Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Influenza (Flu) Vaccination - Just the Facts

The argument to vaccinate (or not) against influenza is a complicated issue.  The fact is, vaccination is still the best way to prevent the spread of the disease while protecting yourself from contracting the illness.  There is no doubt, that some individuals are at greater risk of developing serious complications related to influenza.  Many become so ill that they require hospitalization, while others succumb to the disease. 

The purpose of this article is to provide you with enough information to help you make an informed decision.  As always, consult with your health care provider to discuss your specific situation.

Influenza Facts

Influenza, commonly known as the flu, is a contagious viral infection spread predominately through coughing and sneezing.  Common symptoms include high fever, chills, headache, muscle aches, sore throat, cough, and generalized fatigue.

Although it peaks in January and February, the disease is active from November to May.

Vaccinate to Prevent Serious Illness

The influenza virus changes from year to year-requiring annual vaccination to protect against the different strains. The vaccination is available in two different forms, the traditional injection, which contains an inactivated (killed) virus, or as an attenuated (live and weakened) virus that is sprayed into the nostrils. Both routes provide full protection against influenza.

According to the Centers of Disease Control (CDC), this year’s vaccine will protect against the following viral illnesses only:

• A/H1N1
• A/H3N2

• Influenza B

Those at Risk

Influenza is a highly contagious illness causing approximately 200,000 hospital admissions, and about 36,000 deaths per year. Pneumonia, a serious respiratory complication, accounts for over 90% of flu-related deaths. Moreover, children under the age of five, who contract the disease, are at risk of developing febrile seizures, a serious neurological condition. Annual vaccination is recommended for those individuals at greatest risk of developing serious flu-related medical complications:

• infants (six months of age and over),
• pregnant women,
• the elderly,
• individuals with respiratory, cardiac, or kidney diseases,
• Individuals with compromised immunity,
• Health care and daycare providers, and
• Primary caregivers to those at high risk

Possible (Mild) Side Effects

Like any other medication, the influenza vaccination does have potential side effects. The most common side effects occur at the injection site, and include redness, pain and muscle soreness. Alternatively, some individuals experience systemic side effects that include red or itchy eyes, cough, fever, and body aches.

Treating Side Effects

Recommendations to help combat vaccination-related side effects include:

• Applying a cold and wet compress to the injection site,
• Increasing fluid intake,

• Taking acetaminophen or ibuprofen (as directed) to reduce pain and fever,
• Extra rest

Many individuals feel a need to guard or protect the arm that received the vaccination. In fact, it is best to use the arm to help metabolize the medication and decrease the incidence of muscle ache and pain.

When to Contact your Doctor

Contact your doctor immediately should you experience any of the following symptoms:

• High fever
• Breathing difficulty or shortness of breath (call 911 if severe)
• Hoarseness or wheezing
• Rash or hives
• Dizziness
• Palpitations

Vaccine-Related (Serious) Complications

The influenza vaccine is prepared in chicken embryos, this type of vaccination is prohibitive to those with a chicken egg allergy. The Centers of Disease Control (CDC) has reported that, although rare, serious medical conditions have been associated with viral related vaccines, two of which are:

• Anaphylaxes or a life-threatening allergic reaction to the medicine.

• A serious neurological condition called Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS), characterized by fever, muscle weakness, and nerve damage.

Potential  Impurities

Viral vaccines are manufactured with some impurities and may contain foreign proteins (DNA/RNA), other viral material, and of recent concern thiomersal, a mercury-containing preservative, found in multi-dose vials of the H1N1 flu vaccine. Advocates against vaccination argue that thiomersal can cause autism in young children. The amount of foreign DNA and RNA proteins contaminating these vaccines raise concerns that they may cause autoimmune-related conditions and cancer.

There are many who believe vaccinations in general are a bad idea.  As the movement to decline vaccination increases so does many of those disease irradicated by vaccination.  The debate to vaccinate (or not) is a heated one and ultimately each one of us must make an informed decision based on accurate information. Start by consulting your physician and visit the following websites for more information on the influenza vaccine:


Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Vitamin D for Good Health

Recently, I found that one of my liver tests, alkaline phosphatase was steadily decreasing, and I was concerned. I had previously written an article about the importance of vitamin D (see link above) and had my primary care physician run a vitamin D level. The result was shockingly low at 19 (normal is 30-100). What was even more disturbing was the fact that I have been taking daily vitamin D supplements for years.

