Saturday, May 21, 2022

I’m running a Conference this Weekend, so no blog

I’m running a conference this weekend celebrating my Church’s 50th Anniversary, so I don’t have time to do a blog this weekend. I’ll return next weekend.

Jerry

Saturday, May 14, 2022

Protecting Yourself from Alzheimer’s Disease

If you’re a regular reader of my Teplitz Blurbs, you’ll know that I prefer to recommend natural things that you can do to maintain your health and wellness rather than drug related approaches.

Well, this Blurbs is going to be about a drug approach, however, it’s a unique way to use a drug.

I want to talk about using lithium to treat Alzheimer’s Disease. Lithium is currently used in high doses of 150 to 1,800 milligrams to treat bipolar disorder. If you were to lower the dose to 1 to 20 mg, then lithium would actually be considered a nutritional treatment – I told you this was going to be unique!

It’s this lower dose that I want to focus on for preventing and also treating Alzheimer’s. On the prevention side, a study in Brazil had 45 seniors enrolled who had mild cognitive impairment. This is the stage before someone moves into Alzheimer’s. 

The volunteers were either in the group that received the low dose of lithium or a placebo. After one year, the lithium group had stable cognitive performance and no mental decline. They also had better memory, more focus and clearer thinking than the placebo group.

Now let’s look at the treatment side. This was a study published in the journal Current Alzheimer’s Research where they had 113 people with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s. Like the prevention groups above one group received the low-dose lithium, and the other was given a placebo.

Keep in mind that these people did have Alzheimer’s Disease. 

After 15 months, the lithium group had no cognitive decline – that’s none, zilch, zero! For the placebo group, their mental decline continued.

It turns out lithium is already in our food and water, so it really is a natural substance. In the article, the author recommended taking 2 mg of lithium per day for 2 to 3 months. If you have no side effects, then you want to increase to a maintenance dose of 5 mg per day. You want to look at using either lithium carbonate or lithium gluconate.

All I can say is…this is a powerful way to turn a “drug turned nutritional supplement” into a treatment for preventing and treating Alzheimer’s Disease. Pretty exciting! 
(Reported Bottom Line Health, May 2022)


Saturday, April 30, 2022

The Scams and Frauds Going on Around Us

This weeks Blurb is to protect your finances and health from the hottest scams that are now occurring in the US. My intention is to arm you, so you don’t get sucked in and lose money and possibly have your health affected by the monetary loss.

About 3 years ago, I almost fell for a scam. I was about to fall for it, when I told my wife, Elizabeth, what was happening, and she said Whoa! And she was right! So, I’m sensitive to what’s going on out there and want to raise your awareness level, so you don’t fall for a scam.

This list of 2022’s Hottest Scams came from the AARP Bulletin, April 2022. A number of them I’ve never heard of before.

Google Voice Scam  

This might happen when you post something for sale online or a plea to find a lost pet. The scammer will call you and they first want to verify that you aren’t scamming them. They’ll tell you they are sending you a verification code from Google Voice. What’s happening is they are setting up a Google Voice account in your name. This will allow them to pretend to be you.

So, never share verification codes with anyone. If they got ya, go for help to support.google.com/voice.

Rental Assistance Cons 

If you’re behind on your rent, you could be contacted by a phony government employee or nonprofit employee. They will say they want to help you and will need your personal information and money up front for application fees. 

So, to find legitimate rental programs in your area, go to the Consumer Protection Bureau’s website at cfpb.gov.

Fake Job Frauds  

The scammers get your info that you posted on legitimate job websites. They contact you pretending to be a recruiter and are offering you high-salary or work-at-home job offers. They are looking for additional info about you or to convince you to send money for bogus home-office setups or fake fees.

The suggestion to avoid this is to set up a separate email address and phone number free on Google Voice that will ring on your phone but keeps your real number private. You should also call the company’s human resource department to verify that the offer is real.

Fake Amazon Employees

You’ll be contacted via phone, texts, email, or social media message about suspicious activity or unauthorized purchases on your Amazon account. 

You can contact Amazon customer support at 888 280-4331 to verify what’s going on.

Cryptocurrency ATM Payments

You’ll be contacted by a phony government official, utility agent or sweepstakes representative. They’ll direct you to pay a fee, bill or handling charge by cryptocurrency ATM machines that are popping up in convenience stores, gas stations and big retailers.

This one is easy. If anyone says to pay by cryptocurrency, it’s a scam!

Local Tax Imposters

Scammers are impersonating state country and local law enforcement and tax collection agencies to get your personal info and to have you send money to settle a tax debt that they say you have. They may threaten to revoke your driver’s license or passport.

Legit agencies will send a letter and they won’t ask for passwords, bank account or credit card info. They won’t threaten to call the police or have you pay by gift card or cryptocurrency.

