Archive for the 'Medicine' Category

Drugs Are the New Blankets

July 13, 2009

Science Daily today posted a study summary that concludes “that simply warming the skin [with a blanket] can decrease shivering in many patients, without the need for drugs.

What does this say about the state of our treatment regimens when before a shivering person is given a blanket she is given drugs?

It tells me that hospitals have a knee jerk reaction to giving drugs and give them for anything immediately. I think it’s safe to say that most people at home taking care of a sick family member who is shivering would get him or her a blanket.

Apparently this has to be proven to the healthcare industry and the article goes on to quote a clinician who actually has to explain the benefits of using a blanket over medication:

“[the blanket’s] simplicity, low cost, widespread availability, lack of adverse effects, and the potential to avoid sedation … make it an attractive treatment option.”

It looks like instead of studies that focus on developing new treatments, we are having to backtrack to correct treatment mistakes of several years. Of course there have got to be treatment manuals with guidelines for helping patients, but who could blame the writers of these manuals for assuming doctors and nurses would have the basic human decency to get someone a blanket if she is cold?

Salient News To Remember: Zen Edition

April 27, 2009

Patients Do Better With Psychotherapist Who Practice Zen Meditation, Study Suggests – Science Daily. ‘Mindfulness’ is the key, apparently. Live in the now, carpe diem, we’ve heard this before; but now it’s SCIENCE!

Meditation Associated With Increased Grey Matter In The Brain
– Science Daily. This is a good thing.

Buddhist Deity Meditation Temporarily Augments Visuospatial Abilities, Study Suggests – Science Daily. Looks like DY meditation might need to be added to the lots of sleep & good breakfast test-taking regimen.

And this is mostly unrelated and a little older, but I hadn’t heard this until today:
Scientists Find ‘Baffling’ Link between Autism and Vinyl Flooring – Scientific American. Chemicals are the culprit, again.

Urgent Action Needed: FDA Might Pull B6

June 26, 2008

Please follow this link and urge the FDA not to pull vitamin B6. Add your comment. If you do not currently take the vitamin, consider this research to understand how beneficial this vitamin is, and how it should continue to be available over the counter to the countless Americans already supplementing with it :

It has been proven to help protect heart disease, reduce the risk of cancer, reduce contraceptive pill side effects, help correct anemia, control blood pressure, and many others. See this research and more here.

It is not just an important vitamin to increase health, but having a B6 deficiency can actually reverse health and cause nerve damage.

The pharmaceutical company medicure is petitioning the FDA to ban the vitamin so it can release its own drug made from it. The same thing happened with red yeast rice. According to NaturalNews.com:

Drug companies ripped off the lovastatin molecules from red yeast rice, then patented them. Once they achieved FDA approval for their “statin drugs,” it was easy to file a petition requesting the outlawing of red yeast rice, claiming the supplement was “adulterated” with drugs! Which drugs? Statin drugs, of course — the very same drugs that were isolated from red yeast rice in the first place!

What the FDA has done and might do in this case seems inherently flawed. They are trying to make a natural component of some foods only available by a prescription. They could still make their own higher potency vitamin B6 drug WITHOUT pulling lower potency products from the shelves, and because of the benefits, many Americans would choose to go to their doctors. But not all. That’s competition, and unfortunately because modern medicine has been slow to catch on to the benefits of natural health products, this is the consequence it must face.

Pharmaceuticals do still have a monopoly, and as a result, we pay the highest amounts for drugs in the world! And unfortunately it seems that the FDA would like to ensure the future of pharmaceutical companies more than the American citizens, many of which pay outrageous amounts for health care, and may rely on vitamins and minerals they can buy at their local stores. The FDA, who receives major funding from pharmaceutical companies, and the pharmaceutical companies themselves, need to suck it up and face this loss.

If this goes through, we might soon have to get all of our vitamins from doctors, as it will continue to carve out the precedent that any vitamin can be pulled if a pharmaceutical company wants to market it. And why wouldn’t they? Americans spend $7.5 billion a year on vitamins.

