Reimbursement Lacking for Telehealth Despite Physician Shortage

reimbMany telemedicine services, such as video visits with physicians, remain uncovered by insurance plans despite physician shortages throughout the U.S., USA Today reports.

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Telemedicine Reimbursement Is Lagging

Although telemedicine is bringing educational opportunities and consulting expertise to hospitals where it has not been available, reimbursement for the service is lagging, experts say.

“That’s one of our biggest problems right now,” said Lawrence Wechsler, vice president for telemedicine, Physician Services Division, at the University of Pittsburgh Medical CenterbizWatch University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Latest from The Business Journals UPMC, WPAHS making advancements in telemedicineGatesmanMarmion+Dave’s new accounts boost billings, lead to hiringWest Penn Allegheny Health System promotes shared savings model for efficiency of care Follow this company . Continue reading

Changing Reimbursement Models

It’s probably an unintended consequence—and not a positive one at that—but government programs have helped make dealing with rising operational costs less of a concern for medical practice managers, according to the fourth-annual survey by the Medical Group Management Association on managers’ top daily professional challenges.

Rising operational costs were listed as the top challenge in 2009 and 2010, but in this year’s survey of 1,190 practice managers, they came in third behind “preparing for reimbursement models that place a greater share of financial risk on the practice” and participating in the CMS electronic health-record meaningful-use incentive program. Continue reading

Asthma/Allergy Trigger Control Plan

Because you have asthma, your airways are very sensitive. They may react to things called triggers (stimuli that can cause asthma episodes). Your airways may become swollen, tighten up, and produce excess mucus in the presence of one or more of the triggers below. These triggers may make asthma symptoms worse or keep you from getting better. It’s important to find out what your asthma triggers are. Learn ways to avoid them. If you cannot avoid triggers, and your medicine plan does not work as well as you and your health care provider think it should, you both should discuss allergy shots (immunotherapy).

Ask your health care provider to help you find out what your triggers are and to decide which actions will help the most to reduce your asthma symptoms.

 Number each action item in order of importance. Carry out these actions first.

Once you have completed these actions, move on to actions that are of lesser importance.

Discuss the results of these efforts with your health care provider.

Pollen and Molds (outdoors)

 Stay indoors during the midday and afternoon when the pollen count is high.

 Use air conditioning, if possible.

 Keep windows closed during seasons when pollen and mold are highest.

 Avoid sources of molds (wet leaves, garden debris, carpet over concrete floors).

Cockroach Allergen

 Use insect sprays; but have someone else spray when you are outside of the home.

 Air out the home for a few hours after spraying.

 Use roach traps.

House Dust Mites

These are actions you should take to

gain control of dust mites:

______ Encase your mattress and box spring in an airtight cover.

______ Either encase your pillow or wash it once a week every week.

______ Avoid sleeping or lying on upholstered furniture.

______ Remove carpets that are laid on concrete.

______ Wash your bed covers, clothes, and stuffed toys once a week in hot (130° F) water.

These actions will also help you gain control of dust mites – but they may not be

essential:

______ Reduce indoor humidity to less than 50 percent. Use a dehumidifier if needed.

______ Remove carpets from your bedroom.

______ Use chemical agents to kill mites or to change mite antigens in the house.

______ Avoid using a vacuum or being in a room while it is being vacuumed.

______ If you must vacuum, one ore more of the following things can be done to reduce the amount of dust you breathe in: Use a dust mask, use a central vacuum cleaner with the collecting bag outside the home, use a vacuum cleaner that has powerful suction.

Animal Dander

Dander refers to flakes in the skin, hair, or feathers of all warm-blooded pets including dogs, cats, birds, and rodents. There is no such thing as an allergenfree dog. The length of a pet’s hair does not matter. The allergen is in the saliva, urine, and dander.

 Remove the animal from the house or school classroom.

 If you must have a pet, keep the pet out of your bedroom at all times.

 If there is forced air heating in the home with a pet, close the air ducts in your bedroom.

 Wash the pet weekly.

 Avoid visits to friends or relatives with pets.

 Take asthma medicine (cromolyn or beta2-agonist; cromolyn is often preferred) before

visiting homes or sites where animals arepresent.

Choose a pet without fur or feathers (such as a fish or a snake).

 Avoid products made with feathers, for example, pillows or comforters.

 Also avoid pillows, bedding, and furniture stuffed with kapok (silky fibers from the seed

pods of the silk-cotton tree).

Use a vacuum cleaner fitted with a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter.

Indoor molds

 Keep bathrooms, kitchens, and basements well aired.

 Clean bathrooms, kitchens, and basements regularly.

 Do not use humidifiers unless humidity drops below 15%

 Use dehumidifiers for damp basement areas, with humidity level set for less than

50% but above 25%. Empty and clean unit regularly.

Tobacco Smoke

 Do not smoke.

 Do not allow smoking in the home.

 Have household members smoke outside.

 Do not allow any smoking in your bedroom.

Encourage family members to quit smoking.

Their health care provider can help them quit.

 Use an indoor air-cleaning device (for smoke, mold, and dander).

Wood Smoke

 Avoid using a wood burning heat stove to heat your home. The smoke increases

lower respiratory symptoms.

 Avoid using kerosene heaters.

Strong Odors and Sprays

 Do not stay in your home when it is being painted. Allow enough time for the paint

to dry.

 Avoid perfume and perfumed cosmetics such as talcum powder and hair spray.

 Do not use room deodorizers. § Use non-perfumed household cleaning

products whenever possible.

 Reduce strong cooking odors (especially frying) by using a fan and opening windows.

 Avoid air pollution by staying indoors on days when the pollution count is high.

Colds and Infections

 Avoid people with colds or the flu.

 Get rest, eat a balanced diet, and exercise regularly.

 Talk to your health care provider about flu shots.

 Do not take over-the-counter remedies, such as antihistamines and cough syrup,

unless you speak to your health care provider first.

Exercise

 Work out a medicine plan with your health care provider that allows you to exercise

without symptoms.

