Monthly Archives: August 2017
The Truth About Over-The-Counter Medication: Heartburn Medications
While these medications are tested and found to be “safe”, they add to the imbalance in our bodies. When heartburn occurs, it can be tempting to chew a tablet and wait for the sensation to pass. This is actually damaging to our body’s ability to heal. Many of these medications contain harmful chemicals, such as polyethylene glycol which can be contaminated with dioxane or antifreeze, and aluminum which has been connected to Alzheimers. Other medications like Omeprazol or Zantac which stop acid production are now being associated with vitamin deficiencies, kidney problems, and DEMENTIA!!! Instead of listening to the cry for help, we mute it with an acid-eliminating tablet. This causes our bodies to react more strongly the next time we consume the offending food and makes us reliant upon the medication. Instead of correcting the problem, we mask the symptoms and continue a life of imbalance.
A Different Standard for Healing
Chinese Medicine postulates that a balance between body, mind, emotions, spirit, energy, and activity promotes a healthy life. Our bodies work hard to restore balance, which diverts energy away from the other aspects of our being. When we feel this imbalance, instead of walking down the aisle of the grocery store for the latest heartburn remedy, reflect on your diet and see what might be needed in order for you to heal. Interestingly, heartburn can be caused by not enough acid as well as too much acid. As we get older, this is a more common cause of heartburn.
Supporting Your Body During the Process
The best way to promote wellness inside and out is to allow your body to heal itself. By tuning into signals like heartburn and acid reflux, we learn which foods are damaging to our bodies. These are often starchy white foods. You may still experience symptoms for up to a week after you stop eating them; however, eliminating these foods has provided relief for over 90% of my patients!
It can take time to get used to reading these signals from your body, and I encourage you to be extra gentle and patient with yourself. Pay attention to any uncomfortable sensations, and note which foods you consumed prior to the flare-up. Rely on healthful, soothing teas and supplements when needed. Peppermint is a cooling, helpful herb that is a wonderful remedy for soothing a bout of heartburn. Ginger harmonizes all the organs and is particularly good for your stomach and digestion. Other herbs work with your body to heal instead of simply dulling pain.
You CAN end your addiction to over-the-counter heartburn medicines. Make a few changes to your diet and substitute herbs for your favorite medicine. You’ll be supporting your health both today and in the future!
Heartburn medications can cause heart attacks and death!
Health and Wellness Associates
Dr J Jaranson
312 972 WELL
What is Treacher Collins syndrome?
Treacher Collins is a condition that affects the development of bones and other tissues in the face.
What are the signs and symptoms of Treacher Collins syndrome?
The signs and symptoms of this disorder vary greatly, ranging from almost unnoticeable to severe. Most individuals have:
underdeveloped facial bones,
particularly the cheek bones, and
A very small jaw and chin (micrognathia).
Some people with this condition are also born with an opening in the roof of the mouth called a cleft palate. In severe cases, underdevelopment of the facial bones may restrict an affected infant’s airway, causing potentially life-threatening respiratory problems.
What are the characteristics of Treacher Collins syndrome?
People with TCS often have eyes that slant downward, sparse eyelashes, and a notch in the lower eyelids called an eyelid coloboma.
Some individuals have additional eye abnormalities that can lead to vision loss.
It also characterized by absent, small, or unusually formed ears.
Hearing loss occurs in about half of all individuals with the problem; hearing loss is caused by defects of the three small bones in the middle ear, which transmit sound, or by underdevelopment of the ear canal.
People with Treacher Collins usually have normal intelligence.
How common is this syndrome?
Treacher Collins affects an estimated 1 in 50,000 people.
How do you get Treacher Collins (Causes)?
When Treacher Collins results from mutations in the TCOF1 or POLR1D gene, it is considered an autosomal dominant condition, which means one copy of the altered gene in each cell is sufficient to cause the disorder. About 60 percent of these cases result from new mutations in the gene and occur in people with no history of the disorder in their family. In the remaining autosomal dominant cases, a person with TCS inherits the altered gene from an affected parent.
