PEG – Strange polymer

As part of a regular medical screening I got to drink a gallon of what we in the family like to call “The Sludge”. It is, IMHO, one of the least pleasant laxatives on the planet. The first 2 times I had it, it was flavored with artificial pineapple. It took me nearly 3 years to get back to where I could eat pineapple again and not have a gag reflex… My third exam, I talked the Doc into doing a different “prep”. It worked MUCH better for me. A caster oil derived laxative after a 48 hour fast. For me, much easier to simply not eat for a couple of days and swallow one small dose, than to drink The Sludge…

So this time I was not dealing with a private doctor, but with an HMO. Explained to the “clerk on the phone” my desire for ‘the other prep’ and got ‘nice sounds’ and not much else. Told to pick up my prescription at the pharmacy counter. It was The Sludge. As there is zero contact with the Doctor prior to the procedure, hard to explain things like “I have an intense gag reflex just at the thought of the stuff, now.” Oh Well… Suck it up and choke it down…

So I mix this batch of The Sludge. Pour the first glass. This batch is a different brand, and flavored Lemon instead. Oh Good, at least that Smell & Gag reflex is going to be less. Lifting the glass, a small choking feeling starts in the throat… It’s going to be a long night, I think…

Well, the good news is that I managed to drink the whole gallon of The Sludge. (Or, more accurately, the 4 liters).

There were a couple of things that made that possible. One was the less pronounced flavoring. The other two were the directions given on how to take it, and an innovation of mine. Hopefully this will help anyone else who has a similar problem…

My innovation was trivial. After each drink, I’d immediately rinse the mouth out. No lingering flavor or texture to start a cycle of reaction. I’d also take three deep breaths prior to picking up the glass, and not breath while drinking. Suppressing my normal ‘inhale the aroma’ as the glass comes to the lips prior to the first sip. No breathing until the glass is down. So no (or very reduced) smell trigger either. Basically limiting exposure to smell and taste triggers. Just a bland liquid feeling. That helped. The deep breathing also gave me a moment to shut down any mental reaction that might be starting. To plant a small suggestion that it was a simple and easy drink of mostly water.

Their directions also helped. Instead of the usual ‘drink it in one long session’ with any sized drinks / sips; they said to drink it in two specific sessions. 9 to 11 pm, then 6 to 8 am. 1/2 gallon each, and to NOT sip it, but drink 8 ounce glasses at a time. That’s 4 pints in each session. For most of them I’d do 1 cup each, but for a couple I did a whole pint in one ‘go’ (stopping and rinsing in the middle as the stuff was cold and giving a bit of ‘brain freeze’ if a whole pint was slugged down ;-) So max of 8 ‘drinks’, most often just 6 ish. Then a long break… That prevented the tendency to build up a negative response to The Sludge.

With luck, I won’t need to do this again for another decade… but it’s nice to know that I can. I’d still rather have the other approach, but this was workable. (For the terminally curious, I’m OK and with nothing outside of normal.)

But along the way, I got to wondering “What is this stuff?”

PEG – Polyethylene glycol

There’s a wiki for it:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polyethylene_glycol

It comes in many ‘lengths’ of polymer, and it is noted in the name. In this case it was 3350. That’s the weight in Daltons (or approximately the number of hydrogens to make the same weight as a Dalton is 1/12 of a C12 mass). So about 230 chain length. Yes, a plastic polymer. So most likely my ‘reaction’ was more to the forced feeding of a crappy fake pineapple flavor than to the active ingredient. (Next time I may just try leaving the ‘flavor packet’ out altogether…)

The wiki lists an amazing litany of uses for various lengths of this polymer. Essentially a polymer ether.

Polyethylene glycol (PEG) is a polyether compound with many applications from industrial manufacturing to medicine. The structure of PEG is (note the repeated element in parentheses):

H-(O-CH2-CH2)n-OH

PEG is also known as polyethylene oxide (PEO) or polyoxyethylene (POE), depending on its molecular weight.

Available forms and nomenclature

PEG, PEO, or POE refers to an oligomer or polymer of ethylene oxide. The three names are chemically synonymous, but historically PEG has tended to refer to oligomers and polymers with a molecular mass below 20,000 g/mol, PEO to polymers with a molecular mass above 20,000 g/mol, and POE to a polymer of any molecular mass. PEG and PEO are liquids or low-melting solids, depending on their molecular weights. PEGs are prepared by polymerization of ethylene oxide and are commercially available over a wide range of molecular weights from 300 g/mol to 10,000,000 g/mol. While PEG and PEO with different molecular weights find use in different applications, and have different physical properties (e.g. viscosity) due to chain length effects, their chemical properties are nearly identical.

