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Thursday, July 2, 2015

Harsh Warning Against Using Actos (Pioglitazone) │ Poor Sleep = Heart Attacks and Strokes │

Sure, my younger brother Mark did pass out for an hour or so last evening; but should that have been justification for sitting up almost an hour later than he normally would have?

It was around 11:20 p.m. when he headed for his bedroom ─ he usually goes around 10:30 p.m.

I don't precisely recall my own bedtime, but it likely was before 11:50 p.m.

This heat is making sleep very difficult, and today is another scorcher here in Surrey, B.C.

I managed to remain abed until nearly 8:10 a.m., but so much of my time in bed had been awake time.  I hope Mark is faring better.  It has to be an ordeal rising at 4:30 a.m. to begin readying for work.

And because he drives a large truck, picking up and delivering various cargo, he is building up a huge sweat at times when he must manually handle the cargo.

Because of that concern, I was annoyed to rise and find that my 20-year-old step-son Tho had not gone to work ─ he was still in bed.

He did rise soon after I began enjoying my morning mug of coffee here at my computer, however.

I was intending to work upon a new post at my Latin Impressions website, but around 8:45 a.m., it sounded like Mark had come back home.

Did the heat of the day get the better of him or his truck?

But it was my wife Jack making a surprise home visit from Vancouver.

I expect that Tho had to explain why he was still home, but at least he did leave for work ─ if late.

Jack wanted to phone Rogers and try to make some sort of change to the cellphone plan her two sons share.

When she phoned them and eventually got hold of someone, her iPhone was on 'speaker,' so I clearly heard the long exchange.

She complained that the bill for their plan ─ which she (and I) pay, and not her working son Tho ─ has been $400 the past two months.

She was only able to afford to pay $200 towards it in her last payment.

Well, it seems that even though the boys have a 500 megabyte data share, they are exceeding it.

She has gotten after them before, but they just won't cut back.

And why should they?  It's not costing them anything!  All they have to do is weather a little bitching from their mother occasionally.

Apart from canceling the plan and paying a small fortune for doing so ─ the current one evidently commenced  in November 2013, if I heard and remember right ─ all she could do was increase their data share.

So now she's (i.e., we're) going to be paying to provide them with a two gigabyte data share.

She's letting things ride for now, and waiting to see what the next Rogers bill looks like.

I'm going to have to tell her that when the plan expires, that is it!  They can each handle their own separate Rogers account.

Tho is employed, after all; and 17-year-old Pote damned well better be working before too darned long.  He's done with high school ─ he graduated Grade XII.  He'd better not think that he's going to spend the Summer sitting up all night long and sleeping the best part of each day.

Jack's Rogers call ─ and her upset ─ was sufficient to get Pote out of bed shortly after mid-morning, however.

And around 10:00 a.m., she announced that she was taking him to drop him off at "the mall."  That was over 1½ hours ago, and she has not yet returned.


Well, Jack was back by noon or so, and we had a very light meal together.

She was tired, and said that she needed to try for a bit of a nap.

I think the poor girl was only down for about 20 minutes, and then sat up with a bit of a start as she looked at the clock.  It was time to ready and return to Vancouver.

And away she was, just after 1:00 p.m.

I took the time thereafter to do some sundeck sunning ─ just over 20 minutes for both front and back while wearing a pair of shorts.

It is amazingly hot ─ the slightest breeze feels just heavenly.

I intend to do a few pull-ups later in the afternoon, but I have to admit that the wasp nest inside the small shed does sometimes cause me some caution.  This is particularly so when as many as three of the wasps may be casually cruising amongst the small shed's rafters soon after I open the door ─ I think they sense the convenient opening, and the improvement in the shed's oppressive atmosphere.

None have yet threatened me; and any that do cruise seem to happily take advantage of the open door when they finally find their way to it.

I have no idea how they otherwise get in and out of the shed ─ there must be some opening someplace.  The open door must be sheer luxury for any wasps that detect and use the opening.

