Raised Blood Pressure in Pregnancy (Preeclampsia)

I am going to write today about pregnancy. For me this is quite risky for three reasons. Firstly, the idea of a man writing about this exclusively female problem, secondly, because there are no exact answers and, thirdly, because each pregnancy is a unique event and something which applies in one case will not apply in another.

One of the problems with research in this area is the difficulty of experimentation to find causes. The development of human pregnancy is completely different from any other mammal so experiments on animals are misleading. Obviously, it is not possible to experiment on live subjects who are undergoing pregnancy and, when something goes wrong, it is not possible to replicate what was happening when this dynamic system was in action. So all researchers can do is observe and hope to spot trends and coincidences that may point to answers.

The subject of particular interest to ActiveSignal researchers is unexpected increases in blood pressure around the 20th week of pregnancy or after. This can cause eclampsia; a type of seizure or convulsion during pregnancy which can be fatal to mother, baby or both. The circumstances that lead to this happening are called preeclampsia. This is characterised by raised blood pressure and is indicated by protein leaking from the kidneys into the urine. Visible symptoms can include headaches, blurred vision, stomach pains, swellings and cramps. The important point to recognise is that it is the increase in blood pressure that is important and not necessarily the absolute pressure. Thus, a woman who normally has low blood pressure may be preeclampsic even if her absolute blood pressure is not specifically high.

Most doctors will tell you that preeclampsia will cause raised blood pressure. We venture to suggest that, in fact, the problem may be the other way round; that is to say that raised blood pressure could be the primary cause of preeclampsia. From this point of view we can start to explain why the problem may arise.

We have observed that there are two cases where women seem to be more likely to develop the condition. The first case is a well fed woman has slightly or more raised blood glucose. The foetus grows fast in early pregnancy so that by the end of the second trimester, or the beginning of the third, the foetal growth is much too great for the woman to supply enough nutrients for growth from her own resources. In some cases the women, who theoretically needs to increase food intake, will unknowingly reduce intake because of the pressure of the ever larger foetus on the stomach. Also diabetics may be put on low calorie diets causing the same problem to occur.

Now the foetus will use up all the carbohydrate reserves for further growth, and will then start using body fat or protein. This fat and/or protein are broken down in the liver and the result is ketones and protein in the blood circulation causing toxicity. Babies delivered are usually over the predicted birth weight.

The second case (much less common) is a woman who is underweight and undernourished. There may come a point at any time in the pregnancy where the expectant mother cannot supply enough nutrients for foetal growth simply because she does not have the reserves to do so. The body starts to take body fat or protein and the result is the same as above. In this case the baby delivered tends to be under the predicted birth weight. It will be seen that preeclampsia and pregnancy hypertension are similar related metabolic disorders, if not the same thing.

Put very simply, ketones are a component of the production of energy in the body and proteins are the compounds from which the body, and particularly the foetus, are built. The body will work to keep these in balance within the circulation and, at the same time, will keep the balance of blood glucose under control. When there is an excess of glucose, blood will thicken and flow more slowly and pressure will build up.

As this metabolic imbalance builds, this will cause the expectant mother to perspire more and the management of electrolytes, also vital to the building of the foetus, will also be impacted, leading to breakdowns in vital cooling systems. So this vicious circle in the balance of the body’s resources will increasingly result in blood pressure rising which, in turn results in the over-pressurised circulation putting stress on both mother and baby. This is a metabolic condition which is difficult to control but the first essential is to measure and control blood glucose before and right at the start of pregnancy. Also exercise and the avoidance of stress is important for maintaining balance and control. There is a further problem in that the drug therapies that may be used to control hypertension in other patients are not suitable for expectant mothers.

Once preeclampsia has developed, and cases will vary in severity, the most usual therapy prescribed will be rest, often in hospital. In the more extreme cases termination or early delivery by caesarean section may be advised.

In 95% of all cases, preeclampsia will probably be caused by metabolic imbalance although liver and kidney malfunctions may also have some responsibility. At ActiveSignal we recommend that every expectant mother should practise self help including special attention to diet, including the recommended supplements, and skin care from an early stage to maintain the necessary skin elasticity. We also advise that taking ion eXtra™ throughout the pregnancy and early post-natal stages will play a very important role in maintaining the necessary metabolic balance. This will assist in maintaining healthy blood glucose levels. We recommend starting during the second month of the pregnancy and then taking the supplement for twenty-eight days, a seven day break and then the next 28 day course. Because this treatment works exclusively through cell signalling to restore balance it is guaranteed to be 100% safe and cannot cause side effects of any kind.

As ion eXtra™ works to restore the micro-circulation, that is our capillaries, taking it has the added benefit of promoting fast recovery after the stress of childbirth and any surgical procedures that may have been necessary. This is because healing is quicker where there is an optimum blood supply.

© Graeme Ward September 2010

How ion eXtra™ Works

Essential hypertension is directly associated with the percentage of loss of skin capillaries and that the loss is related to age. Human skin holds more blood than any other organ and has around thirty capillary loops per square millimetre. Rarefaction of these capillaries is known to commence in the 30s and, by age 70, more than 40 percent of the capillaries may be permanently lost. Women 80 years of age or more may have no capillary loops at all in the forearm skin at all. This is known as parchment skin.

