Sugar: A Leading Promoter of Cancer & Heart Disease


More than 1.6 million new cancer cases are expected to be diagnosed in the United States of America this year – and over half a million are expected to die from the disease. Another 600,000 Americans die every single year due to heart disease – it being the number one cause of death among both males and females.

Regardless of the incredible technological advances over the past century, Western medicine still has no idea of how to stop the progression of these two diseases in their tracks.

It’s becoming more and more clear that many of the conventional strategies claiming to properly and effectively treat and prevent cancer and heart disease hold many flawed assumptions that do more harm than they do good.

The sad thing is that these conventional strategies actually fail to address the core of the problem: that a diet high in sugar and processed foods is the culprit.

For many years, saturated fats have been where physicians and nutrition experts were placing the blame. They thought that eating foods high in saturated fat would lead to clogged arteries, which would then lead to the inevitable heart problems. Now, more and more folks are beginning to realize that saturated fats are healthy, and necessary for optimal brain function.

What they have realized is that a diet high in sugar, and fructose in particular, is what leads to serious health problems – heart disease, cancer, and many others. Equipped with this pivotal information puts you in the driver’s seat when it comes to the prevention of these pernicious diseases.

So How Much Sugar Is in Your Diet?

So high sugar consumption deleteriously affects one’s health. But hold on a second, cutting out sugars is not the be all end all. Many food ingredients out there do even more damage than sugar, and the bad thing is that there are a few that are in over half of the boxed foods that you find in the grocery store. They all have funky, difficult to pronounce names. The word sugar isn’t appended to them to warn you of how unhealthy they are. Rather, it seems as though there is an attempt to obscure the truth from the general public, so that they do not know what they are eating. If they did, they would be able to make wiser, healthier choices and thus boycott the companies that pump out foods with harmful ingredients.

Hidden sugar, in the form of high fructose corn syrup is in just about every single processed food imaginable. You can even find it in stuff that you would generally consider to be the healthiest foods of all – like yogurt and certain juices. They are in just about every soda you can think of, and now, they are beginning to appear in just about every other bread or sauce that you buy from the store. The majority of the grains have this noxious corn syrup. Grain-based staples, like pancakes, muffins and cereals, have a bunch of sugar in them already (they quickly turn to sugar in your body). Now, adding high fructose corn syrup into the mix is just adding fuel to the fire.

Studies indicate that if you limit your sugar, you dramatically decrease your chances of developing cancer – and that includes breast and colon cancers. Those who want to optimize their health need to think long and hard before they make their next trip to the grocery store. Chances are, they are consuming far too much of both sugar and high fructose corn syrup.

Fructose Increases Cancer Risk

As we mentioned earlier, high fructose corn syrup is in just about every single soda out there. Many companies have attempted to conceal this fact by using a different name for the ingredient instead. Regardless, the body’s reaction to the exposure of such unhealthy stuff is going to be the same. DNA damage, altered cellular metabolism and inflammation are all symptoms that develop as a result of drinking too much soda.

Tumor cells thrive in glucose. This, by itself, confirms the old adage that sugar feeds cancer. Cells have the capacity to use fructose for cell division. A rapid and unmitigated growth of cells is what causes cancer. The tumors you see are a bunch of cells that have reproduced at a rate much faster than normal.

This by no means suggests that one ought to totally avoid fruits just because they are high in sugar as well. The benefits of fruit definitely outweigh any concerns regarding fructose. It is recommended not to juice fruits and to eat them whole. Fruits today are a great deal sweeter than they were in the past, and for that, should be consumed in moderation. The greatest problem, though, is the high fructose corn syrup that is in practically each and every one of the processed foods and drinks you see.

Don’t Forget the Exercise

Exercise actually does more than merely help you look thin and good. Controlling your blood-glucose and insulin levels can be an incredibly effective way of recovering from cancer. Exercise is a fantastic way of doing this. Of course, this is not the be all end all by any stretch of the imagination. But exercise is a big factor, if not in recovering from cancer, at the very least, preventing cancer. Folks who spend a great deal of time getting their heart rate up and running do seem to develop cancer much less than the inert who remain listless on a regular basis.

In short, maintaining a healthy weight and exercising on the regular creates an incredibly healthy feedback loop that makes certain that insulin and leptin levels are at an optimal level. Insulin and leptin resistance – mostly driven by not exercising and by eating a lot of refined sugars – are the underlying factors that result in pretty much the majority of chronic diseases.

Allergy Glossary


Allergen: A substance that triggers an allergic reaction.

Allergic rhinitis: An allergy affecting the mucus membrane of the nose. Seasonal allergic rhinitis is often called “hay fever.”

Allergies: A chronic disease characterized by an overreaction of the immune system to protien substances — either inhaled, ingested, touched or injected — that normally do not cause an overreaction in non-allergic people.

Allergist: A doctor that diagnoses, treats, and manages allergy-related conditions.

Anaphylaxis: A life-threatening allergic reaction that involves the entire body. Anaphylaxis may result in shock or death, and thus requires immediate medical attention

Animal dander: The small scales or pieces of skin, often containing proteins secreted by oil glands, which are shed by an animal. These proteins are the major causes of allergies to pets.

Antibiotics: A class of medications used to treat bacterial infections. Certain antibiotics, such as penicillin, may cause an allergic reaction in some people.

Antibody: A protein in the immune system that recognizes and attacks foreign substances in the body.

Antihistamines: A class of medications used to block the action of histamines in the body and prevent the symptoms of an allergic reaction.

