A new study shows regularly eating processed foods — the staple of most western diets — can shorten your life. In functional medicine, we know from the published research that a diet based on processed foods also will significantly increase your chances of suffering from chronic disease. Common chronic diseases tied to diet include diabetes, obesity, heart disease, autoimmune diseases, high blood pressure, dementia, and Alzheimer’s.
The study was conducted in France and published in the JAMA Internal Medicine journal. It tracked ...
Infertility has been a growing problem over the last three decades, with most of the attention focused on women’s reproduction. However, 40 to 50 percent of cases of infertility are caused by male infertility. Research shows sperm quality has dropped by 50 percent in the last 80 years. Sperm quality of dogs has also declined sharply over recent years.
Now, a recent study shows common pollutants in the environment and in the foods we eat affect male fertility.
The British study looked at the
effects of two common pollutants ...
Many people take SSRI antidepressants for depression. However, it’s important to ask why you are feeling depression in the first place.
Many important research strides have been made linking chronic inflammation, poor gut health, gut bacteria, and general brain health with depression.
However, we still need healthy serotonin activity, the target of SSRIs, to feel good.
Do you have these symptoms of low serotonin?
No longer finding joy, pleasure, or enthusiasm in life
Rage and anger
Depression related to lack of sunlight
When it comes to autoimmune Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism, dampening inflammation and immune attacks on the thyroid is the primary goal. One of the most powerful allies in this quest is to support your regulatory T cells (T reg cells). These are immune cells that do what their name implies — they help regulate the immune system. This means they play a role in either activating or dampening inflammation. The good news is that when it comes to Hashimoto’s, we can do many ...
Your doctor says you have hypothyroidism and this explains feeling like crap, the crazy weight gain, and your distressing hair loss. But how do you know if Hashimoto’s is causing your hypothyroidism? Hashimoto’s is an autoimmune disease, meaning the immune system is attacking and destroying the thyroid gland.
Hashimoto’s is responsible for more than 90 percent of hypothyroid cases. Chances are strong it’s the cause of your low thyroid function too.
But if your doctor does not want to screen for Hashimoto’s or ...
Entrepreneurs face countless problems with money, partners, employees, failure, and never-ending uncertainty. The physical, mental, and emotional consequences can take their toll.
According to researchers, people who own their own businesses tend to be passionate people in the best and worst ways and are more prone to:
Sense of worthlessness
Loss of motivation
Entrepreneurs’ burdens are doubled by the obligation they feel to keep their problems to themselves.
Overwork and poor self-care: a recipe for disabling exhaustion
Researchers also suggest that entrepreneurs struggle with hypomania — ...
Is your brain not working, severely impacting your quality of life, but it’s not bad enough to warrant medical treatment? It is very distressing when you become increasingly moody, you keep losing your keys or forgetting where you parked the car, or you’re tired and always in pain. However, chances are if you see a doctor or neurologist for these issues, testing will show you’re fine. You may even be told it’s normal to feel that way.
In functional neurology we take ...
If there is one thing Americans love, it is a prescribed diet, and the internet abounds with rules for grams of protein, fats, and carbohydrates, genetic and body type diets, calorie counting, and so on. But a recent 12-month study found focusing on whole foods and ditching sugars and processed foods resulted in weight loss and improved health for the subjects.
The study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, showed it didn’t matter whether the diet was low-carb, low-fat, ...
In the midst of flu season, many people’s attention turns to the flu vaccine. But there is a way to improve your immunity against not only the flu, but also other viruses, bacterial infections, yeasts, environmental toxins, food sensitivities, and even autoimmunity. The secret lies in what immunologist Aristo Vojdani, PhD calls nature’s vaccine — secretory IgA (SIgA).
SIgA are immune cells that are the first line of defense between you and the world. They primarily reside in mucus membranes, including the ...
It’s now common knowledge that nighttime exposure to computer, tablet, and TV screens sabotages sleep —the light they emit simulates sunlight, thus suppressing sleep hormones. However, plenty of daytime sunlight is vital for good sleep. Most of us don’t get near enough.
Research shows the average person spends less than an hour a day outside. For shift workers it’s even worse. Lack of exposure to sunlight inhibits production of melatonin, a hormone that puts us to sleep.
A Finnish rat study observed one ...
If you take birth control pills, it’s important to understand how oral contraceptives can affect your hormone balancing, your liver, your thyroid, and your brain. This functional medicine viewpoint can help you make an informed decision about contraception, or give you insight into buffering potential consequences.
Birth control pills flood the body with an unnatural amount of hormones that are also synthetic. This can imbalance the body in a number of ways.
Your body’s hormone balance depends on finely nuanced communication between the ...
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 ...
Do you suffer from depression? People succumb to depression for different reasons. It’s important to look for the underlying cause of your depression. Consider these five:
1. Poor communication between brain cells
Depression happens when neurons in certain areas of the brain don’t communicate well with each other, or “fire.” This causes poor brain function and symptoms of depression.
Many factors cause poor firing in the brain, which I’ll talk about more in this article.
The primary question when you have symptoms of depression is, ...
