WelcomeJoan Shaver, Dean UA College of Nursing
RN Patient Advocates in participation with The College of Nursing, University of Arizona invite you to join the RNPA Learning Intensive.
This is the only course of study offered exclusively to experienced, clinical RNs to become Independent RN Patient Advocates (iRNPAs). This program has been developed over 11 years by Karen Mercereau, RN, iRNPA, a nationally recognized visionary leader in healthcare”. ~ Joan L. Shaver, PhD, RN, FAAN
- A Life-Saving Team
Phil is a 63-year-old CPA who had devastating black ulcerations devouring both thighs, poorly controlled diabetes and diabetic ulcers, suffering from poor nutrition and very poor pain control. His physicians were arguing about the diagnosis and Phil’s legs continued to deteriorate, actually disappearing – painfully. More
- Leading Edge Medicine
Eva is a 37 year old high school biology teacher, diagnosed with fibromyalgia and crippled by headaches that were not responding to therapy, covered with cysts, suffering with systemic yeast infections and multiple allergies, suffering from poor nutrition with significant GI problems and obesity. More
Do You Need A Health Detective
... Call your RN Patient Advocate!
Founded in 2002, RN Patient Advocates provides:
- The only Learning Intensive preparing qualified RNs to become Independent RN Patient Advocates (iRNPAs). This nationally recognized Learning Intensive is offered in association with the University of Arizona, College of Nursing.
- The National Network of RN Patient Advocates: Mentoring, Continuing Education, Collaborative Practice, Shared Governance
- Our Mission is to empower people in their health care through Advocacy, Education and Guidance through the health care system.
Always an Advocate…
I was always the family patient advocate. That the system was broken became more and more obvious over the years as I worked on their behalf. I was a patient advocate in the clinical arena as well, though that too was becoming increasingly difficult. By 2002,
News You Can Use
First, how can ibuprofen help us? Classed as a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), it inhibits your body’s production of chemicals called prostaglandins which play a role in the production of pain, fever and inflammation. So, it is most helpful to relieve the pain of arthritis, mild to moderate aches and pains
(including menstrual pain) such as muscle aches, headaches, toothaches and backaches. It also is used to reduce fevers. What a wonderfully helpful medication.
How can it harm us? The National Institute of Health teaches that “People who take NSAIDs (other than aspirin) such as ibuprofen may have a higher risk of having a heart attack or a stroke than people who do not take these medications. These events may happen without warning and may cause death. This risk may be higher for people who take NSAIDs for a long time.” Long term use also can lead to bleeding in the GI tract, ulcers, or holes in the stomach or intestine. The effect is worsened by 3+ alcoholic drinks a day, the use of blood thinners or oral steroids (like prednisone), and in the presence of inflammatory bowel disorders.
Nutrient wasting: ibuprofen can deplete your body’s store of Vitamin C, folic acid, iron and zinc. This can reduce your immune system’s ability, leave you more at risk for certain cancers, and affect your nervous system functioning. If you must take daily ibuprofen, it might be wise to discuss adding these nutrients with a health professional.
Protection? Always take ibuprofen with food: this will help to protect the lining of your stomach and intestine. If you are already at risk for cardiac problems, discuss pain control options with your health professional.
|Investigate other approaches to your pain control. There are foods that reduce inflammation (and the pain it causes) such as green tea, wild salmon, ginger, blueberries (yes!), papayas, and broccoli– ask a nutritionist and look at this list.|
There are nutritional supplements that also work as effectively as ibuprofen. Naturopathic physicians are very knowledgeable about these options.
Want help deciding about ibuprofen and you? Read on. . .
Mighty Mitachondria – our body’s battery packs! In all our cells, they produce virtually all the power we need to live a healthy life. What’s the catch?
Mitochondria can be damaged. Why does this matter?
Let’s look at what our mitochondria do for us:
• Produce ATP (energy) to fuel our metabolic engine
• Help to regulate communication between cells and tissues
• Increase their mass in response to an increased need for energy
• Help to regulate metabolism and use of nutrients
So what can go wrong?
• Mitochondria can be damaged by free radicals if there are not adequate antioxidants to neutralize them
• Damaged mitochondria contribute to a wide array of diseases such as diabetes, Alzheimer’s, bipolar disease, epilepsy, migraine headaches, strokes, Parkinson’s disease, coronary artery disease, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia
• Aging diminishes the number and quality of our mitochondria which can be a factor in the loss of muscle mass and strength
• Mitochondrial dysfunction contributes in many ways to aging
• Can be easily damaged by mold, viruses, heavy metals and many drugs (click here for more)
What medications can damage mitochondria? (partial listing)
• Acetaminophen, aspirin, naproxyn
• Statins and other cholesterol lowering medications
• Psychoactive medications like Xanax and Valium
• Some antidiabetic medications such as metformin
So how can we protect our mighty mitochondria?
