Thursday, August 25, 2016

GMO--Genetically Modified Organism or Getting Massively Obese?

Now that genetically modified organism (GMO) foods have been busted as far as the false promise that they are the way to end world hunger (they don’t increase yields or create more nutritious crops) and instead are basically Roundup® on a plate, a quiet shift has taken place that ensures these creepy crops can generate enormous profits.

Because they’ve found their niche--in processed and junk foods!

But alas, the truth is starting to trickle out about these lab monsters, proving once again that it’s not nice to fool Mother Nature.

Here’s the scoop:

Better ingredients, better junk food
Currently, the most widely-produced GMO crops in the US are corn, soy, and wheat.

But it’s not likely that you will see GMO ears of corn in the produce section of your local grocery store.  Instead, GMO corn is primarily used to make high fructose corn syrup—which is in virtually every processed food on the planet, and especially in soda.

GMO corn and wheat are used in snack chips and crackers.

Plus GMO corn and soy are used to make corn oil and soybean oil—the two most common types of oils used in processed foods.

Keep in mind there are no labeling requirements for GMO ingredients—so for instance what you’ll see on a bag of Fritos® is merely “corn, corn oil and salt.”

On a bottle of Heinz® Ketchup the label will show only: Tomato concentrate from red ripe tomatoes, distilled vinegar, high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, salt, spice, onion powder and natural flavoring.

GMO—Getting Massively Obese?
It remains largely unknown what the long-term health effects of GMO crops will be.

Since GMOs are created by splicing DNA between unrelated species, crossing entire kingdoms of organisms (plant and animal, including viruses and bacteria--yuck), who knows what the foreign proteins from these lab creations will do to our bodies in the long run?

Personally, I’d feel safer eating an old shoe.

But one thing studies are showing is that GMO crops contribute to weight gain, over and above that which would be expected from eating a lot of processed and junk food.

In one study examining the potential health effects of GMOs, researchers from Norway observed two groups of rats--one group was given food made with GMO corn and the other was given food made with conventional corn.

Over the course of 90 days, the rats eating the GMO corn diet grew fatter and consumed more food than the rats on the non-GMO diet.

They also observed that rats got fatter when they ate fish that had been raised on GMO corn--so there's a chain reaction effect!

They also tried the experiment on salmon and saw similar results--fish eating GMO corn grew faster and ate more than fish eating non-GMO corn.

Plus the salmon eating the GMO corn had a reduced ability to digest proteins and experienced immune system changes that didn't occur in the non-GMO-fed fish.

Now, I know people are not rats and fish, but look around you—last I checked, our obesity rate is going up, not down, plus autoimmune diseases and food sensitivities are exploding.

I don’t think that’s a coincidence.

Minimize your exposure!

Here’s how you can help minimize your exposure to GMO dangers:

Read labels
To make sure any fresh produce you buy is not GMO, look at the codes on the little stickers:

  • 4-digit code:  Traditionally grown (non-GMO) produce
  • 5-digit code:  Look at the first number: 
  • If it starts with a 9, it's organic (like the picture above shows)
  • If it starts with an 8, it's a GMO
Avoid processed foods
Unless a packaged food is 100 percent organic, you should assume it has GMO ingredients.

The answer here is easy—stick to real foods and avoid the packaged stuff as much as possible.

Buy organic whenever you can

Organic foods by definition do not contain GMO ingredients, so if you want snack chips, cereals or other packaged foods, at least opt for organic brands.

Also try to buy as much organic meat, milk and produce as possible—to not only minimize your exposure to GMOs but also hormones, antibiotics, pesticides, and herbicides.  

If you're on a tight budget and can't afford to go 100 percent organic, here is a good rule of thumb:  If you are going to be eating the entire food, skin included (like with grapes, peppers or lettuce), strive to buy organic.  If you will be peeling the food (such as with bananas, avocado or oranges) conventional is probably OK.

Also, check out local farmer’s markets and Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs in your area.

Help your gut bacteria recover
Unless you’ve been diligent about eating 100 percent organic food, chances are excellent your gut bacteria may have already taken a harmful hit from GMOs because of the glyphosate (Roundup®) that they are sprayed with destroys your friendly flora.

In addition to a healthy diet of real foods, supplementation with a top-quality probiotic can help your gut bacteria bounce back and provide their sickness and disease-fighting protection.  