Have you been told you don’t need your gallbladder? Think again. Sure, you’ll live without it, but the gallbladder is actually a vital digestive organ.
The gallbladder stores bile, a chemical made by the liver that emulsifies fat, and secretes it into the small intestine when needed.
Bile is necessary for the digestion and absorption of fats, and it helps ensure you absorb vitamins and minerals from foods in your diet.
Gallstones and a congested gallbladder
Gallbladder removal is one of the most common surgeries ...
Forget low-fat diets, especially in teens at risk for mental illness — healthy fats are vital for good brain health. They’re so important that fish oil has been shown to prevent schizophrenia in young people who show early signs of the disease, such as minor delusions or paranoid thoughts.
Schizophrenia is usually diagnosed in the late teens or early 20s when the brain is nearing the end of its development. However, a recent study showed that teens at risk for schizophrenia who took fish ...
It’s amazing how toxic the standard American household is. Chemicals that are toxic to the brain, immune system, hormonal system, liver, and more are in virtually every household and body product used by the average person. When seeking to improve your health, it’s important to “go green” and use non-toxic house and body products.
Check out the effects these products have on the human body:
Dish soaps, detergents, fabric softeners, air fresheners, soaps, shampoos, perfumes, skin creams, etc.: The fragrances in these products contain phthalates which ...
We all want enough sleep so we’re less cranky and more alert. We want it for our kids too. But recent research found an even more important reason: Sleeping less than six hours a night for one week can lead to more than 700 changes in the way our genes behave. Among these are genes that regulate stress, our ability to fight disease, our sleep-wake cycles, inflammation, and aging.
Researchers believe this helps explain why chronic sleep deprivation is linked to heart disease, diabetes, ...
When most people think of inflammation they think of arthritic joints, or maybe a sprained ankle. But did you know your brain can become inflamed, too?
The problem is an inflamed brain won’t hurt. Instead you should look for other symptoms of brain inflammation. These include brain fog, slow thinking, fatigue, and depression.
Brain fog is a hallmark symptom of brain inflammation. The inflammation slows down communication between neurons. This is what causes you to feel foggy, dull, and slow.
Brain inflammation is serious because ...
Does a demanding schedule prevent you from cooking healthy? Are you that overworked parent who’s too tired to feed your family well? Busy lifestyles can send our eating habits down the drain, with our health and nutrition following right behind it. Many common health issues can arise as a result.
The solution? Batch cooking! Batch cooking is preparing multiple meals at once and storing them for later consumption. It’s an organized system to plan, create, and utilize meals, saving you an incredible amount of ...
Do your eyelids droop and does your energy flag every afternoon around 3 to 4 p.m? Is your answer to energy crashes a soda, coffee, energy drink, or sweet snack to sustain you until dinner? If so, you’re making a bad situation worse.
Even though it’s fairly common, the “afternoon crash” isn’t normal. Instead it’s a sign of unstable blood sugar which wreaks havoc on the rest of your body’s systems. The afternoon crash means your blood sugar has dropped too low for ...
If recovering from exercise is so difficult it feels like it’s ruining your days and sapping your motivation, you may be suffering from loss of exercise tolerance. Exercise is supposed to make you feel better and give you more energy, not make you feel worse.
The occasional off day is nothing to worry about, but if you find you’re consistently having a hard time handling your workouts, it’s important to find out why.
Symptoms of poor exercise recovery
Can’t complete normal workouts
Difficulty recovering after ...
When stress levels go too high, the first thing many in the alternative health do is support the adrenal glands. The adrenal glands are two walnut-sized glands that sit atop each kidney and secrete stress hormones. Popular supplements include adrenal glandulars (adrenal tissue from animals), minerals, B vitamins, and a variety of herbs — all focused on boosting the ailing adrenal glands.
Although this is a sometimes a valid approach, more often the real target for support should be the brain. The ...
Nothing refreshes the mental landscape better than an exciting trip to a foreign land. However, nothing can have you regretting that adventure more than being glued to the toilet with traveler’s diarrhea or vomiting instead of traipsing through temples and markets.
With some advance planning and knowledge about gut health, stomach bugs, and supplements that can protect your gut, you may be able to breeze through your trip without days-long sessions in the hotel bathroom.
Nix stomach bugs with hydrochloric acid
Hydrochloric acid (HCl) is ...
One of the primary things we look for when someone has autoimmunity is leaky gut, a condition in which the intestinal wall is damaged, as it is usually a key factor. Autoimmunity is an extremely common disorder today in which the immune system attacks and destroys part of the body. Common autoimmune disorders include Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism, type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, celiac disease, multiple sclerosis, and vitiligo. However, there are many more.
What is leaky gut?
Leaky gut, a condition in which ...
Do you have chronic, mysterious symptoms that drag your life down but your lab tests come back normal? You may have an autoimmune reaction, a disorder in which your immune system attacks and destroys a part of your body.
Autoimmunity can strike any tissue or compound in the body and symptoms will vary based on the part of the body attacked. However, people with autoimmunity have many symptoms in common:
Conventional medicine has yet to fully recognize ...
