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SAFETY OF NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENTATION: PART 2

Posted by Edna & Roger Boisjoli on July 22, 2013 at 4:35 PM Comments comments (0)

Extracted from (Bionutrition, Ray D. Strand, MD)

It seems that every week you see an article in a newspaper or hear a report on television about the dangers of taking #NutritionalSupplements. I have been sharing with you throughout this book the health benefits you can receive by taking high-quality, complete and advanced nutritional supplements. So how do you explain why there is so much in the way of negative clinical studies in regard to nutritional supplementation? As a physician, the last thing that I want to do is recommend something that is going to be harmful to my patients. I want to approach the answer to this question from different aspects that the next time you see a negative report on taking nutritional supplements, you will have some better insight on how this happens.

Looking for the "Magic Bullet"

Almost every study that I have referenced from our mainstream medical literature is studying a single nutrient to see if there is a health

benefit. For example, they may look at #VitaminE or #VitaminC or #calcium or #selenium or #magnesium" etc. They look at these individual #nutrients as if they were #drugs. This is just the way we do research. However, vitamin E and vitamin C are not drugs. They are simply #nutrients that we get from our foods that our bodies need to function properly. There is almost universal agreement among researchers that the underlying or root problem of almost all of these chronic degenerative diseases is #OxidativeStress. Therefore, selecting various antioxidants or their supporting #BCofactors or minerals seems like a plausible way to study whether or not there is some protection provided by supplementing

these nutrients. There are several problems with this approach.

 

First of all, any particular antioxidant only works in a particular part of the body and against particular free radicals. For example, vitamin E is fat-soluble, so it works primarily within the cell membrane against certain free radicals. Vitamin C is the best antioxidant within the plasma or fluid-filled areas because it is water-soluble. Glutathione is the best intracellular antioxidant. All of these antioxidants need the so-called #antioxidant minerals and B cofactors available in all of their enzymatic reactions to do their job. If these nutrients are not available in adequate or optimal levels, it doesn't matter what the level of antioxidant is you are supplementing, you will get marginal results.

Second of all, we know that the problem is generally not a particular nutritional deficiency, but instead, it is oxidative stress. You learned in earlier chapters that it is all about balance. You want to have enough antioxidants available for the number of free radicals you produce; then there is no oxidative stress. This requires supplementing a wide variety of antioxidants and their supporting nutrients to accomplish this goal. As you will learn in the next chapter, this creates a positive synergy that gives you-the best chance to bring oxidative stress back under control. When you supplement a single nutrient, you are starting out with a major handicap. The most amazing thing that I have observed in reviewing hundreds of clinical trials, looking at the health benefits of supplements in various diseases, is that the majority show a definite positive health benefit using just one nutrient.

Third of all, when you use a single nutrient like vitamin E or beta-

carotene, there is a possibility that it can become a #pro-oxidant. In other

words, clinical studies show that it can actually create more #FreeRadicals than if you were not supplementing at all. When several different #antioxidants and their supporting nutrients are supplemented together, this does not occur. However, there are very few clinical studies where this is done because researchers are continually looking for the "#MagicBullet." Here is an illustration of how this happens in the real world and why the results of these clinical trials are so misleading. (Part 2B to follow soon)

#AlphaTocopherol #BetaCarotene #CancerPrevention Study

Researchers have found in several clinical trials that were looking at antioxidant status of the participant that those smokers who had the highest levels of antioxidants in their body had the least risk of developing #LungCancer. In fact, most of the studies showed that the most important #antioxidant happened to be beta-carotene. Therefore, researchers in Finland decided to supplement 30,000 participants who were heavy smokers with either a placebo, synthetic beta-carotene, synthetic vitamin E, or both synthetic beta-carotene and vitamin E. None of the studies demonstrated a decrease in the number of these participants who developed lung cancer. However, there was a major concern because the group that only took the synthetic beta-carotene actually had an increase in the number of participants who developed cancer. This was a widely publicized study and their conclusion was that beta-carotene was dangerous to take, especially for smokers. This has led most physicians to recommend to their patients to not take beta- carotene or any antioxidants because it could be dangerous.

 

This is a perfect example of researchers being aware of the fact that smokers who have the highest antioxidant levels in their blood stream had the lowest risk of developing cancer trying to find the "magic bullet."

First of all, the use of #SyntheticAntioxidants instead of #NaturalAntioxidants creates very little chance of success from the beginning. Synthetic antioxidants have been shown to cause more problems than they help. These researchers also concluded that using a single antioxidant like beta-carotene can actually cause it to become a pro-oxidant (creating more #FreeRadicals), especially in heavy #smokers. Despite the objections that the study was flawed, this study had a tremendous influence on the medical community and the population in general. The design of the study, which used heavy smokers who had smoked for years, would be a very difficult group to see a health benefit. However, these characteristics in the design of these studies are pretty typical.