• Fortunately the mitochondrial can be repaired with a number of different nutritional supplements, and health can be restored – as long as the problem is recognized
• Nutritional supplements such as coenzyme Q10, antioxidants, acetyl-L-carnitine, lipoic acid, vitamin E, lutein and zeaxanthin
• A diet rich in fruits and vegetables (think “eating a rainbow” every day – reds, greens, yellows, oranges, purples)
• The essential micronutrient called pyrroloquinoline quinone or PQQ – actually stimulates the growth of new mitochondria! It is a super antioxidant found in foods such as parsley, green tea and green peppers
• The antioxidant called N-Acetyl cysteine which is so effective against free radical damage
Depressed? The National Institute of Health suggests we put down that can of soda – diet or regular. Soda and depression…really?
A study by the NIH, reported at the annual American Academy of Neurology in March, reported that people who drink four cans or more of soda daily are about 30 percent more likely to be diagnosed with depression later in life than people who don't drink soda! Fruit punch had an even greater effect, with participants who drank four cans, or cups, a day 38 percent more likely to develop depression, according to the study.
The study also showed a greater occurrence of depression with drinking diet sodas rather than sugared drinks although drinking many sugar sodas can contribute to obesity. Obesity and depression are linked: people who are obese have a 25% greater risk of mood disorders such as depression.
The research was led by H Chen, M.D., Ph.D., from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. The American Beverage Association is contesting these findings. What do you think?
Smaller than a walnut, no heavier than a grape…affects every function in our bodies. What? Your Adrenal Glands! Unsung hero of our bodies.
Your adrenal glands sit atop your kidneys and orchestrate your whole metabolism. Little gland with a huge role. These powerful little hormone producing glands manufacture and secrete almost 50 different hormones, including steroid hormones such as adrenaline, cortisol, aldosterone, and the precursors to estrogen and testosterone that are absolutely essential to our health and vitality.
Protective: the anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant adrenal hormones like cortisol helps to minimize negative and allergic reactions, such as swelling and inflammation, to alcohol, drugs, foods, environmental allergens, and stress.
Let’s look more closely at one of those hormones: cortisol - a life sustaining adrenal hormone that influences, regulates or modulates:
- Blood sugar levels
- Fat, protein and carbohydrate metabolism
- Immune responses
- Anti-inflammatory actions
- Blood pressure
- Heart and blood vessel tone and contraction
- Central nervous system activation
Too Much Cortisol for extended periods?
Higher and more prolonged levels of cortisol – with chronic stress for example – can have negative effects:
- elevated levels of inflammation in your body (can lead to chronic illness)
- foggy brain
- decreased bone density
- sleep disruption
- decreased immune function
- slow wound healing
- increased abdominal fat
- a condition called “adrenal fatigue”
Breast cancer screening. So much conflicting news, so many options, what is the best approach for you?
Medical science is constantly evolving – hence the conflicting news. Let’s look more closely:
Mammograms are a valuable – though not the only valuable – tool used for breast screening. Martha Grout, MD, explains that “Mammography has been the state-of-the-art screening test for several decades. However, considerable controversy remains regarding its value, particularly in women under the age of 50. Results from the widely accepted BCDDP study documented that the overall ability of mammograms to detect cancer was only 70 percent. This means that 30 percent of mammograms found to be negative for potentially cancerous lesions are actually positive. Only one biopsy in six was found to be positive for cancer when done on the basis of a positive mammogram or breast examination. The combined false positive rate was determined to be as high as 89 percent.
So, what else should you consider in addition? There is genetic testing for the BRCA genes that indicate a predisposition to breast cancer, MRIs, ultrasounds, PET scans – all of which cost a great deal and have demonstrated limitations.
Then, there is breast thermography. Breast thermography measures heat emissions from breast tissue (cancer creates heat) and identifies changes in breast tissue. Dr. Grout: “At least five important studies published between 1980 and 2003 document that breast thermal imaging is a major advancement in identifying breast cancers not only with greater sensitivity and specificity, but also years earlier than with any other scientifically tested medical technology.”
Which combination of testing is right for you? Like to know more? Read on . . .