Delta-24-RGD – A Virus Found to Target and Eliminate Cancer Cells of the Brain

Cancer is quite a hot topic in the scientific research community today, due to the obvious lack of knowledge underlying certain biological processes. Without the mastery of these biological pathways, it is not feasible to devise surefire treatment and/or prevention methods against specific types of cancer. One does not have to look very far to find criticism or an attempt at exploitation of these biological voids by the media. Despite the frequent scrutiny, the field of oncology (the study of tumors/cancer) has improved exponentially in understanding the manifestation, diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of cancer. A simple look at the declining morbidity rates of cancer patients over the last few decades should provide some comfort even to the most skeptical individuals.

Despite the frequent advances in cancer research, the findings manage to fly under the radar of mainstream media. It lies within these small findings, which are the basis of future treatments and cures. Recently, a group of researchers came one step closer to solving their life saving puzzle.

The study, conducted by researchers at the UT-Houston M.D. Anderson Cancer Center and funded by the National Cancer Institute, analyzed the destructive effects on brain tumor stem cells of mice by introducing a tailored adenovirus (Delta-24-RDG). By tailored adenovirus, I mean a specific virus produced by scientists. This was tested on the most aggressive brain tumor, glioblastoma multiforme, which is known to be resistant to chemotherapy and radiation. The particular intrigue in this project stems from their attempt to build on well-known and studied research performed in 2003.

The 2003 study found that Delta-24 eliminated brain tumors in 60% of mice. The recent study however, was conducted on the actual stem cells that drive the continued tumor growth postoperatively, hence the testing on glioma stem cells. This led to a direct comparison in survival time between the control group (received no intervention) and the treatment group (received Delta-24 injection). The survival time of the mice who received treatment nearly doubled that of the control group. The result is obvious: the mice that received the injection of the adenovirus demonstrated prolonged life-spans. The success of the study did not simply end there.

The researchers attempted to analyze more than mere cause and effect. They sought to gain information on the actual physiological process contributing to the death of the stem cells in the brain. For the first time, adenovirus-mediated cell death (by autophagy) was noted as the direct method of cellular death in tumor stem cells of the brain. It was also noted that the therapeutic virus did not alter normal brain tissue. This finding carries with it tremendous hope because the tumors formed in the brains of these mice closely resemble brain tumors in humans. This resemblance lies in their irregular form and invasive metastatic, or spreading, properties. The study did mention the limitations of these findings and the need for further research, but it does postulate an exciting and possible method of cancer treatment, which may not be limited to the brain. This study only hints at the remarkable and constant efforts put forth by cancer researchers. One must remember that our race for a cure is not a sprint, but an ongoing marathon that must be carefully and methodically ran.

1) Fueyo J, Alemany R, Gomez-Manzano C, Fuller GN, Khan A, Conrad CA, Liu TJ, Jiang H, Lemoine MG, Suzuki K, Sawaya R, Curiel DT, Yung WK, Lang FF. Preclinical characterization of the antiglioma activity of a tropism-enhanced adenovirus targeted to the retinoblastoma pathway. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2003 May 7;95(9):652-60. PMID: 12734316.

2) Jiang H., Gomez-Manzano C., Aoki H., Alonso M.M., Kondo S., McCormick F., Xu J., Kondo Y., Bekele B.N., Colman H., Lang F.F., Fueyo J. Examination of the therapeutic potential of Delta-24-RGD in brain tumor stem cells: role of autophagic cell death. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2007 Sep 19;99(18):1410-4. PMID: 17848677.

N-Acetyl-l-Cysteine – NAC is the Most Unknown Vital Nutrient For Our Lungs

You are likely low in glutathione if you breathe our polluted air.

Glutathione is a natural potent antioxidant normally found in healthy lungs.

When exposed to smoke, car exhaust, pollutants, solvents, viruses or bacteria, our lungs become depleted in glutathione. Once glutathione is low, we become more susceptible to infection, asthma attacks and other illnesses.

Taking oral N-acetyl-L-Cysteine (NAC) will greatly replenish glutathione in your lungs. For many people, N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine has been shown to greatly improve the health of lungs and decrease the duration or severity of lung associated conditions.

As a daily nutrient, take 1 900mg capsule of N-Acetyl L Cysteine every day to protect your lungs from car exhaust, smoke and daily air pollution. This may help you stay significantly healthier this winter. If you have lung congestion and are coughing, N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine will greatly liquefy the mucous allowing you to cough it up more easily.

Important points: Take N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine in the morning and afternoon if you have a cough; not at night. NAC works well so be prepared to get rid of that sticky mucous that has been residing in your lungs. Many physicians suggest using a minimum of 1000mg of NAC 3x/day away from meals while having thick mucous and lung conditions. It is imperative that you take N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine as it is the active form. Also ensure that you take it away from food in order to get the greatest absorption. If you take NAC with food, your absorption of it goes down as proteins compete for absorption in the intestines.

BE PREPARED: Have a bottle of NAC at home in your bathroom cabinet. At the first sign of getting sick, consider taking two 900mg of NAC away from food 2-3 times a day.

ACTUAL PATIENT USES OF N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine: My grandfather who is 82 had a severe bout of lung congestion and pneumonia. The antibiotics were helping but he still had massive amount of congestion and sticky mucous. I gave him high doses of NAC and within hours, he was coughing up massive amount of mucous. In a few days, he was able to walk up hills with me again. X-rays taken later were clear.

A 32 year old female came in who was staying awake all night from hard, sharp, non-productive spasmodic coughing. I told her to get a humidfier with sea salt, drink loads of pure water at room temperature, and to take 1500mg of N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine every 4 hours. In an hour, she was able to begin coughing up the irritating garbage that was stuck in her lungs.

If taken correctly, N-Acetyl-Cysteine [] may benefit many of those who suffer from long-term or short-term lung conditions including asthma, bronchitis, ARDS, pneumonia and those who work in environments breathing harmful pollutants.

Home Remedies For Heartburn Relief

Heartburn is a common problem in today’s fast paced society and millions of sufferers experience the discomfort of chest pain on a regular basis. There are many medicines available over the counter but many prefer more natural methods and opt for heartburn home remedies instead.

There are several things that can cause acid reflux, as it is also known, that include, obesity, bad diet, lack of exercise or pregnancy. Over the counter methods of treatment can be effective to some extent, but as the problem is often a reoccurring one, it can work out extremely expensive.

Popular Heartburn Home Remedies

A solution to this problem is to use more natural methods and use heartburn home remedies. Often things that can be found in the average kitchen can bring much needed relief and ease the pain without costing a small fortune. Some of the most effective are;

1. Milk can have beneficial effects but it must be fat free as the fat found in other milk can stimulate the production of stomach acids and therefore increase the intensity of the symptoms.

