Category Archives: health

Dealing with Hypertension

It was just a few days ago that I received some bad news from my doctor. I had seriously high blood pressure and needed to lose weight. My reaction to this news was, as you might expect. I went into a funk.

It is a bit scary when your sense of well being is suddenly changed. One minute you think you are healthy, except for a few minor issues. The next minute you wonder if getting out of bed will trigger a massive stroke.

I am still in a funk, though I am a bit less funky than I was. I have decided to approach this like  an adult. No panic. Just step by step changes in life style that produce results. I have cut back wine consumption to a glass with dinner. Tomorrow coffee is out. And I am replace coffee with a probiotic – kefir. I add a turmeric based supplement to my kefir 2 times a day. Also I am doing cod liver oil )for vitamin d) 3 times a day.  Finally, I am also walking 2 times a day and doing floor stretches 3 times a day.

I have a fancy new blood pressure monitoring kit that I am using morning and night and of course the mandatory scale. BTW, I did not buy the fancy IPhone computable monitor at the I Store, but I was tempted to.

Will this turn things around? Hmmm … we will see!  In the meantime, I feel a bit better knowing that I have taken some steps. That already helps.

Stay tuned.

 

More on Lower Back Pain and Breathing

I first posted on this the other day. Here is the quick summary, in case you missed it

  • I cam back from the states with SEVERE lower back pain.
  • the problem was muscle, not spine – to be more precise, spasms
  • meds helped a bit to reduce the pain and inflammation
  • stretching helped MORE
  • I got off the meds ASAP – they are expensive and do not get to the cause of the problem. Create dependency. Great for drug companies. Not so great for you

and then I tried something new. I made the connection that muscle spasms can be caused by a lack of oxygen. I adjusted my breathing to force more oxygen into my lower extremities through my lower back. You can do that by expanding your lower abdomen when you inhale.

I felt the difference very quickly.

One day later, my back is nearly 100/. I still feel a bit of tightness, but I have regained a lot of flexibility and leg strength. In  short, this is working for me. I have other issues (see below). But with my back more under control, I can do a lot more to get healthy.

Onward!

Thus Spoke the Doctor!

I have been putting off doing to my doctor. I did go to a back specialist but that was different. I had a specific purpose. Going to my regular doctor would mean getting some more basic information about my state of affairs. And I have been reluctant to know find out about that.

Today I went and I got the bad news. I am not in great health. Not because of illness. Because I am just not taking very good care of myself. My blood pressure is elevated and so too is my weight.

Yikes! Time to think a bit about my life style. Less time in front of the computer and more out and about. Less time making and enjoying dinner and more time burning calories.  And less time worrying.

Can this be managed! Stay tuned!

Lower Back Pain and Breathing

During my last trip across the pond, I had a bit of a health crisis. I developed severe lower back pain and spasms on both sides of the spine. It was a bummer, and over the last month or so, I have been working to get back to normal.

BTW, that included taking some pain killers  and anti-inflamatories prescribed by doctors. Vox reports today

America’s doctors have finally admitted it: Their pharmaceutical tools to treat one of patients’ most common ailments don’t work.

Lower back pain is one of the most frequent reasons people visit the doctor. Yet doctors are finding drugs should actually often be the last line of treatment for it.

I got off the meds as soon as I could. Stretching 3 times a day has helped quite a bit. And yesterday I discovered something that helps more. My lower back pain result from muscle spasms. Check. Muscle spasms happen when muscles are deprived of oxygen. Check. Hmmm … perhaps my lower back muscle spasms were related to a breathing problem.

I began experimenting to breath differently – mainly to deliver and remove more oxygen to  and from my butt and legs. This link offers more on how to do that.  I

The effect was nearly immediate. I am not 100% yet, but that nagging ache that I felt is gone, and I have a lot more mobility without pain.  I will keep it up and report back later. But for now, I am in seventh heaven!

Very  coo

Re.Thinking Immune System Disorder

I have a hyper.active immune system, or so I have been told by doctors. That is why I have allergies, asthma, iritis and now some joint pain.

But  I have been thinking through this a bit. Why is my system hyper.active? It may be because  some aspect of the system is weak, which then triggers over-reactions to compensate. In other words, suppressing the immune system overall (which is the usual prescription) will not fix the problem. To the contrary, it may just make it worse.

If I am right, the way out of this is to strengthen the system., not  suppress it. Let’s see if I am right.

Our Immune Systems Did Not Come with an Instruction Book

When I was a lad, I suffered from rather severe allergies. I  chalked it up to genetics, as my dear old dad had similar allergies.

As an adult, I developed a second sporadic immune disorder, iritis.  It is a painful eye condition that popped  up out of nowhere and had to be treated with anti-inflamatories. The doctors said that  around 50% of the time, they could figure out what caused this, but sadly, my iritis fell within the 50% where they had no clue. Damn! I lived with it for several decades.

Flash forward, and I suddenly developed asthma. It was a chronic sort of asthma and the doctors said that I would need drugs for the rest of my life. Fortunately, they were wrong. I discovered that my asthma was triggered by a food allergy to white bread. I stopped eating bread and my symptoms disappeared in a few days.  One issue resolved. But I had no idea why I suddenly developed this food allergy. I had not had it for most of my life. Strange, I would say.

More recently, I started to develop some more symptoms, namely joint pain in my toes, ankles and right knee. It felt like arthritis and I chalked it up to getting older. And I found out that there is no cure for arthritis. Indeed, there is no cure for ANY of the immune conditions that I experienced.

By this time, I was well aware that doctors have no  clue how the immune system works.  They can suppress it and reactivate it. But they do not know how the system  gains or loses its vitality.

Hmmm … I began to think that perhaps I could find ways to make my immune system work better.  I began looking for stuff on the web about natural products that are anti-inflamatory. Bingo – I found out that a common spice, turmeric has an active ingredient that has this effect.  As an experiment, I have been drinking a “turmeric shake” 2 times a day. It is basically, kefiir, a liquid concoction that has turmeric and honey, and some turmeric powder mixed in.

Bottom line — the soreness in my joints is much less. The discoloration on my ankles has faded. I feel pretty good.

I will continue with this regime and add to it. Next up is Echinacea. My brother suggested it. Here is a link to a video that he sent.

Stay tuned on this one. I for one, am hopeful. And I realize that when it comes to this sort of thing,  doctors are not that big a help. Sad to say, but that is just the way it is.