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Posts Tagged ‘vitamin D’

To attain conscious control of the structural balance of the human body, we must know its component parts, their relationships, and the forces acting upon and within them. We must understand its materials and their functions and behavior.” Mabel E. Todd

To re-build and remodel our bones, we need to become our body’s own architect. To do this, we need to discover what materials are available that will re-build and re-assemble a remarkably strong and sturdy structure.

You’d think the skeleton’s unique honeycomb structure would weigh alot but the fact is, bone is very light, yet it’s strong enough to support and protect our flesh and organs…..that’s remarkable in itself!

A wonderful health magazine http://www.vitalitymagazine.com/ published in Toronto has a wealth of information on many health topics. In November of 2006, Vitality printed with permission, a excerpt from a new book called “The Bone-Building Solution” written by Sam Graci, Dr. Carolyn De Marco and Dr. Leticia Rao. You can view the whole article http://www.vitalitymagazine.com/breakthrough_bone-building_solutions and a snippet of it here….

“Why Grandma and Grandpa Never Experienced Osteoporosis

………Your grandparents’ bones didn’t turn to dust, probably because their diet was similar to the current recommendations in this book. They used cod liver oil instead of pharmaceuticals-grade fish oil, and ate lots of green vitamin K1-rich foods, consumed fermented foods to convert K1 to its biologically active form K2, got natural sunshine on their skin (producing sufficient amounts of vitamin D3), and they walked daily and did manual chores that challenged their bones to adapt by becoming stronger. They also ate a micronutrient diet full of critical, alkalinizing calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium, and bone-building cofactors. Their diets did not contain all the processed foods — the foods of modern commerce — that make our modern-day diets far too acidifying, which leaches calcium or potassium from the bones to buffer or neutralize the overproduction of acids by acting as acid sponges, leaving weak, porous bones. “

Sam Graci is the creator of the well known greens+ and although the book promotes his products it is very informative on bone health.

 Another great read on an upcoming book STRONG BONES by Dr. Michael Colgan is with a great site called VISTA Magazine online.  This is the 4th part of the series, but if you scroll down to the bottom, parts 1, 2, and 3 are included. http://www.vistamagonline.com/vista_articles/page.php?tp=&p=&id=&s=strong_bones_-_part_4

 The only thing that bothers me about the articles by Dr. Colgan, is he targets mainly ‘older’ women with osteoporosis.  I don’t know how old this article is, but he excludes the fact that osteoporosis is now being diagnosed at an alarming rate in men, women and children. 

 Stress is the most potent toxin producer in the body.  Unconsciously stress keeps our body in a defensive mode without us knowing it.  In time we begin to experience pain and develop symptoms of illness, from old memory patterns keeping us in a constant up-tight survival mode rather than being in the present moment. 

 Food takes second place. The ingesting of acid producing fatty foods like bologna, pastries, chips, hamburgers and pizza, is creating a major health issue in our society. The acidity from these foods is a major culprit in bone reduction.  Acid eats bone!  And we consume too much of these products which consist of meats (including poultry, fish) dairy products and grains.  Processed foods are great for people with busy lifestyles but they are laden in Salt.  Salt is a major contributor to osteoporosis as well as heart disease, cancer, strokes and more!  Salt creates uric acid in the body affecting the liver, kidneys and adrenal function. 

 There are great books and web sites on osteoporosis which I’ll list at the end of this blog. There are authors out there who are truly open and honest, sharing and interacting their truths and experiences with others. If you find yourself suddenly guided to a certain book or person. synchronicity is at work offering you a message, an insight or realization about your life. Often this creates a shift in your energy that will astound you!

 A synchronistic event is where we personally experience an uncanny coincidence that evokes an emotionally charged response that may be felt as chills up the spine, or a sudden revelation (light-bulb effect).  Synchronicity somehow links us to a sequence of events that inspire and point us in a new direction.

As I was writing this, I was inspired by a friend to read the lyrics of a song called “Fire” http://www.allthelyrics.com/lyrics/new_direction/fire-lyrics-1168486.html  And Rachel found this in a book called Until Today by Iyanla Vanzant.  Now that’s synchronicity at work!

I can feel the fire shut up in my bones,
like Jeremiah, it won’t leave me alone.
I can feel the fire shut up in my bones,
like Jeremiah, it won’t leave me alone.
Verse 1:
Something down inside of me, I can’t hold me peace, no,
all I know it feels good to me way down in my bones.
I wanna run, I wanna scream, I wanna shout, and throw up my hands,
I’m feeling something special that you may not understand.

 “If you want to enjoy your power in life, you must have a plan for your physical body.  More important, you must follow the plan.  There is divine power in your bones that flows with greater effectiveness when the tissues and muscles surrounding the bones are fine-tuned.”  Iyanla Vanzant

 MOTIVATION IS THE NAME OF THE GAME

 If you are determined to change your eating habits, before you start, ask yourself a motivational question like “why am I doing this?”  This type of questioning is one of the most crucial factors in reaching whatever goal you’ve set for yourself.  It helps direct you toward a specific purpose and on the alert for new and better ways to improve your health and life.

