Category: Hormones

4 Clues that You Have a Thyroid Problem and 5 Natural Fixes that Work

drgoingoverlabs

You’ve been to the doctor and he says you’re fine but you don’t feel good. You’ve told him you’re tired all the time, you’re having trouble losing weight, you’re constipated and you can’t remember even the simplest things. The doc said “it’s all in your head”. He showed you the blood tests and pointed to the numbers and said “look they are all in range, you’re OK”.

Approximately 25 million Americans have a thyroid problem, and most of them don’t know it. Most thyroid imbalances are caused by an under-active thyroid gland called Hypothyroidism,

The thyroid is the master gland of metabolism. How well your thyroid is functioning is directly related to every system in your body. If your thyroid is not running optimally, then neither are you.

Most conventional doctors use only one test (TSH) to screen for problems but there are other important tests that are needed to tell the whole story. Another huge problem is they only use the ‘normal’ lab reference range as their guide rather than listening to their patients symptoms.

If you suspect that you might have a thyroid problem these are the tests I suggest you ask for:

  • TSH
  • Free T4
  • Free T3
  • Reverse T3
  • Thyroid Peroxidase Antibodies (TPOAb)
  • Thyroglobulin Antibodies (TgAb)

5 things you can do to improve your thyroid function:

  1. Make sure you are getting Iodine, Zinc, Selenium, Iron, Vitamin D and B vitamins in your diet.
  2. Get your adrenal glands tested. They work hand in conjunction with your thyroid. Reducing stress with activities such as yoga, Pilates or even just taking a walk in nature will all help support your adrenals.
  3. Address any digestion issues you might have. A properly functioning gut is crucial to good health.
  4. Try a gluten-free diet and I don’t mean buy gluten-free junk food at the grocery store. Choose foods that don’t have gluten in them to begin with.
  5. Switch to glass. BPA (Bisphenol A) and other endocrine disrupting chemicals are found in plastics (think plastic water bottles) which can negatively affect your thyroid gland.

If you suspect you have a thyroid problem or need help with an existing thyroid condition I can help. I’ve personally had thyroid problems so I know how hard it is to get effective care.  CLICK HERE to schedule a free 15 minute Get Acquainted Session to find out how I can help you. Or jump right in and make an appointment so we can start helping you feel better right away, CLICK HERE to book a consultation.

If you are reading this chances are you are interested in improving your health.  Fill out the form on the bottom right side of this page or use this link to stay connected to me. I wouldn’t  want you to miss out on any of my health information. I also have a free gift for you. After you subscribe I will send you a link to download my free Sleep Guide

Purify the Air in Your Home with this Scientific Solution

Screen shot 2015-01-08 at 4.21.12 PM

Pollution not only increases risk of respiratory illnesses, heart disease, learning disabilities, and even cancer, but can also accelerates aging. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), “studies of human exposure to air pollutants by EPA indicate that indoor levels of pollutants may be 2 to 5 times—and occasionally more than 100 times—higher than outdoor pollutant levels.”

They add that indoor air pollutants have been ranked among the top five environmental risks to public health.

We can reduce indoor pollution by vacuuming and dusting frequently, opening a window as much as we can, and investing in a quality air filter. But there’s another way to make indoor breathing easier while adding a nice atmosphere to our indoor spaces. Buy more houseplants! Any greenery helps, but there are certain plants that clean the air better than the rest.

For maximum efficiency, use 15 to 18 plants in a house that’s 1800 to 2000 square feet.

Think one plant for every 100 square feet.

You don’t have to buy that many at first. Invest in a few, and then propagate additional ones off the original. (my favorite way to get new plants!)

