Artistry Comes to Smoking Alternatives

By Jerry Nelson • 1 min read
vaporizer pen

America is experiencing a growing subculture of alternative smokers. E-cigarette users are spending hours tricking out their hardware in an activity that has become known within the industry and among aficionados as “vape modding.”

Vape modding merges craftsmanship, creativity and artistry into one creature. The activity, which started in the UK, is sweeping America’s bars, homes and offices. While some users do it to get better hits of nicotine and flavor, others do it strictly for the cosmetic benefit — they want a unique look. The modders are hardcore users. They are the ones who credit “vaping” with helping them to kick the tobacco habit. Some physicians feel that these ex-smokers may have traded one addiction for another.

When people think of an e-cig, they usually think of a device that is more like a cigarette. Basically a tube, inhaler and a tank of liquid which contains the nicotine. Add an atomizer, or heat source, and a battery, and a user has something that has replaced tobacco with liquid which is vaporized and inhaled. Proponents of e-cigs believe that since the nicotine is vaporized instead of being burned, vaping is healthier.

The World Health Organization differs. Even the scientific consensus is not clear and it may be decades before the fog lifts. Until the research is finished, vaping will continue to be an issue for e-cig makers, vapers and even some doctors who claim that vaping is better for an individual than smoking.

The lack of agreement on any specific benefits e-cigs have over traditional cigarettes hasn’t kept the devices from being sold in the millions. For some vapers though, the factory made e-cigarette is akin to being like an Atari when what is wanted is a tricked-out, custom gaming PC. Many vapers are working to correct this.

When e-cigs came on the market in 2007, user groups sprung up which were dedicated to the technology. Sites like E-Cig-Reviews  and others gave birth to the idea of modding. As vapers started to find each other, the tinkering became extreme. Instead of just modifying the internal workings fo e-cigs, modders started taking the radical step of completely replacing the body of a regular e-cig with a fancier body, colors and even LEDs.

One of the first extreme modifications was known as “The Screwdriver.” The Screwdriver had everyone talking because it allowed the user to vape for hours, instead of the relatively short time which was then normal. When images of the Screwdriver hit the online forums, everyone wanted one and the first real “mod-maker” was hatched. The Screwdriver may have been the first modification, but it has not been the last.

For some, vapier modification is a hobby; for others it is a matter of artistic expression — similar to a painter taking a brush to canvas. Still others run the modifications as a business where profit is the goal.

Vaporizer Pens and Tobacco Alternatives for Youth

By Jerry Nelson • 2 min read
vaporizer pen

American school administrators are starting to face a new, high-tech challenge that is popular among students. “Vaping.” More kids are turning to e-cigarettes as an alternative to smoking tobacco and it has caught the attention of at least one state legislature.

So what should a parent know about e-cigarettes? How concerned should parents be?

With the dangers of cigarette smoking known to be a health hazard, many believe that switching to electronic cigarettes is a healthy choice.  Despite the increasing popularity of e-cigs and battery-powered vaporizer pen, businesses are now starting to restrict smokers — even users of e-cigs. San Francisco recently put a policy in place that limits e-cig use to outdoor aways away from the building windows and entrances. Many in the city say the policy is a step in the right direction and others are calling for even more regulations and education about vaporizing pens.

Relatively new, vape pens were first introduced in 2008. The FDA is still unsure of the effects it has on a user’s health. The FDA feels that the pens contain toxic chemicals and should be limited until more research can be completed. One study by the California Department of Public Health found that the liquid used for e-cigs contain approximately 10 chemicals believed to cause cancer. Most users believe that e-cigarettes are less harmful than traditional cigarettes because the tar and odor are missing.

While the scent of vaporizing pens isn’t as obnoxious as regular cigarettes, it can be difficult to walk anywhere without passing a cloud of cigarette smoke or vapor.  California State Senator, Mark Leno, introduced a bill that targets the pens. The state bill would ban the smoking devices in the same businesses and areas in which traditional cigarettes are already banned. What people may not know is the pens produce high levels of formaldehyde at high voltages. A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine points out that this is the same chemical to preserve cats and frogs dissected in high school science classes.

