Interstitial Cystitis (IC)

Botox for your Overactive Bladder: AUA 2016

 

Botox for Your Overactive Bladder. I’m serious.

 


bladder

 

Three weeks ago I went to the annual American Urological Association (AUA) meeting and gathered some important notes.

Today, I will share with you what I learned on treating overactive bladder.

 

What is Overactive Bladder (OAB)?

OAB is sudden, frequent and excessive contraction of the bladder, which causes a person to feel the urge to urinate more often and more strongly. While people normally feel an urge to urinate roughly every two hours, people with OAB often go less than two hours before feeling the urge to urinate again.

What is Botulinum?

Botulinum (pronounced “BAW-choo-LINE-um”) is known by its commercial name, Botox. That’s right: it’s the same stuff that takes away your wrinkles.

Did you know that Botulinum is produced from bacteria (Clostridium botulinum) that is toxic to your nerves? Botox works by paralyzing nerves, which stops muscle contractions. If you paralyze your nerves, your muscles won’t contract much, and you won’t wrinkle. Apparently, you don’t pee excessively either.

What is neuromodulation?

Neuromodulation (NYURR-oh-MAWD-you-LAY-shun) is the process of inserting electrodes just above your tail bone (the sacrum) and shutting down the nerve stimulation that causes the bladder to contract. Without that nerve stimulation, you won’t feel the urge to pee.

What they said at the AUA

Dr. Cindy Amundsen, MD, and colleagues from the Duke University Medical Center looked at 386 women who were about 63 years old. All of these women had at least six urgent episodes of urinary incontinence per day (meaning, they really had to go, at least six times a day). They were put into two groups: one that got treated with Botulinum (200 units, to be specific), and one that received neuromodulation.

After six months, the Botulinum injection group had to pee a lot less than the neuromodulation group.

There was a downside to this study. According to Dr. Victor Nitti, a fellow NYU urology physician (and a renowned expert in female urology and urinary dysfunction), noted that it was too bad that the study used such a high dose of Botox. Normally, Botox is given in half the dose it was given in this study.

Remember that Botox paralyzes your muscles. If you give too high a dose, it could paralyze the bladder muscles completely, which would mean you’d have to manually extract the urine with a tube. Too much Botox could actually prevent people from urinating at all. (And that’s no fun.)

Note, however, that of all the women in this study, only 8 percent actually needed to have their pee extracted through a tube after 1 month. At 3 months, that number was down to 4 percent. After 6 months, it was 2 percent. Seems like the longer you have been getting Botulized, the less likely it is that you’ll have a total pee failure. The risk is still there, though.

My Take on Using Botulinum to Treat OAB

Giving someone Botox is an invasive procedure. Not only that, but it doesn’t address the cause of the problem. Maybe it might be a good option if nothing else works. (Hey, maybe someone can give you a two-for-one deal and get rid of some wrinkles while they’re at it.)

What should you do if the bathroom is becoming your best friend

Desperate times call for desperate measures. If you’re feeling like you have to pee every 15 to 30 minutes, you might consider getting some Botox.

However, there are a lot of therapies that you should try first:

In my experience, I have been able to treat OAB successfully with acupuncture and naturopathic and functional medicine. (Actually, early this year, I worked with a team headed by Dr. Bilal Chungtai at Cornell Urology and published this review on acupuncture’s benefits for OAB.)

From a naturopathic perspective, you treat the bladder by treating stomach and digestive problems like constipation and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). There is some compelling research suggesting a bowel-bladder connection.

Bottom Line

Unless you’re peeing every 15 – 30 minutes or less, you probably don’t need Botulinum injections to your bladder. But how mentally, emotionally and sometimes physically painful the urgency symptoms depends on your subjective experience. Try physical therapy, acupuncture, or naturopathic and functional medicine first.

Lastly, the pharmaceutical drugs used for OAB include these anticholinergics : Oxybutinin (Ditropan, Gelnique), Tolterodine (Detrol), Darifenacin (Enablex) and Solifenacin (Vesicare) come with numerous side effects that include constipation. Yes, constipation has been associated with OAB symptoms as explained above.

