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2024-02-11 08:10 by Karl Denninger
in Personal Health , 664 references
[Comments enabled]  

Note: I am not a physician.  I cannot back any of this up against a random controlled trial or even lab testing since I am unwilling to provide "formal" test results into a system that can and will be used to fuck me down the road.  Thus, absent emergent need, I permit no such thing to occur, and there have been no emergent needs in my adult life.

As a result I do not know my serum Vitamin D level, for example.  I do know, however, a number of metabolic things about my person that I can test on my own with available and inexpensive items I can purchase over the counter or online, such as blood glucose, A1c, blood pressure and several elements of kidney function (urine test strips are available OTC and provide quite a bit of information.)

Until and unless I can have actual hard, enforceable privacy, with felony criminal and heavy punitive financial damages for any breach, no matter why or how, along with iron-clad and lifetime statutory guarantees that such cannot be abused now or at any time during my remaining life, my position on this will not change.  I am especially concerned, incidentally, with genetic-related information as that is a literal minefield for all of humanity; the potential on a forward basis to use that data in a discriminatory manner is unbounded and that we cannot typically do it today in most circumstances matters not because you can't change your genetic make up no matter what you do and thus once that data is in someone's hands it can be used to fuck you up the ass for the rest of your life.  If you are one of the fools who used something like "23 and me" and you, or your offspring, get boned 20 years from now you deserve it -- I've repeatedly warned against this.  By the way that company is in financial trouble if their stock price of roughly 70 cents means anything which in turn means all their data is going to end up in someone else's hands and you have no control over any of it if you previously let them have it.  I warned people of this, and now it is going to happen so bend over and grab your ankles; someone, in the future, is almost-certain to screw you with that data if you gave them a sample.

YOU, AND ONLY YOU, are responsible for your own health.  I sell nothing.  I stand to gain nothing by sharing this information.  It is by definition an N = 1 test on one person (me) with one observer of the results (me) and said observations are limited in time to no further along than the present.  I could easily be wrong, but it is my ass, my choice and this is the set of choices I've made.  If you do any or all of this and get fucked its on you; this is fair warning that it is not a recommendation or a "prescription."  I've read a lot of medical papers and taken the time to understand them and interpret them, then test against instrumentation I bought with my own money and against my uniquely-DNA-encoded body, which is different than every other human body, to some degree, on the planet.

Faux Snooz is of course at it again with "surprisingly simple ways to keep yourself healthy" which omit the most important -- what you put in the pie hole and your immune system's status.  I do agree that activity is a very good thing and being sedentary is bad.  And yes, digestion is important.  But note that of course they talk about "recommended vaccinations" which of course means flu and covid and if anything those are the opposite when it comes to immunity because they are a crutch.  If you get measles there won't be any question as to whether you have a serious problem or not -- right?

And of course the "crank up the stupid" has to come in through "organic this and that."  These cocksuckers never passed organic chem, I see -- so what are they -- diversity doctors?  Probably.  Why?  Some of the nastiest chemicals on the planet are organic which makes sense if you think about it for five seconds; being organic they can interfere with you as an organism quite easily.  And of course they entirely omit the Granddaddy of immunity that in fact is likely the most-important of all, Vitamin D, which is impossible to get from the sun if you're indoors, it is impossible to get enough of it in winter for most people in the US and if you're black the problem is worse because you absorb less of it through your skin due to your pigmentation.

So pardon me if I have a jaundiced eye toward you when you ignore the biggest issue entirely and then play the "organic food" game.  This is nothing more than a cheap shot at those without a huge amount of money (that "organic" steak is twice as expensive as the not, and if you eschew it for the breaded chicken tenders or the pot pie in the freezer because of cost, well.... yeah.  Eat the damned steak before any of that other garbage.)


With that as a preamble here it is.

Due to the fact that roughly north of Atlanta, more or less, it is not possible to obtain adequate Vitamin D from exposure to the sun for about six months out of the year for a person of generally-white skin (the more melanin you have the further south that line goes!), Vitamin D is fat-soluble and thus in the winter all you have is that stored in the body, specifically the liver, and that during Covid we discovered that even in Central and South America most people are deficient (which was a surprise to me but it does make sense given how often people simply don't go outside these days) along with the extraordinary correlation between Vitamin D levels and fatal coronavirus infections (essentially zero persons who were not deficient died of it before any shots were available) I have taken the following daily since August of 2021:

  • 5,000 IU of Vitamin D
  • 100mcg of Vitamin K2

It is now nearly 2-1/2 years later and I have suffered exactly zero symptomatic respiratory infections.

The goal is to make sure that I am not severely deficient.  This should do so.  I am 60 and while I spend a lot of time outdoors in summer as we get older it is well-documented that your skin's capacity to make Vitamin D goes down, never mind that nobody likes getting fried and thus we tend to cover up, use sunblock or both.  Statistically-speaking this level is extremely unlikely to cause problems with having too much -- and the K2 is a buffer against that, although the base risk is very small.  Excessive Vitamin D levels are dangerous, including the possibility of precipitating calcium drop-out in the arteries which might be permanent, but there is quite a wide band before that area is reached.  I will note for reference that at one point during the pandemic Fauci stated that he took twice this amount daily.  I am uncomfortable with a higher amount and again, there is risk of possible permanent and serious damage if you go too far -- then again nearly anything is poisonous in sufficient quantity.  Were I younger and active outdoors on a regular basis I would use this only from roughly October to April -- but the key here is both age and regular outdoor exposure, as that study work during Covid in Central and South America showed.