Now even the U.S. Government is on board with what health specialists have known all along: partially hydrogenated oils and the industrial trans fats they contain are not safe for human consumption.
The FDA already requires food manufacturers to list the amount of trans fats in their products. It also removed trans fats from the category of Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS).
However, now the FDA is working to remove partially hydrogenated oils from the food supply.
Food manufacturers have three years to phase ...
McDonald’s is closing 700 stores this year due to poor performance. Although it’s a drop in the bucket compared to the more than 32,000 stores worldwide, flagging sales and closing stores are a sign of changing times — customers are opting for healthier food, such as that served by Chipotle and gourmet burger chains.
In response to falling sales, McDonald’s is investigating dumping antibiotic-laced chicken and rBST (hormone) milks, adding sirloin burgers, and even introducing kale smoothies and salads.
Although we still have a long way to go ...
Do you have trouble falling asleep? Do you fall asleep around 2 or 3 a.m. and sleep until noon? Or do you wake up at 4 a.m. and can’t fall back asleep?
Studies show insomnia does more than make the days drag — it raises your risk of dementia later in life. Heart disease, diabetes, obesity, mood disturbances, constipation, prostate cancer, and breast cancer have all been linked with poor sleep.
Poor sleep is a growing problem, as is dementia. Twenty percent of the ...
Memory loss and dementia are valid concerns for everyone these days: one in three seniors dies of Alzheimer’s or dementia and Alzheimer’s is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. Fortunately, dementia is largely preventable with many lifestyle and dietary adjustments, one of which is including plenty of greens in your diet.
New research shows eating plenty of spinach, kale, collards, and mustard greens can help slow cognitive decline. Researchers believe the high vitamin K content in these vegetables plays a ...
The end of winter seems like a good thing until your allergies go haywire. If you’re tired of allergy meds and always feeling stuffed up and zonked out, consider lasting relief by healing your gut to balance your immune system.
It’s hard to believe your digestive tract can affect your sinuses, but both systems are similar as they serve as the body’s defense from the outside world. Plus, the digestive tract serves as a hub for the immune system. When you’ve got ...
Managing your hypothyroidism isn’t just about losing weight and having warm hands and feet. If you’re a woman who could get pregnant, it could play a role in whether you have a child with autism. A 2015 Finnish study that looked at risk factors associated with autism found that women who tested positive for autoimmune hypothyroidism, or Hashimoto’s, were more 80 percent more likely to give birth to a child who developed autism than women who did not.
Hashimoto’s is an autoimmune condition in ...
We’ve long been told if we want to be healthier and live longer we need to drop the pounds, but turns out being fit is the best predictor for longevity, even if you’re overweight.
A team of researchers examined a collection of studies that together looked at thousands of people for as long as 16 years.
They divided study subjects into three groups: normal weight, overweight, and obese. They then divided them into fit and unfit groups based on endurance tests, typically running on a ...
A man with celiac disease is suing the FDA, demanding they take action on the undisclosed use of wheat in an estimated 150 different prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) medications.
Although about 1 percent of the population suffers from celiac disease, vastly more have gluten sensitivity and must also abstain from eating wheat to avoid a variety of health conditions that typically involve inflammation, such as joint pain, brain-based disorders, skin problems, gut problems, and more.
The man sued the FDA after they failed to respond to a ...
After studying dieting for 20 years, a researcher concluded diets simply don’t work, a fact countless Americans have spent 20-plus years of their own lives validating.
Why? Dieting is constructed around faulty principles that defy human biology and psychology. The “calories in versus calories out” model fails to account for hormonal shifts during weight loss, the psychological consequences of deprivation, and the futility of willpower when it comes to eating.
In a nutshell, the human body has mechanisms in place designed to compensate for starvation.
In the 1800s the average girl didn’t hit puberty until she was 15. Today the average age of puberty is 12, while the numbers of children showing signs of puberty before age 10 is at all time high and rising. We have seen the age at which children, primarily girls, hit puberty drop in just the last generation.
The numbers are startling. Breast development and other signs or puberty are starting by age 7 in 10 percent of white girls, 15 percent of Hispanic girls, and ...
Do you feel you need anti-depressants or anti-anxiety medications, or has your doctor said you do? Although true depression or anxiety disorders need management, many women are misled into believing they need treatment for what is actually normal behavior. Women are designed to be sensitive to their environments, emotionally in tune with their children and loved ones, and intuitive — traits that ensure survival. Women are also wired to express emotions and to pick up on the emotions of others.
Unfortunately, emotionality ...
Do you have an older loved one in your life who seems to be wasting away no matter what you do to keep them nourished and healthy? This may be due to a condition called SIBO, or small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. SIBO happens when bacteria that normally belong in the large intestine travel backwards to colonize the small intestine. The small intestine is where we absorb the majority of our nutrients. Because SIBO inflames and damages the small intestine, this prevents ...
Do you “crash” after a busy or stressful event, suffering from extreme exhaustion that keeps you confined to your bed or couch? Do these crashes last anywhere from a day to a week or even longer? If so, you’re not alone and you may suffer from autoimmunity, a condition in which the immune system attacks and destroys tissue in the body. (Which tissue depends on genetics and the type of autoimmunity you have.)
