"When We Tell Stories…People Listen."

Exercise Recovery: Hype vs. Science


From sports drinks to protein powders, from compression therapy to cupping — there’s a whole industry of products and services designed to help our bodies recover from intense exercise.

But does any of it work?  ​Christie Aschwandan explores it all from electrolytes to power bars to the dangers of over hydration while exercising. Turns out, symptoms for dehydration and over hydration can feel similar.

Click here to learn more and which recovery approaches are most effective.




For more check out Christie Aschwanden’s new book below, which examines the latest athletic trends, rituals, and training practices to determine if any help the body recover and achieve optimal performance.

Good To Go

What The Athlete In All Of Us Can Learn From The Strange Science Of Recovery


Good to Go

Hardcover, 302 pages, W W Norton & Co Inc, List Price: $27.95



Exercise Better Predictor Of Longevity

           Can exercise predict how long you’ll live?

New research shows this may be true.

A new study suggests an ‘estimated age’ based on an exercise 
stress test may be a better predictor of how long a person 
will live compared to their actual age.

"Age is one of the most reliable and consistent risk factors 
for dying --the older you are, the higher the risk," according
to Serge Harb, M.D., a Cleveland Clinic cardiologist and study author. 


“In this study, we showed that an estimated physiological 
age, based on your exercise performance, is an even better 
predictor on how long you will live.”


Dr. Harb and his colleagues studied medical records from 126,356 
people who had been referred for an exercise treadmill 
stress test between 1991 and 2015.


Researchers studied how people performed during the stress test, 
including how long they exercised, their heart rate response to 
exercise, and how they recovered afterward. 


Based on these results, researchers were able to predict 
the person’s estimated age. The participants were then 
followed for about nine years.


Data shows that estimated age, based on the treadmill performance, 
was a better indicator of life expectancy than actual calendar age. 


For example, a 50-year-old who performed well during a stress test, 
and had an estimated age of only 45, could live longer than what is 
expected by his actual calendar age.


Dr. Harb says he hopes the study helps people understand that 
exercise can add years to their lives. 


“The key take home message for patients is to exercise  
more, improve exercise performance, and for health care 
providers to use this physiological age as a way '
to motivate their patients to improve their 
exercise performance,” he says.


Dr. Harb believes the estimated age calculated in this research may 
be an easier and more practical way to communicate the results of a 
stress test to help people better understand their risk. 


Complete results of the study can be found in the 
European Journal of Preventive Cardiology.


              SOURCE: https://journals.sagepub.com/toc/cprc/0/0

Related: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/02/190215082429.htm

Marriage Quality Impacts Your Health

Healthy couples create an atmosphere of emotional safety 
for each other, which in turn, keeps their minds and 
bodies healthy.


Healthy couples aren't without conflict. In fact, conflict is 
normal in healthy relationships.  


The difference is outstanding marriages have two outstanding 
communicators who respectfully resolve conflict.


Healthy couples are open, honest and deal with issues, even 
difficult ones as they arise. 


They don't involve other people, unless it's a professional, 
and they make their relationship a positive priority.


That keeps the relationship healthy, and benefits their own 
emotional and physical health.


The opposite is detrimental to both, especially when chronic.


When a couple has constant, unrelenting stress --it takes
a toll on their emotional and physical health.


Stress without relief can disturb the body’s internal balance,
which may lead to headaches, stomach upset, high blood pressure 
and even chest pain. 


Stress is also linked to heart disease and cancer, among other 
health problems. 

Cleveland Clinic’s Ted Raddell, Ph.D., says the quality of a 
marriage is important to the quality of overall health. 

“Headaches, stomach issues, certainly the common 
things, muscle tension, but if that persists, you have 
unremitting stress then it affects our immune 
functioning and then we’re more vulnerable to all kinds of 
potential physical problems,” says Raddell. 

One recent study links marital conflict and depression to poor 
digestive health. 

While another study suggests strained relationships may be 
connected to an increased risk for heart disease. 


Dr. Raddell said this mind-body connection is well known among 

He says stress, in general, produces a ‘fight or flight’ 
response which is designed to help in emergencies, but it's
constantly activated it can cause wear and tear 
on the body --both physical and emotional.

