Gout, uric acid, and risk of death

Gout affects an estimated 4% of the population, or around 1 in 25 people.  Evidence suggests this number is growing and is certainly affecting a larger demographic than in the past.  A lot of confusion has surrounded the specifics on how high levels of uric acid may affect the heart and kidneys, even when acute Gout attacks are not present.

There have been studies attempting to separate the mortality rates of those with other risk factors, namely cardiovascular disease and diabetes, from those with just Gout and/or high uric acid levels.  The findings seem to suggest that Gout and high uric acid levels are independently responsible for higher death rates across most age, sex, and race subgroups independent of other pre-existing conditions.  The University in Limerick found those with the high serum uric acid levels displayed at 77% higher risk of death from all causes, and a 209% higher risk of cardiovascular death.  While pre-existing conditions such as obesity, hypertension, diabetes, etc. are strongly associated with a higher death risk, the results did not decrease by much when those factors were removed.

What does this mean for the Gout sufferer?  Continue reading “Gout, uric acid, and risk of death”

Is Soy Good or Bad?

Soy can provide a significant amount of protein, vitamins, minerals and polyunsaturated fatty acids.  The soybean is also a source of resveratrol, phytosterols, and isoflavones — all of which have been scientifically linked to providing benefits for a number of health conditions.

However, there is a dark side to soy, particularly unfermented soy products – dark enough to consider its inherent dangers to outweigh its benefits.  The Weston A. Price Foundation is a valuable source for accurate information about our nutrition and health.  They are dedicated to putting nutrient-dense foods back on our tables and have done a great job researching this subject to provide us with the truth and myths about soy.  Their website contains numerous studies, over several years, should you be interested diving in a bit deeper.  Weston A. Price summarizes soy dangers, myths, and truths as follow: Continue reading “Is Soy Good or Bad?”

The Danger of Artificial Sweeteners

Just how bad are fake sugars for you?  Let’s just start by making you aware that saccharin was discovered over 150 years ago by a chemist working with coal tar.  Coal tar — you know, a well-known carcinogenic material.  Studies dating back to the 1970’s concluded that saccharin was linked to bladder cancer in laboratory rats.  If that isn’t evidence enough……  Yet, a gazillion conflicting studies later and we still have an issue that remains under intense debate.  Saccharin is sold under brand names such as Sweet and Low®, Sweet Twin®, and Necta Sweet®.

In 2013, The European Food Safety Administration deemed aspartame “safe” at current usage and exposure levels, going as far as to say it won’t cause cancer.  However, the Center for Science in the Public Interest denounced this review stating it was a complete “whitewash” of the truth. Continue reading “The Danger of Artificial Sweeteners”

Low-fat Diet Myths and Our Deteriorating Health

 

Is it just a coincidence that ever since we adopted low-fat and fat-free diet plans our health deteriorated?  The craze began back in the 70’s and 80’s, and by the early 90’s foods with little to no fat were flying off the shelves.  The American Heart Association, food manufacturers, physicians, and even drug manufacturers had convinced us that all saturated fats led to obesity and heart disease.  People began trading nuts for pretzels, whole milk for skim, potatoes -hold the sour cream, and even still buying cookies so long as they were labeled “fat free.”  Dietary fats and all cholesterol were deemed to be bad for our health.  Yet, over this same 30+ year time span of ‘healthier’ eating the incidences of obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease have soared to alarming rates.  In addition to all of the fat-free products flying off of the shelves, so have the cholesterol-lowering and blood pressure lowering drugs.

So wait…… Continue reading “Low-fat Diet Myths and Our Deteriorating Health”

Can Cellular Dehydration be a major cause of Disease?

Yes.  Proper hydration is a fundamental requirement to maintain the health of our bodies.  Our bodies are 75% water and 25% solid matter.  Water is needed to eliminate waste and provide nourishment, in addition to regulating billions of other activities in the body.  Hydration takes place when the minerals connect with water and provide electrolytes, cellular fluids, and tissue balance.  This balance is crucial to preserve the electrical charge of our cells, as well as maintain a healthy pH of our tissues and cells.

There is a staggering number of people who are severely dehydrated at a cellular level and virtually have no idea.  Many believe they are hydrating by drinking coffee, tea, juice, soft drinks, and even beer. Continue reading “Can Cellular Dehydration be a major cause of Disease?”

Chronic Stress, Chronic Inflammation, and Disease

We all know that stress can cause ailments such as difficulty sleeping, muscle tension, changes in appetite, headaches, stomach problems, panic attacks, and prolonged feeling of sadness or worthlessness.  But, did you also know that stress can literally alter the cells in our body and lead to chronic inflammation and serious diseases?  Prolonged, overexposure to cortisol and other stress hormones can wreak havoc on the mind and body.  Chronic stress can reprogram the cells in our body and disrupt all of it’s processes. 

