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The caption of Physical Health has many, many items to read through. A lot of information hides here. A notation about organ function: I listed only those that I am personally working on boosting at this time. What is listed here are simply the basics of what each organ does. All are key players in recovering from cancer or maintaining your body in a healthy state. This should not be the end-all of what you should consider treating in your case. Helping these organs; the adrenals, kidneys, liver, and pancreas were logical to me. You want to add or subtract from my list, that’s fine. This is my choice for me. I have not researched other areas of the body as of this writing and cannot comment on them.
Introduction and General Statements About Cancer
Here are some basic things to contemplate as you try and sort out the question, “WHY ME???”
Helen Keller once made the statement, “The world is full of suffering; it is also full of the overcoming of it.”
There are no rules in dealing with your cancer except the ones you make up for yourself. Nobody is the same. We all have a lot of commonality between us, but God made each and every one of us unique. This is not a “one size fits all” type of illness. Nor is the “cure” that will work for you necessarily the same as the “cure” that works for anyone else. Your job is to seek out possible solutions, evaluate them, test them for validity and then actually apply the knowledge gained. It does no good to learn if you do not apply that learning. I use the term “cure” quite loosely. Do not expect to cure cancer—you are stuck with it as long as you live. Put it in remission and keep it there, but regardless of what you ultimately choose to do about it, never, never expect it to be gone for good.
One more time, so there is no misunderstanding. You are the one responsible for your health care. Do not abrogate that responsibility to someone else. You need to be part of the decision-making process. You need to be cognizant of everything that has an effect on your well being; that includes what the medical profession tries to do with and for you. Treat your doctor as a guide, an advisor, a councilor; but do not let him (her) make the final decision for you. That’s your responsibility.
The other fact that is more often than not overlooked by doctors and patients alike is that you need to treat your whole body, not just the tumor(s) you are trying to get rid of. Cancer effects every part of your body no matter what kind it is or where it is located. Symptomatically treating cancer does little more than relieve a temporary problem. Such localized treatment does nothing to be sure the rest of you stays healthy and is able to resist a resurgence of cancer or other diseases and or maladies.
Now the health care industry has many fine examples of doctors, but remember, anyone who finishes the basic courses in school gets a medical degree. In the same light, there are doctors who really care about their patients and there are doctors there to take home a paycheck, like so many of us in other fields. I have had both kinds of doctors over the years, as have many people. I strongly suggest you not walk, but run as fast as you can from any doctor that does not display empathy for his patients. You don’t just have a cold or the flu. You have a disease that will kill you and the ramifications on your mental state require all the support you can get. This is not the time to have someone involved in your care process that exhibits little concern for you.
Everyone who has a business is entitled to make a profit. Doctors are no exceptions. In today’s society, doctors are among the most highly rewarded people as a group. There is nothing wrong with that. It’s called capitalism. But many doctors (not all doctors) find that in order to run a practice like a business, much of the “caring” and “caring for” people found 20 or 30 or more years ago, no longer is there. The average time spent in a doctor’s office for a regular office call is 1 hour and 42 minutes. How much of that was quality time with your doctor; face to face, one on one? Average is 11 minutes. What does this tell us? It is impossible to get very much information exchanged (discussed) between doctor and patient in an 11 minute timeframe. Therefore, you are diagnosed and treated essentially by statistical average. Whatever the norm is for whatever condition you have, that is what is recommended, more times than not. And, many times that will work just fine. Cancer does fall outside that norming routine.
Consider this for a moment. One of the key fundamentals in operating a business that has one-on-one contact with the public is how the customer perceives your attentiveness. I grew up on a car lot and have been around and worked with people all my life. I have managed fast food businesses and the concept is the same for these as it is for any type of public contact endeavor. If you have a line of people (or a waiting room full of people) you need to acknowledge them as quickly as possible. From that point of personal eye or verbal contact, the waiting clock starts all over. Lets look at what happens as you wait in a typical office setting. You expect a wait and so the chairs out front and reading materials go hand in hand. Once called back to an examination room, (things are finally happening) you are weighed, vitals taken, and a nurse/office assistant takes down a general statement of why you are there. The door closes on your room and there you sit. From 5 to 15 minutes later, the doctor does his quick introductory appearance, stays for one to 2 minutes and then leaves. Your mental clock just stopped because you have “seen the doctor”. Another 5 to 15 minutes passes and he re-appears again for 3 to 7 minutes and again goes out. He will probably appear once more with a prescription or something for you and spend another 1 to 2 minutes with you and out the door you go. You have had approximately 11 minutes of time with your doctor, spread over up to 1/2 hour or more plus the waiting time before the actual interview, BUT you don’t notice it because that mental clock stopped the first moment he came in and chatted with you briefly. Welcome to public perception 101.
I will speculate as to how you were probably handled (me included) during the initial phases of discovery. My cancer was found by accident. I had just had a physical two months prior to its appearance and all was well, so to speak.
As was the case with me, I was sent off for an IVP (read by a specialist) who sent a report to my GP. My GP then sent me for a Cat scan (CT) also read by a specialist who again sent a report to my GP. Notice here, I have had 2 very high tech applications of diagnostics. Does this mean I am getting the best care I can get...not necessarily. Fortunately, my doctor had the good graces to readily send me to a specialist to deal with something he felt he was not fully versed in. Many times this does not happen. You will get the arrogant doctor who “knows it all”. Or you will get the one who doesn’t care. Or you can get the one who just ignores the issues and sends you home with a pain killer. (Take 2 of these and call me in the morning.)
Next my doctor shipped me off to a urologist (a specialist in kidneys, bladders, and associated parts). The specialist again sent me out for more highly technical diagnostic encounters whose reports were returned to him. And again, I saw him 2 times for an average of less than 15 minutes each consultation even though both visits ran into multiple hours apiece. I was not able to even get him to tell me about the treatments he wanted to do to me let alone discuss other things I had researched and wanted answers on. I am sure he was doing what he felt was in my best interest, but the important thing here is that I was not satisfied. I do not like his one and only course of action attitude. I want some answers. I want to know what alternatives I have to weigh against a radical procedure that puts me at the mercy of dialysis potentially for the rest of my life. Even if the alternative is death in 6 months to a year, I feel I should be accorded the opportunity to be part of the decision making process, not just blindly agree that there is only one course of action.
Remember: If you are passive in your search for answers about what you have, you will be directed, not informed. Someone else will make the decision(s) you will ultimately live and/or die with.
One of the amazing things about cancer is that you don’t need very much information to look like a fount of knowledge. That goes for you as well as your medical practitioner. You need to be very well informed just to protect yourself from people “who talk the talk but can’t walk the walk.” This becomes even more important for rarer forms of cancer. For instance what I have effects maybe 150—200 people a year out of literal millions who will get cancer in North America. That’s not real good odds for accepting a generic solution that works most of the time.