There is, by the way, an argument for adding magnesium.  If you eat seafood, dairy and green vegetables you probably won't have a seriously-low level and too much is not good -- but if not you might want to add it. Just be aware that as with Vitamin D it is possible to overdose.


  • Vitamin C, liposomal

I keep a stash of Vitamin C around and at the first hint of any sort of respiratory trouble I gobble it in moderate size.  That is, if I feel a bit "off" at night before going to bed (e.g. a bit of a tickle in the throat, etc.) I will gobble up 3-4 grams of the liposomal form of it in capsules.  I am not concerned about overdosing since it is basically impossible to do in a way that will harm you, although getting the squirts, which will happen if you take too much of it, isn't very pleasant.  When I had covid I used a huge amount of it and never found that alleged "bowel tolerance", so the claims of your tolerance going way up when you're sick are, at least for me, very true.  I also will take 2-3 grams of it at once one time a week simply because I do not eat much citrus and while I do routinely eat green vegetables (and they are an excellent source) they're intermittent enough that I want to make sure I have enough of it.  Humans cannot synthesize ascorbate (Vitamin C) due to an error in our DNA that arose a very, very long time ago similarly to the error in feline DNA that prohibits them from synthesizing Taurine (thus they are obligate carnivores.)  You have to be pretty deficient to get scurvy but there is no downside to having more than you need short of bowel tolerance, so this is a vitamin that I gobble with abandon at any, no matter how small, sign of trouble.

I do not like the "powder" form although I have a big jug of it.  For routine use I am very much not a fan because Vitamin C is ascorbic acid and acid exposure is rough on the enamel of the teeth.  I have crappy genetics in this regard and don't need any trouble there but if I needed extremely large doses in order to fight something off I'd deal with it for a few days.  So far that jug has remained unopened (and I'm not concerned about it "expiring" either.)  For the same reason I would not use chewable tablets; there's no concern about tablets or capsules you swallow as your stomach acid will trivially etch paint so once down the pipe its not a concern.


  • Quercetin and Zinc

Quercetin is a flavonoid found in, among other things, grapes.  It has very decent anti-inflammatory properties alone and for a lot of people (myself included) it works as well as OTC allergy meds such as Claritin.  When combined with Zinc it has antiviral properties.  Being a flavonoid in any reasonable amount it has a statistically tiny risk profile and thus I use it without concern, although again -- not without reason.  I used to have severe seasonal allergies before I went low-carb in eating; they are now minor annoyances, but Quercetin is equally if not more effective than Claritin and unlike every OTC antihistamine I've ever tried I do not build a tolerance to it so I choose it instead in the spring, summer and fall months if I'm having allergy issues.  If I have reason to believe I've been exposed to a viral thing or feel any sort of incipient trouble I hit both it and the zinc for a couple of days.  Note that there is some evidence of potential drug interference with this (not significant risk, but non-zero) so if you're on prescriptions check that first.


  • Claritin

rarely use this today but do keep some around.  There was a small retrospective study during covid out of Spain in severely compromised people (nursing home residents) that showed that immediate use of it had a very statistically significant (100%!) positive impact on preventing the infection from progressing -- with no adverse effects from the treatment.  They bundled the antihistamine with Z-pak but of course that is a prescription drug.  This is logical as it is an antihistamine and has a drying effect on the upper respiratory and sinus area, that is, it changes the environment in the nose, sinuses and upper throat.  That appears to be enough to give the body a better shot at attacking the invading virus before it can break through and cause more-serious trouble.  Prior to discovering quercetin I used to use it on a very regular basis during allergy season as part of a rotation (to evade tolerance build) so I have many years of experience taking it and know it doesn't do anything bad to me.  As such it is now part of my protocol for any incipient upper respiratory infection that I feel coming on, although in the last 2-1/2 years I've only used it once for that purpose -- and didn't get actually sick.  Was it a nothing or did it help?  I don't know but the generic at WalMart or elsewhere is extremely cheap and very safe so having a bottle of it around is an easy thing to have on-hand.  Today I would hit any incipient upper respiratory infection with it immediately given the Spanish data and its known safety profile, never mind that its trivially cheap to keep a bottle in your drawer.


  • NAC

Were I to get a serious respiratory infection anyway I would hit it with NAC and I keep some on hand.  I do not use it all the time because there is some question as to its safety in long term continual use.  However, it is known as an anti-inflammatory, immune modulator and helps with respiratory symptoms.  Therefore were I to get something nasty I'd use it and have it on-hand for that reason, but would stop when the reason to use it is alleviated.  Be aware that if you are using prescriptions you need to check for interactions -- some drugs have known interactions where there is reason to be concerned.  I have not had reason to use this since got covid -- but I do keep it in the cabinet.


That's it.  None of these are expensive, none of them pose material risk (other than possibly NAC if you are using certain prescription drugs), the Vitamin D and K2 are likely to promote a better immune profile across-the board which may extend materially beyond respiratory viruses.

In addition it is now nearly 2-1/2 years beyond when I got Covid and in the time since I have not had any respiratory virus of any symptomatic note at all.  I have hit a few things that felt "off" or where my Garmin has pegged a low overnight HRV without any obvious provocation (e.g. a few beers at the bar) with the above protocol and none turned into actual illness.  Statistically, for me, this is quite significant as my "usual" in my years on this rock have seen me get some sort of minor respiratory infection once or twice and more years than not a mild to moderate flu (and once in a while, a real ass-kicker such as the first week of 2020) on top of it.  To go nearly 2-1/2 years with zero such illnesses is quite remarkable in my experience, yet there you have it and, given that experience, I have every intention of continuing to do so.


