Decoding The Depression Puzzle

Are We Overusing Antidepressants?

Eleven percent of Americans over 12 years old take antidepressants, which is the second most commonly prescribed medication in the U.S., after cholesterol-lowering drugs. Many more women than men use them. About 21 percent of women aged 20 and over take them; among women aged 40-59, the rate is 25 percent.

Antidepressants are psychiatric medications used to treat mood disorders including depression, generalized anxiety disorder, and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). The most widely used antidepressants are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), a class of drugs that includes medications such as Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, and Lexapro. Less used but a popular alternative to SSRIs are serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs); some of the commonly used medications in this drug class include Effexor and Cymbalta.

With such a high preponderance of usage, some may wonder whether we have become a Prozac nation. Others question if these medications are handed out to patients too casually.

Who Is Prescribing Antidepressants?

In the U.S. nearly 80 percent of antidepressant prescriptions are written by primary care physicians, not psychiatrists. Many depressed patients seen in general practice have not been thoroughly evaluated and may not even meet the full, formal criteria for Major Depressive Disorder (MDD). Instead, they are given the medications for symptoms of mild depression, likely caused by everyday stress, sadness, and sorrow, which may be alleviated by psychotherapy alone. Pediatric use for depression and anxiety has also skyrocketed but it peaked in 2004 when the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a black box warning for SSRIs due to evidence that they may be linked to increased risk of suicidal thinking, feeling, and behavior in young people.

Low Serotonin Levels Don’t Necessarily Cause Depression

SSRIs and SNRIs were developed to treat depression and other mental health conditions caused by an imbalance of neurotransmitter chemicals, particularly serotonin and norepinephrine. This chemical imbalance theory purports that low levels of these chemicals in the brain cause depression. For over two decades, this theory continues to be the dominant paradigm for treating depression.

However, the chemical imbalance hypothesis has its problems and numerous scientific studies conducted in the last 20 years have examined it and rejected it. They found that:

  • Not all depressed patients have low serotonin and norepinephrine levels.
  • In fact, some have abnormally high levels, while others with no history of depression have low levels of these chemicals.

The significance of this finding is huge, yet it is rarely publicized or taught in medical schools. There are probably various reasons for this but financial is likely to be one of them – antidepressants are a $10 billion industry!

Antidepressants Don’t Always Work

If depression is not caused by an imbalance of serotonin and norepinephrine, then it will explain why antidepressants don’t always work on people who have depression. Countless studies have been done to determine the effectiveness of these medications.

A massive meta-study compiled by the U.S. government that incorporated findings of over 100,000 research studies over a 15-year period concluded that:

  • Antidepressants are only effective in around one-third of cases, and partially effective in another third, and have no benefit at all in the remaining third.
  • High rate of relapse when depression is treated with drugs alone.
  • For many patients, the side effects are more unpleasant than the depression itself, so they discontinue usage.

Likewise, a number of double-blind, randomized controlled studies have come to similar conclusions. They found that:

  • The superiority of antidepressants over placebo is clinically significant only for patients who are very severely depressed.
  • For those with mild, moderate, and even severe depression, placebos work nearly as well as the medications.

Plus They Have Side Effects

Like most medications, antidepressants have side effects, including nausea, weight gain, loss of sexual desire, fatigue, insomnia, dry mouth, blurred vision, constipation, dizziness, agitation, irritability, and anxiety.

They are not addictive the same way substances like heroin or alcohol are, but people can still develop a physical dependence if they stop taking the drugs abruptly and may experience rather unpleasant withdrawal symptoms such as:

  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia or vivid dreams
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Tiredness
  • Irritability
  • Flu-like symptoms, including achy muscles and chills
  • Nausea
  • Electric shock sensations
  • Return of depressive symptoms

Compelling Evidence: Inflammation As A Contributing Factor To Depression

There is a huge body of research connecting depression and inflammation. In one of the most conclusive findings, a study in JAMA Psychiatry determined that brain inflammation was 30 percent higher in clinically depressed patients. The research team pointed out that previous studies have only looked at biomarkers of inflammation in the blood; this is the first to find definitive evidence in the brain.

Scientists have long known that inflammation is at the root of nearly every modern disease, including allergies, Alzheimer’s, arthritis, asthma, autoimmune disease, cancer, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. So it is not a huge surprise that depression is also linked to inflammation.

Researchers found that people with clinical depression have elevated levels of inflammatory biomarkers such as cytokines in the blood. Cytokines cruise through the bloodstream, damaging tissue, causing plaque buildup in the arteries, and sometimes even promoting the growth of tumors.

Cytokines can also travel to the brain, possibly via the vagus nerve which connects the gut and the brain. Specialized immune cells in the brain called microglia become activated in inflammatory states and they too, secrete cytokines.

Neuroinflammation alters neurotransmitter pathways and brain circuits. In the early 1980s, researchers have already discovered that inflammatory cytokines produce a wide variety of psychiatric and neurological symptoms mirroring characteristic signs and symptoms of depression.

Known Causes Of Inflammation

If inflammation is a contributing factor to depression, it is critical to understand how we get inflammation in the first place. This correlation has the potential to suggest both therapeutic and preventative approaches to combating depression.

Stress and traumatic life events

Researchers reported that acute negative life events, chronic psychological trauma, and exposure to childhood trauma hugely increase the risk of developing clinical depression and mood symptoms. There is very strong evidence that different types of psychosocial stressors may stimulate the pro-inflammatory cytokine network in the brain.

Diet

There have been substantial changes to dietary patterns over the last 50 years. We have swapped a diet high in fiber, nutrient-dense foods, and omega-3 fats (all anti-inflammatory) to one that is high in refined carbohydrates, sugar, and unhealthy refined vegetable oils (all highly pro-inflammatory). Since 2009, there have been numerous studies reporting inverse associations between diet quality and common mental disorders in children and adults across cultures.

Exercise

Many studies found that exercise is an effective treatment strategy for depression. Regular exercise protects against the development of new depressive and anxiety disorders while physical inactivity during childhood is associated with an increased risk of depression in adulthood.

Obesity

Without doubt, obesity is an inflammatory state. Inflammatory cytokines are found in abundance in fat cells.

With the prevalence of obesity increasing to epidemic proportions, studies have demonstrated a close relationship between obesity and depression. Obesity predisposes one to depression, while depression also predisposes one to obesity. A recent meta-analysis found obesity to increase the risk of later depression by 55%, whereas depression increased the risk of developing obesity by 58%.

Gut permeability

Another diet-related cause of inflammation is gut permeability or “leaky gut”. Under normal circumstances, immune cells are geographically separated from gram negative bacteria in the gut, which are part of the normal gut flora. However, if there is a loosening of the tight junction barrier in the gut wall, toxins produced by gram negative bacteria called lipopolysaccharides (LPS) may get into the bloodstream, causing immune cells to respond and produce pro-inflammatory cytokines. Since the gut and brain are connected by the vagus nerve, mental disorders are highly associated with gut permeability.

The most common causes of leaky gut are:

  • Food sensitivity, such as gluten (a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley) and dairy.
  • Chronic gut infections, such as parasites, Cryptosporidium, Clostridium difficile, Blastocystis hominis, and Helicobacter pylori.

