Disclaimer

*Results may vary. The information in this site is NOT to be construed as medical advice. Cirrhosis of the liver is a serious condition and if you have it, you should see a doctor. I am not a doctor and am not able to dispense medical advice. My husband saw a doctor (many of them) and they were able to do things for him that I could not. However, they were unable to recommend alternative treatments, and in MY OPINION they were VERY beneficial to my husband, so I am providing some of that information here. My husband and I tried all of these alternative therapies at our own risk, and if you try them you will be doing the same. At your own risk. No promises are made in this blog. I am not saying there is a cure for cirrhosis or any other condition. However, I believe most people can get well, like my husband did. My husband is alive, happy, productive, functional and has his energy back. He no longer worries about having to go on disability or getting a $577,000 liver transplant. Cirrhosis is a serious condition. He is currently in the fibrosis stage (Stage 2 liver disease), which is still serious. I cannot guarantee you will have the same results. I just want you to know about what worked well for my husband. I hope you will share what you learned with others, and share your story with us as well. This blog was made for YOU! Thanks for visiting!

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Can you reduce ascites by increasing oxygen and hemoglobin?

I had to share this. I really do believe part of the reason people get health benefits from the water and PEMF machines we got, is because they help increase oxygen in the body. But I'd never seen anything written about low hemoglobin / low oxygen, actually affects ascites and edema. 

Today I re-read this testimonial by a person who said that these blood-building supplements helped her with swelling. I have it posted on THIS PAGE.  See the part that's highlighted.

 


October 5, 2017
I have severe headaches constantly. And the left side of my body has poor blood circulation. When i'm sitting up, the headaches can be so bad they cause me to be very dizzy and nauseous. I JUST started these a week and a half ago. I was taking iron tablets previously that made me sick and honestly did nothing for me. And i can already feel the difference. It didn't kill the headaches but it really does relieve them to a point where i can hold my head up again. I have also noticed that in less than 2 weeks, the swelling in my foot isn't nearly as bad. So i'm going to keep taking these and hope it only gets better from here. I will update after a month to verify if they are still doing their job. So glad i listened to the positive reviews. If there was anything to not like about them, it's the size and smell, but to me that is ALL vitamins, but after taking them i don't taste them in my mouth constantly and they don't make my breath smell like vitamins :)

After reading what this woman said about the swelling in her foot going down, I decided to look for studies that might show a relationship between low hemoglobin / low oxygen, to edema and ascites. And what I found, is below.

https://www.jstor.org/stable/1591869?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents

Journal Article

Effect of Oxygen Level on Ascites Incidence and Performance in Broiler Chicks

A. Beker, S. L. Vanhooser and R. G. Teeter
Avian Diseases
Vol. 39, No. 2 (Apr. - Jun., 1995), pp. 285-291
DOI: 10.2307/1591869
https://www.jstor.org/stable/1591869
Page Count: 7

Abstract

An experiment was conducted using male Cobb × Cobb broiler chicks to evaluate the effect of two oxygen levels on the incidence of ascites, performance, and blood chemistry. Ascites occurred in the 13.6% oxygen groups on the fifth day of the experiment. Body weights and survivability were significantly lower (P < 0.05) in chicks maintained at the low oxygen level than in controls (20.6% oxygen). Hematocrits were significantly higher only in chicks with ascites at the 13.6% oxygen level. 

OK so I have to say... this part highlighted in blue, below, is an example of how some of these research papers leave me scratching my head.  While the part in yellow makes it look like the low oxygen levels give a worse outcome, the part in blue make it sound like, for some reason, the hemoglobin was higher in the chicks with ascites who had lower oxygen, than the chickens with 20.6% oxygen.... is this because there's a difference between the chicks (young chickens) and regular, fully grown chickens? Am I reading this wrong?

