By Natural Advocate | May 31, 2012 - 8:07 am - Posted in Medical News

The super antibiotic Z-Pac, which is the brand name for the strong antibiotic azithromycin, is a five day course of antibiotics which is one of the most often prescribed for infections and other things that can be responsive to antibiotic treatment.  The antibiotics of yesteryear are basically not strong enough for the new strains that we see today, simply because these new strains have evolved and mutated in response to the stronger antibiotics we give.

This can be dangerous, since we needs stronger and stronger medication in order to fight the same thing a mild medication would have treated with no problem a mere two decades ago.  Z-Pac is pretty much the ultimate in antibiotic treatment now, and many patients are put on it.

It’s a pack of 6 pills. You take two on the first day of treatment, then you take one for four days after that, completing a five day treatment.  I myself will never take this if I don’t have to, as I was on antibiotics for years as a teen for my acne, and believe that it caused some irreparable damage to my colon and bowel health.

You see, antibiotics are good for killing bad bacteria, but they are not good because they also kill the good bacteria that inhabits your bowels and keeps them healthy.  Probiotics are recommended for anyone after a round of antibiotics, so that the healthy flora in the intestines and bowels can be replenished.

Azithromycin has now also been linked with an increased risk of sudden cardiac death in patients that may already have heart problems.  The suspicions have been around for a while, and that lead to Vanderbilt University commissioning a study on the potential link.

Although the amount of deaths on Arithromycin are small, they are 2.5 higher than would have been reasonably expected. The risk factors identified are those with severe diabetes and those with pre-existing heart problems. The drug was found to cause irregular heart rhythms in those with these pre-existing conditions, which is what researchers are saying makes it dangerous for certain patients to take.

Doctors should definitely be vigilant in making sure their patients do not have these conditions. Even high blood pressure and high cholesterol could be a sign that a patient may not be able to take Z-Pac.  They are recommending that until a thorough review is done, people who have these health conditions should be prescribed an alternative antibiotic to Z-Pac.

By Natural Advocate | May 28, 2012 - 10:11 am - Posted in Alternative & Herbal Health News

Today is Memorial Day. I wanted to take a moment to remember two men in my life that were involved in various wars who are no longer with us. True, they were not killed in the wars they participated in, but they were both carrying the scars that often come with war and would not openly speak about their experiences much.

This is actually common for service men and women who have ever been involved in combat. War is traumatic, and yet we in this civilization view it as a necessity to get certain things we need and maintain our status quo of separation.

Here’s to the men and women who are currently serving our country. They may not get to break bread with their families as most of us will be able to today, and for that we thank them. For all their sacrifices and selflessness, we thank them.


By Natural Advocate | May 27, 2012 - 8:42 pm - Posted in Vitamins & Minerals

Vitamin D has emerged as a major player in the battle to prevent cancers from forming in the first place. This included several types of cancer, almost all of which affect both men and women. Why would a vitamin play such a pivotal role in the potential to prevent so many types of cancers?

Well, vitamin D has some powerful effects on both the immune system, which helps fight against cell death and cell mutation, and it also has some powerful anti-mutation effects on the cells themselves by affecting receptors in cells that protect the integrity of them.

Several studies have shown that risks of breast, colon and rectal cancers falls greatly when the blood levels of vitamin D reach 40 nanograms.  You would cringe to know how little of the population has failed to achieve these blood levels.

This is due to low RDA allowances from the fed recommendations.  They recommend too little of the vitamin to even make a dent in your ability to fight off cancerous growths.  They further act like these higher vitamin D levels can be dangerous while there is little proof of that.

There is actually more proof to the contrary, that higher vitamin D levels protect against cancer and boost immunity, both of which happen to go hand in hand.

Vitamin D levels have also been associated with a greater likelihood of survival after cancer has been diagnosed, and staying cancer free afterwards.  The funny part is that you are advised to avoid the sun like the plague, but this is your best and most effective form of vitamin D.

Sunlight exposure, particularly of the UVB spectrum, is what makes your skin make the vitamin, and this is the most precious form of this vitamin you can have because your body uses it more effectively than any capsulated form of the vitamin.