Plants that will Help Clean the Air in Your Home

  • Spider Plant: formaldehyde, xylene and toluene.
  • Golden Pothos: benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene and toluene.
  • Snake Plant (Mother-in-Law’s Tongue): benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene and toluene.
  • Bamboo Palm or Reed Palm: formaldehyde, xylene, and toluene.
  • Chinese Evergreen: benzene, formaldehyde.
  • Peace Lily: benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene, toluene, and ammonia.
  • English Ivy: mold and mildew, formaldehyde, benzene, xylene, and toluene.
  • Gerbera Daisies: benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene.
  • Red-Edged Dracaena (Dracaena Marginata): benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene, and toluene.
  • Warneck Dracaena: benzene, trichloroethylene, xylene, and toluene.
  • Weeping Fig: formaldehyde, xylene, and toluene.
  • Chrysanthemum: formaldehyde, benzene, trichloroethylene, xylene, toluene, and ammonia.
  • Boston fern: formaldehyde, xylene and toluene.
  • Philodendron: formaldehyde.

 

Sources:
“Benefits Stemming from Space Exploration,” NASA, September 2013,http://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/files/Benefits-Stemming-from-Space-Exploration-2013-TAGGED.pdf.
“Plants Clean Air and Water for Indoor Environments,” NASA,http://spinoff.nasa.gov/Spinoff2007/ps_3.html.
Luz Claudio, “Planting Healthier Indoor Air,” Environmental Health Perspectives, October 2011; 119(10): a426-a427,http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3230460/.
Heather L. Papinchak, et al., “Effectiveness of Houseplants in Reducing the Indoor Air Pollutant Ozone,” Hort Technology, April-June 2009; 19(2): 286-290, http://horttech.ashspublications.org/content/19/2/286.full.
Patricia M. Webb, “Indoor Plants for Clean Air,” Penn State Extension, January 16, 2008, http://extension.psu.edu/plants/master-gardener/counties/clarion/news/2011/indoor-plants-for-clean-air.
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If you are reading this chances are you are interested in improving your health.  Fill out the form on the bottom right side of this page or use this link to stay connected to me. I wouldn’t  want you to miss out on any of my health information. I also have a free gift for you. After you subscribe I will send you a link to download my free “How to Get a Good Night’s Sleep Guide”

3 Easy Ways to Beat Midlife Weight Gain

Is the shape of your body changing, as you’re getting older? Were you once a healthy pear shape but recently you have noticed your body changing into an unhealthy apple shape?

pear_apple_shapes

• Pear-shaped body: wider hips and thighs, with more weight below the waist

• Apple-shaped body: wider waist and belly, with more weight above the waist

The sad fact is that most women in the United States are overweight by the time they reach midlife. Aging and poor lifestyle choices are the main causes. Additionally, as we get older our metabolism slows down. Several studies have shown that peri-menopause, regardless of age, is associated with increased fat in the belly area as well as decreased lean body mass (muscle). When we reach our midlife years we have to work harder to keep the same body we had in our younger years.

Excess weight raises the risk of many diseases, including cardiovascular disease (which is particularly linked with excess fat in the belly area), type 2 Diabetes, high blood pressure, osteoarthritis, and some types of cancer (including breast and colon). Luckily, there are some things you can do to prevent midlife weight gain.

1. Clean up your diet

Add whole foods to your diet and stop eating the junk. Find out if you have any food allergies; if you suspect that you do eliminate those foods from your diet for at least 2 weeks. At midlife we need to adjust the balance of our macronutrients—proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. We need more good fats to help with dwindling hormone production, fewer carbohydrates to keep blood sugar low, and moderate amounts of protein to build muscle. However, too much protein can also cause weight gain.

2. Get Some Sleep

Some people brag about functioning on little sleep, but we pay a huge price when we stay up late and get up early. Studies show that sleeping less than 5 hours per night promotes weight gain. The amount of sleep you get affects levels of ghrelin and leptin, the hormones that regulate hunger. Ghrelin is the hormone that tells you when to eat and leptin is the hormone that tells you to stop eating. When you are sleep deprived, your body secretes more ghrelin and less leptin, which leads to weight gain. Lack of sleep also leads to fatigue, which generally leads to a decrease in physical activity which leads to increased fat.

