January 24, 2017

Top 5 Health Benefits of Gelatin

Why You Want to Eat More Of It

Even though my parents were farmers and raised cattle, chicken and large gardens, the only “salad” I knew growing up was Jell-O with canned fruit. In the Midwest they have a lovely tradition of calling Jell-O desserts salads. My favorite was orange flavored Jell-O with canned mandarin oranges! Yum!

Sure, an occasional lettuce salad harvested from the garden appeared on our dinner table during the summer. But usually we set the table with our meat and potatoes, bread and “salad” – from a Jell-O mold.

Rounded nutrition it was not, but it turns out that gelatin – the base composition of Jell-O – can compensate for what you might be missing nutritionally. Yes, jello can be health food!

Anyone who has roasted a chicken (beef or pork) for dinner has seen beautiful glistening juices coagulating on the edge. This is gelatin, a cooked form of collagen. It is made by cooking down the bones, connective tissues and hides of animals, which are all rich in collagen.

Collagen is a protein from the connective tissues of animals that gives our skin its elasticity. Two amino acids compose collagen: glycine and proline. Your body cannot make enough of these amino acids on its own, especially as you get older. These amino acids are needed not only for proper skin, hair and nail growth but for optimal immune function and weight regulation.

Glycine has anti-inflammatory properties, speeds wound healing and even improves ease of falling asleep and sleep quality.

The brand Jell-O contains gelatin, but it also consists of colorings, sweeteners and/or sugar, as well as other flavorings. My not so favorite Jell-O “salad” growing up was lime flavored with carrot shreds, creating a cascading orange waterfall over and under a green mountain glob. Was my Mom trying to trick me into believing this green salad monster was nutritious?

5 benefits of gelatin But good old fashion gelatin is one of the healthiest foods you can eat and has many benefits, including:

  • Reducing wrinkles
  • Healing joints
  • Building stronger bones
  • Losing weight
  • Restoring the gut

Before you run off to re-create memories of eating strawberry Jell-O with bananas, let me quickly describe some of these specific ways pure gelatin can benefit your body.

Benefits of Gelatin

Gelatin for Wrinkles 

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Do Adult Vaccines Protect From Illness?

Sixteen Adult Vaccines Risk vs. Benefits

by Dr. Scott Saunders

There is nothing on Earth more controversial than vaccines. Ever since that historic day in May 1796 when Edward Jenner gave a young girl the first vaccine, the cowpox virus that prevented her from getting smallpox, entire populations have been polarized over the use of vaccines. Few have not taken sides. Some say vaccines are the cause of illnesses of all types: autism, neuropathy, asthma, and so forth. While others say they do no harm at all and only help prevent disease. The debate is even more heated when the government forces people to get vaccines they don’t want.

The use of vaccines to prevent illness got a slow start. Louis Pasteur was born about the time Edward Jenner died. It wasn’t until 1885 that Pasteur vaccinated a 9 year old boy bitten by a rabid dog with the first rabies vaccination. Since that time, many new vaccines have been developed to protect people from multiple illnesses.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention currently recommends 49 doses of 14 different vaccines before the age of six. This does not include other vaccinations that are available for travel to other countries.

At this time, the medical evidence should tilt the balance of the debate towards the government allowing parents and individuals to make their own decisions and those for their children.

The fact is there are risks to vaccinations. It’s important to be informed of these in order to make a decision. The big question on everybody’s lips is: “Which vaccines should I get, and when?”

It’s hard to know whom to trust when manufacturers use government to force vaccines on the entire population. Today, it seems that the public health establishment is obsessed with developing vaccines against every conceivable microorganism, and these government programs are bent to include everyone, every child, and every infant in the immunization loop.

Herd Immunity

In California, and now all over the United States, representatives of those who sell vaccines are talking about a concept called “herd immunity.” This is the theory that if a certain percentage of the population has vaccinations, then they won’t spread the illness, and the whole society is protected.

Literature from those who market vaccines to the public often state that if most of a population are immune to a disease, then it protects those who aren’t vaccinated. This causes peer-pressure to get vaccinated. As a result, schools, friends, and neighbors may not allow unvaccinated children around, believing that they could pass diseases. This theory, however, has been disproved. Russell Blaylock, MD, a neurosurgeon, explains the situation.[1]

“When I was in medical school, we were taught that all of the childhood vaccines lasted a lifetime. This thinking existed for over 70 years. It was not until relatively recently that it was discovered that most of these vaccines lost their effectiveness 2 to 10 years after being given. What this means is that at least half the population, that is the baby boomers, have had no vaccine-induced immunity against any of these diseases for which they had been vaccinated very early in life. In essence, at least 50% or more of the population was unprotected for decades.

If we listen to present-day wisdom, we are all at risk of resurgent massive epidemics should the vaccination rate fall below 95%. Yet, we have all lived for at least 30 to 40 years with 50% or less of the population having vaccine protection. That is, herd immunity has not existed in this country for many decades and no resurgent epidemics have occurred. Vaccine-induced herd immunity is a lie used to frighten doctors, public-health officials, other medical personnel, and the public into accepting vaccinations.”

Herd immunity is a myth that won’t go away because it is the only way to justify forced vaccination for an entire population.

Natural Vaccination

The creation of a vaccine may also induce the need for it. The chickenpox vaccine nicely illustrates the difference between natural immunity and vaccine immunity.

When I was a child, my friend Tony down the street got the chickenpox and my mom brought us over to play with him. We didn’t usually play at Tony’s house. I thought it was funny that other children of the neighborhood came over as well. It was like a party! That was the only time I went inside his house. Within a few days, I also had red spots, and itching. I remember crying because my mom told me not to scratch. Obviously, I wasn’t very obedient because I still have a scar on my face.

Immunity wanes over time, whether you get the chickenpox or you get the vaccine. However, when children get chickenpox, the adults around them get “vaccinated” by exposure, giving them a natural booster. These periodic “re-vaccinations” throughout life from children and grandchildren keep up the immunity of most of the population. So, a single childhood illness provides “lifetime immunity.”

Now, however, children are vaccinated against chickenpox. Thus, the adults around them don’t have any natural booster for their own immunity. As a result, the rate of shingles, a secondary type of chickenpox, has skyrocketed in recent years.

The vaccine manufacturer has conveniently created the need for a shingles vaccine, which is the exact same thing as the chickenpox vaccine, only 100 times stronger.

Achieving Herd Immunity

Early Illness Decline NOT with vaccinesThe ability for a vaccine to provide protection against an illness depends on how it stimulates the immune system to react. We look at antibody levels, but now know that most viral illnesses are intracellular – they infect inside the cells. So, viruses are controlled through the innate, or cellular immune system, including macrophages and NK (natural killer) cells. This is why antibodies may not be protective. Thus, a vaccine that stimulates the body to produce antibodies against a virus may not actually be effective at preventing disease.

Besides this, there are really several reasons for outbreaks of diseases in populations that have been “fully vaccinated” against them.

