Review of Functional Beverage NERD FOCUS

I recently reviewed a new healthy Functional Beverage called NERD FOCUS.

At first, I was hesitant to do so, because I only ever drink water or tea, and avoid soda like the plague. I haven’t drank soda in over 15 years, and don’t crave it one bit. That said, every now and then, I would like something with a little flavor or kick to it without it being unhealthy.

I was one of the first people to tell the world about loving Alkaline Water when it was a blip on people’s radar. I wrote a blog called, “The Most Healthful Water in the World” in 2013, and since then the industry skyrocketed.

Annual revenue from 2013 to 2014 rose 701.43%.

Alkaline water is on track to be a multi-billion-dollar global business, and has surpassed soda in revenue. I became the spokesperson for the brand I adore, Carlsbad Alkaline Water, which to this day I recommend.

As of November 22, 2022, revenue for Alkaline Water is forecast to grow 20% p.a. on average during the next 3 years, compared to a 4.8% growth forecast for the Beverage industry in the United States.

NERD FOCUS falls under the Functional Beverage Market. Functional beverages are nonalcoholic drinks containing nontraditional ingredients like minerals, vitamins, amino acids, dietary fibers (DFs), probiotics, added raw fruits, etc.

It’s important to look at the exact amount they include, as some brands offer very little in terms of nutrition. Some are also highly carbonated and taste like the can itself. Electrolyte powders also fall into this category.

I have a favorite Electrolyte brand as well. It’s DripDrop. These are packets you add into water that come in various flavors, and prevent dehydration. They rehydrate you post exercise or if you spend a lot of time in high temperatures where you sweat a lot.

Dr. Eduardo Dolhun developed it to treat and prevent dehydration where IV therapy wasn’t available. It contains the precise sodium electrolyte levels, lower glucose content, and low osmolarity that facilitates fast absorption.

It received a U.S. Patent, and Dr. Dolhun was awarded the 2017 Mayo Clinic Alumni Association Humanitarian Award. If you get or feel dehydrated a lot, despite drinking a lot of water, you may want to add this to your water.

It’s available at: https://www.dripdrop.com/products/dripdrop/berry-8-32

As of 2022, the global functional beverage market size was estimated at nearly $120 billion (USD) in 2021 and, according to researchandmarket.com, is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 10.49%, reaching $198.1 billion by 2026.

Back to my review of Nerd Focus:

NERD FOCUS has no carbs with some added B2, B3, B6 and B12 vitamins. The only caveat is 115 grams of sodium and 128 mg of caffeine.

Since I don’t drink coffee, the extra energy boost is okay and the added ingredients do help with mental focus, hence the name.

For reference, 1.5 cups of coffee contains 135 mg. of caffeine. It’s safe to stay within 400 mg.

Drinking two cans of Nerd Focus in a day would bring you to 256 mg. of caffeine –still safe and under the 400 mg. mark.

In terms of sodium, the healthy amount is less than 2300 grams daily, so this contains 115 grams, well under that, even if you drink two cans of it.


Tastes good refrigerated. I drank it after a workout as a treat, as it states it helps with exercise recovery. I did feel mentally sharper after sipping it. Of course, I feel that way after exercise, but the post-workout mental clarity also comes with less energy, as I wind-down.

It had a delightful amalgamation of providing calm mental focus plus energy without any anxiety.

It also lasts long, because I only took small sips of it.

I think sugary drinks make people chug it quickly, because of its addictive properties, as opposed to this.

If you’re a writer, blogger or student and need a pick me up, I’d go with the sugar-free version with the blue logo.

Interestingly enough, NERD FOCUS was originally created by University of Texas (UTSA) college student Vin Montes in order to help him focus and stay awake while studying late nights at the library. On July 21st, 2020, Nerd Focus was acquired by Beverage USA Holdings for an undisclosed amount. 

There’s another version with a green logo that has sugar in it, which I don’t recommend.

The blue sugar-free version is a winner. I would get it again. I still recommend hydrating with water in the morning and daily, but it’s great to stock up on NERD FOCUS for those times mid-afternoon when you need a focus boost with 0 calories.

The other ingredient in it is an extract called Huperzine A, which is shown to improve memory and slow cognitive decline by increasing levels of acetylcholine the compound that functions as a neurotransmitter in the brain. It’s also been shown to help prevent cell death.

Twenty randomized clinical trials involving participants indicate it has a beneficial effect on memory, cognitive function and quality of life.

Since a lot of people complain about brain fog these days, this may help give the noggin’ a boost and you may remember where you put your keys.

Just to be safe, I asked Nutritionist, Virginia Candelaresi to take a look at it, and let me know her thoughts. She’s also my cousin, so there’s a trust factor, knowing she’s a straight shooter.

I asked her to review ALL the ingredients, and raise any red flags. Here’s her reply:

Are there any ingredient in NERD FOCUS we should be concerned about?

VIRGINIA: There are three ingredients that when in access can cause health concerns which are maltodextrin, acetate isobuturate, sucralose, and blue #1. 

