Welcome to Sott.net
Thu, 19 Jan 2017
The World for People who Think

Health & Wellness
Map

Health

Watch and wait: Why antibiotics may not be the best approach to treating ear infections

Ear infections are treated with antibiotics more than almost any other illness in children. However, we now know that most ear infections usually resolve safely on their own, and antibiotic treatment provides little to no additional benefit. On top of this, antibiotic use comes with serious long-term consequences. Read on to see what the research says about the safest way to treat ear infections.

Ear infections are one of the most common ailments in early infancy and childhood. Most children have at least one ear infection by age three. These ear infections are often treated with antibiotics. In fact, ear infection is one of the most common reasons for antibiotic prescriptions in children. (1) But is this treatment effective and safe?

Antibiotics provide limited benefit for ear infection

Ear infections are not always caused by bacteria. Research estimates that ear infections have bacterial origin in 51 to 78 percent of cases. (1) This means that 22 to 49 percent of cases are due to other causes, such as viruses or even food sensitivities. (2) When an ear infection is caused by a virus or food sensitivity, antibiotics will not help.

Whether caused by bacteria or not, ear infections usually resolve on their own without treatment. In fact, a recent systematic review found that 60 percent of children had recovered from their ear infection within 24 hours of treatment, even if they did not receive antibiotics. (3) Research suggests that over time, without treatment, 80 percent of ear infections clear on their own. (4)

Comment: Ear Infections: A Natural Approach
Why do kids get ear infections?

Infant and children (more so than adults) have a natural tendency to produce a lot of mucus. As we get older and our immune system strengthens, this decreases. When too much mucus builds up - causing inflammation - the body's innate response is to get rid of it in attempt to return to a more balanced state.

Often times, mucus in the nose, throat, sinuses, ears and other parts of the body can arise from the failure of the digestive system due to certain foods. Adults may suffer from the same process as well. Those foods most likely to increase mucus production and further stress a child's already weak digestive system are: dairy, soy (especially overly processed soy products), commercial formulas, wheat and most flour products, baby cereals and commercial cereals, thick, creamy and heavy foods, processed grains, juice, soda, refined sugars, processed foods, fried foods/oils, multiple food choices at a time and overfeeding

Reducing and/or eliminating these foods from a child's diet will often reduce inflammation and prevent future flare-ups. Additionally, offering a child simple, easy to digest, whole, non-processed foods accompanied by small amounts of food herbs and spices (thyme, ginger, licorice, chamomile), will strengthen and support a weak digestive system and keep mucus production and inflammation at a minimum.



Water

New report calls for increased monitoring of America's drinking water

Monitoring of U.S. drinking water supplies for chemical and microbial contaminants should be increased, especially for vulnerable populations such as pregnant women, infants and young children, according to the final report from a panel of scientists and engineers that advises President Obama.

In response to concerns about the safety of the nation's drinking water, underscored by the revelations about lead in tap water in Flint, Mich., the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology was asked last spring to investigate how science and technology could help ensure the safety of the nation's drinking water.

The panel, known as PCAST, issued its recommendations and the executive summary of its study Nov. 30. The final report was released Dec. 19.

The initial draft of the report was prepared by a working group co-chaired by PCAST member Rosina Bierbaum of the University of Michigan and Christine Cassel of the Kaiser Permanente School of Medicine.

"The release of this report could not come at a more important time. Last month Congress passed the Water Infrastructure Improvement for the Nation Act, authorizing funding for Flint and other communities to respond to lead problems," said Bierbaum, a member of the faculty at U-M's School of Natural Resources and Environment and at the University of Maryland School of Public Policy.

Comment: It's nice to have panels and investigations and reports but how many of their recommendations will actually lead to action? It's not as if the 'proper authorities' don't know that there is a problem.


Health

First of its kind study shows that food -- not drugs -- cures disease

"Let medicine be thy food and let food be thy medicine." - Hippocrates

In the fourth century BCE, the most famous Greek physician made the bold claim that disease was caused naturally, not by the gods. Environment, diet and living habits all played a part in the health of a person.

