Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Doctor Exam Trumps C Scan

Are we surprised by this? The problem is, today's doctors grow up with all the fancy tools and don't learn the less glamorous art of OBSERVATION. But watch out for CT scans--lots of radiation. Doctors now count on the PATIENTS to keep track of the various sources of radiation they are getting, unlike, say, in Europe or Korea where all this info is centralized! [In Korea you get all your health info on a flash drive![

Newswise — Sometimes, a simple bedside exam performed by a skilled physician is superior to a high-tech CT scan, a Loyola University Health System study has found.

Researchers found that physicians' bedside exams did a better job than CT scans in predicting which patients would need to return to the operating room to treat complications such as bleeding.

"The low cost, simple, but elegant neurological exam appears to be superior to a routine CT scan in determining return to the operating room," researchers report in the Journal of Neurosurgery.

Patients typically receive CT scans following open brain surgery to remove tumors, repair aneurysms, treat brain injuries, etc. But practices vary. Some surgeons order CT scans right after surgery. Others wait until the following morning.

There are downsides. CT scans cost hundreds of dollars and expose patients to radiation

Newswise — Sometimes, a simple bedside exam performed by a skilled physician is superior to a high-tech CT scan, a Loyola University Health System study has found.

Researchers found that physicians' bedside exams did a better job than CT scans in predicting which patients would need to return to the operating room to treat complications such as bleeding.

"The low cost, simple, but elegant neurological exam appears to be superior to a routine CT scan in determining return to the operating room," researchers report in the Journal of Neurosurgery.

Patients typically receive CT scans following open brain surgery to remove tumors, repair aneurysms, treat brain injuries, etc. But practices vary. Some surgeons order CT scans right after surgery. Others wait until the following morning.

There are downsides. CT scans cost hundreds of dollars and expose patients to radiation

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Gerberding, Former CDC Director Now Heads Merck's Vaccine Division

This really bothers me, when a person who is RESPONSIBLE to oversee vaccine safety for the public later goes to work for a VACCINE MANUFACTURER. It makes me wonder if any of her decisions were made thinking about her next job.

From the American Chronicle:

Julie Louise Gerberding MD MPH, former director of the Centers for Disease Control has been named the president of Merck Vaccines. While certainly no surprise, I am once again astounded at the audacity of the vaccine manufacturers and our government. Mrs. Gerberding will no doubt do quite well in her new position since she has had quite a bit of experience selling both vaccines and the notion that they are beneficial to society, in her previous position as one of the top government health officials in America. This is just another example of how closely related and intertwined our government is with industry.

Those in the natural health and "anti-vaccine" communities have witnessed this unseemly and disgusting relationship between government and industry for years. Consider the Homeland Security Act that sureptitiously had a rider slid into it at the last possible minute prior to the vote that basically absolved Eli Lilly Pharmaceuticals from any and all liability regarding the controversial mercury containing vaccine preservative, Thimerosal. Consider the SARS, Avian and Swine flu scares that have made both Donald Rumsfeld, former Secretary of Defence and Dick Cheney, former VP of the U.S. very rich men.These scares caused our government to purchace and push TamiFlu, a money making dream come true for these two former executives with the manufacturer of this drug.

We´ve witnessed the revolving door policy between government and business between the FDA and pharmaceutical companies as well as Monsanto. Bring someone from industry into the government regulating division that´s in need, get the vote or approval desired, then return said official to the private sector again, to reap the benefits. We´ve seen this again and again. This recent news is simply another example in a long line of government/industry collusion.

read more here.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Erroneous Swine Flu Diagnoses

I wonder how many people took the vaccine on this erroneous data. NB the CDC is going to announce the new autism rate is ***1***** in ****100***

I think they're going to stop saying it's colely environmental now. And curious how the rate goes up with more and more vaccines and the large scale introduction of GMOs...

From Natural News:
(NaturalNews) This week, Britain's Health Protection Agency (HPA) revealed that only one in five people who were diagnosed with swine flu actually had the disease and that four fifths were instructed to take Tamiflu unnecessarily.

