New Year New You

21 12 2015

 

Start a New Activity and Meet New People.
Start a New Activity and Meet New People.

Last Updated:  21 Dec 2015

It’s a new year and will it also be the beginning of a new you?

How many different directions could you take in making a New Year’s resolution that would make you happier, more energetic, feel and look good and more excited about life?

So what is your New Year Resolution, what do you want to change? Is it to finally lose that weight once and for all, start a walk/jog exercise routine, spend more time with the family, get out of a bad relationship-start a new one, stop smoking-drinking, get a new job etc.?

In building any action plan to resolve any problem, “yes this includes a New Year’s resolution,” you first must target what’s causing you to lose sleep at night and focus during the day. Then once you’re sure you’ve identified the problem you must focus and stick to a relative-planned solution “that’s right for you and your situation” to accomplish the goal.

Whatever you need to do to make a positive life change will require 1) courage, 2) will power and a 3) sustainable action plan to see it through. But the forth ingredient in my opinion is the most important because it is the driver of the first three.

The action plan must be 4) relative to your needs and wants so you’ll have the motivation to sustain it long-term.

As a personal fitness trainer and consultant throughout the years, I’ve received an earful from my clients. One thing I’ve learned, the customer often brings a 3rd party solution to the table. But these well intended solutions are custom designed for someone else. All too often in the world of fitness, health and life coaching, custom designed plans are relative to another individuals life goal profile. This means these plans will not work optimally, or work at all for you.

Canoe a favorite river and see the sites

Canoe a favorite river and see the sites

For example, you may share a similar obesity and diabetes condition, but there are many ways to lose weight and treat diabetes. Some treatment plans will work for some and not others, or as effectively.

In other words when I develop a fitness program for one client, I don’t pass it on to the next one who has a similar goal. If I did that I’d lose clients, why?  The Desired results would likely not occur.

We are all of various ages, sex, genetics, culture, body type, mental and physical readiness, have different lifestyle needs, wants and activity goals. Our motivations and will power differ greatly as well as our habits, behavior, environment, medical histories and current health conditions… the list goes on.

So how can you successfully plan to create a new you for the New Year?

If you’ve been unsuccessful in changing any of your life goals might I suggest, or recommend you seek out a life coach or fitness consultant, or trainer that can help you develop a relative customized plan to make that positive change in life once and for all.

Listed below are the two disciplines with specialties identified that can help refocus a relative plan and resolve your New Year’s Resolution and then sustain it for life.

Certified Life Coach                                      Certified Fitness Consultant

Finances and Budgeting                                              Develop Muscle Mass

Relationships and Intimacy                                         Muscular Strength

Family and Parenting                                            Aerobic Cardio Endurance

Stress Management and Balance                        Develop Lean Muscle Mass

Creativity for Artist, Writer, Musician, Performer     Tone, Body Fat Loss

Spirituality and Personal Growth                      Health, Lifestyle, Self-Care

Career Planning and Development                                Natural Anti-Aging

Motivation and Time Management                              Stress and Pain Mgt

Entrepreneurial and Small Business Development   Custom Fit Program

Health, Lifestyle and Self-Care                                       Diet & Nutrition

If you need help in any of these areas, these consulting services are easily found and listed throughout the Internet and phone directory. There are also many self-help books found within libraries, Internet and book stores.

If you can identify the problem and find a relative and specific plan that’s right for you then you will experience significant change that can be sustained long-term.

MirrorAthlete Inc., is near complete with its first book publication, scheduled to be released not later than 1st half of 2016.  Where the context uniquely addresses many of life’s fit healthy lifestyle concerns, with relative “how to” application in consumer safety awareness, customized fitness programming, healthy lifestyle solution, customized fitness programming, illness and disease prevention, etc.  The context of this first ever consolidated fitness, health, nutrition, consumer lifestyle book shows you how to become your very own life coach and fitness trainer within many of the specialized skillsets listed above.

The book project represents years of personal client, adversity-life stories “including yours truely,” and fitness and health experiences with over 250 citations in relative fields of expertise to support the fit-healthy lifestyle principles we all need and want with relative how-to-programming guidance.

It is also uniquely developed to show anyone how to create a customized fitness and nutrition program that’s right and relative for them at any age. It’s as if a fitness trainer-consultant and life coach were there helping you customize a solution for your New Year’s resolution that will work once and for all.

Low intensity aerobic exercise burns body fat calories

Low intensity aerobic exercise burns body fat calories

There is no other principled fit healthy lifestyle book in the marketplace that compares to this 10-year plus project. The book is also uniquely written to be timeless and useful within any decade. That is it will help redirect, refocus and support many revolving issues that enter your life where your fit healthy lifestyle coach never leaves your side and provides relative advisement and fit plan when you need it most.

To review a summary of this book project and 2016 release date, visit our home site   http://www.mirrorathlete.com (then click on the book project link).

Don’t live anyone else’s life course. Instead plan and map your unique objectives, goals and lifestyle to achieve the quality living experiences that you need, want and deserve.

My New Year’s wish for you and your family is to be happy and healthy with many life rewards and success.

Author: Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, ARNG, CPT, RET. 2015 Copyright. All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Inc., http://www.mirrorathlete.com, Sign up for your Free eNewsletter.

 

 

   

 

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

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New Year New You

18 12 2013

 

Start a New Activity and Meet New People.
Start a New Activity and Meet New People.

It’s a new year and will it also be the beginning of a new you?

How many different directions could you take in making a New Year’s resolution that would make you happier, more energetic, feel and look good and more excited about life?

So what is your New Year Resolution, what do you want to change? Is it to finally lose that weight once and for all, start a walk/jog exercise routine, spend more time with the family, get out of a bad relationship-start a new one, stop smoking-drinking, get a new job etc.?

In building any action plan to resolve any problem, “yes this includes a New Year’s resolution,” you first must target what’s causing you to lose sleep at night and focus during the day. Then once you’re sure you’ve identified the problem you must focus and stick to a relative-planned solution “that’s right for you and your situation” to accomplish the goal.

