that can be hard to spot with your own eyes. If you do detect blood in your urine, you should contact your doctor to get it checked out.

7. Stomach cancer.

We’re all familiar with stomach pain and nausea, but few of us ever consider frequent bouts of gastric pain may actually be related to stomach cancer. According to Cancer Treatment Centers of America, there are actually four different types of stomach cancer. Most cases start within the cells of the innermost stomach lining, and in the early stages, there are often no symptoms.

Some people do experience some stomach pain and nausea with this cancer, but because the symptoms match those of common bugs, many will not seek medical help. There is one peculiar symptom worth noting: a feeling of being extremely full, even after only eating a small meal. Others experience a lack of appetite and accompanying weight loss or heartburn. If you notice these symptoms and you’re over the age of 55, then it’s a good idea to ask your doctor about screening.

8. Ovarian cancer.

While men don’t have to worry about this type of cancer, women should be extra vigilant in knowing even the smallest symptoms indicating early ovarian cancer. When abnormal cells in the ovaries begin to multiply out of control, tumors can form and spread to other areas of the body, says Healthline. While there are some symptoms associated with ovarian cancer, they can come and go and are very similar to symptoms for less serious illnesses.

Early symptoms for this disease include abdominal pain and bloating, difficulty eating in general, and an increase in urination. Heartburn, constipation, back pain, menstrual irregularities, and painful intercourse are also associated with ovarian cancer, but again, these symptoms alone may lead you to believe something else is amiss. It’s important to remember these symptoms will persist if cancer is the cause.

While yearly visits to the doctor can often keep you healthy, ovarian cancer can be difficult to detect because there isn’t routine diagnostic screening. That being said, pelvic exams can help doctors find any irregularities.

9. Liver cancer.

The liver’s function is to filter the blood, so in the case of liver cancer, cancer cells from elsewhere in the body can actually lodge themselves in the liver and grow. The Canadian Liver Foundation says cancers can sometimes begin in the gut and then spread to the liver this way. Liver cancer can also start in the organ itself. Once the disease hits the later stages, it can then spread to other parts of the liver.

In the early stages of liver cancer, there are nearly no symptoms, and those that are present are ones you could attribute to other illnesses. Weight loss, loss of appetite, and abdominal pain may occur. There’s good news for those who have a healthy liver, though — it’s rare to develop the disease out of the blue. But for those who have chronic liver disease, it’s worth being really in tune to these symptoms.

MyAchingKnees comment:  Having abused motrin for decades and having been on anti-fungal medicine about 25 years ago, I am concerned about my liver health and now take a daily product for the health of my liver.  My liver function scores have increased.  I get those tests every time I get a yearly blood test......you should too.  

10. Vaginal cancer.

This type of cancer is rare, but because it has so few symptoms that can easily be ignored, it’s worth mentioning. According to Mayo Clinic, vaginal cancer can occur in multiple ways. The most common type of vaginal cancer starts in the thin, flat cells that line the vagina’s surface, but it can also start in the pigment-producing cells or the connective tissue cells.

Most women who develop vaginal cancer don’t have symptoms early on, but as the cancer progresses, there are certain signs to look out for. Unusual vaginal bleeding may occur, and this can happen after intercourse or menopause. You may also feel a lump in your vagina and have painful, frequent urination.

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Sunday, April 9, 2017

10 Warning Signs of Alzheimer's Disease

Article is from VeryWell. I found it after reaching loss of memory or memory changes trying to find information for a friend of mine who is concerned at 65 years old that he is experiencing the beginnings of Alzheimer's Disease. He has complained to me about having a foggy memory for people and their names, misplacing things and other common daily occurrences that I believe are fairly normal. I have told him about the necessity of taking daily nutritional supplements to ensure he gets all the nutrients his body needs as well as the optimizers for brain cognitive function such as Vitamin D and Omega 3 essential fatty acids...but some people are just resistant to taking supplements. "They don't work"...."I've tried them before without benefit"..........."I don't like taking pills" - except of course for their prescription medications which sometimes cause huge side effects. I always respond - "I understand how you feel,..I felt the same way, until I discovered that there is a difference in quality and by taking quality supplements you can not only insure you are getting the nutrients your body needs on a daily basis, but it can enable your body to fight of degenerative diseases."

