Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Reflections of 2009!

2009 is rapidly coming to an end and I am reviewing the year for all that I have encountered. What a year this was for me! There were exciting moments and of course the ever consistent challenging moments. My year began with the completion of my first audio book The Day That Changed My Life Cancer an uncertain journey which was completed in January and by April it was available worldwide on line. In June, the audio book was translated in French and German and was also being picked up by other on line audio book stores. I traveled quite a bit for professional and personal reasons. I spoke at symposiums and conferences. I became a mentor and I am actively engaged in mentoring which by the way is quite rewarding.

By August, the second audio book The Day That Changed My Life Cancer an uncertain journey (Parents Edition) was released. It was also translated in French and German and available world wide all on the same day. While celebrating the accomplishments of the audio books, I began working on the book that will feature many more stories submitted by survivors. As I have worked on my assignments, more ideas were added and now I have three big projects that are currently in progress.

With all of the exciting achievements, there were also those family moments of celebration, health related concerns, graduations, deaths and births. My nephew who is more like a son, joined the army and left for Korea. I became a guardian of a wonderful 2 year old boy. My mother and I shared some great conversations that gave a deeper insight to her life as a little girl all the way to her present day. My husbands' grandmother celebrated her 100th birthday! My daughter gave birth to her daughter and I became a grandmother!!

And for all the years that have passed, I have noticed that they have all had the same things in common - unfinished goals. I will continue to set my goals but I am so pleased that there are things that are not even thought of but will somehow become a part of a great achievement as I am open and I look forward to it!

2010 I say -- Bring It On!!!!!!!

Refelctions of 2008

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Breast Cancer - New Guidelines - Black Women

I'll never forget the day I felt the lump in my left breast. It was a Sunday morning, I was still in bed and I decided to check my breasts. After a moment of wonderment, I knew I had to get it checked out. Not to alarm everyone, I confided only in my husband. My appointment with the doctor who felt nothing during the examination was a bit tense as I insisted that I felt something unusual and at my persistence, he sent me off to have a mammogram.

A few days later, I received a yellow envelope with the words URGENT TELEGRAM. I almost tossed the envelope as I thought it must be junk mail. However, following my inner guide, I opened the letter only to find that it was about my mammogram results. It said that it was an urgent matter and I had to come in right away.

Two days later, I went in for the results and I was told that the mammogram showed that there was indeed something - albeit small, they found something and would like me to have an ultrasound which confirmed that there was indeed something. In fact, it showed that there were two suspicious forms in the breast. Needless to say, I scheduled an operation to have them removed. The greatest relief was having them removed and knowing that I did not allow the doctors to send me home when their examination did not find any lumps. Thankfully, I had a successful outcome. However, there are others who may take the doctors word and left the office, after all they are the experts.

My concerns are also for women who are relieved to hear the new guidelines only to find out later that they have cancer and could have had a successful outcome if it was detected sooner. I often say that your health cannot be defined in a One Size Fits All manner. We are all unique with certain factors that may affect us if not through genetics, it can be environmental or some other unknown factor. There are enough barriers to keep us from taking care of our health.

Wearing a ribbon to bring awareness to a disease that can be treated successfully if found early is a great gesture but it's no longer good enough. Some say there is an over reaction to the new suggested guidelines, I disagree. We need to speak up - our lives depends on it.

The following link discusses further - be informed and share with everyone:
For Black Women, Breast Cancer Strikes Younger

Friday, December 4, 2009

Surviving the Holdiay Feasting Season

It's a sad, sad reality but the fall/winter season is my least favorite time to work out - out doors. It's cold and I would much prefer the warm weather. My most favorite and most effective workout is jogging/running. I work out at my own pace. When I am on the track and I have not jogged in a while, I walk a lap or two then I run for four laps, walk a lap and run four more laps, walk another and run four more laps - ending the workout with walking a lap. As my jogging becomes consistent, I walk a lap or two then run the full 12 laps then I walk a lap to cool the body.

Thanksgiving Day has come and is now gone. We are full speed ahead to the feasting season. Holiday Parties are on a roll whether it is the much anticipated office party, get together with friends, networking events and mixers or just dining out after the constant shopping excursions - it's a good reason to eat.

The Saturday after Thanksgiving we headed out to the track to continue on our wellness workout. We have decided to work out more consistently rather than wait for the spring. It was a beautiful yet slightly windy day.

The foot ball teams were out, scattered pockets of people playing their own sports on the outskirts of the track - volley ball, tennis, touch foot ball, etc.

It was such a good sight to see the various people enjoying their work out choice. The cheers and vibrant encouragment for the organized foot ball game, the laughter from the touch football group, the wild chatter of the volley ball players - made each lap entertaining.

However, the track was quite clear only a few people were out. Perhaps many of the regulars decided to relax or maybe they were still taking advantages of the sales. Whatever the reason, it sure felt great to burn those calories.

Update - H1N1 Important PHISHING SCAM - CDC Sponsored State Vaccination Program for H1N1‏

This is an important message from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention

Fraudulent emails referencing CDC-sponsored State Vaccination Program
(December 1, 2009)
CDC has received reports of fraudulent emails (phishing) referencing a CDC sponsored State Vaccination Program.

The messages request that users must create a personal H1N1 (swine flu) Vaccination Profile on the cdc.gov website. The message then states that anyone that has reached the age of 18 has to have his/her personal Vaccination Profile on the cdc.gov site.

The CDC has NOT implemented a state vaccination program requiring registration on www.cdc.gov. Users that click on the email are at risk of having malicious code installed on their system. CDC reminds users to take the following steps to reduce the risk of being a victim of a phishing attack:

Do not follow unsolicited links and do not open or respond to unsolicited email messages.
Use caution when visiting un-trusted websites.
Use caution when entering personal information online.

An example of the Phishing email --scroll to the bottom of the page following the link:
Scam email sample

Share this information with everyone you know.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

New Cancer Guidelines Cervical Cancer (Part II)

Almost everyone is afraid of hearing that they have cancer. Trusting that the cancer specialists and medical experts are on top of their field and unfortunately, the latest proposed/suggested guidelines are not helping much in the trust department. When it comes to cancer, no one wants to see a set back - especially when for years there are campaigns, fundraisers, walks, runs, documentaries with titles such as War Against Cancer! Stand Up to Cancer, Live Strong, etc., only to be told just days apart that the two leading cancers that causes death in women are now being revised to prolong screenings. Women are furious, concerned and afraid of how these new guidelines will affect their lives. The progress in breast cancer has seen an increase in survivors now the fear looms that this will be a major setback. Not to mention that cervical cancer is not easily detected as it is usually found when it has advanced and it has spread. Successful treatment depends on the stage of the cancer, the size of the tumor, the patients age among other factors.

