Thursday, September 23, 2010

2.14 (a & b) What To Do & To Eat for Good Health and Against Disease?

Physician's Notebooks 2 - - See Homepage
2.14a: What Daily Behaviors Promote Healthy Longevity (Update 20 Dec. 2020) Scroll down for advice on foods with specific medical conditions)
In this subsection are daily habits, behaviors or routines I find promote long, healthy, happy life; a policy toward key behaviors. It adds to advice in other chapters. The subjects can be seen ahead in the descending column in alphabetic order.
Bowel Movements
Eating & Drinking
Vision Preservation into Old Age
Water and other fluid intake
Bowel Movements: The most important daily behavior advice is Do not push or strain to expel your stool.  Each excessive straining at stool brings you closer to needing inguinal hernia surgery and to getting and rupturing a cerebral or aortic aneurysm in older age. If stool can be passed with little or no strain, OK.  But whenever you detect you are starting to strain excessively, stop; and if you really need to pass the stool, lubricate your index finger (warm water and soap OK if you have no other) and insert it through anus fully into rectum and extract or assist the movement without undue strain. I have been doing this for years and no problem from it. 
 Eating & Drinking:  Prefer eating in - home or office - to eating-out - in restaurant. If you must eat out, prefer sit-down ordering. And eat slow. Try not to wait on lines. Eat only in clean place. Eat much green vegetable and colored fresh fruits. Prefer vegetable protein (mushroom, nuts but carefully for teeth) to animal. With meat, prefer chicken to red meat. Fish is problematic because of waters pollution but, if no heavy pollution, sea food is healthiest animal protein. If you want to eat the ends of chicken bones without risking broken teeth or aspiration down windpipe, do so for the calcium, but be careful; similarly the shells of seafood, like shrimp. Under-eat rather than over-eat; always favor smaller portion. Use your save-money motive in buying food.
Exercise: Do not do exercise that causes very rapid heart rate or heavy exertion or jolts the body - like jogging or weight lifting. Depending on age, one may engage in a favorite sport but no body contact sport. Avoid bicycling, skiing and roller/ice skating - too many serious accidents (e.g,. My son—-subdural hematoma from skating fall backwards hitting back of head). For good health do functional exercise. It means exercise where you accomplish a necessary chore or routine. Do it by substituting physical activity for mechanical equipment or vehicular or electric tool. For example, walk if it is convenient instead of taking a vehicle, use mechanical carpet sweeper instead of electric, use your own labor to clean house instead of a cleaning servant. All exercise should be isometric - you cover distance. With special health problem questions - like coronary heart disease - check with medical specialist. 
Sleep:  I do not set a number of hours or a time of day for sleep. From years of personal observation I find that, with timing, there are two modes: Short reposes, around an hour, which restore alertness and motivation after a period of work; or a longer sleep to relieve fatigue or to pass time in the least unhealthy way. Deep (drugged or uninterrupted), prolonged sleep is a danger. On the other hand, staying awake, when you are out of motivation or just bored, results in overeating or other bad behavior. The cell phone alarm is useful for preventing deep sleep because it can wake a sleeper on the hour. I do not advise a regular several-hour-asleep nightly schedule; of course, go to sleep when sleepiness forces you or when you have nothing else to do but eat or drink or other bad habit. I recognize that most readers are in a social mode that calls for several hours night sleep regardless of condition starting about 11 PM. For those who can break out of that mode I suggest you follow the advice and click 1.7 Secrets of REM Sleep - Dreams - Falling Asleep...
   On sleep position, Firm back support is best for the spine: the Japanese custom of sleeping on a floor futon or, if not, a western type firm bed mattress. Maximal muscle relaxation is got by lying on back with legs and arms extended loosely by the side, palms down. If you wish to change position go on a side comfortable as possible (Do not bend your back) and alternate left and right. 11behavior) Do not lie with skull flat against your support: the best is a single pillow - neither too soft or too hard - with your h#4ead nestled on the pillow in your the back curve of skull on neck so you are extending the neck a little.852@*: 
Vision Preservation into Old Age  Avoid bright sunlight and tanning parlors. Use visor cap routinely outside to protect from sunlight. Use UV blocking sunglasses during long exposures on very bright days. Take at least 2 grams vitamin C with meals for life as antioxidant against bad effects of UV sunlight and fluorescent lights. During childhood and youth, balance close-up vision (reading) with studied far-distance gazing to prevent myopia of too much reading by young person. Don't use corrective lenses for minor poor vision. Keep the surface of your eyes moist; this is most important just after you wake up from a long sleep which causes the eye surface to become excessively dry. Having a dropper of artificial tears is useful there. Use magnifying glass for careful closeup inspection. Have good light for reading, especially inside but not too bright. (Close-up desk lamp clouded bulb, 15 to 25 watts) Then also see next section (2.14b) And now in the computer age, keep in mind that you can markedly improve your reading vision by enlarging and emboldening the printing font.
Water and other fluid intake. Rely on pure water for your fluid intake. If from tap, use a charcoal filter system like Brita, or small-pieces activated charcoal as described in Section 2.4. Do not flavor the water. Drink a lot of water - at least a glass or two with each meal and at least an extra liter a day. A good time for a liter of water is morning at end of sleep time. Morning is the time of greatest body dehydration and highest incidence of internal blood clotting that leads to heart attack or brain stroke. Concerning tea or coffee as fluid and motivator, prefer tea. Use coffee at time when alertness or motivation is high priority. Do not take coffee just before going out for morning walk - sudden death in old people has occurred in that setting. Also do not routinely put sugar or cream or other calorie stuff in coffee or tea.  And limit your coffee time so it does not stop sleep. On other fluid intake: beverages and soups have too much salt. 
2.14b: Eating for Specific Medical Conditions
 (Contents in the descending column just below)
Bones - to prevent Fractures and Osteoporosis
Cancer Prevention
Diabetes Mellitus
Gastro-Intestinal tract
Heart & Blood Vessel (Stroke & Peripheral Circulation)
Kidney - To Avoid or Delay Dialysis
Surgery Imminent
Vision - Preserve into Old Age
Weight-Losing Illness (Cancer, G.I. Illness)
Bones - to prevent Fractures and Osteoporosis: Maintain BMI c.20, have good calcium intake and, after age 50 for women, after age 60 for men, check bone density at least once and be extra careful not to fall. Eat more food calcium and food vitamin D.
Cancer Prevention: Low-fat and high-vegetable fiber as above. BMI c.20. Fruit and vegetable! High vitamin C intake. No alcohol, no smoking. For patients being treated for cancer, ignore the low BMI advice and eat as much calories as one likes.(The reason is that the eating advice is for prevention and not for cure; it is long-term but once one has got a cancer, it has no effect in speeding cure and therefore there should be no reason to deny one's self the pleasure of certain types of food)
Diabetes Mellitus (DM): If BMI 25 or higher, get it down to 20 and follow your DM doctor's advice; prefer insulin with self blood testing for glucose to oral hypoglycemic medications. 
Gastro-Intestinal tract: High vegetable and fruit, low fat, and high water intake. A mango a day will soften stool's way and good effect on your blood K.
Heart & Blood Vessel (Stroke & Peripheral Circulation)
A lifetime aim is to get Body Mass Index (BMI) into low 20s by age 50 to 60. Do high yellow and green vegetables and fruit intake. Also low Na+ (sodium salt) according to principles already given. Avoid saturated fat, which is mostly animal. Take vitamin C, at least 2 grams with each meal for good all-around anti-oxidant.
Hypertension: Same as heart and blood vessels advice above, good Ca intake and low-Na. Keep high water intake. No stimulants. 
Kidney - To Avoid or Delay Dialysis: Lifetime low-Na and take care not to overuse NSAIDs. Emphasis is on high-quality, low-quantity protein intake within limit of a stable BMI below 25. If dialysis seems imminent, follow a low-K, alkaline food intake (fruits & vegetables). No alcohol with failing kidneys. No unneeded physical exercise; it stresses kidneys.

