Tuesday, March 22, 2016

"Group Talk with Dr Aranda": Featuring "Angry, Disabled Women"

by Dr. Margaret Aranda

Hundreds and thousands of you know who I am, and the Patient Advocacy that I relentlessly have served, especially in the areas of Invisible Illnesses, Essure(R) Fallopian Tube contraceptive coils, morcellation of the uterus during hysterectomy, and my more recent promotion of two possible Solutions: Immunonutrition metabolite supplementation, and growing your own salad vertical Tower Garden on your patio. I even talk about starting your own children on this scientific blend via gummies, in the hopes of boosting their own body defenses. They get into the program free, if you fill out a questionnaire and enlist them in their study. And studies show that if you let them participate in the garden and the kitchen, they are more likely to actually eat their vegetables.



Image 1. Immunonutrition. Dr Aranda's new acquisition of a JuicePlus+ franchise. She is merging her nutrition, cellular and molecular biology, immunology, and clinical/bench research backgrounds to further serve the patient population she has literally become: that of chronic, Invisible Illnesses. Also appropriate for growing children; 1 million children already enrolled in studies. Children that qualify (i.e., health-wise) for this program are charged a minimal annual enrollment fee, and then get gummies FREE,  and are tracked in a database of questionnaire questions, to determine if they get if they get as sick of their cohort age-matched control group... 

Image 2. Tower Garden.  Expensive, but if you can afford it, grow your own fruits, vegetables, kale, lettuces and tomatoes from your own patio. Non-GMO, vegan, gluten-free, and grow 30% faster than veges in planted soil. Think about it. How many trips to the grocery store does this save you? Hmmmm.




















I devote an entire Chapter to the topic of Immunonutrition in my Women's Health book, Archives of the Vagina. Have you ever even heard of Immunutrition? If you have read any of my books, you have. Otherwise, if you are into Health & Fitness, Nutrition, working out, or taking care of your physical body, this may be a new term to you. Since I have been chronically ill for 10 years now, I'm starting from the inside out to optimize my immune system for better health and Age Management Medicine. I admit that I do know a thing or two about several subjects, and am an Expert in several fields.

One of them is Chronic Illnesses. So, here the story goes. Someone read my article on Endometriosis and then, being unaware that I would see her Comment, belittled the article, misquoted me with single quotation 'marks' (instead of "double" ones) and began on an unpleasant upheavel amongst the group. I believe that most of  the outspoken girls in the group were in their young 20's and although experienced in women's health, still had not the experience of an elder physician who has spent much blood, sweat, and tears on the front lines of LACounty-USC Medical Center, when it was there. It's front entrance is featured on the Soap Opera, Days of our Lives. Rather ironic, actually.

We engaged in a conversation that was not a logical conversation. It got out of hand, in my opinion, and was reduced to street talk when I ended it. I invited everyone to go online LIVE at that moment, and have a discussion, where they could actively participate by asking questions, making comments, or even YELLING in CAPS at me. One person went. Here it is:




Video. Dr Aranda's "Group Talk" with Invisible Illnesses. Her way of allowing young women 
to vent their anger about the horrid medical system 
available to us, in particular. And the response from the audience? Similar to the response to the Invisible Illness Petition: underwhelming. 


(Thank you to the 5 people who signed the Petition today.) 
I am posting this as an educational tool to show everyone how I ended this argument that in my opinion, slandered my words, libeled my thoughts, and led to defamation of my character. One person actually ridiculed me for referencing my own book regarding one subject. Names were flung around as if I was the "enemy" doctor that they always wanted to lash out on, for years. Unvented anger exploded.

No one in the conversation had ever heard of me before.  No one mentioned a word on the Event's Comment Stream. No one wrote another word on the FB Page. No one gave me any feedback. In fact, the entire conversation was deleted from the Group Page. 

I asked them to 'take the baton' and really put effort into finishing off the signatures on this Petition. I told them I'm tired of doing it by myself. I asked them to help me, to HELP ME obtain some sign of a SOLUTION. 

