Tag Archives: Dr. David Perlmutter

Zika Virus Protection & Tips

It’s early March. Why write about Zika Virus now?

I killed my first mosquito yesterday. It’s a bit early but, while occasionally cold, the frozen North hasn’t been all that frozen in 2017. And the news about the spread of Zika, for those of us in the Northeast, is not good – 6 cases in Maryland, already.

Aeses Aegypti carries Zika.

Aeses Aegypti carries Zika.

Sighting that first mosquito in March says it’s time to offer some information about the mosquito known as Aedes aegypti – the carrier for Zika, the same mosquito that carried dengue fever, yellow fever and Japanese encephalitis.

Before you dismiss this little pest because you’re not in your child-bearing years or you don’t have sex, keep in mind that the Zika virus can directly affect adult brain cells.

Zika also can make you sick, very sick. Here, in order of occurrence, according to Dr. Michael Callahan, the foremost authority on Zika and head of The Zika Foundation, are the symptoms of viral infection from Aedes Aegypti:

  1. A feeling of being unwell and/or having a chill with a touch of fever
  2. A high fever
  3. A headache in the upper frontal area of your head
  4. Myalgia or muscle aches in the lower back, upper legs and shoulders
  5. Conjunctivitis followed by reddening of the white of the eye, itself.
  6. A rash on the trunk first then possibly moving to the inside of the arm.

That’s not a nice symptom list but Aedes Aegypti has some tendencies that make it a bit easier for us to become more aware of and be more aggressive in protecting ourselves:

  1. The Aedes Aegypti is black and white – black with white scales on its legs – so keep an eye out for that pattern.
  2. This mosquito is a weak flier so it prefers to bite indoors! And it’s a day time biter, unlike its cousins.  So be on the lookout, indoors and kill mosquitoes you see.
  3. This mosquito uses silent flight – you won’t hear it buzzing your ears.
  4. Aedes Aegypti is aware of you looking at it and will hop off, “kettle” around your body and bite you on the back of your head, below the knees or on your feet.

Because of this mosquito’s unique lifestyle, all the pesticides being sprayed in your neighborhoods are a waste of money and a huge risk to your health. But you can protect yourself by using one of 3 repellents deemed safe for pregnant women and known to keep these mosquitoes off for up to 6 hours:

  1. DEET – your grandmother’s repellent
  2. Lemon of Eucalyptus – a newcomer but very effective
  3. Picardin – used by the DOD to protect soldiers

By the way, these repellents also work to repel ticks and fleas.

I can’t speak for you but I am really going to be on the lookout for these winged pests. If you want to arm yourself with more information about the Zika virus and how to keep yourself and your family safe, watch Dr. David Perlmutter’s interesting and in-depth interview with Dr. Michael Callahan of the Zika Foundation.

Want even more info? Visit the CDC for their in-depth information and tips on avoidiing all mosquito bites….not just Aedes Aegypti.

Photo courtesy of CDC/ Prof. Frank Hadley Collins, Dir., Cntr. for Global Health and Infectious Diseases, Univ. of Notre Dame.

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Grow A Healthy Gut in 2016 – Microbiome Resources For You!

Want to know how easy it will be to get healthy, lose weight, say good-bye to chronic complaints about digestion, headaches and other maladies and have a Happy New Year in 2016?

Read one book.  Make some changes to what you eat and start on the path to good health. That’s how easy it is.

2016 New Year of Health

Get healthy in 2016. It’s easy.

I sincerely wish I had found the book about 15 years ago when bladder cancer became out ticket to travel down the rabbit hole of so-called “health care.”

Surgeries (12), hospitalizations (52) and BCG therapy (5 courses of a form of bacterial Russian roulette that was supposed to kill the cancer cells) and up until just 3 months ago, my husband was just as unhealthy as he had been when the ride started.

For years, we had heard from his medical team that Pat’s problem was “leaky gut,” a diagnosis often delivered with a shrug and not one idea on how to change it.

