Medical Marijuana (the real dope) reprint, due to so many requests

I’ve had over 400 requests to republish this blog entry on Medical Cannabis (Marijuana). there is so much mis-information and worse, so much politicking that I thought it prudent to report.

Spanish English
La cucaracha, la cucaracha, The cockroach, the cockroach,
ya no puede caminar can’t walk anymore
porque no tiene, porque le falta because it doesn’t have, because it’s lacking
marihuana pa’ fumar. marijuana to smoke.

First, I’d like to talk a bit about the history of Marijuana. Pot, Weed, Bamba, Ganja, call it what you will, many people have many different strong opinions about Marijuana. The fact is that Marijuana use goes back to the third century B.C.and is originally from central and south Asia. It is used recreationally, spiritually, religiously and now medicinally. In some form or other, it is estimated that about 200 million people use it and that number is probably understated.

Believe it or not, in the mid 1800’s Marijuana use was fashionable and there were many establishments where it was sold and used quite freely. (A precursor to what would happen in Amsterdam in the later 20th century.)

In the early 1900’s a wave of conservatism swept the country leading to the “Prohibition” which made alcohol illegal. Marijuana was than looked on as an addictive and dangerous drug and steps were taken to also make it illegal. For more info see the:Towns-Boylan act.

The 1930’s started a hysteria about Marijuana with many believing that it not only led to harder drugs but could turn you into a homicidal maniac (as seen by such movies as “Reefer Madness”). This was directed at the masses, however the upper classes, movie stars and musicians still used it regularly. The 1960″s brought a large resurgence among the younger and not so young generations and after an initial propaganda campaign by the government about it’s evils, the laws began to slowly loosen as studies showed it’s relatively benign nature. Though still illegal in the U.S and other countries, 15 states now have legalized it for medicinal use. Interestingly, it’s medicinal properties were known going back to the beginning of the 20th century.

Marijuana is a psychoactive drug and comes from the Cannabis plant. The major psych-active component is THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol).

There are many medicinal uses for Marijuana so get ready as this will be a long list: This is well documented so it is not an opinion.

Nausea

Vomiting

Premenstrual Syndrome

Weight loss

Insomnia

Appetite loss

Glaucoma

FIBROMYALGIA

Bowell disease

Migraines

Multiple Sclerosis

Spinal cord Injuries

Alcohol abuse

Lou Gehrig’s Disease (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis)

Arthritis

Asthma

Colo-rectal Cancer

Bipolar Disorder

Depression

Epilepsy

Leukemia

Skin diseases

PTSD (Post traumatic stress disorders)

Psoriasis

Alzheimer’s

Lung Cancer

Breast Cancer

Brain Cancer

A.I.D.S

and the list goes on and on.

So why all the controversy? One reason is that many scientists felt that smoking Marijuana could be dangerous. However this need no longer be the case. Marijuana can be eaten, sprayed into the mouth, and used in a vaporizer (where the important components are extracted and inhaled without the other chemicals). Therefore, this eliminates the toxic compounds. Another reason is that the governments have not figured out a way to tax Marijuana as they tax alcohol and cigarettes. A third reason is that Large Pharmaceutical companies want to be able to control it, hence a potentially large income stream and lastly, Alcohol companies, see it as competition. I’m sure there are other reasons.

There are two basic strains: Cannabis Sativa and Cannabis Indica.

Cannabis Sativa causes the “stoned feeling” as well as other body feelings (pain loss, appetite increase etc). Cannabis Indica minimizes the “stoned feeling” but includes all the other body feelings. There are also strains which are mixtures of the two and in varying degrees.

Marijuana can be very strong, quite weak and everything in-between. A visit to a Medical Marijuana dispensary is a very enlightening experience. You might see many Jars of different types of Marijuana with many different slang names, displays of cupcakes, brownies other food products, lotions, sprays and other forms. Many of the people working in the dispensaries can quite knowledgeable about the different stains and guide you to the right type which would be most beneficial to help with your symptoms. At least here in California dispensaries are in no way back alley operations, but can be multi-million dollar businesses, very modern with doctors and other health professionals on staff. Many times, employees have to go through days or weeks of training so they are familiar with all aspects of Marijuana. In some cases, these employees are much more educated than pain doctors.

As of now, Marijuana dispensaries are legal in 15 States in the United States, though Federal Law always trumps State law and it is still illegal federally. However the Federal government has take the stance of “looking the other way”.  On the other hand, some county District Attorneys have ordered the closure of dispensaries and instituted arrests of those involved. Their motive is usually political in nature and it is a good bet they will be running for another office in the near future.

Marijuana is a political and moral issue and I pass no judgment, however I can say with confidence that we all know that Fibro meds can be very strong and sometimes pretty severe side effects. I’ve seen many patients in my office who could not tolerate these meds, yet medicinal marijuana got them out of bed, dramatically helped their pain and allowed them to start functioning normally.

As with all meds, Marijuana is not for everybody. Some people will have bad reactions such as increased anxiety, and paranoia.Some are allergic.  For these people Marijuana is a very unpleasant experience and should be avoided. I suppose that this is an example of how we are all wired a little bit differently. I do believe that Marijuana should be taken out of the political arena and looked upon as a possible health aid as there are so many suffering, whose symptoms can be alleviated or at least decreased.

My personal story involves my sister in law who went through horrible chemotherapy and radiation for Breast Cancer, yet Marijuana helped her tremendously to get through the process, she did not lose weight and was able to continue working. It really did wonders for her. I welcome your comments.

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Some added info that was not in the post originally:

Sixteen states in the U.S. have legalized medical marijuana: Alaska, Arizona,California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico,  Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont,Virginia, Washington and Washington D.C.

Other countries have their own legalities, in some countries, it is a crime, but if used for medicinal reasons, it is sometimes okay-ed. The best bet is to check the politics and legalities of your particular country and province.

The following link is from wikipedia and is a breadown of the legal status by country:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legality_of_cannabis_by_country

NORML is an organization where you can get more information on medicinial cannabis, it’s web page is:

http://norml.org/index.cfm?Group_ID=3376

NORML provides world politics, research links and basically the latest news and information on this topic and is an excellent resource.

Organic food recipes!

Okay, now for some recipes with organic foods:

Black beans are a very good source of cholesterol-lowering fiber, as are most other legumes. In addition to lowering cholesterol, black beans’ high fiber content prevents blood sugar levels from rising too rapidly after a meal, making these beans an especially good choice for individuals with diabetes, insulin resistance or hypoglycemia.

2 small carrots, thinly sliced cross-wise
1 onion, chopped
2 stalks of celery, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
2 tablespoons organic virgin olive oil
2 15 ounce cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup corn kernels, heated
2 teaspoons sweet and spicy curry powder
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
sea salt and ground pepper to taste
3 cups organic vegetable stock or organic chicken stock
2 tablespoons lemon juice
4 tablespoons sour cream for garnish
1 tomato, diced for garnish

In a stock pot over medium heat, add olive oil and let warm for 1-2 minutes. Add carrots, celery, onion, garlic, and cilantro. Stir and cook until the vegetables begin to soften and celery turns slight translucent. Meanwhile, drain and rinse the beans, set aside.  Add the curry powder, coriander, and cayenne pepper to the vegetables and stir.  Add the beans and organic broth or stock. Bring to a boil, turn down the heat to medium low for 20 minutes, and simmer.  Remove from heat.

Remove half the beans and vegetables using a slotted spoon and process in a blender or food processor until they become a thick sauce – about 30 seconds.  Return this mixture to the soup and stir thoroughly to thicken up.  Reheat, fold in corn kernels and lemon juice.  To serve, spoon into bowls and garnish with a dollop of sour cream, diced tomatoes, and a sprig of fresh cilantro.
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Garlic Herb Pizza Recipe


Delicious roasted garlic paired with our own blend of organic Herbs de Provence make this quick and easy pizza taste like a gourmet meal. Make for dinner or serve for lunch and pair with a fresh Mesclun salad. Making your own pizza is not only easy, but healthy and less expensive than ordering a ‘pizza to go’ or baking a frozen one.

10 oz Pizza dough (makes 2 medium or 1 large pizza) – Quick Thin Crust Pizza Dough Recipe or Classic Pizza  Dough Recipe
3 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 head garlic to roast
6 oz organic tomato paste
2 teaspoons organic Herbs de Provence blend
2 cups chopped baby spinach leaves
1/4 red onion, sliced in very thin strips
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
Pepperoni

Roast the garlic: Slice 1/2 inch off the top of the garlic head and place cut side up on foil. Drizzle with 1 tsp oil. Bake at 350°F for 50 minutes or until garlic smells sweet and is soft in the center. When cooled slightly, squeeze roasted garlic out of the skins., set aside.

Preheat oven to 475 degrees. If using a pizza stone, heat stone at the same time. Place pizza dough on work surface, dusting with fine cornmeal is needed to prevent sticking and shape to the desired shape and thickness, set aside. Blend roasted garlic with tomato paste and 1 teaspoon of olive oil until a spreadable paste forms. Spread evenly on dough and sprinkle with Herbs de Provence. Layer spinach, pepperoni, red onion and cheeses. Place on a lightly oiled baking sheet or on a heated pizza stone and bake 10 minutes or until crust is lightly brown and toppings are melted.

