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Top 10 Natural Remedies For Disaster Relief

So, the question  I ask myself at a time like this is – Am I prepared for the disaster that could unfold for me and my family? How about you? Are you prepared? Do you have a small essential list of items that you keep at hand just for an occasion such as this? Even when there is no imminent danger at hand, one should have an emergency first-aid kit ready and handy.

I would like to offer below a brief and condensed list of items that we personal have at hand at all times that can become life-safer when it is needed:

As I pen this blog, my outside window is howling with strong wind and the rain has been coming down non-stop over the last 6 hours. Hurricane Harvey’s news and reports are being blasted on every local and national TV channels I tune in to.

Yes, even in Austin, TX where I live, we are bracing ourselves for the CAT4 hurricane Harvey which just did its landfall about 7 hours or so ago near the Port Aransas area. Unlike other hurricanes, Harvey is going to stall out and linger inland for a couple of days and then go back out to the Gulf of Mexico and then possibly make a second landfall around Houston area. The amount of the rain estimated by the Weather Channel is expected to bring devastation to many communities across the Gulf region of Texas and Louisiana. In fact, severe flash flood warnings have been issued across all over the Central Texas region in the next several days.

So, the question  I ask myself at a time like this is – Am I prepared for the disaster that could unfold for me and my family? How about you? Are you prepared? Do you have a small essential list of items that you keep at hand just for an occasion such as this? Even when there is no imminent danger at hand, one should have an emergency first-aid kit ready and handy.

I would like to offer below a brief and condensed list of items that we personal have at hand at all times that can become life-safer when it is needed:

  1. Ionic/Colloidal Silver Liquid – wash wounds, pour 1 oz into 1 gallon of drinking water to disinfect it, overcome throat irritation/infection by swishing, gargling, and swallowing
  2. Ionic/Collidal Silver Gel – address wounds, hand disinfectant lotion, natural tooth paste
  3. Food Enzymes – protect yourself from questionable source of foods that you may have to eat under stressful situations
  4. Curcumin Extra Strength – fights joint and muscle inflammation and pain. Also a great agent for immune boosting
  5. Protein bars – healthy snack bars for at least 3 day survival for energy and strength. This may be particularly helpful to diabetics who do not do well without food for prolonged period of time.
  6. Activated Charcoal – absorbs and removes toxins and irritants from the digestive tract such as heavy metals, parasites, food poisoning, and other toxins ingested inadvertently from bad food sources. Great for diarrhea or other commonly known digestive related issues.
  7. Lavender Essential Oil – reliefs skin burns, nerve calming, sleep aid
  8. Tei-fu Essential oil and lotion – headaches, muscle pains/sprains, hot/cold topical treatment, bug bites
  9. Probiotics – room temperature Bacillus Coagulans to balance gut microbiome and help with immune function
  10. Pure Water – when running water is contaminated, either boil water to drink or stock up with filtered ionized water. Get a trustworthy portable water purifier for campers will also work.

Hope this short list is of help to your disaster preparations. My wife and I believe this list so much so that we have this entire list with us on every single travel event. Have never gotten sick on any of our travels for the last 20 years!

What are your favorite natural disaster relief items?

Be prepared!

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Untold Causes of Hypertension

Here is a video that you may find interesting regarding high blood pressure. The points Dr. Wright making here are not generally discussed by medical doctors but they may be highly relevant to your heart health and particularly high blood pressure condition. You don’t have to take my words for it. Watch this video (16 minutes) and see for yourself.

Here is a video that you may find interesting regarding high blood pressure. The points Dr. Wright making here are not generally discussed by medical doctors but they may be highly relevant to your heart health and particularly high blood pressure condition. You don’t have to take my words for it. Watch this video (16 minutes) and see for yourself.

What do you think? If you like what you saw here and would like more information on high blood pressure, here is an excellent book for you to read and dig further into this subject. The title is “The High Blood Pressure Hoax,” by Dr. Sherry A. Rogers, M.D., Prestige Publishing, 2005.

Also, if you are interested in quality Magnesium, Vitamin D3, Berberine, oral chelation program and other heart health related supplements, we have got them all. Give us a call or stop by.

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Bone Broth For Joint Inflammations

Scientists at Harvard studied the effects of UC-II® (undenatured form of Collagen Type-II) on human patients with rheumatoid arthritis, long established as an autoimmune disorder. In a randomized, double-blind trial of 60 patients, type II chicken collagen produced a significant decrease in the number of swollen and painful joints within 3 months, compared to the placebo group. In fact, 14% of patients achieved complete remission. No side effects were found

 

More than 52 million Americans today suffer one form or another of arthritis. The pain and sensitivity in the joints caused by the inflammation can be quite limiting to one’s every day routine. Chances are you or someone you know is living in pain because of a joint inflammation.

