Category Archives: Pearls of Truth
Revealing snippets about common misconceptions
This is a compilation of posts I put on https://www.facebook.com/drscott.vrzal in Oct-Nov 2014.
KNEE CAP AREA PAIN
There is a very common food-like substance that can cause both knee’s to hurt near the kneecap. The food-like substance that causes both right and left quadriceps muscles to “turn off” is _____?
Aspartame is classified as an excitotoxin. What that means is that it excites nerve cells to the point of death. Your brain is the main place these nerve cells die, but in the case of aspartame it can cause peripheral neuropathy (nerve damage in the legs and arms). In higher doses it can cause Multiple Sclerosis-like symptoms (Pseudo MS). One of the most common places I see this show up is in a weakening of the thigh muscles on both legs. It is so consistent that if both knees hurt at or near the knee caps I’d consider it a guarantee that there are artificial sweeteners (aspartame) in the diet somewhere. If this is something you struggle with, prove it to yourself. Stop all gum, breath mints, and diet anything to then enjoy improved memory and likely no knee pain. If the pain is on the back of the knee, the cause is likely caused by ________?
As described yesterday, the quads on both legs get weak with aspartame consumption. If you have historically consumed artificial sweeteners (aspartame) then you may want to consider taking a B6 supplement like B6 Niacinamide from Standard Process Inc. B6 is used up in metabolizing Aspartame and this is likely where a lot of the nerve problems come from, including memory loss and depression. B6 is water soluble, thus posses very little risk of toxicity. If the pain/weakness is just one side and especially if it is in the VMO area you may do better to consider and good digestive enzyme product. FYI Bicycling is the best exercise for the VMO.
PAIN BEHIND THE KNEE(S)/WEAKNESS
This pesky little muscle behind the knee, called the popliteus muscle gets weak and spastic when the gallbladder (GB) is congested. The GB receives toxins from the liver and delivers them to the small intestine to help digest fats with bile. Toxins and/or wheat can congest the bile causing pain and weakness behind the knee as well as dry skin on the heals and possibly right sided headaches. Beets help thin the bile and are very good for the GB. The GB even has emotional paradigms like anger, frustration or resentment that can be stored and congest its optimal function.
PAIN ON THE INSIDE OF THE KNEE
Many of you may have had surgery for a medial meniscus tear or have worn a brace for a period time for pain on the inside of the
knee. There are three muscles that attach there and support the area when they are firing properly. Unfortunately two of these muscles (sartorius and gracilis) dysfunction under adrenal stress. Therefore when we are under the stress of intense physical activity, under rested or emotionally stressed the inside of the knee becomes vulnerable to injury. Methods of reducing the knee strain potential (stress management) are _______?
~Get appropriate sleep
~Don’t skip meals. Eat frequent, small meals.
~Balance intense physical training with cardiovascular based low intensity training.
~Minimize sugar/simple carbohydrate consumption.
One other muscle that can cause inner knee pain is a weakness of the adductor (groin) muscle. This muscle gets compromised when the uterus or prostate (not in the same person lol) are not optimally functioning. This is yet another pair of glands that take a hit when blood sugar is not as it should be. Ladies, if you are prone to PMS, etc. see how much better it is after not eating sugar for a month.
KNEE PAIN PRIMARILY WITH ACTIVITY
If the knee primarily hurts after you have been walking or on your feet, then there is a good chance that unstable blood sugar is causing your feet to not work properly. If you do not sleep through the night there are likely blood sugar concerns. Cut sugars and see how you feel and sleep. If you still have cravings then there are probably blood type “avoids” that are triggering them.
I posted on this aspect of knee pain a while back, but it is always a good review. The muscle on the outside of the leg, called the iliotibial band or tensor fascia lata muscle gets weak and tense/tender when the colon is unhappy. Trigger foods like many different grains, corn or dairy often trigger pains in the IT band, thus causing pain on the outside of the knee. If you are challenged in this area, pay attention to what you had eaten just before the pain exaggerated. There will emerge a pattern… Or you can contact your local, highly effective Kinesiologist to help you figure it out, haha
The knee, like every other area of the body is trying to tell you something when it hurts. Through the muscle-organ correlations as laid out in Applied Kinesiology by the late, great Dr. Goodheart one can learn a lot about their health when pains are appropriately evaluated for the true cause. Listen and learn what your body is trying to tell you.
