The Art of Being an Informed Health Advocate


Members of the Team have had various experiences with this over the years and we felt it was appropriate for its’ own blog because the management of your health administratively, knowledge-wise and emotionally is as important as knowing how to prevent or to care for a certain medical issue.

Some years ago when someone on the Team had an ailing mother, he was really unstoppable about her care. His Mom had pneumonia, a portion of her lung missing from cancer, and was placed in a nearby teaching hospital and left for dead after the antibiotics did not kick in in 48 hours. But it was because of ‘Mike’ we’ll call him, that his Mom lived. He got a hold of her pulmonary doctor at another hospital where he was an attending physician, got her records, and went by ambulance there to get her on a stronger med of choice and only given when you incur pneumonia from an institution. Despite Mike warning the first hospital of the drug of choice, they would not oblige and his Mom almost died.

Take away #1: Be informed, study and write down what works for your own health or if you are a caregiver, for the person you take care of.

 Do not be afraid to demand your rights or to stay on top of your situation. It makes a difference.

What if someone you know has an emergency and cannot respond well.

Take away #2: Keep a list of conditions treatments medicines and allergies for everyone you care for, including you!  It is that emergency that occurs and you cannot really conjure up what happened when he broke out in hives or whether she is on a blood thinner or if your father thinks he is allergic to penicillin but he’s not been tested.  Also get people tested for things they think they are allergic to. It can save lives!   

The list should have date of birth, social, current meds, conditions, hospitalizations and dates as well as a listing of names and addresses of doctors and their phone/fax numbers.  It should be kept current too.

Another person we know went for a test and they had to be followed up for something. The next thing they were seeing specialists. Sometimes seeing a specialist can be very daunting as an experience. The professional can be and in this case was very popular and busy and felt they had a corner on the market. Therefore perhaps they treat people in an arrogant manner and the patient is not getting their questions addressed because they are at a mill of sorts.

Take away #3: Go to a different person where you will be heard taken seriously and respected. It does not get better and if that is not there to begin with, that is not going to get better. Trust your gut. First having done your homework, know what to ask and don’t waste anyone’s time.  But if you are not being addressed in a thorough way, it is time to end the visit.

Being an informed health advocate for yourself also means that you follow the trends of health that we share and other ones.  That you stay current with screenings for various diseases and that you get your body checked and tested in the ways that are recommended and in a timely way too.  Daily, more data comes out—more information on what constitutes health and healthy choices.

Take away #4: Keep current about health.  Speak to your friends, be in the conversations and watch the news.  Read our posts.  Make healthy choices for yourself and your family. This seems easy enough but it takes something to really focus and follow up in these ways.


Take away #5: Once you are informed-stay present and reasonable, not hysterical. Stand for your rights to rights to know and to ask.  Then create team anywhere with your empathy for others and by being in communication.  It is this way you can perhaps get the most responsive care and promptly. 


We can choose!

Choose to win for health for yourself and for your family!  


Click for news and alerts  from theTeam on behalf of Robin Quivers 

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Topics: womens health, senior health, mens health

What Is News In Health May 16, 2017

We hope that everyone enjoyed this past weekend, Mother's Day and that you each honored all mothers or mothering one's in your life. Including yourself if it applied!

We are jumping in with information today about what is news in health.

First-about the brain!

