The Healthy Melissa's Blog

My journey into the world of Health,Wellness, and Functional Medicine

The Under-tested Parathyroid Gland: The Importance of Testing

Intro:

The Parathyroid glands are 4 small glands of the endocrine system which are located in the neck behind the thyroid.  They secrete parathyroid hormone (PTH), and are essential organs for the regulation of calcium and phosphate metabolism.

They measure the amount of calcium in the blood every minute of every day… and if the calcium levels go down a little bit, the parathyroid glands recognize it and make PTH, which goes to the bones and takes some calcium out (makes a withdrawal from the calcium vault) and puts it into the blood. When the calcium in the blood is high enough, then the parathyroids shut down and stop making PTH.

They are necessary to sustain life and maintain homeostasis, The clinical picture of some disorders associated with abnormal parathyroid hormone secretion and receptor action is sometimes complicated by coexisting abnormalities.

Hyperparathyroidism:

The single major disease of parathyroid glands is over-activity of one or more of the parathyroids which make too much parathyroid hormone causing a potentially serious calcium imbalance (too high calcium in the blood). This is called hyperparathyroidism.

 

This is an actual parathyroid tumor that was removed from a patient.

This woman gave me permission to use her picture and disclose details about her history. This is the tumor removed from the parathyroid gland. As you can see here, her parathyroid was putting out 10 times the amount of PTH that a normal parathyroid would!  She has a history of Hashimoto’s auto immune thyroid, sub-optimal vitamin D status even though she takes 5,000 IUs every day, and chronically iron anemic (which I have tested further the markers discussed in my last post about the anemia of chronic disease and anemia of inflammation). And she was not iron anemia due to a deficiency of iron, but because of inflammation or chronic disease.

When the doctors looked at her thyroid they saw no shredding of thyroid tissue from antibodies (we have her rubbing Glutathione cream over her thyroid for years) and she had no nodules (which is common with Hashimoto’s, we have her taking 200 mcg of Selenium).

 

The Importance of Functional Medicine Ranges:

When you have blood work done through LabCorp, Quest or any other labs, you have to ask “Where do they get their lab ranges from?” Each lab has their OWN lab ranges. The labs get their ranges from taking the average of all the sick people who go to the lab. The lab ranges are ever changing as well.

About 30 years ago, a group of doctors got together and realized that people were having symptoms and feeling crummy despite being “within range.” These doctors decided to look at the blood tests of people who were optimally healthy and optimally functioning. Thus, functional medicine ranges were born.

With functional medicine ranges, they RARELY change. I’ve been working in this wellness center for 6 years and only ONCE have I seen thyroid hormone lab ranges changes (and that was December of 2016). However, I have noticed that LabCorp and Quest have changed the ranges for cholesterol, sodium, potassium, blood sugar, and hormones at least 5 times.

Differences Among Lab Ranges:

If you see here on the picture, THIS particular parathyroid institute who removed her tumor has a lab range for PTH of 30 – 80. LabCorp  has a range for PTH of 15 – 65 (no age specific range) with Calcium 8.6 – 10.2 , Quest has a more age and gender specific range for PTH 14 – 64 for >17 years  and Calcium ( gender and age specific ranges).

There are differences among lab ranges depending upon which lab you go to. But functional ranges rarely ever change.

The Bottom Line:

Tests to check: 

Calcium, serum

PTH, Intact

If you have consistently had elevated calcium >10.1, ask your doctor to check PTH to rule out a parathyroid tumor. The majority of these growths are non-cancerous. According to the Norman Parathyroid Center these are the following symptoms that can occur with a growth on the parathyroid gland:

 Symptoms of Parathyroid Disease (Hyperparathyroidism)

  • Loss of energy. Don’t feel like doing much. Tired all the time. Chronic fatigue. (#1 symptom)
  • Just don’t feel well; don’t quite feel normal. Hard to explain but just feel kind of bad.
  • Feel old. Don’t have the interest in things that you used to.
  • Can’t concentrate, or can’t keep your concentration like in the past.
  • Osteoporosis and Osteopenia.
  • Bones hurt; typically it’s bones in the legs and arms but can be most bones.
  • Don’t sleep like you used to. Wake up in middle of night. Trouble getting to sleep.
  • Tired during the day and frequently feel like you want a nap (but naps don’t help).
  • Spouse claims you are more irritable and harder to get along with
  • Forget simple things that you used to remember very easily (worsening memory).
  • Gastric acid reflux; heartburn; GERD.
  • Decrease in sex drive.
  • Thinning hair (predominately in middle aged females on the front part of the scalp).
  • Kidney Stones
  • High Blood Pressure (sometimes mild, sometimes quite severe; up and down a lot).
  • Recurrent Headaches
  • Heart Palpitations (arrhythmias). Typically atrial arrhythmias.
  • Atrial Fibrillation (rapid heart rate, often requiring blood thinners and pacemakers).
  • High liver enzymes
  • Development of MGUS and abnormal blood protein levels.

