Being Thankful For Caregivers!

This is a wonderful post by Angela Giles.

Sponsored by One2One Network)
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post from One2One Network. All opinions are my own.

We all lead busy lives, and yet what happens when a loved one needs caregiving? The impact on families and their abilities to work safe_imageand continue living can be emotionally, and even financially, devastating. Recently we have had several of our members lose loved ones after going through illnesses and needing their care.

This month of November is National Family Caregivers month, and it reminds me of the extraordinary care that my family performed for my aunt who was confined to a wheelchair and unable to care for herself. It is a story that should be told because it involved extreme self-sacrifice on the part of my uncle and our family in order to care for her full time.

My uncle had to give up his career and any semblance of a personal life in order to become my aunt’s full-time caregiver. She had a rare muscle disease that only gave her a life expectancy of 20 years from the time she was born. Yet, even though the disease progressed, she lived well beyond her “life expectancy” and into her sixties.

Her days involved family members lifting her out of bed, dressing her, feeding her, bathing her, assisting her with bathroom functions, and taking her to needed appointments. Her care was around-the-clock.

The most difficult part for everyone was dealing with her swinging moods. She hated being an invalid and was constantly complaining about even the smallest thing. One year at Christmas I bought her a book at a Christian bookstore that she always wanted to read. When she opened her present the look on her face wasn’t pleasure, it was huge disappointment because she had already read the book. I felt horrible! But as I got older I realized that it wasn’t anything I had done wrong, it was just my aunt dealing with her situation.

The constant caretaking of my aunt resulted in my uncle ruining his back. It got to the point where the family had to insist that she be put into an assisted living facility because he could no longer lift her, and no one else could either on a regular basis. However, because the family finances could not afford the extra expense, the only option was for my aunt and uncle to get divorced in order for my aunt to become a ward of the state. It was so sad and it took a huge toll on both of their emotional states.

Sadly, across the country over 42 million people, primarily women between ages 40 and 60, are faced with the challenge of providing care to their older family members and friends each and every day. Clearly this  can be an emotionally devastating experience for both the caregiver and the person receiving the care.

New research from AARP suggests that caregiving can take a tremendous toll on the caregiver’s personal health and overall well-being. And yet, many caregivers do not self-identify as such and can be reluctant to ask for help.

As part of the Caregiver’s Assistant campaign, a number of online platforms have been developed to help recognize caregivers everywhere for the important work they do:

Having been personally involved in the difficult ongoing care of a family member, we encourage our readers to visit the Thanks Project and add your own story of caregiving to the map.

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Johnson & Johnson to pay $2.2 billion for making false marketing claims

In what’s considered one of the country’s largest health care fraud settlements and one of the largest whistleblower payouts in U.S. Pharma-Pills-Medicinehistory, Johnson & Johnson will pay $2.2 billion to settle charges involving the company’s role in marketing three prescription drugs for unapproved uses. As the saying goes, “But wait. There’s more.”

Johnson & Johnson, along with two subsidiaries, Janssen Pharmaceuticals and Scios, also paid kickbacks to doctors and nursing homes who touted their drugs, created “ElderCare Sales Forces” who were paid to push the drug and sent pharmacists to hospitals to assess patient records.

Three drugs inappropriately marketed and given to patients

The case involves false marketing and other claims regarding Risperdal, an FDA-approved drug specifically for the use of schizophrenia. However, it was marketed by Johnson & Johnson to nursing home professionals and physicians for treating patients with dementia. In other cases, another antipsychotic drug, Invega, was also inappropriately marketed and prescribed.

Additionally, Natrecor, an FDA-approved drug for people with heart failure, was marketed and ultimately given to patients. However, it was given to people who had significantly less severe heart failure that did not render it necessary to take the drug in the first place.

According to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, Johnson & Johnson and the two subsidiaries “lined their pockets at the expense of American taxpayers, patients and the private insurance industry.” He goes on to say that they “recklessly put at risk the health of some of the most vulnerable members of our society including young children, the elderly and the disabled.”

Big pharma trust still remains in question

Johnson & Johnson’s now-CEO Alex Gorskey, in an effort to move forward post-settlement, promises to provide patients worldwide with innovative solutions. However, the optimistic words evoke concerns for many, including Patrick Burns, co-director of the advocacy group Taxpayers Against Fraud. “Stockholders and patients will pay the price for the fraud,” he says. “Mr. Gorsky, however, gets to keep his job at Johnson & Johnson and all his bonuses.”