 

ANNOUNCEMENT

Starting Thursday, June 9, I will be also seeing patients at Stamford, CT at 1011 High Street. I’ll be working to bring health back to men and women who are struggling with urological problems. (I give Red Sox fans the same love I give Yankees fans. Promise.)

Note: I will see patients in Stamford only on Thursday’s. The rest of the week I will be at my normal New York office.

(For an appointment call Erica at 646.490.0536, or email her at Erica@drgeo.com.)

Be well.

 

Probiotics Lowers Blood Pressure – new study

Probiotics Improves High Blood Pressure in A New Study

 

Probiotics2

Doggy Bag Message First:

Consuming probiotics – over 100 billion CFU’s a day – can moderately lower blood pressure. Probiotics have many other health benefits so its one of my big three. Exercise, low carb eating and fish oils also helps with lower blood pressure as well, likely by reducing body fat and controlling insulin insensitivity.

 

Study Details

A meta-analysis looking at over 540 participants total showed the following:

•    Those  who consumed 100 billion CFU or more had the lowest reduction in  blood pressure.
•    Probiotic species varied among the trials; four studies used yogurt as the source of probiotic bacteria, two used fermented and sour milk, one used probiotic supplements in capsule form, one used probiotic rosehip drinks, and one used probiotic cheese.
•    The reductions in systolic and diastolic blood pressure were approximately 3.5 mmHg systolic (upper number) and 2.4 mmHg diastolic (lower number).
•    Researchers observed larger reductions of blood pressure among those who consumed multiple probiotic species compared to those who consumed just one species.

LINK to the Abstract of this study.

Some Basics First About Probiotics:

What are probiotics? Probiotics are live microorganism which when consumed can offer a variety of health benefits. They can be consumed in a variety of forms; yogurt, cultured milk capsules, beverage, kimchi, kefir pickled cabbage and others.

Probiotics usually contain a genus, a species and strain.

For example, most people recognize the genus acidophilus and say, “I need to get my acidophilus” as if it’s a brand of probiotics.

Acidophilus is only one species of a variety of genus’ of probiotics.

So, Lactobacillus (genus) acidophilus (species) is what you would read on the label. There are hundreds of probiotics genus and species in the market.

Here  are a few commonly found in probiotic supplements and foods: Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Bifidobacterium longum, Bifidobacterium bifidum, Lactobacillus brevis, Lactobacillus bulgaricus, Lactobacillus casei, Lactococcus lactis, Lactobacillus paracasei, Streptococcus thermophilus.

What do Probiotics do: Probiotics are found through out the digestive system, mainly in the small intestine and they have a variety of functions including stimulating the immune system, eliminating the bad bacteria and making vitamin K.

When purchasing probiotics a few things need to be taken into account:

  • How many organisms are alive in the product
  • The genus and strains on the label should match what’s in the bottle
  • If taking a probiotic supplement, the capsule must pass through the stomach ( an acidic environment) and work its way down to the intestines.
  • Not contain any harmful organisms

Lastly, probiotics are measured in number of live organisms per dose – using CFU as units. CFU stands for; C – colonizing, F – forming, U – units.

My Take On This

Probiotics are a top three supplement on my list of most important nutrients. Hands down. You get a slew of benefit from consuming probiotics including; better digestion, gentle way of promoting bowel movement and strengthening the immune system.

Now we know probiotics can help with moderately lowering  blood pressure.* By the way, a drop of 3.5 points systolic and 2.5 points diastolic is not insignificant.

To compare, researchers from the  Heart Outcomes Prevention Evaluation (HOPE) study showed a 3.3 mmHg reduction in systolic blood pressure, along with a 1.4 mmHg reduction in diastolic blood pressure, with the use of the pharmaceutical ramipril, an angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor . This moderate reduction in  blood pressure (not as significant as the probiotic study by Khalesi et al.)  was associated with a 22% reduction in risk of cardiovascular mortality, heart attack or stroke.

Which probiotic is right for you? Not and easy question for me to answer since I was involved in the formulation of this probiotic. So I’m a bit biased.

Other’s I have used successfully which I am not financially associated with includes; Natren’s, iFlora, Probiotic supreme and Biotics Research BioDoph-7plus.

