"Choosing Alternatives" Newsletter, A New Look at Chronic Illness / Disease Treatment

Choosing Alternatives Newsletter is a monthly publication that shows both new conventional and alternative treatment options for chronic illness and diseases. Countless people all over the world suffer from chronic conditions, and many of them are increasingly turning to combinations of conventional and alternative treatments.

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A Chilling Effect on the Public

This approach leaves the public, or patients, uncertain about how to treat their illness. A huge problem for patients is the lack of broadly available information on the results of both major and recent studies for both traditional and alternative treatments. It is sometimes decades, if ever before such results reach patients. Thus, patients suffer and die in the meantime, when there appear to be no known solutions.

The "Alternatives" Newsletter is one remedy for this problem. The newsletter reports on the latest worldwide study results for both traditional and alternative treatments. Subscribers can then see which treatments, both medical and other, doctors can offer patients around the world.

The "Alternatives" Newsletter accepts no advertising, so we are impartial as to recommendations. Each provider pays the same minor fee to list their name and credentials; which is specific to that therapy. The decision as to which provider to use is left to patients and their medical/healthcare advisors.

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Defining a Chronic Disease

A chronic disease is one lasting three months or more, by the definition of the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics. Chronic diseases are difficult to prevent by vaccines or cured by medication, nor do they just disappear. Among them, cardiovascular disease is a growing concern in the United States.

Here's a list of some chronic diseases and conditions:

  • ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease)
  • Alzheimer's Disease and other Dementias
  • Arthritis
  • Asthma
  • Cancer
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
  • Cystic Fibrosis
  • Diabetes
  • Heart Disease
  • Osteoporosis
  • Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) Syndrome

About Our Newsletter

The merits of "traditional' or "conventional" healthcare compared to "alternative" healthcare are controversial — until they start to affect one's life and death, then they become important. In the United States, there is both a vast amount of data and words poured over this healthcare subject.

Supporters of "traditional" treatments, medical doctors, and chemical drug manufacturers tend to define the word "scientific" and then say that there is no "scientific proof" that various alternative treatments work. Supporters of "alternative" treatments mainly say that they get better results. "Traditional" supporters don't refer to the major last time "lack of scientific proof" was used, which was by the tobacco industry. This resulted in the serious illness and deaths of tens of millions of people. Alternative supporters don't always disclose the risks.

Payment Options

You can choose from a month-to-month subscription for $20/month, or a full year for just $140, saving over $100 off of the monthly price. If one of our monthly chronic disease newsletters doesn't have a study that month, we won't charge you for that month.

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Rates & Cancellations

Our subscription rate is only $20 for each issue of our monthly chronic illness newsletter. Any subscriber can cancel at any time, thus paying only the proration of the number of months they received the subscription. You only pay for month's which have new study results about your area of interest.
You only pay for months which have new study results about your area of interest. A yearly subscription is $140, paid in advance, for 12 months. It too can be canceled at any time. If canceled in less than a year, the months used will be prorated at the $20 rate and a refund issued for the balance. Alternatives Newsletter does not give medical advice or recommendations. It is strictly informational about new studies, and any plans should be discussed with your doctor and/or medical adviser before you begin or end any medical treatments.

List of Impairments

The following descriptions contain medical criteria that apply to the evaluation of impairments in adults age 18 and over, and that may apply to the evaluation of impairments in children under age 18 if the disease processes have a similar effect on adults and younger children.

Description of Impairments

[From the U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA) “Blue Book”].

For ease of reading, certain sections of the following material have been deleted. Those sections are shown by this deletion symbol: ( . . . ).

With such a wide variation of disorders and conditions, the Social Security Administration (SSA) created a guide for their own representatives and other physicians. ( . . . ) This guide, [called the Blue Book], separates disabling conditions into different categories and lists the specifications needed. 

( . . . ) The SSA separated the book into two parts because some illnesses affect children much differently than adults and thus need to be evaluated under different conditions.

Both parts divide general impairments into categories ( . . . ) where each category lays out the restrictions and specifications for a condition ( . . . ).

Listed below are the main 14 categories.

1. Musculoskeletal System

Also known as the locomotor system, the musculoskeletal system is what allows humans the ability to move using muscular and skeletal systems. It provides the body with stability, form, movement and support. Musculoskeletal impairment or functional loss is defined as the inability to perform fine and complex movements such as reaching, pushing or pulling effectively on a sustained basis for any reason.

Musculoskeletal System disorders can result from several different sources including hereditary, congenital, and acquired pathologic processes. Impairments can also stem from infectious, inflammatory, or degenerative processes. Common disorders include degenerative disc disease, arthritis, fibromyalgia and scoliosis.

2. Special Senses and Speech

According to the SSA, special senses and speech refer to the abilities to see, hear, and speak. The common types of impairments primarily deal with those individuals who are affected by varying degrees of blindness, deafness and speech incapability. There are several tests for these conditions such as the blindness tests that determines an individual as blind which by the SSA’s standards their vision must be 20/200 or less in the better of eye.

Testing for deafness will also be administered to show medically determinable hearing loss impairment and specific audiometric measurements of the severity. Common conditions associated include macular degeneration and Meniere’s disease. Conditions that cause vertigo are also considered under this section.

3. Respiratory System

The respiratory system also known as the ventilatory system are the specific organs that assist in respiration and handle the intake and exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide between an organism (human) and it’s environment. Respiratory system impairments originate from respiratory disorders based on symptoms, physical signs, and laboratory test abnormalities.

