From FAT to FIT again – Transformation Challenge

YES, I did it and I achieved my goal. In just 12 weeks of this weight loss challenge, (January 4th-March 29th  2015) I lost 10.3 kg (23 lbs) of unwanted weight and I trimmed my waist circumference with 14 centimeters (5.5 inches)

In fact those are my results week by week:

Date Section Weight Waist
January 4, 2015 Start Weight 92 kg       (202 lbs) 106 cm
January 11, 2015 Week 1 86 kg       (189 lbs) 98 cm
January 18, 2015 Week 2 85.3 kg     (188lbs) 97 cm
January 25, 2015 Week 3 85 kg         (187 lbs) 97 cm
February 1, 2015 Week 4 84 kg         (185 lbs) 96 cm
February 8, 2015 Week 5 83.5 kg     (184 lbs) 95 cm
February 15, 2015 Week 6 83.5 kg     (184 lbs) 95 cm
February 22, 2015 Week 7 83.5 kg   (184 lbs) 95 cm
March 1, 2015 Week 8 83.5 kg   (184 lbs) 95 cm
March 8, 2015 Week 9 83 kg       (182.5 lbs) 94 cm
March 15, 2015 Week 10 83 kg       (182.5 lbs) 94 cm
March 22, 2015 Week 11 82.4 kg   (181 lbs) 93 cm
March 29, 2015 Week 12 81.7 kg   (180 lbs) 92 cm

 

RESET March 29 2015

Why I decided to do this challenge?

On my previous blog from January 2015, entitled ‘From Fit to Fat – My Transformation Challenge’ http://www.mariofit.ca/fit-fat-transformation-challenge/  I wrote how stress, medication for pain and nervous tension, affected my life, my health and my physical fitness. And as a result of those stressors, my blood sugars elevated, my blood pressure rose to unhealthy readings of over 140/90, my weight gain move up from 84 kg to 92 kg in only few months, and my waist measurement increased to 106 centimeters (42 inches). This constellation of symptoms made me a candidate for developing a pre-diabetic state known as Metabolic Syndrome or Syndrome X.

Having personal experiences and knowing that Usana Health Sciences is a True Health Company with clinical studies in Reversing of Metabolic Syndrome and Obesity, I decided to restore my health and lose some unwanted pounds by participating into their Usana Reset Nation weight Loss Challenge and follow their protocol. See some clinical trials at the end of this blog.

And I have to admit that even with my knowledge in functional fitness and holistic nutrition, achieving this ambition and losing 10 kg, was not an easy task without exercising.

Yes, due to some re-occurring back pain and muscular stiffness (as a result of a car accident in 2009) I was not able to exercise during the first 8 weeks of my challenge, yet I was able to lose 7 kg of my weight just by changing my nutritional habits, as recommended in the USANA’s RESET™ Nation Challenge.

But when 4 weeks ago I also started to workout using a combination of moderate intensity weight training and functional bodyweight exercise program I personally designed for my recovery, I was able to achieve my goal and to lose an additional 3.3 kg.

RESET March 29 2015 -2

Why I set my goal to lose 10 kg?

And if someone might ask why my goal was to lose 10 kg and not six, eight or 15kg, I can surely affirm that before 2009, this was my ideal weight as a fitness professional and martial arts athlete. This was the weight that in the years 2005-2009, kept me extremely active, strong and in great physical condition despite my age of 47 (in 2009).

But what motivates me to participate into this challenge NOW was mostly a combination of many personal choices.

  1. First, I needed to restore my health which in the last year started to decline at a considerable speed and I wanted to win the big prize: The Usana Health Sciences all inclusive trip to Sanoviv Medical Institute (May 2nd-May 7th 2015)
  2. On the same time, I wanted to prove again and again that Usana Health Sciences is a True Health Company. In the past, as a Registered Holistic and Sport Nutrition Consultant in Canada, I was able to help many friends, athletes and other clients to improve their wellbeing using a combination of healthy nutrition, regular physical exercises and the use of Usana Health Sciences nutritional supplements.
  3. My next reason to win this challenge was to raise awareness to my fellow Romanian friends and compatriots, and to point out that Usana Health Sciences is indeed the True Health Company.

Once one of the top karate athletes in Romania (and than in Italy) I grew up as an eyewitness to the effects of malnutrition in many orphan children in Romania. And at that time I was unable to help at all. But in 2002, thanks to Children’s Hunger Fund (a Charitable Organization) and its long-time partner Usana Health Sciences, I have heard how they restore health to thousands of Romanian orphans for many years. This is why in 2012 I decided to ‘return the favor’ and to compete (at the age of 50) in the 2012 Karate BC Provincial Championships to raise funds for Usana True Health Foundation and Children Hunger Fund to be exclusively used for children in desperate need of food and medicine. For me as a USANA Associate, giving to Children’s Hunger Fund was more than a donation — it was a fight. And I would like to thank Usana and their True Health Foundation for recognizing me as one of their “Champion”. In fact in 2013, the management of Usana Health Sciences and True Health Foundation invited me in Salt Lake City to present to me the ‘Champion for Change Award’

4. And NOW the year of 2015, become my time to restore my health and bring back my well being. And thanks to Usana Reset Nation Challenge, I am on my way to get healthier and better physically, emotionally and financially.

And to conclude I would like to tell everyone:

YOUR HEALTH IS YOUR WEALTH

More information about Usana Clinical Studies on Reversal of Metabolic Syndrome:

My Prolotherapy Experience – part 3 – The Cervical Zone

– PROLOTHERAPY AGAIN?

