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Monday, May 30, 2016

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) May NOT Be Caused by Stomach Acid After All │ Two British Groups Promote High-Fat Diets for Weight-Loss │ Heart-Attacks: Almost Half are Unrecognized

As a result of watching a two-hour progaramme last evening that ran until 11:00 p.m. ─ it was a special episode of American Ninja Warrior featuring its "All-Stars" in competition with one another ─ I was involved with T.V. later than I otherwise would have been.

It was definitely entertaining, and I sure do enjoy watching the women, although there were only three involved:  Jessie Graff (who claimed to  have gained over three times her upper body strength over what she had a year ago); Meagan Martin; and little Kacy Catanzaro.

I think I may have still managed to make it to bed no later than 11:30 p.m.

And I was up for the day shortly after 7:00 a.m.  I still didn't rack up a sufficient total of hours of sleep, but I felt a little better than I have of late.

My youngest step-son Pote was up ─ he would apparently be heading off to catch his bus to work a little later in the morning.

His older brother Tho probably got up around 10:30 a.m.

It's quite a nice day ─ mostly sunny, with some drifting cloud.

I worked on the new post that I commenced on Saturday at my Lawless Spirit website, and just may have the post ready for publishing tomorrow if nothing interferes.

I put in just over 70 minutes of sunning on the backyard sundeck in a session that commenced at 11:54 a.m.  As I already mentioned, sometimes there was cloud obstruction of the Sun, but it was still pleasant out there.

After returning into the house, I got around to figuring out what to inscribe in the anniversary card that I bought yesterday for my wife Jack.

This is the inside of that card ─ the description beneath it is from the Google album where I uploaded the photo to:

Today ─ May 30, 2016 ─ is the 11th anniversary of my marriage to my wife Jack (Supranee).

We were married in a government office in Udon Thai City, Thailand.

Unfortunately, our relationship is not what it once was, and I had considerable difficulty selecting a card that wasn't utter exaggeration.

I even had to exercise some thought to scribe the little that I did without looking as if I was trumpeting unreasonable sentiment.

If Jack chooses to make an appearance from Vancouver this evening and finds the card in our bedroom, it will undoubtedly surprise her ─ I doubt that she knows today is our anniversary.

I still do love her; but it is going to take a financial miracle to resurrect the closeness and caring we once had.

The way things are going, I do not believe that there will be a 13th anniversary ─ not with us together, at any rate.
  
I posted a photo yesterday of the front of the card ─ it was still in its plastic envelope:


Those "stars" are actually glass or plastic gem-like beads affixed to the card to resemble a magical constellation.

And I think I shall say nothing further of my day at this time, even though it is but 2:18 p.m.

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When I was a much younger man ─ and often very gluttonous, for I seldom was able to afford to eat a wholesome and adequate diet on a daily basis ─ I sometimes experienced some severe heartburn (or indigestion).

There were times when I was regularly swigging Pepto-Bismol over the day, if I had any of the stuff; and sucking antacids like Tums or Rolaids as if they were mint candies.

I loved fizzy ENO, but couldn't afford that product.

In later years, though, I came to eat moderately ─ even rather modestly, in fact.

And heartburn basically disappeared.  About the only time it crops up is if I am drinking too much hard liquor over an extended period of time ─ I drink mine straight.

As far as I know, nothing like proton-pump inhibitors existed when I suffered heartburn, so I've never tried one.

And I am sure glad of that!  The things are bloody dangerous as all get-out!

On top of all of that, the darned things are flogged by the medical community as a means of preventing esophageal damage from regurgitated stomach acid ─ this damage can lead to the development of cancer.

However, a new study seems to have discovered that stomach acid is not causing esophageal damage, and thus PPIs are not at all preventing the development of esophageal cancers:

It’s Memorial Day — and I know we’ll all take time today to honor all the brave men and women who gave so much for our country.

If you’re like millions of Americans, you’ll also spend a few hours today firing up the grill, surrounded by family and friends.

And a day spent chowing down on your favorite foods can leave you fighting some of the worst acid reflux you can imagine.

But before you scramble for one of those proton-pump inhibitors (PPIs) like Nexium, Prevacid, or Prilosec, there’s an urgent new warning you need to hear.

Because a new study has found that PPIs aren’t just dangerous for preventing acid reflux damage.

They might be completely useless.

For years, millions of people with acid reflux have been caught between a rock and a hard place.

And a pretty painful one at that.

On one hand, the PPIs that the mainstream hands out like candy have been linked to everything from serious kidney disease to dementia.

Larry the Cable Guy never seems to mention that during those Prilosec commercials, does he?