 
BONE HEALTH
“Can you imagine what would happen if a drug company came out with a single pill tha reduces the risk of cancer, heart attack, stroke, osteoporosis, PMS, SAD, and various autoimmune disorders? There would be a media frenzy, the like of which has never been seen before! Well guess what” Such a drug exists…….it is the sun.”
M.F. Holick MD, discoverer of Vitamin D3

The main function of Vitamin D is to regulate all mineral and vitamin metabolism, especially the minerals Calcium and Phosphorous. It also controls the levels of Calcium in the blood and influences normal gland function for all the body’s muscles, especially the heart. Vitamin D also helps in the growth, maintenance and repair of all bones and teeth. It also works with the thryoid gland to produce hormones and the parathyroid glands in regulating and distributing calcium throughout the body.

Is it possible Vitamin D could be discovered as a hormone rather than a vitamin? Reason being, it’s produced by the body, through the action of sunlight on the skin. When a body is healthy, it uses the liver and kidneys to convert Vitamin D into an active form the body can use.

The liver and kidneys? Hmm, this was a great interest to me. I’ve been doing an extensive study on the meridians and most recently, the bladder, kidney and liver. The bladder and kidney meridians when imbalanced, have an adverse affect on the bones as well as the teeth, ears, spine and autonomic nervous system.

On http://vitalitymagazine.com/ there is an excellent article on vitamin D3. This is where the above quote by M.F. Holick MD came from. http://www.vitalitymagazine.com/june09_helkefeat

In the article, by Helke Ferrie, my question wondering if Vitamin D could be a hormone was answered…..

“Vitamin D3 is a prohormone and thus the most important precursor of all hormones, vitamins, and minerals. Without D3, the body’s signal systems (hormones, neurotransmitters), and super-catalysts (minerals), cannot enable all other catalysts (vitamins) to cause the liver to create the 600 vitamin/mineral-dependent enzymes our bodies depend on. And Vitamin D regulates calcium and phosphorus levels, without which our food cannot nourish us properly.”

“In the 1990’s he [Michael F. Holick] proved that actually every cell in our bodies has D3 receptors, not just the liver and kidneys.” Ohh I didn’t know that! This article IS an excellent read for everyone. It also states….

“The research of the last five years has further shown how D3 works to prevent (and even cure) certain types of liver disease (such as fatty liver), as well as bacterially-caused pregnancy problems, tooth decay, organ rejection in transplant surgery, certain skin diseases (atopic dermatitis, psoriasis), Type I diabetes in children, Multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease. D3 also reduces the need for painkillers in chronic pain patients.” Add Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue and Osteoporosis to this list!

And…….

“Exposure to the sun for at least 20 minutes twice a week is necessary. In a bathing suit in summer, your skin will produce 10,000 IU in an hour [wow]. In fall, winter and spring, all Canadians should supplement with optimal amounts — especially lactating mothers and their breast-feeding infants, because human breast milk is virtually devoid of D3 and babies generally can’t sunbathe.”

Further on in the article it talks of sunscreen and the chemical properties of these products. “According to www.skinbiology.com: “It now appears that many heavily-used chemical sunscreens may actually increase cancers by virtue of their free radical generating properties. And more insidiously, many commonly used sunscreen chemicals have strong estrogenic actions that may cause serious problems in sexual development and adult sexual function, and may further increase cancer risks……

Adding to the problem is that large amounts of applied sunscreens can enter the bloodstream though your skin. This may be a factor in the large increases in cancer (breast, uterine, colon, prostate) observed in regions, such as Northern Australia, where the use of sunscreen chemicals has been heavily promoted by medical groups and the local governments.” Yikes!

Unfortuately, as we age. it’s harder for our body to produce Vitamin D3. One possibility is hyperparathyroidism, a disorder of the parathyroids that can cause abnormally high levels of calcium in the blood. The parathyroids function is to release hormones into the blood which balances the levels of calcium released from the bones into the blood stream. When you’re scheduled for your next blood test, or suspect hyperthyroidism, I highly suggest you ask your doctor to check your parathyroids.

A great site http://www.parathyroid.com/parathyroid-disease.htm

VITAMIN K

Vitamin K is essential in the process of blood coagulation, which takes place in the liver, where the blood is prepared to go to the site of bleeding and form a mesh like substance to stop further bleeding.

An excellent site on osteoporosis, vitamins, etc… http://www.spineuniverse.com/displayarticle.php/article1081.html

“Vitamin K helps promote strong bones by binding calcium and other minerals to the bone. The recommended dosage of vitamin K is 150mcg a day. Avoid taking too much vitamin K as high doses can cause flushing and sweating. In addition, if you are taking the blood thinner warfarin (Coumadin), talk to your doctor before taking a vitamin K supplement as it may lessen the effects of the drug.”

You really don’t need to take a Vitamin K supplement. If you do increase your fruits and vegetables, you’ll get all the Vitamin K you need and in a lower dosage. You’ll find vitamin K in spinach, lettuce, parsley, watercress, celery, broccoli, beetroot greens, green beans, kelp, cucumber, leek, dandelion, endive, sprouted seeds and all fresh fruits.

LYCOPENE

Lycopene is found mostly tomatoes. It’s what turns the tomato red and recently has been discovered as a potent antioxidant, helping to prevent bone loss and osteoporosis.   Usually cooked foods lose large amounts of nutrients…..however cooking tomatoes (tomato paste, spaghetti sauce) helps release the healing power of lycopene.

Check this site out on lycopene http://www.essortment.com/all/tomatolycopene_rmls.htm

We’ve all heard the term ‘free radicals’ that can cause havoc in our bodies.  Free radicals cause tissue damage, are responsible for aging, wrinkles and possibly the cause of some dis-eases.  Lycopene somehow inhibits these ‘free radicals’ from creating anymore damage.  This red pigment also slows down the osteclasts – ‘the cells that break bones’.