Blood capillaries don’t stretch or expand so when we lose one there is nowhere for its share of blood to go and it follows that this will cause a permanent rise of pressure in the arteries. This, in turn, results in a loss of arterial elasticity. This loss of arterial elasticity is an indicator of hypertension and a risk factor, in itself, for accelerating disease development. So, why do we lose capillaries?

Over the last few thousands of years, humans in the temperate zones were used to many hours of physical work each day and this kept the body’s cooling system working efficiently. This kind of physical work is no longer common for many people and lifestyle circumstances such as lack of exercise, poor diet, living in air-conditioned surroundings and stress are common, causing an imbalance in the management of electrolytes in the body.

Humans have about 3 to 4 million eccrine sweat glands spread throughout the skin. These glands supply continuous normal insensible perspiration via fragile ducts to the skin surface. Sweat is an aqueous liquid, taken from circulating serum, containing electrolytes, principally sodium, waste products and antimicrobial peptides. As this liquid passes out through the sweat ducts, the transmembrane regulators in the duct wall make an adjustment to the electrolytes proportionate to the speed of passage through the duct. The amount of sodium in delivered perspiration is typically 25 per cent less than that in serum. The antimicrobial peptides, acting together with the balance of electrolytes, reduce the microbial load on the skin and prevent entry of microbes into the sweat ducts.

Human sweat glands and ducts have the ability to instantly switch over from insensible perspiration to the output of copious sweat in response to heat or exercise. Cooling copious sweat passes through the sweat ducts at seven times the rate of insensible perspiration. At this output, in a well-conditioned person, the transmembrane regulator of the duct removes all of the electrolytes. This effect is well known as the observation by athletes that there is no salt taste in their sweat when they are fully fit. If electrolytes were not conserved in this way, we should very quickly lose them all resulting in serious problems.

In copious sweating, without the balance of electrolytes as in perspiration, there is no protection against the entry of microbes into the sweat ducts. This does not matter, since the force of output of the copious sweat is sufficient to keep the ducts clear.

Populations of many societies are not fully fit, but typically have long periods of time with little physical activity, interspersed with short periods of exertion and also stress. This pattern results in the sweat glands starting to switch from insensible perspiration output to copious sweat output, but not completing the switch. The sweat ducts become used to a slightly increased output of perspiration, which is, as a result, deficient in electrolytes.

Without the proper level of electrolytes the antimicrobial peptides are ineffective, allowing normal skin microbes to enter the sweat duct. The immune reaction to the entry of microbes into the duct blocks the duct at a point near to the sweat gland itself. Perspiration output under pressure from the sweat gland now ruptures the duct and redundant perspiration spreads into the surrounding skin, destroying any blood capillaries in its path. This is the cause of the rarefaction of capillaries, cumulatively increasing with age.

It is known that blood capillaries can regenerate, a process known as angiogenesis. Preventing the destruction of capillaries by redundant perspiration from ruptured ducts should allow for angiogenesis.

If a surplus of electrolytes could be created in the body then there would be no need for the protective conservation of electrolytes by the sweat ducts. If this surplus could be maintained then the sweat ducts would remain open, protected by antimicrobial peptides. Adding electrolytes to body water, e.g. to the water in the digestive tract, would result in surplus electrolytes being immediately dispersed and eliminated via the kidneys. For success, it would be necessary to create an apparent surplus that could not be eliminated.

This can be achieved by an ion eXtra™ capsule. The capsule seals small amounts of electrolyte, (sodium, potassium, magnesium and chloride) within a coating. The coating is permeable to gas but not to liquid. The solid electrolytes within the capsule attract water molecules via gas in the same manner as if the electrolytes were dissolved in water, so that epithelial cells recognize the presence of the electrolytes as a surplus.

A surplus would normally activate ion transport to remove the surplus, but the electrolytes cannot dissolve because of the coating. The surplus remains, achieving the objective of creating a constant surplus of electrolyte. The inappropriate conservation of electrolyte by the sweat duct transmembrane regulator is prevented. The electrolytes sealed in the capsule pass through the body unchanged by being used, and continue to provide an apparent surplus of electrolytes for 24 hours or a little longer.

The ion eXtra™ capsule is an electronic messenger, sending millions of messages to our cells, every second of every day, triggering a change in cell behaviour and leading to wrongly conserved electrolytes being released and disposed of.

Full angiogenesis of skin capillaries by ActiveSignal™ allows for a lasting reduction in blood pressure to the level of a typical twenty-one year old, in the absence of significant atheroma or major organ disease.

ion eXtra™ resolves the problem of raised blood pressure by adjusting electrolyte balance and restoring the health of the micro-circulation.

Managing Fluids During Exercise

Graeme Ward, Managing Director, ActiveSignal Ltd

It is essential to maintain hydraulic balance during exercise and the dangers of dehydration are well understood. Water makes up over two-thirds of the healthy human body. It is essential for lubricating the joints and eyes, aiding digestion, flushing out waste and toxins and keeping skin healthy. Dehydration occurs when the normal water content of your body is reduced, upsetting the delicate balance of minerals, salts and sugar in your body fluid. Many of your body’s cells depend on these minerals being maintained at the correct levels to function properly. Some of the early warning signs that you are dehydrated are feeling thirsty and light-headed and having concentrated, strong-smelling urine. The body works less efficiently, even with a relatively low level of fluid loss.