In fact, a recent survey of almost 8,000 autoimmune patients found ...
Do you curse every spring when we have to move the clocks forward for Daylight Saving Time (DST)? Does it take you weeks to recover? You’re not alone. Studies show DST is hard on our health and dangerous to boot, making it an outdated relic that adds stress to an already over-stressed society.
DST doesn’t just make people tired in the morning. Studies show the number of car accidents increases after DST, likely due to tired drivers. A Swedish study also found that the ...
Botox, fillers, and plastic surgery seem de rigueur these days, with anti-aging spas in practically every strip mall. No longer the domain of celebrities, Botox treatments are more affordable than ever and hence accessible to the masses. But at what price? Some research suggests those regular wrinkle-relaxing Botox shots may be messing with your brain — in more ways than one.
For starters, some studies suggest Botox may actually make its way into your brain. Rat studies showed that when botulinum toxin, type A ...
Nicely scented products can trigger pleasant memories or a good mood. In fact, some of the chemicals used in perfumes have been found to have a mild narcotic effect. Sadly, however, they can also trigger serious physical illnesses and reactions in people who have developed a chemical sensitivity, and the numbers of such people are growing. But don’t blame the canaries in the coal mine — artificially scents are toxic to all people — just some folks have lost their resilience to them.
Perfumes contain ...
If you’re like most people, you probably have a vague notion artificial food coloring is “bad.” You’ve also probably heard it makes some kids hyperactive. But did you know the science on artificial food dyes is so thorough and damning that they are banned in two European countries, require warning labels throughout the European Union (and are hence little used), and that Wal-Mart, Coca Cola, and Kraft in Britain don’t use them?
What do Europeans know that we don’t? Actually, they have access to ...
We live in a time of unprecedented abundance of food and medical advances yet we are sicker than ever. It is considered normal to suffer from insomnia, PMS, depression, chronic pain, heartburn, constipation, diarrhea, and so on. But in reality these are our bodies’ warning signs that something is wrong.
“All disease begins in the gut,” said Hippocrates. Understanding digestion helps you understand why you stay well or get sick.
From north to south
Digestion starts in the brain. When your brain gets the ...
The adrenal glands are two walnut-sized glands that sit atop the kidneys and that can make the different between being bouncy and energetic or run down and burned out. This is because they release stress hormones and the hormone cortisol, which, among other things, gives us energy.
Unfortunately, the adrenal glands are under siege by our stressed-out modern lives. In addition to stress, blood sugar swings, gut infections, food intolerances, chronic viruses, environmental toxins, and autoimmune conditions tax the adrenal glands. The ...
Aging people have long since been resigned to living out their latter years avoiding salt and eating a bland, tasteless diet. But new research shows the risks of salt may be overblown. Also, if you have low blood pressure, salt can actually serve as a boost to your health.
Salt has been recognized as a precious commodity throughout human history, even serving as a form of legal currency. Not only is it vital to our health, it also preserves foods and, as anyone who has accidentally ...
Everyone is familiar with addiction to some degree, whether it’s that daily dose of chocolate you can’t give up or watching a loved one succumb to drug abuse. Many factors play a role in addiction, but some research suggests loneliness plays a pivotal role in encouraging addiction, and that taking measures to remedy loneliness can be powerful therapy.
Addiction can apply to any substance or activity (alcohol, drugs, shopping, sex, food, gambling, Facebook, etc.) that delivers pleasure but becomes compulsive and interferes with daily life ...
If you regularly drink diet soda and use artificial sweeteners because you think it will help you lose weight, you’re unwittingly sabotaging your efforts. Sure, artificial sweeteners like sucralose, saccharine, and aspartame save on calories, but a recent Israeli study shows they can skew the composition of gut bacteria, or our microbiome in a way that promotes obesity and diabetes.
We’re increasingly learning about the trillions of bacteria that live in the gut, weighing in at 3 to 4 pounds, and the profound ...
If you’re like most people you are hoping to start the New Year by losing a few pounds. However, did you ever stop to wonder just where those pounds go when you lose them? Turns out most experts don’t know either, and the answer may surprise you.
Most people think that when we burn fat it creates heat and energy, but that’s not true. Instead, the majority of the fat we burn leaves through our lungs when we breathe – the more ...
Do you like to play a little Candy Crush or surf Facebook before bed? Or maybe you’re vegging out in front of your giant LED television or reading a novel on your iPad. Then when you turn the lights off you toss and turn frustratingly into the wee hours of the morning, glancing constantly at the bright blue numbers on your alarm clock just inches from your face. You’re not alone – Americans are alarmingly insomniatic and sleep-deprived these days. The CDC says ...
Most of us are starting the New Year with resolutions to improve, but few changes will improve your life more than regular exercise. However, starting an exercise habit can seem insurmountable to the chronically sedentary. This article offers tips to get you motivated to begin and stick with regular exercise.
First off, there’s more to exercise than just weight loss. Have you seen the significant difference between elderly people who exercise versus those who don’t? That’s because the organ that benefits most ...
