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Early Signs of Multiple Sclerosis

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A Close Look at MS Symptoms

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a disease with unpredictable symptoms that can vary in intensity. While some people experience fatigue and numbness, severe cases of MS can cause paralysis, vision loss, and diminished brain function.

MS affects an estimated 2.3 million people worldwide. Women are affected more than twice as often as men, according to the National MS Society. Family history is also a major risk factor.

ms vision problems

What Is Multiple Sclerosis?

MS is a progressive, “immune-mediated” disorder. That means the system designed to keep your body healthy mistakenly attacks parts of your body that are vital to everyday function. The protective coverings of nerve cells are damaged, which leads to diminished function in the brain and spinal cord.

The cause of MS largely remains a mystery, even though the disease was discovered in 1868. Researchers know the nerve damage is caused by inflammation, but the cause of the inflammation is still unknown.

MS and Vision Problems

Visual problems are one of the most common symptoms of MS. Inflammation affects the optic nerve and disrupts central vision. This can cause blurry, double, or loss of vision.

You may not notice the vision problems immediately, as degeneration of clear vision can be slow. Pain when you look up or to one side also can accompany vision loss.

Tingling and Numbness

MS affects nerves in the brain and spinal cord (the body’s message center). This means it can send conflicting signals around the body. Sometimes, no signals are sent. This results in numbness.

Tingling sensations and numbness are one of the most common warning signs of MS. Common sites of numbness include the face, arms, legs, and fingers.

Pain and Spasms

Chronic pain and involuntary muscle spasms are also common with MS. One study, according to the National MS Society, showed that half of people with MS had chronic pain.

Muscle stiffness or spasms (spasticity) are also common. You might experience stiff muscles or joints as well as uncontrollable, painful jerking movements of the extremities. The legs are most often affected, but back pain is also common.

Fatigue and Weakness

Unexplained fatigue and weakness affect about 80 percent of people in the early stages of MS.

Chronic fatigue occurs when nerves deteriorate in the spinal column. Usually, the fatigue appears suddenly and lasts for weeks before improving. The weakness is most noticeable in the legs at first.

Balance Problems and Dizziness

Dizziness and problems with coordination and balance can decrease the mobility of someone with MS. Your doctor may refer to these as problems with your gait. People with MS often feel lightheaded, dizzy, or feel as if their surroundings are spinning (vertigo). This symptom often occurs when a person stands up.

Bladder, Bowel, and Sexual Dysfunction

A dysfunctional bladder is another symptom occurring in up to 80 percent of people with MS. This can include urinating frequently, strong urges to urinate, or inability to hold in urine.

Urinary-related symptoms are often manageable. Less often, people with MS experience constipation, diarrhea, or loss of bowel control.

Sexual arousal can also be a problem for people with MS because it begins in the central nervous system — where MS attacks.

Cognitive Problems

About half of people with MS will develop some kind of issue with their cognitivefunction. This can include:

  • memory problems
  • shortened attention span
  • language problems
  • difficulty staying organized

Depression and other emotional health problems are also common.

Emotional Health

Major depression is common among people with MS. The stresses of MS can also cause irritability, mood swings, and a condition called pseudobulbar affect. This involves bouts of uncontrollable crying and laughing.

Coping with MS symptoms, along with relationship or family issues, can make depression and other emotional disorders even more challenging.

Other Symptoms

Not everyone with MS will have the same symptoms. Different symptoms can manifest themselves during relapses or attacks. Along with the symptoms mentioned on the previous slides, MS can also cause:

  • hearing loss
  • seizures
  • uncontrollable shaking
  • breathing problems
  • slurred speech
  • trouble swallowing

Progression and Severity

MS often astounds doctors because of how much it can vary in both its severity and the ways that it affects people. Attacks can last a few weeks and then disappear. However, relapses can get progressively worse, more unpredictable, and come with different symptoms. Early detection may help prevent MS from progressing quickly.

Is MS Hereditary?

MS isn’t necessarily hereditary. However, you have a higher chance of developing the disease if you have a close relative with MS, according to theNational MS Society.

The general population only has a tenth of a percent chance of developing MS. But the number jumps to 2.5 to 5 percent if you have a sibling or parent with MS.

Heredity isn’t the only factor in determining MS. An identical twin only has a 25 percent chance of developing MS if their twin has the disease. While genetics is certainly a risk factor, it’s not the only one.


A doctor — most likely a neurologist — will perform several tests to diagnose MS, including:

  • neurological exam: your doctor will check for impaired nerve function
  • eye exam: a series of tests to evaluate your vision and check for eye diseases
  • spinal tap (also called a lumbar puncture): a test involving a long needle that’s inserted into your spine to remove a sample of fluid circulating around your brain and spinal cord

Doctors use these tests to look for damage to the central nervous system in two separate areas. They must also determine that at least one month has passed between the episodes that caused damage. These tests are also used to rule out other conditions.

Moving Forward

MS is a challenging disorder, but researchers have discovered many treatments that can slow its progression.

The best defense against MS is seeing your doctor immediately after you experience the first warning signs. This is especially important if someone in your immediate family has the disorder, as it’s one of the key risk factors for MS.

Don’t hesitate. It could make all the difference.


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Fibromyalgia Treatment Strategies

The most effective treatment approaches for fibromyalgia symptoms use a combination of medications, nondrug therapies, and self-help strategies. The three FDA-approved fibromyalgia medications are not the only treatments available for patients; there are other over-the-counter meds, physical and body movement therapies, and alternative medicine options. You can also improve your quality of life by learning about your options, making changes and applying self-help strategies.

