Thursday, February 23, 2017

Kidney Damage from Medications

Published on News - Medical Life Sciences site under the title: Prolonged use of popular heartburn drugs linked to silent, gradual kidney damage. And I, for one, am concerned about kidney, and liver disease as well, as I have know several close friends of mine die from either have kidney and/or liver cancer, or have had a kidney removed due to damage. I very seldom drink alcohol and have added a supplement to provide nutritional support to my liver which also helps detoxify and support my body's natural protective processes. Anyone who takes any prescription or OTC medication, or anything condition or symptom, should at a very minimum research the common side effects that can occur and the ramifications on their overall health.

Taking popular heartburn drugs for prolonged periods has been linked to serious kidney problems, including kidney failure. The sudden onset of kidney problems often serves as a red flag for doctors to discontinue their patients' use of so-called proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), which are sold under the brand names Prevacid, Prilosec, Nexium and Protonix, among others.

But a new study evaluating the use of PPIs in 125,000 patients indicates that more than half of patients who develop chronic kidney damage while taking the drugs don't experience acute kidney problems beforehand, meaning patients may not be aware of a decline in kidney function, according to researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and the Veterans Affairs St. Louis Health Care System. Therefore, people who take PPIs, and their doctors, should be more vigilant in monitoring use of these medications.

The study is published Feb. 22 in Kidney International.

"The onset of acute kidney problems is not a reliable warning sign for clinicians to detect a decline in kidney function among patients taking proton pump inhibitors," said Ziyad Al-Aly, MD, the study's senior author and an assistant professor of medicine at Washington University School of Medicine. "Our results indicate kidney problems can develop silently and gradually over time, eroding kidney function and leading to long-term kidney damage or even renal failure. Patients should be cautioned to tell their doctors if they're taking PPIs and only use the drugs when necessary."

More than 15 million Americans suffering from heartburn, ulcers and acid reflux have prescriptions for PPIs, which bring relief by reducing gastric acid. Many millions more purchase the drugs over-the-counter and take them without being under a doctor's care.

The researchers — including first author Yan Xie, a biostatistician at the St. Louis VA —analyzed data from the Department of Veterans Affairs databases on 125,596 new users of PPIs and 18,436 new users of other heartburn drugs referred to as H2 blockers. The latter are much less likely to cause kidney problems but often aren't as effective.

Over five years of follow up, the researchers found that more than 80 percent of PPI users did not develop acute kidney problems, which often are reversible and are characterized by too little urine leaving the body, fatigue and swelling in the legs and ankles.

However, more than half of the cases of chronic kidney damage and end-stage renal disease associated with PPI use occurred in people without acute kidney problems.

In contrast, among new users of H2 blockers, 7.67 percent developed chronic kidney disease in the absence of acute kidney problems, and 1.27 percent developed end-stage renal disease.

End-stage renal disease occurs when the kidneys can no longer effectively remove waste from the body. In such cases, dialysis or a kidney transplant is needed to keep patients alive.

"Doctors must pay careful attention to kidney function in their patients who use PPIs, even when there are no signs of problems," cautioned Al-Aly, who also is the VA's associate chief of staff for research and education and co-director of the VA's Clinical Epidemiology Center. "In general, we always advise clinicians to evaluate whether PPI use is medically necessary in the first place because the drugs carry significant risks, including a deterioration of kidney function."



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Saturday, January 28, 2017

Live Long, Die Short

An article from MSN Lifestyle caught my attention, it was titled : The one delicious food this 101-year-old eats every day for longevity", and concerned an Indiana centenarian has a sweet formula for longevity, her daily dose of chocolate. This is the latest article in a long string of articles you read from time to time on some elderly person's secret to long life.

Eunice Modlin turned 101 on Monday, celebrating the big milestone with a party with her family. The great-great-grandmother, who lives in Boonville, Indiana, with her son, wasn't available for an interview, but her granddaughter shared some of her longevity secrets. "She eats two pieces of dark chocolate every day," Tammy Modlin Gentry told TODAY. "She's always limited herself to two pieces so she didn't [gain weight]."