America is on a never-ending quest to satisfy its sweet tooth without the health risks of sugar and other sweeteners. Anyone with a natural bent knows to avoid toxic artificial sweeteners such as aspartame and sucralose, but what about the more “natural” ones, such as xylitol, erythritol, and sorbitol? Although they’re found on the shelves of health food stores, it’s worth knowing a few things about these “natural” sweeteners.
The good news about xylitol, erythritol, and sorbitol
Xylitol, erythritol, and sorbitol are sugar alcohols that are either ...
Do you often wake up at 3 a.m., your mind racing with thoughts, and you can’t fall back asleep? Try this crazy sounding but highly effective tip: Eat something! Make sure it’s not something sweet but instead something with protein and fat, such as nut butter, a bit of hard boiled egg, or some meat. Make sure to keep some food next to your bed with a glass of water so you don’t wake yourself up too much by going to ...
A candida infection is an overgrowth of the fungus Candida albicans. It can affect the skin, mouth, throat, genitals, or blood. Common expressions of a candida infection include oral thrush, a vaginal yeast infection, jock itch, athlete’s foot, and even brain fog and fatigue. If the infection enters the bloodstream, it is called invasive candidiasis and causes myriad, non-specific symptoms. This is because candida produces toxins that infiltrate organs and tissues.
What causes candida
Sugar. Candida can be caused by a variety of factors. The fungus thrives ...
Eating disorders affect an estimated 5 to 10 percent of the population and are generally thought to be a psychological disorder. However, new research from France shows gut bacteria can also play a role in causing eating disorders. The study showed eating disorders developed in mice who had an immune reaction to a protein made by gut bacteria. Basically they reacted to these proteins as if they had an allergy or sensitivity to them. The protein made by the gut bacteria is very ...
Teens burn through life because, well, they can, and research shows two out of three teens are severely sleep deprived. But what teens and the adults in their lives don’t realize is that sleep deprivation raises the risk of car accidents and driving fatalities (driving sleepy is as bad as driving drunk), obesity, diabetes, depression, risk-taking behavior, and suicidal ideation. It also raises the risk of the very adult diseases of high blood pressure and heart disease.
Studies show sleep deprivation also impairs judgment, impulse control, ...
BPA (bisphenol-A) is gaining recognition as an undesirable toxin that people now try to avoid in plastics, particularly water bottles. But it’s harder to avoid than you think – research shows handling those seemingly innocuous store receipts quickly raises blood levels of BPA.
BPA on store receipts
Store and fast food receipts, ATM receipts, airline tickets, gas station receipts, and other thermal papers use large amounts of BPA on the surface as a print developer. Holding a receipt coated with BPA for just five seconds is enough ...
By now you’ve probably heard of CoQ10 and it’s anti-aging potential. The newest discovery in the anti-aging world is PQQ (pyrroloquinoline quinone). PQQ works inside your cells like CoQ10 by defending them from damage. But what sets PQQ apart is that it can also energize your cells so they function better. This is done by PQQ's ability to enhance mitochondrial function.
Mitochondria are tiny compartments inside the body’s cells that are often referred to as the cell’s batteries or energy factories. Just as ...
When it comes to battling inflammation and autoimmunity, research shows resveratrol and curcumin work better when taken together than separately.
Supplemental resveratrol is derived from Japanese knotweed and the compound is also found in the skin of red grapes. Curcumin is derived from the curry spice turmeric. Both are well known for their antioxidant, inflammation-quenching qualities when taken in therapeutic doses — simply eating curry or drinking wine are not going to impart much beneficial effect. Studies of the compounds look at ...
Alzheimer’s and memory loss can seem like a sort of death sentence that strikes out of the blue and has no cure. Although genetics play a role, so does your diet and lifestyle, which means you can do something about Alzheimer’s and memory loss before the damage is too great.
In the first study of its kind, nine out of 10 patients reversed their memory loss and showed considerable long-term improvement following a program that included dietary changes, exercise, supplementation, sleep improvements, and brain ...
So you’ve either just gotten the results back from your food sensitivity test or your practitioner says you need to follow the autoimmune diet, also called the leaky gut diet, to manage your autoimmunity. The autoimmune diet comes as a shock to many due its strict limitations and compliance can be tough. The trick to sticking to the autoimmune diet is understanding how to work with your mind to establish new habits.
Although a goal is important — say someone wants to manage her Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism, ...
Remember how food allergies were a rarity when you were a kid? Those days are over — food allergies have risen 50 percent between 1997 and 2007. Sales of the EpiPen, an epinephrine injection in the event of a life-threatening allergic reaction, rose 76 percent in one year recently.
The reasons for peanut-free flights and nut-free lunch tables at schools have been considered a mystery, but researchers are beginning to find clues as to what may be causing the explosive rise in ...
Managing a chronic illness and improving your health can require some drastic lifestyle changes. Although most people report feeling and functioning better on such a protocol, some obsess over the minutiae, spend days on the internet hunting for answers that don’t seem to exist, and worry constantly about their health and whether they’re “following the rules.” The end result? A heap of health-sabotaging stress.
For those prone to anxiety, type A behavior, eating disorders or wanting to do everything right, a change in ...