Smoking

Cigarette smoke contains many thousands of chemicals, many of which induce inflammatory responses in the body and direct damage to cell tissues in the brain. Studies showed that smoking may increase one’s susceptibility to developing depression.

Periodontal disease

Periodontal disease is an inflammatory disease that involves infections of the structures around the teeth, which include the gum, periodontal ligament, and alveolar bone. Periodontal disease is associated with high levels of systemic inflammatory cytokines. It is a significant predictor of other inflammatory illnesses, such as cardiovascular disease, and may also increase the risk of depression as well.

Sleep deprivation

Research has demonstrated that chronic sleep deprivation results in impairments in immune functioning, characterized by increased levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines. It is estimated that up to 80-90 percent of individuals who suffer from a major depressive disorder experience sleep disturbances. Studies have suggested that sleep disturbances may also predispose individuals to subsequent development of mood disorders.

Vitamin D

There is a high prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in developed countries. Low vitamin D is linked to many diseases including osteoporosis and cancer. Vitamin D receptors are present in key brain areas and vitamin D plays a major role in circadian rhythms and sleep. Vitamin D has a regulatory effect on immunity too. In human studies, supplementation greatly reduces inflammatory markers associated with depression.

Strategies To Overcome And Prevent Depression

Check for inflammation

Depression can be a devastating illness. For very severe depression, studies show that antidepressants appear to be rather helpful in alleviating symptoms. But if your depression is milder, antidepressants may only be just as good as placebos. Therefore, it is worthwhile to check your inflammation level by getting a blood test forC-reactive protein (CRP), which is made by the body in response to high levels of inflammatory cytokines.

Address stress

Depression is a sign that your body and your life are out of balance. Unless you address your stress, it is difficult to return your life to balance. Both mindful meditation and cognitive therapy have been proven to be extremely helpful in combating depression.

Change your diet and lifestyle

  • Trade in the processed and sugary foods for an anti-inflammatory diet that consists of fatty fish like wild Alaskan salmon, leafy greens, fermented vegetables, cultured foods such as unsweetened yogurt and kefir, berries, garlic, and green tea.
  • Make sure you have at least 30 minutes of physical activity everyday.
  • Get a minimum 7-8 hours of quality sleep daily.

Take supplements to lower inflammation

  • High quality animal-based omega-3 fish oil (3 g daily if you have depression)
  • Vitamin D3 (5,000 I.U. daily) with vitamin K2 (for bone and heart health)
  • Probiotics (for gut health)
  • Curcumin (active component of turmeric)

Other supplements to lessen depressive symptoms

  • Vitamin B12 and folate (vitamin B9)

Studies found a link between deficiencies in these B vitamins and depression. Vitamin B12 is found mainly in animal proteins; hence, vegans are more susceptible to B12 deficiency. Folate is found in abundance in dark leafy greens and beans. If you have symptoms of depression and you know that you are not eating enough of these foods, you should consider incorporating them in your daily diet. If you are a vegan, you need to take a B12 supplement.

The following amino acid supplements should only be taken after consultation with a knowledgeable healthcare practitioner and a completed neurotransmitter test. For some individuals, these amino acids may help to alleviate the symptoms of depression by balancing the body’s neurotransmitter levels. However, it is still critical to address the underlying causes of depression (as mentioned above).

  • 5-HTP (5-Hydroxytryptophan) or L-tryptophan

L-tryptophan is first converted to 5-HTP, which is then converted to serotonin in the brain. Some people cannot tolerate 5-HTP, they will have to use L-tryptophan instead. For those who have low serotonin levels and are either negative, obsessive, worried, irritable, sleepless, or have low self-esteem, 5-HTP and L-tryptophan have a positive effect on sleep, mood, anxiety, and carbohydrate cravings.

  • L-Tyrosine and DLPA (D,L-Phenylalanine)

For those who have low norepinephrine, epinephrine, and dopamine, and have a flat-tired type of depression and crave stimulants like caffeine and sugar, L-tyrosine and DLPA will help you feel more energized, improve mood and drive, and increase mental focus.

  • GABA (Gamma amino-butyric acid)

For those who feel wired, stressed, and overwhelmed, GABA will help with anxiety and stress, reduce excess stimulation, and improve sleep.

Connected: Mob Stories From My Past – Review

This is not a sentimental world. Crime occurs on a daily–or rather, a second to second–basis. Some of these crimes are committed by individuals with no conscience or ability to comprehend (or care) about the consequences of their actions. Others, however (and some of the most horrific), are carried out by loving fathers, family men, church members, and little league coaches. In Dr. Joe Ferry’s novel entitled Connected: Mob Stories From My Past we are shown a bizarre, and at the same time a surprisingly comical, subculture of American society: it is the world of ‘the mafia,’ a secret network of bosses, hit men, and godfathers with one foot in the old world and one hand in – well, nearly every aspect of American life.

The narrator begins his story by telling us a little about his hero: his hard-working father who taught him how to be a man in the world. Then juxtaposed against a few reflective thoughts regarding his early family life, we are told that his father was a mob Don who killed anyone who crossed him. For a normal boy the apparent contradiction between a life of crime and a comfortable middle class existence would perhaps be enough to baffle the mind; or stunt a young man’s moral and spiritual growth. Fortunately our narrator was never ‘a normal boy’ – but a highly intelligent individual with the capacity to integrate his experiences as a mob Don’s son into his life as a student, an athlete, a musician, a record producer, a college professor, and a loving husband.

In Ferry’s portrait of an artist as a young mobster, we are given insights into the interworking of an organization “connected” to the larger New York mafia. Yet more significantly, we are taken on a journey into the psychologically complex personality of the narrator himself. Our ability to come to terms with the underground world in which he grew up rests upon understanding the internal dialogue–and the demons–that constitute our narrator’s consciousness.

“My mom always said that I was Trouble, almost from birth. The nickname took. So that’s what you can call me. For as long as I can remember, the two things I enjoyed doing most were walking and stealing.” This simple statement whereby our narrator introduces himself to the reader goes a long way in summarizing his personality. On one hand, Trouble was a product of his environment; the son of one of New York’s most ruthless mobsters (and a man with a mean streak). Yet at the same time, from an early age Trouble exhibited a sensitive, contemplative side. And as a young “mobster in training,” learning the ins and outs of mob-life from the best in the business, he also developed an interest in–and a real talent for–music. So when one saw Trouble Ventura walking the streets of New York City, it was difficult to tell whether he was taking a walk to ‘clear his mind,’ or heading towards his next ‘music gig,’ or on his way to ‘shake a guy down.’

One day Trouble’s father gave his son this wise advice: “We are suited to our callings, boy. Make no excuses for yourself. We are complex creatures. We are shadows of light. Good and bad.” With these words the seeming contradiction between “the world of organized crime” and a life committed to art, family, and community is laid to rest. For as the narrator’s father rightly remarks, this world–and human nature–is far too complex and variegated to reduce (experiences or people) into simplistic categories: such as ‘good’ and ‘evil.’

