Author: Justin Mckibben
Have mentioned enough the healing power of a solid and balanced diet? It seems as though we too often underestimate the ability to have a profound impact on our bodies and our minds just by eating better.
Modern medicine seems to take precedence over making better choices these days and for a long time many people have turned to a doctor for a prescription when they get ill instead of breaking down the other elements they are putting into their bodies.
Dr. Robert Weiss is one man who firmly believes that a revolution is mounting in the way we as a society approach health and medicine, or rather a re-connection with knowledge that was shunned with the onset of Big Pharma and the powers that be pushing chemicals instead of feeding our prosperity with the right food.
Story of a Doctor Farmer
Dr. Ronald Weiss is a graduate of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) who says he had always dreamed of being a farmer, having grown up in a town with four farms in Fair Lawn. However but traditional medicine became his occupation.
Not long after Weiss completed formal medical training, his family was devastated by illness when Weiss’s father was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 1991 that had spread to other organs, including his liver.
The director of the Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center explained that chemotherapy only had a 15% chance of shrinking his father’s tumors, and that without the therapy he would only live one month.
Weiss had experience with patients affected by pancreatic cancer during his medical training, and given his father’s affliction Weiss began searching for alternative treatments when he came across a practice instituted by Japanese doctors called a macrobiotic diet. Weiss sought out Michio Kushi, a doctor advocating the diet as a cure for cancer who was actively practicing in the northeast.
After meeting with Kushi, Weiss began the diet treatment with his father immediately. Weiss’s father experienced a gradual relief of pain and his body began to recover, he even went back to work full-time as an attorney. Weiss’s father did eventually succumb to the disease, but not until 18 months after being diagnosed! Over a year longer than the initial expert had predicted.
It was then that Weiss said he knew something was missing from the medicine he was practicing.
Farmacy of the Future
Eventually Weiss sold off his practice in New York and built the first farm-based medical practice. 25 years into the practice he purchased a 348-acre farm in Long Valley, New Jersey and began his endeavor to change the way we heal. It has been cleverly called a “farmacy” by some, described as a place that explores and utilizes plant-based nutrients as medicine.
Weiss has stated:
“Plant-based whole foods are the most powerful disease-modifying tools available to practitioners — more powerful than any drugs or surgeries,”
In our country a seemingly limitless stream of revenue has fed into the production of synthetic chemicals to treat the symptoms of disease, while more comprehensive research of plant-based medicine has gone largely overlooked.
The priority in plant-based diets being used for medical treatment is prevention through proper diet, including:
It’s “paleo” plus the best parts of human agriculture before they were turned into processed foods. However, this strict diet regimen can also be used to treat those already afflicted with ailments. Weiss admits a plant won’t solve everything, like a broken foot, but has said,
“I am talking about treating and preventing chronic disease — the heart attacks, the strokes, the cardiovascular disease, the cancers … the illnesses that are taking our economy and our nation down.”
Weiss and others like him believe the nutrients in fruits and vegetables prevent inflammation, which is believed to be the cause of many chronic diseases. Ultimately the hope driving this whole ‘Farmacy’ idea is to reduce the reliance on dangerous pharmaceuticals that can be more devastating than the diseases in some cases, causing problems such as:
Also, he strives to avoid unnecessary surgeries which can also be very dangerous depending on the circumstances.
Healing His Community
So far Weiss’ ‘Farmacy’ already has 90 families involved in this exciting new treatment. These families pay a membership fee and volunteer time picking weeds and harvesting vegetables. This plays into another important part of the undertaking by getting people more interested in their diet through getting them involved in the production of the foods the consume.
Weiss knows his stuff in more areas than just modern medicine, he also earned an undergraduate degree in botany at Rutgers College of Arts in Science in Newark.
“Human health is directly related to the health of the environment, the production of food and how it is grown. I see this farm as an opportunity for me to take everything I’ve done all my life, all the biology and chemistry of plants I have studied, and link them to the human biological system.”
According to some scientific research the theory of being involved in producing your food is vastly beneficial. Working in the garden and making contact with soil bacteria is said to actually make you smarter and happier by triggering the release of serotonin in the brains!
We have noted before the power of a healthy diet on mental health as well, and it seems that with thinking like this our capacity to heal ourselves and our fellows can be found simply in the way we take care of our bodies and our environment.
What if as a society we were able to rid ourselves of a vast portion of our drug problems just by committing to a healthier practice of food production? What if instead of promoting potent painkillers, sedatives and stimulants we rolled up our sleeves, planted some crops and treated our ailments with the fruits of our labors?
What if substance abuse and addiction were issues thousands of people could easily avoid just by stepping away from Big Pharma and standing by big farmers?
