Medical Procedure Estimate Tool

No Surprise Medical Bills – Medical Procedure Estimate Tools

You deserve to know the cost of caring for your health.

Amino @AminoHealth recently launched new health care cost estimate tools that you will be interested in.

See cost estimates for ~50 medical procedures and services nationwide (USA) across dermatology, diagnostics, men’s health, orthopedics, preventative care, surgeries, and women’s health.

Amino tools now let you:

  • Compare cost differences in your region based on your insurance.

  • Calculate what you might pay from your own bank account with an out-of-pocket cost calculator.

  • View and compare cost estimates for individual doctors–and book an appointment with the doctor of your choice for free through Amino.

As part of their  launch campaign, they created an exclusive infographic that will walk you through the complexities of estimating health care costs.

Estimate_Health_Costs_Infographic

Launch the health procedure cost estimate tool

vaping is stupid

Why Vaping Is as Dumb as Smoking

There’s a lion enclosure at your local zoo. The lions have a well-documented history of attacking people on sight. The lions have not yet been fed that day. Given the data at hand, deciding to jump into that enclosure would be pretty stupid, wouldn’t it?

Say there’s a different lion enclosure at another zoo. The lions are new to captivity. There’s no data regarding their reactions to humans. They’ve been fed.

Which enclosure would it be safer to jump into?

The second, obviously. The lions have at least been fed, so a human leaping in doesn’t look like a magically appearing meal. There’s no proof they’ve attacked before, so there’s at least a chance they won’t attack now. But is it safe to jump into that enclosure?

The answer, of course, is an emphatic no. Just because an activity is safer than, it doesn’t make it safe, especially when the data needed to make that decision is incomplete.

Vaping: Safer Than

vaping teenagerVaping delivers a nicotine fix without the tobacco, sating an addiction without the known carcinogenic and other medical dangers of tobacco. As such, it’s touted as a safe, satisfying alternative to smoking. It’s marketed as a fun hobby and an effective way to quit smoking cigarettes. Fact: neither of those marketing claims is facts.

Not enough studies and tests have been completed to support sweeping statements regarding the safety of e-cigarettes and vaping. There is no conclusive evidence that these alternatives are effective tools for kicking a tobacco habit.

Where’s the Data?

Over the last decade, the e-cigarette and vaping industry have exploded, resulting in a largely unregulated $3 billion global industry.

The data has, simply put, not had the time to catch up to the market. Policymakers and lawmakers are struggling to decide if and how to regulate e-cigarette use. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), World Health Organization (WHO), and other guardian entities of health and public safety are scrambling to find the footholds they need to even begin studying the effects of vaping on the human body.

In other words, there isn’t enough data to show that vaping is a definite health threat, but there also isn’t enough data to prove that it’s safe.

Emerging Health Concerns

A lack of definitive answers does not equal a complete lack of data or concerns.

Health organizations like the American Lung Association are beginning to compile and investigate a growing list of concerns including, but not limited to:

  • Manufacturers have not revealed the chemicals used in their products
  • Early tests have already found significant cancer-causing chemicals
  • A child has already died from accidentally ingesting liquid nicotine from e-cigarettes
  • Preliminary studies also raise concerns over the risks of secondhand emissions

Frightening Setbacks

Thanks to diligent research and effective communication, the population of cigarette smokers in the United States has dropped to between 12 and 28%, depending on the state.

But while Big Tobacco’s control and influence are waning in traditional cigarette sales, they are starting to make up for it through vaping. In the case of youth sales, vaping has allowed them easy, unchecked access to a new market.

As of 2013, “over a quarter of a million youth who had never smoked a cigarette used e-cigarettes.” That’s triple the amount from 2011. Imagine what that figure would be today.

Between flavoring options and marketing, it is clear that the vaping industry is taking advantage of the lack of oversight and regulations to create an addicted consumer base among youth and children.

