Saturday, March 31, 2012

Proper Nutrition and Detoxifying is a Must...

Of the nearly 50 posts I have on my Health and Wellness Blog, I see this one as being the "foundation" of the entire blog. It's a culmination of my 15 years of personal health issues, the various doctors I've been treated by, all the therapies I've been through, the two clinical studies I was involved in, the drugs, vitamins/minerals, herbs, teas, acupuncture, the research I've done over the years, listening to others health experiences, and much, much, more. So yes, traveling down this road has lead me to this post probably being the most important that I can write about. To achieve your own health to be it's best, for any drug, therapy, clinical study, supplement, and so on, to work and achieve it's fullest potential and ability to help you, it is mandatory you do the following. You must put in your body the PROPER NUTRITION AND DETOXIFY your system. Why is this so important? Because the "magic bullet" to keep you healthy or to instantly cure you, does not exist. Yes, Western, Eastern, Holistic, and Homeopathic medicines do work. There is no disputing that. But, long lasting health does require effort put forth on your part. Now, this does not mean for you to stop taking your prescribed drugs, supplements, or quit your therapies. It does mean that you should continue on your current regiment, but you should start making the the transition to SLOWLY incorporate proper nutrition and dextoxifying your body. Why the slow transition and not an immediate one? That's a simple answer. How many times have you tried a "cold turkey", radical, approach to changes in your life? Well, we all have. But, as we know, the results are short lived and not ever lasting. So, to slowly change will give you the best odds in reaching a strong, vibrant, and healthy body for now and the years to come. Yeah,  I know you may feel well now. I know that even your CBC (complete blood count) may look great. But, what if the toxins currently stored in your liver or fat cells are the precursor for diseases and cancers to come?  What if that fast food or processed food you are eating will someday make you ill? Then what? The point is to make the change now. Make the change slowly so you can be successful and have a body that has the best possible chance to be healthy for as long as possible. The other option is you can wait. You can wait until your in the emergency room and the doctor approaches you with that dreaded conversation. The conversation for which you are told of the options that you have and don't have. That is the position where you don't want to be. Limited or no options. Or, options that may have severe consequences. So, I've listed below some links for you to review and research. Remember the following. It maybe one or probably a combination of foods, diets, supplements, drugs, herbs, treatments, that keep you healthy and that heal you. Leave no stone unturned. Try, try, and try again. And finally, Believe...

Western Medicine Definition Link
Eastern Medicine Definition Link
Holistic Medicine Definition Link
Homeopathic Medicine Definition Link
Organic and Local Farming Definition Link
Benefits of Good Nutrition Link
Nutrition Food Data Link
Gluten Free Diet Definition Link
Macrobiotic Diet Definition Link
Vegan Diet Definition Link
Glycemic Index Diet Definition Link
Anti-inflammatory Diet Definition Link
Benefits of Drinking Water Link
38 Detoxing Diets Link
Ionic Detox Foot Bath Video
Dry Sauna Benefits Link
Colon Hydrotherapy Definition Link
Chelation Definition Link
Candida Cleanse Definition Link

A few more things to leave you with. Now these things may ruffle a few feathers, but they are very important. Please control your stress, stop smoking, and quit drinking alcohol (although for women, 1 alcoholic drink a day and 2 alcoholic drinks a day for men, can be therapeutic and healthy).

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Sativex for Multiple Sclerosis Patients...

Well, well, well. It seems that BIG PHARMA is slowly getting their hands wrapped around the properties of medicinal marijuana. You see, for BIG PHARMA to "patent" something given to us from nature, they have to be able to synthetically reproduce it in the lab. So how does this relate to using the beneficial properties of medicinal marijuana?  This time BIG PHARMA is getting "licensing", not a patent, for the use of it's CANNABINOIDS. Nabiximols, licensed as the trade name Sativex, is BIG PHARMA's standardized composition, formula, and dosage from the marijuana (cannabis) plant. It is administered as a mouth spray. No smoking required. As a matter of fact, let's not use the term marijuana in the remainder of this post. That has a negative connotation attached to it. We will use the medicinal term CANNABIS. You know, marijuana is only used by "pot heads". As the story goes here, Sativex is already approved and used in Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Denmark, Spain, Italy, Germany, Sweden, Austria, Czech Republic, Asia (excluding Japan and China), Africa, and the Middle East (excluding Israel). 28 different countries in total with the possibility of FDA approval in the United States by years end in 2013. That's good news, but what does this Cannabis derived drug do?