Maltodextrin is made from corn, potato, wheat, tapioca or rice. Yes, its made from natural sources but, maltodextrin is a highly processed powder and is very high in the glycemic index; therefore, avoid if you are diabetic as maltodextrin in knows as rapid glucose which can cause spikes in blood sugar which is most likely why energy drinks give you energy; in addition to caffeine. If you have digestive sensitivities, maltodextrin has a trace of sucrose can cause bloating and flatulence. I am all about gut health, so take cause with maltodextrin!

Acetate isobuturate is sucrose. You may be focused with this drink, but if you are also looking for energy it will do that as well, but with a sudden crash. This can cause irritability and fatigue. Too much sucrose throughout the day may cause weight gain, fluctuating blood sugar, heart disease, addicting eating behaviours.

Blue #1 – Artificial colouring in foods and drinks are not my favourite! Particularly blue dye as is remains unabsorbed. In large quantities acidosis may occur. I would avoid if you have any pH issues, gout, heartburn , etc.

If a physician recommends someone stops drinking soda (say they have Gout or Obesity) and they have a hard time refraining from it –is this a better option to help wean them off soda?

VIRGINIA: Best drink for gout or obesity is water! Both conditions can be helped with proper diet. Underlining cause of metabolism may be associated; however, water is best.

Anything else we should know?

VIRGINIA: My final thoughts on NERD, as a focus, learning, and memory drink, NERD has the right formula. I like that they add both guarana seed extract which is a naturally contains caffeine from its seed and is 4x more then caffeine from coffee beans.

Ginseng is great too! It builds energy and helps with stress. It is a stimulate so when combined with caffeine it allows focus and for some people that are sensitive heart palpitations and hypertension may occur. I recommend to use with caution. 

As a side note, I am a fan of good quality Italian espresso. A ‘ristretto’ has 33mg of caffeine in 20ml comparing to regular 1 cup of java has 95mg. NERD has 128mg caffeine so, if you are sensitive I do not recommend more then 1 per day.

Remember, you want to stay focused not caffeinated! 


THANK YOU, VIRGINIA!

So, there you have it. Moderation is key; do not drink in large quantities; use with caution if you’re sensitive to any caffeine; avoid if you have diabetes, heartburn or Gout; and remember Acetate isobuturate and maltodextrin contain sucrose (sugar), so you still want to keep tabs on your total sugar intake.


Here’s a closer look at ingredients listed on the can:

Final recommendation:

For those who don’t have sensitivities to caffeine, have diabetes, heartburn or Gout –enjoy in moderation…one can when you need a mental pick-me-up.

Former White House Chief also sounded the alarm on coffee being scarce in the future.
https://www.foodandwine.com/white-house-chef-says-coffee-will-be-scarce-science-6890269

I expect The Functional Beverage Market to grow exponentially.

You can find NERD FOCUS on Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/Calorie-Nootropics-Adaptogens-Contains-Nerd/dp/B08HVYCPY8/ref=pd_bxgy_img_sccl_1/135-2870656-2172109?pd_rd_w=dpB7Y&content-id=amzn1.sym.7f0cf323-50c6-49e3-b3f9-63546bb79c92&pf_rd_p=7f0cf323-50c6-49e3-b3f9-63546bb79c92&pf_rd_r=GRNYRE8TE8TQ418NCY3A&pd_rd_wg=pIPzb&pd_rd_r=02851e89-db92-42e4-9607-6346ccc595a9&pd_rd_i=B08HVYCPY8&psc=1

Vitamin D: Why You Need It

Getting some natural vitamin D on a gorgeous day.  Ten to 15 min. sunlight is safe daily.

Exposure is best after 5 p.m. or before 8 a.m. when it’s less harsh.

Healthy Benefits of Vitamin D:

Sun’s UV rays help your body produce it naturally, which is vital for blood cells, bones and your immune system. It also helps you take in and use certain minerals, like phosphorus and calcium.


At all times, but especially during flu season and Covid19, it’s important to keep your immune system strong. 



Foods high in D are fatty fish, like salmon & tuna, and egg yolks.

People age 1 to 70 need 600 IU daily. People over age 70 need 800 IU daily for optimum health. You can find supplements.

Symptoms you may have a vitamin D deficiency are:

Fatigue
Lethargy
Hair loss
Depression
Slow wound healing
Weight gain
Muscle or bone pain
Decrease in bone density
Increases your risk for colds, flu & other illnesses like Covid19

According to a 2011 study, 41.6% of adults in the US are deficient.
This number goes up to 69.2% in Hispanics and 82.1% in African-Americans.

7 common risk factors for vitamin D deficiency:


🌞 Having dark skin.
🌞 Being elderly.
🌞 Being overweight or obese.
🌞 Not eating much fish or dairy.
🌞 Living far from equator where there is little sun year-round.
🌞 Always using sunscreen when going out.
🌞 Staying indoors.

So, find an outdoor space that’s empty or with only a few people social distancing, so you can get outside and enjoy the sunshine. Preventing illness by maintaining daily healthy habits is one of the best defenses you have against any illness.

