Foot Pain, how to treat it and live with it

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The information in this article and on this site is for casual educational purposes, and is not meant to replace the advice of a licensed physician or a Medical Doctor. Use this just as an informal source for finding out what others do. Before trying any of the suggestions, consult with your own physician to get proper treatment.


Some sort of foot pain effects more than 50% of the people in the U.S. and is usually related to mechanical issues where wearing the wrong shoes, or walking the wrong way over the years has lead to problems in the foot and ankle that need attention to fix.

One of the things that help people the most is an orthotic. Orthotics are shoe inserts that help the problem by supporting the arch of the foot from falling down. What happens when the arch falls down is it pulls on the Fascia which is a leather like substance that doesn’t stretch. One side of the fascia is attached to the toe area, and the other side is attached to the heel bone or calcaneus.

Picture of a foot showing the Heel area in pain

Plantar Fasciitis – Foot pain that many people in the United States and the world endures.

When the fallen arch pulls on the fascia, then the heel gets pulled on, and over time it forms a spur where the fascia is attached to it. And that inn itself causes pain. Podiatrists as well as orthopedists can help in diagnosing and treating Plantar Fasciitis.

 

My experience has been to get orthotics, and then ice the heel after any activity outside of normal activity. But most importantly, stretch the calf muscle before sleeping. For a more detailed explanation, see http://www.footcures.com

 

 

 

 

 

Importance of CoQ10

** Very Important: Just as any information you find in this and any other site on the Internet, you should treat it as opinion and you should discuss it with your physician before making any decision that may effect your health. All information contained at this site is information gathered from other sources that were deemed to be reliable, but it is only intended as entertainment, educational and informational, and should not be treated as medical advice.

CoQ10 is an antioxidant that is a necessary nutrient for cell function in the body, specially that of the heart cells. It has numerous health benefits.

When a person is young, the liver generates this powerful enzyme to support the health of cells, (especially that of the heart).

Very often CoQ10 concentrations  decrease as we age. Supplementing becomes an important heart health boost as this antioxidant may help support healthy aging of cells.

The CoQ10 enzyme, beside being important and possibly helping maintain a healthy cardiovascular system, may also help maintain healthy blood pressure levels in a person with already normal blood pressure. (It doesn’t necessarily reduce that of people with high blood pressure).

* Very important reason to supplement your body’s generation of CoQ10 with natural supplements is in instances where someone is taking Statin medication, such as Lipitor Crestor etc. Because most statin medication can reduce CoQ10 levels by spreading the livers capability of producing it. So supplementing can  replenish what Statin medications may deplete.

A word of warning though: CoQ10 is not  a replacement for Statin therapy, nor should you discontinue taking any prescribed medications while Supplementing with CoQ1

0.

** Very Important: Just as any information you find in this and any other site on the Internet, you should treat it as opinion and you should discuss it with your physician before making any decision that may effect your health. All information contained at this site is information gathered from other sources that were deemed to be reliable, but it is only intended as entertainment, educational and informational, and should not be treated as medical advice.

The most important test for your eyes

The information in this article and on this site is for casual educational purposes, and is not meant to replace the advice of a licensed physician or a Medical Doctor. Use this just as an informal source for finding out what others do. Before trying any of the suggestions, consult with your own physician to get proper treatment.


Picture of a Dilated Pupil, where the Pupil of the eye looks 3-4 times larger than normal

Picture showing a Dilated Pupil, as apparent the Pupil of the eye looks 3-4 times larger than a normal pupil under normal lighting conditions. (Courtesy of Wikipedia.org)

Most people ignore having eye tests regularly. Those that do have regular tests done, it’s mostly the regular eye exams. But to rule out a lot of debilitating eye diseases, it is necessary to do the “Dilated eye exam“.

When you get a dilated eye exam, the doctor puts a few drops into your eyes to “Dilate” the pupils so he/she can see a larger area inside the eye(s), namely the optic nerve and more of the retina etc. When the pupils are dilated, the area behind it is more open to viewing and examining.

