constipation


The Internet is so convenient, so easy but yet it is so dangerous.

It came to light in Singapore that a man and a woman in their early 20s had suffered symptoms of psychosis such as hearing of voices, hallucinations, confusion and thyrotoxic symptoms such as anxiety and increased heart rate after using a product named Relacore, a product they bought over the Internet.

So what is wrong with this anti-‘belly fat and stress control’ dietary supplement?

This product was not declared to have included a Western drug, a potent substance known as Sibutramine. Sibutramine is a prescription drug marketed under trade names such as Meridia in the USA, Leptos in India, Reductil (read Want to slim down? Don’t count on weigh-loss drugs) in Europe and other countries. It is used as an appetite suppressant in the management of obesity. That means that it works by making you feel more ‘full’ with less food (it reduces appetite and enhances satiety).

On Wikipedia, it is documented that frequent encountered side effects from sibutramine are: dry mouth, paradoxically increased appetite, nausea, strange taste in the mouth, anorgasmia and delayed ejaculation, upset stomach, constipation, trouble sleeping, dizziness, drowsiness, menstrual cramps/pain, headache, flushing, or joint/muscle pain.

It can substantially increase blood pressure and pulse in some patients. Therefore all patients treated with sibutramine should have regular monitoring of blood pressure and pulse.

Infrequent but serious ones that require immediate medical attention: cardiac arrhythmias, paresthesia, mental/mood changes (e.g., excitement, restlessness, confusion, depression, rare thoughts of suicide).

Symptoms that require urgent medical attention are seizures, problems urinating, abnormal bruising or bleeding, melena, hematemesis, jaundice, fever and rigors, chest pain, hemiplegia, abnormal vision, dyspnea and edema.

Could what they have consumed a counterfeit version? Health Science Authority (HSA) is investigating now. In HSA’s press release today, it has said that Given the borderless nature of the Internet and the ease with which this product could be bought and sold in different countries around the world, HSA has alerted its international network of enforcement counterparts to be on a lookout for the adulterated product and where appropriate, to act against websites selling this product within their respective jurisdictions.”

This is the second case in the last 6 years concerning slimming product that created adverse reaction. Slim 10 pills in 2002 hit headlines in Singapore after it killed a woman and caused severe liver damage to local actress Andrea De Cruz which would have killed her if not for an emergency liver transplant done with the liver donation from her then-fiance actor Pierre Png (now husband). The China-made diet pills contained fenfluramine, an appetite suppressant that has been banned in the U.S. since 1997 for damaging heart valves and which doctors later confirmed also caused liver failure.

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The only RED Dragon Fruit (aka pitaya or pitahaya or strawberry pear) that I am used to were those with RED SKIN and WHITE FLESH (Hylocereus undatus). It tasted a bit bitter to me and I didn’t like the after-taste. Other reports said it tastes like a mix of kiwi fruit and watermelon.

I didn’t take notice of it other than eating what was being served to me until a friend shared about its benefits and salad recipe. As it is beneficial to health, I posted it here under “Why Dragon Fruit?“. Only then did I notice that there is a RED SKIN Dragon Fruit with RED FLESH (Hylocereus polyrhizus) variation.

Now I also found out that there is YELLOW SKIN variety (Selenicereus megalanthus) and with only white flesh.

3 types of Dragon Fruits

The taste of the red flesh variety is sweeter and the after taste is great to me. Other reports said it tastes like raspberries. I will usually eat 1 whole fruit (about 300-500gm) willingly which I normally won’t with other fruits. However, it is not that common as they are in Malaysia.

Yesterday, at a neighborhood market, I saw red Dragon fruit selling at a stall and as usual, only white flesh variety was on sale at S$1.50 (approx. US$1) per fruit. When asked, the seller said that white flesh variety is preferred by most consumers because those who consumed are paranoid about the reddish variation of urine or stools that they will pass out after consumption. They are apparently worried that the red flesh is a result of genetic modification, adding of artificial coloring or preservatives, etc.

This red “symptom” happened only if one eats quite a bit, a fruit or so as I have experienced myself.

Exporters in Malaysia for pitaya explained that the color is 100% natural and that it is not genetically modified or dyed red. The color comes from natural pigments known as hylocerenin and isohylocerenin and is also known to have natural florescent property. That makes the red flesh variety prettier when served.

If one were to eat a lot of blackberries or those fruits with such pigmentation, the output into the toilet bowl will be similar. However, how many people eat 0.5kg or more of such berries?

