Focus on the Big Picture

When I want to start or create something that I have never done before- be it exercise or something that calls for growth, development, and consistency- I find that it is important for me to take a look at the whole picture and then take bite-size pieces that I create instead of trying to figure out. Why not figure out? Well, I can only figure out things I have done before. So if it’s something that I have not created before, there is no way to figure it out. You need to be honest, committed, and supportive which can show up in many different ways that I have not yet figured out. Take myself, for instance, I have been working out on and off for years. I have been consistent with my inconsistencies. Long periods of working out then stopping. However, the stopping periods have become shorter. I have learned that I stopped because I wanted to experience immediate success and then got discouraged. (Folly) Well, I know and have rediscovered that immediate success is possible and not possible. You might ask, “What is Noreen talking about?” Let me just say that exercise gives incremental success. With exercise it is something I feel. However, I cannot see it. Let’s look at doing push-ups. Doing 10 in the beginning was difficult. However, when I had a coach, or I was being responsible, my coach would not let me stop. His name was Dr. Evil. I’d do 10 push-ups 3 times a week in my overall workout. Then the following week, the same amount of push-ups became easier. Let’s look at me running on the “Dreadmill”, or treadmill. Five minutes was forever when I started – lungs busting out, wanting to vomit down my T-shirt and on the coach. As I continued, it became easier. I was looking for instant results in my body. Did I lose 1/4 inch? No. What I have since learned with my on again off again workout pattern is:

  1. I do not like working out. However, working out loves me.
  2. My BMI does not happen in the gym or on the “Dreadmill”; it happens in the kitchen.
  3. I have committed to an overall vision of my health- big picture of what I need to do to create better health.

This means I do not have to like working out. I can enjoy working out. I can create a good understand and structure for what I put in my mouth. I will get fitter, tighter, leaner and experience overall greatness inside my body. So, I have learned to cut myself a good amount on slack. Stop when I need to and start again when I’m ready and be responsible for the results I get or do not get and the pain I have to experience when I don’t wash, rinse and repeat the process I have learned. In conclusion, everything I do is a commitment, and my commitment is consistency. I do not have to do anything alone. I don’t have to like it. It lives in my commitment to my health.

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How to Store Food

Dehydrated food is when water is slowly taken out of food. Certain methods for this include air-drying, sun-drying, and kiln drying. You are probably most familiar with sun drying tomatoes since this is a very popular and flavorful food item. This is a very inexpensive and compact way to store food. I also think I keeps a really naturally and delicious flavor. With that understood we can get into how store food.

  1. Dehydrate foods of choice. One finding rule in food storage is to "store what you eat, and eat what you store." Dehydrate the foods you love. There is no need to waste time with foods you and your family do not eat. Love your food storage choices.
  2. Ration your food into smaller portions. If you ration into larger portions you will either A) never eat small portions of your food storage and will only use it when you are feeding a lot of people or B) you will be wasting your dehydrated food every time you open a container. It also decrees risk of contamination.
  3. Place dehydrated food in an airtight container. A sealed container is very important. Do not keep in plastic bags or containers with loose lids. Never use trash can liners, these are dangerous because they usually have pesticides in them. Place an oxygen absorbber inside. These will take out all oxygen and leave behind all the nitrogen. Nitrogen is an inert gas that very effectively eliminates oxygen. Oxygen will speed up its expiration date.
  4. Label each container with its expiration date on a piece of tape so that you can reuse your containers. Dried fruits and herbs can last up to a year. Dried vegetables and meats can last up to six months. If you keep your dehydrated foods in the freezer they can last much longer.
  5. Find a cool, dark and dry place to store your dehydrated foods. Ideal temperature is 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Temperature places the largest role in how long your dehydrated food will last. Avoid open piping, uninsulated rooms and furnaces. Avoid any direct sunlight. And avoid damp places such as near a swamp cooler. Any temperature over 75 degrees Fahrenheit will spoil faster. Also avoid freezing temperatures.
  6. Do not place too high. During an earthquake these items will fall and seals may be broken. Look into using # 10 containers which are recommended by preparedness companies. Other good options include sealable food storage buckets and sealable food quality metal or plastic drums.
  7. If you have dehydrated foods that are in a containers that have been opened you should keep these in a refrigerator or a freezer.
  8. Organize your dehydrated food by expiration date from newest in the back to oldest in the front. This way you can cycle through your food efficiently without wasting. Organization is very useful in your food storage process.
  9. Inspect your food before eating. Throw away any food you find mold on. If you find condensation inside your containers immediately dehydrate again. Condensation will not allow your food to keep very long.

11 Things You Can Do If You Have An Ulcer

An ulcer is a sore or break in the lining of the digestive tract, usually the stomach or intestine. Over 25 million Americans suffer from ulcers. An ulcer in the gastrointestinal tract is known as a Peptic ulcer and is very painful.

An ulcer diet should become part of your daily routine and is not hard to do. In this article we will look at 11 things you can do to relieve pain and treat an ulcer if you have one.

1. In 9 out of 10 cases an ulcer can be treated with medication. Antibiotics can be used to kill any bacterial infection which will get rid of your ulcer. This is worth a trip to your doctor to see what you can do.

2. Stress is part of causing ulcers to flare up. The less stress you have the more you can lessen the symptoms of an ulcer.

3. In cases where antibiotics do not work many times reducing stomach acid will. Antacids can reduce the acid in your stomach and help lower the pain from an ulcer.

4. If you smoke you need to quit. Smoking will irritate your ulcer and cause you more pain.

5. Watch what you eat and drink. Fatty foods, spicy foods, caffeine, and alcohol all can do harm to an ulcer.

6. Keep food in your stomach. This helps lower gastric secretion and the hyper levels it can reach in your stomach. Eat several smaller meals a day. Eat four or five meals spread out throughout the day to keep food in your stomach and help your ulcer diet be more effective.