Cervical Cancer is found in tissues of the cervix. It is often found through Pap Tests. Abnormal cells will be examined, then it will be determined if it is positive for cancer. Therefore, these tests are very important. There are new methods and promising drugs to help prevent and also to treat cervical cancer. The HPV (Human Papimollarvirus) vaccine is quite heavily promoted to teens and young adults. It is all in an effort to work on defeating a disease that is well known and feared as a killer of many women. According to the National Cancer Institute, the estimated number of new cases in the U.S. of those with cervical cancer in 2009 was 11, 270 and the deaths were 4,070.

Hopefully, these new suggested guidelines will be given a moment of considered and thoughtfully deliberated review with the main goal of saving lives rather than saving dollars. Cancer has shown us all that it is no respecter of anyone - rich, famous, middle class, lower class, old, young and even younger ones are all affected by this disease. In addition, it does not have to have a link to your family, you can be the first and only one.

This is also important for men as well - your mother, wife, sister, daughter, aunt, cousin or other loved ones may have to face cervical cancer. Stay on top of this important issue your life may depend on it.

Upcoming Books
1. All Things Cancer
2. When Cancer Came Knocking
3. The Day That Changed My Life Cancer an uncertain journey

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

What others are saying about the new suggested guidelines for cancer screening

While preparing for Part II on the Cancer Screening Guidelines - Cervical Cancer, I am still finding great articles, reviews, responses,interviews, debates, you name it, I am on it. Many women are worried, confused and completely disappointed in the new guidelines as the results may affect their health and well being. Cancer has touched many lives. It has taken away family,friends, co workers,acqquaintances, fellow church members, etc. The discussion continues as it has set a spark in many women who feel that they are being sentenced to death

Rene Syler speaks on Cancer Screening Guidelines

Let us not allow this fast paced technological era distract us from this important issue. Stay informed and speak up. Upcoming topics on the Health & Wellness Show will explore more on these very important guidelines (suggested guidelines). We will have open discussions with survivors, health care experts (specific to the field of cancer) as well as other related organizations.

Upcoming Books

1. All Things Cancer
2. When Cancer Came Knocking
3. The Day That Changed My Life Cancer an uncertain journey

(Part II )Cancer Guidelines for Cervical Cancer coming soon.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

New Cancer Guidelines Controversy (Part 1)

A huge controversy has emerged in medicine this past week, let's make that two major medical announcements as it relates to cancer and women. While some of us were aware of the upcoming announcement, we were not sure that it would ever really happen. Well, that's not the case. The announcement came on Monday November 16, 2009 by the U.S. Preventive Service Task Force (Federal Advisory Board). The recommendations are as follows: Women between the ages of 40 - 49 No routine mammograms necessary. The current recommendations are for women to have annual mammograms at 40 and up. In addition, the new guidelines suggests that women 50 and older need to get it every other year.

The problem is that no one really knows who is at risk and this announcement really can set back the progress that can be found especially in the fight against breast cancer. As you listen to Lucy Marino PhD, RN who is a member of the U.S. Preventive Task Force stumbles/fumbles through this interview that should convince the population of the findings, actually leaves more questions than answers. Please take a look at this video see for yourself how she refers to life years gained by the actual screening. It is also important to note that this task force of 16 members does not include an oncologist/cancer specialist.

Mammogram Debate

Another opportunity to convince us of their findings:

Another bumbling Task Force Member Dr. Greggory

Let's be clear, mammogram screenings remain the same. In the meantime, let's work to find a more effective screening procedure. Spread the word!

Here are a few of the many organizations that can assist financially in mammogram screenings:
National Breast Cancer Foundation
American Breast Cancer Foundation
Avon Breast Care

Sunday, November 8, 2009

What's Going On?!!!!!!

Mass pandemonium has struck this week. The Fort Hood military base in Texas experienced a shocking reality of what can actually happen; it was a crime commited by the person whom they look to for medical care - someone they may have even trusted. No one saw the signs, yet Dr. Hassan Nadal a Major in the Army turned the gun and fired upon the soldiers who were in transition for deployment to war. Unfortunately, the soldiers never made it to the battle field instead Dr. Hassan decided their fate. He took their lives away in a place where they felt most secure.

What's going on? How could a psychiatrist, one who took the oath to do no harm, commit such a heinous act? How could a soldier turn a weapon on his fellow comrades? Were there any warning signs? How did Dr. Nadal mask his illness or intentions? Did Dr. Nadal seek medical intervention for his problems or was he afraid to discuss with another professional? No one may ever know what triggered off this horrendous attack but it will surely create many insecurities for other service men who can become distracted by this latest act. Will they trust their fellow Muslim Comrades? Will this create a major setback for Muslim relations in the general public?

What's Going On?!!!!!!!

What can be done to prevent this from happening again? Who is evaluating the psychiatric professionals? The reports are that Dr. Nadal attended prayer, work and went about his day as he normally would - nothing unusual there at all. This is quite a difficult task to handle.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Did you take your vitamins?

Vitamins are promoted in an effort to ensure that we maintain a daily healthy nutritional balance. As with anything, it is important that you follow the advise of your physician who has an accurate medical history of your physical health.

Now on to the topic of vitamins. Vitamin products promote strong bones and teeth, good eye sight, growth, skin, nails, immune system, among other impressive claims. However, you can also find natural sources of vitamins through our fruits and vegetables.

Vitamin A - Dark green leafy vegetables and yellow, orange or red fruits and vegetables: sweet potatoes, carrots, cantaloupe, broccoli, spinach, lettuce, fish liver oils, liver, kale, turnip greens, squash, tomatoes, pumpkin, peaches, mangoes, apricots, milk and dairy products.

Vitamin B 1 - Grains, meats, sunflower seeds, pork, bran cereal, peas, fish, beef, liver, ham, peanuts, almonds, macaroni, rice, bread, lima beans, corn, broccoli, potato, orange juice, orange, avocado, dried beans, oatmeal, milk and dried yeast.

Other Vitamin B's

Vitamin C - Kiwi fruit, orange/orange juice, cantaloupe, grapefruit/ grapefruit juice, cranberry/cranberry juice, strawberries, grape juice, watermelon, raspberries, green peppers, cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, collard greens, potato, tomato, sweet potato and red peppers.

Vitamin D - Sunlight (the action of sunlight on the skin allows our bodies to manufacture vitamin D), cod-liver oil, sardines, herring, salmon, tuna, milk and milk products.

Vitamin E - Avocado, asparagus, nuts, soy beans, vegetable oil, broccoli, sprouts, spinach, whole grain products, eggs, wheat germ, seeds and milk.

Vitamins were made with popular characters from Sesame Street, Flinstones, etc. Everyday my children would remind me that they needed to take their vitamins and I marveled in their commitment to their health. Recently in one of our moments of laughing about the things they did when they were younger, the confession came - "Oh, remember when we would take our vitamins and then remind mommy so that we can have another one?" They all laughed. I was very surprised. I never thought that there was a way that they could open the vitamin container with the child safety features on the cap. They did not value the vitamins for its nutritious content but more so a treat - like candy.

