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The Truth about Bird Flu

Much has been reported about the potential for illness and death as the result of bird flu. But is it a true threat or just another case of the media capitalizing on our fears?

Leslie Ann Dauphin, Ph.D., a microbiologist at the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta and recent author of The Germ Handbook (Siloam), has researched the avian influenza virus that causes bird flu. Dauphin told SpiritLed Woman the virus does not usually infect people.

Dauphin says: "Although rare, the viruses…may be transmitted to humans via direct contact with infected birds or surfaces that infected birds have been in contact with...[or] through an intermediate host, such as a pig." read more

Eating Disorders Linked to Abuse

Although we have known for some time that the underlying issue for eating disorders is a need for control, research now links this need for control to unresolved pain from significantly hurtful experiences in a person's life. According to Dr. Gregory Jantz in his book Hope, Help and Healing for Eating Disorders (Shaw Books, 2002), "Studies have indicated that 80 percent or more of people with eating disorders have been victims of some sort of abuse--whether verbal, emotional, physical or sexual. By controlling what you eat, you are really trying to control that terrible pain." read more

Walk for Your Life

You've probably heard people tell you that walking is good for your health because it increases muscle and bone strength, improves circulation and the overall condition of your heart, and lowers cholesterol. But did you know it can even reduce your risk for certain cancers? read more

The Early Detection Edge

Though some cancers have no effective method for facilitating early detection, there are ways to screen for breast cancer with the goal of diagnosing the disease at an early, treatable stage. In 2003, the American Cancer Society issued the following guidelines for the early detection of breast cancer:

  • Yearly mammograms are recommended starting at age 40 and continuing for as long as a woman is in good health.
  • A clinical breast exam should be part of a periodic health exam, about every three years for a woman in her 20s and 30s, and every year for women 40 and older.
  • Women should examine their own breasts to become familiar with how their breasts normally feel. Any changes should be promptly reported to their health-care providers. Don't procrastinate.
  • Women who have a strong family history, a genetic tendency, or have already had breast cancer should talk with their doctors about the benefits and limitations of starting mammography screening earlier, of having more frequent clinical exams, or of having additional screening tests such as a breast ultrasound or MRI.

    While the search for a cure continues, these screening guidelines have proven to be useful for increasing the likelihood of detecting breast cancer at an early stage, thereby facilitating a good response to treatment. But their benefit depends on adherence.

    Far too many Holy Spirit-led women are failing to take advantage of these simple and effective screening methods. Don't let fear, myths and old wives tales prevent you from getting a breast exam and mammogram. Become proactive in preserving your health so that you might experience the blessing of a long and healthy life. read more

  • Approaching the Change

    Janet Maccaro, Ph.D., CNC, recommends the following steps for coping with symptoms of peri-menopause or menopause:

    1. Manage your stress. Forgive past hurts and apologize to those you may have wronged in the past. Make sure to get enough sleep. Exercise daily. Eliminate sugar as much as possible. Fellowship daily. read more

    Get Up and Go!

    In her book Finally FIT!, Lorraine Bossé-Smith points out the benefits of keeping active. Exercise, she writes, will reduce stress, improve the quality of your sleep, give you more energy, maintain healthier muscles and joints, increase bone density, decrease blood pressure, reduce your chances of becoming depressed and make you feel better about yourself. So what are you waiting for? Get up and get going! read more

    Got Chocolate

    According to medical doctor Don Colbert, a recent study shows that chocolate--the dark variety, that is--can be good for you. Dark chocolate, Colbert says, contains high levels of flavonoids, an antioxidant that protects the heart and blood vessels from the damaging stress of free radicals. This beloved treat can actually increase the levels of antioxidants in the blood by about 20 percent! Colbert recommends restraint, however, because the high sugar content of most chocolate candy causes more health problems than chocolate can protect you from. So if you get chocolate, get only the dark--and eat it only in moderation. read more

    Did You Know...

    That many of our modern-day medicines are derived from herbs? That's because "herbal plants are time-tested and approved sources of healing," writes nutritionist and women's health specialist Janet Maccaro in her book, Natural Health Remedies: An A-Z Family Guide. Though some Americans are still skeptical, Europeans have used herbs as medicines for centuries. So the next time you're ill, consider asking your doctor for an herbal alternative to the medicine he prescribes. It may provide the same benefit without the negative side effects! read more

    The Powerful Human Connection

    The time you spend in interaction with others can dramatically affect your physical health.

    One evening I was called to an old, ramshackle home out in the country to examine a home death. When I arrived at the house, a deputy met me at the door. "Doc, sure looks natural. The old lady's been up here, all alone, for years. Never left the house. Never had any visitors. Never went to the doctor—not that I can blame her."

    He looked rather suspiciously toward me as I ducked to enter the undersized door, ignoring his slight to the medical profession. He continued his soliloquy: "She had a friend who brought her food and supplies. Her friend found her here this evening and called us." read more

    Proper Nutrition and Recovery from Eating Disorders

    In his book Hope, Help and Healing for Eating Disorders (Shaw, 2002), Christian psychologist and certified eating disorder specialist Gregory L. Jantz, Ph.D., offers a body-mind-spirit approach to healing from eating disorders.

    Jantz advocates proper nutrition as an important and often overlooked aspect of treatment for eating disorders. His nutrition-based rehabilitation program starts with nutrients that support the body systems most compromised by an eating disorder and works toward restoration of a person's complete nutritional health.

