Introduction to Heidi

Hello World Wide Web! My name is Heidi.

I have created this site for many different reasons. Like some of you I have lived a roller coaster life. I as a child up to age 7 was just a tiny little thing who was afflicted with horrible tonsils and adenoids. At the age of 7 I had surgery to remove these buggers (first surgery caused a tear to a vein in my nose, which after about an hour of bleeding, led to a 2nd surgery). The best part of the whole event was that once I was able to tolerate foods I could eat all the Popsicles and Ice Cream I wanted (hip hip hooray).

Thus began my life long journey of being overweight.

With this site my goal is to not only help myself, but hopefully help others with this journey.


How to Treat Metabolic Syndrome and High Cholesterol

People with metabolic syndrome and high cholesterol — two major risk factors for heart disease — will probably need aggressive treatment to lower their high cholesterol, in addition to caring for their other risk factors. Treatment for high cholesterol may mean a diet change, taking statins or other drugs, and exercising to work off belly fat, lower LDL cholesterol, and raise HDL cholesterol.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends talking to your doctor about what amount of exercise is best for you before you start a new routine, and beginning slowly, increasing your activity gradually as your heart gets stronger.

Change your diet to cut out foods that are high in saturated fats (such as lard, butter, and other animal products) and trans fats (found in many processed foods), replacing them with plant-based, healthy fats like olive oil. This will help manage both metabolic syndrome and high cholesterol, countering obesity, helping you lose weight, and reducing your risk of both heart disease and diabetes.

Obesity weighs heavily on your heart and your overall health. If extra weight gives you an “apple shape” — thicker through the middle — then be particularly aware of your other risk factors for heart disease.

If your doctor doesn’t measure your waist circumference, ask her about it, or pull out a tape measure and do it yourself. If the number is too high, consider a weight-loss plan now to protect your heart health in the future. Weight loss helps reduce blood pressure, lower cholesterol, and prevent diabetes.

Luckily, the same plan of action — diet, exercise, and medication if needed — can cut nearly all heart disease risk factors of metabolic syndrome. So start treating your body and your heart right with healthy changes today.

What to consider when using Marijuana to treat pain

As more people are learning, acknowledging and utilizing Marijuana as opposed to the highly addictive prescription pain medications currently hawked by big Pharma the question of using Cannabis is being explored on a much grander scale.

Like any type of remedy the ailment determines the course of treatment. Pain can encompass an enormous list of causes from a simple headache to Chronic inflammation to Fibromyalgia. Over the years studies have shown people do achieve pain relief with Marijuana. Talk with your MMJ Doctor and your Bud Tender regarding what you are experiencing, this will enable them to offer suggestions of the best strain(s) for you to try and lead you to what works best to relieve Your pain.

Additionally one needs to consider effects of the primary form of Cannabis utilized. Cannabis has two primary efficacy traits CBD-cannabinoids- does not cause the ‘high’ feeling and are

  • Anti-depressant: It combats both anxiety and depression
  • Anticonvulsant: It suppresses seizure activity
  • Anti-psychotic: It combats psychosis
  • Nero protective: protects neurons in the brain
  • Antiemetic: Reduces nausea and vomitting
  • Anti-inflammatory: Combats inflammation and pain
  • Anti-tumor: It combats tumor and cancer cells

CBD while still being studied has thus far not demonstrated any immediate or long term side effects meaning they are minimal or non existent. Also CBD has shown it is non-toxic so there is no risk of overdose.

The second is THC-tetrahydrocannabinol- the psychoactive compound that has made the plant both illegal and famous over time. However much less commonly discussed are the beneficial effects THC possesses that CBD does not. For example THC can work as a sleep aid whereas CBD may have the exact opposite result. THC benefits are

  • Analgesic: It relieves pain and inflammation
  • Relaxation: It creates a state of relaxation
  • Euphoria: It can lift mood and create a feeling of well being
  • Drowsiness: It induces sleep
  • Appetite stimulant: creating an urge to eat

A combination of the two CBD and THC can benefit a person by combining THC’s analgesic properties with CBD’s anti-inflammatory capabilities which can be just the ticket to chronic pain management.

