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Everything posted by mertie

  1. http://news.yahoo.com/s/hsn/20080419/hl_hs...uLdW785HqZa24cA FRIDAY, April 18 (HealthDay News) -- Overeating, not the obesity it causes, is the actual cause of metabolic syndrome, suggests a study with mice by researchers at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas. Metabolic syndrome is a collection of health factors that increase the risk of developing insulin resistance, fatty liver, heart disease and type 2 diabetes. This study was among the first to propose that weight gain is an early symptom, not a direct cause, of metabolic syndrome, the researchers said. "Most people today think that obesity itself causes metabolic syndrome," senior author Dr. Roger Unger, professor of internal medicine, said in a prepared statement. "We're ingrained to think obesity is the cause of all health problems, when, in fact, it is the spillover of fat into organs other than fat cells that damages these organs, such as the heart and the liver. Depositing fatty molecules in fat cells where they belong actually delays that harmful spillover." In this study, Under and his colleagues compared normal mice to mice that were genetically altered to prevent their fat cells from expanding. Both groups of mice were overfed. The normal mice got fat but didn't develop signs of metabolic syndrome until after about seven weeks of overeating. The genetically altered mice stayed slim but became seriously ill within a few weeks and displayed evidence of severe heart problems and major increases in blood sugar levels eight weeks before minimal heart problems developed in the normal mice, the researchers said. The genetically altered mice showed significant damage to heart cells and to the insulin-secreting cells in the pancreas. They also got sick quicker, because the extra calories they consumed weren't stored in fat cells, but rather in other tissues, the researchers said. The study was published online in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The exact cause of metabolic syndrome, which affects about 50 million Americans, is unknown, but lack of exercise and obesity have been tagged as the primary underlying contributors to the development of the condition, according to background information in the study. More information The U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute has more about metabolic syndrome.
  2. Remember, cortisol lows make people depressed. Cyclical patients get to experience all the fun stuff that goes along with that. I felt suicidal, and know others who did, too. Lucky for us we were too sick, confused, and apathetic to do anything about it.
  3. Thanks Cheryl and Jayne and everyone involved with making this happen again. I will send a note to thank the senator.
  4. This is very interesting! Sandy was told she had this when at NIH and was AI. It all turned around later tho. Her later pit surgery involved a large tumor. So maybe there was apoplexy and then regrowth?
  5. I heard this today and thought no wonder we have so much trouble getting to diagnosis and treatment! This is so unethical. http://www.webmd.com/news/20080103/many-do...bos-on-patients Many Doctors Use Placebos on Patients Chicago Survey: Nearly Half of Doctors Have Given Patients Dummy Pills or Other Placebos By Todd Zwillich WebMD Medical NewsReviewed by Louise Chang, MDJan. 3, 2008 -- A survey released Wednesday suggests many doctors give dummy pills or other placebos to their patients, furthering the debate about a practice that some experts consider unethical. Nearly half the doctors surveyed at three Chicago-area medical institutions reported that they have used placebos in medical practice. While the survey was confined to about 230 doctors, the results closely track those of similar studies. Doctors said they had administered a variety of placebos to patients, including vitamins, low-dose drugs, and in some cases simple sugar tablets. Almost 20% of doctors said they had used the pills to calm patients, 15% said they used placebos to satisfy patients' "unjustified" demands for treatment, and 6% to get patients to "stop complaining." The ability of such treatments to ease suffering or alter body processes -- known as the placebo effect -- is well-documented. Doctors often learn in medical school that the mere act of administering treatment can affect patients even before an active drug has time to work. "I think it's the very act of comforting a patient that may lead to the clinical benefits that are desired," says study researcher Rachel Sherman, a medical student at the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine. Experimental vs. Clinical Use Placebos are widely used in research trials as a way to control for the influence of the placebo effect. In the case of drug trials, one study group may be given an active drug while another group gets identical treatment with only the active ingredient missing. In theory this lets researchers study only the active ingredient while canceling out the placebo effect. But the use of placebos also raises questions. While study volunteers are usually told they could receive a placebo as part of the experiment's design, few patients are informed in this way. That's mainly because the mere knowledge that a pill is a placebo is usually enough to cancel out the placebo effect. And that lack of information could undermine a patient's right to informed consent, some experts say. "I think it's unethical," says John Kusek, PhD, a senior scientific advisor at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases who has studied the placebo effect and the use of placebos in clinical trials. Ethical Questions Even if placebo treatment works, it still represents a "slippery" ethical ground because patients are not told they're getting a placebo instead of a "real" drug, he says. "There's still an honesty you have to have whether they're in a trial or they're a patient of yours," Kusek says. In this study, 4% of the doctors told patients "it is a placebo" while 34% told patients that the placebo was "a substance that may help but will not hurt." Many doctors surveyed said they believed that other placebos (defined as treatments with an unknown or nonspecific mechanism of action) such as meditation, prayer, or complementary medicine could have both a psychological and physiological benefit for patients. That suggests that "a growing number of physicians believe in the idea of a mind-body connection," the researchers concluded in the study, which is published today in the Journal of General Internal Medicine. While the study suggested that many doctors have used placebos, there was little evidence that the practice was frequent. Less than 10% said they had used placebos more than 10 times.
