Walking and the Environment

“Today I have grown taller walking with the trees.” Karle Wilson Baker

We all know that exercise is good for you. And walking is probably the easiest form to get into.

But did you know that walking plays a part in helping improve your environment?

Walking improves our quality of life because it helps to protect the living environment and natural resources. It can also be built into transportation systems.

Added health and environmental benefits come from the fact that walking is a pollution free activity. It’s also a quiet pastime. So we benefit from cleaner air and there’s a reduction in traffic noise too.

“Walking is highly efficient in its use of urban space and energy, it rarely causes injury and it gives streets vitality and personal security. Many car trips are quite short, less than 2 km, indicating that walking could be a feasible alternative and contribute to reducing the pollution from a cold-start vehicle travelling only a short distance.”

C. Mason, Transport and health: en route to a healthier Australia? Medical Journal of Australia 2000

In North America and in Europe, there are active groups who canvass for better walking facilities in the urban communities. They argue that walking opens up communities and adds to the quality of life for all.

In 1996, Dan Burden formed Walkables Communities (http://www.walkable.org) in Florida. Walkable Communities purpose is,

“… helping whole communities, whether they are large cities or small towns, or parts of communities, i.e. neighbourhoods, business districts, parks, school districts, subdivisions, specific roadway corridors, etc., become more walkable and pedestrian friendly.”

In the UK, Living Streets (http://www.livingstreets.org.uk) is a similar organisation who state their aim as being,

“… the champions of streets and public spaces for people on foot. We work on practical projects to create safe, vibrant and healthy streets for all.

Local streets are a service that we all use. But for decades, traffic priorities have been allowed to overwhelm them, and they have been left dirty and unsafe. Vibrant streets help to revitalise neighbourhoods and reconnect people.”

These organisations and their campaigns to free our communities from excess traffic appear to make sense. It is true that motor vehicles create a large amount of the pollution we find in the air.

The pollution created by vehicles can contribute to ill health. Illnesses such as asthma, lung cancer, increased stress and disturbed sleep have been found to be due to increased air pollution.

Walking on the other hand improves health, because every walk reduces air pollution.

So, do you want to take a walk today? Every step you take plays a part in improving your local community.

Agoraphobia Or Medical Condition? How to Be Sure of What You Have

The symptoms of agoraphobia can make you wonder if something is wrong with your body. That’s because panic attacks are so extremely physical – your heart is pounding, sometimes it feels like you are smothering and gasping for air, your body’s muscles might shake uncontrollably, and your skin can feel cold, clammy and sweaty.

These types of symptoms can really make you wonder if you are sick. When I had agoraphobia, I went to the ER one too many times thinking something was wrong with me. Panic attacks used to scare me out of my mind and lead to distrust of my body and physical health.

I am not suggesting you become a hypochondriac like I was, but if you think you have agoraphobia, it’s wise to get a professional opinion to make sure your physical symptoms are just from fear.

If you experience panic attacks or panic-like symptoms, get a complete physical examination from a doctor to rule out possible medical causes. By doing this, you will either be assured that your body is healthy or, if you have a medical condition, get the information you need for proper treatment.

There are some medical conditions that mimic the symptoms of panic and agoraphobia. It’s good to be aware of these when you consult your doctor:

o hormonal disorders like hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism

o cardiovascular problems

o respiratory problems like asthma

o premenstrual syndrome and menopause

o blood disorders

o diabetes

o seizures

o inner ear problems

o certain allergies

Once you have ruled out the possibility of a medical condition, you can live with the assurance that your symptoms are just from agoraphobia and are not physically dangerous.

And the good news is that agoraphobia is treatable. You can completely recover from agoraphobia just as I did.

Cranberry Juice With Acid-Reducing Drugs – Reduce Nutrient Depletion From GERD and Heartburn Drugs

Cranberry Juice is commonly known to help with decreasing the frequency and/or severity of Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) and other urinary troubles including kidney stones. One of the chief causes of UTIs is the presence of the bacterium E. coli which adheres to the cell walls of the bladder and urinary tract, thus causing an infection. Cranberry Juice keeps bacteria from sticking to the walls, thus decreasing the likelihood that an infection will result. It also increases the pH of the urine; bacteria that cause UTIs have trouble growing in an acidic environment.

E. coli is often in the news as being the contaminant of recalled food, or being in lakes or other bodies of water where it is suggested people avoid swimming. E. coli is a natural “component” in the feces/stool of mammals-humans too. E. coli helps food break down to release its nutrients for use. It also makes Vitamin K which is essential for blood clotting abilities. Without E. coli in the intestines, a person would bleed to death because Vitamin K is needed to make blood clotting factors.

