Blooming Wellness https://www.bloomingwellness.com Health & Wellness Blog by Dr. Eeks Wed, 27 Nov 2019 10:37:17 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.2.4 Killer Selfies : How Selfies Kill People, with Dr. Roger Byard https://www.bloomingwellness.com/2019/11/killer-selfies-how-selfies-kill-people-with-doctor-roger-byard/ https://www.bloomingwellness.com/2019/11/killer-selfies-how-selfies-kill-people-with-doctor-roger-byard/#respond Wed, 20 Nov 2019 23:19:20 +0000 https://www.bloomingwellness.com/?p=17164 It’s Killer Selfies Time! 😉 Hi guys, Have you listened to my podcast on killer selfies yet? It’s exactly what it sounds like: Selfies that have killed people. The world has an obsession with selfies, and while there are many elements to analyze from a health and wellness perspective, this episode of Causes or Cures […]

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Killer Selfies

It’s Killer Selfies Time! 😉

Hi guys,

Have you listened to my podcast on killer selfies yet? It’s exactly what it sounds like: Selfies that have killed people.

The world has an obsession with selfies, and while there are many elements to analyze from a health and wellness perspective, this episode of Causes or Cures focuses on killer selfies.

In this Causes Or Cures episode, Dr. Roger Byard discusses the forensic elements of killer selfies. Click to listen to find out who’s most at risk, the countries with the highest rate of selfie deaths and how they are responding, and some of the more dramatic examples of selfie deaths. I won’t lie: Some are worthy of Darwin awards. Dr. Byard dives into other interesting tidbits on how our obsession with selfies is impacting our physical and mental well-being. His story about his father who has dementia is especially telling.

Dr. Byard is a forensic pathologist and Professor of Pathology at The University of Adelaide. He has written over 700 papers in peer-reviewed journals and is the Editor-in-Chief of Forensic Science Medicine and Pathology. If you watch The History Channel, you might have seen him recently featured in Lawless: The Real Bushrangers. He also has a book coming out called The Pathology of Old Age, that I can’t wait to read.

Click to listen all about Killer Selfies! Consider subscribing to my podcast, too, as I plan on having a plethora of interesting people on in the future, and I’ve already featured many brilliant minds with brilliant stories and wisdom about current health topics and health risks. Admittedly, I was slow to post a podcast this past month, because I’ve been busy with work and writing two books. One is a parody on the wellness industry and the other is a fictional book about a girl caught between two worlds. I try to write two chapters a night, but that means other things don’t get done. You know how it is- time management! Sigh! 😉

Other interesting topics to check out:

EMF Shields Don’t Work

Are Lefties Really Crazier? 

Ten Health Benefits of Coffee

 

 

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Is Age Your Dictator? Change that. https://www.bloomingwellness.com/2019/11/is-age-your-dictator-dont-let-it-be-as-its-holding-you-back/ https://www.bloomingwellness.com/2019/11/is-age-your-dictator-dont-let-it-be-as-its-holding-you-back/#respond Wed, 06 Nov 2019 16:32:50 +0000 https://www.bloomingwellness.com/?p=17047 Is Age your dictator? How many times do you hear someone say he/she is too old to do something? Too old to start, too old to go back to school, too old to make a desired career change, too old to get married, too old to travel, too late to start, the ship has sailed…the […]

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Is Age your dictator? How many times do you hear someone say he/she is too old to do something? Too old to start, too old to go back to school, too old to make a desired career change, too old to get married, too old to travel, too late to start, the ship has sailed…the list is endless. Maybe you say such things to yourself. I know I have.

It’s good to be practical about age. If women want kids, they need to be conscious of their biological clock. Men, too, since a lot of kid illnesses are linked to old(er) sperm. As we age, we should be aware that our bones become more brittle and our muscles weaken. Our memories dull, our eating and sleep patterns change, and our risk for illness increases. We should be conscious of these things, take precautions and do what we can to prevent or slow down the inevitable changes of aging.

However, it’s not healthy to make Age our dictator, though mainstream society indoctrinates us to do this. Society tells women they lose their desirability by a certain age, causing many to devote huge chunks of their live to camouflaging the inescapable, natural transitions of aging. ( Imagine what they could be doing instead?) People fear wrinkles and age spots like they’re Scarlet Letters instead of regular signs of the passage of time. Corporate hiring managers prefer younger candidates, often passing up older, more qualified ones, who lose hope and give up on applying. Countless people have preconceived notions about what age is too old to do what, as if these are rules written in stone. In many ways, we are part of an inescapable system that, stupidly, only values youth, and when we internalize society’s values as our own, we set ourselves up for misery and disappointment.

I often tell people that to be healthy, one must tell conventional society to go to hell. I view mainstream society as an illness. If I could send it a “Get Well Soon” card, I would. Not only is Age its dictator, but mainstream society has sick and twisted standards and values that don’t benefit individuals. We need to be brave and set our own damn values and follow our own damn dictators.

Don’t let Age be your dictator. Don’t let it stop you from starting something or doing something you really want to do. It’s only too late to do something if YOU decide it’s too late to do something. None of us are promised another day, but imagine if we all did nothing because “we might die tomorrow.” One of the saddest things is seeing people who made Age their dictator staying stagnant in one spot, uninspired, bitter, miserable and depressed about how “old” they look. Is that a healthy way to spend your life? I don’t think so.

Make your own values. Set your own standards. Follow your own timeline, and trust that the timing is right. If people around you make Age their dictator and that negatively impacts you, detox them from your life. It’s never too late to find a new tribe. It’s never too late to start. It’s never too late to go for a dream. – Dr. E

Also check out-

Dr. Erin’s book Manic Kingdom. Dare to think differently about mental illness.

Are Lefties Crazier?

The truth about the Vaccine War

Hypnobirthing and Pregnancy: How it Helps

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Tryptophan for Depression? What about 5-HTP? https://www.bloomingwellness.com/2019/10/tryptophan-and-5-htp-for-depression-and-sleep-does-it-work/ https://www.bloomingwellness.com/2019/10/tryptophan-and-5-htp-for-depression-and-sleep-does-it-work/#respond Fri, 25 Oct 2019 12:14:19 +0000 http://www.bloomingwellness.com/blog/?p=5127 Tryptophan is most known for causing “Turkey coma” on Thanksgiving Day, but you’ve probably seen it sold in drug stores as a potential cure for depression. Can Tryptophan cure or help with depression? Let’s take a look at the evidence…, but basics first. What is Tryptophan? Tryptophan is an essential amino acid, which means that […]

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Tryptophan is most known for causing “Turkey coma” on Thanksgiving Day, but you’ve probably seen it sold in drug stores as a potential cure for depression. Can Tryptophan cure or help with depression? Let’s take a look at the evidence…, but basics first.

What is Tryptophan?

Tryptophan is an essential amino acid, which means that we cannot manufacture it on our own and get it from our diet. Tryptophan is a precursor for serotonin, a chemical long associated with depression. Older theories associated low serotonin with depression, but more recent theories suggest an irregularity in the metabolism of serotonin. Remember, serotonin ( low, high or irregular) is just one theory for depression. For others, please read one of my earlier blog posts.

Is Low Tryptophan Linked to Depression?

There is evidence that shows that acute tryptophan depletion causes depressive symptoms in otherwise healthy individuals , as well as exacerbates symptoms in those with a mental illness diagnosis. A review by Reilly et al. shows that acute tryptophan depletion increases feelings of panic and aggression, and another study shows that it can affect one’s ability to learn. I found that interesting, since “difficulty concentrating” is a common symptom of depression. I experienced that during my struggle with depression, and went from being a high school valedictorian to a top student at West Point to practically failing during my first year of medical school when my depression hit.

