October 31, 2020

The New and Improved Simply Deb Health and Fitness

I've fiddled around with the Simply Deb site and sub-sites for a long time, but through it all, this was the most popular of all the blogs. People like to learn how to take care of themselves, and I like to tell them what I've done that worked and what didn't work.

In that vein, I've decided to concentrate on this blog for awhile. You'll notice the nifty new layout, that matches the Simply Deb layout. These are some of the other things I'll be doing on the blog:

  • A personal journal of my weight loss/fitness journey. I've started and stopped this journey so many times, but now my unfit and overweight state is causing health problems I'm not willing to live with. I'm very out of shape and many pounds overweight, so I'm going to get serious about the journey to better health and I'll take you with me. 
  • Information on products I use that work for me. As part of the journey, I'll be using supplements, vitamins, and other products to reach my goals. Many of these I've used for years, but I've never described them in detail. I'll be detailing each one, why I use it, and doing a full review. For the new ones, I'll post how it is working, good or bad, and do a review at the end. 
  • Beauty routine and product reviews. Along with health and fitness, I'm going to be taking much better care of my skin, hair, nails and reporting on those in a special Beauty and Skin Care journal. I use a lot of simple, natural products, but for this endeavor, I'll be reviewing some very inexpensive commercial products as well (we all know how frugal I am). 
  • Pictures and online security. I'm not a fan of having my picture online, but I will be posting pictures of myself without my face showing so you can see my progress. In case you don't know, I've been cyber stalked a few times, so I took down all of my pictures online and only use avatars now. I try to be vague about where I live as well. If a stalker gets the idea to come look for me, it will be hard, because there are several thousand apartments in my area of town, and more going up every day. If you feel like driving around a 100 square mile area with about 20,000 apartments looking for me, have at it.
I have many older, now archived blog posts. I may be bringing some of them back, or referring to them in current posts. I will not bring back all the old posts, but I am going to eventually start an archive blog so you can read them if you wish.

So that's it in a nutshell -- for now. As you know, blogs grow and change, and I may end up doing more or less later.

For now, stay tuned and be sure to subscribe in the upper right sidebar to receive notifications for all new posts.

September 29, 2017

A Short Review of Garcinia Cambogia

While some studies of Garcinia cambogia and its active ingredient, hydroxycitric acid (HCA), showed that it can help reduce weight, there was only an extra loss of two pounds over the placebo, which could have been due to reduced calories and exercise. Studies did not find that it suppressed appetite.

On the positive side, there is evidence that it may help control blood glucose levels, lower cholesterol. speed metabolism and enhance athletic performance. However, it has side effects such as dizziness, dry mouth, headache, upset stomach or diarrhea. There have been no studies on long-term use effects or interaction with prescription drugs.



November 3, 2015

Ripped My Big Toenail Off This Morning: This is How I Treated It

I told myself last week after tripping on it that I should move that board sitting in the courtyard. I didn't. So this morning, I went out barefoot to check on some veggies and stubbed my toe on it. The pain was ungodly, and when I looked down, I saw that I had ripped the toenail off my my left big toe, and it was bleeding profusely.

Treating the Injured Nail

 I hobbled back into the house, went to the bathroom and wrapped my bleeding toe in layers and layers of tissue paper. My first thought was to stop the pain, so I went to the freezer and grabbed a bag of frozen corn, since I had no ice pack. Frozen veggies make great ice packs in a pinch, by the way. I sat on the bed with my legs elevated, bent my left leg at the knee so my foot was sitting flat, and plopped that bag of frozen corn on it. I then reached over the the nightstand and pulled out my ibuprofen and took 4 of them. I knew it was going to hurt for at least a day, and I'm a baby when it comes to pain, so I thought it best to nip that in the bud. After the pain had subsided enough for me to hobble around a bit more, I got my foot soaking pan, ran some warm, soapy water into it and soaked my foot for a good 15-20 minutes. This was actually quite soothing. The nail was only semi-attached by a thin strip, so I went ahead and pulled the rest of it off, which wasn't very painful since it was mostly ripped off anyway. I tried to clean the clotted blood off the top of the nail bed, but it hurt too much, so I just let my foot dry as well as I could, covered the raw nail bed with antibiotic ointment and covered it with it gauze bandage held on with adhesive tape.

Not the First Time This Has Happened

 If you have read my other blogs, you will recall that when I first moved to Gainesville in 2013, I had old shoes that didn't fit right. Walking up and down the ramp to the truck caused a few of my nail beds to be damaged and turn black. My right big toenail separated almost completely from the nail bed, and eventually did fall off, so I'm not really a stranger to this injury. This one is worse, though, and I'm hoping that my nail matrix (the part that generates the new nail) is not so damaged that it can't produce a new nail. Plus, there is the damaged nail bed. I had previously ripped off the corner of this nail, and the nail bed did not heal correctly, so one corner of my nail is not even attached to the nail bed. If the nail bed is damaged too badly, even if the matrix can grow a new nail, it may not attach itself. I may end up one of those people who has no big toenail. I'm praying that doesn't happen, and I'm going to do everything in my power to ensure it doesn't, but you never know with these things.