Vitamin D is a hormone (not a vitamin) that targets more than 2,000 genes in the body (that is 10 percent of the total number of genes in the human body). Moreover, deficiencies have been linked in at least 17 different cancer types, cardiovascular disease, ankylosing spondylitis, birth defects, and more.

Because my level was so low it got me thinking that perhaps others with autoimmune related conditions might have deficient levels as well. For this reason, I suggest a vitamin D baseline level for those who can justify the test (for example because of an abnormal liver panel or some underlying disease process); it should be paid by insurance. The test is expensive, so do not assume your insurance will pay for it.

That being said, please do not run to your nearest vitamin store and start mega-dosing on vitamin D, as it is fat-soluble, and toxicity could occur. In my case, and for some unknown reason, my body was not synthesizing the over-the-counter formula. Therefore, I am now taking a prescription to help increase my levels, which will take weeks to months to occur.

The research on vitamin D continues -

Click on the title (link), to read more on this important hormone.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Live, Thrive, and be Free - Ending Domestic Violence

I am a human being and not a human doing – I am mindful and full of hope that our world will one day be ecological, socially, and emotionally in balance.

Every single person on this planet has value and worth. Everyone deserves to live, thrive, and be free.* However, for the victims of domestic violence, life is full of fear.

Domestic violence comes in many forms, crosses all socioeconomic boundaries, and like cancer, left untreated, can grow, spread, and even kill.

Domestic violence is a chronically under-reported problem of dominance and control that is reaching epidemic proportions.

According to the National Coalition against Domestic Violence (NCADV), over 1 million women are victims of domestic violence.

Medical care for the victims of domestic violence crimes has reached well over one billion dollars! With no end in sight, domestic violence is fast becoming an epidemic. Although most victims are women, children, and the elderly are fast becoming victims as well.

Statistically, less than 25% of (physical) domestic violence is reported to the police; and with more than 50% of restraining orders violated, it becomes no surprise that victims are fearful of perpetrator retaliation.

I am a domestic violence victim who survived years of physical, emotional, and verbal abuse. I lived in constant fear for my safety and became hypersensitive to sudden noises and sounds.

As a society, we must find a way to eradicate domestic violence. It starts with everyone participating – to look, listen, and leap into action. Even a little can go a long way to stop the spread of this societal disease.

For more information on what you can do to stop domestic violence in your community contact:

1425 K Street NW,
Washington, DC 20005

Or visit their website at:


The time is now to live, thrive, and be free!

*live, thrive, and be free is the slogan for Saving Promise, an organization dedicated to raising awareness of domestic violence.

Friday, June 04, 2010

Urinary Incontinence

Urinary incontinence (U.I.) is an involuntary loss of urine.
Most often caused by weaken pelvic floor muscles (vagina, urethra, and anus), mild incontinence can be controlled, even cured by daily frequent Kegel exercises.

Kegel exercises, done discreetly, consist of a continual contraction and relaxation of the pelvic floor muscles, which over a very short amount of time, will markedly improve the tone and strength of these muscles.

Finding these muscles is easy, the next time you urinate, stop the flow; those are your target muscles. However, it is important that you never do Kegel exercises while urinating, as you do not want to interfere with this important process.

Kegel Exercise:

Goal: To do ten repetitions every hour or about ten times per day.

1. Focus on the pelvic muscles – tighten and hold for a count of three seconds.
2. Once you can comfortably hold for three seconds, increase the hold to a count of five seconds.
3. Once you can successful hold for a count of five seconds, and do the repititions ten times or greater per day, it is time to move onto the advanced Kegel exercise.

Elevator Kegel Exercise:

Goal: To do ten repetitions every hours or about ten times per day.

Elevator Kegel exercises is a process that helps to strengthen the muscles higher up in the urogenital area. The initial hold is at the opening to the vagina, with a gradual tightening of the muscles higher up the urethra,and the bladder neck, respectively.

1. Focus on the muscles of the vaginal/urethral opening and hold for a count of three seconds.
2. Without relaxing, try to tighten a little bit higher, past the opening, and hold for a count of three seconds.
3. Without relaxing, continue to tighten even higher towards the bladder neck, and hold for a count of three seconds.
4. Once you can successfully complete this three-tier process, gradually increase to a hold and count of five seconds.