To cook pizza using George Foreman’s Grill:
Heat grill to highest setting for 7-10 minutes. Cut dough in half; shape into two 10-inch round pizzas. Do not make a rim. Grill dough on one side until grill marks show, about 3 minutes. Remove from grill. Place dough, grilled side up, on a cutting board. Brush with 1 teaspoon olive oil. Spread with roasted garlic-tomato spread, sprinkle with Herbs de Provence, layer spinach, pepperoni, red onion and cheeses. Return to grill and cook for 3 minutes, or until cheese melts and crust is cooked through.

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Chicken Marsala Quick Dinner recipe


Our delicious, quick dinner recipe for herb chicken in a sweet Marsala and mushroom sauce is simply delicious!

Marsala wine and cooking sherry are versatile ingredients for evey cook pantry. Serve this quick dinner recipe over rice or orzo or add a fresh green salad for a complete quick dinner.

For another quick dinner recipe using chicken, try our fabulous Chick Fajitas recipe.

1/4 cup all-purpose flour for coating
1/2 teaspoon Sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano and 2 tablespoon fresh oregano
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves – pounded 1/4 inch thick
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons organic olive oil
1 cup sliced Crimini mushrooms
1/2 cup Marsala wine
1/4 cup cooking sherry

In a shallow dish or bowl, mix together the flour, salt, pepper and oregano. Coat chicken pieces in flour mixture. In a large skillet, melt butter in oil over medium heat. Place chicken in the pan, and lightly brown. Turn over chicken pieces, and add mushrooms. Pour in wine and sherry. Cover skillet; simmer chicken 10 minutes, turning once, until no longer pink and juices run clear.

Place egg noodles, rice or orzo on warm plates and top with 1 chicken breast and mushroom sauce. Sprinkle with fresh oregano. Serve with a side of fresh vegetables or green salad.

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Salmon Patties Recipe

You can make this quick dinner recipe using fresh or canned salmon. An excellent quick dinner recipe for canned or fresh salmon patties that tastes like you spent all day preparing. Kids love this quick dinner recipe!

Serve this quick dinner recipe with lemon wedges or place several salmon patties on a bed of wilted fresh greens and drizzle with a oil and vinegar salad dressing. You can also cook the salmon patties in smaller cakes and serve as an appetizer. Try our Easy Crab Cake recipe for another quick dinner recipe using seafood.

1 (14.75 ounce) can salmon
3 tablespoons butter
8 scallions finely chopped
2/3 cup fresh bread crumbs
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

Drain the salmon, reserving 3/4 cup of the liquid. Flake the salmon meat into a glass bowl.
In a medium bowl, combine the scallions with the reserved salmon liquid, 1/3 of the bread crumbs, eggs, parsley, mustard and salmon. Mix until well blended, then shape into six patties. Coat patties in remaining cracker crumbs.

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook salmon patties until browned, then carefully turn and brown on the other side.

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Healthy Apple Corn Muffin Recipe

Sinfully delicious healthy muffin recipe that replaces whole eggs with egg whites and eliminates shortening typically found in this recipe. Makes 12 muffins.

2 cups all-purpose (plain) flour
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup fat-free milk
2 egg whites
1 apple, peeled and coarsely chopped (use Granny Smith, Fuji or Pink Lady)
1/2 cup corn kernels

Preheat the oven to 425 F. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper or foil liners. In a large bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, brown sugar, baking powder and salt. Stir to blend evenly.

In a separate bowl, combine the milk and egg whites. Add the apple and corn, whisk to mix evenly and pour over the flour mixture. Stir lightly until all are slightly moist. The batter will be lumpy.

Fill prepared muffin cups 2/3 full and bake about 30 minutes. Tops will spring back when touched. Be careful not to over cook which can cause the muffins to become tough.

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Orzo Stuffed Peppers
Rather than the standard long grain rice typically found in stuffed bell peppers, we use Orzo, a tender rice shaped pasta that has a delicate butter flavor. You cook Orzo just as you would standard rice and you can find it in the grocery store in the pasta section. If you are using store bought sun-dried tomatoes look for those varieties that have only olive oil as a base, otherwise for a real treat try sun-drying your own tomatoes at the height of your tomato harvest.


Preheat oven to 350 degrees

4 large red, yellow or purple bell peppers
2 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup Orzo
2 spicy chicken sausages, casings removed
3 tablespoon organic virgin olive oil
1 white onion, chopped
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped and drained
1 cup fresh spinach, chopped
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
1 Jalapeno pepper, roasted peeled, seeded and chopped
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
Sea Salt and Pepper to taste
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Cut the tops off of the bell peppers and discard seeds. Rub bell peppers with 1 tablespoon of olive oil coating both the inside and the outer skin. Set aside in a baking dish. Bring 1 1/2 cups of chicken stock to a boil (reserve remaining 1/2 cup of chicken stock for later use), add Orzo, cover and simmer for 20 minutes without removing lid during the cooking time.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, break up sausage into small pieces. Saute until browned, draining any excess oil when completely cooked. Add organic olive oil, onion, diced chili, spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, celery seed, cilantro, Orzo and remaining chicken stock. Cook until heated and liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and salt and pepper to taste.

Stuff peppers with orzo mixture and place back in the baking dish. Sprinkle tops with Parmesan cheese. Add 1/2 cup boiling water to the dish and bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the peppers are hot. Serve immediately with a side of sour cream.

Thanks to my wife!

Next Topic:Vegetarianism

Organic Food Part 1

Organic foods are foods that are produced using methods that do not involve modern synthetic inputs such as synthetic pesticides and chemical fertilizers, do not contain genetically modified organisms, and are not processed using irradiation, industrial solvents, or chemical food additives. For most of human history, foods were organic, but this started changing in the 1940’s with the advent of industrial agriculture. The Green Revolution (organic food), than arose in the 1940’s in response to this.

There is much talk from large food companies of  how non-organic foods are just as safe, nutritious and much cheaper than organic foods. This is not only not true, but it is an out and out lie!

We live in a world where people want the foods that they want, now. It doesn’t matter if the food is not in season nor it does not matter if our farming methods have become so commercialized that foods no longer have the vitamins and minerals which our bodies need to maintain our health, we want it now, and the commercialized food industry is all to willing to listen to us.

While organic food products have increased their market share in the past decade, only a relatively small percentage of people in many countries around the world consume organic food with any degree of regularity. In this mix are included people who utilize organic food supplement products. Because of the inherent benefits of organic food, there are ample reasons why organic food should be promoted in the 21st century. Indeed, the benefits that can be derived from a more complete transition to organic agriculture warrant a broad and expansive promotional program internationally.

There are numerous reasons associated with personal health that warrant the promotion of organic food products. The benefits of eating organic food truly run the gambit and all warrant a broader market share on the part of consumers everywhere. One of the most compelling reasons that organic food should be promoted widely rests in the fact that these products are free of the chemical residues that infest conventionally grown and raised food products.

Organic agriculture and organic gardening precludes the usage of chemical fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides in the production of food products. Consequently, these fruits and vegetables go to market free of any chemical residue that otherwise would end up being ingested by people eating these products.

The same holds true for organically raised livestock. These animals are fed only organically produced grains and other products. As a result, the meat products that are derived from these animals is free of the possibly harmful chemicals associated with conventional farming practices.

If the health benefits of organic agriculture and organic gardening were not enough to warrant and support the widespread promotion of these products, a consideration of the beneficial effect organic farming and organic gardening can and does have on the environment should spur the marketplace forward.

A significant amount of research has been undertaken in regard to organic farming and organic gardening practices and the positive impact these agricultural regimens have on the environment. First and foremost, organic agricultural practices result in the lessening of the amount in soil and water of harmful chemical residues from herbicides, insecticides and synthetic fertilizers. These chemicals remain ingrained (quite literally) in soil for years and leach into water systems causing further short and long term damage. Additionally, it has been demonstrated time and again that organic agricultural practices work to lessen soil erosion to a very significant degree.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has established an organic certification program that requires all organic foods to meet strict government standards. These standards regulate how such foods are grown, handled and processed.

Any product labeled as organic must be USDA certified. Only producers who sell less than $5,000 a year in organic foods are exempt from this certification; however, they’re still required to follow the USDA’s standards for organic foods.

If a food bears a USDA Organic label, it means it’s produced and processed according to the USDA standards. The seal is voluntary, but many organic producers use it.


Products that are completely organic — such as fruits, vegetables, eggs or other single-ingredient foods — are labeled 100 percent organic and can carry the USDA seal. Products that contain at least 70 percent organic ingredients may say “made with organic ingredients” on the label, however, this, in reality, means that they are not organic!

One common concern with organic food is cost. Organic foods are typically said to cost more than do their conventional counterparts. Higher prices are due, in part, to more expensive farming practices.I totally disagree with this, because when you eat organically, you eat less food as you are getting more nutrition. In the long run, eating organic food is much cheaper. Another reason it is cheaper is because it is so much healthier, meaning less illnesses, less visits to the doctors and hospitalizations. This alone brings the cost down dramatically. Do you realize how much less money would be needed to be spent on health care if we all heat in a healthy manner? It is pretty well known from numerous studies that probably 90% of all illnesses are lifestyle related. (did you know that ancient Egypt flourished for thousands of years, yet after numerous analysis of mummies, they have yet to find any signs of cancer or other modern day illnesses!