This is a good site on understanding how your bones continually remodel themselves… http://www.suite101.com/article.cfm/our_beautiful_bodies/116548    

SODIUM FOODS

This is NOT SALT! Salt is inorganic sodium (chloride) which too much of causes kidney problems, high blood pressure and hardening of the arteries.

SODIUM is only valuable when it’s Organic and balanced. Sodium foods like celery, help the body produce saliva, which is essential for carbohydrate digestion. Sodium also maintains the body’s levels of calcium which protects against lose of calcium from the bones! Sodium is an important mineral as it keeps other mineral elements soluble within the bloodstream, preventing a buildup of solid deposits. Celery juice mixed with Carrot is the best natural medicine for eliminating toxic substances that have deposited in various parts of the body.

This excellent site http://www.veganhealth.org/articles/bones#causeosteo leads us to our next topic…… “Osteoporosis is a disease of calcium loss from the bones, not a lack of calcium intake in the diet. Calcium loss from the bones is due to eating too much protein, especially animal protein, which increases calcium excretion in the urine. Not only does dairy not protect against osteoporosis, it actually contributes to it. Therefore, calcium intake isn’t very important for protecting against osteoporosis and vegans are protected due to the lack of animal protein in our diet.”

ACIDITY AND BONE LOSS

This morning in sync with this topic, I received an email/newsletter from Vivian Goldschmidt, author of The Bone Health Revolution and website saveourbones.com . The article is titled “Can milk damage your body AND bones.” Vivian writes…..

“Mark Hegsted, a retired Harvard professor of nutrition, has said,”To assume that Osteoporosis is due to calcium deficiency is like assuming that infection is due to penicillin deficiency.

Now you may be wondering, like I did, “Milk is rich in calcium; calcium strengthens bones; so milk strengthens bones.” But this is one of the biggest medical myths of our time.

You see, milk is an acidic animal protein. When consumed it imposes excessive demands on the kidneys.

So as a response, our bodies must neutralize all that acidic protein before it reaches the kidneys. It accomplishes that with calcium. Think about Tums or Rolaids–the main ingredient in thetablets is calcium and we take those to neutralize stomach acid.

Our bodies automatically do the same. And which is the most readily available source of calcium? You guessed it–our bones!

So while milk contains calcium, our bodies leech even more calcium from our bones to neutralize the effect of milk in the body.”

Thanks Vivian.

Last year a friend and I attended an interactive health fair with a wide range of exhibitors displaying their health products. It was wonderful! We saw demonstrations, received samples and talked to health professionals. We learnt a wealth of information that day!

One of the many topics was milk, especially cow’s milk and the acidifying effect on the body. Cow’s milk has more acidifying elements (phosphorus and chlorides) than alkalizing elements like calcium and magnesium.

Back in the days of our grandparents cows grazed on grasses that came straight from untreated soil and were fed foods free of additives. Then milk did have a neutral or alkalizing effect but unforunately not now. Now, protein is added to cow’s feed to increase milk production. Milk from high protein fed cows has a very high acidifying effect on humans.

Osteoporosis develops when the calcium and magnesium supply in our bones is used to neutralize the acid in our bodies. In other words, our bones have to bail us out of the mess caused by our dietary habits. Valuable reserves of alkaline minerals such as calcium and magnesium in our bones is called upon to neutralize the acid ash from foods. The problem with this, is calcium is supposed to be doing something else, like keeping the bones solid and strong. Most foods aren’t acid when you eat them, but acid ash is left as it’s processed. The more junk food you eat, the more acid buildup in your body.

OTHER ACID FOODS

Our bodies also accumulate excess acids from various sources such as stress, high protein foods (meat), medications and lack of exercise. Just think of the chips, beer and hamburgers you ate on the weekend. These foods can be eliminated through the kidneys and bowels, but the body needs to neutralize the acid first. If acid wasn’t neutralized, it would burn sensitive tissue on its way through the digestive tract. And again, if your alkaline reserves are low, the body will use calcium from your bones to buffer the acid.

This site lists an array of foods that leave an acid ash http://nh1.ccone.com/acid-diet.html

Our bodies are alkaline by design. Your cells work in an alkaline environment, yet acid is produced as they function and cells are functioning all the time. However, this acid is weak by comparison to acid foods and is easily expelled by the lungs.

The acid produced from meats, dairy and grains. can be eliminated but not by the lungs. Dietary acid ash is eliminated through the kidneys and in the process, vital minerals are lost with it. And when the kidneys have too much protein and toxins to eliminate, they become sluggish. Physically, you’ll feel tired no matter how much rest you get. Swollen eyes or rings under them could be an indication the kidneys are under stress. Lower back pain is another issue when your kidneys are worn out or exhausted.

PH BALANCE

Of the many presentations at the health fair, one was in regard to PH paper. Everyone was given a tiny booklet containing small strips of PH paper. These strips can apparently show you how your body ‘responded’ to the foods you ate yesterday.

We were told that upon awakening the next morning, to catch some urine in a small clean container and test it with a strip of PH paper. We were given a pocket size color chart to test our results. Yellow, orange and red were indicators of acid, green and blue alkaline or neutral. The PH paper registered between PH 5.5 and 8.0. The higher the number, the less acid.

We tried the PH strips in the morning and shared our findings. The first urine in the morning is a great indication of the foods that were processed ‘out’ while you were sleeping. Both of us were very acidic!

