The Curse of Fibrin

clotting

If Fibrin didn’t exist, we would bleed to death, literally. But when Fibrin goes awry, it can lead to a host of diseases including Rheumatoid Arthritis, Cystic Fibrosis, Pulmonary Fibrosis, Fibrocystic Breasts, Endometriosis, Fibroids, Thrombosis, Cardiovascular Disease, Liver Cirrhosis, Heart Disease and a host of many other diseases involving inflammation.

When Fibrin works as it should:

“Fibrin (also called Factor Ia) is a fibrous protein involved in the clotting of blood, and is non globular. It is a fibrillar protein that is polymerised to form a “mesh” that forms a hemostatic plug or clot (in conjunction with platelets) over a wound site.”-Wikipedia

When Fibrin is the bad guy:

Rheumatoid Arthritis:

“Recent research has shown that fibrin plays a key role in the inflammatory response and development of rheumatoid arthritis.”-Wikipedia

Scar Tissue:

Not all scar tissue is considered bad necessarily, but when it’s in your organs, it can lead to terrible problems.  And when it’s in your brain, it can lead to Multiple Sclerosis.

The below paragraph says that there are “no direct treatments for elevated levels”, meaning fibrin levels, yet anyone taking serrapeptase or studying alternative medications and diseases and knows about enzymatic therapy knows that you can reduce fibrin levels with certain supplements and can effectively reduce your CRP.  So why are so many doctors in the dark about this?

“Sometimes fibrinogen (the test) is ordered, along with other cardiac risk markers such as C-reactive protein (CRP), to help determine a patient’s overall risk of developing cardiovascular disease. This use of fibrinogen has not gained widespread acceptance though, because there are no direct treatments for elevated levels. However, many doctors feel that fibrinogen measurements give them additional information that may lead them to be more aggressive in treating those risk factors that they can influence (such as cholesterol and HDL).”-www.labtestsonline.org

“Fibrinogen is an acute phase reactant, meaning that fibrinogen concentrations may rise sharply in any condition that causes inflammation or tissue damage. Elevated concentrations of fibrinogen are not specific — they do not tell the doctor the cause or location of the disturbance. Usually these elevations in the fibrinogen blood level are temporary, returning to normal after the underlying condition has been resolved. Elevated levels may be seen with:

While fibrinogen levels are elevated, a person’s risk of developing a blood clot may be increased and, over time, they could contribute to an increased risk for developing cardiovascular disease.” –www.labtestsonline.org

If elevated fibrinogen levels are involved in inflammatory disorders, then here is a longer list of inflammatory disorders that would greatly improve with the direct decrease of fibrinogen:

“Abnormalities associated with inflammation comprise a large, officially unrelated group of disorders which underlie a vast variety of human diseases. The immune system is often involved with inflammatory disorders, demonstrated in both allergic reactions and some myopathies, with many immune system disorders resulting in abnormal inflammation. Non-immune diseases with etiological origins in inflammatory processes are thought to include cancer, atherosclerosis, and ischaemic heart disease.[4]

A large variety of proteins are involved in inflammation, and any one of them is open to a genetic mutation which impairs or otherwise dysregulates the normal function and expression of that protein.

Examples of disorders associated with inflammation include:

Allergies

An allergic reaction, formally known as type 1 hypersensitivity, is the result of an inappropriate immune response triggering inflammation. A common example is hay fever, which is caused by a hypersensitive response by skin mast cells to allergens. Pre-sensitised mast cells respond by degranulating, releasing vasoactive chemicals such as histamine. These chemicals propagate an excessive inflammatory response characterised by blood vessel dilation, production of pro-inflammatory molecules, cytokine release, and recruitment of leukocytes.[4] Severe inflammatory response may mature into a systemic response known as anaphylaxis.

Other hypersensitivity reactions (type 2 and type 3) are mediated by antibody reactions and induce inflammation by attracting leukocytes which damage surrounding tissue.[4]

Myopathies

Inflammatory myopathies are caused by the immune system inappropriately attacking components of muscle, leading to signs of muscle inflammation. They may occur in conjunction with other immune disorders, such as systemic sclerosis, and include dermatomyositis, polymyositis, and inclusion body myositis.[4]

Leukocyte defects

Due to the central role of leukocytes in the development and propagation of inflammation, defects in leukocyte function often result in a decreased capacity for inflammatory defense with subsequent vulnerability to infection.[4] Dysfunctional leukocytes may be unable to correctly bind to blood vessels due to surface receptor mutations, digest bacteria (Chediak-Higashi syndrome), or produce microbicides (chronic granulomatous disease). Additionally, diseases affecting the bone marrow may result in abnormal or few leukocytes.

