Health and Disease, Uncategorized

Toxins and Fibromyalgia

fibromyalgia.jpg

An Over-Toxified Body Could Be Causing Fibromyalgia

 

Are you fatigued or in pain? It may be time to check underlying toxic exposures that create conditions which may be exacerbating how you feel.

We are electrical beings. There are many things in our world today that can deplete electricity.  Causes of depleted electricity can be linked to Fluoride, and medications containing fluoride such as SSRI’s, toxic cosmetics containing aluminum, mercury, and vaccines. Addictions causing a toxic liver can be a cause of depleted oxygen and energy. These include smoking, excessive alcohol, and sugar.  Food choices that can steal our energy and disrupt our hormones are pesticides in processed foods, MSG, Aspartame, HFCS and the SAD diet, all which can lead to increased risk for inflammation and other autoimmunity disorders. According to Science News, chronic fatigue is in our gut and not our head.  A toxic liver and toxic gut will affect all organs without exception. It could deter healing, slow down recovery, cause fatigue, weaken immunity, cause low energy, increase weight gain, depression, and ailments of all sorts including autoimmunity disorders. EMF’s can deplete our energy and disrupt our sleep patterns which continue to stress the mind and body. A high caffeine diet can exhaust adrenal glands.  And finally, deficiencies in Magnesium can steal our energy and oxygen-rich red blood cell count can be low.

There is a blood test called FM/a that identifies possible markers produced by immune system blood cells in people with fibromyalgia. But a diagnosis is really dependent on how you feel. Fibromyalgia includes body pain, fatigue, and insomnia. But Fibromyalgia can also be called a skin condition.  Trigger points are inflamed tissue that’s located just below the skin and is generally especially sensitive to the touch. The pain symptoms of fibromyalgia are believed by many researchers to be related to the fascia of the body. In fibromyalgia, the amount of blood flow to the peripheral tissues (the skin) is substantially reduced.

In layman terms, the immune system within the skin is acting up and this involves the capillaries and small blood vessels. To make matters worst, fibromyalgia is found in our gut. Fibromyalgia pain is found mostly in the back of the head, neck, stomach, hip and knees. Most complaints are chronic headaches and nausea.

 

But, fibromyalgia is no longer considered to be similar to the arthritic condition. (a disease of the joints) If we were to take a step back -we could possibly find the hidden connections.  There is a mental health concern with fibromyalgia that is not with arthritis. 

Today our children from about age 7 to 10 years old are diagnosed with fibromyalgia.  You may find this shocking. But if we check, it’s no surprise to find that these children can also have a toxic internal environment from a poor diet and lack of movement. They are also stressed. Subsidized school lunches can increase the risk for obesity. Increase wi-fi use can increase toxicities. Being overweight can play a causative role in pain, inflammation, and low energy levels. Secondly, children are prescribed more antibiotics, Ritalin, statins and antidepressants in the last decade. Medications can decrease good gut microbiome, decrease the quality of sleep and cause weight issues.

 Dont ever treat fibromyalgia with another toxin or chemical, such as an unnecessary prescription.  

If you think you have fibromyalgia, and you want to know how to cure this, please give us a call and set up a consultation.

 

Health and Wellness Associates

Archived

Dr P Carrothers

312-972-WELL

 

HealthWellnessAssociates@gmail.com

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Uncategorized

 

familystyle

Communal Meals and Recipes great for Family Style Meals

 

Sharing a meal cultivates a deep sense of comfort and belonging.  It is always better to use your eating time to be with someone else.  Your brain switches gears, and you have to share, and listen to someone else instead of it being your brain talking to you.

Eating together is community, whether you’re with a team of athletes, a group of friends, or family.

 

Below are some recipes that might work great when having a group meal.

 

Rustic Lemon Chicken

Roasted chicken is simple to prepare, and the herbs and lemon provide a bright contrast to its roasted flavor.

rusticlemonchicien

Makes six servings

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 70 minutes

6 chicken leg quarters, about 3 lbs. total

Olive oil

5 garlic cloves, chopped

Red-pepper flakes to taste

Coarse salt to taste

½ cup chopped fresh herbs (any combination of parsley, thyme, rosemary, and tarragon)

1 lemon, half of it sliced

Drizzle the chicken thoroughly with olive oil and then rub it with the chopped garlic, red-pepper flakes, and salt. To enhance flavor, allow chicken to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.

 

Adjust your oven rack to the middle position and preheat the broiler to high. Place the chicken skin-side up in a roasting pan. Top with half of the fresh chopped herbs and the lemon slices.

 

Transfer the pan to the oven. (Note that using the broiler will give the meat a nice color and texture, but it will also create smoke, so make sure to vent your kitchen or turn the fan on.) Broil for five to 10 minutes, until the chicken has a crisp finish.

 

Switch the oven from broil to bake and set the temperature to 375 degrees F. Bake for 60 minutes, or until the meat reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.

 

Let the chicken cool for at least 10 minutes. Garnish with the remaining fresh herbs and a squeeze of lemon before serving.

 

Kabocha Squash Mash

Any seasonal variety of squash, including pumpkin, will work with this simple recipe.

 

kabochasquash

Makes six servings

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 35 minutes

3 lbs. kabocha squash

Olive oil

Coarse salt and pepper to taste

Sprinkle of nutmeg

1 Anjou pear, peeled, cored, and diced

Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.

 

Split the squash lengthwise, and scoop out the seeds; brush the cut sides with olive oil, then sprinkle with salt and pepper.

 

Lay the squash cut-side down on a baking sheet and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until soft to the touch.

 

Allow squash to cool slightly, then scoop out the flesh; transfer to a mixing bowl, sprinkle with nutmeg, and mash. Gently fold in the diced pears and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm.

