Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Signs of Cancer - Do Not Ignore

An article from Web MD that was in my hold file for a few months. This article was originally titled, 15 Cancer Symptoms to Know.

Changes in Your Skin
A new spot on your skin or one that changes size, shape, or color could be a sign of skin cancer. Another is a spot that doesn't look the same as all the others on your body. If you have any unusual marks, have your doctor check your skin. She will do an exam and may remove a small piece (called a biopsy) to take a closer look for cancer cells.

MyAchingKnees Comment: Not all skin cancer is the same, but according to my Dermatologist it all starts at the location where you received s severe sun burn. I have had numerous spots of Basil cell cancer cut out of my torso. I was never a sun bather, just received severe burns from working in the Sun without a shirt a few times as a youngster. Just get all of your suspicious spots checked.

Nagging Cough
If you don't smoke, there's very little chance a nagging cough is a sign of cancer. Usually, it's caused by postnasal drip, asthma, acid reflux, or an infection. But if yours doesn't go away or you cough up blood -- especially if you are a smoker -- see your doctor. She may test mucus from your lungs or do a chest X-ray to check for lung cancer.

Breast Changes
Most breast changes are not cancer. It's still important, though, to tell your doctor about them and have her check them out. Let her know about any lumps, nipple changes or discharge, redness or thickening, or pain in your breasts. She'll do an exam and may suggest a mammogram, MRI, or maybe a biopsy.

You may have a full, bloated feeling because of your diet or even stress. But if it doesn't get better or you also have fatigue, weight loss, or back pain, have it checked out. Constant bloating in women may be a sign of ovarian cancer. Your doctor can do a pelvic exam to look for the cause.

MyAchingKnees Comment: A dear friend of mine had bloating for over a year, He thought he was gaining weight and couldn't understand why his diet and additional exercise did not make the bloating go away. It turned out if was pancreatic cancer. He is no longer here.

Problems When You Pee
Many men have urinary issues as they get older, like the need to go more often, leaks, or a weak stream. Usually, these are signs of an enlarged prostate, but they could also mean prostate cancer. See your doctor for an exam and maybe a special blood test called a PSA test.

Swollen Lymph Nodes
You have these small, bean-shaped glands in your neck, armpits, and other places in your body. When they're swollen, it often means you're fighting an infection like a cold or strep throat. Some cancers like lymphoma and leukemia can also cause this kind of swelling. Talk to your doctor to pinpoint the cause.

MyAchingKnees Comment: A female relative of mine had a swollen lymph node. Within 60 days of detecting it, it was biopsied and subsequent surgery ended up removing over 40 nodes in her neck. Cancer travels fast once it hits the lymphatic system - don't wait on this symptom.

Blood When You Use the Bathroom
If you see blood in the toilet after you go, it's a good idea to talk to your doctor. Bloody stool is likely to come from swollen, inflamed veins called hemorrhoids, but there's a chance it could be colon cancer. Blood in your pee could be a problem like a urinary tract infection, but it may be kidney or bladder cancer.

MyAchingKnees Comment: I know an elderly lady who had blood in her stools for several months before she was forced to go to the hospital after severe pain made life unbearable. Guess what? Yep, a cancerous tumor in her lower intestines - rare for women, but nonetheless it was there - and inoperable. She is now in hospice care.

Testicle Changes
If you notice a lump or swelling in your testicles, you need to see your doctor right away. A painless lump is the most common sign of testicular cancer. Sometimes though, a man may just have a heavy feeling in his lower belly or scrotum or think his testicles feel larger. Your doctor will do a physical exam of the area and may use an ultrasound scan to see if there is a tumor or another problem.

Trouble Swallowing
The common cold, acid reflux, or even some medicine can make it hard to swallow once in a while. If it doesn’t get better with time or with antacids, see your doctor. Trouble swallowing can also be a sign of cancer in your throat or the pipe between your mouth and stomach, called the esophagus. Your doctor will do an exam and some tests like a barium X-ray, in which you swallow a chalky fluid to show your throat more clearly on the image.

Unusual Vaginal Bleeding
Bleeding that's not part of your usual period can have many causes, like fibroids or even some types of birth control. But tell your doctor if you're bleeding between periods, after sex, or have bloody discharge. She'll want to rule out cancer of the uterus, cervix, or vagina. Be sure to let her know if you are bleeding after menopause. That's not normal and should be checked out right away.

Mouth Issues
From bad breath to canker sores, most changes in your mouth aren't serious. But if you have white or red patches or sores in your mouth that don't heal after a couple of weeks -- especially if you smoke -- see your doctor. It may be a sign of oral cancer. Other things to look for: a lump in your cheek, trouble moving your jaw, or mouth pain.

