Category Archives: Health

Colloidal Silver Update

Standard

Sort of random, but since I already discussed Colloidal Silver in a previous post I thought I would provide an update on what’s up with that.

So, here’s a quick update on my colloidal silver usage, for anyone interested.

As with any product, testimonials can be a good general indicator of the direction of whether or not using the product will be helpful, hurtful, or irrelevant.    But testimonials are not completely reliable as a universal indicator of the good a product can do.    Especially when you’re talking about any kind of health or medical product or treatment, we are all different.   Further, and no disrespect meant to anyone, but I think that people often attribute the benefits from the use of a single thing with a little too much generosity.   This pretty much goes for anything.   There are either other factors at play most of the time, or there could also be a bit of a placebo effect.

So, here is my honest attempt at sharing what I’ve seen so far from colloidal silver:

First of all, I have taken a small dose (1 oz, or close to it) in the morning each day.    Often, I’ll take a second dose at night.    This is my “maintenance dose” to help ward off evil spirits.   Or colds.   Or whatever it’s supposed to ward off.

Second, I’ve used it on a wart, to try and get the wart to go away.

Third, I’ve sprayed it on skin tags.

Fourth, I’ve used it in my eyes.

Here are my results:

First, I caught a cold.   So, no, taking the maintenance dose did not, in and of itself, prevent me from catching cold.    Here is the potential upside on that:   Many testimonials say that if they feel a cold coming on, they take a couple large doses (4 – 6 oz).   I did not do that.   At most, I took an extra dose of 1 oz on a couple days, and pretty much that was after I already caught my cold.    So it may be that I could have helped ward off the full effect of a cold had I been more aggressive.    Also, since I don’t have a body double in an alternate universe who did not take any colloidal silver, it is impossible for me to know with any certainty that the colloidal silver mitigated my symptoms.    But I have previous colds to compare to, and I will say that I don’t think colloidal silver reduced the length of my cold, but I do believe it mitigated the seriousness of it.    During my illness I went hunting in cold weather, attended a Packers game in wet and cold conditions, and generally did myself no favors.   My cold settled in my lungs like it always does, but in the past I would nearly always get a terrible cough, literally for weeks.   I had a moderate cough this time that cleared up much more quickly than typical (I have a genetic condition that has weakened my lungs, so this is actually a big deal to me).   Further, it is possible that I could have more success in this regard with a steam inhaler using colloidal silver.   This could more directly attack the issue and also get it more directly into the bloodstream to fight an illness.    I will also say that gargling with colloidal silver has definitely seemed to take care of potential sore throats.

My conclusion on cold/illness aversion:   The maintenance dose may help ward off minor issues, and seems to have had a mitigation of symptoms for me.   More direct use (gargling for sore throats) has seemed to have success.   However, the maintenance dose will not fully protect you from illness.   It is possible that more aggressive dosing or inhaling could help, but I have not tried that.

OK, moving on to the wart…   As far as I can tell, it did nothing.   To be fair, though, I am not sure if this thing on my finger is an actual wart, or if it is some alien life-form.  I’ve tried apple cider vinegar, iodine, and colloidal silver on this thing, and nothing’s worked.  Also to be fair, I usually try these things for a couple weeks and get bored, so it could well be that I need to stick with it for a couple months.

Conclusion on warts:  I have an alien life-form on my hand, I don’t stick with anything, and I can’t say for sure whether or not colloidal silver works.

Third:   Skin tags.   This isn’t even worth talking about.   I’ve tried spraying random skin tags at random times, but haven’t made any serious effort at continued application, so there isn’t any reasonable conclusion that could be made.

Fourth: Eyes.    I have had a couple times where I feel an infection/sty or whatever in my eyes.   I have to say that colloidal silver has been noticeably effective at heading off any sort of eye infection.   A couple drops morning and night for a day or two is all it takes.     I think that has been conclusive.

 

When I drink the colloidal silver I swish it in my mouth for a couple minutes for two reasons:   (1) direct absorption into the bloodstream through the mouth tissues, and (2) under the theory that plaque buildup is caused mainly by bacteria, I’m thinking it should help with that.    I have not had a dental cleaning since I started using it, so the jury’s out on that.   I’ll let you know what the hygienist says.

 

Also, since colloidal silver does not discriminate between good and bad bacteria, and I’m ingesting it in the morning, I have started taking good bacteria as a supplement later in the day (usually dinner time, or if I forget before bed).    My naturopath suggested getting four different kinds and rotating to a different one each day, so that’s what I’m doing.    He has no concerns that the amount I’m ingesting is enough to wreck my good bacteria, but does believe it’s a good and prudent thing to continue to introduce the good stuff in any event.

