Introduction & Welcome

I.1: Welcome, nice to meet you. Thanks for visiting.

Thanks for visiting. Have a look around and learn more about effective care practices in the medical industry and business world. The information may be helpful for individuals concerned about their own or family member's healthcare or for use in businesses interested in improving health and morale for their employees.
 

I.2: A few examples of Effective Care Resources

 Virtual copies available free online, or printed copies for purchase.

For more information see the page: 2. Effective Care Resources

I.3: Patient Advocacy can be easier for Patients & Health Care Teams.

 Some of my personal health struggles and quest for effective solutions are included in some of the sections. It has been a struggle for me as the usual answer I received about my symptoms was frequently unhelpful and occasionally dangerous from  prescription medication side effects.      “Medicine” and “for-profit health care” by its very nature is turning human suffering into a factory production system - our illness is the “product” that has to be managed or “cured” but the quest is only for “cures” that can be patented and sold “for profit.”

      “Snake oil” remedies and “Patent medicine” gained a negative reputation with consumers because the products promised more than the could deliver. However the initial “snake oil” remedies actually did help some symptoms and they sold well initially for that reason. The natural product of some extract from snake processing was rich in omega 3 fatty acids and possibly some other beneficial oils. The amount of “extract” that might be able to be raised naturally on some sort of enormous farm is not something I want to imagine - fake products flooded the market as demand for the remedies increased beyond the capacity of the legitimate snake oil industry.

  • Take home point - know what is in your medicine and have quality control inspections and product audits to test that the bottle contains what the label claims.      
  • Second take home point - eat a healthy diet so that your own body has the essential fatty acids it needs in order to be able to make the other important anti-inflammatory chemicals that help protect us or would protect a snake if it was the snake’s body producing the anti-inflammatory chemicals in order to protect the snake. 

The “patent” industry figures out how to closely replicate an important chemical that we would make ourselves during normal health and sells it to us via the insurance system at costs that can approach $2500 for an amount the size of a teardrop. (I.LeukotrieneC4) Wouldn’t you rather learn how to help your body make its own $2500 “teardrops” - everyday - instead of expecting a “healthcare system” to subsidize it for you? Or go broke in bankruptcy court when you couldn’t keep up with copayment?  

     Preventative health care has to start early though. What I’ve learned in my own battle for health is that if the lab tests don’t say you are sick then you are not “sick” unless is is “sick in the head - please go see a therapist about your hypochondria/psychosomatic symptoms and please don’t come back here soon, thanks.” - Roughly, but yes, my pursuit for health care has been unpleasant and I even started to believe them all at one point but I hung in there with the persistent feeling that: - “No, I know my body and something is truly physically wrong with me,” - and I read and read some more and kept notes and tried things myself and got some help from physicians and therapists too. 

     The individual is always going to be his or her own top expert in taking care of daily health and paying attention when slight symptoms become a new norm - figure out how to adapt to your new older or more stressed out body and get it back to health before the new norm turns into an even worse new “norm” and you can no longer do things that you used to be able to physically or mentally perform.  "Carpe diem!" Seize the day!

I.4: No one can afford bad policy or to be overcharged for what nature could provide.

So this is a patient case study and a how-to-guide for writing more effective health care policies for the individual or businesses and nations - none of us can afford to pay $2500 for daily “teardrops” when we could just try to reduce the amount of toxins in our food and medication supply. (To make a medication that can be patented it has to be different from nature and the “difference” is often somewhat toxic in the side effects. Note the fluorine in this example: (I.Trifluore Leukotriene B4). It is not the same as the “teardrop” we would produce naturally it has potentially toxic fluoride added to it so each drop is patentable and potentially toxic as the trace metal collects in the body. Fluoride is difficult for the body to excrete. 