Research! Research! Research...the internet is your friend. There is more information at your grasp right here than any doctor had available to him 20 years ago. You will have to dig, but do it. Learn the language of medical science. You will need to know what your doctor is talking about. Otherwise you will find him talking over your head or around your knowledge and you cannot afford that to happen.
If surgery is an option for you, it is in your vitally best interest to find the best surgeon for the job, not just take the next one in line waiting for a patient to work on. You might get a lucky draw, but isn’t it better to chose than be chosen in this instance? Some of this may be limited by what your insurance will allow you to do. But within the confines of what you have to work with, pick the best you can find. Don’t just take what comes along. The same holds true with radiology or chemotherapy. Get the best people available, not just the first one in line to take on a patient. You have the right to accept or reject anyone giving treatment; even with an HMO, you are not totally at someone else’s mercy.
Be aware that sometimes the treatment can be worse than the disease. Most forms of chemotherapy are systemic poisons. Close to .8% (that is 8 people out of 1000) on chemotherapy die as a direct result of the treatment administered, not the cancer being treated. Again, this may still be the best alternative for you. That is why it is so important to be well informed so you can make the critical decision, not have someone make it for you. Some forms of cancer only have a 10% rate of survival if chemo is even considered an acceptable choice. Mine is one that has a 5 -7% effective rate. That is why I have not really spent much time looking at this form of treatment. I can do that good just by doing nothing.
We live in an age where knowledge is exploding. There are many new advances in chemo today that were not available just a year or two ago. Targeted chemo is the latest thing that is being heavily researched. Conventional chemotherapy attacks everything, not just the cancer cells. The targeted types are designed to go after specific forms of cancer cells. Right now that does not apply to me; but I will follow the progress because someday it might.
Radiation is another choice that for me is not a choice. Many new things have come down the pike in the last few years. There are new therapies such as stereodactic (3 dimensional) radiation, proton beam radiation, and ultra-high speed radiation just to name three. More are constantly being developed. If radiation is in your future, find out about all the alternatives, not just the standard burn plan most hospitals employ today.
Again, it is very important that you be as knowledgeable as possible because your doctor might not even be aware of the advances. All doctors are required to have continual refresher courses throughout their practicing years. Unfortunately, you do not know if your doctor grasped the knowledge presented, slept through the presentations, or was highly attentive. It is better for you to be able to present a question and have him explain what he knows.
If you live through the immediate cancer crisis, you will eventually die from something. Therefore, the object is not necessarily to defeat cancer, but perhaps just to control it. One factor in this judgment call is how old you are at present. Also to consider along with this is the state of your general health outside of the cancer. As in my case, if a transplant is considered the “best choice”, just how long will I have to be cancer free before a transplant is considered; plus how long will it take to find a suitable donor once I pass the minimum cancer free period; plus rejection rates; plus longevity after the transplant assuming I am still in good enough physical condition after the wait. That can quickly add up to 10 years before the transplant happens. Before I even leave the gate on the race of my life, I have just lost the last viable 10 years of worklife I have. Once the transplant takes place, what will be the restrictions I have to live with, such as diet, physical exertion, medications, etc…? Are all these factors put together worth the pain for a few more years IF everything goes well? Would I be better off just enjoying as much time as God grants me? These are kinds of very tough decisions that only you can make about your condition. I wish you well.
I do guarantee that your ignorance will kill you just as your ignoring the problem and hoping it will go away will kill you. How much pain from cancer versus how much pain from treatment versus how overwhelming the time required for treatments is all part of what you have to weigh. What are each of those factors worth for you? Only you can make that determination.
We will discuss alternate therapies I am looking at in the Supplements and Alternative Treatment section of this website. Again, this is what I am doing for me. In no way would I recommend that it be your choice of action. It does show that there are choices you can make, but if it works for me, that certainly is not reason enough for it to work for anyone else. The logic is sound, but only for my specific set of conditions.
Understand that not all “alternative treatments” are quack concepts. Are you aware that in order to pass FDA approval, a drug company can spend, in some cases over $200,000,000 (Two hundred million dollars) to get an approval. It can, in some instances, take up to 10 years or more. For many things, this may be acceptable. But what about terminal patients? People with 6 months to live and no other readily available conventional alternatives...why can’t they avail themselves of experimental treatments? Afraid it will kill them? How many thousands of people die each year that could possibly have been helped by a method under experimental investigation?
There are marvelous things going on in research medicine right now. Forms of stem cell research. There is gene splicing. There are a multitude of vaccines being developed. Some of these things will literally take decades to bring about. It is unfathomable why these therapies are not made more readily available to patients with no other hope of recovery. It frankly borders on criminal.
Many companies from Europe and Asia have had successful treatment programs going for decades. Yet, they are not approved here because of the incredible costs. Does that make them bad choices or not worthy of consideration even though they have helped tens of thousands of people in the rest of the world? Those are considered alternative treatments in virtually all mainstream medical circles.
Example: Resonant Light Technologies in Courteney, British Columbia, has a medical device that is approved by Health Canada (the Canadian equivalent to the FDA) for pain control. Does that mean that the thousands of hours of documented users’ results of their equipment have no validity to the claim of pain control? Does that mean this device should not be used in the U.S. because the FDA has not approved it? I don’t think so. I own one and find it effective for me. Does that mean it will be effective for you? It probably would be, but I don’t know for sure. It is a potential avenue of alternative therapy that I am following. It is not junk science, but a carefully researched and well documented medical treatment device readily used everywhere else in the world. Yet there are dozens, even hundreds of other makers of similar devices that I would not even begin to consider because they have not the quality control procedures, the dedication, or the background research.
These are the kinds of choices you need to be making. It is not just whether or not something will work, but if it is a reasonable avenue to pursue, is there sufficient data to validate the claims made? And, are you comfortable with the concept, not just because you are grasping at straws, but comfortable with the belief that this can help your situation?
Think about this for a moment: Just about anywhere in the U.S., a minor girl can walk in and demand an abortion that will kill her unborn child. The authorities cannot even inform her parents of this decision, yet terminal cancer patients cannot avail themselves of alternative therapies because they might be dangerous? What is wrong with this picture? If you want to do something for yourself and others facing death by cancer, write your congressman. Get the laws changed in your state and federal governments to allow alternative treatments to be offered by licensed individuals (not necessarily medical doctors alone). It can be done. Cancer is not a Republican or Democrat problem. Cancer is not a male or female problem. Cancer is not a youth or old age problem. It will kill anyone it gets a chance to. It will effect tens of thousands of other people who are simply relatives or friends of the cancer victims. Cancer is equal opportunity in the worst possible sense.