Liver – Acute (Hepatitis) or Chronic (Cirrhosis): Low-fat, low-protein intake but adequate Calories. Low-Na. No alcohol.
Pancreatitis history and cancer: No alcohol. 
Surgery Imminent: You could lose up to 10% body weight after the surgery, and if your BMI was high, “rejoss” over the loss. If you have BMI 20 or lower, the, pre-surgically gain up to 5 lbs, or 2 kg by high-quality, adequate quantity protein food eating. Be sure your vitamin and mineral intake is maximized within safe limits in the month before surgery. 
Vision (In addition to previous section) - Preserve into Old Age: Lifetime high water intake. For cataracts prevention, take at least 2 grams vitamin C and a daily Statin lower-cholesterol pill with meals, even with an already low total cholesterol (LDL-cholesterol most important) blood test, and keep BMI c.20 and avoid high blood sugar. Also avoid tetracycline antibiotics and chlorpromazine type tranquilizers/anti-psychotics w/o good psychiatric indication.
Weight-Losing Illness (Cancer, G.I. Illness): Do not worry about getting fat or high cholesterol. Eat what pleases you so long as it does no great harm, e.g. in heart failure, low salt, but cancer patient may eat so-called cancer-causing food like bacon and egg if he or she enjoys it as part of good life.
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