Lifestyle, Rx to Wellness, Uncategorized

You can loose Your Job/License if You are Taking Xanax

Health and Wellness Associates

EHS – Telehealth

 

You can loose Your Job/License if You are Taking Xanax

Yoga-Meditation-Sunset-2

Anxiety affects millions of people every year, and anxiety disorders are considered to be the most prevalent of mental illnesses. Statistics show that in the United States, some 40 million adults grapple with an anxiety disorder every year — over 18 percent of the total adult population. It’s estimated that around 25 percent of children in the U.S. struggle with anxiety, too.

 

For many people, the first line of treatment provided to them by their doctor will be a prescription drug, as usual. But the truth is that there are many natural alternatives, which are just as effective and boast fewer side effects (if any).

 

The Xanax Controversy

Xanax and its generic counterparts are some of the most commonly prescribed prescription drugs and are part of the “benzodiazepine” class of drugs. Benzodiazepines are used to treat anxiety — but they come with some serious consequences. Even so, doctors write 44 million prescriptions for Xanax alone every year — and many of those prescription holders will find themselves in rehab, thanks to a budding benzodiazepine addiction.

 

Narconon reports that rehab admission rates for people with a benzodiazepine addiction nearly tripled between 1998 and 2008. This coincides with an increase in prescription rates as well: CDC data shows the number of adults using a benzodiazepine increased 67 percent over 18 years, from 8.1 million prescriptions in 1996 to 13.5 million in 2013.

 

Additionally, the researchers say that the quantity of filled prescriptions increased during the same time frame.

Employers and health insurance carriers are starting to watch employees who are on Xanax and re-evaluating their level of work.  Many states are also looking into licensed personnel and their use of Xanax, since it is an addictive drug.

 

The outlook for Xanax and its pharma cousins is even bleaker today: Studies show that the death toll from these drugs has been increasing over the last several years. Benzodiazepine addiction has been overshadowed by the devastating opioid addiction epidemic — yet, these pharmaceuticals are responsible for over 30 percent of prescription drug overdoses. In either case, Big Pharma is ultimately to blame — especially when it comes to Xanax.

 

Not only has Xanax been glamorized to an alarming extent, it is well-known that tolerance to Xanax builds up quickly. This means people need more of the drug to produce the same “effect” over time — sometimes, in just a matter of weeks.

 

The risk of addiction is so high that the National Institutes of Health has stated that Xanax shouldn’t be used in patients for more than a few months — yet many people end up on the drug long-term.

 

There are so many natural alternatives to help treat anxiety, prescribing addictive, potentially lethal drugs is downright criminal.

 

Natural methods for overcoming anxiety

There are many options for natural anxiety relief. Amino acids, in particular, are believed to be very useful in this regard: By bolstering production of neurotransmitter GABA, amino acids taurine and L-theanine both have the potential to reduce anxiety. Attenuating GABA, the “brain calming chemical,” is actually exactly how Xanax works.  Studies have shown that L-theanine can fight anxiety as well as the drug.

 

A number of vitamins and minerals are known to help reduce anxiety and promote overall mental health. These include B vitamins, vitamin C, magnesium and zinc.

 

Many herbs are known to help reduce anxiety. Chamomile, passionflower, valerian, and lemon balm all have a place in the plant-based medicine arsenal and are known for promoting relaxation. Recent studies suggest these herbs help support GABA production. But two of the most potent anxiety-relieving herbs are kava and and gotu kola.

 

Beyond supplements, there are a host of other tricks for relieving anxiety. Avoiding caffeine is a big one, as lots of people find it worsens anxiety. Getting plenty of sleep, frequent exercise and employing a regular meditation or yoga practice can also help quell feelings of anxiousness.