 Hemoglobin was significantly higher (P < 0.05) in chicks with ascites at 13.6% oxygen than in chickens at 20.6% oxygen. Lactate dehydrogenase values were significantly higher in non-ascitic chicks maintained at 13.6% oxygen and in chicks with ascites at 20.6% oxygen than in non-ascitic chicks 20.6% oxygen.

Because the part highlighted in yellow, seems to conflict with what's highlighted in blue. Here it is again (the part in yellow):

Body weights and survivability were significantly lower (P < 0.05) in chicks maintained at the low oxygen level than in controls (20.6% oxygen). 


I haven't read the entire study, but it strongly appears that increasing hemoglobin and oxygen levels could have a positive impact on ascites (meaning, it would DECREASE).  I suggest you do your own research and draw your own conclusions.


Heres another study, that was done on chicks, showing how their oxygen levels affected ascites.

 https://pubag.nal.usda.gov/catalog/1352287


Effect of a urease inhibitor and ceiling fans on ascites in broilers. 2. Blood variables, ascites scores, and body and organ weights

Author:
Balog, J.M.Anthony, N.B.Wall, C.W.Walker, R.D.Rath, R.C.Huff, W.E.
Source:
Poultry science 1994 v.73 no.6 pp. 810-816
ISSN:
0032-5791
Subject:
broiler chickensventilation systemsascitesfansurease inhibitorsliverheartsmall intestineweightbody weightblood chemistryuric acidYuccahematocriterythrocyte count
Abstract:
Restricted ventilation was used to experimentally induce ascites in commercial male broilers. The role of a dietary urease inhibitor (0, 125, and 250 ppm) and ceiling fans to reduce ascites was investigated. At 6 wk of age, birds were bled, euthanatized, weighed, scored for ascites, and heart, liver, and small intestine weights were obtained. Random samples were analyzed for intestinal ammonia. Blood samples were analyzed for blood gases, hemoglobin, red blood cell count, blood urea nitro, and uric acid. Birds fed 125 and 250 ppm urease inhibitor were significantly (P < .001) lighter at 6 wk, when compared with controls. Urease inhibitor (125 and 250 ppm) significantly decreased large intestine ammonia. Urease inhibitor significantly increased small intestine (250 ppm) and liver weights (125 and 250 ppm), whereas urease inhibitor at 125 ppm decreased right ventricular heart weight. Urease inhibitor had no effect on ascites scores, blood gases, or blood ammonia, but hemoglobin, blood urea nitrogen, red blood cell count, and uric acid were significantly (P < .05) decreased by 125 ppm urease inhibitor.
Agid:
1352287





You know, it's interesting how many studies are done, to improve the health of the LIVESTOCK we eat, because there is so much money involved in it, and yet, there can be MORE money to be made off humans NOT being as healthy as the livestock.

If you've never watched Dr. Joel Wallach speak, I highly recommend you watch his videos, and check out the book Dead Doctors Don't Lie. He started out studying health, by studying animals. His family raised livestock and he started to notice that more care was put the health of the livestock, than humans! You can see more about Dr. Wallach on THIS PAGE, and in the video below. 



I have to say I have never tried this, but have been wanting to try it and also get some for my husband. Dr. Joel wallach founded Youngevity, and I do believe their vitamins and supplements could be just as good as Visalus - maybe even better, for all I know. We just haven't tried them yet. But if you care to check them out, this is one of the products I have seen sold by Dr. Michael Glidden, whom I also respect a lot -especially since he shares my same opinion about Proton Pump Inhibitors.


Beyond Tangy Tangerine 2.0(1 lb)

I also believe enzymes are really important for digestion, because they help break down protein, which is essential to make albumin, which you need enough of, to keep ascites from coming back.

Youngevity ULTIMATE ENZYMES - 120 CAPSULES

Had to share!

Ellie

Sunday, October 20, 2019

DDP Yoga - You guys have to watch this!