Addiction treatment centers like Palm Partners that recognize the important nutrition plays health living, and in addition to addiction treatment we use this knowledge to help clients not only to sustain a healthy recovery but also a healthy mind and body. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135
Author: Justin Mckibben
The lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community is not without its own history of facing conflict and adversity, as the civil rights of these individuals are often debated and questioned, and certain people in the LGBT community have been speculated to have a unique susceptibility to specific health risks. Lesbian women have been said to be more vulnerable to breast cancer, while gay men are suggested to have an increased risk of HIV or other infections.
With the various notions of threats to these individuals health, it may not be too much of a shock that there is some conjecture of another serious health risk for the LGBT community, as recent research proposes these individuals may be at a higher risk of developing an eating disorder than straight and cisgender individuals, with transgender people at the highest risk.
Just to clarify some general information:
Cisgender (cissexual) – Related types of gender identity where individuals’ experiences of their own gender match the sex they were assigned at birth
Transgender – When gender identity or gender expression does not match one’s assigned sex. Transgender is independent of sexual orientation; transgender people may identify as:
- Asexual, etc.
This relates to a report published on April 28th in the Journal of Adolescent Health with data drawn from the first study examining eating disordered behavior among a significant proportion of transgender people compared to cisgender people, with numbers making it sufficient enough to make a meaningful comparison.
Researchers surveyed students from 223 universities across the United States between 2008 and 2011, inquiring about several aspects including:
- Mental health
- Substance use
- Sexual behavior
- Nutrition history
Out of those included in the study:
- 200,000 were heterosexuals
- 5,000 were “unsure” of sexual orientation
- 15,000 were gay/lesbian/bisexual
- 479 were transgender
The survey found that cisgender heterosexual men were at the lowest risk of eating disorders, while transgender people were at the highest risk out of those surveyed. This again does not prove to be rule of thumb, but is the idea presented by the research.
According to the study’s lead author, Alexis E. Duncan from Washington University in St. Louis, that in broad terms they determined cisgender heterosexual men had the lowest rates of eating disorders, while cisgender heterosexual women found themselves in the middle, and transgender individuals were found to have the highest risk.
- Approximately 1.5% of the students reported being diagnosed with an eating disorder during the previous year
- Nearly 3% had self-induced vomited or used laxatives to control weight
- More than 3% had used diet pills in the previous month
Out of these overall averages transgender individuals had the highest rates, so from reading these results it seems to support the concept that these issues are more commonly combatted in the LGBT community.
Now this new research may actually provide a shift in stigma that has labeled eating disorders as a ‘women’s issue.’ Past studies of eating disordered behaviors have been generally focused on heterosexual women, who are considered the most at risk, to the extent that so many assume the stigma of disordered eating being a ‘female issue’ and ignoring the growing number of males who suffer from eating disorders as well.
This study could raise a red flag that creates a change, because it revealed that transgender students were actually more than 4 times as likely as cisgender heterosexual women to report an eating disorder diagnosis. Transgender students were also 2 times as likely as cisgender females to have used unsafe methods to control their weight such as:
- Diet pills
- Self-induced vomiting
These are only part of the data collected that suggests the outdated ideas behind eating disorders being a gender-specific issue are not as founded in facts as many may believe, and more can always be revealed.
Monica Algars of Abo Akademi University in Turku, Finland once conducted a study on eating disorders that determined there is a connection between eating disorders, gender dysphoria and body dissatisfaction among transgender people, which means to infer that transgender people may adopt unhealthy and harmful eating habits to manipulate their bodies to try and fit the gender the identify with, or revolt against one they do not.
Algars explains that these attempts to suppress features of their birth gender may manifest as a desire to control weight, and the added stress created by stigma and discrimination may also contribute to the problem. But all this has the possibility of being alleviated by gender reassignment therapy.
Out of all the conclusions one can come to, one definitively counts: stigma is hurting people, and even killing people who never get the help they need. Be it someone from the LGBT community or a cisgender heterosexual individual, stigma puts us all at a greater risk. It can fuel body dissatisfaction, eating disorders, and even substance abuse. And once someone has fallen prey to these conditions, they can be trapped in a never ending cycle of abuse, stigma and self-mutilation in the form of obsession and deprivation.
Regardless of someone’s sexual orientation, they deserve the same life of love and freedom from stigma as the rest of us. It is up to all of us to make recovery and unity a reality.
Eating disorders and substance abuse are tormenting and fatal symptoms of the disease of addiction, but recovery from that hopelessness is possible for everyone who seeks it. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135
(This content is being used for illustrative purposes only; any person depicted in the content is a model.)
