From the monthly archives: "November 2010"

Have you ever fallen?  Think it can’t happen to you?  Falls are not as uncommon as you might think, and for the elderly they can be deadly.  But new research shows that balance and movement exercises combined with music do more to prevent falls.  This post is not just for seniors. One out of every three adults age 65 and older falls each year; and of these, tens of thousands die from injuries sustained from falls.  Almost two million seniors visit emergency rooms every year as a result of falling.
Because of these staggering numbers, experts in fall prevention are continuously looking for ways to help the elderly (and others) stabilize themselves. There are effective ways of training people of all ages to maintain balance, including proprioceptive exercises like rocker and wobble boards, yoga, and other movements.  But now a recent study shows that adding music to these workouts can increase these already powerful practices.
Swiss researchers looked at 134 Swiss adults, mostly women, average age 75.5 years, who were at increased risk of falling. They were assigned to either an intervention group that did a music-based multitask exercise program or a control group that did normal exercises. The intervention program used an instructor-led one-hour weekly exercise class that featured multitask activities, including movements that were designed to challenge balance and become increasingly difficult over time. These exercises included walking in time to piano music and responding to changes in the music’s rhythm. People in the intervention program showed a greater improvement in balance and had 24 falls (a rate of 0.7 falls per person per year), compared with 54 falls in the control program (a rate of 1.6 falls per person per year).  It increased participants’ walking speed and stride length while performing one task at a time, and increased stride length and decreased stride length variability while performing multiple tasks at the same time.  This improvement in gait (manner or style of walking) and balance helped reduce the risk of falls.

Not bad, not bad.  I do balance or proprioceptive training with many of the clients at my Los Angeles sports chiropractic office.  Not only do these exercises prevent falls, but they improve athletic performance, add grace to the gait, and believe it or not, help reduce low back pain (check out the article here to find out how). So whether you are a chiropractor, physical therapist, or other movement therapist, try adding music to your training program.  If you are just into working out and keeping fit, then do so to the rhythm of your favorite music.  Moving rhythmically to the beat will improve your balance by syncing your proprioceptors, muscles and brain.  Trust me when I say this is the greatest thing you can do for yourself physically.  Balance, in all areas is the name of the game.

Hot cup o’ tea, hot cup o’ tea…want to get in great shape, South Asian style?  Then hat kabaddi, baby.  That’s right—the sporting craze in Asia is kabaddi, a team competition that originated in South Asia as a form of combat training.*  Participants say they are in the greatest shape of their lives.  What makes it so healthful?  Check it out:

The game is played with two teams occupying opposite halves of a field and taking turns sending a “raider” into the other half, in order to win points by tagging or wrestling members of the opposing team; the raider then tries to return to his own half, holding his breath and chanting “kabaddi, kabaddi, kabaddi” during the whole raid.  The name — often chanted during a game — derives from a Tamil word meaning “holding of hand”, which is indeed the crucial aspect of play. It is the national game of Bangladesh, and the state game of Tamil Nadu, Punjab and Andhra Pradesh in India. ~ from Wikipedia

As one commentator put it, “It’s like a brutal game of Red Rover.”  Hot cup o’ tea, hot cup o’ tea…

It’s more like an MMA-form of Red Rover, as player do what ever they can to prevent a player from returning to his team.  Players acting as raiders hold their breath the entire time.  So the physical benefits are:

  • Endurance (from breath-holding and moving)
  • Running
  • Dodging
  • Kicking
  • Defensive skills
  • And taunting (never to be underestimated)

Watch the video below to get a glimpse of kabaddi.  Hot cup o’ tea, hot cup o’ tea…

The Indian team coach, Balwan Singh, says kabaddi is the secret to long, healthy life.  “Look at me, I’m 50 years old and I can hold my breath for three minutes.”

Kabaddi seems to be a nice physical outlet for those dedicated to the spirit, too.  Three of the 14 members of Japan’s kabaddi team at the Asian Games are reportedly monks, while five others have graduated from a Zen Buddhist institute.

“Training in kabaddi makes our bodies stronger and healthier, while Buddhism meets our spiritual needs,” said Japan’s team leader Kokei Ito.

So if you’re interested in a new form of physical fitness, one that combines combat training with endurance (and taunting), a team sport offering competition, then try kabaddi.  It will kick your butt.