By combining the opioids, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and gamma-aminobutyric acid analogs into the pain and inflammation category, the record shows that it is the second-highest spending category of all drugs (immediately below the diabetic drugs) according to a 2015 report [1].

But there are some very effective and natural means to deal of inflammation and its secondary effects on our joints. One of them is to take a consistent amount of bone broth. That’s right. The soup that your mom or grandma have made for you when you were sick. Bone broth of all kinds (chicken, beef, pork, lamb, fish, etc…) is rich in nutrients, easy on the digestive system, and deliciously flavorful. And now scientists have found some concrete evidence that your grandma’s bone broth is truly nature’s effective ways of combating joint inflammation as well.

A team of scientists at the University of Nebraska was surprised to find that chicken soup prevented the mobilization of immune system cells to sites of inflammation [2]. Upon further analysis, it was not vegetables but a soluble component of the chicken broth itself that exerted this anti-inflammatory activity.

The researchers believe that it was likely the collagen from chicken bones in the broth that was the source of this beneficial anti-inflammatory effect.

Scientists at Harvard studied the effects of UC-II® (undenatured form of Collagen Type-II) on human patients with rheumatoid arthritis, long established as an autoimmune disorder. In a randomized, double-blind trial of 60 patients, type II chicken collagen produced a significant decrease in the number of swollen and painful joints within 3 months, compared to the placebo group. In fact, 14% of patients achieved complete remission. No side effects were found [3].

Later, a much larger study of 274 rheumatoid arthritis patients confirmed this finding, as did a study on patients with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, a particularly aggressive form of this disease [4].

If you are interested in giving the bone broth a try. I highly recommend making it at home by yourself using organic, free-range, antibiotic free, green fed chicken, pork, beef, and lamb with lots of organic vegetables and natural spices. However, if you are a busy-body and don’t have the time, there are already made and ready to go powdered form of bone broths available on the market today. We carry the purest form of animal source bone broths as pictured above. They come in different flavors and varieties, but always pure, gut-friendly, and ready to go.

Call us at 512-310-8880 to find out more about this amazing product line that is not just good for your immune system but also great for your healthy joints!

  1. http://www.pharmacytimes.com/news/top-10-drug-spending-categories-by-traditional-therapeutic-class?p=2
  2. Rennard BO, Ertl RF, Gossman GL, Robbins RA, Rennard SI. Chicken soup inhibits neutrophil chemotaxis in vitro.Chest.2000 Oct;118(4):1150-7.
  3. Trentham DE, Dynesius-Trentham RA, Orav EJ, et al. Effects of oral administration of type II collagen on rheumatoid arthritis. Science. 1993 Sep 24;261(5129):1727-30.
  4. Barnett ML, Kremer JM, St Clair EW, et al. Treatment of rheumatoid arthritis with oral type II collagen. Results of a multicenter, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Arthritis Rheum. 1998 Feb;41(2):290-7.
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The Role of Mucus in Digestion

Mucus plays a hugely important role in digestion, in addition to helping establish the overall health of other areas of your body.

In this article we’ll focus just on how mucus helps in mechanical digestion, and why you need to make sure that your body has a suitable amount.

Mucus plays a hugely important role in digestion, in addition to helping establish the overall health of other areas of your body.

In this article we’ll focus just on how mucus helps in mechanical digestion, and why you need to make sure that your body has a suitable amount.

Why does mucus help?

Your body makes about a liter of mucus every day, and some of it may be for the benefit of your bowels. The first question to answer regarding mucus and its role in digestion is why mucus is a helpful substance. Mucus, though it doesn’t look like it, helps destroy bacteria and viruses, in addition to trapping particles, preventing water loss, lubricating the movement of materials through your body, and protects all the surfaces it touches from damage.

You have mucus in your mouth, in the form of saliva, and even in your eyes. The viscosity of the mucus depends on where it’s located in your body. In your nose, for examples, it’s thicker in order to fight against the potential viruses, dirt, and other irritants which can easily enter the nose. With your digestive tract, however, mucus is a bit different.

How does mucus help digestion?

Your stomach is lined by a protective layer of mucus, which is responsible for creating the enzymes that help your body digest proteins. Additionally, the mucus lining your stomach helps prevent your stomach lining from the negative effects of excessive exposure to acid or pepsin.

Now, as for your digestive tract specifically – mucus helps there as well. Since mucus works to lubricate items in your body for easy movement from one area of the body to another, it’s important to have enough in your intestinal tract.

The intestines can easily be perforated or otherwise harmed by sharp objects you’ve eaten that haven’t been completely ground down yet (potato chips, crackers, etc.). Mucus coats these objects so they flow through your intestines at a much more productive rate, ensuring that your body is able to process the food you eat as efficiently as possible.