There are other additional good probiotic brands out there but these are the ones I have the most experience with.

Bottom line: Take probiotics everyday by food or though a good dietary supplement. Choose one with the highest CFU’s per serving and with as many genus and species as possible. And take as many 30 to 60 billion CFU a day for general health. If you are trying to control blood pressure naturally consider upwards of about 100 billion CFU according and one with as many species as possible according to the Khalesi et al. study. * However, you may not need that high of a dosage if your are doing others things to support your cardiovascular system – stay away from  refined sugar and simple carbs and exercise everyday.

Oh, and yes, take fish oils. If you read this blog post – consuming  2 grams (or 2000 mg) a day of fish oils can also reduce blood pressure according to research.*

Reference:

Khalesi S, Sun J, Buys N, Jayasinghe R.Effect of Probiotics on Blood Pressure : A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized, Controlled Trials.Hypertension. 2014 Jul 21.

ConsumerLab.com has a great review on probiotics and a list of those that “don’t pass muster” – you may need to become a member for a fee to see the article. If you are a big supplement consumer then the fee may be worth it.

 

Men with Interstitial Cystitis / Bladder Pain Syndrome – What to do

Men with Interstitial Cystitis / Bladder Pain Syndrome

 

man IC
About 6 weeks ago I saw a pleasant 28 year old male at the clinic , we will call him John, with Interstitial Cystitis / Bladder Pain Syndrome (IC/BPS). Admittedly, I have seen about a handful of cases of men with IC / BPS since this condition often affects women.

What is Interstitial Cystitis / Bladder Pain Syndrome (IC /BPS)?

IC / BPS is a condition with chronic inflammation of the bladder causing pain in the lower abdominal and pelvic area. Pain is accompanied with urinary urgency and frequency.

In about 5% of patients a physician would find ulcers in the inner lining of the bladder with a cystoscopy. But this is rarely the case which makes this condition very difficult to diagnose.

What should you do if you are a man with IC / BPS?

First, realize and accept that there is no perfect way of diagnosing IC/BPS. And this is the frustration for both you and your doctor. There are no biomarkers to distinguish IC/BPS from prostatitis or urethritis. In fact, the symptoms of IC /BPS and prostatitis are very similar to each other.

So here’s how I learn to distinguish IC /BPS from prostatitis in men

First of all, once an infection is ruled out, there is no lab test that can help with a diagnosis.
Figuring out the problem with  the patients clinical presentation, medical history and physical exam is all there is.

Cystoscopy with hydraulic distention of the bladder in males appears to be the technique most commonly used to diagnose IC in this population.

With IC / BPS there is constant pain below the umbilicus that comes and goes. It often flutters. This pain is accompanied by urinary urgency and frequency.

No urinary problems means no IC in men.

With prostatitis the pain is experienced in the area between the testicles and anus (perineum) and is also accompanied with urinary symptoms.

No urinary symptoms and only pain present means it is not prostatitis and likely only pelvic pain.

Sometimes there is only penis or testicular pain. But when performing a prostate exam the pain in the testicle or penis gets worse. The pain on the prostate is also pretty bad.  These patients have chronic, non-bacterial prostatitis.

Only penis pain is often diagnosed as urethritis.

Only testicular pain is often diagnosed as just that – chronic testicular pain.

Causes Interstitial Cystitis / Bladder Pain Syndrome in men
My patient John was abusing a recreational drug known in the streets as Special K.  Special K is made from Ketamine, a schedule three drug used in human anesthesia and veterinary medicine.
Special K is very short acting hallucinogen with effects lasting sixty minutes when inhaled or injected and up to two hours when ingested, the total experience lasting no more than a couple of hours.
Special K is known to damage the bladder wall and cause pain and urinary problems. (Tsai TH et al. 2009)
John’s case was interesting in that; he was an America male in his upper 20’s and Special K is most common amongst teenage Asian girls.
Ketamine is also used in humans in emergency medicine as a pain killer or for respiratory problems. There again bladder pain can be induced when Ketamine is used legally for medical purposes.

