Review: EndoFEMM Heating Pad

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Photo courtesy of Pelvic Pain Solutions

Oh man.  If you know me, you know I love my heating pads.  I have an electric one by my bed, a microwaveable one for when I’m watching TV, another microwaveable one for work, and even those ones you stick on your clothes for discreet heat.

Well, in April I received an email from Babette, the President of Pelvic Pain Solutions (and fellow EndoSister), offering me a free sample of their EndoFEMM heating pads.  If I liked it, I agreed I’d share about my experiences.  First off, I thought “free sample” meant I’d be getting like a 3″x3″ square of it so I can take it for a test drive; nope – it was the entire EndoFEMM heating pad in all it’s “Paris Girl” glory!  So, here I am today…which means I obviously liked it.

It’s a strap-on kind of heating pad that I can wear around the house, hands-free, and have a lovely, heavy weight and pleasant pressure on my pelvis, as well as constant heat!  I microwave it for a minute or two, but ALSO have the option of cold therapy (brrrrrrr, I hate the cold).

First impressions?  My husband said I looked like a sumo wrestler, so in good humor I stomped around the house in my best sumo pose.  BUT I cannot sing the praises of the EndoFEMM enough – it’s large enough to cover ALL of my painful pelvic area, even my mons!  I absolutely looove the heat and pressure on my hips.  And if my lower back is giving trouble, I just shift it around so the heat is on my backside.  A word of warning, though: it’s HOT – and when you fasten something HOT to your body…you get HOT!  So you may want to wait a minute before strapping this bad boy to your belly, or check to see if the heat is okay…

I love it.  It’s now my favorite heating pad and I absolutely want to buy the travel size one to keep at work.

So, on April 22, 2017, I started my period.  My EndoFEMM arrived juuuuuust in the nick of time.  Granted it doesn’t take away my pain and Endo symptoms…but it does ease them.  Heat has always been a comfort.  And now I have hands-free heat, comfort, weight, and pressure.  Like a purring cat on my lap.

Next, on May 20, 2017, I started my period again.  And happily reached for my EndoFEMM.  Again, I was met with warm, heavy, comforting goodness.  And HANDS-FREE! I think that’s my favorite part.  I just wear my heating pad around the house and can still do things like…pet the cat, reach for the remote, carry a glass of wine from the kitchen to the couch…ha.  I love it.  The heat lasts for about a half an hour before I nuke it again for 60 seconds. And I never realized just how much I needed the heat on my hips and mons…it’s incredible.  An all-encompassing gigantic heating pad.

Anyway, I blab!  I ramble!!  Just know that this girl loves this heating pad!  And thank you to Babette for turning me on to them!  Now if my crazy review has led you to their webpage, clicking that little “Buy Now” button, I absolutely insist you update me on your thoughts in my Comments section below.  Do you love it as much as I do?

Possible relief from painful sex or penetration? Vuva Magnetic Dilators.

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Vuva-whata-what?

I found these little pink … things … back in October 2016 when I was experience A LOT of pain with sexual intercourse.  I mean, a lot.  I was desperate.  After reading the reviews on how many women who use Vuva Magnetic Dilators had relief from painful sex, I was hooked.  But…I also couldn’t afford to purchase the kit.  And, let’s face it – I had my doubts about magnets in dilators (dildos?) helping me with anything.

So, I wrote the company.  Tara, the creator and founder, immediately wrote me back.  She, too, suffers from Endometriosis.  She also suffers from Vulvodynia and said her magnetic dilators helped her tremendously with her vaginal and pelvic pain, especially with sex!  AND – she offered to send me two dilators for free because she truly believed they would help and wanted to help women in pain.

She didn’t ask me to write this review.  I just wanted to.  And…again…I still had my doubts.

But before I get into my experience, I wanted to explain a little bit about my understanding of what the Vuva Dilators are and how they are supposed to work.