Dr. Raddell says the impact on health is greatest when 
relationship stress becomes chronic. 

“The longer the time distrust persists, over the course of 
months versus weeks, is probably where you’re 
more likely to see some of those physical 
symptoms,” he says.


Dr. Raddell encourages couples to seek help sooner rather than 
later if they’re struggling and in distress. 

He says when a spouse 
create an atmosphere 
emotional safety for their partner, 
the nervous system shifts 
“rest and digest" mode 
all body systems 
function optimally.
stroke5Trust and 
are keys 
to feeling 
and physically 
within a 

More tips on how to have an outstanding marriage below.


SOURCES: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30098513



Related Reading

source: http://www.allprodad.com

If you want to have an outstanding marriage, you have to be an outstanding communicator.

10 Ways To Improve Communication In Marriage

1. Model respectful listening

Top of the list – take responsibility. Don’t wait for your spouse to make the first move – step up and listen already. Good listeners tend to get listened to in return.

2. Choose to be genuinely interested in what your spouse has to say

Yes, it’s a choice. You say you love her? Then don’t tune her out when the conversation is not about something you like. Make the effort to attend that PTA event together – you might have something to talk about. Read that Jane Austen book she loves so much; watch her favorite HGTV home makeover show with her; walk hand in hand around the art show; show some interest in her friends. Make the choice to be interested.

3. Write your spouse a note that reinforces your message

  • “I’m looking forward to our date on Friday!”
  • “Here are some things I want us to talk to Junior’s teacher about. What do you think?”
  • “Thanks for bringing me lunch yesterday; I love you so much!”
  • “I enjoyed shooting the breeze with you. Let’s meet for coffee and chat some more.”

4. Schedule regular, media-free family mealtimes

This applies to both communication in marriage and the family dynamic. Meals can be communication opportunities par-excellence. They are informal family meetings and workshops where parents both teach manners and model as examples. Plus mealtimes are an awesome ongoing opportunity – with or without children – to keep communication flowing.

5. Keep the television turned off. TV as constant background is

  • An invitation to tune out relationships
  • A strong message about what is important (and unimportant) in a home
  • A distraction that will always suck attention away from one another
  • An excuse to avoid communication

6. Make eye contact when you are talking

Also make good use of touch, responsive and reflective feedback, and body language (smiles, gestures, head tilts, raised eyebrows, nods, etc.) to demonstrate that communication is actually occurring.

7. Do not look at your phone while interacting with your spouse

It sends a clear message of priorities.

8. Avoid surface level or single word responses

When talking with your spouse, it’s too easy to brush off real communication, squash first-order interaction, and signal your spouse that you are not really interested.

9. Designate a central location for all important reminders, dates, and messages.

Maybe a large calendar on the refrigerator – or a bulletin board in the kitchen – or a white-board by the front door.

10. Include your spouse as a Friend in all your social media lists.

No one should get more of your time than your spouse. Include one another as primary contacts, keep one another “in the loop”, send one another messages every day, and act as if you are each other’s best friend. Chances are, you will be.

source: http://www.allprodad.com

Outstanding communicators in a healthy marriage translates to great health



5 Valentine Hacks




Stay healthy! 

Comments? Health Tips? Write to: maria.dorfner@yahoo.com


“The secret to a happy marriage is if you can be at peace with someone within four walls, if you are content because the one you love is near to you, either upstairs or downstairs, or in the same room, and you feel that warmth that you don’t find very often, then that is what love is all about.” -Bruce Forsyth

Healthiest Companies To Work For

Free water, a decent desk chair, a few days off when you have the flu—and that’s it, right? Not for these 44 companies.


All of them make employee health and wellness a number-one priority.


We’re talking rock climbing walls, healthy snack stashes, meditation rooms, and team bonding retreats.


Of course, there are lots of companies on this continent that offer outstanding health benefits.


But everyone on this list offers at least basic health insurance for employees and makes some accommodation for fitness, whether that’s an on-site fitness center or discounted gym memberships.



Read on to find out who made the list of 44 healthiest companies in America to work for: check out the full list on Greatist.com.

