Author: Christine Andrew

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    Energy Medicine: The Health Care of the Future?

    ©2011 by Christine Andrew, CNC

    Recently, Dr. Oz commented  that the future of medicine is in energy
    medicine.  I am not a medical doctor, or a physicist, therefore I am not licensed to diagnose, however, I am a Certified Nutrition Consultant and do provide energy evaluation to my clients, and have been utilizing one technology of energy “medicine” called Photon Resonance Optimization, in my practice.

    There are many alternative therapies all with one goal—to achieve optimum health.  These include: raw food, Blood type diet, Gerson therapy, Acupuncture, Chiropractic, Psychotherapy, yoga, massage, Reiki, Bowen, Homeopathy, Cold laser therapy, Quantam Reflex Analysis, etc.  Now, energy medicine, or Energy therapy, can be added to the list.  The standard of western medical health care has been dominated by prescription drugs and surgery.  You have a symptom, a pain, a complaint, or an x, y, z disease; the answer is an x, y, z drug or perhaps an invasive surgical procedure.  Western society has accepted this mode and any deviation  from these conventional  procedures  is usually regarded as bunk.  Peter Frazer of Decoding the Human Body-field states that “history shows us that
    most truly fundamental leaps forward in scientific understanding are shunned at
    first.  Truly new insights are sometimes too radical an over turning of accepted theory or too threatening to business or academic interest to be evaluated impartially.”   Think
    of germ theory.  It took years for that theory to be regarded as valid. (Of course on his death bed Louis Pasteur declared that the germ is nothing; the terrain is everything.)  Energy “medicine” has also taken awhile to be accepted.

    Symptoms are a consequence of the breakdown of biochemistry; as distortions or blocks in the underlying energy and information of the human bio-(body) field.  According to Hans
    Reckeweg, M.D.,  numerous symptoms of dis-ease are actually manifestations of the body attempting to detoxify or to heal. Suppression of these symptoms with Over-the-Counter  or prescription drugs results in accumulation of toxins within the body’s cellular matrix and eventually within the cellular organ structures.

    In the body, besides organs, tissues, bones, cells, and muscles, etc., we also have a liquid substance called the living matrix.  This functions as the largest organ.  It is the information processor that integrates all body systems –muscle, skeletal, gastrointestinal, nervous, immune, endocrine, etc.  It is in this matrix where toxins can build up.

    How does all this relate to energy medicine?  Let’s start with what is energy.   Energy is the ability of a physical system to change and is manifested in two ways.  One is force and movement and the other as information exchange.    Energy “medicine” has been around for several decades.   Actually, according to James Oschman, the use of electricity for healing dates back to 2750 BC when sick people were exposed to shocks produced by electric eels.  Energy is information, and the process of all life.  All living things rely on energy to be able to grow.   Matter is what life is made of: particles, molecules, cells, tissue,
    organs, and systems.   Cells and tissues are always engaged in energy exchange.   That is how they communicate.  In so doing they create patterns of oscillation or vibration.   When
    two or more systems resonate together they impart information.   This information can be measured in  waveforms.   Energy is very efficient at carrying  information through matter—throughout every part of our body.  Certain information can only be carried
    through matter and some only through energy.   Pharmaceuticals, nutritionals, herbs, and foods carry information to the  body through matter.  Homeopathics, electromagnetics, radiation, and even thoughts can carry information through  energy.

    Our bodies are electric.   This is a form of energy.  You’ve experienced electrical shock, no doubt, so you understand that energy flows throughout the body.  Dis-ease and disorder alters the flow of energy.  According to Hans Reckeweg M.D., disease process first alters the body’s energetic field.  This is why standard blood tests don’t often reveal disease before it has manifested into chemical changes.  Blood tests show pathology, not energetic
    disturbances.

    Correcting the distortions and imbalances in the human bio-field at the energetic level first, which is what energy “medicine” therapy accomplishes, can help return the body to homeostasis, or balance.

