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Thu, 21 Sep 2017
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Health catastrophe: Hurricanes and floods are the harbingers of mold growth

© Lucas Jackson
Mold grows in concentric circles on a ceiling in a New Orleans apartment after Hurricane Katrina.
The flooding of Houston is a health catastrophe unfolding publicly in slow motion. Much of the country is watching as 50 inches of water rise around the chairs of residents in nursing homes and submerge semitrucks. Some 20 trillion gallons of water are pouring onto the urban plain, where developers have paved over the wetlands that would drain the water.

The toll on human life and health so far has been small relative to what the images suggest. Authorities have cited thirty known deaths as of Tuesday night, while 13,000 people have been rescued. President Donald Trump-who this month undid an Obama-era requirement that infrastructure projects be constructed to endure rising sea levels-offered swift reassurance on Twitter: "Major rescue operations underway!" and "Spirit of the people is incredible. Thanks!"

But the impact of hurricanes on health is not captured in the mortality and morbidity numbers in the days after the rain. This is typified by the inglorious problem of mold.

Comment: Mold: A silent predator making you sick
Mold is silent, shifting and threatens our well-being. It can grow behind walls, below floors and even makes a home in our food. What you might not realize is, mold can make you very sick and in some cases, even be deadly.

People often underestimate the crippling effects that mold has on our bodies. If the growth of mold is unmanaged, it can overload and break down your immune system. When someone is suffering from mold toxicity, they are often left confused and frustrated trying to figure out the root cause of their illness.

Some molds release poisonous, invisible chemicals known as mycotoxins that are difficult, but not impossible, to kill. These mycotoxins will make their home all around your environment, contaminating everything you own from furniture to your clothes. These biotoxins travel through the body distressing immunity, joints, the nervous system, and more. They change how you think, how you feel and even how long you live.



Hourglass

The company you keep determines how well you sleep

Studies have shown that the quality of our relationships may determine how healthy we are, how well we recover from illness and even how long we live.

However, little is known about how relationships affect sleep. This is especially true for young, unmarried individuals. Teens and emerging adults, in particular, generally do not get the recommended amount of sleep and report a number of sleep problems, such as difficulty falling asleep and daytime fatigue.

Researchers have now started to investigate how relationships with friends and family affect nighttime sleep - particularly among teens and emerging adults.

Results from our recent study with high school students suggest that, even when we go to bed alone, the company we keep by day may determine how well we sleep at night.

Comment: The importance of sleep and how you can hack it


Red Flag

Sitting too long is hazardous to your health

© Ljupco Smokovski / Shutterstock
Terrible news for the majority of us who spend long periods glued to our desks.

In 1960, approximately 50 percent of U.S. jobs required heavy to moderate physical activity. Today, that number stands at just 20 percent, meaning approximately 80 percent of jobs are almost wholly sedentary or demand minimal physical exertion. The vast majority of us spend the bulk of our workdays being mostly immobile, glued to our chairs and desks. That inactivity is part of why we've become one of the fattest nations in the world. Obesity is connected to a number of health risks, but there are far greater consequences to our stationary lives. A new study finds that regularly sitting for hours on end can ultimately lead to premature death, and those potentially lethal effects can't be countered with frequent exercise.

Comment: Stand up for your health!


Alarm Clock

Antidepressant exposure in utero increases risk of psychiatric disorders in children

© Psychiatry Advisor
Antidepressant use during pregnancy is tied to an increased risk of psychiatric illnesses, especially mood disorders, in children, according to a new study.

The overall risk is low, though. Only about 3 percent of the nearly 905,383 children in the study were diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder by age 16.

But compared to the children of women who took antidepressants before pregnancy but not during, kids whose mothers continued taking the medications in pregnancy were 27 percent more likely to be diagnosed with mood, anxiety, behavioral or autism spectrum disorders.

Comment: The following article, carried back in 2013, has additional information: Autism linked to mothers taking antidepressant drugs
The research investigated not only the clinical research, but the mechanisms associated with taking selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) during pregnancy.

Medical research has established that about a third of autistic children have increased levels of a neurotransmitter called serotonin in the blood stream. Other findings have determined that these higher serotonin levels are often caused by errors in the signaling process amongst brain and nerve cells - as the cells are not utilizing serotonin properly.

The hypothesis that is being proven out by the research is that when the mother takes SSRIs during or prior to pregnancy, the baby's brain and nerve cells' ability to utilize and process serotonin becomes diminished.

And because serotonin is intimately related to the brain's ability to focus and concentrate thoughts - as well as experience empathy and other moods - dysfunctional serotonin metabolism can produce a myriad of mental and emotional issues...

In other words, this research linking SSRIs and high circulating serotonin levels with autistic children might be considered the canary in the coal mine. The one consistent parallel with the dramatic increase in autism over the past few decades has been the dramatically increased use of these chemical toxins amongst our foods, water, air and living spaces.



Pills

How many prescriptions do doctors write every year?

Medical News Today reports that, in 2011, there was a modest uptick in the number of prescriptions written in the US.

The increase brought the total to: 4.02 billion.

Yes, in 2011, doctors wrote 4.02 billion prescriptions for drugs in America.

That's an average of roughly 13 prescriptions for each man, woman, and child.