And the main word that I could use when talking about my experience in advocacy for Women's Health issues? Exactly what is the one word that I would use to summarize the response that I get from women whom I seek to help? 

     Innertia


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Dr Aranda's Short Stories

Age 31: The Color Blue

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Endometriosis Month: And What IS Endometriosis?

by Dr. Margaret Aranda




March is International Endometriosis (ên dō mē tri ō sîs) month! What IS endometriosis? Affecting 176 million women worldwide and 5.5 million in the USA, the uterus lining sheds blood during mentruation, plus with "endo", there are bits and pieces of uterine tissue scattered outside of the uterus, & they all bleed with menstruation, too. 

The most common patient complaints are: 
(1) Pelvic Pain: can be mild, moderate, or severe.
(2) Infertility. So, take it seriously. 

The Origin is thought to be from: hormones, 'retrograde menstruation,' Transplantion Theory, Coelomic Metaplasia, heredity, cell-mediated immunity, humoral immunity, and/or genetics (3). So did you register at GeneFo.com to get evaluated for the gene for endo? Yah....

Facts: Generally considered to be a benign condition, endo has turned cancerous in 1% of women, and doctors may always want to use that small number to take your ovaries out. Ask them if they can't just check your blood level of CA-125 every 6 months instead. The Pain can be very mild, or it can be incapacitating. And some women can still get pregnant and have a baby with 'endo.' So keep up the faith.



Image 2. The Pathophysiology of Endometriosis. The uterus lining is inflamed with free radicals and other metabolites, resistant to progesterone. Menstrual blood falls out of the Fallopian Tubes, instead of going up the Fallopian tubes, into the uterus, and out the vagina. Implants of Endometriotic Origin are then implanted outside the uterus, with new blood vessel growth, new nerve growth, new steroid production, and invasion of other pelvic structures like the ovary (depicted above). All the added sensory, sympathetic and parasympathetic nerves make each "implant" feel pain in each area of the implants. (Image courtesy of www.WomensHealthSection.com)


Mothers, try to get your daughters diagnosed with this before she marries off to a man that is also devastated to accept that she can not bear children. This diagnosis should not be made that late in life, girls and ladies. We can do better than that. We can get good at talking about it, discussing it with the right people, asking questions in online groups, and discovering the diagnosis as soon as possible. Only then can we 'put it in a box' and deal with it. 


I bet that 95% of teen girls who menstruate have never heard this word. And I also bet that there are lots and lots of women who have had prolonged, painful periods for years and years stretched into decades...and now they are married and the husband is left to actually live with the grown woman now....and he sees her suffering. He sees her pain. A good man would not accept this for his loving wife. He would want to find out what is wrong, and take her to a doctor(s) until she has a diagnosis.

This "doctor shopping" is discussed in both my adult books, and I do encourage it if you know that there is "something" wrong with your body. 

But if you are referred to a surgeon for an operation....WHOAA! Slow down and get a 2nd or even a 3rd opinion. 

Because some women have had a hysterectomy for endometriosis, with ovaries removed and then suffer "surgical menopause" as a Crash Course. And these women cry every day. Others have had scraping (i.e., ablation) of the uterus' lining, and it worked just fine, without undue emotional trauma. So, proceed with care. 

Keep your antennae up. Learn one step at a time. Talk to your doctors, friends, family, groups of women that have it, and be informed and educated. Women ARE helping women on this, and there are entire organizations dedicated to only Endometriosis, like the following list that is not meant to be all-inclusive. So let's proceed.

          The Endometriosis Association



                                         Endometriosis at the Mayo Clinic

            Endometriosis Foundation of America


                                                                                                                  Endometriosis.org


       World Endometriosis Research Foundation & Resources


                                                                                                           
                                                                                                            St. Hope Foundation
                                                      

                             ROSE: Research OutSmarts Endometriosis



Women helping Women. National Endometriosis Month of March! Let us continue to educate our daughters. They need to at least "hear about it." We can get good at this!