  • Many don’t respond to the vaccine
  • Antibodies decline rapidly in some
  • “Booster” vaccinations don’t always cause more antibodies

All these factors combined, approximately 50% of people are protected following a vaccine, depending on the illness. This explains why nobody has ever achieved the 95% threshold that is theoretically needed to achieve “herd immunity” that prevents outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases.

Vaccine Effectiveness

There has always been a question of the effect vaccines have had on the rates of disease. We are told that vaccines have been the cause of a drop in rates of infections in the world population. Actually, there is probably a modest effect at best, as illustrated by the following graph, which gives us the big picture of multiple infectious diseases.

Vaccine Effectivenss

We can see that these common illnesses were declining throughout the early part of the 20th century, whether they had a vaccine or not. This is attributable to multiple factors including:

Thus, an effective vaccine in 1900 meant a lot more to a population than it does since 1950.

Adult Vaccine Risks vs. Benefits

Now, with all of this information, are you ready to make decisions on which vaccines to get, and when? Probably not. Does this mean that vaccines are not useful? Not at all!

In my office we have a travel clinic where we carry most vaccines, even ones that other doctors never see such as Japanese Encephalitis and Yellow Fever. Because of this, I need to know which vaccines are appropriate for each person and pass this information to inform my patients on which they desire.

Here I will provide you the significant risk of complications – and benefits if present – of each adult vaccine. You should have a choice in what substances are injected into your body – at any age. And, to be perfectly clear, it should be the government’s job to protect that choice – not take it away! Don’t let a physician push any immunization on you to comply with the CDC’s recommendation for adult vaccination before you know the risks! Here is what to expect.

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How Regular Exercise Can Prevent Kidney Disease

Have you ever started vacuuming the carpet only to realize that the vacuum cleaner wasn’t picking up anything? Then you noticed that the motor is laboring more intensely than usual. Chances are the filter was clogged and the bag or reservoir was full.

Your kidneys perform a similar, but infinitely more complex and important job in your body. Each kidney contains about a million filtering components called nephrons. By means of the nephrons, your kidneys filter the waste materials out of your blood eliminating them from the body. Your kidneys help keep the electrolytes stable, and produce important hormones that regulate blood pressure, make red blood cells and keep your bones strong.[1]

regular exercise prevents kidney diseaseSigns and Symptoms of Kidney Disease

Now, imagine what happens if your kidneys are no longer functioning properly. Waste materials continue to circulate in the bloodstream causing other health problems throughout the body. Your electrolytes get off kilter, your blood pressure rises, and your hormones are out of balance. Like that clogged vacuum cleaner, your heart is working harder, but accomplishing less. In short, your body ceases to work properly. This situation describes Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD).[2]

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that 10% of adults in the US may have CKD.[3] Some of the signs and symptoms of CKD include:[4]

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Sleep issues
  • Changes in urine output
  • Decreased mental sharpness
  • Muscle twitches and cramps
  • Hiccups
  • Swelling of feet and ankles
  • Persistent itching
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • High blood pressure

Clearly, those symptoms represent a lifestyle far removed from good health!

Improve Your Kidneys with Exercise

But here’s the great news! Regular exercise can help prevent CKD and improve CKD if you already have it, even if it has progressed to the point that you’re on dialysis.[5] Logically this makes sense since exercise is the enemy of all the risk factors for CKD. But let’s take a closer look at how regular exercise benefits your kidneys:[6], [7]

  • Lowers blood sugar, retarding or preventing neuropathy and kidney failure
  • Improves blood circulation and gets things moving through your kidneys
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Helps you lose weight if overweight
  • Lowers cholesterol
  • Strengthens the heart and other muscles
  • Assists in sleeping better
  • Provides more energy to perform normal, everyday functions
  • Sharpens your memory
  • Reduces depression and anxiety
  • Improves quality of life

In one way or another, each of those benefits translates to healthier kidneys and a healthier you.

I’m too tired to get up, how can I exercise?

It’s true, CKD does sap you of energy, so how can you muster the vim and vigor needed to exercise? Clearly, CKD impacts your life in many significant ways, and it used to be that patients with CKD were prescribed bedrest.

However, numerous recent studies have demonstrated the powerful impact that regular exercise can have on the kidneys. These human studies have included healthy individuals, those with CKD but are not yet on dialysis, and those who are already on dialysis.[8], [9], [10], [11]

Depending on your current physical condition and the recommendation of your doctor, starting out slowly and building up with aerobic exercise should increase your energy and stamina. Getting started is that catch-22, because you may not feel like you can. For many this may be an issue of mind over matter.

6 Tips for Getting Started on an Exercise Program

Before you begin, talk to your doctor. Your doctor knows your specific situation and can recommend a course of action for implementing an exercise plan that’s right for you. However, below are some general tips for establishing an exercise routine.

1. Choose an aerobic exercise that you can enjoy and participate in regularly.

Aerobic exercises include: walking, biking, running, hiking, cross-country skiing, snow-shoeing, swimming, rowing or using equipment that simulates these activities. For many with CKD, walking can be an ideal aerobic exercise, because it’s low impact, you can do it indoors or outside, participate with others, and go at your own pace.[12]

2. Begin with a goal of 30 minutes, 3 times per week.

Many people think that housework or getting up off the coach to go to the refrigerator constitutes a workout! Not so! An exercise becomes aerobic when your heartrate is elevated over an extended period of time (e.g., 30 minutes). This elevated heartrate and oxygen intake is necessary to achieve the desired benefits.

Also, once or twice a week won’t achieve the results you’re looking for. That’s why experts recommend a minimum of 3 times per week, skipping a day or two between workouts.[13] Once your exercise routine is regular, you will probably look forward to your workouts and have more energy to keep them a regular part of your life. It’s not necessary to limit yourself to 30 minutes and 3 times a week, if you wish to exercise longer and more frequently.

3. Exercise with the right equipment.

Invest in a good pair of walking shoes or other clothing to make your activity enjoyable and safe. Before you go out and purchase an expensive piece of exercise equipment, make sure you’ll actually use it and that it works properly.

4. Perform a warm-up before and a cool-down after you exercise.

Gentle stretching before and after exercising is a vital part of a good exercise routine and can prevent cramps or straining a muscle. Stretch the primary muscles you use during that exercise. Never bounce a stretch or force it to the point of pain.

Here are some suggestions for warm-up:

  1. Arms: Stand as straight as possible and reach both hands as high as you can. Stretch them even higher and wiggle all ten fingers as you continue to reach and stretch. Now bring your left hand over onto your right shoulder and cup your left elbow with your right hand. Apply gentle, even pressure to stretch those muscles. Then repeat the same thing with your other arm. Finally, lift your hands over your head and place them crossed with your palms against your back shoulder blades. In that position, stretch your elbows back.
  2. Calves, hamstrings and back: Stand an arm’s length from a solid wall and lean against the wall with your arms. Continue leaning against the wall and take one stride back with both feet and feel your calf and hamstring muscles stretch. Now, still in this position, slowly go up on your toes with each foot, one at a time and repeat a couple times. Finally, step away from the wall, stand up as straight as you can and slowly run your hands down your legs and touch your toes. Hold that position for several seconds and then slowly stand back up.
  3. Thighs: Stand straight and place your left hand on a countertop or wall to help you balance. Now bend your right leg and bring your right foot up behind you until you can grab that ankle with your right hand. Slowly stretch that leg as far as you can by pulling up. Hold that pose for a few seconds and then repeat with your left leg and hand.