This is not a painful procedure, but it does make the person see, at the very least the close range vision, but really the whole vision, blurry for a few hours. Of course this condition wears off by itself and vision gets back to it’s state before the dilation. So this means, unless you’re going to spend the next 3-4 hours after your exam in the doctor’s waiting room sitting and waiting for it to wear off, you’d better have someone drive you back.

The Exams and Conditions
If you are over 60, you HAVE to have this done to rule out “Age Related Macular Degeneration (from NIH)”. This doesn’t mean younger than 60 are not at risk, it’s just very uncommon. Macular Degeneration is a very debilitating disease where the field of vision deteriorates from the center out in most instances.

“According to the Mayo Clinic, other diseases that the “Dilated eye exam” will help discover are:

 

  • Diabetes
  • Eye tumors
  • High blood pressureInfectious diseases
  • Macular degeneration
  • Retinal detachment
  • Vasculitis

Many diseases and conditions can be detected at their earliest stages during an eye exam”

Other eye tests and exams (Check WebMD) but the most important are, Diabetic Retinopathy, Detached Retina, Optic Nerve degeneration and of course Macular Degeneration.

So get the test done! The inconvenience is worth it.

How do you explain being Nearsighted? That’s what causes Myopia

The information in this article and on this site is for casual educational purposes, and is not meant to replace the advice of a licensed physician or a Medical Doctor. Use this just as an informal source for finding out what others do. Before trying any of the suggestions, consult with your own physician to get proper treatment.


Nearsightedness: Why do I have it?

You are nearsighted when the eyeball is a little more elongated in the back (Most of the time), and sometimes the lens or the shape of the cornea is the blame.

In most cases, when the eyeball is longer in the back than it should be, the retina is farther back than it should be, so the lens will focus the light rays (or  images) slightly more forward than the retina, instead of falling right on it. So the objects you are looking at in a distance will look blurry

The retina is a sensitive membrane that lines the back of the eye, and it is responsible for sending signals to the brain using the optic nerve where these signals are interpreted and an interpretation of it is generates.

Often school age children are diagnosed with eye problems, and mostly with nearsightedness. Yearly checkups make sure that the necessary changes to the glasses are done as the eye is still changing. This usually stabilizes when they reach early to mid 20’s, because their eyesight stabilizes.

Another stage is when people hit their 40’s when the lend becomes a little less flexible so they have to change glasses, and in some cases start wearing reading glasses because the opposite becomes true, they become farsighted and develop Presbyopia which is the difficulty of reading and seeing near objects like reading a book, or focusing on small objects that effects people after they reach their 40’s and 50’s. The solution is to wear reading glasses.

Why do people read menus with their cell phone light? Presbyopia, which is the diminished ability to focus on small or near objects.

The information in this article and on this site is for casual educational purposes, and is not meant to replace the advice of a licensed physician or a Medical Doctor. Use this just as an informal source for finding out what others do. Before trying any of the suggestions, consult with your own physician to get proper treatment.


Presbyopia is a condition where the eye’s lens becomes less flexible with age. This doesn’t happen all of a sudden, it develops over time as a person grows past their early 40’s or 50’s. The eye will exhibit a progressively diminished ability to focus on small or near objects, and also difficulty seeing in dim light.

Although the inflexibility of the lens is thought to cause this most of the time, it isn’t an absolute answer. Evidence suggests that the loss of elasticity of the crystalline lens cause this, however changes in lens curvature, and muscle fatigue or deterioration are also causes that do develop over the years.

Presbyopia is a condition that is developed over the natural course of aging, so most, if not all, people will have this sometime in their life. So when you see middle aged people with their cellphone light reading a menu at the restaurant, don’t laugh, you will get there in due time.

What’s Cumin? Cumin is not just a spice, it is good for you

The information in this article and on this site is for casual educational purposes, and is not meant to replace the advice of a licensed physician or a Medical Doctor. Use this just as an informal source for finding out what others do. Before trying any of the suggestions, consult with your own physician to get proper treatment.


IMPORTANT NOTE: Cumin is not meant to take the place of any medication, it is merely suggested that adding cumin in your daily food intake might help in a lot of issues.