So it’s really a family of compounds of wildly varying size. Some lengths do very different things from other lengths. Still, it’s a very strange stuff. I’m going to quote the list of what this stuff does:

Research for new clinical uses

PEG, when labeled with a near-infrared fluorophore, has been used in preclinical work as a vascular agent, lymphatic agent, and general tumor-imaging agent by exploiting the Enhanced permeability and retention effect (EPR) of tumors.

High-molecular-weight PEG (e.g. PEG 8000) has been shown to be a dietary preventive agent against colorectal cancer in animal models.

The Chemoprevention Database shows PEG is the most effective known agent for the suppression of chemical carcinogenesis in rats. Cancer prevention applications in humans, however, have not yet been tested in clinical trials.

The injection of PEG 2000 into the bloodstream of guinea pigs after spinal cord injury leads to rapid recovery through molecular repair of nerve membranes. The effectiveness of this treatment to prevent paraplegia in humans after an accident is not known yet.

Research is being done in the use of PEG to mask antigens on red blood cells. Various research institutes have reported that using PEG can mask antigens without damaging the function and shape of the cell.

Research is also being done on the use of PEG in the field of gene therapy.

PEG is being used in the repair of motor neurons damaged in crush or laceration incidents in vivo and in vitro. When coupled with melatonin, 75% of damaged sciatic nerves were rendered viable.

Just amazing. Cancer preventative and it helps nerve damage heal. How in the heck?…

It also looks like the medicinal uses are especially ‘cleaned up’ from the basic raw product:

PEG is soluble in water, methanol, benzene, and dichloromethane, and is insoluble in diethyl ether and hexane. It is coupled to hydrophobic molecules to produce non-ionic surfactants.

PEGs contain potential toxic impurities, such as ethylene oxide and 1,4-dioxane. Ethylene Glycol is nephrotoxic if applied to damaged skin.

But soluble in one heck of a lot of different solvents. One wonders how it interacts with cells.

We are clearly exposed to a lot of this stuff. It looks like it generally does “good stuff”, but only if the contaminants are fully removed (I’d speculate).

PEGs and methoxypolyethylene glycols are manufactured by Dow Chemical under the tradename Carbowax for industrial use, and Carbowax Sentry for food and pharmaceutical use. They vary in consistency from liquid to solid, depending on the molecular weight, as indicated by a number following the name. They are used commercially in numerous applications, including as surfactants, in foods, in cosmetics, in pharmaceutics, in biomedicine, as dispersing agents, as solvents, in ointments, in suppository bases, as tablet excipients, and as laxatives. Some specific groups are lauromacrogols, nonoxynols, octoxynols, and poloxamers.

Macrogol, used as a laxative, is a form of polyethylene glycol. The name may be followed by a number which represents the average molecular weight (e.g. macrogol 4000, macrogol 3350 or macrogol 6000).

From soaps to solvents to cosmetics and medicines. Even in jugs of The Sludge…

It is also used in a heck of a lot of common medical treatments. One wonders if they also have any cancer preventative side effects or help any kinds of injury to heal…

Medical uses

PEG is the basis of a number of laxatives (e.g., macrogol-containing products, such as Movicol and polyethylene glycol 3350, or SoftLax, MiraLAX, or GlycoLax). Whole bowel irrigation with polyethylene glycol and added electrolytes is used for bowel preparation before surgery or colonoscopy. The preparation is sold under the brand names GoLYTELY, GaviLyte C, NuLytely, GlycoLax, Fortrans, TriLyte, Colyte, Halflytely, Softlax, Lax-a-Day, ClearLax and MoviPrep. In the United States, MiraLAX and Dulcolax Balance are sold without prescription for short-term relief of chronic constipation. Miralax is currently FDA approved for adults for a period of seven days, and is not approved for children. A 2007 comparison showed that patients suffering from constipation had a better response to these two medications than to tegaserod. These medications soften the fecal mass by osmotically drawing water into the GI tract. It is generally well tolerated, however, side effects are possible bloating, nausea, gas, and diarrhea (with excessive use).

When attached to various protein medications, polyethylene glycol allows a slowed clearance of the carried protein from the blood. This makes for a longer-acting medicinal effect and reduces toxicity, and allows longer dosing intervals. Examples include PEG-interferon alpha, which is used to treat hepatitis C, and PEGfilgrastim (Neulasta), which is used to treat neutropenia. It has been shown that polyethylene glycol can improve healing of spinal injuries in dogs. One of the earlier findings, that polyethylene glycol can aid in nerve repair, came from the University of Texas (Krause and Bittner). Polyethylene glycol is also commonly used to fuse B-cells with myeloma cells in monoclonal antibody production.