IMG_5619Prolotherapy or better said Proliferation Therapy, works when  done properly by a professional specialist and particularly when using an ultra-sound ESAOTE device, the one that Dr. Hal Brown is using at the Integrative Naturopathic Medical Centre in Vancouver B.C.

I the last 3 years, I have had great results for my lower back, using prolotherapy, regenerative injections, but since the treatment was painful and expensive for my budget, I delayed my prolotherapy treatments for the neck, hoping that the injured tissue will heal in time.  It didn’t happen. In fact it gets worst.

MY INDIGNATION

Last year, I also was able (through my family doctor) and after eight months on the waiting list, to reach an appointment at the University of British Columbia – Allen McGavin Sport Medicine Centre for an even more powerful treatment known as Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy (PRPT). But I get “kicked out” as soon as I said that my injuries are the result of a car accident- rear end collision that occurred in 2009. Obviously they are ‘afraid’ of getting the Insurance Corporation of BC on their back, and to interfere with their ‘unconventional’ treatments. It is such a shame that treatments which might give good results, for a reason or other are not approved by the mainstream medicine.

MY FRUSTRATION

472722[1]It is been more than five years now, since I cope with this cervical discomfort. And in time the condition become worst and worst with headaches at the base of the scull, tension and muscles spasm to my entire back and decrease range of neck motions, particularly looking to the right. Pain killers, Massage Therapy, Acupuncture and Spinal Adjustments helped me to cope somehow with pain, but were just a temporary relief.

But the sad episode that happened on Saturday, December 29, 2014 made me rethink about my health and my choices. Just by attempting to put my socks into my feet, preparing to go to work, the re-occurring sharp pain happens simultaneous to my neck and lowers back. Six hours on the emergency room, didn’t help much, despite the fact that the nurse injected intravenous Fentanyl and Morphine-both powerful narcotic pain medicine.

Since then my pain for the lower back was dull and continuous for about 3 weeks, but my neck was stiff at all time, and as soon as I turned it to the right, I felt pain, relatively sharp in nature.

BACK TO ‘PROLO’

junkie-syringe-injection-needle[1]So, I decided Prolotherapy again. And after only two sessions of my lower back prolotherapy treatments, using a guided ultrasound device, Dr. Brown managed to inject the P2G proliferate solution (dextrose, glycerin, and phenol)  right on the spots where I felt my chronic pain. At the moment, I still have some lower back discomfort (more sessions are needed) but the dull pain vanished.

Based on this fact I decided to go also for my neck prolotherapy and I booked my appointment for Wednesday, February 11, 2015 (that was yesterday)

And my discussion with Dr. Brown was something like that:

– Dr. Brown: Mario it’s going to be painful…

– Me: (low voice) MHH! MHH! YEAH!

– Dr. Brown: More painful than prolotherapy for your lower back…

– Me: (lower voice) YES?

– But I am sure you will manage, and you will get better after.”

– Me: I HOPE SO.

cervical_dropped_head_anatomy02[1]And it was indeed painful, as Dr. Brown was using again the ultrasound device, driving the needle and injecting the P2G solution right to the roots of my neck and scapula ligaments and tendons.

As a result: I was neck stiff for entire day and on the evening I have had low grade fever.

But I woke up in the morning feeling better, with some manageable pain, probably from the inflammation, but not anymore sharp pain. And as I rotate my neck to the right, I have had an increased range of motion. Obviously it might take a week or more for the body to produce collagen and to reconstruct the connective tissue, and probably I will need to follow up with more treatments. But for now, I feel my pain improved and my range of motion increased, which is what I was looking for.

Now is about time to think again:  TRAINING for

Functional Fitness – Better Mood – Increased Performances – Better Health

Grapeseed Extract & Fish Oil can Kill Leukemia cancer cells

Great News! It appears that grape seeds extract and omega-3 from fish oil might have a positive activity in leukemia.

GrapeSeed[1]While previous studies on grape seed extracts has shown potent activity in a number of cancers, including skin, breast, colon, lung, stomach and prostate cancers, now researchers from the University of Kentucky discover that an extract from grape seeds influences leukemia cells (in laboratory studies) to commit cell suicide, or apoptosis in medical terms. The researchers found that within 24 hours, 76 percent of leukemia cells had died after being exposed to this grapeseed extract. The investigators, who report their findings in the January 1, 2009, issue of Clinical Cancer Research, found that the grape seeds extract activates a protein named JNK that led to the cancer cell’s self-destruction. Read all the research at the end of this article.

These results could have implications for the incorporation of agents such as grape seed extract into prevention or treatment of hematological malignancies and possibly other cancers

…said the study’s lead author, Xianglin Shi, Ph.D., professor in the Graduate Center for Toxicology at the University of Kentucky.

fish-oil[1]

Also a compound produced from EPA—Eicosapentaenoic Acid—an omega-3 fatty acid found in fish and in fish oil, appears to target and kill the leukemia stem cells, and according to research, it could lead to a cure for the disease. Read all the research at the end of this article.

Research in the past on fatty acids has shown the health benefits of fatty acids on cardiovascular system and brain development, particularly in infants, but we have shown that some metabolites of omega-3 have the ability to selectively kill the leukemia-causing stem cells in mice…The important thing is that the mice were completely cured of leukemia with no relapse

Additionally, fish oil supplementation, proved to have a significant higher increase for appetite, and an increasing tendency on energy and protein consumption.

