Lifestyle

HWA – 7 STAGES OF ALZHEIMERS DISEASE

7 STAGES OF ALZHEIMERS DISEASE

This is a great poster for you to print off and keep handy!  A must share!

Recognizing the Signs of Alzheimer's Disease | UPMC HealthBeat

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Health and Disease, Uncategorized

HWA-RESEARCH CONFIRMS FLUORIDE LOWER IQ,CAUSES ALZHEIMERS AND ADHD

While water fluoridation was never adopted or has been eliminated in many areas around the world, including most of western Europe,1 many U.S. water systems2 still add fluoride chemicals such as fluorosilicic acid3 (also known as hydrofluorosilicic acid) to their municipal water supplies.

As detailed in Christopher Bryson’s book, “The Fluoride Deception,”4 water fluoridation as a public health measure (ostensibly to improve dental health) was invented by brilliant schemers who needed a way to get rid of toxic industrial waste.

They duped politicians with fraudulent science and endorsements, and sold them on a “public health” idea in which humans are essentially used to filter this poison through their bodies, while the vast majority simply goes down the drain.

Since the inception of water fluoridation in 1945, fluorosilicic acid suppliers have been making hundreds of millions of dollars each year5 selling a hazardous industrial waste for use as a water additive rather than having to pay for toxic waste disposal.

“Toxic Treatment: Fluoride’s Transformation from Industrial Waste to Public Health Miracle” in the March 2018 issue of Origins,6 a joint publication by the history departments at The Ohio State University and Miami University, notes:

“Without the phosphate industry’s effluent, water fluoridation would be prohibitively expensive. And without fluoridation, the phosphate industry would be stuck with an expensive waste disposal problem.”

Fluoride Is a Neurotoxic Endocrine Disruptor

We now know fluoride — which serves no essential biological function7 — actually acts as an endocrine disruptor.8 Exposure has been linked to thyroid disease,9 which in turn can contribute to obesity, heart disease, depression and other health problems.

More disturbingly, fluoride has been identified as a developmental neurotoxin that impacts short-term and working memory, and contributes to rising rates of attention-deficit hyperactive disorder10 and lowered IQ in children.11

In all, there are more than 400 animal and human studies showing fluoride is a neurotoxic substance.12 Many of these studies have found harm at, or precariously close to, the levels millions of American pregnant women and children receive.

Government-Funded Research Confirms Fluoride Lowers IQ

One of the most recent studies highlighting these dangers was a U.S. and Canadian government-funded observational study published in the August 19, 2019, issue of JAMA Pediatrics,13 which found that drinking fluoridated water during pregnancy lowers children’s IQ.

The research, led by a Canadian team of researchers at York University in Ontario, looked at 512 mother-child pairs living in six Canadian cities. Fluoride levels were measured through urine samples collected during pregnancy.

They also estimated the women’s fluoride consumption based on the level of fluoride in the local water supply and how much water and tea each woman drank. The children’s IQ scores were then assessed between the ages of 3 and 4. As reported by Fluoride Action Network (FAN):14

“They found that a 1 mg per liter increase in concentration of fluoride in mothers’ urine was associated with a 4.5-point decrease in IQ among boys, though not girls.

When the researchers measured fluoride exposure by examining the women’s fluid intake, they found lower IQ’s in both boys and girls: A 1 mg increase per day was associated with a 3.7 point IQ deficit in both genders.”

The findings were deemed so controversial, the study had to undergo additional peer-review and scrutiny before publication, making it one of the more important fluoride studies to date.

Its import is also demonstrated by the fact that it’s accompanied by an editor’s note15 explaining the journal’s decision to publish the study, and a podcast16 featuring the chief editors of JAMA Pediatrics and JAMA Network Open, in which they discuss the study.

An additional editorial17 by David Bellinger, Ph.D., a world-renowned neurotoxicity expert, also points out that “The hypothesis that fluoride is a neurodevelopmental toxicant must now be given serious consideration.” Few studies ever receive all of this added treatment.

The Link Between Fluoride in Water and ADHD: Should You Be ...

Fluoride Exposure From Infant Formula Lowers IQ

In October 2019, a Canadian study18 concluded that infants fed baby formula made with fluoridated water have lower IQs than those fed formula made with unfluoridated water. As explained by the authors:

Consumption of infant formula reconstituted with fluoridated water can lead to excessive intake of fluoride in infants. We examined the association between water fluoride concentration and intellectual ability (IQ) among preschool children who lived in fluoridated or non-fluoridated cities in Canada and were either formula-fed or breastfed during the first six months after birth.”

Results revealed an increase of 0.5 milligrams of fluoride per liter (mg/L), which was the difference between the fluoridated and non-fluoridated regions, corresponded with a 4.4 point lower IQ score at age 3 to 4.

Not surprisingly, the researchers urge parents to avoid fluoridated water when reconstituting infant formula.

This might seem like a small amount, but has also shown to cause ADHD in children, and advances Alzheimers in Adults.

Fluoride Exposure Affects Sleep Patterns

Other recent fluoride research has discovered it can have an adverse impact on sleep. The study,19,20 published in the Environmental Health journal in 2019, found that chronic low-level fluoride exposure altered the sleep patterns of adolescents aged 16 to 19.