The tools and techniques of modern science have allowed us to uncover many secrets of nutrition. But we're still just scratching the surface of the complex ways in which food compounds interact with the body.

As Mat Edelson wrote for Hopkins Medicine, the rise of corporatism had a big influence on medicine.
"Big pharma was scarce with cash, because they can't patent a food's natural properties. And from a practical viewpoint, studying food with its thousands of chemicals and nutrients is incredibly complex. By comparison, targeting and studying a single drug for efficacy in a double-blind model was far more straightforward and lucrative to both researchers and industry."
Granted, some pharmaceutical products have given a better quality of life to many people, but the singular focus of making a pill to treat disease has come at the cost of virtually ignoring food as medicine.

Dr. David Suskind, a gastroenterologist at Seattle Children's, is breaking the mold. Suskind has produced the first clinical evidence that food can indeed be medicine.

Eye 1

The CDC's new quarantine rule poses a serious threat to civil liberties

© Afolabi Sotunde / Reuters
A man has his temperature taken using an infrared digital laser thermometer at Abuja
The proposed regulation could be used to detain people without due process, or examine them without informed consent.

On August 15th, with little fanfare, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) took steps to improve its ability to deal with infectious outbreaks. The agency proposed a new rule that would expand its powers to screen, test, and quarantine people traveling into or within the United States, in the event of a crisis like the historic Ebola outbreak of 2014.

On the face of it, this sounds like a good thing. The threat of infectious diseases is omnipresent and growing. Familiar threats like flu, Ebola, or measles continually rear their heads, often in new guises, while completely new dangers like MERS or SARS can take the world by surprise. When that happens, the CDC must act quickly and decisively—and its new powers will purportedly help it to do so.

But some epidemiologists, lawyers, and health organizations say that the rule, in its current form poses a serious threat to civil liberties, allowing authorities to detain and examine people with little heed to due process and informed consent.

Comment: Considering the conflicts of interest and corruption that are rife within the CDC the 'well intentions' sound dubious at best!

Medical Fascism: In the U.S. you could be quarantined and forced to take toxic drugs
President Obama has signed an executive order expanding the list of illnesses that could result in forced detention, isolation, and quarantine for anyone exposed, even if they are not sick. It updates a Bush-era executive order, adding "severe acute respiratory syndromes" except for influenza to the list of detainable communicable diseases.

The Public Health Service Act allows the government to apprehend and detain individuals based on communicable diseases named in the Act, or named by presidential executive orders. Executive orders do not have to get congressional approval.

Not only can people with the disease be forcibly isolated, but the CDC also has the power to quarantine anyone who may have been exposed. The new executive order allows detentions for "diseases that are associated with fever and signs and symptoms of pneumonia or other respiratory illness...capable of being transmitted from person to person, and that either are causing, or have the potential to cause, a pandemic, or, upon infection, are highly likely to cause mortality or serious morbidity if not properly controlled" [italics ours]. In other words, if you have been exposed to one of the listed communicable diseases - even if you do not show symptoms - you may be forcibly detained and quarantined...

Even worse, because of various draconian state laws, individuals can also be detained against their will within their state - which includes being forced from their home. Once in quarantine, a potentially toxic drug regimen is generally enforced. While detention authority and scope differs from state to state, some have excessively broad powers. For example
  • In Alabama, the governor or state board of health may proclaim a quarantine whenever it is deemed necessary. The board of health has full powers of enforcement, and may formulate any rules it believes necessary.
  • In Idaho, the state reserves the right to enter an individual's home by force if an occupant may have been exposed.
  • Maine reserves the right to impose emergency regulations at the mere threat of an outbreak.
  • New York can also detain patients in a locked ward at Bellevue hospital.
  • In 2009 the Massachusetts Senate considered a bill allowing the police, during a declared public health emergency, to arrest people without a warrant if they have "probable cause" to think they're not complying with orders (including verbal orders from the public health commissioner or local public health authority). Under this bill, citizens could have been detained for as long as necessary for the public authorities to "convey information to you regarding the disease." Happily, because of grassroots activists like you and opposition from the Massachusetts House, the bill did not pass and was never reintroduced.