 

However, the rest of the story was not told until July 2004. The same data was reviewed and reported in the #AmericanJournalofEpidemiology with entirely different findings. These researchers looked at total antioxidant intake. These researchers concluded that supplementing beta-carotene in combination with other antioxidants significantly reduced the risk of developing #cancer in these smokers. The authors concluded by stating, "These findings support the hypothesis that a combination of dietary antioxidants reduces lung cancer risk in male #smokers." This is quite a different conclusion using the same data. However, this was not reported in the mainstream media as the original findings were reported.

Statistical Manipulation

A prime example of this type of clinical study was when we were bombarded by sensational news reports about the possible danger of taking higher doses of vitamin E. These reports were based on a review article that was published in the #AnnalsofInternalMedicine (4 January 2005; Vol. 142 No.1) written by Dr. Edgar Miller of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Miller concluded that a "high" dosage of vitamin E supplements (over 400 IU per day) may increase death rates and should be avoided. Careful evaluation of this study reveals how statistical manipulation can produce whatever results the researcher desires.

The Rest of the Story

Here are important facts that the media reports didn't mention:

This is not a new study. It is simply a review of thirty-six controlled trials, with follow-up of longer than one year; done from 1966 to 2004. There is no new research here, just an interpretation of old data.  Only nineteen trials were considered for statistical interpretation. Out of the original thirty-six, they eliminated seventeen trials that did not have more than ten deaths.  None of the individual trials noted any statistically significant differences in the mortality between the control group and the vitamin E group.

The studies involved patients who were already very ill. For example, the Cambridge Heart Antioxidant Study (CHAOS) involved more than 2,000 patients who had already suffered a heart attack. The #Alzheimer's Disease Cooperative Study (ACDS) involved patients who already had moderate to severe Alzheimer's #dementia.

Many of the patients in both the vitamin E group and the control group died. Eight of the nineteen studies actually showed fewer deaths in the vitamin E group than the control group. The authors were even very careful to point out that their marginal findings of increased deaths from all causes could not be carried over to healthy individuals. But you didn't hear that on the evening news.

 

Twisting the Numbers

First and foremost, realize that you can prove anything you desire by simply setting up the criteria of the study to meet the conclusion that you desire to achieve.  Out of the original thirty-six trials, the reviewers eliminated twelve trials because there were fewer than ten deaths, three trials were eliminated because there was no mortality data available, and two trials were eliminated because the mortality data was confusing. This left the reviewers with nineteen trials that lasted longer than one year and involved more than ten deaths. They pre-selected trials that supported  their conclusions. That's just bad science. But then the numbers get twisted even more. In order to have results that mean anything, you have to have "statistical significance." In order to do this, you plug your data into simple formulas that tell you whether your results have a cause or whether they were the result of chance.  When all the trials are considered together, or when each study was considered individually, there was no statistically significant connection that could be made between #VitaminE and death. The differences could only be attributed to chance.

However, by focusing their analysis on only one or two of the larger studies, they were able to show a very slight statistically significant difference in deaths between the two groups of very ill patients. These studies used higher dose vitamin E primarily and the researchers came up with a marginally significant difference in deaths between these two groups. But remember, the higher doses were only given to patients who were the most ill, so we would expect a higher death rate anyway.

When they compared the deaths between the control group and the vitamin E group for all nineteen studies, there was no statistical difference in the death rate of either group. Had they analyzed all of the trials and let all the data speak for itself, they would have not found statistical significance.  So the conclusion that higher doses of vitamin E cause more deaths from all causes is absolutely bogus. This is truly a manipulation in the highest sense of the word. They were grabbing at straws for anything they could show statistically. First they had to eliminate seventeen of the trials. Then they eliminated the low dose vitamin E studies and focused on those who were most ill. By their own admission they state, "High-dose vitamin E trials were often performed with patients suffering from various #ChronicDiseases, and we could not evaluate or project these findings to #HealthyAdultPopulations." But you didn't hear that on the news, either.

Quality and Amount of Nutrient Used in a #ClinicalTrial is Critical There seems to be a number of recent clinical trials that either have shown no positive health benefits or even negative health benefits.  However, as you review them it becomes obvious that they were going to be negative clinical trials from the beginning because of either the amount or quality of nutrient that was supplemented. This was certainly the case involving The Physicians' Health Study, where vitamins E and C were studied in regard to the prevention of cardiovascular disease.

