Miscellaneous

  1. My Doctor Gave Me the Wrong Diagnosis – Now What?

    diagnosis wrongGetting the wrong diagnosis for a medical condition isn’t just an irrational fear.

    It’s a fact of life for 12 million Americans every year.

    That’s almost 1 in 20 people who are given the wrong diagnosis.

    Suddenly, that concern feels far more plausible.

    In this article, we’re going to look at some of the most common misdiagnoses, and then empower you to get the medical advice you need in the aftermath of a wrong diagnosis.

    The Most Common Misdiagnoses

    No doctor wants to give you a wrong diagnosis, but it does happen. You’re most likely to get the wrong treatment under one of three conditions:

    1. It’s a rare condition
    2. It’s a common condition that’s presenting atypically in you
    3. The symptoms are similar, if not identical, to another condition

    Cancer. Frighteningly, cancer may be misdiagnosed between 28-44% of the time, depending on the type of cancer. This wrong diagnosis usually comes from missing patient information, the doctor spending too little time with the patient, or getting an incomplete history.

    Celiac disease. Although we hope fewer people will get the wrong diagnosis now that more attention is being paid to gluten, celiac disease is often still misdiagnosed. Since the symptoms are different person to person, it’s often difficult to narrow down. There are obvious symptoms, like abdominal pain and digestive issues, but then there are less obvious ones, like headaches, joint pain, and depression. Celiac disease is often misdiagnosed as irritable bowel syndrome.

    Heart attack. Since symptoms of a heart attack vary with age and gender, doctors are prone to missing them. Younger people experience pain, whereas older people may only experience indigestion. Men often report chest pain, chest discomfort, and pressure. Women, on the other hand, often report pain in the neck, jaw, or shoulder, nausea, sweating, and fatigue.

    Lyme disease. The wrong diagnosis is so common with Lyme disease that the average patient suffers with symptoms an average of one and a half years before finally getting the right treatment. The biggest issue is that many don’t get the most tell-tale symptom: rash. And even if a person does get the rash, it’s often missed. Other symptoms include muscle pain, joint pain, fever, stiffness, and fatigue.

    Pulmonary Embolism. A pulmonary embolism is caused when the main artery in the lungs – the pulmonary artery – gets blocked, usually by a blood clot. The condition can be fatal if not treated properly, but its symptoms:

    • Sudden, persistent cough
    • Sudden onset of shortness of breath at rest or with exertion
    • Chest pain
    • Lightheadedness, dizziness
    • Fainting
    • Sweating
    • Anxiety
    • Increased heart rate and rapid breathing

    Sounds a lot like pneumonia, heart attack, or even anxiety. As such, as many as 33.5% of pulmonary embolism patients are initially given the wrong diagnosis.

    Stroke. While some symptoms of stroke, like loss of speech and facial numbness, are easy to spot, others are more subtle, and these can often lead to the wrong diagnosis. Doctors often misdiagnose difficulty walking, balance issues, and severe headache with vertigo or migraine. Unfortunately, in young people, symptoms are often written off as intoxication or a hangover. When it comes to strokes, remember FAST: face drooping, arm weakness, speech problems, time to call 911.

    Thyroid conditions. Both hyperthyroid, when the body makes too much thyroid hormone, and hypothyroid, when the body makes too little thyroid hormone, have very common symptoms, including just having an “off” month. Which makes them difficult to diagnose, and easy for doctors to disregard. Pay close attention to weakness, fatigue, unexplained and unexpected weight changes, and muscle pain.

    What to Do Next

    If you feel you’ve gotten the wrong diagnosis – or want to stack the deck in your favor to avoid a misdiagnosis – here are some of the next steps you should take.

    1. Get past – and don’t fall for – the God complex. Doctors aren’t gods. They don’t know everything. They’re human beings, which means they can and do make mistakes. Yes, they’re very smart and very well-educated. That doesn’t make them perfect. If you want a second (or third…) opinion, get one.
    2. Ask for your medical records. They are yours and you have a right to copies of them. You may have to fill out a form, but you must be allowed access to your own, complete files. This way, any other doctors can see what the initial symptoms, diagnosis, and course of treatment, so you’re not revisiting past mistakes. When you go get another opinion, take them with you and allow the new office to make copies. Just remember, you still don’t have to give your copies away.
    3. Use the internet (but use it wisely). Diagnosing yourself is probably not a great idea. Still, the internet can be a valuable resource for double-checking your symptoms against the initial diagnosis, and against other, possible conditions.
    4. Do your research. You don’t have to follow a course of treatment that makes you uncomfortable. It’s fair to research alternatives and discuss them with your doctors. Know what treatments – both conventional and unconventional - are available in your area.
    5. Be your own advocate. You know your body. You know if something’s wrong. If you feel you’ve gotten a wrong diagnosis, don’t second-guess yourself. Speak up, and get the help you need. It’s your health. Your choices. Your life. Don’t turn it over to treatment you don’t trust.

