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Health Concerns

Why I Never Get Flu Shots or Snorts

I don't diagnose or prescribe, and what you do with your body remains entirely up to you and your doctor (if you still turn the responsibility for your health over to some man or woman in a white smock), but I'll gladly tell you what I do regarding flu shots and flu snorts...

I avoid them like the plague!

In fact, at age 58, I've never had a flu shot, and it would take a Marine nurse and at least four burly wrestlers the size of Jesse Ventura to hold me down for such an injection. Read more about Why I Never Get Flu Shots or Snorts

 

Synthetic vs. Natural Vitamins

Here are some facts that you won’t find advertised on most of the vitamin supplements at your local vitamin store:

  • The majority of commercial vitamin supplements are made up of synthetic vitamins
  • Synthetic vitamins do not perform the same functions in your body as vitamins found naturally in whole food
  • Read more about Synthetic vs. Natural Vitamins
 

Is There Cancer in Your Toothpaste, Shampoo, or Lip Balm?

Have you ever taken a careful look at the list of ingredients on your shampoo, lotion, toothpaste, lip balm, or make-up? I don't know about you, but I'm a bit nervous about putting anything on my skin or near my mouth that has a long list of ingredients that I don't recognize. Do you know that whatever you put on your skin or near your mouth has a real chance of getting absorbed into your blood stream? Considering that some of the chemicals used in commercial personal care products are highly toxic and can cause cancer, this is an extremely important issue to consider. Read more about Is There Cancer in Your Toothpaste, Shampoo, or Lip Balm?

 

Beware Of Arsenic Around Your Home and Playgrounds

As my wife and I sanded the trim around our windows before painting this past summer, I was reminded of the potential danger of arsenic exposure around homes and playgrounds. For the past seven decades, a form of arsenic has been used as a pesticide in pressure treated wood used for playground sets, picnic tables, and wooden decks and porches. The concern is that arsenic – a known carcinogen – can rub off of treated wood and be ingested with hand to mouth contact. Considering that children touch their mouths sixteen times per hour when they are out playing, this is an important issue for all families to consider. Read more about Beware Of Arsenic Around Your Home and Playgrounds

 

Getting To The Root of Eczema

We recently had a guest visit our clinic with chronic eczema. Eczema, also known as dermatitis, is a condition of itchy and dry skin that can progress to a rash, sometimes cracking and bleeding. This particular guest had a severe rash with painful cracks on the palms of her hand, as well as on the soft, inside part of her elbows. Read more about Getting To The Root of Eczema

 

Choosing Healthy Fish For Nourishment

Throughout the history of the world, many cultures have used fish and fish broths to nourish their people. In the Chinese and Korean cultures, fish and fish broths have traditionally been used to properly nourish pregnant women and to promote a healthy supply of breast milk.

During his travels, renowned nutritionist and dentist, Dr. Weston A. Price found that populations that regularly consumed fish had thicker bones and better skeletal structure than those that consumed mainly red meat or mainly vegetables. Read more about Choosing Healthy Fish For Nourishment

 

A Natural Approach to Overcoming Excessive Sweating (Hyperhidrosis)

Back in high school, I remember a student who did her science fair project on her sweaty hands. My memory is not good enough to remember the specifics of what she talked about that day, but I do remember her walking around the classroom, giving all of us a chance to see and feel the sweat that literally dripped off her hands. She said that it was a genetic problem, and that her hands sweated almost all of the time.

Today, I know much more about sweaty palms and excessive sweating, also known as hyperhidrosis, as I have had people consult with me to address this health challenge. You might be thinking that everyone gets sweaty palms once in a while, so what’s the big deal? People who suffer with hyperhidrosis can spend hours each day changing clothes, washing up, wiping their hands, and avoiding situations where they might have to shake a person’s hand. Worried about what others might think, it can cause them to lose friends or even pick a line of work that doesn’t require meeting people and shaking hands. The anxiety can be so bad that it can lead to depression and anxiety disorders, dramatically decreasing quality of life.

