Child Anesthesia and Learning Disabilities

New research was recently published in the Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow & Metabolism about the practice of anesthetizing children during various medical procedures. Experts are saying that there is a link between repeated anesthesia and memory loss. Klas Blomgren, professor at the Queen Silvia Children’s Hospital and researcher at the Sahlgrenska Academy explains that “this is a theory that is also supported by foreign research. Paediatric anaesthetists have long suspected that children who are anaesthetised repeatedly over the course of just a few years may suffer from impaired memory and learning.” “We found that repeated anaesthesia wiped out a large portion of the stem cells in the hippocampus, an area of the brain that is important for memory,” said Blomgren. The study did have what appears to be a positive out-come. Blomgren explained that “the stem cells in the hippocampus can form new nerve and glial cells, and the formation of nerve cells is considered important for our memory function.” He went on to explain that physical exercise stimulates the production of new cells and that “the new nerve cells seem to work better in animals that exercise. Now that we know this, we can come up with treatments that prevent or reverse the loss of ostem cells after repeated anaesthesia.”

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Eight Year Olds Like Cross Country Skiing Too

As I mentioned in my last post, I have been taking my 13 and 12 year old daughters cross country skiing in the mountains.  So, on Saturday I thought that I would give my eight year old Jinger a chance.  We skied in the Brian Head Ski Resort area.  She was a bit frustrated in the beginning, but then she caught on very well.  She did not complain about the cold, the wind or the distance.  Attached is a picture showing Saige and Jinger at our very beautiful lunch spot.  On our ride home, Jinger said, “I hope that we can going skiing again soon.”

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Negative Ions and Purified Air

Negative ions vs. Filter-type air cleaner – Negative ions cleanse the air by attaching itself to dust, pollen or other particulates which in turn causes these particulates to stick together and fall to the ground, removing them from the air. An air cleaner requires a blower to suck the surrounding air through the filter, while still allowing smaller particles through.  The resulting forced output can actually stir up more particulates. With a salt lamp negative ions are naturally generated and can spread throughout a room and purify without the generation of disturbing air flow.  The reaction of moisture with the surface of Himalayan salt increases the level of negative ions, which can be released even further with the heat from a bulb.  Since Himalayan salt is hygroscopic, the lamp should be left on all of the time in humid areas.

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Portable Infrared Sauna Set-Up

Enjoy this quick visual guide to setting up a portable infrared sauna. Setting up the FIR-Real portable sauna is a no-brainer, but it is still useful to have a handy visual guide to watch in the case that part of the set-up is not all of the way clear. Modeling by Lauren Snow.

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Sunshine And Skin Cancer: Part I of II