2. Baking soda for heartburn is very effective as it neutralizes the acid bringing instant relief for the sufferer. When taking baking soda for heartburn, a teaspoon should be mixed with a glass of water and drunk when the symptoms first appear.

3. Apple cider vinegar is another good way to alleviate heartburn. Just add to water for an age old remedy to acid reflux that can bring relief almost instantaneously.

4. Eating a banana can help so for regular sufferers of heartburn getting into the habit of eating a banana a day is a good idea.

5. Food rich in garlic can also help, though food portions generally should be small and frequent rather than one or two large meals a day. This helps make the job of the digestive system easier so reduces acid build up in the stomach.

6. Chewing gum in-between meals is another way to reduce the risk of getting heartburn, though sugar free varieties should be used.

These tips are particularly helpful for pregnant women who often experience heartburn for the first time or more frequently than before. As diet must be changed anyway, knowing what natural heartburn remedies to use is particularly helpful as for pregnant women, the symptoms can appear much worse when felt in conjunction with other pains brought about by their condition.

It is important to remember that these remedies, like the over the counter ones, are only short term fixes and if symptoms persist, a doctor should be consulted. For a more long term solution to the problem, take a look through the website below.

Signs And Symptoms of Bronchitis

The bronchi are the lining of the air tubes of the lungs. The inflammation of the bronchi is called Bronchitis. It can be the result of a cold, a sore throat or influentza. The cool air and the low temperatures in winter influence in a negative way the disease. You can be contaminated with the virus that causes Bronchitis by breathing a polluted atmosphere or by smoking.

The symptoms last for one or two weeks, but this period is longer and the Bronchitis becomes chronic in cigarette smokers. They manifest also inevitable winter flare -ups.

Using a microscope we can have the image of the cells in the healthy lungs. These cells looks tall, columnar and their surface is covered with cilia which are able to move creating the image of a wind blowing across a field of ripe corn. This surface covered with cilia is near the inside of the tube and it has the role to protect the lungs. This protection is possible because the movement of the cilia carry dust and other foreign materials upwards and away from the delicate air sacs from the lungs.

The ciliated cells can be damaged by different external irritants such as cigarette smoke, industrial pollutants and other chemical substances. So the effect of the movement of the cilia is not giving results anymore. As a consequence the glands produce a high quantity of mucus which can’t be evacuated and it is accumulated in the tubes. This is one of the causes of the persistent cough which characterizes Bronchitis. Usually this cough succeed to clear the mucus. Another way of protection of the lungs is the action of the Leucocytes whose principal role is to combat inflammatory processes.

Another sign of chronic bronchitis is the weezing. It is produced by the bronchospasm which is represented by the contraction of the circular muscles in the wall of the bronchial tubes.If this happenes the coughing becomes less efective too.

Bronchitis takes part of the disease grouped under COPD which means chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. If the disease doesn’t respond to treatment it can progress to COAD (chronic obstructive airway disease). In this case tiny lung air sacs break down to form larger air spaces. At the same time, because of this change, the surface area available for the transfer of the oxygen to the blood is much less. So the other organs are less oxygenated. the mucus block the smaller bronchial tubes which becomes inflamed.

In this circumstances smoking becomes more dangerous. Another disease which takes part of the category of COPD is Emphysema. Bronchitis and Emphysema lead to breathlessness. Anothe aspect is that it is restricted the quantity of the oxygen that reaches to the blood. This blood without enough oxygen is blue and it gives a bluish tinge to the skin. In medicine this color of the skin is called cyanosis. This is a very helpful sign for the diagnosis.

The heart is also affected in Bronchitis. The right heart enlarges. There is an extra pumping power because of the increase of the resistance to blood pumped through the lungs. The consequence is the oedema which is an exaggerated accumulation of liquid in the interstitial space.

Personal Training – How Taking a Hot Shower Before Your Workout Can Help You

When it comes to physical training, everyone uses a different combination of exercises according to the body structure, weight and other related requirements. Most people who do not know anything about exercising have to take assistance from professional trainers so that their muscles do not get damages. In my opinion, personal training is a very good option even if it is costly. Through this option, you can get undivided attention from professional trainers. On the other hand, getting physical training in the form of a group does not help a lot because a person cannot discuss his individual problems in a comfortable manner. In addition to that, every human being has a different muscular structure. Thus, exercising techniques need to be adjusted accordingly.

Most trainers providing physical training have the opinion that taking a hot shower before training sessions is very beneficial. Why is that so? Your body needs to be flexible and soft before you start exercising. Lifting weights with a stiff body can result in shoulder dislocation and pulled muscles. A hot shower reduces the hardness in the muscles and makes it easier to move the body parts. Apart from that, it opens the sweat pores. This is very important. When a person is exercising, the required amount of sweat has to flow from the body. As I mentioned before, the pores expand after a warm bath. Thus, a person sweats easily.

A person has to be relaxed both mentally and physically before he starts exercising. After a warm bath, the human brain becomes relaxed and the level of concentration increases. Hence, people start enjoying their personal training sessions. Thus, it is very important to take a warm water shower before you begin exercising.

Apart from all the things mentioned above, following a routine for exercising is very important. Lifting weights for four hours one day and not going to the gym for the next two days is not the right way to workout. If you are facing a problem in making schedule at your own then you can always ask your trainer to help you with that. Apart from working out, personal training sessions also focus on consuming the right kind of diet. People who stay fit have to avoid fast food and all other kinds of unhealthy diet. In case of taking a warm shower, you should not begin your exercising session until your body is completely dry.

How Safe Is Your Oven Door? Exploding Oven Door Glass Is More Common Than You Think!

Is your oven door about to explode?

I received a call to do a cleaning on a KitchenAid double wall oven where the inside glass panel on the oven door exploded for no apparent reason. Upon arrival, a majority of the glass was cleaned up but there was still a lot of small pieces of glass imbedded into every crevice as well as the interior of the oven was coated with a fine layer of glass dust and particulates. The owners stated they had some remodeling work done recently and the contractor turned the ovens self clean mode on when the glass exploded. My first reaction was the contractor did something to cause this but the owner stood firm as this was not the case.

While I hadn’t personally seen the glass on an oven door shattered before, I have heard of it happening. In my research to see what would cause this it came to light that this is a more common issue than I realized. But how does this happen – how can the glass explode for no apparent reason? Isn’t the glass tempered and supposed to be stronger than normal glass?

Is it common for oven door glass to explode for no reason?