On the other hand, we've been told that unless we control our acid reflux, we're at risk for damage to the esophagus -- and even esophageal cancer.

But it's starting to look like the talk about stomach acid slowly eating away our esophagus is all smoke -- and not a lot of fire.

In a new study, just published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center found that it's not stomach acid at all that causes esophageal damage.

And that means those PPI acid-blockers that Big Pharma is selling by the billions may not be doing a darned thing for us at all.

Researchers discovered that when you're suffering from acid reflux, your body releases proteins called cytokines that cause inflammation.

And it's that inflammation, and not stomach acid, that damages your esophagus over time.

That idea may sound pretty revolutionary -- but it's just common sense. We know that damage to the esophagus occurs slowly, but an acid burn would happen much more quickly.

It also explains why supplements that control inflammation, like curcumin, have been proven so effective at heartburn and acid-reflux relief.

The study's lead author, Dr. Stuart Spechler, says his research could cause a "radical change" in how we look at acid reflux.

And I say it's about time!

Now, believe me, I get it. When you're having an acid-reflux flare-up, you want relief right away.

But the good news is there are some simple steps you can take that don't involve popping a dangerous PPI. In addition to taking inflammation-blockers like curcumin, you can:
  • Take probiotics -- either as a supplement or with high-quality organic cultured foods such as kefir and yogurt.
  • Cut down on acidic beverages, such as soda and some fruit juices. Coffee also can trigger heartburn for some people.
  • Drink a glass of water each day with a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar. I know that sounds crazy, but lots of people swear by it. Apple cider vinegar seems to support healthy acid levels in your stomach.
  • Avoid eating too close to bedtime. And if you crash on the couch after dinner, sit up. Lying down shortly after you eat can cause a backflow of acid.
And if you're taking PPIs, don't just quit them cold turkey. That can cause even worse acid reflux than you had before.

Instead, work with your doctor to slowly wean yourself off the drugs.
This is the study, but only the abstract is available to the general public without payment of a fee:  Association of Acute Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease With Esophageal Histologic Changes (doi:10.1001/jama.2016.5657).

I located the full study at Sci-Hub.ac as a nine-page .pdf document, if you're interested.

But here are a couple of other reports about it:



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A couple of major health bodies in Britain have had their fill of the prevalent mainstream dietary nonsense that we need to strive for a low-fat diet in order to achieve our ideal bodyweight:

Happy Memorial Day!

It's time to take a moment to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice to defend what you and I hold dear -- the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

At this very moment, those basic rights are under assault by Nanny State nitwits who want to tell you how to care for yourself and your family... right down to the very foods you eat!

It's not just here in the U.S. of A.

This same battle is being fought around the world. And now, at long last, two leading British health organizations are fed up with being told what to eat.

The National Obesity Forum and the Public Health Collaboration in Britain issued a blistering report that looks like it was ripped right from the pages of the Daily Dose... because they're urging dieters to IGNORE Public Health England's low-fat eating advice.

Instead, they say that if you want to get slim and trim... you need to eat MORE fat.

It's plain old back-to-basics common-sense advice, and it's backed by years of hard science.

So naturally, they're getting blasted for it!

Susan Jebb, the British government's obesity adviser, claimed the low-fat guidelines are "based on the best evidence we have" and that "we're eating too many calories -- if we want to tackle obesity people do need to eat fewer calories [and] that means less fat and less sugar."

That's coming from a woman who's done work funded by Coke, Weight Watchers, and more... so if she seems to be missing the point, maybe it's on purpose.

We ARE eating too many calories, but that doesn't mean you have to eat less fat.

Calories from fat are more filling. They also keep blood sugar levels under control -- unlike carbs, which cause them to spike and then crash, which leads to powerful cravings so you eat up everything in sight.

That, my friend, is why folks who stick to low-fat, low-cal, carb-heavy mainstream advice don't lose weight... they gain it, and they get diabetes, too.

Folks who go low-carb, on the other hand, watch the pounds melt away and never have to worry about diabetes -- and if you already have diabetes, this same all-natural diet can stop it, slow the damage and reverse it.

A 2012 study found diabetics who go low-carb cut their need for insulin by nearly a third -- and if you stick to this diet religiously, you can even CURE your diabetes!

Even of you don't have diabetes, this same diet can help give you energy, improve your sex life, fight cancer, and protect your heart -- so stop falling for the mainstream con and turn your life around today.

Leading the diet riot....
Here are a couple of further articles about this bold stand:



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There are times when I have wondered if I might be experiencing a heart-attack symptom; but whatever the concern was, it has always gone away.

It is unsettling to think that there may have been a 'silent' heart-attack, for they are not uncommon:

If you're lucky to survive a heart attack, consider it your wakeup call -- an urgent message from inside your body.