Remember YOU alone are responsible for your health--not biotech companies and food companies.

Don't offer yourself up as a guinea pig, jeopardizing your health while you help to grow their bottom lines.

When it comes to real health, natural is always best.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

10 Sneaky signs of digestive problems

When the average person hears the words “digestive problems” visions of gas, heartburn and belching come to mind.

But sometimes digestive issues don’t manifest themselves as digestive symptoms!  Instead, they can come out as something totally different that you would never associate to your GI tract.

Here are 10 sneaky signs of digestive problems that you should start paying attention to:

1- Bad breath
Believe it or not, the same bacteria that causes ulcers (Helicobacter pylori) can cause bad breath. 

About half of all Americans carry H. pylori.  While they won’t all develop ulcers, they stand at least a 1 in 10 chance of it causing bad breath.

In addition, intestinal dysbiosis (having an imbalance of gut flora that favors harmful bacteria) can also come out as halitosis. 

2- The 2pm lull after lunch
Nothing the human body does demands more energy than digestion.

So if yours isn’t going along so well, that can sap your energy and leave you needing toothpicks to keep your eyelids open after eating.

3- Body odor
Your body expels toxins through urination, bowel movements, exhaling, sneezing and sweating.

One of the biggest source of inner toxin buildup is inadequately digested food, so if your digestion is not what it should be, that can be coming out through your skin when you sweat and causing some serious BO.

4- Dry skin and hair
Your skin and hair need a variety of nutrients including biotin, vitamins D, B6, C and E, zinc and omega-3 essential fatty acids. 

So the presence of dry skin or hair can suggest either an unhealthy diet or inadequate absorption of nutrients—a consequence of poor digestion. 

5- Acne and other skin problems
When your intestinal wall is unhealthy and too porous (leaky gut), harmful bacteria, poorly digested food molecules and other wastes can get into circulation and stir up inflammation anywhere in your body.

When your skin is affected by this inflammation, it can prompt acne and other skin problems like hives and rashes.

6- Body aches and pains (including arthritis)
These too are tied to a leaky gut wall—the inflammation caused by toxins in your bloodstream can lead to body aches and pains.

7- Food sensitivities
When your digestion is not efficient, inadequately digested food particles can bully their way into your bloodstream, aggravate your immune system, and trigger the development of food sensitivities.

8- Migraines
Low serotonin levels have been linked to migraines.

Most people don’t realize this, but the beneficial bacteria in your gut produce 80 percent of your body's serotonin. 

So if your intestinal flora balance is not as healthy as it should be, this could mean your body is low in serotonin which in turn could be contributing to your migraine attacks.

 9- Depression
Just like migraines, depression can also be the result of low serotonin levels.  So if your gut isn’t cranking out enough, it may be affecting your state of mind.

In addition, inadequate nutrient absorption can be a cause--many people who suffer from depression are deficient in B-complex vitamins, vitamin C, zinc, magnesium and omega-3 essential fatty acids (especially DHA).

10- Anemia
Gastrointestinal blood loss (such as from an ulcer) is one of the most common causes of iron deficiency.  In addition, insufficient stomach acid can lead to poor digestion and nutrient absorption, thus reducing iron levels.

Steps to a healthier GI tract
Now that you can see that issues with your digestive system can cause problems that go WAY beyond just stomach aches or constipation, it’s increasingly important to make sure all 30 feet of your GI tract is in tip-top shape and working the way it’s supposed to!

Here are some tried and true measures to pamper your food path:

Eat real food! If you don’t know what an ingredient is on a food package, neither does your body.  So your poor GI tract has to deal with the mess until it passes the chemicals, preservatives and heaven-knows-what-else on to your liver and kidneys to detox out of you. 

Take a daily probiotic supplement.  The fact is, very few people get enough natural sources of probiotics like fermented foods, so just about everybody can benefit from a daily dose of friendly gut bacteria.  Probiotics are especially helpful with gas, constipation, leaky gut and harmful bacteria overgrowth.

Supplement with digestives enzymes if necessary. As we age, our ability to produce enzymes diminishes.  Plus if you use acid reducers, you’re shutting some of yours right down, and may be paying the price with heartburn and poor nutrient absorption.

