"When We Tell Stories…People Listen."

Noninvasive Colon Cancer Screening Option

Now that you’re 50 years young like Harry Connick, Jr., join him and Jill and take the #ScreenWithMe Challenge and talk to your healthcare provider about screening for colon cancer. Then encourage your loved ones over 50 to do the same.

When caught early, colon cancer is almost 90% treatable.*

Cologuard is a modern noninvasive screening option.

If you are like many people, you may feel anxious about getting an invasive procedure like a colonoscopy that requires unpleasant prep and time off of work.

Luckily, times have changed. Now there’s Cologuard, an easy, noninvasive test you can use at home.


Cologuard is indicated to screen adults of either sex, 50 years or older, who are at typical average-risk for colorectal cancer. Cologuard is not for everyone; not for high risk individuals, including those with a family history of colorectal cancer, a personal history of colorectal cancer or advanced adenoma, IBD and certain hereditary syndromes.

For Harry Connick, Jr. and his wife, Jill, cancer awareness hits close to home.

In 2012, Jill was diagnosed with breast cancer. Fortunately, the cancer was detected early through a routine screening, and now the couple is celebrating the 5-year mark of her remission.

Because of their deeply personal experience, Harry and Jill have made cancer screening awareness their mission.

A routine screening for breast cancer saved Jill’s life. When Harry turned 50, she wanted him to make colon cancer screening a top priority.


Take the #ScreenWithMe Challenge

Join Harry and Jill and make your pledge to ask your healthcare provider about colon cancer screening. For every pledge, $1 will be donated to colorectal cancer research and advocacy!


The initiative is also supported by leading colon cancer advocacy groups, including:



Show your support for colon cancer screening by sharing a #ScreenWithMe badge on your Facebook page.

Screening with Cologuard is easy.

Harry took the test and can check this important task off his turning 50 to-do list. Now it’s your turn to get screened and encourage your friends over 50 to do the same.



When it comes to colon cancer, there are a lot of misconceptions.

Many people think that getting colon cancer is tied to diet and lifestyle—or that you need a family history of the disease to be at risk. Unfortunately, none of these things are true.

Facts are:

  • Your risk for colon cancer increases dramatically after the age of 50*
  • Colon cancer is the 2nd leading cause of cancer-related deaths among men and women combined
  • When caught in its earliest stages, colon cancer is 90% treatable

Harry Connick, Jr. and his wife, Jill, are touring the country to educate local communities on the importance of colon cancer screening. Join them at the next free event to learn more about why early detection matters and noninvasive options that make screening easier.


  • Take charge of your health while enjoying great food and lively conversation
  • Enter for the opportunity to win prizes and join Harry and Jill on stage
  • Have a chance to meet Harry after the show!



is about speaking up for yourself and taking charge of your health.

Don’t wait! Talk to your healthcare provider about your screening options, including Cologuard.



Cologuard is intended for the qualitative detection of colorectal neoplasia associated DNA markers and for the presence of occult hemoglobin in human stool. A positive result may indicate the presence of colorectal cancer (CRC) or advanced adenoma (AA) and should be followed by diagnostic colonoscopy.

Cologuard is indicated to screen adults of either sex, 50 years or older, who are at typical average-risk for CRC. Cologuard is not for everyone; not for high risk individuals, including those with a family history of colorectal cancer, a personal history of colorectal cancer or advanced adenoma, IBD and certain hereditary syndromes. Positive Cologuard results should be referred to diagnostic colonoscopy. A negative Cologuard test result does not guarantee absence of cancer or advanced adenoma. Following a negative result, patients should continue participating in a screening program at an interval and with a method appropriate for the individual patient. Cologuard performance when used for repeat testing has not been evaluated or established. Rx only.


*American Cancer Society. Colorectal Cancer Facts & Figures 2017-2019. https://www.cancer.org/content/dam/cancer-org/research/cancer-facts-and-statistics/colorectal-cancer-facts-and-figures/colorectal-cancer-facts-and-figures-2017-2019.pdf. Accessed February 9, 2018.

American Cancer Society. Key statistics for colorectal cancer. http://www.cancer.org/cancer/colonandrectumcancer/detailedguide/colorectal-cancer-key-statistics. Last revised January 4, 2018. Accessed January 25, 2018.

Howlader N, Noone AM, Krapcho M, Miller D, Bishop K, Kosary CL, Yu M, Ruhl J, Tatalovich Z, Mariotto A, Lewis DR, Chen HS, Feuer EJ, Cronin KA (eds). SEER Cancer Statistics Review, 1975-2014, National Cancer Institute. Bethesda, MD, http://seer.cancer.gov/csr/1975_2014/, based on November 2016 SEER data submission, posted to the SEER web site, April 2017. Accessed February 9, 2018.



For more information visit: http://www.cologuardtest.com



World Diabetes Day Link To Kidney Disease

diabetes52Diabetic Nephropathy is the #1 cause of kidney failure

Almost a third of people with diabetes develop kidney disease.

People with diabetes often have other chronic conditions, such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure and blood vessels disease, as well as nerve damage to their bladder, bladder infections and nerve damage, which means kidney disease is either already present or likely to be on the horizon.

Diabetes comes in two main types and each one requires different treatment.

There are two types of kidney disease in people with diabetes. In type 2 diabetes, the kidney disease may already exist by the time they’re diagnosed with diabetes.

About 90% of people with diabetes have the Type 2 version. In this case their bodies don’t produce enough insulin naturally or work well. Diet and exercise are critical for them.

Symptoms of Diabetes


Symptoms of diabetes include: always feeling tired and hungry, frequent urination, blurry vision, numbness or tingling in hands or feet, always thirsty, wounds that won’t heal, sudden weight loss, sexual problems, vaginal infections. See your medical provider to get tested if you recognize these symptoms in yourself.



In type 1 diabetes, diabetic nephropathy develops a decade post diabetes diagnosis.

Type 1 sufferers need to regularly inject themselves with insulin or use an insulin pump. It may develop at any age.diabetes8

Symptoms of Diabetic Nephropathy

Early onset of diabetic nephropathy has no symptoms. As kidney function worsens, symptoms may include:

  • Poor appetite
  • Weakness
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Swelling of hands
  • Swelling of feet
  • Swelling of face
  • Nausea
  • Itching (a sign of end-stage kidney disease)
  • Extremely Dry Skin
  • Drowsiness (a sign of end-stage kidney disease)
  • Muscle twitching
  • Irregular heart rhythm (a sign of increased potassium in blood)

It’s a condition known as uremia that’s extremely dangerous as people can become confused and occasionally comatose.


Diagnosing Diabetic Nephropathy

Specific blood tests and urine tests can diagnose kidney damage. It also can be detected early by finding protein in the urine.

If you have diabetes, make sure to have your urine tested annually.

Treatment for Diabetic Nephropathy

Treatments are available that can help slow the progression of kidney failure.

It’s important to maintain blood sugar control to lower blood pressure. Some medicines called angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors can help slow down the progression of kidney damage.

Although ACE inhibitors — including ramipril (Altace), quinapril (Accupril) , and lisinopril (Prinivil, Zestril) — are usually used to treat high blood pressure and other medical problems, they are often given to people with diabetes to prevent complications, even if their blood pressure is normal.

If a person has side effects from taking ACE inhibitors, another class of drugs called angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) can often be given instead.

If not treated, kidneys will continue to fail and larger amounts of proteins can be detected in the urine.

Advanced kidney failure requires treatment with dialysis or a kidney transplant from a cadaver donor. The waiting list for a kidney is currently close to 100,000 people. The other option is finding a living donor that is a match–a family member (they’re not always a match), spouse, friend or a stranger willing to give you the gift of life.

A kidney specialist is called a nephrologist and you need to find one as soon as your kidneys begin to fail so they can help you with diet and treatments.

With medical guidance and dietary changes, symptoms can be eased, and progression of the disease can be slowed.

FLOOD SISTERS KIDNEY FOUNDATION  is an excellent resource if you’re experiencing kidney failure or are in need of finding a living kidney donor.

Jennifer Flood and her sisters founded the foundation after finding a total stranger to be a living donor for her father ten years ago. It began with her tenacious use of social media (on Craigslist) that caught broadcast media attention nationwide.

The awareness not only saved her dad’s life, but left her and her sisters with an abundant supply of willing living kidney donors, which then sparked the idea to start a foundation to help other people.


“Upon kidney failure, a lot of people end up on dialysis and then enter themselves on the long waiting list without realizing we have resources available to help them understand their best option is to find a living kidney donor.”