You can sweat from any of the two to four million sweat glands that are located in your skin. The most highly concentrated areas of sweat glands are found in the palms of your hands, the soles of your feet, your armpits, your groin, and your face.

Sweating is a physiological mechanism that helps you cool off. When your body temperature rises, sweat comes out of your pores, which allows heat to escape from your body, evaporating into the air. Without the ability to sweat, you would suffer from serious health challenges from not being able to regulate your body temperature.

Excessive sweating in the absence of a high body temperature can certainly be caused by stress or emotional anxiety. It can also be caused by imbalances in your hormonal and nervous systems. But in general, the conventional medical view on hyperhidrosis is that there is no known cause or cure.

Some doctors will recommend using an anti-perspirant like drysol, which is an alcohol solution containing aluminum. Given the strong link between aluminum exposure and Alzheimer’s disease, I cannot recommend this approach.

Some doctors actually perform surgery to cut the nerves that supply your sweat glands. The reasoning is that if your sweat glands do not receive a signal to sweat from your brain, then your problem is solved. The problem with this approach is that the nerves that control your sweat glands also control a variety of other mechanisms in your body, the most important of which is your ability to control the size of your blood vessels. Your hands and armpits might stop sweating after this procedure, but the negative side effects are too numerous and serious to quantify.

I have found that there is a completely natural approach to dramatically improving hyperhidrosis, and sometimes, to completely cure it. Aside from emotional anxiety and stress, the biggest cause of hyperhidrosis is over activity of your nervous system. Specifically, the issue is over activity of a specific component of your nervous system, called your sympathetic nervous system.

Your sympathetic nervous system is in place to give you the capacity to deal with high-stress situations. In medical school, students are taught that the sympathetic nervous system controls “fight and flight”. When it is highly active, it sends most of your blood to your heart, lungs, and large muscles so that you can have the strength and endurance to fight or run away. It increases the size of your pupils so that you can take more light in through your eyes, an essential advantage if you are trying to run away from a grizzly bear. It also senses the increase in body temperature that comes with fight and flight situations, and sends a signal to your sweat glands to produce sweat to cool you down.

With hyperhidrosis, your sympathetic nervous system can be over active even when you are physically at rest. A significant and overlooked cause for this over activity is eating foods that your body cannot tolerate. For example, if your body cannot tolerate dairy products, whenever you eat some, your immune system must work hard to protect your tissues from the harmful effects of whichever components of dairy don’t agree with your body. If your immune system is constantly at work to deal with such food intolerances, your sympathetic nervous system detects this as stress, and activates the mechanisms that are in place to help you during stressful situations, including the production of sweat.

One young lady who consulted with me about her hyperhidrosis was delighted with the immediate improvement she experienced once she completely cut out all forms of dairy and a few other foods from her diet. Her success in conquering severe, chronic hyperhidrosis with dietary modification is not uncommon. Each person has unique dietary needs and food intolerances, so you will need to do some work to design a diet that works best for you. Read more about A Natural Approach to Overcoming Excessive Sweating (Hyperhidrosis)

 

Things You Should Know About Indigestion & Gas

A favorite staple in the Korean diet is a soup called den jang gook. For those of you who aren’t familiar with den jang gook, it is Korea’s version of miso soup, made out of fermented soy beans. During their first year or two of marriage, Korean women like to joke about their husbands' gas from indigestion smelling like den jang gook. In other words, they are crazy in love. Read more about Things You Should Know About Indigestion & Gas

 

Understanding Fats and Oils

Before the 1920s, heart disease was extremely rare in North America and other developed countries. When a young internist at Harvard University named Paul Dudley showed a German heart monitor to his fellow doctors, he was told that he best put his energy into a more profitable area of health care. This heart monitor, also known as an electrocardiogram, was able to detect blockages in the arteries that supply the heart. The problem was that heart disease was so rare that he struggled to find people who would benefit from his machine. Read more about Understanding Fats and Oils

 

The Health Benefits of Virgin Coconut Oil

If you haven’t already read other articles that I’ve written on healthy vs. unhealthy fats and oils, you may not know that the healthiest oil that you can use on a daily basis is coconut oil.