Add your comment to the FDA:
http://www.regulations.gov/fdmspublic/component/main?main=DocumentDetail&o=090000648051908f

Mercury & Autism: Definitely Linked

May 1, 2008

Suspicions have finally been confirmed: mercury has been linked to autism by the University of Texas Health Science Center. The researchers found that the distance a child lived from a mercury emitting coal power plant or other industrial facility influenced the his or her likelihood of autism. You may have even seen ads lately advocating the use of coal as a clean energy source. CARE Energy says on their website that coal is becoming cleaner by reducing “the emissions of electricity generation.” They do not even mention mercury! Where do you think the elevated levels in fish come from? Researcher Vincent St. Louis said: “We can say conclusively that if you reduce mercury emissions it will result in less mercury in fish.”

Although the study only focused on one aspect of mercury exposure (as a study must do in order to be considered valid), how can we not conclude mercury is dangerous in every context? Pollution by mercury is “…is a problem of global magnitude,” says James Hurley, assistant director of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Aquatic Sciences Center. We have yet to find how much destruction is being caused by mercury. But we know that it has already had negative impacts on humans, wildlife, and the environment. It is safe to say it has impacted our future, too.

Unfortunately mercury is extremely prevalent. Mercury has been found in California rainwater from industrial waste in China. For energy conservation, we are advised to switch to fluorescent light bulbs. They do save energy, but they are filled with mercury. “According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), approximately 800 million fluorescent lamps are disposed of every year.” Mike Adams of NaturalNews.com figures that amounts “to 30,000 pounds of mercury waste. Astonishingly, that’s almost half the amount of mercury emitted into the atmosphere by coal-fired power plants each year. It only takes 4mg of mercury to contaminate up to 7,000 gallons of freshwater, meaning that the 30,000 pounds of mercury thrown away in compact fluorescent light bulbs each year is enough to pollute nearly every lake, pond, river and stream in North America (not to mention the oceans).” LEDs are a great alternative to fluorescents.

Some children may develop autism as a result of mercury exposure, but just because someone is not affected in this particular way, it is not safe to believe it is not affecting them AT ALL. It seems more dramatic to believe that an individual is somehow IMMUNE to mercury than that he or she is being affected in less quantifiable and identifiable ways. Just because a person does not exhibit enough similar symptoms as those corresponding to a disease or disorder label with a disorder does not mean their quality of life is unaltered. Parents of children with autism seek answers. The general population seems less motivated about finding out why they are sick or obese or tired, though mercury has also been linked with damaging the nervous systems of unborn children, heart attack, and stroke.

Several disorders and diseases have been linked to pollutants and chemicals and toxins in our environment and our food. Asthma is now linked to several household cleaning products and air fresheners. High fructose corn syrup is linked to diabetes. Pesticides are linked to hormone complications and premature births.

It might not be possible to be completely isolated from mercury overexposure, but there are some precautions to take:

-avoid fluorescent lighting
-avoid living near coal power plants (for every 10 miles, the rate of autism dropped 1-2%)
-support alternative energy sources
-be cautious of fish intake, replace with omega-3 supplement like OmegaBrite

There are better options to all of our toxic products and energy sources; we just have to start choosing them!

MRSA is Not Herb Resistant

November 29, 2007

Yes, we now have to worry about superbugs: germs that are so advanced, they are resistant to our antibiotics. But they are resistant to our antibiotics because we overuse them. We use antibiotics for everything– bacteria, viruses, cleaning our hands and bodies, and cleaning our houses. If a germ comes in contact with an antibiotic but does not die, it learns from the experience and passes the information to other germs. Even if a germ is killed, when another bacteria comes in contact with the dead germ, it can still acquire the dead germ’s information about the antibiotic to avoid itself from becoming killed.

The media hype has failed to mention that these germs can be battled with herbs. A research team in 2003 found that Pau d’Arco (also calledTabebuia impetiginosa, Tabebuia avellanedae, Tabebuia heptaphylla) kills MRSA. View the abstract at PubMed.

Why would this information not be more widespread? Is it possible that the public is not informed about these treatments because they are cheap and provide no source of income for the drug companies which support our government?

Drug companies should be smarter about natural treatments and create more pharmaceutical grade alternative medicines, like what has been done with garlic (for cardiovascular diseases) and fish oil (for mood disorders, respiratory health, and arthritis).

The rest of this post is from an article I wrote published at NewsTarget.com:

…Pau D’Arco not only treats drug resistant Staph, it guards against other infections and health problems, including viruses, parasites, and possibly cancer. Antibiotics however, do not work against viruses and cancer. Instead, antibiotics “may help fungi to proliferate within the human body”, and they kill all types of bacteria, including the beneficial bacteria which aid in healthy digestion. A lack of beneficial bacteria has been linked with autism and bowel disorders.