Most people with hyperparathyroidism will have 5 – 6 of these symptoms. Some will have lots of them. A few people will say they don’t have any. In general, the longer you have hyperparathyroidism, the more symptoms you will develop.

This particular woman, did not have any symptoms at all. So many of these symptoms can be attributed to SO many other things. So it’s best to TEST, don’t GUESS.

 

Sources:

http://www.parathyroid.com/parathyroid.htm

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24712267

Iron Anemia: The Viral Connection

In 1982, Melvin Ball hypothesized that Herpes Simpex Virus 1 (HSV-1) was causative in Alzheimer’s Disease. He proposed that HSV-1 located in the 5th cranial nerve, (called Trigeminal ganglia) could travel up the cranial nerve when reactivated, and ascend along known nerve pathways into the Limbic system and areas of the brain most affected in Alzheimer’s Disease!

About 90% of people today have the herpes virus present within them. If you’ve ever had a cold sore on your lip, you have the Herpes Virus 1 present inside you.
Some statistics also have said that 1 in 6 people now have the Herpes Simple Virus 2 (HSV-2) (genital herpes).

The Epstein-Barr Virus, Shingles, Varicella-Zoster, Herpesvirus 1, 2 and 6 are all in the family of Herpesvirus.

What To Do If You Have a Herpes Outbreak:

If you have any of these viruses you should avoid consuming more than a few nuts and seeds everyday. This is because nuts and seeds contain high amounts of the amino acid L-Arginine, which causes the virus to come out and party.
If you have a cold sore right now, avoid all nuts and seeds, nut butters, pre-workouts (which usually contain a lot of arginine for increasing nitric oxide).

Instead, take 1g of L-Lysine 2-3x per day, which acts like birth control for the virus.

You can also take Lemon Balm Force from New Chapter (find at whole foods).


Lemon Balm (Melissa Officinalis) destroys the herpes virus and inhibits attachment to the host cells! In studies that I have read, the dosage that was most effective was 600 mg/day.

In addition, you can apply topically Super Lysine + from Quantum Health. This can be found at your local drug store, and its less expensive than Abreva (and also just as effective.)

 

Routine Maintenance: 

On the regular, you want to take at least 1g of L-Lysine per day to continue to keep viruses at bay.

The Virus – Iron Anemia Connection:

Another interesting fact that I have been researching and experimenting with is taking L-Lysine for Iron Anemia! Why? Because viruses FEED ON IRON.

If you are someone who is always taking iron, and your ferritin (storage of Iron) is staying low…ask your doctor to test Transferrin and Soluble Transferrin Receptor. These markers are most commonly elevated if you have a true iron deficiency. Transferrin can also be elevated in pregnancy or use of oral contraceptives.

Another helpful marker to test is Reticulocytes, this will determine if you are bleeding somewhere (which would cause iron to be low). Aside from having a really serious condition causing internal bleeding, or the destruction of red blood cells (hemolysis),  Reticulocytes elevated if a person has bleeding hemorrhoids (internal or external.) If these are high, this can be the source of your iron deficiency.

If your Transferrin & Soluble Transferrin Receptor is not elevated, you may be having a different kind of iron anemia.
There could be an anemia of inflammation or chronic disease going on. Then you must dig deeper to find out why you are having inflammation? Is it something in your diet/food sensitivities? Leaky gut? Viruses? Stress inducing Adrenal issues? Insulin resistance? Toxins?

Support for Anemia of Inflammation or Chronic Disease:

  1. If you are having Anemia of Inflammation or Chronic Disease, you must dampen the inflammation with an anti-inflammatory diet. You can throw all kinds of supplements at the inflammation in your body, but if you do not change your diet to exclude inflammatory foods then it will be like throwing a bucket of water on a house fire.
  2. Oxidative Stress contributes to Iron Anemia. How do we get antioxidants? From fruits and vegetables! In conjunction with that, several studies have shown the efficacy of Curcumin and Resveratrol on shutting off the inflammatory cascade that is produced by NF-kB (a self feeding inflammatory loop). I take 1g of Curcuplex from Xymogen, every day. I also take Resvero Active from Apex Energetics.
  3. SPMs –  (specialized pro-resolving mediators) found in fish oil. I recommend the company Metagenics.
  4. Ginger, Cardamom, Cinnamon, Cloves – all are anti-inflammatory spices that you can incorporate into your diet
  5. A lot of times, Iron can be low due to these sub-acute viruses that are residing within our bodies (I believe we will find out in the next 10 years how much of a commonality this really is). I recommend rotating anti-viral supplements, as well as eating lots of fruits and veggies, lowering your meat consumption. If you do not wish to do that, at least make sure the meat you choose to eat is of high quailty/grass fed/no antibiotics/no hormones added.
    1. L-Lysine to keep herpesviruses in check
    2. Black Elderberry Syrup
    3. Garlic extract – Allicin, is the antiviral property in Garlic
    4. Stinging Nettles (anti-viral herb)
    5. Monolaurin, from coconut
    6. Probiotic (This should be #1) This maintains our own immune system, you cannot have a healthy immune system without a healthy gut microbiome.
    7. Lemon Balm
  6. If you get with a Functional Medicine practitioner, Doctor of Oriental Medicine, Chiropractor, or Naturopath who is well versed in Func. Med. they can help you explore these options.