Make its job easier with simpler meals.  Both proteins and starches are very concentrated foods, so eating both at the same meal is enormously taxing on your body.  Combine proteins OR starches with lots of veggies for an easier digestive process.


Compensate for poor nutrient absorption.  A multi-vitamin and mineral formula can pinch hit where your body may be lacking, and a top-notch fish oil formula can help ensure you’re getting enough precious anti-inflammatory omega-3 essential fatty acids.  

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Stunning discovery about autism, Alzheimer’s & more

At this stage of our scientific evolution, you would think that the human body would be pretty well mapped out by now and there are no surprises left in terms of how we’re put together.

Well, you would be wrong.

Researchers at the University of Virginia School of Medicine have discovered that your brain is directly connected to your immune system by lymphatic vessels that were previously thought not to exist.

This stunning discovery actually means medical school textbooks need to be rewritten…but that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Shedding new light on neurological conditions
Up until now, the immune system component in neurological conditions like multiple sclerosis (MS), autism and Alzheimer’s has been a bit of a mystery.

For example, people with MS suffer impairments in their mobility and coordination because their immune system eats away at the protective covering of their nerves, but it was never clear exactly how this happened.

Well, now we know there’s a rather distinct pathway between the two!

Alzheimer's is characterized by the accumulation of large protein chunks in the brain.  It’s entirely possible that those chunks may be accumulating because they're not being properly “washed away” by these newly-discovered lymphatic vessels.

And in autism, a condition that has exploded from 1 in 10,000 in 1983 to currently 1 in 45 children, it’s time to acknowledge what is affecting our kids’ immune systems and see how it may be triggering this heartbreaking condition.

The more these lymphatic channels are studied, the more hope there will be for people suffering from these and other neurological conditions.

Its resume is growing
A healthy immune system clearly does SO much more than merely protect you against colds, viruses, flu and infections.

A strong immune system also protects you against diseases like cancer.

A sharp immune system recognizes that things like cat dander, ragweed, and shellfish aren’t harmful invaders that should cause you sneezing, congestion and make you swell up.

A smart, properly functioning immune system knows better than to attack your body with various autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s, psoriasis and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis .
And now it sure looks like an intelligent immune system can even reduce your chances of developing a devastating neurological condition!

They’re under attack!
Unfortunately, our immune systems are constantly under attack from various stressors:

Physical stressors like viruses, harmful bacteria, parasites or fungi, as well as medications and alcohol.
Emotional/mental stressors include stress from jobs, relationships, and life-changing events.
Environmental stressors are the largest, most uncontrollable category of stressors.  They include things like:
  • Air and water pollution
  • Chemicals and toxins in food and the environment
  • Heavy metal exposure from water, vaccines, amalgam fillings, wood stains and pipes
  • Vehicle exhaust
  • “Off-gassing” from chemicals on hardware stores shelves
Take care of yours
Now more than ever before, it’s essential to take care of your increasingly important immune system!

In addition to having a healthy diet of real foods and avoiding the above immune system stressors as much as possible, nutritional supplementation can go a long way in supporting strong, sharp immune function.
  • Multi-strain probiotic formulaSince 70 percent of your immune system resides in your intestinal tract, having a strong, healthy flora balance is crucial to support proper immune function.
  • Vitamin B12B12 is essential for the formation of the white blood cells that comprise your immune system.  It’s also a very common deficiency, so supplementation helps ensure you have enough of this crucial nutrient. 
  • Vitamin DAlthough is best known for building strong bones, vitamin D also helps to prevent excessive, inflammatory immune responses, such as those that are seen in autoimmune conditions and allergic reactions.
The Holistic Blends Immune Boost bundle of products includes these three immune-supportive supplements at a special reduced price.

Treat your immune system like the precious gold that it is.  You couldn’t do anything more important for your health and life.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

A sneaky cause of major health issues

If you went to the doctor and reported having insomnia, you’d probably walk out with a prescription for sleeping pills.

Or if you mentioned feeling depressed, you may get an antidepressant.

If you complained about indigestion, acid reducers may be in your future.

But there is a common underlying cause for all of these health issues (and many more) that NONE of the prescription drugs in the world can touch—and in many cases, they make things worse.

Hormonal imbalances!

Here’s why hormones can make or break you in terms of health.

The ultimate power

When people hear the word hormones, images of menopausal women with hot flashes come to mind.
But that’s just a drop in the hormone bucket!