I add cumin to any food that I can. I add a little to some, and a lot to others. My most favorite way is to add it to yogurt in the evening before I sleep. I have a bowl of Mediterranean yogurt (My favorite brand, Karoun), if you can’t find this in a Mediterranean type market near you, just make sure you get one that has probiotic cultures (S. Thermophilus, L. Acidophilus & Bifidobacterium) which are the good bacteria to help with your Gut Flora.

So I sprinkle some Cumin and some nuts, like almonds, pistachio, walnuts and/or pecans (just a handful, be careful, they have a lot of calories) It helps me sleep better (Almonds are great for that – Tim Ferriss Recommendation) and regulate the good bacteria in my gut (Yogurt with cultures are great for that). Some studies show that pickles (Specially the pink pickled turnips) carry good bacteria called (Lactobacillus brevis KB290), that might help also, I eat this every so often, specially with sandwiches etc. You can buy this from Mediterranean stores, Falafel Arax (My favorite) if you are in the Los Angeles area  or make your own (Recipe). Sorry, went off on a tangent.

A lot of references say that ancient Egyptians used this spice, Cumin, in the mummification process. Also it is a spice known throughout the ages,  it’s even mentioned in the bible. But the fact is, that cultures that consume a lot of cumin, and the cumin seeds are used to make a lot of the modern day medicines.

Although it is not known hot it works exactly, people take or ingest cumin in the treatment of a multitude of problems such as gas, Lactose intolerance (Reduces gas), digestion problems including diarrhea. Cumin is also used to increase urine flow to relieve bloating (as a diuretic); to start menstruation; and to increase sexual desire, as a mild aphrodisiac (No wonder the Indians consume this a lot, even the Kama Sutra contains a remedy with Cumin – Chapter 2 Verse XI).

In spices, foods, and beverages like tea. Cumin is used mainly as a flavoring component. (Not verified) but  Times of India says it is also good for the following:

Common cold: Antiseptic properties of cumin can help fight flu, by boosting your immune system.
(A cup of water boiled with cumin seeds, ginger, basil leaves and honey, can give great relief)

Anemia: Cumin seeds contain a good amount of iron. Iron is an essential element for the formation of hemoglobin in the blood required for transport of oxygen. Anemia [lowered levels of hemoglobin in the blood] has always been a concern in women.

Digestion: Cumin helps control stomach pain, indigestion, diarrhea, nausea and morning sickness.

Summarizing benefits?

  • Lowering Blood sugar levels
    (Careful if already low – HypoGlycemic)
  • Diarrhea & colic
  • Help lower inflammation
  • Increase urine flow
  • Gas, flatulence
  • Lactose Intolerance
  • Bowel spasms
  • Fluid retention
  • Menstrual problems
  • Increasing sexual desire
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Anti-Fungal (mix in water, spray on plants)
  • Other conditions

Although the above are some benefits of ingesting cumin, it is just incremental gains and benefits, don’t expect miracles, as in anything else, use it in moderation, and just make it a part of your daily food seasoning, and your body will benefit over time.

 

How does it work?

It is not really known. But the body knows how to use it. So sprinkle some on complimentary foods. You can sprinkle it in beans, on meats, in yogurt, on Hummus (Mmmm), in other dips,

Special Precautions & Warnings (WebMD):

Although Cumin is safe in food and moderate doses, WebMD does put out this warning, which is the case with most ingested foods and spices. It is to err on the side of caution.

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Not enough is known about the use of cumin during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Surgery: Cumin might lower blood sugar levels. Some experts worry that it might interfere with blood sugar control during and after surgery. Stop using cumin at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.

Medication Interaction: If it lowers blood sugar levels, it is needless to say that a diabetic patient on medication needs to make sure the spice is ingested or avoided consistently. If it is intermittent, it might interfere with the diabetes medication, so the patient would need to make sure the levels of both are balanced from day to day.

 

Ref: Times of India, WellnessMama.com, WikiPedia,

STOP! If you are taking a Proton Pump Inhibitor

The information in this article and on this site is for casual educational purposes, and is not meant to replace the advice of a licensed physician or a Medical Doctor. Use this just as an informal source for finding out what others do. Before trying any of the suggestions, consult with your own physician to get proper treatment.


