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Study Shows HBOT As Reliable Treatment For Fibromyalgia

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According to researchers of Rice University and some institutes in Israel, Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) may be helpful for women suffering from fibromyalgia. A clinical trial carried out on women with this disorder disclosed an improvement in the painful condition for each of the 48 women who underwent 2 months of HBOT for fibromyalgia treatment. Brain scans taken of those women before undergoing the therapy and after completing it supported the theory that any abnormal conditions in the brain’s pain-related regions may be accountable for the syndrome.

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The study results have been published in PLOS One, an open-access journal.

What Is Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia, a chronic pain syndrome, affects soft tissue and muscles. The symptoms of this syndrome are painful trigger points or tender points, sleep problems, fatigue, and chronic muscle pain. It can be relieved with stress management, changes in lifestyle, and use of medications.

According to Eshel Ben-Jacob, a leading author of the study who also designed an analytical process for showing the link between improvement in patients and changes within their brain, women comprise over 90% of people affected by fibromyalgia. Ben-Jacob is also a biosciences adjunct professor in Rice University, a senior investigator in Rice’s Center for Theoretical Biological Physics, and a physics professor and member of Sagol School of Neuroscience in Tel Aviv University.

He explains that in about 70% of women who participated, symptoms were related to pain’s interpretation in their brain. He added that these individuals displayed the most remarkable improvement with HBOT, with significant changes in brain activity occurring.

Another recent study in PLOS One has identified an RNA-based biomarker for the diagnosis of fibromyalgia. Ben-Jacob reported that various treatments, from lifestyle changes to drugs, have been applied to relieve the suffering of patients, with limited success. He also highlighted that most people are unfamiliar with fibromyalgia, and those who are, including many doctors don’t consider it a real disorder. Disorders like fibromyalgia, which affect mainly women, often give way to skepticism among the community of medical professionals. These days, fortunately, efforts to understand the influence of gender on body disorders are increasing.

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Researchers in Sagol Center for Hyperbaric Medicine and Research in Tel Aviv University and Assaf Harofeh Medical Center were studying the patients of post-traumatic brain injury when they realized that HBOT treatment for fibromyalgia can prove to be quite effective. Dr. Shai Efrati, lead author of the study, head of the research and development department in Assaf Harofeh Medical Center, and a member at Sagol School of Neuroscience in Tel Aviv University, reported that, for patients affected by fibromyalgia along with post-concussion symptoms, symptoms were completely resolved.

What Is HBOT?

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) is a medical treatment in which patients are exposed to 100% oxygen inside a hyperbaric chamber, at higher than normal atmospheric pressure. HBOT is commonly employed in treating decompression sickness (the bends), carbon monoxide poisoning, burns, and embolisms.

Such exposure to high oxygen levels pushes more oxygen into the bloodstream of a patient, which then makes its way to the brain. Earlier trials conducted by Efrati found that this therapy induces neuroplasticity, resulting in repair of brain functions that are chronically impaired. The trials also discovered that HBOT improves the quality of life in cases of mild traumatic injury and post-stroke patients, even after years following the initial injury.

Ben-Jacob outlined that two patients pioneered the push for conducting the study. One of them was a graduate student from Oxford who became affected by fibromyalgia after being involved in a train crash that led to traumatic brain injury. Coincidentally, the secretary of the unit where she used to work is the mother of a nurse who is in charge of HBOT. She advised her to go and try HBOT for fibromyalgia treatment, stated Ben-Jacob.

The other patient is a sociology professor specializing in post-traumatic stress disorders induced by child abuse. The professor had been suffering from fibromyalgia for a number of years, and while her symptoms became worse during the initial treatments — a common experience for the other patients in the study — her symptoms eventually subsided.

By completion of Hyperbaric Therapy, both women showed significant improvement, reported Ben-Jacob.

Efrati noted that some patients may need follow-up sessions, as the abnormalities within the brain regions that cause the chronic pain sensation associated with fibromyalgia can be triggered by various events. Long-term responses may therefore differ.