7. Take vitamins on a full stomach and not an empty one.

8. Drink milk and try and drink skim milk to help coat your stomach.

9. Aspirin and Ibuprofen are especially hard on your stomach. The same for some drugs.

10. Soda pop and beverages with carbonation in them are good to put in your stomach if you fell an attack coming on. So are saltine crackers which help absorb acid.

11. Brushing your teeth several times a day can help keep the upper part of the gastrointestinal tract free of acid and bacteria.

Ulcers are painful and it is worth the extra effort on your part to do what you can to lessen the pain you feel and the things that are causing it. These 11 tips are not meant to talk you out of visiting your physician to see how they can help you. But many of these tips are things you can do for an ulcer diet on a daily basis and do not require any special knowledge or skill.

Water Filters That Contain Alkaline – How Can This Process Improve Your Health?

Life depends on water. In all cases, water aids in the many activities the human body engages to. Water enables proper blood circulation and nutrients emissions, controls temperature, eliminates toxins and helps with digestion. Be it tap, mineral, distilled or charcoal filtered water, each one is designed for the same purpose – to refresh and energize the body. But what if the water is enhanced or reformulated? Will it still serve the same purpose?

Do water filters that contain Alkaline really promote health?

Alkaline water is the most talked about nowdays. The alkaline water ionizer was first developed in Japan in the early 1950's. Because of its groundbreaking benefits, the medical experts approved the use of it and soon became popular in many countries like Korea, Taiwan and China. Currently, every people in the world ponder and discover the wonders of alkaline water. But what does it really do?

Producing alkaline water would need the following processes: use of water ionizer, bypassing of water through bio-ceramic, bio-stone filters and magnetic fields and adding of alkaline mineral drops to ordinary water. Japanese scientists said that by doing these processes, it aims to separate all alkaline elements and all acid elements in the tap water to revert it back to its purest and ideal state for drinking. Good news is, with this technology, people will not only benefit from alkaline water but also from infrared charged, ion rich, coral calcium and magnesium alkaline water, then, making it a healthier water to drink. The human body is alkaline by design and acidic by function. A balanced healthy body can be identified by proper pH balance and as determined by pH scale of 0-14 where 7.0 is neutral, less than 7 is acidic and greater than 7 is alkaline.

According to chemists and medical experts, an increase of pH level up to 7.4 is desirable; however, a drop to 6.95 can lead to serious health risks. Bad eating habit, smoking and drinking are some of the most common reasons for hyperacidity in the body. Alkaline aids to neutralize and maintain the healthy state of the body. That is why more and more doctors and health books recommend alkaline water. Because it went through important ionization processes, ordinary water became pure micro water that can easily be absorbed by the body. Some scientists and researchers believe that water is alive. With alkaline, water is more alive, charged, and life-enhancing. More testimonials confirm that aside from the healthy benefits you will get from alkaline water, it can also prevent a lot of sickness and diseases. Prevention is better than cure. Water Filters that contain Alkaline can only be trusted for a healthier lifestyle. So drink up!

Amalaki – A Disease-Fighting SuperFood

The age-old motto "An apple a day keeps the doctor away" is common in the US. The apple provides ample vitamin C as well as anti-allergenic, anti-inflammatory, and anti-viral benefits. However, there is a powerful and sour little fruit that heralds from the Himalayan mountain region that may be set to take over the US health market. This unlucky hero of rejuvenative health is known as the Amalaki berry.

It's no larger than a golf ball, but is a nutritional giant. Known also as Indian gooseberry, amla or its scientific name of Emblica officinalis, Amalaki has been used in Ayurveda for thousands of years and has one of the richest legacies of any fruit known today. Ayurvedic Medicine, the 5,000 year old medical tradition of India, is known as the "Mother of all Healing Systems". Ayurveda is a sister-science to Yoga and has become increasingly popular in the West today, through proponents such as Deepak Chopra MD

Written in the ancient language of Sanskrit, Ayurveda contains the oldest and some of lengthiest medical texts in the world and is rich with information of natural medicine

aiming to establish balance in all areas of life. Nutrition and lifestyle considerations, such as, sleep, exercise, and stress are fundamental components of Ayurveda.

The ancient texts of Ayurveda describe more than 5,000 herbs and fruits in great detail, and of all those, Amalaki is considered the most effective rejuvenative agent in the plant kingdom. It has for centers been fondly referred to as Dhatri, meaning the "mother" or "nurse," a tribute to the fruit as the ultimate caregiver, sustainer and healer. It is highly regarded for promoting Ojas – or the end product of perfect digestion – which leads to radiant health, shining eyes, skin, and hair, and youthful aging.

So what is the composition of Amalaki, this little nutritional super-hero? The fruit is a powerhouse of antioxidants, polyphenols, tannins, bioflavanoids, amino acids, trace minerals and other beneficial phytonutrients.

It is arguably the most concentrated and bio-available source of Vitamin C in all of Nature. Although only one inch in diameter, the Amalaki fruit has more vitamin C than oranges; some say 20 times more. Plus, it contains SuperOxdide Dismutase, one of the most powerful cellular antioxidants.