5. Stay hydrated while you exercise.

Exercise often prompts us to take in the water we should be drinking and this too helps our kidneys. However, if you are on dialysis, speak with your doctor and stay within the prescribed limits of fluid intake.[14] Those suffering with CKD need to limit their intake of potassium and phosphorus, so be sure to check labels on bottled water or sports drinks to see whether they’ve added these minerals.

6. Use a smart-phone app or activity tracking device.

Many people find these nifty little devices and applications extremely helpful and motivating.

  • Endomondo is a free phone app that utilizes GPS technology to track your mileage, speed, incline and other interesting data.
  • The Fitbit is a very small electronic device that tracks similar information.
  • There are other products and apps on the market as well that help regulate your exercise and energy.

Just like that clogged vacuum that no longer works properly, we need to clean the filter to get it functioning properly again. That’s what physical exercise does for your kidneys. In fact, physical exercise is beneficial to overall health and wellbeing. If you’re not already in a regular exercise program, what’s holding you back? Don’t put it off any longer! Exercise for good health!

If you liked this article, then you’ll love these:

 

Rob_Fischer

Rob Fischer has been writing professionally for over 35 years. His experience includes writing curricula, study guides, articles, blogs, newsletters, manuals, workbooks, training courses, workshops, and books. Rob has written for numerous churches, for Burlington Northern Railroad, Kaiser Aluminum, and Barton Publishing. He has also trained managers in effective business writing. Rob holds two Master’s degrees, both focused heavily on writing. Rob has published eleven books and serves as an editor and ghostwriter for other authors.

 

Sources:
[1] National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse, “The Kidneys and How They Work,” May 21, 2014, http://kidney.niddk.nih.gov/kudiseases/pubs/yourkidneys/.
[2] CDC, “Protect Your Kidneys,” nd, http://www.cdc.gov/Features/WorldKidneyDay/.
[3] CDC, “National Chronic Kidney Disease Fact Sheet, 2014,” http://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/pubs/pdf/kidney_factsheet.pdf.
[4] Mayo Clinic, “Chronic Kidney Disease Symptoms,” January 30, 2015, http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/kidney-disease/basics/symptoms/con-20026778.
[5] Medical News Today, “Health of Chronic Kidney Disease Patients Improved by Regular Physical Activity,” October 6, 2011, http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/235597.php.
[6] DaVita, “Exercise for People with Chronic Kidney Disease,” nd, http://www.davita.com/kidney-disease/overview/living-with-ckd/exercise-for-people-with-chronic-kidney-disease/e/4931.
[7] Medical News Today.
[8] Science Daily.
[9] K.L. Johansen, “Exercise and Chronic Kidney Disease: Current Recommendations,” PubMed, 2005, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15974634.
[10] Kirsten L. Johansen, MD, Patricia Painter, PhD, “Exercise in Individuals with CKD,” Medscape, 2012, http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/756303_2.
[11] Nephrology News, “Physical Fitness Level Affects Kidney Function in Type 2 Diabetes Patients,” June 25, 2014, http://www.nephrologynews.com/articles/110295-physical-fitness-level-affects-kidney-function-in-type-2-diabetes-patients.
[12] DaVita, “Walking: An Ideal Exercise for People with Kidney Disease,” nd, http://www.davita.com/kidney-disease/overview/living-with-ckd/walking:-an-ideal-exercise-for-people-with-kidney-disease/e/7573.
[13] DaVita, “Walking: An Ideal Exercise for People with Kidney Disease.”
[14] DaVita, “Walking: An Ideal Exercise for People with Kidney Disease.”

Top 10 Essential Oils

 

The use of essential oils is based in a practice called aromatherapy. Aromatherapy uses volatile (quick to evaporate) aromatic plant oils to bring about spiritual, emotional and physical well-being. Essential oils provide healing in many ways including:

  • Strengthening the immune system
  • Penetrating cell walls to deliver nutrients and oxygen
  • Neutralizing free radicals with antioxidant properties
  • Killing bacteria, viruses and fungi[1]
  • Detoxifying cells in the body
  • Passing the blood-brain barrier to treat neurological issues
  • Increasing ozone and negative ions in the air
  • Raising the frequency of the human body. This fights disease and brings balance the physical, emotional, and spiritual health.[2]
  • Acting on the central nervous system. Oils can relieve depression, anxiety, and stress and also bring focus and alertness.
  • Bringing relief to pain and inflammation

Essential oils are not the same as fragrance or perfume. They are naturally potent medicines with constituents based in chemistry. Made of hydrocarbons and oxygenated compounds, essential oils have the potential to be as powerful as pharmaceutical drugs. This is why safely using these powerful and effective oils is so important!

There are three primary and safe methods of essential oil use:

  • Inhalation
  • Topical
  • Internal

Inhalation of Essential Oils

The inhalation of oils is most effective on the central nervous system. When inhaling essential oils, the volatile molecules become a vapor. This vapor travels to the top of the nasal cavity and meet the olfactory mucous membrane. The olfactory membrane has thousands of sensory receptors to:

  • Identify the smell.
  • Convert the smell to an electrical charge.
  • Send the frequency to the olfactory bulb.

Inhaling Essential Oils CanThe olfactory bulb then sends those charged impulses to different parts of the brain, including the limbic system.

The limbic system includes parts of the brain that control emotional and psychological responses. Once the charge reaches the limbic region, it stimulates the hypothalamus and continues to the autonomic nervous system or pituitary gland. Once the charge reaches the autonomic nervous system, it can affect body functions such as heart rate and digestion. Its effects on the pituitary gland can initiate hormonal activity in the body.

Through the process of inhalation, essential oils have the capacity to:

  • Heal emotional trauma
  • Stimulate memory
  • Enhance focus and learning
  • Decrease stress levels
  • Balance hormones
  • And much more!

The entire process from inhalation to response from the brain takes place in a matter of seconds![3] The oils also reach the bloodstream during inhalation via the nasal mucosa and the alveoli in the lungs. Certain oils, eucalyptus for example, can also have a direct effect on the lungs.

When inhaled, eucalyptus acts as a natural anti-inflammatory and expectorant. Click to Tweet.

Inhalation can be performed using an essential oil diffuser or an inhaler. Another way that essential oils enter the body is inhalation through the nose or mouth. Diffusers are also an excellent way:

  • To neutralize odors
  • Kill airborne bacteria and viruses
  • Increase ozone in the air

I recommend using ultrasonic diffusers. They are the most effective at creating a fine mist of aromatic molecules. This inexpensive diffuser from NOW is a great introductory diffuser for a great price!

Applying diluted essential oil to the skin through a body oil or lotion is also a great way to incorporate the benefits of both inhalation and topical application.

Topical Use of Essential Oils

Topical application quickly gets the oils into the bloodstream by bypassing the digestive system. When applied to the skin, essential oil molecules pass through dermis of the skin, into the capillaries and then into the bloodstream.

