Column: Management of Chronic Pain
Management of Chronic Pain
Stress and Chronic Pain
Obviously, there is no single magic cure for chronic pain. Unless treatment is at the root level there will not be any abatement in suffering. A realistic solution lies in a holistic approach by integrating immediate relief techniques along with behavioral therapy of modern medicine and strengthening techniques of ancient wisdom like Ayurveda, Acupuncture, Yoga and Mind-Body medicine.
KV, July 2003
Breast Cancer and Diet
Researchers from the Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston examined the relationship between dietary fat intake and breast cancer risk among 90,655 premenopausal women ages 26 to 46 who were participating in the Nurses' Health Study II. The study of premenopausal women suggests that high intake of animal fat, especially from red meat and dairy products, is associated with an increase in risk of breast cancer. The increase was associated with intake of animal fat (red meat and high-fat dairy foods) and not vegetable fat. Intakes of both saturated and monounsaturated fat were associated with modest elevations in breast cancer risk.
Another study, published in July 18th week Lancet medical journal, conducted at Cambridge University in England and involved 13,070 women who kept diet records from 1993-97, concluded that those who average more than 90 grams of fat a day have roughly double the risk of those who eat just 37 grams. Women who ate a higher-fat diet were not necessarily fatter; but once the researchers adjusted the results to eliminate skewing by other factors promoting breast cancer, such body weight and total calories eaten, the women who ate the most saturated fat had twice the breast cancer risk as those who ate the least. Most of the fat in the women's diets was saturated fat, that comes from animal-based food such as meat, fish and dairy products.
A study to be published in the journal Nature Medicine
finds that low-level exposure to cadmium, a heavy metal used in batteries,
pigments and alloys, and found in some foods and air pollution, increased
the risk of breast cancer in rats. Chronic cadmium exposure has already been
linked to bone and kidney disease. The findings suggest cadmium exposure
could be hazardous to women's health
Doting and Longevity
A new theory suggests that natural selection favors animals capable of devoting energy and resources to insuring survival of the next generation. After birth, all mammals, birds, many insects and some fish nurture their offspring. Post-reproductive bottle nose dolphins and pilot whales, for instance, babysit, guard and even breastfeed their grandchildren. And in certain primates, the gender that provides the primary care to offspring tends to have a higher life expectancy. This suggests that nurturing behavior and longevity evolved together over time. The hypothesis appears in the Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences Online Early Edition the week of July 14. This work was supported by the National Institute on Aging (NIA), part of the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The thoery was proposed by Ronald D. Lee, Ph.D., of University of California, Berkeley.
FDA Supports Healthy Food
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced an initiative to help consumers obtain accurate, up-to-date, and science-based information about the health consequences of these products. In a report issued, FDA's Task Force on Consumer Health Information for Better Nutrition unveiled a process for FDA to review such health claims. This process will rely on expertise from the Agency for Healthcare Quality Research and other government agencies, coupled with enhanced consumer studies, to review health claims before they appear in food labeling. In addition to the report, FDA is announcing enhanced enforcement activity against dietary supplement manufacturers and others who make misleading claims about health benefits that are not based on science.
The report also highlighted the key areas where FDA intends to focus these efforts on providing better nutrition information and health messages to consumers in the coming months:
The scientific information in support of these health benefits has led to their inclusion in recommendations from various scientific organizations, including such government agencies as the National Cancer Institute and the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute as well as non-governmental organizations such as the American Heart Association. In addition, the "Five a Day" campaign is a hallmark of health education programs throughout the Department of Health and Human Services.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Trans Fatty Acids
Until now, trans fat didn't get the attention its infamous cousin, saturated fat, earned through government warnings and labels. That's about to change, now that the government is requiring food labels to reveal exact levels of the artery clogger. Doughnuts, french fries, crackers and fried chicken are just some of the tasty foods that include trans fat. But it is as dangerous to the heart as saturated fat and many doctors consider it worse. Food and Drug Administration regulations unveiled on 9th require nutrition labels to include a new line listing the amount of trans fat in each food right under the amount of saturated fat. Studies have suggested that trans fats may be worse for the heart than unhealthy saturated fats. They can raise levels of "bad" LDL cholesterol and lower levels of "good" HDL cholesterol.
Research shows that violent behavior toward a romantic partner is difficult to change. More needs to be done to develop prevention programs that identify major risk factors for partner violence before adult relationships develop. According to a report in the August issue of the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, published by the American Psychological Association (APA), children who regularly receive excessive punishment and who witness their parents using violence against each other are at increased risk of being involved in an abusive relationship as an adult. The 20-year study followed children into adult romantic relationships. In partner violence cases that result in injury, the study finds that being the victim of physical abuse and conduct disorders as a child are also important risk factors.
Coronary Heart Disease
Diet v. Statin Drugs
A low-fat vegetarian diet may lower bad cholesterol levels as well as widely-prescribed statin drugs. That's the finding of a small study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association that reinforces a non-drug approach for people who can't or don't want to take cholesterol-lowering medications. The study looked at 46 men and women with high cholesterol. Sixteen of the participants were assigned to eat a strict vegetarian diet high in fiber, soy protein, almonds, and other foods shown to be beneficial to healthy cholesterol levels. Another 16 people followed a very low-fat but not vegetarian diet, and the remaining 14 followed the low-fat diet and also took 20 milligrams of the statin drug lovastatin daily. At the end of the month, people in the vegetarian group had an average drop in LDL cholesterol of 28.6 percent, while those in the low-fat-plus-statin group had a 30.9 percent reduction in LDL levels. Both groups also had similar reductions in C-reactive protein, a marker of heart disease risk.
Bad News For Ice Cream Lovers
A study released the week of July 21 by the Center for Science in the Public Interest has some bad news for ice cream lovers. The study involved a nutritional analysis of ice cream treats offered at Baskin-Robbins, Cold Stone Creamery, Friendly's, Ben and Jerry's and TCBY. The study found that some of the regular sundaes and treats can have as much fat and calories as a rack of ribs, a steak dinner or two pan pizzas.
Edible Food Wrap
Music and Memory
Children with music training had significantly better verbal memory than their counterparts without such training, according to a new study, reported by psychologists at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, that appears in the July issue of Neuropsychology. The longer the training, the better the verbal memory. These findings underscore how, when experience changes a specific brain region, other skills that region supports may also benefit. This cognitive side effect may help people recovering from brain injury as well as healthy children.
Happy People are Immune to Cold
People who are energetic, happy and relaxed are less likely to catch colds, while those who are depressed, nervous or angry are more likely to complain about cold symptoms, whether or not they get bitten by the cold bug, according to a recent study reported by researchers from Carnegie Mellon University the July issue of Psychosomatic Medicine.
(Lead the world from wrong path to the right path, from ignorance to knowledge, from mortality to immortality and peace!)
One World One Family