Center for Mind and Body Medicine Presents: Finding Our Way Toward Health and Healing”

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Watch “Finding Our Way Toward Health and Healing” on YouTube

https://youtu.be/dKvm56_8VqA

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is produced by the body in response to the skin being exposed to the sun and is essential for strong bones, because Vitamin D helps the body uses calcium from the diet (webmd.com). Many Americans have a vitamin D deficiency; 17.5 % of African Americans, 5.9 % of Hispanics, 7.6% of Asians and 2.1% of white Americans (nih.gov).

Vitamin D is produced when the body is exposed to sunlight and the also produces a mechanism to repair DNA. The problem is not the sun but the burning of skin that causes cancer. That is why the use of sun screen is encouraged to reduce skin cancer. However, the use of sun screen inhibits vitamin D production. Vitamin D is stored in fat, within the stomach, so the more weight one gains, the vitamin is not available for use by the body.

Other European countries, such as Finland, Sweden, Spain, Italy and others require vitamin D supplements added to the food. There are many sources of vitamin D. These foods include fatty fish (salmon, trout, mackerel), portobello mushrooms, fortified milk, yogurt, fortified non-dairy milk (almonds, soy), fortified cereal, orange juice, pork, eggs, tomatoes, and bell peppers (Oz & Roizen, 2005).

Vitamin D has multiple roles in the body. Vitamin D promotes healthy bones and teeth. This vitamin is essential support for the immune system, the brain, and nervous system, which regulates insulin levels, supporting lung and cardiovascular function (https://ods.od.nih.gov.).

It may be a good idea to add a Vitamin D supplement to your daily routine to increase your immunity during the pandemic. Please check with your medical professional to answer any questions you may have regarding your personal health and wellness.

Just keeping you informed!

References

Oz, M, and Roizen, M. (2005). YOU: The owner’s manual: An insider’s guide to the body that will make you healthier and younger, Harper Resource, New York, NY

Vitamin D-Professional Fact Sheet. Retrieved from https://ods.od.nih.gov

Vitamin D Deficiency. (2020). Retrieved from Webmd.com

Its Time to Unplug Again…

The stress of the current events has finally gotten to me! After the death of George Floyd, and the continuous media coverage, I was stressed and anxious. The lack of sensitivity by the current administration and others, compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic was depressing. I found that I really had to unplug and start doing something else for my sanity.

I like to keep up with current events, and honestly, it became too much to consume. It is reported that the President has COVID-19 after exhibiting risky behavior and the press are consumed with the story.

Apparently, I have a higher tolerance than most because many of my friends and family had already unplugged and doing other things. I felt I had to keep up with the nonsense and pay attention to combat false information.

Netflix and Prime Video have became my friend. I started listening to more music, and increased my exercise activity and stopped watching the news.

My advice to you, is take care of yourself, unplug, find something you like to do to relieve your stress. These days we all need to ensure we are getting enough sleep, eating well and exercising to maintain our well being and health.

Just keeping you informed!

COVID-19 UPDATE

COVID-19 has been an issue in the United States since February. The current death rate from this pandemic is 220k and the United States has 4% of the world’s population. Doctors and nurses have been on the front line of this pandemic since the beginning. The American Nurses Association (ANA) reports that half of front line nurses are emotionally overwhelmed as they administer care to those with COVID-19 (ANA, 2020). Over 10,000 nurses were surveyed; 30% complained of having feelings of depression, while 73% were having difficulty sleeping (ANA, 2020).

The nurses complained of experiencing additional stress because they are required to reuse PPE (personal protective equipment) even though they were taught it is designed for single use only. As a result, nurses feel unsafe (ANA, 2020). Contrary to what the public has heard, many hospitals are still experiencing a shortage of PPE (ANA, 2020). The President of the ANA, Ernest Grant, PhD, RN, FAAN testified on behalf of America’s nursing workforce to the Senate Committee on Finance regarding this issue (ANA, 2020). The strain on the country’s medical chain has had a tremendous impact on nursing due to the shortage of PPE.