The hypothesis used to explain this effect is that fluoride is known to preferentially accumulate in the pineal gland, which might inhibit or alter the production of melatonin, the hormone that regulates sleep and wakefulness.

The study used data from the 2015-2016 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) that included plasma fluoride and water fluoride measurements. None of the included individuals were prescribed medication for sleep disorders.

Each 0.52 mg/L increase in water fluoride was associated with a 197% higher odds21 of symptoms suggestive of sleep apnea, as well as a 24-minute later bedtime and 26-minute later waking time. According to the authors:22

Fluoride exposure may contribute to changes in sleep cycle regulation and sleep behaviors among older adolescents in the U.S. …

The high accumulation of fluoride in pineal gland hydroxyapatite (among those chronically exposed) points to a plausible mechanism by which fluoride may influence sleep patterns. In adults, pineal gland fluoride concentrations have been shown to strongly correlate with degree of pineal gland calcification.

Interestingly, greater degree of pineal calcification among older adolescents and/or adults is associated with decreased melatonin production, lower REM sleep percentage, decreased total sleep time, poorer sleep efficiency, greater sleep disturbances and greater daytime tiredness.

While there are no existing human studies on fluoride exposure and melatonin production or sleep behaviors, findings from a doctoral dissertation demonstrated that gerbils fed a high fluoride diet had lower nighttime melatonin production than those fed a low fluoride diet. Moreover, their melatonin production was lower than normal for their developmental stage …

It is possible that excess fluoride exposure may contribute to increased pineal gland calcification and subsequent decreases in nighttime melatonin production that contribute to sleep disturbances. Additional animal and prospective human studies are needed to explore this hypothesis.”

Purify Your Water and Avoid Fluoride

Water is the only beverage you cannot live without. Unfortunately, pure water is hard to come by these days, as water pollution, inadequate water treatment and the addition of fluoride render most municipal water supplies untrustworthy.

To ensure purity, you really need to filter your own tap water. For guidance on selecting a suitable water filtration system for your home or apartment, see “How to Properly Filter Your Water.”

Water filtration is particularly important if your water is fluoridated and you are combating chronic disease (especially thyroid disease), have young children or are using your tap water to reconstitute infant formula.

Keep in mind that fluoride is very difficult to get out of the water once added. When shopping for a filtration system, make sure it’s specifically rated to filter out fluoride.

According to the Water Quality Association23 and others,24 filters capable of removing fluoride include reverse osmosis, deionizers and activated alumina adsorption media such as Berkey filters. Distillation, while not a form of filtration, will also remove fluoride. Carbon filters such as PUR and Brita will not filter out fluoride, and neither will water softeners.

Help End the Practice of Fluoridation

There’s no doubt about it: Fluoride should not be ingested. Even scientists from the EPA’s National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory have classified fluoride as a “chemical having substantial evidence of developmental neurotoxicity.”

Furthermore, according to screenings conducted for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 65% of American adolescents now have dental fluorosis — unattractive discoloration and mottling of the teeth that indicate overexposure to fluoride—up from 41% a decade ago. Clearly, children are continuing to be overexposed, and their health and development put in jeopardy. Why?

The only real solution is to stop the archaic practice of artificial water fluoridation in the first place. Fortunately, the Fluoride Action Network (FAN), has a game plan to END fluoridation worldwide.

Clean pure water is a prerequisite to optimal health. Industrial chemicals, drugs and other toxic additives really have no place in our water supplies. So please, protect your drinking water and support the fluoride-free movement by making a tax-deductible donation to the Fluoride Action Network today.

Internet Resources Where You Can Learn More

I encourage you to visit the website of the Fluoride Action Network and visit the links below:

  • Like FAN on Facebook, follow on Twitter and Instagram, and sign up for campaign alerts.
  • 10 Facts About Fluoride: Attorney Michael Connett summarizes 10 basic facts about fluoride that should be considered in any discussion about whether to fluoridate water. Also see 10 Facts Handout (PDF).
  • 50 Reasons to Oppose Fluoridation: Learn why fluoridation is a bad medical practice that is unnecessary and ineffective. Download PDF.
  • Moms2B Avoid Fluoride: Help spread the word to expecting parents to avoid fluoride during pregnancy due to potential harm to the fetus.
  • Health Effects Database: FAN’s database sets forth the scientific basis for concerns regarding the safety and effectiveness of ingesting fluorides. They also have a Study Tracker with the most up-to-date and comprehensive source for studies on fluoride’s effects on human health.

 

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Diets and Weight Loss, Health and Disease, Uncategorized

Low-Calorie Sweeteners Connected to Diabetes

Low-Calorie Sweeteners Connected to Diabetes

artificial sweeteners

Giving up sugar to rely on low-calorie sweeteners seems like a good idea for your diet. Those small packages often have 600 times the sweetness of sugar, ensuring your favorite food or beverage won’t be bland. But there’s a hidden danger connected to artificial sweeteners: Dr. Sabyasachi Sen, associate professor of medicine at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., authored a study that shows the use of low-calorie sweeteners may pre-dispose overweight individuals to diabetes.

