SMOKINCHOICES (and other musings)

March 14, 2013

Balance – Flu w/ Dr Roach

To Your Good Health

Therapy could address loss-of-balance issues

      Dr. Keith Roach

Q #1): For the past couple of years, my balance has not been what it used to be. I never feel as if I might faint or pass out, but I find myself “listing,” and it is uncomfortable.

My doctor has changed my blood-pressure medication, but it hasn’t helped. I am 82 and try to walk regularly.

A: Loss of balance as we get older is very important and often overlooked. Many different systems are involved — eyesight, joints, nerves and muscles are all necessary for proper balance, and all can be affected by aging. Fortunately, there is effective treatment for almost everybody.

Walking is great, and regular exercise of any kind will help your balance. But you need to be safe. Walk with someone, if possible; if not, walk where there are people, and have your phone. If you are unsteady, the best approach would be to get some help right away. Talk with your physician, who can work with you to decide the best place to start.

In my experience, physical therapy is the best way to prevent a fall — and a fall is potentially devastating. A therapist can help diagnose what is making you unsteady and help design a program to get you stronger and safer. A therapist can also help decide whether an aid, like a cane, will be helpful or harmful. Many community centers have programs that can help.

If you have already had a fall, then you might need even more help. In that case, make an appointment to see a neurologist, a joint specialist or a rehabilitation specialist. But everyone can improve with balance and strengthening exercises.

Q #2): I am 91 and have just been told I have blepharitis, which I hadn’t heard of. Please tell me the cause and treatment. It affects my ability to read.

A: Blepharitis is inflammation of the eyelid (one or both). It can be caused by excess oil on the skin or by bacteria. Once we get older than 80 or so, the skin of the lower eyelid tends to droop, exposing part of the inside of the eyelid to the air. This can make inflammation of the lower eyelid more likely in older people.

While there isn’t a cure for blepharitis, most people get better with regular washing of the eyelids (use a diluted mild soap or “no-tears” baby shampoo).

Blepharitis sometimes brings with it blurry vision, but return to your eye doctor soon if your vision doesn’t get back to normal.

Q #3): We are suffering through a serious cold and flu season. I’m wondering what role a toothbrush plays in it. I try to replace mine every one or two months and submerge it in boiling water regularly. Does this make a difference?

A: Flu is transmitted from person to person, either through hand contact (hand to hand or hand to object to hand) or in the air. The best way of avoiding flu is not getting exposed to the virus, and you can reduce that with meticulous hand cleaning. The flu vaccine reduces flu from both hand and air contact.

Dr. Roach answers letters only in his North America Syndicate column but provides an order form of available health newsletters. Write him at P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475; or ToYourGoodHealth  .