Many vapers are former smokers who are looking for a way to feed their nicotine habit without stopping cold turkey. Nicotine patches and gum containing nicotine are good, but they don’t work for everyone. The e-cigs provide the nicotine without some of the other harmful chemicals and deliver it in such a way that is reminiscent of traditional smoking.

Gaining Popularity

Vape pens are growing fast in American culture. There are many reasons they are gaining a following among young people. One is the idea of parents who would rather have their child vaping than smoking cigarettes. The truth is, the jury Is still out. The bigger problem faced by parents is not knowing if the child is vaping nicotine or not. Many of the liquids used in pens carry strong amounts of nicotine. Although technically illegal to sell e-liquids to minors, it is not unusual for the “head” shops to look the other way. Adding to the mystery is the fact that vaping doesn’t produce a strong odor the way tobacco or marijuana does.

Vape pens are also used for burning concentrated THC oil called wax.  These “dabs,” as they are also called, have higher amounts of THC than any joint. Vaping wax doesn’t have a smell so parents won’t recognize what is in the pen. Smoking dabs can be more dangerous than smoking a standard joint because of the concentrated THC.

At the end of the day, the surging popularity can be traced to a mix of rebellion, technology and social acceptance. Kids today are vaping for the same reasons that teens have always smoked — the feel of being ‘cool,’ a distraction from boredom  and it serves as a vehicle to socialize with others. The designer patterns, flashing lights and techie aspects also lend itself to catching teen’s attention.

Stay Calm

If you suspect your child is vaping, the first step is to stay calm.

If being a parent were easy, articles like this wouldn’t be needed. Parenting can be confusing. You’ll make mistakes and that’s ok. The more confident you become as a parent, the more compassionate and effective you will become at helping your kids make smarter and healthier choices.

The next step is to learn all you can about this relatively new phenomenon and then have a heart-to-heart with your child, being sure to let them know where you stand on the issue.

Flexible CPR Training Makes Lifesaving Technique Widely Available

By Jerry Nelson • 2 min read
cpr techniques

The Silvester Method of artificial respiration was developed in the 1800s by H. R. Silvester. The early version of artificial respiration which Silvester proscribed can still be seen in films made in the early 20th century. The patient was stretched out on their back, their arms raised above their head and then pressed against their chest

Silvester’s method has been modified and improved upon and today, CPR is possibly the most commonly recognized  form of care in an emergency. Until relatively recently, individuals wishing to learn CPR would have to rearrange their schedule, reach deep into their pockets and set aside a night each week for 4 – 6 weeks.  Now, flexible CPR training is available with many different formats offered. Even online classes are available.

The flexibility of training has made it easier for individuals to get certified and even high school students are studying the potentially life-saving tool.

Kentucky high school students may  have one more class to take before being able to graduate. A bill, which has already passed the Kentucky house, will require that high school students receive CPR training as part of their health education.

Rep. Jeff Greer, D-Brandenburg, is the bill’s sponsor and believes that the additional training will help save lives. Greer may be right. Kentucky is a very rural state with many areas without a nearby hospital resulting in extended travel times for paramedics.

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation, better known as CPR is a procedure performed during an emergency situation to try to manually maintain brain function until other measures are taken to restore the body’s spontaneous blood circulation and breathing.

CPR, by itself, is not expected to restart the heart. The primary purpose of CPR is to restore some flow of blood to the brain and heart with the end result being delayed tissue death. Defibrillation, or electric shock to the heart, is typically needed to restore a viable heartbeat. CPR may be successful in inducing a heart rhythm that could be shockable and in general CPR is continued until the patient has a return of spontaneous circulation is is declared to be dead.

Medical Uses

CPR is called for whenever a person is unresponsive and is not breathing. If a person still has a pulse, but is not breathing CPR guidelines still call for compression, but waiting for a professional health care provider to monitor the pulse. In people with cardiac arrest due to trauma, CPR is considered futile but still recommended.