Ostensibly a novel chronicling Trouble’s formative years as a young mobster, the narrative is peppered with pearls of wisdom and comical anecdotes drawn from daily life. For example, in a chapter entitled “Girls Who Puked On Me” the narrator confesses that a surprising number of his most romantic relationships–and moments–have been ruined by spontaneous bouts of vomiting: as otherwise lovely women hurled their ‘lunch’ all over him (and his hopes of ‘getting lucky’). In another chapter we encounter an eccentric elderly lady named Minnie Chestnut; who presents the author with authentic photographs and historic artifacts proving that she met Abraham Lincoln, dined with President John F. Kennedy, and spent intimate moments with Amelia Earhart and the great jazz legend Charlie Parker. Then in another chapter we are introduced to a history professor who possesses–‘believe it or not’–the first LP in the history of the human race: a vintage clay pot (which has embedded in its decorative grooves a recording) from the eighteenth century; upon which our narrator and several music professors hear the voice and piano playing of one Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

The brilliance and beauty of these vignettes brings to light the real strength of the novel: since the stories Ferry tells are at times so outlandish, and yet written with the accuracy (or attention to detail) of a skilled biographer, the reader simply doesn’t know what part of the novel is fantasy, and which part is historical fact. Aside from learning a great deal about his father’s business, his time spent associating with colorful storytellers–i.e., mobsters–also taught our author how to spin a ‘good yarn.’ From the prologue to the final chapter, Connected: Mob Stories From My Past entertains and educates; simultaneously evoking horror and laughter in the reader. I highly recommend this book to anyone who appreciates (and perhaps can stomach) the slapstick memoirs of an accomplished musician and mobster.

How to Stop Stuttering: Help Your Child Achieve Speech Fluency

How to stop stuttering – can I help my child speak fluently?

What are the different types of stuttering or stammering I need to look out for?

What are the good practices to help my child stop stuttering?

As a parent, what should I know to help my child gain more confidence to stop stuttering?

If you are seeking help on how to help your child to stop stuttering, please read on to find out answers to the most commonly asked questions. Our speech pathologist / speech therapist explains the most common types of stuttering, and what to do to help your child achieve speech fluency.

There are 3 types of stuttering or stammering behavior, where your child know what he wants to say but can not say it fluently:

1. repetition of sound or sounds: " III want chocolate!"

2. prolongation: " Wwwwwhere is the ball?"

3. block: (the sound is blocked, your child can not get the sound out at all … – and then has to force the sound out): " —– I have it."

How to stop stuttering with speech therapy techniques:

1. increase frequency of fluent speech, or behavior that is incompatible with stuttering, and

2. reduce the factors associated with stuttering (like quitting smoking: eg increase gum-chewing, reduce factors associated with smoking)

Let's start with the list of Do not:

1. Do not just pretend there is no problem. If your child has difficulty saying something he would have the first to know at some level, (even if he does not articulate it) and people not talking about his difficulty may suggest to him it is taboo. Do make it acceptable to discuss stuttering.

2. Do not ask your child to 'take a deep breath'.

Suggestions like that may sometimes interrupt your child's natural speech breathing coordination. Use more general suggestions such as 'Take your time' and allow your child to manage his speech by himself. More importantly, action speaks louder than words – show by your action and body language that you are prepared to take your time to listen .

3. Do not interrupt your child. Be supportive and helpful if you need to but do not interrupt your child.

Now, let's talk about the things you should Do:

1. Have a way of talking about the concept of speech fluency in a descriptive, non-judgmental way. You can not change a behavior if you can not identify or recognize it. Some words you can use are 'smooth', 'bumpy speech', 'stuck', 'easy to say', 'nice and smooth' etc.

2. Introduce the concept of different ways of talking.

Encourage your child to observe different ways of talking by others, understand the different descriptive words we use, and then to talk in different ways by himself. eg softly and loudly, slowly and quickly, low pitch 'papa bear' voice or high pitch 'baby bear' voice, speaking in a 'hard', sudden and effortful way, versus a 'soft' and gentle way, tal.king. in. a. chop.py way. versus a 'smooth' way etc. The soft, gently way makes fluent speech more natural, and stuttering less likely.

3. Improve your child's overall oral motor co-regulation eg with rhymes and tongue twins. Recite them together with your child until she is confident, and then encourage her to 'recite them in the same way' by herself.

4. Help your child improve overall language proficiency eg learn more words and improve his vocabulary, learn different sentence structures to express ideas or ask questions.

5. Help your child practice long, multi-syllabic words, paying attention to the sounds as well as the stress pattern eg in a short one-syllable word that is the only one we stress and we say 'Bar', but in a long word like 'banana' we say 'ber-Na-ner' , and we stress only the second syllable, it is 'stressed' or louder, we do not say 'BA-na-na' .

6. Prevention is better than correction. Pre-empt or prevent situations that make it likely for your child to stutter. If your child is overly excited, may not know the right word or sentence to use, is about to use a tricky word he may trip up on etc, prevent him from stuttering by

– talking about it yourself first (so that he has time to catch his breath), or

– demonstrate slow fluent clear speech using the right words or sentences, or

– provide some cues by giving him examples to choose from eg "Do you want me to press the button and then you catch, or would you like to press the button and I'll catch?"

7. Look for the positive too.

Praise examples of successful communication eg "Wow, you managed to say that tricky word easily!" "That was a very interesting story!" "What a long sentence that was!"

Give your child positive reinforcement or praise about different aspects of communication, – do not judge your child's speech completely by either your child stuttered or not. Communication and interaction is much more than that.

If in doubt, do seek professional help.

Without any intervention, a child who stutters may just outgrow it – or the stuttering may persist to adulthood, with repercussions for school, career, social interaction and self-esteem.

A child is likely to take less time to overcome stuttering, and results are usually more permanent. (In addition, hopefully, children usually have picked up less 'emotional baggage' such as avoidance and poor self-esteem.)

If you are concerned, please consult a speech therapist / pathologist to get professional help or support for your child.

Confused About Where To Begin Getting Weight Loss Help?

With the wide variety of choices available when it comes to getting weight loss help, it is not surprising that many people wind up confused about which dieting and weight loss plan is right for them. From organized dieting and meal plan programs such as Nutrisystem, Medifast and Weight Watchers to proper workout routines and personal trainers, putting the pieces together can be overwhelming and cause many people to put off improving their health even further. In this article, I will outline the areas where you need to make decisions and hopefully point you in the right direction so that you can create a dieting and weight loss plan that fits both your lifestyle and your fitness goals.

Determine Your Weight Loss Goals

Everyone’s situation is different when it comes to weight loss needs. Some may simply want to shed that extra 10 lbs from an otherwise fit body and others may be suffering from morbid obesity and need to achieve dramatic weight loss to avoid life threatening issues, still others may want to pack on as much muscle mass as possible. Answering this basic question will dictate which health and fitness approach is best suited for you and the weight loss help you will need. For example:

• People looking to just shed a few pounds may want to focus on aerobic exercise and a low calorie diet and meal plan

• Those seeking lean muscle mass will definitely want to focus on weight lifting and bodybuilding exercises along with a high protein diet and possibly bodybuilding supplements.

• Those who want conditioning for endurance events such as marathons and triathlons should focus on distance training and maintaining proper energy levels.

