SMOKINCHOICES (and other musings)

April 29, 2013

Fix cause, or take a pill?

Speaking with “Forked tongue?”

Not really, just many sides to this issue.

With the exception of the “Stop Smoking – FREE,”  the EFT and occasional legal injustices which rile me, and of course, my passion for how we try to run our country – –  this blog has been dedicated almost entirely to maximizing our health by natural methods without chemicals or should I say “pharmaceuticals?` 

There are many reasons – personal reasons which prompt me to say that.  Mother headed the list.  She was born almost perfect;   Certified genius,  breathtakingly beautiful, fearless (@ 16 was the captain of her Canadian Women’s  hockey team and has the scars to prove it).  Very little she couldn’t do or understand.  Only 5′ + 2″, yet she filled any room she entered.  One could say I loved this woman.  A lot.  But giants can fall.   

Amalianna was  felled by the medical community which she continued to honor and respect.  Her final 20 years were difficult to rationalize.  There was a pill for everything, sometimes – several. She had been receiving 18 prescription meds daily during her final years.  So you see, it isn’t ‘fear’ or distrust.  It is flat-out repulsion of prescription meds that I bear.  They are injurious, don’t heal anything and always leave behind an enormous price to pay.  This is what I refer to when I own up to being a terrible patient. 

We have a right when something has gone wrong to know what it is – what has gone wrong?  What ever has gone wrong has nothing whatever to do with a lack of chemicals.  That’s a fact.  In order to get the answers unless they seem overtly obvious to a well-informed physician,  is to check out the body by means of a few analyses.  What does the blood,  stomach and gut reveal with their yield?  We probably have a nutritional deficit or a toxic overload.  Removing the guess work by taking appropriate action with redirected attention to needs or some type of clean-up to set things back to normal.  The body can heal itself when given the opportunity and proper tools. 

This, routinely is done by means of a physician, one who knows how to see what’s going on and is willing and able to find out and then advise.   Where do we go to find these docs?  They are every where, but one must learn how to seek them out.   They are burroughed into neighborhoods across our country.  They are docs who found what they learned in medical school wasn’t cutting it and took on further education independently to determine what actually works and helps people get well.  The medical community needs to learn not so much about what disease looks like, but rather how health is supposed to look and how and why it happens.   

Most of us learn this  little by little.  We read, listen to others, try to listen to our own body and pay attention to how it is feeling and how what we eat and  how we live is impacting us.  When we realize that our body will never matter to anyone else the way it matters to us – – we finally can  understand that only I AM FULLY RESPONSIBLE FOR MY BODY.  Nobody else! If your “taste buds” still rule all your choices, you haven’t  tuned into that reality yet.  We are up against big, powerful enemies; Madison avenue for one hits you from every angle – TV, print media, etc.  We have to ferret out for ourselves what is fit to eat and what is not.   When you cook for yourself using whole, raw (organic if possible),  you are so far ahead of the game.  Simple food is best.  Doesn’t have to be complicated. 

Going to run a small post here now from Sunday’s paper.  I shall edit OUT the doc’s picture and name as I have no intention to draw attention to this doctor for work which was taught as standard procedure.  Motivation is excellent and intention is to help, but so clearly demonstrates much of what I have just spoken of here which ends up being almost useless.    A final word to follow.

Condition Can Harm New Moms

It’s always difficult to see significant illness strike young, otherwise healthy patients.   This was the case with a 22-year-old woman who came in because she was having trouble breathing.   She also had some new swelling on her ankles and had noticed that she was urinating less than usual.

But the deciding factor, she said, was when she had to stop and rest twice while carrying a load of laundry up the stairs.   We asked her about any medical problems.  “None” was her response. Any surgeries?   No.   Any fevers? Chest pain?  Rashes?  Change in weight?  Abnormal periods?   No,   no,  no,  no and no.

“I’ve been trying to work off my baby weight but have been otherwise healthy.”

Having a baby is a significant medical event, but I don’t think many of my patients think so, based on the number of times it is not mentioned when we ask for medical histories.

We noticed during her physical exam that we could hear fluid rattling around in her lungs.  Fluid also had built up on her feet and ankles.   Further testing showed us that her kidneys were struggling a bit and that her heart was straining.  All of this made us suspect a type of heart failure called post-partum cardiomyopathy.