Whatever you need to do to make a positive life change will require 1) courage, 2) will power and a 3) sustainable action plan to see it through. But the forth ingredient in my opinion is the most important because it is the driver of the first three.

The action plan must be 4) relative to your needs and wants so you’ll have the motivation to sustain it long-term.

As a personal fitness trainer and consultant throughout the years, I’ve received an earful from my clients. One thing I’ve learned, the customer often brings a 3rd party solution to the table. But these well intended solutions are custom designed for someone else. All too often in the world of fitness, health and life coaching, custom designed plans are relative to another individuals life goal profile. This means these plans will not work optimally, or work at all for you.

For example, you may share a similar obesity and diabetes condition, but there are many ways to lose weight and treat diabetes. Some treatment plans will work for some and not others, or as effectively.

In other words when I develop a fitness program for one client, I don’t pass it on to the next one who has a similar goal. If I did that I’d lose clients, why?  The Desired results would likely not occur.

We are all of various ages, sex, from different environments, culture, body type, mental and physical state, have different needs, wants and activity goals, our motivations-will power differ greatly as well as our habits, behaviors, medical histories and health conditions… the list goes on.

So how can you successfully plan to create a new you for the New Year?

If you’ve been unsuccessful in changing any of your life goals might I suggest, or recommend you seek out a life coach or fitness consultant that can help you develop a relative customized plan to make that positive change in life once and for all.

Listed below are the two disciplines with specialties identified that can help refocus a relative plan and resolve your New Year’s Resolution and then sustain it for life.

Certified Life Coach                                                     Certified Fitness Consultant

Finances and Budgeting                                                      Develop Muscle Mass

Relationships and Intimacy                                                  Muscular Strength

Family and Parenting                                                            Aerobic Cardio Endurance

Stress Management and Balance                                         Develop Lean Muscle Mass

Creativity for Artists, Writers, Musicians & Performers         Tone and Body Fat Loss

Spirituality and Personal Growth                                          Health, Lifestyle, Self-Care

Career Planning and Development                                      Natural Anti-Aging Solutions

Motivation and Time Management                                       Stress and Pain Mgt

Entrepreneurial and Small Business Development              Custom Fitness Programs

Health, Lifestyle and Self-Care                                             Diet & Nutrition

If you need help in any of these areas, these consulting services are easily found and listed throughout the Internet and phone directory. There are also many self-help books found within libraries, Internet and book stores.

If you can identify the problem and find a relative and specific plan that’s right for you then you will experience significant change that can be sustained long-term.

Mirror Athlete Inc., is near complete with its first book publication where the context uniquely addresses many of life’s problems and relative solutions proven to work by many types of consulting services in the life, fitness and health industry.

The book project represents years of personal client, adversity-life stories, and fitness and health experiences with over 200 citations in relative fields of expertise to support the fit-healthy principles we all need and want with the relative how-to and programming guidelines. It is also uniquely developed to show anyone how to create a customized fitness and nutrition program that’s right and relative for them. It’s almost as if a life coach and fitness trainer were there helping you customize a solution for your New Year’s resolution that will once and for all work for you.

There is no other book in the marketplace that compares to this 12 year in the making book publication. The book is also timeless. That is, at any time in your life, it will help redirect, refocus and remove many problematic revolving issues that will enter your life with a relative plan to keep you naturally fit-healthy throughout your life.

To review a summary of this book project and 2014 release date, visit our home site     http://www.mirrorathlete.com (then click on the book project link).

Don’t live anyone else’s life course. Instead plan and map your unique objectives, goals and lifestyle to achieve the quality living experiences that you need, want and deserve.

My New Year’s wish for you and your family is to be happy and healthy with many life rewards and success.

Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, CPT, MSC ARNG Retired. 2013 Copyright, All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Publishing: http://www.mirrorathlete.com. Sign up for your Free eNewsletter.

 

 

   

 

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

 

 





Why Most American’s Have a Drug Problem

23 03 2013
Visit Mirror Athlete Chronic Pain Center

Get High on Nature Not Drugs.

Why do I say most American’s have a drug problem?  Oh I don’t know, could it be that when looking through our nation’s addiction related statistics it doesn’t bode well in understanding we have a big problem.  Let’s take a look at the most recognized illegal/legal drug use data and then decide how many of us will escape an addictive habit that could ultimately cause each one of us more pain and suffering than necessary throughout our lifetime.  And just because a depressant or stimulant can be purchased legally does not mean it is not causing harm to you or others around you.

While rummaging through the Internet, I noted there was a ton of information on legal and illegal drug use and addiction.  Looking at the DEA Drug Seizure statistics for 2010, I came up with the following drug confiscation data seized and measured in kilograms:  Cocaine (29,179 kgs), Heroin (690kgs), Marijuana (722,476kgs), and Methamphetamine (2,067 kgs), Hallucinogens (2,578,935 dosage units).  These numbers are indeed impressive drug seizure statistics.  But, it is also acknowledged by all drug enforcement agencies that these numbers only represent a fraction of what’s being used on the streets.  So really, how do you quantify actual production and use of drugs under the radar?

In 2010, national and state statistics information pertaining to drug use, addiction and drug abuse shows:  22.6 million Americans over the age of 12 have used illicit drugs within the last month of the survey being completed.  The drug most used by 17.4 million individuals other than alcohol is marijuana; and then followed by painkillers, then hallucinogens and cocaine.  Drug overdoses has risen 540% since 1980.  Prescription drug abuse is up 500% since 1990.  The cost to employer’s employee productivity from drug abuse is 122 billion dollars per year.

Now looking at alcohol as America’s number one legal drug problem, it appears almost none of us can escape being exposed to a likely addiction that for many will destroy lives.  After all none of us knows who has an addictive predisposition to alcohol or for that matter any other legal or illegal drug.