Evidence indicates that there may be sex differences when it comes to low tryptophan. Sambeth et al. analyzed nine studies and showed that acute tryptophan depletion impaired both delayed and immediate recall (memory). He then stratified the data by sex and discovered that memory deficits were worst for females than males. Another study by Robinson et al showed that acute tryptophan depletion in healthy females is more likely to cause a negative mood in women who have previously experienced low mood and tryptophan depletion than those who have not. This study is interesting because depression has a notorious boomerang effect. My take away from the Robinson study is that women who aren’t currently depressed, but have a history of depression, may be most affected by tryptophan depletion.

Does Supplementing with Tryptophan via Pill or Diet Help Depression? 

Maybe. There’s not a robust body of evidence, but there are a few studies that stand out. A randomized controlled trial showed that adding 2 mg of tryptophan to 20 mg of Fluoxetine ( an SSRI) may have a more rapid antidepressant effect and help with insomnia, a common side effect when first starting an SSRI. I’m not a huge fan of SSRIs for depression, but I feel this study is worth mentioning. A small randomized controlled trial involving 25 healthy female volunteers compared a high tryptophan diet vs. a low tryptophan diet. The women who followed the high tryptophan diet had significantly lower symptoms of depression and anxiety.

For anyone whose depression gets worse when premenstrual or for anyone with premenstrual dysphoria, a placebo-controlled, randomized controlled trial showed a significant decrease in premenstrual dysphoria ( mood swings, irritability and tension) in women who took 6 grams of L-tryptophan per day, starting on the day of ovulation till the 3rd day of their menstrual cycle.

What is 5-HTP and how does it relate to Tryptophan?

5-HTP stands for 5-hydroxytryptophan and is part of the metabolic pathway to create serotonin from tryptophan.

5-HTP is commonly sold in health stores and marketed as a treatment for depression. Does supplementing with 5-HTP help depression? Maybe. The evidence is of low-medium quality, but it seems to work better than placebo. If you decide you want to try a supplement, be sure to trust the supplement company that makes it. If you’re like me and prefer to boost tryptophan and 5-HTP via diet,  see below for a list of foods that are high in tryptophan. If you are a vegetarian, soybeans are a very good source of tryptophan, and of course you can always take a supplement.

foodshighintryptophan

What is the Relationship between Tryptophan, Depression & BAD Sleep?

If you are a frequent visitor of my blog, you’ll know that I write a lot about the relationship between depression and bad sleep. When I used to work as the chief of research for an international digital mental health company, we often marketed our insomnia program for depression. The reason we did that is because research shows that if you treat a depressed person’s insomnia and/or bad sleep habits, his/her depression will get better. This is without addressing the depression at all, which makes me wonder what percentage of “depression” cases are really cases of bad sleep? Of course, depression can lead to bad sleep habits, so I think it’s important to remember that depression and sleep have a chicken/egg relationship.

The reason I’m bringing up sleep is because tryptophan is a precursor for serotonin which is a precursor for melatonin. Melatonin is commonly nicknamed the “Vampire Hormone,” because it is the hormone that “only comes out when it’s dark,” and enables us to get the sleep we need for mental and physical wellbeing. It really does act like a vampire, because any light in your bedroom ( including the soft glow of phone lights), will interfere with melatonin secretion.  When we aren’t making enough or secreting enough melatonin, we won’t sleep well, and that can lead to symptoms of depression.

Tryptophan, Depression and Sleep

 

Hope this blog helps explain the relationship between tryptophan, 5-HTP and depression. See below for links to other ways diet may impact mood.

The riddle of Omega-3 Fatty Acids for Depression

The best diet for Depression: What the Research Says.

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Alkaline Water and its Health Claims https://www.bloomingwellness.com/2019/10/alkaline-water-and-its-faulty-health-claims/ https://www.bloomingwellness.com/2019/10/alkaline-water-and-its-faulty-health-claims/#respond Wed, 16 Oct 2019 21:41:38 +0000 https://www.bloomingwellness.com/?p=16886 Unless you’ve never set foot into a natural health store, you’ve heard of alkaline water and its health claims. Alkaline water, or high pH water,  is a very popular wellness product and one you’ll see in natural stores across the country. Along with alkaline water, the alkaline diet is also very popular, with many websites […]

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Unless you’ve never set foot into a natural health store, you’ve heard of alkaline water and its health claims. Alkaline water, or high pH water,  is a very popular wellness product and one you’ll see in natural stores across the country. Along with alkaline water, the alkaline diet is also very popular, with many websites and books dedicated to it. Both alkaline water and the alkaline diet are linked to various health benefits, but is there any solid evidence to support these claims?

In this Causes or Cures podcast episode, I chat with Dr. Tanis Fenton, a researcher who studied the alkaline diet, alkaline water, and the many health claims. Through her research, she discovered the health claims made about alkaline water and the alkaline diet are unfounded and make no sense on a basic scientific level. Yet, alkaline water is very popular, and one can only assume due to spiffy marketing tactics and possibly the placebo effect. Dr. Fenton is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Calgary, a Registered Dietitian, Epidemiologist and Evidence Analyst for Dietitians of Canada. She is the Nutrition Research Lead for Alberta Health Sciences.

I truly hope you listen to the podcast on alkaline water, but before someone accuses me of being “paid by Big Pharma,” like someone did in a natural health Facebook group, I want to assure you that’s not the case. In fact, based on my podcasts about psychiatric medication and the opioid epidemic, Big Pharma probably hates me. Questioning the legitimacy of  health claims surrounding a natural health product or alternative treatment does not make me a pawn of Big Pharma. It makes me logical. In fact, I think it’s smart to not take sides and make it a habit to question everything.

If you don’t listen to the podcast on alkaline water, the most important thing to remember is this: Our blood pH has a very narrow range. It’s between 7.35 and 7.45. When there is a disturbance to the normal pH range, meaning if our blood becomes either acidic (low pH) or basic (high pH), our lungs and kidneys work hard to bring our blood’s pH back to the range of 7.35-7.45. It’s our lungs and kidneys job to ensure that our blood pH remains between 7.35-7.45, because that is the range in which our enzymes ( molecules involved in every bodily reaction) work. When our blood pH is outside the range of 7.35-7.45, our enzymes and organs don’t function properly. People who have blood pH levels outside the range of 7.35-7.45  for a long enough time, are usually very ill.

Also, folks who drink alkaline water believe it’s “making their blood alkaline” because urine strips show that their urine has a high pH. This is 100% false. The urine having a high pH does not have any meaning when it comes to the pH of blood. In fact, because our organs run a tight ship when it comes to keeping our blood pH in a specific range, it’s probably nearly impossible to shift our blood pH through diet and drink alone.

Anyhow, hope you listen to the podcast. I included a graphic to go along with the above explanation on blood pH. Please check it out.

What else?

Have you checked out our new ZENBands?  They are super cute and would make great holiday presents.

Prevent bloating naturally? Try these tips!

