need an antidepressant?

Hmm….what to do, what to do…..Should you take another pill or find another way to make you smile?

Try these first.  Doctor’s orders.

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Feeling better yet?  No?  Ok, keep going….

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And possibly my FAVORITE antidepressant………

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article-2335343-1A21899D000005DC-965_634x605(via Instagram)

Now….smile and go about your day!

surgery of the future…

Wow….surgery without the scalpel. 

Is it possible?  Can your cancerous tumor be treated with ultrasonic waves? 

 INDEED!!  Can your fibroid tumors be treated with ultrasonic waves?  YES! 

Watch THIS video and see how some Israeli doctors are taking a giant leap with technology..

scalpel

so….what’s your poison?

your-poison

No, seriously.  Do you think you’ve been poisoned? 

Did you know that next to the common cold, food poisoning is our most prevalent infection, afflicting perhaps as many as 90 million North Americans? (thank you, Readers Digest!)  The actual number may be far higher since food poisoning signs mimic flu and diarrhea symptoms.  Even with government inspections, safer packaging, refrigeration and all the chemical preservatives, food poisoning is on the rise (mostly in children and the elderly).

Botulism is poisoning by a micro-organism similar to that causing tetanus.  Found in home canned goods, improperly packed and sterilized canned products and contaminated vegetables, fruits, fish and condiments.  Within 18-36 hours, double vision and difficulty with muscular coordination, including chewing, swallowing, breathing and speech, set in.

Salmonella is widespread coming from bacteria found in hormone injected beef and poultry.  Within 12-48 hours, nausea, abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting and fever, set in, lasting 1 to 4 days.

E-coli is a bacterial infection that attacks the kidneys and sickens as many as 20,000 Americans each year and kills several hundred.  Most symptoms include bloody diarrhea and vomiting.  In severe cases, seizure, paralysis and even death.  Symptoms appear within 24-48 hours.

Lysteria Monocytogenes is an organism found in the soil and intestinal tracts of humans, animals, insects and birds.  Infection usually follows eating contaminated dairy products and raw vegetables.  Adults may develop meningitis, with headache, stiff neck, nausea and vomiting.  Eye inflammation and swollen lymph nodes sometimes develop.  Symptoms usually appear in 8-24 hours.

Trichinella is found in raw or undercooked pork that has been fed contaminated meat.  Within 24-48 hours a person will experience fever and diarrhea with pain and respiratory problems.

Don’t have time for all that nonsense?  Use the two hour rule in your home to keep your family safe.  Refrigerate or freeze all perishables within two hours of purchase or preparation.  If the weather is hot, like it is here in sunny AZ, then you should reduce that time to one hour and use a cooler for perishables.  The highest risk foods are meat, fish, shellfish, poultry, eggs, dairy products and mayonnaise mixtures.  It’s easy to keep a cooler in your car for those long treks to and from the store to keep your groceries safe.  Don’t forget to ask for a bag of ice at the checkout and just place it on top of your items, if you don’t want to open it up.

Remember….heat and humidity greatly increase the risk of food spoilage, so never store food in warm places, like near the stove or refrigerator.  And I KNOW you keep your cleaning products WAY FAR AWAY from all your food too, don’t you!!!??

Wash your produce, keep your meats cold (and don’t defrost at room temperature, please….use the bottom shelf of the fridge) and keep your family safe this summer!

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cancer? let’s start with prevention…

Main sites of metastases for some common cance...
Main sites of metastases for some common cancer types. Primary cancers are denoted by “…cancer” and their main metastasis sites are denoted by “…metastases”. List of included entries and references is found on main image page in Commons: (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Cancer.  It’s here.  It doesn’t surface overnight, but is a long process that can take years to raise it’s ugly head.

Prevention is all about making sure we are eating as healthy as possible and staying away from cancer landmines.

Here are a few landmines that have the potential to make cancer cells grow and multiply:

  • SMOKING:  According to the National Cancer Institute, there are over 7000 chemicals in cigarette smoke with 250 being harmful.  Do you smoke? STOP.
  • ALCOHOL:  Excessive alcohol intake (more than 2 servings/day for men and 1 serving/day for women) has been linked to an increased risk of cancer of the breast, mouth, throat, esophagus, colon, rectum and liver.  Medical News Today says 15% of all breast cancer deaths may be linked to alcohol.  Drink AND smoke?  STOP.
  • RADIATION:  Not just limited to x-rays, microwaves and nuclear reactors, radiation is also the light that comes from the sun and the heat that comes off our bodies.  Leukemia, a type of cancer that is centered in bone marrow, is the most common radiation induced cancer.  Severe sunburns also increase the risk of developing cancer.  Still tanning? STOP.
  • HORMONES:  Some hormones help cancer to grow and spread, such as breast and prostate cancers.  The longer women are exposed to high levels of estrogen, the greater the risk of developing breast cancer.  Your physician can recommend a hormone receptor test to see if cancer cells are sensitive to hormones.