Modlin also believes eating vegetables from the garden and never drinking alcohol or smoking has allowed her to live a long, healthy life, Gentry said. The centenarian is losing her eyesight and her balance is off, but she still goes to church and prayer meetings. Modlin's bloodwork shows her health is very good, she added.

MyAchingKnees Comment: "Ah Ha! So it wasn't just the chocolate.   Key factors were also likely staying from the worst toxins of alcohol and tobacco as well as eating fresh vegetables that I'm sure were not GMO! Another factor was likely the first half of her life where processed foods were not readily available.

Gentry said her grandmother's life motto is: You don't always get what you want, but you get what you need. Longevity seems to run in the family: When Modlin turned 100 last year, her relatives flew in her 99-year-old brother from Texas to attend the party.

MyAchingKnees Comment: "It looks to me that this lady is living the motto of "Live Long and Die Short". That means to me living a healthy, functional life up to the day you just kneel over - likely from your heart just wearing out, or what most people would call a heart attack.  When I talk to people who have conditions or health problem which are undoubtedly greatly influenced by their unhealthy lifestyle, bad eating habits, disbelief in nutritional supplements, and exposure to daily avoidable toxins, I always ask "if it is their plan just to keep on living an increasingly miserable life until the good Lord takes them?"   

When she was younger, Modlin was known for her archery skills, a sport she took up in her 20s. Her husband made the bows for the family and they traveled all over the country to compete. At one time, Modlin was in The Guinness Book of World Records for the farthest arrow shot, Gentry said.

MyAchingKnees Comment: Well my goodness, another factor: Live a physical life.

She lived through the Great Depression and other tough times, but remained optimistic. "My grandfather, her one true love, passed away in 1991 and she's still going," she added. "I get choked up because it's my grandma, whom I love to the moon and back."


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Friday, January 13, 2017

Sore, Achy Knees - What to Do and Not Do

This article from Web MD, titled "Knee Pains Do and Don'ts" and my commentary.

Do: Rest a Sore Knee
Take a break so your knee has time to heal. You’ll only need 1 or 2 days of rest to ease minor knee pain, but severe injuries may keep you off your feet longer. Talk to your doctor if it doesn’t get better after a few days.

Don’t: Stay on the Couch Too Long
Exercise builds strong muscles around your joints, and that helps prevent injuries. Once your knee has had enough rest, get back out there. Low-impact water workouts or tai chi are good options. But don’t overdo it or you’ll risk more pain.

Do: Use RICE
Try the RICE formula to treat a knee injury: Rest for a day or two to heal. Ice your knee to calm inflammation. Compress (wrap) your joint for support and to stop fluid buildup. Elevate it on a pillow or stool to curb swelling.

Don’t: Risk Slips, Trips, or Falls
Wear shoes with good tread on them to cut your risk of a slip. Choose low-heeled ones with soft, rubber soles. Keep your home’s hallways and stairwells well lit, and clear floors of things you could trip over.

Do: Use a Cane If You Need One
Feel unsteady? Use something to steady you as you move around. Choose a sturdy, strong, light cane with a rubber tip and a handle that’s easy to grasp. Hold it at a 45-degree angle to be sure it’s the right height. Find one in a color or style you like so you’ll be more likely to use it.

Do: Watch Your Weight
Extra pounds add strain to your knees and raise your risk of painful arthritis and injuries. But even moderate weight loss can make it better. If you need to drop a few pounds, set a goal to lose just 5% of your current weight over the next few months.

Do: Consider Acupuncture
Tiny needles are put into the skin around your sore joint. Research shows it can ease knee arthritis pain, though it’s still unclear how. Look for someone who's trained and experienced. Many states license acupuncturists.

Don’t: Forget to Stretch
The muscles around your knees can get tight, and that can lead to painful injuries. Daily stretches can prevent that and muscle pain. Ask your doctor or physical therapist for easy moves to help you limber up before you walk or do any other activity.