  • Vitamin D deficiency is significantly associated with a decrease in processing speed and fluency in people with psychotic disorders just as it is associated with those who are elderly—so take your hormone D!
  • Depression in men in early or middle life can contribute to modulating the risk of dementia later in life—whereas depression in older age may be more frequently an early sign of a neurodegenerative process.
  • People who have a partner who commits suicide, are at greater risk of mental illness disorders such as anxiety, PTSD, alcohol-use disorder and self-harm-- up to within five years of their loss.
  • Opioid addiction in the news is spreading fast on campus such that 60 schools are adopting anti-overdose drugs like Narcan.
  • When young children about three years old have regular bedtimes, it helps them to regulate their emotions and they are less likely to be obese at age 11.
  • Scientists recently discovered a genetic variation associated with normal brain aging and not brain disease.  This finding may explain the differences in people regarding aging where they don't have disease.
  • Very old brains benefit from exercise and can actually reduce the amyloid plaques in the brain which is the root of Alzheimer’s.  (This is an enhanced photo of amyloid plaques-NYAS, 2017). 
  • Intellectual enrichment is also associated with lower amyloid plaque in those with higher education levels. Stimulation or higher cognitive activity between ages 50-65, including playing board games, reading and playing music is associated with less plaque.
  • With regard to the Incidence of uncommon event among one's peers-such as widowhood or poor health of one's child, there is an higher risk for depression.          
  • Higher amounts of vitamin D do not prevent cardiovascular disease.
  • For older women, breathing in polluted air such as vehicle exhaust and fine particles, places them at a doubly higher risk for dementia and more so if they have the genetic variant APOE4.
  • Those who have rheumatoid arthritis are somewhat at risk for depression (20% of them) and report more pain, poorer adherence to medicine-taking and poorer quality of life than those without depression.
  • A new study indicates that anorexia is genetically-based and not only linked to psychiatric disorders such as neuroticism, but also to metabolic traits. This news could pave the way for medicines for this condition!

 More news in health!

  • Hepatitis C infections have tripled in part due to the heroin epidemic.
  • Hazardous chemicals in fast-food packaging including sandwich wraps and desert wrappers and paperboard etc can be toxic, leaching out very bad chemicals especially if the food is heated.  These can be cancer-causing. 
  • Teen girls are twice as likely to smoke marijuana if they are pregnant.
  • Women, who had a pregnancy after having childhood cancer and radiation, had more complications than those without radiation.
  • 60% of maternal mortality in the U.S. is preventable! It is higher here than in many other developed countries. We focus more on infant mortality with less regard to protecting the mother and with more invasive procedures.
  • School bullying including cyberbullying, perpetuating bullying and witnessing bullying is diminishing. Facts don't explain the cause as yet.
  • Soon bio-markers in blood tests will be used to predict aging, serious illness and early death.The suicide rate is up to 43,000 annually and more than 8 million people in the U.S. suffer from serious psychological disorders.
  • Older women report a better sex life between age 50-79 when they sleep better and that is 7-9 hours per night.  
  • In men who receive testosterone there is a higher risk of stroke and coronary disease. While it improves anemia and bone density but not cognition, the fact that it builds up noncalcified plaque in the heart is a reason to red flag the treatment. Check with your doctor!   

You can choose health and health information!

You can choose to win!

Click for news and alerts  from theTeam on behalf of Robin Quivers 


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Topics: womens health, senior health, mens health, teen health

Much is News In Health This Week- May 12, 2017

Much is news in health this week!  And it is stressful to watch all the news we know. So we are bringing this newsletter to you in a ‘chill’ way as to inform you and make you smile today! It is the weekend! TGIF! 

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Topics: womens health, senior health, mens health, pregnancy

More Of What's News in Health-May 5, 2017

More is news in health—in fact, so much we have to go back to the recent research so we can recap it for you.  With data being what it is today, studies are done so rapidly, furnishing us with news virtually around the clock!

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Topics: womens health, senior health, mens health, childrens health, teen health

What Is News In Health May 5, 2017

When the Team heard that TV news was covering surgical doctors leaving their patients before surgery ended, this week, we were pleased as we had brought you this in our What’s News Blog, months ago!  That is who we are—reporters on all that is known in health and as soon as we can get the word out to you! 

Here is what is news in health now: 