 

Broccoli Soup With Smoked Trout and Chives

Served hot or cold, this is a simple soup you can enjoy throughout the year. For a vegetarian version, skip the smoked fish and finish it with a splash of good extra-virgin olive oil.

broccolisoup

Makes six servings

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Soup

 

2 lbs. broccoli crowns

½ cup minced onion

4 cups water

2 tsp. salt

Juice from half a lemon

Salt and pepper to taste

Garnish

 

3 to 4 oz. smoked trout fillet, flaked

¼ cup chopped fresh chives

Freshly grated Parmesan (optional)

In a large pot over medium-high heat, simmer the broccoli and onion in the salted water until just tender, about eight to 10 minutes. Don’t overcook the broccoli: It should still be a vibrant green color.

 

Transfer the cooked broccoli, onions, and liquid to a blender or a food processor and purée in batches until the soup reaches a smooth consistency. Season to taste with a squeeze of lemon, plus salt and pepper.

 

Return the soup to the pan and warm before serving, if desired. Serve in individual bowls topped with the smoked trout, fresh chives, and Parmesan.

 

Radicchio Slaw

This is a fresh, tart slaw that pairs well with rich chicken, beef, and pork. It’s also tasty on an omelet. The pickled green peppercorns and capers are readily available from Italian or Mediterranean markets, but you can add any salty pickled item that appeals to you.

taddicioslaw

Makes four to six servings

Prep time: 20 minutes

1 small head radicchio, chopped

1 tbs. thinly sliced shallot or red onion

¼ cup chopped fresh basil

¼ cup chopped fresh parsley

1 sprig fresh thyme, leaves removed and chopped

½ cup chopped green olives

1 oz. anchovies in oil, chopped

1 tsp. pickled green peppercorns or capers

2 tbs. extra-virgin olive oil

Juice from 2 lemons

Combine the radicchio, shallot or onion, herbs, olives, anchovies, and pickled peppercorns or capers in a large bowl. Toss with olive oil and lemon juice to coat. Serve.

 

Warm German Potato Salad

People typically associate potato salads with summertime grilling, but a warm potato salad like this one belongs on the table with hearty meals in the fall and winter months, too.

warmgermanpotato

Makes four to six servings

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

1 lb. small red potatoes, quartered (about 3 cups)

¼ cup white vinegar

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 tbs. coarse-ground mustard

1 cup minced celery and celery leaves

¼ cup minced onion

¼ cup chopped fresh parsley

½ tsp. coarse salt

¼ tsp. pepper

¼ tsp. coarse sugar

Juice from half a lemon

Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil and add the potatoes. Once the water returns to a boil, cook for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are fork tender. Drain the potatoes and set aside to cool slightly.

 

While the potatoes are cooking, whisk together the vinegar, olive oil, and mustard in a large measuring cup or bowl.

 

Place the celery and celery leaves, onion, and parsley in a mixing bowl. Add the potatoes while they are still warm, and gently mash them with the other ingredients. Pour the whisked dressing over the potato mixture and add in the salt, pepper, and sugar.

 

Adjust flavor with additional salt and pepper as needed, and finish with a squeeze of lemon. Serve warm.

 

We hope you enjoy all these whole food recipes.  If you have any healthcare concerns or questions, please give us a call.  If you need a personal healthcare plan, just for you, call and let us know that you need to set up a consultation.

Health and Wellness Associates

Archived

Dr A Lim

Dr P Carrothers

312-972-WELL

HealthWellnessAssociates@gmail.com

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Foods, Uncategorized

Slow Cooked Moroccan Beef Stew

moroccan beef stew

Slow Cooker Moroccan Beef Stew

 

This stew is typically served with couscous made from high-FODMAP wheat, however quinoa, buckwheat groats, or millet are excellent low-FODMAP stand-ins for couscous. A green salad would be a nice accompaniment, as well.

 

Ingredients

3 pounds beef chuck roast

4 teaspoons garlic-infused olive oil, divided

1 cup water, divided

2 medium carrots, peeled, cut into ½-inch chunks

1 medium parsnip, peeled, cut into ½-inch chunks

1 cup finely chopped leek leaves

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground turmeric

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar

14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained

1 pound cubed sweet potato, skin on, cut into 1-inch pieces

Preparation

Trim and discard visible fat from the beef, and cut it into 1-inch cubes. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat 2 teaspoons of oil. Add half of the beef, without crowding pieces, and allow them to brown on one side without moving. When pieces are dark brown, after about three minutes, turn them over. Brown the beef on another side for 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the pieces from the skillet and set aside. Add ½ cup of water to the skillet and scrape up the browned bits. Add this liquid to the slow cooker. Reheat the skillet with 2 more teaspoons of oil and brown the second batch of beef. Repeat adding water to the skillet, scraping browned bits and adding liquid to the slow cooker.

 

Add the carrots, parsnip, leek leaves, cumin, turmeric, cinnamon, ginger, salt, pepper, brown sugar, and tomatoes to the slow cooker. Distribute the partially cooked beef in a single layer on top of the vegetables.

Top with sweet potatoes, cover and cook on high for 6-8 hours, depending on your slow cooker. The stew is ready to serve when the sweet potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork. Serve over cooked quinoa or rice.

Ingredient Substitutions and Variations

Replace sweet potato with 4 cups of kabocha squash (1¼ pounds), seeds removed, cut into 1 inch pieces. There is no need to peel it, as the skin is edible.

 

To make cutting kabocha squash safer and easier, microwave the entire squash on high power for 3 minutes for a 1 ½ pound squash, longer for a larger squash. Test with a large chef knife; the skin should yield to knife but not be too soft. If the squash’s skin resists the knife, continue to microwave it in 1 minute increments.

 

Place the bottom side down and halve squash slightly to one side of the stem.

 

Cooking and Serving Tips

Why not start the stew before bed and wake up to a fragrant kitchen? Refrigerate it in the morning and reheat it for dinner.