 2. Stay Active

The best exercise for losing weight is the one you’ll do on a consistent basis. In my opinion, whole body workouts are the best for us mid-lifers. The more muscles that are used the more calories can be burned and the greater the weight loss will be. Exercising isn’t only for weigh loss, it also helps balance hormones and improves mood. Working out intensely raises the heart rate and burns even more calories. Interval training, where short bursts of intense activity are followed by a recovery period, is especially helpful. Strength training is also important because it will helps to build muscle, which raises the metabolic rate and causes you to burn more calories. Strength training also has an added benefit called “after burn”.

Grab your free guide. How to Get a Good Night's Sleep.

How to Painlessly Quit Caffeine in 7 Days

Painlessly Quit Caffeine

Kicking the caffeine habit can be incredibly difficult but well worth the effort. Your sleep will be longer and of higher quality and your overall health will improve. Caffeine is a powerful stimulant that can last up to seven hours. For people who have liver problems or who are taking oral contraceptives or other medications, caffeine’s effects can last even longer. Caffeine interferes with the body’s natural regulatory rhythms and chronic use of it can leave you perpetually out of balance and regularly struggling for sleep. Giving up caffeine helps acid reflux as well as sleeplessness and anxiety.

Start by reading labels and becoming aware. Wean yourself off anything that contains caffeine such as colas (20-60mg) (even Diet Coke 45mg), energy drinks (50-16000mg), and chocolate (10mg – darker the chocolate, the higher the caffeine content). Hopefully soda won’t be a problem because you have already stopped drinking it because you know the dangers of it) then start eliminating those not so obvious sources, like decaf coffee (20mg), some herbal teas, some sodas (root beer, Mountain Dew 54mg, Sunkist Orange 41mg) ice cream (30-45mg) and even some over the counter pain relievers medications such as Anacin (32mg) and Excedrin (65mg).

The biggest offender is coffee and the best way to kick the coffee habit is to taper off in small increments to avoid withdrawal symptoms (especially the headaches). The goal is to slowly decrease your caffeine consumption so your body can acclimate over time.

Here’s my 7 day strategy to set you free:

  •  Day 1: Have your usual amount of coffee.
  •  Day 2: Day 5: Blend your regular coffee with 50% decaf (preferably certified organic).
  •  Day 6: Have 25% regular coffee, 75% decaf
  •  Day 7: Drink pure decaf.

Bonus Plan: Day 8-9 half decaf and half Dandy Blend (herbal coffee substitute with the health benefits of dandelion root and has the taste of rich, full-bodied coffee) or other healthy coffee alternative (Teeccino is another good herbal “coffee”).

http://www.dandyblend.com/

 

long bnaner

 

Are You Getting Enough Fiber?

Almonds are a high fiber food.

“Eat More Fiber.” “Do you Get Enough Fiber?”  How many times have you heard that before? You know it’s important to consume fiber rich foods every day, but do you know why?

What is Fiber?

Fiber is the part of foods that your body can’t digest or absorb. It passes relatively intact through your stomach, small intestine, colon, and out of your body in your stool. It’s found in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and legumes.

Fiber is probably best known for its ability to keep you regular, but it has many other health benefits, such as decreasing the risk of heart disease and diabetes. Fiber also helps in maintaining a healthy weight because it keeps you full, delays stomach emptying, and balances blood sugar levels. It’s needed for overall digestive health.

About Fiber

There are 2 types of fiber: insoluble (dissolves in water) and soluble (doesn’t dissolve). You need both for overall good health.

  • Soluble fiber: This type of fiber dissolves in water to form a gel-like substance. It can help lower cholesterol and blood sugar levels. It also slows the absorption of food, allowing your body to retain more nutrients. Good sources: oats, peas, beans, apples, citrus fruits, carrots, barley and psyllium.
  • Insoluble fiber: This type of fiber helps food move through your digestive system and increases stool bulk. (It can help you if you struggle with constipation.) Good sources: Whole-wheat flour, wheat bran, nuts, beans and vegetables, such as cauliflower, green beans and potatoes

Most plant-based foods such as oatmeal and beans contain both soluble and insoluble fiber. The amount of each type varies in different plant foods. To receive the greatest health benefit, eat a wide variety of high-fiber foods.