Sativex is being used for Multiple Sclerosis (MS) patients to relieve pain, reduce muscle spasticity, and help control an overactive (spastic) bladder. It is not addictive nor does it cause constipation as the traditional FDA approved pain killers do. The side effects can be drowsiness and dizziness. The benefits of Sativex is great news for MS patients. Let's hope now the FDA follows through with approval here in the U.S. next. Sounds good huh. Yet, there is also another exciting possibility. Currently, the drug is in a Phase III clinical study to see if it can help relieve pain in cancer patients. So far, the results are looking extremely encouraging. Hey, if what grows out in nature can be used to help relieve a cancer patients pain, I'm ok with that too.

GW Pharmaceutical Link
Sativex Article Link
Sativex for Cancer Link
Sativex Explanation Video 1
Sativex Explanation Video 2

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Do You Need Chelation...

The question remains, DO YOU NEED CHELATION? The answer is, probably yes. Or at least think of it this way - IT CAN ONLY HELP YOU. Chelation, commonly administered orally or through an IV, is the process of removing heavy metals and/or other toxic substances from your body. So, for those non-believers in Holistic Medicine (or called Alternative Medicine), you can stop reading at this point. Go back to lying on the couch, pop some meds, and continue to complain how bad your body feels. For those that are "open minded" and will leave
"no stone unturned" to get better and become more healthy, please read on.

Chelation was first used back in WWI when there was a need to rid the soldiers body of the poisonous and deadly Arsenic Gas. Yes, chemical weaponry existed and was used back then. During WWII, the occasion came up again for the need of Chelation. This time, ship builders were using paint containing Lead to paint the ships. The process of Chelation at this time evolved to be more thorough and with less side effects to the patient. The "Chelation Agent" developed, and still used today, is Dimercaptosuccinic Acid (DMSA). DSMA is what's known as a "bonding agent". In other words, the chemical that is injected into your blood, via an IV, for which the heavy metals and toxic substances bond to and then are excreted from the body through urination and bowel movements. There is also Ethylenediaminetetraacetic Acid (EDTA - used in Mercury, Lead, and Cadmium poisoning along with Iron build up) that can be administered orally or rectally. So, Chelation started out initially as a Western Medicine, but over the years has been firmly embraced more so by the Holistic Community. The reason why is that other safer bonding agents are being used. In addition, Chelation is being used to treat patients for more than just removing heavy metals (such as a child that ingested Lead based paint chips and has to be rushed to the Emergency Room) and toxic substances (such as in accidental poisoning). Here is where the evolution of Chelation gets exciting.

Chelation today is mostly used by Holistic Doctors on a regular basis. EDTA is now also used in removing plaque build up and hardening of the arteries (known as Atherosclerosis) and as a strong antioxidant. Just ask my Father this. He went through a six week therapeutic session for this specific reason and his tests CLEARLY SHOWED A REDUCTION IN PLAQUE BUILD UP in his Jugular veins. He had some great success stories to that were shared to him from other patients during his sessions. Go Chelation! Go! Chelation is even being used to treat Autistic children. There is a wide variety of ailments that Holistic Doc's are using this for. Other oral and IV Chelating agents include: Vitamin C, B-12, Magnesium, Calcium/Magnesium, Cilantro, and so on. Contact your locally recommended Holistic Doctor for an appointment to discuss if Chelation Therapy is right for you...

Chelation Definition Link
Center for Holistic Medicine - W. Bloomfield, Michigan
Dr. Kabisch - Ann Arbor, Michigan

Saturday, March 17, 2012

What is Therapeutic Plasmapheresis (Plasma Exchange)...

