Scientists Discover One Of The Greatest Contributing Factors To Happiness — You’ll Thank Me Later

Who would have thought that such a simple action can have such a profound effect on the level of happiness in our lives? Catch the setup in the first 30 seconds, the beauty of the experiment unfolding, the perfect moment at 4:25 that had me a bit choked up, and the best takeaway from it all at 6:25.


Are You Experiencing Subluxation Symptoms?

chiropracticChiropractic is often thought of as a way to treat neck, back and headache pain, when the spine and nerves come into play effects can often be felt though out any and all areas of the body as everything is connected.

When subluxations occur that means that vertebrae have shifted out of place. This can put pressure on nerves.  In turn this can cause the body to malfunction manifesting symptoms such as:

  • Pain
  • Tenderness
  • Soreness and stiffness in the neck and/or back
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Balance problems
  • Spinal muscle spasms, tightness or weakness
  • Reduction in spinal mobility/Stiffness
  • Tingling in the extremities
  • Joint pain
  • Fatigue
  • Poor overall health
  • Reduced ability to heal if bruised or cut

Over time symptoms become more and more noticeable and can lead to disease.

Why would you have a subluxation?

It’s a stress response. Stress on a physical level can cause spasms. Tension can cause the bones to move incorrectly eventually causing a subluxation or misalignment. This can happen due to:

  • Physical incidents: falls, slips, falls, accidents, lifting, bad posture, sleeping wrong
  • Chemical: bad diet, drugs, alcohol, pollution
  • Emotional: stress, anger, fear, grief, all tax the immune system

A series of chiropractic adjustments can change the position and motion of the spine. The body will get used to holding the spine, muscles, ligaments and tissues in this proper position and the stress on adjacent nerves will be alleviated. This allows the body to heal itself and return to optimal function.

Seeing your chiropractor regularly can help prevent subluxations and other issues, keeping you in tip top health. Give Nutritional Specialists of Florida a call today at 239-947-1177.

Originally Posted:

What’s killing Americans? Top 10 prescribed medications of 2016 give us a troublesome answer

pills‘Let food be thy medicine’ is a saying attributed to Hippocrates, who is known as the Father of Modern Medicine. We would be well off to heed his advice, but by and large, we do not, for it is the Standard American Diet that is making us sick. A look at the most often prescribed medications reveals the most common health conditions we are being treated for. And these conditions reveal a problem with our diet, because our poor health is closely correlated with our poor food choices.

Our food supply has been adulterated by heavy processing, it’s laden with chemical additives and pesticides, and it lacks the all-important mineral content, due to poor quality soil, after years of high-intensity agricultural practices. Is it any wonder that we are one of the sickest nations in the developed world?

You are what you eat

This truism is all too true, for if we eat healthy foods, we will be healthy. But if we eat unhealthy foods, we will be unhealthy. Here is a list of the top ten prescriptions in America in 2016 (from, along with the associated health condition, the dietary culprit, and a healthier dietary approach.

1. Atorvastatin Calcium is prescribed for high cholesterol. The most recent research bucks conventional wisdom and attributes high cholesterol to refined carbohydrates, not fats. Substituting high quality fats and oils for the empty carbs is the solution.

2. Levothyroxine is used to treat hypothyroidism, or an underactive thyroid. Fluoride in our food and water is absorbed by the body in place of iodine. Iodine is woefully deficient in most people and is essential for healthy hormone production by the thyroid gland. Try to avoid ubiquitous fluoride and supplement iodine.

3. Lisinopril is used for high blood pressure, which is associated with heart attacks. Too much salt is blamed for high blood pressure, but low magnesium is most often overlooked.

4. Omeprazole treats reflux symptoms, which medical orthodoxy says is caused by too much stomach acid, whereas it is likely caused by too little production of hydrochloric acid. Make sure you get enough sodium chloride, or table salt in your diet.

5. Metformin is used to lower blood sugar for diabetes patients. Many physicians now blame a diet rich in refined carbohydrates for the onset of type 2 diabetes, and believe that it can be controlled solely through diet.

6. Amlodipine is used to treat hypertension.

7. Simvastatin treats high cholesterol.

8. Hydrocodone/Acetamenophen treats pain; not necessarily related to diet.

9. Metoprolol ER is prescribed for hypertension.

10. Losartan is prescribed for hypertension.

The low fat fallacy

Obesity is linked as a causative factor to diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular disease, all major contributors to mortality. Regarding our dietary habits, the standard advice in favor of a low fat diet is probably what is killing us. Dr. Atkins puts it this way:

“In recent years, research has indicated that we may have been doing it all wrong. To verify that, just ask yourself: If low-fat diets work, why are we so fat? Sure, you could blame some of it on people with weak willpower, or metabolic problems, or whatever. But when nearly two-thirds of the nation is overweight, those excuses just don’t hold water.

“There is now an enormous body of research that proves that the conventional wisdom about the role fats play in the human diet is, quite simply, wrong, and in fact, it’s a high-carb, high-fat diet that results in weight problems and all the diseases that go along with being overweight. Culprits include the USDA Food Triangle, which guides school lunch programs across the country–it’s top-heavy on refined grains, including pasta and other starches while limiting foods containing fats. And many foods that are thought of as healthy–such as bran muffins, fruit juices and most brands of diet shakes and nutrition bars–are loaded with empty calories and high carbohydrate counts.”

Where do we go from here?