I took this zoomed shot with my Canon PowerShot SD880 IS on June 30 in the gloomy shed:


The nest is almost the size of a fairly smallish grapefruit.

This was the nest five days before that:


As long as they continue to leave me alone, I'll not bother them.  However, my brother Mark is still unaware of their existence.

Provided they don't try to build a nest the size of a boxer's speed-bag, we may be able to coexist until the small colony finishes its lifespan with the approach of Winter.



I have three reports from about three days ago that I would like to post now. 

I hold pharmaceutical companies in very low esteem.  This first article by the Health Sciences Institute (HSI) richly illustrates just why those corporations tend to disgust me so much:

A billion-dollar makeover
I've warned you before about how the diabetes drug Actos (pioglitazone) has been linked to countless cases of bladder cancer and has been the target of thousands of lawsuits.

And how its maker Takeda Pharmaceuticals has been accused of destroying emails, computer hard drives and papers that may have proved the company knew Actos was a death sentence for anyone who took it.

One lawyer claimed that if all the destroyed evidence had been printed on paper, it could have filled a football stadium.

But just as Takeda was settling another $2 billion worth of Actos lawsuits in America a couple months ago, it was quietly plodding ahead with its "Plan B" for the drug.

A dangerous new strategy that could expose you... and millions of others...to Actos' potentially deadly risks. Whether you have diabetes or not.

German researchers just announced a study claiming that taking Actos could help you prevent dementia and even Alzheimer's. They even said their research proved that the drug helps shield the neurons in your brain from damage.

But this wasn't some brain-health breakthrough. Nor was it the silver bullet Alzheimer's cure that Big Pharma has been chasing for years.

It was the latest step in Takeda's plan to reverse Actos' sagging sales by creating new uses for the drug. Even if it puts millions more lives at stake.

Lawsuits and bad publicity surrounding Actos have forced the drug's sales to plummet, and Takeda has spent years trying to recover those lost billions. And the company thinks it's struck gold positioning Actos as an Alzheimer's pill.

You see, there's less competition selling Alzheimer's drugs, even though the market is worth a fortune. And if you market Actos to prevent Alzheimer's, people have to buy it for years before they know if it worked.

It's a world-class scam that's going to leave plenty of otherwise healthy people with cancer. But the notion that Actos might prevent or delay Alzheimer's has had Takeda rushing it into clinical trials all over the U.S.

Healthy seniors aged 65 to 83 who don't have diabetes are being recruited for something called the TOMORROW study (which in itself is an irony). They're being asked to step up to the plate and "contribute to scientific discovery" by seeing if Actos lowers their Alzheimer's risk.

Give me a break. Takeda is asking innocent people to become drug guinea pigs and pop a pill that may kill them -- all to prevent a brain disease many of them wouldn't have developed in the first place.

And, of course, you have to wonder whether these research volunteers will ever be warned about all the risks of Actos... or that they're putting their lives in the hands of a company that may have knowingly given people cancer and then tried to hide the evidence.

Of course, the real irony behind Takeda's efforts to put a fresh new face on Actos will be on full display in Nevada this summer.

This August, a Las Vegas jury will hear the cases of two more men who developed bladder cancer while on Actos -- one of them has already died.

And right down the road, in the same city, a new crop of unsuspecting seniors will be duped into taking the drug as part of the TOMORROW trials.

The only question now is how many tomorrows those seniors have left.
People are so eager to kill themselves, it seems.  The only 'truth' they need to hear is what the drug manufacturer has to say ─ no one can be bothered to do their own research first.

Incidentally, the Health Sciences Institute (HSI) are a member site of NewMarketHealth.com.

The second and third reports from three days ago were released by Dr. William Campbell Douglass II.  The first is stressing the importance of sleep in light of a recent Russian study:

Ultimate sleep nightmare strikes when you're wide AWAKE
Nightmares don't just strike when you're asleep.

No, my friend, even the most sweat-inducing visions of fear that pounce while you're snoozing are nothing compared to what can hit you when you're wide awake.