Keep in mind that vitamins are often recommended for those who have deficiencies in their daily diet. Be cautious in selecting the vitamins as there are many companies that sell vitamins and you may be getting more than you bargained. An independent research was conducted on 21 brands of multivitamins that are sold in the United States and Canada. The test results shows that of the 21 tested, 10 met the stated claims on their labels or satisfied other quality standards. In fact, a popular brand The Vitamin Shoppe Multivitamins Especially for Women, was contaminated with lead. ConsumerLab

As with everything, you must create a sense of balance. We all want to improve our health and wellness. Seek the advice from your health care provider - doctor, nurse or nutritionist. You may find that vitamins may not be necessary for you.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

What happened here - who's responsible?

This segment on CNN really captured my attention as I would normally flip through channels, I watched the guests as they all spoke about breast cancer. Of course breast cancer is quite popular a common type of cancer in women. We have seen the pink ribbons that symbolizes awareness on pins, T-shirts, candies, perfumes, jewelry accessories, etc. In addition, there are many events and activities that are organized around breast cancer. Thousands of women gather to shout it out loud and clear that they have fought and won the fight against breast cancer.

However, this story was not about women with breast cancer, it was a case of men with breast cancer. As many of us are aware that breast cancer does affect men but far less cases have been reported than that of women. What makes this story even more unique is that these men are all connected to the same community/environment. Furthermore, other reports have included stories like Mike Patrian who has shared his story and those of at least 19 other men with breast cancer and Jerome Ensminger whose six year old daughter, born and raised at Camp Lejeune was diagnosed with Acute Lymphosytic Leukemia (A.L.L.)

Mike's Site The Few, The Proud,The Forgotten

Jerome Ensminger Testimony

Unfortunately, some of these men do not have much more time left to fight the disease. Hopefully, all of this attention will ensure that this will never happen again.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Puff Puff - Give It Up!

Smoking can be traced back for centuries with pictorial records as far back as the 11th century. In 1864, the first American cigarette factory opened, producing around 20 million cigarettes a year. By 1898, there was a concern about the effects of cigarettes and a ban was placed in Tennessee. Two years later, Iowa, North Dakota and Washington decided to outlaw the sale of cigarettes. By 1901, 43 of the 45 states were actively engaged in support of banning cigarettes. In that same year,3.5 billion cigarettes and 6 billion cigars were sold. According to the reports of that era, 4 out of 5 men smoked a cigar at least once a day.

As time went on, the debates continued. Television commercials were banned, as well as smoking in airplanes, buses,trains, hotels,restaurants and of all places the bars where having a drink and a smoke goes hand in hand. Community activists held meetings and spoke out against the cigarette companies that appeared to target the youth demanding that their billboard advertisements be removed. The surgeon general placed warnings on the boxes to warn that cigarette smoking is dangerous to your health yet smoking continues. Some states raised the prices on cigarettes,increased taxes yet the tobacco companies are thriving. The anti smoking commercials are graphic with their message. Even closer to home, the loss of family and friends - have not deterred others from smoking.

What will it take to give it up?

Here are the current statistics
Smoking and Tobacco Use
Trying to Quit?

Videos made to appeal to smokers

Clearly, quitting is certainly not an easy task. It is a habit that has developed over time - one that has become a source of comfort during social gatherings and stressful periods. In some cases, smokers who have had the success of giving it up have found that a traumatic event triggered the urge to return to smoking and many of them have and are having a difficult time giving it up once again. There are many programs that are available to help smokers regain control of their lives and their health. If this post relates to you or someone you know, please take a moment and explore the following links.

Smoking Cessation
Smoke Free
Your Guide to Quit
American Lung Association
American Cancer Society
World Health Organization

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Let's Talk About it - Sex

Are you aware of the rise in cases of sexually transmitted diseases? Gonorrhea, syphilis and chlamydia are on the rise (surveillance reports). Of course many people have forgotten all about these diseases, while some have never heard of them and as a result the prevalence of new cases is now a cause for concern. The focus on HIV/AIDS made the other STD's seem almost harmless. However, the truth is that gonorrhea, syphilis and chlamydia can be treated with antibiotics and in some cases, cured if detected and treated in the early stage.

Gonorrhea also known as the clap is one of the most common infectious diseases and can be transmitted through the mouth, vagina, penis, or anus. The bacteria grow in warm, moist areas of the body, including the tubes that carry urine out of the body (urethra). The bacteria may be found in the fallopian tubes, uterus, and cervix of women. This disease can even grow in the eyes. What are the symptoms?

Syphilis is also a common bacteria that causes infection when it gets into the mucus membranes or broken skin of the genitals. Although it can be transmitted in other ways, it is usually transmitted through sexual contact. Be informed of the symptoms

Chlamydia is yet another common disease in the United States and this bacteria is also transmitted through sexual contact. If this disease is untreated, it can cause infertility, painful pelvic inflammatory disease, can be passed on to babies at birth, and may also result in having a fatal etopic pregnancy. How might I know if I have chlamydia?

HIV/AIDS cases are still on the rise. However, it is not receiving the same attention it did in the past as it seems to be controlled under treatment. The problem is that many people are infected and are unaware. They may not even give it a thought, may be afraid to find out, and in some cases they may know and not care with the idea that they have nothing to lose. With that in mind, it is up to you to make sure that you take responsibility in protecting yourself and know your status.
Get Tested

Monday, August 17, 2009

Health & Wellness begins on Monday

Are you one of those who will make the weekend decision to begin on Monday? "Staring Monday I will eat healthy, exercise and try to maintain a healthy weight." Of course, there are those who will make the attempt on Monday and successfully make it through the week with their goals. However, there are some who with the best intentions fall off the track simply by eating a snack or making a food choice that they know is not the best healthy choice - using that moment to then continue to eat whatever and as much as they want with the new proclamation to begin the healthy plan again next week. There are also the office events, someone's leaving, someone's birthday, someone felt like bringing in a homemade pie or cookies, etc. and of course you do not want to offend anyone so you indulge. On the other hand, it may be missing the morning run or a gym day. Whatever the situation, do not allow it to take you completely off your track.

Keep in mind that you are working to improve your health and wellness. Therefore,you will need to make the necessary adjustments. So you missed a day at the gym, or you woke up late and could not go for your walk/run, you enjoyed a meal or snack that is not on your healthy plan list, the next meal should be one that is healthy. If possible, use the stairs on your way out of the office. Once you are home, plan to do some jumping jacks, sit ups, push ups, and any other indoor exercises that may work for you.

Good health requires consistency and it is a work in progress. The challenge is to eat healthy and maintain a well balanced diet to enjoy a healthy and prolonged life. Keep moving through the detours you will find that you are well on your way in the right direction.

