Tag Archives: Weight loss

Straight, No Chaser: The Other Side of 40 – The Musculoskeletal System – Changes, Challenges, Solutions

The second part of this series on how your body changes with age is about your muscles. This section combined with the previous skin section explains why you wrinkle. As before, I’m going to go through system – changes – challenges – solutions. If you’re keeping score, especially focus on the take home messages within solutions. I welcome any questions or comments.
Changes: Did you know that muscle cells are unable to replace themselves once they are formed? Therefore, muscle cell loss is permanent. Plus, muscular response gradually slows with age. That said, the loss of muscular capabilities over time is by far the result of cell loss due to inactivity. As muscle cells are lost, weakness and slowness increase. Plus, some of you don’t exercise at all, or as much/vigorously as you used to, so you’re not building up anything new.
Challenges: The effects of these changes on our health status are mostly due to the fact that the muscles are the main tools for effecting strong circulation throughout the body (i.e. muscular contraction pushes blood around). As the muscles become smaller, including the muscles in the face, and as fat tissue accumulates, including in the face, the entire appearance changes to that of an older person, with all the ramifications described in the post on the description of skin changes with aging. In addition, as muscle fibers decrease, weaken, and slow, it becomes increasingly difficult to keep up with younger people, who may make allowances, but who may also become avoidant. Your recognition of this creates a vicious cycle, and you eventually settle into ‘being old’.
Physical Therapist Working with Patient
Solutions: In two words – exercise & activity. A well designed, consistently followed exercise program addressing both strength and response is indispensable for the maintenance of muscle cells, and of good health over time. A personal trainer is a pretty good idea after a certain age. You neither need to under nor overdo your weight lifting regimen. In any event, move those muscles as much as you can, whether via walking, yoga, running or sex. Being a couch potato is never a good thing.
Post-scripts:

elderly-couple-stretching

  • Another thing that very few of us do is stretch. Those old muscles are tight, and the tendons/ligaments are short and ready to pop. You really must stretch before your weekend warrior events or most any big exertional activity. That’s a big part of why yoga promotes longevity.
  • Fortunately, the main muscles of the heart and the diaphragm (your breathing muscle) do not lose muscle fibers with age because they are continually active. Yet, your heart and lungs have their own problems besides the muscles. That topic is forthcoming. All that said, be mindful that through ongoing exercise and training, you can stem the tide on these changes.

Young is as young does.

Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.
Take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. As a thank you for being a valued subscriber to Straight, No Chaser, we’d like to offer you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!
Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.72hourslife.com. Receive introductory pricing with orders!
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
Copyright © 2018 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Straight, No Chaser: Toxin and Detoxification Series Summary

bigstock_Smiley_ball_sending_message_ab_25677302
I want to thank you for all the positive responses to the series of posts on toxins and detoxification. You have shared many personal stories and asked many great questions. I guess I’ll continue to accept your being shy (especially on these topics) about asking personal questions publicly, but keep contacting me here. To that end, I’ll summarize by sharing some of your thoughts and making a few final comments.
You can’t escape toxins, but you can pretty easily reduce your exposure to them. For the things you can control, “everything in moderation” is a pretty good rule of thumb for most, except for cigarette smoke into your lungs. That just needs to stop.
Your body does a great job of detoxification through the lungs, kidneys, liver, intestines and skin. This process is retarded by age and the effects of toxins on these systems.
There are a lot of fad diets and questionable methods of detoxifying. Most have risks that should make you cautious. None are more effective than tuning your body to do its best work. Furthermore, these methods are invariably more effective in the short-term than the long-term.
Now, to some of your questions.
1. So are you saying bowel movements are good enough to detox the intestines?
Until and unless your bad habits catch up with you, yes. Consider the ways the large intestines (the colon) handle toxins.

  • If healthy, the colon sheds old cells about every three days, preventing a buildup of harmful material. It regenerates new healthy cells in their place. It’s lining includes mucus membranes that can keep toxic substances from reentering the blood and tissues.
  • You have “natural” bacteria that reside in the colon. They actually detoxify food wastes for you. (One of the potential issues of colon cleansing is the removal of these bacteria.)
  • The liver’s main function is to neutralize toxins.
  • Your bowel movements remove waste and toxins from you. Although the number of bowel movements vary between individuals, your body (if healthy) is able to regulate when you defecate based on your needs.
  • Increasing the number of bowel movements doesn’t improve weight loss. That’s because the body absorbs most calories before they reach the large intestine.

Nothing in a colonic or juice fast will match this level of effectiveness. Spend your efforts keeping your body healthy. Increase your fiber, water, fruit and vegetable intake. Lower or eliminate the intake of red meat, cigarettes and alcohol. There’s your detox program all day long.
2. So what’s the verdict on the detox diets and colon cleansing?
Consult with your physician. I’d imagine that using the diets as a starting point for lifestyle changes would be endorsed. I’d doubt that any fad diet would be endorsed.
3. You said tap water is no longer good? Should I exclusively drink bottled water?
Actually filtered water is even better.
4. Are you suggesting I stop wearing makeup?
You’re beautiful just the way you are.
5. Have you ever had a colonic?
Yes, and it made me feel dirty. (Was that serious, or a joke?)
6. I’d never do that.
Actually, you will. (Well, almost.) Many men over 50 will have a colonoscopy to evaluate for the possibility of colon cancer at some point. If and when you get that, you’ll get your colon cleanse solution one to two days before the procedure and maybe an enema in addition. At least you’ll be under the care of a physician, and you’ll get a sedative first!
Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.
Take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. As a thank you for being a valued subscriber to Straight, No Chaser, we’d like to offer you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!
Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.72hourslife.com. Receive introductory pricing with orders!
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
Copyright © 2018 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPres

Straight, No Chaser: A Look at Detox Diets

Introduction

In this post we take a look at detox diets.

detox-diet1

Detox-Diet2

Everyone who talks to me about detox is motivated and sincere about making an improvement in his or her health.  Therefore, it’s important that they be shown respect and encouraged.  However, some of these same individuals exhibit a level of desperation that is counterproductive and leaves them subject to fads and scams that are doomed to long-term failure. The first question I ask is “Are you trying to improve your health or weight?” These are often separate considerations. Of course, I’m hoping they answer, “Both.”  Interestingly, that happens less often than you might think. Next, I’ll ask if they’re engaged in some basic, fundamental activity (click here), which is rarely the case. Once people discover the latest, greatest thing, they tend to lock in on it and just have to go for it.  So be it.

Quick Fix vs Long-Term Solutions

So… today and tomorrow, I’m going to discuss two very common “quick-fix” approaches to detoxification. Let’s start with the “detox diet.”  For the purposes of this discussion, all detox diets are variations of the same theme. I hope this doesn’t disappoint you or come off as dismissive, but the point of the matter is that from a medical standpoint, these actions are reducible to a set of physiologic actions that either produce biological effects or don’t.  Giving a car a new coat of paint doesn’t make it an airplane.  Similarly, taking a quick detox diet doesn’t make you healthy if you return to the same conditions that produced your pathology in the first place.  Folks, it really should occur to you that given the rates of obesity and disease that exist, if these diets really worked, the pharmaceutical and medical communities would be all over them because of their potential for profit (and of course the potential for good…).  Here’s what detox diets do and don’t accomplish.

The Premise 

Going on a diet for a few weeks can clear your body of toxins, which will improve your health.