It’s worth repeating: Exercise daily, eat nutritious foods, avoid processed foods, sugar and alcohol, stay hydrated with water, get enough sleep, read to keep your mind active and limit your time on social media, so you have time to take care.



Keep your pantry stocked with healthy foods and snacks during this time. The healthier you eat, the less you will crave the bad for you stuff or you will at least limit it one day a week. Your mind and body will thank you later.

Photo by Buenosia Carol on Pexels.com


If you haven’t had healthy habits your whole life, it’s never too late to start. Take it one day at a time. It takes a few weeks (sometimes months) for you to begin feeling your best mentally, physically and spiritually.



Start by removing one unhealthy habit. Then, another. Be patient with yourself.

Stay healthy. Stay safe.

blog contact: maria.dorfner@yahoo.com

 

Vitamins You Need Now To Stay Healthy

Great listen if you want to ensure you will prevent or get a mild case if you get Covid-19.

PODCAST LISTEN HERE: http://podwithmeaja.com/defeating-the-invisible-enemy

 
 
Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

Takeaways:

Firstly, get consistent sleep. If you have problems falling asleep 1 mg. of melatonin.

Stay hydrated beginning with when you first wake up in the morning.

Tylenol is damaging to your liver. Only take it if a fever reaches 103 degrees.

Make sure you get Vitamins D, C, zinc, magnesium, A and K2

Empower yourself by keeping your immune system strong at all times.

FOODS CONTAINING VITAMINS

 

MAGNESIUM

Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com

VITAMIN D

VITAMIN C

Photo by Polina Tankilevitch on Pexels.com

VITAMIN A

K2

ZINC

2 DROPS OF IODINE

VISUALS OF HEALTHY FOOD:

Photo by Dana Tentis on Pexels.com
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Photo by Kaboompics .com on Pexels.com
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Photo by Kaboompics .com on Pexels.com

Stay Hydrated. Start drinking water first thing in the morning. Avoid soda and soft drinks.

 

Exercise Daily. Stretch. Move even if indoors.

Get at least 10 minutes of natural sunshine a few times a week.

Photo by Ylanite Koppens on Pexels.com

Set aside daily quiet time. No TV. No noise. Quiet your mind. Meditate. It’s a good time to give gratitude.

Stay healthy! Stay safe!

Blog contact: Maria.Dorfner@yahoo.com

WOMEN’S HEALTH: Viva Eve: Experts in Fibroids

How VIVA EVE helped other women:

Read stories from women who turned to VIVA EVE for help with fibroids.  Success Stories

Nehal Farouky, Co-Founder and President, VIVA EVE (right)

Nehal Farouky, Co-founder and President of VIVA EVE was recently interviewed by Maria Dorfner on BOLDTV Health about what sets VIVA EVE apart from other fibroid clinics.

“At our practice, we’ve designed a truly inclusive care process that provides patients with empathy, support, education, and a wide range of treatment options,” says Nehal. “Our commitment to deliver quality in everything we do is reflected not only during the patient’s time with their doctor, but in all areas of our patient experience.”

Fibroids are abnormal uterine growths that develop in more than half of the female population in the U.S. by age 50. Mild fibroid symptoms can give way to more serious medical conditions. While they’re rarely life-threatening, fibroids can make life uncomfortable to say the least, causing:

  • Heavy, prolonged or painful periods with or without clotting.

  • Moderate to severe menstrual cramps.

  • Irregular monthly bleeding or spotting, bleeding between periods, unpredictable menstrual cycles.

  • Pain during sex and loss of libido.

  • Difficulty conceiving or infertility.

  • Pelvic pressure; distended and bloated abdomen.

  • Weak bladder control or frequent urination because of bladder pressure.

  • Anemia (low blood count) that can lead to a lack of energy and fatigue.

  • Lower back pain and pain in the back of the legs.

  • Constipation.

Women are most susceptible to getting uterine fibroids when they are of childbearing age. Unfortunately, research indicates that on average, women wait 3.5 years before seeking help. The scope of this unspoken problem was what inspired the practice to integrate a personable, warm, comforting ethos.

VIVA EVE’s empathic approach to patient care can be felt within their office space. From waiting room to consultation rooms, patients are treated to a spa-like atmosphere with thoughtful, modern touches including spacious bathrooms with bidets, fruit-infused water and free phone charging stations.

“When we originally set up our practice, our first goal was to design a space that patients enjoy being in,” says Nehal. “We know that going to an OB/GYN isn’t the most fun activity, so we did what we could to alleviate that stress.”

In addition to the office’s pleasant amenities, patients are examined in state-of-the-art consultation rooms. Tablets and medical touch screens are used to educate patients and explain different procedures. Certain diagnostic testing is also done in-office, such as sonograms, bloodwork, biopsies, and pap smears.

Apart from the amenities offered at their facility, VIVA EVE’s team of fibroid experts work together to give patients more choices than most standard OB/GYN offices. They offer both surgical and nonsurgical treatment options so that each woman can choose the right treatment according to her needs.