Essential oils can be quickly absorbed through the feet. The feet contain bundles of nerve endings. These nerve endings act as neuroelectrical pathways to different organs throughout the body. Applying oils to the corresponding points on the feet allows healing to reach the particular affected organ.

For example, if you are nauseous, then apply peppermint to the stomach and intestinal locations on the feet.

To induce sleep and relax your mind, apply lavender to the brain’s location on the big toe. Click to Tweet.

Applying certain essential oils, such as peppermint, close to the chest or face of a small child is strongly discouraged due to risk of bronchospasm. Applying essential oils (always diluted) to their feet instead is a great, safer way for small children to get the topical benefits of essential oils.

Foot reflexology chart description

Using a reflexology or vita flex chart gives you a visual mapping of where to apply the oils on the feet to treat a particular organ. Other great application points are:

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The Problem with Cancer Screening

by Dr. Scott Saunders, M.D.

Cancer testing is a large part of a doctor’s business.  We have been told that if we find cancer early, and cut it out, burn it with radiation, or poison it with chemotherapy, we can make a bigger difference.

While there is a lot of debate over this issue, we still continue to try to detect cancer early – or before it even starts.  I’m going to focus on the most common cancer screening tools, the ones you’ve all heard about, and that you were told you should do – or else!  These include:

  1. Mammograms
  2. Colonoscopy
  3. PSA testing
  4. PAP smears

I started studying cancer screening over ten years ago when I had a patient with an inexplicable case of cancer.  Because there were many cases in her family, Cecilia was always afraid of getting cancer and did all she could to prevent it by eating all organic and exercising regularly.  She even got all her cancer screening tests, PAP smears, annual mammograms and a colonoscopy at age 50.

One day, she came in to see me with a lump in her left breast.  It was large, a couple of centimeters, and not tender.  I looked at the mammogram report done only a few months before and it was negative for any signs of malignancy.  I reassured her that it was probably a cyst, but we would send her for an ultrasound to be sure.  A biopsy was done, it was cancer and, in spite of all the treatments, she died just over a year later.

Since I had known Cecilia for years and knew she was diligent in her health care, I was shaken by her death.  I wondered how we could have missed such a large tumor.  How could the mammogram have missed it only months before?  I asked the radiologist to review it, and he found no evidence of any mass in that exact location at that time.  So, I started doing some real research on the test itself, and was shocked by what I found!  Not only were mammograms questionable, but most of the cancer screening tests did more harm than good!

Mammography

A mammogram is an x-ray, and x-rays don’t distinguish the difference between normal tissue and cancer.  Instead, the radiologist looks for tiny calcium deposits that indicate there is some inflammation in the tissue.  The problem is that calcium deposits happen with any kind of inflammation, and are not specific to cancer.  Thus, many women who don’t have cancer are told they do, and the aggressive real cancers are missed; like in Cecilia, because they don’t form calcium deposits.[i]  The newer mammograms are better able to distinguish tissues with less radiation, however the problems with screening persist.

The primary problem with mammograms is that they don’t decrease mortality, at all.  In the long-term studies, including the Canadian study[ii] and the Oslo study (noted above) after 25 years and 14 years, respectively, the incidence of mortality from breast cancer remained the same – in spite of finding more cancer.

The Canadian Study showed that 22% of the women who were treated for cancer didn’t even have cancer! Or, they would not have died from it if they did.

Thus, the statistics of women having a mammogram and getting “cured” of cancer with chemotherapy and radiation may only represent those women who never had it in the first place! Click to Tweet.

The eight major long-term studies have been reviewed extensively.  The most detailed study of all of them, the 2011 Cochrane Review[iii], said:

“Screening is likely to reduce breast cancer mortality. As the effect was lowest in the adequately randomized trials, a reasonable estimate is a 15% reduction corresponding to an absolute risk reduction of 0.05%. Screening led to 30% over-diagnosis and overtreatment, or an absolute risk increase of 0.5%. It is thus not clear whether screening [mammography] does more good than harm.”

In short: The risk (0.5%) is greater than the benefit (0.05%) by TEN TIMES!  In other words, you are ten times more likely to end up with treatment for a cancer you didn’t have, than to prolong your life span by finding and treating a tumor earlier.

What do I do to screen for breast cancer?

Other screening tests for breast cancer have similar problems… and that is finding something that gets treatment, but would not have become life-threatening if left alone.  One of my patients wanted MRI screening tests because she was afraid of the radiation (there is about a 1/5000 risk) from a mammogram, and didn’t want her breasts pinched in the machine.  A mass was found, and biopsy showed it was an Interductal Carcinoma In-Situ, and she was told she needed surgical removal, radiation, and chemotherapy.  She opted-out of treatment, and she is still fine – with her mass that continues to grow – twelve years later.  She would have been considered a “cure” if she had been treated.

5 ways to prevent breast cancerWhether you use MRI, ultrasound, mammogram, or thermogram, you must consider what you will do once you find a bump!  Do you wait?  Do you treat aggressively?  Unfortunately, we have more questions than answers.  Judging by the numbers in the Cochrane study above, I might opt out of screening for this one.  Instead, I would do my best to prevent breast cancer from forming in the first place: [am4show guest_error=’noaccess’]

  1. Breast feed the baby
  2. Vitamin D3 – 50,000 IU per week
  3. Iodine – 6.25mg per week
  4. Selenium – 200mcg per week
  5. Low-inflammation diet (no sugar) high in nutrients

Colonoscopy

You enter the GI doctors’ office, having been up all night with diarrhea to clean out your bowels.  They give you sedation to ease the pain.  You climb into the upside-down chair and hear gloves snap as the doctor inserts a long scope into…

OK.  Is this good?  It’s not comfortable, but is it worth the pain?  Let’s look at the risks and benefits.

The biggest risk of colonoscopy are related to perforation – or puncturing a hole – in the colon.  Other risks are bleeding, Dysbiosis (bad bacteria growing back), and inflammation.  A hole in the wall of the colon allows stool to get into the abdomen, causing infection, and sometimes death.  These happen most often in the elderly, and those who are disabled.  It happens between 2 in a thousand and 5 in a hundred, depending on the study and the one who performs the procedure.[iv]

The risk of death from colonoscopy is not small: 1/3,000 to 1/30,000 depending on the study and circumstances.[v] risk of death from colon cancer in the United States is around 1/10,000.[vi]  Thus, the risk of complications from colonoscopy is on the same level as the risk of death from the cancer.

It’s very hard to interpret the studies on colonoscopy because they are done for so many different reasons.  The statistics seem to indicate that there are as many as 50% fewer advanced cancers diagnosed if you get a screening test; however, the death rate doesn’t change very much.[vii]

5 ways to prevent colon cancerSo, this test has a different problem than the mammogram, it is risky; you can have significant harm or death – this risk must be weighed against the benefits.  The benefits of finding cancers is useful if they can be removed and by so doing prevent problems.  But, don’t think it will prevent you from dying of this dreaded disease.