Pro-Profit, Anti-Truth

Whether it’s Big Tobacco at the helm or new vaping manufacturers, the end-goal is clear: profit. If the decades of runarounds, cover-ups, and deceptions from the tobacco industry have proven anything, it’s that the manufacturer of the goods has no incentive to reveal the dangers and risks their goods pose to consumer health and safety.

Does that sound too cynical to be true? For some light reading, read WHO’s information revealing just how much the tobacco industry was willing to lie, deny, and cover up in the name of profit.

With vaping profits on the rise, consumers need to ask: why should we believe an addiction-for-profit based industry’s word now?

Why Is Vaping as Dumb as Smoking?

vaping outside schoolIt’s like jumping into that second den of lions because the lions told you: “Come on in – I already ate.” 


Jennifer Landis is a tea-drinking, yoga loving, clean eating blogger, writer, wife, and mother. You can find more from Jennifer at her blog, Mindfulness Mama.

Superbug- The End of Antibiotics

Superbug: The End of Antibiotics? Are We All Going to Die?

What on Earth is a superbug?

Imagine having an incurable bacterial infection that doctors can’t stop from spreading. How long have you got to live? You are asking yourself, how this can be possible in the 21st century. The era of the superbug has dawned upon us. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 2 million people get sick from a superbug every year, out of which 23,000 die.

How super is a superbug?

The term ‘superbug’ is a sensational one that has been coined by the media because it resonates by creating fear. We all know how the media loves a little bit of drama right? Brian K. Coombes, PhD, of McMaster University in Ontario explains:

Brian K. Coombes, PhD, of McMaster UniversityDoctors often use phrases like “multidrug-resistant bacteria.” That’s because a superbug isn’t necessarily resistant to all antibiotics. It refers to bacteria that can’t be treated using two or more.

And yes, on the 27th of May the case of a 49 year old woman with a superbug that beat even the last-resort antibiotic was all over the news:

CNN Superbug

However as the article on CNN’s website shows, it all ended well:

Cnn Superbug cure

So no big deal right?

Wrong! Let’s not even think of belittling the situation. The threat is real, and 23,000 deaths a year is no joke. Besides, antibiotics are the backbone of modern medicine.  Here is more from Brian K. Coombes:

Cancer chemotherapy, organ transplants, surgeries, and childbirth all rely on antibiotics to prevent infections. If you can’t treat those, then we lose the medical advances we have made in the last 50 years.

How do I protect myself from a superbug?

1. Avoid antibiotic misuse

Do not misuse antibiotics by taking them when you don’t need them or by not finishing all of your medicine. According to the CDC, this is the “single leading factor” contributing to this problem. Also know that the more antibiotics you’ve taken, the higher your risk of catching a superbug.

2. Stay alert in hospitals

The hospital is also a high-risk place to be. The more visits you to the hospital setting, the more you risk catching a superbug. In the hospital environment, you may catch a superbug through what experts call ‘healthcare-associated infections’ (HAIs).  According to the CDC,” Many of the most urgent and serious antibiotic-resistant bacteria threaten patients while they are being treated in healthcare facilities for other conditions, and may lead to sepsis or death.” So make sure the doctors and nurses are following the right protocol to avoid infections.

Please see the CDC infographic below:

Superbug antibiotic-resistance

 

3. Avoid antibiotic-tainted meat

The use of antibiotics in farm animals leads to an increased risk of antibiotic resistant infections in humans. Get your meat from your local farmers, it may be more expensive but it tastes better and is much safer.

how_antibiotic_resistance_spreads

What can science do to fight antibiotic resistance?

Anya Vanecek put this question out on Quora and we found the best answer for you. Mary Bushman who does research on resistance in malaria had the best answer. I have put it down word for word:

There are multiple ways we can manage antibiotic resistance. The following is a mix of current, well-accepted methods, as well as some ideas that are still being explored/tested.

1. Preserve the effectiveness of the drugs that still work

(a) Limit use of antibiotics (agricultural use and inappropriate prescribing, as well as over-the-counter availability in many countries) and encourage correct use (finishing the course of treatment).