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EMF Shields Don’t Work https://www.bloomingwellness.com/2019/10/emf-shields-dont-work/ https://www.bloomingwellness.com/2019/10/emf-shields-dont-work/#respond Sun, 06 Oct 2019 19:48:20 +0000 https://www.bloomingwellness.com/?p=16755 EMF shields don’t work. At least 99.9% of them. That is what I learned in my latest Causes Or Cures podcast featuring Dr. Paul Heroux. Dr. Heroux is an expert on electromagnetism and EMF radiation. He has his PhD in physics and is a researcher who focuses on EMF exposure and biological effects. He is […]

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EMF shields don’t work. At least 99.9% of them.

That is what I learned in my latest Causes Or Cures podcast featuring Dr. Paul Heroux. Dr. Heroux is an expert on electromagnetism and EMF radiation. He has his PhD in physics and is a researcher who focuses on EMF exposure and biological effects. He is highly published in this area and runs InVitro Plus, a toxicology laboratory out of McGill University Health Center, which is dedicated to studying the therapeutic and pathological effects of electromagnetism. He has analyzed several EMF shields on the market, including their scientific claims, and in the podcast explains why EMF shields don’t work.

That said, Dr. Heroux is clear about where he stands on EMF radiation and biological effects. Exposure to EMF radiation is harmful. EMF exposure comes from things like our cell phones, Bluetooth headphones and other wireless devices, laptops, etc.) The harm ( in the form of neurological dysfunction, cancer, infertility, etc.) may take years to manifest, as is the case with radiation exposure, but despite what the tech and phone companies tell you, the risk is real AND supported by quality evidence. Sadly, the populations most at risk are kids and unborn babies. Birth professionals are increasingly telling pregnant people to minimize their EMF exposure and schools in other countries ( not the USA yet, sadly) are minimizing use of wireless.

We definitely need to find a solution to our growing exposure to EMF radiation, but EMF shields aren’t it. I see them everywhere and have a lot of friends and family members who stick them on their devices, but…they don’t work. Sorry. Listen to my podcast with Dr. Heroux to learn why EMF shields don’t work. In fact, not only do EMF shields not work, they may actually be INCREASING your exposure to EMF radiation. Dr. Heroux explains why in the podcast. He also reaffirmed the beneficial behavioral changes we can make to reliably reduce exposure- things I’ve discussed with other EMF radiation researchers in previous podcasts. ( Most of them also said EMF shields don’t work, but I wanted to talk to Dr. Heroux, an expert in this area, to confirm.)

Some of these behavioral changes include:

1. Connecting to the internet via Fiber Optic cables.

2. Turn your wireless off at home when you aren’t using it.

3. Turn your wireless off at night. ( You can get a meter to set this for you, so you don’t have to manually do it every night.)

4. Distance REALLY matters! Your exposure to EMF radiation decreases by the square of the distance between your body and the EMF-emitting device. What does this practically mean? Keep your phone away from your body as much as possible. Talk using speaker phone. Also keep Bluetooth headphones or ear buds away from your body and precious brains.

5. Use wired headphones, not Bluetooth or wireless.

6. If you are pregnant, don’t put an EMF-emitting device directly on your belly and try to minimize EMF exposure as much as possible.

7 If you have kids, minimize EMF exposure as much as possible.

8. If you have a dog or a cat, make sure they don’t nap near ( or on) an EMF-emitting device.

Thanks for reading and/or listening to the podcast. I think this is an important topic so please share and tell your friends. Especially your pregnant friends and friends with kids. Hope you subscribe to my podcast too!  🙂 –  Erin

Follow Blooming Wellness on Instagram for Evidence-Based Health Tips.

Read Manic Kingdom- or add it here on GoodReads! 

Up your relaxation game with a ZENBand!

 

 

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Natural, Homemade Sunscreen: More than 70% Don’t Work https://www.bloomingwellness.com/2019/09/natural-homemade-sunscreen-the-truth-about-whether-or-not-they-work/ https://www.bloomingwellness.com/2019/09/natural-homemade-sunscreen-the-truth-about-whether-or-not-they-work/#respond Mon, 23 Sep 2019 17:41:47 +0000 https://www.bloomingwellness.com/?p=16662     Natural, homemade sunscreen has become tremendously popular , because folks are scared of the chemicals in many conventional sunscreens. But does natural, homemade sunscreen work to prevent sun burns, sun spots or skin cancer? The short answer is No. In my latest Causes Or Cures podcast, I interviewed Dr. Julie Merten who recently […]

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Natural, Homemade Sunscreen

 

Natural, homemade sunscreen has become tremendously popular , because folks are scared of the chemicals in many conventional sunscreens. But does natural, homemade sunscreen work to prevent sun burns, sun spots or skin cancer? The short answer is No.

In my latest Causes Or Cures podcast, I interviewed Dr. Julie Merten who recently did a study on natural, homemade sunscreen recipes on Pinterest. Dr. Merten is an associate professor of public health at the University of North Florida. She is the Editor-in-Chief of the Florida Public Health Review and Chair of the Skin Cancer Prevention Task Force for the Northeast Florida Cancer Control Collaborative. Her research involves behavioral skin cancer prevention. Her recent work on natural, homemade sunscreen recipes on Pinterest was published in Health Communication: “Pinterest Homemade Sunscreens : A Recipe for a Sunburn.”

My podcast with Dr. Merten is worth listening to, because we talk a lot about various aspects of sunscreen: What works, what doesn’t, the SPF riddle, and in general, who or where people are getting their health and wellness advice from. That last one is important, since social media has become folks’ go-to for wellness advice. I often see trendy wellness sites or wellness “influencers” post a spiffy graphic with a bit of health advice that isn’t backed by quality evidence, doesn’t make sense or is simply not true. Personal anecdotes are nice, and can be helpful, but they aren’t quality data. My advice is this: When you are searching for wellness advice online:

1)  Look for randomized controlled trials, meta-analyses or well-done cohort studies for evidence

2) Look at the job and/or credentials of the person giving the advice (And if he/she doesn’t have credentials, does he/she understand science/biology well or at the least, how to differentiate between quality evidence vs poor evidence?)

3) Is the person/website selling anything?

4) At the end of the day, do you trust the person/website?

Advice rooted only in anecdotes or tradition does not mean it’s not useful. It might be very good and helpful, and simply not studied in a large trial. Trials are tedious and expensive. Still, to make an informed decision about a product or taking someone’s health advice, it’s important to know the type of evidence you are working with.

Back to natural, homemade sunscreens:

If you listen to my podcast with Dr. Merten, you’ll learn who is making these homemade sunscreens and the ingredients they are using. You’ll hear that over 70% of these natural, homemade sunscreen recipes offered insufficient protection from the sun. You’ll hear about their “SPF” ( Sun Protection Values) values that were not scientifically derived from any sort of solar simulator, but seemingly pulled from the air and listed as fact. I also brought up the fact that mainstream sunscreen companies notoriously exaggerate their SPF values to trick and entice sunscreen users. Dr. Merten acknowledged that this happens and said it’s wrong. She said that an SPF value above 30 is essentially meaningless. As someone who was always a sucker for the highest SPF, lately I buy nothing over 30.

Dr. Merten also addressed common, legitimate concerns when it comes to sunscreen: Is it inhibiting Vitamin D absorption? What about the chemicals that may be endocrine disrupters? What about the coral reefs?

I use a bunch of natural products ( some have good evidence and some don’t), but sunscreen isn’t something I mess around with. I’m pale, I burn easily and skin cancer runs in my family. I need to know my sunscreen works. That said, I’m also concerned about the chemicals in sunscreen, and brought up that concern with Dr. Merten in the podcast. The chemicals I am talking about are avobenzone and oxybenzone, also commonly found in nail polish and hairspray. Both have been linked to disrupting hormones and birth defects if exposed while in utero. I asked her about a recent study published in JAMA. It was a randomized controlled trial that showed that the application of 4 popular sunscreen brands raises our plasma level of avobenzone and oxybenzone above the recommended FDA threshold. To me, that’s concerning. Dr. Merten knew about the study and gave her opinion on the podcast. (It’s interesting, so listen!)