 Take inhaled beta2-agonist or prescribed anti-inflammatory medicine before

exercising.

 Warm up before doing exercise and cool down afterwards.

Weather

 Wear a scarf over your mouth and nose in cold weather.

 Pull a turtleneck over your nose on windy or cold days.

 Dress warmly in the winter or on windy days.

Food Sensitivity

 You may want to avoid products that could possibly contain the preservative sulfite.

Among these are: precut or dried fruit, fresh mushrooms, processed potatoes, pickled

foods, shrimp, cherries , beer, or wine.

Remember: Making these changes will help keep asthma episodes from starting. An asthma trigger control plan is an important part of controlling asthma

Seaweed Extract Hold Promise For Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

BERKELY – Seaweed extract may eventually emerge as a lymphoma treatment, according to laboratory research presented at the second AACR Dead Sea International Conference on Advances in Cancer Research.

Lymphoma is a cancer of the immune system and is classified into Hodgkin‘s and non-Hodgkin’s types, which are then further classified into B-cell and T-cell groups.

“Some forms of B-cell lymphoma are especially resistant to standard treatment and thus new therapies are needed,” said Mohammad Irhimeh, Ph.D., assistant professor of hematoncology and stem cells at the Hashemite University in Jordan. “In this study, we looked at a new treatment strategy using novel active compounds derived from a natural source seaweed.”

Seaweeds containing fucoidan, a sulfated polysaccharide similar to heparin in chemical structure, have been reported to have anti-tumor activity in mice and some cell lines.

For the current study, Irhimeh and colleagues at the University of California, Berkeley, and Royal Hobart Hospital in Australia treated lymphoma cell lines with a commercially available seaweed extract.

They found that the extract had an inhibitory effect on the growth of lymphoma cell lines, while leaving the control healthy cells intact. The researchers also noted a significant pattern of activity in the genes known to be linked with apoptosis, or cell death, in lymphoma.

Irhimeh said they would continue to study the mechanism of action for these biological effects and had a goal of conducting phase II or III clinical trials.

What Are the Advantages of Alternative Cures

There are a number of advantages when it comes to alternative cures and health. This particular science and focus holds the ultimate belief that health involves many different components all in one. It focuses on encouraging individuals to carefully explore all of their options and choose many different methods to completely optimize their health. Throughout this article, we will be exploring the many different advantages associated with alternative cures. If you have been considering a natural and effective approach to health, you may find interest in the information contained here.

There are many different branches when it comes to alternative medicine. You have Chinese medicine, acupuncture, homeopathy, naturopathy, guided imagery, relaxation techniques, herbal medicine, massage therapy, and other types of medicine. If we were to examine alternative medicine closely, we would see that most of the alternative options available today have actually emerged from European countries throughout history. Individuals who took an interest in medicine would study under the assistance of an elder in order to learn alternative forms of health and apply it when needed. As time progressed, these students of medicine would eventually be given a student to apprentice under them.

Many of the concepts that we are familiar with and focus on today that are directly related to health have emerged from the studies and the popular teaching of those who practiced alternative medicine in history. There was a particular health movement that spawned interest in water therapy or hydrotherapy, natural and essential hygiene, herbalism, and similar approaches to optimizing the health. Now that we can see what types of things emerged from a period in time in which alternative health was a popular subject, we will now examine these a bit more closely.

Chinese Medicine – The Chinese believed that when an individual experienced sickness, it was a direct result of a negative flow or a disruption in the flow of energy that occurs within the body. Many have seen and heard of the Yin and Yang. This represents an even distribution of energy in the body. The Chinese would use a number of techniques, like herbalism, massage therapy, acupuncture, and similar natural remedies in order to evenly distribute energy throughout the body for healing.

 

Acupuncture – This is the process in which fine, tiny needles are inserted in the body at specific points. It is ultimately believed that by activating or stimulating these areas of the body that one experience optimal health.

Homeopathy – This is a type of alternative medicine that focuses on introducing the body to many different types of natural medicine in order to encourage the body to heal itself.

Naturopathy – This form of alternative medicine focuses on the belief that many different things should come together in order to completely optimize the health of an individual. Ensuring the proper diet is ingested, stress management, hydrotherapy, exercise, and even herbal medicine all play an important role in the area of naturopathy.

Guided Imagery – This form of alternative medicine believes that if an individual learns to relax based on certain mental images that they will be able to ultimately optimize their health.

Relaxation Techniques – By using relaxation techniques, individuals are able to effectively control their breathing and other essential processes of the body. This can be extremely successful in creating health.

Herbal Medicine – Herbal medicine takes various natural plants and uses them to promote good health.

Massage Therapy – Massage therapy believes that by employing the element of massage on different areas of the body, circulation is improved and the health is enhanced.

As you can see, there are many different types of alternative medicine, all of which have a unique set of advantages for the health. If you are interested in natural medicine, all of these techniques can be employed or just one.

Read This Before Vaccinating Your Child

One in four U.S. parents believes some vaccines cause autism in healthy children according to the Associated Press at the end of February 2010. The federal government disputes heavily this idea, so much so that it denigrates these parents and ignores the medical science that suggests a strong association between the nerve poison Thimerosal and neurological impairment

It is a closed case as far as the medical officials are concerned as stupid as that might sound. The former Chairman of the National Institute of Health (NIH) Dr. Bernadine Healy does not agree saying, “The question has not been answered.” The Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) 2004 report on thimerosal and autism even stated, “The committee cannot rule out, based on the epidemiological evidence, the possibility that vaccines contribute to autism in some small subset or very unusual circumstances.”

Some doctors are taking a tough stand, asking vaccine-refusing parents to find other doctors and calling such parents “selfish.” A statement from a group practice near Philadelphia outlines its doctors’ adamant support for government recommended vaccines and their belief that “vaccines do not cause autism or other developmental disabilities.” Doctors routinely take these stances though the former head of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Dr. Louis Cooper says, “There’s been grossly insufficient investment in research on the safety of immunization.”