I would weigh the risks and benefits.  I would not personally do a screening test unless there was some reason to do so, such as blood in the stool, or a family history, or inflammatory bowel disease.  I would work on colon cancer prevention instead:

  1. Eat vegetables every day
  2. Avoid corn, soy, and canola oil
  3. Avoid sugar
  4. Vitamin D3 – 50,000 IU per week
  5. Selenium – eat a few brazil nuts every week

PSA testing

Last week, my brother went through his second biopsy of the prostate gland.  He didn’t want to do it, but the doctor said he must to determine if there is any cancer in there.  You see, he had a PSA test, which was elevated, so he was sent to a urologist for further evaluation.  The urologist had nothing else to do, so he did a biopsy, which was negative.  Now, this requires follow-up, just because someone thought of it.  So, my brother repeats the PSA, and it’s still high so he suffers 12 more needles in his prostate (the Spanish Inquisition should have thought of this!).

Medicare quit paying for the PSA screening test because it causes a lot of procedures for no benefit.  What was found in multiple studies was essentially the same problem as the mammogram, but on STEROIDS!

PSA screening helps to find TEN TIMES more prostate cancer, but death from prostate cancer doesn’t change.  Click to Tweet.

So, we’re finding it, radiating it, surgically removing prostates and giving all sorts of poisons, but the overall rate of death remains the same.[viii]

In this case, we even have several studies to indicate that treatment may do more harm than good, as noted in the NIH Consensus Paper on the subject:

“More than half of cancers detected with PSA screening are localized (confined to the prostate), not aggressive at diagnosis, and unlikely to become life-threatening. However, 90 percent of patients receive immediate treatment for prostate cancer, such as surgery or radiation therapy. In many patients, these treatments have substantial short- and long-term side effects without any clinical benefit. Appropriate management of screen-detected, early-stage, low-risk prostate cancer is an important public health issue given the number of men affected and the risk for adverse outcomes, such as diminished sexual function and loss of urinary control.”[ix]

5 ways to prevent prostate cancerThough the doctors recommend expensive and painful tests and treatments, they offer no benefit to the patients. In fact, they often do more harm than good.[x]

The PSA test is not a bad test as an indicator of prostate inflammation, generally.  The problem is that it has become associated with cancer, so if it is high everyone gets overly concerned about that and miss the real problem.  If we could instead look at the PSA as an indicator of prostate inflammation only, it might become a useful test.

Primary prevention of prostate cancer includes:

  1. Low-inflammation diet
  2. Zinc supplementation
  3. Lycopene (the red in tomatoes)
  4. Avoid corn and soy oils
  5. Eat fish, or fish oil weekly

PAP smears

The Papanicolau (PAP) Smear has much less controversy than the other screening tests.  All of the problems surrounding this test revolve around fine-tuning who should have it, when, and how often.  There is also an issue of adding on the HPV test for the virus that causes cervical cancer.

Though there has never been a randomized trial to evaluate this test, it has been shown in multiple populations to decrease the incidence of cervical cancer, as well as lowering the death rate.[xi]

Moreover, there is no risk to doing this test, besides the possibility of having an unnecessary procedure if it is wrong.  However, unlike the potentially deadly results of the other tests, colposcopy, biopsy, or even a surgical procedure carries little risk to the patient.

The only group that has greater risk from screening is those women under 24 years of age.  This is because the incidence of cervical cancer is so low, and because most who get HPV infection will clear it without developing cancer.  Thus, PAP smears are not recommended for women under 24.

The interval of screening could be anywhere from annually, for those who have high risk, to every 5 years for those who are at low risk.  Generally, women who have had three normal PAP tests and have a monogamous, or no, relationship I recommend every 5 year screening.  Those who have had a previous abnormal test and have a high-risk HPV test should be screened every year or two.  If there is a question, I recommend getting the HPV test along with it.  This virus is necessary, though not sufficient, to cause cervical cancer. The best way to prevent cervical cancer is to have a monogamous relationship with a single individual for life. Click to Tweet.

Conclusion

In short, I don’t recommend cancer screening tests, except the PAP smear.  I think primary prevention is the ideal, meaning preventing the cancer before it starts, and secondary prevention, meaning finding a cancer in an early stage to facilitate treatment, is not beneficial in the large majority of cases.

 

Dr. Scott SaundersDr. Scott D. Saunders, M.D. (Ask-an-MD) is a practicing physician, specializing in preventative health care, who utilizes eclectic health care for the whole family, including conventional, orthomolecular and natural medicine. He is also the medical director of The Integrative Medical Center of Santa Barbara in Lompoc, CA. He went to UCLA medical school and is board certified in family medicine. View natural remedies with Dr. Saunders at: http://drsaundersmd.com

 

 


[i] http://tidsskriftet.no/article/2220635/en_GB
[ii] http://www.bmj.com/content/348/bmj.g366
[iii] Gotzsche PC, Nielsen M. Screening for breast cancer with mammography. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2011;1:CD001877
[iv] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2811793/
[v] Common Questions about Colonoscopy. American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy. Nov. 2005. 13 Oct. 2006 [http://www.askasge.org/pages/procedures/colonoscopy/questions.cfm].
[vi] http://seer.cancer.gov/csr/1975_2009_pops09/
[vii] http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1301969
[viii] http://www.cdc.gov/cancer/prostate/statistics/index.htm
[ix] http://consensus.nih.gov/2011/prostate.htm
[x] http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1700496
[xi] http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/screening/cervical/HealthProfessional/page2

 

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Vitamins: Waste of Money or Nutritional Asset?

by Amanda Box

Are Vitamins Really a Waste of Money?  

An editorial published in the Annals of Internal Medicine say that yes, they in fact are a waste.  The editorial is titled, “Enough is Enough: Stop Wasting Money on Vitamins and Supplements.” This bold declaration is based on 3 studies that they believe “prove that vitamins and supplements have no health benefits and do not prevent disease or death.  In these studies, multivitamins were administered and studies were performed based on their ability to:

  • Prevent cancer and/or cardiovascular disease
  • Prevent a secondary heart attack
  • Increase cognitive function

First of all, I want to make it clear that I am not a fan of blanket statements. Frankly, I find this editorial to be one gigantic blanket statement that is chock full of holes.  Who is saying that a simple multivitamin to going to magically prevent chronic diseases like cancer or heart disease, or increase mental performance?  Outside of bold marketing schemes, anyone versed in nutrition knows that it is much more complicated than swallowing a daily vitamin.

The government itself has repeatedly made statements that the typical American diet lacks critical nutrients.  Even the public school system has been forced to make dietary changes to their meals in hopes of increasing nutrient consumption in children.  In a society starved of vitamins and minerals, claiming multivitamins are useless is nothing short of absurd!

Vitamins: Not a Magic Pill

If anyone is tired of the “magic pill” scheme, then it is I.  Nothing in the health industry irks me more than companies that push pills with promises of miraculous results.  

Whether it is for weight loss, cancer prevention, or just an overall sense of well-being, no pill alone will work. Click to Tweet.

Believing a pill will fix a problem is truly the lazy man’s path. It NEVER produces significant results and the results you may get don’t last.  Only a change in diet and exercise combined with the needed supplements can produce real lasting results!

