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Abraham Lincoln The Legacy of an Initiate

Abraham Lincoln The Legacy of an Initiate

Abraham Lincoln was the only president of the United States to have risen to Initiate status in the Brotherhoods, and, as such, he was in fact a saint occupying the highest office of our land. The ancient Brotherhoods of scientist-philosophers were instrumental in establishing the United States, and they were concerned with its preservation in the face of the mounting effort by the English Crown to undermine America and regain rule over the colonies it lost by the American Revolution. By having one of their own members (Lincoln) in a position to combat the forces of dissolution, the Brotherhoods were able to get our nation back on track. Their efforts at establishing effective economic policies via Lincoln served the U.S. well for at least eight decades, but the same foreign enemy that subtly works against U.S. sovereignty continues to this day.

The Buchanan administration which Lincoln succeeded in March 1861 was entirely treasonous. By 1860, these anti-North radicals operated directly from the White House, led by former Attorney General Caleb Cushing, a lawyer for the Borlin Opium Cartel. This administration was wholly devoted to the interests of slavery, and set them boldly at war to weaken the North and strengthen the South. They transferred most of the weapons of war from the North, where they were manufactured, to the South, where they could readily be seized. They plunged the nation into a heavy debt in time of peace. When the Treasury was bare of cash, they robbed it of millions in bonds and whatever else they could get their hands on. They fastened onto an incipient free-trade system which impaired revenues, paralyzed national industry, and compelled exportation of immense production of gold. The Navy was reduced to an unserviceable condition, dispersed to the farthest oceans. The little Army was on the Pacific Coast, sequestered in Utah, or defending the Southern States from our Indians. Both Howell Cobb, secretary of the treasury, and vice President John C. Breckinridge were Sovereign Grand Inspector Generals and active members of the Scottish Rite, which was directed by its counterpart in England. These Freemasonic traitors had been working actively for months to disarm the northern federal arsenals and equip the southern rebel states. Citizens demonstrated throughout northern cities, as tons of military hardware were stolen and shipped south for a Confederacy attack against the United States.

The situation facing Lincoln upon inauguration was the worst the United States had ever faced. The British had financed and installed a series of traitorous presidents who had all but dismantled the U.S. economy. Tyler, Polk, Pierce and Buchanan had destroyed the basic institutions of the U.S. economy, moving control into the hands of British financiers working through banking houses of Boston and New York.

This led to a series of manipulated bank failures and depressions. In 1857, the U.S. economy went bust. Business came to a standstill. Hunger was widespread. The Treasury was bankrupt and Congress had not been paid. Even before Lincoln was inaugurated, an assassination plot in Baltimore was uncovered requiring the president to be hidden on a train which secretly brought him to Washington. Upon his arrival, as he was preparing to assume office, the armed Knights of the Golden Circle were preparing to kill the new president and seize the capital. General Winfield Scott, commander of the U.S. military, had moved the headquarters of the U.S. Army out of Washington, D.C. when the traitorous Franklin Pierce had been elected in 1852. Scott deployed thousands of troops, bomb experts, and special police to every conceivable vantage point against a likely assassin. Earlier, Scott had prevented secessionists from disrupting the counting of the electoral ballots in Washington.

As I would not be a slave,
so I would not be a master.
This expresses my idea of democracy-
Whatever differs from this,
to the extent of the difference,
is no democracy.

Abraham Lincoln (a private meditation)

This was far more than a fight between North and South–between slave states and Free states. What was literally at stake was the continued existence of the only nation in the world that had successfully defeated (even if partially) the British system of free trade and established a republic based on natural law and American System economics. For this, the British Crown had never forgiven the Americans and became increasingly embittered toward the young republic.

There had been a 3-year plot by the British-backed and British-inspired Scottish Rite Freemasons to dismantle the American System and replace it with the British system of slavery and free trade. Lincoln was to determine the future possibility of any successful opposition to the British system anywhere in the world. Not only was the new president faced with bankruptcy, secession and the British-backed intrigue, but upon inauguration he met with unabashed treason from within his own cabinet. However, Lincoln acted as he was never expected to act. He immediately called for 75,000 volunteers to put down the attempted coup d’état. For the next four years, Lincoln invoked the full powers of the presidency. The Civil War created the emergency conditions for President Lincoln and his Whig advisers to carry out the most sweeping reorganization of the economy on the basis of American System principles since the founding of the country.

Allow me now, in my own way, to state with what aims and objects I did enter upon this campaign. I claim no extraordinary exemption from personal ambition. That I like preferment as well as the average of men may be admitted. But I protest I have not entered upon this hard contest solely, or even chiefly, for a mere personal object. I clearly see, as I think, a powerful plot to make slavery universal and perpetual in this nation. The effort to carry that plot through will be persistent and long continued, extending far beyond the senatorial term for which Judge Douglas and I are just now struggling. I enter upon the contest to contribute my humble and temporary mite in opposition to that effort.

Abraham Lincoln (“Notes for Speeches,” August 21, 1858)

The fact that Lincoln faced treason, insurrection, and bankruptcy within the first days of taking office, and yet within four years not only smashed the British-run insurrection, but created the greatest industrial giant the world had ever seen, is the clearest testimony to the success of the American System of Political Economy. While fighting a war in which he led an army that had over the course of the war 3 million men at arms (out of a total Northern population of 22 million), and in which more than half a million men died,

President Abraham Lincoln:

Organized a militia on a uniform basis;

· Built and equipped the largest army in the world;

· Reorganized the judicial system;

· Launched the steel industry;

· Created a continental railroad system;

· Institutionalized scientific agriculture, by methods including the Homestead Act, which provided free western lands for farmers, the establishment of the Department of Agriculture, and government promotion of a new era of farm machinery and cheap tools;

· Established a system of free higher education throughout the U.S.–the Land Grant College System;

· Pursued a policy of massive immigration to increase the population as quickly as possible;

· Provided major government support to all branches of science, through the U.S. Coast Survey and the National Academy of Sciences;

· Organized the Bureau of Mines;

· Organized governments in the Western territories;

· Abolished slavery, freeing 4 million slaves.

The breathtaking economic development program which Lincoln designed not only saved the nation and won the war, but remained in effect long enough after his assassination for the United States to become the world’s greatest industrial power.

The American System

Lincoln’s American System economic program:

· Created a national banking system free from interest payments;

· Reestablished national control over banking, with cheap credit directed for productive purposes;

· Created a national currency for the first time in nearly 25 years (the greenback-$450 million worth);

· Increased government spending by 600 percent (to $300 million per year);

· Implemented the highest protective tariff in U.S. history (the Morrill Tariff) to protect labor and US. industry;

· Promoted standardization and mass production nationwide; and

· Increased labor productivity by 50-75 percent

Lincoln’s entire life was dedicated to the American System of the Founding Fathers. Via the Civil War, Lincoln defeated the British System of slavery and free trade and restored the American System�”the primary object of the men who made the American Revolution.”

The battle between British free trade and the American System was clear in the 1832 presidential contest between Andrew Jackson and Henry Clay. This was the year Lincoln made his first bid for public office to the State Legislature of Illinois. When Andrew Jackson became president, he greatly damaged the U.S. economy by failing to establish a national bank after refusing to recharter a central bank owned by bankers that had been creating fiat money. But not having a national bank owned and supervised by the government meant that the country had no national currency. There was no funding for internal improvements, any direction of credit. Private Banks were completely unregulated and began to charge exorbitant interest rates. Any hope that Clay and the Whigs had for industrializing the South, as the way to end slavery and avoid civil war, were dashed.

Let us hope, rather, that by the best cultivation of the physical world, beneath and around us; and the intellectual and moral world within us, we shall secure an individual, social, and political prosperity and happiness, whose course shall be onward and upward, and which, while the earth endures, shall not pass away.

Abraham Lincoln (Milwaukee, WI. Sept. 1859)

When Jackson failed to establish a National Bank, he also stopped federal support for road, canal, and railway construction, putting the brakes on pioneer settlement of the West: But American Whigs fought to continue the internal improvements. Lincoln led this fight from the age of 24 as a state legislator in Illinois. As the leader of the famous group of Whig legislators from Sangamon County, the “Long Nine” (so called because all were over six feet tall); he sought to turn the mud-and-ice-bound Midwest into the new industrial center of the continent, beginning with the construction of railways and canals to crisscross Illinois. The “Illinois Improvement Program,” or as it came to be known simply as Lincoln called it, “The System,” centered on two major projects: Construction of the Illinois-Michigan canal and a 3,000-mile railroad system. This “grand design” of the republican faction would complete an unbroken water transportation line from the Hudson River via the recently completed Erie Canal to the Great Lakes and into the Mississippi River.