“This is a gigantic settlement that reflects the seriousness of the criminal and civil allegations against J&J over Risperdal and the other drugs,” says Carl Tobias, who teaches product-liability law at the University of Richmond law school.

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Processed foods contain healthier ingredients in foreign markets than they do in US

It is bad enough that many processed foods currently on the market today still contain artificial dyes, chemical stabilizers and preservatives, refined sugars and various other toxic, yet FDA-approved, ingredients. But a recent investigation by FoodBabe.comChicken-Nuggets-French-Fries-Sauce reveals a shocking double standard within the food industry: processed foods created for the American market are often far worse nutritionally than those created for foreign markets, despite claims by the food industry that there are simply no acceptable or safe alternatives to their current U.S. product formulations.

Many popular processed foods, such as Kraft Macaroni & Cheese, Ritz Crackers, McDonald’s French fries and Pizza Hut Garlic Cheese Bread, to name just a few, are intentionally formulated much differently here in the U.S. than they are elsewhere. Foreign varieties of these and many other processed foods are generally healthier, contain fewer or no toxic additives and are all-around more appealing from a health standpoint than their American counterparts.

Kraft, McDonald’s, Quaker and many other popular food brands are feeding Americans questionable ingredients

Take Kraft Macaroni & Cheese, for instance. The American version of this popular processed food product contains a laundry list of unhealthy ingredients, including enriched flour, artificial cheese flavors, chemical preservatives and synthetic, petroleum-based dyes like Yellow 5, which has been linked to triggering behavioral problems in children. The U.K. version, on the other hand, known as “Cheesey Pasta,” contains simple ingredients like durum wheat semolina, which is much healthier than refined flour, real cheese and natural colors derived from paprika and beta carotene.

You can view a shocking comparison of the two ingredient lists, courtesy of FoodBabe.com, here.

The same goes for McDonald’s French fries, which in the U.S. are loaded with hydrogenated oils, synthetic flavoring agents and dangerous chemical preservatives like TBHQ and dimethylpolysiloxane — this anti-foaming agent, as we previously reported, is a key ingredient in children’s Silly Putty. In the U.K., however, McDonald’s French fries contain only natural potatoes, salt, a little bit of sugar and non-hydrogenated vegetable oil.

The ingredient list comparison for McDonald’s French fries in the U.K. versus the U.S. is available here: http://foodbabe.com.

What about Quaker Oats breakfast cereal? Surely this popular “healthy” food item is limited to simple oats and fruit, right? Wrong. In the U.S., Quaker Oats strawberry flavor oatmeal cereal contains poisonous additives like partially hydrogenated soybean oil, artificial strawberry flavor, Red 40, a slew of chemical preservatives and even more artificial flavoring agents. The U.K. version of this same product, on the other hand, contains no hydrogenated oils, no fake strawberry flavor and actual freeze-dried strawberry pieces.

You can compare the ingredient lists for Quaker Oats cereal yourself here: http://foodbabe.com.

“Using banned ingredients that other countries have determined unsafe for human consumption has become a pandemic in this country,” explains Food Babe, noting that her investigation led to feelings of “outrage, unfairness, disbelief, and ultimately grief.”

“The U.S. food corporations are unnecessarily feeding us chemicals — while leaving out almost all questionable ingredients in our friends’ products overseas,” she writes.

If you care about your health, stop buying processed foods

Why, exactly, is the American food industry doing this? It is difficult to say. But the proof is literally in the pudding that Americans are being intentionally targeted with toxic food products by major food corporations that continue to provide cleaner, safer and healthier alternatives of these same products to people living in other countries.

“The point is the food industry has already formulated safer, better products, but they are voluntarily only selling inferior version of these products here in America,” adds Food Babe. “The evidence of this runs the gamut from fast food places to boxed cake mix to cereal to candy and even oatmeal — you can’t escape it.”

Be sure to read the entire FoodBabe.com report about the dangers of American processed foods, which contain ingredients banned in most other countries, here: http://foodbabe.com.

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Astaxanthin, enhances immune response in humans

It might not seem like much, gently gracing the cellular structures of certain marine life and perking them up with that familiar pink hue seen in wild-caught seafood. But astaxanthin is one of the most powerful “superfoods” in existence, helping to mitigate Paprika-Food-Powderoxidative stress, enhance immune response, quell damaging inflammation and even inhibit the growth and spread of cancer cells.