• Someone who is suffering from obesity may consider more drastic levels of weight loss including prescription diet pills or even weight loss surgery.

Once you have figured out which approach fits you, the next step is to determine which exercise routines go hand in hand with the weight loss goals above.

The Right Workout Program

Depending on the goal that you establish above, your workout routine can take on many forms. Aerobic exercises are geared towards raising the heart rate and the body’s ability to burn calories. An endurance program will likely also include aerobic activity but often make less use of machines and are conducted outdoors. Bodybuilding workouts will rely on heavy weight lifting and less aerobic activity.

Workout programs for those who are significantly overweight should at first be very low impact and be constructed of basic exercises that can be done without weights or machines. As is the goal with any weight loss help program, you will also want to consume fewer calories than you burn which leads us to Nutrition.

Finding the Perfect Diet Program

Dieting is perhaps one of the areas where people have the most difficulty when seeking weight loss help. Many are unable to stick to a diet, which is essential in order to reach your goals. No time to cook, bland food and poor eating habits can all undermine even the most effective diets. At this point you want to take inventory of yourself and you eating habits and try to figure out if you can create your own low calorie meal plan or whether you might get more benefit from organized weight loss programs that have predefined healthy diets. Whether it’s low carb, low fat or low calorie, you must stick with it to lose weight. Something most people fail to realize is that most diets work. It is the dieter that often fails the diet and not vice versa.

Diet Pills and Supplements

It is impossible to research dieting and weight loss help these days without being exposed to various diet pills and supplements. Some claim to be miracle cures and others are proven, prescription strength medications. Whether or not you take supplements and diet pills is up to you. There are many places to find information on the top diet pills [http://www.diet2loseweight.com/top-diet-pills.html]. And if you have any doubts, speaking to a doctor or nutritionist can help you make sense of all of your options.

Weight Loss Surgery

For those suffering with obesity and the related medical conditions, weight loss surgery may be an option. Consulting with your doctor about these procedures is the smartest way to go about discovering if you are a candidate for bariatric surgery. This is not something you want to take lightly as these are serious medical operations. Many weight loss surgery [http://www.diet2loseweight.com/weight-loss-surgery.html] options are very effective in promoting dramatic weight loss and if your health is at stake, it is wise to investigate further.

In Conclusion

Finding a dieting program and obtaining weight loss help doesn’t have to be difficult as long as you take stock of what your personal needs and goals are. By researching each component one at a time, you’ll soon have in front of you a healthy plan for maintaining your weight well into the future.

Is There a Health Effect of Drugs in Drinking Water?

Recent studies by the Environmental Protection Agency and the US Geological Survey have found small amounts of pharmaceuticals in our drinking water. The drugs found in drinking water were measured in parts per billion or trillion.

Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care Products (PPCPs) make up a wide variety of chemical substances, including prescription, cosmetic, over-the-counter pharmaceutical drugs, fragrances and many others. PPCPs can be found in any water body effected by raw or treated sewage, including rivers, streams, ground water, and many drinking water sources.

These drugs and substances enter into the environment and our drinking water several ways:

  • Medication residues pass out of the body and into sewer lines
  • Some people flush unused medication down toilets or place them in the trash
  • Several PPPs remain after waste water treatments and cleansing by water treatment plants

According to Dr, Sarah Janssen, MD, PHD, and MPH, a science fellow at the Natural Resources Defense Council, "Ever since the late 1990s, the scientific community has recognized that pharmaceuticals, especially oral contraceptives, are found in sewage water and are potentially contaminating drinking water. " So, is there a health effect of drugs in drinking water?

Dr. Janssen says, "We do not know. It's true that the levels [of the medications found in drinking water] are very low. But especially when it comes to pharmaceuticals that are synthetic hormones, there is concern, because hormones work at very low concentrations in the human body. "

Dr. Janssen's view is also confirmed by the EPA. Suzanne Rudzinski, deputy director for science and technology in the Office of Water at the US Environmental Protection Agency, says "At this point we do not have evidence of a health effect, although it's an area of ​​concern and one we will continue to look at. "

So what are consumers suppose to do while more studies are being done? Should you be using bottled water only? Well, first realize that about twenty-five percent of bottled water coming from the tap, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council.

If the bottled water is labeled "purified water" or "reverse osmosis" water, the water has gone through a treatment of distillation, reverse osmosis or other process. This can remove some of the PPCs but also demineralizes the water and takes out the healthy components.

Several leading professionals from private organizations recommend a home filtration system to help reduce the drug levels. Make no mistake, scientists and government officials can not say for sure if the level of drugs in drinking water is low enough to have an adverse human health effect. So take some time and find out which filtration systems can help to remove PPCs.

Aquatic Therapy: Here’s Why Water Power Works

Athletes can recover faster with aquatic therapy following an injury. During rehabilitation, treatment plans can be implemented before land therapy protocols for earlier injury intervention. Aquatic therapy also keeps athletes conditioned as they recover so they are ready to play as soon as they are back in the game.

This ultimate training and recovery tool is a win-win for the athlete and the team. The answer to why it works lies in three basic principles of water: Hydrostatic Pressure, Buoyancy, Viscosity.

Here’s a simple explanation of what they are and why they are so important to aquatic therapy success.

1. HYDROSTATIC PRESSURE

Hydrostatic pressure is the weight of a fluid – in this case water – against an object. When an athlete gets in the water, hydrostatic pressure creates a uniform support system for all immersed body parts.

A. Water completely surrounds submerged body part from all sides for a complete support system.

B. The deeper you go, the greater the support you get from the surrounding water. This effect creates a secure environment to prevent injury from falling, imbalances or over-stress.

2. BUOYANCY

Buoyancy is the ability to float in water. The deeper you go, the less weight you have to bear. Based on buoyancy principles, an athlete immersed in water up to their neck bears 10% of their body weight. If the water is at chest level, they bear 25% of their weight, and if the water is at hip level, they bear 50% of their weight.

Water’s zero-impact environment is ideal for getting in shape or recovering from an injury. The weightlessness means an athlete can get an intense workout with less joint stress and pressure. Stretching out tight muscles is much easier because water’s buoyancy helps improve range of motion.

In addition, athletes can rehabilitate without further straining injuries. Taking weight off any injury allows for therapy protocols too begin much sooner than traditional land-based treatments. This means they can rehabilitate faster, stay in shape during recovery and are ready to play as soon as they heal.

3. VISCOSITY

Viscosity is a fluid’s resistance against an object. In this case, water. The resistance or drag of water, combined with hydrostatic pressure and buoyancy, creates the ideal environment for training and therapy.

Exercises in water provide up to 15 times more resistance that the same exercises on land. When a water current is added with varied speeds (available in most aquatic therapy pools), this can ramp up the intensity of workouts or create treatment protocols to help athletes successfully progress different stages of recovery.

Aquatic fitness and therapy is the ultimate environment that gives athletes the confidence and support to perform proper mechanics with less pain, faster results, and better outcomes.

Asthma Part 1: An Overview

Welcome to this first part of a four-part series on asthma, where we aim to understand what it is and how it can be managed.