MedicationsMedication Options
Doctors generally prescribe medications aimed at reducing pain and daytime fatigue and improving sleep. Patient responses to medications vary widely, and although the FDA has approved Lyrica, Cymbalta and Savella for fibromyalgia pain, your options should not be restricted to these drugs. There are many others on the market that could help ease your symptoms but have not been specifically approved for fibromyalgia.

Non-Drug TherapiesNondrug and Alternative Therapies
Medications have the downside of side effects, which may limit what you can handle or the dose you can tolerate. Nondrug therapies are used to complement to your medication. Consider trying hands-on approaches (massage), movement therapies (Tai Chi), trigger point treatments (stretching sore muscles with heat), and nutritional supplements such as magnesium with malic acid and various anti-oxidants to protect your tissues.

Self-Help StrategiesSelf-Help Strategies

You don’t have to rely upon a doctor or healthcare provider to feel better. There are many strategies you can use to ease your fibromyalgia symptoms that are inexpensive with few (or no) side effects. They can aid with managing muscle tension, reducing painful knots in your muscles (i.e., myofascial trigger points), conserving energy, and improving sleep. If you use a variety of self-help approaches on an everyday basis, it will reduce your symptoms and give you a sense of control over your fibromyalgia.

Patient Survey: Is Your Treatment Working?

If you are like most fibromyalgia patients, current treatments just do not provide you with enough pain relief. Or are you expecting too much from a single medication or treatment?

Interested in finding out what other patients think of their treatment plan, or how many medications or treatments they receive? Have you had fibromyalgia longer than most? Do you have both fibro and chronic fatigue syndrome? And are your top five most troublesome symptoms the same a most fibro patients?

Take our survey and see how your treatment plan stacks up against other fibromyalgia patients. After taking the short survey, you will be able to view immediate results from more than 4,000 patients.


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A suspected Zanu-PF mole – operating under the pen name Baba Jukwa on social media platforms – has reportedly caused a storm among politburo members with his exposes of sensitive internal issues discussed during closed-door meetings.

First to take to the social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook propping up President Mugabe and his Zanu-PF party was Amai Jukwa before Baba Jukwa surfaced launching a counter attack on Amai Jukwa.HIV positive politicians infecting young girls exposed

HIV positive politicians infecting young girls exposed

Although Zanu-PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo yesterday denied the party was ruffled by Baba Jukwa, impeccable sources said some politburo members had put up a bounty for Baba Jukwa’s head. There were also reports that the politburo meeting that was meant to take place last month was postponed after it reportedly emerged that Baba Jukwa had published in detail what transpired in the previous politburo meeting.

Baba Jukwa has named several politicians whom he accused of being HIV positive and infecting young girls before using money to silence them.

Baba Jukwa’s seemingly inside stories on ZANU-PF “chefs” have caused a stir with allegations ranging from murder most foul, a looting spree of state resources, personal problems and treats on Politburo discussions to hacking of the Facebook page itself by supposed ZANU-PF aligned security agents.

While this newspaper cannot reproduce some of the allegations by Baba Jukwa for legal reasons, last weekend “he” constantly mourned about efforts to unmask his identity and being hacked into by agents trying to stop the tide of sensitive information he was publishing.

Disease Mongering: Good For Big Pharma, Bad For You

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In “Should You Get Your Drug Information From an Actor?” I discussed the pharmaceutical industry’s egregious practice of using celebrity-driven, prime time television commercials to promote drugs directly to consumers. Illegal in most of the world — and legal in this country only since 1985 — this kind of advertising does much more harm than good and should be banned.

But as bad as this practice is, at least the example that I cited, actor Sally Field’s Boniva campaign, promotes a drug to treat a real disease: osteoporosis. Even worse is a growing trend to invert this process: to promote diseases to fit existing drugs. In a fascinating New York Review of Books piece, Marcia Angell, M.D., denounced the practice of “disease mongering.” As she put it, “The strategy is to convince as many people as possible (along with their doctors, of course) that they have medical conditions that require long-term drug treatment.”

A British Medical Journal article said it more succinctly, “A lot of money can be made from healthy people who believe they are sick.”

A central disease-mongering tactic is to attach polysyllabic, clinical-sounding names to what used to be seen as trivial or transient conditions. In most cases, the new, formidable names come complete with acronyms, which add even more gravitas. Thus:

  • Occasional heartburn becomes “gastro-esophageal reflux disease” or GERD.
  • Impotence becomes “erectile dysfunction” or ED.
  • Premenstrual tension becomes “premenstrual dysphoric disorder” or PMDD.
  • Shyness becomes “social anxiety disorder” or SAD.
  • Fidgeting legs becomes “restless leg syndrome” or RLS.

Clearly, extreme, intractable versions of these conditions may indeed require vigorous treatment, but the pharmaceutical industry does little to draw a distinction between serious and mild manifestations. Minor gastric upset following a spicy meal is labeled “GERD,” and butterflies before giving a speech is “SAD.” And the proffered solution? “Off-label” use of existing drugs to expand their market share, though there may be little or no research that justifies such use.

So what should be done? The nation is in the throes of a pitched debate about health care reform, and I’m a vigorous advocate for universal health care and many other political changes (as laid out in my book, Why Our Health Matters: A Vision of Medicine That Can Transform Our Future).