*Not designed by Navy SEALs

Vitamins are an important part of nutritional health, but they are not meant to stand alone.  Vitamins are to supplement a healthy diet, one rich in whole, natural foods.  However, I believe that receiving all the necessary nutrients from the diet alone, in this day and age, is nearly impossible.  To enjoy optimal health, then, supplementing with good vitamins is essential. 

Watch the video below to find out what I call the basics as far as vitamin supplements go.  You’ll also get a basic understanding of how each vitamin works to bring you optimal nutritional health.

For more on essential fatty acids, vitamin B, vitamin C, and vitamin D, you can check my chiropractic website to get the most up-to-date nutritional information.  And if you are looking for a nutritional consultation, you can call my Los Angeles sports chiropractic office to set one up.

When it comes to great health, your nutrition is vital; and supplementing with essential vitamins is the wisest choice to make.

Do you remember the Summer of Love?  How about “free love,” or “make love, not war?”  If you do, you’re probably a baby boomer.  And even more likely that you are dissatisfied with your current sex life, because that’s what a recent poll has shown, today’s middle-aged Americans are less satisfied with their sex lives than any other age group.  Perhaps we should change the slogan to “Make quilts…they’re easier.”
According to the Associated poll, only 7% of Americans aged 45-65 described their sex lives as extremely satisfied.  Nearly 25% of this group said they were dissatisfied with their sex lives, compared to 12% of 18- to 29-year-olds, 20% of those 30-44 and 17% of those over 65.  Pretty tough when your parents are more satisfied with their sex lives in their golden years.

Baby boomers, it seems, may feel like they’ve tried all there is to try sexually, as nearly three in five women and half of men in this age group said they have done it all.  28% of men between 45 and 65 said they are sexually dissatisfied, while more than two in five said their sex lives got worse in the last decade.  Further, nearly half of male baby boomers said their partners do not want sex often enough, while only 17% of women felt similarly let down.

But saying that, it is men that are plagued by performance problems.  The poll found two in five men between 45 and 65 having problems with sexual functioning, while only 19% of women in the same age group said the same. For both genders, less than half received treatment.

The Poll involved online interviews with 945 people between 45 and 65, as well as companion interviews with an additional 587 people aged 18-44 and over 65.  It was conducted using KnowledgePanel, which uses a probability-based design. Respondents to the survey were first selected randomly for KnowledgePanel using phone or mail survey methods and were later interviewed for this survey online.

Well, all I can say is that maybe changing the world has its drawbacks.  Since the boomer generation has been involved in many of the major cultural changes of the modern age, as well as being at the forefront of experimentation of all types (think hippies, sexual revolution, acceptance of premarital sex, abortion legalization, and coming out), perhaps there isn’t much else left to the imagination.  I’m sure that the 7% of satisfied middle-agers have kept searching–and finding.  But for a large number, they’re a bit spent.

It’s never too late however; so don’t give up on retaining a satisfying sex life just yet boomers.  A gerbil here, a geisha there…get creative, dang it!  It can only get better…or worse.  It’s up to you.  But my guess is that dissatisfaction means it’s still somewhat important to you.  It’s all in the mind, anyway.  Change that and you’re home free.

Did you know there is a right and a wrong way to breathe?  It’s true.  And if you are like most people, you are probably doing the latter.  Unfortunate, but not uncorrectable.
Proper breathing requires contraction of the diaphragm–the main muscle of respiration.  Many people stop using the diaphragm completely when they breathe, and instead kick in the accessory muscles of the neck and upper back.  We call this dysfunctional breathing pattern chest breathing.  To see if you are a chest breather, please read the article and watch the video below.  Chest breathers tend to have higher incidences of neck pain, and they get less oxygen to the body on each breath.  If you didn’t know that oxygen is necessary for cellular respiration, and thus life, you do now.  Diaphragmatic breathing (or abdominal breathing) is essential for good health.
If you are a chest breather, you can revert back to the natural diaphragmatic breathing you were meant to do.  Just watch the video below to learn a quick and easy exercise to restore normal, functional breathing; and read this article if you want more information on breathing properly.

Big “No duh!” at the latest reports that pulling cough and cold medicines led to a significant drop in children’s ER visits resulting from bad reactions to the drugs.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which led the study, ER visits for children dropped by more than half–from 2,790 visits to 1,248–following the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) warning against using the medication.