“Our unique combination of doctors from different specialties allows us to provide each patient with an individualized treatment plan that suits their needs. It’s hard for other clinics to have the same perspective as a group of experts dedicated to treating fibroids.”

Throughout the treatment process, patient care is coordinated, tracked and managed by VIVA EVE’s patient care team. This specially trained team onboards patients and remains closely involved in moving the patient along the funnel to success.

“Our patient care representatives are truly there to assist patients in any way possible,” says Nehal. “They will check to find out the insurance details of prospective patients, address questions and concerns, and touch base with patients between visits.”

Currently, VIVA EVE has one location in Forest Hills, Queens – but expansion is on the horizon, with plans to move to Manhattan some time this year.

“Our mission is to provide as many women as we can with the support and care they need to regain control of their lives,” says Nehal. “By adding a location in Manhattan, we hope to provide women across the tri-state area with greater access to fibroid treatment.”

By putting patients first, VIVA EVE has become renowned for the level of care they offer – with no plans to slow down any time soon.

Nehal Farouky, Co-Founder and President, VIVA EVE

How VIVA EVE helped other women:

Read stories from women who turned to VIVA EVE for help with fibroids.
Success Stories

VIVA•EVE offers informative ebooks. Feel free to click below.

Uncomfortable with a Hysterectomy? 4 Easy Steps to Seeking Alternatives: bit.ly/2D8GRX3

Treating Fibroids: Making an Informed Decision

bit.ly/31UeNjB

FOR MORE INFORMATION VISIT:

 

www.vivaeve.com

www.vivaeve.com/blog

VIVA•EVE is located at:

108-16 63rd Road, Forest Hills, NY 11375

1-718-269-4990boldlogoFollow & Like #BOLDTV

Find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram &  AmazonFireTV

Study: You Can Reduce Type2 Diabetes By 75%

diabetes52

 

Diabetes is a growing world-wide epidemic, but there’s good news.  Research shows choosing healthy habits makes a positive difference.

RESEARCH SHOWS CHOOSING HEALTHY HABITS MAKES A DIFFERENCE.

CLEVELAND CLINIC’S DOCTOR MARY KELLIS DID NOT TAKE PART IN THE STUDY, BUT SAYS MAKING HEALTHY LIFESTYLE CHOICES CAN SIGNIFICANTLY LOWER RISK FOR TYPE-TWO DIABETES.

CG: Dr. Mary Kellis/Cleveland Clinic

“What they found was that people who had the healthiest lifestyle, had a seventy-five percent reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes compared to those who had the least healthiest lifestyle.”

[00:09]

RESEARCHERS ANALYZED DATA FROM STUDIES WHICH INCLUDED ABOUT ONE MILLION PEOPLE.THEY FOUND THOSE WHO DID NOT SMOKE, DID NOT DRINK ALCOHOL, EXERCISED, HAD A HEALTHY DIET AND WERE NOT OVERWEIGHT, HAD THE BEST CHANCES OF AVOIDING TYPE TWO DIABETES.

DOCTOR KELLIS SAYS WHEN IT COMES TO DIABETES RISK, IT’S IMPORTANT TO LOOK AT DIET.  SHE SAYS EATING A DIET HIGH IN WHOLE GRAINS AND FIBER, AND LOW IN REFINED SUGARS IS KEY.

CONSUMING TOO MANY REFINED SUGARS,SUCH AS WHITE BREADS, PASTAS, RICE AND SWEET DRINKS, CAN CAUSE INSULIN LEVELS TO SPIKE VERY QUICKLY AND RESULT IN CHANGES IN BLOOD SUGAR LEVELS.DOCTOR KELLIS SAYS IF YOU’VE BEEN DIAGNOSED WITH PRE-DIABETES, IT DOESN’T ALWAYS MEAN YOU’LL GET DIABETES –BUT YOU HAVE TO MAKE LIFESTYLE CHANGES TO TURN THINGS AROUND.

CG: Dr. MaryKellis/Cleveland Clinic

“You can definitely prevent progression to diabetes. Importantly, we found that even losing five to seven percent of your weight can substantially reduce your risk to develop diabetes.”

DOCTOR KELLIS ADMITS IT CAN FEEL OVERWHELMING TO KNOW YOU HAVE TO MAKE MULTIPLE LIFESTYLE CHANGES TO ACHIEVE YOUR HEALTH GOALS.

SHE RECOMMENDS TAKING BABY STEPS AND TACKLING ONE NEW HEALTHY HABIT AT A TIME.COMPLETE RESULTS OF THE STUDY CAN BE FOUND IN DIABETOLOGIA.

VIDEO FOR MEDIA:

Most Chronic Pain Caused By Inactivity

Relationship Between Chronic Pain and Inactivity: The Disuse Syndrome

If you suffer from chronic pain of almost any type, you are at risk for developing a physical “disuse” syndrome.

Back Muscles

Muscles will get smaller and weaker if you don’t use them, which can add to back pain.

See Exercise and Back Pain

What is disuse syndrome?

Basically, it describes the effects on the body and mind when a person is sedentary.