But as we push for a better medical system, we must also remember that not all of the changes we need can be left to politicians. As a culture, we should be suspicious whenever we hear of a new “disease,” and ask whether it may just be a marketing ploy to exploit one of the minor discomforts that come with being a human being — and a driver of the out-of-control costs of American health care.

If it is, the best “medicine” may be low-tech, inexpensive and safe measures such as small modifications in diet or exercise patterns, or some simple stress-reduction techniques. Or — even more radical! — the answer may simply be to wait, give the body’s own healing mechanisms a chance to find equilibrium, and get on with our lives.


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Bryony Hill begins with a warning. “I will cry a lot so just bear with me,” she says. And the tears do indeed flow freely as she describes how the brilliant mind of her husband Jimmy Hill, who is now 87 and has been in a nursing home since 2012, has been ravaged by Alzheimer’s disease.

“To think such a vibrant, dynamic, intelligent and busy man is now buckling under this ghastly illness is absolutely heart-breaking,” she says.

Bryony Hill, Jimmy’s wife Photo: Christopher Pledger

There is not just sadness, however. Laughter is also never far away as, over coffee and homemade ginger biscuits at the kitchen table, Bryony describes her incomparable and iconic husband, their own 40-year love story and her decision to write a book, My Gentleman Jim.

“I was missing him dreadfully, I don’t sleep and I was turning ideas over in the night,” she says. “I just started finding so many lovely and comforting memories and photographs of Jimmy that I started writing. It made me reflect and remember how he was and how different our life is now. It was very cathartic and emotional but also joyful.”

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Numbered scrapbooks of Jimmy’s playing career, dating back to the early 1950s, were the starting point for an absolute treasure-trove of memorabilia, correspondence and photographs.

They include his 1972 notebook that recalls an extraordinary weekend spent chaperoning Raquel Welch around London that began at 10.30am on Saturday with the observation – “aware of no bra – on Raquel of course” and ends on Sunday with Jimmy describing a taxi-ride back to the Savoy in which “Miss Welch looks at me and says, ‘Jim, how would you like to handle me in Europe?’.”

Jimmy (middle row, far left) in his playing days Photo: Christopher Pledger

Even the England bow-tie that Jimmy would wear at major international tournaments when he was analysing matches for the BBC has been lovingly preserved. “I don’t think anyone has had such an effect on football, not just nationally but worldwide as Jimmy,” says Bryony.

Glance at the back of Jimmy’s diary for 2008, where he himself listed some of his achievements, and you realise that this is not necessarily an overstatement. They are staggering. Jimmy begins by noting how he won a scholarship to grammar school and a Jack Hobbs cricket bat for scoring 31 not out in a local match as an eight-year-old.

As a player, he recalls being promoted to the old First Division with Fulham, performing in seven different positions through his career and setting a club record by scoring five goals in an away league game in 1958.

In only six years as a manager with Coventry City, he led them to two promotions and a place in the top-flight where they remained for the next 34 seasons.

He was only just starting. Off the field, he was a revolutionary. As chairman of the Professional Footballers’ Association in 1961, he led the players in abolishing the maximum wage that stood at just £20 a week. At Coventry, he introduced the first all-seater stadium in football.

He established the concept of three points for a win that has subsequently spread through the entire football world and even into many other sports. He wrote club songs of Coventry City (The Sky Blue Song) and Arsenal (Good Old Arsenal).

Hill’s statue at the Rocoh Arena

He was the first player to front a football television programme and, as a TV executive, introduced the concept of punditry. He remains the only ex-professional player to have been a club manager, director, managing director and chairman. He presented Match of the Day from 1973 until 1988 and was still working in television and keeping up an annual mileage in excess of 50,000 until shortly before his 80th birthday.

Away from football, the list is just as long but perhaps peaks with him agreeing to ride the start of the Aintree course on Grand National Day, including the first jump.

“I like to think of him like a rubix cube,” says Bryony, shaking her head. “You juggle it and juggle it and it always comes back to the same pattern. He had such an analytical brain. There was a showman in him, too. He had wit and a way with words. His adage was, ‘The opposite of doing nothing is doing something’. His life just snowballed.”

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Was there a particular achievement of which he was most proud? “The thing he really wanted to be remembered for was the five goals at Doncaster,” says Bryony. “Nobody has matched or beaten it yet. I think some people forget him as a player.”

In that list in Jimmy’s 2008 diary, the names of his five children (Dunc, Alison, Graham, Joanne and Jamie) are also noted. Bryony is his third wife. They met in 1976 when she answered an advert to work as the personal assistant to an unnamed television personality.

“I knew nothing about him,” she says. “I was engaged to a rugby player at the time. What struck me was his bright twinkly eyes. He was almost bird like in that all his movements were sharp, alert and intelligent. He was six foot tall, slim and just, well, charming. It didn’t matter if you were 90 or 19, he was just interested in people.”

Hill in his early television days

They were finally married in 1991, although Bryony can still giggle at how Jimmy previously turned down three leap-year proposals and only asked the question himself in the most surreal circumstances. “I thought life would be husband, children,” she says.

“It wasn’t. It was different but lovely. You never know what cards you are going to be handed. I did really want to be married. I tried and tried and tried. Then I gave up and it took a row in the car. We had been to Reading. Fulham had lost. Bad mood. It was quite a long time before we left the ground because they were talking in the boardroom.