The Government agency reported that around one million packets of Tamiflu have been prescribed so far, but more than 800,000 of these were not necessary. In one seven-day period, the rate of correct diagnosis dropped to an astonishing 1 out of 20, with 38,000 citizens taking the controversial antiviral. These alarming figures only came to light after the HPA took swabs from random samples of people who had used the NHS helpline.

This means close to a million people needlessly stayed at home in isolation over the summer, in the false belief that they had swine flu. "These figures are a damning indictment of the government's approach to tackling swine flu," said Liberal Democrat Shadow Health Secretary, Norman Lamb. "Ministers had years to prepare for such an outbreak but completely failed to put in place an effective flu-line service. It's seriously concerning that large numbers of patients may have been put at risk through high rates of misdiagnosis.While protecting people during an outbreak has to be the priority we cannot escape the fact that an enormous amount of money has been wasted by giving people drugs they simply didn't need."

On top of an estimated 500 million pound cost to the UK economy, the misdiagnosis may have caused new health problems for the members of the public who took the antiviral. The Medicines and Health Regulatory Authority has been swamped with complaints of side-effects from members of the public who had taken Tamiflu, with 11 percent reporting nausea.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Fertility Gift Basket!

The other place I blog, Fertility Authority, is giving away a sweet, sweet, fertility basket of products worth $500!

Anyone can enter to win it from now through December 24. Just register as a member on the site AND check the Subscriptions: Daily Shot: The FertilityAuthority Newsletter option--and check out my GreenFertility blog posts OF COURSE.

You can get all the details about the giveaway here:

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

BPA causes sexual dysfunction in men

Ok, previously I warned you about Sigg bottles...for good reason! Now they've definitively found BPA causes sexual dysfunction in men. And of course Consumer Reports found BPA in organic and "BPA free" labeled products., Sigh!

From Natural News:

(NaturalNews) A recent study published in the journal Human Reproduction has found that exposure to high levels of bisphenol A (BPA) is causing various reproductive and sexual problems in men. Funded by the federal government, the study revealed that BPA is detected in the urine of roughly 93% of the U.S. population, a staggering figure when considering the immense harm the chemical inflicts on the body.

A compound that is found in thousands of everyday consumer products from canned food linings and plastic drinking bottles to composite dental fillings, BPA is a difficult toxin to avoid. Despite efforts by some manufacturers of reusable drinking containers, of baby bottles, and of certain health-food products to remove BPA from their products, a great majority of packaged food on the market today is exposed to plastics containing BPA.

Study findings revealed that Chinese males exposed to BPA in their workplaces were four times as likely to suffer from erectile dysfunction and seven times as likely to suffer with proper ejaculation compared to workers who worked in facilities where there was no BPA in the facility. De-Kun Li, a scientist at the Kaiser Foundation Research Institute where the study was conducted, found that sexual dysfunction began to occur only months after new workers were exposed to BPA in the workplace.

The five-year study concluded that BPA, a synthetic form of estrogen that was created in the 1930s, definitively alters the hormonal balance in the human body. Since the study analyzed BPA effects on human beings rather than laboratory animals as has typically been done, BPA apologists can no longer dismiss the serious harm BPA inflicts on human hormonal balance and proper sexual function.

Consumer Reports recently issued its own report that found BPA in cans labeled both "organic" and "BPA-free". The group tested many food products and reported its findings to consumers concerned about BPA contamination of food.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Mammogram Math

Ok, so longtime readers here know I don't get mammograms, the simplest explanation being that the death rates from breast cancer between people who get mammos and those who don't are roughly similar, so I decided to skip the bad energy and spend my time sniffing flowers instead.

Here's an EXCELLENT article by mathematician Jonathan Allan Paulos about why these numbers bear out what the studies say, and having women do less mammograms is actually BETTER, not anti-woman. He brings up the other good point that if mammograms are only beneficial, then why not start screening at twenty? In the teens? There have now been reported CHILDREN having breast cancer. Why not start at six?