Sources:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1892378/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3377823/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4923765/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22377592

The Medical Medium by Anthony William

How To Test Yourself To See If Your Body Is Too Acidic

Hello Everyone! This is an easy, at home test that you can do to determine if your body is overall too acidic or not.

But first, let me explain how the Acid / Base scale works:

The pH scale goes from 0 – 14.

A pH of 7 is considered Neutral. 

Anything less than 7 is acidic

Anything greater than 7 is alkaline/basic

The normal pH of human blood is about 7.4, so it’s not extremely alkaline. Different parts of the body have different pH’s. Stomach acid has the pH of about 2, super acidic so that it can be able to denature your food. We don’t want our bodies to be TOO acidic or TOO alkaline, this can cause death.

What are the dangers of being too acidic?

Dr. Alex Vasquez shared a position paper on urinary alkalization written by emergency room physicians. These doctors worked with suicide patients that had been acutely poisoned or had cases of industrial poisoning. ER physicians found that when urinary pH was 7.5 (alkaline), the body was able to excrete toxins more readily.

When our bodies are too acidic, we have more incidence of:

  1. Lower functioning immune system
  2. Risk of cancers
  3. Overall poorer health
  4. Osteoporosis and Osteopenia

If you put cancer cells in a petri dish containing an alkaline environment, the cancer cells would die. Cancer and illness can only live in an acidic environment.

What causes our bodies to become acidic?

  • Stress. Stress increases the production of stress hormones such as cortisol , Interleukin-6, which can turn on inflammatory cascades in the body. Constant cortisol secretion can cause weight gain, more food sensitivities (because it deteriorates the gut lining), and sleep disorders (more things too).Blood tests show that a chemical called Interleukin-6 sharply increased in the blood of those who are stressed. Previous studies have associated IL-6 with several diseases, including heart disease, arthritis, osteoporosis, type-2 diabetes and certain cancers. More detrimental is that the increase in IL-6 can be turned on for up to 3 years after a highly stressful and chronic situation.
  • Diet. Not eating enough vegetables and fruits is the #1 contributor to an acidic environment. Eating grains, wheat, sugar (not fruit), processed foods, dairy, very non-nourishing foods can cause the leaching of calcium from bones to buffer the acidic environment and lead to osteoporosis. Especially with dairy! Dairy is highly acidic in the body, and several studies have confirmed that dairy does not prevent bone loss or make your bones strong. It actually does the opposite, and more incidents of osteoporosis is actually seen in countries that consume more dairy. Alcohol is another thing that when overindulged can do a lot of damage.
  • Mood. Studies also show that when you are a more pessimistic person, negative in nature or hold a lot of anger, it causes your body to have a lower functioning immune system. On the contrary, having an attitude of gratitude actually improves the regulatory T-cell function in your immune system.
  • Emotions. If you watch a scary movie and you’re feeling afraid, you will temporarily become acidic. If you see someone get hit by a car, boom acidic. If you are anxiety ridden or thinking so many overwhelming thoughts, you will drop down into acidic. We really don’t realize how powerful our mind is and how it can master us if we do not master it first.

Okay, now that we are all clear on what creates an acidic environment, lets move onto the test!

 

This is the chart that you will use for the reference ranges.

You will need: 

-pH Strips

         – 1 Tbsp of lemon juice in like 3 oz of water

– A stop watch.

– The chart above.

How it works:

  1. Start by taking 1 strip of the pH paper and placing the yellow side down on top of your tongue, close your mouth for 5 seconds. Make sure the yellow part is fully saturated with your saliva.
  2. Pull the strip out and match the color to the colors on the bottle of the pH strips. This is your starting pH.
  3. Now take the water mixed with 1 tbsp of lemon and drink it. Take another pH strip and place it on top of your tongue again as you did before. This is your pH after you have challenged it with acid. This will temporarily drop your pH down (which is what we want.)
  4. Now, start your stopwatch. You will wait 1 minute from the time you tested your pH after drinking the lemon, and then test your pH again with another strip.
  5. You are going to continue to do this for a total of 5 minutes. Record your pH results each time you do this.
  6. At the end of the test, if you pH is following the red line or above it, you have a good buffering system. Your body is not too acidic! Congratulations! If your pH is not good, and you dropped off after a certain point, you have some opportunities here.