 Benefits of a High Fiber diet

  • Normalizes bowel movements. Dietary fiber increases the weight and size of your stool and softens it. A bulky stool is easier to pass, decreasing your chance of constipation. If you have loose, watery stools, fiber may also help to solidify the stool because it absorbs water and adds bulk.
  • Helps maintain bowel health. A high-fiber diet can lower your risk of developing hemorrhoids and small pouches in your colon (diverticular disease).
  • Lowers cholesterol levels. Soluble fiber, which is found in beans, oats, flaxseed, and oat bran, may help lower total blood cholesterol levels by lowering low-density lipoproteins, the so-called “bad” cholesterol. It also lowers triglyceride levels and raise HDL, the “good” cholesterol. Studies have shown that fiber may have other heart-health benefits such as reducing blood pressure and inflammation.
  • Helps control blood sugar levels. In people with diabetes, fiber, particularly soluble fiber, can slow the absorption of sugar and help improve blood sugar levels. A healthy diet that includes insoluble fiber may also reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
  • Helps achieve a healthy weight. High-fiber foods generally require more chewing time, which gives your body time to register when you’re no longer hungry, so you’re less likely to overeat. Also, a high-fiber diet tends to make a meal feel larger, so you stay full for a greater amount of time. And high-fiber diets also tend to be less “energy dense,” meaning you eat fewer calories but the same amount of food.

How much fiber do you need each day? 

JJ Virgin, a nutrition & fitness expert, suggests getting at least 50 grams of fiber per day. The Institute of Medicine, which provides science-based advice on matters of medicine and health, gives the following daily recommendations for adults:

  • Men age 50 or younger: 38 grams    Men age 51 and older: 30 grams,
  • Women age 50 or younger: 25 grams    Women age 51 and older:  21 grams.

Bring up your fiber intake gradually over the course of a week or 2 (or even 3 if your body is used to a low-fiber diet). Also, be sure to increase your daily water intake as you increase your fiber intake.

High Fiber Choices

All plant foods: Vegetables, fruits, nuts & seeds, legumes, tubers, and whole grains have fiber. Usually, the closer the food is to its natural state, the higher the amount of  fiber it contains.

Here is a list of list of my favorites. Each serving below provides 5 or more grams of fiber.

• Legumes (black beans, pinto beans, garbanzos, lentils, etc.) are a great source of dietary fiber. On average, 1/3 cup of these foods provides 5 grams or more.
• Berries, particularly raspberries and blackberries, are the highest fiber fruit, 3/4 cup provides about 5 grams of fiber.
• Apples and pears provide 5 grams of fiber. They contain a specific type of fiber called pectin that is soothing and healing to the GI tract.
• Chia seeds, flaxseeds, and oat bran can be sprinkled on top of salads, mixed into shakes, and added to oatmeal (after cooking).  2 tablespoons provide about 5 grams of fiber.
• All raw nuts and seeds are high in fiber. Almonds provide the most fiber: 15 almonds contain about 5 grams of fiber.
• All greens are great sources of fiber. 1 cup of cooked Brussels sprouts or broccoli or 1/2 cup of cooked spinach provide 5 grams of fiber.
One cup of cooked steel cut oats contains 5 grams of fiber. Research supports its cholesterol lowering effects.
• Bran cereals are loaded with fiber: 1/4 to 1/2 cup of most types provides 5 grams of fiber. Make sure to choose a brand with no added sugar
• One cup of any of the winter squashes provides 5 grams of fiber. One-half of a medium sized yam or sweet potato provides 5 grams of fiber and is rich in the powerhouse antioxidant beta carotene.