About Leukemia

Leukemia is a type of cancer in which the body produces large numbers of abnormal (usually white) blood cells. It is a complicated disorder of the white blood cells, which normally are responsible for fighting off pathogens and infections.

Symptoms_of_leukemia[1]What causes the disease is not yet known for sure. Some experts have suggested that radiation might be the principal cause of this disease, while others blame the toxic chemicals on the environment including pesticides in fruits and vegetables. It is also possible that viruses and genetics to influence the development of leukemia, but nobody can tell for sure.

Since cancer cells are multiplying rapidly, most forms of the leukemia are treated with pharmaceutical medication, usually combined into a multi-drug chemotherapy regimen, aiming to kill cells that divide rapidly. But in this process the chemotherapy harms also healthy cells that divide rapidly under normal circumstances: cells in the bone marrow, digestive tract, and hair follicles. This is why people under chemotherapy are losing their hair and might experience an inflammation of the digestive tract, as well as a decrease production of the blood cells.

Considering the safety of natural compounds in grapeseed extracts and fish oil supplements over the side effects of multi-drugs chemotherapy treatment, it would make sense to choose your best treatment, but only under qualified medical supervision.

If you or someone else is suffering from leukemia, it is my honest believe that you should consult with your doctor, and your oncologist, and provide them with the following resources posted at:

US National Library of Medicine – National Institutes of Health database:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2760842/

http://bloodjournal.hematologylibrary.org/content/118/26/6909.abstract  

http://bloodjournal.hematologylibrary.org/content/118/26/6728.full

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23017308

Prolotherapy or Corticosteroids Injections for Pain? – My Personal Experience

Ultrasound[1]It is been two weeks already since Dr. Hal Brown performed my last PROLOTHERAPY treatment at the Naturopathic Healing Arts in Vancouver. And I feel better. Not completely healed but better in a sense that the pain was reduced substantially. But this time was different. During my Prolotherapy injections treatment, Dr. Hal Brown with the assistance of two other experts used a new ultrasound device, to reach for difficult to access areas, such as the deep injections into my groin that connected the ligaments to my lower back areas of my chronic injuries.

In the past I found that PROLOTHERAPY regenerative injections, was a remarkable treatment for my lower back injury. Although not completely healed, the effect of injections lasted for about 18 month. This is why in 2012, I was able to get back on shape, and at the age of 50 to compete in the BC Karate Provincial Championship, with great results. By competing, I was also able to raise funds, and help some desperate kids in need for food and medical attention. http://www.mariofitfightingforkids.com/

Unfortunately, the discomfort returned last year, while driving extended hours (as a park ranger). Sitting and not exercising to maintain my core strength, progressively increased my pain. But the real aching returned after two years; when in October of 2013, by sneezing several times, cut me down again with a sharp pain to my lower back.

Dr.Brown5[1]This time I was referred by my family doctor to see Dr. Macki – a sport medicine expert-and to consider the corticosteroids injections. But Dr. Macki, after a thorough examination, advised not to consider at all cortisone injections for my lower back or neck, as some of his patients get complications such as thinning of skin and soft tissue around the injection site and in some cases also rupture of nearby tendon or bone due to increased osteoporosis.

He mention that unlike cortisone injections which are effective to reduce pain, but weaken the collagen structures, PROLOTHERAPY fundamentally supports the body by stimulating the its inflammatory and recovery process so that new collagen and tissue repair can occur. As the prolotherapy regenerative injections proved to be a longer term (but still temporary) relief from pain, he advised me to do more sessions of prolotherapy, additionally to spinal manipulations and some specific physiotherapy exercises recommended to strengthen my core and to stretch and relieve pain to my groin area, which is connected by ligaments to my injured lower back.

So, back again to Dr. Hal Brown and his Prolotherapy regenerative injections. For my lower back treatment, Dr. Brown used a mixed solution of glucose, anaesthesia and Traumel – a homeopathic medicine of 14 botanical and mineral ingredients, proved in clinical trials to reduce pain and to provide specific therapeutic action and to support different phases of the healing process. AND Dr. Brown also mention that for best results, Prolotherapy works better in conjunction with core exercises, regular spinal adjustments and massage.

For some of his patients, the prolotherapy treatment was a permanent healing, while for other a temporarily, but long term pain relief and better regeneration.  Since prolotherapy uses natural substances to stimulate the “rehabilitation” of an incompetent structure by the generation of new cellular tissue, time will tell if the healing will be complete, or just temporarily.

Anyway, if someone was referred to consider corticosteroids injections for pain do your own research (by comparison) and check again with your doctor to see if this is really what you need.

Take care of yourself.

Prolotherapy – My Personal Experience – Part 2

You may have been told that your health problems are “untreatable and nothing can be done”.   Don’t give up your hope. Don’t let pain and physical disabilities to reduce you to a “vegetable”. Take care of your health NOW before you start to degenerate. Based on my personal experience, those are the best advices I can give to anyone suffering from a physical disability and pain. See if you can relate to my story, find the right therapy and take action to control your health.

images[1]After my car accident at the end of 2009, that generated soreness to my cervical and lumbar areas, I did everything it was recommended by my family doctor: pain killer medications, chiropracting, massage therapy, acupuncture and physiotherapy. Those treatments were good as they momentarily relieve my pain and stiffness. Unfortunately these approaches were only a temporary solution with temporarily results. With sitting or driving extended hours, the discomfort was reactivated, sometime with a sharp pain to my lower back and occasionally with stiffness and limited range of motion to my neck, which created additional pain that radiated also into my arm. Additionally doing push-up with a wide grip position activated my discomfort to my cervical area. At that time (2009/2010) I thought that I was still strong and will be only a matter of time to fully recover. But I was wrong again!