When traumatic brain injury triggers fibromyalgia, the syndrome can be completely resolved without requiring any further treatment. When triggers are, however, led by other causes, like diseases related to fever, patients are likely to require periodic maintenance therapy.

The Clinical Trial

60 women who had been affected by fibromyalgia for at least 2 years were involved in the clinical trial. 12 women left the trial for varying reasons, but the remaining 48 women completed the training. Half of them were given 40 treatments of HBOT for fibromyalgia treatment, for 5 days a week over 2 months. Each treatment, which lasted for 90 minutes, subjected the patients to 100% oxygen at an atmospheric pressure double than the normal.

The other half of the patients were a part of the crossover-control group. They were evaluated prior to the trial and following a control period, during which their conditions didn’t improve. After the control period of 2 months, the same Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy was given to them as the other group and resulted in considerable relief.

As noted by the researchers, the successful treatment allowed the patients to significantly lower or even eliminate pain medication use. The researchers highlighted that taking the drugs relieved the pain, but didn’t reverse the condition. On the other hand, HBOT reversed the condition.

Efrati believes that the findings demand further study in this field. Unlike current treatment options available for the syndrome, HBOT for fibromyalgia doesn’t aim for just improvement in symptoms, but rather targets the real cause – the pathology in brain responsible for fibromyalgia syndrome. It implies that repair of the brain, including even regeneration of neurons, is possible for even long-lasting, chronic pain syndromes. We can and we should aim for this in future treatment developments.

Free Franco DeNicola Screening: The Shift In Consciousness

We interviewed Franco DeNicola about what is happening with the shift in consciousness. It turned out to be one of the deepest and most important information we pulled out within an interview.

We explored why things are moving a little more slowly with the shift at times, what is stopping certain solutions from coming forward and the important role we all play.

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Ending The Debate About The Ketogenic Diet – 9 Studies You Must Be Aware Of

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    The Ketogenic diet is a popular fad diet that promotes quick weight loss and symptom management for bodies that are dealing with poor lymph, kidney and digestion health.

  • Reflect On:

    Based on the studies that are emerging, is our desire for quick weight loss more important than living a long and healthy life? Are we learning about these diets primarily through those with strong ties to upholding these diets?

The ketogenic diet has popped up as a popular approach to weight loss in the last few years. Is it successful at that? Sure, it is. I’ve experimented with the diet myself years ago when I was looking to lose some belly fat. I was entering into ketosis in a different way than most, as I was not eating any animal products, but it does in fact work.

But like any animal product based diet, what are the consequences of eating so much food that does not truly jive with our human bodies? Not only that, is fast weight loss more important than keeping our morality rate down?

In the last few years, we’ve reported a lot on the Keto diet and the various ways it can be done. We have explored the studies, the results and in some ways, we supported it. But lately, I have been thinking about how supporting this could actually be encouraging people to jump into these diets, including the paleo diet, when in reality these diets increase mortality rates and are not healthy for the human body.

It became a thought in the back of my mind, I have always strived to put the best information out that I can through this platform to promote good health. And so we must look at that, even if that means upsetting some people who currently are on paleo or keto and are seeing some good weight loss or symptom management. The truth is, like the many people I’ve seen crash on these diets after a few years, I want people to know the truth of what’s going on out there. And how we can get beyond diets that symptom manage, and instead get onto diets that truly heal.

Anytime we have fad diets, which paleo and keto are, we see products and bias pop up all over the place to support the continuation of these trends. It becomes less about health and more about upholding an identity or a business.

So as I recently looked into what experts are saying about these diets, I came upon two important videos I think everyone should check out. Both have been embedded below. Remember, it’s not that I care what you choose in your own life, or that I feel there is a right or wrong, it’s that I believe we should be informed and I wish to use this platform to promote as best a message as I can.

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The Videos

Thanks to Plant-Based News for creating such a good channel and resource of information on YouTube.

