Paleo Diet cut risk of heart disease?

Of course it can! Carbs / man-altered fats cause heart disease!

Can a Paleo Diet Cut Heart Disease Risk? | Consultant360

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Weight problems are mostly a hormonal problem!

7 Ways To Beat Stress Fat

Anxiety is a powerful trigger for weight gain. Here’s how to stop it—fast.

JUNE 4, 2014
Stress fat 101

For most of us, stress is a fact of life. Unfortunately, research reveals that it’s also a fact of fat. “Even if you usually eat well and exercise, chronic high stress can prevent you from losing weight—or even add pounds,” says Pamela Peeke, MD, author of Body for Life for Women.

Here’s what happens: Your body responds to all stress in exactly the same way. So every time you have a stressful day, your brain instructs your cells to release potent hormones. You get a burst of adrenaline, which taps stored energy so you can fight or flee. At the same time, you get a surge of cortisol, which tells your body to replenish that energy even though you haven’t used very many calories. This can make you hungry…very hungry. And your body keeps on pumping out that cortisol as long as the stress continues. (Balance your hormones and lose up to 15 pounds in just 3 weeks by learning how to reset your hormones! Click here)

But few of us reach for carrots in these situations. “Instead, we crave sweet, salty, and high-fat foods because they stimulate the brain to release pleasure chemicals that reduce tension,” explains Elissa Epel, PhD, a researcher on stress eating at the University of California, San Francisco. This soothing effect becomes addicting, so every time you’re anxious, you want fattening foods.

With your adrenal glands pumping out cortisol, production of the muscle-building hormone testosterone slows down. “Over time, this drop causes a decrease in your muscle mass, so you burn fewer calories,” explains Shawn Talbott, PhD, author of The Cortisol Connection. “This occurs naturally as you age, but high cortisol levels accelerate the process.” Cortisol also encourages your body to store fat—especially visceral fat, which is particularly dangerous because it surrounds vital organs and releases fatty acids into your blood, raising cholesterol and insulin levels and paving the way for heart disease and diabetes.

Obviously, getting rid of all anxiety isn’t an option. But by taking these 7 steps to beat stress, you can get your cortisol levels and your weight under control—and improve your health.

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11 Charts – Everything wrong with our modern diet

-By Dr. Joseph Mercola-

Three decades ago, the food available was mostly fresh and grown locally. Today, the majority of foods served, whether at home, in school or in restaurants, are highly processed foods, filled with sugars, harmful processed fats, and chemical additives.

During that same time, obesity rates have skyrocketed, and one in five American deaths are now associated with obesity. Obesity-related deaths include those from type 2 diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, liver disease, cancer, dementia, and depression, as nearly all have metabolic dysfunction as a common underlying factor.

The featured1 article contains 11 telling charts and graphs, illustrating how the modern diet has led to an avalanche of chronic disease. As its author, Kris Gunnars says:

“The modern diet is the main reason why people all over the world are fatter and sicker than ever before. Everywhere modern processed foods go, chronic diseases like obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease soon follow.”

Sugar Consumption, Especially Soda and Juices, Drives Disease Rates

Of all the dietary culprits out there, refined sugar in general, and processed fructose in particular, win top billing as the greatest destroyers of health. The amount of refined sugar in the modern diet has ballooned, with the average American now getting about 350 calories a day (equivalent to about 22 teaspoons of sugar and 25 percent of their daily calories) from added sugar.

This level of sugar consumption has definitive health consequences. One recent study published in the peer-reviewed journal JAMA Internal Medicine,2 which examined the associations between added sugar consumption and cardiovascular disease (CVD) deaths, found that:

  • Among American adults, the mean percentage of daily calories from added sugar was 14.9 percent in 2005-2010
  • Most adults (just over 71 percent) get 10 percent or more of their daily calories from added sugar
  • Approximately 10 percent of American adults got 25 percent or more of their daily calories from added sugar in 2005-2010
  • The most common sources of added sugar are sugar-sweetened beverages, grain-based desserts, fruit drinks, dairy desserts, and candy

According to this study, those who consume 21 percent or more of their daily calories in the form of sugar are TWICE as likely to die from heart disease compared to those who get seven percent or less or their daily calories from added sugar.

Needless to say, with all this added sugar in the diet, average calorie consumption has skyrocketed as well, having increased by about 20 percent since 1970.