The American Heart Association updated their CPR guidelines in 2010. The importance of quality CPR was emphasized and the order of interventions was reverse so that now chest compressions should come before airway clearing and breathing. The primary impact of good CPR are few interruptions of chest compressions, a sufficient speed and depth of compressions.


The AHA recommends a universal compression to ventilation ratio of 30:2. Striving for a compression rate of at least 100 per minute, the recommended compression depth in adults and children is at least two inches and 1.5 inches in infants. Adult patients should receive chest compression with two hands, in children, one hand and two fingers for infants.

Compression Only

CPR consisting of compression only is a technique that utilizes chest compressions without artificial respiration. Since is it easier to perform by people who have not been trained, it is the recommended method of choice.

Cultural Impact

CPR is often misconstrued in movies and television as being highly effective. A New England Journal of Medicine study in 1996 showed that the success rate for CPR in television shows was 75 percent. The figure is unrealistically high and gives the general public an unrealistic expectation of a successful outcome. The actual survival rates normally range between 22 percent and 41 percent according to the same study.

Despite the dismal odds, in at least once case, there is evidence that CPR learned from a movie was used to save an individual’s life. In 2011, Tristin Saghin, 11, saved his sister’s life by performing CPR on her after she fell into a swimming pool. Tristin claimed to have learned CPR from the motion picture, Black Hawk Down.

Different Options for Varicose Vein Tratment That Won’t Mess With Your Recovery

By Jerry Nelson • 2 min read
Summer Hillside


When an individual is trying to recovery from substance abuse and addiction, one of the concerns is how to treat medical conditions in a way that won’t trigger a relapse. Take the wrong drug or medicine, relapse can be triggered and the slide down the slope towards full -blown addiction may begin again. For many afflictions there are well known alternatives to drugs for healing and recovery.  Others, such as varicose veins are not as well known and may result in a person feeling as though they have to make a choice between recovery from substance abuse and recovery and relief from the pain of varicose veins.

There are  a wide variety of different options, both surgical and non-surgical, for varicose vein treatment and a half-hour on line research will help a person understand their options..

Simply put, varicose veins are veins that have become enlarged and twisted. Most common in the legs, varicose veins can occur other places in the body. There are many different options for varicose vein treatment, including elevating the legs when lying down, wearing graduated compression stockings, utilizing intermittent pneumatic compression devices.

When it comes to surgery, there are different options for varicose vein treatment as well. Some of the more utilized surgeries include, stripping where  all or part of the vein is removed.  Other surgical treatment options are ambulatory phlebectomy, vein ligation and Cryosurgery where a probe is passed down the long vein  and the vein is frozen prior to being stripped.

Three of the most popular homeopathic remedies are listed here.

When the valves inside the bodies’ veins are weak, veins may become swollen and muscle cramping, aching and itching may result. Varicose veins are normally seen in the legs, but can occur in other areas of the body. Hemorrhoids are varicose veins in the rectum Homeopathic remedies often serve to relieve the discomfort and may prevent the veins from worsening. For people with serious cases of varicose veins, they may benefit from homeopathic treatment.

Arnica montana

Also called wolf’s bane, mountain tobacco and mountain arnica is a flowering plant with large yellow capitual. Used in herbal medicine for many years, it has also been used by first nations healers in America and Canada for centuries. The roots contain derivatives of thymo which are used as preservatives and also have shown to possibly have anti-inflammatory effect. Arnica cream has long been used externally to treat bruising and soft tissue damage.  Homeopathy normally recommends this remedy when the legs look bruised, or black and blue and the veins are sore to the touch.

Carbo vegetabilis

Carbo vegetabilis, or carbo veg, is from vegetable charcoal which is known for its ability to absorb toxins in the body. When poor circulation, accompanied by an icy coldness, in the extremities, homeopathies call for carbo veg.  The individuals legs may feel weak and heavy and often itch. When these symptoms are accompanied by  poor digestion, a feeling of faintness and a craving for fresh or moving air, these are seen as strong indications for carbo veg. This remedy is frequently given to older people, or anyone who is slow to recover from an illness.