What to do if you are too acidic:

  • First, assess your diet and lifestyle. Are you consuming enough fruits and vegetables? How are you at managing your stress? Do you find ways to relieve your stress? Do you drink lemon/lime water often? Do you smoke cigarettes or over drink? Do you eat too much sugar in the form of processed foods or grains/dairy? Do you live on coffee?
  • These are all pertinent questions that you need to ask yourself. The diet is  first and foremost the biggest thing that can contribute to being too acidic. I can suggest supplements to help you, but if you are unwilling to change any of these factors – it’s not going to work. It’ll be like throwing a bucket of water on a house fire.

If you turned out to be too acidic, don’t freak out! This is just an area that we have an opportunity to improve : )

I hope you enjoyed this post as much as I enjoyed writing it!

Sources:

www.tuesdayminute.net

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/why-stress-kills/

Coffee Enemas: The best part of waking up, is coffee in your butt!

Did the title catch your attention?! I hope you sang the title to the Folgers commercial song! Allow me to explain:

Coffee enemas have been around since the time of the civil war. Since their introduction during the late 1800s  they were used to help speed up healing following surgeries or to help heal cases of accidental poisoning. And if you didn’t know, surgeries were very unsterile and dangerous procedures until the introduction of washing hands before surgery & also the introduction of anesthesia.

The Gerson Protocol For Cancer

“Stay close to nature and her eternal laws will protect you.” – Dr. Max Gerson

In the 1950s coffee enemas were made famous and became more widespread thanks to Dr. Max Gerson (founder of the Gerson protocol which is practiced at the Hippocrates Institute in West Palm Beach). Dr. Gerson began using coffee enemas as a key to treating cancer patients, others are now turning to this procedure for various ailments that don’t respond well to traditional treatments or prescription medications.

“Dr. Gerson observed that cancer patients exhibited markedly degenerated organs, especially the liver, presumably caused by the clearing of toxic materials of an unknown type that the disease produced. He also noted that the situation became worse after chemotherapy, probably because of more toxic products entering the bloodstream. Gerson’s regimen focused on helping the liver rid the body of toxic substances while restoring and maintaining healthy liver function.”-www.cancer.gov

The purpose of coffee enemas are to assist in detoxifying the liver. Your liver is a filter for all the toxins that your body is exposed to from medications, air, pesticides, hormones, etc. The caffeine from the coffee travels through the portal vein through your intestines, to reach the liver.

The University of Minnesota conducted a study that demonstrated that coffee enemas are able to help stimulate the production of an enzyme created in the liver called glutathione s-transferase. Glutathione is the most powerful antioxidant in our body that helps our liver detoxify, removes heavy metals, helps us age slower and have an overall better status of health.

Other things that coffee enemas can help with (that I have seen in my practice):

  • I have seen coffee enemas be the only thing that eliminates unremitting nausea from cancer patients going through chemotherapy.
  • I have hear testimonials from patients about coffee enemas stopping a gall bladder attack.
  • I have seen pictures and heard testimonials of gall bladder stones (the size of quarters and nickels) being released with the administration of a coffee enema.
  • I have seen pictures of parasites being released from the intestines after doing coffee enemas.
  • Bloating and digestive issues improved because once coffee gets into the liver, the bile ducts are opened up and increase production of bile that’s needed for digestion and excretion.
  • Massive amounts of energy afterwards.
  • Skin appearance improved on face and body/acne/boils gone away.

Caffeine enemas cause dilation of bile ducts, which facilitates excretion of toxic cancer breakdown products by the liver and dialysis of toxic products from blood across the colonic wall.

  • Coffee enemas can produce the excretion of gallbladder stones, which will range from yellow to dark green in colors.  Cholesterol can even be excreted, which is a light green color. Mucoid plaque can be seen sometimes if you’re doing a series of enemas..this is a rubbery dark brown substance. Impacted debris that has been stuck in the crevices of the intestines is also common to be excreted.
The Coffee Enema Protocol:
This is the protocol that I follow, and it was given to me by an Iriodologist that I had went to in 2015:
  1. Mix 5 1/2 cups of Distilled Water and 4 tablespoons of ORGANIC CAFFEINATED GROUND COFFEE.
  2. Bring to a boil and let it simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. Place the liquid in the fridge or freezer for 20 minutes (periodically checking on it) When the liquid is cool use a fine colander to strain the coffee.
  4. The coffee will have boiled down to about 4 cups. You will pour the 4 cups of coffee into the enema bag.
  5. Take some coconut oil or olive oil and lubricate the enema tip. Insert the enema tip, set the timer for 15 minutes and turn on your right side.

(The first time you do this it may be difficult to go for the full 15 minutes – but some people do it. You will feel contractions that will make you want to go to the bathroom, but try and breathe/rub your belly to get past this. The contractions will come and go.)

  1. After the 15 minutes sit on the toilet and all that liquid will be flush out.

(You may notice you feel an increase in energy and stomach may feel flatter. Some people even notice  pains in their body decrease after doing these enemas.)