“Our foundation helps by actively seeking perfectly healthy strangers who are willing to donate their kidney now.”  

Jennifer Flood, President/CEO, Flood Sisters Kidney Foundation

Dolly Parton with (left to right) Jennifer Flood’s daughter, Heather Flood and their Mom Roseann Flood

Flood Sisters Kidney Foundation has gained the attention and support from celebrities like Jon Bon Jovi, Barbara Corcoran, Dolly Parton, Geraldo and many more who helped a loved one find a non-related living kidney donor through their foundation.

“For us today, it starts with a commitment to provide trusted MDTV compliant education and awareness. Working with MDTV select hospitals to navigate through the clutter and ultimately providing an altruistic living donor for our client in need.”- Jennifer Flood, President/CEO, Flood Sisters Kidney Foundation 

Rachel Ray, Barbara Corcoran with friend matched with living kidney donor

But Flood sisters are not stopping there because as Jennifer says:

“Almost one-third of people with diabetes develop kidney disease. Kidney failure is not just for the rich and famous. It’s actually even more pervasive in poor communities.”


Since 1972, poor people who get stuck on dialysis automatically become covered by medicare insurance and the dilemma is they lose all hope or just don’t know about the living kidney donor transplant option.

According to MDTV it costs over $75,000.00 to educate a community and find just one altruistic living kidney donor. It seems such a small price to pay to save a life, especially since the cost of dialysis is $84,000.00 per year (paid for by Medicare).

Paul Argen
, CEO and Executive Producer of MDTV says, “Flood Sisters broke the code for people who are stuck on dialysis and want the best option to return to some normalcy. I am so impressed with the great work of Flood Sisters Kidney Foundation that we now have formed an exclusive partnership of collaboration to fund this effort with a long-term commitment to penetrate hundreds of these communities nationwide. Our partnership not only will give people renewed hope and save lives, but deliver a unified channel of education for families, hospitals, caregivers, providers, public health and the media to embrace. We are getting ready to move the needle in this disease state –a much-needed Angelic Gift for society. Stay tuned. Coming soon.”

Jon Bon Jovi with his good friend and attorney Jerry who found a living donor match

Remember, only people with end stage kidney disease can be listed for deceased donor transplantation. But living donor transplants can be “pre-emptive” taking place before the need for dialysis. This has a lot of health advantages.

People who choose pre-emptive transplantation have a lower risk of death and loss of kidney transplant function, compared to those who spent time on dialysis beforehand.

The good news is according to 26 studies involving almost 500 kidney donors, 95% of kidney donors in the United States, rate their experience as good to excellent.

Chuck Scarborough with 3 sisters (twins Cynthia & Jennifer and Heather on rt) and their dad, Daniel Flood


We support the work of Flood Sisters Kidney Foundation as the best resource for matching people with living kidney donors and raising awareness about it.


You’re not a celebrity, non-celebrity or number to them. You’re family.

Other complications of diabetes include:

  • dental and gum diseases
  • eye problems and sight loss
  • foot problems, including numbness, leading to ulcers and untreated injuries
  • nerve damage, such as diabetic neuropathy

Fatal complications include heart disease, stroke and kidney disease.

In the case of kidney disease, this complication can lead to kidney failure, water retentionwhen the body does not dispose of water correctly, and a person experiencing difficulties with bladder control.

Regularly monitoring blood glucose levels and moderating glucose intake can help people prevent the more damaging complications of type 2 diabetes.

For those with types 1 diabetes, taking insulin is the only way to moderate and control the effects of the condition.

Meantime, everyone in the world can benefit from paying attention to their nutrition and how it affects them.


Here Are Nutritional Tips for People With Diabetes and Kidney Disease


Sodium can build up when kidneys start to fail, causing fluid to accumulate in tissues. It’s called edema, and will show up as swelling in hands, face and lower extremities.

Most organizations recommend limiting sodium to 1,500-2,300mg/daily.  Besides table salt itself, other high sodium foods you want to avoid are: bacon, ham, canned or instant soups, canned vegetables, cheese, crackers, salted nuts, olives, potato chips, processed foods, soy sauce, barbecue sauces, bottled sauces, pickles, bouillon cubes, dehydrated soups.

Read sodium content on all labels.

Reduce or eliminate processed foods.



When kidneys can’t filter out potassium, too much can circulate in your blood.

An excess of potassium can be very dangerous because it can cause irregular heart rhythm, which could become severe enough to cause your heart to stop working.

Restricting high potassium foods can help prevent this from happening.

Regular blood tests to monitor your potassium levels can alert your doctor to potential problems. If you must restrict your potassium levels, most people need to limit their intake to ~2000mg/daily.

If you are someone who has diabetes and often experiences low blood sugar, you’ll want to avoid treating with orange juice and will want to use glucose tablets instead.

High-potassium foods include bananas, broccoli, raisins, tomatoes, apricots, baked beans, beets, cantaloupe, collard and other greens, molasses, mushrooms, nuts, oranges, peanut butter, potatoes, dried fruit, salt substitute, and chocolate.


Hyperphosphatemia (high phosphorus levels in the blood) does not typically become evident until stage 4 chronic kidney disease.

When kidneys start to fail, phosphorus can start to build up in your body. This causes an imbalance with calcium, which forces the body to use calcium from the bones.

It’s important to keep phosphorus levels close to normal to prevent weakening bones.

Reducing high phosphorus foods you eat is one way to keep phosphorus levels down. If you must, most people benefit from restricting phosphorus to 800-1000mg/daily.

Reducing phosphate additives includes eliminating foods that contain ingredients such as, sodium acid pyrophosphate or monocalcium phosphate.

Other foods rich in phosphorus to avoid include beer, bran cereals, peanut butter, caramel, cheese;, cocoa, cola, dried beans, ice cream, liver, milk and milk products, nuts, and sardines.


If you have diabetes and kidney disease you still want to include carbohydrate sources, but from vegetables, fruit, and whole grains.

You want to avoid beverages and sugars with sucrose and high fructose corn syrup.  .

If you are someone with advanced kidney disease you may have to discuss reducing intake of high potassium and high phosphorus sources of carbohydrate with your dietitian.


Too much protein can be bad for your kidneys if you’re living with kidney disease.

When choosing proteins, aim to include lean sources of protein, such as white meat chicken, fish, turkey, and lean beef.


Focus on incorporating healthy fats into the diet such as oils, and fatty fish and avoid saturated fats and trans fats – processed meats, full-fat cheese, and desserts.

It seems like there’s almost nothing left to eat after you see this list. Fear not.

See “The 20 Best Foods For People With Kidney Problems” by Jillian Kubola, MS, RD at: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/best-foods-for-kidneys

Discuss your nutrition with your dietitian as it can vary depending on your treatment plan. 

Again, symptoms of kidney damage are:

Urinary issues, anemia, itchy skin, feeling excessively cold, chills, nausea, vomiting, swelling in ankles, legs or face, shortness of breath, metallic taste in mouth or bad breath.

See your physician for a blood and urine test to check the wellness of your kidneys if you’re concerned. They don’t automatically check this. You need to ask.

Stay informed.  Stay healthy.




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How To Adapt To Dark Winter Days Ahead



NPR brings us tips on how to adapt and adjust to dark, cold winter days.

Our smartphones automatically adjusted last weekend to the time change. But our internal clocks aren’t as easy to re-program.

When daylight comes an hour earlier each fall, it throws us off.

Our bodies crave consistent routines. When we disrupt our routines with erratic sleep or eating habits, it can increase the risk of metabolic disease, diabetes and obesity.

And, as the amount of daylight continues to decrease, it’s easy to fall into bad habits. Luckily, there are smart ways you can adapt.

Changes in what you eat, when you eat, and even your social life can all help.

Read on for tips for adjusting to the darker days of winter at NPR

Stuart Kinlough/Ikon Images/Getty Images

The Shape Of Sadness In The Human Brain

Scientists may have caught a glimpse of what sadness looks like in the brain.

As NPR’s Jon Hamilton reports, a study of 21 people found that for most, feeling down was associated with greater communication between brain areas involved in emotion and memory.

“There was one network that over and over would tell us whether they were feeling happy or sad,” says researcher Vikaas Sohal.

The finding could lead to a better understanding of mood disorders, and perhaps new ways of treating them.

The study’s design was pretty unusual. The team inserted tiny wires into the brains of 21 people who were in the hospital awaiting brain surgery for severe epilepsy. They then monitored the patients’ brain activity for up to a week.

The study provides a detailed map of what’s going on in the human brain, which is what doctors and scientists need to look for better treatments for patients with mood disorders.

