Lose weight by eating less salt! - Go on! - Try it! - You will feel so much better!
See my website
Wilde About Steroids

Read my Mensa article on Obesity and the Salt Connection

Read my Mensa article on Cruelty, Negligence and the Abuse of Power in the NHS: Fighting the System

Read about the cruel treatment I suffered at the Sheffield Dental Hospital: Long In The Toothache

You can contact me by email from my website. The site does not sell anything and has no banners, sponsors or adverts - just helpful information about how salt can cause obesity.

This blog has been exported to a new URL so that readers can leave Comments again. If you want to leave a Comment, please visit my 'new' blog, which has Comments enabled. The 'new' blog is Wilde About Obesity.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Why does every damn thing have to be contaminated by synthetic scents?

Laundry never smells clean any more. It smells of artificial 'freshness' or something - from either the wash stuff or the conditioner stuff or both. - And the smell never seems to wear off! It permanently poisons the air in our homes.

Dry-cleaning these days smells especially vile! - Not from the toxic dry-cleaning fumes themselves so much, as from the disgusting stink that is sprayed on to cover up the cleaning agent odour. - I'm going to have to give some just-cleaned garments to charity because I simply cannot bear the lingering, noxious stink.

Heaven knows why people want to spray Febreze on mucky stuff to pretend it is clean! - I'd rather smell the muck than the ghastly cover-ups!

Bring back CLEAN! - Just plain CLEAN!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Are you taking blood pressure tablets unnecessarily?

See this recent article commenting on a BMJ article about the ineffectiveness of blood pressure tablets.

Here is a quote from Professor Jerome Hoffman of UCLA and an expert in critical appraisal of medical literature, from the BMJ piece:

"We’ve long known that almost all benefit from treating severe hypertension comes with lowering BP [blood pressure] just a little. On the other hand, efforts to lower BP to ‘normal,’ typically requiring multiple drugs, are not only usually unsuccessful but produce more harm than good, since adverse effects of intensive treatment outweigh the minimal marginal benefit of a little more BP ‘control.’ Drug treatment of mild hypertension….may be of great value to drug makers, but it was almost predictable that it would provide little or no benefit for patients."

And another quote:

"David Cundiff, one of the authors of the Cochrane review has said that he “believes that the analysis should lead to dramatic changes in the way doctors treat mild hypertension, allowing patients to throw away their blood pressure pills and focus instead on far more effective as well as evidence based approaches…"

On Inside Health on Radio 4 on 21st August they too were discussing the over-diagnosis and over-treatment of high blood pressure:
"Dr Mark Porter asks whether doctors can try too hard in the early detection of disease and investigates the overdiagnosis of hypertension. This week he discovers that as many as 3 million people who have been told they have high blood pressure may not actually have it - could you be one of them?"
The programme found that there is indeed a large and growing problem of overdiagnosis and over-treatment for blood pressure. The general opinion was that it is usually better to avoid prescribing the blood pressure drugs, which of course have adverse side-effects, and instead advise patients about life-style changes that reduce high blood pressure. My own very high blood pressure years ago was dramatically and safely lowered by seriously reducing my intake of salt and salty food.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Weight Loss forums? Dieting threads?

Ever had a browse through weight loss forums and dieting threads? Have you noticed there are many people, usually women, who seem desperate? - They explain that they have tried loads of diets, tried many times, been to slimming clubs, taken pills, been to exercise classes, etc. but nothing works. They ask for advice, ideas. They say they are ready to 'try anything'. - But this is seldom true.
Occasionally I've been able to post the suggestion that they try cutting down on salt and salty food, explaining that this is the fastest and safest way to reduce weight, and explaining (usually) how it brings about weight loss. Sometimes a person starts a thread to draw attention to one of my webpages or blogposts about losing weight by cutting down on salt, and quite often a moderator will advise the OP and other forum members not to make changes to the diet without seeking their doctor's permission as though this is mandatory! - If you went to a doctor to ask if it was OK to cut down on salt s/he'd think you were crazy. - The health service repeatedly advises people to cut down on salt.
Ready to try anything? - Very sadly, all too often they are ready to try any way to lose weight except the fastest, safest, easiest and most effective way to lose weight, namely by seriously cutting down on salt and salty food. - Why won't they try it? - Some say it wouldn't work (though they've never tried it), and some say they like salt too much to cut down, and some say "No, that's not my problem 'cos I don't really eat much salt," and others say, "No, I know someone who eats loads of salt and they're not at all fat..." and many say, "It isn't be as simple as that," - but it is. - They believe losing weight should be really difficult and should involve hunger.
They often get persuaded to try dieting again - a new diet, that someone or other swears by - and yet the one thing that they know from experience will not work is dieting...
If you want to lose excess weight, seriously cut down on salt and salty food and watch the pounds fall off! - You will feel sooo much better.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Animal experimentation and amblyopia: some thoughts about it