If you are predisposed to metabolic syndrome, which includes high blood pressure, high blood sugar, unhealthy cholesterol levels, and abdominal fat — all things that lead to heart disease and strokes — then your risk of diabetes is also increased by three to five times. According to Sen, artificial sweeteners, especially in a person with metabolic syndrome, increase fat accumulation and can lead to diabetes.

Sen’s study looked at sucralose, the equivalent of three to four cans of diet soda per day, and found that transporters on the cell surface show more cell function when a person consumes artificial sweeteners. “Glucose rushes in when the gates are open,” he said. “And this causes inflammation.”

The study found that people who were already obese were the most likely to add fat cells. “If you are an athlete and normal weight, you can handle glucose,” Sen explained.

It is difficult to determine which chemical is causing the increased risk of diabetes, but Sen’s study used sucralose-based products, which are the newest on the market. He used a low-calorie, low-sweet mixture of sucralose in powder form that was diluted and added to cells. When quantities were increased, effects were even more pronounced.

In a separate experiment, biopsy samples of abdominal fat from people who said they consumed low-calorie sweeteners, primarily sucralose and a trace of aspartame and/or acesulfame potassium, were compared. The cells of the patients who were obese showed increased glucose transport compared to those who did not consume low-calorie sweeteners.

The FDA has approved five low-sugar products — saccharin, acesulfame, aspartame, neotame, and sucralose. One low-calorie product, Stevia, has also been approved. One of the problems with artificial sweeteners is that a small portion of a low-sugar product is much more intense than sugar, and a person can begin to use it more and more or may find normally tasty foods less appealing.

So, what should you do? According to Sen, both sweetened beverages and low-sugar drinks are bad for you. “If you just drink sweetened beverages, you are taking in sugar itself, but if you drink beverages with artificial sweeteners you are taking in greater quantities of glucose. I’m not saying we should replace artificial sweeteners — that’s even worse,” Dr. Sen added. “But consider an option like fizzy water.”

In other words, weight gain and metabolic syndrome can be a vicious cycle for some. You use artificial sweeteners and become more and more reliant on these products. The more you use, the more glucose your body produces. Foods rich in natural sugars like fruit don’t taste as good.

The other problem is that people tend to think that artificial sweeteners don’t pack any extra calories and so they may over-indulge in other sweetened products.

Sen’s research took place in petri dishes in a laboratory, but the implications for people are serious. You don’t get a free pass with artificial sweeteners — even though the research model used smaller quantities of artificial sweeteners, the impact on cells was significant.

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Health and Disease, Uncategorized

The Exercise Hormone Irisin May Help Protect Against Alzheimer’s

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The Exercise Hormone Irisin May Help Protect Against Alzheimer’s

 

According to a study, exercise produces the irisin hormone that could help in improving memory and protecting against Alzheimer’s. It’s known that physical activity improves memory, and research has suggested that it could also help to reduce Alzheimer’s risk.

The irisin hormone that’s released into circulation when performing physical activity was discovered by scientists several years ago. It was initially suggested that irisin primarily played a part in the metabolism of energy. Subsequent research discovered that the irisin hormone could also play a role in promoting neuronal growth in the hippocampus of the brain, a region important for memory and learning.

For the current study, researchers first looked for an irisin and Alzheimer’s association. Making use of brain bank tissue samples, the irisin hormone was found to be present in the hippocampus and that levels of irisin in the hippocampus are reduced in people with Alzheimer’s.

The researchers used mice for investigating the effect of irisin in the brain. They discovered that irisin protects the synapses of the mice’s brains as well as their memory. Synapses and memory were weakened in healthy mice when irisin was immobilized in the hippocampus. Both measures of brain health improved when levels of irisin were boosted in the brain.

The impact that exercise has on irisin and the brain was then examined. It was discovered that mice that swam almost every day for 5 weeks didn’t develop memory impairment even though they got beta amyloid infusions, which is the protein implicated in Alzheimer’s that clogs neurons and destroys memory.

The benefits of swimming were completely eliminated when irisin was blocked with a drug. Mice that were given irisin-blocking drugs and swam did not perform better on memory tests compared to sedentary mice after beta amyloid infusions.

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Foods, Health and Disease, Uncategorized

Brain Aging: The Brain-Food Connection

Brain Aging: The Brain-Food Connection

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For decades, the medical community has recommended dietary management as part of the therapeutic plan for many conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. To date, no such recommendations exist for brain aging and dementia. In fact, many scientists and nonscientists alike are still reluctant to believe that our food choices might have something to do with the way our brains age or our risk of developing a brain disease.

In part, this is due to the fact that historically nutrition has been glossed over in medical schools, as well as in most post-grad mental health programs. It is only in recent years that nutrition was granted scientific-field status, and diet has been acknowledged as a legitimate means of protecting ourselves against brain aging and brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s. Little by little, scientists have come to appreciate the powerful connection between the foods we eat and our brain health. This very revelation has fostered a fast-growing body of evidence showing that we might very well be eating our way to dementia.