1. Memory Changes

Wondering if you should be concerned about Alzheimer's or another type of dementia? If you observe any of these 10 classic warning signs (as noted by the Alzheimer's Association), you should contact your physician. Why? Two reasons: 1) Those symptoms could be a sign of a condition that resembles dementia but could be potentially reversed if identified and treated. 2) There are many benefits to early detection of dementia.

The first and most common warning sign is memory loss that interferes with daily life. This includes repeated requests for the same information, increased reliance on written notes or family members, and more difficulty with remembering recent events or information.

What it's not: Occasionally forgetting where you placed the car keys.

While memory loss is often what comes to mind when we think of Alzheimer's disease, there are nine other warning signs that are just as important.

2. Withdrawal From Usual Activities

Apathy, lack of interest, and withdrawal from people and activities around you can be indicative of early dementia. Examples include no longer following a favorite sports team, being apathetic about spending time with treasured grandchildren, giving up knitting or woodworking, and skipping the monthly get-togethers with good friends.

What it's not: Needing a longer break between activities or occasionally feeling overloaded with obligations

3. Disorientation to Time or Place

If you've ever awakened from a deep sleep and couldn't immediately determine the day, time or location, you've experienced disorientation. Magnify that many times over and you've got one of the warning signs of Alzheimer's. Disorientation includes an inability to determine what season or year it is, your location, or why you're in that location. As Alzheimer's progresses, it's not uncommon for the person to believe she's many years younger than she is due to an unawareness of time passing.

What it's not: Wondering what day it is and figuring it out by checking the calendar.

4. Visual-Spatial Difficulties

Visual-spatial changes are another warning sign of dementia. This includes difficulty with depth perception and distances, recognition of familiar faces or objects and interpretation of the images that we see. Activities including navigating stairs, climbing into a bathtub, finding your way home, or reading a book may become more difficult.

What it's not: Vision changes due to macular degeneration or cataracts.

5. Decrease in Written or Verbal Communication Ability

Do you often find yourself trying to come up with the right word and have to settle for saying "the thing you cook food on" because the word "stove" just won't come to you? Maybe you've always been a good writer and recently, you're noticing that you can't get your thoughts down on paper very well. A change in communication ability serves as a warning sign of dementia.

What it's not: Occasional inability to find the right word.

6. Challenges in Problem-Solving and Planning

Maybe your memory seems fine to you, but balancing your checkbook and getting the bills paid on time has become much harder lately. Or you've always been a good cook, but the multiple steps in recipes don't seem to make sense anymore. Even making coffee in the morning takes longer to figure out. These activities involve executive functioning, an ability that typically declines in dementia. If you notice these changes in yourself or someone you love, contact your physician for an assessment.

What it's not: One or two mistakes in your math calculations.

7. Personality and Mood Changes

Has your normally easy-going father become irritable and fearful lately? Maybe he accused you of helping him clean his house just so you could take his money or steal his favorite treasures. Or, he had a catastrophic reaction when you drove him to the store and they had moved the bread to a different aisle. If he's always been temperamental or ornery, it's unlikely that this is related to his cognitive functioning. However, a change over the last several months in his usual mood and behavior is a warning sign that his brain may be experiencing some changes, and he should be evaluated for dementia.

What it's not: Becoming a little more "set in your ways" and disliking changes.

8. Misplacing Items Frequently

Know someone who struggles to keep track of things? In dementia, this is exponentially increased. Not only might things be misplaced, but the process of looking for the item by retracing her steps is much more difficult. The person with dementia may become frustrated because "someone" put her eye glasses in the freezer or "took" her purse. Not only can she not find her shoes, she has no recollection as to how they got in the oven.

What it's not: Losing your keys and them later remembering you set them down on the piano to answer your phone.

9. Decline in Judgment

If you've noticed a pattern of poor judgment lately in your loved one, it's time to schedule an appointment with a physician. Perhaps it's repeatedly getting taken by phone scams and giving money away, or your normally neatly-groomed mother often looks disheveled and needs a shower. You might also notice that she is not appropriately dressed for the weather.