Best advise is to educate yourself and don’t be afraid to test the various avenues to find your best treatment plan.


Cannabis- benefits of both fresh and dried plant consumption.

As most of us know or are coming to know is the the Health benefits of Cannabis Sativa and Cannabis Indica (as they are scientifically categorized) are being heralded over the last 7 years or so. As a whole more and more people are really taking the time to recognize and understand this phenomenal plant.

Consumption of Cannabis has definitely changed over time, you can of course smoke it, but few of us are aware that this plant is really a SUPERFOOD akin to Kale, Spinach, or Collard Greens. Cannabis can be used in Smoothies, Salads and salad dressing, sauces and even pesto. And don’t forget Juicing! The nutritional benefits of consuming the plant in is RAW unprocessed form include

  • Vitamin C- A powerful antioxidant that aides in the formation of Collagen and Connective tissue, Immune function and wound healing.
  • Vitamin K- Strengthens bones and aides in blood clotting
  • Folate- A form of B9 that the body needs to create and repair DNA, and is vital nutritionally before during and after pregnancy.
  • Iron- A nutrient of concern for young children women who are pregnant or of child bearing age. Iron promotes energy production, Immune function, growth and development, Red blood cell formation, reproduction and wound healing.
  • Calcium- A nutrient of concern for most Americans. Calcium is necessary to bone and tooth health, blood vessel function, hormone secretion and Nervous system function.
  • Fiber- Essential for proper digestive health and weight loss.

One additional bit of information is that ingesting Raw cannabis not only provides these much needed benefits, the psychoactive “High” effect obtained from smoking does not happen with fresh plant consumption.

Generally when Cannabis is harvested the plant is trimmed, dried and cured which leads to a significant chemical transformation. As the plant ages chemical compounds concentrated in the trichome resin glands of the plant start to degrade, a process called Decarboxylation where in producing the psychoactive THC compound. Which is why recreational use focuses on Smoking, Vaping or cooking with fats so enticing.

The effect of THC is still largely misunderstood (primarily due to lack of clinical research within the United States) however there are initial research conclusions that have shown that THC

  • Slows the progression of Alzheimer’s disease by slowing the formation of Amyloid plaque which kills brain cells and is thus the Root cause of Alzheimer’s, by blocking the brain enzyme that makes them.
  • Smoking is also attributed to Improving lung function according to researchers writing in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The big drags taken by weed smokers can increase efficiency beyond that of both cigarette smokers and non-smokers.
  • Recently the U.S. Government admitted that “Cannabis has been shown to KILL cancer cells in laboratory tests”  all the while still cautioning the lack of evidence to substantiate inhaling or ingestion of Cannabis.

Cannabis has also been lowded for its effects in treating opioid addiction by helping patients with withdrawal symptoms and enabling the person to successfully complete the rehabilitation process according to researchers at Columbia University who studied patients undergoing addiction treatment.

We still have a great deal to uncover about this incredible herb and I hope soon we will have the ability to determine even more conclusive evidence about its whole body benefits

Preliminary assessment of the efficacy, tolerability and safety of a cannabis-based medicine (Sativex) in the treatment of pain caused by Rheumatoid Arthritis

Objectives. To assess the efficacy of a cannabis-based medicine (CBM) in the treatment of pain due to rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

Methods. We compared a CBM (Sativex) with placebo in a randomized, double-blind, parallel group study in 58 patients over 5 weeks of treatment. The CBM was administered by oromucosal spray in the evening and assessments were made the following morning.

Efficacy outcomes assessed- were pain on movement, pain at rest, morning stiffness and sleep quality measured by a numerical rating scale, the Short-Form McGill Pain Questionnaire (SF-MPQ) and the DAS28 measure of disease activity.

