SMOKINCHOICES (and other musings)

May 30, 2017

Testing 1, 2, 3 . .

Certainly, health woes need to be dealt with,

Can’t fix what we don’t ‘understand’

Just when I’ve about decided I must stop blogging, I find an article like this, and there I go again!  (Is my blood actually roiling?)  Why?  Do I hate the article?  No. . it’s well done. Patient is medically educated, well informed, iffy health — asks for a specific answer which the Dr Roach gives.

So what’s not to like?   Everything.  Patient J.L.  led an exemplary life – did almost everything right;  stuff happens– best not to self-diagnose, go to Doc. What follows is insanity.  One wonders how many thousands were spent to  NOT LEARN ANYTHING.  No discernible answer in the end.  Just one thing was amiss. . . . .the elevated ANA.    I had no idea how or why this had anything to to do with JL’s story,  so went online and dug into a bit – – brought a link over for any who might want to know also (below).  

Any who have ever come here understand that my MO is always to seek cause which starts with much observation, dialogue, history and anything recent which has changed.  Clues in everything.  In this case, JL seems to be doing much which is correct and suitable with CHOICES – food and life-style.  Yet the inner eco-system is suffering and afflicted with something.  One doesn’t automatically reach for all those tests. .  .  except Blood tests and possibly a few other simple, revelatory and inexpensive ones.   Our inner workings (glands and systems) completely know how to co-mingle and cooperate – its what they do and always will UNLESS there is toxic interference of one kind or another to prevent it  OR mal-nourishment which can prevent the inner workings ability to function normally.  Since nothing obvious has presented, one must give a deeper look at the ‘ailment’ to try  and decipher which of the major glands/organs seems to have the most influence over it.  But do we – any of us,  have time or opportunity to go to school or study biology and chemistry – now when we need help?  Frankly NO!  But read the article, check out the link if you want to. . .and we can chat a bit more.  Helping ourselves may seem scary and/or complicated, but ya know,  it just takes willingness to look outside the box.  Leave your hard-won dollars IN THE BANK.   It’s not that tuff.

People with chronic fatigue should avoid doing too much

I am 69, and I retired from a career in primary care and emergency medicine. I have always been very active and have kept fit with biking, cross-country skiing and hiking.

My diet has been basically vegetarian with lots of fish and limited sweets. I have had no chronic problems except for insomnia and non-restorative sleep. About two years ago, I developed steadily worsening fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue.

I have had an extensive evaluation, including cardiac testing, sleep studies, respiratory testing and virtually every lab test in the book. My results have been negative, except for a significantly elevated ANA. I am currently seeing a rheumatologist, but there is no specific treatment available.

My concern is how much I should continue to exercise. Should I push through the aches and fatigue to try to keep up my usual distances and times, or will that actually make me worse? My symptoms vary so much from day to day that it is difficult to “listen to my body” to see if what I did the previous day has made me better or worse. I hate to see a lifetime of conditioning swirl down the drain. I could use some help.  J.L.

ANSWER:   Systemic exertion intolerance disease, also known as chronic fatigue syndrome, is diagnosed in people with a decrease in their level of function, worsening of symptoms after exercise and un-refreshing sleep.

Symptoms often are worse when standing up and relieved on lying down, and may cause decreased ability to think or concentrate. Symptoms need to be present for six months or more, and be moderate to severe at least half the time.

People who suffer from these symptoms can be frustrated because there isn’t a blood test or X-ray to confirm the diagnosis. There unfortunately still are many people, including physicians, who think this isn’t a “real” condition. Those of us who have taken care of patients like you understand that this condition, known for centuries, causes great harm to patients (and families).

The answer to your specific question is no: You should not attempt to exercise past the point where your body tells you to stop, as it will indeed make things worse. Although a study showed that people who slowly build up exercise levels have improvement in function, a recent review of the data suggests that far fewer people had a benefit than previously thought. However, several other trials have shown that some exercise is better than no exercise. Everyone agrees, however, that overdoing it is the wrong approach.    — J. L.