This was such an eye-opener for me. Honestly looking at the foods I was eating, there were more meats and grains than fruits and vegetables. And my friend who suffers from allergies was told allergic reactions could be the result of body stress. The more proteins, pastas, cola’s and fast foods we eat, the more toxic the body becomes. The adrenal glands become exhausted from being overworked, which can affect other organs as well as digestive problems and muscle aches.

We were also warned not to drastically change our diet all at once. Unfortunately, I’ve always been one to dive into something whole-heartedly. I shocked my system by flooding it with an abundance of fruits and vegetables. Ohhh I’m sure you can imagine what happened! My intestines were in distress!

SUMMARY

Adding more calcium to your diet is not the answer to building new bone. Changing the way you eat will. Reducing your meat, dairy products, cereals and grains to 25 % of your daily meal and upping your fruit intake to 75%, will. Don’t do this all at once! Adding an extra serving of vegetables or fruits to the table is a start. For breakfast, instead of having cereal, have a smoothie instead. Greens+ created a delicious tasting instant smoothie……I have one every morning and add a generous amount of my favorite fruits (blueberries, rasberries, blackberries) to the drink. I enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables in the summer, and use frozen in the winter.

Slowly reduce your intake of protein foods by serving smaller portions of beef, poultry or fish. Slowly, reduce your intake of salt, coffee, soda drinks and processed foods. Don’t forget you are radically changing the way you eat. It could take up to 6 months to before you’ve found your ‘ideal’ diet. Your body will be the best indicator at how fast you can go.

Use the PH test strips, first thing in the morning, to evaluate the acid in your body. If you’re not comfortable with the urine test, check your saliva instead. Don’t put the strip directly in your mouth, some people are allergic to the dyes. A small amount of saliva on a clean finger will do. Then check your ‘score’. This is one of the most accurate ways of evalutating how well your body is functioning.

What we eat has a definite role in the start of osteoporosis, especially acidic foods such as meat, coffee and soda drinks. Calcium, one of the most important alkalizing minerals in the body and will be taken from your bones, acting as an antacid to reduce acid production. Often the first stages of osteoporosis begins 10 to 20 years before it’s discovered through either a fall or a bone density test.

EXERCISE AND OSTEOPOROSIS

When I started looking at exercises to strengthen bone, I was shocked, surprised to learn that twisting, bending, crunching exercises were not recommended for  osteoporosis or osteopenia.  Apparently these put too much stress and pressure on the spine.  Even carrying the groceries has implications on the spine and I never thought of that!  It wasn’t uncommon to see me trudging up the stairs with 5 or more loaded bags purchased from surrounding stores.  I considered this to be a a weight bearing exercise of sorts and healthy for me!  Now I’ve learnt that this form of slumping forward increases the risk of bone fracture(s).  Walking and walking tall helps to prevent  joint and spinal compression. 

Whatever exercise you do, be gentle with yourself. Never strain or force and always give your body time to warm up at the beginning. Stretching exercises are a wonderful way to begin. This allows your blood vessels to expand, the blood to circulate more freely and enough oxygen to be carried to the muscles. Starting too fast causes anaerobic (without oxygen) combustion which builds up toxic wastes in the muscles, such as lactic acid, and results in pain and strain.  Inflammation in the body can actually cause calcium loss/leakage from the bones.  Be gentle to yourself!

YouTube has some excellent stretching exercises you can watch and do…. Top 6 Stretching Exercises http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BaDXNjFjjnU

Lower body stretch http://exercise.about.com/cs/flexibility/l/blstretch.htm

Five fantastic stretching exercises http://www.halhigdon.com/15Ktraining/Stretch.htm

Weight bearing exercises are great for the bones too.  Every other morning I dawn a pair of light ankle or wrist weights (1 or 2lbs each) and do either slow endurance exercises in the home or walk around the block before going to work.  Walking sends an electrical impulse to the bones, stimulating bone cells, improves blood flow which then provides healthy nutrients such as calcium to be deposited on the bone.  Of course this means I have to wake-up a 1/2 hour earlier, but hey if it improves my health and works the bones, it’s worth it!  

Another great exercise to challenge your bones and simple to do is pushing against a wall while lying down on a good floor mat.  The floor mat cushions your vertebrae and back from the floor or carpet. 

I tried resistant bands and the darn things snapped after a couple of months.  Now I use an old pair of nylons and these work just as well if not better.  If you don’t have nylons in the house (for the men) they can cost as little as $1 or $2 to purchase.

www.bonesforlive.com teaches classes that improve and stimulate bone health.  Watch this excellent video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QL53iQtjYU8 and see the coordination and balance improvement of the students who attended these classes. 

This website http://www.bones4life.org/ is great for students and teachers.

From http://cynthia.futurelifenow.com/?p=16

“Posture and movement are intimately linked to this remodeling. Research continues to confirm that posture affects blood pressure and even our heart rate. Additionally, the way we move makes a difference in the way the body recreates itself.

One way movement impacts us is in bone remodeling. Stress on the bone creates tiny microfractures. In the way that muscle is built, bone can also become stronger by being stressed to the point of an imperceptible fracture (or tear), and lo and behold a new construction crew comes in and repairs it better than before.  If this stress is uneven, the bone remodeling is stimulated unevenly. This means strength, size and shape of each bone and joint can be dramatically affected by the way you move.”

The internet is loaded with exercises and self-help programs.  Each of us is unique and one exercise that may benefit one may not benefit the other.   Let your intuition guide you.  IF something feels right for your body, go for it, enjoy it and reap the benefits!

