All posts by Jenny

About Jenny

I am a public health nutrition counselor with fifteen years experience in the field of prenatal and early child health and lactation education (breast feeding support). Autoimmune disease, Autism Spectrum Disorders, and genetic defects that can cause nutrient deficiencies are also research interests.

A U.S. Congressman is concerned about safety of glyphosate

“New questions about the safety of Monsanto weed killer Roundup are deeply troubling. I worked on the glyphosate issue last term and I believe consumers should immediately stop using Roundup, whose core ingredient glyphosate has been labeled a likely carcinogen and has been linked to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma by the International Agency for Research on Cancer. We need to find out if Monsanto or the Environmental Protection Agency misled the public.”

-U.S. Congressman Ted Lieu,  “US Congressman Calls for DOJ Investigation into EPA-Monsanto Glyphosate Collusion” Mar 17 2017 – by Sustainable Pulse,

http://sustainablepulse.com/2017/03/17/us-congressman-calls-for-doj-investigation-into-epa-monsanto-glyphosate-collusion/#.WMv1yjvytPb

An employee of the EPA may have colluded with Monsanto to suppress investigation of the safety of glyphosate and the herbicide Roundup.

Disclaimer: Opinions are my own and the information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes.

“Give me liberty or give me death” -Patrick Henry

“If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.” – George Orwell

A link regarding ISIS and the Yazidi people:

Hussein said his emirs, or local Islamic State commanders, gave him and others a green light to rape as many Yazidi and other women as they wanted. “Young men need this,” Hussein told Reuters in an interview after a Kurdish counter-terrorism agent removed a black hood from his head. “This is normal.”

A different prisoner stated that his life would have been at stake if he hadn’t joined the terrorist organization:

“He said he and his brother joined Islamic State because otherwise, as state employees, they would have been killed by the group.” – http://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-mideast-crisis-mosul-prisoners-idUKKBN15W1MY

It is not normal for all terrorist groups however to use horrific methods of torture or rape as ISIS/daesh. Many such groups have learned that less extreme violence leads to less resistance from international forces.: http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-abrahms-isis-smart-terrorist-20161106-story.html

And a link about global trade and the enrichment of developed nations. They may donate to the developing nation but the amount of resources and profit moving out of the developed nations on average is more than the amount that is donated by developed nations.

“Just what is it that America stands for? If she stands for one thing more than another it is for the sovereignty of self-governing people.”

– Woodrow Wilson, 28th President of the U.S; led the United States in World War I and secured the formation of the League of Nations (1856-1924) [link]

Globalization has value in sharing skills and cultural innovations, however it should not be purchased at the expense of indigenous people located around the world.

Investing in wind and solar energy can help reduce dependence on fossil fuels and end the need to rely on Middle East oil or environmentally risky projects using fracking techniques or tar sands. ISIS needs to be stopped by a large international boots on the ground force that sticks around long enough for locals to point out who isn’t a local and who might be harboring a Yazidi person as a captive wife or slave or one who as a boy was captured and was forced into acting as part of a terrorist group.

Disclaimer: Opinions are my own and the information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes.

The Yazidi story is complicated; a link

The Yazidi population that escaped capture by ISIS terrorists have not been allowed to return to their original homeland by the Kurdistan / Iraqi government. They are trying to work with the local government to try to restore some independence and to be allowed to return from refugee camps and rebuild in their former territory which is no longer under control of ISIS (and hasn’t been for a while).

Disclaimer: Opinions are my own and the information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes.

Yazidi women also hope for the US to stop supporting terrorists

There are usually always two sides to a story, two view points to consider. A large protest occurred the day after Donald Trump’s inauguration as President of the United States. The protest was known as the Women’s March against Trump and his history of verbally disrespecting women and other minorities. On the other side of the world a minority group has different hopes regarding the new President of the US – they hope he will stop supporting the alleged moderate rebels as most locals that are interviewed are not aware of any moderate rebels, only ISIS terrorists and groups affiliated with them.