You notice you’re feeling worse and worse. You suffer from chronic fatigue, pain, digestion issues, depression, anxiety, insomnia …. the list goes on. Yet when you go to your doctor, you’re told your lab tests are fine, it’s just age, or perhaps you need an antidepressant. If you press for more tests or keep returning with complaints, you’re labeled a problem patient or told it’s all in your head.
Unfortunately, this happens to untold numbers of people each year. When you can ...
Autoimmune disease has become frighteningly common today. This degenerative condition, which can affect any tissue in the body or brain, happens when the immune system attacks and destroys the body as if it were a foreign invader. Chances are either you or someone you know has an autoimmune disease. Some of the more commonly known autoimmune diseases include Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism, multiple sclerosis, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, type 1 diabetes, celiac disease, and psoriasis.
Although the statistics for autoimmune disease are alarming enough — ...
Are you lazy and unmotivated? Do you have plenty to do, yet spend all your time watching TV or goofing around online, and then beat yourself up for it? Your lack of motivation could signal chronic health issues more so than regrettable character flaws. Although we all need some degree of discipline, life’s daily duties shouldn’t feel like insurmountable chores. Good health means you have the energy, motivation, and desire to not only manage daily life, but also make in time ...
Often chronic health problems can be traced back to one thing: unstable blood sugar that comes from eating too many desserts, sweet coffee drinks, processed grains (bread, pasta, etc.), and other starchy foods. Our cultural complacency with high-carbohydrate diets has made us the most obese and chronically sick population in the world.
How blood sugar becomes imbalanced
We only needs about a teaspoon’s worth of sugar in the bloodstream at any one time, a level we can meet just by eating vegetables. Consistently ...
Do you vaguely remember a time when you had a libido? Sexual desire is a sign of good health and if yours is absent, it may be your body needs a tune up. Of course major stressors, traumas, bad relationships, raising babies, and other chaotic intrusions can squash your libido, but you should otherwise consider it a normal part of life. If yours has gone missing it’s your body’s way of raising a red flag to gain your attention.
People who use ...
Leaky gut conjures unpleasant imagery of intestinal contents spilling into the body. Unfortunately, that is pretty much what happens, and the results are a wide array of chronic health issues. When compounds from the intestines pass through a damaged gut wall into the sterile environment of the bloodstream, they can trigger various health conditions: skin problems, joint pain, chronic pain, autoimmune disease, mysterious symptoms, puffiness, fatigue, brain fog, depression, anxiety disorders, poor memory, asthma, food allergies and sensitivities, seasonal allergies, fungal ...
Are you one of the 20 percent of Americans with acid reflux and heartburn? You’re probably chalking the problem up to too much stomach acid, but in many cases it’s the opposite causing the problems – too little stomach acid is the culprit behind those fiery episodes that feel like they’re burning a hole in your chest.
How can that be possible?
The environment of the stomach is highly acidic so that it can quickly break down meats and other foods, protect you from ...
Headed for the donut tray at the AA meeting? It’s not uncommon for people recovering from alcoholism or other addictions to report a ravenous sweet tooth. Alcohol is essentially fermented sugar and is frequently mixed with something sweet, so the alcoholic goes into recovery with a raging sugar addiction already established. Also, addiction in general spikes blood sugar; going cold turkey can cause drops in blood sugar and symptoms of hypoglycemia. This in turn causes sugar cravings that, in the brain of an alcoholic, ...
You’ve probably seen antioxidant labels on foods and supplements, but what does it mean exactly and what is the best antioxidant to choose? Antioxidant means it prevents oxidation, a process that happens to all cells in nature, including those in the human body. Oxidation happens when oxygen interacts with cells and it’s what makes an apple turn brown, metal rust, or food go rotten. In the body oxidation is a normal part of cell turnover. However, a small minority of oxidized cells become ...
When someone breaks your heart, a loved one dies, or tragedy of another nature hits you, people often report the grief feels like a physical pain. That’s because your brain reacts to heartbreak or grief the way it would to an injury. Knowing this can help us put some natural pain-relieving strategies to work when grief is threatening to pull us under. I can’t promise a way out -- it seems the most enduring medicine for emotional pain is still the passage of time and ...
We all like things that make us high on life — that feel-good rush after exercising, a good belly laugh, playful activities with friends, meditation, a good massage, or a loved one’s touch. These are examples of things that release endorphins, the body’s chemicals that give us a natural high. But endorphins do more that make us feel good; endorphins are necessary for proper immune function. In fact, some studies suggest people with chronic illness suffer from low endorphins. If you ...
Do you always feel tired in the afternoon, wake up groggy, or feel flattened by exercise? You might suffer from a common condition called adrenal fatigue, in which the body can’t respond properly to life’s stresses. Some other signs and symptoms of adrenal fatigue include:
Insomnia, especially between 2 and 4 a.m.
The afternoon ‘blahs’
Cravings for salt, sugar or stimulants, especially in the afternoon
Lightheadedness upon standing
Chronic low blood pressure
Irritability and jitters when hungry
Thankfully, certain lifestyle habits are highly effective in helping restore your ...