If you’ve ridden long enough you have likely hit the dirt or pavement at least once. It is part of the learning process unfortunately. When I first started riding mountain bikes in the early 90’s I had no fear and no skill which was a bad combination. My wife would give me the once over after each ride to determine what I had done this time. After countless abrasions, a separated shoulder and helping literally thousands of injured athlete’s this is what I find helpful.
Lord willing, your injury is just an abrasion, or minor loss of skin as I did in tonight’s race. By this point in your riding career, most of you likely already have what you have found to be helpful. Many like Neosporin or the other anti-bacterial, lubricating gels. Others say cover it and keep it moist. I say clean it and let it heal. After dealing with 100’s of personal abrasions I typically prefer to use hydrogen peroxide immediately and regularly during the first 2-3 days while the wound is still fresh. The bubbling you see is the oxidation of bacteria and contaminants. On the occasions that I have had a race or epic event the day after a sizable abrasion has been procured, I will then use one of the available clear sealing bandages to keep the area soft, clean, protected and heat sterilized while I complete the event.
My initial treatment is to first spray or rinse the area with hydrogen peroxide, then scrub briskly with a soft brush in the shower and shave the affected area. This obviously is the least inspiring part of the process. Immediately after drying off I will again spray or rinse the area with hydrogen peroxide. This is where many differing options come. I prefer to loosely cover the area with non-stick bandages to protect my clothes, other people and the sheets, trying to uncover and expose the area whenever possible. Then as a scar begins to form I may use a calendula cream or USF Ointment by Standard Process. FYI Using vitamin E before the scab is gone is more likely to exaggerate scarring. Vitamin E is most beneficial after the scab is gone for scar repair.
Now for more profound, less available insight. Anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDS) can cause leaky gut syndromes, G.I. hemorrhage, decreased vitamin C and folic acid (both profoundly necessary for tissue regeneration), erosion of hyalin cartilage, and increased chemical sensitivity. NSAIDs inhibit the primary pathway in the liver (sulfation) in which new healthy tissue is regenerated. This is the process chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine sulfate hope to facilitate, though unsuccessfully if sulfation is dysfunctional.
A drastically better option is to take proteolytic enzymes immediately following an injury. Even better yet, take them before the injury. How? If you are engaging in an event where there is a high risk of injury, like football, take them before engaging in the activity. If you are scheduled for a surgery, take 1-2 capsules 3 times the day before the procedure. Since they facilitate recovery as well, try taking 1-2 before a race or epic training event. Then, the magic happens when you take them hourly, away from food immediately following an injury or surgery. Take them every waking hour for 1-4 weeks following the trauma until you begin to feel mild gastric distress. Then reduce to 1-2 capsules three times per day until complete recovery is accomplished.
Digestive enzymes, the main ones of which we are considering are proteolytic enzymes (protein digesting) have many beneficial effects. They reduce inflammation so synthesis, repair and regeneration of injured tissue can begin sooner. They reduce pain and edema, reduce scar formation and improve blood supply. All this combines to dramatically accelerate and enhance the recovery process, while minimizing pain sensations. See chart statistics from “Enzymes: What the Experts Know” by Tom Bohager and volumes of work by Dr. Evan Maladenhoff and his work with the Kansas City Chief’s.
Some of the commercially available sources of proteolytic enzymes are Wobenzyme, or Garden of Life makes a couple good enzyme products. You are looking for “Digestive enzymes” without HCl in them. Digestive enzymes without HCl taken away from food digest the protein byproducts of inflammation. Meaning they are naturally anti-inflammatory. This is what you want for injuries and training recovery. Some may contain the beneficial anti-inflammatory herbs of boswellia or turmeric which also aid in this process. Digestive enzymes with HCl in them are designed to aid in the digestion of meals and are used for a different clinical picture. Consider these if you have frontal or left sided headaches, sluggish digestion, bloating or constipation.