Health and Wellness Associates

Archived

312-972-9355 (WELL)

healthwellnessassociates@gmail.com

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

 

Advertisements
Lifestyle, Uncategorized

1 in 6 Women take this Nightmare Pill

pill

1 in 6 Women Take This Nightmare Pill While Many Studies Suggest It’s Useless

 

Use of Antidepressants Continue to Rise

 

Major depression is one of the most common disorders in the U.S.,1 with 16 million adults reporting at least one major depressive episode in the past year.2,3 When you look at all forms of depression, that number goes even higher. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 24 million Americans experience some form of depression,4 which can interfere with personal and work relationships, reduce work or academic performance and affect physical health.

 

Depression reduces your ability to care for yourself properly and make adequate decisions about your health, including nutrition and sleep. Imbalances in nutrition, weight fluctuations and poor sleep habits may lead to compromised immune function.5

 

If ignored, depression can become chronic and can lead to self-harming behaviors such as drug or alcohol abuse6 and even be terminal if the person commits suicide. Up to 70 percent of people who commit suicide are clinically depressed,7 and 90 percent of people who struggle with suicidal thoughts experience a combination of depression and substance abuse.8

 

Antidepressant Use Continues to Rise

According to the latest statistics,9,10,11,12 use of antidepressants in the U.S. rose by 65 percent between 1999 and 2014. As of 2014:

 

  • Nearly 1 in 8 Americans (13 percent) over the age of 12 reported being on antidepressant medication

 

  • 1 in 6 women (16.5 percent) reported antidepressant use compared to 1 in 11 men (9 percent)

 

  • About one-quarter of those who had taken an antidepressant in the past month reported being on them for 10 years or more

 

  • Caucasians were more than three times more likely to use antidepressants than Blacks, Hispanics or Asians (16.5 percent compared to 5.6 percent, 5 percent and 3.3 percent respectively)

 

In Scotland, researchers also warn that antidepressant use among children under the age of 12 has risen dramatically.13 Between 2009 and 2016, use in this age group quadrupled. Use among children under 18 doubled in the same time frame.

 

Research Reveals Antidepressants Are Rarely the Right Answer

Unfortunately, the most widely used remedy for depression is also among the least effective. In addition to a long list of potential side effects14,15 (which include worsening depression and suicide), 40 percent of people with major depressive disorder treated with antidepressants do not achieve full remission.16

 

Perhaps more importantly, studies17,18,19 have repeatedly shown antidepressants work no better than placebo for mild to moderate depression, so you’re taking grave risks for a very small chance of benefit. As noted in a 2014 paper on antidepressants and the placebo effect:20

 

“Antidepressants are supposed to work by fixing a chemical imbalance, specifically, a lack of serotonin in the brain … But analyses of the published data and the unpublished data that were hidden by drug companies reveals that most (if not all) of the benefits are due to the placebo effect …

 

Analyzing the data we had found, we were not surprised to find a substantial placebo effect on depression. What surprised us was how small the drug effect was. Seventy-five percent of the improvement in the drug group also occurred when people were give dummy pills with no active ingredient in them.

 

The serotonin theory is as close as any theory in the history of science to having been proved wrong. Instead of curing depression, popular antidepressants may induce a biological vulnerability making people more likely to become depressed in the future.”

 

Placebo Effect Accounts for 82 Percent of Drug Response

The author of that 2014 study, Irving Kirsch, is a psychotherapist who has performed a number of analyses on antidepressants. In 2002, his team filed a Freedom of Information Act request to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), asking for the trial data provided by drug companies as part of the drug approval process.

 

The FDA requires drug companies to provide data on all clinical trials they’ve sponsored, including unpublished trials. As it turned out, nearly half of all clinical trials on antidepressants remained unpublished. When both published and unpublished trials were included, 57 percent showed the drug had no clinical benefit over placebo. What’s more, the placebo response actually accounted for 82 PERCENT of the beneficial response to antidepressants!