Much of our discomfort with the panel’s findings stems from a basic intuition: since earlier and more frequent screening increases the likelihood of detecting a possibly fatal cancer, it is always desirable. But is this really so? Consider the technique mathematicians call a reductio ad absurdum, taking a statement to an extreme in order to refute it. Applying it to the contention that more screening is always better leads us to note that if screening catches the breast cancers of some asymptomatic women in their 40s, then it would also catch those of some asymptomatic women in their 30s. But why stop there? Why not monthly mammograms beginning at age 15?

The answer, of course, is that they would cause more harm than good. Alas, it’s not easy to weigh the dangers of breast cancer against the cumulative effects of radiation from dozens of mammograms, the invasiveness of biopsies (some of them minor operations) and the aggressive and debilitating treatment of slow-growing tumors that would never prove fatal...

Assume there is a screening test for a certain cancer that is 95 percent accurate; that is, if someone has the cancer, the test will be positive 95 percent of the time. Let’s also assume that if someone doesn’t have the cancer, the test will be positive just 1 percent of the time. Assume further that 0.5 percent — one out of 200 people — actually have this type of cancer. Now imagine that you’ve taken the test and that your doctor somberly intones that you’ve tested positive. Does this mean you’re likely to have the cancer? Surprisingly, the answer is no.

To see why, let’s suppose 100,000 screenings for this cancer are conducted. Of these, how many are positive? On average, 500 of these 100,000 people (0.5 percent of 100,000) will have cancer, and so, since 95 percent of these 500 people will test positive, we will have, on average, 475 positive tests (.95 x 500). Of the 99,500 people without cancer, 1 percent will test positive for a total of 995 false-positive tests (.01 x 99,500 = 995). Thus of the total of 1,470 positive tests (995 + 475 = 1,470), most of them (995) will be false positives, and so the probability of having this cancer given that you tested positive for it is only 475/1,470, or about 32 percent! This is to be contrasted with the probability that you will test positive given that you have the cancer, which by assumption is 95 percent.

The arithmetic may be trivial, but the answer is decidedly counterintuitive and hence easy to reject or ignore.

read more here:

Friday, December 11, 2009

CDC: antibiotics linked to birth defects

I was just thinking about this, how we're all on antibiotics so frequently we may forget, for instance, while trying to conceive--oops. I remember I had to go to the ER once for whate turned out to be high fever from my chronic fatigue syndrome--but what did the puzzled resident do? He assumed sinus infection and put me on antibiotics.

So use care when you're trying to conceive. Staying away from antibiotic-laden meat and eggs might be helpful, too.

MONDAY, Nov. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Taking antibiotics during pregnancy does not raise the risk for most birth defects, though there are some exceptions, new research has found.

Penicillin, which is the most commonly used antibiotic during pregnancy, as well as erythromycin, cephalosporins and quinolones, other widely prescribed antibiotics, were not associated with increased risk for about 30 different birth defects.

However, the study found that two types of antibiotics were linked with a higher risk for several birth defects: nitrofurantoins and sulfonamides, sometimes called "sulfa drugs," which are prescribed for urinary tract and other infections.

Women whose children had anencephaly, a fatal malformation of the skull and brain, were three times more likely to have taken sulfonamides, the study found. Sulfonamides were also tied to an increased risk for such heart defects as hypoplastic left heart syndrome and coarctation of the aorta, choanal atresia (a blockage of the nasal passage), transverse limb deficiency and diaphragmatic hernia, an abnormal opening in the diaphragm that results in severe breathing difficulties.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Holiday Gift Idea: wool vehicles

What could be cuter and safer than some handmade New Zealand wool vehicles by En Gry and Sif for the wee one in your life? These are made with eco friendly dyes and are fair trade (from Nepal). Washable, chewable, you name it.