I am thanking God for the insomnia that woke me up around 4:30 AM today.  In my semi-groggy state, I wound up clicking on a YouTube video that had this as the "streaming ad" commercial. I feel really grateful to have been able to see it, so that I could put it on this blog. 


Exercise is really helpful for people with cirrhosis, but it's really hard to find something that's safe, low impact, that builds strength and muscle tone, that you'll want to actually stick to, when you feel like you have little to no energy - OR motivation! But this video I saw, shows a really great way that people could do just that, and I can't help thinking DDP (Diamond Dallas Page) is the kind of guy who'd be able to "connect with" a LOT of people with cirrhosis. He knows what it's like to be down and out. Many pro wrestlers turn to drugs and alcohol, later in their lives. DDP has a lot of friends who've died, but he found a way to rise above all that, and inspire his friends to get healthy again.

I do have to put the disclaimer here, that you are supposed to check with your doctor before beginning any type of exercise routine, but you really can't get any more "low impact" than yoga! And he combines it with his own rehabilitation techniques he was given, when he broke his back, so you can get a LOT of value from one of his programs.

People with cirrhosis get the message over and over again, that cirrhosis and scar tissue cannot be reversed (but we refused to believe it, and we're glad we did).  This video I saw at 4:30 am (below), really spoke to me, because, here's a guy who was told over and over by doctors, that he'd never walk again. He's a military veteran, who severely damaged his back after jumping out of planes, so many time that it caused (what seemed like) permanent damage to his back. Due to his injuries, he couldn't walk without forearm crutches, and often had to use a wheelchair.  He kept on gaining more and more weight, and his health was getting worse and worse. The doctors led him to believe that this was the low quality of life he just had to accept.

But one day, he managed to find DDP's videos on the internet - and they changed his life (I won't give away the details, you just have to watch it). This is such an inspiring video, it made me teary eyed. Heck, it even made Joe Rogan cry (you can see the video, further down the page).



Yoga is something that could be great for people with cirrhosis, because it is very low impact, and it builds strength and muscle tone, which can be important in increasing albumin, which can help you to reduce ascites and edema. Without enough albumin, fluid can leak all over your body, instead of staying inside the veins, where it should be. More and more articles like this one show that building muscle is important for longevity.

I have never done Yoga, partly because I've never gotten around to it, but also because to be honest, I've developed some associations to it, that don't fit in with how I see myself. When I think of yoga, I can't help thinking about the rich upper class women who live around me, who seem to "represent" yoga, as they parade around in their yoga pants, cart around their yoga mats, and shop at LuluLemon, while a nanny watches their kids. Yoga seemed to have turned into an elite activity for the rich and wealthy.  Yeah, I know, I've been making judgments, and I shouldn't knock it until I try it (nor should I knock these rich ladies who can afford nannies and yoga classes). I do realize that Yoga didn't start off that way, and just because certain types of people tend to gravitate towards it, that doesn't mean it couldn't be good for the rest of us, even if we don't fit in with the majority.

What I love about DDP, is that he changes the whole "vibe" of yoga. For most of my life, I've been pretty averse to working out, NOT because I am opposed to exercise, but I just don't like all the hype that goes along with it. It's like a whole lifestyle thing, that's designed for rich and famous people who can afford to work out (yeah, again, I know, this could be a story I've come to make up in my head... what better excuse for not working out). But still... it was an obstacle my brain set up. 

Well, DDP is all about removing obstacles, so that people can heal their bodies, and gain strength through fitness. He has a special gift for helping people who are really down and out, and feel like they've hit rock bottom. The program reminds me of the Phoenix gym I posted a video about, on this page, a few years ago.


This is the extended version of the video, if anyone cares to see it.



Here's the video with Joe Rogan...




Here's another really inspirational testimonial. The thing I love about this video is, this man GAINED 3 pounds when he first started, but he didn't let it get him down, and he kept on going. SO many people look for an immediate payoff, and when they don't see it (or they slide backwards), they give up. But you really need to have tenacity, and this guy has it.  Check this out: 


 
Another great story:



Here's a video about how DDP lifted up his former mentor, wrestler Jake the Snake.