Reporting on events in the Middle East are limited in mainstream sources and it is not always clear what to believe on alternative websites but the events occurring to Yazidi people at the hands of ISIS have been covered by more traditional news sources as well as the alternative site: Yazidi Girls Sold as Sex Slaves while Women March against Trump – This is a misleading and inflammatory title, as the Yazidi girls are likely to already have been sold as sex slaves by ISIS terrorists and other rebel groups and to be in captivity during the time the Women’s March was occurring. But the girls and women are being horribly mistreated and some do express hope that US support of the rebel groups will end. https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/9824/yazidi-sex-slave-women-march#.WIz9B3Pxvo8.twitter

The Yazidi population is a Kurdish speaking minority group in the Middle East who do not follow a Muslim or Christian religion. ISIS rebel groups took over the Sinjar area of northern Iraq in 2014 [link] where many of the Yazidi lived and the men and older women were killed, younger boys were sent to be trained as terrorists, and girls and women were considered captives of war and were sold or given away as sex slaves. The captive Yazidi girls and women would be encouraged or coerced into converting to the Muslim religion so that they could then be married to the ISIS terrorists who had bought them. Any who refused to give up their own faith continue to be at risk of more severe mistreatment. Many try to commit suicide or to escape.

More about the Yazidi history and their pre-Islamic faith:

An Yazidi woman in Iraq named her newborn son Trump shortly after Donald Trump’s election as President of the United States.

For baby Trump, in hope of peace in the Middle East and rescue of the Yazidi women and children.

For baby Trump, in hope of peace in the Middle East and rescue of the Yazidi women and families.

The baby’s father: ““We have been going through a never-ending genocide over the last two years at the hands of ISIS, and Obama failed to take out ISIS or help liberate the thousands of Yazidi women and children that are still enslaved by ISIS,” said the father of Dilbreen and Trump, translated by Kejjan. “I hope President Trump will at last take out ISIS so we can return home and rebuild our lives.”  

ISIS is reportedly holding 3,200 Yazidi women and girls as sex slaves. Over 5,000 have been killed and 400,000 displaced by the terror group. These numbers reflect only the towns liberated by Yazidi and Kurdish fighters backed by US- and British-led coalition air strikes.” Adlay Kejjan is a Yazidi woman living in the U.S. who has been working with a few nonprofit organizations to raise awareness of the plight of the Yazidi people still held by ISIS terrorists.  https://www.algemeiner.com/2016/11/13/why-a-yazidi-woman-in-iraq-named-her-newborn-son-trump/

Disclaimer: Opinions are my own and the information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes.

The ‘Stop Arming Terrorists’ Bill would prevent US funding terrrorists

Overthrowing the Syrian government has not been a goal that the US congress or US people have voted for directly. However our government has been supporting extremist groups covertly through aid to other nations or moderate groups who do support ISIS and other terrorist groups.  Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard is an Iraq war veteran and an Army Captain who has recently visited Syria on a peace mission. She has submitted a bill to Congress that would prevent US government agencies from providing funds or equipment to terrorist groups. The “Stop Arming Terrorists” Bill will need bipartisan support.

Phone calls to your federal congressional representatives can help show that their is constituent support for or against a bill. The AFL-CIO has set up a hotline that directs your call to your congressperson’s phone with the goal of sharing your support for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) – 1-888-865-8089. I mentioned my support for both the ACA and the Stop Arming Terrorists Bill. [Re the ACA, and re a proposed change to the ACA in Minnesota]

Disclaimer: Opinions are my own and the information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes.

A TEDx talk about SPECT Scans and Psychiatric Diagnosis

Psychiatry is a field that relies on talking and questioning patients about their symptoms and lives for the purposes of diagnosis. A pioneer in the field has been using a method to scan the electrical activity of the brain for the purpose of more accurate diagnosis with the goal of providing more accurate treatments.

