Monday, April 30, 2012

Adversity to Inspiration...

This post is gonna be completely different this time. Rather than give you updated health information and links  that you can read and refer to, I'm gonna let you make the decision. What decision, or conclusion, am I talking about? THE MESSAGE. That is, I'm posting a series of all different video links. Rather than label them as I usually do, you will have to click on them and watch. What you are watching for is THE MESSAGE that is being conveyed. So, you can watch watch one, two, three, or all the videos. They are in no particular order. The challenge for you is to open up your mind and your heart to see THE MESSAGE. From there, you can react as you desire to. I will tell you this much. The post is titled, "Adversity to Inspiration". Therefore, that will give you a clue about the series of different videos...

Video 1
Video 2
Video 3
Video 4
Video 5
Video 6
Video 7
Video 8
Video 9
Video 10
Video 11
Video 12
Video 13
Video 14
Video 15
Video 16
Video 17
Video 18
Video 19

BTW - to my friends that have sent me some of the videos listed above, I thank you. I do know exactly what your message was to me. Thank you for your compassion and kindness.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Benlysta for Lupus...

It's the first drug for Lupus in just over 50 years. Belimumab, more commonly known for it's trade name of Benlysta, is getting Lupus patients excited.

Lupus is an autoimmune disease which can effect anyone at any age and at anytime. Although, it is statistically more prevalent in women, men do get it too. Just ask me. I was diagnosed with it back in 1997. Though, the list of symptoms can range from: inflamed lungs, fatigue, fevers, hair loss, rashes, brain damage, kidney damage, mouth sores, sensitivity to sunlight, swollen lymph nodes, swollen joints, and a few others, the diagnosis cannot be easy. These symptoms can mimic a host of other autoimmune diseases too. For me, it was fatigue, brutal fevers, swollen and painful joints through out my body, and some kidney damage. Lupus can be genetically handed down from one generation to another, but this was not the situation in my case. The cause of it was unknown and that is how it is the majority of the time. Environment? Foods? Genetics? Lifestyle? Household cleaning products? Geographic location? Statistics do also show both African American and Asian races are more likely to contract Lupus. Why? That is still unknown.

So, you're asking what does this new "wonder drug" do for Lupus patients? Well, first Benlysta is given on an out patient prescription basis only. No over night hospital stays needed. Currently, it is not offered orally. It is given via an IV infusion that takes about two hours. Benlysta lowers (kills some, not all) the number of "autoreactive B cells" in your body. You see, it is these cells that will eventually form "autoantibodies". These autoantibody cells end up not recognizing your body and it's organs. What's next is your immune system begins to do what it's job is and that is to fight off foreign things. Yep, it becomes confused and then begins to turn against YOU and starts attacking your body. Initially it's inflammation, as with all autoimmune diseases, but then the inflammation ends up causing permanent damage over time. I'll repeat that. Permanent damage. So, Benlysta lowers the amount of autoreactive B cells in your body. The desired result then are the symptoms of Lupus become less prevalent, less threatening, less damaging, and hopefully over time, puts the disease in remission. With the disease then in remission, you could say "mission accomplished". Of course that is if all goes well for which we know there are never any guarantees with any drug. But, wait one minute. As anyone that has Lupus, or any other disease, that means to keep the disease in remission, you still need to treat your body right. Control your stress, lightly exercise, minimize the alcohol, no smoking, get a good nights sleep, and get the proper nutrition. With out these things, you will be right back at square one and starting the fight over again.

Now of course since Benlysta is a drug, there are some potential side effects to be noted. These may include: various infections, sore throat, dizziness, shortness of breath, nausea, itching, diarrhea, depression, trouble sleeping, thoughts of suicide, low blood pressure, headaches, vomiting, and even an allergic death. Yep, even the wonder drug for Lupus can be far from perfect for some patients.

To conclude on a good note, Benlysta is also being tried on Rheumatoid Arthritis patients and is showing promising results. More will be known by the end of 2012. But for now, let's take that as encouraging news for RA patients.

Benlysta Definition Link
Benlysta Drug Mfg's Link 
Definition of Lupus Video
Patient's 2nd Benlysta IV Video

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

I've Got Insomnia...