PS: What difference could we have made with this set of recommendations, ex perhaps the NAC, on Covid in the United States?  The cost of having this on-hand is less than one "quick test" package and the cost of Vit-D and K2 supplementation is literally pennies a day.  Between that and the Spanish nursing home data it is reasonable to expect that an enormous percentage, and perhaps statistically all of the people who got whacked by this virus would not have died, and few would have wound up in the hospital -- perhaps 1 in 100 who actually did.  Of course nobody would have made any money and there would have been no fear of anything if that was recommended and had worked -- would there?  Something to think about.

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2023-10-11 07:00 by Karl Denninger
in Personal Health , 604 references
[Comments enabled]  

Oh, you thought Covid was bad?

How about a decades-long scam which put a huge percentage of American adults on drugs that are dangerous and do nothing in terms of improving your odds of not having the ultimate bad thing happen -- death?  How would you like it if it was proved that your doctor lied, pharmaceutical companies lied, the government lied with their "recommendations", everyone lied -- and many of your friends and family suffered insane deterioration of their condition and ultimately died as a result?

Well, all of that happened.

You were told that cholesterol -- specifically, non-HDL (that is, LDL) cholesterol, was a cause of death via heart attacks and strokes.  You were given medication and told to take it, specifically statins, which do in fact lower cholesterol.  But statins have serious side effects and while they don't screw everyone who takes them (gee, where we have seen that in the last couple of years?) they do, in every case, result in detectable metabolic damage.  That's true for basically all drugs by the way: The question is always whether the damage from the drugs, and by the way those are averse effects, not "side" effects, and are deliberately misnamed in order to mislead you, is greater or lesser than the benefit from taking them.

If the benefit is zero then it is not a drug -- it is a poison.

Well here we are....

Harmonized individual-level data from a global cohort showed that 57.2% and 52.6% of cases of incident cardiovascular disease among women and men, respectively, and 22.2% and 19.1% of deaths from any cause among women and men, respectively, may be attributable to five modifiable risk factors. 

Wow, that sounds like five things you can change to modify your risk of dying.  That's a great thing, right?

So what were the five things?

BMI, systolic blood pressure (the top number), non-HDL cholesterol, smoking and diabetes.

Two outcomes were assessed: Cardiovascular disease and death from any cause.

I like the latter one far more than the former because dead is dead and why is irrelevant if you're the one who's dead.  We all can wring our hands on the  "why" when it happens, but from the perspective of the "trial of one" it matters not one whit.  In other words I'm not impressed in a "reduction" in cardiovascular disease if the thing that we do to produce it kills you in equal numbers, thus doing nothing has the same ultimate outcome.  Indeed that is a wild-eyed scam as the "something" that a doctor or other medical professional does is never free so unless you can demonstrate all-cause mortality benefit the only person getting actual "benefit" has to be presumed to be the doctor, hospital or pharmaceutical company -- and not you.

Further, this was an extremely large cohort -- roughly 1.5 million people.  Statistical power is greatly enhanced by large numbers, so that they looked at an utterly huge number of people is an excellent factor in favor of the results being valid.

Of the factors, however, only three of the five actually had a statistically significant correlation with being dead: Smoking, diabetes, and blood pressure.

LDL Cholesterol did not; it had a weak association that faded with age with cardiovascular disease but not dying in any of the age groups, which strongly implies that there is no value whatsoever to trying to reduce it in terms of being dead, which is what matters to you In addition, which did surprise me a bit, being fat itself was not dangerous in terms of killing you.

Smoking had the expected negative effect and so did blood pressure elevation.  The latter, of course, is highly-associated with body mass but there are fat people with normal blood pressure.

And finally, diabetes was the Gorilla in the room; at all ages it was a serious risk factor, and not a little either, roughly doubling your risk of being dead all the up until you got to be nearly 80, and even then it was good for a 1.6x elevation in risk.  At younger ages the elevation of risk was as much as four times.

Oh by the way one of the documented side effects of statins is CAUSING Type 2 diabetes.

In addition the global nature of this data and study has shown that no, the region of the world and thus the genetics of the person is not statistically relevant to the outcomes.  That is, there is no "magic genetic" or "magic dirt" factor involved; this applies to humans no matter where they came from or where they live.  While there are small differences from region to region there are none that stand out as statistical outliers, which is extremely important because one of the tropes often run is that "well, I'm from and thus I don't have to worry about it because I have magic genes."  No you don't, by the data, and if you keep believing that bullshit you are likely to be dead as a result of your own stupidity.

So what do we learn from this study?

  • Your doctor is and has been lying, and so have all the medical "authorities" for decades when it comes to cholesterol.  It is a mild risk elevation for cardiovascular disease but not death, and death is what matters.  The "stomp on that now" approach to medicine in this regard is now proved bankrupt and the billions extracted were at best worthless and at worst poisonous, literally, resulting in an increased risk of mortality.

  • Your doctor in fact raised your risk of dying when he prescribed statins.  Statins have a known adverse event risk of causing Type 2 diabetes, which is proved to be a wild (more than double and as much as four times the risk) of being dead across basically all age groups up until you get to be 80, and even then its roughly 1.6x.  Diabetes kills, period, and anything that increases the risk of diabetes is thus poison, period.  Since lowering non-HDL cholesterol has no mortality benefit at all the consumption of statins has no available benefit to your health, but does have a significant risk of causing a mortal disorder.  You have to be out of your damn mind to consume them given this data.