Allergic asthma: A chronic, inflammatory disorder of the airways characterized by wheezing, breathing difficulties, coughing, chest tightness, wherein these sypmtoms are caused by an allergic reaction to an inhaled allergen, rather than an irritant or other non-allergy factor. (See “non-allergic asthma” for more information.)

Atopic dermatitis: A chronic skin rash, also known as “eczema,” that often appears in the first few years of life.

Basophil: An immune system cell that attaches to antibodies and circulates through out the blood.

Beta-blockers: A class of blood pressure medications that ease the heart’s pumping action and widen the blood vessels. Beta-blockers counteract the effects of epinephrine used for emergency treatment of anaphylactic shock and should not be used during immunotherapy.

Bronchial tubes: The lower sections of the airway that lead into the lungs.

Challenge test: A test used to confirm an allergy to specific substance. A doctor will administer small but increasing amounts of a suspected allergen until an allergic response is noticed. Due to the risk of anaphylaxis, this should only be performed under a controlled setting.

Conjunctivitis: Inflammation of the conjunctiva, or the mucous membrane surrounding the eye. Also known as pinkeye.

Contact dermatitis: An allergic reaction resulting from skin contact to an allergen.

Corticosteroid: An anti-inflammatory medication used to treat the itching and swelling associated with some allergic reactions.

Cromolym sodium: An anti-inflammatory nasal spray used to treat and sometimes prevent allergic rhinitis.

Decongestants: A class of medications used for nasal congestion. Decongestants are available in oral doses, nasal sprays, or eye drops (for conjunctivitis).

Drug allergies: A chronic disease characterized by an overreaction of the immune system in some people to certain types of medications such as penicillin, aspirin, etc.

Dust mites: A microscopic organism that lives in dust.

Eczema: See Atopic dermatitis.

Eosinophil: A specific type of immune cell that can cause tissue damage in the late phase of an allergic reaction.

Epinepherine: A medication used for immediate treatment of anaphylaxis by raising blood pressure and heart rate back to normal levels. Epinepherine is also known as adrenaline.

EpiPen: A device used to inject epinephrine during an anaphylaxis attack.

Eye allergies: A chronic disease characterized by an overreaction of the immune system to protiens get into the eye (also called “allergic conjunctivitis).

Food allergies: A chronic disease characterized by an overreaction of the immune system to food protiens.

Heparin: A chemical released by basophils and mast cells that causes nearby tissues to become swollen and inflamed.

Histamine: A chemical released by basophils and mast cells that causes nearby tissues to become swollen and inflamed.

Hives: See urticaria.

Immunoglobulin E (IgE): A type of antibody responsible for most allergic reactions.

Immunotherapy: A series of shots that help build up the immune system’s tolerance to an allergen.

Indoor allergies: A chronic disease characterized by an overreaction of the immune system to certain protiens found inside, such as mold spores, pet dander, cockroach or dust mite allergen, etc. (also called “perennial allergies”).

Insect allergies: A chronic disease characterized by an overreaction of the immune system to certain insect protiens such as venom from stining or biting insects (bees, wasps, ants, spiders), or even allergens from cockroaches and dust mites.

Insulin: A hormone that regulates blood sugar levels. Diabetics who take insulin derived from animals may have allergic reactions.

Intradermal test: A test where an allergen is injected just underneath the skin. Intradermal tests are generally used when results from a skin prick test are unclear.

Late phase: The period 4 to 24 hours after exposure to an allergen where tissue damage may occur.

Latex allergies: A chronic disease characterized by an overreaction of the immune system to latex protiens found in many rubber or latex products. Latex allergies may occurr due to touching latex or even inhaling latex dust.

Leukotriene modifiers: A class of medications used in asthma and allergies to block the action of leukotrienes in the body and prevent the common symptoms of an allergic reactions and asthma.

Lymphocyte: A specific type of immune cell that can cause tissue damage in the late phase of an allergic reaction.

Mast cell: An immune system cell which attaches to antibodies and is located in the tissue that lines the nose, bronchial tubes, gastrointestinal tract, and the skin.

Neocromil sodium: An inhaled medication used to treat inflammation involved with asthma.

Neutrophil: A specific type of immune cell that can cause tissue damage in the late phase of an allergic reaction.

Otitis media: A middle ear infection. Otitis media with effusion occurs when fluid builds up within the ear.

Outdoor allergies: A chronic disease characterized by an overreaction of the immune system to certain protiens found outside, such as tree/grass/weed pollen, mold spores, stinging insects, poisonous plants, etc. (also called “hayfever,” “nasal allergies,” or “seasonal allergies”).

Radioallergosorbant test (RAST): A blood test that measures the amount of IgE antibody produced when the sample is mixed with a specific allergen.

Rhinitis: An inflammation of the nasal passageways, particularly with discharge.

Sinusitis: An inflammation or infection of one or more sinuses. The sinuses are hollow air spaces located around the nose and eyes.

Skin allergies: A chronic disease characterized by an overreaction of the immune system to certain protiens that come incontact with the skin (often appears as a rash, eczema, etc.). Also, “skin” allergies may refer to other types of allergies and have symptoms which appear on the skin causing hives, eczema, psoriasis, etc.

Skin prick test: A test where a needle is used to scratch the skin with a small amount of allergen. A response can usually be seen within 15 to 20 minutes.

Urticaria: Raised areas of the skin that are often red, warm, and itchy. Urticaria is also known as hives.

: An oil found on poison ivy, oak, and sumac.

MERS Case Investigation

CDC: First case of MERS infection transmitted inside the U.S.


U.S. investigation

The case was discovered as part of an investigation by U.S. health officials to track people who came in close contact with the Indiana man, who became the first person diagnosed with MERS in the United States. He was diagnosed with the virus on May 2.