Weight Loss
Of course you can slim down when you change the way you eat or exercise. It can also happen if you have other issues, like stress or a thyroid problem. But it’s not normal to lose 10 pounds or more without trying. There's a chance it could be a first sign of cancer of the pancreas, stomach, esophagus, or lung.

A fever isn't usually a bad thing. Sometimes it's just a sign that your body is fighting an infection. It can also be a side effect of some medicines. But one that won't go away and doesn't have an obvious cause could be a sign of a blood cancer like leukemia or lymphoma.

Heartburn or Indigestion
Almost everyone has this burning feeling sometimes, often because of their diet or stress. If lifestyle changes don't work and your indigestion doesn't stop, your doctor may want to do some tests to look for a cause. It could be a sign of stomach cancer.

MyAchingKnees Comment: Not just stomach cancer but esophageal or throat cancer. If you have acid reflux, the stomach acid being brought up destroy the lining of your throat and those cells can become malignant. Not fun. I have three friends who have had throat cancer. One if no longer alive- and dying at 55 years old shouldn't happen in today's world of diagnostic tools and treatments.

A lot of things can make you very tired, and most of them aren’t serious. But fatigue is one early sign of some cancers, like leukemia. Some colon and stomach cancers can cause blood loss that you can't see, which can make you feel very tired. If you're wiped out all the time and rest doesn't help, talk to your doctor.

MyAchingKnees Comment: My cancer counter -measures certainly include keeping tabs on the early detectable symptoms but also minimizing the processed, high glycemic foods that cancer feeds on and maximizing good, whole non-GMPO foods when I can. It includes taking the best supplements so my body gets all the nutrients in the right doses to work in a synergistic manner so my immune system functions the way it is intended. I also live a physical lifestyle - haven't laid on the couch and ate potato chips for two decades now. And lastly I avoid toxins as I can - and these include but are not limited to household cleaners, bug sprays, weed killers, and spray paints. Use protective items when you use these common items.

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Sunday, October 2, 2016

Foods that Cardiologists Refuse To Eat

MyAchingKnees Comment: This article supports what I call the Chair of Health. Any chair has four legs and the four legs that support your health are: Minimizing Bad and high glycemic foods while maximizing good, low glycemic foods; Taking quality nutritional supplements and optimizers as you just cannot receive the nutrients your body needs through foods; Live a physical life - do something!; and, avoid toxins as much as possible- and the biggest toxin is tobacco but can also include household cleaners, pollution, pesticides, etc. Anyway, good guidelines in the article below:
You can eat healthy foods only, but if you smoke a lot and are not physically active, you’re not less likely to have congestive heart failure, Dr. Clyde W. Yancy, Chief of Cardiology in the Department of Medicine at Northwestern University, says. Better diet should be a part of a comprehensive healthy routine that includes more exercise and, most importantly, portion control, Dr. Yancy says. “It’s not just about what we eat but also about the way we consume calories,” he adds. “Moderation has successfully proven to be key to success.”

Any processed or frozen foods. “These typically contain chemicals, additives and preservatives that are not healthy,” Dr. Kevin Campbell, world-renowned cardiologist, says. “Fresh foods provide much better nutrients and have fewer calories. “These processed foods often contain flavor enhancers that are artificially produced. In addition, these foods always contain a very high sodium load,” he adds.

MyAchingKnees Comment: There are some frozen foods that are not processed - get good at reading the labels.   

Sodas or soft drinks. “These are empty calorie foods,” Dr. Campbell says. “They have no nutritional value and are very calorie dense. They contribute to obesity,” he adds. Diet soda is in some ways even worse than the regular version. They are slowly killing you in several ways.
MyAchingKnees Comment: If you don't know abut the dangers of Aspartame, a common sweetener in soft drinks, then you have probably been living on a remote island. Say hello to Wilson for us.    

Chips. “These are foods that are loaded with calories, often fried and have little or no nutritional value,” Dr. Campbell says. Potato chips also fall in the category of foods that are aging you because they are often made with olestra, a fat substitute that adds no fat, calories or cholesterol. But it sticks to vitamins A, E, D and K and carotenoids, which are antioxidant nutrients, and flushes them out of the body, according to a study.

Fried foods. “There is no reason to ever eat anything fried,” Dr. Yancy says. “It has absolutely no cardiovascular benefits.” The second you start to fry foods, the oil becomes carcinogenic. When oil and fat are exposed to very high temperatures, free radicals are formed. The trans fats in these foods cause inflammation in the body. They raise your bad cholesterol and clog and stiffen the arteries. Bad fats disrupt the thyroid's ability to produce enough hormone.

