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August 17, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: A Look at Detox Diets

Everyone who talks to me about detox is motivated and sincere about making an improvement in his or her health.  Therefore, it’s important that they be shown respect and encouraged.  However, some of these same individuals exhibit a level of desperation that is counterproductive and leaves them subject to fads and scams that are doomed to long-term failure. The first question I ask is “Are you trying to improve your health or weight?” These are often separate considerations. Of course, I’m hoping they answer, “Both.”  Interestingly, that happens less often than you might think. Next, I’ll ask if they’re engaged in some basic, fundamental activity (click here), which is rarely the case. Once people discover the latest, greatest thing, they tend to lock in on it and just have to go for it.  So be it. So… today and tomorrow, I’m going to discuss two very common “quick-fix” approaches to detoxification. Let’s start with the “detox diet.”  For the purposes of this discussion, all detox diets are variations of the same theme. I hope this doesn’t disappoint you or come off as dismissive, but the point of the matter is that from a medical standpoint, these actions are reducible to a set of physiologic actions that either produce biological effects or don’t.  Giving a car a new coat of paint doesn’t make it an airplane.  Similarly, taking a quick detox diet doesn’t make you healthy if you return to the same conditions that produced your pathology in the first place.  Folks, it really should occur to you that given the rates of obesity and disease that exist, if these diets really worked, the pharmaceutical and medical communities would be all over them because of their potential for profit (and of course the potential for good…).  Here’s what detox diets do and don’t accomplish. The Premise: Going on a diet for a few weeks can clear your body of toxins, which will improve your health. The Short Term Effects: Proponents of detox diets often claim or note the following during the diet: Weight loss More energy Better mental focus The Long Term Effects: Proponents of detox diets often make the following claims about the benefits of the diets: Health promotion Prevention of new diseases Cure of chronic diseases What’s Really Happening: Have you ever heard that correlation is not causation?  If you engage in any activity involving backing away from fats, drinking more water, taking in less sugar and processed food, eliminating alcohol and caffeine, and taking in more fruits and vegetables, you’ll feel better!  In fact, I’m all for it.  Refer to this blog post where I give you details on how to naturally, healthily and sustainably do this. Now, here’s the question. Is your detox diet just a two to four-week “challenge,” or is it the launching pad for a set of lifestyle changes? The problem is that people use these diets with their better principles, but they usually don’t sustain them.  In fact, the diets themselves generally are not sustainable because they’re too restrictive. If you tried sustaining some of these diets, you’d end up hospitalized.  You’re much better off applying fundamental principles that will slowly and steadily improve your health and also help you lose weight. By the way, those long-term claims have been roundly and routinely debunked by the medical community, which has every incentive to want to discover new ways to treat disease. Precautions and Risks Before starting any diet, you need to discuss what you’re trying to accomplish with your physician. I’d venture a bet that most would not approve one of these diets, especially if you suffer from any chronic illness, especially diabetes, mental illness, moderate to severe (and poorly controlled) high blood pressure or cardiac disease. They also won’t approve it if you’re pregnant or at the extremes of age. Based on the components of these diets, you are introducing certain specific risks.  These include vomiting, diarrhea and dehydration, electrolyte loss and imbalance and disruption of the function of your digestive system. Let’s finish with two pointed questions and answers. 1.  Should I go on a detox diet?  I encourage almost any activity that motivates you to improve your health and has been shown to improve your health. If you want to naturally detox, apply these principals as the basis for a lifestyle change. As your body recovers, your natural detoxification system will take over and do just fine (assuming you are otherwise healthy). 2. I quick-flush my system with a diet every few months. Is this healthy?  It depends on what you’re doing as a “quick-flush” and even more so, what you’re doing in-between. Focus on enhancing your natural detoxification system. I can’t say that a one-time or intermittent initiative to kick things off would be a terrible thing — if you stay with the program. In the best case scenario, it’s like going to get a dental cleaning every six months. You’ll still have decaying teeth and disease if that’s the only thing you’re doing. On the other hand, if you’re brushing and flossing every day, then the six-month check up is quick (and in this case, maybe superfluous).  I’m much more concerned with you sustaining a healthy approach toward the desired goal. Next up, and the last in this series on detoxification will be a look at colonics.  Until then, bottoms up! Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic. Take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. As a thank you for being a valued subscriber to Straight, No Chaser, we’d like to offer you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share! Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.72hourslife.com. Receive introductory pricing with orders! Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook @ SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd. Copyright © 2018 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPres
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August 17, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Introduction to Club Drugs – Date Rape and Other Adverse Effects

