Archive for February, 2020

Stroke—Even the middle-aged are vulnerable—Know the signs and what to do!

It is a myth that strokes are only a risk for the elderly. Case in point, actor Luke Perry (star of Beverly Hills, 90210‘ and ‘Riverdale’ died from one at age 52! Stroke can happen at any age and apparently fame and fortune don’t protect you.

A stroke is when the brain is deprived of oxygen when either a clot travels to the brain and stops the blood flow (87% of the cases) or when a weakened blood vessel ruptures and blood floods the area. In either case, it is estimated that 1.9 million brain cells are at risk every minute the brain goes without oxygen. The area of the brain affected will determine what functions might be lost. For example, a block on the right side of the brain might make the left side of the body unresponsive or cause impulsive behavior and poor judgement. Another brain area would affect speech, vision or cause memory trouble.

Prevention is optimal and we will get to that. However, since fast action in case of a stroke can save the life of someone near you or at least lessen disability, I’d like to start with an alert to the warning signs. Getting to the emergency room FAST can make all the difference in a full recovery versus a life dealing with paralysis and disability. If you aren’t sure, err on the side of calling 911—NOT waiting and watching. And, it is probably better not to drive the person to the ER. The 911 emergency personnel will get there fast and can start treatment on the way!

SYMPTOMS. These are important clues that a stroke has occurred (from Stroke.org):

  • Face Drooping. Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile. Is the person’s smile uneven or lopsided?
  • Arm Weakness. Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
  • Speech. Is speech slurred? Is the person unable to speak or hard to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence.
  • Time to Call 9-1-1. If the person shows any of these symptoms and even if the symptoms go away, call 9-1-1 and get them to the hospital immediately.

You will notice that the first letters of the bullets above form the word: ”FAST”. Not only is that a simple tool to help remember what to check, it is also a reminder to act quickly. (Seconds count!) Everyone in your home and office should be familiar with these signs.

Sophisticated and effective treatments include IV’s of medications to dissolve clots and a procedure called a thrombectomy whereby the medical team feeds a device from the groin through an artery and removes the offending clot.

PREVENTION

Keeping the circulatory system in general healthy helps prevent both kinds of stroke. For example, strong vessels won’t spring a leak and avoiding high blood pressure also improves the odds of having such an event. Buildups of plaque will avoid clots. Another cause of clots appears to be atrial fibrillation, a common type of irregular heartbeat.

Risk factors (the very type of things we talk about so frequently on the Healthy by Nature Show:

  • High blood pressure (135/85 or higher)
  • Excess weight around the waist (measuring more than 40” in men and 35” in women)
  • Triglyceride level at 150 mg/dl or greater
  • LDL cholesterol above 100
  • HDL cholesterol below 40 mg/dl for men and below 50 mg/dl for women
  • High blood sugar
  • Stress that is poorly managed

After a stroke: Stroke treatment is one area where modern conventional medicine shines. They really can work near miracles, especially if you get to them promptly. Then there is physical and occupational therapy to return diminished functions. I would certainly add the Brain Light Pro to the list of tools. It helps repair the circulation to the affected part of the brain.

Medications that interfere with nutrients and good bacteria

When Dr. Ross Pelton was on the show last Saturday, he offered our listeners a copy of his FREE Quick Reference Guide to Drug-Induced Nutrient Depletions. Click the title to download it.

One of the topics he covers is the number drugs that damage our friendly gut bacteria. My most recent book, The Probiotic Cure: Harnessing the Power of Good Bacteria for Better Health discusses the myriad ways that our gut buddies determine our health, immune function, emotional state, weight and much more. Here is Dr. Pelton’s list of the classes drugs that disrupt our collection of helpful bacteria (our microbiomes):

  • Antibiotics (well, duh!)
  • PPIs, H2 blockers & Antacids (heartburn drugs)
  • NSAIDs (pain killers)
  • Statins (cholesterol)
  • Metformin (blood sugr)
  • Opioids (pain killers)
  • Corticosteroids (anti-inflammatory)
  • Atypical Antipsychotics (mental illness)
  • Chemotherapy Drugs (cancer)
  • Estrogen meds (OCs & HRT)

Fortunately, there are gut friendly natural alternatives to most of those meds as you learn about from HBN’s guests and in the library. If you must take the drugs, at the least, make sure you supplement with Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotics. To protect the bacteria from the meds, allow a couple of hours between them.