The Short Term Effects 

Proponents of detox diets often claim or note the following during the diet:

  • Weight loss
  • More energy
  • Better mental focus

The Long Term Effects

Proponents of detox diets often make the following claims about the benefits of the diets:

  • Health promotion
  • Prevention of new diseases
  • Cure of chronic diseases

What’s Really Happening

Have you ever heard that correlation is not causation?  If you engage in any activity involving backing away from fats, drinking more water, taking in less sugar and processed food, eliminating alcohol and caffeine, and taking in more fruits and vegetables, you’ll feel better!  In fact, I’m all for it.  Refer to this blog post where I give you details on how to naturally, healthily and sustainably do this.

Now, here’s the question. Is your detox diet just a two to four-week “challenge,” or is it the launching pad for a set of lifestyle changes? The problem is that people use these diets with their better principles, but they usually don’t sustain them.  In fact, the diets themselves generally are not sustainable because they’re too restrictive. If you tried sustaining some of these diets, you’d end up hospitalized.  You’re much better off applying fundamental principles that will slowly and steadily improve your health and also help you lose weight. By the way, those long-term claims have been roundly and routinely debunked by the medical community, which has every incentive to want to discover new ways to treat disease.

Precautions and Risks

  • Before starting any diet, you need to discuss what you’re trying to accomplish with your physician. I’d venture a bet that most would not approve one of these diets, especially if you suffer from any chronic illness, especially diabetes, mental illness, moderate to severe (and poorly controlled) high blood pressure or cardiac disease. They also won’t approve it if you’re pregnant or at the extremes of age.
  • Based on the components of these diets, you are introducing certain specific risks.  These include vomiting, diarrhea and dehydration, electrolyte loss and imbalance and disruption of the function of your digestive system.

Questions and Answers

Let’s finish with two pointed questions and answers.

  1. Should I go on a detox diet?  I encourage almost any activity that motivates you to improve your health and has been shown to improve your health. If you want to naturally detox, apply these principals as the basis for a lifestyle change. As your body recovers, your natural detoxification system will take over and do just fine (assuming you are otherwise healthy).
  2. I quick-flush my system with a diet every few months. Is this healthy?  It depends on what you’re doing as a “quick-flush” and even more so, what you’re doing in-between. Focus on enhancing your natural detoxification system. I can’t say that a one-time or intermittent initiative to kick things off would be a terrible thing — if you stay with the program. In the best case scenario, it’s like going to get a dental cleaning every six months. You’ll still have decaying teeth and disease if that’s the only thing you’re doing. On the other hand, if you’re brushing and flossing every day, then the six-month check up is quick (and in this case, maybe superfluous).  I’m much more concerned with you sustaining a healthy approach toward the desired goal.

Next up, and the last in this series on detoxification will be a look at colonics.  Until then, bottoms up!

Follow us!

Ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic. Also, take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. Additionally, as a thank you, we’re offering you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!

Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.jeffreysterlingbooks.com. Another free benefit to our readers is introductory pricing with multiple orders and bundles!

Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK. Likewise, please share our page with your friends on WordPress! Also like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com! Follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

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Straight, No Chaser: Quick Tips to Detoxify Yourself Naturally

Natural-Detox1

Here are 3-4 Quick Tips for each of the organs involved in naturally detoxifying you; I’ve limited what I’m giving you to do in the effort to make this manageable for you. I don’t think you’ll find anything here beyond your ability to implement into your routine. If you incorporate the items listed below, you’ll be well on your way to a healthier life.
Quick tips to naturally detox your skin: 

  1. Diet: think fruits and vegetables, and cut back on refined sugar.
  2. Sweat: You know I prefer you exercise, but if you’re healthy enough, the sauna works too. Or you can just move to Texas in the summer.
  3. Exfoliation is a beautiful thing. There are dozens of ways to do it. Find one that works for you.
  4. Hydrate and moisturize. You spend too much time in the sun and lose too much water from your skin not to replenish (You get a bonus tip because your skin is such an important detox organ.).

Quick tips to naturally detox your lungs:

  1. Avoid inhaling cigarette and cigar smoke. Duh.
  2. Exercise makes your respiratory machinery more effective and efficient. Go for it.
  3. Learn to deep breathe. Take it in from your belly. Learn to breathe slowly and deeply. Yoga is a great complement to this.

Quick tips to naturally detox your kidneys:

  1. It’s all about fluids. Remember that your body is over 60% water, and you have to stay hydrated and keep flushing. I’ve discussed this previously but remember to get in at least 64 ounces of fluids a day.
  2. Learn about cranberries. Many of those urinary tract infections are successfully addressed by drinking cranberry juice.
  3. Remember that diabetes and high blood pressure are the most common causes of kidney disease. You want to detox your kidneys? Control your blood pressure and avoid/control diabetes.

Quick Tips to naturally detox your liver and intestines:

  1. Increase your water intake. Water makes your entire body function better but also softens your stools, facilitating transport.
  2. Increase your fiber intake. Fiber bulks your stools and makes it easier to expel.
  3. Decrease your alcohol intake. As everyone knows, alcohol will sufficiently damage your kidneys to the point where your body will be unable to eliminate many toxins. Liver disease is a very unpleasant experience and way to die.

It bears repeating: if all of this sound fundamental, it’s because it is. You have the ability to help yourself if you consistently apply basic health and wellness principles. You can do this.
Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.
Take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. As a thank you for being a valued subscriber to Straight, No Chaser, we’d like to offer you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!
Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.72hourslife.com. Receive introductory pricing with orders!
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
Copyright © 2018 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPres

Straight, No Chaser: Natural Methods of Detoxification

Natural-Detox
It seems that at least once a week I get asked to comment on colonics, detox diets, juice fasts, etc.  It seems to me that these are all rather extreme places to start.  How about we just talk about the threats that exist, how to avoid them, how to understand the natural detoxification process and how to optimize it?
On some level, our body is at constant war with our surroundings.  We are finely tuned machines (until we’re not).  We are well designed and equipped to filter the air we breathe and the food we eat, and to repel external poisons from penetrating our bodies.  That’s a very good thing, because toxins are everywhere.  We eat and drink them.  We inhale, absorb and ingest them.  Usually we do these things unwittingly, but for various reasons, a good number of us do these things intentionally.  By definition, toxins have harmful effects on our bodies.  Buildups of these substances can cause damage and eventually death.
In the first part of this five-part review of toxins and how they affect us, I want to point out how the body is equipped to combat and eliminate toxins – until and unless we poison it.  In the second part, I’ll offer Quick Tips to enhance your ability to naturally detoxify.  In the third part, I’ll discuss what and where the toxins are that we must combat.  In the fourth and fifth parts, I’ll discuss some of the exotic (or should that be esoteric?) methods promoted to detoxify the body.
Let’s start not by talking about toxins, but by discussing how the body protects you.  There are four areas in particular to review: the skin, the lungs, the kidneys and the gastrointestinal tract (particularly your liver and intestines).
Skin: The skin is actually the body’s largest organ, and it’s the largest organ of elimination.  It is in constant contact with the environment and is our primary barrier against disease, keeping out microorganisms, dusts, pollens and other substances with no good intentions.  The constant battle leaves your skin’s pores clogged, subject to infection, lacerations, and premature aging.
Lungs: The lungs are the vessels of life, bringing oxygen into the body to supply the needs of all your organs and systems.  However, have you looked at the atmosphere lately?  Smog’s everywhere, not to mention allergens and cigarette and cigar smoke.  If the air you’re breathing is poisoning the lungs themselves, your ability to keep poisons out of you and exhale away carbon dioxide incrementally become diminished to disastrous effect.
Kidneys: Your kidneys are one of the two primary ways you visibly eliminate waste.  Consider them the blood’s strainer.  You really should learn to watch your urine.  It tells a story about your health.  If your urine is not clear to light yellow, something’s going on.  If you come to me with cloudy, straw-colored, bloody, pink, or brown urine, those all tell me about different medical conditions you could be experiencing.
Your liver and intestines: Now we’re looking at your stools.  Consider that if you were ideally healthy, you’d have a bowel movement with the same frequency with which you ate.  At the other end of the spectrum (no pun intended), you could be constipated, or your bowels could be obstructed.  You have bacteria that live in your intestines that also help naturally detoxify wastes, but that only works as intended if you continue to have stools.  The more contact time your body’s intended waste has with your intestinal tract, the more of it that will be absorbed.  Fortunately, the intestines have additional barriers in its membranes that fight against toxins reentering the body.  Your liver serves a vital function in detoxifying many directly poisonous substances. It uses its natural chemicals to facilitate excretion of toxins by the kidneys.
Most everything you think you know about extrinsic supplemental ways to detoxify are poor substitutes for what a healthy body will achieve.  If you focused on your health and fitness, you could rest assured that your body would protect you, and you could also save a ton of money avoiding all those fad diets and other ‘previously secret’ methods of detoxification.
Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.
Take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. As a thank you for being a valued subscriber to Straight, No Chaser, we’d like to offer you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!
Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.72hourslife.com. Receive introductory pricing with orders!
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
Copyright © 2018 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPres

Straight, No Chaser: Life Begins (To End) at 40 (Unless It Doesn’t) – The Musculoskeletal System

The second part of this series on how your body changes with age is about your muscles. This section combined with the previous skin section explains why you wrinkle. As before, I’m going to go through system – changes – challenges – solutions. If you’re keeping score, especially focus on the take home messages within solutions. I welcome any questions or comments.
Changes: Did you know that muscle cells are unable to replace themselves once they are formed? Therefore, muscle cell loss is permanent. Plus, muscular response gradually slows with age. That said, the loss of muscular capabilities over time is by far the result of cell loss due to inactivity. As muscle cells are lost, weakness and slowness increase. Plus, some of you don’t exercise at all, or as much/vigorously as you used to, so you’re not building up anything new.
Challenges: The effects of these changes on our health status are mostly due to the fact that the muscles are the main tools for effecting strong circulation throughout the body (i.e. muscular contraction pushes blood around). As the muscles become smaller, including the muscles in the face, and as fat tissue accumulates, including in the face, the entire appearance changes to that of an older person, with all the ramifications described in the post on the description of skin changes with aging. In addition, as muscle fibers decrease, weaken, and slow, it becomes increasingly difficult to keep up with younger people, who may make allowances, but who may also become avoidant. Your recognition of this creates a vicious cycle, and you eventually settle into ‘being old’.
Physical Therapist Working with Patient
Solutions: In two words – exercise & activity. A well designed, consistently followed exercise program addressing both strength and response is indispensable for the maintenance of muscle cells, and of good health over time. A personal trainer is a pretty good idea after a certain age. You neither need to under nor overdo your weight lifting regimen. In any event, move those muscles as much as you can, whether via walking, yoga, running or sex. Being a couch potato is never a good thing.
Post-scripts:

elderly-couple-stretching

  • Another thing that very few of us do is stretch. Those old muscles are tight, and the tendons/ligaments are short and ready to pop. You really must stretch before your weekend warrior events or most any big exertional activity. That’s a big part of why yoga promotes longevity.
  • Fortunately, the main muscles of the heart and the diaphragm (your breathing muscle) do not lose muscle fibers with age because they are continually active. Yet, your heart and lungs have their own problems besides the muscles. That topic is forthcoming. All that said, be mindful that through ongoing exercise and training, you can stem the tide on these changes.

Young is as young does.
Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.
Take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. As a thank you for being a valued subscriber to Straight, No Chaser, we’d like to offer you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!
Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.72hourslife.com. Receive introductory pricing with orders!
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
Copyright © 2017 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Straight, No Chaser: Toxin and Detoxification Series Summary

bigstock_Smiley_ball_sending_message_ab_25677302
I want to thank you for all the positive responses to the series of posts on toxins and detoxification. You have shared many personal stories and asked many great questions. I guess I’ll continue to accept your being shy (especially on these topics) about asking personal questions publicly, but keep contacting me here. To that end, I’ll summarize by sharing some of your thoughts and making a few final comments.
You can’t escape toxins, but you can pretty easily reduce your exposure to them. For the things you can control, “everything in moderation” is a pretty good rule of thumb for most, except for cigarette smoke into your lungs. That just needs to stop.
Your body does a great job of detoxification through the lungs, kidneys, liver, intestines and skin. This process is retarded by age and the effects of toxins on these systems.
There are a lot of fad diets and questionable methods of detoxifying. Most have risks that should make you cautious. None are more effective than tuning your body to do its best work. Furthermore, these methods are invariably more effective in the short-term than the long-term.
Now, to some of your questions.
1. So are you saying bowel movements are good enough to detox the intestines?
Until and unless your bad habits catch up with you, yes. Consider the ways the large intestines (the colon) handle toxins.

  • If healthy, the colon sheds old cells about every three days, preventing a buildup of harmful material. It regenerates new healthy cells in their place. It’s lining includes mucus membranes that can keep toxic substances from reentering the blood and tissues.
  • You have “natural” bacteria that reside in the colon. They actually detoxify food wastes for you. (One of the potential issues of colon cleansing is the removal of these bacteria.)
  • The liver’s main function is to neutralize toxins.
  • Your bowel movements remove waste and toxins from you. Although the number of bowel movements vary between individuals, your body (if healthy) is able to regulate when you defecate based on your needs.
  • Increasing the number of bowel movements doesn’t improve weight loss. That’s because the body absorbs most calories before they reach the large intestine.

Nothing in a colonic or juice fast will match this level of effectiveness. Spend your efforts keeping your body healthy. Increase your fiber, water, fruit and vegetable intake. Lower or eliminate the intake of red meat, cigarettes and alcohol. There’s your detox program all day long.
2. So what’s the verdict on the detox diets and colon cleansing?
Consult with your physician. I’d imagine that using the diets as a starting point for lifestyle changes would be endorsed. I’d doubt that any fad diet would be endorsed.
3. You said tap water is no longer good? Should I exclusively drink bottled water?
Actually filtered water is even better.
4. Are you suggesting I stop wearing makeup?
You’re beautiful just the way you are.
5. Have you ever had a colonic?
Yes, and it made me feel dirty. (Was that serious, or a joke?)
6. I’d never do that.
Actually, you will. (Well, almost.) Many men over 50 will have a colonoscopy to evaluate for the possibility of colon cancer at some point. If and when you get that, you’ll get your colon cleanse solution one to two days before the procedure and maybe an enema in addition. At least you’ll be under the care of a physician, and you’ll get a sedative first!
Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.
Take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. As a thank you for being a valued subscriber to Straight, No Chaser, we’d like to offer you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!
Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.72hourslife.com. Receive introductory pricing with orders!
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
Copyright © 2017 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Straight, No Chaser: A Look at Detox Diets

detox-diet1

Detox-Diet2

Everyone who talks to me about detox is motivated and sincere about making an improvement in his or her health.  Therefore, it’s important that they be shown respect and encouraged.  However, some of these same individuals exhibit a level of desperation that is counterproductive and leaves them subject to fads and scams that are doomed to long-term failure. The first question I ask is “Are you trying to improve your health or weight?” These are often separate considerations. Of course, I’m hoping they answer, “Both.”  Interestingly, that happens less often than you might think. Next, I’ll ask if they’re engaged in some basic, fundamental activity (click here), which is rarely the case. Once people discover the latest, greatest thing, they tend to lock in on it and just have to go for it.  So be it.

