diagnoses

  1. Common food additive in autism link

    High-fructose corn syrup linked to autism

    The feds want you to believe the dramatic 78 percent rise in autism cases over the past decade is nothing more than a bookkeeping trick. There aren't more autistic kids -- just more docs who've learned to recognize the condition.

    Baloney!

    I'm sure more diagnoses -- and even OVER-diagnoses -- is part of that increase, but I'm just as sure that more kids are autistic than ever before. And a big part of the reason is the dramatic rise in exposure to toxic heavy metals.

    Now, one new study shows how the junkiest of all junk ingredients -- the high-fructose corn syrup used in… well… just about everything these days -- can cause your mercury levels to shoot so high you might reach the planet that shares its name.

    Former FDA toxicologist -- and noted agency whistleblower -- Renee Dufault says HFCS depletes the body of zinc… and zinc is needed to chase out mercury.

    Ms. Dufault is the same researcher who found low levels of mercury in HFCS several years ago -- so if you put two and two together here, you get more toxic heavy metals and less ability to rid the body of them, all in one convenient package.

    On paper anyway, it sounds like a recipe for autism. Out in the real world, it's just a small piece of the puzzle -- because HFCS is hardly the biggest source of mercury.

    This dangerous metal is in dental fillings, vaccines (especially flu shots), seafood, CFL light bulbs, and more. It's even turning up in the water supply, so you could be poisoning your family every time you open the tap (one more reason to make sure you have a reverse osmosis water filter protecting your home).

    And mercury itself is only a piece of the autism puzzle -- because other toxins, lousy eating habits, and hormonal problems can all play a role.

    I can't give you a one-size-fits-all answer on this. But if you suspect a little one in the family might be the next autism statistic, get the kid to a naturopathic physician ASAP.

    Early diagnosis and proper drug-free treatment can make all the difference in the world.

  2. Paging Dr. Google

    How patients misdiagnose themselves online

    You have cancer!

    Well, Google thinks you do anyway -- because no matter what symptoms you type into the search engine, the results will connect it to cancer.

    Headaches? Cancer!

    Blurry vision? Cancer!

    Pain? Cancer!

    Got an itch? Cancer!

    Tired all the time? Do you even have to ask?

    If you've ever used Google yourself to track down medical information (and who hasn't?) you've probably had your own search engine-induced cancer scare at some point.

    Obviously, you're not alone. In fact, a new survey out of the UK finds that a quarter of all women have thought they had a disease they didn't really have thanks to "Dr. Google" -- and number one on the list was breast cancer.

    Number two? All other cancers.

    I'm surprised the number was so low -- because it seems like 100 percent of men and women alike end up convinced they have cancer and any number of other diseases (often rare and deadly ones) after a Google search.

    What makes this self-diagnosis so much worse than just a false disease scare is that many people take the next step and medicate themselves based on what Dr. Google says -- and at least 10 percent of women in the survey experienced side effects because of the drugs they took for a condition they didn't even have.

    (Again, that number sounds low to me.)

    The survey was funded by the maker of a drug for bacterial vaginosis, a condition women often mistakenly believe is thrush based on search engine results. And indeed, thrush was the number three condition on the list.

    But really, you shouldn't be self-diagnosing -- and certainly not self-medicating -- for thrush, vaginosis, cancer, or anything else Dr. Google thinks you have.

    The Internet is a tool to inform and empower patients. You can use the information you find online to question your doctor's diagnoses and treatments -- but you can't question him if you don't see him in the first place.

    For a good example of something to question your own doctor about, keep reading.

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