Do: Use Heat and Cold
If your knee pain flares, try hot or cold treatments. Moist heat is better for pain relief than dry. Soak in a warm bath, or zap a damp washcloth in the microwave. To ease a swollen knee, press a bag of frozen veggies wrapped in a towel against the joint.

Don’t: Sleep in the Wrong Position
This can make your knee pain worse. Try out different positions, and put a pillow between your knees if you sleep on your side. Don’t prop up a bent knee on a pillow, though -- that can make it harder to unbend your leg the next day.

Do: Try Braces or Sleeves
Support a sore, weak knee with a brace, sleeve, or tape. Ask a physical therapist to fit you with one or to tape your knee. A simple sleeve that fits over your knee can offer short-term pain relief, too. You can find them at the drugstore.

Don’t: Wear Out Your Knees
You may get knee pain because you overload your joints. Movements you do over and over again, like go up and down stairs every day, can jar and wear down your knees. But don’t sit for long periods, either. That puts extra pressure between your knee and leg bone that can cause pain.

Do: Support Your Arches
Choose shoes that support your arches, or get slip-in inserts at your local drugstore. If those don’t work, you can ask your doctor about custom supports. But those can be expensive and don’t always work better than the ones available over the counter.

Don’t: Keep Wearing the Same Old Shoes
Shoes can stretch and wear out after a while. Don’t keep wearing your favorite pair after their support and tread have worn out You may find that new shoes that support your feet and ankles well ease your knee pain.

Do: Talk to Your Doctor
You don’t have to deal with knee pain alone. Your doctor might prescribe medication or give you a steroid shot to help. She also might talk with you about surgery to replace worn joints or ligaments.

These are the things I would add:

Do: Take quality joint supplements. 
Since having terrible knee pain upon climbing stairs in my mid 40's, for the past 12 years I have taken a quality joint supplement that include Glucosamine, Vitamin C, magnesium and Turmeric extract. I have no pain today going into my late 50's.  My conversations with researchers have convinced me that Chondroitin and Hyaluronic Acid are not likely to be ingredients that do joint pain any good.  I use to take supplements with those ingredients all without any relief.   

Do: Ensure you get Omega 3 Essential Fatty Acids in your diet.
Not because Omega's 3 provide nutrients for your knees and joints, but because they are an anti-imflammatory and help reduce the unequal ratio of Omega 3's to Omega 6's, which if not corrected can manifest itself through joint pain.

Do: Try some home remedies such as Apple Cider Vinegar. 
People, including my wife, have tolds me has helped some with their knee pain. Apparently quality Apple Cider Vinegar has calcium, magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus which are vital to joint and bone health.

Apple Cider Vinegar contains the calcium, magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus your body needs to dull that pain. The magnesium in apple cider vinegar helps bones absorb calcium, which is essential to bone strength. Apple cider vinegar also contains antioxidants, beta-carotene, and acetic acid. The basic receipt is 1 to 3 teaspoons of Apple Cider Vinegar into juice and drink twice a day. And some people even have added the Apple Cider Vinegar into a smaller amount of oil such as coconut or olive oil and massage directly into the affected joint.

Additionally, Muscle rubs, while not particular thought of as effective for the joints, can help blood flow into the joint and help nutrient flow and elasticity of connective tissue.  I use the Deep Blue rub on my neck - I would not hesitate to use it on my knees, if I needed it.  


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Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Depression Greatly Affects Your Health


I spent the Christmas Eve morning talking to a friend of mine who was heavily depressed. About my age, late 50's, and recently lost his job, he was despondent about being less able to provide for his family (wife and one teenager in last year of High School), about being cast aside from his 18+ year job, and his declining health. Our conversation, at least of majority of it after I determined he was not suicidal, was the fact that a turn around on his health was, in part, dependent upon him coming to terms with his depression.