    Yes, getting the wrong diagnosis is more common than anyone would like to admit.

    While you may not be able to prevent it, you can protect yourself from it once it’s happened.

    Be smart. Be strong. And trust yourself.

  2. 8 Critical Metabolism Vitamins Missing From Your Diet

    vitamins metabolismYou don’t worry about metabolism vitamins because you’re healthy.

    You eat well most of the time with a treat or two just often enough to keep you from feeling deprived.

    So you don’t worry about metabolism vitamins because you don’t have to.

    Except you probably should. Here’s why –

    Weight loss diets tend to create vitamin, mineral, and nutrient deficiencies. Even when you’re following them exactly, eating less often leads to taking in fewer of the metabolism vitamins your body needs. You can end up slowing your metabolism, rather than boosting it.

    Not on a weight loss diet? All that exercising you’re doing to keep healthy – and to keep you from needing a weight loss diet – is causing you to lose vital metabolism vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. You can literally sweat away the very nutrients your body needs.

    Finally, life is stressful. And you probably know that stress negatively impacts your body. What you may not know is that part of that negative impact is the depletion of these vitamins we’re talking about, just from being stressed.

    Instead of assuming you’re getting the metabolism vitamins and minerals you need, make sure, by loading up on these eight.

    1. B-12. This metabolism vitamin has become many people’s go-to for an energy boost and fast metabolism. It’s one of the key players in the production of energy – your metabolism just isn’t the same without enough B-12. Men and women, both, should aim for 2.4 mg/day. Know that B-12 isn’t found in vegetable or plant proteins, but you can find it in meat, milk, and eggs.

    2. Chromium. While people only need trace amounts of chromium, they do need it. The mineral helps boost your metabolism by supporting insulin productivity. Also, some research indicates that chromium may be more directly related to metabolism, but more studies are necessary to understand exactly how they’re connected. Once you’re over age 50, women should get 20 mcg/day and men should aim for 30mcg/day. The trick with chromium is that it’s hard to tell how much is in any particular source, because chromium is heavily influenced by farming practices. However, good sources should be whole grains, vegetables, and spices.

    3. Iodine. Iodine’s effect on metabolism is a few steps removed, but it’s just as important as any metabolism vitamin. Your thyroid gland requires iodine to produce hormones commonly known as T3 and T4, which are essential for boosting metabolism and burning calories. So, the iodine doesn’t create the hormones, but it is necessary in order for the thyroid gland to do so. Everyone should try to get 150 mcg/day. Iodine is found in saltwater fish, shrimp, and some table salts.

    4. Niacin. Also known as B-3, this metabolism vitamin supports the metabolism of carbohydrates and fatty acids into energy. It’s also a part of your body’s “energy transportation system” that helps with the flow energy molecules. And it helps in the production of L-carnitine, which helps the body burn calories and tap into energy on several different levels. Women should get 14 mg/day, and men 16. Eggs and milk are good sources of niacin.

    5. Pantothenic Acid. This metabolism vitamin is more commonly called B-5. It’s a key component of several enzymes that metabolize – rather than store – fat. You need certain enzymes in order to burn fat and calories. Those enzymes need pantothenic acid. Try to get 5 mg/day. Luckily, you can get those five from chicken, beef, potatoes, oat cereals, and tomatoes.

    6. Riboflavin. Another part of the body’s “energy transportation system”, riboflavin – or vitamin B-2 – helps move energy within and between cells. Women, you’re looking at a recommended daily value of 1.1 mg. Men, you want 1.3 mg/day. Stick to the healthy foods to get this one: milk, yogurt, and leafy greens.

    7. Thiamine. Many of the metabolism vitamins play an indirect role in metabolic function, and thiamine, B-1, is no different. It’s part of the enzyme that breaks down carbohydrates and fats so that your body uses them for energy, rather than storing them as fat. Women need 1.1 mg/day. Men need 1.2 mg/day. Look to wheat germ and sunflower seeds. But if those are just a little too healthy, you can also get thiamine from ham.