     The take home advice about leukotrienes, that helped me for years, is to eat more ginger it helps the body make more of the good kind of eicosonoids and less of the more inflammatory types. Two grams or approximately a half teaspoon of ginger powder per day was found effective in the first link: (I.ginger1, I.oxidative stress, arachidonic acid & calcium, I.ginger2, I.ginger3, I.ginger4, I.ginger & prostate cancer1, I.ginger & prostate cancer 2, I.ginger & breast cancer)* *See the I. Links & References for excerpts and more information about these articles.

     Ginger may cause increased symptoms for people with IBS however by activating over-active TRPV1 or TRPA1 channels, (I.ginger, TRP channels & IBS), IBS is mentioned in association with capsaicin and TRPV1 channels in the article); this association between IBS and TRP channel agonists is still in the early stages of research.


I hope to publish my findings in a peer reviewed journal eventually, this site is the preliminary draft of a few research topics that I've had to figure out for myself with the help of trial and error based on what I could find in research articles, patient forums and other resources available online and in a few textbooks - some people collect jewelry, I collect footnotes, and call it Effective Self Care

  • see G5. Pre-eclampsia & TRP Channels for more information about pre-eclampsia, IBS, and TRP channels; 
  • G3. Relaxation & Stress for information about oxidative stress, chronic itch and pain conditions and TRP channels; 
  • G4. Autoimmune & Vitamin D covers the territory in between with the interaction between calcium, magnesium and vitamin D affecting the immune system and mood and oxidative stress; 
  • G7. Fear & our Inner Child goes deeper into child trauma and oxidative stress and provides and antioxidant helper from a TV star that may be able to see the future after all; 

and while the information may help provide guidance, it is not intended to provide individual health guidance - which is far better than working alone - really -> Please seek an individual health care professional for individual health care needs

     If the health care professional doesn't seem to be listening to you then consider a second opinion or seeking a patient advocate to help you communicate with the health care world.

I.5: Research & Development is part of the training of a Registered Dietitian.

 My area of training is in Clinical and Administrative Dietetics - that is a long name for a degree program but it represents a long list of training: 

  1. Management, including budget and human resources, in order to be able to run a dietary department of a hospital or residential facility; 
  2. Training in nutritional needs of the body and all of its systems, across the lifespan, and for states of normal or abnormal health; 
  3. Food safety and quantity food production and development at the industrial level of Research and Development, or for the residential facility and guidance of staff in upholding safe standards, or for guiding the individual patient for their home kitchen needs; 
  4. Nutrient and medication interactions and how to avoid or work around them; 
  5. Menu planning for individual or residential needs for normal and special diets of all types and for all conditions, individualized for rare conditions as needed by checking any research that is available on the topic. 
  6. To achieve the professional credential also requires a supervised internship experience, an exam similar to having to pass a legal board exam, and ongoing continuing education requirements. 

Registered Dietitians are considered Ancillary Health Professionals within the medical setting, and they may want to refer a patient who they have assessed as having special needs to other Ancillary Health Professionals who include the Occupational Therapist, Physical Therapist, and Speech Therapist all of whom might be helpful in the care of a patient who is recovering from a stroke and who is also having problems maintaining a healthy weight. The term “Allied Health Professionals” is used on a website that includes all patient care practitioners in the group and lab analysis technicians as well. (I.Allied) It is a team. 

- That’s the long answer for what a dietitian is expected to know and perform in some standard jobs in the field of Clinical and Administrative Dietetics

I.6: Equal Opportunity Service means helping everyone without discrimination or harassment.

 My own suggestion for improving efficiency and reducing frustration for patients and physicians is to have preventative health centers that are lifestyle focused with a little individualized guidance to help prevent chronic conditions from ever reaching the stage where the “lab tests” finally say “Congratulations, You are sick now, and now the humans will be allowed to help you!” You can trust me that having health is better than having lab tests that score a diagnosis. 

     The agency where I worked for fifteen years was a program shown to save healthcare costs for every dollar spent on the preventative health program - that is success that could be replicated across the lifespan and it could be done for less cost if it was educational only rather than also providing food vouchers.