MERS, first found in the Arabian Peninsula in 2012, is a coronavirus — the same group of viruses as the common cold. It attacks the respiratory system.

Symptoms, which include fever and a cough, are severe and can lead to pneumonia and kidney failure. Gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhea have also been seen, according to the WHO. There is no vaccine or special treatment, and it can be fatal in up to one-third of cases, Dr. Anne Schuchat, assistant surgeon general for the U.S. Public Health Service told CNN recently.

To date, there have been more than 570 confirmed cases of MERS, including 171 deaths, according to the World Health Organization. The number of countries with confirmed cases expanded to 18, with a case in the Netherlands, according to the WHO.

Many of the cases are in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

No one knows exactly how the virus originated, but evidence implicating camels is emerging. In a recently published study in mBio, researchers said they isolated live MERS virus from two single-humped camels, known as dromedaries. They found multiple substrains in the camel viruses, including one that perfectly matches a substrain isolated from a human patient.

2 health care workers exposed to MERS patient

Indiana case

The Illinois case was discovered as part of an investigation by U.S. health officials who tracked the movements and contacts of the Indiana man, who was an American health care provider who had been working in Saudi Arabia and was on a planned visit to Indiana to see his family.

He traveled April 24 from Riyadh to London, then to Chicago, and took a bus to Indiana, officials said.

The Indiana man “had extended face-to-face contact with a business associate (Illinois man) on April 25, and then another brief contact on April 26,” Swerdlow said.

The Indiana began experiencing shortness of breath, coughing, and fever on April 27, the Indiana State Department of Health has said.

He was admitted to Community Hospital in Munster, Indiana, on April 28, the same day he visited the emergency department there, the health department said. The man was released from the hospital last week.

Health officials tested 53 health care workers, six family member and an additional business associate.

The MERS virus appears to have presented differently in the Illinois man, who reported only mild-like cold symptoms.

“There is a broader spectrum of MERS than first thought… you can have no symptoms,” Swerdlow said.

There are no travel restrictions to the Arabian Peninsula; however, the CDC suggests that people who visit there monitor their health and watch for any flu-like symptoms. If you do feel unwell after such a trip, be sure to tell your doctor about your travel.

Texas Family Welcomes ‘One in a Million’ Quadruplets

It might be a good time for the Hall family to buy lottery tickets after they welcomed a “one in a million” set of quadruplets into the world this week.

Anna and Josh Hall from Fort Worth, Texas, became the proud parents of Brooks, Sadie, Elle and Ivy on Monday at the Baylor Regional Medical Center at Grapevine. The babies were born at only 31 weeks and will remain in the hospital for six weeks, giving them a chance to gain weight before going home.

Even with fertility treatments, experts say a quadruplets birth is extremely rare. Dr. Sherry Kappler, a neonatologist at Baylor Regional Medical Center and Pediatrix medical group, called the chance “one in a million” and said the biggest risk for quadruplets was being born premature.

“Most [quadruplets] are born at 29 weeks but [they] made it to 31,” said Kappler. “When they’re born early, we worry about their lung and brain development.”

The babies were the first set of quadruplets to be delivered at the hospital and Kappler said the team made sure they were prepared.

“Just to take care of the babies is 12 people,” said Kappler. “We did a walk through and practice [with] practice babies. By the time Monday happened we all knew where we needed to be…We thank the babies for being such good patients.”

Josh Hall, already a father to two older daughters, said the quadruplets’ birth was even more special since it fell on his 36th birthday.

“It was a really fun birthday that will never be one upped,” said Hall, who acknowledges he’ll probably never get his own birthday celebration after the quadruplets’ birthday. “It went out with a bang.”

Hall said they were surprised when they learned about the number of infants during Anna’s pregnancy, but were thankful all four babies were healthy and happy.

“Everything changes,” said Hall of learning about the quadruplets for the first time. “We left the doctor’s office and we prayed together and talked about how we knew these babies were a blessing. We had wanted kids for so long, we were in fertility  treatments for six years,” said Hall. “There was no other way we could look at this other than this as a blessing. ”

Source: ABC News Health

Alcohol Awareness

April Is Alcohol Awareness Month

April marks Alcohol Awareness Month, a nationwide campaign intended to raise awareness of the health and social problems that excessive alcohol consumption can cause for individuals, their families, and their communities. Excessive drinking is a dangerous behavior for both men and women. This year, CDC is drawing attention to the risks to women’s health from binge drinking, the most common type of excessive alcohol consumption by adults.

Binge Drinking and the Risks to Women’s Health

  • Binge drinking is defined as consuming 4 or more drinks per occasion for women and 5 or more drinks per occasion for men. It is a common and dangerous behavior that contributes to more than 11,500 deaths among women in the U.S. each year—approximately 32 deaths per day.
  • In 2009, more than 1 out of every 10 women reported binge drinking during the past 30 days. On average, women who binge drink said they engaged in this risky behavior at least three times per month. Among women binge drinkers, they consume, on average, almost six drinks per drinking occasion, which exceeds the threshold for binge drinking.
  • Binge drinking usually leads to impairment, and women who binge drink with greater frequency and intensity put themselves and those around them at increased risk of experiencing alcohol-related harms, particularly if they are pregnant or may become pregnant.
  • Binge drinking increases the risk for breast cancer, heart disease, and stroke, all of which are leading causes of death in women.

