1. [Alert] Popular meds boost stroke risk 59%

    [Alert] Popular meds boost stroke risk 59%

    It’s the SECRET stroke risk factor — hiding in plain sight!

    We all know the risk factors for a stroke. At least, we THINK we know them. There’s high blood pressure, poor diet, obesity, and old age.

    But the new study exposes what may be the biggest risk factor of all, potentially more dangerous than all of those factors put together.

    And it’s something you could get from your own doctor!

    That’s right. A medication you THINK you need to improve your health — something you might even take daily — could actually destroy your life and possibly end it.

    New research finds that an entire class of medication — so common that you’ve almost certainly used one of them yourself — can not only boost your odds of a stroke, but also your risk of dying from one.

    They’re called anticholinergic drugs, but don’t think you’re in the clear if that name isn’t familiar.

    It’s not a word you’ll see too often on drug packages (not without a magnifying glass, anyway).

    These drugs are given across the board for nearly every condition imaginable: colds, allergies, sleep, pain, mood problems, and more.

    They include both prescription meds and over-the-counter drugs.

    You almost certainly know some of the names: Benadryl, Seroquel, Valium, Imodium, Xanax, codeine, beta-blockers, and more all have some degree of anticholinergic activity.

    The new study finds that taking these types of drugs can increase your risk of stroke by 59 percent.

    That’s already frightening, especially when you consider how common these drugs are.

    But they can also do something else that’s much worse.

    They can not only increase the risk of having a stroke… but they can nearly DOUBLE your odds of DYING from one, boosting that risk by 86 percent, according to the study in the International Journal of Epidemiology.

    The biggest risk is in people with a “high intake” of these drugs, which is generally folks who take two or three anticholinergic drugs or more. Given how common the drugs are, that no doubt includes hundreds of thousands — maybe even millions — of people.

    And that’s hardly the only risk.

    Other studies have linked a high intake of anticholinergic drugs to everything from dementia to death.

    It’s a risk you don’t have to face. Nearly every single condition treated with these drugs has a better, safer solution.

    If you have any of these common complaints treated with anticholinergic drugs — whether it’s allergies, bowel problems, high blood pressure, pain, or mood disorders — seek the wisdom of an experienced holistic medical doctor.

    If you’re in the San Diego area, I can help. Make an appointment to see me here at the Stengler Center for Integrative Medicine.

    Not in the area? I’m also available for advice by phone. Call 855-DOC-MARK to schedule a consultation.

    And don’t forget to connect with me on Facebook!

  2. Anxiety treatment comes with serious risks

    Anti-anxiety meds pack scary side effect

    Sometimes drugs work, and sometimes they don't -- and either way, they often come with side effects.

    But there's another problem with popular meds... one your own doc won't even mention.

    What if they work too well?

    New research spots a popular class of drug that might do just that -- and in this case, "working too well" doesn't mean you'll get extra protection.

    It could ruin your life!

    The study focused on the wildly popular anti-anxiety drugs that so many people turn to for help getting over life's humps and bumps. The drugs don't do anything about what's CAUSING your anxiety, but they can certainly help make sure you care less about it.

    But there's a dark side to caring less.

    The new study shows that could extend to other parts of your life -- and you could care less about everything -- and everyone -- else as well, deadening your emotions and blocking your ability to empathize.

    That can have disastrous consequences in your personal relationships. It could ruin friendships... alienate you from your own children... and even lead to problems with your spouse.

    The new study focused on rats. Like people, rats have a remarkable ability to empathize. They will stop and give up their otherwise relentless chase for food to help fellow rats that are stuck or trapped.

    In the new study, rats were faced with two containers: one with some rats trapped inside, and another with chocolate.

    Rats given a popular anti-anxiety drug didn't give a rat's fanny about their trapped friends -- and freed the chocolate instead.

    But the rats given a placebo (a simple saline injection) quickly gave up the chocolate to come to the rescue and free their fellow rats.