Plasmapheresis, also known as Plasma Exchange, is a process that was first used as a medical treatment in 1959. Though, it wasn't until shortly after, in the 1960's, where the process was tweaked and refined as we know of it's process as of today. You will typically find the use of Plasmapheresis in treating autoimmune diseases (Multiple Sclerosis, Lupus, Transverse Myelitis, Lambert Eaton Syndrome, Guillian-Barre Syndrome, Polymyosits, Dermatomyositis, Muscular Dystrophy, Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic Purpura, HELLP Syndrome, Graves' Disease, Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy, and about 14 or so other diseases - see the Plasmapheresis Definition Link below for the current list). The process involves removing the "active" circulating antibodies from the bloodstream. This process is achieved by with drawing your blood through a catheter, into the Plasmapheresis Machine (same as a Dialysis Machine, but though a different filtering membrane, where separation, collection, replacement occurs - see picture below) and replacing your plasma with newly collected human or pharmaceutical plasma, back into your bloodstream through another catheter. Each procedure takes about three hours. You will find that it is common practice that this procedure would be repeated every three days over a 2 to 3 week period. Therefore, you would have about 4 to 6 treatments to complete a full therapeutic cycle. Of course, depending on your condition, the doctor may recommend a different therapeutic cycle.

So, why would your doctor recommend Plasmapheresis? What is the objective and the benefits? The objective is to remove the harmful "active" antibodies, known as autoantibodies, that are circulating in your bloodstream and attacking your body. Therefore, Plasmapheresis suppresses the immune system and greatly reduces inflammation. That is the benefit. I know the word inflammation seems like no big deal, BUT IT IS A HUGE DEAL. Inflammation over time, and the severity of it, causes permanent damage to your internal organs. Loss of vision, your hands ability to open and close, lesions to your brain and/or spinal cord causing paralysis, spasticity in your muscles, loss of bowel control, and the list of permanent damage possibilities is endless. Even though Plasmapheresis maybe considered a successful therapy for you, odds are you will remain taking an oral autoimmune suppressant, but at a much lower and safer dosage.

POTENTIAL RISKS. During Plasmapheresis, you may experience a drop in blood pressure, dizziness, or blurred vision. Though, an allergic reaction of itching or a rash is possible from the newly introduced plasma which quickly goes away. It is the blood clotting agent used during the procedure that may cause bleeding. Since this is such a problematic risk, you will be monitored very closely during the entire therapeutic cycle.

Plasmapheresis Definition Link
Plasmapheresis Patient 1 Video
Plasmapheresis Patient 2 Video

Sunday, March 11, 2012

The Graviola fruit...

I gotta tell ya, this was a new one to me. My friend Marie posted this on Facebook. It was something I never heard of and as I quickly starting researching it, IT PEAKED MY INTEREST. Therefore, I thought it's benefits were very interesting and I thought I should share them with everyone. You know, if it's been used by many different cultures for a long time, there has to be some merit to it.

The Graviola fruit, also known in Brazil as "Soursop", is used in many cultures. They range from Central America, to the Caribbean, to South America, and Mexico where it's origins start from. And yes, it does have various names too. So what does this, prickly apple looking, fruit taste like? It's a combination of strawberry and pineapple with a sour citrus flavor. Because of it's flavor, it is commonly used for juice, candy, sorbets, fruit bars, smoothies, and many ice cream flavors. Now that sounds great, but this is a Health and Wellness Blog. So, what are the medicinal benefits?

Well, here is where "the rubber hits the road" as the saying goes. The traditional medicinal benefits are: antiviral (to suppress or kill viruses), antiparasatic (to kill or inhibit parasitic growth), antirheumatic (to relieve or prevent rheumatism), astringent (to stop blood flow or other secretions), emetic (to induce vomiting), antileishmanial (to stop bites and parasitic disease transmission), cytotoxic (a cell killing agent), antinociceptive (to inhibit pain), anti-inflammatory (to reduce or suppress inflammation), and antihyperglyemic (to lower glucose levels). Now after soaking all those great benefits in, it is the CANCER KILLING ability that has the medical community interested. To be more clear, the Graviola fruit has the possibility to slow the growth and/or kill cancer cells while leaving normal cells alone. That is important because most cancer killing drugs kill both bad and good cells in your body. Therefore, if you can kill the cancer cells only and not damage other organs or become susceptible for infection, you then have a greater chance for a healthier recovery. In addition, initial studies are showing that cancer cells that have become drug resistant are being slowed down in growth and/or being killed off. Now, that is exciting news. But, please note that we are still far away from introducing this to human clinical studies.