Neither let us be slandered from our duty by false accusations against us, nor frightened from it by menaces of destruction to the Government nor of dungeons to ourselves. Let us have faith that right makes might, and in that faith, let us, to the end dare to do our duty as we understand it.

Abraham Lincoln (Cooper Institute Speech, February 27, 1860)

The growth of manufacturing in Illinois was the most rapid and remarkable in the industrial history of the U.S. In 1835, Chicago exploded to nearly 30,000 people and was shipping out 2 million bushels of wheat a year! By 1855, 175,000 people were living in the northern part of the state.

In 1836, Lincoln made internal improvements the major issue of his re-election campaign. In 1837, with Lincoln at the forefront of the state’s fight, $10 million was passed as the Omnibus Bill for two railroads to crisscross the state. As Whig leader of the House, Lincoln wrote most of the internal improvement legislation. He supported the establishment of a state bank, but only because of the lack of a National Bank.

By 1858, Lincoln was a powerful spokesman against slavery, both for its inhumanity and for its undermining of all laborers other than the slaves. To understand the quality of leadership represented by Abraham Lincoln, here are parts of two of his most powerful speeches:

“The representatives in old Independence Hall said to the whole race of men: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among them are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.’ This was their majestic interpretation of the economy of the universe. This was their lofty, and wise, and noble understanding of the justice of the Creator to his creatures. Yes, gentlemen, to all his creatures; to the whole great family of men. In their enlightened belief, nothing stamped with the divine image and likeness was sent into the world to be trodden on and degraded and imbruted by its fellows. They grasped not only the whole race of men, then living, but they reached forward and seized upon the farthest posterity. They erected a beacon to guide their children and their children’s children, and the countless myriads that should inhabit the earth in other ages. Wise statesmen as they were, they knew the tendency of prosperity to breed tyrants, and so they established these great self-evident truths, that when, in the distant future, some man, some faction, some interest, should set up the doctrine that none but rich men, none but white men, or none but Anglo-Saxon white men were entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, their posterity might look up again to the Declaration of Independence and take courage to renew the battle which their fathers began, so that truth and justice and mercy and all the humane and Christian Virtues might not be extinguished from the land; so that no man hereafter would dare to limit and circumscribe the great principles on which the Temple of Liberty was being built.”

A second speech during the 1858 campaign makes clear the universal principle involved in Lincoln’s opposition to slavery:

“That is the issue that will continue in this country when these poor tongues of Judge Douglas and me shall be silent. It is the eternal struggle between these two principles, right and wrong, throughout the world. They are two principles that have stood face to face from the beginning of time; and will ever continue to struggle. The one is the common right of humanity and the other the “divine” right of kings. It is the same principle in whatever shape it develops itself. It is the same spirit that says, ‘You work and toil and earn bread and I’ll eat it.’ No matter in what shape it comes, whether from the mouth of a king who seeks to bestride the people of his own nation and live by the fruit of their labor, or from one race of men as an apology for enslaving another race, it is the same tyrannical principle.”

Lincoln, as president, had to wage war on two fronts–one against the free traders of New York and New England, and the other against their surrogates, the Confederate Army. Both were run out of London. He made a fundamental turning point in U.S. history by restoration of the American System and defeating the British plan to balkanize and forever destroys the United States through its support of the Confederacy.

There is no doubt that President Lincoln’s efforts represented the greatest accomplishment in U.S. and possibly human history, in a four-year period of time. On the other hand, the British-allied northern bankers and their congressional spokesmen and the British government itself organized every possible opposition.

Frantic over the American System financial policy, the British began a massive organizing drive in support of free trade, especially when their earlier plans for military intervention on behalf of the Confederacy were blocked by the Russian Czar. John Stuart Mill and Chancellor of the Exchequer William Gladstone controlled the Cobden Club–Britain’s worldwide agitators for free trade. There was speculation on Wall Street to depreciate the greenbacks, the problem being the compromise that Lincoln and Congress had been forced to make of linking interest payments on the greenbacks to gold.

The Civil War, perhaps more than any other war in history, was a direct combat between the two fundamental opposing views of man and nature. The South was a feudal system, and British agents had always been in close alliance with the slave-holding aristocracy of the South. British free trade, the industrial monopoly then in England, and human slavery traveled together.

Abraham Lincoln, perhaps more than any American leader before or since, embodied from the highest standpoint the understanding of man made in the image of God. Due to the influence of the Brotherhood in which he was an Initiate, Lincoln’s commitment to the American System of economics and his freeing of four million slaves are totally coherent. As his contemporary, Henry Carey, pointed out again and again, there never was, and never would be, a system of British free trade that did not rest on human slavery–and no American System republic could exist were it based on the human bondage that stems from free trade’s lack of wage protection for a country’s laborers.”

The Adelphi Organization

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Psychological Disorders and Genetics

geneticsIndividuals Genetically At Risk Of Developing Psychological Disorders Also Benefit The Most From Positive Environments

Certain individuals have long been regarded as particularly susceptible to developing behavioral and emotional problems when they experience negative environmental conditions, due to the fact that they carry so-called ‘vulnerability genes’. Existing research suggests, for instance, that such ‘genetically vulnerable’ individuals are most likely to become impulsive and hyperactive if their mothers smoked while pregnant, to behave anti-socially if subjected to child abuse, and to become depressed if exposed to many negative life events (e.g., divorce, unemployment). But a new evaluation of existing gene-by-environment interaction (GXE) research highlighting such genetic vulnerability to adversity challenges this traditional interpretation of existing evidence. Research published in Molecular Psychiatry suggests that those carrying ‘vulnerability genes’ are not only more likely than others to be adversely affected by negative experiences but to also benefit more than others from positive environments, making them more malleable or plastic, not just vulnerable. This novel interpretation of old and new findings suggests that ‘vulnerability genes’ might be better conceptualized as ‘plasticity or malleability genes’ because carriers are more affected, for better and for worse, by positive and negative environmental conditions.

This new interpretation of GXE research findings proposed by Professor Jay Belsky, Director of the Institute for the Study of Children, Families and Social Issues at Birkbeck, University of London, and his colleagues reframes the nature-nurture debate. “Our analysis of many published findings suggests that one potential solution to the nature-nurture controversy is to appreciate the role played by environmental experience and the role played by heredity in shaping who we are may actually differ across people,” said Prof Belsky. “Some people have genes which make them more malleable than others, and therefore more susceptible to both positive and negative environmental influences. Indeed, those children most adversely affected by poor environmental conditions are often the very same ones who benefit most from good environments. In contrast, other individuals appear to be rather immune to such environmental effects.”

Professor Belsky and his collaborators carefully combed findings from scores of publications highlighting GXE interactions in the leading psychiatric and psychological journals and repeatedly discovered that in many instances those individuals at risk of developing problems when exposed to adversity due to their genetic make-up also functioned better than others lacking these genetic attributes when they experienced good environments. One of the striking observations was that authors of the publications repeatedly failed to note this pattern in their own data. “One often only sees what one goes looking for,” Professor Belsky said.

The findings may point towards a more personal approach to psychosocial interventions. “This could mirror the trend we are now seeing towards personalized medicine, where an understanding of the genetic make-up of an individual determines the type of drugs used to treat the patient based on their DNA.” said Prof Belsky.

“We use the term ‘vulnerable’ to describe people at risk of something negative, whether it be an increased chance of heart disease, or susceptibility to mental illness. Yet there appears to be no opposite term for those being disproportionately liable to benefit from positive experiences – other than ‘lucky!’ This may, in part, explain why the evidence pointing towards this phenomenon has so far gone unnoticed.”

Source: Birkbeck College

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Bathroom Habit Secrets

bathroomSurvey Flushes Out The Secrets Of Americans’ Bathroom Habits

Whether it’s “powdering your nose” or settling in for a good read, Americans spend a significant amount of time in the bathroom. According to a recent Yankelovich survey, many Americans spend more than 30 minutes each day in the bathroom that adds up to nearly eight days each year – which is more than double that of the average vacation trip. And contrary to popular belief, men spend almost as much time in the bathroom as women.