    How is this done?  There are several ways.  One way this is accomplished is through a computerized machine, called Asyra, using photon resonance optimization technology.  The original concept came from Reinhold Voll, M.D. in the early 1950’s.  Through his studies, he found that the amount of current that passes through the cellular structure of the organ, gland, or body system reveals the functional status of the tissues.  The assessment is based on defined parameters of health so any deviation from the standard can be detected.    The basic law of physics states that when an electric current flows through a conductor, such as the circulatory system, a magnetic field is created in that
    area.  According to James Oschman, human tissues respond to pulsating electromagnetic fields, and the entire matrix forms an electromagnetic and photonic network.    The design of the tissue matrix allows for specific transfer of information through the cell and throughout the organism by direct transmission of vibrational chemomechanical energy through harmonic wave motion.    These waveforms can be reconstructed by adding together correct sets of simple frequencies.  The collection of all the body’s possible sets of vibrational “fingerprints” are stored, analyzed, compared with baseline values, and modified at the discretion of the practitioner.   In the evaluation, the cells and tissue measured are either healthy, depleted, or stressed.  This is the basis of the computerized technology that is used in my practice.

    By identifying the functional organ disturbances first allows the practitioner to identify and correct the distortions, or the red flag warning light, of the cells or tissues, so that disease does not manifest.  This technology reveals how to re-establish balance to the energetic pathways, and directs the body towards homeostasis—- health.

    The assessments using this completely noninvasive FDA registered device self-calibrates to each individual and automatically proceeds through one of the many assessments that have been selected.  Some of the many available functional assessments include:  Allergies,
    Addictions, Chemical toxicities, Dental disturbances, Digestive maladies, food sensitivities, Heavy Metal burdens, Hormonal imbalances, Emotional Stress, Neurotransmitter imbalances, and others.

    Having a series of assessment scans allows the device to peel back the layers of the bio-field—the information imbedded in organs, the matrix, and cells, and records this energy evaluation.   Over time these assessments reveal the effects of therapeutic interventions.

    Energy “medicine,” or therapy, is a cost effective method that may provide help for those who have not found relief using conventional medical approaches.

    If you wish to partake in an assessment, please contact the office at (707) 451-4058.

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    What’s All the Fuss About Gluten?

    by Christine Andrew, CNC, CFDM

    Ten years ago I never heard about gluten intolerance or celiac disease although it has been in existance for over 100 years. Five years ago after being diagnosed with gluten intolerance, it was difficult to find a gluten- free loaf of bread, let alone any other gluten-free product. Now there are rows and aisles filled with gluten-free products from which to choose.

    • Why has there been such a skyrocket in gluten-free products in such a short span of time?
    • Has the number of people with gluten intolerances and celiac disease increase that much, or are more people adopting the gluten-free way of life as a healthy choice?
    • Is this truly a healthy choice?

    First, let’s look at what gluten is. It is the insoluble protein called gliadin in wheat, barley, and rye. It is the “glue” that binds ingredients together and allows flour to rise. Gluten is in all breads, cakes, cookies, crackers, cereals, pie, noodles, and other flour containing food products. Essentially, it is what the standard American diet has flourished on over the past 50-70 years.

    Celiac Disease on the other hand is an auto-immune digestive disorder triggered by gluten intake or genetics. It is a disease of malabsorption where the mucosal villi of the intestinal wall is so damaged nutrients, vitamins, and minerals cannot be absorbed. Each time gluten is eaten, the body’s immune system attacks the small intestine and results in inflammation. When the villi are damaged enough, the body doesn’t absorb the nutrients. Failure to thrive is one result.

    It is reported that 1 in 100 are diagnosed with CD. Fifty years ago 1 in 700 were diagnosed. Dr. Mark Hyman reports that there has been a 400 percent increase in the incidences of celiac. How does this happen? How does someone acquire food intolerances? One reason is our lack of genetic adaptation to grasses and gluten in our diet. According to Mark Hyman, M.D., American strains of wheat have a much higher gluten content which is needed to make the light fluffy, “Wonderbread” and bagels. Celiac is doubling every ten years possibly because of changes in how wheat is grown and processed. Modern practices like hybridizing alter molecules in the body, which in turn change the body’s immune response. Genetically modified wheat crops have much higher gluten content which may overburden the digestive system.

    Another possibility is the over indulgence in certain foods. Americans have been taught by the former USDA food pyramid to consume the bulk of their daily diet with grains. Add to that the introduction of fast food, Americans have been indulging in breads, cakes, pies, cookies, bagels, hamburger/hotdog buns, muffins, cereals—all thinking these are healthy. Gluten protein causes an immunological reaction in the small intestine, then over time with constant indulgence in these foods, leads to damaged villi from inflammation. This is what is known as “leaky gut.” A poor diet will eventually lead to an inability to cope.