The amalaki fruit has been extensively validated by peer-reviewed research in the modern scientific community, with hundreds of scientific studies into its role in promoting rejuvenation and combating a wide range of maladies. Try these on for size:

* Promotes cellular rejuvenation, energy, and vitality

* Improves digestion, nutrient absorption, and overall intestinal health

* Fights against inflammation

* Boosts anti-aging properties

* Enhances the immune system

* Improves metabolism

* Destroy harmful free-radicals (anti-oxidants)

* Promotes luster of skin and hair

* Improves liver health and combats hyperacidity

* Promotes mild detoxification

Writings about Amalaki in India suggest it is actively beneficial to the intestinal flora and corrective to colon function, helping to reduce inflammation in the digestive tract while assisting the bowels and strengthening the heart .. Such comments appear in a publication called the Indian Materia Medica, which lists 2,000 remedies, mainly of vegetable origin.

Amalaki is used in Ayurvedic medicine as an aphrodisiac, antipyretic, antidiabetic and cerebral tonic. It is also touted as an immun booster, adaptogen and a powerful antacid. It can raise the total protein level and increase body weight due to positive nitrogen balance and its anabolic effect, building muscle and body mass by stimulating protein sythesis.

Ancient texts proclaim Amalaki as the best medicine to prevent aging. It's believed to be the richest natural source of the powerful and well-known antioxidant vitamin C.

Alan Tillotson of the Tillotson Institute for Natural Health writes that Amalaki is helpful in "removing the toxic wastes of poor digestion which remain in the body." A study published in 2003 found "the presence of amla (amalaki) ruled in an enhanced cell survival, reduced free radical production and higher antioxidant levels.

Cancer studies in mice have shown that the Amalaki fruit reduces the effects cancer cells have on ravishing the body and, when used prior to radiation, offers a protective shield to damage the chromosomes.

During medical studies conducted on rabbits, Amalaki had a cholesterol-reducing effect on rabbits whose numbers were elevated over a 60-day timeframe. This provides overall health benefits to the body's cardiovascular system as a whole.

Like many other potent antioxidants, the Amalaki fruit contributes to a boost in your immune system. Life-spans in mice subject to tumors increased by up to 25% with the consumption of an Amalaki extract. Other conditions for which it's used include constipation, colic, asthma, anemia, gout, and even mental disorders.

The West now is embracing more and more medicinal practices of the East. The Chopra Center for Wellbeing, founded by Dr. Deepak Chopra and Dr. David Simon, has been recommending a daily dose of amla for more than a decade. Today, Amalaki is available in powder or tablet form and more recently in a flavorable, liquid nutritional supplements such as Zrii.

H Pylori Can Lead To Vitamin B12 Deficiency

H Pylori can cause an individual to have a Vitamin B12 deficiency. It is also a known contributor to gastritis, ulcers, and it can prevent to stomach from being able to absorb the Vitamin B12 you consume. According to the information on the PCC Natural Markets website, an infection of Helicobacter Pylori, especially in adults will lead to a deficiency of Vitamin B12.

One study has found that 56% of those with H Pylori are also anemic due to a lack of Vitamin B12. Taking care of the H Pylori has shown that blood levels improve and Vitamin B12 are higher for 40% of those who have been infected. Some other studies indicate that H Pylori and a Vitamin B12 deficiency are strictly linked. However, eliminating H Plyori does not always mean the body will be able to have a higher level of Vitamin B12. Therefore it is important to have it carefully monitored.

A study concerning the effects of H Pylori on Vitamin B12 levels can be found in the archives of Internal Medicine (Vol. 160, No. 9, May 8 of 2000). This study involved 138 individuals who were diagnosed with both anemia and a Vitamin B12 deficiency. Each individual in the study completed a Gastrointestinal Endoscopy to determine how severe the atrophic gastritis was. A biopsy was administered for Campylobacter organisms and a complete medical history was documented. The diagnosis of H Plyori ruled in a combination treatment.

The study determined that H Pylori was found in 77 of the 138 patients (56%). They H Plylori infection and the anemia both improved with the assistance of Vitamin B12 supplements in 31 (40%) of the individuals. Therefore, it is reasonable to state that H Plylori is linked to a Vitamin B12 deficiency.

The results of various studies have shown that H Pylori damages the stomach cells which requires it from successfully absorbing the Vitamin B12. Taking care of the H Pylori will help with the level of Vitamin B12 but not in every case. It is there essential essential that you have your Vitamin B12 levels checked at routine intervals if you have ever had H Pylori.

Important Things You Must Know About Legionnaires' Disease

Legionnaires 'disease is caused by Legionnaires' disease bacteria or LDB. This disease is an infection of the lungs. This is a form of pneumonia. There are indeed 43 species of such bacteria that has been identified and over 20 are linked with human illnesses.

Legionella pnuemophila was first discovered in 1977. The organizations' slow growth as well as special growth requirement has preceded earlier discovery. Legionella pnuemophila is a gram-negative rod which exists in a number of distinguishable serogroups. It is also implicated in wound infections, endocarditis, and pericarditis without any presence of pneumonia.

Sources Of Exposure And Transmission

Some of the sources of this illness will include any warm water system or perhaps device that will dissolve water like sprays, mists, and aerosols. It is highly emphasized that LDB are very broadly present at low levels in streams, freshwater ponds, mud, lakes, and rivers. But then, the levels of LDB which are found in the natural environment are very slow that it is illegally which an individual will contract the illness from such sources.

The risk of exposure will actually increase when high concentrations of the organism will grow in water systems. Be reminded that such disease will only occur when there is the presence of contaminated water source. Indeed, domestic water plumbing systems, stagnant water, and cooling towers are considered some of the best conditions for the growth of the organism.

Transmission will occur through:

Aspiration – This may occur when choking during drinking, swallowing, and ingesting process. This will allow oral fluids as well as particles to by-pass natural gag reflexes, and will enter into the respiratory tract and lungs rather than entering into the esophagus and stomach.