The good news is that we can avoid the chemical-containing sunscreens altogether, and it’s not by using a natural, homemade sunscreen we are unsure of.  Sunscreen is either a chemical blocker ( like the ones containing Benzones) or it is a physical blocker. The physical-blocking sunscreens contains Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide that, instead of producing a chemical reaction, physically block the sun’s rays. These are mineral-based sunscreens, and those are the ones I use.

In conclusion, I want to stress that sunscreen isn’t proven to stop skin cancer. It helps prevent it, but it’s not a cure-all. If you are worried about sun exposure, it’s most important to stay out of the sun or wear wide hats and big sunglasses when you are in the sun. In a later blog, I am going to come back to the Vitamin D issue and how it relates to sun exposure, because it’s an important one.

More from the blog:

Why I won’t wear or make Bluetooth

Apple Cider Vinegar: Is it Really a Cure-All?

Vitamin D: An interview with Dr. John Cannell: Founder of the Vitamin D Council

From our shop:

Read Manic Kingdom! ( Based on a True Story)

Try a ZENBand here.

 

 

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Apple Cider Vinegar and Health: Is it Really a Cure-All? https://www.bloomingwellness.com/2019/09/apple-cider-vinegar-and-health-is-it-really-acureall/ https://www.bloomingwellness.com/2019/09/apple-cider-vinegar-and-health-is-it-really-acureall/#respond Sat, 21 Sep 2019 23:24:34 +0000 http://www.bloomingwellness.com/?p=9900     I want to start this blog on Apple Cider Vinegar and Health, by sharing an original song I wrote:   View this post on Instagram Just another laundry day, trying to pass time and thinking about that God-like miracle cure #applecidervinegar…. #healthyeating #laundryday #laundryroom #miraclecures #holistic #wellness. DC: This is sarcasm. A post […]

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Apple Cider Vinegar and Health

 

I want to start this blog on Apple Cider Vinegar and Health, by sharing an original song I wrote:

 

Thank you for listening to my tune about Apple Cider Vinegar and Health. Okay…that little ditty was sarcasm, but I have met people who use Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) for everything- from warts to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome to preventing AIDS. If you google Apple Cider Vinegar (Which is a weak acid, Acetic Acid),  you’ll see that it is good for everything. Google is an optimist like that, but it’s not just Google. My best friend from home swears by it for preventing the flu and common colds. She tells me that when she starts to feel the least bit tired and her nose starts to drizzle, she immediately takes a spoonful of Apple Cider Vinegar, and it keeps her well. I have another friend who told me he uses it for pink eye. He told me that it’s the only thing that clears it up super-fast. I have a relative who says that since she’s started taking a spoonful of Apple Cider Vinegar a day, she feels less tired and more energetic. A lot of folks I know use it to “detox,” but they usually can’t define what exactly it is they are “flushing” out of their bodies.

I use Organic Apple Cider Vinegar ( with the mother) on a regular basis, but I don’t think it’s a super food or a super nutrient or a super vinegar. I don’t believe it’s a panacea. I don’t think any food or food-related item is super, nor do I think any food is 100% bad.  Those are privileged first-world distinctions that drive me nuts. Do you know what a “super food” is in a starving, developing nation? Any darn thing they can put in their mouths.

What does research tell us about Apple Cider Vinegar and Health?

Based on the studies I’ve read, I use Apple Cider Vinegar after big, carbohydrate dinners or sugary desserts. One study in Type Two Diabetic patients showed that ingesting vinegar ( note: Any kind) after meals that rank high on the glycemic index ( meals that contain heavy carbs & sugars) significantly reduces blood glucose levels. It has also been shown to reduce post-meal insulin levels. Reducing blood glucose levels after meals, especially in Type 2 Diabetics, helps lower your risk of obesity, metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular disease. Metabolic syndrome is what you want to avoid. In general, Metabolic Syndrome is classified by a cluster of events: (Insulin Resistance, Abdominal Obesity, Dyslipidemia and Endothelial Dysfunction.) Getting Metabolic Syndrome sets you up for a devastating cardiac event. Now,  I’m not a Type 2 Diabetic, but I’m paranoid of getting Metabolic Syndrome and like to keep my sugar on the low side. A couple other studies support the notion that regularly taking Apple Cider Vinegar not only improves short-term glucose control but long-term too, as measured by the HA1C values. (HA1C is Hemoglobin A1C and it tells you how well someone is managing their diabetes or glucose control long-term.)

HOW MUCH SHOULD YOU TAKE?

I mix 4 tsp of Apple Cider Vinegar with 8 tsp of water. (If you are trying to control your Type 2 Diabetes this way, you want to keep ingesting this consistently after meals.)

Apple Cider Vinegar may also improve cholesterol levels and triglyceride levelsIt may even slow down dangerous fat build-up in our livers.   NO research specifically states that Apple Cider Vinegar helps you lose weight, however, I can see how better glucose regulation could help control weight gain. If you want to lose weight, you’re better off exercising and cutting calories than depending on Apple Cider Vinegar to do it. I know it’s not sexy, but that’s life. Losing weight and keeping it off requires time, work and commitment.

In my research on Apple Cider Vinegar and health, I saw a lot of patents pending for the use of  Apple Cider Vinegar to fight Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), though I couldn’t find any legitimate evidence, aside from personal testimony, that it works for this. Personal anecdotes are not strong data. One patent claimed that the combination of Apple Cider Vinegar and garlic works against GERD. I have no idea. If it works for your GERD, great, just don’t burn your esophageal lining. A lot of folks don’t dilute their dose of Apple Cider Vinegar with water and end up burning themselves. Speaking of burns, a lot of the literature on Apple Cider Vinegar is cautionary case studies of individuals using Apple Cider Vinegar to remove warts, skin tags, pimples, etc., and accidentally burning themselves. Unless you want a Darwin award, don’t do that.

In closing, if Apple Cider Vinegar works for you, awesome. Keep doing what you’re doing, as long as you’re safe, logical and not delusional. It’s not a panacea no matter how much you want to believe it is.

 

More from the Blog:

What does research support as the Best Diet for Depression?

Try our ZENTones in our shop!

Try a ZENBand for relaxation!

 

 

 

 

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Cell Phones, Wireless and Pregnancy and the link to ADHD https://www.bloomingwellness.com/2019/09/cell-phones-pregnancy-fetal-health-effects-interview-yale-hospitals-chief-ob-gyn-dr-hugh-taylor/ https://www.bloomingwellness.com/2019/09/cell-phones-pregnancy-fetal-health-effects-interview-yale-hospitals-chief-ob-gyn-dr-hugh-taylor/#respond Mon, 09 Sep 2019 19:26:19 +0000 http://www.bloomingwellness.com/?p=11017 What’s the deal with cell phones, wireless and pregnancy? Can being exposed to EMF radiation while in utero lead to ADHD, cognitive dysfunction and behavioral problems? One top doctor shows it can. While the latest and greatest new gadget is exciting and trendy, I always wonder how it impacts our health, especially that of a […]

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What’s the deal with cell phones, wireless and pregnancy? Can being exposed to EMF radiation while in utero lead to ADHD, cognitive dysfunction and behavioral problems? One top doctor shows it can.

