Foods, Health and Disease, Uncategorized

HWA- FOODS TO AVOID FOR HEALING CHRONIC ILLNESS

images (10)FOODS TO AVOID FOR HEALING CHRONIC ILLNESS

 

“If you’re concerned about your health—if you have any sensitivities or conditions, if you’ve struggled with illness, or if you’re just concerned about prevention—then it’s critical to avoid as many triggers and instigators as possible, and this includes certain foods and ingredients. Your body needs every possible level of support so it can heal and then maintain optimal health.

By now, we’ve all heard of preservatives and artificial flavors—we know to avoid those, for very good reason. There are other problematic ingredients, though, which you should know to avoid. These ingredients can feed existing viral, bacterial, and fungal conditions, which can lead to inflammation—and can also wreak havoc with your digestive system, weaken and confuse your immune system, strain your glands and organs, hinder cells anywhere in your body, disrupt or destroy your brain’s neurons and neurotransmitters, make you anxious and/or depressed, set you up for strokes or heart attacks, and more. Health professionals are unlikely to warn you about most of these foods and additives, because it’s not common knowledge that they can substantially worsen already-existing illnesses, nor that they can trigger new health conditions. You deserve to have full knowledge of what you consume, and what effects it all has on your body.

Corn

Corn used to be one of the fundamental sources of nourishment on earth. Unfortunately, the technology of genetically modified organisms (GMO) has destroyed it as a viable food. Corn products and byproducts create substantial inflammation. It’s a food that can feed viruses, bacteria, mold, and fungus. Even if you see corn advertised as being non-GMO, the chances are high that it can still trigger any kind of health condition—and that it may still be GMO.

Try to avoid all corn and all products that have corn as an ingredient. These include foods such as corn chips, taco shells, popcorn, corn cereal, and anything that clearly incorporates corn syrup or corn oil. They also include less obvious products, such as soda, gum, high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), toothpaste, gluten-free foods that use corn in place of wheat, and herbal tinctures that employ alcohol as a preservative. (It’s most likely corn grain alcohol. Buy the alcohol free versions of tinctures instead.) Try to read ingredient labels carefully and do the best you can. Staying away from corn products and byproducts can be a lot of work. For a treat in the summertime, it’s okay to enjoy a fresh, organic corn on the cob. For the sake of your health, it’s worth the effort of cutting out corn the rest of the time.

Soy

Soy has suffered a similar GMO fate as corn. Soy used to be a healthy food. However, you can now assume that any soy product you encounter could have some GMO contamination or contain added MSG. Be cautious when eating soybeans, edamame, miso, soymilk, soy nuts, soy sauce, textured vegetable protein (TVP), soy protein powder, artificial meat products made from soy, and much more. Try to stay away from soy the best you can. If you really enjoy soy and feel deprived without it, stick to the safest options: plain, organic tofu or tempeh, or the highest-quality nama shoyu.

Canola Oil

Canola oil is mostly GMO at this point in time. And regardless, canola oil creates a great deal of inflammation. It’s especially damaging to your digestive system, potentially scarring the linings of both your small and large intestines, and is a major cause of irritable bowel syndrome. Canola oil can feed viruses, bacteria, fungus, and mold. Beyond that, canola oil has an effect similar to battery acid on the inside of your arteries, creating significant vascular damage.

Canola oil is used in many restaurants and in thousands of products, often as a low-cost alternative to olive oil. Even reputable health food chains and restaurants use canola oil to keep prices down, sometimes advertising canola as a health food. Unfortunately, if canola oil is even a tiny part of an otherwise perfectly healthy dish of organic and all-natural ingredients, you should probably avoid that dish because of how destructive canola oil is. If you’re dealing with a mystery illness or a health condition, try to avoid canola oil at all costs.

Processed Beet Sugar

So far, GMO beets are mostly reserved for making processed beet sugar. You should therefore avoid products that contain processed beet sugar, which feeds cancers, viruses, and bacteria. This is different from grating fresh, organic beets over your salad, or juicing fresh beets. If you stick to organic, most whole beets that you buy in the produce section at your local natural market or at the farmers’ market are safe to consume.

Eggs

Humans have eaten eggs for thousands of years. They were once an amazing survival food for us to eat in areas of the planet where there were no other food options at certain times of year. That changed with the turn of the 20th century, though—when the autoimmune, viral, bacterial, and cancer epidemics began.

The average person eats over 350 eggs a year. That includes whole eggs and also all the foods with hidden egg ingredients. If you’re struggling with any illness, such as Lyme disease, lupus, chronic fatigue syndrome, migraines, or fibromyalgia, avoiding eggs can give your body the support it needs to get better. The biggest issue with eggs is that they’re a prime food for cancer and other cysts, fibroids, tumors, and nodules. Women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), breast cancer, or other cysts and tumors should avoid eggs altogether. Also, if you’re trying to prevent cancer, fight an existing cancer, or avoid a cancer relapse, steer clear.