  • Dietary "guidelines" that include carbohydrates, specifically "fast" carbohydrates such as potatoes, rice, wheat in any form (flour, bread, cookies, etc.) potentiate and worsen glycemic control issues and thus cause diabetes.  So do statins.  We know both of these things are facts.  Any "physician" who, given a lack of body mass or glucose control, say much less both, who does not recommend immediately getting all of that crap out of your diet is making recommendations that raise, not lower, your risk of dying.  This study proves that.

  • While being fat alone does not raise your risk of dying we know being fat raises the risk of blood pressure elevation and diabetes.  If you are fat but not either hypertensive or diabetic the fat alone will probably not kill you and other than the other morbidity factors involved in being fat (joint damage, reduced exercise tolerance and mobility, etc.) since it doesn't make your dead the decision (and yes it is a decision) to be overweight or obese is not likely to give you a dirt nap. However, being fat will, over time, greatly increase the risk of one of the other two things happening and both of those do make it more likely that you will be dead.  The bullet point above, or if you prefer this articlewill both control or even possibly reverse Type II diabetes and at the same time make you profoundly less-fat, reducing the risk of both developing or worsening that and high blood pressure and it costs zero dollars and thus makes nobody rich.  In fact it may make you more-rich in that diabetes, in particular, is extraordinarily expensive when it progresses to insulin dependence, amputations, blindness, kidney dialysis and death all of which are really bad for you but make your doctor, the local hospital and others in the medical system extremely wealthy.

Remember the last three years folks.

You were told that "masks prevented Covid-19 transmission."  Did they?  Did you get Covid despite wearing a mask?  Make all the excuses you wish; if a mask prevents you from inhaling a virus how is it that you got a virus if you wore one?  Obviously you were lied to.

You were also told that "taking the shots would prevent getting Covid and also giving it to others."  President Biden said this, the CEO of Pfizer said this, your doctor probably said it, the CDC said it and so did many others.  Deborah Birx admitted that she knew that claim was unfounded when it was made and said nothing, and she's allegedly one of the "experts."  I pointed out that it was unfounded as the original studies never were designed to demonstrate it.  The White House, it is now known, knew within months there were serious safety signals and ignored them on purpose.  Further, as soon as mass "breakthrough" events were reported, which was as early as April and May of 2021, anyone with two nickels worth of IQ points knew damn well that preventing getting it was a lie too, since if there's a 5% failure rate (for example) the odds of all 20 people in a gathering all having said failure occur at once is less than that of being by an asteroid while getting your mail.  Yet exactly that was reported, repeatedly.

Now we know that the claims that cholesterol will kill you, a trope run for decades by damn near every medical provider on the planet and used to promote billions of dollars in sales of drugs, is in fact false.  Its not only false its worse than false in that those drugs do promote a disorder, Type 2 diabetes, that actually does wildly raise your risk of dying.

The only thing worse than that is that we know how to reduce or even eliminate Type 2 diabetes in a particular person at zero cost by doing nothing more than changing what you eat on a permanent, lifestyle basis.

The choice is yours, of course.

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2023-03-30 07:00 by Karl Denninger
in Personal Health , 679 references
[Comments enabled]  

Yes, the title of this posting may sound dramatic.

It is also likely.

CMS (Medicare and Medicaid) is one third of the entire Federal Budget.  When those programs were put into place the tax rates for Medicare were approximately equal to the percentage of GDP spent on medical care.  The medical system then embarked on a multi-decade program of felony anti-competitive practices and neither party has or will stop itso the percentage went from about 3-4% of GDP to roughly 20% today.  The tax rate did not materially change and would have to be multiplied by five to be reasonably coherent which, of course, is politically impossible.

I projected forward in the 1990s when running MCSNet that this would bankrupt the Federal Government by about 2025 and when it did Medicare and Medicaid would be unable to be funded.  The pressure this would place on the medical system since nobody would or will enforce the law means that the ratchet job on everyone will continue and get worse, ending in an effective collapse.  Whether that collapse is complete or partial does not matter if you're the one who needs it and doesn't get it; statistical numbers are all fine and well but meaningless in the example of one -- you.

I have long stated that you better not need the medical system within the next decade or so (going back to the '08 blow-up timeframe) and if you do the odds are you won't get it, thus you will be in serious trouble or dead and there's nothing you can do about it at that point. The only defense is to not need it.

Well, there are times you can't avoid needing it.  A car crash is obviously one of them, but there are more.  Nonetheless knowing when you need it and when you don't is quite important particularly when there is little supply.

But most of the time you can avoid it.  I did during Covid, for example, by being proactive and having on-hand that which I believed would help, fully aware that if they failed I was probably fucked.  They succeeded.  Someone I knew put his trust in the medical system instead of laying in supplies in advance.  He's dead and that sucks, but it was a free choice.

A few years from now it is unlikely to be a free choice as the system you think you can rely on, even if they aren't being wild-eyed crazy as they were during Covid, will not be there.  If you put your belief in it being there and its not, and needing it was avoidable, you will be dead.  You can't prevent the possibility of being run over by a car, but you can take many steps to reduce the risk of needing the medical system at all, and given what's going on in this country you're nuts if you don't, especially those steps which have little or no cost.

