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Archive for March, 2014

2000 IU Vitamin D oval shaped gel capsules

2000 IU Vitamin D oval shaped gel capsules

Convinced by the research and through my own experience, I now know that the missing ingredient in the treatment of my asthma and underactive thyroid was vitamin D.

Here in the Northeast, most people enjoy the season of snow angels, snowmen, throwing snowballs, skiing, and snowmobiling. They look forward to the holidays. They look forward to the competitions for the Stanley Cup, the basketball championships, March Madness, and Super Bowl. I wish that I could enjoy the wintertime too, but with the season brings cold, dry weather that has increasingly become hell on earth.

Why?

High heating costs makes it a struggle to heat my home and keep warm. I use a space heater in one room for warmth, but during the winter months, the rest of my home is pretty much without heat.

Wintertime always triggers my asthma, and at some point, I will become afflicted with severe bronchial asthma that lasts off and on until spring.

An underactive thyroid, hypothyroidism, produces many symptoms. One of those symptoms is an increased sensitivity to cold. My underactive thyroid causes and extreme sensitivity to cold weather. Without precautions and treatment, my fingers and toes become numb, cracked, and very painful.

My symptoms and diagnosis

In hindsight, I now recognize earlier symptoms. My symptoms didn’t come into perspective until after retirement six years ago. Over time, though, they all came together to make life perilous and very difficult.

A couple of years prior to retirement, it became increasingly difficult to breathe. When I retired, my doctor’s diagnosis was persistent asthma. He prescribed an inhaler for maintenance, and an inhaler in case of an emergency that I often use to pre-medicate.

About a year later, I received my first complete physical exam. A blood test revealed that I was hypothyroid. My doctor prescribed a daily intake of a synthetic thyroid hormone.

Although my symptoms did improve, to one degree or another they persisted. Primarily, I continued to be afflicted with depression, memory and concentration problems, fatigue, weakness, aches and pains in my neck and shoulders, tingling, hoarseness, leg cramps, and difficulty sleeping. My asthma required more medication from my emergency inhaler than should have been necessary.

About seven weeks ago, I discussed these lingering symptoms with my doctor. He ordered another blood test. The result was low levels of vitamin D. He prescribed a daily intake of 2000 IUs of vitamin D.

Now, six weeks later, I feel like a new man

There has been a reduction in the severity of my asthma, and other symptoms have not returned. It takes a while before vitamin D, not acquired from sunlight, to become optimal, so things should only improve.

Subsequent to this diagnosis, I did some research and found that vitamin D deficiency plays a role in many medical conditions. Specifically, the research shows that a vitamin D supplement can reduce the severity of asthma and vitamin D plays an indispensable role in thyroid hormone functionan underactive thyroid may actually play a direct role in asthma.

 

 

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In 1984, a Republican controlled Senate passed legislation that allowed for-profit prisons.

In 1984, a Republican controlled Senate passed legislation that allowed for-profit prisons.

The Republican obsession to reduce the size of government by privatizing all non-inherent government functions comes from a false belief that private enterprises can be more cost-effective than what they deem as inept government. Their quest to privatize Medicare and Social Security, education, and other public sector services is good for corporations, but certainly not for society.

A case in point, in 1984 a Republican controlled Senate passed legislation that allowed for-profit prisons. But the pursuit of profit only created an incentive to keep people behind bars, which have turned the privatized prison system into a multimillion-dollar industry. Not surprisingly, today, prison populations have increased to the extent that the United States has higher incarceration rates than any other country.

Increasingly over the last 30 years, things have been golden for private prisons. Jails are now bursting at the seams with two-thirds of prisoners returning to prison within three years. The incarceration industry has been successful lobbying Congress for greater and stiffer conviction guidelines and reducing opportunities to earn probation and parole. It’s their imperative because without prisoners these industries would be out of business.

