By Natural Advocate | May 29, 2008 - 4:56 pm - Posted in Medical News

As much as we complain about our doctors, we need to do our part and open a line of communication with them so they can do their job more effectively in healing us.  Most of us complain that our doctors make us wait and that the pills they give us don’t get the desired results quickly enough.    However, do we think about how well we state what’s ailing us and how honest we are about our lifestyles and habits?
If we approach visiting the doctor as establishing a partnership, we will be much further along in attaining wellness.  When your physician speaks, listen to them and pay attention.  If anything needs clarifying, state exactly what it is that you do not fully understand.
Try to determine, for your particular health problem, what are the best steps to solve it and what you’re capable of doing and complying with in a positive way.   Come up with a plan of action together, for example, to lose weight with the assistance and input from your doctor.
Make sure that your doctor gives you a choice of all of the treatment options available for your health concern.  If you should find out that you have not been given that information, you will probably want to look for another doctor.  You want to make sure your doctor keeps current on all of the latest treatment options.
Be prepared, as the patient, to have all of the information the doctor needs from you.  It would be a good idea, if you are on a number of medications and your doctor is new to you, to write them all down.  Inform your doctor if you have opted to discontinue or have been noncompliant in  taking any of your medications as prescribed. Make your doctor aware of any allergies.
Keep a list of any signs and symptoms of concern, when they started and how often.  Speak up if you’ve had sudden weight loss or gain or dizzy spells or upset stomach, for example, and how long ago.  If we, as patients, make mental and written notes to address our concerns with our physicians, we will make them more efficient in their jobs and speed the healing process.  With this approach and a willingness to comply with a partnership health plan, you will be on the path to wellness sooner from your visits to the doctor.

By Natural Advocate | May 27, 2008 - 11:32 am - Posted in Alternative & Herbal Health News

As a society, Americans are far too reliant on pills and substances to fix everything from bouts of anxiety to an occasional sleepless night.  When substances and drugs are combined, the consequences can be dangerous and sometimes deadly.
All medications have side effects and there is no such thing as an absolutely safe one.  The most common drugs that are misused are sedatives and sleeping pills.  One of the biggest dangers often comes about when a person combines alcohol with a sleeping aid medication or pain killers.
Some other drug interactions that are dangerous are prescription sleep medication mixed together with the anti-anxiety drug, Xanax.   Over the counter sleep aids usually contain acetaminophen, which is the main ingredient in Tylenol, and that can cause trouble if a person has already taken their quota of Tylenol in the same day.
Adding to the problem of drug interactions and additive effects is that most people don’t go strictly to one doctor or one pharmacist anymore.  Therefore, you do not have one individual monitoring all the medications for safety that a person is taking.   A person may be taking antidepressants from one doctor, sleeping pills from another, pain killers from another source and also drink alcohol on top of that.  The only person who will be aware of this mixture is the individual themselves.
Ensure that, if you take any of the sedating or anti-anxiety medications, you follow all precautions and don’t exceed recommended dosages.  If you have any concerns about possible interactions, call your doctor and pharmacist. With any medication of this nature, do not drink alcohol.  It can have an additive effect in combination and the results can be fatal.

By Natural Advocate | May 25, 2008 - 8:05 am - Posted in Medical News

Yep, it’s become that big. The pharmaceutical industry must be doing cartwheels, and it’s no wonder this multi billion dollar business has serious business interests in keeping people on medications and creating new meds for different things all the time. Heck, just the other day, I heard they approved a new medication for the RLS issue, which is Restless Legs Syndrome. I actually have this once in a great while, but I hardly think it’s worth taking a medication that can result in other, in my opinion, worse, side effects. But that’s just me.Apparently studies have recently shown that about half and perhaps a bit more than that, of all insured Americans are on some sort of medication, which to me seems unacceptable, since I’m a proponent of preventive medicine – ie. supplement taking, exercise and proper diet and lifestyle, obviously, as a healthy alternative to keeping disease and illness at bay and continuing to live a longer life.

As for uninsured Americans, it is unclear if they were on the same amount of prescriptions, but that I would have to say is probably very slim since these medications cost a lot of money to take usually if you don’t have insurance and a medication copayment.

After just getting done watching the documentary by Michael Moore called Sicko, about the plight of our American health care system, I have to say, I wonder if it really would be a good thing if every American had access to these drugs, since many of them are habit forming and I question whether their benefits outweigh their side effects, and whether they actually contribute to the overall longevity and health of people or just promote a sense that diet and lifestyle don’t matter if you can take a pill, having the opposite effect on longevity.