Is anyone else put off by the ineffectiveness of the above story?  In my mind,  this is abuse.          

I’m a big fan of the comprehensive blood-draw to relate the workings of how  our inner eco-system is functioning.  Intake deficiencies become apparent, organ mal-function can be revealed.   That is, if the person reading the chart knows the relevance of nutrition to health.  Most don’t!  It isn’t taught in medical school . . (well, some are beginning to, at least cursorily).  

Personally,  I have been working on and absorbing bit by small bit over the decades with a catch as catch can approach.   Which is why I have so very much been impressed with Dr Eric Berg — anyone can find on internet (or YOUTUBE),  endlessly detailing with great simplicity, almost anything one could want to know with regard to a multitude of diseases, and/or the various glands with which they are associated.   What the symptoms look like;  what shape our body has which can be related to our (primary) glandular type, etc and so on.    As an example,  how might my watching Dr Berg’s  free videos have helped clue me in on at least part of J.L.’s problems?  

Quite a few clues are coming from J.L.’s words:   such an extremely active life, both work and leisure.  Very high energy.  Strong mind. No question diet is sound and probably more than adequate.   Achievement oriented.  Kinda speaks Adrenal type to me.   Insomnia is a HUGE clue here.  The incapacity  of  worsening fibromyalgia.  Tho it isn’t articulated,  the frustration must be growing exponentially.  What is J.L. to do, wait until still worse things happen before someone gets a clue?  Is this really what medicine has become?  

Lets just say that I may be somewhere near the target with citing the adrenal gland – – those cute little guys which sit atop the kidneys. This is  where ‘stress’ is handled – any stress, whether physical, mental,  financial,  emotional,  job related,  divorce, injury, medication, pain . .  you name it – -a lot.  Another function;  its  the only anti-inflammatory hormone the body has to rid pain and swelling; and it also balances fluid and water (and salt) within the immune system.  Adrenals control minerals also (such as potassium levels).  An aside:  it grieves me when some are told to quit salt or dramatically reduce it for whatever reason (heart, etc),  because that then throws so many other vital functions off keel and into the fray.  What is needed is to balance the salt and potassium. .  .  just raise the potassium levels;  (stress really hammers the potassium our body needs).   We even need the salt in our stomach in order to digest properly.  In any case – bi-carb isn’t the answer – take 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of Apple cider vinegar [like Braggs] in little water before your meals. . .all will be well  – food will be broken down when sent to gut for full digestion rather than putrefying.  For women, the adrenals even act as back-up  organs for the ovaries during  menopause  Those little buggers – so little with such a big job.  It’s no wonder that they can in fact,  break down. .  .        

. . .and when they do,  who’s gonna tell ya?    Adrenal hormone tests don’t necessarily show any ‘abnormalities until about 90% of  the gland becomes dysfunctional.  Too late then to head it off at the pass.  But if I’m right in J.L.’s situation, they haven’t figured it out yet.  Of course, I wouldn’t have a clue either if it weren’t for Dr Berg whom I’ve spoken of so highly and often, people might think he’s my cousin or something.  But Dr Berg doesn’t know I’m alive since we have not corresponded, nor have I bought any of his mighty-fine sounding products  [I kinda do my own thing, as most of you know]  But I’ve been thinking about that wheat grass he has and the cruciferous stuff.  I know, because I’ve learned that I’m an adrenal type too. [and would never have guessed that]  Found Dr Berg online while looking for something else.  Was very special, liked his thinking and the generosity he showed by literally giving his knowledge out freely.  