While the latest and greatest new gadget is exciting and trendy, I always wonder how it impacts our health, especially that of a vulnerable, developing baby. No one ever discusses health implications when a new phone or wireless gadget hits the market, because we are way more focused on all the cool things it can do. It’s no secret that technology evolves at a super fast rate, but the human body does not. We are adaptable, but how adaptable? We can be exposed to a lot of potentially harmful things and be fine, but how much is too much? This is one reason I always tell pregnant people to minimize cell phone use, exposure to Bluetooth and wireless, and if they use our ZENBands for hypnobirthing, plug into a cheap Mp3 player. Better safe than sorry.

Today I’m excited to talk to Dr. Hugh Taylor, a highly accomplished doctor and researcher who conducted a randomized controlled trial on the effects of cell phones on pregnant mice. While mice aren’t human, they are biochemically and genetically very similar. Dr. Taylor is the chief of Ob/Gyn at Yale New Haven Hospital. He is a graduate of Yale College and the University of Connecticut School of Medicine. He completed his residency at Yale, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship in molecular biophysics and biochemistry at Yale and a fellowship in reproductive endocrinology and infertility. Dr. Taylor is the editor-in-chief of the journal Reproductive Sciences and editor of Endocrinology. He serves on the board of directors of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) and is on the governing council of the Society for Gynecologic Investigation (SGI).

Erin: Can you tell us about the study you did on pregnant mice and cell phones and the key findings?

Dr. Taylor:  Sure. We had two groups of pregnant mice and put cell phones on top of their cages. One phone was always on, and always communicating with a cell phone tower. The control group used a cell phone that was plugged in, but it was not communicating with a tower, so it wasn’t getting any radiation. But it used the same charger, cord, and had the same set up. The active phone was silent and muted, to make sure noise didn’t interfere with the findings or stress the mice out. It was well-controlled. We exposed the pregnant mice throughout the entire pregnancy, and saw some pretty dramatic findings in the offspring. Behavioral wise, the two groups were quite different. In the active cell phone group, the offspring had significant memory reduction. They were more hyper-active, and less fearful about it. In other words, they were forgetful and bouncing off the wall, but didn’t have a care in the world. The closest thing that we think it resembled is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. We tested on various cages too, to make sure the cage itself didn’t create a difference.  What we were looking at was fetal brain development, the time we think the brain is most vulnerable and most sensitive to exposures, much more so than adult brains. Only fetal brains were exposed to the cell phones, and we removed the phones after birth.  Then we studied the behavior of the mice at all ages, and the differences existed for all the time frames, meaning they behaved differently throughout the duration of their life.

Erin: You also took tissue samples and did pathological studies? 

Dr. Taylor:  Yes, we took the brains out, tested some of the neurons and showed that the electrical currents in the brains between groups were different. The synapses fired differently, so there were different electrical potential across the cells. This tells us why they have these different behaviors, because there really is different wiring in the brain. Again, these mice weren’t exposed to cell phones after birth. So our findings are related to exposure only during birth. The prenatal brain was permanently altered and programmed differently throughout life.

Erin: The effects remained the same throughout the rodent’s lifecycle?

Dr. Taylor:  It did not dissipate. We looked at the effect of aging, though haven’t published those findings yet, so I don’t want to go into details. Suffice to say that at any point, at any age, the difference remained when compared to the control group. Also, this isn’t an all or nothing response. It’s a dose-related response, which means limiting cell phone exposure can have a significant positive effect. Not using the cell phone 24 hours a day would probably be helpful.

Erin: Can you think of any anecdotal evidence or case studies in humans related to this, that you can talk about? 

Dr. Taylor: There is more than anecdotal studies. I referenced one in the paper if you have that (Reference 11) . There are a lot of studies that show that women who were pregnant and lived near cell phone towers or talked a lot on their phones during pregnancy were more likely to have children with behavioral problems. The issue of that is, is it an association? It doesn’t prove cause and effect. The first critical response is usually, “Well of course they have kids with behavior issues! They are always on the phone and not paying attention to their kids.”  You always have to worry about those confounders when an association is all you’re finding. In the mouse study, the critics would say, “Well it’s a mouse, it’s not human,” but I think you need to pay attention when all the evidence is pointing in the same direction. The mouse study was carefully controlled.  The mice are genetically the same, eat the same diet are in the same cages and exposed to the radiation for the same length of time.  The only difference between the two groups of mice was the cell phone exposure, so you know that’s cause and effect, whereas in the human studies, there are so many variables you can’t control for. But when a carefully controlled animal study and the human studies are saying the same thing, that’s pretty compelling evidence, in my mind, that the association is strong.

Erin: Did you notice any other health effects besides behavioral ones, like cancers., etc?

Dr. Taylor: The NIHS has done better studies on other health effects of cell phones. In our study, there wasn’t an increase in cancers, but we really didn’t have enough mice to evaluate those types of effects. You need a bigger study to do that, and we weren’t powered adequately to do that. So it’s not surprising we didn’t find that.

Erin: From a practical perspective, what should pregnant women do to minimize their risk? 

Dr. Taylor: The first thing is this: It’s pretty clear that cell phone exposure can be harmful, but it is a dose-related response. So limit your cell phone exposure. Don’t talk 24/7. More importantly than that, don’t keep your cell phone right next to your abdomen where your baby is growing. The cell phone intensity drops quickly and is related to the square of the distance between you and the phone. So going from 1 foot to 2 feet away would be a quarter of exposure and 10 feet would be 1/100 of exposure. So it drops very quickly.  I tell people very simple things, like at night, don’t have your cell phone on your abdomen or your pillow. Use wired headphones. Turn it off or put it somewhere else, like on a table or desk on the far side of the room. Simple things. It’s important to remember that the cell phone is constantly communicating with the cell phone tower and always giving off radiation and sending out signals whether you are talking on it or not.

Erin: And during the day?

Dr. Taylor:  A lot of women carry their phones in a purse, their pockets and have it by their side.  Just get it away from your abdomen. It’s a simple thing.

Erin: Are you doing more research in this area?

Dr. Taylor: It’s tough to get funding, but in the future, there will be more papers that come out on this topic from our group.

Erin: You see kids getting diagnosed with ADHD at younger and younger ages. Do you think this type of cell phone exposure has anything to do with that? 

Dr. Taylor: It sure may. There are probably a lot of reasons for that. I’m not an expert in that field, but that is what we’ve seen in the epidemiologic evidence and animals. That is the closest diagnose. Hyperactivity, inability to concentrate, reduced memory…, exactly the type of the thing we were seeing.

In summary, guys, I’m posting the below graphic for ways you can minimize your exposure to EMFs. Also check out my Causes Or Cures podcast on which I interview top researchers on how EMFs are impacting our health in other ways. Worth a listen!

Wireless Headphones and Cancer

 

Questions or comments? Post below.

 

Thanks for reading!

Erin Stair, MD, MPH 

Read Dr. Stair’s new novel, Manic Kingdom, based on a true story of breakdown and breakthrough!

Manic Kingdom by Dr. Erin Stair

Get a ZENBand for Hypnobirthing & Relaxation : Headband, Flat, Pillow Speakers and Eye-Mask in One.