Gender Differences and Alcohol Consumption

  • Upon drinking equal amounts, women tend to absorb more alcohol when they drink, and take longer to break it down and remove it from their bodies compared to their male counterparts. These differences are caused by differences in body composition and chemistry between men and women. Even when they drink the same amount of alcohol, women tend to have higher levels of alcohol in their blood than men, and the immediate effects of impairment occur more quickly and last longer.
  • Alcohol tends to leave the body at a slower rate in women who take birth control pills compared with those who do not. The result can be greater alcohol impairment in women who take birth control pills.

Risk for Sexual Assault

  • Binge drinking is a risk factor for sexual assault, especially among young women in college settings. The risk for rape or sexual assault increases when both the perpetrator and victim have used alcohol before the attack.

Risk of HIV and other Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)

Alcohol Consumption and Pregnancy

  • No amount of alcohol is safe to drink while pregnant.There is also no safe time during pregnancy to drink, and no safe kind of alcohol.
  • Women who drink alcohol while pregnant increase their risk of having a baby with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs). This group of conditions includes physical and intellectual disabilities, as well as problems with behavior and learning. Often, a person has a mix of these problems. FASDs are a leading known cause of intellectual disability and birth defects. FASDs are completely preventable if a woman does not drink while she is pregnant or may become pregnant.
  • Women should not drink alcohol if they are planning to become pregnant or are sexually active and do not use effective birth control because they could become pregnant and not know for several weeks. In 2001, about one-half of all pregnancies in the United States were unplanned.
  • National surveys show that about 6 out of every 10 women of child-bearing age (18–44 years) use alcohol, and about one-third of women in this age group who drink alcohol binge drink.
  • Female binge drinkers are more likely to engage in unsafe sexual activities compared with women who are not binge drinkers. Binge drinking increases the risk for unintended pregnancy which may lead to a delay in recognizing pregnancy. If a woman does not recognize that she is pregnant and she continues drinking, she can expose her developing fetus to alcohol without realizing it.

Alcohol Consumption and Chronic Diseases:

Women are often more vulnerable than men to the long-term effects of alcohol on their health. Over time, drinking too much alcohol can lead to

  • Cancer: Alcohol consumption increases the risk for breast cancer and cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, liver, and colon.
  • Liver Disease: The risk for cirrhosis and other alcohol-related liver diseases is higher for women than for men.
  • Heart Problems: Studies have shown that women who drink excessively are at increased risk for damage to the heart muscle than men. Binge drinking can lead to high blood pressure and increase the risk for heart attack and stroke.

Prevention Works

Binge drinking and the harms that result from it can be prevented. Prevention strategies require action at individual and population levels and must consider ways to create community environments that discourage binge drinking by women and their families.

All Women Can

  • Avoid drinking alcohol if pregnant or planning to become pregnant. Remember—Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders are 100% preventable.
  • Choose not to binge drink and help others not to do it. Binge drinking leads to many health and social problems for the drinkers, their families, and their communities. If women choose to drink alcoholic beverages, they should do so in moderation. Moderate drinking is defined as the consumption of up to one drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day for men, according to the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for AmericansAdobe PDF file [PDF – 967KB]External Web Site Icon
  • Seek care from a health care provider for excessive drinking. The U.S. Preventive Services Task ForceExternal Web Site Icon recommends screening and behavioral counseling for alcohol misuse by adults, including pregnant women. Screening and Brief Intervention has been shown to significantly decrease the number of drinks consumed per week and the number of binge drinking episodes.

State and Community Leaders Can

  • Support efforts to implement effective population-level strategies to prevent binge drinking. States and communities can reduce excessive alcohol use, including binge and underage drinking, among their residents by implementing evidence-based population strategies recommended by the Guide to Community Preventive ServicesExternal Web Site Icon. These strategies include increasing alcohol excise taxes, regulating alcohol outlet density, and maintaining and enforcing the age 21 years minimum legal drinking age (MLDA).
  • Continue to monitor binge drinking levels. Measuring the magnitude of binge drinking in the general population and specific groups at high risk (e.g., women of childbearing age) provides evidence for the need to implement population-level public health strategies for reducing binge drinking. The resulting data also serve as indicators of progress in reducing overall binge drinking levels, including binge drinking occasions and the number of drinks consumed.

Cancer Control Month


April Is Cancer Control Month

What Is Cancer Control?

Cancer control month highlights advances in fighting cancer. This includes prevention, early detection, and treatment of cancer. One way to control cancer is to find cancer cells and get rid of them. Cancer screenings can help find cancer early. The earlier the cancer is found, the better the prognosis. The American Cancer Society’s recommendations for cancer screening can be found on the next page.

What are the Key Statistics about Cancer?

  • After heart disease, cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States.
  • About 1,665,540 new cancer cases are expected to be diagnosed in 2014.
  • Over a lifetime, about 1 in 2 men and 1 in 3 women in the United States will develop cancer.
  • Cancer rates and deaths have been on the decline since the early 1990’s.
  • One third of cancers detected will be related to overweight or obesity, physical inactivity, and nutrition.

Who’s at Risk?

While everyone is at risk for cancer, some people are at greater risk than others are. Age is the greatest risk factor for cancer, since nearly 77% of cancers are detected at age 55 and older. Also, people who use tobacco, drink heavily, are physically inactive, eat a poor diet, are regularly exposed to carcinogens (cancer causing agents) in their occupation, or have prolonged and unprotected exposure to sunlight are all at increased risk for certain cancers.

Everyone should follow cancer prevention and screening guidelines. Those at highest risk for specific cancers should pay close attention to symptoms and screening recommendations and should seek prompt medical attention if they occur. Below are screening guidelines published in the American Cancer Society’s 2014 Cancer Facts and Figures.

Can Cancer Be Found Early or Controlled?

