Check your balance: Coronavirus stimulus money starts to flow into bank accounts

WASHINGTON — Americans are starting to receive their cash payments via direct deposits, part of the $2 trillion bill passed by Congress to stimulate the economy after the decline caused by the pandemic.

“#IRS deposited the first Economic Impact Payments into taxpayers’ bank accounts today. We know many people are anxious to get their payments; we’ll continue issuing them as fast as we can,” the IRS tweeted on Saturday.

#IRS deposited the first Economic Impact Payments into taxpayers’ bank accounts today. We know many people are anxious to get their payments; we’ll continue issuing them as fast as we can. For #COVIDreliefIRS updates see:

— IRS (@IRSnews)

Numerous Twitter users also posted on Saturday that they had received a deposit.

For those who do not have direct deposit information registered with the IRS, it could take months for checks to be mailed. The IRS is expected to roll out an online tool to help those that have not registered direct deposit do so.

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The coronavirus payment is based on federal tax returns for 2019 or 2018, but the IRS is directing people who do not normally file taxes to an online tool to make sure they are included. That excludes Social Security recipients and railroad retirees, according to the IRS.

Americans who made less than $75,000 in 2019 will be eligible for the full payment of $1,200. Couples who filed jointly and made less than $150,000 will get $2,400. An individual who filed as “head of household” and earned $112,500 or less gets $1,200.

Who qualifies to receive money from the Senate coronavirus relief plan?

For every child in the household, an additional $500 will be paid.

For those that made more than $75,000, payments will be reduced by $5 for every $100 of income that exceeds the limits. The payment decreases to zero for an individual making $99,000 or more or a couple making $198,000 or more.

The maximum payment for a family of four is $3,400. The payment will not be taxed.

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Owing back taxes or other debt to the government does not disqualify a person from being eligible for the payments. However, Americans who are overdue on child support could see their cash payments reduced or eliminated.

The CARES Act that authorized the direct payments only approved a one-time deposit. But additional legislation could be passed in the future.

President Donald Trump has said that he “likes the concept” of a second round of payments and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said on CNN last month that “we think we’ll get more direct payments in another bill,” suggesting that Congress could revisit the issue.

This content was originally published here.


President Trump confirms he, first lady Melania Trump tested positive for coronavirus

Trump pollster John McLaughlin and Democratic pollster Doug Schoen react on ‘The Ingraham Angle’

President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump both tested positive for COVID-19 early Friday, and are set to quarantine and recover at the White House.

“Tonight, @FLOTUS and I tested positive for COVID-19,” the president tweeted. “We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately.”

He added: “We will get through this TOGETHER!”

A White House source told Fox News shortly after the president’s tweet that he and the first lady are “fine” and are in the quarantine process at the White House.

Meanwhile, the president’s physician, Dr. Sean P. Conley, confirmed Trump and the first lady’s positive COVID-19 tests.

“This evening I received confirmation that both President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump have tested positive for the SARS-coV-2- virus,” Conley said. “The President and First Lady are both well at this time, and they plan to remain at home within the White House during their convalescence.”

“The White House medical team and I will maintain a vigilant watch, and I appreciate the support provided by some of our country’s greatest medical professionals and institutions,” he continued.

He added: “Rest assured I expected the President to continue carrying out his duties without disruption while recovering, and I will keep you updated on any future developments.”

The president and first lady’s positive coronavirus tests came just hours after news surfaced that senior White House adviser Hope Hicks tested positive for COVID-19.

“Hope Hicks, who has been working so hard without even taking a small break, has just tested positive for Covid 19,” Trump tweeted late Thursday. “Terrible! The First Lady and I are waiting for our test results. In the meantime, we will begin our quarantine process!”

In a statement, White House spokesman Judd Deere said the president “takes the health and safety of himself and everyone who works in support of him and the American people very seriously.”

“White House Operations collaborates with the Physician to the President and the White House Military Office to ensure all plans and procedures incorporate current CDC guidelines and best practices for limiting COVID-19 exposure to the greatest extent possible both on complex and when the President is traveling,” Deere said.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

This content was originally published here.


Coronavirus: Trump tests positive for Covid-19 with Melania Trump

They include White House chief of staff Mark Meadows; national security advisor Robert O’Brien; the president’s lawyer, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani; White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany; the president’s daughter Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner, both of whom are senior White House advisors; the president’s sons, Donald Jr. and Eric; Donald Jr’s girlfriend Kimberly Guilfoyle, who previously had Covid; Eric’s wife Lara Trump; the president’s daughter Tiffany; campaign manager Bill Stepien; top campaign official Jason Miller; White House social media director Dan Scavino; White House counselor Derek Lyons; political advisor Stephen Miller; and Rep Jim Jordan, R-Ohio.

