Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Got Fiber- Eat a Tree?

My dogs occasionally eat grass.  They won't tell me why but perhaps they need the fiber.  The act of eating indigestible things is known as pica.  Some children have eaten calk, dirt, sand, or paper.  If you eat anything processed for more than one month then you might qualify for the diagnosis of xylophagia (the consumption of wood) in the form of cellulose.  Just look on the nutritional facts for some cheap products like hotdogs.  How in the world does a hotdog have fiber?  The same may be true for things like shredded cheese, ice cream and salad dressings. 

While I would prefer to avoid eating trees, it may surprise you that the consumption of cellulose is not a bad thing.  Methylcellulose is a soluble fiber product available as EZ Fiber (from bamboo cellulose).  There are other well know commercial fiber products that use methylcellulose; however, they contain additives and artificial sweeteners.  They may also contain maltodextrin which can be made from wheat and contain gluten.

Because of its thickening properties, cellulose is used in some sustained release prescription products.  While the food additive cellulose has no nutritional value the fiber content is needed in our Standard American Diet.   

When you eat unprocessed foods there are parts that are not digested.  The cellulose in corn is evidently not digested.  Fiber is a natural part of foods known to be good for you and may be either soluble fiber, insoluble fiber or a combination.  Soluble fiber such as the (EZ Fiber) turns to a gel, slows digestion and absorbs bile and toxins in the gut.  Insoluble fiber found in carrots, celery, green beans, and green leafy vegetables adds bulk to the stool and may help food pass more quickly.

Adequate fiber helps control blood sugar, and can decrease your risk of heart disease and stroke.  It is also useful in diverticulitis, irritable bowel syndrome, and hemorrhoids. The fiber goal is 20 to 30 grams of fiber per day.  Healthy choices include chia seeds, psyllium and ground flax seeds.  Fiber PF is a product with a combination of psyllium and flax seeds.  It also contains nutrients to aid in healing the intestinal tract.  Fiber rich vegetables include root vegetables, beans, peas, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, and cauliflower.  Fibrous fruits are also helpful.
Stay Well!

Friday, May 30, 2014

Butt Naked and Mini Trams

For years, I have been preaching about the importance of a healthy lymphatic system. So many in our health care system talk about healthy heart, lungs, etc., but never talk about the lymphatic system. Basically, the lymphatic system is responsible for carrying out the trash your body produces.

I have encouraged people to dry brush (youtube Video)their body every morning before they shower to get their lymph system moving.  Dry brushing has many benefits. One benefit I love is that it helps with cellulite.

 One day, I went to visit a delightful 90 year old lady who had just come home from the hospital. She had been placed on oxygen at home. As I was checking her blood pressure, heart rate, lungs and oxygen sat level, she shared with me that she was 90 years old and this was the first time she had ever been in the hospital her entire life. (She delivered her babies at home, what a woman!) I felt compelled to ask her for the secret to remaining so healthy. She told me that every morning since she was in her 40’s, she has gotten out of bed and jumped butt naked on her mini trampoline for 10 minutes.  She was keeping her lymphatic system healthy using the mini tram.

 I left her home thinking that she would not need the home oxygen for long. There are some people in life that you are grateful for the opportunity to get to meet. She was one of them. A wonderful lady with a great attitude and a zest for life. Oh, and yes, I did go out and purchase a mini tram for myself.

We can all do small things that can make a difference in our health.  Come by and talk with us about your challenges.  We would love the opportunity to assist you in your health goals.

Wellness for Life!
M.C. Pons RN
Guest Blogger

Monday, May 5, 2014

A Nursing Story-Making a Difference

It was Friday May 20th 1988. My husband picked me up from work at lunch and we headed to the hospital to induce labor for our very first child. I was two weeks over due and the doctor felt like it was time to do something.  The joke at work was I was to have the baby on Friday and be back to work on Monday. Needless to say we did not pull that off.

The oxytocin drip was started and the dosage kept being increased in with no results. The monitor was showing contractions but I told my husband, I felt like a worm was crawling on my belly.  After a while the doctor came in and the decision was made to procede with a C-section.  That evening, my beautiful baby girl was born. I remember hearing her cry until they placed her in my husbands arms.  He then was allowed to carry her to the nursery while they closed my incision.