The study did involve a large number of participants for an extended period of time - nearly 15,000 physicians were followed for ten years.  The studied concluded that neither vitamin E nor #VitaminC reduced the risk of major cardiovascular events. However, when you look at what was actually used for supplementation you found that only 500 mq of a synthetic vitamin C was used in one group and 400 IU of #SyntheticVitaminE was used in another. First of all, I have not seen any significant health benefits in the medical literature with the use of supplemental vitamin C until you get to about 1,000 or 2,000 me daily. In the case of vitamin E, only 400 IU was used every other day. Synthetic vitamin E is only absorbed at 50 of natural vitamin E. They only were receiving 100 IU daily and synthetic antioxidants have been found to be inherently poor in quality. Researchers dismiss this problem very quickly because they have the same antioxidant potential as the natural antioxidants. However, synthetic vitamin E (#dl-alpha-tocopherol), for example, has been shown to actually displace the natural vitamin E (#dAlphaTocopherol) in the body and decrease its level within the cell membrane. This is actually harmful for the body and clinical trials using these types of antioxidants are destined to fail from the start.   

As I was writing this chapter, a major study came out on the health benefits of #multivitamin use in #postmenopausal women. More than 150,000 women in the #Women'sHealthInitiative (February 2009) were followed, and those who took multivitamins had no increase or decrease of cancer, heart disease, or stroke. Now, you must realize that all multivitamins are based on #RDALevels of nutrients, except possibly for the amount of #FolicAcid they contain (usually 400 rncq). This has been my experience with all the clinical trials that studied the health benefits of taking a #multi-vitamin or one-a-day vitamin: They are woefully inadequate in providing those optimal levels that have been shown by the medical literature to provide health benefits. I agree that taking a multivitamin/mineral is a waste of time and effort. If you are going to supplement your diet, you need to be taking all of these essential nutrients at the optimal or advanced levels - #bionutrition.

 

The Economics of Medicine

I am not really a conspiracy theory advocate. However, I am acutely aware of the true economics of medicine. In my book #DeathByPrescription, I detail the approval process of all #PharmaceuticalDrugs. The average cost for a pharmaceutical company to take a drug from the laboratory to your local drug store is 500 million dollars. Then the amount of money a pharmaceutical company spends to market its drug to the public and physicians is enormous. You can't turn on your television or read a magazine or newspaper in today's world without learning about the newest drug for any ill that you may have. Obviously, the media outlets are going to be supportive of any new major breakthrough in drug therapy because they receive so much in advertising dollars from this industry. It is also likely that these same media outlets are going to run down the use of nutritional supplementation whenever possible. Any negative study or even slightly negative study is shouted from the rooftops and every media outlet. In general, when I go back and look at the actual clinical trial they have just reviewed, it is obvious that they have a definite bias against supplementation. I would estimate that eight out of ten clinical trials that evaluate the health benefit of supplements are positive when they use optimal levels and high quality supplements. However, you rarely read anything about these positive studies.

The only thing that will ever lower health care costs in the world today is when individuals decide to become proactive in protecting their health. You will not receive much support from the medical community because of physicians' bias against #supplementation.

 

Get your high quality supplements here : http://getfreedom.stbwrap.com/

 

View more information here : http://www.raystrand.com/

Safety Of Nutritional Supplements: Part 1

Posted by Edna & Roger Boisjoli on July 15, 2013 at 10:30 AM Comments comments (0)

Throughout this book (Bionutrition, Ray D. Strand, MD, http://www.raystrand.com/ ) I related the medical evidence that demonstrates the effectiveness of #NutritionalSupplements in preventing and/or slowing the progression of #ChronicDegenerativeDiseases . However, for these supplements to be effective for this purpose they must be taken for a lifetime and they must be safe. Every time physicians prescribe a medication, especially if it is for the treatment of a #ChronicIllness, we explain to the patient the potential danger for the use of that drug. It amazes me how many physicians try to get patients to quit taking their nutritional supplements because they could be dangerous to their health. In my book Death by Prescription (Thomas Nelson 2003), I document the fact that #AdverseDrugReactions are the third leading #CauseOfDeath in the United states and Canada. There are more than 180,000 deaths every year due to adverse drug reactions. This is just behind #HeartDisease ) and #cancer and just ahead of #stroke on the list 0f the top ten CausesOfDeath in the United States; however, you will never see this listed in any report as a cause of death. According to Dr. Bruce Pomeranz, as reported in the April 15, 1998 Journal of the American Medical Association, medications that have been properly prescribed cause more than 100,000 deaths a year. There are another 80,000 deaths every year due to improperly prescribed medications, which brings the total of deaths due to medications to 180,000 every year. Dr. Pomeranz also states that another 2.1 million patients have serious complications because of medications.