It is also true drug use data serves as a good statistical consumer indicator for other business models to fulfill consumer supply and demand. Addictive drug use data can also be used as a predictive indicator to determine future consumer sales and potential earnings for other related products and services.  For example, in knowing Americans spend an average of $90 billion dollars every year on alcoholic beverages has a percentage based relationship to alcohol related crash and spousal abuse data.  These statistics are very good predictors of other social and penal services that will likely be used to justify budgets for example.

For many children an alcohol experience begins at a very early stage in life.  This proof is easily obtained by simply reviewing a bit of data.  For example, at the beginning of the year 2000, an estimated 7 million of our youth from 12 to 20 years old admitted to being drinkers.  Another 6.4 million were admitted binge drinkers.  Over 6 million children claimed to live with parents that have a drug addiction problem.  56% of students in grades 5 to 12 mention that advertising alcoholic beverages encourages them to drink.

In 2001, a survey showed 25 million Americans admitted to driving under the influence of alcohol and that 23% of our 18-25 year olds self admitted to this fact.  Local law enforcement statistics shows us that ~2 million arrests nationwide are made each year due to driving under the influence.  Although these statistical numbers are alarming, it would be more alarming because only a portion of alcohol abuse is recorded because a majority of those driving under the influence are not caught.  The same is also true of national surveys; many alcoholics do not self-proclaim their alcohol use.  But one statistic is pretty clear:  the latest National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows 17,488 people were killed in vehicular traffic related accidents.  Now compare that number to a mid-size populated town and that statistic is alarming.

What is the impact to our economy regarding alcohol abuse?  Approximately 100 million in health care costs.  That does not include employment productivity losses, penal system costs, personal injury, property damage and intervention treatment, etc.  Unemployed adults are found to be the highest percentage (12.2%) of drinkers between the ages of 26 through 34.  Industrial injuries (47%) and fatalities (40%) are directly related to alcohol abuse.

It is very difficult to hone in on what’s creating America’s addictive product consumer use habit.  It’s more like American’s have a constant battle to control addictive behavioral habits they know are bad for them and those around them.  It doesn’t help that the marketers find other ways to add addictive and unhealthy products back into the consumer food chain for the sake of generating higher profit margins.  For example, adding more caffeine and sugar in our consumer foods, to include more nicotine in our tobacco products.   Talk about shooting fish in a barrel at a young age.  This is a good way to target in on the young addictive personality types that will likely begin a new consumer drug habit.  It stands to reason future generation will likely fall prey to other unhealthy addictions.

Let’s take a look at the two legal consumer products in our markets and cost to our health and economy when abused.  Every year tobacco kills 440,000 people through tobacco related illnesses.  That’s more Americans than the Vietnam and WWII casualties combined.  In total, tobacco causes more than 5 million disease related deaths per year (lung, kidney, breast, pancreas, lymph, ovaries, larynx, mouth and neck cancer, etc.).  Also think about the medical sustaining costs for related illness and diseases caused by tobacco use and the impact on our national health care system.

For every 1 person that dies from smoking tobacco, 20 more will suffer with a long-term illness (respiratory, immune, intestinal, organ failure etc.).   The tobacco industry spends approximately $34 million dollars a day in advertising (2006).  It’s no wonder roughly 1 in 5 high school students are addicted to tobacco.

Another way to look at this picture, we the consumer are “in a way” paying the $34 million dollar a day tobacco advertising bill.  You ask how?  The advertising and promotion of tobacco products is increasing consumption of tobacco products at younger ages while contributing to increased health care costs.   You may, or may not agree with that.  But if you see a half truth in this, it means a partial cost to nonsmokers.

Following this partial cost logic…  Why can a tobacco business deduct an advertising expense that creates more health insurance and tax cost to non-smokers.  But we the non-smoking tax payer cannot deduct portions of our Medicare and receive reduced health insurance cost benefits? How’s that fair?  Shouldn’t these manufactures, or health insurance carriers be required to pay the difference of the nonsmokers Medicare and tax burden for contributing to the total cost of our health care system?  I think that would be fair.  But that’s another story.

Moving on, let’s look at the “seemingly” least harmful addiction consumer business market model.  This consumer model hopes to create repeat addicts to more caffeine and sugar drinks by first attracting our youth to an addictive and “seemingly” harmless “pick me” up in the morning and then “later” integration of these products for future generations hooked on the products.  One only has to think of the plethora of energy drinks that has entered our market place within the recent years.  These drinks are loaded with caffeine and sugar and proven to cause illness and disease when abused.

For example a Monster Energy XXL drink contains 4 times the average content of caffeine found within a can of soda (22-46mg of caffeine). This energy drink contains 240mgs of caffeine.  The 81g of average sugar content in products like this appear to contribute to weight gain and obesity.  And when the metabolism becomes impacted by the ingredients for one, leads to anxiety and increased blood pressure.  It is also noted that once a consumer stops drinking these drinks after a period of time the following withdraw symptoms occur:  depression, lethargy, nausea, headaches and vomiting.  Although daily doses up to 400mg of caffeine/day for most adults is OK (University of California), it is not healthy for nursing mothers, children and teens.  Another noteworthy caffeine statistic:  50% of the population or 150 million Americans drink coffee.  Also, independent coffee shops alone equate to 12 billion in annual sales.

It appears that most American’s young and old have very addictive consumer habits in general with regard to tobacco, sugar and caffeine products including prescription and illegal drug use.  From this perspective you must understand that addictive products influence behavior to repeat the habit.  And with that being said, you can follow the logic: consumer sales are partly dependent on repeat behavioral habits and are predictable by our markets.  I like to refer to this predictability as landing the fish through repeatable and dependable behavioral habits.  In other words our market place, government and law enforcement understands a percentage of people when given the opportunity to get their hands on a product will likely try it, and at some point in their lives will also abuse it.  And therefore a percentage of consumers will become a hooked fish that cannot resist biting again.