There are other factors that contribute to cancer such as processed and red meats, salty foods, or meats cooked at dangerously high temperatures.

REDUCE YOUR RISK OF CANCER

Mayo Clinic says try these 7 tips to reduce your risk of cancer!

  1. Don’t use tobacco

    Using any type of tobacco puts you on a collision course with cancer. Smoking has been linked to various types of cancer — including cancer of the lung, bladder, cervix and kidney. And chewing tobacco has been linked to cancer of the oral cavity and pancreas. Even if you don’t use tobacco, exposure to secondhand smoke might increase your risk of lung cancer.

  2. Eat a healthy diet

    Although making healthy selections at the grocery store and at mealtime can’t guarantee cancer prevention, it might help reduce your risk. Consider these guidelines:

    • Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. Base your diet on fruits, vegetables and other foods from plant sources — such as whole grains and beans.
    • Limit fat. Eat lighter and leaner by choosing fewer high-fat foods, particularly those from animal sources. High-fat diets tend to be higher in calories and might increase the risk of overweight or obesity — which can, in turn, increase cancer risk.
    • If you choose to drink alcohol, do so only in moderation. The risk of various types of cancer — including cancer of the breast, colon, lung, kidney and liver — increases with the amount of alcohol you drink and the length of time you’ve been drinking regularly.
  3. Maintain a healthy weight and be physically active

Maintaining a healthy weight might lower the risk of various types of cancer, including cancer of the breast, prostate, lung, colon and kidney.

Physical activity counts, too. In addition to helping you control your weight, physical activity on its own might lower the risk of breast cancer and colon cancer.

Adults who participate in any amount of physical activity gain some health benefits. But for substantial health benefits, strive to get at least 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes a week of vigorous aerobic physical activity. You can also do a combination of moderate and vigorous activity. As a general goal, include at least 30 minutes of physical activity in your daily routine — and if you can do more, even better.

4.  Protect yourself from the sun

Skin cancer is one of the most common kinds of cancer — and one of the most preventable. Try these tips:

  • Avoid midday sun. Stay out of the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when the sun’s rays are strongest.
  • Stay in the shade. When you’re outdoors, stay in the shade as much as possible. Sunglasses and a broad-rimmed hat help, too.
  • Cover exposed areas. Wear tightly woven, loosefitting clothing that covers as much of your skin as possible. Opt for bright or dark colors, which reflect more ultraviolet radiation than pastels or bleached cotton.
  • Don’t skimp on sunscreen. Use generous amounts of sunscreen when you’re outdoors, and reapply often.
  • Avoid tanning beds and sunlamps. These are just as damaging as natural sunlight.

5.  Get immunized

Cancer prevention includes protection from certain viral infections. Talk to your doctor about immunization against:

  • Hepatitis B. Hepatitis B can increase the risk of developing liver cancer. The hepatitis B vaccine is recommended for certain high-risk adults — such as adults who are sexually active but not in a mutually monogamous relationship, people with sexually transmitted infections, intravenous drug users, men who have sex with men, and health care or public safety workers who might be exposed to infected blood or body fluids.

Human papillomavirus (HPV). HPV is a sexually transmitted virus that can lead to cervical and other genital cancers as well as squamous cell cancers of the head and neck. The HPV vaccine is available to both men and women age 26 or younger who didn’t have the vaccine as adolescents.

6.  Avoid risky behaviorsAnother effective cancer prevention tactic is to avoid risky behaviors that can lead to infections that, in turn, might increase the risk of cancer. For example:

  • Practice safe sex. Limit your number of sexual partners, and use a condom when you have sex. The more sexual partners you have in your lifetime, the more likely you are to contract a sexually transmitted infection — such as HIV or HPV. People who have HIV or AIDS have a higher risk of cancer of the anus, liver and lung. HPV is most often associated with cervical cancer, but it might also increase the risk of cancer of the anus, penis, throat, vulva and vagina.
  • Don’t share needles. Sharing needles with an infected drug user can lead to HIV, as well as hepatitis B and hepatitis C — which can increase the risk of liver cancer. If you’re concerned about drug abuse or addiction, seek professional help.

7.   Get regular medical care

Regular self-exams and screenings for various types of cancers — such as cancer of the skin, colon, prostate, cervix and breast — can increase your chances of discovering cancer early, when treatment is most likely to be successful. Ask your doctor about the best cancer screening schedule for you.