Author: Justin McKibben
Eating disorders are commonly defined as psychological illnesses characterized by abnormal eating habits. Eating disorders may involve either insufficient or excessive food intake to the extent that it is detrimental individual’s physical and mental health. As far as general information about eating disorder statistics:
- Only 1 in 10 men and women with eating disorders receive treatment
- Only 35% of people who do get treatment for eating disorders get treatment at a specialized facility
- Up to 24 million people of all ages and genders suffer from an eating disorder in the United States
- Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness
- Almost 50% of people with eating disorders meet the criteria for depression
Eating disorders are a very real issue in this country, and now a new awareness campaign hopes to bring attention to one eating disorder in particular that affects an estimated 4 million Americans, but also one that remains largely unknown to the general public- Binge Eating Disorder.
Binge Eating Disorder
Binge Eating Disorder (BED) has become generally defined as an inability to control the consumption of considerably larger amounts of food in a short period of time, without subsequent purging episodes. Eating binges typically take place at least once a week for a period of three or more months, and these periods are often accompanied by feelings of guilt, disgust or embarrassment.
Despite the number of individuals who are affected by BED, the condition was only recently approved for inclusion in the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). The DSM-5 has created a set of criteria to classify a person’s behavior as binge eating disorder based on studies conducted in identifying the symptoms.
A. Recurrent episodes of binge eating. An episode of binge eating is characterized by both of the
Binge eating is a core symptom of binge eating disorder; however, not everyone with binge eating has binge eating disorder. An individual may occasionally binge eat without experiencing many of the negative physical, psychological, or social effects of binge eating disorder. This example may be otherwise interpreted as an “eating problem” rather than a disorder, although that is not always the case.
The condition affects individuals regardless of race, sex, or body type. Binge eating disorder typically begins to manifest itself at the age of 21, which is markedly later than other eating disorders.
Update on Pharma Efforts to Fight BED
In another article we talked about how the pharmaceutical company Shire has been pushing a new use for one of their medications. The company manufactures Vyvanse, which is a drug that is frequently prescribed to treat ADHD. Vyvanse was recently approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat Binge Eating Disorder. Now the Shire Company is working overtime, stating that it hopes to change that status with a national awareness campaign.
The awareness campaign currently features tennis great Monica Seles as its paid spokesperson. Recently there was another article on Monica Seles’ story and her own struggles with the eating disorder.
Seles, who wrote about her experiences with BED in her autobiography Getting a Grip: On My Body, My Mind, Myself, is being featured in several public service announcements (PAS) about the severity of binge eating disorder. This PSA can be viewed on the campaign’s website.
Pharma Taking Action to Raise Eating Disorder Awareness
The campaign for raising awareness about the dangers of eating disorders, specifically binge eating disorder is also sponsored by 2 nonprofit organizations. The National Eating Disorders Association and the Binge Eating Disorder Association are both part of the growing efforts to help the general public better understand and acknowledge the dangers of this condition through promoting awareness on their respective websites.
Strangely enough, this topic has been talked about recently, and this writer posed the question as to whether or not attempting to treat BED with pills was going to be a constructive method of care, or if the side-effects of the medication and the dangers associated with substance abuse would outweigh the potential benefits. Surprisingly this new development means that the pharmaceutical company has actually taken up arms with some of the big guns in this battle to help try and spear-head the evolution of raising awareness for the disorder.
Now this may be a little cynical, but is Shire promoting this campaign because they want to make an impact? Or is this a form of marketing? Is the company trying to spread the word about BED as a health concern to help people get the treatment they desperately need, or is the company putting themselves at the front lines in hopes that Vyvanse will get more sales with more people learning about the dangers of binge eating and the medication now said to treat it?
Eating disorders and drug abuse are nothing to take lightly, and raising awareness is important. Everyone who suffers or knows someone who suffers should know they have the resources available to make a change, and quite possibly save a life. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135.
You might think it’s easy to spot someone with an eating disorder when, in reality you can’t tell whether or not someone has an eating disorder just by looking at them. The fact is, most eating disorders don’t fit neatly into diagnostic boxes.
1 in 200 American adults will develop anorexia nervosa in their lifetime, and at least 1 in 20 (1 in 10 teen girls) will struggle with some form of eating disorder that doesn’t meet full diagnostic criteria for anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa or binge eating disorder. A generalized eating disorder is described by restriction of food, binging on food and/or purging.
Almost anorexic is a category used to describe the vast majority of people who struggle with food and body image problems and who can relate to an “anorexic mindset,” meaning that they strive to be extremely thin and are obsessed with controlling their eating habits.