 

These results were reproduced in a 2008 study21 using another, even larger set of FDA trial data. According to Kirsch, “Once again, 82 percent of the drug response was duplicated by placebo.” A major benefit of evaluating FDA trial data was that all of the trials used the same primary measure of depression, which made the drug-to-placebo effects very easy to identify and compare.

 

The primary measure of depression used in these studies was the Hamilton depression scale, a 17-item scale with a possible score of 0 to 53 points. The higher your score, the more severe your depression. Importantly, the mean difference between antidepressants and placebo was less than two points (1.8) on this scale, which is considered clinically insignificant.

 

To illustrate just how insignificant of a difference this is, you can score a 6-point difference simply by changing sleep patterns without any reported change in other depressive symptoms.

 

EMFs — A Not Well-Known Cause of Anxiety and Depression

About one year ago Dr. Martin Pall published a review22 in the Journal of Neuroanatomy showing how microwave radiation from cell phones, Wi-Fi routers and computers and tablets not in airplane mode is clearly associated with many neuropsychiatric disorders. I recently did an interview with him that will air on September 3. In the meantime, you can view my interview on EMFs that I discussed on my recent trip to visit with Dave Asprey, founder and CEO of Bulletproof.23

 

These microwave EMFs increase intracellular calcium through voltage gated calcium channels (VGCCs) and the tissue with the highest density of VGCCs is the brain. Once these VGCCs are stimulated they also cause the release of neurotransmitters and neuroendocrine hormones leading to not only anxiety and depression, but neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and brain cancer.

 

So, 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.

 

Studies have also confirmed the therapeutic effects of spending time in nature.  Ecotherapy has been shown to lower stress, improve mood and significantly reduce symptoms of depression.24 Outdoor activities could be just about anything, from walking a nature trail to gardening, or simply taking your exercise outdoors.

 

Breath work such as the Buteyko breathing technique also has enormous psychological benefits and can quickly reduce anxiety by increasing the partial pressure of carbon dioxide in your body. These three techniques are a perfect complement to each other, and cost nothing. Simply turn off your electronics, head outside and practice proper breathing.

 

America Struggles With Notable Decline in Mental Health 

While prescriptions for psychiatric drugs keep increasing (when you include other drugs beside antidepressants, such as anti-anxiety drugs, nearly 17 percent of American adults are medicated25,26), several parameters show mental health in the U.S. is declining.

 

Suicide rates are at a 30-year high, mental disorders are now the second most common cause of disability, having risen sharply since 1980,27 and prescription drug abuse and overdose deaths have become a public health emergency. While opioid pain killers are among the most lethal, psychiatric drugs also take their toll. In 2013, anti-anxiety benzodiazepine drugs accounted for nearly one-third of prescription overdose deaths.28

 

All of these statistics suggest that far from being helpful, antidepressants and other psychiatric drugs are making the situation worse. Sure, these drugs may be helpful for a small minority of people with very severe mental health problems, such as schizophrenia, but clearly, the vast majority of people using these drugs do not suffer from severe psychiatric illness.

 

Most are struggling with sadness, grief, anxiety, “the blues” and depression, which are in many ways part of your body’s communication system, revealing nutritional or sunlight deficiencies and/or spiritual disconnect, for example. The underlying reasons for these kinds of troubles are manifold, but you can be sure that, whatever the cause, an antidepressant will not correct it.

 

Women also need to be mindful of the fact that use of antidepressants during pregnancy can significantly increase your chances of having a child with autism. One study found antidepressant use during the second or third trimester was associated with an 87 percent increased risk of autism.29 The use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors was associated with double the risk of autism in the child, while the use of two or more antidepressants increased the risk more than fourfold.

 

Which Treatments Actually Work?

If you’re at all interested in following science-based recommendations, you’d place antidepressants at the very bottom of your list of treatment candidates. Far more effective treatments for depression include:

 

  • Exercise — A number of studies have shown exercise outperforms drug treatment. Exercise helps create new GABA-producing neurons that help induce a natural state of calm, and boosts serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine, which helps buffer the effects of stress.