What it's not: The occasional questionable decision with which a loved one disagrees.

10. Getting lost on your way home from the local grocery store, an inability to perform the job you've had for 20 years, or difficulty making your signature grilled cheese are warning signs of Alzheimer's disease or another type of dementia.

It's important to recognize that this isn't referring to attempting to learn something new, such as a new computer system, but rather is a change in ability to complete a task you've always been able to perform until now.

What it's not: Difficulty in figuring out and using the new television remote control.

For more information please visit the Alzheimer's Association

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Monday, March 27, 2017

10 Conditions That Look Like ADHD, but Are Actually Something Else

Article on ADHD from the Cheat Sheet. Which goes on to say: Can’t seem to stay focused at work? You could have ADHD. Or, perhaps it’s something else. While ADHD is often associated with an inability to pay attention, it’s possible this behavior could signal a variety of conditions. If you need a quick refresher on what adult ADHD looks like, check out our list of symptoms here. And if it’s not this disorder, consider the alternatives. Here are 10 conditions that bear an uncanny resemblance.

1. Bipolar disorder

It’s no surprise bipolar disorder and ADHD are sometimes confused with one another, as there are many similarities between the two. According to Healthline, ADHD and bipolar disorder share a handful of symptoms, including mood instability, restlessness, and impatience.

An important distinction between the two, though, is the age at which symptoms begin. ADHD starts during childhood, whereas bipolar disorder typically develops after the age of 18. Additionally, mood swings can come and go within 20 to 30 minutes for a person with ADHD. People with bipolar disorder, however, can experience shifts in mood lasting for hours, even days.

2. Epilepsy

It may seem like epilepsy would be easy to spot, as some people with the condition experience extreme seizures. Others, however, experience epilepsy in a different, less severe manner. For instance, absence seizures, short periods of blanking out due to abnormal brain activity, can sometimes go undetected. According to the Epilepsy Foundation, a person who experiences absence seizures often stares into space for less than a minute, which can appear as nothing more than daydreaming.

Because absence seizures don’t necessarily raise a huge red flag, a person can live with them for years without knowing. At times, they won’t realize someone is talking to them. This unawareness of what’s going on around them can be confused with a lack of focus or inability to pay attention, similar to what those with ADHD experience.

3. Anxiety

Surprisingly, an anxiety disorder can easily present itself as ADHD. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, common symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder include restlessness, difficulty concentrating, and irritability. Excessive worrying can also disrupt social activities and interfere with work or family matters, much like ADHD.

4. Thyroid conditions

Your thyroid has a big job to do, as it’s responsible for keeping your body working properly. And if you’re familiar with the common signs of an over- or underactive thyroid, it’s clear to see how easy it’d be to mistake a thyroid condition for ADHD. For instance, EndocrineWeb lists the following as symptoms of hyperthyroidism: anxiety, moodiness, and hyperactivity. Symptoms of hypothyroidism, on the other hand, include difficulty concentrating, fatigue, and depression. All of these are symptoms are also seen in those with ADHD.

5. Sensory processing disorder

According to the STAR Institute for Sensory Processing Disorder, when a person has the condition, his or her sensory signals are not detected or don’t organize into appropriate responses. Neuroscientist and occupational therapist pioneer A. Jean Ayres gave the best description of sensory processing disorder, saying it can be described as a neurological “traffic jam.”

While more common in children, it’s possible adults can have the condition, as well. The STAR Institute says adults with SPD “may have difficulty performing routines and activities involved in work, close relationships, and recreation.” Additionally, they may report struggles with depression, underachievement, and social isolation. Sounds strikingly like ADHD, doesn’t it?

6. Sleep conditions

A lack of proper sleep can really throw a wrench in your overall productivity for the day. Just think about the morning following a night of restless sleep: It’s likely you’re overly tired and unable to pay attention to the task at hand. According to Verywell, sleep disturbances, which can include sleep apnea and restless leg syndrome, can result in hyperactivity, irritability, and impaired learning.