Inhalation – This include inhalation of fine sprays, mists, aerosols or other microscopic droplets of water that is contaminated by LDB; thus, providing direct access towards the lungs.

You must remember that there is no evidence that the disease is indeed transmitted from one person to another.

Legionnaires' disease has actually an incubation period of 2-10 days. Severity will range from a mild cough and low fever towards rapidly progressive pneumonia, coma, and even death. Symptoms will actually vary from one individual to another. But earlier symptoms will include slight fever, aching joints and muscles, loss of appetite, and headache. Some of the later symptoms will include dry cough, high fever, difficulty or shortness of breath, chest pain, chills, and common gastrointestinal symptoms like diarrhea, abdominal pain, vomiting, and nausea. For more info, check out this site .

Exercise With Leg Lymphedema

Fitness Article: Exercise with Lymphedema of the Leg…

I am writing this article from two points of view, as an experienced fitness trainer / strength coach who has studied health issues for many years and as a patient who suffers with lymphedema of the leg daily. I have been able to maintain my lymphedema pretty well, but that is because I have done extensive reading on the subject, I listened to my doctors, and I have extensive knowledge of exercise. It is on my mind every day, at almost every moment because it takes great effort to maintain properly. I have included the description of lymphedema below.

Lymphedema is a difficult thing to deal with and must be maintained all day long, every day. There is no cure for lymphedema. I have had lymphedema in my leg since my 1991 cancer surgery. I went from being a gymnastics coach and fitness trainer who exercised daily to being bedridden after my surgery as a result of the lymph nodes being removed along with the cancer. My life changed drastically, but I went back to work and learned how to maintain it as soon as possible. Several doctors told me that I would be bedridden for the rest of my life and that I would never work again. That was in 1991.

So, what is lymphedema? Here is the definition by the National Lymphedema Network…

“Lymphedema is an accumulation of lymphatic fluid in the interstitial tissue that causes swelling, most often in the arm(s) and/or leg(s), and occasionally in other parts of the body. Lymphedema can develop when lymphatic vessels are missing or impaired (primary), or when lymph vessels are damaged or lymph nodes removed (secondary).

When the impairment becomes so great that the lymphatic fluid exceeds the lymphatic transport capacity, an abnormal amount of protein-rich fluid collects in the tissues of the affected area. Left untreated, this stagnant, protein-rich fluid not only causes tissue channels to increase in size and number, but also reduces oxygen availability in the transport system, interferes with wound healing, and provides a culture medium for bacteria that can result in lymphangitis (infection).”

So, what types of exercise can a lymphedema patient perform? That depends on the patient and whether they have medical clearance to exercise. Once cleared for exercise, the best exercise to reduce the leg swelling is swimming because the person is horizontal, in motion, and performing a non-impact movement. The second best exercise for a person with leg lymphedema is riding a recumbent bike. It is also non-impact, it’s a steady motion, and the legs are elevated slightly.

If the patient is in good physical condition otherwise and they have the lymphedema under control (as much as possible) they can use the elliptical machine. That is, if they can tolerate it from a fitness and medical standpoint. Make sure the lymphedema patient has permission from their doctor to perform exercise, especially an intense exercise such as the elliptical. Keep the person with lymphedema OFF THE TREADMILL. Walking and running cause the leg swelling to become MUCH worse because they are high impact. Picture someone putting ice cream into an ice cream cone and then packing it in. The swelling becomes dense, packed in if not maintained properly. The more severe, the more difficult it is to deal with.

In my experience, it can take an hour with the leg elevated before the swelling even BEGINS to go down and several days or weeks for it to completely drain. People with lymphedema should be wearing their compression stocking if their doctor prescribed it and sleeping with her legs elevated every night, unless their doctor has told them otherwise. It is important to stay in motion and to only perform non-impact exercises. For example, squats are often better than walking lunges for someone with lymphedema. The walking lunge is an impact exercise. Do NOT encourage a person with leg lymphedema to participate any exercise classes that include impact exercises. If they are in good shape the spin classes will keep the circulation going and help will lose or maintain a healthy body weight. It’s all about keeping the body in motion without ANY impact exercises.

Keep in mind that of the lymphedema is from a new surgery the patient MUST be cleared to begin exercise because if they begin to exercise before the doctors allow them to exercise they will cause problems with the lymphatic system. My doctors told me the swelling from the surgery would never go down if I started to exercise too soon and that I would cause permanent damage. I was told to wait one full year after my surgery before I was allowed to exercise my legs. I waited 10 months and couldn’t stand it any longer. I HAD to return to exercise because it was what I enjoyed and it was my life. Not being allowed to exercise my legs was extremely difficult for me because I spent a lifetime in the gym. Again, make sure the lymphedema patient has FULL medical clearance to exercise.

Here is something that many people do not know. When a person with lymphedema is not in motion and does not have compression stocking on their leg, they must keep their legs elevated in order to prevent swelling. Something as simple as waiting in line at the grocery store could cause enough swelling to keep a person in bed the next day. The swelling begins in less than a minute, literally, when standing still or sitting without the leg elevated. It is truly a challenge every minute of the day to keep the leg from swelling and those around lymphedema patients must be patient and considerate.

There is plenty of information on lymphedema. It is either primary or secondary. Secondary lymphedema would be caused from something such as a cancer surgery. Mine is secondary because my lymph nodes were removed from my upper thigh on one leg during my cancer surgery. If the lymphedema is not controlled it can end up being elephantitis. Yes, it is a real medical condition and it is very serious. There are lymphedema support groups throughout the USA. The National Lymphedema Network has plenty of information.