References:

1. http://offeringhope.org/national-endometriosis-awareness-month/

2. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMHT0024650/

3. http://daysofyear.com/endometriosis-month/


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Dr Aranda's Short Stories

Age 31: The Color Blue






Wednesday, March 9, 2016

CLINICAL TRIALS: HIGHLIGHTING CHIARI TYPE I

The Focus For Invisible Illnesses and Disabilities: SOLUTIONS

by Dr Margaret Aranda

Instead of accepting your illness or malformation, have you given some thought to participating in a clinical research study? The goal is for doctors and scientists (or physician/scientists, the MD, PhDs) to learn from you, to increase the knowledge base, so that doctors can help the next person.

It is considered to be a very selfless and benevolent thing for a patient to do, an honorable and respectable decision to make. We are all focused on "Solutions for the Future" by learning from today. It could mean someone else's "miracle" tomorrow.


Image. MRI Sagital cut of Chiari Type I Malformation. Look at the ARROW ~ the Arrow points to an area of the bony brain, the uncus, that the actual brain itself is herniating down into, below into the spinal cord. Ouch! Not only does this cause pain and headaches, but it blocks the cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) from being passed down the spinal cord. The head would blow up if it was a baby with head bones that are pliable and have not fused together yet. But in adolescents and adults, a drain is often needed to re-route the CSF from the brain to the abdominal cavity, where it gets absorbed by the body.



Participating in a Clinical Study is one way to contribute to the amount of medical knowledge that physician/scientists have in their own armamentarium against illnesses, syndromes, and anatomical malformations. Have I ever been a patient in a Clinical Study? Yes. Have I ever been the Principal Investigator who wrote the original study that went to the Institutional Research Board (IRB) for approval? Yes. Have I ever written the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to apply for a grant to do such research? Yes. $3 million worth. Even amongst the MD, PhD researchers, this is just grand.

Have I ever sat on an IRB and pored through research proposal after research proposal to put in my own vote on whether it should or should not be approved? Yes. Have I stopped certain studies from being approved, based on my experience as an anesthesiologist and Critical Care doctor? Yes.

Have I ever sat on a Hospital Ethics Committee that looks at all aspect of ethical questions that arise from patient care or research? Yes. I was a member of the Ethics Committee at the University of Pennsylvania, and I believe that I was asked to be placed there because I had a reputation for my high sense of ethics.

Can I vouch for each/any of these researchers? No. They aren't me. I could only vouch for myself. But this is what the NIH is funding, these are the MDs and PhDs and MD, PhDs that have dedicated a fair amount of "headache" time just to write up a clinical study protocol and get it through their own IRB AND get it funded through the NIH. So, I gotta hand it to them ~ They must have dedication.

I don't expect the general public to know how to look up the available Clinical Trials that are opened to receive patients, and some studies open and close with changing schedules depending on a multitude of reasons.

So, here's my MEDICAL DISCLAIMER: Not intended as an endorsement, recommendation, or suggestion for any one patient, because I have not met you in person. Not responsible for any adverse effects whether due to studies being closed, the researchers not accepting you, the study being in another city or country, pain, suffering, or side effects from being a research participant, or providing you with this list. You are responsible for yourself. This is public information that any one can access; I am only simplifying the access for you here. If you proceed further with contacting any person on any study listed, you do so at your own risk, absolving me of any responsibility at all.

Such is the world that we live in, and all we are doing is trying to help find SOLUTIONS.  In my opinion, this is an open door to a new world of clinical research that has been largely untapped because of lack of awareness, knowledge, or inspiration. Bon voyage!