According to a 2013 study published in Science, mucus may hold the key to understanding digestive health and help explain inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) — more so, it may even be a treatment for it.

“We all live with trillions of bacteria inside our digestive system,” said Andrea Cerutti, MD, PhD, a professor in the department of medicine at the Immunology Institute at the Mount Sinai Icahn School of Medicine in New York City. “We have more bacteria than we have cells in our body. Some of these bacteria would kill us if they were free in another part of our body. We wanted to know what role mucus plays in allowing us to live in peace with all these bacteria.”

Mucus from beginning to end:

Now that you can see how mucus is important in many different aspects of your health, let’s look at the process it plays from beginning to end in your digestive system.

First, the saliva in your mouth (a form of mucus) breaks down your food, fights bacteria in your mouth, and removes plaque from your teeth. Then the mucus lining your throat lubricates the food as it enters your stomach.

There, the protective mucus membrane on the lining of your stomach protects it from acid exposure. Once it’s done in your stomach, the food moves to your intestines where it’s once again coated in mucus to move freely through your entire digestive tract.

It may not be outwardly apparent, but without mucus it’s easy to see that our bodies wouldn’t function as well as they could.

Mucus: Intestinal Inflammation Fighter

There are dendritic cells that line the intestines and allow the immune system to tolerate bacteria and allergens without causing inflammatory response.

The new research shows that a component of mucus called mucin type 2, or MUC2, is picked up by dendritic cells. MUC2 then signals the dendritic cells to tolerate bacteria or antigens. In other words, mucus is not just a protective coating; it also plays an important role in regulating digestive inflammation.

The researchers used mice, pigs, and human intestinal cells to demonstrate that MUC2 is the protein that communicates with dendritic cells, Cerutti said.

Mice that were genetically engineered to have less mucus, less tolerance, and more inflammation were given mucus from healthy mice. “When we used reconstituted healthy mucus,” he said, “we were able to restore tolerance in the mice with inflammation.”

Treatment for Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis?

Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis affect about 1.4 million Americans. Crohn’s disease can cause inflammation anywhere in the digestive tract, while ulcerative colitis occurs only in the colon. Both can cause symptoms like fever, diarrhea, pain, and weight loss.

The researchers believe that if something lessens the quality of intestinal mucus, the immune system may then not be able to endure bacteria without an inflammatory reaction, which could then lead to Irritable Bowel Syndromes or IBS.

So if altered mucus contributes to the cause of IBS, could healthy mucus help treat it? Cerutti and his colleagues think there’s a good chance it can. Cerruti also points to the potential that healthy mucus may have in curbing food allergies.

We all have heard of probiotics and how good they are in combating the “bad bacteria” in our intestinal microbiome so that it may bring back the balance of healthy flora population in our intestines. Many of the well known probiotics for the intestines are of lactobacillus and bifidobacterium strains. As a result, probiotic products have become more popular than ever and they mostly deals with intestinal health.

Oral Treatment with Probiotic S. Salivarius?

However, as we mentioned before, digestion begins in the mouth and probiotics are there in the saliva mucus as well. Specifically, streptococcus salivarius K12 has been isolated and found to be of particular benefit to our oral and overall health.

For example, S. salivarius has been shown in vitro to have inhibitory activity against S. pyogenes, the principal causative agent of streptococcal pharyngitis. A study showed that children who frequently experienced clinically confirmed sore throats were significantly less likely to have BLIS-producing S. salivarius than children who had not experienced sore throats in the past 3 years. Recent, as yet unpublished, studies have also demonstrated that the use of one lozenge a day containing 1 billion viable cfu of strain K12, is sufficient to achieve oral cavity colonization in the majority of subjects [WESCOMBE PA ET AL., UNPUBLISHED DATA]. Further evidence for the protection afforded by strain K12 against streptococcal pharyngitis was gathered during a small preliminary trial in which 24 children with a history of recurrent tonsillitis (0.33 episodes per month) received daily doses of either strain K12 or a placebo.

 

Future research may involve learning about what goes wrong with mucus in IBD and how to reconstitute healthy mucus into a form of treatment. Studying, reconstituting, or artificially creating mucus to be used as medicine is complicated, though. MUC2 is a complex molecule — “a big protein decorated with lots of sugars,” Cerutti said. “So we have a lot to learn.”

Source: Nature’s Sunshine Products Posts and www.everydayhealth.com

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Are Adults over 50 Able to Absorb B-12?