After two years of intermittent pain flares and different treatments, at the end of October 2011 I ended up with a sharp lower back pain which rushed me to the emergency room at St. Paul Hospital in Vancouver Canada. They injected me with some pain killer medicine (ketorolac) and sent me to see my family doctor. And the cycle was repeated again: more painkiller prescriptions, more massage therapies (which comforted me somehow) and more sessions of spinal adjustments which for the time being helped someway. But the soreness and discomfort was there nonstop. Soon I found myself in a continuous pain situation.

IMG_0753At that time (Oct/Nov 2011) I was selected to give nutritional consultation and to create a specific sport conditioning program for the Karate BC Competition Team in their preparation for the National Championship (Vancouver – March 2012). Being in pain and unable to properly move, I was so embarrassed, particularly when in front of more than 60 athletes I supposed to execute specific physical exercises to improve their speed and  their overall conditioning. Seeing again Dr. Jeff Almon (a Doctor of Chiropracting) for more spine adjustments, he recommended also considering an injectable proliferation therapy known also as ‘regenerative therapy’. Likewise Dr. Abbey (my family doctor) who research the proposed treatment and found good testimonials, concluded that at the moment the modern medicine cannot help me much, so prolotherapy might be a good alternative solution to my pain and discomfort.

And since prolotherapy is not a medically approved treatment, it is administered mostly by naturopathic doctors. So, I did my research, I read more articles and many reviews and I decided to try this PROLO-therapy. In fact “Prolo” is short for proliferation (growth, formation) and the treatment supports the regeneration and formation of new ligament tissue in areas where it has become weak.

DSCF2364b_000[1]So, I looked also for a qualified practitioner that has a good reputation and experience in administering these regenerative injections.   Since in Vancouver, they are not many experienced doctors who use prolotherapy in their practice, it was not hard to find Dr. Hal Brown from Integrative Naturopathic Medical Centre (former Integrative Healing Arts) in Vancouver, and start my treatment.

I choose Dr. Brown, for his 30 years’ experience as a licensed naturopathic physician, and acupuncturist in Vancouver BC, Canada. In fact what gave me more confidence were Dr. Brown’s credentials as a former chair of Physical Medicine and instructor at Boucher Institute of Naturopathic Medicine. He also served as Chair of the Manipulation Advisory Committee, and he is also a contributor to the Textbook of Naturopathic Physical Medicine and Naturopathic Doctor News & Review.

In short I knew who to trust my health to. And what influenced me to choose Dr. Brown was his philosophy:

It is my belief that the human body, mind and spirit are aspects of a single self-healing organism with a natural impulse towards integration. The mind will naturally move towards mental health, the body towards physical health, and the spirit towards understanding and fulfilment. Without interference, the body, mind and spirit will maintain an individual at optimal levels of health throughout all stages of life. However, if this natural flow of life force, or chi energy, is disrupted or interfered with, dysfunction may follow at the physical, biochemical, mental/emotional and electromagnetic levels. All of these areas are of concern and are addressed when dealing with health problems.

After a very thorough examination, that lasted about one hour, Dr. Hal Brown found that my chronic pain initiated some damages to my sympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for the immediate bodily response to traumas, such as severe, acute pain. Left untreated, this condition can further damage muscles, ligaments, joints and tendons.

So, Dr. Brown decided to start my first treatment (before prolotherapy) with what is called a Neural Therapy. Using injections with a sterile homeopathic medicines and a local anesthetic (such as procaine) into the ganglia of the sympathetic nervous system located in front of the vertebral column (in the cervical, thoracic and lumbar regions) he give some intensification to nerves supplying the internal connective tissues and other organs, in an attempt to initiate a healing response.

But since this is a more complex subject I will cover more into my next article: Prolotherapy – My Personal Experience – Part 3.

You can also read my previous articles posted on http://www.mariofit.ca and also subscribe to my e-newsletter by following this link: https://www.facebook.com/MarioFit.ca/app_100265896690345

Prolotherapy – My Personal Experience – Part 1

treatments_neck_stifness[1]I am asking again: Do you have neck stiffness and pain? Does your lower back is injured and is rigid? Do you have groin pain? Well I have had all these problems, and sometimes I am still experiencing these painful symptoms. If you’re like me, you may have already turned to your family physician, specialist, or other healthcare professional looking for a solution to your on-going health and pain concerns. And probably, the numerous treatments you’ve tried may have brought you only temporary relief, or possible unwanted side effects, with little or no lasting health benefits. All of which keeps you from enjoying the quality of life that you wish.

Prolotherapy[1]But after all of recommended standard treatments including pain killers, I found a better solution to cope with my pain, and I want to share with you my experience with the PROLOTHERAPY – regenerative injections therapy.  This is just part one of a series of articles related to my personal experience using alternative therapies. Read my story and see if you can relate to my case. If you do, I urge you to discuss with your doctor and to consider this alternative treatment, as a potential solution to your pain.

