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Archive for December, 2015

Recovering from sugar and alcohol hangovers

sugar and alcohol hangover remedy copy

With the promise of good intentions around the corner, the end of the year can turn into a downward spiral of too much sugar and alcohol.

It’s hard to get back on the healthy eating wagon, but knowing a few things about how sugar and alcohol affect the body can help.

Recovering from the sugar hangover

Has a sugar hangover left you with an upset stomach, a headache, brain fog, skin issues, chronic pain, mood swings, allergy symptoms, lethargy, and self-loathing?

Steps for recovering from a sugar hangover include:

No sugar. Holiday desserts shoot your blood sugar levels up and down. This taxes the immune system, imbalances brain chemistry, and skews hormones. To stabilize blood sugar, eat protein every two to three hours, never skip breakfast, and avoid sweets and starchy foods. Focus on proteins, vegetables, and healthy fats.

Hydrate. Staying hydrated with filtered water will help flush toxins from your body.

Support your liver. Help your liver flush toxins with compounds such as as milk thistle, dandelion, N-acetyl L-cysteine, beet root, panax ginseng, and more.

Heal your gut. Unstable blood sugar inflames the gut and promotes yeast and bacterial overgrowth. In addition to stabilizing blood sugar, follow the autoimmune paleo diet that eliminates common immune triggers (such as gluten), and use gut support compounds like probiotics and L-glutamine.

Exercise. If you’ve been morphing into the couch, go easy initially to avoid more inflammation. Appropriate exercise will help tame inflammation, improve brain function, and help flush toxins.

Recovering from the alcohol hangover

Alcohol hangovers are their own special hell.

We don’t fully know why hangovers happen, but a few facts can help us recover from them.

Alcohol blocks the production of a hormone that helps the body absorb water. As a result, the body immediately excretes the water—up to four times as much as the alcohol consumed. This is what causes fatigue, dry mouth, and a headache. Drink plenty and use electrolytes to help rehydrate.

When that water is excreted, many of our water-soluble vitamins go with it, contributing to that lousy hung-over. A b-complex supplement before drinking and another the next day can help compensate.

Alcohol also breaks down the body’s store of glycogen, an energy source, thus causing weakness, fatigue, and lack of coordination. It’s important to remember to eat.

Drinking alcohol creates the powerful toxin acetaldehyde in the body. The body attacks it with an antioxidant called glutathione, our body’s most powerful antioxidant. Using natural compounds to support glutathione can help with recovery.

Alcohol inhibits glutamine, one of the body’s natural stimulants. When you stop drinking, the body responds by producing more than it needs, disrupting sleep and causing hangover tremors, anxiety, restlessness, and increased blood pressure. Allow yourself to take it easy.

The New Year is a great time not to focus on unrealistic goals, rather on simple daily strategies to not only recover from holiday excesses but also improve how you feel and function all year. Ask my office for more advice.

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Our gift to you! Happy Holidays
Want a special massage for yourself or someone else?
Need Stocking Stuffers?

Aromatouch massage

$50 (reg. $75)

This is your opportunity to experience Aromatouch massage for a great price. Using DoTerra essential oils, Aromatouch Technique is an incredible way to experience the high quality oils by a licensed massage therapist. This method was carefully crafted by DoTerra, and each oil has been selected specifically for its individual therapeutic benefit and aroma. Eight oils are infused through a gentle massage on your back and feet.It’s healing ant super relaxing!  Please be aware that the oils also will be applied to scalp and hair as well.
Claim your offer by either calling the clinic and pay over the phone, stop by and pick up a gift certificate, or schedule and pay for it with our online scheduler. Offer expires December 31st, 2015, limited to 2 per person, to be used by 7/1/16.

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AIP diet while traveling copy

Managing an autoimmune condition is hard enough. Throw in holiday travel, staying with relatives, meals out, and exhaustion, and autoimmune management goes to a new level of difficulty. However, failing to follow your plan can wreck the holidays with symptom flares or an energy crash.

What to do? First, take a deep breath and adopt a no-stress, can-do attitude. Just as at home, good autoimmune management simply requires some advance planning and strategic thinking.

Here are some tips to help you manage your autoimmune condition while traveling.

Map out meals and snacks so you don’t go hungry or trigger a flare. The functional medicine approach to managing an autoimmune disease requires following some variation of the autoimmune diet  This diet is usually a strict Paleo diet of ample produce and healthy meats and fats, and no grains, dairy, soy, sugar, or processed foods.

Google ahead of time to find out where you can eat at your destination. Look for the Whole Foods and other health food stores. Make sure you have a refrigerator in your hotel room or ask your hosts to make space for you in theirs. You can insulate and pack frozen meals to heat up in a mini crockpot, also stowed in your luggage. Some people even pack a hot plate and cookware. Bring a travel bag large enough for approved snack items to stave off hunger. Ideas include beef jerky, celery, sardines, olives, coconut meat, and other filling snacks.

Pack plenty of glutathione support. Traveling includes plenty of stressful events that can deplete your glutathione stores. Glutathione is the body’s most powerful antioxidant and vital to preventing and taming autoimmune flares. Early mornings, long days, new environments, crowded airplanes, Grandma’s fabric softener, and so on — these stressors can deplete glutathione so that inflammation is more likely.

Options include glutathione precursors such as N-acetyl-cysteine, alpha-lipoic acid, cordyceps, and milk thistle. You can also take s-acetyl-glutathione, or an oral liposomal glutathione. Note that taking straight glutathione is not effective.