Speaking of terminal conditions. Doctors play god with their predictions. Most of the time, again based on statistical norms, they come close. But you are more than a statistic. You are unique, just as I am. Joseph Stalin once uttered the immortal phrase, “The death of one person is a tragedy; the death of thousands is a statistic.” Your death by cancer could well be a tragedy if it could be prevented by simply not giving up and by researching the best method of treatment for you to follow. Do not be a tragedy in your family’s world and do not be a statistic to the rest of the world simply for not caring to try.
How many people do you know who have “beat the odds”? Example: My grandmother was diagnosed with stomach cancer in 1954 and given only a few months to live. She died in 1978 of another issue altogether. I have several other friends and acquaintances with similar stories of either themselves or friends or relatives of theirs. The point here is that only God knows how long you will live. Man can predict, but then again he predicts weather and many times does a less than sterling job in that department also. Don’t give up on yourself.
Once again I need to mention; there are many, many ways to fight cancer that do indeed work. When you find one that fits your lifestyle and your perception of how you want your body to be dealt with, stick to that decision. Be careful not to pick too many things to work with. Unless you are very, very organized, the treatments involved in several different protocols can become very complex very quickly and you can ultimately miss steps that negate any good work you have done. It is also very important to note that many times different forms of treatment conflict with each other and instead of improving your chances, you negate everything you are doing. Be sure to ask many questions of everyone you are working with. They are your “experts” and use them with reckless abandon.
Another note of caution: If you are looking at several forms of treatment that all attack cancer from the same way, you are gaining nothing. There are a number of different ways to rid your body of cancer cells. If you want to work on multiple forms of treatment, pick treatments that are both compatible with each other and attack cancer from a different way. Example: Shark liver oil contains a substance known as squaline. This particular natural chemical attacks the blood vessels that feed the tumor. Cytozyme Trachea does exactly the same thing with approximately the same effectiveness. Therefore, there is little sense in taking these two items at the same time. You would be much further ahead to instead use Inositol with IP6 which attacks cancer by blocking tumor activator proteins that protect the cancer cells which then in turn allows your immune system to work naturally against the tumor. This compound is compatible with both squaline or Cytozyme Trachea and is also highly effective in its own right. Now you are attacking cancer with 2 very effective substances from two completely different approaches. This is why it is so very important for you to seek out good medical advice (in this case alternative medicine) as to what will best work for you. Don’t try to do it all. Hire the help and follow reasonable advise. Your main job is to get well. Pick a course, get some good advise, choose what to do and then do it.
Keep in mind that killing cancer cells is only part of the problem. Once dead, you still have to flush them out of your body. This is also part of the recovery from cancer.
It takes anywhere from 2 to 3 years before cancer is first detectable by CT scans (about the size of the head of a pin). It can grow sometimes for up to 10 years before being discovered. Although there are instances where cancer can disappear in a matter of days or weeks, be prepared for a long fight. It could easily take as long for it to go away as it took to grow, if you are looking for an alternative treatment method that is non-evasive to the body. You may also find that the tumor(s) never goes completely away. Again this falls under the concept of containment. That may be sufficient for you. Many times prostate cancer falls into this category, but not always. Just don't expect too radical a change too quickly.
Many forms of treatment can temporarily increase the number of cancer markers or sometimes even make the tumor appear larger for a time. Cantron, for instance, attacks a tumor from the inside out and can actually make it appear larger than it is for months. The question is whether or not you are willing to stay the course for the treatment based upon what your body tells you. These are all things that must be considered as part of your wellness program. This is why it is so very important to have professional medical help available that is familiar with the treatments you are undertaking. You will need guidance and support, not just guesswork and supposition. I cannot stress this often enough. I am not a medical practitioner and what I have chosen to do in my case was chosen with care and designed to work against what I have. It well could not be the best thing in your instance and I am not qualified to render that type of opinion for someone else. Please seek proper guidance from a professional.
From a medical standpoint, let’s address some “why me” probabilities. Again, this is only an overview. If you are really interested and want a very in-depth discussion of this topic, there is an excellent book entitled Natural Strategies for Cancer Patients, by Russell L. Blaylock, M.D.
Everyone out there can come up with extremes to the rules. Examples would be the man who drinks heavily and smokes 4 packs a day and still lives into his 90’s with no evidence of cancer or any other form of major disease. The other extreme is the person who does everything “right” from diet to exercise, never smokes or drinks, and still develops cancer and dies before the age of 40. Both of these examples are truly the extremes of nature. The rest of us fall well inside these two points.
Part of the issue here is how well we are able to protect the DNA inside our cells. The protection of our DNA is so vital to our well being, that we naturally have a number of automatic protection sequences already in place because of our immune system. In addition, what we eat does tend to supply the necessary raw building blocks to rejuvenate our defense mechanisms. High on the list are things called antioxidant proteins and enzymes. Antioxidants play a major roll in removing what are known as free radicals from our system. Free radicals cause much cellular level damage and things such as vitamins C and E are well known for their ability to attack free radicals inside our bodies. Yet there are many, many other compounds that also do that and are equally if not more important than vitamins C and E. I want to chase another rabbit for just a moment. Taking heavy doses of only one vitamin or mineral such as C or E can be devastating to your physical condition. All nutrients, minerals, and elements work together in a synergistic form. Many times other vitamins or minerals act as not only a compliment to what the one heavily dosed vitamin is doing, but actually act as a buffer so that it does not “overdo” and damage cells instead of help them. Now back to antioxidants...
Lets look at just one example of these antioxidants, an amino acid named L-cysteine. This is important to you as it becomes gluthamione in your body. People with cancer almost always have low levels of gluthamione present. Gluthamione is made by your body from L-cysteine. When derived from a food source L-cysteine is not only safe, but highly desired by our bodies. Yet, as a supplement it can cause serious problems as a toxin to brain cells. Why? Nobody has yet come up with an answer. Instead, N-acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC) is a pre-cursor form of the same amino acid that your body can readily convert naturally to L-cysteine which is in turn converted to gluthamione. Therefore, NAC is a much, much safer supplement to take to bring your natural level of gluthamione up to cancer fighting levels.
Unlike antioxidant nutrients, our antioxidant enzymes are primarily inherited. If we are born with a limited capacity to produce these essential enzymes, we are then automatically put at greater risk for contracting cancer. There are no effective tests to determine your body’s ability to produce these substances. Now, looking at 2 people who do exactly the same things as to what they eat, drink, and smoke, the one with a lower level of antioxidant enzymes and ultimately lower levels of gluthamione present in his body will contract cancer much faster than the other. Its not fair, but that is life.