Many natural and non-toxic alternatives are available in the form of foods, supplements, and herbs for the above listed maladies. All prescription medications are toxic to an extent, some with serious health consequences. Most medical doctors have very little nutritional training, if any. Many doctors will straight up tell you that nutrition does not affect disease conditions. Are the insane running the asylum?


originally posted:


Doctors agree with censored study that concludes unvaccinated children are healthier than vaccinated children

baby-doctor-inject-vaccine-syringeThe assertion that vaccines may cause systematic changes to children’s immune and nervous systems is accepted as a possibility by a large number of doctors, including many who consider themselves “pro-vaccine.”

“If you don’t ask the right questions, you can’t find the right answers,” said Tommy Redwood, MD, an emergency room doctor in Atlanta, Georgia, with 26 years of medical experience. “If you summarily dismiss the possibility that the increasing rates of childhood illnesses, including ADD, autism, asthma and other auto-immune disorders are connected to vaccines, you can’t figure out if our children’s health problems are vaccine-related injuries.”

Redwood says he suspects that over-vaccination plays a role in the worsening health outcomes seen among children in recent decades.

Chronic disease risk higher

The most recent, peer-reviewed study was accepted for publication by the journal Frontiers in Public Health, according to Jennifer Margulis, PhD. The study was assigned a DOI number and the abstract published on the journal’s website. Several days later, all signs of the study vanished from the site without explanation

Margulis is the author of Your Baby, Your Way and the co-author (with Dr. Paul Thomas, M.D.) of The Vaccine-Friendly Plan.

According to Margulis, the abstract described a study comparing health outcomes of 660 fully vaccinated or fully unvaccinated children between the ages of 6 and 12 living in Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Oregon. Information was collected via parental survey in 2012.

The researchers found that while unvaccinated children were significantly more likely to get chickenpox and pertussis (whooping cough), they were significantly less likely to have allergies, ear infections, pneumonia, or central nervous system disorders (including autism) than the fully vaccinated children.

Indeed, vaccinated children had twice the risk of chronic illness and four times the risk of autism, learning disabilities, or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Vaccinated children who had been born prematurely were six times more likely to suffer from autism or other central nervous disorders than unvaccinated children.

Several prior surveys of parents comparing vaccinated and unvaccinated children have shown similar results.

Doctors call for more research

The reality of vaccine injury is obvious to many doctors, such as integrative physician Kelly Sutton MD of Fair Oaks, California. Sutton says she sees vaccine-injured patients every day.

“It’s not a rational thing to think that we can just give an ever-increasing number of vaccines without causing damage,” Sutton said. “There’s a tipping point for many people in terms of the toxins that they can handle.”

Sutton says she regularly hears from parents who chose to leave younger children unvaccinated that the unvaccinated children in the same family have better health, social adjustment and academic performance than their vaccinated siblings.

Bose Ravenel, MD, of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, used to scoff at the idea of a connection between vaccines and autism. But after examining the scientific data for himself, the 78-year-old doctor said he could no longer support the party line.

“There is clearly a relationship between vaccines and autism,” Ravenel said. “But to say that ‘vaccines cause autism’ is an inaccurate, non-nuanced statement. At the same time, to say that ‘vaccines don’t cause autism’ is also inaccurate. In certain conditions, like with mitochondrial dysfunction, vaccines certainly can cause autism or contribute to it.”

Ravenel supports research into the risks of vaccines in order to find ways to improve their safety.

Such perspectives are common among “pro-vaccine” doctors who are willing to examine the research without bias. A similar line is taken by neuroscientist Rene Anand of Ohio State University.

Anand, who says vaccines have saved millions of lives, researches genetic susceptibility to brain disorders. And he rejects as scientifically inaccurate the claim that vaccines do not contribute to autism.

The large numbers of parents who saw immune and cognitive function decline immediately after vaccination are indicative of something, Anand says. And that needs to be investigated.


Originally Posted:


7 Kitchen Ingredients to Improve Memory, No. 5 Will Surprise You

memory-foodsBy Adonia Dennis, Natural Blaze

Aging, illness, poor sleep, and mental disorders can all cause problems with your memory. If you’re experiencing memory problems that are severely interfering with your ability to function in life, do seek professional health. But if you’re just having a few memory slips here and there or just need a natural brain boost, then try out these ingredients you probably have lying around in your kitchen for an instant brain boost.

7 Kitchen Ingredients That Can Help Improve Your Memory

  1. Olive oil

Olive oil is a rich source of polyphenols which are potent plant antioxidants. Antioxidants are molecules that prevent free radical damage and that are known to protect the brain from age-related diseases and even improve mental functioning in old age. One study on mice published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease found that mice fed olive oil for 6 weeks had shown better learning and memory when compared to mice fed coconut oil or butter. The researchers believe that this effect was due to the olive oil reducing oxidative damage to the brain cells in their mice models.



  1. Blueberries

Blueberries are considered one of the best brain foods out there, mostly because of their high antioxidant content, but also because they are a rich source of key nutrients. They have been extensively studied in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, and most studies found that blueberries have a powerful effect and that they help reverse age-related cognitive decline. Blueberries proved to be equally powerful in boosting brain power in healthy individuals as well. To improve your memory, it’s best you munch on a couple of fresh blueberries because heat can reduce some of their nutritious content.


  1. Almonds

Almonds are often praised as brain foods, and for good reasons also. The reason being that almond are nutritional powerhouses containing all essential nutrients important for brain health and mental functioning. Almonds are a rich source of protein, zinc, vitamin E, and omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids. Studies on almonds also show that they truly help boost brain power and they’re also a great option if you are having sleeping difficulties. Almonds are a rich source of an amino acid called tryptophan which is a precursor to melatonin production – the hormone that makes you feel sleepy.