Frequent conditions related with respiratory impairments include asthma, sleep apnea and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

4. Cardiovascular System

The Cardiovascular system is commonly known as the circulatory system. It permits blood to circulate nutrients and oxygen throughout the body. According to the SSA, Cardiovascular impairments include any disorder that affects the proper functioning of the heart or the circulatory system. Disorders in this system are generally defined as a disorder that affects the heart from functioning properly; specifically any arteries, veins and capillaries that may cause impairments to arise in other parts of the body such as the kidneys or liver.

Common conditions related with the cardiovascular system include ventricular dysfunction, high blood pressure, chronic heart failure and coronary artery disease.

5. Digestive System

The Digestive system assists the body’s breakdown of food into smaller and smaller components until it can be absorbed and assimilated into the body. Common digestive system disorders include conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease, gastrointestinal hemorrhage and malnutrition. These conditions can also lead to additional complications within the body or may be accompanied by other impairments in other systems.

Conditions that sometimes are associated with these digestive system disorders include Crohn’s disease, short bowel syndrome, and liver disease.

6. Genitourinary Impairments

The genitourinary system, also known as the urogenital system is the organ system of the reproductive organs and urinary systems. The organs that make up these systems are the bladder, kidneys and reproductive organs. Impairments that commonly involve this system are kidney diseases, interstitial cystitis and certain forms of nephropathy.

7. Hematological Disorders

The Hematological system makes the blood, bone marrow, liver and spleen. Hematologic diseases and disorders primarily affect the blood stream.

Common conditions associated with hematological disorders include sickle cell disease, chronic thrombocytopenia and chronic anemia.

8. Skin Disorders

Many conditions affect the human integumentary system also known as skin; the organ covering the entire surface of the body acting as a barrier against the external environment. Disorders of this system result from congenital, hereditary or acquired pathological processes.

9. Endocrine Disorders

The endocrine system refers to the collection of glands of an organism that secrete hormones directly into the circulatory system to be carried towards distant target organs. Impairments to the endocrine system involve hormonal imbalances that cause complications for the major glands in the system.

Common conditions associated with the endocrine system include diabetes, arrhythmia, pancreatitis, weight-loss or gain and other imbalances in the pituitary, adrenal and thyroid glands.

10. Congenital Disorders that Affect Multiple Body Systems

Impairments in this section fall into two categories: Non-mosaic Down’s Syndrome and all other conditions that affect multiple body systems. Non-Mosaic Down Syndrome is Down syndrome, in which all of the body’s cells (chromosome 21) are affected and can cause impairments in vision, hearing, the heart and more.

Other conditions that affect multiple body systems are congenital disorders that cause deviation or interruption to the normal function or development of the body. Other recognized conditions that affect multiple body systems include Caudal Regression syndrome and Fragile X syndrome.

11. Neurological Diseases

The nervous system controls all transmission in the body coordinating movement and actions. Diseases and impairments directly affect the brain, spinal cord or nerves and total more than 600 neurological diseases total. Common impairments include difficulties with speaking, breathing, learning or moving properly; along with memory, mood or sense problems.

All neurological disorders are evaluated on an individual case by case basis. A central nervous system disorder will require medical documentation noting either severe loss of motor functions or speech; while epilepsy is evaluated in presence of tongue bites, duration of seizures and severity. Other conditions included traumatic brain injury (TBI), Lou Gehrig’s disease, Cerebral Palsy and multiple sclerosis.

12. Mental Disorders

A mental disorder, also called a mental illness or psychiatric disorder, is a mental or behavioral pattern or anomaly that causes either suffering or an impaired ability to function in ordinary life, and is not a developmental or social norm. Mental disorders are generally defined by a combination of how a person feels, acts, thinks and perceives.

There are nine diagnostic categories of mental disorders, ranging from schizophrenia to substance addiction. Common conditions associated with mental disorders include bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), autism and schizophrenia.

13. Malignant Neoplastic Diseases (Cancers)

Neoplasm is an abnormal growth of tissue, and when also forming a mass is commonly referred to as a tumor. The SSA defines impairments in this section as malignant tumors that spread to other parts of the body and include various forms cancer and cancer related illnesses.

Common conditions associated with malignant neoplastic diseases include leukemia, lymphoma, and cancer of numerous body parts such as breast, lung, and liver.

14. Immune System Disorders

The immune system is a system of biological structures and processes within an organism that protects against disease. To function properly, an immune system must detect a wide variety of agents, known as pathogens, from viruses to parasitic worms, and distinguish them from the organism’s own healthy tissue. Any impairment to this system can cause serious health problems. Common conditions associated with immune system disorders include acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and Lupus.

SOURCE: U.S. SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION

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This is a list derived from the U.S. Social Security Administration’s grouping of conditions. It is NOT necessarily a list of all chronic diseases or illnesses … NOR is it a list composed of only chronic illnesses or diseases. It can be used to assist in the selection of those group[s] which are of most interest to you. If you have any doubts about which groups are applicable to you consult your medical advisor. Choose your area(s) of interest.

  1. Musculoskeletal System
  2. Special Senses and Speech
  3. Respiratory System
  4. Cardiovascular System
  5. Digestive System
  6. Genitourinary Impairments
  7. Hematological Disorders
  8. Skin Disorders
  9. Endocrine System
  10. Multiple Body System Impairments
  11. Neurological Problems
  12. Mental Disorders
  13. Malignant Neoplastic Diseases
  14. Immune System Disorders
  15. FREE Data Only Newsletter

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