  • Inflammation of the gums can lead to stroke as we knew, but now the findings show that the worse the inflammation, the higher the risk of stroke.
  • More in the news about inflammation now with regard to depression: brains of depressed patients who have inflammation look different from brains of those who are just depressed without inflammation.
    Different connectivity patterns in the brain are found and different signaling. It seems that inflammatory processes change the way parts of the brain speak to each other. The immune system seems to underlie so much with regard to disease and now even mood. Doctors have found that interferon-alpha which is given for hepatitis C induces every brain body function associated with major depression. More research shows that early-life adversity is associated with certain chemicals which led to depression. Adversity can cause inflammation which predisposes people to depression. It perhaps sets people up to be ready for upset and chronic elevated inflammation can predict increased depression later on. Soon it is thought that a blood test for C-reactive protein might help to navigate the body’s chemical reaction on mood such that it will be clearer how to treat depression.
  • Peri-menopausal and menopausal women may have depression just linked to the severity of their hot flashes. The Team thinks it is a function of control and when people feel they have more control over their well-being they are usually not as depressed. That said, anti-depressants seem to help in these cases.
  • In the news is the question of whether young adults dealing with dating or love loss should take anti-depressants which may produce difficult withdrawal symptoms when it is time to consider conception, etc..And that this is a normal part of growing pains and growing up. What do you think?       
  • People who drink coffee are less likely to be obese, have high blood pressure or diabetes. It may lower the risk of stomach and skin cancers, heart failure and depression. And can increase alertness, concentration and focus.
  • Trend from Paleo to a more Mediterranean diet is in the news. Now eating red meat almost daily for decades is associated with diverticulitis.  
  • Vitamin D the hormone which we previously wrote about, may also help with balance in older women and reduce their falls especially if they have Vitamin D levels less than 20. Exercise can be very helpful in these instances too.
  • People on statins who have muscle pain are helped when they take the hormone Vitamin D. It is important also for people on statins to take CoQ 10 or ubiquinol.  Please check with your doctor for what is best for you.
  • Cause of death from diabetes is not being put on the records and appears that four times as many people die from this as thought. And it appears to be the 3rd biggest cause of death, not the 7th.
    • MRI’s are in the news and their hazards are also under-reported. People are injured by their projectile accidents and these can even be hazardous when the electricity is not on, just because of their huge magnetic force. More significant standards are needed to prevent these accidents.
    • Toxic chemicals are found in people’s blood level due to products such as foam, plastics and textiles using flame retardants. This is cancer-causing and also trips up the immune system. We recommend being aware!
    • CHOOSE TO WIN!Click for news and alerts  from theTeam on behalf of Robin Quivers 
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Topics: womens health, senior health, mens health, maternal health

Cancer In The News In Health This Week, April 29, 2017

The Team has much information to share with you this week. It was also Earth Day this past Sunday. the March for Science and to raise awareness for a cure for Parkinson’s.

The Team attended these events.  And in any event—no pun intended-here is what is news:

  • Eating larger fish like swordfish, shark, marlin, does increase your mercury intake and puts you at greater risk for ALS and other neurodegenerative diseases. Maybe stick with smaller ones! 
  • They are seeing signs of memory improvement in mice with recent experiments using human umbilical cord blood. There is so much research going on these days.
  • The Team attended a lecture on cancer where they learned about curing cancer in 30 people-not yet for tumors, but within cancerous cells. By reengineering cells the patients did not need to have chemotherapy. This is amazing news.
  • Lithium has not been shown to increase cancer risk.
  • People who have bipolar disorder live an average of 11-20 years less than our regular lifespan. It may be the effects of the meds which can lead to cardiac disease and diabetes-which also leads to weight gain and impaired glucose metabolism, etc.. 
  • It is found that the poorest communities have 3X the risk of a child dying from abuse before the age of 5. And it was found that the fatality rates for black children in lowest poverty areas are higher than for white children in the highest poverty areas.
  • Artificially sweetened drinks taken even one time per day is linked to tripling the risk of stroke or dementia. The same does not apply with sugary drinks though we are not endorsing these because sugar consumption is associated with the markers of preclinical Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Opiods in the news again..in 2015 there were 55,403 lethal drug overdoses and opiods accounted for 60% of these. Over 7,000 people died just in the NYC metropolitan area from 2003-2014.
  • 2/3’ds of women with eating disorders recover from them though it can take up to 10 years. Twice as many women as men suffer: 20 million women to 10 million men have anorexia or bulimia.
  • Inadequate maternal nutrition increases the risk for the new baby to have psychosis—even in more wealthy families.
  • Transcranial magnetic stimulation has been shown to help with eating disorders through impacting the brain and in turn has played a part on body mass index for the better in sufferers. 
  • There is a trend to discover an alternative to antibiotics and as such a new study looked at steroidal use for an acute sore throat showing that one dose significantly reduced throat inflammation in 48 hours. We await new guidelines perhaps. Don’t try this at home! 
  • Results about chocolate showed that in postmenopausal women under age 65 and who are less athletic, that a moderate amount of chocolate (1 oz.) 1.5 times per month but not more than three times per week was linked to a 10% lowered risk of developing diabetes than having 1 oz. less than one time a month.
  • Doctors are conflicted over mammogram screening with 81% recommending screening for women ages 40-44 and 88% for women ages 45-49. Most doctors also recommend that for women age 50+, to get screened every other year. It is not clear that more screening actually saves lives.
  • Cocoa flavonoids may benefit facial wrinkles mildly. A study was done over 24 weeks whereby people consumed low fat processed cocoa powder or 320mg of cocoa flavonoids daily. Skin elasticity improved by 9%.
  • Choose to have information and share it with friends and family!
  • You can choose!
  • Choose to win!
  • Click for news and alerts  from theTeam on behalf of Robin Quivers 
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Topics: womens health, senior health, mens health, teen's health, pregnancy