I did some research online and could not find an exact number of complaints filed each year. There didn’t seem to be one manufacturer with more complaints over another or if it was more common for the interior glass to explode over the exterior glass or vice-verse. While there appears to be no centrally documented place where the majority of complaints are made, I did notice there are hundreds of complaints littering the web from people with all the same testimonial of hearing an explosion in their kitchen and finding a million pieces of glass all over their kitchen floor. A few complaints that the glass exploded during the self clean mode while quite a few complained the glass exploded when they hadn’t even used the oven in a few days.

In a consumer news brief by KOMO Channel 4 News in Seattle they state “Repair experts point out that the number of glass shattering cases is relatively small compared to the millions of ovens on the market. But, given the pages of federal incident reports, consumer who’ve dealt with the problem wonder why there have been no safety alerts.”

What is tempered glass?

The glass on your oven door is tempered. Tempered glass by definition according to the National Glass Association (NGA) “A strong break-resistant type of safety glass that, if broken, shatters into small granular pieces. Glass heat-treated to withstand greater than normal forces on its surface” Uhh..sure, that explains a lot!? How about – Tempered glass is manufactured using high heat and a rapid cool down making it four to five times stronger than normal glass. When tempered glass breaks it is designed to “explode” into small oval-shaped pebbles or pieces instead of shards. Tempered glass can withstand high heat and heavy loads but can also be very brittle especially around the edges and when subjected to blunt force from something with a point.

What causes tempered glass to break?

During the process of tempering the glass is heated upwards of 720 degrees and rapidly cooled using cool air to change its molecular structure. It is not uncommon for the glass to develop small unseen stress fractures during this process. These stress fractures may break during the tempering process or may never break, there’s just no guarantee what will happen or when.

What are the manufacturer’s doing about this?

The typical universal statement will be “We take consumer safety serious”; sure you are but what are you doing about it? Other than “looking into the matter” and in a few cases replacing the glass for free, they are basically doing nothing about it. Why? Because there isn’t anything they can do about it; they have no control over the glass making process nor can they guarantee the glass won’t ever break.

Check your owner’s manual Care and Use guide. The manufacturers have included a statement essentially stating the glass would be replaced if damaged within the first year of installation but after that it would be considered customer failure and abuse and all costs to replace the glass would fall upon the owner.

How can you prevent glass breakage?

You can’t fix what you can’t see right? While there are may not be anything you can do due to the unforeseen stress fractures in the glass, you can help prevent creating new fractures or help prevent the existing fractures from expanding by:

  • Don’t slam or let the oven door slam closed
  • Make sure the racks are fully pushed in before closing the door
  • Don’t drop hard or sharp objects on the door when its open (I know, stupid comment)
  • If the edges of the glass are exposed on the outside of the door make sure you protect them from pots and pans or hard objects.
  • Don’t drip cold liquids onto the glass when it’s hot.
  • Don’t use your self-clean feature (Yes, I said it!)

*The self clean mode heats the oven upwards of 900 to 1200 degrees (glass is tempered at roughly 720 degrees) The high heat of the self clean mode may affect the structure of the glass over time if you use your self clean mode frequently.

Nobody intends to accidentally drop anything on their oven door or hit it with a sharp object but know that if you do, you might not cause or see any damage today but one day your glass may explode for no apparent reason and you can look back and wonder.

What to do if your oven door glass explodes

  1. Take pictures of the damage and surrounding area
  2. Call the manufacturer and file a complaint
  3. File a complaint with the Consumer Product Safety Commission
  4. If your oven warranty has expired, be prepared to pay for the replacement yourself.
  5. Thoroughly vacuum and deep clean your oven by hand. Do not use the self clean mode with the glass missing! There may be chunks of glass in between the door and cabinet frame, glass dust and small particulates inside the convection fan cover or coating the upper heating element. You want to make sure no glass residue gets into your food.


If you are in the market to purchase a new oven I highly recommend reading online reviews or getting a copy of Consumer Reports and researching what other buyers are saying. Sure, there may be an oven you have your mind set on because it looks nice or has some bells and whistles but if there are a lot of complaints than maybe you should be looking at a different model.

Have you ever experienced your oven door glass exploding? If so, tell me about it and what did you do to get it replaced?

This article references these sites and reports;


Ballerina Feet Or Fred Flintstone’s Feet? – Common Foot Problems in Children

From the moment our children are born, we expect them to be perfect and beautiful. We count their toes, fingers and love all over them. As most of us realize, though, perfection is not always the case. Some children, have problems with their feet from birth, while others may develop problems in the early years.

Toe Walking “Ballerina feet” or toe walking is one such problem. Causes of toe walking include tightness in the heel cords at birth, habitual toe walking or neurological conditions such as Cerebral Palsy or Duchenne’s Muscular Dystrophy. Although many children learning to walk tend to go up on their toes, should this continue past the age of 18 months, a physician consultation is necessary to determine causes and treatment options. You may think the child looks cute walking on his/her toes, but that ballerina look will be the focus of teasing when that child becomes school age. Treatment options can be as simple as stretching the tight calf muscles. Other options include serial casting, orthotics, or surgery. If a child just has the habit of walking on their toes but can change this behavior on command, it may still be necessary to intervene with serial casting or orthotics. The child may change this habit when told repetitively, “Don’t walk on your toes…don’t walk on your toes,” but before long both the parent and the child will tire of this necessary nagging.

Although serial casting or bracing may seem extreme, don’t let the title scare you; it is just a short term treatment to provide a slow sustained stretch to the tight muscles. Serial casting is applying a cast on the lower leg to allow a prolonged stretch on the tight calf and Achilles tendon. The cast is removed weekly and reapplied in a more optimal stretched position until it is adequate for the child to walk with heel strike at initial contact during the walking phase. After the casts are removed, it may be necessary to put some type of orthotics in the shoes to reinforce the heel strike and continue the child’s progress. Other orthotic choices can be discussed with a certified orthotist. Some could include orthotic inserts which go inside the shoes. These can help to support the arch and also provide some rigidity to hinder the toe walking or plantar flexion/equinus and ensure correct foot position. For a more supportive option, a brace called an AFO (ankle foot orthosis) can be custom made and utilized as long as needed to prevent the recurrence of toe walking. If no neurological conditions are present this time period is approximately 3 to 6 months. Flat Feet Another foot problem is flat feet (pes planus) or “Fred Flintstone feet”. This is something that can be and is often normal for young children. Arches develop over time. The foot muscles actually exercise and get stronger best when walking barefoot. Flat feet can be considered a problem when the child complains of pain in the feet or lower legs after walking. Children may not always give you a clear picture of what they are feeling. So as a parent, one must be observant as to the way a child’s shoes wear down over time; paying special attention to the heel position.