Brain Aging

What many of us have only begun to grasp is that the actual health and quality of the foods we eat has dramatically diminished. Animals are routinely fed growth hormones, antibiotics, and genetically modified (GMO) feed, which we in turn ingest when we make a meal of them. Chicken and pigs are fed poisons like arsenic as a preservative. Conventionally raised produce is showered in pesticides and chemical fertilizers. In addition to being toxic and depleting our soil of nutrients, these treatments drive our produce to grow larger and plumper in appearance while disguising the fact that they possess an unprecedentedly diminished vitamin and mineral content. Additionally, chemically modified fats and refined sugar are routinely added to most foods. This is done not only to preserve the foods’ shelf life but to deliberately increase our cravings for them, which in turn drives sales and profits.

What has gone unnoticed until now is the discovery of how, of all the organs in our body, the brain is the one most easily damaged by a poor diet. From its very architecture to its ability to perform, everything in the brain calls out for the proper food. Many of us are unaware that the only way for the brain to receive nourishment is through our diet. Day after day, the foods we eat are broken down into nutrients, taken up into the bloodstream, and carried to the brain to replenish its depleted storage, to activate cellular reactions, and, most importantly, to be incorporated into brain tissue. Proteins from meat and fish are broken down into amino acids which, among other things, serve as the backbone of our brain cells. Vegetables, fruit, and whole grains provide important carbohydrates such as glucose, as well as the vitamins and minerals that energize the brain. Healthy fats from fish and nuts are broken down into omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids that make our neurons flexible and responsive, all the while supporting our immune system and shielding the brain from damage and brain aging. Our brains are literally what we eat.

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Type 3 Diabetes Explained

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Type 3 Diabetes Explained

type-3-diabetes

In the news these days you might hear the term “Type 3 Diabetes.” You probably know that Type 1 Diabetes, abbreviated t1d, is a congenital condition whereby the body can’t produce enough insulin. Type 2 Diabetes (t2d) occurs when the body loses its ability, over time, to produce enough insulin. Both require lifestyle adjustments and shorten life expectancy, if not well managed.

 

So what is this third type? Don’t worry, a new, more virulent form of diabetes hasn’t emerged. The term represents a new understanding of Alzheimer’s disease (AD).

 

What Insulin Resistance Has to do with Alzheimer’s Disease

It seems that, just as the lack of ability to process glucose in the bloodstream damages various body tissues in diabetes, it damages brain tissue specifically in “Type 3 Diabetes.”

 

Back in 2008, research published in the Journal of Diabetes Research and Technology said, “Currently, there is a rapid growth in the literature pointing toward insulin deficiency and insulin resistance as mediators of AD-type neurodegeneration…” AD is a complex condition, however. The researchers went on to write, “…but this surge of new information is riddled with conflicting and unresolved concepts…”

 

Since then, more and more studies link the two diseases. People with t2d, in particular, face an increased risk of getting AD. Researchers also noticed that people who died from AD, who did not suffer from diabetes at all, showed similar brain abnormalities as someone with diabetes. An article in Very Well Health states, “a common finding in Alzheimer’s disease was the deterioration of the brain’s ability to use and metabolize glucose.”

 

Recently, the concept has gained media attention as an aging population seeks to ward off this frightening form of dementia.

 

 

 

What This Means for AD Treatment

Research continues to emerge on the link between insulin depletion and the brain. Some believe that diabetes medications might actually work on AD, too. It’s thought that medications such as pioglitazone could protect the brain of AD patients against the typical structural abnormalities.

 

A 2015 study published in Annals of Neurology collected six years of observational data from patients taking piogliazone and the results looked promising. Clinical trials are underway to test it.

 

 

 

Eating to Prevent Type 3 Diabetes

I have written before about how a healthy diet helps prevent AD. The MIND (Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay), has been shown to reduce the incidence of Alzheimer’s disease by as much as 53%, according to Alzheimer’s & Dementia, the Journal of the American Alzheimer’s Association.

 

The Washington Post predicted, in late 2017, increased focus on eating to prevent AD. They note that a study currently underway is further exploring the MIND diet link.

 

So why not embrace the trend? Opt for the MIND diet’s recommended foods: Vegetables, including green leafy ones, nuts, berries, beans, whole grains, fish, poultry and olive oil. Meanwhile, avoid red meats, margarine, cheese, sweets, and fried or fast food. Eating this way confers a host of other benefits, including decreased risk of heart disease, obesity, and certain cancers.

 

Like diabetes, AD emerges from a range of risk factors and variables. So address not only your diet, but your exercise and lifestyle factors, too.

 

As we learn to understand diseases better, we can more effectively prevent and treat them. The use of the term Type 3 Diabetes reflects that ongoing increase in scientific knowledge.

 

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Health and Disease, Uncategorized

10 TESTS TO AVOID AT THE DOCTOR’S OFFICE

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10 TESTS TO AVOID AT THE DOCTOR’S OFFICE

 

10teststoavoid

 

10 TESTS TO AVOID AT THE DOCTOR’S OFFICE

 

 

Bulletin, doctors are warning that some of the medical tests routinely taken by Americans do more harm than good, waste billions of health care dollars annually and could endanger your health or even your life.