In my opinion you ought to have these things on-hand in any household.  They're not expensive.  Learning how to use one of them in particular will take a bit of time, but learn you should.  They can and will often provide key information -- perhaps critical information to discern between "not a big deal" and "oh crap", never mind quite possibly driving lifestyle changes that can wildly reduce the risk of "oh crap."

Let's go down the list on the what and why:

  • Thermometer.  Pick either contact is IR non-contact; doesn't matter, but intended for human use (thus the range of reading is suitable for same.)  The purpose is obvious -- determining if a person (you) has a fever and if so, how bad.

  • Pulse oximeter.  Cheap.  Buy one.  These clip on your finger and are about $20.  Unless you have COPD or similar you should be reading 97%+ all the time.  Sick, not-sick, feeling good, feeling not-so-good, same.  Readings below about 95% indicate serious trouble and if trending downward are very serious trouble.  As I pointed out several times early on during the viral outbreak if you are even in relatively crappy physical condition you have a reserve of several times your resting metabolic demand for oxygen; if you're in good cardio condition you likely have an exercise tolerance of ten or more times your resting demand.  Once your saturation starts to fall you have lost all of that so this is a lot more-serious than you may think it is.  These take seconds to read and are non-invasive.

  • Blood pressure cuff.  Automated, decent ones are under $100.  Some of the cheap Chinese ones are ok but of questionable accuracy because, well, Chinese.  Welch-Allyn makes one that's a few bucks more (~$65 or so), is more-accurate, has a better hose and connector arrangement and is not expensive.  High blood pressure typically has no symptoms until it gives you a hemorrhagic stroke which usually kills you or a heart attack which may also do so.  One reading doesn't mean much as damn near anything can spike your numbers for a few minutes to a couple of hours, but over a period of time this is a very big deal.  It used to be that every drug store and most grocery stores had one of the "sit down and insert arm" machines for zero cost but those are either disappearing or being replaced with ones that want information from you and have cameras in them.  You may be ok with that but you shouldn't be.

  • Glucose and/or ketone meter.  If you are over 65 or have a gut at any age you should have one of these.  Again, high blood glucose, unless extreme, shows no outward symptoms but over time destroys your heart, kidneys, eyes and results in serious neuropathy in the extremities along with circulation disorders that lead to amputations.  Unless you know you're diabetic prefer the one with individual wrapped strips as once you open a container within 30 days the strips are trash, and your use is intermittent.  You want to use this on an every three to six month basis to take both a fasting (before you eat anything) blood glucose level and then just before and on 30 minute intervals after a carb-heavy meal if you eat carbs.  If you are not back to your baseline levels within 2 hours you are insulin compromised no matter what the doctor tells you and thus you should be considering removing all fast carbohydrates from your diet.  Read here for more on this.  Type II diabetes can be stopped and even in many cases reversed without use of a single drug.  Failure to do so will, over time, wildly screw you metabolically and if you think you can just go on the medical roller-coaster, well, in a few years no you won't be able to unless you have hundreds of thousands of dollars of your personal money to spend on it.  If you care to monitor ketones as well (e.g. "am I really eating a ketogenic diet?") the KetoMojo meter will tell you both and it has individually-wrapped strips and thus is intermittent-use friendly to your wallet.

  • A hand-held EKG device.  This is relatively new in terms of availability at a reasonable (under $100) price.  Prefer one that does not require a cloud connection or subscription; this is extremely valuable data to insurance companies as cardiac problems are a huge marker for money, of course.  It will take you a bit of study to learn how to read it but most of these will alert you to any gross abnormality.  Be aware that they're not perfect and materially less-sensitive than a full "leads on the chest" EKG, but they do work.  With about an hour's worth of reading you can learn how to interpret the trace with reasonable accuracy.  You won't be a cardiologist but you will be able to spot many things of material concern that might otherwise have no symptoms and, if you do, then its time to talk to someone who really does know.  If you got clot-shotted, in particular, this might spot a potential electrical block that otherwise has no symptoms but can result in a no-warning thud.  You're welcome.

I do not recommend an AED in your own home especially if you live alone.  They're damned expensive (a thousand bucks plus!) and worthless if nobody is there in immediate attendance as if you get hit you won't be able to use it on yourself.  If you live with someone and are almost-always around them, and have any indication of cardiac trouble, then maybe the math works out differently on this but that's a hell of a lot of money that will only help someone else if you're the one using it.  Note that if you go into vFib while you and your SO are both in bed sleeping odds are they're waking up next to a corpse as there is typically no warning before it happens.  A person who goes into vFib when there is no defibrillator available is extremely likely to die even with prompt and well-applied CPR and if someone else doesn't immediately notice (e.g. you and/or your SO/wife/husband are asleep) your odds of survival are an effective zero.

One likely-controversial point: I do recommend a personal wearable device that can do HRV overnight.  Several of the Garmin watches can do so but not all, and the ones that can aren't the cheap options.  This data is unbelievably sensitive and can be used to identify things you don't know are trouble in your particular person; if you see an unexplained deviation it is real so put in the effort to find the cause.  For instance I have recently isolated and proved that I have a very mild allergy to peanuts.  I never knew this and it likely has been lifelong.  It doesn't produce any obvious symptoms but if I eat just one small spoonful of peanut butter a couple of hours before I go to bed it will materially harm my HRV overnight.  Eating a crap-ton of pork rinds and salsa with the same amount of time before bed, on the other hand (e.g. as a snack while watchin a movie) does nothing.  There is no way I could have isolated this otherwise.  I love peanut-butter milk stouts, as just one example -- guess who won't be drinking any more of them?