Luckily, and although disturbing only a fraction of Americans as seen within the data presented have a serious legal/illegal drug dependency problem.  And thinking further about this addiction model, benefits the economy by creating and sustaining many jobs (penal system, socialized intervention programs, drug enforcement, prescription drug manufacturing, health care, distilling/sales of spirits, tobacco industry, chemical food additive industry, etc.).

The economic and commerce logic appears to be: it is a small portion of society that appears to be an acceptable addict and ill-health casualty.  This cost of doing business appears to be good for the benefit of the whole.  I’m not saying this is a good thing, or I agree with it.  I’m saying it is important to understand this relationship.  And in understanding the relationship, you and your family have an opportunity not to become an economic consumer casualty and burden on others.

Many lives are lost and families are destroyed as indicated by this data.  Our society has deemed the loss to be a small price to pay as our freedoms and liberties allow us choices within the boundaries of the law.  Our government and businesses also see addiction abuse as a small cost of doing business.  And these models will not likely change much because the detrimental cost to our society appears to be acceptable by a majority of a free society.  However, with escalating health costs, this model will likely change in significant degrees throughout the years.

Thinking more on repeatable and predictable consumer behavioral habits also leads to the following conclusions.  I believe addiction is wired into each one of us and we all will crave something in our lives to make us feel better about our circumstances or realities.  Our commerce and government business models understand this consumer-habit-behavioral connection that may/may not lead one to destructive and addictive habits.  And also understands a percentage of us will become cash cow industries for disability and ill-health consumer demands by its very nature of a churning economy.

Let me also point out addiction does not always involve a drug habit.  For example, we can also be addicted to power, control and greed.  These things when or if not balanced in life create internal and external stresses that effect one or others that can lead to an addictive drug habit.  So by the shear nature of being human we can all push, pull and shove each other into “misery loves company” addiction regardless of societal class.  I’ve not pinpointed what is causing our ever increasing addictive needs for a daily pick me up, or to relax during free time.  I suspect our need of addictive consumption is partially related to cultural shock caused by competitive global markets.

We now find ourselves living in a 21st Century world that has become politically, socially and economically constrained by various and competitive cultural models.  And these models have become ever too complex and an unacceptable shock reality for many.  I’m not sure our physical, mental and spiritual beings are wired to adequately survive these cultural shock stresses.  And for those that can’t deal with these ever changing environmental stresses, marketers then acquire a new wave demographic of addicts that need a bigger energy boost or drug fix throughout the day to deal with the competitive stress of living in a new world economy.  This is just one way you could read why addictive drug habits and bad behaviors are on the rise.

You’ll find much information on the Internet to support the contention that cultural shock, drug use and addiction are inter-related and are greatly affecting behavior.  For which many genetically predisposed to addiction will become statistical addicts and mortalities of harmful drugs.

It is obvious there is a plethora of addictive legal and illegal products in the market that are easily obtainable for our consumption.  Unfortunately when you become addicted to any substance; the potential to abuse other drugs also tend to increase.

And harmful drug dependency not only harms the user, but also harms others with whom they interact.

References,

US Drug Enforcement Administration. Statistics and Facts.   http://www.justice.gov/dea/statistics.html

Michael’s House.  Drug Addiction Facts and Statistics.  http://www.michaelshouse.com/drug-addiction/drug-addiction-statistics/

Drug-Rehabs.org.  Alcohol Statistics.   http://www.drug-rehabs.org/alcohol-statistics.php

MyAddiction.com.  Tobacco, Smoking and Nicotine Addiction Statistics and Facts.  January 14, 2012. http://www.myaddiction.com/education/articles/tobacco_statistics.html

Wilkinson, J. Monster Energy Drink Addiction.   Mar 7, 2011.  http://www.livestrong.com/article/398579-monster-energy-drink-addiction/

Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, USA Medical Services Officer, CPT, RET2011 Copyright, All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Publishing @: http://www.mirrorathlete.com,  Sign up for your Free eNewsletter.

 





3 Connected Diseases – Diabetes, Gout and Kidney Disease

21 06 2012

Do What it Takes to Keep Parents Healthy

These 3 diseases (diabetes, gout and kidney disease) have three things in common that makes it more likely for one to experience them at the same time.  And those common denominators are bad diet, lack of exercise and poor blood circulation.  An interesting aspect to this 3-way disease connection; studies show if you have high uric acid concentrations in the blood you are more likely to experience gout,  have a 20% increase risk of acquiring diabetes and 40% risk of kidney disease.  It appears regardless of what disease comes first, it can lead to the other.  And for many, all 3 diseases are treated at the same time.

Okay, we’ll break this down a bit to understand how these 3 diseases could come about within the same window of time.

First of all we know a symptom of diabetes is poor blood circulation.  This occurs because blood sugars are not being processed adequately through the liver and muscles.  When the insulin hormone is not produced at the intended levels a whole list of medical complications can ensue.  This is also referred to as insulin resistance in the diabetic world.  When our bodies accumulate high levels of sugar in our blood the bodies reacts negatively by causing many different types of medical complications due to the high blood sugars impact on the body’s circulation and overall metabolism.

When blood circulation is impacted, this effect is especially hard on the heart, kidney and blood vessel walls.  Other damages that often occur due to poor circulation are the impacts specifically in the nervous system, eyes and feet.  For example, it is not uncommon for those with severe diabetic ailments specific to those areas of the body to lose eyesight, or a foot to gangrene.

And since circulation is greatly impacted for those with diabetes, they are also more likely to experience gout (a painful joint condition) and kidney stones.  This is because the uric acid builds up on joints and within the kidneys for lack of good circulation.  And without good circulation the body simply can’t detoxify itself optimally.  This lack of circulation is the domino effect that creates higher risk for kidney stones and chronic gout conditions.