So… today and tomorrow, I’m going to discuss two very common “quick-fix” approaches to detoxification. Let’s start with the “detox diet.”  For the purposes of this discussion, all detox diets are variations of the same theme. I hope this doesn’t disappoint you or come off as dismissive, but the point of the matter is that from a medical standpoint, these actions are reducible to a set of physiologic actions that either produce biological effects or don’t.  Giving a car a new coat of paint doesn’t make it an airplane.  Similarly, taking a quick detox diet doesn’t make you healthy if you return to the same conditions that produced your pathology in the first place.  Folks, it really should occur to you that given the rates of obesity and disease that exist, if these diets really worked, the pharmaceutical and medical communities would be all over them because of their potential for profit (and of course the potential for good…).  Here’s what detox diets do and don’t accomplish.

The Premise: Going on a diet for a few weeks can clear your body of toxins, which will improve your health.
The Short Term Effects: Proponents of detox diets often claim or note the following during the diet:

  • Weight loss
  • More energy
  • Better mental focus

The Long Term Effects: Proponents of detox diets often make the following claims about the benefits of the diets:

  • Health promotion
  • Prevention of new diseases
  • Cure of chronic diseases

What’s Really Happening: Have you ever heard that correlation is not causation?  If you engage in any activity involving backing away from fats, drinking more water, taking in less sugar and processed food, eliminating alcohol and caffeine, and taking in more fruits and vegetables, you’ll feel better!  In fact, I’m all for it.  Refer to this blog post where I give you details on how to naturally, healthily and sustainably do this.
Now, here’s the question. Is your detox diet just a two to four-week “challenge,” or is it the launching pad for a set of lifestyle changes? The problem is that people use these diets with their better principles, but they usually don’t sustain them.  In fact, the diets themselves generally are not sustainable because they’re too restrictive. If you tried sustaining some of these diets, you’d end up hospitalized.  You’re much better off applying fundamental principles that will slowly and steadily improve your health and also help you lose weight. By the way, those long-term claims have been roundly and routinely debunked by the medical community, which has every incentive to want to discover new ways to treat disease.
Precautions and Risks

  • Before starting any diet, you need to discuss what you’re trying to accomplish with your physician. I’d venture a bet that most would not approve one of these diets, especially if you suffer from any chronic illness, especially diabetes, mental illness, moderate to severe (and poorly controlled) high blood pressure or cardiac disease. They also won’t approve it if you’re pregnant or at the extremes of age.
  • Based on the components of these diets, you are introducing certain specific risks.  These include vomiting, diarrhea and dehydration, electrolyte loss and imbalance and disruption of the function of your digestive system.

Let’s finish with two pointed questions and answers.
1.  Should I go on a detox diet?  I encourage almost any activity that motivates you to improve your health and has been shown to improve your health. If you want to naturally detox, apply these principals as the basis for a lifestyle change. As your body recovers, your natural detoxification system will take over and do just fine (assuming you are otherwise healthy).
2. I quick-flush my system with a diet every few months. Is this healthy?  It depends on what you’re doing as a “quick-flush” and even more so, what you’re doing in-between. Focus on enhancing your natural detoxification system. I can’t say that a one-time or intermittent initiative to kick things off would be a terrible thing — if you stay with the program. In the best case scenario, it’s like going to get a dental cleaning every six months. You’ll still have decaying teeth and disease if that’s the only thing you’re doing. On the other hand, if you’re brushing and flossing every day, then the six-month check up is quick (and in this case, maybe superfluous).  I’m much more concerned with you sustaining a healthy approach toward the desired goal.
Next up, and the last in this series on detoxification will be a look at colonics.  Until then, bottoms up!
Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.
Take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. As a thank you for being a valued subscriber to Straight, No Chaser, we’d like to offer you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!
Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.72hourslife.com. Receive introductory pricing with orders!
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
Copyright © 2017 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Straight, No Chaser: Quick Tips to Detoxify Yourself Naturally

Natural-Detox1

Here are 3-4 Quick Tips for each of the organs involved in naturally detoxifying you; I’ve limited what I’m giving you to do in the effort to make this manageable for you. I don’t think you’ll find anything here beyond your ability to implement into your routine. If you incorporate the items listed below, you’ll be well on your way to a healthier life.
Quick tips to naturally detox your skin: 

  1. Diet: think fruits and vegetables, and cut back on refined sugar.
  2. Sweat: You know I prefer you exercise, but if you’re healthy enough, the sauna works too. Or you can just move to Texas in the summer.
  3. Exfoliation is a beautiful thing. There are dozens of ways to do it. Find one that works for you.
  4. Hydrate and moisturize. You spend too much time in the sun and lose too much water from your skin not to replenish (You get a bonus tip because your skin is such an important detox organ.).

Quick tips to naturally detox your lungs:

  1. Avoid inhaling cigarette and cigar smoke. Duh.
  2. Exercise makes your respiratory machinery more effective and efficient. Go for it.
  3. Learn to deep breathe. Take it in from your belly. Learn to breathe slowly and deeply. Yoga is a great complement to this.

Quick tips to naturally detox your kidneys:

  1. It’s all about fluids. Remember that your body is over 60% water, and you have to stay hydrated and keep flushing. I’ve discussed this previously but remember to get in at least 64 ounces of fluids a day.
  2. Learn about cranberries. Many of those urinary tract infections are successfully addressed by drinking cranberry juice.
  3. Remember that diabetes and high blood pressure are the most common causes of kidney disease. You want to detox your kidneys? Control your blood pressure and avoid/control diabetes.

Quick Tips to naturally detox your liver and intestines:

  1. Increase your water intake. Water makes your entire body function better but also softens your stools, facilitating transport.
  2. Increase your fiber intake. Fiber bulks your stools and makes it easier to expel.
  3. Decrease your alcohol intake. As everyone knows, alcohol will sufficiently damage your kidneys to the point where your body will be unable to eliminate many toxins. Liver disease is a very unpleasant experience and way to die.

It bears repeating: if all of this sound fundamental, it’s because it is. You have the ability to help yourself if you consistently apply basic health and wellness principles. You can do this.
Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.
Take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. As a thank you for being a valued subscriber to Straight, No Chaser, we’d like to offer you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!
Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.72hourslife.com. Receive introductory pricing with orders!
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
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Straight, No Chaser: Natural Methods of Detoxification