Too much alcohol. “Small amount of wine – a glass per night at most – can be beneficial,” Dr. Yancy says. “But not more.” Then you’re consuming too many empty calories and sugar. Alcohol can trigger symptoms of atrial fibrillation (arrythmia), which increases the risk of stroke by five times. Excess consumption of alcohol stops the liver from making the materials that help the blood to clot.

Bacon. There is too much fat in bacon, Dr. David Fischman, co-director of the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory at Thomas Jefferson University, says. Nitrates help these foods keep their color for longer but they are not doing your body any favors. They can convert to nitrite, causing the formation of nitrosamines, which are carcinogenic chemicals, according to the CDC.

Cold cuts. These processed meats are very high in sodium and fat, too, Dr. Fischman says. “Turkey is less fatty but it has a lot of salt.” Consuming too much of it can lead to hypertension and damaged blood vessels, among other serious health problems. And this includes Hot dogs. “Hot dogs should not be staple food for anyone,” Dr. Fischman says. They are too processed and have too much salt.

Cheese. Too much cheese it not good for you because it is very high in calories, Dr. Fischman says. “It’s OK to have pizza once in a while but not every night for dinner.” Cheese has about 100 calories per ounce, on average, and a lot of fat – 6 to 9 grams per ounce, most of which is saturated, according to the University of California at Berkley.

Canned foods. “Anything that is in a can is very high in sodium because this is what they use to preserve the food,” Dr. Fischman says. “It’s always better to have fresh food. “I don’t care if you eat organic or non-organic fruits and vegetables,” he adds, “just eat more of them.”

Sweets. Refined sugar is toxic to the body, especially if consumed in large amounts. It causes insulin spikes, which lead to weight gain,” Dr. Fischman says. Your bad cholesterol levels also go up. The body does not like to have a lot of sugar but the muscles, which use it for energy, don’t have enough room for it. The extra gets stored in your fat cells, which is like the body’s dumping ground.

MyAchingKnees Comment: Amen to that! Sugar feeds cancers. That's why you drink a sugar drink 30 minutes before a PET/CT scan as the sugar goes to the cancer spots which light up on the scan.

Baked goods. “They are high in calories, fat and sugar,” Dr. Fischman says. Make them at home because then you’re more likely to use less sugar and butter instead of hydrogenated oil, he adds. This is a kind of trans fat that is really bad for you. Companies don’t have to list trans fats on the ingredient label unless there are more than 0.5g.

MyAchingKnees Comment: "Baked goods above, obviously pertains to cakes, pies, cookies, donuts, etc. Not your healthy casseroles and dishes like this.

Microwave dinners. These fit into the “anything in a box” category, Dr. Fischman says. In general, “they are preserved with too much sodium and are very high in calorie content.”

Ice cream. “Every time I see an overweight patient, my first question is ‘If I open your fridge, will I find ice cream?’ The answer usually is ‘yes,’” Dr. Fischman says. “Get rid of it.” It is very high in calories and fat, and it contributes to high cholesterol levels.

Energy drinks. “Absolutely not,” Dr. Fischman says. “Especially not mixed with alcohol.” Both are high in wasted calories and sugar. Energy drinks have too much caffeine, one of the most dangerous legal drugs, which leads to high blood pressure and racing heart, he adds.

MyAchingKnees Comment: Energy drinks, aka Death in a Can, helping to destroy our youth since the last decade began.

Originally from the Active Times

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Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Tips to Keep Your Joints Healthy

Stay in Motion

It's the golden rule of joint health: The more you move, the less stiffness you'll have. Whether you're reading, working, or watching TV, change positions often. Take breaks from your desk or your chair and get active.

MyAchingKnees comment:  Live a physical life - that's one of the four legs of the chair of health.  I bet I don't sit down and stay still for more than 15 minutes, unless I'm taking a nap! :)    

Safety First

Padding is your pal. So suit up when you do things like in-line skating or play contact sports. If your joints already ache, it might help to wear braces when you do activities like tennis or golf.

Lean In to Your Weight

Your size affects some of the strain on your hips, knees, and back. Even a little weight loss can help. Every pound you lose takes 4 pounds of pressure off the knees. Ask your doctor what's the best way for you to get started.

Don't Stretch Before Exercise

Flexibility helps you move better. Try to stretch daily or at least three times a week. But don't do it when your muscles are cold. Do a light warm-up first, like walking for 10 minutes, to loosen up the joints, ligaments, and tendons around them.

MyAchingKnees comment:  I stretch first thing in them morning.  At 57 years old I take it slow and don't try to increase flexibility, just work through a full range of motion. 