When we exercise our heart rate and blood pressure goes up and our normally insensible perspiration system cuts over to copious sweating to keep our bodies cool. Insensible perspiration is vital to health as it delivers peptides and electrolytes to the skin, and internally as mucous, keeping our vital organs at the correct level of lubrication. Not only does this keep the body cool, it also prevents invasion by the billions of microbes that cover every surface of our bodies. When we start sweating copiously a switch in every sweat gland switches off the electrolyte dosing in order to conserve this valuable resource. Copious sweating is seven times as fast as our resting insensible perspiration and, if we lost body salts at this rate for any length of time, we would soon be in serious trouble.

When we drink water, our bodies first purify it and flush out any unwanted elements through the kidneys and then add back a mix of salts that provide the necessary protective functions. This is regulated by a process called homeostasis which refers to the body’s ability to regulate its inner environment physiologically to ensure its stability in response to fluctuations in the outside environment and the weather and exercise or stress. The liver, the kidneys, and the brain (hypothalamus, the endocrine system, and the autonomic nervous system) all help to maintain homeostasis. The liver is responsible for metabolizing toxic substances and maintaining carbohydrate metabolism. The kidneys are responsible for regulating blood water levels, re-absorption of substances into the blood, maintenance of salt and ion levels in the blood, regulation of blood pH, and excretion of urea and other wastes.

An inability to maintain homeostasis may lead to death or a disease, a condition known as homeostatic imbalance. For instance, heart failure may occur when negative feedback mechanisms become overwhelmed and destructive positive feedback mechanisms take over. Other conditions or diseases which result from a homeostatic imbalance include diabetes, dehydration, hypoglycemia, hyperglycemia, gout and any disease caused by the presence of a toxin in the bloodstream.

The balance of water in the body and between the individual cells is called osmosis which is a constant exchange process that distributes essential elements between all cells. The body will defend the osmotic process as its highest priority. Thus, when we are dehydrated, some systems will start to shut down.

Too much water or pushing fluids is equally dangerous

It is rare these days to see an athlete or gym participant without their source of fluid close at hand. It is not uncommon to hear advice being given that they should deliberately drink much more than their thirst demands and to push up their fluid levels in the mistaken belief that this will combat dehydration and enhance athletic performance. For all of the reasons stated above about balance, this is a waste of time and can actually reduce performance levels and, if taken to excess, can even be fatal.

Exercise-associated hyponatraemia (EAH) is a dangerous condition that occurs when people have taken so much liquid into their bodies that the concentration of sodium in their blood falls too low. This leads to excess water moving into the tissues of the brain causing it to swell. This results in nausea, vomiting and confusion and, in rare cases, death. This is often seen in marathon runners – not the fully trained athletes but the fun runners – who take a drink at every drink stop and then collapse at the finishing line. If they are then seen vomiting it is not because they have over-exerted themselves but because they have drunk too much in relation to the performance achieved.

‘Sports’ drinks can add to the problem

The manufacturers of so called ‘sports drinks’ claim that they are isotonic, that is to say that they contain the same levels of dissolved elements that occur naturally in body fluids. However, to make the drinks palatable and differentiated, they tend to contain an excess of sugar and very little salts. The problem with this is that the sugar goes immediately to the blood in circulation which it thickens and drives out the salts through the osmosis process. If the purpose of the exercise was fitness or weight loss then the drink will have the reverse effect to that required. Now, instead of obtaining the sugar it needs for energy from carbohydrate already stored, it will get it from the simpler route of sugar circulating in the blood. This will persist throughout the post-exercise rest period where, if the drink had not been taken, the body would have continued to burn fat. The lack of salt in the circulating serum will further exacerbate the problem. It is much better just to drink water.

How much water?

The body is a very good indicator of what it needs, hormones will react if you are thirsty, your mouth will feel dry and the mucous membranes in your nose may start to close. You need water. The right quantity to drink is the amount necessary to quench your thirst and no more. Typically, this will be around eight ‘gulps’ of water (the size of a gulp varying from person to person depending largely upon size so this is a better measure than stating a number of centilitres). During exercise, little and often is much better than forcing bulk down your throat. Another indicator is sweating. If you are exercising properly you should be sweating fairly evenly all over after a period of time. If you do not sweat, or you have areas of the body that are not sweating, then there is a potential problem.

Managing electrolytes

Anybody with a reasonable diet, and who is not anorexic, will have an adequate supply of electrolytes within the fluids circulating in their bodies. When human beings first evolved, electrolytes were scarce and the body developed advanced mechanisms to conserve them. With the pressures of modern life we tend to over-conserve these essential salts and this can lead to blockages and inefficiencies. These elements act at a molecular level and, if we just consume more electrolytes, the body acts to eliminate them. It used to be the practice to give athletes salt tablets at the end of exercise periods. This frequently resulted in immediate counter-reaction by the body as it went into shock and switched all of its efforts to getting rid of the unwanted salt – the equivalent of the reaction if you were to drink a glass of sea water.