Removing eggs from your diet completely will give you a powerful fighting chance to reverse disease and heal. Eggs also cause inflammation and allergies; feed viruses, bacteria, yeast, mold, Candida and other fungus; and trigger edema in the lymphatic system. People who are diagnosed with Candida or mycotoxins are often told that eggs are a good, safe protein that will starve the Candida and mycotoxins. Nothing could be further from the truth. I know how popular eggs are. There’s a growing trend that promotes them as a major health food. Plus they’re delicious and fun to eat. If eggs were good for us in the current day and age, though, I’d be promoting them as such.

nofoods (2)

Dairy

Milk, cheese, butter, cream, yogurt, and other such products contain a substantial amount of fat, which is a strain for your digestive system—and especially your liver—to process. Dairy contains lactose, and the combination of fat and sugar has negative effects on health, especially if you’re diabetic. Further, dairy fat in your bloodstream helps to breed viruses and bacteria. Dairy is also mucus producing, and a major cause of inflammation and allergies. Those are the issues that have always held true for dairy, even when it’s organic and free-range. And now, conventional, mainstream practice has made a problematic food into a toxic one by creating farm industry pressure to give hormones, antibiotics, GMO corn and soy, and gluten to cows, goats, and sheep. If you want a smooth healing process, it’s best not to eat dairy at all.

Pork

Avoid all forms of pork, including ham, bacon, processed pork products, lard, and so on. It’s difficult to heal any chronic illness while consuming any kind of pig product, due to these foods’ high fat content.

Farmed Fish

Farmed fish are often raised in small, enclosed spaces. This breeds algae, parasites, and other diseases—so the breeders often give the fish antibiotics and treat the water with toxic chemicals. This makes consuming farmed fish risky. The safest fish you can eat are wild ones, such as salmon, halibut, and haddock. No matter what type you select, beware of mercury— especially with larger fish such as swordfish and tuna.

Gluten

Gluten is a protein found in many grains. The forms of gluten to which people are especially sensitive are in wheat, barley, rye, and spelt (a type of wheat). (When it comes to oats, be aware that growing and processing sometimes cross-contaminates them with grains that contain gluten. Oats can be a very good food for people who are less sensitive, though. Look for those that are labeled gluten-free.) Grains that contain gluten also contain multiple allergens and proteins that can trigger any condition. They create disruption and inflammation, especially in your intestinal tract and bowels. They also confuse your immune system—which is your primary defense against disease— and often trigger celiac disease, Crohn’s, and colitis. Eating these grains makes it very difficult for your body to heal. If you’d like to recover from your illness as quickly as possible, minimize grains of any kind.

MSG

Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is a food additive that’s used in tens of thousands of products and restaurant dishes. MSG is a salt that occurs naturally in glutamic acid (a non-essential amino acid). But there’s nothing natural about the extreme damage it can do to you. MSG typically builds up in your brain, going deep into your brain tissue. It can then cause inflammation and swelling, kill thousands of your brain cells, disrupt electrical impulses, weaken neurotransmitters, burn out neurons, make you feel confused and anxious, and even lead to micro-strokes. It also weakens and injures your central nervous system. MSG is especially harmful if you have an illness that involves your brain or central nervous system. However, there are no circumstances under which it’s good for you. As a result, this is an additive you should always avoid. Because MSG is included in countless products, it’s essential to read food labels carefully. It’s also important to know what to look for. MSG is often “hidden” on labels because of its deservedly bad reputation. The following terms usually mean that MSG is an ingredient: glutamate, hydrolyzed, autolyzed, protease, carrageenan, maltodextrin, sodium caseinate, balsamic vinegar, barley malt, malt extract, yeast extract, brewer’s yeast, corn starch, wheat starch, modified food starch, gelatin, textured protein, whey protein, soy protein, soy sauce, broth, bouillon, stock, and seasoning.

Natural Flavors

Any ingredient with a name like natural flavoring is hidden MSG. Natural cherry flavor, natural orange flavor, natural lemon flavor, natural fruit flavor…they’re not just fruit extracts, and they’re not your friends. The same goes for smoke flavor, turkey flavor, beef flavor, natural peppermint flavor, natural maple flavor, natural chocolate flavor, Medical natural vanilla flavor, and all their “natural” and “flavor”-ful cousins. (Although pure vanilla extract is safe to use.) Each type of natural flavor potentially contains multiple biohazards and chemical compounds. Natural flavoring has slipped under the radar and been allowed into thousands of health food store products that are advertised as good, safe, and healthy for you and your children. Moms, take heed. Natural flavors are one of the newest and stealthiest now-you-see-it-now-you-don’t tricks for hiding MSG. Take care reading labels so you and your family can avoid this hidden ingredient.

Artificial Flavors

Artificial flavors can represent any of thousands of chemicals that were birthed in a lab. Don’t take risks by consuming them. As much as possible, the best you can, stay away from chemical additives.

Artificial Sweeteners

Most artificial sweeteners act as neurotoxins because they contain aspartame. This can disrupt your neurons and your central nervous system. Long-term, artificial sweeteners can cause neurological breakdowns and strokes in your brain. If you crave sweets, eat as much fruit as you like. Fruit fights disease and has powerful healing properties.