    A third way we acquire gluten intolerance and celiac is through trauma- whether physical or emotional. Accidents, surgery, emotional strain, etc., stresses the body and creates inflammatory processes that could very well lead the intestinal environment vulnerable.

    Is going on a wheat-free/gluten-free diet the healthiest choice? Not necessarily. First, wheat-free is not necessarily gluten-free. Second, food labels currently do not always refer to gluten. Also, there are dangers with cross contamination. Oats do not contain gluten, but if oatmeal is processed in a facility that also processes wheat, then there is cross contamination. Next, many people when embarking on a gluten free diet start substituting the alternatives to what they were previously consuming, i.e., gluten- free breads, cakes, pies, cookies, crackers, muffins, etc. These foods are still refined carbohydrates and will lead to blood sugar spikes, inflammation, and will precipitate other food intolerances and further damage the small intestine. Refined carbohydrates are low in nutrients and fiber, high in starch, increases appetites, and can cause difficulties in concentration and weight management. All grains are proinflammatory. Gluten-free grains are not any healthier. Taken in moderation with conscientiousness of thought, a “gluten-free” diet is a healthy choice. However, a “gluten-free” diet can also mean, no grains at all.

    To truly manage gluten intolerance and celiac, you must first eliminate all wheat and gluten products—which are hidden in many processed foods and non-food products. I advise people to refrain from even gluten-free grains as much as possible . The intestinal villi need time to recover, and substituting with another refined carbohydrate will prolong the recovery process and lead you vulnerable to another food intollerance. If you have to have a grain food, then there might be an underlying condition that needs to be addressed. Second in gluten/celiac management, is support with nutrient deficiencies. All cases of celiac and gluten intolerance have nutritional deficiencies caused by the compromised gut health. It is important as part of the healing process to find the correct nutrients that are deficient.

    In addition, I recommend receiving education about the condition. Read books, or attend classes on Gluten-free eating. If you wish to have a consultation to evaluate your health or to find out if you are gluten intolerant or have celiac, then fill out the form in the contact section of this website.

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    pH Explained

    Christine Andrew, CNC

    “A well tuned body doesn’t run well on inferior fuel.” MT. Morter, M.D.

    Getting an engine into top running form, you have to put in the right parts, fuel, and oils. I can adjust the mechanical and electrical systems and get the parts working correctly, but if the owner put the wrong kind of fuel in the tank, the well-tuned engine could be ruined.

    pH stands for potential hydrogen. It is the measure of the relative acidity or alkalinity of a solution. There are different potencies for different fluids in the body and out of the body. Citric acid in fruit will not harm you. But hydrochloric acid in a chemistry lab can drill a hole through flesh.

    Water has a pH of 7.0. It is neutral. The lower the number, the more acidic the solution. The higher the number, the more alkaline the solution. There is a tenfold difference between each unit. For example, ph 5.0 is ten times more acid than ph 6.0, but pH 4.0 is one hundred times (10×10) more acid than pH 6.0. Minor variations in the pH can make a significant difference in the way your body functions and in your health potential.

    Your body is an alkaline entity by design, except for the stomach. yet acid-producing by function. All bodily fluid is supposed to be 7.0 or above on the pH scale. Cells operate in an alkaline environment, yet acid is produced as they function, and cells that are alive, function all the time. This acid by itself won’t damage your body because it is a weak acid that is easily eliminated by your lungs. When you exercise your body is getting rid of the acid generated by the hard working cells.

    Another source of acid comes from acid ash food. This must be neutralized before it can be eliminated through the kidneys. If you eat the same kinds of food as the Standard American Diet, day after day, acid ash is left as it is processed in the body. Excess acid from acid ash foods can be eliminated, but it can’t be eliminated through the lungs. Dietary acid ash is eliminated through the kidneys. In this process, vital minerals are lost with it. Acid ash from foods can be eliminated through the kidneys and bowels, but it must first be neutralized through buffering. Otherwise, it would burn sensitive tissue on their way through the digestive tract.

