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Archive for the ‘Hormone Physician’ Category

If you need to fidget whereas working, this harmful illness can occur – OBN

If you need to fidget whereas working, this can be a harmful illness .. In such an individual, contemplating it as weak spot of the physique, ignores it. Many instances it occurs that whereas performing some work, abruptly the individual's hand begins to tremble or typically whereas holding one thing mild, the individual's arms begin trembling. In such a scenario, the individual considers it a weak spot of the physique and ignores it. If your arms additionally tremble like this whereas working or whereas holding one thing, dont make the error of ignoring it even after forgetting it. That is as a result of it isnt due to weak spot in your physique however it may be one thing else.

For your data, inform me that the rationale for trembling arms and ft cant be the one weak spot.

->So today we are going to let you know about some such particular causes for trembling arms and ft, realizing about which youll be shocked. So, allow us to now clarify these causes intimately.

1. Significantly, trembling of arms could be a symptom of diabetes. For your data, inform me that when the quantity of sugar within the physique begins lowering, then the stress of the human physique will increase. Due to which the individual's arms tremble. So if potential, hold management of your sugar.

2. Apart from this, many instances an individual doesnt eat nutritious meals in his life. Yes, an individual doesnt eat such meals in his life, in order that the dearth of blood in his physique will be fulfilled. Due to which theres a scarcity of blood within the individual's physique. Significantly, as a consequence of anemia on this scenario, arms begin trembling.

3. Significantly, one of many predominant causes for shaking arms will be that your blood stress is just not regular. Yes, to your data, inform me that when BP abruptly will increase or decreases, even in such a scenario the arms of an individual begin trembling. Now its apparent that when your blood stress is just not underneath management, then trembling arms is certain to occur.

4. It is vital to notice that because of the improve of the hormone cartisol current within the physique, the stress of an individual will increase considerably. Now its apparent that when an individual is underneath stress in thoughts and physique, then its essential to have vibrations in his arms and legs. Please inform that as a consequence of this, the individual's arms begin to tremble.

However, in case your arms begin to tremble on a regular basis as an alternative of trembling, then you must instantly go to the physician, as a result of to disregard such a scenario means to play with your personal physique. That is why we are going to say that in case you ever see such a symptom in your self, then dont delay in going to the physician in any respect, as a result of later you might have to bear the implications.

Born to a PIO businessman, Parmesh loves travelling and writing about everything related to technology, entertainment, sports and business. He is from Istanbul and loves his Falafels and Hummus. Parmesh also has an expensive taste in wine and writes for various food magazines in Europe.

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If you need to fidget whereas working, this harmful illness can occur - OBN

Looking ahead: Hormone-altering chemicals threaten our health, finances and future – Environmental Health News

I'm the founder and chief scientist of Environmental Health Sciences, a nonprofit launched in Charlottesville, Virginia, that publishes Environmental Health News and engages in scientific research and outreach to help the public and policy makers understand that we have many opportunities to prevent diseases and disabilities that are afflicting our families, friends and neighbors today.

We can accomplish this by acting upon today's scientific understanding that chemical exposures are contributing to those problems.

I'm going to let you in on a scientific reality that is going to transform the chemical enterprise and upend today's unscientific approach to figuring out what's safe and what is not. The safe dose of one of the biggest volume chemicals in the world bisphenol A (BPA)will have to be reduced by at least 20,000-fold.

This calculation is based upon data the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) obtained in an ambitious, roughly $30 million collaborative program called CLARITY-BPA. CLARITY was designed to reconcile differences between traditional regulatory science as practiced by the FDA and results obtained by independent academic scientists funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS). Many significant effects were observed at the lowest dose tested, including data obtained by the FDA.

That means: Take today's FDA reference dose and divide by at least 20,000.

That's the highest exposure that would be considered safe if regulated according to existing scientific understanding. The chemical would disappear from any uses that bring it into contact with food or drinking water, human skin, or result in it evaporating into the air or melting into water.

And the same would hold for many other chemicals that disrupt hormone signaling, that is, endocrine disrupting chemicals, which have been linked to multiple health impacts including prostate cancer, breast cancer, infertility, diabetes, ADHD and autism.

Maybe not all EDCs would require a 20,000-fold reduction. Perhaps only a 1000-fold. But there are at least several hundred endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) in use today that could follow this pattern. All would see greatly heightened restrictions on their uses.

And that represents an existential threat to the chemical industry.

3M made headlines this year for their manufacture and use of PFAS chemicals, which are contaminating water supplies across the U.S. (Credit: Holger.Ellgaard/Wikimedia Commons)

I am not anti-chemical, nor anti-chemist. We need chemicals, including plastics, to make modern civilization work. What we need, however, is to do a much better job at designing the next generation of inherently safer materials, safer than the mix we have today, which has been deployed with far too little attention to its inherent toxicity.

I've spent a significant part of my work over the last decade helping chemists design safer chemicals. I want to help them grab market share in the booming demand for safer materials. I want to help them make money.

Some people claim that chemical regulations stifle innovation. Just the opposite is true. It will require tremendous innovation to move away from hazardous chemicals and toward materials that are safer. It can be done. The scientific knowledge we possess today about what causes chemical harm is deep and wide, so much better than what we knew when hazardous materials in widespread use today were designed. Let's use that knowledge to innovate.

What's the long-term landscape? A series of events and scientific discoveries over the last two decades are revealing that not only have long-standing chemical industry practices harmed people's health, investors taking positions in chemical companies may be exposing their wealth to unexpected and large financial risks.

These risks arise from a core reality of the business of establishing what is safe and what is not: Chemicals are not thoroughly testedif at allfor safety before being released into the market, resulting in widespread if not universal exposure, including to highly vulnerable populations like babies still in the womb. Serious harmful effects often are not detected until decades later.

All too often, as effects are discovered the responsible partywhich made the initial mistake to incorporate a poorly understood chemical in products and take them to global scaledoubles down in efforts to hide or dismiss concerns about safety, using toolkits to manufacture doubt developed by the tobacco and lead industries.

Internal memos obtained through legal discovery reveal that the companies, sometimes decades earlier, had ignored or hidden scientific evidence that raised safety concerns. Three prominent examples emerged in in the past few years alone: Monsanto/Bayer with the Roundup herbicide, Johnson & Johnson with asbestos in its talc baby powder, and 3M and DuPont with their manufacture and use of perfluorinated Teflon-related "forever" chemicals, PFAS.

Thousands of lawsuits are being heard against those companies now. Shareholder values plummet as juries reach decisions. Billions of dollars are at stake. And there will be more.

Monsanto had earned a bad rap for misbehavior with its chemicals for decades. But Johnson and Johnson, 3M and DuPont didn't. They had been widely regarded as good corporate citizens. If even they have laundry this dirty in their past, how many other companies have pursued similar practices? Unquestionably many.

But with the practices so widespread, perhaps the pertinent question is, can any company within this sector be presumed innocent? It's just too common a business practice. It's standard operating procedure.

Another example: Bill Moyers' 2001 documentary Trade Secrets unveiled an early 1970s conspiracy by several seemingly respected chemical companies to hide devastating scientific discoveries about the health risks of vinyl chloride, one of the most important chemicals for the plastics industry. The conspiracy involved Conoco, BF Goodrich, Dow, Shell, Ethyl and Union Carbide, some of the founding fathers of the chemical revolution.

A new weapon against these bad practices has emerged and matured since the tobacco settlements of the late 1980s: the creation of large, searchable databases of internal documents obtained through legal discovery in lawsuits, showing what the companies knew and when they knew it, and also how they conspired with federal agencies to derail needed safety regulations.

The two biggest databases are the Chemical Industry Documents Library at the University of California San Francisco, and ToxicDocs, a similar database of 20 million internal documents dating back as far as 1920, hosted by Columbia University and City University of New York. The UCSF library now includes a large set of documents released by the Attorney General of Minnesota upon settlement of an $850 million suit against 3M last February.

The lawsuits currently underway against Monsanto/Bayer, 3M and Johnson & Johnson will undoubtedly add additional documents that provide yet more evidence of cover-ups that commenced long ago. It already is a positive feedback loop, as new documents add to the body of evidence, which then stimulate more lawsuits.

Financial risks arise for chemical industry investments from a different direction as well: the advance of science demonstrating harm, and the evolution of science to determine what is safe.

The discovery of harm can be slow arrivingsometimes decades after a chemical is first put on the marketbut impacts of harm can nonetheless be devastating.

For example, 3M's and DuPont's forever chemicals (perfluorinated compounds, or PFAS, which degrade very slowly in the environment, if at all) were first used in products in the 1940s. Scientific concerns about them started to appear in the 1990s, although internal documents indicate the companies had known decades earlier. Most of the concerns have been about cancer, low birth weights, immune system function and birth defects.

Last year, a science team in Italy unveiled results revealing a new, different set of adverse impacts, this time on male reproduction. They include decreased penis size, reduced sperm count and structural changes in the reproductive tract, classic signs of endocrine disruption. And the team's research confirmed that the contaminants interfere with testosterone action.

Even without the penis effect, 3M settled that $850M suit with the State of Minnesota. DuPont settled a case in West Virginia for $671 million in 2017 and this month the film Dark Waters starring Mark Ruffalo tells the story of the company's decades-long treachery. New Hampshire, New Jersey and New York have ongoing lawsuits.

As of the end of 2019, research by the U.S. military, the Environmental Working Group and others have documented PFAS contamination in more than 400 sites around the U.S. According to one analysis, 110 million Americans have drinking water contaminated by unsafe levels of these chemicals. This estimate is likely to grow substantially with the discovery of PFAS in artificial turf and leaching therefrom into surface water, and the haphazard disposal of untold tons of artificial turf once it wears out and must be replaced.

Many other suits will unquestionably be filed. And that's just in the U.S. These chemicals have already created furors about public health in Australia and Canada.

Lab materials from the lab of Cheryl Rosenfeld, a University of Missouri professor and researcher who studies BPA. (Credit: Cheryl Rosenfeld)

But if there is an existential threat on the horizon for the chemical enterprise, it's the compelling evidence that two of the most basic assumptions used by regulatory agencies to determine what is safe and what is not are flat out wrong. One assumption is that it's sufficient to examine chemicals one at a time. The second bedrock assumption is that high dose testing can be used to detect low dose effects. These assumptions have underpinned literally every single risk assessment (what's safe and what's not) of a chemical that has ever been done anywhere in the world.

"One at a time" fails because it doesn't acknowledge that no one is ever exposed to just one chemical at a time. We are exposed to hundreds if not thousands.

What does every physician ask a patient for whom the doc is about to prescribe a drug? What medicines are you already taking? That's because chemicals interact. One of the most ridiculous uses of this assumption is perhaps in testing pesticides. The EPA tests the "active" ingredient of a pesticide. Yet the pesticide that is available for purchase is a mixture of dozens of chemicals, many of which are added to the product sold explicitly to ENHANCE THE IMPACT OF THE ACTIVE INGREDIENT.

How can you assess pesticide safety without considering the whole product, not just the active ingredient? You can't.

"High dose testing" falls on the sword of what endocrinologists call "non-monotonicity." Many syllables, but a simple concept: Hormones, and chemicals that behave like or interfere with hormones, do different things at different doses. There are many examples of this in the scientific literature of endocrinology, the study of hormones. This is an anathema to traditional and regulatory toxicology, because that "science" maintains that "the dose makes the poison," which the regulatory agencies interpret to mean "higher doses have bigger effects."

EHN recruited a reporter, Lynne Peeples, to investigate the FDA's execution of the roughly $30 million project to reconcile their conclusions with the work of 14 independent academic labs showing harm at low levels for over a year. The investigation found that the FDA worked to ignore or discredit independent evidence of harm while favoring pro-industry science despite significant shortcomings. Key to their conclusions was rejecting statistically significant non-monotonic patterns in their own data, because, they asserted, the non-monotonic findings were not biologically meaningful. In other words, non-monotonic patterns aren't real.

"The dose makes the poison" seems like common sense, but common sense has failed us many times in the past. Think about quantum physics or plate tectonics. Our understanding of the modern world depends upon the practical implications of those discoveries. Non-monotonicity isn't nearly as revolutionary as those scientific fields, but it is profoundly important for human health. And it is a standard, widely accepted concept in endocrinology and pharmacology. In 2012, the then-Director of NIEHS, Linda Birnbaum, editorialized that non-monotonicity should be the default assumption in the study of EDCs.

While there are multiple molecular mechanisms leading to non-monotonicity, the easiest (but incomplete) way to think about it is this: Hormones and endocrine disrupting compounds turn on one set of genes at one dose, and another at higher. Sometimes the higher dose turns on genes that shut down the genes that were stimulated by the low dose. In this case, the effect of the low dose is not visible when using high doses. It's analogous to the way a thermostat works. If the room is cold, the furnace is on. But when the temperature hits the desired temperature, the thermostat turns the furnace off.

Sometimes the high dose is so high that instead of turning on genes it becomes overtly toxic. Here's an example: doses of one part per billion of a specific endocrine disrupting chemical delivered to an infant rat causes morbid obesity as the animal matures. This is research by the U.S. National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. In contrast, a dose of the same compound 1,000 times higher causes weight loss.

The vital piece of information needed to understand why this invalidates today's chemical safety testing requires understanding how the regulatory tests are performed. The lab doing the safety testing starts at high doses and then delivers lower and lower doses to different test groups. Once they find a dose that no longer causes a difference between the exposed and the control animals, testing stops. They use a series of safety factors, usually dividing that no effect dose by 1,000, to estimate the safe dose.

Seems logical. Seems common sense. If dose X doesn't cause an effect, dose X divided by 1,000 is surely safe. But endocrinology doesn't work that way. That might defy common sense, but it is scientific reality.

And unfortunately, because it seems so logical, the regulatory agencies in standard mode NEVER test at the estimated safe dose. 1,000-fold below? Why bother.

To save money and time, they assume that the dose 1,000-fold lower is safe.

Unfortunately, many published scientific papers now show that doses way below the "no effect" dose can cause serious adverse effects. It isn't that the high doses are safer. They, too, cause problems. It's that the effects are different. The low dose effects are serious toolike morbid obesity and reduced fertility.

Here's the one very practical implication I mentioned at the beginning: If the FDA were to acknowledge statistically significant non-monotonicity in their test of BPAwhich analysis by independent scientists has confirmedthe safe dose of would be reduced by a factor of more than 20,000-fold. BPA would become virtually unusable.

For a webinar from Carnegie Mellon University featuring four of the world's leading experts on BPA explaining this calculation, go here. This webinar contains four presentations all focused on the FDA-NIEHS collaboration called CLARITY-BPA. The presentations work through why CLARITY was launched, what was found by the FDA 'guideline' study (conducted like a standard regulatory test but including low doses), what was found by 14 independent academic laboratories who also were part of CLARITY, and analysis of what it means.

Bisphenol A is one of the plastics industry's most important molecules. Incredibly cheap to make, incredibly abundant in production, incredibly important to the bottom line. Alsoincredibly dangerous to human health.

Removing that one molecule alone would send tectonic signals throughout the chemical enterprise. And yet BPA is but one of at least a hundred or more molecules that have non-monotonic patterns. The replacement chemicals for BPA currently touted as 'BPA-free' are likely to be among them, although many have not been tested. 'BPA-free' does not mean 'safe.'

Non-monotonicity is truly an existential threat to today's chemical enterprise. If that enterprise is to become sustainable, it must embrace this basic endocrinological reality.

Embracing it is a path to reversing today's epidemics of chronic diseases that are driven, at least in part, by chemical hacking of the hormone messaging system by endocrine disrupting compounds.

Pete Myers, is board chair and chief scientist of Environmental Health Sciences. He is also the founder of EHN, though the publication is editorially independent.

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Looking ahead: Hormone-altering chemicals threaten our health, finances and future - Environmental Health News

Benefits of Meditation100 Ways Meditation is Good for Your Health – Parade

As we race from task to task and juggle lifes responsibilities, many of us strive to calm our minds and feel centered. Practicing meditation and mindfulness can help get us therein fact, the benefits of meditation are plentiful.

Meditation helps people hit the pause button, helping them become more present in a given moment, says Spring Washam, meditation educator and author of A Fierce Heart.

Its like the TV is blaring, and then we turn it off for a moment, and we just take a breath, she says. Meditation is a way that we gain that a sort of calmness and a centeredness and we connect with ourselves in that moment.

Whether its five minutes or 20 minutes, finding time to meditate throughout the day can help you feel happier and more at peace. And, your mind and body will thank you. Meditation offers a wealth of benefits to improve your physical health and well being.

Related: 10 Ways Meditation Can Fix Your Life

1. It lowers cortisol levels. Research shows that mindfulness meditation lowers levels of cortisol, the hormone that causes stress. Reducing cortisol can decrease general stress, anxiety and depression.

2. You can better deal with stress. Meditation brings a sense of calm to the mind and body that can reduce stress, Washam says.

When the mind relaxes and lets go, the body follows, she says. We want our adrenaline and our nervous system to take a break at times, to unplug, to recycle, to rejuvenate.

3. It eases anxiety. Meditation is literally the perfect, portable anti-anxiety treatment, says health coach Traci Shoblom. Taking just a few minutes to close your eyes and do breathing exercises can turn off the mechanisms in your brain that cause anxiety.

4. It reduces depression symptoms. Depression is a series mental health condition often triggered by stress and anxiety. Research suggests meditation can change areas of the brain, including the me center and fear center, that are linked to depression. People who meditate also show increased gray matter in the brains hippocampus, responsible for memory.

5. Youll get a mood boost. Meditation helps you deal with stress, anxiety and difficult situations, which makes you happier and feel better. Were just able to deal with difficult things without letting it affect your mood, Washam says.

6. You can retrain your brain. The brain tends to develop as its used. Meditation may retrain the brain to use the prefrontal cortex, known as the me center, to regulate the amygdala, or fear center, says researcher and author Bracha Goetz.

This means that when faced with a stressor, when we are not meditating, we will have gotten in the habit of using our prefrontal cortex to direct our minds back to think more calmly and clearly focus, rather than letting our impulsive reactions direct us, Goetz says.

7. Its good for your heart. Research shows meditation can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, says Chirag Shah, physician and founder of online healthcare platform Push Health. Meditation positively impacts blood pressure, heart muscle effectiveness and general cardiovascular mortality.

8. It lowers blood pressure. High blood pressure affects about 30% of U.S. adults and is considered a worldwide epidemic that heightens the risk of stroke and heart attack. Meditation may improve blood pressure naturally, without medication, research shows.

9. It enhances serotonin levels. Serotonin is a chemical produced in nerve cells that works as a natural mood stabilizer. When you meditate, youll increase serotonin levels, which Washam says acts like a natural anti-depressant.

10. Youll break bad habits. Whether its smoking or shopping too much, meditation brings awareness to your actions in that moment and help you break the cycle of a bad habit, Washam says.

Most habits form unconsciously, she says, and, Over time, (meditation) brings awareness to what were doing, so were not acting out unconsciously. Mindfulness interrupts the habit.

11. Youll strengthen relationships. Good communication, empathy and respect are the hallmarks of a strong relationship, and meditation helps improve all of those qualities. Creating a deeper connection with yourself makes relationships easier and more fulfilling, Washam says.

The moment I become present, Im available to my partner, to my friends, to myself, she says.

12. It boosts concentration. When so many things are racing through our minds at any given time, it can be tough to concentrate on tasks at work or even hobbies like reading a book. Meditation centers your mind so you can focus on what you need to get done.

13. It helps build inner strength. Weve all been stuck in traffic or in a long, boring meeting and couldnt wait to escape. Practicing meditation and mindfulness helps build inner strength and endurance to calmly get through these situations, Washam says.

It creates an ability to be in the moment no matter how it is, she says. Were just able to be with difficult things without unraveling or letting it affect you.

14. Youll learn to be present. Research shows meditation can decrease brain activity in the default mode network (DMN), the part of the brain that wonders, worries and overthinks, helping us stay in the present, says Adina Mahalli, relationship expert and mental health professional at Maple Holistics.

Meditation promotes being in the present moment and focusing our thoughts, Mahalli says, explaining that meditation works the brain like a muscle. The more you meditate the more easily youre able to snap out of DMN mode and into the present.

15. Youll become comfortable in stillness. These days, most of us are always on the go and rarely take the time to calm down. Meditation can make you feel comfortable with stillness, says Josee Perron, life coach and yoga and meditation teacher.

Weve become accustomed to needing to be on the go all the time, Perron says. But, so much running around doesnt leave any time for stillness, which is the gateway to connecting with your deeper inner self.

16. It helps with brain fog. If you struggle with concentration, forget things easily and have a hard time focusing, you might have brain fog. Its often caused by stress, and a meditation practice can calm your mind and let you focus on your breath so you feel more present.

Meditation cuts through the fog because were waking up in that moment in a way, literally, Washam says. Were stopping the habitual distraction, which has effects in the brain long term.

17. Youll better handle anger. Getting angry is a natural feeling when dealing with difficult people or situations. If you act impulsively, you could make things worse, however. When you meditate, you train your brain to focus on the present, and this can help you learn to control and process your emotions in the moment.