Wireless and Risk of Brain Tumors

Join Dr. Erin’s Private Facebook Group: Blooming Wellness Peer Support

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Cell Phone Addiction Quiz https://www.bloomingwellness.com/2019/09/cell-phone-addiction-quiz/ https://www.bloomingwellness.com/2019/09/cell-phone-addiction-quiz/#respond Thu, 05 Sep 2019 13:35:23 +0000 https://www.bloomingwellness.com/?p=16465 Is cell phone addiction a real thing?  I think so. Do you think you might be addicted to your cell phone? Take this cell phone addiction quiz and see how you score. Obviously, the higher you score, the more you want to think about cutting back on your cell phone use. If you score over […]

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Cell Phone Addiction

Is cell phone addiction a real thing?  I think so.

Do you think you might be addicted to your cell phone? Take this cell phone addiction quiz and see how you score. Obviously, the higher you score, the more you want to think about cutting back on your cell phone use. If you score over 31, consider yourself addicted and try to cut back.

I realize that people use their cell phones for work, health Apps, organizational Apps and other “vital” things that may cause folks to become defensive of their cell phone usage. This quiz isn’t to “shame” or “label” anyone. It’s purpose is to create awareness of one’s cell phone usage. If you have a high score on this quiz, perhaps it’s time to consider ways to reduce cell phone time. Perhaps it’s time to think about answers to these questions: Is the cell phone preventing you from fully engaging in the real world around you? Is the cell phone causing you to “sit and scroll” too much, that might be leading to added weight gain, depression and even anxiety? Is your cell phone usage interfering with a good night’s sleep? Is it hurting your eyes? Is it interfering with cultivating intimacy with real people in real life? Do you think you might have a cell phone addiction? 😉

In past blogs, I’ve written about a phenomenon I labeled the “phone pull” which I describe as an intense feeling ( like a craving) to constantly check your phone. In my opinion, it’s a type of tech-fueled anxiety. Whether you are being pulled by a dating App, social media, a game, messenger or email…the pull is there. I noticed this pull first in myself and realized how unhealthy it is. It’s very similar to a craving for a drug, and it pulls me out of real life and into a digital world. On no planet is that healthy. Then I took this quiz to build my own self-awareness around my phone usage and figure out ways I could cut back. I cut usage little by little and notice that I feel calmer, more content and thankfully less possessed by the monster phone pull. I’ve been going on walks without my phone; running without my phone; ditching it at night when I’m in bed and during social encounters…, and I feel a lot better. I suppose it’s a digital detox. A much needed detox. Now, if I run and want to listen to music or if I want to do sound therapy ( like ZENTones) or hypnosis, I  ditch my phone and use an Mp3 player. The phone pull anxiety has dissipated, my meditation/hypnosis practice is more effective, and I’ve experienced a freeing feeling…as if I didn’t realize how much my cell phone was weighing me down mentally. Furthermore, I’m cutting down my exposure to EMF radiation (electro-magnetic frequencies), which is credibly linked to serious health issues. So, given my own experience, I think it’s very possible to have a cell phone and be addicted to it. In fact, I think it’s very common…to the point of normalizing cell phone addiction. But being normal, doesn’t make it healthy.

This quiz is not a perfect science. It’s an adaptation from a study designed to produce a valid screening tool for cell phone addiction. As mentioned, I would use it only as a tool to create self awareness. The source of that article and where this quiz comes from is the following: ( Kwon, M., et al ( 2013). The Smartphone Addiction Scale: PLoS ONE 8 (12))

 

Pregnant? Minimize your cell phone and wireless exposure.

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EMFs and Neurological Deaths https://www.bloomingwellness.com/2019/09/emfs-and-neurological-deaths-and-early-onset-dementia/ https://www.bloomingwellness.com/2019/09/emfs-and-neurological-deaths-and-early-onset-dementia/#respond Wed, 04 Sep 2019 19:54:19 +0000 https://www.bloomingwellness.com/?p=16454 What is the link, if any, between our increased exposure to EMFs and the increased rate of neurological deaths in the developed world? Is the rise in EMF exposure at all linked to the spike in early-onset dementia? My latest podcast episode tackles this issue. Our continual reliance on wireless technology has increased our exposure […]

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What is the link, if any, between our increased exposure to EMFs and the increased rate of neurological deaths in the developed world? Is the rise in EMF exposure at all linked to the spike in early-onset dementia? My latest podcast episode tackles this issue.

Our continual reliance on wireless technology has increased our exposure to EMF ( Electro Magnetic Field) radiation like never before. Cell phones, Laptops, Bluetooth, wireless headphones…it’s everywhere. While tech companies continue to produce faster and smarter wireless technology at rapid rates, they don’t seem to ever address safety issues when it comes to EMF exposure and our health. (Mainly because they don’t have to.) The good news is that independent researchers and scientists, some previously featured on my podcast Causes Or Cures, have performed animal studies and written up human case studies concerning EMF exposure. That growing body of evidence suggests that EMF exposure is certainly not benign, absolutely impacts mammalian cells, and the World Health Organization should, at the least, readdress the dangers of EMF exposure. EMF exposure is now linked to brain tumors, heart tumors, ear tumors, ADHD and cognitive impairment, neurological issues and infertility issues. This podcast will focus on EMF exposure and neurological deaths.  EMF exposure seems especially harmful when exposed to kids and while in utero. Many health advocates are so concerned that they call EMF the “new smoking.” Yet, it’s everywhere and only getting worse. As my guest for this podcast aptly puts: “We can no longer do a controlled experiment on EMF exposure, because it’s everywhere. We are all currently part of the experiment.” What a thought, right? Just when you thought you weren’t a lab rat…

Dr. Pritchard is a researcher and professor at Bournemouth University in the UK and a professor of psychiatry at The University of Southampton School of Medicine. He is internationally known for his work on suicides and child abuse. Recently, he has been using data provided by the World Health Organization to document changing rates in deaths due to neurological diseases in developed nations. These neurological diseases include ALS, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkison’s Disease, and early-onset dementia. The trend Dr. Pritchard has documented is significantly increased rates of  neurological deaths overall, with the USA having the highest increase over the last several years. He has also documented more cases of early-onset dementia, as early as forties and fifties, especially in the US. What is causing this increase? Dr. Pritchard offers his theory on EMF exposure as the “tipping point” for the rise in neurological deaths.

Click Here to Listen to This Podcast.

Wireless and Cancer Risk: With Dr. Fiorella Belpoggi

An Interview with the Holistic Psychologist Nicole LePera 

Mental Health and the Current Political Climate, with Gabriel Nathan

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Neuticles: Testicular Implants for Dogs and More https://www.bloomingwellness.com/2019/08/neuticles-testicular-implants-for-dogs-and-more/ https://www.bloomingwellness.com/2019/08/neuticles-testicular-implants-for-dogs-and-more/#respond Tue, 27 Aug 2019 10:32:24 +0000 https://www.bloomingwellness.com/?p=16354 What the heck are Neuticles? They are testicular implants for dogs and more. On the street, they are known simply as fake balls. 😉 Now, if you’ve never heard of Neuticles, you aren’t alone. A lot of people haven’t. I happen to know what they are because my dad, a veterinarian, once had a client […]

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What the heck are Neuticles? They are testicular implants for dogs and more. On the street, they are known simply as fake balls. 😉

Now, if you’ve never heard of Neuticles, you aren’t alone. A lot of people haven’t. I happen to know what they are because my dad, a veterinarian, once had a client who requested a pair for his dog. I was stunned such a product existed. In short, they are custom-made testicular implants for dogs, however as you’ll learn from the podcast, other kinds of animals have a pair of Neuticles, including monkeys and at least one elephant. True story. (Apparently a rich guy in New York bought a pair of Neuticles for his elephant. How many rich guys from New York would do that? 😉 )

In this podcast, I was thrilled to connect with Greg Miller, the inventor of Neuticles, to learn more about them and him. How the heck did such an invention come about? In this podcast, you’ll hear me talk to Greg about the psychology behind Neuticles, for both the animal and the animal’s caretaker, the most common customer request Greg gets (It’s outrageous but predictable), who gets Neuticles and why they get Neuticles. If you’re into celebrities, he drops some celebrity names who apparently have dogs with Neuticles. Greg also talks about his own interesting story, where he started in life and how he ended up inventing and making a fortune on pet testicular implants. He also gives some great life advice at the end that, as irony would have it,  is completely unrelated to testicles. That said, you do need balls, in the metaphorical sense, to get anywhere in this life. This is a highly entertaining and informative podcast ,so enjoy it. To listen, click here: All things Neuticles.