PEG is used as an excipient in many pharmaceutical products. Lower-molecular-weight variants are used as solvents in oral liquids and soft capsules, whereas solid variants are used as ointment bases, tablet binders, film coatings, and lubricants.

PEG is also used in lubricating eye drops.

So very widely used. One can only wonder if the laxative length also has any anti-bowl-cancer effects or if the 8000 size can act as a laxative ( I’d expect it would as it ought to suck water up too). Could it be as simple as just taking a bit of this stuff as a laxative every day or two to reduce rates of colon cancer?

Enquiring minds want to know… leave no rat unturned… or something like that.
(Now where did I leave my rat cage… ;-)

Though the idea of a cage full of rats on a laxative diet is, er, um… disturbing. Don’t know that I’d want them on a running wheel when they are, um, ‘running’ ;-)

Yet it has even more uses not related to medicines and biology:

Chemical uses

Polyethylene glycol has a low toxicity and is used in a variety of products. The polymer is used as a lubricating coating for various surfaces in aqueous and non-aqueous environments.

Since PEG is a flexible, water-soluble polymer, it can be used to create very high osmotic pressures (on the order of tens of atmospheres).
It also is unlikely to have specific interactions with biological chemicals. These properties make PEG one of the most useful molecules for applying osmotic pressure in biochemistry and biomembranes experiments, in particular when using the osmotic stress technique.

Polyethylene glycol is also commonly used as a polar stationary phase for gas chromatography, as well as a heat transfer fluid in electronic testers.

PEO (polyethylene oxide) can serve as the separator and electrolyte solvent in lithium polymer cells. Its low diffusivity often requires high temperatures of operation, but its high viscosity – even near its melting point – allows very thin electrolyte layers to be created. While crystallization of the polymer can degrade performance, many of the salts used to carry charge can also serve as a kinetic barrier to the formation of crystals. Such batteries carry greater energy for their weight than other lithium ion battery technologies.

PEG has also been used to preserve objects that have been salvaged from underwater, as was the case with the warship Vasa in Stockholm, the Mary Rose in England and the Ma’agan Michael Ship in Israel. It replaces water in wooden objects, making the wood dimensionally stable and preventing warping or shrinking of the wood when it dries. In addition, PEG is used when working with green wood as a stabilizer, and to prevent shrinkage.

PEG is often used (as an internal calibration compound) in mass spectrometry experiments, with its characteristic fragmentation pattern allowing accurate and reproducible tuning.

PEG derivatives, such as narrow range ethoxylates, are used as surfactants.

PEG has been used as the hydrophilic block of amphiphilic block copolymers used to create some polymersomes.

Biological uses

PEG is commonly used as a precipitant for plasmid DNA isolation and protein crystallization. X-ray diffraction of protein crystals can reveal the atomic structure of the proteins.

Polymer segments derived from PEG polyols impart flexibility to polyurethanes for applications such as elastomeric fibers (spandex) and foam cushions.

In microbiology, PEG precipitation is used to concentrate viruses. PEG is also used to induce complete fusion (mixing of both inner and outer leaflets) in liposomes reconstituted in vitro.

Gene therapy vectors (such as viruses) can be PEG-coated to shield them from inactivation by the immune system and to de-target them from organs where they may build up and have a toxic effect. The size of the PEG polymer has been shown to be important, with larger polymers achieving the best immune protection.

PEG is a component of stable nucleic acid lipid particles (SNALPs) used to package siRNA for use in vivo.

In blood banking, PEG is used as a potentiator to enhance detection of antigens and antibodies.

When working with phenol in a laboratory situation, PEG 300 can be used on phenol skin burns to deactivate any residual phenol.

Commercial uses

PEG is the basis of many skin creams (as cetomacrogol) and sexual lubricants (frequently combined with glycerin).

PEG is used in a number of toothpastes as a dispersant. In this application, it binds water and helps keep xanthan gum uniformly distributed throughout the toothpaste.

PEG is also under investigation for use in body armor, and in tattoos to monitor diabetes.

In low-molecular-weight formulations (i.e. PEG 400), it is used in Hewlett-Packard designjet printers as an ink solvent and lubricant for the print heads.

PEG is also one of the main ingredients in paintball fills, due to its thickness and flexibility. However, as early as 2006, some Paintball manufacturers began substituting cheaper oil-based alternatives for PEG.

PEG is a major ingredient in e-liquid, used in electronic cigarettes. It is generally used as a 30%–50% proportion of the liquid that is vaporized. Its use is designed to give a smoother effect to the vaporizing action.