Another testimonial...





And here's one more I had to share, because my husband used to really suffer from back pain.



This guy really felt like the documentary, "The Resurrection of Jake the Snake" could have saved his life. Will post a link for the video trailer, below this one.



This is the Amazon link you can click, to watch the trailer for The Resurrection of Jake the Snake. For some reason, at the moment, this full video doesn't seem to be available, but I am hoping this is just temporary, and maybe it will be available again in the future.

https://www.amazon.com/The-Resurrection-Jake-Snake/dp/B01BKYXU0G

You can also see the video trailer, here:



Here are some of DDP's videos on Amazon, and there will be a link for his website and YouTube channel at the bottom of the page.


WWE: Diamond Dallas Page: Positively Living!





Positively Unstoppable: The Art of Owning It






Get the app, here: 
 DDP YOGA NOW 





Positively Page: The Diamond Dallas Page Journey




DDP recommends using a heart rate monitor. 
Here are some affordable Heart rate monitors that have really good reviews on Amazon:


LETSCOM Fitness Tracker HR, Activity Tracker Watch with Heart Rate Monitor, Waterproof Smart Fitness Band with Step Counter, Calorie Counter, Pedometer Watch for Kids Women and Men


Letsfit Fitness Tracker HR, Activity Tracker Watch with Heart Rate Monitor, IP67 Water Resistant Smart Bracelet with Calorie Counter Pedometer Watch for Kids Women Men
 

 And this one has about 170 reviews, with a 5 star average:

Letsfit Smart Watch, Fitness Tracker with Heart Rate Monitor, Activity Tracker with 1.3" Touch Screen, IP68 Waterproof Pedometer Smartwatch with Sleep Monitor, Step Counter for Kids, Women and Men

 

And this one just has five 5-star reviews, as of this writing, but I'm posting it here because I think it looks cool: 

Honor Band 5 Smart Bracelet Watch Faces Smart Fitness Timer Intelligent Sleep Data Real-Time Heart Rate Monitoring 5ATM Waterproof Swim Stroke Recognition BT 4.2 Wristwatch







I like this yoga mat because it's inexpensive, extra thick, and has good reviews:
AmazonBasics Extra Thick Exercise Yoga Gym Floor Mat with Carrying Strap - 74 x 24 x .5 Inches, Blue\

 



You can see more of DDP's videos, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube, by clicking HERE.
You can see his website (and order his workout videos) by clicking HERE.

Hope he will inspire some of you to rebuild your strength. I know he certainly inspired me, and I'm going to see if I can get my husband to do some of his yoga videos with me : ).

Ellie

When you see commercials for Pharmaceuticals.... remember this


Think about how many times you've seen some sort of pharmaceutical commercial like this one, below. It's amazing how much trust can be built with the right mood music, the right words, and the right actors (which will inevitably include some "doctor" in a white coat... is this how we got the term "doctored up")? 

Watching these commercials below, you get the feeling that this drug is safe to take. Or, should I say, we've just gotten used to thinking it's normal to hear commercials with serious side effects, and thinking it's ok to take the stuff.  Is there anything about these commercials that makes this drug appear to be LESS safe than any of the other pharmaceuticals being advertised on television, right now?  Further down the page, you'll see what Xarelto has been shown to cause (and a YouTube commercial for a lawsuit against the manufacturer).