A dilator looks an awful lot like a sex toy you can buy anywhere.  BUT…a dilator is used for medicinal purposes and comes as a set of steadily increasing sizes/girths to help stretch the vaginal opening, or muscles inside the canal (no, I’m not good with scienc-y words).  This may sound painful, but you can get dilators that are *very* small, and work your way up to something that is more comfortable (or close to the size of your partner).  And it’s an incredibly slow and gradual process, stretching at your own pace, taking weeks to months. Vuva dilators are internally lined with Neodymium magnets, which supposedly help relax muscles and increase blood flow to the area.  You insert one of these bad boys for 20-30 minutes each day and that’s it.  There’s no stretching, no rubbing, no moving or wiggling around.  Just stick it in, watch a TV show while laying on the couch, and pull it on out. *voila*

For more information, check out their webpage, which has all kinds of info on why magnets are supposed to work and testimonials.  https://www.vuvatech.com/

Tara shared a study conducted by Physician Care Clinical Research comparing Vuva dilators to regular dilators.  From February 2015-December 2015, a clinical study of Vuva’s effectiveness was conducted on 12 women in Florida.  A year later, the final report was prepared.  The 17-page report outlines the study, which was a randomized, double blind, crossover study for vulva/vaginal pain.  The women had complained of ongoing vaginal/vulva pain for at least three months.  Four areas were covered during the study:  pain with tampon usage, pain of certain areas around the vagina via a cotton swab test, the way a woman felt emotionally about vaginal penetration, and sexual intercourse.

The study’s down and dirty after using Vuva magnetic dilators as instructed (well, my understanding):

  • 90% of the women reported a decrease in pain with tampon usage.  This figure is actually for women who used the Vuva Magnetic Dilators AAAANNNDD women who used the regular dilator (non-magnetic; placebo).  So, using a dilator may help women who experience tampon pain. BUT, for those who used the Vuva magnetic dilators, they experienced twice the amount of pain relief than with regular dilators.  Those who used the Vuva magnetic dilators experienced 30% less pain for the “tampon test.”
  • The cotton swab test was gently prodding a woman around her vulva with a cotton swab and recording the pain levels.  80% of the women reported a decrease in pain levels after using the Vuva magnetic dilators.  On average, 28% less pain!
  • Many women who experience vulva, vaginal, or pain with sex begin to fear the act of penetration itself.  All of the participants stated they had a higher sense of control and self-image.
  • Each woman also kept track of their sexual intercourse, as well as any pain associated with sex.  Unfortunately, half of the women didn’t have sex curing the length of the study.  But for the half that did, 80% of them had sex more often than before!

BUT what about me? Ready for TMI?

Before I started the Vuva magnetic dilators, sex was uber painful.  Don’t get me wrong – it can still be painful…but, we’d have sex, and it’d hurt 6-8 out of 10.  And I’d cramp for several hours (sometimes even into the next day) afterward.  Granted, I had my laparoscopic surgery on September 21, 2017 and was still healing by late October, BUT sex was uber painful and crampy long before that surgery.

Here’s a little tracker on my sex pain, Vuva usage, and my thoughts:

Oct. 16: had sex (me on top) and pain during sex was a 6 out of 10.  Afterward, my cramps were a 3-6 out of 10 and lasted for an hour and a half.

Oct. 29: had sex (me on top) and pain during sex was a 6 out of 10. No cramping.

Nov. 7: I began using IntiMD dilators (just a regular dilator).  Even with the largest dilator, I did not experience changes or anything.  Followed instructions and felt this program was not right for me.

Nov. 10: Used my Vuva Magnetic Dilator for the first time!  No pain or discomfort.  Felt warm and full/fluffy (…down “there”) after 20 minutes of use…in a good way, like having soaked in a hot bath.  Magnet magic? Maybe.  Began to use regularly (every day or every other day).

Nov. 11: Had sex (six hours after using dilator, that weird sideways spoony-sex).  Sex pain was a 2 out of 10, cramping was a 1 out of 10 and only lasted an hour.

Nov. 17: Had sex (sideways spoony-sex).  Sex pain was a 1 out of 10, cramping was a 3 out of 10 and lasted a few hours.