A 2010 study published in the journal Nutrition & Metabolism reveals these and other benefits associated with astaxanthin, which earlier studies have proven acts as a type of natural sunscreen in protecting the skin and body against ultraviolet A (UVA)-induced oxidative stress. But there is so much more that this amazing carotenoid can accomplish as far as your health is concerned.

Researchers from the Washington State University School of Food Science evaluated the effects of astaxanthin on a group of female participants, all of whom received either 2 or 8 milligrams of astaxanthin, or a placebo, for eight weeks. At the end of eight weeks, the team administered a tuberculin test on all the women.

What they discovered as part of this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial is that astaxanthin supplementation can help prevent DNA damage in the body, especially when taken at higher doses. Dietary astaxanthin was also associated with a reduction in plasma C-reactive protein concentration, high levels of which are typically indicative of atherosclerosis, or a thickening of arterial walls.

Additionally, the team found that astaxanthin can help naturally prevent the overproduction of lymphocytes, a condition known as lymphoproliferation, as well as boost the cytotoxic activity of natural killer cells in the body, which are a key component of innate immunity. And concerning the healthy production and function of lymphatic cells, astaxanthin was observed to provide substantial benefit.

“[D]ietary astaxanthin decreases a DNA damage biomarker and acute phase protein, and enhances immune response in young healthy females,” concluded the authors.

You can view the complete study abstract at SCIENCE.NaturalNews.com.

Astaxanthin also a powerful antioxidant that can prevent formation of ulcers

Astaxanthin’s benefits hardly stop here. A 2008 study published in the European Journal of Pharmacology demonstrated benefits with regards to taking astaxanthin for gastrointestinal health as well. Since astaxanthin is a known antioxidant that scavenges harmful free radicals from the body, researchers from the Plant Cell Biotechnology Department at the Central Food Technological Research Institute in India decided to investigate whether or not it might help prevent ulcers.

After administering varying amount of astaxanthin to test rats, they learned that this powerful superfood nutrient provides formidable protection for gastric mucin, which is believed to help protect the gastrointestinal tract from damage by acid, pathogenic microorganisms and various other invading substances. Astaxanthin was also observed to help significantly increase antioxidant enzyme levels in the intestines, including the all-important “master antioxidant,” glutathione.

“The increased antioxidant potencies such as free radical scavenging activity… reveal that H. pluvialis astaxanthin may protect gastric mucosal injury by antioxidative mechanism,” wrote the authors, noting that this form of astaxanthin works far better than anti-ulcer, proton pump inhibitor (PPI) drugs like omeprazole at protecting the GI tract against damage from ulcers

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GMO labeling initiative 522 has failed, proving once again that corporate money can buy food secrecy

Washington state I-522 looks to have narrowly failed at the ballot box. This link shows election results county by county.

At 11:00pm last night, the “no” votes were winning by approximately 55% to 44%. Mail-in votes reportedly have not been counted Dark-Figure-Walk-Secret-Shadowsyet, but unless a radical change appears in the final votes, I-522 will go down in history as yet another example of corporate money buying out the voters through a campaign of lies and deception.

The Grocery Manufacturers of America and most of the big-name food companies proved in this campaign that they are willing to operate a criminal conspiracy to cheat, lie and intentionally misinform voters. At stake is their continued way of doing business: SECRECY coupled with consumer ignorance.

In an honest election, I-522 would have easily passed

The last thing these companies want is for consumers to realize they’re buying poison. That’s why they plowed tens of millions of dollars into their disinfo campaign, hoping they could trick enough voters into not understanding what they were voting for. In an honest election that wasn’t primarily determined by money, I-522 would pass in a landslide, but in this election, much like Prop 37, corporate money allowed these companies to essentially buy their way to a ballot box victory that keeps consumers ignorant.

The Yes on 522 campaign ran a valiant campaign, and had voters not been deceived by the corporate-funded opposition, the ballot measure would have unquestionably passed. No person in their right mind would want LESS transparency on what’s in the foods we buy and consume. Every intelligent person, if allowed due consideration on the subject, will naturally conclude that the right to know what’s in our food is a fundamental human right.

The failure of 522 also shows that democracy itself doesn’t work when a tidal wave of corporate money is allowed to influence election outcomes. And that’s the way nearly all elections work, isn’t it? So even though we can all talk about the idealistic goal of “the People” being in charge of legislation, in reality the corporations have now seized so much power in America that even when the informed masses want to codify fundamental human rights into law, it cannot be readily achieved.