PEG is also used as an anti-foaming agent in food – its INS number is 1521 or E1521 in the EU.

Industrial uses

Nitrate ester-plasticized polyethylene glycol is used in Trident II ballistic missile solid rocket fuel.

Dimethyl ethers of PEG are the key ingredient of Selexol, a solvent used by coal-burning, integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) power plants to remove carbon dioxide and hydrogen sulfide from the gas waste stream.

PEG has been used as the gate insulator in an electric double-layer transistor to induce superconductivity in an insulator.

PEG is also used as a polymer host for solid polymer electrolytes. Although not yet in commercial production, many groups around the globe are engaged in research on solid polymer electrolytes involving PEG, with the aim of improving their properties, and in permitting their use in batteries, electro-chromic display systems, and other products in the future.

Quite a list!

I’m sure part of the breadth comes from the many molecular weights possible and the branched vs not branched leading to many different properties.

But come on, you have to admit is an impressive range of uses. From ballistic rocket fuel to sex lube? And prevents cancer in rats while promoting damaged nerve healing? Body armor and inject ink? Sheesh. Sure looks like a ‘miracle stuff’.

I would never have thought it could do so much; when as far as I was concerned, it was just The Sludge, and 240 grams of it in a gallon of water sucks you dry and gives the Super Trots….

Now I’m pondering if you can use laxatives to make a sodium battery at home, or if you could prevent skin cancer with a layer of sex lube… That kind of n x n matrix can drive a creative mind just a tiny bit around the bend. ;-)

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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32 Responses to PEG – Strange polymer

  1. philjourdan says:

    I have had the procedure now 3 times as well (my donating blood indicated anemia which turned out to be benign polyps). I did not realize there were alternatives! I will definitely talk to the doc about them. I fast as a matter of faith (Ash Wednesday and Good Friday), so that should not be a problem! Thanks for the tips!

    As for PEG, we always get 4 flavor packets with it, so we can pick the flavor. The Lemon is the least objectionable, but still it does not do much for the stuff. The last time, my Doc told me to drink it ice cold – that does help, but it is still hard to down 4 liters of ANYTHING.

    I thought the stuff was nasty because they do not want anorexics using it. I did not realize it had so many other uses! Gee, maybe a glass a day? (not on your life!).

    Anyway, a 48 hour fast and a dose of castor oil sounds great to me!

  2. E.M.Smith says:

    @PhilJourdan:

    You are most welcome. I had to tell the Doc that I’d been unable to get the 4 th liter down and was on the verge of an upchuck episode before he offered “an alternative”. It was a commercial medical product. ( I kept a record “somewhere”…. If I ever dig it up again I’ll post details). The Doc described it as a castor oil derivative of some kind. (But fancier medical product that costs a lot more ;-) One dose of about 3? ounces? I think I was encouraged to drink a lot of water after or before it as well. It was a couple of decades ago …

    At any rate, it was well known to the Doc, so not exactly a secret. They just don’t offer an alternative unless pushed… As I’d reached the point where I was (then) strongly gagging just at regular pineapple or the thought of The Sludge, I basically said “The Sludge isn’t going to happen… I’ll vomit on the second glass IFF I can swallow it at all.” Now, having “skipped” for more years than I ought, I was able to do a different flavor Sludge… but The Sludge is a significant factor in my “skipping”. Frankly, the rest of the procedure is nearly nothing.

    Given the mode of action, it looks to me like a “concentrate” could be swallowed and then just drink a gallon of plain water. It’s going to suck up the water anyway… So at some point I’m going to see if 240 grams can dissolve in 2 liters. Then it would be “Drink a cup and follow with a cup of plain water chaser” every 15 minutes for 2 hours. Likely much easier. Heck, even a ‘capsule’ with plain water ought to work. Looks to me like a lot of room for improvement being ignored since ‘this works’ and folks put up with it.

    Oh Well…

  3. Speed says:

    CT colonography is an up and coming alternative.
    https://rpop.iaea.org/RPOP/RPoP/Content/InformationFor/HealthProfessionals/1_Radiology/ComputedTomography/CTColonography.htm

    “A no-prep virtual colonoscopy appears to be as effective as a standard colonoscopy in detecting larger polyps that are more likely to become cancers.”
    http://www.diagnosticimaging.com/colonography/laxative-free-ct-colonography-finds-high-risk-polyps
    (requires login)

    We’re likely to see competition between GI docs and the radiologists for patients.

  4. p.g.sharrow says:

    Sounds to me, You are the LabRat! 8-( pg

  5. LG says:

    @ E.M.:
    You may want to consider some herbal laxatives as an alternative.
    I find these very gentle on my system:
    https://www.herbdoc.com/index.php/?c=1
    https://www.herbdoc.com/index.php/Our-Products?c=1&cid=5

  6. Steve C says:

    You want to be careful with those medical procedures.