Maybe youre upset, but you slow down and just feel your emotions, Washam says. Just that simple act of turning toward your breath creates a kind of relief in the mind.

18. You can work through grudges. Holding onto anger and reliving past wrongs in your mind takes a toll on the mind and body. To calm these feelings, Washam suggests using STOP, a mindfulnessbased meditation technique, which stands for stopping in the moment, taking a breath, observing your internal feelings and proceeding with your day.

19. Youll live in the moment. Learning to focus and live in the moment is important benefit of meditation, but its easier said than done. Often, our thoughts turn to past events or things we need or want to do in the future, and we seem to forget about the here and now.

20. It helps you cope with pain. Meditation activates areas of the brain that are associated with processing pain, so mindful breathing can help people manage chronic pain, says Megan Junchaya, health coach and founder of Vibe N Thrive. Research shows that even a short amount of meditation can boost pain tolerance and reduce pain-related anxietyand, it could possibly alleviate the need for opioid pain medication.

21. Meditation helps you relax. Learning to simply relax and keep calm under pressure are huge mental and physical health benefits of meditation. Practicing mindfulness can reduce stress and lower blood pressure so youll feel more relaxed.

22. Youll sleep better. Most Americans dont get enough sleep, and its tough to get through the day when youre exhausted. Its also bad for your health. When you meditate, you may find yourself drifting off to sleep more easily and getting better quality sleep, according to the National Sleep Foundation.

Related: 5 Mental Health Influencers Explain Why Meditation for Sleep Really Works

23. It helps with insomnia. If you have a sleep disorder, like insomnia, meditation can be especially helpful. It reduces anxiety and retrains the brain to slow down and respond differently to stressors.

24. But, you may not need as much sleep. Meditation is not a sleep replacement, and we all need our eight hours. But, when long-term meditation practitioners spent several hours meditating, they experienced a significant drop in sleep time compared to those who dont meditate, according to a 2010 study published in Behavioral and Brain Functions.

25. Meditation teaches you to self-soothe. You will learn to work through anxiety, anger and other problems so that you dont turn to unhealthy behaviors, like drugs or alcohol, to self-soothe.

26. Youll become your own cheerleader. Meditation acts as a support system to help you through a rough time. Youll realize the value of celebrating your strengths and successes and not worrying so much about any faults or mistakes.

27. It reduces inflammation. Meditations ability to help reduce stress is well known. But, chronic stress creates inflammation in the body, which is linked with heart disease, stroke, diabetes and obesity, says Paul Claybrook, a certified nutritionist.

28. It adds balance to your life. Finding balancewhether its juggling work and home life, dealing with stress and taking some down timeis vital for our mental health and well-being. Practicing mindfulness and learning to center your thoughts will get you there.

29. Youll be more productive. Bringing more awareness to your day-to-day focuses you on the task at hand, rather than jumping around from one project to anotherand, this increases productivity, says Cory Muscara, founder of Long Island Mindfulness Center.

When were going through our day on autopilot, we miss those quick transition moments from working on a project to scrolling through our friends cat pictures on Facebook, he says. The quicker we catch these transitions, the quicker we can come back to the task at hand, and the more we can get done.

30. It boosts the immune system. Among the many health benefits of meditation is an immune system boost, says Mick Cassell, clinical hypnotherapist and founder of wellness app ThinkWell-LiveWell. Research shows that mindfulness lowers blood pressure and enhances the immune system, making you feel better and maybe even live longer.

31. It improves mental functioning. Practice meditation regularly and youll see a chain reaction that leads to better mental functioning, Cassell says. That can include becoming more relaxed, sleeping better and improving concentration, reasoning, performance and productivity.

32. Youll feel more creative. Meditation helps you dial up your creativity, which you can extend to your daily life, Cassell says. Creativity offers benefits like problem-solving, adaptability and self-confidence.

33. It makes you kind. We all need a little more kindness in our lives, and meditation can do the trick. A type of meditation, called Metta, focuses on a feelings-related practice that promotes kindness, says Stella Samuel, wellness coach at

34. It improves memory. Meditation enhances cognitive function, which can be a mood-booster and help prevent memory loss, says Brittany Ferri, occupational therapist and founder of Simplicity of Health.

35. Meditation prevents burnout. As we work longer hours and continue to add to our load of responsibilities, its easy to burn out. Practicing mindfulness-based stress reduction could actually shrink the part of the brain that causes worry and fear, and strengthens the prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for personality development, research suggests.

36. Youll have a spiritual awakening. Meditation takes us to a place deep inside ourselves, which can bring feelings of love and peace. For some, that could lead to a spiritual awakening.

37. Meditation builds resilience. Focusing on all emotionshappiness, failure and regretlets you observe these feelings and experience a seat of awareness, says Sherrell Moore-Tucker, author and wellness educator.

While sitting with those feelings and experiences, inner strength is cultivated and resilience emerges, she says.

38. Your sex life will heat up. Mindfulness lets you tap into a more authentic, compassionate and honest relationship to sex, says Shauna Shapiro, clinical psychologist and author of Good Morning, I Love You. Studies show practicing mindfulness increases sexual arousal and overall sexual satisfaction, because it enhances your connection with your body.

39. It promotes mindful eating. Our relationship with food can be a complex one, and dieting or overeating can be harmful to our physical and mental health. Mindfulness helps counter your consciousness and reactivity around food, adding to the enjoyment of eating while recognizing hunger cues, Shapiro says.

As we eat mindfully, we are able to listen to the messages of our body, recognizing what foods our body wants, as well as appreciating when we feel hungry and when we become full, she says.

40. Youll become more in tune with your body. Many of us go through the day with a constant dialogue running through our minds. Meditation facilitates a direct experience, or wordless experience of pure sensation, says Brooke Nicole Smith, mindful eating expert and integrative wellness and life coach. This lets you learn to check in with the body.

41. It helps you deal with uncomfortable situations. Getting out of your comfort zone builds strength and leads to personal growth. Meditation teaches you to experience discomfort without freaking out about it, opening the door to new possibilities, where youll feel more comfortable asking for a raise, having a tough conversation or tackling anything else youve been avoiding, Smith says.

42. It could alter gene expression. Research shows that mindfulness-based meditation can lead to molecular changes in the body, which may reduce levels of pro-inflammatory genes. That means you could recover more quickly from stressful situations.

43. Meditation could help fight addiction. Practicing mindfulness lets you better control emotions, thoughts and behaviors, giving you greater control over subconscious habits and addictions, Junchaya says. Research suggests mindfulness-based interventions could treat addictions, including alcohol, smoking, opioids and other drugs.

44. Meditation fosters accountability. Self-exploration leads to self-awareness. Meditation teaches you to own up to actions and behaviors, and stop living in denial or lying to yourself about issues in your life, says Fran Walfish, family and relationship psychotherapist and author of The Self-Aware Parent.

45. Youll make better decisions. Being constantly on the go means we often make impulsive decisions. Since meditation helps you slow down, you can make better decisions and fewer mistakes in your home and work life, says Sadi Khan, fitness research analyst at RunRepeat.

46. It boosts self-esteem. Meditation helps quell negative thoughts, calms the mind and reduces anxiety, helping you feel good about yourself and the decisions you make.

47. Meditation eases loneliness. A study published in the journal Brain, Behavior, and Immunity showed older adults, who took part in an eight-week mindfulness-based stress reduction program, saw a decrease in pro-inflammatory gene expressionand, this reduced feelings of loneliness.

48. It improves memory. Brief meditation training has been shown to improve visuo-spatial processing, working memory and executive functioning, according to a study published in Consciousness and Cognition. After just four days of meditation training, people showed a stronger ability to pay attention longer.

49. It can alleviate PMS. Headaches, cramps, hot flashes and water retentionmeditation has been shown to relieve symptoms of premenstrual syndrome and change how you perceive period pain, according to a study published in Mindfulness.

50. Meditation may improve arthritis symptoms. Several studies have shown that meditation and mindfulness-based stress reduction can help manage chronic pain, which is welcome news for people living with arthritis. Embracing meditation can help lessen the intensity of pain, enhance functionality and improve mood and quality of life.

51. It changes how the body responds to stress. Stressful situations happen, but meditation helps you manage your reactions to stress. Not only is this good for your health, it can also diffuses stressful moments so they dont escalate.

52. Meditation encourages movement. Meditation fosters a mind-body connection that will encourage you to get up and move. Combined with yoga, tai chi or a casual walk, meditation focuses on being present in your own body and expanding awareness during physical activity, says Lisa Ballehr, an osteopathic physician.

53. It helps you focus. Having trouble focusing on a specific task? Meditation can change that. It could be the simple act of sitting down to a good meal or pushing through a workout session, but the intent is to focus on simply that task at hand and not letting the mind wander, Ballehr says.

54. Youll become more self-confident. Once you learn that you are not your thoughts, you can finally let go of your fears, says Lucile Hernandez Rodriguez, a yoga teacher and holistic health coach. Focusing on your meditation practice helps you find stability, peace of mind and self-acceptance.

55. It promotes emotional stability. Meditation lets you focus on your mind and identify thought patterns, so that you can address them, Rodriguez says. Youll discover healthy ways to deal with your emotions and repressed feelings.

56. Youll perform better. So much focus is on productivity and getting as much done as you can in a day. Meditation can improve performance in all areas of your life. Meditation is commonly used by high-performers in every discipline, as it helps you find your state of flow and truly excel in a task, Rodriguez says.

57. Youll get in touch with your inner voice. When we calm the overactive mind through meditation, we open ourselves up to new feelings and experiences. We are able to tune into and listen to that voice within, our intuition, versus the confusing chitter chatter of our minds stories, says Tara Skubella, an earthing and meditation expert and founder of Earth Tantra.

58. Youll learn to focus your breathing. Breathing is a natural function of the body, of course, but how often do you truly focus on each breath? Meditation provides a space for us to slow and deepen our breath for more oxygen and carbon dioxide exchange, Skubella says.

59. Youll make a mind-body connection. How often do we actually give ourselves permission to feel even the most subtle sensations within the body? Skubella asks. If we listen, our body will let us know what needs to be healed.

Practicing meditation provides a chance to stop and build a relationship with the body.

60. Meditation keeps your brain younger. When you focus on your breath during meditation, youre also giving the brain a boost, says Tara Huber of Take Five Meditation. Research published in the Journal of Cognitive Enhancement shows that regular mindfulness meditation can even slow the aging process and reverse brain aging.

61. It helps you cope with trauma. The death of a loved one or recovering from past abuse can mean dealing with trauma and grief on a daily basis. Meditation can provide emotional safety and focus, so that you can process these feelings, says meditation teacher Colette Coleman.

62. It keeps distractions away. The need for constant multitasking can have our minds scattered. A mindfulness practice pushes away distractions so that you can tackle your to-do list in a calculated way.

63. Youll simplify your life. Living peacefully in the moment not only helps you feel more present, but it relieves the pressure of having to do so much. After we adjust to the challenges of quieting ourselves and letting go of restlessness, we can feel the relief of not having to constantly do, says Connie Habash, psychotherapist, yoga and meditation teacher, and author of Awakening from Anxiety. This realization lets you simplify your life and find joy.

64. Youll feel more alert. Fighting drowsiness and brain fog may be a daily occurrence. Mindfulness training can improve your ability to stay continually alert over a longer period of time, says Keiland Cooper, neuroscientist at the University of California. Research shows that meditation increases activation of the prefrontal cortex, which regulates emotion and attention, and decreases activity in the amygdala, which controls fear.

65. Youll become more patient. Patience is truly a virtue, especially dealing with difficult people. Meditation allows you to become more adept at dealing with mental distractions, maintaining calm in moments of chaos, improving patience levels, increasing your tolerance of others (and yourself), and responding thoughtfully instead of reacting emotionally throughout your day, says Amber Trueblood, a marriage and family therapist and author.

66. Youll be more tolerant of others. It may be tough to see eye-to-eye with difficult co-workers or relatives with differing political views. A regular meditation practice will keep you calm in these instances so you can embrace tolerance. Its an important part of building relationships.

67. Meditation enhances your metabolism. Practicing meditation will likely inspire you to move more or take up yoga or another fitness routine. Research has also shown a link between mindfulness and an enhanced metabolism.

68. It improves digestion. The mind-body balance and reduced stress that youll experience from meditation is great for your digestive system. It could relieve symptoms of indigestion, irritable bowel syndrome, constipation and other health issues.

69. Youll have more energy. Maintaining a mind-body connection and reducing stress will give you an energy boost. Meditation helps you feel less weighed down by your emotions and ready to move or take on new projects.

70. Youll have better impulse control. Through practicing mindfulness, youll learn to center your mind and focus on your breath, which helps you control your emotions and impulses.

71. Meditation releases endorphins. The practice of meditation releases endorphins and lowers cortisol levels, making you feel happier and more energetic.

72. Meditation helps curb food cravings. The self-control and stress management that you learn through practicing mindfulness could help curb food cravings and break unhealthy eating habits. It lets you tap into whats driving you to specific foods, Amber Stevens, integrative nutrition health coach and author of Food, Feelings and Freedom.

Meditation lets you master your own mind, so you can pause and ask yourself, Why is this ice cream important, and allow your mind to connect dots, she says, adding that youll be open to explore, not critique, your eating habits.

73. Meditation reduces instances of binge eating. Mindfulness meditation can decrease binge eating and emotional eating, according to a study published in Eating Behaviors.

74. Meditation could help you lose weight. Research has linked meditation to more mindful eating, a boost in metabolism and increased energy levels, which suggests that it could help with weight loss.

75. Youll better understand hunger cues. If you tend to feel peckish in the afternoons, mindfulness could help you get in touch with the real reason why. It may not be actual hunger, says Pamela Hernandez, personal trainer and health coach.

Mindfulness helps get sense how hungry they are and other emotions they are feeling that might lead them to overeat, she says. It creates a more mindful state, which gives you a better chance of pushing away from the table before you reach the stuffed feeling of overeating.

76. It helps you forget about past wrongs. Rather than letting the past define (you), fully surrender to the now and embrace your journey in its entirety without shame or guilt, says AnushaWijeyakumar, wellness coach and meditation and mindfulness educator.

Meditation helps you leave the past in the past and drown out the noise thats preventing you from experiencing inner peace, she says. Youll sever any attachment to past wrongs and move forward.

77. Youll quiet negative thoughts. Learn to let go of the past and crush negative thoughts, which may be holding you back. Replace those negative thoughts with something positive.

Change I am not good enough into I am more than enough, Wijeyakumar says.

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Benefits of Meditation100 Ways Meditation is Good for Your Health - Parade

Should You Try Intermittent Fasting in 2020? – Psychology Today

Always consult your doctor before undertaking a new diet or fasting routine.This is not medical advice, but it is information you can use as a conversation-starter with your physician or nutritionist.

Fasting has become extremely popular as a tool for weight loss, anti-aging, and longevity, and for its benefits to mental and physical health.

All this can take its toll on your energy levels, affect your mood, and of course, make it more likely youll gain weight.

You may not choose to try intermittent fasting during the holidaysI get it. But its worth a reminder, as we enter the season, that paying attention not only to theWHATof your diet, but also theWHEN, matters for sleep, as well as for your mood, cognitive performance, and overall health.

What is intermittent fasting?

When you practice intermittent fasting, you designate regular, specific times to eat nothing or to consume very few calories. When your body goes into a fasting mode, your digestive system quiets. Your bodyuses this timetorepair and restore itself at a cellular level. Fasting also triggers the body to use its stored fat for energy, making it a potentially effective strategy for weight loss.

The period of nightly sleep is a natural fast we undertake every night, most of us without even realizing thats what were doing. Indeed, a waking fasting state and a sleep state share several characteristics, including a body with cells engaged in repair, and a body that is taking a rest from the demanding work of digestion.

How does intermittent fasting work?

Creating a fasting routine isnt complicated. (But you should always talk with your doctor about making changes to your diet, and before you begin a fasting regimen.) There are a number of routines that are commonly used with intermittent fasting.

Its worth noting that despite all the attention its getting, fasting isnt a new practice. People have used fasting for thousands of years as a cultural, religious, spiritual and health practice.

The health benefits of fasting

A growing body of research shows the potentialbenefits for health and disease protection from intermittent fasting. Fasting can result in weight loss, according to research. Studies showfasting can improve insulin sensitivity, lower inflammation, and improve markers for heart disease including lowering levels of unhealthful LDL cholesterol. Intermittent fasting has been shown to have the potential totreat some cancers, as well asneurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimersand Parkinsons. Theres also evidence that fasting may help reduce the risk of developing cancer.

Time-restricted eating can improve immune function and enhancethe bodys ability to repair cellsand DNA. Fasting induces a cellular process known asautophagy, which is when the body clears itselfof damaged cells, spurring the growth of new, healthy cells. Autophagy is one way the body maintains more youthful, functional cells and protects against disease, by eliminating aged cells that behave dysfunctionally and clearing the body of toxins that build up in older cells.

Intermittent fasting increases the bodysnatural production of human growth hormone. Human growth hormone encourages fat burning and protects lean muscle mass, aids in cellular repair, and may help to slow aging. Fasting can reduce unhealthful inflammation and boost the bodys ability to protect itself against oxidative stress, which is one significant contributor to aging and disease.

The science of fasting and sleep

Eating and sleeping are two fundamental processes that are also deeply entwined. Both are essential for survival. Both are regulated by internal, homeostatic drives and also by circadian rhythms. Many people know circadian rhythms play a big role in regulating sleep. But eating, hunger, and digestion have their own circadian rhythmicity.

Eating and sleeping arent just influenced by circadian rhythms. They alsoexert influences back on those rhythms themselves. An irregular sleeping routine can de-synchronize a well-timed circadian clockand throw daily rhythms off course. Thetiming of meals also affects our circadian clocks and the function of circadian rhythms that exert a powerful influence over our sleep.

A growing body of research indicatesfasting has a strengthening effect on circadian rhythms, helping tokeep circadian clocks synchronized. Because circadian rhythms exert a strong influence over nearly all the bodys processes (as well as most of our behavior), a more robust, synchronized clock has profound effects on health. Well-synchronized clocks support healthy metabolic activity, stronger immunity, andbetter, more restful and restorative sleep-wake cycles. Disrupted circadian clocks are closely linked to aging and disease. Keeping the bodys master bio clock in sync is one criticalway to slow biological aging and potentially extend lifespan.

Other recent research has demonstrated theeffects thatfasting can have directly on sleep, and also on conditions that affect sleep. For example, one study in mice found that a24-hour fasting period, followed by a meal, led to deeper levels of non-REM sleep. Research has shown that fasting may help toreduce chronic pain,elevate mood and decrease inflammationall conditions to which improvements will also benefit sleep.

A lot of people turn to intermittent fasting and to calorie restriction as a means to lose weight. Studies indicate periodicfasting can help with weight loss,including helping to push beyond a weight loss plateau. Its important to note that researchincludingthis 2018 studyshow that even when fasting doesnt lead to weight loss, it canimprove underlying cardiometabolic health,increasing insulin sensitivity, reducing blood pressure and cholesterol, lowering inflammation, bringing appetite under control (including reducing cravings for sugar). Maintaining a healthy weight, protecting cardiometabolic health, and adhering to a healthful diet will all translate into more restful, plentiful, high-quality sleep.

Whether you explore fasting as a practice with the guidance of your doctor or begin to pay more mindful attention to your daily eating patterns, a greater awareness of thewhenof your eating will make you feel and sleep better, right through the holidays and beyond.

Sweet Dreams,

Michael J. Breus, Ph.D., DABSM

The Sleep Doctor

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Should You Try Intermittent Fasting in 2020? - Psychology Today

This Is Your Body On Intermittent Fasting – HuffPost

Its no surprise that intermittent fasting is one of the most popular types of eating plans. You dont need to measure out food or buy any prepackaged shakes. There are no required weigh-ins or calorie counting. All you really have to do is not eat during certain hours. Its pretty simple.

There are different ways to go about it, of course. Most people do the 16:8 diet, in which you fast for 16 hours and then eat within an eight-hour window. Theres also the 5:2 diet, where you drastically cut back on calories just two days a week, and there are 24-hour fasts, where you dont eat anything one day each month.

Regardless of the method, significantly restricting when you eat can throw your body for a loop and cause a handful of odd side effects. Intermittent fasting may not be suitable for everyone. (People with a history of disordered eating, for example, should definitely avoid it.)

Its important to know what to expect before you jump into any new eating habit. Heres what happens to you mentally, physically and emotionally when youre fasting intermittently.

You might lose weight.

Many health experts, including personal trainer Jillian Michaels, say that intermittent fasting actually isnt that great for weight loss. Thats because youre not necessarily eating less or cutting back on calories. There are just longer gaps in your day when youre not eating at all.

That said, many people do lose weight because they consume fewer calories during those restricted food hours.

Eating for only eight hours a day also makes it less likely that youre having a big meal right before bedtime. Our metabolism goes down when we sleep and we burn fewer calories. Nighttime eating has been linked to both obesity and diabetes.