Dr. Amen shares his findings from 83,000 SPECT scans taken over many years of his clinical work helping individual patients improve their health and quality of life with individualized diagnosis and treatment recommendations. While his findings have helped many patients with a variety of conditions, autism spectrum disorders are not a primary focus of his work. The scans can help clarify diagnosis of ADHD and many other psychiatric conditions and may be helpful with autism disorders but that will likely require more time and more patients. It is a private clinic that expects payment to be paid in full at the time of the appointment. The fees may be able to be covered in part by your health insurance company but you would have to submit the bill and work with your insurance company yourself – and it may require preauthorization so check with them first if you hope for some reimbursement.

Disclaimer: Opinions are my own and the information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes.

Childhood emotional trauma can cause brain changes

Changes in the temporal lobe may cause temporal lobe epilepsy which can include a variety of symptoms that are less obvious than a seizure. Feelings of disorientation from temporal lobe epilepsy can include “mind-body dissociation—the feeling that one is watching one’s own actions as a detached observer.”

These studies suggest that child abuse may alter development of the left hippocampus permanently and, in so doing, cause deficits in verbal memory and dissociative symptoms that persist into adulthood. ”

The left hemisphere is specialized for perceiving and expressing language…

The research suggests that children who experience trauma may have lasting damage occur in their left temporal lobe which is a part of the brain that contains the smaller hippocampus. Temporal lobe epilepsy is uncommon but is more of a risk for children who suffered trauma of some sort. It doesn’t cause seizures that are as obvious as those that occur in other types of epilepsy. Diagnosis can be difficult also because the patient would need to be having an EEG performed while having a temporal lobe seizure.

Symptoms may include: “Because these areas constitute a sizable, varied part of the brain, TLE has a veritable catalog of possible symptoms, including sensory changes such as headache, tingling, numbness, dizziness, or vertigo; motor symptoms such as staring or twitching; or autonomic symptoms such as flushing, shortness of breath, nausea, or the stomach sensation of being in an elevator. TLE can cause hallucinations or illusions in any sense modality. Common visual illusions are of patterns, geometric shapes, flashing lights, or “Alice-in-Wonderlandlike” distortions of the sizes or shapes of objects. Other common hallucinations are of a ringing or buzzing sound or repetitive voice, a metallic or foul taste, an unpleasant odor, or the sensation of something crawling on or under the skin. Feelings of déjà vu (the unfamiliar feels familiar) or jamais vu (the familiar feels unfamiliar) are common, as is the sense of being watched or of mind-body dissociation—the feeling that one is watching one’s own actions as a detached observer. Emotional manifestations of temporal lobe seizures usually occur suddenly, without apparent cause, and cease as abruptly as they began; they include sadness, embarrassment, anger, explosive laughter (usually without feeling happy), serenity, and, quite often, fear.4

*I find this information interesting because I have had some of these symptoms in the past and my migraine headache pain was always greatest in the same spot on the left side of my head.

Ways to help protect the infant’s brain /may/ include rocking the baby (probably-gently) from side to side (based on animal research) as it seems to be calming for the brain’s cerebellar vermis which is a section that may help control electrical activity and prevent seizures. Infant rats who were handled by humans for just five minutes or those whose mother (rat) spontaneously licked and groomed them all showed lasting changes in their development,  behavior, and response to stress later in life.

ADHD like symptoms are common for people who had a childhood history of trauma and a smaller size of the cerebellar vermis is common in ADHD: “Interestingly, one of the most reliable neuroanatomical findings in ADHD is reduced size of the cerebellar vermis.”

Successful treatments are not that common which makes prevention of child abuse and neglect important for protecting children’s longterm quality of life. EMDR treatment is discussed in the article. I did find the cognitive therapy technique helpful for my own trauma history. The difficulty with traditional ‘talk therapy’ for issues that developed during early childhood is that verbal reasoning might not have been present when the trauma occurred. EMDR is a type of relaxation technique that can help the patient access deeper emotionally charged memories that aren’t based in words.