Pharmacological

Certain drugs or exogenic chemical compounds are known to affect inflammation. Vitamin A deficiency causes an increase in inflammatory responses,[8] and anti-inflammatory drugs work specifically by inhibiting normal inflammatory components.

Cancer

Inflammation orchestrates the microenvironment around tumours, contributing to proliferation, survival and migration. Cancer cells use selectins, chemokines and their receptors for invasion, migration and metastasis.[9] On the other hand, many cells of the immune system contribute to cancer immunology, suppressing cancer.”-wikipedia

If you’re not convinced by wikipedia that too much fibrin is bad news, plenty of other good sources for information are out there, including pubmed.  Just do a quick google search on fibrin.

Hodgkin’s Disease: “Fibrin deposits were observed in the involved lymph nodes and/or spleens of 15 patients with Hodgkin’s disease by specific immunofluorescence and by electron microscopy. Two basic patterns of fibrin deposition were observed: 1) intercellular deposits, chiefly associated with nonneoplastic-appearing lymphoid cells and 2) deposits associated with the collagen fibers of young connective tissue. In addition, coarse fibrin deposits were observed in areas of necrosis, presumably a non-specific finding. Fibronectin was also observed in intercellular areas, but staining was less intense than for fibrin. Fibrin deposits were also observed in 3 of 6 cases of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, indicating that the finding is not an exclusive feature of Hodgkin’s disease. The pathogenesis and possible significance of fibrin deposition in Hodgkin’s disease are related to earlier observations of activation of the coagulation system on neoplasia and cell-mediated immunity and to the possible role of fibrin, fibronectin, and their breakdown products in angiogenesis and fibroplasia.”-pubmed

Multiple Sclerosis: “Tissue plasminogen activator (tPA), a neuronal as well as the key fibrinolytic enzyme, is found concentrated on demyelinated axons in multiple sclerosis lesions together with fibrin(ogen) deposits. The decreased tPA activity in normal-appearing white and grey matter and lesions of multiple sclerosis is reflected in diminished fibrinolysis as measured by a clot lysis assay. Nonetheless, peptide products of fibrin, including D-dimer, accumulate on demyelinated axons-the result of fibrinogen entry through a compromised blood-brain barrier (BBB). Analysis of tissue samples on reducing and non-reducing polyacrylamide gels demonstrates complexes of tPA with plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1) but not with neuroserpin, a tPA-specific inhibitor concentrated in grey matter. As total tPA protein remains unchanged in acute lesions and the concentration of PAI-1 rises several fold, complex formation is a probable cause of the impaired fibrinolysis. Although the tPA-plasmin cascade promotes neurodegeneration in excitotoxin-induced neuronal death, in inflammatory conditions with BBB disruption it has been demonstrated to have a protective role in removing fibrin, which exacerbates axonal injury. The impaired fibrinolytic capacity resulting from increased PAI-1 synthesis and complex formation with tPA, which is detectable prior to lesion formation, therefore has the potential to contribute to axonal damage in multiple sclerosis.”-pubmed

Since most of us are never ordered a fibrinogen test from the doctor, then my best assumption is that any tests that show an elevation of inflammation, would therefore mean that there is too much fibrin in the blood.  As you can see, too much fibrin results in inflammation and can lead to disease.  The only therapies that I know of that reduce fibrin are enzymatic therapies, which is why I take serrapeptase.   I prefer brands that are enterically coated.  Feel free to share your fibrin story.

Health before Wealth

Recently I was talking to my mom about the newest thing I’m thinking of trying. It’s suppose to balance the pH of your water, along with add electrolytes and minerals. (see link) She asked, “How can you afford to take all of these things?”

The truth is, financially I can’t really. I’m stretched as thin as a rubber band, ready to break at any moment. These are hard, economical times.

