Moderate Aerobic Exercise Can Lead to Good Quality Sleep

Not enough can be said about the importance and health benefits of getting consistent, quality sleep at any age.

Many of the regenerative functions of the body occur when we are sleeping. Migraines increase in those who don’t sleep well. Immune function can be compromised and fatigue and depression are also associated with poor sleep.

A recent study a Northwestern University, studied the effects of aerobic exercise, in people 55 of age and older.  This particular age group often has chronic insomnia.

After 4 months of moderate aerobic exercise, the researchers found that, this group of people suffering from chronic insomnia:

  • Fell asleep and stayed asleep significantly faster
  • Reported less depression
  • Had less day time sleepiness
  • Felt more vital and energetic

Other studies of the effects of aerobic exercise in similar age groups have also shown that aerobic exercise may protect brain function as well. 

Get your loved ones who may be a bit too sedentary, to start doing moderate aerobic exercise at least 5 times a week.  Something as moderate as a 20 minute walk at a reasonable pace, would be excellent.

Curt Hendrix M.S. C.C.N. C.N.S.

Extreme Heat: A Prevention Guide to Promote Your Personal Health and Safety

 

 Though the elderly (65+), infants and children are more susceptible to heat stress, even the best conditioned of athletes can succumb to the health risks of hot weather.

In the last 25 years more people have died from extreme heat than from hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, lightning and earthquakes combined.

As simple as it seems, understanding how and why the body cools itself, when faced with extreme temperatures, is the key to staying healthy and preventing injuries and even death.

This well done and comprehensive pamphlet contains some valuable information, especially for those of you who live in areas where temperatures get into the 90’s and above.

From recognizing heat stroke, heat exhaustion heat cramps, heat rash and sunburn and what to do about them, the information is presented in an easy to understand and interesting format and something you may want to share with your family and friends.       –Curt Hendrix

Created by the Centers for Disease Control
http://www.bt.cdc

YOU WILL BE SHOCKED TO DISCOVER WHERE THE AMERICAN HEALTHCARE SYSTEM RANKS WORLD-WIDE

I am proud to be an American but that doesn’t mean I shut my eyes and am blind to the facts about our healthcare system.

We, as American have been sold a “bill of goods” about the quality of the healthcare we receive that is far from accurate.  From the healthcare insurance companies, to the hospitals rendering services and especially by the pharmaceutical companies, we have been led to believe that we get the best medical and healthcare treatment in the world………………THIS COULD NOT BE FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH!   We take more prescription drugs than any other country.  We pay the most for our healthcare per person and our system and health ranking world-wide are failing miserably.

Statistics reported by the World Health Organization (WHO) state:

*The U.S. has dropped from 11th in the world for life expectancy to 42nd.

*The U.S. leads the world in all chronic, degenerative diseases, cardiovascular disease, asthma, allergies, depression, mental illness, autoimmune diseases, all forms of cancer, osteoporosis and obesity.

*The U.S. leads the world in infant mortality.

We cannot count on this system to keep us well.  We cannot count on machines and chemicals that are foreign to our bodies to be our first line of defense in staying well and living long lives………..this is counter-intuitive to common sense.

Diet, exercise and supplements that are known to fuel, protect and heal our bodies should be our FIRST LINES OF NOT ONLY DEFENSE BUT OFFENSE IN REALIZING OUR GOALS FOR VIBRANT, ENERGETIC LONG LIVES.

Fibromyalgia: Symptoms, Conventional & Alternative Treatments

Fibromyalgia or FMS (Fibromyalgia Syndrome)

FMS is a common disorder affecting tens of millions of people worldwide, but is very complex and not well understood. The cause of FMS is not known. FMS occurs 80 percent of the time in women between the ages of 25-60. All people with fibromyalgia have widespread, significant pain. Other symptoms that may accompany FMS are: Unrestoring sleep Body Stiffness Headache Dysmenorrhea (Painful menstrual periods) Irritable bowel, with bouts of diarrhea and/or constipation Decreased ability to concentrate Mood disorders Restless leg syndrome Bladder and urinary issues Numbness and/or tingling (parathesias) in different parts of the body Varying degrees of sexual dysfunction Some studies have shown that 50% of people suffering with FMS and take no medications will go into full remission within 2 years.