Natural-Detox
It seems that at least once a week I get asked to comment on colonics, detox diets, juice fasts, etc.  It seems to me that these are all rather extreme places to start.  How about we just talk about the threats that exist, how to avoid them, how to understand the natural detoxification process and how to optimize it?
On some level, our body is at constant war with our surroundings.  We are finely tuned machines (until we’re not).  We are well designed and equipped to filter the air we breathe and the food we eat, and to repel external poisons from penetrating our bodies.  That’s a very good thing, because toxins are everywhere.  We eat and drink them.  We inhale, absorb and ingest them.  Usually we do these things unwittingly, but for various reasons, a good number of us do these things intentionally.  By definition, toxins have harmful effects on our bodies.  Buildups of these substances can cause damage and eventually death.
In the first part of this five-part review of toxins and how they affect us, I want to point out how the body is equipped to combat and eliminate toxins – until and unless we poison it.  In the second part, I’ll offer Quick Tips to enhance your ability to naturally detoxify.  In the third part, I’ll discuss what and where the toxins are that we must combat.  In the fourth and fifth parts, I’ll discuss some of the exotic (or should that be esoteric?) methods promoted to detoxify the body.
Let’s start not by talking about toxins, but by discussing how the body protects you.  There are four areas in particular to review: the skin, the lungs, the kidneys and the gastrointestinal tract (particularly your liver and intestines).
Skin: The skin is actually the body’s largest organ, and it’s the largest organ of elimination.  It is in constant contact with the environment and is our primary barrier against disease, keeping out microorganisms, dusts, pollens and other substances with no good intentions.  The constant battle leaves your skin’s pores clogged, subject to infection, lacerations, and premature aging.
Lungs: The lungs are the vessels of life, bringing oxygen into the body to supply the needs of all your organs and systems.  However, have you looked at the atmosphere lately?  Smog’s everywhere, not to mention allergens and cigarette and cigar smoke.  If the air you’re breathing is poisoning the lungs themselves, your ability to keep poisons out of you and exhale away carbon dioxide incrementally become diminished to disastrous effect.
Kidneys: Your kidneys are one of the two primary ways you visibly eliminate waste.  Consider them the blood’s strainer.  You really should learn to watch your urine.  It tells a story about your health.  If your urine is not clear to light yellow, something’s going on.  If you come to me with cloudy, straw-colored, bloody, pink, or brown urine, those all tell me about different medical conditions you could be experiencing.
Your liver and intestines: Now we’re looking at your stools.  Consider that if you were ideally healthy, you’d have a bowel movement with the same frequency with which you ate.  At the other end of the spectrum (no pun intended), you could be constipated, or your bowels could be obstructed.  You have bacteria that live in your intestines that also help naturally detoxify wastes, but that only works as intended if you continue to have stools.  The more contact time your body’s intended waste has with your intestinal tract, the more of it that will be absorbed.  Fortunately, the intestines have additional barriers in its membranes that fight against toxins reentering the body.  Your liver serves a vital function in detoxifying many directly poisonous substances. It uses its natural chemicals to facilitate excretion of toxins by the kidneys.
Most everything you think you know about extrinsic supplemental ways to detoxify are poor substitutes for what a healthy body will achieve.  If you focused on your health and fitness, you could rest assured that your body would protect you, and you could also save a ton of money avoiding all those fad diets and other ‘previously secret’ methods of detoxification.
Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.
Take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. As a thank you for being a valued subscriber to Straight, No Chaser, we’d like to offer you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!
Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.72hourslife.com. Receive introductory pricing with orders!
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
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Straight, No Chaser: How Many Calories Do You Need a Day?

calories
Let’s put this post (at least the end of it) under the category of things you do but really don’t think about.
How many calories should you take in per day to function (meaning produce the energy you need for your activities of daily living)?  It actually depends on your gender, your age and your level of activity.  Let me start by defining the types of lifestyles, according to the Institute of Medicine.  If you are in the third category (active), I doubt that you’re worried.
Sedentary means a lifestyle that includes only the light physical activity associated with day-to-day living.
Moderately active means a level of physical activity equivalent to walking about 1.5-3 miles per day at 3-4 miles per hour in addition to the activities of daily living.
Active means a level of physical equivalent to walking more than 3 miles per day at 3-4 miles per hour in addition to the activities of daily living.
That breaks down as follows:

  • For women between 14-50, the number is right about 2000 kcal/day (calories) if you’re moderately active and 1800 if you’re sedentary.
  • For men between 14-50, there’s some greater variance, but the 2500 kcal/day works if you’re moderately active and 2200 if you’re sedentary.

In short, that averages to about 600-800 calories per meal, with the low-end being for sedentary females and the high-end being for moderately active males.
soda1
Now consider, 16% of the calories in the average American diet come from refined sugars.  Fully 50% of that total comes from beverages with added sugar.

Every 12 ounces of non-diet of pop/soda you drink contains about 150 calories.  

Your average dessert ranges from 300-500 calories.  

The most popular one, only one cup of ice cream, contains 270 calories.

I’ll let you take the math forward from there.  However, the take home point is obvious.  Suffice it to say, the link between pop, deserts and obesity has been well established.  Here’s three Quick Tips for you.

  • Try finding a drink with fewer calories if you want to lose calories (and weight).  It’s water, not Coke, that adds life.
  • Try eating your favorite fruits as dessert.
  • Also, consider just walking 3-4 miles a day.  It’s not that hard, if you just do it.

Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.
Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new book Behind The Curtain: A Peek at Life from within the ER at jeffreysterlingbooks.com, iTunes, Amazon, Barnes and Nobles and wherever books are sold.
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
Copyright © 2017 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Straight, No Chaser: Life Begins (To End) at 40 (Unless It Doesn’t) – The Musculoskeletal System

musculoskeletal-system
The second part of this series on how your body changes with age is about your muscles. This section combined with the previous skin section explains why you wrinkle. As before, I’m going to go through system – changes – challenges – solutions. If you’re keeping score, especially focus on the take home messages within solutions. I welcome any questions or comments.
Changes: Did you know that muscle cells are unable to replace themselves once they are formed? Therefore, muscle cell loss is permanent. Plus, muscular response gradually slows with age. That said, the loss of muscular capabilities over time is by far the result of cell loss due to inactivity. As muscle cells are lost, weakness and slowness increase. Plus, some of you don’t exercise at all, or as much/vigorously as you used to, so you’re not building up anything new.
Challenges: The effects of these changes on our health status are mostly due to the fact that the muscles are the main tools for effecting strong circulation throughout the body (i.e. muscular contraction pushes blood around). As the muscles become smaller, including the muscles in the face, and as fat tissue accumulates, including in the face, the entire appearance changes to that of an older person, with all the ramifications described in the post on the description of skin changes with aging. In addition, as muscle fibers decrease, weaken, and slow, it becomes increasingly difficult to keep up with younger people, who may make allowances, but who may also become avoidant. Your recognition of this creates a vicious cycle, and you eventually settle into ‘being old’.
Physical Therapist Working with Patient
Solutions: In two words – exercise & activity. A well designed, consistently followed exercise program addressing both strength and response is indispensable for the maintenance of muscle cells, and of good health over time. A personal trainer is a pretty good idea after a certain age. You neither need to under nor overdo your weight lifting regimen. In any event, move those muscles as much as you can, whether via walking, yoga, running or sex. Being a couch potato is never a good thing.
Post-scripts:

elderly-couple-stretching

  • Another thing that very few of us do is stretch. Those old muscles are tight, and the tendons/ligaments are short and ready to pop. You really must stretch before your weekend warrior events or most any big exertional activity. That’s a big part of why yoga promotes longevity.
  • Fortunately, the main muscles of the heart and the diaphragm (your breathing muscle) do not lose muscle fibers with age because they are continually active. Yet, your heart and lungs have their own problems besides the muscles. That topic is forthcoming. All that said, be mindful that through ongoing exercise and training, you can stem the tide on these changes.

Young is as young does.
Feel free to ask any questions you may have on this topic.
Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new book Behind The Curtain: A Peek at Life from within the ER at jeffreysterlingbooks.com, iTunes, Amazon, Barnes and Nobles and wherever books are sold.
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
Copyright © 2016 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Straight, No Chaser: Toxin and Detoxification Series Summary

bigstock_Smiley_ball_sending_message_ab_25677302
I want to thank you for all the positive responses to the series of posts on toxins and detoxification. You have shared many personal stories and asked many great questions. I guess I’ll continue to accept your being shy (especially on these topics) about asking personal questions publicly, but keep contacting me here. To that end, I’ll summarize by sharing some of your thoughts and making a few final comments.
You can’t escape toxins, but you can pretty easily reduce your exposure to them. For the things you can control, “everything in moderation” is a pretty good rule of thumb for most, except for cigarette smoke into your lungs. That just needs to stop.
Your body does a great job of detoxification through the lungs, kidneys, liver, intestines and skin. This process is retarded by age and the effects of toxins on these systems.
There are a lot of fad diets and questionable methods of detoxifying. Most have risks that should make you cautious. None are more effective than tuning your body to do its best work. Furthermore, these methods are invariably more effective in the short-term than the long-term.
Now, to some of your questions.
1. So are you saying bowel movements are good enough to detox the intestines?
Until and unless your bad habits catch up with you, yes. Consider the ways the large intestines (the colon) handle toxins.