As you age, your body can become less capable of absorbing adequate amounts of some nutrients, including vitamin B-12. Studies indicate that about 40% of the U.S. population suffers from some sort of Vitamin B-12 deficiency, either because they are not eating the types of foods that provide B-12 or because they are unable to absorb enough of the vitamin through their intestines.

As you age, your body can become less capable of absorbing adequate amounts of some nutrients, including vitamin B-12. Studies indicate that about 40% of the U.S. population suffers from some sort of Vitamin B-12 deficiency, either because they are not eating the types of foods that provide B-12 or because they are unable to absorb enough of the vitamin through their intestines.

vitamin B12 held in hand

Like all of the B vitamins, Vitamin B-12 is a water-soluble vitamin, and that means that the body does not manufacture any of it on its own. The only way to get the vitamin is through the foods you eat. Unfortunately, as men and women get older, years of poor diet, consumption of alcohol, smoking, and diseases or illnesses might prevent the body from being able to absorb sufficient B-12.

What Does Vitamin B-12 Do in Your Body?

All of the B vitamins are crucial to the mechanisms of your body on a cellular level. If you are low on one or multiple B vitamins, chances are you will feel run down and tired (at the very least) as the B vitamins directly activate metabolic processes that allow you to gain energy from the foods you eat.

Vitamin B-12, in particular, acts like a key for a number of very important processes to take place that play vital roles in your energy levels, including red blood cell formation, proper nervous system function, DNA synthesis, and more.

There are four types of Vitamin B-12—three of which are critical to health maintenance:

  1. Methylcobalamin is the most active form of Vitamin B-12, the main key for cellular and metabolic processes. Methylcobalamin is the form of B-12 that you find naturally occurring in the foods you eat, and it is the most easily absorbed and utilized by your body.
  2. Hydroxocobalamin is another naturally occurring form of B12 that is found in the foods you eat. This form of B-12 easily converts into methylcobalamin in the body. If you have a serious B-12 deficiency that requires B-12 injections, it will be hydroxocobalamin in the syringe. Fun fact: hydroxocobalamin is also used to counteract cyanide poisoning.
  3. Adenosylcobalamin is the least stable form of B-12 and occurs naturally in foods that have B-12.

Dietary Sources of B-12

Vitamin B-12 is available only through animal sources like beef, fowl, fish, dairy, and eggs. For this reason, vegans and vegetarians are more susceptible to B-12 deficiency and need to supplement with B-12—preferably with products that contain methylcobalamin. For those who have gut health problems and cannot easily digest animal products, B-12 deficiencies are also common.

How Is Vitamin B-12 Absorbed?

B-12 is absorbed through the intestines after your stomach produces a protein called intrinsic factor. If you don’t produce enough intrinsic factor, you may end up with a B-12 deficiency. Gut health, therefore, is crucial to your absorption rates of B-12. Antibiotics; chemical food additives like MSG; mercury poisoning from dental fillings, farmed fish and shellfish, and water; a diet high in refined flours, sugars, and fats; high alcohol consumption; smoking; and certain diseases or illnesses can all harm your gut health and reduce or prevent B-12 absorption.

Are You Low on Vitamin B-12?

With 40% of the population suffering from some degree of B-12 deficiency, chances are you or someone you know needs a B-12 boost. The National Health and Nutritional Health Examination Survey estimates that 3.2% of people over 50 suffer from a seriously low level of B-12, while 20% of people 50 and older are borderline deficient!

Deficiency symptoms can range from fatigue and weakness to serious depression, memory loss, loss of smell or taste, pins and needles in the arms and legs, and more.

Supplementing with Vitamin B-12

As we’ve discussed above, the preferred form of Vitamin B-12 is methylcobalamin. For those over 50—and especially for those 50 or older who are vegetarian or vegan—a liquid methylcobalamin supplement that you drop under the tongue is the most effective. Remember that the B vitamins work most effectively when they work together, so you need to be getting all your B vitamins every day.

Remember also that any good quality supplements only benefit you if you are also eating a well-balanced diet and avoiding sugar and junk foods.

Source: http://blog.naturessunshine.com/en

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Is Your Phone Causing You Adrenal Stress?

I just watched an interesting 60 Minutes Show named Brain Hacking by correspondent Anderson Cooper. The impact of our modern day high tech gadgets on human behavioral patterns and health is discussed. Allow me share some personal takeaways from the wellness perspective.

I recently watched an interesting 60 Minutes segment called Brain Hacking by correspondent Anderson Cooper. The impact of our modern day high tech gadgets on human behavioral patterns and health is discussed. Allow me share some personal takeaways from the wellness perspective.