If the wearing of the shoe is more on the inside edge and it looks like the heel is positioned more to the outside, then you may have a child that has flat feet. Another basic test is to see what a wet footprint looks like. If you think Fred Flintstone, than you may have a child that has flat feet! The most important thing is to pay attention to their complaints of pain after walking. Flat feet without pain do not necessarily indicate a need for treatment. Just like toe walking, there can be many reasons for flat feet other than an arch not developing normally, such as Down’s syndrome, hypo tonicity (low tone) or developmental delay. If your child has any of these diagnoses, you may also need to discuss it with your physician and decide if orthotics are necessary as an adjunct treatment. Orthotics for flat feet are used to support the arches and provide a better mechanical advantage for the foot to be able to walk correctly. The feet are the structural foundation of the body, therefore, supporting the feet in their optimal alignment allows for the muscles in the legs to activate at their best. If you have questions about orthotics, please consult your physician and then seek out a Certified Orthotist who specializes in children.

Analysis Paralysis

Many traders suffer from too much analysis. They look at so many indicators, chart patterns, fundamentals, news, insider trading activity, short interest and a host of other information. So much that they can no longer see straight. This constant over-analyzing develops into a condition we call "analysis paralysis". And becomes a huge psychological barrier.

Carefully analyzing the possible consequences and outcomes of trading decisions is certainly a very smart thing to do but, it can become unhealthy when it is overdone. When it comes to trading, it's important to have a clearly defined trading plan. You must be as certain as possible that any given trade is not going to wipe out your trading capital. That is one of the reasons we suggest using stop loss limits when trading. These stops, when used correctly, clearly define the signs and signals that indicate a trade is not working, suggesting that the trade should be closed out in order to protect your trading capital. It is important to realize that you might be wrong not only about the direction of the stock but you could also be wrong about the timing of the entry of the trade. Either error could end up in a losing trade.

Trading, by its very nature, is uncertain. There is no security for traders. Every trade is a new event that must be controlled. As a stock trader we do not have the luxury of living from past accomplishments. Each day the business starts over again and the trades we made yesterday will not affect the trades we will make today. However, they could affect our decision making process. They should not have any bearing on our trading decisions today but psychology always weighs heavy on our thinking and it's hard to fight it off. The only legitimate things that should be carried forward into the next trading day are experience and, hopefully, lessons learned.

As you analyze your trades before hand, make sure you include a mechanism to get out of the trade if it should go wrong. Where will you get out of the trade? That is the most important part of trade analysis. Almost everything else is a distant second. After all, capital preservation is the most important aspect of trading. All other information is in the analysis of the trade does not matter if you can not limit a loss.

David Colletti

The Headquarters for precision trading in real time.

Liver Disease In Dogs – Symptoms And Treatments of Dog’s Liver Disease

The liver is an important part of the body that helps in getting rid of toxins to help you stay healthy, and the body of the dog is no different.

Liver disease in dogs is a very wide topic, especially because there are so many different ways that a dog can contract this disease. While in humans the leading cause of liver disease is abuse of drugs and/or alcohol, in dogs it is mostly due to viral or bacterial infections, which makes it all the more difficult to prevent and all the more tragic.

Other sources of liver disease in canines can also be poisonous materials that may have been ingested by your dog, a heart disease that has altered the blood flow to the liver and even congenital diseases. There are also breeds that have a difficulty in excreting copper, such as Bedlingtons and Highland Terriers, and this makes them more susceptible to liver disease in dogs.

What you need to do then is to take note of the many liver disease in dogs symptoms and always watch out for them. Many symptoms are indications of liver disease in dogs, especially when you observe these symptoms together. Loss of appetite, sudden and dramatic weight loss, lack of energy and seeming depression, and jaundice, or what is the yellowing of gums, whites of the eyes and even the skin are some of the most common symptoms.

Other symptoms that are not as common, but ones that you must still look out for, are things like dark colored urine or pale gums. In addition, if you notice that your dog seems to have gained weight but it is all in the stomach area, then it is possible that it is not weight gain at all but is actually fluid build up in the stomach area.

Unless there is a specific type of poison that can be specified as the reason for the liver disease in dogs, there is no specific treatment that can be given. However, a type of therapy is used for this kind of sickness in canines. Conventional therapy consists of a kind of supportive care. This includes introduction of fluids intravenously as well as force feeding through a gastronomy tube. The aim of this treatment of liver disease in dogs is somewhat for cleansing of the liver.

Of course, supplementary treatment is also done through the kind of diet that is given to the dog following the conventional therapy. The best kinds of food that must be included are those that are high in quality and highly digestible carbohydrates. This is so that the dogs energy supply will be renewed. It is of utmost importance that you use high quality carbohydrates, as low quality carbs can definitely make liver disease in dogs much worse by making the digestion of ammonia more difficult. Make sure to have frequent feedings of simple carbs, such as plain white rice and boiled potatoes. Fiber, such as leafy green vegetables, is also an important part of the diet because it promotes healthy bowel movement.

There is no need to despair when it comes to liver disease in dogs, because you can always try to control it. Because there is no exact treatment, there is no guarantee that it can be healed. All you can do is give your best and keep hoping that your pet will get better.

Types of Spine Surgery

Spine surgery is not as serious of an option for back and leg pain anymore. Today's minimally invasive techniques can make as small of an incision as a half inch, with recovery time practically overnight as opposed to some of the procedures offered in the past. A physician can decide whether a minimally invasive spine surgery is appropriate after diagnosing the situation and determining whether or not there is a high potential for success. There are several procedures available for different conditions, and some that are now under study. With lower back pain as the most common reason for people over the age of 60 to have surgery, these techniques offer plenty of relief.

Spinal Fusion

Spinal fusion can address scoliosis, spinal degeneration and instability caused by injury or aging. Conducted through small incisions to the back with an endoscope (a tube with a camera running into the site) and high-tech tools that perform the surgery, the surgeon can see the procedure on a television monitor with great clarity. The fusion itself occurs when the physician inserts bone tissue between the bones to help it grow – or fuse – together. Screws or a tiny "bone cage" can also be placed in between the bones to encourage quick growth. This attachment of the two vertebrae together prevents future movement that in the past was causing pain.


Bone fractures in the spine can come from a variety of causes, including osteoporosis, hyperthyroidism, or cancer and its treatments including chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Kyphoplasty was developed to provide stability to crushed or fractured vertebrae. The During spine surgery , a small Incision is made ​​in the back and an endoscope is inserted next to the injured bone. A modified "balloon" is inserted through the tube with fluoroscopy lighting the way and using X-ray images, the surgeon inflates the balloon at the point of the vertebrae and creates a cavity. The balloon is removed and a cement-like substance is injected there where it hardens quickly. Patients typically feel relief immediately or within a couple of days.