    As a person recovering from an eating disorder works toward making healthy eating choices, Jantz offers the following guidelines, which he has adapted from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: read more

    They Call It Puppy Love

    Pets of every kind warm our hearts, not just puppies. Now studies show that they can make us healthier.


    For many years I cared for patients at nursing homes. I loved the afternoons I would spend with them. I made sure to touch them and to give them a hug.

    More often than not, when I made rounds at the nursing home, I'd bring one of my children with me. The patients loved seeing the kids and talking to them. read more

    Healthy Living


    Detoxing Made Easy

    Linda Page, author of the book Detoxification, explains why there is a need to help your body detoxify itself: "The environmental toxins of modern-day life that we're exposed to—the pollutants, chemicals, other synthetic substances—are more than the average body can handle. The body doesn't know what to do with foreign substances, so it will store them outside of the regular elimination system, so we don't get poisoned. Those poisons start building up in our body fat."

    Her weekend detox program involves drinking fruit juice—a whole lot of juice and little else—which, according to her, pushes these toxins out of your system. read more

    Fighting the Flu

    This season get the facts on how to keep your family healthy.

    In the past few years there has been much attention focused on the potential for a bird flu or swine flu pandemic that it's easy to lose sight of the perils of the regular flu season. The flu is more common than many people realize. In the United States, the flu season may begin as early as October and last until May, peaking between December and March.

    The overall impact varies from year to year, but the CDC reports that 5 percent to 20 percent of the population gets the flu every year with more than 200,000 hospitalized for flu complications. Even more alarming is that approximately 36,000 people die each year from the flu (see www.cdc.gov/flu/keyfacts.htm). read more

    What You Should Know About Cervical Cancer and HPV

    Cervical cancer begins in the cervix, which is the part of the uterus that opens to the vagina. It has become rare in the United States in recent years because most women get Pap tests that detect it before it starts or find it early enough to treat it easily.

    IMPORTANCE OF REGULAR PAP TESTS
    A Pap test, which is conducted during a pelvic exam, helps doctors identify early changes in the cervix that might lead to cancer. read more

    Six Natural Weapons to Fight Diabetes

    We often hear about avoiding the foods and beverages that can raise our risk of developing diabetes such as alcohol, fast food, processed meats, high-sugar foods, soft drinks and so on. But according to the October 2006 issue of Shape magazine, here are six things you should add to your diet to arm your body's defenses in this battle: read more

    Protecting Your Eyes From the Sun

    Some researchers are predicting that UV-related eye disorders will increase over the next decade due to thinning of the ozone layer and an increased interest in outdoor activities among Americans. These eye problems include macular degeneration, cataracts, pterygium (a growth on the white of the eye that can eventually block vision), skin cancer around the eyelids and photokeratitis (corneal sunburn).

    "We can't stress enough how important it is to protect your eyes every day from the sun," says Daniel D. Garrett, senior vice president of Prevent Blindness America on their Web site. "Even when the weather is overcast, the sun still emits intense, harmful rays." read more

    Fear Not the Mosquito!

    Don’t let this summertime nuisance run you and your family indoors. Get all the facts on West Nile Virus.

    It's that time of year again for picnics, camping trips, water sports—and mosquitoes. Although the summer months used to evoke excitement among many people, today they seem to evoke fear. Rather than anticipating fun-filled activities with family and friends, many people dread mosquito dodging.

    The media has done an effective job of alarming people of the dangers of bug-borne diseases. But the Bible tells us: "God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind" (2 Tim 1:7, NKJV). Therefore, fear no mosquitoes! Instead, try arming yourself with knowledge. read more

    The New Drug Abusers

    Even with medications that are legally prescribed and dispensed, the potential for addiction is high.

    When we consider the subject of drug abuse and addiction, stereotypes abound. Many of us, upon hearing the term “drug addict,” envision a young to middle-aged unemployed male who has a tendency toward criminal behavior and possibly a history of incarceration. Our mental image would include strained or estranged family relationships, more than likely a deadbeat dad who's irresponsible, untrustworthy and always in need of a loan. His church attendance might be only on Mother's Day and Easter-and even then only after a fair degree of coercion or a guilt-laden plea. He is certainly not a believer.

    What we are not likely to envision is the doting grandmother who attends church regularly and organizes the Bible study for seniors. She's the one who always has a pleasant smile and encouraging words, whose “thorn in the flesh” is a bad case of arthritis with a little insomnia. Addicted to drugs? Abusing drugs? God forbid! read more

    Prescription For a Highly Healthy Holiday

    If you’re celebrating more but enjoying it less, a few small changes will help you enter into the joy of the season.

    When I entered the exam room, I found Erin staring blankly out the window. She looked as if she was in another world. The note from my nurse said only, "Post-holiday depression. Wants to talk."

    As I pulled out my stool and had a seat, I greeted her. "Good morning, Erin. What's up?" read more

    How to Lower Your Risks for Breast Cancer

    Becoming knowledgeable about this disease will help you ward off its most damaging effects.


    A FEW MONTHS AGO, one of the nurses in my office announced she was participating in a walking marathon. She was garnering support from the physicians and staff members asking that we make a pledge in her name.

    She shared with me her apprehension about the event. The date was fast approaching and, since she wasn't a regular walker, she was quite concerned about whether she'd be physically fit enough to meet the challenge. This event, the American Cancer Society's "Making Strides Against Breast Cancer" walk, held special meaning for her, and she was determined to participate, no matter what. read more

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