Dec. 1: Had sex (sideways spoony-sex and me on my stomach).  Sex pain was ZERO!!!!  Cramping was a 2 out of 10, and lasted about 30 minutes.

Dec. 3: Had sex (sideways spoony-sex and me on my stomach).  Sex pain was a 1 out of 10, cramping was a 2 out of 10 and lasted about an hour.

Dec. 4: Had sex (me on top, my laying on my stomach, and doggy style).  Sex pain was a 3 out of 10, cramping was a 2 out of 10, lasting about 30 minutes.

Dec. 14: Had sex (sideways spoony-sex).  Sex pain and afterward cramping were a ZERO! Oh my god.

Dec. 22: Had sex (sideways spoony-sex).  Sex pain and afterward cramping were a ZERO! Again!!

Dec. 24: Had sex (me on top).  Sex pain and afterward cramping were a ZERO!!!

Then I took a break from using my Vuva dilators due to the holidays…bad idea:

Jan. 4: Had sex (doggy style).  Sex pain was a 7 out of 10, cramping was a 3 out of 10, lasting about 30 minutes.  Vowed to renew Vuva usage!!  We’ve also since realized that doggy is just too deep for my nifty anatomy (I have a septated canal and two cervix) so we stick to less-penetrative positions now.

Jan. 19: Had sex (standing, from behind).  Sex pain and cramping were a zero!

Jan. 29: Had sex (standing, from behind).  Sex pain and cramping were a zero!

Feb. 23: Had sex (standing, from behind).  Sex pain and cramping were a zero!

March 7: Had sex (missionary, and sideways spoony-sex).  Sex pain was a 3 out of 10 and cramping was a 3 out of 10, which lasted into the next morning.  I had to take a Tylenol PM due to the pain.  It was also the day after my period ended, so things may have still been tender.

March 12: Had sex (me on top).  Sex pain was a zero, but cramping afterward was a 2 out of 10, which lasted about an hour.

**

That’s the extent of my tracking our sexual encounters and pain. We went from having sex maybe once every month or two to multiple times per month!  I felt like I was getting the “old me” back!  I was far more confident, less scared (although still a bit scared…), and very grateful.  And I even instigated several of our sexual encounters.  Woohoo!

Whether it was the magnets in the Vuva dilators, or the placebo affect making me feel better, or having recovered more fully from my September surgery (but remember, I did have this pain prior to surgery), or whatever – I’m grateful.

I must be honest – I haven’t used my Vuva dilators since March because life has been hectic and I haven’t set aside 20-30 minutes of my day.  I’ve been experiencing minimal pain with sex once more, and very minimal cramping.  But guess what?  After typing up my log today, it has renewed by desire to pick the program back up.

I am so grateful to Tara for the products.  And her support and encouragement.  If her products can help other women have less pain, I think that’s wonderful!  If you’d like to look deeper into Vuva Magnetic Dilators, the idea behind them, the instructions, the testimonials, or even purchase a set yourself, please check out https://www.vuvatech.com/

 

 

 

A paper on the holistic treatment of Endometriosis

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The Ohlone Herbal Center published Whitney Staeb’s apprenticeship paper in October 2016 about the holistic treatment approaches of Endometriosis.  If you’d like to read the 16-page report in it’s entirety, please click here.

It discusses herbs and flower essences that may help ease inflammation and symptoms.  Although it does not discuss doses, it does talk about the supposed medicinal properties of each and combinations that may help during cycles.  If intrigued, read the paper and consult with your healthcare provider and an herbalist.

Diet and proper nutrition play a large role possibly controlling Endometriosis symptoms.  She identifies some “ideal foods” that may be incorporated into, and excluded from, your diet.

Lifestyle changes such as switching feminine hygiene products, exercising, taking warm baths, using heating pads, and practicing good self-care may also ease the physical and mental issues of Endometriosis.

I encourage you to read her paper yourself (click here).  See if any of it speaks to you.  And, again, please do your own research (look for the pros and cons of each listed suggestion) and speak with your healthcare provider before starting any new regimen.