It has taken us a long time to appreciate the fact that we are wasting time arguing with the government; it has not done anyone any good. We might as well argue with a heavily armed robber or psychopath, serial killer or terrorist none of whom even have the capacity or motive to listen. People and institutions with no ‘heart’ can not be reasoned with and should be avoided like the plague. Governments are the real plague and are a pandemic even up to the level of attacking our precious babies with injectable neurological poisons.

I would like to offer a way for doctors to redeem their credibility in the face of their peers, their professional organizations, humanity and God on at least on one important issue that is cracking the foundations and integrity of contemporary medicine. We are dealing with soul issues here because we are talking about the deliberate injection of newborns, children, and adults with the third most toxic substance known to man and that is mercury. Mercury is the most toxic non-radioactive element on Earth, and The World Health Organization said that there are no levels of mercury that can be considered safe.

Everyone in the United States over the age of six

months should get seasonal influenza vaccines every

year, federal vaccine advisers said on February 25, 2010.

 

All forms of organic mercury cross the blood-brain barrier easily, probably due to formation of a complex with the amino acid cysteine. It is eliminated from the organism slowly, therefore it has tendency to bioaccumulate. In the form of dimethylmercury a sniff can kill you. Anyone who listens to any justification of the practice of injecting organic mercury into babies should have their head seriously examined just the same as if they were justifying child sexual abuse (which some psychologists most incredulously have).

Danger! Poison! May be fatal if inhaled, absorbed through skin or swallowed. Contains material which may cause damage to the following organs: kidneys, respiratory tract, skin, eyes, central nervous system.  Section 8 – Exposure Controls: Personal Protection: Splash goggles, Full suit, Dust Respirator, Boots, Gloves, a self-contained breathing apparatus. Section 11 – Toxicology Information: Acute Oral Toxicity. Extremely hazardous in case of skin contact. May be fatal if absorbed. Extremely hazardous in case of inhalation. May be fatal if inhaled. Extremely hazardous in case of ingestion. May be fatal if swallowed.  Danger of cumulative effects.

What I am proposing is a clear declaration to the governments and medical boards around the world that we doctors and health care professionals will recommend to all our patients that they immediately reject and refuse all vaccinations until every government and medical body eliminates “all” use of the highly toxic vaccine preservative Thimerosal, which is fifty percent methyl-mercury by weight. We would not recommend to our patients that they drive around in a car with defective breaks or a sticking accelerator one more day nor should we let our patients remain ignorant of the dangers of Thimerosal. We need to collectively back government, health, and medical official’s backs against a hard wall giving them not a millimeter to sleaze away.

Mercury was taken out of animal vaccines 20 years ago

because it was too toxic, so why I ask my peers are

we allowing it to continue to be given to babies?

 

We have been deaf, dumb and blind to what is happening in the area of childhood vaccination, meaning we are allowing our medical colleagues to get away with murder and we are all guilty by implication. There are certain constraints or lines that must not be crossed and one is the injection of a cross and bones poison. If we support such medically insane and barbarous practices we should sign a form stating we agree with the principles and practices of the Nazi doctors who routinely injected medical subjects with lethal injections for experimental purposes. No one can say that vaccines don’t kill children for they do that all the time in what is officially known as “rare” occurrences.

There is no sitting on the fence on this issue either you support and favor the injections of poison into babies and people or you do not. It is black and white though those who think in grey shout the loudest and have most of the bullhorns in the public arena. 15% of women in America (Rh Neg) get Rhogam Thimerosal laden shots and have 50% of autistic children. If a woman has 10 or more mercury dental fillings, her chances of having an autistic child go up 27%. Boys get autism 4 to 1 more than girls. When they put mercury in Petri dishes with brain cells they get 40% cell death. Estrogen and mercury in Petri dishes somehow protected cells for only a 3% cell death. Testosterone & mercury yields 100% cell death.

Thimerosal-preserved vaccines are significant causal factors in

the development of regressive neuro-developmental disorders

including autism and related disorders/syndromes/diseases.

Dr. Paul King

 

A review of medical literature indicates that the characteristics of autism and of mercury poisoning (HgP) are strikingly similar. The parallels between the two diseases are so thorough as to suggest, based on total Hg injected into U.S. children, that many cases of autism are a form of mercury poisoning. Professor John Oxford of Queen Mary’s School of Medicine and Dentistry states: From Alzheimer’s disease to a devastating lineup of other neurological disorders including Parkinsons, ALS, MS, autism and AD – mercury is known to be a potent neurotoxin that either is the prime cause of such disorders or certainly is seen to exacerbate them. He says, “If there is “any doubt whatsoever” about the safety of mercury in vaccines then it should be removed.”

Thimerosal used as a preservative in vaccines given to children is a high crime against our civilization and all that is good in the field of medicine. Recommended and given to children 6 months and older by pediatricians since 2004, and annually to children until they turn 18, (and in 2009 in the A-H1N1 vaccine) one can only wonder where we have gone so utterly wrong injecting our babies and children with the third most toxic element known to mankind. “These injections exceed the EPA RfD mercury amount by a factor of 125 when the Thimerosal doses are 0.25-mL in each vaccine and by 250 times when the doses are set at 0.5-mL per injection. Typically a child getting the 0.25-mL dose weighs less than 18 kg (and at six months much less) and the older children who gets the 0.5-mL dose typically weighs much less than 70 kg,” reports Dr. Paul King.[1]

It seems like Pediatricians just cannot do the math or are just too lazy to do so. The EPA’s reference dose (RfD) for mercury is 0.1 microgram of mercury per kilogram of weight per day for ingested mercury, which is the legally considered adequate safety level. So how can anyone in their right mind inject a small child with a 25-microgram dose when that passes the legal dose for a humongous adult? To meet the EPA standard a person would have to weigh 551 pounds to receive the 0.5-mL vaccine dose (50 mcg) and the little baby would have to weigh 225 pounds to redeem the attending pediatrician. In some countries they inject newborns on their first day of life with 50 mcg doses and one can only wonder what children today would be like in the third world if they did not receive the Hepatitis B shots at birth.