In modern sports medicine, coaches combine the right levels of water intake with the use of cell signalling media that trigger each cell to start opening and closing the channels that attract individual electrolyte types. This is called the MacKinnon effect after the Nobel Laureate who identified the phenomenon. As the cell signalling device passes through the body, it emits millions of signals per second. This works throughout the 24 hour cycle and it is the equivalent of a work-out for the electrolyte management mechanisms. Because the device, a small capsule, only sends signals nothing passes from it to the body so there are no possibilities of side effects or over-use. The body cleverly ignores signals that it is not programmed to receive. The biological workout that the use of cell signalling provides adjusts the overall electrolyte balance to optimum levels and then the best use is made of available water. This then promotes optimum performance by the athlete.

Cell signalling devices are marketed by ActiveSignal Ltd under the ion eXtra™ brand (www.ionextra.com)

Daily Mail Health Humour, No. 1

The Daily Mail is well known for the outlandish and often ridiculous articles on so called health breakthroughs. However, one published today (2nd August 2010) has got to be a wind-up. This made me wonder how many of the other silly season health stories that this paper publishes are jokes made up at the sub-editor’s desk as they try to fill the pages? As I spot them, I will bring them to your attention.

Today’s nonsense was about a “jab” that has been invented in America whereby herpes virus could be injected into your brain to ‘stop stress’. Any volunteers for the clinical trials?

Firstly, stress is a response to an autonomic nervous system trigger that tells the body to defend itself. Secondly, herpes in one of the nastiest viruses we can get into our bodies and, once there, it is incredibly difficult, if not impossible to get rid of it. These clowns want to interfere with hormonal responses and the immune system to make you come down faster after a stressful incident; one medical benefit being that it will stop you snapping at your family and friends!

Then comes the line that guarantees that it is a daft story; “it has been shown to work on rats”. Whenever you see this phrase you can be sure that the story is nuts. Poor old rats, and mice; sacrificed in the name of Loony Tunes science. Rats are nothing like humans, least of all when it comes to stress – if they have it in any sense that we would understand as stress. When we are stressed we perspire. This is an autonomic response to keep us cool and get us ready to run away or stand and fight. Rats do not sweat, and nor do any other laboratory animals.

When we are overstressed, that is, not recovering properly when we have experienced a stressful incident, then our perspiration system gets out of balance, the sweating turns on and off when it shouldn’t and that leads to a build up of electrolytes that causes ruptures and the loss of capillaries. Too much of this and our blood pressure goes up, our organs are put under pressure, our brain is not sufficiently cooled and, yes, we might possibly feel a bit ratty.

The answer to this is to re-establish balance by reducing and managing stress, understanding its causes, taking breaks and holidays, improving our diets, exercising more and getting some August sunshine when we can. The only current medical intervention that actually helps restore balance is ion eXtra™, a food supplement that signals cells to clear out wrongly conserved electrolytes and helps the body to restore naturally.

No nasty poisonous viruses and never, ever, tested on animals

The sad thing about this stress and herpes story is that there is just a small chance that it might actually have happened and that more millions of, probably, public money are being spent on ridiculous projects to make professors look good (or, perhaps, just look stupid).

Watch this space! There will be more of these stories in coming weeks.

Daily Mail Health Humour, No. 1

Graeme Ward, Managing Director, ActiveSignal Ltd

The Daily Mail is well known for the outlandish and, often ridiculous articles on so called health breakthroughs. However, one published today (2nd August 2010) has got to be a wind-up. This made me wonder how many of the other silly season health stories that this paper publishes are jokes made up at the sub-editor’s desk as they try to fill the pages? As I spot them, I will bring them to your attention.

Today’s nonsense was about a “jab” that has been invented in America whereby herpes virus could be injected into your brain to ‘stop stress’. Any volunteers for the clinical trials?

Firstly, stress is a response to an autonomic nervous system trigger that tells the body to defend itself. Secondly, herpes in one of the nastiest viruses we can get into our bodies and, once there, it is incredibly difficult, if not impossible to get rid of it. These clowns want to interfere with hormonal responses and the immune system to make you come down faster after a stressful incident; one medical benefit being that it will stop you snapping at your family and friends!

Then comes the line that guarantees that it is a daft story; “it has been shown to work on rats”. Whenever you see this phrase you can be sure that the story is nuts. Poor old rats, and mice; sacrificed in the name of Loony Tunes science. Rats are nothing like humans, least of all when it comes to stress – if they have it in any sense that we would understand as stress. When we are stressed we perspire. This is an autonomic response to keep us cool and get us ready to run away or stand and fight. Rats do not sweat, and nor do any other laboratory animals save for perhaps monkeys and apes.

When we are overstressed, that is, not recovering properly when we have experienced a stressful incident, then our perspiration system gets out of balance, the sweating turns on and off when it shouldn’t and that leads to a build up of electrolytes that causes ruptures and the loss of capillaries. Too much of this and our blood pressure goes up, our organs are put under pressure, our brain is not sufficiently cooled and, yes, we might possibly feel a bit ratty.

The answer to this is to re-establish balance by reducing and managing stress, understanding its causes, taking breaks and holidays, improving our diets, exercising more and getting some August sunshine when we can. The only current medical intervention that actually helps restore balance is ion eXtra, a food supplement that signals cells to clear out wrongly conserved electrolytes and helps the body to restore naturally.

