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Beating Cancer Back With Exercise

Posted: May 30, 2010 at 8:14 am

Exercise doesn't just benefit people by reducing weight and making muscles stronger – it can also help cancer patients by reducing the side effects of cancer treatment.

According to Eleanor Walker, a division director from the Henry Ford Hospital, exercise may well be the missing ingredient in cancer care for the longest time.

According to Dr. Walker, introducing exercise alongside the usual cancer care offered to patients offers both physical and psychological advantages.  It appears that exercise also reduces the side effects commonly associated with cancer treatment.

ExCITE-ing

In addition to reducing the side effects of the various treatments for cancer, exercise is also a great energizer and is also capable of combating nausea – an all too common problem for cancer patients undergoing treatment.  The testing was done using an program called ExCITE, which was designed by researchers from the Cancer Center at the Henry Ford Hospital.

The patients were given the usual tests and specific diets and exercise programs were recommended to them, based on the initial test results.  One of the respondents, a breast cancer patient, reported that the usual side effects of treatment like nausea and even vomiting were eliminated after she joined the ExCITE program.

According to the patient, Cheryl Fallen, the ExCITE program is a very holistic approach to mitigating problems associated with cancer treatment because the exercise routines are able to strengthen the immune system and also improves the blood circulation of the patients.  Fallen also views the program as a positive aid for cancer patients; and it makes her feel good, too.

…And even more reasons to exercise

1. Exercise lowers your blood sugar levels, energizes you and improves your physical and psychological condition.  It’s all a matter of investing time and energy into it; the rewards of finally becoming physically fit are endless.

2. Exercises increases the capacity of cells to utilize sugar.  During exercise, the muscles in the body are forced to pump out energy and utilize the raw substrate used for work – glucose.  If you exercise on a daily basis, the cells in the body use sugar more efficiently, effectively lowering insulin resistance.

3. Exercising is a great way to deal with stress. Stress isn’t just a frame of mind. It’s the body’s reaction to worries and anxieties. Resting is not the best solution to stress- exercise is.  The more you exercise, the more the body heals and recovers from the physical and mental burdens of stress.  With less stress, you will be able to perform better at work or school and you will instantly feel better. After a workout (like walking or running), the body releases endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers. Endorphins allow the body to cool down and relax – naturally.

Sources
rd.com
exercise.about.com
sciencedaily.com

Recommendation and review posted by G. Smith

Cut Back on Sodas for a Healthier Heart

Posted: May 29, 2010 at 8:17 am

Cutting back on soda directly improves a person's blood pressure. Over time, the benefits of this practice will also continue to increase.

Today, the average American consumes 28 fl. oz. of sodas and other sugary drinks everyday – an alarming fact considering that new research has discovered the vital link between these sugary drinks and blood pressure.

According to research done by Dr. Liwei Chen from the Louisiana State University, cutting back on your consumption of sugary beverages has a direct impact on your blood pressure.

The 3-point difference

In the randomized study involving 810 adult Americans (aged twenty five to seventy nine), Dr. Chen observed that halving the usual consumption of sodas produced a 3-point reduction in blood pressure. What does this mean?  Well, a 3-point reduction in blood pressure also reduced the incidence of a heart attack by a hefty eight percent.

Mortality associated with cardiovascular incidents was also reduced by five percent.  During the study, the 810 respondents were given beverages that had been sweetened with corn syrup – the most common sweetener used in the beverage and food industries today.

According to Dr. Chen, if a person were to gradually reduce his or her soda consumption over a long period of time, then the benefits to a person’s heart is also for the long term.  And that’s not all, a person who reduces his consumption of soda also protects himself more efficiently from stroke – one the greatest silent killers in medical history.

Soda & blood pressure?

But many people are still wondering: what does soda consumption really have to do with blood pressure?  There are two theories supporting the move to reduce the intake of sodas and sugary drinks: the sodium theory and the uric acid theory.

You see, many commercial beverages are loaded with sodium, the same stuff that we use to season food. Sodium has the capacity to directly raise a person’s blood pressure.