Proton Pump Inhibitors are medications that stop the production of acid in your stomach. Taking these medications, is like “Not putting water in your swimming pool to stop from drowning” It might sound absurd, but that’s essentially what you would be doing, is stop the production of Hydrochloric Acid in the stomach to stop heartburn while you are increasing the chances of indigestion or poor digestions, because of the lack of stomach acid.

Wikipedia – “PPIs (as well as other antacid preparations), by suppressing acid-mediated breakdown of proteins, lead to an elevated risk of one’s developing food allergies. These undigested proteins then pass into the gastrointestinal tract, potentially leading to sensitization to a range of foods or drugs. It is unclear whether this risk occurs with only long-term use or with short-term use as well.”

Taking antacids
More to come …

Five Things Physicians and Patients Should Question
Questioning decisions on medications (by American Gastroenterological Association)

Tim Ferriss recommendations for better health, from the Doctor Oz show.

The information in this article and on this site is for casual educational purposes, and is not meant to replace the advice of a licensed physician or a Medical Doctor. Use this just as an informal source for finding out what others do. Before trying any of the suggestions, consult with your own physician to get proper treatment.


IMPORTANT NOTE: I have bought the book (The Four Hour Body) by Tim Ferriss, and have taken some notes from the Doctor OZ show that Tim came on and made the recommendations. I follow some of them and they seem to help me, your mileage might vary.

1. The 5 -minute deep freeze to kick start the metabolism in the morning

Take a cold shower for 5-30 minutes (Will jump start your metabolism) Apparently the cold activates brown fat, which burns the fat to keep you warm. I am more tolerant to cold on my back, arms and legs, so I start out with my back to the cold water.

When taking a cold shower, some shivering indicates that you’re using energy to keep your body temperature up. Try taking a quick shower in the morning or night. Start with 2 minutes of warm water, shampoo the head, and then switch to cold and work toward keeping the water temperature under 60 degrees. You’ll get used to it and feel rejuvenated and very warm out of the shower.

2. Supercharging your mood

  • Enjoy some kimchi (kim chi), which is Korean pickled cabbage every day. (I Can’t do this, I guess it’s an acquired taste, it is rotten cabbage to me)
  • I eat pickles, usually the pickled turnips (Pink) you can find it in Mediterranean stores or make your own (Recipe). It may also provide some defense from the Flu also? (Read more and decide for yourself)
  • Will help with Gut Flora. According to Ferriss, 90% of the body’s serotonin is produced in the gut (Scientists refer to this as our “Second Brain”)
  • Probiotic bacteria are the transportation devices to move serotonin to the brain
  • Tim’s recommendation: Eat 4-5 tablespoons of kimchi (In my case, Pickles) or any lacto-fermented food such as sauerkraut or plain yogurt daily to chase the blues away.

3. Fixing sleeping issues to feel great

Although I don’t have a problem sleeping, but Tim’s recommendation was that if you take 2 tablespoons of Almond Butter (BTW, expensive, but so is your time), before sleeping, your body will regulate the sugar burn overnight so instead of 8 hours you can sleep 6, or maybe even 4. So you would

  • Just before bed, eat 2 tablespoons almond butter (I just eat a handful of raw almonds, no salt)
    Tim Ferriss believes that one of the biggest culprits for walking up during the night is low blood sugar. So  almond butter before bed should help. The low-glycemic index food can prevent blood sugar spikes so you can sleep better. According to Ferriss, correcting your blood sugar level can actually make you feel as if you’re doubling up on the sleep you’re actually getting – 4 hours can feel like 8, 6 like 12, etc.
  • Power Sleep position (This doesn’t work 100% for me, I find that I have moved during the night)
    Lie down on your chest with your head on a pillow, turned to the right. Place both arms straight by your sides, palms up. Then bring your right arm up until the top of your right elbow is bent 90 degrees and your hand is close to your head. Then bring your right knee out to the side until it is bent at approximately 90 degrees.