This sort of knowledge and device makes personal "challenge trials" of that kind, done in a "notch" fashion (that is, do it, don't do it then do it again and see if you get the deviation and then it goes away) very simple.  It will also show you the immediate and immutable impact of things like consuming alcohol and exactly how badly it "gets" you if you go out for a few rounds with your buds.  Finally it will warn you a solid day or more in advance if you're getting something (a virus, etc.) in that you'll see it in the data even though you didn't do anything the previous day to provoke the decline and know it.  If you're into athletic pursuits then this is obviously even better but even for those who are not, in my view this data is ridiculously useful and not obtainable in any other non-invasive way.

This sort of sub-clinical harm is likely a huge deal over time and yet there is exactly zero attention paid to it in the medical community nor will there ever be as there's no money in it.  These sorts of reactions are nasty because being sub-clinical it isn't obvious on the surface. Sub-clinical inflammation is likely responsible for a large percentage of long-term systemic damage including heart attacks, strokes and various and sundry autoimmune disorders of unknown origin or cause.  If you find these things and get them out of your life you avoid clinical exposure and the cost of it, never mind the personal debilitation.  There's absolutely no downside to that sort of knowledge and now you can obtain it with a bit of effort as the instrumentation on a personal basis is now within rational grasp.  I'd like it a lot if the price was lower but it isn't, and unlike the other things in the kit getting accurate data requires wearing the watch for a couple of weeks to get the baseline and then continuing to do so nightly, so its entirely-personal and thus you can't amortize the cost across multiple people in your household.  Garmin brought this to my Fenix 6x in August of last year and I have come to consider it a "must" personally, and well worth the money.

One very-important note: There are stand-alone devices that do this and most require some sort of subscription.  I consider these poor secondary substitutes for several reasons, with the most-serious being that they're not typically worn all the time and the subscription-style nonsense.  In short IMHO if you decide you want to try to exploit this knowledge Garmin, at present, is the go-to for doing so.

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2023-01-11 07:00 by Karl Denninger
in Personal Health , 617 references
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You won't like either of these.

We'll deal with the first one first: Statins, with this study going back to 2018.  Yes, its not new, but where have you seen this reported?  Has your doctor talked with you about this?  Doubt it.

What does it show?  Statistically-significant elevations in ALS incidence associated with all statins.

Results: RORs for ALS were elevated for all statins, with elevations possibly stronger for lipophilic statins. RORs ranged from 9.09 (6.57-12.6) and 16.2 (9.56-27.5) for rosuvastatin and pravastatin (hydrophilic) to 17.0 (14.1-20.4), 23.0 (18.3-29.1), and 107 (68.5-167) for atorvastatin, simvastatin, and lovastatin (lipophilic), respectively. For simvastatin, an ROR of 57.1 (39.5-82.7) was separately present for motor neuron disease.

Association is not proof of causation, but that the association varied with the type of statin adds to the evidence for a causal effect.

ALS is otherwise known as Lou Gehrig's disease and is nasty.

Further there is no evidence that statins have an all-cause death benefit except in those who previously had a heart attack.

This sort of study evidence takes time to show up and the really nasty part of the equation is that most people who are given these things are told they're a lifetime prescription.  Yet not one of these is tested over a lifetime first -- so how can you possibly know if they're safe when taken that way?  You can't.

There is a huge difference between taking a drug for a period of time as an "acute" treatment for a given condition, then you stop and chronic, long-term (meaning lifetime in many cases) use. Antibiotics are an example of this, as with many other medications.  You use them because there is something wrong right now and when its no longer wrong you stop using it.  The same is true for intermittent-use medications; for example, Ivermectin is known to be extremely safe in that sort of use because it has been used for forty years on an intermittent basis to control parasitic infections, typically taken once every few months.  In this sort of use pattern four billion human doses have been administered and the serious adverse event risk has been found to occur roughly once in every 600,000 people it is given to.  To put this in perspective both aspirin and acetaminophen, which are both intermittently used by millions of Americans, have a serious adverse event risk over ten times higher that Ivermectin.

This does not mean its safe to take Ivermectin on a daily basis for life; there is in fact zero evidence that this is the case and you'd be stupid to extrapolate the intermittent-use data to imply that it is safe when you use it daily.

Aspirin was for a long time recommended for older Americans on a low-dose basis as a potential stroke and heart-attack inhibitor.  We know its safe enough to sell over the counter for intermittent, acute use (e.g. for headache or fever.)  It turns out that when used daily, on a chronic basis, even in the low-dose form the data is that it may kill you due to bleeding as often as it prevents heart attacks.

Attempting to generalize acute safety to chronic, long-term safety turned out to be a bad idea.  It took decades to find this out, by the way.  Duh.

Now we have another craze -- GLP-1 agonists, which showed up about 2009 for Type II diabetes, and particularly Tirzepatide which combines a GLP-1 agonist and a GIP, is being "fast tracked" for weight reduction.

This is bone-headed stupid for several reasons and that the FDA is even considering such use, or doctors are using it, ought to get every single one of them nuked from orbit in the general case, subject to limited exceptions.