 

Studies have shown there is a strong correlation between improved mood and aerobic capacity, but even gentle forms of exercise can be effective. Yoga, for example, has received particular attention in a number of studies. A study published this spring found 90-minute yoga sessions three times a week reduced symptoms of major depression by at least 50 percent.30

 

  • Nutritional intervention — Keeping inflammation in check is an important part of any effective treatment plan. If you’re gluten sensitive, you will need to remove all gluten from your diet. A food sensitivity test can help ascertain this. Reducing lectins may also be a good idea. As a general guideline, eating a whole food diet as described in my optimal nutrition plan can go a long way toward lowering your inflammation level. Certain nutritional deficiencies are also notorious contributors to depression, especially:

 

◦ Omega-3 fats. I recommend getting an omega-3 index test to make sure you’re getting enough. Ideally, you want your omega-3 index to be 8 percent or higher.

 

◦ B vitamins (including B1, B2, B3, B6, B8 and B12). Low dietary folate can raise your risk by as much as 300 percent.31,32 One of the most recent studies33,34 showing the importance of vitamin deficiencies in depression involved suicidal teens. Most turned out to be deficient in cerebral folate and all of them showed improvement after treatment with folinic acid.

 

  • Vitamin D — Studies have shown vitamin D deficiency can predispose you to depression and that depression can respond favorably to optimizing your vitamin D stores, ideally by getting sensible sun exposure.35,36 In one such study,37 people with a vitamin D level below 20 nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL) had an 85 percent increased risk of depression compared to those with a level greater than 30 ng/mL.

 

A double-blind randomized trial38 published in 2008 concluded that supplementing with high doses of vitamin D “seems to ameliorate [depression] symptoms indicating a possible causal relationship. “Recent research39 also claims that low vitamin D levels appear to be associated with suicide attempts. For optimal health, make sure your vitamin D level is between 40 and 60 ng/mL year-round. Ideally, get a vitamin D test at least twice a year to monitor your level.

 

  • Probiotics — Keeping your gut microbiome healthy also has a significant effect on your moods, emotions and brain. You can read more in my previous article, “Mental Health May Depend on the Health of Your Gut Flora.”

 

  • Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) — EFT is a form of psychological acupressure that has been shown to be quite effective for depression and anxiety.40,41,42,43 For serious or complex issues, seek out a qualified health care professional that is trained in EFT44 to guide you through the process. That said, for most of you with depression symptoms, this is a technique you can learn to do effectively on your own.

 

One of my new favorites.  My mom passed away unexpectedly in July and I am very grateful she did not have cancer or struggles with any abuses from the conventional health system that many of our readers do. However, losing my mother was a major challenge in grief management for me.

 

I realize grief is not depression but the book “Letting Go: The Pathway of Surrender”45 by Dr. David Hawkins, was one of the best books I have read this year and helped teach me the useful tool of how to free yourself of painful emotions. I have read many of Hawkins’ previous books but this was his last one as he also recently passed.

 

Other Helpful Treatment Strategies

Here are several other strategies that can help improve your mental health:46

 

Clean up your sleep hygiene

 

Make sure you’re getting enough high-quality sleep, as sleep is essential for optimal mood and mental health. A fitness tracker that tracks your sleep can be a useful tool. The inability to fall asleep and stay asleep can be due to elevated cortisol levels, so if you have trouble sleeping, you may want to get your saliva cortisol level tested with an Adrenal Stress Index test.

 

If you’re already taking hormones, you can try applying a small dab of progesterone cream on your neck or face when you awaken during the night and can’t call back to sleep. Another alternative is to take adaptogens, herbal products that help lower cortisol and adjust your body to stress. There are also other excellent herbs and amino acids that help you to fall asleep and stay asleep. Meditation can also help.

