Citizens Report https://www.citizensreport.org a digital channel commited to health & medical rights. Sun, 22 Apr 2018 17:22:53 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.5 https://www.citizensreport.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/cropped-cr-icon-1-32x32.png Citizens Report https://www.citizensreport.org 32 32 High school parents should be concerned about ‘Juuling.’ https://www.citizensreport.org/2018/04/22/high-school-parents-should-be-concerned-about-juuling/ Sun, 22 Apr 2018 17:22:53 +0000 http://www.citizensreport.org/?p=12257 What Is Juuling? Why Is It Dangerous? Juul is a premium brand of e-cigarette that is often called the iPhone of vaporizers. Unfortunately, the product has become popular among high schoolers, and this is a dangerous trend. The product can be quite addictive. However, many teens have the misconception that premium brands of vaporizers are […]

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What Is Juuling? Why Is It Dangerous?

Juul is a premium brand of e-cigarette that is often called the iPhone of vaporizers. Unfortunately, the product has become popular among high schoolers, and this is a dangerous trend. The product can be quite addictive. However, many teens have the misconception that premium brands of vaporizers are safe to use. These are some of the most serious vaping dangerers associated with this product:

1. Additives In The Products Could Be Harmful

Many people have a misconception that the products do not contain additives, but this couldn’t be any further from the truth. In fact, there are numerous artificial additives in the product. Some of the additives may have dangers that have not been discovered yet, such as carcinogenic properties.

2. E-Liquids Often Contain High Doses Of Nicotine

The only difference in the nicotine dosage of cigarettes and electronic cigarettes is that electronic cigarettes give a measured dose of nicotine. However, the nicotine dosage in electronic cigarettes can be as high as conventional cigarettes. This means that they have the same addictive potential as cigarettes. If someone becomes addicted to nicotine, they often suffer from withdrawal symptoms if they attempt to stop consuming it. These are some of the most common nicotine withdrawal symptoms:

Irritability
Headaches
Dizziness
Anxiety
Difficulty concentrating

Each pack of e-liquid contains as much nicotine as a pack of cigarettes. This is the equivalent to 200 puffs of a cigarette.

3. Some Teenagers Are Unaware That They Contain Nicotine

An astonishing 37 percent of teenagers are unaware that these products contain nicotine. Some even identify using Juul e-cigarettes as different than vaping. In fact, around 25% of teenagers do not consider using them to be vaping. They even have their own name for using them. They refer to it as Juuling instead of vaping.

4. The Products Have An Appealing Scent

Many teenagers avoid starting a nicotine habit due to an aversion to the smell of cigarettes. However, this is not a concern of teenagers who are considering using these electronic cigarettes. This is because these products have sweet flavors like mango and creme brulee. As a result, teens may be more likely to use them and become addicted to nicotine as a result.

5. Juul Can Be Easily Concealed

The products are extremely small, and they can easily fit in pockets. In fact, they have an appearance that is similar to a thumb drive. Not only does this make teenagers more likely to try them, but it makes it more difficult for adults to know if they are using them.

6. Nicotine May Impede Brain Development

High schoolers have brains that have underdeveloped regions that are responsible for impulse control and risk assessment. If these areas of the brain never fully develop, an individual may continue to make poor decisions as an adult. It also may increase teenagers’ risk of developing a mental illness in adulthood.

7. They Are Bad For The Entire Respiratory System

Electronic cigarettes can cause progressive damage to the tissue in the lungs. Also, they can irritate other regions of the respiratory system, such as the nose. While they might not appear to be as “harsh” as tobacco smoke, the progressive damage to the respiratory system that can occur from using them can be similar.

8. The Risks Have Not Been Thoroughly Studied By The FDA

E-cigarettes are not FDA regulated. Not only does this mean that the risks have not been fully studied, but it also means that the FDA does not consider using them is a safe way to attempt to quit smoking cigarettes. Furthermore, the lack of regulation means that there are no ways to know for sure what is in a vape juice. Therefore, there could be vaping dangers that haven’t even been discovered.

9. It’s Bad For The Cardiovascular System

It is thought that nicotine is damaging to both the heart and blood vessels. This effect is likely to be a particularly serious concern for teenagers who already suffer from heart problems. Nicotine intake has been shown to increase an individual’s risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke.

