The focus of my medical practice is on prevention. My goal as a physician is first and foremost to help my patients avoid disease and surgical intervention. However, sometimes, surgery is unavoidable. Should you or a loved one require surgery, here are some self-care tips that can help you better prepare for, and recover from, any surgical procedures you may need. Following these tips can speed healing time, minimize pain, and help to reduce the risk of complications from surgery.
Diet: Follow the dietary recommendations in Chapter 7 of my book Outstanding Health: The 6 Essential Keys To Maximize Your Energy and Well Being, and eat plenty of fresh, organic vegetables. Avoid all sugars, refined carbohydrates, wheat and wheat products, alcohol, soda, and processed foods. In addition, drink plenty of pure, filtered water and try to have at least one glass of fresh vegetable juice each day.
Nutritional Supplements: Two weeks before surgery, start building up your immune system by taking a daily high-potency multivitamin/mineral complex and additional vitamin C, B complex vitamins, vitamin A, beta carotene, magnesium, potassium, zinc, and CoQ10. In the final few days before surgery, add proteolytic enzymes away from meals to help minimize the swelling, inflammation, and pain surgery can cause.
Flower Essences: Rescue RemedyÒ can be very effective for dealing with anxiety and stress, both of which are normal emotional reactions to needing surgery.
Herbal Remedies: The following herbal remedies can be helpful: pycnogenol, yellow dock, and willow bark.
Homeopathy: Arnica is an excellent homeopathic remedy for preparing for surgery. Use a low potency Arnica such as 6x or 6C, start three days before surgery, take it as a sublingual tablet or pellet twice a day, and continue for two weeks after surgery.Phosphorous 6x or 6C taken 3x on the day before and once on the day of surgery will protect you from the general anesthesia.
After surgery, you can enhance your recovery by implementing the following steps:
Diet: Follow the same pre-surgery recommendations above. Initially, however focus on eating lighter foods, such as soups, juices, broths, and pureed vegetables and fruits.
Nutritional Supplements: In addition to the nutrients I recommended to prepare for surgery, add free-form amino acids, glutamine, extra vitamin B6, and omega 3 fatty acids. Proteolytic enzymes and bromelain help to reduce the swelling and inflammation from surgery. If antibiotic therapy is used before or after surgery, also take acidophilus and other probiotics to restore beneficial flora in the gastrointestinal tract.
Flower Essences: Rescue RemedyÒ can help deal with any emotional frustrations that may arise during your recovery.
Herbal Remedies: Siberian ginseng, aloe vera gel, ginkgo, milk thistle, and hawthorn can all help enhance your body’s recovery responses.
Homeopathy: Bellis Perennis in a 6x or 6C potency can be particularly helpful for healing after surgery, in addition to continuing the Arnica as above.
In addition to this week’s health tip, I was recently profiled in USA Today, sharing my views on toxicity and what you can do about it. You can read the article here: http://usat.ly/1BWmaEf