Also on that flight was Alice Marie Johnson, a criminal justice reform advocate whom Trump granted clemency for her life sentence for a drug crime.

Trump, 74, himself rarely wears a mask after months of resistance, and has mocked Biden, 77, for often wearing face coverings.

“I don’t wear masks like him. Every time you see him, he’s got a mask. He could be speaking 200 feet away and he shows up with the biggest mask I’ve ever seen,” Trump said about Biden during their debate Tuesday night.

At his age and weight, which is in the range of obesity, Trump is considered to be at high risk of severe illness from Covid-19, according to the CDC’s web site. Melania Trump is 50.

There have been cases of people who have developed symptoms of Covid-19 have recovered, only to be left with lingering health problems, including respiratory ailments.

The Biden campaign didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment about the president’s diagnosis.

According to NBC News, Hicks had started showing symptoms Wednesday night, when she had accompanied the president and several others to a campaign event in Minnesota. She quarantined on Air Force One on the way back and received positive test results Thursday morning.

Trump visited New Jersey for a brief fundraising event on Thursday.

As of Thursday night, Trump had been slated to travel to Florida for a campaign rally Friday night. The White House issued an updated schedule that cleared travel from the president’s schedule.

Vice President Mike Pence, who is due to take on Sen. Kamala Harris in a vice presidential debate Wednesday, tweeted that he and second lady Karen Pence were praying for the president and the first lady.

CNBC’s Dan Mangan contributed to this report.

This is breaking news. Please check back for updates.

This content was originally published here.

functional medicine

Top 16 Doctors On Social Media, Who Practice Naturopathy And Functional Medicine – Online Cooking Classes

Today, we find that there are doctors who have taken the path to focus on natural remedies and functional medicine, which is quite different from what conventional doctors practice. Naturopathy focuses exclusively on natural remedies to illness. Functional medicine looks at the whole body and how the environment affects it and looks at the root cause of the disease. While naturopathy focuses on natural remedies, functional medicine looks at the individual patient’s unique circumstances, from the patient’s body to the patient’s environment. So today we shall focus on a few doctors who practice Naturopathy and  Functional Medicine. These top professionals have truly embraced food as a medicine approach in their practices, and that’s exactly what our healthy cooking school stands for.

Zach Bush MD is a physician specializing in internal medicine, endocrinology, and hospice care. He is an internationally recognized educator and thought leader on the microbiome as it relates to health, disease, and food systems. His passion for education reaches across many disciplines, including topics such as the role of soil and water ecosystems in human genomics, immunity, and gut/brain health. 

He is a psychiatrist, Founder  Amen Clinics, leader in brain health & neuroimaging, 12x NY Times bestselling author. Dr. Amen is transforming the way mental health is treated. He believes in providing personalized treatment plans that use the least toxic, most effective solutions.

3. Dr. Will Cole

Dr. Cole is a leading Functional Medicine Expert who consults with patients worldwide via webcam, author, and co-host of the goopfellas podcast. He specializes in clinically investigating underlying factors of chronic disease and customizing health programs for thyroid issues, autoimmune conditions, hormonal dysfunctions, digestive disorders, and brain problems.

4. Dr. Mary Pardee

She is a Functional Medicine doctor and who specializes in gut-brain health. Dr. Mary believes that if we optimize our gut-health as well as our brain health we can optimize our entire body. She uses the best of conventional medicine, naturopathic medicine, and functional medicine to get her clients the health results they desire. 

5. Dr. Steven Lin

Dr. Steven Lin is a world-leading functional dentist, TEDx speaker, and author of the International #1 Amazon Best Selling Book, The Dental Diet. Dr. Lin focusses on the understanding of dental disease through nutritional principles.

6. Dr. James DiNicolantonio

Dr. James DiNicolantonio is a cardiovascular research scientist and doctor of pharmacy at Saint Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute in Kansas City, Missouri, and author of The Salt Fix and Superfuel. He is an expert on health and nutrition, he has contributed extensively to health policy.

7. Dr. Lana Wellness

Dr. Lana is best known to offer a naturopathic approach to modern life. She looks into the underlying and often-overlooked aspects of our lives and bodies to uncover the root causes of health and wellness issues. Then, creates naturopathic health plans according to what your issue as her patient may be.

