Catalog                                                         June  2010
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To keep the body in good health is a duty... otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.  ~ Buddha
It's summer and the heat is on.  You'll likely be outside more than usual, hopefully having a good time.
Although getting outdoors and exercising is great for your health, it can also be dangerous, if too hot, and  you are not prepared. Make sure warm weather enjoyment doesn't turn into dehydration, sunburn, heat exhaustion or worse.
Before you begin any sustained outdoor activities it is important to know the heat index. The heat index is a combination of the temperature and humidity to reflect the actual heat effect on us. It is more telling than just the temperature. It is helpful to use this link to determine the heat index for the day before you start any outdoor activities. Just type in the zip code in the upper left corner to find the heat index for any area you wish.
Here are a few summer health tips as a timely reminder to keep you safe and healthy while working, playing or vacationing in a hot climate.
Next to air, water is the most essential element for our existence. Water is much of what we are, as the average human body is 60-70% water.   If you wait to drink until you are thirsty, you are already 1-3% dehydrated.   So drink before you get thirsty, especially in warmer climates. Thirst mechanisms are not totally reliable and are particularly impaired in the elderly.  Research suggests that at best 70-80% of us walk around in a  state of mild dehydration.  Imagine how much more at risk we are when out in the hot weather. Under ordinary circumstances, the average adult loses 10 cups of water daily by breathing, sweating, and eliminating.  This is magnified when there is excess heat, sweating, and activity.
Even when swimming you need to drink plenty of fluids. Just because you are in water does not mean your body isn’t losing fluids that need to be replenished.
I am amazed to hear from my patients how many people do not like  water!  These people need to be especially careful to drink enough. Since they tend to avoid water, it works best for them to put a 24 hour supply in a glass container, then take water from that supply and make sure all of it is gone in each 24 hours.  Counting glasses can be tedious and inaccurate.   If you are minimally active, the ideal number of ounces to drink in a 24 hour period is your weight divided by 2. 
If you are active, your water needs increase.  You can calculate your daily water needs, cross referenced with your activity level at this link.  You will see that the more exercise you do, the greater is the need for water. The difference can be dramatic.  A 158 pound person's daily need for water would increase from 79 oz when sedentary to 125 oz with daily aerobics. Many do not adjust water intake to activity level.  The best way to make sure you keep hydrated is to always have a glass or bottle of water with you to remind you to keep drinking.  Be sure you do not leave your bottled water in hot cars or other warm places as the chemicals in the plastic are more apt to leach in to the water when heated.
WHEN DO YOU NEED ELECTROLYTE REPLENISHING FLUIDS?With high intensity exercise or work for more than 3-5 hours , or with prolonged excessive sweating you may also need to add the electrolytes, sodium, potassium, magnesium, and calcium such as in a electrolyte drink or electrolyte powders added to a drink.  Smart water, Powerade Zero, Ultima Replenisher have electrolytes, but no sugar or calories.  If you drink an electrolyte drink too fast it could be nauseating.  Vegetable juices also contain electrolytes. Emergen C powder contains electrolytes and can be added to any drink. There are numerous electrolyte sports drinks on the market. Unless you are an endurance athlete or are doing hard sustained physical labor in the heat, you will usually not need anything beyond water, fruit, vegetables, and vegetable juice.  Researchers also found that skim milk worked as well as an electrolyte drink in tests they performed on exercising subjects.
Because decreased water impairs the optimal functioning of the body at the cellular level, dehydration worsens almost any  pre-existing health condition, such as allergies, asthma, heart disease, strokes, infections, kidney stones. Dehydration also impairs  mental and physical functioning.  For every 1% of water weight we lose, our capacity to do work or exercise decreases 10%. Pretty dramatic! 