How did we get so numb, as a society, so that we think it's somehow OK to take any drug that says THIS in the commercials:

Don't stop taking Xarelto without talking to your doctor, as this may increase your risk of stroke, while taking a spinal injection increases the risk of blood clots, which may cause paralysis, the inability to move. You may bruise more easily, or take longer for bleeding to stop. Xarelto can cause serious, and in rare cases, fatal bleeding. It may increase your risk of bleeding if you take certain medicines. Get help right away for unexpected bleeding or unusual bruising. Do not take Xarelto if you have an artificial heart valve, or abnormal bleeding. Before starting, tell your doctor about all planned medical or dental procedures, and any kidney or liver problems. Be sure you're doing all you can, to help protect yourself from a stroke. Ask your doctor if it's time for Xarelto."

In case you're not already aware of this.... when you hear "please tell your doctor if you have kidney or liver problems," that typically means it can cause kidney or liver damage. If you're healthy, you can probably handle a certain amount of kidney or liver damage and be ok. But if you're not healthy (which most people probably aren't, if they're considering taking this drug in the first place), then there's probably a good chance your liver and kidneys won't be able to handle it, in the long term! You may not even be aware of whether or not you have kidney or liver damage, so the side effects could take you by surprise. And, if you're thinking of taking a drug like this, for the short term, keep in mind what'll happen once you STOP taking it. As it said in the commercial: 


Don't stop taking Xarelto without talking to your doctor, as this may increase your risk of stroke

LOVELY.

Now, check out what this lawyer has to say about Xarelto. This is just one example of many, many drugs that wind up turning into a huge lawsuit.  


 

This same lawyer also has something to say about Proton Pump inhibitors. In case you haven't seen my posts (or should I say rants) about PPI's like Nexium, Prilosec, Prevacid (and in cirrhosis patients, Pantroprazole or Omeprazole), just keep reading my blog.



There are so many times when I hear some commercial on TV, and then they get to the side effects and talk about how bad they are, and I always think the same thing: Why in the f*** would someone take that????  OK yes I know, obviously the answer is, because they are trying to get rid of whatever that other problem is, that they have. But you really have to consider how it will affect your health in the long term. This is why I'm such a huge fan of alternative healing, although, in my opinion, it should be called NORMAL healing, and pharmaceutical drugs should be considered "the alternative."

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

A post for anyone who's healing from the loss of a loved one

I've been wanting to make this post for a while. I've spoken to enough people who've had loved ones who died from cirrhosis, and music has always helped me to get through the loss of a loved one. I've lost all my Grandparents, my father, and a few pets that were so much like family, I still miss them to this day. 

It's been an emotional journey, the last few years, to speak to so many people with cirrhosis. When I hear that someone has passed away, my heart hurts, and I feel like I'm going through the loss of my own loved one all over again. My friend Jane passed away at age 78, around this time, last year, and the fall weather and so many other things are reminding me of her. It's been hard, and I've been popping Sam-e and Vitamin D and trying to do what I can to keep from falling into a terrible depression. Some of these songs made me start to cry all over again. But I do think it's therapeutic to allow ourselves to cry and bring some of that pain and loss to the surface sometimes, so that we can release it and move forward.

I wanted to share some of the songs that have helped me to heal from the loss of my own loved ones. I also put some of them in a playlist... if you'd like to listen to some of them, just CLICK HERE.

This one by Carrie Underwood is, in my opinion, the most beautiful one on the list, because it is so uplifting, and it makes me hopeful that I really might get to be able too see my loved ones again, one day.







I have to warn you, this video below is a real tearjerker. But it also might be the most touching video I've ever seen, regarding the loss of a loved one. I remember showing this video to one of my best friends on my cell phone. We were both bawling our eyes out, as we had both lost our fathers, and we both knew what it was like to want to do everything we could, to save them. It's really hard to let someone go, when they are in a hospital, and this video addresses that... but in a beautiful way. 





Love this song.




I lost my Dad in 2001, and this song was still being played on the radio a lot. At the time, I had no idea what it was about. It was only years after my Dad's passing, that I learned this song was about Pat Monahan losing his mother to cancer. It took on a whole new meaning, and now, every time I hear it, I think of my Dad and my friend Jane.  Really, really beautifully written song. Further down the page, I also included their performance of this at the Grammy's.