I wrote about the EMDR therapy technique in this post:  Talking about trauma with kids; PTSD, neural mapping, EMDR and reframing

Disclaimer: Opinions are my own and the information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes.

Additional Post election addition

The election results were very close in several states including Michigan. A recount effort has been initiated by Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate for President. The stated goal was to assure the voting public of the validity of the election results, however the Michigan Sate Attorney General has denied the request. The denial is being appealed.

Problems with the voting machines in the city of Detroit has already been revealed. As many as 87 voting machines may have failed to record the votes for the Presidential race. Ballots for approximately 87000 voters were recorded as having voted for down ballot races but recorded no vote for President and these type of votes were primarily located in the Detroit area — which suggests to me that a problem occurred with the machines rather than that many voters in only one area all decided to turn out to vote but not to vote for President.

Voters deserve to be able to have trust in the results. hand counting the ballots would allow actual humans to view what was written on the paper ballots before they were scanned into the computer system.

It may be against Michigan law to recount districts where exit polls didn’t match results — which doesn’t make sense to me but I don’t write the laws: http://detroit.cbslocal.com/2016/12/06/broken-voting-machines-could-wreak-havoc-for-wayne-county-recount/

Michigan recount: officials admit 87 vote counting machines broke in Detroit on Election Day

Regarding my own candidacy and health issues — if I had been elected then I would likely have been able to have a cooperative physician prescribe a synthetic cannabinoid medication that can be taken orally and if my health and mood issues were not able to be stabilized and impacted my function too much then I would resign. Government is important for many reasons, too important to not expect accountability and reasonable level of health from our elected or appointed officials.

Our nation’s health and longevity statistics are getting worse while our nation’s spending on health care is the most costly per person compared to other nation’s average spending. Eventually health of our citizens and our environment will have to take priority, I hope that occurs sooner rather than later because preventative health care needs to happen before irreversible damage has occurred. We can’t fix everything with more money or more pharmaceuticals.

The previous “Post Election Addition” and campaign platform points are available on my website, http://www.jenniferdepew.com/ but I’m not sure if this additional edit was saved so I’m copying and posting it here.

Disclaimer: Opinions are my own and the information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes.

Neuropathy can be a cause of extreme tiredness

An underlying problem affecting a main nerve or affecting many nerves can be a cause of tingling and numbness in the hands or arms and legs. An increased feeling of heaviness of the arms or legs or feeling tired from just holding the arms up in the air may be due to problems with the nerves rather than weakness of the muscles. Autoimmune disease or some nutrient deficiencies (vitamin B12 deficiency most common) can be causes of neuropathy, or nerve damage. Other common causes are mentioned later.

Autoimmune disease itself can be very tiring and a cause of muscle cramps and diffuse chronic pain and it could make it very hard to cope with a physically demanding job. Some types of nerve damage can become permanent but may be reversible if caught early enough and the underlying causes are corrected. Vitamin B12 may be poorly absorbed by elderly people or for others with digestive problems; a monthly injection of B12, bypassing the digestive system, is a common treatment.  Dissolve in the mouth supplements of B12, cobalamin, are also used sucessfully by some people. In Parkinson’s Disease neuropathy has been seen and “perhaps we should be measuring MMA levels in these patients and treating with cobalamin supplementation to reduce MMA levels and prevent neuropathy.” [4]

Recognizing when tiredness is tiredness and when it is due to underlying nerve damage may be a step that can help prevent the nerve damage from becoming more permanent paralysis or numbness. Neuropathy can also affect gland or organ function as well as affecting motion and sensation. Poor coordination can become a problem with walking or with picking up and not dropping things because they just slipped from your fingers. Symptoms may also include feeling moments of burning or stabbing pain and bowel and bladder problems may include constipation or feeling unable to urinate. [1]