Natural Treatment Options for men with Interstitial Cystitis / Bladder Pain Syndrome

De-Stress – you know stress makes pain worse. Stress tightens muscles in the around the pelvic area and bladder making pain worse. Read and practice meditations from Jon Kabat Zynn. There’s also a phone App that helps with stress called Headspace.

Have an outlet. Guys are notorious for ‘holding things’ in. Physical exercise that includes boxing on punching bags helps to release tension.

Try Acupuncture – Collectively there has been more than 400 subjects studied for prostatitis showing efficacy with acupuncture.

The right combination of phytotherapy can reduce inflammation and reduce symptoms without side effects. Natural agents to consider include: quercetin, curcumin and rye pollen extract. By reducing inflammation naturally you can also benefit from other health problems since IC /BPS is almost never experienced alone. Most sufferers also have Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), fibromyalgia or some other autoimmune disease.

Some foods can be a problem. Typically these include; tomato’s, caffeine, citrus fruits and juices and wine. I find wheat and gluten can also be a trigger for many.

The trick is to work on all of these together. Monotherapy fails with the treatment of IC / PBS. Throw the ‘kitchen sink’ at this thing for relief.

 

Reference:
Tsai TH, Cha TL, Lin CM, Tsao CW, Tang SH, Chuang FP, Wu ST, Sun GH, Yu DS, Chang SY. Ketamine-associated bladder dysfunction. Int J Urol. 2009 Oct;16(10):826-9.

Helpful Resources:
http://www.ic-network.com/
http://www.ichelp.org/

http://www.prostate.net/

 

5 Reason’s You Don’t Sleep Well and What you can Do About it

5 Reason’s You Don’t Sleep Well and What you can Do About it

sleep

Sleep is likely the most undervalued health practice in the Western world.

In my clinical experience, when laying out a health plan for patients, getting good sleep (and sometimes exercise) is what they shun most.

When times get tough, deadlines to meet, kids are acting up or uncertainties arise, you (and I) sleep less. Are we paying a heavy price for snoozing less?

We might be.

Recent research from the United States and Iceland, studying over 900 men, suggest’ a good night’s sleep could protect against the development of prostate cancer.  Higher levels of melatonin in men’s morning urine were associated with a decreased risk for prostate cancer, particularly advanced disease.

Melatonin is a hormone that is produced exclusively at night. Higher levels have been tied to longer, more restful sleep.
If melatonin is only released at night, does that mean that night shift workers  are at an increase risk of cancer? Yup.

A study published at the American Journal of Epidemiology looked at over 3100 Canadian men Compared with men who never worked at night, men who worked night shifts had an increased risk for prostate cancer, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, pancreatic cancer , rectal cancer , colon cancer , bladder cancer and lung cancer. (Parent et al. 2012)

Poor sleep also leads to more car accidents, irritability and decrease work performance.

5 reason’s why you can’t sleep and what to do about it.

1. Sleep procrastination

Sleep procrastination is a term used in a recent study from Utrecht University where they studied the sleep habits of 177 participants. Night-time TV watching (i.e. nighttime news) , staying up  connecting on social media, or surfing through the internet is all part of sleep procrastination.

What to do: Have discipline. And practice transition time. Transition time are practices between your daytime and nighttime life. Transition time includes; shutting down all electronics at, say 9pm. Taking a warm bath. Drinking relaxing tea like chamomile. Meditating before bedtime. Most importantly, resist the temptation of watching TV, Netflix or surfing the net.

2. You have too much going on.

Two or three days of sleeping less due to upcoming deadlines or preparing for “big event” is no big deal. We all do it. Chronic sleep deprivation due to everyday challenges, however, is a big problem.
What to do: Write it all down. Rest your brain on paper by writing down your concerns and next day to do list.

3. Uncomfortable sleeping at night – tossing and turning.

What to do: You might need a new bed. The right bed makes all the difference in the world. Some beds like the tempurpedic can be expensive. Friends and family who have the Tempurpedic love it. ( I am not financially connected to this product) All mattress’ don’t have to be as expensive. Just find one you like, try it for a month and send it back if it does not work for you. Most bed companies allow you to that.