That's about one new prescription every month for every American. (Update: the Kaiser Family Foundation reports that in 2016, 4,065,479,343 drug prescriptions were written by US doctors-an increase of 65 million.)

The Medical News Today article concluded, "...the industry should be heartened by the growth of the number of prescriptions and spending." Yes, I'm sure the drug industry is popping champagne corks.

We're talking about prescriptions here. We're not talking about the number of pills Americans took. We're also not counting over-the-counter drugs or vaccine shots.

Comment:


Heart - Black

Vaccination, social violence, and criminality: The medical cartel's assault on the human brain

I am a medical writer and medical historian who never went to medical school. Sometimes this is held against me, but not having an M.D. degree can also be an advantage in writing about medicine, since one does not have the prejudices and blind spots that come with a medical education.

One of the most common of these prejudices is that the medical profession never does anything systematically harmful to the patient. But, after all, we all know that bloodletting was used for centuries and, even in the United States, was only fully abandoned in the 20th century. Although it was positively harmful to patients, physicians insisted on using it. What is more, intelligent laymen understood - long before the medical profession itself - that this procedure was damaging to the health. Physicians had difficulty appreciating this fact because that's how they were making their living, and it is hard, even for a physician, to take an objective attitude toward how he earns his (or her) daily bread. The asbestos and the tobacco companies, after all, were not the first to come forward and say that asbestos and tobacco are bad for your health.

Another procedure which intelligent laypersons realize is actively harmful to health, but which is still desperately defended by physicians, is the childhood vaccination. The first book I wrote on this subject (coauthored with Barbara Loe Fisher) was DPT: A Shot in the Dark in 1985. The second was Vaccination, Social Violence, and Criminality, in 1990.

Comment: "Tap Dancing" around vaccine issues


SOTT Logo Radio

The Health & Wellness Show: What's the deal with AIDS?

The disease we now call AIDS burst onto the scene in 1981 after a group of gay males in New York City and Orange County were stricken with a rare type of pneumonia and sarcoma. A year later GRID (gay related immune deficiency) morphed into AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome) and in 1984 the 'probable' cause of AIDS was named. It was called HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) and the entire world recoiled in fear whilst subjected to a publicity campaign the likes of which had never been seen. According to HIV/AIDS researchers, everyone -- not just gay men and IV drug users -- is susceptible. The science was clear and to be diagnosed was a death sentence.

But is it? From the beginning there were disturbing questions raised regarding the shoddy scientific methods involved in identifying HIV and the unreliable testing parameters required for a definitive diagnosis. These questions were never fully answered by mainstream science and what we're left with is a morass of confusion, contradiction and of course, suffering and death. On this episode we dip our toes into heresy and denialism and ask the question: What if the HIV/AIDS hypothesis is just that -- a hypothesis?

Running Time: 01:23:31

Download: OGG, MP3


Listen live, chat, and call in to future shows on the SOTT Radio Network!

Arrow Down

Think before you ink - Tattoo ink may color your lymph nodes

© Shutterstock
It's not news that tattoos are hitting the mainstream, but a new study reported in the journal Scientific Reports reveals that tattoo inks' nanoparticles are adding color to other parts of your body.

As the tattooed population knows all too well, the process of tattooing consists of placing insoluble deposits of pigmented ink just below the epidermis, or outermost layer of skin. As they also know, your body does pretty much anything it can to get that ink out - which is why new tattoos excrete ink, plasma, and lymphatic fluid through the epidermis while healing.

But what ink is left in the body gets additionally filtered through the lymphatic system. The ink-lymph mixture is carried through the lymph nodes, whose job it is to process and filter harmful substances from the body.

None of this is really news - tattooed individuals have displayed pigmented lymph nodes for decades.

But what is it, exactly, that the lymph nodes are filtering out?

Arrow Up

Stand up for your health!

Too much time spent in a chair could shorten our lives, even if we exercise, according to a study that uses objective measures to find the links between lengthy sitting time and death among middle-aged and older adults.

More hopefully, the study also suggests that we might be able to take steps to reduce our risks by taking steps every half-hour or so.

Most of us almost certainly have heard by now that being seated and unmoving all day is unhealthy. Many past epidemiological studies have noted that the longer people sit on a daily basis, the likelier they are to develop various diseases, including obesity, diabetes and heart disease. They also are at heightened risk for premature death.

This association between sitting and ill health generally remains, the past science shows, whether people exercise or not.

Arrow Down

Bogus study warns diabetics against red meat and poultry

© Getty Images
Dinner time favourites such as beef and lamb are high in iron, a mineral associated with triggering the debilitating disease.

But even chicken thighs and drumsticks can be bad for you, say experts.

The darker the meat, the greater the risk, with scientists finding a direct link between consumption and Type 2 diabetes.

Almost 12 million Britons are thought to be at risk of developing the condition, which is linked to lifestyle factors such as poor diet.

Analysis of more than 60,000 people shows those eating the most red meat increase their risk by 23 per cent while for those who eat a lot of dark poultry meat the risk increases by 15 per cent.

Experts suggest cutting out dark meat and replacing it with chicken breast, fish, shellfish and vegetables.

Comment: The Health & Wellness Show: MEAT: Setting the Record Straight