Contrasting reports, conflicting evidence, and dazzling displays of monetarily driven misinformation have complicated the task of figuring out what the effects of exposure to sunshine can have on human wellbeing. Confusion about skin cancer, sunscreen, and general exposure to sunlight being either beneficial or detrimental is due to various factors, one of which is the belief that sunshine is either one, or the other; good or bad. By polarizing the conversation about the effects of sun exposure, the ability to find comprehensive answers to questions is made much more difficult. The majority of prominent health institutions clearly state that sun exposure is harmful, period. “Protection from sun exposure is important all year round, not just during the summer or at the beach. Ultraviolet (UV) rays can reach you on cloudy and hazy days, as well as bright and sunny days. UV rays also reflect off of surfaces like water, cement, sand, and snow. The CDC recommends easy options for sun protection: 1. Use sunscreen with sun protective factor (SPF) 15 or higher, and both UVA and UVB protection. 2. Wear clothing to protect exposed skin. 3. Wear a hat with a wide brim to shade the face, head, ears, and neck. 4. Wear sunglasses that wrap around and block as close to 100% of both UVA and UVB rays as possible. 5. Seek shade, especially during midday hours.” –Center for Disease Control Meanwhile, popular alternative medicine practitioners continually express views that are completely opposite of the mainstream institution’s statements about sun exposure and skin cancer. “UVA rays produce a tan that not only makes your skin more pleasing in appearance, but is also your body’s natural defense against sunburn. Exposure to the sun has many benefits…The key is to never burn.” –Dr. Joseph Mercola Most controversies are presented in extremes, just like the issue of skin cancer and sun exposure. Stepping back and breifly looking at a few of the basics surrounding the issue will give us the information we need in order know exactly which portions of which claims are accurate. There are three Types of Skin Cancer: Basal cell carcinoma –The most common form of cancer worldwide. In the United States, it accounts for approximately 80 percent of all skin cancers. The majority of basal cell carcinomas are easily and successfully treated with current therapies. Basal cell carcinomas rarely spread throughout the body, and deaths from this disease are very rare. However, because basal cell carcinomas often occur on the face, they can cause serious cosmetic damage if not diagnosed and treated early. Squamous cell carcinoma –The second most common form of skin cancer, accounting for about 20 percent of skin cancers in the United States. The vast majority of squamous cell carcinomas can be cured when detected early. However, this type of skin cancer can be more difficult to treat and can cause cosmetic damage if not treated immediately. Squamous cell tumors can be more aggressive than basal cell tumors and are slightly more likely to spread to other parts of the body. Melanoma –The aggressive and often deadly form of skin cancer that begins in skin cells called melanocytes, which produce the pigment melanin. Melanoma is not as common as the two other major types of skin cancer (basal cell and squamous cell carcinoma) – the average lifetime risk of developing skin melanoma is about 1 percent. Much of the confusion regarding the connection between sunshine and skin cancer can be traced back to the public’s inability to differentiate the first two types of relatively benign cancers from the third, and often deadly cancer, Melanoma. According to the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, “Ultraviolet (UV) radiation is the single most important cause of skin cancer, especially when the overexposure resulted in sunburn and blistering.” This is a true statement that can be misleading if we don’t ask which skin cancers they are referring to. Further inquiry would reveal that “although it is clear that UV radiation can damage DNA, and that high levels of sun exposure are associated with melanoma risk, the exact relationship between UV exposure and melanoma remains unclear.” – Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Here we see the same renowned cancer center seemingly contradicting itself, when in reality it is simply clarifying. Melanoma, the aggressive and often deadly skin cancer that most Americans fear, has not actually been clearly connected to the sun’s UV exposure. Due to genuine concerns on both ends of the argument, cancer centers and alternative medicine practitioners both are guilty of exaggerating portions of the scientific evidence that suit their respective agendas. The public at large is best served by knowing basic facts, which prepares them to better interpret information from all the various experts. This also serves to build a healthy (verses a blind trust) trust in the many media outlets, recognized medical experts and alternative medical sources. Knowing that there is more than one type of skin cancer and that the causes for Melanoma are still being established is key for consumers. This is a great starting place. Look for Part II of Sunshine And Skin Cancer, where I will explain the causes of the other two skin cancers, whether or not sunscreen helps to prevent any type of skin cancer, natural prevention claims etc. Talk to you then!

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Gestational Diabetes and Pregnancy Weight Gain

Weight gain for a pregnant woman seems like a given to most people. What most of us don’t think about is how much weight can be gained without posing a health risk to the mother and the child. Resent conclusions coming out of an ongoing study are revealing that there are indeed dangers in a pregnant woman gaining too much weight -the danger of gestational diabetes to be specific. Researchers at the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research are reporting that women who gain more weight than is recommended by the Institute of Medicine have a 50% increased risk of developing GDM (gestational diabetes mellitus). Their study involved nearly 1,200 women from varying ethnic backgrounds over a three year period of time. The danger of pregnant women developing gestational diabetes is that it causes complications in as much as seven percent of pregnancies in the United States. GDM can lead to C-sections, early delivery and type 2 diabetes, and increases the child’s risk of developing obesity and diabetes later in life. Monique Hedderson, PhD, a scientist at the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research and lead researcher recommended that “health care providers should talk to their patients early in their pregnancy about the appropriate gestational weight gain, especially during the first trimester, and help women monitor their weight gain. Our research shows that weight gain in early pregnancy is a modifiable risk factor for gestational diabetes.”

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New Research: Garlic Fights Cancer

Garlic has long been held in high regard as an effective and natural source for healing. New research is giving credence to garlic as a potent method of preventing and mitigating the destructive influences of cancer. Scientists from Ohio State University’s Comprehensive Cancer Center have created a new method for testing urine that shows a person’s  garlic consumption levels, as well as the risk for cancer. The study’s lead researcher Earl Harrison explained: “What we were after was developing a method where we could measure in urine two different compounds, one related to the risk for cancer, and the other, which indicates the extent of consumption of garlic.” “Our results showed that those were inversely related to one another — meaning that the more we had the marker for garlic consumption, the less there was of the marker for the risk of cancer.” The trend towards using nutrition as a means of fighting and preventing cancer is encouraging. More and more people look to garlic as one of the many remedies that nature provides for an ailing humanity.

