Sunday, January 30, 2011

There Are NO Shortcuts To Good Health

I'm pulling together information from various sources for my new Backyard Herbalist article, it is tentatively titled "There Are No Shortcuts...". I want to address the modern mindset of "a pill for every ill", or the belief that the law of cause and effect can be suspended by the wonders of modern medicine. Part of the article will deal with the overuse of steroids, particularly Prednisone. Excerpts of what I've discovered:
*Osteoporosis can occur within a matter of months. Steroids cause 8 per cent reduction in bone mass after four months (Ann Int Med, November 15, 1993), the equivalent of the effect on your bones of having your ovaries removed. Even low doses of inhaled steroids (400 micrograms per day) reduce bone formation (The Lancet, July 6, 1991).
*Low doses (10-15 mg prednisone) for a year can cause cataracts (Surv Ophthalmol, 1986; 31: 260-2).
*Topical steroids may begin to cause eye damage or raise pressure after two weeks. Extensive visual loss can be caused by a 1 per cent hydrocortisone ointment, which is available OTC (BMJ, August 20-27, 1994).
*Rub-on steroids have caused Cushing's syndrome in children as soon as a month after treatment has begun (Arch Dis Child, 1982; 57: 204-7).
*Inhaled steroids slow growth in children after six weeks (Acta Ped, 1993; 82: 636-40. See also, The Lancet, December 14, 1991).

Steroids don't take years to damage your system, as doctors maintain. Permanent, crippling damage can occur weeks after you've begun treatment. Like antibiotics, steroids are one of the most abused class of drugs in the orthodox field of medicine. At one time, they were reserved for the extreme emergency cases. Today, they are being used on the most trivial of conditions. Why? They give the appearance of an instant miracle cure which matches the expectation level of the client. So, many doctors and veterinarians turn to steroids as the first, rather than the last, line of attack for their anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic effects. Steroids mimic the action of the adrenal glands, the body's most powerful regulator of general metabolism. Far from being a wonder drug, steroids cannot cure one single condition. All they do is suppress the body's ability to express a normal response.

The medical community seems to have a particular blind spot about these drugs, refusing to believe that steroids can cause the terrible carnage that the manufacturers have long admitted to. For over 30 years we've known that steroids can routinely cause over-activity of adrenal hormones, which produces Cushing's disease. They can also cause muscle wasting, hyperglycemia, water retention, bruising, insomnia, serious mood changes, menstrual problems, impotence, loss of libido, or even allergic shock and diabetes. (Source: Physicians Desk Reference).

Daily low doses of a commonly prescribed oral steroid, prednisone, can double your risk of hip fractures and cataracts, scientists reported today. Researchers have long known of the link between higher doses of oral steroids and dangerous side effects, but the new study shows the potential for side effects at much lower doses, says Dr. John B. Wong, an associate professor of medicine at Tufts-New England Medical Center in Boston. The problem is that prednisone and other steroid medications are critical in managing diseases in which inflammation plays a painful role, Wong says.

So what would I do to avoid steroids if I had a condition that might be helped by them? I would read and study the information from this site, much of the information here was directly taken from that site. I would buy this book. I would take this product along with a good quality fish oil. I would study and believe that God must have a solution for this problem, just as He does for all of our problems. I feel that in the case of steroids we have traded discomfort for chronic, debilitating conditions. And that's not a bet that I'm willing to take.

Monday, January 24, 2011

What Does Not Irritate You To Death.....

What does not irritate you to death makes you stronger. My motto for the past weekend. :D A little background, we live in a drafty, old, uninsulated farmhouse. Possibly romantic in the abstract, but frustrating in the concrete. For the second time this winter the pipes froze in the barn leaving us waterless in the house, it still isn't back on. Cooking is well nigh impossible with no water, bathing doesn't happen and 10 people using a toilet that can't flush....well, just imagine the possibilities! We melted snow to wash hands and used that water to flush the toilet when it became a matter of public safety. Mr. G bought a couple of jugs of water to brush teeth with and we ate Domino's for lunch and soup and sandwiches for supper since we could do that without water. Still, all in all, it could be a lot worse. We had a big pile of beautiful, fragrant cherry firewood to burn, food and relatively warm beds to cuddle into. All of the important things. Mr. G hopes the water will be working soon (he's been messing with it all day) because he really needs a shower before he heads to work. :-) We spent the evening last night listening to Mr. G read The Hobbit to us, FYI Asa shares Bilbo and Frodo's birthday so how cool is that?

Then the Men cleaned their guns and oiled their boots, Asa is obsessed with Aleks and wanted to "help" with the gun cleaning. He rubbed that cloth up and down the barrel for ever!

We are counting down until the official arrival of Spring which could be in as little as 3 weeks! It begins for us when the sap commences to rise in the trees and sugaring begins.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

All better!

After a tense day yesterday Asa woke up this morning feeling more like himself. It's amazing how his pain effected the whole house, his singing voice today brought the smiles out again! He was very feverish all day yesterday and very feverish all night long, though I gave him Tylenol it seemed to offer no relief at all. And I worried, oh how I worried about him. I don't currently have a thermometer, but I'm sure that I only would have worried more if I could have known what his body was really doing. I had to remind myself over and over that if he doesn't seem overly sick, then he isn't sick. I got some homeopathic stuff today so we'll see what that does, but he's had a good day so far. I have such a tendency toward self doubt, I long for a community of others to bolster my confidence in myself and our body's ability to heal itself. You guys are the closest thing I have. Thanks a lot to all of you for your suggestions and prayers. Mr. G and I both prayed for him last night and I think out of everything we tried, that offered the most help.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Poor, poor baby

My poor baby is teething hard! He has always been a hard teether, but I saw marked improvement when he began to wear his amber teething necklace. Today, however, it just isn't doing the trick. He's cutting 2 eye teeth plus a molar or two and he's feverish, drooly and unhappy. Katie made him an allspice necklace this afternoon, he's chewed on a frozen carrot and had herbal tea. All with little effect. Does anybody have an other suggestions? I'm out of clove oil, have no rum in the house or real vanilla......

Monday, January 3, 2011

witness the women

Hello everyone, I hope you enjoyed your holidays. I have enjoyed not blogging, but as usual something happens and my thoughts begin to whirl. ;-) I've been thinking about feminism (Chessa wrote something on Facebook that started it) and our foremothers. I promise I won't have a blog post tirade about the evils of feminism, I'll assume that's understood. Instead I want to recount and remind you of the incredible moral strength, physical strength, and character that these women possessed. I read a lot of diaries and letters collections and I am awe struck at what they faced with their chin up, trials that would floor me. How they followed husbands into new lands where whites hadn't been before, how they buried husbands and made their way on alone, how they buried child after child after child and went on living. That they dealt with starvation and deprivation the likes of which we can't even comprehend. And it didn't break them! I think of how little it takes to unnerve me and it makes me ashamed of myself. I think of their reliance on God and I realize what a pathetic Christian I am. I recall Anna Briggs Bentley writing that after her husband and children were in bed she would wash their socks and darn them. Each only had one pair and she would do this service every night. I think about Cornelia Peake MacDonald and how she bartered and bargained so that her children could have shoes. How she scrimped and contrived so that they could eat. I think of the women in the South left to run farms because their men were away repelling the invader. And I wonder, are we stronger women today than they were? We have it so much easier, but I think it has made us lazy and indolent. I want to possess the character that I read about. I want to have that reliance on God and myself that will allow me to float with the waves and not be drown.