Have you ever, or do you presently, take any of the herbs/supplements referenced in this paper?  Please share your experiences with us in the comments below. Your journey may help others!

Yours,

Lisa

We’ve all heard of Big Pharma…but what about Big Supp?

digital illustration of a large pill capsule filled with golden dollar signs

A few months ago, some of us attended a workshop on hormonal treatments and Endometriosis.  It was presented by Dr. Sally Rafie of The Pharmacist’s Clinic.  We’ve all heard the term, “Big Pharma,” and the lobbyists, money, and the-big-push that comes with pharmaceuticals and their respective manufacturers.  But at this workshop, I learned of the term “Big Supp.”  And went “oooooooooooooooooooh” – never once had I thought of the machine that drives the supplement industry.  Nor the regulations that they are, or aren’t, forced to adhere to.

Someone recommends I take something? I may do some precursory research, but nothing in depth.  And I generally will try it…I am always wary of the snake oils, though – the “specifically-marketed-to-relief (fill in the blank)” pills, oils, tinctures, shakes, etc.

So, today, I delve into the dietary supplement industry.  What are the driving forces behind the industry.  What regulations, if any, exist to ensure the safety of the consumer?  Is there a great big corporate pyramid with some dark and sinister Villain perched on top?  Or is it all just clean-livin’ hippies out to help the world? Let’s find out!

“Dietary Supplements” according to the Federal Trade Commission are: vitamins and minerals, amino acids, enzymes, herbs, animal extracts, and probiotics.  The FTC put out an infographic about dietary supplements, which you can view  on their page.

According to some sources, the supplement industry rakes in $30-120 billion a year in the US alone.  Nutraceuticals World states that the supplement industry creates 754,000 jobs and pays out $38 in salaries/wages.  And that the dietary supplement industry constantly fights the FDA’s regulations and policy change.

The US Food & Drug Administration does not regulate the supplement industry like they regulate the pharmaceutical industry.   Supplement manufacturers do not need to seek FDA approval or prove to the FDA that their products contain the ingredients they say it does, nor do they have to pass safety or efficacy tests.  They can simply put their product on the market.  Sometimes, this leads to contaminated or unsafe products.  They’re supposed to report to the FDA any adverse events (people complaining of harmful side effects, etc.).  There will be times where consumer tests may red-flag supplements and the FDA steps in, finding violations.

Dietary supplements are a political hot-bed, too.  There’s an ongoing history of political contributions, supposedly in an effort to win political favor over policy changes.  In the past, democrats have been seeking to have the supplement industry regulated like prescription drugs; however, there has been strong opposition from supplement manufacturers.  In 2015, over $3,000,000 was raised in lobbying efforts.

In 1994, the Dietery Supplement Health Education Act came into effect.  In short, dietary supplements fall under the “food” category, rather than the “medicine” category.  This means manufacturers must report all ingredients/allergens on a label, that the ingredients are safe for consumption, and that the amount of content claimed is at least as much as the amount identified on the label (it can be more).  It also means that the products aren’t held to the same standards as pharmaceuticals: safety and efficacy do not need to be proven to the FDA, nor does it need to pass an approval process.

Not only is it an under-regulated industry (regarding health claims and consumer safety), but some supplements may have negative interactions with other medications (such as antibiotics, birth control, or blood pressure medication).  Reportedly each year 23,000 people end up in the Emergency Room because of a supplement they took, and adverse reactions.  I cannot stress enough to please talk to your physician before beginning a supplement.

In 1995, the FDA created the Office of Dietary Supplement Programs.  The ODS is tasked with promoting the scientific study of dietary supplements.  They are presently working on publishing their strategic plan for 2015-2020.  The ODS’s mission statement is, “to strengthen knowledge and understanding of dietary supplements by evaluating scientific information, stimulating and supporting research, disseminating research results, and educating the public to foster an enhanced quality of life and health for the U.S. population.”

In 2006, the Dietary Supplement and Nonprescription Drug Consumer Protection Act came into existence.  Manufacturers must report any adverse events/reports to the FDA.  The FDA also encourages consumers to report any adverse events they may have while using dietary supplements.