Citric Acid

Compared to the other additives in this chapter, citric acid isn’t so bad. That said, it’s very irritating to the linings of the stomach and the intestinal tract, so it can create a lot of inflammation and discomfort if you’re sensitive to it. Citric acid (the additive) is not the same thing as naturally occurring acid in citrus. Try not to confuse the two. Citrus itself is a healing food. The isolated ingredient citric acid, however, is often corn derived. Especially if you’re experiencing any kind of stomach pain, keep an eye out for citric acid on ingredient labels and consider skipping foods that include it.”

 

We are in this Together!

-People Start to Heal The Moment They Are Heard-

Health and Wellness Associates

EHS Telehealth

 

 

REVIEWED BY DR PATRICIA CARROTHERS

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Diets and Weight Loss, Health and Disease, Uncategorized

HWA-TEN WAYS TO BURN MORE CALORIES WHEN YOU WORK OUT

 

images (10)Ten Ways to Burn More Calories When You Work Out

 

 

To lessen the chances you’ll get bored and feel tempted to stop exercising, it’s important to occasionally revisit your routine and make any necessary changes. It’s easy to fall into a rut, doing the same exercise program over and over again, while realizing few benefits.

Eventually, you’ll lose your enthusiasm and very likely start making excuses for why you no longer exercise. Now is a good time to check out 10 tips and proven techniques, presented by Health.com,1 designed to help you burn more calories when you work out.

By incorporating one or more of them into your routine, you may become more enthused about exercising regularly. As you know, regular exercise is a vital aspect of achieving optimal health.

1. Listen to Music

Music and exercise have long been paired together. You may be among those who believe a pair of high-quality earbuds is nearly as essential to your workout as a good pair of athletic shoes. If that’s the case, then you’ll be happy to know listening to music is an easy and fun way to fuel your calorie burn.

Research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison2 revealed students who listened to music while exercising on a stationary bike achieved more health benefits compared to those who biked in silence.

Additionally, music with a fast (160 beats per minute) or medium (100 beats per minute) tempo was shown to fuel the participants’ exertion more than music with a slow tempo (60 beats per minute).

Specifically, researchers found students who listened to music during an eight-minute biking workout increased their average heart rate by 10 beats per minute, increased their exertion by 5 percent and burned 7 percent more calories than the non-music group.

A 2010 study published in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports3 also demonstrated cyclists worked harder when listening to fast music as compared to music with a slow tempo. However, music that is too fast was also shown to detract from the workout.

Researchers concluded songs with tempos between 120 and 140 beats per minute seem to benefit exercisers the most.

2. Choose an ‘Exercise Buddy’

Exercise has long been as much of a social outlet as it is a means through which to achieve optimal health. Identifying an “exercise buddy” adds a level of accountability to your workout program. If you plan to meet a friend at the gym but wake up feeling like you’d rather not go, chances are you will be more motivated to honor your commitment because your friend will be waiting for you.

Research conducted at Kansas State University (KSU) revealed you are more likely to achieve greater benefits from exercise when you work out with someone you think is fitter and stronger than you.

In fact, study participants increased their workout time and intensity by as much as 200 percent when exercising with a partner they perceived as better!

Brandon Irwin, Ph.D., assistant professor of kinesiology at KSU and principle investigator in the study, designed various exercise scenarios to determine if individuals engage in more intense physical activity when alone, paired with a virtual partner or engaged in team competition. Said Irwin:4

“People like to exercise with others and make it a social activity. We found that when you’re performing with someone who you perceive as a little better than you, you tend to give more effort than you normally would alone. …

By the last session, participants in the team group were exercising almost 160 percent longer than those in the partner group, and nearly 200 percent longer than those exercising as individuals.”


3. Standing Builds Core During Exercise

The goal of any exercise is to involve as many muscles as you can. You will burn more calories by involving as much of your body as possible in your workout. If you go for a brisk walk, for example, move your arms in a motion that helps propel your legs forward.

If you work out using an elliptical, Stairmaster or treadmill, you can strengthen your core by only using the rails for balance. This means no leaning on the rails! Your core muscles are strengthened when you engage them to keep your body upright and in motion while using these machines.

Maintaining good posture and correct form also will help you avoid injury. As much as possible, keep your head up and your eyes facing out. Resist the temptation to hunch your shoulders, slump on the rails or stare at your feet.

If you find yourself frequently leaning on the rails, you may need to temporarily slow the pace of your workout, shorten your workout or take occasional breaks.

4. Using Your Arms Adds More Fat-Burning Oxygen

Whenever your exercise is focused on your legs, see if there is a way to also involve your arms. As mentioned above, when you go for a walk, pump your arms and your feet will follow.

A study5 published in Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport demonstrated exercisers use more fat-burning oxygen when involving their arms while using an elliptical machine than when using their legs alone.

While it may feel strange and will likely draw some curious looks at the gym, walking on the treadmill with your arms raised above your head will intensify your workout.

Certified personal trainer Sandra Hahamian, who works with clients employed by businesses such as Facebook and Google, told Shape:6 “You may look a little funny, but bringing your arms up really raises your heart rate.”

5. Adding HIIT Can Shorten Workout Time

I’ve mentioned high-intensity interval training (HIIT) many times before and, more recently, variable-intensity interval training (VIIT). Both programs are a great way to reduce the time you spend working out while dramatically increasing the benefits you receive from exercise.