Take cancer prevention into your own hands, starting today. The rewards will last a lifetime.

source:  http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/cancer-prevention/CA00024/NSECTIONGROUP=2

Grape Seed Extract….making chemo look silly…

images  Grape seed extract is produced from ground up red grape seeds.  Not only beneficial for it’s antioxidant properties, but it can also work for circulation and bad cholesterol!  It’s also sweet for reducing swelling and for eye disease, secondary to diabetes.

Grape Seed Extract!  You rock!

At least according to Molly Derry of the University of Colorado.  She and her associates tested the effects of grape seed extract in patients with colorectal cancer.  They found that the more aggressive the cancer cells are, the more the extract works at targeting and stopping the growth.  How cool is that?

This information is compelling because many of the patients that have an advanced stage of cancer produced better results!  So conventional cancer treatments destroy all of the cells in an attempt to stop the spread of cancer yet the grape seed extract is attacking the cancer cells and leaving the healthy cells unaffectedWoo hoo!!

According to truththeory.com, “The bioactive compounds in grape seed extract selectively target many types of cancer cells. With an increase in colorectal cancer, the findings of this study are timely. By the time most people are diagnosed with the disease, it is in the advanced stages. But thankfully, as mentioned, researchers found that it required less grape seed extract to kill advanced cancer cells than it did cells in the early stage. It is thought that the extract kills cancer cells by a process of oxidative stress.”

Here’s what WebMD says:

How much grape seed extract should you take?

There is no firmly established dose of grape seed extract. Doses of between 100-300 milligrams/day have been used in studies and are prescribed in some European countries. No one knows what the highest safe dose is.

Can you get grape seed extract naturally from foods?

Grape seed extract comes from grapes. There are no other food sources.

What are the risks of taking grape seed extract?

  • Side effects. Grape seed extract is generally considered safe. Side effects may include headache, itchy scalp, dizziness, and nausea.
  • Risks. People allergic to grapes should not use grape seed extract. If you have a bleeding disorder or high blood pressure, talk to your doctor before you start using grape seed extract.
  • Interactions. If you take any medicines regularly, talk to your doctor before you start using grape seed extract. It could interact with drugs like blood thinners, NSAID painkillers (like aspirin, Advil, and Aleve), certain heart medicines, cancer treatments, and others.

Given the lack of evidence about its safety, grape seed extract is not recommended for children or for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

So there you go!  More natural born cancer killers!!!

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check your blood pressure HERE…

images  What’s normal?  Who’s normal? 

After a recent doctor’s appointment, where I was told I have normal-low blood pressure, I realized that I don’t really know what that meant.

So…..I decided to surf the web and find out what a healthy blood pressure should be….here’s what I found (via)

blood-pressure-chart

Or how about this chart? (via)

blood pressure chart

Make more sense?  It does to me!  Now I know where I should be….and where I shouldn’t be!   

You’re welcome!

mistletoe curing cancer? is it almost christmas??

mistletoe bunch

When you think of Mistletoe, do you think of cancer?  No?  Well, this might change your mind!

You can certainly find mistletoe in the United States, but it’s the species found in Europe that is being used in treatment for cancer, inflammatory conditions and AIDS.

Rudolph Steiner, an Austrian Swiss physician, first used this in 1920 and founded the Society for Cancer Research.  The leaves and  twigs are used when making this herbal extract,  but not the berries, so replace your centerpiece.

mistletoe

The mistletoe preparations are used to stimulate the immune system, kill cancer cells, and help to reduce tumor size.  It’s also been said to reduce the pain and side effects of chemotherapy in some cancer patients.

A typical course can last several months to a year.  The doses are increased according to the patient’s condition.  Usually given by injection, it can also be given orally depending on the particular cancer.

“Mistletoe extracts are promoted as a remedy for numerous types of cancer, including cancer of the cervix, ovaries, breast, stomach, colon, lung, and as a treatment for leukemia, sarcoma, and lymphoma.

Promoters also claim mistletoe can lower blood pressure, decrease heart rate, relax spasms, and relieve symptoms of arthritis and rheumatism. It is further claimed to have sedative effects and is promoted to relieve the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation therapy”, says Cancer.org.

Bottom line:  Is this in your backyard?  No, but I was able to find a list of doctors that are currently using this form of treatment!

Sources:

http://www.cancure.org/iscador_mistletoe.htm

http://www.cancer.org/treatment/treatmentsandsideeffects/complementaryandalternativemedicine/herbsvitaminsandminerals/mistletoe

arthritis and me….not a joint venture…

What exactly is arthritis?  It is the inflammation of one or more joints and it comes in a wide variety of forms.   Each kind of arthritis cause symptoms of pain, swelling, stiffness and the restriction of movement…and  I don’t like it one bit.