(My Comment: 
I am choosing to respond to this article somewhat out of order to suit my own needs because the first query is one I found a rather helpful  solution to online.    It starts with an informative article from 1998 as well as making available a few simple exercises with a young man by the name of Mike Ross and his few small video snippets. Find Query #1 at the end, last.    
Q #2):  A Senior aged 91,   is having trouble with Blepharitis and it’s interfering with ability to read!  Never heard this word before.  But I also haven’t heard of anyone aged 91 whose skin is still generating too much oil.  It occurs to me that the bacteria thing or some kind of application being applied to the face may be causing the problem.  I would read the label of anything being applied.  Don’t believe this person would be interested in making organic “moisturizing lotion”  – such activities don’t appeal to all. But one can get food grade, organic oils which might be preferable to use, gently around the face area such as sesame oil or avocado oil at Mountain Rose Herbs or even Puritan’s Pride is now carrying these oils. Most kitchens already have Olive oil in them, for salads and cooking – – that would be good as well.   
One must exercise great caution regarding anything which actually goes into the eyes, however.  Around 1997, I remember an awful experience I had when I awoke one morning with one of my eyes seemingly glued shut.  Terrifying.  Took a while with wash cloth and warmish water trying to get it all off so I could see out. Got in immediately to the eye doctor who diagnosed something weird and handed me a prescription for an strong anti-biotic complete with frightening sounding instructions for care as it could damage vision.  Had to put it in my eyes for about a week.  Seemed to be cleared.  But once it was over, the condition returned.   Back to the Ophthalmologist for further instruction.    Now more serious meds were called for and this was even more tricky for damage to eyes. I took the prescription, but threw it away.  Wasn’t about to further jeopardize my sight.   
Prayed that night for guidance on what to do.  I “knew” there was something I was not seeing or was overlooking.  When I awoke next morning, I knew immediately what to do.  It was Colloidal Silver.   It is every  bit as powerful as antibiotic.    (See Dr. Clark on Colloidal Silver from 1994)  It is known to be effective on hundreds of pathologies     I was buying it in Health food stores then; as it was before I bought my own generator to make my own.   So a few drops in the eye, several times a day and it was history and never returned.  It is painless.  Successful with Herpes of all kinds; face, Shingles or genital.  Most effective.   However,  up in EFT category in FIND IT there is another guidance on how to treat Shingles with Dr Clark’s book and the chart at the rear of the book – The Cure for All Disease    Just sayin’ 
Q #3):  Wondering about that toothbrush during the Flu season.  I understand.  We are all different.  Last of my worries.  (and I get a year or more out of a brush)  Far more important to my mind proven out by my own experience of lung ailments all my adult life.  Flu, pneumonia and every cold any where near me.  That all changed  and is behind me since my doctor tested me for Vitamin D levels in my body. It was 13 – off the charts low.  She prescribed 50K weekly and was up to 40 a month or so later.  Learned prescription D is always D-2.  I wanted D-3, so I quit the prescription D and bought my own D-3 and took 10K daily til I got it up to 70.  I feel 70 to 100 is very good and where we should be, then, during the warmer months when I can get out in the sun, I drop it down to 5000 daily.     So, that’s #1/ 
#2 try to keep your home’s internal air moisturized.  Get a humidifier or several of them.  Your plants will love you for it too and your art work  and pets etc.   When the membranes in the sinus areas dry out, we become more susceptible to being a breeding ground for those pesky germs looking for a new and comfy place to hang out. 
Its up to us to learn how to live peaceably with our germy world.  Babies who are allowed to crawl around on the floor, interacting with germs and pets and wayward crumbs are far healthier than those whose parents disinfect all surfaces of their surroundings.  Inch by inch, we build up a natural tolerance to and are able to live more comfortably with our world and all in it.   This is our home and it should not be feared or dreaded.  How much better to harmonize with it.  
Finally,  our diets by their content either nourish us or tear us down.  People concentrate far too much on macronutrients  (proteins, fats, carbs), paying little attention to Micronutrients  (minerals and vitamins and enzymes and phytonutrients).  We need less of the Macro  and far more of the Micro.  The only place we can obtain our minerals is from the fruits and veggies and it is these parts of our world which makes us whole and healthy and able to sustain energy and exercise our abilities and talents for a happy life.  Without the proper minerals (and far more of them than we are ingesting), we can’t have a healthy GUT which is the home of our immune system – where it lives.    Dr Joel Fuhrman comes to mind for he is teaching his patients how to eat and live the smarter way so that anyone can get healthier, drop the weight. lower the blood pressure, lose the diabetes and say goodbye to heart disease and so on.  (with out dieting – just eating smarter.   
Q #1)  finally.  I actually thought I had covered this subject last year and done a post on it.  (You know how hard it is to find anything here, no matter how much I am trying to reorganize)  So I went looking for another source for today’s  important subject.   Remember my own falls last year – two falls in two days and the ensuing post – Battered Jan.  Hope you enjoy it.  As I’m fond of saying with regard to the internet – – “IT’S ALL OUT THERE”      Be good to yourself,  who would I be without you guys?    Jan)

Countering Loss of Balance With Exercise


CAROL KRUCOFF  April 27, 1998|

The skater gliding gracefully on one leg has it. So do the grandfather splitting wood, the schoolgirl hopping on a pogo stick and the yogi performing a headstand.