Clean up your act... or soon enough, you'll be pushing up daisies.

It's time to get serious about your health -- because while you might have pulled through this time, you might not be so lucky next time around.

But what if you never got the message?

New research shows that you could've ALREADY had a heart attack... even if you own doc says he thinks you have the heart of a stallion.

You just never noticed it when it happened.

A stunning 45 percent of all heart attacks are silent, meaning they strike without any obvious signs or symptoms. As far as you know, you've just got a sore shoulder, an achy muscle in the chest, or sudden fatigue.

But THAT'S the message... that's your one and only chance to turn things around before it's too late. Heck, sometimes you don't even get that second chance, because even a first heart attack can kill you -- and that includes the silent ones.

The study finds that while silent attacks are much more common in men, they're far more deadly in women.

So either way, it's time to stop making excuses and starting taking better care of yourself.

I've got a simple, safe, inexpensive, and incredibly easy way to put a bulletproof vest around your ticker.

First: Give up refined carbs, especially sugar. Your doc will obsess over your cholesterol levels, but it's the sweet stuff that REALLY damages your insides and sets the stage for heart disease.

If you get 17 percent of your calories from added sugars, for example, your risk of death from the condition jumps by nearly 40 percent!

Second: If you haven't exactly spent the years living clean (who has?) talk to an experienced naturopathic doc about chelation therapy.

This natural detox can break up the calcium deposits that gum up your arteries, and it can sweep that junk right out of your body.

As a result, according to a government-backed study published in 2012, chelation can slash the risk of serious heart problems by 18 percent overall... and by nearly 40 percent in diabetics.

And finally, there are warning signs, so know what to look for. Most "silent" heart attacks aren't as invisible as the mainstream thinks -- because you might experience sudden pain in your chest, arm, neck and/or upper back as well as jaw pain, flu-like symptoms, and fatigue.

No one -- not even your doc -- knows your body like you do. You know when it's right and you know when it's wrong... and if something's off, even if you're not quite sure what it is, get help ASAP.

The only way to know for sure whether or not it was a heart attack is by getting an EKG.

On the attack....
This is the study ─ select the PDF option if you want to see the full study and not just the abstract:  Race and Sex Differences in the Incidence and Prognostic Significance of Silent Myocardial Infarction in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) Study (doi: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.115.021177).

Unfortunately, I would need something rather dramatic to happen to me before I sought the attention of a doctor.  I am certainly not going to visit a clinic and wait around to see a doctor just because I felt a funny pain inside my upper left arm while I was out walking.
 
Anyway, here are some other reports about the study:




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I close now with this entry from my journal of 41 years ago when I was 25 years old, and living in a basement housekeeping unit in New Westminster.

I was only working one day a week back then ─ Friday ─ for a New Westminster charitable organization called S.A.N.E. (Self Aid Never Ends) that today calls itself Fraserside Community Services Society.

Since I served as a truck swamper on S.A.N.E.'s only vehicle ─ a blue pick-up truck whose bed capacity had been enhanced with wooden siding ─ I had concern that a long-ballyhooed trip to Mount Currie might be in play that day. 

Such a  haul would make for an extra-long day, and my younger brother Mark had let me know a day or two before that our father Hector wanted me to help him move from where he was living in the Mount Pleasant area of Vancouver out to Burnaby.

That would be unlikely in the event of a Mount Currie run.

As you should quickly note, I would make notations in my journal over the course of a day sometimes, so perspectives would swiftly jump from one point in time that day to another without any preamble.
FRIDAY, May 30, 1975

I awoke at 5:00 a.m., a dream of Cathy getting cute with her feet, turning me on, fresh in my mind.

I'm quite short on energy this morning, as my 350 leg raises in four rather than one set shows; hopefully, it is only a stiffening effect arising from yesterday's hike.

The sun is shining, but I feel no less weak here in my suite.

Had an awful morning with a 3 load move, and crippled Bill assisting, as regular Bill probably had a hangover; the woman moving bought us a bottle of Coke each.

For lunch Esther wanted to go to the smorgasbord, but 'twas too close to 2:30 p.m., so I came home.

Besides I wanted my cheque. 

All $160 of it was here; along with a note from the landlady saying to pay the girl upstairs the rent, since she won't be here.

My Red River cereal with raisins was enjoyed.

Now to go cash my cheque, and return to S.A.N.E. to move Howie; I heard it said 'tis to be but one load.

It wasn't; and after the second load ─ to the very place of the woman who moved  out earlier ─ there was a small task consisting of some tables and racks to go to a church, Howie helping; I saw Bill earlier after cashing my cheque, sitting in front of the Salvation Army.