(b) Prevent resistant bugs from infecting others (infection control in clinical settings, plus regular public health interventions to reduce transmission).

(c) Combination therapy – treating with multiple drugs simultaneously. Using two or more drugs makes it harder for resistance to emerge, since the bug would have to develop resistance to both drugs.

(d) Vary the selection pressure. The more consistently a drug is used, the more advantage there is in being resistant. Using a variety of drugs (by giving different drugs to different people or switching the “drug of choice” every few years) may help prevent or reduce resistance.

2. Develop new drugs

(a) Find drugs with mechanisms of action (ways of killing) that don’t overlap with current drugs. When drugs share a mechanism, resistance to one will often mean resistance to the other. Finding drugs that work in different ways helps avoid this, and also works better for combination therapy.

(b) Search for drugs that are hard to develop resistance to. As we learn more about how different drugs kill, and how resistance works, drug development can be smarter and more targeted (as opposed to random screening of thousands of compounds for antibiotic activity).

(c) Unfortunately, developing new drugs is expensive, and pharmaceutical companies weigh the cost of development against a new drug’s money-making potential. We badly need new drugs for malaria and tuberculosis, but since these are mainly diseases of “poor people” who can’t afford expensive new drugs, pharm companies consider it a bad investment.

3. Try to reverse existing resistance

(a) In some cases, when a drug stops being used because of resistance, the resistance will actually start to go back down. This is because of a “cost” of resistance, meaning when the drug is not there, the resistant types don’t do very well. An example is that chloroquine-resistant malaria is present in many places, but in a number of places where chloroquine is no longer used, the resistance has decreased. If we can control drug use enough to make this happen, we may be able to “save” some drugs that are losing their effectiveness.

(b) In some cases, there can be a “trade-off” with resistance to different drugs. You can be resistant to drug A, or to drug B, but not both. If resistance to drug A is very common, and you start treating everyone with drug B, the bug might evolve resistance to B, but would have to lose the resistance to A. So, you might be able to start using A again in the future. This won’t happen in every case, or even very often, but when it does happen it can be a neat solution.

See the original answers to”How do we solve antibiotic resistance?”

Conclusion

So we can conclude that antibiotic resistance is not the end of antibiotics. The superbug that just came to the U.S. is still treatable as I explained. We have been creating more and more resistant strains by misusing antibiotics, be it through direct consumption or through farm animals. Perhaps someday all bacteria will be resistant to all types of current antibiotics, but that just means we will have to discover a new type of cure.


Source:

Superbugs: What They Are and How You Get Them
Superbugs threaten hospital patients
A dreaded superbug found for the first time in a U.S. woman
New CDC report links factory farms to antibiotic resistance
Brian K. Coombes Profile
scientific lies

Science Journals Lie to You and You Know It!

In a world where nearly all so-called “science” is actually little more than corporate fraud and government malfeasance, nearly all mainstream science journals have been taken over by pharmaceutical and biotech interests. As a result, they destroy and suppress human knowledge rather than expanding it. – Mike Adams (aka the “Health Ranger”)

About Mike Adams – Why you need to make him your friend!

mike adams health rangerIf you haven’t heard of the Health Ranger, you need to. Mike Adams, also known as “Health Ranger” is the founder of NaturalNews.com, the biggest and ‘baddest’ natural health news website which boasts 7 million unique readers a month.

He conducts atomic spectroscopy research into food contaminants at his Natural News Forensic Food Lab, His efforts have made numerous food safety breakthroughs such as revealing that rice protein products imported from Asia are contaminated with toxic heavy metals like lead, cadmium, and tungsten.” As a food science researcher, he was first to document high levels of tungsten in superfoods. For more of his discoveries and objectives read his complete bio: Mike Adams – Health Ranger.

Why do you need to continue reading?

health ranger labThe worst kept secret in the world of science today is that the big science journals are puppets for corporate interests. As Mike Adams himself put it: “spewing out a vomitous cascade of fraudulent, industry ghostwritten “doctored” studies that the industry pretends represent real science”.