There have been over 200 hormones identified so far, and they control pretty much ALL of your body’s processes.  For example:
  • Hormones trigger your digestive organs to secrete enzymes.
  • Your metabolism is (hopefully) active because your thyroid is cranking out hormones that affect every single cell in your body.
  • Your ability to deal with an emergency depends on hormones secreted by your adrenal glands.
  • If you do not suffer from diabetes that’s because your pancreas is secreting adequate insulin.
  • And if you sleep soundly at night your pineal gland is ensuring you have enough melatonin.
Why are people’s hormones so messed up?
Now more than any other time in our existence, people are suffering from hormonal imbalances, and at younger ages too.  Instead of affecting people in their 50s and 60s we’re seeing them in our 20s and 30s.

There are many factors that can cause hormonal imbalances and they include:
  • Chemicals like BPAs, BHC, PCBs, etc. that are abundant in our environment
  • Hormones injected into the animals raised for our food supply, which in turn make their way into your body
  • Low-fat diets because your body needs fats to make hormones
  • Prescription drugs—especially antibiotics, birth control pills and statins
  • Liver malfunction—because the liver is responsible for clearing old worn-out hormones from your body, as well as manufacturing cholesterol to make your reproductive hormones
But the two most prevalent causes of hormonal problems are things that are very common is our society today…

Poor digestion and stress!

Here’s how:

The poor digestion connection

When your digestion isn’t going along so well, your system’s ability to assimilate and absorb nutrients from your foods is greatly impaired.  Since your body needs nutrients to make hormones, inadequate digestion can cause hormonal imbalances!

In addition, poor digestion can result in chronic constipation, which in turn can mean that old hormones your body is trying to eliminate with your bowel movements instead can be reabsorbed into circulation, creating imbalances and hyperstimulation.

Eating simpler meals—pairing protein and vegetables OR starch and vegetables—can be a big help in paving the way for easier digestion.

In addition, probiotics have been shown to be extremely helpful with easing constipation and improving nutrient absorption through the gut wall.

And if your not-so-great digestion includes heartburn or acid reflux, digestive enzymes can help give your body a much-needed boost to get the job done without your stomach going overboard cranking out acid.

Stress—the pregnenolone “hog”
The hormone pregnenolone is your “molding clay” for all of your hormones, and your body divvies it up as it’s needed to make the various types of hormones.

But your stress hormones trump all other types in your body.  So when you’re under chronic stress, your adrenals “hog” all of your pregnenolone to make the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol…
Leaving little or none for your other hormonal needs!

If stress is a regular companion for you, it’s time to find ways to chill out.  (Keep in mind regular exercise is a great stress reducer and encourages ALL of your systems to function at their best!)
Get help from a counselor or therapist if you need it.

Other ideas

Your doctor can do a complete hormone panel to see where you stand.  Since hormones control literally everything about you, a hormone panel should be as basic as a CBC or lipid panel in assessing your health at this point.

If you find you need some hormonal “assistance” consider bioidentical hormone replacement therapy.  Your body has a much easier time assimilating bioidentical hormones versus synthetic hormones because they are natural and molecularly identical to hormones created by your body.

Get enough healthy fats!  Your body’s ability to produce hormones is dependent on having enough fats for “raw materials.”  Healthy fats include real butter, olive oil, coconut oil, nuts, avocado, wild caught fish and fish oil supplements.  

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Is this part of your throat a mistake of Nature?

I recently had a strange health challenge—I had a small fragment of an almond get lodged between the “flaps” of my tonsils!

And despite my best efforts to gargle, WaterPik, cough, eat dry bread and poke at my neck in the tonsil area, that almond was stubborn…so I had to get some “medical assistance.”  (I won’t get graphic.)

But the thing that floored me was the conversation with the intake nurse that I had beforehand.

She said that she always had trouble with food getting stuck in her tonsils, so she just had them removed since they “don’t serve any purpose anyway.”

Huh?

Since when is a part of your body’s lymphatic system a useless mistake of Nature?

Here’s why I had to resist the temptation to tell her to go back to school.

Your body’s garbage truck
Your lymphatic system is like the garbage truck that comes through your neighborhood each week.
This garbage truck is made up of numerous nodes and glands, the thymus gland, the thoracic duct, spleen, bone marrow, tonsils and MILES of lymphatic vessels.