Yet, red flesh variety is more expensive and they are sold here in kilogram (S$4-S$5 per kg) instead of by quantity. I recently bought 2 red flesh fruits for close to S$4.00 (approx US$2.80).

Malaysian exporters justified the higher cost to its benefits. One reported that “Eating red-fleshed pitaya fruit was reported to increase bone density, prevent colon cancer and ease constipation. This can explained why red pitaya cost more expensive as compared to white pitaya“.

It was also reported that the red flesh variety is believed to be rich in antioxidants and has an exceptionally high content of soluble fiber. It is considered a good source of vitamin C and its vitamin C is more easily absorbed than vitamin C from a pill supplement. Some bloggers swear that it helps to lower blood glucose levels in type 2 diabetes.

Well, anyone out there got a health benefit comparison report between the red and white flesh? Ahh, don’t forget the yellow skin.

Meanwhile, I will still go for the Red Flesh Red Dragon Fruit whenever possible.

 

Health benefits of peppermint

Candy and ice cream come to mind. But peppermint is also an age-old herbal medicine that has been used to treat a wide range of abdominal woes, from flatulence to stomach cancer to gallbladder disease.

But does it really work? Peppermint has fared a bit better than many herbal medicines in clinical trials. Several studies have shown that peppermint oil seems to be fairly effective at relieving irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), a collection of symptoms that includes abdominal cramping and pain, bloating, constipation, and diarrhea. In 2007, Italian investigators reported that 75% of the patients in their study who took peppermint oil capsules for four weeks had a major reduction in their IBS symptoms, compared with just 38% of those who took a placebo pill.

There are also findings — admittedly from studies of iffy quality — that topical application of peppermint oil helps relieve tension headaches and that a combination of peppermint and caraway oils can help with recurrent indigestion.

The oil that’s extracted from the peppermint plant contains lots of compounds. Menthol is the most abundant and pharmacologically important.

Menthol is an ingredient in many conventional over-the-counter products, including cough lozenges and muscle pain ointments like Bengay. Menthol creates that familiar cooling sensation by stimulating nerves that sense cold (your mouth has some of these nerves, which is the reason products containing menthol “taste” cool); it also inhibits those that react to painful stimuli. The effect doesn’t last long, but sometimes a brief reprieve or distraction from a cough or a muscle ache does wonders.

One explanation for how peppermint oil might help IBS sufferers is that the oil — and perhaps especially the menthol — blocks calcium channels, which has the effect of relaxing the “smooth” muscles in the walls of the intestine.

Peppermint oil also relaxes the sphincter that keeps the contents of the stomach from backing up into your esophagus. That’s why people troubled by heartburn (gastroesophageal reflux) are advised to avoid peppermint. It’s also the reason peppermint oil is often sold these days in enteric-coated capsules designed to bypass the stomach and dissolve in the small intestine.

People do occasionally have bad reactions to menthol and peppermint. In 2007, Swedish doctors reported the case of a 44-year-old man who got a runny nose every time he brushed his teeth. Allergy tests showed he was allergic to the menthol in his toothpaste. Several years ago, Israeli doctors reported the case of a woman whose mouth and throat were chemically burned by the large amount of peppermint oil she took to treat a cold.

~~ extracted from Havard Medical School newsletter ~~

10 things about the killer Constipation that I’ve learned 

Constipation in the past to me was just about the inability to pass motions smoothly, or in the crude language, inability to shit successfully in the toilet. 

My ignorance and indifference ceased when I have to understand this as part of the learning about our Good Image Tea, the unique tea which proves to resolve and prevent constipation, apart from its ability to detoxify the body particularly the gastro-intestinal system, promote metabolism, escalates toxin removal, enhances complexion and swiftly remove excess fats. 

Besides fats, constipation is what I keep hearing. Now, I have learned 10 things about not messing with constipation. 

(1) Constipation is not just about the problem of having hard stools or problems in passing stools, Constipation can also be defined as having fewer bowel movements than usual. It is a symptom and not a disease. 

(2) It is one symptom that no one particularly the older folks wants to admit or talk openly about. Doctors especially in the
U.S. probably knew best since it is the most common gastrointestinal complaint there clocking about 2 million patient visits annually.
 

(3) 1 in 2 women suffers from constipation, I read in one brochure on constipation.  Elsewhere, on the net, we can read that older people are more likely than younger people to become constipated. 

(4) 80% of
New York women constipated.
This is what a doctor author wrote in his book about the amusing
New York women protest in 1994 demanding the government heath department to address the constipation issue plaguing women. According to the 1991 National Health Interview Survey, about 4 1/2 million people in the
United States say they are constipated most or all of the time.
 