“It was football, football, football. By the time we left, I had lost the will to live. It was not just frosty outside the car but in it. He said ‘You looked miserable all night’ and I got quite cross. When we got home, I said, ‘I think I might go and sleep in the other room, don’t want to disturb you’. He did a roar, it was hysterical. He was just like Lady Bracknell. He said, ‘What, I have never been so insulted in my life!’

“I tried to cry and I couldn’t. The only way around him was a tear. I eventually thought about when my first dog was put to sleep and squirted one out. He said, ‘Right OK, give me a kiss, we are all done and dusted, we’re fine’. Then he said. ‘Well, umm, actually Miss B, you looked so pretty in the car coming home I thought of asking for your hand in marriage.’ Ha, all formal like that! That was it. It was very funny, lovely and I was so pleased.”

The anecdotes from four decades at Jimmy’s side are almost endless. They range from meeting the Queen and just about every imaginable celebrity to how he once wore sheepskin slippers on Match of the Day and presented the programme with a dislocated shoulder. He would always return to their Sussex home after Match of the Day with a Kit-Kat for their waiting cocker spaniel Ulla and would then invariably watch The Muppet Show with Bryony.

The Hills on their wedding day Photo: Christopher Pledger

It was in 2007, soon after Jimmy made his last appearance on Sky Sports’ Sunday Supplement, that he was diagnosed with the early stages of Alzheimer’s. The decline was initially gradual. “We were so busy and still rushing around the place,” says Bryony.

“He was almost 80; you think natural ageing if there were little bits of forgetfulness. You can carry on having a professional job even with Alzheimer’s when it starts. The brain is still functioning but different bits of it go out. I liken it to an office block. A light goes out on one floor and no one replaces it. Another one goes on the ground floor and it is two weeks before someone notices. That bulb is never replaced and so on. It’s random and indiscriminate. We carried on with our lives and then it did escalate. Then he wasn’t well.”

Jimmy’s last public appearance, appropriately, was to unveil a statue of himself at Coventry City in 2011. He was rapturously greeted and joined in with an impromptu chorus of the Sky Blue Song that he had penned almost half a century earlier. “It was a tough call to get him there because I was so worried,” says Bryony.

“He didn’t quite know what was going on but he knew the tune, he was cheering the crowd on to sing. It was very emotional. He was in tears. He wouldn’t have remembered it but, at the time, that would have been a huge fillip for him.”

In 2012, after Jimmy was hospitalised with an infection, doctors made the decision that 24-hour nursing care was now a necessity. “I am 23 years younger than him and the guilt that I have let him down by not caring for him was heart-breaking,” says Bryony. “You can’t win. Everyone says you mustn’t feel guilty but everyone will feel guilty. You can’t not because, when he needed me most, I couldn’t provide the care he now needs.”

She now visits every two or three days. “Not because I have to but I want to,” she says. “My role is just to be there, comfort him and hopefully make him smile because those happy endorphins do stay of being loved. He won’t know I’ve been or who I am but the act of smiling and the energy that produced is comforting I am sure. Not only for him but for me too. All you can do is be there and give comfort and not buckle.

Hill spent of his playing career at Fulham Photo: Christopher Pledger

“You can’t put the handbrake on. There’s no handbrake. Nothing. The future has no particular pattern except downwards. That is the only way it goes.” Bryony continues to learn as much as she can about Alzheimer’s and hopes that telling their story may provide support to others.

“The book Contented Dementia helped me because I had no idea,” she says. “Everything was bewildering because you have got a lovely healthy-looking man in front of you who is the man you married and lived with for years but the mind is falling apart and you don’t know how to handle that.

“The three suggestions that helped me were, don’t ask questions, don’t contradict and go with the flow. It is not patronising. It is kind because by trying to get into their mindset they are not put on the spot and put into a panicked situation.”

Jimmy Hill is enduring a heartbreaking battle with Alzheimer’s

Bryony says that staff at the nursing home “love” Jimmy and that he still derives particular pleasure from music and animals. “He smiles and he will pat my back and say ‘oh good’,” she says. “What does make him happy is music still. He loves the singalongs. He doesn’t know the words but he has a good strong voice still. It’s extraordinary and, if one or two bring animals and there are no conversation, it is easy. There is no pressure and that makes him happy too. ”Jimmy Hill is enduring a heartbreaking battle with Alzheimer's

There is an especially moving passage towards the end of the book as Bryony describes the Alzheimer’s journey they are sharing. “There will be shallow parts where the water is calm and tranquil, only to be disrupted when boulders and rocks appear, creating waves,” she writes. “There will be crashing waterfalls too, but when the banks widen as the river approaches the sea, the ebb and flow will cease and the end of the journey is reached.” Jimmy’s journey is moving towards its end but the ripples felt from an utterly unique life in football will never subside.


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Anxiety is common enough now—according to the National Institute of Mental Health, it affects 18% of adults in the U.S., and one million Americans a month suffer an anxiety attack—that it’s starting to shed its taboo. But as a result, it’s also perceived more casually, like something that’s perhaps not a big deal to live with.

As anyone who has anxiety knows, that’s not at all the case. Emma Stone spoke out earlier this year about her first anxiety attack, which struck when she was with a friend—as she explains, it felt like the house was burning down. “I called my mom and she brought me home, and for the next three years it just would not stop,” she told The Wall Street Journal.