  1. You may even notice gallbladder stones floating to the top in the first enema or in future ones.

Things To Consider With Coffee Enemas:

Things that could be harmful are:
– If you don’t strain out the grains well which could lead to inflammation of the colon.
– Obviously you should wait until the liquid is cool enough before doing the enema, you don’t want to scald your insides. I say this because there is always that ONE person out there.
– If its not organic coffee beans being used. Coffee is one of the most highly sprayed crop. Don’t even drink non-organic coffee!
– There is also the risk of perforating your colon, if you’re shoving it in your rectum unlubricated or with too much force. (Even water colonics present their own risks, as well as benefits.)
– Electrolyte imbalance with over use of enemas or colonics can happen, I suggest drinking an electrolyte replenisher afterwards. I use Ultima Replenisher.

 

Sources:
http://cancerres.aacrjournals.org/content/42/4/1193
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25136541
https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/treatment/cam/hp/gerson-pdq
WebMD.com

The ACTN3 Gene: What Kind of Exercise Is Most Suited For YOUR BODY To Lose Weight?

Genetic testing is becoming more popular through websites such as 23andme. You spit in a vial and send it off, 8 weeks later – your entire genome is interpreted for you; showing you more about yourself than ever was able before.

Functional Medicine is all about getting to the root of the disease. I strongly agree that 1 size does not fit all in terms of treatment. But what happens when you are able to fine tailor a persons medical treatment right down to their genes?

I attended an amazing lecture on Stress, Genetics and how it effects Metabolism, with Dr. Penny Kendall-Reed, ND as the key speaker. Her clinical work with genetic testing has all the more confirmed that every single person requires more specified treatment. Right down to the type of exercise that they do!

The ACTN3 Gene: 

  • “Contains instructions for making the alpha-actinin-3 protein, which is found in fast twitch muscle fibers. Some people have a variant in the ACTN3 gene that causes them not to make any alpha-actin-3 protein. Almost all elite power athletes who have been studied have this genetic variant that allows them to produce this protein.” – 23andme.com

My Results:  I have done the 23andme genetic test, and I found out that I do not have ACTN3, a gene that encodes for the production of actin protein in fast twitch muscle fibers.

The Significance: Therefore I am an unlikely sprinter (thanks mom and dad) side note: Interestingly enough, both my parents did the test too. My father (a runner and former body builder) has 1 ACTN3 gene and my mother has none (my mom can’t run for crap). Higher odds are that I was going to not have the ACTN3 genes available to me.

Demographics For Prevalence Of ACTN3 Gene:

CC = 2 copies of the ACTN3 gene (which makes you a very fast elite athlete)

CT = 1 copy of ACTN3 gene and 1 non-copy (still fast)

TT = 2 non-copies of the ACTN3 gene (an unlikely sprinter and not as fast)

What This Translates To In Terms Of Exercise:

Because of this low/nonexistent actin protein, Dr. Kendall-Reed explains: “High Intensity Interval Training is not as beneficial for those with low actin protein. High Intensity Interval Training type exercises are more inflammatory, and can often make the person feel ‘bigger’ instead of slimming down.”  Instead, she states”exercises that are lighter in weight with higher repetitions – and longer/slower endurance exercises are more beneficial.” Dr. Kendall-Reed says that although she shares the same non-existent ACTN3 gene, she still does sprints – she does them for longer durations and spaces them out over the course of a week, instead of doing them every day.

My personal experience: I used to do more “Sprint 8” / HIIT exercises and didn’t feel it worked very well. I didn’t notice a rapid change in my body composition. More recently, these past two months I’ve been doing more resistance training/weight lifting and I’ve noticed a humongous change in my body composition in all the right ways. (makes total sense).

If you want to order a test kit, here is the link: 23andme !

If You Have Already Done The Genetic Test:

  1. Go to 23andme.com and sign in
  2. Click on “Reports”
  3. Click on “Wellness Reports”
  4. Click on “Muscle Composition”
  5. You will find your results in there.

 

 

 

Sources: 

23andme.com

all pictures are directly from 23andme.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sauna Bathing Decreases Cancer, All Heart Disease By 40% & Extends Life Span

In 2015 an incredible 20 year study of 2000 men aimed to measure the benefits of sauna usage. At the end of the study, they measured who died from non-accidental deaths, cancer, respiratory diseases, cardiovascular disease. What they found was:

  •  Men that used to sauna 2-3x/week were 27% less likely die from anything cardiovascularly related when compared to men who used the sauna only 1x/week.
  • Men who used the sauna 4-7x/week were 50% less likely to die from cardiovascular disease related deaths when compared to men who used the sauna only 1x/week.

Not only was frequency of sauna use important, but duration of sauna use was also vital! 19+ minutes had the most profound affect on lowering cardiovascular disease and cancer when compared to only 11 minutes of usage. Are you kidding me? 19 minutes or more?! It’s that easy??

How Is The Sauna So Beneficial?

If you think about it, the sauna in some ways mimics cardio exercise. When you’re in there, you’re sweating because it’s hot and your heart rate goes up. Blood flow increases to the heart, oxygen to the tissues increases. The sauna equates to a brisk walk.