(5) Constipation is the weight that even the strongest man in the world will not be able to force out easily. For those who have constipated, you will know what I meant? 

(6) Constipation can be the worst nightmare and it is better off getting pregnant than constipated. This is what one blogger wrote about her ordeal of “Numbness, pain, sometimes balance loss or limping, insomnia” “after two days of not normal toilet visits”. “The soonest it ends everything goes back to ‘normal’”. 

 

(7) What shocked me is that constipation can be the cause that resulted in stroke or heart attack. 

I recalled about people who died in their sleep or died sitting in their sofa, car, etc. Postmortem showed that they died of stroke or heart attack. But to think it can also be due to constipation is surprising. 

During my recent trip to
China with my factory boss, we met our partners and friends about packaging our Good Image Tea.
 

They told me that it will be extremely dangerous for those who had constipation and yet do not know that they have high blood pressure or brain tumor. If they decide to force the stools out, the prolonged strain will naturally cause the blood pressure to shoot up which might trigger a stroke or heart attack. 

Even if the person does not have a heart attack, straining oneself while holding one’s breath to force out the stools can cause the haemorrhoidal blood pressure to increase. The rough dry faeces might cause abrasions and rupture the surrounding tissues of the anus and thus cause bleeding, painful defecation and stress. 

(8) The hard stools that causes constipation is at the front and is just 3 to 5 cm long while the rest following that are soft or watery. 

(9) The large intestine (colon) which is about 1.5 meters long receives the waste from the small intestine at about 10 cm per hour. It compresses the waste and absorbs the water before the solid waste or stools reach the anus. If the stools are stuck at the anus for too long, it will lead to the hardening of the stools starting from the front. Just imagine that if we eat and eat and do not pass out the stools in 15 hours, the whole large intestine will be jammed. 

(10) No wonder the Chinese has a saying that “一日不排便,毒胜三包烟” which means that if one does not discharge stools from the body every day, its toxin in the body is worst than smoking three packages of cigarettes. 

Healthy Liver, Beautiful Skin

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Unlike the computer that I have faced for more than 20 years, the human body is a different and complex machinery that I have to learn now. As part of understanding my product Good Image Tea (green tea), I have to gather feedback from customers and friends on what effects it has on them after taking our uniquely formulated detox/anti-constipation/excess fat removal beverage.

Weight reduction is not so obvious unless the weight was measured before and after drinking the Good Image Tea religiously for a period of about 45 days.

What I heard commonly is that their skin complexion becomes obviously better, especially for those who have not or were unsuccessful in taking care of their skin.

It was explained to me that when the body is free from toxin, the organs like the liver will be healthy. The liver has many functions. They include:

  • Storing energy in the form of sugar (glucose)
  • Storing vitamins, iron, and other minerals
  • Making proteins, including blood clotting factors, to keep the body healthy and help it grow
  • Killing germs that enter the body through the intestine
  • Processing worn out red blood cells
  • Making bile which is needed for food digestion
  • Metabolizing or breaking down many medications and alcohol

I read that the liver shoulders a heavy workload for the body, plays an important role in the metabolism and almost never complains as it can also regenerate itself. The liver breakdowns and filters the oily fats from the food we take and excrete the waste through the intestines. If the liver is overworked or ill and is unable to filter effectively, the skin is the alternative venue for such removal. Otherwise, those oily fats can reach the kidney and adversely affect the function of the kidney.

We have a saying, “要美的起来,就须要健康 which translates as “Be healthy so as to become beautiful” .

Thus, with a detoxed body which translates to healthy organs reinforced with the antioxidants found in the green tea and other supporting herbs, the skin should naturally become better and more radiant.

Overweight, overeat

OVERWEIGHT OR OBESE IS FAT – WHAT ELSE TO TALK ABOUT? The subject of overweight, obese or fat has never interest me before until now.  It just came across to me that there was reported 1 billion people in the world that are overweight including 300 millions who are obese.  As I am fortunate that I am not one of the 30% of Singaporean reported to be overweight or obese, all these while, to me, overweight or obese is just being fat. 

Now that I recalled, in the print and broadcast media, we frequently see and read that hypertension, constipation, diabetes, heart disease, fatty liver, degeneration of the kidney, etc. creep into lives of middle age men and women, especially the aged folks. 