  • If healthy, the colon sheds old cells about every three days, preventing a buildup of harmful material. It regenerates new healthy cells in their place. It’s lining includes mucus membranes that can keep toxic substances from reentering the blood and tissues.
  • You have “natural” bacteria that reside in the colon. They actually detoxify food wastes for you. (One of the potential issues of colon cleansing is the removal of these bacteria.)
  • The liver’s main function is to neutralize toxins.
  • Your bowel movements remove waste and toxins from you. Although the number of bowel movements vary between individuals, your body (if healthy) is able to regulate when you defecate based on your needs.
  • Increasing the number of bowel movements doesn’t improve weight loss. That’s because the body absorbs most calories before they reach the large intestine.

Nothing in a colonic or juice fast will match this level of effectiveness. Spend your efforts keeping your body healthy. Increase your fiber, water, fruit and vegetable intake. Lower or eliminate the intake of red meat, cigarettes and alcohol. There’s your detox program all day long.
2. So what’s the verdict on the detox diets and colon cleansing?
Consult with your physician. I’d imagine that using the diets as a starting point for lifestyle changes would be endorsed. I’d doubt that any fad diet would be endorsed.
3. You said tap water is no longer good? Should I exclusively drink bottled water?
Actually filtered water is even better.
4. Are you suggesting I stop wearing makeup?
You’re beautiful just the way you are.
5. Have you ever had a colonic?
Yes, and it made me feel dirty. (Was that serious, or a joke?)
6. I’d never do that.
Actually, you will. (Well, almost.) Many men over 50 will have a colonoscopy to evaluate for the possibility of colon cancer at some point. If and when you get that, you’ll get your colon cleanse solution one to two days before the procedure and maybe an enema in addition. At least you’ll be under the care of a physician, and you’ll get a sedative first!
Feel free to ask any questions you may have on this topic.
Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new book Behind The Curtain: A Peek at Life from within the ER at jeffreysterlingbooks.com, iTunes, Amazon, Barnes and Nobles and wherever books are sold.
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
Copyright © 2016 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Straight, No Chaser: A Look at Detox Diets

detox-diet1

Detox-Diet2

Everyone who talks to me about detox is motivated and sincere about making an improvement in his or her health.  Therefore, it’s important that they be shown respect and encouraged.  However, some of these same individuals exhibit a level of desperation that is counterproductive and leaves them subject to fads and scams that are doomed to long-term failure. The first question I ask is “Are you trying to improve your health or weight?” These are often separate considerations. Of course, I’m hoping they answer, “Both.”  Interestingly, that happens less often than you might think. Next, I’ll ask if they’re engaged in some basic, fundamental activity (click here), which is rarely the case. Once people discover the latest, greatest thing, they tend to lock in on it and just have to go for it.  So be it.

So… today and tomorrow, I’m going to discuss two very common “quick-fix” approaches to detoxification. Let’s start with the “detox diet.”  For the purposes of this discussion, all detox diets are variations of the same theme. I hope this doesn’t disappoint you or come off as dismissive, but the point of the matter is that from a medical standpoint, these actions are reducible to a set of physiologic actions that either produce biological effects or don’t.  Giving a car a new coat of paint doesn’t make it an airplane.  Similarly, taking a quick detox diet doesn’t make you healthy if you return to the same conditions that produced your pathology in the first place.  Folks, it really should occur to you that given the rates of obesity and disease that exist, if these diets really worked, the pharmaceutical and medical communities would be all over them because of their potential for profit (and of course the potential for good…).  Here’s what detox diets do and don’t accomplish.

The Premise: Going on a diet for a few weeks can clear your body of toxins, which will improve your health.
The Short Term Effects: Proponents of detox diets often claim or note the following during the diet:

  • Weight loss
  • More energy
  • Better mental focus

The Long Term Effects: Proponents of detox diets often make the following claims about the benefits of the diets:

  • Health promotion
  • Prevention of new diseases
  • Cure of chronic diseases

What’s Really Happening: Have you ever heard that correlation is not causation?  If you engage in any activity involving backing away from fats, drinking more water, taking in less sugar and processed food, eliminating alcohol and caffeine, and taking in more fruits and vegetables, you’ll feel better!  In fact, I’m all for it.  Refer to this blog post where I give you details on how to naturally, healthily and sustainably do this.
Now, here’s the question. Is your detox diet just a two to four-week “challenge,” or is it the launching pad for a set of lifestyle changes? The problem is that people use these diets with their better principles, but they usually don’t sustain them.  In fact, the diets themselves generally are not sustainable because they’re too restrictive. If you tried sustaining some of these diets, you’d end up hospitalized.  You’re much better off applying fundamental principles that will slowly and steadily improve your health and also help you lose weight. By the way, those long-term claims have been roundly and routinely debunked by the medical community, which has every incentive to want to discover new ways to treat disease.
Precautions and Risks

  • Before starting any diet, you need to discuss what you’re trying to accomplish with your physician. I’d venture a bet that most would not approve one of these diets, especially if you suffer from any chronic illness, especially diabetes, mental illness, moderate to severe (and poorly controlled) high blood pressure or cardiac disease. They also won’t approve it if you’re pregnant or at the extremes of age.
  • Based on the components of these diets, you are introducing certain specific risks.  These include vomiting, diarrhea and dehydration, electrolyte loss and imbalance and disruption of the function of your digestive system.

Let’s finish with two pointed questions and answers.
1.  Should I go on a detox diet?  I encourage almost any activity that motivates you to improve your health and has been shown to improve your health. If you want to naturally detox, apply these principals as the basis for a lifestyle change. As your body recovers, your natural detoxification system will take over and do just fine (assuming you are otherwise healthy).
2. I quick-flush my system with a diet every few months. Is this healthy?  It depends on what you’re doing as a “quick-flush” and even more so, what you’re doing in-between. Focus on enhancing your natural detoxification system. I can’t say that a one-time or intermittent initiative to kick things off would be a terrible thing — if you stay with the program. In the best case scenario, it’s like going to get a dental cleaning every six months. You’ll still have decaying teeth and disease if that’s the only thing you’re doing. On the other hand, if you’re brushing and flossing every day, then the six-month check up is quick (and in this case, maybe superfluous).  I’m much more concerned with you sustaining a healthy approach toward the desired goal.
Next up, and the last in this series on detoxification will be a look at colonics.  Until then, bottoms up!
Feel free to ask any questions you may have on this topic.
Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new book Behind The Curtain: A Peek at Life from within the ER at jeffreysterlingbooks.com, iTunes, Amazon, Barnes and Nobles and wherever books are sold.
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
Copyright © 2016 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Straight, No Chaser: Quick Tips to Detoxify Yourself Naturally

Natural-Detox1

Here are 3-4 Quick Tips for each of the organs involved in naturally detoxifying you; I’ve limited what I’m giving you to do in the effort to make this manageable for you. I don’t think you’ll find anything here beyond your ability to implement into your routine. If you incorporate the items listed below, you’ll be well on your way to a healthier life.
Quick tips to naturally detox your skin: 

  1. Diet: think fruits and vegetables, and cut back on refined sugar.
  2. Sweat: You know I prefer you exercise, but if you’re healthy enough, the sauna works too. Or you can just move to Texas in the summer.
  3. Exfoliation is a beautiful thing. There are dozens of ways to do it. Find one that works for you.
  4. Hydrate and moisturize. You spend too much time in the sun and lose too much water from your skin not to replenish (You get a bonus tip because your skin is such an important detox organ.).

