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Consumer Tips
 
Natural Food Stores
 

All health food is not good for you! The natural food stores of today are not the natural food stores of yesteryear. In the 1970s, natural food stores and cooperatives offered an alternative to the typical American diet, high in saturated fat, salt and sugar. The natural food store of today is more like a wolf in sheep’s clothing than a ticket to health and longevity, especially the large chain stores, which are filled with copious amounts of fatty meats, butter, heavy cream, oils, sugar and salt. Just because these ingredients are organic or from natural sources doesn’t mean they can’t harm you if you consume too much of them. The natural food store today tries to be all things to all people and tempts its customers with products to satisfy their cravings like any food store. Many of them now make their own products, knocking popular brands off the shelves. You should scrutinize nutritional labels in natural food stores as much as you would in any grocery store or supermarket. And the best way to control what goes into your body is still to buy the healthiest, best quality ingredients and make it from scratch

 
Medical/Cosmetic Botox
 

Botox® has been available for twenty years and is the most studied brand of botulinum toxins. The trademarked Botox® is a formulation of botulinum toxin type A. It is used to treat many health conditions including involuntary muscle spasms, eye disorders, excessive sweating, and migraines but is most commonly known as an anti-aging, anti-wrinkle treatment for the face. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, there were nearly five million Botox® procedures performed in the United States alone in 2007.

According to the company that produces the product, Botox® comes in a 100-unit supply that the physician must convert into an injectable product. Once converted, the product has a shelf life of only a few hours. Because the average user usually gets injections of less than 100 units, many responsible physicians schedule “botox days” when the 100 unit supply is shared among patients and for which patients are charged only for the number of units they actually receive. However, many physicians do not have “botox days” and may charge patients for more units than they receive at a higher cost than the physician actually pays for the product. For these reasons, it is essential that you ask what the physician’s policy is regarding Botox® injections before you begin treatment.

 
Patient Right to Informed Consent
 

In this crazy health care environment of excessive profit and every man for himself, the concept of informed consent is getting lost in the shuffle by patients and providers. Time to take a trip down memory lane. Informed consent seeks to establish the rights of individuals through self-determination. You have the right to information about your medical condition, treatment options, risks associated with the treatment, possible outcomes, and prognoses. Informed consent means that a health care provider must tell you everything about your condition and what will happen to you before, during, and after a medical treatment or procedure so you can make an informed decision about whether you want to have it or not. It’s got to be in plain language and terms you can easily understand. Virtually all states, either by expressed statute or common law, recognize a patient’s right to informed consent, which is also included in the American Medical Association’s Bill of Rights. A physician who fails to obtain informed consent for a non-emergency treatment may be charged with a civil and/or criminal offense. If a health care provider has violated your right to informed consent, file a complaint with the provider’s licensing, accreditation, and/or certification board.

 
 
Modified 3.01.11
 
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