Advertisements

Drinking Silver

Standard

On a completely random note, I’ve been drinking silver.

No, I haven’t boiled down my kitchen utensils,

I’ve been experimenting with colloidal silver.

Why would I do this cry thing, you ask?   Good question.

So, I’ve shared some of the interesting health issues I’ve had over the last year.   I’ve engaged both typical docs as well as pursued a more naturalistic route.   I’ve tried some interesting things along the way, and I must say that on an overall basis the more targeted natural treatment has done quite well.    I am not against engaging in medicines or other treatment if necessary, but I do not want that to be the first path I take.

In the past year I’ve managed to get my blood pressure down and improve my overall health without medication.   I won’t bore with the details.

So, at some point I decided to study the uses of colloidal silver.   After a lot of reading, consultation, and testimonials I decided to take the plunge.

The first thing I realized was that buying colloidal silver is prohibitively expensive.   But you can make your own.   So I bought a highly recommended colloidal silver generator.   It’s still pricey at over $200, but if used consistently it pays for itself very quickly.   In fact, it already has.

Here’s my own experiments so far:   (1) I swish an ounce in my mouth and gargle every morning and evening before swallowing.   (2) I have put a few drops on a band-aid and put it over a wart I have had forever. (3) I spray if on a skin tag I have once or twice a day.

(1) This maintenance dose is supposed to help attack any microbials you may have ingested that are sitting in your stomach, and the gargling helps to attack any hanging out in your throat (tonsils).   Silver is a natural antibiotic but doesn’t come with the same risks of resistance as traditional antibiotics.   It’s also shown to have anti-viral properties.    While this small does won’t guarantee you won’t ever get sick, it’s supposed to help prevent getting sick.    (2) Under the theory that warts might be caused by viruses, I tried this.   It’s not gone, but much smaller, and looks to be working.  (3) Spraying the skin tag has done absolutely nothing that I can see.

silver-dudeI share this for one main reason – I really don’t care whether or not people think it works or doesn’t, is nutty or isn’t.   I won’t argue or debate it.   Do your own research and believe what you will.   But what I will say is that anyone who argues that this is harmful or could kill me is simply wrong.  There are countless people using colloidal silver with no ill effects, and the concerns on the product date back to a much cruder version, at much higher concentration, and much higher doses.    So, try it or don’t, but anyone who scares you off on it – even a physician – doesn’t really know what they are talking about.   The guy pictured above is a poster child for fear-mongers.    He drank a bunch of colloidal silver, apparently, and look what happened!

One thing to understand is that this condition is rare.   The other thing to know was that he was drinking 10 to 20 ounces per day for 10 years, and using salt as an absorption accelerant.    The final thing to know is that despite the appearance, there was no actual health issues that came from this condition.   His death at the age of 62 was smoking related.    Basically, the point is that abusing anything can lead to undesirable side effects.

One of the main reasons I got it was because silver is a proven natural antibiotic.   I don’t know what the future holds.   I do know there are many more cases of medical antibiotics not working, and who knows if they will ever be in limited supply.    This, to me, was a prudent step to prepare for uncertain times.

Just thought I’d share.

Tattoo or not Tattoo

Standard

jesus-tattoo-by-dennis-wehler-728x868Let me lay all my biases out from the beginning:   This opinion comes from both a Catholic/Faith perspective, but also deeply on my own opinion of tattoos.   And I have yet to hear any argument that has convinced me that getting a tattoo – especially one of visual prominence – makes any sense whatever.   I think they are stupid, pure and simple.   I know that rankles people, but I have a right to my opinion.   So, I’m going to be evaluating the question from the perspective of someone coming from a good, Catholic, family who is debating the relative merits of getting a tattoo, but wanted to make clear my initial bias in this question.   I admit I will not be able to refuse my opinion of it from my personal bias, and actually I am not even going to try all that hard to do so, because quite honestly I think the reason I already feel that way (and always have) is because I did the more balance, honest evaluation of their merits years and years ago.

So, anyway, my wife has these occasional get-togethers with other homeschooling Catholic moms.   The families range in various sizes and in various stages of where they are in life.    Some have large families (8+ kids) with some kids already graduated and in adulthood, and it goes all the way down to those with a couple young kids just getting rolling.

Without exception, every family takes their faith life seriously, and it is important to them to pass on their Catholic faith to their children.   Of course, we all have our own approaches and styles, and one could debate the strategy of trying to make this happen all day long.  Ultimately, all this really tells me is that none of us our perfect and it shows the importance of relying on God all the more in our journey as parents.   One of my favorite little prayers to utter is “God, please help these kids turn out OK despite my own stupidity and laziness.”