Other factors can enter into the level of antioxidant protection we have. Stress here is a large factor. This is not only from a mental state, but physical stress from things like surgery, injury, even sickness such as colds, flu, measles, or HIV.
Another problem that can lead to cancer is how well our bodies are able to repair damaged DNA. Even if you are capable of 98% repair, the cumulative effect of 2% + 2%++++ eventually leads to cell structures that are so far damaged that cancer can easily occur. Fortunately, normal cells die off on a regular basis and the damaged DNA dies with them. As we get older, however, the repair capability our bodies have for fixing up the damaged DNA is no where near as good as in our earlier years and the percentage of un-repaired damage to the DNA structures inside of individual cells becomes greater and greater between die-off cycles. Eventually, the damage is severe enough that cancer can get a foothold. MD Anderson Cancer Center researchers did a lengthy study a few years ago looking specifically at the problem of damaged DNA repair capability. They found that cancer patients typically have on 3-15% of the capability to repair damaged DNA as does a normal, healthy person. It was also found that anyone with less than 30% capability for DNA repair stood a 200% greater risk of getting cancer than those with normal cells. The good news with this study was that by adding antioxidants to the diet including select fruits was able to significantly reduce the growth of the tumors and in some cases, even reverse the trend with no other action being taken.
Yet another area of concern is that of chronic inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus also greatly increase the afflicted person’s potential for getting cancer (weakened immune system).
As mentioned elsewhere, exposure to toxic chemicals (environment) can play a great roll in your developing a cancer. Although I will probably never know for sure, the odds-on favorite reason for my carcinoma was long term exposure to carcinogenic materials. The problem here can be that although many chemicals can be carcinogenic in and of themselves, they rarely have an effect on anyone unless combined with another chemical. The resulting synergy between the two items becomes sometimes 500 to 1000 times greater in effect than exposure to either of the chemicals by themselves. Almost all of the testing done by the FDA concerning carcinogenic materials is on the individual components and not when they are combined with other compounds that enhance the carcinogenic factors.
Some carcinogens have the ability to build up toxic levels in the body over a great period of time. Heavy metals such as arsenic, mercury, and cobalt to name three are able to do such. Even more of a problem are some chemicals that can remain in the body for a lifetime. Fat solubles such as found in many pesticides can do just that. I will cite only one example: DDT (dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane) has been found in numerous breast tissues at levels 700 times greater than blood levels. It is an accumulative dosage taking many years to develop to that level. Ultimately this carcinogen damages the cell structure enough to bring on breast cancer.
If you want something to ponder about the non-safety of artificial sweeteners, consider this tidbit. During the manufacturing process of Aspartame, formaldehyde is one of the break-down components found. Formaldehyde attaches to DNA nucleotides inside individual body cells and can result in destruction of DNA strands. This is also one of those products that accumulates in the body. What this is leading to is that drinking even one soft drink of any kind sweetened with aspartame can bring about DNA damage and eventually lead to cancer cell development, especially in brain cells. This explains why there was a high incidence of tumors during the original testing of aspartame. (For complete information on this issue, read The Bressler Report, Bureau of Foods, Nov. 8, 1971)
Adrenal glands, which are also called suprarenal glands, are small, triangular glands located on top of both kidneys. An adrenal gland is made of two parts: the outer region is called the adrenal cortex and the inner region is called the adrenal medulla. Both parts of the adrenal glands -- the adrenal cortex and the adrenal medulla -- perform very separate functions.
They are extremely important everyone including cancer victims because they help regulate digestive processes as well as helping to regulate blood pressure, circulation, and coping with both physical and emotional stress which with cancer is a major problem.
Function of the adrenal glands:
The adrenal glands work with the hypothalamus and pituitary gland in the following manner:
First, the hypothalamus produces corticotropin-releasing hormones, which stimulate the pituitary gland. Then the pituitary gland, in turn, produces corticotropin hormones, which stimulate the adrenal glands to produce corticosteroid hormones.
What is the adrenal cortex?
The adrenal cortex, the outer portion of the adrenal gland, secretes hormones that have an effect on the body's metabolism, on chemicals in the blood, and on certain body characteristics. The adrenal cortex secretes corticosteroids and other hormones directly into the bloodstream. The hormones produced by the adrenal cortex include:
The kidney is really a multifunctional organ, controlling not only the conservation of fluid and the removal of body wastes, , but also the regulation of bone and calcium including vitamin D metabolism, bone marrow (red blood cell) activity, and electrolyte concentrations.
Think about the kidney as a container holding thousands of individual filtering units (each called a "nephron") with tiny pores. Blood passes through the kidney, and in the process is routed through each of these filters; toxins and other wastes are removed, most of the fluid (about 95%) is reabsorbed back to the bloodstream (water is conserved), electrolyte concentrations (primarily sodium, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, chloride) are delicately adjusted, and urine is produced. This urine is stored in the urinary bladder until it is voided.
The kidney is responsible for providing precursor for the synthesis of Vitamin D3; Vitamin D3 is necessary for the absorption of calcium from the gastrointestinal tract. In addition, the regulation of concentrations of calcium and phosphorus is also determined by the action of parathyroid hormone, produced, by the parathyroid glands, in large part due to the kidneys' response to excess circulating phosphorus. This hormone is responsible for adjusting serum calcium and phosphorus levels, primarily by activating removal of calcium from bone and promoting phosphorus excretion in the urine.
The production of red blood cells by the bone marrow is stimulated by the presence of a erythropoietin, which is produced by the kidney when red blood cell are in short supply and/or the delivery of oxygen to the tissues throughout the body is inadequate.
When blood pressure is low, there is a consequent decrease in filtered urine The kidney, detecting this, then triggers a cascade of biochemical events which result in sodium and fluid retention, an average decrease in the diameter of blood vessels (though with an unchanged blood volume), an increased heart rate and force of heart muscle contraction, together, increasing the blood pressure (force) throughout the circulatory system. Under normal circumstances, this process insures adequate blood pressure such that all important organs and tissues receive appropriate oxygen and nutrition, and the kidneys are able to process waste.