  The events that followed are a bit hazy so this is combined with what my family told me happened after my daughter’s birth. My mom stayed with me the day after while my husband ran some errands.  She noticed I was not perking up like she thought I should be.  She even mentioned it to one of the nurses. The nurse explained to her that I had just had major surgery, and that it was to be expected.  My mom told the nurse that she did not understand. “This is not like my Mary Carol”.  As hours passed,  mom was becoming more and more concerned. On Sunday evening, a nurse named Susan was assigned to me.  Mom told Susan that something was wrong. This was not like her daughter at all. Susan contacted the doctor on two different occasions and requested that he come and check on me.  Finally after the third call he came in and ordered ortho blood pressure tests.  Those bottomed out and he followed up with an ultrasound that showed a bladder flap hematoma the size of a softball.  They quickly slam dunked two units of blood in me and I was wheeled back in for emergency surgery to remove the hematoma.  Concerned, Susan put a call into our church and requested prayer for me because my life was in the balance. After surgery, I was then admitted to ICU for several days. Days passed before I was moved to the step down unit and finally able to go home with my baby girl.

After that experience in the hospital, I made the decision to go back to school to obtain a nursing degree. I wanted to make a difference in others people’s lives like Susan had made in mine.  Susan saved my life!  Had she not been persistent in calling the doctor, I would have bled to death in that hospital.
Fast forward to May 15th, 2005

I was working as a nurse for a company that contracted with Hospices in Iredell County and several adjoining counties. Part of my job was to administer the IV pain control via a patient controlled analgesic pump for their patients. This particular day, I was setting up a lady in my own county. I got to the home, rang the door bell. Her husband  answered the door. He welcomed me inside and I could hear her voice in the kitchen. I knew that voice!  She walked in the den from the kitchen and her first words to me were, “I know you”.  I laughed and said, funny you say that because I recognize your voice but I don’t recognize your name. She smiled and said, well, I’m Carol.  I was your nurse in ICU after your daughter was born.  

In the following weeks, I learned from Carol that when she found out she was getting an OB patient in ICU, she tried to talk one of the other nurses that had OB experience into taking me.  She told me she was scared to death when I came down from surgery because  I was holding onto life by a toenail.  She said she kept talking to me all thru the shift telling me that I had better not die. I had a baby girl to take care of now and that baby needed her momma. I thanked her many times for the difference she made in my life. Needless to say, we became fast friends and I loved her dearly during those short months of caring for her. Carol passed away from ovarian cancer.

 I will forever feel blessed and thankful that God put these two wonderful nurses in my life.

So this is Nurses week. Thank a nurse that has made a difference in your life. 

Mary Carol Pons RN
Guest Blogger

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Holidays, Grief, and Ignatia

One evening my four month old puppy was let out of the kennel as part of my evening routine.  He annoyed his 11 year old sire around the farm as usual.  The pup did not come back.  My wife and I called and looked in the usual places for hours.  We called the neighbors just in case.  He did have a collar with my name and phone number.  At night fall I took the ATV and a spot light and rode the woods and fields.  There was some reason, he could not come home.  Did his collar get hung up on something, did the coyotes get him, or was he at someone's house?  It was hopeless to find him at night.  I went to bed and did not sleep very well.  I got up at 3AM and went back into the woods to look again.  At day light I walked the deep ravines for 3 hours to no avail.   My neighbor called to say his wife saw a dead dog by the highway a half mile away. 

I found him, took him home and buried him.  Loosing a pet it tough.  But it reminds me of the loss of what some experience when they lose a wife, a husband, a father, a mother, or a child.  Someone that is part of that person.

For many, the holidays bring happy times of family gatherings and good food.  However, this time can be difficult for those that have lost loved ones.  Grief is an awful state.  In the initial phase of shock and disbelief comes an emotional roller coaster. 

Grief can be the loss of a friend, relationship, or job.  It can also be the loss of a concept.  The fairy tale world is not like the real thing.  The princess did not live happily ever after.  This is not the way I thought my life would turn out.  What ever the reason, time sometimes helps.

In the world of homeopathy, Ignatia is the premier acute grief remedy.  Key notes of the remedy include:  the emotional state of grief or frustration, suppressed or deep grief with long drawn sighs, ailments from grief, emotion shock, disappointments, quarrelsome, and worse from consolation. 

Some have suggested that it may not be best to give a remedy for grief.  Of course regular prescription medicine may include some anti-anxiety or anti-depressant.  Robin Murphy, ND put it quite well.  "If a child broke his arm would you say let him experience the pain so he could learn from the discomfort?"  Ignatia does not change the process but allows the individual to feel more balanced in the process.  Start with Ignatia 30C as needed.  You can also increase the potency to 200C if needed.
Stay Well.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Winter Weather, Morphine, Milk, and Bread

A recent snow flurry brought joking comments about those who will empty the grocery store shelves of bread and milk.  It is one of those things that people in the South say when it snows.  It never fails that any threat of winter weather produces casein and gluten shoppers.  Of course it is rare that any winter weather stays more than a day or two.

Some consider such behavior as odd.  After all, is it really that important since the roads will be clear tomorrow? Perhaps there is more to the compulsion to shop at the very hint of weather restricted access. It only makes sense if you look at it as a real food addiction. 