Should your company be on the list? If yes, we want to hear about it. Write to us.

Or should your company be on the unhealthy list? Does it still only offer stale pizza and half-eaten donuts in the kitchen and soda? Does it contribute to you eating unhealthily while at the office? Does it only offer unhealthy choices in vending machines? Let us know. You may share anonymously.


Stay healthy!

Contact: maria.dorfner@yahoo.com

Athletic Success and Sleep Habits


We can’t talk about athletic success without mentioning Quarterback Tom Brady. Congratulations on his win. Part of Tom’s health regimen includes early bed time. The six-time Super Bowl winner says he goes to sleep at 8:30 p.m. or 9 p.m.

“Tom Brady says he can only work as hard—or perform as well—as his ability to recover. And he considers sleep the best way to recover, exactly why he strives for eight to 10 hours of uninterrupted zzz’s every night. ‘We push our bodies so hard and our bodies need time to rejuvenate,’ says Brady. ‘It is something I have been doing for a long time and is really important.’”

Tom’s other healthy habits regarding what he eats, drinks and avoid are documented in his book. One health reporter says Brady’s claims aren’t “evidence-based.” Really? He’s   41-years-old, looks 25 and just won his 6th Super Bowl.  Plus, I know first hand maintaining an alkaline and anti-inflammatory state works. He’s right.It usually takes evidence-based science ten years to catch up.Meanwhile, another choice Tom is right about is the need for a good night’s sleep for peak athletic and mental performance.

The following is informative if you’re a student athlete, professional athlete or anyone who wants to be healthy. As I always say, it’s not a fad. It’s not something you brag about on social media. It’s a lifestyle.

Learn how promoting a culture of proper sleep health can boost academic, athletic success for student‐athletes

When student‐athletes tell coaches or athletics staff they’re tired, they’re likely to encounter the brushoff, with responses like “I’m tired, too. We’re all tired. Now let’s get going.”

When student‐athletes tell coaches or athletics staff they’re tired, they’re likely to encounter the brushoff, with responses like “I’m tired, too. We’re all tired. Now let’s get going.”

Instead, coaches and staff should treat fatigue complaints just as seriously as nutritional concerns. That’s because lack of sleep has far‐reaching impact on health, safety, and well‐being, as well as academic and athletic success, according to Roxanne Prichard, scientific director for the Center for College Sleep at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota.

She spoke about sleep health as part of a panel at the annual convention of the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics. Jack Ford, correspondent and host with 60 Minutes Sports and PBS, moderated the panel, which also included Kim Record, AD at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and Tommy Doles, a student‐athlete at Northwestern University.

Poor sleep health impacts more students than you think, Prichard noted. In fact, many students graduate high school sleep‐deprived, so they don’t see why that should change when they reach college, Ford noted.

Prichard agreed. “A generation of college students are so exhausted they don’t know what it’s like to not feel exhausted,” she noted.

The first step to improving sleep health among student‐athletes is to raise awareness by providing student‐athletes, coaches, and staff with accurate information about sleep, the panelists advised. And everyone involved in athletics should learn to recognize and address the signs of poor sleep health, they said.

You can start by asking student‐athletes “Are you tired when you wake up?” If your own reaction to this question is “Aren’t we all tired? We’re so busy!” or if your student‐athletes respond in a similar fashion, that only confirms the need for sleep education and awareness, Prichard said.

“You should wake up when you’re fully rested, and when you’re done sleeping,” she noted. “Sleep is just like nutrition,” she added. And just as student‐athletes already know the importance of monitoring their food and liquid intake, they should also learn to monitor their sleep habits, she advised.

Prichard and the other panelists shared other tips on how to handle common pushbacks and barriers regarding student‐athletes’ sleep health.

For example, student‐athletes tend to present such arguments as “I can’t afford to get enough sleep because I need the extra time to devote to my studies and workouts. Sleeping more would mean I’m taking that time away from something.”

But the reality is actually quite the opposite — they can’t afford to skimp on sleep, Prichard said. “Students who sleep well have higher GPAs. When you’re well‐rested, it takes you half the time to do homework. Sleep benefits your academics and athletics. When you sleep enough, you feel strong, you’re quick,” she noted.

