Sunday, November 21, 2010

Costco-Sized Bottles of Aspirin!?

You know what scares me? Those huge bottles of aspirin you find at Costco or Sam's Club. I mean 500 tablets per bottle. Those things have a shelf-life you know. They should expire before anyone could possibly go through them all.

But then, I know there are people out there who take 8 or more, at a time. Sometimes 3 times per day! The question I have is- why? Even taking 2 aspirins (or Tylenol, Excedrin, etc.) per day for a prolonged time (that being greater than 7-10 days according to most manufacturers) can have side effects. Not just bleeding stomach ulcers but some really nasty things like liver and kidney damage.

If you take ANY pain reliever as part of your daily routine you have a problem and should actively seek to fix it. Fixing the underlying problem is the smartest thing you can do.

Take muscle and joint pain- there are several causes. If your cause is found and corrected then the pain can go away on it's own. Try any of these: (Realize, too, you may have more than 1 problem).
  1. See a chiropractor/ME. (
  2. Drink enough water (see my blog post about water for all the info).
  3. Exercise 4-5 times per week. (start simple and build up).
  4. Take supplements - I prefer USANA Health Sciences (
  5. Get enough rest/sleep.
  6. Take MSM (it is a similar compund to glucosamine and chondroitin but more effective).
  7. Increase your fish oil (talk with me, a naturopath, or your doctor as too much can be not good).
  8. Take a "greens" supplement to improve your pH (reduce the acid in your system).
  9. Increase your salt intake (must be electrolyte balanced like RealSalt or Himalayan Pink- again, ask me if you need help or are not sure).
I get questioned sometimes about taking any kind of prescription or over-the-counter medication.
*Legal Disclaimer - I do not and can not prescribe ANY medication, even OTC.* 
Logic would dictate that if the problem is corrected then the symptom (pain) should resolve as well. If reaching for a bottle is your first reaction then I have to recommend you fix the problem instead of just putting a band-aid over it and pretending it isn't there.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Do you know a healthy kid when you see one?

This sounds like the start of a really bad joke. I wish it was. This is the paradigm of "normal" that we need to be cautious of.

So a friend of mine takes her 1 year old son in for his check up with the pediatrician and the doc comments how the little guy is dropping in his percentile of weight. Not that he is undernourished, malnourished, showing any signs of starvation or abuse. He is just not as big "for his age group" as he used to be. 

I know the family and mom feeds the kids typically very healthy. So what happened that he is dropping compared to his "peers"?  I think the answer is easy - like my kids, they don't eat foods loaded with growth hormones, antibiotics, pesticides, herbicides, or other chemicals. Growth hormones in meat artificially stimulate our bodies to get bigger faster. Not healthier mind you, just bigger.

Shame on this pediatrician for not looking at anything other than an age-divided height/weight chart before making a comment that has the potential to really upset a good parent. What are we willing to accept as normal? Does being called small compared to a group of overweight people seem a bit off to you to? 

A good doctor asks you about eating and exercise habits, vitamin/mineral supplements, how much water you drink, what kind of things you do to relieve stress, how much rest you get, etc. That is part of taking care of a whole person and being a trusted and learned friend a.k.a. doctor.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Lets Talk Supplements

Supplements are vitamins, minerals, herbs, and so on that are meant to help us complete our bodies nutritional needs. They are NOT meant to replace good eating habits. The whole concept seems to be misunderstood.

There are really only a few things to consider about supplements.

1. Quality. My recommendation is USANA Health Sciences ( They are a general health support supplement meant to give you a solid base of nutrition to work from. You won't find a line of targeted amino acid therapy with them, that is just not what they do. What they do have is the best* multivitamin/mineral supplement with a selection of optimizers to expand on an individual's needs.

2. Diligence. It is like brushing your teeth. It has to be done daily. Waiting until Saturday and just brushing for 30 minutes is not the same as brushing every day for 5. Supplements have to be taken daily to be useful. They just can't work if they are not in your body.

3. Consistency. I almost always get asked, "What will I feel and how long will it take?" Generally, you may or may not have a noticeable change. Does it really matter? Are you expecting drastic changes in a day? When change happens over time it is harder to notice.   

The thing to remember is that supplements do not replace good eating. They add to it. And please, don't be fooled by thnking that the foods around today offer a complete nutritional profile. Even the organic stuff (which is almost all I will eat) doesn't have it. Organic means they don't add chemicals and poisons, it does NOT mean that they are complete nutritionally.

Lastly, please don't buy supplements off the shelf at the grocery stores. They offer what is going to make them money not what is going to make you healthy. Some of the poorest quality supplements out there are Centrum, Kirkland Signature (Costco), and pretty much any grocery store brand.*

Do your health and that of your family a great help- use USANA supplements daily. And remember, if you want help determining your nutritional needs I can order labs and blood tests to dial in your specific needs.

*This statement is not FDA supported. It is not opinion as 3rd party companies have independently ranked USANA as the top supplement. (Comparative Guide to Nutritional Supplements, MacWilliams).