No nasty poisonous viruses and never, ever, tested on animals

The sad thing about this stress and herpes story is that there is just a small chance that it might actually have happened and that more millions of, probably, public money are being spent on ridiculous projects to make professors look good (or, perhaps, just look stupid).

Watch this space! There will be more of these stories in coming weeks.

Daily Mail Health Humour, No. 1

Why Your Doctor Won’t Tell You What Causes High Blood Pressure

Raised blood pressure is an important indicator of health, one of the vital signs. At least one in three adults suffers from the problem and it is the main cause of thousands of premature deaths every year. Because it is virtually symptom free, you cannot tell whether you are suffering from it or not without actually measuring your blood pressure.

When you go to your doctor to show her or him your blood pressure results – and you should take the measurement yourself because when the doctor does it, the stress of having it taken will affect the results – they will probably say some of the following things:

  • we must do something about it
  • we don’t know what causes it
  • it is about your life style
  • you must lose weight, exercise more, get your cholesterol levels down
  • you may have got it from your parents

The doctor may then prescribe one of a large range of drugs that treat the effects of raised blood pressure. These will not work, you will have to take increasingly large doses, ending up on more than one medication, and you will have to take them for the rest of your life.

What your doctor has not told you is that the cause of 95% of cases of raised blood pressure has been known for a number of years but that it is in parts of the circulation that cannot be treated by drugs.

Raised blood pressure is caused by the loss of capillaries, the tiny blood vessels that transfer oxygen and nutrients to your cells and carry away waste products. Capillaries cannot stretch or stand in for their neighbours so, when you lose capillaries, your blood pressure goes up. This process, called rarefaction, goes on increasing as you get older unless you do something about it.

Having a healthy life style is important but the only therapy on the market which reverses capillary loss, and really resolves the resulting raised blood pressure is ion eXtra which uses the new science of cell signaling to restore electrolyte balance in order to bring capillaries back to life.

© Graeme Ward, May 2010

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Managing Stress

Don’t panic, stress is actually good for you. It drives creative energy and gives us the get up and go that we all need in our daily lives. Stress is a coping mechanism where the body reacts to a situation by producing adrenaline, increasing the heart rate and turning up our cooling system. What causes problems is when our response to the stress factor is inappropriate.

As human beings evolved, we developed a superb fight or flight response system. This is able to kick in even before rational thought has had a chance to evaluate the situation you find yourself in. Let’s look at an example of this. You are walking along the street when there is a sudden very large bang behind you. You will flinch and, probably, at least start to go into a protective position before you have even started to think about what has happened. Even if you were daydreaming as you were walking, you will now be alert and attentive to your environment and ready to take avoiding action if necessary. You are ready to escape or stand and fight and an amazing change has come over your body. Your heart and lung action has accelerated; your blood vessels have constricted all over your body getting ready to divert blood to your muscles; your capillaries may have slowed down causing paling or speeded up causing flushing depending where they are within the macro-circulation; you will start perspiring; your digestion has slowed down or stopped; you will divert nutrients, particularly fats and glucose to your muscles; your mouth and eyes will go dry; your sphincter muscles will clench, your hearing and sight will narrow, concentrating on the risk; you may relax and lose control of your bladder and you may start shaking. All of this took place in a split second. The reaction is caused by the automatic release of the hormone adrenaline and, when the crisis is over, the body will readjust more slowly, often leaving us feeling tired, drained and listless.

When this fight or flight response first evolved it would manifest itself quite simply into aggression and combat or running away. Today, modern man has a wider range of responses including anger, argumentative behaviour, irritability, shouting or screaming rather than combat and the flight element may manifest as withdrawal, substance abuse, muscular tension, lack of sleep or sulking. Negative stress arises when these reactions are provoked – and this may now be over a long period rather than the instant bang – and there is no release after the crisis is over. All of the bodily reactions described above still kick in, or start to do so, and the result can be raised blood pressure, constipation, anorexia, sexual dysfunction, headaches and depression. Stress reactions can also be the result of mental disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder or panic disorder. Most drug based treatments for stress and related conditions act to inhibit what would otherwise be normal bodily functions.

We need to develop methods of coping with or adapting to negative stress in order to maintain good health and peace of mind. We need to achieve what biologists call homeostasis. That is achieving a state where our bodies are able to maintain a stable and constant condition where every component is working in the way that it is meant to work. Homeostatic regulation maintains our body temperature at a constant rate, it keeps blood glucose at a steady state, even when we have been fasting, it removes excesses of water, salt and urea from the blood, it balances sugars and salts (osmosis), it manages the digestive process of the gut, tells us when we should be asleep and it regulates our innate immune system. Put simply, homeostasis is the set of mechanisms that keep our bodies in balance and, thus, healthy.

When we are stressed, and most of us are for at least some of the time, we need to get our bodies working properly so that we can cope. The first line of defence is to replicate some of the conditions applying to fight or flight in order to make sure that the processes are completed and do not remain unresolved. We achieve this through exercise. This lets us push our adrenaline responses up and get everything flowing as it should. Prehistoric man did not need to exercise because his lifestyle gave all of the triggers needed. Today, we need to give our systems some help although exercise does not necessarily mean athletics! Walking rather than riding, stairs rather than lifts, and taking time to move about all contribute in a positive way.