    By keeping both your arm and leg at 90 degrees you’ll distribute your weight more evenly so that you’re not putting any pressure on your shoulder or on your hip. This position mimics a swaddled baby, which means you’ll move and fidget less and enjoy a deeper, uninterrupted sleep.

4. Reshape Your Body: 3 Things You MUST Do Within 30 Minutes of Waking Up

Tim Ferriss’ 30/30 rule – consuming 30 grams of protein within the first 30 minutes of waking up in the morning – has already helped transform women’s bodies across the country. Now, he has 3 new rules to help you reshape your body by barely doing anything at all. However, you must also do these within 30 minutes of waking up.

  1. Use an All-Fat Creamer in Your Coffee
    Millions of women think they’re doing the right thing by using skim milk or fat-free creamer in their coffee, but these dairy products can actually cause weight gain by spiking insulin. Go for full-fat cream instead since dairy fat contains CLA-conjugated linoleic acid, which has been linked to a decrease in stored body fat.

    Tim Ferriss has seen women lose 2-4 pounds a week by making this small change, which also helps prevent afternoon energy dips. Put 2 tablespoons of all-fat cream in your coffee and you’ll actually lower your chance of gaining weight over the course of the year.

  2. Drink a Fat-flushing Tea: Yerba Mate
    Popular in South America, yerba mate tea is chockfull of antioxidants and vitamins, and acts through 2 mechanisms to help you lose fat. The first speeds your digestion for the entire day – drink Yerba mate in the morning instead of coffee. Second, it actually reduces fat absorption by decreasing the pancreatic lipase enzyme. Additionally, yerba mate does not produce the caffeine-related crashes that some people experience with coffee and can give you 3-4 hours of very stable, clean energy.
  3. Cassia Cinnamon Cheat
    Cinnamon helps keep blood sugars in check, which helps control weight gain. Both Cassia and Ceylon cinnamon help regulate glucose levels, but some studies show that Cassia does it better.

    To determine the difference between these types of cinnamon, Ceylon sticks roll up from both sides like a scroll. Cassia looks more like bark and will often roll up from one side like a cigar. Use Cassia cinnamon in your coffee or even sprinkle it on a bowl of oatmeal or cottage cheese. Cassia cinnamon, it turns out, is the type you find in most coffee shops. Look for it at grocery stores for about $5. If unavailable, look for it at specialty food stores.

Here are videos from the Doctor Oz site:

 

Gut Flora, one of the most essential tools your body has to fight off all diseases.

The information in this article and on this site is for casual educational purposes, and is not meant to replace the advice of a licensed physician or a Medical Doctor. Use this just as an informal source for finding out what others do. Before trying any of the suggestions, consult with your own physician to get proper treatment.


IMPORTANT NOTE: Gut Flora is the colonies of microorganisms that live in our intestines (Guts) that help us digest foods, neutralize toxins and make sure they don’t go through the walls and into our body.  It is one of the most essential system or mechanism we have to protect us from all sorts of problems.

Dr Natasha Campbell-McBride is a world renowned expert on Gut Flora and Nutrition. It is her opinion that bad Gut flora is responsible for letting cancers grow, it is also responsible for psychological issues such as schizophrenia, depression, and even Autism, ADD/ADHD, and Dyslexia.

 

Who is Dr Natasha?

(From her website)

Dr Natasha Campbell-McBride is a medical doctor with two postgraduate degrees: Master of Medical Sciences in Neurology and Master of Medical Sciences in Human Nutrition.

She graduated as a medical doctor in Russia. After practicing for five years as a Neurologist and three years as a Neurosurgeon she started a family and moved to the UK, where she got her second postgraduate degree in Human Nutrition.

She is well known for developing a concept of GAPS (Gut And Psychology Syndrome), which she described in her book Gut And Psychology Syndrome – Natural Treatment for Autism, ADHD, Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, Depression and Schizophrenia, now in its second edition. Thousands of people around the world follow the highly successful GAPS Nutritional Protocol to help themselves and their families. You can learn about GAPS on www.gaps.me

 

Quote: Dr. Natasha Capbell-McBride
“All diseases begin in the gut! The Father of modern medicine, Hippocrates, made this statement more than two thousand years ago. The more we learn with our modern scientific tools, the more we realize just how correct Hippocrates was: all diseases do begin in the gut! Science has discovered, that about 90% of all cells and all genetic material of the human body belongs to the gut flora – a mixture of various microbes, which live inside our digestive tract. So, in reality your body is just a shell, a 10%, providing a habitat for this mass of micro-creatures living inside you; and their role in your health and physiology is monumental. Our modern world poses many dangers for human gut flora, and once it is damaged, the health of the whole body enters a downward slide towards disease.”