A primary source of all this added sugar is soda, fruit juices, and other sweetened drinks. Multiple studies have confirmed that these kinds of beverages dramatically increase your risk of metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and mortality. Diet sodas or artificially sweetened foods and beverages are no better, as research reveals they appear to do even MORE harm than refined sugar or high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), including causing greater weight gain.

Abandoning Traditional Fats for Processed Vegetable Oils Has Led to Declining Health

Fats help your body absorb important vitamins, including vitamins A, D, and E, and fats are especially important for infants and toddlers for proper growth and development. Moreover, when your body burns non-vegetable carbohydrates like grains and sugars, powerful adverse hormonal changes typically occur. These detrimental changes do not occur when you consume healthy fats or fibrous vegetables.

As explained by Dr. Robert Lustig, fructose in particular is “isocaloric but not isometabolic,” which means you can have the same amount of calories from fructose or glucose, fructose and protein, or fructose and fat, but the metabolic effect will be entirely different despite the identical calorie count. Furthermore, saturated fats, although supplying more calories, will NOT actually cause you to get fat, nor will it promote heart disease.

Unfortunately, the healthiest fats, including animal fats and coconut oil, both of which are saturated, have been long portrayed as a heart attack waiting to happen. Meanwhile, harmful hydrogenated vegetable oils such as corn and canola oil have been touted as “healthful” alternatives. Ditto for margarine.

Boy, did they get this wrong. Nothing could have been further from the truth. The hydrogenation process creates incredibly harmful trans fats, which the US Food and Drug Administration is now finally considering banning altogether. (I’ll review the health hazards of trans fats in further detail below.) Clearly, switching from lard and grass-fed butter—which contains heart-protective nutrients—to margarine and other trans-fat rich hydrogenated oils was a public health experiment that has not ended well.

Low-Fat Fad Has Done Unfathomable Harm

Conventional recommendations have also called for dramatically decreasing the overall amount of fat in your diet, and this fat aversion is yet another driving factor of metabolic disease and chronic ill health. As I and other nutritional experts have warned, most people (especially if you’re insulin or leptin resistant, which encompasses about 80 percent of Americans) probably need upwards of 50-85 percent of daily calories from healthful fats. This is a FAR cry from the less than 10 percent of calories from saturated fats recommended by the US Department of Agriculture.3 As stated in the featured article:

“The first dietary guidelines for Americans were published in the year 1977, almost at the exact same time the obesity epidemic started. Of course, this doesn’t prove anything (correlation does not equal causation), but it makes sense that this could be more than just a mere coincidence.

The anti-fat message essentially put the blame on saturated fat and cholesterol (harmless), while giving sugar and refined carbs (very unhealthy) a free pass. Since the guidelines were published, many massive studies have been conducted on the low-fat diet. It is no better at preventing heart disease, obesity or cancer than the standard Western diet, which is as unhealthy as a diet can get.”

There’s no telling how many have been prematurely killed by following these flawed low-fat guidelines, yet despite mounting research refuting the value of cutting out fats, such recommendations are still being pushed.

Increased Vegetable Oil Consumption Has Altered Americans’ Fatty Acid Composition

The increased consumption of processed vegetable oils has also led to a severely lopsided fatty acid composition, as these oils provide high amounts of omega-6 fats. The ideal ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fats is 1:1, but the typical Western diet is between 1:20 and 1:50. Eating too much damaged omega-6 fat and too little omega-3 sets the stage for the very health problems you seek to avoid, including cardiovascular disease, cancer, depression and Alzheimer’s, rheumatoid arthritis, and diabetes, just to name a few. To correct this imbalance, you typically need to do two things:

  1. Significantly decrease omega-6 by avoiding processed foods and foods cooked at high temperatures using vegetable oils
  2. Increase your intake of heart-healthy animal-based omega-3 fats, such as krill oil

The Dangers of Hydrogenated Soybean Oil

About 95 percent of soy is genetically engineered to have resistance to glyphosate and is loaded with this highly toxic herbicide. But even if you have organic soy, most of it is hydrogenated. Hydrogenated soybean oil has, like sugar, become a major source of calories in the US diet. Americans consume more than 28 billion pounds of edible oils annually, and soybean oil accounts for about 65 percent of it. About half of it is hydrogenated, as soybean oil is too unstable otherwise to be used in food manufacturing. In 1999, soybean oil accounted for seven percent of consumed daily calories in the US.

