Understanding the Nature of Habit in Recovery

“Habit is habit, and not to be flung out of the window by anyone, but coaxed downstairs one step at a time.”

– Mark Twain (1835-1910)

The nature of habit is insidious and sticky. And although some habits adhere with unerring and unfortunate ease, we’re left with the same dilemma no matter the habit: how to get undogged.

Having recovered from chronic alcoholism (weekend binge-drinking) and cigarette smoking, and having dealt with numerous other recoveries, overeating one of them, I can speak in a way with which you will probably concur.

I tried numerous times to fling habits out the window. That is to overcome them, cold turkey, without a strategy, or with a strategy that was ill-fated. Almost every time I failed. Because I didn’t establish a solitary habit in countering a moment that always comes.

Something AA taught me was the importance of honesty. It’s on the turning away that we’re done in when on our attempt to recover. And there are moments when we’re tempted, where the decision to lapse comes through turning away.

We dissociate from ourselves in these moments, through a little lie believed, a pivotal denial, a dangerous compromise. Such a turning away renders the days, weeks, months, sometimes years, of hard work, vain.

The way recovery works is focus one day at a time, as Twain suggests, one step at a time. It’s not rocket science. But it is a commitment to not turning away, which is to stay truthful with ourselves, faithful to our cause.

Being honest, one day at a time, consistently and faithfully ever after, is the way to recover from every nasty habit.

The imperative, then, is to stay honest. Be honest each step of the way and we can achieve anything that is possible for us to achieve.

Latin American Phase 2 Trials: The Benefits and Downfalls

Clinical research has a mixed reputation. Most volunteers are sceptical at first, some are scared and some have already participated and are enjoying the benefits. Pharmaceutical companies have a different perspective about Latin American Phase 2 trials. These are necessary to determine side effects of medications, and to get the approval that many medications need in order to hit the shelves. On the other hand, some pharmaceutical companies do not like Latin American Phase 2 trials because of the difficulty of working with volunteers in another country. Whether it’s a volunteer or a pharmaceutical company, these awesome benefits and few downfalls will help industry leaders and volunteers see a few new things about Latin American Phase 2 trials.


When research is conducted in a different country, it gives pharmaceutical companies the chance to diversify their volunteer population. This particular nationality remains one of the most underrepresented populations in clinical research. When drug companies go out of the way to work with other countries, they are making sure that their medication is safe for everyone.

No language barrier anymore

The reason that Latin Americans are underrepresented in phase 2 trials is the simple fact that most of these people do not want to volunteer is that they have a language barrier. This makes understanding the rules and regulations, and even simply volunteering, more difficult. When companies work with a CRO that specializes in this particular area or country, they will do all of the communication with volunteers for them, making it easier to work with a more diverse population.

Quicker results

One of the hardest parts of phase 2 trials is simply finding all of the volunteers needed to do the trial. This sounds simple, but when a company does not compensate for a person’s time with money, less people volunteer. Also, people can only participate in so many trials. When this is added to the fact that many people are not eager to participate, it can make things increasingly difficult.

This is one of the many reasons why Latin America is so great for these studies. Most participants are eager to help their population, and they get to enjoy free medication, something that many participants both want and need. Because most research companies do not work in this country, most of the population has yet to participate in any type of clinical research, meaning that if they are eligible, they can usually participate.

Because of all of this, the company that is in charge of the conducting all of the research is able to get the study started quicker, and they are able to make sure that pharmaceutical companies get their results quicker.

More difficult trials

Often, to complete a successful clinical research study, companies will need to work with a CRO that already specializes in that area. It requires them to already have an office and be well established in the country, and the list of those organizations is just not that long. It can make this more difficult for drug companies as they try to work around the schedule of the CRO, try to figure out how to hire a CRO in another country, and determine if there are different laws to follow.