  1. Rosemary

Sprinkling rosemary over your meals may be another way you could boost your memory according to a study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food. The study found that older adults given rosemary had shown improvement in their memory. But if you wondered how to improve memory fast, then just smelling this aromatic herb could give you the brain boost you need according to another study published in the International Journal of Neuroscience. This study found that aromatherapy with rosemary improved mood and concentration in their test subjects.


  1. Black pepper

Black pepper gives your meals a nice and spicy taste, but it also helps you remember things. A study published in a recent issue of Current Pharmaceutical Biotechnology found that a compound only found in black pepper called chavicine improves brain health. Chavicine seems to protect the brain from toxins and reverse damage already done to the brain. Red pepper works just as good according to another study that claims that red pepper could prevent Alzheimer’s disease.


  1. Avocado

There is something in avocado that improved the functioning of mitochondria in brain cells. Mitochondria are parts of cells that generate energy for the cells. One study found that avocado oil seems to improve mitochondrial functioning and also reduces oxidative stress in the brain. Another study found that greater consumption of avocado improves neuron cell health and improves including working and spatial memory. Avocado seems to be a brain booster as powerful as some popular brain supplements.


  1. Oatmeal

Oatmeal is a great breakfast option because it provides you with ample energy and it also protects your blood vessel health. But oatmeal can also increase your brain power. One study compared memory and learning in school children given oatmeal and breakfast cereal. The study found that children fed oatmeal for breakfast exhibited better cognitive performance, especially in complex tasks. The oatmeal group also showed better short-term and long-term memory. One reason for this could be oatmeal’s large vitamin B content and the antioxidant selenium.


Your brain needs adequate nutrition to function properly. Eating foods high in antioxidants will protect your brain from the harmful effect of free radicals. Other foods provide your brain with the nutrients it needs to support the health and functioning of brain cells. Some brain foods also boost brain power by affecting neurotransmitter. By eating these 7 simple ingredients that you probably already have in your kitchen, you will provide your brain with the fuel it needs to function properly, and as a result, your learning and memory are bound to improve almost instantly.

Author Bio

Adonia Dennis (@adoniadennis), by profession a Health, Beauty and Skin Care adviser. She provides solution related to health and beauty problems. She is an independent researcher who researches for all type of skin related issues. She is a featured blogger at and and share her views on health, fitness and diet. Visit Adonia on Facebook, Google+,  and Pinterest.

Originally Published:

3 Polio Facts That The CDC Wishes You Didn’t Know


Many people I talk to agree that the current CDC vaccination schedule is appalling. These same people commonly acknowledge that vaccines for HPV or the flu are ineffective and cause much more harm than good.

However, many of these seemingly intelligent people fall into the “But, Polio” crowd.

Despite evidence that polio was on the decline long before the introduction of the vaccine, and that sanitation and plumbing improvements are likely the reason for the decline of the disease as opposed to a carcinogenic syringe filled with neurotoxins and environmental pesticides, far too many people still hail the polio vaccine as one of the greatest accomplishments of 20th century medicine.polio-death-chart

If you are one of those people who has ever stated “but, what about polio?”, this is for you.

1. The first polio vaccine was developed by Dr. Jonas Salk. Human experiments using this vaccine were conducted purposely on orphans in government/church run institutions because they were vulnerable and didn’t require parental consent signatures, as they had no parents.

The vaccine was “declared safe” (as they always are), but tragically, that vaccine gave 40,000 orphans polio and permanently paralyzed hundreds of others. At least 10 children died as a result of vaccine-induced polio. All injuries and deaths were under-reported of course by the same authorities who orchestrated the atrocity. (This is known as The Cutter Incident.)

“In retrospect, a good deal of the blame for the vaccine snafu also went to the National Foundation (for Infantile Paralysis), which, with years of publicity, had built up the danger of polio out of all proportion to its actual incidence, and had rushed into vaccinations this year with patently insufficient preparation.” ~Time Magazine: Monday, May 30, 1955

2. In 1956, the AMA (The American Medical Association) instructed every licensed medical doctor that they could no longer classify polio as polio, or their license to practice would be terminated. (Source)

Any paralysis was now to be diagnosed as AFP (acute flaccid paralysis) MS, MD, Bell’s Palsy, cerebral palsy, ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease), Guillian-Barre, etc., etc., etc. When all other lies failed, doctors were instructed to say that the paralysis was “rare” and that further research would be necessary.


This was an intentional deception to make the public believe polio was eradicated by the polio vaccine campaign, but because the polio vaccine contained toxic ingredients directly linked to paralysis, polio cases (not identified as polio) were skyrocketing…but only in vaccinated areas.

Anyone who believes that polio was eradicated by vaccination is simply brainwashed and is perpetuating a lie that known liars have maliciously created to propel a eugenics agenda. (Ask yourself what the Rockefeller Family, the Federal Reserve Bank, and the polio vaccine all have in common. And then read this.)

3. In 1945, against the warnings of researchers who had studied the neurotoxic compound and found it dangerous for all forms of life, DDT was released across the globe for general use by the public as an insecticide. Coincidentally, documented evidence shows DDT is more likely the true cause of the polio epidemic. recently published an infographic on their site that shows a definite correlation between the use of pesticides and polio outbreaks, the largest of which occurred in 1952. (Click here to see the graph.)

-Polio outbreaks occurred in July and August i.e. during pesticide spraying times–NOT the sunless and damp winter/spring seasons like other disease outbreaks.

