Saturday, April 29, 2017

MedicalConspiracies- Lexiscan and Adenoscan in Heart Stress Tests Can Actually Trigger Heart Attacks

Lexiscan and Adenoscan in Heart Stress Tests Can Actually Trigger Heart Attacks

December 04, 2013 | 168,060 views

By Dr. Mercola

Cardiac stress tests are sometimes used to make sure your heart works properly when put under stress.

Typically, you'll be asked to walk on a treadmill or ride a stationary bicycle to increase your heart rate until your heart is adequately stressed, then its function will be examined using an MRI or other imaging tests.

In cases where a person is unable to increase their heart rate via exercise, chemicals are sometimes used to simulate stress on your heart.

You need to be very careful when considering this type of heart test, known as a chemical cardiac stress test, as a new announcement from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warns that the drugs used could actually trigger a heart attack and death.

Chemical Stress Tests Could Trigger Heart Attack, Death

The FDA's warning applies to two chemical stress test drugs called Lexiscan (regadenoson) and Adenoscan (adenosine). The injectable drugs dilate the arteries in your heart and increase blood flow, allowing doctors to check for areas of damage or low blood flow.

However, as blood flow increases, it naturally flows to healthy areas and may leave obstructed arteries with low blood flow, potentially triggering a heart attack.

Both drugs already contained a warning on their labels about the possible risk of heart attacks, but recent deaths reported to the FDA Adverse Event Reporting System (FAERS) database and in the medical literature1, 2 prompted updated recommendations for use.

The FDA now warns that people with symptoms of cardiovascular instability should not use the drugs, and cardiac resuscitation equipment and trained staff should be available before administering these medications.

The drugs are still on the market, however, which is why it's important that you're aware of the heart attack symptoms risk if you or a loved one is considering a chemical stress test. The FDA explained:3

"Lexiscan and Adenoscan cause blood to flow preferentially to the healthier, unblocked or unobstructed arteries, which can reduce blood flow in the obstructed artery. In some cases, this reduced blood flow can lead to a heart attack, which can be fatal."

Are There Other Ways to Check on Your Heart Health?

Yes, but they're not the conventional cholesterol tests your doctor may have ordered. If you've had your cholesterol levels checked, your doctor most likely tested your total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, and triglycerides. But we now know those are not accurate predictors for cardiovascular disease risk.

A much more accurate predictor is testing your LDL particle number, as Chris Kresser, L.Ac, explains:

"To use an analogy: if you imagine your bloodstream's like a river, the LDL particles are like the boats that carry the cholesterol and fats around your body. The cholesterol and fats are like cargo in the boats.

Right now doctors are usually measuring the amount of cargo or cholesterol in the LDL particles. But what we should be measuring is the number of LDL particles, or the number of boats in the river, so to speak, because that's a much more accurate risk factor for heart disease."

There are several ways to test for your LDL particle number. Kresser recommends using the NMR LipoProfile, offered by a lab called Liposcience. The test uses FDA-approved technology for testing LDL particle number, and it's the test used in most of the scientific studies on LDL particles.

It's easy to get and all major labs offer it, including LabCorp and Quest. Most insurance policies cover the test as well. Best of all, even if your doctor were to refuse to order it, you can order it yourself via third-party intermediaries like Direct Labs, or you can order the test online, and get blood drawn locally.

If your levels come back high, it's time to figure out the underlying cause (which is not dietary cholesterol, as you may have been led to believe).

It's not the amount of cholesterol that is the main risk factor for heart disease, rather it's the number of cholesterol-carrying LDL particles, and, in particular, the small, dense (type B) particles that are linked to heart disease.

Also, what matters most is the quality of your lipoproteins. When oxidized (known as oxidized LDL or ox-LDL), these particles can cause direct damage to the lining of your arteries, contribute to plaque buildup and greatly increase your overall risk for heart disease.

When oxidative stress is high due to poor diet, insufficient exercise and sleep, and chronic stress, or when your antioxidant capacity is low (again usually because of a poor diet or smoking), then the accumulation of ox-LDL and associated arterial damage can occur.