Okay, now some of you believe that eating organic foods means eating lettuce sandwiches your entire lives, nothing could be farther from the truth. the next blog will contain many organic recipes, but to summarize:

Top 5 Reasons for Going Organic

1. Protect Future Generations
Kids are four times more likely to be exposed to cancer-causing pesticides in food than adults.

2. Promote Biodiversity Planting
The same type of plant (crop) is often planted in a GMO field year after year after year, and the lack of natural diversity of plant life in these fields has negatively affected soil quality.

3. Organic production reduces health risks
Many EPA-approved pesticides were registered long before extensive research linked these chemicals to cancer and other diseases. Organic agriculture is one way to prevent any more of these chemicals from getting into the air, earth and water that sustain us.

4. Organic producers strive to preserve diversity
The loss of a large variety of species (biodiversity) is one of the most pressing environmental concerns. The good news is that many organic farmers and gardeners have been collecting and preserving seeds, and growing unusual varieties for decades.

5. Protect Water Quality
Water makes up two thirds of our body mass and covers three fourths of the planet. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates pesticides, some cancer causing, contaminate the groundwater in 38 states, polluting the primary source of drinking water for more than half the country’s population.

By the way here are some famous people who eat organically and are also vegetarians. Well talk more about being a vegetarian in a future blog.

Perhaps one of the most famous is Paul McCartney, he certainly looks pretty good for almost 70 years old and can still sing like a kid!

Others:

Dan Castellaneta (Voice of Homer Simpson)

Jorja Fox

Anne Hathaway

Joan Jett

Steve Jobs

Cloris Leachman

Natalie Portman

Elvis Costello

Kate Bush

Jane Goodall

and the list goes on and on.

You Are What You Eat Part 5 Meat and Chicken

Lets now take a look at beef and chicken, the following might surprise you and perhaps scare you!

We will begin with beef.

For decades, the meat industry has been producing and processing more meats at an ever quickening pace. This is to meet the high, and ever increasing, demand for the meat we consume each day.

In recent years, these intensive meat farm methods have come under new scrutiny and more people are becoming aware of the unacceptable conditions used to produce the beef, pork, and poultry that have become integral parts of our daily diets.

Hormones:

Most traditionally raised beef calves go from 80 pounds to 1,200 pounds in a period of about 14 months. This is no natural feat. Along with enormous quantities of grain (usually corn) and protein supplements, calves are fed or implanted with various drugs and hormones to, as the beef industry says, “promote efficient growth.”

Any combination of the natural hormones estradiol, progesterone, and testosterone, and the synthetic hormones zeranol and trenbolone acetate may be given to cattle. Another hormone, melengesterol acetate, may also be added to feed to “improve weight gain and feed efficiency.”

Measurable amounts of hormones in traditionally raised beef are transferred to humans, and some scientists believe that human consumption of estrogen from hormone-fed beef can result in cancer, premature puberty and falling sperm counts.

Antibiotics:

About nine million pounds of antibiotic feed additives are used annually in the cattle-raising process. Many people don’t realize that the largest use of antibiotics in the United States is to feed to animals, often so that they will gain more weight, but also to prevent disease outbreaks that could easily fester since the animals are raised in such crowded conditions.

This routine antibiotic use is contributing to the growing problem of antibiotic resistance in humans. Animals raised in natural environments, not the traditional “factory farms,” rarely require antibiotics. You may be able to find antibiotic-free beef in your local health food store, but be sure to be certain that it is grass-fed as well.

Along with antibiotics, traditionally raised cattle are given various vaccines and other drugs. The following is just one recommended course of care for a whole herd of cattle as shown on Pfizer.com:

  • CattleMaster 4+VL5: a 4-way viral plus 5-way leptospirosis vaccine and vibriosis protection
  • UltraChoice 8: a vaccine to prevent clostridial diseases
  • Dectomax Pour-On or Dectomax Injectable: drugs to prevent and treat internal and external parasites
  • ScourGuard 3®(K)/C: a vaccine to prevent calf scours

Irradiation:

Some commercial beef is irradiated which means it has been treated with gamma rays produced by the radioactive material, cobalt 60, or electricity to kill bacteria. The effects of long-term consumption of irradiated food products remain to be seen.

This issue is virtually the same issue as with milk. Once milk is pasteurized to “protect” us, it is seriously damaged and actually causes more harm than good for most who drink it. However, if milk is consumed in its real raw form, then it is typically an amazing health-producing food for most who consume it.

If you value your long-term health, I strongly encourage you to avoid irradiated meat. All meats will not be irradiated, so your best bet is to purchase non-irradiated meat.

Many may not be aware that school districts have the option of purchasing irradiated beef for their lunch programs, and parental notification is not required. If you are a parent you can work with your school district to discourage the use of irradiated foods, or at the very least contact them to find out whether irradiated beef is being served in your child’s school cafeteria.

You can also contact your representative and senators today to urge them not to support irradiated food in school lunches.

Environmental Problems:

Alongside the dangers that traditionally raised beef pose to your health are the dangers they pose to your environment. Substantial areas of forests, particularly the rain forests of Central America and the Amazon, are being cleared to make way for cattle. And in the United States, cattle production is a major source of environmental pollution.

Among the most severe problems are water pollution from the nearly 1 billion tons of organic waste produced by cattle each year and the enormous amounts of petro-chemical fertilizers used to produce feed crops, and air pollution–waste and waste treatment methods of grain-fed cattle are responsible for producing a significant portion of carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide (the three major gases that are largely responsible for global warming), along with other harmful gasses.

The Way Cattle are Treated:

Traditionally raised cattle are treated as commodities and are deprived of some of the most basic requirements of life–fresh air, space and normal social interaction.

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Next Commercial Chicken:

In order to control intestinal parasites, stimulate growth, improve the color of chicken meat and reduce their stress on the commercial farms, producers of commercial chickens tend to feed their chickens with additives that have adverse effects on human health. These feed additives contain the antibiotic arsenic compound known as Roxarsone, which is used to make the chickens healthier in terms of bigger breasts and pinker skin. Roxarsone is believed to cause diseases such as cancer in humans. This is according to research studies published in 2008 in “Environmental Health Perspectives,” an online journal of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and conducted by Dr. Partha Basu, an associate professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Duquesne University.

  1. Feed Additives

    • Since the 1960s, commercial chicken farmers have been using these feed additives to produce the oversized birds, and it has become a common practice throughout this commercial industry. The antibiotic found in chicken feed is used to protect the chickens from illnesses and infections, but it also induces blood vessel growth, which makes the meat appear more succulent. The problem with this is that it can produce abnormal human cell growth as well. This growth leads to the development of cancer cells, according to research done by Dr. Basu et al.

    Farming Conditions

    • The chickens are raised in crowded and unsanitary farming conditions, which leads them to contract the very illnesses and infections that chicken producers are using these harmful antibiotics to guard against. Unfortunately, these same antibiotics cause abnormal growth results in the chickens and in some cases can cause bacteria mutations and drug resistance in them as well. There is concern that there could be similar effects on humans who consume these chickens for food.

    Angiogenesis

    • The compounds found in the antibiotics used in chicken feed can cause health problems like cancer in humans, according to Dr. Basu’s research. When an increase in the formation of additional blood vessels occurs, producing their pink pigmentation, it can do the same in humans also by overproducing additional cells. This growth process is called angiogenesis and is found in many cancers and other diseases. Research done by the USDA has also found linkage between the arsenic compound found in chicken and an effect on human cells.

    Chicken Waste

    • Besides being fed these harmful additives, chickens are also used in the feed for other farm animals such as turkeys and pigs as well. Chicken waste, which is normally used for farm field fertilizers and in commercial fertilizers, may affect water supplies in the ground and on the surface. Scientists are concerned that being constantly exposed to these harmful additives found in commercial chicken feed can potentially lead to cancer for consumers as well as for the commercial chicken farmers.

    To summarize:

The antibiotics used in commercial meat and chicken farms are one of the biggest food related health threats to humans. Antibiotics are used just as commonly in farms as they are on humans, but many of the injections given in these crowded farm facilities are used to promote growth rather than prevent disease.

Growth injections have created a great deal of concern. The primary reason is because of evidence of resistant bacteria transmitted from animals to humans, including e.coli and salmonella. Because of the potential danger of these bacteria, growth injections are prohibited in Europe.

Antibiotics used for general disease control in place of sanitary living conditions can create the same resistant strains. Unfortunately, this type of injection is permitted in most intensive farms.

Other dangers include:

    • Workers in factory farms often suffer from respiratory complications and other infections due to the unclean conditions.
    • Chemical residue from commercial feed, pesticides, and antibiotics can be left in the environment, including water sources, through animal waste.
  • Commercial farming practices increase the risk of serious viral outbreaks like foot and mouth disease and bird flu.

How About Lunch Meats? (Including those Hot dogs that everybody loves)

Luncheon meats are convenience foods that may cost you your health and your life. According to the World Cancer Research Fund and the American Institute for Cancer Research, all processed meats, such as hot dogs and bologna, should be limited or even avoided in a healthy recommended diet. Luncheon meat dangers include the use of sodium nitrate or nitrite, are high in salt, high in fat and are too much meat for one’s good health.