Almost every video one can watch has this invitation to take the body-type test,  FREE. Works for me.  Wish everyone would do it.  A caution tho, its only free one time, so if you’re gonna take that test, just understand – – no one is standing by to  analyze it.  Dr Berg created this computer program, and it does its work based solely on the answers one gives. . . then cranks out its findings  in printed form – – but do notice the heading on that form, for it asks if you want the answers as well as the recommendations (or words to that effect) and you get to do this once for free.  So glad I noticed that.     I made a wrong call answering no regarding menses problems since  I had had my uterus removed in my 50’s.  The test only works as well as it does based on the info WE GIVE IT.  So, be smart, tell it like it was, not just IS now.  The whole picture of all your years is what this data is about.  I don’t know of any other place, person, clinic or doctor of any description who gives  out this much to help others understand and ultimately, be able to be confident in own choices.   I have literally watched those little videos (some of them) 5, 6 times in effort to better grasp what he is saying.   I bought his book which I also  liked, but can’t find now.  Hate to think I loaned it out and can’t remember – to whom.  One can register to receive his ongoing videos, most of which are less than 5 minutes.   Probably 2- 3 thousand mini videos on youtube.    

Back now to J.L.’s  possible (probable) cause of woe and pain and all the mystery surrounding it.  Certainly no test has been done which yielded answers. You and I can’t see him so we can conjecture based only on what we’ve heard (seen).  The high activity level of JL’s life, especially the professional life and it’s known pressures suggest  stress to me, assuredly.  Highly stressed people are often subjected  to weakened adrenals for that reason alone. Over burdened with an ongoing over-load, normal function of this gland becomes disruptive and losing ability to control its on/off controls.   Then exhausted adrenals can allow the body to stay in pain,  afflicted with inflammation and stiffness resulting in the adrenal’s hormone cortisol, (yes the same anti-inflammatory hormone doctors like to dispense as well for anything which is inflammation based,  or hives,  itching, infections., etc.)   becoming dysfunctional.   Remaining thus, the pain and misery can endure for long years or until balance is restored.  But the glands can be restored. Indeed, Dr Berg has quite a few solutions, all natural, non-toxic earth yielding blessings to restore balance and harmony where its needed.  One  is of course invited to acquire any of his products. . or learn what he advises and go get it where ever one chooses.  I shall not be discussing all that,  you are as free to avail his info  and good advice,just as I was, and am still learning.    

One thing in particular I want to mention tho since it helped me so much touches on the area of sleep and our need for healing.  This can only come about in the space of deep, sound sleep.  Dr Berg has a great deal to say about this and if this rings a bell for you, check out Dr Berg on the adrenals, for there is much to learn.  Apparently those first or earlier hours of sleep are most vital to accomplish ‘healing.’  In the deepest levels are the time the healing process is working.  To the insomniac, that may sound like hogwash.  Just do it and try it.  The product is 100% L-Tryptophan. Take about 1 teaspoon  30 to 60 minutes before bed. (I do 20 to 30 minutes before bed). Instead of tossing and rolling around 1/2 conscious, I did in fact begin to sleep more soundly, and gratefully, began to have more dreams which I often could remember.  And I get up less at night now to go potty.  After this routine settled in, I am sleeping better now  overall.  I still want to get his cruciferous veggies. Yeah, I do eat these daily, but his powder is highly specialized, condensed and I want them.  Gonna work it out soon.  There is so much more to it than I have covered here. All these pains can become history – gone. . .without drugs or a bunch of money.. which is nice and also funny,  if  it weren’t so sad.