Intermittent fasting really does keep you from doing some really bad things, which is to eat a big meal before you go to bed, said Dr. John Morton, a bariatric surgeon with Yale Medicine. Big meals before bed are probably the worst thing you can do when it comes to weight loss, he added.

You could get super hungry.

A lot of people who fast experience hunger pangs, mainly when they start the program. Thats because our bodies are accustomed to using glucose a sugar that comes from the food we eat for fuel throughout the day. When its deprived of food (and, therefore, glucose), the body will essentially send signals saying, Hello, arent you forgetting something here?

Once your body gets into the groove of fasting, it will start burning stored body fat for energy rather than glucose. And as you spend more time in a fasted state, your body will get increasingly efficient at burning fat for energy.

In short, those hunger pangs should dissipate and your appetite will level out, Morton said. He added that fasters will ultimately have fewer cravings and hunger pangs the more consistently they fast.

In the meantime, that hungry feeling may drive some people to overeat. The natural tendency is when you havent eaten breakfast, you go, Since I didnt eat breakfast, Im going to eat more [for lunch], Morton noted.

If the hunger pains are bad enough to interfere with your daily life, get something to eat. The idea is not to starve yourself.

jakubzak via Getty Images

Your energy levels and moods will fluctuate.

Research has shown that fasting can cause some people to feel fatigued, dizzy, irritable and depressed.

In the beginning, your energy levels might be low because youre not getting the proper nutrients that you need, said Sharon Zarabi, a registered dietitian and bariatric program director at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York.

As your body gets used to intermittent fasting, your energy levels will pick back up. Your body becomes more efficient at using energy and this helps improve mood, mental ability and long-term performance, Zarabi said.

Theres even some evidence that suggests intermittent fasting can ultimately help fight depression and anxiety. The body releases a hormone called ghrelin when youre hungry or fasting, which in high amounts has been associated with an elevated mood.

Your gut health may improve.

Many people who partake in intermittent fasting note improved gut health. Fasting gives your gut a chance to rest and reset as your digestive system doesnt have to deal with uncomfortable effects of eating like gas, diarrhea and bloating.

Anytime you fast, youre giving your body a break from trying to metabolize what you just ate, Zarabi said. By fasting, we let the gut microbiome refresh, which in turn improves our overall digestive pathway.

Maskot via Getty Images

You could cut your risk for chronic diseases.

Intermittent fasting has been linked to a lower risk of chronic diseases like diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

According to recent research from Mount Sinai, this is because fasting reduces inflammation and reducing inflammation helps our bodies battle various chronic inflammatory diseases like diabetes, heart disease, cancer and inflammatory bowel diseases. Researchers are still working to figure out how and why this happens, but the evidence so far suggests that the fasting body produces fewer of the subset of monocytes, a kind of blood cell, that are known to damage tissue and trigger inflammation.

This is a big reason why people who fast intermittently may live longer and stay healthier.

Your heart health could improve.

Intermittent fasting can help lower your blood pressure, cholesterol and triglycerides the type of fat in our blood thats associated with heart disease. That is, if you lose weight in the process.

As long as youre losing weight, youre going to improve all those things, Morton said.

Before you start an intermittent fasting program, health experts recommend meeting with a dietitian or physician. Theres a critical distinction between fasting and starving, and if you ignore that, you could wreck your organs and immune system.

The bottom line: pay attention to your body and eat in a way that works best for you.

Continued here:
This Is Your Body On Intermittent Fasting - HuffPost

Battles, scandals, and #MeToo: The riveting and riotous news that made headlines in 2019 – New Times SLO

From fights over cannabis, groundwater, and wastewater to tackling homelessness, politics upped the ante on all sides of the debates that raged in San Luis Obispo County this year. The SLO Police Department, Chief Deanna Cantrell, and the city dealt with some scandals that will continue into 2020, and the long-ranging battle over dust at the Oceano Dunes isn't letting up anytime soon. Highway 101 south of Arroyo Grande's left turns were closed to most likely never open again, and the sale of vaping products is starting to get banned in cities along the coast. We don't have the space to touch on everything, but here's a look back at some of the year's highlights.

Camillia Lanham

Rural residents pushed back against cannabis farming in 2019, as San Luis Obispo County slowly began issuing more cultivation land-use permits throughout the year. Several county-approved grows were appealed and/or challenged in court by lawsuits, injecting bad blood and distrust into the process for both sides. Meanwhile, cannabis applicants continued their complaints about the county's slow, cumbersome, and expensive permitting process. By year's end, the conflict brought a new political leader to the fore: Paso Robles vineyard owner Stephanie Shakofsky, who's behind two lawsuits against cannabis projects and is now looking to unseat 1st District SLO County Supervisor John Peschong in the 2020 election.

The nearly decade-old debate over how to best manage the Paso Robles Groundwater Basin continued this year, culminating in the December adoption of a 20-year sustainability plan to satisfy the state's Sustainable Groundwater Management Act. The basin, a 684-square-mile aquifer, services much of SLO County's agricultural industryso the Estrella-El Pomar-Creston Water District's exclusion from the Cooperative Committee had many farmers upset. While North County supervisors placed an emphasis on pumping cutbacks in the plan, the ag industry complained about a lack of other solutions. The debate peaked in September when the California State Board of Food and Agriculture sent a letter to the county that echoed the concerns of some farmers. In 2020, the state Department of Water Resources will decide whether to approve the plan.

The city of Morro Bay went through more than 50 public meetings and 17 possible locations for its anticipated Water Reclamation Facility before it finally pinned down the site on South Bay Boulevard and Highway 1. Amid opposition from a group of city residents, the California Coastal Commission gave Morro Bay its stamp of approval in July. That didn't stop the Citizens for Affordable Living from petitioning against the city's decision to purchase the project site. The petition stopped the city from buying the land, but it's not stopping the project from moving forward with construction.

The dust still hasn't settled on the controversy over the Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area, and debates regarding the issue in 2019 were no less contentious than in years past. In July, the California Coastal Commission considered imposing regulations that would have limited off-highway vehicle riding in some portions of the Oceano Dunesactivities that are thought to increase potentially dangerous dust particles emitted by the park. The proposed conditions were reluctantly voted down by the commission after hours of impassioned public comment and State Parks Director Lisa Mangat's repeated promises to commit to dust reduction efforts. But months later in November, after State Parks' failure to complete an adequate work plan for dust mitigation, an Air Pollution Control District hearing board voted to hold State Parks to a slightly more stringent stipulated abatement order. In December, State Parks fenced off 48 acres of riding area in the park to adhere to the new order.

South County was host to uproarious debate for several months in 2019 when 5 Cities Homeless Coalition and Peoples' Self-Help Housing announced plans in March to purchase Hillside Church in Grover Beach and replace it with a homeless services facility. The projectit would have included a housing navigation center and offices, transitional housing for youth, and permanent housing unitsfaced vehement opposition from neighbors to the property, who voiced concerns over safety and transparency. "Right idea, wrong location" was the rallying cry among opponents of the project, and in May, one such rival filed legal documents calling into question the ownership of Hillside Church. Peoples' Self-Help Housing and 5 Cities quickly moved on, purchasing office space at another location in Grover in August and space for supportive housing facilities in Pismo in October.

For nearly seven months, James and Becky Grant, with the help of the community, fought to close the El Campo Intersection on Highway 101 after the death of their son Jordan Grant. The first-year computer science student was killed in a motorcycle crash at the intersection in October 2018. The Grants advocated for the elimination of left turns at four intersections along Highway 101 between Los Berros Road and Traffic Way. After a comprehensive study completed by the San Luis Obispo Council of Governmentsthat brought together the California Highway Patrol, the city of Arroyo Grande, and San Luis Obispo CountyCaltrans agreed to the closures.

In 1903, Theodore Roosevelt stopped in SLO during his famous presidential tour of the West and delivered a short speech in what today is Mitchell Park. While his visit was brief, some locals view it as the birth of the city's environmental movement, and so a group led by former City Councilmember John Ashbaugh hatched a plan to put a statue of Roosevelt in the park. But, by the start of 2019, backlash emerged against the statue. Native tribal groups and political leaders like Mayor Heidi Harmon came out against the idea, condemning Roosevelt's views and policies toward indigenous peoples. The clash spilled onto social media platforms and newspaper opinion pages, with the City Council finally voting in July to amend its public art policy to prohibit any statues of individuals on public property. The council has yet to finalize the policyso stay tuned for that in 2020.

Last year was when most of the Central Coast decided to join Monterey Bay Community Power, a multi-city and multi-county agency based in Monterey that procures power on behalf of residents as an alternative to PG&E. While the cities of SLO and Morro Bay started the wave in 2018, Paso Robles, Pismo Beach, Grover Beach, Arroyo Grande, Santa Maria, and Santa Barbara County all jumped on board this year. The transition (which starts this month for the cities that joined in 2018 and won't occur until 2021 for those that joined in 2019) marks the region's first foray into community choice energy, a public electricity model that promises cheaper and cleaner power to consumers. Monterey Bay Community Power formed in 2018 to serve the residents and businesses of Monterey, Santa Cruz, and San Benito counties and their cities.

San Luis Obispo set one of the most ambitious net-zero emissions targets for a city in the country this year, vowing to take dramatic steps to pursue carbon neutral status by 2035. City staff says the goal is only about 70 percent achievable, but that hasn't stopped elected leaders like Mayor Heidi Harmon from pushing for it. "People won't do small things for small goals," Harmon said recently. "But they will do big things for big goals." SLO's path to net-zero involves a variety of new policies and systemic changes, some of which had already generated controversy in 2019. A new proposed building code to promote all-electric development and disincentivize natural gas infrastructure drew protests from gas workers as well as some residents and policy skeptics. The code is currently on hold pending an investigation into a conflict-of-interest allegation against City Councilmember and local architect Andy Pease, stirred up by the SoCalGas workers' labor union.

Cities throughout San Luis Obispo County saw an increase in their recycling program rates due to an international policy change. China's National Sword policy, which took effect at the beginning of the year, imposes a strict limit on contaminated recyclables. The country's policy change affects what can be tossed in the blue bins across the United States, specifically mixed paper and some plastics that are now labeled as contaminates. The local increase in fees comes from a rise in the number of employees who sort through recycled material. The policy change and increased fees prompted cities to work with local garbage companies to educate residents about what can and can't be recycled.

At the beginning of 2019, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) started looking at the potential of opening up federally-owned land to oil and gas drilling and fracking. By the end of the year, the BLM announced that fracking would cause minimal harm and opened up about 120,000 acres in the county to new oil and gas leases. Meanwhile, at the state level, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a moratorium on new oil wells that use certain enhanced drilling techniques such as hydraulic fracturing. The rule will not affect any future proposals for the Arroyo Grande Oil Field currently operated by Sentinel Peak Resources. In 2019, the Environmental Protection Agency finally granted Sentinel Peak the aquifer exemption it needed to potentially expand oil drilling operations in Price Canyon.

It was a rough second half of 2019 for the SLO Police Department, starting in July with Chief Deanna Cantrell leaving her gun behind in the bathroom of El Pollo Loco. A 30-year-old Los Osos man took it home, right before a 10-year-old went in. Cantrell apologized to the community, and the city issued her a two-day suspension and mandatory firearm safety training. A few weeks later, news emerged that on the day the gun went missing, police conducted a warrantless search of a home in pursuit of a lead on Cantrell's weapon, relying on a database that mistakenly showed that the house's owner was on probation. The search resulted in no gun, but in the arrests of the owners on unrelated charges, drawing further scrutiny for the department. In September, a SLO Police Department officer shot and killed a dog in the driveway of its owners' apartment. Police were responding to a false alarm burglary call at the unit when a patrol officer fatally shot 7-year-old Bubs. The incident sparked public outcry and activism that remains ongoing.

Regional water quality regulators finally closed the book on a 20-plus-year investigation into how a cancer-causing chemicaltrichloroethylene (TCE)ended up in the wells of more than a dozen properties near the SLO County Airport. The Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board blamed a decades-old local machine shop. The shop denied it and pointed to other possible sources. Airport area residents, meanwhile, berated water board officials for failing to conduct a timely investigation. In 1998, the agency dropped the case for "unknown reasons," picking it up again in 2013. To end the year, residents in the same region got the news that two additional toxic chemicalsperfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS)were detected in the groundwater at unsafe levels.

Shocking security camera footage unearthed in April showed an off-duty SLO city building inspector knocking out a Santa Maria woman and attacking her male friend in an Avila Beach bar. The employee, Chris Olcott, committed the seemingly unprovoked assault in 2016but he remained employed by the city through most of 2019. Public outrage in response to the video led to more facts coming to light: In 2018, a jury declined to convict Olcott of a felony, and one juror was reportedly overheard making a racist comment about the victim. The city didn't investigate or discipline Olcott until the video's release, and Olcott ultimately accepted a misdemeanor plea deal and served his two-month jail sentence at a pay-to-stay facility in Southern California. The city announced in September that Olcott was no longer a SLO employee.

In May, Velia Talamantes, Veronica Olivares, and Eulogio Espinoza filed a lawsuit on behalf of themselves and 200 current and former tenants of the Grand View Apartments against the owners, Ebrahim and Fahimeh Madadi, and property manager, Nicolle Davis. The suit accused the property of being insect- and vermin-infested for at least the past four years, having severe mold problems, and dangerous gas and electric lines that render the property uninhabitable. The SLO County Superior Court issued a temporary restraining order protecting the tenants of Grand View by requiring the owners to make the complex habitable, refrain from retaliating, and refrain from collecting rent. After eight months of hearings, tenants get their security deposits back and a deadline to leave the premises, as the owners are taking the property off the rental market due to an estimated $2.5 million in repairs. Tenants are now forced to find housing in a city with a vacancy rate of less than 2 percent.

After major spikes in the popularity of vaping among teens, local politicians buckled down on the issue in 2019 despite inaction at the state level. In May, a bill that would have banned flavored tobacco products in California entirely stalled out, but local anti-tobacco programs in Santa Barbara and SLO counties continued pushing for flavor bans locally. Still not a whole lot was accomplished until after June, when the first vaping-related deaths and injuries were reported across the U.S. Both Morro Bay and Arroyo Grande passed ordinances banning the sale of e-cigarette and vaping products on Nov. 12, and Arroyo Grande's ban included a controversial law making it illegal for individuals under 21 to possess e-cigarette products. San Luis Obispo is still considering its own ban on vaping, as is SLO County as a whole.

For years SLO County had only one known physician providing gender-affirming carenoninvasive medical services that transgender and nonbinary individuals sometimes go through to align their bodies with gender identities. Nonbinary residents reportedly waited for months for their initial appointments. That all changed in June 2019, when Planned Parenthood offices on the Central Coast started offering hormone replacement therapy. Then in December, Cal Poly announced it too would offer gender-affirming care to students as a basic medical service covered by student health fees. Both moves were applauded by the local LGBTQ community, which surveys show have disproportionately high rates of depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts, and unmet needs locally. "It literally saves lives," Cal Poly student Autumn Ford told New Times.

Since President Trump took office in 2016, with a campaign promise of enforcing immigration laws to protect American communities and jobs, the border discussion has loomed over the country. Locally, Latinos have felt the effects of being seen as immigrantsregardless of their citizenship statusbut advocacy groups such as Allies for Immigration Justice and other organizations have stood by the community. The nonprofit aided a woman and her son that fled their country and sought asylum in the United States. The community support continued when former Grover Beach resident Neofita Valerio-Silva was deported in 2018 and barred from returning to the U.S. for 10 years. Cambria resident Courtney Upthegrove's husband Juan Murguia was also barred from returning to his home and she is routinely traveling with their son to visit Murguia in Tijuana, Mexico.

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a pair of bills into law in September that would create oversight of medical exemptions for vaccines required by schools and day care centers throughout the state. Senate bills 276 and 714 were written to crack down on doctors who write faulty medical exemptions for children. The statewide legislation met with local opposition from a group of San Luis Coastal Unified School District parents who describe themselves as ex-vaxxers. They asked the San Luis Coastal school board to speak out against the bill. The district must adhere to the law, district representatives told New Times.

Stalking, physical and emotional abuse, outright threats to killJosiah Johnstone has developed quite the list of accusations. At least six separate individuals have been granted restraining orders against Johnstone in SLO County. Some have filed charges, and nearly 30 individuals claim to have been stalked, harassed, or worse by the Atascadero native. Johnstone, who was arrested in 2017, pleaded no contest to a count of stalking and a count of criminal threats in May 2019, caused when he no-showed a sentencing hearing and a warrant was issued for his arrest. A bounty hunter tracked Johnstone down and found him in Nevada, where he was apprehended by law enforcement and brought back to SLO County. During a hearing on Oct. 17, he was ordered to a 90-day mental health evaluation and his sentencing hearing was rescheduled for Jan. 28, 2020.

In November, Mountainbrook Church, a nondenominational community church that's part of the Association of Vineyard USA, sent an email to its congregation announcing that Lead Pastor Thom O'Leary and his wife Sherri O'Leary are on a leave of absence until February 2020. A week later, the church board informed the community that the pastor was on leave due to "credible allegations" of inappropriate behavior and they launched an investigation with a third-party. On Dec. 8, the all-male church board spoke to the congregation to ask for prayer and continued patience during the investigation. In an email to New Times, board member John Waddell stated that new allegations had been raised and the board couldn't disclose any new information.

Lyft is involved in a complaint that claims the ride-hailing company misrepresented the safety of its rides to women and the general public. The complaint filed on July 24, on behalf of three Jane Does (one of whom is a San Luis Obispo local) against Lyft. Inc. and Lompoc resident Jason Fenwick, alleges that the company falsely claimed that its rides were safe and its drivers properly screened. Fenwick (a Lyft driver) was arrested for sexual assault and battery charges after assaulting a female passenger. Alfonso Alarcon-Nunez, an Uber driver and Santa Maria resident, is facing 12 felony charges in multiple incidents where women across the Central Coast say they were sexually assaulted and stolen from while nearly or completely unconscious. A jury trial is scheduled for Jan. 7.

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Battles, scandals, and #MeToo: The riveting and riotous news that made headlines in 2019 - New Times SLO

‘Abortion reversal’ treatments are dangerous and can cause life-threatening bleeding: Study – MEAWW

Treatment to reverse the effect of an abortion pill is bad news. Such a treatment may put patients at risk for life-threatening bleeding, according to a recent study that tried to evaluate its safety and efficacy. The findings come at a time when many US states have signed an abortion reversal legislation.

The research team had to pull the plug on the study, after seeing that the treatment was endangering women. "I feel really horrible that I could not finish the study. I feel really horrible that the women had to go through all this," the lead researcher Mitchell D. Creinin from the University of California, Davis, told Washington Post.

Abortion pill reversal, which claims to reverse abortion, is unproven. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, "claims regarding abortion 'reversal' treatment are not based on science and do not meet clinical standards".

All of the evidence that we have so far indicates that this treatment is not effective, Daniel Grossman, an OB-GYN and the director of Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health, a research group at the University of California San Francisco, told Vox.

But this has not stopped many organizations around the country to offer the procedure. What is worse, governors in North Dakota, Idaho, Utah, South Dakota, Kentucky, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Arkansas, have signed the abortion reversal legislation. The laws are currently blocked or enjoined in Oklahoma and North Dakota, according to the Washington Post.

"These laws mandate that women who receive mifepristone be informed that it may be possible to reverse the effects of the first abortion pill if they change their minds," write the authors of the study in a commentary.

In 2012, Dr. George Delgado, a family medicine physician in San Diego, California, came up with a method to reverse abortion. His treatment is aimed at women who have had their first dose of medical abortion: a procedure that uses medications instead of surgery to end a pregnancy -- but have changed their minds.

Normally, women can terminate abortion by taking two pills. The first one called mifepristone is taken at the doctor's office. After a couple of hours or days, women are asked to take the second pill called misoprostol. This treatment is most effective during the first trimester of pregnancy, claim experts.

A total of 862,320 abortions were provided in clinical settings in 2017, according to the Guttmacher Institute, about 39% of which were medication abortions.

Women who have had mifepristone alone can go back to being pregnant by taking the hormone progesterone, according to proponents of abortion reversal treatment. To prove that his treatment works, Dr. Delgado published a study that included six patients, who were given progesterone injections after taking mifepristone. According to him, four women were able to continue their pregnancies.

In response, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists said that Delgados 2012 paper, involving just a handful of patients, was not scientific evidence that progesterone resulted in the continuation of those pregnancies. They add that mifepristone is not a standalone treatment to end a pregnancy, as half of patients continue to remain pregnant after taking the drug.

However, say experts from the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, when patients combine mifepristone with misoprostol, the procedure works to end a pregnancy about 95-99% of the time. They think that Delgados patients who remained pregnant may have been so, even if they did not receive progesterone injections.

Further, there is no data to prove that taking progesterone after mifepristone or throughout pregnancy is safe, as reversal patients are sometimes advised to do.

To paint a clear picture on the safety and efficacy of the abortion pill reversal treatment, Creinin and his collegaues carried out the study in 40 women who had voluntered to have surgical abortions.