Dr. Katherine Chang is a licensed naturopathic doctor in California who focuses on wellness optimization, anti-aging, and preventative medicine. She utilizes modalities such as diet and lifestyle management, botanical herbs, nutraceuticals, special IV vitamin/mineral formulations, and platelet-rich plasma (PRP) as minimally invasive interventions. 

9. Dr. Asia Muhammad

Dr. Asia has used Naturopathic Medicine for years to manage thousands of gastroenterology cases with great success. From a numbers perspective, she says that we are mostly bacteria, and the microbiome is where she focuses much of her attention in chronic cases.

10. Dr. Judy Brangman

Dr. Judy Brangman is a board-certified Internal Medicine physician. She is also certified in Lifestyle Medicine and plant-based nutrition. She teaches how to live healthier so that you can live your best life and walk in your purpose. She is mindful of medication interactions and aims to help her patients minimize their medication dependence as much as possible.

Doctor Mendez is a South Florida based, double board-certified gastroenterologist and internist. Her medical interests include disease prevention, nutrition, and digestive disorders. She practices evidence-based medicine and is a proponent of lifestyle changes to promote health and wellness. 

Dr. Yami is a board-certified pediatrician, certified lifestyle medicine physician, certified health and wellness coach, author, and speaker. She is a passionate promoter of healthy lifestyles and a champion of plant-based nutrition for the prevention of chronic disease.

13. Dr. Cresencia Felty

Dr.Felty aims to educate and empower each person to take charge of their health, reduce symptoms of any illness, support the body’s natural ability to heal, and balance the body so that illness is less likely to occur in the future. She does this by way of non-invasive therapies including nutrition, herbal medicine, lifestyle intervention, breathwork, and naturopathic counseling. Dr. Felty is an expert at self-healing and restoring health naturally.

14. Dr. Guy Citrin

Dr. Guy combines innovative integrative modalities with functional, naturopathic, and conventional medicine for the best possible results. He has diverse experience, education, and training, and specializes in treating chronic disease, hormone imbalance, joint pain, gut health, anti-aging, and regenerative medicine. While using food as a medical approach.

15. Dr. Hadar Sophia

Dr. Hadar is one of the leading doctors using functional medicine to create a vibrant glow inside out. She is known to use holistic weight loss, detoxification, graceful aging, and immune support as her forms of healing. She is an expert in providing overall health, wellness, and care to the community.

She specializes in solving persistent pain, mystery illness, autoimmune issues. She also is vigilant in finding optimal paths for helping her patients shift into health. She is known to combine the best medical practices with knowledge with complementary therapies, emerging science, and ancient traditions that have stood the test of time.

This content was originally published here.


Breaking: President Trump tweets that he and the first lady have tested positive for coronavirus

President Donald Trump tweeted on his official social media account that he and the first lady had tested positive for coronavirus on Thursday evening.

“Tonight, @FLOTUS and I tested positive for COVID-19,” the president tweeted.

Tonight, @FLOTUS and I tested positive for COVID-19. We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately.…

— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1601614446.0

“We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately. We will get through this TOGETHER!” he added.

The news came after the president
confirmed earlier on Thursday that his longtime aide Hope Hicks had tested positive for the virus.

“Hope Hicks, who has been working so hard without even taking a small break, has just tested positive for Covid 19. Terrible!” he tweeted.

Hope Hicks, who has been working so hard without even taking a small break, has just tested positive for Covid 19.…

— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1601606661.0

The president and the first lady indicated that they will go into quarantine.

Sean Conley, the president’s physician, released a memorandum about the first family.

“This evening I received confirmation that both President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump have tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 virus,” read the statement.

“The President and the First Lady are both well at this time, and they plan to remain at home within the White House during their convalescence,” he continued.

“The White House medical team and I will maintain a vigilant watch, and I appreciate the support provided by some of our country’s greatest medical professionals and institutions,” Conley concluded. “Rest assured I expect the President to continue carrying out his duties without disruption while recovering, and I will keep you updated on any future developments.”

Here’s more about the startling development:

Trump and Melania test positive for coronavirus

[Ed. Note: This story has been updated with additional information.]

This content was originally published here.

functional medicine

Why You Should Consult With A Functional Medicine Trained Oncologist And Biohacker – Integrative Oncology Essentials

Did you know that cancer patients and survivors are at a higher risk of dying from any cause compared with individuals who have never had cancer?

If this fact worries you, I have good news. Combining functional medicine and biohacking, I can help you significantly reduce this risk.

What Is Functional Medicine?

This is the use of laboratory testing, lifestyle modifications and other interventions (i.e. drugs, supplements, evidence based complementary therapies) to:

What Is Biohacking?