    8. Zinc. Zinc is a part of so many enzymes, including ones that help boost metabolism. Zinc also supports the thyroid gland in its job, creating hormones that produce – and burn – energy. Women need to aim for 8 mg/day and men are aiming for 11 mg/day. While you can get more than enough zinc in a few oysters, you can also find more reasonable amounts in meat, whole grains, and scallops.

    Metabolism vitamins, minerals, and nutrients are too important to leave to chance. Especially once you realize how easily they can be drained from your body.

    So stock up on delicious foods and a good vitamin supplement. If you take care of your metabolism, your metabolism will take care of you.

  3. What Correcting Bad Posture Could Mean For Your Health

    bad posture correctingWhen you were younger, you were probably taught to sit up straight, walk with your shoulders back, and generally maintain proper posture. But that was years ago, and you’ve let it slide a bit. You don’t really think about correcting bad posture these days. That’s okay, right? Interestingly enough, it might not be. It turns out that correcting bad posture may have positive effects. And not just on your height, but on your overall health. Continue reading →
  4. 17 Quick Ways to Thoroughly Cleanse Your Liver

    liver cleanse yourIn an ideal world, your body is designed to cleanse and detoxify without any help. But in today’s real world, it’s a different story. Your liver is exposed to chemicals, preservatives, and toxins that it was never designed to handle. Which is why it’s important to give your body the support it needs and cleanse your liver, so that it can function smoothly and well. Continue reading →
  5. 12 Empty Calorie Foods Disguised as Healthy Foods

    Eating healthily is easy – stay away from junk foods and empty calories. But what happens when you think you’re eating well, but really you are not? That can happen when you’re dealing with empty calorie foods disguised as healthy foods. Continue reading →
  6. 6 Common Metabolism Myths Explained and Debunked

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    myths Metabolism Anyone who has ever struggled with their weight – and who hasn’t – has probably also struggled with metabolism myths. There’s so much misinformation out there, it’s hard to know what’s true and what’s false when it comes to your metabolism and losing weight. Rather than leave you guessing, we’re going to take a closer look at six common metabolism myths, so you know what’s real – and what’s not. Continue reading →
  7. 5 Healthy Cooking Oils to Boost Your Health

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    cooking oils healthyWhen it comes to healthy cooking oils – or health in general – we want decisions to be black and white, good and bad, healthy and unhealthy. And sometimes, the choice is that clear cut. We know that trans fats are bad and should be avoided. Period. For better or worse, though, when it comes to cooking oils, it’s not always so straight forward. That’s why we wanted to look at cooking oils and clear up some confusion. Continue reading →
  8. 10 Tips to Cure Acid Reflux Naturally

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    acid reflux cureThat burning sensation in the middle of your chest. That acidy taste in the back of your throat. You may think they are the issues, but they might just be the symptoms. If you experience these more than twice a week, you could be dealing with more than just heartburn. You could be dealing with acid reflux. The good news is, that you can cure acid reflux at home, naturally. And in this article, we’ll tell you how… Continue reading →
  9. Quick and Effective Thyroid Exercises

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    Exercises thyroidWhether you have hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism, thyroid exercises can be an essential part of your treatment plan. The key with thyroid exercises is to be smart about them, because, yes, both diseases can make exercising difficult. But that doesn’t mean you should stop moving! In fact, it’s just the opposite… Continue reading →
  10. Safe-Proof Your House: Avoid These 8 Harmful Household Toxins

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    toxins householdIt’s honestly frightening how many household toxins may be lurking in common, every day products. Especially when you’ve taken deliberate steps to make healthier choices and eliminate chemicals and toxins from your home and lifestyle. But the truth is that there are still products hiding household toxins so that you probably don’t even realize you’ve brought them into your home. And scarier still? Some of them aren’t required to be on any label, so you could go your whole life and never know. While a comprehensive list is too long for one article, here are eight of the most harmful household toxins, found in some of the most common products – Continue reading →
  11. 8 Natural Gingivitis Remedies That Will Bring You Relief Today