You actually have three times more lymph fluid flowing through you than blood—that should tell you something.

Its job is to filter and purify your bloodstream, cleanse wastes from your tissues, organs, and cells, and search out and destroy any harmful pathogens that enter your body.

Then the garbage truck takes the wastes and brings them to one of your 4 "dumping grounds"--the bowels, bladder, lungs, and skin--for elimination from your body.

The lymphatic system has been called the heart of the immune system because of its vital role in keeping your body clean and destroying dangerous organisms.

The tonsils—a first line of defense
The largest nodes in your lymphatic system are the tonsils--and there are actually more than two.

The most common tonsils are the ones everyone knows about in the throat (that recently housed my almond), but there are also some in the space above the throat and behind the nose (called the adenoids), some surrounding the tubes in each ear, and one in your larynx.  There's also tonsil tissue at the base of your tongue.

All of the tonsils are connected by lymphatic vessels and make up a protective ring that defends your oral and nasal areas from bacteria and viruses.

Does that sound like a useless mistake to you?

Now sometimes your lymph system gets overloaded and when it can't keep up with its job, the tonsils can fill up with fluid, swell and hurt.

Otherwise known as tonsillitis.

This is a BIG warning sign that something is seriously wrong with the level of waste in your body.

It doesn’t stop there
In addition to tonsillitis, if your lymphatic system is challenged, you are susceptible to a number of health problems including:
  • Lacking nutrients/deficiency diseases
  • Cancer
  • Low energy
  • Repeated viruses or infections
  • Fluid swelling in your limbs or other areas of the body (edema)

Take care of YOUR tonsils—and your entire lymphatic system!
Here are ways to make sure your entire lymphatic system is working in tip-top shape to cleanse and protect you:

Get regular exercise
Unlike your circulatory system which has your heart to pump blood through your body, your lymphatic system doesn’t have a pump to move lymph around.

So YOU have to be the pump—by getting regular exercise!

No more excuses.  Pick an activity, get your doc’s OK and GET MOVING.

Stay hydrated

Water is essential for having proper blood levels and to flush wastes out of your cells.  Eight 8-oz. glasses a day should be your minimum.

Nutritional support

A great way to help your lymphatic system’s cleaning efforts is to create less garbage, to begin with!

That means avoiding processed and fast foods and instead having a diet of real foods.  Excellent choices for lymphatic health are leafy greens, citrus fruits and healthy fats (especially nuts, seeds and avocado).

Give those immune cells a good home
Although your lymphatic system’s bone marrow and spleen produce most of your immune cells, the majority of those cells (about 70 percent) take up residence in your gut.

So it’s crucial to make sure that you provide a healthy intestinal environment to house these life-saving protectors—and the key to that is a real foods diet and probiotic supplementation.

Practice deep breathing
Proper movement of air through your lungs also helps pump fluid through the lymphatic system:

1- Get in a sitting or lying position and put your hands on your chest and stomach.
2- Focus on breathing from your abdomen instead of your chest. 
3- Breathe in through your nose, hold the breath for a few seconds and then exhale through your mouth.
4- Try to do four 8-breath cycles one to three times every day.


Consider possible iodine deficiency

Most people associate iodine deficiency with thyroid goiter, but it can also cause congestion of the lymphatic system.

If you suspect you may be deficient, ask your doctor to do a test.

And if you want some (non-salt) dietary sources of iodine, fish and shellfish are your best bets.

Congratulations!  You are now an expert in your lymphatic system and hopefully, realize that NO part of it is useless.

Instead, it’s keeping you healthy and, well, alive.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

What your mucus is trying to tell you

Although it’s not something you often talk about, the slippery stuff inside of you called mucus is truly an underappreciated hero.

Here is the skinny on your inner slime and what it might be trying to tell you.

So what is it exactly?
Although we tend to associate mucus with a cold or sinus infection, it's a normal secretion that your body produces ALL the time to the tune of about one or two quarts a day.