Go Low-Impact

What exercise is good? The best choices are activities that don't pound your joints, like walking, bicycling, swimming, and strength training.

Flex Some Muscle

Get stronger to give your joints better support. Even a little more strength makes a difference. A physical therapist or certified trainer can show you what moves to do and how to do them. If you have joint problems, avoid quick, repetitive movements.

Work on Your Range

Are your joints too stiff and inflexible? You'll want to get back as much as you can of your "range of motion." That's the normal amount joints can move in certain directions. Your doctor or physical therapist can recommend exercises to improve this.

Power Up Your Core

Stronger abs and back muscles help your balance, so you're less likely to fall or get injured. Add core (abdominal, back, and hip) strengthening exercises to your routine. Pilates and yoga are great workouts to try.

Know Your Limits

It's normal to have some aching muscles after you exercise. But if you hurt for more than 48 hours, you may have overstressed your joints. Don't push so hard next time. Working through the pain may lead to an injury or damage.

Eat Fish to Reduce Inflammation

If you have joint pain from rheumatoid arthritis, eat more fish. Fatty cold-water types like salmon and mackerel are good sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s may help keep joints healthy, as well as lower inflammation, a cause of joint pain and tenderness in people with RA. Don't like fish? Try fish oil capsules instead.

Keep Your Bones Strong

Calcium and vitamin D can help you do that. Dairy products are the best sources of calcium, but other options are green, leafy vegetables like broccoli and kale. If you don't get enough calcium from food, ask your doctor about supplements.

Target Your Posture

Stand and sit up straight to protect joints all the way from the neck down to your knees. To improve your posture, take a walk. The faster you do it, the harder your muscles work to keep you upright. Swimming can also help.

Ease Your Load

Consider your joints when lifting and carrying. Carry bags on your arms instead of with your hands to let your bigger muscles and joints support the weight.

Chill Out Pain

Ice is a natural -- and free -- pain reliever. It numbs the hurt and eases swelling. If you have a sore joint, apply a cold pack or ice wrapped in a towel. Leave it on for up to 20 minutes at a time. You can also try a bag of frozen vegetables wrapped in a towel. Never apply ice directly to your skin.

MyAchingKnees comment:  My practice has been Ice for Injuries, but heat for chronic pain or discomfort.  Some heating rub on muscles and joints a few minutes before stretching, exercise or work can make a huge difference.  

Supplements? Ask First

Stores are filled with ones that promise to relieve joint pain. Glucosamine and SAMe have the best research behind them. Talk to your doctor if you want to give supplements a try, so you know about what's safe and what might affect your medicines or health conditions.

MyAchingKnees comment:  I take supplements but they are pharmaceutical grade and made in an FDA registered lab.  Among those supplements are a Glucosamine, Vitamin C based product for my knees and has helped my back as well.  I won't ever go without it.  Let the buyer beware, but I attribute these supplements to my healthy, productive and enjoyable lifestyle.  Find something that works for you!

Treat Joint Injuries

They can add to the breakdown of cartilage in your joints. If you get hurt, see your doctor right away for treatment. Then take steps to avoid more damage. You may need to avoid activities that put too much stress on your joint or use a brace to stabilize it.

Article from Web MD

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Monday, August 22, 2016

7 Habits of Super-Healthy People

If you have a daily checklist, on paper or mentally, the below seven habits published on the Web MD website on Super Healthy People are worth looking at to see if you want to add them to your routine. Using the categories of the Web MD article, I added some comments as you'll see.

Have Breakfast
It's important for a bunch of reasons. It jump-starts your metabolism and stops you from overeating later. Plus, studies show that adults who have a healthy breakfast do better at work, and kids who eat the morning meal score higher on tests. If a big meal first thing isn't for you, keep it light with a granola bar or a piece of fruit. Just don't skip it.

MyAchingKness comment: The key word here is a HEALTHY breakfast. Here's a hint - Pop Tarts are NOT healthy. I have a low glycemic breakfast drink in the morning - basically 28 ounces of water with nutritional powder and fiber mixed in. Then I follow that with my supplements. So I not only recommend a low glycemic breakfast but a low glycemic diet throughout the day.

Plan Your Meals
It'll help you save time and money in the long run. Block out some time, then sit down and consider your goals and needs. Do you want to lose weight? Cut back on sugar, fat, or carbs? Add protein or vitamins? Meal prep keeps you in control. You know what you're eating and when. A bonus: It'll be that much easier to skip those donuts in the breakroom at work.

Drink Plenty of Water
It can do so many good things for you. Staying hydrated is at the top of the list, but it may also help you lose weight. Another reason to go for H2O? Sugary drinks are linked to obesity and type 2 diabetes. If you aren't a fan of plain water, add flavor with slices of orange, lemon, lime, watermelon, or cucumber.

