An opioid epidemic sweeps the nation affecting tens of thousands of young males, those with their whole lives ahead of them. Policy makers feel impelled to do something, anything to curb the tide, and so they act.
The year was 1914. The primary policy was the Harrison Act. As a result of this act, physicians who prescribed more opioid than what was deemed reasonable faced loss of license and criminal prosecution.
The patient in pain became someone to be feared and avoided at all costs. Out of a sense of self-preservation, physicians chose to view chronic pain as merely a character flaw, something not worthy of attention.
But, there was more…
Because of this act and subsequent interpretations by the Supreme Court, those addicted to opioids and other drugs became criminals.
Millions of people have been harmed by this act, unnecessarily, and are still being harmed.
Just today in the New York Times there was an opinion piece by Paul Tough entitled, To Help Children, Coach Their Parents, about research on young children who were at high risk for developmental and behavioral problems in Jamaica.
What did they coach the parents to do? Promote more educational activities? Nope.
Use techniques to help children improve their behavior? Guess again.
Play more? Yes!
Parents in one arm of the research study were coached to spend time enjoying being with their child in a fun and interactive way with long term positive impacts on I.Q., less aggressive behavior and better self control.
We humans suffer most when not knowing all that needs to be known, especially when there is so much to fear.
I choose, as do many dictionaries and as have countless great religious leaders and philosophers, to define “anxiety” as “fear of the unknown.”
I frequently relate a parable to my patients on this crucial subject.
Let us travel back in time to the clan of the proverbial caveman. In one cave, somewhat safe from the elements and huddled about a fire, is a family fraught with anxiety toward the savage carnivores outside. These beasts only know this clan as prey. The clan shrinks under the weight of this presumed knowledge, convinced that the predators will most assuredly find and devour them. The clan huddles all the closer, shaken by every foreign sound and every dimming of the fire. They dare not move. They are not ready to battle for their next meal or to survive.
That is the primordial example of paralysis by analysis; it is as old as man. That is anxiety.
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the most common hormonal disorder in women of reproductive age, affecting 10-15 percent of women and upward of seven million women in the U.S. alone.
The condition affects a woman’s entire body, with symptoms such as weight gain, irregular periods, infertility, acne, hair growth on the face (hirsutism), and hair loss.
PCOS also steps-up a woman’s risks for type-2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease as she gets older.
And, it doesn’t go away after menopause.
While there are genetic links, environmental factors like endocrine disruptors (both natural and man-made) also impact PCOS. Endocrine disruptors are everywhere; however, there are ways you can reduce your exposure to them.
Some things you can do include avoiding plastics in your food or when cooking and being mindful of the beauty products and household cleaners you use.
Keep reading for some steps you can take to avoid exposure.
Anyone who has been given a cancer diagnosis makes an immediate re-calibration of every previously held ambition.
Friends and loved ones often don't understand how priorities held for a lifetime can change overnight when someone learns that he or she has cancer.
Reactions to a cancer diagnosis, regardless of the prognosis, will vary according to personality… but, each person will experience an onslaught of fear, worry and uncertainty.
A recent report from the National Cancer Institute estimated 14 million people in the U.S. have had a cancer diagnosis, but that number is expected to grow to 19 million by 2024. More and more people must struggle with how to face the new reality of a life-threatening disease.
And, over on the sidelines, friends and loved ones struggle with how best to support them.
Consider these five approaches to supporting your loved one with cancer...
About 100 million Americans, one in three people, suffer from ongoing pain that impacts their daily lives. Chronic pain has fueled a pain treatment crisis resulting in the over-prescribing of risky opioids.
The tragic deaths of celebrities such as Prince have brought the issue to public awareness in a way that statistics can’t.
The CDC recently recommended prescribers drastically limit opioids for pain; even for pain after surgery. This is a dire situation for patients who desperately need ways to relieve their short- and long-term pain without dangerous medications.
The most frequently overlooked pathway to pain relief is the patient.
There are powerful cognitive behavioral skills that the everyday patient can begin putting to immediate use for personal pain relief. Calming your nervous system is the key to reduction of pain, distress, and suffering.
Keep reading to learn practical tips for using your brain to calm pain work over time to reduce pain naturally.
We have some 60,000 to 70,000 thoughts a day, and many of them are negative: I can’t do that. I’m not good enough. It’s never going to happen for me. I don’t deserve this.
As we embark on a new venture or work toward a new goal, they pop up and wreak havoc on our plans and self-confidence.
Since thoughts create beliefs, which then create behaviors, negative thoughts can undermine you right into a standstill. But, there’s a way to stop negative thoughts right in their tracks. All it takes is challenging them with seven direct questions, starting with: Says Who?
On average, a person takes approximately 17,000-23,000 breaths a day. The number varies based on several factors, including a person’s lifestyle and environment.
This statistic proves just how important the lungs are. You are constantly using them to fuel the rest of your body.
Lungs act at the first point of contact for oxygen as it enters the body. From there, oxygen is dispersed throughout the bloodstream, being carried to cells throughout the body. Each cell transfers carbon dioxide when it receives oxygen. The blood carries the carbon dioxide back to the lungs where it is removed through exhaling. This gas exchange is necessary for everyday functioning.
In order to keep this process going, it’s crucial to keep your lungs healthy. Lung-related health complications can negatively affect the oxygen flow to your cells, along with a variety of other body processes. These ailments vary from viruses and colds to chronic conditions and lifelong sickness and cancer. Certain lung conditions can be hereditary, or caused by genetics. Such conditions include asthma, cystic fibrosis, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
However, certain lung conditions are non-inheritable; that is, caused by environmental and lifestyle factors. While not always 100% preventable, these conditions can be avoided.
Many of my patients tell me that they can’t be active because of arthritis. This leads to a domino effect of decreased activity, increased weight, and finally, worsening pain.
Arthritis does not mean that an active lifestyle must be stopped. Rather, a diagnosis of arthritis should be looked at as an invitation to change your routine and explore new stretching and exercise options that will allow you to stay fit while reducing the pain triggered by your osteoarthritis.
There is no doubt that the pain can become severe at times. However, the right amount of exercise along with the right type of exercise can actually help ease the pain and discomfort.
Two new studies published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology confirm that women under the age of 55 are often left in the dark when it comes to knowing the risk factors of heart disease.
And, these women are less likely to receive life-saving procedures to open clogged heart arteries compared to their male counterparts.
Researchers are perplexed about this trend, noting that it’s possible that heart disease awareness and prevention efforts are more focused on men because of the belief that heart disease is more of a men’s issue.
Another possibility is that prevention methods are not being communicated effectively to women, or that women may describe their symptoms in a way that is being misinterpreted by doctors and nurses.