Disuse syndrome was first characterized around 1984 and, since that time, has received much attention in relation to back pain problems, other chronic pain disorders, and other illnesses. It has been generalized beyond chronic pain problems and some feel it is related to “the base of much human ill-being.”

See Depression and Chronic Back Pain

The disuse syndrome is caused by physical inactivity and is fostered by our sedentary society.

Back Muscles

Muscle wasting and chronic pain can be mitigated by exercise.

See How Exercise Helps the Back

Effects of disuse syndrome

This disuse of our bodies leads to a deterioration of many body functions. This is basically an extension of the old adage “Use it or lose it.”

There are several physical consequences from disuse. These occur in many body systems, most notably those of the muscles and skeleton, cardiovascular, blood components, the gastrointestinal system, the endocrine systems, and the nervous system. For instance, consider the following:

  • In the musculoskeletal system, disuse of muscles can rapidly lead to atrophy and muscle wasting. If you have ever had an arm or a leg in a cast, you will be familiar with the fact that the diameter of the affected limb may be noticeably smaller after being immobilized for some time.
  • Cardiovascular effects also occur due to disuse including a decrease in oxygen uptake, a rise in systolic blood pressure, and an overall blood plasma volume decrease of 10 to 15 percent with extended bed rest.
  • Physical inactivity also leads to nervous system changes, including slower mental processing, problems with memory and concentration, depression, and anxiety.

A key factor in chronic pain

Many other detrimental physiological changes also occur. Disuse has been summarized as follows:

“Inactivity plays a pervasive role in our lack of wellness. Disuse is physically, mentally, and spiritually debilitating.”

Many experts believe that the disuse syndrome is a key variable in the perpetuation of many chronic pain problems.

The disuse syndrome can result in a myriad of significant medical problems and increase the likelihood of a chronic pain syndrome developing or becoming worse.

Unfortunately, common attitudes and treatments in the medical community often lead to more passive treatment without paying attention to physical activity and exercise (of any type).

The disuse syndrome can also lead to a variety of emotional changes that are associated with an increased perception of pain.

See Diagnosis of Depression and Chronic Back Pain: Depression Questionnaire

So, what to do? Get more mobile. 

So, if you are suffering from disuse syndrome, you may be wondering what you can do about it. It can be overwhelming for some people in chronic pain to consider how to get moving. See Chronic Pain Coping Techniques – Pain Management

About Dr. Deardorff:

https://www.spine-health.com/author/william-deardorff-phd

“Research has demonstrated that disrupted sleep will, in turn, exacerbate chronic back pain.3 A lack of restorative sleep also hampers the body’s immune response and can affect cognitive function. Thus, a vicious cycle develops in which the back pain disrupts one’s sleep, and difficulty sleeping makes the pain worse, which in turn makes sleeping more difficult, etc.”

Learn more:

This post was Originally Published: 08/26/2015
_____________________________________________________

MORE ON TREATING PAIN FROM

THE CLEVELAND CLINIC

ccf22

Low Back Pain Killing You? Try 8 Remedies (Before Taking Pills)

Our spine expert reviews new treatment guidelines

physical therapist working with patient

You may have heard that doctors are getting away from prescribing opioids for chronic low back pain. New guidelines from the American College of Physicians (ACP) advise doctors to start with options that don’t involve any type of medication.

 

This breaks from the World Health Organization tiered medication scale favored in the past. The scale previously focused on drugs that included opioids.

“We interpret the new guidelines as saying, ‘Try a number of non-pharmacological options before starting the use of long-term medication for low back pain.’ That’s a positive step,” says spine specialist E. Kano Mayer, MD.

While the ACP reviewed lots of studies to formulate its guidelines, he notes that it failed to look at how long each intervention was effective or at outcomes other than pain reduction.

“Cleveland Clinic spine specialists favor the active, rather than the passive, therapies recommended,” says Dr. Mayer. “We prefer that you do things actively to control pain and improve function, rather than waiting for things to be done to you.”

What to try first for your back pain

Cleveland Clinic spine experts support the following ACP recommendations, he says:

  1. Physical therapy
    “Cleveland Clinic very much advocates active physical therapy,” says Dr. Mayer. An exercise prescription can help to ease back stiffness and strengthen muscles that support the spine.
  2. Acupuncture
    This ancient Chinese technique involves inserting hair-thin needles at key points to ease pain. “Acupuncture is better at relieving the radiating leg pain that can accompany low back pain. We often recommend acupuncture because relieving pain allows you to exercise and be active,” says Dr. Mayer.
  3. Exercise
    Individual, group or supervised exercise can make you sore at first. “But it can help improve your core strength, spine flexibility, endurance and balance,” he notes.
  4. Yoga and tai chi
    Practicing these meditative forms of exercise from ancient India and China “has shown good benefit for those with low back pain, improving their function, endurance and symptoms,” says Dr. Mayer.
  5. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
    “Research shows this popular form of talk therapy improves coping, lessens social isolation and decreases the social impact of pain on your life,” he says. Combining psychological therapy with physical therapy and social work support is also beneficial.
  6. Biofeedback
    Placing electrodes at certain points allows you to control and release tension in your back muscles. “This improves function, positional tolerance and muscle pain,” says Dr. Mayer.
  7. Stress management and mindfulness
    Relieving stress and focusing on the present help to take your mind off pain.
  8. Progressive relaxation
    Gradually releasing tension in each part of the body can be helpful in easing pain, especially before bed.