Even in my distaste of the “magic pill” scheme, I’m a huge proponent of the use of safe supplements, including multivitamins!  I believe the average person does not and more accurately cannot get adequate nutrition from diet alone.  The only exception may be a person who eats natural, nutrient dense foods 99% of the time.  And honestly, that person is in a teeny-tiny minority.  Eating “perfect” is not practical or easy for most of us. I believe a quality multivitamin is a fantastic addition to a daily regime.  Multivitamins help to fill in the gaps where the foods we eat are lacking.

I’m not advocating an “Eat whatever you want… just take a multivitaminlifestyle. I believe that is ridiculous.  Healthy food choices are the absolute foundation to health and wellness.  However, even if you make healthy food choices, you could be lacking essential vitamins and minerals.

It’s not necessarily your fault that diet alone cannot provide all the necessary nutrition.  Most all food is now processed, pasteurized, or cooked leaving it lacking in nutrients.  Even declines in the nutrition of fresh fruits and vegetables have occurred due to depleted soil and genetically modified seeds.

For example, broccoli, a great vegetable source of calcium, contains 37% less calcium than it did 60 years ago!  Click to Tweet.

This is the sad reality in the food industry today.  Choosing organic, non-GMO, or locally sourced foods are great ways to consume higher nutrient levels.

Not All Vitamins are Created Equal

supplement results

I always recommend a quality multivitamin for everyone as a foundational part of maintaining health and wellness.  As I mentioned earlier, it is just too difficult to get everything you need from diet alone.  However, I do NOT believe that all vitamins are created equal.

The supplement industry is not a regulated industry.  The FDA and other organizations do not have jurisdiction over the natural products industry.  This, in reality, is a good thing as it is highly likely that if the FDA did have precedence over the supplement industry that most products would be pulled from the shelves and you would have to have prescriptions to purchase them.  Having the freedom to consume herbs, vitamins, minerals, and supplements of your choosing is a beautiful thing.

However, this leaves the integrity of the product up to the company that produces it.  And unfortunately, there are companies who are just out to make money, not to produce quality products.  Navigating through the hundreds of choices can be overwhelming!  If the label says Vitamin C, then knowing that it might not contain much or any vitamin C can be scary…and frankly quite frustrating!  So, how do you know that what you are buying is the real deal?

Visit a Health Food Store

If you haven’t already, then it’s time to take a trip to your nearest health food store. If you do not have a health food store nearby, then Home Cures That Work has an Amazon store full of products endorsed by the writers of this magazine. 

I’m in no way trying to encourage a snobbish attitude towards vitamins carried by your local pharmacy or retailer chain.  However, I have worked at several health food stores and also as a sales rep for several different supplement companies over the years.  These positions have given me insight into the companies that produce the supplements carried by most health food stores.  I believe, without a doubt, that these companies are far superior and worth the time and investment.  The employees of most health food stores are trained and passionate about the products in their store.  They can answer your questions and help point you towards a vitamin that fits your needs and budget!

Working in the health industry has allowed me to be trained in the production, quality standards, and differing formulas put out by many of these companies.  I can say, without hesitation, that their quality is above the standard of the mass produced cheap vitamins you’ll find almost anywhere.  Most of these companies refuse to put their products in big box chains or pharmacies.  They are serious about what they produce and pride themselves in creating supplements that give real results.  Results don’t come from fillers or contaminated materials.  Results come from supplements that:

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Spiritual RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance)

by Michael Tyrrell

The “New Year” is historically a time when people make resolutions that they rarely keep… This year, my “New Year Resolution” was not to make a resolution, but to instead start living a revolution because words are cheap and actions are priceless. I started 2014 not talking about losing weight, but actually shedding 14 pounds in 14 days! Later in this article, I will share with you how Michael got his groove back and became a lean clean fat loss machine. But, first, it’s time to unveil this month’s topic, “Vitamins and Supplements.”

If you are a subscriber to Home Cures That Work, then there is a good chance you are one of the millions of people who are health conscious and always on the lookout for natural alternatives to keep yourself and your family healthy year around. 

spiritual triangle

If you are currently taking multivitamins and/or supplements and have benefited from doing so, then you have probably noticed the recent “barrage” of tabloids purporting that vitamins and supplements are essentially useless and offer little if any health benefits, whatsoever! In fact, CBS, NBC and The Huffington Post have launched an all out smear campaign against natural supplements with inconclusive research based on little more than cherry picked demographics and hearsay.

Telling people who have revolutionized their health by using vitamins and supplements that they don’t work is akin to a person telling someone who is accomplishing a great feat that it can’t be done!

Here is the million-dollar question… Who can you think of that would be threatened by consumers use of vitamins and supplements and people taking responsibility for their own health?

Here is another question…

  • How many tabloids have been exposing the deaths, side-effects, secondary diseases, addictions and suicides related to prescribed pharmaceutical drugs?
  • Would any tabloid dare to report that pharmaceutical drugs are essentially useless and offer little if any health benefits whatsoever?
  • Were you, or anyone you know included in ANY trial or study that would discount the effect of natural vitamins and supplements?

I submit these questions not to get your answer but rather to stimulate you to ask yourself some questions of your own. Anyone who possesses even a layman’s understanding of the human body could easily deduce that something that is derived from nature would be far more tolerated by the body than something that was derived from a test tube! But, that deduction would take common sense, a nearly extinct virtue in today’s culture!

Here’s the bottom line…if something works for you…keep doing it regardless of what the naysayers are reporting

Remember, a man with an experience is NEVER at the mercy of a man with an argument! Click to tweet.

I am the poster child of vitamins and natural substance. My life, my wife’s life, as well as our families, friends and countless others have been transformed by a protocol of intelligent natural supplementation.

get your grove backIn fact, I only used two supplements to lose the aforementioned 14 pounds in 14 days…Garcinia Cambogia and Green Coffee (Svetol). Simply take 2 Garcinia Cambogia capsules and 1 Green Coffee capsule 30 minutes before each meal and make sure you include 30 minutes of cardio exercise 3 times a week (weight training also if you desire to build muscle). You also need to check your diet for hidden sugars and eliminate excess carbohydrates. If you follow this recipe to the letter, then you can easily lose a pound a day. I am living proof!

Since 1984, I have been both a student and an advocate of natural supplementation with a deep knowledge of vitamins, supplements, herbs and Chinese medicine, as well as Ayurvedic medicine. I can assure you that at 54 years of age I have never needed pharmaceutical drugs and have a body and energy level that would make a 30-year-old envious!

But even with all of that going for me, it only affects my physical wellbeing… and friends, we are far more than that! You see, God made us triune in nature; we are composed of body, soul and spirit, with each part requiring attention!

Jesus ALWAYS taught balance. For example, if you spent all of your time fixated on nurturing the body alone, then how would your Soul (thought, will and emotions) and your Spirit fare?

“And exercise yourself unto Godliness. For bodily exercise is profitable for a little: but Godliness is profitable for ALL things, having promise of the life which now is, and of that which is to come.”  1 Timothy 4:8

A couple of years ago I attended a meeting and a man of great means approached me and said, “Son, I don’t even have a spiritual life.”  I replied, “You have made all of your money by utilizing only 2/3 of your capabilities and this has made you rich…Today, I would like to introduce you to the missing 1/3 that will make you eternally wealthy!”