Coronavirus—facts, fiction and what to do

When should you worry about coronavirus? Worry if you are trapped indoors in Wuhan, China with people who already have the virus; you have a seriously compromised immune system; and do not have access to sunshine, supplements, or US medical care.

Why “Hair on fire”? That is a colorful term to describe unjustified panic. I do not minimize the loss of hundreds of lives in China or the 3 deaths so far in the rest of the world. My aim is to simply put the issue into a realistic perspective; calm the panic that the media promotes and remind readers of what they can do to protect themselves or failing that, recover. I’ll start there, then detail the facts relating to the media coverage.

What I should do? Don’t plan your vacation in Wuhan any time soon. Get sufficient vitamin D or at least sunshine year-round and extra in the winter because it is so crucial for immune function. (Note that an aggressive amount of vitamin D can help greatly at the first sign of symptoms. Check out those instructions and other remedies on this Library page.) To maintain immune strength, take zinc all year. Eat organic foods for many reasons and to avoid Roundup (which depletes zinc and is hard on our beneficial bacteria). If you begin to feel ill, quickly take natural antivirals like quercetin, resveratrol, elderberry, olive leaf. Eat chicken soup. (Seriously, there is science on this.)

Bill Sardi found a 2003 study showing that glycyrrhizin from licorice root was effective against the similar SARS virus in 2003. Most licorice supplements for regular use remove that component because of side effects which include elevating blood pressure. Here is a product that still contains glycyrrhizin to use short term if you contract a coronavirus-like virus.

Religious healers in India recommend you spread cow dung on your body. I’m not buying that, but it reminded me that our gut bacteria represent 70%+ of our immune competence and so we should protect them; feed them vegetables and fiber; and supplement with fermented foods and Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotics.

Media, why aren’t you telling us about these important preventive and natural remedy factors???

Why spread panic? We are warned of a “grave threat for the rest of the world” that “could infect up to 60% of the global population.” One big reason to say the sky is falling is that they are covering their behinds…no authority wants to be blamed for not having warned the public. And there is no real price for them to pay if they hit the panic button in error. The general attitude will be “better safe than sorry”—never mind the damage done to world economies or having caused the creation of virtual concentration camps or having added yet one more unhealthful stress to people who already have plenty. (In 2014 the Ebola scare caused the very expensive monitoring of 30,000 people and found no positives.) Agencies and governments love an excuse to exert more control. Pharmaceutical giants stand to gain from creating a market for vaccines. Sometimes it is just politics. The media, of course, delight in a good panic (or hint of scandal) because they want our attention for their 24-hour news cycles—more viewers means more ad dollars.

The facts:

  • The coronavirus appears to be less dangerous than the annual flu or SARS which caused panic in 2003. And, like the flu, the danger is in complications experienced by a tiny percentage. Those are mostly people who are chronically ill, take immune-suppressing drugs (even aspirin deplete vitamin C which helps immune function) and those who have weak or underdeveloped immune systems—mainly because they are undernourished in immune support. Even dehydration increases the risk of complications. Being toxic certainly makes us more vulnerable. Bill Sardi mentioned that “68% of early coronavirus cases were men which is precisely the exact same percentage of Chinese males that smoke tobacco.”
  • So far, in the United States, there have been zero deaths among the 13 cases—that is 1 case in every 25 million people. (The odds of winning the Texas lottery is about the same! So far, you are about twice as likely to be struck by lightning as to even come down with the coronavirus.) Here is an article I wrote discussing in part the 2009 H1N1 flu pandemic scare.
  • The death rate from coronavirus is said to be 2%. That is based on Chinese numbers and the real rate is likely very much lower because they have not been counting the mild cases who were not tested or those who never went in at all. It is hard to rely on their numbers.
  • Also, the conditions in Wuhan are less favorable for recovery than here. For example, forcing Wuhan citizens to stay indoors makes matters worse because they cannot get sufficient vitamin D. That can lead to pneumonia which is a bigger problem.

