Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Household Toxins

Article from the Health and Fitness Cheat Sheet originally titled: "Cancer From Chemicals? 3 Household Products That Are Known Carcinogens". I have written about the chair of health which one of the legs is 'minimizing exposure to toxins' - many of them being common everyday used household products. We are simply over exposing our immune system to poisons and I believe the average person is slowly losing the fight against toxin caused cancers and other degenerative disease further aggravated by not getting the nutrients our immune system needs to effectively fight against the ravages of these daily toxins - hence the other legs of the chair of health: live a physical lifestyle; minimize high glycemic foods and maximize low glycemic, whole foods (cancers like sugar!); and take quality supplements to ensure you are getting all the necessary nutrients in the right dosages. And I particulary like this article's explanation of the development of cancers - how they are caused.

It’s very well known that certain lifestyle behaviors like smoking, excessive alcohol use, and tanning bed exposure can put you at higher risk for developing cancer. However, you would hardly think that some of the products that you use everyday or that are lying around your house could place you at the same risk, but some happen to contain well-known or unnoticeable ingredients that are in fact human carcinogens.

Cancer is caused by changes in cell DNA. Some changes may be passed down from our parents in the form of genetic defects, while others could be caused by environmental factors. The substances, situations, and exposures that can lead to cancer are called carcinogens, according to the American Cancer Society (ACS). While some carcinogens don’t affect your DNA directly, they can lead to cancer in other ways. For instance, they can cause cells to divide at a rate faster than normal, which could in turn increase the chances of changes in your DNA.

That being said, the ACS says exposure to substances that are labeled as carcinogens have “different levels of cancer-causing potential,” but not in every case, as some may cause cancer only after prolonged exposure to the substance at very high levels. Generally speaking, your risk of developing cancer depends upon several factors: your genetic makeup, how long you were exposed to the substance, and the length and intensity of the exposure.

Your home is a place where you should feel safe from the dangers of the world, it shouldn’t be a place where you could think you’re being exposed to any kind of lethal substances or ingredients in products you use everyday. Here are three household items that contain known carcinogens, so get rid of them now.

1. Air fresheners.

When your house or apartment has a rancid odor or it just needs a little pick-me-up to get rid of musty air, more than likely you grab the air freshener. While they’re a staple in many American households, conventional air fresheners are a hotbed of poisonous substances that can leave you or a loved one in your house very ill, and can also cause reproductive problems or even birth defects. Tests conducted by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) found that most air fresheners contain phthalates, which can interfere with male hormone production of testosterone. NRDC tested 14 common air fresheners that did not list phthalates as an ingredient, finding that these chemicals were present in 86% of the products tested, including those labeled as “all natural” or “unscented.” Most air fresheners are also loaded with other cancer-causing volatile organic compounds as well, which interfere with reproduction, respiration, and cellular regeneration. A 2008 study published in the journal Environmental Impact Assessment Review, conducted by Anne Steinemann at the University of Washington found nearly all the air fresheners tested emitted chemicals known to be carcinogenic.

2. Cleaning products.

Products that are keeping your house clean can also contain not only carcinogens, but also other poisons and asthma instigators. The Environmental Working Group (EWG), a non-profit organization focused on the environment and public health, compiled a Cleaners Hall of Shame list with the worst household cleaning offenders. They most recently updated their guide in April 2016 and it now includes more than 2,500 products. Nearly three-quarters of the samples tested contained ingredients that can be detrimental to respiratory health and more than one-quarter included ingredients that may lead to cancer. Perhaps most concerning, though, is that about half of all products scored low in regards to ingredient disclosure. The organization warns consumers to keep an eye out for products labeled as “green” or any other eco-friendly products as they can be very misleading and in fact contain harmful ingredients. It’s not all bad news, though. EWG also maintains a list of products they recommend.

3. Dryer sheets

There are few scents as comforting or as addictive as warm laundry being pulled from the dryer, thanks to the olfactory magic of fabric-softener sheets. They’re simple enough products, made of what seems like nothing more than thin polyester sheets coated with chemicals to soften fabric fibers, that give your clothes that irresistible scent. However, the fragrance found in such brands as Downy and Bounce might pose health risks, as toxins can permeate those sheets and transfer to your clothes and skin. It is also released into the air from dryer vent emissions, which are not regulated. A study published in the August 2011 issue of the journal Air Quality, Atmosphere and Health indicates scented laundry items can contain numerous carcinogens, including acetaldehyde and benzene. That said, it’s best to skip the dryer sheets altogether. If you’re itching for a healthier, less toxic alternative, Seventh Generation makes dryer sheets out of chlorine-free recyclable paper, instead of polyester. Additionally, the company discloses all of the ingredients of their sheets, which includes a plant-derived softening agent, also containing no fragrances or masking agents.