     I specialized in early childhood and prenatal and postpartum care, however I also have worked as a dietitian for Senior Citizens at home care visits, and as a staff dietitian in residential facilities. Previous job experience  during college, included gourmet baking in a number of different types of bakeries and restaurants. My mother grew up on a farm and home baked bread was a regular part of my own childhood as a benefit of her own childhood training.       

     Childhood issues can add to the risk of developing physical health problems or exacerbate pre-existing conditions and therapy can help physical health care achieve more effective results. Coping skills we learn as children may have helped protect us then but are no longer helpful to an adult. Interpersonal relations can sometimes be negatively affected by the communication styles we subconsciously learned as a child. Therapy techniques can help uncover what and why we may have built defenses as a child that are holding back our skills as an adult.

      Methods to reach our nonverbal memories include non-verbal methods such as art, movement, and music, and verbal methods of keeping a journal or writing fiction or prose can also help explore nonverbal issues from childhood but from an adult’s point of view. Examples of some of my own artwork and poetry are included with the discussion of cognitive therapy and the methods to help reach the subconscious and our nonverbal thoughts and fears.

  • See G1. Art & Relaxation and G2. Poetry & Prose; G6. Music & Movement; and G7. Fear and our Inner Child.

Links are doorways to a world of learning whether they are in the virtual world or they are links you explore to your own past.

  • The information is provided for the purpose of education within the guidelines of Fair Use. Resources are listed without affiliation or permission from any of the agencies or authors. There are no products or services available for purchase in association with this website.

Develop an Instinct for Effective Policy

A picture of hyperthyroidish-me, 2014, holding a photo-shopped sign that says: "We all need iodine."

I.7: My story - Who am I? - a work in progress.

My name is Jennifer Depew, and I am a Registered Dietitian with fifteen years experience working in public health in a program that has been found to save money on Medicaid costs for every dollar spent on preventative health education and supplementary food vouchers. At the time I felt it should be available to all women who wanted the educational services whether they were income eligible or not, but being busy, limits in life are placed and it was a program to support lower income families who had young children by providing funds for foods and providing health screening education.

      This is a story of personal and professional struggle and triumph, success and failure. Priorities are based on values and values are based on what we experienced and learned as a child. I learned many valuable lessons and developed some coping skills that have helped me succeed in many areas of life and fail in others, or a little of both in all areas. I'm still typing, so that is still on the win side of "Staying Alive,"  - the ultimate and most basic goal for an individual, but also for a group. Mothers may be the people who are most closely connected to that sense of keeping the group alive - keeping the next generation alive.  Or maybe its fathers who are most connected to a sense of keeping the group fed and warm and  safe. Or maybe it’s both, and teens and retired people, maybe we all have that sense of keeping going, together.    

     Viktor Frankl was an Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist and he also was a Holocaust survivor. He taught us that when the going is tough the tough not only keep going, they take notes, so they can share the wisdom that was learned while surviving or trying to survive the rough times. As a health professional and a patient I have benefited from his notes on the effects of starvation on the human body - he took notes while starving in a concentration camp during World War II about the effects of malnutrition on his body and mood. Good news - he survived, and reached old age, and the medical research aided the academic study of malnutrition. (I.Viktor Frankl)    

     Evidence based medicine is often based on clinical trials of large groups and averages that need to just prove to be better than placebo effect - help more than roughly 40% of the patients. Individualized counseling tries to investigate more precisely what each patient may need for their specific metabolism and level of health. A patient case study can be helpful but is considered "anecdotal" - just one story, not representative of clinical trial group so not as helpful for making recommendations. When a disease is rare however, a patient case study can become more helpful as research studies would be less possible and less likely to be available in prior research
I've been a sickly baby, sickly child, teen, and adult, but never quite sick enough for lab tests and diagnoses . What I heard too often was , so maybe you should see a therapist. Well , therapy can be helpful, it did help, but not at fixing everything and eventually, lack of an accurate diagnosis led to medications for psychiatric problems that I didn't have at the time. The medications did cause side effects and some lasting negative changes. Genetic screening that I've had done on my own since the time of the "you're not sick, you're in need of very strong anti-psychotic drugs with no diagnostic reason other than just to see if they help," they didn't help and the genetic screening showed that I have numerous significant problems with my metabolism which supplements have helped. Isn't that simpler than years and years of lab tests that say, "Go see a therapist, because we don't have a prescription medication for you."