In this video, several plant-based health experts talk through 9 nutrition studies that would be of interest to low carb keto diet proponents. To read the 9 studies, click here.

Next up, Dr. Kim Williams (past President of the American College of Cardiology) shares his insights about the ketogenic.

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We interviewed Franco DeNicola about what is happening with the shift in consciousness. It turned out to be one of the deepest and most important information we pulled out within an interview.

We explored why things are moving a little more slowly with the shift at times, what is stopping certain solutions from coming forward and the important role we all play.

Watch the interview here.
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Awareness

Boy or Girl – Baby Gender Selection Issues

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Some parents have the possibility to opt for gender selection; however, being able to decide whether to have a baby boy or girl is a controversial issue.

Many couples expecting a baby do not think it’s a big issue whether they have a boy or a girl; however there are several medical, social, and personal reasons that could influence parents to recur to some form of gender selection.

Like many other controversial practices, the legality of gender selection, also known as sex selection, varies from country to country.

The Legality of Baby Gender Selection

The United States has perhaps some of the most relaxed laws regarding baby gender selection in the world. Most European countries and Australia, on the other hand, have bans on sex selection and only allow it for medical reasons. For example, if a parent is a carrier of a mutation or gene with more chances of manifesting itself in a certain gender, baby gender selection is valid. However, if parents simply wish to balance the ratio of boys and girls in their family, they are not allowed to recur to sex selection.

This has generated a form of medical tourism in which couples from countries where gender selection is illegal, like the UK, travel to the US in order to be able to choose whether to have a baby boy or girl.

On the other hand, sex selection is illegal in the two most populated countries on Earth, China and India. In these countries, baby gender selection has been performed clandestinely for many years and for reasons other than family balancing or avoiding genetic diseases. In these societies, having a baby boy is preferred mainly for cultural and economic reasons. Parents believe that boys have better chances of earning income and eventually support them when they reach an old age.

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Methods of Baby Gender Selection

There are two major types of gender selection methods: the first one is called sperm sorting, and involves separating X-chromosome sperm from Y-chromosome sperm by flow cytometry, a purification technique in which chromosomes are suspended in a stream of sperm and identified by an electronic detector before being separated. Intra-uterine insemination or in-vitro fertilization can then be performed with the enriched sperm. The success rates for this method vary from 80% to 93%.

The other method, called pre-implantation genetic diagnosis, consists in generating several embryos through in-vitro fertilization, which are then genetically tested to determine a baby’s gender. The chosen embryos can then be implanted. This method has a success rate of almost 100%; however, it can be quite expensive, costing up to $15,000.

Issues Regarding Baby Gender Selection

While there are few objections against baby gender selection when it is performed for medical reasons, it has become a highly controversial issue when it is used for balancing the number of boys or girls in families. Some people raise the obvious ethical question of whether people who opt for gender selection are “playing God” by manipulating whether to have a baby boy or girl. Others believe that new parents will raise a baby more appropriately if he or she belongs to their preferred gender.

Gender Imbalance Caused by Baby Gender Selection

Gender selection has caused demographic concern in China and India since it has contributed to generate a gender imbalance in the populations of those countries. In some regions of China, for example, the sex ratio for newborns is 118:100, boys to girls. This phenomenon has in turn been associated with social problems such as an increase in violence and prostitution.

It seems like a logical solution for governments around the globe to legalize baby gender selection but to analyze the personal reasons why each couple intends to select a baby boy or girl. Gender selection for medical reasons should even be encouraged, since it could prevent serious genetic diseases such as cystic fibrosis, Huntington’s disease, and Haemophilia A. Balancing the gender ratio of a family should be accepted if by doing this, a healthy family environment is created. On the other hand, China and India have shown that baby gender selection as a result of a bias towards a particular gender can not only create a gender imbalance in the population, but contribute to social problems as well.

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We interviewed Franco DeNicola about what is happening with the shift in consciousness. It turned out to be one of the deepest and most important information we pulled out within an interview.