However, just because you’re diabetic does not mean you’ll get gout and kidney stones. Instead you should think of it this way, you increase your odds of all 3 diseases presenting themselves at some point in time if diet and activity habits don’t change.  Also, acute and chronic gout seem to mostly occur based on a diet that is uric acid rich from consuming too much alcohol and red meats.

Since poor circulation also impacts the kidneys and urine function, these filters and waste removal systems to detoxify the body are not operating at 100%.  So in this case the uric acids in the blood build up and tend to anchor its crystal formations in the ankles, toes and yes the kidneys.  And if you’ve ever talked to someone that has passed a stone, you’d understand this is not the type of pain you’d want to experience.  I’ve known people that have experienced passing a stone and they immediately changed their diets, activity levels and drink a lot more water throughout the day.  It was an eye opener for them for sure.

The formation of these stones can occur if urine flow is too little for lack of proper hydration, or too highly concentrated with uric acid due to bad diet.  Other factors that increase risk of uric acid stone formation in the kidneys: as stated, an alcohol and animal rich diet cause a metabolic disorder within the urine system and also causes other health risks throughout the body, i.e., anemia, insulin resistance, blood cancers and chronic diarrhea.  It is also found that type 2 diabetics tend to have a high acidic urine concentration that leaves them vulnerable to uric acid stones and crystallized uric acid formation at the lower limb joints.

If you’ve been clinically identified with high uric acid levels in the blood, be sure to drink plenty of water daily and take prescribed medications.  It is recommended to consume 8-8oz glasses of water a day.  By doing so you can better remove the uric acid waste product from the blood through more frequent urination and stools, thereby also preventing kidney stone formation and maintaining clean bodily filters.

Who are the most likely candidates to acquire gout?  Gout can occur at any age and is common for those in their senior years.  Gout experienced during the senior years is mostly due to lack of mobility and decreased water intake.  However, even if you have no gout, are not obese and don’t have diabetes, but your uric acids in the blood are constantly high, you’re at risk for heart attack, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, kidney stones, cardiovascular disease and yes even death if progression of disease(s) is not treated.  Another common disease that can bring on these 3 interacting diseases is obesity! If your considered clinically obese, you’re likely to become a type II diabetic if not already.

Any time you have less circulation in any organ it can also sustain permanent damage.  Like your bodies muscles, organs depend on oxygen enriched blood through good blood circulation to maintain healthy tissue.  Since your kidneys and liver scrub your system free of food and air toxins, it would be wise to maintain “optimum blood circulation and blood volume” through good preventative ill-health practices such as daily exercise, proper diet and hydrate well throughout the day with water.

If you’re interested in a natural diet solution to prevent gout, then you’ll benefit to know that the cayenne and garlic spices in your foods can help you to achieve this goal.  That’s right these spices are very healthy for you.  So insure you incorporate these spices into your daily diet for preventative measures.  There are also high concentrate supplements with these spices included that can be very helpful in the prevention of gout.

It is also reassuring to know that if you’re being treated for diabetes and/or high levels of uric acid-gout, you’ll also be treated with the same treatment options since they are so closely related.  Let your doctor’s know immediately if you suffer from diabetes, gout and/or kidney stone symptoms, or suffer from obesity.

And as you already understand, for prevention and to improve upon you health if you suffer from any of these diseases; diet, exercise and ample water intake throughout the day will serve your body well.

References,

Disabled World.  Causes of Uric Acid Kidney Stones, 4 Sept 2006.  http://www.disabled-world.com/artman/publish/uric-acid_.shtml#ixzz1xnG8ZMSz

Cason, Charity.  Gout and Diabetes.  BattleDiabetes, 6 May 2011. http://www.battlediabetes.com/articles/diabetes/gout-and-diabetes#

Laino, Charlene.  High Uric Acid Linked to Both Gout & Diabetes. WebMD,  11 Nov 2011. http://arthritis.webmd.com/news/20111111/high-uric-acid-linked-to-both-gout-and-diabetes

MyUricAcid.  Diabetes and Gout.  http://www.myuricacid.com/diabetes-and-gout/

Woodard, Marc.  Is Drinking Too Much Water Dangerous to Your Health?  Mirror Athlete Fitness Secrets!  15 April 2012.  http://mirrorathlete.com/blog/?p=1298

Woodard, Marc.  Diabetes a Serious Disease.  Mirror Athlete Fitness Secrets!  21 Oct 2008.  http://mirrorathlete.com/blog/?p=29

Woodard, Marc.  Bout with Gout.  Mirror Athlete Fitness Secrets!  19 June 2009.  http://mirrorathlete.com/blog/?p=74

Woodard, Marc.  Our Food is Making Us Fat and Causing Disease.  Mirror Athlete Fitness Secrets!  15 April 2012.  http://mirrorathlete.com/blog/?p=1319

Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, USA Medical Services Officer, CPT, RET.  2012 Copyright, All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Publishing @: http://www.mirrorathlete.com,  Sign up for your Free eNewsletter.





Why Most American’s Have a Drug Addiction Problem

22 01 2012

Sometimes We Can't See What's in Front of Us Until it's Gone

Why do I say most American’s have a drug problem?  Oh I don’t know, could it be that when looking through our nation’s addiction related statistics it doesn’t bode well in understanding we have a big problem.  Let’s take a look at the most recognized illegal/legal drug use data and then decide how many of us will escape an addictive habit that could ultimately cause each one of us more pain and suffering than necessary throughout our lifetime.  And just because a depressant or stimulant can be purchased legally does not mean it is not causing harm to you or others around you.

While rummaging through the Internet, I noted there was a ton of information on legal and illegal drug use and addiction.  Looking at the DEA Drug Seizure statistics for 2010, I came up with the following drug confiscation data seized and measured in kilograms:  Cocaine (29,179 kgs), Heroin (690kgs), Marijuana (722,476kgs), and Methamphetamine (2,067 kgs), Hallucinogens (2,578,935 dosage units).  These numbers are indeed impressive drug seizure statistics.  But, it is also acknowledged by all drug enforcement agencies that these numbers only represent a fraction of what’s being used on the streets.  So really, how do you quantify actual production and use of drugs under the radar?