All the women in the study received the first abortion pill, mifepristone. Following this, some women received progesterone, while others were given a placebo, or a control pill. Of the 12 women who enrolled in the study, three of them required ambulance transport to a hospital for treatment of severe vaginal bleeding. The team could not complete the study, as it was too dangerous to put these women through the trails.

Cremin points out that not completing the medical abortion regimen -- taking both pills -- can be dangerous. According to the authors, taking the first pill -- mifepristone -- alone, can lead to complications, including hemorrhage and transfusion.

Its not that medical abortion is dangerous, Creinin tells NPR. It is not completing the regimen, and encouraging women, leading them to believe that not finishing the regimen is safe. That is really dangerous.

The study raises safety concerns but could not prove whether the treatment was effective or not. Creinin tells NPR, "Does progesterone work? We do not know. We have no evidence that it works."

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'Abortion reversal' treatments are dangerous and can cause life-threatening bleeding: Study - MEAWW

Everything you need to know about the keto diet – INSIDER

Compared to the low-fat craze in the '90s, the ketogenic diet seems to go against all diet logic. Because instead of cutting out fat, you eat large amounts of it for every meal.

And research shows that this diet can be effective and help fight diseases related to obesity. That said, the keto diet is not for everyone. Here's what you need to know.

The ketogenic diet was first introduced in the 1920s as a way to treat epilepsy, a seizure disorder. Medical professionals used the diet for two decades until modern epilepsy drugs were developed and it fell out of favor by the 1950s.

That was it for the keto diet for over half a century. Then, about 15 years ago, the diet reemerged. This time as a treatment for obesity and type 2 diabetes.

But even people who are not obese or have type 2 diabetes have adopted the ketogenic diet at some point, including celebrities like Halle Berry, Vaness Hudgens, and LeBron James.

The way it works is that you eat mostly fat and very few carbohydrates. A typical ketogenic diet consists of 75% fat, 20% protein, and 5% carbs. Compared to the average American diet which is 33% fat, 16% protein, and 51% carbs. On keto, common foods include:

When you follow the keto diet, your body stops relying on carbs as the main source of energy, which sends your body into ketosis. Ketosis is when your metabolism changes to burn fat for energy instead. This can lead to a loss of body fat, which can help prevent or improve medical conditions related to obesity like type 2 diabetes.

That's because, on keto, your body may also become more sensitive to insulin, a hormone that helps balance your blood sugar. A 2017 review of nine studies found that people with type 2 diabetes on a low-carb diet generally could control their blood glucose levels better than diabetes patients on either a normal or high-carb diet.

When following the keto diet, weight loss can vary from person to person, says Jeff Volek, a registered dietitian and professor at Ohio State University. "When people with excess weight start a ketogenic diet, they typically lose about 6 to 8 pounds the first week, then about 1 to 2 pounds per week thereafter," Volek says.

However, some people who go on keto reportedly suffer from some initial side effects including:

The initial weight loss is partly due to losing water weight because you tend to retain less water on a low-carb diet. And some studies suggest that you may not continue to lose weight on keto long-term. Some call this the "keto plateau" which is when you stop losing weight altogether.

Volek says that the keto diet is safe for many people to try and that it may mimic the way early humans ate. However, Volek says that in some cases, you should proceed with caution. "If you have diabetes and are using diabetes medications to control blood sugar, you should work closely with your physician in order to adjust medications appropriately."

The keto diet can be very restrictive and may be difficult for people to stick to, says Little. "The average 'healthy' person probably does not need to follow a keto diet but they could probably benefit from reducing their intake of refined/processed carbohydrates."

Keto isn't necessarily for everyone. Take kids, for example. Nutritionists recently told Insider that putting children or teens on the keto diet or basically any restrictive diet can lead to nutritional deficiencies and eating disorders.

Moreover, keto isn't great long-term if you have, or are at risk of, heart rhythm problems. A large 2019 study, published by the American College of Cardiology, that involved medical records of nearly 14,000 people reported that people who don't consume many grains, fruits, and starchy vegetables for years at a time, are at a higher risk of developing a heart condition called AFib.

Even if you're otherwise healthy, long-term keto could lead to vitamin B and C deficiencies, since many foods rich in these vitamins like beans, legumes, and fruit are also high in carbs. And if you're not getting the right nutrients, keto may actually lead you to gain weight, not lose it.

Bottom line: The keto diet is not for everyone and you should speak with a certified nutritionist before starting it, especially if you have a medical condition that the diet may affect.

Originally posted here:
Everything you need to know about the keto diet - INSIDER

Sugar-Related Headaches Are Real Heres How It Happens – POPSUGAR

A sugar stat to swallow: along with acne, weight gain, and mood swings, sugar can also play a part in triggering painful headaches.

You might assume they're triggered by too much sugar at one time (and you're actually right), but consuming too little sugar can also contribute to the problem, Dr. Anisha Patel, DO of Medical Offices of Manhattan, explains.

"Sugar-related headaches come from a rapid swing in your blood sugar level," Dr. Patel notes. "So it's not actually the sugar itself that causes the headache but the quick change in consumption."

That could explain why you might have experienced a headache after, say, intermittent fasting or eating a large bowl of ice cream with plenty of fudge topping.

According to Dr. Patel, glucose level fluctuations affect your brain more than any other organ, and it's normal for someone without a medical condition to experience a headache under these types of conditions.

Sugar-related headaches could also be symptoms related to hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia, which Dr. Patel says aren't diseases themselves but rather symptoms or indicators of a larger health problem.

Blood sugar dropping too low is known as hypoglycemia, which "can be caused by sugar withdrawals caused by very strict dieting (especially when the diet involves skipping meals), and delayed or irregular meals," Dr. Eric Ascher, DO, Family Medicine Physician at Northwell Health, explains.

"You may experience fatigue, moments of confusion, lightheadedness, and weakness, and many will complain of a headache sometimes migraine-like in nature. Although rare, if your body experiences hypoglycemia for too long, you are at risk for coma and death."

Dr. Patel adds that hypoglycemia is often associated with diabetes treatment and can also be a side effect although rare of medication, alcohol consumption, severe liver illnesses, or hormone deficiencies.

"If you think you're experiencing a hypoglycemic attack, you should go to the doctor immediately," Dr. Patel says. "Those with diabetes or hormone deficiencies should consult their physicians about long-term symptom relief plans, which generally include a structured diet."

Then there's a condition called "reactive hypoglycemia," more informally dubbed as "the sugar hangover."

"When we eat a carb-heavy or sugar-overloaded meal especially if our body is unfamiliar with that much glucose, our body will supply a rush of insulin to help combat all that excess sugar that is shocking our bodies," Dr. Ascher explains. "Sometimes this may cause glucose levels to abruptly drop really low. This may cause hypoglycemia-like symptoms. Perhaps that is why you feel drained after a meal that concludes with a rich and heavy dessert."

On the opposite side of the sugar spectrum is hyperglycemia, which could also result in headaches. "Hyperglycemia occurs when the body is not producing or using enough insulin, the hormone that absorbs glucose into cells to be used for energy," Dr. Patel says. She adds that this is typically seen in diabetics.

However, Dr. Ascher says if your headaches are associated with increased thirst, increased urination, and blurred vision, you should speak with your doctor so they can monitor your blood glucose levels.

It's important to note that Dr. Ascher says that nondiabetic individuals normally have ebbs and flows in glycemic levels, as the body has capabilities to deal with these fluctuations; however, those with diabetes need extra support with medication.

If you think you have a sugar headache that is related to diabetes, hypoglycemia, or hyperglycemia or simply deal with these headaches often you should reach out to your doctor.

It's also important to take into consideration what else you ate prior to this headache popping up.

"Some people find that certain foods cause headaches, like chocolate and caffeine," Jeff McGrath, RD at Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla, New York, says. "Foods containing chocolate and caffeine often have added sugar, and one might falsely accuse the added sugar of being the headache-causing agent."

If you do have a headache due to too much sugar, McGrath says to stop eating sugar for the rest of the day and to consider limiting your daily sugar intake moving forward.

"Experts recommend limiting your sugar intake to less than 10 percent of your daily caloric allowance (15 grams of sugar provides 60 calories, for reference). Otherwise, to reduce headaches, try to stay hydrated and limit alcohol consumption, especially at your holiday parties and gatherings."

Click here for more health and wellness stories, tips, and news.

Image Source: Getty Images / PeopleImages

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Sugar-Related Headaches Are Real Heres How It Happens - POPSUGAR

Winter Is Coming: How People with Cancer Can Prevent Slips and Falls –

Falls are a risk for everyone during slushy winter months, but the risk is especially high for people with cancer. Memorial Sloan Kettering physical therapist Jillian Hobson walks readers through what they can do to minimize the chance of falling.

Why are people with cancer prone to falls?Older adults with a history of cancer have anywhere between a 15% and 20% greater risk of falling compared to the general population of adults age 65 or older. Thats because cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy and radiation, can cause side effects that increase the risk of falls. These include weight loss, muscle weakness, numbness or tingling in the feet, dizziness, changes in eyesight and fatigue. When you lose sensation in your feet, for example, its harder to find your balance during challenging situations, such as walking on a slippery sidewalk. Its harder to know how to find your center of gravity.

Are there warning signs that a person may be at a greater risk for a fall?There are several behaviors that suggest a person with a history of cancer may be at a greater risk for falling. The person may rely on furniture and walls for support when walking around the house. They may trip or have times when they almost fall. Someone who has fallen in the past or is at risk for falling may also avoid crowded environments, such as busy sidewalks, the grocery store or other peoples homes. At MSK, outpatient physical therapists ask every patient, regardless of age, Have you fallen in the past 12 months? If they say yes, we try to prevent it from happening again.

What steps can people take to minimize their risk of falling?There are many. First, secure throw rugs to the floor with nonslip backing. Clear hallways of clutter, and consider installing handrails in the bathroom or for outdoor stairs. Formulate a plan for snow removal during the winter, preferably before snow starts. During the winter, wear boots with good traction. People who are concerned about falling or have fallen in the past should speak to their doctor to see if physical therapy could help.

What should someone do in the event of a fall?Today, there are many smartphone apps that can signal a fall to emergency responders. Some smartwatches also have an alert system that can tell when a fall has taken place and can call 911 for you if you are unable. Its important that your cell phone stays with you at all times and stays on in case of an emergency.

In the event of a fall, people should contact their medical team immediately to determine if they need follow-up care or a referral to physical therapy. If physical therapy is recommended, the physical therapist will identify exercises that promote improved balance, strength and stability. And because falls are not entirely preventable, a physical therapist will also teach strategies for safely getting up from the floor if a fall occurs.

Information provided by MSK (Information) is not intended as a substitute for medical professional help or advice but is to be used only as an educational aid in understanding current medical knowledge. A physician should always be consulted for any health problem or medical condition. Use of the Information is further subject toMSKs Website Terms and Conditions.

Read the original here:
Winter Is Coming: How People with Cancer Can Prevent Slips and Falls -

Everything you need to know about the keto diet – Business Insider

captionChildren, teens, and people at risk of heart rhythm problems should not try the keto diet.sourceBURCU ATALAY TANKUT/Getty Images

Compared to the low-fat craze in the 90s, the keto diet seems to go against all diet logic. Because instead of cutting out fat, you eat large amounts of it for every meal.

And research shows that this diet can be effective and help fight diseases related to obesity. That said, the keto diet is not for everyone. Heres what you need to know.

The ketogenic diet was first introduced in the 1920s as a way to treat epilepsy, a seizure disorder. Medical professionals used the diet for two decades until modern epilepsy drugs were developed and it fell out of favor by the 1950s.

That was it for the keto diet for over half a century. Then, about 15 years ago, the diet reemerged. This time as a treatment for obesity and type 2 diabetes.

But even people who are not obese or have type 2 diabetes have adopted the keto diet at some point, including celebrities like Halle Berry, Vaness Hudgens, and LeBron James.

The way it works is that you eat mostly fat and very few carbohydrates. A typical keto diet consists of 75% fat, 20% protein, and 5% carbs. Compared to the average American diet which is 33% fat, 16% protein, and 51% carbs. On keto, common foods include:

When you follow the keto diet, your body stops relying on carbs as the main source of energy, which sends your body into ketosis. Ketosis is when your metabolism changes to burn fat for energy instead. This can lead to a loss of body fat, which can help prevent or improve medical conditions related to obesity like type 2 diabetes.

Thats because, on keto, your body may also become more sensitive to insulin, a hormone that helps balance your blood sugar. A 2017 review of nine studies found that people with type 2 diabetes on a low-carb diet generally could control their blood glucose levels better than diabetes patients on either a normal or high-carb diet.

When following the keto diet, weight loss can vary from person to person, says Jeff Volek, a registered dietitian and professor at Ohio State University. When people with excess weight start a ketogenic diet, they typically lose about 6 to 8 pounds the first week, then about 1 to 2 pounds per week thereafter, Volek says.

However, some people who go on keto reportedly suffer from some initial side effects including:

The initial weight loss is partly due to losing water weight because you tend to retain less water on a low-carb diet. And some studies suggest that you may not continue to lose weight on keto long-term. Some call this the keto plateau which is when you stop losing weight altogether.

Volek says that the keto diet is safe for many people to try and that it may mimic the way early humans ate. However, Volek says that in some cases, you should proceed with caution. If you have diabetes and are using diabetes medications to control blood sugar, you should work closely with your physician in order to adjust medications appropriately.

The keto diet can be very restrictive and may be difficult for people to stick to, says Little. The average healthy person probably does not need to follow a keto diet but they could probably benefit from reducing their intake of refined/processed carbohydrates.

Keto isnt necessarily for everyone. Take kids, for example. Nutritionists recently told Insider that putting children or teens on the keto diet or basically any restrictive diet can lead to nutritional deficiencies and eating disorders.

Moreover, keto isnt great long-term if you have, or are at risk of, heart rhythm problems. A large 2019 study, published by the American College of Cardiology, that involved medical records of nearly 14,000 people reported that people who dont consume many grains, fruits, and starchy vegetables for years at a time, are at a higher risk of developing a heart condition called AFib.

Even if youre otherwise healthy, long-term keto could lead to vitamin B and C deficiencies, since many foods rich in these vitamins like beans, legumes, and fruit are also high in carbs. And if youre not getting the right nutrients, keto may actually lead you to gain weight, not lose it.

Bottom line: The keto diet is not for everyone and you should speak with a certified nutritionist before starting it, especially if you have a medical condition that the diet may affect.

See more here:
Everything you need to know about the keto diet - Business Insider

Not All Trans People Have Access To Freezing Embryos. I Am One Of The Lucky Ones. – HuffPost Canada

The first time I held my niece, it confirmed something I had been unsure about for over two decades: I wanted to become a parent. I was 31. The average age of first-time mothers in Canada is about 30. Nothing very out of the ordinary, right?

But, I had medically transitioned years ago. I had been on testosterone injections for seven years and had masculinizing chest surgery. My transition felt complete. Perhaps this is why I could begin to envision myself as a parent a father.

Kinnon MacKinnonMy fertility preservation journey took almost two years just to get started.

In theory, I could probably become physically pregnant if I discontinued testosterone, but it wasnt something I felt very open to though plenty of incredible men do carry their own children.

Fertility preservation seemed like a good option for me. I was about halfway into a PhD program and didnt want to take a parental leave. To give myself some more time and options, I decided to freeze my eggs.

I had also just learned that the Ontario Ministry of Health was funding fertility preservation for trans people through the Ontario Fertility Program (OFP). But I had reservations would my eggs still be good after all those years of weekly testosterone injections?

I made a visit to my family doctor, who specializes in trans care. She assured me that there is no clear evidence that testosterone negatively impacts egg reserve or egg quality. A recent study seems to confirm this, but more research is needed.

My doctor recommended a few fertility clinics in Toronto that had good reputations for working with LGBTQ people. I was referred to the Mount Sinai Fertility Clinic. I felt hopeful.

I was 31 when I had my initial consultation. By the time my name made it to the top of the list for funded fertility preservation, I was nearly 33.

For some trans people, fertility preservation is an important component of transition-related care. Psychologist and professor Dr. Damien Riggs believes that fertility preservation is a reproductive right for trans people.

A 2017 survey found that 97 per cent of trans people living in Toronto felt that they should be offered fertility preservation prior to beginning hormone therapy. The same survey found that only three per cent had banked sperm or eggs.

The most common barrier noted: Cost.

Ontarians receive provincially funded fertility preservation, while those who live in Nova Scotia (my home province) are on their own coverage varies by province. This inconsistent access to care simply isnt fair.

In regions lacking coverage virtually everywhere outside Ontario out-of-pocket expenses for egg retrieval and its associated medications often exceed $10,000. This price tag skyrockets when the procedure needs to be repeated to retrieve the number of eggs statistically likely to result in a live birth.

UniversalImagesGroup via Getty ImagesCosts for egg retrieval are out of reach for many Canadians. Stock image.

Tax credits are available in Manitoba, New Brunswick and Quebec, but the services must be paid for up front. This constitutes a major financial barrier for the majority of Canadians who would not have a $10,000 (or more) rainy day fertility fund.

On the surface, freezing sperm seems more manageable (under $1,000). But paying storage fees, whether for eggs or sperm, adds up. Yearly storage fees can vary and are not covered by the OFP. I paid $300 in 2018. I paid another $300 in 2019.

These costs are out of reach for the many trans Canadians, who live in poverty due to rampant employment discrimination.

When I first started transitioning nine years ago, I remember my university health clinic physician encouraging me to think about fertility preservation options. This is considered standard medical practice with trans people who are considering hormone therapy or lower surgeries today.

At the time, delaying starting testosterone by another several months for egg retrieval felt impossible. For trans people beginning medical transition, this can feel like having to choose between fertility or transition.

Im fortunate that going off testosterone to prepare for egg retrieval was not difficult for me, emotionally, psychologically or otherwise. I knew it would be time-limited, and it was for a worthwhile cause.

However, its good practice to assume that discontinuing hormone therapy may be hard for myriad reasons, even when self-motivated by the idea of one day becoming a parent. Health-care providers should be mindful of, and responsive to, this reality, and the many other challenges that LGBTQ people experience with respect to fertility.

Once my ovulation cycle resumed, my fertility treatment resembled that of a cisgender female. I began medications that stimulated my ovaries. I also had regular bloodwork and ovarian follicle tracking to see how many follicles were growing.

Many people report symptoms of hormonal mood issues when taking fertility drugs. This was not the case for me. I did have a difficult time with the daily subcutaneous injections into my stomach, however. After years of weekly testosterone injections, I was confident they would be a total breeze. I was wrong.

The actual egg retrieval was the hardest part of the entire experience. I anticipated discomfort it was agony. I was right to shy away from pregnancy. I was not built for the pain of childbirth! But the procedure was over quickly. Thankfully, my partner was at my side the whole time. Relative to the procedure, the recovery was simple and painless.

Despite seven years of testosterone, the eggs we retrieved went on to produce high-quality embryos. We now have several frozen embryos rated AA, the best possible score, ready for whenever we are.

UniversalImagesGroup via Getty ImagesWith high-quality embryos frozen for preservation, my partner and I have more options to start a family. Stock image.

So, to transmasculine people out there: do not let concerns about testosterone treatment deter you from egg retrieval. Age, overall health and genetic factors might be better predictors of egg quality and fertility.

For me, egg retrieval was largely a positive experience. But this didnt happen through luck alone. It started with Ontarios policy decision to fund fertility preservation procedures, and continued through to the trans-inclusive medical care I received at my primary care provider and the fertility clinic.

I asked Nurse Practitioner Eileen McMahon, who coordinated all aspects of my fertility care at Mount Sinai, what the clinic did to improve their capacity to work with trans people like me. She told me they had created a trans community advisory committee who made several suggestions. Following the advisory committees lead, the clinic provided trans-inclusion training to all staff; revised clinic intake and consent forms; and updated their website and patient handouts to be inclusive of diverse gender identities, bodies, sexualities and relationships.

This is the kind of care and attention that trans people need and deserve in fertility clinics and, more broadly, in all health and social services.

As a patient on the receiving end, I couldnt help but wonder how things could have turned out differently if I had wound up at a clinic that hadnt been so sensitive to my needs. If I had been misgendered upon arrival at the clinic, could I have seen the process through to the end? While I dont have a clear answer, I do feel grateful for the experience that I did have.

After completing egg retrieval and creating embryos, my partner and I now have more options to eventually start a family one day.

Have a personal story youd like to share on HuffPost Canada? You can find more informationhereon how to pitch and contact us.

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Not All Trans People Have Access To Freezing Embryos. I Am One Of The Lucky Ones. - HuffPost Canada

Constructeur automobile presse sp cialis e – Cialis sales online – What is the significance of the two bathtubs in the cialis commercials – Laughlin…

December 24, 2019 Cover

The Laughlin resorts offer a variety of dining and entertainment specials for New Years Eve.

Long before there was Motown, several black groups in the early 1950s struggled to make a difference on the music scene. To a world dominated by white artists, the deep soulful harmonies and soaring vocals of R&B were a little unsettling. The powerful music couldnt be ignored for very long, simply because it was that good. Proving that point on every level The Platters.