GMO labeling will never be won with money

After back-to-back failures of Prop 37 and I-522, I think it’s time we all realized we will never win this issue with money. As much as we all gave money to this campaign (and Dr. Bronner’s gave the most, I believe), the junk food manufacturers of this nation were able to spend almost twenty times more.

Selling the public toxic beverages and junk foods made with cheap “junk” ingredients is highly profitable, of course, so these companies have hundreds of millions of dollars to throw around like caged gorillas flinging excrement.

If we hope to ever see GMO labeling mandated in any state in America, victory is going to have to be achieved through “guerilla activism” methods that go far outside the box of “spending money on ads.”

I’m not criticizing the 522 campaign directors, by the way. They did a fantastic job. But the playbook they are working from is based on rules of conventional campaigning, not guerilla campaigning.

It’s much like the American colonists in the War of Independence who realized they would be slaughtered if they did battle with the occupying British by adhering to rigid formations. Man for man (and dollar for dollar), you can’t beat the establishment. What you need to invoke is asymmetrical warfare tactics such as guerilla warfare where colonists would hide in the bushes and ambush high-ranking British officers, thereby cutting off the leadership and causing disarray among the enemy ranks.

Don’t misunderstand my metaphor here: I am not suggesting anyone actually ambush and kill CEOs of junk food companies. This is merely an illustration of the fact that going head to head (dollar for dollar) with Pepsico, Coca-Cola and Monsanto is never going to result in victory for GMO labeling activists.

There are far more clever ways to multiply your efforts and make the actions of one person more impactful than millions of dollars in expenditures by the opposition.

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Food banks brace for wave of hungry masses from federal food stamp cuts

The federal food stamp program known as the “Supplemental Nutrition and Assistance Program” (SNAP) has now been cut by a small amount — just $36 / month for a family of four. But even this tiny reduction in a national entitlement program is causing shockwaves acrossServing-Food-Poor-Beggar-Homeless the nation as food banks scramble to handle the anticipated surge in “hungry masses.”

“Food banks across the country, stretched thin in the aftermath of the recession, are bracing for more people coming through their doors in the wake of cuts to the federal food stamp program,” writes USA Today.

There are almost 50 million Americans on food stamps right now. A family of four used to receive roughly $600 / month from the government, but that amount has now been cut by around six percent. The fact that this $36 reduction is causing so much panic underscores just how deeply millions of Americans have come to depend on government money to simply survive.

Cuts deemed “catastrophic” for many people

These cuts, “will be close to catastrophic for many people,” said Ross Fraser, a spokesman for Feeding America, as quoted in a story by CBS News.

“It’s going to send people into a charitable system that’s already overwhelmed and screaming for help itself,” says Jim Weill of the Food Research and Action Center, also quoted in that same CBS story.

CBS somehow blames the massive increase in food stamps on the “housing crash” of 2006 – 2007, utterly failing to mention that widespread joblessness is being caused by Obama’s economic policies and the disastrous Obamacare program itself. Instead, CBS says:

…Participation in SNAP has soared during the epic downturn and ongoing job slump that followed the housing crash, with an additional 21 million people added to the rolls since 2008.

Already talk of “food riots”

“If you look across the world, riots always begin typically the same way: when people cannot afford to eat food,” said Margarette Purvis, the president and CEO of the Food Bank for New York City, as quoted in a Salon.com article.

“Our members are panicking,” Purvis told NBC News, adding that “We’re telling everyone to make sure that you are prepared for longer lines.”

The question on everybody’s minds, of course, is: What happens when the available food runs out and millions go hungry? While that scenario may not unfold this year, the fact that more and more people are losing their jobs and needing food stamps to survive inevitably puts an increased burden on food banks, too.

Don’t confuse SNAP food stamp program with “nutrition”

Just for the record, by the way, the federal food stamp program is full of fraud and abuse. People sell EBT cards for cash on Craigslist, for example, and many retail stores have been busted trading cash for card charges, allowing food stamp recipients to acquire cash they use to buy crack, meth or other drugs.

Even when used for food, the SNAP program is often used to buy toxic, highly-processed junk food products. EBT cards can be used to buy cookies, sodas, toxic hot dogs and processed meats, foods contaminated with pesticides and heavy metals, and other toxic products that drive up long-term health care costs.

Personally, I support having a basic food safety net in place for needy families but only if credits can be used to buy truly nutritious foods, not processed junk foods that enrich wealthy food corporations.