4. Urinating all night

What to do:  Getting up once a night to urinate is not a big deal, although not preferable. Getting up two or more times a night is. In men, prostate enlargement (or BPH) maybe the problem where urine flow is obstructed. A clinically tested prostate formula that works extraordinarily well is Prost-P10x. I admit to being a bit biased here since I formulated Prost-P10x but I clinically seen this formula work very well for prostate health.  On Amazon there are over 240 reviews with 4 ½ stars on Prost-P10x.
If a natural approach is not good enough to control prostate size then harsher treatments like surgery may be necessary. The gold standard surgical treatment for an enlarged prostate is a TURP and Green light laser.

5. Mind racing.

What to do:  Practice meditation. It works well. It does take time to get used to. The guru in this area is Jon Kabat-Zinn. Get this book if you find you need to calm your mind. Meditative techniques are essential to managing stress and controlling pain, even bladder pain, and nighttime urination.

 

 

Reference:

Parent MÉ1, El-Zein M, Rousseau MC, Pintos J, Siemiatycki J.Night work and the risk of cancer among men. Am J Epidemiol. 2012 Nov 1;176(9):751-9.

The So Many Names of Sugar

The Disguise of Sugar.

At this point, almost all health experts agree that sugar is the single most harmful chemical we consume. It’s a big deal that almost all scientist, nutritional physician’s and researchers believe sugar is so damaging to the body considering universal agreement among expert in anything is such a rarity.

The problem is most people don’t know what sugar is and where it is hidden, especially when it has a different name like maltose, fructose, etc.

Rule of thumb – if the name ends with the suffix – ose, it’s sugar.

Don’t be fooled with all the different sugar names.

Watch this excellent 4 minute video on Sugar and let me know if you have any questions.

 

Sleep – 12 easy steps for better sleep

Sleep – 12 easy steps for better sleep

 

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An occasional sleepless night usually isn’t much of a problem, but running a sleep deficit over time can cause a lot of problems. Every system in your body is affected by lack of sleep.

Restorative sleep is an essential ingredient for a healthy mind and body. Hyper-competitive people and much of Western society in general think that sleep is a waste of time and a luxury for the lazy. The notion that “successful people” can get by with just a few hours of sleep a night reinforces a common perception that sleep is a waste of time. There is nothing wrong with being competitive or successful – both can be healthy.

But when sleep is consistently sacrificed to obtain a competitive edge, you may damage your overall health long-term and be promoting cancer.

Sleep is a fundamental need of the body. Since the body is often pushed to its limits on a daily basis, it needs adequate time to recharge, recover and rejuvenate.

Sleep is also far from the single phenomenon it is sometimes assumed to be: the brain activities behind its different stages can be as distinct from each other as they are from wakefulness.

And performance also drops significantly according to a recent report on Forbes Magazine.

 

Why is Sleep important ?

First off, It is important to get the bulk of your sleep at night. Those that work night-shift in a Japanese study showed had higher rates of prostate cancer. The reason for this is because there is a hormone called melatonin that is only released at night in the dark.

Previous blog post on melatonin HERE

There are 2 main hormones that are affected when there is not enough good quality and quantity sleep:  Melatonin (decreases) and Cortisol (increases).

Melatonin

Melatonin is a powerful antioxidant that helps the body suppress the production of estrogen, a possible contributor to prostate cancer according to recent research and is also protective against free radicals. If you consistently do not go through your sleep phases at night, your body may end up producing less melatonin.

This inhibits your immune system, and your resistance to many types of cancers. Lack of sleep and exposure to lights during sleep will disrupt your production of this vital antioxidant. This is the reason that sleeping with the TV on may not be such a great idea, or any electronic device that emits light for that matter.

Latest study on melatonin HERE.

Cortisol

Cortsol helps to regulate immune system activity – including the release of certain “natural killer” cells that help the body battle cancer. Cortisol levels typically peak at dawn, after hours of sleep, and decline throughout the day. If cortisol continues to be released thoughout the whole day, not just in the morning, then this is considered counter productive and may actually contribute to cancer progression. Excess cortisol is usually released from improper stress management.

Remember, with cortisol, as is with most hormones, balance is key.