    Pain or burning on urination, or heartburn, is an indicator that the reserves of neutralizing minerals such as calcium are exhausted and that the body has adapted the way it functions for survival, not comfort. Natural treatments to ease the pain can help such as cranberry juice or ginger tea. This won’t affect the underlying cause and unless the person changes the way they eat, they will get sicker. The only way to improve the condition that caused the problem in the first place is to eat alkaline foods. If the acid ash produced by food isn’t neutralized, your body will become so toxic that it can no longer function.

    Minerals are used by the body to buffer dietary acid ash foods. The most important minerals are sodium, calcium, potassium and magnesium. You get these in fruits and vegetables. Just like having a bank account where you deposit and withdraw, you can take out all of the money at once and the bank account will be empty, or you can take out a little each day and it will take longer to bring down the amount. If you don’t make any deposits, eventually your money will be gone. The same goes with your Wellness Bank Account. Every time you eat acid ash foods, some of the precious minerals, sodium, from your bodily bank account is used up. If you don’t replace it with the minerals from fruits and vegetables, your valuable reserve of alkaline minerals will vanish and your body will become acidic. When your sodium reserves are used up, then your body will start to rob calcium from the bone bank. Osteoporosis develops when “your calcium has gone off to play hero and bail you out of the mess caused by your dietary habits.” Dr. Morter

    Every day think about whether you are making a deposit or withdrawal with your Wellness Bank Account. What you eat, drink, think, and do will either make a deposit or withdrawal. Producing acid without depositing alkaline, your body must fight to maintain pH levels, and you are a prime candidate for progressive degenerative disease, or worse. What would an empty bank account do to you?

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    The New Addiction

    Cell phone usage is out of control for people of all ages in our society. In the early 1900’s smoking was fashionable. After 40 years there were many brands from which to choose. It was the “in” thing to do; no one ever thought about the health risks or possible addictions.

    In the early 1980’s cell phones hit the market. At first they were only used for emergencies. Some 13 years later, 15 million Americans were using cell phones. Now in 2011, five billion people are exposed to cell phones. Talking and texting on cell phones have become the new “in” thing to do. As with cigarettes, cell phones were deemed safe by the FDA, and the majority of Americans never thought about possible health risks.

    Debate over the health risks of cellphones continues, but a recent report from the World Health Organization reporting that cellphones are “possibly carcinogenic” is a step closer toward indicating that cell phones are not safe. In the last decade numerous warnings about cell phones have been published and generally dismissed. The state of Maine recognizes the risks and recently approved warning labels to be placed on cell phones. Robert Becker, M.D., of The Body Electric, says, “The cell phone is the most dangerous device ever created.”

    What did we do before cell phones? I believe cell phone use has become the new addiction. What are addictions? According to J. Frascella of The National Institute of Drug Abuse, “Addictions are repetitive behavior.” K. DesMaison, Ph.D., says, “They are the habitual, physiological and psychological dependence on a substance or practice beyond one’s voluntary control.”

    An addiction is the inability to walk away from the substance or activity. You can’t live without it. Is see this in society now. How many times have you sat in a restaurant and seen families sitting together, each with a cell phone texting or talking on the cell phone? They’re not even talking to each other. How many times have you seen people walking around holding their cell phone doing every day activities, such as shopping, laundry, walking the dog, taking the baby for a stroller ride, ride a bike, etc? These people are dependent on their cell phones; using them has become an addiction.

    It is no longer only an adult activity. Attempting to keep up with the times, toy manufacturers and the media are making toy cell phones and cell phone ads that appeal to children, so that the obsession with talking on these devices starts at a very young age. Everyone at every age wants one. With free, unlimited minutes or texts, people are on their phones longer, exposing themselves and those around them. As with any addiction, the addict is not the only one affected; family members and those around them suffer too. When the addict doesn’t get their substance, what happens? Their behavior changes. Panic, even anger, sets in. Take away a cell phone from a teenager and what do you get?

    The mechanism for all addictions is the same, whether it’s food, drugs, alcohol, or cell phones. We have a thermostat in the hypothalamus of the brain to control our appetite for food or other substances, according to our metabolism. This thermostat is disrupted in people with metabolic problems and cellular miscommunication.

    What are the consequences of cell phone addictions? Health decline, social disassociations, auto accidents and death ( from accidents using cell phones). Ironically, cell phones represent a danger to our molecular cells.

    In our bodies, health decline starts with cellular communication. Cells communicate in order to process and consume energy. If there is a miscommunication for a long period of time, then tissues, organs and organ systems begin to malfunction.