X-Stop Spacer

When people suffer from lumbar spinal stenosis – which is the narrowing of the passageways of the vertebrae where the spinal cord and nerve roots pass – they will have pain in the buttocks, groin and either leg. When the individual is bending over or sitting down, the back bones release the pressure on the nerves and offer relief. This compression can be duplicated by placing an implant, a spacer, between the two bones that are pressing together, and sustained relief is offered. This procedure is a welcome addition to the 1.2 million Americans suffering from spinal stenosis.

Investigational ISS

The Superion Interspinous Spacer is an investigational technique very similar to the X-Stop Spacer, in that a device is placed between two vertebrae and acts as a support column to release the compression of the spinal cord and nerve roots. As of this writing, the procedure is still under study in locations across the US, and is expected to receive FDA approval by 2014.

With Americans spending around $ 50 billion each year on back pain alone, the time has come for spinal surgeries to be less invasive, with a quicker recovery time, at less cost.

Anticonvulsants and Other Epilepsy Drugs May Help CFS-ME

Anticonvulsants, also called antiepileptic drugs (abbreviated “AEDs”), are a diverse group of pharmaceutical used in the treatment of epileptic seizures. There has also been an increase in their use with treatment of bipolar disorder, since it seems to act as mood stabiliser.

Gabapentin and Pregabalin both of which are anticonvulsants can be used for chronic pain (especially migraines and neuropathy). They include drugs with very different modes of action, but are also effective for sleeping problems, anxiety and depression.

They can also relieve fatigue, flu-like symptoms, cognitive dysfunction, neurological symptoms, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), bladder problems, restless legs, muscle tension and multiple chemical sensitivity. Their ability to tackle many symptoms at once has made them one of the most important drugs in the treatment of CFS/ME.

Because anticonvulsants work by different mechanisms, their side effects vary too – obviously these depend on the individual and some people do not get any side effects. The older ones can very rarely cause liver problems and other severe reactions. On the other hand, the newer ones are more prone to causing sedation.

Headaches, dizziness and vision impairment are common side effects. Some anticonvulsants can cause weight gain, but a few (topiramate, vigabatrin and zonisamide) may lead to weight loss.

Gabapentin (Neurontin) is one of the most popular treatments for CFS/ME and fibromyalgia. It can alleviate a wide variety of problems from interstitial cystitis to hot flashes. It is often used for anxiety and mood problems. It is also a popular pain treatment, especially for burning or electric shock-like neuropathy.

Pregabalin (Lyrica) Pregabalin is very similar to gabapentin, but may be slightly better tolerated. It was the first FDA-approved drug for fibromyalgia, though there is no evidence that it is more effective in this use than the less expensive gabapentin.

It is used for treating pain caused by neurologic diseases such as postherpetic neuralgia as well as seizures. It also is used for treating fibromyalgia. The mechanism of action of pregabalin is unknown.

Pregabalin binds to calcium channels on nerves and may modify the release of neurotransmitters (chemicals that nerves use to communicate with each other). Reducing communication between nerves may contribute to pregabalin’s effect on pain and seizures.

pregabalin was shown to provide improvement of pain in patients with fibromyalgia, a chronic and debilitating pain syndrome and is also shown shown to improve sleep and fatigue levels.

Fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) is a chronic disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain that is frequently associated with fatigue and sleep disturbances and is is a complaint that is frequently associated with CFS. It is estimated to affect two percent of the population, or 5.6 million Americans, and occurs most frequently in women.

The double-blind, placebo-controlled monotherapy study involved 529 patients diagnosed with FMS. Patients were randomized to receive placebo or pregabalin (150 mg, 300 mg or 450 mg per day) for eight weeks. The study evaluated the efficacy and safety of pregabalin for the treatment of pain and associated symptoms such as sleep and fatigue. Patients were required to characterise and record their pain on a daily basis in detailed diaries.

Pregabalin-treated patients (450 mg/day) showed statistically significant improvements in pain compared to those who received placebo. Further, 29 percent of pregabalin-treated patients reported at least a 50 percent reduction in pain, compared with a reduction of 13 percent for patients who received placebo, a difference that was statistically significant.

In addition, pregabalin significantly improved sleep quality and fatigue!!

To demonstrate improvements in the core symptoms of pain, sleep and fatigue represents an important advance, particularly as there are no approved treatments for this condition.

The most common dose-related side effects reported by patients were dizziness and drowsiness. Most adverse events were mild to moderate in intensity, and many resolved during the study. Seventy-eight percent of all patients completed the study.

Developed by Pfizer, pregabalin has been studied in an extensive clinical program involving over 8,000 patients worldwide. The company has completed pivotal studies to support the filing of a New Drug Application for pregabalin for the treatment of neuropathic pain and generalized anxiety disorder and as an add-on therapy for epilepsy.

Carbamazepine (Tegretol) Carbamazepine is an old inexpensive anticonvulsant which has sometimes been used in CFS/ME. It is particularly effective for sharp and stabbing neuropathic pain. It can cause liver damage and other serious problems, so safer alternatives have mostly surpassed it and is not in widespead use today.

Oxcarbazepine (Trileptal) is a newer derivative of carbamazepine with similar efficacy and uses, but it may be less likely to cause some of the serious adverse reactions.

Lamotrigine (Lamictal) Lamotrigine affects many neurotransmitters and receptors in the brain. It also has some antiviral activity against HHV-6, a herpes virus which has been associated with CFS/ME. Some people with CFS/ME have found it extremely useful.

Unfortunately lamotrigine can cause a life-threatening rash. This is very rare, but up to 10% of the patients develop some sort of a rash (usually harmless), so the drug is often discontinued just in case.

Levetiracetam (Keppra) Levetiracetam may be the antidepressant with best tolerability and fewest side effects. It is often useful in RLS and migraine (especially migraine with aura). It may also help refractory cases of chronic pain and PTSD.

Clonazepam (Klonopin) Clonazepam belongs to benzodiazepines, a class of tranquilizer drugs. It is sometimes used for sleeping problems and for its muscle relaxing properties. It is also an anticonvulsant. Many CFS/ME and fibromyalgia experts believe that in low doses clonazepam is one of the best treatments for these illnesses.

Other Alternatives Topiramate (Topamax) is often used in migraine prophylaxis (prevention) and may also help neuropathic pain, but it is quite prone to causing cognitive impairment. Tiagabine (Gabitril) is good for anxiety and sleep and a preliminary study found it effective in fibromyalgia. Zonisamide (Zonegran) is currently being tried for the combination of fibromyalgia and migraine in a clinical trial.


Reader aware!! Please note that I am not a medical profession and that this article is being used as a means to promote my website which is involved in the bringing about an awareness of Chronic fatigue Syndrome. I do however have significant experience with the disease itself and am concerned deeply by the effects that it has on anyone suffering from it.

My wife Amanda has CFS and suffers immensely and it is my experience with her and my subsequent research into CFS that is the basis of the information above.