Women night shift workers, who have higher rates of breast cancer than women who sleep normal hours, are more likely to have a “shifted cortisol rhythm,” in which their cortisol levels peak in the afternoon. At least two studies show those women typically die earlier from breast cancer.

Breast cancer research is particularly interesting for prostate cancer because they are both hormonal disease’s that have similar ways of development and progression.

People who wake up repeatedly during the night are also more likely to have abnormal cortisol patterns.

Cortisol during times of anxiety and may play a role in the development and worsening of cancer and other conditions.

Also, sleep deprivation make pain worse in people who suffer from chronic pain from any source – headaches, back pain, bladder, etc.

 

Sleep and Stress

There is a strong connection between sleep and stress.
Research shows that cancer patients who manage their stress in group therapy, with good social networks, or with regular exercise often fare better than patients who don’t manage stress effectively.

People who are depressed or anxious have a specific pattern of sleep disturbances. And if you had a bad night’s sleep, you don’t handle stress as well. Conversely, those who better manage stress are more likely to have good sleep patterns.

How to get good restful sleep

You first need to know that all aspect of this program is interrelated – all parts of the program feeds the other. Managing stress help with sleep, sleep helps manage stress, exercise helps with sleep, the more nourished you are the better you’ll be able to manage stress and the better sleep you will get.

Second, find out why you’re having difficulties sleeping. Stress, depression, rumination, sleep apnea and anxiety could be the cause and to resolve the problem, these issues have to be faced. For severe depression and anxiety a physician should treat you.

Sleep MUST be a priority. You can get away with one or two late nights, but on the third night, you should pay back the sleep time lost. You must schedule sleep like any other daily activity, so put it on your “to-do list” and cross it off every night. But don’t make it the thing you do only after everything else is done – stop doing other things so you get the sleep you need.

Rule out Sleep Apnea – sleep apnea is a sleep disorder characterized by abnormal pauses in breathing or instances of abnormally low breathing, during sleep. Each pause in breathing, called an apnea, can last from a few seconds to minutes, and may occur 5 to 30 times or more an hour.[A sleep study should be done in a sleep clinic so the best solution can be found. There are many solutions, ranging from a splint to keep your jaw moved forward to special breathing masks called a CPAP machine or just losing weight if you are over weight.

Turn off all of your lights and electronic devices. Make sure the room is completely dark, so that you cannot see your hand in front of your face. Keep electric clocks at least 3 feet away from your head. Better yet, get an battery operated clock. Take the TV out of the bedroom. This one can be difficult but you will thank us. Some people think that watching TV helps them go to sleep. This is not true. You probably just need some other white noise like a fan or sounds of ocean waves or something. TV and other electronic devices lower melatonin and interfere with good quality sleep.

Exercise – Most people benefit the most when it comes to sleep quality from working out in the morning or before dinner, but everyone is different. Experiment with your workout times, and see which is most effective for you.

12 Easy Steps to Sleep better

1.    Leave your troubles outside the bedroom door. Write down all of your concerns and worries and possible solutions in a notebook, so you don’t need to ruminate in the middle of the night.

2.    If you are unable to fall or stay asleep, leave your bedroom and engage in a quiet activity elsewhere. Do not permit yourself to fall asleep outside the bedroom. Return to bed when – and only when – you are sleepy. Maintain a regular arise time, even on days off work and on the weekends.

3.    Use your bedroom only for sleep and sexual intimacy. Avoid watching television, computer use, talking on the phone or reading stimulating books in the bedroom. Reading calming books for 5 to 10 minutes can promote sleep. (You may want to remove the television and/or phone from the bedroom.)

4.    Avoid strenuous exercise 5 hours of bedtime – but get the appropriate exercise regularly. Best time for exercise is in the morning.

5.    Get an hour of outdoor light each day, even if it is divided throughout the day.

6.    Take a warm 15 – 30 minutes bath about an hour before going to sleep.

7.    Drink a warm cup of chamomile tea.

8.    Keep the right temperature in your bedroom. Usually fresh air promotes sleep so crack the window open if the weather and noise permits.