Also, the sweetener used for these beverages also contributes to the increase of a person’s uric acid, which is also directly associated with high blood pressure.  In addition to high blood pressure, increased uric acid can also contribute to a higher probability of developing gouty arthritis – a very painful form of arthritis.

Tips for lowering your blood pressure

1. Avoid eating too much fast food and processed food – foodstuffs developed by most food sectors are loaded with at least 40% more sodium than what is considered safe by the US FDA.

2.If you can, use spice substitutes when cooking. Avoid using too much salt when cooking.  Your blood pressure can progressively increase through time.

3. You don’t have to spend a cent to exercise – start getting fit today.  Five minutes of brisk walking, done everyday, can do wonders for your blood pressure.

4. Cut down on smoking – cigarettes and cigars have been shown to raise blood pressure.  If you stop smoking for just 1 to 2 hours, your blood pressure begins to go down.

References:
webmd.com
disease/article32650.html
rd.com
rd.com

Recommendation and review posted by Fredricko

Love Pistachios? Your Heart Does, Too!

Posted: May 29, 2010 at 8:17 am

Pistachios are a great way to start the day – because it protects the heart and lowers bad cholesterol.

Pistachios are well-loved nuts, not just in the United States but around the globe. We have even more reasons to love this health nut: researchers from Pennsylvania State University  concluded that pistachios are ideal for controlling cholesterol levels because it’s natural packed with nutrients and good fats which helps the cardiovascular system work more efficiently.

The study involved 28 respondents (adult males and females) who were given pistachios during the research period. The nuts had a marked effect on the LDL or bad cholesterol level of the test respondents.

Other benefits of pistachios

Pistachios are packed with lutein and other organic compounds that serve as anti-oxidants. Anti-oxidants reduce cell damage and further protects cells from the ravages of free radicals.

Coupled with the right diet and exercise, a heart-healthy meal plan consisting of pistachios, vegetables and lean meat can significantly contribute to decreasing cardiovascular problems and even cancer. It’s all about synergy – the components of a fitness plan must be synergistic with each other to work well.

In addition to being loaded with anti-oxidants, pistachio nuts are also great sources of vitamins and minerals. Minerals like iron, which are present in pistachios, are heart protectors. In the long term, eating foods similar to pistachios will enhance the protective effect of a heart-healthy diet.

Tips for lowering LDL cholesterol

1. As much as possible, stick to lean, white meats and avoid red meats. Red meats are packed with bad cholesterol (LDL) and only make things worse.

2. Moderate consumption of red wine (and other wines with resveratrol) may reduce LDL and protect your heart, too. Note that a small quantity of wine, drank regularly every week is sufficient. Do not overdo alcohol consumption.

3. Eat foods high in fiber like fruits, vegetables, grains and legumes

4.Cold water fishes packed with omega-3 fatty acids are also ideal in combating high cholesterol levels.

5. 42.5 grams of healthy nuts like pistachios and even walnuts can help lower your cholesterol over the long term.

Summary: Pistachios are a great way to start the day – because it protects the heart and lowers bad cholesterol.

Sources:
webmd.com
mayoclinic.com
cholesterol.about.com

Recommendation and review posted by Fredricko

Beating Cancer Back With Exercise

Posted: May 29, 2010 at 8:17 am

Exercise doesn't just benefit people by reducing weight and making muscles stronger – it can also help cancer patients by reducing the side effects of cancer treatment.

According to Eleanor Walker, a division director from the Henry Ford Hospital, exercise may well be the missing ingredient in cancer care for the longest time.

According to Dr. Walker, introducing exercise alongside the usual cancer care offered to patients offers both physical and psychological advantages.  It appears that exercise also reduces the side effects commonly associated with cancer treatment.

ExCITE-ing

In addition to reducing the side effects of the various treatments for cancer, exercise is also a great energizer and is also capable of combating nausea – an all too common problem for cancer patients undergoing treatment.  The testing was done using an program called ExCITE, which was designed by researchers from the Cancer Center at the Henry Ford Hospital.

The patients were given the usual tests and specific diets and exercise programs were recommended to them, based on the initial test results.  One of the respondents, a breast cancer patient, reported that the usual side effects of treatment like nausea and even vomiting were eliminated after she joined the ExCITE program.

