We made a lot of headway today with our big move and tomorrow I fear they may whip my keyboard out from under my fingertips so best I get my newsletter out to you now!
My first article this month is hard-hitting and although it is not intended to alarm or frighten moms-to-be, if it should save a child’s life then it has achieved its purpose. Please moms, if you are smoking while pregnant or in the company of your young children, you just HAVE to give it up NOW!
SMOKING AND YOUR BABY
Mothers' smoking during pregnancy is well-recognized as carrying a range of serious health risks for the unborn baby including fetal mortality, low birth weight, premature birth and a range of serious birth defects such as cleft palate, club foot and heart problems.
Congenital heart defects are the most common type of birth defects, contributing to approximately 30 percent of infant deaths from birth defects annually. Tobacco exposure in the womb may be a huge contributing factor. According to study results just published in the 28 Feb 2011 issue of the journal Pediatrics, women who smoke during the first trimester of pregnancy increase their unborn child's risk of being born with congenital heart defects by 20 to 70 percent. The study, conducted by the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), found a link between tobacco and defects that inhibit blood flow from the right side of the heart into the lungs and openings between the upper chambers of the heart.
Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
SIDS, also known as cot death, is marked by the sudden death of an infant that is unexpected by medical history and remains unexplained after a thorough forensic autopsy and a detailed death scene investigation. However, studies show that infants of mothers who smoked during pregnancy are three times more likely to die of SIDS than those whose mothers were smoke-free. Furthermore, exposure to secondhand smoke doubles a baby's risk of SIDS. According to the US Surgeon General's Report, infants who die from SIDS tend to have higher concentrations of nicotine and conicotine (a biological marker for secondhand smoke exposure) in their body fluids than those who die from other causes. I know quitting smoking is no easy task but it just has to be easier than grieving for a lost child!
Second hand smoke
A pregnant mother who does not smoke and breathes in secondhand smoke has a 23% higher chance of delivering a stillborn baby or a 13% higher chance of giving birth to a child with congenital birth defects. This is what researchers from the University of Nottingham, England, revealed in the journal Pediatrics. As we still do not know when the effects of secondhand smoke may begin, it is important to protect women from environmental tobacco smoke not only during pregnancy, but also beforehand. Expectant fathers need to be aware of the harmful effects their smoking might have, and ultimately, in the interests of their partner and their unborn child, the best option would be to give up completely (Men also need to know that smoking does have an impact on sperm development and hence the prospects of the resulting foetus. Please quit before you even try for a baby). Enterthird hand smoke.
Unheard of before but now thought to be the reason why babies who sleep in their parents’ bedrooms exhibit nicotine levels three times higher than those that sleep in another room – even though the parents don’t smoke in their bedroom. These figures show that they suffer from what is known as "third-hand smoke", in other words the harmful smoke particles that impregnate their parents' skin, clothes and hair. This third hand smoke - the invisible remains of cigarette smoke that deposits on carpeting, clothing, furniture and other surfaces – also poses a serious health hazard to babies crawling on carpets.
So what to do? In view of all the above, the guidelines to parents are clear:
Do not smoke during pregnancy (mothers and fathers)
Never smoke or let anyone smoke near your baby
Never smoke or let anyone smoke in a room where your baby will sleep
If you smoke, do not sleep in the same room as your baby
Don’t hesitate to ask visitors not to smoke near your baby
Avoid visiting smoky places with your baby
Any of the above will make your baby smoke passively and increase his/her risk of health problems significantly. Baby will also be more prone to colds and airway infections and have an increased chance to develop asthma and other diseases.
Quitting is the single most important thing a couple can do to give their baby a chance at better health.
Don’t forget World No Tobacco Day – 31 May 2011
The R200 discount on Vice-Breaker, a 100% natural herbal capsule that has already caused many smokers country-wide to quit for good, is still on offer until 31 May. Please tell all smokers you know. See www.quitsmokingnaturally.co.za for testimonials.
NATURAL REMEDIES FOR BLADDER INFECTIONS
Bladder infections, urinary tract infections or cystitis, different names for the same nasty and painful affliction which affects mostly women but men are not immune. Normally, the cause of these infections appears to be organisms (such as E. coli) making their way up the urethra into the bladder where they attach themselves to the bladder wall.
Normal signs and symptoms of a UTI are:
Burning with urination
Frequent urges to urinate
Lower abdominal pain or aching
Blood in your urine (sometimes, but not always)
A doctor will usually prescribe antibiotics for this, which will clear the infection but usually only temporarily. When you take antibiotics for a urinary tract infection (UTI), the good bacteria are killed along with the bad, setting you up for secondary yeast infections and digestive problems. Furthermore, antibiotic treatment does not successfully kill all the bacteria participating in the infection and may, in fact, encourage many of the bacteria to persist in a resting state.
Fortunately there are safe and effective long lasting natural remedies to UTI’s. One natural remedy that has been shown to have some value in treating cystitis is cranberry, and in practice I often suggest cranberry supplementation for individuals who are prone to urinary tract infections. Note that I am not talking about cranberry juice here but rather capsules containing the powdered juice of cranberries. Drinking sweetened cranberry juice is not an option unless you want to feed the bacteria the very sugar that they like to feed on and multiply and without the added sugar cranberry juice is extremely sour and virtually unpalatable. Also, what many studies fail to mention is that most cranberry juice is loaded with fructose, a monosaccharide (simple sugar) that can potentially lead to health problems. For this reason I do not recommend cranberry juice. Fortunately Natural Vibrance has come up with an amazing product called Cran-Max, a capsule made from 100% pure cranberries. I have used this effectively on myself and patients to clear up an opportune bladder infection.