 

It bothers me when the media and medical community try to discourage individuals from taking nutritional supplements because they may actually cause harm and increase your risk of death. This even becomes more ironic when the alternative the medical community has to offer is for you to be taking more drugs, instead of supplements.  This has to be the height of arrogance, when we know that drugs are the third leading cause of death in this country. There have only been a handful of deaths reported in the last decade due to nutritional supplements. The most commonly reported were the deaths of individuals who were taking very high doses of niacin, which had been prescribed by physicians as a treatment for elevated #cholesterol. These individuals took many times the optimal levels recommended in this book in an attempt to create a #pharmacological effect.

 

Recently, there has been a lot of publicity regarding deaths due to an herb called #ephedra. Ephedra has been used in a large number of #overTheCounter #DietPills. However, you have to realize that ephedra is an herb or natural drug that has a #pharmaceutical effect - it is not a nutritional supplement. Nutritional supplements are simply nutrients we get from our foods, at levels we cannot obtain from our foods.

When you understand the safety of these nutrients, you will begin to realize why vitamin and mineral supplements are ideal products to be used for #ChemoPrevention and for reducing the risk of chronic degenerative diseases. #Pharmaceutical drugs may possess some #ClinicalBenefit in preventing some of these diseases, but they inherently create a risk to the patient. So let's look at some specific adverse reactions that have been reported about nutritional supplementation.

Vitamin A (#vitamina )

Of all the nutritional supplements, straight vitamin A causes the most concern. Vitamin A #toxicity can occur in adults who take in excess of 50,000 IU per day for a prolonged period of time. A lower dose may create toxicity if the patient has underlying liver disease. Signs of vitamin A toxicity include dry skin, brittle nails, hair loss, gingivitis, anorexia, nausea, fatigue, and irritability. Accidental ingestion of a single large dose of vitamin A by children (100,000 to 300,000 IU) can cause acute toxicity. This may present as #headache, #vomiting, and #stupor because of the increase in #IntracranialPressure .  Women must avoid vitamin A supplementation during #pregnancy.  Dosages as low as 5,000 to 10,000 IU are believed to have caused birth  defects." I do not recommend taking straight vitamin A in supplementation. The need for vitamin A within the body may be met by simply taking #beta-carotene and the mixed #carotenoids. These are very safe and the body is able to turn these into vitamin A as the body needs it. 

Beta-Carotene

Beta-carotene has been used in high doses over several years without a single reported adverse effect. Some individuals develop a yellowing of the skin called #carotenodermia. However, this is totally benign and reverses completely once the beta-carotene is reduced or discontinued. A recent study called the #Alpha-Tocopherol #Beta-Carotene Cancer Prevention Study conducted in Finland and a similar study in Washington State showed significant increased risk of developing lung cancer in a group taking beta-carotene alone. This was not observed in patients who took vitamin E alone or those who took beta-carotene with vitamin E.   These studies involved males aged 50 to 69 who had been heavy smokers for more than a 36-year period. This study has received great media coverage and has caught the attention of many physicians. This study will be discussed in detail in Safety of Nutritional Supplements: Part 2.

Vitamin E

Although #vitaminE is a #fat-soluble vitamin, it has a tremendous safety record. In clinical trials of vitamin supplementation as high as 3,200 IU per day has not shown any adverse effects. Vitamin E has been shown to inhibit #PlateletAggregation in much the same way as aspirin does." This property of vitamin E is actually a benefit in reducing heart disease rather than a concern. Some researchers believe this will actually improve the effectiveness of #aspirin in patients with heart disease.

Vitamin C

#VitaminC is safe even at very high doses, although some people may have #AbdominalBloating, gas, or #diarrhea. At one point, there was a concern vitamin C supplementation might increase the risk of #KidneyStones. This was seen in only one clinical trial, however, and the last four similar trials did not substantiate those findings.

Vitamin D

#VitaminD has previously been thought to have a great potential to cause toxicity. However, we are now realizing the greatest concern to our health is #VitaminDDeficiency. The recommended amount of vitamin D has been rising steadily over the past decade. With the advent of inexpensive vitamin D blood tests called a #25-hydroxyvitaminDLevel, physicians are beginning to realize the extent of vitamin D deficiency. Most physicians are now recommending supplementing at least 1,000 to 1,200 IU of vitamin D daily if your vitamin D level is above 50 ng/ rnl. If it is low, you may take very high doses of vitamin D without any fear of toxicity. However, it is important that this is prescribed by your physician and that there are follow-up blood tests. Although I have not seen vitamin D blood levels above 100 ng/ml in all of the testing of my patients, vitamin D toxicity may increase the blood levels of calcium, cause deposits of calcium in internal organs, and increase the risk of kidney stones."