The Real Underlying Causes of Heart Disease

If the primary cause of heart disease is not high cholesterol, then what is?Insulin and leptin resistance are the major culprits, as when this is present it causes an increase in small LDL particle number via several different mechanisms. While some genetic predisposition can play a role, insulin and leptin resistance is primarily caused by a combination of factors that are epidemic in our modern lifestyle:

  • A diet high in processed and refined carbohydrates, sugars/fructose, refined flours, and industrial seed oils.
  • This is particularly relevant in lieu of the misleading public health advice, which suggests you replace healthful saturated fats with vegetable oils and grain carbohydrates. When you replace saturated fat with a higher carbohydrate intake, particularly refined carbohydrate, you exacerbate insulin resistance and obesity, increase triglycerides and small LDL particles, and reduce beneficial HDL cholesterol.

    In a 2010 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition,4the authors stated that dietary efforts to improve your cardiovascular disease risk should primarily emphasize the limitation of refined carbohydrate intake and weight reduction.

  • Insufficient everyday physical activity, including exercise and non-exercise activity. Leading a sedentary lifestyle causes biochemical changes that predispose you to insulin and leptin resistance.
  • Chronic sleep deprivation. Even one night of disturbed sleep can decrease your insulin sensitivity the next day and cause cravings and overeating.
  • Environmental toxins. Exposure to BPA, for example, can disrupt your brain's regulation of your weight.
  • Poor gut health. Imbalances in your gut flora (the bacteria that live in your gut) can predispose you to obesity and insulin and leptin resistance.

5 Other Essential Tests for Gauging Your Heart Disease Risk

There are several other tests that I recommend if you're unsure of your heart health. Again, not one of these is a conventional cholesterol test, but rather:

1. Fasting Insulin Level

Your fasting insulin level reflects how healthy your blood glucose levels are over time. Chronically elevated blood glucose leads to insulin resistance and numerous chronic diseases, including diabetes and heart disease.

Your fasting insulin level can be determined by a simple, inexpensive blood test. A normal fasting blood insulin level is below 5, but ideally you'll want it below 3. If your insulin level is higher than 3 to 5, the most effective way to optimize it is to reduce or eliminate all forms of dietary sugar, particularly fructose.

2. Cholesterol/HDL Ratio

The following two ratios are far better indicators of heart disease risk than total cholesterol alone:

  • Your HDL/Cholesterol ratio: HDL (high-density lipoproteins) to total cholesterol percentage is a very good predictor of heart disease risk. Just divide your HDL number by your total cholesterol. Ideally, this number should exceed 24 percent; below 10 percent predicts an increased risk for heart disease.
  • Your Triglyceride/HDL ratio: Divide your triglyceride number by your HDL. This ratio should ideally be below 2.

3. Serum Ferritin

Excess iron is a very potent oxidative stressor, causing dangerous free radicals that can damage your heart. Therefore, you should regularly check yourself for iron overload with a serum ferritin test. This blood test measures iron's carrier molecule—a protein called ferritin found inside your cells upon which the iron is stored. If your ferritin levels are low, it means your iron levels are also low, and vice versa. Use the following guidelines to interpret your serum ferritin level:

  • The healthy range of serum ferritin is between 20 and 80 ng/ml
  • The ideal serum ferritin range is 40 to 60 ng/ml
  • Below 20, you are iron deficient; above 80, you have an iron surplus. Ferritin levels can go really high. I've seen levels over 1,000, but anything over 80 is likely to be a problem.

It is VITAL to appreciate that about one in five men and postmenopausal women have iron levels that are too high and are actually causing premature disease and death. If you or someone you love has triple digit ferritin levels you need to lower them ASAP.

The higher the number the worse it is, with numbers over 250-300 being particularly dangerous. Fortunately, there is a very simple way to lower it -- donate blood. If you have risk factors that prevent you from having your blood accepted for donation, you can have your doctor write you a prescription for a therapeutic phlebotomy.

4. Waist Size

Waist size provides a fairly accurate benchmark for predicting your risk of death from a heart attack and from other causes. Determining your waist size is easy. With a tape measure, measure the distance around the smallest area of your abdomen, below your rib cage and above your belly button. The following is a general guide for healthy waist circumference:

  • Men: 37 to 40 inches is overweight; greater than 40 inches is obese
  • Women: 31.5 to 34.6 inches is overweight; greater than 34.6 inches is obese

5. Vitamin D

People with lower blood levels of vitamin D may be more likely to die from heartdisease or stroke. The only way to determine whether you're within the therapeutic range is to regularly test your vitamin D levels. For more information, including an in-depth explanation of everything you need to know before you get tested, please see "Test Values and Treatment for Vitamin D Deficiency."