Dr. King asks, “How can Thimerosal used as a preservative be safe when the toxicity studies required by law (21 CFR 610.15(a)) since the late 1960s have NOT been conducted (as the FDA and the vaccine makers have repeatedly admitted or failed to refute? How is a dose of mercury that exceeds the putative “safe level” (the putative no observed adverse-effect level [NOAEL]) for injected Thimerosal-related mercury (based on a chronic toxicity study in rats that is cited and recognized by the FDA) of < 0.0042 micrograms of mercury per kilogram of weight per day for developing humans by more than a factor of 2900 for a 0.25-mL dose or more than a factor of 5900 for a 0.5-mL dose be considered either safe or minuscule?”.

A quote from researcher David Geier, MD, PhD: “We went to Atlanta,” he continues, “to the CDC, and looked at the VSD [Vaccine Safety Data] data. There is thimerosal-containing DTaP [diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis vaccine] and thimerosal-free DTaP, so we asked a question: Among children that got a minimum of either three consecutive thimerosal-containing DTaPs or   three consecutive thimerosal-free DTaPs, was there a difference in the number of autism cases in the two groups? We found mega differences. More than 20 times higher. The rate of autism in the children that got more than three doses of thimerosal-containing DTaP vaccines was much, much higher. Almost all the children that have autism in that group were the ones that got the thimerosal-containing DTaP vaccine. The more thimerosal the greater the cases of autism.”

A 1991 Merck memo (released 2005) shows that at least one major manufacturer was aware of the vaccine mercury concern much earlier. The 1991 memo stated 6-month-old children who received their shots on schedule would get a mercury dose up to 87 times higher than guidelines (FDA) for the maximum daily consumption of mercury from fish. “When viewed in this way, the mercury load appears rather large,” said the memo from Dr. Maurice R. Hilleman, an internationally renowned vaccinologist to the president of Merck’s vaccine division. “It is reasonable to conclude” that it should be eliminated where possible, he said, “especially where use in infants and young children is anticipated.”

A special federal court ruled against parents who claimed childhood vaccines had caused their children to develop autism. The “vaccine court” examined the evidence presented and concluded, “It was abundantly clear that the petitioners’ theories of causation were speculative and unpersuasive.” What is abundantly clear is that a court ruling has nothing to do with either science or the reality of one of the most toxic substances known to man and its effect on children. It does not matter what anyone says; nothing and no one will remove the skull and crossbones label from Thimerosal, meaning no one can remove the immanent dangers to child if this substance is injected.

“There is no convincing evidence that thimerosal is a factor in the onset of

autism” is the mantra of medical officials, and no matter how wrong, mean,

stupid, and ugly these officials are they remain publically and legally right.

Not everyone has been convinced nor has anyone approved the government’s effort to cover up the dangers of thimerosal. Rep. Dan Burton, a Republican from Indiana, oversaw a three-year investigation of thimerosal after his grandson was diagnosed with autism. “Thimerosal used as a preservative in vaccines is directly related to the autism epidemic,” his House Government Reform Committee concluded in its final report. “This epidemic in all probability may have been prevented or curtailed had the FDA not been asleep at the switch regarding a lack of safety data regarding injected thimerosal, a known neurotoxin.” The FDA and other public-health agencies failed to act, the committee added, out of “institutional malfeasance for self protection” and “misplaced protectionism of the pharmaceutical industry.”

Few studies of the toxicity of Thimerosal in humans have been performed and yet the CDC and the FDA consider it safe. What is clear is that these organizations do not protect the public from obvious dangers having sold their souls to pharmaceutical interests. Cases have been reported of severe poisoning by accidental exposure or attempted suicide, with some fatalities to Thimerosal. Animal experiments suggest that Thimerosal rapidly dissociates to release ethyl mercury after injection; that the disposition patterns of mercury are similar to those after exposure to equivalent doses of ethylmercury chloride; and that the central nervous system and the kidneys are targets, with lack of motor coordination being a common sign.

So display some medical integrity and join with all doctors and healers everywhere and just say no to this madness. Tell your patients to avoid vaccines like the plague because the umbrella organizations like the CDC and the FDA have been compromised and cannot be trusted. One must not lay ones child on the alter of the dirtiest bastards that have ever walked our earth, monsters that would defend the injection of newborn babies with thousands of trillions of molecules of ethyl-mercury.

Defending the use of mercury in vaccines is a direct vote for this practice anywhere on the planet it is happening and makes one responsible, in part, for it. We have all inadvertently defended its use, for we continue to allow it to happen, but it has not been clear how to stop the medical officials and all those who support them.

Let’s at least turn our backs on the medical establishment on this one form of medical lunacy that implicates us all in a civilization disruptive practice that targets the young with illegal and humane medical mistreatment. Even if you are afraid to go on public record as taking a medical stand against medical officials and their untrustworthy pronouncements commit oneself to quietly handing out this document to patients telling them that we cannot support any part of the vaccination program because you cannot trust the principle organizations and people involved because of the Thimerosal cover-up. Explain to them that just like you would not support the use of a dangerous car or spoiled and tainted foods you cannot support the outrageous stonewalling of Thimerosal and its use one more day.

Liquid Vitamins Or Chewable Vitamins, Which Is Best

Nearly 50% of Americans residing in the United States use some type of vitamin or vitamin supplement ever day. Even though they may take vitamins, most are unaware of the fact that nearly 90% of the nutrients and minerals found in the vitamin isn’t properly absorbed by the body, which means they are virtually watered down and most of their benefits proven to be not effective.

Almost all individuals who take vitamins use the pill form. Pills were once thought of to be the best, simply because they were the only vitamin sources. These days, liquid vitamins are much more effective, and people are starting to realize it. Although many use pills or chewable vitamins, they aren’t getting near the benefit they think they are.