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Hooked on Cross Country Skiing

One of the reasons that we moved HEALTHandMED.com to Cedar City, Utah from the Chicago area was to be able to enjoy the mountains.  I have begun taking my daughters Liahona (age 13) and Saige (age 12) cross country skiing with the Cedar Mountain Nordic Ski Club.  I’m kind of surprised how swift the girls can ski.  Maybe they will be competing in the 2014 Olympics instead of watching at home?  We were using rented skis, but I went ahead and purchased three sets of cross country skis off of ebay last week.   On Saturday, the club went to the Duck Creek area, which is 30 miles east of Cedar City.  This time we didn’t go on a groomed trail — we went off into undiscovered corners of the woods.  It was pristine wilderness.  We even saw a loon. I was taught many years ago in school that cross country skiing is one of the very best forms of exercise that a person can do.  First of all, it is the ultimate calorie burner.  Vigorous back country mountain cross country skiing burns 1,122 calories per hour and brisk recreational cross country skiing burns 612 calories per hour.   It is also a total body workout — using all the muscles in both the upper and lower body.   Because no single muscle group is overstressed, the activity can be sustained for hours on end, which results in a fast heart rate sustained over a long duration.  This is exactly what our hearts need in order to improve their capacity to pump blood.   Lung capacity is increased.  For many people, the sunlight absorbed through the skin might be the only natural source of Vitamin D that many people get over the winter months.   Cross country skiing is a low impact workout that does not damage the joints.  And the second wind that a cross country skier feels during a good workout on the trail is second to none.    Like I said, we’re hooked.   One of these days, I will need to get my wife and three younger daughters out on the trails. Of course, another great way to burn calories and improve heart health and overall health is by to use the FIR-Real portable far infrared sauna, which actually burns 300 calories in 15 minutes. (even more calories per minute that cross country skiing!)  You don’t even have to exercise but you get many of the benefits of exercise.   I agree that this is not as fun as cross country skiing but it is very convenient to do in in your home and doesn’t take up much space.   See FIR-Real Sauna.

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Biggest Shipping Day Ever

We have seen continual growth here at HEALTHandMED.com and last week we set a new record. We shipped so many packages in one day that the UPS man almost had to come back for a second pick up. We managed to capture some of it on video and make it available on YouTube for everyone’s enjoyment. Here it is:

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Joint Pain Treatment and FIR Sauna

Joint pain seems to be the one ailment that everyone is afflicted with at some point in their life. At the same time, it’s one of the more difficult problems to treat. Even though there are a plethora of pain treatment methodologies out there, most patients go away with only partial pain alleviation. In the search for functional and non-invasive methods for dealing with joint pain and stiffness, people are looking more to the modalities of complimentary medicine, or more specifically infrared saunas. Infrared saunas penetrate directly into the body, assuring good heat at the right spot. The possibilities for using an infrared sauna for joint pain treatment increased when research to explore its effects on joint stiffness was done. The research showed a twenty percent decline in stiffness for people with rheumatoid finger joints treated at 112F, as compared to patients who’s joints were treated at a lower temperature.

When heated to 112F and then stretched, tissues become elongated by about 0.5-0.9% which persists even after the stretching has stopped. When stretching at normal temperatures this does not occur. Researchers have concluded that by doing 20 stretch sessions, a person can increase the length of their tissues by 10-18% when they are heated and stretched. -Justus F Lehmann M.D., Williams and Wilkins, Therapeutic Heat and Cold, 4th edition. When working with ligaments, joint capsules, tendons, fasciae, and synovium that have become scarred, thickened or contracted this stretching method is very useful. By stretching at 112F instead of room temperature, the damage that normally occurs when stretching is much less. Since stretching after sauna use is safer, many athletes make use of the advantages that can be had from a quality, deep stretch. Obtaining joint pain relief is of serious concern to many people. Having access to an infrared sauna has given each person the opportunity to find greater and longer lasting natural pain relief. The healthy, non-intrusive nature of infrared portable saunas makes them worth the investment.

Posted in Infrared Sauna.