Another thing you should truly consider in a traumatic injury is good Chiropractic manipulation. Again after dealing with countless injuries both personally and professionally, manual manipulation as expertly done by a skilled Chiropractor shows tremendous benefit. I have treated many who have preferred that I use more conservative, passive style adjustments which I use often clinically. They get better. However, the outcome in full recovery, speed of recovery, and renewed proprioception (sense of balance) is far greater when specific adjustments are rendered.
Cycling is a wonderful sport and the best way to maintain health that I have seen. If you encounter an injury, take advantage of the great therapies available to get you back on the bike ASAP! Follow https://www.facebook.com/drscott.vrzal for regular health insights.
While on a bus tour to the Grand Canyon, we were offered our boxed continental breakfast. It contained a large muffin, peanut butter crackers, chocolate chip cookies, an apple and OJ. Being “others centered” I was relegated to the 1/2 seat left next to a gentleman that took up 1.5 seats. Fortunately I long ago learned not to count on meals like this, so I had consumed a filling, balanced breakfast befor enjoying the tour. Therefore I was awake and intrigued by the stories and information our fine tour guide had to share.
Remember when you were a child playing the Jello game in the car? Whenever the car turned the objective is to lean and squish the person next to you as if you were a large, unsupported mass of Jello. This game provides hours of entertainment for children, unlike my two hour bus ride. My Jello game partner was a large lifeless, formless mass after consuming a large quantity of simple carbohydrates unbalanced by any sort of protein or good fats. He was in a deep “food coma!”
After the unbalanced, high carbohydrate meal my Jello game partner certainly experienced a large insulin dump which led to very low blood sugar in the brain (hypoglycemia). Unlike literally every other organ in the body, the brains only energy comes from blood glucose. The other organs can metabolize proteins or fats for energy when necessary. Since the brain does not, low blood sugar symptoms are primarily mental emotional. Symptoms like the inability to stay awake. poor focus, anger, frustration or even minor seizures can manifest when the brain becomes unfed in a hypoglycemic state. I’ve heard expert criminal witness’ testify that virtually every hate crime done occurs while the offender is in a hypoglycemic state.
Another intriguing concept that my Jello partner experienced is the accumulation of fat. Insulin is a self preservation hormone. When insulin is secreted it causes nearly 40% of that meal to be stored as fat, like triglycerides. The perceptive mind can then recognize that this is part of why the 1980’s low fat mentality led to the fattening of America. If my Jello Partner had simply consumed a good source of protein like eggs, or turkey with some good fats like olive oil, avocado, or almonds he may have also learned from our fine tour guide and if done consistently, would not likely require 1.5 seats.
The take away: When you get sleepy after a meal, something in that meal caused an insulin dump. That insulin dump starved your brain of energy and will likely be stored in large part as fat. The better you learn to manage this experience the better you can capitalize on this God given life and the better your long term health outlook will be.
There are three primary neurotransmitter’s (brain chemical’s) associated with learning. They are noreadrenalin (NA), Dopamine, and Acetylcholine (ACh). NA is responsible for learning the information. NA is typically reduced in blood sugar problems and is the main brain chemical associated in most ADD challenges. When blood sugar drops the brain is unfed and basically won’t retain the material. One becomes unfocused and unattentive. May even lead to petite mall seizures. Limiting sugar, treating yeast, and eating Blood Type beneficial foods are often helpful in this condition.
Dopamine is responsible for retaining the material. Dopamine is a precursor to estrogen and is typically reduced in hormonal imbalances. You have experienced the benefits of Dopamine if you have ever experienced the “runners high.” This is part of why cardiovascular exercise is beneficial to learning, happiness, and contentedness. Exercise also enhances the health (neuroplasticity) of the brain. With poor diet and lack of exercise the brain literally gets mushy.
Acetylcholine (ACh) is the brain chemical for um, um, um, um, ah … Oh yea, Recall. When ACh is low then the good news is the info is in there, one just can’t access it. ACh is the brain control for the liver and gallbladder. So often “recall” problems are actually a detox problem. You may have heard me say this before… I find tomatoes to disrupt ACh metabolism potentially causing memory problems, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. Trans fatty acids and processed foods can disrupt this pathway, as can B6 or choline deficiencies.
Chronic stress is a huge contributor to dementia type brain deterioration. True dementia is quite often a literal atrophy of the brain due to the negative effects of the stress hormone cortisol. This is minimized by maintaining proper balance in life. Taking a Sabbath day, and vacation’s to allow the body (adrenal’s) to restore. Vitamin’s like B5, zinc, eleuthero, and adrenal glandular’s are a few consideration’s.