Recently there was some publicity about animal experiments performed on kittens by researchers at Cardiff University and people were asked to sign an online petition about it:

"Some kittens were raised in complete darkness while others were deprived of the sight in one eye by having their eyelids sewn shut. The kittens were then anaesthetised, artificially ventilated and paralysed with a drug to prevent eye movements. They were then subjected to highly invasive head surgery during which the skin was cut away, the skull was opened and the brain was exposed for recordings.

After various tests, all the kittens were killed and parts of their brain removed for analysis.

Sophisticated methods of studying vision and the neurologic processes underlying it in human beings already exist. Not only is this experiment inhumane, it is unnecessary for human health.

Ricky Gervais has joined the BUAV in calling for an end to these experiments: “I am appalled that kittens are being deprived of sight in one eye by having their eyelids sewn shut. I thought sickening experiments like these were a thing of the past. I support the BUAV in calling for this research to be stopped.

I am given to understand that this research at Cardiff University has been discontinued.

To explain why very young kittens have been used for research into the lazy eye condition, and why adults, whether cats or humans - cannot be used for it:

The lazy eye condition: Amblyopia, or "lazy eye", is the loss of an eye's ability to see detail. It is the most common cause of vision problems in children. If it is not tested for and treated early, say before age 5, there is likely to be permanent poor vision in the eye. 
I have amblyopia in my left eye. That eye has scarcely any usable vision and effectively sort of 'switches off' when my right eye is open, and leaves all the work to my right eye. This also means in practice that I cannot judge distance. So I've never learned to drive as I didn't feel it would be safe. 

I have been told that my amblyopia was caused by medical/nursing staff covering up that eye for some days when I was only a few days old, something to do with protecting it from a draught, or treating it for an infection - I don't know. - Anyway, the point is, that amblyopia is a developmental condition. It is caused very early in life when the messages from the eye along the optic nerve to the brain should become established and the brain trained to interpret them correctly. If the messages aren't being sent properly during that vital early developmental period then the brain learns to interpret them in a limited, muddled sort of way. I may be wrong, but I think of it as a problem of the optic nerve, rather than the eye itself. I was treated for it - the treatment was to try to force the lazy eye to work by covering up the other eye with a patch - but the treatment was too late and didn't work for me.

The research I have written about would have caused amblyopia in the kittens by preventing messages from the retina along the optic nerve to the brain in the critical period. Such research has been going on for many years. Professor Colin Blakemore, for example, spent some years on this kind of animal research into amblyopia. I don't understand why they do this animal research. To the best of my knowledge, and I stand to be corrected on this, no good ever comes of the research. Despite many years, loads of suffering, oodles of time and money, I've never heard of anything useful coming from it. Occasionally I have enquired over the years if there is any treatment now for my amblyopia, but there isn't. So who, apart from the researchers who are paid for this barbarism, benefits from it?

I have written about animal experiments before, but in relation to drug testing, which is falsely claimed to result in safer drugs to be used on people. I think that animal experimentation is rarely, if ever, of any use at all, and I'm against it, especially if it involves cruelty, as this does. A good book that gives some insight into cruel animal research is The Plague Dogs, by Richard Adams. I recommend it.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Pfizer fined for bribing foreign doctors and health care professionals

The US Securities and Exchange Commission has charged Pfizer with violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act after finding various subsidiaries bribed doctors and other health care professionals employed by foreign governments in order to win business.
Read article at pharmalot.com

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Tony Nicklinson: cruel decision by the High Court ensures further suffering for Tony Nicklinson

