With the holidays ahead, it is an important time to take a closer look at the stress response, food and mood. The holidays, for many, can trigger stress and food behaviors that set off a cascade of hormones and neurochemicals. The emotional stress that the holidays can elicit for many people, paired with the excess foods and libations that abound, can set us up for trouble. Understanding the neurochemical response to certain foods can help us better navigate our foods and mood this holiday season.
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Over the past year there has been a plethora of news stories about lead exposure. From Flint, Michigan to Portland, Oregon, details have emerged about schools, homes, water supplies, and other areas and structures contaminated by lead. It hardly surprises me when these pop up in the news, as lead has been used generously in piping, paint, gasoline, ammunition, and batteries, among many other products during the last century.
Do you enjoy feeling scared? Not in a life-threatening way. In a safe, controlled environment, scared in a "fun way," without any consequences. The mechanisms of thrill-seeking evolved from the very same mechanisms that allowed us to survive as a species – the fight or flight response, wired into our biochemistry. This time of year we scare ourselves with the sole purpose of experiencing the bleary territory between the living and the dead. The strong emotional response associated with Halloween is one of the reasons why many people love it so.
A technique new to breast cancer treatment that I hope will become the worldwide standard of care is cryosurgery (also called cryotherapy or cryoablation).
I was fortunate enough to work with two women who had this procedure done by Dr. Peter Littrup, an interventional radiologist who gained FDA approval for a device he invented and used to freeze prostate cancer tumors using liquid nitrogen.