Hal's Hat

Hal's Hat

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Cowgirl Up: triglycerides, heart disease, stroke

How I learned to Cowgirl Up-
or Quit Yer Bitchin' and Eat Somethin' Bitter.

A friend mentioned to another friend that I might be a resource about high triglycerides. I want to emphasize, as I do often, that the resources, information and reminders I offer are informational. I believe that every person is their own best healer, when/ if they tune in to that voice inside. By giving resources and my experience, I hope I'm putting people on their own paths to healing. As always- high triglycerides is a medically diagnosed condition. I have not the training nor schooling to provide that diagnosis. Here is what I (and you) have: herbs, plants, energy, experience, smarts, intuition.

What's up with the title? Well, I don't want to be an asshole, really. But I also want folks who are in need of healing to quit looking for the easy way out. Not you specifically, but me. I look for the easy way out- don't we all?. But I'm working on it- I really am! That's all I'm asking you to do. Put in at least 50% of the energy required for a solution- you will be surprised!

So what are high triglycerides? Triglycerides are a kind of fat found in your blood- used by your body for energy. If you have high triglycerides, you are at higher risk for heart disease. Possible causes: obesity, poorly controlled diabetes (type 1 or 2??), under-active thyroid, kidney disease, too much processed food, too much alcohol.

A quick list of ways to help with any and all of the above possible causes: fish oil, adrenal and liver support (see burdock, dandelion, etc), dandelion to help kidneys, and exercise.

I buy mine from Vitacost!
These are oversimplified but a place to start. Let's look at supplements frequently recommended for heart, blood and cholesterol help. Fish oil is the first step in any healthy journey going to your heart. The typical western diet is sorely lacking amazing Omega-3 and fish oil specifically. You, yes all of YOU, need to take 2,000 mg of high quality Omega-3 fish oil a day. Eat more cold water fish, but still take fish oil. It helps with SAD, depression, hang overs, generally slow moving blood (which is the pre-cursor to heart disease). It works.

Another key part of your body that aids in the digestion of fatty foods is your liver. Well, really it's your gall bladder that produces bile which allows your liver to process out fat. One way to assist a stressed out system is to take dandelion tincture or enjoy any bitter food you can stomach. It is most bitter and yet totally easy on your body (not like some drastic liver cleanse). The typical american/ western diet doesn't include bitter foods, sorely necessary for your liver and gall bladder. So with the addition of dandelion (tincture is my favorite form- 1-2 droppersful a day, in water if you want to), I would recommend burdock (vinegar is my favorite here) as an addition to your diet. Again, bitters that stimulate liver and gall bladder function. Add burdock vinegar to soups, salads or drink it in hot water in a tiny espresso cup (this would be like medicine. Eating it like food is much more fun!). [Please do not complain about your health, learn that you need to ingest bitter foods to help your stressed organs, then act like I've given you the most horrendous news you could ever get. Really. You are not 4 years old- cowgirl up America!]

One supplement- which means it is made in a lab and comes in a pill- that people take for high triglycerides is Red Yeast Rice. Very effective. A lot of info online. My mom had high blood pressure and high triglycerides (hereditary for us) and controls it with RYR and niacin daily. As for niacin, I have collected a couple resources listed below. Links about triglycerides (mentioning niacin): http://www.livestrong.com/article/404462-do-statins-lower-triglycerides/
Niacin info here too.
Red Yeast Rice info.

Here are a few questions to ask yourself if you have high triglycerides:
Am I exercising? Am I choosing homemade food over processed, purchased food? Am I eating enough greens? Am I walking, everyday? Am I exploring bitter foods?

2013 Revolution

I have to say that I am most surprised to have found a new plant ally. She's sitting pretty up above in the blog; she helped me stay on track and centered during the Yule, Christmas, New Year's Eve express train to overkill! She is dandelion. I cannot wait to eat some of those spring greens. But I've been taking the bitter tincture at most meals. I dug it this fall with my Myrna fairy to help (a day off from school). I tinctured it in 100 proof vodka. It helps my stomach and digestion and really aids in generally feeling good. My skin is pretty good- my liver feels pretty damn good and I'm craving and eating good, healthful foods. Good on me! I've been experimenting with other bitters- like ones that are bitter but a bit more friendly. One on its way is a ginger, orange peel, fennel, dandelion bitter! I predict less medicine- more yum factor.