1815 Chapters
Medium 9781591202509

21. Rickets

Murray, Frank Basic Health Publications ePub

In the first century A.D., Soramus of Ephesus, a Greek gynecologist, obstetrician, and pediatrician, gave a full description of rickets in Roman children as part of his treatise on the diseases of women, reported the Foods & Nutrition Encyclopedia. He theorized that this softening and deformation of the bones was caused by children who sat indoors or on damp floors.1

The initial report of the disease in Britain was published in 1645, in a doctor of medicine thesis of Dr. Whistler at Oxford University. When the Industrial Revolution was well under way in the nineteenth century, rickets was widespread, as urban residents lived under clouds of black smoke from the burning of soft coal, meaning that the ultraviolet rays of the sun were largely screened out and were insufficient to produce vitamin D.

However, Whistler’s thesis was not as widely circulated as was the 1650 account of the disease by Dr. Glissin, a London physician. This report gave the clinical signs of rickets when it occurred by itself and when it was complicated by the existence of scurvy, the vitamin C–codeficient disease.

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Medium 9781591200574

2. Young Children and Air Pollution

Hunter, Beatrice Trum Basic Health Publications ePub

The incidences of childhood cancers, birth defects, asthma, and neurodevelopmental dysfunction have all been rising in the United States. Many indicators point to environmental pollutants in air, water, and food as major factors. Interest in this problem was heightened by a study, Pesticides in the Diets of Infants and Children, issued in 1993 by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS). The study found that regulatory standards for pesticides and other chemicals may not protect children adequately. Infants and young children are more vulnerable than adults to environmental assaults. Childrens bodies are still developing. Their detoxification mechanisms are not yet fully functioning. Nevertheless, young children are exposed to more toxins than adults in proportion to their size and body weight. Because they crawl, roll about, and climb over contaminated surfaces (for example, pesticide-treated grass outdoors, and chemically shampooed rugs indoors), they breathe in and have greater skin contact with toxins than do adults in the same environments. Also, young children put many nonfood items into their mouths, and sometimes handle and eat foods that have dropped to floors, sidewalks, and other contaminated surfaces.

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Medium 9781591202066

4. Why a Healthful Diet Is Important

Murray, Frank Basic Health Publications ePub


ating a healthy diet may be critical in reducing your risk for developing diabetes. A research team at the Harvard School of Public Health, in Boston, headed by Frank B. Hu, M.D., tracked the eating habits of more than 42,000 men, forty to seventy-five years old, over a twelve-year period and found proof that the typical Western diet increases the chances of developing diabetes. Further, they said that a diet high in red meat, processed meat, high-fat dairy products, refined grains, and sweets increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The risk is worse for those with a sedentary lifestyle.1

The researchers, whose complete study appeared in the February 2002 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine, divided the volunteers into two groups based on their eating habits: those who followed a Western-type diet and those who followed a prudent diet characterized by a high consumption of fruit, vegetables, whole grains, fish, and poultry. During the study, 1,321 new cases of type 2 diabetes were diagnosed. Men with the so-called worst diets were 16 percent more likely to develop diabetes than were men with the best diets.

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Medium 9781591203568

PERK #47: Cancer Increased My Vocabulary

Strang BA BEd MEd, Florence Basic Health Publications ePub

Perk #47

Cancer Increased My Vocabulary

Invasive ductal carcinoma. Oncologist. Tamoxifen. Adjuvant therapy. Metastasis. Before getting cancer, I would have thought these words to be part of a foreign language. Now they are part of my everyday vocabulary. They are not pretty words, and some of them, I will admit, scare the living daylights out of me! There is one word, however, that I am happy to have learned from my cancer experience: psychoneuroimmunology. Ah, don’t ya just love how it rolls off your tongue? Psychoneuroimmunology (pronounced “kale” … just kiddin’, it is actually pronounced just as it is spelled) is the study of the interaction between psychological processes and the nervous and immune systems of the body. In other words, it is the study of the mind-body connection.

Many books have been written about the mind-body connection: Love, Medicine and Miracles (Bernie Siegel, MD), The Power of Positive Thinking (Norman Vincent Peale), and You Can Heal Your Life (Louise Hay) are among my favorites. Both Siegel and Hay propose that cancer can be caused by underlying psychological factors. Hay says that cancer is caused by holding on to resentment, which eats away at the spirit as cancer eats away at the body. I think she has a good point. One of the questions that Dr. Siegel asks his patients is “What happened to you in the two years leading up to your diagnosis?” He believes that traumatic life events can serve as precursors to cancer. That makes sense to me. In the two years leading up to my diagnosis, I was under stress, and lots of it!

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Medium 9781591200963

9. Simple Behavioral and Cognitive Strategies for a Better Night’s Sleep

Vukovig M.S.W., Laurel Basic Health Publications ePub


s youve discovered in Chapters 1 through 4 of this book, sleep problems are caused by a wide variety of factors. Whether a sleep problem is the result of stress, lifestyle issues, or a physical or psychological condition, therapies that focus on behavioral and cognitive changes are almost always helpful. The successful treatment of your insomnia may require identifying and changing the behaviors or even the thought patterns that are interfering with your sleep.

Behavioral and cognitive treatments for insomnia are specifically designed to train people in the art of sleeping well. In this chapter, youll learn about several such approaches to sleep improvement. Some of the techniques are simple anxiety-and stress-relieving exercises that you can practice at bedtime, while others are comprehensive cognitive-behavioral programs designed to relieve more deeply entrenched sleep disorders.


Researchers have found that behavioral therapies for insomnia are more effective than drugs for all age groups, including the elderly, who typically have the most problems with sleep disturbances. Studies show that at least three-quarters of insomnia patients treated with behavioral and other non-drug therapies report sleep improvementand this is with an average treatment duration of only one month. Studies have also shown that the majority of people who rely on drugs to induce sleep are able to completely stop or at least reduce their use of sleeping medications after treatment with behavioral methods.

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