Posts Tagged ‘hormones’

Eliminating Candida

 

You may think that yeast is only a problem “down there.”  But it can affect the intestines as well. Candida can be hard to diagnose, because it shares symptoms with other health issues, such as irritable bowel syndrome and gluten intolerance.  You might find yourself bouncing between doctors in an effort to find the true culprit of symptoms such as bloating, diarrhea, constipation, sinusitis, or headaches.

 

If you answer ‘yes’ to a many of the below questions, you probably have Candida.

 

*Have you ever taken repeated or prolonged courses of antibiotics?

*Do you eat non-organic animal products, which contain antibiotics and steroids?

*Have you taken a prolonged course of steroids or birth control pills?

*Have you been bothered by recurrent vaginal, prostate, or urinary-tract infections?

*Are you bothered by hormone-related issues, including: PMS, infertility, menstrual

irregularities, or sexual dysfunction?           

*Are you overly sensitive to certain odors?

*Do you have memory or concentration problems?                                   

*Do you suffer from digestive issues?

*Does your skin itch, burn, or rash easily?

*Do some foods disagree worsen your symptoms?

 

What next?!?!

 

Eliminate yeast-promoting foods

For a minimum of 6 weeks, eliminate foods that feed yeast and encourage its growth:

Sugar, dairy, yeast, fruit, grains, and fermented foods. Eat no more than 40-60 grams of carbohydrates a day.  Focus on eating vegetables, nuts, seeds, unprocessed oils, and drink plenty of water.

The good news is that Candida is treatable with simple dietary changes and the right supplements. It can take a few months to really eliminate the yeast. So don’t give up, if your symptoms don’t away immediately.

 

Live natural. Live well.

 

Heather

Balancing Your Hormones Naturally

 

I’ve seen a drastic increase in hormone related illnesses in the last ten years. Unfortunately, no matter how clean our diet is, we can’t completely avoid all pollutants. Just in the last 3 months, I’ve seen 15 new female patients in their 20s. All of them got their first period between the ages of 8 and 10. All of them. This is just one symptom of how all the toxins and pollutants we’re exposed to are damaging all of us.

Some simple steps to minimize your risk

* Minimize or eliminate your consumption of:
-animal products (especially non-organic)
-sugar (real & fake)
-trans-fats

* Avoid all plastic, especially in food packaging. See my blog post for more info.

* Do a liver cleanse at least once a year.

* Make sure you get plenty of healthy fats in daily. See my blog post for more info.

* Organic produce as much as possible. See my blog post for more info.

* Put a water filter on your taps and showers.

* Exercise that helps get your blood pumping & de-stressed 3-5 times per week.

* Have your hormones tested. If anything is off, you can naturally treat almost any imbalance.

* Get active. Whatever your political beliefs, we all what safe food, water, and air for ourselves and our children. Contact your state and federal representatives and let them know you vote and you want to see changes.

 

Live natural. Live well.

Heather

Pumpkins Aren’t Just for Decoration

It’s that time of year! Pumpkins everywhere. Not only are they are great decoration for Halloween, they’re great for you. One of my fondest childhood memories is carving up a pumpkin in anticipation of dressing up and all the sugar I was about to consume. Luckily, now I look forward to all the pumpkin I get to eat instead.

Health Benefits of Pumpkin

Pumpkin is naturally low in calories and rich in health-promoting nutrients, including:

Fiber

* reduces bad cholesterol levels, thus reducing the risk of heart disease
* controls blood sugar levels
* promotes healthy digestion
* encourages weight loss

Potassium

* Balances fluid levels
* promotes strong bones
* necessary for energy production
* maintains healthy blood pressure

Alpha-carotene & Beta-carotene

* improves vision & reduces risk of cataracts
* reverses sun damage to the skin & slows the aging process
* is an anti-inflammatory
* prevents tumor growth
* boosts the immune system
* protects against heart disease

Vitamins C

* boosts immunity
* reduces high blood pressure and heart disease
* regulates cholesterol levels

Vitamin E

* slows aging by protecting the skin from sun damage
* reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and certain cancers

Magnesium

* promotes a strong immune system
* strengthens the bones
* supports heart function

Pantothenic acid/vitamin B5

* balances hormone levels
* manages stress levels

My favorite pumpkin dish is a really simple soup- Just cook some vegetable broth, 4-6 cups of pumpkin, onion, garlic, a little curry powder and a potato or two on simmer for 20 minutes. Add coconut milk at the end. Puree in blender and serve. Delicious!