Will a vaccine save us? Don’t hold your breath. (1) it won’t be available for a year. (2) by the time it is here, the threat will likely be something else (this year, as is often the case, the vaccine isn’t a match with what is going around). (3) the toxins in the vaccine create are statistically more deadly than the typically mild symptoms of the disease. (4) the immune-compromised individuals who are likely to develop complications from the virus are also less able to do what the vaccines require—make antibodies against the disease. Interestingly, in one study, 60% of doctors don’t take the annual flu shot.

Bill Sardi Interview Review

Bill Sardi answered questions on last Saturday’s program. Nothing beats hearing him, but below is a quick review of topics covered:

  • Hangover. The Super Bowl is commonly called “National Hangover Day.” I always advise alternating alcoholic beverages with water and taking extra vitamin C. Mr. Sardi told us about a natural substance, myricetin, which you can buy in a health food store. It stops the hangover problems by blocking the GABA (relaxation) receptor in the brain. After taking myricetin for a while you might not even want to drink. I asked about sugar, but that is another pleasure receptor. He brought up the problem of yeast which causes sugar cravings.
  • Vertigo. The middle ear canal fluid determines your balance. When calcium particles build up and collect in the wrong place, it can cause loss of balance. This seems to happen more in winter when we aren’t getting enough vitamin D from sunshine and are less active. The “Epley Maneuver” is a series of positions that help the crystal move to where they aren’t a problem. Search the web or YouTube for DIY instructions or ask your doctor if he or she can do it for you. If you feel like the room is spinning, that might be a problem in the inner ear such as an infection.
  • The coronavirus. The media is in panic mode about this disease. Here is math to help put the issue into context—the 400 deaths in China, while sad, represent only 1 death in every 3.5 million Chinese citizens. Even the epicenter, Wuhan, that translates to 1 death per 27,700 people. The current disease is not as deadly as previous coronavirus outbreaks like SARS and MERS. The odds are greater for dying of the garden variety annual flu. And, as is the case with flu, being on immune-suppressing drugs increases the odds of trouble.

Mr. Sardi pointed out that coronaviruses are common all year long but can cause more disease in the winter when folks are low in vitamin D and/or malnourished as might be the case in China. Bill Sardi wrote an article covers many things you can do to improve your resistance. (Also check out my library page.) Bill said we must have enough vitamin D to activate the immune cells called neutrophils that destroy virus-infected cells. Also helpful for that are garlic and resveratrol.  Zinc is needed to allow the thymus gland to make the T-cells which create memory immunity to the virus (much better than vaccination) should it return any time during your life.

He says even vaccines don’t work right without sufficient zinc. Most people are low in zinc. That is due in part to the use of Roundup in agriculture. It contains arsenic which depletes zinc from crops. We need 30 mg a day to stay even and Molecular Multi has that in the right form. In conventional treatment, steroids deplete vitamin C, so take more in that case. Summing up, you and your kids need vitamin D, vitamin C, zinc and selenium for proper immune function.

  • Baking soda remedy. The protocol of taking baking soda on an empty stomach is for autoimmune conditions.
  • Osteoporosis. Deficiency of estrogen is the problem with bone weaking. Ask your doctor to test you and prescribe bio-identical hormones if needed. Resveratrol (only 200-300 mg) safely mimics estrogen and helps hold calcium in the bone and rebuilds. Without that (and vitamin K2 and D), supplemental calcium may go into arteries instead. Although the attention is always on calcium, these minerals are also important for bone: magnesium, zinc, manganese and boron to name a few.
  • De-aging. One proven cause of aging is the accumulation of unhelpful minerals. Removing them is one of the ways that resveratrol (BTW, I misstated the name of the Harvard expert…it is Dr. David Sinclair.) Sardi told an interesting story about someone he knows who improved remarkably after a stroke and said his memory was better than before the event.
  • Budget supplement plan: A listener asked how to maximize the effect of a vitamin program and cut costs/ Molecular Multi—buy 3 bottles and get 2 free. That gets the price down to about $1.00 a day. If need be, just take ½ the recommended dose. Vitamin D is not expensive. Magnesium citrate is not expensive. This vitamin C product protects you around the clock which makes it a bargain. Longevinex is the best form of resveratrol. Take it every other day and still get protection.

We did not get to heart disease, but here is his new article on the topic.

The picture above was borrowed from thehill.com.


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