Though theories abound as to the cause(s) of FMS none have been proven. While discussion of the theories is interesting, it is not definitive, so I would prefer to discuss treatment options that have shown success in some sufferers.

Conventional treatments:

Non-Steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can help with the pain but are not good long-term solutions.

Antidepressants – Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor drugs (SSRI’s)s like Prozac or Paxil as well as tricylic antidepressants like Elavil help some people in treating the pain, the low energy and sleeping problems, but many people experience side-effects and don’t like the way they feel when using these drugs. (constipation, dry mouth, low libido, weight gain).

Sleeping Aides – Drugs like Ambien can help with the insomnia but patients can feel drowsy in the morning and many develop tolerances to these drugs.

Prescription drugs approved for the treatment of FMS – Lyrica, Cymbalta, and Savella. Lyrica may improve daily function in some FMS patients.

The most common side-effects of Lyrica are: ·

Dizziness — in up to 45 percent of people ·
Drowsiness — up to 28 percent ·
Coordination problems — up to 20 percent ·
Significant weight gain — up to 16 percent ·
Dry mouth — up to 15 percent ·
Infections — up to 14 percent ·
Headaches — up to 14 percent ·
Accidental injury — up to 11 percent ·
Shakiness (tremors) — up to 11 percent.

Alternative treatment options for Fibromyalgia

It is important to note that the following alternative treatment options for FMS have been studied in only small groups of patients. And while some have shown success, it is difficult to know in what percentage of people they will work with out larger studies being done.

1-Oxidative stress is elevated in FMS sufferers. – Taking supplemental antioxidants like vitamin C, E and herbal supplements like grape seed extract, curcumin, and resveratrol may help to decrease damage done by free radicals. High levels of oxidative stress markers are found in FMS patients. Those taking these supplements may help reduce any tissue damage, it is not proven that they will provide any symptomatic relief.

2- Omega-3 fish oils may help to reduce inflammation associated with FMS. 1500-3000 mg/day of combined EPA and DHA found in these oils is a reasonable dose. 3 – Magnesium and malic acid – have been found in several, small human studies to reduce the pain and several other symptoms of FMS. 500 mg/day of magnesium and 1500 mg/day of Malic acid (malate) are the recommended doses.

4 – Some human studies have shown the D-Ribose a 5 carbon-sugar that is structurally related to ATP the energy forming molecule in our cells, helps with re-establishing energy and reducing pain. It can be purchased as a powder and mixed into liquids. It is also very effective for energizing the heart as well. 3 grams per day is the recommended dose.

5 – 5-hydroxytrytophan (5-HTP) is a precursor to serotonin and has been found in human studies to help with the symptoms of FMS at a dose of 100 mg 3X per day. 5-HTP has also been shown to help with sleep, migraine headaches and weight loss. Some people react negatively with headaches to 5-HTP so pay attention to how you feel while taking it. Results could take several weeks. (do not use 5-HTP is you are taking anti-depressants).

6 – Melatonin – Some FMS sufferers have been found to be low in melatonin a brain hormone that helps with sleep. Starting with 1 mg/night of melatonin (and if tolerated and more is necessary – up to 6mg/night) monitor if your FMS related insomnia improves as well as other symptoms.

7- Acetyl-L-carnitine – 500 mg/day for ten weeks was found to decrease muscle pain and improve over-all health and well being in FMS sufferers.

8- Mild Exercise of 30-45 minutes of walking everyday has been shown to reduce the symptoms of FMS.

 Combining these options?

There are pros and cons to combining these options all at one time. The pro would be that you have more mechanisms working for you that might generate results more quickly and powerfully. The con is that they could interact with one another and cause minor side-effects. Also, if they work, you won’t know which one worked or if they were all actually necessary.