And in a new video by AJ+, part of the Al Jazeera Media Network, young people with anxiety explain what it really feels like to live with it every day. It’s an insightful perspective on an issue that, yes, is increasingly destigmatized—but also increasingly invisible:

20 Medical Studies That Show Cannabis Can Be A Potential Cure For Cancer

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Cannabis has been making a lot of noise lately. Multiple states across the United States, along with many countries around the world, have successfully legalized medical marijuana, and the Uruguay parliament recently voted to create the world’s first legal marijuana market.

This is good news, as the health benefits of cannabis are vast, with multiple medical and scientific studies to confirm them. But what about the harmful effects? All psychological evaluations from the intake of cannabis are largely based on assumptions, suggestions, and observations (1). When we look at the actual science behind cannabis, it seems negative effects are difficult to confirm.

The Science Behind Cannabis

Let’s take a look at the science behind cannabis and cancer. Although cannabis has been proven to be effective for a wide range of ailments, this article will focus mainly on its effectiveness in the treatment of cancer. Cannabinoids may very well be one of the best disease and cancer fighting treatments out there. Cannabinoids refer to any of a group of related compounds that include cannabinol and the active constituents of cannabis. They activate cannabinoid receptors in the body. The body itself produces compounds called endocannabinoids and they play a role in many processes within the body that help to create a healthy environment. Cannabinoids also play a role in immune system generation and re-generation. The body regenerates best when it’s saturated with Phyto-Cannabinoids.

Cannabinoids can also be found in cannabis. It is important to note that the cannabinoids are plentiful in both hemp and cannabis. One of the main differences between hemp and cannabis is simply that hemp only contains 0.3% THC while cannabis has 0.4% THC or higher. (Technically they are both strains of Cannabis Sativa.) Cannabinoids have been proven to reduce cancer cells, as they have a great impact on the rebuilding of the immune system. While not every strain of cannabis has the same effect, more and more patients are seeing success in cancer reduction in a short period of time by using cannabis.

While taking a look at these studies, keep in mind that cannabis can be much more effective for medicinal purposes when we eat it rather than smoking it. Below are 20 medical studies that suggest cannabis can be an effective treatment and possible cure for cancer. This is a good starting point for the push for further human clinical trials.

Brain Cancer

1.  A study published in the British Journal of Cancerconducted by the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Complutense University in Madrid, determined that Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and other cannabinoids inhibit tumour growth. They were responsible for the first clinical study aimed at assessing cannabinoid antitumoral action. Cannabinoid delivery was safe and was achieved with zero psychoactive effects. THC was found to decrease tumour cells in two out of the nine patients.

2. A study published in The Journal of Neuroscience examined the biochemical events in both acute neuronal damage and in slowly progressive, neurodegenerative diseases. They conducted a magnetic resonance imaging study that looked at THC (the main active compound in marijuana) and found that it reduced neuronal injury in rats. The results of this study provide evidence that the cannabinoid system can serve to protect the brain against neurodegeneration.

3. A study published in The Journal of Pharmacology And Experimental Therapeutics already acknowledged the fact that cannabinoids have been shown to possess antitumor properties. This study examined the effect of cannabidiol (CBD, non-psychoactive cannabinoid compound) on human glioma cell lines. The addition of cannabidiol led to a dramatic drop in the viability of glioma cells. Glioma is the word used to describe brain tumour. The study concluded that cannabidiol was able to produce a significant antitumor activity.

4. A study published in the journal Molecular Cancer Therapeutics outlines how brain tumours are highly resistant to current anticancer treatments, which makes it crucial to find new therapeutic strategies aimed at improving the poor prognosis of patients suffering from this disease. This study also demonstrated the reversal of tumour activity in Glioblastoma multiforme.

Breast Cancer

5. A study published in the US National Library of Medicine, conducted by the California Pacific Medical Centre, determined that cannabidiol (CBD) inhibits human breast cancer cell proliferation and invasion. They also demonstrated that CBD significantly reduces tumour mass.

6. A study published in The Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics determined that THC as well as cannabidiol dramatically reduced breast cancer cell growth. They confirmed the potency and effectiveness of these compounds.

7. A study published in the journal Molecular Cancer showed that THC reduced tumour growth and tumour numbers. They determined that cannabinoids inhibit cancer cell proliferation, induce cancer cell apoptosis, and impair tumour angiogenesis (all good things). This study provides strong evidence for the use of cannabinoid based therapies for the management of breast cancer.

8. A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS) determined that cannabinoids inhibit human breast cancer cell proliferation.

Lung Cancer

9. A study published in the journal Oncogene, by Harvard Medical Schools Experimental Medicine Department, determined that THC inhibits epithelial growth factor induced lung cancer cell migration and more. They go on to state that THC should be explored as novel therapeutic molecules in controlling the growth and metastasis of certain lung cancers.

10. A study published by the US National Library of Medicine by the Institute of Toxicology and Pharmacology, from the Department of General Surgery in Germany, determined that cannabinoids inhibit cancer cell invasion. Effects were confirmed in primary tumour cells from a lung cancer patient.  Overall, data indicated that cannabinoids decrease cancer cell invasiveness.

11. A study published by the US National Library of Medicine, conducted by Harvard Medical School, investigated the role of cannabinoid receptors in lung cancer cells. They determined its effectiveness and suggested that it should be used for treatment against lung cancer cells.