Remedies less likely to help

Cleveland Clinic spine specialists generally do not support the use of passive treatments for low back pain.

“Chronic use of low-level laser therapy, ultrasound, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) and spinal manipulation may only help in the short term,” Dr. Mayer points out. “We don’t want you to waste your money on treatments unlikely to provide more than a day of benefit.”

When you may need medicine

If non-drug interventions don’t help, the ACP recommends first trying non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) such as ibuprofen, naproxen, indomethacin or meloxicam. While NSAIDs provide some pain relief, they may put you at risk for GI bleeding or kidney damage.

As second-line drugs, the ACP recommends duloxetine (an antidepressant) or tramadol (a novel opioid, but still subject to abuse).

Due to their serious side effects and addictive nature, opioid medications (morphine, oxymorphone, hydromorphone, tapentadol) should be used only as a last resort when patients fail all other therapies, the ACP advises. The rule of thumb: Use the lowest possible dose of opioid for the least amount of time.

If you’ve been suffering with long-term low back pain, it’s worth exploring these non-drug treatment options before resorting to pills. You’re likely to find your quality of life improving.

Related Articles

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13 Ways to Fix Your Age-Related Back Pain

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My Back Went Out 3 Weeks Ago — What Should I Do?

nerves in the shoulder and spine illustration

Need Pain Relief? Consider Radiofrequency Ablation

Physical Therapy

When (and How) Physical Therapy Can Provide Relief for Your Low Back Pain

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Radiating Pain in Your Leg? Best to See Your Doctor

Related Stories:

How Doctors Are Treating C-section Pain — Without Opioids

A Q&A examining the reasons behind this change and what it means for new mom + their babies

As the opioid epidemic rages on, some doctors are facing the problem head-on by looking in the mirror — reducing the amount of opioids and opioid prescriptions given out after surgeries, including cesarean sections.

Anesthesiologist Eric Chiang, MD, is on the frontlines, helping spearhead a change in pain meds prescribed after C-section at Cleveland Clinic. He explains the reasons behind this trend — and what it means for both mom and baby.

Q: Why are doctors reducing opioid prescriptions to treat pain after a C-section?

A: In the U.S., for the last two decades and continuing to today, we’ve focused on opioids as the main pain medicine. And not just for after C-sections — for after any surgery.

But this single-minded approach has led to excessive prescribing, which fuels the opioid crisis: Overprescribing means people are frequently left with extra pills. The meds are often diverted and sold on the street. A lot of people are exposed to these narcotics, which eventually lead them to heroin and other drugs.

Overprescribing has become a habit for doctors. There was pressure to prescribe them. There was pressure from the government on treating pain. And there’s been a demand for these medications from patients. Culturally, American patients think opioids are a stronger pain medicine. It all snowballed.

Although opioid use is on the rise around the world, the U.S. remains an extreme outlier. In other countries, Tylenol® and Motrin® are the first-line drugs. You hear statistics about how the U.S. has 5% of the world’s population and uses 80% of the world’s opioids. It’s totally true.

Q: What opioids have doctors traditionally prescribed during C-section recovery?

A: One of the main pain meds we used to give after C-section is Percocet®. It was very common to prescribe Percocet after any kind of surgery. Percocet is a combination drug. It’s an opioid (oxycodone) plus 325 milligrams of Tylenol. Vicodin® is similar — it’s an opioid (hydrocodone) plus Tylenol.

One problem is that if you prescribe Percocet to your patients, it becomes their go-to pain medicine. If they have 2 out of 10 pain, they’re going to take Percocet. If they have 10 out of 10 pain, they’re going to take Percocet.

We have had tremendous success by separating these drugs instead of giving a combination pill. This approach provides options: The patient can maximize non-narcotic medications (4,000 mg acetaminophen plus Motrin) and only take opioids if she really needs it — if she has “breakthrough” pain.

What happens if you prescribe a combination pill? Patients will have to make complex calculations and keep track of dosages. “How much Tylenol is in that Percocet? How much is in this pill that I’m going to take now? How much am I getting over 24 hours? I can’t go over 4,000 milligrams.” In our experience, patients end up taking Percocet for all pain, increasing their exposure to opioids unnecessarily.

Q: What pain meds do the doctors in your program prescribe after C-sections? What have been the results?

A: One of the objectives of our project at Cleveland Clinic was to try to address over-prescription. We made Tylenol and Motrin our primary pain meds after C-section. There are very few side effects, and they’re not opioids.

We have patients take Tylenol and Motrin around-the-clock, alternating them every three hours. Patients can use oxycodone in addition to the Tylenol and Motrin if they really need it. We let the patients decide.