In 2007, the Current Good Manufacturing Practices took place – invoking standards in an effort to ensure quality throughout the manufacturing, processing, labeling, and storing of supplements.  It took full effect in June 2010.

From 2008-2012, the FDA found that nearly half of the 450 manufacturers inspected violated manufacturing rules.  It could have been as simple as using the wrong phrasing on a bottle (making a claim to treat/cure a condition), having unclean manufacturing/storage facilities, or even using incorrect/undisclosed ingredients.

In 2008, over 200 people were treated for toxicity due to Total Body Formula’s supplements – it turned out that the products had 200 times the labeled dosage of selenium, as well as heightened levels of chromium, which can lead to toxicity poisoning.  Many people reported symptoms of hair loss, fingernail discoloration, muscle and joint pain, gastrointestinal issues, and many missed work because of their symptoms.  A  lawsuit was filed in 2008, and completed in 2012; however, the settlement terms were confidential.  Total Body Formula supplements were manufactured by TexAmerican Food Blending (Arkansas) and Wright Enrichment (Louisiana).  According to TBF’s attorney, Rod Cate, “They have nothing to do with the manufacturing process. [Total Body] relies upon the manufacturers to do it correctly.”  Where were the checks and balances?  Oh, that’s right : they don’t exist for the supplement industry.

In 2009, the FDA filed a complaint against Quality Formulation Laboratories, Inc.; American Sports Nutrition, Inc.; and Sports Nutrition International, LLC, for manufacturing and storing products in “filthy conditions,” which may allow allergens to enter the products.  An inspection found live (and dead) rats in the facility (including a dead rat cut in half on the blending platform), rodent urine & feces, and holes gnawed through product packaging.  The companies were also including milk ingredients in their products, but failed to disclose such on their labels – which could be a major allergen problem for some folks.  Finally, it was discovered that equipment was not cleaned between batches, allowing for contamination.  In 2010, the US District Court shut down the three businesses for their violations; however, the owners of the three businesses were continuing to operate in 2011.  They were found guilty of contempt and were each sent to Federal Prison.

In 2011, the FDA filed an injunction against ATF Fitness Products and Manufacturing ATF Dedicated Excellence, aka MADE, (both companies owned by the same man) for substituting ingredients and failing to update the labels on their products.  Additionally, they failed to report to the FDA adverse reactions/events, including one consumer suffering a heart attack.  ATF exclusively purchased their products from MADE. Some of the products they manufactured and distributed were: Sci-Fit and Nature’s Science.  In 2012, they were permanently shut down.   ATF Fitness Products filed for bankrupcy in 2012, MADE filed for bankruptcy in 2013, and Mr. Vercellotti, the individual owner of both companies, filed for bankruptcy in 2013.

In February 2015, the New York Attorney General’s office accused Walmart, Target, CVS, and GNC of selling fraudulent/dangerous supplements.  The majority of the products tested from these retailers did not contain the ingredients identified on the label.  Many also contained a majority of fillers such as powdered rice, houseplants, beans, peas, and asparagus.  For example, a ginkgo biloba supplement purchased at Walmart claimed to be gluten- and wheat-free, but ended up just containing powdered radish, houseplant, and wheat.  Ginseng pills purchased at Walgreens were made of only garlic and rice; it contained no ginseng.  Many retailers stated they were going to pull the items from their shelves.  Others stood by the integrity of the manufacturing and testing of the supplements.  GNC agreed to now use DNA barcode testing to “authenticate plants used in supplements and adopt new testing standards to prevent contamination. The agreement also imposed reforms to improve transparency for consumers and to promote consumer safety.”

Then in September 2015, the New York Attorney General’s office was at it again.  This time they found that 13 manufacturers of “devil’s claw” supplements were using the wrong plant altogether!  Some of the manufacturers included The Kroger Co. (with Vitacost.com – where I buy my supplements…crap), Now Foods, Nutraceutical International, and Nature’s Way.  Nature’s Way responded to the A.G.’s office, stating they would refund anyone who purchased their product during a certain period of time, and to employ better verification processes.