-There are numerous documented accounts of parents finding their children paralyzed in and around apple orchards. One of the most heavily pesticide-sprayed crops of the time were apples. (Lead arsenate and/or copper arsenate pesticides were widely used on orchards during this time.)

-The most famous polio victim is likely President Roosevelt, but few know the details surrounding his paralysis. Roosevelt became paralyzed literally over night while on his farm one summer, which contained many crops, including apple orchards. He also swam the entire day prior in a bay that was heavily polluted by industrial agricultural run off.

-Polio is not contagious. Polio has ZERO ability to spread from infected victims to the uninfected. Polio infected clusters of people in the exact same areas, suddenly and swiftly.

-Dr. Ralph Scobey and Dr. Mortind Biskind testified in front of the U.S. Congress in 1951 that the paralysis around the country known as polio was being caused by industrial poisons and that a virus theory was purposely fabricated by the chemical industry and the government to deflect litigation away from both parties.

Originally Posted:

Why Doctors Are Rethinking Breast-Cancer Treatment

Too much chemo. Too much radiation. And way too many mastectomies.

“What if I decide to just do nothing?”


It was kind of a taunt, Desiree Basila admits. Not the sort of thing that usually comes out of the mouth of a woman who’s just been diagnosed with breast cancer. For 20 minutes she’d been grilling her breast surgeon. “Just one more question,” she kept saying, and her surgeon appeared to her to be growing weary. She was trying to figure out what to do about her ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), also known as Stage 0 breast cancer, and she was already on her second opinion. The first surgeon had slapped a photograph of her right breast onto a viewer, pointed to a spot about 5 cm long and 2.5 cm wide and told her there was a slot open the following week for a mastectomy.

Basila’s first reaction to her diagnosis was an animal-instinct panic that she registered as “10,000 bricks” crushing into her chest when she woke up in the morning. After that, Basila, who is now 60 and teaches high school science in San Francisco, did a little research. She learned that there were a lot of unknowns about the progression of DCIS, which is noninvasive–it’s confined to the milk ducts–and is the earliest stage of breast cancer. She also learned there was some disagreement in the field about how to treat it.


She knew she wasn’t ready to have one or both of her breasts cut off. And she wasn’t sure she wanted a lumpectomy either. That’s why when Dr. Shelley Hwang, then a surgeon at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), recommended a lumpectomy, Basila grew frustrated. She was coat in hand and ready to walk out the door when she issued that half taunt. And when she did, Hwang said this: “Well, some people are electing to do that.”

Basila sat back down, and as their meeting reached the hour mark, she made a choice that humans are practically hardwired not to make in the face of a cancer diagnosis: she decided to do nothing.

Well, not nothing, exactly. She would start taking a drug called tamoxifen that blocks estrogen, which can fuel tumor growth, and she would enroll in a clinical trial involving active surveillance: twice-a-year visits in which she would get mammograms alternating with MRIs. As long as there were no worrisome changes, Basila would be spared the standard arsenal in breast-cancer treatment: surgery, radiation and chemotherapy.

That conversation took place eight years ago. And if it sounds radical today, it was all but heresy back then. This was before the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force said in 2009 that women should start mammograms at 50, not the previous guideline of 40, because there’s insufficient evidence that earlier screening does more good than harm. Before research showed that for some women with Stages 1 and 2 breast cancer, the absolute survival benefit from preventive double mastectomies is less than 1% after 20 years. Before the paper in August showing that no matter how a woman is treated for DCIS, the mortality risk is 3%–similar to the average for the general population. And before the news that some women with early-stage breast cancer don’t benefit from chemo and can skip it.

In other words, that conversation took place before doctors and patients were faced with the evidence that in the U.S., many women with breast cancer are being massively overtreated. Thanks to advances in genomic testing and deeper insights into the biology of different kinds of breast cancer, doctors are learning that the one-size-fits-all approach isn’t working. They’re also learning that every woman brings with her a unique profile of biological risk–as well as a unique appetite for risk. That means that while some women require urgent and aggressive treatment, there are many who can slow down and take a more sparing approach.

Now those at the vanguard of breast-cancer treatment are calling for a major shift in the way doctors treat–and talk about–the disease, from the first few millimeters of suspicious-looking cells in milk ducts to the invasive masses found outside of them. That’s making the tough conversations between a woman and her cancer doctor ever harder, but it also stands to make them more fruitful.

Because as good as we have gotten at finding breast cancer–and we’ve gotten very good–all this new data suggests there may be better ways to treat some breast cancers, particularly those at the early stages. Evidence is mounting that aggressive treatments, designed in earnest to save women’s lives, can have unforeseen and sometimes devastating consequences.

Call it collateral damage. It’s the multiple follow-up surgeries after a mastectomy and the subsequent infections; the radiation that doesn’t always improve survival and the cancer risk that can come with too much of it; the sometimes unnecessary chemotherapy and its life-sapping side effects. For some in the field, that collateral damage is getting harder and harder to justify.

Now a small but influential chorus of leaders is calling for a radical–measured but still radical–shift in the way doctors are approaching the disease. “As a surgeon, to say we shouldn’t be operating as much as we are is a very big deal,” says Dr. Mehra Golshan, a surgical oncologist at the Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center. “And that’s what I’m saying.”

Medicine is slow to move, and that’s especially true with breast cancer. Doctors are up against not only new data but also an accumulated mass of public opinion seeded by policymakers and advocacy groups with strong positions on how best to screen for and treat breast cancer. These measures were put into place for good reason, of course–because experts thought they would save lives. But they didn’t–or at least not as many as anticipated.