I think we all instinctively know that depression is bad for our physical health. All manner of symptoms can crop up.   And the first step in combating that depression is to understand it.  See a professional if you can. There are good medications out there, as much as I hate to admit it, that in moderate doses can help. The bests help however is self-help. Get better healthwise in your body and your mind will follow. This is key - get better physical health wise, be good to yourself, be exceptional to those in your life and you will get better - I guarantee it.

You need to grasp this concept, best articulated in the Serenity Prayer....."God grant me the serenity...To accept the things I cannot change;.... Courage to change the things I can; .......And wisdom to know the difference." Simply, take the crap in your life, put it in a imagery garbage bag and throw it the hell out of your life....simple, but nobody said it was easy, but you have no choice, just do it.

The following article is from Health and Fitness Cheat Sheet, titled: 5 Types of Depression You Should Know About

As crummy as it feels to go through a day or two of feeling low, those fleeting moments of sadness don’t even come close to depression. This disorder can lead to extreme fatigue and an overwhelming sadness that prevents someone from enjoying things they once loved. And it’s pretty common, affecting over 26% of American adults, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But that’s really oversimplifying things, because there’s more than just one type of depression. Since mental illness is so prevalent, it’s important to know about these five types of depression in case you or someone you know may be suffering.

1. Major Depression. Major, or clinical, depression is a very serious mood disorder that WebMD says affects 20% to 25% of adults at some point. It can interfere with daily tasks, including work, school, eating, and sleeping. If left untreated, major depression can last for weeks, months, or even years. Symptoms include energy loss, insomnia, restlessness, and feelings of guilt or worthlessness. It can also cause loss of interest in spending time with friends and loved ones and even changes in weight.

Interestingly, clinical depression can be generational. It may also be triggered by significant life events. This includes relationship conflicts, social isolation, abuse, or loss of a loved one. It’s important to see a doctor for treatment recommendations if any of this sounds like you.

2. Dysthymia.

Also known as persistent depressive disorder, dysthymia shares some common symptoms with major depression. This includes lack of energy and concentration, no desire to take part in fun activities, and weight loss or gain. Harvard Health Publications mentions those with dysthymia constantly feel as if they’re going in and out of depression. It may be less severe than clinical depression, but it usually lasts longer. People with persistent depressive disorder can be very irritable and are more likely to develop major depression as well. Though there’s no way to prevent it, the combined use of medication and psychotherapy is usually a good option for treatment.

3. Postpartum depression.

Women who’ve given birth may experience postpartum depression (PPD) as soon as a few days after birth or not for several months, so it’s definitely important for mothers to pa

y attention to how they feel after delivery. The National Institute of Mental Health says PPD often causes extreme sadness, exhaustion, or anxiety. Women may also cry for no reason, oversleep, and may have difficulty developing an emotional attachment to their children. If left untreated, it can last for months or even years. Treatment may include antidepressant medication or counseling. If you feel these extreme symptoms after childbirth, be sure to see a health care provider to help decide what’s best for you.

4. Seasonal Depression. Seasonal depression, or seasonal affective disorder (SAD), typically occurs during the winter months. WebMD says those with SAD often feel moody, sad, and anxious during the colder months. Seasonal depression can also boost cravings for high-carb foods like bread and pasta. While it can affect anyone, it’s most common among women and those between the ages of 15 and 55.

The cause isn’t totally understood, but it may have to do with the lack of sunlight. Light therapy, antidepressants, and counseling may be used to help treat seasonal depression. Speak with your doctor if you notice the change in seasons taking an unusual toll on your mood.

5. High-functioning depression

Depression isn’t always easy to spot. In fact, some people who have it can appear completely happy and successful on the outside. But behind closed doors, they can be suffering. This is known as high-functioning depression. It’s a form of mental illness where people can complete tasks and carry out normal, everyday activities even though they feel depressed. One doctor told Well + Good she typically sees it among women who strive for perfection. It’s not easy to recognize, but some things to look out for include irritability, jokes that appear out of character, or constantly seeming detached. Meditation, speaking to a therapist, and prescribed medications can be useful. If you think you may have high-functioning depression, don’t be afraid to seek help.


