RN Patient Advocates, PLC, opened the door to independent, nurse-based patient advocacy in 2002. We are a national community of specially prepared, qualified and experience clinical RNs. Our Mission is to Empower People in Their Healthcare through Advocacy, Education, and Guidance Through the Healthcare System.
Have you or any of your family or friends ever experienced problems in the healthcare system? 12 million patients are misdiagnosed each year (Institute of Medicine, 2015) indicating that it might be true for many of us. RN Patient Advocates help you be safe in the system and also, how to do this for yourself!
What People are Saying About RN Patient Advocates
RN Patient Advocacy in The News
Private Patient Advocates Help Navigate the Medical Maze, Chicago Tribune, May 2015 * This article spotlights an iRNPA Graduate.
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Alert to elders concerned about Alzheimer's! A study just published in the Journal of the American Medical Association reveals that up to 10% of dementia diagnoses are due to medications called anticholinergics.
Huh? What are these? Well, drugs such as antidepressants, antipsychotics, drugs for epilepsy and Parkinson's Disease, antihistamines and drugs for overactive bladders.
People at risk must have taken these meds every day for 3 years or more.
DO NOT stop taking these medications because they are listed here. The benefit may outweigh the risk and you should talk with your healthcare provider.
Want to learn more?
Brought to you by Karen Mercereau, RN, iRNPA
Your RN Patient Advocate
Do you really need a multivitamin? The American Medical Association announced in 2002 that all adults should take a multivitamin to prevent chronic illness.ShareThis
Dr. Andrew Weil and Dr. Oz also recommend taking a good multivitamin each day. This, along with a healthy diet and plenty of exercise, will help to maintain you optimal level of health. Your diet should include at least 5-7 servings of vegetables and fruits each day – preferably fresh ones. If not fresh, work with frozen rather than canned (lower in nutrients).
What if you eat plenty of fruits and vegetables already? Isn’t that enough? Modern intensive agricultural methods have stripped increasing amounts of nutrients from the soil in which the food we eat grows. Research from the Kushi Institute reveals that from 1975 to 1997 there were significant drops such as:
- calcium levels in 12 fresh vegetables dropped 27%
- iron levels down 37 %
- vitamin A levels reduced by 21%
- vitamin C levels down by 30%
Consider this: A woman in 1951 would have gotten the RDA (Required Daily Allowance) for Vitamin A from 2 peaches. Today? She would need to eat 53 to equal this!
A study led by Donald R. Davis, PhD, at the University of Texas in Austin, demonstrated that farming for a higher yield per acre almost always resulted in lower nutrient levels in the fruits and vegetables – vitamin, mineral and protein levels reduced from 5-40%.
What can we do? Eating organic produce helps; soil is routinely supplemented at a higher level than in industrial farms. Studies indicate, for example, that organically raised tomatoes high significantly higher levels of lycopene and Vitamin C.
Take a good multivitamin. Good vitamins cost more than inferior ones so beware of the low discount brands. Plant based multivitamins are more readily absorbed than synthetic-based vitamins, though they may cost more.
We will investigate how to pick the best multivitamin for you and your family in an upcoming article.
GMO food – what is the controversy really about? Are genetically modified foods harmful to our health?ShareThis
|The American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) urges doctors to prescribe non-GMO diets for all patients. Animal studies indicate the potential for significant health damage from genetically modified foods, such as:|
What does genetically modified really mean? Genetic fragments of DNA from one organism are inserted into the DNA of another organism, usually from a different species. This is done to make the plant resistant to herbicides and pesticides so these chemicals can be freely sprayed on weeds to boost the crop production. The immune system recognizes the altered genetic material as “foreign” and sets up an allergic response to it. This can trigger inflammatory changes in many organ systems, leading to chronic conditions such as mentioned above.
|What crops are affected? Soybeans, corn, sugar beets (now allowed legally to be called “sugar” and put into foods), cotton, wheat, milk and dairy products from cows injected with growth hormones.|
What is the response? GMO foods have been outlawed in most European countries as well as Australia and New Zealand. Japan and Korea have outlawed the importation of genetically modified wheat. There is a major effort in the US to require labeling of GMO foods so people have a choice.
Best way to protect ourselves? Buy organic dairy and wheat products, decrease the use of processed/canned/packaged foods, and learn more here. . .
Click here for a GMO Shopping Guide
Protection from the sun.Yes! Protection from sunscreens that can lead to damage. What? Not all sunscreen are created equal.ShareThis
Things to consider:
- Don’t be fooled by high SPF. High-SPF products tempt people to apply too little sunscreen and stay in the sun too long. The FDA has proposed prohibiting the sale of sunscreens with SPF values greater than 50+, calling higher SPF values “inherently misleading.”
- The common sunscreen additive vitamin A may speed development of skin cancer. The sunscreen industry adds a form of vitamin A to nearly one-quarter of all sunscreens. Retinyl palmitate is an anti-oxidant that slows skin aging. But federal studies indicate that it may speed the development of skin tumors and lesions when applied to skin in the presence of sunlight.
- Some sunscreen ingredients disrupt hormones and cause skin allergies. The ideal sunscreen would completely block UV rays that cause sunburn, immune suppression and damaging free radicals. It would remain effective on the skin for several hours. It would not form harmful ingredients when degraded by sunlight. It would smell and feel pleasant so that people would use more of it.
No sunscreen meets these goals. Americans must choose between “chemical” sunscreens, which have inferior stability, penetrate the skin and may disrupt the body’s hormone system, and “mineral” sunscreens, made with zinc and titanium, often “micronized” or containing nano-particles.
- If you avoid sun, check your vitamin D levels. Sunshine serves a critical function in the body that sunscreen appears to inhibit — producing vitamin D. This is enormously important in our bodies: it strengthens bones and the immune system and reduces the risk of breast, colon, kidney and ovarian cancers, and perhaps other disorders. Note: cholesterol is a key element in turning sunlight into Vitamin D.
About one-fourth of Americans have borderline low levels of vitamin D, and 8 percent have a serious deficiency. Check with your physician to have your own Vitamin D level checked.
The Environmental Working Group has created a list of safe sunscreens for you and your family. Check it out here.