Professors Steve Fraser and Joshua Freeman attributed the rise in prison populations to prison privatization, which “has meant the creation of a small army of workers too coerced and right-less to complain.” Prisoners produce military equipment, paints and paintbrushes, body armor, home appliances, headphones/microphones/speakers, office furniture, airplane parts, medical supplies, provide equipment assembly services, and they raise seeing-eye dogs; they work in call centers, take hotel reservations, work in slaughterhouses, make textiles, shoes, and clothing. All of this while being paid between 93 cents and $4.73 per day.

Moreover, in their pursuit of profit, private prison companies solicit state governments for contracts that include occupancy guarantees. They charge states if they don’t meet contracted lockup quotas. This essentially leaves taxpayers to pay for empty beds if there are decreases in crime rates.

In any case, to “… prosecute or incarcerate our way to becoming a safer nation” is un-American, immoral, and simply wrong. It has not worked nor will it ever work.

Articles by Horatio Green on Yahoo: http://contributor.yahoo.com/user/942708/horatio_green.html

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On June 7, 2013 Bill Guarnere,  one of the Band of Brothers, 506th Parachute Infantry,  signed the photographer Douglas Cuve’s  helmet.

On June 7, 2013 Bill Guarnere,one of the Band of Brothers, 506th Parachute Infantry,signed the photographer Douglas Cuve’s helmet.

On March 8, at the age of 90, “Wild Bill,” the nicknamed bestowed on William Guarnere for his tenacity in battle, died. You may remember him as a member of Easy Company in the hit HBO miniseries “Band of Brothers.” In the series, Frank John Hughes portrayed his character.

There now remains eighteen members of the legendary Easy Company still alive.

Guarnere enlisted in the Army on August 31, 1942. Following training, he deployed to Europe with Easy Company’s Second Platoon, 2nd Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment in the 101st Airborne Division. He made his first combat jump over Normandy on June 6, 1944 (D-Day) as part of the Allied invasion of France.

Soon after, Guarnere received a battlefield promotion to sergeant. Alongside the Rhine River in mid-October 1944, Second Platoon’s placements were about a mile apart, so Guarnere confiscated a farmer’s motorcycle to facilitate his task of checking their positions that ended when a sniper’s bullet fractured his right leg. Thrown from the motorcycle, he fractured his shinbone and shrapnel found his rear end.

In England, recovering from his wounds, he went AWOL to rejoin Easy Company in fear of his reassignment to another platoon.
Guarnere was caught, court-martialed, and demoted. But because his court-martial notification hadn’t reached Easy Company in time, he rejoined Easy Company as sergeant of Second Platoon just before their deployment to Belgium.

During the Battle of the Bulge, Guarnere, while attempting to help a wounded comrade, Joe Toye, lost his right leg in an artillery barrage on his position.

Evidently his court martial never did catch up to him and he returned home in March 1945 with many commendations, medals, and decorations.

In the intervening 68 years, he devoted his life keeping Easy Company together. He coordinated reunions, produced newsletters, and helped members keep in touch.

In 2007, Guarnere co-wrote with another member of second platoon, Edward “Babe” Heffron, along with journalist Robyn Post, the national best-seller “Brothers in Battle, Best of Friends: Two WWII Paratroopers from the Original Band of Brothers Tell Their Story.”

Guarnere, and Heffron who died on December 1, 2013, were born 18 days apart, lived a few blocks from each other on Philadelphia’s south side, and in war fought side by side. After the war they continued their friendship, became best friends, visiting and talking to each other every day.

Easy Company’s commanding officer, Major Richard Winters (Lieutenant at the time), described Guarnere and Heffron as “natural killers.” Perhaps with greater determination than others, they, nevertheless, did what our country required of them; as they described it, they did their duty, doing what they needed to survive.

But, in the midst of all the adulation, we shouldn’t forget there are millions of other warriors who don’t get the praise that Guarnere, Heffron, and some others receive, even though they too performed equal feats of courage, did their duty, and did what their country required of them. So it’s important to keep in mind that we should hold in reverence the lives of all our warriors with an understanding that war is all about killing.

Other articles on Yahoo by Horatio Green: http://contributor.yahoo.com/user/942708/horatio_green.html

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