Monday, August 3, 2009

An Alert about Skin Sanitizer, Protectant Products Made by Clarcon Biological Chemical Laboratory Inc.

Many of us have developed the habit of keeping our hands clean. We often wash our hands with soap and water and in some cases we use the hand sanitizing products as they are convenient to carry in your pocket or bag. Keeping hands clean is mandatory in many professions as it relates to health care, food and other related professions. However, it is very important to know which products are safe.

U.S. Marshals, at the request of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, have seized all skin sanitizers and skin protectants, including ingredients and components, at Clarcon Biological Chemistry Laboratory’s Roy, Utah facility. The FDA is also warning consumers not to use any Clarcon products because they contain harmful bacteria and are promoted as antimicrobial agents that claim to treat open wounds, damaged skin, and protect against various infectious diseases. No cases have been reported to the FDA.

Clarcon voluntarily recalled the affected products, marketed under several different brand names, in June 2009, following an FDA inspection that revealed high levels of potentially disease-causing bacteria in the products.
The inspection also uncovered serious deviations from the FDA’s Current Good Manufacturing Practice regulations, including poor practices that permitted the contamination. The FDA’s seizure of these products, along with their ingredients and any in-process or bulk materials, occurred after Clarcon did not agree to promptly destroy them. The FDA is protecting the public by preventing these products from entering the marketplace.

“The FDA is committed to taking enforcement action against firms that do not manufacture drugs in accordance with our current good manufacturing practice requirements,” said Deborah M. Autor, director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research Office of Compliance. “We will remain vigilant in our efforts to protect consumers from defective products.”

Clarcon produced and distributed over 800,000 bottles of these products in multiple regions of the country since 2007. Consumers should not use any Clarcon products and should dispose of them in their household trash.
Analyses of several samples of the topical antimicrobial skin sanitizer and skin protectant products revealed high levels of various bacteria. Some of these bacteria can cause opportunistic infections of the skin and underlying tissues. Such infections may need medical or surgical attention and may result in permanent damage. Examples of products that should be discarded are:

Citrushield Lotion
Dermasentials DermaBarrier
Dermassentials by Clarcon Antimicrobial Hand Sanitizer
Iron Fist Barrier Hand Treatment
Skin Shield Restaurant
Skin Shield Industrial
Skin Shield Beauty Salon Lotion
Total Skin Care Beauty
Total Skin Care Work

Health care professionals and consumers may report serious adverse events or product quality problems with the use of this product to the FDA's MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program either online, or by regular mail, fax, or phone. Voluntary Reporting Form

Be informed and pass it on.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The Problem with Prescription Drug Abuse

There is a habit of discussing certain topics as it relates to health and wellness especially when someone famous suffers or dies as a result of the disease/illness only to hear about it happening again and again. Lately, we have heard many reports on the cause of death of Michael Jackson. It was not too long ago, we were following many months of coverage on the sudden death of Anna Nicole Smith. Shortly before her death, a distraught Anna Nicole was mourning the loss of her son Daniel, who also died of a drug overdose. Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe and the list goes on and on with reports of high profile celebrities and other well known media personalities who have suffered from prescription drug abuse.

Of course, prescriptive drug abuse is not only for the rich and famous. Many patients find themselves dependent on some form of drug to alleviate the pain and suffering. At some point it becomes such a crutch that a patient refuses to try any alternative treatment to address the pain - even when it is determined that there is no medical reason why this person should continue to use the drugs. These drugs are addictive; they produce results that keep the user wanting more. They want to remain in that state of euphoria, pain free, escape reality.

The Office of National Drug Control Policy reports that prescription pain killers now ranks second—only behind marijuana—as the Nation's most prevalent illegal drug problem. Yes, it is illegal. One might wonder how could it be illegal if it is prescribed by a physician. It is illegal because a drug that is prescribed by a physician or any other medical professional, who is licensed to prescribe drugs, has a duty to treat a patient for a specific illness keeping within the guidelines of the medical standards and the law.

Although there are many black markets that distributes and sells prescriptive drugs, a lot has to be said when a medical professional abuses their license which is to serve others through health care but instead try to profit from one's addiction. The motivation must be to have access to a celebrity that they would have never had the opportunity to meet and perhaps be invited to events where they can mingle and perhaps gain more clients. Unfortunately, it appears that the celebrities already have a list of physicians that they can call and in some cases, it may be quite difficult for one physician to know of the other making it even more complicated to monitor the health and wellness of the client. I purposely use the term client because I feel a patient would be one who is treated with the sole purpose of ensuring that they are given the best medical care to maintain a healthy long life. A client is one who as long as they have the money; the physician will fill the prescription.

No one wants to be in pain. However, no one really wants to die. They trust the physician to take away the pain, help them to sleep, help them to escape the stress that only they can describe and more importantly, keep them alive. Hopefully, this time with all the media attention that is currently surrounding the unexpected death of Michael Jackson will prevent physicians and other licensed health care providers to abstain from following the fortune and fame as you see what is has done. It not only destroys your reputation, potentially causes you to lose your license but it can be fatal - and it's all your fault. You have abused your position and abused your client. As a reminder, the Hippocratic Oath includes the following:

I will apply dietic measures for the benefit of the sick according to my ability and judgment; I will keep them from harm and injustice.

I will neither give a deadly drug to anybody if asked for it, nor will I make a suggestion to this effect.

There is a problem with Prescription Drug Abuse - it destroys lives and devastates families on all sides.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Celebrating Fathers! Men's Health......

It's that time of the year when we celebrate Fathers - Happy Fathers Day! The role of fathers have included being the head of the household, the strong presence, the one who can fix anything, the hero. While we celebrate the men who have made a difference in shaping our lives, whether he is a biological father, step father, big brother, uncle, pastor/teacher/mentor, we must explore the most important topic of health.

Men are most reluctant to visit their doctors. However, it is very important to break through the barriers that prevent men from scheduling and keeping appointments with their doctor. There have been many medical advancements over the years which will help to prevent and treat many diseases leading to a successful outcome.

Here are some questions. Answer them accordingly/honestly (no time for denial)

Have you gained weight? Is your stomach appearing as if you are in your first trimester (first three months of pregnancy)? Carrying excess weight in the mid section increases your risk of having the following:

*Insulin resistance
*Type II Diabetes
*Sleep Apnea
*Heart disease
*High Triglycerides

Do you know your cholesterol levels? Knowing your cholesterol level is important as it serves as an indicator to any risk factors that you may face. If you are 34 years old you should begin to take note of your levels. The normal range should be below 200 mg/dL. The levels between 200-239 mg/dL, you are considered borderline high risk. If your level is 240 mg/dL you are High Risk.

Do you drink excessively? Socially after work or every weekend? Occasionally? Special events? Watch out for your liver. The liver can process alcohol however, excessive drinking may lead to fatty liver, alcohol hepatitis or cirrhosis. Alcohol consumption may also lead to many other diseases.