Niacin (#VitaminB3)

#Niacin supplementation may create flushing to the skin, nausea, and liver damage. Clinical studies have shown slow-release products of niacin may decrease the risk of flushing, but they also increase the risk of liver damage. Many people use high doses of niacin as a natural way to decrease their cholesterol levels. I recommend slowly building up to 1.5 grams per day. It is best to be under the direction of your physician and have your liver function checked periodically. There are some very effective drugs that may be used to lower your cholesterol. Depending on the level and ratio of your cholesterol, your physician can advise you on the best approach.

Vitamin B6 (#Pyridoxine)

#VitaminB6 is one of the few water-soluble vitamins with a possible risk of toxicity. Doses greater than 2,000 mg can cause symptoms of nerve toxicity. When using doses between 50 to 100 mg daily, there have not been any reported cases of toxicity" 

Folic Acid

#FolicAcid supplementation may mask an underlying vitamin B12 deficiency. Therefore, you should always take vitamin 812 supplements when you are taking folic acid. When you follow my concept of cellular nutrition, you will not have to worry about an underlying 812 deficiency.

Choline

#Choline is generally well tolerated, although at very high doses (20 grams per day) it can create a fishy odor and cause some nausea, diarrhea, and abdominal pain.

Calcium

Calcium supplements are tolerated in doses up to 2,000 mg. It was once thought high levels of calcium supplementation could lead to increase in kidney stones; however, several recent studies actually show that the higher your intake of calcium is, the lower your risk of developing kidney stones,"

Iodine

#Iodine supplementation greater than 750 mcg can suppress thyroid hormone secretion. There have also been reports of acne-like skin eruptions at these higher levels of iodine intake.

Iron

There has been an increased concern about the use of #iron in supplementation. The use of inorganic iron is even more of a concern. Americans generally get plenty of iron and supplementation of this nutrient may create an iron overload, which has been associated with increased risk of heart disease in males. There is some concern iron may actually increase oxidative stress.

Manganese

#Manganese taken in supplementation is very safe, although there are reports of people who develop manganese toxicity from their environment. This is usually seen in those who mine manganese or are exposed to high levels in the environment. These individuals may begin to hallucinate and become very irritable.

#Molybdenum

Molybdenum is quite safe. A daily intake of greater than 10 to 15 mg, however, may lead to gout-like symptoms.

Selenium

#Selenium has been found to be safe in several clinical trials, which used doses in the range of 400 to 500 mcg daily. I believe, however, doses of selenium supplementation should be less than 300 mcg daily. Symptoms of selenium toxicity include depression, irritability, nausea, vomiting, and hair loss. There have been no toxic effects associated with supplementation of #VitaminK, #VitaminB1 (#thiamin), #VitaminB2 (#riboflavin), #biotin, #VitaminB5 (#pantethine), #inositol, #VitaminB12, #chromium, #silicon, #CoQ10, #boron, #GrapeSeedExtract, and #alpha-lipoicAcid.

 

Get your high quality supplements here : http://getfreedom.stbwrap.com/

View more information here : http://www.raystrand.com/

4 things you should give up to be happy

Posted by Edna & Roger Boisjoli on January 14, 2013 at 12:35 PM Comments comments (0)

The following is from an email fro my good friend Natalie Ledwell.

I thought it too goo to let pass.

 

"Most people have it wrong.

 

Most folks think that by gathering more stuff,

they'll finally find happiness.

 

But often, you can find true happiness RIGHT NOW,

in this moment, simply by letting go.

 

Here are 4 things that you can let go of that will

make you a happier, more peaceful person by the

time you hit the sack tonight:

 

1) Let go of the need to impress others.

 

If you're a human being, chances are you care about

what other people think of you.

 

After all - we are naturally social creatures!

 

But if you find yourself spending too much of your

time, money or energy trying to impress other people

and get their approval, you're not being true to YOU.

 

There's no need to try and be something you're not,

because who you are right now is FABULOUS!

 

Focus instead on living the most authentic version

of yourself.

 

When you fully embrace who you are and share it with

others, you'll find that people will appreciate how

REAL you are and will flock to you effortlessly. :)

 

2) Let go of the need to be right.

 

Sometimes when we feel we've been mistreated or

misunderstood by someone, we can get caught up

into wanting that person to admit they've

wronged us.

 

And we want an apology!