I love how Pat Monahan says, in this inteview: "The best thing we can do by loss of love is, find ourselves through it."



I'm embarrassed to admit this, but... like I said earlier, I didn't know what this song was about, when I saw this peformed live at the Grammy's. I just remember thinking, wow. This was a really big performance for a small club band from San Francisco. But boy, did they deserve it. This is such a beautifully written song, I'm giving Pat Monahan a virtual hug to say thank you for writing it.




It just occurred to me, right after I posted this video, that today is 9/11. It really was just a coincidence that today is the day I finally got around to posting this (I'd wanted to make it for a few weeks). I had included Enya's "Only Time" on my youtube playlist of song to help a person heal from loss, but I'm including it here also. My Dad passed away the month after 9/11, and it seemed like this song was being played nonstop on the radio. I'm not from a lovey dovey family where people say "I love you." Like, ever. But a few days after 9/11, I called my Dad and got his answering machine, and at the end of my message, I said, "I love you." And after he passed away, I was going through his answering machine, and I saw that he had saved my message, and it warmed my heart. I still talk to him on occasion, and I talk to Jane, too. They were best friends, and they were both good people, and I can feel that their presence is still with me, and I know they both helped to make me a better person. I think it's not about how long we're alive, but the people we leave a positive impact on, while we're here.






Charlie Puth is a great songwiter, and this is a great tribute song.

 


Sarah Mclachlan is always a good way to make tears flow.



This song isn't necessarily about loss, but I've included it because I like sharing this with the people who have worked tirelessly to save others. I know that most of the people who read this are caretakers, and people who are trying (or have tried) to save their loved ones. This is a beautiful song.



When I lost my favorite cat of all time, a few years ago, I was devastated. It left a big hole in my heart. I actually got him from Jane, and he was so great, in so many ways, I still miss him to this day. He was like my big baby, and when he passed away, I listened to this song a lot. It made me cry, and just hearing this song makes me cry, to this day. But it's beautiful, so I'm sharing it here.



Beautiful song, period.

I never listened to these lyrics until today. I found this song embedded on a different playlist someone else had created - a bunch of beautiful songs about loss, and this one was on there. Now I will appreciate it even more, next time I hear it.

 

Beautiful tribute by Eric Clapton, to his son.



Pink is such a beautifully emotive singer. This was also on that playlist I mentioned, earlier.


 
When Jane passed away last year, my sisters and I had to go to her house and sort through her belongings. I listened to the radio a lot, and during that time, this was being played a lot. One day, I saw the video, and started bawling. It made me think about the pets and people who've brought joy into my life. We want it to be forever, but really, we are all just part of a big life cycle, and the best we can do is to bring happiness to others, while we're here. This is a beautiful song and video.


 
And lastly... this song is not about death, but it's a song that reminds me of my Dad, because he liked John Denver's music, and at his memorial service, we hired a guitar player who sang this song. Now, it always reminds me of my Dad. We can't keep our loved ones forever, but we can always keep the beautiful memories we have of them, and we can keep them in our hearts forever. 





I also want to point out that John Denver is a good example of someone who died too young, but he spent his life creating music and bringing joy to others. Even though John Denver is long gone, we can always keep him alive in our hearts, through his music. We're all making our mark in some small way. My father didn't realize that when he had me, I'd end up writing a blog about cirrhosis (he always encouraged me to be a writer, but probably didn't predict it would be in this form). Sometimes we just don't know what kind of imprint we're going to make on this earth, but we can all become better people, thanks to the experiences we've had, and the people who've been good to us.  I like to think we're all here to just keep paying it forward.

To anyone who has lost a loved one, through cirrhosis or any other disease, I hope you will be able to heal, and also to keep their spirit in your heart, as you move through life. And if it is possible, I hope that we will all be able to see our loved ones again, someday.


Ellie