MyAchingKness comment: Drinking water, likely bottled water to reduce the chances of toxins, at a level of approximately one ounce for every two pounds of body weight, is a great start. Drinking adequate water is an often over looked health necessity.

Take an Exercise Break
Don't just grab another cup of coffee -- get up and move. Do some deep lunges or stretches. It's great for your body and mind. Just 35 minutes of walking five times a week may help keep the blues at bay. And if you can't get all those minutes in at once, short bursts help, too.

MyAchingKness comment: I have stated many, many times that living a physical lifestyle is necessary to good health and one of the four legs in the chair of health. Doesn't mean you have to go to the gym and work our butts off. Simply walking, climbing stairs, stretching, getting outdoors are all things that everyone should do.

Go Offline
Checking your email and social media a lot? Sure, your friends' and family's latest updates are just a click away, but do you really need to see pictures of your cousin's latest meal? Let it wait until morning. Set a time to log off and put the phone down. When you cut back on screen time, it frees you up to do other things. Take a walk, read a book, or go help your cousin chop veggies for her next great dinner.

MyAchingKness comment: There are recent articles which state that neck stress is much more common in society today because of people looking down at their mobile devices for hours each day - don't be one of these people. By the time you are my age you will look like a hunch back.

Learn Something New
New skills help keep your brain healthy. Sign up for a dance class or a creative writing workshop. Better yet, master a new language. The mental work it takes can slow the signs of aging and may even delay the effects of Alzheimer's disease.
Don’t Smoke
If you light up, quit. It's a big move toward better health. Your body repairs itself quickly. As soon as 20 minutes after your last cigarette, your heart rate and blood pressure drop. Why wait? Kick the habit, today. Your doctor will be happy to help you get started.

MyAchingKness comment: The single biggest thing that people do to sabotage their health is smoke, followed closely by excessive alcohol drinking, eating high glycemic foods, not getting daily levels of quality nutrients, and being a non-physical slug-coach potato type.

Article from Web MD Page

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Thursday, August 11, 2016

Things that Happen When You Detox from Sugar

Article by Stephanie Eckelkamp posted on Eat Clean. The author uses the word "Reset" in the article which is appropriate as a low glycemic rests your system to where it needs to be. Providing you get the proper nutrients including fiber. I occasionally so a Reset for five days where I only take in low glycemic, gluten free, non GMO meal replacement drinks and foods. Although it is not a weight loss type of diet, the side effects is that I usually drop 8-10 pounds in those 5 days, and have additional energy because I am not "weighed" down by excessive sugars.

Yeah, I eat pretty darn healthy. But I'm only human. Every once in a while there's a birthday at work, and I eat a cookie. Sometimes two if I'm stressed. Then that cookie reminds me, wow, refined sugar is delicious! And also, that I love apple fritters. Then the next morning, I might buy an apple fritter. And so on, down the rabbit hole.

Earlier this month, in particular, I was feeling a little meh about my eating habits—my fritter count was higher than usual, and I’d done this experiment where I ate like my boyfriend for a week. He doesn't always have the most stellar dietary habits, guys. So I was in need of a little nudge in the opposite direction.

But I wasn't about to go it alone. So I enlisted my BF to be my partner in a 2-week sugar detox. Now, rest assured, this wasn't a detox in the annoying sense of the term—no juice cleansing, no fasting, no weird lemon-cayenne water shit. After consulting several seemingly sane diet books, we ended up taking this approach: No grains; no packaged food products with added sweeteners; no table sugar, natural sweeteners, or artificial sweeteners; no alcohol; no beans. We could also only eat one piece of low-sugar fruit per day (e.g. a green apple), and were somewhat limited in our choice of uber starchy veggies (e.g. no white potatoes). But we could eat loads of most veggies, along with eggs, fish, meat, nuts, nut butters, seeds, plain yogurt, and cheese.

The goal was to reset our palates and be able to come out of this thing with the ability to be satisfied with healthy whole foods, and to truly only eat treats in moderation—and without jumping on the first fast train to fritter town. Here's how we fared.

1. We felt like death and missed booze.

After a surprisingly easy first day, we were both surprised how bad we felt for the next five. Coffee was still allowed, so we weren't totally dead to the world. But because I no longer could have my 3 PM hit of chocolate, or fruit-packed smoothie, or one of my go-to RxBars, which contain dates, I definitely noticed significant fatigue due to this lower-carb, low-sugar approach to eating. My body wanted a source of fuel it could burn through quickly, but I was feeding it baby carrots and almond butter. Things would recalibrate and our bodies would adjust, we were told, but there would be an adjustment period. Be warned: The adjustment period sucks.