Quick tips to naturally detox your lungs:

  1. Avoid inhaling cigarette and cigar smoke. Duh.
  2. Exercise makes your respiratory machinery more effective and efficient. Go for it.
  3. Learn to deep breathe. Take it in from your belly. Learn to breathe slowly and deeply. Yoga is a great complement to this.

Quick tips to naturally detox your kidneys:

  1. It’s all about fluids. Remember that your body is over 60% water, and you have to stay hydrated and keep flushing. I’ve discussed this previously but remember to get in at least 64 ounces of fluids a day.
  2. Learn about cranberries. Many of those urinary tract infections are successfully addressed by drinking cranberry juice.
  3. Remember that diabetes and high blood pressure are the most common causes of kidney disease. You want to detox your kidneys? Control your blood pressure and avoid/control diabetes.

Quick Tips to naturally detox your liver and intestines:

  1. Increase your water intake. Water makes your entire body function better but also softens your stools, facilitating transport.
  2. Increase your fiber intake. Fiber bulks your stools and makes it easier to expel.
  3. Decrease your alcohol intake. As everyone knows, alcohol will sufficiently damage your kidneys to the point where your body will be unable to eliminate many toxins. Liver disease is a very unpleasant experience and way to die.

It bears repeating: if all of this sound fundamental, it’s because it is. You have the ability to help yourself if you consistently apply basic health and wellness principles. You can do this.
Feel free to ask any questions you may have on this topic.
Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new book Behind The Curtain: A Peek at Life from within the ER at jeffreysterlingbooks.com, iTunes, Amazon, Barnes and Nobles and wherever books are sold.
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
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Straight, No Chaser: Natural Methods of Detoxification

Natural-Detox
It seems that at least once a week I get asked to comment on colonics, detox diets, juice fasts, etc.  It seems to me that these are all rather extreme places to start.  How about we just talk about the threats that exist, how to avoid them, how to understand the natural detoxification process and how to optimize it?
On some level, our body is at constant war with our surroundings.  We are finely tuned machines (until we’re not).  We are well designed and equipped to filter the air we breathe and the food we eat, and to repel external poisons from penetrating our bodies.  That’s a very good thing, because toxins are everywhere.  We eat and drink them.  We inhale, absorb and ingest them.  Usually we do these things unwittingly, but for various reasons, a good number of us do these things intentionally.  By definition, toxins have harmful effects on our bodies.  Buildups of these substances can cause damage and eventually death.
In the first part of this five-part review of toxins and how they affect us, I want to point out how the body is equipped to combat and eliminate toxins – until and unless we poison it.  In the second part, I’ll offer Quick Tips to enhance your ability to naturally detoxify.  In the third part, I’ll discuss what and where the toxins are that we must combat.  In the fourth and fifth parts, I’ll discuss some of the exotic (or should that be esoteric?) methods promoted to detoxify the body.
Let’s start not by talking about toxins, but by discussing how the body protects you.  There are four areas in particular to review: the skin, the lungs, the kidneys and the gastrointestinal tract (particularly your liver and intestines).
Skin: The skin is actually the body’s largest organ, and it’s the largest organ of elimination.  It is in constant contact with the environment and is our primary barrier against disease, keeping out microorganisms, dusts, pollens and other substances with no good intentions.  The constant battle leaves your skin’s pores clogged, subject to infection, lacerations, and premature aging.
Lungs: The lungs are the vessels of life, bringing oxygen into the body to supply the needs of all your organs and systems.  However, have you looked at the atmosphere lately?  Smog’s everywhere, not to mention allergens and cigarette and cigar smoke.  If the air you’re breathing is poisoning the lungs themselves, your ability to keep poisons out of you and exhale away carbon dioxide incrementally become diminished to disastrous effect.
Kidneys: Your kidneys are one of the two primary ways you visibly eliminate waste.  Consider them the blood’s strainer.  You really should learn to watch your urine.  It tells a story about your health.  If your urine is not clear to light yellow, something’s going on.  If you come to me with cloudy, straw-colored, bloody, pink, or brown urine, those all tell me about different medical conditions you could be experiencing.
Your liver and intestines: Now we’re looking at your stools.  Consider that if you were ideally healthy, you’d have a bowel movement with the same frequency with which you ate.  At the other end of the spectrum (no pun intended), you could be constipated, or your bowels could be obstructed.  You have bacteria that live in your intestines that also help naturally detoxify wastes, but that only works as intended if you continue to have stools.  The more contact time your body’s intended waste has with your intestinal tract, the more of it that will be absorbed.  Fortunately, the intestines have additional barriers in its membranes that fight against toxins reentering the body.  Your liver serves a vital function in detoxifying many directly poisonous substances. It uses its natural chemicals to facilitate excretion of toxins by the kidneys.
Most everything you think you know about extrinsic supplemental ways to detoxify are poor substitutes for what a healthy body will achieve.  If you focused on your health and fitness, you could rest assured that your body would protect you, and you could also save a ton of money avoiding all those fad diets and other ‘previously secret’ methods of detoxification.
Feel free to ask any questions you may have on this topic.
Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new book Behind The Curtain: A Peek at Life from within the ER at jeffreysterlingbooks.com, iTunes, Amazon, Barnes and Nobles and wherever books are sold.
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

Straight, No Chaser: How Many Calories Do You Need a Day?

calories
Let’s put this post (at least the end of it) under the category of things you do but really don’t think about.
How many calories should you take in per day to function (meaning produce the energy you need for your activities of daily living)?  It actually depends on your gender, your age and your level of activity.  Let me start by defining the types of lifestyles, according to the Institute of Medicine.  If you are in the third category (active), I doubt that you’re worried.
Sedentary means a lifestyle that includes only the light physical activity associated with day-to-day living.
Moderately active means a level of physical activity equivalent to walking about 1.5-3 miles per day at 3-4 miles per hour in addition to the activities of daily living.
Active means a level of physical equivalent to walking more than 3 miles per day at 3-4 miles per hour in addition to the activities of daily living.
That breaks down as follows:

  • For women between 14-50, the number is right about 2000 kcal/day (calories) if you’re moderately active and 1800 if you’re sedentary.
  • For men between 14-50, there’s some greater variance, but the 2500 kcal/day works if you’re moderately active and 2200 if you’re sedentary.

In short, that averages to about 600-800 calories per meal, with the low-end being for sedentary females and the high-end being for moderately active males.
soda1
Now consider, 16% of the calories in the average American diet come from refined sugars.  Fully 50% of that total comes from beverages with added sugar.

Every 12 ounces of non-diet of pop/soda you drink contains about 150 calories.  

Your average dessert ranges from 300-500 calories.  

The most popular one, only one cup of ice cream, contains 270 calories.

I’ll let you take the math forward from there.  However, the take home point is obvious.  Suffice it to say, the link between pop, deserts and obesity has been well established.  Here’s three Quick Tips for you.

  • Try finding a drink with fewer calories if you want to lose calories (and weight).  It’s water, not Coke, that adds life.
  • Try eating your favorite fruits as dessert.
  • Also, consider just walking 3-4 miles a day.  It’s not that hard, if you just do it.

Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.
Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new book Behind The Curtain: A Peek at Life from within the ER at jeffreysterlingbooks.com, iTunes, Amazon, Barnes and Nobles and wherever books are sold.
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
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Straight, No Chaser: Life Begins (To End) at 40 (Unless It Doesn’t) – The Musculoskeletal System

musculoskeletal-system
The second part of this series on how your body changes with age is about your muscles. This section combined with the previous skin section explains why you wrinkle. As before, I’m going to go through system – changes – challenges – solutions. If you’re keeping score, especially focus on the take home messages within solutions. I welcome any questions or comments.
Changes: Did you know that muscle cells are unable to replace themselves once they are formed? Therefore, muscle cell loss is permanent. Plus, muscular response gradually slows with age. That said, the loss of muscular capabilities over time is by far the result of cell loss due to inactivity. As muscle cells are lost, weakness and slowness increase. Plus, some of you don’t exercise at all, or as much/vigorously as you used to, so you’re not building up anything new.
Challenges: The effects of these changes on our health status are mostly due to the fact that the muscles are the main tools for effecting strong circulation throughout the body (i.e. muscular contraction pushes blood around). As the muscles become smaller, including the muscles in the face, and as fat tissue accumulates, including in the face, the entire appearance changes to that of an older person, with all the ramifications described in the post on the description of skin changes with aging. In addition, as muscle fibers decrease, weaken, and slow, it becomes increasingly difficult to keep up with younger people, who may make allowances, but who may also become avoidant. Your recognition of this creates a vicious cycle, and you eventually settle into ‘being old’.
Physical Therapist Working with Patient
Solutions: In two words – exercise & activity. A well designed, consistently followed exercise program addressing both strength and response is indispensable for the maintenance of muscle cells, and of good health over time. A personal trainer is a pretty good idea after a certain age. You neither need to under nor overdo your weight lifting regimen. In any event, move those muscles as much as you can, whether via walking, yoga, running or sex. Being a couch potato is never a good thing.
Post-scripts:

elderly-couple-stretching

  • Another thing that very few of us do is stretch. Those old muscles are tight, and the tendons/ligaments are short and ready to pop. You really must stretch before your weekend warrior events or most any big exertional activity. That’s a big part of why yoga promotes longevity.
  • Fortunately, the main muscles of the heart and the diaphragm (your breathing muscle) do not lose muscle fibers with age because they are continually active. Yet, your heart and lungs have their own problems besides the muscles. That topic is forthcoming. All that said, be mindful that through ongoing exercise and training, you can stem the tide on these changes.

Young is as young does.
Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new book Behind The Curtain: A Peek at Life from within the ER at jeffreysterlingbooks.com, iTunes, AmazonBarnes and Nobles and wherever books are sold.
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook @ SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
Copyright, Sterling Initiatives, LLC. 2013-2015

Straight No Chaser In The News: New Weight Loss Pill On The Market, aka The Problem With How We Approach Our Health

WEIGHT-LOSS-PILL1

The headlines say that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a new weight-loss pill. The marketing will attempt to convince you that your health can be secured by what’s in a pill bottle. The Straight, No Chaser view is this roll out illustrates a few of the problems with our approach to health.

weight loss Miracle-Cure-Pill

Problem #1: We react after the fact and look for miracle cures.
There are now three weight-loss pills approved by the FDA. They all are appetite suppressants. Aside from the fact that safe and healthy ways to control one’s appetite exist, I’ve told you on many occasions that you won’t find your health in a pill bottle. The medicines you take are largely meant to treat disease. Even your vitamin pills can be replaced by vitamins in the healthy foods you eat, and you don’t need those pills unless you have a documented vitamin deficiency or have been directed to take them by your physician.

detox-diet1

Problem #2: We don’t try hard enough to simply reverse what caused the problems we’re having.
Diet and exercise, exercise and diet. If you are not beginning and ending the conversation with these considerations – and only incorporating any supplements or medications as bridges to facilitate the transition to a healthier lifestyle – you are going to be disappointed. Look at this quote from the manufacturer’s press release: “When used as directed in combination with a healthy lifestyle that includes a reduced-calorie diet and exercise, (New Drug that I’m not promoting) provides another treatment option.” The quote could have just read the following: “…a commitment to a healthy lifestyle that includes a reduced-calorie diet and exercise will always give you the best chance to produce the results you desire (and certainly more than any reliance on medication)…”

weight loss 1 day diet SERIOUSLY?

Problem #3: The purported solutions don’t fully address the problem they claim to address.
You don’t even have to read the fine print. None of the weight-loss drugs approved by the FDA even promise massive weight loss. In other words, you’re just taking the pills and hoping for the best.

fenphencover

Problem #4: The purported solutions sometimes cause different problems than they address.
According to the FDA, the warning label for the newly approved drug will come with a warning that it might increase suicidal thoughts. Other possible side effects include increasing heart rate and blood pressure. Guess what? Obesity already increases heart rate and blood pressure; you don’t need a pill for that. Even worse, in the past some obesity drugs (remember fen-phen?) have been linked to serious heart problems and were pulled from the market.
By no means am I attempting to be flippant here. My concern is real. Consumers are prone to grab at whatever hope is offered, and a slickly marketed weight-loss pill is a great way to attract consumers, even at $200/month and when many insurers won’t cover the cost. Some of you will even swear by your pills. You can do much better for yourself by making a commitment to a lifestyle change that involves healthy eating, moderate exercise, stress reduction and all around better choice.
Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what 844-SMA-TALK and http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) offer. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, Facebook @ SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
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Straight, No Chaser: Toxin and Detoxification Series Summary

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I want to thank you for all the positive responses to the series of posts on toxins and detoxification. You have shared many personal stories and asked many great questions. I guess I’ll continue to accept your being shy (especially on these topics) about asking personal questions publicly, but keep contacting me here. To that end, I’ll summarize by sharing some of your thoughts and making a few final comments.
You can’t escape toxins, but you can pretty easily reduce your exposure to them. For the things you can control, “everything in moderation” is a pretty good rule of thumb for most, except for cigarette smoke into your lungs. That just needs to stop.
Your body does a great job of detoxification through the lungs, kidneys, liver, intestines and skin. This process is retarded by age and the effects of toxins on these systems.
There are a lot of fad diets and questionable methods of detoxifying. Most have risks that should make you cautious. None are more effective than tuning your body to do its best work. Furthermore, these methods are invariably more effective in the short-term than the long-term.
Now, to some of your questions.
1. So are you saying bowel movements are good enough to detox the intestines?
Until and unless your bad habits catch up with you, yes. Consider the ways the large intestines (the colon) handle toxins.

  • If healthy, the colon sheds old cells about every three days, preventing a buildup of harmful material. It regenerates new healthy cells in their place. It’s lining includes mucus membranes that can keep toxic substances from reentering the blood and tissues.
  • You have “natural” bacteria that reside in the colon. They actually detoxify food wastes for you. (One of the potential issues of colon cleansing is the removal of these bacteria.)
  • The liver’s main function is to neutralize toxins.
  • Your bowel movements remove waste and toxins from you. Although the number of bowel movements vary between individuals, your body (if healthy) is able to regulate when you defecate based on your needs.
  • Increasing the number of bowel movements doesn’t improve weight loss. That’s because the body absorbs most calories before they reach the large intestine.

Nothing in a colonic or juice fast will match this level of effectiveness. Spend your efforts keeping your body healthy. Increase your fiber, water, fruit and vegetable intake. Lower or eliminate the intake of red meat, cigarettes and alcohol. There’s your detox program all day long.
2. So what’s the verdict on the detox diets and colon cleansing?
Consult with your physician. I’d imagine that using the diets as a starting point for lifestyle changes would be endorsed. I’d doubt that any fad diet would be endorsed.
3. You said tap water is no longer good? Should I exclusively drink bottled water?
Actually filtered water is even better.
4. Are you suggesting I stop wearing makeup?
You’re beautiful just the way you are.
5. Have you ever had a colonic?
Yes, and it made me feel dirty. (Was that serious, or a joke?)
6. I’d never do that.
Actually, you will. (Well, almost.) Many men over 50 will have a colonoscopy to evaluate for the possibility of colon cancer at some point. If and when you get that, you’ll get your colon cleanse solution one to two days before the procedure and maybe an enema in addition. At least you’ll be under the care of a physician, and you’ll get a sedative first!
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what  http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, Facebook @ SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
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