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Wed, 24 May 2017
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Pills

Paying the ultimate price: Has western medicine completely botched painkillers?

© Steve Heap / Shutterstock
No one living today would want to live in the days before antibiotics, anesthesia and antisepsis were discovered. In those days, patients could and did die from treatments like blood-letting (bleeding the patient), use of leeches and electric eels. Some attribute the death of the first president of the United States, George Washington, to excessive bloodletting for a cold/pneumonia.

But patients today face another risk that wasn't around in Washington's day: over-screening, over-diagnosis, overtreatment and overmedication. For example, up to 60 percent of people as young as 30 are told on the basis of their X-rays that they have "arthritis," presumed to explain their pain and often leading to surgery. But studies show that most abnormalities and age-related changes shown on X-rays or other imaging technologies are not the source of the patient's pain despite the way they look. This is why traditional medicine's over-screening and technology-based decisions can do more harm than good. These tests yield provider payments but usually no answers about the source of a patient's pain.

Comment: Painkiller study helps tackle national problem of legal drug addiction


Sun

Seeing the light: Sun Deficiency is killing people

© Food & Wellness
Are you deficient in vitamin D? For most people today the answer is yes, you are not getting enough vitamin D. If you are listening to your dermatologist, you definitely are because he or she has a problem with the sun.

You do not want to be like them—you want to love the sun. More than three-fourths of people with a variety of cancers have low levels of vitamin D, and the lowest levels are associated with more advanced cancers so you really want to make friends with the sun.

A study has found that the number of people being diagnosed with vitamin D deficiency has tripled from 2008 to 2010 in the United States. Some researchers believe that up to 75% of the United States population may not be getting enough vitamin D (levels below 30 ng/ml).[1]

Essential for brain health, a strong immune system and weight management, Vitamin D3 is a fat-soluble vitamin that your body can get through sun exposure, food or supplements. However, nearly 50 percent of the population worldwide suffers from vitamin D3 deficiency.

Comment: The virtues of Vitamin D: It's time we saw the light


Health

Measles hysteria hits Minnesota: 51 cases cause authorities seek $5 million to address the issue

© Brian Snyder / Reuters
Authorities in Minnesota are seeking $5 million to respond to the largest outbreak of measles in almost three decades, most of which involve unvaccinated Somali-American children.

On Wednesday, Minnesota Health Commissioner Dr. Ed Ehlinger asked state lawmakers for $5 million to address the state's growing infectious disease crises, which includes "the largest measles outbreak the state has faced in nearly 30 years," according to a statement obtained by the Post-Bulletin.

A total of 51 measles cases have been confirmed in the counties of Ramsey, Crow Wing and Hennepin, where the state's largest city Minneapolis is located. Forty-eight of the cases affect children, with 46 affecting Somali-Americans, according to data released by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH).

Ehlinger has asked state lawmakers to create a public health emergency fund of $5 million in order to "ensure sufficient resources are available for immediate, lifesaving actions to protect Minnesotans from infectious disease outbreaks and other unanticipated public health threats."

Health

WHO declares new Ebola epidemic after three people die in Democratic Republic of Congo

© Reuters
A Doctors Without Borders health worker stands in an Ebola virus treatment centre in Conakry, Guinea.
A new Ebola epidemic has been declared in the Democratic Republic of Congo after the deaths of three people thought to be linked to the virus.

The country's health ministry confirmed one person has tested positive for the virus.

The World Health Organisation confirmed that the DR Congo had informed them of a lab-confirmed case of the disease.

The case was confirmed from tests on nine people who came down with a hemorrhagic fever in Bas-Uele province in the northeast of the country on or after April 22, the statement said.

Syringe

A 'hanging offense': Boston Herald dehumanizes parents who debate vaccines

In the case Planned Parenthood v. American Coalition of Life Activists, the en banc Ninth Circuit court concluded that a "true threat" is "a statement which, in the entire context and under all the circumstances, a reasonable person would foresee would be interpreted by those to whom the statement is communicated as a serious expression of intent to inflict bodily harm upon that person. It is not necessary that the defendant intend to, or be able to carry out his threat; the only intent requirement for a true threat is that the defendant intentionally or knowingly communicate the threat."

The mainstream media, in the US and abroad, is now taking a dangerous, unethical, and seemingly unlawful stance towards parents who exercise their health freedom. The mainstream corporate media is also viciously attacking parents who openly question and debate reality that happens to run contrary and outside of the few transparent and false sales pitch talking points of pharmaceutical companies. What are we talking about here?

On May 8, The Boston Herald ran an editorial calling for the following:

Bug

Médecins Sans Frontières: Nigeria fighting worst meningitis C outbreak since 2008

© Fabrice Caterini/INEDIZ/MSF
Zahardien Musa, a meningitis patient from Sokoto, Nigeria.
Thousands of men, women, and children in northern Nigeria have been affected by a meningitis C outbreak, reportedly the largest to hit the country in the past nine years. Almost six months after the first cases were recorded in Zamfara State, Nigeria's Ministry of Health (MoH) is still struggling to fight this epidemic in seven states of the country.