The findings were released as part of an effort to examine the bathroom habits of the American consumer and explore the reasons why this previously unrecognized “drain” on consumers’ time may be an indication of larger health issues.

No More Excuses

The survey also revealed that one in four Americans at some time have made up an excuse for why they’re going to the bathroom in the first place. Furthermore, men in this group were just as likely to make up an excuse as women, which contradict the thought that men are more open to discussing what happens behind closed doors.

“Making excuses for bathroom habits could be a sign that something else is going on,” Dr. Anish Sheth, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine. “Millions of Americans experience digestive problems, but few know that key to digestive health is maintaining a balance between the ‘good’ and ‘bad’ bacteria in the colon, a vital part of the digestive system. But there are things consumers can do such as taking a probiotic to address digestive symptoms like constipation, diarrhea, gas and bloating, as well as overall colon health.”

Probiotics are live microorganisms, similar to the good bacteria found inside the body. Available mainly through foods and dietary supplements, probiotics – like Phillips’ Colon Health TM can restore intestinal balance by boosting the number of those bacteria that are helpful. Studies have also shown that probiotics may stimulate the immune system and help with overall health.

Travel Woes and Economic Stress

In addition to examining bathroom habits, the survey also identified consumer travel worries and the impact of stress on eating habits, which could both have an effect on the digestive system.

As summer approaches, many Americans are beginning to plan vacations with their friends or families. And something they’d like to leave behind is digestive issues. According to the survey, close to half of all Americans at some time have had or worried about having stomach problems while on vacation. Taking a probiotic can help to eliminate that worry, as probiotics have been shown to help address travel related issues, like traveler’s diarrhea.

In addition, the survey unveiled that a majority of Americans have experienced increased stress because of the current state of the economy. Nearly 40 percent of those Americans report they now eat more comfort food, more snacks and more fast food due to their increased stress levels.

“Stress and poor diet are triggers that could potentially cause digestive problems,” said Dr. Sheth. “Probiotics can be especially helpful when the digestive system is under stress from all sorts of issues ranging from occasional diarrhea, or constipation.”

Maintaining Digestive Health

A large percent of the body’s immune system is found in the digestive tract and the colon is at the heart of it. So it’s easy to see how digestive or colon problems can have a significant health effect.

When taken on a daily basis, probiotics support the digestive system and help restore the balance that is so important to good health. While thinking about the digestive system may not always be top of mind with most people, keeping it healthy is important and sustaining colon health is key to maintaining overall health.

About the Survey

The survey was conducted by Yankelovich, a part of the Futures Company on behalf of Phillips’ Colon Health Probiotic Supplement. Survey results were obtained through online interviews among a representative sample of 1,042 adults 18 and over. Additional findings include:

— 10 percent of those surveyed spend 60 minutes or more in the bathroom a day

— Women are only slightly more likely to make excuses for why they are going to the bathroom than men (26 percent for women compared to 24 percent for men)

— Women are more stressed because of the economy than men (60 percent of women versus 51 percent of men)

— Economic stress had a bigger impact on the eating habits of younger Americans than older Americans (61 percent of Americans aged 18-24 say the eat more comfort food, more snacks and more fast food compared to 29 percent of Americans aged 55 – 64)

About Phillips’ Colon Health

Phillips’ Colon Health is a once-daily probiotic supplement that replenishes good bacteria and helps restore the digestive system’s natural balance. Taking one capsule daily can help promote overall digestive health and support a healthy immune system.

While most probiotic supplements contain only one strain of bacteria, Phillips’ Colon Health is formulated with three strains of the most common and studied bacteria, each supporting a different area of the digestive tract. These bacteria have played a role in the body’s immune since birth:

— Lactobacillus acidophilus helps the body produce vitamin K, lactase, and a variety of antimicrobial agents.

— Bifid bacterium bifidum helps protect the body against diarrhea and other intestinal disturbances.

— Bifid bacterium longum is the most dominant bacteria in the entire body and helps keep the digestive system running smoothly, while blocking the growth of harmful bacteria and boosting the overall immune system.

Phillips’ has been a trusted name in colon health for more than 125 years. In addition to Phillips’ Colon Health, the brand also offers a full line of stimulant-free, cramp-free laxatives that work more naturally with the body.

About Bayer Consumer Care

The Consumer Care Division of Bayer HealthCare LLC, is headquartered in Morristown, N.J. Bayer’s Consumer Care Division is among the largest marketers of over-the-counter medications and nutritional supplements in the world. Some of the most trusted and recognizable brands in the world today come from the Bayer portfolio of products. These include Bayer® Aspirin, Aleve®, Alka-Seltzer Plus®, Bactine®, Citracal®, RID®, Phillips’® Milk of Magnesia, Midol®, Alka-Seltzer®, One A Day®, One A Day® Prenatal and FlintstonesTM vitamins.

Source: Bayer Healthcare Consumer Care

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Reverse Obesity And Diabetes

reverse_diabetesPhysician / Preventive Medicine Expert Explains How To Reverse Obesity And Diabetes Naturally
Article Date: 27 May 2009 – 8:00 PDT

Irving A. Cohen, MD, MPH, will be at Book Expo America 2009, Booth 5065, May 29-31, to discuss his new book “Dr. Cohen’s Guide to the New Hippocratic DietTM: How to Really Lose Weight and Beat the Obesity Epidemic” It teaches dieters how to lose weight easily and naturally despite having failed before.

In his book, Dr. Cohen explains how three decades ago the Federal government tried to “fix” the problem of overweight adults by recommending low-fat diets for all Americans. They were wrong. As a result, four times as many Americans are overweight. Because most Americans believe that bad advice, they gain weight as they try to diet. The government blocks efforts to help those who are overweight or who may suffer from Type 2 Diabetes, unless they conform to that misguided government policy.

Dr. Cohen’s weight-loss program has helped many. In addition to losing weight, people suffering from Type 2 Diabetes have been able to come completely off medications and reverse their disease. His book has been featured on The Diabetes Power Show. Dr. Cohen developed his approach using a mathematical model (Medical Hypotheses, in press, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.mehy.2009.03.039) that predicts the ability of a weight reduction of diet to suppress hunger. That model showed that diets are not equal, and the approach pushed by the government increases hunger, causing dieters to fail.

The book explains how Dr. Cohen studied older medical practices as a Fellow in the History of Medicine to find similarities to the approach he was using. He found parallels both in 19th century Germany as well as 2400 year old recommendations of Hippocrates, the founder of rational Western medicine. The book offers practical, modern advice on how to use weight naturally, as was done in times past.

Dr. Cohen is a Board-Certified physician specializing in Preventive Medicine and a Fellow of the American College of Preventive Medicine. He trained in Preventive Medicine at Johns Hopkins University where he served as Chief Resident of Preventive Medicine. He has served as the Deputy Director of the New York State Research Institute on Addictions. He now practices in Kansas.

Source
Center for Health Information

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Definition of Substance Abuse

substanceabDefinition of Substance Abuse
Substance abuse: The excessive use of a substance, especially alcohol or a drug. (There is no universally accepted definition of substance abuse.)

A definition of substance abuse that is frequently cited is that in DSM-IV, the fourth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) issued by the American Psychiatric Association. The DSM-IV definition is as follows:

    A. A maladaptive pattern of substance use leading to clinically significant impairment or distress, as manifested by one (or more) of the following, occurring within a 12-month period:

1.     Recurrent substance use resulting in a failure to fulfill major role obligations at work, school, or home (e.g., repeated absences or poor work performance related to substance use; substance-related absences, suspensions or expulsions from school; neglect of children or household)

2.     Recurrent substance use in situations in which it is physically hazardous (e.g., driving an automobile or operating a machine when impaired by substance use)

3.     Recurrent substance-related legal problems (e.g., arrests for substance-related disorderly conduct

4.     Continued substance use despite having persistent or recurrent social or interpersonal problems caused or exacerbated by the effects of the substance (e.g., arguments with spouse about consequences of intoxication, physical fights)

  • B. The symptoms have never met the criteria for Substance Dependence for this class of substance.