Results. Seventy-five patients were screened and 58 met the eligibility criteria. Thirty-one were randomized to the CBM and 27 to placebo. Mean (S.D.) daily dose achieved in the final treatment week was 5.4 (0.84) actuations for the CBM and 5.3 (1.18)
for placebo. In comparison with placebo, the CBM produced statistically significant improvements in pain on movement, pain at rest, quality of sleep, DAS28 and the          SF-MPQ pain at present component. There was no effect on morning stiffness but
baseline scores were low. The large majority of adverse effects were mild or moderate, and there were no adverse effect-related withdrawals or serious adverse effects in the active treatment group.

Conclusions. In the first ever controlled trial of a CBM in RA, a significant analgesic effect was observed and disease activity was significantly suppressed following Sativex treatment. Whilst the differences are small and variable across the population,
they represent benefits of clinical relevance and show the need for more detailed investigation in this indication.nflammatory properties in laboratory studies, as have other plant components, such as terpenoids and flavonoids [3]. Sativex was administered by oromucosal spray, each activation delivering 2.7 mg THC and 2.5 mg CBD. Eligible patients had a diagnosis of RA meeting ACR criteria, with active arthritis not adequately controlled by standard medication. NSAID and prednisolone regimes had to have been stabilized for 1 month and DMARDs for 3 months prior to enrolment, and were maintained constant throughout the study. Exclusion criteria included a history of psychiatric disorders or substance misuse, severe cardiovascular, renal or hepatic disorder, or a history of epilepsy. Dossing was restricted to the evening to minimize possible intoxication-type reactions, with randomized treatment allocation using permuted blocks of four.

Starting dose was one actuation within 0.5 h of retiring, and this was increased by one actuation every 2 days to a maximum of six actuations according to individual response. Stable dosing was then maintained for a further 3 weeks. Patients gave written informed consent to participate, and the study was approved by each local research ethics committee. Primary efficacy variable was pain on movement measured by a 0–10 numerical rating scale (NRS) each morning. Baseline score (obtained as an average of the last 4 days of the 14-day baseline period) was compared with the average of the last 14 days of treatment. Secondary outcomes included NRS measures of pain at rest, sleep quality and morning stiffness, the Short-Form McGill Pain Questionnaire (SF-MPQ) and the 28-joint disease activity score (DAS28). The study plan is shown in Fig. 1. Based on previous results for pain on movement, it was calculated that 23 patients/group would be required to detect 2 units difference with 90% power. A minimum of 54 patients were to be recruited to allow for dropouts. Normally distributed data were to be analysed using one-way analysis of covariance. Change from baseline to endpoint was to be compared between the two treatment groups with the baseline score considered as a covariate. Non-parametric analysis was to be used if there was considerable departure from normality.

Results. The protocol and all study documentation was approved by the Independent Research Ethics Committee representing each of the eight participating centres. Seventy-five patients were screened and 58 met the eligibility criteria. Written informed consent,
as specified by the Declaration of Helsinki (2000), was obtained from all patients prior to screening. Thirty-one of the eligible patients were randomized to CBM and 27 to placebo. One patient withdrew from the active treatment group (unrelated surgery) and three from placebo (adverse events). There were no significant differences in demographics between groups (Table 1). Mean (S.D.) daily dose achieved in the final treatment week was 5.4 (0.84) actuations for CBM and 5.3 (1.18) for placebo.

Statistically significant improvements in pain on movement, pain at rest, quality of sleep,
DAS28 and the SF-MPQ pain at present component were seen following CBM in comparison with placebo.

Adverse Effects (AE) in CBM group were all of mild or moderate intensity except for two (6%) rated severe (constipation; ‘malaise’) compared with six (22%) in the placebo group. Eight patients (26%) receiving CBM experienced transient dizziness at some point, though in all cases this was rated as mild. The exact timing of these episodes was recorded in six of these patients: four occurred during the initial 2-week titration period, the other two at 16 days. There were no withdrawals due to AE in the CBM group compared with three (11%) for placebo, and no serious AE following the active treatment compared with two (7%) in the placebo group.