Trying to get quench thirst with the wrong liquids can make matters worse. Alcohol, and caffeinated or carbonated drinks act as diuretics and can easily dehydrate,  leaving you feeling tired and worn out. If it is hard to quit drinking these types of beverages all together, try to limit the amount you usually drink, switching from a large container every morning to a small container every other day.  Also drink more water to try to compensate.
Other ways to stay cooler include wearing light, loose fitting clothing, a wet scarf around your neck, a wet hat, or even wet clothes when practical to do so.  Portable hand held sprays are also available for cooling.  Also taking a complete daily multivitamin mineral that includes B vitamins, zincpotassiumcalcium and magnesium along with antioxidants like vitamins C, E and carotenoids will help fight stress of heat and decrease sunburn risk. 
If engaging in high performance outdoor activities, certain nutrients have been researched to be helpful.  The amino acid tyrosinehas an effect on nerve impulse transmission which may improve vigilance, performance, drive, motivation and lessen anxiety and stress response. The amino acid glutamine, improved survival in research animals subjected to heat shock.  Choline may reduce fatigue and improve muscle performance. 
 Carbohydrates help extend duration of activity, especially when combined with protein. Small amounts of caffeine limits the deterioration of performance associated with fatigue.
Those who have higher risk of heat related illness include:
  • Infants and children up to four years of age.
  • People 65 years of age and older
  • People who are overweight
  • People who are ill
  • Endurance athletes and hard physical laborers
  • Those exercising at high altitude
 Also at higher risk are those taking the following medications:
  • Psychotropics, such as major tranquilizers or antidepressant medications. 
  • Medications for Parkinson’s disease, because they can inhibit perspiration
  • Diuretic medications or "water pills" that affect fluid balance in the body.
 The Symptoms of mild dehydration can be  thirst, headaches,  general fatigue, nausea, dark colored urine, constipation and bloating, dry skin and mucous membranes, and a flushed face.  If you ever get a dull headache immediately start drinking water and you will usually find that the headache disappears.
The symptoms of moderate dehydration can be fatigue, dizziness, vertigo, light headedness, confusion, difficulty concentrating, drowsiness, impatience and irritability, headache, cold hands and feet,  muscle cramping, fainting, and reduced urine output.
All outdoor activities in high heat are physically stressful and can lead to heat exhaustion or even heat stroke. The difference between the two may mean life or death.
Heat exhaustion sets in when we become so dehydrated that our body cannot sweat enough to cool down causing the temperature to rise. The person's temperature may be elevated up to 104 F.
Heat exhaustion symptoms can cause pale cool, moist skin, profuse sweating, muscle cramps or pains, feeling faintness or dizziness, headache, weakness, thirst, and nausea. There may be a rapid pulse, and decrease in blood pressure.
Heat Stroke is a life-threatening condition which occurs when your body temperature reaches 104 F (40 C) or higher. High environmental temperatures can bring it on, especially when combined with  strenuous physical activity or  other conditions that raise your body temperature. Whatever the cause, you'll need immediate medical attention to prevent brain damage, organ failure or death.
Heat Stroke Symptoms include unconsciousness, markedly abnormal mental status including dizziness, confusion, hallucinations, coma, flushed, hot, and dry skin (although it may be moist initially from previous sweating or from attempts to cool the person with water), slightly elevated blood pressure at first that falls later, and/ or hyperventilating. If you or someone around you have heatstroke, you need to go immediately to the emergency room to receive intravenous fluids.
Even if you don’t plan to spend too much time outdoors, apply the right sunscreen to exposed areas of your body, but cover as many areas as possible. Sunscreen can prevent painful sunburn, skin damage, development of moles, wrinkles, as well as skin cancer. A broad-spectrum sunscreen that blocks both UVA and UVB harmful rays is the best choice.
Not all sunscreens are equal and some are even harmful.
