50 Years on The Pill Posted on May 10th, 2010
Today is Mother’s day. Fifty years ago today marks the anniversary of that provocative announcement that introduced “the pill” to the world. That announcement gave women a new “take” on sex, fertility, career and their world. The pill meant reassurance and control. Today, a world without “the pill” is unimaginable. It is used to treat acne, skip periods, plan children and give women freedom in the bedroom. The pill took away the stigma of an unwanted pregnancy (in the 50’s and 60’s that was huge) and the fear of a back alley abortion or giving a baby up for adoption.
I remember being a nervous bride at the age of 21, and asking my doctor for a prescription for “the pill.” Ortho Novum it was called then – little pink pills in a round container. My time on the pill did not last long. In those days, there was far more estrogen than contained in the pill today. I felt bloated and miserable and stopped taking it after 3 months or so. Then there was the condom, spermicidal foam, the IUD, the diaphragm and a lot of prayer. Finally after the birth of my second child I had a tubal ligation. That sealed the vault on the worry of an unwanted pregnancy forever. Even though the pill has been around for 50 years and has opened a centuries-needed doorway to female equality in a man’s world, sexual liberation has come with a price. Girls are now “estrogenized” early and becoming sexually active in their teens, there are more sexually transmitted diseases and estrogen in birth control pills ends up in the drinking water. In 2008, Americans spent $3.5 billion on birth control pills and the one pill, Ortho Novum that was available when I was a young woman, has blossomed into 40 varieties today. There is no question the pill has enabled women to shed the shackles of a life sentence to domesticity. Thanks to the pill, we have emerged from the shadows of our significant others to find our own place in the world. There are issues with the pill however. There are side effects that range from annoying to dangerous, e.g. weight gain, acne, irritability, anxiety, memory loss, lost hair, yeast problems, etc. The dangerous ones are myocardial infarction, thromboembolic disease, cerebrovascular disease, carcinoma, metabolic disorders (diabetes), hypertension, headaches, amenorrhea, disorders of lactation, and infertility. The pill disrupts the female endocrine system because it contains synthetic estrogen. The dilemma that every woman faces, how to enjoy sex and not get pregnant continues – pill or no pill.
Michelle Obama Tackles Childhood Obesity Posted on February 24th, 2010
First lady Michelle Obama tackles a subject that will have serious future implications unless something is done. Michelle is a competent mother of two and from all accounts there is no obesity in that family. She works out every day, has planted an organic garden and sees that her children are being raised with healthy foods. Not so in every household. With both parents working and many single parent families, home cooked meals have gone by the boards for over two decades. Most people think that childhood obesity is caused by too much food and not enough exercise – valid reasons. But where did the problem originate? In my opinion a little known cause that packs a big punch is the culprit behind the over-consumption of starch and sugar by adults and children alike. I am referring to a strain of yeast called Candida Albicans which gets out of control after a course of antibiotics and a high starch, high sugar diet. Antibiotics are not just over-prescribed but they are also widely used in the beef, dairy, pork and poultry industry. These factory farm animals are fed an unnatural diet and in order to prevent sickness or death, the widespread use of antibiotics is the norm – a good reason to eat organic. In my opinion, every adult and child that I have counseled is dealing with an overgrowth of yeast. Candida Albicans lives in the gut and in healthy people exists in concert with multiple strains of beneficial bacteria in the lower colon. But once the yeast, like a weed in the garden gets out of control, uncontrollable cravings for starch and sugar result – thus promoting over eating. Easy solution: following a course of antibiotics – take probiotics. This re-colonizes the lower colon with beneficial bacteria and prevents an over growth of yeast. Sure let’s get the home cooked healthy meals moved from the back burner to the front. Sure let’s get the consistent exercise going. Sure let’s get the kids outside and away from the TV and video games. But let’s tackle the real problem – Candida yeast one child at a time.
Blue Zones looks at honey Posted on April 26th, 2009
I’m continuing to follow the “Blue Zones: secrets of a long life” on CNN and the healthy habits of the Ikarians on a tiny Greek Island in the Aegean. Seems they benefit from eating a specific type of honey which apparently has anti-cancer and anti-oxidant properties. A daily spoonful of honey plus some garlic are among the folk remedies to which the islanders attribute their longevity. But remember – not all honey is created equal. Honey a simple sugar, can affect blood sugar balance and feed a strain of yeast, Candida Albicans, which thrives on a diet of starch, sugar, fruit and honey.