In November 2016, the FDA announced that Raritan Pharmaceuticals, Inc., had voluntarily recalled some of their homeopathic products because they might contain more Belladdona, a potentially fatal poison, than labeled or intended.  These products included baby teething tablets and a liquid ear relief treatment.

Also in November 2016, the Consumer Labs tested various potassium supplements and found one brand had arsenic present!  A daily serving of the potassium tablets was found to contain higher levels of arsenic than allowed by the EPA in a full liter of drinking water.  Think it was the cheapest available supplement?  Nope! Of all the products tested for arsenic, the potentially-toxic “winner” was the most expensive!  Unfortunately, the brand name was not made available without having a paid membership with Consumer Lab.

On December 1, 2016, the FDA announced that Ultimate Body-Tox was recalling their Ultimate Body Tox PRO tablets since it contained an undeclared ingredient: sibutramine.  Sibutramine was declared unsafe in the US in 2010 and removed from the consumer market.  It has been known to cause an increase in pulse rate and blood pressure, which may be a risk factor for those with heart problems.  Not only did their dietary supplement contain an known unsafe ingredient, but the manufacturers failed to identify the ingredient on the label!

This year, India has enacted new regulations that supplements can no longer be sold as medicinal and must feature a “health supplement” label and an advisory warning that it is not intended for medicinal use.  Furthermore, the ingredients cannot exceed daily allowances mandated by the Indian Council of Medical Research.  Supplements are also restricted by age : only people over 5-years-old may be given supplements.  These regulations are scheduled to take full effect January 2018.

New Zealand’s government is presently working on clarifying the labels used on natural health products (NHPs), as well as limiting ingredients and dosages.

How can you be sure that the supplements you’re taking are a) what they claim to be and b) safe?  Frontline put together a great list of five steps you can take to look a little deeper into your supplements. These tips also include checking the FDA’s webpage for adverse effects/reactions to the supplement(s).

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There are companies out there that independently test and vouch for dietary supplements.  ConsumerLab conducts independent tests and publishes results about many different products, including dietary supplements.  Unfortunately, you must be a member to review the results of those tests. NSF International is another company that conducts independent tests.   US Pharmacopeial Convention is a non-profit organization that tests the integrity of dietary supplements.  You can search online for a list of USP-approved supplements.  These companies offer a “seal of approval” that you can find on the packaging of supplements.  Be advised, though, that  manufacturers pay these independent testers to review their products and receive that seal showing the product contains what it says it contains – it does not mean the product is safe for consumption, or that it will do what it claims.  Plus there’s always the chance for biased results when someone is paying for a service…

AND, do your own personal research.  I was told to take flax seed oil as a great Omega-3 fatty acid to help combat the inflammation of Endometriosis.  And, without research anything, I did.  I was excited to try this new thing that may help with my pain.  Did I have adverse reactions?  None that I could feel…but I did learn much later that flax seed contains phytoestrogens which may boost my estrogen levels and adversely influence my Endometriosis.  Whelp.  So I moved on to krill oil…but now I want to research ALL of the supplements I’m taking, one by one.

Also, don’t be afraid to ask your physician their opinion on products.  I told my gastroenterologist that I was taking digestive enzymes and probiotics daily.  He asked if they made me feel any better – and I let him know that I wasn’t any better or any worse.  So he suggested I stop taking them, stating that my body creates enough digestive enzymes and probiotics on their own.  So, I tried the test : stop them for a few weeks, see how I feel.  If no better or no worse, might as well save me the $30 a month that I was throwing into those supplements.  And do you know what?  I still feel great, having stopped them nearly a year ago.