10. High Schoolers Who Use Electronic Cigarettes Could Become More Likely To Make Other Poor Decisions

Teenagers who begin using electronic cigarettes might become more inclined to try other substances, such as alcohol or even illegal drugs. This could result in addiction and could even be life-threatening.

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Is Diet Soda Killing Us? https://www.citizensreport.org/2018/04/21/is-diet-soda-killing-us/ Sat, 21 Apr 2018 17:24:27 +0000 http://www.citizensreport.org/?p=12251 Is Diet Soda Killing You? Millions of people drink diet soda daily. It has quickly become one of the most popular beverages in the entire world. One could say it is addictive! Research is being done on these sodas that may surprise many people. One of the ingredients in these drinks, aspartame, is an artificial […]

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Is Diet Soda Killing You?

Millions of people drink diet soda daily. It has quickly become one of the most popular beverages in the entire world. One could say it is addictive! Research is being done on these sodas that may surprise many people. One of the ingredients in these drinks, aspartame, is an artificial sweetener that has been used for decades in sodas and beverages for those who are looking to cut out sugar. The problem is that this sweetener may be worse for drinkers than sugar itself.

Aspartame is an additive in most diet sodas. It is a sweetening agent that has been used in food and beverages. Recent research suggests that this sweetener may be causing terrible health problems that will eventually cause death in those avid diet beverage consumers.

Products with Aspartame

There are many products that contain this artificial sweetener. Many diet drinks, sugar free breath mints and gums, flavored waters, sugar free cereals, sugar free condiments, and more all contain this sweetener. Millions of people are ingesting it everyday without being aware of the side effects.

Side Effects of Drinking Diet Soda

There are many side effects of drinking too much diet soda and one of the major ones is the high risk of various types of cancers. Research is now showing a huge increase in cancer for people who have had too much artificial sweetener. The increase is over 300%! Cancers such as liver cancer, lung cancer, brain cancer, and breast cancer have been connected with this sweetener, yet people continue to drink these beverages.

This sweetener is also associated with making cases of diabetes even worse. Many diabetics drink this sugar free drinks because of their sugar levels, but the fact that these drinks is making them worse is a huge concern. Studies have been done for over 15 years stating that the cases of diabetes in these soda consumers have gotten worse because they drink them everyday. Those who did not drink them everyday showed little or no change. For these beverages to be something that doctors started to recommend, this is a scary thought for those with diabetes.

Another side effect of these sugar free drinks is that they can cause horrible mood swings and even trigger anger and violence in people. Sounds crazy right? But the research has shown that drinking these beverages has lead to mental problems and even depression. Many doctors blame the withdrawal symptoms of the sweetener.

By looking at this research, it is safe to say that drinking these sodas can cause health problems. These sodas could be slowly killing the world one drink at a time.

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Marijuana-derived drug for epilepsy gets FDA ‘thumbs up’ https://www.citizensreport.org/2018/04/21/marijuana-derived-drug-for-epilepsy-gets-fda-thumbs-up/ Sat, 21 Apr 2018 16:51:47 +0000 http://www.citizensreport.org/?p=12246 First Cannabis-based Medicine Gets FDA Approval Thursday, the UK company, GW Pharmaceuticals made history by becoming the first company to get FDA approval for their prescription cannabidiol medicine. While the FDA is opposed to smoking marijuana to treat an array of chronic conditions, this move opens doors to derivatives of cannabis for additional treatments. Desperately […]

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First Cannabis-based Medicine Gets FDA Approval

Thursday, the UK company, GW Pharmaceuticals made history by becoming the first company to get FDA approval for their prescription cannabidiol medicine. While the FDA is opposed to smoking marijuana to treat an array of chronic conditions, this move opens doors to derivatives of cannabis for additional treatments.

Desperately Seeking Cures

In the last decade, The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved almost 90 drugs for Neurology. None among them were cures, and for many, none of those promising remedies were meaningfully effective, but researchers say this new CBD-based liquid, Epidiolex, is significantly effective in treating seizures.