Kegel exercises are not just a means of treating urinary incontinence. Over a short amount of time you will notice heighten vaginal sensations leading to more pleasurable sex.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Digestive System - Providing Nutritional Support and Waste Removal for the Body

The digestive system is one of twelve organized body systems. Its major functions are to provide nutritional support and a means of removing solid waste from the body.

The complete article can be found at: http://healthfieldmedicare.suite101.com/article.cfm/the_digestive_gastrointestinal_system#ixzz0oixvH8gN

Friday, May 21, 2010

Salt is a Necessary Mineral - Don't Eliminate it; Moderate it.

Salt is a compound composed of 40% sodium and 60% chloride. The importance of salt in our diet should never be under estimated, as many life-sustaining bodily functions would fail without the chemical support of salt.

Salt is required for the:

Regulation of blood pressure
Maintenance of proper balance between intra-and interstitial fluids
Maintenance of proper blood concentration levels
Many chemical processes within body systems
Transmit nerve impulses
Muscle contractions
Metabolic acid-base balance

to read the entire article:

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Lymphatic System - Offers Protection from Infection and More

The lymphatic system is primarily known for its ability to protect the body from infection. However, it has other functions, from maintaining fluid balance to the absorption of fat.

Diseases and problems with the lymphatic system can impede the body's ability to protect against infection. Moreover, one of the worst prognoses to receive, is that cancer cells have migrated and spread into the lymphatic system.

To read the entire article:


The copyright of the article The Lymphatic System in General Medicine is owned by Linda Mundorff. Permission to republish The Lymphatic System in print or online must be granted by the author in writing.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Find a Naturopathy Course to Fit Your Goals

Are you interested in becoming a naturopath? Which naturopathy course is right for you? Helpful information to pick a naturopathy program, including licensure options, NPLEX, and two-year versus four-year degrees.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

A Naturopathic Diet for Optimum Health

Discover the secrets for the optimum naturopathic diet to improve your health and vitality. Simple rules for choosing what to eat when you are following a naturopathic way of living.

To read the complete article go to:


Saturday, March 27, 2010

Naturopathic Doctors - Credentials Uncovered

Do you know who is standing behind those credentials? A medical doctor? Nurse? Neither?

Read the full article to find out:


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Naturopathy Treatments

Naturopathy treatments are based on the premise that we must:

   1.  Stimulate the body's innate ability to heal itself.
   2.  Focus on nutrition  because what you put into your body will influence 
        the healing process.
   3.  Use remedies that minimize the risk of side-effects.
   4.  Use the power of nature (water, sunlight, fresh air) to help keep the body

To read the full article:


History of Naturopathy

The history of naturopathy dates back to Ancient Greece and the teachings of Hygeia, the goddess of health, and the daughter of Asclepius, the god of medicine.

To read the full article:


What is Naturopathy?

Naturopathy is alternative medicine at its best!  It relies on the body's innate ability to heal itself and focuses on finding the cause, rather than merely treating the signs and symptoms of disease.

To read more go here:


Saturday, March 20, 2010

Naturopathy Defined

Naturopathy is a philosophy that focuses on the premise that the body has an innate ability to heal itself. Naturopathic providers of care follow six important principles:

1. First, do no harm. A practitioner trained in the philosophy of traditional naturopathy will never do invasive procedures, surgeries, or utilize remedies that contain side effects.

2. Treat the cause. Rather than treat the signs and symptoms of illness, the naturopath seeks to uncover the actually cause of the illness.

3. Strengthen the innate ability of the body. To combat germs and other foreign substances the naturopath introduces remedies that will initiate the body’s own immune system to fight the microorganism.

4. Focus on holism: Treat the entire person and not just the illness.

5. Collaborative process: The relationship between the naturopath and the client is one of trust and respect. The naturopath listens, and provides the client with the necessary tools to make informed health care decisions.

Naturopaths believe in the remedies found in nature:

  •  Eating fresh whole foods that are not processed or refined.
  •  Exposure to fresh air and sunlight.
  •  Drinking plenty of pure water.
  • Rest so the body can perform important self-maintenance and repair functions.
  • Exercise to strengthen the body and organs.