When we did this, patients decided they didn’t want or need opioids:

  • Opioid use on our postpartum floors went down by 70% almost overnight.
  • Now, almost half of our C-section patients never get any intravenous (IV) or oral narcotics.

Previously, even if a patient did not use opioids during their hospital stay, we gave them an opioid prescription when we discharged them. We are trying to change this practice — patients who don’t need opioids in the hospital are no longer sent home with a prescription for them.

For patients who do need opioids in the hospital, we now sending them home with five oxycodone pills. For comparison, in 2016, C-section patients were going home with around 32 pills. We also give people prescriptions for three days of Tylenol and Motrin, emphasizing that these are their primary pain medicines for C-section recovery.

Q: How does reducing opioid prescription after C-section help both mother and baby?

A: Women need effective pain relief after childbirth because they need to take care of an infant. They need to learn how to breastfeed. Poorly controlled pain is also associated with postpartum depression.

Our patients are doing much better and are better able to care for their babies. They have fewer problems with issues associated with opioids. Patients are:

  • More awake.
  • Less nauseous.
  • Walking around more.
  • Recovering faster.
  • Passing their bowel movements sooner.

Patients have more control as well. They’re not left feeling like their only option is a narcotic pain med after C-section. They can decide what they want to take and if they’re going to take an opioid.

It’s also better if the baby is not exposed to opioids through breast milk. While all of the oral medicines we use are generally considered safe for breastfeeding, we prefer for the baby to get Motrin or Tylenol than oxycodone. Opioids can be a risk because they can cause respiratory depression — a decrease in the drive to breathe, both with the mother and the baby.

For more information please visit:

How Doctors Are Treating C-section Pain — Without Opioids

 

blog contact: maria.dorfner@yahoo.com

Find Out What Ages Your Brain Prematurely

Late Night Health interviews Dr. Daniel Amen

BRAIN HEALTH

Named the most popular psychiatrist in America by the Washington Post

Find out what helps and hurts brains and what causes your brain to prematurely age. The good news is even if you haven’t taken care of your brain up to now, you can still reverse the damage.

Dr. Amen tells you what you need to do FIRST.

Since 50% of people age 85+ will be diagnosed with some form of dementia, this is a topic EVERYONE needs to care about, including teenagers.

According to the CDC, suicide is the second leading cause of death among teenagers. Find out why it’s critical to pay attention to brains first.

Dr. Amen talks to Mark Alyn about what has a negative impact on your kid’s brain AND adult brains, and what has a positive impact.

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

Children and teens are vulnerable because they’re experiencing increased stress  when their brains aren’t fully developed and won’t be until their mid-to-late 20s. Find out the number one thing kids can do to improve their brain’s health.

Dr. Amen says ignoring environment, nutrition, physical, spiritual and mental health can result in behavior problems, depression and anxiety.

Dr. Amen also answers questions about playing football and your brain, the use of marijuana or CBD and your brain.

We’ve heard a lot of opinions on this topic. Find out what the brain expert says based on hundreds of thousands of brain scans. He has seen first-hand what helps or harms your brain.

Dr. Amen has scanned over 160,000 brains and what he’s learned is something everyone needs to know, especially kids, who currently face increased on and offline pressure.

And test performance requirements, and competitiveness to get accepted into colleges.

Mark Alyn, Host of Late Night Health  talks to Dr. Amen about how to boost your brain power and prevent it from aging faster than you do.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Listen to Interview here:

Change Your Brain – Change Your Grades – Brain Health For All Ages!

LateNightHealth

ABOUT DR. DANIEL AMEN:

Dr. Daniel Amen co-authored more than 70 professional articles, 7 scientific book chapters and 40-plus books, including the No. 1 New York Times bestsellers, “The Daniel Plan” and “Change Your Brain, Change Your Life.”

“Change Your Brain, Change Your Grades,” includes editorial contributions from his teenage daughter, Chloe Amen, and niece, Alizé Castellanos.

Late Night Health host, Mark Alyn and Dr. Amen share funny stories about raising daughters and what it’s like to have a psychiatrist Dad.

Known for his work in treating the most complex psychiatric issues through eight Amen Clinics around the country that hold the world’s largest database of functional brain scans on behavior.

With the release of his 40th book, “Change Your Brain, Change Your Grades,” Dr. Daniel Amen provides students, parents and teachers simple steps to improve brain health for better performance in school and in life

 

Try Dr. Amen’s Free Brain Health Assessment Quiz: https://brainhealthassessment.com/

Close Ties With Grandparents Healthy

Sunday, September 8th is Grandparents Day!

Studies show when grandma and grandpa take an active role in their grandchildren’s lives, EVERYONE benefits.

According to Cleveland Clinic family medicine physician Neha Vyas, M.D., one big benefit grandparents can get comes from chasing after little ones.

Children running

“We have noticed that grandparents who are involved in grandchildren’s, or surrogate grandchildren’s lives, are more active. They are entering their elderly years without as many aches and pains, because they have something that keeps them young and keeps them mobile.” – Neha Vyas, M.D.