Vitamins and supplements are very popular, especially for those who have active lifestyles and find it difficult to consume the necessary vitamins and minerals they need from the proper meals. Therefore, those with busy lifestyles turn to vitamins and supplements to give their bodies what it needs to carry out day to day activities. Even though you should never replace food with vitamins, vitamins can help you to get the nutrients and minerals you need on a daily basis.

The main reason why liquid vitamins are more effective than pills and tablets is due to the nature of their liquid base. With the vitamins being liquid, they are easier for the body to digest and easily absorbed into the digestive tract as well. Chewable tablets and pills will pass through the body in hard form, making them hard to digest. Liquid is always digested when it passes through, so it will go through your body quicker and take effect faster.

Due to the body having to work less to break down and absorb liquid vitamins, they will pass through the body much faster. The nutrients and minerals contained in liquid vitamins will reach vital areas faster through the bloodstream, and they are easier to use by the most important organs in your body that need them the most. Liquid is also easy to swallow as well, as you can add the liquid vitamin to your favorite juice or just take it right out of the bottle if you prefer.

With pills or chewable vitamins, the majority of the nutrients and minerals that are contained in the vitamins aren’t normally broken down in the digestive system. With these types of vitamins being in hard form, they are harder for the body to pass at the most crucial moments, where the body needs to have nutrients and minerals. Unless you completely chew up the vitamin, it can stay in hard form until it passes through when you go to the bathroom. If this happens, you are normally just wasting the vitamin as it doesn’t have a chance to get into the bloodstream.

Liquid vitamins have proven themselves to be the best way to get the minerals and nutrients your body needs. As more and more people discover the benefits of liquid vitamins and how easy they are to digest, they make the switch. Liquid is far superior to tablets and pills, simply because it tastes better, it’s easier to digest, and it travels through the body faster. You can find many different flavors and types of vitamin supplements at your local nutrition store, or get online and order what you need there. Either way you go – you’ll find liquid vitamins to be the ideal way to get the nutrients you need for you body on a daily basis.

By – P. Stevens

Surge In Infertility Tourism Leads to Viking Babies

LONDON – In vitro fertilization (IVF) has become a popular method by which women who are having trouble getting pregnant are able to use donor sperm to achieve pregnancy. In the UK, however, there is a shortage of donor sperm that is causing British women to have to travel to countries like Denmark in order to find some.

A 2005 British law change outlawed the donating of sperm anonymously. UK law also has a long-standing rule that prohibits men who donate from receiving any sort of monetary compensation. Because of these rules, and the fact that many men fear having to provide their identities with the donation because the children may eventually try to find and meet them, few British men are donating sperm these days. As a result, the waiting list to receive IVF in the UK is several years.

In 2007, Denmark changed its laws and now permits anonymous donors, which has led to a surge in foreign women coming there to receive IVF treatment. Danish donors are also compensated between $60 and $200 for their donations which has helped to facilitate a large number of casual donors. The Danish sperm bank, Cryos, is the largest sperm bank in the world and is a popular destination for “infertility tourists” seeking to have children.

Denmark is one of the few nations that allows anonymous donations as well as monetary compensation for them. For this reason, Danish clinics are flourishing with increased business. DanFert in Copenhagen more than doubled its IVF customers since 2007. Vita Nova in Copenhagen has seen a 40 percent increase in women seeking IVF from Britain alone.

Danish clinics also cater to single women who are trying to have children, a controversial scenario rejected by many other nations who aim to serve couples trying to conceive. Such liberal laws have attracted all sorts of women from around the globe who wish to bear children but are otherwise unable.

Because of the popularity of the program, Danish banks have begun opening up franchised fertility clinics in other countries that permit it, including in the US and India. In these countries, men who are looking to make some extra cash often donate to the clinic, a practice that has all but ceased in Britain due to the laws.

Many women are hoping that UK laws will once again allow for anonymous sperm donors. They believe it will help to increase supply and end the shortage that has prevented many women from receiving IVF there.

75-Year-Old Grows New Skull

LONDON – An Indian-born neurosurgeon spoke of his great surprise after finding that the severely damaged skull of a British man involved in a car crash 50 years ago has regenerated itself.

Doctors, who operated to treat an infection in Gordon Moore’s head, found the bone had grown back beneath the metal plate inserted after the accident – a development thought to be rare among adults.

Moore, a 75-year-old former postmaster, suffered serious head injuries and had to undergo life-saving operations after his car overturned in 1955.

Doctors inserted a metal plate above his eye and on top of his skull, but the plate was dented three years later, when Moore had another accident, this time crashing his car into a lamppost.

His consultant, Parameswaran S. Bhattathiri, a neurosurgeon from Kerala, told the Newcastle-based Evening Chronicle: “It was a great surprise to find the skull had grown back.

“You would expect it in a child, but not in an adult, certainly not in an area of bone so big.”

His new skull reportedly follows the contours of the dent suffered in the second crash.

Moore said the plate had never bothered him, but he was relieved he would no longer “set the alarms off at the airport”.

“They were amazed when they found it. Apparently it is very rare. The neurosurgeon said he had never seen anyone grow a complete skull before. But bone does grow, and it has had 50-odd years to do the growing,” Moore said.

Moore told the paper Bhattathiri had good news after he awoke from the operation: “He said ‘I’m afraid we had to take the plate out. The good news is apparently you have grown a new skull’.”

Introducing – Wild Yams

It has been hypothesized that wild yam ( Dioscorea villosa  and other  Dioscorea  species) possesses dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA)-like properties and acts as a precursor to human sex hormones such as estrogen and progesterone. Based on this proposed mechanism, extracts of the plant have been used to treat painful menstruation, hot flashes, and headaches associated with menopause.

However, these uses are based on a misconception that wild yam contains hormones or hormonal precursors – largely due to the historical fact that progesterone, androgens, and cortisone were chemically manufactured from Mexican wild yam in the 1960s. It is unlikely that this chemical conversion to progesterone occurs in the human body. The hormonal activity of some topical wild yam preparations has been attributed to adulteration with synthetic progesterone by manufacturers, although there is limited evidence in this area.

