Dr. Reese’s Bits and Pieces
February 2020 Newsletter
Welcome to the month of love, presidents and 29 days this year. This also the month when heart scans are on sale at Front Range Preventative Imaging. I’ve written about heart scans briefly last February and extensively in the August 2015 newsletter about the Widow Maker documentary. If you have heart disease in your family or you are worried about how much plaque is in your arteries, this is the fastest and easiest way to find out.
You can have high cholesterol and your arteries can have zero plaque. Smoking, high blood sugar, high blood pressure, certain genetic lipid phenotypes, high homocysteine levels and/or a lack of certain B-vitamins can plaque your arteries even if you are a skinny athlete. This is a good month to get it checked out and start reversing it. For half of the people with heart disease, their first symptom is death so you can’t feel your coronary arteries filling up with plaque.
There is another heart scan facility in Littleton that uses a different machine but they only charge $99 for a scan. There is a lot more prep involved on the day of the scan and it might take you months to get in for your test but it is the cheapest place I’ve found so far: (https://www.southdenver.com/calcium-heart-score-test)
Colorado had a lot more moisture in November than we have had in January. Every winter our skin and sinuses start to dry up. Running humidifiers and using tons of lotion to try and combat the dryness is working on the problem from the wrong angle. Most skin problems are usually an internally caused problem. If you fall off your skateboard and slide along the pavement, then your skin damage was externally caused.
Proper hydration and ingesting enough essential fatty acids (EFA’s) will keep you skin and sinuses from drying out. When I first moved to Colorado in 1986, I would boil pots of water to keep my sinuses from being dried out and bloody. I had a serious dehydration problem from bad habits I got away with while living in humid climates. I ended up in the hospital with a kidney stone just 3 months after moving here. I was determined to never experience that pain again and continue to work daily on staying hydrated. Kidney stones can be prevented with a little effort.
Proper hydration is the balance of water and minerals. The bare minimum is to drink half your body weight in ounces of water daily and consume 4-8 pinches of Himalayan or Redmond’s Real Salt. (https://realsalt.com/products). Both are from ancient sea beds and are not polluted with modern plastics and other environmental chemicals. They contain 75-80 different trace minerals. The more you sweat, exercise, fly or are exposed to chemicals, the more water and minerals you will need to stay hydrated. When you are dehydrated, you experience, fatigue, brain fog, hunger, depression, etc. It is very hard to stay hydrated in Colorado so you need to work at it every day.
There is one external cause of dry skin that you can control. Most of us do not work in mills, mines, tire shops or are up to our elbows in grease. We don’t need to scrub our bodies like we are dirty from head to toe. Especially in the winter, use the soap on your armpits, groin and feet while leaving the rest of your body alone. This allows your natural oils and skin microbiome to stay on your body and your skin won’t be nearly as dry.
Another external activity that has a positive effect on your skin is consuming lots of good essential fatty acids. Fish, fish oils, avocados, coconut, flax and olive oils, omegas 3, 6 and 9, etc., helps keep your body from drying out. It also reduces inflammation, protects your brain, moves your bowels, lubricates your joints, protects your heart and makes you look and feel younger.
Colorado tap water has chemicals and mold in it pretty much year-round and parasites every spring. You do not want to be pumping that into your air and breathing that into your sinus and lungs via a humidifier. If you do use a portable humidifier, only put distilled or reverse osmosis water in it and clean it weekly. If you have a humidifier installed on your furnace. It is a good idea to put a whole house filtration unit on the water coming into the house before it is fed into the humidifier. This will clean up the water some before for it gets put into your furnace air. Use your dried out sinuses and skin as your gauge as to how well you are hydrating and consuming EFA’s.