How To Appeal A Health Insurance Denial

Many times it seems that Health Insurance companies deny claims in hopes that you won’t file an appeal.  They are in business to make money after all.

health insurance denied imageWhen To File An Appeal

If you have read your health insurance policy you should have a pretty good idea of what is covered and what is not, but if you are like most people you really have no idea of what’s covered and what is not.

What you most likely have an idea of is what your deductibles are, and especially what your co-pays are.

Other than that, most people just go along with what the insurance company pays and figure out a way to pay the rest when they get the bill from the doctor’s office or hospital.

So when should you appeal a denied insurance claim?

Whenever you feel the amount you are having to pay out of pocket is more than what should be fair.

How To File A Health Insurance Appeal

(courtesy of The Consumerist)

1. Double-check all the rules of your insurer’s appeals process, especially deadlines.
2. Get all your documents ready and organized.
3. Call HR if you get insurance through your employer. They might become your advocate.
4. Ask your doc to write a “letter of medical necessity” and send it to the insurance company.
5. Make a log of all your calls when you contact the insurance company, including dates, times, whom you spoke to, what you talked about, and the length of the conversation.
6. Write down and refine your logical argument for why your claim should go through and refer to it when necessary throughout the process.
7. Keep checking on the status of your claim with the insurance company.

What’s Next?

Things of this nature demand attention.  If you do all of the above and then just forget about it without constant (bi-weekly) follow up then it’s likely your appeal will go no where and you’ll be stuck with the bill.

Stay on it until you gain satisfaction that your insurance company has paid all of their contractually obligated amounts.

Alternatives to Root Canals

Over 300,00 root canals are performed each year in the United States.

root canal procedure imageWhile many argue this number is much too high, and that many of these procedures, which can be painful and expensive, are performed unnecessarily, the American Dental Association supports root canals as a safe alternative to removing teeth and negatively impacting a person’s enjoyment of foods.

Are Root Canals Safe?

The argument that root canals are both unnecessary and dangerous is based mostly on research completed in the 1920s and 1930s by one dental researcher.

Dr. Weston A. Price posited that root canals prevented certain bacteria from safely leaving the body, and in fact allowed otherwise harmless bacteria to mutate and become dangerous. His theory has been debunked, both in his own time and today.

The Truth According To The ADA

The truth is, “No valid, scientific evidence linking root canal therapy and diseases elsewhere in the body” exists. However, many people still believe his theory is not only sound but also ignored by traditional dental practitioners.

If you choose to seek alternatives to having a root canal for whatever reason, know there are options available.

pulling teeth instead of root canal imageTooth Extraction

The most invasive and least costly option is extraction of the offending tooth.

Extraction is quick and inexpensive in the short run, and is touted by many as the best alternative for a badly damaged and painful tooth.

However, the downside to this is it can reduce the patient’s chewing ability,  cause TMJ ( and, especially if it is a front tooth, look bad.

Extracted teeth can be replaced with dentures, bridges and implants, but those are expensive and, with the exception of implants, must be replaced and repaired every few years.

The website Healing Teeth Naturally, which suggests root canals are dangerous also state the same is true of implants, which they equate to introducing foreign matter to the body, thus changing its composition, both chemically and electrically.

Other Root Canal Options

There are a couple of procedures, similar to root canals but using bio-compatible materials and leaving the root and pulp intact, thus, theoretically keeping the tooth more natural and less likely to cause future medical problems in other parts of the body.

Pulp Capping

One procedure, known as pulp capping. 1-800 Dentist states that this is possible if the tooth nerve is till alive. It can restrict decay, keeping it from reaching the pulp. Using this less invasive and more cost effective method, the nerve and tooth are both saved, and a filling can often be used instead of a crown.

 Laser Never Treatment

Another alternative, is the Laser Never Treatment, which also keeps the tooth alive and the blood and lymphatic system intact. The entire procedure is done with a laser to both keep the drilling small and to disinfect the tooth and surrounding tissue.

Once the damaged tissue is removed, it is replaced with a  bio-compatible, nutrient-rich material which may encourage healthy tissue and pulp to regrow. The tooth is then sealed with a filling.

Root Calcification

The final option is Root Calcification, which can sometimes even be done if the never is completely dead.

This involves removing the dead, infected tissue and cleaning the root chamber with ozonated water and disinfected with a laser. The root tips are then sealed with the mineral Trioxide Aggregate and an inlay to the missing tooth and laser bonded to the tooth.

These alternatives “are designed to preserve the moth’s and body’s immune systems, reduce and eliminate side-effects or failure from standard root canal therapy.

Your Choice

Whichever alternative you choose, the most important part of being a dental patient is being thoroughly informed. Talk to your dental health professional or holistic dentist about your options.