In 2007, manufacturers of cough and cold medicines voluntarily withdrew their products, mostly syrups, following complaints from pediatricians that the medications don’t work in young kids and posed a safety risk because of accidental overdoses causing extreme drowsiness, increased heart rate and even some deaths.

For the study, CDC researchers compared nonfatal ER visits in children younger than 2 with bad reactions to cough and cold medicines in the 14 months before the withdrawal and in the 14 months afterward.

On the down side, two-thirds of children’s ER visits, both before and after the withdrawal, resulted from children taking medications on their own.  It is likely due to parents having not thrown out old medications and possibly leaving them easily accessible.

According to one ER physician at Chicago’s Children’s Memorial Hospital, Dr. Elizabeth Powell, many parents felt helpless following the removal of cough and cold meds from drugstore’s shelves.  Powell states that it is not uncommon for parents to bring babies with stuffy noses and other cold symptoms to the ER for help, but that there isn’t much that can done for them there.

Sigh…parents, let your kids fight off their colds on their own.  Can’t we just resist the temptation to save our kids from any and every discomfort they encounter?  Geez.  Try, at least.  This is where our parents had it wayyyyy above us–they didn’t have a crutch for every challenge thrown into their laps.  When we got sick–bed, soup, TV, mama–that was it.

Next time you find yourself jonesing for the Robitussin for junior, think back to the time when you were walking to school barefoot in the snow…uphill both ways.  That’ll remind you that you did just fine without cough and cold medicine.  Your kids’ will, too.  Promise.

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Here’s an interesting thought: Humans may subconsciously create pain conditions in their bodies to relieve emotional stresses.  Hmmm…what do you think?  Are our physical ailments simply a way for us to deal with mental misperceptions?  Check it out:

Scientist have recently found that people who practice self-mutilation, clinically known as nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI), show decreased brain activity in areas responsible for negative emotions (anterior cingulate and the amygdala), while activity in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex—an area responsible for pain integration—increased as a result of pain.

To explain the findings, researchers have toyed with the idea that self-mutilators actually enjoy pain.  Wrong—since people suffering from NSSI primarily engage in self-inflicted pain–usually cutting or burning the skin—during times of increased stress.  Researchers also proposed that perhaps self-mutilators are attempting to punish themselves.  The problem with this reasoning, however, is that, by definition, punishments increase negative emotions and make behaviors less likely to occur in the future.  Not the case with those practicing NSSI.

Enter a few new studies.  One recent study showed that fruitflies will avoid noxious odors associated with a painful shock; however, they will gravitate toward the same noxious odors when the odors are associated with shock removal.  Hmmm again.

In a second study, scientists found that removal of various forms of experimental pain were associated with a reduction in negative emotion in people with no history of NSSI.  What makes these findings especially interesting are that both general negative emotion and pain-induced negative emotion are processed in the same brain areas.  That means that pain relief and emotional relief are essentially the same thing.  Many of us know that pain-numbing drugs like alcohol also temporarily reduce emotional pain (until, of course, they lead to new forms of pain).  But recent research has shown that simple over-the-counter analgesics (pain relievers) also reduce emotional pain.

So scientists believe that self-inflicted pain, at least as it relates to people engaging in NSSI, may serve the function of reducing emotional pain or stress.  I propose that all pain states, thus all illnesses, result from the mind’s attempt to balance emotional events.  I’m not saying that illness is merely due to negative thinking, because I think any exaggerated thought process–whether positive or negative–can lead to disproportionate emotions.  I’m saying any unbalanced emotion can ultimately lead to illness.

I am fascinated by this study as I think it opens doors to the workings of the mind and it’s involvement in physical experience, including health and disease.

It’s all happening–we’re turning into cyborgenic mashed potatoes.  Spectating instead of acting in this very real, theatrical presentation called human life seems to be the norm for many in the new age.  Take what happened at USC last night: TV’s Science Guy, Bill Nye, collapsed onstage, mid-sentence, as he walked toward a podium during a talk he was giving.  Instead of anybody running to his aid, the crowd simply picked up their PDAs and started tweeting…yes tweeting.  Doh!

One student gave the play by play with: “Bill Nye tripped on his computer cord while speaking at USC, was out for abt 5 secs, got back up, spoke w/ slurred speech and fainted.”