 


I like Dr. Natasha’s advice, Eat all natural fruits and vegetables, eat meats, and butter and stay away from processed foods and all white powders. Make pancakes, and bread and pasta out of gluten free flours. Eat foods that will promote good bacteria in your gut, and see your health get better.

I’m working on my Gut Flora, are you? (Updated recently)

One of the things that we all know we need to do is to get more good bacteria in our system right? That’s why all the ads about yogurt, specially Greek yogurt with cultures etc. So one of the things  I do regularly is eat yogurt, specifically I eat yogurt in the evening, before bed. Here is what I do, by combining recommendations from a few experts:

  • I put 3-4 heaping tablespoons of  yogurt in a bowl
  • Sprinkle some Cumin (Helps in multitude of things)
  • Add some nuts, like almonds, pistachio, walnuts and/or pecans (just a handful, they have a lot of calories)
    Adding Almonds or Pecans specially, helps me sleep better (Almonds are great for that – Tim Ferriss Recommendation) and regulate the good bacteria in my gut (Yogurt with cultures are great for that).
  • Some studies show that pickles (Specially the pink pickled turnips) carry good bacteria called (Lactobacillus brevis KB290). which has shown to avert the flu in mice. Your mileage may vary, but it can’t hurt. (Read more and decide for yourself)
    FYI, I eat pickles every so often, specially with sandwiches etc. You can buy this from Mediterranean stores, Falafel Arax (My favorite) if you are in the Los Angeles area  or make your own (Recipe).

 

 

Ref: Mazmanian et al. 2005

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Why does your eye twitch

The information in this article and on this site is for casual educational purposes, and is not meant to replace the advice of a licensed physician or a Medical Doctor. Use this just as an informal source for finding out what others do. Before trying any of the suggestions, consult with your own physician to get proper treatment.


Eye twitch  is mostly temporary, self limited and means nothing most of the time. But if it lasts more than a day, then you need to contact the doctor, or ophthalmologist. There are many things that can cause it, like anything that can irritate the eye like, Dry eye syndrome or Blepharitis (Inflammation of the eyelids), as well as external factors like stress, fatigue, too much caffeine or too much alcohol can exacerbate the twitching.

Lubricate your eyes with over the counter “Preservative Free” Artificial Tears  every hour, Cool compress or warm compress, whichever makes you feel better.

For Blepharitis, there are “Lid Scrubs” available over the counter also. If you are taking in a lot of caffeine, or smoking a lot, then try to eliminate those.

Warning: Twitches that don’t go away might be a medical condition called benign essential blepharospasm, often a patient with this condition is not even able to open the eyelids, and needs to be dealt with by an ophthalmologist, immediately.

Source: WebMD.com (Eye TV)

 

 

Recipe: Pickled Turnips (Lebanese recipe)

Pickled Turnips
Arabic: Kabees El Lift

This is an Authentic Lebanese Recipe
(compliments of habeeb.com)

2 cups water
1 cup vinegar
2 tsp. salt
1 (sm-med) beetroot (Another term for just beets)
Several garlic cloves

Procedure:

  • Wash turnips well and cut off a slice from the tops and bottoms.
  • Slice lengthwise into quarter-inch slices to within a half-inch of the bottom of the turnip.
  • Do not separate the slices entirely from each other.
  • Soak in water overnight.
  • Wash well in the morning.
  • Place in glass jar with the beetroot (To give the pink color to the pickles).
  • Cover with the pickling solution prepared from the above ingredients.

These pickles may be eaten after three days.

 

http://www.habeeb.com/Lebanese-food/Lebanese-recipes.15.html