Drug Abuse and Addiction

Many people do not understand why individuals become addicted to drugs or how drugs change the brain to foster compulsive drug abuse. They mistakenly view drug abuse and addiction as strictly a social problem and may characterize those who take drugs as morally weak. One very common belief is that drug abusers should be able to just stop taking drugs if they are only willing to change their behavior. What people often underestimate is the complexity of drug addiction-that it is a disease that impacts the brain and because of that, stopping drug abuse is not simply a matter of willpower. Through scientific advances we now know much more about how exactly drugs work in the brain, and we also know that drug addiction can be successfully treated to help people stop abusing drugs and resume their productive lives.

What is drug addiction?

Addiction is a chronic, often relapsing brain disease that causes compulsive drug seeking and use despite harmful consequences to the individual that is addicted and to those around them. Drug addiction is a brain disease because the abuse of drugs leads to changes in the structure and function of the brain. Although it is true that for most people the initial decision to take drugs is voluntary, over time the changes in the brain caused by repeated drug abuse can affect a person’s self control and ability to make sound decisions, and at the same time send intense impulses to take drugs.

It is because of these changes in the brain that it is so challenging for a person who is addicted to stop abusing drugs. Fortunately, there are treatments that help people to counteract addiction’s powerful disruptive effects and regain control. Research shows that combining addiction treatment medications, if available, with behavioral therapy is the best way to ensure success for most patients. Treatment approaches that are tailored to each patient’s drug abuse patterns and any co-occurring medical, psychiatric, and social problems can lead to sustained recovery and a life without drug abuse.

Similar to other chronic, relapsing diseases, such as diabetes, asthma, or heart disease, drug addiction can be managed successfully. And, as with other chronic diseases, it is not uncommon for a person to relapse and begin abusing drugs again. Relapse, however, does not signal failure-rather, it indicates that treatment should be reinstated, adjusted, or that alternate treatment is needed to help the individual regain control and recover.

What happens to your brain when you take drugs?

Drugs are chemicals that tap into the brain’s communication system and disrupt the way nerve cells normally send, receive, and process information. There are at least two ways that drugs are able to do this: (1) by imitating the brain’s natural chemical messengers, and/or (2) by over stimulating the “reward circuit” of the brain.

Some drugs, such as marijuana and heroin, have a similar structure to chemical messengers, called neurotransmitters, which are naturally produced by the brain. Because of this similarity, these drugs are able to “fool” the brain’s receptors and activate nerve cells to send abnormal messages.

Other drugs, such as cocaine or methamphetamine, can cause the nerve cells to release abnormally large amounts of natural neurotransmitters, or prevent the normal recycling of these brain chemicals, which is needed to shut off the signal between neurons. This disruption produces a greatly amplified message that ultimately disrupts normal communication patterns.

Nearly all drugs, directly or indirectly, target the brain’s reward system by flooding the circuit with dopamine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter present in regions of the brain that control movement, emotion, motivation, and feelings of pleasure. The overstimulation of this system, which normally responds to natural behaviors that are linked to survival (eating, spending time with loved ones, etc), produces euphoric effects in response to the drugs. This reaction sets in motion a pattern that “teaches” people to repeat the behavior of abusing drugs.

As a person continues to abuse drugs, the brain adapts to the overwhelming surges in dopamine by producing less dopamine or by reducing the number of dopamine receptors in the reward circuit. As a result, dopamine’s impact on the reward circuit is lessened, reducing the abuser’s ability to enjoy the drugs and the things that previously brought pleasure. This decrease compels those addicted to drugs to keep abusing drugs in order to attempt to bring their dopamine function back to normal. And, they may now require larger amounts of the drug than they first did to achieve the dopamine high-an effect known as tolerance.

Long-term abuse causes changes in other brain chemical systems and circuits as well. Glutamate is a neurotransmitter that influences the reward circuit and the ability to learn. When the optimal concentration of glutamate is altered by drug abuse, the brain attempts to compensate, which can impair cognitive function. Drugs of abuse facilitate no conscious (conditioned) learning, which leads the user to experience uncontrollable cravings when they see a place or person they associate with the drug experience, even when the drug itself is not available. Brain imaging studies of drug-addicted individuals show changes in areas of the brain that are critical to judgment, decision-making, learning and memory, and behavior control. Together, these changes can drive an abuser to seek out and take drugs compulsively despite adverse consequences-in other words, to become addicted to drugs.

Why do some people become addicted, while others do not?

No single factor can predict whether or not a person will become addicted to drugs. Risk for addiction is influenced by a person’s biology, social environment, and age or stage of development. The more risk factors an individual has, the greater the chance that taking drugs can lead to addiction. For example:

  • Biology. The genes that people are born with-in combination with environmental influences-account for about half of their addiction vulnerability. Additionally, gender, ethnicity, and the presence of other mental disorders may influence risk for drug abuse and addiction.
  • Environment. A person’s environment includes many different influences-from family and friends to socioeconomic status and quality of life in general. Factors such as peer pressure, physical and sexual abuse, stress, and parental involvement can greatly influence the course of drug abuse and addiction in a person’s life.
  • Development. Genetic and environmental factors interact with critical developmental stages in a person’s life to affect addiction vulnerability, and adolescents experience a double challenge. Although taking drugs at any age can lead to addiction, the earlier that drug use begins, the more likely it is to progress to more serious abuse. And because adolescents’ brains are still developing in the areas that govern decision-making, judgment, and self-control, they are especially prone to risk-taking behaviors, including trying drugs of abuse.

Prevention is the key

Drug addiction is a preventable disease. Results from NIDA-funded research have shown that prevention programs that involve the family, schools, communities, and the media are effective in reducing drug abuse. Although many events and cultural factors affect drug abuse trends, when youths perceive drug abuse as harmful, they reduce their drug taking. It is necessary, therefore, to help youth and the general public to understand the risks of drug abuse and for teachers, parents, and healthcare professionals to keep sending the message that drug addiction can be prevented if a person never abuses drugs.

Source: National Institute on Drug Abuse

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Pharmacy Software Integration

pharm_softHealthcare Providers Demanding Greater Integration from Pharmacy Software Vendors.
New KLAS pharmacy report explores the link between provider satisfaction and integration within the closed-loop medication process.

OREM, UT, May 26, 2009 /Medical News Articles/ — As healthcare providers move to adopt ePrescribing and drive greater patient safety, the need for better integration between core clinical systems and pharmacy automation software continues to grow. How well pharmacy software vendors deliver on that integration is having a significant impact on provider adoption and satisfaction, according to a new report from market research firm KLAS.

The KLAS report, Pharmacy Information Systems: In the Age of Integration, profiles the performance of eight pharmacy automation vendors, as reported by more than 350 healthcare professionals. In particular, the report looks at the level of integration each product enables with other components of the closed-loop medication administration process.

Healthcare providers noted that software vendor Epic offers a product suite that delivers full integration among a number of components, including computerized physician order entry (CPOE), pharmacy and bar-coding at the point-of-care (BPOC). That integration, along with strong customer service and support, earned Epic EpicRx Inpatient the highest overall performance score in the study. In similar fashion, though pharmacy software has traditionally been a notable hole in the Eclipsys product suite, the recently released Eclipsys Sunrise Pharmacy has been deployed at several organizations, and many Eclipsys customers are excited by the prospect of a pharmacy system that is integrated with Sunrise Clinical Manager.

One of the most striking examples of the impact of integration within the closed loop is Siemens. On the one hand, providers who rated the Siemens Pharmacy product alone gave it a relatively low overall score of 70.8 out of 100. However, those providers who rated both Siemens Pharmacy and the Siemens BPOC product, Medication Administration Check (MAK), scored the pharmacy product much higher, giving it an overall satisfaction rating of 83.9. That solid BPOC/pharmacy integration is one of the key reasons that Siemens Pharmacy earned the second-highest satisfaction score in the study.

However, despite the positive reaction from providers to some of the recent improvements made by vendors, the pharmacy software market continues to earn some of the lowest satisfaction scores of any area KLAS tracks. In the December 2008 Top 20 Best in KLAS Awards report, only acute care electronic medical record (EMR) products had an average performance score lower than pharmacy systems.