Here is a sample diet that

  • Breakfast: Protein shake with 2 tbsp flaxseed meal + 1 cup of raspberries (total 10 grams)
  • Lunch: One cup of lentil soup and a mixed green salad topped with grilled chicken and olive oil vinaigrette (total 15 grams)
  • Snack: 1 apple and 10 almonds (total 10 grams)
  • Dinner: 2 cups of roasted vegetables, 1/2 of a sweet potato, and grilled wild salmon (total 15 grams)

Total for the Day=50 grams

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long bnaner

 

 

If you are reading this chances are you are interested in improving your health.  Fill out the form on the bottom right side of this page or use this link to stay connected to me. I wouldn’t  want you to miss out on any of my health information. I also have a free gift for you. After you subscribe I will send you a link to download my free Sleep Guide

Don’t Take Hormones Without Saliva Testing First

Don't take Hormones Without Testing FirstWhy are so many doctors still prescribing synthetic hormones without testing first?  If you’ve gone to your doctor for menopausal symptoms, you know what I’m talking about. Based on a few symptoms you could be walking out with a prescription for drugs. I use the word drugs because they synthetic, not real, bioidentical hormones. Hormones synthetically created are nothing like the hormones your own body makes. They could actually be doing more harm than good.

Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) is a prescription for synthetic hormones. What’s being prescribed isn’t a real hormone, and it’s  questionable as to whether it helps with the real problems of menopause.

For most women, too much estrogen is the problem. Not too little. Too much estrogen in the body can lead many health problems including cancer.

Women are attacked constantly with extra estrogen from our food supply, body care products, and the environment. It’s important to avoid as any toxins as possible. For a list of safe personal care and cosmetic products go to www.ewg.org/skindeep/.

Around when menopause starts, progesterone production starts to decline. Mental fogginess, fatigue, and anxiety are some of the symptoms that can happen. Progesterone plays a roll in how you look and feel. It can:

  • Elevate mood
  • Use fat better (and not hold on to it)
  • Boost libido
  • Support bones

Testosterone is another hormone that can contribute to menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes, mood swings, and depression. Testosterone also plays a roll in how you look and feel. It can:

  • Maintain muscle mass
  • Motivate and drive
  • Keep blood sugar normal
  • Keep the mind sharp

Ask me about the simple, accurate, 3 sample saliva test I offer. It shows exactly what is going on with your hormones levels. Don’t guess. Test to be sure.

Endocrine Disruptors and How to Avoid Them

Endocrine disruptors disrupt the endocrine system.

What is the endocrine system?

The endocrine system is a complex network of glands and hormones that control many of the body’s functions from conception through adulthood and into old age, including the development of the brain and nervous system, the growth and function of the reproductive system, as well as the metabolism and blood sugar levels. The female ovaries, male testes, and pituitary, thyroid, and adrenal glands are major members of the endocrine system. The endocrine glands, including the pituitary, thyroid, adrenal, thymus, pancreas, ovaries, and testes, release precisely measured amounts of hormones into the bloodstream that act as natural chemical messengers, traveling to different parts of the body in order to control and adjust many life functions.

What is an endocrine disruptor?

An endocrine disruptor is a synthetic chemical that fools the body by acting like a hormone and confuses the body, tricking the brain into thinking it is something it is not . When endocrine disruptor ‘s are absorbed into the body they either mimic or block hormones and disrupt the body’s normal functions. This disruption can happen through altering normal hormone levels, halting or stimulating the natural production of hormones, or changing the way hormones travel through the body, which affects the functions that these hormones control.

Endocrine disruptors trick the body into over-responding to the stimulus (e.g., a growth hormone that results in increased muscle mass), or responding at inappropriate times (e.g., producing insulin when it is not needed). Other endocrine disrupting chemicals block the effects of a hormone from certain receptors (e.g. growth hormones required for normal development). Still others directly stimulate or inhibit the endocrine system and cause overproduction or underproduction of hormones (e.g. an over or underactive thyroid).

Are children at greater risk from endocrine disruptor exposure?

Yes. Because endocrine disruptors affect the development of the body’s vital organs and hormonal systems. Infants, children and developing fetuses are more vulnerable to exposure. And as was the case with DES, parents’ exposure to certain chemicals may produce unexpected and very tragic — effects in their children, even decades later.