Let me know how I can help you…

Karen Goeller, CSCS

Fibromyalgia Symptoms & Associated Conditions

Fibromyalgia (FM) has a wide range of symptoms and overlapping conditions! It is easy to mistake one condition or symptom for another. FM, along with these other related factors, is often misdiagnosed and misunderstood.

FM is characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain and weakness. The American College of Rheumatology established a guideline for diagnosis in 1990. It is defined by 11 to 18 tender points located throughout the body. When your doctor examines you for FM, he / she will locate these painful little points by touch and reaction to pain. These tender points are mainly found in the muscles around the neck, shoulders, chest, knees, the region around the elbow, and hips.

I was diagnosed in 1995, but lived with FM for many years before I could finally put a name on it. It was a relief, in a way, because my pain and fatigue was finally validated, but I did not know what I was in for. Later on, I realized many other conditions I had been related to FM. The list just kept growing!

FM patients' symptoms can vary in quantity and degree. It is never exactly the same as the next person. You may have one or you may have all (I hope it's the former), but all of the information below pertains to Fibromyalgia.

Aside from the obvious muscle pain and weakness, symptoms of Fibromyalgia include: allergies, disequilibrium (trouble with balance), dizziness, clumsiness, extreme fatigue, sleep starts (falling sensation), insomnia, sleep disorders like apnea, headaches, increased menstrual pain, sensory sensitivity, sensitive skin, itching, histamine reactions like dermographia, morning stiffness, stiffness when walking, mottled skin, carbohydrates cravings (sweets, too), yeast infections (Candida), tissue overgrowth, nail ridges, curved nails, ingrown hairs, easy Scarring, anxiety, stress, cry easily, panic attacks, mood swings, sudden irritability, extreme sweating, more than average infections, shakes or tremors, bruising (more than the average person), weight gain or loss, bruxism (nighttime teeth grinding) , numbness & tingling (Parasthesia), sinusitis, runny nose (frequent), ear pain, trouble swallowing, eye pain, sensitivity to certain materials (clothing, bed linens), heartburn, indigestion, weak grasp, shortness of breath, chest tightness, rapid heartbeat, painful intercourse, impotence, low-back pain, burning feet, dry eyes & mouth, hormonal fluctuations, delayed reactions to over exertion or stress, muscle twitches, swelling, mold & yeast sensitivity, pelvic pain, urinary frequency, abdominal cramps, bloating and nausea.

FM patients are probably familiar with the phrase "fibro fog". It refers to symptoms of FM that relate to cognitive dysfunction: memory problems, difficulty concentrating, words that come out jumbled, trouble making decisions, trouble spelling words you know, scattered thoughts.

If that's not enough, we can add other debilitating disorders, syndromes or illnesses: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), Chronic Myofascial Pain (CMP), Migraines (in all forms), Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) ), Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS), Interstitial Cystitis (IC) or painful bladder, Mitral Valve Prolapse (MVP), Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome (TMJ), Insulin Resistance (IR), Reactive Hypoglycemia (RHG), Depression and Anxiety.

That's enough to make anyone want to go to bed and stay there! I have had my moments – believe me! Sometimes, it looks unbearable and that I can not take one more second, but I HAVE TO and so do you! Take it day-by-day and make the most of your good days. At the end of a bad one – you can say you made it through another day and tomorrow might be better!

I will continue this article series and will explore all the aspects of Fibromyalgia and all the issues, etc. that come with it.

Types of Brain Injuries

Brain injuries are devastating injuries that occur every 15 seconds in the United States. Brain injuries are the leading cause of death in persons under the age of 45. There are approximately 5 to 6 million people living in the US with brain injuries. Leading causes of brain injuries are motor vehicle accidents, falls, violence and sports injuries.

The brain can be damaged in multiple ways. In order to understand head injuries, it is useful to understand the different types of brain injuries that can occur:

Concussions – A concussion can be defined as a sudden alteration of the conscious state induced by trauma. The person affected may lose consciousness briefly and may be confused following. The brain can recover from a conversation but in certain circumstances, there may be residual damage. Concussions often occur in sports-related injuries.

Contusions – When the head strikes a hard, immovable object the brain may be bruised. Contusions are essentially bruises that result in damage to, or destruction of, brain tissue. They often occur in the frontal and temporal lobes. These are the lobes where behavior and memory centers are located, so damage to these areas can cause changes in behavior, changes in vision (including loss of vision), impairment of memory and occasionalal weakness or loss of coordination.

Diffuse axonal brain injuries (DAI) – In this type of injury, a shearing force damages nerve fibers or stretches blood vessels in the brain. The result may be hemorrhage (bleeding) and can also cause a cascade of chemicals that are toxic to the brain to be released. The temporal and frontal lobes are often affected. Symptoms of DAI include inattentiveness, problems with memory and disorganization.

Hypoxic-Ischemic Brain Injuries (HII) – Stroke is a common cause of this type of injury, in which the amount of oxygen is reduced to the brain (for example, from a blood clot). The injury causes brain borrowing that restricts oxygen, glucose and other necessary nutrients from reaching the brain. A poor prognosis is associated with both HII and DAI in terms of cognitive function and memory impairment, if the patient survives the initial injury.

Hemorrhage – A cerebral or intracranial bleed occurs when blood vessels within the brain bleed as a result of trauma or inherent weakness of a blood vessel (eg aneurysm). Hemorrhages may be tiny or large and symptoms correspond to the severity and location of the bleed. Hemorrhage does not always occur immediately after an injury, but may be delayed for hours or even days.

Infarction – "Infarction" is the medical term for stroke. Strokes occur when an artery supplying the brain is blocked, cutting off oxygen and nutrients to the brain. Speech, language and visual problems often occur after a stroke.