  1. Sodium Nitrate or Nitrite

    • Sodium nitrate and sodium nitrite are preservatives used in the curing process of luncheon meats. It wards off growth of bacteria, such as botulism, and it develops the color and taste of processed meats. However there is much debate surrounding the toxicity of these preservatives. According to the World Cancer Research Fund and the American Institute for Cancer Research, there is a strong link between these preservatives and colorectal cancer. The U.S. Department of Agriculture found that low doses of sodium nitrite may cause acute methemoglobinemia, which is when the hemoglobin can no longer carry oxygen in the blood stream, especially in infants.

    Salt

    • Table salt, or sodium chloride, is often found in high quantities in luncheon meats. The USDA warns that too much salt in your diet may lead to high blood pressure and other diseases. It specifically targets processed meats, such as luncheon meats, as high in salt and sodium. Ham, for example, has roughly 1,100 milligrams of salt for about 3 1/2 ounces, while cereal has only about 300 milligrams.

    Fat

    • A diet that is low in saturated fat is recommended for healthy living. Luncheon meats are higher in saturated fat and should be limited. Lean meats and fish have less fat than processed meats such as hot dogs and luncheon meats. Unsaturated fats are good for a healthy diet, and those include avocados, nuts and olive oil. Reducing the intake of saturated fats from meats may help prevent heart disease, cancer and type two diabetes.

    Meat

    • The World Cancer Research Fund and the American Institute for Cancer Research recommend diets that limit meat, especially processed meats for overall health. Diets that are higher in plant food reduce cancer risks. Plant foodshave folates and carotenoids that help prevent cancer. For example, garlic protects against rectum and colon cancer, and fruits may prevent cancers of the esophagus, lung and stomach. Eating luncheon meat reduces your intake of vegetables and fruits that are better for your health.

It comes down to commercial meat is not healthy and not safe. You don’t have to be Einstein to see why so many people are so sick with so many illnesses, and the numbers keep rising. If you want to eat meat and chicken, free range or organic is definitely the way to go!

Chelation

The first two paragraphs will be a bit technical, than we’ll get down to the nitty gritty, so have some patience or skip the beginning if you feel the need. There are some who want more of the scientific details.

Chelation is the use of a chemical substance to bind molecules, such as metals or minerals, and hold them tightly so they can be removed from the body. Chelation has been scientifically proven to remove excess or toxic metals before they can cause damage to the body.  In simple words, by taking a chelation agent, you can rid the body of toxic heavy metals.

Chelating agents were introduced into medicine as a result of the use of poison gas in WW 1. The first widely used chelating agent, the organic dithiol compound dimercaprol (also named British anti-lewisite or BAL), was used as an antidote to the arsenic-based poison gas, lewisite. After World War II, a large number of navy personnel suffered from lead poisoning as a result of their jobs repainting the hulls of ships. The medical use of ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) as a lead chelating agent was introduced.

Chelation therapy is used as a treatment for acute mercury, iron , arsenic, lead, uranium, plutonium and other forms of toxic metal  poisoning. The chelating agent may be administered orally, by injection or by IV drip.

Our body’s digestive system is one example of natural chelation. digestion and absorption of foods involves chelation of protein substances (amino acids) and transport of these substances to their destinations in the body or in which white blood cells latch on to and thus acquire iron. Hemoglobin is a chelate of iron. when you eat meat or green vegetables which contain iron, after digestion has released the iron from the food in which it was contained, it has to be combined (chelated with amino acids so that it can be carried through the digestive membranes and into the blood and out the body.

Chelation therapy is widely used for the treatment of atherosclerosis and other chronic diseases involving the circulatory system and blood. It has other benefits. Many scientists suggest that the beneficial effect of chelation therapy is from the removal of metals, that cause excessive free radical proliferation. Chelation halts these bad effects and initiates the bodies healing process and often reverses the damage.

The other side of the coin is that many scientists do not believe in chelation, calling it worthless and potentially dangerous. The American Heart Association states that there is “no scientific evidence to demonstrate any benefit from this form of therapy” and that the “United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), all agree with the American Heart Association” that “there have been no adequate, controlled, published scientific studies using currently approved scientific methodology to support this therapy for cardiovascular disease.” On the other hand, and not to be cynical, chelation is a fraction of the cost of a heart bypass operation. As is so commonly done, Doctors claim that the great effects seen by chelation among many heart patients are only “the placebo effect”.

My own opinion is that chelation certainly works because over my 27 years of practicing, I’ve seen countless people and patients who avoided heart surgeries (among others),  using chelation therapy. We also know that Doctors can be very resistant to anything that goes against their paradigm of drugs and surgery (this is not to be a criticism, just a fact due to their training).

Two-time Nobel Prize winner, Dr. Linus Pauling had this to say about Chelation:  “Chelation therapy is far safer and much less expensive than surgical treatment of atherosclerosis. Chelation therapy may eliminate the need for bypass surgery and is equally valid when used as a preventative treatment”

These are some of the proposed benefits from chelation therapy:

  • Reduction of liver-produced cholesterol
  • Lowered insulin requirements in diabetics
  • Lowered blood cholesterol levels
  • Reduced high blood pressure
  • Normalization of cardiac arrhythmias (Irregular heart beats)
  • Relief from leg muscle cramps
  • Reduction in allergic symptoms
  • Normalized weight
  • Improved psychological and emotional status
  • Enhanced sensory input: better sight, hearing, taste
  • Fewer excessive heart contractions
  • Lessened varicose vein pigmentation
  • Lightened age spots
  • Fewer aches and pains, arthritic and otherwise
  • Less reliance on pain medication
  • Hair loss stopped and reversed
  • Reversal of impotence
  • Alzheimer’s Disease symptoms reversed
  • Reduced need for diuretics
  • Cold extremities warmed
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome overcome
  • Memory, and mental concentration improved
  • Post-cataract surgery vision loss restored
  • Cosmetic changes, including more lustrous hair, added eye sparkle, stronger unsplit nails, better skin color, fewer visible wrinkles and a more youthful appearance.

Aetna (the insurance company) considers the use of chelation therapy medically necessary in the treatment of any of the following diseases/disorders:

  1. Aluminum overload in persons with end-stage renal failure; or
  2. Biliary cirrhosis; or
  3. Cooley’s anemia (thalassemia major); or
  4. Cystinuria; or
  5. Heavy metal poisoning (e.g., arsenic, cadmium, copper, gold, iron, lead, mercury)*; or
  6. Secondary hemochromatosis (i.e., due to iron overload from multiple transfusions); or
  7. Sickle cell anemia; or
  8. Wilson’s disease.

As they are in the business of saving money, this lends credence to chelation therapy.

Study of Chelation Therapy Should Not Be Abandoned

Beth Clay’s article in the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons is an exciting look at all of the players and exposes the intrigue behind the politics of chelation therapy. “An important clinical trial has been hindered by publication of an agenda-driven 51-page article in MedScape, despite the lack of expert qualifications and known bias of the authors, and the fact that most authors derive income from legal compensation for testifying against medical professionals who use chelation or other alternative or complementary therapies in their practices. Investigation of off-label uses of FDA-approved drugs is essential for progress in medicine.”

Are there side Effects for Chelation therapy?

There have not been serious side effects reported since chelation has been used for medical purposes in the 1940s, and it should be considered safe when administered by a ABCMT (American Board of Clinical Metal Toxicology) board certified physician. Chelation therapy is used by CAM (complementary and alternative medicine) practitioners along with other medical therapies for coronary artery disease.

What began as a treatment for the treatment of heavy metal poisoning is emerging as a potentially effective treatment for coronary artery disease. Physicians are administering it to their patients before heart bypass surgery and if they get good results may not have to resort to the surgery.

Fibromyalgia Medications (The good the bad and the ugly) Part 6

I’d like to speak some more about some of the medications prescribed commonly to people with Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

Provigil – the name is Modanfinil is produced by Cephalon and is used in the United states for sleeping disorders such as sleep apnea and  excessive fatigue during the day. The way this medication works (mechanism) is unknown at this time and therefore the European Medicines Agency has recommended that this medication only be used for Narcolepsy, however that advice has not been followed in the U.S. Even though it works with histamines in the body, it shares many common traits with amphetamines. Provigil has a large potential for abuse as it acts on the reward parts of the brains (same has opiates, cocaine etc). It might not be as addictive as morphine, but the fact remains that it is still very addictive and has been seen to be abused by teens as a recreational drug.

In the Mid 2000’s it was used for ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity disorder), but was ultimately shown to be very unsafe for children and teens.

Cephalon was reprimanded in 2002 by the FDA because it’s promotional materials were found to be “false, lacking in fair balance, and otherwise misleading”.  Cephalon plead guilty to a criminal violation and paid several fines, including $50 and $425 million fines to the U.S. government in 2008 due to its  false and confusing marketing, especially making claims about it’s effectiveness that simply was not true.

Provigil is another of the fibromyalgia drugs prescribed off label meaning that it was never intended for Fibromyalgia. Under the U.S. food and Drug act, pharmaceutical companies are not allowed to market their medications for illnesses other than those specifically approved, however this law is not very well enforced.

Side Effects:

  • fever, sore throat, headache, and vomiting with a severe blistering, peeling, and red skin rash;
  • bruising, severe tingling, numbness, pain, muscle weakness;
  • easy bruising or bleeding;
  • white patches or sores inside your mouth or on your lips;
  • hallucinations, unusual thoughts or behavior;
  • depression, anxiety; or
  • chest pain, uneven heart beats.
  • headache, dizziness;
  • feeling nervous or agitated;
  • nausea, diarrhea;
  • trouble sleeping (insomnia); or
  • dry mouth.