But the active ingredient in cranberry juice which is responsible for flushing out bacteria is a sugar called D-mannose. Pure D-mannose is amazingly 10-50 times stronger than cranberry, non-toxic and completely safe, with NO adverse effects. D-mannose can help cure more than 90 percent of all UTIs within 1 to 2 days! It doesn’t kill any bacteria—it just renders them unable to stay in your urinary tract. For women experiencing longstanding, recurring cystitis I recommend a concentrated D-Mannose supplement called UT Vibrance. Taken over just one and a half days it floods the bladder with mannose and purges E.Coli bacteria from the urinary tract. One can then maintain a healthy urinary tract with U.T. Biotic, a combination of whole cranberry extracts and a probiotic blend. Probiotics play a major role in the maintenance of urogenital health by preventing the colonization of pathogenic bacteria. The idea here is to add more healthy bacteria to the vagina and surrounding area, in an effort to keep less healthy organisms at bay in this area This trio of Natural Vibrance supplements, namely Cran-Max, UT Vibrance and UT Biotic, are saviours to women (and men) who experience occasional or persistent recurrent urinary tract infections – the Charlie’s Angels of urogenital health!
What else will help? Drink plenty of pure filtered water to keep the urine pale yellow in colour. When you drink more water, you will urinate frequently and this will flush the urethra frequently and remove the bacteria. Always wipe from front to back to prevent bacteria from entering your urethra. Sexual intercourse can increase the risk of infection (so-called ‘honeymoon cystitis’). To combat this it is often suggested women urinate as soon as possible after intercourse.
The majority of urinary tract infections can be cured when symptoms first arise, or prevented altogether through use of these natural remedies and antibiotics should only be a last resort. However if you suspect you have a kidney infection—especially if you have a fever—it might be necessary to see a physician and employ an antibiotic so the infection does not cause some very serious problems. Kidney infections can cause permanent kidney damage and kidney failure if not promptly resolved, or can spread to your bloodstream.
In addition to the classic UTI symptoms listed earlier, symptoms of kidney infection can include:
Back, side (flank) or groin pain
If you do use an antibiotic, it is important to take a high quality, high potency probiotic to replace the beneficial bacteria killed by the antibiotic. It is advisable to take the probiotic as far from the antibiotic dose as possible. For example, if you take your antibiotic at 7am and 7pm, take your probiotic at 1pm to minimize the affects on it from the antibiotic.
Eskimo study supports omega-3 for heart health
According to new findings from a study with Alaskan Eskimos, high intakes of omega-3 fatty acids may reduce the risk of obesity-related chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease,
Eskimos are not immune to obesity and in fact the Inuit of Greenland have obesity rates similar to the lower forty-eight US states. What is really interesting though is that, although they eat a high fat diet, they still have one of the lowest death rates from cardiovascular disease on the planet. This latest study revealed that even obese Inuit have triglyceride and C-Reactive Protein concentrations that did not differ from those of normal weight persons. It appeared that high intakes of omega-3s from fish protect the Eskimo from some of the harmful effects of obesity including diabetes which is very low amongst them. This apparent reduction in diabetes risk is linked to the observation that the Eskimos’ average consumption of omega-3s from fish is 20 times more than people in the lower 48 states.
More studies have been done on Omega-3 from fish than any other nutrient in the world. If the medical industry were truly honest about researching what works for patients rather than what makes money for drug companies, they would have openly prescribed fish oils long ago. The fatty acids in fish oil have been proven, in ground breaking studies published in medical journals around the world, to positively contribute towards the health of the human heart, brain and body. Read more about our range of IFOS 5 Star rated fish oil capsules that we import from Canada here.
But fish oil is natural therefore cannot be patented and big money cannot be made, so pharmaceutical companies turn a blind eye to the fact that time and again fish oil has been proven to be a safe and effective remedy for a host of conditions. While on this topic some good news came through recently.
Obama regime plans to stop Big Pharma
On April 19, 2011 White House officials from the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), along with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), announced the release of the first national action plan to fight a "prescription drug abuse epidemic."
"Today we are making an unprecedented commitment to combat the growing problem of prescription drug abuse," said Vice President Joe Biden in a press release. Apparently hospital emergency department visits involving prescription drug abuse have doubled over the past 5 years in the States with overdoses on prescription drugs far exceeding historical levels of overdoses on crack cocaine and such like. I bet similar stats apply in SA.
The new Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) program will require manufacturers of some of the long-acting opioid medications to develop and pay for programs to educate doctors on proper pain management, patient selection, and ensuring that their patients understand how to use these drugs safely. From day 1 President Obama’s intentions have been good (I think) and one can only hope he has the necessary wherewithal to address this public health crisis.
But wait a minute....Is my jubilation misplaced? Will this not give the drug companies even more opportunities to interact with doctors and “educate” them to prescribe more of their medications? Those of you who followed my suggestion that you order the freebie DVD at http://www.cchr.org/ called “The Marketing of Madness – are we all insane?” will know what I’m talking about. Remember how many FDA officials have a vested interest in the drug companies? (No I’m not been paid by the producers of this DVD, I’d just like to help them get their potentially life-saving message across).
Well that's it from me for this merry month of May. Next time I write to you it’ll be from our new home just 10km from here. Until then, be safe.