Antibiotic use in children has been correlated with asthma and allergies, and their use can “alter the development of a child’s immune system.” The same study also found that children were less likely to develop these problems if they were exposed to a dog before the age of 1.

So germ exposure can be a good thing, and all this exposure to antibiotics is actually making us weaker and making the harmful bacteria stronger! They are not only over prescribed by doctors, but they are used in agriculture and fed to livestock. So if you are not choosing organic food, you may be taking antibiotics!

Antibacterial soaps and sanitizers create the same problem: stronger, more immune bacteria. Natural soaps wash away dirt and germs from the body, but they don’t help create superbugs. In addition to creating superbugs and lowering our immunity, NewsTarget recently reported that many antibacterial soaps also contain the toxic chemical triclosan which can promote cancer. Antibacterial soaps could also change your hormones.

So before resorting to antibiotics and chemical antibacterials, first try alternatives such as Pau D’Arco, garlic, grapefruit seed extract, honey, colloidal silver, lemon, and tee tree oil. There are many others, and most natural antibiotic alternatives are safe for everyday, preventative use, unlike antibiotics.

Childhood Asthma Linked to Antibiotics

June 25, 2007

A study published in CHEST, the peer-reviewed journal of the American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP), “reports that children receiving antibiotics in the first year of life were at greater risk for developing asthma by age 7 than those not receiving antibiotics.” The investigators followed over 13,000 kids from birth to age 7, monitoring their health.

These folks were very smart too; they distinguished between children receiving antibiotics for respiratory and NON-RESPIRATORY ailments, and took note of other factors “including gender, urban or rural location, neighborhood income, number of siblings at age 7, maternal history of asthma, and pets reported living in the home.” So the results are extremely valid.

Science Daily has a great in-depth explanation of the results. Some highlights:

…absence of a dog during the birth-year doubled asthma risk among children taking multiple courses of antibiotics.

…children receiving more than four courses of antibiotics [had] 1.5 times the risk of asthma compared with children not receiving antibiotics.

…asthma at age 7 was almost twice as likely in children receiving an antibiotic for nonrespiratory tract infections compared with children who did not receive antibiotics.

Some antibiotic alternatives:

Colloidal Silver

Grapefruit Seed Extract (GSE)

Garlic

Honey

Senators Vote to Maintain U.S. Pharmaceutical Monopoly

May 16, 2007

49 U.S. Senators voted against S.1082, an amendment which would have allowed consumers to purchase their medicines from other countries with approved safety records such as Japan, Canada, and the U.K., saving Americans “tens of millions of dollars,” according to Mike Adams at NewsTarget.

Americans currently pay the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs. Canadians, Europeans, and even citizens of Mexico pay only about one-half to as little as one-tenth the price paid by Americans for the very same chemicals.

Why would the Senators be opposed to saving Americans millions?

NewsTarget reveals that most of the Senators who voted against the amendment have accepted money from U.S. drug companies including:

Richard Burr, R-N.C.
$520,694

John Kerry, D-Mass.
$304,888

Joe Lieberman, I-Conn.
$281,040

Arlen Specter, R-Pa.
$259,699

Orrin Hatch, R-Utah
$241,850

Max Baucus, D-Mont.
$199,000

Tom Carper, D-Del.
$183,794

Mike Enzi, R-Wyo.
$174,338

See the complete list of Senators working for the best interests of U.S. drug companies at NewsTarget.

The Government Wants in on the Drug Business

April 26, 2007

A bill to create a government run pharmaceutial company has passed the Senate subcommittee and is headed for vote.

Instead of merely regulating drug companies, the Revitalization Act (S1082) would allow the government to gain direct profits from selling drugs under the label of a non-profit agency.

The new company, the Reagan-Udall Foundation for the Food and Drug Adminstration, would be operated by FDA officials and put them in direct contact with the private industries that control drugs, foods, and cosmetics.

The bill is being attached to a renewal of the Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA) which already “allows Big Pharma to pay the FDA fees to speed the approval of its drugs. The new…bill will increase these FDA bribes to 380 million dollars in 2008, well over 50% of the FDA budget for new drug approvals.”

Read the page from News Target which reprints the full article by Byron Richards: Perverse Expansion of FDA Powers Will Target Dietary Supplements.