First let's talk about how these drugs work.  GLP-1 agonists promote the pancreas' secretion of insulin and GIP inhibits apoptosis (natural cell death) in the beta cells of the pancreas and promote insulin.  The problem is that this by definition is very likely to lead to hyperinsulinemia; that is, higher than normal insulin amounts in the blood.  Insulin is not a benign substance; it is necessary for the metabolic processing of glucose however it is also inflammatory.  Systemic inflammation is extremely bad.

Most Type II diabetics, by the time their blood sugar goes out of whack, have had hyperinsulinemia for years and often decades.  Type II diabetics have a functional pancreas; they have beta cells which secrete insulin in response to glucose levels in the blood.  However, the body's cells have become resistant to the insulin and thus sugar continues to rise, insulin is secreted in larger amounts, and that larger amount brings it down as the cells take up the glucose and process it.  You have formal Type II diabetes when the pancreas can no longer secrete enough insulin to overcome this resistance and thus blood sugar rises uncontrollably.

Note that it is almost-never the case that a routine test for hyperinsulinemia is done.  You can in fact test fasting insulin.  Reality, however, is that a blood draw is not really required -- all you need to do is stand upright naked against a wall, bend only at the neck and look down; if you can't see your junk odds are extremely high your fasting insulin level is high.

This tolerance reaction is extremely common and in fact is one of the nasties that underlies many drugs of abuse.  Opiate users wind up killing themselves this way on accident all the time; as you use opiates the amount you need to get "high" or obtain pain relief goes up but the amount that depresses your respiratory function rises at a much slower rate.  Eventually the two lines cross and if you keep using the opiates you die.  This is why long-term abusers often use a stimulant (often these days meth) at the same time (this used to be called a "speedball" back when I was younger) because the meth stimulates the breathing and circulatory reflexes and thus staves off what would otherwise be a lethal overdose.  That obviously has its own problems; if you keep using once you're in that coffin corner you will kill yourself either via a mistake or cardiac destruction as a result of the stimulants you're using to avoid respiratory arrest.  See Saint Floyd for a notorious example that nobody wants to bring forward as it destroys a narrative.

If an opiate addict is jailed and forced to detox when he comes out and uses the same amount he formerly tolerated it frequently kills him immediately because that tolerance reaction partially reset itself and he didn't know that.  Daily uses of marijuana have the same thing happen if they stop for an extended period of time; what was a "heh this is a fun buzz" becomes a "you're one with the couch for four hours" dose.  Fortunately the weed doesn't kill you; it just makes you very uncomfortably stoned.

Tolerance reactions raise extremely serious concerns in any drug used on a chronic basis, and in particular drugs like this which deliberately promote higher serum levels of an inflammatory substance.  It would be reasonably expected that using these drugs on a chronic, lifetime basis is going to wildly promote all manner of trouble from said inflammation, from heart attacks and strokes to various other inflammatory issues -- including, perhaps, promotion of cancer.  Given that expected reaction the burden to prove it doesn't happen across decades is on the manufacturer and until that's proved it should be assumed that this will be the result and over those decades it will kill people.

Yes, obesity is a serious problem but it is not a disease.  It occurs because you have damaged the insulin response in your body and if you test non-diabetic overweight and obese people virtually all of them will have high insulin levels even though their blood sugar is normal.   The answer to this problem is to stop insulting your insulin pathway so that the tolerance bleeds back off.  Provided your pancreas is not already critically damage it both can and will do so but not overnight -- just as you didn't develop the problem overnight.

That can only happen one way: Stop consuming fast carbohydrates on a durable basis.

There is no solution found in the pharmacy for the problem because the problem is that you are insulting your metabolic system.

The side effects from stopping that include your pants falling off.

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2018-02-27 15:35 by Karl Denninger
in Personal Health , 426 references
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I get asked this a lot, so here are my thoughts.

First, two disclaimers -- I'm not a doctor.  Second, I've got a lot of data, but it's all mine so it's all anecdote.  All I can back it up with is a few friends who have similar or identical gear to what I use.

So with that said, here we go.

First, alcohol (drinking alcohol now, not the non-potable versions!) are ethanol.  They are a form of carbohydrate.

But alcohol is a special carbohydrate.  Unlike the common sort in foods ethanol is preferentially metabolized -- that is, it is burned first before other carbohydrates. This is why you get drunk (instead of it "mixing" with all the other carbs and being taken up slowly, which would mean you'd have to drink on an empty stomach to get drunk at all) but at about one drink per hour, you also burn it off at the same rate no matter how much food you eat.

Like all other carbohydrates, however, ethanol also produces the same sort of boost/crash response that you get from other fast carbs, and in fact since it burns first it's arguably the fastest carb.  This is why when you're drinking you often want food and is why "bar food" is inevitably high in carb content (e.g. french fries, etc); the bar owners are not stupid and they sell what people want to buy.

There are two basic problems with drinking alcohol in any amount as it relates to a keto lifestyle.  The first is that booze inherently is anti-ketogenic, although if you keep it to one drink in a day you can remain in a ketogenic state and have that one drink, provided you are performing some amount of exercise (so as to keep glycogen stores very low.)  The problem is that the second drink, and any non-keto food you might consume due to the cravings that alcohol does produce, is almost-certainly enough to knock you out of a ketogenic state.

There used to be a book out there from the early 1900s called "The Drinking Man's Diet."  Unsurprisingly, it called for consumption of essentially zero carbohydrate; the reason is that alcohol consumption greatly potentiates weight gain if you eat carbohydrates.  Why?  Because it's metabolized first and thus the rest of the carbs you take in wind up being stored as glycogen and, if your glycogen stores fill it goes directly on your body as fat.