We were able to start the patient on medications to ease the workload on her heart and get an echocardiogram done to look at the amount of blood her heart was pumping out. And we were able to assure her that, statistically, she had a good chance of recovering and having a normal heart after a year or so.

My Columbus patient’s experience was a stark contrast to the frequency and severity of the same condition I saw during an annual trip to Haiti in February. During the week in a clinic there, we saw a number of post-partum cardiomyopathy cases.

The worst of these was a 19-year-old woman who had delivered her first child 11 months earlier. The nurses who triage the patients while they wait in line for hours outside the clinic thought that this woman was pregnant — with at least triplets.

Her mother and aunt were at her side, holding up her swollen belly. In addition to her distended abdomen, her feet and legs were markedly swollen.

The only comfortable position for her was to lean forward and brace her hands against her knees. This helped shift the fluid in her abdomen away from her diaphragm so she could breathe better.

  • An ultrasound of her abdomen looked like a big, tense water balloon. And as we slid the ultrasound up to her heart, we were shocked by how little her heart muscle was contracting. The heart normally pushes out about 60 percent of the blood that fills its chambers when it relaxes and refills. We calculated her heart was pushing out less than 15 percent.

A cardiologist suggested medications, but getting her to a good balance of the right medications would be difficult. Her blood pressure already was low, but lowering it just a little more could give her heart a boost to work more efficiently.

And we agreed that draining some of the fluid in her abdomen would give her some immediate relief. We drained 7 liters, but that looked as if it barely made a dent. However, the patient said she could breathe easier.

  • The incidence of post-partum cardiomyopathy in the United States is about 1 in 2,000 births. In Haiti, it is 1 in 300.  We don’t know why there is such a difference in occurrence.   In fact, we don’t know why the process occurs at all.

It is thought a viral infection can trigger the condition, but other theories speak to poor diet, toxins or possibly genetics.

Progressive loss of heart-muscle cells leads to heart failure. In essence, the heart muscle cannot contract forcefully enough to pump adequate volumes of blood.

Complications include atrial and ventricular abnormal heart rhythms, blood clots that block blood vessels, and even sudden cardiac death. Treating these patients means aggressive diuretic therapy to keep them from drowning in their fluids.

  • If the condition is untreated, the heart ultimately gives out, leading to circulatory collapse. In the interim, the kidneys, lungs and brain are starved of oxygen and nutrients.

It is rare when the condition persists for more than eight or nine months. When this occurs in the United States, we have the luxury of treating patients with advanced therapies, including a heart transplant.

It came as no surprise that we saw three additional cases during the week we were in Haiti. The cardiologist on our team predicted that two of the four women would not live more than a month. There are no heart transplants in Haiti.

For the other two patients, only time will tell.

(To repeat, . . . no quarrel with the doctor’s motivation and/or efforts. The results in Haiti seem abysmal which quite clearly are due to circumstantial poverty  and lack of provisions for the people there.  This is sad.

Over this past decade or so,  America has been learning about more natural methods of  achieving good health and what one can do when it is less than desired.   Barring mishaps of nature and accidents of course, there is little which can go wrong with the body that can’t be fixed.  Clearly healing by natural methods are really nothing new to the field of Medicine.  It just isn’t prevalent today. Actually , all the way back to the “Father of Medicine”  when Hippocrates said “Let food be thy medicine”.  Often mentioned here are Ann Wigmore and Max Gerson to name  two.  And they learned from contemporaries and put 2 and 2 together, coming up with still newer  ideas.  This has always been the case.

Today,  much loved on the national landscape of medicine we find the like of Drs.  Jonathan Wright,  Joel Fuhrman and Mark Hyman and lets not overlook  Nicholas Gonzalez (New York) and Stanislaw Burzynski (Texas). But there are so many other forward thinking physicians out there, many of them unsung in larger circles, but doing their magnificent thing.   What is their great miracle all about?  How does “curing” happen?  With FOOD.  Good, natural, old-fashioned food, done the natural way – no GMO’s, boxes, cans and other fast foods known as the SAD diet.  The body heals and conquers almost anything  with nutrients it recognizes comprised of minerals, enzymes and phytonutrients, vitamins and other co-factors.   Given all that it needs, the body does the “healing”.   It’s just not that complicated.      Jan)


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