Search ahead for hypoallergenic hotel rooms. Ever walk into a hotel and get blasted with that sickly perfume smell? Some hotels overdo it with the scented products. Others have feather pillows, and dusty, stale rooms. Look for hotels that offer scent-free, allergy-friendly rooms with hypoallergenic bedding, air purifiers, and windows that open.

Carry a mask to avoid pollution or toxic odors. There’s only so much you can do to control your environment while traveling. If the passenger next to you on the packed plane is doused in cologne, it helps to have a face mask handy so you can breathe easier. A good face mask is comfortable and allows you to breathe easily while protecting you from toxins in the air, thus keeping your immune system calmer. Some companies even make face masks  for children.

Don’t let your vacation become work. Schedule in down time to nap, read, or go for peaceful walks. Stress is a powerful inflammatory toxin so it pays to make sure you enjoy your vacation with plenty of rest time.

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pcos and autism risk copy

Researchers have discovered that polycystic ovarian syndrome, or PCOS  is linked with an almost 60 percent greater risk of giving birth to a child who will develop an autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

As many as one in ten women of childbearing age have PCOS, a hormonal disorder, and it can affect girls as young as 11. It is the most common female hormone imbalance in the United States.

Although the exact link between maternal PCOS and autism isn’t clear, the findings support the notion that sex hormones early in life play a role in the development of autism in both boys and girls.

PCOS exposes the developing fetus to excess androgens, hormones that play a role in male traits. These androgens are believed to affect the development of the brain and central nervous system, increasing the risk of an ASD.

In the study, researchers looked at children ages 4 to 17 who were born in Sweden between 1984 and 2007. They found that a maternal diagnosis of PCOS increased the risk of having a child with ASD by 59 percent.

What are symptoms of PCOS?

It’s important to address PCOS before you get pregnant. How do you know if you have PCOS?

Here are some symptoms:

  • Infertility
  • Irregular menstrual periods
  • Ovarian cysts
  • Acne, oily skin, or dandruff
  • Obesity and excess weight, usually concentrated around the abdomen
  • Thinning hair
  • Dark, thick patches of skin on the neck, arms, breasts, or thighs
  • Skin tags
  • Anxiety or depression
  • Sleep apnea

What causes PCOS?

The interesting thing about PCOS is symptoms are similar to those of high blood sugar and diabetes. Although genetic predisposition plays a role, PCOS is a hormonal imbalance frequently caused by the same things that cause high blood sugar: a diet high in sugars and processed carbohydrates, lack of plant fiber, overeating, and lack of exercise.

Identifying PCOS

Common markers that help identify a PCOS diagnosis along with symptoms and other findings include a fasting blood sugar over 100 on a blood test, and elevated triglycerides and cholesterol (especially if triglycerides are higher than cholesterol). These are also markers of insulin resistance, or pre-diabetes.

Insulin resistance, when the body’s cells become less sensitive to insulin due to a high-carbohydrate diet, leads to excess testosterone and PCOS in women (and excess estrogen in men).

Unfortunately, as testosterone levels rise, the cells become more resistant to insulin, thus creating more testosterone in a vicious cycle.

If you think you may have PCOS and are hoping to get pregnant, ask my office for advice on functional medicine strategies to balance your hormones and support an optimal pregnancy.

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childhood experiences and autoimmunity

Autoimmune patients expend considerable effort finding the right diet, supplements, lifestyle, and practitioner to manage their autoimmunity.

But did you know your experiences from childhood could be provoking your autoimmunity as an adult?

Abuse, belittlement, insults, neglect, loss of loved ones, parental acrimony… the traumas children weather unfortunately become a lifelong “operating system” that has profound influences on immunological and neurological health. Traumas in childhood affect not only physical and cellular health, but also our DNA.

Early traumas make it hard to turn off stress

In a healthy situation, a child can respond to stress and recover from it, developing normal resiliency.

However, chronic and unpredictable stress in childhood constantly floods the body with stress hormones and keeps it in a hyper vigilant inflammatory state. In time, this interferes with the body’s ability to turn off or dampen the stress response.

In fact, research that compared the saliva of healthy, happy children with children who grew up with abuse and neglect found almost 3,000 genetic changes on their DNA. All of these changes regulated the response to stress and the ability to rebound from it.

This means that little, everyday occurrences that might momentarily irritate a healthier person can unleash a torrent of stress hormones and an accompanying inflammatory cascade that predisposes one for disease.

These are the people accused of overreacting and who are rattled by loud noises, bright lights, and crowds.

A disagreement with someone, a near miss on the highway, a restaurant that’s too loud, an unexpected bill — for the person who had a stressful childhood these minor but regular insults create a metabolic environment that fosters and perpetuates illness.

This can include autoimmune disease, chronic pain, heart disease, cancer, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, digestive disorders, migraines, asthma, and obesity.

In fact, this research was inspired by one clinician’s observation that the majority of his obese patients endured sexual abuse as children.

Assessing chronic childhood stress

Researchers studied the effects of childhood stress on later health in the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study, developing a short quiz to assess the relationship between childhood traumas and disease risk.

For instance, someone with a score of 4 (scale of 0–8) is at a significantly higher risk for chronic disease, suicide, and addiction.

Early trauma and autoimmune management

Although traumas during childhood and a higher ACE score can increase hardships and disease risk in adulthood, it doesn’t have to be a prison sentence —the brain and body are responsive to change.

Many therapies have been shown to help heal these traumas: meditation, mindfulness practices, neurofeedback, EMDR (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing), cognitive therapy, EFT (emotional freedom technique, or tapping), and more.

Be sure and include your emotional well-being and the health of your subconscious “operating system,” which was established in childhood, in your autoimmune management plan.

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