Health, Medicine & Nutrition
3 Things All Women Should Know About Their Bodies PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Tuesday, 11 December 2012 16:14
Between Untested Therapies & Intrusive Politics,
RN Says Individuals Must Take Responsibility for Their Health

There’s plenty of information about women’s physical and health-care needs. Unfortunately, some of it is incomplete, or based on opinion and conjecture, or it’s just plain bad information, says registered nurse Iyalode Edwards.

“Women tend to be more vigilant about their bodies than men, and there is a huge marketplace of literature, products, studies, politics and other opinions on women’s health,” says Edwards, author of “Multiple Orgasms Made Simple: ‘How to Do It’ Sex Secrets All Women Should Know!” (www.multipleOmadesimple.com).

“Not all of it makes sense.”

It’s only natural that women are more focused on their bodies than men because women have the more complex anatomy, she says. But old ideas from a society based in patriarchy, along with today’s health market issues, can create confusion. Edwards, who has more than 35 years experience as a registered nurse, clarifies three points about which she sees the most misunderstanding among her patients:

• Untested therapies: Several years ago hormone replacement therapy was all the rage, used almost as a cure-all for post-menopausal women suffering a variety of symptoms. After a few decades, however, a large percentage of those women started suffering ovarian and breast cancer, in addition to other complications. More recently, vaccines for the human papillomavirus have been touted to girls and young women as the new preventative measure against cervical cancer. But thousands of girls have experienced a wide range of side effects, including seizures, strokes, dizziness, fatigue, weakness, headaches, vomiting, weakness, joint pain, auto-immune problems, chest pains, hair loss, appetite loss, personality changes, insomnia, tremors and menstrual cycle changes. Be wary of new cure-alls. Adverse effects are sometimes not revealed until they’ve been in use for a significant amount of time.

• Health through pleasure: A 2011 survey by Jane Magazine found that, while more than 87 percent of men aged 18 to 26 years old experienced orgasm “most or all of the time” during sex, only 46.8 percent of women could say the same thing. Not only could that percentage be much higher for women, it could be more meaningful, too. “The truth is, if you have all your sex organs intact and can achieve the first level of climax, then you can achieve it multiple times during the same encounter,” Edwards says. “You just need information, and there has been too much misinformation disseminated.” Sexual satisfaction comes with several health benefits, including improved cardiovascular functioning, sounder sleep and a deeper bond with a partner.

• The politics of women’s health: As imperative as it is to know more and listen closely to one’s body, it is also important to stay connected to current events since women’s health care has become a political football, she says. Comments from multiple elected officials seem to be narrowing the definition of rape, and there are many who support limiting women’s care in insurance plans, to name a few public debates. “I want women to be more aware of their bodies,” Edwards says. “Unfortunately, the rhetoric of many politicians seems to be pointing backward regarding our health.”

About Iyalode Edwards, R.N.

Iyalode Edwards is the author of “Multiple Orgasms Made Simple,” a straightforward, step-by-step how-to guide that includes physiological explanations for sensations women experience. Edwards is a registered nurse with more than 35 years of experience. She informally interviewed a number of women and physicians as part of her research.

 
Pharmacist Warns: With Natural Supplements, Cheap Can be Bad for Your Health PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Tuesday, 11 December 2012 08:59
He Details Potential Problems & How Consumers
Can Protect Themselves

Of the 15 toys recalled in the United States so far this year because of the dangers they pose to children, 10 were manufactured in China.

Chinese drywall imported from 2001 to 2007 released sulfur gas that sickened homeowners and corroded wiring, air-conditioning systems and other metal surfaces. Many of those homeowners are still trying to win compensation.

In recent years, U.S. dogs and cats died from eating Chinese pet food made with melamine, and the FDA warned consumers to throw away toothpastes made in China because of the risk they included an antifreeze ingredient.

“The problem is, manufacturers, distributors and consumers alike are attracted to inexpensive goods, and in countries like China, things can be produced cheaply in part because there are fewer regulations regarding quality control,” says Joe Veilleux, president of Euromed USA (www.euromedusa.com) and a registered pharmacist.

“That’s why I warn people who buy all-natural nutritional supplements not to buy the cheapest products available. If the ingredients in them are not subject to regulatory oversight, they can be dangerous.”

The active ingredients in many natural supplements are botanicals – extracts from herbs and other medicinal plants. Some of the dangerous potential problems that can occur without rigorous quality control include:

• Contamination by pesticides and other heavy metals. Exposure to these contaminants can be hazardous to humans and can be present if growing conditions and plant materials are not carefully monitored. Manufacturers who aren’t held to government standards may not even check for contamination.

• Radiation exposure. The ground the plants are grown in may have radiation, which is absorbed by the plants. This is another contaminant for which regulated manufacturers carefully test.

• Species misidentification. Slightly different varieties of a plant may have vastly different properties. Black cohosh, for example, is a member of the buttercup family and is used to treat menopause symptoms like hot flashes. Some varieties of the genus Actaea may look similar to Actaea racemosa, but they do not have the same effect and, in fact, can be harmful.