While being slightly overweight is very common, being obese is no joke. I have noted down that that obesity is regarded an invisible killer which causes numerous contemporary diseases. It was reported that how vulnerable are obese people as compared to normal people in terms of the following diseases: 

  1. hypertension incidence rate, obese people are 3 times higher
  2. atherosclerosis incident rate, obese people are 2-3 times higher
  3. heart disease and arteriosclerosis incident rate, obese people are 2.5 times higher
  4. cancer incidence rate, obese people are twice higher

Now I learned that there are fundamentally four factors that lead to obesity. 

  1. Congenital  obesity – this is hereditary, which means that it is genetically passed down from parent to their offspring
  2. Pathological obesity – caused by infection from disease
  3. Medicinal obesity – caused by medicinal drugs that affect the hormones. One of the common hormonal drugs is oral contraceptives.
  4. Acquired obesity – this is caused by unbalanced diet, excessive consumption of meat, sugary food and animal fat, or just being gluttonous.

For the congenital, pathological and medicinal obese people, if they intend to lose weight, they will need to consult their doctors who will diagnose and prescript the appropriate remedy. 

Acquired obesity is easy to take care of. There are all kinds of pills and medicines that can take care of it but there can be different side effects which need to be advised by professional doctors.  Another type is the used of traditional herbs like those found in Good Image Tea which is proven to safely and swiftly decompose the excessive solid fat accumulated in the body. The result is also the cleansing of the intestinal systems which also solve the habitual constipation problem that many people in the world are suffering from. 

Body detoxification is for men too ! 

Every person needs to be enlightened in different aspect and at different stage of their lives. 

Having spent many years in detoxifying computers and preaching about anti-virus / Trojans / spyware / ransomware / phishing, anti-spam and what-have-you in the IT content security world, I stepped into the “different” yet the “same” industry. Different in the sense of human beings vs computers but yet the same as it is about health. Until 2 months ago, it had never occurred to me that it is not just about another business but about the real need to detoxify our body. 

Like most if not all “unenlightened” men, the sheer mention of “detox” or “detoxification” will raise my eyebrows followed by a frown and ended with a quick switch of subject to something else. The basic reason is that this ritual or obsession is for the female population. It is all about skin beauty that the “rugged” men do not have to be concerned about.

As marketing professional which loves Alvin Toffler’s quotation that The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn”, I set on “unlearning” the previous (IT) products and immediately dive into learning the new product which is the Good Image Tea, which is formulated, manufactured and distributed by our company and group’s herbal manufacturing plant.

 biolife3-1.jpgGood Image Tea

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It is through the course of understanding the overall Good Image Tea, the characteristics and benefits of each of the ingredients such as green tea, licorice, peppermint and ginseng; as well as talking and learning from people in the same industry, customers and associates that I “relearn” that detoxification is for men too, especially those that are entering the middle age and beyond.

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Detoxification is not about maintaining skin beauty, it is about health maintenance.

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How many men in modern days do not entertain, smoke, drink alcohol, eat all kinds of “unhealthy” food?   The demand from life, the stress from career to excel, the swing between happiness and sadness are the “evils” that everyone has to face them. However, when come to the physical well-being, most men are not too concerned about it or do not have the time to manage them. As chauvinist pig, the man might think to himself, “if there is so much toxin in my body, why is it that I am still so strong and healthy?” My shifu (teacher) told me that when one doesn’t take care of the body, it will “calculate the bill” when he or she gets older. This reminds me of the how we are treating mother earth all these years and the global warming, chaotic weather changes and unprecedented disasters are cropping across the globe might just be what mother earth is showing the bill now. 

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Back to the men – haven’t you noticed that men reaching the 40’s are experiencing many serious challenges ? – long sightedness, memory retardation, more lethargic, facial wrinkles, pot belly, pain at the joints, puffy eyes, etc. These are the signs of the changes in metabolism.  It is not that there is no toxin, but it is because the toxins accumulated over the years have yet to create havoc. The rising number of people with constipation is just a simple sign of toxin accumulation. Once the toxins have accumulated to a certain level, they will start to block your arteries, get into the blood, damage the organs and finally causing the body to collapse. 

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Younger people are no longer spared too! 

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News of men in the thirty’s having heart attack & stroke is not uncommon.  Be it the heavy mental stress at work, unbalanced diet or the fun and “de-stressing” night activities, the chauvinistic men will not admit or reveal it and are nonchalant about it. 

Call it doom-saying but this kind of attitude towards health will be a great mistake. As the world progresses, our health habits should follow suit to harmonize with our body.  Men must personally take care of themselves.  Detox is definitely for men too.

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