When TCS is caused by mutations in the POLR1C gene, the condition has an autosomal recessive pattern of inheritance. Autosomal recessive inheritance means both copies of the gene in each cell have mutations. The parents of an individual with an autosomal recessive condition each carry one copy of the mutated gene, but they typically do not show signs and symptoms of the condition.
What genes are related to this syndrome?
Mutations in the TCOF1, POLR1C, or POLR1D gene can cause Treacher Collins. TCOF1 gene mutations are the most common cause of the disorder, accounting for 81 to 93 percent of all cases. POLR1C and POLR1D gene mutations cause an additional 2 percent of cases. In individuals without an identified mutation in one of these genes, the genetic cause of the condition is unknown.
The proteins produced from the TCOF1, POLR1C, and POLR1D genes all appear to play important roles in the early development of bones and other tissues of the face. These proteins are involved in the production of a molecule called ribosomal RNA (rRNA), a chemical cousin of DNA. Ribosomal RNA helps assemble protein building blocks (amino acids) into new proteins, which is essential for the normal functioning and survival of cells. Mutations in the TCOF1, POLR1C, or POLR1D gene reduce the production of rRNA. Researchers speculate that a decrease in the amount of rRNA may trigger the self-destruction (apoptosis) of certain cells involved in the development of facial bones and tissues. The abnormal cell death could lead to the specific problems with facial development found in TCS. However, it is unclear why the effects of a reduction in rRNA are limited to facial development.
What are the treatment and management guidelines for this syndrome?
There is currently no cure for TCS. Treatment is tailored to the specific needs of each child or adult. Ideally, treatment is managed by a multidisciplinary team of craniofacial specialists.
Newborns may need special positioning or tracheostomy to manage the airway. Hearing loss may be treated with bone conduction amplification, speech therapy, and/or educational intervention.
In many cases, craniofacial reconstruction is needed. Surgery may be performed to repair cleft palate, to reconstruct the jaw, or to repair other bones in the skull. The specific surgical procedures used and the age when surgery is performed depends on the severity of the abnormalities, overall health and personal preference.
There are some possible treatments that are being investigated. Researchers are looking for ways to inhibit a protein called p53, which helps the body to kill off unwanted cells. In people with TCS, p53 is abnormally activated, leading to the loss of specific cells and ultimately causing features of TCS. It has been proposed that inhibiting the production of p53 (or blocking its activation) may help to treat affected people. However, more research is needed to determine if this type of treatment is effective and safe.
Researchers are also studying the use of stems cells found in fat tissue to be used alongside surgery in people with TCS and other craniofacial disorders. Early studies have shown that surgical outcomes may be improved using these stem cells to help stimulate the regrowth of affected areas. However, this therapy is still experimental and controversial.
What is the prognosis and life expectancy for a person with Treacher Collins syndrome?
Usually, people with TCS grow to become functioning adults with normal intelligence. With proper management, life expectancy is approximatelythe same as in the general population. In some cases, the prognosis depends on the specific symptoms and severity in the affected person. For example, very severe cases of TCS can cause perinatal death because of a compromised airway.
What other names do people use for Treacher Collins syndrome?
Other names for TCS include:
Mandibulofacial dysostosis (MFD1)
Treacher Collins-Franceschetti syndrome
If you have any questions or concerns regarding this article, please give us a call and we will help you with this and all your healthcare concerns.
Health and Wellness Associates
Dr J Jaranson
Avocado Chicken Salad
Most store bought and deli chicken salad is made with a ton of high-calorie mayonnaise, dark and white meat chicken, and is slapped on some form of white bread. It might have a tiny piece of wilted lettuce to make you feel good. While you may think you’re making a healthy choice, in reality, that chicken salad sandwich is probably loaded with fat, sodium, and calories.
Make a better-for-you version with wholesome ingredients like white meat chicken breast, avocado, Greek yogurt, and plenty of veggies for a flavorful, creamy meal. It’s also loaded with protein from the chicken and yogurt and has satisfying healthy fats and fiber thanks to the avocado. It also has much less sodium and saturated fat than traditional chicken salad, making it a smart choice for lunch.