Everyday consumers spend millions on a myriad of products that promise to enhance their appearance and curtail the ravages of time. Though there is certainly nothing wrong with that, the danger is the preoccupation with the exterior while at the same time neglecting the interior.

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and the dish, but inside they are full of robbery and self-indulgence. You blind Pharisee, first clean the inside of the cup and the dish, so that the outside of it may also become clean.” Matthew 23:25-26

We are made beautiful from the inside out, not the outside in! Click to tweet.

If you will, think of yourself for a moment as a triangle with your spirit as the base or foundation and one side representing the body and the other, the soul. You are only as strong as the weakest link, so if your body or soul is compromised no matter how spiritual you are… It will be difficult to stand. Yet God expects us to stand strong…So, how do we do it?

I am glad you asked! Lets start by taking our daily multivitamin out of the cabinet and take a look at the label. Ahh…there it is, the three initials: RDA.

RDA stands for Recommended Daily Allowance or, in layman’s terms, what you need daily to remain healthy. When referring to your body, the RDA is the suggested intake of essential nutrients that your body needs… But, what would a spiritual RDA look like?

Lets look at the life of King David to get a better idea.

“I will praise you seven times a day because all of your regulations are just.” Psalm 119:164

This was King David’s spiritual RDA: he stopped everything seven times a day, everyday, to praise God with a grateful heart for His righteousness.

Maybe you are thinking, “I am far to busy to stop everything 7 times a day and praise God.” Well, here is another scripture for you.

“Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Wow, and you thought seven times a day was too much? Did that just say, “Pray without ceasing?” Yes, it did…but let me explain the word “religion” (the practice) never resonated with me because it can mean a devotion to God or…your toothbrush…

Here are some examples:

  • “People would say I am very religious because I attend church twice a week.”
  • “I religiously brush my teeth three times a day.”

To pray without ceasing is NOT a “religious” practice. It is a lifestyle that obviously DOES NOT mean you quit your job, ignore your friends, never sleep or eat because you are praying without ceasing…Can you pray without opening your mouth, without closing your eyes, while you are on your feet, or at the grocery, behind your desk? YES!

Here is another illustration. You must breathe without ceasing. After your first breath…NOBODY HAS TO TELL YOU HOW TO DO IT AGAIN!

Prayer is spiritual communication with God. You can pray from your spirit while your body is carrying out a myriad of activities! People get soooo hung up with “how to do it” that it becomes a form (schematic) or religious habit and it becomes powerless and passionless. Prayer becomes a chore.

spiritual RDASo, here are a few essential vitamins to help you reach your own recommended daily allowance of relationship with God:

  1. Vitamin A (AWARENESS)
  2. Vitamin B (BELIEF)
  3. Vitamin B1 (BE ONE!)
  4. Vitamin C (CHRIST – you cannot take too much of this one!)
  5. Vitamin D (DEVOTION)
  6. Vitamin E (ENDURANCE)

Just like your daily vitamin regimen is custom tailored to your specific nutritional needs your spiritual RDA works the same way. My “dosage” may not work for you. So maybe you are wondering, “Michael how will I know when it’s working for me?”

Dear friend, it will be obvious…righteousness, peace and joy are just a few of the initial benefits of a daily interaction with God! If you get daily exercise, then your body will show it and people will notice. In same way, if you have a consistent time set aside for God, then your spirit will soar and everybody around you will notice.

Remember…take the dosage (RDA) necessary for you to establish a healthy relationship with God and if you get stuck…consult your owners manual, the Bible, all of the answers to life’s questions live between the pages…

May 2014 be a year of great spiritual breakthrough for you and your loved ones!

PEACE,

Michael

 

Michael TyrrellMichael Tyrrell, www.michaeltyrrell.com is the founder of the Network Center Inc., a not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) organization founded in 2001 which works as an advisory agency to local churches, faith-based ministries, Para-church ministries, schools, home fellowships and music ministries in connection with their outreach ministries or missions based activities.  Michael has been committed to training their key leaders and members to deliver the message of their Christian faith in order to reach the lost, the disenfranchised, the sick and the hurting through the organic roots of the Christian faith and other areas as needs arise.  Michael has been in full time ministry for the last 27 years and is a writer music producer and well known musician. 

OBAMASCARE: Government Health Care

By Dr. Scott Saunders

In a speech to the National Association of Counties, Nancy Pelosi referenced the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act then being debated in congress saying, “We have to pass the bill so you can find out what is in it…”  This has proved to be prophetic.

We could not have known what is in the bill at the time. So much of what is now mandated was not in the bill when voted by the Senate.  There have been so many changes, challenges, and rulings that the fog hasn’t yet cleared.

With all of the ideas and misconceptions about the “Affordable Care Act (ACA)” that we call Obamacare we can fall into the trap of just complaining about it.  But what does this law really do?  We are all asking the same question, “How will it affect me?”  While the specifics keep changing, there are a few things that are known.

  1. Everyone is required to buy health insuranceThose with low income may receive a subsidy from the federal government.
  2. Those who don’t have approved insurance plans will be required to pay a fine of 1% of their income next year.  This fine goes up each year.  There is a 3 month grace period so you only have to have to be insured for 9 months to avoid the fine.
  3. Insurance companies must provide certain benefits, such as a free (no deductible or co-payment) annual physical exam, and they cannot choose people based on their health history, gender or lifestyle.  This increases the risk, and thus the cost to the consumer.
  4. Employers with over 50 employees must provide health insurance for all full-time employees, or pay a fine.  (This just changed to start in 2015.)

The cost of health insurance under the ACA carries a higher price tag.  A single, healthy person in Santa Barbara that would have paid about $150 for a high-deductible plan in 2013, will now have to spend over $300 per month.  Also, the cost of obtaining care goes up with co-pays of $60 for a regular doctor and $150 for urgent care.  Because of this, many clinics are requiring people to walk-in the same day so they can get the higher co-pay, causing many patients to wait for hours to see the doctor.

Most of the rest is conjecture.

  • What will happen when everyone has insurance?
  • Are there enough doctors to take care of all the new patients?
  • Will we have access to health care when we need it?

Doctors are retiring and going into other fields.  A colleague of mine, one of the most competent and educated doctors in Santa Barbara, is re-training to be a computer network administrator.  Others I know are retiring early, taking only cash, or not taking any new patients.  So, with fewer physicians and more patients, how long will you wait to have your health concerns addressed?

What about “end-of-life care?”  Obamacare provides for committees that limit what treatments and tests will be available to people.  This may be based on age, illness, prognosis, or other parameters.  You can be denied care if you are not deemed to benefit from it, no matter what your doctor says.

What if you need a specialist?  The law now allows the government to determine the value of a doctor’s service, as well as the salary he or she receives.  If a specialty doesn’t receive extra remuneration, who will be willing to go through the extra training, put in the extra time, and acquire the extra debt?

One thing is sure, there will be many more changes in the future.