Optimize your gut health

 

A number of studies have confirmed gastrointestinal inflammation can play a critical role in the development of depression.47 Optimizing your gut microbiome will also help regulate a number of neurotransmitters and mood-related hormones, including GABA and corticosterone, resulting in reduced anxiety and depression-related behavior.48

 

To nourish your gut microbiome, be sure to eat plenty of fresh vegetables and traditionally fermented foods. Healthy choices include fermented vegetables, lassi, kefir and natto. If you do not eat fermented foods on a regular basis, taking a high-quality probiotic supplement is recommended.

 

Also remember to severely limit sugars, especially fructose, as well as grains, to rebalance your gut flora. As a standard recommendation, I suggest limiting your daily fructose consumption from all sources to 25 grams per day or less.

Visualization

 

Visualization and guided imagery have been used for decades by elite athletes prior to an event, successful business people and cancer patients — all to achieve better results through convincing your mind you have already achieved successful results.49,50 Similar success has been found in people with depression.51

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

 

CBT has been used successfully to treat depression.52,53 This therapy assumes mood is related to the pattern of thought. CBT attempts to change mood and reverse depression by directing your thought patterns.

Make sure your cholesterol levels aren’t too low for optimal mental health

 

You may also want to check your cholesterol to make sure it’s not too low. Low cholesterol is linked to dramatically increased rates of suicide, as well as aggression toward others.54 This increased expression of violence toward self and others may be due to the fact that low membrane cholesterol decreases the number of serotonin receptors in the brain, which are approximately 30 percent cholesterol by weight.

 

Lower serum cholesterol concentrations therefore may contribute to decreasing brain serotonin, which not only contributes to suicidal-associated depression, but prevents the suppression of aggressive behavior and violence toward self and others.

Helpful supplements

 

A number of herbs and supplements can be used in lieu of drugs to reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression. These include:

 

  • St. John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum). This medicinal plant has a long historical use for depression, and is thought to work similarly to antidepressants, raising brain chemicals associated with mood such as serotonin, dopamine and noradrenaline.55

 

  • S-Adenosylmethionine (SAMe). SAMe is an amino acid derivative that occurs naturally in all cells. It plays a role in many biological reactions by transferring its methyl group to DNA, proteins, phospholipids and biogenic amines. Several scientific studies indicate that SAMe may be useful in the treatment of depression.

 

  • 5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP). 5-HTP is another natural alternative to traditional antidepressants. When your body sets about manufacturing serotonin, it first makes 5-HTP. Taking 5-HTP as a supplement may raise serotonin levels. Evidence suggests 5-HTP outperforms a placebo when it comes to alleviating depression,56 which is more than can be said about antidepressants.

 

  • XingPiJieYu. This Chinese herb, available from doctors of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), has been found to reduce the effects of “chronic and unpredictable stress,” thereby lowering your risk of depression.57

Guidelines for Safe Drug Withdrawal

If you’re currently on an antidepressant and want to get off it, ideally, you’ll want to have the cooperation of your prescribing physician. It would also be wise to do some homework on how to best proceed. Dr. Joseph Glenmullen from Harvard has written a helpful book on how to withdraw called “The Antidepressant Solution: A Step-by-Step Guide to Overcoming Antidepressant Withdrawal, Dependence, and Addiction.”

 

You can also turn to an organization with a referral list of doctors who practice more biologically or naturally, such as the American College for Advancement in Medicine at http://www.ACAM.org. A holistic psychiatrist will have a number of treatment options in their tool box that conventional doctors do not, and will typically be familiar with nutritional supplementation.

 

Once you have the cooperation of your prescribing physician, start lowering the dosage of the medication you’re taking. There are protocols for gradually reducing the dose that your doctor should be well aware of. At the same time, it may be wise to add in a multivitamin and/or other nutritional supplements or herbs. Again, your best bet would be to work with a holistic psychiatrist who is well-versed in the use of nutritional support.