Here’s what I suggest:  Unless there is a specific one that you want to try by itself to see how it works for you, I would combine #1,2,3,4, 7, and 8 and give them 1-2 months to see if they help you to improve.  If they really help, don’t change a thing. It you get partial help but sleep continues to be a problem then add 1mg of melatonin at night. If it helps you to sleep better stay with that dose. If it didn’t help you to sleep better but you didn’t feel any adverse effects, increase to 2 mg and go up to 6 mg if you need to. (Discontinue if you get headaches or dreams that upset you.)

Good luck,  I hope you found this fibromyalgia review to be helpful.

Curt Hendrix M.S. C.C.N. C.N.S.

 Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Curt_Hendrix

Caloric Restriction = Weight Loss and Longevity

A great deal of research regarding the life-extending benefits of “caloric restriction” is being published. To date, most of it, though promising, demonstrated benefits in non-human models.

Recently a particularly encouraging study on Labrador retriever dogs, indicated that cutting calories intake by 30% increased the life span of these dogs by 2 years. Given the average life span of this species, that was an increase of over 20%. Quite remarkable.

I would strongly suggest to those who have dogs (especially larger dogs 50+) to consider cutting back their pets caloric intake. 

I did this with my 4 year old, black German shepherd and his weight went from 100 lbs to 86lbs and his energy levels increased significantly. Several people upon meeting him for the first time, thought he was a puppy, no more than 8-12 months old.

Though proof of this concept for humans is not yet established, it is my bet that it will be. In some respects, digesting and metabolizing food puts demands on your body that can be considered contributors to aging.

The more one eats, the more free radicals they will generate, the more their bodies will have to detoxify and remove bi-products of digestion and metabolism both systemically and cellularly. The benefits of reducing calories goes beyond just the weight loss that occurs. Calorie restriction/reduction may be the best form of life insurance we can get, and it’s free.

Now a welcomed study from Tufts University has shown that caloric restriction in humans actually boosts our immune response. As humans age, their immune response tends to decline and become less efficient. Though animal studies have previously shown that caloric restriction improves immune function, this study is the first to show the same benefit in humans. Continue reading

Do Not Take This Statin Cholesterol Lowering Drug Until You Read This!

598 out of every 600 People will needlessly take and pay for a newly approved drug that will do nothing for them except potentially introduce side-effects they did not have before.

The FDA recently approved the use of the statin cholesterol lowering drug Crestor, in healthy people whose cholesterol was not elevated. The alleged benefit of taking the drug is to reduce heart attacks and strokes in healthy people who had 2 risk factors – High C-Reactive Protein (which is a measure of inflammation) and high blood pressure or smoking.

The FDA based it’s approval to use Crestor preventively to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke because a large study showed about a 50+% risk reduction in this group of patients. WHAT COULD BE BAD ABOUT THAT?

It is very hard to understand why the FDA allows this 50% number to be used, without significant explanation to patients of the real meaning, benefits and risks of this statistic.

HERE IS THE EXPLANATION AS TO WHY ALLOWING THIS STATISTIC TO BE QUOTED IS SO MISLEADING.

The group of patients who were studied and to whom the medicine will be recommended, are basically healthy people who have no history of heart disease or stroke. If they smoke or have high blood pressure + show high C-Reactive protein, they qualify for the drug. The absolute risk of this group of patients for having a heart attack or stroke is 1/3 of 1 percent if they do nothing and don’t take the drug. In other words for every 600 patients in this group who do nothing, only 2 will ever have a heart attack or stroke. (and because they are healthy even those 2 heart attacks or strokes will probably not be life threatening).

Fast forward -A pharmaceutical giant conducts a study and gives thousands of these patients Crestor which costs $3.50 per pill per day and the study found that instead of 2 heart attacks or strokes occurring in every 600 patients, only 1 heart attack or stroke will occur in every 600 patients. Yes this is a reduction of 50% but 50% of a number that was so tiny, that it was an insignificant risk of occurring in these patients had they done nothing.