Another aside: [sorry, I may never wrap this up] When Bernie lost to Hillary – it put me in bed for three days,  just didn’t give a damn any more. Not gonna rehash all the old crap.  I voted for her, of course.   She’s a brilliant decent woman, smart as they come. . no question.  Then there was the winner in November.   Guess I’ve been going downhill ever since.   Couple that with the construction of the entire complex where I live – – DIRT, NOISE, MESSES, and so much aggravation and disappointment – I won’t even try to tell any of you.  Then February, losing Heidi almost did me in.   I do a lot of crying.  My old self seems lost.  There’s just too much to handle.  All of this is major stress-producing.  An Alzheimer’s person is crushed by stress.  Too much of it  kinda unseats what you have left.  And I don’t have much left. . .at least thats how I feel.  . .  which is why I thought it wise to give up my blog, this thing I do and have loved like I did Heidi.   But then an article comes along, and I find I do have something I want to say.  Guess I thought I owed it to you few who still have the  stamina to keep popping by.   Thanks to those of you who do.  Much appreciated.  This last 7 months have been a killer,and this construction will be going on til around September.   What ever will be, will be.

G’nite my friends,          Jan


May 11, 2017

BHO said “Net Neutrality” is important – it is!

Let’s  Keep some things unbroken 

The president we had before (remember that almost always smiling, ever thoughtful, and exceedingly intelligent and reflective individual who actually lived in the white house and embraced all that it meant to be there). .?. ., well he spent most of HIS time taking  care of business. . . and trying to bring about good things, uplifting things which either benefited us directly – – individually and/or globally.  Mostly these were ordinary things like health and legal protections,  so that we weren’t injured in the process of daily life.  He cared about Nature and its bountiful beauty and riches which have blessed us all – – was adamant in protecting all of it so that our kids and their kids can also reap what we have known.  Yes, the environment was a top priority.  So was justice,  individual rights. . .and equality under the law.  

I know how important he determined  “net neutrality”  was, tho, frankly – hadn’t a clue what he meant or was referring to.    Well, I should have listened more carefully.  Its damned important to someone like me who is car-less,  and therefore, buys almost everything online — because I must.   A determined independent-thinker and sort of an unapologetic rebel, I honestly don’t know know what I’d do without the internet.  Yes, that important.  So, if any of you guys  also might have some kind of  ‘funny streak’ going on,  and don’t cotton to being ripped off by those bigger and richer (just because they can!), . . .check the subject out online.  I did.   Also found “COMMON CAUSE”  They are trying to head this off at the pass before AJIT PAI, the new Chairman for the FCC appointed by the current visitor to the WhiteHouse who is bragging with swagger about his new plans (no one but his wealthy friends will be happy about).   Common Cause is hoping to deluge Washington with a boat-load of signatures showing abject refusal of these plans and prevent this unnecessary turmoil.   I’m sure by now — most of us are sick of this rocking boat.  Below  that is their brief message, but you need to use the link below that to go over and sign their petition.  Was anxious to get this over here to get your attention to this huge issue on my own blog.   Focused on purpose. . . forgot to sign the petition, so must return to sign it when I’m done here.    If this resonates with you, ya might consider doing the same. Needed to share this as it affects most of us whether we recognize it or not.  Thanks — this is a big ‘ask’. .  .  Jan

We need Net Neutrality — help save the Internet!

Donald Trump’s new FCC Chair, Ajit Pai, wants to roll back Open Internet protections. Tell the FCC, we need Net Neutrality!

SIGN THE PETITION: We rely on Net Neutrality to connect, organize, and make change. Losing Net Neutrality protections now would stuff the pockets of Big Cable, put new fees on consumers, and be absolutely devastating for our democracy.

Our democracy relies on a free, fair, and Open internet. Every day, journalists, voters, and activists rely on the FCC’s Net Neutrality protections to communicate freely online.

Net Neutrality is simply the principle that Internet providers must treat all web traffic equally. It’s the only thing stopping companies like Comcast & Verizon from controlling what we can see and say online — and from censoring or slowing down speech they don’t like.

But Chairman Ajit Pai, Donald Trump’s newly appointed head of the Federal Communications Commission, has offered up grim warning s of what’s in store for Net Neutrality under his leadership. But if enough of us speak out in its defense, we can stop Chairman Pai and defend Net Neutrality.

Add your name to tell the FCC, Congress, and anyone else — don’t roll back Net Neutrality!