According to preliminary reports, Nye is doing fine physically; the cause of his fainting unknown.  But what interests me is the reliance…nay, addiction perhaps…to our technology.

In another recent incident, foul-mouthed comedian, Messy Mya, who is known for his YouTube video rants, was shot dead last Sunday (November 14th) in the streets of New Orleans.  Again, instead of anybody helping him, cell phones are being pushed up into his face for photos and video of the pooling of blood next to his head.

Sick?  Or just the modern-age?  I’ll let you decide.

I’m a big proponent of adopting technology to improve and simplify our lives.  In fact, I am certain that as we evolve, we will do so along with our immediate and convenient access to information.  Saying that, however, makes me wonder how many will actually veer too deeply toward indifference.  Will we see some people actually lose touch with their humanity and become as “objective” as their hand-held computing devices?  Sure is looking that way.

Hey, I realize that everything–be it a new invention or life event–comes with both sides of a similar coin.  But I just hope you heed the warning that it will be easy to forget your human side, your heart if you will, that separates you from the machinery which now inundates your life, if you are not careful.  We are not machines; we are not our technology.  We are living, breathing, feeling organisms–those other things are just tools.  Use them, but stay in touch with who and what you are.  I’m certain that we’ll see much more of this behavior in the near future.  It’s up to each individual to determine how much he or she wants to control their use of technology, or risk being run by it.

Just read a great article on human evolution and how advantageous traits are likely selected for over time.  It got me thinking again about the genetic theory of obesity.  Now you all know how I feel about this subject–I pretty much find it a convenient excuse to absolve obese people from their personal responsibility.  Put another way: Gene or no gene, you’ve still got to eat well, exercise, and practice discipline.  Hey, we all have to that.

But reading this article in the September issue of Scientific American (I know I’m behind…cut me a break…I’ve got kids) titled, How We Are Evolving, got me thinking that obesity very well may have a genetic link.  According to recent research, most traits that provide genetic advantage or disadvantage likely take tens of thousands of years to disseminate throughout a population, not the thousands of years a high frequency mutation was once thought to dominate natural selection.  I won’t get into the science here; read the article to get the details–it is excellent.  Suffice it to say that the data shows evolution to be a long, drawn-out process, as natural selection takes time.

Okay, so what about obesity?  Well, let’s just say there is a gene, or genes, that increase one’s susceptibility to becoming obese; we might just find that that genetic makeup actually does lead to enough of a disadvantage that it eventually gets selected out of the human genome.

Think about it like this: obesity offers a disadvantage by making a person more susceptible to illness and disease–like many cancers, heart disease, stroke, and the list goes on and on.  Up until now it hasn’t conferred enough disadvantage to be selected out of the population–that is, obese people can still pass on their genes.

However, as more of the population gets obese–34% of all adults in the U.S. and 300 million worldwide–less and less may find the opportunity to reproduce.  What do you mean, Campos?  Just a thought, but when approximately 20% of our children here in the U.S. are obese…that’s a BMI over 30!…there may come a time when these people are just not considered reproduction material.

Biologically speaking, organisms seek out the most fit individuals with which to mate so that the possibility of passing on one’s genes increases.  That’s the idea anyway.  As the numbers of obese individuals increases, as well as society’s disdain (just read the news!) for obesity, you might just see more of these people ostracized sexually.  Not large numbers right away, mind you–this is where the article got me thinking–but over time.  Could be tens of thousands of years.  Remember, natural selection works slowly.  I mean, things would really have to change societally for this to be considered no big deal.

And yes, obese mating with obese is always a possibility, but that will simply raise the risk, in my opinion, for the genes to become selected out.  This, of course, all predicates on whether a genetic cause (susceptibility?) of obesity actually exists.

My advice to everyone is, once again, gene or no gene, you can prevent obesity by doing the right things.  If my thoughts are correct–and sorry, you and I will never get to know–then you’ll be assuring your genes get passed on to future generations by removing and preventing obesity in your life.  Just a thought, anyway.

Check out this latest technological Pandora’s box—genetically modified mosquitoes to fight dangerous tropical diseases like dengue fever and malaria.  Sounds great right?  Not for everyone, as opponents to genetic tampering see potential problems stemming from the disruption of nature.  Hmmm…let’s investigate.