This year more than 40,000 women in the U.S. will die of breast cancer. That’s the same, give or take, as last year, and the 13 years before that. At the same time, fear of the disease has led many to overestimate the risk it poses. The chance that a woman will die of breast cancer is 3%, and that’s been the case since the early 2000s, when a blockbuster report demonstrated that hormone-replacement therapy (HRT), which women took during menopause to help with side effects, could unwittingly fuel the development of breast cancer. Once HRT fell out of vogue, the number of deaths dropped, and it’s remained largely unchanged since.

“I hear people say that medicine is so important that we can’t be too quick to change, and I would say the opposite: Because it’s so important, we need to innovate,” says Dr. Laura Esserman, a surgeon and the director of the Carol Franc Buck Breast Care Center at UCSF. “If we were doing so well and no one was dying, I would agree we don’t need to change. But patients don’t like the treatment options, and physicians don’t like the outcomes.”

Esserman and Hwang, now chief of breast surgery at Duke University and Duke Cancer Institute in North Carolina, are leading a number of studies that they hope will fill in some of the knowledge gaps that make change such an uphill battle. DCIS now accounts for about 20% to 25% of breast cancers diagnosed through screening. Before routine screening, which went wide in the mid-1980s, it was 3%.

“Our two greatest challenges,” says Dr. Eric Winer, director of breast oncology at Dana-Farber, “are figuring out better treatments for the 40,000 women who die of breast cancer every year, and at same time, figure out who, on the other end of the spectrum, is getting exposed to needless toxicity.”

If only doctors could agree on how to do that. Everyone says surgeons and radiologists need to know more about how to do less. And doctors don’t want to be responsible for the patient who isn’t treated aggressively and dies on their watch. That’s where the two camps split: motivated by the same thing, some in the field are working to find even more proof the disease can be treated responsibly another way, while others say it’s just too risky to pivot without proof.

It used to be accepted that tumors grow at a steady clip. Once they get big enough, they spread, and when they spread, you’re in trouble. That was the reasoning behind the “early detection saves lives” thinking and it did, in fact, help save many lives. But now experts know that many breast cancers are, in the apt medical term, indolent–slow-growing tumors that may never cause symptoms, let alone hasten a woman’s death. They also know there are a small number of breast cancers that spread very quickly, sometimes even before they are detected. They’re working to figure out which ones are which–and what to do in the meantime.

“Many doctors still say that any breast cancer is a failure of a patient to get a mammogram or failure of a doctor to detect it,” says Dr. Otis Brawley, chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society. “If you look at the science, that is so clearly not the case.”

Indeed, the 2009 guideline that most women start screening at 50, which caused a national uproar, is still controversial today–despite the fact that when mammograms went wide, the reduction in deaths didn’t match what experts say was expected.

Screening presents doctors and patients with a modern conundrum. If you have the technology to detect something, you are without a doubt going to find more of it. One doctor puts it this way: In a beachside tragedy, a shark attacks a swimmer and the swimmer dies. In the past, that would have been seen, perhaps, as a freak accident. But today we have flying robots with cameras and sensors that can patrol the waters. When we discover the area is teeming with creatures that may also have an appetite for humans, though we can’t be sure, what do we do? Do we close the beach?

No one is suggesting that women stop getting mammograms. But experts think it’s important to be honest that it’s an imperfect technology. “Mammograms are here to stay,” says Hwang, who has about 20 patients at any given time who have chosen to do active surveillance instead of surgery and the treatments that follow it. “It’s not the ‘finding more’ that we need to work on. It’s what are we going to do with the more that we find?”

That’s what’s keeping cancer doctors up at night. That, and the growing concern that with all breast cancers being treated aggressively, some patients are getting hurt. With breast cancer, the burden of proof for not doing something is greater than it is for acting. And when doctors deviate from what’s called the standard of care, they can face malpractice lawsuits.

Some experts note that with other diseases, insurers would be the bad cops, denying payment for treatments that may be unnecessary. But with breast cancer, otherwise hard-nosed insurers will often pay for many of the approved therapies as long as they’re in line with published guidelines. Since the guidelines for breast cancer tend to err on the side of caution, it means that regardless of the stage of her disease or her prognosis, a woman is likely to have insurance that will cover both mastectomy and reconstruction.

“There is no check on what is a reasonable treatment for an anticipated outcome,” says Hwang. “If we are going to accept that everyone, even those who have a 1% chance of mortality improvement, can get a treatment, that is not biologically a good way to approach the problem. It’s also just incredibly expensive.”

The increase in women opting for a contralateral prophylactic mastectomy–which doesn’t improve survival for most patients–worries a number of surgeons because it isn’t clinically indicated for most of the patients who get one. (One exception is women with rare BRCA1 and 2 mutations, which greatly increase a woman’s chance of developing breast and ovarian cancer. That’s why Angelina Jolie famously had the procedure and why doctors continue to recommend the surgery in such cases.)

“We are talking about major surgery,” says Hwang. “It can involve revisions, prolonged pain, hernias. I think the best way to understand it is that it may require surgeries for the rest of your life. Some small, some major. But it’s not like you’re done and you can forget about it. It just doesn’t work that way.”

There are psychological effects for some women, though not all. Some women say they struggle with feelings around femininity and sexuality after surgery. Some who have had nipple-sparing mastectomies–a reconstruction that preserves the woman’s own nipples–wonder when the sensation will return. (The answer is often, never.) They’re also at increased risk of depression and all that can come with it.