 

If you have a friend or family member who struggles with depression, perhaps one of the most helpful things you can do is to help guide them toward healthier eating and lifestyle habits, as making changes can be particularly difficult when you’re feeling blue — or worse, suicidal. Encourage them to unplug and meet you outside for walks. We should not underestimate the power of human connection, and the power of connection with nature. Both, I believe, are essential for mental health and emotional stability.

 

If you are feeling desperate or have any thoughts of suicide, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, a toll-free number: 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or call 911, or simply go to your nearest hospital emergency department. You cannot make long-term plans for lifestyle changes when you are in the middle of a crisis.

 

Health Wellness Associates

Archived

Dr. J Mercola

Dr. P Carrothers

312-972-WELL

 

HealthWellnessAssociates@gmail.com

https://www.facebook.com/HealthAndWellnessAssociates

 

Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Positive Effects of Meditation and Yoga in the Healthcare System

 

Positive effects of meditation and yoga shown throughout healthcare system

 

While the Western world took a considerable amount of time to discover yoga and meditation compared to the ancient Eastern world, its positive effects are beginning to show throughout the modern day healthcare system. In a recent study carried out by Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH)’s Institute for Technology Assessment and the Benson-Henry Institute (BHI),meditation it was found that meditation and yoga has helped to reduce healthcare costs by as much as 43%. In the study, patients participated in a relaxation training program which significantly lowered stress-levels and anxiety while lowering blood pressure, heart rate and decreasing muscle tension. The patients were found to use much fewer health care services in the year following their participation in the relaxation program. Utilising both the data from the Harvard Relaxation Program and also data obtained from the Research Patient Data Registry (RPDR) of Partners HealthCare from between 2006 and 2014 shows a reduction in the need for additional healthcare services.

 

Considering anxiety and depression rate as the third biggest expenditure in American healthcare services, adopting almost cost-free services such as yoga and meditation could see huge pressure lifted off the health care system. This could include greater availability of services and more prompt delivery of those services and also see more funding available for research on other non stress-related diseases that require more attention. Prescribing medication such as anti-depressants only fixes the problem short term. Focusing on more long-term alternatives such as regular yoga or meditation should be the key to effectively helping a patient reach optimal vitality and assist in the recovery and treatment of disease. Unfortunately modern Western medicine is not yet focused on this and still relies almost solely on medication.

 

The link between body and mind

 

Going back to the Eastern World, many practitioners believe there is a very strong link between body and mind and the prevalence of many diseases. This belief has only in recent times spread into the Western World where before they have long believed that the mind is not interconnected to the body. In our modern day, fast paced lifestyles it becomes quite easy to forget about the importance of slowing down and taking time out for ourselves. Every day we find so many places we need to be, people we need to see, jobs we need to do and children we need to take care of. Couple this with emotional, financial and physical stress, it’s no wonder we have a hard time actually paying attention to what ourfresh air body is trying to tell us. It goes even deeper, in that we are also seeing a link between the mind and the immune system and our emotions and their effect on our body. These incredible findings have been made much more easier to prove thanks to development in technology, in particular in neuroimaging which measures specific brain function and molecular biology which reads various biological interactions between cells.

 

When you are stressed your body releases hormones that have a big impact on how your nervous system and internal organs function. Cortisol is the main hormone that affects your body’s function when placed under stress. It has been found to impair memory and function, increase weight and bring about multiple cardiovascular diseases. Your digestive system can also be directly affected by stress and it has been shown that nutrients are not as effectively absorbed when stressed. Irritable bowel syndrome and food allergies are also closely linked to stress. The brain communicates to your stomach via the vagus nerve.

 

When placed under continual stress your immune system begins to suffer which leaves you wide open to many illnesses. The body is unable to fight effectively against harmful bacteria and infections, resulting in inflammation which can occur at many levels. For this reason it is believed that many autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and osteoarthritis form in the body as a result of stress.