Prostate Cancer

12. A study published in the US National Library of Medicine illustrates a decrease in prostatic cancer cells by acting through cannabinoid receptors.

13. A study published in the US National Library of Medicine outlined multiple studies proving the effectiveness of cannabis on prostate cancer.

 14. Another study published by the US National Library of Medicine determined that clinical testing of CBD against prostate carcinoma is a must. That cannabinoid receptor activation induces prostate carcinoma cell apoptosis. They determined that cannabidiol significantly inhibited cell viability.

Blood Cancer

15. A study published in the journal Molecular Pharmacology recently showed that cannabinoids induce growth inhibition and apoptosis in mantle cell lymphoma. The study was supported by grants from the Swedish Cancer Society, The Swedish Research Council, and the Cancer Society in Stockholm.

16. A study published in the International Journal of Cancer also determined and illustrated that cannabinoids exert antiproliferative and proapoptotic effects in various types of cancer and in mantle cell lymphoma.

17. A study published in the US National Library of Medicine conducted by the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology by Virginia Commonwealth University determined that cannabinoids induce apoptosis in leukemia cells.

Oral Cancer

18. A study published by the US National Library of Medicine shows that cannabinoids are potent inhibitors of cellular respiration and are toxic to highly malignant oral tumours.

Liver Cancer

19. A study published by the US National Library of Medicine determined that THC reduces the viability of human HCC cell lines (Human hepatocellular liver carcinoma cell line) and reduced their growth.

Pancreatic Cancer

20. A study published in The American Journal of Cancer determined that cannabinoid receptors are expressed in human pancreatic tumor cell lines and tumour biopsies at much higher levels than in normal pancreatic tissue. Results showed that cannabinoid administration induced apoptosis. They also reduced the growth of tumour cells, and inhibited the spreading of pancreatic tumour cells.

Final Thoughts

Cannabis is a great example of how the human mind can be conditioned to believe something, even when faced with contradicting evidence afterwards. Growing up, we are told “drugs” are bad, which is very true, however not all substances that have been labelled as “drugs” by the varying authoritative bodies are harmful. It’s possible that substances are labelled as a “drug” in order to protect corporate interests. One example is the automobile and energy industry; a car made from hemp is stronger than steel, and can be fuelled from hemp alone. Henry Ford demonstrated this many years ago. Hemp actually has over 50,000 uses! Source


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I am on more than nodding terms with chronic pain. I was 16 in 1976 when pain came into my life and basically took it over. Before the pain, I was a fit, sporty, young woman — I loved to be outside hiking in the awe-inspiring New Zealand hills. Being active, moving without having to think about it, and enjoying what my body could do were absolutely fundamentals in my life. Like most people, I took these things totally for granted.

My first accident — innocuous enough, you would think — was pulling a friend out of a swimming pool. This revealed a back problem where one of my vertebrae had fractured and slipped forward on the one below. I went on to have two major spinal surgeries when I was just 17.

Things got worse in 1985, when I was 23 and being driven home by a friend on New Year’s Day, when he dozed off at the wheel and crashed into a telegraph pole. The car was written off, and I was dealt another body blow with another vertebrae fractured. One back injury on top of the other was pretty much catastrophic for me.

By now, I was living with a constant searing pain and boy, did I push against it. I have always been very driven, so now I turned that energy against the pain. I worked night and day establishing myself in the New Zealand film industry. I was no wimp; severe back injuries and chronic pain weren’t going to stop me.

But, of course, they did. My body eventually broke down, and I ended up in intensive care after my bladder became paralyzed. I knew my pain intimately by this stage but was in no way prepared for after yet another investigation, having to sit up straight in my hospital bed for a whole night, especially as I hadn’t been able to sit upright for many months prior to this.

I was 25, and I thought my life was over. The pain was so intense and relentless and two voices screamed inside my head, “I cannot bear this any longer,” the other hit back, “you have to, you have no choice.” I thought I was losing my mind.

Then suddenly, another voice came through and said, “You don’t have to get through till morning, you just have to live through this moment.” Everything changed, and I relaxed because I knew that I could live in this moment, and this one, and this one — each moment became bearable.

By focusing my attention to living in the moment, I was able to pull myself back from the brink. That awareness of living in each and every moment — rather than being tortured by ideas of the past and the future — is the essence of mindfulness. It has not only saved my life but become my life’s work.

I went on to study meditation and create my own Mindfulness-based Pain and Illness Management programme (MBPM), which is taught through Breathworks, a social enterprise that I founded in 2001. Thousands of people from over 25 countries have now undertaken Breathworks courses, or, become certified Breathworks teachers.

Mindfulness has helped turn my life around. Even though I still live with constant pain, have partial paraplegia in my lower body and spend a lot of time in a wheelchair, my life could well be filled with suffering and misery, but it isn’t. My life is wonderful, fulfilling and joyful thanks to mindfulness (with the odd grump here and there).

Over the next few weeks, I will be giving mindful guidance and exercises from my award-winning book, “Mindfulness for Health — a practical guide to relieving pain, reducing stress and restoring wellbeing.” The book was released as “You Are Not Your Pain” in the USA on Jan. 6. Nobody else need travel the long and lonely path of pain.

how to heal auto immune disease: 20 weird thyroid symptoms (for your comfort)

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I’m not sure if you caught Meghan O’Rourke’s essay What’s Wrong With Me in a recent issue ofNew Yorker? It shines a spotlight on what it’s like to live with autoimmune disease. Totally pervy stuff for us AI folk.