Médecins Sans Frontières has supported the health authorities with surveillance and case management in the most-affected areas since February, when the outbreak was officially declared. However, the slow reaction of the country and a global shortage of vaccines have hampered the response.

On 15 April MSF set up a 200-bed treatment centre in Sokoto Town, followed by a 20-bed facility in Anka, Zamfara. In these locations, MSF's Nigeria Emergency Response Unit (NERU) works intensively to provide free, high-quality medical care and reduce mortality rates as much as possible.

These teams treat challenging cases in a difficult environment. "A few days ago a nine-year-old boy was brought in unconsciousness and with severe meningitis," recalls Caroline Riefthuis, an MSF nurse in Sokoto. "He received treatment for five days and recovered, but unfortunately we found out that he had become deaf and blind— complications of severe meningitis."

Comment: Considering how ineffective and dangerous vaccines are, what the MSF is doing (probably out of ignorance) is criminal: See:


Shoe

Exercise for aging muscles

© Illustration by Renaud Vigourt
The toll that aging takes on a body extends all the way down to the cellular level. But the damage accrued by cells in older muscles is especially severe, because they do not regenerate easily and they become weaker as their mitochondria, which produce energy, diminish in vigor and number.

A study published this month in Cell Metabolism, however, suggests that certain sorts of workouts may undo some of what the years can do to our mitochondria.

Exercise is good for people, as everyone knows. But scientists have surprisingly little understanding of its cellular impacts and how those might vary by activity and the age of the exerciser.

So researchers at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., recently conducted an experiment on the cells of 72 healthy but sedentary men and women who were 30 or younger or older than 64. After baseline measures were established for their aerobic fitness, their blood-sugar levels and the gene activity and mitochondrial health in their muscle cells, the volunteers were randomly assigned to a particular exercise regimen.

Health

Why all the hysteria? The month of May used to be measles season years ago

Is panic breaking out in the State of Minnesota? Forty-four (44) cases of measles have been reported in that entire state! Here's the CBS News report of May 5, 2017.

Personally, I remember when 44 cases of measles could break out in one school at the same time, usually in the spring during the month of May. That's the month I contracted measles when I was 7 or 8 years old in the 1940s, and guess what? I didn't die! None of my little friends died either! Measles was a "rite of passage thing" for kids and never demonized, either, back then. What's changed?

As a matter of practice and fact, I spent a most enjoyable time at home: one week out of school and my mother practiced "Mom Medicine," which all mothers knew and used back then. Doctors didn't treat measles; they only diagnosed it, but left it up to mothers to be 'doctors'.

I had to stay in my bedroom with the shades drawn and not expose my eyes to sunlight—why I never figured out that one. For the body rash, I smeared a pink lotion on a couple times a day; some kids were 'soaked' in corn starch baths and allowed to drip dry under a robe or towel if they were up to it; or else they slathered on a slurry of corn starch paste. Topical steroid skin creams were not available back then. Some came on the market around 1950.

Comment: See also:


Footprints

Breaking up the 8 hour workday increases productivity

© Getty Images
The 8-hour workday is an outdated and ineffective approach to work. If you want to be as productive as possible, you need to let go of this relic and find a new approach.

The 8-hour workday was created during the industrial revolution as an effort to cut down on the number of hours of manual labor that workers were forced to endure on the factory floor. This breakthrough was a more humane approach to work two hundred years ago, yet it possesses little relevance for us today.

Like our ancestors, we're expected to put in 8-hour days, working in long, continuous blocks of time, with few or no breaks. Heck, most people even work right through their lunch hour!

This antiquated approach to work isn't helping us; it's holding us back.

Comment: Sweden experiments with six-hour workday, productivity increases while turnover reduced


Syringe

Yes, adults can sue vaccine companies for damage from adult vaccines

It's happening now...

Major media aren't giving this story the coverage it deserves. I certainly am.

Short question: Can a person sue a US vaccine manufacturer?

Short answer: Under certain conditions, yes.

Note: I'm not framing this article as professional legal advice. I'm reporting what I've been able to dig up on a very explosive issue so far. I've communicated with two lawyers and a law professor. I've been pointed to an important passage on a federal web page.

Right now, lawyers and their clients are suing Merck, the manufacturer, for injuries incurred from Merck's shingles vaccine, Zostavax.

Among the claimed injuries: contracting shingles; blindness in one eye; partial paralysis; brain damage; death.

One of the plaintiffs' attorneys told me he has already filed two cases in California. Each case has 50 plaintiffs. He states he has 5000 clients waiting in the wings. There are other attorneys with other plaintiffs.