As consumers, we are constantly being told what to eat in order to stay healthy. The health industry is booming because we are told to buy this brand of food or follow a certain type of diet. We believe and we obey because we think science backs all these claims. Science, and the science of food and health in particular, has been held hostage by large corporations and big pharma. As a result, today’s science caters to the needs of those large corporations and pharmaceuticals instead of catering to your needs. I love how the ‘Health Ranger’ puts down his mission statement for the solution to science being held hostage:

“My aim is to rescue science from corporate prostitution and return science to the democratic, decentralized domain of the curious and the informed. (That means you.) This is why today, I have extraordinary news to unveil… a milestone for independent science conducted in the public interest… something that hasn’t happened before in the history of our world.”

What alternative is he offering?

On the 1st of June 2016, Mike Adams announced the launch of an independent, peer-reviewed science journal – Natural Science Journal – that has no affiliation with corporate bullies and government extortionists.

It’s time that We the People had a science journal that represents real science in the public interest! – Mike Adams

No Outside Advertising

  1. There is no advertising space in the journal and therefore no outside money influencing the editorial process.
  2. All published scientific papers are peer-reviewed before being published.
  3. No grants or money is accepted from any government institution. This means honest, ethical, and authentic work that isn’t captive to the financial string-pulling of the government.

Instead of answering to drug companies, biotech corporations, and government institutions, the Natural Science Journal answers to YOU!

Yes, the Natural Science Journal is YOUR science journal, covering the issues that matter to real people, real food consumers, real parents and health-conscious citizens. – Mike Adams

Explore Science That’s Censored by the Corrupt Establishment

Most topics covered in the Natural Science Journal are censored or blackballed by mainstream science journals. Below are some of the topics to expect in 2016:

  • The chemical analysis of vaccine composition
  • The glyphosate contamination of grocery store foods
  • Hidden pesticides found in counterfeit organics
  • Heavy metals in foods, superfoods and supplements from China
  • Mercury in dog food treats
  • Cadmium content of chocolate bars
  • Pesticide residues in popular food bars

Hard Data Speaks – Boundaries Shattered

The Natural Science Journal seeks “scientific papers based on hard analytics in chemistry, physics, botany, and so on”. The team behind the journal make it clear that it is not a philosophical or a thought-experimentation science journal. Whatever cannot be proven through hard experimental data will not be included.

Get the first issue of the Natural Science Journal for free!

Natural Science Journal download

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Source:

EXCLUSIVE: Health Ranger launches new independent science journal for the expansion of human knowledge: The Natural Science Journal is now LIVE

 

BMI vs. ideal body weight

Ideal Body Weight (IBW) vs. BMI: Which One Should You Use?

We work with reputable affiliates to give you tools to achieve your goals. This post includes such links. Full disclosure here

The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition recently published a study comparing the use of Ideal Body Weight (IBW) and Body Mass Index (BMI). The results? Well, you will become more open-minded about your choices and alternatives after reading this article.

For those of you who have been following our blog, by now you know that we encourage our readers to ask questions and find out the truth themselves, rather than following blindly!

Let’s Be Clear on Which is Which

Body Mass Index or (BMI) is a person’s weight in kilograms divided by the square of height in meters. A high BMI can be an indicator of high body fatness. BMI can be used to screen for weight categories that may lead to health problems but it is not diagnostic of the body fatness or health of an individual.

Ideal Body Weight (IBW) is a weight that is believed to be maximally healthful for a person, based chiefly on height but modified by factors such as gender, age, build, and degree of muscular development.

Ideal Body Weight (IBW)

In order to measure IBW, “metrics that adjust weight for height are used as estimates of underweight, overweight, and weight-associated health risks and mortality.” Basically, maintaining your ideal body weight is supposed to improve your health and help you live longer.

According to Manfred James Muller,”Throughout the past century, different IBW algorithms have been developed based on the general idea that height defines weight as a linear function.”

We have pursued an ideal weight formula for about a century. Hundreds of formulas and tables have been created. Today, despite years of debate, experts still do not have a definite answer regarding the “best” weight for a person.