In a recent experiment, scientists released 3 million mutant male mosquitoes on the Cayman Islands to mate with wild female mosquitoes of the same species.  The male blood suckers were sterilized through genetic engineering techniques which altered their DNA.  The rationale was that sterile males would compete with fertile males reducing the number of mosquito offspring, and thus leading to reduced cases of dengue fever, a potentially fatal febrile and hemorrhagic disease, affecting 50 million people worldwide every year.

Dengue, spread to humans by the Aedes (Stegomyia) aegypti mosquito, is said to put some 2.5 billion people, two fifths of the world’s population, at risk, and is now endemic in more than 100 countries.  By controlling the numbers of mosquitoes in any given area, the number of dengue cases, theoretically, should go down.  The experiment did in fact reduce the mosquito population by 80% in the study area (40 acres), as compared to neighboring areas where no sterile mosquitoes were released.  It was difficult to determine, however, if actual cases of dengue decreased due to the small study area; yet researchers do believe that the reduced number of mosquitoes should lead to a direct reduction of the disease, and potentially reduce incidences of other worldwide endemic diseases like malaria.  Makes sense to me.

According to some, however, the environmental implications could be a nightmare.  Pete Riley, campaign director of GM Freeze, a British non-profit group that opposes genetic modification, states that we could disrupt the food supply of other species that may feed off the mosquito larvae.  Further, reducing mosquito populations could allow other insect species—which could be vectors for other, as of yet unknown, diseases—to flourish. Hmmm…this makes sense, too.

Riley correctly points out, “Nature often does just fine controlling its problems until we come along and blunder into it.”  True, Pete, true…can’t argue with that.  We certainly have an arrogant attitude when it come to our ability to understand and control nature.  Not that I’m against trying new things, but messing with the earth’s ecosystems can open an entirely new can of worms.  Not a bad thing; just be prepared, that’s all.

As a retort, Oxitec Limited, the Oxford-based company that created the sterile mosquitoes states that their recent product can’t permanently change the ecosystem because they only last for a generation.  But billions of genetically modified mosquitoes would likely be needed to stamp out dengue in endemic areas like Asia and South America.  Sounds a like good business.

I’ve actually got no beef with this type of technology—I find it quite fascinating, actually.  But there will always be opposition to anything.  My philosophy is that we as humans are essentially problem solvers.  We strive to fix what we see as “wrong”.  Millions of people, often children, are affected by dengue fever every day—many fatally—so controlling the mosquito vector of dengue fever seems like a good idea to me.

And let’s not lose sight that dengue isn’t a disease that’s simply “over there,” either.  We’ve had our fair share of outbreaks in the U.S. (Hawaii in 2001, Texas in 2005, and Key West Florida in 2009/2010).  In fact, Miami has just had its first case of dengue in 50 years.

So I’m all for ecological conservatism, but not at the expense of human suffering.  Sorry deadheads—chill out.  We’ll deal with the consequences of altered ecosystems when we need to—as we always do.  Until then, embrace the science.

Want your head spun?  I quite enjoy having mine twisted like a top.  Whenever I think I’ve seen or heard it all, something new comes up and….well, cranks the ol’ dome a little.  Here goes:  A 10-year-old girl in Spain has given birth, and authorities are considering whether to allow the tyke custody of the tyke.  Sheesh.

Apparently the father is also a minor further complicating matters, as having consensual sex with anyone under thirteen in Spain is a crime–child abuse.  They’re awfully liberal in that faraway land…anyway, because she claims the father is also a minor, Spanish authorities are not considering this a rape case.

The baby was born last week, and surprisingly both mother and child are in good health.  Experts warn that pregnant children often have complications during pregnancy, and the newborns often die within the first year.

Mom is originally from Romania and apparently was already pregnant upon entering Spain.  It is unknown if the father is also Romanian.

Oh well, I guess that it’s true that children are reaching puberty much faster these days.  One British study found that girls currently start puberty at an average age of 10.25 years, while their mothers began at 11.75 years and their grandmothers at 12 years.  Another 2000 study in the UK suggested that one girl in six was reaching puberty before the age of eight with one in 14 boys showing the same signs.  Doh!  Researchers believe that diet, exercise and coming from a broken home all contribute to the precocious puberty.