“It’s really important that we find the circuits underlying mood so we can learn more about them and treat them,” says Dr. Joshua Gordon, who directs the National Institute of Mental Health.

Read more about this novel study on NPR.

15 Subtle Symptoms of Kidney Disease

kidneytransplant2Here are subtle symptoms you should be aware of so you can see your health care provider for blood and urine tests if you experience many of them and are concerned.

  1. 1. Fatigue – being tired all of the time

    Why this happens:

    Healthy kidneys make a hormone called erythropoietin (a-rith’- ro-po’- uh-tin), or EPO, that tells your body to make oxygen-carrying red blood cells. As the kidneys fail, they make less EPO. With fewer red blood cells to carry oxygen, your muscles and brain tire very quickly. This is anemia, and it can be treated.

    What patients said:

    “I was constantly exhausted and didn’t have any pep or anything.”

    “I would sleep a lot. I’d come home from work and get right in that bed.”

  2. 2. Feeling cold – when others are warm

    Why this happens:

    Anemia can make you feel cold all the time, even in a warm room.

    What patients said:

    “I notice sometimes I get really cold, I get chills.”

    “Sometimes I get really, really cold. It could be hot, and I’d be cold.”

  3. 3. Shortness of breath – after very little effort

    Why this happens:

    Being short of breath can be related to the kidneys in two ways. First, extra fluid in the body can build up in the lungs. And second, anemia (a shortage of oxygen-carrying red blood cells) can leave your body oxygen-starved and short of breath.

    What patients said:

    At the times when I get the shortness of breath, it’s alarming to me. It just fears me. I think maybe I might fall or something so I usually go sit down for awhile.”

    “I couldn’t sleep at night. I couldn’t catch my breath, like I was drowning or something. And, the bloating, can’t breathe, can’t walk anywhere. It was bad.”

  4. 4. Feeling faint, dizzy, or weak

    Why this happens:

    Anemia related to kidney failure means that your brain is not getting enough oxygen. This can lead to feeling faint, dizzy, or weak.

    What patients said:

    “I was always tired and dizzy.”

    “It got to the point, like, I used to be at work, and all of the sudden I’d start getting dizzy. So I was thinking maybe it was my blood pressure or else diabetes was going bad. That’s what was on my mind.”

  5. 5. Trouble thinking clearly

    Why this happens:

    Anemia related to kidney failure means that your brain is not getting enough oxygen. This can lead to memory problems or trouble with concentration.

    What patients said:

    “I know I mentioned to my wife that my memory—I couldn’t remember what I did last week, or maybe what I had 2 days ago. I couldn’t really concentrate, because I like to work crossword puzzles and read a lot.”

    “I would get up to do something and by the time I got there I couldn’t remember what I was going to do.”

  6. 6. Feeling very itchy

    Why this happens:

    Kidneys remove wastes from the bloodstream. When the kidneys fail, the build-up of wastes in your blood can cause severe itching.

    What patients said:

    “It’s not really a skin itch or anything, it’s just right down to the bone. I had to get a brush and dig. My back was just bloody from scratching it so much.”

    “My skin had broke out, I was itching and scratching a lot.”

  7. 7. Swelling in hands or feet

    Why this happens:

    Failing kidneys don’t remove extra fluid, which builds up in your body causing swelling in the legs, ankles, feet, and/or hands.

    What patients said:

    “I remember a lot of swelling in my ankles. My ankles were so big I couldn’t get my shoes on.”

    “Going to work one morning, my left ankle was swollen, real swollen, and I was very exhausted just walking to the bus stop. And I knew then that I had to see a doctor.”

  8. 8. Swollen or puffy face

    Why this happens:

    Failing kidneys don’t remove extra fluid, which builds up in your body causing swelling in the face.

    What patients said:

    “My sister, her hair started to fall out, she was losing weight, but her face was really puffy, you know, and everything like that, before she found out what was going on with her.”

    “My cheeks were always puffy and tight. Sometimes they would even hurt.”

  9. 9. Food tastes like metal

    Why this happens:

    A build-up of wastes in the blood (called uremia) can make food taste different and cause bad breath. You may also notice that you stop liking to eat meat, or that you are losing weight because you just don’t feel like eating.

    What patients said:

    “Foul taste in your mouth. Almost like you’re drinking iron.”

    “I don’t have the appetite I had before I started dialysis, I must have lost about 10 pounds.”

  10. 10. Ammonia breath

    Why this happens:

    A build-up of wastes in the blood (called uremia) can cause bad breath.

    What patients said:

    “My husband always tells me I have fish breath.”

    “Sometimes my breath smells like urine and I need to brush my teeth more often.”

  11. 11. Upset stomach, nausea, vomiting

    Why this happens:

    A severe build-up of wastes in the blood (uremia) can also cause nausea and vomiting. Loss of appetite can lead to weight loss.

    What patients said:

    “I had a lot of itching, and I was nauseated, throwing up all the time. I couldn’t keep anything down in my stomach.”

    “When I got the nausea, I couldn’t eat and I had a hard time taking my blood pressure pills.”

  12. 12. Getting up during the night to make urine

    Why this happens:

    Kidneys make urine, so when the kidneys are failing, the urine may change. How?

    • You may urinate more often, or in greater amounts than usual, with pale urine.
    • You may feel pressure or have difficulty urinating.

    What patients said:

    “My urine is what I had started noticing. Then I was frequently going to the bathroom, and when I got there, nothing’s happening. You think, ‘Hey, I’ve got to go to the john,’ and you get there, 2 or 3 drops.”

    “I would get up two or three times at night and had lots of pressure each time.”

  13. 13. Foamy or bubbly urine

    Why this happens:

    Kidneys make urine, so when the kidneys are failing, the urine may change. How?

    • Urine may be foamy or bubbly.
    • This can lead to an above-normal amount of protein in the urine.

    What patients said:

    “The bowl would be filled with bubbles.”

    “Sometimes I would notice my urine being very foamy, so I made an appointment with the doctor.”

  14. 14. Brown, red, or purple urine

    Why this happens:

    Kidneys make urine, so when the kidneys are failing, the urine may change. How?

    • You may urinate less often, or in smaller amounts than usual, with dark-colored urine.
    • Your urine may contain blood.

    What patients said:

    “I was passing blood in my urine. It was so dark it looked like grape Kool-Aid. And when I went to the hospital they thought I was lying about what color it was.”

    “I thought I had a urinary infection when I first saw blood in my urine.”

  15. 15. Pressure when you make urine

    Why this happens:

    Kidneys make urine, so when the kidneys are failing, the urine may change. How?

    • You may feel pressure or have difficulty urinating.

    What patients said:

    “When you go to use the restroom, you couldn’t get it all out. And it would still feel just like tightness down there, there was so much pressure.”

    “The pressure was so great, yet it would come out so slow. Like 2-3 minutes slow. I thougth what is going on here.”

    If you have one or more of the 15 symptoms above, or worry about kidney problems, see a doctor for blood and urine tests. Many of the symptoms on this list can be caused by other health problems.

    The only way to know the cause of YOUR symptoms is to see your doctor.

    NOTE: Low back pain is not a sign of kidney disease. Your kidneys are above your waist in the back of your body. If you have pain there, tell your doctor.

    For more information visit: http://www.lifeoptions.org


    Here’s a visual of where male kidneys are located



    When kidney failure happens people have 3 options: 

    1. Go on dialysis with a life expectancy of 5 to 10 years (some live longer) and a cost of 89K per year. Most medical insurance covers this cost, but still.

    2. Go on a waiting list for a kidney transplant. Current waiting list has over 100K people on it. Basically, you’re waiting for someone who is an organ donor to die, and even then your body could reject the transplanted organ.

    3. Get what’s called an Altruistic Living Donor to donate a kidney to you. This can be a family member, friend, colleague or complete stranger. People who are strangers and do this are absolute Angels.  Matching people in need with altruistic donors is an area of expertise of The Flood Sisters Kidney Foundation atSite:




    Educating yourself on taking good care of your kidneys and preventing chronic kidney disease is vital today.  Be aware of what foods and beverages are harmful to your kidneys. Even over-the-counter pain medication harms your kidneys.

    I’ll blog again about what foods, beverages and other things to avoid. Until then,

    healthyweekendBlog contact: maria.dorfner@yahoo.com

    Have you experienced symptoms not listed here? Let us know in comments.