Overall, keeping your teeth as clean as possible with a healthy diet and regular checkups with your dentist will reduce your need for more invasive procedures; however, should the need arise, don’t make any major decisions based on fear.



1-800 Dentist


American Association of Endodontists


The Center for Natural Dentistry


Healing Teeth Naturally


The Healthy Root Canal

The Pros and Cons of DMG: Potential for Anti-Aging? Autism?

DMG, or Dimethlyl Glycine, is an amino acid found in very small quantities for a very short period of time in the human body.

DMG for anti aging

DMG is purported to help with a variety of ailments.

Like all amino acids, it is a building block for proteins.

Because it is found in such small quantities, it is quickly used up, so increasing its presence in the body could have some effects on increased protein accumulation in the body.

As such, some early research indicates that it could be used as an anti-aging supplement by improving the body’s ability to recover, thus slowing the aging process.

Does DMG Help With Autism?

Researchers have been looking at DMG and some of its derivatives for such medical uses as treating Autism spectrum disorders, improving oxygenation for athletes and slowing the aging process.

So far, most research has shown it to have little or no clinical value; however, anecdotal evidence suggests it can improve athletic performance by enhancing oxygenation during rigorous exercise and improving recovery from such exercise.

A Doctor’s Thoughts On DMG

In a recent interview in Whole Foods Magazine, Dr. Roger Kendall, author of a new book on DMG, states;

“DMG…provides protection against infectious agents, and can optimize performance whether you are an athlete or have an active lifestyle. DMG aids in cardiovascular function…reduces elevated cholesterol and triglyceride levels, decreases angina pain and high blood pressure…We believe is also works well to support neurological function and mental clarity.”


Thoughts On DMG From the Kayser Nutrition Center

As George Foss, former general manager of Kayser’s Nutrition Center in southern California states in a recent interview on the website The Silver Edge;

DMG is essential to many different function in the body, including improved metabolism and mental function. As we age, our body makes less of this element and we need to supplement it through foods such as nuts, seeds, wheat bran and beef liver.

Adding an additional supplement source, such as a capsule of DMG improves multiple function in the human body, including those related to aging, such as oxygen use, exercise recovery and brain function.

 Does It Really Work?

Not everyone is sold on the efficacy of DMG, however, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center states that while humans do need and use DMG naturally, “conflicting data suggest that DMG has no effect on either specific or non specific immunity.”

In other words, it may or may not do what its supporters claim.

DMG Side Effects?

In addition, Loyola University suggests that artificially created DMG could have serious side effects as well as interactions with prescription medicines so be cautious before taking it.

For example, they say that some forms have impurities that have been shown to be cancer-causing.

Other side effects include breathing problems and tightness in the chest, chest pain, hives or rash, and itchy, swollen skin.

The article also warns to avoid taking DMG if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, and that dosage can be a bit tricky depending on which form exactly you take and for what benefit you are seeking.

Other Names For DMG

DMG has a myriad of other names, some of which are considered dangerous. If you choose to use this product be sure of what you are getting.

Other names for DMG include Calcium Pangamate, Pangamic Acid, N,N-dimethyl Glycine, and Vitamin B-15.  Pangemic Acid seems to be the version, according to Loyola University, that is the most likely to contain impurities.

Final Thoughts On DMG

Time will tell if this supplement can do what its supporters claim.

Early research is mixed, and with the numerous different forms available, user confusion seems a considerable possibility. As with other alternative and complementary medications, speak to your doctor or other health care provider.

Author: Kirsten Maki


Dr. Passwater: Whole Foods Magazine


Loyola University Health System


Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center


The Silver Edge

Natural Help For Eczema

Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, is a skin condition causing itchy, red, flaky patches of skin, leading to thickening in severe cases.

eczema and dermatitis image

Eczema or Dermatitis.

The most common medical treatments are oral corticosteroids and steroid creams.

While these treatments are helpful, steroids, can only be used in small doses and for short periods of time without concerns for major side effects.

Eczema Cases Increasing Worldwide

The bad news on eczema is that it seems to be on the rise worldwide, with as many as 10.2% of the adult US population suffering from at least mild outbreaks on a regular basis, according to the National Eczema Association.

The good news is that natural treatments for reducing the pain, inflammation and frequency of flare-ups do exist.

Eczema Info and Home Treatments

Fast Eczema Relief

Another at-home therapy is a highly dilute bleach bath.

While some might find this antithetical, the truth is many doctors recommend this a couple of times a week. Until recently, the belief was that it killed bacteria on the skin, thus reducing inflammation and infection.

According to an article in, a study at Stanford University in California posits a different reason.  According to dermatologist Thomas Leung, the solution of only 0.005% bleach is too weak to kill bacteria.