Hope you subscribe to Causes Or Cures!

More episodes from the podcast:

The Social Brain Hypothesis for Depression

Benzodiazepine Withdrawal: One Doctor’s Experience 

Manic Kingdom on Amazon.

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The Social Brain Hypothesis for Depression https://www.bloomingwellness.com/2019/08/the-social-brain-hypothesis-for-depression-with-dr-watt/ https://www.bloomingwellness.com/2019/08/the-social-brain-hypothesis-for-depression-with-dr-watt/#respond Sun, 25 Aug 2019 11:46:28 +0000 https://www.bloomingwellness.com/?p=16307   New Causes Or Cures podcast posted: The Social Brain Hypothesis for Depression Anyone who struggles with depression or knows someone who struggles with depression should listen to this podcast. We don’t talk enough, if at all, about the social brain hypothesis for depression, yet we should, because  it could help a lot of people […]

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Depression and the Social Brain

 

New Causes Or Cures podcast posted: The Social Brain Hypothesis for Depression

Anyone who struggles with depression or knows someone who struggles with depression should listen to this podcast. We don’t talk enough, if at all, about the social brain hypothesis for depression, yet we should, because  it could help a lot of people who are currently struggling. That includes people of any sex, age, occupation and relationship status. I’ve received a few phone calls from folks who listened to this podcast and thanked me. They were trying to manage their own depression, or a loved one’s, and looking for new answers, because the medication we have for depression doesn’t offer the best long-term outcomes and has a lot of side effects to consider, including withdrawal syndrome.

Dr. Douglas Watt is a forensic neuropsychologist with over 30 years of clinical practice. He has degrees from Harvard and Boston College, has served as the director of clinical psychology in two Boston teaching hospitals and has been on the faculty of the Boston University School of Medicine for 15 years. He teaches classes on affective neuroscience and its implications. He’s also a prolific writer and has written numerous articles on this topic ( the social brain hypothesis for depression) and others.

In this podcast, Dr. Watt joins Dr. Stair to discuss the Social Brain Hypothesis for Depression and why he believes depression is an evolutionary shut-down mechanism, the chemical imbalance theory is reductive at best,  and why conventional antidepressants fall short. He discusses what social rejection and loss of relationships does to us neurologically and why folks with an impaired capacity to make meaningful social attachments can become addicted to social media as a failed replacement for real-life intimate connections. In other words, our social media connections won’t help. Finally, he discusses why playfulness is a great promoter of intimacy, play as a mammilian prototype, our current play deficit and what we can do to fix it.

This is a longer podcast, but it’s full of wise gems. I know our society doesn’t like to focus on one topic for a prolonged period of time, but I  highly, highly, highly recommend listening to at least some of it. Depression and chronic loneliness are both increasing around the globe, and Dr. Watt offers a solid reason why. I implore you to listen to it if you struggle with depression! Truly.

I don’t make it a secret that I struggled immensely with my depression in my twenties. While that used to be a common decade for struggling with depression, I think it’s happening frequently at any age now. I also struggled with finding a path to recovery and, frankly, conventional wisdom failed me. I learned nothing about The Social Brain, but I wish I did, because it would have helped.  All anyone did was offer me text-book therapy lines that I already knew and throw pills at me. If I compared my path to recovery to a biking trip, I started out on the standard, well-marked conventional and paved road. I followed the rules and kept going for a while, but couldn’t ignore a gut feeling that I wasn’t feeling better. In fact, I felt worse. An inner force compelled me to swerve off the conventional road and head into the unmarked woods, where I found myself surrounded by brush, weeds and trees. I moved forward on my bike, only to hit trees, crash down hills, get bit by mosquitoes and meet complicated beings along the way who had their own vices and struggles. Confusion, scratches, feeling lost, bruises, undoing, doing…but the most remarkable thing was that I wasn’t actually tripping aimlessly through the woods. I was forging my own path to recovery. And when convention fails you in a big way, forging your own path is the only option. I wrote about that time in my life in my book Manic Kingdom. Hope you read it and hope you listen to this podcast.  

 

Other Causes Or Cures Podcasts:

One doctor’s struggle with Benzodiazepines

Wireless Technology and Our Increased Risk of Brain and Heart Cancer: An Interview with Dr. Fiorella Belpoggi

Opioids or Marijuana? What it’s like to be a Spoonie.

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Wireless and Health: Why I Won’t Make a Bluetooth ZENBand https://www.bloomingwellness.com/2019/08/wireless-and-health-and-why-i-wont-make-a-bluetooth-zenband/ https://www.bloomingwellness.com/2019/08/wireless-and-health-and-why-i-wont-make-a-bluetooth-zenband/#comments Sun, 18 Aug 2019 16:55:31 +0000 https://www.bloomingwellness.com/?p=16184   Wireless and Health: Why I won’t make a Bluetooth ZENBand I get asked ALL OF THE TIME why I don’t make a wireless or Bluetooth ZENBand option. I encourage folks to get the phone adapter (dongle) from Amazon or, if you are really serious about your wellness, hypnosis or meditative practice and want to […]

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Wireless Headphones and Cancer

 

Wireless and Health: Why I won’t make a Bluetooth ZENBand

I get asked ALL OF THE TIME why I don’t make a wireless or Bluetooth ZENBand option. I encourage folks to get the phone adapter (dongle) from Amazon or, if you are really serious about your wellness, hypnosis or meditative practice and want to minimize distraction completely, to get an Mp3 player.  One person recently exclaimed, “What is this? The 1980s?”  So let me explain:

 

At one point, I was going to make a Bluetooth ZENBand. It was incredibly affordable to make, and wires started to feel retro, even antiquated. But I was still interested in any potential health risks attributed to EMF radiation exposure. EMF stands for electro-magnetic field. It’s non-ionizing radiation, and how things like our cell phones, Wifi and Bluetooth operate. I began casually searching studies and contacting researchers so I could pick their brains. One doctor I came across was Dr. Joel Moskowitz, director of community health at the University of California, Berkeley. He didn’t mince words. He wrote me, “Wireless headphones are the opposite of wellness.”

 

I was a bit stunned, given the seemingly ubiquitous nature of wireless technology. I put the wireless production on hold and began to dig deeper. The tedious systematic literature review ensued!

 

Trying to make a health assessment on a “new” exposure is tricky. When a new tech product comes to market, no robust studies are required to prove health safety. It’s not like a drug that requires several levels of testing. A randomized controlled trial involving humans, the gold standard of evidence, would be unethical. Hence, we have to rely on animal studies and epidemiological data and analyze trends. Essentially, is the epidemiological data trending with the results of animal studies?

