Category Archives: Human health /Alternative medicine topics
We are all getting used to frequent and heavier rainfall than in the past. So how does this affect anyone with semi to rural property and private wells. The old thinking was that soil depth would filter out any contaminants by particle size and soil processes. Several studies done over 10 years ago, on wells under older central areas of the City of Madison, found E. coli contamination in the water. Most likely from broken old leaking sewer pipes in the old part the city. These particular wells were 450 to 500 feet deep below the street level. This single finding has changed the assumption about soil depth being enough to protect well water from run off contamination. The city over a long period of time dug up all the streets and yards replacing the pipes and sewers lines that were leaking many chemicals in addition to E. coli. Low cost loans programs were initiated so home owners could up date the aging internal plumbing that was also leaking inside the aging building and leaking into the water they were drinking. Check out linked article for more info on weather, rainfall and wells
In 2010 the Environmental working group (EWG) was allowed by the Federal government, to publish and continued to make information available to the public; information about drinking water contamination. This data is available by towns or city. you can look up your town or city at tapwater link.
Here is an excellent website to look up Pollen counts for where you live. Pollen Lookup The information is from actual samples and predictions are made base on combines weather forecasts. This is the most accurate site readily available to the public.
How I use it.
- I keep track on a simple calendar by marking a red X on the days when my allergy symptoms are acting up. I do the same with my pets.
- Then I look up the pollen(s) that is(are) high during the weeks of year that my symptoms are flared up.
- Treatment or avoidance depends on what I or my pets is reacting too. Examples:
- Tree pollen allergies that cross react with some foods.
Common in allergies to Birch trees are allergies to apples and carrots, symptoms of mouth burning when eating foods are reported. This is called oral allergy syndrome. Some people may be allergic to one food, and others with many different fruits and vegetables. In the case of OAS, individuals react to different foods based on what type of seasonal allergies they are affected by. So I re-look up which foods to avoid. I avoid gardening under the one birch tree in the yard when it is pollinating and avoid woods and parks in early spring. See related posts about OAS.
- Grass when pollen for dogs and cats this is common. Prevent common habit by Pets of “rolling in the grass” or “eating the grass”. Wipe down their feet and fur with a very wet microfiber cloth followed by a dry one. Be sure to get deep between the toes, where sweat glands are located and more debris will stick to skin and hair. Still dogs and cats love the smell of grass so we often have to add some treatment to decrease itching if grass pollen is one of their allergies. There are many, many options so consult with your local Vet for help with treatment.
- Late summer/ fall bloomers like ragweed, golden rod, yarrows etc. These plants produce a large amount of light weight pollen that is spreads easily on the wind, so everyone who is allergic is effected for miles, making avoidance impractical. The “Nettie Pot” treatment method which uses a saline/herbal lavage to physical remove the days accumulation of particles, does work for some people when used correctly. This is difficult to do to pets, who nasopharynx anatomy is different and lack of cooperation. So again some treatment to decrease allergy symptoms is often needed for the fall season. Herbal anti-inflammatories, that reduce the body’s triggering mechanism that release histamines, can be helpful when started 4 to 6 months before the expected season of allergies. At a minimum herbal can decrease the dose or duration of pharmaceuticals needed to control the symptoms of a flareup.
Good luck to everyone who struggles with allergies, in themselves or family members furry or human. Allergic disease is very frustrating and gets more intense with each passing year.
As the global weather become moister, warmer, and windier we can expect more intense allergy seasons.
Check out this utube TED talk, by researcher Dr Kristen Neff on “compassion toward self” and the benefits. She goes on to explain the difference between “self esteem” that is based on being better than someone else, v.s. self compassion. Research on the tangible benefits of self compassion for happiness, psychological health and achievement is discussed.
Her explanation (and numerous studies) are in agreement with the first principle of learning theory: 1. Behaviors that are followed by a positive outcome increase. And behaviors that are followed by an unpleasant outcome decrease. Makes sense if you think about. If, what you do works, you’ll do it again. If what you do does not work, than you’ll stop and try something else.