Part of the problem with partially hydrogenated soybean oil is the trans fat it contains. The other part relates to the health hazards of soy itself. An added hazard factor is the fact that the majority of soybeans are genetically engineered. The completely unnatural fats created through the partial hydrogenation process cause dysfunction and chaos in your body on a cellular level, and studies have linked trans-fats to:

Cancer, by interfering with enzymes your body uses to fight cancer Chronic health problems such as obesity, asthma, auto-immune disease, cancer, and bone degeneration
Diabetes, by interfering with the insulin receptors in your cell membranes Heart disease, by clogging your arteries (Among women with underlying coronary heart disease, eating trans-fats increased the risk of sudden cardiac arrest three-fold!)
Decreased immune function, by reducing your immune response Increase blood levels of low density lipoprotein (LDL), or “bad” cholesterol, while lowering levels of high density lipoprotein (HDL), or “good” cholesterol
Reproductive problems, by interfering with enzymes needed to produce sex hormones Interfering with your body’s use of beneficial omega-3 fats

Besides the health hazards related to the trans fats, soybean oil is, in and of itself, NOT a healthy oil. Add to that the fact that the majority of soybeans grown in the US are genetically engineered, which may have additional health consequences. When taken together, partially hydrogenated GE soybean oil becomes one of the absolute worst types of oils you can consume. Unfortunately, as stated in the featured article:4

“[M]ost people don’t have a clue they’re eating this much soybean oil. They’re actually getting most of it from processed foods, which often have soybean oil added to them because it is cheap. The best way to avoid soybean oil (and other nasty ingredients) is to avoid processed foods.”

Wheat – A Bane of the Modern Diet

Modern wheat is not the same kind of wheat your grandparents ate. The nutritional content of this staple grain has been dramatically altered over the years and is now far less nutritious than the varieties of generations past. As Gunnars states:5

“Modern dwarf wheat was introduced around the year 1960, which contains 19-28 percent less of important minerals like Magnesium, Iron, Zinc, and Copper. There is also evidence that modern wheat is much more harmful to celiac patients and people with gluten sensitivity, compared to older breeds like Einkorn wheat. Whereas wheat may have been relatively healthy back in the day, the same is not true of modern dwarf wheat.”

Wheat lectin, or “wheat germ agglutinin” (WGA), is largely responsible for many of wheat’s pervasive ill effects. WGA is highest in whole wheat, especially sprouted whole wheat, but wheat isn’t the only grain with significant lectin. All seeds of the grass family (rice, wheat, spelt, rye, etc.) are high in lectins. WGA has the potential to damage your health by the following mechanisms (list is not all-inclusive):

Pro-Inflammatory: WGA lectin stimulates the synthesis of pro-inflammatory chemical messengers, even at very small concentrations Neurotoxic: WGA lectin can pass through your blood-brain barrier and attach to the protective coating on your nerves, known as the myelin sheath. It is also capable of inhibiting nerve growth factor, which is important for the growth, maintenance, and survival of certain neurons
Immunotoxic: WGA lectin may bind to and activate white blood cells Cardiotoxic: WGA lectin induces platelet aggregation and has a potent disruptive effect on tissue regeneration and removal of neutrophils from your blood vessels
Cytotoxic (toxic to cells): WGA lectin may induce programmed cell death (apoptosis) Research also shows that WGA may disrupt endocrine and gastrointestinal function, interfere with genetic expression, and share similarities with certain viruses

Flawed Assumptions About Eggs Have Worsened Health

According to USDA data, Americans ate more than 375 eggs per person per year, on average, in 1950. Egg consumption dipped to just over 225 eggs per capita between 1995 and 2000, and as of 2007, it was just over 250 eggs per capita per year—a 33 percent decline since 1950.

Like saturated fats, many naturally cholesterol-rich foods have also been wrongfully vilified. Eggs, which are actually among the most nutritious foods you can eat (provided they come from organically raised, pastured hens) have long been accused of causing heart disease simply because they’re high in cholesterol. But dietary cholesterol has little to do with the cholesterol level in your body, and numerous studies have confirmed that eating eggs does NOT raise potentially adverse LDL cholesterol in your blood. Studies have also failed to find any evidence that eggs contribute to heart disease.