Excitotoxins like MSG and aspartate also can literally kill brain cells leading to memory loss. These fake foods excite nerve cells (open calcium channels causing the nerve to fire) to the point of death. The damage may be irreversible but minimized by nutrients like B6, folic acid, or B12.
Autoimmune problems of gluten sensitivity can also cause damage to the brain if untreated as the brain and the gut function are very closely related.
Take care of your brain. It is the only one you have. Fortunately, we have billions of brain cells since we are all losing them to some degree. The rate at which we loose them can be very determined by your lifestyle choices. Will you choose to flourish in those “golden years,” or flounder. The choice is now in your hands.
Regrettably the left hand picture were my fingers after a few very long bike rides which created an EFA (essential fatty acid) deficiency for me. This is evidenced by the dry, peeling skin on the ends. The good news is that this is very temporary when understood. When my fingers look like this, I take and extra 1-2 fish oil capsules and they skin is better within hours.
The white spots in the right hand picture demonstrate a zinc deficiency. This sometimes magnified by a need for HCl (stomach acid). Zinc is necessary to make stomach acid, it helps the hormone system, and it helps the immune system. Notice the poor circulation and immune problem of the last 2 fingers. Sugar consumption and stress depress zinc levels.
Cracking or brittle nails are often a need for calcium and HCL which will help one metabolize the calcium.
Perpendicular ridges across the nail are periods of protein deficiency. A sign that you need more protein in the diet. Don’t let this continue or you will end up quite ill.
Loss of the half moons at the nails beds are an indicator that there may be some hypothyroid issues. This needs to be correlated with symptoms and appropriate testing.
Anemia is another issue that may show up as spoon shaped nails or possibly as deeper longitudinal lines. Correlate with signs like a lack of redness in the “life lines” of the palm, slow color recovery after squeezing the finger and lab tests.
Little red dots on the skin are called Cherry Angiomas or Petichia. In and of themselves they are not harmful, but what they tell about your body is a very different story… There are two pathway’s in the liver associated with this problem. When one of them does not function properly, then a person ends up with high homocysteine. Homocysteine levels above 11.4 are dangerous. In fact the further above, not only does one’s cardiovascular risk increase, but the likelihood of a cardiovascular accident being fatal also increases. Yuck!
Typically, the larger and/or more numerous the dots, the higher the likelihood that there is strong cardiovascular accident family history. A seminar attendee, where I was once teaching this had a large, raised, red mole sized red dot. Both her parents had died of heart attacks in their fifties. I find them to often show first in the sternal (cleavage) area.
The chart to the left outlines the foods or nutrients that can make this pathway not function properly and the nutrients that can help it work right. When it works right, you live. Capish?
Take the time to keep an eye on your spouses skin, regularly checking for these danger signs. If present, determine which of the above nutrients is missing in their diet and which of the offenders are being consumed and make appropriate changes while you still can.
Darker, multicolored skin lesions, especially with borders that vary and look like they are consuming the skin near it should be evaluated. Another thing I look for is activity. Has it changed or does it flake?
There is a pathway in the liver collectively called the P450 enzymes. This pathway gets disrupted from sun (radiation) damage. It is fed (helped) by… You guessed it… vegetables and berries. The phytonutrients and antioxidants in berries and veggies facilitate the proper functioning of these enzymes, thus reducing the potential for skin or many other types of cancer. Supplementally, the best nutrients for these enzymes are S.O.D. (superoxide dismutase) which is called a free radical scavenger. As a free radical scavenger it is very effective in minimizing the “side effects” of treatments like chemo and radiation as well as damage from over exposure to sun. The sun is not as much an issue as our poor nutritional ability to deal with its effects. Take the opportunity to keep an eye on your spouses skin and Eat your organic fruits and veggies.