When Jazzin' Jeanne Brei decided to call her group The Speakeasy Swingers, it seems appropriate for the kind of vintage song and dance shows they deliver, or so one would think.Yet people in a younger age bracket didnt know what a speakeasy was, while others idea of swinging had nothing at all to do with dancing. A speakeasy used to mean an illicit establishment that sold illegal alcoholic beverages mostly during the Prohibition era in the 1930s, when the music was usually jazz-tinged and the dancing and fashion was considered a bit risqu for the time.

Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons are still in high demand. Even in their soaring Sherry days, Valli and his Seasons werent stars of Broadway and subjects of a marquee show in Vegas. But thanks to the musical Jersey Boys, Valli and the Four Seasons have become cultural icons and subjects of art as well as artists themselves.There is a tribute show making a return visit for a series of shows Thursday-Monday, Dec. 26-30 (8 p.m.) at Harrahs Laughlin that goes after some of that Four Seasons magic in the form of a tribute show called Oh What A Night!

Constructeur automobile presse sp cialis e - Cialis sales online - What is the significance of the two bathtubs in the cialis commercials - Laughlin...

How to Wean When Your Baby Stops Breastfeeding –

Design by Ingrid Frahm, Getty Images

Baby-led weaning can be a confusing and complicated process. When Juno DeMelo's daughter went from drinking almost a liter of breastmilk a day to wanting nothing to do with it, the new mom was left physically and emotionally unmoored.

The first time I stuffed my bra was in middle school. It was actually a swimsuit, and I used shoulder pads that I had to keep wringing out by crossing my arms. The second time, I was of advanced maternal age, and I lined my nursing bra with cabbage leaves.

I was already popping maximum-strength Sudafed and chugging peppermint tea to cut off my milk supply. By that point Id been breastfeeding for almost a year, and my output was nourishing not just my daughter but also an adopted infant and the preemie recipients of my frequent donations to the local milk bank.

At first, I had trouble getting any milk to come out. For close to a week, I produced only colostrum, and despite the lactation consultants reassurance that newborns stomachs are the size of a walnut, I feared my daughter, Margot, was starving.

I struggled despite the fact that Id taken an all-day breastfeeding class and read a 352-page book that laid out breastfeeding in seven easy steps. I flailed even though I set up my pump while I was still pregnant and bought a nursing pillow called My Brest Friend. In the hospital, I received hands-on coaching from a nurse who made my nipple into a supposed sandwich. Everyone stood around in the hospital room watching the frog baby whod just emerged from my vagina covered in slime try to suck on the one sexualized body part that hadnt yet been mommified (its worth noting that spell check would like this to say mummified).

And then, on day seven, we achieved liftoff. It finally rainedand then it poured. My boobs ballooned to an F cup. Margot started nursing for eight hours a day, according to the app I used to time how long she spent on each side. When I pumped, I would fill two, sometimes three, bottles, a freakish amount. (Breastfed babies take in an average of 25 ounces of breast milk over the course of a day. I once pumped 16 ounces before 6 a.m.) I froze the extra milk in bags, dated and labeled with the number of ounces they contained.

I got clogged ducts that made it feel like someone had slipped dice into my breast tissue. I shoved heart-shaped reusable bamboo pads into my bras, which were already bursting at the seams. I soaked through them, so I switched to disposable ones with waterproof backings that crinkled every time I moved. I woke up each morning looking like Id slipped my pajama shirt on over a wet bikini top. Nonetheless, I kept at it. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding until one one year. Determined to do motherhood right, I made this my goal. Well ahead of reaching it, though, I began worrying about having to hurry Margot along to the next milestone.

Even as an egg, her pace had never matched mine. It had taken me forever to get my period again after going off of birth control, then long enough to get pregnant that I made a fertility appointment I cancelled at the last minute, after finally seeing a blue line on the pregnancy strips Id bulk-ordered from Amazon.

I didnt start getting contractions until five days after my due date, and my labor lasted 20 hours, ending only when my OB-GYN plunged Margot out by the head. Margot nursed leisurely, taking long, slow gulps for half an hour long after everyone said she would speed up.

So when she refused to nurse one evening around 10 months old, I chalked it up to a fluke, probably an illness, definitely not a sudden spurt of baby-led weaning. By that point Margot had already had two bouts of hand-foot-mouth disease, bronchiolitis that landed her in the emergency room, and a weeks-long spell of projectile vomitingat a baby shower, birthday party, and restauranttriggered by anything that wasnt breast milk. We had ointments and drops for eczema, pink eye, and diaper rash. We were intimately acquainted with the thermometer and a plastic contraption that allowed us to suck the mucus out of her nose using the force of our breath. What fresh hell is this? is something I asked myself often.

When she refused to nurse one evening around 10 months old, I chalked it up to a fluke, probably an illness, definitely not a sudden spurt of baby-led weaning.

My husband wondered whether Margot, crying hysterically by this point, had broken a bone, thats how surprising it was when she refused to nurse. The mom friends I met that night for dinner had another idea.

Well, shes done breastfeeding, one said. Mine started to lose interest around this age too.

They were mothers of two, more experienced and less fazed by the unexpected than I was. My baby, I insisted, was not theirs. Our bond was an airtight latch between rosebud mouth and nipple. There was no slow leak, and there was certainly no precedent of what amounted to a sudden flat tire on the freeway.

The next morning, I pumped before going to the gym, and my husband gave Margot the breast milk in a bottle. Then we packed up the car for our first road trip, to the Oregon coast. She slept most of the way, waking up just as we pulled onto the unpaved road leading to our cabin.

Ingrid Frahm, Getty Images

We were, as was my wont, early. The woman cleaning the place suggested we kill time by checking out the beach. It was a short, steep hike away, down a dirt path lined with blackberries we popped into our mouths as we walked. When we got to the shore, I plopped down on a piece of driftwood and pulled out my boob. Id seen friends doing this on Instagram, nursing on grey, deserted Oregon beaches. I felt like Margots trusty goatskin of cold white wine.

But her mouth, stained purple, would not open. She thrashed around as if my nipple were antimagnetic. Seagulls were squawking, waves were crashing, and it was, as it always is on Oregon beaches, cold and windy. How can someone concentrate under these circumstances? I asked myself. A small part of me, though, started to worry my friends were right.

We walked back to the house, and a few hours later, I tried nursing Margot again on the couch, facing the ocean. She looked at my nipple as if shed never seen it before, plucked at it with her tiny fingers, and laughed. I was fucked.

She looked at my nipple as if shed never seen it before, plucked at it with her tiny fingers, and laughed.

Already, my milk felt like Tetris blocks stacking up with alarming quickness in my boobs. I texted my mom friends that they had, in fact, told me so. They replied telling me to go cold turkey in order to shut down my supply ASAP. They tried to contextualize my shock and prepare me for more of it.

Think of how many times our kids will do something were not ready for between now and when they go to college! one wrote.

Oh, God, just think. After running ahead and doubling back for so long, Id finally been left in the dust by Margot. How else would she surprise me? And how could I, someone who cannot float down a river without trying to use my flip-flops to steer myself into the current the whole time, learn to go with a flow that trickled and then gushed and now needed to be dammed? Id hurried Margot all her short life, worried shed get left behind, or more accurately, that shed slow me down. I wanted her to hit one developmental benchmark after another ahead of schedule, untilwhat, she leaves the house the day she turns 18? She gets to her grave? She buries me in mine?

I couldnt control Margot or myself. After tracking my ovulation for over a year, spending 10 months pregnant, and then nursing for nearly another year, Id looked forward to the end of nursing as the opportunity to get my body back. But my body kept doing its own thing. I couldnt keep it from making milk, which a physician assistant warned me could continue for up to a year. My identity was shifting yet again, from possibly infertile to with-child to milk machine to something akin to a used condom, and it was disorienting. My daughter had outgrown me literally overnight, and my torn and leaking body was outlasting its utility. Shed been ripped from my body a second time, only this time shed done the ripping, and that hurt worse.

My daughter had outgrown me literally overnight, and my torn and leaking body was outlasting its utility.

I called my hospitals mother-baby center, which had been incredibly helpful to me when I was struggling to breastfeed. The woman who answered sounded stunned that anyone could need help quitting their goal, as if I were trying to get less fit. Maybe its because the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is working to get the proportion of infants who are breastfed at one year up to (a mere) 34.1 percent.

A lot of my friends breastfed for that long, but 60 percent of moms quit sooner than theyd intended to. Some never really like it as much as they wish they did. Others dont have time to pump once they go back to work, or their milk dries up, or their babies never latch properly.

No matter when they quit or why, most breastfeeding mothers feel conflicted. The emotions around weaning are layered and nuanced and can be contradictory, says Pooja Lakshmin, M.D., a reproductive psychiatrist and clinical assistant professor at the George Washington University School of Medicine. You can be joyful that you have your body back to yourself, but you could also have grief about not having that close, connected time with your infant.

One thing thats fairly universal: The belief that breast is best. The whole birth-industrial complex is devoted to women only so long as theyre doing whats best for their babies. Youre a relative princess when youre pregnant. Other people carry your bags. You have a dedicated clinician who sees you every week toward the end of your pregnancy, and, if youre lucky, a lactation consultant.

The problem is that no one is there to help you dismantle all the scaffolding youve built to support another human being. Postpartum, you carry the bags and the baby. No one much cares about your hemorrhoids or lower back pain or stretch marks or infected boobs that are causing a fever to spread throughout your body. You have a six-week follow-up, and they send you on your way. You have a baby, and that is your reward and your curse.

The medical community and our culture tends to talk more about babies than women around the transition to motherhood, says Alexandra Sacks, M.D., a reproductive psychiatrist and the host of the Motherhood Sessions podcast. Weaning is a continued time where discussion about the babys health and wellness dominates the conversation.

I was lucky that I could turn to my friends, but still, none of them brought up weaning until I did. I tried to dig up studies and found very few. Even the mom blogs were relatively mum on the topic. One explanation: Its assumed that weaning is easy or that it just happens, when in fact its quite a complicated process, says Lakshmin. I also think theres so much guilt and shame and pressure around breastfeeding conversations, the decision to stop might be one that women feel badly about it, or they worry theyll be judged.

Its assumed that weaning is easy or that it just happens, when in fact its quite a complicated process.

With little to go on, I pumped a tiny bit when my boobs felt like they might explode and suffered through the uncomfortable fullness the rest of the time. I tried drugs and herbs and vegetable poultices. I squeezed my extra ample bosom between the straps of a hiking carrier so we could march along the coastline with Margot. I offered her pouches of purplish sludge instead of nursing her when she fussed.

We returned home in the middle of a Tuesday. I walked in the door and couldnt decide what to put down first or where. I felt paralyzed and hot and unmoored. My levels of the feel-good hormones oxytocin and prolactin were plunging, bringing back the horrible anxiety Id felt postpartum.

For a long time, I tried to understand why no one told me the truth about birth. (Sacks actually co-wrote a book called What No One Tells You. The mothers emotional experience is under-discussed, she says. Youre not alone in feeling that you wish there had been more open education about the transition.) Were they keeping their experiences to themselves, or were theirs just less traumatic than mine? I wondered the same thing about weaning.

It turns out it isnt just different for different women, its also felt differently on a hormonal level. Theres a subset of women who are much more sensitive to hormone changes than others, whether theyre on their period, pregnant, breastfeeding, or weaning, explains Lakshmin. So theres a huge variation, which is why some women had a horrible time with weaning, and for others it was a nonevent.

Eventually, it did become a nonevent. I gave my pump to one friend and my nursing bras to another. As my milk began to dry up, my boobs swam a little in my old underwire bras. There was enough room in there for shoulder pads or cabbage leaves. Theyd once been bigger than a newborns head and just as round and hard. Now they were floppy and soft, dual Velveteen Rabbits.

We worked our way through all the frozen breast milk and transitioned Margot to cows milk, which we started sending in her lunchbox to Montessori. Her teacher poured it into a little metal condiment cup she still drinks from with two hands, as if its a chalice. For a long time, Margot would cry at drop-off, but she grew to look only a little nervous. She sat herself on a child-size wooden bench to remove her shoes, and when she did this, she looked like a tiny woman awaiting a train she wasnt sure she wanted to take.

On Fridays, Montessori serves banana waffles for second breakfast. One day, when I dropped Margot off, she made a beeline for her teacher, an unflappable woman with dark hair I often turn to for parenting advice. Margot softly touched her teachers knee and turned around to look at me, still in her rain jacket, her hair a wild nest of curls she wont let me put in a ponytail. It was all Id hoped for when she was an infant: walking, solid food, a good head of hair, independence. I stood there in my slightly too-big bra, holding a Neoprene lunch sack with a bottle of milk in it, stunned again to be left behind, in a position I longed for but never could envision actually arriving at, again.

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How to Wean When Your Baby Stops Breastfeeding -

Is the keto diet healthy? Cancer researchers study effects of keto – TODAY

The low-carbohydrate, high-fat ketogenic diet has become hugely popular over the last few years. For many people, the keto diet including variations such as keto cycling or the less restrictive lazy keto has become the go-to eating plan for weight loss and fighting disease.

Two years ago, I interviewed cancer specialist Dr. Patrick Hwu of MD Anderson in Houston about his research into what he calls the fat-burning metabolism diet, or fat-burning diet. Hwu, a tumor immunologist, has been following the ketogenic diet himself for six years, long before it was trending on social media.

As a leading cancer doctor, he has many patients asking him for the ideal diet while they go through treatment and he often suggests keto.

Hwu emphasizes that more research is needed to determine the ideal diet for cancer patients, but as he has seen in himself, the keto diet has been shown to improve biomarkers associated with heart health.

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Keto is a diet that was developed decades ago and originally used for patients with severe epilepsy, some of whom were on the diet for life with no evidence of harm. It consists of low carb, high fat and only moderate protein intake, as opposed to the Atkins diet. Keto isnt as meat-heavy as commonly believed. Hwu relies on certain go to foods like full-fat regular cream cheese, sour cream and avocados as staples. He also consumes a lot of green vegetables and cauliflower.

Since starting the keto diet, Hwu has dropped 25 pounds and has maintained the weight loss. His blood pressure, triglycerides and sugar levels have all decreased, which are healthy signs. His biomarkers, including lipid profile and blood pressure have been excellent, he said.

There have been a number of studies that show the connection between obesity and certain cancers. Hwu feels that keto makes sense because his patients are not hungry on it, it manages their weight and blood sugar levels and keeps insulin and IGF-1 levels low two proteins that have been shown to drive some cancers.

I feel that fat intake has been overly emphasized as a negative factor and that a high intake of carbs and the subsequent spikes in insulin and IGF-1 (an insulin-like hormone in the blood) that they cause are more harmful to health overall, Hwu said.

Hwus colleague, Dr. Jennifer McQuade, an assistant professor and physician scientist in Melanoma Medical Oncology at MD Anderson says they are currently conducting both human and animal studies of the effects of diet, including the ketogenic diet, on cancer. In addition, they are testing a plant-based high-fiber diet aimed at the gut microbiome, which has been shown to impact response to immunotherapy, a type of cancer treatment that utilizes the patients own immune system to fight the disease. They expect results from the studies early next year.

Recent work from the laboratory of Lew Cantley at Cornell has shown that the ketogenic diet can improve cancer control in mice treated with a type of targeted therapy that can cause elevated levels of insulin.

The MD Anderson researchers will test the ketogenic diet in cancer survivors to see if it lowers insulin and IGF-1, they will then move on to combining with targeted therapy.

The keto diet research will be prepared in an MD Anderson kitchen and provided to the patients in a controlled setting.

Meanwhile, Hwu would like to see a greater variety of keto-friendly offerings in grocery stores because the key to sticking with keto is having enough substitutes, so you never feel deprived.

You can bake almost anything with almond flour," said Hwu, "and stevia, erythritol and monk fruit are all safe sweeteners.

Kristin Kirkpatrick

Kristin Kirkpatrick is the lead dietitian at Cleveland Clinic Wellness & Preventive Medicine in Cleveland, Ohio. She is a best-selling author and an award winning dietitian.

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Is the keto diet healthy? Cancer researchers study effects of keto - TODAY

2019 in medical research: What were the top findings? – Medical News Today

Another busy year for clinical research has come and gone. What are the most important findings from 2019? Here is our overview of some of the most noteworthy studies of the year.

"Medicine is of all the Arts the most noble," wrote the Ancient Greek physician Hippocrates whom historians call the "father of medicine" over 2,000 years ago.

Advances in therapeutic practices have been helping people cure and manage illness since before the time of Hippocrates, and, today, researchers continue to look for ways of eradicating diseases and improving our well-being and quality of life.

Each year, specialists in all areas of medical research conduct new studies and clinical trials that bring us a better understanding of what keeps us happy and in good health, and what factors have the opposite effect.

And, while each year, experts manage to overcome many obstacles, challenges old and new keep the medical research field buzzing with initiatives.

Reflecting on how research has evolved over the past decade, the editors of the reputable journal PLOS Medicine in a recent editorial emphasize "ongoing struggles" with infectious diseases, as well as growing tensions between two approaches in medical research. These approaches are the effort of finding treatments that are consistently effective in large populations versus the notion of "precision medicine," which favors therapy that we closely tailor to an individual's very personal needs.

But how has clinical research fared in 2019? In this special feature, we look at some of the most prominent areas of study from this year and give you an overview of the most noteworthy findings.

The medication we take as long as we follow our doctors' advice is meant to help us fight off disease and improve our physical or mental well-being. But can these usually trusty allies sometimes turn into foes?

Most drugs can sometimes cause side effects, but more and more studies are now suggesting a link between common medication and a higher risk of developing different conditions.

In March this year, for instance, experts affiliated with the European Resuscitation Council whose goal is to find the best ways to prevent and respond to cardiac arrest found that a conventional drug doctors use to treat hypertension and angina may actually increase a person's risk of cardiac arrest.

By analyzing the data of more than 60,000 people, the researchers saw that a drug called nifedipine, which doctors often prescribe for cardiovascular problems, appeared to increase the risk of "sudden cardiac arrest."

Project leader Dr. Hanno Tan notes that, so far, healthcare practitioners have considered nifedipine to be perfectly safe. The current findings, however, suggest that doctors may want to consider offering people an alternative.

Another study, appearing in JAMA Internal Medicine in June, found that anticholinergic drugs which work by regulating muscle contraction and relaxation may increase a person's risk of developing dementia.

People may have to take anticholinergics if some of their muscles are not working correctly, usually as part of health issues, such as bladder or gastrointestinal conditions, and Parkinson's disease.

The research that specialists from the University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom led looked at the data of 58,769 people with and 225,574 people without dementia.

It revealed that older individuals at least 55 years old who were frequent users of anticholinergics were almost 50% more likely to develop dementia than peers who had never used anticholinergics.

But, while common drugs that doctors have prescribed for years may come with hidden dangers, they are, at least, subject to trials and drug review initiatives. The same is not true for many other so-called health products that are readily available to consumers.

Such findings says the study's lead researcher, Prof. Carol Coupland, "highlight the importance of carrying out regular medication reviews."

In 2019, we have celebrated 50 years since someone first successfully sent a message using a system that would eventually become the internet. We have come a long way, and now, we have almost everything within reach of a "click and collect" order.

This, unfortunately, includes "therapeutics" that specialists may never have assessed, and which can end up putting people's health and lives in danger.

In August, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning against an allegedly therapeutic product that was available online, and which appeared to be very popular.

The product variously sold under the names Master Mineral Solution, Miracle Mineral Supplement, Chlorine Dioxide Protocol, or Water Purification Solution was supposed to be a kind of panacea, treating almost anything and everything, from cancer and HIV to the flu.

Yet the FDA had never given the product an official assessment, and when the federal agency looked into it, they saw that the "therapeutic" a liquid solution contained no less than 28% sodium chlorite, an industrial bleach.

"[I]ngesting these products is the same as drinking bleach," which can easily be life threatening, warned the FDA's Acting Commissioner Dr. Ned Sharpless, who urged people to avoid them at all costs.

Many studies this year have also been concerned with cardiovascular health, revisiting long held notions and holding them up to further scrutiny.

For instance, a study in the New England Journal of Medicine in July which involved around 1.3 million people suggested that, when it comes to predicting the state of a person's heart health, both blood pressure numbers are equally important.

When a doctor measures blood pressure, they assess two different values. One is systolic blood pressure, which refers to the pressure the contracting heart puts on the arteries when it pumps blood to the rest of the body. The other is diastolic blood pressure, which refers to the pressure between heartbeats.

So far, doctors have primarily taken only elevated systolic blood pressure into account as a risk factor for cardiovascular disease.

However, the new study concluded that elevated systolic and diastolic blood pressure are both indicators of cardiovascular problems.

Its authors emphasize that the large amount of data they had access to painted a "convincing" picture in this respect.

"This research brings a large amount of data to bear on a basic question, and it gives such a clear answer."