“A pharmacy system’s role in a hospital is key, but hospitals report that they cannot always trust this vital link to perform to its full capacity,” said Jason Hess, general manager of clinical research for KLAS and the author of the pharmacy study. “Many customers are demanding more safety, more integration, more efficiency and the next generation of functionality. With these ever-increasing demands, vendors that are best able to integrate the pharmacy with their other offerings will be able to present a much stronger and more appealing portfolio to the market.”

Of the vendors highlighted in the KLAS pharmacy report, Epic EpicRx Inpatient was the highest rated product by a wide margin, earning a performance score of 85.9 out of 100. Siemens Pharmacy (79.0) and GE Centricity Pharmacy (77.2) were the second and third ranked products, respectively. Other pharmacy vendors profiled in the report were Cerner, Eclipsys, McKesson, Meditech and Mediware.

To learn more about the pharmacy automation software market, as well as the strengths and weaknesses of participating vendors, the report Pharmacy Information Systems: In the Age of Integration is available to healthcare providers online for a significant discount off the standard retail price. To purchase the full report, healthcare providers and vendors can visit www.KLASresearch.com

Shawn Dickerson
KLAS
Communications Manager
630 Technology Ave
Orem, UT
USA 84097

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Sleep Apnea Awareness

sleep_apnFlorida: Congressman Gus Bilirakis Introduces Sleep Apnea Awareness Bill to Congress
Sleep apnea is a dangerous disorder that is often undiagnosed and untreated. Florida dentists in the I HATE CPAP! network applaud the Congressman and have been working with http://wwwihatecpap.com founder to promote diagnosis

GURNEE, IL, May 25, 2009 /Medical News Articles/ — Congressman Gus Bilirakis (R-Fla.) introduced House Resolution 384, “Sleep Apnea Awareness,” which resolves that the House will support raising public awareness of sleep apnea and encourage all Americans to educate themselves and others about the consequences of sleep apnea and its potential treatments. Dr Ira L Shapira a Diplomat of the American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine applauds the Congressman and urges everyone to contact their representatives and senators to support passage of important legislation that will make the nations roads safer and lower health care costs. Dr Shapira is the founder of http://www.ihatecpap.com that promotes diagnosis and treatment of sleep apnea. CPAP is the gold standard of treatment for sleep apnea but the majority of patients do not tolerate the treatment. Dr Shapira does not hate CPAP but offers information on oral appliances that treat sleep apnea and that have been shown to be better tolerated than CPAP. Information on oral appliance treatment of sleep apnea can be found at http://www.ihatecpap.com/oral_appliance.html

Below is text of the full resolution:
HRES 384 Recognizing the importance of increased awareness of sleep apnea, and for other purposes.
Whereas sleep apnea is a common condition that affects more than 12,000,000 Americans, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute at the National Institutes of Health;
Whereas there are several types of sleep apnea that cause people with this condition to repeatedly stop breathing throughout the night, often many times;
Whereas sleep apnea is a chronic condition that disrupts sleep three or more nights each week, leading to excessive daytime sleepiness;
Whereas sleep apnea becomes more common with age, and 1 in 10 people over the age of 65 suffers from it;
Whereas sleep apnea is more common in men than women, and more than half of the people with sleep apnea are overweight;
Whereas sleep apnea can strike anyone, at any age, at any time, including children;
Whereas untreated sleep apnea can lead to high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, obesity, and diabetes;
Whereas untreated sleep apnea can also increase the chance of having work-related or driving accidents and adversely impact the quality of life of those suffering from this condition in other ways;
Whereas lifestyle changes, mouthpieces, surgery, and/or breathing devices can successfully treat sleep apnea in many people; and
Whereas the lack of public awareness of this serious condition leads to many undiagnosed and untreated cases: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That the House of Representatives–
(1) supports raising public awareness of sleep apnea; and
(2) encourages all Americans to educate themselves and others about the consequences of sleep apnea and its potential treatments.

I HATE CPAP LLC is a major organization that has worked diligently to increase public awareness of the dangers of sleep apnea. http://www.ihatecpap.com/sleep_apnea_dangers.html

Several Florida dentists have joined this effort in promoting diagnosis and treatment of sleep apnea. These dentists recognize that awareness of sleep apnea without treatment is insufficient. The Gold Standard of treatment for Sleep Apnea is CPAP but unfortunately only 23-45% of patients tolerate CPAP. Most patients prefer Comfortable Oral Appliances offered by Dental Sleep Medicine to CPAP. Unfortunately many patients are never offered oral appliances. Oral appliances are considered a first line of treatment for obstructive sleep apnea by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. They are also considered an alternative treatment for severe apnea when patients do not tolerate CPAP. Most patients do not tolerate CPAP treatment and many who do tolerate use it for only 4-5 hours a night.

The following Florida dentists applaud Congressman Bilirakis bill. Contact them as your first step to better sleep.

Dr Joseph M Barton DMD Jacksonville, Florida http://www.jacksonville.ihatecpap.com/

Dr Jill Morris Sarasota, Florida http://www.jacksonville.ihatecpap.com/

Dr Farokh Jiveh West Palm Beach, Florida http://www.palmbeach.ihatecpap.com/

These dentists are helping to bring better sleep and better lives to the citizens of Florida. If you have questions about sleep apnea or are interested in an alternative to CPAP contact them today. Le Congressman Gus Bilirakis know that you appreciate his excellent work.

To learn more about the dangers of sleep apnea go to http://www.ihatecpap.com/sleep_apnea_dangers.html

A recent study showed that snoring even when apnea is not present greatly increases the risks of carotid atherosclerosis and stroke.

Ira Shapira
Sleep and Health Journal
Section editor/author
1810 Delany Road
Gurnee, Illinois
USA 60035

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Used Medical Equipment

used_medNew website provides global platform for buying or selling used medical equipment

MedWOW.com is an innovative online marketplace specifically designed for used medical equipment professionals. The site connects buyers, sellers and service providers from around the world through unique online tools and features.

NICOSIA, CYPRUS, May 22, 2009 /Medical News Articles/ — MedWOW.com is an innovative online marketplace specifically designed for used medical equipment professionals. The site connects buyers, sellers and service providers from around the world through unique online tools and features.

Key players in the pre-owned medical equipment industry now have a new source to turn to for conducting business thanks to MedWOW’s recently launched marketplace, which provides an ideal online platform for buying and selling used medical equipment on a global scale.

The site has been designed to fully integrate tools and services which overcome factors that have been significantly holding back the online trade in the global pre-owned medical equipment industry thus far.

Features such as the site’s sophisticated medical equipment catalog and search engine, a pre-purchase inspection service, and the multilingual interface are just some of MedWOW’s many features that help it attain its ultimate goal of providing its users with a secure, quick, and user-friendly platform to turn to for their used medical equipment needs.

MedWOW facilitates the communication between international users through the multilingual Questions and Answers mechanism, where buyers and sellers communicate through a list of professionally written questions and answers that are unique for each specific device; the questions and answers are automatically translated into the user’s preferred language.

The site’s members are encouraged to make educated transactions by having access to the right tools to conduct research prior to closing a deal. Buyers have access to professionally written Buying Tips for each specific device, and the Original Manufacturer Specifications for each specific model. Sellers have access to buyer’s Wanted Item requests and to a variety of traffic and market reports that assess their performance on the site, provide valuable market insight, trends and activities.

With health institutions turning to the pre-owned medical equipment market more so now than ever, due to the current global economic recession, MedWOW offers the perfect solution – a reliable and safe platform to buy, sell or auction used medical equipment online.

Press Release Contact Information:

Eric Be
MedWOW
Marketing
Nicosia
Nicosia, Nicosia
Cyprus 2460

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Vegetarian omega-3

flaxNew vegetarian omega-3 from Echium seed oil offers fish oil benefits. In the wake of National Vegetarian week, nutrition scientist Dr Nina Bailey discusses a new vegetarian source of omega-3 fatty acids from echium seed oil, which converts to long-chain fatty acids up to 5 times more effectively than flaxseed.

CAMBRIDGE, UK, May 22, 2009 /Medical News Articles/ — In support of National Vegetarian Week 2009, nutrition scientist Dr. Nina Bailey seeks to raise the importance of incorporating omega-3s into the vegetarian diet, and proposes ways to do so without compromising on ethics.

