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Archive for December, 2011

sugar hangover cureThe tin of peppermint bark is empty, the pies polished off, and the Yule log cake reduced to crumbs.

Left in their wake, however, is the sugar hangover, that annual holiday tradition that may include an upset stomach, headache, lethargy, brain fog, skin problems, join pain, mood swings, allergy symptoms, and a heap of regret.

How to recover from a sugar hangover

While alcohol hangover cures are a folklore staple, you can take solid steps to recover from your sugar hangover:

  • Quit eating sweets. Those holiday treats have sent your blood sugar levels skyrocketing and plummeting repeatedly, taxing the immune system, the brain, hormone balance, and every other system in the body.

    To recover, put blood sugar levels on an even keel by eating protein every two to three hours, eating a good breakfast, and avoiding starchy foods, desserts, and sweet drinks (soda, sweet coffee drinks) that spike blood sugar. Instead focus on quality proteins, leafy vegetables, and good sources of fat (olive oil, avocado, coconut oil, salmon, etc.)

  • Drink plenty of water. This is also the most popular alcohol hangover cure for a reason. Staying hydrated with clean filtered water will help flush your body of toxins and aid in recovery.

  • Support your liver. Processing all those sweets burdens your liver. Help your liver flush these toxins with such liver detox nutrients as milk thistle, dandelion, N-acetyl L-cysteine, beet root, panax ginseng, and more. Contact my office for more advice on liver detoxification.

  • Restore your gut. Sweets cause inflammation, promote overgrowth of harmful yeast and bacteria, and irritate the gastric lining. You can restore gut health by avoiding sweets and other starchy foods, temporarily adopting a strict detox diet that eliminates common immune triggers (i.e., gluten), and by eating cultured and fermented foods.

  • Move your body. A brisk walk, a swim, yoga, or some other gentle exercise will get your lymphatic system pumping and blood flowing to help flush toxins and rejuvenate cells. You may want to avoid extremely vigorous exercise until hangover symptoms subside so as not to further promote inflammation.

Why not go for a New Year’s detox?

These are some basics to help you recover from a sugar hangover and get you back on the wellness path. In fact, all of these tips will help you recover from an alcohol hangover, too. For more advanced strategies and to get started on a detox plan for the New Year, contact my office.

What are your tips for a sugar hangover cure?

Of course the best way to cure a sugar hangover is to avoid one. But if you happen to overindulge on special occasions, what are some of your tips for a sugar hangover cure?

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I am not a big fan of vaccinations to begin with, but Gardasil really worries me. Read an interesting post by the Healthy Home Economist, why you should think twice! http://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/respected-medical-journal-disses-gardasil/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+TheHealthyHomeEconomist+%28The+Healthy+Home+Economist%29

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A calm, healthy pregnancy and postpartum period could reduce the risk of allergies in your baby, according to a new Swedish study.

Researchers found infants with lower levels of cortisol, an adrenal hormone released in response to stress, developed fewer allergies than other infants.

Stress hormone cortisol triggers allergies

The researchers believe environmental and lifestyle factors during pregnancy and early infancy raise adrenal cortisol levels, which increases the risk of allergies.

Studies show high cortisol in a pregnant mother raises levels of the hormone in the fetus.

In functional medicine, we see many women enter into pregnancy with high cortisol. Common symptoms include excess belly fat, insomnia, insulin resistance (high blood sugar), hair loss, and an irregular menstrual cycle.

Stress isn’t just about too much to do on too little sleep (although that is certainly a factor).

Factors that cause high adrenal cortisol

Common factors that elevate cortisol are:

  • Sugary, starchy diets that consistently spike blood sugar (which causes excess belly fat).
  • Excess caffeine.
  • Undiagnosed food intolerances. Gluten intolerance and celiac disease are particularly common.
  • Poor gut health. Gas, bloating, indigestion, heartburn, diarrhea, constipation, and other digestive symptoms are signs of a poorly functioning gut.
  • Improperly managed autoimmune disease. Do you have Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism or another autoimmune disease?

Rate of childhood allergies rising

The rate of allergies has risen sharply in the United States. About 54 percent of Americans are allergic to at least one thing, an up to five-fold increase the late 1970s. The number of children with food allergies has risen 18 percent since the late 90s; witness the prevalence of peanut-free classrooms.

Manage health before pregnancy

The best thing a mother can do to reduce the risk of allergies in her child is to address her own health and nutrition before conception.

An adrenal saliva test is a good way to measure whether cortisol levels are normal. A mother’s health before conception and during pregnancy greatly influences the health of her baby.

Stress is a fact of life for us all. How have you managed to lower stress levels during pregnancy?

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Weight-loss and cleansing go hand-in-hand. The Clean Program addresses all factors of health, and prepares your body to get rid of unwanted weight AND toxins (body fat stores accumulated toxins).