The Telegraph reports that the High Court has rejected Tony Nicklinson's right-to-die plea. I regard this as a very cruel decision. Not one of the people who support the present existing legal position would change places with Mr Nicklinson. In my opinion it is cruel and immoral to will that another person should suffer that which one would not be willing to go along with in the same position as that person.
You could add your support for Tony Nicklinson by signing this petition for a change in the law: http://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/tony-nicklinson-s-right-to-die-change-the-law

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Five Minute Friendships

It's very seldom that I am well enough to go out, but I managed a little outing today. And I met a few new people. The first of these was a young man called David, who spent five minutes telling me about about the plants he and his wife grow on the balcony of their apartment, and how he avoids using harmful chemicals on them.

Later on I met a man who assisted me when standing up was proving difficult for me. He told us about the Five Minute Friendships he likes to make, one of which he had just made. He then told us he is 81 and that he has an allotment and that one of the crops he likes to grow is tomatoes. In return I told him and Sandra, his new Five Minute Friend, about how cutting down on salt and salty food benefits health and makes you feel a lot better. - Sandra was doing more listening than talking, and I got the feeling she's a very good, attentive listener.

So: three new Five Minute Friendships today. - What a nice idea!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Sunday, August 12, 2012

In Praise of File on 4

I often listen to File on 4 and I never find it less than interesting. In fact it's often much more than that. - You feel as you listen that the matter is so serious and so urgent that 'somebody' will take steps to remedy or to ameliorate the situation. Just like with today's subject: dangerous, potentially lethal, levels of harmful oxides of nitrogen in diesel fumes from traffic in some cities, including Sheffield.
File on 4 can be relied upon for careful investigations and has excellent presenters to make the issues clear. You'd think after wrapping up the preparation for the programme, matters would be 'all over bar the shouting'. But no. All too often when the presenter puts the case to the person in the best position to effect necessary change and start the process of amending regulations or legislation, instead of being persuaded by the evidence and the importance of the matter, the 'powerful person' recites well-rehearsed ambiguous drivel that translates as, 'Sorry, mate; couldn't really care less.' Anyone who's ever experienced taking in a lungful or two of diesel fumes can have little doubt that the noxious stuff is injurious to health. We were informed of the special danger of babies developing severe breathing problems. Well heaven help those poor babies who live near to roads with busy traffic, 'cos it doesn't look like the powers-that-be have any intention of helping...
You can listen to the File on 4 programme from this page. "World health chiefs have branded diesel exhaust emissions a major cause of cancer. Despite the efforts of car-makers to filter out the most noxious substances, these fumes still play a big part in causing air pollution. Britain has the second worst respiratory death rates in Europe and has long been under notice from Brussels to clean up its act. So why are most UK areas in breach of legal limits?  And do ministers have any clear plan to reduce the huge annual total of resulting deaths? "

Friday, August 10, 2012

SALT: it doesn't just kill slugs, it can kill people too

Some people kill slugs by sprinkling salt onto them. This draws the water out of their very watery bodies and produces a sort of slug sludge. It seems a peculiarly cruel death. The internet can supply more kindly ways to divest oneself of unwelcome slugs.
When salt kills people it is usually a more long-drawn-out death. Instead of the salt drawing water out of its victim's body as with the slug, it draws more water into the body. Salt's victims tend to be babies/small children, who are vulnerable to salt because of the immaturity of their organs and their blood vessels, or pregnant women, made vulnerable to salt by hormone changes in their bodies, or other groups made sensitive to salt, most notably by taking commonly prescribed drugs, including antidepressants and steroids. All of these groups, because of excess fluid retention (extra salt and water, mainly held in the bloodstream), tend to become overweight/obese/morbidly obese, with the health consequences attendant on that, including high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease, cancer (especially stomach cancer), arthritis, insomnia, depression, impaired kidney function, liver problems, type 2 diabetes and many more, as well as emotional distress because of the stigmatising attitudes provoked by obesity in modern-day societies.
You could lose weight and reduce your risk of suffering from the unpleasant, unhealthy consequences of salt sensitivity/vulnerability, of early disability and premature death, by simply eating less salt and salty food. - Go on! - Try it! - You will feel sooo much better! - and, dare I say it? - less sluggish!