About Depression Or What Is News In Health This Week April 25, 2017

Our Team finds it so remarkable that so much is news in health and that every day, more and more comes out in the scientific and medical journals and in the media. 

What we write here does not usually apprear in the popular stuff we read every day..

And this information that we share with you here is not always available to the public.

About depression, we learned...

  • That if you are deficient in vitamin B-3 (niacin) or B-12, it can cause a depression and that a higher intake of these vitamins is associated with lower levels of depression.
  • If you have a higher B12 level, it has been found that an SSRI (anti-depressant) will likely help recovery of a major depression. B12 injections also help in conjunction with an SSRI.
  • Giving B6 to women who were deficient and who took contraceptives and had depression from them--were helped from B6 treating their depression.
  • Giving 500 mcg of folic acid helps the SSRI Prozac increase recovery by 25% in people compared to giving Prozac alone. That is amazing!  All of these points are based on having deficiencies in B6, B12 or folate. Otherwise, there is no mood change.
  • People who are depressed tend more to be night owls--and that this can be related to measures of melatonin secretion both regarding timing and levels in those who have seasonal affective disorder (SAD) or Bipolar Disorder. A simple suggestion, though we are not doctors-- is to set your eyes to the sun-looking up near it- in the morning so as to reset your circadian rhythm.
  • Bright light therapy usually used for seasonal affective disorder is now used for non-seasonal affective disorder and for depression as well. Just use of a fluorescent light box for 30 minutes a morning should bring relief in 3-7 days. 
  • Being bullied in childhood is not innocuous--it can lead to an increase in health problems in adulthood including heart disease, diabetes and depression. 
  • Marijuana use is significantly associated with worse recovery for depression and anxiety compared with patients who don't use marijuana. Beware--because some people use it so as not to feel this but it induces it!
  • More is being learned about inflammation and telomeres-and it seems now we know that people with mood disorders have telemeres that are shorter, and they show changes in inflammatory processes including insulin resistance.
  • There is evidence that some meds given to induce labor, also bring on post-partum depression and anxiety. For some, drinks of blueberry extract with tryptophane and tyrosine might be helpful to mitigate these effects.  
  • Statistics show that suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the U.S.. Risk of this is highest in senior men. Further, if a person has five+ health areas affected by disease it can increase the risk of suicide 11 fold. Understandable but not good. Let’s prevent depression, disease and suicide.  

More to share: 

  • The American Medical Association is recommending that middle and high school students not begin their day earlier than 8:30 AM. Teens are not really able to fall asleep before 11PM--it is not just your kids--and it becomes a real challenge to sleep 8-10 hours per night and then to function by 7AM.  Over time, sleep deprivation can mount up resulting in poor performance and depression. And kids can also be at risk for accidents.
  • Doctors are conflicted over mammogram screening still with 81% recommending screening for ages 40-44 and 88% for ages 45-49. Most doctors also recommend that for age 50+, every other year. It is not clear that more screening actually saves lives.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis might be helped by specific intestinal bacteria, called Preventolla Histicola. As your doctor.
  • For lower back pain, 26 studies of 1700 patients reveal that spinal manipulation therapy such as chiropractic care, provides only a bit of relief. Not much. And we found a study using mindfulness and lowering stress to improve back pain and that worked only a little and for a short while. We recommend that you lose weight, stretch and strengthen your core--and to see the doc if your pain does not go away!
  • People with risk factors for heart attack and stroke are also more apt to develop brain changes that can lead to Alzheimer ’s disease.
  • Our life span may go only as high as 115 years. That is a lot!



