Forum Replies Created
@ Charlie – Huaxi Hospital. I would not recommend them for most foreigners as fluent Chinese is essential but my Doctor wife claims that they regularly recalibrate their test equipment so the results can be trusted. I personally believe that there are plenty of other hospitals that would be just as accurate where you are not at risk of being trampled to death but who am I to argue with my wife when I have her to navigate the system of endless queues and elbow fights. I am not sure how much we pay here because she has swanned off to Thailand for a week with her daughter and granddaughter – some Buddhist excuse which I translate as window-shopping and overeating. But the hospitals are cheap here and I have encountered medical procedures at 1/20th of the prices charged in the USA.
However, you are far too young to be concerned with the prospect of gout since healthy eating is sufficient to keep such issues at bay until you are in your 60’s when your organs start to loose their efficiency.
@ coryg – I doubt if the results will be very accurate if for no other reason than the ph of the water in your toilet will vary on a regional basis before you add any urine to it. Urine will also vary in depth of colour depending on time of day and individuals. The ratio of water/urine/cabbage water would need to be consistent and I have also found when measuring the ph of a sample of water in the fish tank that the quality of light also affects the results – natural daylight is best. So, all in all, I would class this as a school experiment and no substitute for using commercially prepared tests if you had cause for concern. Interesting though.
@ drjtrekker – Just checked the price on Taobao for a pack of 10 the urine/acid/gout test strips – a big ouch at 302 rmb or 476rmb for 25 plus post. eBay is significantly cheaper provided that you can get them into the country.
My blood test today showed me to be within the acceptable ph range. The last test was a month ago. My wife, who understands these things, tells me that the next test should be in three months. Apparently acid in the urine may be indicative of a problem but the blood test gives a fuller picture as to what is happening in the body when it becomes apparent that you have a possible uric acid problem. As for daily testing – hospitals do such tests at the same time each morning before you have eaten or drunk anything (the 8 hour fast overnight). Perhaps these test strips come with recommendations on the subject of intervals between tests.
@ drjtrekker – You might find it easier to test your saliva rather than your blood and an annual test is sufficient unless you have a known a problem. But I wish you luck with importing anything into China unless you use a courier because, in my experience, the processing of international mail in China stopped working about 5 years ago.
@ drjtrekker – you can determine your alkalinity with a simple blood test – I am having one tomorrow.
Many thanks for the chart DJ. It seems to spell it out. I am pleased to see that mushrooms are not quiet as evil as my wife makes out. But if I understand this chart correctly then I need to drink the juice of 60 lemons to neutralise 1 coffee? (20 parts of alkalinity to 1 part of acidity (x3)). There must be an acid buffer somewhere in the formula I guess – pass me the bicarbonate of soda,
@ drjtrekker – if we are going to stay “alkaline” then that eliminates grains, such as rice and even soya. So that rules out cereals, pasta/noodles, breads, cakes and also tofu (a big risk of GMO anyway). Also out are mushrooms and normal(largish) portions of meat. Potatoes are OK though and, surprisingly, tomatoes because it is how the body processes foods that determines the resulting alkalinity of your blood.
Sticking to a healthy diet can become depressing but, as usual, it’s all about eating in moderation unless the blood tests indicate otherwise. I wish there was a formulae that stated something like “1 mushroom (bad) = 2 potatoes(good)” but if there was it would probably just create controversy in the medical world.
@ Andy – I think that it is unlikely that the GMO food, by itself, will give you cancer. However, some GMO crops have been designed to work with a specific pesticide. Animals that have been fed those foods have produced worrying evidence that there could be a cancer link to the pesticide residues. Conversely the pro-GMO scientists claim that it is scientifically impossible but refuse to conduct in-depth long term studies.
If you are concerned then do your research and try to avoid imported foods that have not been certified as GMO free.
@Andy – Just a cynic thought on the concept of “organic” honey. Given that bees forage in a 4 mile radius I find it improbable that all the flowering plants within their range are certified as organic and that no pesticides and artificial fertilizers are being applied.
It is exceedingly difficult to identify food that is organic as opposed to that which isn’t. And there is apparently no proven difference in taste or nutritional value albeit that the organic food can be noticeably smaller and blemished. Can a farm who are growing organic products truly do so without importing organic waste from other sources that may not be organic?
However, I inspected three samples of dried milk powder today. The Chinese one had almost no smell, the Australian one had a very mild smell whereas the Danish one that I mentioned in an earlier post, certified as organic, had a rich creamy smell. Having used the Danish one to make yoghurt, my wife has sworn never to buy a commercial yoghurt ever again after years of using commercial yoghurt to seed a fresh yoghurt batch made from regular milk. Perhaps the smell can be attributed to fat content like the richness of milk/cream from Jersey & Guernsey cattle outclasses milk from other cattle breeds?
First define “organic” because it can mean whatever the grower wants it to mean especially if there are no legal definitions enforced.