One of the moms is struggling a bit because her 2nd oldest son has a couple tattoos.   And now the third one has a sizeable tattoo on his forearm and wants to get one on his other forearm.    She has tried to argue for why this isn’t a good idea, and as is typical of young men, they think they know better than their mom.    Now, these young men, to my knowledge, have not strayed in their Catholic faith, still find it important, and still practice it.   They do not see any conflict with the faith and getting a tattoo.

And this is where my opinion comes in.

First, let me be clear.    I do not think, nor will I suggest, that there is anything intrinsically evil or sinful with tattoos.   Like many things, the real question is a matter of what is driving someone to do something.   But I do think that someone really needs to be honest with themselves in evaluating why they want a tattoo if they are indeed considering one.   This shouldn’t be problematic – we really should do this with everything we do.  Why do a I want ten million dollars?   Because I want to give it away to the poor or because I want to have an easy life with little or no responsibility?   Most of us would fall somewhere in between those two extremes, and while most of us aren’t going to get ten million dollars it’s still a worthy mental exercise to go through an honest evaluation and promise yourself and God what it is you would plan to do with it if it ever happened.\

Here are my opinions and responses to some of the clever (or not so clever) arguments on the matter.

  • Argument: Getting a tattoo today is like getting your ear pierced years ago.   It has become much more accepted, and is not looked at as a big deal.    Full disclosure – I got my ear pierced in my college days.   I was in a rock band, admittedly liked the looks of it, and I did it.   I don’t even regret it.   I thought it looked cool.   There was no more motivation behind it than that.   But I am not being a hypocrite here, in my opinion, with that comparison.   Because even back then, I considered the questions, and even then there were people getting tattoos and doing all sorts of other things.    I knew and considered that at any time this was reversible.   I knew that at some point in my life, I may well consider the wearing of an earring silly or immature.    I knew I could take it out at any time if the situation called for it without needing to mask it.    It may or may not have been a dumb thing to do, and I may or may not have had other opinions of me diminished because of it, but the impact was minimal.    Also, I could switch it up for the right occasion – a simple stud for normal wear or something gaudier for a show, or nothing at all for a trip to the parents who I knew didn’t love it.    So, I get the comparison, and the social attitude may be comparable, but the reality of what you are doing is not comparable.
  • Argument: But <insert morally upright individual> has one, and if he has one, it can’t be all that bad!     In Catholic circles, the argument du jour is Father Stan Fortuna , who is a Catholic Priest with tattoos.    OK, this is always a stupid argument for many reasons, and I’ll address why.   Before I do, let me go on record as not intending in any way to disparage Father Stan Fortuna.   I honestly have no qualms about him doing what he does or having a tattoo – again, he knows why he does.    But whenever someone points to “a” person as the example among a sea of counterexamples, it is in no way an honest argument.   If you are truly going to make your life decisions based on the example of others, then you don’t look for exceptions to justify your own behavior.   You look for what the majority of people are doing that you admire and respect.   Exceptions are just that – exceptions.   And there’s a reason why they are exceptions.   Now, lest you think I am making an argument about just following the crowd, that’s misreading what I am saying.   Being a devout Catholic in and of itself is already not following the crowd.   But once you commit yourself, then you do want to follow the examples of other devout Catholics.    Most importantly, Venerables, Blesseds, Saints, and the other holy men and women we meet in our life should be very important role models, emulators, and mentors for us.   We should follow this crowd whenever the question is something that has a moral or spiritual component to it.    And in this case, the vast majority of examples in this group have not littered their body with tattoos.   Exceptions exist, of course.   But you have to acknowledge the predominant behavior and consider why that is the case.   And it is  a much stronger case.
  • Permanence Matters: My opinion.   But while young people don’t like to consider getting older or meeting other people or needing to be a good example for future children and all that, time moves quickly.   I’m 48 and I can still very clearly remember my high school and college days.   I remember how I thought about things, felt about things…   young people today have a difficult time thinking we can relate but I can tell you those youthful memories are very clear – we do get it.    I may think it’s stupid to color your hair pink, or pierce your nose, or wear some of the clothes you wear.   And I may argue why those things are stupid, and you may ignore me because I’m older and I don’t get it (even though I generally thought the same thing when I was young).    But ten years from now you won’t have that hair color any more, you probably won’t have the nose piercing, and you won’t be wearing those same clothes.   Because you’ll grow and mature and change the way you think, and for your own reasons decide that it’s time to move on from that experimentation.    But you ink a huge Eagle – or even a Cross – on your forearm or your back and it’s there forever unless you go through the agonizing and expensive experience of having it removed.    To not even rationally consider this element of getting a tattoo shows a lack of maturity and foresight, in my opinion.
  • Desecration of the Temple matters: OK, I want to reiterate that the heart is what matters.   And someone may really think and believe that they have a good reason for doing what they are doing.   And they may even think God likes them getting a religious tattoo.   But God still made you the way you are – without them.    Relating this to permanence, you are purposely changing yourself.    Others may disagree with me, but this smacks of someone thinking that they can improve upon what God has made you.    This isn’t trying to keep you healthy or fix a medical condition.   It’s fundamentally changing the intended design of who you are and how you were made.   Sure, it may be cosmetic in nature, but it’s also readily apparent for all to see.
  • Size matters: I am against all tattooing, but like all other things of questionable nature there is scale as well to consider.   If I see someone with a pierced nose, I may think it unnecessary and a bit silly, and I don’t really get the draw, but it’s not an overwhelming shock.    If I see someone with a nose, lip, eyebrow, and cheek pierced I am going to form an unfavorable opinion of that person in some way.   I try not to be judgmental, and I am not supposed to judge the heart, and I try my best not to.   But this person is also bringing a bit of this upon themselves by publicly mutilating their body.    My judgment isn’t really one about the salvation of the person.  It is more a general feeling that something is really missing in this person’s life that they are trying desperately to fill.    Others may go to other unfavorable thoughts of what that person might be like it.   And you can lecture as much as you want about that being wrong, but it is also human nature, and quite frankly it’s not 100% wrong.   We are given the discernment to separate out right from wrong and right things from wrong things.   Without even judging the heart of a person, I am not going to apologize for knowing that there is something wrong or problematic about the actual act and display of getting multiple piercings.   I will just try not to jump to conclusions about the person – though it can be very hard to separate the two.      Likewise, I could probably live with a small tattoo that may have some unknown personal meaning, but the more there are and the bigger they are is going to directly impact my first impression of you.   And as to the argument that it’s my problem and not yours, that’s dead to me.   Sure, any judgment may be my problem to an extent, but it’s also yours.   Whether endearing yourself to future in-laws, applying for work, making new friends, etc.  these things are all your problem.   And unless you never judge anyone for anything, you can’t expect others to act any differently.   And if nobody ever judges anything, then God help us all.