I also asked my gynecologist his thoughts on resveratrol for adhesion prevention.  He believes there isn’t enough science to back the claims AND stated the dosages required would be incredibly high.  He encouraged me to save my money, maintain a healthy diet, exercise, and keep positive thoughts.  The decision was totally mine; however, and I chose to save my money.  Does this mean I’ll never buy a new supplement ever again? Hell no.  I’m presently looking into an enzyme that helps a fellow EndoSister immensely – I’m just going into this with a more informed outlook…

All that being said, though, if the supplements you are taking make you feel better, continue what you are doing!  That truly is what’s important.  But…do your homework and research! Talk to your physician.  And check for consumer complaints…

I had no idea the dietary supplement industry was so under-regulated.  I knew they weren’t held to the same approval standards, but didn’t realize it was such a free-for-all.  Do I believe Big Supp exists?  I sure do… But I shall become the informed consumer, damn it!

I hope you do, too.

*Updated December 1, 2016*

Resources:

Chicago Tribune – (Article; June 2012) Dietary Supplements: Manufacturing Troubles Widespread, FDA Inspections Show

CNN – (Article; Nov. 2016) Homeopathic Kids’ Products Recalled Due to Belladonna

Consumer Lab – (Press Release; Nov. 2016) ConsumerLab.com Finds Arsenic in Testing of Potassium Supplements

Consumer Lab – (Press Release; Nov. 2016) Seller of Mineral, Joint Supplements and More Warned for Manufacturing Violations, Drug Claims

Consumer Products Healthcare Association

Council for Responsible NutritionDietary Supplement and Food Regulations Compared

CourtDrive – ATF Fitness Products, Inc.

Federal Trade CommissionDietary Supplements

Forbes – (Article; Dec. 2011) Prison for Sellers of Dietary Products Contaminated by Rodents and Milk

Frontline – (Article; Jan. 2016) Five Questions to Ask When Considering Health Supplements

HealthWyze – (Blog; March 2010) Evaluating the Evaluators from Consumer Lab

India Today – (Article; Nov. 2016) FSSAI Sets Rules to Check Health Supplement Mis-Labeling

Inforuptcy.com – MADE

Mad in America – (Article; Nov. 2016) Have you Ever Wondered Why Labels on Suppelements are So Vague?

National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements – Dietary Supplements: What You Need to Know

National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary SupplementsMission, Origin, and Mandate

Natural Products Insider – (Blog; 2011) FDA Slams AFT for cGMP Violations

New York Attorney General – (Press Release; Sept. 2015) A.G. Schneiderman Issues Cease-and-Desist Letters to 13 Makers of Devil’s Claw Supplements Marketed to Arthritis Sufferers

New York Times – (Article; Feb. 2015) New York Attorney General Targets Supplements at Major Retailers

New York Times – (Article; Nov. 2016) Which Supplements, if Any, May be Worth Your Money

NSFDietary Supplement Safety

Nutraceuticals World – (Article; June 2016) Supplement Industry Contributes $122 Billion to US Economy

OpenSecrets – Nutritional & Dietary Supplements lobbying information

Pharmavite – (.pdf handout; 2015) How Dietary Supplements are Regulated

Pittman Dutton & HellumsTotal Body Formula no RX for Health, Sickens 197

Plainsight – (Court docket) In Re: Total Body Formula Products Liability Litigation MDL 1985

Regulatory Affairs Professionals Society – (Article; Dec. 2015) FDA Unveils New Office of Dietary Supplement Programs

ScienceBlogs – (Blog; July 2012) Dietary Supplements: Scary Substances Manufactured Under Scary Conditions

Seminole Voice – (Article; Nov. 2016) Not All Supplements are What They Claim to Be

STAT – (Blog; Nov. 2015) Experts Debate: Do We Need Tougher Regulation of Dietary Supplements?