9.    Keep your room as quiet and as dark as possible.

10. Avoid electromagnetic fields (EMF) exposure during sleep. This means electric blankets, heaters or waterbeds. Keep electronic devices such as alarm clocks as far away from your head as possible.

11.Sleeping garments, including sheets and sleep wear should be 100% natural fibers like cotton or silk.

12.     Make your last meal the lightest most of the times and have it 2 to 3 hours before bedtime.

Beware of the label ‘Natural’ on your food label

Don’t get thrown off by the word “Natural” on a label

snapple

The word “Natural” seems to be the perfect marketing word for consumers who want to live more…well…naturally.

The fact of the matter is that the word “Natural” does  not have a strong governmental definition when it comes to food.

The word means as much as “real” does, when it comes to food marketing. Even foods made with High Fructose Syrup may be packaged as natural since the substance is derived from corn.  That’s what lobbyist are able to accomplish ignoring the very unnatural process it takes to make sugar from corn.
On the other hand, the word organic actually means something. And organic foods are often natural ( not all the times). Congress passed the Organic Foods Production Act in 1990, which led to the National Standards on Organic Agricultural Production and Handling rule in 2000.
When a food is labeled organic, it actually has been deemed so through a federally approved accreditation process that regulates the food so that it has no genetic engineering, specific kinds of feed, rules for handling of livestock and so on.
Here’s an excellent document by the FDA on organic labeling.

To be clear, things that are minimally processed and come directly from nature are “natural.” These type of foods typically have only one ingredient, i.e. an apple.
If an apple is heavily processed, let’s say heated or chemicals added to as preservatives then that food is less natural.

On a slightly different note; A few weeks ago I was at a medical meeting called the Functional Forum:  Accelerating the Evolution of medicine , where they opened the event with the video posted further down.

Warning!!! It’s Hilarious!

Let me know what you think…

Staying well by Planning and Commitment (RESEND)

Staying well takes Planning and Commitment

(Apologies for the broken link on the past broadcast email you received as their was a technological glitch with the broadcast server that is still not fixed. Enjoy this blog post though.. It’s a good one.)

 

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Much of what it takes to avoid disease, prevent a disease from returning  and sustain wellness is two things:

1.Planning
2.Commitment

– Commitment at all cause. Making it a priority. Scheduling it.

Seven out of the top 10 causes of death in developed countries can be prevented or at least significantly minimized by our lifestyle choices. This includes, hearth disease, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.

One of the most amazing minds in performance and simply “making things happen” is Seth Godin, the author of the Purple Cow.

His blog post yesterday hits home for those of us who are stuck in our wellness journey. We all get stuck at times but it’s a matter of unstucking ourselfs where the magic happens. Staying committed to the wellness journey – this blissful journey of living your best life and keeping yourself well it’s what is all about.

Seth’s blog post yesterday  (2/27/14) says the following in staying committed and making things happen:

Questions are good. A legitimate, “why?” is enough to change the world. But stalling, stalling is the last thing you need. And why   is often an escape hatch for people who know what they should do, but fear   doing it. It’s easier to ponder, to question the meaning of this or our role in where we go next.

The best answer for the stalling why is: Go.

How Stress Causes Interstitial Cystitis (IC) Symptoms – and what you can do about it

How Stress Causes Interstitial Cystitis (IC) Symptoms – and what you can do about it

IC

Patients with Interstitial Cystitis (IC) have increased numbers and activity of sympathetic nerves supplying the bladder, as well as extensive connections between the nerves and local mediators of inflammatory tissue reaction such as mast cells(Theoharides et al. 1997)
The sympathetic nervous system is activates with your perception of stressful events. So after an argument with your husband, let’s say, you’d stimulate the sympathetic nervous system which causes mast cell production and inflammation of the bladder.

Stress = Inflammation = pain and urgency.