Epilepsy, a neurological disease, is a disease of the nervous system, due to an abnormal response of the cerebral cortex to stimuli of various kinds. It is more frequent in children and adolescents until puberty, and may be caused by injuries of the brain, or by an alteration of the function of nerve cells. It’s characterized by sudden seizures, and while it can affect the entire body, these manifestations are usually a loss of consciousness and by sensory, psychic or motor alterations, are mostly localized to an arm, half-face or half-body. Nearly four percent of the U.S. population suffer from epilepsy.

But There Are Hurdles

Although there are always indications of beneficial effects of marijuana, doctors are reluctant to prescribe it and insurers are unwilling to cover the costs. This is unlikely to change until clinical evidence of cannabis efficacy and safety is in place. Prohibition laws have made it difficult to conduct large-scale marijuana clinical trials in the past, but it’s becoming easier to research cannabis now that pro-pot laws are passed.

In order to move forward, and have more cannabidiol-based medicines approved, study data is needed to prove their efficacy and safety. “It’s vital for physicians to be sure these medicines are carefully formulated, and quality and quantity remain the same, month after month,” says Dr. Orrin Devinsky, of NYU Langone Epilepsy Center.

GW Pharmaceuticals has already been approved in several European markets for the THC-based drug Sativex, which treats muscle spasms in multiple sclerosis patients. This was their first flagship product which uses a 50-50 mix of CBD and THC, and approved by the UK and 20 other countries. In placebo-controlled clinical trials, Epidiolex reduced seizures by approximately 40 percent in patients with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, a rare childhood epilepsy. Patients with Dravet syndrome, another rare form of epilepsy, have also successfully reduced seizures. This is impressive because both diseases are highly resistant to existing anti-epileptic drugs.

What’s Next?

In 2015, GW Pharmaceuticals began studies designed to evaluate the effect of Sativex on thousands of cancer pain patients. The worldwide acceptance of CBD and THC based medicines will help pave the way for clinical trials on a wide array of medical issues, and doctors have their eyes set on autism and chronic inflammatory diseases next.

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4 Natural Alternatives To Energy Drinks That Will Make You Feel Healthier https://www.citizensreport.org/2018/02/19/energy-drinks-natural-alternatives/ Mon, 19 Feb 2018 06:52:41 +0000 http://www.citizensreport.org/?p=12206 Energy drinks may come with hidden dangers. Consuming nature-based energizers can reduce the risks linked to energy drinks, including high blood pressure, heart problems and other health concerns. Choosing healthier alternatives, like metabolism-boosting water with lemon or an antioxidant-packed smoothie, can help prevent health issues in the future. Lemon Water Water is the purest form […]

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Energy drinks may come with hidden dangers. Consuming nature-based energizers can reduce the risks linked to energy drinks, including high blood pressure, heart problems and other health concerns.

Choosing healthier alternatives, like metabolism-boosting water with lemon or an antioxidant-packed smoothie, can help prevent health issues in the future.

Lemon Water

Water is the purest form of hydration, and starting the day with a glass of lemon water can provide multiple benefits. Adding a squirt of lemon juice is a flavor-packed way to boost the body’s metabolic processes, facilitate cell growth and stimulate energy production.

Even the smell of lemon provides an energy boost, according to research published in the Journal of UOEH.Lemon-infused water is also packed with electrolytes to help to treat a headache, fatigue and other symptoms of low energy. Research shows water with lemon can provide nutrients to improve blood pressure, reduce the risk of kidney stones, provide vitamin C and more.

Green Tea

Green tea contains less caffeine than energy drinks, and it comes with added nutrients. The powerful health elixir contains the amino acid L-theanine, which combines with caffeine in a way that limits the unpleasant, jittery reaction from coffee, according to research in the Journal of Nutrition Reviews.

As an alternative to coffee, the energy from green tea may also improve mental clarity. Green tea also reduces the risk of heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and cancer. Additional benefits of green tea consumption include weight loss and stress relief.

Smoothies

Smoothiesespecially green smoothies—can be a source of essential energy-producing vitamins. B complex vitamins, such asB1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9 and B12, are key to metabolic functioning, which allows the body to make and use energy properly. Without B vitamins, the body can’t get up and get moving. 

Adding vitamin B powders or spirulina to smoothies, in addition to green, leafy vegetables like spinach, kale and broccoli. The whole foods in these frozen concoctions can be transferred into energy, along with vitamins. Check out vitamin-packed smoothie recipes for fresh, nutritious ideas. 