What can we do?[am4show guest_error=’noaccess’]

 1. Think outside the box

One way to manage at this time, is to look at the big picture.  There are more taxes.  Medical expenses are no longer deductible.  But if you look at a non-ACA health insurance plan, you may be spending significantly less money overall.  If you choose one of those plans, you may be fined from $95 to over $1,000 in the first year. But, if you are saving $300 per month, only then you will come out ahead.

If you act soon, then you may be able to take advantage of a “grandfather clause” that allows people to keep their old policies, even though they aren’t Obamacare-approved.  You may need to work with a good insurance broker to find your lowest annual expense.  If you only look at the monthly expense, you may miss important costs or savings that will only come out in a yearly budget.

2. Concierge Medicine

Another way out of the trap is to have your own private physician.  Many of the doctors that are left in private practice are going completely private.  You pay a monthly fee directly to the doctor, and they take care of your needs.  Most Internal Medicine or Family Practice offices can take care of 80% of the health care needs of a family.  Plus, you get extras such as:

  • Immediate appointments – These doctors often have same-day or next-day appointments, saving you from having to go to Urgent Care or the Emergency Department of a hospital.
  • Longer appointments – When you pay the doctor directly, he or she has a vested interest in you being well.  They will go over your entire health, spend more time with you, and follow-up to be sure you are doing well.  Those who are paid by health insurance companies only get paid when you are sick. This is why there is no incentive to help you get well.
  • benefits of private medicineTelephone consultations – This is especially beneficial if you travel because you may be able to access your doctor and take care of problems over the phone.  Plus, you may not have to take time off of work or other activities to sit in a doctor’s office.
  • Electronic access – Email, and Skype are often included in the monthly fee.  Your health questions can be answered directly without interrupting your day – or the doctor’s.
  • Low-cost testing – In-house tests are often included in the monthly fee, others may have as much as a 50% discount.
  • Home visits – Most private physicians offer home visits, often for a relatively small fee.
  • Help with navigating the system – this benefit can be enormous if you are really sick and need lots of care.  Having an advocate makes you less vulnerable to the many inadequacies of the health care system – especially now with the government takeover.
  • Extras – Health newsletters, low-cost generic drugs, physical exams, forms and notes for work or travel, alternative treatments, and even anti-aging plans are often included.  These add a lot of value to your health care — more than a regular insurance doctor could provide.

Surprisingly, a private or concierge doctor can be very affordable.  Charges run from about $30 to over $500 per month.  This is much less than you would spend on health insurance, and you get better service.  Pair it with a high-deductible or hospital-only insurance policy, and you’re set for the lowest-cost with the highest level of care.

3. “Physician, heal thyself”

Being your own doctor is easier than ever with the internet and the resulting explosion of health information.  Now everyone knows that most illnesses don’t require the care of a doctor or any prescription medications.  Those who are reading this may be familiar with natural remedies and treatments that are far better than prescription drugs or surgery because they remove the cause of disease.

Barton Publishing has over 30 Remedy Reports for all sorts of diseases, and there are over 50 different issues of Home Cures That Work addressing many more.  Diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and most chronic diseases are better treated naturally.  Reversing your diabetes takes you out of the need for regular medical care, as well as improving your life – both quality and quantity!  This also can save you a tremendous amount of money because you will no longer have frequent doctor visits, and your insurance needs will drop significantly.

Taking your health care into your own hands, changing your lifestyle, and exercising regularly will give you the best chance of staying out of the health care system.  That’s the best way OUT of Obamacare.

Evading Obama

Though Nancy Pelosi and her cohorts passed the bill, we still don’t yet “know what is in” the Obamacare act.  At this point there is LOTS of confusion from all sides – the government, the doctors, the insurance companies, and the patients.  Because of this most people are taking a “wait and see” approach to health care and health insurance, holding back and doing nothing.

However, you can be one step ahead by seeing the big picture, and looking at all your options.  In this way, you can navigate the muddy waters of the federal government takeover of American medicine and come out ahead in both your financial and physical health.

How are you preparing for Obamacare? 

If you liked this article, then you’ll love these:

 

Dr. Scott SaundersDr. Scott D. Saunders, M.D. (Ask-an-MD) is a practicing physician, specializing in preventative health care, who utilizes eclectic health care for the whole family, including conventional, orthomolecular and natural medicine. He is also the medical director of The Integrative Medical Center of Santa Barbara in Lompoc, CA. He went to UCLA medical school and is board certified in family medicine. View natural remedies with Dr. Saunders at: http://drsaundersmd.com
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Healthy Food for Healthy Poop

We all know what goes in has to come out.  But, it’s actually a lot more complicated than that. What you put into your body can either create a healthy digestive tract and benefit your body in many positive ways, or it can encourage the complete opposite.

Many times we may not even realize something is wrong with our digestive system until the poop speaks!  Blood in the stool, hard stools, and chronic diarrhea can alert people that something is seriously wrong. However, even if you don’t have obvious signs of dysfunction, your poop may not be normal.

poop facts

So, what does a normal poop look like?

  • Medium brown color
  • Soft, yet still formed
  • Around 12 inches total passed per day
  • Easy to pass without pushing or straining

A healthy intestinal tract means your poop must have ALL of the above qualities  — not just one or two.  If your poop doesn’t have all 4 of these qualities, then you’re digestive tract is out of whack!

Certain foods can create an absolute toxic dump inside your digestive system. Your gut will plague you with these possible side-effects from a faulty digestive system filled with toxic sludge from the wrong types of food:

  • Gas
  • Bloating
  • Constipation
  • IBS
  • Crohn’s Disease
  • Ulcerative Colitis
  • Systemic Candida
  • Depression

Your food is fuel and medicine for your body and your digestive system is a beautiful but delicate system for making sure your food benefit is maximized.

Beyond Just Poop

Interestingly enough, your intestinal tract is responsible for so much more than just processing food and turning it into poop. Your intestinal tract is central to your health, containing 70% of your immune system!  Therefore, the health of your intestinal tract can determine the health of the rest of your body!

Doctors and scientist are also now referring to the intestinal tract as “The second brain!”  Your intestines have their own very intuitive nervous system that is closely connected with your emotions.

  • For example, this is why you may have diarrhea when you are nervous.
  • You also produce more serotonin (your “feel good” neurotransmitter) in your gut than you do in your brain!  The state of your intestines directly affects your state of mind — and vice versa!

Having healthy poop truly is a reflection of whole health!

Cleaning up Your Dumps

Cleaning up the intestinal tract can be like cleaning up a toxic waste dump.  No need to worry!  You are definitely not alone.  It is unfortunately quite rare to find someone with a healthy, normally functioning digestive system.  I believe the majority of these problems are the result of:

  • Processed and fast foods
  • Antibiotics
  • Prescription drugs
  • Lack of cultured and fermented foods
  • Lack of adequate fiber in the diet
  • Dehydration

Incorporating the right foods into your diet and eliminating unhealthy, processed and fast foods can clean up your dump!  Here are what I believe are the top 3 foods in creating healthy poop, healthy digestion, and therefore a healthy whole body!!

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