    Five or six years ago, a little UK forum, set up for mountain bikers, had an unintended DDoS when one of their threads accidentally turned into something so popular that for about three days it turned up at the top of internet searches on the product name, ahead of the manufacturer’s site. Unsurprisingly, their server lost it. But – it being perhaps the best forum thread ever – they’ve kept a copy, and if you haven’t come across it before it will have you crying with laughter. Their man ‘Blu-Tone’ is a natural storyteller par excellence. May it brighten the day of all who enter here.

    http://singletrackworld.com/2009/02/the-picolax-thread-returns/

  7. E.M.Smith says:

    @LG:

    As it’s a “once a decade thing” and I must do what the doctor prescribes (or they will not do the procedure) I doubt that herbals would be approved. (Unless, of course, I could find a published medical paper saying they worked as well…) Going “off page” is lawsuit fodder, so unlikely to find a Doc willing to “go there”. Sad but true. And that will get even harder as we have The Government dictating what will and will not be done / paid under Obamacare…

    @P.G.:

    So true…

    @Speed:

    I’d love it… but as I’m in an HMO, I get what they approve, not what I want… And, as noted above, Obummer is going to assure you get the Govt. Issue not the personal choice. (It always shapes up that way in Socialized Medicine)

  8. E.M.Smith says:

    @Steve C:

    That story is a hoot! Never heard of Picolax before, but it has a wiki:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sodium_picosulfate

    Sodium picosulfate (INN, also known as sodium picosulphate) is a contact laxative used as a treatment for constipation or to prepare the large bowel before colonoscopy or surgery. It is sold under the trade names Sodipic Picofast, Laxoberal, Laxoberon, Purg-Odan, Picolax, Picoprep, Guttalax, and Pico-Salax among others.
    Effects

    Orally administered sodium picosulfate is generally used for thorough evacuation of the bowel, usually for patients who are preparing to undergo a colonoscopy. It works very quickly, so access to a toilet at all times is recommended. It starts off by making bowel movements looser and more frequent, but within an hour or so of taking it the patient should experience diarrhea.

    The most common side effects of picosulfate are abdominal cramps and diarrhea.

    The use of sodium picosulfate has also been associated with certain electrolyte disturbances, such as hyponatremia and hypokalemia. Patients are often required to drink large amounts of clear fluids to reestablish the electrolyte balance as well as rehydrate.

    On July 16, 2012 the FDA approved Prepopik, a formulation containing sodium picosulfate, magnesium oxide, and citric acid, for use as a bowel cleanser in preparation for colonoscopy.

    I can see where the story theme came from ;-)

  9. That sounds pretty nasty. With a little luck something else will get me before my doctor proposes the SLUDGE.

    My guess is that diluting it with single malt scotch will be frowned on.

  10. Petrossa says:

    Here in france they give something else then the Sludge since a few years. It’s a little plastic bottle with something in a glass of OJ and 5 minutes later you crap your intestines out. Can’t remember the name.

  11. Paul Hanlon says:

    Wow, never knew it had so many uses.

    The first time I encountered it was seeing it used for turning green wood. Just immerse the wood in a vat of PEG and it stabilised so well, that it was possible to get the walls of the piece thin enough as to be almost translucent.

    That story had me crying with laughter.

  12. diogenes says:

    Ethylene glycol? Isn’t that used as antifreeze in engines? I seem to recall that there was a scandal in the Austrian wine industry 30 or so years ago caused by contamination of the wine with ethylene glycol.

  13. E.M.Smith says:

    @diogenes:

    POLYethylene glycol… Cellulose is made from sugar polymerized, but a chunk of oak has very different properties than a bottle of corn syrup…

  14. adolfogiurfa says:

    My dear @E.M.: As the famous Mulah Nassr Eddin would have said:
    If you want to lose your faith go to the priest…and
    If you want to lose your health go to the doctor