While price can be a red flag for consumers, surprisingly, one sign that a product meets high quality standards is if it comes from a company that incorporates environmental sustainability practices, Veilleux says.

“A company that’s making an effort to address issues such as sustainability is farther along in the evolutionary process,” Vielleux explains. “A company’s first mission will be to provide the best quality of product it can. Once it has achieved that, it looks to improve in other ways, including sustainability, reducing its impact on the environment and social responsibility. But it can’t get to step 2 until it has mastered step 1.”

Veilleux says a reliable sign that a company is serious about “green” issues is if it has earned ISO 14001 certification.

“ISO stands for International Standardization Organization. Its criteria can be applied and measured uniformly in countries around the world,” Vielleux says. “So whether a company’s in China or the United States, if it has ISO 14001 certification, you can be assured it takes sustainability and environmental issues seriously.”

Euromed’s factory in Barcelona earned the ISO 14001 certification in July of this year.

Another way to safeguard yourself is to buy products from major U.S. brands, such as GNC and Whole Foods, Veilleux says.

“The big brands have a lot to lose, so they’re not as likely to take chances by obtaining their ingredients from unregulated sources,” Veilleux says. “Having their products blamed for a public health crisis would be disastrous to them.”

About Euromed USA

Euromed USA supplies standardized botanical and herbal extracts and natural active substances for use in the pharmaceutical, health food and cosmetics industries. By extracting the necessary chemicals, the company can guarantee its products meet the precise chemical specifications necessary. Euromed was founded 40 years ago. Its parent company is the 100-year-old Rottapharm-Madaus corporation based in Italy.

 
ACT Today! Launches New Program to Help Individuals with Autism Facing Crisis Situations PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Daphne Plump   
Tuesday, 11 December 2012 08:50
ACT Today! (Autism Care and Treatment Today!) has launched a new program called ACT Today! SOS to address the needs of individuals with autism who face emergency situations.
NATIONWIDE, DECEMBER 10, 2012 - ACT Today! (Autism Care and Treatment Today!), a national non-profit organization whose mission is to provide care and treatment to children with autism, announces the launch of ACT Today! SOS, a new program aimed to
address the urgent needs of those impacted with autism spectrum disorders (ASD).
“We understand some individuals on the autism spectrum are in immediate and personal danger or harm and are unable to wait up to 12 weeks for a response to their ACT Today! grant request,” says Nancy Alspaugh-Jackson, ACT Today!’s executive director. “The ACT Today! SOS program is designed to provide immediate support for families based upon need and the program funds available.”
To qualify for an ACT Today! SOS grant, applicants must have an immediate need for treatment or support and if treatment is not found, the applican’ts physical safety is in jeopardy. ACT Today! SOS will fund effective treatments and services to treat ASD and will not fund living expenses, travel, utilities or clothing. Income level of the applicant’s family must be below $45,000 per year and the applicant may not have received support from ACT Today! within the past 12 months.
There are currently three families on the ACT Today! SOS wait list.
The Maroni family of New Jersey has three children on the autism spectrum. The fence around their home was completely destroyed by Hurricane Sandy. The chances are now greater for the three children to run away, or “wander,” a common trait with children with autism.
Criscent is a nine-year old boy diagnosed with autism and currently living in California with his aunt and uncle. He was beaten and tortured in his home country of Uganda. His aunt and uncle cannot afford to provide Criscent with treatment for his autism.
Elijah is a four-year old boy from Iowa. He suffers from severe autism and needs a padded safety bed to prevent concussions caused by seizures and head banging.
“We are sending out an SOS and asking the community to help us help these families and others like them who are in dire need,” says Alspaugh-Jackson. “Starting this week, we will launch the ACT Today! SOS social media campaign, calling on the online community to make a donation, either by texting or on our website.”
For more information about ACT Today! SOS and the requirements, visit www.act-today.org/SOS.
About ACT Today!:
ACT Today! (Autism Care and Treatment Today!) is a 501(c)(3) national non-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness and providing treatment services and support to families of children with autism who cannot afford or access the necessary tools their children need to reach their full potential. For more information about ACT Today!, visit: www.act-today.org.

 
Governor Quinn Receives Seasonal Flu Shot PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Erin Wilson   
Thursday, 06 December 2012 15:50

Encourages Everyone in Illinois to Get a Flu Shot During the Holidays to Protect Themselves, their Families and Loved Ones

CHICAGO – December 6, 2012. With the holiday season here and public health officials saying that we’re seeing more flu activity this year, Governor Pat Quinn today encouraged everyone six months and older in Illinois to get a seasonal flu shot. To mark National Influenza Vaccination Week from Dec. 2 through 8, the governor rolled up his sleeve and received a flu shot from the state’s Public Health Director, Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck.

“Public health officials are warning that this year we are already seeing a higher level of flu activity in some areas of the state than all of last flu season,” Governor Quinn said. “In order to stay healthy through the holidays and all winter long, the most important thing you can do is get a flu shot now, so that you don’t expose yourself and your family to unnecessary illness.”

According to the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), Illinois has seen an increase in flu activity this season. IDPH says that physicians in some areas of the state, including Cook County, are reporting an increase in people with influenza-like illnesses. There have also been recent institutional flu outbreaks and several laboratory-confirmed cases.