No Entry

US district judge: Doctors can refuse trans patients, women who have had abortions

© Law.com
Judge Reed O'Connor
On Saturday, a United States district judge ruled that doctors may turn away women who have had abortions and transgender patients on the basis of religious freedom.

In his order, Judge Reed O'Connor argued laws that would otherwise forbid gender-based discrimination require doctors "to remove the categorical exclusion of transitions and abortions (a condition they assert is a reflection of their religious beliefs and an exercise of their religion) and conduct an individualized assessment of every request for those procedures." In other words, doctors would have to argue on an individual basis their refusal of a patient.

This requirement, O'Connor said, "imposes a burden" on doctors' ability to exercise their religion.

O'Connor cited 2014's Burwell v. Hobby Lobby ruling, which allowed family-owned corporations to refuse insurance coverage for birth control under the Affordable Care Act if it went against their religious beliefs. At the time, the New York Times predicted the 5-4 Supreme Court decision would "[open] the door to many challenges from corporations over laws that they claim violate their religious liberty." And, given O'Connor's interpretation of the decision, it seems the outlet was right.

Slate's Mark Joseph Stern called O'Connor's ruling "an extreme extension of the dubious logic" behind Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, as it flouts the nondiscriminatory guidelines of the Affordable Care Act and the Department of Health and Human Services.

Comment: Since when has the welfare of a patient been a toss-up for doctors' religious beliefs and discrimination? This is opening one hellova can of regulatory worms.


Info

Dr. Stephanie Seneff explains why modern wheat is causing so many health problems

The use of Monsanto's Roundup herbicide has increased substantially over the last 40 years. Many researchers are starting to believe that increased use of glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, correlates to the rise in many modern diseases.

According to Dr. Stephanie Seneff, a senior research scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), glyphosate appears to be strongly correlated with the rise in celiac disease, and, more generally, gluten intolerance.
[G]ut dysbiosis, brought on by exposure to glyphosate, plays a crucial role in the development of celiac disease. Many CYP enzymes are impaired in association with celiac disease, and we show that glyphosate's known suppression of CYP enzyme activity in plants and animals plausibly explains this effect in humans. ~ Glyphosate, pathways to modern diseases II: Celiac sprue and gluten intolerance by Dr. Anthony Samsel and Dr. Stephanie Seneff

Comment: I just do not understand how the US government refuses to acknowledge that we're basically slowly poisoning and killing our population. ~ Dr. Stephanie Seneff


Smoking

A comprehensive review of the many health benefits of smoking Tobacco

Smoking is surely detrimental to one's health, right? People are often bombarded with warnings about the negative effects of smoking and are persuaded to quit by health authorities. It has even got to the point now where people are being deprived of access to healthcare services if they smoke, and this is on the grounds that 'smoking will delay the onset of healing and may aggravate one's pre-existing condition'.

According to the World Health Organisation:
"the tobacco epidemic is one of the biggest public health threats the world has ever faced, killing around 6 million people a year. More than 5 million of those deaths are the result of direct tobacco use while more than 600 000 are the result of non-smokers being exposed to second-hand smoke."
But like any other claim promulgated by the established health authorities, it is wise to question whether there is actually any truth to it. Bear in mind, it is these same authorities which recommend a low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet (and we have seen how detrimental that has been to the general population's health). It is also those same people who would recommend treating chronic illness with synthetic pharmaceutical drugs, or the complete removal of entire organs (again, clearly not a successful approach). Anyone who pays attention can see that the authorities clearly don't care about people's health because they are more concerned with profit margins. So in this context rational inquiry demands that we look into whether tobacco is really 'all that bad'.