A 2016 study7 involving three groups of exercising men — a control group, a group doing sprint interval training (SIT) and a group doing moderate-intensity continuous training (MICT) — underscored the value of brief intervals of high-intensity exercise. After 12 weeks of workouts, researchers concluded brief strenuous activity performed during shorter exercise sessions is as effective as working out for longer periods of time at a moderate pace. The study authors stated:8

“[W]e report that a SIT protocol involving three minutes of intense intermittent exercise per week, within a total time commitment of 30 minutes, is as effective as 150 minutes per week of MICT for increasing insulin sensitivity, cardiorespiratory fitness and skeletal muscle mitochondrial content in previously inactive men.”

As with all types of exercise, HIIT and VIIT also trigger mitochondrial biogenesis, which is important for longevity. By reversing age-associated declines in mitochondrial mass, you slow down the aging process. As noted in a 2011 review9 published in Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism, increasing evidence suggests “exercise can induce mitochondrial biogenesis in a wide range of tissues not normally associated with the metabolic demands of exercise.”

As explained in my book, “Fat for Fuel,” because mitochondrial dysfunction seems to be at the core of most chronic disease, activities like HIIT and VIIT that support mitochondrial biogenesis will strengthen your body and help it fight back. Be sure to allow ample recovery time between workout sessions because as intensity increases, frequency diminishes.

6. Weights Help You Burn More Calories

Adding weights to your workout can be an effective means of not only creating more intensity, but also burning more calories. Walking outdoors or on a treadmill while carrying hand weights works well if you are in reasonably good shape.

If you are new to this, I recommend you start with a 1-pound (0.45 kilogram) dumbbell in each hand. Focus on swinging your arms naturally and bending your elbows slightly, while keeping your arms close to your body.

You’ll be more likely to stress your joints and risk injury if you use overly heavy weights or swing your arms too high or unnaturally. Another option for adding bulk during exercise is to wear a special garment that gives you control over how much additional weight you carry.

A 2016 study10 sponsored by the American Council on Exercise (ACE) proposes that wearing a weighted compression shirt that holds additional weight close to your body’s core can increase your calorie burn by 7 percent during a typical workout.

The research was conducted by a team from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, led by John Porcari, Ph.D., professor of exercise sport science. Porcari offers the following cautions you should keep in mind when using weights during exercise:11

  • Do not use weights if you have existing cardiovascular or joint problems
  • Do not use weights on your extremities heavier than 2 pounds (0.9 kilograms)
  • Do not run while wearing ankle weights

Regarding the popularity of wearing weighted clothing during exercise, ACE chief science officer Cedric Bryant, Ph.D., states:12

“Weighted compression shirts or vests … place the load more centrally on the body, making them likely a more comfortable and safer choice. Another potential benefit associated with adding weight in the form of a compression shirt is it allows for greater freedom of movement with the hands and arms during a wide variety of exercises and physical activities.”

The video featured below, produced by SixPackFactory, shows you how to add weights and inclines when doing pushups.

7. Inclines Can Burn More Calories

Leveraging the effects of gravity during your workouts is another useful tool to burn more calories. After all, your body must work exponentially harder to counteract the forces of gravity when you bike, run or walk on an incline. Exercising on an incline not only intensifies your workout, but it also forces your body to activate more muscle groups beyond those used when you are walking on level ground.

Research performed at the University of Colorado13 looked at muscle activity for the calves, glutes, hamstrings and quads when study participants walked at varying inclines and rates of speed.

They found muscle activity increased significantly with the introduction of inclines of just 3 degrees, with hamstrings displaying 635 percent and glutes 345 percent of the muscular activity of level walking. Muscle activity increased even more when higher rates of speed were introduced with inclines. The study authors concluded:14

  • Hip, knee and ankle extensor muscle activities increase with steeper uphill grade
  • Only knee extensor muscle activities increase with steeper downhill grade
  • Changes in muscle activity with grade are more pronounced at faster walking speeds

8. Caffeine Can Enhance Exercise Performance

Caffeine has been shown to boost your metabolism and can help enhance exercise performance. Caffeine gives you a “lift” because it blocks the normal action of adenosine, which normally slows down your brain’s activity and induces sleepiness. Adenosine forms from the breakdown of ATP or adenosine triphosphate, the molecule that provides cellular energy.

Research by Ori Hofmekler, author of “The Warrior Diet: Switch on Your Biological Powerhouse — for High Energy, Explosive Strength and a Leaner, Harder Body” and “Unlocking the Muscle Gene: Trigger the Biiological Mechanisms That Transform Your Body and Extend Your Life,” showed coffee increases your metabolism by up to 20 percent and can be quite beneficial if consumed before exercise.

In addition to providing you with a temporary metabolic boost, other functional benefits of a preworkout cup of coffee include:

  • Enhanced memory
  • Improved blood circulation
  • Increased endurance
  • Muscle preservation
  • Pain reduction

When used before exercise, coffee will give you a good boost. Because coffee affects your muscles, you do not want to drink coffee immediately after exercising.