The benefits of these studies is usually longer than the downfalls, but that one downfall is a big one. In order to make sure that this goes successfully, drug companies will need to take their time. Coming up with a list of criteria that one must meet and reading online reviews can be helpful in finding the perfect CRO (clinical research organization) to work with in their next series of trials.

Health Information Available Online

One of our biggest concerns is our health. The internet has become a burgeoning source of health related information. Any query we have related to our health or somebody else’s whether it is age specific, country or climate specific, information is available on the internet. Many general practitioners discourage us laymen from poring over available material on the net for our aches and pains, as they tell us that half knowledge can be dangerous! But is it really half-knowledge? The internet gives reams and reams of information about every disease known to man.

Social networking sites are also a source of health related information, but provide links to the sponsors of such information

So how do we separate the grain from the chaff? While we do look for internet solutions to our health problems, we do want authentic dependable information.

If a doctor is not immediately available, it helps to be informed about the condition.


There are certain check points to tick off so that we are guided to the best site offering medical advice..

· Is the site is selling something or making undue claims for any product?

· Does it have outdated information? – the date of the page is often near the bottom

· Is it sponsored by an organization whose reputation is questionable for any reason?

· Is the source and basis of the information stated?

· What is the purpose of the site? – The About this site page should give the answer to this question

· How does the site fund itself?

· How does the site use your personal information?

· Does the site encourage reader interaction?

If the answers to all the above questions satisfy you, go ahead and use the website. But remember to share your findings with your doctor and take his or her opinion.

Some points to keep in mind

There are web tracking sites which specialize in audience measurement. If your chosen site features in their list, this is a plus point in its favor as it means that it is a popular site, and lots of people are consulting it for their health related questions.

If the site bears allegiance to a famous hospital, or if it has been started by a doctor, it invokes more confidence in the user.

Some sites have a question and answer format. Based on some key words that you type in, the answers that may already be there are thrown up for you. If you are not satisfied, you are requested to direct your question to the inhouse experts.

Your input is also requested in some sites, which ask you whether you want to answer any queries put up by other users. For this, it is mandatory that you register with the website. You are asked to preview your answer before you finally post it.

In conclusion: Knowledge empowers and knowledge of the working of complex mechanism of any part of the body helps in understanding the disease specific to that part. Keeping the above points in mind, you would perhaps be one step ahead of your illness when you are armed with the correct information.

The Danger in the Air

As I walk down the aisle of Wegman’s, I’m thinking to myself what a great day I’m having. I love it when I have the time to just linger at the grocery store and take the time to browse and read labels and look for new products to try. I’m a health nut, admittedly. I wasn’t always. But when you get to be a certain age, it’s time to clean up your act or you start to fall apart. I’m 48, so I had to start cleaning up my act about 5 years ago. I feel pretty good most days now. But wait… nooooo.

I try to move away from the offensive smell immediately to try to escape the inevitable. Is it going to work? No. Someone’s perfume is about to ruin my day and give me a damn migraine!

I wasn’t always like this, hiding and running from all fragrances. Perfumes and laundry detergent smells send me into a dizzying tailspin of pain and anxiety. Dryer sheets are the worst. I can smell those on people from 15 feet away sometimes. It’s almost like I have bionic smell.

I’ve had migraines since I was about 12. They run in my family. Both my mother and my grandfather got them. I used to get them on average once a month with my period and if I ate MSG. It all changed when I went through early menopause starting at age 43. I was through it by 45 and I went through a period of three years when I had a migraine almost every day.

I’m on a cocktail of medications to prevent them now, including an anti-seizure, but the one thing that remains is my sensitivity to fragrances. When I come in contact with a chemical smell, my whole face feels as if it’s made of glass and it’s breaking into a million shards of tiny pieces.

Perhaps the reason I’m so sensitive to fragrances is because they are so toxic and they are harmful to us. After all, the CDC considers fragrances so harmful that it has banned them in all of its buildings. According to the Environmental Working Group, many fragrances contain carcinogens, hormone disruptors, thyroid disruption and can cause sperm damage. Some don’t even list all their ingredients (Secret Chemicals Revealed In Celebrity Perfumes, Teen Body Sprays, 2010). So who knows what other harmful effects they could have on our health?