And when you feel that pain in your chest... when your world slowly goes black as you pray that your spouse gets help in time... when you come to briefly in the back of the speeding ambulance... THAT'S the real nightmare.

Like a bad dream, this one starts in your bed. But instead of getting your 40 winks you're lying awake staring at the ceiling, unable to get the rest your body needs to restore and rejuvenate.

You're battling insomnia and you may as well be hitting your heart with a hammer, because the latest research finds that poor sleep night after night will increase your risk of a heart attack by nearly 250 percent.

And if that doesn't give you a waking nightmare next time you're unable to sleep, maybe this will: That same poor sleep habit can QUADRUPLE your risk of a stroke.

This was a study on men -- Russian men, to be exact -- but these weren't vodka-swilling comrades gulping borscht and chowing down on stroganoff. These were HEALTHY guys... or at least, they thought they were healthy.

Turns out their poor sleep habits were silently getting the best of them -- and they began dropping like flies as a result.

There's one good number buried in that study and it's this: Only a third of the men who had a heart attack had good sleep habits. The rest of the heart attack patients -- nearly two-thirds of them -- had poor sleep patterns.

This is proof positive that good sleep is powerful medicine for the heart -- more powerful than any drug in the pharmacy.

Drugs come with side effects, and the benefits range from the exaggerated to the nonexistent. Sleep? The only side effect is you'll feel better -- and if anything, the benefits have been downplayed.

If you're not getting the rest you need, try the basics: Get to bed earlier, turn off electronic devices (yes that DOES include the TV) at least an hour before bed and maybe sip a little brandy in warm milk.

If that doesn't do the trick, you've likely got something else going on -- probably a hormonal issue, which is common as we get older. Seek the help of a naturopathic medical doctor experienced in natural hormone therapies.

I recommend a member of the American College for Advancement in Medicine. Try their Physician+Link tool to locate a practitioner near you.

With a wake-up call on sleep,

William Campbell Douglass II, M.D.
The study does not yet seem to have been published, unless it's this document that is mostly Russian in content:  SLEEP DISORDERS AND SHARP HEART DISEASE (EPIDEMIOLOGICAL STUDY BASED ON THE WHO PROGRAM "MONICA")

The media reporting on the study are probably relying on this press release from the European Society of Cardiology:  Poor sleep associated with increased risk of heart attack and stroke.

There is a good overview at medicalnewstoday.comPoor sleep may raise the risk of heart attack, stroke.

If you carefully read that last reference, you will see that adequate sleep is utterly crucial ─ this is 'life and death,' and not merely an issue of functioning or even feeling a little better throughout the day.

Dr. Douglass' second report that day dealt with cataract-prevention through generous vitamin B-complex ingestion:

Keep cataracts at bay with these belly-pleasing foods
During the war, we'd stare death in the face every single day -- and do it without blinking. But one of the biggest, toughest guys in the unit was positively terrified of spiders.

Go figure.

We all have something that scares us, and if you ask seniors what they fear I bet almost none will answer "death."

Death we can handle. The stuff that comes before it, on the other hand, can cause a full-blown panic attack just thinking about it.

And for some folks, nothing can get them to sweat quite like the idea of cataract surgery.

Doesn't matter that it's a simple outpatient procedure done thousands of times a day without incident. The very idea of lying awake, eyes held open with a clamp while a scalpel comes at you, is enough to send some folks right over the edge.

I knew a gal who had to reschedule her cataract surgery SIX TIMES because every time they got her in for the procedure, her blood pressure shot through the roof and docs couldn't operate.

If you've got a cataract that advanced, you're probably going to need to take a deep breath and schedule the surgery.

But if you're in the earlier stages -- or if you just want to make sure you never get one in the first place -- there's a step you can take right now to prevent vision loss, save your eyes and help ensure you never have to go under the knife yourself.

And you're gonna LOVE this one: eat steak!

Red meat is one of the best all-natural sources of B vitamins around, and new research finds the higher your intake of B the lower your risk of vision-robbing cataracts.