Lead researcher Dr. Alexander Flint

At the same time, a slightly earlier study, appearing in the European Heart Journal in March, emphasizes that having high blood pressure may not mean the same thing for everyone, and while doctors may associate it with adverse outcomes in some, this does not hold for all populations.

The study's first author, Dr. Antonio Douros, argues that "[w]e should move away from the blanket approach of applying the recommendations of professional associations to all groups of patients."

Dr. Douros and team analyzed the data of 1,628 participants with a mean age of 81 years. The researchers found that older individuals with lower systolic blood pressures actually faced a 40% higher risk of death than peers with elevated blood pressure values.

"[A]ntihypertensive [blood pressure lowering] treatment should be adjusted based on the needs of the individual," the study's first author advises.

When it comes to protecting heart health, 2019 studies have shown that diet likely plays an important role. Thus, research in the Journal of the American Heart Association in August showed that people who adhered to plant-based diets had a 32% lower risk of death that researchers associate with cardiovascular disease than those who did not.

People who ate plant-based foods also had a 25% lower risk of all-cause mortality, according to this study.

And another study from April in the journal Nutrients warned that people who follow a ketogenic diet, which is high in fats and low in carbohydrates, and who decide to take a "day off" from this commitment every now and again, may experience blood vessel damage.

Ketogenic or keto diets work by triggering ketosis, a process in which the body starts burning fat instead of sugar (glucose) for energy. But "cheat days" mean that, for a brief interval, the body switches back to relying on glucose.

"[W]e found [...] biomarkers in the blood, suggesting that vessel walls were being damaged by the sudden spike in glucose," notes first author Cody Durrer.

In 2019, the topic of how our food choices influence our health has remained popular among researchers and readers alike.

According to Google Trends, some of the top searches in the United States this year included intermittent fasting diets, the Noom diet, and the 1,200 calorie diet.

And this year's studies have certainly reflected the widespread interest in the link between dietary choices and well-being.

One intriguing study in Nature Metabolism in May pointed out that protein shakes, which are popular among individuals who want to build muscle mass, may be a threat to health.

Fitness protein powders, the study authors explain, contain mostly whey proteins, which have high levels of the essential amino acids leucine, valine, and isoleucine.

The research in mice suggested that a high intake of these amino acids led to overly low levels of serotonin in the brain. This is a key hormone that plays a central role in mood regulation, but which science also implicates in various metabolic processes.

In mice, the heightened levels of leucine, valine, and isoleucine, which caused excessively low serotonin, led to obesity and a shorter life span.

So, if too much of certain types of protein can have such detrimental effects on health, what about fiber? Dietary fiber present in fruit, vegetables, and legumes is important in helping the body take up sugars little by little.

But how much fiber should we consume? This is the question that a study commissioned by the World Health Organization (WHO) and appearing in The Lancet in January sought to lay to rest.

The research took into account the findings of 185 observational studies and 58 clinical trials, covering almost 40 years.

It concluded that to lower their death risk, as well as the incidence of coronary heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and colon cancer, a person should ideally consume 2529 grams of fiber per day.

"Fiber-rich whole foods that require chewing and retain much of their structure in the gut increase satiety and help weight control and can favorably influence lipid and glucose levels," explains one of the authors, Prof. Jim Mann.

On the other hand, several studies from this year draw attention to just how detrimental foods that are not 100% natural can be. A small trial, whose results came out in Cell Metabolism in May, showed that processed food leads to abrupt weight gain but not for the reasons we may think.

The study authors said they were surprised that when they asked participants to eat either an ultraprocessed food diet or a nonprocessed food diet whose caloric contents the researchers matched perfectly the people who ate processed foods rapidly gained more weight than the ones who ate the nonprocessed foods.

The researchers blame this on the speed with which individuals end up eating processed foods, in particular. "There may be something about the textural or sensory properties of the food that made [participants] eat more quickly," says study author Kevin Hall, Ph.D.

"If you're eating very quickly, perhaps you're not giving your gastrointestinal tract enough time to signal to your brain that you're full. When this happens, you might easily overeat," he hypothesizes.

And more research in mice from Scientific Reports in January found that emulsifiers, which are a common additive present in many products from mayonnaise to butter, could affect gut bacteria, leading to systemic inflammation.

What is more, the impact on the gut could even influence processes that occur in the brain, increasing anxiety levels. "[W]e [now] know that inflammation triggers local immune cells to produce signaling molecules that can affect tissues in other places, including the brain," explains co-lead researcher Prof. Geert de Vries.

While some of the studies that made the headlines in 2019 were conclusive, many encourage further research to confirm their findings or further investigate the underlying mechanisms.

Stepping into the next decade, this much is clear: The wheels of medical research will keep on turning for better health across the globe.

Originally posted here:
2019 in medical research: What were the top findings? - Medical News Today

Horizon Therapeutics Rally May Be Short-Lived As Investors Wait For Key Date In March – Motley Fool

Shares of Horizon Therapeutics (NASDAQ:HZNP) closedmore than 4% higher on Monday after an U.S. Food and Drug Administration advisory committee votedin support of the company's treatment for thyroid eye disease, and the stock extended gains by more than 2% over the next two trading sessions.The FDA's Dermatologic and Ophthalmic Drugs Advisory Committee concluded that potential benefits of teprotumumab outweighed possible treatment risks.


But a long-term rally may be limited, at least for now. The FDA has until March 8 to issue its decision on the treatment, leaving investors plenty of time to speculate, wonder, and buy or sell shares. Of course, the committee's vote for teprotumumab is a strong positive indicator, and the FDA does take such a recommendation into consideration. That said, the vote doesn't guarantee the drug's approval.

At the moment, there are more reasons to be positive about Horizon than negative. Any sign of possible approval is good news, and what's particularly interesting here is the fact that if the FDA gives the green light, teprotumumab will become the firstFDA-approved treatment for thyroid eye disease.

In its latest earnings call, the company said it estimated15,000 to 20,000 patients per year are eligible for its treatment and said initial physician feedback supports those figures. As for how that translates into sales, Horizon forecastspeak annual net sales of more than $750 million. Analysts predict peak sales could reach $500 million to $1.5 billion.

Thyroid eye disease is an autoimmune disease resulting in eye bulging, double vision, and even blindness, and often affects those who suffer from Graves' disease.In Graves' disease, the body's immune system attacks the thyroid, causing it to make more thyroid hormone than needed, while in thyroid eye disease, the body's immune system attacks tissue surrounding the eye. Teprotumumab acts by inhibiting a key receptor involved in the development of thyroid eye disease. The global Graves' disease market totaled $306.3 million last year, according to a Research and Markets report, and about 25% of people suffering from that disease can also develop thyroid eye disease, datafrom Persistence Market Research showed.

Even without teprotumumab on the market, Horizon's general financial picture is bright, with the company postingpositive earnings surprises for the past four quarters. Third-quartersales rose 3%, and Horizon increased its full-year 2019 adjusted EBITDA guidance to the range of $465 million to $475 million from the earlier forecast range of $460 million to $475 million. The company also took steps to improve its capital structure, issuing senior notes and, through proceeds and cash on hand, repaying $625 million of outstanding debt.

Now the question is: What's in store for the stock in the next few weeks? Let's have a look at the stock's performance this year. Horizon has climbedabout 61% since the start of 2019, and now, trading at close to $35, its shares are approaching the average analyst price target of $38.10. By that measure, investors can expect an upside of more than 8%. The stock clearly has further to go if indeed the FDA approves teprotumumab, but considering the stock's gains so far this year and the fact that the FDA hasn't yet issued a decision, volatility may be ahead.

That doesn't mean it's too late for investorsto bet on the Horizon story. In fact, any volatility that drives the shares down may make for the perfect buying opportunity. The FDA's March deadline to issue a decision on teprotumumab will be the next catalyst for the stock and should determine clear direction one way or the other.

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Horizon Therapeutics Rally May Be Short-Lived As Investors Wait For Key Date In March - Motley Fool

Quality of Life Maintained With Abemaciclib Plus Trastuzumab With or Without Fulvestrant in Patients with HR-Positive, HER2-Negative Breast Cancer -…

Quality of Life Maintained With Abemaciclib Plus Trastuzumab With or Without Fulvestrant in Patients with HR-Positive, HER2-Negative Breast Cancer

The results were published as a poster session during the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium in San Antonio, TX. In the randomized, 3-arm, phase 2 study monarcHER study for HR-positive, HER2-positive ABC, abemaciclib in combination with trastuzumab and fulvestrant significantly improved investigator-assessed progression-free survival versus trastuzumab plus chemotherapy.

In the study, 237 postmenopausal (surgical, natural, or chemical ovarian suppression) women with ABC prior to HER2-positive directed therapies in the advanced setting were randomized 1:1:1 to 150 mg abemaciclib + trastuzumab (intravenous infusion every 21 days) with 500 mg fulvestrant or without fulvestrant vs trastuzumab plus physicians choice of chemotherapy. Patient-reported outcomes were measured at baseline and at every cycle using the modified Brief Pain inventory-short form and European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire-Core 30.

Abemacilib is an oral selective inhibitor of cyclin-dependent kinases 4 and 6 approved for HR-positive, HER2-negative metastatic breast cancer.

Patient-reported outcome compliance rates were 90% through cycle 15. The range for median duration of each treatment component of each group was 7.5-10.0 cycles. No statistically significantly differences or clinically meaningful changes from baseline differences were observed between treatment groups for global health score, function scales, or for symptoms of fatigue, dyspnea, appetite loss, or financial difficulties. Worsening adverse events (AEs), including nausea/vomiting and diarrhea, showed statistically significant improvements with the fulvestrant plus trastuzumab group versus chemotherapy.

Overall, quality of life was maintained for patient-reported pain, global health, functioning, and most symptoms when abemaciclib was added to fulvestrant plus trastuzumab compared with physicians choice of chemotherapy in patients with HR-positive, HER2-positive ABC. Furthermore, gastrointestinal-related adverse events were transient and consistent with the manageable, reversible AE profile.

REFERENCEHealth-related quality of life (HRQoL) in monarcHER: Abemaciclib plus trastuzumab with or without fulvestrant versus trastuzumab plus standard-of-care chemotherapy in HR+, HER2+ advanced breast cancer. Accessed December 2, 2019.

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Quality of Life Maintained With Abemaciclib Plus Trastuzumab With or Without Fulvestrant in Patients with HR-Positive, HER2-Negative Breast Cancer -...

Take pity on those who suffer from the cold – NWAOnline

Winter's official arrival this weekend is not welcomed by those of us who experience cold more severely than others.

I'm unfortunate to be one of the so-called cold-natured who feel chilled when everyone is getting along just fine; we are often ridiculed and heartily despised by warmer brethren for our tiresome complaints.

This isn't limited to winter. I'm cold for most of the summer because of aggressive air-conditioning, which requires me to schlep around sweaters and fleeces to restaurants, movie theaters, shopping venues, early morning outings with my dogs, and my newspaper office, where I persuaded our kindly and accommodating building manager to disconnect the fan that was blowing chilled air on me (I was long ago banned from messing with the thermostat outside my door, which also controls the temperature in a nearby conference room usually filled with warm-natured colleagues).

Wearing summery sleeveless dresses to work is out of the question. Soft flannel throws are easily found draped on furniture around my house year-round.

Right now, in December, the temperature in the newsroom is set on 70 degrees. I'm wearing a V-neck sweater over which is draped a thick gray mohair cardigan (the sort of ugly pilling garment that no one would ever wear when out in public). I'm clutching a HotHands single use air-activated heat pack, which keeps my fingers warm but makes it difficult to type. (It's also hard to type when one's index finger is numb.)

This is apparently all my fault.

According to the The Conversation, an online community of more than 93,200 academics and researchers from 3,044 institutions, most of us who are healthy but claim to feel excessively cold "have only ourselves to blame. We have habituated ourselves to feeling comfortably warm. In the developed world we rarely expose ourselves to cold, letting expensive clothing protect us from outdoor cold and letting power companies warm our living and working spaces." (My raggy office sweater, purchased at a recycled clothing store, was definitely not expensive, but I get the point.)

Noting that we allow power companies to do the work that our metabolism is supposed to do, "We'd probably all be much better off if we spent more time being cold," concludes The Conversation.

Easy for the website to say; I grew up in northern Ohio, where the type of depression known as seasonal affective disorder is alive and well. Winter is deeper, colder, darker, longer and snowier on the edge of Lake Erie than it is in central Arkansas, so presumably I would have arrived here physically and psychologically able to cope with far less frosty conditions.

While I was delighted my first year here by the ability to sit poolside in a bikini at the end of March (we didn't fear skin cancer then like we do now), I didn't find such adaptations to exist, let alone do me any good.

WebMD comes to the defense of cold-natured sufferers in an online submission titled Why Am I Cold? Possible causes include anemia (not enough red blood cells to carry oxygen throughout he body), hypothyroidism (the body doesn't make enough thyroid hormone, which controls metabolism; a sluggish metabolism can result in feeling chilled), blood vessel problems such as Raynaud's disease (spasms of narrowing arteries to the fingers and toes), diabetes (can cause kidney damage resulting in diabetic nephropathy, a symptom of which is feeling cold all the time), and anorexia.

Like most medical sites, WebMD recommends you check with your doctor. I like my family physician just fine, but figure I'm better off by investing in a puffy down jacket (reversible from navy blue to screaming yellow), quilted pull-on fleece-lined boots (on sale for $18--probably because they're purple--that are supposed to be waterproof, but they're not), furry ear muffs, and my most successful investment: ultra-thick fleece-lined mittens.

Such clothing--jackets from Carhartt, Lands' End and North Face, tights and sweats from Under Armour, dense woolen socks from Bass Pro, flannel-lined jeans from L.L. Bean, snow boots from REI--takes up a lot of closet space. But since I have no need for wispy summer dresses and loosely woven cropped-sleeved shirts, there's always room for something warm.

Karen Martin is senior editor of Perspective.

Editorial on 12/22/2019

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The Most Significant Cancer Research Advances of the 2010s – Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

It was a decade that began with the electrifying results of a clinical trial for a revolutionary new cancer therapy and ended with a Nobel Prize in Medicine for very different cancer-related research. In between those dramatic bookends, the 2010s were packed with progress, with discoveries leading to the FDAs 2017 approval of the first CAR T-cell therapy. Additional approvals would follow.

The 2010s started with clinical trial results centered on the use of checkpoint inhibitors, drugs that unleash a powerful immune system attack on cancer cells. The results founded on decades of research by scientists like Dana-Farbers Gordon Freeman, PhD helped usher in a new era of cancer immunotherapy.

Checkpoint blockersare transformational, Laurie H. Glimcher, MD, president and CEO of Dana-Farber and a prominent immunologist, said back in 2017, but they are only the tip of a proverbial immunotherapy iceberg.

On the other side of the last 10 years in cancer research was the Nobel Prize in Medicine, shared by Dana-Farbers William G. Kaelin, Jr., MD, for discoveries into the mechanism that enables cells to sense and adapt to changes in oxygen abundance research that has already led to exciting new treatments for cardiovascular disease and cancer.

As cancer research pioneer and Dana-Farber founder Sidney Farber, MD, said back in 1965, I have never accepted the incurability of cancer. And I have remained hopeful, not because of wishful thinking thats not progress but because of the factual evidence of progress. There is no such thing as a hopeless case.

Aside from these prominent discoveries, what were the most significant advances in cancer research and treatment? Heres what scientists and clinicians from around Dana-Farber said.

William Hahn, MD, PhD, Chief Research Strategy Officer

The sequencing of human cancer genomes over the past decade has demystified the genetics of cancer. We now have a blueprint of cancer genes in every type of cancer and information about the frequency and type of mutations that occur. This has revealed new genes and pathways important for cancer development and in some cases has already led to new approved cancer therapies.

In addition, geneticallysequencing tumor tissue samples guides the therapeutic agents selected for asubset of cancer patients. This tailored approach, termed precision medicine,selects patients most likely to respond and spares those that are unlikely torespond from untoward side effects. Recent discoveries that its possible tosequence DNA in the blood to detect cancers provide hope that this approach canbe used to identify cancers earlier and follow the response to therapy.

Through the study of rare cancers, we have identified mutations in genes that regulate the epigenome, the cells machinery for activating and deactivating genes. These studies have revealed that these same pathways are dysregulated in many common cancers and play key roles in cancer pathogenesis and resistance to therapy.

Sapna Syngal, MD, MPH, Director of Research, Center for Cancer Genetics and Prevention

The realization that upto 10% of many solid tumors have an inherited genetic basis provides us with agreat opportunity for precision prevention and early interception.

Scott Armstrong, MD, PhD, President, Dana-Farber/Boston Childrens Cancer and Blood Disorders Center

Were now able to identify several premalignant states that significantly increase peoples risk of developing certain hematologic cancers. Individuals with clonal hematopoiesis of indeterminate potential (CHIP), for example, have certain genetic mutations in their blood-forming stem cells that are associated with leukemia.

People with CHIP dont have symptoms of disease, but their risk of developing a blood cancer such as leukemia is 10 times higher than average and their risk of cardiovascular disease is elevated as well. Being able to identify high-risk individuals means we can begin to think about early-intervention strategies to prevent these cancers from developing an active area of research.

Ursula Matulonis, MD, Chief, Division of Gynecologic Oncology

The introduction of drugs known as PARP inhibitors has had a major impact on the treatment of ovarian cancer, and now they are showing effectiveness against other cancers including breast and pancreatic. PARP inhibitors work by blocking one of the key routes by which cells repair damaged DNA and are especially effective in cancers with existing DNA-repair deficiencies such as those harboring BRCA mutations.

Also, better understanding of the genomics of gynecologic cancers the set of genetic mutations within the cancer cells is transforming the way we approach treatment and prevention. Its now widely recognized that women with ovarian cancer, regardless of age, histology type, or the stage at which their cancer is diagnosed, should undergo genetic testing. A percentage of them will have a predisposing mutation in one of the BRCA genes. Women with newly diagnosed endometrial cancer should have their cancer tested for mismatch repair deficiencies, which interfere with the proper copying of DNA during cell division.

The presence of these genetic features not only influences the treatment patients receive, but, because they can be inherited, often enable us to identify family members who are also at risk and can benefit from more intensive monitoring or preventive treatment.

Richard Stone, MD, Program Director in Adult Leukemia

Morethan 10 drugs have been approved for acute leukemia in the past three years,whereas there had been very few new agents in the previous 25 years.

DNA sequencing of patients leukemia cells to identify mutations is being used to help guide treatment decisions.

Eric Winer, MD, Senior Vice President for Medical Affairs and Faculty Development; Chief, Division of Breast Oncology

In the treatment of breast cancer, we now know for a certainty that one size does not fit all. This allows us to personalize therapy to a much greater extent than ever before. In some patients, this means we can treat them with less-intensive therapy and still obtain excellent results. Others may require more extensive therapy or benefit from a different therapeutic approach. For all patients, this means better, more effective care, fewer side effects, and, for many, a longer life.

Kimberly Stegmaier, MD, Vice Chair of Pediatric Oncology Research

There have been multiple approvals of new targeted drugs in adult acute myeloid leukemia (AML) in the past two years, as well as TRK inhibitor approval for adult and pediatric patients with TRK fusion-positive cancers.

Bruce Johnson, MD, Chief Clinical Research Officer

Addingthe kinase inhibitor midostaurin to standard chemotherapy significantlyprolonged overall and event-free survival in patients with acute myeloidleukemia whose cancer cells have a FLT3 mutation.

Enzalutamide,an androgen receptor inhibitor, was associated with significantly longer progression-freeand overall survival than standard care in men with metastatic,hormone-sensitive prostate cancer receiving testosterone suppression.

Dana-Farberscientists reported on the feasibility, safety, and immunogenicity of apersonalized cancer vaccine that caused immune T cells to recognizecancer-related neoantigens on tumor cells. These results have promptedfurther development of a neoantigen vaccine approach.

Nadine Jackson McCleary, MD, MPH, Gastrointestinal Oncologist

Weve made strides in ensuring that evidence from cancer research studies actually makes its way into clinical practice. For too long, research findings often seemed to remain in academia without being translated to clinical medicine.

Professional and patient advocacy organizations have undertaken a variety of steps to not only implement these advances in the clinical setting but also to make sure theyre sustainable. For example, organizations such as the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and cooperative research groups regularly inform the broader public about research results and work at the state and federal level on behalf of patients. The development of implementation science is having a sizable impact on clinical practice.

Were also making progress in improving equity in cancer care delivery. Where equity issues have traditionally involved issues such as race, gender, and socioeconomic status, were broadening the focus to include considerations of gender identity, patient location (where patients receive treatment may affect their outcome), and treatment of the very youngest and oldest patients. These efforts will help ensure that advances in cancer medicine reach all populations.

Toni Choueiri, MD, Director of the Lank Center for Genitourinary Oncology

An important ongoing approach is liquid biopsies obtaining tumor-related DNA in the blood as a means of early cancer detection. Liquid biopsies also have the potential to detect minimal residual disease in the body following surgery to predict the risk of relapse.