Dryer sheets and laundry detergents are particularly toxic. Not only are the “softening” agents toxic but they can contain hundreds of untested chemicals including hormone disruptors. A University of Washington Study on air contaminants from fragranced consumer goods detected between 18 and 20 chemicals in each of four laundry products- including likely human carcinogens (Sutton PhD., 2011).

It’s not just migraine sufferers that are affected by fragrances. People with asthma are also at great risk. For some sufferers, fragrance is their main trigger of an attack.

In just the past week I have met three other women who are also bothered by perfume. The first was when I was at the gym. I was working out and there was a young woman who had on half a bottle of the poisonous stuff. The manager noticed that I was covering my nose and looking generally ill. She pulled me into her office to ask me if I was OK. When I told her what was going on, she said she was also very bothered by it- that she broke out in hives. She said her mother was allergic and got allergy symptoms. Later that week I was at the bank and the woman that usually waits on me told me that she is so sickened by perfume that she has to keep a small fan behind the counter so she can blow the perfume smells away from her. Then just yesterday, my chiropractor’s wife noticed me in the waiting room looking pale and covering my nose. She walked into the waiting room and she immediately knew what the problem was. She took me to one of the treatment rooms and said” I can’t stand perfume either! Oh, my gosh, that’s so strong!” It turns out, she has asthma and perfume is a major trigger for her.

So the next time you put on perfume or cologne or use one of those highly scented dryer sheets or laundry detergents please think about how you may be affecting your health or even the health of those around you.

Works Cited

Secret Chemicals Revealed In Celebrity Perfumes, Teen Body Sprays. (2010, May 12). Retrieved October 23, 2016, from EWG: http://www.ewg.org/news/news-releases/2010/05/12/secret-chemicals-revealed-celebrity

Sutton PhD., R. (2011, November 1). Don’t Get Slimed: Skip the Fabric Softener. Retrieved October 23, 2016, from EWG: http://www.ewg.org/enviroblog/2011/11/dont-get-slimed-skip-fabric-softner

Understanding Bee Pollen

Pollen from trees and flowers is known for its potency in lipids, carbohydrates, minerals, and protein. Due to this, it’s heavily used as a dietary supplement. You can easily find the pollen in your local stores.

Taking a look at bee pollen

Bee pollen is one of the most popular types of pollen that you will find in the market. From its name, it’s obtained from bees. It’s obtained when the bees visit flowers to collect nectar. Some of the people brush it off the legs of the bees. The product comes in small golden-colored granules that are sweet to taste.

Due to the many benefits found in the product, it can be used in different areas. According to experts, the product can be used in weight control. Lecithin, found in the pollen flushes fat from the body and also protects the body from bad cholesterol. The pollen has also been found to control cravings thus you don’t eat unhealthy foods. Since the product is rich in flavonoid rutin, it plays a vital role in strengthening the walls of the blood vessels. This improves blood circulation and also keeps your heart in great shape.

How to take the pollen

Unless you are highly skilled in collecting the pollen, you have to buy the product from your local store. Before you take the product you should first take your time to research the origin of the pollen. While most of the companies don’t specify the exact tree or flower they get the product, there are a few that do state it. To be on the safe side you should go for the products whose origin is specified.

Even if you are unable to tell the exact tree or flower from which it was obtained, it’s important to know the area that it was obtained. This will give you an idea of whether the product is intoxicated or not. Regardless of how fast you want to achieve results, you shouldn’t take the entire packet all at once. The best way of going about it is to take small doses.


Bee pollen comes with plenty of benefits but you should be cautious when taking it. The pollen is known to cause allergy thus you should be cautious when taking it. As mentioned above, you should first take small doses of it and see how it reacts to your body. To be on the safe side you should never take it without first consulting your doctor.