Pumpkin Seeds


Pumpkin seeds are high in vitamin E, iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc, and are an excellent plant-based source of omega-6 and omega-3 essential fatty acids. The seeds protect against prostate cancer and prevent osteoporosis.

One way I love to eat pumpkin seeds is to slightly toast them, put them in a blender with silken tofu, nutritional yeast, and Bragg’s amino acids. This makes a great dip any time of year.

So this year, make it a new tradition to use the whole pumpkin and make healthier choices during the holiday season.

Live natural. Live well.

Heather

Eating Healthy Fats Make You Smarter

Did you know your brain is about 60% fat?  That your hormones are made from fat? 60% of your heart’s energy comes from burning fats.  Your lungs need fat to work and keep them from collapsing.  Fats help you absorb certain nutrients, including fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K.

I know there’s all this confusing information out there about what’s healthy to eat and what isn’t.  One myth out there is that fat is bad.  Low fat and non-fat products became all the rage in the 90s, but not all fats are created equal.

Monounsaturated fats are the healthy kind. The best example is olive oil, but don’t cook with it.  High temperatures change the chemical make up of olive oil, which can make it carcinogenic (cancer causing). For cooking, I’d recommend refined coconut, safflower and non-GMO canola oils.

Great sources for healthy fat:  nuts, seeds, and avocado.  I suggest adding flax or coconut oil, plus some almond butter and hemp seeds to your morning smoothie.

Signs that you might not be getting enough of the good stuff

* Lack of mental clarity upon awakening

* Depression

* Infertility

* Weight gain

* Brittle Fingernails

* Allergies

* Arthritis

* Poor Sleep

* Poor Memory

* Dry hair & skin

* Lack of Concentration

* Fatigue

You might have heard of Omega 3, 6, and 9 Essential Fatty Acids, but aren’t really sure what they do.  EFAs can reduce risk of heart disease, cancer, stroke, Alzheimer’s, arthritis and many other degenerative illnesses. Sources for Omega 3s:  seaweeds, hemp seeds, flax seeds, borage oil, and primrose oil.  Yes, some fish are a great source of EFAs, but almost all fish have dangerously high levels of mercury in them. Fish get their omegas from eating seaweed. So why not eat the original, safer source instead?

Definitely stay away from trans fats/hydrogenated oils: These fats form when vegetable oil hardens, a process called hydrogenation, and can raise LDL (bad cholesterol) levels, and lower HDL (good cholesterol) levels, repeatedly linked to heart disease. These fatty acids can also cause major clogging of your arteries, type 2 diabetes, obesity and other serious health problems.  For the men reading this, trans fats also reduce sexual performance. They’re found in most processed foods, fast food, crackers, and cookies.

You should also minimize most saturated fats, which are found in animal products such as butter, cheese, whole milk, ice cream, cream and meats. They are also found in some tropical plants and vegetable oils such as coconut, palm and palm kernel. Coconut oil is actually really healthy and is the oil to use for cooking since it is far less likely to be damaged through heating.

I know a lot of you reading this are probably thinking, “I’m young, I don’t need to worry about this kind of stuff until I’m in my 40s or 50s.”  I hate to break it to you, but that’s not really the case.  More people are overweight and becoming diabetic at a younger age than ever before.  I recently saw a patient who had his first heart attack at 35 years old.  He grew up eating a typical American diet and rarely exercised since college.  The hardening of his arteries started in his 20s.  Once that damage is done, it’s really hard to heal.  I don’t want to scare you.  Hopefully, it will motivate you to make smarter food choices from now on.

So when you’re eating on the run, grab some walnuts instead of pizza.  Your body and your brain will thank.

Live natural.  Live well.

Heather

Do I Need to Detox?

Do I Need to Detox?

I get asked this question a lot. Our bodies aren’t made to handle the amount of toxins we’re constantly exposed to. Toxin overload can lead to a whole host of illnesses and side effects. Take the quiz below to see if you need to do a cleanse.

  • Do you eat processed foods, fast food and/or eat out regularly?
  • Do you eat non-organic animal products and produce?
  • Do you consume genetically altered foods?
  • Do you eat foods containing hydrogenated oil?
  • Do you or have you used artificial sweeteners (Nutrasweet/Aspartame, Splenda, Sweet n Low)?
  • Do you eat foods containing preservatives, additives, dyes, or sweeteners?
  • Do you charbroil or grill foods?
  • Do you drink coffee, soda or alcohol regularly?
  • Do you drink unfiltered tap water?
  • Do you use a microwave?
  • Do you microwave/cook/store food in plastic containers?