Asthma is a chronic lung disease that causes inflammation and narrowing of the airways in the lungs. Recurring periods of wheezing, chest tightness, shortness of breath, and coughing are all hallmarks of asthma.

Asthma affects people of all ages, but most often starts during childhood.

Overview

Asthmatics have inflamed airways in their lungs. Inflamed airways are narrowed and very sensitive, thereby reacting very stronglt to inhaled allergens.

When the airways react, the muscles around them tighten, narrowing the airways causing reduced airflow into the lungs. The swelling can and will progress, farther narrowing the airways. Associated with this process is the increased production of mucus, a thick, sticky fluid that farther narrows the already narrowed airways.

These reactions result in the symptoms of asthma – Wheezing, chest tightness, shortness of breath, and coughing.

Asthmatic symptoms are often mild and spontaneously resolve or are easily treated with minimal treatment. However, in some cases, it can progress and become worse, resulting in what is commonly known as an asthmatic attack.

Hence, treating symptoms of asthma early is paramount. By the time an asthmatic attack ensues, emergency care is required and if left untreated, asthma can be fatal.

There is no cure for asthma. However, with proper and thorough ongoing treatment, asthma can be managed and sufferers of asthma can and will continue to lead normal and active lives.

Populations At Risk

Most often, asthma starts during childhood but it can affect all ages.

Young children who frequently suffer from respiratory infections are at highest risk of developing asthma. Other risk factors influencing the development of asthma include being atopic (having multiple allergies), eczema, or, as mentioned above, having parents who are also asthmatic.

Boys have a higher risk of developing asthma compared to girls. However, once adulthood is reached, there are more female asthmatics compared to their male counterparts. As a sum total, most people with asthma have allergies.

Another significant population with asthma are industrial workers who come into contact with chemical irritants or industrial pollutants in their workplace. This population develops occupational asthma, a contentious disease label.

Causes of Asthma

A multitude of causes for asthma have been documented so far. These include:

  • Genetic causes, especially atopic individuals or asthmatic parents
  • Childhood Respiratory Infections
  • A multitude of airborne allergens have been implicated

Signs and Symptoms of Asthma

Common signs and symptoms of asthma include:

  • Coughing
  • Wheezing.
  • Chest tightness
  • Shortness of breath.

Coughing caused by Asthma is often worse at night, disrupting sleep. Wheezing is a squeaky, whooshy sound that is audible with each breath. Chest tightness and shortness of breath can and is often confused with cardiac causes and can result in undue stress to the patient.

Having one or more of the above symptoms do not automatically diagnose asthma. Proper lung function tests, history taking and a physical examination by a health profession is the only way of confirming asthma.

The type and severity of symptoms of asthma suffered by the patients though determines the management of the disease. Because symptoms vary over time, asthmatics need to be aware of their own symptoms and fluctuations thereof, and seek treatment early because while mild symptoms can be simply annoying, severe symptoms can seriously limit daily routines and exercise, and very severe symptoms can potentially cause death if untreated.

Treatment is now available to prevent the onset of asthma in known asthmatics.

Triggers Of Asthma

These include:

  • Allergens – dust, animal fur, cockroaches, mold, and pollens from trees, grasses, and flowers etc.
  • Chemical Irritants – cigarette smoke, air pollution, chemicals, workplace dust, sprays etc.
  • Medicines – NSAIDs (eg aspirin) and B-Blockers (eg Atenolol).
  • Upper respiratory infections
  • Physical activity – exercise can trigger asthma.

This list is not exhaustive. Each asthmatic is unique and it is best if you seek advice from your health professional.

Prevention Of Asthma

Asthma can’t be cured. But you can prevent it. Following these simple steps will go a long way in managing asthma.

  • Educate yourself about asthma. Empower yourself.
  • Have an Asthma Action Plan and follow through with it.
  • Follow your physician’s medicine regime
  • Identify the triggers that cause your asthma and avoid them
  • Document progression of your asthma
  • Regular visits to your treating physician

In the next part of this series, we look at what to prepare and expect during a medical consultation.

Anointed Versus Talented – What’s the Difference?

Talent is defined as: “Natural endowment or ability of a superior quality”. The word talent comes from a Greek word that also tells us about something of great value as described in Matthew 25:15-30.

Talent for artists is the skill and natural ability to create. It can be enhanced by training and practice. Being anointed is the very power of God that uses that talent to accomplish God’s purpose or plan.

In the scriptures the actual practice of anointing was to apply oil to a person or a thing. Anointing did have its uses for ordinary purposes such as with scented oils or protecting leather, and for medical purposes for the sick or the wounded (although not necessarily with oil).

Sacred anointing was to dedicate a thing or person to God. The oil symbolized the Holy Spirit, empowering them for a particular assignment in the service of God. “Messiah” from the Hebrew word “mashiah”, and Christ from the Greek “christos”, meaning “the anointed one” or the one who is empowered to do the assignment (in this case, redeem mankind back to God).

So what does this have to do with artists? God has given artists the raw talent to create. Again, training and practice help refine that talent. But when it comes to doing an assignment or accomplishing a task for God involving your creativity, it can ONLY be done with the empowerment from God working with the basic talent. No matter what level of natural skill and experience an artist has, they can not accomplish something of Kingdom value (God’ s plan) without yielding your talent to the Holy Spirit.

God uses His people in order to accomplish His plan. He especially uses the gifts and talents that he has to placed in you to accomplish a plan through you.

A biblical example of this can be seen in Exodus 31:1-11. God’s plan was to demonstrate that He is present and active with His people by living among them in the Tabernacle while they were in the wilderness. God wanted the Tabernacle to be designed, adorned and furnished in a specific way and was going to accomplish this through a creative team from among the Israelites that He selected. Although these artists had natural skill, ability, and know-how, they could not complete the task according to God’s plan unless they used the understanding and wisdom that the Spirit of God empowered them with (Exodus 31:3-4).

Anointed is further defined:

* Being able to do what you normally can’t do.

* When the super (the power of God) comes upon the natural (the talent).

An example of trying to accomplish a task with talent alone and no anointing is how the Israelites created the golden calf. The calf was created with artistic talent, skill, experience and ability to be used in a feast for the Lord (Exodus 32:5), but the anointing was not there. If these artists were making an effort to surrender themselves and their talent to the Spirit of God, I think they would have seen that this use of their talent did not please God, but rather was a sin against God.

So how does the talented artist flow in the anointing? The names of the two artists whom God used to head up the “Art Direction” of building the Tabernacle and the Ark of the Covenant help to remind us: “Bezalel”- whose name means “in the shadow of El (God)”. You can not be in the shadow of God unless you are in the presence of God. Keeping regular quiet time with God keeps us in tune with the plan of God.

“Aholiab”- whose name means “Father’s Tent”, a man under authority. Obedient. As the Spirit of God reveals His direction for the use of your talent, you will be challenged to walk out the plan and obey.

Treating High Blood Pressure With Acupressure

A very simple acupuncture treatment, which is often self-administered within the comforts of a person’s home, proves to be effective for some the symptoms associated with muscle pain. Besides its applications for the disease, acupuncture points have been put to use as a beauty treatment for tens and thousands of years. Usually, versatile acupuncture is relatively safe for self-treatment. You can even consider trying acupuncture so as to do away with tinnitus.