I read it. I read it again. And I wept. You know that kind of weeping that is all about the sheer relief of having connected after not realising you felt so, so, so alone? Or of having recognised a part of yourself in another, of feeling the enormity of it all, and finding that this is somehow comforting. The bigness – and one’s own smallness and individual pain – is exponentially comforting. Oddly enough.

Of course, weeping is one of the 2938747 side effects of thyroid disease. And connecting with other sufferers is the most soothing respite we AI-ers can draw on. Ain’t that a fact. (As always, at this juncture, I ask anyone reding this who doesn’t have an AI to  a) read on regardless as any AI insights can be extrapolated out to the meta population’s health and b) pass this to any loved ones with an AI.)

For those of you without a New Yorker account, I’m going to a) suggest you subscribe even just to read this article and then b) outline the bits that I was compelled to underline for those of you who only like highlights. I’m good like that! I’ve added in my own experiences and observations, too.

1. It can feel like depression… but not. “I wondered if I was depressed. But I wantedto work,” writes O’Rourke. “I didn’t feel apathy, only a weird sense that my mind and my body weren’t synched.” Shit! I get this. Let’s break it down…

2. Work is OK. The rest is hard. Of all the commitments in my life, working is the only one I can deal with when my thyroid folds. But only when I can shut out (oh, I hate that this is so…) people and other “complications”. It’s two things. First, in times of desperation (like when I have to do TV or  speak to a group), adrenalin will kick in and dull AI symptoms. And I get through. Adrenalin trumps AI symptoms, but longterm this equation is a recipe for disaster as adrenalin acerbates AI.

Second, while AI causes brain fog, this can actually work to shut out distractions. With extra effort (which AI sufferers are good at), a singular focus can be kept. I’ve written before howpain and “fending” can make me really present.

(PS I’m writing this post in the midst of an AI flare. I’m hurting like hell. But I’m able to focus and write and get down and dirty with you all.)

3. You feel distant from yourself…”not synched”. This is the bit where I really cried. Like, wailed. For O’Rourke’s description so, so, so neatly sums up something I’d assumed was just me being neurotic. I recognised a part of myself and the bigness – and my smallness – felt so, so, so deep. “To be sick in this way is to have the unpleasant sensation that you are impersonating yourself… When you’re sick the act of living is more act than living.“

Healthy people, as you’re painfully aware, have the luxury of forgetting that our existence depends on a cascade of precise cellular interactions. Not you. 

Oh, indeed. In an AI fug, I feel like I’m both hyperaware of everything about existence, and yet so removed, like I’m in one of those dreams where you’re trying to run through quicksand.

4. The fatigue is unique. AI fatigue is different from a sleep-deprived person’s exhaustion. “The worst part of my fatigue, the one I couldn’t explain to anyone was the loss of an intact sense of self,” O’Rourke writes.

For me, it feels like a completely “alert vagueness”. Like you’re propped up on caffeine after 48 hours of no sleep. Ratty. Distant but hyperaware.

5. Flow is not possible. The fug, the fog, the pain, the…disconnect and hyperawareness makes it impossible. “Normally, absorption in a task – an immersive flow – can lead you to forget that you feel sick, but my fatigue made such a state impossible. “ Again, running through quicksand…it renders effortlessness forever tantalisingly out of reach. You never get traction. You’re always reaching. Just trying to get to stable ground from which you can take a certain, solid step forward.

6. Bruises are a thyroid thing.  “I had nosebleeds and large bruises up and down my legs.” I get the bruises. Not the nosebleeds.

7.  Itching sensations. I don’t get these. O’Rourke’s feel like needles in her back. But I do get…

8.  An unbearable swollen and burning sensation. Mostly on my right side.

The right side seems to be a thyroid thing.

These leave my veins bulging and my skin raw. And phantom nerve twitches on my right side.  As well as…

9. Weird non-growing bits. My toenails don’t grow at all (like 1mm a year), but my fingernails do. Sometimes. All of which are not “typical” thyroid symptoms. Which brings both  O’Rourke and me to conclude…

10. There are no typical thyroid symptoms. Helpful to know? I’m not sure.

To break down point #5 further, sadly…

11. Contact with people hurts. Humans really are too much for me when I’m not good. Why? I don’t know. It’s the accountability, I think. I don’t want to explain myself. I can’t. How can I?

I don’t want to connect, because there’s nothing in my tank with which to provide the social spark.

12. Thyroid drugs can make you worse. O’Rourke gets told to take less medication as the endo seems to think she’s swung to hyperactive from hypoactive thyroiditis. My endo has told me the same. O’Rourke however feels she needs more. And takes more. Does anyone know what’s going on?!

13. Your thyroid hormones can be whacked, but your antibodies normal. And vice versa. Both O’Rourke and I have the former bloods. Which make no sense to the endos.

14. “The nature of AI is to attack in cycles, to ‘flare’”. Oh, yes! Ain’t this the truth. It’s not a linear story, where you get sick, you get worse, then you get better. Done. Nope, it goes in ebbs and flows and flares. The sooner we accept this, the better.

15. AI understanding is “shadowy”. No one knows what’s going on. No doctor knows what they’re on about. “In fact, AI is as much of a medical frontier today as syphilis or tuberculosis was in the nineteenth century”.