1. Genetic origin of smaller lower skull gene.
ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT00004738
Contact: Gretchen C Scott, R.N.
Email: SNBrecruiting@nih.gov
WEBSITE: Clinical Study on Genetics of Chiari


2. DECOMPRESS Study: Compares superiority of autologous vs non-autoloous grafts for decompression surgery.
LOCATION: Phoenix, ARIZONA
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT01667770
Contact: Madelon Petersen, RN 602-406-3246
Email: madelon.petersen@dignityhealth.org
WEBSITE: Clinical Study on Decompression

3. A Prospective Natural History Study of Patients With Syringomyelia.
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT01150708
Contact: Gretchen C Scott, R.N.
Email: SNBrecruiting@nih.gov
WEBSITE: Clinical Study on Natural History

4. Prenatal Surgical Repair of Fetal Myelomeningocele (PRIUM).
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT01983345
LOCATION: Paris, FRANCE
Contact: Jean-Marie Jouannic, PUPH Phone: 0033144735228
Email: laurence.lecomte@nck.aphp.fr
WEBSITE:Clinical Study on Surgical Repair of Fetal Myelomeningocele

5. Efficacy of Acetaminophen in Posterior Fossa Surgery.
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02532322
LOCATION: Washington, DC
Contact: Srijaya K Reddy, MD, MBA (202) 476-2025
Email: sreddy@cnmc.org
WEBSITE:Clinical Study on How Efficient Acetaminophen is in Posterior Fossa Surgery

6. Treatment of Infected Surgical Wounds With Negative Pressure Topical Therapy and Instillation (With or Without Antiseptic) Versus no Instillation (PTN-INSTILL).
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02500875
LOCATION: Bologna, Italy
Contact: Paolo Chiari
Email: paolo.chiari@aosp.it
WEBSITE: Clinical Study on Infected Wounds

7. Fetoscopic Meningomyelocele Repair Study (fMMC).
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02230072
LOCATION: TEXAS Children's Hospital
Contact: Michael Belfort, M.D. 832-826-7375
Email: belfort@bcm.edu
WEBSITE: Clinical Study on Fetoscopic Meningomyelocele Repair




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Dr Aranda's Short Stories

Age 31: The Color Blue

Sunday, March 6, 2016

IS MY "Invisible Illness" GENETIC?

by Dr Margaret Aranda


Times are changing, and with the New Year 2016 still remaining as a real wisp of fresh outdoor air, one of my self-made challenges is to update you on "The Latest and The Greatest" for Invisible Illnesses. By no means is this meant to be an all-inclusive list, you know? It could go on forever and I'd never get a chance to eat. Or drink. Or sleep. 

But this is one company that exists for ALL Invisible Illnesses, AND right now they are at basically an "All-Takers!" sign-up ~ ~ ! And "Why?" you may ask? Well, that's easy.

As a scientist, I know that it is best to start off any Pilot Study with all the people you can get. All Invisible Illnesses, in this case, for example. Come over here in droves, please. This is a professional company, and they mean BUSINESS. So we have to respect them back, and at least fill their databases with patient information. So let's give them patient info! Just go here ~ click on GeneFo.com !

You may be surprised at the number of illnesses that already qualify as genetic disorders (See Image 1). 


Image 1. GeneFo Website Facepage. Note that the list of genetic diseases is longer than what one would think. So let's all head on over there and give them tons of patient information, so they can sort through it and see if another disease(s) are genetic also! That would be amazing! 

So what are you waiting for? 
This IS your PERSONAL INVITATION! The site is secure, they don't give away lists of their patients, and doctors can access the site, too! Can we get organized enough to make a significant impact, so that we have a chance of discovering new scientific data that can change future lives? I remain hopeful. 

My cup is always half-full.

Don't make me beg. 
DO something. Click NOW.

Stop whining on Facebook Pages. DO SOMETHING to help yourself and the next generation! It's time to "Put up!" 

OK. My face is turning blue. 
The ball is in your court. 
Surprise me.

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Dr Aranda's Short Stories

Age 31: The Color Blue

What is a Diagnosis?

The Rebel Patient uses the word, "diagnosis" a lot. That's because it is the answer to the question, "What does the pati...