I do not know if his testimony will make a difference. The Trump Administration likes to brag about their response to the virus and how the virus will just go away. Meanwhile, nurses and other front line workers continue to be severely burned out, tired and overwhelmed.

To make matters worse the CDC, keeps changing the guidelines, regarding the use of PPE, how long individuals should be quarantined, and testing procedures. This has caused medical professionals to revert back to standard infection control guidelines to keep themselves safe. This uncertainty has also affected how the public views the virus, leading to unsafe practices, i.e., no social distancing, or wearing a mask.

For anyone who has had a doubt about the virus, know it is real and catching it may have consequences. It may leave you with a pre-existing condition. Remember, Mr. Trump and the Republican Party are actively trying to disassemble the Affordable Act (Obama Care) and the clause that individuals with pre-exisiting conditions must be covered by insurance companies.

We the people can decide we want to reduce the spread of this virus by listening to science and doing our part. Our part includes washing your hands, practicing social distancing, wearing a mask and avoiding crowds. That is not too much to ask, so that life can return to normal, reduce the death rate and business can once again thrive. Your personal freedom is no more important than the greater good for mankind. It’s interesting that many do no believe they are their brothers keeper, and this is a pandemic meaning its world wide. Be considerate and think of others.

Reference

ANA Enterprise News. (2020, September). ANA present testifies on PPE shortage. American Nurse, 15(9), 54.

ANA Enterprise News. (2020, September). Half of frontline nurses emotionally overwhelmed by COVID-19. American Nurse, 15(9), 54.

September is Suicide Awareness Month

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If you or someone you know is in an emergency situation and is talking about committing suicide call The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) or call 911 immediately.

Suicide is on the rise, and it may be due to the isolation and loneliness as a result of this pandemic. In the wake of the political climate, acts of injustice by the police, and natural disasters, we are all left a little depressed. Those with mental health issues, children, and adolescents experiencing cyberbullying as well as nurses and others that are also experiencing bullying in the workplace may find these extra burdens are too much to deal with. These constant attacks make them all susceptible to the feelings of hopelessness and despair, that could give way to suicide if left untreated.

If you or anyone you know have experienced hopelessness and despair and it continues to plague you or someone you know, please reach out for help. Not all individuals may be suicidal but they do need some intervention from a professional, to assist with healthy coping mechanisms.

Below are references for more information on this serious topic.

References

  1. Suicide rates for all ages – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Centers for Injury Prevention and Control. Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS) [online]. (2005) Accessed March 30, 2020.
    https://www.cdc.gov/injury/wisqars
  2. Number of and rates of youth suicides – Texas Department of State Health Services, Texas Death Certificate Data, Vital Statistics Section. Prepared by Center for Health Statistics, March 11, 2020.
    https://dshs.texas.gov/chs/vstat/Default.shtm
  3. Number of suicide-related calls to Poison Control Center – Texas Department of State Health Services, Environmental Epidemiology & Disease Registries. Prepared by Texas Poison Center Network (TPCN), February 28, 2020.
    https://www.dshs.state.tx.us/epidemiology/epipoison.shtm
  4. Who’s at risk? – Texas Department of State Health Services, Center for Health Statistics. Prepared by Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS), March 4, 2020.
    https://www.dshs.texas.gov/chs/yrbs/

Remember to reach out, if you or someone you know have feelings of extreme sadness and hopelessness that you can not manage call The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) or call 911 immediately.

Are You a Caregiver?

Caregivers are special people, and give of themselves to take care of their family members and others. Being a caregiver can be demanding and trying but during this time of COVID-19, it can be especially stressful. A hospitalized family member can add additional guilt and worry to a stressful situation.

Caregivers can be so dedicated when providing care for their loved ones, that they forget they have needs to be addressed. Outings with friends and family are essential and wonderful therapy, but during these times COVID-19 has caused an extra burden on everyone. Remember social distancing and use a mask to protect yourself and others.

The role of a caregiver can be fulfilling as well as taxing. It is normal to feel overwhelmed, unappreciated, frustrated, and guilty at times. Joining a caregiver’s support group can be helpful and reduce the loneliness one may feel as a caregiver.