You can view your liver as a factory which produces many substances and maintains the balance in the body of many nutrients (homeostasis). Our body makes many waste products such as bilirubin, (the degradation product of the red dye in our blood) which can be excreted only by the liver The liver plays a central role in the detoxification of drugs. Drugs are being taken up by the liver, degraded and excreted. The liver is placed strategically between the gut and the rest of our body; thereby it acts as a filter and prevents the passage of bacteria from the gut into the blood. Thus, the liver is also an important player in our defense mechanisms. Some of the important functions are:
The human pancreas is an amazing organ with two main functions:  to produce pancreatic endocrine hormones (e.g., insulin & glucagon) which help regulate many aspects of our metabolism and , to produce pancreatic digestive enzymes.The hormone function is referred to as the Endocrine Pancreas. Pancreatic production of insulin, somatostatin, gastrin, and glucagon plays an important role in maintaining sugar and salt balance in our bodies and therefore any problem in the production or regulation of these hormones will manifest itself with problems with blood sugar and fluid/salt imbalances.
The digestive portion of the pancreas makes up more than 90 percent of its total cell mass.The digestive (or exocrine) pancreas is responsible for making digestive enzymes which are secreted into the intestines to help digest (break down) the food we eat.These enzymes digest proteins, fats, and carbohydrates into much smaller molecules so our intestines can absorb them. The actual size of the pancreas is similar to a banana which has been stepped on...it has a slight curve to it, and its about the same length, width, and thickness.is a "tube" running through the middle of the pancreas called the pancreatic duct.It drains all the digestive enzymes from the pancreatic cells where they are made, into the duodenum where they mix with food as it comes out of the stomach.
Approximately 5 percent of the total pancreatic mass is comprised of endocrine cells.They are clustered in groups throughout the pancreas which look like little islands of cells when examined under a microscope.This appearance led to these groups of pancreatic endocrine cells being called "Pancreatic Islets".These islets are surrounded by tiny blood vessels to carry the secreted hormones to all parts of the body.
The five main hormones secreted by the pancreas are Insulin, Glucagon, Somatostatin, Gastrin,
and Vasoactive Intestinal Peptide (VIP). They have the following characteristics:
Insulin whose purpose is regulate blood glucose (sugar) in the normal range . Insulin forces cells of the body to absorb and use glucose thereby decreasing blood sugar levels. Insulin is secreted in response to elevated levels blood glucose. Insulin secretion is inhibited by low blood glucose levels (not enough available in the bloodstream) The disease due to the pancreas not secreting enough insulin is called Diabetes. The other extreme disease caused by excess secretions is known as Hypoglycemia.
Glucagon’s purpose is to assist insulin in regulating blood glucose (sugar) in the normal range . It is the opposite or balancing action to Insulin. It forces body cells to release (or produce) glucose thereby increasing blood sugar if individual cells have too much glucose available. Glucagon is secreted in response to low blood glucose. It’s secretion is inhibited by high blood glucose. Insufficient levels of glucagons are known as hypoglycemia. Excess manufacture of Glucagon will bring on Hyperglycemia.
Somatostatin’s purpose is to regulate the production and excretion of other endocrine hormones. It slows down the production of insulin, glucagon, gastrin, and VIP. It is secreted in response to high levels of other endocrine hormones. It is inhibited by low levels of other endocrine hormones.
When too much Samotostatin is present, several bad things happen; Diabetes (inhibits insulin production), gallstones, and dietary fat intolerance.
Gastrin’s purpose is to assist in digestion within the stomach. It accomplishes this by inducing acid producing cells of the stomach to produce HCL. It is secreted whenever there is food in the stomach and/or intestines. It does not trigger acid production when food is not present. When Gastrin is too active, stomach ulcers due to excess stomach acid will occur.
Vasoactive Intestinal Peptide (VIP) helps to control water secretion and absorption from the intestines. It inhibits the absorption of water and salt into body cells. When VIP is produced to excess, severe watery diarrhea and salt (potassium) imbalances occur.
I used to quip about the normal body pain I have put up with for years because I have had so many things broken, dislocated, burned, and in general destroyed, that I live with pain every single day. I would just tune it out and say, “Pain is my friend, it lets me know that I am alive.” Not any more...
Why do I (you) have pain associated with cancer? Your tumor(s) could be pressing on other organs, bones, nerves, muscle groups or any combination of all of the above. If you are having chemo or radiation treatments, these are widely known to cause all kinds of pain. Surgery and its recovery process can be sources of intense pain; sometimes that never completely goes away. All these effects of cancer can exacerbate normal pain such as from arthritis , headaches, sprains and strains, etc…
If you are taking pain medications, here are a few things to consider:
There are numerous ways to control pain without drugs and you may prefer these types of alternatives if at all possible. It is highly recommended you get your doctor to refer you to a therapist to help with many of these techniques. Some such reading or the application of hot and cold packs are done to take your mind off the situation. More complex procedures such as massage therapy can be learned, but will require help to learn correctly. The use of a chiropractor for adjustment or manipulation can also be of great benefit. I believe acupuncturists can be very helpful. This is a technique that can produce excellent results and is rooted in literally thousands of years worth of oriental culture and history.
I personally use a Rife type machine as produced by Resonant Light Technologies. Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) units provide stimulation to the nervous system that interrupt the pain sensation. There are a number of different TENS units manufactured by dozens of companies, but RLT’s Rife/Bare unit is my equipment of choice and I would strongly encourage you to look at it, if you are considering this type of drug free pain control. There are a number of other benefits to its use, although its primary sale purpose is as a TENS unit.
Doctors invariably want to know what kind of pain you are having and where it is located in or on your body. It will become very important to be able to identify these particulars.
Where is the pain centered? Is the pain severe enough to wake you up from a sound sleep? Is there a time when it is better/worse or does it just randomly come and go? Is there anything that triggers the pain such as eating, sitting, lying on your side, lying on your back, walking, sneezing or coughing, etc..?
Whatever way you learn to control pain is another one of those choices only you can make. But it is a very necessary part of maintaining a good quality of life. Pain can easily lead to depression, exhaustion, and general malaise that can destroy your quality of life. Learn to live with pain by learning the best way for you to control it.
Before I launch into this section, I will note that my discourse is extremely short on this very critical issue. There are a number of sources for a much more in depth understand and I would strongly encourage you to read up. This is really what helps determine the what's and why's of your eating and dietary patterns. It also effects the overall condition that allows cancer to grow and spread within your body. See our reference materials and related links for places to begin. There is much on the web about this also and it is a key factor that is well worth understanding.
What is pH? go back to your high school science days and you might remember the term as being “Potential Hydrogen”. This is a rating scale that displays the acidity or alkalinity of any organism, ranging from 1 to 14. Neutral (neither acid nor alkaline) is a rating of 7. So what?
Whether or not you know it, your entire body is dictated to by either an acid or alkali body chemistry balance. pH levels control how fast or slow all biochemical reactions occur within your body. If your body is to acid, chemical reactions occur to quickly and you will tend to suffer from pre-mature exhaustion. If the pH level is too alkaline in your body, it cannot properly get rid of toxic waste generated by all your cells all over your body. This in turn leads to lethargy and a slowdown or malfunction of such important areas as your lymphatic system.