Favor For a Friend Gift Cards

You get an email from a “friend” (really the scammer) that they need a favor. They’re having trouble buying a gift card for a birthday gift with their own credit card. They will ask you to buy the gift card for them and for you to call them back with the numbers on the back of the gift card. The top retail stores where the scammer’s are saying to buy the gift card at are Target, Google Play, Apple, eBay and Walmart.

Call or text your friend to confirm that it’s really them.

What can you do if you’ve been scammed?

You can contact the AARP Fraud Watch Network helpline to talk to a trained fraud specialist who will provide you support and guidance on what to do next. Call 877 908-3360 even if you’re not an AARP member or are over 65. They’ll help anyone who calls!

So…realize you need to pay attention to the spreading frauds out there and protect yourself as best you can. Hope you find this information helpful!

 

Saturday, April 23, 2022

How Chronic Pain Affects Your Life

Chronic pain is pain that doesn’t go away. It may vary in intensity, but it tends to stay around and becomes long-term pain. It can cause addiction to painkillers and other drugs. It’s effects on a person go beyond just the pain as it can affect a person’s decision-making abilities, the person getting involved in riskier ventures and even making unhealthy food choices. 

Chronic pain affects one in four adults and costs the US $635 billion in healthcare costs and lost

productivity each year. Surveys of professional athletes and members of the military are even worse. Among veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, over 80% suffer persistent pain caused by traumatic brain injuries. One cannot even imagine the long-term effects that the war in Ukraine will have on all the people involved.

Here's some of the research that’s been done on chronic pain.

One study looked at a person’s gambling decision-making. In the study, people without chronic pain tended to learn to stick with safer cards. The chronic pain people gambled larger sums and accrued greater debt. The researchers found that chronic pain sufferers were missing identifying subtle body changes like a racing heart, sweaty palms and churning stomachs that the non-suffers experienced and used to make a decision to play it safer.

The chronic pain suffers were less sensitive to these internal signals and made riskier decisions.

In a study published in the journal Pain, the researchers found that people experiencing lower back pain obtained less pleasure from eating high-fat foods. Those who suffered from backaches often continued to eat despite a lack of satisfaction and already feeling full. This   resulted in the person putting on weight.

 Another study found structural changes in the nucleus accumbens which is a brain region involved in motivation and reward. In rodents, they found that over-stimulating this brain region drove them to overeat even when they weren’t hunger. This absence of hunger resulted in a person becoming obese.

Chronic pain’s effects can even be seen in brain scans. People with persistent backaches had less grey matter in the prefrontal cortex, which is an area of the brain involved in pain perception, decision making and cognitive flexibility. 

One of the therapy’s that is being used to treat chronic pain is cognitive behavioral therapy. I’d suggest someone in chronic pain also explore acupuncture, physical therapy, meditation, tai chi and yoga.

So…the expression that it’s all in your mind needs to be expanded to include the brain and the body because chronic pain effects it all – it’s not just in your mind!
(Reported Discover Magazine, Chronic Pain Makes You Think Differently, March 28, 2022)


Saturday, April 16, 2022

A Teacher’s Profound Way to Help Her Kids

This article was sent to me by a friend of mine and needs to be shared far and wide. Teachers have been getting blasted by parents and legislators. This article looks at the profound impact a teacher can have on their student’s lives. This is the better side of the story.

Every Friday afternoon Chase’s teacher asks her students to take out a piece of paper and write down the names of four children with whom they’d like to sit near the following week. The children know that these requests may or may not be honored. 

She also asks the students to nominate one student whom they believe has been an exceptional classroom citizen that week. All ballots are submitted privately to her.

And every single Friday afternoon, after the students go home, Chase’s teacher takes out those slips of paper, places them in front of her and studies them. She looks for patterns.

Who is not getting requested by anyone else?

Who doesn’t even know who to request?

Who never gets noticed enough to be nominated?

Who had a million friends last week and none this week?

You see, Chase’s teacher is not looking for a new seating chart or “exceptional citizens.” Chase’s teacher is looking for lonely children. She’s looking for children who are struggling to connect with other children. She’s identifying the little ones who are falling through the cracks of the class’s social life. She is discovering whose gifts are going unnoticed by their peers. And she's pinning down - right away - who's being bullied and who is doing the bullying.

As a teacher, parent, and lover of all children – I think this is the most brilliant Love Ninja strategy I have ever encountered. It’s like taking an X-ray of a classroom to see beneath the surface of things and into the hearts of students. 

It is like mining for gold – the gold being those little ones who need a little help – who need adults to step in and TEACH them how to make friends, how to ask others to play, how to join a group, or how to share their gifts with others. 

And it’s a bully deterrent because every teacher knows that bullying usually happens outside of her eyeshot – and that often kids being bullied are too intimidated to share. But as she said – the truth comes out on those safe, private, little sheets of paper.

As Chase’s teacher explained this simple, ingenious idea – I stared at her with my mouth hanging open. “How long have you been using this system?” I asked.