 

Health and Wellness Associates

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Dr J Jaranson

312-972-WELL

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Health and Disease, Uncategorized

Cholesterol Lowering Drugs Will Wreck Your Muscles and more

musclecramps

Cholesterol-Lowering Drugs Will Wreck Your Muscles

 

Cholesterol-lowering “statin” drugs often come with side effects. The most frequently reported consequence is fatigue, and about 9 percent of patients report statin-related pain.

 

The results of a new study show that statins at higher doses may also affect the ability of the skeletal muscles — which allow your body to move — to repair and regenerate themselves.

 

The study examined the proliferative capacity of human satellite cells when exposed to the statin simvastatin. They found that higher end concentrations of the drug led to reduced proliferation, which would likely negatively affect the muscle’s ability to heal and repair itself.

 

Statins — a class of drugs used to lower your cholesterol — are among the most commonly prescribed medications in the world. I’ve long maintained that statins are one of the most unnecessary drugs there is, and I’m not about to change my mind anytime soon. The list of studies documenting their dangers to your health just keeps getting longer.

 

With at least 12 million Americans taking statins, and experts’ recommendations that another 23 million “should” be taking them, it’s important to educate yourself on this issue.

 

Now, there are a very small group of people with genetic enzyme defects that end up having cholesterol levels above 325-350. These are about the only individuals in my experience, who seem to benefit from statins. In my clinical experience, which spans over more than two decades and thousands of patients, there have been a grand total of three patients that required statins to control this genetic problem.

 

For the remainder of you, taking a statin drug to control your cholesterol levels will likely do far more harm than good.

 

The Dangerous Side Effects of Statin Drugs

 

Statins have been known to cause muscle pain and weakness, but no one knew exactly why. More recent studies, however, have shed light on this mystery – including the latest study above. These findings add valuable talking-points to your arsenal when discussing your need for a statin drug with your doctor.

 

As Dr. Thalacker-Mercer, a member of the research team, stated:

 

“While these are preliminary data and more research is necessary, the results indicate serious adverse effects of statins that may alter the ability of skeletal muscle to repair and regenerate due to the anti-proliferative effects of statins.”

 

And,

 

“It is possible that older adults may not be able to distinguish between muscle pain related to a statin effect or an effect of aging and therefore adverse effects of statins in older adults may be under-reported.”

 

In this study, the viability of the proliferating cells was reduced by 50 percent at a dose equivalent to 40 milligrams of Simvastatin – the dose per day used in some patients. This could clearly have a negative effect on your skeletal muscles’ ability to heal and repair themselves, and could lead to eventually becoming more or less incapacitated.

 

Additionally, a study published last year in the Journal of Clinical Investigation found that statin drugs can activate the atrogin-1 gene, which plays a key role in muscle atrophy.

 

Three separate tests showed that even at low concentrations, statin drugs led to atrogin-1 induced muscle damage. As the drug dose increased, the damage increased as well.

 

One thing is for sure. You should NOT ignore symptoms of pain and muscle weakness, as they can deteriorate into even more dangerous conditions, including death.

 

For example, Bayer’s statin, Baycol, was pulled from the market in 2001 after 31 people died from rhabdomyolysis, a condition in which muscle tissue breaks down resulting in kidney failure.

 

Adding insult to injury, Vytorin, a drug that combines two cholesterol drugs — Zetia and Zocor – into one pill, has been found to cause the opposite effect of that desired: plaques grew nearly TWICE AS FAST in patients taking the Zetia-Zocor combination compared to those taking Zocor alone.

 

Experts called the results “shocking.”

 

Other serious and potentially life threatening side effects include, but are not limited to:

 

An increase in cancer risk

Immune system suppression

Chronic Kidney Failure

Potential increase in liver enzymes, so patients must be monitored for normal liver function

What You Must Know About Cholesterol

 

Statin drugs work by preventing the formation of cholesterol, and reducing LDL cholesterol, which is considered the “bad” cholesterol. There is no argument that these drugs are effective at lowering your cholesterol levels. However, they in no way, shape or form, treat the cause of your problem.

 

In order to understand why you don’t need them to manage your cholesterol levels, you first need to understand that there is no such thing as “good” or “bad” cholesterol.

 

Both HDL and LDL cholesterol perform vital functions in your body, which is why it’s actually dangerous to bring your LDL levels down too low.

 

HDL (high density lipoprotein) and LDL (low density lipoprotein) are actually proteins that transport the cholesterol to and from your tissues. Cholesterol in turn is a precursor to steroid hormones. (For example, you can’t make testosterone or estrogen, cortisol, DHEA or pregnenolone, or a multitude of other steroid hormones that are necessary for health, without cholesterol.)

 

Even more importantly, you can’t make new cell membranes without cholesterol.

 

So, the major reasons your body makes cholesterol in the first place, and why you have LDL, is to take the cholesterol to the tissue so you can make new cells or repair old damaged ones.

 

The Relevant Facts About “Bad” Cholesterol Your Doctor May Not Have Told You

 

The reason why LDL could be considered “bad” at all is because there are different sizes of LDL particles, and it’s the LDL particle size that is relevant. Small particles can easily get stuck and cause inflammation, which leads to damage and the buildup of scar tissue, also known as arterial plaque.

 

Unfortunately, most people don’t hear about that part.

 

And, naturally, the drug companies don’t want you to know that part of the science because it would severely limit the number of people going on cholesterol-lowering drugs, since statins do not modulate the size of the particles.

 

The only way to make sure your LDL particles are large enough to not get stuck and cause inflammation and damage is through diet. In fact, it’s one of the major things that insulin does.

 

If you eat properly — which is really the only known good way to regulate LDL particle size — then it does the right thing; it takes the cholesterol to your tissues, the HDL takes it back to your liver, and nothing gets stuck causing damage.