    We have receptors on every cell membrane of every cell in our bodies. These receptors are chemical and vibrational. The vibrational receptors pick up signals which vibrate in the hertz range. As cell phone’s radio wave contacts the vibrational receptors on the cell membrane anywhere in the body, especially in the brain, the information carrying radio wave is recognized as a foreign invader and begins disrupting cellular communication and function. The body will then try to protect itself by shutting down the active transport channels in the cell membrane resulting in a change of the permeability of the cell membrane. Cell walls become hardened when they’re trying to protect themselves, trapping toxins in and keeping nutrients out. Toxic build-up over time creates free radicals and destroys mitochondria. When mitochondria can’t generate energy, cells can’t detoxify, and cell l-to-cell communication is lost. Free radical build up interferes with repair and replication of DNA. Hence, cancer can form. “Combined with poor nutrition, toxic chemical exposure and other factors, these electromagnetic fields might impair the body’s immune system through a collective influence,” says J. Geary of Popular Science, 2010. According to Sherrill Sellman, N.D., in 2007 of Electropollution, all aspects of life at the molecular, cellular, biochemical and physiological levels can potentially be damaged by electromagnetic radiation exposure.

    With any addiction cessation program, support is vital for success.

    It took two decades of study and 100 years of consumer use to gather enough data to meet research standards before the U.S. Surgeon General put warnings on cigarettes. Maine is on the right track with its new ruling. But how many peole must suffer the consequences of ill effects from cell phones before the link is recognized and the U.S. Surgeon General puts warnings in every state on every cell phone?

    As a holistic health care provider, I would encourage you to not wait until the studies show positive conclusive evidence that cell phones are dangerous enough to cause cancer. Be proactive and start protecting yourself now.

    Tips to protect yourself:

    1. Cell phones are a lifestyle factor. Adjust your lifestyle first. Put the cell phone down away from your body.
    2. Reduce the number of minutes spent on the phone.
    3. Choose low-tech versions with less radiation. The new Droids and Blackberries have the highest EMF.
    4. Switch the phone off at night.
    5. Keep cell phones and other EMF generating devices away from vulnerable body parts.
    6. Use speaker phone as much as possible.
    7. Do not talk on a cell phone when pregnant or carrying a small child.
    8. Use “airplane mode” or turn off the phone in public places.
    9. Don’t talk on cell phones in vehicles. Besides the proven accidents this causes, these enclosed areas trap radiation and exposure is higher in enclosed metal surroundings. The phone has to use more power to maintain connections.
    10. Avoid second-hand cell phone exposure. Like cigarettes, second hand smoke is just as dangerous. So, too, is second-hand cell phone exposure because you are between the transmitter and receiver of the other person’s cell phone. You are getting bombarded with the radiation and you are not even talking on your phone. Wi-fi spots are the worst for this.
    11. Texting avoids the brain area, but you are still holding the electromagnetic device which puts your body at risk of exposure.
    12. Pay attention to the signal bars on the display panel of your cell phone. Fewer bars indicates a weaker signal.
    13. Use electromagnetic protectors, nutritional, and antioxidants specific for brain health.
    14. Use a land-line phone more often than cell phones.

    The electromagnetic world is here to stay, but each one of us is responsible for taking proactive steps to protect ourselves and our families from the dangers of cell phones. Make your goal to use the cell phone less each day. You might find your communication skills with your friends and family are improved. If you would like help with specific cell phone protection, home remediation, and nutritional consultations regarding this topic, email christineandrew@christyins.ipage.com.

    Christine Andrew, CNC, CFDM is a certified nutrition consultant and certified functional diagnostic medicine consultant. She operates a holistic healthcare practice at Individualized Nutrition Services at 348 Cernon St. Ste A in downtown Vacaville.

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    The Colonoscopy Prep Process; Safe?

    Christine Andrew, CNC 2009

    On the day before procedure consume liquids only, but no milk. Choices given:

    Water—Okay

    Clear liquids as long as they are not red or purple—Okay

    Chicken broth— Okay

    Strained fruit juices without pulp—Okay

    Coffee—Really? Do I want to dehydrate myself even more?