Mucus is made up of water, proteins, antibodies, antiseptics and salts, and this gooey concoction serves several impressive roles:
  • It’s your body’s built-in moisturizer and is found on the tissues that come into contact with elements from the outside world (like the nose, sinuses, and mouth).  Without mucus, these tissues can dry out and crack, cause soreness and bleeding, and leave you susceptible to illness.
  • The antibodies in mucus help your immune system attack dangerous toxins, viruses or bacteria you ingest.  When this happens, your mucus gets thick and cloudy to trap the invader.
  • Antiseptics in mucus kill pathogens directly on the spot like a terminator.
  • Mucus protects your body’s delicate internal membranes by coating every single thing you eat or drink -- even water!
  • It acts as a natural defense against acids.  For example, when you eat dairy products, the sugar in them (lactose) changes to lactic acid. If it weren't for your mucus surrounding the lactic acid, it could actually burn a hole in your cells, tissues or organs...and possibly kill you! 
  • Mucus humidifies the air you breathe.
  • It keeps your eyes lubricated and contributes to the development of tears.
All the colors of the rainbow
Although normal mucus is clear to light white, here are other possible colors for mucus and what they might mean:

Gray:  Mucus that is blown from your nose may be gray, especially if you’ve been exposed to a lot of dust and dirt.

Yellow or Green:  Infections typically produce yellow or green mucus. Note that the vast majority of sinus infections are actually viral, so don’t necessarily rush to the doctor for antibiotics because they are useless for a viral infection.  Unnecessary antibiotics will merely obliterate your friendly gut flora and increase your risk of antibiotic resistance.

Here are signs where antibiotics may, in fact, be necessary:
  • Your infection drags on for more than 10 days, or if it gets worse after a week
  • The discharge is thick and uniformly white (it looks like pus)
  • There is a high fever that isn’t improving
  • Your symptoms don’t respond to over the counter cold or sinus medications
Brown or Black:  Brown mucus can sometimes be produced by an infection. Tar from cigarette smoke can stain mucus in the respiratory system brown or black.  Coal miners can also develop black mucus as a result of inhaling coal dust.

Orange, Red or Rust Colored:  People with pneumonia may produce orange mucus in the respiratory tract.  Pink, red or rust colored mucus suggests the presence of internal bleeding—see a doctor if necessary.

Mucus in your BMs
Although the mucous membranes in your large intestine helps stool to slide through, a normal BM will not contain much mucus, and you probably can’t see it with the naked eye.

When stool has visible mucus, it can be a sign of bacterial infections (like Salmonella), anal fissures, a bowel obstruction, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or Crohn's disease.  If you suspect a problem, see a doctor to rule out any conditions that require medical attention.

Sometimes it goes overboard
Clearly, mucus is something you don't want to be without, but the problem arises when mucus gets too thick and there’s too much of it.

And the primary cause of that is food!

Many people have a diet that is heavy in foods that trigger lots of thickened mucus. The foods either contain toxins or they break down into an acid residue in the digestive tract and sound the mucus alarm.

The worst offenders are dairy products, followed by meats, white flour, processed foods, chocolate, coffee and alcohol.

Over time, thick mucus can build up in your intestines, trapping feces and other debris.  This can weaken your intestinal walls (making you susceptible to diverticulosis) and create an environment that favors harmful bacteria.

Harmful bacteria overgrowth (dysbiosis) can cause gas, bloating, constipation and diarrhea, as well as impaired immune function and worsening symptoms of asthma and allergies.

Do you have too much?
Here are some signs of excessive mucus inside of you:
  • Frequent constipation or diarrhea
  • Frequent gas and bloating
  • Bowel movements with an excessively foul odor
  • Mucus in your feces
  • Cold hands and/or feet
  • Lightheadedness
  • Headaches
  • Nasal congestion not related to allergies or a cold
  • Lung congestion not related to asthma
  • White coated tongue
  • Frequent throat clearing
Keep mucus in line
If you suspect excess mucus is a problem for you, or want to keep your mucus defense "in line" and working like it should, here are ways to help:

Make sure to include fiber-rich alkaline foods like fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet, and drink at least eight 8-oz glasses of water a day.  These will help buffer the mucus production caused by the mucus-creating foods and keep the digestive process running smoother.

Eat spicy foods!  Great mucus-fighting spices include horseradish, wasabi, ginger, garlic, chili pepper, and turmeric.

Also, a full-spectrum probiotic can help support a strong gut wall, encourage more regular bowel movements and help sharpen your immune system so that you can be less susceptible to mucus-creating infections and colds.  Probiotics also help curb symptoms of asthma and allergies, which can lessen your mucus load too.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Little known causes (and answers) for infertility

Arguably there is no more frustrating and complex health issue than infertility.