 

Simply Reducing Your Insulin Levels Can Achieve Statin Drug Effect

 

Another noteworthy point: Statins work by reducing the enzyme that tells your liver to produce cholesterol when it is stimulated by increased insulin levels. But you can achieve the same, or better, result by simply reducing your insulin levels.

 

How?

 

Simple! Reducing or eliminating sugar and most grains will effectively lower your insulin levels naturally.

 

You also need to be aware that statins are non-specific inhibitors of not just one, but a number of very important liver enzymes. For example, not only do they block HMG coenzyme A reductase (a key enzyme in cholesterol synthesis), they also block Coenzyme Q10.

 

CoQ10 is a vital enzyme that your body needs for energy and cardiovascular health. It is widely recommended to repair heart damage, boost the function of the heart and acts as a protectant against heart attacks and valve damage. Additionally, CoQ10 has been shown to be beneficial in heart and lung cancer, as well as maintain cognitive function.

 

Thus, when you take statins your production of this enzyme is dramatically depleted and you do not reap the health benefits associated with it.

 

How to Normalize Your Cholesterol Without the Use of Drugs

 

Just about every person, other than the tiny minority with the genetic enzyme defects I mentioned in the beginning, can normalize their cholesterol levels with my Take Control of Your Health Program, which includes modifying your eating habits based on your body’s unique nutritional type.

 

If you truly want to normalize your cholesterol levels, following these simple lifestyle changes can get you there:

 

Normalize your insulin levels by eliminating sugar and grains.

Take a high-quality krill oil or fish oil, which are chock full of beneficial omega-3 fatty acids.

If you are a man, or a woman who is in menopause, check your iron levels as elevated levels of iron can cause major oxidative damage in your blood vessels, heart and other organs. Excess iron is also one of the major contributing factors of cancer risk.

Exercise regularly.

Energy Psychology methods such as Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) can also be helpful for cholesterol reduction.  Read this press release for the possibilities: Doctors Use New Acupressure Technique to Lower Cholesterol and Triglyceride Levels: Medications Unnecessary.

 

Many vitamins and supplements need to be considered for this also, so please contact us to help you with a personal health care plan just for you.

 

Health and Wellness Associates

Archived

Dr J Jaranson

312-972-WELL

HealthWEllnessAssocites@gmail.com

https://www.facebook.com/HealthAndWellnessAssociates/

https://www.facebook.com/hwa.jaranson

 

Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Lower Back Pain Should not Sideline You

 

sciatiabackesercises

Low Back Pain Shouldn’t Sideline You

 

Many Penn State alumni fondly remember David K., now 34, as the student who crawled to class. Mired by back pain throughout his four years of college, David saw tons of doctors from top neurosurgeons to psychologists for the pain. Instead of listening to the popular college music of his day like REM, he listened to the soothing sounds of pain expert John E. Sarno, MD, on cassette tapes called Mind Over Back Pain when he drove his Mustang around the college campus.

 

“If you don’t have chronic back pain, you can’t possibly imagine what it feels like,” he says. “It’s unbearable — literally.” He says that there were many times he couldn’t walk and would have to crawl from his fraternity house all the way to class so he would not miss a midterm or final exam. “My fraternity brothers made a lot of fun of me,” he says. “Still do.”

 

About 80% of Americans — or four in five — experience low back pain at some point in their lives and understand David’s plight all too well. Many people with chronic low back pain are working age and for them, back pain is the most frequent case of lost productivity. Treatment for back pain costs roughly $100 billion a year, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons in Rosemont, Ill.

 

But new developments may signify hope, help, and healing for millions of back pain sufferers including David K., my husband.

 

First Things First

 

Without exception, the first step for people with back pain is to “[get] a good history and try to establish the onset and aggravating factors,” says Joel R. Saper, MD, director of Michigan Head Pain and Neurological Institute in Ann Arbor, Mich.

 

“A big mistake is to see a back pain problem in a narrow perspective,” he says. “Doctors have to know the overall health, past experience with any pain syndrome, what precipitated it and what it has responded to at this point, and do a proper examination of the back and a general medical examination,” he says.

 

Your best bet is to seek treatment from a “comprehensive program that specializes in pain with a wide range of services available so that treatment is determined by what you need — not by what’s available,” he says.

 

“If you have back pain that lasts six weeks or more, seeing a specialist is a reasonable thing to do and the main reason is to make sure it’s not a more serious condition that presents as back pain such as infection, tumor, fracture, or aortic aneurysm,” says Scott D. Boden, MD, an orthopaedic surgeon and director of The Emory Orthopaedics and Spine Center in Atlanta.

 

Medication Milieu

 

For mild to moderate symptoms, over-the-counter painkillers such as acetaminophen, aspirin, or ibuprofen can help along with heat or cold applied to the back. Massage, acupuncture, and chiropractic treatment may also play a role for some people. Adjusting or modifying your activities may help; light activity may actually speed recovery.

 

Not for David. He has tried just about every medication and every alternative treatment for back pain, and nothing really did the trick for long. The new thinking is that “chronic back pain may be chemical and that’s why some of the older treatments don’t work,” Saper explains. “There may be a chemical basis for sustaining the pain.”

 

That said, there may be a role for treatments such as the tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) blockers used to treat joint inflammation caused by rheumatoid arthritis. These medications, also known as biological response modifiers, neutralize specific chemicals that are key players in the inflammatory process.

 

Richard D. Guyer, MD, spine surgeon at the Texas Back Institute in Plano, says different types of drugs like seizure medications including Topamax and Neurontin may help relieve pain. “They are not for everybody, but they may have a role for people with previous spinal surgery and chronic leg or arm pain,” he says.

 

Spinal cord stimulators can be implanted in the spine to help both back and leg pain, but they are better for leg pain, Guyer says. These medical devices work by sending low levels of electric stimulation to the spine to block the sensation of pain.

