By Natural Advocate | December 14, 2012 - 6:26 pm - Posted in Medical News

Chemotherapy, which is disappointingly still the major drug choice that is used to treat a multitude of cancers here in the US under typical Western medicine, has long been suspected of causing serious brain fog. Countless patients complain of this as they are undergoing chemo treatments, but the studies had yet to actually prove that it was a real phenomenon, until now.

As most people know (and sadly some are still in the dark about) chemotherapy drugs are highly toxic to the human body. They not only target and kill cancerous cells, but they also kill healthy cells, which is why so many awful things happen to people while they are enduring this “therapy”.

Many times patients say that they have trouble with the simple planning and organizing tasks for their day as well as in the memory area when they are on chemotherapy. It was commonly called “chemo brain” because the phenomenon was so common in patients who were undergoing it.

A new study has shown that evidence backs up these claims. It shows that the various areas of the brain that are affected actually are not as active during chemo and seem to be slower to respond and not as active overall as they were pre-chemo. The effects may even extend beyond the treatment, however the study also claims that the effects on the brain and the fogginess tend to go away after treatment is over.

The research hopes to be able to point to ways to ease this awful side effect, which often makes patients feel helpless, and can be depressing on top of the fact that they are battling a deadly disease. It’s not exactly good for morale when you can’t focus and you feel that your body is somehow failing you as well.

Some of the common side effects of chemo have interesting remedies already. There are some drugs that hope to increase the appetite in patients since chemo often lowers the appetite so drastically that patients lose weight that they really cannot afford to lose when they are battling cancer.

Another well-known and often devastating side effect of course is hair loss. There is a cap now that cools the head while undergoing treatment so that the hair follicles don’t heat up to the point where they kill the hair root and make the strand fall out. Some pretty great results are being seen with that one.

This study may help to spawn some innovative complimentary treatments to help prevent this brain fog aspect of treatment as well.

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 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).

By Natural Advocate | April 12, 2012 - 2:06 pm - Posted in Medical News

Vaccines have created more controversy than ever in the past decade as more and more parents are opting to not vaccinate their children against potentially life and health threatening diseases that have been virtually eradicated due to the vaccination process.

Some say the fear of vaccines is unwarranted.  The mainstream media has even discredited a lot of the studies that occurred that seemed to show a link between various types of vaccinations and the preservatives used in them and autism in children. There is no denying that autism has been on the rise over the past several decades, and the one correlation that many parents have seen is that of vaccinations in children.

But there are many who would refute this possibility and say that the vaccine scare is a totally irrational one and that parents are actually putting their children in more danger by not getting certain vaccines than they are if they got them in the first place.

I don’t know exactly where I stand on the issue, and luckily I haven’t had any children yet to be put in the difficult position to make the decision.  But I do know I’m wary of vaccines, and I’ve seen a lot of evidence that there may indeed be a link.

The CDC and WHO (World Health Organization) have expressed concerns that diseases that were virtually gone due to inoculations may be making a come back if parents keep opting out of vaccinations.  There are many concerns that children’s health is being put at risk. On the flip side, there are concerns that vaccinating is also putting kids at risk.

Donald Trump has even come out and said that he has talked to many parents who have witness seemingly healthy, intelligent babies totally change after vaccinations. That is simply scary stuff right there, and there is no wonder so many parents are opting out, even at the eyeball rolling they usually get from their traditional doctors upon this decision.

Where do you stand on the vaccine issue? Do you think vaccines cause autism and may also contribute to other diseases?  See our previous related story on the autism/vaccine link being discredited.

By Natural Advocate | March 18, 2012 - 11:05 am - Posted in Medical News, Natural Pain Relief

The adverse side effects of so many modern prescsription pain medications are evident. Not only that, their addictive nature has spiraled out of control.  This has been drawn into the national spotlight as several celebrities have fallen victim to dangerous drug cocktails that often involve highly addictive pain medications like Vicodin and Oxycontin (see our past story on the problems with Oxycontin addiction).

Celebrities like Whitney Houston, Heath Ledger and Anna Nicole Smith have all been victims who paid the ultimate price for combining multiple heavy hitting drugs.  Brittany Murphey’s 2009 death was linked to combinations of precsription drugs found at her home, although her official cause of death was primarily pneumonia.

Her husband mysteriously died of similar circumstances months after her, which seemed to disappear from the headlines relatively quickly for some reason and didn’t cause as much inquisition as one would think.

A new pain killer medication that is supposed to target pain by interrupting the nerves that cause pain has been put on blast by the FDA due to indications that it may cause bone decay.  It seems that most pain medications have side effects because they somehow trip other areas of the body to malfunction in some way, which suggests that nature does  not intend for us to be able to quell pain in such ways.

I was on Vicodin extra strength for my oral surgery a few years ago, and I can attest to how truly addictive these opiate type pain pills can be. I didn’t realize that I was going through withdrawal from the medication until I snapped at my husband for absolutely no reason and wanted to crawl out of my own skin for an entire day or two.

They are addictive because they really do make you feel “good” and they do take all traces of pain away because they essentially get you high. There I said it, they get you high!


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