The Environmental Working Group (EWG) developed a rating  scale based upon safety and effectiveness for all sunscreen products. To achieve a top rating the sunscreen had to contain the minerals zinc or titanium, which help reduce UVA exposures.  The sunscreen  should not contain oxybenzone or Vitamin A. Studies have suggested a possible link between using suntan lotions with oxybenzone and a subsequent higher risk of  skin cancer.  The EWG also recommends  you avoid powder or spray sunscreens.  Some people are allergic to most sunscreens, such as myself.  I have found our Aloe Non-Chemical Sun blocker to be very useful. 
Here is the EWG top ranked list of sunscreens, all rated 1:
Sunscreen Face Stick, SPF 30, Unscented,
Sunscreen Face Stick, SPF 30, Unscented,
Sunscreen for the face & Body, SPF 30, Unscented
California Baby
Sunblock Stick No Fragrance, SPF 30+ 
Loving Naturals
Sunscreen, SPF 30+
Purple Prairie Botanicals
Sun Stick, SPF 30 SunStuff, SPF 30
Soleo Organics
 All Natural Sunscreen, SPF 30+
Atlantis Resort
 All Natural Sunscreen, SPF 30+
Wyland Organics
 All Natural Sunscreen, SPF 30
We recommend this link to see how your favorite sunscreen measures up.
 Avoid sun exposure during the most intense periods of the day. Avoid prolonged sun exposure between noon and three, or eleven and four if you're very sensitive to the sun to keep your skin covered.
When you are out and about cover up. A hat that shades your face and neck is a must-have. Wear clothing that covers you. White clothing, especially flowing cloth, will help to keep you cool; the tighter the knit, the more protection from the sun's rays will be provided.
 If you spend time gardening, a long-sleeved shirt and gloves to protect your hands will keep you safe. Sitting in the shade is a great way to stay outside without having to worry about your skin, so don't feel like you can't enjoy the great outdoors, just be conscientious while doing so.
Don't forget to include sunglasses in your summer wardrobe. Select sunglasses that block ultraviolet rays and have a wraparound style that prevents sunlight from shining into your eyes.  Adequate eye protection from the sun can help prevent the formation of cataracts.
We all know that sunshine & warm weather provide us with a wide range of activity choices. But we must be aware of our physical limitations to avoid letting overexertion sap our energy and impair our judgment.
 If you  need to be working in very hot temperatures, you should try to acclimate your body by only spending a few minutes a day in extreme heat for the first couple of weeks.
It is very important to schedule time to rest, relax and even take a nap if necessary.
With vacations & summer picnics comes the temptation to pig out. Try not to. Excessive  junk food, heavy fatty foods, spicy and starchy foods, & sweets fail to provide your body with the nutrients and water found in healthy food. Junk food eating can deplete your body of essential energy.
Summer brings with it a wide variety of fresh fruits & vegetables, so enjoy them freely.
Foods high in beta- carotene including carrots, spinach, apricots, peaches, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, mangoes, papayas, oatmeal, and lots more can protect your skin against sun damage.
 So make healthy eating a priority this summer by focusing on simple snacks that don't take much  work such as:
  • Fresh berries kept in the refrigerator to add to salads, yogurt and ice creams
  • You can also freeze all sort of berries or grapes for a delicious cooling snack.
  • Healthy extras, like lettuce and tomatoes, kept in your produce bin.
  • Try homemade Popsicles by freezing 100 percent juice.
  • Cut up raw vegetables to serve with low-fat dips or yogurt. 
  • Blended fruit smoothies with protein powder and ice are easy to make and only limited by your imagination. 
  • Nutritionally dense and delicious, almonds make a fabulous snack.  A top source for vitamin E and magnesium, and a tasty way to get your daily fiber, they also protect against digestive cancers, and contain phosphorous, an essential building block for healthy bones and teeth, that is also helpful in the absorption of other vitamins, like B-complex vitamins. Almonds are also rich in healthy fat, protein, potassium, calcium, and iron. 
  • Walnuts and pecans, sunflower seed, pumpkin seeds are also healthy snacks.  You can snack on nuts alone or by mixing with dried fruit, such as cranberries, or blueberries. You can also chop or sliver  nuts add to many dishes, breads, cereals, and desserts.
  • Green tea is a healthy refreshing drink which is mostly water.  You sip on iced weak green tea all day, preferably sweetened with Stevia Powder or non sweetened.
Hopefully these tips can keep you safe and healthy throughout the summer.