Check it out (and a lot of other cool gifts) at Elegant Roots:

Green Pharma Reps?

I'm not exactly sure how I feel about this release that was sent to me. Also unscores how most pharma companies use "fashion forward" Barbie and Ken dolls (former cheerleaders are a big group they recruit) instead of biomed majors (as they used to--a friend of mine was a rep 20 years ago):

Green Fertility

Ms. Marie Lee Blogger


High resolution photography available on request. In studio visits available upon request. Onsite interviews and photo opportunities are available at Redhanded’s Studios or at the GoGreen Expo in NYC this spring.

Contact: Aaron Turney (919) 324-5240 or email or hit reply to this email.

Pharm giant sales force goes green with high fashion handbags

Raleigh NC-based fashion designers Aaron Turney and Tracy Russomano are used to working with fashion conscious women. But this year, they devoted their special talents efforts to addressing the special needs of a unique group of highly specialized handbag users – pharmaceutical sales reps.

GlaxoSmithKline asked them to design an environmentally friendly work bag specifically for their pharmaceutical sales reps to use on the job.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Avoid Brain Tumors by avoiding Equal

Blech, I had a friend who's mom was a chemist who told her before aspartame was even approved how she should stay away from it at all costs. Also, DONALD RUMSFELD, then the CEO of Searle was instrumental in getting it approved even though it was causing seizures. Via Dr. Ben Kim, not surprised to hear this:

Reasons to Avoid Aspartame

When Tim Gullickson, former professional tennis player and coach to Pete Sampras, died in 1996 from complications related to brain tumors, I distinctly remember reading about Tim's fondness for diet Coke; according to one close friend, Tim was addicted to the stuff - he always seemed to have a can in hand.

When I began private practice a year later, within a few months, I encountered three patients who had brain tumors and drank several diet sodas a day. These findings were easy to notice and group together in my mind, as I took a detailed dietary survey during each new patient evaluation.

From that point on, I shared my suspicions about aspartame with family, friends, and patients. And over time, I learned about the ways in which aspartame injures nervous tissue on a cellular level - most of my education on this issue has been from the work of Dr. Russell Blaylock, a retired neurosurgeon who has long maintained that aspartame and MSG are harmful to human health.

Aspartame, the technical name for popular brand names NutraSweet, Equal, Spoonful, and Equal-Measure, has been documented by the United States FDA to be a cause of the following symptoms:

  • Inability to concentrate
  • Short-term memory loss
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Depression and irritability
  • Seizures
  • Nausea
  • Numbness
  • Muscle spasms
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Heart irregularities
  • Joint Pain

Monday, December 07, 2009

Historic finding: Greenhouse gasses HARM HUMANS

Wow! From the AP:

WASHINGTON – The Obama administration took a major step Monday toward imposing the first federal limits on climate-changing pollution from cars, power plants and factories, declaring there was compelling scientific evidence that global warming from manmade greenhouse gases endangers Americans' health.

read more here.

Want to know what's actually in your vitamins (including excipients and potential contaminants?) I love and often use them when writing product reviews. It was the place, actually, where I found out that with all the zillions of fish oils out there, even the cheap ones didn't have much mercury in them! About the only thing they found wrong was that one of them (from the Garden of Life, which I normally think of as a good brand) had gone rancid, which is NOT doing yourself any favors, healthwise.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Who are the angriest Americans?

Hm, don't quite know what this means, but it's interesting

Anger is more likely among the young, those with children at home, and the
less educated, a new study finds. A national survey of 1,800 Americans aged
18 and older questioned participants on how and when they feel angry in order to
build "a broader social portrait of anger in the United States," said study
researcher Scott Schieman, now at the University of Toronto.
These angry emotions range from mild annoyance to yelling and feelings of outrage.
While anger is a normal human emotion, it could be detrimental if you hold
on to it
too long.

And those who express their anger might actually live longer than those who keep it bottled in, one study found.

read more here.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Can mammograms increase cancer risk for some women?