E. coli bacteria become a problem when there is too much of it, or if it is found in places outside of the intestines and colon. Therefore, food eaten that is contaminated with E. coli causes illness. Often the E. coli that enters the urinary tract comes from the feces of the person who develops the UTI.

Aside from being effective against E. coli, this remarkable Juice has also been found to inhibit the growth of mold and yeast as well, which can also cause bladder infections.

Cranberry Juice has also shown to be a powerful antioxidant as well as anti-inflammatory agent. Due to its high mineral and vitamin content, it has been used repeatedly to assist with asthma and other respiratory ailments, cancer, various inflammatory conditions, and even to protect the skin against the damages from UV (ultraviolet) radiation and the sun (Cohen, 2011).

But recently (Cohen, 2011), it was discovered that Cranberry Juice will reduce the amount of nutrient depletion caused by the acid-reducing drugs H2 Blockers and Proton Pump Inhibitors:

>cimetidine (Tagamet®)

>esomeprazole (Nexium®)

>famotidine (Pepcid®)

>lansoprazole (Prevacid®)

>nizatidine (Axid®)

>omeprazole (Prilosec®)

>pantoprazole (Protonix®)

>rabeprazole (Aciphex®)

>ranitidine (Zantac®)

H2 Blockers and Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs) are often prescribed for the treatment of Gastro-Esophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), heartburn, sour stomach and virtually any other symptom that affects the stomach including nausea. It has also been prescribed for heart palpitations when no heart pathology has been found.

In 2010, the drug esomeprazole (Nexium®) was the number 2 prescribed drug in the United States (and number one for income for all drugs prescribed in the same year)-25,872 prescriptions were written for this one GERD drug alone. The cholesterol-lowering drug Lipitor® was #1 with 37,523 prescriptions (Drugs, 2011).

Nutrient Depletion by Medical Drugs

All medical drugs deplete vital nutrients from the body, although no one drug depletes them all. Depletion occurs either because the medical drug binds to the nutrient then they both get flushed together, or through a secondary action-the drug interferes with the absorption of the nutrient, so the body’s stores are not revitalized, thus causing a deficiency as the nutrients are used without being replaced in the diet or through supplementation.

Since H2 Blockers and PPIs work in the stomach to reduce the production of acid, most nutrients in the diet are not processed as they should be, thus they do not get absorbed by the body for use.

H2 Blockers and PPIs interfere with the absorption of most of the water-soluble vitamins (the B-Vitamins, Vitamin C, etc.) as well as minerals that require a high degree of stomach acid to convert them into a usable form (such as potassium, magnesium and calcium).

How Can Cranberry Juice Help Prevent Nutrient Depletion by These Drugs?

Cranberry is an acidic substance. Drinking Cranberry Juice with meals helps the nutrients to be absorbed that would otherwise be blocked by the drugs. Cranberries are also a rich source of many nutrients, especially those that are blocked by the H2 Blockers and PPIs, as well as Quercetin which helps decrease inflammation; a side effect common of acid-blocking drugs is inflammation of the lining of the stomach.

Safety Note

Cranberry is in the Ericaceae botanical family. If you have an allergy or sensitivity to any other member of this family, you might also have a reaction to Cranberry. Other medicinal members are bearberries, blueberries, bilberries, mayflower, uva ursi and wintergreen.

Do not eat or drink Cranberries if you are sensitive to any member of this family.

References

Cohen, Suzy (2011). Drug Muggers: Which Medications are Robbing Your Body of Essential Nutrients-and Natural Ways to Restore Them. Emmaus, PA: Rodale.

Drugs.com (2011). “Pharmaceutical Sales 2010” at http://www.drugs.com/top200_units.html.

Best Wishes,

Dr. Ronda Behnke Theys ND, CHom

Homeopathic Centers of America

Disclaimer: The information provided by Dr. Ronda Behnke Theys is for educational purposes only. It is important that you not make health decisions or stop any medication without first consulting your personal physician or health care provider.

Apply Online for Temporary Health Insurance

There are times when you’ll find yourself temporarily without health insurance. You may be between jobs, just starting a new job or a student who is no longer covered on your parent’s health insurance. Temporary health insurance purchased online can help provide gap coverage for those times when regular health insurance isn’t a possibility.

Short term health insurance is one of the easiest types of insurance to purchase online. It is meant to cover major emergency medical expenses for people who are temporarily without other health insurance. Sometimes referred to as catastrophic health insurance, it is not designed to be your primary health insurance. It won’t pay for preventive health care, routine office visits, and prescriptions for pre-existing health conditions like asthma and diabetes, or treatment for pre-existing conditions. Many temporary health insurance policies also have a list of illnesses and injuries for which they limit coverage. Be sure to check the plan you’re considering carefully to be sure that it will cover what you might need it for.