If the majority of your answers are yes, then your diet contributes significantly to your toxic load. Most likely, you’re also exposed to other irritants such as pollution, cigarette smoke, dry cleaning fluids, cosmetics and beauty products, exhaust fumes, cleaners, and medications.

You might want to consider detoxing, if you’re experiencing any of the following:

Weight gain

Fatigue

Food cravings

Insomnia

Reduced mental clarity

Poor digestion

Low libido

Autoimmune disorders

Cancer

Hormonal Imbalances

Thyroid Disorders

Adrenal Exhaustion

Infertility

Arthritis

Not all cleanses are created equal. Many of my patients try one, that ‘everyone’ is doing with no results.  Sometimes, they even feel worse. It’s important to have a qualified physician help you find one that is right for you. When done correctly, the results can be life changing. And remember, if you go back to your old habits once you’ve completed a cleanse, the benefits won’t last. I see a lot of people go through the effort, but don’t change their lifestyle. I highly recommend avoiding unhealthy foods and products to guarantee long lasting results.

Live natural. Live well.

Heather

Just say no to plastic

From the title, you’re probably saying to yourself:                Avoid using plastic??? Why? I recycle and it’s so convenient! And how? It’s EVERYWHERE!

Besides creating the Great Eastern Garbage Patch and polluting our oceans, plastic has been know to cause:

* Brain damage

* Increased fat formation and risk of obesity

* Hyperactivity, increased aggressiveness, and learning impairment

* Auto-immune disorders

* Early puberty, stimulation of mammary gland development, disrupted reproductive cycles, and ovarian dysfunction -I’ve treated girls as young as 7 getting their periods.

* Thyroid disorders

* Stimulation of prostate cancer cells

* Increased prostate size and decreased sperm production

* Increase cancer risk

I know the side effects might seem scary and overwhelming. But doing regular detoxes, getting plenty of clean water, eating nutritious foods, taking the proper supplements can help prevent, eliminate, and reduce any of the above health issues.

I also know, that’s it’s pretty much impossible to avoid using all plastics. I recently interviewed a woman who tried for 2 weeks and failed. A few recommendations to limiting your exposure:

• Storing your food in glass container

• Using cooking oils that are in glass bottles

• Drinking filtered water in metal container

• Do NOT microwave in any plastic. For that matter, don’t microwave at all.

• Using reusable bags when shopping

• And PLEASE recycle!

Please tell your friends, family, and communities this vital information.

Live natural. Live well.

Heather Lounsbury, L.Ac.

Taking charge of your fertility

Infertility is unfortunately on the rise.  Some of it has to do with people waiting until later in life to have children.  Some of it is due to the high stress levels most of us experience.  Environmental causes- pollution, plastic, pesticides, steroids in non-organic animal products- are a leading cause of infertility as well.  All of these can wreak havoc on your hormone levels, in both men and women.

What else may be hindering your fertility

Obesity, diabetes, testosterone or steroids,  too much exercise, smoking, too much or too little selenium, saw palmetto, weakened adrenal glands, caffeine and alcohol, hypothyroidism

All of the above can be treated.  Look for an acupuncturist in your area who specializes in fertility.  I also offer phone consultations for herbs and nutrition, so you can contact my office to make an appointment.  I also offer medical testing to check hormone levels, your adrenal gland function, and thyroid disorders.

Some suggestions for supplementation to increase your chance of conception.  Please consult your physician.

For women

Magnesium – take as directed
Multi pre natal vitamin
Minimum 1,000 mg vitamin C daily
Zinc 50mg daily
B50 as directed
Folic acid 5 mg/day
PABA 100 mg 3 times a day
Vitamin E 22 IU daily
Lycopene- 2 g day
CoQ10    100 mg twice daily
Before bed- Zinc, B50, and Magnesium taken together

For Men

Vitamin C-  1,000 mg a day may prevent sperm agglutination.
L-Arginine- 1,500- 2000 mg 2 times per day between meals increase sperm count
Vitamin B12- 1,000 mcg increase sperm count
L-carnation 1 g    3 times a day improve sperm count and function

For those of you struggling with this issue, there is hope.  Even if you’ve tried IVF and other Western procedures, Chinese medicine is highly effective for treating infertility in men and women.

Live natural. Live well.

Heather

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