If you are interested in discussing issues related to CFS & ME we have a web-site that tries to help people, organises events to promote awareness and raises funds through various means.

Whiplash Symptoms From Sneezing?

Most people have heard of whiplash and think of it as something that is caused in a car accident. And while that is true, there are also other causes of whiplash including a previous neck injury, sport related falls, being pushed or a bad fall.

Even an intense sneeze can result in whiplash!

That’s why it’s important to know the signs of whiplash which may include:

  • A sudden feeling of stiffness or soreness in the neck
  • Pain between shoulders
  • Difficulty in turning the head from side to side

Because of the pain associated with whiplash, along with the potential for further complication, it’s important to consult with a chiropractor following any injury. Any sudden stop of an individual’s body that forcefully snaps their head and neck forward, backwards, or sideways can severely injure their neck’s soft tissues, muscles, ligaments, tendons and nerves, as well as the vertebrae.

In a whiplash injury, supportive soft tissues in the neck are often over-stretched or torn and spinal joints can become misaligned. Misaligned vertebrae, or subluxations, can cause the nerve roots and blood vessels in an individual’s neck to become compressed, stretched or irritated. This can interfere with nerve transmission and blood supply to vital body functions.

In addition, the normal curve of the cervical spine is altered and joint motion becomes restricted. As a result, weakened tissues are no longer able to support the vertebrae in its proper position.

Over time, if these subluxations are left untreated, they can cause many health problems such as headaches, backaches, neckpain, arthritis, heart problems, and many others. There is simply no end to the health conditions that can result from a pinched or blocked nerve. Consider this, if the nerve from your brain to your heart was cut the result would be fatal. What if the nerve was pinched or squeezed? What would the result be?

This is why consulting with a chiropractor is so important. Individualized chiropractic adjustments not only can relieve initial pain from an injury, they can also help in the restoration of healthy spinal joint function to prevent future problems.

Because chiropractors are extensively trained, they can help with:

  1. Removal of nerve interference
  2. Breaking down scar tissue from previous injuries
  3. Increasing circulation to enhance healing
  4. Reducing inflammation

Studies have shown that chiropractic adjustments can eliminate or reduce joint pain and restore normal range of motion to specific areas of injury. An Australian study points to the pain associated with whiplash and shows how a chiropractor can help with such situations. The 10-year study found that:

  • Facet joint pain is the definitive cause of chronic head and neck pain in 60 percent of whiplash cases studied
  • 87 percent of patients exhibited a limited range of cervical motion. The two findings suggest that many whiplash injuries respond well to chiropractic care because adjustments are specifically directed at facet joints
  • Case studies have also shown that chiropractic adjustments can eliminate or reduce joint pain and restore range of motion

Affordable Sore Throat Treatments

Having a sore throat is never a pleasant experience. The itchiness and pain may disrupt your work or studies, and make it difficult to swallow or talk. Treatment may cost you a lot of money, but you can not let your symptoms go untreated. A minor itch could turn into severe one if you do not treat it soon. There are many ways to deal with a sore throat, and not all of them cost too much money.

What is Sore Throat?

They happen for a variety of reasons, including throat inflammation, acute viral pharyngitis, post trauma, the common cold, and diphtheria. Acute viral pharyngitis is the most common cause of painful sore throat in adults. Streptococcal pharyngitis is the more common cause in children.

Ways to Remedy a Sore Throat

Lozenges – One of the most basic throat infection treatments is to take sore throat lozenges. A lozenge, also called a cough drop or a cough sweet, is a small tablet you dissolve in your mouth to alleviate coughs or throat problems. Some lozenges may even help clear your clogged nose.

People suffering from severe throat infection should not rely solely on lozenges for a cure, as they are only formulated to handle minor cases.

Gargling – Gargling with antiseptic mouthwash may help get rid of the bacteria causing them. Some people make their own mouthwash using natural ingredients readily available in most grocery stores. These include:

– Salt – When researching about what helps cure it, salt and water are the common answers. Salt has antiseptic properties that help eliminate throat irritations. If you want to use salt to alleviate your throat problem, mix 1/2 teaspoon of salt with a cup of warm water and gargle every three to four hours.

– Common Sage – There are different types of sage, but the most common type, salvia officinalis or garden-variety sage, serves as an excellent ingredient for soothing mouthwash. To make your own sage mouthwash, mix 1 teaspoon of sage and 1 teaspoon of honey into a cup of boiling water, steep for ten minutes, then drain.

– Turmeric – Like sage, turmeric has antibacterial and anti-fungal properties that help eliminate throat infection. You can make a mouthwash by adding 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric and 1/2 teaspoon of salt into a cup of hot water.

Soothing Drinks – Sometimes gargling is not effective as a treatment, especially if the inflamed tissues are further down your throat. You can try making some homemade beverages that may help alleviate your symptoms. Here are a few recipes you can try:

– 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric, 1 cup of warm milk
– 1 tablespoon cider vinegar, 1 tablespoon of honey, 1 cup of warm water
– 1 tablespoon horseradish, 1 teaspoon honey, 1 teaspoon ground cloves, 1 cup warm water

While lozenges, mouthwashes, and drinks may help with minor to moderate symptoms, extremely severe problem requires the attention of a doctor. If none of these treatments work, consult your doctor right away.

Natural Remedies for Tonsillitis

Tonsillitis is a common childhood ailment, but you don’t have to treat it with antibiotics. Pediatricians are less likely to prescribe antibiotics for minor ailments, as the overuse of antibiotics is creating “superbugs” that are resistant to antibiotics. You can use natural remedies to soothe your child’s sore throat and to prevent occurrences of tonsillitis. The following eight remedies or treatments are all drug-free and provide natural relief from the agony of tonsillitis.

Remedy 1 – Chiropractic Care

You might be surprised to see chiropractic care on this list of natural remedies for tonsillitis, but chiropractors do far more than simply “crack backs”. Qualified chiropractors can offer solutions for many childhood ailments, including tonsillitis. Chiropractors offer holistic solutions, restoring the entire body to better health by restoring the way the nervous and lymphatic systems communicate with the rest of the body. Tonsils form part of the lymphatic system, which eliminates toxins and helps the immune system. Often, the tonsils will enlarge if the immune system is not working properly, causing recurrent infections, or tonsillitis.

Chiropractors have significantly reduced the number of infections in children by ensuring the lymphatic system, connected via the nervous system, works properly. As the spinal cord is the major communications route for all messages from the brain to the body’s muscles and organs, it is essential that the spine is straight and allows all the messages to pass through properly. Unfortunately, many children have minor misalignments in the spine, caused by birth trauma, or falls that could seem minor at the time, but can affect a developing body.