You also must have humor in your life.  I have learned to laugh,....at myself, but primarily at others, Ha!  Consider this prayer.  Ain't it the truth!















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Monday, December 12, 2016

Benefits of Honey


Recently I had a cancerous tumor removed from one of my dog's ears. It was on surface of the ear and it left a nasty wound. I was suprised when the Vet had me change the dressing every day with a non-stick pad coated with all natural honey. My Vet said it would heal the wound as good or better than anything they could give me. So I was interested when I saw this article from HealthMixer on the "35 Amazing Benefits of All-Natural Honey". I hope you will too. Oh, by the way, my Dog's wound healed quickly and nicely! See the picture at right taken about 3 days after surgery.

Honey offers a wide range of trace minerals that are necessary for the body’s proper functioning. It is an anti-bacterial that can help with constipation and calcium absorption. When one endeavors to study the benefits of honey, it is completely believable that a list surpassing 75 elements can be achieved. We chose to narrow that list down to include the 35 benefits we found most amazing.

Honey is nature’s best kept medicine. Your ancestors probably found more value in it than you have ever even considered. But that’s ok, because we’re here to bring all that back! Check out these amazing benefits:

#1 Cough and Sore Throat. Honey is a phenomenal cough suppressant. In fact, according to Penn State College of Medicine (2012), it was deemed a better option for children’s coughs than any available over-the-counter option! Honey soothes on contact and stimulates saliva, which may be the reason it is so effective in coughs and sore throats.

#2 Wounds and Burns. In a 2015 issue of Contemporary Nurse, honey was labeled a better burn treatment than the ordinarily prescribed silver. This is because honey has more antibacterial properties. And, it has no toxic effects on skin.

#3 Arthritis. Manuka honey appears to be useful due to its anti-inflammatory properties. The inflammation experienced in bouts of arthritis is relieved, as is the pain. To experience this benefit, try mixing 2 tablespoons of Manuka honey with 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon in a cup of warm green tea.

#4 Insomnia and Fatigue. Honey has been labeled a super-food. Sleep induction occurs with increased levels of tryptophan and serotonin. Honey includes tryptophan. Honey raises the blood sugar, slightly. That rise in insulin, causes tryptophan to enter the brain where it is converted into serotonin. When dark, serotonin converts to melatonin which aids in sleep. Take two tablespoons of honey each night to aid in alleviating your symptoms of insomnia and fatigue.

#5 Acid Reflux and Heartburn. A mix of apple cider vinegar and honey can help reduce your acid reflux and heartburn troubles. We know it seems counterintuitive, but it is theorized that the cider vinegar and honey mix helps to balance out the pH in the gut. Plus, they are both anti-bacterial agents that can help fight off any bacterial issues that are causing the problems. Try 2 teaspoons each of honey and apple cider vinegar in water or warm tea.

#6 Seasonal Allergies and Asthma. Eating local honey can act like a localized vaccination against those things in the environment that are triggering your allergies. Try to get honey that has been collected near your home so that the same flowers and weeds will have been utilized in its production.

#7 Warts and Acne. Apply honey to warts and cover with a Band-Aid. Repeat the process until the warts disappear. The same is true about acne, although Band-Aids are not necessary. Allow the honey to remain on the problem areas for fifteen minutes and then rinse off. Please make sure that you are using all-natural, raw, unprocessed, preferably organic honey.

#8 Yeast Infections. A piece in Future Microbiology (2014) declared that honey was an effective treatment for yeast infections. If you want to try this out, mix one tablespoon of plain, unsweetened yogurt, with two tablespoons of raw honey. Apply this mixture to the infected area externally and internally. Allow it to remain in place for ten minutes. Wash after application. Consider it a honey douche and look for improvement within a few days, if you use it twice a day as recommended.