Hematomas – Hematomas develop outside the brain. Subdural hematomas occurs over the surface of the parietal or frontal lobes. A subdural hematoma is slow bleeding outside the brain caused by a vessel carrying venous (unoxygenated) blood. Epidural hematomas are usually caused by damaged arteries, which carry blood under pressure, which can cause sever pressure which must be released immediately or death will occur. Subarachnoid hemorrhages occurs when bleeding spreads slowly over the brain surface. Subarachnoid hemorrhages rarely cause death and may even be symptomatic.

There are numerous types of injuries which may be caused by trauma or physical conditions. Understanding the type of injury sustained can provide clues as to what to expect in terms of symptoms and outcome. Any time a brain injury is suspected, medical attention must be thought. Brain injuries can cause permanent and sever damage when not treated. With proper treatment, many patients recover.

Silent Heart Attacks

Heart attacks, known by their medical name of acute myocardial infarction, is a state of disease that involves the interruption of the bloody supply to part of the heart. The result is a shortage of oxygen that can damage the heart tissue and potentially kill. Heart attacks are the leading cause of death all over the world. Major heart attack risk factors include a history of angina or vascular disease, a previous stroke or heart attack, old age, excess alcohol, the abuse of illegal drugs, smoking, episodes of abnormal heart beat, obesity, high levels of stress, high or low cholesterol, high triglyceride levels, high blood pressure, and diabetes.

"Myocardial infarction" is a term derived from the scientific terms for the heart muscle, myocardium, and tissue death as a result of lack of oxygen – infarction. It should be noted that sudden cardiac death is different from a heart attack; a heart attack may or may not result in sudden cardiac death.

Symptoms of heart attacks include anxiety, a feeling of impending doom, chest pain, sweating, shortness of breath, palpitations, nausea, and vomiting. Oftentimes, heart attack patients will feel sick very suddenly. The symptoms for heart attacks in men are often different from the symptoms in women. Women most often experience fatigue, shortness of breath, and a feeling of weakness. About one third of all heart attacks are silent and do not consist of any chest pain or associated symptoms.

Silent heart attacks can be identified by studying one's medical history, testing the blood regularly for cardiac enzymes, and measuring one's heart activity via electrocardiograms. When one is having a silent heart attack, it is necessary to restore blood flow to the heart immediately in order to prolong life. This restoration of blood flow can be accomplished through the dissolution of clots in the artery, or through an angioplasty, in which the artery is pushed open with the help of a balloon. Sometimes, the two methods are employed simultaneously.

Silent heart attacks are more common than you may believe. It has been estimated that around a quarter of all those who have had heart attacks in the past did not have such symptoms as arm pain, crushing pressure in the chest, or feelings of weakness.

Common silent heart attack symptoms include chest discomfort, or pains in the arm and / or jaw that go away after you rest, getting tired easily, and experiencing shortness of breath. Of course chest pain is the most common symptom of all heart attacks. It is followed by shortness of breath. Many heart attack patients also report having experienced an overwhelming feeling of doom.

It has been found that aspirin can greatly aid those who are in the process of having a heart attack. If you feel that you have had a silent heart attack, it is recommended that you take a non-acetaminophen aspirin afterwards. This can greatly reduce the amount of damage done to the heart. But most of all, if you feel like you have had a heart attack or are at risk for one, seek medical attention immediately.

An Introduction to Infectious Diseases

Infectious illnesses trigger significant morbidity and mortality, particularly in people who are most vulnerable to illness: the really young, the elderly, the immunocompromised, and also the disenfranchised. The pathogenesis of infectious diseases is dependent on the relationship among the human host, the infectious agent, and also the external surroundings.

The infectious agent can be either exogenous (ie, not usually discovered on or within the body) or endogenous (ie, one that might be routinely cultured from a particular anatomic website but that does not normally trigger disease within the host). Virus results when an exogenous agent is introduced into a host from the environment or when an endogenous agent overcomes innate host immunity to cause illness. Host susceptibility plays an important role in either of these settings.

The environment includes vectors (insects and other carriers that transmit infectious agents) and zoonotic hosts or reservoirs (animals that harbor infectious agents and frequently act to amplify the infectious agent). For example, the white-footed mouse (Peromyscus leucopus) serves as an animal reservoir for Borrelia burgdorferi, the bacterium that brings about Lyme illness.

The Ixodes tick serves as an insect vector. Infection within the mouse is asymptomatic, and also the bacteria can multiply to higher levels in this animal. When the tick larva feeds on an infected mouse, it becomes secondarily infected with B burgdorferi, and this virus persists when the tick molts into a nymph.

Subsequently, when an infected nymph feeds on a human, the bacterium is transmitted into the host bloodstream, causing disease. The study of infectious diseases requires understanding of pathogenesis in the level from the population, the individual, the cell, and the gene. For example, in the population level, the spread of tuberculosis within the community is related to the social interactions of an infectious human host.

Outbreaks of tuberculosis have occurred in homeless shelters, prisons, bars, and nursing homes when an index case comes in close contact with susceptible persons. At the individual degree, tuberculosis outcomes from inhalation of respiratory droplets containing airborne tubercul bacilli. At the cellular degree, these bacilli activate T cells, which play a critical role in containing the infection.

Individuals with an impaired T-cell response (eg, those infected with HIV) are at particularly high chance for primary tuberculosis in the time from the initial infection or for reactivation of latent tuberculosis as their immunity wanes. Finally, at the genetic degree, individuals with specific polymorphisms in a macrophage protein gene may be at substantially higher chance for pulmonary tuberculosis.