I guess that’s to be seen, and I realize that there are some people who truly need medical help who can’t get it, I was just looking at this strictly form a pharmaceutical drug availability standpoint. Most of the people who are taking medications apparently are on blood pressure lowering and cholesterol medications, which are the number one prescribed medication today.

Even more disturbing is, that although Americans have no public health system or assistance that’s really of any use, we still have more prescriptions per household than any other country. Is this attributed to our pill popping mentality or perhaps the fact that drug ads run rampant in magazines, television, and radio? At any rate, Americans really need to get back to the basics, and take a healthy eating approach as well as getting more activity in their daily lives rather than taking pills to prevent and helpt treat conditions that can be easily prevented and circumvented by lifestyle approaches.

By Natural Advocate | May 22, 2008 - 10:38 pm - Posted in Foods

Going out to eat is such a treat since you get waited on and often you choose something that you rarely get at home.  To keep dining out enjoyable without any regrettable repercussions later on from tainted food, there are a couple of tips to keep in mind to safely keep the experience a pleasure.
When choosing a restaurant to dine out in, observe the overall cleanliness of the staff, the tables  and if they have an open kitchen, check out the kitchen area.  Prior to dining out, you can check with your local  health department to see if there have been any complaints on the restaurant of your choice.
Don’t be afraid to ask how the food is prepared and how it is stored prior to making your food selection.  It doesn’t matter whether the restaurant is upscale with posh surroundings or a local diner with homecooked meals when it comes to the possibility of food poisoning.  It can occur in any type of restaurant.
Certain foods put you at a higher risk for causing gastric distress.  Some of the foods to avoid ordering when dining out are raw or uncooked shellfish, rare meat or undercooked poultry and some of the fresh cheeses such as brie or camembert.  Another high risk selection for possible food borne illnesses are raw or undercooked eggs. 
You would not necessarily think of some of the foods that contain raw or undercooked eggs when ordering them.  These food selections include home made mayonnaise, Caesar salad dressing and french toast.  In the dessert category, selections such as lemon meringue pie, tiramisu or chocolate mousse will contain raw   or undercooked eggs.
For dining out in the buffet style restaurants, seek one out that’s crowded so you’ll know the foods are being restocked freshly and frequently.  Avoid mayonnaise based kinds of salads when dining out buffet style.
Some of the signs and symptoms of suspected food poisoning could include diarrhea lasting more than 2 to 3 days, vomiting or nausea, signs of dehydration, blood in your stool, shortness of breath, difficulty swallowing, an inability to take in any fluid or food and any nervous system symptoms.  In the unfortunate event of food poisoning, seek medical attention quickly.

By Natural Advocate | May 20, 2008 - 8:51 am - Posted in Natural Anti Aging

Well, an interesting link between the more financially affluent and secure amongst us and a lesser risk of stroke, the many times diabling and deadly occurrence where a vessel breaks in the brain and oxygen is temporarily cut off.  I’m not really sure how exactly this link was determined, and I do sometimes wonder how reliable these “studies” and surveys are, or whether they can really truly capture a snapshot of what’s really going on here in the US or the world for that matter.

And here’s where this study also gets a little trickier, the link between wealth and lower risk of stroke doesn’t apply if you’re 65 years or older.  So, this study really only says that you benefit from being in the upper echelon of the financial population if you’re in the age range of 50 to 64, when the risk of stroke tends to increase anyways.  65 and older your risk gets even bigger, and during this time the correlation seems to have disappeared.

So, why is it that the risk of stroke is less in this time period, with only the more affluent of the population?  Well, perhaps it may be that the more affluent have more health benefits at their disposal and can afford better, more thorough health care as well as take care of themselves better through better and hence more expensive diets, exercise regimes and preventive medicines that help stave off strokes and other health problems.

But why then, would the association between finances and strokes disappear after the age of 65?  Well, they have no good answer for that one, except that maybe the increased risk in the age itself is too overwhelming for the other financial factors to make a difference, or that maybe after this age, diet and other factors don’t make as big a difference. 

If you want to help increase the health of your heart and overall circulatory system, you may want to look into taking one of the best omega 3 dietary supplements to help prevent issues with the vessels and other methods of transport for the blood around the body, which also inherently helps the heart maintain it’s health and “free flow” of blood. 

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