#9 Weight Loss and Poor Metabolism. Honey contains 22 amino acids that can aid in boosting metabolism. And, increased metabolism means decreased fat! Consider drinking lemon juice with a little honey each morning to get your metabolism started on the right foot. Honey can potentially fuel the liver and ease stress hormones to aid in weight loss as well.

#10 Helps Prevent Cancer and Heart Disease. Honey includes anti-tumor and carcinogen preventing properties. Honey’s natural anti-oxidant capabilities can help eliminate cancer causing free-radicals and improve the functioning of the immune system.

#11 Energy Booster. Honey naturally provides carbohydrates that provide energy. As such, honey is considered an effective way to improve energy and prevent fatigue. Don’t forget that the glucose in honey is a rapid energy creator and the fructose allows that energy to last. Before you workout, consider taking a spoonful of honey, and if you are feeling drained, spread some on toast or use it in your tea instead of sugar.

#12 Immune System Builder. Recall that honey has anti-bacterial and anti-oxidant properties. These help improve your digestive tract and can aid in the prevention of diseases. If you really want to help your body ward off infectious issues, try drinking a glass of water with lemon and honey each morning. Warm water is recommended here.

#13 Memory Booster. Restful sleep and the reduction of metabolic stress contribute to cognitive and memory functions. Honey offers both. At the University Of Babylon’s College of Medicine, a five year study was conducted that concluded honey had the ability to prevent dementia and cognitive decline.

#14 Face Mask. Honey is terrific for the skin. And, lots of people have been experimenting with its ability to provide a great rejuvenating face mask. Based on your skin type, you’ll have to add either: apple, avocado & egg, or egg, almond oil, and yogurt.

#15 Reduces Ulcers and Other Gastrointestinal Disorders. An ulcer is a lesion in the lining of the stomach. Imbalances in the digestive fluids are generally to blame. Although many are actually caused by h. pylori, a bacteria found in the gut. One tablespoon of raw honey (preferably Manuka) combined with a ¼ teaspoon of ground cinnamon, has been shown to offer considerable relief when taken daily.

#16 Lowers Cholesterol. Cholesterol comes in both good and bad forms. Honey is cholesterol free and is believed to be able to help keep cholesterol levels under control. Taking a honey and cinnamon mix regularly could lower the cholesterol in your blood thanks to its anti-oxidant properties.

#17 Low-libido. Honey is an aphrodisiac. It promotes testosterone in men and aids in estrogen usage in women. In fact, a study showed that three ounces of honey could increase levels of the arousal chemical, nitric oxide. Hippocrates prescribed honey for the purposes of sexual vigor and the induction of ecstasy, all the way back in 500 BC! He recommended that it be used as a sexual stimulant by combining it with pepper and ginger. Definitely something to think about before agreeing to take the little blue pill.

#18 Anxiety. A 2011 study, published in the Journal of Neurophysiology showed that animals that took larger doses of honey demonstrated significant reduction in anxious behaviors and were in better control of their own bodies. The consumption was a one-time deal. This showed that honey can relieve anxiety as quickly as one dose! That’s great news

#19 Athlete’s Foot. Tinea pedis, or athlete’s foot, is a skin disorder and is caused by a parasitic fungus. You can use propolis (a natural bee product) or honey for treatment of this irritating issue. Rub the foot with honey at night and then cover with an old sock. Wash the dried honey off in the morning. Repeat until the problem has been resolved.

#20 Detoxifying Needs. Lemon and honey water are great detoxification providers. Try drinking a glass of honey and lemon in the morning on an empty stomach. You could also go on a honey water fast if you are really devoted to completing a truly detoxifying procedure.

#21 Eczema and Rosacea. A persistent inflammation of the top layer of skin contributes to the symptomology known as eczema. Basically, the immune system is overreacting. There are three potential methods to deal with the issue: •Apple honey and ground cinnamon applied to effected area •Warm water mixed with half a lime and a teaspoon of honey ingested every morning for several weeks •A glass of water combined with a teaspoon of honey and two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar taken three times a day, with meals

#22 Gum Disease. Honey is a great anti-microbial that can effectively treat gum disease even if it sounds counterintuitive to apply sweet stuff to your teeth. Honey can deter the growth of the bacteria that causes dental plague and can ultimately reduce its presence, according to a 2015 study. Manuka honey is the best resource as it has the highest levels of anti-microbials.