In the case of restless leg syndrome, the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke reports people with the condition often have trouble with their job, personal relations, and other daily activities. Once again, it’s easy to see how this could be mistaken for ADHD.

7. Central auditory processing disorder

While this condition may coincide with ADHD, ADDitude says some evidence suggests central auditory processing disorder can also occur separately from ADHD. A person with CADP misinterprets what and how another person says something. And no, this doesn’t give you an excuse to ignore your partner when he or she interrupts you during a big game.

Interestingly enough, one school of thought suggests whether or not someone receives either diagnosis could depend on the type of specialist they saw. An audiologist may be more likely to diagnose CAPD, while a psychologist may be more familiar with ADHD. Symptoms the two share, include trouble remembering information presented orally, difficulty following directions, and poor listening skills.

8. Asperger syndrome

People with Asperger syndrome are often considered high functioning, and tend to have more difficulty socially than professionally. According to Autism Speaks, a person who has Asperger’s may struggle with social interactions or exhibit a restricted range of interest.

Although the two conditions may initially seem fairy different, it turns out they’re not always so far apart. True, people with Asperger’s may demonstrate awkward behavior in social situations, whereas those with ADHD may be overly active, but Autism Speaks says the symptoms are often confused. “Indeed, many persons affected by Asperger syndrome are initially diagnosed with ADHD until it becomes clear that their difficulties stem more from an inability to socialize than an inability to focus their attention,” the organization explains.

MyAchingKnees Comment: Really? Aspergers? You had to go there? There are less than 200,000 cases per year in the United States.

9. Obsessive compulsive disorder

Even though OCD and ADHD are different from one another, they can appear quite similar in some cases. The International OCD Foundation notes that, although they’re associated with different patterns of brain activity, the symptoms can overlap. In particular, cognitive effects for both include response inhibition, switching tasks, and working memory.

There are, however, important distinctions between the two. For starters, ADHD affects how a person outwardly relates to his or her environment. OCD, on the other hand, affects a person internally, as their response to anxiety is to turn inward. Hallmark signs of ADHD include inattention, lack of impulse control, and risky behaviors. Hallmark signs of OCD, in contrast, include obsessive thoughts, a more inhibited temperament, and avoidance of risky situations.

10. Depression

By now, you’re familiar with common signs of ADHD. So, you won’t be too surprised to hear the condition is sometimes mistaken for depression. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, symptoms of depression include feeling helpless, restless, and finding it difficult to concentrate. Sounds awfully familiar.

As with any medical condition, it’s important to discuss all symptoms with your doctor, along with family history. A misdiagnosis could be more common than you think.

MyAchingKnees Comment: I would think that if anybody has been diagnosed with ADHD, before you would accept being prescribed the common ADHD medications such as in the Methylphenidate, Dextroamphetamine, Atomoxetine or Guanfacine classes (they just sound bad right?) and the possible side effects of taking those, that a person would try to see if changing their lifestyle as it pertains to nutrition would help. Although I would recommend a quality daily nutritional supplement, Omega 3 Essential Fatty Acids, and a Vitamin D booster, the other half of the equation has to be eliminating or greatly reducing the intake of high glycemic foods. Several Moms I know have had good results with this approach - 1 - not accepting the ADHD label on their kid; 2 - putting them on quality daily nutritional and Omega 3 supplements, and 3 - stop feeding them pop tarts, bagel with cream cheese and sweetened orange juice and instead giving them whole cereal or steel cut oats and an organic juice not from concentrate.

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Friday, March 10, 2017

Unhealthy Eating Is Linked to 400,000 US Deaths per Year

This is an article that was published by AFP-Reuters and I was surprised to see it. Numerous studies have found that a healthy diet was not only a matter of choice but also income and education. Unhealthy eating habits can be blamed for more than 400,000 U.S. deaths a year due to heart disease and related illnesses, researchers said Thursday.

The problem is twofold: U.S. people are eating too much salty, fatty and sugary fare, and not enough fruit, vegetables and whole grains, experts said at a meeting of the American Heart Association in Portland, Oregon. "Low intake of healthy foods such as nuts, vegetables, whole grains and fruits combined with higher intake of unhealthy dietary components, such as salt and trans fat, is a major contributor to deaths from cardiovascular disease in the United States," said lead study author Ashkan Afshin, assistant professor of global health at the University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation.