Lesson Learned

I've learned my lesson. No more crap lying around the courtyard that can hurt me, and ALWAYS wear some kind of shoe outdoors. I love going barefoot, but I have a pair of garden clogs I can leave right by the door, and I'm going to do that from now on. WHEN I can get my foot back into them, that is. Right now, I can only wear flip-flops, because it hurts to put any pressue on this toe at all. Which reminds me that I need a new pair of flip flops, which I will have to order online, since there are none in the stores this time of year.

Life is just crazy sometimes! I'll keep you apprised of the healing of my nail by updating this post periodically, so subscribe to the blog or bookmark it to keep up.

UPDATE 11/4/15
I thought it would be hard sleeping last night, but it really wasn't so bad. I put a sock on my foot so it wouldn't catch on anything, and I slept really well. I took naproxen before bed, so that may have had something to do with it. It feels a lot better today. I can actually put pressure on it without pain, so I'm going to try putting on my flip flops and walking a bit to see how it does. Of course, I'll warp it up first so it doesn't look so weird and to keep dirt out. I'm almost afraid to try to take the bandage off, because the gauze stuck to the sore yesterday and was very painful to remove. I'll have my soaking pan ready.

April 26, 2015

Diatomaceous Earth Supplementation for Hair Regrowth Update

Well, it's been a while, but I have a lot to report. At the end of January, I was just beginning to see hair regrowth at my roots. Since then, there has been tremendous improvement.

I haven't been consistent in taking my DE daily, but I do take it at least twice a week, usually more. The results in the past few months have been nothing short of amazing for my hair regrowth experiment.

A little background

My hair has been thinning for a couple of years now. It had gotten to the point where there were huge gaps in my hair where it had fallen out in clumps. I started off using castor oil on my scalp and taking biotin, which helped some, but it was messy so I wasn't consistent with it. After doing more research I discovered several other supplements that help with hair loss, such as CLA and N-Acetyl Cysteine, so I added those to my regimen. Again, I am sometimes inconsistent in taking my supplements, but I do take them at least three to four times a week.

Iodine Supplementation and Hair Loss

While the iodine supplementation seemed to help my goiter, it also seemed to make me lose hair, so I've stopped that for awhile. I may start back at 1/4 drop per day (1.25 mg) just to see what happens, but the minute my hair starts falling out again, I'm stopping that again.

Diatomaceous Earth and Hair Regrowth

I discovered the use of diatomaceous earth for regrowing thinning hair back in December. I was actually researching silica, because I knew that the silica in horsetail helped with hair growth. Horsetail turned out to be way too expensive, so I found that DE is 80% silica and very cheap. I bought only two pounds, because I wanted to see how it would work before putting in a lot of money. I haven't even used a whole pound of it yet, so it lasts awhile.

Diatomaceous Earth 2 Lbs Food Grade DE - Includes Free Scoop


When I first started using DE, I noticed a few things:
  1. My joints didn't hurt as much
  2. It is a diuretic, which caused me to have to get up several times a night for potty runs
  3. My nails were growing like mad and getting stronger
  4. My skin started to look healthier
I didn't notice a real difference in my hair for almost a month. Now it's been almost 5 months, and the results are amazing!

My hair is so much thicker, it is a miracle. If I hold my hair up on the sides and top, where it was the thinnest, I can actually SEE the progression of new hair formation. The tips of my hair still show the gaps and thinness present when I first started using DE. Further down, you can see where the gaps started filling in, and they fill in a little more the further down you go. On the last inch of hair next to my scalp, there are no gaps at all, and the hair is thick and healthy looking. My hair has stopped the excessive shedding. I used to have to clean my brushes almost every day, now the shedding is down to almost nothing -- or at least own to normal. At its peak, I think I was losing about 200-300 hairs a day, sometimes in clumps.

Other Observations

The one bad thing I've found is that my hair is coarser. I have natural wave to my hair, and it seems that it is more frizzy and less manageable then before. Still, I'll trade that for being bald any day of the week. I'm researching solutions for this problem, and feel it could be that my baby-fine hair was always due to some deficiency, so this may just be normal hair, and I'm not used to it.

Also, the new hair coming in is darker. My hair had been greying quite a bit, and still has a lot of grey, but when I look at the hair just near the roots, there is almost no grey. The visible new hairs on the top of my head seem to be darker too. Previously, all my new hairs were grey.

I had some die-off symptoms at first, because DE detoxes your system, but they are practically non-existent now. I noticed my urine smelled like old socks and my poop smelled like ammonia, which still happens occasionally. That is caused by the DE removing bacteria from your intestines. Think about it -- old socks smell like foot fungus (yeast)  and ammonia is the byproduct of dying bacteria. 