Specific microorganisms have a tendency to trigger certain kinds of infections: Streptococcus pneumoniae commonly causes pneumonia, meningitis, and bacteremia but rarely about endocarditis (infection from the heart valves); Escherichia coli is a common cause of GI and urinary tract infections; Plasmodium species infect red blood cells and liver cells to trigger malaria; Entamoeba histolytica brings about amebic dysentery, liver abscesses, and so on.

How To Treat Colon Cancer?

Cancer is the name for a disease that can affect cells from all the organs and body's structures and is considered to be life threatening. The colon and rectum are a part of the large intestine and their function is to absorb nutrients and water from the food that passes through the intestine before it goes out of the body. Colorectal cancer is the disease that affects the cells from the colon and rectum creating a malign or benign tumor.

Treatment is possible for those who suffer from colon cancer. The treatment is based of three procedures: surgery, using radiations, and chemotherapy.

Generally the colon cancer is treated with surgery and this depends on the stage of the cancer. If the cancer is in an early stage then the doctor will take the tumor out by putting a tube that passes the rectum until it reaches the colon and only then cutting the tumor. This means that the doctor performs a local excision when the cancer is localized on a polyp than the procedure will be classified as a polypectomy. If the cancer is in a more advanced stage the doctor will have to cut that tumor out along with a part of the healthy colon. Then the two parts of healthy colon will be sewed together. The lymph nodes around the affected area will also be removed and analyzed at the microscope.

Sometimes the doctor can not sew the two heads of the colon and will be forced to make a hole on the surface of the body in order to create another anus, also known as a colostomy. This second anus will not be kept ever, it will be kept until the colon heals and can be sewed back. Sometimes if the situation is bad and the colon can not be saved, this colostomy will be permanent. The patient will further need a special bag made for collecting the body wastes. These bags are only for one use and are not able to be seen due to clothing and are easy to replace even by the patient.

Another procedure to treat cancer is radiotherapy. This therapy uses x-rays for killing cancer cells and making the tumor stop its evolution and even shrink. Radiation therapy can be performed by special machines located near the body and by special tubes that contain radioactive material and are placed inside the body near the intestines. The radiation therapy can be combined with surgery and other procedures for treating cancer.

Chemotherapy is also used in treating cancer. Chemotherapy uses pills or substances that go by vein in the organism. As these drugs travel the blood stream and can kill cancerous cell all over the body the chemotherapy is known to as a systemic therapy. Chemotherapy can be associated with surgery. While the surgeon removes the tumors that can be seen with a naked eye, chemotherapy destroys those small cells that the surgeon can not remove.

Also, biological therapy can be used as it increases the forces of the organism to fight cancer and will help the body increase its defenses.

Airborne Klebsiella Pneumonia and Infections

Airborne Klebsiella pneumonia can affect the lungs in a rapid and severe onset of illness, with the most common infection being pneumonia. If left unchecked, the mortality rate caused by the infection can be high due to consequences from other preexisting illnesses of the patient, and with the tendency of the Klebsiella pneumonia to cause lung destruction and pockets of pus in the lungs (also known as abscesses) that can lead to death.

If air containing the airborne virus is inhaled by individuals with a weakened immune system, or immuno-compromised patients regardless of underlying causes, it can cause Klebsiella infections and complications. People susceptible to succumb to illness include those already suffering from diseases, such as diabetes, chronic pulmonary disease and chronic lung disease, or having some health destructive habits such as alcoholism or being a chain smoker. The symptoms include high fever, flu-like symptoms, chills, aches, and a bad cough with a lot of sputum. The sputum is thick and blood tinged.

The emergence of new antibiotic resistant strains of Klebsiella pneumonia is disturbing, and it is increasingly found as a nosocomial infection. Nosocomial infection is an infection that is admitted in the hospital or health care center but secondary to the patient's initial admission condition. This new mutated type of antibiotic-resistant strain, is known as super-bugs, and is very difficult to treat.

Even natural spontaneous human actions such as breathing and sneezing can release the airborne bacteria into the air from animals or humans harboring the respiratory bacteria. If inhaled by those whose immune systems have been weakened or compromised, it may cause serious diseases. Particles containing the Klebsiella bacterium can remain airborne for several hours. This poses a risk for it to be a contagious respiratory pathogen.

Old School Wisdom – Go Back in Time to Go Forward in Your Training!

Many advances have been made in energy, health, technology, and other areas of life. In strength training, not so much! Stop trying to be original. Tap into the wisdom of our strength forefathers and start getting results! Why pave a new path when there’s already a good one to follow? Here are two routines inspired from the past to begin your journey.

The Stage Routine

Front row and center for quick size and strength gains!

This training system was popular with legendary Canadian strongman, Doug Hepburn, who was considered to be the strongest man in the world at his peak. It will help advanced trainees break through strength plateaus in a short period of time.

The routine involves only 2 exercises per workout and 2 stages per exercise for size and strength gains. Stage 1 will increase relative strength and Stage 2 will induce functional hypertrophy (i.e. muscle mass that produces high levels of strength).

Take a look at the program but don’t blink because it will go by pretty quick!

Day 1 – Chest and Biceps

A1) Flat Barbell Bench Press

A2) Standing EZ-Bar Curls

Day 2 – Legs

A1) Front Squat

A2) Lying Leg Curl

Day 3 – Back and Triceps

A1) Wide-Grip Sternum Pull-Ups

A2) Standing V-Bar Pressdowns

Stage 1: 8 x 1 @ 50X0, 100″

Stage 2: 5 x 5 @ 40X0, 90″

Note: Start with a 3RM load for Stage 1 and a 7RM load for Stage 2.

I suggest that you use the first workout to find your true 3RM (repetition maximum) and 7RM loads, then commence the stage method the next workout. Only increase the weight when all reps for that stage have been successfully completed. The key is to be successful, so leave a little in reserve at the beginning.