“It’s not my job to say that their decision is wrong,” says the breast surgeon Golshan, who worries that patients are not adequately cautioned about–or at least not fully aware of–the potential risks. “Women may see end-result pictures, and it looks wonderful. But the vast majority of reconstruction requires multiple steps of revision.”

Cancer has a language problem–not just in the way we speak about it, as a war that drafts soldiers who never signed up for it, who do battle and win, or do battle and lose. There’s also the problem of the word itself. A 57-year-old woman with low-grade DCIS that will almost certainly never become invasive hears the same word as the 34-year-old woman who has metastatic malignancies that will kill her. That’s confusing to patients conditioned to treat every cancer diagnosis as an emergency, in a world that still reacts to cancer as though it’s the beginning of the end and in a culture where we don’t talk about death until we have to.

“We think that word means the most aggressive thing,” says Basila, recalling the shock when she first learned she had DCIS. “I’m not saying doctors should sugarcoat it. But we have to have the perspective that we can sometimes afford to not see it as a death sentence, de facto.” That is hard to do in an hour, let alone in a 10-minute appointment.

Dr. Steven J. Katz, a professor at the University of Michigan who studies patient and physician decisionmaking, points out that the vast majority of women feel healthy when they’re diagnosed. And with most women diagnosed from ages 55 to 64, their own mortality is not, for good reason, top of mind. But now, inevitably, it will come up. This is not an easy conversation to have. “They’re well and told they’re sick,” says Katz. “And then they are told they will have to get really sick to get well.”

Talk to women about what that’s like and you’ll hear things like: “I literally went into shock.” “I was blindsided.” “I got sort of dizzy.” You may also hear: “I don’t really remember what we spoke about, but I remember it said 4:01 on the clock.”

That’s a difficult position from which to make a life-changing decision, and most women make a decision within weeks of diagnosis, says Katz. It’s not the right way to do things, says UCSF’s Esserman. “The time has come to ask, What happens if I do nothing right away.” The “right away” part of the question is important. “Let’s not make it a panic. There is no evidence to support getting surgery in two weeks.”

Katz’s research has demonstrated that there’s a natural instinct in patients, when faced with the C word, to outsource the decision to their doctors. That’s why who your doctor is, what she tells you and how she tells it to you matter enormously. Because for many women, the strong inclination is to do whatever can be done–and as quickly as possible–to begin to feel like their normal selves again. That can get tricky when a patient’s attempt to get back to normal as quickly as possible is at odds with the science of how best to do that.

Some new tools are pushing the field forward, though they’re not perfect. A genomic test called Oncotype DX, for instance, can help doctors determine whether or not some patients will respond to chemo. It was part of a landmark study in the New England Journal of Medicine in September showing that some women with early-stage disease could be treated with hormone therapy alone.

Another gene test, the Oncotype DX DCIS, can help indicate who is at low, intermediate and high risk of recurrence of DCIS, helping inform whether a woman needs radiation therapy following a lumpectomy. And while there aren’t yet diagnostics to say precisely who is a good candidate for active surveillance, the doctors who partner with their patients on such a plan say they do so prudently.

Many in the field still don’t think there’s enough evidence to support active surveillance for anyone, because the method hasn’t been tested in a randomized prospective trial–the gold standard for the widespread adoption of a medical treatment. That’s something Hwang and Esserman are hoping to address in the U.S.

Hwang was awarded $1.8 million in September to perform a retrospective study comparing active surveillance with standard care, and she’s hoping she’ll soon have the green light to do a prospective study looking at the same thing.

Esserman is creating a DCIS registry at the five University of California medical centers. Women diagnosed with DCIS at any of the facilities will be offered options–including active surveillance–and be tracked over time. The hope: that the data will refine doctors’ understanding of who, with DCIS, will go on to develop invasive breast cancers and who will not.

Esserman has also launched something called the WISDOM study, which will randomize women to either annual screening or a more personalized screening approach. “We’ll learn over time what works,” says Esserman. “How wonderful if we can learn how to do less for women.”

In the U.K., meanwhile, where bilateral prophylactic mastectomies are rarely performed unless a patient has a gene defect or is at a very high risk of invasive breast cancer, a first-of-its-kind investigation is under way. Called LORIS, it’s a 10-year randomized controlled prospective study, funded by the U.K.’s National Institute for Health Research, that will include 900 women. Half will get the standard care, and half will be actively monitored.

“My personal view is that enough time has been spent arguing about screening, and we now should be addressing the issue through well-run clinical trials that are long overdue,” says Dr. Adele Francis, a breast surgeon at University Hospital Birmingham and the lead on the LORIS study. Some experts doubt that such a trial would fly in the U.S., given how risk-averse the field historically has been.

There’s another important piece of the puzzle: the women with the diagnosis. “Change in medicine comes from patients,” says Esserman. “My patients don’t like the options we have. So I say, Get the facts. Find someone who will go through those options with you.”

For some women, like Basila, that’s already happened. And just as some women choose to take a “get it out of me” approach, there are some–not many, but some–for whom the opposite is appropriate. As with all the hardest decisions we have to make about our health, it comes down to the impossible calculus of what level of uncertainty can I live with?

“What I am doing is not foolproof,” says Basila. “I know that. I also know life is finite and that death is unavoidable. For me it came down to the quality of the life I want to live. I don’t want to be tired and bitchy if I can avoid it. And come what may, I think we really hurt ourselves by trying to just not be dead.”

Correction: This piece has been updated to reflect the proper title of the Dana Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center. An earlier version of this story also misstated which patients would be involved in the WISDOM study.


