Are You Suffering?

beach

That’s like me asking you if you’re staring, glossy-eyed into your phone. Of course you are, right?

We’re all suffering from something, because this world stubbornly refuses to pander to our needs — depression, arthritis, anxiety, autoimmune disorders, skin conditions, PTSD, digestive disorders, and sufferings unto infinity. We’re all burdened by physical, emotional, and spiritual frailty.

It’s good and bad, isn’t it, that all of those things are so deeply connected? When we struggle mentally, our bodies are without energy and health, and when we struggle physically, our minds just can’t operate. The good thing is this: healing and redemption, then, can flood all of our being. Making healthy choices, honoring our bodies, and pursuing a higher life washes over the full of us. When we pursue health, our entire being can’t help but to be redeemed.

Honoring our bodies

Sometimes, it feels like there isn’t much here to honor, right? Wrong! As frustrating (and disappointing) as they can be, our bodies are of incredible value. What else lets you consume an entire chocolate cake and somehow come out alive? Or who let’s you stay up all night, throwing back cold ones and then still wakes you up in the morning? Your body is your most loyal and forgiving companion.

And we can do better for it. Let’s make decisions a little better each day, choosing life over lethargy. Reach for the nutritious food, rewarding your body for getting you this far. Conquer your cravings by falling in love with new, super foods.

Yes, you know what’s next: exercise. Walk to the coffee shop to enjoy a cup of coffee or tea. Better yet, walk with a friend during lunchtime or after work. (Truly, you wouldn’t believe the health benefits of companionship. Here is a great Ted Talk about the incredible effects of companionship.)

Pursue health by making small, achievable steps each day to build a life that is both more uplifting and more fulfilling. You know it’s real, because you always feel better (and are better) after you exercise or go a full day eating according to plan. So let’s go.

Understanding health

What I hear most from people reluctant to embrace a healthier life is the misunderstanding of what it means to make healthy choices. It isn’t starving, it isn’t boring, and it isn’t a waste of time. It’s creating a menu of new, nutritious food, it’s self-care, and it’s rewarding.

Avoiding common offenders like gluten, dairy, preservatives, and chemicals and fueling your body with the nutrition it needs allows your body to overcome much of our suffering. When we’re burdened by physical and mental ailments, our bodies are crying out for relief. Let’s give it to them.

Here are some ideas to consider as you build a better, more fulfilling life:

  1. Eat healthy — no, I’m not talking about eating grass. I’m talking about local, farm-raised meats, eggs, and raw milk, vegetables, fruits, nuts, beans, and fermented foods, like sauerkraut and kimchi.
  2. Exercise — get out there and explore a little.
  3. Sleep well — for probably the first time, make sleep a priority. It’s actually one of the most important parts of your day (yes, I mean night!).
  4. Relax and enjoy life — practice deep breathing, make time to read a book or watch your favorite TV show, eat slowly and savor your food, and cherish the people around you.

That sounds like a pretty good life, right? As our bodies heal, so too do our minds. May you find yourself more at peace.

_________________

This is a platform to discuss and reflect on ideas, advancements, questions, and other musings. I am neither a health expert nor a member of clergy. The only authority I have to speak is my experience — I yield no degree or certification to give you medical, psychological, or religious advice. This is simply where minds come to meet and broaden.

How I Dropped The Drug We’re All On: Acid-Suppressants

biotics

The ending of that title probably seemed anti-climatic, didn’t it? It might’ve been more thrilling had this article shared an exciting victory over addiction. I think there’s an equally enthralling victory story here, and perhaps one just as meaningful.

Upon waking after my first endoscopy procedure, the doctor notified me that the severe pain I suffered was caused by gastritis and eosinophilic esophagitis — two big terms for even bigger inflammation. As you would rightly expect, they prescribed to me 3-months of acid suppressant medication (proton pump inhibitors) and a follow-up endoscopy.

Very swiftly — and with much gratefulness! — I felt relieved, again full of life and the vinegar some have come to know and love! This relief lasted the course of the 3-month prescription period. Unfortunately (or fortunately, as this is part of a journey with a good ending), the endoscopy was scheduled about 4 months later than the first one, which meant I went for 4 weeks without the acid suppressing medication.

There’s something they don’t tell you about that medicine (Okay,  there’s much they don’t tell you. Do they tell you anything?). When you come off of it, you suffer a resurgence of your original symptoms with greater intensity and might encounter painful symptoms you didn’t even have before. This is known as a rebound period. So, should you remain on acid suppressants forever, you risk severe side effects, and if you use them short term, you suffer greatly at the end of your period of relief.

Though I’m sure you see it coming, I’ll tell you that my second endoscopy looked much like my first. But this time, I woke up in despair as the doctor explained that his only potential advice is to remain on acid suppressants long term. I asked for varying approaches, including prokinetics, but with calm certainty, he explained that acid suppressants were the only tools we had to stop my digestive system from suffering.

Two heads are better than one?

I researched. And I praise God for a mind that hungers to solve puzzles, because I would be months deep in acid suppressants if I didn’t have it. Quickly, I found that, on different occasions, cabbage juice has been successfully used to treat peptic ulcers more efficiently than standard medication. The methionine S-methyl sulfonium in cabbage (colloquially called ‘Vitamin U’) promotes proper digestive and intestinal function, with a uniquely helpful ability to stimulate mucous formation, which means Vitamin U, while doing a host of other great things, helps your stomach to build a mucous layer strong enough to protect itself from the acid (and sometimes bile) that can irritate the lining of the stomach, which causes a surprisingly long list of sufferings.

You know I had to buy the juicer. I couldn’t help myself. With a stomach burning and a mind churning, I purchased a juicer and several heads of cabbage (the rest of their story was pretty graphic!).

A pill worth taking

And I did something else. I also purchased Gastrazyme from Biotics Research Corporation. Biotics has created this supplement form of Vitamin U, for which I’m infinitely grateful (try juicing several cabbages a day. Did I forget to mention you’re expected to drink 32 oz a day for successful recovery?). Very soon after I started taking the supplements after each meal, that sweet relief set in again. The stomach pain has dissipated. The reflux has vanished. The tightness, soreness, and despair have gone their separate ways. And I haven’t touched the juicer in weeks (I know, I loved the juicer, but the supplements have been radically helpful, and I’m as lazy as the next one of us.).

Biotics Research Gastrazyme — 90 Tablets

In our modern healthcare, our knee-jerk reaction is to prescribe acid suppressing medication for seemingly every digestive woe. That over-medicated approach is both troublesome and disappointing. It’s troublesome because it carries with it heavy consequences and it’s disappointing because the scientists among us aren’t searching further for unique, creative solutions that better honor our bodies.

As with everything, there is a place for acid suppressing medication. It’s just not here.

Oh, and with the regained peace in my digestive tract, I’m able to enjoy coffee again — for that celebration, click here!

_________________

This is a platform to discuss and reflect on ideas, advancements, questions, and other musings. I am neither a health expert nor a member of clergy. The only authority I have to speak is my experience — I yield no degree or certification to give you medical, psychological, or religious advice. This is simply where minds come to meet and broaden. 

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.