16. Cinnamon helps. It stabilises blood sugar. Which is another symptom.

17. Dairy-free kefir (from coconut) also helps, says O’Rourke. I rate the stuff, too.

18. Paleo eating helps as well: “No gluten, no refined sugar, little dairy”. It also helps me.

19. It’s a young chick thing: AI is the leading cause of illness in young women.

20. Finding help takes five years. And an average of five doctors, according to the American Autoimmune Related Disease Association. Shit! I’m not alone!!!

OK. That’s enough for now. I’m going to follow this post up next week with some thoughts on the cure to these crazy symptoms and quirks. Tune back in…Meantime, share your crazy symptoms below. Because recognising ourselves in others does help…


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JACKSON, MI – Pam Faber has had cancer.

Toward the end of her chemotherapy treatment, Faber had a routine CT scan performed that revealed lumps called granulomas on her lungs.

A biopsy confirmed she had sarcoidosis.

“This is terrible to say, but I would almost rather have cancer again, because if they catch that right away they can deal with it,” said Faber, a 57-year-old Jackson resident whose sarcoidosis diagnosis came three years ago. “I am a firm believer in prayer, and I am a firm believer that they will find a cure out there. They can’t give up hope.”

According to the National Heart, Blood and Lung Institute, sarcoidosis (sar-koy-DO-sis) is a disease that leads to inflammation and affects a body’s organs. Sarcoidosis can attack any organ in the body, and it can affect people of all ages, including children. It also affects all races and ethnicities, but is more prevalent in women and blacks, according to the National Heart, Blood, and Lung Institute.

What causes sarcoidosis is not known, and those with it, Faber included, deal with the daily frustration of the other unknowns of the disease. Faber’s sarcoidosis of the lungs, heart and bones makes physical activities a challenge.

“There is always a setback with this disease as far as your physical activities,” Faber said. “You don’t have the ability to do things a normal person would be able to do…like going out and walk a mile or two without being short of breath. Being able to breathe is a big issue.”

Like other sarcoidosis patients, Faber must be vigilant in protecting the immune system. She wears a surgical mask in public.

“I’ve learned to be OK with not having enough energy to do that load of laundry right now, I can put off doing that until tomorrow, but not being able to go to church like I like to, is the hardest,” she said. “Just the normal everyday things people take for granted – and you’re not able to do it.”

Most patients who are treated for this disease end up being referred by their primary care physician to a pulmonary specialist and/or critical care physician. One of those is Dr. Yasser Moussa Aleech from the Pulmonary Clinic of Southern Michigan (PCSM), where Faber is a patient.

Sarcoidosis education and research are ongoing, but doctors are first concerned with learning what causes it.

“The first step in treating any disease is to know why you have the disease, what causes it” Aleech said. “Unfortunately, with sarcoidosis we don’t have that knowledge. Yet.”

Symptoms of sarcoidosis vary so widely that no screening test exists specifically for the disease, Aleech said.

“Any unusual symptoms you have must be taken seriously,” Aleech said. “Keep your eyes open to any respiratory or skin lesions. This is often a multi-system disease, so follow up with someone who knows how to follow sarcoids.”

Faber’s two adult children, a teacher and a nurse, are checked annually as a precaution. Aleech encourages family members to be aware of this medical history, but there is no medical protocol that would require any kind of screening as a precaution.

Faber said she could not locate anything in her genealogy to suggest she was at risk for the disease.

“I did a family tree and there is nothing I could find for four generations back about anyone else having sarcoids in my family,” she said.

The outlook for sarcoidosis patients is as varied as the symptoms of the disease. Many recover with no long-term problems, but in about a third of patients, the disease leads to organ damage and possibly death.

Faber and her family leave nothing to chance. Her husband, Jack, a “young retiree” made the decision to spend more time with his wife, and enjoy their time together, especially the good days she has.

“People ask what can they do for me and I tell them, praying for me is good, and thank you, but please pray for my family – they really need the prayer,” Faber said.

“I want the medical profession to know, we haven’t given up on them. They will find the cure. If they listen, they will find it. If they stick with it, they will find a cure. I believe they will. I just know it.”

What is Sarcoidosis?

Sarcoidosis (sar-koy-DO-sis) is a disease of unknown cause that leads to inflammation. This disease affects your body’s organs.

In people who have sarcoidosis, the inflammation doesn’t go away. Instead, some of the immune system cells cluster to form lumps called granulomas (gran-yu-LO-mas) in various organs in your body.

Sarcoidosis can affect any organ in your body. However, it’s more likely to affect some organs than others. The disease usually starts in the lungs, skin, and/or lymph nodes (especially the lymph nodes in your chest).

Also, the disease often affects the eyes and liver. Although less common, sarcoidosis can affect the heart and brain, leading to serious complications, including death.

Who is at risk?

Sarcoidosis affects people of all ages and races. However, it’s more common among African Americans and Northern Europeans. In the United States, the disease affects African Americans somewhat more often and more severely than Whites.

Signs and symptoms of sarcoidosis:

Many people who have sarcoidosis have no signs or symptoms or mild ones. Often, the disease is found secondarily, for example, a chest x-ray for suspected pneumonia. The signs and symptoms of sarcoidosis vary depending on which organs are affected.

Is there a cure?

No. At this time, research for the cause and cure of sarcoidosis is ongoing.

For more information about clinical trials related to sarcoidosis, talk with your doctor. SOURCE