Lycopodium, also known as ground pines or creeping cedar, is a flowerless plant used for centuries in traditional Austrian medicine internally as a tea or externally as a compress for treatment of the skin and other afflictions.  Treatment with Lycopodium is normally indicated when drawing or “tearing” pains are felt in the legs. The symptoms may be worse when the individual is still and the legs may cramp at night in bed. People in need of this remedy have have a worried countenance and also experience digestive problems and poor circulation as well as a sluggish liver function.

As usual, anyone seeing remedies or treatments should consult a physician who is experienced with homeopathic treatments.


Simplify to De-Stress

By Jerry Nelson • 2 min read

Somewhere I read that a person spends the first half of their life accumulating stuff and the second half disbursing that same stuff. For me, that’s been true.

Caught up in the corporate media to “get, get, get” has been replaced with the middle-age mantra of “simplify, simplify, simplify.”

When I started this journey following my divorce in 2006, I didn’t even realize that I had started the journey towards simplifying. As I strolled the trail of life, I knew that a few things that were integral in my time needed to adjust, but I didn’t realize that one of those tasks was working to get rid of the useless things that jumble life and living.

One day, somewhere on the road between Cheyenne and Aspen, I had an epiphany and realized that most of the things I held closest to me were holding me back. It was disorienting to realize and it was a difficult concept to realize that I had been attached to something that wasn’t attached to me and was, in fact, holding me back like an anchor on a boat.

Looking around me at some of the most content people I have known, I noticed it wasn’t “things” that brought them happiness — it was a lifestyle and a way of living. As I continued my journey of simplification, I discovered a few keys that were, well, key to getting to a place of enjoying life.

Relationships Evaluated. When I found that someone sucked my energy, I left them beside the road. If they were encouraging and uplifting, I welcomed them into this journey of mine called life. Life doesn’t have room for people who are draining our energy. Healthy relationships enhance my life instead of causing stress.

Unplug. For an hour a day, I unplug from life. No phone. No email. No distractions. If I don’t disconnect digitally daily, I can’t connect with my body and my true self. Ironically, I had to surf the web to find out how to unplug. Sites such as Wiki.How, Forbes, Discountrue and ZenHabits were loaded with information about how to disconnect digitally.

Sweep. No, not with a literal broom. I sweep every corner of my apartment every day with the metaphorical broom. I do this by taking inventory and decluttering anything that doesn’t make me feel comfortable, inspired and happy.

Play the Quiet Game. Meditate. Many people throw up western-style defenses when they hear the word “meditate.” There is a semi-truck size of scientifically backed research that continues to grow showing the benefits of meditation. Get quiet. Sit still. Allow your dreWams to wander as they will when you first try meditation. Just commit, initially, to five minutes of silence and passivity. The rest will come in time.

Forget the To-Do List. Stop focusing on the to-do list. Many Type A personalities live by the to-do list. Every day. All day. Even at night. The idea of what a person is “supposed” to accomplish can destroy contentment and increase stress exponentially. Instead, focus on those things that will make your heart sing.

Natural Dandruff Cures for Alcoholics

By Jerry Nelson • 2 min read


The early stages of recovery from alcoholism can be tricky. With AA sponsors encouraging individuals to watch what they eat and drink, many people also become concerned, with some justification, about the other products that they use on a regular basis.

The choice between chemical-based solutions and natural treatments may be best illustrated by looking at one of the earliest issues people new to sobriety often deal with: cravings.

One concern many people have when they decide to cut down — or stop drinking alcohol — is the cravings. How to safely deal with them without triggering a relapse.

A few popular drugs that are used in treatment centers, Naltrexone, Acamprosate and Disulfram, can have some uncomfortable side effects. Common side effects include diarrhea, indigestion, nausea and vomiting. Worse side effects have also been associated with these drugs leaving many to wonder if they do more harm than good.