 

Also promising, but not yet FDA-approved for low back pain, is the lidocaine patch, says Charles E. Argoff, MD, director of the Cohn Pain Management Program of North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, N.Y., and an assistant professor of neurology at New York University in New York City.

 

The lidocaine patch is worn on the skin like a bandage.

 

“It is a very simple, safe, topical analgesic and you can’t hurt anyone with it,” Argoff says, “In preliminary, non-randomized studies, it has shown great promise in treating both postsurgical low back pain and nonsurgical back pain.”

 

The Opioid Dilemma

 

Opioid analgesics are one type of pain reliever and they do not work for everybody, says Argoff.

 

Opioids often get a bad rap from media reports of addiction such as recent reports of talk show host Rush Limbaugh’s abuse. Buts some experts in pain management argue that fear of addiction to these medications has lead to undertreatment of patients with chronic pain.

 

The first question that needs to be answered is do they work for this patient, Argoff says.

 

If we get past that and show there is benefit, doctors need to determine whether this patient is at-risk of becoming addicted, he explains.

 

“There is no shred of evidence that suggests the acquisition of drug addiction, but not every patient walks into doctor office and says, ‘by the way, before you prescribe, I am a drug addict’ or ‘I have an addictive personality,’ and we can’t as health-care providers already know who has that risk,” he says.

 

“Very few people not known to be abusers become abusers, but frequent follow-up, medication contracts, and multidiscipline therapies can help prevent addiction and/or abuse,” he says.

 

Botox

 

Botox, the same toxin that doctors routinely use to eradicate fine lines and wrinkles, can also treat back pain, says Gary Starkman, MD, a clinical attending neurologist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and the medical director of New York Neurology Associates, both in New York City.

 

“I use Botox for selected patients with back pain when I suspect muscle spasm is involved,” he says. In cases of low back pain, Botox is usually injected into the muscles on either side of the spine in the area of pain.

 

“The results could last three or more months ” he says, “but the pain relief is individual, and if it breaks the pain cycle, pain can go away for many months or completely.” The only downside is the cost.

 

Botox may relieve low back pain because it relaxes the back muscles, but Saper says it may alter various chemical pain mechanisms that have nothing to do with muscles.

 

No Pain, No Gain?

 

“We now recognize that with simple back strain (such as when you wake up with a backache), we want you to remain active rather than take to bed,” Saper says. “We used to put people to bed; now we get them out of bed.”

 

This is why a growing number of doctors including Brain W. Nelson, MD, an orthopedic surgeon and medical director of Physician’s Neck and Back Clinic in Minneapolis, are recommending exercise programs to people with chronic back pain. Such programs are aimed at strengthening the back muscles, and often patients see results in about nine weeks, he says.

 

“There is a growing movement towards fitness as an approach to chronic back pain,” Nelson says. “I’ve come to believe that this is the way to go for the vast majority of people with back pain [and] I think that 10 years from now, it will be the mainstay of treatment because it is so dramatically more cost-effective.”

 

Nelson points out that we are spending $100 billion a year on spine care in the U.S. and we do 10 times more surgery than any other industrialized country. “A single epidural [shot in the back to numb the area] costs $1,500. That’s almost the cost of our entire program,” he says.

 

Just as David K. crawled to class, “people become experts at protecting their back and learn to do activities without using it to protect it, but you pay a price — you essentially lose a lot of functional ability with the part of body that you are trying to protect,” he says. “Your back is becoming more fragile [but] aggressive physical strengthening can increase the capacity of your back and you typically will have a very significant decrease in pain,” he explains.

 

“A key part is putting people in positions and using special equipment that does not allow them to cheat and forces them to move a body part that they don’t feel like moving — their back,” he says. This is for people with chronic back pain, not acute injuries, he stresses.

 

“Our goal is to make sure they are better a year from now, five years from now, and 10 years from now, and the only way to do that is to aggressively strengthen the back and show them how to maintain it,” he says.

 

“If you read this article and say, ‘this makes sense to me,’ look around your community and call some places and say, ‘I am looking for a fitness approach to back pain,” he suggests.

 

Guyer says, “People that get into active strengthening exercises really do the best because they also get a release of endorphins to control the pain,” he says. Endorphins are considered the body’s own “feel-good” or “pain-killing” chemicals and are known to be released with exercise.

 

The Changing Face of Spinal Surgery

 

Only a small percentage of patients with back pain are candidates for surgery, but for these patients, advances in techniques have made recovery a much easier road, says Boden of The Emory Orthopaedics and Spine Center.

 

Fifty years ago, a spine fusion meant a two-week hospital stay, a body cast or brace for months, and a minimum of six months away from normal activities. A spinal fusion is performed by fusing the vertebrae together with bone grafts to eliminate motion between two adjacent vertebrae where motion is causing lower back pain.

 

Today, minimally invasively techniques allow for smaller incisions, less blood loss, and faster recovery time, Boden says. Some spine fusion techniques can be done on an outpatient basis.

 

Fifty years from now, Boden predicts that disc replacement will be an alternative to spinal fusion. Moreover, gene therapy will be able to prevent or reverse disc degeneration, and genetic research will help discover genetic sources of back pain, he says.

 

“Gene therapy for disc regeneration may be more than five years off, but less than 20,” he predicts.

 

Health and Wellness Associates

Archived

Dr J Jaranson

Dr J Saper

312-972-WELL

HealthWEllnessAssocites@gmail.com

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Foods, Health and Disease, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Secret Cucumber Detox Soup

cucumberdetoxsoup

Secret Cucumber Detox Soup Recipe

 

Detoxing is a terrific way to rid your body of all those nasty things that sneak into your food and affect your digestive system. But buying those fad, overpriced detox kits isn’t the way to do it. Instead, eating fresh, whole foods will help you feel great, both on the inside and outside. That’s why I highly recommend the Secret Cucumber Detox Soup recipe.