When the body hurts, people reach for over-the-counter (OTC) painkillers to ease their suffering; they are the most frequently used medications in the United States. Although they offer easy-access pain relief, they have been linked to hearing loss and you may want to be careful about using them on a regular basis.
A Harvard-affiliated study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology suggests that frequent use of the painkillers ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and acetaminophen (Tylenol) may contribute to hearing loss. The study tracked more ...
The digestive tract is home to more than 100 trillion microorganisms. That’s ten times the number of cells in the human body! Although humans can survive without these tiny guests, they perform a host of useful functions, such as fermenting unused food, preventing growth of harmful bacteria, producing vitamins, and training the immune system. But did you know the bacteria in your gut can affect your brain, too? In fact, recent research on the gut has found some interesting links between ...
Recent health headlines proclaimed gluten sensitivity doesn’t exist, fueling a backlash against the gluten-free diet as a baseless fad. These stories point to a recent study questioning the relationship between non-celiac gluten sensitivity and digestive symptoms. Sadly, they mislead the public by glossing over major points of research and cherry-picking information to debunk gluten sensitivity.
The study looked at how people with gluten sensitivity reacted to varying levels of gluten. Significant to the study was the elimination of FODMAPS (Fermentable Oligo-, Di-, and Monosaccharides, and Polyols), carbohydrates in ...
So you’re officially gluten-free. You have your kitchen and shopping lists dialed in and you know how to look for hidden gluten in packaged foods. Ready to go! But wait -- did you know that some body products and household items, as well as over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription medications contain hidden gluten? These items can be the source for ongoing immune activation for those with celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity. Additionally, many people with autoimmune conditions experience cross-reactions with corn, a filler used in many medications that ...
Congratulations, you’ve gone gluten free to improve your health! Perhaps you have celiac disease, or non-celiac gluten sensitivity, both of which require avoidance of gluten for optimal health. You know to avoid wheat, barley, rye, triticale, einkorn, farro, kamut, spelt, farina, emmer, durum, and semolina, plus most oats because they are commonly cross-contaminated with gluten grains in the field or factory. That pretty much sums it up, right?
Well, not quite. Gluten can actually reside as a hidden component in many common food ingredients, which can ...
Anyone with diabetes knows it’s important to manage insulin levels. Functional medicine offers unique tools to manage insulin and blood sugar -- including diet, exercise, stress management, detoxification, and maximizing essential nutrients. To understand how all these tools apply, it’s helpful to know how insulin works.
Insulin and Blood Sugar: A Balancing Act
Insulin helps keep glucose (sugar) levels in the bloodstream within normal range. When you eat, carbohydrates are broken down into glucose, our primary energy source. When glucose enters the bloodstream, ...
We’ve all heard that a high-fiber diet is good for health because it keeps the digestive system moving. As it turns out, fiber also plays a more important role than we suspected. To understand why, we need to take a look at the gut microbiome -- the community of microorganisms that live in the digestive tract.
Trillions of bacteria live in the human gut –- they account for ten times more cells than in the human body -- and they play vital roles in ...
It’s no secret that drinking too much alcohol can cause a hangover. Have you ever wondered what goes on inside your body that could cause so much suffering? The facts are intriguing, and may even change how much you drink.
The formal term for hangover is veisalgia, from kveis, the Norwegian word for “uneasiness following debauchery,” and algia, the Greek word for pain. Generally, the more drinks consumed, the worse the hangover. Some common symptoms of hangover include:
While we don’t ...
For years, medicine has pegged obesity as the number one cause of diabetes. However, results of a recent large epidemiological study suggest it’s sugar that plays a pivotal role in diabetes. The study also illustrates that how many calories you eat isn't as important as what makes up those calories -- the study found calories from sugar is more damaging than calories from other foods.
Researchers looked at the correlation between sugar availability and diabetes in 175 countries during the last ten ...
You may have heard of the importance of an alkaline diet. It can help reduce acidity in the body and prevent bone demineralization, kidney stones, back pain, muscle wasting, hypertension, stroke, cancer, asthma and exercise-induced asthma. The foods you eat profoundly affect how acidic or alkaline you are, and thus your health.
Let’s begin with some chemistry… pH is a measure of how acidic or alkaline something is. On a scale of 0 to 14, a pH of 0 is totally acidic, ...
Everyone has heard that high cholesterol is bad for heart health. But as it turns out, the association between cholesterol and cardiovascular disease has been somewhat misrepresented. Doctors are starting to accept that cholesterol levels do not necessarily predict risk for heart disease as much as we thought. Consider the following:
75 percent of people who have heart attacks have normal cholesterol.
Older patients with lower cholesterol have a higher risk of death than those with higher cholesterol.
Countries with higher average cholesterol than Americans such as the ...
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), a condition of severe, chronic tiredness, is a well-known term in the medical world and affects between one and four million people in the United States. However, since it was coined in 1988, considerable controversy has arisen over the term CFS. Many patients, advocacy groups, and experts believe the name trivializes the condition and leads to a lack of respect for patients within the medical community; some doctors view the illness skeptically and as a psychosomatic condition, and patients ...