The effects of the wild yam saponin constituent “diosgenin” on lipid metabolism are well documented in animal models and are possibly due to impaired intestinal cholesterol absorption. However, its purported hypocholesterolemic effect in humans and the feasibility of long-term use warrant further investigation.

There are few reported contraindications to the use of wild yam in adults. However, there are no reliable safety or toxicity studies during pregnancy, lactation, or childhood.

Atlantic yam, barbasco, batata silvestre, black yam, China root, colic root, devil’s bones,  Dioscorea ,  Dioscorea barbasco ,  Dioscorea hypoglauca ,  Dioscorea macrostachya ,  Dioscorea opposita ,  Dioscorea villosa , Dioscoreae (family), diosgenin, Mexican yam, natural DHEA, phytoestrogen, potassium, rheumatism root, shan yao, white yam, wild yam root, yam, yellow yam, yuma.

Note: “Yams” sold in the supermarket are members of the sweet potato family and are not true yams.

These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.

High cholesterol

Animal studies have shown that wild yam can reduce the absorption of cholesterol from the gut. Early studies in humans have shown changes in the levels of certain sub-types of cholesterol, including decreases in low-density lipoprotein (LDL, or “bad cholesterol”) and triglycerides and increases in high-density lipoprotein (HDL, or “good cholesterol”). However, no changes in the total amount of blood cholesterol have been found. More studies are needed in this area.

Menopausal symptoms

Most studies have not shown a benefit from wild yam given by mouth or used as a vaginal cream in reducing menopausal symptoms. However, replacing two thirds of staple food with yam for 30 days was shown to improve the status of sex hormones, lipids, and antioxidants in a recent study in postmenopausal women. The authors suggest that these effects might reduce the risk of breast cancer and cardiovascular diseases in postmenopausal women. Further research is needed before a recommendation can be made.        C

Hormonal properties (to mimic estrogen, progesterone, or DHEA)

Despite popular belief, no natural progestins, estrogens, or other reproductive hormones are found in wild yam. Its active ingredient, diosgenin, is not converted to hormones in the human body. Artificial progesterone has been added to some wild yam products. The belief that there are hormones in wild yam may be due to the historical fact that progesterone, androgens, and cortisone were chemically manufactured from Mexican wild yam in the 1960s.          

Antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, asthma, bile flow improvement, biliary colic, breast cancer, breast enlargement, cancer prevention, cardiovascular disease, carminative (prevents gas), childbirth, cramps, croup, decreased perspiration, diverticulitis, energy improvement, excessive perspiration, expectorant, intestinal spasm, irritable bowel syndrome, joint pain, libido, liver protection, low blood sugar, menstrual pain or irregularities, morning sickness, nerve pain, osteoporosis, pancreatic enzyme inhibitor, pelvic cramps, postmenopausal vaginal dryness, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), rash, rheumatic pain, spasms, urinary tract disorders, uterus contraction, vomiting.

The below doses are based on scientific research, publications, traditional use, or expert opinion. Many herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested, and safety and effectiveness may not be proven. Brands may be made differently, with variable ingredients, even within the same brand. The below doses may not apply to all products. You should read product labels, and discuss doses with a qualified healthcare provider before starting therapy.

Adults (18 years and older)

Allergies

Rubbing the skin with  Dioscorea batatas  (a yam species related to  Dioscorea villosa ) has been reported to cause allergic rash. Workers exposed to  Dioscorea batatas  in large amounts and for a prolonged time have developed asthma that is made worse by exposure to the yam. A person who is known to have an allergy to  Dioscorea batatas  may also be allergic to other  Dioscorea  types.

Side Effects and Warnings

Rubbing the skin with  Dioscorea batatas , a related yam species, has been reported to cause a rash at the site of contact. Wild yam cream caused no rash in 23 healthy women in one reported study. In another study, wild yam given by mouth was reported to cause stomach upset at high doses.

Wild yam was believed in the past to have properties similar to the reproductive hormone progesterone, but this has not been supported by scientific studies. It has been suggested that some wild yam creams might be tainted with artificial progesterone. Based on theoretical hormonal properties and possible progesterone contamination, people with hormone-sensitive conditions should use wild yam products with caution. This caution applies to people who have had blood clots or strokes and to women who take hormone replacement therapy or birth control pills. In addition, women with fibroids, endometriosis, or cancer of the breast, uterus, or ovary should be aware that these are hormone-sensitive conditions that may be affected by agents with hormonal properties.

 

Caution is advised in patients with diabetes or low blood sugar and in those taking drugs, herbs, or supplements that affect blood sugar. Blood sugar levels may need to be monitored by a healthcare provider and medication adjustments may be necessary.

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

Use of wild yam is not recommended during pregnancy or breastfeeding due to a lack of safety information. Wild yam is believed to cause uterine contractions and therefore use is discouraged during pregnancy. Wild yam was once thought to have effects similar to those of reproductive hormones, although this has not been proven in scientific studies. Artificial progesterone may be added to some products.

 

InteractionsReturn to top

 

Most herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested for interactions with other herbs, supplements, drugs, or foods. The interactions listed below are based on reports in scientific publications, laboratory experiments, or traditional use. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy.

Interactions with Drugs

It is not clear whether blood sugar is lowered by  Dioscorea villosa  (wild yam). Dioscoretine, a compound found in the related species  Dioscorea dumentorum  (bitter or African yam), has been shown to lower blood sugar levels, but this has not been shown for  Dioscorea villosa . Effects on blood sugar in humans have not been reported. Nonetheless, caution is advised when using medications that may also lower blood sugar. People taking diabetes drugs by mouth or insulin should be monitored closely by a qualified healthcare provider. Medication adjustments may be necessary.

Early evidence suggests that wild yam lowers blood levels of indomethacin, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, and reduces irritation of the intestine caused by indomethacin. Human studies have not been reported in this area and it is not clear if wild yam affects the blood levels of other anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen (Advil®, Motrin®).