Healthy Teeth Tips for Halloween

boy and girl playing with pumpkins
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With Halloween right around the corner, kids are finalizing the perfect costume and making trick or treat plans with friends and family.

girl holding halloween decor
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Although Halloween might be many kids’ favorite holiday of the year, it’s also one that puts parents on high alert when it comes to candy consumption.

close up view colorful candy chocolate
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Parents might take steps to limit the volume of candy their kids collect, or filter out some of the unhealthiest options in the bag, but at the end of the day (or should we say night), there’s going to be plenty of sugary, tooth-attacking treats left to fret about.

m and m on clear cut glass bowl
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With that in mind, Consumer Guide to Dentistry has some helpful Halloween candy tips to minimize the potential damage at your kids’ next dental visit.

Halloween candy pale filled with candy

All Hail Chocolate

Believe it or not, chocolate is actually one of the better candy options when it comes to tooth health.

It’s relatively easy to clean off the teeth after eating, and is usually quite soft, meaning it’s unlikely to chip or crack teeth or damage soft tissue like hard candy.

Dark chocolate is a particularly good option because it has less sugar than milk or white chocolate, and also has a number of other healthful benefits. It’s rich in antioxidants, packed with nutrients and has actually shown to aid brain function.

heart shaped chocolates
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So when it comes time for parents to rummage through the Halloween haul and filter out the bad (and the occasional snack for mom and dad), be sure to leave as much chocolate as possible.

girl sucking lollipop while sitting on bouncer seat
Photo by Silvia Trigo on Pexels.com

Avoid if Possible

The older your kids get, the harder it’s going to be to filter out too much of their haul. So it’s important that you zero in on the worst offenders when it comes to pinching a few pieces here and there.

person carrying pumpkin bucket
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Candies that your kids are going to have in their mouth for a long time are red flags. Lollipops, chewing gum and hard candies like jawbreakers (the name says it all) should be the first to be sacrificed.

yellow candy machine
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Candies that your kids suck on or chew for long periods of time increase the risk for tooth decay. And hard candies obviously pose a risk of chipping or cracking your kids’ teeth.

assorted candies
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Say “No” to Sour

Kids love to dare each other to eat sour candies, which can make it that much harder to get rid of them without your kids noticing.

three person looking at x ray result
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But there’s more to sour candies than just the pucker. Sour candies can be highly acidic, which can spell trouble for tooth enamel, the protective layer against decay. Too much sour candy can be a gateway to decay.

chocolate pieces on aluminum foil
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Lead by Example

You don’t want your kids getting overloaded with sugary, sticky treats this Halloween, so you can do your part by handing out something a bit healthier.

person holding chocolates and white ceramic mug
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We’re not suggesting you be “that house” that hands out miniature tubes of toothpaste or a handful of pennies, but maybe think twice about handing out sugary gum or lollipops.

blue lollipop
Photo by Somben Chea on Pexels.com

A selection of dark chocolate and some sugar-free candies could go a long way to helping other parents out whilst still giving your neighborhood trick or treaters something to smile about.

sliced tomato and avocado on white plate
Photo by Artem Bulbfish on Pexels.com

Timing is Everything

No matter how many steps you take to limit the amount of candy and filter out the really bad stuff, your kids are still going to have a lot of sugary treats they’re anxious to get their mitts on.

orange plastic bucket
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If possible, try and sync up the eating of Halloween candy with meals. Saliva production increases as we eat, which is helpful for washing away bacteria and food particles.

woman preparing christmas table
Photo by Kaboompics .com on Pexels.com

You can use candy as a motivator for your kids to finish their meal.

glass of water
Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

If your kids are eating candy as a treat outside of mealtime, make sure they wash it down with a cup of water (preferably fluoridated).

Replace the Sugary Drinks

When it comes to dealing with the immense amount of candy consumption that comes with Halloween, moderation is everything. In addition to the things you do to filter out the worst types of candy and moderate the timing of when your kids are allowed to eat their candy, it’s important to think about the other foods your kids are eating/drinking during this time and making adjustments accordingly.

photo of boy drinking glass of milk
Photo by samer daboul on Pexels.com

For example, if you let your kids drink soda with dinner, or have a juicebox once a day, consider replacing those sugary beverages with something like water or milk during the Halloween period. These sorts of changes can help mitigate the dental effects and the chaos that comes with the mighty sugar rush.

blur bristle brush clean
Photo by George Becker on Pexels.com

And make sure they’re not skipping out on their dental hygiene during this time. Brush, floss, repeat.

pain armchair dentist suffering
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Schedule Dental Visits Accordingly

The ADA recommends twice yearly checkups for optimal dental health.

children holding firecrackers outdoors
Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

Everybody’s schedule is different, but if possible, try scheduling your kids’ appointments after the Halloween period rather than just before.

red and white mouth plastic toy and food plastic toys
Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

If you follow the tips listed above, you can help to minimize any dental damage associated with Halloween candy, but it’s no guarantee.

person holding pumpkin beside woman
Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

Scheduling a trip to the dentist after-the-fact can be the ultimate safeguard to help your kids avoid the dreaded candy cavity.

Courtesy Consumer Guide to Dentistry   

For more information, you can check out our slideshow, Combatting Cavities – 6 Surprising Ways to Prevent Tooth Decay.



BIOLASE is a global leader in dental care using the latest technology to keep patient smiles their brightest, and make dental visits comfortable, gentle and pain-free for kids and adults.

They’re experts on how your dental health affects your overall health.

You can find a BIOLASE dentist near you here by entering your zip code:  https://www.biolase.com/find-waterlase-dentist-near-you/

BIOLASE, Global Leadership in Lasers (PRNewsFoto/BIOLASE, Inc.)

Have A Happy Healthy Halloween!


Blog Contact: maria.dorfner@yahoo.com

New Study: Eating Organic = Less Cancer


We’ve all heard about the benefits of eating organic food when it comes to a healthy diet. I’ve blogged about it here. Now, a new study shows a decrease in risk for certain cancers in those who eat more organic. And it’s a large study.


CG: Dr. Dale Shepard/Cleveland Clinic

“What they found, was that in patients who ate mostly organic foods, there were less cancers, specifically post-menopausal breast cancer and lymphoma.”

The study looked a nearly seventy-thousand people and followed them for about a five-year period. The people were divided into three groups.










CG: Dr. Dale Shepard/Cleveland Clinic

“In general, we know that healthier diets are better for you from cancer risk. So, anytime people can incorporate more fruits and vegetables and minimize processed foods; the better.”




Link to JAMA Study: https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/fullarticle/2707948?utm_campaign=articlePDF&utm_medium=articlePDFlink&utm_source=articlePDF&utm_content=jamainternmed.2018.4357

                                                   Blog Contact: maria.dorfner@yahoo.com

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10 Foods To Detox Your Body


First, let’s explain toxins. Toxins can come from contaminants in food and water, junk food, stress, smog, vehicle emissions, airborne fungal spores, pesticides, and pollution. We’re exposed to them daily. Add alcohol, smoking, secondhand smoke and more exposure to cell phones and computers and you’re in Toxic City, which is why I prefer being around nature. It’s healthy and healing. In fact, I get serious nature withdrawals if I don’t see trees or greenery.  Maybe my parents growing up on a farm is in my DNA. I don’t know, but love nature.


Speaking of, when um, nature calls, it also eliminate toxins. But your liver and kidney need to work overtime when there are too many toxins in your body. If you need reminding, alcohol is a major toxin as bad as soda. Yes, that includes diet soda. I’ve never been into drinking alcohol and quit drinking diet soda (and coffee) in 2005. Amazing difference in how I feel. Only thing I drink is alkaline water. And I don’t need coffee to wake up. I wake up naturally with energy. Imagine that.


Healthy drinking is none at all or 1 or 2 glasses of red wine with dinner. More than that and you risk brain damage, addiction, stroke, blurred vision, slurred speech, bleeding throat, breathing difficulties, stomach ulcers, liver disease, liver failure, intestinal cancer, intestinal ulcers, impotence for men, infertility for women and osteoporosis.


Even people who don’t drink can get something called “Fatty Liver Disease” when inadvertently exposed to external toxins. Pharmaceutical medications and over-the-counter medications are also toxic.


Remember, your kidneys and liver were created to naturally help your body detox. Your body is a natural healer. But when it encounters too many man-made toxins, you could end up with cirrhosis or kidney disease. Help flush them out with daily exercise.


SWEATING through exercise, sauna, steam is great. Taking a hot bath with Epsom salt twice a week helps too.  My favorite is Dr. Teal’s lavender bubble bath epsom salt. Smells nice and bubbles!


You want to avoid sugar as much as you can. Again, avoid soda at all costs.