For the complete report:  Rheumatology, Volume 45, Issue 1, 1 January 2006, Pages 50–52, D. R. Blake, P. Robson1, M. Ho2, R. W. Jubb3 and C. S. McCabe

Issue Cover



That is one of the surprise findings in an online survey of over 1,300 fibromyalgia patients conducted by the National Pain Foundation and National Pain Report.  This was the second online survey of pain patients conducted by the National Pain Foundation and National Pain Report. The first survey found that over half of patients worry that they are perceived as “drug addicts” by pharmacists. Eight out of ten said they had stopped seeing a doctor because they felt they were treated poorly.

The FDA has approved only three drugs – Cymbalta, Lyrica and Savella — for the treatment of fibromyalgia. Although they generate billions of dollars in annual sales for Pfizer, Eli Lilly, Forest Laboratories and other drug makers, most who have tried the medications say they don’t work.

“I have personally taken Lyrica back when I was first diagnosed for a year. I can personally attest to the lack of relief from this medication. As a matter of fact my Depression intisifiyed to the ‘nth degree.” -Heidi

The National Institutes of Health estimates that 5 million Americans suffer from fibromyalgia, a poorly understood disorder characterized by deep tissue pain, fatigue, headaches, depression, and lack of sleep. There is no known cure and the disorder is difficult to treat.

Fibromyalgia is devastating for those who must live in its grip. There is much we do not understand. We need innovative ‘out of the box’ solutions that change the face of this disease,” said Dan Bennett, MD, an interventional spine and pain surgical physician in Denver, Colorado, who is chairman of the National Pain Foundation.

Many who responded to the survey said they had tried all three FDA approved drugs.

The prescriptions that are available for treatment have more negative side effects than positive aspects,” said one fibromyalgia sufferer.

I haven’t found anything! Please find a cure or at least a medicine that will take our pain away,” said another.

Asked to rate the effectiveness of Eli Lilly’s Cymbalta (Duloxetine), 60% of those who tried the drug said it did not work for them. Only 8% said it was very effective and 32% said it helps a little.

Among those who tried Pfizer’s Lyrica (Pregabalin), 61% said it did not work at all. Only 10% said it was very effective and 29% said it helps a little.

Asked to rate the effectiveness of Forest Laboratories’ Savella (Milnacipran), 68% of those who said they tried the drug said it didn’t work. Only 10% said it was very effective and 22% said it helps a little.

About 70% of the people who responded to the survey said they had not tried medical marijuana – which is not surprising given that it is still illegal in most states and many countries. But those who have tried marijuana said it was far more effective than any of the FDA-approved drugs.

Sixty-two percent who have tried cannabis said it was very effective at treating their fibromyalgia symptoms. Another 33% said it helped a little and only 5% said it did not help at all.

I’ve found nothing that has worked for me, apart from marijuana,” said one survey respondent.

Nothing but medical marijuana has made the greatest dent in the pain and mental problems,” said another.

Marijuana does help a LOT it numbs the pain. But it doesn’t last long and it makes your brain foggy,” wrote another fibromyalgia sufferer.

Survey respondents said massage, swimming, acupuncture, muscle relaxers and other alternative treatments also helped relieve their symptoms. Many said they take opioids to relieve their pain – although narcotic painkillers are generally not prescribed to treat fibromyalgia.

Other survey findings:

  • Four out of ten (43%) fibromyalgia sufferers feel their physician is not knowledgeable about the disorder.
  • Over a third (35%) feel their physician does not take their fibromyalgia seriously.
  • 45% feel their family and friends do not take their fibromyalgia seriously.
  • Nearly half (49%) said their fibromyalgia symptoms began at a relatively young age (18-34).
  • Only 11% were diagnosed with fibromyalgia within the first year of symptoms.
  • 44% said it took five or more years before they were diagnosed with fibromyalgia.

Many survey respondents lamented that the disorder had taken over their lives, leaving them socially isolated, fatigued and in constant pain.

I was once an active person and have now virtually become a hermit due to this disease,” said one.

The worst thing about having fibromyalgia is disappointing loved ones when I can’t do things with them,” wrote one fibromyalgia sufferer.

Having fibromyalgia is a life sentence. One simply cannot have a productive life living with this disease,” said another.

The 1,339 people who participated in the survey were self-selected as fibromyalgia sufferers. Ninety-six percent of them were female.

Source: National Pain Report