Evan's biggest complaints: Minor headaches, fatigue, and no beer. He works hard, so normally, he'll have one or two a night for "dessert." So he started drinking plain or naturally flavored seltzer like a madman. Which wasn't the same, but hit the fizzy spot. He was, however, very excited about the prospect of losing his beer gut.

MyAchingKnees comment: Feeling bad for one to several days is a necesary side effect while your body de-toxes. You can greatly minimize this by ensuring you are getting all the nutrients your body needs by taking quality supplements.

2. Silently judging others became our favorite pastime.

Oh, you want to eat a doughnut in my presence? Hope you enjoy your future sugar cravings! That (or usually something a tad more sinister) is basically what went on in my head when I saw someone eating something I couldn't have. Evan and I also frequently found ourselves muttering about how everyone was going to get diabetes, and alternated between feeling all high and mighty about our choices and wanting to cry while watching our friends eat ice cream.

3. We became obsessed with sweet potatoes, and spiralizers, and…

Once we discovered the wonder and the glory that is the sweet potato, things started to get better. I mean, I've always loved sweet potatoes, but we hadn't been using them to their full potential. Their subtly sweet flavor and higher-carb count (compared to everything else we were eating) made them a daily must-eat. Did you know you can spiralize sweet potatoes, then toss them in oil and bake them into sweet potato fries? Did you know you can make sweet potato baked eggs?! Our love for this root veggie bordered on obsession.

Other things that made life suck less: Spiralizers (we made zucchini pasta basically every other day), using lettuce as sandwich "wraps," seltzer water, almond butter, easy-to-munch-on sliced veggies, eggs, and nuts. In fact, roasted and salted cashews became another obsession.

4. I ate all the cashews. We almost broke up.

Guys, the mood swings were real. Not exaggerating when I tell you we experienced a new level of cranky. During the first few days, it was pretty much like we were withdrawing from drugs—which sort of makes sense, since sugar has been found to activate the same areas of the brain as hard drugs like cocaine and heroin. So, when I ate pretty much all of one of our favorite snacks (the delicious cashews), Evan let me know how disappointed he was. To which I replied, "I bought the damn cashews!" To which he replied, "Well, I bought the damn dog food this month!" To which I replied, "I thought you loved Milo!" It was immature and ugly, and also a little hilarious. So, a word of advice: Pre-portion the freakin' cashews, and try to remember that maintaining a healthy relationship with your significant other is more important than gorging on your favorite snack—even though I can promise you it won't feel that way in the moment.

Oh, and a good general rule to avoid biting someone's head off: Always have healthy snacks at the ready. When your blood sugar drops and none of your allowable foods are close by, "hanger" is inevitable….and everyone seems really annoying.

5. Eventually, we felt pretty damn great.

So, you probably think this whole experience was pretty miserable, but rest assured, we needed it. The truth is, after a full week of fatigue and mood swings, we both started to feel pretty fantastic. I was way less bloated, more alert, and found that my urge for packaged junk foods and sweets was cut in half. I also felt a whole lot less anxious and stressed. Evan felt pretty great, too, and actually ended up losing like 7 pounds (damn men and their speedy metabolisms).

My fixation on what I could and couldn't eat also started to fade. The truth is, this way of eating doesn't have to be limiting—it forces you to be far more creative with your meals (cauliflower crust pizza, anyone?), and reveals the nearly endless flavor potential of healthy whole foods. In fact, I started eating so many more veggies that I was probably eating a wider variety of foods than when we started. Evan, too—this guy hadn't even heard of a frittata before this experience, and now he's the master of them.

Of course, we're definitely excited to incorporate some things back into our routine, namely more fruit and the occasional beer and cocktail. And maybe even the occasional fritter. The difference is that, now, we can acknowledge that we like these foods, but we don't feel like we need them.

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Saturday, July 30, 2016

Warning on Dietary Supplements

From Consumer Reports this article was titled "New study sounds the alarm on dietary supplements" and posted on CBS News. But I want to make it clear that this report is about non-pharmaceutical grade supplements. I have also been warning people about taking food grade supplements for years now and these reports give credence to the issues and sometimes dangers of taking non-quality supplements - and here's the kicker, most of the supplements you find do not guaranteed their quality, let alone have accurate label claims or are free of toxins, so let the buyer beware.

I take only supplements manufactured using pharmaceutical grade standards in a lab monitored by the FDA, so this way I know what is on the label is in the bottle. I am not on the bandwagon, yet anyway, for FDA regulation of food grade nutritional supplements - I think the consumers should be the regulatory effect through purchasing or not purchasing, and not have the government regulate this further.