 

Secret Cucumber Detox Soup Recipe

TOTAL TIME: 5 MINUTES

SERVES: 4

INGREDIENTS:

 

1 cucumber (peeled and de-seeded plus additional cuke for garnish)

1 tablespoon onion (minced)

1 avocado, peeled

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1 cup water

¼ tsp Sea Salt

¼ teaspoon Chili Powder

1 dash of Cayenne Pepper

Paprika for garnish

DIRECTIONS:

 

Throw all ingredients into a Vitamix or high-powered blender and blend on high speed until smooth.

Serve, garnishing with extra cucumber cubes and smoked paprika if desired.

 

 

Health and Wellness Associates

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Dr P Carrothers

Director of Personal Healthcare and Preventative Medicine

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Diets and Weight Loss, Health and Disease, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

The Link Between Sugar and Depression

staring

The Link Between Sugar and Depression

 

Men consuming more than 67 grams of sugar per day were 23 percent more likely to develop anxiety or depression over the course of five years than those whose sugar consumption was less than 40 grams per day

Other studies have also linked high-sugar diets to a higher risk of depression and anxiety, showing a low-sugar diet is an important part of the prevention and treatment of common mental health problems

Sugar increases your risk of depression by contributing to insulin and leptin resistance, suppressing BDNF, affecting dopamine, damaging your mitochondria and promoting chronic inflammation

 

How Sugar Raises Your Depression Risk

A number of other studies have also identified mechanisms by which excessive sugar consumption can wreak havoc with your mental health. For example, eating excessive amounts of sugar:

 

  • Contributes to insulin and leptin resistance and impaired signaling, which play a significant role in mental health.

 

  • Suppresses activity of brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a key growth hormone that promotes healthy brain neurons. BDNF levels tend to be critically low in both depression and schizophrenia, and animal models suggest this may actually be a causative factor.

 

  • Affects dopamine, a neurotransmitter that fuels your brain’s reward system9 (hence sugar’s addictive potential10,11,12) and is known to play a role in mood disorders.13

 

  • Damages your mitochondria, which can have body-wide effects. Your mitochondria generate the vast majority of the energy (adenosine triphosphate or ATP) in your body. When sugar is your primary fuel, excessive reactive oxygen species (ROS) and secondary free radicals are created, which damage cellular mitochondrial membranes and DNA.

 

Needless to say, as your mitochondria are damaged, the energy currency in your body declines and your brain will struggle to work properly. Healthy dietary fats, on the other hand, create far fewer ROS and free radicals. Fats are also critical for the health of cellular membranes and many other biological functions, including and especially the functioning of your brain.

 

Among the most important fats for brain function and mental health are the long-chained animal-based omega-3 fats DHA and EPA. Not only are they anti-inflammatory, but DHA is actually a component in every cell of your body, and 90 percent of the omega-3 fat found in brain tissue is DHA.

 

  • Promotes chronic inflammation which, in the long term, disrupts the normal functioning of your immune system, thereby raising your risk of depression. A 2004 cross-cultural analysis14 of the relationship between diet and mental illness found a strong link between high sugar consumption and the risk for depression and schizophrenia.

 

It also concluded that dietary predictors of depression are similar to those for diabetes and heart disease. One of the hallmarks of these diseases is chronic inflammation, which sugar is a primary driver of. So, excessive amounts of sugar can truly set off an avalanche of negative health events — both physical and mental.

 

Inflammation May Be the No. 1 Risk Factor for Depression

Another previous study published in the International Breastfeeding Journal15 found inflammation may be more than just another risk factor. It may actually be the primary risk factor that underlies all others. According to the researchers:

 

“The old paradigm described inflammation as simply one of many risk factors for depression. The new paradigm is based on more recent research that has indicated that physical and psychological stressors increase inflammation. These recent studies constitute an important shift in the depression paradigm: inflammation is not simply a risk factor; it is the risk factor that underlies all the others.

 

Moreover, inflammation explains why psychosocial, behavioral and physical risk factors increase the risk of depression. This is true for depression in general and for postpartum depression in particular.”

 

In another study,16 the researchers suggested “depression may be a neuropsychiatric manifestation of a chronic inflammatory syndrome.” Here, they refer specifically to inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract. Studies have also found depression is closely linked to dysfunction in the gut-brain axis, in which gut inflammation plays an important role.

 

Artificial Sweeteners Are Also Strongly Associated With Depression

Unfortunately, many are under the mistaken belief they can protect their health by swapping refined sugar for artificial sweeteners. Nothing could be further from the truth, as research suggests artificial sweeteners may actually be more detrimental to your health than regular sugar. For example:

 

  • In a 1986 evaluation of reactions to food additives,17 aspartame (in commonly consumed amounts) was linked to mood alterations such as anxiety, agitation, irritability and depression.

 

  • A 1993 study18 found that individuals with mood disorders are particularly sensitive to aspartame, suggesting its use in this population should be discouraged. In the clinical study, the project was halted by the Institutional Review Board after a total of 13 individuals had completed the study because of the severity of reactions within the group of patients with a history of depression.

 

  • In 2008, researchers asserted that excessive aspartame ingestion might be involved in the pathogenesis of certain mental disorders and may compromise emotional functioning.19

 

  • Research presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology in 2013 found that consumption of sweetened beverages — whether they’re sweetened with sugar or artificial sweeteners — was associated with an increased risk of depression.20,21 The study included nearly 264,000 American adults over the age of 50 who were enrolled in an AARP diet and health study.

 

At the outset, participants filled out a detailed dietary survey. At a 10-year follow-up, they were asked whether they’d been diagnosed with depression at any point during the past decade.

 

Those who drank more than four cans or glasses of diet soda or other artificially sweetened beverages had a nearly 30 percent higher risk of depression compared to those who did not consume diet drinks. Regular soda drinkers had a 22 percent increased risk.