 

Or at least acknowledgement that we are right and they're

wrong. :)

 

The problem is that not all human beings see things

from the same perspective. In your world, you're

right… but in their world, so are they.

 

There are definitely times where an apology is necessary.

 

But most other times, rather than allowing feelings of

negativity to take root inside you and start spilling

over into other areas of your life, it may be best to

ask yourself this:

 

"Do I want to be right? Or do I want to be happy?"

 

Often it's just our ego that keeps us holding on to past

resentments and upsets. Instead, consider letting go of

the desire to be right and you'll find you'll instantly

restore happiness and contentment in your life.

 

3) Let go of the desire to gossip.

 

I've heard it said that gossip is just a cheap way to make

yourself feel good, and I have to agree.

 

We all know that gossiping about other people is… well, not

so good.

 

But when the people around you are doing it, it can be easy to

slip into doing it too!

 

Consider though that the quality of your life depends on the

quality of the conversations you have.

 

If you want to live a more fulfilling life, start by embracing

the power of your word. Your voice is powerful! And what you

have to say makes a difference.

 

Be committed to having more positive conversations about

things that matter… not people… and you'll be surprised how

quickly you'll brighten your outlook on life.

 

4) Let go of the past.

 

It's easy to dwell on the past, especially when the future is

so unknown!

 

Looking to the past can feel safe… we know what has happened

and we know what we could do to change things… if only we

had the chance.

 

The truth is though that you never will have the chance to

change the past.

 

Not unless scientists finally invent a time machine. ;)

 

Your past has served its purpose - its brought you to the

place you are today and made you the person you are now.

And who you are right now is absolutely perfect.

 

Be grateful for your experiences, but know that NOW is all

you have. So do your best to enjoy each moment. Give

yourself the gift of being present!

To your everlasting happiness,

Natalie Ledwell

Mind Movies

 

P.S. I have a challenge for you…

 

Out of the four things I've listed above, what one are

you willing to take on THIS WEEK for your own happiness?"

What You Need to Know Before an ER Visit

Posted by Edna & Roger Boisjoli on December 3, 2012 at 12:10 PM Comments comments (0)

Unfortunately, visits to the emergency room often increase during the holidays. While it is impossible to predict an ER visit, there are a few tips that can help you prepare in advance of an emergency.

 

Coverage – It is important to understand your health insurance coverage. Make sure you know which hospitals in your area are covered under your plan. If you are traveling for the holiday, understand what you need to do to inform your insurance company in the event of an emergency.

 

Know Your Local Hospitals – Just as important as knowing where you are covered or where you will get the best rates if you are uninsured, is doing your homework on quality care in your area. Hospitalsafetyscore.org allows visitors to check the safety score of hospitals. Consumer Reports also offers hospital ratings to its subscribers.

 

Medical Power of Attorney – Everyone should have an up-to-date medical power of attorney or advanced medical directive. These documents ensure your family members know what you want in the event of a health crisis.

 

Important Documents – Make sure all of your estate planning and insurance documents are kept somewhere safe, yet remain easily accessible to your family or caregiver in the event of an emergency. It is important that these documents can be easily retrieved if they are needed.

6 Legal Tips for Surviving Your Hospital Stay

Posted by Edna & Roger Boisjoli on August 22, 2012 at 11:30 AM Comments comments (0)

Whether you go to the hospital for a routine procedure or an emergency, there are steps you can take to help avoid medical and legal complications down the road.

 

  1. Have an up-to-date Medical Power of Attorney or Advanced Medical Directive (“Living Will”). These documents entrust decisions about your care to a person you designate in the event you cannot make medical decisions yourself. Advise your family of your designation so that person is notified when decisions must be made.
  2. Make sure your name, identifying information and all other information is completely accurate during hospital check in. Some problems involving hospital care begin as clerical errors. A seemingly small error can create a major treatment crisis. Reduce the chance of error by carefully reviewing your hospital admissions paperwork and checking your hospital wristband for errors.
  3. Understand your health insurance coverage before you get sick. It is important that you understand how much you may owe at discharge and all limitations and exclusions in your insurance policy. Your policy may require you to obtain preauthorization for medical procedures. In addition, you may need supplemental coverage or disability coverage in the event of a long recovery. Review your health coverage now. It is too late to make critical changes after you get sick.
  4. Save any documents you receive regarding your care or billing. Retain all of your hospital documentation in the event of a fee dispute, insurance dispute or medical malpractice claim. Documents can be easily misplaced in the confusion of care and recovery. Ask someone you trust to help you keep your documentation organized.
  5. Ask for a second opinion if you are unsure about your diagnosis or treatment. You have the right to speak with another doctor or caregiver if you are uncomfortable with the diagnosis or treatment recommendations being made.
  6. Advocate for quality care. It is important to speak up for yourself in the hospital. If you have a concern about the quality of care you receive, speak to a doctor or nursing supervisor. If you are unable to advocate for yourself due to the nature of your illness, medications or treatments, have a friend or family member stay with you. Many hospitals have a designated advocate on staff. If you feel your concerns are not addressed ask to speak with a patient advocate.

