The Chemicals Around Us

Should we be concerned about the chemicals we use everyday?

Through my own personal journey to health one topic that kept surfacing in my research was the topic of chemicals in our environment.

However just because something is called a chemical, doesn’t necessarily mean it is toxic.  This was my justification for many years, despite my husband’s idiosyncrasies about storing foods/drinks in plastic, washing new clothes/linens before using them, and heating up food in take-out styrofoam containers.  Back then, I would just roll my eyes and let him give into his own hypochondria – or so I thought.  

What If We Didn’t Give Out Candy On Halloween?

Our country celebrates almost every event or holiday with sugary treats.  Think about it – Halloween, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Easter – they’ve got us hooked on our favorite candy of the season.  Is it any wonder why obesity is running rampant in our children and then into their adult years?  We are setting them up to be addicted to sugar.

What Your Nails Are Trying To Tell You

The human body is a complex and fascinating organism.  There is a lot we can learn about our overall health by paying attention to what our bodies are saying.  One area in particular is the health of our nails.

Understanding what’s going on inside the body can prove to be complex task at times. We were taught in medical school to to use the physical exam as one of our main diagnostic tools. However, we often rely more on laboratory and diagnostic testing to provide the answers we seek.  I personally have been just as guilty of this in my own practice of medicine.

The goal of Journey to Health is to inform and equip you with tools for you to become your own health advocate.  Today I will be sharing why you should be paying attention to your nails for more than just aesthetic features.

Is Fluoride Good For Us?

Should we question the only drug intentionally added to our tap water?

Some of you may not be aware, but fluoridation of our drinking water has become a controversial topic over the past several years.

There has been rising distrust of water quality ever since the Flint Michigan water crisis earlier this year, where elevated levels of lead were detected in the city’s water.  Lead, like fluoride, is a known neurotoxin although much lower levels are needed to cause significant damage.

What Is Water Fluoridation?

The Bitter Truth About the Sugar Industry

I came across an article the other day published in NY Times entitled, “How the Sugar Industry shifted Blame to Fat.”  Maybe you’ve seen this in the news?  It outlines the process by which the sugar industry took the spotlight off themselves for causing heart disease and actually bribed Harvard scientists to shift the blame to saturated fat.  Crazy stuff!

Using Your Head

How Traumatic Brain Injuries Influence Our Health

Many of you will hate that I’m bringing up this topic with football season kicking off, but I thought it was an appropriate time.  Beware, you may never watch football the same way – researching this topic a few years back has ruined my college football watching season.

Overcoming the Challenge

Why You Are Still Struggling to Eat Enough Fruits and Vegetables

Eating a diet consisting of real, whole foods that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables can dramatically improve your health. We all know this, but somehow we continue to find this difficult, if not impossible to accomplish.  Why?  Well to start with…

Big Pharma Conspiracy Theory

Do Pharmaceutical Companies Have Your Best Interest In Mind?

There are people who believe conspiracies theories that would say that the medical establishment in general, and pharmaceutical companies in particular, operate for sinister purposes and against the public good.  As a part of the medical establishment I have always shunned this as nonsense.  However, there are times when things are just too questionable to ignore.

Recent news stories about a price hike for the Epi-pen have initiated my thoughts for today about the billion dollar industry known as pharmaceuticals (also known as Big Pharma).  Beware: A ranting session will be following…

Overfed and Undernourished

The Unfortunate Reality of the Standard American Diet (SAD)

SAD stands for the Standard American Diet and is an appropriate acronym that perfectly describes the quality of our population’s food supply.  This is the first time in the history of our nation, or the history of the world for that matter, when humans have been overfed, but undernourished.

Sure, we have an adequate amount of calories in our diet, too many in fact – but the source of those calories are empty and don’t provide the real nutrients our bodies need to function.

Thirty percent of our population is so overfed that they’ve become obese, and another 30% are overweight.  That means over half of Americans are either overweight or obese.

Grief

“No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear. I am not afraid, but the sensation is like being afraid. The same fluttering in the stomach, the same restlessness, the yawning. I keep on swallowing.” – C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed

I’ve been thinking a lot about grief lately – for many reasons.  Several family members are in the grief process currently and are struggling to make sense of the loss of a close family member who died last week from a brain tumor.

Secondly, the anniversary of our firstborn daughter’s death is today, so I have been reflecting on my own grief journey.  Some of you may know, others may not, but Jim and I lost our first daughter, Audrey Lynn, to stillbirth back in 2011.  She would be turning five years old this month and starting kindergarten, which is crazy for me to imagine.  Time has dragged on, but has also flown by at the same time.

Up until that point I had never experienced significant grief in my life.  What a way to learn about the grief process – the shock was overwhelming as we were preparing for such joys in our new adventure as parents and it was all turned to immense sorrow in a single moment.

Most of us have experienced grief on some level throughout our lifetimes.  It doesn’t have to be the death of a loved one – it can be loss of a dream, termination of a marriage, betrayal by a friend, or even loss of a relationship.

So how do we deal with grief, and how does it fit into a health blog?