 

To Cure Depression, Be Sure to Address Root Causes

According to the World Health Organization, depression is now the leading cause of ill health and disability worldwide,22,23 affecting an estimated 322 million people, including more than 16 million Americans. Globally, rates of depression increased by 18 percent between 2005 and 2015.24 According to the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health, 11 percent of Americans over the age of 12 are on antidepressant drugs. Among women in their 40 and 50s, 1 in 4 is on antidepressants.25

 

While a number of different factors can contribute to depression, I’m convinced diet plays an enormous role. There’s no doubt in my mind that radically reducing or eliminating sugar and artificial sweeteners from your diet is a crucial step to prevent and/or address depression.

 

One simple way to dramatically reduce your sugar intake is to replace processed foods with real whole foods. Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables is associated with lower odds of depression and anxiety,26,27 an effect ascribed to antioxidants that help combat inflammation in your body. Certain nutrients are also known to cause symptoms of depression when lacking, so it’s important to eat a varied whole food diet.

 

Another major contributor to depression and anxiety is microwave exposure from wireless technologies, which I address below. To suggest that depression is rooted in poor diet and other lifestyle factors does not detract from the fact that it’s a serious problem that needs to be addressed with compassion and non-judgment. It simply shifts the conversation about what the most appropriate answers and remedies are.

 

Considering the many hazards associated with antidepressants (the efficacy of which have been repeatedly found to be right on par with placebo), it would be wise to address the known root causes of depression, which are primarily lifestyle-based. Drugs, even when they do work, do not actually fix the problem. They only mask it.

 

Antidepressants may also worsen the situation, as many are associated with an increased risk of suicide, violence and worsened mental health in the long term. So, before you resort to medication, please consider addressing the lifestyle strategies listed below.

Nondrug Solutions for Depression

Limit microwave exposure from wireless technologies

 

Studies have linked excessive exposure to electromagnetic fields to an increased risk of both depression and suicide.28 Power lines and high-voltage cables appear to be particularly troublesome. Addiction to or “high engagement” with mobile devices can also trigger depression and anxiety, according to recent research from the University of Illinois.29

 

Research30 by Dr. Martin Pall reveals a previously unknown mechanism of biological harm from microwaves emitted by cellphones and other wireless technologies, which helps explain why these technologies can have such a potent impact on your mental health.

 

Embedded in your cell membranes are voltage gated calcium channels (VGCCs), which are activated by microwaves. When that happens, about 1 million calcium ions per second are released, which stimulates the release of nitric oxide (NO) inside your cell and mitochondria. The NO then combines with superoxide to form peroxynitrite, which in turn creates hydroxyl free radicals, which are the most destructive free radicals known to man.

 

Hydroxyl free radicals decimate mitochondrial and nuclear DNA, their membranes and proteins. The end result is mitochondrial dysfunction, which we now know is at the heart of most chronic disease. The tissues with the highest density of VGCCs are your brain, the pacemaker in your heart and male testes.

 

Hence, health problems such as Alzheimer’s, anxiety, depression, autism, cardiac arrhythmias and infertility can be directly linked to excessive microwave exposure.

 

If you struggle with anxiety or depression, be sure to limit your exposure to wireless technology. Simple measures include turning your Wi-Fi off at night, not carrying your cellphone on your body and not keeping portable phones, cellphones and other electric devices in your bedroom.

 

Call us for information and help with preventative medicine.  If you are not comfortable with that, make sure your physician is certified or had done a specialty in preventative medicine. The trick question to ask is, where did you go to school for that.   Easy to look up, not many schools offer it.

 

Health and Wellness Associates

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Dr Anna Sullivan

312-972-WELL

 

HealthWellnessAssociates@gmail.com

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Health and Disease, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Two Lung Diseases Kill Millions each year.

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Two Lung Diseases Killed 3.6 Million in 2015: Study

 

The two most common chronic lung diseases claimed 3.6 million lives worldwide in 2015, according to a tally published Thursday in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine.

 

About 3.2 million people succumbed that year to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), caused mainly by smoking and pollution, while 400,000 people died from asthma.

 

COPD is a group of lung conditions — including emphysema and bronchitis — that make it difficult to breathe.

 

Asthma is twice as prevalent, but COPD is eight times more deadly, the study found.

 

Both diseases can be treated affordably, but many sufferers are often left undiagnosed, misdiagnosed or under-treated.

 

COPD was the fourth-ranked cause of death worldwide in 2015, according to the World Health Organization, behind heart disease (nine million), stroke (six million) and lower respiratory infections (just over 3.2 million).

 

Researchers led by Theo Vos, a professor at the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, analysed data from 188 countries to estimate, in each one, the number of cases and deaths annually from 1990 to 2015.

COPD prevalence and death rates declined over that period, but the overall numbers increased — with nearly 12 percent more deaths — because of population growth.

 

For asthma, prevalence went up by almost 13 percent to 358 million people worldwide, but the number of deaths dropped by more than a quarter.

 

“These diseases have received less attention than other prominent non-communicable diseases like cardiovascular disease, cancer or diabetes,” Vos said in a statement.

 

The countries with the highest concentration of people disabled by COPD in 2015 were Papua New Guinea, India, Lesotho and Nepal, the study showed.

 

For asthma, the biggest disease burdens were found in Afghanistan, the Central African Republic, Fiji, Kiribati, Lesotho, Papula New Guinea and Swaziland.

 

High-income Asian nations were least affected by COPD, along with countries in central Europe, north Africa, the Middle East and western Europe. Central and eastern Europe, along with China, Japan and Italy, had among the lowest rates of asthma.

 

“This study is a timely reminder that we must refocus our efforts to combat this dangerous disease,” Neil Pearce, a professor at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, commented, referring to asthma.

 

“We still know very little about the causes of asthma, and why rates are increasing worldwide,” he added.

 

Smoking is known to aggravate asthma, as are allergens, whether indoors or in nature.