The opposite of the sympathetic nervous system is the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS). The PNS helps you stay calm and relaxed.
Both the SNS and the PNS are needed for survival, but, uncontrolled over activity of the SNS causes pain, discomfort and many other health problems. Thus, the presence of stress may be particularly problematic in IC patients that may already be plagued chronic inflammation (Chrousos 1992)

Clinically, I have always wondered what comes first; IC symptoms causing stress or life-stress causing IC symptoms.
I have noticed that stress may be both a consequence of IC symptoms and a source of symptom exacerbation. However, only 13.3% of patients reported IC symptoms as their primary stressor. (Rothrock et al. 2001) Meaning that often times its not IC symptoms the induces stress (and then pain and urgency) but other life stressors; a break-up, an unhealthy work environment, death of a loved one, etc. that makes IC symptoms worse.

Previous research has demonstrated that stress can exacerbate IC symptoms in a laboratory setting, suggesting that stress may be causally related to processes involved in symptom exacerbation in IC. (Ludendorff et al. 2000)
All that indicates that life stressors are associated with greater urgency, pain, and frequency in patients with IC, particularly in those patients with moderate and severe symptom intensity.

What should you do?

Stop stressing! Ok, I know that’s easier said than done. So here are some powerful 7 tips:

7 tips to lower stress and improve IC symptoms

  1. Try magnesium, also known as the relaxation mineral. Between 100mg to 250mg a day should work.
  2. The herb Lemon balm (Melissa officionalis) has been well studied to produce calmness and alertness. (Kennedy et al. 2004)
  3. Exercise regularly. Try Yoga. THIS YOGA DVD is specifically made for patients with pelvic dysfunction and bladder pain.
  4. Breath deeply regularly. This helps immediately to activate the PNSA thus calming down the sympathetic nervous system. 5 deep breaths two to three times a day is a good start.
  5. Remove refined carbohydrates (RC) from your diet as they cause nutritional stress and inflammation. By the way RC are the foods most commonly eaten during stressful times. They worsen pain however.
  6. Try adaptogenic herbs (herbs that help you adapt and balance your response to stress) such as ginseng, Rhodiola rosea, Siberian ginseng, cordyceps, and ashwagandha. Rhodiola is my favorite and the one I use  clinically in THIS formula. It works really well.
  7. Challenge your beliefs and change them accordingly. Reframe your point of view to reduce stress. Its almost always small stuff – so don’t sweat it.

 

Reference:

S.K Ludendorff, K.J Kreder, N.E Rothrock et al.Stress and symptomatology in interstitial cystitis: a laboratory model. J Urol, 164 (2000), pp. 1265–1269

M Hohenfeller, L Nunes, R.A Schmidt et al.Interstitial cystitis: increased sympathetic innervation and related neuropeptide synthesis.  J Urol, 147 (1992), pp. 587–59

R Letourneau, C Pang, G.R Sant et al.Intragranular activation of bladder mast cells and their association with nerve processes in interstitial cystitis Br J Urol, 77 (1996), pp. 41–5

Theoharides TC, and Sant GR: The mast cell as a neuroimmunoendocrine effector in interstitial cystitis, in Sant GR (Ed): Interstitial Cystitis. Philadelphia, Lippincott-Raven, 1997, pp 101–108.

Rothrock NE, Lutgendorf SK, Kreder KJ, Ratliff T, Zimmerman B. Stress and symptoms in patients with interstitial cystitis: a life stress model. Urology. 2001 Mar;57(3):422-7.

G.P Chrousos.The concepts of stress and stress system disorders. JAMA, 267 (1992), pp. 1244–1252

Kennedy DO, Little W, Scholey AB. Attenuation of laboratory-induced stress in humans after acute administration of Melissa officinalis (Lemon Balm). Psychosom Med. 2004 Jul;66(4):607-13.

Two Coming Events You May Be Interested In

Two important events coming that may be important to you

One is this Thursday, September 5, 2013

WEBINAR: Treating Bladder Dysfunction. Is a Natural Approach Better?

IC_PBS

Do to technical difficulties listeners could not join us last time so we are giving this webinar LIVE again.

TIME: 3PM EST / 12 PM PST

The talk will primary focus will be on Interstitial Cystis / Painful Bladder Syndrome

To register go HERE

Two: Annual NYU CaPLESS (Prostate Cancer Health) Retreat

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DATES: Saturday, November 16th & Sunday, November 17th 2013

Space for only 20 people!

Let us know if you would like to join us as soon as possible

For more information click HERE