God made your body a very, very complex chemical system. Overall, the body runs naturally in an alkaline state. First lets look at your stomach and your colon. Your stomach is where your food digests and it is primarily a highly acidic condition with a pH of approximately 3.0. Your colon is slightly to the acid side at 6.8 to 7.0.
The inside of each cell in your body is also acidic. The cell wall is alkaline. Then outside of the cell walls, the body system including fluids and blood higher alkaline, but in a very tightly controlled range. The reason for these acid/alkali divisions is that your body actually runs on a very slight electrical current system. How much electricity is made is controlled by the amount of minerals present in your body and how fast it flows is controlled by the pH level. This electrical system is what transfers nutrients (food) into cells and toxic waste out of the cells for disposal. If you disrupt the electrical balance by having a body system too far out of balance one way or the other, cells are not properly fed and cleaned and things begin to go radically wrong. Cancer is a prime example of what can happen when the body system becomes overall to acid.
The body is fed by a substance known as glucose, a form of simple sugar that your body stores in the liver. Glucose feeds every single cell from your toes to your brain. This is all controlled by a hormone known as Insulin. Insulin functions best and feeds cells best in an alkaline state. If your body is acidic in nature, cells are not being nourished properly. They are also not receiving the proper oxygen levels if your blood does not maintain a minimum pH of 7.4. Otto Warburg won a Nobel Prize in medicine showing that cancer flourishes in an atmosphere without oxygen (anaerobic). Here, in one fell swoop, everything needed to maintain a healthy body is disrupted simply by having a body too acid in nature.
There are literally thousands of enzymatic reactions that occur continuously in your body. There are 3 main categories of enzymes, one of which is in the raw foods you eat. Food enzymes are present in the raw foods we put in our mouths. These actually start the digestion process. The digestive enzymes, triggered by the enzymes in raw foods, control how we break down foods into compounds we can utilize. Metabolic enzymes are separate form the actual digestive process, but do control all our body organs and tissues. The pancreas decides whether the enzymes it is producing will break down food or be used for controlling body function. It is a very, very complex system. The more acidic the body is (not proper pH balance), the greater the disproportionate use of enzymes to control the body over feeding the body. In the long run, everything suffers. Every single thing that our body uses, including minerals and vitamins, requires some form of enzyme action and every enzyme action works within a specific pH range. The minute things get out of balance, our bodies must either work very hard to produce extra enzymes or go unnourished. Neither case is good for us.
As we take nutrients into our bodies, they are metabolized. Proteins become nitric, phosphoric, sulfuric, and uric acids. Starches become carbonic, pyruvic, and succinic acids. Fats become fatty and ketonic acids. Note here that all acids are not created equal. The acidity of Heinz distilled vinegar used in cooking is incomparable to an equal concentration of hydrofluoric acid that is capable of eating through nearly any substance found on earth. How fast hydrogen ions discharge from an acidic substance determines just how weak or strong it is.
What is needed to balance out all this acid? Fruits and vegetables begin the process, followed by metabolic processes (controlled by enzymes) that neutralize and eliminate acidic conditions.
Keep in mind that the causes of acid in the body are natural occurrences. Where the problems come is the abuse or overindulgence in things that cause acid buildup. As much literature as there is out there about being strictly vegetarian and doing away with all red meats, etc..., most of the time, it appears that we overlook the simple fact that God made everything on this earth available to us to eat. Acts 10:9-15 "...Peter went up upon the housetop to pray about the sixth hour (noon): And he became very hungry, and would have eaten, but while they made ready he had a vision. And he saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending unto him, as it had been a great sheet knit at the four corners, and down to the earth: Wherein were all manner of four footed beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air. And there came a voice to him, Rise Peter; kill, and eat. But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean. And the voice spake unto him again and the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common (unclean or not edible)." Abuse is what brings the trouble, as is the case with anything done to excess.
Now if you choose to be vegetarian, that is fine; but in and of itself, it is not a position based upon any Biblical teaching and should not be cloaked in religious fervor and righteous indignation. My own style of eating has shifted very dramatically toward primarily vegetarian eating, but I find no reason to give up that which in great moderation is neither harmful nor contrary to my philosophical beliefs. There are many days in which I consume only fruits and vegetables, but not all days.
Three things inside your body work to balance the pH levels of your blood. You have an onboard buffering system that neutralizes the waste materials coming out of your body cells. This action takes place in seconds.
Next you have your lungs which neutralize carbonic acid as we breath. This takes place in minutes.
Finally you have the kidneys cleaning up what the blood buffers and lungs don't get done. All three must be working in unison to keep the blood at a perfect pH of 7.4. Getting your body out of pH balance makes this job very, very difficult. The ultimate result is one form or another of disease including cancer.
The application of the summary of all knowledge you have just had an overview of leads to only one point. Learn all you can about the metabolic balance of your body and understand that the pH balance is major player in what you do. Alkaline intake (lots of fruits and vegetables) to help keep your blood doing its job and you alive is the first step.
How about stress? Can it also be a contributory factor in pH balance? Without a doubt. When under stress, the adrenal glands produce two hormones; epinephrine and norephinephrine. At the same time the pituitary gland produces a hormone called aldostrone that stinulates the kidneys to excrete additional hydrogen ions.
The body has just kicked into hyper drive (a high gear catabolic state) by breaking down more tissues (reserve energy) and thereby creating more acid in your system. Now your body must work harder to balance the pH levels. If the stress is unrelenting and continues for any significant time frame, you have shifted your body from operating in an alkaline state to an acid state and open yourself up for attack by diseases of all kinds, including cancer. Stress will also maintain or increase the disease levels already present in a body by keeping your system in an acid state.
In general, it is necessary to keep saliva and urine (input and output) pH levels working within acceptable ranges. If you are typically in the acid range on both urine and saliva testing, your body is not being nourished properly and/or is under attack by some disease.
It will be necessary to learn to test yourself for pH levels of both saliva and urine in order to determine if your body is ingesting, digesting, and disposing of foodstuffs properly. This will require the purchase of either some pH test strips or preferably from a cost standpoint, a roll of pH test paper. Most health food stores should have a supply on hand.
Testing is simple. For saliva, put a small drop of saliva (spit) on a spoon and stick the end of a piece of test paper in it. Check the color of the paper against the test chart supplied with your test materials. For urine, after you begin voiding, hold the end of a piece of test strip in the stream. Check the color against the test chart that comes with your test materials.