     My story is dedicated to Viktor Frankl - he keeps me going. I hope some other patients with physical and mental health symptoms will be able to find help for their physical needs instead of just having their mental health further harmed by inadequate and possibly discriminatory diagnostic procedures and policies. If they have to look for the help on their own, just know, it exists. The answers or kernels of the answers are known in the vast body of research and experience, it just take time to put the answers together for each individual’s specific need. General advice to help guide people to their own improved health do already exist.       

     This volume or edition, is about the first step in the Stages of Change - recognition that a problem exists. This edition is about policy and procedure and our human instincts. Policy is about how to do things and if we try to write policy that is impossible, implausible or too annoying then it most likely will be a costly problem rather than a solution. Policy is about politics but it is also about employees washing their hands before going back to work and teaching young children to wash their hands before sitting down to eat a meal.      

     Preventative health education can be a do-it-yourself project, and in fact is always something you have to do yourself. Health insurance is important but so is having a self empowered attitude. Our own choices each day are the ultimate insurance plan for preventing accidents and preventing chronic disease and even for helping prevent an argument at the water cooler. The virtual community makes education easy to share, but having get togethers in community centers where recipes can be demonstrated and sampled can also help share knowledge more quickly and may build a sense of community. 

     People gain emotional support from social connections that are physically healing - physically helping to repair the damages caused by oxidative stress. Some sections of the site go into more scientific detail and I hope to get academic support and publish them in a peer reviewed journal. In the meantime, if the information can help other patients or researchers I will be glad. The information has helped me with managing my own health issues, so my great appreciation goes to all the authors and academics who labored over their research or their books, articles, and blog-posts - know that a reader appreciated your taking the time to share.

I.8: Preventative Health Education could be Delivered Virtually - anywhere!

Summary points for the website:

  1. The health education part of a public health preventative health education program could be provided very inexpensively in the virtual world.
  2. Policy should be physiologically and physically possible and not go so far against human nature that it is implausible or so annoying to worker's sense of fair play that it might cause a work slowdown or some other retaliation by the workers - or voters.
  3. Inflammation and pain are the same problem or can be and can be due to magnesium deficiency and emotional or physical stress.
  4. Lifestyle and environmental choices can help the body cope with the negative chemicals produced by oxidative stress before chronic damage has a chance to occur - but the sooner you get started the sooner chronic damage isn’t occurring.

Policy and national priorities can equal hungry children. Budget cuts were a threat to the program where I worked every few years when the federal budget was reviewed and up for a re-vote by Congress. Participants in the program where I worked had hungry children and were grateful for the help and looking for work rather than being “entitled” - for the most part. We are all different. The program saves money in health care costs for every dollar spent so it is an effective preventative health program and is administered from the same agency that manages the national school lunch program. Nutrition support is health support and early child health effects long term potential as a worker and taxpayer. An “entitlement” program is one of the programs that provides financial assistance formerly known as “welfare.”

     Budget cuts to a different area of public health administration did effect my position and it turned out for the better in some ways for my personal and professional education. Prior to the state changes I had seen only high risk patients for several different programs, so I was visiting with senior citizens and new mothers with infants on different days of the week. After the budget cut Home Health care was not allowed to be provided by a public agency and I worked exclusively with the new mother and baby programs. The advantage to my education was in working with all clients rather than only seeing those designated “high risk.” With fewer worries to be shared and heard, there was time to learn from the mothers with lower risk, the helpful tips that they had learned with their families. Everyone likes to help others and usually love to give helpful tips, their own "best practices" of parenting. 