The pharmaceutical industry hasn’t done very much to help keep alcoholics sober. On the other hand, herbal remedies have shown promise and results. But since profit is a big motivator for business, you probably won’t find your doctor offering herbal alternatives any time soon.

One herbal remedy which has shown some promise is Kudzu. The scourge of the Southern States, Kudzu has been shown to possibly cut alcohol drinking in half without the side effects of pharmaceuticals. Used in China since 600AD to help people reduce drinking, scientists are now studying it and found it to be useful in rats.

Other studies show that Kudzu can also reduce drinking in humans. The plant works by increasing alcohol concentration in drinkers so that the need for more and more alcohol to reach previous levels of “buzz” is reduced.

Many alcoholics go the extra step and choose to stay away from any chemically based product when there may be natural substitutions. Avoiding products which contain chemicals — or have been processed — can not only aid in recovery, but can also help return a person to health.

There are hundreds of home remedies online and a favorite one is a healthy, and natural, way to deal with dandruff, avoiding the alcohol contained in most over-the-counter shampoos.

Home Remedies for Dandruff

Seborrheic dermattis, more commonly known as dandruff, is an affliction in the scalp which is common among individuals of all ages. The reasons for dandruff are as varied as the heads it has landed on. Dry skin, irritated oily skin, bacterial growth and scalp fungus are some of the factors which cause itchiness along with the telltale white flakes.

Originally, dandruff can be kept at bay by having a healthy hair-care routine. Dandruff can also be controlled with some natural remedies. While the natural fixes may take a little longer to deliver results that the chemicals in a bottle, they can completely and effectively treat the problem.

Indian Lilac

The anti-bacterial properties of Indian lilac help treat dandruff along with other problems like scalp acne and itchy scalp.

  1. Take a handful of meem leaves and boil in two quarts of water
  2. Let the solution cool and the strain it.
  3. Use the mixture as a hair rinse several times a week.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil works to eliminate dandruff because of the oil’s inherent anti-fungal properties. A side benefit is the oil moisturizes the scalp and relieves the itching.

  1. Mix lemon juice in with half of the available coconut oil.
  2. Massage the mixture into your scalp.
  3. Wait twenty minutes then wash your hair.
  4. Repeat several times a week.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Scalp treatment with apple cider vinegar is great at getting rid of dandruff. Restoring the pH balance of the scalp, apple cider vinegar inhibits yeast growth and helps as a natural conditioner and clarifier which cleans clogged pores and hair follicles.

  1. Measure out two table spoons of apple cider vinegar.
  2. Add two table spoons of water and about 20 drops of tea tree oil.
  3. Massage the mixture into your scalp, rinsing after several minutes
  4. Repeat several times a week.






Human Growth Hormone Therapy and Potential for Abuse

By Jerry Nelson • 2 min read
Human Growth Hormone


Human Growth Hormone

With the recent announcement that the National Football League and the player’s union have reached an agreement on improvements to existing policies, human growth hormone (HGH) use is back in the news. The agreement will allow for testing of HGH and provide for neutral arbitration for appeals.

Besides allowing for testing of HGH, the agreement also calls for:


  • Up to six game ban for first violation
  • Two game ban for masking agents
  • Four game ban for steroids, stimulants or HGH
  • Six game ban for trying to manipulate the test results
  • Additional penalties include:


  • 10 game plan for second offense
  • Minimum two year ban for 3rd violation


The tightening of the rules regarding HGH point the problems — and dangers — of using growth hormones without having a prescription or being under a doctor’s care.

NFL players are only the most visible, potential abusers. Also abusing HGH, but unseen, are weekend athletes or individuals who play amateur sports.

The desire for increased muscle mass, greater stamina and other claimed benefits have seen HGH being used in younger athletes each year.

With each new sports season, the controversy increases as well.