    Tea—Okay

    Jell-O—ingredients: sugar, artificial flavors and colorings (may be carcinogenic, coal tar dyes, may contain aluminum), gelatin may contain sulfur dioxide, MSG

    Kool Aid—ingredients: sugar, artificial flavors and colorings (See above)

    Gatorade—ingredients: sugar, artificial flavors and colorings (See above)

    Soda—ingredients: sugar, phosphates

    Popsicle—blue, green, yellow, orange or pink—sugar, artificial flavors, and colorings.

    First, take two Bisacodyl tablets–a laxative hydrolyzed by intestinal brush border enzymes and colonic bacteria to form an active metabolite (bis-p-hyroxyphenyl) pyridyl 2 methane, that acts directly on colonic mucosa to produce peristalsis.

    Ingredients: (5 mg.)

    Acetylated monoglycerides

    Calcium sulfate—plaster of Paris, used as a firming agent. Absorbs moisture and hardens quickly. Its ingestion may result in intestinal obstruction. GRAS.

    Carnauba wax—Used as a glaze

    D&C Red no.7 Calcium Lake— any food dyes can be a potential harm gelatin—(See above)

    Hydroxypropyl methylcellulose phthalate

    Lactose—a milk sugar, Use as a diuretic and laxative and filler. Many people are lactose intolerant and this can cause digestive upset and bloating.

    Magnesium stearate

    Confectioner Sugar, sucrose

    Talc—French Chalk. An anticaking agent added to render a free flow. Comes from magnesium silicate, a mineral. Can contain asbestiform minerals.

    Titanium dioxide

    Bees wax

    Microcrystaline cellulose

    Next, mix Flavor Packet into “HalfLytely”-

    Contents of Flavor Packet:

    “Natural” and artificial flavor powder

    maltodextrin

    gum arabic

    sodium saccharin

    silicon dioxide

    food dyes (See colorings above)

    Last, drink 2 liters of “HalfLytely” every 10 minutes

    Contents:

    Polyethylene Glycol: A defoaming agent. A binder, plasticizing agent, solvent, and softener. Improves resistance to moisture and oxidation.

    Polyethylene: a polymer of ethylene, a product of petroleum gas or dehydration of alcohol. One of a group of lightweight thermoplastics that have a good resistance to chemicals, low moisture absorption. Ingestion of large oral dose has produced kidney and liver damage.

    Polymer: A substance formed by combining many small molecules. The result is essentially recurring long-chain structural units that have tensile strength, elasticity, and hardness. Examples are plastics, fibers, rubber, and human tissue.

    Ethylene Glycol: A slightly viscous liquid with a sweet taste. Absorbs twice its weight in water. Used as an antifreeze and humectant and solvent. Toxic when ingested, causing central nervous system depression, vomiting, drowsiness, coma, respiratory failure, kidney damage, and possibly death.

    Sodium chloride

    Sodium bicarbonate

    Potassium chloride

    Warning contained on the HalfLytely container:

    HalfLytely and Bisacodyl Tablets Bowel Prep Kit is a gastrointestinal lavage indicated for cleansing of the colon as a preparation for colonoscopy in adults. Most common adverse reactions (<3%) are abdominal pain/cramping, nausea, vomiting and headache. Use is contraindicated in the following conditions: known allergies to polyethylene glycol or other components of the kit, gastrointestinal (GI) obstruction, bowel perforation, toxic colitis, toxic megacolon.

    Use with caution in patients using concomitant medications (such as diuretics) that increase the risk of electrolyte abnormality, patients with known or suspected hyponatremia, patients with severe ulcerative colitis, ileus or gastric retention. There have been reports of ischemic colitis in patients with use of HalfLytely and 20 mg Bisacodyl Tablets Bowel Prep Kit. However, a causal relationship has not been established. If patients develop severe abdominal pain or rectal bleeding, patients should be evaluated as soon as possible. Patients with impaired water handling who experience severe vomiting should be closely monitored including measurement of electrolytes. Hives and skin rashes have been reported with PEG-based products which are suggestive of an allergic reaction.

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    Allergic to Life

    ©2008 Christine Andrew

    Blind, deaf, mute, non-ambulatory, developmentally disabled. These are descriptions of disabilities that most people recognize. The causes of these disabilities are often birth defects, accidents or severe illnesses. The people who suffer them do so through no fault of their own. They didn’t cause the problems they were born with or give permission to be in accidents or to become ill.