SLB_Poster-English and spanish.indd

You also want to avoid foods with refined flour, (breads, rice),  junk food (yes, cakes and cookies), processed starchy (crackers), fast food, coffee, soft drinks, anything with high fructose or artificial sweeteners, saturated and trans fats, dairy and animal products.


I know. You’re thinking OMG, nothing is left. Yes, there is.


What remains is dark green vegetables and you can toss olive oil with garlic in a pan and make string beans, Brussel sprouts, spinach, mushrooms or any veggie taste delicious. Add a pinch of sea salt and you have a nice big heaping serving of deliciousness.


Photo above has iceberg lettuce. It’s worth noting you want to go for DARK, LEAFY, GREEN LETTUCE. That one has nutrients, not white iceberg. Wild caught salmon and fish high in Omega 3 are healthy and real easy to cook too.


Healthy food keeps you satisfied and feeling good. No cravings. No anxiety. No depression. Junk food makes you whine about aches, pains, anxiety and cravings.



Tip: Stock your pantry and refrigerator with healthy foods, water and snacks.


Whenever I blog about favorite brands they fly off shelves and I regret it. So, I reluctantly tell you I’m a big fan of Veggie Straws and Veggie Stix with Sea Salt. They’re so cute and look like French fries. Hollow inside, so dip (I use Hummus) goes all the way through; clever design. Check them out at: http://www.goodhealthsnacks.com


Again, drink lots of alkaline water daily.  You can search how much water you should drink daily based on your height, weight and activity level. I highly recommend alkaline water. I have two brands I rave about. Carlsbad Alkaline Water on west coast and Essentia on east coast.


Dr. Edward Group recommends the following in terms of detoxing through food:

“When it comes to detoxing your body, there are many techniques you can follow and supplements you can take. One plan, in particular, is to eat detoxifying foods. Here is a list of 10 detox foods that are a great addition to anyone’s diet.”


1. Fruit

Fruit is high in liquid-content which helps the body wash out toxins.[1] Fruit is also easy to digest and is high in antioxidants, nutrients, fiber, and important vitamins.


2. Green Foods

Fill your refrigerator with blue-green algae, barley, wheatgrass, kale, spinach, spirulina, alfalfa, chard, arugula, and other organic leafy greens to give your digestive tract a detoxifying boost of chlorophyll.[2]

Chlorophyll rids the body of harmful environmental toxins from toxic metals, herbicides, cleaning products, and pesticides.[3] They also aid the liver in detoxification.


3. Lemons, Oranges, and Limes

Citrus fruit aids the body by flushing out toxins and jump-starting the digestive tract with enzymatic processes.[4] Lemon juice supports the liver and kidneys in their cleansing processes.[5] To increase detoxification, start each morning with a warm glass of lemon water.

Detox Foods Garlic

4. Garlic

Garlic is one of the best detoxing foods out there. It stimulates the liver into producing detoxification enzymes that filter toxic residues from the digestive system.[6] I recommend adding sliced or cooked garlic to a suitable dish, as it will help any detox diet.


5. Broccoli Sprouts

Extremely high in antioxidants, the ability for broccoli sprouts to stimulate detoxification enzymes at the cellular level is unparalleled.[7] The sprouts are even better than the fully-grown vegetable.


6. Green Tea

Packed with antioxidants, green tea washes toxins from the system via its liquid content. It also contains a special type of antioxidant called catechins, which are known to increase liver function.[8]


7. Mung Beans

The mighty mung bean has been used by Ayurvedic doctors for thousands of years. It is incredibly easy to digest and absorbs toxic residue from the intestinal walls.[9]


8. Raw Vegetables

Whether juiced or eaten raw, onions, carrots, artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, cabbage, kale, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, garlic, beet, turmeric, and oregano provide a great foundation for a healthy diet. The combination of these foods will help your liver purge toxins during the cleansing process. They are also high in naturally occurring sulfur and glutathione—sulfur helps the liver detoxify harmful chemicals.[9, 10,11]


9. Seeds and Nuts

Incorporate more easily digestible seeds and nuts into your diet. Flax seed, pumpkin seeds, almonds, walnuts, hemp seeds, sesame seeds, chia seeds, Siberian cedar nuts, and sunflower seeds are all excellent options. While detoxing, avoid nut butter with added sugar.


10. Omega-3 Oils

Use hemp, avocado, olive, or flaxseed oil while detoxing to help lubricate the intestinal walls. This allows toxins to be absorbed by the oil and eliminated by the body.[8

There is no way to completely avoid toxins. There are simply too many sources, as previously mentioned, such as contaminants in food and water, junk food, stress, smog, secondhand smoke, vehicle emissions, airborne fungal spores, pesticides, and pollution.

Maintaining a diet high in detox foods is one of the best ways to maintain overall health.

What are your favorite detox foods? We’d love to hear your thoughts.
Dr. Group

by Guest Author, Dr. Edward Group DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM, Global Healing Center

The views and nutritional advice expressed by Global Healing Center are not intended to be a substitute for conventional medical service. If you have a severe medical condition or health concern, always see your physician.

stayhealthyBlog Contact:  maria.dorfner@yahoo.com

Help For Kids with Autism Sensitive to Dental Visits


About 1.7 percent of children — one in 59 — are now believed to have autism spectrum disorder (ASD), up from an estimated rate of 1.5 percent in 2016, according to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


Turns out, another challenge kids with autism have we rarely hear about, is they are extremely sensitive to both oral injections and the sound/vibration of a drill.  They often require going to an OR for anesthesia.

They may also be hypersensitive to bright lights, loud sound, touch, odors, or taste which can lead to negative dental experiences if ignored.


According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), patients with autism have a lower hygiene level. but a comparable caries index compared with patients without autism.


Poor oral hygiene and periodontal problems could be related to irregular brushing habits resulting from the difficulties encountered by trainers and parents while brushing these children’s teeth.


Biolase technology offers a great solution for these kids. Biolase is a global leader in dental lasers and products that provide biological treatments to reduce pain and improve dental patient safety.

I spoke with Sarah Mathias, DDS, MS.  She specializes in pediatric dentistry –a distinction held by fewer than 3 percent of all dentists.

QUESTION:  Welcome Sarah. How does the Waterlase lasers by Biolase work to help children with autism?
Waterlase lasers by Biolase are a tremendous tool in the treatment of all children, especially those on the autism spectrum.  The biggest barrier to treatment in children, neurotypical and ASD,  is the dreaded shot.  With laser technology you can eliminate this in almost all pediatric patients. This has been amazing for a lot of ASD patients in my practice because we now have the ability to perform a procedure that would have required general anesthesia in the  operating room. 
Not only are you avoiding the injection, you have a “handpiece” that is emitting a laser beam that is active only when it is approximately 3mm from the treatment area.  This is a big advantage from a safety perspective.  Children with ASD will often move unexpectedly or very quickly when they are uncomfortable with a situation.  This can result in injury to the mouth and face if an operator is using a traditional rotary handpiece (aka The Drill).  

QUESTION: How do autistic children who have experienced it feel afterwards?

They feel normal, which is key for autistic children.  Almost all autistic children are uncomfortable with the unknown, especially if they have no way of controlling the environment. By not having to use local anesthesia you are eliminating the feeling of a fat lip after treatment. 
Because communication can be an issue for children with ASD it is often difficult to explain, let alone convince them that their mouth will return to feeling normal. I have seen many ASD children become extremely agitated after local anesthesia because they cannot handle the feeling of numbness. 
I have even had patients who after receiving the local anesthetic were so upset by the feeling we were unable to proceed with the appointment.  
QUESTION:  How can parents find out if it’s offered by their dentist?
Just ask.  Even if your dentist does not have laser technology , they may work with a dentist who does.  
QUESTION:  What if it’s not offered at their local dentist’s office?
Biolase.com is a great resource for finding a dentist who offers laser treatment. You can even request an appointment from the website. 


QUESTION:  Anything else parents should know about it?



Not only is the Waterlase laser great from a safety and comfort perspective it is actually kinder to the tooth.  Lasers do not cause microfractures like traditional handpieces so you’re actually preserving more healthy tooth structure. 

Lasers can also be used to treat canker sores, perform biopsies, treat periodontal disease and perform frenectomies – all with just topical anesthesia. 


QUESTION: Where can Dentists go to get it into their practice?