Controversy about the use of human growth hormone and growth hormone therapy have normally focused on the claims and products. The majority of the controversy has fallen into 2 slots:


  1. Exaggerated and misleading claims that growth hormone treatment is safe and effective when it comes to slowing or reversing aging.
  2. Products that are sold that misleadingly claim to be growth hormone to to boost the user’s own natural human growth hormone.

So how did HGH become so controversial and where can modern-day thinking be traced to?


In 1990, a study was published in The New England Journal of Medicine which claimed to show fat loss, muscle mass increase from the use of growth hormone in twelve older males. Despite the fact that the authors of the study never claimed that growth hormone had reversed the aging process, the results were taken as indicating that growth hormone is effective in reversing the effects of the aging process. This study, along with others, led to organizations promoting the use of growth hormone as an “anti-aging agent.”

There has never been a sufficiently large controlled trial to prove one way or the other that human growth hormone therapy gives significant anti-aging benefits. Some scientific articles have clearly demonstrated that supplementing the body’s own natural growth hormone doesn’t increase muscle strength. It is possible that there are some limited advantages, such as increasing lean body mass, it is also apparent that the benefits are being exaggerated by some for profit.

Anti-aging has been fairly discarded as a benefit of using HGH. The side effects can be painful and deadly.

Side Effects

A few of the side effects seen in previously healthy patients include:


  • Increased risk of death due to the strain put on the heart and cardiovascular system
  • Joint and muscle pain
  • Fluid build-up at the joints
  • Joint swelling
  • If GH is injected with shared needles, exposure to HIV, AIDS and hepatitis is possible

If you, or someone you know, has been abusing HGH, seek out a competent sports physician who can advise you on the safe and proper ways to use HGH.



e-Cig Research Raises as Many Questions as It Answers

By Jerry Nelson • 1 min read


A recent study commissioned by the Ministry of Health in Japan, has found that e-cigarettes may hold more carcinogens than traditional cigarettes. One brand which was tested contained ten times as many toxins.

The growing popularity of e-cigarettes has raised significan controvery among public health authorities. Organizations as disparate as the World Health Organization and the Food and Drug Administration have shared concernes bout the safety of e-cigarettes and the effects of nicotine.

The carcinogens identified in the study included formaldehyde and acetaldehyde. Both ingredients are found in several types and forms of liquids used in e cigs.

The study is the most recent to cause headaches for the industry that sells itself as a safer alternative to nicotine craving.

While still relatively new, the research so far is minimal and often contradicts other studies which show positive effects from “vaping.” What the study does is add another piece to the e-cig puzzle. Researchers have long known that when e-cig liquid is heated, some carcinogens are created. What isn’t known is how much and how many. Thomas Glynn, former director of cancer science with the American Cancer Society said that e-cigarettes hold 10 times more formaldehyde.

E-Cigarettes as a Smoking Cessation Tool

In a wide ranging interview with Here & Now, Glynn addressed the idea of using e-cigarettes as an aid to stopping smoking. “The question still out there,” said Glynn, “can e-cigarettes reduce the number of cigarettes that individuals smoke?” “A study like this can possibly worry people into not using e-cigs at all.”

Are e-Cigarettes Less Dangerous?

“That’s a great question,” said Glynn. “It’s one of the reasons we have scientists working on this. I know that sounds like a cop-out, but they [e-cigarettes] have only been available in America for seven years and were only invented about ten years ago. We’re still going through the early stages of research on them.”

For the research, the same liquid — Flavourart MaxBlend — was used. The concentration of nicotine was 18 mg/ml. The liquid was checked for impurities and were found to be present in trace amounts.

Does Anyone Know the Ingredients?

Glynn said, “That’s the main problem right now in America. When a consumer purchases an e-cigarette, they’re buying a lottery ticket. They don’t understand what it is they’re buying. They could be purchasing one of the ones in the recent Japanese study or they could be buying something that could aid in putting down cigarettes forever.”