Do you exercise daily? Sometimes during the week? Weekends? Not much? Never?
Have you had your prostate exam? Exercise is key to maintaining good health! It helps to burn the calories/fat and keep your body in good physical condition.

How are your eyes? At 45 years old, be sure to schedule an exam so that you can be screened for glaucoma.

Blood pressure - high blood pressure is known as a silent killer. Many people have high blood pressure and are not even aware that they have it. Take advantage of those free screenings that are often located by the supermarkets, sidewalks, malls, etc.

Is it time to have a colonoscopy? Are you 50 years or older? It is recommended that you have an exam. However, if you have a family history of the disease, please share it with your doctor.

As you reach the age of 40 it is time to add some more exams to your physical. It is recommended that African American men have their prostate exam by age 45. All others should have their prostate exam by age 50.

Your sexual health is also most important, many men would consider it their #1 priority. Practicing safe sex is key to enjoying an amazing sexual life. Be sure to get tested and treated for any diseases that may occur due to sexual encounters.

Take the appropriate measures to ensure that you can celebrate many more years with your loved ones - Happy Fathers Day!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Have You Already Forgotten About It? Swine Flu

Take a look at this map which was produced by the World Health Organization. This map shows the number of laboratory confirmed cases of the H1N1 Influenza Virus that was reported to the World Health Organization. As a result, WHO has now confirmed the Swine Flu as pandemic. Are you following Up on the Swine Flu?

It is important that we all remain alert and not allow this fast paced world to keep us from being aware of the serious health alerts that remain a very present and important matter. It is extremely important especially to newborns, infants, young children, seniors and those with pre existing health conditions. This is the first influenza pandemic in 41 years. The last pandemic was the Hong Kong Influenza of 1968 which was responsible for about 1 million deaths. Latest Index

Monday, June 1, 2009

Antioxidants - the benefits

Antioxidants are known to protect your cells from free radicals. Free radicals damages the cells as they are molecules that are produced when your body breaks down food, also when you are exposed to the pollutants in the environment. Free radicals are linked to diseases such as cancer, heart disease and many others.

Here are the foods that contains antioxidants:

Some Meats

What substances are found in antioxidants?

Vitamin A - liver, sweet potatoes, carrots, milk, egg yolks and mozzarella cheese. Retinol (Vitamin A1), 3,4-didehydroretinol (Vitamin A2), and 3-hydroxy-retinol (Vitamin A3).

Vitamin C - also known as ascorbic acid is found in fruits and vegetables.

Vitamin E - is found in almonds, in many oils including wheat germ, safflower, corn and soybean oils, and also found in mangos, nuts, broccoli and other foods.

Beta-carotene - foods that are orange in color, including sweet potatoes, carrots, cantaloupe, squash, apricots, pumpkin, and mangos. Some green leafy vegetables including collard greens, spinach, and kale are also rich in beta-carotene.

Lutein - green leafy vegetables such as collard greens, spinach, and kale (all linked to healthy eyes).

Lycopene- tomatoes, watermelon, guava, papaya, apricots, pink grapefruit, blood oranges, and other foods.

Selenium - is a component of antioxidant enzymes. Plant foods like rice and wheat are the major dietary sources of selenium in most countries. Meats and bread are also common sources of dietary selenium specifically in the United States.

Be informed -make healthy choices!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Speaking of Health and Wellness

As often as you hear how important it is to maintain good health and wellness,not enough is said about the resources that exist to help those who are uninsured or under-insured. Health Care for all is an issue that has caused a major divide in the United States of America. According to the White House issues on health care, President Obama is working to provide a better or more efficient health care system for all.
On February 4, 2009 the President signed the Children’s Health Insurance Reauthorization Act to provide quality health care to 11 million kids – 4 million kids who were previously uninsured. Even greater news for those who have lost their jobs, there is a 65% COBRA subsidy to make coverage affordable through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The Recovery Act also provides the following:
• $1 billion for prevention and wellness to improve America’s health and help to reduce health care costs;
• $1.1 billion for research to give doctors tools to make the best treatment decisions for their patients by providing objective information on the relative benefits of treatments; and
• $500 million for health workforce to help train the next generation of doctors and nurses.
The Administration believes that comprehensive health reform should:
• Reduce long-term growth of health care costs for businesses and government
• Protect families from bankruptcy or debt because of health care costs
• Guarantee choice of doctors and health plans
• Invest in prevention and wellness
• Improve patient safety and quality of care
• Assure affordable, quality health coverage for all Americans
• Maintain coverage when you change or lose your job
• End barriers to coverage for people with pre-existing medical conditions
In the meantime, while these issues are being worked out, there are resources that are available to assist you in areas of your health and wellness. The following links provides information from prescription assistance to insurance coverage.

Coverage for all

Cover Me Foundation
Partnership for Prescription Assistance
Needy Meds
Prescription Assist

For more on the President’s plan on health care reform, please visit the following links:
White House Health Issues

Health Care Reform

Monday, May 4, 2009

Hydroxycut - A message from the FDA

Oh wow, spring is here and summer is on it's way. The coats, sweaters,layers of clothes are all coming off and the big reveal is apparent to you and all who see you. How do you go about losing weight or staying at a healthy weight? What is your work out method? Do you exercise daily? Do you select healthy choices for your meals? Do you skip meals? Do you try the various diets or weight loss food plans? Well, the choices are certainly out there and many people want to lose weight turn to various dietary supplements. A popular dietary supplement Hydroxycut is one that many people have used. The commercials boasts many claims with clients who have shared their weight loss of up to 41 pounds fast which is key to many who want to lose the weight without much to do. Furthermore, if you need to be convinced, Dr. Jon Marshall a resident physician supports the claims by stating that Hydroxycut users have lost up to 4 1/2 times the amount of weight than those who diet and exercise alone. Who wouldn't be tempted?

According to the United States Food and Drug Administration, Hydroxycut is linked to serious liver injuries. The products are being pulled from the shelves, however, it is very important to understand that not all stores may have complied or are even aware of the recall (depending on the store). Spread the word and let your family and friends know of these alerts - keep in mind not everyone shares what their weight loss methods are as it can be a personal/private matter. Losing weight and keeping in shape can be quite the challenge, not everyone wants to maintain a workout routine or healthy diet. However, using dietary supplements can be harmful to your health - as with all health related matters - seek your doctor's advice before beginning any form of weight loss activity or products.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Are you following up on the Swine Flu?

Last weekend while enjoying my get away in Palm Springs, I saw the news covering the cases of Swine Flu in Mexico and the US on CNN. I knew at that point that this was going to become the next big health topic for the next few weeks. Each day the cases grow and the concern deepens as the number of infected people increases. Now, the discussion/debate is whether it should be considered as an epidemic or pandemic alert.