Wondering if your pain is related to arthritis?  Try this checklist via Arthritis.com:

  • Do you have pain in one or more joints?
  • Do you have swelling in one or more joints?
  • Do you have stiffness in your joints, especially after not moving for an extended period of time (e.g., moving in the morning)?
  • Do you have pain or discomfort in a joint that has a history of injury?

Not only are there different kinds of arthritis, but there are also different causes too!

  • Heredity
  • Age
  • Overuse of a joint
  • Injury
  • Infection
Most people that suffer from arthritis turn to expensive creams and prescriptions to deal with the pain, however, natural alternatives can make it easier to live with since there is no real cure.
Cayenne Pepper
Cayenne peppers contain capsaicin, a chemical compound that relieves discomfort by blocking neurotransmitters that transmit pain sensations, says Balch in “Prescription for Nutritional Healing.” While cayenne is available as an oral supplement, it can be used topically. Mix cayenne powder with wintergreen oil to make a paste; apply it around affected joints. Cayenne powder can also be used in a poultice by adding enough warm water to make it into a paste. Spread the paste on a cloth and apply it to the joint.
(via)
Castor Oil Packs
Castor oil packs can be used to obtain relief from arthritis pain, says Balch. Place castor oil in a shallow pan. Dip a piece of cheesecloth into the oil, until it is saturated. Wrap the cloth around the painful joint. Cover it with plastic wrap so that the oil does not come off on clothes or furniture. Wrap a heating pad around the pad to keep it warm. Castor oil packs can be used for up to two hours at a time.
(via)
Low Impact Exercise
Low-impact exercise helps strengthen bones, reduce inflammation and slow the deterioration of joint tissue, says Balch. Choose exercises that do not place excessive stress on the joints. Swimming, bicycle riding, yoga, Tai chi and walking can all help reduce the pain caused by arthritis. Start out with 10 to 20 minutes of exercise at a time; gradually build up to 30 minutes. Exercise at least three times a week for optimal benefits.
(via)
Bottom line?  Eating the right foods, exercising and reducing stress are all good ways to limit the pain associated with arthritis.  Find a good doctor and start feeling better today!

say a little prayer…

My sister in law, Alicia, is 42 years old and rocks an extra chromosome.  She is scheduled on Monday, Oct 29, 2012 (tomorrow for those without a calendar) for a hip replacement.  There are many new types of hip replacement surgeries, however, she has osteoporosis and has to have the old-school kind.

It’s always frightening for surgery, and we are pleading for your prayers.  Specifically, for her dad (79 years old and takes care of her by himself, since mom passed away suddenly, four years ago).

She is in a lot of pain with her hip, now……..but we are hoping praying for a successful operation and a speedy recovery!

Please join me in prayer for one of the sweetest people I have the pleasure of knowing!  I will give an update as soon as I know something!  If you would like to leave a comment for her, I will read it to her in the hospital!  I am so thankful for my friends, my blogger friends whom I’ve never met, and for all my Facebook and Twitter fans!  God is good and she is in His Hands!!

Thank you from the bottom of my heart!!

just when you think you are the bee’s knees……..

It’s official.  I’m old.

Owie…it happened overnight.  I took my sweet little grand-daughters to church, knelt down to pick up something and BAM!!!!!

Who knew that osteoarthritis would be at church!!  It was waiting for me at church!!!  What the heck?!!  I couldn’t stand back up without making a horrible looking face and an equally horrifying sound……it sounded like an exorcism was happening in the back of the gift shop.

It seems that arthritis is going to get most of us..sooner or later.  What is osteoarthritis?  It is the painful result of cartilage breakdown.

On Monday I hobbled to the doctor to get an x-ray and that is when he gave me the news.  Yep, I had stiffness, tenderness, warmth and swelling around my joints.  These knees were popping and cracking like a bag of popcorn in a microwave.

The doctor decided to have an x-ray made of my lower back also…..yes…..it’s there also.  Thanks for asking.

Now what?  Basically, if the joints are swollen, the doctor can prescribe anti-inflammatories such as Advil, Aleve or Motrin.  Heat for stiffness and cold packs for swelling.  He told me that unless the pain was very severe, I should keep moving.  I need to keep those joints lubricated.

Then I came across this….a new word that I had not heard or experienced.

KNINKLES….(knee wrinkles)  Turns out, most of us will get these too….(unless you do what I have done for years and use a “neck” wrinkle cream on your legs…Neck creams are much thicker and YES….I DON’T HAVE KNINKLES!!!  For more serious kninkles, check out Thermage or consider a ‘thigh’ tuck….or just wear pants.)

Here are a few “famous” Kninkles…….(via)

So….what’s my take on this new arthritic me??  Well…..I wouldn’t trade my smooth ‘old’ knees for ANY of these celebrity knees…..and my hubby?  Yep…he STILL thinks I’m the bee’s knees!!!!