Other Findings:

  • 2-3x/week of sauna use resulted in 24% lowered all cause mortality risk.
  • Men who used sauna 4-7% week were 40% less likely to die of cardio vascular diseases, cancer, neurodegenerative disease, respiratory disease and all other non-accidental diseases.
  • The sauna sensitizes the brain to endorphins (the feel good chemicals in the brain).

  • The sauna activates the activates FOXO3 gene that allows you to age slower and live longer.

  • The sauna Increases your own production of HGH – Human growth hormone.

  • Long-term sauna bathing may help lower blood pressure in those with hypertension and improve the left ventricular function in those with Congestive Heart Failure.
  • The sauna poses no risk to healthy people from infancy to old age, including healthy women in their uncomplicated pregnancy.

Sauna Bathing Activates Heat Shock Proteins: Which Lowers Dementia & Alzheimer’s Risk

Heat Shock Proteins (HSP) are proteins in the body that make sure that other proteins maintain their structure and work optimally. When proteins become damaged, they kind of fold,  this causes something called “protein aggregation” within our cells. This folding leads to protein aggregates (Beta amyloid plaque) within our brain.

As a normal part of existing in this world, the proteins in our body are being damaged every day. They become damaged more readily as we age because we are exposed to more toxins as we get older. This is why it is important to eat fruits and vegetables, the antioxidants repair that free radical damage and repair those aggregated proteins.

The Significance of “Protein Aggregation”: This leads to Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease and other Neurodegenerative Diseases.

HSP can reverse, repair & prevent those damaged folded proteins. This is precisely what is preventing Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease & neurodegenerative diseases. All of this is available to you simply by using the heat sauna.

Heat Stress From Sauna Bathing Activating FOXO3 Gene: Which Extends Life Span & Slows Aging

The FOXO3 gene is the master regulator of other genes, that have to do with stress and  the ability to handle stress. Many different kinds of stresses can damage our DNA…such as environmental toxins, pesticides on our foods, EMF’s from Wifi, unclean water. (The list can go on). But there is also GOOD kinds of stress, such as heat and cold, which activate the FOXO3 gene.

  • FOXO3 activates genes that repair DNA damage before it can form a mutation. FOXO3 is also involved in apoptosis (cell death) which is a protective mechanism against cancer. We have cancer cells in our body right now, but our loving immune system is there to perform apoptosis – which destroys these little buggers.
  • FOXO3 activates antioxidant genes that prevent damaged cells from secreting inflammatory cytokines. These damaged cells that secrete inflammatory properties are what accelerate the aging process in our body, our skin, our face. In mice studies, the FOXO3 gene actually activated other genes that allowed mice  to live 20% longer than their normal life span.
  • FOXO3 also activates your body’s own ability to create stem cells. As we age, we do not create as many stem cells.
  • Centenarians (those that have lived to 100 years old) were shown to have increased activity in the FOXO3 genes.

To summarize, if you want to live longer, have a better quality of life, reduce your risk of cancer, heart disease, neuro-degenerative diseases, create more stem cells, increase your growth hormones, increase production of endorphins in your brain, then start sweating it out in the sauna! It’s a no brainer.

 

Sources:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25705824

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27932366

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11165553

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9100952

 

Images from:

Doityourself.com

Psychologytoday.com

Sciencemag.org

Guilt-Free, Easy To Make Desserts

Hi everyone! I want to share with you two amazing, easy to make and fairly inexpensive dessert options that are guaranteed to be a big hit:

These are incredible Garbanzo Bean cookies!

 

Dessert #1

Ingredients:

1 can of garbanzo beans ( you can also use any other kinds of beans you want. Cannellini beans, black beans, kidney beans, etc.)

1/2 cup of peanut butter ( you can also use alternative nut butters as well)

1/4 cup of maple syrup

1 tsp of aluminum-free baking powder

2 tsp pure vanilla extract (make sure it’s not artificial vanilla extract)

pinch of himalayan salt

1/2 cup of cacao nibs or dairy free chocolate chips (I purchased mine at Whole Foods Market)

Optional: add in nuts

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Prepare a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  2. Drain & Rinse your garbanzo beans, then put them in a food processor
  3. Add in all other ingredients EXCEPT the chocolate chips. Blend it all together.
  4. After the ingredients are blended together, add the chocolate chips. Mix it all together with a spoon or your hands.
  5. Roll the batter into balls and place them onto the parchment paper.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes.
  7. Enjoy!

 

Dessert #2

These are a delectable dessert for anyone who is on an auto immune paleo diet. If you have multiple food sensitivities or if you’re working on overcoming an auto immune issue, these are extremely easy and affordable to make.