An epidemic affects a large portion of a population in a community or region at the same time. If the cases of the Swine Flu were only reported in Mexico, it may be considered as an epidemic.

Pandemic is a sudden outbreak that spreads rather quickly throughout a whole region, continent, or the world. For example, the cases of the Swine Flu are currently recorded in Mexico, U.S., Canada, United Kingdom, Israel, Spain and New Zealand and there may be more countries reporting the outbreak shortly.

There are levels of issuing a pandemic alert:

Levels 1-3 are for the animals that infect each other with very few cases of human infection.

Level 4 takes the human to human contact – human to animal contact which in turn affects a community.

Levels 5/6 is the widespread human infection.

Post Peak - monitors the period after the cases have dropped and continues to monitor to see if there is a second wave of new cases.

Post Pandemic – time to prepare for the next possible outbreak by taking the proper steps to handle any future occurrences.

The Swine Flu is a highly contagious acute respiratory disease on pigs which can then be transmitted to humans who are exposed to the infected swine and then through human to human contact. The symptoms are similar to having the flu – feeling feverish, lethargic, no appetite, coughing, runny nose, sore throat, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

Unfortunately, the death tolls have risen within the last few days in Mexico. Although there are no deaths reported from the other countries, we must all take note of the outbreak and prepare to follow the proper cautionary steps as advised by the health care professionals/health care governmental agencies. It is also important to note that there are no vaccines available for humans at this time.

One simple rule that is always advised even by your parents, wash your hands. It is also advised that you refrain from traveling while under the weather. It’s a tough call especially if you are all packed and ready to go on a great escape. However, an ounce of prevention is certainly worth more that a pound of cure. Do not dismiss the news coverage as something that does not or will not affect you. Know the symptoms and follow through with a call to your doctor or a visit to the closest emergency room.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Minority Health Awareness Month- April

Many are unaware that April is the month where we focus on promoting Minority Health. It is an effort to bring awareness to the health disparities that exist and to also educate and encourage minorities to take charge of their health and wellness. The statistics from the Office of Minority Health, clearly indicates that minorities have taken the lead in mortality rates in the following areas:


• From 2003-2005, African American children had a death rate 7 times that of non-Hispanic White children.
• African Americans had asthma-related emergency room visits 4.5 times more often than Whites in 2004.
• American Indian/Alaska Native adults were 60% more likely to be diagnosed with asthma, in 2006.
• Asian Americans generally have lower rates of asthma than the White population, but they had a 50% greater death rate in 2003.
• Puerto Rican Americans have almost three times the asthma rate as compared to the overall Hispanic population.
• Puerto Ricans report 2.5 times more asthma attacks per year than non-Hispanic Whites.


• Although breast cancer is diagnosed 10% less frequently in African American women than White women, African American women are 34% more likely to die from the disease.
• American Indian Women are 1.7 times as likely to die from cervical cancer as compared to white women.
• Asian/Pacific Islander men and women have higher incidence and mortality rates for stomach and liver cancer.
• In 2004, Hispanic women are twice as likely as non-Hispanic white women to be diagnosed with cervical cancer.

Chronic Liver Disease

• African American men are 80% more likely to have chronic liver disease than non-Hispanic White men.
• Asian Americans are 2.2 times more likely to die from chronic liver disease, as compared to non-Hispanic Whites.
• Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islanders are seven times more likely to be diagnosed with chronic liver disease, as compared to non-Hispanic Whites.
• Both Hispanic men and women have a chronic liver disease rate that is twice that of the White population.
• Hispanic men and women are almost twice as likely to die from chronic liver disease, as compared to the non-Hispanic White population.
• In 2004, chronic liver disease was the fifth leading cause of death for all American Indian/Alaska Native men, and the third leading cause of death for men, ages 35-44.
• The overall death rate for American Indian/Alaska Natives is 2.6 times higher than for the White population, in 2005.


• African American adults were 1.9 times more likely than non-Hispanic white adults to have been diagnosed with diabetes by a physician.
• American Indian/Alaska Native adults were 2.3 times as likely as white adults to be diagnosed with diabetes.
• In Hawaii, Native Hawaiians are more than 5.7 times as likely as Whites living in Hawaii to die from diabetes.
• Mexican American adults were 1.9 times more likely than non-Hispanic white adults to have been diagnosed with diabetes by a physician.

Heart Disease

• African Americans are 1.4 times as likely as non-Hispanic whites to have high blood pressure.
• American Indian/Alaska Native adults are 1.3 times as likely as White adults to have high blood pressure.
• Overall, Asian/Pacific Islander adults are less likely than white adults to have heart disease and they are less likely to die from heart disease.
• Mexican American women are 1.2 times more likely than non-Hispanic white women to be obese.


• In 2005, non-Hispanic Blacks were almost twice as likely to die from viral hepatitis, as compared to non-Hispanic Whites.
• In 2006, American Indian/Alaska Natives were 2.7 times more likely to develop a case of Hepatitis C, as compared to the White population.
• In 2006, Asian Americans were 1.8 times more likely to contract Hepatitis A, as compared to Whites.
• Hispanics are three times more likely to be diagnosed with Hepatitis A than non-Hispanic Whites.
• In 2002, Black children were 3.2 times more likely than White children to be diagnosed with acute viral Hepatitis B.

• African American males have 7.7 times the AIDS rate as non-Hispanic white males.
• American Indian/Alaska Native women have 2.8 times the AIDS rate as non-Hispanic white women.
• Hispanic females have almost 5 times the AIDS rate as non-Hispanic white females.
• Native Hawaiian / Pacific Islander are twice as likely to be diagnosed with AIDS as the White population.

• From 2001-2004, African American women were 70% more likely to be obese than Non-Hispanic White women.
• Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islanders are 3.7 times more likely to be obese than the overall Asian American population.
• In 2003- 2004 Mexican American children, between the ages 6-11, were 1.3 times more likely to be overweight as Non- Hispanic White Children.
• American Indian/Alaskan Natives are 1.6 times as likely to be obese than Non-Hispanic whites.


• African American adults are twice as likely than their White adult counterparts to have a stroke.
• In general, American Indian/Alaska Native adults are 60% more likely to have a stroke than their White adult counterparts.
• In general, Asians/Pacific Islander adults are less likely than white adults to have suffered a stroke, and they are less likely to die from a stroke.
• In 2005, Hispanic men were 15% less likely to die from a stroke than non-Hispanic white men.

These are just a few of the many other diseases that affect the mortality rates of the minority population. The main purpose of this article is not only to bring awareness but to also activate a change in behaviors. Take advantage of the free and low cost screenings; visit your doctors regularly; eat healthy; exercise and pass on the information to others. Do not become complacent with these themed months,awareness pins, buttons or symbols but take a good look at yourself - realize that your actions may determine the time you have here to enjoy life with your loved ones.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Spring into Health & Wellness

Springtime is upon us and many of us are still working on our new year's goal to maintain a healthy and well balanced life. Somewhere after December 25th and January 1st, 2009 we vowed to get in shape, lose those excess pounds, be fit for the summer time - determined to get back into those clothes that have remained useless for quite a while. For those of you who haven't quite reach the goals, there is still time to work towards achieving them.