Man oh man but I've been saying this for a long time...the data's already out there, in Europe (I guess where they keep track of such things). Women who get more mammos radiation cancer!

From TIME magazine:

As women are still struggling to make sense of the new mammogram recommendations released in November by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, research presented today at a meeting of the Radiological Society of North America suggests that, for women at high risk of developing breast cancer, who are often urged to undergo annual screenings beginning at age 25, exposure to radiation through mammograms may actually be harmful.

This research is preliminary and future analysis is essential to bear out the findings, but it is particularly concerning because it suggests that women at highest risk, who are in most need of screening, may be the most vulnerable to the radiation in mammograms. In the review of six studies that included roughly 5,000 high-risk women, who have an increased likelihood of developing breast cancer due to genetic reasons or family history, for example, researchers found that high-risk patients who were exposed to radiation were 1.5 times more likely to develop cancer than high-risk patients who had no exposure. High-risk patients who had greater levels of exposure to radiation—either beginning mammograms before age 20, or having five or more exposures—were 2.5 times more likely to develop cancer.

Researchers say that the findings may suggest the need for a change in screening methodologies

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Grassfed Ghee/butter is delicious and healthy

We're always looking to maximize the nutrition in the foods we eat, the bonus being that the freshest foods taste the best. Happy to use an Indian clarified butter called ghee, which has the milk protein removed so it is casein-free. Even better to find Pure Indian Food's organic and GRASS FED ghee. It's a bit runny because it is made with spring milk (when cows eat fast growing grass that has all those great vitamins--as opposed to cows eating grain, which is not good for them), a beautiful gold color, and it tastes great. We used it in some of J's cannabis cookies.

Thinkers like Dr. Weston Price believe that spring-grass-fed milk products are good for fertility, possibly because of something he called "activator X," that might have been an early identifying of Vitamin K.

Also,from their web site:

More Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA):
Pasture-grazed cows have more CLA in their milk than grain fed cows and our lab tests show our ghee has more CLA than plain butter. CLA is an antioxidant and essential fatty acid that has been getting a lot of attention lately. In animal studies, it reportedly exhibits anticarcinogenic and other beneficial physiological effects.

And...this company is run by a family, which has been making ghee since 1889. It's slightly more money than the ghee I get at the health food store, but I'll be getting my ghee from Pure Indian Food because they work hard to make the healthiest product possible.

Here's an idea: Instead of spending money on more disposable, unwanted STUFF for the holidays, why not get you and your family THE GIFT OF GOOD HEALTH?

Sandeep Agarwal, one of the owners, kindly passed on this delicious recipe.

Healthy, healing recipe:

KHICHDI (Rice & Mung Bean Stew)
¾ cup split mung (or moong) beans (rinse, soak overnight, and drain)
¾ cup white basmati rice (rinse, soak overnight, and drain)
6 cups water
¾ cup frozen green peas, thawed
¾ cup potato, cut into small wedges
¾ cup cauliflower, broken into small florets
¾ cup carrot, diced
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 small pinch of asafoetida powder
2 whole cloves
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
3 tablespoons ghee (clarified butter)
2 teaspoons sea salt

Heat a stockpot over medium heat. Add rice, mung beans, water, turmeric powder and salt. Bring it to
a full boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, partly covered, stirring occasionally for about 40 minutes or
until rice and beans are mushy.

While the rice and beans are being cooked, heat ghee in a large skillet. Add cumin seeds and sauté until they start to pop. Turn the heat low. Add asafoetida powder and cloves and cook for 5-10 seconds.

Add all the cut vegetables and mix well. Cook over low heat until the veggies are tender.
Now mix cooked vegetables into rice and beans. Ladle khichdi into bowls. Make a small hole in the center of khichdi and pour one teaspoon ghee into it. Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve hot.

Yogurt or Indian pickles could be delicious accompaniments.
Serves 6.
Copyright © 2009, Pure Indian Foods Corporation. All Rights Reserved.