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    remedies gingivitisPeople focus on overall health…heart health…mental health…but rarely do you hear much about oral health. After all, there’s not a lot of mystery to oral health. You brush your teeth twice a day, floss, and see the dentist. Except that, sometimes, that’s not enough. Maybe you’re not brushing well enough or flossing often enough. However it happens, sometimes you end up with gingivitis and needing a gingivitis remedy. The good news is that you’re not alone. The better news is that gingivitis remedies are easy to find, and even easier to do. Once you know it’s time to step up your oral hygiene routine… Continue reading →
  12. The Ultimate On-the-Go Anti-Inflammatory Cookbook

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    Inflammation doesn’t just affect your joints. Inflammation is one of the leading causes of systemic, physical problems. In other words, you should be thinking about anti-inflammatory foods and recipes even if your joints don’t hurt! Which is why we’ve designed an anti-inflammatory cookbook, with some general guidelines and very specific recipes for every meal of the day. Use the recipes as they are, tweak them to suit your tastes, or just draw from the general section and create your own anti-inflammatory cookbook! The choice is yours. Continue reading →
  13. The Ultimate Guide to Great Summer Health

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    health summerThere’s really no time like summer. The sun is warm, the food is fresh, people are happy – and it’s easy to maintain GREAT summer health. It just takes a little bit of planning. Because you want to be able to embrace and enjoy every day of summer! Continue reading →
  14. 8 Hidden Food Toxins You're Probably Eating

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    toxins foodYou do your best to eat clean, stay all-natural, and live as healthy a life as possible. Unfortunately, there are some food toxins hiding in plain site that may be sabotaging even your best efforts! Continue reading →
  15. The Mysterious Link Between Processed Foods and Cancer

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    cancer and processed foodsWe’ve known heavily processed foods are less healthy than raw foods for decades, but how much physical damage they can cause is only now truly beginning to be understood. It’s not just that they’re full of fat, sodium, and preservatives – as it turns out, heavily processed foods are directly linked to cancer. Even the so-called “healthy” alternatives in your frozen food or baking aisle aren’t really healthy. In fact, it doesn’t matter which aisle you’re in. If you’re buying a heavily processed food, it can be linked to cancer. Continue reading →
  16. 7 Hidden Food Intolerances You Might Have

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    intolerances foodYou’ve heard about food intolerances – to gluten, yeast, and more – but you aren’t sure if that’s what’s going on with you. Well, we’re about to help you figure it out! Continue reading →
  17. Listen to Your Gut: The Complete Guide of Good and Bad Gut Bacteria

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    Nothing is more important than your health – but if don’t know how to listen to your gut, you aren’t taking care of your health the way you think you are. Don’t get us wrong, eating right, getting enough sleep, and exercising are essential steps to maintaining your health and we’re not arguing that. But listening to your gut is the piece you may be missing. We’ve been taught that bacteria is bad, and when it’s on your kitchen counter or in a scrape on your knee, it is. Bad when it’s in your gut, it’s the cornerstone of health. Continue reading →
  18. 6 Quick and Fun Exercises to Improve Your Spinal Health

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    health spinalHow often do you think about spinal health? Never, right? That’s probably your answer – but it may not be entirely true. Because if you think about posture, you’re thinking about spinal health, if you realize it or not! Keeping your spine long, straight, strong, and flexible – in other words, maintaining good posture – really is the same thing as taking care of spinal health. Standing tall and sitting up straight are perfect first steps to proper posture, but if you aren’t doing exercises as well then you aren’t doing everything you can to take care of your spinal health. Which is why we’ve come up with these six exercises to help improve spinal health. Continue reading →
  19. 7 Reasons Why You Should Eliminate Sugar For Good

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    sugar eliminateFor many people trying to lose weight, a good first step is to reduce or eliminate sugar from their diets. But what if you aren’t trying to lose weight? What if you’re just trying to live the healthiest life you can live? The answer is simple – it’s STILL time to eliminate sugar from your diet! Because sugar contributes to so many more health problems than just obesity. Continue reading →
  20. Avoiding Sunlight Could Hurt Your Health: 7 Benefits of Sunlight

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    Maybe you’ve wised up over the years. Or maybe it only took one good sunburn to teach you a lesson. Either way, you’re probably spending little to no time at all in the sun any longer. Because the benefits of sunlight just don’t outweigh the dangers. Except…  what if that’s not completely true? What if there are benefits of sunlight that you’re missing by staying out of the sun so religiously? Because that’s what we’re here to discuss today. The ways you’re actually harming yourself, not helping, by avoiding the sun completely – and just what you can do about it! Continue reading →

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