As the weather becomes consistently better, plan to make some small changes:
1. Get up early and go for a brisk walk for 30 minutes, as you become more comfortable with the walk mix it up with a walk and run/jog at a pace that works for you.

2. If the morning does not work for you, try the evening after you get home. You may feel more comfortable going to the park or the streets in your neighborhood may serve you just fine.

3. You can also try to find a willing partner to join you.

4. If you are still not ready to venture outdoors, turn on the television and find a workout program.

5. You can also find a great supportive group by signing up for various run/walk events in your town/city. There are always a great number of causes to show your support by participating.

Add more water
100% fruit juices
Whole Wheat

Be consistent, it will take some time to see the results and when you do, you will be so glad that you did.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Stress - Working In This Economy

The media has primarily focused on those who have lost their jobs as they are a part of the community who are in a place of uncertainty. They are worried about their ability to pay their mortgage, rent, car notes, credit card bills, utilities, food and other family/personal obligations which will only add to the state of the economy. Things are not looking good. There is turmoil in the banking systems, Wall Street, Investment Firms, the major companies and organizations are all taking a big hit. As a result, there is a lack of confidence that has now spread to even those who are currently employed.

Employers are faced with the challenges of laying off their employees in order to thrive in this economy. The employees that remain are worried that they may be next to lose their jobs as they see the layoffs as a transition – until the next batch of pink slips are handed out. The concerns are such that they become overwhelmed with thoughts of submitting their resumes to other companies knowing that it is a tough field of job seekers out there. Although they are grateful to still be among the employed, they wonder how soon it will be before they become a part of the unemployed segment.

Many will find that their stress affects the following areas:

Lack of sleep
Loss of appetite
Inability to focus
Paranoia constantly worried or anxious

However, stress can play a major role in your health and wellness. Stress&You

Employers are focused on thriving, making it through the tough economic period and they too are concerned. Even though there may be reports of government related interventions that are targeted to boost the economy, or Wall Street experiences a good day in the market, there is a sense of concern that lingers in this uncertain period. In order for businesses to make it through this period, they should not only pay attention to the numbers on their books but also take the appropriate measures to create a sense of awareness to the concerns of their employees. Consider a workshop or seminar that will address these concerns. It will definitely boost the confidence in work performance which may help in keeping grounded through the turbulence.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Heads Up to Trauma and Injuries

The recent death of the actress Natasha Richardson has jolted quite a number of people who are trying to make sense of this tragedy. How could this happen? According to the reports, she was taking a beginners course and while she was at the bottom of the run, in the area that they call the flats, she fell and tumbled down the hill. Her ski instructor also said that she did not hit anyone or anything. She appeared to be fine as she stated that she was fine. The events that followed hours after her fall quickly turned into a bedside vigil and many awaited anxiously for news of her progress.

Although we may not often hear about these forms of death related injuries, there are an estimated 1.5 million head injuries that occur in the United States each year. Statistics report that each year 52,000 deaths are a result of a traumatic brain injury. Furthermore, an estimated 1.6 million to 3.8 million are sports related.

Keep in mind that there are also work related injuries (veterans, construction, moving, delivery, etc.) motorcycle accidents, cars, skating, skiing, even playing in the playground that may cause a severe brain trauma injury. It is very important that you seek medical attention as some studies have shown that all brain damage does not occur at the moment of impact but rather evolves over the ensuing hours and days after the initial injury, due to brain swelling and inadequate oxygen and blood flow to the injured brain. Time is of the essence. Some brain injuries may need surgical intervention to avoid fatal outcomes.

Many who have survived head trauma injuries had to have some form of intense rehabilitation, a startling 5.3 million Americans, which is 2% of the U.S. population, are currently living with disabilities.

Heads Up:
-Wear helmets
-Buckle up put on your seat belts
-Avoid speeding/wreckless driving
-Keep your eyes out on the road for the irresponsible driver
-Do not drink and drive
-Avoid showing off when you want to impress others with your skills whether it is a hand stand, a somersault, a wheelie, or some other stunt that can cause injury – abstain - do not do it!

Monday, February 23, 2009

A Powerful Health Benefit - Meditation

Meditation has become quite the subject of controversy. The conflicts arise in the various religious takes on the act of meditation. The bible has many references to meditation. The spiritual benefit is to experience the ultimate connection with God. However, some Christians believe that Meditation has shifted away from God and moved to the power of the self and in some cases, other Gods. Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, New Age, Taoism and Jainism all embrace and promote meditation. It is an integral part of practice that they strongly believe will serve to enlighten and empower us. With respect to all religions, I would recommend mediation based on the findings of research studies that shows some of the great health benefits:

 It leads to a deeper level of relaxation
 Increases exercise tolerance in heart patients
 Slows the heart rate and increases the blood flow
 Reduces pre menstrual syndrome
 Lowers oxygen consumption
 Assist in chronic diseases like arthritis, allergies, etc.
 Boosts the immune system
 Reduces anxiety attacks
 Builds self confidence
 Helps keep things in perspective
 Provides peace of mind, happiness
 Helps you discover your purpose
 Increased self-actualization
 Gain compassion
 Wisdom
 Clearer understanding of yourself and others
 Unites the body, mind, spirit in harmony
 Higher level of spiritual relaxation
 Increases acceptance of oneself
 Helps you to learn forgiveness
 Changes your attitude toward life

The great news is that meditation does not cost you anything but your time. It requires consistency and a quiet place, preferably the same time if possible. Some place where you can focus on being still and cleanse the mind of negative thoughts while replacing the mind with positive affirmations. Keep in mind that this will take some time as your mind is filled with many thoughts that you have held over the years that’s where consistency is key. Don’t be alarmed if you find that you are having a tough time concentrating on being still – that’s when your mind begins to distract you with thoughts (what you would like to have for dinner, something you needed to do at work, plans for an event, etc.). Keep focused on being quiet let the thoughts flush through and begin to focus on quieting the mind. You may want to repeat a line in your mind “Nothing is impossible” or “I can do all things” - something that will give you a sense of calm. The goal of meditation is to lift your spirit to another level which should sustain you even when you are up and about. Why not give it a try, it may be the best thing you have ever done. Remember, consistency is key to experience the benefits of meditation.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

PG - Parental Guidance – A Very Important Role

The role of being a parent is an essential one that requires a firm commitment to protect, nurture, care and love your child. Some parents take on the role of becoming a friend to their child which in some ways may work especially if it allows your child to feel comfortable enough to confide in you with the various uncertainties that they may have. In some cases, the dialog may be one that can help your child in making decisions to avoid drugs, alcohol, sexual transmitted diseases, abusive relationships and many other challenges that he or she may encounter in their lives. However, there are those parents who are friends on a level where they believe that their child should be allowed to do whatever he or she wants. They host parties in their homes so that they can drink alcoholic beverages and smoke with the idea of it being in their own environment, safe at home.
What happens when the role of parenting becomes blurred?