Choose to win!

Click for news and alerts  from theTeam on behalf of Robin Quivers 

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Topics: womens health, senior health, mens health, teen's health, pregnancy

What's News In Health This Week April 20, 2017

There is much in the news currently about cancer and also about the brain and depression. Sometimes we may not think about how real depression is but we know now how it can influence and lead to bodily inflammation and thus, disease.

Many of us know someone who is ill. It could be someone in our family, a friend or co-worker.  Someone on our Team regularly considers those they know who need healing.  The more people we know, the greater the possibility that someone might be going through a rough time with some sort of illness or challenge.  By staying current about health trends and information and by sharing this information with others we can help each other. That is the reason we post what we post!

Here is what we have been learning so far this week:

  • Just because we read that beauty products, cleansers, cosmetics, etc., have the words “herbal", "organic", "fragrance" or "natural”, it does not mean that they do not contain cancer-causing chemicals. These words paint a broad SEEMINGLY HARMLESS swathe but actually, THEY SAY AND MEAN NOTHING. There is no control by the FDA to assess the safety of personal care products. The cosmetics industry is making these rules.  And there is no objective governance.  A bit shocking. Caveat emptor- let the buyer beware!
  • A large study of over 86,000 people, lasting over 32 years has shown that taking between162-487 mg. of aspirin per week reduced overall mortality due to possibly reducing the risk of lung, breast, prostate, and colorectal cancer. The report went on to state that this is an inexpensive drug that not only can reduce the incidence of cancer and polyps but may also increase survival in those without cancer.
  • Another study finds that men whose diets contained citrus fruit had a small, lowered risk for developing prostate cancer. Those who had prostate cancer already did not benefit one way or the other from eating fruits or vegetables. 
  • More about breast cancer: All sorts of diets have been studied intensively. One constant has occurred which is that use of alcohol consistently associates with an increase in breast cancer. And those who use a Mediterranean diet had a lower risk associated with breast cancer.
  • Fighting mild depression can occur easily: by exercising, by sitting in the sun to increase serotonin which helps with mood (hopefully wearing sunscreen!)to write daily what you are grateful for, by taking one day off if you are too stressed at work, by creating new things in your life that light you up like taking up art or music-something you have put off, by getting together with friends, by avoiding screen time which can interrupt your sleep and mood, by meditating and by reducing sugar and processed foods.   
  • We read that schizophrenia greatly shortens life span-so that women reach an average age of 67.6 and men 59.9. 
  • There is an increased risk for Alzheimer’s Disease if people have suffered with a mental health disorder or depression, five years earlier, but not if they have suffered with the same, ten years earlier.   
  • The structures of certain seniors' brains, such as having cortical thinning, may make some seniors more susceptible to being financially exploited because the brain structure effects the processing of social and emotional information. And for example, those who were prey to being exploited reported feeling more anger-perhaps, more victimized.
  • There is a clear shift throughout medicine including mental health, to more individual treatment. Using brain scans when depression is involved, doctors can much more accurately treat and predict outcomes for depressive disorders as not all depression is the same, just as not all cancer or heart disease is the same.  This way the treatment, whether it be through medicines or cognitive behavioral therapy or whatever it is, can really be very targeted and specific to the desired outcome.  


We can choose to be informed!

Choose to win!

Click for news and alerts  from theTeam on behalf of Robin Quivers 


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Topics: womens health, mens health, seniot health

What Is News In Health This Week April 17, 2017


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Topics: womens health, senior health, mens health, maternal health, teen health

What is News In Health April  7, 2077

Our Team is intent on delivering the latest health information for you! We are here, regardless of what is happening in the world. There is alot of news in health this week and many findings below seem quite logical to us. Getting a balance of sleep, staying calm, eating healthful foods and staying clear of meds might be useful.  Do check with your doctor!  

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Topics: womens health, senior health, mens health, pregnancy