Treatments are often painless. The therapy may be repeated as required. You’ve got medical condition along with the doctor deals with that situation with a particular treatment.

Chiropractic care is deemed among the safest medical procedures up to now. Just like with any medical cure, chiropractic care included, there are some risks. Pharmaceutical treatments in many cases are limited by the patient’s physical conditions like pregnancy or substantial blood pressure. Additionally, it considers all facets of diagnosis and treatment.

If you have a recent family history of high blood pressure or cardiovascular disease, it becomes even more essential for you to lower your weight. Even though it is intended for a brief term treatment, some folks use it as a constituent of your daily diet to make certain healthier bowel movement each and every day. It may also bring about bad skin a weakened immune apparatus, poor memory and significant blood pressure. Exercise improves blood flow and regulates the blood circulate to the brain as well as the heart.

From cold and viruses to higher blood pressure, superior cholesterol, heart issues, garlic can be a versatile, inexpensive, therapeutic powerhouse. It will help boost the entire body’s blood circulation thereby distributing oxygen together with nutrients more evenly and thoroughly through the whole human body. Bitter melon can increase our body’s capability to utilize blood glucose naturally. Anything that raises the blood circulation greatly benefits in lessening the headache issue.

We would choose to prevent prescription drugs when possible, and for these patients, acupuncture for high blood pressure might be a terrific choice to look at. You also ought to know about acupuncture as it’s the safest approach to induce labor and has the largest success rate. In reality, documented research on the potency of acupuncture and acupuncture keeps growing. For example, applying too large an amount of pressure can compel the body to tense, while not enough pressure will result in insufficient results.

Natural remedies aren’t only controlled blood glucose, however at the same time; it’ll manage kidney, liver, eye and hearts. All three vitamins end right up in the liver where it’s used to make the blood clotting substances. They might also cause urinary issues, higher blood pressure, and thyroid circumstances, simply to name a couple. Supporting your liver is imperative because it will let you purify your blood.

Acupuncture can operate to produce deep healing within the tissues within the head round the ears. Intense pressure is put for this special massage to penetrate deeper in the muscles. Walking briskly reduces tension; improve blood flow, and supplies immediate relaxation. Aromatic plant extracts can also be quite beneficial to decrease blood pressure.

What concerns acupuncture, it is pretty the same besides the part where needles are used. This might incorporate rolling, working, pulling along with acupuncture. The aggregate of pressure exerted will vary conditioned upon the aim of the session. With deeper pressure, you are going to feel a pulse in the center honestly.

Simple Herbal Remedies For Hemorrhoids – Cure Hemorrhoids For Good Naturally & Get Relief

Hemorrhoids are also known as piles, and they are the inflamed condition of the veins within or on the outside of the rectum. This condition can cause the sufferer a lot of pain and discomfort.

Although there are many things that can cause this condition, the most common causes are constipation, a low fiber diet, lifting heavy objects, and pregnancy. Herbal remedies for hemorrhoids is an effective way to get some relief from the pain and discomfort without side effects or surgical procedures.

Just because your piles condition is not severe enough to get surgery doesn’t mean you have to leave it untreated and suffer through the discomfort. Some people turn to over the counter chemical creams available, but you need to be under supervision due to the possible side effects and allergies.

When you use natural herbs to treat piles you won’t have to worry about side effects. This is why many people turn to herbal remedies.

One of the best herbal remedies is witch hazel. The blood vessels causing the hemorrhoid to shrink and contract can be treated using the properties of witch hazel. To use this herb as a treatment you can take a cotton ball and soak it in the witch hazel and then apply it to the affected area to get instant relief.

Other effective herbal remedies for hemorrhoids include aloe vera, horse chestnut, butcher’s broom, and lupin. All of these herbs are known to relieve the pain and discomfort of hemorrhoids very fast.

Although many people use these herbs for getting instant relief, this form of treatment can slowly, naturally, and safely cure your piles for good. Herbal remedies for hemorrhoids will also stop the bleeding, itching, burning, and swelling associated with this condition.

Costs of Fertility Treatments

When deciding on a particular fertility treatment (FT), couples wanting to get pregnant need to consider a number of important points, including the cause of the infertility (female or male); the ages and overall health of the couple, particularly the woman’s; and lifestyle preferences. But ultimately, the deciding factor for most couples is the cost of FTs.

Health insurance plans vary widely in their coverage of costs for fertility treatments. Most plans cover all or many of the initial examinations, tests, and office visits to primary care providers, gynecologists, and other medical professionals. Some plans provide limited coverage for fertility drugs and other FTs. Few plans cover the assisted reproductive technologies.

What’s more, most fertility specialists, such as reproductive endocrinologists, and most fertility clinics don’t accept health insurance. However, many fertility specialists and clinics provide some kind of financing or financial counseling to help couples with the costs of FTs.

NOTE: Costs of fertility treatments and related medical services vary widely, depending on the service and the location of the provider. The costs mentioned in this article are those for uninsured patients and were gathered from a cursory search of a number of reliable educational and commercial websites. These costs are in no way definitive. They are estimates only.

The first unavoidable costs of fertility treatments are those for a diagnosis of the cause of infertility in either the woman or the man.

• Visit to a primary care provider: $80 to $200 plus $50 to $200 each for typical tests

• Visit to a gynecologist: $115 to $325 plus costs for tests

• Visit to reproductive endocrinologist: $200 to $400 plus costs for tests, which range from $50 for a sperm analysis to $1,200 for a hysterosalpingogram, an X-ray of the female reproductive organs

The next round of costs comes from the type of FT, which couples normally decide upon after meeting with their doctors and going over the details involved in the treatment. In addition to the factors mentioned earlier, couples now have to consider the risks, side effects, and success rates, along with the costs, of each particular fertility treatment.

Three main types of fertility treatments are available: fertility drugs; surgery; and assisted reproductive technologies (ART), a general term for procedures that help women become pregnant by partially or totally artificial means.

Clomiphene and the various gonadotropins are two of the most common fertility drugs. They help stimulate and regulate female reproductive hormones. Most women need to use them for three to six menstrual cycles.

• Clomiphene pills: at least $50 a cycle plus costs for follow-up visits and tests

• Gonadotropin injections: $2,000 to $5,000 a cycle plus costs for follow-ups

Typical surgeries to treat infertility include procedures to repair genetic defects, clear blocked fallopian tubes, and remove cysts or scar tissue in the female reproductive organs.

• Surgery: $3,000 to $10,000

Artificial insemination and in vitro fertilization are the two most common and well-known types of ART and are generally considered a last resort for couples wanting to get pregnant.

• Artificial insemination: $300 to $700

• In vitro fertilization: $8,000 to $15,000

Bottom line: The costs of fertility treatments can be high and out of the reach of some couples. Unfortunately, for couples trying to get pregnant, most of the costs for fertility treatments will come out of their own pockets.

Recognizing Kidney Disease in Cats Helps Prolong Kitty's Life

In our practice on the most common diseases we see in cats over 7 years old are hyperthyroidism, diabetes and kidney disease. In this article I am focusing on the symptoms of kidney disease in cats (renal failure), the causes and treatment.