So, what does our tale of woe have to do with getting healthy in 2016?
Everything.

In October, I bought Dr. David Perlmutter’s most recent book, Brain Maker, and I finally got a clear understanding of what leaky gut is and means and why it was critical to Pat’s health.

What I learned from a book (which was not, once mentioned by the cadre of specialists who have seen, treated and billed my poor husband) is that the intestinal lining – the largest mucosal surface in the body and the barrier between “the inside and outside” is exactly one single cell thick!

Bad news? If you have leaky gut it means your cell wall is permeable and you have a very serious health issue. Good news?  Leaky gut is manageable, dare one say reversible?

Not one of the idiots who had Pat in their care knew, mentioned or even touched on the criticality of this condition or the way to help fix it.  They just kept prescribing antibiotics – life-saving but also life-threatening – and sending him home.

After reading Dr. Perlmutter’s book, Brain Maker, I learned about the good bacteria that should be in the gut and those that can cause problems if they overtake the good bacteria.  I got a broad but enlightening introduction to the “second brain” and the fact that the gut often sends messages to the brain to make it act – not the other way around.

Everything I read influenced our next round of dietary changes. Dr. Perlmutter’s recipes made it easy to make the needed changes.  And suddenly things started improving for my husband.

Once I read Dr. Perlmutter’s book and implemented changes (see NOTE ON DINING below), I started doing some research on the microbiome.  This is a growing field and there is a tremendous amount of research going on under the covers on the second brain.

It appears that the world of medicine is about to change, radically and for the better. If you want more information here are some resources I recommend:

This TED talk lays a solid foundation for how our gut bacteria work and how they affect our health . Rob Knight opens the door in this TED talk then helps us walk right in by talking about how gut bacteria might be implicated in a raft of chronic health issues like Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), Celiac disease, obesity, allergies, and asthma.

If you want to know what’s going on in your microbiome – a snapshot if you will – here is the place to go. Visit this crowdsourced research project and get your gut bacteria analyzed for less than $100.

It’s all there, available for anyone who wants to get their health back.

After reading, listening and changing a few more things in our lives, for the first time in 15 years, Pat and I are able to manage his infections, lower his blood sugar and give him back his life.

One book, one person changed our lives forever and for the better!

Borrow it from the library, download it from Amazon, buy it.  Sign up for Dr. Perlmutter’s regular posts, videos and information and get healthy in 2016!

Happy New Year, everyone.  Here’s to your health.

NOTE ON DINING:  As I said earlier in this novella, what the book/doctors are saying on how to correct your microbiome may seem a bit draconian if you are just getting started.  Take it one bite at a time and you will get your health back.

By the time I read this book, we had already totally cut out ALL processed foods.  We ONLY eat organic, non-GMO foods – including meat, poultry and wild-harvested fish – and fruit and veggies I either raise or get at the local organic food exchange.  That has helped both of us lose over 50 pounds and really feel physically better but it didn’t move his blood sugars a whole lot nor did it cut down on his regular trips to the hospital.

Now, he and I both eat freshly made sauerkraut (I am on my 3rd batch and enjoy making it).  Also, instead of spending $7.50 for a pint at the local farmer’s market, I make a gallon + a pint for about $1.50! It’s cabbage with salt!!  Amazing and amazingly good.

We both drink kombucha which I make and bottle and are loving it!  Again, buy it in the health food store and pay $5.00 for 12 ounces.  Make it at home and it’s about 50 cents a glass.  We recently added duck eggs to our diets – 16% more protein and said to be better at creating a gut environment that is less conducive to the growth of cancer cells.

Simple changes to our diet and a bit of knowledge about how the gut works and how critical it is to overall health could have changed our lives and saved us emotional currency, time and thousands and thousands of dollars over the last decade and a half.

I urge you to explore the concept of microbiome and gut bacteria.  Just Google it and see how many diseases are actually being studied and in some cases reversed by getting good gut bacteria to outweigh the bad – autism, ALS, ADHD, Alzheimer’s and that’s just the A’s!