Good balance is both a gift of genetics and an athletic skill that can be improved through training. “Many people think you either have good balance or you don’t, but that’s not true,” says Peter Kormann, head coach of the 1996 U.S. Olympic men’s gymnastics team. “With training and practice, nearly anyone can improve their balance.”

At a time when athletes will try nearly anything to boost performance, balance training has become increasingly popular in a variety of sports, from skiing to golf. Balance workouts also are booming among seniors, as new studies show that strength and balance exercises can help older adults reduce their risk of serious falls.

Poor balance more than doubles an older adult’s risk of being injured in a fall, reported a study published last year in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. University of New Mexico researchers followed more than 300 men and women over age 60 for three years and found that the ability to balance on one leg for five seconds is a good predictor of whether an elderly person is likely to sustain an injurious fall.

“Balance starts to decline when we’re in our 40s,” writes Tufts University physiologist Miriam Nelson in her book “Strong Women Stay Young” (Bantam Books, 1997). “This happens so slowly that it’s almost imperceptible.” Staying active can slow this decline. But sedentary people, by the time they reach their 70s, are likely to have balance that is so poor that they compensate by adopting a “shuffling gait,” using short steps to avoid having to balance on one foot.

To test your balance, Nelson suggests trying this: Close your eyes and–for safety–hold your hands just above a firm support, such as a sturdy chair or counter top. Then, keeping your eyes shut, slowly lift one foot and try to balance on the other leg. Count the seconds you remain balanced. Most women past age 40, unless they’re physically fit, discover they can’t hold the position for even 15 seconds, says Nelson, whose studies have been on women.

Men probably have a 10-year advantage over women in their ability to balance, she estimates, since men typically are stronger.

“Our studies show that the more active you are, the better your balance is likely to be,” says cardiologist James Rippe, an associate professor of medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston. Active seniors can have better balance than sedentary people many years younger, says Rippe, who offers this test to see “how old” your equilibrium is:

Stand tall on two feet, then raise the foot of the leg you consider to be your weakest. Balance on the other, keeping your eyes open and your arms relaxed at your sides. If you can balance for at least 22 seconds, you have the equilibrium of a 20-year-old; 15 seconds, that of a 30-year-old; 7.2 seconds, that of a 40-year-old; 3.7 seconds, that of a 50-year-old; and 2.5 seconds, that of a 60-year-old.

Keeping strong is one of the best ways to aid balance, says geriatrician James O. Judge, vice president of medical affairs for Masonic Care, a geriatric health care system based in Wallingford, Conn. “Weight training to strengthen muscles in the buttocks, quadriceps and hamstrings can help improve balance,” notes Judge, who is studying exercises older people can do at home to reduce their risk of falls.


  1. He forgot to mention another reason for losing one balance; it could also be a Brain Tumor.
    It was loss of balance my Dad had. When he went to the doctor he was told he was health man and that he had nothing to worry about. When he told me that I got so mad, how can a healthy man all of a sudden, while he is walking he is losing his balance? I was so mad when he told me what the Doctor told him.
    I called my Sisters in England and told them to take him to another doctor. When they did six weeks later he was told he had a tumor at the back of him head. And that it was a slow growing tumor and that it was growing for a long time. He died nine months later, before that my Dad was never sick, he was told it was inoperable.

    Comment by Shirletta — March 15, 2013 @ 11:24 am | Reply

    • Shirletta, that’s dreadful. We could get together and compare notes over the many mysteries of our allopathic medical world – – especially with regard to the men we have loved and lost to brain cancer, for this is what took my husband. (tho, the doctor felt this was Alzheimer’s with Marty – imagine coming up overnight!) We can wish we knew then what we think we know now, but we can’t go back, can we.

      I agree with you that suddenly arriving symptoms should not be casually dismissed. Everything means something, and our bodies do speak to us. We can’t live our lives out in hypochondria, imagining the worst at every little thing, but careful observation can in fact lead to a growing awareness.

      Thanks, Shirletta, your point is valid and I appreciate your sharing on this. Love ya girl, Jan

      Comment by Jan Turner — March 15, 2013 @ 1:13 pm | Reply

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