Why should taxpayers foot the bill, after all, for toxic products that make families and children sick? This is especially true when you consider that taxpayers have to pay a second time for the health care costs associated with such poor food habits. For every dollar spent on junk foods today, somebody’s going to have to pony up another $5 – $10 later on to cover the health care costs associated with that food. (Have you priced cancer treatments lately?)

The best food stamp program would be to end Obamacare and restore jobs across America

At the risk of offending socialist entitlement-state worshippers who remain astonishingly ignorant about economics, allow me to point out the obvious here: The only reason so many people are on food stamps is because their jobs are being systematically destroyed by disastrous government economic policies and the Obamacare program in particular.

Thanks to Obamacare, employers everywhere are slashing hours, cutting jobs and giving people pink slips in record numbers. The Obamacare mandate simply makes it too expensive to keep as many employees on the payroll, so they’re getting dropped.

Most people on food stamps would rather have a job that pays enough to buy their own food! But in this economic downfall that has accelerated since Obama’s election in 2008, there are fewer and fewer opportunities even for people who want to work.
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Historical data shows vaccines are not what saved us

Do vaccines actually protect against the viruses and illnesses that they claim to? If you only get your news and information from mainstream news and educational sources, then the question about whether vaccines are effective is never even raised. However, if you look at the historical data on vaccination efficacy, you’ll see that they are not responsible for the decline in disease in the last hundred years at all.

Historical evidence

Take a look at some of the historical data below showing various vaccination programs and the outbreak of that very disease either Murdered-by-Science-Vaccinesimmediately or several years later.

-In 1871-2 England, with 98% of the population aged between 2 and 50 vaccinated against smallpox, it experienced its worst ever smallpox outbreak with 45,000 deaths. During the same period in Germany, with a vaccination rate of 96%, there were over 125,000 deaths from smallpox. (The Hadwen Documents)

– In Germany, compulsory mass vaccination against diphtheria commenced in 1940, and by 1945, diphtheria cases were up from 40,000 to 250,000. (Don’t Get Stuck, Hannah Allen)

– In 1967, Ghana was declared measles-free by the World Health Organization after
96% of its population was vaccinated. In 1972, Ghana experienced one of its worst measles outbreaks with its highest ever mortality rate. (Dr. H. Albonico, MMR Vaccine Campaign in Switzerland, March 1990)

– In the UK between 1970 and 1990, over 200,000 cases of whooping cough occurred in fully vaccinated children. (Community Disease Surveillance Centre, UK)

– In the 1970s, a tuberculosis vaccine trial in India involving 260,000 people revealed that more cases of TB occurred in the vaccinated than the unvaccinated. (The Lancet 12/1/80 p73)

– In 1977, Dr. Jonas Salk, who developed the first polio vaccine, testified along with other scientists that mass inoculation against polio was the cause of most polio cases throughout the USA since 1961. (Science 4/4/77 “Abstracts”)

– In 1979, Sweden abandoned the whooping cough vaccine due to its ineffectiveness. Out of 5,140 cases in 1978, it was found that 84% had been vaccinated three times! (BMJ 283:696-697, 1981)

-The February 1981 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association found that 90% of obstetricians and 66% of pediatricians refused to take the rubella vaccine.

– In Oman between 1988 and 1989, a polio outbreak occurred amongst thousands of
fully vaccinated children. The region with the highest infection rate had the highest vaccine coverage. The region with the lowest infection rate had the lowest vaccine coverage. (The Lancet, 21/9/91)

– In the New England Journal of Medicine July 1994 issue, a study found that over 80%
of children under 5 years of age who had contracted whooping cough had been fully vaccinated.

– In 1990, the Journal of the American Medical Association had an article on measles which stated, “Although more than 95% of school-aged children in the US are vaccinated against measles, large measles outbreaks continue to occur in schools and most cases in this setting occur among previously vaccinated children.” (JAMA, 21/11/90)

Medical deception

So what are some of the true reasons for the decrease in disease in the last century? From his book Health and Healing, Dr. Andrew Weil said it best with the following statement:

“Scientific medicine has taken credit it does not deserve for some advances in health. Most people believe that victory over the infectious diseases of the last century came with the invention of immunizations. In fact, cholera, typhoid, tetanus, diphtheria and whooping cough, etc, were in decline before vaccines for them became available – the result of better methods of sanitation, sewage disposal, and distribution of food and water.”

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