(the link)

May 10, 2017

TALC use, cancer, dispute – ‘Payouts’

BABY POWDER,  really?

Who of us isn’t wondering. . . my Gawd,  how have we dodged this bullet?  Apparently, there IS science behind this or there simply couldn’t have been so many court payouts.  Now I’m wondering about all those magnificent smelling (High-end-label) bath powders I used to buy, too.  What was the base of it?   Still have a particularly lovely container which I have been filling with plain ole talc as Social Security doesn’t cover what personal earnings used to allow. Its pretty sitting there –  – but don’t use it much at all.   When I was caring  for my own baby, quite sure I trusted Johnson and Johnson.

So often, we’re forced to deal with evidence of the toxic world we dwell in;   and like it or not. . .make adjustments.  We can’t reduce this tragic mess with a few swift calculations or assertions about how corrupt everything has turned out.  Most assuredly we all had a part in it by accepting the  judgements of others to make all the rules.  In a Democracy, we are all meant to be responsible thru careful choices and participation in how everything is run and/or regulated – – for the protection of us all.  Still,. . we must try harder.  

Now,  I don’t want to put this up just to worry everybody,.  .  add to your burden.  So I’m going to tell you about  a plant called Arrowroot. I never heard of it either, but Dr Berg and his wife (online) made this bread together (while laughing up a storm and having a great old time);  it was dubbed by him as “THE GREATEST BREAD IN THE WORLD”.  Think I recently shared it with everyone. No wheat, gluten- free.. . I’ve made it three or four times. . .kinda like it.  Uses Coconut flour,  Arrowroot and Almond,  plus some other stuff (try it).

I read up on Arrowroot before I bought it and was really impressed. . .downloaded the info, but alas, I can’t find it.  My filing system may literally force me to quit trying to blog.  Nor could I find any reference to that which so intrigued me.  There were references to all kinds of personal usage ideas,   and one I remember was using it in the diaper to prevent problems.  Very gentle and worked.  The Paleo people are using it to thicken for soups and sauces; is smooth, easy and fairly cheap.  I think I bought Bob’s Red Mill, a # – under $10.  So, if its for babies or yourself. . .give it a go – learn and do something new and different (which isn’t toxic)       Found a small blurb online below:



Health benefits of arrowroot

  • Arrowroot is very low in calories; 100 fresh roots carry just 65 calories; less than that of potato, yam, cassava, etc. Its chief polymeric carbohydrates are amylopectin (80%) and amylose (20%). Its powder is fine, odorless, granular starch that is found utility in the food industry as thickener and stabilizing agent.
  • It has relatively more protein than that of other tropical food sources like yam, potato, cassava, plantains, etc.
  • As in other roots and tubers, arrowroot too is free from gluten. Gluten-free starch is used in special food preparations for celiac disease patients.
  • Fresh roots indeed are a good source of folates. 100 g arrowroot provides 338 µg or 84% of daily required levels of folates. Folate, along with vitamin B-12, is one of the essential components that take part in the DNA synthesis and cell division. Diet rich in folate when given during preconception periods and pregnancy may help prevent neural-tube defects and other congenital malformations in the offspring.
  • Arrowroot contains helthy levels of the B-complex group of vitamins such as niacin, thiamin, pyridoxine, pantothenic acid, and riboflavin. Many of these vitamins take part as substrates for enzymes in carbohydrate, protein, and fat metabolism in the body.
  • Further, it contains moderate levels of some essential minerals like copper, iron, manganese, phosphorous, magnesium, and zinc. Besides, it is an excellent source of potassium (454 mg per 100g or 10% of RDA). Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that help regulate heart rate and blood pressure.

J&J loses $110M verdict over talc cancer-link claim

 Bloomberg News

May 5, 2017

Imerys Talc America, which provided the talc to J&J, was ordered by the jury to pay about $100,000. Imerys Talc is a unit of Paris-based Imerys SA.