When you begin to salivate at the start of the eating process, your pH level in your mouth should go to the 7.2 to 7.4 range. This is the optimum performance range for the enzyme ptyalin or amylase. If your body has run for some time in the acid state, it is quite possible that your pH level of your saliva may never make it to 7, even when eating the single most alkaline of all foods, watermelon.
Aside from when you are eating, your testing should not vary more than half a point at any given part of the day. The overall acceptable range for saliva pH is between 6.4 and 7.4.
Urine, on the other hand, has a greater cyclic range than saliva. Urine tends to reflect how the last meal was processed through your body. In an unhealthy state, it can even reflect as far back as yesterday.
The overall view of urine and its pH level is different than saliva. Saliva measures the immediacy of what you are doing. Urine measures not only what happens during the digestive process, but also what is going on in your blood to keep your body healthy. In a normal, healthy situation, your urine will pretty much stay within a range of 5.5 to 7.0 with an average of 6.4. If you see continual readings at 5.5 or lower, you are passing acids out of the body in an overload condition that your kidneys , lungs, and blood just could not compensate for. Think of a low pH (under 5.5) as having your body work like a storm drain runoff after a downpour. Rather than sending the water out for processing, it just gets dumped. That is harmful to the rest of your urinary tract as well as the rest of your body. This is a sign that you need to consider changing your input (diet) so as to raise the alkalinity going through your body. Don't overstress your body parts. They are already fighting a battle for your life. Work for them, not against them by controlling what you eat.
The best thing for now is to give you a simple breakdown of pattern ranges for pH in both saliva and urine during the course of a day. Overall, your system should stay in a fairly narrow working range. Radical swings are problematic just as being consistently too high (above 7.5) or too low (below 5.5), you need to do some very in-depth research and consultation with your health care practitioner as quickly as possible.
Lets take a look at what both the saliva and urine pH levels should be at different times of the day.
We will go into much greater detail on pH balancing, testing, and levels in our upcoming book, A Study Guide to Surviving Cancer.
I have never been one to sit idle. I cannot count the weeks, months, and even years when 70 to 100 hour workweeks were the norm. I typically would go to bed between 11 PM and midnight and arise somewhere between 3:30 and 4:30 in the morning. Drove my wife nuts. Over the last few years, I maintained the pace, but with ever-increasing difficulty. Not being one to admit that old age might be creeping up, I never thought much about the chronic fatigue I was experiencing. I was tired today for no good reason that I could ascertain, but tomorrow would be different. Everything suffered, but work came first which means that anything to do around home or with family was even more neglected and pushed by the wayside. Work seemed to be the only passage of time when I could be counted on to usually have both eyes open and trying to seem cognizant of my surroundings.
Looking back over the last 2 years, I can see a pattern of days where I honestly do not know how I ever made it through for tiredness. Then I would have a day or 2 of “the old me” and once again revert to exhaustion. Actually that doesn’t cover the overwhelming, unpredictability of near collapse that could occur at a moment’s notice. I would push like crazy, sometimes working 24 to 36 hours straight (just like the old me) and then be so weary, it would take a week or more to even begin to recover. The further along I got, the worse it got. The last 6 months I was working, I had a hard time even focusing on the tasks at hand on any given day, let alone push for more than 8 or 10 hours in a row. I physically could not do it. I could not comprehend the problem. Frankly, I was to the point of not being able to comprehend anything. I was becoming an automaton. I would go through the routines, but more like an afterthought than a plan. What I perceived to be 100% effort didn’t make 50% of what was expected of me, let alone of myself. Frustrating is an understatement.
Since the cancer diagnosis, I have changed my life dramatically. With that change came “rest.” It took several weeks to be able to just function as a normal human being after taking a medical leave from work. It has taken more than a month just to be able to stay awake for 8 hours at a stretch without mentally driving myself to the edge. But that is not enough to stay healthy.
Conventional wisdom says if you are tired, you need to rest; and to a point that is correct. However, too much rest also creates its own set of difficulties. You can easily experience the problems of muscle loss (atrophy), reduced heart and lung function, a decrease in bone density, anxiety, depression, lowered self esteem, and reduced mental capacity. Sometimes it seems you just can’t win for loosing.
I am fortunate because I retain a fair amount of physical strength. I feel weak compared to what I know I could do a couple of years back, but by in large, I am in relatively good shape compared to many cancer victims with advanced stage disease. I cannot speak first hand to the problems of those who have undergone surgery, radiation or chemotherapy. I can only surmise how difficult it is to maintain any form of normalcy in their lives, and my heart goes out to them. I have talked to a number of people who have experienced these different treatments for their cancers, and everything I have endured, they too have suffered but with an even greater sense of debilitation, sometimes on several orders of magnitude.
As you learn to listen to your body’s signals, you become aware of how you mentally and physically feel. Remember from earlier discussions, your mental state plays a great part in your physical well being. The stress of knowing you have cancer and coping with the daily grind can make the physical side your life almost unendurable. You will find that even light to moderate exercise goes a long way with reducing emotional distress. Positive thoughts and positive physical activity will go a long way toward your ability to survive. Exercise alone will not cure cancer, but it will help you mentally and physically.
I will throw a note in here about what most doctor’s I have come in contact with have said about exercise. Understand this is my personal experience surrounding my cancer. All 5 doctors I have worked with thus far view exercise as an all right thing to do, but without my prompting and prodding and pursuing the issue, it never would have been mentioned. Even when I brought it up, there was absolutely no direction as to what kinds of exercise to undertake, how much, how long, or any other qualifier you can think of. “Want to exercise? OK, do what you want.” I was not looking for a blessing, I was looking for direction, guidance.
The next problem to consider is how to set limits. I am a workaholic of the first order. Everything I do is done almost to the point of obsession. Exercise is good for you, but pushing way beyond your capabilities can do more harm than good. I speak from experience on this matter. It becomes a survival tactic, the art of learning to say no. This is especially true if you are a very private person and do not want anyone to know you have cancer. You must learn to set the limits and establish realistic goals that you can achieve. You need to learn to ask for help when needed, not just bull your way through. You need to work on building yourself up to the point that you can function in a rather normal pattern, doing normal things without great fatigue. An exercise program will help to establish a routine for you to do that. Build your body up. You have lost a lot of ground to the ravages (mental and physical) of cancer and it will take time to come back.
When to say no…If you are not feeling “right” which is something only you can decide, consider taking a day or even 2 away from your exercise routine. However, if more than 2 days pass, it is time to evaluate what is going on. Are you developing another health issue that must be dealt with? Are you just lapsing into a period of inactivity? Consider carefully why you are not working out.
Let me throw out some things that seem to fit as general guidelines of when not to do whatever you do for exercise.
In the same vein, here are a couple of things to think about when everything is functioning a little closer to normalcy.