Trans fat has been largely phased out of the food supply, but can still be found in some margarines, biscuits, cookies, frosting and other processed foods.

The study was based on data from a variety of sources going back to the 1990s, including the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. By examining data on U.S. cardiovascular deaths in 2015, researchers found that dietary habits played a role in the deaths of an estimated 222,100 men and 193,400 women.

If people were to alter their eating habits, many lives could be saved, Afshin said, yet overlooking numerous studies that have found that a healthy diet was not only a matter of choice but also income and education. "Our results show that nearly half of cardiovascular disease deaths in the United States can be prevented by improving diet."

Obesity reaches higher rates in correlation with poverty, which is associated with lower availability of healthy foods and fewer safe neighborhoods where people can walk and children can play for exercise. For instance, more than 75 percent of African Americans are overweight or obese, compared with 67.2 percent of whites.

That pattern affects children, too. In 2012, just over 8 percent of African-American children ages 2 to 19 were severely obese, with a BMI above 40, compared with 3.9 percent of white children. About 38 percent of African American children live below the poverty line, while 12 percent of white children do.

MyAchingKnees Comment: Years ago when my daughter was around 8 or 10 years old, we were driving up a road when my daughter said "I know what you would tell that lady, Daddy." I looked to see who she was talking about and saw a very heavy woman walking up a sidewlk. I asked my daughter "What do you think I would tell her sweetpea?" and my daughter exclaimed "Lady,..two things,...diet and exercise!" I was chagrined and felt my daughter may be getting a perception that I was prejuidiced against heavy people so I had to explain: "I do not dislike heavy people,...to be sure I get mad at them when we I see a 20 something fat Mom with a obese 8 year old - it's the Mom's fault and she is putting major obstacles not to mention the very health of that child in jeopardy. But heavy people (and I'm talking about the obsese) have a greatly reduced quality of life and it's not rocket science to do better. I constantly stress to people the four legged chir of health:

  • Minimize the high glycemic foods, maximize the intake of whole, low gylcemic foods.
  • Take quality nutritional supplements because you just cannot get the nutrients you need by eating
  • Live a Physical life,...walk, jog, play sports, stretch, do Yoga...do something!
  • Avoid Toxins - from household cleaners to consumable toxins like alcohol and tobacco.

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Thursday, February 23, 2017

Kidney Damage from Medications

Published on News - Medical Life Sciences site under the title: Prolonged use of popular heartburn drugs linked to silent, gradual kidney damage. And I, for one, am concerned about kidney, and liver disease as well, as I have know several close friends of mine die from either have kidney and/or liver cancer, or have had a kidney removed due to damage. I very seldom drink alcohol and have added a supplement to provide nutritional support to my liver which also helps detoxify and support my body's natural protective processes. Anyone who takes any prescription or OTC medication, or anything condition or symptom, should at a very minimum research the common side effects that can occur and the ramifications on their overall health.

Taking popular heartburn drugs for prolonged periods has been linked to serious kidney problems, including kidney failure. The sudden onset of kidney problems often serves as a red flag for doctors to discontinue their patients' use of so-called proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), which are sold under the brand names Prevacid, Prilosec, Nexium and Protonix, among others.

But a new study evaluating the use of PPIs in 125,000 patients indicates that more than half of patients who develop chronic kidney damage while taking the drugs don't experience acute kidney problems beforehand, meaning patients may not be aware of a decline in kidney function, according to researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and the Veterans Affairs St. Louis Health Care System. Therefore, people who take PPIs, and their doctors, should be more vigilant in monitoring use of these medications.

The study is published Feb. 22 in Kidney International.

"The onset of acute kidney problems is not a reliable warning sign for clinicians to detect a decline in kidney function among patients taking proton pump inhibitors," said Ziyad Al-Aly, MD, the study's senior author and an assistant professor of medicine at Washington University School of Medicine. "Our results indicate kidney problems can develop silently and gradually over time, eroding kidney function and leading to long-term kidney damage or even renal failure. Patients should be cautioned to tell their doctors if they're taking PPIs and only use the drugs when necessary."