Ingredients:

1  1/2 cup of shredded unsweetened coconut (purchased from Trader Joes)

1 tbsp of coconut flour (purchased from Whole Foods Market)

Pinch of himalayan salt

2 tbsp coconut oil (Trader Joes has the cheapest)

1/8th cup of grade B maple syrup

1 tbsp vanilla extract (optional because this is not usually allowed on an AIP diet)

Instructions:

  1. Pulse all the ingredients in a food processor until well mixed.
  2. Roll into balls and put on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper
  3. Bake at 350F for 10-15 minutes, turn the macaroons over half way through.
  4. Let them cool in the refrigerator & enjoy!
  5. Note: a bit more coconut oil may be needed if the mixture is too dry.

Enjoy!

 

Low Melatonin Is More Disease-Causing Than PCBs! 

“Low Melatonin is more carcinogenic than PCBs” Dr. Penny Kendall-Reed, ND

The American Cancer Society survey of over one million people in 1959 to 1960 found that 2% of the sample reported getting less than 6 hours of sleep per night. A number of later surveys in the 1960s and 1980s indicated significant increases in the number of adults reporting short sleep durations. By 2004 the National Health Interview Survey indicated that for adults between 30 and 64 years of age about 30% were getting 6 hours or less of sleep per night. Given what we know about the impact of sleep loss on health and the potential for accidents, such increases are indeed alarming.

 

What is Melatonin?

Melatonin is the hormone secreted by the pineal gland in the brain that induces a deep state of sleep. More recently, science is showing that a substantial more amount of melatonin is actually being created in the gut than in the pineal gland. If you didn’t know, serotonin is also created in the gut.

 

Bad Gut, Bad Brain.

  1. When our gut production of melatonin becomes low, the gut becomes inflamed and that can signal  the start of more Gastrointestinal issues. Colonocytes, which are the cells that line the colon – are even effected when melatonin levels become low. The colonocytes become inflamed. (Inflammation in the colon leads to colon cancer).
  2. Studies show that melatonin actually improves the inflammation in the gray matter of the brain – this is especially important for people with Alzheimer’s and Dementia. The brain is inflamed in this neurological disease.
  3. Studies also show that if you have a traumatic brain injury, concussion, hit your heads in a car accident – nearly always afterwards you will develop gut issues. The gut and brain are linked without a doubt.
  4. If you do not take probiotics, have leaky gut, have bacterial/parasitic infections in the gut – your brain is invariably affected as well.
  5. The “happy neurotransmitter” serotonin is produced in the gut – bad gut, bad brain function!

 

Who Is At Risk For Low Melatonin?

  • Shift workers, graveyard shift workers, those with Insomnia, or any occupation that cause you to be awake over night and sleep during the day, reversing your circadian rhythm.
  • Because of this melatonin disruption, melatonin is actually being converted into Serotonin on a needed basis. You will find that because of this melatonin steal, you will not sleep as well. You may also find more incidence of mood disorders and depression because of this constant pattern of melatonin converting to serotonin. 

  • When the body is imbalanced in 1 area, it will pull on other pathways to compensate. Your body wants to be balanced all the time.

 

The Different Stages of Sleep.

There are stage 1 – 4 and then REM sleep.

Our body & brain heals in Stage 4 sleep. We are so stage 4 deprevant because of our lifestyles. We are so stressed, distracted by our phones, T.V., working late hours, and not finding time to relax and be happy! (Have you ever heard of a couple trying to get pregnant and they cant. They go on vacation and then they miraculously get pregnant? STRESS, I tell you! STRESS!! It inhibits the body from flourishing.)

Stage 4 sleep is when the brain cleans out all the toxins and garbage – this is why sleep is so important.

What about those who have bad dreams when they take melatonin?

Rapid Eye Movement (REM). If you go into REM sleep with high cortisol/adrenal issues, all your dreams will be in fight flight. That is precisely why you will have weird dreams. Which you weren’t having before you started taking melatonin because you didn’t go into deep REM sleep!

What about those that take melatonin and wake up groggy?

Normally when everything is functioning on its own & perfectly balanced, you spend time equally in each of the stages of sleep (stages 1,2,3,4, REM.) But that doesn’t always happen, sometimes a person can go from stage 1, 2, 3, REM and back to 1 (totally skipping over the stage 4 of sleep).

When someone has been stage 4 sleep deprived and then starts taking melatonin, the brain will go into a “catch up mode.” The brain will spend a disproportionate amount of time in stage 4 of sleep. That’s what’s causing the grogginess. The solution: Take the melatonin 1-2 hours before bed and it can help with the grogginess.

 

How To Tell If You Have Lower Serotonin or Dopamine Production:

1. Low dopamine people are the ones that crave: chips, savory, cheese, nuts, salty, fatty foods, wine.

  • L-Tyrosine is an amino acid that is the precursor to dopamine, you may have a deficiency in this amino acid. L-Tyrsosine is also very important for proper thyroid function, and can improve appetite control.

2. Low serotonin people are the ones who crave: sweets, chocolate, dessert, sugar.

  • L-Glutamine is an amino acid that has shown significant improvement in eliminating cravings for sweets. It also helps to repair gut lining/leaky gut. *Caution: if you are fighting active cancer you should avoid L-Glutamine.