Below is a list of the most popular “ideal weight” formulas:

Ideal Body Weight Formulas

Hello Eating Disorder and Broken Bones!

If I were self-conscious and believed in this method of calculating my health and mortality and actually try to reach my IBW, I would be miserable and unhealthy. I would have to starve myself, overexercise, and ultimately develop some kind of eating disorder. According to the most popular IBW formulas, I should weigh anything between 101.1 lbs – 136.7 lbs or 55 kgs – 63 kgs.

That's It Chocolate Bites

Most of us would simply accept these numbers, start extreme dieting, and exercise the living daylights out of ourselves in order to achieve the lowest figure. We then fail to reach the target. Starving our bodies and succumbing to yo-yo dieting can lead to morbid obesity and put you in a worse position than you were in when you started.

Based on my ethnicity, genes, body type, and age, I feel that a goal weight of 132 lbs -143 lbs (60 kg – 65 kg) is attainable and healthy. Maintaining the lower limit of 101.1 lbs – 131 lbs (55 -59 kg) would be dangerous and could deplete my muscle mass to a point where my bone density would lower. It would put me at risk of osteoporosis, a condition where decreased bone strength increases the risk of a broken bone. I would also suffer from decreased metabolic rate. My energy levels and mental acuity would also suffer. Continue reading

Healthy All-Season Travel Tips

Healthy All-Season Travel Tips

Healthy travel tipsHuman being’s constant desire for exploring new places and getting different kinds of experiences has continued to increase over the years. It is a natural thing to want to have a vacation in an exotic foreign country and indeed this can be the adventure of a lifetime.

In order to make the most out of it and take only pleasurable memories back home, you have to prepare for the vacation as best as you can.

If you are like most of us who are always concerned about our health, then, taking care of all the basics when it comes to keeping your fitness in check will really allow you to enjoy your holiday to the fullest.

After you choose the destination for your trip, you should go and have a medical check-up. I recommend finding a doctor that specializes in travel. This is required primarily because you might need specific precautions against different types of diseases. It is not healthy to believe that it is only necessary to take an immunization only if you are going to a place with tropical climate or an underdeveloped area. With the global pandemics, you should really do your best to stay healthy during your trip. Your medical exam will help to show if there’s any problem that requires treatment before you leave so that you do not encounter any problem when you are away from your home.

In a more detailed approach, below is a step to step guide for healthy traveling abroad tips:

  1. Before you decide on your destination, please read the CDC website for advisories. Safety and disease prevention are the most basic elements of health! Travel and health insurance abroad are available too, make sure to secure both before leaving home. If you are doing specific sports, check insurance needs for those sports.
  2. Know before you go. Check out HappyCow.com for your destination and read the restaurant and healthy food store reviews for your area!
  3. Know before you go. Call your hotel and ask if there is a gym and/or pool.  Ask if they know any local trails.
  4. Know before you go. Get a travel guide for your destination and look online for hikes, scenic streets, famous walks, etc.  You can also look for a gym or recreational center.
  5. Know before you go. Weather! Check the weather and make sure to bring weather-appropriate clothing like rain coats or heavy coats if needed.  Hotels may have umbrellas that you can borrow so ask them when you call there.
  6. What season is it where you’re going? Are they known for outdoor sports like snowboarding, skiing, or SCUBA diving?
  7. Bring a reusable water bottle, so you can fill it when you pass security and stay hydrated during your flight and throughout your trip.
  8. Stay moving. Get up once an hour to make sure you’re circulating your body.  Stretch if there is a common area.
  9. Bring a backpack so you can walk more during your entire adventure.
  10. Foot maintenance! Take care of your pedicure, etc. before you go so you can walk and walk and walk.

 

While flowing along with the excitement and anticipation new adventures bring, remember to learn more about your destination country and its cultural traditions, social customs and regulations. Usually, what is considered a perfectly normal behavior in your country might be offensive and rude in your destination place. Respecting the local way of life, religious and political views, and the law is of great importance for having a fun filled vacation. For example running around in a bathing suit might be fine at the beach, but inappropriate to wear in a supermarket.