A child loses her life to diabetes when her mother fails to take the appropriate measures in ensuring that her child followed the specific guidelines necessary for her to maintain as close to normal childhood or receive urgent medical treatment when the child became very ill. Georgia Lee Jones is a mother of five who is now facing felony charges in the death of her 9 year old daughter Chasity Butler. According to the reports, Chasity was often sick and in bed. The day before Chasity died, she had stomach pain, diarrhea and vomiting. Chasity did not eat that night or the next morning. However, when mother checked her glucose level and found it dangerously high, she failed to seek medical intervention; instead she fed Chasity noodles and let her eat cupcakes and candy. Needless to say, Chasity died.

A 7 year old Nixmary Brown died at the hands of her mother’s abusive boyfriend. Nixmarry was brutally beaten and tortured while her mother sat silently in another room. This is nothing new as it has happened many times over the years. Joel Steinberg and Hedda Nassbaum were both charged with the death of their unofficially adopted daughter Lisa. Lisa a 6 year old girl was brutally beaten, neglected and malnourished. Unfortunately, there are many other stories that do not make the headlines of major newspaper articles, radio or television broadcast news.

We have heard the stories of parents who have hosted parties for their teenage children and their friends in their homes where they serve alcoholic beverages and partied the night away with drugs. In some cases, those parties were responsible for drunk-driving incidents, alcoholic poisoning, and deaths to drug overdose.


Why take a chance on your child’s life? Why host a party in your home that will allow these teenagers to drink and partake of drugs? How cool is it to have someone else’s child leave your home only to end up in a tragic accident? What will you say if a child goes to sleep at your house and does not wake up as a result of alcoholic poisoning or a drug overdose?

Why treat your child to snacks and treats that you know are toxic/poisonous for your child especially when he or she has a specific health condition? Follow the rules of the nutritionist, your nurse and your doctor. After all, they are not trying to deliberately punish your child from having cookies, soda, ice cream, chips and candy. Their first concern is your child’s life.

Why would you allow anyone to abuse your child? Do not allow anyone, your husband, your boyfriend, your partner, or your significant other to abuse your child. It is never ever okay for anyone to hit, strike or discipline your child in any harsh way which includes verbal abuse or withholding food.

The truth is parenting is no easy task. Whatever parenting style we assume, we must recognize that we have a very important role which is to guide our children’s lives. We must guide them and let them see that we are ensuring that besides having the basics of food and shelter, they are safe, cared for, nurtured, loved, healthy, respected and respectful and protected.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Winter Blues

I have the blues
You have the blues
We all have the blues
That old winter blues

What are the blues - specifically the winter blues?

According to research studies, the winter blues is a form of depression that takes effect during the late fall through the winter season. In addition, studies show that 4 to 6% of the US population suffers from seasonal depression. Furthermore, 10-20% suffer from a mild case of winter blues. Interestingly,the majority of those who suffer from the winter blues are women ages 20-40 years old. However, the winter blues has also affected children and adolescents. So while many are happy for the white fluffy snow, planning ski trips, snowboarding or ice skating and all of the winter season activities, others are not so delighted. In fact, they may become depressed.

The culprit?

Although it is not known what is exactly responsible for the winter blues, there are many factors that are associated with the winter blues. One factor that is most common is the daylight change period. The lack of sunlight, not to mention the warmth that goes along with it, creates a lethargic, low level energy.

Melatonin is responsible for sleep and waking cycles. Serotonin has a broader role as it is a neurotransmitter that is responsible for mood, hunger, and sleep. Needless to say, as daylight savings ends the hours of sunlight decreases. it is at this point, the winter blues kicks in gear and the mood changes begin. It really takes it's toll on the way one who suffers of the winter blues respond to things. They do not want to socialize, they are tired and cannot wait to get home to relax. In fact, the winter blues may even affect the ability to concentrate.

Do I have the winter blues or do I just prefer to stay out of the cold?

Well, do you feel the need to hibernate - do you want to sleep and wake up in the springtime? Do you just prefer to be left alone until it's spring? Then most likely you are suffering from the winter blues.

Any Good News?

Here's the good news, there are various forms of therapies that may help you overcome the winter blues:

Light Therapy - normal light fixtures emits 250 to 500 lux on the other hand,light boxes emit high intensities of light of 2,500 to 10,000 lux and produce similar effects to the sun’s natural rays and as a result the mood is improved.

Sleep Strategies - get to bed early and wake up in time to enjoy the sunlight hours

Eating Plan - increase portions of complex carbohydrates, like pasta and rice, and healthy simple carbohydrates like fruits and fruit juices during meals, and avoid those unhealthy snacks. Unhealthy snacks are a quick fix of pleasure that will ultimately decrease your energy.

Burning Calories Plan - exercise it enhances your mood and boosts your energy

The Very Last Plan - Medication should be the very last resort and it should be administered by a health care professional who has evaluated your complaints. If it is determined that the other methods would not work for you - then this is the option.

Spring is on the way - hang on in there.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Here's to Your Health - Happy New Year!

Each year we all make our resolutions or set our goals or just opt out of making any arrangements. We may just go along with the day to day living and hope for the best. However, most of us seem to think that we can't wait for the New Year to come and make the past a distant memory - expecting nothing but the best. It is important that we realize that as long as we live, the path for us will have some turbulence as well as some smooth and joyful moments.

Brace yourselves for challenges - it's a part of life. However, do not allow the challenges to overwhelm you.

Celebrate the simple things - it makes everything else much better.

Be thankful - it is always good to give thanks - it shows your appreciation

Be kind - treat others the way you would want to be treated

Be supportive - it's always good to give support to others it builds you up

Be thoughtful - think before you act and let your actions demonstrate your thoughtfulness

Nurture yourself - take the time to take good care of yourself.

Watch your daily intake - watch your portion sizes.

Treat yourself to some quiet time, some relaxed time, some ME time. Enjoy the company of others - go out and socialize. Spend time with your family and friends - all in an effort to share joyous moments. If you do not have this relationship with your family and friends, then begin to look into groups/organizations that share common interests - that usually works. Pace yourself - know when to exit politely without allowing yourself to become overwhelmed in an uncomfortable situation - just say as calmly as possible - "I have to go now"

You can take control of your life by choosing the people, places and things that you want in your life. You also have the power to control how you take care of yourself - your health is vital and you can make small changes each day to improve your health.

Each day is your day - make it great!