 

to be continued…

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Much of the carbohydrates we eat are processed into triglycerides which are supposed to be converted into energy. When we eat more carbohydrates than the body can use, the carbohydrates are still converted into triglycerides….then to fatty acids…then stored as FAT.

I found some great reading material on carbs and the roles they play as energy foods. (See the bottom of this paragrah) There is a BIG difference in the types of carbohydrates we eat. If we can reduce our intake of refined carbohydrates (sugar, pasta, rice, flour, cereals, etc.) this will definitely help to reduce our blood cholesterol levels better than eliminating fats from our diets.

Most of us city dwellers gravitate towards the multitude of shops that cater to the quick meal and sweet snack foods. Our overindulgence in mass produced foods is leading to illness, weight problems, diabetes as well as low physical and mental energy. With all the Listeria and bacterial scares of late, (especially in Canada), this seems to be telling us to limit our eating patterns of processed and refined foods. Are we listening?

“High intake of refined carbohydrates enhances the formation of VLDL cholesterol, or “bad cholesterol” and reduces levels of HDL, [ the “good cholesterol”]. Many metabolic studies have shown that high-carbohydrate diets increase levels of fasting triglycerides as well as increase fat deposits by facilitating the conversion of excess carbohydrates to fats. High blood glucose and increased insulin output are associated with a high carbohydrate diet can also lead to high blood pressure, as well as inflammatory responses that are predictive of increased cardiovascular disease risk and can also cause digestive disorders and general discomfort.”
http://healthsolutionswellnesscenter.com/rc.aspx

Great links
The Role of Carbohydrates
http://www.pamf.org/health/toyourhealth/carbs.html

Refined Carbohydrates Up Diabetes Risk
http://www.pamf.org/health/toyourhealth/carbs.html

Refined Carbohydrates/Cholesterol/Diabetes/High Blood Pressure
http://healthsolutionswellnesscenter.com/rc.aspx

Carbs Are The Cause of High Cholesterol?
http://newsgroups.derkeiler.com/Archive/Alt/alt.support.diabetes/2006-04/msg02873.html

Low Carbohydrate Nutrition
http://www.superdocdc.com/low_carbohydrate_nutrition.htm

FATS AND OILS

Fats and oils are collectively termed as LIPIDS. Fats are usually solid at room temperature and the Oils are in a liquid form. Lipids have another chemical name……TRIGLYCERIDES!

There are three basic types of LIPIDS…..Mono Unsaturated, Poly Unsaturated and Saturated.

Mono Unsaturated fats do not increase the cholesterol levels of the blood, examples of these fats are olive oil, and certain nuts such as macadamia, hazelnut, almond, canola, pistachio, peanut and sesame.

Certain polyunsaturated fats are known to have the ability to lower the cholesterol of the blood as well as the prevention of hardened arteries and heart disease. Sunfllower, corn, soy, peanut, all contain Linoleic acid, an essential fatty acid that cannot be produced by the body and needs to be supplied by our diet. The problem with polyunsaturated fats is that they oxidize every easily. Oxidization occurs when the body lacks antioxidants……oxidation of goods lead to the release of free radicals which can alter cells and have been linked to the aging process and cancer. Also some polyunsaturated fats can be potentially harmful…specifically margarine, shortening and heated oils.

“Polyunsaturated oils are chemically unstable. This is because they have a number of loose, double carbon bonds in their atomic strucutre. When subjected to heat orair, they oxidize rapidly to form harmful free readicals. The more unsaturated the oil the more potentially hazardous it is in this regard. Examples of oils that are predominantely polyunsaturated are safflower, sunflower, soy, corn and walnut.

The most hazardus vegetable oils of all are the ones used in restaurants and deep frying. These oils are heated and reheated many, many times over. They are rancid, but you cannot taste or smell that rancidity because of deodorants that manufacturers purposely add……

Even the highly touted so-called ‘cold pressed’ oils can be potentially harmful. For one thing, many of them are procssed at a ‘cold’ temperature of over 100 degrees celsius. For another, as soon as they are exposed to air they deteriorate rapidly — and if heated their destruction is virtually guaranteed.”
David W. Rowland, PhD

Polyunsaturated fats can be as bad for your heart as saturated fats if a diet does not include a full complement of antioxidants. (see list below of foods rich in antioxidants)

Saturated Oils are found in meats, pork, dairy products, cheese and palm oil. Thse fats raise your total cholesterol level, especially LDL cholesterol, but they are not the cause of the heart disease. In fact these natural fats are known as stable and do contain tiny amounts of essential fatty acids. The thing is we can only convert a limited amount of Saturated Fats each day…..some will be eliminated from the body and some will be stored in various different areas of the body.

“All fats and oils are made up of a mixture of saturated, mono and polyunsaturated fatty acids. Calling animal fats “saturated fats” is very misleading, as many animal fats are actually more than 50% unsaturated, and chicken fat is actually 70% unsaturated. If a fat were completely saturated it would be very solid with the consistency of hard wax. For example, beef fat or tallow is made up of about 50% saturated fatty acids (25% palmitic acid, 22% stearic acid and others), 40% monounsaturated fatty acids (oleic acid, the main fatty acid in olive oil), and the balance polyunsaturated fatty acids (linoleic and linolenic, the ratio depending on the diet of the cattle).