Student‐athletes are likely to counter with such comments as “The stakes are higher and it’s tougher now. I’m a junior fighting for a position on the team and I need to bring my grades up,” Ford acknowledged.

But coaches and staff should respond by challenging the student‐athlete to just try sleeping more for a week to see the difference it will make before giving up on the importance of sleep health, Prichard advised.

When coaches or athletics administrators hear about a student‐athlete who’s struggling (whether academically, athletically, behaviorally, or health‐wise), athletics administrators should look for the underlying cause, starting with inquiring whether the student‐athlete is sleeping and eating well.

And when student‐athletes say “I’m tired,” coaches and administrators need to resist the tendency to flippantly respond “Well, I’m tired, too,” Record advised. Talk to them about good habits and time management, she said.

Athletics administrators and athletic trainers have begun placing more of a priority on sleep among student‐athletes, Record and Doles said. “We’re seeing a trend toward that being more valued,” Doles noted.

But sleep still isn’t getting the attention it deserves, especially in football. In fact, football players and football coaches tend to have the least amount of sleep out of any collegiate sport, Prichard noted.

All student‐athletes need to understand that “when your body doesn’t get enough sleep, it shifts into fight‐or‐flight mode, which means you’re easier to get overwhelmed, anxious, and depressed,” Prichard explained.

When coaches suspect a mental health concern among their student‐athletes, encourage the coaches to look for what’s going on outside their sport, Record advised. Sometimes student‐athletes resist telling their coaches about mental health issues or anything else they fear might impact their playing time, she noted.

Besides, coaches aren’t psychologists, so they do need to refer their student‐athletes to mental health resources, she said. Start by asking the student‐athlete some specific questions, and follow up with “I get it if you don’t want to talk to me. There are resources where you can go to talk to someone.” And then refer them to athletic trainers, academic support, and/or counseling.

You might be tempted to pull their teammates/friends into the situation to try to figure out what’s bothering the student‐athlete you’re concerned about. “But you have to be careful. That puts that teammate in a position where they don’t want to rat on their teammate,” Record warned. She advised that instead you go to the student‐athlete and say “Hey, people are worried about you.”

Athletics administrators and coaches have the responsibility and obligation to identify student‐athletes of concern and refer them to resources, Record stressed. “The last thing you want is having something be seriously wrong and risk overlooking it,” she noted.

Destigmatizing mental health also plays a critical role, Doles noted. He recommended that student‐athletes, coaches, and staff convey the message that “you need to care for your mental health to be mentally tough. Not only because I care about you, but it’s also a competitive advantage,” Doles said.

Another resource Doles recommended is the organization athletesinaction.org.

If student‐athletes feel tired or “are zonked out on the bus and the plane, they’re not getting enough sleep,” Prichard said. That sleep deficit impacts their circadian rhythm and hormone balance, she noted. Prichard recommended taking the following steps to address and prevent sleep problems among your student‐athletes:

  • ❏ Have tired student‐athletes screened for sleep apnea and restless legs syndrome.
  • ❏ Look into whether their residence halls are too loud, bright, or hot.
  • ❏ Identify what you can do to improve their sleep environment, with such items as lavender mists, blackout shades, and gravity blankets.
  • ❏ Conduct a point‐by‐point assessment, starting with screening for sleep on pre‐performance.
  • ❏ Develop policies, programs, and procedures to improve sleep habits among student‐athletes.
  • ❏ Encourage student‐athletes to discuss with their roommates — from the outset — what their guaranteed quiet hours will be and how many times they’re allowed to hit the snooze button on their alarm.
  • ❏ Promote a college culture that values sleep as playing a critical role in mental health.

As a senior, Doles said he has become more disciplined with his time and gets more sleep. Although he acknowledged that learning to say no to some things can be difficult, he realizes it’s necessary so he can fit more sleep into his schedule, he said.

For more information, visitwww.stthomas.edu/collegesleep/.

Better sleep leads to better free throws, study shows

One way to convince student‐athletes of the importance of sleep is by showing them evidence that adequate sleep will improve their game, recommended Roxanne Prichard, scientific director for the Center for College Sleep at the University of St. Thomas.