In 2010, national and state statistics information pertaining to drug use, addiction and drug abuse shows:  22.6 million Americans over the age of 12 have used illicit drugs within the last month of the survey being completed.  The drug most used by 17.4 million individuals other than alcohol is marijuana; and then followed by painkillers, then hallucinogens and cocaine.  Drug overdoses has risen 540% since 1980.  Prescription drug abuse is up 500% since 1990.  The cost to employer’s employee productivity from drug abuse is 122 billion dollars per year.

Now looking at alcohol as America’s number one legal drug problem, it appears almost none of us can escape being exposed to a likely addiction that for many will destroy lives.  After all none of us knows who has an addictive predisposition to alcohol or for that matter any other legal or illegal drug.

It is also true drug use data serves as a good statistical consumer indicator for other business models to fulfill consumer supply and demand. Addictive drug use data can also be used as a predictive indicator to determine future consumer sales and potential earnings for other related products and services.  For example, in knowing Americans spend an average of $90 billion dollars every year on alcoholic beverages has a percentage based relationship to alcohol related crash and spousal abuse data.  These statistics are very good predictors of other social and penal services that will likely be used to justify budgets for example.

For many children an alcohol experience begins at a very early stage in life.  This proof is easily obtained by simply reviewing a bit of data.  For example, at the beginning of the year 2000, an estimated 7 million of our youth from 12 to 20 years old admitted to being drinkers.  Another 6.4 million were admitted binge drinkers.  Over 6 million children claimed to live with parents that have a drug addiction problem.  56% of students in grades 5 to 12 mention that advertising alcoholic beverages encourages them to drink.

In 2001, a survey showed 25 million Americans admitted to driving under the influence of alcohol and that 23% of our 18-25 year olds self admitted to this fact.  Local law enforcement statistics shows us that ~2 million arrests nationwide are made each year due to driving under the influence.  Although these statistical numbers are alarming, it would be more alarming because only a portion of alcohol abuse is recorded because a majority of those driving under the influence are not caught.  The same is also true of national surveys; many alcoholics do not self-proclaim their alcohol use.  But one statistic is pretty clear:  the latest National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows 17,488 people were killed in vehicular traffic related accidents.  Now compare that number to a mid-size populated town and that statistic is alarming.

What is the impact to our economy regarding alcohol abuse?  Approximately 100 million in health care costs.  That does not include employment productivity losses, penal system costs, personal injury, property damage and intervention treatment, etc.  Unemployed adults are found to be the highest percentage (12.2%) of drinkers between the ages of 26 through 34.  Industrial injuries (47%) and fatalities (40%) are directly related to alcohol abuse.

It is very difficult to hone in on what’s creating America’s addictive product consumer use habit.  It’s more like American’s have a constant battle to control addictive behavioral habits they know are bad for them and those around them.  It doesn’t help that the marketers find other ways to add addictive and unhealthy products back into the consumer food chain for the sake of generating higher profit margins.  For example, adding more caffeine and sugar in our consumer foods, to include more nicotine in our tobacco products.   Talk about shooting fish in a barrel at a young age.  This is a good way to target in on the young addictive personality types that will likely begin a new consumer drug habit.  It stands to reason future generation will likely fall prey to other unhealthy addictions.

Let’s take a look at the two legal consumer products in our markets and cost to our health and economy when abused.  Every year tobacco kills 440,000 people through tobacco related illnesses.  That’s more Americans than the Vietnam and WWII casualties combined.  In total, tobacco causes more than 5 million disease related deaths per year (lung, kidney, breast, pancreas, lymph, ovaries, larynx, mouth and neck cancer, etc.).  Also think about the medical sustaining costs for related illness and diseases caused by tobacco use and the impact on our national health care system.

For every 1 person that dies from smoking tobacco, 20 more will suffer with a long-term illness (respiratory, immune, intestinal, organ failure etc.).   The tobacco industry spends approximately $34 million dollars a day in advertising (2006).  It’s no wonder roughly 1 in 5 high school students are addicted to tobacco.

Another way to look at this picture, we the consumer are “in a way” paying the $34 million dollar a day tobacco advertising bill.  You ask how?  The advertising and promotion of tobacco products is increasing consumption of tobacco products at younger ages while contributing to increased health care costs.   You may, or may not agree with that.  But if you see a half truth in this, it means a partial cost to nonsmokers.

Following this partial cost logic…  Why can a tobacco business deduct an advertising expense that creates more health insurance and tax cost to non-smokers.  But we the non-smoking tax payer cannot deduct portions of our Medicare and receive reduced health insurance cost benefits? How’s that fair?  Shouldn’t these manufactures, or health insurance carriers be required to pay the difference of the nonsmokers Medicare and tax burden for contributing to the total cost of our health care system?  I think that would be fair.  But that’s another story.

Moving on, let’s look at the “seemingly” least harmful addiction consumer business market model.  This consumer model hopes to create repeat addicts to more caffeine and sugar drinks by first attracting our youth to an addictive and “seemingly” harmless “pick me” up in the morning and then “later” integration of these products for future generations hooked on the products.  One only has to think of the plethora of energy drinks that has entered our market place within the recent years.  These drinks are loaded with caffeine and sugar and proven to cause illness and disease when abused.

For example a Monster Energy XXL drink contains 4 times the average content of caffeine found within a can of soda (22-46mg of caffeine). This energy drink contains 240mgs of caffeine.  The 81g of average sugar content in products like this appear to contribute to weight gain and obesity.  And when the metabolism becomes impacted by the ingredients for one, leads to anxiety and increased blood pressure.  It is also noted that once a consumer stops drinking these drinks after a period of time the following withdraw symptoms occur:  depression, lethargy, nausea, headaches and vomiting.  Although daily doses up to 400mg of caffeine/day for most adults is OK (University of California), it is not healthy for nursing mothers, children and teens.  Another noteworthy caffeine statistic:  50% of the population or 150 million Americans drink coffee.  Also, independent coffee shops alone equate to 12 billion in annual sales.

