WELLNESS--With climate change on the rise, many of us are feeling the effects of brutal ongoing heat and humidity, and if one is not careful, heat stroke can ensue. 

The Mayo Clinic defines heat stroke as “a condition caused by your body overheating, usually as a result of prolonged exposure to or physical exertion in high temperatures. This most serious form of heat injury, heatstroke can occur if your body temperature rises to 104 F (40 C) or higher. 

Heatstroke requires emergency treatment. Untreated heatstroke can quickly damage your brain, heart, kidneys and muscles. The damage worsens the longer treatment is delayed, increasing your risk of serious complications or death.” Not drinking enough water or drinking alcohol are both high risk behaviors for heat stroke.  

While pets and the elderly are most at risk, it can also be dangerous for people who work outside or exercise in the heat. The risks are higher in high humidity because moist air traps dampness and heat in our bodies making our cooling systems less effective 

There are a number of ways to tell if someone is starting to feel heatstroke included slurred speech, elevated heart rate or vomiting. Headaches can also be an early indicator that the body is overheating and if the person has flushed skin or a rapid heart rate these are also warning signs that the person should stop the physical activity and get inside. 

If anyone has more than one of the symptoms above it is quite possible they need emergency health services. Call 911 immediately. If emergency services are delayed or unavailable it is important that the person is cooled by whatever means necessary until medical services arrive.  

If you suspect someone is experiencing heat stroke there are a few steps to take. If it’s safe to move them try to get them indoors in the air conditioning as soon as possible. Sometimes if someone faints or feels dizzy people will gather around them. Be sure to tell people to step back so the victim can breathe fresh air and not feel more suffocated and hot. Fan the person if you are outside and can’t get them to a cool place and apply ice or ice packs to the patient's armpits neck groin and back if possible. 

If you are indoors and the patient can be safely moved without risk of falling (dizziness and fainting are common with heat stroke) get them to cold bath or cold shower where they can sit in the tub and cool down safely. Stay close and be sure the victim does not fall over and hit their head. A tub full of icewater is also helpful until medical help arrives.

 

(Christian Cristiano is an acupuncturist in LA, TV host of Wellness for Realists and writes on wellness regularly for CityWatch. Christian can be reached at 310.909.6956 twitter: @CristianoWFR)

-cw

WELLNESS--My patients will often ask me if they can eat grains and potatoes and still be healthy. The answer is, it depends. For starters all carbs are not all created equally. Some have a higher glycemic index than others meaning that break down faster. Secondly, everybody is different and the way our bodies break down and utilize food is also different. One thing to keep in mind is that if you have a high sensitivity to carbs and sugar in general, you probably know it by now. If your diabetic for example, carbs and sugars need to be treated with kid gloves. 

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WELLNESS--When we go get our blood drawn either at the lab or at our doctors office, they are usually only looking to see if your blood panel levels are in the “normal range.” In other words, the doctor is looking to see if there is anything wrong with your levels. What is not taken into consideration in a standard blood workup is whether or not your varying levels are at their optimum range.  

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WELLNESS--Many of my patients have been asking me about the safety of coconut oil.  Recently, the American Heart Association came out with a warning that coconut oil and other forms of fat such as animal fat is bad for us and may increase the risk of heart disease. This is outdated information and the old belief systems that healthy fats are bad for us are totally false. 

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WELLNESS--Glutathione is not a new supplement, but many people are confused as to what purpose it serves, and as to whether or not they should be taking it.  Glutathione is considered by many to be the most important antioxidant available to man. Antioxidants combat free radicals in the body, which are responsible for damaging our bodies’ cells. Besides its antioxidant qualities, it also helps to detoxify the liver and enhance the immune system. Taking glutathione also helps the body perform it’s own detoxification process.  

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WELLNESS--The busy badge is an award that I for one can do without. In today’s day and age people are seemingly in competition with each other as to who is busier. Ask anyone how he or she is doing and most surely you will hear “I’m so busy.” What people don’t realize is that being busy all the time may be doing more damage than good. Here’s why. 

  1. When we are too busy we can’t be present to what we are doing. As we run from one task to another or one app to the next, it is challenging to focus our minds and attention on what it is that we are doing in the moment. Unfortunately, this busy mindset often carries over into our relationships and before we know it, we are either not making plans at all with our friends and family or we are spending short little snippets of time with them that hardly add up to meaningful relationships. Being present to what we are doing no matter what it is an important component to a healthy life. 
  1. Being too busy often leads to multi-tasking which has been proven to be a futile and unsuccessful endeavor. Each time we get new information the brain is rewarded. At face value this seems like a good thing, but the problem begins when we switch from app to app or text to email too often. For example if one is checking their email and they hear a text alert and grab their phone to check. While our brains feel rewarded by new information, we can only process one thought at a time, and the constant switching of subjects eventually starts to train the brain to lose focus. 
  1. When we are so busy running around accomplishing things we forget the most important subject of all which is ourselves! Getting caught up in facebook and instagram in addition to our texts and emails and then piling on work and errands makes it very easy to take our own self-care for granted. Studies show that people who spend more time on social media tend to be more depressed if looking at facebook brings up feelings of envy. Coupling those feelings of depression along with the time spent on social media leaves little time for-self care and self-love. 
  1. Finally, being overly busy often causes a stress response in the body triggering a cascade of stress hormones and negative impacts on the body and mind. The heart, mind and body need rest, and without it, stress hormone levels stay elevated causing inflammation and over time possible heart problems and even cancer. Taking time each day to sit somewhere quiet and just breath is crucial to ones well being. 