Trib Live – (Article; May 2012) Federal Agents Mum on Raid at Closed Oakmont Factory

US Food & Drug AdministrationDietary Supplements Guidance Documents & Regulatory Information

US Food & Drug Administration – (Press Release; Nov. 2011) FDA Takes Enforcement Action Against Pennsylvania Dietary Supplement Maker

US Food & Drug Administration – (Press Release; July 2009) FDA Takes Enforcement Action Against Three New Jersey Dietary Supplement and Protein Powder Manufacturers 

US Food & Drug Administration – (Press Release; March 2008) FDA Warns Consumers About “Total Body Formula” and “Total Body Mega Formula” Distributor Recalls Dietary Supplement Products After Reports of Adverse Reactions

US Food & Drug Administration – (Database) For Consumers: Dietary Supplements

US Food & Drug Administration – (Article) How to Spot Health Fraud (interestingly enough, it’s under the “Bioterrorism and Drug Preparedness” category)

US Food & Drug Administration – (Press Release; Nov. 2016) Raritan Pharmaceuticals Inc. Issues a Voluntary Nationwide Recall of Products Containing Belladonna Extract Due to the Possibility of the Presence of Belladonna Alkaloids

US Food & Drug Administration – (Press Release; Dec. 2016) Ultimate Body Tox PRO: Recall – Undeclared Drug Ingredient

Vanguard – (Article; Nov. 2016) WARNING! Your Dietary Supplements May Not be Living Up to Their Claims

~ Again, I am a layman.  I do not hold any college degrees, nor mastery of knowledge.  Please take what I say with a grain of salt.  If curious, do your own research Validate my writings.  Or challenge them.  And ALWAYS feel free to consult with your physician. Always.  Yours ~ Lisa

Food Grade Hydrogen Peroxide

Bottle of hydrogen peroxide

I’d recently heard about food grade hydrogen peroxide.  Wait, what?  People are ingesting the bubbly stuff I put on scrapes and scratches?  Some say it’s great for you, that it cures allll kinds of things by oxygenating the blood.  Others swear up and down that it acts as a detox for your body (I know you’re either rolling your eyes at that word, or you’re squirming in your seat with excitement).  Regardless of how I feel about detoxes, cleanses, cure-alls, etc., I am still curious about this trend.

What’s the differences between the hydrogen peroxide I keep in my medicine cabinet and “food grade hydrogen peroxide?”  Concentration! Here’s the different types of H2O2 available:

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The Wurn Technique : Improve Infertility and Adhesion Pain?

Logo for Clear Passage Physical Therapy

Have you heard of the Wurn Technique?  I hadn’t until a few weeks ago when I received an email from Clear Passage with links to a recently-published study showing the Wurn Technique can improve infertility issues, as well as reduce Endometriosis pain.  Are they claiming to cure Endometriosis?  Not at all.  But they are claiming their technique may help reduce your pain and may increases your chances of becoming pregnant.  So, curious as I was, I read up on it, asked questions, and now I present this information to you!

Personal Note: I am not endorsing Clear Passage or the claims made in these studies or their webpage.  I am simply pointing you, the curious reader, in a direction you may not have located otherwise.  Always, always, ALWAYS do your own research.  And choose a treatment that feels right for you.  If you have any questions about the Wurn Technique, please reach out to Clear Passage by email or 1 (352) 336-1433.  They will answer your questions and, if you so desire, schedule a phone consultation with one of their therapists (for free) to see if this is a viable treatment option for you.

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Poor Posture & Pain

Diagram showing poor posture

Growing up, you’re always told to “sit up straight” or “don’t slouch!”  I don’t know about you, but as an adult, I do anything but.

I spent most of this last weekend sitting at the computer wasting away on the internet, smooshed into a little ball on the chair. Either hunched over or leaning back into a curved husk.  And it got me thinking : what does bad posture do to my body? Internally. Mentally.  Physically. So, you know me : let the research begin!

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Share your Story : Aubree

A woman with brown hair sitting cross-legged in a park

Aubree was 29 when she was diagnosed with Endometriosis.  Now 33, she lives in Colorado and has found not only acceptance of her disease, but peace.  And she’s found her healing through self-love and a natural holistic approach.  She has even written a book about her journey and her path to inner-peace and healing.

Aubree’s Journey: I suffered with extremely painful periods from the very beginning. I complained about them for years to my doctors, but nobody really paid them much attention. One of my family doctors prescribed me Ibuprofen, but this didn’t touch the pain.

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