Scientific or medical discoveries have a major impact on controlling cancer. Some examples of controlling cancer are:

Genetic Testing

Researchers have found changes (mutations) in genes may cause cancer. Some genetic changes may increase a person’s chance of getting cancer. People who are concerned about cancer in their family should talk to their doctor. The doctor may send them to a cancer genetics specialist. People with a strong family history of cancer may be recommended to have a blood test. These tests may show if they have inherited any of these genetic changes. Genetic counseling helps people decide if testing is right for them as well as understand and deal with the results.

Genetic counseling is available through The Hereditary Oncology Prevention and Evaluation (HOPE) program at Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey. Please call 732-235-7110 to schedule an appointment or for more information about the program.

Gene Therapy

Cells normally have genes that help prevent cancer from developing. A large part of cancer cells have changes in these genes. This is still experimental, but it may be possible to treat cancer by placing a healthy gene into the cancer cells.


Scientists are studying cancer vaccines that can stop (or in some cases, prevent) certain cancers. Vaccines help the immune system to fight the cancer.

Chemopreventive Agents

New chemopreventive agents (agents given to prevent cancer) are being developed. They can act alone or with other medications to reduce the risk of certain cancers.

Early Detection

The development of new and more accurate cancer screening methods will allow earlier detection of some precancerous lesions and early-stage cancers. This allows physicians to treat people before the disease progresses.

Lifestyle Changes

The development of new findings about lifestyle changes, especially concerning diet, nutrition, and physical activity, may prevent some cancers.


Clinical trials are in progress to test new chemotherapy drugs or combinations. Other studies are testing new ways to combine proven drugs to make them even more effective. These medications can help control or cure cancer once it has developed.


Scientists are testing treatments that work with the immune system. This type of treatment can help fight cancer or control the side effects caused by some cancer treatments. You may also hear this referred to as biological therapy, biotherapy, or biological response modifier (BRM) therapy.

Antiangiogenesis Agents

Tumors cannot grow without a blood supply. Researchers are studying antiangiogenesis therapy, which is the use of drugs or other substances to stop cancerous tumors from developing new blood vessels.

©Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey Patient Education Committee

What is Stress?



Stress is not a useful term for scientists because it is such a highly subjective phenomenon that it defies definition. And if you can’t define stress, how can you possibly measure it? The term “stress”, as it is currently used was coined by Hans Selye in 1936, who defined it as “the non-specific response of the body to any demand for change”. Selye had noted in numerous experiments that laboratory animals subjected to acute but different noxious physical and emotional stimuli (blaring light, deafening noise, extremes of heat or cold, perpetual frustration) all exhibited the same pathologic changes of stomach ulcerations, shrinkage of lymphoid tissue and enlargement of the adrenals. He later demonstrated that persistent stress could cause these animals to develop various diseases similar to those seen in humans, such as heart attacks, stroke, kidney disease and rheumatoid arthritis. At the time, it was believed that most diseases were caused by specific but different pathogens. Tuberculosis was due to the tubercle bacillus, anthrax by the anthrax bacillus, syphilis by a spirochete, etc. What Selye proposed was just the opposite, namely that many different insults could cause the same disease, not only in animals, but in humans as well.


Selye’s theories attracted considerable attention and stress soon became a popular buzzword that completely ignored Selye’s original definition. Some people used stress to refer to an overbearing or bad boss or some other unpleasant situation they were subjected to. For many, stress was their reaction to this in the form of chest pain, heartburn, headache or palpitations. Others used stress to refer to what they perceived as the end result of these repeated responses, such as an ulcer or heart attack. Many scientists complained about this confusion and one physician concluded in a 1951 issue of the British Medical Journal that, “Stress in addition to being itself, was also the cause of itself, and the result of itself.”


Unfortunately, Selye was not aware that stress had been used for centuries in physics to explain elasticity, the property of a material that allows it to resume its original size and shape after having been compressed or stretched by an external force. As expressed in Hooke’s Law of 1658, the magnitude of an external force, or stress, produces a proportional amount of deformation, or strain, in a malleable metal. This created even more confusion when his research had to be translated into foreign languages. There was no suitable word or phrase that could convey what he meant, since he was really describing strain. In 1946, when he was asked to give an address at the prestigious Collège de France, the academicians responsible for maintaining the purity of the French language struggled with this problem for several days, and subsequently decided that a new word would have to be created. Apparently, the male chauvinists prevailed, and le stress was born, quickly followed by el stress, il stress, lo stress, der stress in other European languages, and similar neologisms in Russian, Japanese, Chinese and Arabic. Stress is one of the very few words you will see preserved in English in these and other languages that do not use the Roman alphabet.


Because it was apparent that most people viewed stress as some unpleasant threat, Selye subsequently had to create a new word, stressor, to distinguish stimulus from response. Stress was generally considered as being synonymous with distress and dictionaries defined it as “physical, mental, or emotional strain or tension” or “a condition or feeling experienced when a person perceives that demands exceed the personal and social resources the individual is able to mobilize.” Thus, stress was put in a negative light and its positive effects ignored. However, stress can be helpful and good when it motivates people to accomplish more.


As illustrated to the left, increased stress results in increased productivity – up to a point, after which things go rapidly downhill. However, that point or peak differs for each of us, so you need to be sensitive to the early warning symptoms and signs that suggest a stress overload is starting to push you over the hump. Such signals also differ for each of us and can be so subtle that they are often ignored until it is too late. Not infrequently, others are aware that you may be headed for trouble before you are.