Rameen Beroukhim, MD, PhD, Physician-Scientist in Neuro-Oncology

This decade is the first in which targeting collateral vulnerabilities in cancer cells has become an important strategy. Most efforts at treating cancer focus treatment on the genetic changes within cells that cause them to become cancer. But along the way, many genes that have nothing to do with cancer are also affected, and scientists have found that targeting these genes on which the cancer cells depend can be an effective way of attacking cancer. Immunotherapy, for example, detects cancer cells based on this collateral damage.

I predict that targeting collateral vulnerabilities will become increasingly important in future decades. Another recent strategy is based on the emerging technology of protein degradation, which removes cancer-related proteins from cells rather than simply binding to these proteins to inhibit their activity.

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The Most Significant Cancer Research Advances of the 2010s - Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

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Let the Laughlin resorts serve your family a special meal this Christmas.

How anyone can confuse The Vogues, a white male singing group from the 1960s, with En Vogue, the R&B girl group of the 1990s makes you wonder what people are thinking or drinking.But that happened to Troy Elich, (son of the late Stan Elich, an early member of the Vogues), who has been a member and manager of the group since the passing of his father.

What if the nostalgia of holiday television specials and films were blended with vintage Vegas Rat Pack-type shows to create a whole new kind of musical magic?A swinging show filled with these elements like classic hits and Christmas favorites might just set the tone for creating a new holiday tradition the whole family can enjoy together.

Dress up in cowboy duds and learn to navigate the Wild West frontier with a trip to Stagecoach Trails Guest Ranch in Yucca, Arizona.Dudes from across the world come to the ranch for a one-of-a-kind experience stepping back to the simpler times to learn the cowboy lifestyle wrangling horses, trail rides at dawn, campfires and three home-cooked meals a day.Stagecoach Trails has been around since 1999, but switched hands in 2014 when JP and Tricia McCormick bought the ranch.

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Abortion is the greatest genocide in human history, and Democrats are its greatest champion – Lifesite

December 20, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) The Teacher was right: What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun. This observation by King Solomon rings true -- and loudly in 2019 America. Arguably the most intense and divisive year in the abortion wars, 2019 reminds us all of the dangers of forgetting our history, which one political party seems committed to repeat.

Kicking off 2019 with New Yorks Reproductive Health Act, New York Democrats renewed their resolve to repeat the judicial tyranny of their partys history by treating some human beings as an inferior class of non-persons. This 2019 Act is disturbingly reminiscent of the 1857 Dred Scott vs. Sandford ruling, which denied personhood to African American Dred Scott. Seven Democrats on the Supreme Court ruled that Dred Scott, while temporarily residing in American territory that declared African American men free persons, was not truly a person after returning to Missouri with his slave-owner, a Captain John Emerson. The court declared that Scott was the property of Emersons wife (Emerson having already passed), and as a non-citizen with no rights of personhood, Scott could be treated as any other form of property owned by Emersons wife, Eliza Sandford. Summarizing the case, Chief Justice Roger [racist] Taney, wrote: "A black man has no rights a white man is bound to respect."

What has been will be again.

In January of 2019, New Yorks Reproductive Health Act, declared that while unborn human beings may have certain personhood rights in other territories of America, New Yorks unborn children have no rights of personhood and can be treated as property through the moment of birth. Denying the personhood of the unborn in the most extreme way, New York legislators even declared that murderers of pregnant women will only be charged with one count of homicide. Channeling the historical discrimination of his party, New York Governor, Andrew Cuomo sent the same message as Taney did so long ago: An unborn human has no rights a born human is bound to respect. Since then, Illinois, Rhode Island, and Vermont have passed similar, radical legislation.

Shortly after the New York Reproductive Health Act passed, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam went on WTOP radio to publicly defend Virginia DelegateKathy Tran's bill that would legalize abortion to point of birth. Likely realizing that there is no meaningful difference between a full-term baby about to be born and that same baby just after birth, Northam went a step further by saying that mothers and physicians should be able to have conversations about whether born babies should be left to die or not. In response to Northams clinically cool demeanor describing infanticide, Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse brought the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act (BAASPA) for a vote in the Senate. The bill would have done three simple things:

Each of these requirements is very important, because while the 2002Born-Alive Infants Protection Act (which gained unanimous consent from Republican and Democrat senators) specifies that babies who survive abortions and are born are to be recognized as human beings with human rights, the bill did not define what types of care, if any, are to be rendered. Nor did it specify what punishments would be levied against physicians who failed to act to save the life of an abortion-survivor.

Tragically and predictably, Senate Democrats took their cue from racist Democrats in the early 20th century who routinely filibustered every Republican effort to enact an antilynching law. Ideological consistency can be a dangerous thing. According to the reasoning of Democrats of that day, if blacks were truly not persons, then lynching them theyd claim would be no more morally problematic than killing an animal, as many racists described African Americans.

Today we see the same ideology leading to the dehumanization and slaughter of the unborn. Both African Americans and unborn human persons have died on the altar of an evil ideology.

And so, what has been done will be done again. In February of 2019, the United States Senate voted in majority favor (53-44) of the BAASPA. However, the bill didnt gain the 60 votes necessary to overcome the filibuster initiated by Democrat senators. Additionally, only 3 Democrat Senators crossed the aisle to vote for protecting newborns from abortionists. And all of the Democratic Senators running for President voted against the BAASPA!

It seems filibustering bills that would prevent discrimination and violence against actual innocent human persons (while simultaneously denying that theyre persons) is a Democratic party trademark. As of December 2019, Senate Democrats have blocked a vote on the BAASPA over 80 times. By refusing to pass the BAASPA, Senate Democrats are enabling abortionists to kill born-alive infants that they failed to kill in the womb. But this pales in comparison to Senate Democrats support of abortion-on-demand, which takes the lives of nearly one-million babies every year in America.

When abortion is treated as sacrosanct, politics becomes liturgy: a spiritual practice engaged in for the purpose of praising and protecting that which is sacred. Therefore, anyone who questions the Lefts political liturgy is an apostate and must be purged and exchanged for those sufficiently woke to the escalating political threat posed by those pro-lifers.

In order to protect their liturgical purity, Planned Parenthood fired their new president, Dr. Leana Wen in July 2019. Buzzfeed News, who broke the story, reported that there were internal concerns over her [Wens] management style and a perceived shift away from the groups political work (emphasis own).

A source familiar with the matter said that her removal was accelerated by the intensifying battle over abortion rights, saying that she was not the right leader in this climate. Wen herself confirmed all this in her Twitter statement saying, I believe that the best way to protect abortion care is to be clear that it is not a political issue but a health care one (emphasis own).

Denying abortions political centrality to the leftist liturgy is tantamount to a Catholic priest denying the centrality of the eucharist to Catholic liturgy. Such an action would oust you from the Catholic Church. And Wen was quickly ousted. A movement based on the belief that human value is found in your wanted-ness, its unsurprising that Planned Parenthood, the political war hawk of the pro-choice movement, will quickly abort its own, whose apostasy renders them unwanted. Wen was quickly replaced by Alexis McGill Johnson, a lifelong political activist, and more of the Cecile Richards mold than Wen ever was.

This is noteworthy because Planned Parenthood is publicly dropping its healthcare organizational faade and fully embracing its identity as a political machine. Ironically, removing this healthcare mask will likely further damage their reputation and cause more Americans to distance themselves from the organization. Americans are not interested in supporting a political hackery of a machine focused on enshrining abortion rights through the day of birth. According to a 2019 Gallup Poll, only 25% of Americans believe abortion should be legal under any circumstances (the de facto position of Planned Parenthood). In fact, a 2007 Gallup Poll found that 72% of Americans think late-term abortions should be illegal, a procedure euphemistically described by the abortion juggernaut as reproductive health care.

Not to be outdone by East Coast radicals in New York, California Governor, Gavin Newsom moved to establish himself in the abortion hall of fame books by signing SB24, a move that makes pro-abortion, former Governor, Jerry Brown look pro-life. In fact, Brown vetoed the bill in 2018. Introduced under the guise of combatting abortion access problems, this bill will force California 4-year state universities (Cal State and UC) to provide the RU-486 abortion pill to students through university health centers.

According to the bills sponsor, Connie Leyva, Students shouldnt have to travel off campus or miss class or work responsibilities in order to receive care that can easily be provided at a student health center. Ignoring for the moment that slaughtering unborn children is not care, Leyva blatantly ignores the fact that former Governor Jerry Brown rightly pointed out that the average distance to abortion providers in campus communities varies from five to seven miles, not an unreasonable distance.Despite easily accessible resources such as this Youtube video, many pro-choice advocates dont know or care how the abortion pill kills a baby. An RU-486 chemical abortion is offered through 10 weeks gestation. A pregnant woman first takes Mifepristone, which blocks the hormone progesterone, without which the lining of the uterus breaks down, cutting off blood and nourishment to the baby, who is starved to death. One or two days later, she takes misoprostol, forcing her uterus to have contractions, in order to dispel her dead baby in the toilet. Not only does the abortion pill kill a human being, but it also poses threats to the health and life of the women taking it. While the combatting abortion access problem is clearly a guise for Newsom and the bills defenders, it is a guise they must maintain, because the reality is too ghoulish for even the most ardent pro-choice advocates.

According to the FDA, risk & effects include: Abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, heavy bleeding, even maternal death. They further report that 24 women have died taking RU-486, average bleeding lasts 9-16 days and 8% of women will endure bleeding more than 30 days. It gets worse. According to a 2000 Oxford University Press study, the average failure rate of a medication abortion is eight percent. Live Action News points out that an eight percent failure rate means that about one in every 12 chemical abortion attempts will be unsuccessful, which means women will need to be subjected to a surgical abortion, which, of course, alsohas its own risks. Left undiagnosed and untreated, the eight percent of women whose babies were not properly dispelled will be walking around with a dead baby in their uterus, thus susceptible to sepsis and death. As such, the FDA has requirements for prescribers of the abortion pill, including that providers must also be able to provide any necessary surgical intervention and must be able to ensure that women have access to medical facilities for emergency care. Because university health centers are not equipped with surgical abortion instruments or staff qualified or licensed to perform surgical abortions, Newsom will endanger the health and lives of young women who show up to their health centers bleeding and in immense pain, only to be turned away or pointed toward Planned Parenthood. All this under the mantle of healthcare.

Naturally, neither Newsom, Leyva or any of the other bills supporters, addressed these concerns. Ignoring reality and its consequences in favor of ideology is nothing new for the abortion juggernaut. In fact, in June of 2018, Cecile Richards, then President of Planned Parenthood, wrote an LA Times opinion editorial in which she claimed that non-invasive medication abortion is safe by all measures safer than Tylenol and Viagra, even. Heres a perfect example of the linguistic gymnastics that are required by abortion advocates who call a medication safe when its success is gauged on whether its target was murdered.

The first legislation of its kind, SB24 will turn 4-year California state universities into abortion clinics, a far cry from the purpose for which the academy was designed. In a failed sleight of hand, the abortion industry and their cronies have shown their hand and it clearly has nothing to do with real choice. Failing to provide any type of funding for nurseries or daycares on college campuses and fully willing to endanger the actual health and lives of college-aged women in their pursuit of expanding abortion, it is clear that the only choice Newsom is interested in pushing is abortion. Most concerning of all, however, is Californias reputation as a political bellwether in the abortion wars. The moral decay that starts in the Golden State rarely stays in state.

An unprecedented and tragic year for unborn babies and human equality, 2019 serves as a lesson that there can be no bi-partisan or national unity when one political party publicly commits itself to the slaughter of unborn children through the day of birth, even refusing to condemn infanticide and ensure better protections for infants who survive abortions. However, this is not the first time our two-party system has been divided over who is a person.

There is nothing new under the sun.

Woefully ignorant to reality, todays Democratic Party seems to have forgotten that the last time they fought against human equality it led to a war that they lost. This is because, invited or not, reality has an annoying tendency of reasserting itself in our lives. It was self-evidently true that African-Americans were human persons with the same human dignity as everyone else. It is similarly self-evidently true that unborn human beings conceived by human parents are little persons who also share the same dignity. We can either respond to that self-evident reality by aligning our beliefs, lives, and policies correctly, or we can stick our head in the ground and insist that 2 + 2 = 5. But in the end, reality will win out.

Either historically describing the Democratic party during slavery, or prophesying the nature of that same party today, George Orwell, speaking through his character Winston said:

In the end the Party would announce that two and two made five, and you would have to believe it. It was inevitable that they should make that claim sooner or later: the logic of their position demanded it. Not merely the validity of experience, but the very existence of external reality, was tacitly denied by their philosophy. The heresy of heresies was common sense.

In other words, when you base your entire ideology on fantasy, your ideas, foolish though they may be, will merely be a reflection of your ideology. When your worldview leads you to label common sense observations, such as blacks and babies are persons, as heresy, you know youre on the wrong road. And as C.S. Lewis aptly pointed out, the true progressive is the one who, realizing he is on the wrong road, makes an about-turn and walks back to the right road.

Will the abortion juggernaut and its strategic arm, the Democratic party, learn from the mistakes of history and prove their progressiveness by walking back to the right road? I desperately hope and pray so. But Im not holding my breath.

Trump: Boon to pro-life movement

And the pro-life movement hasnt been holding its breath. While 2019 saw a significant rise in pro-abortion radicalism and legislation, this rise correlates directly to the threat posed by what has become the most pro-life administration in American history. After eight years of the most pro-abortion president our country has ever seen, the Trump administration gave a weary pro-life movement the political encouragement necessary to catapult them back onto the offensive.

In his first year alone, President Trump proved to be more pro-life than either Reagan or Bush, appointing pro-life judges, permitting states to defund Planned Parenthood of Title X funds, stopping the overseas funding of abortion, cutting Planned Parenthoods tax funding by $60 million, and creating a new office of conscience protections at HHS, among many more. Encouraged to know that this administration was on their side, pro-life legislators across the country, all began implementing pro-life laws, with the intent of presenting a credible challenge to Roe v. Wade.

It was this rising threat that led New York Governor Cuomo to pass the Reproductive Health Act. Clearly on the defensive, Cuomo rationalized his support of the bill, saying Kavanaugh is going to reverse Roe v. Wade. I have no doubt. Gorsuch is going to reverse Roe v. Wade. I have no doubt. The abortion industry and their political pawns are scared. This should greatly encourage the pro-life movement. And it has.

Americans United for Life released their Fall 2019 State Legislative Sessions Report. They report that so far in 2019, 58 life-affirming laws passed and were signed into law across 22 states, representing a more than 25% increase from 2018. Laws ranging from informed consent, parental involvement, heartbeat, abortion-survivor protections, and down-syndrome protections; these laws are saving lives.

Dr. Michael New of the Charlotte Lozier Institute has researched the effect of state anti-abortion laws and found a direct correlation between the number of pro-life laws and a decrease in the number of abortions. This spike in pro-life legislation has led Planned Parenthood to stick their head further in the ground, launching a campaign titled Bans Off My Body, repeating the decades old trope that the unique human life you pay a physician to intentionally dismember is actually just part of your body.

The pro-life movement heads into election year with massive victories and substantial momentum. Contrastively, the abortion juggernaut is limping into 2020 and their political cronies will soon face an electorate that is growing increasingly uncomfortable with the idea of abortion through point of birth. One of the abortion juggernauts political backers will become the nominee and face the President in debate, who in 2016 correctly defined abortion as rip[ping] the baby out of the womb. That moral clarity on abortion will destroy any euphemistic attempts by the Democratic nominee to appeal to the voters with a reproductive health care pitch.

163 years after the Dred Scott decision, the Democratic party is still the enemy of human equality. They are still dehumanizing a certain class of human beings by defining personhood according to randomly and arbitrarily selected criteria. As Scott Klusendorf rightly points out, We used to discriminate on the basis of skin color and gender (and still do at times), but now with elective abortion, we discriminate on the basis of size, level of development, location, and degree of dependency. Weve simply swapped one form of bigotry for another.

The consequences of that bigotry are the 62 million babies who have been slaughtered in the last 47 years. And now, as in 1857, the Republican party is the only political party staying the madness and attempting to enshrine rights of personhood to every human being. Until the Democratic party and the pro-choice movement choose to bring something new under the sun, what has been will be again: The Democratic party will again be remembered as the party of discrimination and have to account for instituting and protecting the greatest genocide in human history.

Seth Gruber is the West Coast Director for Life Training Institute. He is also the host of "UnAborted with Seth Gruber. Visit his website here.

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Abortion is the greatest genocide in human history, and Democrats are its greatest champion - Lifesite

This Intersex Runner Had Surgery to Compete. It Has Not Gone Well. – The New York Times

Annet Negesa had just finished training in Kampala, Uganda, in June 2012 when she received a call from a doctor from track and fields world governing body. He told her that she would no longer be competing in the London Olympics because her testosterone levels were too high for competition.

I went back into the house and started crying, she recalled.

Negesa was 20 at the time and one of the top athletes in her country, a promising middle-distance runner who had set a national record for 800 meters earlier in the year at a meet in Hengelo, the Netherlands. She was a three-time national champion and took home a gold medal at the 2011 All-Africa Games. The Uganda Athletics Federation named her athlete of the year.

World Athletics, formerly the International Association of Athletics Federations, or I.A.A.F., track and fields world governing body, did not catch Negesa using performance-enhancing drugs. Rather, she is an intersex athlete.

She identifies as female and was born with external female genitalia but also with internal male genitalia that produce levels of testosterone that men do. According to sports officials, that gave her an unfair advantage over most women in some events.

What makes Negesa different from so many other intersex athletes is that she tried to alter her body with surgery so she could continue to compete. Negesa claims that a doctor for World Athletics recommended the surgery. The federation denies this.

For seven years, Negesa, 27, refused to speak about what happened. But time did little to assuage her grievances.

Now I see my body as different, very, very different, she said. I dont know how to talk about it.

The years since the surgery have been a struggle. Negesa has battled persistent headaches and achy joints. Her postoperative care, she said, has not included the kind of hormone treatment that might have helped her body adjust to the change.

What happened to Annet is dangerous, and happened because she wanted to compete, said Payoshni Mitra, a researcher and activist on gender and sports who has lectured on the topic of intersex athletes.

For the past decade, Mitra has stood alongside numerous athletes with naturally high testosterone levels, including Caster Semenya, the South African middle-distance champion, and Dutee Chand, the Indian sprinter. Negesas case, however, was one of the most difficult ones for Mitra to reconcile because Negesa opted to have surgery.

For years, World Athletics has struggled to create rules that maintain a level playing field for the overwhelming majority of women with only female genitalia without impinging on the human rights of intersex people, who account for roughly one in every 2,000 births. A study this year found that female athletes with male testosterone levels are overrepresented in womens middle-distance races.

World Athletics, in a decade of research, found that nearly seven in every 1,000 elite female athletes are intersex athletes with levels of testosterone within the male range. Some endocrinologists have concluded it remains unclear whether high testosterone gives athletes a competitive edge, but many scientists believe it does.

After years of litigation, the Court of Arbitration for Sport in May upheld World Athletics testosterone restrictions for female athletes in races with distances from 400 meters to the mile. The court ruled by a 2-to-1 vote that the restrictions were indeed discriminatory but also a necessary, reasonable and proportionate means of achieving the World Athletics goal of preserving a level playing field in womens track events.

Most women, including elite female athletes, have natural testosterone levels of 0.12 to 1.79 nanomoles per liter, World Athletics said, while the typical male range after puberty is much higher, at 7.7 to 29.4 nanomoles per liter.

Intersex athletes who want to participate in middle-distance womens track events must take hormone-suppressing drugs and reduce testosterone levels below five nanomoles per liter for six months before competing, then maintain those lowered levels.

But Negesa, the eldest of nine siblings raised in a village in Jinja, Uganda, southeast of the Nile, had a much more invasive intervention after she learned in 2012 that she could not compete.

She said a World Athletics physician, Dr. Stphane Bermon, told her she needed to undergo medical treatment and was given surgery as her first option: a gonadectomy to remove her internal testes.

I love my sport so much, thats why I decided to go for the surgery, she said in a recent video interview from Germany, where she now lives.

After Negesa appeared in a documentary on German televisions ARD network in October, World Athletics issued a statement denying that it participated in or recommended a specific treatment to Negesa.

Dr. Bermon has never met the athlete in question and was not at either the consultation in Nice nor the surgery she speaks of in Uganda, the statement said. Through a World Athletics spokesman, Dr. Bermon declined to comment.

Negesa said she traveled alone to Nice for medical tests soon after learning she could not compete. She recalled having her body measurements taken by two doctors who spoke in French. Negesa speaks Swahili and English.

It was so weird, she recalled. I was shy.

She returned to Kampala for treatment, and paid $900 for the procedure.

On the morning of her surgery in Kampala, she had little knowledge of what she was about to undergo. Doctors had told her that it was a simple surgery and that she would return to competition in a few weeks.

I woke up in the morning feeling cuts on my body, she said. I felt so scared. I didnt know that I was going to be cut open.

She hasnt returned to the sport and has suffered from depression and joint pain since the operation.