On the flipside, can I afford to NOT keep trying new therapies in hope that remission will soon be giving me a high five at my doorstep? Sure I’m feeling great in a sense that I’m completely functional with RA. But as long as I’m not in remission, there’s still damage being done. I’m thinking long term. It’s the same as keeping up on your teeth cleaning. If you don’t, you could end up with some serious tooth decay, along with heart conditions and toxins invading your body. What kind of damage is happening to my hands long term? And there’s no guarantee with conventional drugs either that you can skip out on the deformities. Just clue into a recent post and you’ll see that hand deformity is just like the disease itself in that it varies from person to person. So you have to do your best to get inflammation under control no matter what you’re taking. Even if you’re taking DMARD’s and Biologics, you have to consider that eating right and exercising would be a wise, helpful choice since these medications can raise cancer risks, among other things. Our bodies are long term investments.

From time to time expense comes up as a topic in my RA support group. The idea of going organic, buying fresh food vs packaged, and taking supplements that can improve overall health seems too expensive to some. Most people embrace the burden of the extra costs, but a few need encouragement that long term, investing in the right foods and supplements will save money. This is particularly tough when a lot of us, including myself are living paycheck to paycheck. What you pay now at the grocery mart will help determine the costs of your future medical bills. Just like I am spending money on supplements, rather than movies or haircuts, I’m figuring that the money I spend now could make for a less expensive health bill in the future. Not only that, but the better I feel and the more that I can do, the better chance I have at making more money in the future, simply because I’ll be able to keep up a career and hopefully advance in that career.

So my motto is, when you’re trying to decide what to eat for lunch and your choice is a hamburger on the doller menu or that organic salad with grilled, free range chicken that were raised without antibiotics….. choose the latter. Because in my opinion, you’re going to be paying for your health in one way or another.

Elizabeth Gilbert: Olé!!

I got this video from “Creative Chronic Babes” and found it appropriate for just about anyone. Elizabeth Gilbert is funny, soothing and inspiring. Although you may not end up ROFL, it’s still a must see if you enjoy a great speaker and want to feel inspired. Sit back and enjoy.

Lactoferrin, A Miracle Supplement

LactoferrinI have always been on the lookout for a natural supplement that can do what an antibiotic does. But wait, Lactoferrin does so much more. The amount of information out there on Lactoferrin is unbelievable, and I’m wondering why it’s taken until now for me to even hear about it. Read on and you will discover Lactoferrin is a supplement you should consider if you want to fight viruses, cancer, autoimmune diseases, and inflammation in general. And for those who are tired of taking supplements or popping any more pills, I have the answer for you too. Bioactive Whey is a great source for Lactoferrin. Scoop it up and serve it in your favorite drink. Your immune system will thank you later….

“It’s an effective anti-oxidant, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer agent and immune-boosting powerhouse. The FDA felt confident enough to approve its use as a spray on beef carcasses to kill E. coli 0157:H7, a particularly virulent disease-causing bacteria.”-Raw Milk Facts

Although further research needs to be made, Lactoferrin is believed to be helpful for the lungs whether they are inflammatory conditions such as Sarcoidosis, Cystic Fibroisis, or cancerous lungs. “Lactoferrin is a protein that is found naturally in milk, tears and saliva and can stop the growth of bacteria by preventing them forming ‘biofilms’ (when bacterial cells group together on a surface, such as the lining of the lung).”-European Medicine’s Agency

Lactoferrin (LF), also known as lactotransferrin (LTF), is a globular multifunctional protein with antimicrobial activity (bacteriocide, fungicide) and is part of the innate defense, mainly at mucoses……….The combination of iron and lactoferrin in mucosal secretions modulate the ability and aggregation of pathogenic bacteria, and inhibit both bacteria and viruses by binding to host cells/viral particles. This inhibits the ability of bacteria and viruses to attach to cell membranes. It is also an antifungal agent.”-Wikipedia

If you’re taking drugs like Enbrel, Orencia, Humira, Amevive, Epogen Remicade or Herceptin, these are inhibitors of tnf-protein. The problem with these drugs is they come with a wide range of side effects, including some rare, but very serious ones which can be even more serious than the condition that you’re taking them for. “Lactoferrin released at sites of inflammation interacts with mononuclear cells (16) and suppresses the production of inflammatory cytokines such as tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha ) and interleukin-1 (IL-1) (6).”-Clinical and Vaccine Immunology

The possibilities of Lactoferrin seem endless.