Our brains have evolved to use behavior to effect the world around us and to adapt to changing circumstances. Being kind to yourself as you strive toward change, just works better.
https://www.youtube.com/embed/IvtZBUSplr4“>Dr Neff on compassion toward yourself
Wonderful news from science on the treatment of anxiety in both animals and humans. Fluoxetine, (a medicine for the treatment of anxiety) has been shown to stimulate the growth of new nerve cells. Specifically, cells in the memory storage and sorting area of the brain. As new cells grew, individuals were able to calm down more quickly. They were able to tell the difference between old (anxiety) memories and new (positive) memories. Several studies were done where positive memories were created in people and animals. The circumstances that trigger an anxiety memory were copied, but with a slight change (like room color or smell) . Plus, and most important was that the events in the new circumstance ended with something positive for the individual. (This type behavior therapy is called desensitization/counter-conditioning). Individuals who grew more new cells, more quickly reduced their anxiety or fear.
How did new cells result in less anxiety? There is increase of new cells available to remember new events. Then, new, but similar events are paired with a positive outcome. Sequences of events are stored in the brain as “memory patterns” The individual remembers, both the old and new memory patterns. With practice or repetition of patterns with the positive outcomes, the individual will learn the difference between old, fearful, v.s. new, more positive, memory patterns. The new memory patterns compete with the old pattern and the best outcome wins. The result is less and less fear. This works, as long as the outcomes of similar events remain positive.The new cells, that were stimulated to grow by an anti-depressants, more quickly create new memory patterns. The final observation was that the new, positive, memory patterns are then stored long term in the brain and remain after the medication is stopped.
Then the rule “use it or lose it”, comes into play. Anxiety can return if old memory patterns are practiced more than the new memory patterns. This leads to a regression or return to fearful behaviors and emotions. A little regression is normal, whenever life is stressful, but long term stress or just lack of practicing the skills, that once work, lead to more serious regression.
This is the first evidence that shows a rapid change in fear/anxiety is directly proportion to new cell growth and that medications increase growth of new cells.
In summary: Anxiety emotional states change more quickly when two things happen together.
1. Beneficial change in the environment, so that situations that creates fear/anxiety are changed and have positive outcome. (or at least block/prevent a negative outcome).
2. Anti-depressant Fluoxetine at therapeutic dose.
This study explains, what has been observed, in behavior medicine for a long time. First, that medications alone are not enough to change anxiety. Second, the combination of medication and behavior modification (or therapy) are the quickest treatment for anxiety. Finally, that the improvement is permanent.
Here is a link to the study:
I was alarmed when in the middle of the night my dog became agitated, was circling non-stop, anxious, very high temperature (105), very fast heart and respiration rates. No amount of cooling inside an air conditioned house stopped the climb of body temperature. So, I found myself outside at 3AM, in 55 degrees, running cold water from the garden hose over the dog until his body temperature stopped rising. He was still unable to calm down so sedation with necessary to get him through the remainder of the night. The next day I found the reports of human poisonings from beef contaminated with Ractopamine, an “asthma-like medication” allowed into animal feed to promote growth. I also found out it is now feed to 80% of cattle, swine and chicken raised in the USA and banned in the majority of other developed countries int he world.
Leo was fed just 3 oz of a new supply of cooked hamburger on top of his dog food. Dogs are much more sensitive to this drug- feed additive than humans. Read the attached article to find out more.
Leo dog has recovered after 2 days of rest and fluids.
GMO foods- means Genetically Modified organisims.
Below is the best website I have found dedicated to good science on the long term effects of GMO foods and the environment and health effects. No spin just science.
Not to be confused with an industry website called GMO.com with a nice green logo. They say that they are stating the facts only. However, numerous important misstatements of the facts make this website just an industry marking tool. The companies who sponsor this website are the major makers of GMO products, including: BASF, Bayer CropScience, Dow AgroSciences, DuPont, Monsanto Company and Syngenta. Remember these names.