“Biohacking” is the use of devices (wearables and others) and lab tests to assess:

I also may employ, sensitive diagnostic/screening technologies and assays to look for cancer in the body in the earliest stages. These tests can identify tumors and cancer often long before they present with clinical symptoms. Examples:

Biohackers use this data to guide their implementation of various evidence-informed interventions to positively impact their physical and mental health, performance and quality of life.


Why Do Cancer Patients And Survivors Have A Higher Mortality?

There are two main reasons for this:

#1) The same risk factors that are associated with cancer development (i.e. physiological, environmental, genetic, psychosocial) are also strongly correlated with a higher risk of developing or exacerbating other chronic diseases. Examples:

Let’s look at one of the most important physiological process that can alter the function of all tissues and organ systems in the body: “inflammation.”

Persistently elevated levels of inflammatory proteins (i.e. cytokines) are associated with a greater risk of developing or exacerbating most chronic diseases and cancer. Inflammatory proteins activate a complex biological pathway (nuclear factor kappa-B, “NF-KB”) that has broad impacts on the body.

As an integrative oncologist, I approach patient care holistically. This means that I look at as many of these factors as possible to help improve the outcomes in my patients. I have published about the importance of taking a broad systems approach in cancer care, here.

#2) It is well known to anyone who has personally gone through chemotherapy, radiation therapy or surgery that there are side effects and long-term issues that occur as a result of these and other cancer treatments. Many of these issues can have lasting effects on one’s health, such as:

If these effects are not addressed, individually or together, they can promote the development of chronic diseases (i.e. cardiovascular disease, diabetes, dementia), disease progression and developing new cancers, cancer progression and recurrence.

Most individuals these days would prefer to optimize their healthspan (the part of a person’s life during which they are generally in good health), instead of their lifespan.

Get A Consultation With An Oncologist Trained In Functional Medicine

If you have a history of cancer or are currently undergoing cancer treatment and optimizing your healthspan interests you, I highly recommend scheduling a consultation with functional medicine-trained oncologist. 

There are many unique issues that cancer patients and survivors face (especially as they related to the side effects and complications of treatment, inflammatory, immune, metabolic problems, secondary malignancies, cancer and disease screening and potential interactions with other therapies). These topics are often not well-understood by non-oncology healthcare providers, which is why consulting with an experienced functional medicine-trained, board-certified oncologist is recommended.

Consult With Brian Lawenda, M.D.

I offer appointments by phone or video (30 or 60-minute consults, your choice of phone, Skype or Zoom). 

My background:

What To Expect During Your Consult:

How To Purchase And Schedule Your Consult:

**Cancer patients/survivors can also consult with me in-person by contacting my office for an appointment. Most insurances are accepted. Northwest Cancer Clinic, Kennewick, WA. 509-987-1800**

Contact Me If You Have Any Questions:

This content was originally published here.


8 Biohacking Tricks You Can Start Using Today – Recharge

Hacking is usually associated with electronics. You expect hacking to relate to your email or your computer, but not your body, right?

Biohacking is a whole new ball game in self-improvement and increasing quality of life. One of the best things about this growing trend is that you can approach it however suits your lifestyle.

You can cherry pick bits and pieces that make sense to you and incorporate them into your daily routine. It’s a lot easier and more natural than it sounds.

What Is Biohacking and Why Should We Care?

Biohacking is about optimizing your body and the way it functions. You can use it to achieve your mental and physical health, fitness and wellness goals. 

The idea is to study your own body through personal experimentation, and learn what helps you improve the way you live and feel. By using certain tools and methods, you can change your body chemistry and learn how to energize and enhance it.

How Can I Hack My Body?

There are so many possibilities when it comes to biohacking. You can work on your mindset, nutrition, exercise, supplements, physiology and much more. 

If you are not ready to take the plunge, you can just dip your toes in. Here are some of the latest biohacking trends that you can start applying right now and see if they work for you. After all, the core of biohacking is experimentation.

To start experimenting with what works best for you, you need to know where you are right now. That’s why tracking and measuring different aspects of your health is important. 

You can start by measuring your food intake and nutrients, workouts and water intake. That can help you understand what does and doesn’t work for you. Nowadays, you can easily do this with a smartwatch or phone apps.

1. Red Light Therapy

Red light therapy (RLT) is a non-invasive therapy that involves exposing your body to red and near-infrared light for beneficial effects.

The general idea is that energizing your body with red light allows it to heal itself in the best possible way because it stimulates your body’s natural healing processes.