At over 7% of the UK population, a significant 4 million and growing steadily, [1] vegetarianism is an ever-increasing preference for many people, especially among the younger generation, up to 12% of whom opt to cut meat and fish out of their diet. Whether because of the increasing availability of vegetarian options in supermarkets and restaurants, growing concern over the environmental impact of animal farming, animal welfare, or attractive appeal as a healthy lifestyle option, the vegetarian demographic has shed its sandal-wearing, lentil-eating image and now boasts a diverse population, young and old, of various ethnicities and backgrounds.

Whilst scientific evidence does indicate that a plant-based diet offers significant health benefits in terms of heart disease, strokes, lower incidence of certain cancers, a healthy body weight and longer life expectancy, [2],[3],[4] vegetarians, like meat-eaters, still need to eat a well-balanced diet and ensure they get enough fiber from whole grains, fresh fruit and vegetables, enough of the right types of protein and amino acids (which certain types of vegetable provide in plentiful quantity), as well as another type of essential nutrient – omega fatty acids. Necessary for the formation of healthy cell membranes, humans rely on these good fats not only for brain function, but also for the production of hormone-like substances called eicosanoids, which regulate several important functions including blood pressure and clotting, inflammation, the immune system and fluid balance.

Moreover, according to Dr Nina Bailey, “Low levels of omega fatty acids in the diet have been linked with increases in learning problems, mood disorders, circulatory problems, and skin conditions among the general population. By addressing these deficiencies and including the right types of omega-3 fatty acids in the diet, it is possible to address some of the symptoms associated with these problems.

“For vegetarians, this can be difficult, since the important omega-3s EPA and DHA derive mainly from oily fish. Whilst many vegetarians do consume flaxseed, the short-chain omega-3 ALA is a distant relative from the long-chain fatty acids, and the conversion rate tends to be very poor. Algal sources can offer an alternative but these tend to be high in DHA, with low quantities of EPA. EPA is important for neurological function as well as the production of eicosanoids, whose role in inflammation is critical.”

Whilst the vegetarian diet tends to be very healthy – with lower total fat, saturated fat and cholesterol intake than their meat-eating counterparts – their consumption of important long-chain omega-3s (found mainly in oily fish, with some levels in enriched eggs) is significantly lower, which is also reflected in tests of plasma levels. [4] The government recommendation for two portions of fish weekly to achieve a daily intake of 0.45 g omega-3, is plainly not an option for vegetarians, and so vegetarians have, until recently, been reliant upon flaxseed oil to provide the short-chain omega-3 ALA, with the idea that the body will convert this to the important long-chain omega-3s such as EPA and DHA.

The problem is that the conversion of ALA in flaxseed oil to EPA and DHA in the body is reliant upon the presence of certain enzymes, making it a slow and inefficient process – particularly so when enzyme activity is impaired for any reason. Factors limiting this process in the body include stress, ageing, alcohol, caffeine, low levels of vitamins and minerals, as well as viral infections and diabetes.

The good news is that another, more efficient precursor, has recently been launched in the UK, in the form of SDA from echium seed oil. Indeed SDA is a closer relative to the important long-chain omega-3 fatty acid EPA than ALA, and is converted to EPA in amounts up to 5 times greater than other vegetarian omega-3 oils containing just ALA.[5] Contained in supplement form in the product Echiomega, SDA bypasses the enzyme ‘blocks’ which easily interrupt the conversion to the important long-chain omega-3 fatty acid EPA, known for its potent anti-inflammatory by-products and mood-regulating effects.

Echium seed oil also contains other beneficial fatty acids, including the powerful anti-inflammatory fatty acid GLA, as well as the omega-9 oleic acid found typically in olive oil and synonymous with the health benefits of the Mediterranean diet. Research also indicates a synergistic effect within echium seed oil, owing to the combination of SDA with GLA, which reportedly elevates EPA levels more efficiently than SDA alone. [6] Echiomega, available from good health food shops or mail order from manufacturer Igennus (see http://www.igennus.com/) is the ideal nutritional supplement for those who are vegan or vegetarian, to boost the levels of the important omega fats in the diet.

References

[1] The Vegetarian Society, Available: http://www.vegsoc.org/news/2000/21cv/introduction.html [Accessed 13th May 2009]

[2] Key, T.J. E Fraser, G.E. et al (1999) Mortality in vegetarians and nonvegetarians: detailed findings from a collaborative analysis of 5 prospective studies, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 1999 70: 516S-24S.
[3] Fraser G.E. (2009) Vegetarian diets: what do we know of their effects on common chronic diseases? American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 89: 1607S-1612S.

[4] Key, T.J. Appleby, P.N. & Rosell, M.S. (2006) Health effects of vegetarian and vegan diets, Proceedings of the Nutrition Society 65: 35-41 Cambridge University Press. See also: Rosell M.S., Lloyd-Wright Z. et al (2005) Long-chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in plasma in British meat-eating, vegetarian, and vegan men. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 82: 327-34.

[5] James MJ, Ursin VM, Cleland LG. (2003) Metabolism of stearidonic acid in human subjects: comparison with the metabolism of other n-3 fatty acids. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 77: 1140-5.

[6] Miles, E.A., Banerjee, T., et al (2004) The influence of different combinations of g-linolenic acid, stearidonic acid and EPA on immune function in healthy young male subjects. British Journal of Nutrition, 91, pp.893-903.

Press Release Contact Information:

Mina Nazemi
Igennus
Marketing Manager
9 Chesterton Mill, French’s Road
Cambridge, Cambridgeshire
UK CB4 3NP

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Anger Management

angerWhy Anger Management Skills are Important to your Health

Everybody experiences anger at some point of time or the other. A certain degree of anger is normal and healthy. However, if it gets out of control you can harm not only yourself but also those you come into contact with. Anger is probably the most real of all human emotions. It can increase your determination and will-power to reach the heights of success or it can catapult you into the valleys of fury and rage. By itself, anger is not really dangerous to your well-being. Everything depends on how you deal with it.

We lead a different life as compared to our fore-fathers. Technology has perhaps improved life in many ways but it has also made it difficult and stressful. We have no time to smell the roses. We always have to do something yesterday, right now, today or tomorrow. This leads to overwhelming pressure and stress. Let’s take an example of the average married man. He wakes up in the morning to rush to work sometimes without breakfast. He travels miles to his workplace only to be reprimanded by his boss for late-coming. During the day he has projects to complete and deadlines to meet, all under his immediate supervisor’s watchful eye. If something goes wrong he is held responsible. He returns in the evening to a mischievous child and a wife who grumbles about his never having the time for her. A squabble follows making him feel stressed out, angry and depressed. And this is an average day in the life of a married man. The bad days are a different story altogether.

Anger Management: In this age of unusual stress and pressure, anger management is of paramount importance. It teaches you to accept what you can’t change and channel your energy to feel positive and calm. It is important for people from all walks of life to control and manage their anger. Employees must learn to deal with work pressure and demanding supervisors. Bosses should control their feelings of hostility towards perceived inefficient workers. Couples must stop venting their frustrations on each other. Anger management teaches you all this and much more. Organizations must recognize the need to incorporate anger management into their training programs. Expressing feelings must be encouraged and honest feedback should be provided. This will bring about a sense of harmony and increase productivity at the work-place.

Stress Management and Anger: Stress and anger are two sides of the same coin. Often, we are angry because we are stressed and vice versa. The causes of stress are many. Demands at the workplace, uncompromising supervisors, inefficient employees, strained relationships, health issues and financial worries are some of these causes. If you can learn to beat the heat and manage stress half the battle is won. There are various techniques that can be used to manage stress. Try deep breathing when faced with a tense situation. Yoga and meditation can also work as stress busters. Therapists endorse exercising as a means to release feel good hormones and do away with stress and tension.

All said and done, anger and stress to a certain degree is desirable and healthy. Excessive stress can lead to fits of anger and affect all aspects of life. Managing stress and anger is important for your emotional as well as physical well being.

The most effective way in managing your stress and anger is to learn anger and fear control skills by taking an anger management class. It would be most helpful if the classes focused on anger management, stress management, assertive communication, and emotional intelligence.