1 large chicken breast (about 2 cups shredded)
garlic powder, to taste
freshly cracked black pepper
1 small avocado, mashed
2 tablespoon plain nonfat Greek yogurt
2 tablespoon lemon or lime juice
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
freshly cracked pepper
1/2 cup diced onion, any kind
1/2 cup diced celery (about 1 rib)
Heat oven to 350F. Season chicken breast with garlic powder and pepper. Place in a baking dish and cover with foil. Bake 25 to 35 minutes, or until a thermometer inserted into the center reads 165F. Remove chicken and let cool before shredding.
In a large bowl, smash avocado. Stir in yogurt, lime juice, garlic powder and pepper. Stir in chicken, onion and celery. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Ingredient Variations and Substitutions
Dress up your avocado chicken salad with cilantro, cumin, and diced jalapeno for a Southwest flavor.
For a dairy-free version, omit the yogurt and swap in more avocado (about the equal amount).
Cooking and Serving Tips
Save a step (and time) by making this recipe with leftover cooked chicken. You can make this recipe to have on hand for lunches all week long. It tastes great rolled in a whole wheat tortilla, on a sliced of toasted whole wheat bread, or on top of a fresh green salad.
Call us with all your food concerns, for your condition
Health and Wellness Associates
DR G Carney
Sleep Apnea Tied to Cognitive Decline
People who experience certain breathing problems at night may be more likely to develop cognitive impairment than individuals without any difficulties breathing while they sleep, a research review suggests.
Data obtained from 14 previously published studies with a total of more than 4.2 million men and women showed that people with sleep-disordered breathing had 26 percent higher odds of developing cognitive impairment, researchers report in JAMA Neurology.
“Identification of this sleep disorder in elderly persons might help predict future risk of cognitive impairment and thus is important for the early detection of dementia,” said lead study author Yue Leng of the University of California, San Francisco.
“Moreover, sleep-disordered breathing is a treatable disease,” Leng said by email. “If sleep-disordered breathing is a risk factor for dementia, then treatment of sleep-disordered breathing might benefit cognition and help reduce the risk of dementia in the long run.”
Many people with nighttime breathing problems had what’s known as apnea, a potentially serious sleep disorder that involves repeated stops and starts in breathing. Risk factors for sleep apnea include older age and obesity.
In the smaller studies included in the analysis, the increased risk of cognitive impairment associated with sleep-disordered breathing ranged from 23 percent to 86 percent.
When researchers analyzed the increased risk across all of the smaller studies with a similar design, excluding one that was done much differently, the overall increased risk of cognitive impairment associated with sleep-disordered breathing was 35 percent.
Sleep-disordered breathing was also associated with slightly worse “executive function” – that is, the mental processes involved in planning, paying attention, following instructions, and multi-tasking, for example – but it didn’t appear to influence memory, the study also found.
The researchers had only limited data on executive function, however, which made it difficult to determine whether any changes associated with sleep-disordered breathing might be clinically meaningful.
The analysis also didn’t account for obesity, which is independently a risk factor for both apnea and cognitive impairment, noted Marie-Pierre St-Onge, a researcher at Columbia University Medical Center in New York City who wasn’t involved in the study.
“It’s possible that the reduction in oxygen reaching the brain from apnea could, over time, lead to brain injuries that can lead to cognitive impairment,” St-Onge said by email. “There is also a link between obesity and mild cognitive impairment and between obesity and sleep-disordered breathing.”
Shedding excess weight might help, said Hui-Xin Wang of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm.
“Weight-loss strategies, including physical exercise and diet, have been evaluated as a treatment strategy to improve sleep-disordered breathing and reduce the risk of cognitive decline,” Wang, who wasn’t involved in the study, said by email.
Beyond weight loss, treatments for apnea may include wearing a breathing mask or jaw support at night to keep airways open.
More research is needed, however, to determine whether and to what extent treating sleep apnea might lower the risk of cognitive decline, said Kristen Knutson of the Center for Circadian and Sleep Medicine at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago.
“There are therapies available for apnea that would improve sleep and potentially improve health, including cognitive function,” Knutson, who wasn’t involved in the study, said by email. “People who have trouble sleeping or who snore loudly and frequently should raise this issue with their doctors and discuss potential treatments.”