Diosgenin, thought to be the active substance in wild yam, has been found in animals to reduce absorption of cholesterol from the intestine and to lower total cholesterol levels in the blood. Studies in humans show no change in the total amount of cholesterol in the blood, although the amounts of specific types of cholesterol in the blood may be changed; low-density lipoprotein (LDL, or “bad cholesterol”) and triglycerides may be lowered and high-density lipoprotein (HDL, or “good cholesterol”) may be increased. It is thought that wild yam may enhance the effects of other cholesterol-lowering medications, including fibric acid derivatives such as clofibrate (Questran®), gemfibrozil (Lopid®), and fenofibrate (Tricor®). In animals, wild yam has been found to improve the effect of clofibrate in lowering cholesterol levels.

Tinctures of wild yam may contain high amounts of alcohol and may lead to vomiting if taken with disulfiram (Antabuse®) or metronidazole (Flagyl®).

An early study suggests that wild yam may interfere with the body’s ability to control levels of the reproductive hormone progesterone. Progesterone is a key ingredient in some hormone replacement and birth control pills. There are reports that some wild yam products may be tainted with artificial progesterone. Women taking birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy should speak with a licensed healthcare provider before taking wild yam.

Wild yam may also interact with steroids, although human evidence is lacking.

Interactions with Herbs and Dietary Supplements

It is not clear whether  Dioscorea villosa  (wild yam) lowers blood sugar levels. Although dioscoretine, produced by the related species  Dioscorea dumentorum  (bitter or African yam), has been shown to lower blood sugar, this reaction has not been seen with  Dioscorea villosa  and has not been reported in humans. Nonetheless, caution is advised when using herbs or supplements that may also lower blood glucose. Blood glucose levels may require monitoring and doses may need adjustment.

Diosgenin, thought to be the active substance in wild yam, has been found in animals to reduce absorption of cholesterol from the intestine and to lower total cholesterol levels in the blood. Studies in humans show no change in the total amount of cholesterol in the blood, although the amounts of specific types of cholesterol in the blood may be changed; low-density lipoprotein (LDL, or “bad cholesterol”) and triglycerides may be lowered and high-density lipoprotein (HDL, or “good cholesterol”) appears to be increased.

In an early study, a wild yam preparation was reported to block the body’s natural production of progesterone. However, this finding was not supported by later research. There have been several reports that some wild yam products are tainted with synthetic progesterone. Because wild yam may contain progesterone-like chemicals, the effects of other agents believed to have hormone-like properties, in particular those with estrogen-like properties, may be altered.

Wild yam may also interact with potassium vitamin C or steroids, although human evidence is lacking.

Natural Drug to Fight Cancer and AIDS Begins Trials in Cuba

HAVANA –  The effects of anamú tablets, a drug made from the leaves of this plant, will be on trial from March in the eastern province of Santiago de Cuba.

Developed by East Pharmaceutical (LFO), the first natural Cuban stimulant is aimed at treating patients with cancer and AIDS whose immunological system is depressed as a result of the disease and aggressive treatments.

In statements published in Juventud Rebelde newspaper, Zoe Lemus, the laboratory specialist explained that they have concluded the industrial scale production of some 160 000 tablets.

These pills will be introduced in specialized consultations at the Conrado Benitez oncology hospital, and the HIV-Oriente Center, located in the Juan Bruno Zayas hospital, in Santiago de Cuba.

Anamu is an herbaceous perennial plant that grows up to 1 m in height. It is indigenous to the Amazon rainforest and tropical areas of Central and South America, the Caribbean, and Africa.

The plant has a long history in alternative medicine in all of the tropical countries where it grows. In Brazilian herbal medicine, it is considered an antispasmodic, diuretic, menstrual stimulant and sweat promoter. In other countries is used to treat edema, arthritis, malaria, rheumatism, and poor memory and as a topical analgesic and anti-inflammatory for skin diseases.

Following successful animal testing and the registration of the new drug, the immediate initiation of studies in patients can be interpreted as an achievement of science from Santiago de Cuba. This was the result of integration between specialists of the LFO, the Center for Toxicology and Biomedicine and the Regulatory Bureau for Health Protection in the said province.

Introducing – Velvet Bean: Herbal Alternative for Parkinson’s

Research shows that Velvet bean, a natural source of L-Dopa, improves the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. This herb has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries.

Mucuna pruriens, or Velvet bean, is an ancient herb that has received much attention in recent years because of its effectiveness in treating Parkinson’s disease, a debilitating neurological condition that affects millions, particularly with advancing age. Velvet bean’s active chemical ingredient is a natural form of dopamine, making it very specific for Parkinson’s disease, as well as for any disorder caused by insufficient levels of this critical neurotransmitter. Research has shown that when natural dopamine is chemically removed from the herb, Velvet bean is still effective against the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, indicating that the herb possesses multiple anti-Parkinsonian properties.

Velvet bean has been used as part of the traditional herbal treatment for Parkinson’s disease in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries. Empirical evidence gathered over this time strongly suggests that this treatment stops the progress of the disease by helping to regenerate the nervous system and arresting damage caused by free radicals. Herbal treatment has not been shown to reverse Parkinson’s disease, however.

Velvet Bean as an Herbal Alternative to L-Dopa

Due to the high concentration of naturally-occuring L-dopa in Velvet bean seeds, it has been studied intensively for its potential use in slowing the progress of Parkinson‘s, which is characterized by progressive degeneration of dopaminergic neurons in specific areas in the brain. Dopamine does not cross the blood-brain barrier and therefore cannot be used directly as a treatment. However, L-dopa does gain access to the brain-where it is converted to dopamine.

In a clinical trial, the effects of Velvet bean were compared with standard doses of L-dopa in Parkinson’s patients. For this study, eight Parkinson‘s patients were treated with a short duration L-dopa response and completed a randomized, controlled, double blind crossover trial. Compared with standard treatment, the velvet bean preparation proved to have a significantly faster effect. The average onset was approximately 22% faster with a dose of 30 g of Velvet bean extract than that of the standard drug treatment.