The suggestions in this article will guide you through everything you need as you plan to live a healthy lifestyle before and after you get to your destination!


Michele the Trainer is your Wellness Expert, Motivational and Wellness Speaker, Published Author, Concierge Celebrity Personal Trainer, voted Best Fitness Trainer Los Angeles Daily News 2013/2014/2015/2016. Michele’s success losing 165 pounds holistically and keeping it off since 1998 is very inspirational. Click here for fun free stuff and information from Michele the Trainer 877-409-1758

www.michelethetrainer.com www.michelethetrainerwellness.com www.engineeringwellness.com

Here is Michele’s Amazon.com author page where you can find her book, Sexy Salads

See Michele Speak

 

Lower my cholesterol

5 Proven Natural Ways to Lower Your Cholesterol

Cholesterol is an essential substance needed for proper body function but when levels get too high, cholesterol increases the risk of heart attacks. Alarmingly, more than 17% of the adult U.S. population have dangerously high cholesterol. Some medications can reduce cholesterol levels, but there are also natural ways to help achieve the same goal.

Here are five proven ways to naturally decrease cholesterol:

1- Make Fiber Your Friend

Fiber-rich foods such as oats and barley can help lower cholesterol levels. When ingested, they form a gel in the gut which fixes itself to cholesterol-rich bile acids. This pairing prevents the body from absorbing bad acids.

2- Be Choosey About Protein

Opting for leaner meats and protein-rich plant foods can decrease cholesterol in the body. Fish such as wild salmon, sardines, and bluefin tuna (Omega-3-Rich Fish Chart) are great menu items and contain omega-3 fats. Another fine option is consuming  plants which contain protein, including legumes, beans, seeds or nuts.

Equally important is the decrease or removal of red meat from the diet. Red meat has an abundance of saturated fats, which have negative health impacts.

3- Make Small Changes

Ingredients added to food in preparation and presentation can affect cholesterol values. Opt out of using margarine and other processed fats in favor of olive oil in food prep.

Add some spice to a meal to help lower the levels. Garlic, ginger, black pepper, cinnamon, and coriander all help while also adding some major flavor to each bite. Researchers at Penn State University discovered that adding spices to high fat and oil content dishes actually lowers absorption of these dangerous substances. So spice things up to lower triglycerides.

4- Make Lifestyle Changes

Lowering cholesterol isn’t just about watching what’s ingested and digested: One’s lifestyle can also impact cholesterol levels.

Smoking lowers the body’s “good” cholesterol while also injuring blood vessel linings and raising the risk of blood clots. The good news is that studies have shown that good cholesterol levels can rebound soon after a person stops smoking.

A good dose of laughter also helps. Laughing actually increases good cholesterol which counterbalances the bad stuff. Watching a funny movie, looking at silly cat videos online, and going to a stand-up comedy show are all forms of good medicine.

Learning to take time out and to relax can assist in keeping cholesterol in check. When you’re tense, stress hormones are issued out into the body and destroy other cells. This causes the body to respond by manufacturing large amounts of cholesterol to try to repair the damage. This, in turn, creates a glut of cholesterol in the system. After learning to use relaxation and meditation, your body will rely less on cholesterol for help.

5- Lose Weight

If a person is carrying extra pounds, losing the excess weight can help with cholesterol control. The American Society for Clinical Nutrition detailed 70 studies that have linked weight reduction to significant decreases in cholesterol.

We can’t and don’t want to eliminate cholesterol entirely from our lives and bodies — it is essential for proper body function. The key is to keep it in healthy forms and amounts.

For a person hoping to achieve and maintain this, many approaches can be tried. Medications are available but so are ample natural options for decreasing cholesterol.


Jennifer Landis is a tea-drinking, yoga loving, clean eating blogger, writer, wife, and mother. You can find more from Jennifer at her blog, Mindfulness Mama.