Looking Forward To The Future

Posted by Edna & Roger Boisjoli on May 30, 2012 at 5:35 PM Comments comments (0)

About a year ago I exploded into diabetes and my blood sugar was as high as 385. A normal fasting blood sugar should be around 100. I remember that night well driving home from the doctor’s office. I felt out of it and was losing my concentration and my vision wasn’t working right so I got off the freeway and rested about 20 minutes before finishing the drive home. That was a rude wake-up alert and it took me most of last year to get my blood sugar under control with continual increases required in my insulin injections.

I took the Shrink Team Challenge on in January using a shake and cookie as a meal replacement and lost over 20 Lbs. in the first five weeks. Yeah, that feels good but what started to happen next really lit up my day.

 

I started taking GluCare™ carefully watching for any wide variations in my blood sugar because as late as December I still had some pretty bad days up to 200. To my amazement, in January I had to reduce my insulin 8 times ~ yes 8 times under my physician’s care! It is clear to me that GluCare™ is a major contributor to balancing my blood sugar and the way it is working I will be reducing my insulin even more in February! No more injection site bruises soon and I’ll have my life back. Looking forward to the future like never before.

 

On February 9 the doctor told me to reduce my insulin to the lowest it has ever been and if my numbers stay low they will take me completely off the insulin in about two weeks. Remarkable! Because just 6 weeks ago I was still having bad sugar days.

 

Steve Dragoo

 

 

 

Hooray For GluCare

Posted by Edna & Roger Boisjoli on May 28, 2012 at 12:30 PM Comments comments (0)

I just read the testimony for GluCare™ and I want to add my testimony to it. I was diagnosed as a diabetic and was put on prescription drugs. Immediately I gained 30 pounds. I told the doctor that the weight gain was uncontrolable because of the medication he had me on. He then told me about a new prescription where you took 2 shots daily and people were losing weight with it. He said the side effect was nausea. I decided to try it and found out how you lost weight because you could not eat without feeling sick. I felt sick if I ate and felt sick if I did not eat. I finally found a way to get past the side effects and was able to eat again. I lost 40 pounds and was happy. I found another side effect this medicine had and it was chills that would come from nowhere and put me in bed.

 

I joined Vitamark not knowing what products they had but wanted to try. I heard someone on one of the calls speak of GluCare™. I heard you could not take GluCare and diabetic drugs because your sugar could go too low. Knowing that I was going for a blood test within 30 days, I decided to discontinue my diabetic meds and go on GluCare™. I monitored myself so I would know if I had any problems. I went for my blood test and my sugar was normal after only 30 days of taking GluCare™. That was almost 3 years ago and I am still on my GluCare™ and will never be without it. I have had several blood tests and my sugar is still normal..

I am saying Hooray for GluCare™! I feel better today than I did when I was 40 and I am now 74 years old. Thank God for Vitamark and their life saving products.

 

God Bless,

 

Maggie Kress

For More information click here.

 

 

An Aging Population, Nursing Homes, Medicaid and Saving Momma's House

Posted by Edna & Roger Boisjoli on April 23, 2012 at 4:55 PM Comments comments (0)

There are an estimated 78 million Baby Boomers. Approximately 11 million Baby Boomers will require some type of nursing home care. Many of these individuals are not planning for their long-term care and will rely on Medicaid.

 

Medicaid is a state program that is reimbursed by the federal government. Different states provide different levels of care for different individuals. If you become dependent on Medicaid to pay for long-term care, here are some important facts you should know:

 

    To qualify for Medicaid, you must be below asset and income thresholds.  Otherwise, you will have to self-pay or engage in some sort of "spend-down" of your assets until you qualify for Medicaid.

 

    If Medicaid pays for your long-term care, after you pass away (with few exceptions) Medicaid will assert what is called "Medicaid Estate Recovery" against your estate to recoup what is paid.  This means that assets that you thought were going to pass to your family will be taken to repay Medicaid for amounts spent on your long-term care.

 

    If you simply try to "give away" your assets prior to going into a nursing home, you could actually be disqualifying yourself from receiving Medicaid long-term care benefits and you may have other problems such as state gift tax liability (depending on your state of residence).