Call us with any of your healthcare concerns.
Health and Wellness Associates
Dr G Carney
Are You Ready For A Change?
Whether as a family or as an individual, change cannot happen unless you are ready for it.
There are four stages of readiness when it comes to change.
Stage 1: Compelled by authority to change.
Stage 2: Comply to escape criticism. (“It’s when everybody expects you to do it, so you fulfill their expectations.”)
Stage 3: Intellectually aware of the need for change.
Stage 4: Mentally and emotionally self-motivated by change.
“Stage 4 is when you can honest to God say, ‘I am so sick to death of this that I will not put up with this for another second, for another minute of another hour of another day. I don’t care how scary it is, I don’t care what’s on the other side, I will not put up with this for another second. I will change this, I don’t care what it takes.’ That’s when you get change,”
Health and Wellness Associates
Dr. M. Williams
What to Tell Your Boss About Your Mental Health Diagnosis
A diagnosis of a mental illness—either yours or a family member’s—can upend your career. Your condition may get in the way of your ability to do your job well, or, even if it doesn’t, you may need to make special arrangements to get the care you or your loved one needs.And disruptions can prove costly. Workers with depression lose nearly six hours of productivity a week at work, according to a 2003 study published in JAMA. According to a 2013 Gallup survey, full-time workers with depression miss an additional 4.3 days of work a year compared to their counterparts without depression, while a American Journal of Psychiatry report found that workers with serious mental illness earn about 40% less than those with no such problems.
No two paths are the same. Stan Brodsky, 71, was walking to the shower one morning 15 years ago when a sinking feeling stopped him in his tracks. “I just couldn’t do it,” says Stan. “I had to get back in bed.”Brodsky, diagnosed with serious depression, was fortunate. His therapy costs were held in check thanks to his insurance, while his company essentially told him to take the time he needed to get well.
But then there’s Linette Murphy. She first knew something was wrong when her daughter Sapphira was three-and-a half. “I received calls from daycare saying that she was throwing chairs, having temper tantrums that lasted for hours, and banging her head against the wall,” Murphy recalls.Sapphira was diagnosed with disruptive mood dysregulation (or bipolar disorder) at age four. Over the decade that’s followed, Murphy has spent tens of thousands of dollars, and countless hours, caring for her child. In doing so, she’s sacrificed career advancement over and over again.
“I have willingly taken two demotions, and a cut in pay of about $25,000, so that I could move from my corporate headquarters in Orlando to New England, to better schools for my daughter and to be closer to family so they could help with her care,” Murphy says. “I have turned down a promotion every single year for the last eight years so that I can effectively juggle my career and being her mom.”
What Brodsky and Murphy’s stories underscore is that there is no way to predict how a mental illness will affect your career. And since you may not know how your employer will respond, you may be cautious about revealing your condition in the first place.
What’s more, a condition like depression or anxiety can be a hidden disability, which puts the onus on you to manage the conversation. In fact, one study found that those with a less apparent disability are more concerned with their jobs than those will more obvious symptoms are. They fear they’ll be fired or not hired and won’t be offered a promotion, according to a 2013 study in the Employee Responsibilities and Rights Journal, which polled 780 people with disabilities ranging from a mental health condition to a hearing impairment.
The most common reason people with any disability gave for not informing an employer was a fear of being fired, not hired or missing out on a promotion. Only a quarter of those with mental health symptoms feel that “people are caring and sympathetic to persons with mental illness,”according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
To navigate your work environment no matter your condition, follow this guide.
Know Your Rights
If you can do your job but need some flexibility or specific accommodations, you’re most likely entitled to receive them.
The Americans With Disabilities Act, which applies to companies with more than 15 employees, covers a psychological disability if it “substantially impairs one or more major life activities” and you can do the job “with or without reasonable accommodations.”
That means you could request adaptable start times and schedules, a specialized work area to reduce noise or distraction, and working from home, among other possible accommodations.