Here are some amazing and clinically proven benefits of red light therapy:

If you want to learn more, listen to LA biohacker and health optimization coach Kristin Weitzel interview light therapy expert Sarah Turner on all things red light in this podcast:

Cold therapy means exposing your body to low temperatures frequently to achieve beneficial effects for your health. It has been proven that you can use cold therapy to speed up your metabolism, reduce inflammation, muscle soreness, boost metabolism and improve sleep quality.

To feel the benefits of cold therapy you can start simple by taking cold showers in the morning. Athletes are known to take ice-cold baths to boost their performance. Start small and work your way to the level of cold exposure that works for you.

Wim Hof, the Iceman, has his own method of cold therapy that involves a special breathing technique that ensures you get the most out of the exposure to cold. 

3. Bone Strengthening Exercise

This type of exercise promotes a stimulus that triggers growth of the healthy bone tissue. This is important because osteoporosis is a huge threat to people of a certain age, especially women. NIH recommends bone strengthening exercises:

Weight-bearing and resistance exercises are the best for your bones. Weight-bearing exercises force you to work against gravity. They include walking, hiking, jogging, climbing stairs, playing tennis, and dancing. Resistance exercises – such as lifting weights – can also strengthen bones. Other exercises such as swimming and bicycling can help build and maintain strong muscles and have excellent cardiovascular benefits, but they are not the best way to exercise your bones

For healthy bone tissue to start growing, you need to stimulate the bones with as much as 4.2 of your body weight. That’s too much. That’s why OsteoStrong developed a system that involves a trained technician, 4 different devices and a 7-minute session each week.

While this sounds like a type of exercise, it isn’t. OsteoStrong doesn’t replace exercise, but supplements it.

You may want to consider functional exercises as well. This type of exercise involves activities that your body recognizes as natural. So, skip the gym and go and climb a tree, do intermittent sprints or garden. 

In this way, you will engage in natural movements that your body requires and not repetitive movements you do in a gym. 

4. Sleep Hygiene

Sleep is essential to your health. 

Here are some of the processes that happen while you sleep:

The immune system boosts healing processes
– Thermo-regulation
– The muscular-skeletal system recuperates from daily strain
– Hormones are released
– The sympathetic nervous system relaxes
– The brain processes the tremendous amount of information it has gathered during the day

There are people who struggle to get their recommended hours of restorative sleep. One way to restore your sleep pattern and boost your brain function is to .”

The lack of it can have dramatic consequences on your physical and mental health. Therefore, one of the ways to unlock your full potential is to get enough sleep and to track it properly.  

Here are some of the ways biohackers boost their sleep quality:

Monitor your sleep patterns during the night. You can use a smartwatch to do this or you can use apps to track your sleep. Some of these can track your natural sleep cycle and wake you up at the moment of increased energy, so you wake up easily.

5. Salt Lamps

Himalayan salt lamps are much more than just a lovely piece of interior decoration. They also release negative ions and reduce the effects of positive ions that create electronic pollution. Each room in your home should have a salt lamp for optimal effects.

In nature, waterfalls, waves and storms have the same effects. Therefore, salt lamps would be a replacement for those that cannot go out into nature often. With that said, nothing is more powerful than spending time in nature.

6. Binaural Beats

Your brainwaves operate at a certain frequency. That frequency changes according to different states. Binaural beats are tones that you can hear which resonate with your brainwaves.

Therefore, you can use binaural beats to simulate different states of awareness depending on what you want to achieve.

High frequencies will cause alertness of beta waves. Theta waves are meditative and relaxing and they are present at completely different frequencies. 

Whether you need the high frequency and wide awake alertness of beta waves, or are seeking a gentle drift down into the relaxing, creative, meditative waves of theta, binaural beats can lend a hand.

7. Meditation

Meditation is another way to biohack your body and mind. For just 10 minutes a day, you can change your mental state and help reduce stress and boost mental activity. You can start with different types of meditation and here are some recommendations:

8. Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting is a way of dieting. It involves eating high-quality food, but only at certain periods of time. An example of intermittent fasting is eating only within a fixed period, from noon until 8 pm, and then fasting until noon the next day.

Some of the benefits of intermittent fasting are:

As you can see, biohacking doesn’t have to involve drastic changes to your lifestyle. Some little tweaks here and there can take you a long way. You need to explore, experiment and track the effects for optimal results.

Read up on more benefits red light therapy offers and why biohackers use it extensively.

This content was originally published here.