It appears that most American’s young and old have very addictive consumer habits in general with regard to tobacco, sugar and caffeine products including prescription and illegal drug use.  From this perspective you must understand that addictive products influence behavior to repeat the habit.  And with that being said, you can follow the logic: consumer sales are partly dependent on repeat behavioral habits and are predictable by our markets.  I like to refer to this predictability as landing the fish through repeatable and dependable behavioral habits.  In other words our market place, government and law enforcement understands a percentage of people when given the opportunity to get their hands on a product will likely try it, and at some point in their lives will also abuse it.  And therefore a percentage of consumers will become a hooked fish that cannot resist biting again.

Luckily, and although disturbing only a fraction of Americans as seen within the data presented have a serious legal/illegal drug dependency problem.  And thinking further about this addiction model, benefits the economy by creating and sustaining many jobs (penal system, socialized intervention programs, drug enforcement, prescription drug manufacturing, health care, distilling/sales of spirits, tobacco industry, chemical food additive industry, etc.).

The economic and commerce logic appears to be: it is a small portion of society that appears to be an acceptable addict and ill-health casualty.  This cost of doing business appears to be good for the benefit of the whole.  I’m not saying this is a good thing, or I agree with it.  I’m saying it is important to understand this relationship.  And in understanding the relationship, you and your family have an opportunity not to become an economic consumer casualty and burden on others.

Many lives are lost and families are destroyed as indicated by this data.  Our society has deemed the loss to be a small price to pay as our freedoms and liberties allow us choices within the boundaries of the law.  Our government and businesses also see addiction abuse as a small cost of doing business.  And these models will not likely change much because the detrimental cost to our society appears to be acceptable by a majority of a free society.  However, with escalating health costs, this model will likely change in significant degrees throughout the years.

Thinking more on repeatable and predictable consumer behavioral habits also leads to the following conclusions.  I believe addiction is wired into each one of us and we all will crave something in our lives to make us feel better about our circumstances or realities.  Our commerce and government business models understand this consumer-habit-behavioral connection that may/may not lead one to destructive and addictive habits.  And also understands a percentage of us will become cash cow industries for disability and ill-health consumer demands by its very nature of a churning economy.

Let me also point out addiction does not always involve a drug habit.  For example, we can also be addicted to power, control and greed.  These things when or if not balanced in life create internal and external stresses that effect one or others that can lead to an addictive drug habit.  So by the shear nature of being human we can all push, pull and shove each other into “misery loves company” addiction regardless of societal class.  I’ve not pinpointed what is causing our ever increasing addictive needs for a daily pick me up, or to relax during free time.  I suspect our need of addictive consumption is partially related to cultural shock caused by competitive global markets.

We now find ourselves living in a 21st Century world that has become politically, socially and economically constrained by various and competitive cultural models.  And these models have become ever too complex and an unacceptable shock reality for many.  I’m not sure our physical, mental and spiritual beings are wired to adequately survive these cultural shock stresses.  And for those that can’t deal with these ever changing environmental stresses, marketers then acquire a new wave demographic of addicts that need a bigger energy boost or drug fix throughout the day to deal with the competitive stress of living in a new world economy.  This is just one way you could read why addictive drug habits and bad behaviors are on the rise.

You’ll find much information on the Internet to support the contention that cultural shock, drug use and addiction are inter-related and are greatly affecting behavior.  For which many genetically predisposed to addiction will become statistical addicts and mortalities of harmful drugs.

It is obvious there is a plethora of addictive legal and illegal products in the market that are easily obtainable for our consumption.  Unfortunately when you become addicted to any substance; the potential to abuse other drugs also tend to increase.

And harmful drug dependency not only harms the user, but also harms others with whom they interact.

References

US Drug Enforement Administration. Statistics and Facts.  http://www.justice.gov/dea/statistics.html

Michael’s House.  Drug Addiction Facts and Statistics http://www.michaelshouse.com/drug-addiction/drug-addiction-statistics/

Drug-Rehabs.org. Alcohol Statistics. http://www.drug-rehabs.org/alcohol-statistics.php

MyAddiction.com. Tobacco, Smoking, and Nicotine Addiction Statistics and Facts. January 14, 2012 http://www.myaddiction.com/education/articles/tobacco_statistics.html

Wilkinson, J. Monster Energy Drink Addiction.  Mar 7, 2011 http://www.livestrong.com/article/398579-monster-energy-drink-addiction/

Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, USA Medical Services Officer, CPT, RET. 2011 Copyright, All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Publishing @: http://www.mirrorathlete.com,  Sign up for your Free eNewsletter.

 





How Serious is Acute Pancreatitis?

23 10 2011
To Do What You Want Should Be Your Most Prized Possession

        How does the pancreas become unhealthy and if it does, what does this mean to your overall health and quality of life experiences?

     Pancreatitis is when the pancreas gland becomes inflamed and its metabolic functions become partially to fully ineffective.  Not only is this life sustaining metabolic function impaired with acute dysfunction, it is also a very painful experience.

     So where is the pancreas located and what’s its role in the bodies overall metabolic function?  The pancreas is a gland behind the stomach and below the liver.  The pancreas has two main functions.  It is responsible for enzyme secretion that aids in the digestion of carbohydrates, proteins and fat.  It also works in harmony with the liquid bile your liver produces to assist in digestion as well.  The bile is stored in the gall bladder, and is also activated when food is consumed.   The liver, pancreas, gall bladder and stomach’s small intestine entry way reside in close proximity to each other.  Together these organs perform a very high level metabolic function to regulate energy and food nutrient absorption through the digestive process.