Both L-Tyrosine and L-Glutamine are naturally occuring in foods. But higher therapeutic doses may be needed if you are having these symptoms. As always, talk to your functional medicine practitioner about this, and they’ll know what to do!

Hope you enjoyed this post as much as I enjoyed writing it. : )

 

Resources: 

innerouterpeace.com

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/sleepless-in-america/201001/are-we-really-getting-less-sleep-we-did-in-1975

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/01/150105081757.htm

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/03/19/melatonin-benefits.aspx

http://www.nbcnews.com/id/22026660/#.WPxvrVKZM9d

https://www.iarc.fr/en/media-centre/pr/2007/pr180.html

https://academic.oup.com/jnci/article/doi/10.1093/jnci/djw169/2706931/Night-Shift-Work-and-Breast-Cancer-Incidence-Three

The Mighty Power of Cinnamon

Did you know that you hold one of the most powerful spices in your kitchen cabinet? Cinnamon is a miracle spice that can aid in the healing of Type 2 Diabetes, Insulin Resistance, Weight loss, Arthritis, Inflammation, and even restoring of brain function in those with Dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease.

How To Create This Miracle Drink:

  1. Boil 16 ounces of water (make sure it’s bubbling first before you add the cinnamon)
  2. Add 1 heaping teaspoon of cinnamon powder to the water and stir for a minute or so.
  3. Squeeze 1/2 lemon into the water and stir
  4. You can add stevia if you desire, but cinnamon has it’s own sweetness to it.
  5. Drink this about 20 minutes before your largest meal or after a big meal and it will help balance your blood sugar, which in turn helps stabilize your weight as well.

More Benefits To Cinnamon:

  • Cinnamon activates the antioxidant defense system, suppresses pro-inflammatory cytokine production.
  • Cinnamon has a positive reaction on Type 2 diabetics/ gestational diabetes by improving insulin secretion and sensitivity. (If have type 2 diabetes or are “pre-diabetic” you are insulin resistant.) The beta cells of your pancreas are no longer working. Blood sugar and Hemoglobin A1C are high. Cinnamon helps to bring sensitivity back to your beta cells! (How awesome is that?!)
  • Cinnamon has also has been shown to increase learning ability & the neuronal activity in the hippocampus of the brain. (This is the area in which Alzheimer’s or Dementia suffers. Short term memory). This is because when you have constantly high blood sugar it starts to degenerate your brain and you then develop what is called diabetes 3 or diabetes of the brain. (Check my blog post for more info on diabetes of the brain)
  • Cinnamon also demonstrated prominent action in inflammation and Arthritis, and is considered an anti-rheumatic agent.

I think it’s amazing that nature provides us with so many answers to so many dysfunctions in our body. All medications originated from some herb, some bark, or something in nature. 

If you have diabetes or any of these other issues, try it. It’s a no brainer !

 

Sources:

http://www.healthline.com/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28092845

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27308892

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23833722

To Remain Peaceful & Grounded, Be Like A Mountain.

The great teacher Jon Kabat-Zinn once said, to understand and remember how to stay grounded no matter what happens on the outside, you must be like a mountain.

Picture a beautiful mountain, perhaps with a peak covered in snow. As you look at it, you can see that it has an inner core of constant peace and constant temperature, so that no matter what happens on the outside, the inside remains unchanged.

Now imagine that the seasons come and go. Summer comes with lightning, with storms, with flooding and fires, yet inside the mountain remains completely still, tranquil and calm. The summer becomes fall, with howling winds and leaves falling off the trees; then winter arrives with snow and freezing temperatures; and this too turns into spring, as the snows melt and avalanches occur. Yet, the inner core, the beautiful space deep within the mountain, is unaffected by any of these changing seasons.

 

We are like the mountain.

We do not have to let outside events rob us of our joy and harmony, no matter how strongly the storms rage, no matter how loudly the winds howl. We all have that inner core of calm and quiet. It is there whenever we need it or want it. By going inward, we can access its powerful healing presences. The mountain inside is perfect and so are we.

Envision now that tourists come to the mountain. They arrive and they all have opinions: This mountain is not as beautiful as ones that I have seen elsewhere. It’s too small, or too tall or too narrow, too wide. But the mountain does not care, because it knows that it is the ideal essence of mountain.

We once again are like that mountain. No matter what people say about us, no matter what criticisms of judgments they may offer up and call mirrors, we are already ideal and divine! We do not have to be affected by their opinions, even those who are close to us, such as friends or family. We are solid and grounded in the earth, like the mountain.

The words of others cannot rob us of our inner peace unless we give them power to do so. We know deep within our hearts that we are the perfect essence of a spiritual being.

Use this meditation to remind yourself and others of the magnificence that is you. Although at times we have forgotten this, we are already perfect. We have always been so. : )

 

Source:

Miracles Happen by Brian Weiss, M.D.

 

 

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