Protein Shakes

Maintaining an adequate protein intake is essential to feeling energized, especially for vegans and vegetarians.  If the body doesn’t receive enough protein, fatigue starts to become a way of life. 

Good sources of natural protein aren’t just protein powders, but powders that can be mixed with almonds, peanut butter, chia or flax. Protein provides the body with essential amino acids that are necessary for the cells to function. The U.S. Department of Agriculture offers a free tool to calculate the proper amount of protein for your body weight. 

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NBC Nightly News Publishes Expose On IVC Filters https://www.citizensreport.org/2018/02/18/nbc-news-ivc-filters/ https://www.citizensreport.org/2018/02/18/nbc-news-ivc-filters/#respond Sun, 18 Feb 2018 22:40:24 +0000 http://www.citizensreport.org/?p=10674 NBC Nightly News investigated controversial medical devices, known as IVC filters, used to prevent blood clots. The news organization separated their findings into broadcasted segments to show how unsafe filters impact consumers and illustrate that manufacturers knew about design flaws. 27 Fatalities And Other Complications Part one of the investigative series revealed that 27 individuals […]

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NBC Nightly News investigated controversial medical devices, known as IVC filters, used to prevent blood clots. The news organization separated their findings into broadcasted segments to show how unsafe filters impact consumers and illustrate that manufacturers knew about design flaws.

27 Fatalities And Other Complications

Part one of the investigative series revealed that 27 individuals died from IVC filter problems in the last decade. In addition, there were 300 reports of other complications. The device in question, C.R. Bard’s Recovery filter, is implanted in the inferior vena cava vein to stop blood clots.

One of the thousands of people implanted with IVC filters, a 45-year-old woman named Dodi Froehlich, nearly died when a part of the IVC filter broke off and moved to her heart. She had the device implanted after a car accident that made her more susceptible to clotting, NBC reports.

Another woman, 55-year-old Gloria Adams, died after a powerful blood clot propelled the entire spider-like IVC device to her heart. The filter was meant to protect her after a brain aneurysm.

One of the main components of the investigation is an attempt to find out if C.R. Bard knew about the device failures and health risks.

Hiding Study Results To Sell Products

Patients began to speak out about complications. Instead of issuing a recall, C.R. Bard hired a public relations firm for damage control. Simultaneously, the device manufacturer privately researched IVC filter complications.

The study showed that the IVC filter Recovery model was associated with a greater risk of fracture, migration and early death. C.R. Bard kept the results hidden and continued to sell thousands of rebranded filters, NBC reports.

Despite initial difficulties with FDA clearance and insufficient clinical trials, the company claims that the product meet federal safety standards. Representatives from C.R. Bard issued a statement that IVC filters offer “significant benefits to patients.”

Kay Fuller, a regulatory affairs specialist hired by Bard to help get FDA approval the second time around, noticed safety issues and reported them to the FDA. NBC investigators discovered that Fuller’s signature on the FDA application appears to be forged, which she confirmed in an interview with the news organization.

NBC reports that more than 20,000 people are implanted with IVC filters. Individuals who experienced complications may be entitled to a lawsuit.

Request a free case evaluation to learn more about compensation opportunities.

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Good Sugar, Bad Sugar: Why You Should Eat More Fruit https://www.citizensreport.org/2018/02/16/health-impacts-sugar/ Fri, 16 Feb 2018 17:25:58 +0000 http://www.citizensreport.org/?p=12149 Sugar is a sweet, soluble chemical found in candies, cookies and fruits. Though all sugars are composed of the same chemicals, there’s a big difference in how the source of sugar may impact your body. A cookie—no matter how delicious—doesn’t have the same kind of nutrients as a piece of fruit. As a simple carbohydrate, sugar is converted […]

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Sugar is a sweet, soluble chemical found in candies, cookies and fruits. Though all sugars are composed of the same chemicals, there’s a big difference in how the source of sugar may impact your body. A cookie—no matter how delicious—doesn’t have the same kind of nutrients as a piece of fruit.

As a simple carbohydrate, sugar is converted into energy by the metabolism. Even though there may be the same amount of sugar in each product, natural and processed sugar sources come with unique health effects. 