Testing6 has confirmed that true free-range eggs are far more nutritious than commercially raised eggs. The dramatically superior nutrient levels are most likely the result of the differences in diet between free-ranging, pastured hens and commercially farmed hens. In a 2007 egg-testing project, Mother Earth News compared the official U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) nutrient data for commercial eggs with eggs from hens raised on pasture, and found that the latter typically contains:

  • 2/3 more vitamin A
  • Two times more omega-3 fatty acids
  • Three times more vitamin E
  • Seven times more beta-carotene

Barring organic certification, which is cost-prohibitive for many small farmers, you could just make sure the farmer raises his chickens according to organic, free-range standards, allowing his flock to forage freely for their natural diet, and aren’t fed antibiotics, corn, and soy.

You can tell the eggs are free range or pastured by the color of the egg yolk. Foraged hens produce eggs with bright orange yolks. Dull, pale yellow yolks are a sure sign you’re getting eggs from caged hens that are not allowed to forage for their natural diet. offers a helpful organic egg scorecard that rates egg manufacturers based on 22 criteria that are important for organic consumers. According to Cornucopia, their report “showcases ethical family farms, and their brands, and exposes factory farm producers and brands in grocery store coolers that threaten to take over organic livestock agriculture.”

People Eat More Processed Food Than Ever Before

Overall, about 90 percent of the money Americans spend on food is spent on processed foods.7 This includes restaurant foods (i.e. food away from home) and processed grocery foods that require little or no preparation time before consuming at home.

When looking at the ratio of money spent on store-bought groceries only, Americans spend nearly a fourth of their grocery money on processed foods and sweets—twice as much as they did in 1982—according to Department of Labor statistics.8 Pricing of meats, sugar, and flour has had a great influence our spending habits. These items have actually seen a decrease in price per pound, which has had an inverse effect on Americans’ spending habits, in that cheaper prices encourage people to buy more.

The result is obvious. Compared with shoppers 30 years ago, American adults today are twice as likely to be obese, and children and adolescent three times as likely to be overweight. Pediatric type 2 diabetes—which used to be very rare—has markedly increased along with the rise in early childhood obesity. According to previous research, early onset type 2 diabetes appears to be a more aggressive disease from a cardiovascular standpoint.9

Take Control of Your Health

Research coming out of some of America’s most respected institutions now confirms that sugar is a primary dietary factor driving chronic disease development. Sugar, and fructose in particular, has been implicated as a culprit in the development of both heart disease and cancer, and having this information puts you in the driver’s seat when it comes to prevention. A diet that promotes health is high in healthful fats and very, very low in sugar and non-vegetable carbohydrates.

Understand that excessive sugar/fructose consumption leads to insulin resistance, and insulin resistance appears to be the root of many if not most chronic disease. So far, scientific studies have linked excessive fructose consumption to about 78 different diseases and health problems,10 including heart disease and cancer.

Many also eat far too little healthy fat, and the combination of too much sugar and too little fat is driving disease rates through the roof. If you’re still unsure about what constitutes a healthy diet, please review my free optimized nutrition plan, which starts at the beginner level and goes all the way up to advanced.


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Pregnancy & Newborns with Biocranial

Pregnancy, Newborns & Biocranial

Two weeks ago, I had the honor and privilege to see a pregnant mother to help her with her delivery. It was just wonderful! We sat down, consulted and this Mom was glowing! We then performed a Biocranial correction on her, and explained that this may start her labor. Sure enough, by the time she was home that evening, her water broke and she did very well! The baby was born that night, at home, with no complications. A week later, she brought this wonderful, newborn baby in for her first Biocranial. What a wonderful experience, certainly for the baby, but for me as well! To know that we are maximizing her growth and development, in all ways, with no side-effects or risks whatsoever…how great is that?

Biocranial improves / enables / maximizes / balances brain functionPregnancy is better with Biocranial. It really doesn’t matter what type of person comes into my office, all will heal, as the brain is in control of everything in the body, including all the pregnancy hormones, uterine function, heart, lungs, liver, kidneys…and oh yeah, healing!

If you’re a Mom and need help with having a wonderful pregnancy or delivery then Biocranial is absolutely for you. Turning breech babies, no problem. Newborns to new Moms – Biocranial improves the function of a special part of the nerve system called the autonomic nerve system. When this happens, the body functions much, much better. I’ve measured this with objective measuring tools (Heart Rate Variability) and the autonomic nerve system improves / balances every time.