NOTE: Prolotherapy is a treatment of choice.  Many athletes are using prolotherapy with great results. It might not be as effective for everyone, and it might not last forever. Some people using prolotherapy might completely heal, while others will have just a temporarily relief that can last sometimes up to two years. (my personal case).  Due to these injectable treatments to my lower back, I was able to be more functional and to be capable to exercise regularly. I also was able to compete in the Karate BC Championship at the age of 50.

header_prolotherapy[1]When you are in physical discomfort, you don’t feel like to exercise regularly right?  As the body is trying to protect the injured area is creating pain to limit the movements. You might use some anti-inflammatory medicine to relieve this soreness, but in time the pain might become chronic in nature and you are “screwed up”.  You might even get depressed and frustrated to the fact that you are limited in movements and you cannot accomplish your proposed tasks.

This was my case:

In the past, I have had some lower back discomfort, and I relate this problem to a motor vehicle accident that happened about 15 years ago. I was young and I was restless to build a new life in Canada and I assumed that my good physical condition will allow me to quickly recover in short time.

But I was wrong. The lower back discomfort returned from time to time (once per year or even once every two years) and the pain was manageable with rest, stretching, bathing in a hot tab, applying cold compressions and taking over the counter anti-inflammatory medicine such as Aspirin or Advil. In one or two days I felt better and functional, although some stiffness was still present for three to four days.

Miami-Car-Accident-Injury-Lawyer[1]But in 2009, I was involved in another car accident. Trying to avoid a collision in front of me, I pushed hard and quickly on the brake pedal. I avoided the collision in front, but unfortunately I was rear-ended by another car. As a result, the lower back pain was once again activated and this time I also have had aching into my cervical area. But the adrenaline rush I experienced at the moment of impact, kept me functional for that day. It was the second day after the accident, when I start to feel more discomfort to my neck with some tingling on my right arm, and few days after also a sharp pain to my lower back.

As recommended by my family doctor, I did different treatments such chiropracting adjustments, physiotherapy, acupuncture and massage. And I have experienced some temporarily relief from my pain. Unfortunately, in time those occasional pain increased in frequency and the period for “restoration” was longer than few days, (sometimes even longer than one month).

And thanks to Dr. Jeff Almon, a chiropractor and physical therapist in Vancouver, who used orthopaedic testing, I was diagnosed with some biomechanical imbalances, myofacial strains and neurological dysfunctions, and for a while, using manual manipulations to the spine and soft tissue, he helped me to push away my pain. But these treatments were just temporarily relief for my re-occurring pain. Unfortunately, in time, as my discomfort become long-lasting in nature, I was diagnosed with chronic mechanical spinal pain and myofacial pain into the deep connective tissue structures.  As a former athlete and certified strength and conditioning specialist (now a Doctor of Chiropractic in BC) Dr. Almon was involved with many Olympic and professional athletes including the Chinese National Speedskating team and the Barbados National Track Cycling team. So, Dr. Almon recommended getting a few regenerative injections treatment called PROLOTHERAPY, (proliferation therapy). He knew that prolotherapy – injections with sugar, anaesthesia and other homeopathic solutions – is the choice of many injured athletes, so he recommended me to speak with my family doctor and to do my own research.

And I did. And I founded that these injections with sugar, anaesthesia and other homeopathic solutions were specifically formulated to regenerate the ligaments and tendons, giving more stability to the injured area and promoting a faster healing. I also discovered that the treatment is 85% successful for most types of musculoskeletal pain, including degenerative joint conditions, arthritis, back pain, neck pain, fibromyalgia, sports injuries, unresolved whiplash injuries, chronic tendonitis, ligaments and cartilage, and even degenerated or herniated discs.

For more information on this subject and my personal experience stay tune. My next article will cover in more details this topic. Until then please subscribe to my e-newsletter for even more exciting health news: https://www.facebook.com/MarioFit.ca/app_100265896690345

Prolotherapy – A Better Approach to Your Joints Health

Do you have lower back pain? Do you have pain in your groin? Do you have cervical pain or stiffness? Do you have any other joint problems that your prescription medicine cannot help? Maybe you should consider Prolotherapy.

Dr-Chad-Edwards-Prolotherapy-Tulsa-Oklahoma-Prolo-Intro-Image-copy[1]PROLOTHERAPY also known as “PROLIFERATION THERAPY,” or “REGENERATIVE INJECTION THERAPY” it involves injecting into the weakened ligaments and tendons a solution with sugar (usually dextrose) combined with a local anaesthesia for the purpose of strengthening impaired connective tissue and relieving musculoskeletal pain.Injecting this solution into the connective weakened tissue, create an irritation to the affected area, triggering a temporary, low grade inflammation at the injection site.

The body will react by activating the fibroblasts cells to the area, producing new cell growth and collagen deposition, increasing extracellular matrix and promoting healing.This type of “forced healing” has been documented as early as Roman times where hot needles were introduced into the shoulders of injured gladiators to stimulate their body’s own natural healing mechanisms to repair injured musculoskeletal tissue. The local inflammation stimulated by Prolotherapy also raises the level of growth factors such as proteins and steroid hormones that initiate a new connective tissue repair. Biopsy studies show ligament thickening, enlargement of the tendinosseous junction, and strengthening of the tendon or ligament after Prolotherapy injections.

Because Prolotherapy works to repair weak and painful joint areas, it is a long-term solution rather than a temporary measure such as drugs or Cortisone. While prolotherapy injections created inflammation and stimulate the body’s natural healing process, steroidal cortisol injections control local inflammation “flushing out” inflammatory proteins and chemicals from the local area that may contribute to create pain. Which one is better?