According to the patient, Cheryl Fallen, the ExCITE program is a very holistic approach to mitigating problems associated with cancer treatment because the exercise routines are able to strengthen the immune system and also improves the blood circulation of the patients.  Fallen also views the program as a positive aid for cancer patients; and it makes her feel good, too.

…And even more reasons to exercise

1. Exercise lowers your blood sugar levels, energizes you and improves your physical and psychological condition.  It’s all a matter of investing time and energy into it; the rewards of finally becoming physically fit are endless.

2. Exercises increases the capacity of cells to utilize sugar.  During exercise, the muscles in the body are forced to pump out energy and utilize the raw substrate used for work – glucose.  If you exercise on a daily basis, the cells in the body use sugar more efficiently, effectively lowering insulin resistance.

3. Exercising is a great way to deal with stress. Stress isn’t just a frame of mind. It’s the body’s reaction to worries and anxieties. Resting is not the best solution to stress- exercise is.  The more you exercise, the more the body heals and recovers from the physical and mental burdens of stress.  With less stress, you will be able to perform better at work or school and you will instantly feel better. After a workout (like walking or running), the body releases endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers. Endorphins allow the body to cool down and relax – naturally.

Sources
rd.com
exercise.about.com
sciencedaily.com

Recommendation and review posted by Fredricko

Paranoia, conspiracies and leaks – are you now, or have you ever been a homeopath?

Posted: May 29, 2010 at 8:15 am

Sometimes paranoia is rational, sometimes they really are out to get you and sometimes you can prove it.  But in situations like this you should ask yourself what it is you are hiding that you don’t want them to find out?  This seems to be the position homeopaths in the UK now find themselves.  Delusions of big pharma funded conspiracies of doctors ranged against the profession have long been prominent in their thinking, now it seems there may actually be an organised movement against them. The following excerpt is from an email posted to the Minutus mailing list:

Two months ago I accepted a position as research assistant to a London based office.

It has quickly become apparent that their sole remit is to discredit complementary medicine and the current focus is homeopathic education and the London Homeopathic Hospital.

In accordance with a very structured plan a bbc science correspondent has been hired to infiltrate homeopathic education. I am aware that he has been funded to attend a college in east anglia as an apparent homeopathic student. Last month he has been told to find fabricated reasons to move to another college. The college chosen for him to go to next has links to the Royal London Homeopathic hospital and he has been told to gain access to this hospital and to prepare articles to entirely discredit the treatment given there to pave the way for the hospitals closure. The new college chosen to receive this man is the biggest college and therefore when it is discredited and dragged down by this man and his articles the plan is that it will take all homeopathic education down with it.
Incidentally I saw part of his presented report on his present homeopathic college in east anglia and it is scathing of “magic black box sugar pills given to the vulnerable sick and dying”.

My reason for contacting you is that I feel an enormous debt to homeopathy and feel that this is an opportunity for me to give something back to homeopathy itself.

[...]I can only tell you to treat this with utmost care – the funding is very large and the people involved determined.

Now I have no knowledge of this investigation, I cannot confirm the veracity of the claims, it may be a spoof for all I know but the response from the homeopaths is telling.  Remember this is a profession whose educational colleges and degree courses have been ruthlessly exposed as presenting a dangerously misinformed understanding of scientific and medical realities by David Colquhoun.

Karin Mont, Chair of the Alliance of Registered Homeopaths, would prefer that the public’s knowledge of homeopathy is carefully managed:

we need to be extra vigilant in all matters relating to how we communicate with the public.

while Fran Sheffield of the Australian Vaccination Network (AVN) is more critical:

Well, if this is true, and if there really is a college that is preparing standard remedies by radionics, it deserves to bite the dust for leaving the whole profession exposed, let alone the standards it is passing on to its students. There is no way responsible and respectful homeopathy can protect itself if associated with this practice.

And if this does result in a great deal of damage to homeopathy it won’t be the fault of the people involved in the sting but with the sloppy standards and behaviours engaged in by those who will do this because ‘it doesn’t matter’. It is like a decay within our profession.

It’s not so much the radionics that is the problem but the covert way they are used and the rationale (is there any rationale for standard remedies) behind a college that would do this with its students and a trusting public using its clinic. It’s about time this sort of thing did come out in the open and was weeded out.