Pills

Painkillers are killers: Prescription opioids make chronic pain worse

© AP/Toby Talbot
A research team out of University of Colorado-Boulder has found that prescription opioids may actually worsen chronic pain. The study also discovered that these drugs may in fact prolong the condition that they are supposed to help placate. This may explain why in the U.S., prescriptions of opioids, such as methadone, oxycodone (such as OxyContin) and hydrocodone (such as Vicodin), have quadrupled since 1999.
Pain after disease/damage of the nervous system is predominantly treated with opioids, but without exploration of the long-term consequences. We demonstrate that a short course of morphine after nerve injury doubles the duration of neuropathic pain. (Source)
Prescription Painkillers are Killers

There is little contention to the claim that prescription painkillers are dangerous. They have been responsible for over 183,000 deaths over the last 15 years. Some particular brands have killed thousands. Take Vioxx, for example. This painkiller killed over 60,000 before it was pulled off the market in 2004. In the year prior, Merck made $2.5 billion from sales of Vioxx, which was heavily marketed via direct-to-consumer advertising.
"There's an ongoing death rate from use of pain medications as prescribed. So, even as prescribed, they're highly dangerous and they are open to abuse." ~ Dr. Margaret Gedde, owner and founder the Clinicians' Institute of Cannabis Medicine (Source)
Death isn't the only risk of prescription painkillers. Misuse, abuse and addiction are rampant in the United States. For example, in 2014, almost 2 million Americans abused or were dependent on prescription opioids. Furthermore, on any given day, 1000 people on average are treated in emergency situations for the misuse of these drugs.

Comment: See also:


Beaker

The manufactured lie about the 'safety' of Endocrine Disruptors

© Corporate Europe Observatory
The European Commission has developed its own evidence to avoid an overly stringent regulation of these hazardous substances

Everything, or almost everything, is contained in a few words: "(Endocrine disruptors) can ... be treated like most other substances of concern for human health and the environment." It is on this simple phrase, which comes from the conclusion of an opinion from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) in 2013, that Brussels bases its plan to regulate endocrine disruptors, these ubiquitous substances capable of interfering with the hormonal system, often at low doses.

The proposal, which is due to be voted on by the Member States soon, has not only France, Denmark and Sweden united against it but also all the non-governmental organizations (NGOs) who consider that it does not protect public health and the environment.

The expert scientific community, embodied by the Endocrine Society - a scholarly society that brings together some 18,000 researchers and clinicians specializing in the hormonal system - is also battling against the proposal. This opposition is surprising given that the European Commission insists that it relies on science, in the form of the scientific expertise of EFSA.

The explanation for this singular hiatus is found in a series of internal documents of the European administration obtained by Le Monde. They show, without ambiguity, that the key phrase on which the regulatory edifice proposed by the Commission is built had been drafted even before any scientific expertise had really begun.

Comment: Endocrine Disruptors: What are they & how you can avoid them


Alarm Clock

Tragedies mount: Vaccine-derived polio viruses are spreading in 'Polio Free India'


Bill Gates administering the live oral polio vaccine in India. His foundation funds much of the vaccine programs in India.
On June 17, 2016, the International Business Times (IBT) reported that a strain of the vaccine-derived polio virus has been discovered in Hyderabad, India, and experts have warned that the likelihood of more cases being discovered over the next year is extremely likely.

Reporters stated that:
Experts also said that India's current immunisation programme, which involves the use of Oral Polio vaccine (OPV), may also pose the risk of the spread of the disease.
They continued:
OPV has a weak or attentuated virus that triggers immune response in children to fight against polio. However, in rare cases when a child excretes the virus, it may multiply in sewage, and undergo mutations which lead to transmission of the disease.
Further, the IBT stated:
However, children who were earlier immunised with the trivalent vaccine (which had P1, P2 and P3 strains) may continue excreting P2 strains for at least sometime. There is also a perceived threat that children who have been immunised now may be prone to infection since they did not get P2 strain of vaccine, according to scroll.in.
Vaccine-derived Polio: Nothing New

However, this information is nothing new. In 2015, we reported that the oral polio vaccination had been banned in the U.S. since 2000, because too many children who had received the vaccine had subsequently developed vaccine-associated paralytic polio (VAPP), which is a serious side effect of the vaccine.