Healthy Sugar, Unhealthy Sugar

Processed Food, Added Sugar: Avoid Your Candy

Do you have a sweet tooth? If so, you might be getting your sugar from the wrong sources. Processed foods contain added sugars, which can be found in cookies, candies, juice, soda and even tomato sauce. It’s important to minimize your consumption of processed foods and added sugars, because they can come with negative health effects.

  • Added sugars are found in processed foods. Added sugars are used in approximately 75 percent of packaged U.S. food products. These processed products add unnecessary calories and offer little benefit to the consumer. 
  • Addiction to unhealthy, sugar-laden products has been illustrated in numerous studies. Researchers have compared sugar to drug addiction, illustrating that sugar cravings can be more powerful than cocaine. 
  • Nutrient density is often lacking in processed foods. That’s because synthetic sugars are industrialized and stripped of minerals to produce the potent sweetness.
  • Chronic disease has been linked to sugar consumption. Over time, research shows the consumption of sugar can contribute to the development of issues like cardiovascular disease, fatty liver disease, hypertension, Type 2 diabetes, obesity and kidney disease. 

Organic Food, Natural Sugar: Eat Your Fruit

Natural sugars are found in organic foods, like bananas, apples, kiwis and more. These and other fruits should have a regular place on your plate, as the recommended amount of daily fruit intake is at least 1½ cups for adults. However, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report showed 76 percent of Americans aren’t consuming the recommended amount of fruit. 

  • Natural sugars, found in fruits, are low in calories. In addition to being a guilt-free snack, natural, sweet fruits offer a tasty boost along with numerous health benefits.
  • Nutrient contents are high in organic foods because fruit that contain natural sugars also contain other vitamins and minerals. For example, blueberries alone can provide phosphorous, calcium, magnesium, manganese, zinc and vitamin K.
  • Disease reduction has been linked to daily consumption of fruit. The World Health Organization asserts that fruit can help to reduce the risk of chronic disease, like cancers, heart disease and stroke, whereas foods with added sugars may cause adverse health conditions.
  • Weight control is another benefit of fruit, according to studies. Research shows that fruit’s antioxidants can help to maintain metabolic functioning. One study illustrated that daily consumption of fruit can lead to losing a half-pound over four years.

Next time you reach for a piece of candy, a sugary dessert or another processed item, you may want to pick up a piece of fruit instead. According to researchers, your body will thank you later.

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Weight Loss And Other Benefits Of Apple Cider Vinegar https://www.citizensreport.org/2018/02/15/apple-cider-vinegar-benefits/ Thu, 15 Feb 2018 09:20:48 +0000 http://www.citizensreport.org/?p=12047 Known for its abundance of health benefits, apple cider vinegar is one of the most versatile natural remedies. Studies show the active ingredients in apple cider vinegar can lower the risk of heart disease, limit the likelihood of diabetes, help to prevent cancer and even impact hard-to-lose weight. Though the taste can be a bit […]

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Known for its abundance of health benefits, apple cider vinegar is one of the most versatile natural remedies. Studies show the active ingredients in apple cider vinegar can lower the risk of heart disease, limit the likelihood of diabetes, help to prevent cancer and even impact hard-to-lose weight.

Though the taste can be a bit off-putting, incorporating apple cider vinegar into your daily routine promotes healthy, drug-free weight loss. Depending on the body’s chemistry, a tablespoon a day could be a subtle boost or a big difference.

About Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar’s active ingredient is pectin, a natural fiber found in many fruits. Though it is not a probiotic, apple cider vinegar has similar properties. That’s because it’s a prebiotic, which feeds good bacteria already in our system.

Apple cider vinegar is made from crushed, fermented apples. During the fermentation process, bacteria turn the fermented alcohol base into acetic acid. Acetic acid helps to break down food and improve digestion.

Pectin in apples promotes healthy digestion by encouraging the growth of good bacteria, whereas probiotics are the good bacteria. When ingested, apple cider vinegar helps to relieve gastrointestinal blockages.

Weight Loss Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar

Though some see apple cider vinegar as a baseless trend, its weight loss benefits have been supported by numerous scientific studies.

In 2009, the peer-reviewed Bioscience, Biotechnology and Biochemistry journal published a study illustrating two tablespoons of vinegar led to a thinner waist and lower blood triglycerides. Those who used 1 tablespoon or apple cider vinegar lost 2.6 pounds, while those who took 2 tablespoons lost 3.7 pounds.