Priscilla Slagle, M.D. is in the private practice of Nutritional and Functional Medicine & Psychiatry in Palm Springs, California.
Dr. Slagle has incorporated vitamins, minerals, amino acids, herbs, natural hormones & other natural substances into her practice since 1975, being one of the pioneers in the Alternative Medicine Field.
"The Way Up From Down" presents her natural "precursor" methods for lifting low moods & relieving the negative effects of stress.

PRISCILLA SLAGLE, M.D. or Cathy Jones, Assisitant
Phone: 1 (760) 322-7797
Fax: 760-322-7608
In this Issue:

Bug spray aside, you can help keep mosquitoes from zeroing in on you as their next victim. Considering that they carry diseases, this is one easy way to stay healthy.
Wear lighter clothes. Mosquitoes show a preference towards darker colored clothes.
Go for patterns. Stripes, floral patterns, plaids and other patterned materials are more likely to deter mosquitoes.
Avoid being too sweet. What you eat affects your natural smell. Eating more garlic can help prevent mosquito bites – but too much sugar in your diet and you may be sought after for the sweet taste.
Change the way you smell. Your perfumes, laundry soap, and shampoo might all be contributing to the reasons for mosquitoes being so into you – change things around until you discover the culprit.
Here's a great link for a Homemade Mosquito Repellent.

Whether one wants to go to the doctor or not, there are some signs of health issues that men should never ignore!
1. Chest pain associated with a sense of pressure in the chest, pain in the jaw, or left arm or shoulder is especially significant. It is true that being out of shape, having indigestion, or being under a lot of pressure can cause chest pain. So can a heart attack. Seek medical attention if you have the above constellation of symptoms.
2. A  a big belly can be a sign of low testosterone. If you have a big belly, get a free and total testosterone blood test.  It may signal coronary artery disease, and it can lead to diabetes, strokes and osteoarthritis. Likewise testosterone hormone replacement by skin cream or injection (not orally), can be protective against diabetes and heart disease.
3. Erectile dysfunction is more than a personal issue. ED can be a sign of too much alcohol, medication side effects, or many major illnesses, including cardiovascular disease.
4. Frequent urination can be a sign of prostate inflammation. If you're getting up to urinate several times in the night- mention it to your doctor. and get a free, total and percent free PSA blood test.  If all is okay and the problem is benign prostate enlargement and inflammation there are numerous supplements for this such as Ultra Natural Prostate, Prostata, or Pros-Forte.  Obviously, pain during urination is also a issue to have checked out.
5. Signs of skin cancer: severe sunburn or a lot of time in the sun can lead to skin cancer, the #1 diagnosed cancer. Changing pigmentation of the skin or moles that change or have uneven edges should be checked by a doctor early, while it's easy to remove them.

Good news for those at risk for lung cancer. A new blood test has been developed which became available in June, 2010. It is called the CDT-Lung test. It has the ability to detect lung cancer about 5 years earlier than a CT scan could ( which is our current best detector). This test measures antibodies the body makes in response to antigens produced by solid- tumor cells.
 If you have a significant smoking history, have a family history of lung cancer or know anyone else who is at high risk, you can go to the CDT Lung Test link early in this article to learn more about the test. While there, you can also order a kit which you can take to your Dr to order the test. It is brand new and many Dr's won't yet know about this test, nor is it yet incorporated in to most medical laboratories.
The earlier diagnosis of lung cancer should improve the survival rate. Lung cancer is responsible for more deaths than breast, prostate, colon, liver, kidney and melanoma cancers combined. Any test which can diagnose this cancer earlier should improve the overall prognosis..

Nature can be soothing, healing, energizing and inspiring.  Summer gives you more opportunities to be out & about appreciating the beauties of our universe.
Research has found that spending as little as 20 minutes per day in nature was enough to significantly boost physical and mental strength and energy levels.
Richard M. Ryan, from the University of Rochester conducted a series of five studies to determine the value of being outdoors on subjective vitality (a positive feeling of aliveness and energy).
This series involved 537 college students and showed the students consistently felt more energetic when they spent time in natural settings or imagined themselves in such situations.

Here is something for everyone to eagerly anticipate, some rewards of aging.  People become happier as they get older according to researchers from Princeton University using data complied from a 2008 Gallup survey of 340,847 Americans between the ages of 18 & 85.
The results of this study conclude that:
Beginning in the early 20’s a steep decline in anger & stress appeared bringing on a general pattern of well-being.
Worry began to elevate through middle age but was shown to decline later in life.
Although enjoyment & happiness decreased gradually, it showed a steady rise in those between the ages of 50 & 75.
Please use this link to read more about this study.