More than 15 million Americans suffering from heartburn, ulcers and acid reflux have prescriptions for PPIs, which bring relief by reducing gastric acid. Many millions more purchase the drugs over-the-counter and take them without being under a doctor's care.

The researchers — including first author Yan Xie, a biostatistician at the St. Louis VA —analyzed data from the Department of Veterans Affairs databases on 125,596 new users of PPIs and 18,436 new users of other heartburn drugs referred to as H2 blockers. The latter are much less likely to cause kidney problems but often aren't as effective.

Over five years of follow up, the researchers found that more than 80 percent of PPI users did not develop acute kidney problems, which often are reversible and are characterized by too little urine leaving the body, fatigue and swelling in the legs and ankles.

However, more than half of the cases of chronic kidney damage and end-stage renal disease associated with PPI use occurred in people without acute kidney problems.

In contrast, among new users of H2 blockers, 7.67 percent developed chronic kidney disease in the absence of acute kidney problems, and 1.27 percent developed end-stage renal disease.

End-stage renal disease occurs when the kidneys can no longer effectively remove waste from the body. In such cases, dialysis or a kidney transplant is needed to keep patients alive.

"Doctors must pay careful attention to kidney function in their patients who use PPIs, even when there are no signs of problems," cautioned Al-Aly, who also is the VA's associate chief of staff for research and education and co-director of the VA's Clinical Epidemiology Center. "In general, we always advise clinicians to evaluate whether PPI use is medically necessary in the first place because the drugs carry significant risks, including a deterioration of kidney function."

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Saturday, January 28, 2017

Live Long, Die Short

An article from MSN Lifestyle caught my attention, it was titled : The one delicious food this 101-year-old eats every day for longevity", and concerned an Indiana centenarian has a sweet formula for longevity, her daily dose of chocolate. This is the latest article in a long string of articles you read from time to time on some elderly person's secret to long life.

Eunice Modlin turned 101 on Monday, celebrating the big milestone with a party with her family. The great-great-grandmother, who lives in Boonville, Indiana, with her son, wasn't available for an interview, but her granddaughter shared some of her longevity secrets. "She eats two pieces of dark chocolate every day," Tammy Modlin Gentry told TODAY. "She's always limited herself to two pieces so she didn't [gain weight]."

Modlin also believes eating vegetables from the garden and never drinking alcohol or smoking has allowed her to live a long, healthy life, Gentry said. The centenarian is losing her eyesight and her balance is off, but she still goes to church and prayer meetings. Modlin's bloodwork shows her health is very good, she added.

MyAchingKnees Comment: "Ah Ha! So it wasn't just the chocolate.   Key factors were also likely staying from the worst toxins of alcohol and tobacco as well as eating fresh vegetables that I'm sure were not GMO! Another factor was likely the first half of her life where processed foods were not readily available.

Gentry said her grandmother's life motto is: You don't always get what you want, but you get what you need. Longevity seems to run in the family: When Modlin turned 100 last year, her relatives flew in her 99-year-old brother from Texas to attend the party.

MyAchingKnees Comment: "It looks to me that this lady is living the motto of "Live Long and Die Short". That means to me living a healthy, functional life up to the day you just kneel over - likely from your heart just wearing out, or what most people would call a heart attack.  When I talk to people who have conditions or health problem which are undoubtedly greatly influenced by their unhealthy lifestyle, bad eating habits, disbelief in nutritional supplements, and exposure to daily avoidable toxins, I always ask "if it is their plan just to keep on living an increasingly miserable life until the good Lord takes them?"   

When she was younger, Modlin was known for her archery skills, a sport she took up in her 20s. Her husband made the bows for the family and they traveled all over the country to compete. At one time, Modlin was in The Guinness Book of World Records for the farthest arrow shot, Gentry said.

MyAchingKnees Comment: Well my goodness, another factor: Live a physical life.

She lived through the Great Depression and other tough times, but remained optimistic. "My grandfather, her one true love, passed away in 1991 and she's still going," she added. "I get choked up because it's my grandma, whom I love to the moon and back."

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