Anyway, I got back to S.A.N.E. at 6:00 p.m.  So I hiked up past Art's; I'd seen Samantha in the Fraser Apartments while moving out Howie, and she said her dad was expecting me; his door was open, so I stepped in to tell him I was off for a bus.

But oh no!  He swayed me to stay, it being 6:10 p.m., and he'd take me with the two youngest at 7:00 p.m.

It was at least 8:00 p.m. when he got moving, taking me to my place for dad's new address in the hope he'd be there.

We couldn't find the place.

So we went into town.  He was there with Marie, amid the clutter of their packings, with booze and a big drunk tied on ─ along with maudlinity.

Art & company were fortunately in the truck.  The old man was really out of his head.  

I said, as Art suggested, we'd show about 7:00 a.m.; Marie was for it, but the old man cursed the plan.

Art's truck had no sides, and he had the two kids; dad was supposed to be out at 6:00 p.m.

It seems I can never escape indebtedness to Art; I'm to come about 6:00 a.m. tomorrow morn.

I walked home, and had my hamburger fill.

Bedtime?  About 11:30 p.m.
The dream was of my younger brother Mark's girlfriend back then, Catherine Jeanette Gunther ─ I could have eaten that young thing up, she stirred me so much!

I used to do leg-raises every morning ─ apparently I never had the morning stiffness that I was to have as my norm in later years.

I do not remember either of the "Bills" whom I mentioned as being co-workers, but Esther St. Jean was a delightful woman in her early 40s who usually drove the truck.

The Family Smorgasbord (formerly Swedana) was located in a shopping plaza at Eighth Avenue & McBride Boulevard in New Westminster.  It probably closed mid-afternoon to prepare for the supper crowd.

So for lunch I walked back to my room on Ninth Street & Third Avenue ─ S.A.N.E. was then located in a building that used to stand where the New Westminster SkyTrain Station now spills out onto Carnarvon Street.

I don't remember the young woman who must have been renting elsewhere in the same house I was renting in ─ I find that a little odd now, for I sometimes wrote of her in considerable annoyance.

I made myself a feed of Red River Cereal to which I added copious raisins.

And then I took my cheque to cash at a Bank of Montreal branch on Columbia Street before returning to S.A.N.E. ─ in the course of which journey I espied what must have been the non-crippled Bill who was supposed to be working with me that day, sitting in front of the Salvation Army.

I had been in the "Fraser Apartments" building a number of times over those years back then, but I'll be darned if I can now place just where that building used to be.

I certainly do not remember a "Howie."

But in that building that day, I encountered young Samantha Smith, the oldest child of my older friend/co-worker Art Smith.  Samantha must have been nearly into her teens, while her dad was into his early 40s.

He generally wanted me to come over to the house to get plastered on sherry or vodka with him, but I had that mission involving my father.

When I stopped in at his home as I was heading for a bus, he undoubtedly imposed upon me to have a drink, and promised that he'd drive me in to town once both of his two youngest kids were home ─ he had a young boy named Stevie, and a daughter named Angela (Dee Dee) who was a couple or so years younger than Samantha.

When finally Art was motivated to fulfill his promise to drive me, for some reason we went to the address where my father was supposed to be moving to ─ I bet that was Art's idea, since it was in Burnaby, and closer than Mount Pleasant in Vancouver.

We failed to locate the place, so we went on in to Mount Pleasant ─ Art remained in the truck with his kids while I went in to dad's apartment ─ he lived with his girlfriend Marie Fadden.

They were both plastered, I guess.  They were alcoholics, unfortunately ─ it was probably why they were having to move.

I expect that "maudlinity" is not an actual word, but my father Hector could be incredibly maudlin and cloyingly sentimental when he was drunk.

He could also be at the other extreme.

He and Marie must have been in some state of readiness to move, but what had they planned?  My father knew that I had no vehicle ─ I've never owned a vehicle nor had a driver's licence in my entire life.

Art driving me there was entirely fortuitous.

We could have taken some of their belongings, but with the two young kids in the truck, there was no room for my drunken father and his equally drunk girlfriend Marie.

Thus, Art suggested that I tell my father and Marie that Art and I would come by early in the morning and make the move.

I don't know what my father anticipated could be done beyond that, but the plan sure never sat well with him.

And so I left, returning with Art and the kids to their home ─ probably for a few drinks.

Then I walked back to my room, and cooked up a feed of hamburgers.

So...what of the next day?

I have no idea ─ I remember none of this.

And I don't read ahead into my journal ─ I'll just have to await tomorrow's post to learn what the fallout was to be.
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