The misalignments or ‘subluxations’ cause numerous health problems, such as tonsillitis, as pressure on parts of the nervous system can prevent organs working properly. A chiropractor can correct the subluxations by gentle adjustments, which can relieve the pressure and provide the body with clear communications pathway, and therefore restore overall health to the nervous system, the lymphatic system, and the immune system. If your child suffers from recurrent tonsillitis, try consulting a chiropractor.

Remedy 2 – Lime and Honey Water

Warm drinks, such as lime and honey water, can soothe the sore throat and can help to alleviate the symptoms of tonsillitis. Heat one or two cups of water. Add the juice of a fresh lime, 4 teaspoons of honey, and a quarter teaspoon of salt. Drink this mixture three or four times a day to soothe the infected tonsils. The warmth helps to soothe the throat, while the honey provides a sweet smooth coating for the infected parts. The limejuice and the salt combine to reduce infections and help to prevent further infections.

Remedy 3 – Drink Plenty of Fluids

While this may seem like common sense, many people forget to drink plenty of fluids when feeling sick. A child who finds swallowing painful will be likely to develop dehydration, which can complicate the illness and prevent your child from recovering quickly. Encourage your child to sip continuously at a drink using a straw. Avoid carbonated drinks, as the bubbles will irritate the sore tonsils. Liquids include lukewarm broths, such as chicken broth, gelatin (jelly), yoghurt, ice cream, custard, and applesauce. Avoid hard, crunchy, and spicy foods that will irritate the tonsils and sore throat.

Remedy 4 – Tumeric in Milk

Grandmothers love this home remedy. Tumeric is a spice that many people believe has healing properties. It can boost the immune system and reduce the effects of a sore throat when added with some freshly ground pepper to hot milk. If the tonsillitis is particularly severe, you may like to grind some tumeric root and mix with water to make a paste. Rub the paste around your mouth and throat to eliminate germs.

Remedy 5 – Echinacea and Goldenseal

Echinacea and Goldenseal are two herbs that many people believe help to boost the immune system and provide relief from pain. You can buy both from vitamin or health food shops. Some vitamin pills will include these two herbs as key ingredients, although using the fresh herbs will be more beneficial than taking a vitamin pill. If you can procure fresh or even powered Echinacea or Goldenseal, you can brew it like a tea. Gargle some of the mixture first to encourage the herbs to reduce the infection around the throat and the tonsils. Drink the mixture to gain the full benefits of these effective herbs.

Remedy 6 – Use a Humidifier

If your child has congestion, while suffering from tonsillitis, it will be difficult for your child to breathe properly. Placing a vaporizer or humidifier in the room can help to open the nasal passages, encouraging the child to breathe through his or her nose instead of the mouth. Adding moisture to the atmosphere can soothe a dry, sore throat. If you do not have a humidifier, you can achieve a similar effect by having your child breathe over a bowl of steaming warm water for a few minutes. Some people like to add eucalyptus oil to the bowl of warm water or the humidifier to help the nasal passages open further.

Remedy 7 – Gargling Salt Water or Onion Juices

Gargling salt water is a common home remedy for tonsillitis. The idea is that the salt, which has natural preservative properties, will prevent and reduce infections. Onions have similar properties. Roast two onions and squeeze the juice out of the warm onions. Gargle this with some warm water. Alternatively, you can add a small amount of salt to warm water and gargle that around your sore throat.

Remedy 8 – Fenugreek Seeds

Fenugreek is becoming a popular herb in many natural therapies. Simmer two large tablespoons of fresh fenugreek seeds for half an hour in a litre of water. Drain the seeds out and gargle the water when it is cool.

Most of the remedies above treat the symptoms of tonsillitis. However, the first remedy of chiropractic care can help to prevent further bouts of tonsillitis by treating the cause of the problem. Combine several of the remedies to treat both the cause and the effect of the problem of recurrent tonsillitis.

By Dr Maria Ananakis (Chiropractor)

Feeling Lethargic, Moody, Tired or Fat? It Could Be Your Thyroid!

We all have hormones and if they are not in ‘balance’ you can find yourself experiencing symptoms such as depression, headaches, insomnia, fatigue & weight gain, to list a few. Thyroid Disease is one of the most common hormone disorders, after Insulin Resistance and Diabetes. The majority of individuals with thyroid imbalance have hypothyroidism (under-active thyroid) a small minority has hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid). The problem is that symptoms of low thyroid function are often mistaken for depression, signs of aging, or are not identified.

Your Thyroid

Your thyroid – a small butterfly shaped gland located in the front of your neck, controls the functioning of every cell, organ and gland in your body.

In addition your thyroid regulates:

o the use of oxygen in all tissues,

o the rate of repair of damaged or diseased tissues,

o your blood sugar levels by controlling the release of glucose (sugar) from the liver to the bloodstream,

o electrolyte and water balance in the cells and body,

o your circulatory system,

o the energy and strength of the muscles,

o the speed of the impulses going to the nerves, your libido, and last but not least your fat metabolism.

Four main hormones produced by your thyroid gland directly affect your metabolism and body fat. They are thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), triiodothyronine (T3), thyroxine/levo-thyroxin (T4), and calcitonin (used in calcium metabolism).

Although your thyroid gland secretes and regulates these hormones, about 80% of the body’s T3 is produced outside the thyroid gland, in the liver, by chemical modification of Thyroxine or T4.

One of the main reasons why hypothyroid people gain weight is because their T4 is not being converted by the liver to the metabolically active form of T3 or the converted T3 hormone is not getting to the cellular level of the body – meaning you are producing it, but your body can’t use it.

Although most conventional practitioners only test for the inactive T4 hormone level, it is important to remember that active T3 thyroid hormone doesn’t work only in the blood – it works inside every cell of the body.

If T3 isn’t available at the cellular level, then those cells can’t function properly. The T4 blood test does not test for this, but taking your body temperature does! I personally feel that your body temperature is the single best test of your thyroid function.


Every cell and tissue in your body is affected by hypothyroidism and deficient levels of the active T3 thyroid hormone can produce one or more of the following symptoms:

o Weight Gain

o Fatigue

o Weakness

o Constipation

o Shortness of breath

o Depression

o Irritability

o Poor memory

o Difficulty concentrating

o Intolerance to cold

o Low body temperature

o Dry, coarse hair/dry skin

o Hair loss

o Muscle or joint pain and stiffness

o Headaches

o Decreased Libido

o Elevated cholesterol or triglycerides

Sadly, many hypothyroid symptoms are frequently dismissed by physicians as a normal part of aging, a psychological problem, overwork, or some other condition. As a result, thyroid tests are never performed and the patient never receives the proper medical treatment they require.