The Dr. V summary of this ground breaking paper is:
When one eats too many processed, low soluble fiber foods they create an intestinal environment that is conducive to storing belly (visceral) fat. When one consumes appropriate vegetable fiber it promotes a healthier intestinal environment that stimulates metabolism and virtually melts away belly fat. Clinically I have long understood that fat storage in the lower abdominal area is a consequence of poor intestinal function. This paper confirms what we have known clinically for many years. The now confirmed conclusion is, if you want to loose belly fat eat fewer processed carbohydrates and more vegetables. Vegetables also help one feel satisfied longer from the food that is consumed, as opposed to the desire for further empty calories soon after the consumption of said empty calories. Eat vegetables to be lean and satisfied.
After riding 4-6 centuries/year for about the last 10 years, I am occasionally asked about my training and nutritional preparations for an event. So I have put them together in this central location. The nutritional prep will be covered in a follow up blog.
The first step is to know the event vitals that you are preparing for. How much total elevation gain is on the course, and where in the event are the climbs located? What will the conditions be? Are there any specific rules, like no drafting for solo riders? Are there timed, king of the mountain segments? Is the whole event timed or is it a more recreationally structured event?
Then, depending on the goals and conditions of the event, I will begin structuring a plan several months ahead. If is a flat, recreational event like the Palm Springs Century I will continue long, flat “base mileage” type training that occurs at about 65% of my max heart rate predominantly. Then as the season progresses to the more aggressive bigger climb events, I will incorporate far more higher intensity and climbing into my training while maintaining at least one longer ride per week.
Training leading up to the event shifts slightly. If it is a more recreational/training type event then my “taper” preparation for the event would simply be 3 days of very light rides at 65% for less then 1 hour. If it is an event I intend to truly peak for and intend to compete at my best, then I would “taper” for 2 weeks. This 2 week period might be as little as 1 60-90 minute ride in zone 2 every-other-day. This is less ideal for over all progress, so I only plan to peak like this for 2-3 events per year typically.
Thanks to the help of Big Red Coaching I have implemented “opener’s” the day before events. Opener’s are done by going for a gentle zone 2 (65%) one hour ride. Midway during that ride I will take 2 one minute segments on a gentle grade where I aggressively progress from zone 2 to as high as I can get my heart rate (zone 6). If I am well rested, which is ideal for a competitive event, I will be able to get pretty near to my max heart rate. If I am poorly prepared and under rested, my heart rate will not get nearly as high. That is a bad sign if I am looking to peak for the event. By implementing these I have found that I can begin riding at a competitive race pace much faster at the start of the event. Meaning I need far less warm up before feeling “all in!”
These same principles work well for marathon and half marathon type training. I hope you find some value in this for your own training and I wish the very best in your pursuit of optimal fitness. Check out the next post which will cover my dieting/hydration shifts prior to and during an event. God bless.
While a bran and wheat germ discarding milling process can help improve white flour’s shelf life, it does remove nutrients like some dietary fiber, iron, B vitamins, micronutrients and essential fatty acids. Since 1941, however, fortification of white flour-based foods with some of the nutrients lost in milling, like thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and iron was mandated by the US government in response to the vast nutrient deficiencies seen in US military recruits at the start of World War II. This fortification led to nearly universal eradication of deficiency diseases in the US, such as pellagra and beriberi (deficiencies of niacin and thiamine, respectively) and white bread continues to contain these added vitamins to this day.
Folic acid is another nutrient that some governments have mandated is added to enriched grains like white bread. In the US and Canada, these grains have been fortified with mandatory levels of folic acid since 1998 because of its important role in preventing birth defects.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page
Another example of man and his “infinite wisdom.” Stripping nutrients from God made food for shelf life, realizing people got sick, then feebly attempting to replace what they stole in processing.
Much like the medications and vitamins described last week, bread is a similar example. In the pursuit of better shelf life and therefore improved profit margins, man stripped grains of their nutrients. Are bugs smarter then us? They wouldn’t eat it, but we would? After realizing that this process created significant neurological problems they added back synthetic vitamins to replace the good ones they stripped out. Whole wheat became the healthy solution. Now that is mostly genetically modified and creates gallbladder problems. Take heart, there is hope.
Some “healthier” bread options might include live sprouted grain breads like Ezekiel 4:9 or spelt. Mana is another one that works, it is more of a fruitcake loaf motif then sandwich bread though. With the gluten-free craze we are seeing some better options appearing on the seen like rice or nut breads. What is your favorite option?