Saturated fatty acids are critical to maintaining the structure and rigidity of our cells by making cell membranes out of phospholipids and cholesterol, and they act as enzyme and hormone regulators thereby playing an integral role in cell messaging. When the body is fooled and incorporates trans fats into the cell membrane instead of saturated fats, cell messaging no longer works, which is one of the reasons trans fats are so dangerous.

Saturated fats are necessary for calcium to be incorporated into our bones, so no-fat or skim milk won’t work as a calcium source, unless you eat some saturated fat in your meal. Saturated fats are needed to boost immune function, and to build a healthy nervous system and digestive tract. Saturated fats are the base material out of which the body makes cholesterol, which is the precursor to such critical hormones as vitamin D, cortisol, testosterone, estrogen and progesterone, as well as bile acids which are necessary for the digestion of fats. Fats also are needed as carriers for the fat soluble vitamins (the antioxidant vitamins), like vitamin A, E, D, K, and a low fat diet can lead to deficiencies in these nutrients. Saturated fats are also needed to be able to utilize omega 3 fatty acids easily. Breast milk is high in saturated fat for a reason – it is vital for the healthy development of the baby! Does it make sense that saturated fats which are vital for a baby are suddenly poison for an adult?”
From: http://trusted.md/blog/vreni_gurd/2007/04/06/saturated_fat_the_misunderstood_nutrient

So-o-o we need a healthy combination of monounsatured, polunsaturated and saturated fatty acids. Some of the best sources of fat in our diet are butter, olive oil, avocadoo il, peanut oil as well as eggs, fish and poultry. We need to avoid unprocessed meats and eat more of the natural occuring oils that are in nuts, seeds, and yes, the avocado.

Links

Why Saturated Fats are Good for You
http://www.preventionisbest.com/site/saturatedfat.html

Saturated Fat – The misunderstood nutrient
http://trusted.md/blog/vreni_gurd/2007/04/06/saturated_fat_the_misunderstood_nutrient

What if Bad Fat is Actually Good for You?
http://www.menshealth.com/cda/article.do?site=MensHealth&channel=health&category=heart.disease&conitem=a03ddd2eaab85110VgnVCM10000013281eac____

Good News on Saturated Fat
http://tierneylab.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/07/21/good-news-on-saturated-fat/

Polyunsatuated Fats Are Not Good Cooking Oils
http://www.natural-cancer-cures.com/healthy-cooking-oils.html

Vegetables Oil Are Not Good For You
http://trusted.md/blog/wellness_tips/2006/07/09/eat_fats_the_good_the_bad_and_the_ugly_its_not_what_you_thnk

Fats in Nuts
http://fanaticcook.blogspot.com/2008/07/fats-in-nuts.html

Monounsaturated Fats
http://www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=3045795

CNN – Fast facts on fats
http://www.cnn.com/2008/HEALTH/diet.fitness/07/22/cl.fat.facts/index.html

FREE RADICALS CAN BE CONTROLED BY FOODS RICH IN ANTIOXIDANTS

Some of these are……

VITAMIN E
Wheat germ oil, corn oil, soya oil, sunflower oil, peanut oil, rapeseed oil, olive oil, wheat gern, hazelnusts, almonds, walnuts, peanuts, wild rice

VITAMIN C
Rosehips, black currants, parsley, kiwi, broccoli, sorrel, raw greens/red peppers, tarragon, cabbage, watercress, lemon, orange,

BETA-CAROTENE
Raw carrots, watercress, spinach, Mango, cantaloupe, apricots, broccoli, peaches, tomatoes, oranges, dandelion, parsley,

COPPER
oysters, beef liver, veal liver, mutton liver, mussels, cocoa powder, wheat germ, white beans, hazelnuts, dried peas, oatmeal, walnuts, sweetbreads

VITAMIN A
Codliver oil, liver, butter, cooked eggs, fresh apricots, cheese, salmon, whole milk, sardines, sour cream,

SELENIUM
Oysters, chicken liver, beef liver, fish, eggs, mushrooms, onions, whole-wheat bread, brown rice, lentils, sweetbreads,

ZINC
Oysters, dried peas, duck liver, brewer’s yeast, legumes, kidneys, eel, lentils, meat, whole-wheat bread.

POLYPHENOLS
wine, grape seeds, green tea, ovile oil, onions, apples,

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“Both CFS and FM make you stop, whether with exhaustion or pain or both.  If you have either of these illnesses, there is little doubt you will spend some time resting.  This is an important factor in your bodymind understanding.  A large number of people affected by these types of illnesses—and there are many variations—are high-flyers already climbing their career ladders.  If so, you may well be stressed, and this will certainly strain the immune system.  But it may also be that you are going in a direction that is not true to your inner nature—as if you are going against the grain or against your spirit.  And then you get stopped.” Deb Shapiro YOUR BODY SPEAKS YOUR MIND

Do you think you have chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia? The only reason I ask is because hypothyroidism can be missed with these illnesses. In Fibromyalgia for Dummies, Dr. Staub mentions that a low thyroid function leads to fatigue and also causes painful and aching muscles. I experienced this a few years back when I became premenopausal. I also had trouble maintaining my body temperature, my skin became dry and I suffered from heart palpitations. Also high estrogen levels can affect the thyroid. To get a proper diagnosis, I highly recommend taking a thyroid blood test. By the way, some auto immune disorders can be yeast related too.

Maybe, like me, you have both! But if it is just your thyroid, taking a synthyroid drug will diminish a lot of the above symptoms. When I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism, within a week of taking the medication I felt a lot better. Hypothyroidism has also been known to mimic menopause. With fibromyalgia, there is unfortunately no quick cure. Not yet, anyways.