A new investigation may have you rethinking some of your vitamins. Consumer Reports finds certain ingredients in dietary supplements sold around the country can carry major health risks, including heart palpitations, allergic reactions and pain, reports CBS Sports' Dana Jacobson.

Eighteen-year-old Logan Stiner died after overdosing on a caffeine powder supplement he bought online. A new study by Consumer Reports outlined health risks associated with dietary supplements -- including vitamins, probiotics and weight-loss aids. Unlike drug products that must be proven safe and effective, dietary supplements do not have to go through FDA approval.

"If it could kill someone like Logan, it has no borders - it will kill again," said his mother, Katie Stiner. "It's what you don't know - I think that's the thing that we're most concerned about," said Lisa Gill, deputy content editor at Consumer Reports. "Just because it's not prescription, you say, 'oh, it's safe,' but that's not necessarily true."

"What is the biggest misconception about supplements?" Jacobson asked. "Oh, that they're safe. A manufacturer doesn't have to prove to the FDA before it gets put on the shelves -- that what's in those tablets, is what they say is there," Gill said.

A new study by Consumer Reports outlined health risks associated with dietary supplements -- including vitamins, probiotics and weight-loss aids. Unlike drug products that must be proven safe and effective, dietary supplements do not have to go through FDA approval.

Gill said this leaves the consumer at risk. "It could be adulterated, it could be counterfeit, it could be hiding prescription drugs," Gill said.

Consumer Reports worked with independent doctors and dietary experts to identify 15 ingredients they say consumers should always avoid. They include caffeine powder found in some weight-loss supplements - like Kava, which claims to reduce anxiety and red yeast rice in supplements, which claims to reduce cholesterol.

Gill urges consumers to always avoid 15 specific ingredients. "They are known to have very specific harms. In some cases they can cause seizures or they can cause liver or kidney damage, there have been deaths associated with each of these," Gill said. But they found all 15 ingredients are available in supplements online or in major retailers. The Council for Responsible Nutrition -- which represents the supplement industry -- responded in a statement: "More than 150 million Americans take dietary supplements each year... Overwhelmingly, dietary supplements are safe and play a valuable role in helping Americans live healthy lifestyles."

But Dr. Pieter Cohen, an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School, disagrees. "Consumers need to know that they cannot trust that anything sold as a supplement is what's actually listed on the label," Cohen said. "Nor that it works. Or that it's safe."

The FDA acknowledged its limited role in regulating the industry, saying "it's important to remind consumers, that just because you can buy supplements in stores doesn't mean the FDA has reviewed them for safety or efficacy."

Gill recommends consumers look for the United States Pharmacopoeia or USP label and consult a medical expert. "Tell your doctor and your pharmacist what you're taking. Treat it like a medication. It's that important -- it's really about your health," Gill said.

MyAchingKnees comment: Look in the Physicians Desk Reference for supplements manufactured under pharmacuetical grade processes.

And yet another, older article titled "Unsafe, recalled dietary supplements still being sold" from October 2014 posted on CBS News.

Dietary supplements containing potentially dangerous prescription drug ingredients may still be for sale even years after safety recalls, a study found. In supplements bought online, researchers detected hidden steroids, similar ingredients to Viagra and Prozac and a weight loss drug linked with heart attacks.

They tested 27 products promising big muscles, sexual prowess, weight loss and more. Of those, 18 contained ingredients not approved for over-the-counter use; 17 still had the same drug that prompted the recalls.

Manufacturers are putting profit ahead of consumer health, but lax oversight by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is contributing to the problem, said lead author Dr. Pieter Cohen, an internist and researcher at Cambridge Health Alliance, a Boston-area health care system.

The tested supplements were recalled by manufacturers after FDA raised concerns about drugs in their products. This type of recall is usually voluntary, involving products that could potentially cause serious health problems and even death. The FDA's role includes assessing whether recalls successfully remove potentially unsafe products from the market.

"There should be significant legal and financial consequences for manufacturers who the FDA finds to be continuing to sell these spiked supplements," Cohen said. Unlike prescription drugs, dietary supplements don't need FDA approval before they are marketed. Still, their labels must list all ingredients and manufacturers are not allowed to sell products that are "adulterated or misbranded," the agency's website states.

The study was published in Wednesday's Journal of the American Medical Association. The authors say laws that increase FDA's enforcement powers may be needed to fix the problem.

In response to the study, the FDA said it has issued hundreds of consumer alerts warning about tainted products, sent warning letters to supplement makers "and pursued civil and criminal enforcement" against those illegally marketed products. Deterring manufacturers is sometimes challenging because they are often difficult to locate and some are overseas, the agency said.