Kidney disease can occur suddenly (acute) or gradually (chronic) in cats and there are many causes. A diet of pre-prepared dry food must be accompanied by plenty of fresh available water. Sadly, although convenient, this is not an ideal diet for your cat and may be one of the causes of kidney disease in cats. Other causes that have been suggested in research surrounding annual vaccination against feline distemper.

Unfortunately, in chronic renal failure (CRF) the onset of the clinical signs is gradual and in many cases may only become noticeable when 75% of the kidney nephrons are failing. This process is not reversible. Younger animals can also be affected depending on the cause.

Symptoms of kidney disease in cats include:

– Weight loss
– Loss of appetite
– Lethargy
– Increased urination
– Increased thirst
– Vomiting

If your cat has any of these symptoms, I strongly recommend that you make an appointment to see your veterinarian.

Cats suffering from chronic renal failure drink a lot of water. However, they can not drink the amount they need and your veterinarian may well advise the use of subcutaneous fluids which help keep the toxins flushed out of the bloodstream. This is a treatment you will be able to do at home too.

Attention to diet is the best way to keep your cat living comfortably as long as possible. If he or she is used to home prepared foods then so much the better but including your cat eats to maintain weight is the most important consideration. A natural diet of fresh, raw foods based on fish and meats is important while a potassium supplement is often recommended.

Part 2 of 2 – The Cancer Cure "They" Don’t Want You to Know About

If you have cancer, starting a vitamin D regimen is very important. It’ll save your life.

Taking less than 4,000 IU of vitamin D daily is too weak, leaving cancer untouched. Taking more than 40,000 IU of vitamin D daily is too dangerous, leading to vitamin D toxicity. Therefore, a strong and safe cancer-cure dose could range from 10,000 IU to 20,000 IU of vitamin D daily.

There are additional cancer-cure regimens involving tomatoes and broccoli, and cayenne pepper that you can use with your vitamin D regimen. But first, let’s look at some things that interact with vitamin D.

VITAMIN D INTERACTIONS

Some drugs interact with vitamin D. Corticosteroid drugs such as prednisone, prescribed to reduce inflammation, impair vitamin D metabolism. Some weight-loss and cholesterol-lowering drugs reduce vitamin D absorption.

Anti-seizure drugs phenobarbital (Luminal), phenytoin (Dilantin), carbamazepine (Tegretol), and fosphenytoin (Cerebyx) deactivate vitamin D to some extent. Antibiotics such as rifampin (Rimactane) also deactivate vitamin D to some extent.

The following drugs, if taken with vitamin D, decrease vitamin D’s intestinal absorption: cholestyramine (Questran), colestipol (Colestid), orlistat (Xenical), mineral oil, and the fat substitute Olestra.

The oral antifungal medication ketoconazole reduces blood levels of vitamin D in healthy men, reducing their blood calcium levels. Contrastively, taking vitamin D with thiazide diuretics may over-elevate blood calcium levels.

Some medical conditions interact with vitamin D. Taking vitamin D with hyperparathyroidism, sarcoidosis, tuberculosis, lymphoma, adrenal insufficiency, or Crohn’s disease may heighten blood calcium levels too much.

Let’s suppose your drug or medical condition interacts negatively with vitamin D. Should you avoid taking vitamin D? Not necessarily. You should instead take vitamin D under your doctor’s and pharmacist’s supervision. In fact, you should do this even if your drug or medical condition doesn’t interact with vitamin D!

TOMATOES AND BROCCOLI AND CANCER

Tomatoes have anticancer effects. Tomatoes reduce testosterone level; some cancers such as prostate cancer need testosterone to thrive. Also, phytochemicals in tomatoes help to reduce cancer.

Like tomatoes, broccoli is also anticancerous. Broccoli contains sulfur compounds that degrade carcinogens.

It has been known that tomatoes and broccoli individually have anticancer effects. But only recently known that when eaten together, they’re much more powerful!

Researchers recently found that the tomato-broccoli combination dramatically shrinks cancerous tumors, especially prostate tumors.

The more you include tomatoes and broccoli in your meals, the better. This is easier than you think. For example, tomato sauce is a main ingredient in most Italian foods. So all you have to do is add broccoli – and you have a powerful anticancer cocktail!

Do you enjoy Caesar salad, Chef salad, Chinese chicken salad, Cobb salad, Greek salad, or Michigan salad? If so, make sure you add plenty of tomatoes and broccoli, and say goodbye to cancer.

Eaten raw or cooked, the tomato-broccoli combination is a powerful anticancer cocktail. In fact, eating tomatoes and broccoli cooked may make their cancer-fighting constituents more bioavailable.

CAYENNE PEPPER AND CANCER

Capsaicin is the active component of cayenne peppers. Capsaicin irritates animals and humans by producing a burning sensation at the point of tissue contact.

The American Association for Cancer Research reported studies of capsaicin killing prostate cancer cells by programming them to kill themselves. These studies also showed that capsaicin-treated tumors shrank dramatically compared to untreated tumors.

The University of Nottingham’s cancer study suggested that capsaicin can trigger cellular death in human lung cancer cells as well.

Besides squashing prostate and lung cancer, capsaicin can also squash leukemic cancer. For example, there have been studies showing capsaicin inhibiting the growth of leukemic cells.

Also, capsaicin had been found to stunt and kill cancerous bladder cells.

In Thailand, where much spicy food is eaten, gastrointestinal, colorectal, and stomach cancers are rare compared to the rest of Asia. In Mexico, where much spicy food is eaten, these same cancers are rare compared to the USA.

Researchers found that, besides programming cancer cells to kill themselves, cayenne pepper may also damage the cancer cells’ membranes and limit their oxygen supply. And that cayenne pepper selectively targets cancer cells.

CAYENNE PEPPER DOSE

What’s the ideal amount of cayenne pepper needed to combat cancer? According to herbal specialist Vilhaelm Torvund, the recommended dose for all herbal supplements is as follows:

To treat acute medical conditions, take 500 mg four times daily;

To treat chronic medical conditions, take 1,000 mg four times daily;

To treat severely chronic or terminal medical conditions, take 1,000 mg eight times daily.

Therefore if you have cancer, you should take 1,000 mg of cayenne pepper capsules eight times daily. If this is inconvenient, you can instead take 2,000 mg four times daily.

If you experience stomach irritation while taking 2,000 mg of cayenne pepper capsules four times daily, then you should instead take 1,000 mg eight times daily.

On starting a cayenne regimen, you’ll probably experience some diarrhea. Once your body becomes acclimated to the cayenne, you’ll no longer experience the diarrhea.

I buy my bottle of cayenne pepper from the retail store Rite Aid. They sell a high-quality brand made by GNC. It’s important to buy high-quality cayenne pepper, because the low-quality ones may contain harmful impurities.

My only other suggestion is to take cayenne pepper capsules with food and beverages to reduce any possible side effects.

CAYENNE PEPPER INTERACTIONS

Cayenne pepper capsules may interact with certain prescription drugs. For example, cayenne may increase the effects of warfarin (Coumadin), increasing the risk of bleeding. Also, cayenne may increase the absorption rate of prescription drugs in general.