High B12 intake, for example, will cut your risk of mild and moderate nuclear cataracts by as much as 38 percent and mild cortical cataracts by up to 23 percent. Riboflavin, aka vitamin B2, had similar numbers, while high B6 intake can cut your risk of moderate nuclear lens opacity (cloudy eyes) by a third.

Along with steak, your best natural sources of these and other vision-saving B vitamins include other meats (especially organ meats and pork), milk, cheese, eggs, fish, shellfish and in some cases nuts and seeds.

If you want to cover your bases and get even more benefits such as brain and heart protection, add a quality B complex to your daily routine.

Keeping an eye out for you,

William Campbell Douglass II, M.D.
Apparently the study he was speaking of is only available to the general public for free as an abstract or summary:  The Association of Dietary Lutein plus Zeaxanthin and B Vitamins with Cataracts in the Age-Related Eye Disease Study (doi: 10.1016/j.ophtha.2015.04.007).

A couple of other reports about it, though, are here:

I wish to close today with an entry from my journal of 41 years ago when I was 24 years old, and living in a cheap housekeeping room in New Westminster.
TUESDAY, July 2, 1974

I had something like 4 hours sleep.  

At Woodwards I bought another pair of white bags by GWG, a large black T-shirt which looks very nice ─ almost silky, and a small red bathing suit.  Returning, I tried David's place to see if he cared to bus to Vancouver, but he was away, I guess.

I paid my rent; it went smooth.  

Then I took off for Vancouver.  

I shopped quite heavily (I bought a pair of denim shoes), and finally went to see dad.  I received no answer to my knocks, and then decided to kill time in the Biltmore.  I stayed for over 4 hours and 8 beers.  

When I returned to dad's apartment, I did get an answer.  He had been home all along, but was in a drunk sleep.

We bought a bottle of Bon White soon after.  

He didn't want me to leave, and was quite maudlin.  And broke; so I gave him a couple dollars.  

He stalled me for so long, that it became impractical for me to walk to the bus depot.  And he wouldn't let me go unattended.  This resulted in a taxi ride to the depot which proved fruitless.  He finally got me onto the last Hydro bus home.  I hope he got back safely.  

He gave me some clothing.
My poor father Hector.

When he was drunk, he could be such an aggressive, belligerent soul.  But hungover or sober, he was a dear, lonely man.

I guess "bags" were a style of loose-legged GWG pants ─ maybe a sailor-like style in that they might have been bell-bottomed.

I'm guessing.

Anyway, Woodward's no longer exists in New Westminster.  They were a decent place to shop ─ even for deals on food, for they had a grocery section.

My old friend Philip David Prince also had a room in New Westminster.  We had known one another since starting Grade VIII at Newton Junior High School during the 1962/1963 school term.

I remember the blue denim shoes ─ they were like a pair of runners, I think.  But they did not last well.  The denim soon separated from the foundation on one of the shoes.

My father was clearly living in the Mount Pleasant area of Vancouver.  I expect that I may have walked to the area from downtown.

The Biltmore Hotel is no longer a hotel, nor would it be licenced.  It had quite a large beer parlour.

It's unfortunate that I lost over four hours of visiting time with my father by spending the time alone in the hotel.  Dear ol' dad clearly needed the company.

I have no idea what a bottle of "Bon White" might have been.  Maybe some now-defunct label of hard liquor like rye?  Or a large bottle or jug of wine?

The bus depot was downtown ─ a fair walk from Kingway & Main Street.  I don't now recall where it was that my father was living, but it could not have been too distant from that crossroads.

I'm unsure why he wanted to ensure that I got to a bus safely ─ that is, so much so that he was using the scant money he had to hire a taxi.

I sure miss that dear old man...who actually died younger than I am now.  He only got to about 10 days past his 62nd birthday, whereas I am now 65 years old.

He died in the Mount Pleasant area ─ the date was February 10, 1983:
Acute myocardial infarction
Pulmonary oedema
Generalized atherosclerosis
He collapsed in the Kingsgate Mall and was apparently dead upon arrival at the nearest hospital.  He had only gotten remarried in December ─ not two months earlier.
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