Taking Care of Yourself: Tips for Caregivers

Taking care of yourself is one of the most important things you can do as a caregiver. Make sure you’re eating healthy, being active, and taking time for yourself. Caregiving, especially from a distance, is likely to bring out many different emotions, both positive and negative. Feeling of frustration and angry with 3 older women doing yoga meditationeveryone, from the care recipient to the doctors, is a common experience. Anger could be a sign that they are overwhelmed or trying to do too much. If possible , they should give themselves a break: take a walk, talk with friends, get some sleep—try to do something for yourself. Retrieved from https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/caregiving

Care giving is not easy for anyone—not for the caregiver and not for the care recipient. There are sacrifices and adjustments for everyone, especially when you don’t live where the care is needed, it may be especially hard to feel that what you are doing is enough or important.

Although caregivers may not feel as physically exhausted and drained as the primary, hands-on caregiver, long-distance caregivers may still be worried and anxious. Sometimes, long-distance caregivers feel guilty about not being closer, not doing enough, not having enough time with the person, and perhaps even feeling jealous of those who do. Many long-distance caregivers also find that worrying about being able to afford to take time off from work, being away from family, or the cost of travel increases these frustrations. Remember that you are doing the best you can given the circumstances and that you can only do what you can do. It may help to know that these are feelings shared by many other long-distance caregivers—you are not alone in this. Retrieved from https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/caregiving.

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Share this infographic and help spread the word about caring for yourself while caring for others.

Learn about sharing caregiving responsibilities with friends and family.

For More Information About Caregiver Health Contact

Family Caregiver Alliance
800-445-8106 (toll-free)
info@caregiver.org
www.caregiver.org

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is required for the proper development and function of many parts of the body. It also plays an important role in maintaining a proper immune system, prevents bone loss and cartilage inadequacies associated with aging (Oz and Roizen, 2005).

Vitamin C was used for preventing and treating scurvy. These days, vitamin C is most commonly used for preventing and treating the common cold.

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19): Some experts suggest taking 200 mg of vitamin C daily for COVID-19 prevention or 1-2 grams daily for COVID-19 treatment (WebMD, 2020). While these doses of vitamin C are likely safe, there is no good data to support benefit for COVID-19. If you opt to take vitamin C for COVID-19, be sure to follow a healthy lifestyle and proven prevention methods (WebMD, 20).

Most experts recommend getting vitamin C from a diet high in fruits and vegetables rather than taking supplements (WebMD, 2020). Either way, Vitamin C is good for the body. A great source is fresh-squeezed orange juice or fresh frozen concentrate, tomatoes and bell peppers.

Just keeping you informed and stay well!!!

References

Oz, M, and Roizen, M. (2005). YOU: The owner’s manual: An insider’s guide to the body that will make you healthier and younger, Harper Resource, New York, NY.

WebMD. (2020) VITAMIN C (ASCORBIC ACID). Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-1001/vitamin-c-ascorbic-acid

Difference Between A Virus and Bacteria

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Unlike bacteria, viruses can’t survive without a host; they can only reproduce by attaching themselves to other cells (WebMD, 2020). The virus invades and hijacks the cell and takes over its genetic code as it moves through the body. Think of the virus as a person who has gone to Kinko’s and made million of copies of emails to send all your friends in your address book (Oz and Roizen, 2005).

We can not live without bacteria, they aid in digest and add nutrients to our food choices (Oz & Roizen, 2005). Too much bacteria can cause infection and left untreated bacteria can cause permanent damage to the immune system, without the use of antibiotics (Oz & Roizen, 2005).

Unlike bacteria, most viruses do cause disease, and they’re are quite specific about the cells they attack. Certain viruses attack cells in the liver, respiratory system, or the blood and in some cases, viruses target bacteria (WebMD, 2020). Virus do not response to antibiotics, and can have negative effects by killing only susceptible bacteria and allowing the more dangerous resistant strains of the virus to get stronger (Oz & Roizen, 2005).