Heart Disease Prevention 101

Ideally, you'll take steps now to protect and nourish your heart so that you have no need for invasive and potentially deadly procedures like a chemical stress test. The INTERHEART study, which looked at heart disease risk factors in over 50 countries around the world, found that 90 percent of heart disease cases are completely preventable by modifying diet and lifestyle factors.5 Take control of your health, including your heart health, today by paying attention to these positive lifestyle changes for your heart:

  1. Diet: Shift toward a nutrient-dense-food-based diet with higher fat and lower carbohydrate intake, such as my nutrition plan
  2. Intermittent fasting is a powerful tool to lower your body fat and normalize your insulin and leptin resistance
  3. Make sure you're getting enough sleep
  4. Exercise regularly, and make sure to incorporate high-intensity interval exercises, as they are particularly effective for improving insulin and leptin sensitivity
  5. Avoid sitting too much, as that can have a direct adverse effect on insulin and leptin sensitivity
  6. Minimize your exposure to environmental toxins as much as possible
  7. Optimize your gut health by eating fermented foods, soluble fiber that enriches your beneficial gut flora, and avoid food toxins that harm your gut flora (i.e. sugar)

As you can see, the things you need to do to prevent heart disease are identical to what you would do to promote optimal health in general.

MedicalConspiracies- FDA warns of heart risks with Astellas stress test chemicals

FDA warns of heart risks with Astellas stress test chemicals

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned physicians on Wednesday that two chemicals used to conduct cardiovascular stress tests can cause heart attacks and death, and it suggested resuscitation equipment and trained staff be available when the tests are conducted.

The injectable products, Lexiscan and Adenoscan, are marketed by Astellas Pharma US Inc. They work by stressing the heart, allowing physicians to take images that can show areas of low blood flow and damaged heart muscle. The tests are given to patients who are physically unable to exercise.

The FDA said heart attacks may be triggered by the tests because the chemicals dilate the heart's arteries and increase blood flow to help identify obstructions. Blood flows more easily to unblocked arteries, which can reduce blood flow to an obstructed artery. In some cases, that can lead to a heart attack, the agency said.

The FDA advised physicians not to use the products in patients with signs of acute myocardial ischemia, which occurs when blood flow to the heart muscle is decreased. Some cases of heart attack and death have occurred in patients with unstable angina, or chest pain, and other heart problems.

The FDA said it analyzed its safety database for Lexiscan for side effects reported between June 24, 2008, and April 10, 2013, and for Adenoscan from May 18, 1995, to April 10, 2013, correlating with the start of marketing for each drug.

The database contained 26 heart attacks and 29 deaths following administration with Lexiscan, and six heart attacks and 27 deaths following administration with Adenoscan. The reports did not always specify when the events occurred, but when the timing was specified, they tended to occur within six hours of a stress test, the FDA said.

The FDA said that due to limitations in the data, it was unable to discern a difference in risk between the two chemicals.

Friday, April 28, 2017

MedicalConspiracies- Mystery-illness-causing-paralysis-in-children/

Mystery illness causing paralysis in children

Share story

Amid fears of Ebola's reach into the U.S., a more enigmatic virus is suspected of causing paralysis in dozens of children nationwide as doctors race to solve one of the most perplexing mysteries of their careers.

Enterovirus D68, which has hospitalized hundreds of children in almost every state and been linked to at least four deaths, may also have caused unexplained paralysis in cases from Boston to San Diego, doctors said.

Researchers said they fear EV-D68 could be this generation's version of polio, said Ben Greenberg, a Dallas-based neurologist.

Enterovirus typically causes only mild cold symptoms in most patients.

Most Read Stories

Unlimited Digital Access. $1 for 4 weeks.

Now, though, U.S. health officials are probing whether EV-D68 is directly linked to the paralysis. At the same time, more than 50 doctors at top U.S. hospitals are holding regular calls and pooling research, seeking to pinpoint physical changes that may lead to a treatment or a vaccine.