Some of the tests that are overused by prestigious panels of doctors include annual Pap smears, regular PSA tests, regular EKG’s, and even routine yearly physicals.  Doctors are saying that the overuse of such tests can lead to dangerous side effects, pain, radiation exposure, unnecessary surgery, even death.

 

The American Board of Internal Medicine Foundation asked more than 50 medical societies—of family

doctors, oncologists, cardiologists, and other specialists—to identify tests and treatments that are often unnecessary.  AARP is a consumer partner with this campaign, called Choosing Wisely.

 

Another Choosing Wisely partner is John Santa, M.D., medical director at Consumer Reports, and he says that these screening tests often yield false-positive results that lead to a spiral of unneeded invasive procedures, medications and even surgeries.  If you have symptoms or certain risk factors, these tests can be valuable—even life-saving—but they’re performed on far too many people.

 

Nuclear stress tests, and other imaging tests, after heart procedures:

 

Many people who have had a heart bypass, stent or other heart procedures want to be reassured that their hearts are functioning properly, which is understandable because they feel as if they’ve had a brush with death.  A common way to reassure their patients is for doctors to perform tests like a nuclear stress test or other tests, to make sure their hearts are beating strongly.  But according to William Zoghni, M.D., performing these tests every year or even every two years in patients without symptoms rarely results in any change in treatment.  “More testing is not necessarily better,” he says. In fact, it can lead to unnecessary invasive procedures and excessive radiation exposures without helping the patient improve.

 

Instead, patients and doctors should focus on what does make a difference in keeping the heart healthy: managing weight, quitting smoking, controlling blood pressure and increasing exercise.

 

Yearly electrocardiogram or exercise stress test

 

A survey of nearly 1,200 people ages 40 to 60 who have never had heart diseases or any symptoms found that 39% had an EKG over the previous five years, and 12% said they had an exercise stress test.  The problem with this is that someone at low risk for heart disease could be 10 times more likely to get a false-positive result than to find a real problem, says John Santa of Consumer Reports, which conducted the 2015 survey.

This could lead to unnecessary heart catheterization and stents.  Instead, have your blood pressure and cholesterol checked.  If you’re at risk for diabetes, have your blood glucose level checked, as well.

 

PSA to screen for prostate cancer

 

Cancer is always scary, but the PSA test often finds slow-growing cancers that won’t kill men.  “The evidence is extremely convincing that in a man with usual risk and no symptoms, the PSA test causes more harm than benefit,” says Reid Blackwelder, M.D., president of the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP).

 

He also says that as a result of the test, men often have ultrasounds, repeat lab tests and even biopsies for a problem that isn’t there—an estimated 75% of tests that show high PSA levels turn out to be false alarms.  When men do have treatments like surgery or radiation, 20-40% end up with impotence, incontinence or both.

 

Not all doctors agree with AAFP’s recommendation against routine PSA screening, but many agree that the test is overused.  Even the American Urological Association, which supports the use of PSA testing, says that it should be considered mainly for men age 55 to 69.  The American Society of Clinical Oncology recommends against PSA testing for prostate cancer screening in men with no symptoms when they are expected to live less than 10 years.  A recent study published in the journal Cancer found that Medicare spent almost $450 million a year on PSA screenings, one-third of which was for men over the age of 75.

 

PET scan to diagnose Alzheimer’s disease

 

Until recently, the only way to accurately diagnose Alzheimer’s was during an autopsy.  In the last few years, doctors have begun using PET scans with a radioactive dye to look for beta-amyloid protein that  is found in the brains of people with the disease.  Although this test has promising use for research, there are serious questions about whether it should be used on those who complain of fuzzy memory.  PET scans in older people consistently find the protein in 30 to 40% of people whose memories are just

fine.

 

Although beta-amyloid plaques are present in all of those who have Alzheimer’s, it’s not known if or when everyone with the plaques will develop the disease, says Peter Herscovitch, M.D., president-elect of the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging.

 

What’s more, even if a PET scan could accurately diagnose the disease, it’s untreatable.  If you’re concerned about your memory, the better course would be a complete medical evaluation by a doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating dementia.  Many other medical conditions, like stokes, thyroid deficiencies and vitamin deficiencies can cause the same symptoms, and these are treatable.

 

X-ray, CT scan or MRI for lower back pain

 

Unfortunately, back pain is incredibly common—80% of people will suffer from back pain at some point in their lives.  It can be both excruciating and debilitating.  Of course, people want to know what’s wrong with them.  Here’s the catch:  The best imaging machines in the world often can’t tell them what’s wrong.  Many older people with no back pain can have terrible-looking scans.

 

Most back pain goes away in about a month and imaging tests tend to lead to expensive procedures that often don’t help recovery.  One study found that people who got an MRI during the first month of their back pain were 8 times more likely to have surgery than those who didn’t have an MRI—but they didn’t get relief any faster.  If you don’t feel better in a month, talk to your doctor about other options like physical therapy, yoga or massage.  But if you’re experiencing numbness or weakness in your legs, you have a history of cancer or you have had a recent infection, see your doctor as soon as you can.