Needless to say, I am thrilled with the results of using diatomaceous earth for regrowing thinning hair. This is my regimen, for anyone who wants to try it:

Diatomaceous Earth - 1 tablespoon a day (work up slowly from 1/2 tsp. a day, increasing every 3 days by 1/2 tsp. until you get to 1 tablespoon. Otherwise, you may have some serious die-off symptoms).
CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid) - one capsule twice a day
Biotin - 5,000 mcg a day
N-Acetyl Cysteine - 600 mg a day
Yogurt or probiotic -- THIS IS IMPORTANT - DE also removes good bacteria from your intestines, so you need to replace those. I happen to love yogurt, so I usually have it once or even twice a day, but if you don't you have to take a probiotic supplement of some sort to restore your beneficial bacteria.
Multi-vitamin/mineral tablet with iron - ALSO IMPORTANT - DE removes metals from your system. Some of these are harmful metals, such as mercury, but it also removes iron, so you absolutely must replace those minerals daily. NOW foods Adam and Eve vitamins are good quality at a reasonable price and have all the vitamins and minerals you need, with 100% of the RDA of iron.

NOW Foods Adam Superior Men's Multi, 90 Softgels

Now Foods Eve, Women's Multi Vitamin, Softgels, 180-Count

Thank you for reading my blog. I hope you get some benefit from it. If you try this protocol, or just appreciate my blog, please subscribe and don't forget to leave a comment and share.

April 21, 2015

Iodine Supplementation: Bromide Detox and Hair Loss

There seems to be a crisis of iodine deficiency all over the world, but it is now prominent in developed countries where bromine is used in everything from clothing and bread to carbonated beverages. Bromine is dangerous to the function of your thyroid. When you supplement with iodine, it pushes the bromine out, which causes numerous side effects, including the hair loss I suffered when I was taking supplemental iodine for a goiter.

Where Does Bromine Come From?

Before the 1980's, iodine was used in the production of many foods. During that time, iodine was replaced with bromine, mostly in the form of bromates. It is especially used in bread and pastry products, to make the dough tougher. Bromine is also used in soft drinks, particularly citrus flavored soft drinks, to keep the citrus flavor dispersed in the solution. It is also used in clothing such as sleepwear, mattresses, carpets and furniture upholstery as a flame retardant. Bromine is also used in pesticides and to replace chlorine in pool treatments. You can see that bromine is everywhere, and you cannot avoid exposure at some point.

What Does Bromine Do To The Thyroid?

Bromine belongs to the same elemental group as chlorine and iodine, the halogen group. Since two halogens can't occupy the same space, and bromine is taken up by your thyroid, it blocks the absorption of iodine. Iodine is essential to proper thyroid function and in maintaining proper T3 and T4 levels. Since bromine has been used to prominently in our food and other items, the incidence of hypothyroidism and goiter has increased exponentially. Goiter is caused when your thyroid cannot absorb enough iodine, and in an attempt to absorb as much as possible, it enlarges and sometimes forms nodules.

How Does Bromide Detox Cause Hair Loss?

There are many theories to this, but I could find no definitive proof of any of them. The most prominent theory is that bromine is stored in the hair follicles, and when the iodine pushes the bromide out, it also pushes the hairs out. All I know is that when I supplement with 1 drop or more of 5% Lugol's iodine, my hair starts to fall out. When I stop supplementing, it eventually stops falling out. Those who are studied in iodine supplementation say this is a sign of bromine detox, and advocates list hair loss as one of the side effects of iodine-related bromide detox symptoms. Some people have hair loss with supplementation, but many don't. The experts on iodine supplementation say that those who do are more bromine toxic than those who don't.

How Can You Mitigate Bromine Detox Hair Loss?

There is a list of recommended ways to stop bromine detox symptoms, but I did not find any of them stopped the hair loss. Only by discontinuing the iodine supplementation did the hair loss end, and when I started supplementing again, the hair loss returned. The higher the dosage, the more hair loss.

The most depressing thing about this side effect is that the iodine really helps me. It shrinks my goiter, gives me energy and basically makes me feel better. None of this is worth going bald for, though. I also don't know if there is something in the iodine that triggers the lupus, thus causing the hair loss, which is also a symptom of lupus. Iodine supplementation hasn't been studied long enough to have definitive proof one way or the other.

For the meantime, I'm taking only double the recommended daily iodine amount of 150mcg as opposed to the 13mg I was taking before. My hair has stopped falling out, and with using the castor oil treatment I wrote about earlier, it is beginning to grow back in. If you want to use iodine supplements, watch out for side effects and consider pulse-dosing, which is stopping and starting iodine therapy.

For more on this subject, read Metabolism of Bromide and Its Interference with the Metabolism of Iodine.