BREAKING: House passes broad coronavirus stimulus and relief package, including paid sick and family leave

It’s been 12 days since

It will also provide 80 hours of paid sick leave for full-time employees (or pro-rata for part-time employees) for the following reasons:

  1. To self-isolate because the employee is diagnosed with coronavirus. 
  2. To obtain a medical diagnosis or care if such employee is experiencing the symptoms of coronavirus.
  3. To comply with a recommendation or order by a public official or a health care provider on the basis that the physical presence of the employee on the job would jeopardize the health of others because the employee was exposed to coronavirus or is exhibiting coronavirus symptoms.
  4. To care for or assist a family member of the employee who is self-isolating because a family member has been diagnosed with coronavirus or is experiencing symptoms of coronavirus and needs to obtain medical diagnosis or care. 
  5. To care for a family member if a public official or a health care provider makes a determination that the presence of the family member in the community would jeopardize the health of others because of the exposure of such family member to the coronavirus exhibition of symptoms of coronavirus by such family member.
  6. To care for the child of such employee if the school or place of care has been closed, or the childcare provider of such child is unavailable because of coronavirus.

Importantly, if an employer already offers paid sick leave to its employees, coronavirus paid sick leave must be in addition to the already-existing leave, and an employer cannot amend its sick leave policy to avoid offering additional leave. The bill also prohibits discrimination or retaliation. Finally, to help defray the cost of the paid leave, the bill makes available a tax credit equal to 100 percent of sick leave wages paid by an employer.

This leave is vitally necessary now, and is a strong first step to making permanent paid family and sick leave a national reality after this crisis ends.

This is a developing issue. I’ll provide further updates and guidance as necessary.

This content was originally published here.


Pregnant women are being forced to give birth alone as hospitals restrict visitors during coronavirus – CBS News

The birth of a child is a pivotal moment. One that is often shared between spouses, even grandparents and siblings. Now, however, due to the rapidly spreading coronavirus pandemic, women across the United States are finding themselves forced to go through labor and delivery alone – a reality that, for many, would have once been unthinkable.

On March 13, Ana Arteaga, a mother-to-be in Watertown, Massachusetts, posted on Facebook: “Just found out that because of new hospital restrictions, I can only have one visitor with me when I give birth … aka my husband. I never thought in a million years that I wouldn’t have my mom with me during one of the most important days/moments of my life. Just devastated.”

Now, she fears she won’t be allowed to have her husband with her either.

“My clinic called this morning to tell me that Alex can no longer come to my prenatal appointment on Friday and also mentioned my hospital, Mount Auburn Hospital in Cambridge, is considering restricting all visitors to include the one currently allowed for laboring patients,” Arteaga tells CBS News. “And this could happen at any moment. I’m terrified and feel a complete loss of control. Going into a hospital to labor and deliver my first child completely alone is setting up the experience to be traumatic and likely unsafe … What should be one of the most significant and happiest days of our lives is turning into a nightmare.”

A New Jersey woman, who is due May 1 and wished to remain anonymous, told CBS News that she is “an emotional wreck about all of it.”

“I just left a doctors appointment where I was told to prepare myself that my husband would not be at the birth of my child, and that I should buy an iPad so we can video him in,” she said. “While I understand what the hospitals are going through right now and how precious supplies are, I don’t understand their reasoning around this. It is honestly just cruel and inhumane.” 

She says the prospect of not having her husband with her in the delivery room is “causing a whole new level of stress and anxiety that honestly can’t be good for the baby or the pregnancy.”

“It is an emotional and scary time for everyone … and I think now, more than ever, we need the support of our partners. As a first-time mom, it is terrifying to think about going through the birth process alone, and it is heartbreaking to think that my husband will miss the birth of his daughter. The only thing I am hopeful for is more testing to become available and maybe hospitals will be able to test my husband and allow him in the room if he is negative.”

Several healthcare systems in New York have implemented new restrictions for visitors as a way to prevent the spread of coronavirus in their hospitals. New York’s Mount Sinai Health and New York Presbyterian are both restricting visitors entirely, and NYU is permitting only one visitor throughout labor and delivery, who cannot be rotated.

The restrictions in New York have led women around the country to rethink their birthing plans, just in case their hospital decides to follow this model and implement similar restrictions. 

Some mothers told CBS News that they were looking into switching doctors as late as 38 weeks into their pregnancies, if it meant delivering in a different hospital that still allowed a spouse to be present.

Arteaga, who is due April 7, says the new restrictions led her to even consider a home birth, but she likely won’t end up going that route because it’s extremely expensive.

“Hiring an experienced midwife for a home birth could be at least $3,800,” she says. “That’s the rate I was just given now. And with everything happening and so much financial insecurity, I don’t know if that’s something we can comfortably afford at the moment.”