What interferes with Thyroid Function

o Insulin Resistance/Metabolic Syndrome

o Chronic stress/Adrenal depletion – there is a strong interplay between the thyroid and the adrenals.

One is usually weak first and then weakens the other.

o Prescription drugs – (including Dilantin, Lithium, Beta Blockers, Premarin, Birth Control Pills and some anti depressants

o Frequent X-rays – from dental or medical exams or radiation treatment to the head, neck or chest

o Thyroid inhibiting foods – Over-consumption of soy & raw thyroid-inhibiting foods, such as Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and kale

o Hormones – Synthetic and genetically engineered hormones (estrogen and other hormones) in meat, dairy, poultry and eggs. Also conditions such as Poly Cystic Ovarian Disorder, Fibroids, IVF treatment & Menopause.

o Exercise – The receptors for the thyroid hormones are found deep within the cells and exercise stimulates the thyroid by increasing oxygen to the cells. When you exercise and breathe more oxygen into your body, you speed up your metabolism and the heat in your body rises. So, to pump up your metabolism, you need to pump some iron to heat up your cells “fat burners” by giving them more oxygen.

o Dieting – During a restrictive diet that is either too low calorie or deficient in essential nutrients, the body produces less of the liver enzymes, therefore converting less T4 and producing less T3. Perhaps the biggest problem with diets is that most diets leave you with less muscle and more fat than when you started. Researchers have found that low calorie and low carbohydrate diets eventually suppress T3 hormone levels in the body by providing insufficient fuel for the thyroid and body to function properly.

o Heavy Metal Exposure – Mercury is a toxic heavy metal, which comprises over 50% of “silver” dental fillings & is found in cigarettes. Mercury interferes with the livers production of 5-deodinase an enzyme that is critical in converting thyroid hormones

o Chlorine – (added to most municipal water supplies as a disinfectant)

o Fluoride – (primary sources include toothpaste, dental products, municipal water supplies, pesticide, and residues on commercially grown foods).

These last two elements, fluoride and chlorine, block iodine receptors in the thyroid gland. In fact, fluoride is such a potent thyroid suppressor, that it was once prescribed medically for people with overactive thyroid glands (hyperthyroidism) to slow down their thyroid activity.

Tests for thyroid function

If you are doing everything right and still feeling unwell, there is definitely something going on that needs to be addressed. Perhaps you are suffering from clinical hypothyroidism (an under-active thyroid) or sub-clinical hypothyroidism (you have symptoms but the blood tests are normal).

Let’s assume you are overweight and think you have hypothyroidism. You’ve been to the doctor with complaints of weight gain, fatigue, cold hands and feet, and “brain fog”. The doctor examines you and performs some blood tests, including thyroid tests. And all the tests come back normal. But you are sure you must have an under-active thyroid. You have all the symptoms including a low body temperature, but doctor decides to not prescribe any treatment. You go home, sentenced to a life of weight gain and feeling plain unwell. This scenario is played out again and again until one day you finally fall below the ‘reference’ ranges.

The Barnes Temperature Test

If you feel your thyroid is sluggish and you think you may be hypothyroid, testing your thyroid is important. You can take the do it yourself Barnes Thyroid Temperature Test (see below), as an inexpensive, yet surprisingly accurate, initial test. Before the advent of the blood test, the Barnes basal temperature test and patients symptoms were all physicians had available to them to test thyroid function.

Doing the Barnes self temperature test, will give you a starting point to determine if you may have hypothyroidism and need to have further confirmatory tests.


1. Place a thermometer (preferably digital) within easy reach on the bedside table.

2. Place the thermometer in your armpit for five minutes try to move as little as possible because movement will raise your body temperature

3. Record your temperature each morning for five days. (For women, additional consideration is needed during ovulation, since ovulation somewhat elevates temperature. Because of this, women who menstruate should start recording their temperature on the second or third day of menstruation.)

4. A reading of 36.4 degrees or lower may indicate low thyroid function.

Serum (Blood) Test for Hypothyroidism

If your temperature is low, you may want to request further testing. If you want to go the conventional medical test route you need to request that your physician perform the T3, free T3, sensitive TSH, Reverse T3, and anti-thyroid antibody tests. Remember that the Standard T4 blood test for thyroid function only measures T4 (the inactive form of the hormone) function and is rarely sensitive enough to determine hypothyroidism. That is why I recommend that you ask your doctor to perform the other blood tests.

In my clinical experience, I have found most thyroid blood tests will come back within a ‘normal range’, but the patient still shows signs of (sub-clinical) hypothyroidism such as a low body (basal) temperature etc. There is research indicating that the reference ranges are too broad & do not cater for the individual – I guess we are not all the same after all!

The good news is that new and more accurate salivary and urine thyroid tests have become available.

The Salivary Thyroid Test

Salivary and urine thyroid testing to the rescue! That’s right although not readily available Salivary thyroid testing can be an alternative solution. Your saliva and urine now holds the key to determining whether or not you have an under-active thyroid. This brand new technology promises to change the lives of the millions of individuals suffering with an undiagnosed under-active thyroid. Because it tests thyroid function at the cellular level, the salivary/and or urine thyroid panel has been found to be

more accurate than the blood tests in identifying an under-active thyroid.

The thyroid salivary test measures T3, T4 and free TSH. The salivary or urine thyroid test also measures antibodies against thyroperoxidase, an important enzyme involved in the production of thyroid hormone. Positive antibodies are a sign of an autoimmune process (the immune system attacking the body’s own thyroid tissue).

Reviving Your Thyroid

If your thyroid gland is found to be sluggish, through any of the various tests, you may first try the natural non-drug approach to reviving your thyroid.

o Identify what is causing it to be sluggish – eg stress, chemical exposure etc

o Check your basal body temperature

o Consult your GP if necessary & request specific blood tests & discuss any possible need for medication changes

o Change your diet – different foods do interfere with thyroid function. You may wish to consult a naturopath for help with this

o Consult an herbalist – herbs such as Withania, Coleus, Rehmania, Kelp etc are helpful if used in the correct dosages.

o Improve your liver function

Avoiding the toxins I mentioned earlier and increasing your intake of iodine-rich foods such as seafood, asparagus, sea vegetables (kelp), garlic, lima beans, sesame seeds, spinach, Swiss chard and sea salt can be helpful.

The bottom line is most of the above symptoms may sound familiar – it’s not unusual for a 30, 40, or 50 something woman to feel tired, burnt out, and a little bit overweight and this makes hypothyroidism that much harder to diagnose. However there are few things more frustrating than feeling unwell & it can take a while to get the right diagnosis. Remember though, if you are feeling unwell – there is most likely something triggering it. Ignoring the problem won’t make it go away.

Getting a correct diagnosis is crucial when you realize that being treated can be a life-affirming event. So explore your options & strive for a better, healthy life!