  • The giant high tech companies that we all know (and perhaps love), which I will not name here (but you know who they are), have their software engineers design their systems to capture users habits and advertise and direct you to form habits that they desire you to have. This claim was made by Tristan Harris, a former Google product manager.
  • Psychologist Rosen and his team at California State University Dominguez Hills have found that when people spend time away from their phones, their brain signals the adrenal gland to produce bursts of the hormone cortisol. Cortisol triggers a fight-or-flee response to danger. While our primitive ancestors would be using it for primarily survival purpose, you and I are being regularly bombarded by cortisol in our body due to anxiety created by the small modern day gadget related events.
  • Anderson Cooper visited the California State University and was hooked up to their system to monitor for his brain waves and cortisol hormone response. The monitor clearly showed a small amount of cortisol injection into the blood system by the adrenal gland every time his phone rang and/or he gave thought to who/what might the incoming message be.
  • Some experts believe generally speaking we go through this level of anxiety every 15 minutes or so while away from the gadgets. Thus explaining most of us check and recheck our mobile devices so very frequently throughout the day to calm our nerves.
  • Cooper and the 60 Minutes team found that teens are among the most susceptible to phone anxiety. “The early science suggests that heavy users of technology, of smartphones, for example, become very anxious when they’re not using the technology,” says 60 Minutes producer Guy Campanile in the video above. “Teenagers already are the most anxious people you’re ever going to meet, so when you toss into that mix a device that, when they’re not using, makes them anxious, it just ratchets everything up three or four levels.”

Is it a wonder why there are more and more of us having anxiety attacks (some small and some not so small)? In my previous blogs dedicated to stress, I discussed about how low-level but frequent occurrence of stress events can affect our cortisol levels and insulin production. The cortisol and adrenaline stress hormones play an important role in preparing us to fight-or-flight from an adverse event at the expense of creating a temporary imbalance in our body’s mineral (salt), insulin (sugar), and hormone (sex) levels. If we gave it a time, our body has ways to bring back to balance these important areas of our health. However, the problem is that before the balance is restored, another stimulating event takes place and triggering another burst of adrenaline/cortisol into our system.

What are you and I to do when these small stress events are a part of our “norm” lifestyle? I suggested several ways in the following blogs that you are welcome to read on further:

  1. Eat Healthy – http://www.healthyindeed.com/top-5-anti-stress-foods/
  2. Supplement to help to cope with stress – http://www.healthyindeed.com/8-amazing-stress-relief-natural-supplements/
  3. Learn and keep healthy anxiety-free habits – http://www.healthyindeed.com/10-habits-of-anxiety-free-people/
  4. Consider that cell phone of yours as a nerve-stimulating device, set a time every day to put aside that mobile device and walkaway for at least 1 to 2 hours or longer.
  5. Create habits and lifestyle to help you diminish any unnecessary stressful events of life no matter how small they are. That is, keep your life simple and easy!

To your health and wellness….

Source: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/hooked-on-phones/

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What Does Water Do After You Drink It?

We’re all told that water is the best thing we can drink – and it definitely is. But what does water do that’s so valuable? Why do we need our eight glasses a day? Water Being PouredWell, the truth is that water goes to work after we drink it, keeping our bodies in the best possible shape and helping us establish great, lasting health.

We talked about the importance of staying hydrated during summer and 5 key ways to avoid dehydration in our last blog. This blog let’s briefly answer the curious question of “What does water do after you drink it?”

We’re all told that water is the best thing we can drink – and it definitely is. But what does water do that’s so valuable? Why do we need our eight glasses a day? Water Being PouredWell, the truth is that water goes to work after we drink it, keeping our bodies in the best possible shape and helping us establish great, lasting health.

With that in mind, let’s look at what water’s benefits are and why you should be drinking more of it.

We’re Mostly Water

Our bodies are comprised of about 80% water – which means that drinking enough water is important. After drinking water, it goes to our brain, muscle mass, and blood cells. Without water, our brain, muscle and blood cells wouldn’t have the resources they need to replenish dead cells and strengthen existing ones.

Gets Rid of Fatigue

Did you know that a simple drop in the percentage of water in your body could be more responsible for your 2pm drowsiness than anything else? It’s true. Losing just that much water stresses your body. Adding water will relieve that stress and significantly boost your energy levels.

Gets to Work

Water helps carry nutrients from certain areas of your body to another, while also getting rid of waste. Water essentially forms the “highway” in your body that helps all organ systems accomplish their purpose.

Weight Loss

If you’re having a difficult time getting rid of that last twenty pounds or so, make sure that you’re hydrated. Without proper hydration it’s really hard to lose the weight.

Relieve Joint Pain

Proper hydration also helps relieve joint pain by making the cartilage in your joints softer and more pliable. It may not seem like much, but it’s the truth. Water in your joints really does “grease things up” to help you eliminate joint pain and feel your absolute best.