The researchers bought 27 of the 274 supplements recalled from 2009 to 2012. The products were purchased in summer 2013 from manufacturers' websites or other online retailers. An Oregon research laboratory tested them. Whether any consumers were harmed by using the tainted supplements was beyond the study's scope.

Among the 27 products:

-Six weight loss supplements contained sibutramine or a substance similar to the diet drug removed from the U.S. market in 2010 after it was linked with heart attacks and strokes. Two also contained the active ingredient in Prozac.

-Ten body-building supplements contained anabolic steroids or related compounds, which have been linked with side effects including prostate cancer, aggression and infertility.

-One sexual enhancement product contained sildenafil, the active ingredient in Viagra, which is not recommended for those taking some heart medicines.

The Consumer Healthcare Products Association, a supplements trade group, said it encourages federal regulators to crack down on "rogue" companies.

"Unapproved or adulterated drugs' masquerading as lawful supplements is a threat to public health and to consumer confidence in the supplement industry," Scott Melville, the association's president and CEO, said in an emailed statement.
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Monday, July 18, 2016

9 Common Symptoms of Liver Disease

I abused Motrin and other prescriptions drugs for years. Wasn't ever worried then about my liver but that changed 10 years ago when I approached my late 40's. And having several friends die of liver cancer,....well today, I am just careful as I can be. I take aspirin sometimes, but never other prescription drugs - how can you when you hear of all the potential deadly and dreadful side effects? I prefer to build my health by living a healthy lifestyle. Avoid toxins, eating as healthy as I can, living a physical life and taking quality supplements. Among the supplements I take is a pharmaceutical grade liver cleansing product. You simply can't live without your liver.

Liver disease most often occurs due to an inherited predisposition. Other times, liver damage resulting from alcohol abuse, obesity, and viral infections is the cause. Chronic liver problems can result in cirrhosis, a serious condition that often leads to liver failure and death. Therefore, recognizing the symptoms is critical.

Here are some of the classic signs of liver disease…

Discolored Bowels (they mean stools).  Healthy stools range in hues of brown. Light-colored or pale stools can be due to blocked bile ducts or liver disease. If your bowels are clay-colored, you may have issues with drainage of your biliary system, which includes the liver, pancreas, and gallbladder.

MyAchingKnees comment: Nobody likes to talk abut poop, but the color and whether it floats or not, is another tool that the individual can use to assess if issues are likely.

Coated Tongue.  A coated tongue is a sign that your body isn’t digesting food properly, allowing bowel bacteria and yeast to overgrow. The liver helps us digest fat by making bile. When there are problems, we aren’t able to produce enough bile for proper digestion.

Body Odor. Bad body odor can be caused by liver problems. Liver disease can change the consistency of sweat, resulting in a foul smell. See your doctor if you begin to sweat at night, sweat more than you usually do, get cold sweats, or smell different (fruity).

Dark Circles Under the Eyes.  Dark circles under the eyes are an external manifestation of chronic liver disease. In a significant amount of people with liver problems, dark circles in the facial area are visible. Individuals with liver inflammation have especially dark under eye circles.

Bad Breath.  People with liver disease tend to have bad breath, known in medical circles as fetor hepaticus. It is characterized by a musty, foul-smelling odor coming from the mouth and usually manifests prior to more obvious symptoms of the condition.

MyAchingKnees comment:  Bad breath is also linked to fluoride tooth pastes.  Try a natural tooth paste,.....I do...... and my mouth has never ben healthier.

Itchy/Swollen Palms and Soles.  Stubborn itchiness in the hands and feet can be a symptom of liver failure. Inflammation and liver scarring are linked to fatty liver disease and can cause the body to itch. It typically starts at the soles and palms, which can also become swollen.

Jaundice.  Jaundice refers to when the skin becomes yellow, along with the nails and the whites of the eyes. This occurs when the liver isn’t breaking down bilirubin as it should. Those suffering from jaundice may also have dark urine and light-colored stool.

MyAchingKnees comment: For some people during the first 2-5 days following the starting on quality supplements, they will feel a little down and may have jaundice but this is temporary and is likely due to toxins leaving the body. ....refer to the color of poop above.    

Nausea.  The initial symptoms of liver failure are usually nausea, lack of appetite, diarrhea, and exhaustion. But these can be caused by a variety of things. Be sure to have liver disease ruled out if recurring nausea occurs, especially if there are other symptoms.

Hormonal Imbalance. Liver disease can lead to the body’s failure to manage the production and processing of hormones. In men, this can result in enlarged breasts (gynecomastia), as well as withered testicles. Females may have their menstrual cycles disrupted.

Article from Reinventing Aging.org

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