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Friday, November 11, 2016

Are you Vitamin D Deficient

From an Yahoo article titled "8 Ways to Tell if You Are Vitamin D Deficient". Vitamin D is one of the easiest nutrients to supplement with and one of the most important, although everyone needs robust levels of all nutrients in order to work synergistically within the body to support the immune system.
 
Vitamin D is an extremely important vitamin that has powerful effects on several systems throughout the body. Unlike most vitamins, vitamin D actually functions like a hormone and every single cell in your body has a receptor for it.

Your body makes it from cholesterol when your skin is exposed to sunlight. It's also found in certain foods such as fatty fish and fortified dairy products, although it's very difficult to get enough from diet alone.

The recommended daily intake is usually around 400-800 IU, but many experts say you should get even more than that.

My Aching Knees comment: Most nutritionists and researchers today are recommending daily intake of 4,000 to 6,000 IU. My base line daily supplement gives me 2,500 IU and I routinely take 2,000 to 4,000 more IU of Vitamin D each day.

Vitamin D deficiency is very common. It's estimated that about 1 billion people worldwide have low levels of the vitamin in their blood.

According to a 2011 study, 41.6 percent of adults in the U.S. are deficient. This number goes up to 69.2 percent in Hispanics and 82.1 percent in African-Americans.

These are common risk factors for vitamin D deficiency:

• Having dark skin.
• Being elderly.
• Being overweight or obese.
• Not eating much fish or milk.
• Living far from the equator where there is little sun year-round.
• Always using sunscreen when going out.
• Staying indoors.


People who live near the equator and get frequent sun exposure are less likely to be deficient, because their skin produces enough vitamin D to satisfy the body's needs.

Most people don't realize that they are deficient, because the symptoms are generally subtle. You may not notice them easily, even if they are having a significant negative effect on your quality of life.

Here are eight signs and symptoms of vitamin D deficiency.

1. Getting Sick or Infected Often
One of vitamin D's most important roles is keeping your immune system strong so you're able to fight off the viruses and bacteria that cause illness.

It directly interacts with the cells that are responsible for fighting infection. If you become sick often, especially with colds or the flu, low vitamin D levels may be a contributing factor.

Several large observational studies have shown a link between a deficiency and respiratory tract infections like colds, bronchitis and pneumonia.

A number of studies have found that taking vitamin D supplements at dosages of up to 4,000 IU daily may reduce the risk of respiratory tract infections.

In one study of people with the chronic lung disorder COPD, only those who were severely deficient in vitamin D experienced a significant benefit after taking a high-dose supplement for one year.
Bottom Line: Vitamin D plays important roles in immune function. One of the most common symptoms of deficiency is an increased risk of illness or infections.

2. Fatigue and Tiredness
Feeling tired can have many causes and vitamin D deficiency may be one of them. Unfortunately, it's often overlooked as a potential cause.

Case studies have shown that very low blood levels can cause fatigue that has a severe negative effect on quality of life.

In one case, a woman who complained of chronic daytime fatigue and headaches was found to have a blood level of only 5.9 ng/ml. This is extremely low, as anything under 20 ng/ml is considered to be deficient. When the woman took a vitamin D supplement, her level increased to 39 ng/ml and her symptoms resolved.

However, even blood levels that aren't extremely low may have a negative impact on energy levels. A large observational study looked at the relationship between vitamin D and fatigue in young women.

The study found that women with blood levels under 20 ng/ml or 21–29 ng/ml were more likely to complain of fatigue than those with blood levels over 30 ng/ml.

Another observational study of female nurses found a strong connection between low vitamin D levels and self-reported fatigue. What's more, the researchers found that 89 percent of the nurses were deficient.
Bottom Line: Excessive fatigue and tiredness may be a sign of vitamin D deficiency. Taking supplements may help improve energy levels.

3. Bone and Back Pain
Vitamin D is involved in maintaining bone health through a number of mechanisms. For one, it improves your body's absorption of calcium. Bone pain and lower back pain may be signs of inadequate vitamin D levels in the blood.
Large observational studies have found a relationship between a deficiency and chronic lower back pain. One study examined the association between vitamin D levels and back pain in more than 9,000 older women.

The researchers found that those with a deficiency were more likely to have back pain, including severe back pain that limited their daily activities. In one controlled study, people with vitamin D deficiency were nearly twice as likely to experience bone pain in their legs, ribs or joints compared to those with blood levels in the normal range.

Bottom Line: Low blood levels of the vitamin may be a cause or contributing factor to bone pain and lower back pain.

4. Depression
A depressed mood may also be a sign of deficiency. In review studies, researchers have linked vitamin D deficiency to depression, particularly in older adults.

In one analysis, 65 percent of the observational studies found a relationship between low blood levels and depression. On the other hand, most of the controlled trials, which carry more scientific weight than observational studies, didn't show a link between the two.