Depending on the deductible you choose, your age and your health condition, temporary health insurance can be very affordable. For instance, $30 to $50 a month will purchase a policy with a $250 deductible for a healthy male in his early twenties.

What will that buy you?

Under the terms of most temporary health insurance policies, if you’re involved in an accident that lands you in the hospital with a $50,000 bill, you’ll pay as little as $1,250 for treatment. Before you pshaw at that, consider this: treatment for a broken leg can easily top $10,000 once X-rays, casts and follow-up visits are factored in.

Short term health insurance is meant to be temporary, so there are limits to the length of time that you can be covered by a temporary health insurance plan. Some companies will allow you to renew your plan once at the end of the term of coverage. Others will make you apply again, but only once.

When you apply for temporary health insurance online, most companies will cover you within 24 hours of your application. Many policies will issue you a policy immediately. You can find many web sites that offer comparison tools and online applications for temporary health insurance. Once you decide on a plan that meets your needs, you can have up to ten quotes for health insurance premiums in minutes, and have health insurance coverage within 24 hours.

To view our recommended health insurance companies: visit,

Recommended Health Insurance Companies [http://www.ezerk.com/articulos.php?category=53].

Health Benefits of Activated Carbon Air Filters – They Can Do More Than You Think

There has been a lot of discussion lately regarding whether activated carbon (charcoal) air filters really do provide any measurable health benefits. Well, the answer according to research is definitely ‘yes’, but for the sake of our health, we’d better take their word for it and err on the side of caution. Why? The type of indoor air pollutants that activated carbon removes are of the chemical, gas, and odor nature, and it’s those types of pollutants that can cause a range of problems, both in the short term and over time-problems such as allergies, asthma, COPD, heart disease, cancer and more.

Ever wonder how some illnesses or just ‘looking older’ just seems to ‘suddenly’ appear, out of nowhere? Truth is, research shows that most illnesses, bodily dysfunction, even aging don’t just ‘show up’ one day. They are the result of a buildup of pollution in the body, and over time, this pollution gets in the way of normal cell function. And when cells don’t function properly, they change, lose their shape, and often die. And if the air we breathe on a daily basis isn’t being cleaned of the chemical and vapor-based pollutants found in most homes and offices with a quality air purifier with activated carbon (charcoal) filters, that means our bodies are absorbing those pollutants that cause our cells to change and die off prematurely. And that means, at some point, after enough cells have mutated or started working improperly, we’re going to have health problems.

The good news is that most of these health problems can be prevented by properly cleaning up or indoor air, specifically by using activated carbon or charcoal air filters. Why indoor air? Well, since we breathe about 3000 gallons of air per day and it’s been proven that most homes & offices have polluted air–if we use a quality air purifier with an activated carbon filter to absorb the toxins, our bodies won’t have to absorb them. Does that mean that we might feel better, look younger, have fewer allergies, asthma and other health problems? Recent research says ‘yes’!

And if you have an air purifier or filtration system in your room, home, or office, it’s very important to buy the replacement carbon air filters for the units on a regular basis. That’s because as carbon or charcoal absorbs pollutants, eventually the carbon becomes ‘saturated’, meaning that it has lost its ‘stickiness’ and can’t absorb any more, which means it will now allow the chemical and gas polluted air to pass directly through-and get blown out into the air even more than it would if you didn’t have an air cleaner! Most people don’t realize this, but not changing a carbon air filter can actually increase allergies, asthma, and can speed the development of serious health problems, again, simply because polluted air is being circulated more.

Bottom line? For the sake of your health, disease prevention, even premature aging prevention, our recommendations are 1) if you don’t have a quality air purifier or carbon air filtration system in your home, room, office or anywhere you spend time indoors, definitely get one or as many as required to thoroughly clean the air, and make sure it has a good amount of activated carbon (Blueair, Austin Air or Aller Air brands are the best), and 2) if you DO have an air purifier with a quality carbon air filter, be certain to buy the replacement filters on time, or sooner to prevent polluted air from being blown around. Carbon air filters are very powerful for preventing illness and safeguarding the health of your family-but only if replaced regularly and used properly. Also, be sure that your air purifier has enough carbon in the filter to handle the square footage of your indoor area for at least a year.

Cheap carbon air filters typically don’t have enough carbon to handle much square footage. And if there’s too little carbon, it will get used up quickly and can cause you to have to replace the filters too often, which can be a hassle, and costly. And that also means, if you need more than one air purifier with carbon filters to handle the square footage of your home, room or office, definitely get what you need the first time as you’ll get cleaner air, and it will save you money in the long run. And this is even more critical for industrial or commercial air filtration situations: make sure to get an air cleaner with the output capacity and enough carbon to handle the situation properly-your health, your employees’ health, and preventing OSHA fines could depend on it.