Psychotic Effects from Asthma Medications

asthmaAccording to the Department of Respiratory Diseases, asthma is a disorder of the respiratory tract associated with chronic inflammation. Asthma is one of the most common chronic diseases, with an estimated 300 million cases worldwide. (1) “In the United States alone, more than 25 million people are known to have asthma. About 7 million of these people are children.”(2)  Asthma is the leading chronic disease diagnosed in children, (3) with 95% being under the age of sixteen. The scary part of this equation is there are asthma medications that cause damage to our hearts and brains including psychotic behavior, and suicidal tendencies.


There is a frightening new research which points to psychotic side-effects in prescribed asthma medications. Some of these effects include: hallucinations, depression, insomnia, impaired growth in children, decreased bone mineral density, cataracts,(1) irritability, restlessness, Neuropsychiatric Disorders, suicidal behavior and tremors.(6)

*What if you’re using corticosteroids?  “There was a significant positive correlation of inhaled corticosteroids for asthma and voice problems as well as acid regurgitation.”(8) A high incidence of premature atherosclerosis meaning there is an excess cardiovascular mortality in steroid-treated patients.(8a)

*Reslizumab is a drug used every four weeks by intravenous infusion for 18-year-olds and older. Side-effects include mouth and throat pain and possible anaphylaxis.(9)

*Singulair AKA  Montelukast is a medication approved for the chronic treatment of asthma for adults and children 6 months of age and older. Reports show billions in revenue. According to Express Scripts’ 2015 Drug Trend Report, Asthma is the 8th most expensive drug class. In this period between July 2011 and June 2012, the asthma drug Singulair generated around 4.9 billion in revenues.  Adair generated 4.6 billion.(10) Montelukast is linked to serious psychotic episodes (Neuropsychiatric Disorders) in children,(4) and I’ve found it should never be used for the treatment of an acute asthmatic attack.(5)  I can’t stress this enough; this is a dangerous medication.  As parents, we need to become aware that Singulair damages our children’s brains and bodies with horrific side-effects including suicide.(7)

*Isoproterenol used for asthma can cause abnormal heart rhythm.


Asthma can begin as…

The air we breathe is critical for life and it has been compromised in our homes, work environment and our schools. It seems no one is addressing-toxic exposures that can lead to allergies and cause harm to both children and adults. Allergies from toxic exposures for people with asthma include artificial scents, dust, molds, and pesticides.

Studies show asthma has risen in the last decade due to increasing exposures to pesticides (Round up Ready™ glyphosate®) on our foods.(11) Food allergies are listed as one of the common causes of asthma. This is because over 60% of our immune system is found in our digestive tract.(12) To shed more light on this subject, it’s imperative to note 75% of asthmatic children identified food allergies as a cause. Allergies can begin by daily ingesting poor quality foods and/or pesticide laden foods. These include GMO tomatoes, beets, dairy, corn, soy, wheat, peppers, eggs, cow meat, farmed fish and pork products. Besides pesticides there are antibiotics used in livestock are ingested by humans when they consume food. This can lead to complications of antibiotic resistance. Asthma can begin with an inflammatory internal environment. Antibiotics harm our good gut microbiome.  When there is an unhealthy gut environment and not enough good gut bacteria, there is an increased risk for inflammatory conditions and poor immunity. According to the Weizmann Institute of Science, bacteria is equal to the amount of cells we have in our body.(13)  When we’re fighting inflammation in our cells we must build good gut microbiome in order to feel better.

Today as a nation we experience increase cases of IBS because of antibiotic resistance. Over twenty years ago, my daughter was diagnosed with an upper respiratory infection that was in reality, asthma. Doctors incorrectly prescribed antibiotics which contributed to her resistant bacteria. “Irritable Bowel Syndrome and the autonomic nervous system play an important role in the pathogenesis of asthma. The autonomic nervous system regulates the mucous secretion, tonicity of bronchial smooth muscles, blood flow, micro-vascular permeability, and functions of inflammatory cells”(14)


The first step to wellness is to know the side effects from your medications. Ask your doctor.

Question over the counter medications that can keep you tired and stressed and interfere with other medications. These include aspirin and NSAIDs that may increase the risk for asthmatic conditions. If your child has been on multiply antibiotics, it’s time to add in probiotics and fermented foods.

The second step is to eliminate foods from the diet that create allergies or sensitivities. rBGH Dairy happens to be one of the top allergens out there. According to Dr. Tom O’Bryan, if you have sensitivities to grains, you will also be sensitive to the cow that was fed those grains.

Junk foods are nutritionally void, deplete minerals in the body, are toxic, impair digestion, and increase inflammation.  A healthy diet includes a variety of fresh fruits, vegetables, legumes and pure filtered water.  It helps to drink warm filtered water throughout the day. For clear lungs, you can juice eight medium size carrots and a thumb size of fresh ginger root together. Carrots (15) and ginger root have positive properties to relieve symptoms of asthma. In fact, ginger root is famous for digestive health, clearing asthma and relieving inflammation.(16)

Poor gut microbiome can be a missing link that is being ignored today. Feeling better requires taking good care of the digestive system. Good gut bacteria is important for preventing and reversing asthma, inflammation, and allergies. Interestingly enough, a poor diet, insulin resistance, an abundance of free radicals and lack of exercise are responsible for depleted oxygen levels in the body and have problematic ties with symptoms of asthma.

The third step is to practice meditation and deep breathing exercises to strengthen your lungs and breath.