This medication has an effect on the heart, liver and other organs so it is essential to let your doctor know if you do have heart or liver problems as this can be deadly. As with so many Fibro meds, it is absolutely essential to have a full blood and urine workup at least every 3 months minimum. If the Doctor is a bit lax about this or denies the necessity, change doctors and demand that the tests be done! I cannot emphasis this enough.

Halcion:  real name is Triazolam, it is used as a sedative and also used to treat very severe insomnia. It has been found that Halcion is not a good med for people with Fibromyalgia as it does not work well for those who wake up many times during the night (which is so typical of Fibro). It is manufactured by Upjohn and has been around since 1982. Halcion was withdrawn from the market in several countries because of concerns about serious side-effects (mostly psychological) associated with the drug.

Clinical trials which Upjohn had withheld from publishing showed a very unfavorable risk benefit ratio with 9.9% of patients dropping out of one triazolam study due to adverse effects . Another study not published by Upjohn found 12.2% of triazolam patients dropped out, again due to psychiatric adverse effects . A further study found that after only 3 weeks use of triazolam patients typically became markedly anxious.

The medical literature has shown that triazolam is much more likely than other similar meds to cause strange behavior and in some instances psychotic and or violent reactions. Therefore, it is a dangerous med, not recommended for any condition (as other meds exist without the extreme side effects) and a big moneymaker for Upjohn who tried to hide the negative studies and data from the FDA.

Side Effects:

  • weak or shallow breathing;
  • fast or pounding heartbeats;
  • confusion, slurred speech, unusual thoughts or behavior;
  • hallucinations, agitation, aggression;
  • thoughts of suicide or hurting yourself;
  • restless muscle movements in your eyes, tongue, jaw, or neck;
  • pale skin, easy bruising or bleeding, unusual weakness;
  • fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms;
  • problems with urination;
  • nausea, stomach pain, low fever, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).
  • daytime drowsiness (or during hours when you are not normally sleeping);
  • amnesia or forgetfulness;
  • muscle weakness, lack of balance or coordination;
  • numbness, burning, pain, or tingly feeling;
  • headache, blurred vision, depressed mood;
  • feeling nervous, excited, or irritable;
  • nausea, vomiting, stomach discomfort; or
  • dry mouth, increased thirst.

Many can also have a sever allergic reaction to Halcion, which shows as hives, difficulty; breathing and swelling of the tongue. If this occurs, you must immediately call 911 or get to an emergency room.

Halcion is physically addicting and stopping the medication will cause the patient to undergo a withdrawal. As the half life (time the drug leaves the body) is so short, withdrawal symptoms can be felt even between the dosages of Halcion.

Lastly, you must be very very careful if you have liver and or kidney disease, problems with drug addiction, glaucoma, COPD , asthma, emphysema, bronchitis or other breathing problems. As with all strong meds, blood and urine tests are a must, at least every 3 months.

Sonata: real name Zaleplon, is manufactured by King Pharm, and is another medication used for insomnia. Though it has been banned in Canada due to it’s side effects, it certainly is more effective than Halcion for helping people get to sleep. another advantage is that the risk of addiction and dependence is very low. Stopping this medication causes slight or no withdrawal effects, another advantage. A special note is that senior citizens are more sensitive to this medication and should be used with care as it can cause a senior to lose balance and fall.

Zaleplon is abused on the street and it’s abuse can lead to hallucinations and amnesia. due to this last effect, users and abusers can lose track of taking the med and therefore, take it again, so care is necessary.

Side effects:

  • aggression, agitation, changes in behavior;
  • thoughts of hurting yourself; or
  • hallucinations (hearing or seeing things).
  • day-time drowsiness, dizziness, “hangover” feeling;
  • problems with memory or concentration;
  • numbness or tingling;
  • anxiety, depression, nervous feeling;
  • problems with vision;
  • headache;
  • nausea, stomach pain, loss of appetite, constipation;

  • dry mouth;
  • increased menstrual pain (cramps);
  • back pain, joint or muscle pain; or
  • mild skin rash.

Those with liver disease, breathing problems (asthma, emphysema, bronchitis etc) need to be especially careful with this medication. allergic side effects such as hives, breathing problems and selling of the tongue can also be a problem and if this occurs, 911 or a trip to the emergency room is essential.

Do not drink alcohol while you are taking this medication. It can increase some of the side effects of Sonata, including drowsiness. Do not take other medicines that make you sleepy (such as cold medicine, pain medication, muscle relaxants, and medicine for depression or anxiety).Lastly, it is imperative that your doctor knows all the medications you are taking so have a list available, and once again, blood and urine testing is very important, at least 4 times per year at the minimum. Insist on it if necessary.

You Are What You Eat Part 4 Legumes

Okay, on to legumes which make up a wide variety of delicious foods!

Legumes are a class of vegetables that includes beans, peas and lentils — are among the most versatile and nutritious foods available. Legumes are typically low in fat, contain no cholesterol, and are high in folate, potassium, iron and magnesium. They also contain beneficial fats and soluble and insoluble fiber. A good source of protein, legumes can be a healthy substitute for meat, which has more fat and cholesterol. some examples of Legumes are:

Adzuki beans:  Also known as field peas or red oriental beans. The are used in soups,made into sweet bean paste, and and commonly seen in Japanese and Chinese dishes.

Anasazi beans: Also known as Jacob’s cattle beans. There are wonderful for soups and found in many Southwestern dishes.

Black beans: Also known as turtle beans, they are also wonderful for soups, stews, rice dishes and often seen in  Latin American cuisines.

Black-eyed peas: Also known as cowpeas. They are often seen in salads, casseroles, fritters and Southern U.S. dishes.

Chickpeas: Also known as garbanzo or ceci beans. Wonderful for casseroles, hummus, minestrone soup, and Spanish and Indian dishes.

Edamame: Also known as green soybeans great for munching on as Snacks, great in salads, casseroles and rice dishes. (One of my favorites and many times seen in a Japanese restaurant as an appetizer.

Fava beans: Also known as broad or horse beans. Delicious in stews and as side dishes!

Lentils: come in many different colors with their own different flavors. the are great in soups, stews, salads, side dishes and often seen in Indian dishes.

Lima beans: Also known as butter or Madagascar beans, used for succotash, casseroles, soups and salads. (Honestly, this is not one of my favorites!)

Red kidney beans: Great in stews, salads, chili and rice dishes.

How do you prepare legumes:

  • Slow soak. In a stockpot, cover 1 pound dried beans with 10 cups water. Cover and refrigerate 6 to 8 hours or overnight.
  • Hot soak. In a stockpot, bring 10 cups of water to a boil. Add 1 pound dried beans and return to a boil. Remove from the heat, cover tightly and set aside at room temperature for 2 to 3 hours.
  • Quick soak. In a stockpot, bring 10 cups of water to a boil. Add 1 pound dried beans and return to a boil. Boil 2 to 3 minutes. Cover and set aside at room temperature for 1 hour.

After soaking, rinse beans and add to a stockpot. Cover the beans with three times their volume of water. Add herbs or spices as desired. Bring to a boil. Then reduce the heat and simmer gently, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until tender. The cooking time depends on the type of bean, but start checking after 45 minutes. Add more water if the beans become uncovered. Beans are done when they can be easily mashed between two fingers or with a fork.

Okay, now some Legume recipes: (Again, thanks to my wife)

Ingredients for Legume And Vegetable Soup Recipe

  • ¼ cup dry lima beans
  • 2 tablespoons green split peas
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 1 cup chopped cabbage
  • 2 tablespoons chopped celery
  • ¼ cup chopped turnips
  • 2 tablespoons okra (fresh or canned)
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley
  • 2 quarts water
  • ¼ cup unroasted peanut butter or very finely chopped raw peanuts
  • 1 tablespoon salt

Instructions

  1. Instead of the raw peanuts or peanut butter, two tablespoons nut soup stock or one tablespoon vegex may be used. If these are used, the beans and peas may be omitted.
  2. Wash the beans and peas and simmer them in the cold water.
  3. Prepare the vegetables and put them, except the parsley, in with the peas and beans.
  4. Boil slowly five hours.
  5. At the end of four hours’ cooking, add the chopped peanuts or the peanut butter thinned with hot water.
  6. After another hour’s cooking, add the salt, chopped parsley, and boiling water to replace what has boiled away.
  7. Serve with croutons.

Ingredients for Bean Cutlets Recipe

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable shortening
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • ½ cup bean liquor
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ lb. dried beans
  • A few cooked mixed vegetables Breadcrumbs

Instructions

  1. Soak beans in water twenty-four hours, then boil for several hours till quite tender, drain them, preserving liquor, chop them very fine; blend vegetable shortening with flour in saucepan over fire, add bean liquor, beans, salt and pepper, and yolks of eggs; turn out on to a dish and set aside till cold.
  2. Then cut out with cutlet-cutter or shape with knife; dip in beaten whites of the eggs, then in fine breadcrumbs, repeat a second time, and fry in hot vegetable shortening.
  3. Serve on hot platter decorated with a few hot cooked mixed vegetables.
  4. Sufficient for eight cutlets.

Ingredients for Easy Green Bean Recipe

  • 3/4 pound green beans
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil

Instructions

  1. Steam the beans for 3 minutes or until soft but still firm.
  2. Mince the garlic into a small bowl and add the soy sauce, and honey.
  3. Heat the oil on medium heat in a frying pan and add the green beans.
  4. Cook, while stirring, for 3-5 minutes.
  5. Add the liquids and cook for 2 minutes.