The Skinny Behind Weight-Loss Supplements

By Jerry Nelson • 3 min read

Wendy Foulds Mathes, PhD, is trying to create an eating disorder in rats by allowing them to binge on Oreo Cookies. Many people would believe that getting stuffed on cookies would come natural to a rodent, but it doesn’t.

By controlling when the rats are given cookies and then looking for changes in the brain, they are trying to determine when changes in the brain may indicate that the foods are affecting the brains’ reward system similar to drugs or alcohol.

What they are studying is a serious question. People with eating disorders struggle to change their behavior, just like alcoholics or addicts, which can cause life-threatening health problems like hypertension, heart arrhythmias and diabetes.

Many people — both physicians and laymen — have oticed that when people with eating disorders talk about the food they eat, it can sound similar to how people with substance abuse problems talk about abusing drugs.

For people struggling with an eating disorder, especially anorexia, weight-loss diet supplements are ofte seen as an answer. But instead of providing a solution, many diet supplements intended to be beneficial, turn deadly.

Individuals looking to lose weight find that diet supplements often seem like a magic solution. The makers of diet pills make extravagant claims about the properties of their drugs, yet many of the claims aren’t supported by research. Actually, the drugs that come with glowing promises to melt the pounds away may hold hidden dangers.

Even though the risks of using diet supplements are well know, the demand continues to skyrocket. Up to 50 percent of people meeting the criteria for an eating disorder have reported using over-the-counter diet pills, herbal supplements or prescription drugs to take off the weight. A person using weight-loss drugs, without being under a doctor’s supervision, is putting their bodies in harm’s way.

Diet Supplements: What are They?

Diet supplements are any products that a person takes orally and which may include nutrients, herbs or other ingredients that add to their regular diet. Not all supplements are meant to help in losing weight; a supplement may provide a nutritional replacement for people who can’t get enough of a specific mineral or vitamin in their daily diet.

A dietary supplement may contain:

1. Vitamins
2. Minerals
3. Amino acids
4. Enzymes
5. Herbs
6. Glandular extracts
7. Organ products

How Weight Loss Supplements Work

A person seeking diet supplements as an aid in losing weight will have plenty from which to choose. The businesses that distribute them often claim that the ingredients in their products can help you achieve results such as:

1. Curb cravings for food
2. Make you feel full
3. Speed up the metabolism
4. Slow down fat production of the body
5. Keep the body from absorbing fat

Diet supplements meant for weight loss can be purchased in just about any form that can be taken orally, from pills to capsules and liquids. Some are meant to be taken with a meal, others taken instead of a meal.

Over the counter pills supposedly help in weight loss by stimulating a person’s metabolism, or how th body utilizes energy The main ingredient in products like Dexatrim is caffeine, a central nervous stimulant (CNS) which may help burn off fat through termogenesis. The risks of taking these stimulants often outweigh the benefits.

Why Weight Loss Pills May be Dangerous

Many diet supplements are harmless. Some may even be effective at creating a sense of fullness, burning fat or juicing the metabolism. Some of the more popular ingredients in weight loss products have been banned by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) because of harmful side effects such as:

1. Increased heart rate
2. High blood pressure
3. Diarrhea
4. Sleeplessness
5. Kidney and liver damage
6. Rectal bleeding


Once popularly used in diet supplements, the herbal stimulant Ephedra was banned in 2004 because of evidence that its use could trigger a stroke or heart attack. While a lower court ruled, in 2005, that Ephedra could be used in small doses, that decision was overturned in 2006 by a federal appeals court which reinstated the original FDA ban.


Lipozene has not been evaluated or approved by the FDA and contains 1500 mg of Amorphophallus Konjak (AK). In one

review from a blogger, they point out that Lipozene can cause:

1. Difficulty in breathing
2. Difficulty in swallowing
3. Swelling in the face, mouth and/or tongue
4. Dizziness
5. Diarrhea
6. Chemical dependency


Some products cause severe damage to the kidneys, liver and other organs. Hydroxycut was banned and recalled in 2009 because of reports of reactions including hepatitis and jaundice.