Any definition of stress should therefore also include good stress, or what Selye called eustress. For example, winning a race or election can be just as stressful as losing, or more so. A passionate kiss and contemplating what might follow is stressful, but hardly the same as having a root canal procedure.


Selye struggled unsuccessfully all his life to find a satisfactory definition of stress. In attempting to extrapolate his animal studies to humans so that people would understand what he meant, he redefined stress as “The rate of wear and tear on the body”. This is actually a pretty good description of biological aging so it is not surprising that increased stress can accelerate many aspects of the aging process. In his later years, when asked to define stress, he told reporters, “Everyone knows what stress is, but nobody really knows.”


As noted, stress is difficult to define because it is so different for each of us. A good example is afforded by observing passengers on a steep roller coaster ride. Some are hunched down in the back seats, eyes shut, jaws clenched and white knuckled with an iron grip on the retaining bar. They can’t wait for the ride in the torture chamber to end so they can get back on solid ground and scamper away. But up front are the wide-eyed thrill seekers, yelling and relishing each steep plunge who race to get on the very next ride. And in between you may find a few with an air of nonchalance that borders on boredom. So, was the roller coaster ride stressful?


The roller coaster analogy is useful in explaining why the same stressor can differ so much for each of us. What distinguished the passengers in the back from those up front was the sense of control they had over the event. While neither group had any more or less control their perceptions and expectations were quite different. Many times we create our own stress because of faulty perceptions you can learn to correct. You can teach people to move from the back of the roller coaster to the front, and, as Eleanor Roosevelt noted, nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent. While everyone can’t agree on a definition of stress, all of our experimental and clinical research confirms that the sense of having little or no control is always distressful – and that’s what stress is all about.


– See more at:

Easy Nutrition Label Guide


Start with the Serving SizeNutritionFactsPanel

  • Look here for both the serving size (the amount for one serving) and the number of servings in the package.
  • Compare your portion size (the amount you actually eat) to the serving size listed on the panel. If the serving size is one cup and you eat two cups, you are getting twice the calories, fat and other nutrients listed on the label.

Check Out the Total Calories and Fat

  • Find out how many calories are in a single serving and the number of calories from fat. It’s smart to cut back on calories and fat if you are watching your weight.

Let the Percent Daily Values Be Your Guide

Use percent Daily Values (DV) to help evaluate how a particular food fits into your daily meal plan:

  • Daily Values are average levels of nutrients for a person eating 2,000 calories a day. A food item with a 5 percent DV of fat provides 5 percent of the total fat that a person consuming 2,000 calories a day should eat.
  • Percent DV are for the entire day, not just one meal or snack
  • You may need more or less than 2,000 calories per day. For some nutrients you may need more or less than 100 percent DV.

The High and Low of Daily Values

  • 5 percent or less is low. Aim low in total fat, saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol and sodium.
  • 20 percent or more is high. Aim high in vitamins, minerals and fiber.

Limit Fat, Cholesterol and Sodium

Eating less fat, cholesterol and sodium may help reduce your risk for heart disease, high blood pressure and cancer.

  • Total fat includes saturated, polyunsaturated, monounsaturated and trans fat. Limit to 100 percent DV or less per day.
  • Saturated fat and trans fat are linked to an increased risk of heart disease.
  • High levels of sodium can add up to high blood pressure.
  • Remember to aim for low percentage DV of these nutrients.

Get Enough Vitamins, Minerals and Fiber

  • Eat more fiber, vitamins A and C, calcium and iron to maintain good health and help reduce your risk of certain health problems such as osteoporosis and anemia.
  • Choose more fruits and vegetables to get more of these nutrients.
  • Remember to aim high for percentage DV of these nutrients.

Additional Nutrients

You know about fat and calories, but it is important to also know the additional nutrients on the Nutrition Facts Panel.

  • ProteinMost Americans eat more protein than they need, so a percentage Daily Value is not required on the label. Eat moderate portions of lean meat, poultry, fish, eggs, low-fat milk, yogurt and cheese, plus beans, peanut butter and nuts.
  • CarbohydratesThere are three types of carbohydrates: sugars, starches and fiber. Eat whole-grain breads, cereals, rice and pasta plus fruits and vegetables.
  • SugarsSimple carbohydrates or sugars occur naturally in foods such as fruit juice (fructose) or come from refined sources such as table sugar (sucrose) or corn syrup.

Check the Ingredient List

Foods with more than one ingredient must have an ingredient list on the label. Ingredients are listed in descending order by weight. Those in the largest amounts are listed first. This information is particularly helpful to individuals with food sensitivities, those who wish to avoid pork or shellfish or limit added sugars or people who prefer vegetarian eating.


Get Back in The Swing of Spring


Birds chirping, trees blooming and feet on the pavement all signal the arrival of spring. However, hitting the great outdoors for a 5K or fun run involves more than just lacing up your sneakers and programming the perfect playlist. After a long winter slumber, these five simple steps will get you on your feet again the safe and healthy way.



Go Eat

Starving yourself should never be part of an exercise regimen, but eating right should. Fuel up with whole-wheat breads, pastas and brown rice two hours before your workout. “Whole grains … are going to give you a longer lasting energy to get through your runs,” says Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Spokesperson Amy Jamieson-Petonic, MEd, RD, CSSD, LD, LMT. “Even half a whole-grain bagel a half hour before you run could help with that.”

Foods to avoid include anything high in sugar like jams and jellies, cookies, cakes, pies and doughnuts, says Jamieson-Petonic. “They tend to give you a quick burst of energy, but then your blood sugar bottoms out,” she says. Healthy substitutes include energy and granola bars, low-fat or fat-free yogurt and fruit smoothies, peanut butter on a bagel thin, and chocolate milk. Foods that may help reduce inflammation such as salmon, tuna and nuts are also good choices.