RISK? As with anything: staying in the sun to long, fast foods, vitamin/minerals, and modern day medicine, there is a POTENTIAL HEALTH RISK. With long term ingestion of the Graviola fruit, some studies have noted that neural degeneration symptoms similar to Parkinson's Disease, are potentially possible.

Graviola Fruit Link
Graviola/Paw Paw Link
Graviola Info Video
Purchase Graviola Link

Saturday, March 10, 2012

The Macrobiotic Diet...

The Macrobiotic Diet as we know of it today, is commonly associated as a diet for cancer patients. Though, it does also appeal to people that are looking for a holistic approach to dieting. To go even further, the Macrobiotic Diet also brings together the physical and spiritual aspects of oneself. These are two things that people are commonly unaware of. Since the 1920's, this diet has gained popularity as an aid in hopes that it will slow down, stop, or help cure cancer or other diseases. It should be noted that there is no current medical data to conclusively support these claims. But, you should know that the Macrobiotic Diet has been around for a long time and that it quite interesting. It dates as far back to the writings of Hippocrates - about 300 B.C. or so. The Macrobiotic Diet focuses on two specific food categories to bring the body into "harmony" (balance). This is the spiritual aspect that is based from Chinese philosophy. You see, the two food categories are based on their taste, effect on the body, and properties. First is the "Yin". This represents the outward force, is cold, sweet, and passive. Then there is the opposite. The "Yang". This represents the inward force, is hot, salty, and is aggressive. So now knowing this, we can take foods and categorize them. Note that the Yin foods are emphasized to bring the body to it's natural order of harmony.  Even though they are considered as Yin, those foods considered for the Macrobiotic Diet are not extreme, but yet moderate. These foods are mainly whole grains and fresh vegetables. To be more specific, the following breakdown depicts the Macrobiotic Diet.
  • Whole Grains - these are believed to bring the most harmony (balance). These whole grain choices are: brown rice, barley, oats, corn, rye, whole wheat, and buckwheat. These foods will consist of 50% - 60% of the diet. Though, for those with Celiac's Disease and/or whom are allergic to these foods - STOP RIGHT HERE. This diet would not be for you. These foods would aggravate your condition.
  • Fresh Vegetables - organic and locally grown. The vegetable choices are: cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, collards, kale, mustard greens, turnips, onion, akorn/butter squash, and  pumpkin. These foods will consist of  25% - 30% of the diet. They can be eaten raw, lightly steamed, or sauteed. 
  • Beans and Sea Vegetables - organic and locally grown. The bean choices are: chickpeas, adzuki beans, lentils, and tofu. The sea vegetable choices are: wakame, hijiki, kombu, and noki. I tell ya, the sea veggies maybe rich in vitamins/minerals, but I have never heard of them. These foods will consist of 5% - 10% of the diet.
  •  Soups and Broths - organic and locally grown. These choices would have: miso (soy bean paste), vegetables, and beans. These foods will consist of 5% - 10% of the diet.
Finally, we could sum up the DO's and DON'Ts as: no processed foods, no animal foods (including eggs and dairy), no microwave cooking, chew your food thoroughly, pressure cook your rice (no frying), eat only when you are hungry, no soda, no caffeinated beverages, no smoking, no alcohol, drink purified water, or drink decaffeinated teas.

Marobiotic Diet Definition Link
Macrobiotic Recipes Link
Macrobiotic Cookbook Link

Sunday, March 4, 2012

What is Celiac Disease...