The best Vegetarian Chile!

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 green bell peppers, chopped
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 (4 ounce) cans chopped green chile peppers, drained
  • 2 (12 ounce) packages vegetarian burger crumbles
  • 3 (28 ounce) cans whole peeled tomatoes, crushed
  • 1/4 cup chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 1 (15 ounce) can kidney beans, drained
  • 1 (15 ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans
  • 1 (15 ounce) can whole kernel corn

Directions

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Stir in the onion, and season with bay leaves, cumin, oregano, and salt. Cook and stir until onion is tender, then mix in the celery, green bell peppers, jalapeno peppers, garlic, and green chile peppers. When vegetables are heated through, mix in the vegetarian burger crumbles. Reduce heat to low, cover pot, and simmer 5 minutes.
  2. Mix the tomatoes into the pot. Season chili with chili powder and pepper. Stir in the kidney beans, garbanzo beans, and black beans. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer 45 minutes. Stir in the corn, and continue cooking 5 minutes before serving.

What Happens After You Drink Soda Every Day for a Long time and other Tales from the Coca Cola Front

So What happens if you drink Coca Cola or Pepsi Cola every day?

Sugar rushes and caffeine highs followed by a depressing energy crash are what happens if you drink a soda right now, but plenty of you actually seem to be okay with that. Some of you think it’s alarmist to compare a caffeine and sugar rush to doing drugs, and some just don’t really care about the slump they’ll find themselves in after drinking 39 grams of sugar, but what also makes me really worried about a soda-slurping habit is what happens over the long term.

Here’s a quick snapshot of you, in a few years, after drinking soda on a regular basis:

You’ll Be Fatter: According to research in the Nurses Health Journal which monitored the health of 90,000 women for eight years, drinking a single soda every day of the week added 10 pounds over a four-year period.

You’ll Probably Have Diabetes: In the Nurses’ Health Study, women who said they drank one or more servings a day of a sugar-sweetened soft drink or fruit punch were twice as likely to develop adult onset diabetes during the study than those who rarely consumed these beverages.

You’re Much More Likely to Develop Heart Disease: According to a study in the New England Journal of Medicine and the  the journal of the American Heart Association, subjects who drank a soda every day over a four-year period had a 25% chance of developing high blood sugar levels and a 32% greater chance of developing lower “good” cholesterol levels. The Nurses’ Health Study found that women who drank more than two sugary beverages per day had a 40% higher risk of heart attacks or death from heart disease than women who rarely drank sugary beverages.

You’re Probably Also Less Healthy In Other Ways: Several studies, including the 2007 study published in Circulation, suggest that diet sodas have some of the same effects on health as regular sodas, despite having none or very little of the sugar. Why? Drinking soda is typically part of an overall lifestyle that’s not very healthy: We know you don’t like us to compare drinking caffeine and sugar to substance abuse, but when it comes to your lifestyle, some think that soda is just like a gateway drug.

So You’ve decided to Stop Drinking coke and Pepsi but still have it lying around the house. Here are some things you can do with it:

1) To clean a toilet:

Pour a can of Coca-Cola into the toilet bowl.
Let the “real thing” sit for one hour, then flush clean.
The citric acid in Coke removes stains from vitreous china.
No scrubbing, no sweat – guaranteed.

2) To remove rust spots from chrome car bumpers:

Rub the bumper with a crumpled-up piece of aluminum foils dipped in Coca-Cola. Much economical than the stuff from Target.

3) To clean corrosion from car battery terminals;

Pour a can of Coca-Cola over the terminals to bubble away the corrosion.

4) To loosen a rusted bolt;

Applying a cloth soaked in Coca-Cola to the rusted bolt for several minutes.

5) To remove grease from clothes;

Empty a can of Coke into a load of greasy clothes, add detergent, and run through a regular cycle.

6) The Coca-Cola will help loosen grease stains. It will also clean road haze from your windshield.

Hey, what do we have here?

The world’s first soft drink disguise as a multi-purpose cleaner? Or should it be a multi-purpose cleaner disguised as a soft drink!!!

_______________________________________________________________

AND WE DRINK THIS STUFF! Coke & Pepsi ALARMING FACTS!!!

The average pH of soft drinks, e.g. Coke, Pepsi is pH 3.4. This acidity is strong enough to dissolve teeth and bones! Our human body stops building bones at around the age of 30. After that it’ll be dissolving about 8-18% of the bones each year through the urine, depending on the acidity of the food intake (acidity does not depend on the taste of the food, but on the ratio of potassium / calcium / magnesium / etc. to phosphorus).

All the dissolved calcium compounds accumulate in the arteries, veins, skin tissue, and organs. This affects the functioning of the kidney (kidney stones). Soft drinks do not have any nutritional value (in terms of vitamins and minerals). They have higher sugar content, higher acidity, and more additives such as preservatives and colorings.

Some people like to drink  cold soft drinks with or after each meal, guess what’s the impact? Our body has an optimum temperature of 98.6F degrees for the functioning of digestive enzymes. The temperature of cold soft drinks is much less than 98.6, sometimes quite close to 32 degrees. This will lower the effectiveness of the enzymes and put stress on the digestive system, digesting less food. In fact the food gets fermented. The fermented food produce bad smelling gases, decays and forms toxins, which are absorbed in the intestines, get circulated in the blood and is delivered to the whole body. This spread of toxins can lead to the development of various diseases. Think before you drink Coke or Pepsi or any another soft drinks.

Have you ever thought what you drink when you drink an aerated drink? You gulp down carbon dioxide, something that no sane person in the world would advise you to do. Few months ago, there was a competition in Delhi University “Who can drink the most Coke?”. The winner drank 8 bottles and died on the spot because of too much carbon dioxide in the blood and not enough oxygen. From then on, the principal banned all soft drinks from the university canteen.

Someone put a broken tooth in a bottle of Pepsi and in 10 days it was dissolved! Teeth and bones are the only human organs that stay intact for years after death. Imagine what the drink must be doing to your delicate soft intestines and stomach lining! To all COKE / PEPSI LOVERS, think again the next time before you say: ” I’ll have a Coke/Pepsi!”

The dangers of downing too much Coke or Pepsi may be even more dire. Guzzling gallons of soda can cause potassium levels in the blood to plummet. This can increase the risk of muscle problems and heart rhythm abnormalities, which could prove fatal in some cases.

In the International Journal of Clinical Science,  researchers cited two cases where soda caused a surprising health crisis. The first was an Australian ostrich farmer who drank several liters of cola every day for years. Not only did this add empty nutrition to his caloric intake, it also virtually paralyzed his lungs! Fortunately, emergency treatment and abstaining from his beloved cola have helped him recover.

The other case involved a woman who drank one to three liters of soda a day. She suddenly began to experience episodes of vomiting, lack of appetite, and exhaustion – frightening symptoms that could have signaled a serious illness. But once her doctors pulled her off of the pop, these symptoms disappeared.

One of the study’s authors says that these two cases were likely due to drains of their potassium levels caused by too much cola consumption. Past studies have shown how the excessive intake of caffeine can cause potassium drainage – and when potassium levels drop severely, the body’s musculature can go haywire. The reason? Potassium is critical to regulating muscle function. He cautions that the high amounts of high-fructose corn syrup in colas can cause potassium levels to drop as well.

Diet Dangers

Diet soda also pose a risk to your potassium levels and is not a safe bet for your health or your weight. According to a study by researchers at the University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio, people who drink diet soft drinks don’t lose weight. In fact, they gain weight!

After reviewing eight years of data on more than 1,500 people, the researchers found that for each can of diet soft drink consumed each day, a person’s risk of obesity went up by a whopping 41 percent! In fact, when the researchers took a closer look at their data, they found that nearly all the obesity risk from soft drinks came from diet sodas.

What it comes down to is this:  Soda, whether it’s diet or regular, diminishes the body’s ability to perform at its peak.  Not only does it diminish muscle power, but it also eats away at other things, like teeth enamel and bone composition. And it just might make you fat!

One Last Thing …

So, what should you drink? Good old-fashioned water. Water keeps you hydrated, contains no calories, and helps transport nutrients around the body. Water is perhaps one of the most overlooked, yet essential, nutrients we can ingest. Without enough water, we are at risk of developing numerous diseases including cancer, arthritis, ulcers, migraines, colitis, and high blood pressure. Dehydration is also linked to low back pain, poor circulation, obesity, and poor health in the elderly.

Every day we lose water through sweat, urine, feces, tears, and nasal discharges. We even lose water when we exhale. Some liquids such as coffee, soft drinks, and alcohol are also dehydrating. It has been estimated that we lose about 12 cups of water, even on a cool day without exercising.

Surveys indicate that about one-third of Americans drink three or fewer servings of water every day. To calculate your water needs, take the number of pounds you weigh and divide that number in half.  That number is the fluid ounces you should drink each day. For instance, a 200-pound person should drink 100 ounces of water, which is at least twelve 8-ounce cups.

So the next time you think about reaching for a soda, diet or not, think about a glass of water instead.

But There is more!

Four Dangers of Soft Drinks

The Health Risks of Colas and Other Carbonated Beverages

A soft drink may taste sweet, but the health effects aren’t so tasty. Here are four dangers of drinking soft drinks.