 

In Canada, if you don’t have the resources to fund the costs of your long-term care, you can apply to the province for a reduction; however, you are required to apply for all available government funding such as Canada Pension and Old Age Security. (Unlike the United States, there is no recovery of assets after your death for government funding paid on your behalf.)

 

So, what is the solution to this problem? The best thing you can do is to arm yourself with knowledge – take advantage of your LegalShield membership and contact your provider firm to find out what benefits your state or province provides. Ask questions about Medicaid and long-term care planning. Talk to an attorney at your provider firm about what you can do to avoid the need for or to plan for utilizing Medicaid and other government benefits. Finally, make sure your last will and testament, powers of attorney and living will are in place and up to date. The younger you are when you start to deal with these issues, the more options you will have to make certain your assets pass to your intended beneficiaries at death.

 

 

Habits

Posted by Edna & Roger Boisjoli on March 15, 2012 at 1:10 AM Comments comments (0)

Habit #4:

Avoid Mindless Eating!

Do you like to munch while watching television?

Do you nibble and taste food while cooking?

Do you finish your children’s plates and leftovers?

Do you pick up candy from every candy dish you pass?

Do you have a snack stash for when you are driving your car?

Do you have a mini-buffet at your desk?

Do you bring extra snacks into movies?

Do you line up for deep-fried grocery store sample?

Do you eat junk food while reading books?

Do you find it impossible to go to the coffee shop and just order coffee?

Or, do you enjoy snacking on the goodies your fellow employees bring to work?

It’s time to stop!

Yes, all these mindless snack activities could be hazardous to your waistline. You don’t enjoy this mindless snacking because usually you aren’t even aware that you are eating.

If you are going to eat, enjoy the taste, the flavor, the joy of the food. Why pack on pounds with extra food when you can’t even enjoy the experience?

 

 

RECIPE

Chocolate Almond Pudding with Cookie Crumble

This luxurious dessert is sure to satisfy even the sweetest of sweet tooth's. Make this pudding ahead of time so you have it ready in the refrigerator when you need. Top your chilled pudding with warm cookie crumble for added decadence.

Ingredients:

Appetizer Diet Rich Chocolate Shake

4oz Warm, Filtered Water

1/8 TSP (or less) Almond Extract

1/2 Appetizer Diet Chocolate Chip Cookie

Directions:

Blend together the warm water and 1 scoop of Appetizer Diet Rich Chocolate Shake on medium to medium-high. Add in almond extract. Blend until mixture has doubled in size, about 45 seconds.

In a large heat safe mug or dish pour in the warm blended Appetizer Diet Rich Chocolate Shake. Place in refrigerator and chill for at least 4 hours or until the pudding has set.

 

 

Carefully chop your Appetizer Diet Chocolate Chip Cookie into small pieces to create the cookie crumble topping. For added flavor gently toast the cookie.

Sprinkle the cookie crumble on top and enjoy!

 

HABITS

Posted by Edna & Roger Boisjoli on March 12, 2012 at 11:15 AM Comments comments (0)

Habit #3: Snacks … rule!

If you don't eat for a few hours, your body thinks: "Hey, no incoming food. I don't want to starve. Let me go into survival mode. Turn down the metabolism. Conserve calories."

 

If you are trying to lose or manage your weight, this is not good.

 

This is why eating breakfast is so important.

 

Remember why you need to eat breakfast, to kick-start your metabolism for the day after the long night without food. You want your body to burn calories all day long. And you want to help your willpower hold up so you don't overindulge at the next meal.

 

Snacks boost your metabolism.

 

If during the day you go long periods without eating, your body will go back into calorie-conserving survival mode. You want to eat to keep your metabolism burning calories for you.

 

Think about this. You eat a big meal leaving you feeling stuffed and lazy. Then once you finally start to burn off the big meal and get some energy it's time to eat again. Doing this type of eating will only leave you on an energy roller-coaster, one second your up the next your energy levels are falling.

 

So instead, think about spreading out your food throughout the day. You won't need to get stuffed at each meal because your not ravenous. Plus just knowing that you will be having a snack again soon will help you not feel like you need to stockpile to hold out until the next big meal.

 

So make it a habit to eat snacks regularly. Sounds like fun.

 

Why not make it a habit to have a healthy snack or meal every three or four hours?

 

And don't eat just junk food. You will want a snack that is high in nutrition to fuel that calorie-burning metabolism like an Appetizer Diet Cookie or Shake.

 

Just avoid the donuts, the muffins, the candy bars and other high sugar, empty calorie snacks.

It is an easy habit to snack. It's even easier to keep an Appetizer Diet Cookie with you.

Make your snacks work for you!