Also make sure it’s organic, and drink it black (sans sugar or milk). While it may be a bit confusing, coffee, like exercise, inhibits one of your body’s inherent mechanisms called mTOR (mammalian target of rapamycin). mTOR increases protein synthesis and builds muscle — after exercise. (Remember, you do not build muscle while exercising; but rather, muscle building occurs afterward.) Says Hofmekler:15

“[T]he timing of coffee is very important. Before exercise, it will work with the exercise itself. It really inhibits the mTOR, but at the same time, it will stimulate energy production, burning fat and increasing performance. After exercise, it’s not time for coffee. It’s time for a recovery meal … good-quality whey protein.”

9. Drink Water Before and After Exercise

As you know, pure, clean water is essential for your survival. If you are an athlete or exercise regularly, you must get your fluid/water replacement issue right to avoid the possibility of becoming dehydrated. On the other hand, you also do not want to overhydrate. As a general rule, drink to thirst.

While severe dehydration can be life threatening, even mild dehydration is problematic — causing cramping, headaches, irritability and impaired cognition. Lack of adequate hydration will most definitely affect your sports performance and diminish the effectiveness of your workouts. As reported by CNN, sports dietitian Amy Goodson said:16

“A 2 percent dehydration level in your body causes a 10 percent decrease in athletic performance. [T]he more dehydrated you become, the worse performance gets.”

A lack of proper hydration during exercise diminishes blood circulation, which can make muscles cramp up. If you’ve ever had them during exercise, muscle cramps can be extremely uncomfortable and painful. Keep in mind changes in your potassium and sodium levels due to sweat loss may also contribute to cramping.

Although you may be tempted to drink sports drinks before your workout to boost your energy, or afterward to replenish lost fluids and electrolytes, you’re better off sticking to regular water or coconut water.

Sports drinks contain as much as two-thirds the sugar of sodas as well as many artificial flavors, food coloring and high-fructose corn syrup — all of which are bad for your health. Remember that low-calorie and sugar-free versions most likely contain artificial sweeteners, which are even worse for you than fructose.

You can easily make your own rehydration beverage by simply adding a small pinch of natural, unprocessed salt to your water. I recommend Himalayan sea salt which, unlike processed salt, contains 84 unique minerals and trace minerals your body needs for optimal functioning.

10. Listen to Your Body During Exercise

While it may be tempting to flip through a magazine, read a book, text or watch TV while walking on a treadmill or riding a stationary bike, you may realize more benefits if you tune in to your body during exercise. Daniel Frankl, Ph.D., kinesiology professor at California State University, Los Angeles, told Health.com:17

“[These activities] take your attention away [from] your workout so you may not be giving it your best effort. Paying attention to your effort — your heart rate, your breathing, the sensation in your muscles — helps you maintain a steady effort so you can burn more calories.”

One concern I have about distractions during workouts is the potential risks for accidents and injuries that accompany them. For example, while focusing on a book or screen, you may inadvertently stumble or trip, not notice your shoelace has come untied, or begin slouching or slumping on the equipment.

As told to Outside Online,18 Dr. John Higgins, chief of cardiology and director of exercise physiology at Lyndon B. Johnson General Hospital in Houston, Texas, says there are benefits to turning off certain distractions while you work out: “Exercise can often help clear your mind and help you solve problems. If you’re now focused on the movie, you may lose that valuable benefit.”

The Importance of Exercise for Optimal Health

Having been an avid exerciser for nearly 50 years, I wholeheartedly believe a comprehensive fitness routine is essential for optimal health. No matter your level of physical activity, it’s important to make a realistic evaluation of your situation and continually motivate yourself to greater levels of achievement with respect to your personal exercise program.

Listen to your body and be willing to modify, or completely change up, your routine as your life and health circumstances change. To be successful, you must be willing to change and experiment to find what works best for you, and to continue experimenting as time goes on. Start today by choosing one or more of the tips suggested above and incorporate them into your current routine.

We are in this Together!

-People Start to Heal The Moment They Are Heard-

Health and Wellness Associates

EHS Telehealth

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Health and Disease, Uncategorized

HWA-FDA APPROVES FIRST AT HOME SALIVA TEST FOR COVID 19

FDA APPROVES FIRST AT HOME SALIVA TEST FOR COVID 19

 

The first COVID-19 test using saliva samples that patients collect at home has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The emergency use authorization was issued to Rutgers Clinical Genomics Laboratory for the diagnostic test using home-collected samples. Patients return their sample to the New Jersey-based lab in a sealed package for analysis.

First U.S. Company Announces an Upcoming Home COVID-19 Test | Time

The screening is the only authorized test that uses saliva samples to check for the new coronavirus that causes COVID-19. It is available only with a prescription.

Last month, the FDA gave emergency authorization for the first at-home COVID-19 test using a sample taken from the patient’s nose with a nasal swab and saline.

“Authorizing additional diagnostic tests with the option of at-home sample collection will continue to increase patient access to testing for COVID-19,” FDA Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn said in an agency news release. “This provides an additional option for the easy, safe and convenient collection of samples required for testing without traveling to a doctor’s office, hospital or testing site.”