Research has also provided insight into how the properties in apple cider vinegar support weight loss, too. Data takeaways show apple cider vinegar maintains stable blood sugar levels, satiates the appetite, accelerates fat burn and detoxifies the body.

Blood sugar maintenance

An article published in the journal Diabetes Care shows apple cider vinegar improves insulin sensitivity and lowers blood glucose responses when you consume high carb meals. For example, when eating 50 grams of white bread, your blood sugar is lowered by 34 percent.

Additionally, consuming 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar before bed can cut fasting blood sugars by 4 percent, according to another study published in Diabetes Care. Blood sugar regulation helps to reduce the risk for pre-diabetics, and lessen symptoms for those with diabetes. Blood sugar maintenance results in a more balanced system of glucose processing, resulting in a weight change.

Appetite suppression

Because apple cider vinegar makes you feel fuller, it can suppress appetite and therefore have a positive impact on weight loss. The key ingredient, acetic acid, is responsible for the satisfaction.

In 2005, a study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition illustrated that apple cider vinegar could produce a satiating effect. When a group of individuals ate bread combined with apple cider vinegar, they felt fuller than those who just ate bread. This leads to eating fewer calories, which inadvertently leads to weight loss.

Fat accumulation

The enzymes in apple cider vinegar activate the metabolic processes. When apple cider vinegar is introduced to the body, it speeds the rate of body fat burning.
In 2009, a Japanese study of rats saw that apple cider vinegar’s acetic acid stops the accumulation of fat. However, the results have not been recreated in humans.

Detoxification

Apple cider vinegar’s properties are able to flush out toxic elements by binding to waste. Through bowel movements, the vinegar helps to remove cholesterol and other toxins from the body. Like any detox, a cleanse can improve functioning in all areas.

Apple Cider Vinegar Weight Loss

How To Use Apple Cider Vinegar

Raw | Unfiltered | Unprocessed | Organic

Weight issues cause serious chronic health problems, and when more than two-thirds of Americans are obese or overweight, a natural remedy is needed. Apple cider vinegar may be a good product to experiment with.

Despite its benefits, apple cider vinegar is a potent substance–and bitter one.

Starting small and increasing your consumption of apple cider vinegar is smart, as it may weigh heavy on a sensitive stomach. One teaspoon a day is solid, perhaps with a squeeze of lemon or a spoonful of honey to soften the taste.

Apple cider vinegar is not only used to cure existing ailments, but it’s also employed as a preventative elixir. It’s beneficial for people with pre-diabetes, or those who’d like to drop a few pounds. However, if you’re looking to improve overall wellness, apple cider vinegar should be combined with diet and exercise. Learn more about 2016’s top-rated diets.

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What A National Study Says About Blood Clot Filters https://www.citizensreport.org/2018/02/13/blood-clot-filters-study/ Wed, 14 Feb 2018 04:38:58 +0000 http://www.citizensreport.org/?p=12185 More than 300,000 Americans die from acute pulmonary embolism each year. Pulmonary embolism, treated with blood thinners or a filter, occurs when a blood clot travels to the lungs and causes a fatal blockage. Blood clot filters are implanted in the inferior vena cava (IVC) and used for the prevention of pulmonary embolism. A recent […]

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More than 300,000 Americans die from acute pulmonary embolism each year. Pulmonary embolism, treated with blood thinners or a filter, occurs when a blood clot travels to the lungs and causes a fatal blockage.

Blood clot filters are implanted in the inferior vena cava (IVC) and used for the prevention of pulmonary embolism. A recent analysis of national data, published in the National Library of Medicine, shows that blood clot filters may come with serious side effects.

Are Blood Clot Filters On The Rise?

IVC filters were introduced in the 1960s and approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) through the agency’s 501(k) expedited process.  As the population ages, blood clot filters placement has increased as an alternative to anticoagulant medications. Trends illustrate more patients receive temporary, rather than permanent, IVC filters.

National data from Medicare and a National Discharge Survey indicates blood clot filter placement has markedly increased in the last two decades.

Data shows the placement of inferior vena cava (IVC) filters have been expanding, despite a lack of clear directing evidence. When IVC filters were approved, there was minimal data about blood clot filters, along with inconsistent recommendations across societies about how blood clot filters should be used.