Midwives in New York City have slammed hospitals’ decisions to limit visitors. “NYC Midwives calls on the State of New York and all New York hospitals to follow W.H.O. guidelines and affirm their commitment to allowing one essential support person to accompany all laboring people,” the group said in a statement.

And as of Wednesday, more than 400,000 people have signed a petition to safeguard the right of all laboring people to have support during the COVID-19 crisis. 

“Fundamentally, risks for the people laboring alone will increase substantially. Not only can partners and spouses provide physical and emotional comfort during labor and postpartum, they are also essential in alerting staff when something has gone wrong and the laboring patient cannot notify nurses themselves, like in the event of an eclamptic seizure or a fainting episode,” the petition reads. “Timing is critical in these cases and monitors can be unreliable.”

The petition is addressed to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, and New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, and has a goal of 500,000 signatures.

One expecting mother from Virginia said as of now her husband can be in the delivery room with her, but if that changes, she respects the decision.

“I think that if it came to that, I have to do it alone,” Meredith Celko told CBS News. “At this point, I am very comfortable with my doctor and the nurses in her practice so, if it were to come to that, I would do it. I do not want that to happen at all but I trust them. My husband and I are in agreement that we would do anything to keep the safety of our baby the top priority.”

Celko, who is due April 29, is more worried about the state of the coronavirus pandemic when her baby finally arrives. “My husband is worried that everyone keeps saying the peak hasn’t happened yet,” she said. “I am not due until April, so if the peak happens later, they might go the mother only [in the delivery room] route.”

“My family is worried they won’t be able to see the baby right after it is born because we will most likely be going back to quarantine,” she said. 

It is important to note that, until the 1970s, most American hospitals did not allow fathers into the delivery room. And to this day, many single mothers continue to undergo labor and delivery alone. However, for women who had planned on their husbands or other family members being by their sides, the new realities of coronavirus are devastating nonetheless.

CBS News correspondent Nikki Battiste, who is nearly nine months pregnant, is one of those women. “Honestly, it felt like someone knocked the wind out of me. But mostly, my heart breaks for him.” she told Gayle King on “CBS This Morning” on Wednesday.  “Like me, there are so many pregnant women right now in these unthinkable scenarios.” 

I never anticipated my life would be a part of a story I’m covering- but now it is. Got through our live segment about pregnant women during this pandemic on @CBSThisMorning – with a lump in my throat. Sending love, courage and strength to all pregnant women ❤️🤰🏻💪🏼🙏🏼⤵️

— Nikki Battiste (@NikkiBattiste)

Many hospitals, like the one where Battiste will deliver her baby, are making pregnant women wear masks during delivery. Others are discharging mothers and their babies much sooner than they normally would.

Francesca Benarrosh, who is scheduled to give birth at Florida’s Pembroke Pines Memorial West in a couple of weeks, told CBS News that she “was told, after delivery, as long as myself and baby are okay, they’ll release you immediately.”

“I’m a bit sad being that this is my second child and I would have loved for my son to meet his sister in the hospital. I believe that it is a beautiful experience,” she said. “Also, I’m very nervous about leaving right away. I’ll never get to just enjoy her for even a day alone. Also, the thought of not being able to just rest to myself without my toddler and newborn for even a few hours makes me a little nervous, but I know I will get through it.”

Shaun Lynch, whose wife was induced in Kansas City on Wednesday, told CBS News that they were both screened for COVID-19 upon admission. He also said that he worried he wouldn’t be allowed in during the birth because he works a job at a grocery store that carries with it a high risk of exposure.

“It’s added a distinct layer of anxiety and stress for sure,” he said. “And I still get scared if I should be near my wife to comfort her and whether it is safe to hold my baby when born. But I try to push that aside, block it and stay in our own bubble. Focus on the three of us and just be normal.”

Much like their fellow citizens, in the time of coronavirus, it seems new mothers and fathers are simply adjusting to what that new “normal” is.

This content was originally published here.


Biohacking Blood Sugar: CGM for the Non-Diabetic | Metabolic Meals

🕑 5 min read

Are Continuous Glucose Monitors (CGMs) the tech device of the future?

In short, yes, and perhaps it is only a matter of time before glucose tracking becomes as widely available as activity trackers.

Why? Poor blood sugar control impairs the gut and increases the risk of disease and cancer.

A CGM is a beneficial tool to collect data to personalize a diet, lifestyle and quality of life.

How is blood sugar affected by someone’s individual response to foods?

On a macro-level, someone’s carbohydrate tolerance, meaning how comfortably someone can eat a lower or higher carbohydrate diet, is unique to the individual.