    The problem with consensual science is that such a “science” does not know the “why in the hell this or that works like that”, because its absolute ignorance of the universal laws. (they use, instead heuristics (lies which resemble “truths”)
    This “science” comes only from either profit seeking or profits´optimization and it is based exclusively on ἐμπειρία (“experience”…on YOU, never on themselves) and that dubious “science” of “statistics” (which, according to C.G.Jung is such a “science” which demonstrates that the average weight of a pebble in a pebbles´beach it is about, say, 250 grams, and which using it you will not ever find only one pebble with such a weight).
    Socrates, two thousand years ago, used a method called “mayeutics” (the art of the midwife) to question such contemporary “sages” and “wise men” of his time. A simple way to do this in our days would be to ask a “Doctor”, when, for example, seriously telling you: “your illness is due to a virus”, ask him: “Which virus?”, “Could you show me a picture of MY virus?”, or to a meteorologist when telling us the weather for the next days: “could you tell me why it will be rainy?”, and if he/she responds you: because of “the low pressure front”, ASK AGAIN: “what is it the origin of such a low pressure front?”, and keep on asking, again and again, and you will see that, in the end NO BABY IS DELIVERED AT ALL: HE/SHE KNOWS NOTHING AND YOU ARE RISKING YOUR LIFE; so, RUN, RUN!, very far away. Do you see what I mean?

  15. adolfogiurfa says:

    @Diogenes: LOL! Kind of the doctor wanted to cool down our dear E.M. :-)

  16. E.M.Smith says:

    @Adolfo:

    While I have a great deal of skepticism about much that is done in “modern” medicine, and while I have a large interest in finding “alternative” ways and great respect for ancient wisdom:

    Modern medicine works miracles on a daily basis.

    I know this as I would be dead now were it not for just this procedure when done the first time.

    My mother and her father both died of colon cancer. I “presented” with rectal bleeding. (Not much, just a trace). Three polyps were removed, one of them hemorrhaging. Had that not been done, the next step in the “process” is colon cancer and I’d have died from it about 6 years ago.

    So I’ll be having this process done on a semi-regular basis for the rest of my life (and hopefully it will help make it a long one. It has already made it a longer one…)

    Simply put, every single thing I’ve done on Climate Science and every single scrap of this blog exists ONLY because of exactly the procedure I just had done, but from a decade+ back.

    So could I have avoided that quasi barbaric process of chemical ingestion and small scissors in my guts? Perhaps IFF I’d started at birth and eaten an entirely different diet. But since I was well into my 30s before I figured out what I was eating was not so good, and that the family history was also not so good, that was already too late. Given the “facts on the ground”, this is THE best possible procedure to do, for me.

    Yes, now I eat more brown rice, more ‘semi-vegetarian’ diet, less ‘red meat’, more anti-oxidants, etc. etc. But now is a bit too late to change history.

    FWIW “this time” one more polyp was removed. So had I not done this, in about 10 years it would have most likely been colon cancer. Once a decade I “do this” so that it isn’t my last decade.

    I think that is “worth it”. And I am extraordinarily thankful for our medical establishment.

    My spouse is likely alive due to the same medical establishment, BTW. The kidney stones she had would have caused kidney damage in prior centuries and shortened her life significantly. The ability to physically remove them with low intrusion, chemically treat to soften and dissolve the rest, and shift the diet to things that reduce recurrence all mean she is now healthy and normal instead of in agony and with kidney failure. Could such kidney stones have been avoided on some kind of ‘paleo diet’ or whatever? Maybe. Yet kidney stones have been around for much of history…

    There’s more (much more) I could say. Friends still alive. People walking instead of crippled. Limbs rebuilt. A brother-in-law who had degeneration of a neck vertebra (nobody knows why) that had him paralyzed from the neck down. 3 months later up and walking around ( 2 neck vertebra fused and nerve pressure relieved.) He’s been fine for 2 decades now, instead of dead or crippled.

    So yes, there is much we can learn from ancient ‘wisdom texts’ and much we could do to keep ourselves healthy in the first place: However, in any hospital around this nation on every single day there are folks who are going to live, instead of die, due to our Doctors and Nurses. I’ve worked on the wards (Medical Records Technician) and watch the ‘basket cases’ come in, and walk out whole. Yes, one or two “screw ups” along the way. But far more “good results” than bad. Many of them clearly a minor miracle. Knee replacement is particularly rewarding to watch ( I was on the orthopedics ward most of the time). Folks come in riding wheel chairs, 3 days later walk out. (My sister has a replacement knee). So while I’m quite happy to look at natural and historic ways to “avoid the Doctor”, when something isn’t right, they are the “Go To Guys”. (My surgical team this time was all young women, so that ‘guys’ is non-gender. It was a bit interesting to see the whole team as ’20 something’ or maybe early ’30 something’ women. Cute ones too ;-)

    So be thankful for our modern M.D.s They are miracle workers. Every single day.

  17. punmaster says:

    I have had this three times, twice drinking Golightly, and over-the-counter laxatives the last.
    Different prep the last time because the insurance company wouldn’t approve the Golightly.
    The results were the same. My first colonoscopy found three polyps and the third one. The doctor who looked up there said everything was fine. I asked her one time, ” When you were a little girl, and people asked, what do you want to be, do you tell them, ” I want to be a doctor who looks up patient’s exhaust? ” She just smiled.