 

My search uncovered that 250 scientists and doctors from around the world had sent a petition to the World Health Organization warning about the potential health problems from wireless technology. The petition was signed prior to the rise of wireless headphones and earbuds, and mostly focused on cell phones. Cell phones emit more EMF radiation than Bluetooth, but my concern with Bluetooth was its proximity to the head and brain.

 

Still, that was one petition and I wasn’t convinced. Plus, everyone I talked to would call me a “Quack” for even expressing concern. I was the object of numerous eye-rolls. Clearly, if there were no warnings and wireless was everywhere, there couldn’t be any deleterious health effects. Right….RIGHT?!?

 

My next step was to contact some of the signers of the petition and talk to them. My hope was to have them on my Causes Or Cures podcast. Several agreed, and so far, two podcasts related to EMF exposure and health problems are posted. I plan on posting more.

 

The first person I interviewed on the topic of wireless and health was Dr. Fiorella Belpoggi. She is the head of research at the Ramazinni Institute in Italy and director of the Cesare Mal-toni Cancer Research Center. She has published over 100 peer-reviewed papers and has conducted the largest animal study to date on EMF exposure and cancer. Her study found that EMF exposure increased the risk of gliomas, a type of brain tumor and schwannomas, a type of heart and ear tumor. The results of her study were consistent with the results of another million-dollar study conducted by the U.S. Health and Human Services’ Department of Toxicology. Both studies showed an increase in the same type of rare tumors. ( The Dept of Toxicology also found a link to pheochromocytomas, tumors of the adrenal gland.)  So, the two largest animal studies on EMF exposure and cancer showed consistent results. Dr. Belpoggi stated that there is no question that EMF radiation affects mammalian cells. When I asked her about potential mechanisms of action, given that EMF radiation was non-ionizing, she told me that the fact that it is non-ionizing is “nonsense” when studies clearly show it affects mammalian cells. To listen to her podcast, click here. I also wrote a separate blog post summarizing her points and recommendations for mitigating risk from exposure.

 

Next, I interviewed Dr. Anthony Miller, a trained medical doctor and Professor Emeritus at the University of Toronto’s Dall Lana School of Public Health. He is a longtime advisor to the World Health Organization and was the Senior Epidemiologist for the International Agency for Research on Cancer. He’s published numerous studies on the epidemiology of cancer and environmental causes of cancer, so I wanted to ask him about wireless and health. When I asked him to rate the evidence for potential harm from wireless technology, he told me it was very robust. He said that he expected an epidemic of brain tumors related to EMF exposure. I then asked him how it was possible to make such a strong statement against wireless technology, when it’s used everywhere and people are either listening with their wireless headphones or on their cell phones most of the day. He told me that tech and phone companies are extremely powerful enterprises with a lot of ad money. In short, money talks. On a promising note, he said that the World Health Organization will most likely reopen the analysis of EMF radiation and its current carcinogenic ( cancer-causing) ranking. You can listen to my podcast with Dr. Miller here.

 

I also interviewed Dr. David Carpenter via Skype audio, but sadly my recording didn’t record. Dr. Carpenter is a public health physician and director of the Institute for Health and the Environment, a collaborating center of the World Health Organization. He’s a professor at the University of Albany’s School of Public Health, where he previously served as Dean. Dr. Carpenter received his medical training at Harvard medical school, has over 400 peer-reviewed publications and wrote 6 books. He echoed what the other researchers/doctors told me: that there is significant evidence that EMF-radiation causes harm and the World Health Organization needs to address it. I remember him telling me that his daughter is a veterinarian and when she ran around seeing animals, she’d put her cell phone in her bra, because it was a convenient place to put it. He scolded her, told her to never do that, because he was worried about the increasing rates of breast cancer. I related to that story, because when I’m running around without a purse, etc., I’m always wondering where to stick my cell phone. It’s ended up in my sports bra a few times- but I’ll never do that again! Dr. Carpenter also said there is zero proof that any of the EMF shields/ protection devices now flooding the market truly work. That’s worth digesting, because a person might feel protected with a “shield” and not cut back on their use of EMF-emitting devices, when there’s no solid or repeat evidence to suggest they are even remotely effective.

 

Prior to these interviews and even my notion of creating a wireless ZENBand, I had interviewed Dr. Hugh Taylor, the chief of Ob/Gyn at Yale New Haven Hospital. He is the editor-in-chief of Reproductive Science and editor of Endocrinology. Dr. Taylor published a randomized controlled trial showing that cell phone exposure in pregnant mice led to mice that exhibited symptoms that would be classified as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder ( ADHD).  You’re probably saying to yourself, “But those are mice. And how in the world does one identify ADHD in mice?”  Fair question, and I’m linking to the interview here. The most compelling finding of Taylor’s study is that he had actual objective evidence to support the ADHD observations. He and his team took pathological samples, or sections of the fetal mice brain, and analyzed them for differences. The pathological specimens between the fetal group exposed to EMF radiation were different than the pathological specimens of the group not exposed to radiation. That’s a compelling objective finding. Other researchers have documented cognitive and memory impairment in relation to in-utero EMF exposure, in addition to decreased fertility overall, and I plan on exploring these areas more in the future. I plan on exploring how EMF affects the microbiome, our memory and cognitive ability overtime.

 

I want to note that everyone I spoke to mentioned that the distance between the EMF-emitting device and one’s head/body is highly significant. If you increase this distance, even by a small amount, you significantly reduce your risk of potential harm. Your exposure decreases by the square of the distance the device is from your body. In our tech-infested lives, this is good news. It means I can put my phone on speaker if I need to make a call, use wired headphones and keep all EMF-emitting devices off of my body.

 

The studies above are a mere sliver of the expanding body of evidence showing that EMF radiation can be hazardous to our health – That wireless and health are linked and impact each other. We should be even more concerned when we consider our increasing reliance on technology and the time we spend on wireless devices. We should be really concerned about exposure in vulnerable groups, such as children and pregnant people. In the spirit of the oath I took in medical school, “First Do No Harm,”  we shouldn’t choose to do anything with the potential for great harm if it’s not necessary, and we should uphold the Precautionary Principle. For those unfamiliar with the Precautionary Principle, it’s this: “The principle that the introduction of a new product or process whose ultimate effects are disputed or unknown should be resisted.”

 

Not making a Bluetooth ZENBand is a horrible marketing decision for me, but it’s the one most consistent with my ethos as a doctor and proponent of public health and wellness. Just like I won’t fry my brain and walk around with two microwaves in my ears, I won’t wear Bluetooth or wireless headphones, so I won’t sell them to you. If I sold them to you, I’d be an awful hypocrite. When I use my ZENBand and listen to audiobooks or music for a prolonged period of time, I use an old Mp3 player. It’s a nice way to engage with the world around me and escape the distractions in my phone.

 

Finally, for the wireless and health risk dedicated doubters, remember the story of cigarettes. Cigarettes were immensely popular and mainstream for years and years. It took a very long time for the health risks of cigarettes to catch up with the popularity and profitability of smoking and the formidable power of the tobacco industry. Think about Roundup, the world’s most popular pesticide. These exposure stories usually follow a similar plot, but luckily for us, the Hippocratic Oath eventually prevails.

 

For more information on wireless and health, visit Microwave News or contact erin@bloomingwellness.com

Erin Stair, MD, MPH 

Shop ZENBands here

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