There are more than 3,000 lawsuits accusing the world’s largest health-care company of ignoring studies linking its baby powder and Shower to Shower talc products to ovarian cancer and failing to warn customers about the risk.

J&J lost jury verdicts of $72 million, $55 million and $70 million last year, while winning the first trial in 2017. J&J, based in New Brunswick, New Jersey, is appealing the trial losses. A New Jersey state court judge last year threw out two talc cases set for trial, finding inadequate scientific support for the claims. That decision is also on appeal.

J&J will appeal Thursday’s verdict, said Carol Goodrich, a spokeswoman.  “We are preparing for additional trials this year and will continue to defend the safety of Johnson’s Baby Powder,’’ she said.    J&J’s trial win in March and the New Jersey dismissal last year “highlight the lack of credible scientific evidence behind plaintiffs’ allegations,” Goodrich said.

Baby powder

The jury’s verdict is contrary to the consensus of government and professional scientific organizations that have determined talc is safe, Gwen Myers, a spokeswoman for Imerys, said in an emailed statement.  “This verdict serves to undermine efforts by the scientific community to determine the true causes of ovarian cancer,’’ she wrote in the statement.

St. Louis plaintiff Lois Slemp, 62, said she used J&J’s baby powder and Shower to Shower talc products for more than 40 years before her diagnosis with ovarian cancer in 2012.   J&J sold its Shower to Shower brand in 2012.

“Once again we’ve shown that these companies ignored the scientific evidence and continue to deny their responsibilities to the women of America,” said Ted Meadows, one of Slemp’s attorneys. “They chose to put profits over people, spending millions in efforts to manipulate scientific and regulatory scrutiny.”

Asbestos claim

Slemp, whose cancer has since spread to her liver, also claims J&J talc was contaminated with asbestos, a rare allegation in these cases. A company lawyer told jurors that J&J’s products didn’t cause Slemp’s cancer and don’t contain asbestos.

The lawsuit is among more than 1,000 filed in St. Louis by women across the U.S., taking advantage of a Missouri law that allows suits to be brought there by people with no connection to the state.

The company faces trial in another talc claim in St. Louis city court next month, brought by the family of a former competitive figure skater who died of ovarian cancer. The trial after that is set for July in Los Angeles.

J&J didn’t warn women of studies linking talc to ovarian cancer to protect the company’s image, Allen Smith, Slemp’s attorney, told jurors.  “What is the corporate image of Johnson & Johnson?’’ Smith asked. “It’s a mother and baby.’’   Slemp, a retired nurse’s assistant, is undergoing chemotherapy and was too ill to attend the trial.

J&J doesn’t need to warn women about talc because there is no link, company lawyer Orlando Richmond argued at trial. The Food and Drug Administration was asked in 2014 whether a warning label should be put on baby powder, he said.    “They said ‘No.’ The science doesn’t warrant it,’’ Richmond said.

The jury didn’t agree.

Punitive damages

“I felt that J&J was withholding information about its products that was vital to women –vital to women like me,” said juror Nancy Kinney, who described herself as over 50 years old.

The jury’s verdict included $105 million in punitive damages against J&J, a figure Kinney said was derived from a formula starting with the number of years since the International Agency for Research on Cancer classified talc as a possible carcinogen. That was in 2006. Juror Lindsay Polley said that science was increasingly pointing toward talc being a cancer risk factor.

“The J&J documents acknowledge that,” she said. “If we could, we would make them put on a warning label.”

Juror Jeremy King, 32, called the J&J documents “mindblowing.”

The $110 million verdict is the eighth-largest jury award in the U.S. so far in 2017, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The largest, for $500 million, was awarded to ZeniMax Media Inc. over its claim that the virtual reality headset maker acquired by Facebook Inc. used stolen code.

The case is Slemp v. Johnson & Johnson, 1422-CC09326, Circuit Court, City of St. Louis, Missouri.

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