And these comments are coming from someone who has no problem with radionically prepared remedies as a second best option when traditionally prepared ones are not available – just as long as everyone knows what is being done and the limitations involved.

Radionics is based on a belief that ‘energies’ can be tuned by a machine to remotely confer healing properties to an object or person.  It does not have a scientific basis and does not work.  Presumably this is the ‘magic black box’ referred to in the original email.  Ms Sheffield clearly believes that such a process is less efficacious than banging a sequentially diluted solution, to the point at which no molecule of the original solution survives, 50 times against a leather bound board.

Those friends of homeopathy in high places should be concerned by the attitudes revealed in these responses.  Ms Mont, who leads the second largest professional homeopathic body in the UK, is it seems dedicated to a culture of secrecy that is determined to keep the realities of a homeopathic education out of the public domain.  The apparently more considered views of Ms Sheffield should be seen in the context of her belief that ‘responsible and respectful’ homeopathy is defined as telling the public that vaccines cause autism and homeopathy can protect against the lethal diseases of childhood, from diptheria to whooping cough. Ms Sheffield is more concerned with ideological point scoring, there is ongoing debate with radionics vs succussion in the community, than actually examining the perception of homeopathy in public and its related problems.

However, assuming the veracity of the email, it is not just the behaviour of homeopaths themselves that is concerning, it is that their supporters are prepared to leak information to them and are in a position to do so.  One imagines that conspiracies are undertaken with a relative degree of secrecy, so having them leaked is unfortunate.  I am not bothered about the success or failure of any BBC report, rather that supporters of homeopathy seem to be present in organisations combating alternative medicine, whether mysterious London based offices, or the BBC.  My concerns are not those answerable by McCarthyesque interviews, but that despite all the exposes, scandals and reports into homeopathy it still has supporters willing to risk their jobs for the cause.  It seems the concerted efforts of the 10:23 campaign, bloggers, Ben Goldacre and the Science and Technology Committee have failed to quell the passion some feel for a well shaken sugar pill.
This then raises questions about the best ways to deal with a profession whose beliefs are dangerously wrong.  I have a lot of tolerance for people who hold views at odds with the evidence, I am sure facets of my own thinking could be described in this manner, but it is a problem when practiced by those with responsibility over others.  In the case of homeopaths this is primarily their patients so is a matter for the regulators of the profession.  It will be interesting to see if the new government offer any fresh thinking on this issue, the last government recommended regulation by the CNHC, something that split the homeopathic community.  It will also be fascinating to see if any of the new crop of MPs are avid supporters of homeopathy and are prepared to attempt to water down regulatory options, if they are inclined this way then informing them about the response of homeopaths to investigations will be necessary. Perhaps this will occur through a BBC report, I look forward to finding out.

Recommendation and review posted by G. Smith

"I’m a Medicare doctor. Here’s what I make"

Posted: May 29, 2010 at 8:15 am

From CNN:

Dr. Schreiber sees 120 patients a week - 30% of them are enrolled directly in Medicare, while another 65% have private insurance plans that peg their payments on Medicare's rates. Only 5% pay on their own.

Medicare pays between 63-72% of the costs for Schreiber's patients.

Four billing codes make up the "bread and butter" of claims submitted to Medicare:
- The first code represents a simple visit, which might include blood pressure and cholesterol checks. Schreiber gets about $44 from Medicare for the $70 fee he charges.

- The second and third codes correspond to a sick visit, when he spends 15 to 20 minutes evaluating a patient for symptoms such as coughing or shortness of breath. Schreiber charges $92 for a sick visit, of which Medicare pays about $58.

- The last billing code is a complex visit. "This is where a patient comes in with many problems like heart disease, hypertension, diabetes," he said. Such a visit requires about 30 minutes of his time.

Schreiber charges $120 for these visits, and Medicare pays $88 of that.

References:

Image source: United States one-dollar bill. Wikipedia, public domain.

Posted at Clinical Cases and Images. Stay updated and subscribe, follow us on Twitter and connect on Facebook.


Recommendation and review posted by G. Smith


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