Neuropathy may affect approximately 24 million people in the United States. [1]

Neuropathy is more of risk for people with diabetes, about 30% of the cases are associated with diabetes. Heavy alcohol use and traumatic injury can be causes in addition to autoimmune celiac disease, hypothyroidism and other immune system diseases and viral infections sometimes can be a cause. Some types of antibiotics, radiation and chemotherapy treatments may cause neuropathy. Some cases of neuropathy are present at birth. [1]

Since celiac disease may be a cause of neuropathy trying a gluten free diet may be worth trying, (and hypothyroidism can also be a cause of neuropathy and for some people may be due to gluten sensitivity problems). Not overeating sugars and simple starches may help by promoting more stable blood sugar which would be especially important for diabetics but elevated blood sugar may be part of the cause of nerve damage: [3]. Hot pepper – and it’s active ingredient capsaicin may be helpful and warm showers or a bath may also help circulation and muscle relaxation. Taking care with toenail health is important as numbness becomes more extreme minor injuries may become infected and go unnoticed until they are major infections. [1]

Of the 16 million Americans with diabetes, approximately, about 25% have foot problems due to peripheral neuropathy.  Peripheral nerves are those extending out from the brain or spinal cord to the muscles and organs and skin. Neuropathy can progress from feeling tingling sensations of ‘pins and needles’ in the fingertips to not being able to feel sensations of hot, cold or pain. [2]

Peripheral neuropathy has been known to occur with Parkinson’s disease, possibly due to treatment with L-dopa [4], or possibly as a side effect with another commonly used treatment, dopamine hydrochloride. [5] Dopamine producing cells become dysfunctional in Parkinson’s Disease. [6] Dopamine is a brain neurostransmitter involved in movement but it is also has roles in immune system function.

Adequate levels of dopamine are involved in preventing both autoimmune disease and cancer. Research that compared the lifestyles of family members with and without Parkinson’s Disease found that siblings without the disease were more likely to have been coffee drinkers (three or more cups per day) and were more likely to have smoked tobacco cigarettes. Smoking tobacco has negative health risks but it may help boost dopamine levels and may have some protective effects on the dopamine producing cells. [7]

Smoking tobacco my have protective effects for some people but not others. Coffee has also been associated with less risk of developing non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, [8] but again it may be helping those with a certain type of genetics and be a negative risk for people with other types of genes. Obesity and smoking cigarettes once a patient already has non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is associated with the disease progressively getting worse. [9] Fructose, sugar from fruit or refined in the form of high fructose corn syrup, intake has also been associated with worsening of NAFLD. [10]

Protecting liver function may be important for protecting against cancer. The herb milk thistle has been found to have some protective affects for the liver. [12] Cirrhosis of the liver is also associated with peripheral neuropathy so protecting the liver may also help protect the nervous system and brain. [11]

Summary of tips for protecting against neuropathy:

  1. Stable blood sugar and not developing diabetes may help protect the nerves.
  2. Regular exercise and stretching and warm baths or showers and massage and other methods for increasing circulation may help protect the nerves.
  3. Not eating excessively of fructose or simple sugars may help prevent damage caused by glycation of proteins; by helping prevent obesity or diabetes.
  4. Moderate use of coffee may help protect the liver from non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and some types of liver disease have been associated with peripheral neuropathy.
  5. Dopamine or L-dopa when used as a medication to treat Parkinson’s Disease may be involved in development of peripheral neuropathy. Parkinson’s Disease involves dysfunctional production of dopamine so some other issue may be involved that causes peripheral neuropathy or it may be important to have adequate but not excessive levels of dopamine for health of the nerves.
  6. A deficiency of vitamin B12, also called cobalamin, can be non-reversible cause of peripheral neuropathy. [13]
  7. Smoking tobacco may have some protective affects against Parkinson’s Disease for some people but it has also been associated with worsening of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in patients who already have the disease. It is unclear at this time what genes may be involved in why some people seem less at risk from tobacco smoking than others – overall it has been found to be associated with lung cancer. Chemicals within smoke cause blood vessels to constrict and reduces circulation. It has been associated with worsening of diabetic peripheral neuropathy so quitting smoking may be more protective of nerves. While it may help boost dopamine levels there are many other healthy ways to boost dopamine naturally. [14]
  8. Following a gluten free diet may be helpful in preventing peripheral neuropathy for some people. If hypothyroidism is also a problem then trying a strict gluten free diet may be beneficial as it may be a cause of autoimmune sensitivities. Eating less gluten in that case would still be exposing the body to the autoimmune ‘allergen’ so a trial of a gluten free diet may have to be very strict and last several months to six months before significant health benefits occur (in research on autoimmune celiac disease it took six months on a very strict gluten free diet in order for the levels of autoimmune antibodies against gluten to be reduced — and (potentially) the thyroid hormone which the gluten molecule resembles.

Disclaimer: Opinions are my own and the information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes.

  1. http://thelightmedia.com/posts/28389-neuropathy-12-ways-to-identify-and-manage-this-painful-disease
  2. http://www.foot.com/site/foot-conditions/neuropathy
  3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glycation
  4. http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/725699
  5. http://www.ehealthme.com/ds/dopamine%20hydrochloride/neuropathy%20peripheral/
  6. http://justneurology.com/
  7. https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn11568-do-coffee-and-cigarettes-protect-against-parkinsons/
  8. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/264995.php
  9. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/hep.23516/full
  10. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100427081044.htm
  11. http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/460036
  12. http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/herb/milk-thistle
  13. http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/supplement-guide-vitamin-b12#1
  14. http://mentalhealthdaily.com/2015/04/17/how-to-increase-dopamine-levels/

 

Good news: Baths can be less exhausting than showers

Yes, autoimmune disease can be exhausting and it can be confusing for other people to understand because autoimmune disease may not have obvious symptoms. A person with an autoimmune disorder may suffer from severe pain or other symptoms throughout their body but not have lab tests that show obvious problems to a physician. Autoimmune antibodies are known for a few types of disorders and those can be screened for if the lab test is ordered but not all autoimmune antigens have been identified.

Magnesium deficiency may be an underlying issue though for many/most autoimmune disorders, so taking an Epsom salt bath can provide improved magnesium absorption through the skin and allow a person to sit down to wash their hair and shave their legs (if desired). No promises though, that a nap might not still be desired after the exertion of bathing while sitting, or before the exertion of blow-drying long hair.

Fibromyalgia and chronic pain problems may have autoimmune origins [3] and/or may have to do with our cell’s energy workhouses, the mitochondria, running out of their preferred energy source — magnesium. They use calcium but it can overwork them to the point of cell death. In normal physiology membrane transport systems, also called ion channels, carefully control how much calcium is allowed into the interior of mitochondria. Something called ruthenium-red (RuRed) and magnesium ions are involved in controlling the entry of calcium ions through the transport channels. [1, 2]

A deficiency of magnesium may allow excess calcium to enter the mitochondria and cause overexcitation and even lead to death of the mitochondria.

Mitochondria are actually similar to bacteria and have their own DNA that in nature always matches the mother’s mitochondria’s DNA but that is a different story.

(RuRed) – not a nutrient I didn’t know about – it’s a dye used in labs that selectively binds with some things but not others so it is used for identification purposes with unknown samples — roughly.

Disclaimer: Opinions are my own and the information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes.

  1. http://ajpcell.physiology.org/content/287/4/C817
  2. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/20680823_Ruthenium_red_and_magnesium_ion_partially_inhibit_silver_ion-induced_release_of_calcium_from_sarcoplasmic_reticulum_of_frog_skeletal_muscles
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24435355