Make sure to warm-up thoroughly by using several sets of low reps (5 or less) with progressively heavier loads until you reach your working weight.

This program will last a month. Each workout is performed once in a 5-day period (i.e. Day 1 – Day 2 – Off – Day 3 – Off) for 6 workouts then switch to a new routine. As mentioned above, the first workout is used to find the correct training weight. The next 4 workouts will incorporate the stage method – you should peak on the 5th workout with a new one-rep max on all lifts.

Taper on the final workout by performing only 3-5 sets of as many reps as possible at a 20X0 tempo resting 90 seconds between sets with the original 7RM load. You should notice an increase in number of repetitions performed at that weight. Most people will decay by 1-2 reps per set. Terminate the exercise if you hit 5 sets or drop 3 reps from one set to the next. This will be a short workout. Get in; do your thing; and get out. You may be tempted to do more. Don’t!

If you have been plagued with injuries and are apprehensive to perform maximum singles, stick to the 2-3RM range for Stage 1 and 5-7RM range for Stage 2. The program will work just as well.

Also, you’ll notice that all “A1” exercises are multi-joint movements and all “A2” exercises are single joint movements. Many people are concerned about maximum singles on isolation movements. Listen, either you lift the weight or you don’t, but if it’s still an issue, then substitute a compound movements instead:

Standing EZ-Bar Curls -> Close-Grip Chin-Ups

Lying Leg Curl -> Bent-Knee Deadlift or Snatch Podium Deadlift

Standing V-Bar Pressdowns -> Parallel-Bar Dips or Close-Grip Bench Press

Do not be fooled by the low number of exercises and the low number of repetitions. Many times, less is more and this routine is no exception! The high intensities used for a large number of sets produces great results. Rest assured that the whole body is trained – and trained hard – with this program.

Isometronics

The secret strength and muscle building system of the past and present!

This routine utilizes partial movements and static contractions to break through training plateaus. Partial movements are excellent to shock the system when stagnation occurs – they help to disinhibit the nervous system – and isometrics are great to gain strength at specific joint angles.

In the 1960’s, isometronics (a blend of isotonic and isometric contractions) were promoted as a new secret strength and muscle building system. A couple decades later in his book, The Development of Physical Strength, Anthony Ditillo declared that “isometronics can make you a superman!” Ditillo believed that combining heavy, intense muscular exertions and isometrics in a power rack was “the most potent tool available for increasing physical strength.”

The system is just as effective today as it was back then.

I picked up many of the details of this method in the mid 90’s from strength and conditioning coach, Charles Poliquin, who is a strong believer of using the power rack to promote rapid strength and mass gains. According to Poliquin, the average intermediate bodybuilder can expect to beat his personal records in the curl by 10-25 pounds, and in the close-grip bench press by 30-45 pounds in only 3-4 weeks with this system!

Let’s take a look at the routine.

Day 1 – Chest, Back and Shoulders

A1) 45 Degree Incline Barbell Bench Press

A2) Mid-Grip Pull-Ups

B1) Braced One-Arm Dumbbell Press (neutral grip)

B2) Kneeling One-Arm Pulldown (neutral grip)

Day 2 – Legs and Abdominals

A1) Back Squat

A2) Lying Leg Curls (dorsiflexed)

B1) Snatch-Grip Romanian Deadlift

B2) High-Pulley Crunch

Day 3 – Arms

A1) Close-Grip Bench Press

A2) Standing Mid-Grip Cable Curls

B1) One-Arm Dumbbell French Press

B2) 45 Degree Incline Dumbbell Curls

Isometronics involve lifting through a partial range of motion usually in a power rack (but not always), and finishing each rep with an isometric contraction. Take a third of the range of motion and do 3 sets at 3 different angles of an exercise for a total of 9 sets.

The order you perform the 3 ranges is important. Pick the heaviest (i.e. strongest) weight angle first:

a) Top -> Middle -> Bottom for Incline and Close-Grip Bench Press, and Squats

These exercises are performed in a power rack for 5 reps per set using a controlled tempo (i.e. 2 seconds to lower the bar, gently and quietly touching the lower pins, and two seconds to raise the bar). Then on the 5th rep, try to rip through the top rack pin for 6-8 seconds. Research from Germany shows that 8-second isometrics are enough. If you can make contact with the upper pin then the weight was too light. If you only have one set of pins in your power rack, then lower the bar just shy of resting on the pins and hold the 8-second isometric there. Make sure not to hold your breath during the isometric action. If you selected the proper load, you should not be able to do another concentric repetition.

b) Bottom -> Middle -> Top for Pull-Ups, Leg Curls, and Cable Curls

For these exercises, you perform 5 reps again using a controlled tempo (i.e. 2 seconds up and 2 seconds down), but this time on the 5th rep, pause for 8 seconds in the middle of the range.

The next workout for that body part will occur 5 days later and involve conventional training using hypertrophy parameters. Continue to alternate between isometronic and conventional workouts for six workouts as outlined below.

Workout #1, 3, 5 – Isometronic Training – A) 9 x 5 @ 2020, 120″ B) 3 x 8-10 @ 3010, 60″

Workout #2, 4 – Conventional Training – A) 5 x 5-7 @ 4020, 90″ B) 3 x 8-10 @ 3010, 60″

Workout #6 – Taper – A) 3 x 8-10 @ 2010, 120″ B) 2 x 12-15 @ 2010, 90″

This form of training will induce deep and severe soreness. It is a quick way to gain size as the isometrics create high tension for fast-twitch fibers leading to hypertrophy. This system is also excellent to boost strength and blast through sticking points, but do not use isometronics often in a training year as it is quite stressful to the nervous system.