I consider myself a very spiritual person. As I look at all the different patterns of my life emerging, I’m starting to see that spirituality was initially a form of escape. It was a form of disassociation and a defense from avoiding some of the more painful experiences in my life. Having a spiritual consciousness does not make you immune to dis-ease. This was a huge lesson for me to understand. What spirituality does do however is provide you with certain tools to understand and work with an illness. I’ve also learned that spiritual development is about learning to treat the whole self with love, respect and attention. It means giving the body the things it needs to be healthy.

One of the greatest tools that continually helps me on my journey is astrology. It has taught me to dive into my emotions and feelings. It has shown me emotions are an essential source of personal power. On a physical level it says ‘there’s a real world out there, and you’re in it’. Astrology helps us to find our own individuality and compass in life. North, East, West and South = NEWS! It’s definable and measurable and it never lies. It helps us to nurture and understand ourselves and evolve to higher levels of understanding. When this happens the healing process begins.

Accepting an illness means we have to do something about it. It makes us stop and take notice of something gone wrong that needs our attention. If we don’t we tend to feel powerless to face the challenges ahead. Instead we face whatever happens, happens….we become a ‘victim’ instead of empowering and healing ourselves. We cannot run away or try to suppress it….pain is real and there are times we have to learn to live with it. The pain itself will teach us what to do, that’s if we ‘listen’ and stay mindful of it. Accepting what is, takes time and patience to initiate.

Our body and spirit goes through many cycles of cooperating and compromising. When this happens, there is less tension. Our bodies and our health is in a constant flux of change. It’s up to us to continually work at keeping it balanced. To heal, we must turn back the tide and use our own initiative, will and spirit to get well. Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue and Hypothyroidism are all auto immune diseases. This literally means your body is under attack from itself!! It’s as if our body and soul are at war with each other. So how do we find peace within ourselves?

When I learnt Reiki, I discovered there were three levels to each initiation. Reiki I, represents the body, Reiki II, the mind/emotions, Reiki III the Spirit. Learning and understanding what FM was, took me through three different `stages.

From my Reiki I Manual…

The Reiki attunement awakens our abilities to feel, hear, touch, smell and live again. It takes us back into our bodies and jolts us back to life. A body that reawakens and allows the spirit to feel grounded and connected within a solid structure. Our body is our best friend and lifetime companion. Yet it really is an automated machine that willingly obeys and acts out our every thought, feeling, word and desire. Reiki rebuilds the energetic system of the body. It reconnects our emotions to our spirit and our spirit to our body, helping us to rebuild a stronger foundation and a healthier body.

Anatomically, the 1st Chakra relates to physical body support. The 2nd Chakra represents our emotions. We’ll be covering the chakras and their meanings shortly.

The First Initiation – The Body

This was when I started looking seriously at my diet and my intake of processed foods, alcohol, caffeine and sugar. Sugar, I discovered really aggravated my FM. I try to avoid sugar, especially at night and carbonated beverages as well as juices.

In the morning, I haven’t been able to give up my first cup of coffee. Ohh, that’s a must! If I need more of the ‘taste’ of coffee, a decaffeinated works just as well. And besides, too much caffeine definitely stimulates our nervous system and exhausts our adrenal glands. These are the glands of emotion and help us to survive through sudden emergencies, releasing energy and vitality into our body. Without them we’d surely die.

Also, I mentioned about salts in the previous post and I have found myself craving for chips, salted nuts, pretzels, etc. So it does seem, my blood pressure must dip at certain times when FM strikes and knocks me down. I’ve also craved dark chocolate and have discovered dark chocolate is actually good for CFS and FM, as it work as an antioxidant as well as an anti inflammatory. The darker the chocolate the better! Oh and not the whole bar (aw sucks)…..a piece a day is sufficient.

Three meals a day is good practice and also increasing your fiber intake. Fiber can actually cleanse the body by absorbing toxins and moving them out of our system…re the bowels.

Foods and cleansers that contain preservatives and chemicals are also known to magnify FM symptoms. Even wheat, corn, soya, dairy products and citrus fruits can aggravate FM. Also, be aware of artificial sweeteners, sulfites, MSG and food coloring. These are toxic!!

Magnesium is essential for muscle and tissue and requires calcium for proper assimilation. Magnesium cannot be stored in the body for long periods and therefore we need to supplement our diet regularly with it. Magnesium is an alkaline mineral.

Special note: Drinking too much milk can lead to a magnesium deficiency! Milk contains high amounts of Calciferol (synthetic Vit D) which actually withdraws magnesium out of our bloodstream. Also, if you’re taking a Vitamin D supplement, make sure its coming from a natural source.

“Theories suggest that the root cause of fibromyalgia is an imbalance somewhere in the body. For example, people with fibromyalgia generally have low levels of serotonin the hormone known as the pain messenger. A deficiency of magnesium, which can cause achy joints, has also linked to the condition. There is also belief that people with fibromyalgia have high levels of toxins in the blood.” Debora Yost



Read the labels of everything you buy and notice how you feel when you eat certain foods. I learned that a high intake of protein lowers our calcium and magnesium in the body. I also discovered carbohydrates enhance them. By observing what we eat, brings our body into balance. Once the needs of our body are met, then its ‘whole’ can be addressed.