    I have a generally good opinion of doctors. I did have one who missed that I was anemic, but otherwise no real problem. The doc listed as my current GP is always in too much of a hurry, so I see one of his nurse practitioners. She is much more attractive and takes all the time I want, plus she actually listens, too. The female neurologist I see is also a very good listener. I asked to see her after the first doc I saw in the office made it clear he had seen it all and I was just on his assembly ( disassembly? ) line.

  18. adolfogiurfa says:

    @E.M. If you have told us a time ago. tough it is never too late, I would have advice you to take every day a cup of “Cat´s Claw” tea ( I put two filter bags in it). It cures cancer….(don´t tell it, if you do, BIG PHYSICIAN will be after you).
    I have such an hereditary trait and I know all the associated diet and everything…but I eat everything. Now I drink the tea a few days when I remember to buy it.

  19. Tim Clark says:

    “diogenes says:
    20 April 2013 at 2:09 pm”

    31 years ago. Only in pinot noir, can’t remember the label.

  20. Gail Combs says:

    ChiefIO glad to hear they caught the polyps early.

    I too had both my mother and father come down with colon cancer. I hear there was a DNA test for the gene so I trotted down to my Doctor, explained the family history (Colon cancer, breast cancer – Mom and colon cancer, brain cancer – Dad) and asked to be tested. I lucked out and do not carry the gene but I still watch my diet carefully and have been taking E, C and selenium since 1980.
    link

  21. Chiefio said:
    “So be thankful for our modern M.D.s They are miracle workers. Every single day.”

    In 1996 a specialist in rheumatology at a world famous medical center in Durham, North Carolina prescribed an NSAID to be taken on a daily basis to combat joint pain associated with my osteo-arthritis.

    The drug was highly effective but it had serious side effects including rising blood pressure and a potential for liver failure, requiring tests every three months. By sheer luck I found that 4 grams of fish oil per day was effective in controlling my symptoms but without the side effects.

    When I shared my good news with my rheumatology specialist he lost all interest in working with me. Was this because I went against his advice? Or did he object to losing the steady income from his cut of my prescription medications?

    He never answered those questions and until he does I will continue to believe it was a combination of both. Doctors in the USA with their “Ethical Drugs” are indeed miracle workers, as long as they can make money in the process. How is this different from the people we despise for peddling not so ethical drugs?

  22. punmaster said:
    “I have a generally good opinion of doctors.”

    My father warned me to avoid two types of “Professionals”. He said:
    1. Avoid lawyers as they will eventually take your money.
    2. Avoid doctors as they will eventaully take your life.

    While I have found such people agreeable for social interactions, I heed rrtmy father’s advice when it comes to professional interactions.

  23. diogenes says:

    These glycols are fascinating. From Wiki

    “Structure of DEG and related polyols

    Diethylene glycol is one of several glycols derived from ethylene oxide. Glycols related to and coproduced with diethylene glycol and have the formula HOCH2CH2(OCH2CH2)nOH are:

    n = 0 ethylene glycol (“antifreeze”); monoethylene glycol MEG
    n = 1 DEG
    n = 2 triethylene glycol, TEG, or triglycol
    n = 3 tetraethylene glycol
    n = 4 pentaethylene glycol
    n > 4 polyethylene glycol”

    Thanks for the correction, Chiefio. Is there a rule that accounts for seemingly diminishing toxicity as the number of ethylenes increases? And it was actually DEG in the 1985 Austrian wine scandal.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1985_diethylene_glycol_wine_scandal

  24. adolfogiurfa says:

    @ALL BY THE WAY: Remember how fierce a battle of Lord Christopher Monckton against the possibility of establishing the IPCC as a Global Governace body?, do you?, well, the WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION (WHO) it is ALREADY a Global Governance body, having all countries signed accepting its decisions as BINDING AGREEMENTS. The WHO budget it is exclusively provided by pharmaceutical corporations…..
    Remember the AH1N1 tale?, well, because of that tale all country members had the mandatory obligation of buying vaccines against this newly concocted “virus”. Nice, isn´t it?
    Well, now prepare yourself because this time such a tale is called AH7N3. Are you ready to receive your personal doses of Quicksilver (mercury)?

  25. Ralph B says:

    I have about a year before I am due for my first preventive “inspection”. In the area I am in they use Epsom salts as an intestinal accelerant. A couple teaspoons dissolved in water will do a fine job. I have a couple stories that will send a chill down your spine of some procedures done on me. Basically if it extremely painful and cringe inspiring I have been through it. Just have a lucky streak I guess. Don’t want to send this thread completely off topic though, so I won’t elaborate.

