Archive for July, 2011

Many chronically ill and severely disabled individuals will do or pay almost anything for the chance of a cure. These desperate people are extremely vulnerable to unscrupulous individuals who profit by taking” advantage of them. You’ll find practitioners offering a wide variety of unproven therapies to cure spinal cord injury: medications, vitamins, herbal remedies, electrical stimulation, hydrotherapy and specialized intensive physical therapy programs. Some of these “treatments” may be offered through advertisements in magazines for people with disabilities or popularized through Internet chat rooms. Others may be offered by health practitioners of “alternative medicine” in your neighborhood, who may not be familiar with spinal cord injury.
Before embarking on any treatment for spinal cord injury (especially one that promises a cure), get another opinion from an accredited, hospital-based or university-based rehabilitation program or a board-certified physiatrist.


We have already discussed the role of calcium in the prevention of colon cancer. This has been a very significant finding given the fact that over half the population is marginally deficient in calcium due to insufficient daily intake. Patients with low selenium intake are also at risk for developing colon cancer and breast cancer, as well as lung cancer.
Polyps are growths that can occur in the rectum and colon. These can be easily removed, but they often recur. About 20 percent of all polyps transform into cancer, so it is important to try to prevent their recurrence once they have been resected. The recurrence of polyps was examined in one study sponsored by the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research in Toronto, Canada. After surgical resection of polyps in 200 people who were then deemed free of all other polyps, one group of 100 patients was given a daily supplement of 400 milligrams of vitamin С and 400 IU of vitamin E. The other group received a placebo. After two years of treatment, a slight reduction of polyp recurrences was noted in the patient group receiving the vitamin supplementation.
Another similar study at six different research centers in the United States involved 865 people. They too had resected polyps and were deemed free of polyps at the time they were enrolled in the program. One group received supplements of vitamins С and E; the second group received beta-carotene; the third group got vitamins С and E as well as beta-carotene; and the fourth group got a placebo. This trial is still ongoing, but the results thus far are encouraging and show some promise, since the people who received vitamins С and E plus beta-carotene had a decreased recurrence rate.
If you have just had coffee or a cigarette or if your bladder is full, don’t take a reading, because these factors increase your blood pressure. Sit quietly for 5 minutes before you take a reading. Then follow these steps:
Position your arm at heart level on a table or arm of your chair. Right-handed people usually find it easier to measure the pressure in their left arm, and left-handed people in their right arm. Apply the cuff to your bare upper arm. It should fit snugly, with its lower edge about 1 inch above the bend in your arm. Ask your doctor what size cuff you should use.
This woman is using a blood pressure cuff with a built-in stethoscope. The mercury-column measuring unit is on the table.
The placement of the stethoscope depends on the type of blood pressure unit you are using. If your unit has a built-in stethoscope, place the flat disk over the pulse two inches above the bend of your elbow. If you are using a stethoscope that is not attached to the blood pressure cuff, place the flat disk over the pulse at the bend of your elbow.
Squeeze the hand bulb repeatedly. When the pressure gauge reading is 30 mm Hg above your anticipated systolic blood pressure, stop pumping. You should not hear any pulse sound when you listen through the stethoscope.
Deflate the cuff slowly (about 2 to 3 mm Hg per second). As the pressure falls, listen for the pulse sound. Note the reading on the gauge when the beating first becomes audible. This is your systolic blood pressure.
Continue deflating the cuff. Note the reading when the heartbeat ceases to be audible. This is your diastolic pressure.
Your blood pressure is written as systolic/diastolic (for example, 140/90).
Repeat the procedure at least once to confirm the accuracy of your reading.
For hearing-impaired persons, an electronic monitoring device may be best. Have your measuring device recalibrated every 6 months or so at your doctor’s office, fire department, or public health service. Also check your measurement against that taken by your nurse or doctor occasionally to assess the accuracy of your results.
Your doctor will tell you how-often and at what times of the day you should measure your blood pressure. Remember that blood pressure varies, so don’t get too worried if a reading is unusual. Repeat the measurement in an hour.