Go Drink

“Everyone should really be going into a workout hydrated,” says USA Triathlon Coach and professional triathlete Kim Schwabenbauer, RD, LDN. “It prevents muscle tears and it helps you feel better during the workout.” Schwabenbauer recommends drinking fluids throughout the day and definitely within the hour before you workout. Both Schwabenbauer and Jamieson-Petonic agree that water is great if the workout is under 60 minutes, but recommend a sports or energy drink for runs more than an hour.

Go Stretch

“The warm up and cool down are definitely important components of the workout and they should never be skipped,” says Schwabenbauer, who advises ditching static exercises such as grabbing ankles and stretching quads. “Static stretching is really a way of the past,” she says. Instead, try squats, forward lunges and the soldier walk. This is a stretch in which you stand in place with your arms out in front and try and kick your hands, all while keeping your legs elongated.

Go Slow

That race you ran last summer was a long time ago. Consider easing back into your routine if it’s been a while since you’ve run hardcore. “Don’t go out for the first run and think, ‘Today, I’m going to run three miles,'” says Schwabenbauer. “[People] run really hard and then they’re off the next four days because they’re so sore and tired.” Instead, Schwabenbauer advises picking a distance and then increasing gradually by 30-second intervals over time.

Go Rest

When you exercise you’re causing tiny microscopic tears in muscle fiber. Those muscles need time to build themselves back up. “It’s important that we allow our muscles a chance to recover and heal,” says Jamieson-Petonic, who advises either a day of rest or cross training for diehard workout junkies. “Get on a bicycle, get in a pool, do some strength training or core work such as yoga or other types of exercise, so you can give those muscles a chance to heal.”


How Your KIDNEYS Work



Why Are the Kidneys So Important?

Most people know that a major function of the kidneys is to remove waste products and excess fluid from the body. These waste products and excess fluid are removed through the urine. The production of urine involves highly complex steps of excretion and re-absorption. This process is necessary to maintain a stable balance of body chemicals.

The critical regulation of the body’s salt, potassium and acid content is performed by the kidneys. The kidneys also produce hormones that affect the function of other organs. For example, a hormone produced by the kidneys stimulates red blood cell production. Other hormones produced by the kidneys help regulate blood pressure and control calcium metabolism.

The kidneys are powerful chemical factories that perform the following functions:

  • remove waste products from the body
  • remove drugs from the body
  • balance the body’s fluids
  • release hormones that regulate blood pressure
  • produce an active form of vitamin D that promotes strong, healthy bones
  • control the production of red blood cells

Below you will find more information about the kidneys and the vital role they play in keeping your body functioning.

Where Are the Kidneys and How Do They Function?

There are two kidneys, each about the size of a fist, located on either side of the spine at the lowest level of the rib cage. Each kidney contains up to a million functioning units called nephrons. A nephron consists of a filtering unit of tiny blood vessels called a glomerulus attached to a tubule. When blood enters the glomerulus, it is filtered and the remaining fluid then passes along the tubule. In the tubule, chemicals and water are either added to or removed from this filtered fluid according to the body’s needs, the final product being the urine we excrete.

The kidneys perform their life-sustaining job of filtering and returning to the bloodstream about 200 quarts of fluid every 24 hours. About two quarts are removed from the body in the form of urine, and about 198 quarts are recovered. The urine we excrete has been stored in the bladder for anywhere from 1 to 8 hours.

What Are Some of the Causes of Chronic Kidney Disease?

Chronic kidney disease is defined as having some type of kidney abnormality, or “marker”, such as protein in the urine and having decreased kidney function for three months or longer.

There are many causes of chronic kidney disease. The kidneys may be affected by diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure. Some kidney conditions are inherited (run in families).

Others are congenital; that is, individuals may be born with an abnormality that can affect their kidneys. The following are some of the most common types and causes of kidney damage.

Diabetes is a disease in which your body does not make enough insulin or cannot use normal amounts of insulin properly. This results in a high blood sugar level, which can cause problems in many parts of your body. Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney disease.

High blood pressure (also known as hypertension) is another common cause of kidney disease and other complications such as heart attacks and strokes. High blood pressure occurs when the force of blood against your artery walls increases. When high blood pressure is controlled, the risk of complications such as chronic kidney disease is decreased.

Glomerulonephritis is a disease that causes inflammation of the kidney’s tiny filtering units called the glomeruli. Glomerulonephritis may happen suddenly, for example, after a strep throat, and the individual may get well again.However, the disease may develop slowly over several years and it may cause progressive loss of kidney function.

Polycystic kidney disease is the most common inherited kidney disease. It is characterized by the formation of kidney cysts that enlarge over time and may cause serious kidney damage and even kidney failure. Other inherited diseases that affect the kidneys include Alport’s Syndrome,primary hyperoxaluria and cystinuria.

Kidney stones are very common, and when they pass, they may cause severe pain in your back and side. There are many possible causes of kidney stones, including an inherited disorder that causes too much calcium to be absorbed from foods and urinary tract infections or obstructions. Sometimes, medications and diet can help to prevent recurrent stone formation. In cases where stones are too large to pass, treatments may be done to remove the stones or break them down into small pieces that can pass out of the body.

Urinary tract infections occur when germs enter the urinary tract and cause symptoms such as pain and/or burning during urination and more frequent need to urinate. These infections most often affect the bladder, but they sometimes spread to the kidneys, and they may cause fever and pain in your back.