Well, I have to believe that this post has hit home with everyone of us at sometime in our lives. Reportedly some 64 million Americans suffer from Insomnia every year. Having Insomnia is definitely not a fun thing to go through. Getting a good nights sleep seems so easy, but unfortunately it cannot be. Yes, Insomnia can leave you you feeling, acting, and looking like a Zombie (bad hair included), but there is much more to it. What's is causing it, how is it effecting your health, and what can you do to stop it?

Insomnia can be caused by so many things. TO MANY THINGS. But anyway, let the list begin... It can be caused by stress, anxiety, and depression (all three possibly stemming from a relationship, work,  financial, or health matters), pain (physical), noise (from in or outside the home), caffeine (from coffee, soda, tea, or energy drinks), to much alcohol (more than the therapeutic one drink for women and two for men), physical activity (working out before bedtime), nicotine from cigarette smoking, sugar (from candy, soda, or snacks), prescription drugs, OTC weight loss pills, hormonal imbalance (MENOPAUSE, serotonin, or actylcholine), changing of your work schedule (this is known as changing/disrupting your biological rhythm), eating late or before bedtime, sleep apnea (this is temporarily stopping to breathe while sleeping), substance abuse, and even Restless Legs Syndrome.

Unfortunately, there are health risks and consequences from Insomnia too. You will find these range from: a slower metabolism, mood swings, slurred speech, decreased cognitive ability (not making correct decisions at home, work, financially, etc...), decreased alertness (falling asleep on the job, increased chance of car accidents), Diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity, psychiatric disorders (delusional), not enough recovery time for the body to heal itself from an ailment, lack of time needed for younger people to properly grow, the body to cleanse itself, loss of memory, increased fatigue, loss of productivity at work, and muscle aches.

Now, here is the laundry list of goodies for you to try so you can STOP THE INSOMNIA and get that healthy good nights sleep. These would include: new pillows, "white noise" (the constant humming sound of a fan or a furnace), relaxing music/sound machine (the sounds of the ocean, crickets and frogs, classical music, etc...), total darkness (turn off all lights, computers, shut all shades, etc...), reading, a massage, a shower or bath, antihistamines (Benadryl - used commonly in nursing homes and hospitals), tryptophan (from a supplement or milk), hypnosis (sessions with a therapist or from a preprogrammed music cd), exercise (must be 4 hours or more from bedtime), turn off your cell phone, turn off the laptop, turn the clock away so you cannot see the time, turn off the television (if you feel it helps, then set the timer to automatically turn off in an hour), ear plugs, eye mask, eye pillow (a lightly weighted soft pillow, may contain soothing herbs, that sits across both eyes - no straps), meditation, visualization, praying, no napping during the day, sexual activity, herbs (they can be a supplement or in a tea - Chamomile, Lavender, Valerian, Kava Kava, or St. John's Wort), aromatherapy (please don't use candles, but place loose herbs in a bowl next to your bed), prescription drugs (Ambien or Lunesta), OTC medications (Alteril, Tylenol PM, Advil PM, or Unisom), go to bed at the same time every night, sublingual Melatonin (puts you to sleep in about 30 minutes and you hit your REM cycle faster), be organized for the next days events so your mind is free/relaxed/clear, keep the bedroom temperature cool, a new mattress, slow and deep breathing exercises, try sleeping on your side, have your doctor schedule you with a Sleep Disorder Clinic, spend time outdoors and getting fresh air, don't drink an excessive amount of liquids (you don't need to make a lot of trips to the bathroom), and Mantram (this is repeating over and over certain words or phrases that help you bring together consciousness and counteract negative thoughts - for example try repeating, "Let the Lord bring love, health, peace, and prosperity to all").

So to conclude this post on Insomnia, once you get it figured out, the optimum healthy number of hours of sleep you need is 7 to 8.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

It's White Tea...

No, this isn't the ever popular green tea. Nope, not black tea either. It's White Tea! Yeah! Ok, settle down people. Everyone's getting to excited already and we haven't gotten as to why were so excited about White Tea.