Water does a lot of things for our bodies once we drink it. It’s hands-down one of the most important substances in the world.

Source: Nature’s Sunshine Products Education Blogs

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5-Ways to Stay Hydrated This Summer

You’ll probably never hear anyone tell you to drink less water. The amount of water in your body directly and deeply affects how many of your body’s functions work. If you are dehydrated, you just won’t be able to function very well, even if you are sedentary. Staying hydrated while you exercise and as you go from activity to activity during the day is crucial to your wellbeing.

The Dangers of Dehydration

Woman DrinkingWater not only carries nutrients throughout the body via the circulatory system, but it also performs other critical functions like removing bacteria and waste from the digestive system, hydrating the skin so it can sweat (and, therefore, help to reduce core temperature during exertion), reduce joint pain, elevate mood, reduce some types of headaches, increase performance, and decrease hunger.

If you’re feeling thirsty or your mouth is dry, you’re already a little dehydrated. Most people spend the day in a state of mild dehydration, which can lead to headaches, tiredness and fatigue, dizziness, and dry skin. Severe dehydration brings on mental confusion, extreme weakness, and even death.

Working out while being dehydrated forces your heart to pump harder than it needs to. In addition, your limbs will probably feel heavy and weak, and you might suffer from dizzy spells. Time to take a water break!

Stay Hydrated All Day—Not Just Before or After Exercise

The best way to stay hydrated while engaging in any type of exercise program is to drink enough water throughout the day. This will keep you on a more even keel and prevent the bloating and cramping that downing a lot of water right before or right after a vigorous workout can produce. Highly active people should be glugging three liters of water a day, even on days they don’t work out.

Five Strategies for All-Day HydrationFull length red waterbottle

  1. Avoid coffee, tea, and soda. Each of these drinks has a diuretic effect. Not only will you have to take more bathroom breaks when drinking these liquids, but you’ll then have to replace the fluids you’ve lost. If you replace the fluids with more coffee, tea, or soda, you’ll be perpetuating a vicious cycle.
  2. Keep a water bottle with you at all times. You won’t always be near a drinking fountain, so having water handy parches thirst immediately. In addition, constantly sipping on water keeps your bladder saturated, which actually reduces the number of bathroom breaks you’ll need to take. Picture your bladder as a sponge and imagine how water runs off a completely dry sponge before it begins being able to absorb the liquid. A saturated bladder will be able to hold onto more fluid for longer than a dry bladder can.
  3. Flavor your water. Flavoring water usually encourages people to drink more water more often. Avoid sugary flavorings and instead go for naturally flavored H2O by tossing lemon slices, cucumber slices, mint or basil leaves, or chopped fruit into your bottle or water pitcher.
  4. Eat more fiber. Fiber (both soluble and insoluble) is important for digestive health. It moves food through the intestines and helps to scrub out bad bacteria and maintain a healthy gut. Lack of fiber can lead to constipation, and constipation can lead to more pressure on your bladder, which leads to more frequent urination and quicker dehydration.
  5. Replace lost electrolytes during times of intense exercise or prolonged heavy sweating. Electrolytes are responsible for maintaining the right balance of fluids in your body. You lose electrolytes during periods of heavy exertion and sweating, and it doesn’t hurt to give your body a little boost with a quality electrolyte replenishing product after a vigorous workout. Electrolyte-replenishing drinks also contain lots of water, so you’re still working to stay hydrated.

Don’t try to hydrate only when you are exercising. Staying hydrated all day long is the key to optimal bodily function. You’ll feel better, stronger, and more awake if you focus on keeping yourself hydrated 24 hours a day.

Source: Nature’s Sunshine Products Educational Blogs

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Hernia Procedure, A Personal Account – II

As mentioned in my previous blog, prior to arrival to the Shouldice hospital, I had to get my Austin general physician examine and diagnose my hernia condition plus getting the blood and EKG tests done. When the Shouldice Hospital doctor has reviewed and approved of my condition, then I was able to set a surgery date.

I was asked to arrive one day prior to the surgery date to settle into my hospital room. Had a visit with the surgeon that afternoon and he re-examined my condition. However, due to my white coat syndrome, I had an exceptionally high blood pressure in his office. He did not like that and told me that I needed to settle down. He told me that he will have nurses come by my room to re-measure my blood pressure a few more times that evening before he decides in the morning if I will be able to be operated on or not.

That statement obviously did not help my blood pressure, which at first went even higher that afternoon measured by the nurse. I was not about to have the blood pressure issue alone to suspend my operation after I have travelled all the way from Texas.

After the dinner, I decided to join the group of patients (30) who has registered with me that same day, in watching a hockey playoff game (this is Canada after all). Then, I decided to settle nerves down in my room and read the Bible instead. The blood pressure readings started to come down finally. The last reading at around 11pm was good and acceptable to the nurse.