We explored why things are moving a little more slowly with the shift at times, what is stopping certain solutions from coming forward and the important role we all play.

Watch the interview here.
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Organic Certification: What the USDA Organic Label Means

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Organic and natural labels mean different things, and various types of labels tells you what percentage of ingredients are actually organic. We'll explore what to look for.

  • Reflect On:

    Do you sometimes buy products thinking they are organic or fully natural based on their wording? Have you later found out that those products aren't natural or organic at all? Read labels more closely at grocery stores to be aware.

Don’t get conned by fraudulent claims of “natural” or “organic.” Learn what to look for, and why it’s important, to ensure you’re getting the quality you are paying for.

The industrial age of the 20th century brought about changing agricultural practices that have generated increasing alarm about the effects of these practices on the environment and health. The use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, antibiotics, hormones, irradiated and genetically altered food and fiber products has created a groundswell of rightful concern. It has led to the growing demand for non-toxic, organic products that many are willing to pay a higher price for to ensure the healthful purity of food and clothing provided for their families.

With such profit opportunities, it’s little wonder that the lucrative organic product market has suffered abuse with so-called “organic” labels being fraudulently placed on products that have not earned the right. As a result of pressure from farming and consumer groups, legislation for the standardization of organic certification was introduced in the 1980s. It has been updated to include more vigorous enforcement and control methods since, with the current standards established in 2002 by the USDA.

The Standards of USDA Organic Certification

Specific standards must be met in order to legally claim a product as USDA certified organic. Organic producers must utilize methods that conserve water, maximize soil health, and reduce air pollution. The specific standards to earn USDA organic certification include:

Free of synthetic chemicals such as insecticides, herbicides, fertilizers, hormones, antibiotics, and additives

Free from irradiation and genetically modified organisms

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Agricultural products grown on land that has been free of prohibited substances for a period of three years

Animals used for meat, eggs, milk or other animal products must be exclusively fed foods that are organically grown, may not be given antibiotics or hormones, and must have access to outdoors.

Clean and sanitized harvesting and processing equipment throughout the process from harvest to finished, packaged product

Detailed chain-of-handling records from the field through final sales

Physical separation of certified organic products from non-organic products throughout the process of production

Regular on-site inspections from USDA-approved inspectors to ensure compliance

Understanding the Certified Organic Label

Once the rigorous process of certification has been completed, organic producers may place the USDA certified organic seal on their products. Currently, there are four levels of certified organic products, with a specific definition of the percentage of organic ingredients the final products contains. They are as follows:

• 100% organic: all production methods and ingredients are USDA certified organic.

• Organic: at least 95% of the production methods and ingredients are USDA certified organic with remaining ingredients included on the National List of allowed ingredients.

• Made With Organic Ingredients: at least 70% of the ingredients are USDA certified organic with remaining ingredients included on the National List of allowed ingredients.

• No organic wording or seal: less than 70% of the ingredients are USDA certified organic and no claims may be made on the front or back of the product.

Manufacturers or producers who knowingly label a product “organic” when it does not meet the USDA standards are subject to fines up to $11,000 per violation.

Why Organic Certification is Important

When you see the official USDA organic certification seal on food, clothing, and bedding products, you can be assured that these products have met the meticulous standards required and are free of chemicals, toxins, antibiotics, and hormones. When you see the USDA certified organic label, you will understand the value of the higher priced organic products as compared to non-organically produced products.

With the current stringent organic certification requirements enforced by regular inspections from USDA accredited agents, the USDA certified organic label has great meaning and importance to the consumer. Look for the label to know that you are getting the quality you are paying for.

Free Franco DeNicola Screening: The Shift In Consciousness

We interviewed Franco DeNicola about what is happening with the shift in consciousness. It turned out to be one of the deepest and most important information we pulled out within an interview.

We explored why things are moving a little more slowly with the shift at times, what is stopping certain solutions from coming forward and the important role we all play.

Watch the interview here.
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