Immunity:

“Lactoferrin is found throughout the human body and occurs in all secretions that bathe mucous membranes such as saliva, tears, bronchial and nasal secretions, hepatic bile, pancreatic fluids, and is an essential factor in the immune response. Lactoferrin is concentrated in oral cavities where it will come in direct contact with pathogens (i.e. viruses, bacteria, etc.) and kills or greatly suppresses these pathogens through a variety of different mechanisms. In fact, there are specific receptors for lactoferrin found on many key immune cells, such as lymphocytes, monocytes and macrophages, and is known to be directly involved in the upregulation of natural killer (NK) cell activity. “-Life Extension

Anti-Viral:

“Lactoferrin has been found to both directly and indirectly inhibit several viruses that cause disease in humans. It directly inhibits viruses by binding to viral receptor sites, thus preventing the virus from infecting healthy cells. For example, in vitro studies have found that lactoferrin strongly binds to the V3 loop of the gp120 receptor on HIV-1 and HIV-2, resulting in inhibition of virus-cell fusion and entry of the virus into cells.10 In addition, lactoferrin indirectly kills or inhibits viruses by augmenting the systemic immune response to a viral invasion. It’s interesting to note that there is a systemic deficiency of lactoferrin in people with HIV infection.”-LifeExtension

Anti-Cancer:

“Perhaps one of the most promising uses for lactoferrin may be in its potential as a nontoxic adjuvant cancer treatment agent. Extensive in-vitro (test tube) and in-vivo research with animals has shown lactoferrin to be a powerful anti-cancer agent.”-LifeExtension

Colon and Lung Carcinomas:

“Sekine et al. have demonstrated in vivo prevention by bovine LF (bLF) of aberrant crypt foci (ACF) and colon carcinomas in rats pretreated with azoxymethane and Bezault et al. found that injection of human lactoferrin (hLF) markedly inhibited tumor growth of solid tumors derived from v-ras transformed fibroblasts and a methl-cholanthrene-induced fibrosarcoma as well as lung colonization by the B16-F10 melanoma in an expermintal metastasis mode.”-Clinical & Experimental Metastasis

Anti-microbial:

“One study looked at lactoferrin as a “natural antibiotic” and found that lactoferrin both in-vitro and in-vivo strongly inhibited the toxic bacteria helicobacter pylori. They stated “It is concluded that bovine (cows) lactoferrin has significant antimicrobial activity against helicobacter species in-vitro and in-vivo.”(16) Another study using both in-vitro and in-vivo methods added lactoferrin to the drinking water of mice and subjected them to the toxic microbe staphylococcal. The study found that the mice getting the lactoferrin as 2% of calories reduced kidney infections by 40% to 60% and reduced bacterial counts 5- to 12-fold. They concluded “the results suggest a potential for the use of lactoferrin as natural anti-bacterial proteins for preventing bacterial infections.”(17)-LifeExtension

Antioxidant: “‘Several studies suggest lactoferrin reduces oxidative stress. Diseases such as cancer, heart diseases and AIDS are all closely related to oxidative stress either as a causative factor or as a factor in progression of the disease. One study that examined the role of whey proteins, multifermented whey proteins and lactoferrin in oxidative stress made the bold statement, “We can conclude that whey protein, lactoferrin and multifermented whey are good candidates as dietary inhibitors of oxidative stress and should be considered as potential medicinal foods in various pathologies as HIV infection and cancer.'(21) “-LifeExtension

Skin:

  • Repairs and purifies the skin
  • Reduces itching
  • Increases the skin’s defence mechanism
  • Reduces red and burning skin

Healthy Gums:

“A wide range of research institutions are focusing on and conducting research into lactoferrin. Through exhaustive gene expression analysis and administration studies, Lion was able to find out that lipopolysaccharide (LPS), a pathogen produced by periodontal bacteria, not only stimulates the progress of periodontal disease but also increases the level of cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood, a condition known as “dyslipidemia,” which is one form of metabolic syndrome*. “-LION

Anemia:

“It is relevant in the battle against anemia because it appears to improve iron absorption from food and helps transport this essential mineral to wherever it’s needed.”-HF

Candida and Ecoli:

“Lactoferrin possesses two known direct anti-microbial peptides called lactoferricin B and lactoferrampin. Researchers exposed cells of Candida albicans and E. coli to lactoferrin and then watched what happened under a high power laser-scanning microscope. The lactoferrin was taken up into the cell membranes of both organisms within a few minutes, and then proceeded to disrupt the integrity of their cell membranes, which either kills them directly or enables the immune system to fight an easier battle. The researchers observed that it was the lactoferrampin peptide that disturbed Candida, whereas the lactoferricin B disrupted E. coli. This indicates that lactoferrin uses multiple strategies depending on the type of problem.”-Wellness Resources

Arthritis:

“We have recently shown that resistin is a key mediator of arthritis accumulating in the inflamed joints and exerting its pro-inflammatory properties independently of TNFalpha. Here we evaluate neutrophils as a cellular source of resistin. Human neutrophils were subjected to subcellular fractionation where the presence of resistin was assessed using western blot, ELISA, and mass spectrometry. Presence of resistin on the neutrophil surface was visualized by flow cytometry. More than 95% of the neutrophils in circulation and in synovial fluid express resistin on their surface. Stimulation of mature neutrophils with fMLF induced release of resistin into supernatants and increased expression of resistin on the surface. Resistin is mobilized simultaneously with lactoferrin, a protein found in specific granules, and with granule-stored CR3/CD11b. Subcellular fractionation of human neutrophils demonstrated the presence of resistin in azurophilic and in specific granules. Here we show that neutrophils have two pools of resistin, the major one exists in specific granules, and the second on their cell membrane. Release of resistin from the neutrophil granules probably serves the main source of resistin at the site of inflammation.”-PubMed

Crohn’s, Colitis, Irritable Bowl Syndrome and other Intestinal Issues:

Perfect for a disease like Chron’s, “Lactoferrin also inhibits gut inflammation….”-Journal Of The American College of Nutrition

“The observation that lactoferrin can inhibit local inflammation by inhibition of TNF-{alpha} mediated immune responses predicts that lactoferrin exerts a similar antiinflammatory role at local sites of immune defense where the protein is expressed (e.g., the gastrointestinal tract, lung, uterus, etc).”-Journal Of The American College of Nutrition

WHEN DRUG THERAPIES AND ALTERNATIVE THERAPIES DON’T WORK

You just bought yet another supplement. Two weeks down the road, you haven’t noticed any changes. The supplement is expensive and you’re tired of keeping your hopes up. Is it worth continuing? After all, shouldn’t it have done something by now?

Vitamin E can take up to three months to work

When I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis, one of the very first medications they give you is prednisone, a type of steroid, known as a corticosteroid. As with any steroid, this drug is very fast acting. Unfortunately, the drugs I tried after Prednisone took much, much longer to work. Methotrexate can take up to six months to work for some people, while for others it can work as early as one or two months. And then there are others who never experience any relief from Methotrexate after having been on it for many months.

So what do you really need to know when trying out a new drug, supplement or therapy? How do you know if you’ve given it enough time? Why is it that some people seem to do really well with supplements and claim they work, while others claim they don’t work at all? Why do some people have to try endless drug therapies before they finally reach the right one, while others might get relief right away?

Here are my thoughts on how to make any drug, supplement or therapy a success………

1. Research the drug, supplement or therapy.

Research, research and then research some more! It’s impossible to have a successful outcome from all drugs or therapies in terms of getting relief, but not wasting your time is success! I always have my favorite dependable sites like Mayoclinic for example that I depend on for information, but do be sure to also look at blogs, Wikipedia and ask people on support groups, as well as people you might personally know. It’s important to get a well rounded view on possible outcomes. Most people will be against experimentation. You’re not always going to get the kind of support you want, and that’s something to consider also. In the end remember, it’s your body and your decision, period.

2. Have realistic expectations.

If you have a chronic disease, the odds are against you, that you will find a drug or supplement that puts you in remission. Many people do go into remission, but many more don’t. There are different types of remission as well. Most people who achieve remission, achieve “drug induced remission” meaning that if they went off the drugs, their symptoms would come back full force. There is the rare person who achieves remission and can go off drugs without the return of symptoms. There are also different degrees of drug induced remission. You can be considered in remission and yet still have some symptoms of the disease. Most auto-immune diseases require “stacking” medication before symptoms of the disease are relieved. Keep that in mind when taking supplements. Although there are many supplements that can do amazing things, you will mot likely still have some symptoms of your disease if you are on only one supplement. Drugs and supplements both take time to work. Research how long it usually takes for something to work and consider adding on an extra month just in case your body takes longer than most. Remember that this is somewhat of a gamble. Even your doctor doesn’t know what drug will best suit you or how long it will take.