The second line of defence is to discharge the stress. Relaxation, meditation, yoga, stretching, singing, dancing, and laughter all help in this respect. In more extreme cases, help may be needed such as cognitive therapy or counselling. Part of this process involves identifying and analysing the stress factors that are causing problems. In many ways, this process of discharging stress can be compared with restarting or rebooting a computer after software problems – we get it back to where it should be!

Finally, we need to rebalance our bodies, to achieve homeostasis. This can be partly, if not fully, achieved through exercise and discharge. However, we can provide more help. Getting the diet right is important. Prehistoric man (that is to say, man as he was originally designed) ate a sparse and varied diet; effectively whatever he could find. This gave him balance and provided all of the nutrients and electrolytes necessary for survival and development. A varied and light diet, with no excesses, is the best approach to achieving homeostasis. Also, because man was designed to work in an environment where there were twelve hours of daylight and twelve hours of sun, regular exposure to sunshine (without going red) is also very beneficial.

Sunshine, diet, discharge and exercise on their own will ultimately reverse the problems caused by negative stress but, in our modern lifestyles, these are not always possible or practical to achieve; but there is help for the process. One of the most pernicious responses to negative stress is actually caused by the fight or flight mechanism starting but not completing. The very first thing that happens is that our cooling systems are switched from our normal resting insensible perspiration to copious sweating, which goes seven times as fast and works to keep us cool whether we are running or fighting. However, perspiration is filled with significant elements that are essential to health; mainly electrolytes that are the building blocks of cells and peptides that fight microbes and stop them from invading our bodies. Now these elements are scarce and, if we started pumping them out seven times faster than normal, we should very soon run out and then we would die! So the switch in every sweat gland that increases the pressure also switches of the dosing of these elements. The idea is that when we start to cool down and stop sweating profusely, the switch reverses and we get the electrolytes and peptides again. The problem arises when we are stressed because the switch operates in one way but does not reverse because there is a stress reaction but no need for cooling. This results in electrolytes building up in the sweat glands which then burst, forcing sweat out into the surrounding areas. Here the loose sweat collides with capillaries which it destroys. Capillaries are non-compliant. That means that they cannot stretch or take on excess capacity for their neighbours. So every time a capillary is lost, the arterial blood pressure goes up because there is nowhere to deliver the blood to. Raised blood pressure is the most damaging side effect of negative stress and it kills millions of people every year. It is called “the silent killer”.

Whilst an improved life style will start to correct and reverse the conditions caused by negative stress, dealing with raised blood pressure should be a priority because of the damage it can do to every organ of the body. The only therapy which deals directly with the cause of raised blood pressure and that restores capillary health is ion eXtra™ from Active Signal. This is a time capsule that goes through the body, every day for a month, indicating the presence of electrolytes but not adding to the store of electrolytes already in the body. This constant signal to every cell, millions of time each second, triggers the release of wrongly conserved electrolytes which are then flushed away by the kidneys. Once the pressure of blocked sweat ducts is removed the microcirculation, the capillaries and the perspiration systems, is quickly restored, homeostasis is achieved and blood pressure levels reduce to normal.

Try them for yourself. You do not have to suffer from stress.

© Graeme Ward, 2010

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The Biology of Cell Signaling

All living cells are surrounded by a very thin membrane which holds the contents of the cell in one place so that the chemistry of life can take place. This membrane acts as a barrier that keeps unwanted components out of the cells. Normally, this would include keeping out all ions like sodium, potassium, calcium and chlorine. This works because the membrane is oily whereas the area between the cells and within the cell is water.

Ions like to be in water and are more stable there than in oil. This is because water is electrically polarizable. This means that ions can rearrange it so that positively charged ions (cations) can point at the negative oxygen atoms in water and the negatively charged ions (anions) can point at the positively charged hydrogen atoms. This rearrangement is constant, happening millions of times per second, and it appears as a vibration. The rate of oscillation of this vibration (if you like, its beat) is different depending upon which ions are present and this is the main means whereby cells communicate with each other and with other elements in their immediate environment. The vibration effect is very much weaker in oil so ions tend to stay on either side of a cell’s membrane and not to cross it.

However, numerous cell processes depend upon the flow of needed ions across the cell membrane. To make sure that this happens, the membrane contains specific catalysts, in the form of proteins that act as ion channels to shepherd wanted ions into the cells. These channels have three important properties; they are very fast (more than one billion ions per second), they are highly selective, meaning that each one will only react to one species of ion and they are controlled by a process called gating which means that ion conduction is turned on and off in response to specific environmental stimuli.

This process very broadly describes the atomic basis of life’s electrical system. In a body that is not properly habituated because, perhaps, of poor diet, insufficient exercise or unmanaged stress, we know that electrically charged ions (electrolytes) get trapped on the wrong side of cell membranes causing blockages which lead to perspiration breakdown and capillary loss. At Active Signal we wanted to find a way to release these trapped electrolytes so that the body can resume its normal operation and restore the correct biological balance to promote the restoration of sweat ducts and capillaries. We achieved this by creating a messenger capsule that passes through the body continuously (you have to take a new capsule each day for this to work). The capsule is full of electrolytes that the body needs arranged so that each cell can detect them as described above. However, the capsule is hydraulically sealed so that the ions cannot escape.