However, many experts still advise you get your capsules as well, preferably in a fatty suspension as it will absorb better this way, and preferably in the higher IU’s since your body is not as ready to absorb it in this form.  Vitamin D also absorbs better with calcium, and vice versa, so the two are often recommended as tandem supplements – especially for women.

The oxymoron is that excessive UVA/UVB exposure can also be a contributing factor to skin cancer, the most deadly form being melanoma.  However, if you monitor your sun exposure and most important NEVER burn yourself, sun is actually a very therapeutic and 100% necessity to the human body.


By Natural Advocate | May 23, 2012 - 11:07 am - Posted in Alternative & Herbal Health News

I really wanted to write about the death of a muscial genius, in my opinion, and to reflect on what a devastating loss it was not only to the rap/rock phenom who has lasted over decades of my life and influenced not only the music I listen to but that millions of other Generation X’ers did.

Adam Yauch, otherwise known as the MCA part of the trio Beastie Boys, succumbed to cancer of the salivary gland just a few short weeks ago. After not being seen in public for a very long time, it came as a surprise to me because I supposed I just thought he would be ok since earlier interviews I had read with him when he was just diagnosed seemed to be very upbeat, and he was told that the cancer was still in a very treatable stage.

I even got choked up when, just a few weeks later after they were inducted into the rock and roll hall of fame, my husband and I watched the ceremony, and his bandmates were there, just a short time before his death, without him, reading a really lovely letter he wrote to his fans to the audience.

It has really come as a blow to the generation that his music entertained, not only because we will miss his musical genius, but also because I think it hits us in a way about our own mortality. Here is someone in his late forties, by all means nowhere near the end of his life, and he died of a disease that we all thought was pretty treatable.

Not only that, but he had a healthy lifestyle. He was a vegan, he wasn’t overweight, and he didn’t smoke that I know of.  He also obviously had the financial means for the best treatments. Then again, so did Steve Jobs and cancer eventually took his life as well.

I think it just makes you reflect on the utter preciousness of life and remember how important it is to live every moment to the fullest. Because you never know when it might come, and you want to die with no regrets, and certainly knowing that you left a mark of kindness, love and forgiveness on the world.

By Natural Advocate | May 19, 2012 - 10:53 am - Posted in Medical News

We’re having quite the struggle with allergy season here in Northeast Ohio. This is the typical time of year when pollen, mold and other typical allergens are in the air in full force anyway, but what makes it worse is the mild weather we had all winter long.

I celebrate that mild weather, trust me! Living in a climate where you don’t know how to dress day to day, you learn to really appreciate those mild seasons when you can pretty much figure out what you’re facing, and the weather report is usually right.

However, what allergy specialists are saying is that people are experiencing a lot more allergies, and in particular asthma (I’ve been having attacks, and I rarely get them any more for example) this season than they normally do because of the unseasonably warm winter we had.

The theory is that the pollen and all the other allergens that typically are “frozen” into submission in the deep, dark winter time, never really went away fully because it was never at a low enough temperature. I mean, our lake – Lake Erie – didn’t even freeze over this winter! Our lawns never died either.

So you know that a lot of the other organisms out there floating around that get in our lungs, ears, nose and throat were just waiting to come back out in to the air. Not only do you have the stuff that comes out with the new season every year after lying dormant, but you also have the old leftover stuff that never died, making it a double whammy for those that suffer from asthma and allergies, or any other allergic reactions or conditions that are triggered by airborne organisms.

I’ve noticed that I actually have to reach for my inhaler for my asthma, which I normally don’t like to do. However, they were emergency situations where I really didn’t feel I could just use my natural ways of getting rid of it. I hate using the inhaler because I feel like it’s really not good for my heart or my lungs.

There is a lot of evidence that what you eat can impact what you are allergic to.  Some people say that, for example, eating a lot of sugar or caffeine can actually increase your allergies.  Also complete avoidance of substances can trigger allergies, as well as repeated exposure to something that builds in tissues and creates  a sort of toxic buildup.

I know it can be confusing to think of all the things you need to do in order to keep allergies to a minimum. What you need to do is identify the things that trigger them for your personally and try to minimize them in your life. You will come to know the triggers as you realize what makes you sneeze, cough, your eyes water, or your throat to become dry or irritated (these are some of the most common symptoms of allergies as reported by sufferers).

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