The fourth step is maintaining a healthy weight which is a necessary step toward respiratory wellness.(17) Eat smaller meals and chew your food well. If you or your child are overweight, make time for delicious home made meals that include more green leafy veggies.

The fifth step is to fight inflammation with turmeric. According to Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, T helper type, 2 cells orchestrate the asthmatic inflammation through the secretion of a series of cytokines.(19) Cytokines mediate and control immune and inflammatory responses.(18)  and can cause inflammation between cells. Turmeric (curcumin) regulates the expression of inflammatory enzymes, cytokines, adhesion molecules, and cell survival proteins” anti-proliferative.(20) Turmeric fights inflammation and has been noted to replace fourteen different medications.(21)

The sixth step is to use Far infrared sauna therapy to boost the body’s ability to detoxify, leading to significant and lasting health benefits.

The seventh step is to choose organic eucalyptus essential oil, which has been proven effective for asthma symptoms and decongestion.(21a) Take a more holistic approach to your medicine cabinet and add in organic essential oils for your home.(23)

The eighth step is to work out a plan with your health coach to exercise comfortably. Exercise can help increase oxygen levels. You may be able, to begin with walks on the beach, simple hiking, swimming or biking. Turn off the TV and stay active as a family.


With improved breathing and clearing out inflammatory triggers, the body is better equipped to regain health. If you commit for 60 days, you will notice a big difference in the way you breathe and feel!

Connie Rogers is a Certified Integrative Nutritional Holistic Health Coach and Published Author of  Path to a Healthy Mind & Body

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What is Hand-Foot-And-Mouth Disease?

diseaseHand-foot-and-mouth disease (HFMD) affects around 200,000 Americans every year. According to the West Central Health District in Georgia, they believe this season could be a recording-breaking year for HFMD. By mid-November, the University of Maryland has reported 14 cases of HFMD. Earlier this year, there was an outbreak (closer to home) at Florida State University where more than a dozen cases were reported.  Although the disease most commonly affects children, it can affect adults. What exactly is HFMD?

HFMD is a highly contagious enterovirus of the Coxsackie family that infects the intestines.  Some infections from this virus result in mild symptoms and lasts around a week or less. It is spread by close contact with another person through such activities like sharing a drinking glass, kissing, shaking hands; it is spread from the saliva or mucus. HFMD usually emerges late summer or early fall when enteroviruses are known to spread easily.

A person with HFMD is contagious before he or she exhibits symptoms. On average, the virus has a three- to five-day incubation period. Some people also have the virus but never get ill from it, but can still spread the illness. A person who has symptoms is still able to spread the virus even after his or her symptoms disappear.  A doctor doesn’t usually need to do any testing to determine if a person has this virus or not.

Symptoms of HFMD include: flu-like symptoms (fever, sore throat), and itchy, red spots (sores or rash) on hands, feet, and mouth (can spread to legs and genitals). These spots can turn into blisters on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet; in some cases, people find blisters on their knees, elbows, buttocks, and genitals.  In some cases, HFMD can lead to serious conditions like meningitis and encephalitis.

Treatment for HFMD includes: plenty of fluids, plenty of rest, topical oral anesthetic for mouth sores, acetaminophen, and ibuprofen. Symptoms should clear up in seven to 10 days.

Although outbreaks usually occur in confined places like colleges and schools, the virus can easily be spread in other scenarios through something as simple as coughing or sneezing.

To avoid getting HFMD, it is important to always wash your hands, and clean common spaces (living room, kitchen, bathroom) and devices (doorknobs, computers, tables) often and thoroughly. Overall, be vigilant with your personal hygiene practices to avoid contracting the virus.

Dr. Kordonowy of Internal Medicine, Lipid & Wellness of Fort Myers is a board-certified internal medicine and lipidology physician. To book an appoint, click here or call 239-362-3005, ext. 200.

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Aging Gracefully through Proper Nutrition

agingWhile genetics play a large part in how we age, lifestyle and nutrition are also key. There is no one “right diet” for everyone. We are all different and have differing nutritional requirements. A good baseline to start from is to eat a diet filled with wholesome nutrient rich foods.

Organic Vegetables, Fruits, Grass Fed Meats, Nuts, Seeds, and Plenty of Clean non-fluoridated water are the basics. Staying away from processed packaged foods, genetically modified foods, hydrogenated oils, fillers, and preservatives.

Our environment has many pollutants and toxins. From the water that we drink, the air we breathe, chemicals in our personal grooming products, medications we take and alcohol we may drink, to the food we eat – our bodies are constantly in contact and having to filter out all kinds of particles. They can get our delicate systems out of balance causing toxicity levels and nutritional deficiencies.

These deficiencies and toxins over time can cause damage to the structure of the body and deteriorate our health causing us to age at a more rapid rate than otherwise would happen naturally. If left unchecked and uncorrected it can lead to disease and eventually death.

Proper body maintenance over the course of your life can help combat this keeping you in the very best shape and health possible allowing you to live a longer healthier life.

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” – Benjamin Franklin had the right idea. It is far easier to maintain and build up over a lifetime than it is to have to try and heal damage already done.

If you are looking for an effective beauty treatment – ditch the lotions, potions, and creams. Beauty radiates from the inside and it is rooted in how you feel. Health is beauty.

Personalized testing and nutritional services are available at Nutritional Specialists of Florida in Bonita Springs, Florida. Give us a call today to see how we can help you age the way it was intended – gracefully.

Nutrition Specialists of Florida can be reached at 239-947-1177 or by going to our contact page and sending an email.

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