As the capsule passes the individual cells, the gating process operates millions of time per second, the cell does not obtain the electrolytes as expected and this has the result of reversing the flow so that trapped electrolytes come out into inter-cellular space and are flushed away through the kidneys. This describes Active Signal’s novel and patented cell-signaling process that helps to restore cellular health. It is delivered through Active Signal’s low cost product ion eXtra™.

ion eXtra™ is a unique therapy because, as I have described, everything in it remains trapped within the capsule which passes out of the body in due course. It stimulates the body to carry out a natural process, ion gating, which is the equivalent of a work out for cells. It contains no drugs or medicines of any kind and, because it works in the way in which your body was designed to work, side effects or contrary reactions are biologically impossible. In the unlikely event that a capsule broke down in your stomach, it contains fewer electrolytes than a glass of mineral water.

Further scientific detail of this process can be found in Professor Roderick MacKinnon’s Nobel lecture here:

http:/nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/chemistry/laureates/2003/mackinnon-lecture.pdf

With acknowledgement to Professor MacKinnon

© Graeme Ward, May 2010

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Red Wine and Blood Pressure

You will often hear people say that there is some magical ingredient in red wine which lowers blood pressure. Unfortunately, there is not. What happens is that a small amount of alcohol acts to thin the blood and this is a good thing because most people have blood which is slightly too thick because of an excess of sugar. Thicker blood flows more slowly than thin blood. So, a little alcohol gets blood back to normal and is helpful in reducing blood pressure. If more and more alcohol is drunk then there is more alcohol in the blood now making it much thinner than normal. To correct this, the body adds lots of salt (a thickener) to the blood. This process is called osmosis and it works to keep the body in balance. This excess salt now raises blood pressure. So while one glass of red wine a day may be good for you, a bottle is not. And why is only red wine beneficial and not white? White wine usually contains a lot of sugar and this sugar cancels out the beneficial effect of the small amount of alcohol. Because of the higher sugar level, drinking lots of white wine will increase blood pressure faster than red.

Unfortunately, drinking alcohol is not the long term answer to solving hypertension. The average human being has something like four million sweat glands. In a hypertensive person, a million or more of these are blocked and the surrounding capillaries are under stress and this is what causes the problem. What is needed is something that has the long term benefit of preventing this capillary destruction. Solving this problem took Active Signal scientists back to the most basic level of human biology – the way that individual cells signal to each other – and they developed ion eXtra™ which generate a signal to be passed to all of the relevant cells in the body to rebalance electrolyte levels and restore normal salinity. Once this has been done the pressure on the capillaries is removed and they very quickly re-establish themselves. The result is a return to optimum blood pressure, and, hopefully, a big reduction in the ten million deaths each year worldwide caused by raised blood pressure.

© Graeme Ward, May 2010

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Taking ion eXtra™

The ion eXtra™ therapy is not medicine based and contains no drugs whatsoever. In fact, nothing passes from the ion eXtra™ time capsule into the body. This is because the product works by sending tiny signals to every cell in the body. The way this works is fascinating and mirrors the way that cells intercommunicate with each other to build the body and keep it healthy. Scientifically this is called nanotechnology, the interaction of very small things.

Basically, we have filled the capsules with the electrolytes (electrically charged ions) that are vital to sustaining human life. We swallow a capsule in the morning with water and it then goes on an incredible journey through the body passing out of it around 24 hours later having spent its whole journey emitting signals.

The way it works is that the water which coats every cell in our body detects the presence of each electrolyte in the capsule and then vibrates in response (imagine what happens when you bring two magnets together at opposite poles)*. The energy created by this vibration causes channels to open up in every cell which are specific to that particular electrolyte. As the capsule goes past the cell it opens and closes its relevant channel millions of times. Normally, this would attract the electrically charged electron into the cell. But the electrolytes in ion eXtra™ are sealed and the cell cannot get hold of them. However, this process of opening and closing the cell channels has the effect of indicating a surplus of electrolytes and the cell starts dumping electrolytes that it has conserved earlier. This process releases blockages in the body’s micro-infrastructure and normal body balance is restored.

By taking a capsule every day for 28 days we are, effectively, retraining the body not to over-conserve electrolytes because doing causes blockages and health problems. However, because we have this retraining period, if we forget to take the capsules for a day or so, this encourages the body to slip back to its old habits. For this reason, once we start a course of ion eXtra™, it is important that we remember to take it every day. If you do forget, it is not a big problem but you might need to take a second course.

At Active Signal, we have been experimenting with people taking ion eXtra™ more or less continuously. We have people take the product for 4 weeks then have one week off then another four weeks and then keep repeating this cycle. I have been on this regime for around six months now and the results are very impressive. My resting blood pressure is stable at around 115/52 (the blood pressure level of a 25 year old athlete and I am a lot further on than that). My skin health is great, I have not had a cold, cough or headache in the period and I have more energy than I have had for years. Before I started all this I was a typical overweight, under exercised, stressed executive of advancing years. I would really recommend the continuous regime.