If you desire the best pregnancy, birth and baby possible, then you should seriously consider Biocranial. Call me at 562.860.3404 or email Check out my website at

Dr. Augustine

Pregnancy is better with Biocranial
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Cardiovascular Disease – cause / solution

cardiovascular disease

cardiovascular disease – cause & solution

Cardiovascular Disease – cause / solution

It has been many, many years now that everyone knows and believes that cardiovascular disease is caused by eating too much saturated animal fats. Modern medicine has promoted this notion and hence we have received the food pyramid – which has a base of carbohydrates, much less protein, and extremely low fat.

In the BMJ (British Medical Journal), a cardiologist says it’s time to correct the misinformation regarding saturated animal fat intake causing heart disease. His point is that by reducing saturated fat intake, you only reduce the large LDL particles, but the small type B particles are truly implicated in heart disease, and these respond to CARBOHYDRATE REDUCTION.

A diet that is high in sugar / carbohydrates, is causative for cardiovascular disease, promoting metabolic syndrome (high blood pressure, insulin resistance, high triglycerides and fat around the organs).

To reverse or avoid this, you MUST not eat grains, sugars (fructose especially), and processed foods. Eat fresh, whole foods – the essential foods primarily (proteins and fats), vegetables and replace grains with high quality, healthy fats.

Dr. James Augustine

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Gluten Intolerance – 21 unexpected foods that may contain gluten

Everyone is gluten intolerant, they just don’t know it yet.

Found on

When it comes to foods that contain gluten—the protein found in wheat, rye and barley—the usual suspects are bread, pasta, cookies and cake. But there’s a long list of less-obvious foods that may also be shacking up with gluten.

If you have celiac disease, or an intolerance or sensitivity to gluten, the golden rule is this: read labels.

The Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004 made it mandatory for the word “wheat” to appear on food labels of products containing wheat or proteins derived from wheat. That makes it easier to know if, in fact, your food includes gluten. Too, many companies now display the words “gluten-free” on their food packaging.

Although many brands are creating gluten-free versions of the following fare, unless the label clearly confirms that, don’t assume these foods are without gluten:

  • Blue cheese
  • Bouillon cubes
  • Couscous
  • Deli meats
  • Dry-roasted nuts
  • Hot chocolate mixes
  • Hot dogs
  • Jelly beans
  • Licorice
  • Malt vinegar
  • Miso
  • Non-dairy creamer
  • Oatmeal
  • Pickles
  • Pudding
  • Salad dressings
  • Seasoned potato or tortilla chips
  • Soups
  • Soy sauce
  • Spice blends, such as allspice
  • Veggie burgers

Dr. Augustine

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Biocranial for Lupus

How Lupus sufferers are helped using Biocranial


The Biocranial system of healthcare is absolutely the most powerful holistic system available today to get people to heal. Biocranial is unique in that it doesn’t treat disease but enables the body to heal. It has a proven track record of helping many people suffering from fibromyalgia, cancer, multiple sclerosis, parkinson’s disease, autoimmune diseases, asthma, strokes, traumatic brain injury and even diabetes, to name a few. This introduction to Biocranial demonstrates the mechanisms of how it changes lives. It demonstrates the proof of effectiveness, using Heart Rate Variability. Biocranial for Lupus is quite amazing! If you’d like to heal, please contact Dr. Augustine at 562.860.3404 or at

For Lupus Solutions, call Dr. Augustine @ 562.860.3404

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Holistic Healthcare – Orange County – CA, Los Angeles, CA – Ahead to Wellness


Holistic healthcare is the most powerful approach to a person’s overall health and wellness. Learning and understanding more about a person’s whole body physiology through multiple technologies, enables us to get greater changes in the body.

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Alternative Treatments for Pancreatic Cancer

Alternative Treatments for Pancreatic Cancer
Alternative Treatments for Pancreatic Cancer

Once a diagnosis has been made, most people are very upset and scared. The traditional care for this type of condition is aggressive. Surgery is usually performed, depending upon the location of the tumor – the Whipple procedure is preferred for the head of the pancreas, duodenum, and gallbladder, but all medical approaches are invasive and aggressive – including chemotherapy and radiation.

I have seen various types of cancers, including pancreatic cancer and have been very successful in helping people heal. Why would anyone be adverse to working on getting a person to heal?

My holistic approach is very unique. I do not treat pancreatic cancer, what I do is give a person’s body the necessary tools it needs to heal. My system works with every condition whether you are currently under aggressive medical care or not. Keeping your best interests in mind (healing), is first and foremost.

Are there alternative treatments for Pancreatic Cancer ?