I could actually go on.   Believe it or not, there are still additional points I could make.   But I’ll leave it to this last thing:

  • Find older people in your Church who you know to be faithful people, who also have predominant tattoos. Get to know them and then ask them if they are glad they have them.     I have done this on a few occasions, and in most cases there is regret.   In some cases there is acceptance that they did what they did and it doesn’t bother them.    In no cases yet have I heard anyone thrilled to death about how great their tattoo is, and they’d do the same thing all over again, and only regret that they don’t have more.

 

Of course, I could be completely wrong.

Book Review/Diatribe: The Great Cholesterol Con

Standard

I had so much fun with my last book review that I decided to do another one. Who knows, maybe it will become “a thing.” Whatever that means.

You may scratch your head on this one. The review is on a book entitled “The Great Cholesterol Con: The Truth About What Really Causes Heart Disease and How to Avoid it,” by Dr. Malcolm Kendrick.

So, why would the Catholic Diatriber review this book? Primarily, the easy answer is “because I feel like it.” But why not do so on the “Personal Diatribes” blog? Well, I don’t really post there much, and it’s really meant to be a site for anecdotes and family stories and such. Though, not exclusively so.

Actually, I am posting it here because this is where I do the majority of my posts, and also because we Catholics don’t just concern ourselves with purely spiritual matters. If we find something that can prove helpful to others, then we assist. And so, in the area of health information, I think it’s a quite Catholic thing to do to share a few lay insights into my take on Dr. Kendrick’s little book.

By way of a bit of background, my wife and I both have what I believe to be some healthy skepticism towards consensus on matters where consensus tends to shout down dissenting views. And to the extent I am a little skeptical, my wife tends to default to that view especially in areas of health. But this comes with a good dose of her seeming to be generally right, so I seldom argue. That said, I will tend to roll my eyes at some of the things she reads, and my initial reaction to this book was to do the same. Before I picked it up, the title alone struck me as a bit sensational and alarmist – kind of like those e-mails one gets with all sorts of huge, red, bolded letters with a lot of exclamation points. You know the ones – where if you don’t forward it to 800 other people then you hate America or want children to suffer or don’t love Jesus, or whatever the case may be.