Study Data On Blood Clot Filters 

Researchers examined how well blood clot filters work, measuring complication rates and national trends. The study data comes from a 9-year period at Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia, PA. The researchers also assessed national trends using the Nationwide Inpatient Sample. 

The patients had an IVC filter implanted between 2003 and 2013. They were likely to elderly and high-risk for bleeding complications when using blood thinners.

Though temporary filters are becoming increasingly popular, the researchers found that only 7 percent of filters designed for retrieval were successfully removed. Researchers discovered many patients qualified for filter removal after receiving an IVC filter, but hospitals discharged patients with the device still in place. They suspect the reasoning could be “an increased reimbursement rates when filters are retrieved in an outpatient setting and an under-appreciation of the potential harms of leaving filters in place for extended periods.”

Although temporary IVCFs are becoming increasingly popular, their timely removal remains a significant challenge.

In 2010, the FDA issued a safety warning to inform physicians to remove IVC filters as soon as the risk of pulmonary embolism had subsided. The filters, though minimally invasive, have been associated with”clear evidence for filter-related complications even several years after placement.”

Some patients may experience complications early on, while others develop no symptoms. Potential complications, though varied, include: 

  • Access site hematoma
  • IVC thrombosis
  • IVC perforation
  • Air embolism
  • Pneumothorax
  • Filter migration
  • Filter fracture

More temporary IVC filters are placed for prior falls and bleeding complications. In order to avoid exposing patients to unnecessary risks with little benefits, researchers acknowledge that filters should be removed as soon as possible. 

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4 Tips for Treating Migraines https://www.citizensreport.org/2018/02/05/4-tips-treating-migraines/ Mon, 05 Feb 2018 20:59:13 +0000 http://www.citizensreport.org/?p=12061 More than 37 million Americans deal with migraines. Some individuals suffer from chronic migraines, regularly working to manage pain, nausea, vomiting and other symptoms that occur throughout the day. Migraines, ranging in severity and seriousness, can be caused by a variety of factors. As centuries have passed, healers have uncovered numerous home remedies to manage […]

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More than 37 million Americans deal with migraines. Some individuals suffer from chronic migraines, regularly working to manage pain, nausea, vomiting and other symptoms that occur throughout the day.

Migraines, ranging in severity and seriousness, can be caused by a variety of factors. As centuries have passed, healers have uncovered numerous home remedies to manage the pain and symptoms of recurring migraines.

Essential Oils

Essential oils are extracted from plants through a process of distillation. The extractions give off distinct fragrances that can be therapeutic.

The natural plant medicine can be inhaled as a vapor or applied to the skin. Essential oils are safe and medicinal, though it’s important not to use too much because the strength of the scent can be overwhelming.

Lavender, peppermint and basil oils have been proven to benefit headaches. By providing a fresh and rejuvenating scent, essential oils help to release tension in the head, increase blood flow and open the sinuses.

Massage & Acupuncture

Massaging the scalp can help to alleviate migraine pain, though results may vary. When massaging the head, be sure to target the occipital nerve, which can be found at the base of the skull. It may be useful to purchase a pressure pointer, such as a Body Back Buddy.

Reflexology, a Chinese pressure-point massage, may also be helpful. Though it’s not proven, reflexology focuses on zones in the hands and feet to relieve tension and pain throughout the body.  

Acupuncture, which uses thin needles to relieve pain, is another option for individuals seeking out alternative medicine. For those wishing to save money on specialist visits, acupressure is a do-it-yourself option as well.

Foods

Feverfew, a medicinal herb, is an age-old cure for migraine. Since the 1980s, feverfew has been linked to reduced symptoms of migraine pain. The plant contains a chemical known as parthenolide, which is proven to reduce headaches and keep blood vessels from becoming overly dilated. Feverfew can be chewed, consumed raw or as a tea.

Certain foods reduce inflammation, which is a potential contributor to migraines. Foods containing omega-3 fatty acids, such as flaxseeds, are known to work on inflammation. Flax seeds come in various forms, including as an oil or powder in addition to a whole seed.

The Japanese, grain-like seed known as buckwheat may also help to manage the pain of migraine headaches. Buckwheat contains rutin, a flavonoid nutrient that functions as an antioxidant. Antioxidants help to flesh out toxins and repair cells, reducing inflammation and curing the symptoms.