     It made me a better high risk counselor because I was able to pass forward the “best practices” and “effective care” habits of the doing-fairly-well families with the higher risk or struggling-to-cope families or single parents. They coped too though, and I learned from their struggles and successes too. 

     My thanks goes out to all of them for helping me with my own growth as well, as a person and as a mother. My children were slightly older than the population I was working with by that time, so some of the early childhood tips were passed forward with a “I wish I had known this when my kids were that age (aren’t you lucky to have a chance to learn what I didn’t know right now when your child is in the active learning stage, soaking up good habits - and bad habits - from the routines that you share with them each day.)”, or something like that. 

I.9: What is Preventative Health Care?

Preventative health care isn't something you have to go to an agency to receive, or go to a doctor to have prescribed for you, or at least, not always. Preventative health care is as simple as brushing teeth and putting on a jacket on cold days like mom might have reminded you to do when you were young. Learning what promotes health and developing habits that support health are the basics of preventative health care. 

     Providing workplace policies and procedures that model and support healthy preventative self care can benefit management by promoting happier employees and healthier employees. Workplace turnover and sick days might be reduced. Health and happiness go together like peanut butter and jelly or some other cliche. Pain hurts and it is difficult to not be grouchy and irritable when you are suffering from chronic pain.

     The most effective health care is effective self care - taking care of the body you have now. Prevent chronic disease in the first place, or if it has developed then the second place choice is to work to understand what habits are not helping and then work to develop new habits that restore normal function. 

     The sad truth is that our bodies do change as we get older and each decade can mean we are losing muscle more easily and rebuilding it with more difficulty. Learning to listen to our body for pain is listening to it communicate. Pain means something is wrong, maybe change occurred and old habits are no longer helping or maybe new toxins entered the environment in the form of a new office carpet and an increase in volatile chemicals. Just taking an allergy pill or pain reliever wouldn't help in the long run to discover the cause of the pain.

     Hand washing is an example of "effective care." It took twenty years for physicians to adopt the practice from when it was first "discovered" to be effective to protect women from infection during childbirth.  (Ignaz Semmelweis, 1.pbs.org)  

I.10: Hope - It is what keeps me going.

 "What made her ugly was -- hope. Incurable hope like an obstinate case of scabies, which lodges, damp and reddish, in the infected skin, producing a constant itching, and refusing to yield to any outer force.”- Mishima Yukio (1925-1970), (p 1081,  1)


I was an unhealthy child, covered with patches of eczema, so congested I could rarely breathe through both nostrils at the same time or prone to nosebleeds during dry weather - if I didn't have hope that I could breathe through both nostrils the next day - what did I have to keep me going through this day? Answer - hope and fairy tales and other fiction - there was entire galaxies of wonder where breathing or the inability to breathe well didn't matter as much. I'm better now, but only because I've struggled to figure out what seemed to make my symptoms worse and what seemed to help - standard medical tests never discovered any standard diagnoses. 

     This site includes examples regarding safe alcohol use. It has been more than twenty years since it was discovered that binge drinking can cause death. "Just say no," as a public health message, doesn't provide information on signs of toxicity, or how to treat it, or how to prevent it in the first place (actually saying no to significant peer pressure is difficult). "Just say no" doesn't educate on handling increased aggression or violence in others who didn't say no. 

     This book is in memory of those who lost their lives due to alcohol toxicity and is dedicated to those who remain and who remember - for some people, it's not easy to stop drinking, so it's really better not to start again. Genetic differences can be involved in alcoholism & eating disorders. 

  • See I. Addiction or Starvation?  for more on the possible underlying cause of many substance abuse problems and an example of my own pursuit of effective self care with special health needs.

So if you would like to make a donation on behalf of that goal, to an organization dedicated to educating and preventing alcohol and drug abuse, that would be nice. Providing information for educational purposes within the Guidelines of Fair Use has to be provided for free - that's the deal - "educational purposes" do not include "for the purpose of profit." This website and information is being offered for educational purposes and it is not listed as a nonprofit organization at this time, and in the interest of not reinventing the wheel, a non-profit preventative health education organization already exists if anyone wanted to support the goal financially, consider donating to: unitedpatientsgroup.com, or some other group.