White Tea originated from China in about 600 A.D. to 900 A.D.. Back then, it was consumed only by Chinese Royalty. But, it wasn't until the beginning of the Ming Dynasty in the mid 1300's A.D., that White Tea became available to more of the Chinese population. Then, sometime in the 1800's A.D., it made it's way to North America. White Tea comes from the same plant that green and black tea comes from - the Camilla Sinensis plant. So how can these teas come from the same plant yet each be different? It all has to do with when it's harvested from the plants stage of growth and the fermentation process afterwards. White Tea is harvested when the plants buds have not opened up and there is still a silver fuzz covering the bud. When the bud dries, the silver fuzz turns into what looks like white hairs. These white buds collected are also known as "white pearls". Very simply, they are round, white haired, and about the same size as a pearl from an oyster. As far as the process of manufacturing White Tea, it is the easiest of all teas. You harvest, let the bud briefly dry, and then lightly steam. Though, what makes White Tea so different goes back to the harvesting. ONLY IMMATURE BUDS (closed and not opened) COMPLETELY COVERED WITH THE SILVER FUZZ ARE HARVESTED FOR WHITE TEA. This, along with the simple manufacturing process, gives White Tea a pale color with a naturally "sweet and silky" taste. All that sounds great, but this is a Health and Wellness Blog. How will this help me?

Yes, White Tea does have numerous health benefits. First, since the White Tea is harvested in it's immature stage and has minimal manufacturing/processing done to it, it allows the tea buds to be up to 10x more stronger as an antioxidant than any other teas. This means it is 10x stronger to fight and kill those cancer causing cells that cause colon, stomach, and prostate cancer. Also due to it's antioxidant strength, it assists your immune system in fighting off viruses and bacterias. This was concluded in a 2004 study at Pace University. Now, the health benefits of White Tea don't stop here. Other benefits include: weight loss, prevention of dental plaque, prevention of canerous tumors, protection of skin from UV sun rays, reduces severity of strokes, increased energy, reduces fungus growth, lowers your cholesterol, thins your blood, gives greater bone density, reduces blood sugar for diabetics, and is an extremely high anti-inflammatory which is great for anyone having any autoimmune disease

So, any thoughts of White Tea now? It maybe a good idea to incorporate this in your diet huh? A cup of White Tea a day just may help keep the doctor away...

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Do You Need CoQ10...

Do you need CoQ10? Will it help your health out in anyway? I know you've seen the latest commercials plastered on tv about this. So, maybe I'll ask the question this way. Do you have a need for something that:
  • Prevents heart disease
  • Lowers your blood pressure
  • Is a strong antioxidant
  • Helps against depression
  • Increases your energy
  • Prevents gum disease
  • Helps regenerate vitamin E
  • Reduces migrane headaches
  • Relieves the side effects from cancer treatments
  • Slows the progression of Parkinson's Disease
  • Helps repair damaged skin
  • Boosts your immune system
That list above sure sounds like some heavy duty benefits of CoQ10 if you ask me. This is exactly why we have all heard, read, or seen information about this more and more over the past few years. CoQ10 is actually naturally produced by the body, but the levels produced decrease as we get older. Kind of a reoccuring theme huh. As we get older, the body slows down and requires more attention (proper maintenance) to remain strong and healthy. So, this is why you may want take CoQ10 as a supplement or eat foods that have naturally higher amounts of it. Now, if you want to lean towards taking it as a supplement, the daily recommended dosages range from 50mgs to 300mgs. As you will find out, CoQ10 is not cheap. But, I say to you that being healthy is truly "priceless". So, maybe it's not that expensive after all huh? Please consult your doctor for proper dosing. Most likely you will find it's a Holistic doctor that will be more informed on taking CoQ10. The sole reason is that Holistic doctors have an expanded knowledge into nutrition, vitamins/minerals, herbs, acupuncture, meditation, etc...

If you decide you wish to eat more foods that naturally have higher amounts of CoQ10, then that's perfectly fine too. See the link below labeled: CoQ10 Food Composition Table Link. Midway down to the bottom of article will be a table with 98 different foods and their respective CoQ10 content.

There is one final and very important thing that should be noted about CoQ10. If you are taking "statins" because you have high cholesterol and/or high blood pressure (drugs such as Lipitor or Zocor), these types of drugs can reduce the body's synthesis of CoQ10 by up to 40%. Therefore, your doctor will suggest for you a higher dose of CoQ10 to help offset this.

CoQ10 Definition Link
Purchase CoQ10 Link
CoQ10 Food Composition Table Link