Dentists who are interested in laser dentistry should contact Biolase, either via the web at BIOLASE | The Global Leader in Dental Lasers
They can call Biolase directly at 888.424.6527
Biolase has an amazing training program to help dentists incorporate this technology into their practice. 
QUESTION: Where can parents get more information?
Biolase.com  has a section for parents.  You can review different treatments that are of interest for your situation, as well as hear some testimonials from patients and parents. 
QUESTION: Would this help children or teens with severe autism and how? I spoke with a mother of a child with severe autism who says dental visits are a nightmare and it takes 4 dentists to hold her daughter just for a cleaning.
As we all know autism is a spectrum.  There are varies symptoms and how they are expressed and to what severity is different for every single person living with ASD. 
I have used the laser with several severely autistic children with various results. 

Sometimes the noise and water are too overwhelming, but if we can overcome those obstacles  we are able to get great results by taking several breaks and eventually completing the restorations. 

We have also had success with bringing the patient in to see the laser and feel the the water on their  hands and hear the sound.

This desensitization has helped us to begin introducing the laser into the oral cavity.  Although not every patient with severe ASD is able to tolerate treatment with the laser, some are, and if we can keep a child out of the OR for a simple filling that is a success.



Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) affect 1 in 110 children; and 1 in 70 boys according to Autism Speaks. Individuals with ASD may have difficulties with social situations, communication, and verbal interaction.

Here are a few tips from Biolase for successful dental visits for your ASD child:

Be Consistent

Consistency is key for developing a long term dental relationship. End each visit on a positive note and build upon the success of every office visit.

Be Patient

It may take several visits in order to complete one dental exam. Work with the dentist to find positive solutions for difficult situations.

Be Prepared

Communication is the cornerstone of a successful first visit. The dentist wants the visit to be a positive one too. Be sure to share medical history and behavioral issues with the dental team.

Be Proactive

Think about alternatives to drills and shots. Dental lasers are quieter than noisy drills and safer for ASD patients.

Dr. Amy Luedemann-Lazar treats autistic children at her practice in Katy, Texas. She says, “I can do almost any procedure without using shots. I use dental lasers for filllings, crowns, pulpotomies, frenectomies, gingivectomies and even some extractions. Lasers make children much more relaxed and happy to come to the dentist.”

Find a Dentist

Finding the right dentist for your child can be a long and tedious process. Look for a dentist that works successfully with ASD patients.

Find a doctor who is interested in developing a relationship with your child. The Autism Speaks Resource Guide can help find a dentist in your area.


For more information visit http://www.biolase.com



Children with autism dread the dentist, but USC research may help

Sharon Cermak wants to make the experience more kid-friendly

Taking a seat in the dentist’s chair can be traumatic for children with autism. (USC Photo/Beth Newcomb)

Whirring drills may frighten even the most stoic dental patient, but for children with autism, the noises, bright lights and strong scents of a dental office visit can be a profound, if not traumatic, experience.

Now research by Sharon Cermak, professor in the Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy at the Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC, is identifying ways to improve the dental experience for children with autism.

Sights and sounds can be disturbing

Parents of children with autism attest to the challenge of dental care. “The first time we took [my son] to the dentist, when I heard him screaming from the front, I understood how bad it was,” said Peter, father of 10-year-old Tate (only first names are used to protect anonymity). “They had him in restraints, and my wife was in tears.”

Such distressing experiences are common. According to a 2010 survey of nearly 400 parents of children with autism, almost two-thirds reported “moderate to extreme” difficulty with oral cleaning at the dental office.

“As soon as we put him in the [dental] chair, he started freaking out,” said Andrea, mother of 4-year-old Evan. “It’s funny because he likes to touch other people, but he doesn’t let other people touch him.”

While a typically developing child can usually adapt to sensory stimuli, many children with autism process sensation atypically.

That processing can manifest as behaviors ranging from physical withdrawal to self-stimulation, outbursts and tantrums.

Because many dentists simply aren’t equipped to deal with such challenging behaviors, they often use sedation or restraint.

A 2012 study published in Pediatric Dentistry by a team of USC researchers found that 18 percent of parents of children with autism reported the use of restraint “often” or “almost always” during dental visits, while nearly 40 percent reported the use of pharmacological methods such as general anesthesia to complete routine cleaning.

Simple changes in the dental office can help

Cermak’s study of “Sensory Adapted Dental Environments,” funded by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research and conducted with the Ostrow School and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, is studying how adaptations to the dental office can create a more manageable experience.

By replacing fluorescent lights with softer and colored lighting, playing soothing music and using butterfly wraps that provide calming deep pressure, Cermak’s research aims to decrease levels of anxiety and negative behaviors among children with autism.

Improving the experience and quality of oral care within this population is especially critical in light of recent statistics suggesting that the number of children with autism is rising.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a new estimate that 1 in 68 children in the United States are identified with autism spectrum disorder, roughly 30 percent higher than the previous estimate of 1 in 88 children.

Preliminary findings from Cermak’s study are positive. Children in the sensory adapted dental environment were less anxious, and fewer people were needed to help restrain children during cleanings compared to ordinary dental offices.

“As crucial as oral care is to overall health and wellness, finding a way to help both dentists and their patients has to be a priority,” Cermak said.

“Down the road, we hope this will lead to a better quality of life for children with autism and their families,” she said. “If occupational therapists can work together with dental practitioners on ways to make their offices more kid-friendly, we will be taking one important step in that direction.”




For More Information Visit: http://www.biolase.com

Biolase is a global leader in dental lasers and products that provide biological treatments to reduce pain and improve dental patient safety.

These gentle treatments are especially helpful for kids with autism.


Famous Autistic People in History

  • Dan Aykroyd – Comedic Actor
  • Hans Christian Andersen – Children’s Author
  • Benjamin Banneker – African American almanac author, surveyor, naturalist, and farmer
  • Susan Boyle – Singer
  • Tim Burton – Movie Director
  • Lewis Carroll – Author of “Alice in Wonderland”
  • Henry Cavendish – Scientist
  • Charles Darwin – Naturalist, Geologist, and Biologist
  • Emily Dickinson – Poet
  • Paul Dirac – Physicist
  • Albert Einstein – Scientist & Mathematician
  • Bobby Fischer – Chess Grandmaster
  • Bill Gates – Co-founder of the Microsoft Corporation
  • Temple Grandin – Animal Scientist
  • Daryl Hannah – Actress & Environmental Activist
  • Thomas Jefferson – Early American Politician
  • Steve Jobs – Former CEO of Apple
  • James Joyce – Author of “Ulysses”
  • Alfred Kinsey – Sexologist & Biologist
  • Stanley Kubrick – Film Director
  • Barbara McClintock – Scientist and Cytogeneticist
  • Michelangelo – Sculptor, Painter, Architect, Poet
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – Classical Composer
  • Sir Isaac Newton – Mathematician, Astronomer, & Physicist
  • Jerry Seinfeld – Comedian
  • Satoshi Tajiri – Creator of Nintendo’s Pokémon
  • Nikola Tesla – Inventor
  • Andy Warhol – Artist
  • Ludwig Wittgenstein – Philosopher
  • William Butler Yeats – Poet
BIOLASE, Global Leadership in Lasers (PRNewsFoto/BIOLASE, Inc.)
Enter Your Zipcode To Find a Biolase Dentist Near You!
Dental Health Links To Overall Health. We Recommend Biolase For Everyone.
Keep Smiling!



Health Blog Contact:  maria.dorfner@yahoo.com




Study: Stress Linked to AutoImmune Disorders

We know that a lot of stress can impact our thoughts and mood. But can too much stress actually make us more likely to develop autoimmune disorders?

A recent study suggests that it can.

The study looked at data from a registry of 106,464 people. Researchers found those who were diagnosed with stress-related disorders were more likely to experience problems with their immune systems and the development of autoimmune disorders.

Scott Bea, PsyD, of Cleveland Clinic did not take part in the study, but said experts have known for a while that what happens in our minds impacts our bodies from head to toe.


Teenage boy (16-17) using laptop, sitting on bed


““Our minds and our bodies are connected. “Our emotions and what happens in our body are connected – we’ve known that for a long time and this is another study that shows the evidence of that.””

Dr. Bea says we have a response to stress that initially causes alarm, then discomfort, followed by exhaustion. He says if we can develop good active coping responses early on, it can help provide a buffer from some of that stress reactivity.


According to Dr. Bea, moving our bodies, socializing and setting activity schedules are all things that can help us cope with our stress and how our body reacts to it.

He says taking care of our emotional well-being, much like the way we concern ourselves with our physical well-being, can go a long way towards improved overall health. “


“We’’re a culture that looks at physical exercise very seriously – we want people to move their bodies, go to the gym, engage in cardiovascular exercise, resistance training. – We don’’t think about emotional exercises as much. We really should be keeping our emotions and our coping mechanisms tuned up.””