Don’t chemicals have to be safe to be allowed on the market?

No. The majority of the more than 2,000 chemicals that come onto the market every year do not go through even the simplest tests to determine toxicity. Even when some tests are carried out, they do not assess whether or not a chemical has endocrine interfering properties. Often there are more then one chemical used making so many combinations of toxins it would be impossible to test them all.

What are some known Endocrine disruptors?

Chemicals that are known human endocrine disruptors include diethylstilbesterol (the drug DES), dioxin, PCBs, DDT, and some other pesticides. Many chemicals, particularly pesticides and plasticizers, are suspected endocrine disruptors.

Here are some common Endocrine disruptors:

  • BPA: BPA is found in products we use everyday such as plastic beverage bottles, food containers, plastic dinnerware, thermal paper receipts (shiny like the ones from your ATM machine), and the lining of many canned foods. BPA can displace estrogen in the human body, basically taking up space where estrogen is supposed to be working. Side effects include early puberty, reproductive dysfunction, onset of type 2 diabetes, and an increased risk of breast and prostate cancers.
  • Triclosan: Triclosan is an antibacterial and antifungal agent. It’s found in deodorant, toothpaste, mouthwash, antibacterial hand soaps and lotions, cleaning supplies and shaving cream. Triclosan can cause thyroid disruption (think weight gain) and can raise testosterone levels in the body. Do you know any women who have anger or aggression issues? This could be part of the cause. Side effects associated with Triclosan include steroid and thyroid hormone imbalance, and behavioral problems in children such as ADD/ADHD. Women are frequent users of antibacterial hand wipes and gels, and many carry a small bottle of it on their key chains.
  • 4-Nonylphenol : 4-Nonylphenol is another endocrine disruptor that binds to estrogen receptors and affects the immune system and nervous system. It’s commonly found in laundry detergents and pesticides. 4-Nonylphenol can be absorbed through your skin from your clothes and in conventional produce. (another reason to eat organic)

What can I do to reduce my risk of exposure?

Endocrine disruptors are all around us and in us. Understanding what they are, where they are and how to reduce your exposure is your first step in avoiding these toxins.

  • Educate yourself about endocrine disruptors, and educate your family and friends. Buy organic food whenever possible.
  • Download the shopping guide for pesticides in your produce www.foodnews.org
  • Drink from glass or stainless steel water bottles and purchase other prepared beverages in a glass bottle http://www.takeyausa.com/products/glass-water-bottles/classic-glass-water-bottle-16oz.html
  • Switch to a natural and safe hand sanitizers like Clean Well www.cleanwelltoday.com
  • When accepting a receipt, fold inward so as not to touch the shiny side
  • Switch from commercial brand laundry soaps to safer lines that have no chemicals like Poppy’s Naturally Clean www.poppysnaturallyclean.com or Ecos brand http://www.ecos.com/
  • Buy frozen foods instead of canned foods. Eden canned foods. are BPA free with the exception of their tomato products http://www.edenfoods.com/articles/view.php?articles_id=178
  • Avoid using pesticides in your home or yard, or on your pet. Use baits or traps instead. Find natural ways to get rid of bugs. http://www.ehow.com/list_7451914_natural-ways-rid-bugs.html
  • Find out if pesticides are used in your child’s school or day care center and campaign for non-toxic alternatives. If you eat fish from lakes, rivers, or bays, check with your state to see if they are contaminated.
  • Use glass for storing and heating food. Avoid heating food in plastic containers, or storing fatty foods in plastic containers or plastic wrap. http://www.pyrexware.com/index.asp?pageId=14 
  • Do not give young children soft plastic teethers or toys. They can leach potential endocrine disrupting chemicals.
  • Support efforts to get strong government regulation of and increased research on endocrine disrupting chemicals.
http://www.epa.gov/endo/pubs/edspoverview/whatare.htm http://www.nrdc.org/health/effects/qendoc.asp