    Such disabilities existed years before there was any legislation to accommodate their needs. Now, thanks to the Americans with Disabilities Act, which marks its 14th anniversary, there is hardly a U.S. city without some sort of wheelchair access on sidewalk curbs, and public restrooms. Braille signs have been installed in elevators, and telephones and televisions have been modified to accommodate deaf and hard of hearing users.

    But there is another kind of disability that is not as easily recognized, and which does not receive as much support to accommodate the growing needs of those who suffer from it: Environmental Illness/Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, or EI/MCS.

    This is a condition that creeps up on unsuspecting people, perhaps for years, until one day it dawns on them that they are allergic to life and wonder what happened to them. By then many have become home bound. Doctors haven’t been able to figure out what’s wrong, and drugs haven’t made any difference. Among the many symptoms of EI/MCS are headaches, fatigue, insomnia, joint and muscle pain, memory loss, imbalance, severe allergies, asthma, chemical sensitivity, and possibly cancer and other autoimmune disorders.

    The causes are numerous and have been likened to what is known as the “rain barrel” effect. Just as a rain barrel collects water over an extended period of time, people’s bodies—sometimes since infancy—have been slowly filled with multiple toxins, chemicals, and pollutants: smoke, vaccines, excessive antibiotics (and not just in the prescription form), perfumes from fabric softeners, laundry detergents and other scented products, preservatives from packaged food, cleaning chemicals and pesticides sprayed at schools and homes. Each exposure deposits more drops into the person’s barrel of toxins until the barrel overflows.

    I began noticing my own symptoms when I was around 40 years of age. I thought my allergies, joint pain and sever sensitivities to scents, to name a few symptoms, were just signs of aging. I began to accept this belief when doctors couldn’t help me with anything besides medication. With each passing year, it seemed as if my symptoms were becoming worse. I couldn’t walk down the detergent aisle in the grocery store because of the scents, and being around anyone wearing perfume made breathing difficult and my throat raw. I lived with constant rhinitis, but refused the standard drug treatment for these symptoms.

    After reading “Staying Well in a Toxic World,” by Lynn Lawson, I realized that my “allergic” symptoms had a cause and a name. My body had just about accumulated a full barrel of toxins. It has taken great effort and time to drain my personal “rain barrel.” I have learned how to remove, repair, replace, avoid and clean up the environment in and around my property, and how to detoxify my body. I would not consider myself to be disabled by any means. But there are many people in communities who have much greater sensitivities and are considered disabled. They are no longer able to go into public places because of the potential exposure to chemicals and other pollutants.

    Environmental illness/Multiple Chemical Sensitivity cannot be “cured,” but there are some approaches that can have a profound effect on how a person copes. One of the most helpful things we, the public, could do, for instance, is to add this postscript to the many public signs that ask people to turn off their cell phones: “Out of concern for others, please refrain from wearing perfumes.” Or, “Out of concern for others, please refrain from using pesticides.”

    Providing adequate scent-free zones, ventilation—a window and /or a fan— or using nontoxic cleaning supplies or natural alternatives to pesticides are other measures we as a public can take to ensure that those who are allergic to life can still enjoy it. Even though they have no outwardly visible sign of a disability, people with EI/MCS need reasonable accommodations.

  • Articles worth reading

    Sweet Tooth Addictions

    Hardly a week passes anymore without hearing some news about the rise in obesity and diabetes in this country.  The epidemic is sweeping over our country causing an increasing amount of related deaths and increasing insurance premiums.  As we approach the upcoming holidays, the temptations of over indulgence permeates every household.

    In the U.S. 55% of the population are obese.  This includes children and adults.  In the last 30 years there has been 70% increase in diabetes.  The average American consumes 60 pounds of cakes, cookies, 23 gallons of processed chemical laden ice-cream, 7 pounds of potato chips, 365 servings of soda, and 756 doughnuts a year.

    Would you even think of giving your child 17 teaspoons of sugar a day? Probably not.   Yet, the Journal of Pediatrics in January of 2005 revealed that the average sugar consumption of 2-3 year olds was about 14 teaspoons. In 4-5 year olds, the amount was 17 teaspoons.  This sugar is evident in refined cereals, soda, sports drinks, candy, syrup, processed foods with high fructose corn syrup, doughnuts, and other pastries.  With the lack of enough fresh vegetables and fruits consumed zinc becomes deficient which causes the taste buds to under-function. People are then driven to eat more sugar because it is the only thing they are able to taste; which then leads to fewer vegetables.