“Governor Quinn is setting a great example today,” said Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck. “Getting vaccinated is the single best way for you to protect not only yourself against flu, but your loved ones as well. We recommend everyone six months and older get vaccinated.”

According to the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), each year an estimated 5 to 20 percent of the U.S. population gets the flu. On average, influenza in the U.S. results in approximately 200,000 hospitalizations and more than 25,000 deaths annually. Flu symptoms may include a fever of 100 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, headache, body aches, exhaustion, chills and weakness. 

The influenza virus can be spread through coughing or sneezing. People can also get the flu by touching objects carrying the virus, such as telephones and door knobs, and then touching their mouth or nose. Public health officials recommend that in addition to getting a flu shot, it is important to practice “the three C’s”: Clean: properly wash your hands; Cover: cover your cough and sneeze; and Contain: contain your germs by staying home if you are sick.

The CDC says that young children, pregnant women, people with chronic medical conditions and the elderly are at higher risk of complications from influenza. Side effects are mild; some individuals may experience mild flu-like symptoms for a few days after vaccination and/or soreness at the injection site.

For more information about the seasonal flu shot and staying healthy, visit www.idph.state.il.us/flu/ and www.flu.gov

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American Lung Association Report Says U.S. at Tipping Point for Policies that Help Smokers Quit PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Micki Sandquist   
Tuesday, 04 December 2012 14:35
Coverage in Iowa is lacking

Des Moines, IA– The United States is at a tipping point when it comes to policies that help smokers quit, according to the American Lung Association’s ―Helping Smokers Quit: Tobacco Cessation Coverage 2012‖ report. The annual report provides a  comprehensive review of each state’s tobacco cessation coverage and an up-to-date look at federal coverage and requirements
under the Affordable Care Act.

“Over the next year key decisions will be made by the federal government and the states about whether or not they will help save lives, prevent disease and reduce health costs,” said Micki Sandquist, Executive Director at the American Lung Association in Iowa. “We know that the vast majority of smokers want to quit, but the complex web of state and federal coverage for effective quit smoking programs and treatments prevents too many from getting the help they need. States and the federal government can reduce the enormous health burden of tobacco use by providing access to these proven interventions.”

The American Lung Association report shows that the federal government has missed several key opportunities to improve access to quit smoking medications and counseling. The record for the states is mixed, but far too many fail to ensure coverage.

The report’s key findings are:

Medicaid Coverage:

Two states provide comprehensive cessation coverage: Indiana and Massachusetts; two states provide NO cessation coverage: Alabama and Georgia; four states provided new counseling benefits for pregnant women in 2012: Colorado, Kansas, North Dakota, and South Dakota; and Connecticut and Tennessee announced new benefits for everyone in 2012 that are close to comprehensive.

State Employee Health Plan Coverage:

Four states provide comprehensive coverage: Illinois, New Mexico, North Dakota, and Rhode Island;

Zero states provide no coverage; and Florida, Georgia, Nebraska and New Jersey added new cessation benefits for state
employees in 2012.

Investment in State Quitlines:

Telephone quitlines are also an essential part of any state’s tobacco cessation efforts. As more and more smokers want to quit, the majority of states are not providing adequate funding for their quitlines.

Only two states—Maine and South Dakota—currently invest in quitlines at or above the recommended amount. This is a critical lost opportunity for people who are trying to quit.

Federal Coverage:

On November 26, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) published a proposed rule that requires the Essential Health Benefit coverage mandated by the Affordable Care Act to cover preventive services, including tobacco cessation.  However, because HHS has not yet defined what insurers must include as part of a tobacco cessation benefit, the Administration missed a crucial opportunity. Now, each state can choose its own benchmark plan, which will then serve as the Essential Health Benefit standard for plans in that state’s health insurance exchange. Until HHS officially defines a comprehensive tobacco cessation benefit, it has missed a crucial opportunity to provide many smokers with new access to help quitting, and to establish tobacco cessation as a truly essential health benefit for all health insurance coverage.

Iowa policymakers can now help smokers quit by including comprehensive tobacco cessation benefits as they implement state health insurance exchanges and Medicaid expansions.

Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death in the United States. The economic costs in the U.S. due to tobacco total $193 billion annually. Providing comprehensive quit-smoking treatments is crucial in both saving lives and curbing health costs – one recent study showed that providing this help has a 3-to-1 return on investment.

“Giving all smokers access to a comprehensive cessation benefit is not only the right thing to do, it’s the smart thing to do,” said Sandquist. “The bottom line is that quitting smoking saves lives and saves money.”

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Editor’s Note: Available as a standalone graphic is ―Tobacco Cessation Treatment: What is covered?‖— the American Lung Association’s breakdown of what the biggest health insurance programs cover for tobacco cessation and how the Affordable Care Act changes coverage.

About the American Lung Association in Iowa: Our mission is to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease. With your generous support, the American Lung Association is "Fighting for Air" through research, education and advocacy. For more information about the American Lung Association or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNG-USA (1-800-586-4872) or visit www.LungIA.org.

 
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