It can be satisfying to pop off the metal tab and taste the sweet carbonated liquid, but soft drinks also have a decidedly sour side when it comes to health. These carbonated beverages owe their popularity to clever marketing by such beverage giants as Coca-Cola and Pepsi who reinforce the message that drinking their product is “cool”. Children and teens are picking up on this message and developing a life long love of all things “cola”. What are the dangers of soft drinks and why are they best kept away from children and teens?

Dangers of Soft drinks: High Fructose Corn Syrup (sometimes now called Corn Sugar)

Unless it’s sugar-free, most soft drinks contain high fructose corn syrup, a sweetener that’s recently come under considerable scrutiny. High fructose corn syrup has been associated with an increased risk of metabolic syndrome, a condition associated with an elevated risk of both diabetes and heart disease. HFCS, as it’s called, is also believed to be a major contributor to the obesity epidemic among children and teens. Although similar in calorie content to table sugar, the danger of high fructose corn syrup arises from the way it’s is metabolized by the liver. By being broken down more rapidly than other sugars, it can lead to alterations in triglyceride and lipid metabolism, thereby increasing the risk of heart disease and fatty liver, not to mention diabetes. Although the soft drink industry has tried to underplay the risks, evidence supporting the dangers of high fructose corn syrup is mounting and very clear.

The Problem of Phosphoric Acid!

Many people are aware of the dangers of high fructose corn syrup, but fewer realize the impact soft drinks have on bone health. Soft drinks contain phosphoric acid and a high phosphate diet has been associated with bone breakdown and an increased risk of osteoporosis. When phosphorus is excreted in the urine, it takes calcium with it, depriving the bones and the rest of the body of this important mineral.

Who Needs Caffeine?

How many kids and teenagers really need more caffeine? Although soft drinks contain less caffeine than coffee or energy drinks, they still contribute to caffeine dependence and increase the risk of behavioral problems and hyperactivity, not to mention poor sleep habits and insomnia.

BPA: Another Little known danger of soft drinks.

Soft drink cans are coated with a resin that contains BPA (bisphenyl-A). This is the same cancer causing chemical found in plastic baby bottles, water bottles, and plastic containers that wrecks havoc on the endocrine system, potentially causing premature puberty and reproductive abnormalities. Soft drinks could be a particular problem when it comes to BPA leaching. They’re often stored in hot warehouses where heat can accelerate the contamination process. Plus, the drink itself is acidic which could further facilitate leaching of BPA into the drink.

The bottom line? Consider the dangers of soft drinks before stocking up on beverages and consider healthier alternatives such as herbal tea or water sweetened with lemon. You’ll be setting a good example for your kids as well as doing good things for yourself.

You Are what You Eat Part 3

Now we know a bit about the digestive system and about what is going on in the food and chemical industry, the question now becomes: what do we do.

I think it’s important to first emphasize that changing eating habits is not for losing weight or being politically correct, it really is a matter of life and death. don’t ever think you’re a “health freak” and ignore people who make fun of you. One thing is for sure without a doubt, the more careful you are with what you eat, the better quality of life you’ll have, the longer life you’ll experience and the less illness and disease you’ll have to contend with as you get older. This, by the way, is not my opinion, but very well documented in tons of research studies.

Did you know that doctors want to start prescribing cholesterol lowering medications for all children 12 and older? did you know that more and more children are developing “Adult Onset Diabetes – Also Called Type two Diabetes)? Did you know that there is a direct link between fatty diets and breast cancer, processed meats and colon cancer. The incidence of Alzheimer’s disease is through the roof as is depression. Thus, lets take steps starting today to make ourselves healthier and attempt to certainly prevent all these illnesses. Remember, Scientists believe (and backed by research), that 90% of today’s illnesses are lifestyle related.

First: Get the thought out of your mind that changing eating habits is difficult or impossible. It’s really quite easy, but the main point is that you start very slowly and start educating yourselves. Do not expect to change over night or even in a month. Habit changes are a slow gradual process and in time you’ll be amazed at how far you will come and how really easy it is.

Second, throw out the concept of dieting, diets do not work, period. Perhaps you’ve been  on one of the myriad of diets, lost 20 pounds and than but on 25 pounds. It is well known, that losing weight and than regaining weight (as so common with dieting), is more dangerous to your body, than just being overweight (not to say that being overweight is healthy). Diets are also a big business as evidenced by all the ads on television, etc. You certainly don’t want to spend your life watching calories, eating pre-prepared made meals sold by some companies and most importantly not being able to enjoy and indulge with the occasional piece of cheesecake or bowl of Hagen Daz ice cream. This is no way to live, as food can and should be an enjoyable experience.

Third, get that thought out of your head that you will have to be careful and watch everything you eat for the rest of your life, this certainly is not true.

Last, erase the thought that it’s about less calories and more exercise as this is only a tiny part of the picture. After all, how many people have you seen who have followed this and have really lost weight, kept the weight off and became healthy?

Okay, lets begin, what will be an interesting and certainly and enjoyable journey. Lets start with Grains. Unfortunately most Americans believe that grains are white rice, or perhaps brown rice, without realizing that there are many other grains available that are delicious and nutritious.

A Couple of More definitions.

Whole Grains

Whole grains undergo the least amount of processing of any form of grain because only the outer hull is removed. This means that whole grains require the longest cooking time of any form of grain, but they are the most nutritious form of grain because the nutrient-rich bran and germ are left intact.

Pearled Grains

Grain that has been pearled refers to the removal of the bran layers resulting in grain with much less fiber. One advantage of pearled grain is that it cooks faster and is more tender than whole grain.

Grits

Grits are a form of grain in which the kernels have been cut into smaller pieces so that they cook much more quickly.

Grain Flakes

Grain flakes are created with a process in which the grain is steamed and rolled to produce flattened, or flaked kernels, which allows the grain to cook at a much faster rate.

Bran

Bran is the nutrient packed layers covering the inner kernel of grain. Bran is basically indigestible, but it is loaded with fiber, which is important for digestive health.

Germ

The germ is the embryo of a kernel of grain, located at the bottom center of the kernel. It is the oily part of a kernel or seed from which a new plant sprouts. It is loaded with vitamins and minerals so it is highly nutritious.

Flour

Flour is a form of grain created by grinding and sifting grain into a powdered form that varies from very soft to coarse in texture.

Okay, now lets list the types of Grains that you can buy, eat and enjoy!

Rice:

Rice varieties are available in both white and brown forms. White rice has had the husk, bran, and germ removed (polished), which allows it to cook rapidly. This makes it the most popular, but it is also the least nutritious because of the removal of the bran and germ. White rice is often enriched with nutrients (especially in Western nations), such as iron, niacin, thiamine, and riboflavin, to help restore some of the lost nutritional value. The bran and germ are used to produce rice oil, also known as rice bran oil, which is used as cooking oil.

Quinoa:

Quinoa (pronounced “KEEN-wah”) is not a true grain, but the seeds are used as one. When cooked in water, the seeds increase in size significantly, swelling three or four-fold. The cooked seeds become tender, with a springy texture. Delicious!

Kamut:

Kamut is a brand name for an ancient Egyptian grain that is closely related to durum wheat and is often considered a specialty grain.The grain has a nutty, buttery flavor and is sold as a whole grain, as flour, and in the form of flakes. The delicious chewy grain is excellent in soups, salads, pilafs, or savory side dishes.

Flaxseed:

Flax is a plant native to Europe and Asia that is grown for its fiber. Very very healthy and can be taken as an oil or sprinkled in seed for on a salad. Great Omega -3’s

Rye:

Rye is the one of most widely used grains in many of the northern and eastern European countries including much of Scandinavia and Russia, rye grain has a very assertive and hearty flavor with a slightly bitter taste. The color of the grain may range from beige to dark gray. Rye can be used in a variety of dishes, such as soups and stews.

Wild Rice:

Wild rice is not actually a type of rice, but an aquatic grass bearing edible seeds that grows wild in marshy areas of lakes and rivers. Wild rice has a very pleasing chewy texture and a distinctive nutty flavor. Wild rice is popular when eaten on its own or used as an ingredient for soups and casseroles. A small quantity added to steamed vegetables makes an excellent side dish. It adds flavor to tossed salads and it is one of the best accompaniments for poultry and fish.

Spelt:

Spelt is an ancient cereal grain related to modern wheat that originated in southern Europe. The flavor of spelt is mild and nutty with a slight hint of hazelnut. It goes well with earthy ingredients and strong sauces, such as those made with garlic and olive oil. European countries use spelt for polenta, whole grain bread recipes, and pasta. In Italy, spelt is known as “farro” and in Germany, it is known as “dinkel.”

Millet:

Millet has a mild sweetness and crunchy texture and is eaten as a cereal, a side dish, polenta, and as an addition to soups and stews and desserts. The seeds are especially good if they are toasted.

Job’s Tears:

Like many other grains, Job’s Tears can be prepared by boiling or steaming. It can be served as is or it can be added to soups and casseroles.

Buckwheat:

Buckwheat seeds or grains are triangular-shaped and are used for hot cereal, sausage filler, soups, and savory side dishes. It is most often ground into flour and used in pancakes, crepes, muffins, and soba noodles. Buckwheat has an earthy, grassy flavor with a slight cocoa taste and it tastes best when the kernels are roasted. It is very hearty and flavorful.