I learned something about myself that night. One, I did have a white coat syndrome (a rather serious one). Two, my nervous system affects my systolic blood pressure and heart rate by as much 30 points. I need to address my adrenal and nervous system weakness in the long run. Third, God’s Word does work in calming one’s nerves when we delight and meditate on His Word.

At the final nurse visit of the night, she gave each of us a pill of sedation in preparation for early morning surgery. The nurse told me my surgery time was 8:30am. I will be woken up at 5:30am, no food and water for 12 hours and change to the surgery gown. Be in our room ready to be called to go to the surgery quarters.

Whatever the reason, I slept real well and had to be awaken by the nurse at 5:30am next morning and was given another sedative pill. At 7:45am or so, a small group of us (6) followed the nurse to the surgery quarters. I don’t know why, but I had a mental image of us being led to the slaughter house. I chuckled at that weir thought and dismissed it immediately. We all waited for another 20 minutes each in our bed then we were led to the surgery room. Once on the operation table, I only remember 3 doctors starting to look and talk about my hernia. But I could not hear what they were saying. Then everything went blank. I only remember the voice that called my name and said it was all done. I checked the clock and it said 10am. Wow, an hour or so approximate time of surgery went by in a blink of an eye (literally). I was helped out of the room and walked up to my room with assistance.

I was told that the surgeons (at least 3 of them) operated on all 30 of us that day and I was one in the first batch of 6. The Shouldice Hospital registers about 20 to 40 each day, 5 days in a week. That’s an average of 150 a week. They operate on more than 7,000 patients a year. By far the busiest and most sought after hernia surgery hospital in Canada if not in the world.

I was one of the 4 people here who came from the States for this surgery. Others came from Arizona, Colorado, and Florida. There was also a gentleman from Japan who did not speak a word of English. He was mostly by himself. He came to Shouldice Hospital just for this specialized surgery.

Besides the very good hospital care, there is something else that made it a highlight of my Shouldice Hospital stay. That is, we had plenty of opportunities to get to know other fellow patients that went through the similar surgeries. We shared meals and snacks together at the preset times daily. Not to mention about our individual hernia stories and recoveries. Over the 3 days of in-patient recovery period, we got to know each well and build some good relationships. The comradery was developed and somehow the post-surgery pain and physical un-easiness that followed were tolerable and almost unnoticeable. I would suspect that would not have been the case if I went to a regular hospital with a whole variety of different patient situations. I would have felt out of place. While at Shouldice, I never did have that feeling. I felt almost like home!

The amazing thing was there were no other post-medicine given me other than the 100mg Tylenol. I took only half of the portion they gave me for the first 2 days at the hospital. I took none of the two they gave on my last day of stay at the hospital.

On May 1st, 2017, I left the hospital without assistance and went to my mom’s place for the rest of the recovery process. No shower, bath or water exposure was allowed during the first week in that area. The bruise around the cut was reduced over time and by second week of the surgery, all bruises disappeared completely. My movements, specially sitting up and down were still bothersome. But within the third week, those pains were pretty much subsided to the point of just a little discomfort.

On a daily basis, I took four times a day of the following supplements – Curamin Xtra Strength (4 tablets), Vitamin C (3, 1000mg each), and High Potency Protease (4 capsules) since leaving hospital. Now that my pain is pretty much all but done with, I have cut back my supplementation down to only 1 time a day and sometimes none.

Overall, my experience has been excellent. I am very satisfied with the care I received. The post-surgery recovery at the hospital and at my mom’s place was smooth and trouble free as well.

I thank all the folks who prayed for me for they were answered. I also want to specially make note of my family members’ assistance (especially my mom for putting up with me for a few weeks) in setting me up here in Toronto. I would not have had such a smooth time without them and their love for me!

I am anxious to get home to my wife, family, and my clients. I want to get back to fitness again. God bless you all and thanks for reading my blog. Feel free to give me your comments or any question you may have.

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Hernia Procedure, A Personal Account – I

In this blog I will go over briefly the key factors that helped me to choose the hernia repair method I ended up doing and the facility that performed this procedure on me.

While I usually try to keep my blogs mostly focused on interesting health and wellness topics of general interest, I am going to divert away from that in the next couple of blogs as I cover a personal experience I had gone through recently.

What is it, you may be asking? I have been living with a groin hernia (inguinal) for several months now. Not quite sure of the exact triggering mechanism but it may be any one or combination of the following: lifting heavy weight (luggage or water softener salt bags likely), exercise (a muscle pull in the wrong place or over-exertion), long-term violent and heavy sneezes and coughs (due to my allergies that still plague me season to season).