As it turns out, the protein casein (link)found in dairy products and the gluten found in wheat can actually turn into weak morphine like proteins. These react with opiate receptors in the brain.  The conversion of these type of proteins will vary from one person to the next. 

In my experience, the most common visual symptom of a gluten or wheat intolerance is fluid retention and inflammation.  The most common symptom of a dairy allergy is chronic sinus congestion.  Both of these can be accompanied by poor sleep.  An "O" blood type can have both allergies.  An "A" blood type is more prone to dairy intolerance. 

Individuals with a gluten or dairy allergy will consume their addictive food on a daily basis.  They also consume that type of food disproportionately compared with the other foods in their diet.  The most common response to the suggestion that one eliminates gluten from their diet along with the deer in the headlights look is:  "What else can I eat?"  It truly escapes them that fruits, vegetables, and meat are possibilities. 

If you suspect a food allergy try a modified elimination diet.  Stop eating that food (wheat or dairy) for 21 days.  On day 22, eat all you wish and stop again.  Notice any symptoms from day 22 to 24.  You may experience anything from a mild runny nose to full blown gastrointestinal upset. 

A food allergy has far reaching effects that include indigestion, inflammation, and hormone imbalance.  Hormone imbalance includes adrenal problems that impacts energy and sleep.  Thyroid hormone can be suppressed increasing weight.  Sex hormones, including estrogen and testosterone can also be suppressed.  Identifying your food allergy can be the most powerful wellness change you can make.

Stay Well!


Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Antibiotics Causing Nerve and Tendon Damage

A recent customer asked what could be used for peripheral neuropathy.  He was not a diabetic and it began three weeks ago after a sinus infection.  He had taken an antibiotic known as ciprofloxacin.

This was likely a drug induced "side effect".  This August the FDA is requiring labeling changes to the antibiotic drug class known as fluoroquinolones that include AveloxÒ (moxifloxacin),  CiproÒ (ciprofloxacin), LevaquinÒ (levofloxacin), Factive (gemifloxacin), and NoroxinÒ (norfloxacin).  Fluoroquinolones carry the risk of serious peripherial neuropathy (nerve damage) that may be permanent. 

Peripheral neuropathy symptoms may include muscle weakness, tingling, numbness and burning pain of the legs or feet.   It can feel like freezing, burning, or electric like sensations.  Many diabetics experience these symptoms.  Unfortunately, this drug induced problem may be associated with other nerve related problems including tinnitus (ringing in the ears), decreased sense of smell or hearing, anxiety, headache, and memory problems.  In 2008, the FDA also issued a warning about tendon damage as some individual experienced a sudden tear of the Achilles' tendon.  This disaster may impact other joints to include inflammation of tendons, weakness,  and swelling.

Fluoroquinolone's are suppose to be used for serious bacterial infections.  They chemically have a fluoride attached which allows greater penetration in tissue that is not easy to reach.  This includes the brain where it interferes with GABA receptors associated with calming, hence, anxiety and panic attacks.  This class of antibiotics are also associated with the development of MRSA and C. Diff (Clostridium difficile) bacterial infections.

Who would think that taking a "simple" antibiotic had the potential to create such havoc? 

Diabetic neuropathy has been helped with alpha lipoic acid 300mg three times daily.  It is best to find a compound pharmacy (requires a prescription) that keeps this health fat frozen or in the refrigerator, as it is a perishable product.  Add a vitamin B Complex.   Magnesium Complex can be helpful for nerve or muscle related problems.  Neuropain HP by Natural Creations is a homeopathic that can be helpful for nerve related pain.  And, always take a good probiotic (Enterobiotic SBO) any time you take an antibiotic.

Stay Well

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Pumpkin Seed Medicine

The fall is my favorite season.  The cooler weather and changes in the color of the landscape feels good.  It is also the season of the pumpkin, one of my favorite pies.  The winter squash known as pumpkin was part of the Native Americans diet shared with the Pilgrims.  Although most discard the pumpkin seed,  it is a useful nutritious food.  (Roasting Pumpkin Seeds)   It is odd that many prefer seedless grapes and then buy grape seed extract.

What you may not know is that the pumpkin seed is also a valued medicine that is rich in nutrients and medicinal properties, includes Vitamin A, C, and E.  It is also rich in minerals including zinc, manganese, potassium and phosphorous. 

Cucurbita pepo seeds (pumpkin seeds) is mentioned in many of the old Materia Medica (materials of medicine) references.  One primary use is in the treatment of parasites, including round and tape worms.  But the seeds and oils are also well known as a treatment for non-cancerous enlarged prostate gland (benign prostatic hyperplasia). It is also useful for intense nausea and vomiting especially related to motion sickness or pregnancy.
Stay Well!