1-hinh-anh-thoat-vi-dia-dem1[1]Cortisol injections have also their important role in relieving pain to the injured tissue, by reducing inflammation, but in long term, these injections might weaken the ligaments. According to Mayo Clinic epidural steroid injections are usually limited to just a few a year because there’s a chance these steroidal drugs might weaken the spinal bones and nearby muscles and disrupt your body’s natural hormone balance. This is why the Mayo Clinic promotes better Prolotherapy than Cortisol Therapy.

By comparison, a clinical study published on December 2010, in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine demonstrated that in long term (15 month) prolotherapy is more efficient and the effects last longer that cortisol therapy. (Volume: 16 Issue 12: December 7, 2010). The conclusion was this:

The cumulative incidence of ≥50% pain relief at 15 months was 58.7% (95% confidence interval [CI] 37.9%–79.5%) in the prolotherapy group and 10.2% (95% CI 6.7%–27.1%) in the steroid group, as determined by Kaplan-Meier analysis

Prolotherapy treatment sessions are generally given once or twice per month in the first series of 4-6 treatments. And after that the sessions can be reduced to one injection every 6-8 weeks or less frequent intervals until the treatments are rarely required.

Note: For some patients with chronic low-back pain, it is possible that prolotherapy injections to be less effective when used alone. But in combination with spinal manipulation, (chiropracting, massage therapy, orthotherapy etc.) exercises that strengthen the core and specific nutritionals such as glucosamine sulfate  you get amazing results. Usually the use of anti-inflammatory medicines and nutrients such as turmeric extract and essential fatty acids are better to be avoided 3-5 days before and after the prolotherapy injections, to let the body to create that inflammatory response leading to a healing process.  But in between treatments these anti-inflammatory nutrients are highly recommended as thay contribute to the healing process.

Some sport medicine doctors,  go further to alternate prolotherapy with epidural steroid injections, for even better results. In their approach they use epidural steroid injections to provide fast and sufficient pain relief and to allow a patient to progress with a rehabilitative stretching and exercise program. And alternatively they use prolotherapy injections to promote healing to the injured tissue.  If the initial set of injection is effective for a patient in relieving pain, he or she may need only 3-4 injections in a one-year period.

In Canada, the cost of the prolotherapy is about $200 per injection, (covered by extended medical plan) while cortisol injection therapy is usually covered by the medical services plan if referred by your family practitioner. .

I personally have had great experience in using prolotherapy. But this is another story for another time. Stay tuned and read more related articles on fitness, nutrition and healthy living by visiting my blog page: www.mariofit.ca

Subscribe to my e-newsletter founded on my MarioFit Facebook page, and get regular updated information in both English and Romanian language, for free. https://www.facebook.com/MarioFit.ca

YOUR WEIGHT GAIN AND LONGEVITY!

Are You Overweight? You might have a shorter lifespan! This was the conclusion of many researchers at the University of Siena in Italy, who assessed the telomere length in apparently healthy obese and normal-weight subjects. We already know from my previous article that telomeres length influences our cellular health and longevity.

overweight.jpeg.size.xxlarge.letterbox[1]But the Italian researchers demonstrated that overweight and obese people even if they are healthy, have shorter telomeres than their normal-weight counterpart does. And this will influence their health and longevity.

This research was further confirmed by investigations done in Spain at the Department of Diabetes, Endocrinology and Nutrition, who concluded that shorter telomere length of obese people is now a recognized feature of obesity that could contribute to its mortality.

On my previous articles I revealed the truth about how a telomere can protect the chromosomes for deterioration, by shortening its length. We also know that when our cells ‘become sick’ they divide to protect our DNA.  And according to scientists, the cell divide on an average of 52 times (known as the Hayflick limit). Probably this limit is the result of our telomeres that shortened to the point where cells are not protected anymore and start deteriorating.

BUT WHAT OBESITY IS DOING WITH OUR CELLULAR HEALTH?

121_HIVCardiovascularDisease-610x390[1]Well, additional research demonstrate that obesity-related conditions lead to heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer. These findings confirm the theory that obesity may accelerate aging, and highlight the importance of maintaining a desirable weight in both adults and children.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention more than one-third of U.S. adults are obese and the medical costs associated with obesity were estimated at $147 billion; the medical costs paid by third-party payers for people who are obese were $1,429 higher than those of normal weight.

O YEAH? BUT THIS IS AMERICA AND WE ALL KNOW THAT PEOPLE ARE OBESE THERE!

Canada, like many nations, is in the midst of an epidemic of overweight and obesity.  Currently 60% of adult Canadians are either overweight or obese. There are significant economic costs for Canada as a result of obesity. The costs associated with obesity in 2001 were estimated at $4.3 billion. Imagine now, since the rate of obesity increased since. The U.S. researchers  predicted that, If people keep gaining weight at the current rate, fat will be the norm by 2015, with 75 percent of U.S. adults overweight and 41 percent obese. If this trend continues, also in Canada in few years we can expect 70% of middle-aged adults to be overweight or obese.

IS MY CHILD OVERWEIGHT?

fat_kids[1]The sad truth is that there has been a dramatic increase in unhealthy weights in children. Among children and adolescents in US, obesity prevalence has tripled since 1980. Around 12.5 million of children and adolescents aged 2-19 years are obese and many more overweight.  In Canada, approximately 26% of Canadian children ages 2-17 years old are currently overweight or obese.