Please note, these benefits don’t come because ion eXtra™ is some kind of wonder treatment. It happens because the product helps me to keep my body in balance and work in the way that nature intended it to.

* In 2006, Roderick McKinnon, Professor of Molecular Neurobiology and Biophysics at Rockefeller University won the Nobel Prize for demonstrating how cells communicate in this way.

© Graeme Ward, May 2010

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Beating the Agony of Psoriasis

Psoriasis is the most pernicious of skin diseases and, in addition to the tremendous discomfort it causes, its unsightly nature can lead to depression, withdrawal from society and it can even prove fatal. It affects 2 – 3% of the population in the Western world.

Psoriasis is one of those diseases where doctors say “we don’t know what causes it and it is probably inherited in your genes, we don’t know how to treat it so rub some of this on”. In scientific terms, this means that psoriasis is of unknown aetiology and any explanation given to you so far is an informed guess. The scientists at ActiveSignal Ltd are aetiologists. This means people who specialise in finding the causes of chronic diseases, and we believe that there is a simple cause of psoriasis and that understanding the cause gives a clue about how to treat the condition.

At first, psoriasis was thought to be a condition of the uppermost layer of skin (the epidermis). However, it is quite clear that it begins very much lower down in the dermis.

In most cases of psoriasis it appears as a plaque. That is, layer after layer of infected tissue. The medical profession believes that the condition is an auto-immune reaction i.e. something going wrong with the body’s basic biology that manufactures the condition. We disagree. They believe that it is auto-immune because a concentration of white blood cells, called T cells, is found in psoriasis sites. White blood cells are part of the body’s defence mechanisms for fighting infection. The suggestion is that T cells stimulate the skin to develop very much faster than normal and that this is the cause of the problem.

We believe that the answer is much simpler than that and that psoriasis is caused by the entry of bacteria into the skin. If bacteria get into the dermis then the immune reaction would be to form a small scab to contain the infection that the bacteria cause. If the bacteria remain present, another scab will form below the first one. Over time, this process will continue, the scabs will erupt on the surface of the skin and we will have psoriatic plaque. We think that the presence of T cells is explained because sending these cells to fight the bacteria would be exactly what would happen when the foreign bacteria is detected.

So, if we know that this is caused by bacteria then the question is, “how did the bacteria get in?” The principal defence that our skin has against bacterial invasion is our perspiration system. We have billions of bacteria on our skin; some good, some bad; but in a healthy body they cannot get in to do us any damage. We achieve this protection because our skin is kept moist all of the time by what we call insensible perspiration and this perspiration is rich in peptides which are an anti-bacterial substance. It follows that if this perspiration system is not working properly then our defences can be breached and infection can penetrate the epidermis (where it is usually called eczema) or the dermis (psoriasis).

In every sweat gland there is a switch that operates to conserve electrolytes when the system moves to copious sweating because we are exercising or overheating. This switch operates because electrolytes can be scarce and if they were pumped out by copious sweating which is seven times faster than insensible perspiration, then we would soon run out and be in trouble. However, in the 21st Century society, when we are stressed the switch also operates but does not complete because stress does not cause copious sweating. This results in electrolytes being over-conserved causing blockages which then rupture the sweat ducts and force sweat out into the dermis where it destroys surrounding capillaries which are very fragile. This then creates an area of skin that has lost its defences and can allow bacteria to enter to form psoriasis. It is interesting to note that most commentators cite stress as a principal trigger for psoriasis.

Active Signal devised ion eXtra™ to normalise the electrolyte balance in the body to restore sweat gland and capillary health. It does so by signalling to all of the cells in the body that there is a continuous supply of electrolytes and that it is not necessary to conserve them. This allows the body, which is a fantastic self healing mechanism, to restore both the sweat ducts and the capillaries. Once this restoration is completed, then further infection can be avoided.

Unfortunately, ion eXtra™ alone won’t get rid of psoriasis because the bacteria that cause it are very resilient and will fight to stay in their host. So, in addition to ion eXtra™, sufferers need to undergo a strict dietary regime to ensure that the bacteria are starved. These bacteria feed on sugar which is readily available from most diets. So, in addition to using the therapy, it is necessary to go on a no sugar, no carbohydrate diet for the 30 days of the treatment. This includes no alcohol because that delivers sugar to the skin amazingly quickly. We also recommend increasing the amount of low impact exercise and, if possible, some exposure to the sun. Taken together, ion eXtra™, a no sugar diet, exercise and some sunshine will help to eliminate psoriasis in most sufferers.

This beneficial and natural approach is far superior to most traditional topical treatments. These tend not to work because they are applied to the oldest layer of the plaque and do nothing to prevent the formation of new layers deep with the dermis. Also, the most common treatment, which is the application of steroid creams, is actually dangerous to the condition – despite temporary relief from the symptoms – because they act to make the skin thinner and less able to resist further infection.

Fight psoriasis naturally with ion eXtra™, which is guaranteed to be safe and causes no side effects. To be effective, ion eXtra™ should be taken without a break over thirty days and it would be beneficial for regular psoriasis sufferers to continue with the therapy to help build their anti-bacterial defences.

© Graeme Ward, May 2010

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