CFS and FM symptoms can also be minimized by mild exercise. Even when you just want to curl up in a ball, find a way to get up and keep moving. Don’t fall into self pity, believe me, it only makes it worse. Also, muscles that aren’t used, tend to lose their stretch and eventually shorten. Stretching exercises are great in putting elasticity back into our muscles.

Don’t get discouraged if you can’t do an exercise all the way. You will. Don’t strain or rush. I had to train myself to work slowly and smoothly without jerking or bouncing. Slowly you can build from a 10 or 15 minute workout to a half an hour. Take your time. Most of us with FM and CFS have a tendency to ‘over extend’ ourselves, I know I do. Now we’re learning to nurture ourselves and pace our movements.

Have you looked into practices such as tai chi, Qi chong, water aerobics, walking or yoga. Natural endorphins are released during exercise and help with pain relief. It also keeps our joints limber. Physical exercise also pushes fluid through our lymph system which helps to move waste through our bodies.

Posture is very important. I’ve become aware of slumping as well as jutting my head forward, especially at my desk at work. Being a dispatcher for a busy courier company, I don’t always have time to do a regular ‘body check’. The problem is, when the phone calls quieten down, this is when I really start to notice how I’m sitting and of course feeling my pain.

My greatest tension is in the neck area. This is where I’m learning to to be aware of and break old physical habits, like jamming the phone between my neck and shoulders and trying to do several tasks at once. I’ve also noticed when putting my mascara on in the morning, I have a tendency to tilt my neck back, which overstretches the muscles in the front and compresses the vertebrae in my neck.

The most vulnerable neck muscle is the trapezius http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trapezius_muscle it runs from the base of the skull down the back of the where where it fans out to the shoulders blades and spine. This is a nasty one for me!

Also look at the sternomastoid. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sternocleidomastoid_muscle ohh when tense, this is the muscle that can also affect the face, ears and jaw. It supports the neck to the side and front where the trapezius controls the front and back. Schrunching our heads and neck to the telephone strains and tenses both these muscles. Also mental stress, depression and anger can tense these muscles up without us even noticing.

Another major symptom these muscles can create when stiff/tense is the feeling of being off balance and feeling dizzy…..they have also been the cause of unexplained fainting.  The sternomastoid when affected can send pain deep into the ear and to the eye and the sinuses.  This muscle can make your teeth hurt and the root of your tongue hurt.  Sometimes it can cause a chronic cough or sore throat, I’ve met many people with FM who have had these symptoms and yet their doctor flatly refused to believe muscle tension was the cause.

The inner ear acts as a guidance system for focussing and tracking of the eyes.  The sternomastoid when extremely taut or overstretched can affect the inner ear as well as the eyes, causing blurred or double vision.

Where do you hold tension in the body? What muscles feel tense and taut? Make a note of the areas and then search wikipedia or other informative sites. Learn how the muscles in your body work.

“The muscles enable all the bodily systems to function, such as circulation, digestion, breathing and nerve impulses.  Their freedom of movment is essential for optimum health.  When the muscles are restricted, whether through tension, tightness, or lack of tone, your energy will be unable to flow smoothly, and you may suffer from related problems.  Stress release and emotional expression are therefore essential for muscle ease.  Exercise is also vital–it not only releases muscular tension but psycho/emotional tension as well.” Deb Shaprio YOUR BODY SPEAKS YOUR MIND

Vitamin A and E as well as essential fatty acids and a good calcium/magnesium supplement could help your CFS and FM. Your body will guide you to what works and what doesn’t. What works for someone else, might not work for you. As mentioned earlier, CFS and FM is a multi symptom disorder; to treat it we need a multi faceted approach.

Barley greens are ten times richer in calcium than milk. I was astonished to learn that. To absorb magnesium in our bodies we need calcium, phosphorus, vitamins B6, C and D as well as a normal intake of protein. For my body size I require about 50 grams of protein a day.

I found this really great site http://www.immunesupport.com/understanding_cfids/ It also has chat rooms and newsletters on FM and CFS.

Reiki, acupuncture, ‘light’ massage, therapeutic touch, homeopathic medicines as well as reflexology all help to minimize the pain of CFS and FM. Shiatsu (pressure points) is also good in helping to move blocked and toxic energy.

I’ve found aromatherapy oils, chamomile, lavender and sage help to soothe the muscles. They’re great in the bath or add a drop to your favorite body lotion. Epson salt baths help to draw out pain from our aching muscles.

There are a lot of great sites on natural herbs and vitamins to use to relieve the symptoms or pain of CFS and FM. Part 3 of Chronic Fatique and Fibromyalgia addresses how healing is related to the mind. It explores our emotions as well as the body/mind connection. Exploring the complexities of the Self, starts setting us apart from everyone else.

CFS and FM seem to be an internal battle; to heal we need to STOP and listen to our internal struggles, our judgements and how our belief system thinks our life should be. We need to look at our habits and routines; as well as put aside what we think other people expect of us and tap into and identify with our true nature.

Do you think FM and CFS could also be related to our high-tech world? Is this a form of disconnection from the rhythms of Nature. Have we allowed our bodies to become immobilized, tense and frozen.?

Technology has allowed us to expand our minds, our self expression and group awareness. Its invisible webbing urging us towards greater connectedness. But…..

“We tend to think of the rational as a higher order,
but it is the emotional that marks our lives”
Merle Shane

Scientists link processed foods to autoimmune disorder http://www.trueactivist.com/scientists-officially-link-processed-foods-to-autoimmune-disease/

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