Although coconut oil has always been a healthy food choice, its reputation suffered a great deal during the 80s and 90s when it was lumped together with other saturated fats as a cause of cardiovascular disease.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Coconut Oil May Speed Up Metabolism and Increase Energy
It’s true that 92 percent of the fatty acids in coconut oil are saturated. What many people don’t know is that over two-thirds of these saturated fatty acids are medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA). MCFAs are different from other varieties of saturated fatty acids in that as soon as they enter your bloodstream, they are taken to your liver where they are converted to energy. Whereas other dietary fats and even excess carbohydrates can be stored as fat in your cells, the MCFAs found in coconut oil provide an almost immediate source of energy and may actually speed up your metabolism.

Because of its potential ability to speed up metabolism, coconut oil is a good food choice for people with sluggish thyroid glands, as well as for people who find it difficult to shed unwanted weight.

The Safest Oil for Cooking
The high percentage of saturated fatty acids found in coconut oil makes it extremely stable when exposed to heat. Unlike almost all other vegetable oils, coconut oil contains virtually no trans fats, and is highly resistant to free radical formation when used for cooking at high temperatures. No other oil comes close to being as safe and healthy for cooking as coconut oil.

Coconut Oil May Help Those with Digestive Problems
Many people who have suffered with inflammatory conditions of the intestines like Crohn’s disease have successfully used coconut oil for its anti-inflammatory and soothing properties. Coconut oil's ability to help improve the balance of microorganisms in the intestines is likely another reason why people who suffer with digestive disorders benefit from using it on a regular basis. 

A Good All-Natural Moisturizer for Your Skin
In addition to its potential healing properties for your internal health, coconut oil makes for an exceptional skin moisturizer. First of all, it doesn’t contain any of the carcinogenic chemicals that are found in many commercial moisturizers. Secondly, coconut oil is easily absorbed into your skin, where it can help to prevent free radical damage, wrinkling, and sagging.  It may even be able to restore strength to the underlying connective tissue.

To summarize, here is some of what coconut oil may do for you:

  • Improve your energy
  • Reduce your risk of heart disease
  • Reduce your risk of cancer
  • Improve your digestion and ability to absorb nutrients
  • Promote weight loss and maintenance of your ideal weight
  • Help prevent bacterial, yeast, fungal, and viral infections
  • Support and enhance your immune system
  • Help regulate your blood sugar and prevent or control diabetes
  • Help prevent osteoporosis
  • Help prevent premature aging and wrinkling of the skin
  • Help keep your skin smooth and soft
  • Help protect against skin cancer and blemishes

Coconut oil does NOT do any of the following:

  • Does NOT contribute to heart disease
  • Does NOT contribute to weight problems
  • Does NOT increase blood cholesterol
  • Does NOT promote platelet stickiness or blood clot formation

In choosing a coconut oil for your daily needs, I recommend that you look for a source that fulfills the following guidelines for healthy virgin coconut oil:

  1. Should smell and taste like fresh coconuts
  2. Certified organic, USDA standards
  3. No hydrogenated oils / trans fats
  4. No chemicals or preservatives added
  5. Only fresh coconuts are used - no dried copra, which is used to make many other commercial coconut oils
  6. No refining, bleaching, or deodorizing
  7. No genetically modified coconuts (Non-GMO)
  8. Coconuts are from traditional palm trees only - no hybrid tress are used

For more scientific information about the properties of coconut oil, I recommend that you read Eat Fat, Lose Fat: Lose Weight And Feel Great With The Delicious, Science-based Coconut Diet, by Sally Fallon and Dr. Mary Enig. Read more about The Health Benefits of Virgin Coconut Oil

 

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