So that's the keto-related bad news, basically.  But unfortunately the bad news doesn't end there and it's not ketogenic-specific.

I own a Fenix 5x, which I wear basically all the time (except when doing some sort of work that might damage it, such as working on my car, and when it needs to be charged) including overnights.  It's an incredible piece of equipment which I bought mostly for its performance tracking under exercise and its mapping functionality, which is a safety feature when I am hiking in the backcountry ("never lost" as long as it can see the sky and has power.)  No, it's not a substitute for a map, compass and knowing how to do land nav, but it's convenient and, in my opinion, was well-worth the investment.

It also gives me a hell of a lot of data across my entire day.  One of the things it allows me to do is track the quality of sleep, heart-rate variation (which maps to your stress level) and resting heart rate.  And this is where the second piece piece of bad news comes from.

I can tell you from looking at that RHR and HRV (stress) level during my time sleeping on which days I have had zero alcohol intake, on which days I had one drink, on which days I had two, and on which days I had more.  The "more" doesn't matter; once you pass the second one in a day from a stress point of view you may as well get hammered.  My accuracy rate just looking at this piece of information alone is astoundingly high -- and when it's wrong, it's never wrong on the low side (that is, indicating less stress than my booze intake indicates.)

The first drink will raise my resting heart rate by a point or two and delay my systemic stress level from dropping into the lowest category by a couple of hours.  The second by two to four points and costs me half the night in terms of getting into that "resting" state from a stress point of view.  Third and beyond?  You're screwed in terms of actually getting anything that's called "rest" when you sleep.

This has profound implications if you are interested in athletic performance as well.  There's simply no way you will be well-rested and able to perform at peak capacity if you've had anything to drink for two to three days prior to the event.

This is utterly repeatable, every time, has been since I've owned this unit from the first day forward and anyone that has access to that data is going to be able to figure it out without knowing anything else about you.  A couple of friends of mine who have similar units have told me that they have identical results, and I've confirmed this as they've let me look at their data briefly and told them which days they went out to the bar.  I was right -- every time.

For this reason putting such data in the "cloud" and allowing anyone else access to it is a profoundly bad idea.  You don't need an AI to process this, just a pair of eyeballs!

It would be utterly trivial to determine your consumption of booze and "box" you from which it would then be trivial to do things like charge you more for insurance.

The above, by the way, assumes your alcohol is liquor and there are no sugars in whatever you mix it with, if anything.  Straight-up Scotch, vodka-and-(diet) tonic, etc.  Beer and wine also contains carbs that are not from the alcohol; those have to be counted too and it's almost-impossible to know what the non-booze carb content is with the exception of a handful of "light" beers that advertise it -- because unlike actual food the manufacturers don't have to tell you, and they typically don't.  When it comes to craft beer you may get away with one pint glass (or 10oz for high-gravity) of beer but you won't get away with the second in terms of ketosis.  The same issue presents itself when it comes to wine.

So if you're asking whether drinking alcohol is compatible with living a ketogenic lifestyle, the answer is "maybe."  The maybe is that if you are actively trying to lose weight then no, it isn't, and by the way, it doesn't matter what form of food intake you're using in that case because alcohol will poison all of them in terms of weight loss.  The old saying that "he has a beer belly" is not bullshit, in short.  One of the worst ways to sabotage your metabolic systems is to screw with your hunger regulation -- while it's possible to ignore that it takes an amount of willpower few possess.

If you are very studious about avoiding any sort of other carbs, except for nutrient-dense green vegetables, then you can probably remain in a ketogenic diet with one drink a day, assuming you are an average-height male.  Women have it tougher simply because on average they're smaller and alcohol is typically not "sized" in terms of the size of the drink to match body size and mass.  This means that for most women that first drink is going to be borderline.  Your odds of remaining in a ketogenic state improve if you are engaged in a material amount of vigorous exercise daily (defined as at least 15 minutes of effort in heart rate zone 4 or 5) as well.

But beyond one drink it doesn't matter if you're trying to live a keto lifestyle.  You will get knocked out of a ketogenic state with the second beer or mixed drink essentially every single time and it is likely to require 48 hours or even more to return to it.

So yeah, if you have one night a week you have a few beers and such you basically took a 7-day ketogenic state and turned it into a 3-4 day one. That's half.  If you're already where you want to be in terms of body mass and metabolic state you can get away with that once a week and probably not harm yourself all that much.

But if you do that twice in a week you can forget it.

The worse news, however, is that ketogenic or not that second drink costs you substantially in terms of impacting your overall body stress level and quality of sleep.  The third one destroys both and it will require 48-72 hours of abstinence before things are back to normal.

This, incidentally, is wildly out of kilter with what the so-called medical "experts" will tell you.  They all say that one drink a day is not harmful and may even be protective; that the second one is probably "neutral" and real serious harm starts with the third (and gets rapidly worse with increasing quantity.)


The trivially documented disruption starts with the first drink, the second does very material damage to the quality of your rest and beyond that you may as well get rip-roaring trashed in terms of cardio and overall systemic stress.

I'm sure a far more-strict analysis is almost directly dose-dependent -- for example, the damage done to your liver.  But here I'm not focusing on the long-term chronic effects from drinking too much -- those are both well-known and basically impossible to argue with.

This is simply looking at the data in the context of consumption of "routine" amounts of alcohol if you are trying to live a healthier metabolic lifestyle.

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