 

Yearly Pap tests

 

The yearly Pap smear is a common part of women’s health checklists, but it doesn’t need to be.

Women at average risk only need them every three years, since cervical cancer generally takes 10 to 20 years to develop.  If women have also had negative tests for the human papillomavirus (HPV), which is now known to cause the cancer, they only need a Pap test along with the HPV test every five years.  And women older than 65 who have had several normal Pap tests in a row can stop having them altogether.  Do note, however, that a yearly visit to an ob-gyn stays on the to-do list.

 

Bone density scan for women before age 65 and men before age 70

 

For the estimated 10 million people—mainly women—in the U.S. who have osteoporosis, bone-strengthening medications can lower the chances of breaking a bone.  A bone density test for anyone over the age of 70 is unnecessary.   You can no longer prevent osteoporosis at this age.

 

But many experts argue that for those age 50 to 65 who have osteopenia—mild bone loss—testing and subsequent drug prescriptions may be a waste of time and money also.

Not only is the risk of fracture often low, medications like Fosamax (alendronate) and Boniva (ibandronate) have been linked to throat or chest pain, difficulty swallowing, heartburn, muscle pain, bone loss in the jaw and thigh-bone fractures.  And there’s scant evidence that people with osteopenia get much benefit from the drugs.

 

To help keep your bones strong, try walking and weight-bearing exercises, says Blackwelder.  Get enough calcium and vitamin D in your diet.  If you smoke, quit.

 

Follow-up ultrasounds for small ovarian cysts

 

Many women receive repeated ultrasounds to verify that ovarian cysts have not become cancerous, but current research says that these tests are not necessary.  For one thing, premenopausal women have harmless ovarian cysts regularly.  For another, about 20% of postmenopausal women also develop harmless cysts.

 

“The likelihood of these small simple cysts ever becoming cancer is exceedingly low,” says Deborah Levine, M.D., chair of the American College of Radiology Commission on Ultrasound and a professor of radiology at Harvard Medical School.

In postmenopausal women, only cysts larger than 1 centimeter in diameter need a follow-up ultrasound.  For premenopausal women, who typically have benign cysts every monthly when they ovulate, cysts smaller than 3 centimeters aren’t even worth mentioning in the radiologist’s report, Levine says.

 

Colonoscopy after age 70

 

Most people should have screening for colon cancer at age 50 and then every 5 to 10 years after that, if the first test is normal.  By age 70—if you’ve always had normal colonoscopies—you can stop taking this test altogether.  That should be good news, because a colonoscopy can cause serious complications in older people.

 

“Just the preparation for colonoscopy can be exceptionally harsh,” says James Goodwin, M.D., director of the Sealy Center on Aging at University of Texas Medical Branch, who studies overuse of colonoscopies.  Some patients become incontinent or experience weeks of pain, diarrhea and constipation.

 

In worst cases, the procedure can perforate the colon.  Despite such risks, recent studies have found that substantial numbers of people over 75, even over 85, are still getting screening colonoscopies.

 

To protect your colon, eat plenty of fruits, vegetables and whole grains for fiber.  Cut down on fatty foods, red meat and processed meats.  Lose weight if you’re overweight and exercise.

 

Sound familiar?  It should, because that’s the best advice for protecting the rest of your body—and mind—as well.

 

Yearly physical

 

There’s little evidence that having an annual checkup can keep you healthy.  Many tests that doctors regularly perform—to diagnose anemia, liver disease or urinary tract infections, for example—don’t make sense unless there’s a reason to suspect a problem.  “A healthy 52-year-old does not need to see the doctor once a year,” says Jeremy Sussman, M.D., an internist for the VA system and assistant professor at the University of Michigan who was on the Societof General Internal Medicine task force for making the ChoosingWisely recommendation.

 

“We certainly don’t think people should never see doctors—quite the opposite.  We question the value of seeing someone for the sake of seeing someone.”  Your specific needs should determine how often you go to the doctor’s office, he adds.  If you have an illness that needs treatment, you should see your physician.  And do talk to your doctor about how often you need to have your blood pressure and cholesterol tested.  “Our real point is, don’t do these things for the sake of a calendar,” he says. “Do them for the sake of your health.”

 

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Foods, Health and Disease, Uncategorized

Can Foods Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease

antiinflammatoryfoods

Can Food Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease?

 

To help minimize your risk of Alzheimer’s disease, an Anti-Inflammatory Diet. It is rich in omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants – both of which can help address inflammation, which experts now consider a primary contributor to many diseases, including Alzheimer’s. You can get started by eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as omega-3 rich foods such as walnuts, wild Alaskan salmon, and freshly ground flaxseed.

 

There was also a recent study at UCLA showing that a gluten-free diet was part of a lifestyle program that reverse the symptoms of early Alzheimer’s. This may not be necessary for everyone, but many of our integrative medicine fellows see patients improve their brain fog symptoms on a gluten-free diet. It may be worth a three- to four-week trial to see for yourself.

 

Supplements are important too. Please ask your healthcare provider to go over a supplement regiment just for you.  If they say take a  one-a-day, then run away!

 

Call us to give you a personalized healthcare plan.