At-home saliva testing has several advantages over traditional nasal testing, in which a health care worker inserts a swab deep into the patient’s nose and rotates it to extract a sample.

Besides being invasive and uncomfortable, the nasal test requires a potentially contagious patient to leave home and the person administering the test to don personal protective gear.

Since the start of the pandemic, Hahn said FDA has authorized more than 80 COVID-19 tests, and adding more options for at-home sample collection is an important advance.

“It is important to note that this is not a general authorization for at-home collection of patient samples using other collection methods, saliva collection devices, or tests, or for tests fully conducted at home,” the FDA news release said.

Do know that you are giving your DNA over to the government to own.  You are sending you DNA, to a government supported genomics laboratory. If you have no symptoms, you do not need a test.

We are in this Together!

-People Start to Heal The Moment They Are Heard-

Health and Wellness Associates

EHS Telehealth

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Health and Disease, Uncategorized

HWA-LICHEN PLANUS AND LICHEN SCLEROSIS

 

 

Lichen Planus and Lichen Sclerosis: These Conditions May Mimic Yeast Infection or Herpes

Lichen Planus Clinical Presentation: History, Physical Examination ...

There are several gynecologic conditions that share similar symptoms. Vaginal itching, irritation, burning, and lesions or sores are most commonly associated with yeast infections or genital herpes. But when those two are ruled out, there are even more possibilities. For example, two vulvar skin conditions, called lichen planus and lichen sclerosus, can cause similar symptoms.

Lichen Planus: Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, and Risks

 

What Is Lichen Planus?

Genital lichen planus is a dermatological (skin) condition that affects the vulva (outer genital area), vagina, and anus. In women, the condition can lead to scarring and chronic inflammation of the vulva, which may cause sexual dysfunction, according to Drexel Medicine.  Men can also get genital lichen planus, which shows up as pink, shiny, flat-topped papules in the genital area, according to a 2015 report.

This skin condition can also develop on other areas of the body, such as the inside of the mouth, the wrist, the ankles, and the lower back, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. While the cause of lichen planus remains unclear, it is considered to be a chronic autoimmune skin disorder with periods of flare-ups and remission. It may be contagious, with different variables, so it is always good to be cautious.

Lichen planus - Stock Image - C040/2238 - Science Photo Library

What Are the Symptoms of Vulvar Lichen Planus?

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, the following are possible symptoms of lichen planus:

  • Bumps and patches on the skin that itch
  • Soreness, burning, and tenderness
  • Blisters and open sores that may make urination and sexual intercourse painful
  • Pale appearance or white lacy pattern on the vulva
  • Yellowish discharge
  • Fragile and thin vaginal skin, which sometimes causes cracking and bleeding
  • If left untreated, this skin condition can erode the vaginal skin tissues, especially the labia minora (inner vaginal folds).

It is not difficult to understand how some women may mistake these symptoms for genital herpes (the presence of painful lesions) or some other sort of infection (itching, burning, and soreness).

What Is Lichen Sclerosus?

Lichen sclerosus is another chronic, auto-immune-inflammatory skin disease affecting the genital region that can mimic the symptoms of an infection such as a yeast infection or genital herpes. Lichen sclerosus can occur alongside lichen planus or can develop from erosive lichen planus (where the labia minora shrink and fuse to the labia majora).

Science Source - Lichen Sclerosus

What Are the Symptoms of Lichen Sclerosus?

The main symptoms are itching and soreness, according to the NIH. There may be white, shiny patches on the vaginal skin. Some people may have blisters and bleeding in the vaginal area and may notice that their skin tears and bruises easily. Lichen sclerosus can be extremely painful, making sexual intercourse a source of physical distress.

Non-infectious inflammatory genital lesions - ScienceDirect

What Are the Risk Factors for Lichen Sclerosus?

As with lichen planus, the cause of lichen sclerosus is unclear, but it may be related to an overactive immune system or hormones, according to the NIH. One study completed in 2008 found that women who have psoriasis may be more susceptible to being diagnosed with lichen sclerosus. It is more common in postmenopausal women as well, according to a report by the Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

However, because of the similarities to other conditions, such as genital herpes, vaginitis, or yeast infections, some women may not realize they have lichen sclerosus or mistake it for other gynecological problems.

If left untreated, lichen sclerosus can progress and cause serious effects. In rare cases, it’s associated with an increased chance of vulvar cancer. About 4 percent of women with lichen sclerosus develop vulvar cancer, according to the American Cancer Society.

a) Lichen sclerosus with dry, atrophic skin, vanishing of the ...

How to Get Treatment for These Symptoms

If you are experiencing itching, burning, soreness, bleeding, fissures, thick white patches of skin, or ulcers or blisters in the vulvar area, you should see your gynecologist. Most doctors will be able to diagnose these conditions by doing a vulvar skin biopsy.

Don’t try to guess at what these symptoms mean or try to self-diagnose. Many women suffer needlessly from lichen planus and lichen sclerosus because they think it is some sort of recurring yeast infection. Although both of these genital skin conditions can be chronic and without a definitive cure, there is treatment that is extremely effective. An early diagnosis and treatment can prevent pain, scarring, and damage to the vulvar skin and tissues.