Congenital diseases may also affect the kidneys. These usually involve some problem that occurs in the urinary tract when a baby is developing in its mother’s womb. One of the most common occurs when a valve-like mechanism between the bladder and ureter (urine tube) fails to work properly and allows urine to back up (reflux) to the kidneys, causing infections and possible kidney damage.

Drugs and toxins can also cause kidney problems. Using large numbers of over-the-counter pain relievers for a long time may be harmful to the kidneys. Certain other medications, toxins, pesticides and “street” drugs such as heroin and crack can also cause kidney damage

How is Chronic Kidney Disease Detected?

Early detection and treatment of chronic kidney disease are the keys to keeping kidney disease from progressing to kidney failure. Some simple tests can be done to detect early kidney disease. They are:

  1. Blood pressure measurement
  2. A test for protein in the urine. An excess amount of protein in your urine may mean your kidney’s filtering units have been damaged by disease. One positive result could be due to fever or heavy exercise, so your doctor will want to confirm your test over several weeks.
  3. A test for blood creatinine. Your doctor should use your results, along with your age, race, gender and other factors, to calculate your glomerular filtration rate (GFR). Your GFR tells how much kidney function you have. To access the GFR calculator, click here.

It is especially important that people who have an increased risk for chronic kidney disease have these tests. You may have an increased risk for kidney disease if you:

  • are older
  • have diabetes
  • have high blood pressure
  • have a family member who has chronic kidney disease
  • are an African American, Hispanic American, Asians and Pacific Islander or American Indian.

If you are in one of these groups or think you may have an increased risk for kidney disease, ask your doctor about getting tested.

Can Kidney Disease Be Successfully Treated?

Many kidney diseases can be treated successfully. Careful control of diseases like diabetes and high blood pressure can help prevent kidney disease or keep it from getting worse. Kidney stones and urinary tract infections can usually be treated successfully. Unfortunately, the exact causes of some kidney diseases are still unknown, and specific treatments are not yet available for them. Sometimes, chronic kidney disease may progress to kidney failure, requiring dialysis or kidney transplantation. Treating high blood pressure with special medications called angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors often helps to slow the progression of chronic kidney disease. A great deal of research is being done to find more effective treatment for all conditions that can cause chronic kidney disease.

How is Kidney Failure Treated?

Kidney failure may be treated with hemodialysis, peritoneal dialysis or kidney transplantation. Treatment with hemodialysis (the artificial kidney) may be performed at a dialysis unit or at home. Hemodialysis treatments are usually performed three times a week. Peritoneal dialysis is generally done daily at home. Continuous Cycling Peritoneal Dialysis requires the use of a machine while Continuous Ambulatory Peritoneal Dialysis does not. A kidney specialist can explain the different approaches and help individual patients make the best treatment choices for themselves and their families.

Kidney transplants have high success rates. The kidney may come from someone who died or from a living donor who may be a relative, friend or possibly a stranger, who donates a kidney to anyone in need of a transplant.

What Are the Warning Signs of Kidney Disease?

Kidney disease usually affects both kidneys. If the kidneys’ ability to filter the blood is seriously damaged by disease, wastes and excess fluid may build up in the body. Although many forms of kidney disease do not produce symptoms until late in the course of the disease, there are six warning signs of kidney disease:

  1. High blood pressure.
  2. Blood and/or protein in the urine.
  3. A creatinine and Blood Urea Nitrogen (BUN) blood test, outside the normal range. BUN and creatinine are waste that build up in your blood when your kidney function is reduced.
  4. A glomerular filtration rate (GFR) less than 60. GFR is a measure of kidney function.
  5. More frequent urination, particularly at night; difficult or painful urination.
  6. Puffiness around eyes, swelling of hands and feet.

(Source: Kidneys.Org)

Maintaining a Goal Weight

Reached your goal weight? What to do next? New diet or dame routine? Read what the experts say below:


The question: After you’ve slimmed down, should you use a different strategy for maintaining weight loss? Or will the same steps that help you drop pounds in the first place still work?

The expert: James O. Hill, Ph.D., executive director of the Anschutz Health and Wellness Center at the University of Colorado and author of State of Slim

The answer: Actually, your game plan for losing weight should be totally different from your game plan for keeping it off. When you’re in weight-loss mode, it’s a temporary situation primarily driven by food restriction (which is why it’s so much easier to lose weight through diet than exercise). “You can do things for three months that you can’t do forever,” says Hill.

When it comes to maintaining your weight, though, research indicates that exercise is the single biggest factor in predicting who’s going to prevent the weight from creeping back on, says Hill. “Keeping weight off is about delveoping new habits and rituals and routines,” he says. “It becomes much more important to look at long-term behavior change for maintenance.”

To kickstart your own lasting healthy habits, check out the 10 eating habits of perpetually fit people and read up on how to stick to your workout for good

Source: ABC NEWS – Health

Consumer Awareness for Health Care

For the most part, Americans are champ consumers. But we’re not such good shoppers when it comes to our own health. Studies show that Americans spend more time researching car purchases and new appliances than they do choosing doctors and health plans.

We’re not even sure we have options. Over half of all Americans said in a recent survey they did not feel confident that they could reduce the cost of health care by shopping around. And many of us are shy about negotiating with our doctors, or asking if an expensive test is really necessary.

Meanwhile, escalating health care costs have burdened both employees and employers. The average cost of a visit to the doctor is about $199; a visit to the ER costs about $922, according to AHRQ. About 25% of those visits are unnecessary. You can imagine how many billions of dollars this costs everyone every year.

You can start researching NOW to get coverage before the OPEN ENROLLMENT IS UP!!! 




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