 

Health and Wellness Associates

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Dr P Carrothers

Dir. Of Personalized Healthcare and Preventative Medicine

312-972-Well

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Health and Disease, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Are Sleeping Problems a Warning for Alzheimer’s?

sleepingproblems

Are Sleeping Problems a Warning for Alzheimer’s?

 

Trouble getting enough sleep may be linked to a bigger risk of Alzheimer’s disease for some people, new research suggests.

 

The results of the small study hint that people with a higher-than-normal risk of Alzheimer’s disease who had worse sleep quality, more sleep problems and daytime sleepiness had more markers for Alzheimer’s disease in their spinal fluid than those who didn’t have sleep issues.

 

The markers found by researchers included signs of the proteins amyloid and tau, and brain cell damage and inflammation, all linked to potential Alzheimer’s.

 

Amyloid is a protein that folds and forms plaques. Tau is a protein that forms tangles. Plaques and tangles are found in the brains of those with Alzheimer’s disease and are considered a hallmark of the disease.

 

“This study and others in the field suggest that sleep may be a modifiable risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease,” said senior researcher Barbara Bendlin. She’s an associate professor of medicine at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health.

 

“This will require studies that directly test whether modifying sleep has a beneficial effect on the brain,” Bendlin said.

 

So, if you’re someone who’s always tossing and turning at night, does that mean you’re destined to a future with Alzheimer’s disease?

 

Not necessarily. Bendlin said these findings cannot prove that poor sleep causes Alzheimer’s disease. “We found an association,” she said. “But that does not mean cause and effect.”

 

It’s possible changes in the brain associated with Alzheimer’s could affect sleep, as opposed to the other way around, Bendlin added.

 

People with markers — signs — of Alzheimer’s in their spinal fluid aren’t necessarily predestined to develop the condition either, she said.

 

“We found relationships between sleep and levels of proteins related to Alzheimer’s disease, but the proteins that we were measuring haven’t yet been shown to predict future dementia when measured in cognitively healthy people,” Bendlin said.

 

 

The study included 101 people and their average age was 63. At the time of testing, all of the study volunteers had normal thinking and memory skills. But they were considered at risk for Alzheimer’s either because they had a parent with the disease or they carried a gene that increases the risk for Alzheimer’s called apolipoprotein E, or APOE.

 

The study volunteers gave a sample of spinal fluid to be tested for markers of Alzheimer’s disease.

 

They also answered questions to judge the quality of their sleep. Examples included: “During the past four weeks, how often did you get the amount of sleep you needed?” Or “Did you get enough sleep to feel rested upon waking in the morning?” Bendlin said.

 

Although a strong association between sleep problems and Alzheimer’s markers was seen in most people, not everyone with sleep difficulty had these markers in their spinal fluid, Bendlin said.

 

For example, there was no association seen between people who had sleep apnea and markers for Alzheimer’s in their spinal fluid.

 

Other factors — such as the use of drugs to aid sleep, education, depression and weight — didn’t change the association between poor sleep and markers for Alzheimer’s disease, the researchers found.

 

One thing that could have thrown the findings off is that the participants reported their own sleep problems. It’s possible that people misreported their sleep issues or didn’t remember them correctly, the researchers said.

 

One specialist said that the association between sleep and amyloid has been seen in mice, but its effect on people isn’t clear.

 

“There is a positive feedback loop involving sleep and amyloid,” said Dr. Sam Gandy, director of the Center for Cognitive Health at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City.

 

In mice, the worse the sleep, the more amyloid builds up. The more amyloid builds up, the worse the sleep, he said.

 

It’s not known if this occurs in the same way in humans, Gandy said.

 

“Since our ability to slow progression of Alzheimer’s is still quite limited, this is an important area for research so that we might be able to exploit sleep regulation therapeutically,” he said.

 

Bendlin said it’s important to identify modifiable risk factors for Alzheimer’s because delaying Alzheimer’s disease in people by as little as five years could reduce the number of cases in the next 30 years by nearly 6 million and save $367 billion in health care costs.

 

Health and Wellness Associates

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Dr P Carrothers

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Rx to Wellness, Uncategorized

Seven Most Dangerous Prescriptons

spoonful

The Seven Most Dangerous Prescriptions You Can Take

 

A damning Harvard University report has advised that according to the European Commission, about 328,000 patients in the U.S. and Europe die from prescription drugs each year – making prescription drugs the 4th highest cause of death, on a par with stroke.

We could get into legal trouble if we advised you to go against the recommendations of your doctor; however, we can advise you to be as informed as possible about the risks involved in taking prescription meds.

According to the World Health Organization, the pharmaceutical industry is worth 300 billion dollars annually – with an additional hundred million expected to add to the value in the next three years. A third of this entire multi-billion-dollar market is controlled by ten of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world. According to CMR International, a partner of Thomas Reuters, global pharmaceutical sales reached one trillion dollars in 2014 and will be booming to 1.3 trillion by 2018.

It goes without saying that this is big business – but like every big business, there is a dark side as well. Can we really trust the research – seeing as the same companies selling the pills are funding many of the medical journals and medical schools? And then we have the issue of doctors receiving kickbacks for prescribing certain drugs, after being “educated” on the benefits of the drugs by pharma salesmen.