While these conditions can’t be cured, they can be treated and managed. Cortisone creams have been found to be effective in reducing symptoms. Some people find that over-the-counter antihistamine creams help reduce pain and itching.

 

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Health and Disease, Uncategorized

Five Foods That Fuel Your Brain

Five Foods That Fuel Your Brain

 

In 1/10,000 of a second, your brain can respond to input and generate an action. Although it accounts for only about 3% of your body weight, it uses 30% of the blood your heart pumps, and burns 300 calories daily.

Plus, it takes your whole brain to make sense of what’s being said. While speaking and comprehending languages is mainly a left-brain activity, language processing happens on the right side, which lets you know if the words are sarcastic or kind or the punchline of a joke.

No wonder your brain needs the right balance of foods to stay sharp. So here are five things you can eat to keep you bright.

1. Salmon and ocean trout. The omega-3s and -7s in these fish increase blood flow to the brain and help strengthen neurons’ protective coat.

2. 70% cacao dark chocolate. This kind of chocolate contains compounds that support blood flow to the brain and bolster neuron strength; plus, it promotes brain plasticity — an ability to modify neural connections, which promotes learning and memory.

3. Berries (especially blueberries) and black coffee. They contain flavonoids that improve communication between brain cells, boost learning and memory, and help reduce or delay cognitive decline.

4. Nuts and seeds, including sunflower seeds, walnuts, almonds, and hazelnuts. Walnuts contain omega-3s, and almost all nuts have other polyphenols that protect brain function, reduce inflammation, and protect against Alzheimer’s.

5. Broccoli and other cruciferous veggies, like bok choy, cabbage, and cauliflower. These vegetables contain glucosinolates, which produce a chemical in the body that lowers your risk of neurodegenerative diseases.

 

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Michael Roizen

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Health and Disease, Uncategorized

BPA Substitutes Are Not Safer

BPA Substitutes Are Not Safer

 

“The Substitute” is a 1996 movie thriller starring Tom Beringer as a substitute teacher who lays waste to a high school cocaine ring, disproving students’ long-held belief that a substitute is always a weaker version of a regular teacher.

The same can be said, unfortunately, of BPS, a common substitute for the known hormone disruptor BPA (bisphenol A) that’s used to line food cans, make plastics, and print cash register receipts, among other uses.

Companies dumping BPA often turn to BPS and BPF. But now BPS has been found to hinder heart function in mice within minutes of exposure — especially in females.

If you have heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, or obesity, that could increase your chance of a heart attack or make one more severe, according to researchers from Canada’s University of Guelph.

So how can you dodge bisphenols?

• Avoid plastic items with the recycling numbers 3 and 7 or the letters “PC.”

• Avoid packaged and canned foods. One study found that BPA levels in urine plummeted 66% in people who skipped all packaged foods for five days. Another found that folks who had one serving of canned soup daily for five days had BPA blood levels 1,221% higher than those who didn’t eat canned soup.

• Avoid bisphenol in cosmetics and toiletries.

 

 

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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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Diets and Weight Loss, Health and Disease, Uncategorized

Are You Drinking Enough During Winter Months?

Health and Wellness Associates

Are You Drinking Enough During Winter Months?

Remembering to drink enough water is easy during the summer, when higher temperatures and outdoor activities drive the point home. But staying adequately hydrated is just as important during the winter.

Environmental humidity plays a role, said Stavros Kavouras, who directs the Hydration Science Lab at Arizona State University in Phoenix. Central heating causes drier interior environments during the winter, which can lead to increased water loss simply from breathing.

That’s not the only challenge. In cold environments, the kidneys actually excrete more urine, said Joseph C. Watso, a postdoctoral research fellow at the Institute for Exercise and Environmental Medicine in Dallas.

“It’s a small change that could potentially make a difference,” he said. “If you’re not sweating, you might forget to drink adequate water.”

Dehydration sets in when the body loses more water than it takes in.

Even minor dehydration – the level at which people begin feel thirsty – is linked to difficulty concentrating, poor memory and bad moods. And studies have shown people who chronically consume a low amount of water seem to be at higher risk of developing chronic kidney disease, kidney stones and urinary tract infections. “High urine flow seems to be protective,” Kavouras said.

News Picture: AHA News: Are You Drinking Enough During Winter Months?  Kavouras and his colleagues found mild dehydration impaired the function of cells that line blood vessels almost as much as smoking a cigarette. Dehydration also has been linked with inflammation, artery stiffness, blood pressure regulation and other factors that can raise the risk of heart disease and stroke.

Research also has linked poor hydration to diabetes. “Diabetes is a lifestyle disease that’s associated with what we eat, what we drink and how physically active we are,” Kavouras said. “Hydration seems to be part of this recipe.”

Exactly how much water people need can vary.

“Our water needs change from day to day based on factors such as environmental temperature and activity level,” Kavouras said. “If you are an Ironman athlete who trains four hours per day, your water needs are higher than somebody who is sedentary.”

In general, the federal Institute of Medicine suggests women take in 2.7 liters and men 3.7 liters of water per day. That might sound like a lot, but because food contributes about 20% of the daily water total, women should drink 8, 8-ounce glasses and men 12, 8-ounce glasses.