By Gregory Kyles, LPC, CEAP, CAMF http://www.ami-tx.com
www.angermanagementinstituteoftexas.com

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Children and Divorce

By Mayo Clinic staff

Divorce is stressful for the entire family. Your child may feel as if his or her world has turned upside down. But there’s good news. You can make your child’s adjustment to the divorce much easier simply by choosing to interact responsibly with your spouse. Consider these practical tips for children and divorce.

How to break the news

It’s best if you and your spouse can tell your child about the divorce together. Speak honestly and simply, and skip the ugly details. You might say, “Your mom (or dad) and I have been having trouble getting along, so we think it’s best for us to live apart.”

Make sure your child understands that divorce is only between adults. Remind your child — repeatedly if necessary — that he or she did nothing to cause the divorce and that both of you love your child as much as ever.

Expect a mix of reactions

Initially, your child may be most interested in concrete things. Where will I live? Do I need to change schools? Who will take me to swimming lessons? As you work out the terms of the divorce, try to maintain your child’s routine as much as possible — or be quick to establish a new routine. Knowing what to expect will help your child feel more secure.

But soon, the reality of divorce will settle in. A younger child might respond to the stress by regressing to behavior he or she had previously outgrown, such as sucking on a pacifier or wetting the bed. A resurgence of separation anxiety may strike as well. Help your child put his or her feelings into words.

An older child might respond to the stress with a mix of emotions — anger, anxiety, grief or even relief. If your child’s anger turns inward, he or she may become depressed or withdrawn. Anger can have the opposite effect, too, causing a child to act out or develop behavior issues. Encourage your child to share his or her feelings as openly as possible.

Keep your child out of the fight

How your child adapts to the divorce is largely dependent on how you and your spouse act, especially toward each other. To respect your child’s relationship with the other parent, keep these general “don’ts” in mind:

  • Don’t speak badly about your spouse in front of your child.
  • Don’t make accusations against your spouse in front of your child.
  • Don’t force your child to choose sides.
  • Don’t use your child as a messenger or go-between.
  • Don’t argue or discuss child support issues in front of your child.
  • Don’t pump your child for information about the other parent.
  • Don’t use your child as a pawn to hurt the other parent.

Don’t bend the rules

It may be tempting to relax your parental rules while your child grieves over the divorce. But this will only make your child feel more insecure. Children thrive on consistency, structure and routine — even if they insist on testing the boundaries and limits. If your child shares time between two households, it’s important for the rules to be similar in both homes.

Counseling can help

You might feel so hurt or overwhelmed by your divorce that you turn to your child for comfort and direction — but that’s not your child’s role. For help sorting through your feelings, you might join a divorce support group or seek counseling through a social service agency or mental health center. If you need help reaching decisions about your child during or after the divorce, consider using the services of a family or divorce mediator.

Your child may also benefit from counseling, especially if he or she:

  • Feels sad or angry
  • Has trouble sleeping or eating
  • Has problems at school or with friends
  • Experiences personality changes
  • Develops irrational fears

Put your child first

During a divorce, interacting with your spouse might be the last thing you want to do — but it’s important. Your child needs both of you. Work out custody arrangements and other details with your child’s best interests in mind. Remember that a bitter or prolonged custody battle may take a serious, long-term toll on your child’s mental health. Instead, help your child maintain a strong, loving relationship with the other parent as you work toward meeting common parenting goals. For your child, support from both parents may be the best tool for weathering the challenges of divorce.

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Texans Cheerleaders

2009 Houston Texans Cheerleaders Tryouts Coverage

CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE FINAL SQUAD!

The 2009 Houston Texans Cheerleaders Tryouts have concluded. The 29 members were announced on Thursday, April 30.
Video | Story | Slideshow

Hundreds of women participated in the first round of tryouts on April 18.
Cheerleader tryouts draw talent | Photos from tryouts

Be sure to check out all of the highlights from this year’s tryouts on Texans TV:
Cheerleaders at Draft Party | Cheer finalists a select group | Mic’d up: Megan at tryouts |
2009 Texans Cheerleaders Tryouts recap | Texans players judge tryouts

To sign up for information regarding the 2010 Texans Cheerleaders tryouts, please click here.

For coverage from the 2008 Houston Texans Cheerleaders Tryouts, click here.

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Treatments for Diabetes

What is Diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes is a syndrome characterized by high blood sugar resulting from an impaired response to insulin. Type 2 diabetes is usually diagnosed in patients over the age of thirty, but it also occurs in children and teens. It is commonly associated with being overweight, especially around the abdomen area. Many times, it is diagnosed after a period of significant weight gain.

Symptoms of Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is frequently diagnosed in aymptomatic patients during a routine medical examination. Symptoms of diabetes include:

  • Frequent urination
  • Thirst
  • Weight loss
  • Blurred vision
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Fungal and bacterial infection
  • Itching due to vaginal yeast infection

Late complications of diabetes include: heart disease, infections, skin ulcers, kidney disease, numbness and tingling in the hands and feet, impotence, constipation, pain and poor circulation in the legs, vision loss.

Diagnosis

Type 2 diabetes is diagnosed when the criteria for fasting high blood sugar are met. Blood sugar level is greater than or equal to 140 mg/dL (7.77 mmol/L) after an overnight fast on two occasions, or the American Diabetes Association criteria of fasting blood sugar greater than 126 mg/L (6.99 mmol/L) can considered to be diagnostic.

A test called the oral glucose tolerance test is often conducted if fasting blood sugar is between 115 and 140 mg/dL (6.38 and 7.77 mmol/L) and in those with a clinical condition that might be related to undiagnosed type 2 diabetes.

For monitoring diabetes, glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) is tested to estimate blood sugar control over the prior three months.

Natural Treatments for Diabetes

Most people with this type of diabetes are treated with diet, exercise and oral prescription drugs. Some people require the use of insulin to control blood sugar. Several alternative methods may help when used under medical supervision in conjunction with standard treatments. Once herbs and other measures for controlling blood sugar work, medication needs to be adjusted by your doctor.

Diet
A balanced diet is recommended. Foods that emphasize vegetables, legumes, whole grains, and fiber can influence the release of sugar into the bloodstream. Foods that should be avoided are refined sugar, processed food, junk food, pastries, and cookies. When checking labels, watch out for hidden forms of sugar, such as dextrose, glucose, sucrose, corn sweeteners, fructose, dextrin, high-fructose corn syrup, lactose, modified cornstarch, maltose, malt, fruit juice concentrates, mannitol, sorghum, xylitol, and sorbitol. Protein snacks should be eaten in between meals. Alcohol, tobacco, and caffeine should be avoided.

All foods cause a varying insulin response in our bodies. Foods that have a higher rating on the “glycemic index”, a scale developed by nutrition researchers at the University of Toronto, cause a higher insulin spike than those with a lower rating.

Higher glycemic index foods are white bread, bagels, English muffins, packaged flaked cereal, instant hot cereals, frozen desserts, dried fruit, whole milk, hot dogs, and luncheon meat.

Lower glycemic index foods are most fresh vegetables, leafy greens, 100% whole grain bread, sweet potato, skim milk, buttermilk, chicken, lean cuts of beef, pork, and veal, white-fleshed fish, and many nuts. There are many factors that can influence glycemic index, such as cooking and preparation method.

Herbs, Nutritional Supplements and Vitamins
Chromium – Chromium is an essential trace mineral. It plays a major role in sugar metabolism. There is a growing body of evidence that shows that chromium may help bring blood sugar levels under control in type 2 diabetes. A typical dose of chromium for diabetes is 200 to 400 mcg per day.

Fenugreek – Fenugreek is a spice commonly used in India and the Middle East in cooking. Numerous studies suggest that fenugreek can reduce blood sugar and cholesterol levels in people with diabetes. Fenugreek seeds can have a bitter taste, so people sometimes prefer to take it in capsule form. A typical dose range is 5 to 30 g three times per day with meals. Known side effects of high doses include mild digestive distress. Fenugreek should not be used by pregnant or nursing women.

Gymnema – Gymnema is an Ayurvedic herb that is believed to have a marked effect on blood sugar control. Doctors often prescribe gymnema for mild cases of type 2 diabetes, in conjunction with standard treatments. A typical dose range is 400 to 600 mg per day of an extract standardized to contain 24% gymnemic acids.

Vanadium – Vanadium is an essential trace mineral that may mimic insulin to help regulate blood sugar. It is found in black pepper, dill seed, and unsaturated vegetable oil, as well as in vitamin supplements.