However, the researchers who analyzed the studies noted that the dosages of vitamin D in controlled studies were often very low. In addition, they noted that some of the studies may not have lasted long enough to see the effect of taking supplements on mood.

Some controlled studies have shown that giving vitamin D to people who are deficient helps improve depression, including seasonal depression that occurs during the colder months.

Bottom Line: Depression is associated with low vitamin D levels and some studies have found that supplementing improves mood.

5. Impaired Wound Healing
Slow healing of wounds after surgery or injury may be a sign that vitamin D levels are too low.

Results from a test-tube study suggest that the vitamin increases production of compounds that are crucial for forming new skin as part of the wound-healing process.

One study on patients who had dental surgery found that certain aspects of healing were compromised by vitamin D deficiency.

It's also been suggested that vitamin D's role in controlling inflammation and fighting infection is important for proper healing.

One analysis looked at patients with diabetic foot infections. It found that those with severe vitamin D deficiency were more likely to have higher levels of inflammatory markers that can jeopardize healing.

Unfortunately, at this point there is very little research about the effects of vitamin D supplements on wound healing in people with deficiency. However, one study found that when vitamin D deficient patients with leg ulcers were treated with the vitamin, ulcer size reduced by 28 percent, on average.

Bottom Line: Inadequate vitamin D levels may lead to poor wound healing following surgery, injury or infection.

6. Bone Loss
Vitamin D plays a crucial role in calcium absorption and bone metabolism. Many older women who are diagnosed with bone loss believe they need to take more calcium. However, they may be deficient in vitamin D as well.

Low bone mineral density is an indication that calcium and other minerals have been lost from bone. This places older people, especially women, at an increased risk of fractures. In a large observational study of more than 1,100 middle-aged women in menopause or postmenopause, researchers found a strong link between low vitamin D levels and low bone mineral density.

However, a controlled study found that women who were vitamin D deficient experienced no improvement in bone mineral density when they took high-dose supplements, even if their blood levels improved.

Regardless of these findings, adequate vitamin D intake and maintaining blood levels within the optimal range may be a good strategy for protecting bone mass and reducing fracture risk.

Bottom Line: A diagnosis of low bone mineral density may be a sign of vitamin D deficiency. Getting enough of this vitamin is important for preserving bone mass as you get older.

7. Hair Loss
Hair loss is often attributed to stress, which is certainly a common cause. However, when hair loss is severe, it may be the result of a disease or nutrient deficiency. Hair loss in women has been linked to low vitamin D levels, although there is very little research on this so far.

Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disease characterized by severe hair loss from the head and other parts of the body. It's associated with rickets, which is a disease that causes soft bones in children due to vitamin D deficiency.

Low vitamin D levels are linked to alopecia areata and may be a risk factor for developing the disease.

One study in people with alopecia areata showed that lower blood levels tended to be associated with a more severe hair loss.

In a case study, topical application of a synthetic form of the vitamin was found to successfully treat hair loss in a young boy with a defect in the vitamin D receptor.

Bottom Line: Hair loss may be a sign of vitamin D deficiency in female-pattern hair loss or the autoimmune condition alopecia areata.

8. Muscle Pain
The causes of muscle pain are often difficult to pinpoint. There is some evidence that vitamin D deficiency may be a potential cause of muscle pain in children and adults.

In one study, 71 percent of people with chronic pain were found to be deficient. The vitamin D receptor is present in nerve cells called nociceptors, which sense pain.

One study in rats showed that a deficiency led to pain and sensitivity due to stimulation of nociceptors in muscles.

A few studies have found that taking high-dose vitamin D supplements may reduce various types of pain in people who are deficient.

One study in 120 children with vitamin D deficiency who had growing pains found that a single dose of the vitamin reduced pain scores by an average of 57 percent.

Bottom Line: There is a link between chronic pain and low blood levels of the vitamin, which may be due to the interaction between the vitamin and pain-sensing nerve cells.

Correcting a Vitamin D Deficiency is Simple and again it is incredibly common and most people are unaware of it.

That's because the symptoms are often subtle and non-specific, meaning that it's hard to know if they're caused by low vitamin D levels or something else. If you think you may have a deficiency, then it's important that you speak to your doctor and get your blood levels measured.

Fortunately, a vitamin D deficiency is usually easy to fix. You can either increase your sun exposure, eat more vitamin D rich foods or simply take a supplement......and it will have have big benefits for your health.

MyAchingKnees Comment: You really can't obtain adequate Vitamin D from Sun exposure. You can get the Vitamin D you need by eating foods rich in Vitamin D, but it is hard, very hard, in today's world to get wholesome foods. The best way to get the Vitamin D you need is through supplementation - just make sure you get it from quality supplements.

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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.

Bloating
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.

Fever
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.

Fatigue
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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