MY LIFE EXPERIENCE: ATHLETE FROM 13 TO 23.
In high school, I played football, and I was a nationally ranked alpine ski racer from age 13 to 23. I was nationally ranked about 50th in slalom by age 23, and with that ranking, I had races were I started 18th, and finished 2nd, but then fell. Even today, I'm one of the best skiers you will ever see in person, usually the best or fastest on the mountain, unless you attend a world cup race. To reach that level of ability, I researched and applied myself as hard as I could. My secret weapons were two: bodybuilding and stretching. With strong legs, and with the flexibility to really angulate my hips, I got really good.
When I was 17, I went to a ski camp with the best of the best. I discovered that the best ranked 15 year old ski racer in the nation was 6 inches shorter than me, and had bigger legs than me. The best 13 year old ski racer in the nation was just as tall as me, and just as heavy, with legs about my size, too! I discovered that being fast on skis was probably far more about muscle than technique, and ski racing is a sport that is very heavily dependent on technique!
So, after that, I studied as much as I could about bodybuilding and strength, way back in 1987, long before the internet, when there was just bodybuilding magazines!
I even read about 10 books on diet to really get the edge there, too, and I was good at applying things. I even tried to go vegetarian when I was 18, and that worked for about a year, until I realized I just needed more protein to gain the muscle mass that I needed to get a lot stronger.
So, in my family, I was always known as the "health nut" one.
MY HEALTH CHALLENGES: I HAVE HYPERHYDROSIS. BLOOD CLOTTING FACTOR TYPE II (ABOUT 100 PEOPLE IN THE USA HAVE THIS) OSTEOMYELITIS. ARTHRITIS. ALCOHOLISM.
Hyperhydrosis is excessive sweating. Because my feet sweat so much, I often get athlete's foot if I wear shoes all day, and if I exercise multiple times a day. For my athlete's foot, doctors prescribed hydrocortizone cream, which I used from age 13 to 18.
I believe the hydrocortizone cream caused my osteomyelitis, a bone muscle staff infection that nearly killed me when I was 18. It took me out for 8 months. It took 2 and a half months to diagnose the back pain, which was finally looked at when I had blood in my urine; a bladder infection. It took another 2 months of IV antibiotics. It took another 4 months of rehab consisting of only walking, and wearing a full torso cast from hip to armpit. Even typing now, all these years later at age 45, I almost can't believe I went through all that.
The osteomyolitis left me with calcified lumbar disks. The doctors said I would never ski race again, and that I would have arthritis in my lower back for the rest of my life, like I would have the lower back of a 90 year old man. Well, I raced again after 4 months of rehab. To compensate for the back stiffness, I learned to stretch out my hamstrings. But after 25 years, just last year, when I was 44, I finally banished my lower back pain completely, like I never have before. I'm literally dying to share with you how I did it.
In my late 20's, I believe I was 28 or 29, I finally got the "western medical solution" to my hyperhydrosis, my excessive sweating. It was a half cut in one of the nerves near the top back of the spine that leads to the hands. Cutting most of this nerve stopped over 90% of the sweating in my hands. The side effects are more facial sweating occasionally when I eat hot pepper foods. And my foot sweating continues as it did before.
When going in for this "optional" non life threatening surgery, I had to pass a bleeding time test. As a bleeder, I failed, because I had to arrive on an empty stomach. But because I knew how to stop bleeding, I persuaded them to let me take cayenne pepper and vitamin C, and to try the test again. This time I passed, and stopped bleeding in 4 minutes instead of 9. So, they went ahead and did the surgery.
Afterwards, 3 hematologists at the large Houston medical center came to my bed and asked me about cayenne pepper, because they knew of nothing that could reduce bleeding times as quickly as cayenne pepper did in my case. I found this interesting, because cayenne pepper is one of the most common herbs on the planet, and it appears it is rather widely known among people who teach about the herb that it helps stop bleeding; nevertheless, this feature of cayenne pepper has not yet reached the wikipedia article.
Because of experiences like this, I tend to be skeptical of the knowledge claims of western medicine. And I'm not afraid to forge ahead and diligently apply knowledge of how foods can help the body heal in specific ways.