     The United Patients Group website states that the group is dedicated to helping physicians and patients learn more about what nature can do for our health. An article on their website is available regarding alcohol, medical marijuana  and addiction, but the organization was originally created for the purposes of cancer prevention by the adult children of a person whose case of cancer was dramatically helped with the aid of medical marijuana. The addiction article: Medical Marijuana as Treatment for Alcoholism & Addiction, (unitedpatientsgroup.com)


See 10. Food helps too. for more about general health effects of poor nutrition and low blood sugar and sensible meal planning for parties where alcohol will be served.

I.11: Resources for help or just someone to talk to:

  • U.S. National Suicide Prevention Hotline: Call 1-800-273-8255, Available 24 hours everyday. (I.suicidepreventionlifeline.org)
  • National Helpline: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration: "SAMHSA’s National Helpline, 1-800-662-HELP (4357), (also known as the Treatment Referral Routing Service), is a free, confidential, 24/7, 365-day-a-year treatment referral and information service (in English and Spanish) for individuals and families facing mental and/or substance use disorders."  (I.samhsa.org)
  • Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network, RAINN Hotline: 1-800-656-HOPE, (I.RAINN.org)
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline: 24/7 confidential support at 1−800−799−7233 or TTY 1−800−787−3224. (I.thehotline.org)
  • Child Welfare Information Gateway: a variety of toll-free hotline numbers for concerns involving the safety of children. (I.child welfare gateway)
  • Power and Control and Equality Wheels: The following training materials are for helping victims of domestic violence and batterers learn how to recognize problem behaviors but emotional manipulation or abuse of power and control can occur in many types of relationships not just between couples.The Power and Control Wheel was developed by the Domestic Abuse Intervention Programs (DAIP). Manipulative behaviors are grouped into eight categories in the model. An additional Equality Wheel was developed to help guide batterers and victims of emotional or physical abuse towards healthier ways to interact. It is grouped into eight categories with examples for working towards change. Problems frequently can involve communication issues by both people in a relationship.

Help is only helpful when you accept it. Recognizing that you need it is the first step.

Health can be a do-it-yourself project. Take charge everyday.

I.12: Treat yourself right - write your own effective health care policies!

Preventative health care can be as simple as drinking more water and choosing fruits and vegetables with meals and snacks.

  • Health insurance is important in case of emergencies but it can not insure that health can be restored once a chronic condition has developed. Regular exercise, adequate sleep, relaxation and friendship, are all important for good health in addition to healthy foods.

Why wait for a chronic condition or emergency health situation to occur?

Take charge of your future everyday.


Disclaimer & "Find an expert" near you.

  • Disclaimer: Opinions are my own and the information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes.
  • The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has a service for locating a nutrition counselor near you at the website eatright.org: (eatright.org/find-an-expert)

Instinct & Policy; Resources

A woman is looking at a laptop computer with a botlle of water, pile of books & a phone on the desk.

Table of Contents

  • Chapters and Glossary section summaries & links, and a link for the book version of this site, Instinct & Policy: Effective Care and Best Practices for Promoting Health and Preventing Harassment and Discrimination.  



A graphic with a medical professional holding a test tube in the backgound, an image of DNA in front

I. Addiction or Starvation?

Addictive behavior with alcohol, other drugs and food can involve a genetic difference in metabolism for some individuals. If you are born unable to make chemicals required for life, that other people can make - it is starvation, & addiction is a search for food. Use of foods or supplements that contain phospholipids or cannabinoids may be a safe way to help stop abuse of opioids or alcohol.

A woman is reading a book with her hands and a pile of books showing.

Glossary & Resources

Definitions of terms and the resources & therapy techniques from the various sections gathered in one location for convenience with some additional topics and material for background detail not covered elsewhere.