#23 Treats Dandruff and Other Scalp Problems. Crude honey is very powerful. The honey needs to be diluted in water and then rubbed into the scalp, specifically focusing on problem areas. Leave it in for three hours and then rinse it out with warm water. Do this every other day for 2 weeks. A study performing the same procedures revealed complete healing and even a decrease in hair loss.

#24 Hangovers. The fructose in honey has been shown to speed up the livers ability to oxidize alcohol. This makes honey a confirmed sobering agent with better results than coffee! Mix 15ml of honey with 70ml of all-natural yogurt and 80ml of orange juice for the best hangover relief you’ve ever tasted.

#25 Stress. Prescription medications are not your only answer for relieving stress. Honey’s nutrients can elicit a calming effect. If you add a decent amount of honey to your breakfast regimen, you might discover that the day’s stress has less of an impact on your emotional well-being.

#26 Workout Fuel. Honey is believed to have the ability to increase athletic performance. In fact, some people use it as an all-natural energy drink. Because there are only 17 grams of carbs in a tablespoon of honey, its fructose and glucose can act as a short-term source of energy.

#27 Regulates Blood Sugar. Although it seems highly unlikely that honey, a sugar, can regulate sugar, it is the balance of fructose and glucose that enables this anomaly to occur. The fructose in the honey sends the glucose straight to the liver where it becomes glycogen. This allows the major organs to function at optimal capacity and keeps the glucose out of the blood, which ultimately lowers blood sugar. Honey produces more liver glycogene than any other food based on per gram studies.

#28 Probiotic. Honey’s therapeutic properties are sometimes viewed as “mysterious.” But, it is the 4 species of Bifidobacterium and 6 species of lactobacilli found in different varieties of honey that contributes to its probiotic capabilities.

#29 Provides Nutrients. Honey includes an array of vitamins and nutrients in small doses. These vitamins and nutrients include: zinc, phosphorous, potassium, manganese, iron, copper, magnesium, riboflavin, calcium, niacin, and pantothenic acid. If you switch your sugars to honey, you will be getting nutrients with your calories!

#30 Potentially Prevents Low White Blood Cell Count. During chemotherapy sessions, 40 percent of patients who took therapeutic honey, at two teaspoons daily, relieved their bouts with low blood cell counts (neutropenia). This study was performed by the Mayo Clinic.

#31 Kills Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria. Some research performed in doctors’ offices and hospitals has revealed that Honey can kill antibiotic resistant bacteria. Specifically, they found it worked on: Salmonella, E. coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Staphylococcus aureus.

#32 Honey for Herpes. Because Honey has been proven to provide great remedies for wounds, it is no wonder that it can assist in healing the sores associated with Herpes. It takes fluid from the wound and the sugar suppresses the growth of microorganisms. And, low levels of hydrogen peroxide are included in honey. Studies have shown that the topical use of honey is actually more effective than the prescription cream.

#33 Increases Calcium Absorption. When using a calcium supplement, research has shown that ingesting honey can aid in the absorption of the supplemental calcium. In fact, there is a 25% improvement rate when these are taken together. The raffinose, fructose, and glucose found in honey are given the credit for increasing the ability to absorb calcium.

#34 Increase Hemoglobin Count and Treat Anemia. Thanks to the iron, copper, and manganese found in raw dark honey, hemoglobin synthesis can be aided. Keep in mind that the darker the honey is, the better it is for you. Honey will also add that boost you need when dealing with anemia.

#35 Hair Conditioner. If you’ll create a mix of honey and olive oil, you will discover honey’s amazing ability to smooth and condition your hair. Plus, this is an all-natural method!


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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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