3. Understand “Hering’s Law”.

Natural Healing is based on “hering’s law” which in a nutshell means that people often re-visit previous symptoms temporarily. This is often when people quit their new supplement or medication, while re-visiting symptoms is often an indicator that you’re on the right track! Having side effects from a drug or supplement doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Any kind of detox will give you side effects simply because the toxins have to re-enter your blood stream and exit your body. This can cause lots of symptoms. Antibiotic therapy is also another therapy that people often stop because they suddenly get side effects. If people could just realize that this is often a sign that you’ve found the right medication for you, they could stay on the right track and reap the benefits right around the corner! On the flip side, side effects that are not normally a disease symptom, like vomiting or blurry vision, depending on your disease, could be a sign that the drug you’re taking is not the right drug for you. For people on drugs like methotrexate, side effects often become less severe over time, but this is not considered “Hering’s Law.” “Hering’s Law” is the re-visitation of old symptoms from the disease itself, not new side effects from the drug. If you are having severe side effects like vomiting or blurry vision and these are not normal symptoms of your disease, then you should consider talking with your doctor and possibly coming off of the drug.

Some pharmaceutical drugs don’t cause you to re-visit symptoms because they suppress the immune system. Suppressing the immune system, vs. emptying the body of toxins are two entirely different things. It’s important to realize that side effects are simply part of the healing process when it comes to a lot of supplements, alternative therapies and select drugs.

5. Don’t group all supplements or alternative medications into one lump sum.

Look at each one individually and it’s specific mechanics.  It’s absolutely essential to understand how a supplement, drug or therapy works so that you’re not hindering the process. Some supplements or drugs require a special diet or other supplements in order for them to work. N-Acetyl Cysteine is one of them. It rids your body of toxic metals. But it’s important to take this supplement with extra Vitamin C among other things in order for it to work. Along with that, you have to supplement the metals that are important to your body, like zinc, iron and selenium because N-Acetyl Cysteine doesn’t have the capabilities of only selecting specific metals.

6. Try to take into account how complicated the body is, how much it changes from person to person and how if something doesn’t work for one person, it doesn’t necessarily mean it won’t work for you.

We eat different foods, have different lifestyles, have different personalities. OF COURSE we’re all going to react differently to medications, no matter what they are. That’s just part of being human. Even a supplement like Vitamin E, for instance, can take up to three months before you might notice a difference. So hang in there and give it plenty of time!

7. Natural healing needs the effort of the person to consider what they’re ingesting, whether it’s the wrong foods or medications that are inhibiting the supplement from working.

Minocycline therapy for instance, can be easily impared. “Minocycline’s absorption is impaired if taken at the same time of day as calcium or iron supplements. Unlike some of the other tetracycline group antibiotics, it can be taken with calcium-rich foods such as milk, although this does reduce the absorption slightly.[6]“-Wikipedia

Make sure you read about a drug or supplement carefully before taking it, unless you’re willing to throw all caution to the wind. I know for myself, sometimes I get both lazy and daring. Sometimes that works out and sometimes it backfires.

In my support group, a woman with Crohn’s told everyone to avoid aloe vera juice because it had caused her intestines to swell and cause blockage. In fact because of her aloe vera juice experience, she cautions everyone to avoid alternative treatments completely. To this day, I feel like I’m missing quite a bit of information so I can understand the full story. Where did she buy her aloe vera juice, for example? And was it pure aloe vera juice or were there other ingredients? As well, was it possible that she was experiencing “Hering’s Law” and just drank the aloe in too much of a fury? I will never know. Some Aloe Vera Juice products contain lots of sugar and sugar is highly inflammatory. It’s very possible that that could have been the culprit.

In the end, research everything and listen to your body. Do what you feel is right. You have to live in your own skin. You are the only person that knows you the way that you do. And don’t forget to share your successes with the rest of us!