O YEA? BUT I LIVE IN EUROPE.

Even worst! According to World Health Organization, obesity is one of the greatest public health challenges not only in North America but also in Europe. Statistics show that obesity’s prevalence in Europe has tripled since the 1980s, and the numbers of those affected continue to rise at an alarming rate. In addition to causing various physical disabilities and psychological problems, excess weight drastically increases a person’s risk of developing a number of degenerative diseases including cardiovascular disease, cancer and diabetes.

What about you? Are you one of them? Are you overweight?

I hope not! But if you do would you like to lose weight the right way and to extend your healthy life for the years to come?  Then continue reading my articles. Many more will come to inform you about your health and how to preserve it.

Sources of Information: Acta Paediatric. 2008 Jul;97(7):952-4, International Journal of Obesity (2010) 34, 1345–1348; Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, Childhood Obesity Foundation, Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Reuter Agency, World Health Organization.

MarioFit – Healthy Tips – The 4 Major Health Destroyers: Oxidation, Inflammation, Glycation, Abnormal Methylation

Health Destroyers? Sounds like a war. And indeed there is a warfare inside our bodies. Experts in the field of genetics and longevity identified the 4 major aging markers that slowly kill our cells and promote a faster degeneration of our body. If we act to take control of any of these aging markers, we can slow the path of aging and reduce greatly our chances of developing the 21st century diseases – including cancer, heart and cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and obesity.

Below is a brief description of these 4 health destroyers and what might be a better solution to fight against them.  A more detailed explanation you will find it on my website: www.mariofit.ca

OXIDATION. Free_Radicals_Damage[1]Oxygen is essential for life. But when exposure to pollution, stress, unhealthy foods or too much physical exercise, free radicals are created overwhelming the body’s limits to detoxify. Those free radicals are mostly chemically unstable reactive molecules of oxygen that are involved in breaking of bonds between other molecules.

In normal unpolluted environment, controlled production of free radicals in the body might help protecting us from some microbes and viruses. But in excess, those free radicals create an excessive oxidative stress, which attack all living molecules and cellular membrane, destroying the cells, lowering the immune system and promoting premature aging. It is like rusting inside our body that creating many degenerative diseases such as cancer, stroke, myocardial infarction, diabetes and others.

antioksidanti[1]Solution: Eat foods high in antioxidants such red beans, blueberry, raspberries, prune, broccoli, strawberries, apples.   Combine these foods with a multivitamin formula that include a proper balance of high quality vitamin C ,natural vitamin E, Beta Carotene (pro-vitamin A) the minerals Selenium, Magnesium, Zinc, and a variety of phytonutrients such as Quercetin, Citrus Flavonoids,  Rutin, Green Tea Extracts, Grape seeds Extracts etc. You can find more information about top quality supplements on my website: www.mariofit.ca

INFLAMMATION. glb_bci_153044[1]Chronic inflammation or silent inflammation arises when pro-inflammatory molecules from immune-related cells are activated due to internal injuries from oxidative stress. When those activated molecules are out of the body’s internal control, they act like a slow-burning fire, continuing to stimulate pro-inflammatory immune cells when they may not be needed. As a result, a certain type of fibrous protein called amyloids will interfere with normal function of organs, destroying its healthy cells. In response to inflammation, the liver produces C-reactive protein (CRP). When too much amounts of CRP are present in the bloodstream, it indicates that you are at increased risk of heart disease, hypertension and diabetes.

158946203[1]Solution: A healthier lifestyle approach and supplemental with the essential fatty acids EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DPA (docosapentaenoic acid) founded in fish oils, and a multivitamin high in antioxidants. Check periodically with your family doctor and ask for regular blood test to find out if your level of CRP becomes elevated.

GLYCATION. Glycation is the result of the bonding of a protein or lipid molecule with a sugar molecule, such as fructose or glucose. Inside the body glycation is a result of a chaotic process that impairs the function of cells. Outside the body glycation or Advanced Glycation End products (AGE) are usually formed when sugars are cooked with proteins or fats at temperatures over 120°C. This “slow backing” inside your body, will also contribute also to the formation of acrylamide, a potential carcinogen, made during cooking process.

970801_0188_1094_oslp1[1]Cooked foods with significant browning, (caramel like), can be exceptionally high in these pro-inflammatory and disease-initiating AGE compounds. Glycation interfere with molecular and cellular functioning throughout the body through a process called cross-linking where the cell membranes become less elastic and the molecules involved become damaged. Glycation produce inflammation and excess free radicals, which further contribute to damage of cells, the initiation of retinal dysfunction, cardiovascular diseases, type II diabetes, and many other age-related chronic diseases.

Solution: Avoid foods such as donuts, barbecued meats, cake, dark colure soda pop, bread, salad dressing, some coloured fruit juice, ketchup, mustard that contain hidden amounts of sugar. Take a high quality antioxidant supplement wit foods.

ABNORMAL METHYLATION. Methylation is a simple chemical process in which specific molecules attached to other molecules, to help the body to rid itself of a number of dangerous heavy metal toxins.

Screen-Shot-2013-03-04-at-11.52.12-AM[1]The liver uses methylation to assist in the excretion of external toxins such as pesticides as well as some of its own chemical wastes, such as hormone by-products. Methylation reactions are critical to normal brain function, and control the expression of genes in the body.