Virus can be transmitted by hand-to-hand or mouth-to-mouth and need a host to replicate (common cold, COVID-19). A secondary bacterial infection can occur with a virus, producing thick colored mucus (Oz & Roizen, 2005).

It is difficult to determine whether an illness is viral or bacterial because many ailments, including pneumonia, meningitis, and diarrhea can be caused by either. Your doctor can determine the cause by listening to your medical history and doing a physical exam (WebMD, 2020). The examples of bacteria and virus are as follows: Bacteria: Pimples, Chlamydia, Strep Throat Virus: Common Cold, Mononucleosis, HIV, Chicken Pox, Shingles, Herpes

If you have a sore throat and it doesn’t feel better within 48 hours, you should see a doctor to determine if its bacterial and if you are in need of an antibiotic (Oz & Roizen, 2005). This post is not intended to replace your physician or a trip to the clinic but to keep you informed. Stay well!!

References

Oz, M, and Roizen, M. (2005). YOU: The owner’s manual: An insider’s guide to the body that will make you healthier and younger, Harper Resource, New York, NY.

WebMD. (2020). Bacterial and Viral Infections, Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/bacterial-and-viral-infections#2-5

Benefits of A Good Cup of Coffee!

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I personally do not drink coffee because it makes me hyperactive and jittery. I can honestly say that after drinking one cup of coffee while working on the night shift in the intensive care unit; I gave 26 bed baths and changed all the beds for the patients in the unit that night.

Many American’s swear that they can’t start their day with having a cup of coffee. It is said that coffee is a universal drink and enjoyed by many around the world.

Coffee is taunted as an antioxidant, anticancer and anti-inflammatory, thats protects the brain and liver, counteracts depression and improves attention.

It has over 1000 actives compounds and decaffeined coffee has similar properties to normal coffee. Avoid drinking coffee in the evening hours to prevent insomnia and should be taken in moderation.

Coffee has a positive affect on the brain and its neurotransmitters, because of the caffeine, which is also found in teas, low-calorie soft drinks and chocolate. The benefits of caffeine include the following:

  1. Increases energy and makes you feel tired, because of the caffeine.
  2. Caffeine is one of the few natural substances proven to aid fat burning.
  3. Caffeine can increase adrenaline levels and release fatty acids from your fat tissues. It also leads to significant improvements in physical performance.
  4. Coffee contains several important nutrients, including riboflavin, pantothenic acid, manganese, potassium, magnesium and niacin.
  5. Several observational studies show that coffee drinkers have a much lower risk of type 2 diabetes.
  6. Coffee drinkers have a 65% lower risk of getting Alzheimer’s disease.
  7. Coffee drinkers have up to a 60% lower risk of getting Parkinson’s disease,
  8. Coffee may protect against cirrhosis — people who drink 4 or more cups per day have up to an 80% lower risk.
  9. In a study , women who drank 4 or more cups of coffee per day had a 20% lower risk of becoming depressed and 53% less likely to die by suicide.
  10. Coffee drinkers have a lower risk of liver and colorectal cancer.
  11. Coffee may cause mild increases in blood pressure, which usually diminish over time. Coffee drinkers do not have an increased risk of heart disease and have a slightly lower risk of stroke.
  12. Coffee drinkers live longer and have a lower risk of premature death because of they are less likely to get many diseases.
  13. In fact, it said that coffee may be one of the healthiest beverages on the planet.

On another note too much caffeine can cause irregular heart beats, difficulty with diabetes, stomach upsets, anxiety, and migraines. Men with enlarged prostates can have urethral spasms due to increased amounts of caffeine. Remember caffeine can be addictive, but it does appear the benefits may out way the negative effects.

But with that said, have a cup of coffee and enjoy!

References

Dulloo, A. G., Geissler, C. A., Horton, T., Collins, A., & Miller, D. S. (1989). Normal caffeine consumption: influence on thermogenesis and daily energy expenditure in lean and postobese human volunteers. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 49(1), 44–50. https://doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/49.1.44

Gunnars, K. (2018). 13 Health Benefits of Caffeine. Healthline, Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/top-13-evidence-based-health-benefits-of-coffee#section1

Truth About Menopause

Menopause is a sign that the reproduction hormones have decreased. Both sexes experience menopause. Women experience hot flashes, insomnia and a decrease in vagina fullness. According to Rozen and Oz (2005) the onset for men is gradual and not as clearly defined.