The program: The first week we take the time to prepare ourselves: prepare your mind, life, body. Learn and discuss how to prepare yourself for a life-time of good eating habits and health. Follow a 3 week clean program, consisting of 2 liquid and 1 solid meals a day, and the last 2 weeks are spent on how to stay clean, trim, and fit. Weekly recipes and Food Journals are supplied.

Group acupuncture treatments: weekly each participant may receive seated group acupuncture, to support weight-loss and detoxification. This does not require removal of clothing and is optional.

Weekly Topic Lectures: Foods To Avoid, Recipes, Digestive system, Organs of Elimination, Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), The Skinny on Fats, Nutrient Dense Food Preparation, Blood Sugar Balancing, Hydration, Bio-individuality (tailoring your body’s specific needs). Hand-outs included.

Lecture materials: Clean by Dr. Alejandro Junger (new $14.95), with online support

Optional Weightloss/Cleanse Products: Clearvite by Apex, Probiotics, anti-microbials, supplements for blood sugar regulation, products for proper elimination and digestion (products can be purchased from the Clinic).

Group or personal coaching is the best tool I know to help you tap into the learning and resources necessary to change behaviors, stop procrastination and boldly and courageously move towards your best self and your best life by achieving what you want. As a co-active coach I have the tools to assist you on this journey and I am inviting you to make this commitment to yourself. We will create a plan, put it into action and create accountability to ensure that it happens. – Anja

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Move over vitamin C. When it comes to warding off the flu virus and colds, studies shows vitamin D trumps vitamin C. But are you getting enough vitamin D from sunlight and diet alone?Sneezing young woman

Studies link low vitamin D levels with flu virus

Compelling evidence links low vitamin D levels with illness.

One study showed vitamin D-deficient subjects were 36 percent more likely to report an upper respiratory infection than those with higher levels. That rate jumped significantly for those with asthma.

Another study found children taking vitamin D supplements suffered almost half as many incidences of the flu virus than the children not taking vitamin D.

Also, vitamin D levels were found to be lower in children who died of swine flu than in those who survived.

Vitamin D benefits go beyond fighting the flu

Vitamin D does so much more than fight the flu. Sufficient vitamin D lowers the risk of cancer, autoimmune disease, gum disease, heart disease, diabetes, pulmonary disease, and weak bones.

Are you getting enough vitamin D?

Vitamin D is a corner stone to good health, however research shows many people do not get enough from sunlight and diet alone. In general, we spend most of our lives indoors, wear sunscreen when outside, and don’t eat a vitamin D-rich diet.

More than 40 percent of the population and 60 percent of children are estimated deficient. Blacks, Hispanics, and other populations with darker skin show the highest rates of deficiency. Living at a northern latitude, obesity, and aging also increase the risk for deficiency. One study found 60 percent of postmenopausal to be deficient in vitamin D.

Boosting your vitamin D levels

Supplementing with vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) and its cofactors will help you outpace the flu and prevent disease. A 25-hydroxy vitamin D test is the most accurate way to measure and monitor your levels, with optimal levels falling between 50–80 ng/mL. However if you suffer from an autoimmune disease or other chronic illness, your practitioner may recommend a more specific goal.

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Question

Why did pregnancy trigger my hypothyroidism?

Answer

Natural immune shifts during pregnancy, together with a genetic tendency and other predisposing factors, can trigger hypothyroidism in some women.

Hypothyroidism is an immune disease for most

For 90 percent of Americans, hypothyroidism is caused by Hashimoto’s, an autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks and destroys the thyroid gland.

The immune system has two major arms of function, one that reacts immediately to an invader, and one that reacts later to produce antibodies. When one of these arms of becomes overly dominant it can trigger an autoimmune disease.

Going into pregnancy predisposed

Pregnancy and the postpartum periods naturally polarize the immune system. In the third trimester the delayed immune response is dominant. Postpartum the immediate immune reaction is stronger.

If a genetically predisposed woman goes into pregnancy with an existing immune imbalance, these natural immune shifts could be the tipping point for Hashimoto’s.

When pregnancy is one stressor too many

Pregnancy can also cause hypothyroid symptoms secondary to chronic stress. Stressors such as gut infections, food intolerances, blood sugar imbalances, and hormonal imbalances can depress the pituitary gland, which controls hormone function in the body. As a result the pituitary fails to signal thyroid activity.

For many women this manifests not only as low thyroid function, but also postpartum depression. Because so many women enter pregnancy dealing with multiple chronic stressors, the increased demands of pregnancy overwhelm the pituitary gland and depress thyroid function.

Balancing health pre-conception lowers risk for mother and baby

A woman should address health and immune imbalances before conceiving to reduce her risk of developing hypothyroidism.

Doing so also may lower the risk of her infant developing eczema, asthma, food allergies, and even autism, which has been found to be caused by an autoimmune disease in many. When the mother’s immune system is healthy and balanced, there’s a stronger possibility her baby’s will be too.

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