What kind of exercise is right for me? Do I want a resistance exercise program or do I want to do aerobics? At this point, I would say that the choice is yours. I have yet to read where one type is better than another. Anna Schwartz says the same thing in her book on exercise for cancer victims, (CANCER FITNESS) that there is no definitive study done saying which is better. My personal opinion is the program that is right for you is the one you will continue to do. A couple of thoughts here about the two types of exercise. Resistance training will more quickly shape your body, if you are looking for a physical appearance alteration and/or weight loss. Aerobics help the cardiovascular system and are less physically intense as far as strength, but more demanding from a stamina standpoint. I personally prefer resistance training, but do some aerobics as well.
Another factor here is cost. Aerobics are substantially easier on the pocketbook. A couple of Richard Simmons “Sweatin’ to the Oldies” tapes (or whoever your favorite personality is), a vcr plugged into your TV and you are good to go. Good physical exercise equipment is not cheap and frankly the cheap stuff is not good. I’ve tried both and have been sorely disappointed when I have skimped on the bucks to do it right.
A word here about exercise equipment. On the 8th of November, I called Bowflex and ordered an Extreme II. Because of the initial doctor’s report, I was expecting surgery to remove one kidney and I wanted to focus on building up the muscles in my back, sides and abdomen. The people out at Bowflex were extremely helpful and rushed my order through because of medical considerations. I cannot thank them enough for the kindness shown. Since the 21st of November to this date, 21 January, 2005, I have lost 35 pounds and have strengthened the muscles I was aiming to work on. Now because of the further analysis of the doctors about my condition, I am for the foreseeable future not anticipating any surgical procedures but plan to continue the daily exercise routines because of the increased stamina, blood flow, and oxygenation that the exercise is giving me. Like anything you do in working on your cancer issue, if you do not do it all the time, there is little sense in doing it at all. You need to make a commitment to exercise and then follow through. For me, the Bowflex Extreme II has proved to be an excellent choice. The Bowflex is a quality piece of equipment and I could not be more satisfied with it than I am.
Final thoughts on exercise deal with the level of activity you are at. It is not realistic for me to hand out advice on the types or levels of intensity you should be involved with in your exercise program. You need to get with a physical therapist and have a program developed specifically for you. A person that is wheelchair bound or bedridden certainly is not in the same place on the exercise scale as one who is capable of walking a couple of miles a day or doing a 30 minute advanced aerobic workout tape. Regardless of what you choose to do, it is vital for your survival to become involved in some form of exercise regimen if you plan to stay alert and active and survive your bout with cancer.
NEWLY COMPLETED SCIENTIFIC STUDY EXPLAINS WHY EXERCISE IS SO ABSOLUTELY CRITICAL TO CANCER VICTIMS
Please take the time to read this thoroughly. Although this study was done for the purpose of investigating exercise on cardiovascular and type II diabetes sufferers, it shows a very key element that should be of major concern to cancer victims as well. One of the primary blood tests I most strongly recommend for everyone to have is called C-Reactive Protein. This is a basic test that shows the level of inflammation in your body. Cancer loves inflammation because the warmth is generated by increased blood flow from angiogenesis, the means to feed the tumor(s)/cancer. If you do not have inflammation present in your body, you do not have cancer growth. It is just that simple. Every single person, no exception, who has active cancer has inflammation raging in their body. I have seen numbers up to 20 times the normal levels. If the C-RP is knocked down to less than .8, cancer activity is on the way to being dormant. The lower you get the number, the better off you are. Mine currently rides at .2. I have had one other person tell me theirs is .1. Most people's end up in the .4 - .8 range as normal.
Exercise programs lowered C-RP by an average of 1.3 mg/L in those people with measured levels above 3.0 mf/L. Anything, repeat anything you can do to lower C-RP is a major player in helping to drive cancer away. As noted before, I cannot tell you what level of exercise you should be doing. Everyone has their own limitations and needs to develop a program around their physical capabilities. No matter how little you can do, doing something is better than doing nothing. Move your arms and stretch if you are wheelchair bound or bedridden. Do whatever it takes, but do something. It is your life you are fighting for. Be positive. Be active.
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) Nov 04 - Exercise training markedly lowers plasma C-reactive protein (CRP) levels in healthy sedentary adults with high levels of this inflammatory marker.
"The possible inflammation suppressing effect of exercise training may partly explain the effectiveness of regular physical activity in the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular and metabolic diseases," researchers from Finland and the US note in the October issue of the European Heart Journal.
Dr. Timo A. Lakka from the University of Kuopio and colleagues had 652 healthy white and black men and women who had not participated in regular physical activity over the prior 6 months take part in a 20-week standardized exercise-training program. They trained three times per week at a level of 75% of baseline VO2-max.
At baseline, 265 subjects had low CRP levels (< 1.0 mg/L); 225 had moderate CRP levels (1.0 to 3.0 mg/L); and 162 had high CRP levels (> 3.0 mg/L).
The principal finding in this study, the authors say, is that plasma CRP fell by about 1.3 mg/L (or 24%) in response to 20 weeks of regular exercise in individuals with high baseline CRP levels. The reduction in CRP was consistent across all population groups and varied between
1.2 and 2.2 mg/L.
"This observation is potentially important from a public health and clinical point of view," the authors note. Individuals with high CRP levels make up about one-fourth of the adult population and have a markedly increased risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, they explain.
"A CRP reduction of 1-2 mg/L can significantly decrease the risk of cardiovascular diseases and type 2 diabetes in individuals who have high CRP levels," Dr. Lakka and colleagues write.
In this study, CRP levels did not change in response to exercise in individuals with low or moderate baseline CRP levels.
In a related commentary, Dr. Joep Perk from Kalmar County Public Health Centre in Oskarshamn, Sweden suggests that for individuals at increased risk for cardiovascular disease, elevated CRP "may become a prognostic tool for cardiologists and general practitioners: it may identify those for whom exercise training will be effective."
NOTICE: Under no circumstance is there any claim of any kind being made or implied that what I have chosen to do for myself has any merit to anyone other than me. This website or any printed matter I generate as a result of this website is not to be intended or in any way considered a substitute for the services of a medical professional. I am not to be considered in any way responsible for any consequences incurred by those who choose to employ the remedies or treatments I have reported. I make no claim that cancer is curable, least of all by me. I make no claim as to being able to prevent, diagnose, treat or cure any disease or infirmity of any type. It is strongly recommended and encouraged that everyone visiting this sight devote time to researching all possible treatment options that make sense to them and that they avail themselves of the expertise of those who are experienced in the treatment and “cure” of cancer; and that they seek whatever additional help and support their conditions warrant.