    In trying to avoid fats, due to the widely falsified ads that deceive people into thinking that eating fat makes you fat, people are turning to sugars, diet soft drinks, and highly refined carbohydrates to satisfy their taste buds.   A recent study showed that approximately 33% of those drinking one to two cans per day of regular soda became overweight or obese.  Approximately 47% of those drinking more than two cans per day became overweight or obese.  But, on the diet soft drinks study, approximately 54% became overweight or obese drinking only one or two cans per day.  Even though the diet sodas contained zero calories, the sweet tooth was satisfied, but nutritionally the body was empty.  This sets up a person to find more calories from somewhere else to make up for the calories that weren’t in the soda.  This leads to eating liberally other and usually unhealthy foods.

    We all have a built in thermostat in the hypothalamus of the brain to control our appetite.  This thermostat tells the body when it has had enough, regardless of the source of food, and is disrupted in people with metabolic problems and cellular miscommunication.  And how does this miscommunication happen? Eating refined grains, sugars, processed foods and trans-fats make our cell membranes stiff and unresponsive to messages of cellular communication. Cells have to communicate in order to process and consume energy.  The more sugars consumed the less calories from nutrient dense foods rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals consumed.  And, the less amount of these nutrients, leads to disease and a downward spiral of sugar addictions. Sugar addiction is defined by K. DesMaison, PhD, as “The habitual, physiological and psychological dependence on a substance or practice beyond one’s voluntary control.”   Michael Lemonick of Time Magazine, July 2007, quotes Joseph Frascella, director of the division of clinical neuroscience at the National Institute on Drug Abuse that, “Addictions are repetitive behaviors in the face of negative consequences, the desire to continue something you know is bad for you.” It is the lack of ability to walk away from sweets.  “I can’t help it.  I just have a sweet tooth,” is in reality an admission of a sugar addiction. Besides diabetes and obesity, there are other serious health risks associated with excess sugar consumption.  These are, Candida Albicans, reduced defense in bacterial and viral infections due to a suppressed immune system, (look at the rise in bacterial infections like bacterial meningitis, E.Coli, and H. Pylori), hypoglycemia, periodontal disease, PMS/menopause, adrenal and thyroid dysfunction.

    In trying to avoid sugar many people turn to artificial sweeteners. Studies are showing that consuming “diet” sodas is not effective for controlling weight.  Artificial sweeteners are just that- artificial, and still have an impact on our brain thermostat and cell membranes.  They all produce toxins. Aspartame, the worst, degrades into formaldehyde.  You may be avoiding the calories providing you only drink one soda, but you are not avoiding the hormonal disruptions.  And, if you have to use sweeteners, it is a signal that you are still in the throes of a sugar addition.

    Is it all the consumer’s fault?  Actually, it is not.  Sugar production in the U.S. is heavily subsidized by the government.  The American Diabetes Association is sponsored by the Dairy Council and the Sugar Association of America.  (And of course, what does the dairy industry add to milk?  Take a look at skim milk as well!)  The food industry spends an average of $33 billion per year to advertised and sell us processed foods.  They know it is addicting just like the tobacco industry in 1994 knew that smoking was addicting.  Most French fries are coated with sugar and beef flavoring; that’s partly why they are brown, and so addicting.  Consumers and families are constantly being bombarded by fancy colorful and deceptive marketing of the processed and sugar foods.

    So, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, and Christmas are approaching, what do you eat instead of all those sugary foods and desserts?  There are several strategies I would recommend.  First, don’t go to parties hungry.  Eat a healthy snack or meal before you go so that you are not tempted to binge at the party.  Second, drinking a glass of water before eating also fills the body up and gives you a full feeling so that you don’t have to eat a lot to fulfill those cravings.  If you truly do struggle with sugars and are diabetic, then you might have to tell yourself, “That’s poison to my body, but, I can eat this,” as you are pointing to the fresh fruit.  Also, bring your own dessert to the party, then you know what you are eating and won’t feel deprived.  Some dessert alternatives I recommend are fruit pizza with cream cheese, zucchini bread made with Stevia, and 100% organic 73% cacao dark chocolate.

    The dynamics of addiction are all the same and we cannot triumph until we assume responsibility for our actions, no matter what the environment around us is like.  Isn’t your health worth it?