Negesas medical records from the Womens Hospital International & Fertility Centre in Kampala were reviewed by The New York Times and confirm that World Athletics, then known as the I.A.A.F., recommended a thorough medical examination, citing the high levels of testosterone in her body. The report states that after her testing in Nice she had a gonadectomy in Kampala. The document states that her surgeon in Kampala, Dr. Edward Tamale Sali, did not start her on hormone therapy because he was awaiting further discussion with Dr. Bermon.

Dr. Tamale Sali declined to comment.

In 2013, Dr. Bermon, now director of the World Athletics health and science department, published a report citing four unidentified athletes from developing countries who were referred to hospitals in France for naturally high testosterone levels.

I think I was the first one, Negesa said of the four athletes cited in the study. She said Dr. Bermon was the World Athletics official who first called her in 2012.

After Negesas appearance in the German documentary in September, 25 French athletes wrote to World Athletics, the International Olympic Committee and the minister of sports and health calling for an investigation.

The French minister of sports and minister of health opened a joint investigation in October.

In its statement, World Athletics said it does not advise athletes on preferred treatments and did not do so in this case. The global federation has never forced any athlete affected by its regulations to undergo surgery, nor paid for any of their treatment.

In March, the United Nations Human Rights Council condemned World Athletics attempt to regulate female athletes testosterone levels. And in May the World Medical Association advised physicians around the world to abstain from implementing the new regulations.

They are assigned female at birth and have grown up to have a female gender identity, so theres no question that they belong in that category, said Katrina Karkazis, a fellow at Yale Universitys Global Health Justice Partnership.

Negesa said that returning home, where L.G.B.T. individuals are openly condemned, would lead to imprisonment or death.

She filed for asylum in Berlin in September, and was granted it this month.

She runs every day, with the hope of one day returning to international competition. Her next step, though, is litigation. I need to take them to court, she said of World Athletics, for violating my human rights.

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This Intersex Runner Had Surgery to Compete. It Has Not Gone Well. - The New York Times

Battle of the Bloat: What is the Right Rx for IBS? – Clinical Advisor

Case Presentation

A 56-year-old white woman with a history of fibromyalgia and anxiety presentsto her primary care physician (PCP) for follow-up to review abnormal laboratoryfindings. During her visit she mentions worsening digestive problems includingbloating and frequent diarrhea. The patient denies abdominal pain, nausea, andvomiting. Her digestive symptoms began approximately 3 years ago and have waxedand waned in severity. She believes certain foods intensify her symptoms but cannotpinpoint exactly which foods are the triggers.

The patient is not on any long-term prescription medications but occasionally takes an antacid. She recently finished courses of trimethoprim and sulfamethoxazole for a urinary tract infection.

Upon physical examination, the patients abdomen is extremelydistended with hyperactive bowel sounds and hyper-resonance with percussion inall 4 quadrants. The abdomen is non-tender to palpation and the spleen andkidneys are non-palpable. Neitherpulsatile mass nor ascites are present.

Laboratory tests are ordered: white blood cell count is 4.3 K/L andlymphocytes are 1.2 K/L. The patients calcium level is 10.3 mg/dL, but wasreduced to 9.7 mg/dL following correction of albumin of 4.8 g/dL. Vitamin D25-hydroxy is 20.9 ng/mL. Additional tests were within normal limits.

Differential diagnoses include antibiotic-induced Clostridium difficile colitis, food intolerance, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), diverticulitis, and inflammatory bowel disease.

Additional tests are ordered, including thyroid-stimulating hormone, antinuclearantibody, erythrocyte sedimentation rate, and C-reactive protein, which are allwithin normal range. Stool guaiac and culture are also negative, ruling out C difficile infection.

The patient is referred to gastroenterology for further testing.Gallbladder ultrasound was normal with no stones or sludge identified in thegallbladder lumen. Endoscopy and colonoscopy images and biopsies wereunremarkable.

The patient is then referred to an allergist. Food allergy testing wasnegative. The patient was instructed to try a dairy-free diet for 1 month andsubsequently a gluten-free diet for 1 month. The patient did not experiencerelief from either elimination phase diets.

The patient returned to her PCP and was told she likely suffered fromdiarrhea-predominant irritable bowel syndrome (IBS-D); her demographics as a womanwith fibromyalgia and anxiety and recent antibiotic use made the diagnosis evenmore likely. However, no specific test was performed to confirm the diagnosis.

See more here:
Battle of the Bloat: What is the Right Rx for IBS? - Clinical Advisor

Doctors issue open letter to the Australian government: Julian Assange at risk of death in prison – World Socialist Web Site

Doctors issue open letter to the Australian government: Julian Assange at risk of death in prison 17 December 2019

The following open letter has been issued to the Australian government by Doctors4Assange on behalf of more than 100 signatories. The letter and accompanying addendum has been published on Medium and medical doctors can add their name to the current list of signatories by contacting

To: Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Hon Marise Payne

CC: Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Hon Penny Wong

Prime Minister of Australia, the Hon Scott Morrison

Leader of the Opposition, the Hon Anthony Albanese

16 December 2019

Dear Minister,


We, the undersigned medical doctors, wrote to the UK Home Secretary on 22 November 2019, and to the Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice on 4 December 2019, expressing our serious and unanimous concerns that an Australian citizen, Mr Julian Assange, is at risk of death due to the conditions of his detention in a UK prison.

Our open letter received worldwide media coverage and we received letters of support from doctors and others around the world. Now, having received no response from the UK Government, we call upon you to intervene as a matter of urgency. As Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, you have an undeniable legal obligation to protect your citizen against the abuse of his fundamental human rights, stemming from US efforts to extradite Mr Assange for journalism and publishing that exposed US war crimes.

The medical imperative to protect Australian citizen Julian Assange cannot be overstated. Our letters to the UK Government have warned of serious consequences if Mr Assange is not transferred immediately from Belmarsh Prison to an appropriate hospital setting, where he can be assessed and treated by a suitably constituted specialist medical team. Mr Assange requires assessment and treatment in an environment that, unlike Belmarsh prison, does not further destabilise his complex and precarious physical and mental state of health.

On 22 November 2019, we warned the UK Home Secretary that if such a transfer were not to take place immediately, there was a real possibility that Mr Assange would die in a UK prison. That assessment of risk was based on publicly available information dating from 2015, provided by medical experts and leading authorities in human rights and international law.

You will recall that the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention concluded in December 2015 that Mr Assange was being arbitrarily detained by the governments of the UK and Sweden. Crucially, it was made clear at the time that any continued arbitrary detention of Mr Assange would constitute torture. Medical experts have repeatedly advised the UK Government of potentially catastrophic consequences should it fail to facilitate adequate medical care for Mr Assange. As our letters of 22 November 2019 and 4 December 2019 outline, such consequences, including death, would be eminently foreseeable and attributable to the actions and inactions of the UK Government.

On 9 May 2019, UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Professor Nils Melzer interviewed Mr Assange at Belmarsh Prison, accompanied by a medical team. On 31 May 2019, Mr Melzer published his report and condemned the collective persecution of Mr Assange by the UK, Swedish, Ecuadorian and US governments. Mr Assanges health has been seriously affected by the extremely hostile and arbitrary environment he has been exposed to for many years, the expert warned. Most importantly, in addition to physical ailments, Mr Assange showed all symptoms typical for prolonged exposure to psychological torture, including extreme stress, chronic anxiety and intense psychological trauma.

The evidence is overwhelming and clear, the UN Special Rapporteur stated. Mr Assange has been deliberately exposed, for a period of several years, to progressively severe forms of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, the cumulative effects of which can only be described as psychological torture.

On 1 November 2019, Professor Melzer was forced to intervene once more: What we have seen from the UK Government is outright contempt for Mr Assanges rights and integrity Despite the medical urgency of my appeal, and the seriousness of the alleged violations, the UK has not undertaken any measures of investigation, prevention and redress required under international law. He concluded: Unless the UK urgently changes course and alleviates his inhumane situation, Mr Assanges continued exposure to arbitrariness and abuse may soon end up costing his life.

These are extraordinary and unprecedented statements by the worlds foremost authority on torture. The Australian government has shamefully been complicit by its refusal to act, over many years. Should Mr Assange die in a British prison, people will want to know what you, Minister, did to prevent his death.

Lest there be any misapprehension about the reality of the medical risks facing Mr Assange, important underlying medical facts are outlined in the Addendum to this letter. These facts render Mr Assanges continued detention in Belmarsh Prison medically reckless at best and deliberately harmful at worst.

We therefore urge you to insist upon the immediate transfer of Mr Assange from Belmarsh Prison to an Australian university teaching hospital, on urgent medical grounds, so that he can receive the assessment and treatment that he requires. We are aware of statements by Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison that Mr Assange is not going to be given any special treatment and that Australia is unable to intervene in Mr Assanges legal proceedings. However, the most fundamental human rights of an Australian citizen are being denied by the British government.

We demand that you exercise your diplomatic and legal powers to defend the rights of Mr Assange, as you have done previously for other Australian citizens detained abroad, including Melinda Taylor, James Ricketson, David Hicks and Peter Greste.

Further, Mr Assange must not face extradition proceedings for which he may well be medically unfit. At the case management hearing on 21 October 2019, Mr Assange struggled to answer basic questions regarding his name and date of birth, a potentially ominous sign with respect to his cognitive functioning and his state of health.

That we, as doctors, feel ethically compelled to hold governments to account on medical grounds speaks volumes about the gravity of the medical, ethical and human rights travesties that are taking place. It is an extremely serious matter for an Australian citizens survival to be endangered by a foreign government obstructing his human right to health. It is an even more serious matter for that citizens own government to refuse to intervene, against historical precedent and numerous converging lines of medical advice.

We are reliably advised that it is a well-established principle of international lawand of Australian law recognised by its own courtsthat if a countrys citizens face improper treatment, persecution, and human rights violations, they may be the subject of diplomatic action, at that sovereign powers discretion, to protect its citizens abroad. The Australian government must exercise that discretion and request from Britain the safe passage of Mr Assange to Australia, to protect Mr Assange and the rights of all Australian citizens.

We hope that this letter has helped to clarify the reality and urgency of the medical crisis facing your citizen, Mr Assange. We urge you to negotiate Julian Assanges safe passage from Belmarsh Prison to an appropriate hospital setting in Australia before it is too late.

As the present matter is of inherent public interest, copies of this open letter will be distributed to media outlets worldwide.

Yours faithfully,

Dr Mariagiulia Agnoletto MD Specialist in Psychiatry ASST Monza San Gerardo Hospital, Monza (Italy)

Dr Vittorio Agnoletto MD Universit degli Studi di Milano Statale, Milano (Italy)

Dr Sonia Allam MBChB FRCA Consultant in Anaesthesia and Pre-operative Assessment, Forth Valley Royal Hospital, Scotland (UK)

Dr Norbert Andersch MD MRCPsych Consultant Neurologist and Psychiatrist, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (retired); Lecturer in Psychopathology at Sigmund Freud Private University, Vienna-Berlin-Paris (Germany and UK)

Dr Marianne Beaucamp MD Fachrztin (Specialist) in Neurology & Psychiatry Psychoanalyst and Psychotherapist (retired), Munich (Germany)

Dr Thed Beaucamp MD Fachrztin (Specialist) in Neurology, Psychiatry & Psychosomatic Medicine Psychoanalyst and Psychotherapist (retired), Munich (Germany)

Dr Margaret Beavis MBBS FRACGP MPH General Medical Practitioner (Australia)

Dr David Bell Consultant Psychiatrist and Psychoanalyst, London (UK)

Mr Patrick John Ramsay Boyd (signed John Boyd) MRCS LRCP MBBS FRCS FEBU Consultant Urologist (retired) (UK)

Dr Hannah Caller MBBS DCH Paediatrician, Homerton University Hospital, London (UK)

Dr Franco Camandona MD Specialist in Obstetrics & Gynaecology E.O. Ospedali Galliera, Genova (Italy)

Dr Sylvia Chandler MBChB MRCGP BA MA General Medical Practitioner (retired) (UK)

Dr Marco Chiesa MD FRCPsych Consultant Psychiatrist and Visiting Professor, University College London (UK)

Dr Carla Eleonora Ciccone MD Specialist in Obstetrics & Gynaecology AORN MOSCATI, Avellino (Italy)

Dr Owen Dempsey MBBS BSc MSc PhD General Medical Practitioner (retired) (UK)

Dr H R Dhammika MBBS Medical Officer, Dehiattakandiya Base Hospital, Dehiattakandiya (Sri Lanka)

Dr Tim Dowson MBChB MRCGP MSc MPhil Specialised General Medical Practitioner in Substance Misuse, Leeds (UK)

Miss Kamilia El-Farra MBChB FRCOG MPhil (Medical Law and Ethics) Consultant Gynaecologist, Essex (UK)

Dr Beata Farmanbar MD General Medical Practitioner (Sweden)

Dr Tomasz Fortuna MD RCPsych (affiliated) Forensic Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, Adult Psychotherapist and Psychoanalyst, British Psychoanalytical Society and Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust, London (UK)

Dr C Stephen Frost BSc MBChB Specialist in Diagnostic Radiology (Stockholm, Sweden) (UK and Sweden)

Dr Peter Garrett MA MD FRCP Independent writer and humanitarian physician; Visiting Lecturer in Nephrology at the University of Ulster (UK)

Dr Rachel Gibbons MBBS BSc MRCPsych. M.Inst.Psychoanal. Mem.Inst.G.A Consultant Psychiatrist (UK)

Dr Bob Gill MBChB MRCGP General Medical Practitioner (UK)

Elizabeth Gordon MS FRCS Consultant Surgeon (retired); Co-founder of Freedom from Torture (UK)

Professor Derek A. Gould MBChB MRCP DMRD FRCR Consultant Interventional Radiologist (retired): BSIR Gold Medal, 2010; over 110 peer-reviewed publications in journals and chapters (UK)

Dr Jenny Grounds MD General Medical Practitioner, Riddells Creek, Victoria; Treasurer, Medical Association for Prevention of War, Australia (Australia)

Dr Paul Hobday MBBS FRCGP DRCOG DFSRH DPM General Medical Practitioner (retired) (UK)

Mr David Jameson-Evans MBBS FRCS Consultant Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgeon (retired) (UK)

Dr Bob Johnson MRCPsych MRCGP Diploma in Psychotherapy Neurology & Psychiatry (Psychiatric Institute New York) MA (Psychol) PhD (Med Computing) MBCS DPM MRCS Consultant Psychiatrist (retired); Formerly Head of Therapy, Ashworth Maximum Security Hospital, Liverpool; Formally Consultant Psychiatrist, Special Unit, C-Wing, Parkhurst Prison, Isle of Wight (UK)

Dr Lissa Johnson BA BSc(Hons, Psych) MPsych(Clin) PhD Clinical Psychologist (Australia)

Dr Anna Kacperek MRCPsych Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, London (UK)

Dr Jessica Kirker MBChB DipPsychiat MRCPsych FRANZCP MemberBPAS Psychoanalyst and Consultant Medical Psychotherapist (retired) (UK)

Dr Willi Mast MD Facharzt fr Allgemeinmedizin, Gelsenkirchen (Germany)

Dr Janet Menage MA MBChB General Medical Practitioner (retired); qualified Psychological Counsellor; author of published research into Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (UK)

Professor Alan Meyers MD MPH Emeritus Professor of Paediatrics, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts (United States)

Dr Salique Miah BSc MBChB FRCEM DTM&H ARCS Consultant in Emergency Medicine, Manchester (UK)

Dr David Morgan DClinPsych MSc Fellow of British Psychoanalytic Society Psychoanalyst, Consultant Clinical Psychologist and Consultant Psychotherapist (UK)

Dr Helen Murrell MBChB MRCGP General Medical Practitioner, Gateshead (UK)

Dr Alison Anne Noonan MBBS (Sydney) MD (Rome) MA (Sydney) ANZSJA IAAP AAGP IAP Psychiatrist, Psychoanalyst, Specialist Outreach Northern Territory, Executive Medical Association for Prevention of War (NSW) (Australia)

Dr Alison Payne BSc MBChB DRCOG MRCGP prev FRNZGP General Medical Practitioner, Coventry; special interest in mental health/trauma and refugee health (UK)

Dr Peter Pech MD Specialist in Diagnostic Radiology (sub-specialty Paediatric Radiology), Akademiska Sjukhuset (Uppsala University Hospital), Uppsala (Sweden)

Dr Tomasz Pierscionek MRes MBBS MRCPsych PGDip (UK)

Professor Allyson M Pollock MBChB MSc FFPH FRCGP FRCP (Ed) Professor of Public Health, Newcastle University (UK)

Dr Abdulsatar Ravalia FRCA Consultant Anaesthetist (UK)

Dr. med. Ullrich Raupp MD Specialist in Psychotherapy, Child Psychiatry and Child Neurology; Psychodynamic Supervisor (DGSv) Wesel, Germany (Germany)

Professor Andrew Samuels Professor of Analytical Psychology, University of Essex (recently retired); Honorary/Visiting Professor at Goldsmiths and Roehampton (both London), New York and Macau City Universities; Former Chair, UK Council for Psychotherapy (20092012); Founder Board Member of the International Association for Relational Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy; Founder of Psychotherapists and Counsellors for Social Responsibility (UK)

Mr John H Scurr BSc MBBS FRCS Consultant General and Vascular Surgeon, University College Hospital, London (UK)

Dr Peter Shannon MBBS (UWA) DPM (Melb) FRANZCP Adult Psychiatrist (retired) (Australia)

Dr Gustaw Sikora MD PhD F Inst Psychoanalysis Fellow of British Psychoanalytic Society Specialist Psychiatrist (diploids obtained in Poland and registered in the UK); Psychoanalyst; currently in private practice (UK and Poland)

Dr Wilhelm Skogstad MRCPsych BPAS IPA Psychiatrist & Psychoanalyst, London, United Kingdom (UK and Germany)

Dr John Stace MBBS (UNSW) FRACGP FACRRM FRACMA MHA (UNSW) Country Doctor (retired), Perth (Australia)

Dr Derek Summerfield BSc (Hons) MBBS MRCPsych Honorary Senior Clinical Lecturer, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, Kings College London (UK)

Dr Rob Tandy MBBS MRCPsych Consultant Psychiatrist in Psychotherapy & Psychoanalyst; Unit Head, Psychoanalytic Treatment Unit, Tavistock and Portman, London; City & Hackney Primary Care Psychotherapy Consultation Service, St Leonards Hospital, London (UK)

Dr Noel Thomas MA MBChB DCH DobsRCOG DTM&H MFHom General Medical Practitioner; homeopath; has assisted on health/education projects in six developing countries Maesteg, Wales (UK)

Dr Philip Thomas MBChB DPM MPhil MD Formerly Professor of Philosophy Diversity & Mental Health, University of Central Lancashire; Formally Consultant Psychiatrist (UK)

Dr Gianni Tognoni MD Istituto Mario Negri, Milano (Italy)

Dr Sebastio Viola Lic Med MRCPsych Consultant Psychiatrist, Cardiff (UK)

Dr Peter Walger MD Consultant, Infectious Disease Specialist, Bonn-Duesseldorf-Berlin (Germany)

Dr Sue Wareham OAM MBBS General Medical Practitioner (retired) (Australia)

Dr Elizabeth Waterston MD General Medical Practitioner (retired), Newcastle upon Tyne (UK)

Dr Eric Windgassen MRCPsych PGDipMBA Consultant Psychiatrist (retired) (UK)

Dr Pam Wortley MBBS MRCGP General Medical Practitioner (retired), Sunderland (UK)

Dr Matthew Yakimoff BOralH (DSc) GDipDent General Dental Practitioner (Australia)

Dr Rosemary Yuille BSc (Hons Anatomy) MBBS (Hons) General Medical Practitioner (retired), Canberra (Australia)

Dr Felicity de Zulueta Emeritus Consultant Psychiatrist in Psychotherapy, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust; Honorary Senior Clinical Lecturer in Traumatic Studies, Kings College London (UK)

Dr Paquita de Zulueta MBBChir MA (Cantab) MA (Medical Law & Ethics) MRCP FRCGP PGDipCBT CBT Therapist and Coach; Senior Tutor Medical Ethics; Honorary Senior Clinical Lecturer, Dept of Primary Care & Population Health, Imperial College London (UK)

New signatories added:

Dr Victoria Abdelnur MD Specialist in Integrative Trauma Therapy (Germany and Argentina)

Dr Talal Alrubaie Psychiatrist and Psychotherapist MBChB MSc MD (Austria)

Dr Ernst Berger MD Univ. Prof., Specialist for psychiatry and neurology, Specialist for child psychiatry, Psychotherapist, Former head of Human Right Commission of Austrian Ombudsman Board MUW Klinik f. Kinder- u. Jugendpsychiatrie (Austria)

Dr Brenda Bonnici, B Pharm (Hons), M Pharm (Regulatory Affairs), PhD (Neuropharmacology); Consultant Patient Information (Switzerland)

Dr Stephen Caswell Clinical Psychologist BSc (Hons) MSc PGDip DClinPsych (UK)

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Doctors issue open letter to the Australian government: Julian Assange at risk of death in prison - World Socialist Web Site