Dr. Bea recommends learning skills to keep our minds in the present. He said mindfulness is something even children can learn at a young age. “


“I really encourage people to adopt a different relationship with their thoughts by learning a practice of mindfulness and noticing thoughts as just thoughts – as something that occurs, but passes by you, rather than getting stuck on thoughts. This is a really great mechanism to reduce stress reactivity.””


Complete results of the study can be found in JAMA.






The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale

The Brain Mechanic by Spencer Lord

Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose by Eckhart Tolle

The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle

Super Body, Super Brain by Michael Gonzalez-Wallace

Healthy Within by yours truly (Maria Dorfner)


Please feel free to recommend additional reading material in comments. 



health blog contact: maria.dorfner@yahoo.com

Face2Face Health: Concierge Care for Children

Children running

Face2Face Health is a web & mobile-based holistic pediatric telehealth platform with a mission to help parents and caregivers accurately learn about, identify, and manage their children’s health and well-being challenges –all in one simple place.


Dr. Ami Shah, MD, FACP, FAARM
, founder of Face2Face Health is not only a physician for over two decades, but she’s also a Mom, who was frustrated when her own children were diagnosed with physical delays and she couldn’t easily find access to care or evidence-based information.

Shah says, “I was shocked as both a doctor and parent. The top three health websites had such outdated information. I couldn’t believe it. So much traffic means millions of parents are misinformed. I couldn’t even find another parent going through the same thing.  I wanted everything in one place. That’s when I took a step back to create a solution.”


She realized parents, caregivers, and educators face the following fragmented approach to health and wellness:

CARE: Services are disconnected and not coordinated. Just 30% of 90M U.S. children are screened for challenges or receive timely and comprehensive care. Average wait time for a physician specialist can be 19 days & rural areas are underserved. One third must travel 40+ miles for care.

LEARN: According to the U.S. Dept of Health & Human Services, almost 90% of the population is health illiterate. Health and well-being information on several top websites is inaccurate, hard to find, incomplete and not reviewed by experts.

SHARE: Parents and caregivers feel isolated. Communities are needed that provide advocacy and support.


She’s not alone. 1 in 4 U.S. children have developmental, emotional, physical or learning issues and only 30% of all children are screened or have access to care, information and support.

AND the top 20 challenges in pediatrics cost our healthcare system $200B annually.

So she created Face2Face Health as a solution to offer people a complete digital wellness platform that allows access to multidisciplinary care via phone, video or concierge interactions; 200+ validated, evidence-based screening tools; 125+ peer-reviewed e-learning courses, and online support communities.

The Face2Face Health platform includes centralized Electronic Health Records (HIPAA, MU2, MU3, high tech). The EHR offers an integrative health approach covering over 70 traditional/alternative disciplines, SOAP forms, prescriptions, labs, remote monitoring, exercises, and other valuable resources.

This integrated hub streamlines clinical workflows and care coordination to expeditiously coordinate diagnoses, early intervention, comprehensive treatment, education, and optimized care.

It can be white-labeled, integrated, and adapted for different population segments & care conditions.

For many conditions, best patient outcomes can only be achieved through a coordinated, collaborative, comprehensive approach to care.

Surveys show parents & caretakers want expert-reviewed, trustworthy information in one place.

So if you’re seeking that one place, look no further than:

Face2Face Health at http://www.f2fhealth.com

On Twitter: @f2fhealth

Progress to date:User interface/user experience/product market fit: Questionnaire and phone survey of 500 multi-disciplinary providers and potential customers received over 85% product market offering support and guided site design. Developmental: Alpha tests and user experience feedback, each stage for optimizing product offering. We will be conducting beta testing with 500 to 1,000 parents and providers in Q4 2017, which has already been paid for as part of our UI/UX development. Pilots: we have partnered with a privately held company offering a B2C subscription testing service for children with over 500,000 parent subscribers and another organization involving both educators and parents. Competitive market gap analysis: Companies in the market offer limited services in comparison; few focus exclusively on pediatrics. Partners: We have partnered with a leading screening company and testing company.

E-Learning Development Progress:

1.Topic Identification

The use of Google Analytics drove selection of nearly 130 topics to be included in the Learning Module Development Series within Face2Face Health’s 5 (F2F) Knowledge Integrative silos:

a. General Health

b. Emotional Health

c. Development

d. Mind/Body/Nutrition

e. Education and Advocacy

2. Source Selection

Several top analytically driven consumer and professional websites were selected as information sources for each of the various topics, including:

a. Top medical literature and professional references

b. Popular referenced sites such as WebMD, Wikipedia

c. Reference databases such as PubMed and Google Scholar

3. Collection

Professional consultant researchers collected, referenced and tracked all relevant data to prepare for analysis of all available topic information.

4. Compare and Curate

Several subject matter experts compared and curated information to identify content reflecting the highest relevance, credibility and educational value.

5. Gap Analysis

To ensure comprehensiveness and quality control of our Learning Management System (LMS), global subject matter experts such as physicians, alterative health practitioners, developmental and educational experts further researched any gaps in integrative knowledge within the silos to guide further content collection as needed.


The information was then transformed to original health-literate and referenced

copy materials.

7. Expert Review

Subject matter experts, including Advisory Board members representing expertise

across the 5 silos reviewed all modules for comprehension and accuracy.

8. Production Design and Development

Modules were then given to our design team for customized E-learning design

and development in collaboration with LMS consultant and content experts.

9. Delivery and Management

E-learning modules integration into the online LMS platform for interactive E-learning delivery and  management in process, including learning performance analyses and revisions and new content development as needed.

Face2Face Health Team:

Creator: Ami Shah

Education: Wright State University School of Medicine

Bio: Ami Anand Shah, MD FACP, FAARM is an entrepreneur, pharmaceutical industry executive, active part- time integrative medicine practitioner, philanthropist and leader in several local, state and national medical non-profit organizational communities.

She has over 15 years of both clinical practice and global versatile pharmaceutical industry executive experience with demonstrated leadership, people management and global expertise in the arenas of pharmacovigilance and risk management, clinical development, strategic business development/due diligence, global labeling, OTC/nutritionals formulation, clinical trial development and medical marketing from small sized to big sized pharmaceutical companies.

She is a Board Certified Internal Medicine physician and fellow of the American College of Physicians.

Board Certified in Integrative Medicine and also fellowship trained in Anti-aging, Regenerative and Functional Medicine, as well as Aesthetics.

She currently practices part-time Integrative, Personalized Medicine which focuses on integrative evidence based, peer reviewed holistic health, e consulting, physician health coaching, and telemedicine services for over 15 years.

Dr. Shah has held several leadership positions at the local, state and national levels (see Affliations section).

To date, she has mentored several next generational leaders, performs various free health care services in clinics or lectures in the community.

She has travelled to over 20 countries on medical missions.

Dr. Shah is also a member of countless other non-profit organizations too numerous to name but have in common a focus on children and women’s global health and education issues.

She has been the recipient of the prestigious top 50 Outstanding Asian Americans in business 2012.

She is also featured as one of the top 101 Indian American Emerging and Global Leaders by Roshni Media published in 2015.

Hospital Affiliation: ACP Fellow, NY Country Medical Society, SAHI, AAPI, Clinical Associate Prof, Wright State University

Title: Founder & CEO

Advanced Degree(s): MD FACP, FAARM


Raj Jhaveri
Co-founder and Chief Technology Officer, MS

Raj Jhaveri is an innovator, entrepreneur, social media persona, philanthropist, hip-hop dancer, and a former TV Host for Sony Entertainment Television and UrbanAsian.com.

He is known for his unique ways of charitable fundraising through entertainment and has been featured in multiple media outlets such as Entrepreneur Magazine, MTV, Vice Magazine – Motherboard, Wall Street Journal, Motley Fool, MedCity News and MedCrunch.

By day, Raj is a visionary entrepreneur and strategist in the Digital Health, Medical and Biotechnology Industry, who has worked with Bio-Reference Laboratories, Sage Science, Bio-Genex, Pfizer, Abpro Labs, Ferring Pharmaceuticals, Genentech and the Department of Defense in the past.

He obtained his Bachelor’s at Ohio State University and continued his graduate studies at Harvard Medical School. Later, he co-founded Manethryn Technology, Inc. and assisted in launching Fermentöme, Inc.

Raj is a partner at The Catalan Group, a strategy consulting firm based in New York. It successfully founded and launched Canopy Apps, a company focused on medical translation services and education with over 200,000 medical provider users.