“It’s underappreciated that many fruits and vegetables are 90 to 95% water,” Watso said. “Eating more fruits and vegetables can certainly help you stay hydrated.” Soup, an old winter standby, also counts. “Just be sure to avoid soups with very high amounts of sodium.”

Watso recommends people keep a refillable water bottle with them and sip on it all day. “Your body can only process water at a certain rate, and if you drink too much too (quickly), the excess will be excreted,” he said.

Experts say fluid from tea and coffee – even that eggnog latte – counts toward hydration. Even soda and juices technically contribute to one’s daily fluid intake, although experts do not recommend them because of their high sugar content. Alcohol, however, doesn’t make the cut.

Kavouras advised people to pay attention to how often they use the bathroom. Adults should urinate six or seven times per day. Dark yellow or orangish urine is a sign to drink up.

“Drinking water throughout the day is one of the most effective things you can do to improve health and well-being.”

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Rx to Wellness, Uncategorized

Obesity Might Skew Blood Tests in Kids

Health and Wellness Associates

 

Obesity Might Skew Blood Tests in Kids

 

News Picture: Obesity Might Skew Blood Tests in KidsIf your child is obese, new research suggests that those extra pounds can alter the results of routine blood tests.

“We performed the first comprehensive analysis of the effect of obesity on routine blood tests in a large community population of children and found that almost 70% of the blood tests studied were affected,” said study first author Victoria Higgins, from the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto and the University of Toronto.

Higgins’ team looked at more than 1,300 healthy children and teens in and around Toronto and found that obesity affected 24 routine blood tests, including those for liver function, inflammation markers, lipids and iron.

The study was published Dec. 17 in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

“As clinical decisions are often guided by normative ranges based on a large healthy population, understanding how and which routine blood tests are affected by obesity is important to correctly interpret blood test results,” Higgins explained in a journal news release.

It’s unclear if obesity’s impact on blood tests are a sign of early disease, but doctors should be aware of these findings when interpreting several types of blood tests in children, the researchers advised.

“We hope our study results will assist pediatricians and family physicians to better assess children and adolescents with different degrees of overweight or obesity,” Higgins said.

There’s been a sharp rise in overweight and obesity among U.S. youngsters in the past three decades, and the childhood obesity rate is now about 18.5%.

— Robert Preidt

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Foods, Uncategorized

Apple Cardamom Bread Pudding

Apple Cardamom Bread Pudding

 

Every time I make bread pudding, I chastise myself for not making it more often! Maybe it’s because I don’t always have extra bread around, or perhaps it’s because I’m never quite sure if bread pudding is supposed to be for breakfast or dessert. The last time I made this fall-flavored Apple Cardamom Bread Pudding, I realized something: I don’t have to have a plan for it! It’s delicious hot out of the oven for breakfast, and the leftovers can be served for dessert later in the day.

This hearty dish is perfect for cold fall and winter days. When the days start to get shorter and the air crisps up a bit, I find myself craving sweet, rich food. That doesn’t always work out too well for my waistline, though. Luckily, with recipes like this Apple Cardamom Bread Pudding, I can have my cake and eat it, too! You see, most bread pudding recipes are loaded up with excess sugars. It takes a lot of sugar to sweeten something as savory as whole-wheat bread. But, we found a brilliant workaround. Want to know how we did it?

You might be surprised to learn that cinnamon and cardamom aren’t exactly sweet on their own. They sort-of trick our taste buds into thinking they’re a sweet spice. That’s because baking recipes almost always pair them with sugar. If you were to taste a pinch of them on their own, you’d find that they’re super pungent, slightly spicy, and a touch earthy.

But, when you combine them with something sweet, these spices really bloom. They actually help fill out our palates, allowing us to really taste any sweetness in the dish. Using these spices is part-one of our super-secret hack to make this Apple Cardamom Bread Pudding recipe more healthy. Part two: applesauce!

Instead of using a ton of processed sugar, we swapped in applesauce instead. It gives the bread pudding extra body while allowing the naturally sweet apples to shine.

Apple Cardamom Bread Pudding

Ingredients

  • 6 slices whole-wheat bread , using gluten free works too
  • 1 1/2 cups reduced-fat coconut milk (or, milk of your choice)
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup peeled, cored, and chopped apples

options:  raisins, cranberries, nuts all work well

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325° F. Grease an 8×8 baking dish with nonstick spray and set aside.
  2. Cut your bread into 1-inch cubes and place them in the prepared baking dish.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the coconut milk, eggs, applesauce, cardamom, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Beat the mixture with a whisk until everything is well combined.
  4. Fold the apples into the mixture before pouring the contents over the bread cubes. Press the cubes down into the mixture to make sure each one soaks up the liquid.
  5. Bake for 45 minutes, until the pudding is set and no longer jiggles when you shake the pan. You can also insert a knife into the middle of the pudding to make sure it comes out clean.
  6. Allow the pan to cool on a baking rack for at least 15 minutes before slicing.
  7. This pudding can be served hot or cold. Store it in the refrigerator (covered) for up to two days.

 

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