Smoking Woman

Lung cancer is the number one cancer killer for women. Every year, 140,000 women die from tobacco-related diseases. One woman has a powerful message against smoking.

When cancer survivor and ex-cigarette model Janet Sackman speaks, people listen. The one-time cover girl for Lucky Strike cigarettes lost her voicebox, part of a lung and nearly her life to cancer. She spent years chain-smoking. “It was glamorous. It was sophisticated in those days. Everyone smoked,” she says.

Janet smoked her first cigarette in 1949. A tobacco executive asked her to take a puff for a billboard photo. Eager to please, the 17-year-old model inhaled. She Initially hated it but was soon hooked, smoking a pack-and-a-half a day. “I tried to quit every day, but I just couldn’t,” says Janet.

Her cover girl days were long behind her when Janet was diagnosed with throat cancer in 1983. Doctors warned she could lose her larynx. She woke up from the operation unable to speak. “I was shivering and tried to call a nurse, but no sound came out,” she says.

Lung cancer is the number one cancer killer for women. Clearly it’s now a greater killer than breast cancer, and it seems to be harder for women to quit.

It took Janet a full year to learn to speak again. Now she’s using what’s left of her voice to save lives. She travels the country trying to educate children about the dangers of smoking. She often receives letters from children who decided not to smoke after hearing her speak. She says that’s what makes it all worthwhile.

Macular Degeneration

Macular degeneration is the progressive destruction of the macula, an oval spot in the eye that is responsible for central vision and is specialized for fine detail. Because this condition usually affects the elderly, it is also referred to as age-related macular degeneration, or AMD. In the United States, macular degeneration is the leading cause of vision loss and blindness in those over sixty-five years of age.

There are two types of macular degeneration. Dry (non-neovascular) macular degeneration is an early stage of the disease, and is diagnosed when deteriorating tissue begins to accumulate as yellowish spots known as drusen. Wet (neovascular) macular degeneration occurs when new blood vessels grow beneath the retina, leaking blood and fluid, and permanently damaging retinal cells.

Macular degeneration usually results in a slow and painless loss of vision, although more rapid vision loss sometimes occurs. Early signs of AMD-related vision loss include shadowy areas in central vision, or unusually fuzzy or distorted vision. Even before symptoms appear, your healthcare provider may detect AMD through a retinal examination. A special graph pattern called an Amsler grid may then be used to help determine if AMD is the problem.

As already mentioned, macular degeneration is usually associated with aging and the related deterioration of eye tissues. Specific variants of one or more genes have also been linked to AMD. Other risk factors include smoking, high blood pressure, light eye color, not wearing sunglasses when exposed to sunlight, obesity, the use of certain drugs, and a poor diet – espe8ically one that is high in fat. Many researchers believe that certain nutrients can help lower the risk for AMD.

Lupus

The immune systems of people who have lupus, also known as systemic lupus erythematosus, are unable to distinguish between foreign antigens and the person’s own body. As a result, the immune system creates antibodies that attack otherwise healthy tissues and organs. The resulting inflammation can cause permanent damage to almost any body part, including the blood, brain, heart, joints, kidneys, liver, lungs, and skin.

Lupus affects many more women than men. The most common symptoms are fever, joint and muscle pain, and rashes. However, because lupus can affect so many different body parts, there are many possible symptoms. There is also no simple, definitive test for diagnosis. Unfortunately, the disease can often be mistaken for other illnesses for months or even years.

Although there is no cure for this chronic autoimmune disease, treatment can make life much more comfortable for people with lupus. They are often prescribed an anti-inflammatory or immunosuppressive drug, which may help shorten or even prevent flair-ups. Steroids may be prescribed, but are usually avoided because of the extent of their side effects. Doctors also focus on treating the disease’s symptoms.

Leg Cramps

A leg cramp is a painful, involuntary contraction of a single muscle or group of muscles in the leg. Most commonly, leg cramps occur in the calf muscles, but the thing muscles can also be affected. Typically, these cramps take place at night, sometimes awakening the individual from sleep, and last anywhere from less than a minute to several minutes before subsiding. They are most often experienced by adolescents and the elderly.

The exact cause of leg cramps is not understood. However, the occurrence of these cramps has been linked to a number of risk factors, including muscle fatigue, heavy exercising, dehydration, excess weight, electrolyte imbalance, and the use of certain medications.

Gentle stretching of the muscles, a well-balanced diet, adequate rest, and warm baths or showers taken before retiring at night can all reduce the occurrence of leg cramps. By helping to ensure electrolyte balance, certain vitamins and nutritional supplements can also normalize muscle function and prevent painful contractions.

Leaky Gut Syndrome

A common but poorly recognized problem, leaky gut syndrome occurs when paces develop between the cells of the gut (the intestines), allowing bacteria, toxins, medications, and partially digested particles of food to leak into the body. This can lead to a host of problems, including poor absorption of nutrients, infection, food allergies, chemical sensitivities, and autoimmune disease.

The symptoms of leady gut syndrome are wide in range, and include gastrointestinal complaints, such as abdominal pain, constipation, bloating, gas, and diarrhea; neurological problems, such as anxiety, confusion, mood swings, and poor memory; breathing problems, such as shortness of breath and asthma; and various other difficulties, including poor immunity, recurrent bladder infections, chronic joint pain, and fatigue.

Leady gut syndrome can have a number of causes. These include heavy metal toxicity; environmental toxins; nutritional deficiencies; the use of certain medications, such as broad-spectrum antibiotics, birth control pills, prednisone, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs); fungal infection; food allergies; excess consumption of refined sugar, caffeine, and alcohol; a deficiency of digestive enzymes or hydrochloric acid in the stomach; and even stress.

A healthy diet can help avoid leady gut syndrome, and aid in repairing the gut when problems occur. A number of vitamins and nutritional supplements can also improve gut health.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS, is a “functional” disorder of the lower intestinal tract. This means that although no structural abnormalities can be found, the body’s function in terms of the movement of the intestines is impaired. IBS is believed to affect up to 20 percent of the US population – about one person in every five. It occurs more often in women than in men.

Bloating and abdominal pain and cramping are the major symptoms of IBS. Other symptoms vary from person to person, and may include constipation, diarrhea, or alternating constipation and diarrhea; nausea; and vomiting. Both emotional stress and the consumption of certain foods tend to exacerbate symptoms. No one knows what causes IBS, and it is usually a lifelong problem.

In most cases, IBS can be controlled through medication and a diet that avoids problem foods. These foods vary from person to person, but often include grains, breads, crackers, cakes, cookies, potatoes, beans, and other carbohydrates that increase the formation of gas. You can also take certain nutrients to aid the digestive process.

You may find it helpful to contact an anti-aging, fellowship-trained practitioner that has a 4R program. The patient goes through a four-tier program to remove allergens, antigens, pathogens, and parasites; reinoculate with good bacteria; replace with symbiotic flora; and repair gut mucosal nutrients. This allows to treat various gastrointestinal illnesses by both identifying the cause of the problem and detoxifying the body.