I can’t even remember what prompted me to actually pick it up and start reading it. But I was actually shocked as I read it… not so much as to any claims or content, but that it was incredibly sensibly written, humorous, and fully referenced. As difficult as it may be to believe, it truly is written with a sense of humor. In my opinion this adds credibility. Too many “Exposed!” books are all about demagoguery and written with a great sense of foreboding and conspiracy. A couple of random examples of a little humor that helped make the book eminently readable follow.

Moving on from that cheery subject. Apart from the heart and the brain, you can have infarctions in the kidneys, the guts, the eyes – almost anywhere, in fact. (At this point, it occurs to me that I should, perhaps, have inscribed the words DON’T PANIC on the cover of the book.)

There are so many ways in which this analogy is wrong, that I just can’t possibly outline them all here. Hopefully, by the time you have finished this book you will understand that anyone making such a statement needs to be taken out and slapped repeatedly with a we kipper.

I shall start by presenting all of the evidence in support of the diet-heart hypothesis. It is, as follows: [ ]. (Leave space blank for any supportive evidence that might appear.)

…my memory of a traditional Scots recipe is, as follows: Step one: Place a three-pound lump of beef in a saucepan with a carrot and an onion and boil for eight hours. Step two: Eat with boiled potatoes. And as everyone knows, the Scots love a fry-up. Even a fried-up Mars bar: Step one: Take a frozen Mars bar and cover in batter. Place in deep-fat fryer for two minutes. Step two: Eat with chips while walking home in the rain.

None of those quotes are particularly relevant as far as content goes, but I thought they were funny so I felt like quoting them. There are many other such things that kept it entertaining.

Of course, humor is all well and good, but it is not the purpose of the book. So, how did I feel like it held up where actually important: making a case for what Dr. Kendrick considers to be the “con”?
This book is really just written more from the point of view that the consensus is simply wrong. Oh, sure, there are a few little potshots here and there as to the motives of some, but that is not the focus of the book. This may seem a bit surprising, given the title, which would lead one to think it’s about uncovering some great conspiracy. This isn’t really a case about conspiracy as it is about groupthink and an inability to see the forest through the trees. The author recognizes that certain things just seem so logical to the establishment that they “must be true,” and are so compelling that those studying the question cannot seem to alter their course even when studies show contradictory results. Instead, the underlying premise is assumed correct while they study certain aspects of the studied group and then provide reasons for why the study showed different results without having it affect the initial hypothesis, even when that is the simpler and more realistic answer. Some of this is certainly profit-driven, and there is a real question about ties to pharmaceutical companies among other valid observations. But the main point seems to be that good and well-meaning people just plain have it wrong, whatever the reasons for it.

I am a math guy and have studied my share of science. I am not an expert in bio-health, so I cannot state with certainty much of anything. What I can tell, I believe, is whether or not somebody is sourcing their material validly and making a strong case. I can also tell if there’s a sincerity to the opinion, or whether or not this is just a book to alarm and make money. It is my opinion that the book is a valuable read for those with an open mind to questioning the consensus. Certainly, it should not be viewed as the be-all and end-all, but should promote further questions and study.

It would take some length to summarize the points of this book, and I may do a follow-up post on that. The point of this post was to simply review the book. I believe I have covered most of what I intended to cover in the review.

If I have one critique to the negative, it is that as I read this book I found myself looking forward to the end, where I was sure it would be all laid out for me on exactly what I can do to escape heart disease now that it’s been shown that a lot of those reasons we thought caused it no longer apply. I admit I was disappointed in the conclusion. There certainly were some bullet-points there, and they had been alluded to throughout the book, but it fell quite a bit short in my opinion. It was clear that it was not the emphasis of the author to provide a “how to live your life” book, but to perhaps free us from the chains of thought that are not helping –and may be hurting us and making life more miserable than it needs to be. But a little bit more in the suggestions would have made the book feel more complete, as opposed to feeling like the author just wanted to end it after he was done with what he was really actually interested in.

Recommendation: If you eschew these kinds of books for any of the following reasons: (1) they are dry and boring; (2) they are over your head; (3) they are alarmist; (4) they are not well-referenced and lack credibility; (5) they are written by quacks who are not doctors and have no relevant experience then you have still not hit on a reason to not read this book. None of those apply. I strongly recommend reading this, if for no other reason than to consider the discussions on Statins and medications and be more informed as to how they work and better understand the total mortality concept instead of just focusing on heart disease. Read and enjoy, but make your own decisions.