Fenrluramine, one of the two main, active ingredients in the diet drug Fen-Phen, was recalled in the late 90s when the drug was linked to heart damage and lung disease. Determine, the other main ingredient is still used and prescribed in certain cases for weight loss but is only available with a doctor’s prescription and not over-the-counter.

Abusing Diet Pills

A person with an eating disorder may not be concerned about the dangers associated with dietary supplements. They may be so focused with the goal of losing weight that they don’t care about the health risks. In an obsessive drive to take off weight, an individual with anorexia or bulimia is apt to abuse the supplements in these ways:

1. Taking more than recommended
2. Taking diet products that aren’t recommended for their particular body weight and size
3. Taking prescription drugs without a doctor’s prescription
4. Take two or more weight loss stimulants at the same time
5. Combining diet pills with laxatives or diuretics
6. Combining the diet supplements with illegal stimulants

The goal of an eating disorder program is to support each client individually in their recovery goals. Whether that means gaining, or losing, weight is up to the treatment team. Unless diet supplements are recommended by a physician, they are normally not part of a healthy recover plan for eating disorders.

Medical Negligence : Sometimes Caused by Substance Abusing Physicians

By Jerry Nelson • 2 min read





“Tomorrow. Tomorrow I will quit.”


That is what Marc Myer, a Minnesota family practice doctor, kept telling himself every time he stole prescription opiates form his patients to maintain his addiction. But for Myer, and my doctors, “tomorrow” never came. Doctors addicted to prescription medications seldom stop unless an intervention by peers and co-workers occurs.


For some workers in the health care industry, that intervention is not done by peers, but rather through an investigation. When a medical negligence claim is filed, the subsequent investigation may turn up information which might point a finger at a substance abusing physician.


Drug abuse by physicians is not a new problem. The father of American surgery, William Halsted, was addicted to cocaine. Physicians experience about the same levels of alcohol and illegal substance abuse as does the general public. However, they are five times as likely to misuse prescription drugs according to a study conducted by the University of Florida’s Center for Addiction Research. With the epidemic of prescription addiction sweeping the country, that statistic is looking pretty grim.


The study, published in the Journal of Addiction Medicine, says that most physicians who abuse prescription drugs aren’t normally seeking recreational thrills. Of the 55 physicians interviewed for the study who are being monitored by their state physician health programs, 38 abused prescription drugs. In talking about their motivation, most said they turned to prescription drugs to relieve stress and physical or emotional pain.


In Myer’s case, he was prescribed opiates after having his wisdom teeth removed. Finding the opiates helped him cope with undiagnosed depression, he continued to use and felt stimulated and, initially, felt the drugs helped his performance.


Physicians are like many others who turn to painkillers and other prescription medicine as a way of coping with pain and life struggles. Wat does set them apart is their ease of access to the medicines. With the prescribing privileges, networks of professional contacts and proximity to supplies, physicians have access to powerful, highly sought after drugs which is rare among the general population.


The easy access can not only cause a problem, it can help perpetuate it according to Marvin Seppala, chief medical officer at Hazelden, an operator of 11 addiction treatment programs in America. Access rapidly becomes an addict’s top priority, Seppala notes, and self-medicating physicians will do everything they can to make sure the access continues.


Dr. Myer was a good example of the lengths to which addicted physicians will go. When Myer was practicing in his small-town Minnesota practice, he would instruct his patients to bring their prescriptions with them to the office so that he could better track all of the medications they were taking. When the patient wasn’t paying attention, he’d skim a few pills from the bottles.


Before long, within six months, people became suspicious. Colleagues expressed concern, but when confronted Myer would deny there was a problem. Since he continued to perform well and be a well-loved doctor, no one forced the issue.


Physicians who find them self stuck in addiction are able to seek confidential treatment according to Seppala. In addition to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), records for patients going through treatment for substance abuse are protected. Consequently doctors can seek professional help without disclosing their problem to a medical board.













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