First, Celiac Disease is a heck of a lot more common than you may think. So, pay close attention to the following. As a matter of fact, it is thought to effect 1 in 105 people in the United States. That's alarming. This disease damages the lining of the small intestine (known as "villi") and prevents it from absorbing parts of a foods nutrients, minerals, and fat-soluble vitamins: A, D, E. and K. Therefore, less or no absorption of nutrients places the body in a state of malnourishment. So, no matter how much or how healthy you may eat, your body WILL NOT be able to absorb essential nutrients. How do you have an idea that you may have Celiac Disease? As it turns out, a lot of times the symptoms are misdiagnosed. Why? There is a laundry list of symptoms to consider and you don't have to have all of them. These include: abdominal pain, gas, bloating, indigestion, constipation, diarrhea (on and off, or constant), decrease in appetite, unexplained loss of weight, nausea, vomiting, lactose intolerant, and stools (foul smelling, floating, fatty, or bloody). So, commonly these symptoms go untreated or treated with simple, but incorrect, "over the counter" medicines. Diagnoses of Irritable Bowel Syndrome or Crohn's Disease can often have similar symptoms. But, due to the malabsorption of nutrients, minerals, and vitamins, there maybe some distinct clues you have to help determine if you have Celiac Disease. These include: fatigue, depression, anxiety, easily bruise, hair loss, itchy skin, nosebleeds, mouth ulcers, missed menstrual periods, muscle cramps, joint pain, seizures, tingling/numbness in hands/feet, short height, and slow growth as a child. Now, there are blood tests and even biopsies of the small intestinal lining that can be done to check for the correct diagnosis. But, there is also something easier to do. That is to cut out "the culprit" from your diet. And that culprit is...GLUTEN.

It is GLUTEN that aggravates all and any of the possible symptoms of Celiac Disease. By getting rid of Gluten in your diet, it will allow the damage to the lining of your small intestine (the villi) to heal. So, how is this done? By staying away from foods, beverages, and medicines that have: WHEAT, BARLEY, RYE, and OATS in them. Yes, this is the GLUTEN FREE DIET. I am sure everyone has heard the term, but never really knew what it was. Well, now you do. It's just a matter now of being aware and reading a products label of ingredients. One more very important piece of information that should be noted. Celiac Disease can happen to you at any age. From an infant and all the way into adulthood.

Definition of Celiac Disease Link
Gluten Free Products Link
Gluten Free Recipes Link
Foods and Ingredients with Gluten Link

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Glycemic Index and Losing Weight...

I am sure most of you have seen The Nutrisystem commercials on tv where they have a celebrity showing you "the before and after" pictures from eating the Nutrisystem foods. Hey, Janet Jackson, Dan Marino, Terry Bradshaw, and so on. Yes, they have definitely lost weight from the Nutrisystem program and foods. The Nutrisystem is based on the Glycemic Index and there is no magic there. But, here is where I have the problem. IT'S ALL PROCESSED FOODS. So, I am going to list for you at the bottom of this post, food links based on the Glycemic Index, so you can lose weight on your own by using the Glycemic Index. Oh, and by eating healthier foods, NOT PROCESSED, and saving you approximately $300 a month that Nutrisystem charges for their foods. Worst case scenario, you eat less processed foods. You know the simple rule of thumb is when you look at a food package and the less ingredients, the less processed that food typically is. Not to mention, if it's a long drawn out word that is seemingly impossible to pronounce, it's probably a man made ingredient and is not the best for the body.

So, what is exactly the Glycemic Index and how does it work? The Glycemic Index (GI) measures how fast and how much a food raises blood glucose (the break down and conversion of carbohydrates into a sugar that is the MAIN SOURCE of fuel for our cells) levels in our body. Foods with a higher Glycemic Index raise blood sugar more rapidly than those with a lower Glycemic Index. Therefore, to lose weight, we look to eat foods with a LOW Glycemic Index (GI) Rating. The "GI Rating" is from 0 to 100. So, LOW GI foods will digest slow, delay hunger, control appetite, absorb slow, and gave a gradual rise in blood sugar and insulin levels. A LOW GI diet is also great for Diabetes Type 1 and 2 patients. NO MORE UP's, DOWN's, and CRASHING, with blood sugar and insulin levels flying out of control. That's how simple it is...

Glycemic Index Definition Link
Glycemic Foods Link
GI Website
Highest GI Foods Link