  26. adolfogiurfa says:

    @All….And, do you remember Roche´s laboratory “Tamiflu”?, well kids, open your ears and your eyes: Because of Roche having a problem with the chinese government about land grabbing by buying land where it was cultivated chinese STAR ANISE (Illicium verum) and which ended in limiting these buys up to 80%, we knew that such a MIRACULOUS medicine was not other than the spray dried tea of Star Anise, mixed with a 99% of “inert material” (i.e. calcium carbonate- LIME-). So I, just in case, went to the nearest market to buy a few hundred grams of STAR ANISE for me, my daughters and grand children.
    You see?: Wake up oh little susie!

  27. adolfogiurfa says:

    WATCH THIS VIDEO!:

  28. Ben says:

    My doctor had me use lemon aide instead of water with the mix and as the first “chaser” glass of 16 oz and it was a remarkable improvement. Just an FYI

  29. E.M.Smith says:

    @Adolfo:

    Please give some reason beyond “watch this” for watching an hour long video…

    For folks wondering: It’s about Schumann resonances and is basically asserting it has dramatic effects on our minds and is involved (via a tenuous link at best) to evolution of life.

    The captions are, to be charitable, an interesting exercise in “bad lip reading”…

    It then tries to make a “correlation is causality” connection between cell phone transmissions and species extincting for birds and insects…

    Then launches into the idea that Melatonin is somehow a miracle drug that cures cancer and prevents a laundry list of diseases; and somehow having wireless LAN in your home and cell phones are going to cause us all damage.

    Kind of ignores all those airport radars in use for 1/2 century and the complete lack of any disease clusters around them…

    Literally “tinfoil hat” stuff…

    Oh, and wanders off into “Mind Control” via “beams” of electromagnetism…

    At about 24 minutes in, it confounds the ability of a headset to let YOU control machinery with the ability of OTHERS to control you. Just silly.

    At 27 minutes it pulls in the Nazi’s and US Psychological Operations… So we’ve got a Godwin’s moment… and MK-Ultra too…

    But the music is interesting….

    They then roll out a load of ‘loons’ who are all testifying about what they have been ‘controlled’ to do, feel, think,. Apparently never talked to anyone who worked on a psych ward. (We took turns on the psych ward as Medical Records Techs since more than 2 weeks tended to be hard to take. It is ‘enlightening’ to deal with crazy people every so often. Teaches you a lot about the limits of sanity. Many folks are on the wrong side of that limit. Many of the folks ‘testifying’ set of my “Ward 6” alarm… )

    @42 minutes Jessy Ventura is trotted out in one of his shows about how the folks seem sane to him when he talked to them. Well, from personal experience I can assure you that absolutely stark raving mad folks can come across as quite sane. I’ve dealt with many of them. (Clinically diagnosed and on the wards.) You can’t tell by how your normal response to folks “feels” who is crazy and who is not.

    @48 minutes, you get to see the “author” named “Pirate Morgan” if I’ve read the credits right… who looks a bit on the looney side himself. The “hair do” is, um, “different”…

    So, Adolfo, I suggest getting a roll of Aluminum Foil at the grocery store and start making your hat and ‘cocoon’ for sleeping. Also stop at the hardware store for a large roll of window screen wire to cover your house and windows. Make a nice little Faraday Cage out of it. Oh, and to maintain your mental health (per what the video claims…) you will need a 7.8 Hz signal inside the ‘cage’ to keep you in touch with mother earth…

    @54 minutes comes the plea for ‘donations’ to fund ‘the effort’… Where have I seen that before…

    All in all, it looks to me like an effort by some creative bored folks in Iceland to generate a bit of cash and some ‘buzz’ at the their Youtube channel, their web site, their Facebook page, etc. etc. There’s probably enough disturbed folks in the world to make them rich, too.

  30. adolfogiurfa says:

    @E.M.: You made me laugh! …That part : you will need a 7.8 Hz signal inside the ‘cage’ to keep you in touch with mother earth… was the epitome of humor!

  31. Steve C says:

    @EM – You made me laugh too, but for slightly different reasons. Years ago, a bunch of fellow radio amateurs and I decided that we must be “addicted to RF” … and now …

    Meanwhile, here’s a little animated video in which some otters present an educational film about how to avoid the threat of mind control. Much, much shorter than an hour, and highly recommended.
    “The Tinfoil Hat Song”:
    http://www.eclectech.co.uk/mindcontrol

  32. E.M.Smith says:

    @Steve C:

    “Their evil plans will be foiled” OMG ;-)

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