Ever since Columbine, she said. Every single Friday afternoon since Columbine. Good Lord.

This brilliant woman watched Columbine knowing that ALL VIOLENCE BEGINS WITH DISCONNECTION. All outward violence begins as inner loneliness. She watched that tragedy KNOWING that children who aren’t being noticed will eventually resort to being noticed by any means necessary.

And so, she decided to start fighting violence early and often, and with the world within her reach. What Chase’s teacher is doing when she sits in her empty classroom studying those lists written with shaky 11-year-old hands - is SAVING LIVES. I am convinced of it. She is saving lives.

And what this mathematician has learned while using this system is something she really already knew: that everything – even love, even belonging – has a pattern to it. And she finds those patterns through those lists – she breaks the codes of disconnection. And then she gets lonely kids the help they need. It’s math to her. It’s MATH.

All is love- even math. Amazing.

Chase’s teacher retires this year – after decades of saving lives. What a way to spend a life: looking for patterns of love and loneliness. Stepping in, every single day- and altering the trajectory of our world.

TEACH ON, WARRIORS. You are the first responders, the front line, the disconnection detectives, and the best and ONLY hope we’ve got for a better world. What you do in those classrooms when no one is watching- it’s our best hope.

Please pass this on to teachers and school administrators you know.



Saturday, April 9, 2022

Ways to Manage Your Stress and Anxiety

With all the craziness in the world, people are having a lot of anxiety and stress. So, what can you do about it besides hiding under the bed or in a closet until it all goes away?

An article in Nutrition Action had an interview with Elizabeth Hope (good name). Dr. Hope is a board-certified psychiatrist and director of the Anxiety Disorders Research Program at George Washington University School of Medicine.

She has been researching and analyzing a number of different approaches to reducing stress and anxiety.

On the talk therapy side, she has looked at Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) and found that it was three times more effective than typical counseling sessions. CBT changes the way you think, and it works within 8 to 12 sessions. It even has the client doing homework. If the person does their homework, then they may finish therapy in eight sessions.

Dr. Hope compared CBT against Yoga. By the end of the study, both the CBT and Yoga folks felt better than the control group. However, the anxiety relieving benefits didn’t persist after stopping yoga while CBT’s effects did.

So, my comment on this aspect is simple - keep doing yoga because it’s also keeping your body limber and toned!

On meditation, Dr. Hope looked at mindfulness meditation. She found that meditation also helped the meditators verse the control group handle their anxiety. It seemed that meditation also made the meditators more resilient to acute stress by comparing them to a control group where both groups had to give a speech in front strangers who were all wearing white lab coats and holding clip boards. (No judgment there, right!)

The meditators experienced less anxiety and stress during the speech compared to the controls.

Exercise is another way to reduce stress and anxiety. In one study, older sedentary men were assigned to either lift weights or ride a cycle three times a week. After six months, they had better mood and lower anxiety levels than non-exercisers.

So…the moral of the story is that there are a lot of drug free ways to reduce your stress and anxiety. You just need to do one of the approaches she covered and to get yourself in gear. You also need to realize you’re not hopeless or helpless in the face of the stress and anxiety that we’re all facing!

PS I waited until the end of the blog to crack this line – Yes, there is Hope when you need her!
(Reported Nutrition Action, January/February 2022)


Saturday, April 2, 2022

A Better Understanding of Transgender in Sports

I don’t usually get discuss political issues in my Blurb. I’m making an exception to share with you what Utah Governor Spencer Cox wrote when he vetoed a bill that would prohibit transgender students from taking part in high school sports.

I thought what he said was quite touching.

“I must admit, I am not an expert on transgenderism. I struggle to understand so much of it and the science is conflicting. When in doubt however, I always try to err on the side of kindness, mercy and compassion. I also try to get proximate, and I am learning so much from our transgender community. They are great kids who face enormous struggles. Here are the numbers that have most impacted my decision: 75,000, 4, 1, 86 and 56.

75,000 high school kids participating in high school sports in Utah.

4 transgender kids playing high school sports in Utah. 

1 transgender student playing girls sports. 

86% of trans youth reporting suicidality. 

56% of trans youth having attempted suicide

Four kids and only one of them playing girls sports. That’s what all of this is about. Four kids who aren’t dominating or winning trophies or taking scholarships. Four kids who are just trying to find some friends and feel like they are a part of something. Four kids trying to get through each day. Rarely has so much fear and anger been directed at so few. I don’t understand what they are going through or why they feel the way they do. But I want them to live. And all the research shows that even a little acceptance and connection can reduce suicidality significantly.

For that reason, as much as any other, I have taken this action in the hope that we can continue to work together and find a better way. If a veto override occurs, I hope we can work to find ways to show these four kids that we love them and they have a place in our state.”

Note: the legislature overrode his veto.

So…all the gnashing of teeth in many state governments is about just a few kids who are attempting to identify who they are. As the Governor said, maybe we should be helping them as opposed to demonizing them.