Defined as the inability to conceive a child after 12 months of unprotected intercourse, infertility affects about one out of six couples.

Infertility can be a mystery, because, in the absence of any anatomical disorders such as ovulation problems, fallopian tube damage, endometriosis, or uterine issues, it’s difficult to pinpoint what may be going on.

Here are several little-known underlying factors that you should consider that can significantly impact fertility, as well as ways you can overcome each and increase your chances of pregnancy success!

Having a low-fat diet

In addition to being crucial to brain and nervous system health, fats are needed by your body to make sex hormones, so if you severely restrict fats in your diet, you are selling your body short in terms of hormone resources…and that can impact your fertility.

About 30 percent of your daily calorie intake should be fats, being sure to include saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.

Healthy sources of fats include real butter, extra virgin olive oil, lard, coconut oil, avocado, meats, poultry, fish, eggs, cheese, and nuts.

If you’re concerned about weight gain, don’t be.  Fats help fill you up and keep you satisfied, so you’re less likely to snack or overeat—and that’s a recipe for weight LOSS!

Environmental toxins

The more toxic you are, the less likely your body will be able to function as it’s designed to, and that includes fertility—so it’s time to detox!

Start with your diet—eliminate the processed junk and stick to real foods.  If you look at a food label and have no earthly clue what an ingredient is, trust me, neither does your body—and it will have to be detoxed out of you like a poison.  Closer to Nature is always best.

Strive to go organic as much as you can to avoid herbicides and pesticides.  If you can’t go 100 percent organic, here’s a good rule of thumb:  If you are going to be eating the entire food including the skin if any (like apples, berries, cucumbers, lettuce, grapes or peppers), buy organic.  If you’re going to be peeling the food (such as with bananas, avocado, potatoes or oranges), conventional produce is acceptable.

Seek out natural household cleaners and detergents without harmful chemicals (Mrs. Meyers is an excellent choice) and organic personal care products.

And although this should be obvious, if you smoke, please quit, and avoid excessive alcohol intake.

Stress
Pregnenolone is your “molding clay” for hormones, and your body allocates its Pregnenolone resources to wherever they’re needed.

But stress hormones trump all others—so when you’re under stress, your body directs ALL of its Pregnenolone to making stress hormones…and that leaves none for other hormones, including sex hormones.

Find ways to lower your stress level and get help if you need it.

Statin use

Here’s something you won’t read on a Crestor box—cholesterol is needed to make sex hormones, so if you’re on statins to reduce cholesterol, you may, in turn, be impacting your fertility.

There are other safer ways to encourage a healthy cholesterol level:
  • Fish oil supplements—fish oil has been medically proven to reduce cholesterol.
  • Better digestion—your liver eliminates old worn out cholesterol through the GI tract, but if you’re prone to constipation, your old cholesterol may instead be getting reabsorbed into circulation from the intestinal tract.  For better digestion, keep your meals simpler and avoid combining animal proteins and starches in the same meal, as this combination is very taxing on your stomach.  Enzyme supplements can also help boost the digestive process.  
  • Probiotics—probiotics produce acids that counter cholesterol production, they also “eat” excess cholesterol and they encourage more regular BMs (and ease constipation).
Talk to your doctor about safer alternatives.

Nutrient deficiencies
Vitamin D, folic acid, and zinc deficiency have all been linked to female infertility.

In addition to a healthy diet of real foods, a high-quality multi-vitamin, and mineral formula can help ensure your essential nutrient bases are covered.

Over or underactive thyroid
Both over and underactive thyroid can affect the ability to conceive, so if you haven’t had your thyroid tested lately, now is the time.  Although the typical standard for testing thyroid function is the TSH test, many times the TSH misses cases of hypothyroidism because it's more of a measure of pituitary function--not thyroid health.

The best option for assessing thyroid function is a TRH Stimulation (or TRH Challenge) test.

If your doctor is not familiar with the TRH Stimulation test (and many mainstream doctors are not), at least ask him to do these tests in addition to the TSH:
  • Total T4 and T3
  • Free T4 and T3
  • T3 Uptake
  • Reverse T3
  • Thyroid Antibodies 
Get to the bottom of what may be contributing to infertility and increase your chances of a successful pregnancy!