Dr. Northrup stays “healthy ovaries continue to make small amounts of hormones for our entire lives—especially testosterone. And contrary to outmoded science, they do NOT stop functioning after menopause! Most importantly, effectively removing your ovaries can mean an increased risk for fatal coronary artery disease, cognitive impairment, and Parkinson’s disease. And these risks outweigh the reduced risk for fatal ovarian cancer that is associated with elective ovarian removal. But, even if you have already had your ovaries removed, there are ways you can mitigate these risks”(https://www.drnorthrup.com/video/hysterectomy-how-to-keep-your-ovaries/#comments

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Reference

Dr. Christine Northrup, Menopause, Retrieved from https://www.drnorthrup.com/video/hysterectomy-how-to-keep-your-ovaries/#comments

Aloe Vera

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The gel from the Aloe Vera plant has been uses for thousand of years for healing and softening the skin. Some consider it a miracle plan for universal health. It grows on all continents and replicates itself. There are various species of aloe that have many nutritional and medical properties.

The fresh gel is rich in micro-nutrients: vitamins, (A,B,C, and E) and mineral salts (phosphorus, potassium, calcium, chlorine, iron, and zinc). The aloe vera plant can be planted under ground like a pineapple and nature does the rest. It is hardy plant and easy to grow.

Once the plant is cut width wise, the clear pulp can be collected for use. The pulp of aloe vera plant is commonly used for burns and abrasions and aid in healing. It also can be used as a skin lotion, that rejuvenates and helps to eliminate premature aging. Aloe vera also hydrates the skin, acts as an astringent and has antibacterial properties.

Aloe vera juice can aid with constipation if ingested. The liquid of the leaves contains anthraquinones with stimulates the intestinal tract, and can cause stomach cramps.

Just keeping you informed. Stay healthy and well!

Reference

Aloe Vulgaris, Retrieved from google app Plantes Medicinales

WebMD

The Wondrous Pineapple

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Pineapples grow in the ground and are naturally sweet. The enzymes and antioxidants found in the fruit have health benefits that are low in calories and rich in minerals.

There are two types of pineapple in the United State. Cylinder-shaped, with small spiky leaves known as the “Smooth Cayenne”, and the “Extra Sweet” variety that was created by scientist in a lab in Hawaii. There are many benefits to consuming pineapple juice or eating the juicy favorable fruit.

Benefits Include:

  1. Aids in digestion because it is high in fiber.
  2. Assist with symptoms of a cold, due to high levels of vitamin C, and the reduction of mucus in the respiratory tract.
  3. Strengthens bones, because of minerals, know as manganese that is essential for bone growth and maintenance.
  4. Pineapples have an astringent agent that may assist with your oral health by strengthening your teeth and gums because it works to tighten muscles and skin within the body.
  5. May assist with healthy vision, because of beta-carotene in the plant.
  6. Pineapple is considered the healing fruit because of vitamin C that helps creates protein collagen with other nutrients.
  7. It also has anti-inflammatory properties because of bromelain.
  8. Vitamin C and antioxidants found in the pineapple are great immunity boosters.
  9. Blood pressure and blood circulation are improved due to potassium and copper found in the fruit.
  10. May reduce the risk of cancer.
  11. Pineapple is great for the skin and hair.
  12. Natural way to enhance your energy.
  13. Pineapple has serotonin which is a natural stress buster that keeps nerves and hormones relaxed.

This is for informational purposes only and not a suggestion for treatment, or cure but to add to your health and wellness.

References

Health Benefits of Pineapple, Retrieved from http://www.WebMD.com

10 Reasons for Pineapple-Pineapple Information, Retrieved from http://www.facty.com

20 Benefits of Pineapple for Health, Skin and Hair, Retrieved from www. medlife.com

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