    Obviously, we need more research before anyone can say for sure that the drugs cause the same problems in humans.

    But why wouldn't they?

    After all, this isn't some random and unusual side effect.

    It's a sign the drugs are working exactly as designed, numbing the response to stress. So while they can help get some of your troubles off your mind, they can also free you from worrying about the things you SHOULD be worrying about.

    And that's a frightening thought.

    Fortunately, you don't have to turn to these emotion-robbing drugs to get relief from anxiety.

    For some of life's speed bumps, the support of friends and loved ones and a little time in prayer can often lift the burden so you feel like yourself again.

    If you need a little more help, there's a time-tested natural therapy that's backed by modern science. Ashwagandha can cut levels of stress and anxiety by as much as 72 percent, and you can learn all about it in this free report from my House Calls archives.

  3. Vitamin D improves quality of life

    Higher levels of vitamin D can improve your quality of life, including your mental health, and reduce the risk of disability. Find out the best way to up your D, and learn just how much to shoot for.
  4. Smoking cigarettes damages mental health

    Smoking can cause depression, anxiety and more -- and new research confirms that quitting the habit can help chase these and other mood disorders away.
  5. Chronic anxiety could trigger a stroke

    Chronic anxiety can increase your risk of a stroke by up to a third, according to the latest research.
  6. Benefits of probiotics improve mental health

    Probiotic supplements can boost your mood, ease stress, fight depression and beat anxiety, according to a new review.
  7. Benefits of exercise prevent depression

    A little exercise today can help prevent depression tomorrow, according to a new study.
  8. Benefits of probiotics can improve your mood

    A probiotic supplement can improve your mood and reduce your levels of anxiety, according to a new study.
  9. Anticholinergic drugs linked to dementia in seniors

    A new study finds that anticholinergic drugs like Tylenol PM and Benadryl could boost your odds of cognitive decline or dementia in as little as two months.
  10. Different types of depression in heart patients

    Common mood disorders such as depression and anxiety can increase the risk of death in heart patients.
  11. The ancient cure for stress and anxiety

    Ashwagandha, an ancient herbal remedy, can ease stress, anxiety and more, according to new research.
  12. Anti-anxiety drugs linked to pneumonia

    Commonly used meds, including widely used sleep and anxiety drugs, can increase the risk of pneumonia and death by pneumonia.
  13. Coffee can lower colorectal risk

    A new study finds coffee may lower the risk of colorectal cancers... but you have to drink a lot of the stuff to get the benefit.
  14. Natural ways to beat stress

    New studies show how stress and anxiety can actually be deadly. Learn the easy ways to beat stress and live longer instead.
  15. Foods that will ruin your mood

    When I get a patient facing depression, one of the first things I do -- before I run a single test -- is ask what they've been eating. And most of the time, the answer to that question tells me everything I need to know -- because people who eat garbage usually end up with a mood down in the dumps.
  16. How to know when you're having a heart attack

    You might think heart attacks don't discriminate, but that's not actually true. They do discriminate -- and it's a form of discrimination that's killing women.
  17. The health benefits of music

    Looks like the savage beast isn't the only thing music can soothe: A good tune can also help ease pain. Of course, that's not too much of a surprise since many people already use music to soothe both physical and mental pain -- but the latest research shows how there's one group of folks in particular who stand to benefit the most.
  18. When it comes to exercise, less is more

    Everyone should make sure they get moving during the day -- but no one needs to turn into a treadmill-racing workout fiend to get the benefits of exercise.
  19. Plastics chemicals linked to developmental problems

    It's easy to protect your children from what you can see -- but it's a much bigger challenge to keep them safe from what you can't.
  20. The battle against PTSD

    Veterans who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder are routinely pumped full of antipsychotic drugs. And as most of them will tell you (in language I can't use here), those drugs aren't doing a darn thing for them.

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