Age, activity levels, metabolic health, genetics and insulin resistance play into the amount of carbohydrates someone tolerates. However, research can agree, a moderately lower carb diet made up of real food compared to the Standard American Diet (SAD) is favorable on blood sugar levels/control.

On a micro-level, blood sugar levels can spike beyond optimal ranges based off gut integrity and immunogenetic response to food. For example, as someone with an auto-immune disease and therefore some form of leaky gut, when I consume a healthy food like spinach, regardless of the low carb content, this vegetable irritates my gut and creates havoc on my blood sugar as shown on my CGM.

Identifying how certain ingredients spike my blood sugar allows me, and can allow anyone using a CGM, to personalize their diet to meet their needs of their physiology.

A 2019 study on non-diabetics, published in JAMA proved that when it comes to blood sugar control, we need to look at this full picture. Over 6 days researchers tracked glycemic responses to food in 300 participants and found that they could only predict blood sugar, at best, 40% of the time when considering the consumed ingredients and calories consumed by the participants. Yet, when the researchers factored in the specific composition of the microbiome of the individual, they were able to accurately predict blood glucose response 62% of the time.

CGMs help highlight that food is not just calories. Food is information that can help us get by or thrive. When we identify the right ingredients for ourselves, for our gut, for our blood sugar, it is then we feel our best, fight disease and inflammation, and heal our body from the daily stressors we are exposed to and improve our longevity and quality of life.

How important is tracking blood sugar to improve health?

Glucose tracking can help people understand their health, from diet to exercise and energy levels, to identifying habits that facilitate or inhibit health goals.

Blood sugar control either supports or hurts the gut microbiome. The stance of the gut predicts disease and longevity and the better our blood sugar control, the better outcomes we have with health.

Low blood sugar isn’t any better than high blood sugar as they both have their drawbacks. Low blood sugar can cause brain fog, confusion and even unconsciousness. High blood sugar causes oxidative stress, which can damage cells and nerve endings. Research has even shown that uncontrolled blood sugar, even in individuals without diabetes can lead to poor health outcomes including dementia.

What are the advantages of a CGM over fasting blood sugar testing and labs?

Wearing a CGM can facilitate the effort for someone who wants to hack their diet, blood sugar control and overall health.

This technology can go beyond a single blood sugar reading that a blood glucose meter provides. A CGM can provide “real time” insight on whether a blood sugar is trending up or down.

Best of all, a CGM can capture data while sleeping, which is a common time when blood sugars fluctuate with other metabolic processes and circadian rhythms.

A CGM can be a key player in preventative medicine pinpointing lifestyle factors and foods that spike blood sugars and foods that likely have an immune response in an individual.

Many annual labs can include an A1C%, which is a value of an average of an estimated 3-month blood sugar reading. While A1C% labs are insightful and used in diagnosing someone with pre-diabetes or diabetes, it’s an average. An A1C% won’t identify if someone has swinging blood sugar readings or if they are steady. It does not capture a blood’s “time in range,” which is becoming the more common measurement of predicting someone’s blood sugar control.

Both an A1C and glucose meter are helpful tools but they do not measure glycemic fluctuations like a CGM is able to do.

What are the benefits of using a CGM for non-diabetics?

– Personalized nutrition, meaning someone can identify how they body handles a certain food shortly after eating it and for the following hours.

– Identifies blood glucose patterns that relate to mealtime and lifestyle.

– CGM information can help people who are at risk of diabetes or heart disease.

– Improvements in blood sugar can be a key player for athletes looking to maximize their energy for a workout and performance.

– Dieters can hack hunger by maintaining steadier blood sugar levels throughout the day.

– CGMs offer a way of tracking your metabolism in real-time.

What does a non-diabetic CGM wearing biohacker have to say after wearing a CGM?

A client, we will call him Russell, shares his feedback on his process of getting a CGM and his top takeaways:


The 3 biggest takeaways from the experiment were:

1 It doesn’t take much sugar for a glucose spike—a couple cookies and BOOM! This could be tempered by some activity in the 30-90 minutes after consumption (e.g., a good afternoon walk).

2 Other carbs weren’t too bad for my levels as long as I didn’t eat too many or combine them with a big meal (as noted next).

3 Combining carbs with a big meal—especially a high fat meal—always led to my biggest spikes. For example, if I had a “slow-carb” burrito bowl (beans, meat, veggies, guacamole, no rice) and also had some chips, my glucose would have a big spike. Some chips on their own were nothing major for me.

is a Type 1 Dietitian speaker and coach, providing practical solutions and personalized nutrition.

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This content was originally published here.