Zinc – Zinc is necessary for the normal production of insulin. Food sources of zinc include fresh oysters, ginger root, lamb, pecans, split peas, egg yolk, rye, beef liver, lima beans, almonds, walnuts, sardines, chicken, and buckwheat.

Other herbs and supplements – The function if the digestive organs should be optimized, particularly the liver and pancreas. Dandelion and other bitter herbs, tumeric, and bupleurum are just a few of the herbs that can help with this. Another goal should be to tonify the endocrine system and promote hormonal balance. Ginseng, licorice, oatstraw, and hawthorn are some of the herbs that can tonify the endocrine system.

Other herbs that can affect blood sugar are bitter melon, neem, and goat’s rue. Helpful supplements for diabetes are vanadium, B vitamins (especially vitamin B6), vitamins C and E, and coenzyme Q10.

Treating Complications of Diabetes

Lipoic acid – In Germany, the antioxidant lipoic acid is used widely for the prevention and treatment of peripheral neuropathy in diabetes. This complication usually develops after many years, and is a painful condition affecting the nerves. Lipoic acid occurs naturally in the body, and it is often reduced in people with diabetes. It is involved in the energy metabolism in the body. There is some evidence that lipoic acid may be more effective if it is combined with GLA (gamma-linolenic acid). A typical dose for diabetes is 300 to 600 mg per day, divided into two or three doses.

GLA (Gamma-Linolenic Acid) – An excellent source of the essential fatty acid is evening primrose oil. It is also found in black currant and borage oil. There is some research suggesting that evening primrose oil can protect nerves, and help with symptoms such as pain and numbness. A typical dosage is 4 to 6 g daily, taken with food. Evening primrose oil requires about six months to have noticeable effect. One caution, it is possible that GLA may worsen temporal lobe epilepsy.

Omega-6 oils should be taken in balance with omega-3 oils, found in flaxseed oil, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, and fish oil. Omega-3 fats can help protect blood vessels and decrease insulin resistance.

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Food Additives

Food Additives that are Good for You

Here are some nutritional ingredients that are good for you:

Calcium:

Calcium is deficient in many of our diets, especially in the diets of teenagers. Calcium is important for healthy bones, teeth, blood clotting, and muscle and nerve function. The most absorbable form of calcium is found in dairy products, but what what if you don’t like dairy products, or can’t tolerate dairy products? One great option is to choose calcium fortified foods. The best known calcium fortified food is orange juice, but look for calcium added to bread and other foods as well. Prebiotics and Probiotics: Probiotics are healthy bacteria that grow in our gut and help keep our digestive system healthy. Prebiotics are the fibers that help support the growth of the probiotics in our gut. Probiotics are naturally found in yogurt and fermented products. Adding the prebiotics like fructooligosaccarhides to foods will help these healthy bacteria flourish and improve our health. Prebiotics can be added to most any type of food, but is commonly found added to yogurt products and in supplement form

Fiber:

Fiber is the undigestible part of plant foods. People on low cab diets often do not get enough fiber in their diets. Fiber is needed for a healthy digestive system, and some fibers will help reduce cholesterol and help to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Oat bran fiber is one example of a healthy fiber that will reduce your risk of cardiovascular diseases. Oat bran fiber is often added to foods like breads, pasta, and snack foods to increase the fiber content.

Anti-Oxidants:

Anti-oxidants are the chemicals found in colorful fruits and vegetables that have special properties to prevent or even treat certain diseases. One example is lycopene, normally found in tomatoes. Lycopene, as well as other anti-oxidants can be added to regular foods, turning them into super-healthy functional foods.

Essential Fatty Acids:

Essential fatty acids and healthy omega 3 oils are needed for healthy nervous system function, healthy brain function, and will work as anti-inflammatories. Adding essential fatty acids to foods will make them even healthier. One example is the addition of an essential fatty acid called DHA to infant formula. Studies show that infants who get adequant amounts of DHA have better brain and eye development.

Proteins and Amino Acids:

Proteins and their individual components called amino acids serve several different functions in our body, most of them related to the structures of our body and for our immune system. Soy protein is an example of a nutritional ingredient that may be added to foods because soy consumption has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease.

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Budgeted Exercise

Finding cheap exercise equipment

Exercise may be tough to fit into a busy day, but outfitting your home gym is easier than you think. Your home gym can be as lavish (mega-machines and expensive cardio equipment) or as simple (a good pair of athletic shoes) as you like and, for the budget-minded, it doesn’t have to cost a thing.

When I first started working out, I didn’t have much of a budget. I was in college and what little money I had went towards food (Ramen noodles) and drink (beer, of course). What I didn’t know was that I could’ve made my own set of weights without spending an extra dime. The nice thing about weight training is that anything with weight will work–a dumbbell, a full water bottle or a sock full of sand…your body doesn’t know the difference.

There are plenty of things you probably have in your house right now that could serve as weights–you just need to be a little creative to get started:

Making Your Own Weights

Whether you’re outfitting a home gym or traveling, there are a variety of things you can use as dumbbells such as:

Full Soup Cans. These are great for lighter weights. Some larger cans weigh up to a pound (or more) and could be used for upper body exercises.
Full Water Bottles. A large water bottle (say around 33.8 fluid ounces) can give you a little more than 2 pounds when full of water. Fill it with sand, rocks or change and you get even more weight.
Computer Bags or Small duffel bags. My husband carries around a small computer bag so stuffed with crap, it weighs about 10 pounds. Because computer bags usually have handles, these can be great for exercises like bicep curls, lateral raises or one-armed rows. Small duffel bags with handles can be filled with books and used for lower body exercises like squats, lunges and deadlifts.
Milk or Orange Juice Jugs. Save your old milk jugs and fill them with sand, change or water for weights with ready-made handles
PVC Pipes. I had one client who filled PVC pipes with sand, capping them off with duct tape to avoid spillage. This is a great idea since PVC pipes come in all shapes and sizes, many of which fit perfectly in your hand.
Tennis balls and cans. Shawn Keith, certified personal trainer, recommends filling tennis balls and tennis cans with sand or change for some great handheld weights.
Most of these materials can be found around your house or at your local hardware store. If you’re not into making weights yourself, there are some other alternatives for finding cheap equipment.

Cheap Exercise Equipment

If you don’t mind a little bargain-hunting, you can find cheap exercise equipment in a variety of places such as:

  • Garage Sales . I almost always see exercise gear at garage sales and some of it’s even worth buying. Pick up the newspaper to find weekend garage sales in your area–I guarantee you’ll find something .
  • Play it Again Sports . This store buys and sells used (and new) exercise equipment. If you have one in your area, it’s worth checking out especially for their dumbbell selection, which is usually pretty good.
  • Walmart . Nobody out-cheaps Walmart, especially when it comes to exercise equipment. While I wouldn’t buy a treamdill there, they have a great selection of hex weights that are reasonably priced. They also carry resistance bands–another cheap alternative to buying weights.
  • Classified Ads . Americans love to buy things…especially exercise equipment. They also love to sell things…especially exercise equipment they never used. Check your newspaper for cheap gear–you can often find some great deals.

What Not to Skimp On

While it’s a fine idea to bargain-hunt, there are a few crucial items you shouldn’t skimp on. Learn from my mistakes and make sure you spend good money on:

  • Portable CD players or MP3 players . If you’re using your walkman for exercise, you’ll want something sturdy and waterproof. My preference for CD players is the Sony Sport CD Player . Make sure you get decent headphones too.
  • Heart Rate Monitors . I bought a HRM from Target for about $20. Guess where it is now? In the trash, my friends. I’m not saying they’re completely useless but cheaper versions can be bulky, uncomfortable and not terribly accurate. Stick with companies known for quality HRMs like Polar .
  • Treadmills, Elliptical Trainers or other cardio equipment . This is definitely one area where you get what you pay for.
  • Athletic shoes . Your shoes may be the most important piece of equipment you own–if you don’t have supportive shoes that fit right and match your sport, you could have problems with injury or discomfort. Think quality–if your feet don’t work right, nothing else will either.

Creating a home gym with little or no money is easy if you’re on a budget. Anything with weight can be used for strength training exercises, so don’t be afraid to get creative and break the rules a little!

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