Request your reasonable accommodations in writing from your company’s HR department. (You can find a sample letter on the Job Accommodations Network’s website.) If you feel as if your employer is not responsive to your needs, you can file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Take Advantage of In-House Help
Most large and midsize companies offer employee assistance programs, says Aon Hewitt senior senior health and wellbeing consultant Denise Heybrock. You, or your family members, will receive a few free sessions of confidential counseling, generally five to eight, and help finding more permanent in-network care if you need longer-term assistance.
Assess the Culture
If you suffer from, say, bipolar disorder or depression, but don’t need a special schedule or similar adjustment, you may want to think long and hard before disclosing your illness.
“Do you feel good about the culture in your organization?” asks Carolyn McClanahan, a medical doctor and Jacksonville, Fla., financial planner. “Have you seen your organization help people go through issues like your facing?”
If the answer is no, or if your company seems to be looking for an excuse to reduce payroll, you might be better off not disclosing your illness to your supervisor—or even the employee assistance program—unless you absolutely have to.“There’s a lot of fear. People equate mental health with danger and violence,” says Sade Ali, senior associate in the behavioral health technical assistance center of the Altarum Institute. “There’s still a lot of struggle around seeking care and being identified as someone with challenges.”
Be Willing to Be Flexible
Open a line of dialogue with your employer if you need to alter your schedule. MaryEllen Joyce, much like Linette Murphy, had two full-time jobs: coordinating care for her son, who suffered from substance abuse and depression, and working as a business manager for a Massachusetts marketing company.
The responsibility of her son’s care fell squarely on Joyce’s shoulders, which meant she had fewer hours in the day to do her job. So she and her boss settled on a deal: Three days a week she’d leave at 2 p.m., and in exchange her pay would be cut by a third. While the trade-off was difficult to swallow, it allowed Joyce to drive to her son’s therapeutic school visits, wrangle with insurance providers, and keep her job.Her son has made progress, she says, and things have started to settle down, letting Joyce invest more in her career. “It was hard fought, but I got my full-time job back,” Joyce says. “I was rewarded by getting more responsibility.”
Health and Wellness Associates
Dr. M. Williams
Seven Steps to Reaching Your Goals
Successfully executing any personal strategic plan for change requires that as you develop your plan, you effectively incorporate these seven steps for attaining each and every goal:
- Express your goal in terms of specific events or behaviors.
For a dream to become a goal, it has to be specifically defined in terms of operations, meaning what will be done. When a goal is broken down into steps, it can be managed and pursued much more directly. “Being happy,” for example, is neither an event nor a behavior. When you set out to identify a goal, define what you want in clear and specific terms.
- Express your goal in terms that can be measured.
How else will you be able to determine your level of progress, or even know when you have successfully arrived where you wanted to be? For instance, how much money do you aspire to make?
- 3. Assign a timeline to your goal.
Once you have determined precisely what it is you want, you must decide on a timeframe for having it. The deadline you’ve created fosters a sense of urgency or purpose, which in turn will serve as an important motivator, and prevent inertia or procrastination.
- 4. Choose a goal you can control.
Unlike dreams, which allow you to fantasize about events over which you have no control, goals have to do with aspects of your existence that you control and can therefore manipulate. In identifying your goal, strive for what you can create, not for what you can’t.
- Plan and program a strategy that will get you to your goal.
Pursuing a goal seriously requires that you realistically assess the obstacles and resources involved, and that you create a strategy for navigating that reality. Willpower is unreliable, fickle fuel because it is based on your emotions. Your environment, your schedule and your accountability must be programmed in such a way that all three support you — long after an emotional high is gone. Life is full of temptations and opportunities to fail. Those temptations and opportunities compete with your more constructive and task-oriented behavior. Without programming, you will find it much harder to stay the course.
- Define your goal in terms of steps.
Major life changes don’t just happen; they happen one step at a time. Steady progress, through well-chosen, realistic, interval steps, produces results in the end. Know what those steps are before you set out.
- Create accountability for your progress toward your goal.
Without accountability, people are apt to con themselves. If you know precisely what you want, when you want it — and there are real consequences for not doing the assigned work — you are much more likely to continue in your pursuit of your goal. Find someone in your circle of family or friends to whom you can be accountable. Make periodic reports on your progress.