Well, scary indeed.  I mean, I understand becoming interested in sex by ten, but beyond looking…maybe touching…I can’t imagine full on sex at ten years old.  Maybe the boy is older, but…dang!  I’m blown away.  I guess teaching kids about safe sex might be appropriate after all.  Cus something’s just not right about your moms being a fifth grader and breast feeding and all.  Either way, I smell an Oprah episode on the horizon.

When one thinks of breast cancer, rarely do men come to mind; yet, men can develop the disease, and the dangers are exactly the same as they are for women.  Because it is primarily a cancer affecting women—40,000 deaths per year—when men do contract the disease, it isn’t something they are always comfortable to discuss, not publicly anyway.

Enter Peter Criss—yeah Peter Criss, drummer for KISS.  You remember him—cat makeup, shirtless, spandex, Beth I hear you calling…that Peter Criss.  The rock and roller developed breast cancer.  And he’s been speaking up about it, because he knows that if he didn’t, other men would continue to suffer in silence; and you and I would still go, “What do you mean ‘men with breast cancer’—that happens?”

How do men contract breast cancer?  Several things can predispose a man to the disease.  Radiation therapy, for instance.  That’s right, being treated for another cancer in the past can lead to breast cancer.  Cancer treatment causing cancer—what do you know—welcome to reality.

Breast cancer in men can also be caused by a damaged liver, often from the excessive intake of alcohol.  Liver causes can also include chronic viral hepatitis, and some genetic disorders, like Klinefelter’s syndrome can also lead to male breast cancer.  Finally, obesity and gynecomastia (moobs) both can cause male breast cancer.  I guess I don’t have to emphasize that prevention is the key, and outside of the genetic causes, these risk factors can be avoided.

About 2,000 cases of male breast cancer will be diagnosed each year, and about 400 of those men will die.  But just like for women, early detection can save lives, so men have to check their breasts regularly.  If you feel a lump underneath your nipple, you’ve got to have it checked by a doctor.  If necessary, they’ll perform a biopsy.  If it turns out to be cancer, there are a number of different options to treat it, including excision.

The survival rates are pretty good—that is, if caught early enough.  Watch the video below with the heroic cat-man, Peter Criss to get some more info on male breast cancer.  Check your nipple area periodically and get any lump investigated by a doctor.  Don’t ignore it, and don’t hide it, man—we’re talking about your life here.  And if you feel weird about checking your breasts, then just remember how much you’ve enjoyed playing with them in the past, whether yours or someone else’s.  They’re just nipples, man—if you can’t touch ’em, there ain’t much use to them.

Too many kids are having to be treated for chronic constipation.  Gastroenterologists at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center report a 30% rise in these cases from 2008-2009, leading the center to open a new clinic to provide medical and behavioral therapy for children with the condition.

Constipation in children can be from poor diet and lack of activity, but the most likely cause, particularly as it relates to the current increases, is drinking too little water.  As I have pointed out previously in this blog, proper water intake is important for a multitude of metabolic processes, one being digestion and elimination.  Remember, the human body is highly intelligent; provide it with insufficient material and it will shunt what it needs, taking from one area to give to another.  Take in too little water and watch your body steal from your colon to give to other, more vital, regions.

Why are children not drinking enough water?  Gotta ask the parents.  But one thing I know for sure, being one of the most soda-consuming nations, the U.S. has plenty of children who get their fluids from liquid sugar.  Oh well.  Gotta wise up, folks; there’s always a price to pay.  Drink soda, your kid will drink soda.  Your kid drinks soda, he or she will probably bypass drinking water.  Bypass drinking water, say hello to constipation.  Cause, effect.  Your choice.

Signs of constipation in children is very often missed by parents, and it can lead to a severe or chronic case.  Things to look for are abdominal bloating and a feeling of fullness; straining with bowel movements; lumpy or hard stools and/or small pellet-like stools, accompanied by a feeling of incomplete emptying of the bowels.  Children with serious constipation may also refuse to go to the toilet for fear it will hurt; they may hide to go in a private place, or experience underwear soiling and bedwetting.  Knowing these signs can help you figure out if your child is suffering.

Finally, make sure your kid is drinking plenty of water.  Dump the soda (for yourself, too) and make water your drink of choice.  Or deal with chronic constipation if that’s what you’d prefer.

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