 

Adapting yoga and meditation into your schedule

 

Attending a yoga or meditation class even once a week can have a big impact on your overall health and wellness. A guided class will allow you to dedicate at least an hour to your practice without distraction. If you are unable to find the time to attend a class, there are many guided meditation and yoga sequences available on the internet. Finding a quiet place in the house and spending ten minutes a day at a scheduled time will help you develop the important habit of taking time out for yourself. You can then extend your practice to a longer period of time as the weeks go on.

 

The simple act of focusing on your breath will do wonders at reducing your stress levels and calming your mind. When you have a relaxed stress response system you will notice deeper breathing, a lowered heart rate and a positive change in your overall mood.

 

Hopefully in the future we will see the prevalence of many more yoga and meditation programs offered in place of prescription medication to treat a variety of mental illness and mind-body related disease.

 

Please share with family and loved ones.  Call us with your questions, healthcare concerns, and let us develop a personalized healthcare plan for you.

 

Health and Wellness Associates

Archived

312-972-WELL

 

Foods, Uncategorized

Salmon Caught Near Seattle inundated with antidepressants, cocaine and more

salmoninstores

 

Salmon caught near Seattle proven to be inundated with antidepressants, cocaine and more

 

We’re all familiar with horror stories about juveniles on drugs, but normally it’s humans that are involved, not fish. This case, however, involves juvenile chinook salmon who never had the chance to “Just Say No.”

 

Disturbing new research has indicated that young salmon found in Puget Sound tested positive for more than 80 different drugs, including cocaine, antidepressants and dozens of other medications used by humans.

 

When researchers tested the water at and near sewage treatment plants in the estuaries of Puget Sound near Seattle, Washington, they discovered high levels of drugs and personal care products – at some of the highest concentrations found anywhere in the nation.

 

The tissues of migratory chinook salmon and local staghorn sculpin also contained these compounds – even in the fish found in estuaries far from the sewage treatment plants where the water was previously considered “pristine.”

 

As reported by The Seattle Times:

 

“The medicine chest of common drugs also included Flonase, Aleve and Tylenol. Paxil, Valium and Zoloft. Tagamet, OxyContin and Darvon. Nicotine and caffeine. Fungicides, antiseptics and anticoagulants. And Cipro and other antibiotics galore.

 

“Why are the levels so high? It could be because people here use more of the drugs detected, or it could be related to wastewater-treatment plants’ processes, said Jim Meador, an environmental toxicologist at NOAA’s Northwest Fisheries Science Center in Seattle and lead author on a paper published this week in the journal Environmental Pollution.”

 

Sewage treatment plants unable to cope

 

The presence of these drugs in the water appears to be related to the inability of the wastewater plants to fully remove these chemicals during treatment. But high fecal coliform counts in some areas of the Sound suggest that leaky septic tanks may also be contributing to the problem.

 

Some of the drugs found in the fish and the water of Puget Sound are difficult to remove using standard sewage treatment methods:

 

“Treatment plants in King County are effective in removing some drugs in wastewater, but many drugs are recalcitrant and remain. Seizure drugs, for instance, are very hard to remove, and ibuprofen levels are knocked down — but not out — during treatment, said Betsy Cooper, permit administrator for the county’s Wastewater Treatment Division.”

 

Who is really to blame?

 

But the blame should not be placed entirely on the treatment plants, according to Cooper. “You have treatment doing its best to remove these, chemically and biologically,” she said, “but it’s not just the treatment quality, it’s also the amount that we use day to day and our assumption that it just goes away.”

 

Shamefully, our own drug dependence is now poisoning other species as well. We have become a nation of drugged-out zombies, but that doesn’t give us the right to turn fish and other animals into the same.

 

Maybe it’s time to start realizing that prescription pharmaceuticals, over-the-counter remedies and illicit drugs are doing us – and our environment – far more harm than good.