Children playing

In addition to keeping grandma and grandpa on the move, research has shown that involved grandparents report having more meaning in their lives, as well as lower levels of stress and depressive mood.

Photo by Tristan Le on Pexels.com

When it comes to mom and dad, Dr. Vyas says having grandparents nearby can help ease the burden of child-caring, and overall stress.

And for grandchildren, research haws shown kids who get to spend a lot of time with grandma and grandpa tend to have fewer emotional and behavioral problems.

Kids soccer football – small children players exercising before match on soccer field

For families who are separated by geographical distance, Dr. Vyas said the technologically savvy can use videoconferencing apps to keep in touch.

NATIONAL LAMPOON’S VACATION, Anthony Michael Hall, Chevy Chase, Beverly D’Angelo, Dana Barron, 1983

If not, calling on the phone and writing letters helps keep the lines of communication open too.

 

Dr. Vyas says it helps to be specific – tell grandparents your child’s teachers’ names and their friends’ names. This helps the grandparent and grandchild feel even more connected.

Kids gym class and excercise in gymnasium

If grandparents are very far away, and frequent visits are not possible, Dr. Vyas said it’s important for kids to be able to see what grandma and grandpa look like.

“It’s important to have lots of pictures – not just in the digital realm – but to print out those pictures and have them around your house, so that grandchildren can see what their grandparents look like, and to have that exposure on a day-to-day basis,” she says.

But, of course, Dr. Vyas admits nothing beats an in-person visit, so it’s good to try to plan a trip to grandma’s house whenever possible.

“There is some unconditional love between grandparents and grandchildren and when they go to grandma and grandpa’s house the rules may change, and that’s okay. As long as they’re temporary. Kids are good at compartmentalizing and realizing that there may be some rules that apply in one person’s house, and other rules that apply in their parents’ house.”  -Cleveland Clinic family medicine physician Neha Vyas, M.D.

HAPPY GRANDPARENT’S DAY!

Dedicated to my own beautiful grandparents who gave me the gift of health benefits.

nonno
Nonna Angelina and Nonno Giuseppe

 

nonnarosa
Nonno Salvatore and Nonna Rosa

stayhealthy Blog contact: Maria.Dorfner@yahoo.com

All Your Vitals At Home With One Device

Sathya Elumalai, Founder and CEO of Aidar Health, wants to make using his simple device part of your daily routine, like brushing your teeth, as a preventative measure in health, even if you don’t live with a chronic health condition.

For those that do, it can be a lifesaver. Even if you’re healthy it can be a lifesaver by detecting something early. We’ve all known otherwise healthy people who have a heart attack, stroke or even get diagnosed with cancer at a late stage.

Early detection still remains one of the best ways to prevent a fatal diagnosis.

The device called MouthLab is the first 30-second non-invasive, tricorder-style handheld device to record all your vitals.

You can use it within the comfort of your own home without the need of other devices.

“Although half of the US population have chronic conditions, the problem is, everyone is subject to multiple chronic conditions. Providing only what is essential for your one condition, is not going to really help you. Every year, patients develop other conditions.”

-Sathya Elumalai

Sathya learned this first-hand from his own experience with his Mom.

“My mom suffers from multiple chronic conditions. It started off with diabetes, and then moved on to heart condition, and then, all other complications associated with it. So, what MouthLab can do is help you predict complications early.” -SATHYA

MouthLab measure all these different parameters each day, so if you find something wrong, it can be detected early.

“Let’s say you’re diabetic, but if you see some problems within your heart condition, like blood pressure or or heart rate, that can be captured at a very early stage.” -SATHYA

It not only helps patients, but helps providers take care of patients at an early stage.

Specifically, the MouthLab device measures:

Your Temperature

Your Blood Pressure

Your ECG

Your Blood Oxygen Saturation

Your Pulse Rate

Your Breathing Rate and Pattern

Your Lung Function lung function (technically called FEV1. FEV1 or FVC)

And soon…Your Dehydration Level and Glucose

    Sathya Elumalai, MS, MBA, Founder and CEO of Adair Health, is a medical device executive with over 15 years of experience working with payers, providers, pharmaceutical companies, and patients. At Multisensor Diagnostics (MDx), Elumalai has developed a revolutionary tricorder-style rapid medical assessment device and artificial intelligence-enabled triaging system for efficient home management of chronic disease.

In addition to his efforts at MDx, Elumalai also serves as an advisory board member at Rutgers University, as a PCORI Ambassador, and PCORI merit reviewer. Elumalai holds a dual master’s degree in public health and healthcare management from Johns Hopkins University.

He is also a certified professional in healthcare quality and safety with over 10 years of diverse leadership experience at the Johns Hopkins Medical Institute. Elumalai is a proven leader recognized for building scalable processes, integrating analytics into decision making, improving customer satisfaction, and driving large-scale digital transformations in health care.

FOR MORE INFORMATION VISIT: http://www.aidar.com

 

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Maria Dorfner’s interview with Sathya Elumalai

 

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Blog contact: maria.dorfner@yahoo.com

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