They are in a race against time as the EV-D68 outbreak has yet to wane.

"We don't want to repeat mistakes of history," said Greenberg, of the University of Texas Southwest Medical Center. "If we could have accelerated the polio vaccine by a decade we could have saved a lot of people from the illness."

Greenberg, who spoke by telephone, said he didn't realize the full scope of the problem until early last week. After reports of a cluster of 10 paralysis cases in Colorado, he and 30 other neurologists, infectious-disease experts and public-health officials hastily organized a conference call Sept. 29.

To Greenberg's surprise, almost every doctor on the call, from Boston to Chicago to Los Angeles, had seen at least one case of unexplained paralysis in the past several months, and some had seen as many as 10.

There have been 594 confirmed cases of EV-D68 in 43 states, beginning in the Midwest in August, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, though doctors said the number is probably far greater since not all those infected are tested.

Most only experience symptoms such as a runny nose, though a small percentage develop serious breathing difficulties, especially those with a history of such issues including asthma.

In cases where children develop paralysis, the symptoms usually start with those similar to a cold or stomach bug.

They are followed by a fever, headaches, neck pain and, within a few days or weeks, a swift and sudden paralysis that in the most-severe cases left children using a wheelchair, unable to speak or breathe on their own, said Keith Van Haren, a Stanford School of Medicine neurologist who has been studying a link between the virus and paralysis since 2012.

While there were some variations, most images from medical scans of those with paralysis looked strikingly similar, with the connection between the spinal cord and the muscles killed off with little chance of rebuilding the bridge — just like seen in scans of those infected with polio, Greenberg said.

"There were remarkable similarities," said Van Haren, who was also on the doctors' conference call. "They sounded like interchangeable cases."

The CDC hasn't determined definitively whether the virus is causing the paralysis. EV-D68 hasn't been detected in all of the paralyzed patients and given its widespread circulation, its presence could be coincidental, the agency said.

While the CDC continues to study the paralysis cases, "as a member of the clinical community, I think it is just a matter of time before we establish a definitive link between EV-D68 and this poliolike illness that follows," Van Haren said.

The virus has also been documented in at least four deaths, the CDC said Oct. 1. Since then, New Jersey health officials have attributed the virus to the death of Eli Waller, a 4-year-old New Jersey boy who died suddenly in his sleep.

Eli was kept home from school by his mother one day last month because he was developing a little bit of pinkeye, said Jeff Plunkett, the health officer for Hamilton Township where the boy lived. That night, he died in his sleep.

The Mercer County medical examiner's office listed EV-D68 as the cause of death and found swelling of the brain and lymph nodes. He didn't have any underlying medical conditions, such as asthma, said Plunkett.

There are currently no vaccines in development for the virus, which was rarely seen until this year. Before work on one can begin, researchers need more data to prove the virus is the cause of the paralysis, Greenberg said.

Too often, samples aren't taken in time to detect the virus and it's possible multiple viruses may be to blame.

As of last week, the CDC has begun a national surveillance and testing program while Greenberg and other neurologists have formed a group to study patients more in depth.

The cases have doctors brushing up on their knowledge of polio, which hasn't naturally occurred in the U.S. since 1979 after a vaccine was introduced in the 1950s. When Greenberg started seeing the poliolike cases, he called an older colleague at the National Institutes of Health who had trained in India to get a crash course on the disease.

Carrie Baker-Bailey fears her son William, 8, is one of those who may have lost the use of his arm. She took him to the hospital near their San Diego home with neck pain, headache and a fever. An X-ray showed some inflammation in his chest and his doctor sent him home with antibiotics, Baker-Bailey said. Two days later he was feeling worse and had a stomach ache, was constipated and was complaining of pain all over his body. They went back to the hospital where doctors did a spinal tap, diagnosed him with spinal meningitis and sent him home.

That night, Baker-Bailey said she remembers him screaming in pain. The next morning she knew something wasn't right and took him back to the hospital. By then, he said he couldn't move his arm.

An MRI showed inflammation of his spinal cord and he was admitted to the hospital where he spent 13 days in the intensive-care unit. He tested positive for enterovirus though doctors did no further testing to determine which of the more than 100 types of enterovirus he had.