Further Research on Velvet Bean and Parkinson’s Disease Symptoms

In a second clinical study, the efficacy of a traditional Ayurvedic treatment including Velvet bean was studied in 18 clinically diagnosed Parkinson’s disease patients. Patients whose herbal therapy was accompanied by traditional Ayurvedic cleansing experienced significant improvements in their Parkinson’s disease symptoms, particularly in motor activities. These patients showed reductions in tremors, radykinesia, stiffness and cramps as compared to patients receiving herbal therapy alone.

This research indicates that the naturally-occurring L-dopa contained in Velvet bean may offer advantages over conventional L-dopa preparations in the long-term management of Parkinson’s disease. The necessity of combining such treatment with whole-body cleansing, such as that traditionally administered in Ayurveda, significantly enhances the effectiveness of the herbal treatment.

Holistic Hospitals Appear in Maine

Classical music, aromatherapy, massage tables…these are things you’d expect to find at a day spa.  But these mind-relaxing modes are now being used for a different purpose…medicine.

It used to be that hospitals kept to traditional, or what’s known as western medicine.

But more medical facilities in Maine are realizing that treating the problem isn’t enough, you have to mend the person as well.

“In the last decade or so, the word integrative medicine has been used more and more.”

Dr. john Woytowicz should know. He’s the Director of Integrative Medicine at Maine Dartmouth Family Medicine Residency in Augusta. The physician started studying herbs at the request of his patients.

“Over time, I’ve incorporated botanical medicine into my practice,” says Dr. Woytowicz.

At one time, holistic healing was considered alternative medicine. But now, Dr. Woytowicz and other physicians around Maine are offering it to their patients as an enhancement option for more traditional treatments.

“I try to use it as another service to provide to them, another set of skills that might help them,” the herbalist says.

Dr. Woytowicz says many common health problems can be treated with botanical medicines.

“Things like headaches, arthritis, digestive problems is a very, very common area where herbal medicines can be very, very useful. Herbs are different from pharmaceuticals in many ways. I mean, they have active ingredients, but there’s many active ingredients in a plant. And they’re balanced in some ways.”

Sherrie Woodward is the Senior Vice President for Patient Services at Maine General Medical Center.

“I think we’re coming out of a generation that looked for a pill to be the answer for everything.”

Maine General has incorporated integrative medicine into many of its patient services. Things like art and music therapy, reiki, accupuncture, and massage.

“We try to look at the patient as an individual and as a whole. And what works for you may not work for me,” says Woodward.

Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor also uses integrative medicine, particularly in its rehab and cancer centers.

Reiki, a type of touch therapy, is provided to patients as well as family members.

“Patients have had very positive responses,” says Martha Wildman, director of volunteer services at EMMC. “We’re tracking our sessions, Reiki sessions, and the patients have overwhelmingly had very positive responses. They don’t all necessarily know exactly what’s happened but they are very comfortable with it and feel very comforted and much less pain in a lot of situations.”

“I think as we’re learning, that often times healing comes from within and that there are many different modalities of what we need to do,” says Woodward.

A call to hospitals around the area revealed that integrative medicine is still a new idea.

Mayo Regional Hospital in Dover Foxcroft does offer accupucture at one of its family practices.

St. Joseph Hospital in Bangor offers an art therapy program for folks with diabetes.

Waldo County General Hospital in Belfast did offer reiki and massage therapy, but was forced to stop because of budget cuts.

Young Patients With Chronic Illnesses Find Relief In Acupuncture

CHICAGO – Doctors at Rush University Medical Center are offering pediatric patients diagnosed with chronic illnesses acupuncture therapy to help ease the pain and negative side effects like nausea, fatigue, and vomiting caused by chronic health conditions and intensive treatments. The confluence of Chinese and Western medicine at Rush Children’s Hospital is part of a study to analyze and document how acupuncture might help in reducing pain in children and increase quality of life.

“Treating children with acupuncture is a new frontier,” said Dr. Paul Kent, pediatric hematology and oncology expert, Rush Children’s Hospital. “We are looking to see if there is an effective pain management therapy we can offer that does not have the serious side effects that can be caused by narcotics and other serious pain medications.”

The lack of options for pain management in children has been reported as one of the most difficult aspects of providing care to pediatric patients. Research indicates that up to 70 percent of pediatric patients experience pain and those with chronic illnesses often do not have adequate relief or prevention of pain.

“Acupuncture could be a potential solution to this dilemma of controlling pain in pediatric patients,” said Angela Johnson, Chinese medicine practitioner at Rush.

Acupuncture is the use of tiny, hair-thin needles which are gently inserted along various parts of the body. The therapy is based on the premise that patterns of energy flowing through the body are essential for health. This energy, called Qi, flows along certain pathways. It is believed that placing the tiny needles at points along the pathways reduce pain and improve the healing process.

The National Institute of Health (NIH) has published a statement concluding that acupuncture is effective for treating adults for nausea following chemotherapy and for pain after dental surgery. The agency also said that the therapy might be useful in treating other health issues such as addiction, migraines, headaches, menstrual cramps, abdominal pain, tennis elbow, fibromyalgia, arthritis, low-back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome and asthma. In some pediatric studies, both patients and parents have stated that acupuncture treatments were both helpful and relaxing.

Rush will be offering acupuncture therapy to pediatric patients between the ages of 5-20 years of age, who are experiencing pain. A practitioner who is licensed in acupuncture by the State of Illinois and certified by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine will be giving the treatments. Study participants will receive eight acupuncture treatments at no charge.

“Many children with chronic or acute health issues turn to complementary or integrative approaches after all other conventional treatment options are exhausted,” said Johnson. “Parents should be aware that integrative therapies like acupuncture can be helpful from the onset of disease and can have a tremendously positive influence on a child’s quality of life.”