He is also an in-house mentor at Techstars and, an industry consultant for General Catalyst Partners in regards to their healthcare investments.

In his spare time, he partakes in the fashion, film, music, and dance industry, and enjoys being a true “Curious George” exploring anything that is new and intriguing, hence his former social media persona as “The Urban Nerd.”

This allowed him to become the brand ambassador for a rising fashion brand, Convey.

Raj is also known for hosting The Annual Aquarius Charity Affair, an annual free event held in January/February, which has attracted and raised thousands multiple charities since 2008.

He is currently working on forming his first non-profit, The Urban Nerd Effect, where global causes and charities are conveyed through entertainment and free networking events.

Co-founder and Chief Technology Officer
Advanced Degree(s): MS
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/rajpjhaveri/

Dale McManis
Head of Education and Advocacy, BS, MEd, PHD

Lilla Dale McManis is President and CEO of Parent in the Know and Early Childhood Research Solutions, launched to focus on assessment of the parental role and child functioning, and a consultant for numerous start-ups to improve and position products and services.

She holds a PhD in educational psychology with a concentration in learning and cognition, a master’s in special education, and a bachelor’s in child development.

She has taught special needs K-12 students in the public-school setting, served as Academic Coordinator and instructor for court-ordered teens in a non-traditional educational setting and as an instructor of prospective teachers at the University of Florida.

She has held senior research positions at the Massachusetts Department of Education as lead evaluator for the state’s school health programs and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health in the Division of Maternal and Child Health as Project Manager for the state’s school and adolescent programs and Co-Director of the Office of Statistics and Evaluation.

She was on the faculty at the University of Texas-Houston in the School of Public Health and then the Medical School-Developmental Pediatrics in the Children’s Learning Institute and the State Center for Early Childhood Development as part of multi-disciplinary teams on CDC, USDOE, and NIMH research grants.

She is the former Research Director for Hatch Early Learning, a leading technology content development company, where she was on the product development team and conducted product efficacy studies.

She is a founding member of the Early Childhood Technology Collaborative, has served as research consultant on a number of large projects, presented frequently at national conferences, & has published a number of academic papers.

She has been inducted into several honor societies: Golden Key, Phi Kappa Phi, & Phi Lambda Theta graduated summa cum laude, on the National Dean’s List, and received the Gamma Sigma Delta Outstanding Senior Award.

Head of Education and Advocacy
Advanced Degree(s): BS, MEd, PHD
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dalemcmanisecars/

Doron Wesly
Chief Marketing Officer, BS

Doron Wesly is Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer for Lotame, where he spearheads global marketing, communications, and research and insights for a global team of data management specialists, enabling marketers, agencies, and publishers to harness audience data across all digital devices.

Prior to Lotame, Doron spent more than three years at Tremor Video (NYSE: TRMR) as head of Market Strategy, where he helped brand marketers understand the advertising impact of online video relative to all screens.

As online video expanded to more viewers and devices, Doron played a critical role in helping advertisers understand the advanced analytics emerging from these campaign, enhanced by his deep knowledge of cross-media studies, marketing mix models, attribution modelling, and more than 20 years of experience spanning traditional media planning to the frontiers of digital.

Prior to joining Tremor Video, Doron served as Senior Managing Partner, Managing Director, Leader Business Science and Planning, North America, for Mindshare, based in New York, where he led a multi-disciplined team that included consumer insights, competitive intelligence, digital analytics, business planning, and advanced analytics.

Doron’s marketing and research career has also included time as Global Media Director at Cheil Worldwide, Samsung’s in-house ad agency, based in Seoul, South Korea, and Millward Brown’s Strategic Services.

He spent time at the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) leading industry research efforts, and he has worked for Terra Lycos, Interevco, and Hotbar.com. Doron is a citizen of both the Netherlands and Israel and is fluent in Dutch, Hebrew, and English.

He is also proficient in German and French and enough Korean (to be dangerous).

Doron speaks regularly on marketing and media topics at industry events and universities in the U.S., Europe, and Asia.

Chief Marketing Officer
Advanced Degree(s): BS
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/doronwesly/

Richard Hamilton
Head of Learning Management Systems, BA, MA

Richard Hamilton is a veteran Communications Services provider experienced in Instructional Design, Sales and Marketing Communications and Multi-Media Production in corporate, agency, private business and independent markets.

His credits include pioneering effort in the development and implementation of many industry innovations involving computer-based learning, blended learning, distance learning, online interactive learning, online accredited Continuing Medical Education, Intranet portals, learning management systems, sale force automation and integrated marketing strategies.

As a consultant, Richard provided communication services to Affymax, Allergan, Amgen, Baxter Bioscience, Centocor, Genentech, Medicis, Neutrogena, Pharmacia, Roxro Pharma and Scios in the pharmaceutical industry and to Medical Communication firms Chandos Communications, Churchill Communications, HLS, IntraMed West, Pacific Communications and Triage Health Communications.

Prior to consulting, Richard held corporate positions as Training Media Producer, Sr. Instructional Designer, Communications Analyst and Product Marketing Manager at Syntex Laboratories; Distance Learning Manager and Corporate Multimedia and Information Development Manager at Applied Materials; and World-Wide Sales and Marketing Programs Development Manager for Sun Microsystems.

During his early career, while pursuing an education in Behavioral Sciences, Communication and Education Technology, Richard worked as a Community Worker, Training Media Producer and Rehabilitation Counselor for the Santa Clara County Department of Health.

Head of Learning Management Systems
Advanced Degree(s): BA, MA
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/rwhamilton/

Florence Michelet
Head of Medical Communications, MS, MBA

Florence Michelet founded EosMorae, LLC in 2011, after more than 20 years of senior global and domestic US medical communications experience in major global corporations.

She has spent her entire career developing sound educational solutions for healthcare professionals (physicians, nurses, pharmacists, physician’s assistants, etc.) and patients in a variety of therapeutic areas.

A French native, Florence started her career in Paris as a statistician. After moving to the United States in 1989, she earned her MBA degree in international marketing and joined the field of strategic medical communications immediately thereafter.

In 1998, she joined Physicians World (a Thomson Reuters corporation), holding positions of increasing responsibility and ultimately being appointed as General Manager for GeoMed Global Communications, the company’s global division.

Florence moved to Oxford Clinical Communications (OCC) in 2004 as President of North American operations (including the global and US promotional medical education activities, and the Oxford Institute for Continuing Education, the CME-accredited division).

Prior to starting her own business, Florence was Senior Vice President, Director of Client Services, at Publicis Groupe Company for over 5 years, where she provided strategic leadership to a number of the company’s clients, both at the domestic and global level.

Head of Medical Communications
Advanced Degree(s): MS, MBA
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/florencemichelet/

Jennifer Kirschenbaum
General Counsel, BA, JD

Jennifer Kirschenbaum is a managing partner of Kirschenbaum & Kirschenbaum, P.C.’s healthcare department.

She devotes her practice towards assisting practitioners in all aspects of private practice, Office-Based Surgery practice, Article 28 facility formation and operation, Independent Practice Association formation and operation and hospital based practice and hospital relationships/arrangements.

Jennifer began her career focusing on third party payor and government payor audit defense, OPMC and OPD licensure matters and general practice matters, including license agreements, during her time as an associate at Abrams Fensterman, et al.

Her practice expanded when she joined Rivkin Radler LLP, where she focused on regulatory compliance and transactional matters.

After bringing healthcare to Kirschenbaum and Kirschenbaum, P.C. in 2008, Jennifer has grown the firm’s healthcare department to representing over 800 practices, Article 28 facilities, IPAs and small to mega-group private practices.

K&K’s healthcare department represents MDs, DOs, DPMs, DDS, DMDs, DCs, PTs as well as other practitioners. Jennifer operates the healthcare department in conjunction with the other practice areas of law at the firm.

When necessary our litigation, real estate, trust and estates or bankruptcy attorneys are available to assist in matters related to healthcare, issues involving practice break-ups, trademark infringement, breach of contract, etc.

Practitioners contact Jennifer at all stages of practice, from their first employment agreement review and negotiation, their first lease, first partnership agreement, first patient issue, first lawsuit, first HIPAA complaint, first hospital contract, collection issues, audit through partnership structuring, mergers and acquisitions, practice sale, hospital employment or closure and everything in between.

We are here to assist in any and all issues that arise that cannot be easily addressed internally or require third party consultation.

General Counsel
Advanced Degree(s): BA, JD
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jennifer-kirschenbaum-1a169a17/




For More Information Visit:  www.f2fhealth.com



contact: maria.dorfner@yahoo.com

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