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Urea is made of the waste products of protein metabolism. It is blisteringly strong, with that familiar ammonia smell. Before leaving the kidneys, it is diluted in 95 percent water to become urine. This dilution prevents the strong urea from damaging the delicate linings of the bladder and urethra. Urine is normally a pale straw yellow in color. If it is darker and smells more strongly of ammonia, there is not sufficient water in the body.
The blood pressure becomes elevated when larger than normal amounts of water (and sodium) are held in the body, a situation that invariably occurs during the alarm reaction to stress. In this case, the quantity of blood plasma, or the blood volume, increases. On the other hand, arteries can become smaller when tension causes the muscular walls to contract or when they are plugged with cholesterol, compressed in beds of fat, or shrunk by scar tissue that may be calcified. Most persistent high blood pressure results from a combination of these factors.
When an adequate high-protein diet has been given patients both before and after surgery, the destruction of body protein has been almost completely prevented in spite of extreme stress; and such a diet often makes the expense and discomfort of intravenous and/or tube feedings unnecessary. A month or more of preparation before surgery is important for all persons, especially those who are already ill. Malnourished and ill individuals are poor surgical risks, have adverse reactions to anesthetics, are susceptible to shock and infections, and heal slowly. Animals deficient in protein for only five days prior to surgery require twice as long to heal as their well-fed litter mates even though given adequate protein afterward.8 Because the blood protein may remain normal, a patient's protein intake can be far too low without the physician recognizing it.
All vitamins that dissolve in water, especially those needed by the adrenals, should be increased immediately after any injury and kept unusually high during the entire convalescence; and "heavy vitamin supplementation" has been found to add tremendously to the comfort of the patient. For the first few days, the anti-stress formula might be taken every two hours, and supplements of minerals and all other vitamins obtained with each meal. To save the time of busy physicians and nurses, these supplements can be brought from home and given by some visiting member of the family.
When food cannot be held on the stomach, physicians give intravenous feedings, which usually supply sugar, salt, digested proteins, and perhaps vitamin Bl. These nutrients are valuable but cannot meet the needs of stress. All vitamins and essential fatty acids, however, absorb well through the skin. If vomiting persists, oils, vitamins A, D, E, and massive quantities of powdered vitamin C and the B vitamins (stirred into salve or cold cream) can be applied directly to the skin several times daily.
Several studies show that milk sugar, or lactose, tremendously increases the absorption of calcium. Although intestinal bacteria break milk sugar into lactic acid which helps to dissolve calcium, an increased calcium absorption occurs in the presence of milk sugar even when all bacteria have been destroyed by antibiotics. Animals given calcium with milk sugar deposit some calcium in the femur, or leg bone, in 30 minutes and lay down "highly significant amounts" within two hours. If other sugars are allowed, calcium absorption is so markedly decreased that little of the mineral reaches the bones. This fact undoubtedly explains why babies given formulas containing large amounts of dextromaltose or glucose frequently have faulty bone formation which is shown by abnormal bulging foreheads. The excessive intake of sweets during childhood and adolescence causes facial bones to be underdeveloped and the jaws to remain so small that the teeth are crowded together. Similarly, eating sweets can prevent calcium from being absorbed by an adult.
Because of the combined stresses of the broken bone and immobilization of part or all of the body, much body protein is broken down and the urinary losses of nutrients are high. The diet required for repair, therefore, should be particularly rich in protein, all anti-stress factors, vitamin C, and pantothenic acid, as well as calcium, magnesium, vitamin D, oil, and lecithin. One would not expect a normal protein intake to be a limiting factor, yet in one study of 55 persons whose bones refused to knit, giving 160 grams of protein daily as the only dietary improvement brought complete and rapid healing. Digestive enzymes with bile and hydrochloric acid taken with each meal usually accelerate repair; and if the surrounding tissues have been damaged, a high vitamin-E intake prevents scarring and stiffness.
In the United States an estimated 4 million persons over 65 years of age suffer from severe backaches caused by abnormal bones, and their vertebrae frequently fracture merely from the weight of the body itself. Yet the problem, which can be brought on by stress and/or inadequate diet at any age, is by no means confined to the elderly. This widespread abnormality occurs in undernourished children and adults of all economic brackets, is common in young women after induced menopause and older ones following natural menopause, and in almost every person over the age of 60. It starts with the inadequate formulas given to babies, and that millions more backaches are in the making. The tragedy is that people are unaware that such a problem exists. It has long been assumed that porous bones are an inevitable part of growing older, but bones of well-fed animals become progressively stronger with age.
Problems at menopause are often much more severe than at puberty, largely because the diet has been deficient in many nutrients--protein, calcium, magnesium, vitamins D, E, and pantothenic acid--for years prior to its onset. For instance, persons who spend much of their time indoors may have no vitamin D whatsoever in their blood. Moreover, women who have a particularly difficult time during this period are usually those whose adrenals are exhausted.
Because calcium is less well absorbed and the urinary losses are greater when the output of estrogen decreases, such calcium-deficiency symptoms as nervousness, irritability, insomnia, headaches, and depression are common. These problems can be easily overcome if the intakes of calcium, magnesium, and vitamin D are all generously increased and are well absorbed. Any woman having difficulty at this time should probably supplement her daily diet with the anti-stress formula, 5,000 units of vitamin D, and 500 milligrams of magnesium; and obtain daily 2 grams of calcium, which can be supplied by 1 quart of milk fortified with ½ cup of non-instant powdered milk. Approximately 500 milligrams of calcium, preferably with magnesium, should be taken at any meal and before bed when fortified milk is not drunk.
The blood abnormalities characteristic of pernicious anemia can be corrected by folic acid, but a simultaneous deficiency of vitamin B12 causes this disease to be accompanied by an irreversible degeneration of the spinal cord. An individual lacking vitamin B12 or one with untreated pernicious anemia develops a shuffling gait, loses the sense of position of his feet, and can become completely paralyzed. If the fatigue caused by the anemia is prevented by folic acid, a patient may fail to consult his physician during the early stages of the disease, and permanent crippling can result. For this reason, folic acid is presently sold on prescription, though supplements should supply both vitamin B12 and folic acid.
Vitamin B12 can only be absorbed with the aid of an enzyme known as the intrinsic factor, normally produced by glands in the stomach. In pernicious anemia, the stomach has become so unhealthy that it can no longer secrete either this enzyme or hydrochloric acid. An injection of 0.1 milligram of vitamin B12 each month can prevent the degenerative changes in the spinal cord, but this amount given daily by mouth is ineffective.G2 Some vitamin B12 can be absorbed when huge quantities are taken orally, but the cost of such doses is usually prohibitive.
Because the decreased blood calcium acts as a stress, the production of cortisone and aldosterone are stimulated and salt and water are retained in the body, often causing the breasts, hands, face, and feet to swell, weight to increase 5 to 10 pounds, headaches to occur, and resistance to allergies and infections to decrease markedly. Crimes of violence committed by women take place mostly during this period.
The first day of menstruation the blood calcium takes a still-greater nose dive, causing muscular cramps in the emptying uterus and sometimes elsewhere in the body. Should the blood calcium drop dangerously low, convulsions result. Yet if adequate calcium is obtained and efficiently absorbed, both premenstrual tension and menstrual cramps can be prevented.