What Smoking and Rheumatoid Arthritis have in common

Smoking is found to be the largest trigger of RA

Smoking is found to be the largest trigger of RA

I always knew I didn’t like smoke and I often offended people when I spoke up about it.  Now I wish I had simply done a better job at avoiding second-hand smoke all together.  Complaining did nothing for my health.  Dating smokers and working in restaurants which exposed me to smoke may have triggered my RA.  Watch this video and learn about how studies with identical twins and lab mice can teach you about smoking and environmental toxins.

Rheumatoid Arthritis: Part Two

Michael Jackson: Proof of a failed health care system?

While cardiologist Conrad Murray goes missing in action, authorities say the doctor, is not a criminal suspect.

“Craig Harvey, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County coroner, said there were no signs of foul play in the autopsy and further tests would be needed to determine cause of death. He said Jackson was taking some unspecified prescription medication but gave few other details.”

“We do not consider him to be uncooperative at this time,” Beck said. “We think that he will assist us in coming to the truth of the facts in this case.”-Huffington Post

Still you have to wonder, with Michael Jackson taking the precaution of having a live-in doctor, why is it that Brian Oxman thought this was bound to happen?

“I said one day we’re going to have this experience. And when Anna Nicole Smith passed away, I said we cannot have this kind of thing with Michael Jackson,” Brian Oxman, a former Jackson attorney and family friend, told NBC’s “Today” show. “The result was I warned everyone, and lo and behold, here we are. I don’t know what caused his death. But I feared this day, and here we are.”

Oxman claimed Jackson had prescription drugs at his disposal to help with pain suffered when he broke his leg after he fell off a stage and for broken vertebrae in his back.”-Huffington Post

Rumor has it that Michael Jackson was using the pain killer Demerol.

“The government warns that mixing it with certain other drugs can lead to reactions including slowed or stopped breathing, shock and cardiac arrest.”-Huffington Post

I know all to well how easy it is to trust that a doctor is looking out for you. When you have someone writing you prescriptions, you trust that they know what’s best. Someone like Michael Jackson probably never even thought about reading the warning labels on his medications. Why would he when he had his own live in doctor? I have to wonder if this doctor even considered his mental health, another problem with the health care industry. You would never have a psychologist sit down with the family doctor and discuss whether it’s safe to prescribe pain killers, and yet that’s the kind of health care I wish we had. Of course most people know MJ’s mental health is at least in question.  I think his doctor should have  thought twice about giving him pain killers but because this is a business, I’m sure most doctors in this position would do what they thought they needed to do to keep their job.  Enzymes could have been a great alternative to pain killers, which would have helped with pain, healing and inflammation.   It’s also nearly impossible to take too many. Not only that, his cardiovascular health would have improved! With such a simple solution, why was Michael’s health put in jeopardy?

For myself, I’ll still never forget being prescribed Sulfasalazine. I got the ok from both my gynecologist and rheumatologist that Sulfasalazine would not interfere with birth control pills, later to find that they do interfere with each other. So what does this mean? Do we have a failed health care system?

In my opinion, we absolutely do. Too many times have doctors failed me, and other people. How can a health care system work if it relies on profit? Healthy people are not profitable, and that’s just plain and simple. Cures are not profitable when there are many more medications that can manage a disease. I’m not saying that scientists aren’t searching for cures, but at the same time, I can’t trust a health care system that isn’t meant for everyone.

So yes, in my opinion I think that Michael Jackson’s doctor did fail him. Prescriptions shouldn’t be taken lightly and they shouldn’t be handed out like candy. You shouldn’t have to research your medications because you’re afraid your prescriptions aren’t compatible. You SHOULD be able to simply trust your doctor that he really knows what’s best for you. I hope that one day I’ll feel that way about doctors, that I can trust them fully and completely. And I hope one day I can trust my health insurance company (when I have one again) that they’re not going to drop my coverage if I forget to write that I was treated for acne as a child…..(and that was taken from a true story about a woman who got cancer but the insurance dropped her coverage because she failed to report her childhood acne prescriptions.) Life is short and without the best medical care, it can become even shorter.

Michael Jackson, your music was powerful and your talent, unforgettable. Rest in peace.

And for those of you that loved his music, here’s my favorite song, “It’s the Falling in Love”. I tried to find a better video that really represented this song…but this was the best I could find:

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