Don’t Follow Health Rules Blindly
The age-old advice of health experts like drinking lots of water, doing heavy work-outs, devouring tons of green salads may not hold true for some people and they may not even know it. For instance, take the case of Elaine Monarch. Her natural affinity for whole wheat bread and other cereal products got a boost, when her physician advised her to consume more of them, after a bout of bloating and diarrhea.
It almost proved fatal. She had celiac disease. Her immune system reacted to the glutens from the grains and in the process; tissues in her small intestine were distressed. Now, she avoids taking grains and instead, gets her share of fiber from nuts, fruits, and food supplements. She has been working as the founder of the Celtic Disease Foundation.
The postulations that every American gets perennially from the health experts are indeed, right for most and the advice to quit smoking or to avoid foods trans-fats should be diligently followed.
The recommendation made by the health experts, may not always hold true in some individual cases.
But some of the other general advice may not be beneficial for everybody, as can be viewed from the fact that even the USDA has not placed a section for celiac disease, in their recommended food pyramid. The devices are based on the results of surveys, which may not always be all-encompassing. Even the success rate of a staggering 94 percent of the sampling studies, still leaves aside 6 percent of people, which may be a sizable population.
Dan Rod, MD, assistant vice chancellor for personalized medicine at Vanderbilt University says in this regard, “The recommendation made by the health experts, may not always hold true in some individual cases.”
Hence, we analyzed some of the established recommendations and sought the advice of the health experts about the precautions, just in case; they may prove to be otherwise.
Your exercise regimen
Recommendation: Excessive exercise is more beneficial than moderate ones
Be cautious, if you are fighting obesity. By indulging in vigorous exercises, you would feel exhausted too soon and as a result, wouldn’t be able to burn sufficient calories to attain weight loss. Studies showed the amount of weight loss was around 15 to 18 pounds in women, who took up a lengthy but moderate exercise regimen as also with those who did strenuous workouts for shorter spells. In fact, a study conducted among 184 women in 2003, revealed that women who walked for two and half hours each week at a moderate speed and those who took up a more elaborate and vigorous exercise regimen achieved the same level of weight loss. So, to fight obesity, take up such exercises that you can do for 30 to 40 minutes without gasping for air.
Recommendation: Walking is the easiest and best exercise
Do it in moderation if you have any cardiac ailment and on smoggy days. The dust particles present in the air on a smoggy day can accentuate the risk of a cardiac attack. So, on such days, it is better to do your workouts indoors, preferably in an air-conditioned room, as it can reduce the level of air pollutants by half.
Recommendation: Routine household activities like gardening can make you healthier
Be cautious, if you are suffering from any cardiac ailment and want to prevent a cardiac attack. While any sort of physical activity helps, the routine household works like cooking and washing may be too light and of short duration in order to prevent the risk of blockage of arteries and cardiac attack. On the other hand, the risks of cardiac attacks can be significantly reduced by doing moderate to heavy exercise 30 minutes every week. A brisk walk for two hours each week can reduce the risk of cardiac ailments by 50 percent, as revealed by a study carried out on around 40,000 women.
Recommendation: Swimming is the perfect aerobic exercise
The chlorine present in the swimming pool can lead to various allergies and disorders. This is more so in the case of children. People with asthma and children under the age of seven with any form of allergy should also avoid getting into the pool and settle for some other form of aerobic exercise. Contrary to popular belief, swimming does not lead to a substantial weight loss, if you are fighting obesity.
Recommendation: Devouring lots of leafy green vegetables
Be careful if you are taking warfarin (Coumadin), the blood thinner drug, which is taken to prevent the harmful blood clots. It restricts the action of vitamin K, the vital component for blood-clotting. But taking a high amount of vitamin K-rich leaf green vegetables like spinach, kale, and Swiss chard can inhibit the effect of the drug. Hence, don’t eat too much of them.
Recommendation: Taking eight glasses of water daily
Be cautious, if you have a bladder control problem. By moderating your fluid intake, you can avoid leaks. Take the advice of your doctor about how much water you should drink every day. If it is less than eight glasses, do not worry, as in any case, around one-fifth of the body’s water requirement is from the food, as per the National Health and Nutrition Examination survey. And if you pass light-colored urine every eight hours than in all probability, you are drinking sufficiently.
The drugs you take
Recommendation: Low blood pressure is always better
This may not be true if you have coronary artery disease (CAD). It is advisable to keep your blood pressure at 120/80, so as to prevent a cardiac attack or stroke. But very low blood pressure is risky, as the flow of blood through the narrowed vessels gets restricted. A study conducted among more than 22,000 patients who had CAD, revealed that a diastolic pressure of below 70, have twice the risk of cardiac attacks and deaths.
But, for patients who had angioplasty or bypass surgery to clear blocked vessels or for the passage of the blood via another healthy vessel, having a low blood pressure is not risky.
Recommendation: Use of acetaminophen is safe and ideal for relief from pain like arthritis
Be cautious, if you regularly take wine (alcohol). Acetaminophen, in combination with alcohol, can damage the liver. So, the label of acetaminophen contains a warning to people who take three or more drinks regularly when using them. Donald Jensen, a board member of the American Liver Foundation warns that light drinks can also be damaging. According to him, you should take only 2 mg of acetaminophen on days when you drink; the recommended dose of 4 mg/day notwithstanding.
Recommendation: Whole foods are a better source for nutrients than pills
This may not apply if you eat only vegetarian foods. You have to depend on pills to supplement your needs of vitamin D and B12 if you avoid taking eggs and milk. Recent researches propose that the recommendation for vitamin D should be 1,000 to 2,000 FU to be on the safer side than the presently recommended 200 to 600 IU. Though one can get enough iron from vegetarian foods, it needs sensible planning. You should get your hemoglobin test done if you tire easily.
Recommendation: In the case of chronic pain, anti-inflammatory, non-steroidal medicines like Ibuprofen or a prescription drug like Indocin are the safest and most effective
Be careful if you are above 65 years old. NSAIDs can lead to stomach ulcers and internal bleeding, especially among elderly people. Experts say that deaths due to NSAID-related bleeding mostly occur among the aged persons. The best thing for persons over the age of 65 would be to consult their doctor. You can take other drugs like acetaminophen, corticosteroids, or narcotic-like Demerol, while diligently following the instructions of the doctor to take care of any side-effects or over-dependence.