 

We’ve bought into the Big Pharma-created myth that there is a chemical solution to all our problems – physical and mental – when in reality these substances are the cause of much of our “dis-ease” and general out-of-balance lifestyles.

 

The obvious solution

 

Although Western pharmaceutical medicine arguably has some value, almost everything these drugs are designed to treat can be more effectively dealt with using natural methods which promote healing rather than dependence.

 

And one of the obvious lessons from the situation in Puget Sound is that when you make bad decisions at one level, there will be negative effects on other levels as well. We don’t live in a vacuum, and our unhealthy lifestyles have an impact on all living things.

 

We’re simultaneously poisoning ourselves and our surroundings. Maybe it’s time for another approach …

 

 

Please share with family and loved ones

 

Health and Wellness Associates

Archived

312-972-Well

 

 

Lifestyle

Meditation is as effective as antidepressant drugs

72694_10200882755778169_284925928_n

Meditation is just as effective as antidepressant drugs in treating anxiety or depression, but without the side effects, according to a study conducted by researchers from Johns Hopkins University and published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine. The study was funded by the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. The researchers analyzed the results of 47 prior randomized, controlled trials conducted on a total of 3,515 people suffering from depression, anxiety, insomnia, heart disease, chronic pain, stress and other health conditions. In all the trials analyzed, mindfulness meditation had been compared to a placebo or to other treatments. Mindfulness meditation consists of the regular practice, often 30 to 40 minutes per day, of a person remaining aware of their surroundings (such as sounds), thoughts and emotions, without forming attachment to their outcomes. This is in contrast with concentration practices, in which a person focuses on a single thought or activity (such as chanting or looking at a candle) to the exclusion of all other thoughts. “Many people have the idea that meditation means just sitting quietly and doing nothing,” researcher Madhav Goyal said. “That is not true. It is an active training of the mind to increase awareness, and different meditation programs approach this in different ways.” According to the National Institutes of Health, roughly 9 percent of U.S. residents meditated at least once in 2007, while about 1 percent said that they used meditation as a medical treatment.

Effect similar to drugs

The researchers found that people who underwent a roughly eight-week mindfulness training practice experienced a 5 to 10 percent reduction in anxiety symptoms compared to placebo groups, and a 10 to 20 percent reduction in depression symptoms. The research also suggested that meditation led to significant reductions in pain, although these findings were not conclusive. “This is similar to the effects that other studies have found for the use of antidepressants in similar populations,” Goyal said. Little or no effect was found in the other areas of chronic health studied, such as attention, sleep, weight or substance abuse. “Our review suggests that there is moderate evidence for a small but consistent benefit for anxiety, depression and chronic pain,” Goyal said. “There is no known major harm from meditating, and meditation doesn’t come with any known side effects. One can also practice meditation along with other treatments one is already receiving.”

Meditation for its own sake

The findings suggest that mindfulness meditation may be useful as a substitute or complement to drugs for many chronic conditions, Allan Goroll of Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital wrote in an accompanying editorial. “The findings of such research should be the subject of conversations that need to begin in every examination room and extend to engage the media, who play a key role in determining patient attitudes toward health care and the demand for services,” Goroll wrote. Goyal also called for health providers to educate patients about the benefits of meditation. “Clinicians should be prepared to talk with their patients about the role that meditation programs could have in addressing psychological stress, particularly when symptoms are mild,” he said. Meditation is not a cure-all, Goyal warned, but it can still provide significant benefits, even above and beyond the treatment of chronic conditions. “We should keep foremost in our mind that meditation was never conceived of as a treatment for any health problem,” Goyal said. “Rather, it is a path one travels on to increase our awareness and gain insight into our lives. The best reason to meditate is to increase insight into one’s life which is probably good for everyone.” Sources for this article include: http://www.bloomberg.com http://science.naturalnews.com Health and Wellness Associates

Archived Article

312-972-9355