Lets all give up the busy badge. When I hear people complaining of being too busy I use that to remind myself to slow down and take some time to gather my thoughts and feelings so I can finish my day with greater awareness and focus. Instead of letting our brains run us all over the place, let’s take one step and one task at a time in order to bring the best to every situation and every person we come into contact with. 

(Christian Cristiano is an acupuncturist in LA, TV host of Wellness for Realists and writes on wellness regularly for CityWatch. Christian can be reached at 310.909.6956 twitter: @CristianoWFR)

-cw

WELLENSS--Walking has always been celebrated. From the time a baby takes that first step everything changes. There is more independence, freedom, and the added benefit of exercise. As adults, walking still offers all the benefits it once did. 

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WELLNESS--Anyone who has experienced food poisoning knows just how unpleasant it can be. The

CDC estimates that 76 million food poisoning or food borne illnesses occur a year in the US alone. The most common types of food poisoning are E. Coli, Campylobacter, Shigella, Salmonella, and Listeria. 

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WELLNESS--We are well into spring which is a great time to do a gentle cleanse by eliminating sugar from the diet for 14 days. When we eat sugar there are certain bacteria, often referred to as mycotoxins, that thrive on and feed off of sugar. When we take a break from sugar, part of the reason it is so difficult for the first week or so is because the bacteria that was feeding off the sugar is dying off. This die-off period can be difficult and symptoms may include food cravings, headaches, irritability, lightheadedness and depression. The first 3 to 5 days tend to be the most difficult, and then symptoms tend to start to subside. The cravings themselves may be the longest standing symptom taking from a few weeks to a few months to fully disappear. 

There are a few tricks that may help you get through that beginning phase. Be sure to have lots of wholesome, healthy, and satisfying foods to replace the sugar. Studies show that protein and fat deficiency can both contribute to sugar cravings. Before you embark, make a list of as many healthy foods and snacks that you love and be sure to fill your house up with vegetables, lean meats or poultry if you eat those, and lots of purified water. Ensuring that we don’t get hungry or low blood sugar is an important component to giving up the white stuff.   

Good fat is also very helpful both for the sugar detox and for our health in general. When we consume enough fat, there is a compound that causes a signal in our brain telling us we are full. If the diet is too light in fat, we run the risk of the brain thinking we are still hungry or worse, starving. This can cause the sugar cravings can kick in more intensely as the body is dealing with sugar detoxification cravings and hunger together. It is important when we are doing a sugar detox to have a specific and healthy food plan. This usually requires a little more planning and more time in the kitchen. 

Another motivator to say goodbye to the sweet tooth is that fact that water binds to sugar, and too much sugar equals too much water and weight gain. One upside those first few days of cutting the sugar is all the extra water weight that goes. This is a normal process, but it’s one we don’t want to put our body through all the time. Yoyo’ing from sugar to sugar free back and forth repeatedly can be tough on our organs and difficult emotionally and mentally. Each time someone repeats that cycle, it becomes more difficult than the previous time. 

Many people think that if they only eat natural sugar they are acting healthfully, and while there is some truth to that, the cascade of bodily effects happens regardless of what type of sugar we eat. It is healthier to eat local honey compared to high fructose corn syrup in a can of soda, but the reality is when we eat sugar no matter what kind there is a spike in the blood sugar which commands the body to release insulin causing the cells to take up the sugar and store it as fat. Worse than that is the effects of sugar on the organs and the very real potential of the sugar aiding in the growth of cancer and the onset of dementia.     

A 14 day sugar cleanse may be just what the doctor ordered. If you have people living with you, be sure to try to get them on board with the cleanse or at the very least ask them to support you during the 14 days. If your housemates are still bringing in sugary snacks and drinks while you are going through the detox process, it may make it very difficult to succeed in your goals.   

Be sure to keep healthy snacks on hand in case you do end up feeling light headed while out and about, and always have your meals planned out at least 1 day in advance. Letting yourself get very hungry while you are detoxing off of sugar is not a good idea as hunger will increase your chances of binging on sugar. Usually when the 14 days are over you will feel less inclined to go back to your sugary ways.

 

(Christian Cristiano is an acupuncturist in LA, TV host of Wellness for Realists and writes on wellness regularly for CityWatch. Christian can be reached at 310.909.6956 twitter: @CristianoWFR)

-cw

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