Remember that doctors do not get paid from your insurance company unless they write a prescription or a procedure, or a follow up with another doctor.

Take a look at this list of seven of the most dangerous prescription drug types and see how they can hurt you.

 

#1: Sleeping Pills (OTC and prescribed)

 

The use of sleeping pills has been associated with an increased risk factor for stroke. A study published by Petrov, et. al. in 2014 revealed that over-the-counter and prescription sleeping pills increased a person’s risk for stroke, independently and beyond any of the other known risk factors like blood pressure, personal history of heart disease, and vices like smoking and drinking alcohol. Isn’t it worrying that compared to all other factors that place a person at risk for stroke, sleeping pills top that list?

This includes any medications that make you drowsy i.e. Benadryl, Night time Nyquil, Tylenol Pm, Valerian,  and such.

 

#2: Cholesterol Drugs (Statins)

Did you know that deaths attributed to heart failure more than doubled from 1989 to 1997, while statins were first given pre-market approval in 1987? This is an alarming “coincidence” – to say the least. Interference with production of Co-Q10 by statin drugs has been proposed as the most likely explanation.

 

Drugs that are meant to control your cholesterol levels may also be damaging your liver. Hepatotoxicity is not completely absent among people who undergo statin therapy, but it is uncommon. However, several studies have discovered that statins cause severe liver damage, especially in in dosages higher than 50 milligrams per day – a scary thing to realize when statin dosages can climb up to 80 milligrams per day when a person has high or uncontrollable cholesterol levels. Atorvastatin, Simvastatin, Fluvastatin, Lovastatin, and Pravastatin have all been linked to liver injury.

 

#3: Blood Pressure Drugs (Beta-blockers, Calcium channel blockers)

 

Among the different drugs prescribed to manage hypertension, calcium channel blockers have been found to be the most common ones linked to adverse drugs reactions (ADRs). The most common ones linked to CCBs are bipedal edema, chest pain, hypersensitivity, and difficulty of breathing. A recent study published in 2014 discovered that immediate-release CCB use was positively associated with an increased risk for breast cancer. On the other hand, beta-blockers have been associated with several adverse side effects, such as increased incidence of post-operative dysrhythmia, troponin elevation, and heart failure, risk for hepatic failure, and small-for-gestational age births.

 

#4: Alzheimer’s Drugs

 

While the positive effects of psychotropic drugs have been well-documented, there have also been studies revealed their adverse effects. A study conducted on the pharmacological treatment of Alzheimer’s disease found that antipsychotics increased a person’s risk for developing diabetes mellitus, heart disease, and stroke, and even overall mortality. The most popular drug prescribed for Alzheimer’s is Aricept or Donezepil and has been linked to nausea, diarrhea, malaise, dizziness, and insomnia.

 

#5: Arthritis Drugs (NSAIDs)

 

It is so easy to be prescribed a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug for pain, and even easier to purchase one from the pharmacy. What most people fail to realize is that NSAIDs are one of the leading causes of drug-related morbidity, especially in elderly and immunocompromised people. They have been directly linked to gastrointestinal problems, destroying the inner lining of the stomach and increasing the risk for ulceration and internal bleeding. Renal effects have also been linked to NSAID use, causing fluid and sodium retention and hypertension (and eventual cardiovascular problems). In worse case scenarios, people with severe kidney problems might even require dialysis. This seemingly innocuous drug is one of if not the most dangerous ones on this list.

 

#6: Diabetes Drugs (Actos, Avanida, Byetta, Metformin)

 

Another class of drugs to watch out for are those prescribed to manage high blood sugar, a characteristic symptom of diabetes. Liver damage has been linked to metformin use. In a study focusing on different ADRs, metformin-induced hepatitis was seen in a case of a person taking 500 milligrams of Metformin three times a day and insulin glargine. Liver damage can manifest as jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes) and discoloration of the urine and stool. Further liver damage can cause uncontrollable bleeding and insufficient clearing of toxins from the blood.

 

#7: Chemotherapy (Tamoxifen)

 

The one category of drug on the list that is universally regarded as harmful to a person’s health is chemotherapeutic drugs. When people diagnosed with cancer are advised to undergo chemotherapy, they are prepped for the side effects they will undoubtedly experience along with it. Chemotherapeutic drugs are strong enough to kill rapidly proliferating cancer cells – however there is collateral damage: Healthy cells are also killed and it’s the oft-repeated hope with chemotherapy that it “kills the cancer and doesn’t kill you”. Weakness, hair loss, and appetite loss, are the mildest of these side effects, with more serious ones involving blood in the urine or stool, high-grade fever, severe pain over the chemotherapy infusion site, vomiting and diarrhea, and difficulty breathing.  Chemotherapy is known to kill a significant number of cancer patients.

 

Try to do everything you can not to start any of these medications.  Once you have taken them for a while, your body gets lazy and does not want to work, and lets the pill do all the work.  Then you are on them for life.

 

Call us if you need help getting off medications, or hopefully never getting on any medications.

 

Health and Wellness Associates

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