     The combination of this bile liquid and pancreas hormonal secretion is absorbed through the small intestinal wall after food has been consumed and activated for digestion at the stomach’s exit and small intestine entry way (duodenum). When the pancreas stops producing these digestive enzymes, or these enzymes are blocked from doing their job in the intestines, all sorts of complex health problems can/do occur.

     The second function of the pancreas is the production and release of insulin and glucagon.   The release of these two hormones is responsible for maintaining blood glucose metabolism from the foods you consume for the bodies energy.  These hormones store and release the calorie energy when needed.  When blood sugar stops being regulated optimally by the pancreas, then one becomes diabetic.

     The enzymes secreted from the pancreas become active when absorbed by the small intestine.  However, if the enzymes are not released and held within the gland it becomes inflamed.  These trapped secretions then can begin to eat up the inside tissues of the pancreas after a meal.  At this point, one can bleed internally while the gland begins to experience tissue death.

     How does the pancreas get to a state of cannibalizing and destroying itself?  Let’s take a look at the statistics to hone in on the main culprit.  More cases of pancreatitis are seen in men than women.  And it appears that 70% of the pancreatitis cases in the United States are caused from alcohol abuse.  And 45% of these patients convert an acute condition to chronic due to the alcohol repeatedly inflaming and scarring the gland.  Then the patient experiences varying-to-constant pain in the abdomen and back.  In 10-15% of the total pancreatitis cases the cause of the disease is unknown.

     There are other ways in which acute pancreatitis occur:  Genetics, certain habits and diseases.  And in any case or cause, if the pancreatic ducts become blocked during digestion, the enzymes can become trapped within the pancreas.  Or if the bile secretion becomes blocked (gall stone blockage) this can be very painful and create other digestive ill-health issues. In either case, you’re going to experience a painful medical condition that requires treatment.  Other conditions linked to pancreatitis: Autoimmune problems, damage to ducts through surgery; an accident that damages the gall bladder, or pancreas; and high blood fat levels (hypertriglyceridemia).

 Symptoms: 

     You’ll experience pain tender to touch in upper left side, or middle of abdominal.  And this pain may be worse after eating, or drinking foods higher in fat.  The pain can also radiate to the back below the left shoulder blade and is felt worse when lying on the back.  Other symptoms can include: Indigestion, hiccups, clay-colored stools, skin rash, sores, swollen abdominal and mild yellowing of skin and whites of the eyes (jaundice).  Due to malabsorption of food, weight loss may be experienced because the gland does not release enzymes necessary to break down the food to feed the body adequately.  And if the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas are damaged, diabetes will ensue.

 Diagnostic tests:

     Imaging tests that show pancreas inflammation and damage: Abdominal CT scan, MRI, and ultrasound.  Endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) and biopsy for tissue sample.  Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) to look at bile ducts using contrasts and X-rays.  There is also a pancreatic function test to see what levels of digestive enzymes are being released.  And a glucose tolerance test to measure pancreas insulin production.

 Treatments:

     With acute pancreatitis patients are primarily treated with fluids and pain medication.  These attacks usually last a few days.  However if the gland is complicated by necrosis (tissue death), or inflammation, other damage can occur to heart, lungs, or kidneys.  During chronic cases, fluids may need to be drained around pancreas, or gallstones removed.  Blocked pancreas ducts may need to be opened.  In severe cases dead or infected pancreatic tissue may have to be surgically removed.  With chronic pancreatitis, continued alcohol consumption will increase the risk of further health complications.

 Prognosis:

     With most acute flare-ups, the symptoms after treatment go away in a few days to a week.  However, if acute turns to chronic pancreatitis then life-threatening illness may follow.  The death rate is high with hemorrhagic and necrotizing pancreatitis that can also impair the liver, heart and kidney function.  Pancreatitis can return any time and is really dependent on cause, and patient compliance with treatment and following lifestyle change recommendations.

 Risk Factors and Prevention:

     Avoid alcohol, or limit significantly your consumption of alcohol. A low-fat diet will be helpful to include proper medications for fewer and milder attacks if you experience acute pancreatitis.  Children with fevers should avoid aspirin; also if a child has a viral illness (to reduce the risk to Reye syndrome).  Risk factors for chronic pancreatitis: Alcohol, hereditary conditions (i.e., Cystic fibrosis), gallstone disease, high triglyceride condition and lupus.

     So how serious do you think acute pancreatitis is?  I’d say if you are experiencing early symptoms of an inflamed pancreas, or have had gall stones, or are a diabetic, I’d say your pancreas health is pretty important stuff to pay attention to.  And if you can change your behaviors and habits to never experience pancreatitis, count yourself fortunate.  Why is that?  Because once you have pancreatitis it could become chronic after a period of time.  Then you are looking at a permanent treatment program for life and possibly a painful and early death.

     Can treatment help alleviate and cure the most severe conditions? Of course treatment is going to alleviate much of the discomfort. But once the damage is done, you then become dependent on pharmaceuticals, frequent out/inpatient treatment, diagnostic testing, lab tests, and diet restrictions. This then becomes your cure.

 References

Banks PA, Freeman ML; Practice Parameters Committee of the American College of Gastroenterology. Practice guidelines in acute pancreatitis. Am J Gastroenterol . 2006;101:2379-2400.

 Frossard JL, Steer ML, Pastor CM. Acute pancreatitis. Lancet . 2008;371:143-152.

 Owyang C. Pancreatitis. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine . 23rd ed.

 Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 147.

1Russo MW, Wei JT, Thiny MT, et al. Digestive and liver disease statistics, 2004. Gastroenterology. 2004;126:1448–1453.

http://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/digestive-diseases-pancreatitis?

http://health.nytimes.com/health/guides/disease/acute-pancreatitis/overview.html?

http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/pancreatitis/#acute

Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, USA Medical Services Officer, CPT, RET.  2011 Copyright, All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Publishing @: http://www.mirrorathlete.com,  Sign up for your Free eNewsletter.