Barley:

Barley has a nutty and somewhat sweet flavor and the color of the grain ranges from a light tan to various shades of brown or purple.

These are some of the grains and can usually be found in either supermarkets and certainly health food stores i.e. Whole Foods. The stores generally will have sheets of paper describing how to cook these grains, but you’ll find many uses for these delicious items which can be substituted for the plain ol’ potatoes or “Uncle Ben’s Rice”. You’ll be amazed how delicious they are and question why you never knew about these before.

Okay, some sample grain recipes: (thank you to my wife for these)

Barley and Apple

    1/2 cup      barley grain
    1/2 tbs      sesame seeds (not optional)
      1 pinch    coriander seeds
      4          dried apple rings
      1 sprinkle shoyu (optional)
  1 3/4 cups     water

 Being a nice sweet grain, barley goes well with dried apples. The other
 ingredients are necessary to keep if from tasting too bland or too much like a
 dessert. Skip this one if you have a problem with sesame seeds.

 Wash and then roast the barley until it's evenly browned. Washing and roasting
 are important with barley as they get rid of the powdery stuff on it which
 otherwise turns into rubber. Cut the apple rings into small pieces and pressure
 cook them with the barley, coriander and water for 45 minutes.

 While that's cooking, dry roast the sesame seeds so as to maximize their
 flavor, which will probably take less than five minutes.

 Combine the barley with the sesame seeds when they're done, and add a tiny
 amount of shoyu to taste.

Cauliflower Marranca
5 servings
1 	cup raw millet
1 1/2 	cups water
2 	cups chopped onions
1 	pound sliced mushroom
	fresh ground black pepper
1 	teaspoon salt
1 	teaspoon basil
1 	head cauliflower, large, in flowerets
3 	cloves minced garlic
2 	tablespoons fresh lemon juice
	paprika, to taste 

Precook Millet. Bring water to a boil by itself first. Then add 1
Tablespoon margarine and sprinkle in the millet. Stir briefly, and
partially cover.  Turn heat to low.

Cook the millet for 15 to 20 minutes only!!! Stir with a fork halfway
through cooking and again at the end. This time, it is desirable that
the trapped steam escape, otherwise it will keep cooking the millet
even after it is removed from the direct heat. So fluff it with a
fork, A LOT, after it is cooked, and leave it uncovered. This is the
best deterrent to mushiness.  Add salt after it is cooked

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray cooking oil into a 9X13-inch pan.

Saute mushrooms & onion in margarine in a large pot for 5 minutes. Add
garlic, basil, salt, pepper and cauliflower to pan and cook 10
minutes.  Remove from heat and add all other ingredients. Mix well and
pour into prepared pan. Dust with Paprika.

Bake 1/2 hour at 350.
Quinoa with gravy

Rinse the quinoa in cold water and drain.  Bring the two cups water to
boil and add the quinoa.  Cook 10-15 minutes, until quinoa has
absorbed the water and you can see the white germ ring.

While the quinoa is cooking, make the following gravy recipe.

Mushroom Miso Gravy

1 onion, diced
2 cups mushrooms, chopped
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
2 cups water
1/2 cup dark miso
1/2 cup water

saute onion and mushrooms in water.  Add flour and stir continuously
for one minute to toast the flour.  Pour in 2 cups water and stir
while bringing to a boil.  In a separate bowl, mix miso and 1/2 cup
water.  Stir miso mixture into the gravy (after removing from heat)
and serve over whole grains.

Millet Croquettes

2 C. millet, cooked (Use 1 cup millet: 3 cups water, less 3 T if you want
                     a fluffier texture-bring water to a boil, add millet
                     and bring to a boil again. Quickly lower heat to a
                     slow simmer, cover and simmer 30-45 mins)
1/2 C. celery, finely diced with the leaves
1/4 C. carrots, finely grated
1/2 C. onion, diced
1/2 C. rice flour (other flours would probably work too)
1/4 C. parsley, chopped
1/2 C. water
1/2 tsp dill
1/2 tsp oregano
dash salt
dash cayenne pepper, if desired

Mix the millet and vegetables in a large bowl. Slowly add the salt, flour
and herbs, mix well. Add water and mix once more. Form into small balls or
patties and place on a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray (or oil it
lightly). Bake at 350 F for 25 mins. To make them crispier either brush
with a little oil or spray on a little cooking spray.

Serve with some steamed veggies.

Next   Legumes!

Fibromyalgia Medications Part 5 (The good, The bad and The ugly)

It’s time to speak some more about medications used for Fibromyalgia. Remember that to date there have been no specific medications produced for Fibro, they are all medications that have existed for other conditions. some have been tested for Fibro, others are being used off label (meaning not testing for Fibro)

Xyrem: This is sodium produced by Jazz Pharmaceuticals and is used for a muscle illness associated with Narcolepsy excessive sleepiness during the day and interrupted sleep at night. The mechanism for this medication (how it works), is unknown at this point and the short and long term effects are also unknown. The reason for it’s prescriptions for people with Fibromyalga is to try to combat the fatigue experienced and allow people to sleep through the night, though it is not commonly used. Xyrem is know on the streets as GHB and is a recreational drug with an abuse rate. Due to the side effects and the potential for abuse, you generally cannot get it through a normal pharmacy, but it has to be ordered through a special pharmacy. It should never ever be used when you have a history or propensity for drug abuse and or addiction!

You need to be especially careful if you have

  • liver disease;
  • heart disease, high blood pressure, or kidney disease;
  • a history of alcohol or drug abuse;
  • a lung disorder such as asthma, emphysema, or bronchitis;
  • sleep apnea (breathing stops during sleep);
  • depression or suicidal thoughts; or
  • mental illness such as bipolar disorder or schizophrenia.

Side effects can include:

  • hallucinations or severe confusion;
  • shallow breathing;
  • sleepwalking; or
  • waking and confused behavior at night.
  • agitation or paranoia;
  • problems with bladder or bowel control;
  • depression;
  • nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite;
  • runny or stuffy nose and sore throat;
  • numbness or tingling;
  • tremors (uncontrolled shaking); or
  • blurred vision.

Blood and Urine testing at least every 3 months is a must and insist upon it, if you doctor tends to be a bit lax or says that it is not necessary. It absolutely is. Do not take no for an answer!

Guaifensin: is a drug sold over the counter and its also known as glyceryl guaiacolate. It is an expectorant medication sold sold over the counter and is usually used for respiratory infections as it helps to bring up the phlegm.

Because it increases the excretion of uric acid by way of the urine, guaifenesin was chosen in the 1990s for the experimental Guaifensin Protocol – a treatment for Fibromyalgia. Proponents of the guaifenesin protocol believed that it treated Fibromyalgia by removing excess phosphate from the body. However, this has been proven incorrect and a consumer alert on the Fibromyalgia Network’s website  states that Dr. St. Amand’s claims of guaifenesin’s effects on fibromyalgia are groundless. Studies have shown no benefit, still many Doctors continue to prescribe this for Fibromyalgia patients. Guaifenesin has not been approved by the FDA for the treatment of fibromyalgia

Side effects include:

allergic reactions:

hives;

difficult breathing;

swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

dizziness;

headaches;

rashes;

nausea;

vomiting;

upset stomach

Drinking lost of water is very important as it reduces the risk of developing Kidney stones! there are many medications that guaifenesin interferes with, thus your Doctor must know if you are taking it.

Soma: This is a brand name for Carisoprodol and is a muscle relaxant. It is manufactured and distributed by Media Pharmacies. In the United Kingdom and other countries, it is known as Sanoma and Carisoma.Although reports from Norway have shown that carisoprodol has abuse potential, compared to other muscle relaxers, it continues to be prescribed. As of November 2007, carisoprodol has been taken off the market in Sweden due to problems with dependence and side effects. In May 2008 it was taken off the market in Norway as well. The agencies overseeing pharmaceuticals has considered other drugs used with the same indications as carisoprodol to have the same or better effects without the risks of the drug. The European Community Medical agency has now recommended it being taken off the market in all countries however, in the United states, it is a big seller!

Abusers of Carisoprodol like the potentially heavy sedating and, relaxing   effects.It increases the effects of opiates and thus many abusers will use the two together. Addiction occurs very fast and since it is not a narcotic, many are not aware of this problem (including doctors). Any people who do have problems with addiction should never take this medication! If you are taking this, it should only be taken for two or three weeks at the maximum!

Side effects include:

  • paralysis (loss of feeling);
  • extreme weakness or lack of coordination;
  • feeling light-headed, fainting;
  • fast heartbeat;
  • seizure (convulsions);
  • vision loss; or
  • agitation, confusion.
  • drowsiness, dizziness, tremor;
  • headache;
  • depression, feeling irritable;
  • blurred vision;
  • sleep problems (insomnia); or
  • nausea, vomiting, hiccups, upset stomach.

This is one medication you must be very careful about and make sure you discuss this in detail with your Doctor before starting it! This medication should not be used if you are breast feeding as it will show up in the breast milk. If you are a man, it slows down sperm motility making pregnancy much more difficult for your partner. Carisoprodol does affect other meds you are taking so you must be aware of this. Lastly, as it does affect the Liver and Kidney’s, blood and urine tests are mandatory, at least every three months. Make sure to insist on these tests if your doctor tends to be a bit lax about it.

More on Fibromyalgia Meds to come in future posts.