Ginger is another option for reducing inflammation. Known to cure a stomach ache, ginger is great for assisting with the passing of nausea. A cup of fresh ginger tea may do the trick.

Supplements

Research from the New York Headache Center illustrates that migraines may be linked to nutrient deficiencies, magnesium in particular. A study published in the National Library of Medicine showed that adding magnesium into your daily routine could decrease the amount of migraines by 42 percent.

Riboflavin, a B vitamin present in animal products, nuts and green vegetables, acts as an enzyme and increases the production of energy in the cells. Riboflavin should be taken in the morning. If you’re not able to eat omega 3s in food, you could consider incorporating supplements into your diet as well.

Though not life-threatening, migraines can be a serious and debilitating condition. Natural remedies can help to relieve pain and manage migraines, without the potential for nasty side effects. Give some of nature’s remedies a shot and see what works best for your particular condition.

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Safety Reminders For Blood Sugar Testing https://www.citizensreport.org/2018/02/02/safe-blood-sugar-testing/ Sat, 03 Feb 2018 00:48:04 +0000 http://www.citizensreport.org/?p=12125 1.4 million Americans are diagnosed with diabetes every year. For newly diagnosed patients, blood sugar testing with glucose meters may seem daunting.  Though it requires an intentional effort, properly managing diabetes is key to staying healthy and avoiding complications that can be caused by the disease, such as nerve damage, Alzheimer’s or poor blood flow.  […]

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1.4 million Americans are diagnosed with diabetes every year. For newly diagnosed patients, blood sugar testing with glucose meters may seem daunting. 

Though it requires an intentional effort, properly managing diabetes is key to staying healthy and avoiding complications that can be caused by the disease, such as nerve damage, Alzheimer’s or poor blood flow. 

Regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), glucose meters allow diabetes patients to measure the amount of glucose in their blood. The medical devices alert patients to dangerously high glucose and provide information on how certain foods and physical activities affect sugar levels.

Glucose meters and test strips can be life-saving, so making sure diabetes management equipment functions properly is essential.  Here are some FDA tips for managing diabetes with glucose meters and test strips.  

Checklist For Blood Sugar Testing

Did you buy a new glucose meter and unused test strips?

When purchasing glucose meters and test strips, it’s important to buy new, unused equipment. While some manufacturers attempt to markdown pre-owned glucose meters as an added incentive, the FDA urges patients to avoid secondhand strips altogether.

Though it isn’t illegal to sell pre-owned test strips, the devices may have been improperly stored, tampered with or expired. Used test strips may also cause infection if blood particles are present. Additionally, some test strips may be imported from other countries, meaning they haven’t been examined for U.S. quality standards.

“Pre-owned test strips can give incorrect results and may not be safe to use with your device,” according to the agency. “So the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommends that you do not buy or sell previously owned glucose test strips.”

Did you read the instructions and quality check your device?

Each glucose meter comes with instructions, so it’s important to review the package insert to understand how the device functions. The instructions also include information on how to use a control solution to be sure your meter is providing accurate results.

Patients are encouraged to test their equipment regularly. Specifics on how often to conduct the tests are included in the instruction manual.

Do you understand how to test yourself and read the results?

Some test sites may give more accurate results than others. While patients can get a glucose reading from the forearm or palm, pricking the fingertip will provide the most accurate results. The fingertip gives the most immediate results, especially if glucose levels changed rapidly after eating or exercising.

Glucose meters may have different methods of displaying values. Some meters uses a “LO” and “HI” symbol to indicate the blood sugar level has exceeded beyond a number measurable by the device. Patients should familiarize themselves with the display of their individual meter to understand it’s unique messaging. 

Do you clean and disinfect your glucose meter?

For some, blood sugar testing is required throughout the day. It’s important to make sure glucose meters are clean and safe to use. Each meter will come with instructions on how to properly disinfect the equipment, and how often it should be cleaned. 

After reading the instructions, the FDA encourages patients to test themselves in front of their doctors to confirm the device has been used correctly. To make sure the device is working at its highest caliber, patients should go over the entire process of conducting a glucose level test, analyzing the results and then clean equipment with a physician.

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