Some may say that there are altrernative treatments for Pancreatic Cancer. Some  even might argue that they have had such treatments. I would say that 99% of the “Alternative treatments”  that are being used today address the same things that the traditional medical community addresses They address the Symptoms of Pancreatic cancer only and not how to truly heal the body. This difference in approach and mindset is truly at the core of what we practice at Ahead to Wellness.  Since the autonomic nervous system is the master control system of ALL systems, organs, tissues, and cells, then it would make sense to improve the function of it to allow the body to heal.  I’ve seen thousands of patients, and found that when the autonomic nerve system is out of balance, you will see unhealthy people, consistently. We measure the autonomic nerve system with Heart Rate Variability. This non-invasive technology demonstrates the health of the autonomic nerve system.

If the autonomic nerve system is allowed to balance and improve, the body is be able to do some amazing things within the healing processes. In conclusion, if the autonomic nerve system is not balanced the body will not be allowed to heal and cancer’s and sickness will continue to hold a persons body in a state of bondage.

For more information on how our Holistic Healthcare Solutions can benifit you  feel free to  give us a call. We look forward to  seeing how we can help your body heal  562.860.3404

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Health Information: Should We have a Paradigm Shift in Our Thinking about Healthcare?

Health Information:

Drug overdose deaths spike among middle-aged women

Their drug of choice is usually prescription painkillers.

More women are dying from prescription painkiller overdoses than ever before, highlighting what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention calls a growing public health epidemic.

The CDC study shows that while men are still more likely to die of overdoses, the number of deaths among women increased five-fold in the last decade, four times more than deaths in women from cocaine and heroin combined, says CDC director Tom Frieden. About 12% of these deaths were suicides, CDC experts said.

The rate of prescription drug overdose deaths of women increased 400% from 1999 to 2010, compared with an increase of 250% for men. More men die of prescription painkiller overdoses — about 23,000 in 2010, compared with 15,300 for women.

“Unfortunately, women are catching up in this regard,” Frieden said.

Women may be more prone to overdoses because they’re more likely to have chronic pain, be prescribed painkillers, have higher doses, and use them longer than men, said Linda Degutis, director of CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. But doctors may not recognize these facts about women, said John Eadie, director of a Brandeis University program that tracks prescription-drug monitoring in the USA.

Overdose deaths from prescription painkillers skyrocketed over the past decade despite no major increases in the need for prescription painkillers over the last 20 years, said Chris Jones, a health scientist at CDC. Doctors are prescribing medications more frequently for patients who may not need them, a trend in the medical profession that needs to be reversed, Frieden said.

Women between 45 and 54 had the greatest increases in drug overdose deaths, likely because of dependence on prescription drugs to ease chronic pain, experts said.

A jump was also seen in visits to hospital emergency rooms. Painkiller-related ER visits by women more than doubled between 2004 and 2010, the CDC found.

These numbers alone, however, may not tell the whole tale.

“If one looks carefully at the data it can be quickly seen that the vast majority of prescription overdose deaths occur as a consequence of individuals combining these drugs with another sedative,” said Carl Hart, a Columbia University associate professor who studies drugs and behavior.

The solution to this prescription problem lies in maximizing prescription monitoring programs, Frieden said.

Washington began one of the first such programs in 2007, allowing pharmacists to submit patient records of prescriptions, dosage, the dispenser and prescriber to the state’s health department. Frieden says these programs can curb drug use by catching “doctor shoppers” and “pill mills,” but critics say the programs can be intrusive for conscientious clinicians and patients.

Health care providers should responsibly prescribe prescription painkillers by monitoring patients for substance abuse and mental health problems, discussing patient treatment options that don’t involve prescription drugs, and discussing the risks and benefits of taking painkillers for chronic conditions, the CDC says.

Patients should use prescription drugs only as directed by doctors, discuss all medications they’re taking with their doctors, and dispose of medication after they’ve completed the prescribed treatment, Frieden said. Women should also discuss pregnancy plans with their doctors to ensure infants do not develop heart malformations and become addicted to opiates, he said.

He said giving this “under-recognized issue” a spotlight is key in keeping deaths from prescription painkiller overdoses at bay.

“While we should be concerned about new drug-related trends, especially drug-related deaths, I am more concerned about us missing an important public health education opportunity,” Hart said.

Health information is important, especially in light of the above statistics. We need to re-think our approach to health and wellness.

Contributing: Associated Press

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