 

Indoor cooking is also a major culprit for chronic lung diseases, the authors noted.

 

You know now that COPD is bronchitis and asthma together.  Both these conditions alone, are caused and/or aggravated from foods you eat, and also from smells and particles in the air.  These can be turned around!

 

Call us for information and help with preventative medicine.  If you are not comfortable with that, make sure your physician is certified or had done a specialty in preventative medicine. The trick question to ask is, where did you go to school for that.   Easy to look up, not many schools offer it.

 

Health and Wellness Associates

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Dr Anna Sullivan

312-972-WELL

 

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Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Chemicals in Cosmetics, Soaps May Harm Men’s Fertility

palmolive

Men who have been exposed to common chemicals known as parabens have lower testosterone levels and more sperm that are abnormally shaped and slow moving, according to a study that suggests these ingredients may contribute to infertility.

Researchers examined lab tests done on 315 male patients of a fertility clinic in Poland to pinpoint issues they were having with reproduction. All of the men provided samples of urine, saliva, blood and semen for analysis.

 

Compared to men who had low concentrations of parabens in their urine, men with high concentrations of the chemicals also had a larger proportion of sperm with what’s known as abnormal morphology, or unusual size or shape, that’s associated with infertility, the study found.

Higher levels of parabens in the urine were also associated with DNA damage in the sperm and what’s known as decreased motility, or slower moving sperm that may contribute to infertility by being unable to travel far enough to reach an egg.

 

“We have observed an impact of parabens on semen quality,” said lead study author Joanna Jurewicz of the Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine in Lodz.

 

“To avoid parabens is very difficult because they are widespread, but we can try to minimize the exposure by only using personal care products with label information saying that there are no parabens in the particular product,” Jurewicz said by email.

 

Parabens are widely used preservatives in cosmetic products, including soaps, creams and makeup. The most common parabens in cosmetics are methylparaben, propylparaben and butylparaben. Typically, several parabens are used in combination to increase their effectiveness.

Some parabens are banned from cosmetics in the European Union, but the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not limited use of the ingredients.

 

Past research in animals has suggested that parabens can mimic the hormone estrogen and lower testosterone levels, the authors note in Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

 

Parabens and other so-called hormone disruptors may have developmental, reproductive, neurological and immune-system side effects, and they may be found in pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, pesticides, plastics, detergents, food, toys, and flame retardants, according to the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

The current study found one chemical in particular, butyl paraben, associated with an increase in the percentage of sperm with an abnormal size and shape as well as a decrease in sperm motility.

 

Another chemical, ethyl paraben, was associated only with sperm of atypical size and shape.

 

Beyond its small size, other limitations of the study include the lack of data on other environmental or medical factors that might influence sperm quality or infertility. Because the men all joined the study after visiting a fertility clinic, it’s also possible the results might not apply to other men.

 

Scientists don’t know exactly what amount of parabens might be harmful or exactly how they work in the human body to damage fertility.

 

“No one really knows the mechanism of action of these compounds,” said Marisa Bartolomei, co-director of the epigenetics program at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine in Philadelphia.

 

Parabens are also so ubiquitous that they’re hard to avoid.

 

“Parabens are in many products: sunscreens, body lotions, facial lotions and cleansers, mascara, assorted lipsticks, hand soaps, shampoos, conditioners, sprays, gels, and some food products,” Bartolomei, who wasn’t involved in the study, said by email.

 

Products labeled “paraben-free” may not necessarily be safe, either.

 

“Many of us wonder what substitutes for these chemicals there are and if the substitutes are better or if they have even been tested,” Bartolomei said.

 

Please call with any healthcare concerns you might have.  Also, we offer a great program for people who want to prevent many healthcare conditions.

 

Health Wellness Associates

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Dr Anne Sullivan

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Lifestyle, Uncategorized

whatyouthink

Thoughts Become Realities

 

Change Your Life   :   Get Motivated!

 

First, let’s find out what the importance of motivation exactly is. Simply put, motivation is the reason or reasons a person has for acting or behaving in a particular way. This basically means there is some driving force that pushes you to achieve your goals and go after what you want in life. As long as you have motivation, you can achieve almost anything that you want from life. However, for a lot of people finding motivation is easier said than done. One of the most common traps people fall into is looking for short-cuts to achieve their goals. According to popular opinion to be an expert in any aspect of life have the most time invested in their craft. This same concept of motivation applies to making changes in your life. The reality is that change is difficult because, in all probability, you have been in your current situation for a while and your habits are deeply ingrained in you. So how can you develop motivation in life? If you wish to accomplish a goal be it short-term or long-term in nature.  If you want to change your life for the better here are a few things that you should keep in mind:

 

 

 

Focus on one goal at a time:

This should be partnered with the fact that you should make sure that your short-term goals all help in achieving your long-term goals.

 

Block out any negative influences:

Make sure that you are completely blocking out any negative influences in your life. If you feel that you are being distracted from your goal by a problem which does not seem to go away, ask yourself what you can do to eliminate such a challenge and distraction in your life.

 

Conquering Your Fears:

We all have hidden fears or anxieties that can keep you from changing are lives. Once you isolate the unknowns and make yourself confident you can start on the path to changing your life.

 

Get excited:

This sounds easy, but most people don’t think about it if you want to break out of a slump, get yourself excited about a goal.

 

Think about it daily:

If you think about your goal every day, it is much more likely to become true. A quote I believe to be true is “Thoughts Become Reality”. This simply means that if you keep believing in something and speaking it into existence.

 

Overcoming problems:

The worst killer of motivation is facing a seemingly small problem that creates endless frustration. Reframe little problems that must be fixed as bigger ones, or they will kill any drive you have.

 

Develop a successful mindset:

This is a very key component to find motivation once you have a successful mindset you can easily find motivation.

 

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Dr. M Williams PhD Psy

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