A little knowledge goes a long way, particularly when it comes to the habits of teens and young adults. Those who partake in the club scene, parties, concerts or other social settings may find themselves participating in or otherwise subject to psychoactive drugs collectively known as Club Drugs. This Straight, No Chaser provides simple, general questions about these drugs as a group.   What types of drugs are commonly included as Club Drugs? Ecstacy (MDMA, aka Molly), GHB (gamma hydroxybutyrate), ketamine and rohypnol (roofies) are some of the more common drugs in this group.   How are these drugs abused? These drugs have been used for several purposes, including getting high, enhancing the clubbing experience and date rape. GHB also has muscle-building effects that make it attractive for use by bodybuilders. What’s dangerous about the use of club drugs? Several qualities about these drugs are dangerous when consumed in a typically used manner. Some of these drugs are colorless, odorless and tasteless, allowing them to be slipped into beverages (e.g. alcohol) without the person’s knowledge. They are psychoactive, meaning they affect the brain – often in unpredictable ways, but often as a sedative. These sedative effects make the user unable to operate heavy machinery, leading to danger if driving. This effect also makes resistance to physical and sexual assault lowered. All of these lead to your engaging in activities that aren’t safe or in your best interest, some of which may place you at risk for HIV/AIDS and other diseases. Many of these drugs have strong physical and mental addictive properties and can cause withdrawal symptoms. Continued use over time will introduce an entirely new set of health risks and problems into your life. Are there dangers related to overdosing? This is a special concern. Many don’t know that they’re taking the drugs and may consume additional substances, intended or not (e.g. alcohol) that interact with and enhance the effects of Club Drugs. These drugs can lead to seizures, high blood pressures, difficulty breathing, date rapes, comas, and death. What Treatment Options Exist? Relying on treatment is a dangerous proposition when it comes to Club Drugs. Many patients won’t even know what happened to them. There won’t be evidence that a drug was ingested. They may or may not come to the emergency room (ER) from a club setting. There are no detection tests for some of these drugs in the ER. Symptoms can rapidly escalate from mild to life-threatening. Emergency room personnel may be distracted from the presence of the drug by other considerations, such as treating the physical aspects of a rape or motor vehicle crash. Even if identified, few options exist for many of these drugs beyond treatment to support vital functions. Then what can I do? Protect yourself. Here are some simple tips to reduce your risk. Until you know the person you’re with, select less dangerous date settings. A loud and noisy club scene with a lot of attractive, intoxicated people is an ideal place for those looking to take advantage of someone. Select a location where you can be in full control of your mental and physical capacities. Provide others with information or where you are, who you’re with and updates on your activities. This could come in handy if the need arises. The tried and true recommendation regarding Club Drugs is to always be in control of your drink, from the time it’s delivered to the time you’re done. Going to the restroom or on the dance floor? Time it after you’re done with your drink or beverage. The idea of placing a napkin over your drink just isn’t a deterrent to someone who’s considering date rape. Look for additional information on individual drugs with www.sterlingmedicaladvice.com, and you can always reach out and ask questions at 844-SMA-TALK. Enjoy the party, but be careful out there. You can be safe, smart and fun at the same time. Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic. Take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. As a thank you for being a valued subscriber to Straight, No Chaser, we’d like to offer you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share! Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.72hourslife.com. Receive introductory pricing with orders! Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook @ SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd. Copyright © 2018 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPres
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August 17, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Hookahs and Health

I love the responses I get from you. Even the spam is entertaining. Most recently, when I posted this, the most common response was some variation of this theme: “What’s a hookah? Is it slang for what I think it is, and how would you smoke it?” Actually, your demonstration that you aren’t familiar with hookahs is reflective of the ever-present gaps parents have regarding what their teens are doing. Hookahs (aka hubble-bubble, narghile, shisha and goza) are water pipes that are used to smoke flavored tobacco. It’s a long-standing phenomena, going back centuries in India and ancient Persia. I bet you didn’t know that’s what Jabba the Hut was doing in the original Star Wars! It’s popularity is increasing among teens and young adults all around the world. In the US alone, 17% of boys and 15% of girls state they have used a hookah in the past year, according to surveys reviewed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Studies of college students show past-year usage ranging from 22% to 40%. Let’s answer some common questions about hookahs. Why is this necessary? Why would anyone do this? There are many reasons for this, including the peer bonding and socialization aspects. This is facilitated by group sharing of the hookah, which is typically passed from person to person. Hookah tobacco comes in many different flavors, such as apple, cappuccino, cherry, chocolate, coconut, licorice, mint and watermelon. Once the decision has been made to participate in the activity, it really isn’t that hard to find a flavor to your liking. Is hookah use safer than cigarette smoking? No. Hookah smoking is not a safe alternative to cigarettes. It has several of the same health risks as cigarette smoking. What are the adverse health effects from hookah smoking? The charcoal used to heat the tobacco can raise health risks by producing high levels of carbon monoxide, metals and cancer-causing chemicals. Even after it has passed through water, the smoke from a hookah has high levels of these toxic agents. Hookah tobacco and smoke contain several toxic agents known to cause lung, bladder and oral cancers. Tobacco juices from hookahs irritate the mouth and increase the risk of developing oral cancers. Are there other concerns about using hookahs? Hookah tobacco and smoke contain many toxic agents that can cause clogged arteries and heart disease. Infections may be passed to other smokers by sharing a hookah. Babies born to women who smoked water pipes every day while pregnant weigh less at birth (at least 3½ ounces less) than babies born to nonsmokers. Babies born to hookah smokers are also at increased risk for respiratory diseases. Here’s your bottom line. If you’re involved in hookah smoking, you’re smoking, and should consider yourself to have a similar risk profile as a cigarette or cigar smoker. Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic. Take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. As a thank you for being a valued subscriber to Straight, No Chaser, we’d like to offer you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share! Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.72hourslife.com. Receive introductory pricing with orders! Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook @ SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd. Copyright © 2018 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPres
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