However, a chemical, hypochlorite, in bleach oxidizes (removes an electron from) a molecule in the protein NF-kB, which is responsible for the inflammation and itch response. This inhibits inflammation and results in a cooling effect.

natural organic eczema remedy imageRosehip Oil For Dry Flaky Skin Relief

Many people find relief from their eczema and dermatitis by using Organic Rosehip Oil.

Rosehip has proven to be a longstanding and popular product for eczema symptom alleviation.

Sunflower Oil For Eczema

Another natural solution for eczema and a promising lead in successful reduction of dermatitis symptoms is the use of sunflower oil.

Besides being an excellent moisturizer, Australia scientists have discovered a certain protein in sunflowers can increase collagen production and skin healing.

It can also help prevent future flareups by prohibiting a chemical called trypsin, which is often overactive in eczema patients and can leave skin vulnerable to irritants and toxins.

So, not only does it provide moisturizing, but it also can help improve overall skin health and keep those flare-ups at bay.

Diet Tips For Eczema

Reducing Stress To Combat Eczema

Finally, finding ways to reduce stress, through exercise, Yoga, meditation, etc. can lead to a healthier lifestyle and clearer skin.

Combining daily exercise with a healthy diet, will make you feel better inside and out.

While some websites recommend particular diets, such as GAPS (, medical research indicates no particular correlation between specific foods and eczema other than those to which an individual may be allergic.

For more information on the current state of eczema treatment options and research, check out and


Using Mushrooms For Breast Cancer Prevention

Recent news and clinical studies about an effective Maitake mushroom extract for breast cancer sufferers.

While none of the studies have shown a complete remediation of the cancer because of this, there are promising developments.

maitake mushrooms for breast cancer treatment image

The Maitake mushroom has been shown to be effective for breast cancer treatment.

Essentially what these studies have found is that many women get at least some relief from their breast cancer symptoms when taking an extract from this particular mushroom while under the guidance of their doctor.

A quote from one of the studies:

Maitake D-fraction has effects on the immune system in animal and laboratory research studies.

Mushrooms For Breast Cancer Prevention

Here are three links for you to check out that have more information.

You can even get a ready made extract right from Click Here to check it out.

Home Therapy for Kidney Stone Relief

Anyone who has experienced kidney stones knows it is most unpleasant. Unfortunately, one kidney stone often leads to more, sometimes on a regular basis for the rest of your life.

kidney stones home remedy image

There are a variety of things you can do at home to alleviate your kidney stone symptoms.

Fortunately, a few very good home remedies may relieve the discomfort and even significantly reduce the occurrence of future stones.


Staying hydrated is the most important step one can take in avoiding kidney stones.

Water alone is good, but adding lemon, lime or orange juice (natural) to your water is one of the most common methods of reducing your chance of forming new stones, especially if they are of the calcium oxalate variety.

These fruits provide citric acid, which can help keep stones from forming keeping calcium in the urine from bonding with other stone-forming minerals.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Some sources suggest adding apple cider vinegar to the mix as well. The Global Healing Center ( suggests a mixture of 2 ounces of olive oil mixed with 2 ounces of lemon juice, followed by 12 ounces of water.

Follow this with the juice of 1⁄2 lemon and 1 tablespoon of raw apple cider vinegar in 12 ounces of water.

How Do Kidney Stones Form?

Herbal Recipes For Kidney Stones

There are a few herbs that can improve kidney health as well. Dandelion Root, for example, is a great kidney tonic and cleanser. Taking up to 500mg per day may be beneficial for some. It is also available as a tea.

Uva Ursi is an old folk remedy for kidney problems that may reduce the pain of stones as well as cleanse the urinary tract. The recommended dosage is 500mg 3 times a day.

A final excellent herbal option is nettle leaf tea. Nettle is a natural diuretic, so it aids in the flow of water through the kidneys and keeps crystals from forming into stones.  It can also discourage bacterial growth and kidney infections.

Make a tea from 2 teaspoons of dried nettle stepped for 10 minutes in one cup of hot water, then strained. You can drink 2-3 cups daily for several weeks.

Is Diet Important?

Diet is an important factor in kidney stone formation. While past opinions have been to avoid foods high in oxalate, doctors now suggest combining these foods with those that are high in calcium.

This allows the calcium and oxalate to bond together before reaching the urinary tract, while allowing you to get the other nutritional benefits of both foods.

For a comprehensive list of oxalate rich foods, see here: (

kidney stone varieties imageVarieties Of Kidney Stones

Finally, remember that while the majority of kidney stones are of the calcium-oxalate variety, other types do exist.

Always seek care from your primary care provider or urologist before taking any drugs or herbal remedies.

For more information check out these sources:

Global Healing Center

10 Natural Remedies for Kidney Stones

Top 10 Home Remedies for Kidney Stones

Natural Remedies for Kidney Stones

National Kidney Foundation

6 Easy Ways to Prevent Kidney Stones


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