Health and Wellness Associates
Dr. M. Williams
Lower Your BP with Onions
Lower your Blood Pressure with a daily dose of onions.
In a Spanish study, eating 1/3 cup of onions daily, any kind of onions,
it cut patients blood pressure by 21% in five weeks. Onions are
rich in quercetin, a natural diuretic that lowers pressure by
flushing our excess fluids and salt. Many people stop eating onions
because of bad breath worries, but please put them back in your
diet and make sure any older people put them back in their diets
also, to avoid congestive heart problems.
If you are having any concerns, please call us and ask to set up a consultation.
Picture: Onion Flower
Health and Wellness Associates
This is What Happens To Your Brain Every Time You Eat 1 Tbsp of White Sugar
For years doctors and health professionals have been telling us that process foods, too many red meats, and sugars are unhealthy for our bodies. However, it wasn’t until much more recently that researchers began to make a connection between nutrition and mental health.
All Food is Not Created Equal
Sadly, only 13% of men and 15% of women are eating enough fruits and vegetables to sustain a healthy body and mind. Substances and additives from processed foods have to go somewhere. Your body absorbs them the same way that it does essential nutrients and vitamins.
However, your body, and most importantly, your brain uses nutrients and vitamins to keep your tissue healthy and your brain functioning at 100%. If those ingredients are replaced with artificial ingredients, hormones, and preservatives, your body has been stripped of one of its most basic functions – keeping you healthy and sharp.
Take processed foods that are high in refined sugar, for example. Research has shown that once the brain takes in processed materials that it cannot use, it is very hard for it to get rid of these materials. Refined sugar is one of these substances.
Your body doesn’t quite know what to do with it, and it can actually cause inflammation of tissue inside the body, which can cause permanent damage. As a result, many people suffer from slowed brain function or cloudiness as well as worsened mood and even depression just from eating an unhealthy snack.
As they say, once and awhile shouldn’t produce any long term effects, but less often is always a better option.
How Food is Linked to Your Mental Health
Since nutrition is one of our body’s most basic needs, folks suffering from mental and physical illnesses may want first take a look at their diet when starting recovery.
Of course, this is not to say that changing your diet will cure all health related problems, but it has been scientifically proven that maintaining a healthy diet can help the body flush out unnecessary toxins and free-radicals as well as improve their mood.
For example, people who abuse drugs for an extended period may experience a huge change in mood and their mental health. This is due to the nature of certain drugs. Drugs like heroin interact with the brain in a way that makes the user feel euphoric by telling the brain to send out a plethora of pleasure-inducing chemicals, like dopamine.
When someone decides to get off the drug, their mental health often plummets because of the instant lack of dopamine in the brain. Their brain essentially “crashes” and doesn’t know how to heal itself just yet. So, in tandem with a stable rehabilitation, proper nutrition can help to restore the brain to its former glory.
Unfortunately for some, permanent damage does occur which may not ever be reversible, but in many cases, a well-balanced diet can truly, positively affect a person’s mental health by boosting their mood and maintaining a healthy balance of good chemicals in the brain.
The Digestive Tract
Another great example that proves how important diet is is the digestive tract. 95% of our serotonin is produced in the digestive tract. Serotonin is a chemical that regulates sleep, our moods, and our appetite.
Millions of nerve cells cover your digestive tract, and these nerve cells are the ones who produce good chemicals, like serotonin – as long as they are healthy. When you eat foods with healthy oils and good bacteria, like yogurt or kombucha, your nerve cells are protected from any nasty things that might interrupt their functions.
However, regular ingestion of foods with preservatives, hormones, and antibiotics can kill the good bacteria in your gut and essentially kill your nerve cells as well. If this happens, those nerve cells aren’t able to do their job, and it can severely affect your mood.
Taking care of your body is just as important as taking care of your mental health – and vice versa. It’s time that we all realize that our body truly is amazing and can heal itself in miraculous ways, but only if we feed it the right ingredients to do so.
If you need a healthcare plan just for you, give us a call and we can accommodate you.
Health and Wellness Associates
Dr. P Carrothers