She advises telling your student‐athletes that elite‐level basketball players improve their on‐the‐court performance by increasing their amount of total sleep time, according to the results of a study by the Stanford Sleep Disorders Clinic and Research Laboratory involving basketball players at Stanford University.

The results suggest “sleep is an important factor in peak athletic performance,” and “athletes may be able to optimize training and competition outcomes by identifying strategies to maximize the benefits of sleep,”


First published: 15 January 2019


Health: Longevity and Vegetables

This video was originally published in 2015 by Michael Greger M.D. FACLM.

Worth repeating.

The dietary guidelines recommend that we try to choose meals or snacks that are high in nutrients but lower in calories to reduce the risk of chronic disease.

By this measure, the healthiest foods on the planet, the most nutrient dense, are vegetables, containing the most nutrient bang for our caloric buck.

So, what would happen if a population centered their entire diet around vegetables? They might end up having among the longest lives in the world.

Of course, any time you hear about long-living populations, you have to make sure it’s validated, as it may be hard to find birth certificates from the 1890s.

But validation studies suggest that, indeed, they really do live that long.

The traditional diet in Okinawa is based on vegetables, beans, and other plants. I’m used to seeing the Okinawan diet represented like this—the base being vegetables, beans, and grains, but a substantial contribution from fish and other meat.

But a more accurate representation would be this, if you look at their actual dietary intake. We know what they were eating from the U.S. National Archives, because the U.S. military ran Okinawa until it was given back to Japan in 1972.

And if you look at the traditional diets of more than 2,000 Okinawans, this is how it breaks down.

Less than 1% of their diet was fish; meat; dairy and eggs, so it was more than 96% plant-based, and more than 90% whole food plant based—very few processed foods either.

And, not just whole food plant-based, but most of their diet was vegetables, and one vegetable in particular—sweet potatoes.

The Okinawan diet was centered around purple and orange sweet potatoes—how delicious is that? Could have been bitter gourd, or soursop—but no, sweet potatoes, yum.

So, 90 plus percent whole food plant-based makes it a highly anti-inflammatory diet, makes it a highly antioxidant diet.

If you measure the level of oxidized fat within their system, there is compelling evidence of less free radical damage.

Maybe they just genetically have better antioxidant enzymes or something?

No, their antioxidant enzyme activity is the same; it’s all the extra antioxidants that they’re getting from their diet that may be making the difference—most of their diet is vegetables!

So, six to twelve times fewer heart disease deaths than the U.S.—you can see they ran out of room for the graph for our death rate; two to three times fewer colon cancer deaths; seven times fewer prostate cancer deaths; and five and a half times lower risk of dying from breast cancer.

Some of this protection may have been because they were eating only about 1,800 calories a day. They were actually eating a greater mass of food, but the whole plant foods are just calorically dilute.

There’s also a cultural norm not to stuff oneself.

The plant-based nature of the diet may trump the caloric restriction, though, since the one population that lives even longer than the Okinawa Japanese don’t just eat a 98% meat-free diet, they eat 100% meat-free.

The Adventist vegetarians in California, with perhaps the highest life expectancy of any formally described population.

Adventist vegetarian men and women live to be about 83 and 86, comparable to Okinawan women, but better than Okinawan men.

The best of the best were Adventist vegetarians who had healthy lifestyles too, like being exercising nonsmokers, 87 and nearly 90, on average.

That’s like 10 to 14 years longer than the general population.

Ten to 14 extra years on this Earth from simple lifestyle choices. And, this is happening now, in modern times, whereas Okinawan longevity is now a thing of the past. Okinawa now hosts more than a dozen KFCs.

Their saturated fat tripled. They went from eating essentially no cholesterol to a few Big Macs’ worth, tripled their sodium, and are now just as potassium deficient as Americans, getting less than half of the recommended minimum daily intake of 4,700 mg a day.

In two generations, Okinawans have gone from the leanest Japanese to the fattest.

As a consequence, there has been a resurgence of interest from public health professionals in getting Okinawans to eat the Okinawan diet, too.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Katie Schloer.


Stay healthy!


Health Blog Contact: Maria.Dorfner@yahoo.com

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.

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