A region at the base of our brain, the hypothalamus, is set off in the presence of a perceived threat.  In turn, this signals the pituitary and adrenal glands to release a surge of hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol.  Cortisol is the main hormone responsible for Continue reading “Chronic Stress, Chronic Inflammation, and Disease”

Arthritis and Gout are no longer considered “old man diseases”……..and they are dangerous!

These painful joint conditions were once considered the inevitable outcome of old aging joints.  However, these painful conditions have more than doubled in the past 10-15 years, with a shocking amount of sufferers now found to be under the age of 40.  Doctors have seen the sharpest rise in patients in their 20’s and 30’s, some 30% since 2012, suffering from a disease that was once thought to be limited to royalty.  Not so coincidentally, the rise in obesity, Diabetes Type 2, and prescriptions such as low-dose aspirin and diuretics has occurred almost simultaneously.

Even still there is large percentage of the population that suffers silently having never been diagnosed, or sometimes misdiagnosed.  Gout especially can be overlooked by medical professionals due to inaccurate blood measurements of Uric Acid.  Unless the fluid is directly aspirated from the joint it can be difficult to identify.  Many that are under an attack at the time they are seen by a physician will have low to normal blood serum Uric Acid levels.  Why is this?  Continue reading “Arthritis and Gout are no longer considered “old man diseases”……..and they are dangerous!”

Antibiotics- How do they affect your health?

Gout, Arthritis, Inflammation and Antibiotics

 

Antibiotics have played an integral role in modern medicine saving countless lives from bacterial pathogens that would have otherwise claimed them.  This holds true under terms that we remain responsible with the administration of such a powerful resource.  Unfortunately, organisms evolve and as such we have found ourselves at the mercy of antibiotic resistant microbes stemming from the misuse and overuse of Antibiotics.

Antibiotic literally means “against life.”  While its role has been critical in destroying the life of bad bacteria, antibiotics are indiscriminate when it comes to the life of the good bacteria our bodies still need to survive.  Research has shown that childhood antibiotic use can inhibit the normal growth and development of healthy gut bacteria.  Over 70% of the immune system resides in our gut and is home to the trillions of bacteria that play a crucial part of our physical and mental health.  We are now learning how the general shaping of our intestinal health early on in life can determine our future dealings with our immune systems and disease. Continue reading “Antibiotics- How do they affect your health?”

The Negative Effects of Antibiotics on The Body

Believe it or not the Antibiotics you are popping like candies come with harmful side effects that can cripple you. Antibiotics may be prescription drugs meant to treat infections, but they usually do more harm than good. Some of its negative effects include:

Inflammation

Prolonged use of antibiotics can cause inflammation in the large intestine. Known as Clostridium difficile- induced colitis, the condition is the result of the
growth of harmful bacteria in the gut.

Typical symptoms of the condition include loose stools, bloody diarrhea and abdominal pain that can be crippling in its intensity. In worse case scenarios, you can also get a fever along with these symptoms if you take antibiotics for your ailments. The risk of developing this condition increases as we age and it is particularly high in infants and children.

Most antibiotics change the quality of healthy bacteria in the intestines and allow the proliferation of unhealthy bacteria. The latter is imminent as these meds create an environment in the gut that is ideal for the growth of said bacteria such as the Clostridium difficile. This bacterium releases toxins that attack the lining of the large intestine leading to inflammation. Continue reading “The Negative Effects of Antibiotics on The Body”

This Is Your Brain On Turmeric……

Are we doomed for cognitive decline as we age?  Not necessarily.  There are plenty of healthy, thriving older adults pushing into their 70’s and 80’s with cognitive functioning as well as, sometimes even better than, younger adults.  Cognitive decline is far from uniform, with many variables in play.  However, 1 in 9 Americans will suffer with some level of decline by the age of 65, with 1 in 3 by the age of 85.

Where and how does it all begin?  We know that inflammation is at the heart of all disease.  Often times the signs of chronic inflammation begin with achy muscles and joints.  We find ourselves at the doctor being prescribed something specifically for that ailment.  What we need to be considering is how that inflammation could be affecting other parts of our body, as well.  We are programmed to treat each symptom individually, and as separate conditions, when we should actually be addressing the inflammation in the body as a whole before it continues to creep into and destroy other parts of the body.  What does this have to do with your brain? Continue reading “This Is Your Brain On Turmeric……”