Are you considering going on a special diet, such as the autoimmune Paleo diet, the leaky gut diet, the SCD diet, or the GAPS diet? The thought of a major diet change can bring feelings of uncertainty and questions such as, “Can I handle this? What do I eat for breakfast?” Food powerfully impacts our emotions, and dietary changes can really “rock the boat” in daily life. However, by thinking ahead and employing some simple strategies you can ensure a successful ...
Anyone concerned with health and wellness has heard about the gluten-free diet. Eliminating gluten is critical for those who have celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity. What many gluten-free newcomers don’t realize is that many common gluten-free foods contain ingredients that just promote a different set of health problems. In this article we’ll discuss how to avoid this common pitfall so you can transition more easily to a healthy gluten-free diet.
The hidden risk in going gluten-free
Many people rely on packaged and prepared foods for ...
The most commonly diagnosed medical condition in the United States is high blood pressure, or hypertension, and blood pressure medications are among the top 10 most commonly prescribed drugs. However, these medications can cause undesirable side effects. It’s better to address the underlying causes of high blood pressure—research shows diet and lifestyle changes are just as effective or even better than medications in lowering high blood pressure.
Why should you be concerned about high blood pressure? High blood pressure increases the risk ...
Did you know that approximately two-thirds of all doctor’s office visits are for stress-related complaints? Stress is the body’s reaction to any situation that is demanding or dangerous. When we experience stress, the body responds by making adrenal hormones (such as epinephrine, norepinephrine, and cortisol) that help your body cope. Commonly called the “fight or flight” response, this is where your blood pressure increases, your hands sweat, and your heart rate and breathing quicken. You’ve probably felt it during that big job interview, before a ...
If you’re following the strict leaky gut or autoimmune diet, you may have noticed nightshades are on the list of foods to avoid. Many common and much-loved vegetables belong to the nightshade family, including eggplants, tomatoes, potatoes, sweet and hot peppers (but not black pepper), and chili-based spices, including paprika. What many people don’t realize is nightshades contain compounds that can contribute to their pain, digestive issues, and inflammation. Some people are sensitive to nightshades so it’s important to determine whether they ...
With romance around the corner, have you thought about how to express your affection for someone you love who lives with a chronic illness? Chronic illness is at an all-time high in the United States, with 75 percent of our health care dollars going to treat such chronic illnesses as heart disease, diabetes, and autoimmune conditions. Because chronic illness is invisible to others, living with the symptoms of pain, fatigue, depression, and inflammation can be very stressful.
Chocolates: not a good idea for chronically ill
Do you suffer from depression, anxiety disorders, brain fog, memory loss, or other brain-based issues? While conventional medicine turns to drug treatments, recent research points to poor gut health as the root of mental illness. This is because inflammation in the gut triggers inflammation throughout the body, including in the brain, bringing on depression, anxiety, brain fog, memory loss and other neurological symptoms. Although many factors affect gut health—and hence brain health—one of the more profound is a sensitivity to gluten, the protein ...
Obesity has long been blamed on laziness and lack of will power, but exciting new research shows the composition of your gut bacteria, which may have been set since birth, can play a deciding role in whether you’re thin or fat. In mice studies, mice that received bacteria from an obese person became obese. What’s more exciting is mice studies show that transplanting bacteria from thin humans into obese mice causes the obese mice to lose weight. This is a promising discovery for those who ...
Have you noticed signs banning the wearing of perfumes or heavy fragrance in some places? Or perhaps you yourself experience unpleasant or even debilitating symptoms when exposed to perfumes, scented products, gasoline fumes, car exhaust, or other chemical odors. A growing number of people suffer migraines, rashes, fatigue, mood changes, autoimmune flare ups, or more when exposed to chemical-based scents or fumes. Even formerly pleasurable products, such as scented dryer sheets, can tip some people into a tailspin.
Multiple chemical sensitivities is now called ...
Although diet obviously plays a role in leaky gut, so do other factors, such as high blood sugar, chronic stress, and hormonal imbalances. However, it’s important not to overlook the impact of seemingly innocuous over-the-counter (OTC) medications, as well as some prescription ones.
Leaky gut, or intestinal permeability, is a condition in which the walls of the small intestine become inflamed, damaged, and porous, allowing undigested foods, bacteria, yeast, and other pathogens into the bloodstream. Once these pathogens escape the confines of ...
With the cost of health care, health insurance, deductibles, and copays going through the roof, getting sick has become financially hazardous. Although we can’t fully control our fate, we can sway the odds in our favor so that we need the health care system as little as possible—more than 75 percent of health care costs are devoted to chronic conditions, including heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes, and arthritis.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) boils down the sorry state of American health ...
When you buy fish oil you will notice different companies tout how much DHA or EPA their product has. While both are beneficial, you may want to consider the unique properties of each to address different aspects of health. EPA has anti-inflammatory effects while DHA is known for boosting brain health.
DHA stands for docosahexaenoic acid and EPA stands for eicosapentaenoic acid. Both are omega-3 fatty acids found in cold-water fish such as salmon, sardines, herring, mackerel, black cod, and bluefish. A vegetarian source of omega ...