Whatever the reason, I ended up with a hernia on the right side groin area. After a local surgeon’s examination and confirmation, he recommended the mesh-based hernia repair procedure which he promised it can be done as an outpatient procedure. If you know me, you would have guessed that I wasn’t going to easily convinced to however a small procedure. First, I have never have been “under the knife” of any kind in my life and secondly, I need to find out was about what other possible options may exists on the market today.

In this blog I will go over briefly the key factors that helped me to choose the method I ended up doing and the facility that performed this procedure on me.

The first thing I learned was that the hernia procedures are common. In fact, over a million hernia repair surgeries are performed every year in the U.S. alone. 80% of them belong to the inguinal category (the one I was dealing with).

During my initial research, I read many general websites (such as FDA pages, Webmd, Medtronic, youtube videos, and others) as I searched for hernia repair options. Most of them were in favor of the popular mesh method as recommended by my Austin doctor. Mesh-based hernia procedure has gained popularity since 1980’s and by 2000 there was less than 10% of non-mesh hernia repairs. Some of the key claims about the mesh-based repairs were decreased operative time, reduced recovery time and lower rate of recurrence. Here is a quote I found about mesh hernia repairs – “Information found in medical literature has consistently demonstrated a reduced hernia recurrence rate when surgical mesh is used to repair the hernia compared to hernia repair without surgical mesh. For example, inguinal hernia recurrence is higher with open repair using sutures (primary closure) than with mesh repair.”

Two additional sources, however, made me re-think about mesh repair’s safety and its long-term effects. One was a client of mine who had a mesh done for the abdominal area. She candidly shared with me about her personal account of mesh challenges, of movement restrictions years later and continued discomfort/pain related to the mesh. She is considering to have a re-do in the same area but without mesh. I listened attentively and asked her many additional questions. This was great information and invaluable to my decision making process.

Another factor made me question about mesh hernia procedure was TV ads I see from time to time about lawyers soliciting previous mesh patients to contact them for information on the latest FDA position about the mesh operation. I further verified some of these cases and found some more realistic statistics. One of the key data I learned was that the recurrence rate for the mesh-base hernia repairs was actually about 5%. That means if I went for the mesh, I would have the 1 in 20 chance of re-doing that same repair again. And that did not include the possibility of other complications that my client and many thousands of others have run into with the mesh repair. Despite of its popularity and claim, I found it still too risky for me!

I also learned that non-mesh repairs were successfully preformed for more than 100 years. The trouble was not all surgeons learned how to do them correctly and as a result, the average recurrences rates were high. This was a great opportunity for mesh manufacturers to step in and teach everyone how to repair a hernia with a low recurrence rate using their product and making huge profits.

Once I decided not to go with the mesh, I turned my attention to looking for institutions that would give the safest and most reliable operation and the best long term prospect.  Again, researching on the net, I found hundreds of options all over the States. The price ranged anywhere between $2,500 to around $25,000 for uninsured case. While money was important, the quality of work plus the post-op care and recovery was critical and priority one for me.

I want to credit Kevin C. Petersen, M.D. of No Insurance Surgery, Inc. for an article on non-mesh hernia repair. He not only highlighted the goodness of the old hernia procedure when done right but also singling out one organization above all others to be the leader in doing the hernia tissue repair worldwide.

Shouldice Hospital

That’s the name of the hospital that dedicates itself to hernia repair (all non-mesh) for the last 90 years and considered by many including Dr. Petersen, to have world’s most experienced surgeons with advanced non-mesh hernia tissue repair techniques. Their hernia repair recurrence rate is less than 1% (found out later it’s actually more like 0.5%). This is almost 10 times better than the mesh based technique from my research. I have improved my chances from 1 in 20 to 1 in 200. That’s remarkable and definitely noteworthy.

Then I read about their patient care process which impressed me even more. First of all, their acceptance criteria is strict but not restrictive. For example, a patient needs to submit a local doctor verification report about your hernia along with blood test and EKG reports. They pay particular attention to your personal blood pressure, blood sugar, and weight. You could be turned down based on any of the above items. Then, there is a 3-day post-op recovery period needed as you stay in their facility under close observation. This is to insure patient’s recovery process.

And then here is my last straw that made me to go for it – The Shouldice Hospital is located just 15 minutes drive from my mom’s place (where I can stay thereafter). My aunt and sister all live north of Toronto, Canada where the Shouldice Hospital is located.

I am within one-week now after my hernia surgery and still at my mom’s place writing this blog as I spend some time with her and recover myself. The blog publishing date would likely be a week or two delay from today. On my next blog I will describe my personal experience at the Shouldice Hospital when I have finally gone under their knife on April 28th, 2017.

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