Unfortunately, people in North America have abnormal methylation, due to deficiency on B vitamins, which can lead to a high level homocysteine, (a by-product amino acid). High levels of homocysteine in the blood has been linked to cardiovascular disease, cervical cancer, colon cancer, heart disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, and many other degenerative diseases. Homocysteine is also a “corrosive” of proteins, such as collagen and elastin, and will auto-oxidize reacting with other free radicals. This damaging of the endothelial cells it is also responsible in forming a blood clot.

Many studies suggest that elevated homocysteine as well as high levels of C – reactive protein are both independent predictors of ischemic heart disease and stroke, even in healthy people.

Solution: Make sure you have enough B vitamins in your diet, particularly B6, B12 and Folic Acid. A high quality multivitamin supplement might cover all you need to keep methylation on normal level. Additionally, to your usual medical check-up, you should ask your doctor to regularly check your levels of C-Reactive Proteins and Homocysteine which are the major markers of inflammation and cardiovascular diseases.

References: J Nephrol. 2010 Sep-Oct;23 Suppl 15:S29-36,  N Engl J Med 2004; 350:1387-1397April 1, 2004, Can J Physiol Pharmacol. 2010 Mar;88(3):273-84, JAMA.2002;288(16):2015-2022. doi: 10.1001/jama.288.16.2015

You can find more information on my website: www.mariofit.ca

On my future postings, I will go in more details about top quality multivitamins their prices and their availability to the general public.

Is Your Health Important for You?

health[1]Is it really important to be healthy? This sound like a foolish question, but the reality is that we take our health for granted. Sure our health is important, but unfortunately not many people invest on this.

I personally know people who invest a fortune in their cars, properties and other material goods that make their live easier.  And they pay a high price to maintain them in good shape and better function. But when they come to invest in the maintenance of their most important assets, their health, they take everything for granted.

I will cover more about this subject on my website: www.mariofit.ca                              And now I have a question to ask:

HOW MUCH DO YOU VALUE YOUR BODY?    

If you are like me you might want to consider how much your body is worth it.   According to the U.S. Bureau of Chemistry and Soils the chemical and mineral composition of the human body, is less than $10. human_body_3677x2285[1]

It is estimated that the human body is composed of 65% Oxygen, 18% Carbon, 10% Hydrogen, 3% Nitrogen, 1.5% Calcium, 1% Phosphorous, 0.35% Potassium, 0.25% Sulphur, 0.15% Sodium, 0.15% Chlorine, 0.05% Magnesium, 0.0004% Iron and 0.00004% Iodine.

The Imperial State Institute for Nutrition at Tokyo calculated the composition of our skin and founded that it has a value of $3.50. In fact, if you could sell your body’s mineral composition on New York Stock Exchange or the Nikkei Index, you probably get a value of $4.00 – $5.00 (more or less) depending on the stock market fluctuation.

On the other hand, based on the cost estimates taken from hospitals and insurance companies, if the body can be broken down into organs, tissues, bone marrow, cells, DNA and fluids, and all these substances can be extracted from living tissues for sale, then we value more than $45 million.

I know it is not possible to separate the body organs and fluids for sell, but as a play game let’s try to estimate the value of our asset. Just play with me this ‘game’ and let’s evaluate our bodies at the real value.

DNA[1]If your body is worth more than $45 million, it is estimated that only your genetic code packed in DNA alone can bring back about $10 million. It is also estimated that the human body has about 50-100 trillion somatic cells. That is 100 followed by 12 zero.

And now imagine that every human cell contain in its nucleus the DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) who contain all the genetic information needed to carry on its life processes. The human genome contains approximately 3 billion base pairs of DNA packaged into 23 chromosomes. The DNA is composed of about 6 billion nucleotides, which are molecules of sugars, phosphates, and nitrogen joined together in pairs and spirally coiled, like a twisted ladder.

300px-Sun_to_Earth[1]If you can stretched the DNA in one cell all the way out, it would be about 2 metre long and if the entire DNA in our cells if uncoiled and lined up end-to-end, the total length can be about 200 trillion meters (200 billion km) which if I calculated right it would reach the Sun and back – 70 times! (the distance from earth to the sun is approximate 150,000,000 km)

I hope you did not get exhausted with all this information but I want you to revaluate the complexity of your body.

So how much do you think is your body worth now? It really depends on how you evaluate yourself. You can estimate your body at $4.50 and pay no attention to its maintenance, or you can estimate at an amazing $45 million and probably you will take a better care of this important asset. It is all about you.

I personally consider that I am worth millions, and I believe that you are worth as well, more than probably you think! Let’s put it this way. If you own a car valued at $200,000 dollars, would you take care of its maintenance? Would you regularly change its oil? Would you change its pads when breaks worn out?  Would you wash it regularly and wax it? I bet you do.

Money[1]But when comes to your $45 million dollar body, your health is the most essential part of its maintenance. And you cannot find replacement parts when worn out, but you must protect in good shape the one you have.

Now let’s reconsider how much you evaluate your health? I mean how much you invest in yourself to keep your $45 million asset functional.

As I mention before, most people invest in everything that makes their life easier, but they invest little on their health.  And when they lose their health, they will give everything they have to restore it back. Unfortunately, for some, it might be too late.

So stay tune to my next blogs posting and get informed on how you can maintain your body at top performance using proper nutrition, fitness and specific supplementation.

Your opinion count. Please visit my website: www.mariofit.ca  and search for other hot topics. Write a review or tell others. Your effort is appreciated.