China is a long way from being unique in creating health problems and while the majority (between 60 to 80%) of us living in Asia are likely to be infected with a potentially dangerous bacteria called helicobater pylori if you go to somewhere like the USA then the big issue there are parasitic infections with something like 85% of Americans estimated to be infected. And most of these issues could be minimized with better hygiene in the general public and food outlets.
The good news is that anything cooked in boiling oil is going to be dead by the time you ingest it so in that respect China can have an advantage over many restaurants in the west where it is fashionable to undercook meat. Conversely the practice of eating directly from serving dishes in Asian countries rather than using dedicated serving utensils to move food to your plate/bowl is a recipe for transmission of diseases and parasites. This is compounded by abandoning utensils in favor of your fingers or the use of wooden chopsticks that are reused so without sterilization are guaranteed to be harboring a colony of bacteria which have the potential to kill you.
As for cooking oil, it is common practice to heat any cooking oil in Asia to temperatures that flash fry the food and that will quickly burn the oil leaving a taste, smell and colour that are big warning signs that it is a carcinogenic substance regardless of whether it has been recycled or not.
So if you are worried about what you eat then, as Charlie wisely suggests, do your own cooking and find food sources that you can trust e.g. most large tomatoes now appear to have been loaded with undesirable growth hormones to maximize crop yield as is evident from their weight and internal structure. Conversely cherry and plumb tomatoes don’t seem to be plagued by this worrying trend.
But after all this depressing information on food issues worldwide then you should probably consult a GP and get a prescription to bring your stress levels down or your elevated blood pressure will kill you as fast, if not faster, than picking up a few bugs that the majority of us are playing host to.
And, incidentally, you can get helicobater pylori checked out in mid tier hospitals (and above) by the administration of a simple breath test so if you suspect that you might have a small problem you have a chance to prevent a bigger problem later on. Ideally we should get tested annually (groan).
I met A Danish company at the Chengdu International Expo today who have established themselves in Wenjiang and are marketing Royal Farm products. So if Chinese milk powder makes you nervous and you suspect that imports of foreign milk may just be Chinese milk marketed under a foreign label then contact Jasper (yes he’s Danish) on wechat – royalfarmdenmark because they are selling skimmed, full fat and organic milk powder from Denmark, available on mailorder including Taobao (royal farm). They are also marketing Danish dietary supplements under the name of Gudenna Pharma, Denmark.
No, I am not on commission but I did buy some of his milk powder to boost the thickness of my homemade yoghurt – nice guy, nice product.
@untruthful – It has been our experience that publicizing the names of vpn services can result in them suffering from connection problems. If you want a dependable one then you are either going to have to pay for it or you are going to be lucky and have found one that has a low user traffic that half a billion other users haven’t found yet.
However, if you browse the internet with a ISP from then you are almost certainly going to be spammed by one company who I believe claim that they are 100% reliable in China or never been disconnected or some such brag. I am not recommending them but if their claims are true then it would seem like a good place to try albeit that I wouldn’t recommend paying a year in advance as they appear to be inviting trouble.
Chengdu does not typically have clear blue skys so landscape photography can be frustrating. Consider somewhere like People’s Park just off the city centre and get shots of ordinary Chinese people dancing, singing, playing musical instruments, paddling boats etc. If your timing is right you might catch the Ginko trees in their autumn colours.
Small correction: “is half way along Dayang Tigou Tunnel on the left” should read ” is half way along Dayang Tigou Tunnel on the right “.
Given that acupuncture involves potential problems through misapplication, reuse of needles, lack of training I would opt for a modern clean health clinic such as the CDHT community health centre in Dayang Tigou Tunnel off Chuangye Road where it meets the start of Jingkun Expressway. (left side of Chuangye Rd as you head south and the clinic is half way along Dayang Tigou Tunnel on the left as you head east) Don’t expect them to speak much English. Rush hour is between 9.00am to 11.00am when it’s full of pensioners and mothers/children but after that it is pleasantly very quiet. Pricing is modest and you have a couple of GPs readily available. Physiotherapy dept occupies the first floor (up one flight of stairs) and payment is at reception on the ground floor in advance. Taking your passport is advisable.
However, having experienced acupuncture, I have rejected it in favour of infra red heat lamp and electrotherapy for muscular problems but acupuncture will provide a sensation of warming at the affected site followed by pain relief for a couple of hours.
Employers who are licensed to employ foreigners will check visa’s etc. Those who are not licensed probably wont.
@ BDecks – Possible, yes. Legal no. If you get caught you can end up with a fine up to 100,000 RMB plus the value of your earnings along with imprisonment and repatriation for a repeat offence. Anybody could potentially report you. If you work illegally then don’t be surprised if you don’t get paid because there is nothing you can do about it.
You can buy a whole fillet in Auchan and I have seen them in the farmer’s markets as well. They are almost certainly not as good as beef from Aberdeen Angus but then I have never knowingly encountered any imported beef that was not frozen or worthy of buying a second time.
When I arrive at a destination I record the bus numbers that stop there on my phone. Using cross reference I can soon establish how to get somewhere as long as I have been there before. It is not very sophisticated but it’s cut down on the taxis.