  6. Thanks for sharing this, Robin! We all need the encouragement!
  7. It's funny, but here in Michigan, BC/BS actually advertises that they will not turn you down for any reason. PPO's won't, as far as I know, but HMO's will every chance they get.
  8. I just heard on the news that after "outrage from doctors and patients" that this policy has been reversed! Woo Hoo!!! Now if everyone had just been quiet, they would have gotten away with it. The squeaky wheel gets the grease!!!
  9. Alicia, Thank you so much for sharing your story. I just listened to it and it absolutely made me cry to hear what you have gone through. I'm so sorry for all you've been through. I've mentioned before that my SIL had Cushing's symptoms, but was treated as a bi-polar patient for many years. She went through hell. She had a weight problem, severe anxiety, and diabetes insipidus, among many other suspicious symptoms. She died 2 yrs ago, the result of long term treatment with Lithium. I found out about Cushing's shortly after her death and wish I'd known about it before so that I might have been able to help her. Back then, I really thought doctors knew what they were doing and just followed their advice blindly. What a difference a few years makes. What a difference education and awareness makes. Mary and Robin, thank you for all the work you put into these podcasts. I pray that anyone who has a bi-polar relative or friend will consider that maybe, just maybe, there might be another explanation. Hopefully this podcast will make people stop and think. You are all awesome. Thanks!
  10. Thanks Jayne! Your booth looks awesome. I'm also interested to hear if you got a lot of traffic and questions.
  11. I know many of us have written numerous letters to Oprah about Cushing's, with no response. You would think she might be interested, with her having such a struggle with her weight and now her thyroid. Dr. Oz takes the conservative line, from what I've seen, and she listens to him. Melissa, you really should pm Cheryl F, who has been the main person working on Cushing's Awareness Day in the past. She has done a great job with not a lot of help and I imagine she would love to hear your ideas and get help from you. She can let you know what has been done up till now. She is not on the boards very often, but checks in from time to time.
  12. And I will add a hallelujah. It is happening....some doctors are getting it....a little bit at a time.
  13. Oh yeah, you were very "take charge"! You will remind those of us with memory problems (umm...everyone?) about next week's chat, right?
  14. I know you were trying to hide that accent, Robin, but it shone through in this one. And it's beautiful! Do not be self-conscious about it! You both sounded very natural and it reminded me of the night we sat around the table in the conference room MaryO commandeered at the hotel!
  15. Oh, I would be nervous too, Mary! Could I drink the wine FIRST?? haha!
  16. I'm listening and you two did great!!!! What a great way to get awareness out there!
  17. Thanks so much for posting this. My friend's son has a mystery illness and has gone 7 yrs without a diagnosis. It sounds very much like what this little girl went through. He is being tested for Crohn's right now. He is very thin and can't go to school. I have been telling her to get his cortisol tested, and maybe this story will convince her to get it checked.
  18. This is so interesting!!! Doctors who get it, doctors who believe what we know! The only misleading thing was the statement that Cushing's is diagnosed with a 24 hour ufc. Um....anybody here get diagnosed with one ufc? Thanks for sharing this.
  19. I hope they are right about most not being malignant, but they sure do wreak havoc on people's lives regardless.
  20. Very cool, Mary! Thanks for letting us know. I hope I remember to watch!
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