Another way to look at this is that the pharmaceutical company convinced the FDA to approve a drug (with potential serious side-effects) that needlessly put 598 people on a medicine they didn’t ever need and expose them to side-effects like liver toxicity and muscle problems, and increased risk of diabetes, to eliminate 1 (ONE) heart attack or stroke in 600 people. 598 people out of 600 pay for a drug that they not only didn’t need but could introduce serious health issues they didn’t have before.

To complicate the picture even more, the physician who receives a royalty on every C-reactive protein lab test run in the country, was the physician who convinced the drug company to do the study.

Many well known and respected physicians are concerned at the prospect of giving statin drugs to healthy people for such a ridiculously small benefit and other potential problems.

Do Not Take Another Statin Drug to Lower Your Cholesterol Until You Read This!

Collectively the revenues generated by statin cholesterol lowering drugs, like Lipitor, Crestor, Zocor, and Pravachol are in excess of 10 billion dollars a year!

Is taking these drugs a risk unto itself? The answer is a resounding….YES!

Though these drugs are shown to reduce certain cardiovascular risks in people who have cardiovascular risk factors such as; hypertension, low HDL cholesterol, insulin resistance, high triglycerides, physicians are now recommending these drugs to people who don’t have any of these risks despite the fact that few if any studies show that there are any long-term benefits in people who have no cardiovascular risk factors.

The way statin drugs work is by blocking an enzyme (HMG-CoA reductase) that interferes with the synthesis of cholesterol. The fact that cholesterol is an essential building block of cellular membranes and that the average person who lives to be 100 years old or more, usually has much higher than recommended levels of total cholesterol, raises some very interesting questions and will be addressed in a subsequent article.

So where does the risk come in? Well, in blocking the action of HMG-CoA reductase, the statin drugs also block the synthesis of a compound necessary for production of energy in the muscles (including the heart muscles) and for other crucial bodily functions!

The compound, Co-Enzyme Q10 is an essential nutrient that is involved in energy production that occurs in the mitochondria. (The energy producing factories in our cells). The heart requires high levels of Co-Q10.

Side effects of CoQ-10 deficiency

Statin drugs often cause muscle pain and weakness. This is a condition known as rhabdomyolysis. Often because many people taking statin drugs are older, they think the pain is due to something else like arthritis, or soreness from exercise and very often goes unreported.

Rhabdomyolysis, if severe, can result in death related to acute kidney failure. The statin drug, Baycol, caused dozens of deaths due to rhabdomyolysis and was taken off the market.

Though not present on the labels of statin drugs when they were first released, all statin drug labels now carry the following warning – “Unexplained muscle pain and weakness could be a sign of a rare but serious side effect and should be reported to your doctor right away.”

Not So Rare

Dr. Beatrice Golomb of San Diego, California, reported in her study findings, that contrary to the 2-3 % that the pharmaceutical industry reports for occurrence of muscle pain, that as many as 98% on some statin drugs experience this problem.

Memory Loss

Some patients taking statin drugs report memory loss and inability to concentrate. Accumulated data indicates that 50% of these cognitive issues occur within 5-60 days of starting statin treatment. Though most patients seem to recover after stopping the drug, it seems a small percentage may not. The actual percentage of statin users who experience these cognitive issues is not well established.

Nerve Pain and Dysfunction

It is estimated that 10-20% of people taking statin drugs will get neuropathy, resulting in feelings of fatigue, pain while walking and nerve tingling. A study from Denmark reported that long-term use of statin drugs (2 years or more) could increase the risk of developing neuropathy from 400-1400%. Individuals who are highly susceptible could experience neuropathy much sooner.

I urge my readers who are taking statin drugs to lower their cholesterol to supplement a minimum of 100 mg. per day of Co-Q. For those of you who are in major discomfort or have other heart issues regarding function or blood pressure, 300 mg. per day of Co-Q-10 is recommended.

Yours in health, and education,

Curt Hendrix M.S. C.N.S.  C.C.N.