Although people who struggle with anorexia nervosa have a low body weight, the majority of people with eating disorders are of a normal weight or even overweight.
Health Risks Associated with Almost Anorexia
Just like with anorexia nervosa, the long-term health risks of almost anorexic include heart problems, osteoporosis, mental health issues (i.e. anxiety and depression), and even death.
Similarly, the mortality rate of among those who are almost anorexic is similar to that of anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa.
According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition (DSM-5), eating disorders such as almost anorexic currently fall under the diagnosis of Other Specific Feeding or Eating Disorder (OSFED). Another term currently used is Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (EDNOS; in DSM-IV). It is important to note that OSFED and EDNOS are, in fact, eating disorders. However, a diagnosis of OSFED or EDNOS, such as almost anorexic is nonetheless as serious as a diagnosis of anorexia nervosa, bulimia and/or binge eating disorder; it just means that the person’s condition doesn’t meet the strict criteria for these already-documented eating disorders.
A New Diagnosis
Previous and current ways of diagnosing eating disorders result in many people being told that they basically have a vague eating problem. With the new diagnosis, conditions such as almost anorexia are now being recognized by the medical community and treatment is available. The benefits of the new criteria for diagnosing eating disorders could have more impact than just a more precise diagnosis – the revised guidelines could also mean that insurance companies will begin to pay for more patients’ treatment.
New research suggests that many of the same techniques, such as family-based treatment and cognitive-behavioral therapy, are useful for the treatment of anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa can provide relief for those who are almost anorexic.
People with eating disorders have a hard time getting health insurance to cover the treatment of their conditions. As it stands now, only 23 states in the U.S. have laws that require insurers to provide the same level of coverage for eating disorders that they do for physical illnesses and conditions.
Even in states with those laws, the “majority of people diagnosed with EDNOS were denied insurance coverage because they didn’t “fit into” standard categories such as anorexia and bulimia. Treatment for eating disorders costs around $30,000 a month and that doesn’t include the cost of treatment for secondary health conditions associated with almost anorexia.
Anyone who has ever had a false positive on a drug test knows the frustration and stress it can cause. You find yourself in defense mode knowing you did nothing wrong and yet the test clearly shows you failed for THC, PCP, meth, whatever it is. How do you combat with scientific proof? You can’t really. This is why it is not only imperative to know what everyday things that can make you fail a drug test but also so the next time you get asked for a urine sample you can be prepared. The stress of a false positive and the repercussions just aren’t worth, say, that poppy seed bagel or Aleve.
Here are a few everyday things that can make you fail a drug test:
Heroin, morphine and opium as some of you may know are derivatives of the opium poppy (there is also just poppies which are flowers also, actually the state flower of California) and are all opiates. So how does this factor into everyday things that can make you fail a drug test? Well, even the poppy seeds you find on muffins, bagels and all kinds things contain trace amounts of what can make heroin and morphine. Poppy seeds have been causing false positives on drug tests for decades now. Many people have been wrongly fried or not hired because of them too.
Advil is just a brand name for ibuprofen and ibuprofen is an over-the-counter painkiller. Be wary though if you have a headache right before your drug test and want to pop a few of these though. If you have a drug test you might be better off taking something like aspirin or acetaminophen. Why? Ibuprofen can incorrectly be identified as THC. THC is the stuff in pot that causes the high. This type of false positive isn’t very common anymore but it is probably best that you mention if they asked if you took anything before the test, that you did in fact take ibuprofen or that you just keep it out of your system all together.
Sudafed is one of the worst culprits for false positives. It is definitely an everyday item that can cause you to fail a drug test. Sudafed can be mistaken on a drug test for a whole slew of hard-core drugs. This is because Sudafed’s primary ingredient is pseudoephedrine which is basically amphetamine. Pseudoephedrine is often used to make meth which is why it isn’t even sold over the counter in most states. So if you have a cold the night before your drug test, don’t take Sudafed.
Azo is one of the few things that you can take over the counter that will help with a urinary tract infection. The thing about Azo though is that many people who are actually taking drugs will use it to try and beat drug test. This is because Azo basically strips your urinary tract system. Someone who actual has done drugs will take a ton of Azo to try and pass their drug test. Azo will make your urine bright red or yellow and this is usually a red flag to the person administering the test. If the test is flagged it might just go through as a false positive until it is sent to the lab or you may just have to take the test again.
And there you have it! Those are a few of the everyday things that can make you fail a drug test. Next time you know you have a test coming up make sure to stay away from these things and you should be fine. Also stay away from actual drugs. Drugs are bad.
If you or someone you love is in need of alcohol or drug addiction treatment, please give us a call at 800-951-6135.