Cayenne pepper capsules may interact with a certain medical condition. Don’t take cayenne if you’re allergic to cayenne peppers. Possible allergic reactions are difficulty breathing, throat closure, facial swelling, and hives.

It’s wise to take cayenne pepper capsules under your doctor’s supervision.

SUMMARY

Individually, vitamin D, tomato-broccoli combinations, and cayenne pepper have strong anticancer effects – but together, they slap the toughest cancer into submission! Taking vitamin D and cayenne pepper supplements, and eating tomatoes and broccoli can be called the DTBC (D vitamin, tomato-broccoli, and cayenne) plan.

The DTBC (D vitamin, tomato-broccoli, and cayenne) plan consists of doing the following:

#1: Take 10,000-20,000 IU of vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) tablets daily.

#2: Take 2,000 mg of cayenne pepper capsules four times daily with food and beverages.

#3: Include both tomatoes and broccoli in your meals. The more you do this, the better.

#4: Use the DTBC plan under your doctor’s supervision.

#5: Use the DTBC plan with your cancer therapy (e.g., radiation, chemo, or surgical therapy).

P.S. If you’ve never had cancer, are healthy, but want to prevent cancer, you can use the DTBC plan. Nevertheless, there’s no need for you to take more than 10,000 IU of vitamin D3 daily or more than 1,000 mg of cayenne pepper four times daily.

A Peculiar Discovery: Delving deeper, I discovered that not only does the DTBC plan cure cancer, but it also cures heart disease and obesity. Perhaps cancer, heart disease, and obesity are somehow connected.

Common Sense: If you use the DTBC plan to cure your heart disease or obesity, you should do so under your doctor’s supervision.

Natural Hay Fever Treatments And Prevention Individuals Need To Know

There are individuals who are experiencing health issues that affect their performance such as allergies. Allergy is a reaction by the immune system due to hypersensitivity. Unfortunately, simple allergies may turn into diseases like food allergies, atopic dermatitis, allergic asthma, anaphylaxis and hay fever.

As of now, hay fever is one of the most popular diseases individuals encounter that causes symptoms such as:

  • Runny nose
  • Itchy eyes, mouth or skin
  • Sneezing
  • Stuffy nose due to blockage or congestion
  • Fatigue

This is mostly experienced due to several factors like:

  • Outdoor allergens, such as pollens from grass, trees and weeds.
  • Indoor allergens, such as pet hair or dander, dust mites and mold.
  • Irritants, such as cigarette smoke, perfume and diesel exhaust.

Surely, individuals can find medications that can help them prevent such issue. However, some individuals are still looking for natural treatments. Luckily, there are now natural hay fever treatments and preventions individuals can do. Below are some of the following.

Treatments

Herbs – One of the best options individuals can do to prevent hay fever naturally is to make use of herbs. Herbs like Chamomile, Ginger, Green Tea, Peppermint and Butterbur can healthily help individuals prevent hay fever. For instance, Butterbur can help reduce inflammation. Not to mention, Butterbur also blocks histamines and leukotrienes. Plus, health experts claim that Butterbur can help relive sneezing, itchy eyes, sinus congestion and headaches.

Steaming – In case that you want an easier option, individuals can also try steaming. Steaming produces excellent results to break up congestion. By adding Eucalyptus oil, steaming technique can become more effective.

Omega-3 fatty acids – Consuming food items with omega-3 fatty acids can also help get rid of hay fever. This is possible since it can help lower the amounts of inflammatory chemicals produced by the body after exposure to an allergen.

Positive Association Technique – Finally, individuals can also opt for Positive Association Technique (PAT). PAT is a natural allergy treatment that aims to reduce the symptoms of allergies, sensitivities and intolerances. Other benefits of this treatment are:

  • Draws on acupressure and kinesiology techniques.
  • Aims to re-train your body.
  • May reduce your reactions to substances that may be causing or exacerbating your hay fever symptoms.

Preventions

In order to make treatments more effective, it is also important for individuals to know preventative methods. These include the following:

  • Keep windows closed during high pollen periods; use air conditioning in your home and car.
  • Wear glasses or sunglasses when outdoors to keep pollen out of your eyes.
  • Use "mite-proof" bedding covers to limit exposure to dust mites and a dehumidifier to control mold.
  • Wash your hands after petting any animal and have a non-allergic person help with pet grooming, preferably in a well-ventilated area or outside.

Knowing all these will allow individuals to treat and prevent hay fever, which can help them improve their health and lifestyle. Click here for more.

How to Age Gracefully – Reverse the Visual Signs of Aging with Proper Skin Care

Aging may be a part of life, but it's not always fun as shadows, lines, age spots, uneven pigmentation, and dark circles begin to appear. As we age, the skin loses collagen, a key structural element, and begins to sag into lines and wrinkles. Elasticity decrees, and the texture of the skin is marred by acne scars, sun spots, and other blemishes. Environmental damage, caused by sun exposure and pollution, can also take a toll on your appearance.

Although aging is still inevitable, you can avoid or reverse many of the visual signs of aging. Many people undergo surgeries such as facelifts and brow lifts. Others opt for using an effective skin care treatment. If you have started to see signs of aging, or want to stop them before they start, take a close look at your skin care regimen. To protect your skin from damage, stay out of the sun, always wear sunscreen, and protect it with quality anti-aging skin care products. Using the right products can maintain and improve the health of your skin.

If you have already started to notice signs of aging, begin a skin-care regimen to turn back the clock. If you have not yet seen signs of aging, start using quality skin care products at a reliably early age, to prevent a lot of age related skin damage from occurring in the first place. Such products can protect your skin before free radicals have a chance to affect skin tone and cause wrinkles.

Any good skin care regimen must contain elements for prevention, protection, and correction of skin damage. In the last few years, there have been significant advances in anti-aging skin care products. Today's cutting-edge formulations include physician grade products with proven results. The best skin care lines contain active ingredients that have been proven effective at preventing damage or restoring the skin.

Look and feel your best with SkinCeuticals and SkinMedica. Advanced lines like these can prevent further damage, protect your healthy skin, and correct existing skin conditions. These products use pure, pharmaceutical-grade ingredients backed by scientific research. Some of the powerful ingredients contained in such products include:

– Vitamin C, an important antioxidant, protects your skin from damage while maintaining collagen levels
– Vitamin E, another antioxidant, improves the softness and smoothness
– Vitamin A reduces the appearance of wrinkles while building up collagen
– Alpha Hydroxy acids smooth fine lines and wrinkles
– Glycolic acid helps to smooth the skin while improving collagen levels
– TNS, a blend of collagen, antioxidants, and proteins. This tissue-repairing complex can reverse damage, leaving you with skin that is softer and younger-looking
– Hyaluronic acid, or HA, is found in the body's cartilage, blood vessels, and joint fluid. When used in a skin care product, HA moisturizes skin from the inside out, smoothing wrinkles by filling out the skin.

These restorative ingredients work below the surface of the skin, helping the body to repair damage. Good skin care means more than achieving youthful, radiant-looking skin. By replenishing your body's own nutrients, these products may even prevent skin cancer and other serious skin conditions.