You want fabulous hair, skin and strong nails? You can have them!

Admit it, you want to look your best but sometimes no matter what you do you’re just not happy when you look in the mirror. Let’s put away the pretense of not being shallow and get to work on looking good.

You’re after strong nails that won’t split and flake with the slightest bump. Thick, radiant hair and luminous skin round out the picture. But how do you make this happen?

First you owe it to yourself to read the labels on the products you are using. Can you pronounce the ingredients without having a master’s degree in chemistry? Find a knowledgeable professional who uses high quality ingredients that don’t create more of a toxic load to stress your system.

About that toxic load: why isn’t your body able to eliminate it without your hair, skin and nails suffering? Innately all your body was created to do was survive, so it will prioritize which organs get fed first in order to achieve that goal. Highest on the priority list are you brain and heart. Guess what is at the bottom? That’s right, your hair, skin and nails; these will be robbed of nutrients for more essential body functions.

Your skin, the largest external elimination organ of the body is susceptible to a barrage of invaders, from free radical damage to oxidative stress, your skin doesn’t stand a chance if it’s not given the proper support. Free radical damage can be reduced by eliminating smoking, excess sugar and chemicals found in processed foods. Eating a diet rich in antioxidants, including berries, dark leafy greens, bell peppers and more will help protect against oxidative stress.

imagesYour liver is your largest internal elimination organ, and as you may have guessed it works hand in hand with your skin. Don’t believe it? Try this experiment: cut an onion then massage the exposed portion into the bottom of your foot, wait a few minutes then see what you taste in your mouth. What you put on your body affects what happens in your body!  Treat you liver kindly with cruciferous vegetables like kale and broccoli and your skin and hair will thank you.

Healthy protein from whole eggs, free range and cage free animal sources are also essential to health inside and out. Healthy oils like coconut and olive will feed your brain and hair, skin and nails. You can also find healthy oils in avocados and raw nuts. You have probably been told these foods are high in calories, and that is true but they are also high in essential nutrients. Besides, if you are counting calories you are probably eating the wrong ones.

Try these tips for a few weeks and see if it helps. If you continue to have skin issues or if you want to have a more in depth evaluation please feel free to call the office at 610-435-1777.

 

Why is Vitamin D Important?

Why is Vitamin D Important?

Hearing the words unrecognized pandemic can elicit fear in the most even tempered person. However; learning that you may have control over your exposure to this so called pandemic should come as some relief. To protect yourself you don’t need to get a shot, have your home debugged, or limit your travel. You probably don’t even need any special lotions or potions, you just need to have a simple understanding of why vitamin D is important.

Vitamin D, the “sunshine vitamin,” has a receptor site on every cell in your body, which means every cell in your body needs vitamin D for some function. A healthy level of vitamin D is needed to “maintain bone health throughout life, but also plays an important role in reducing risk of many chronic diseases including type I diabetes, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, deadly cancers, heart disease and infectious diseases.” 1

Symptoms of vitamin D deficiency may include:

  • Fatigue
  • General muscle pain and weakness
  • Muscle cramps
  • Joint pain
  • Chronic pain
  • Weight gain
  • High blood pressure
  • Restless sleep
  • Poor concentration
  • Headaches
  • Bladder problems
  • Constipation or diarrhea

Would you take action if protecting yourself from this global scourge required having fun and eating foods you like?

After having a breakfast containing whole eggs (yolks are a significant source of dietary vitamin D), go play outside for 15 or 20 minutes and you will be well on your way to satisfying your body’s daily need for vitamin D, and you will have done your part to protect yourself from a pandemic.

In truth, maintaining a healthy vitamin D level may be that simple. Because of a concern about skin cancer many people have done themselves a disservice by shying away from daily sun exposure by not going into the sun at all, using excessive amounts of sunscreen, or completely covering their skin when they are outside, thus becoming part of the pandemic. Although some vitamin D is found in food, it is not enough to maintain a healthy level. Moderate sun exposure is still the most effective way to ward off the ill effects of vitamin D deficiency.

Evaluation by a qualified professional is an important step in determining if you have a vitamin D deficiency, if it is the cause of your health concerns or the effect.

To learn more about why vitamin D is important, what is considered an optimal level, and the risks of not maintaining healthy levels click the links below:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2629072/

http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/87/4/1080S.full

1 The vitamin D deficiency pandemic and consequences for nonskeletal health: mechanisms of action.

Holick, MF-Department of Medicine, Section of Endocrinology, Nutrition, and Diabetes, Vitamin D, Skin and Bone Research Laboratory, Boston University Medical Center, Boston, MA, USA.

What is Your Poop Telling You?

What is Your Poop Telling You?

We may all be adults here but there are some subjects we still feel embarrassed talking about, and bowel movements is one of them. The list of funny names we call our excrement is nearly as long as the things about us it may reveal. Some equate examining our poop to the ancient art of reading tea leaves. So, pull up a stool, have a seat and let’s get down to business.

Important stuff you need to know:

Stool color is important and can be an indicator of serious health conditions that may need immediate attention. For instance, if your stool is bright red or black this may indicate the presence of blood. Please seek medical attention.  Your stool reflects what you eat and the color will change accordingly, but not all colors or changes are normal.  Yellow means something different than green, which means something different than brown. Admit it, you peek in the bowl; please share the information with your health care provider. It’s significant.
It is not normal to not poop every day, after all, you eat every day. If you aren’t regular – and daily is regular- where is the poop hiding? You only have so many feet of intestines. The perfect poop is a well formed, golden brown stool and should make an appearance about 3 hours after a meal, but if you have a successful visit once per day most doctors would consider that to be in the normal range too. Ongoing constipation or diarrhea may be a sign of a more serious condition. Surprisingly, there are many non-gastrointestinal conditions related to irregular bowel movements. A common complaint of thyroid patients is digestive distress.
Shape matters. There is even an “official” identification chart used by practitioners called The Bristol Stool Chart. Pooping pebbles? Sounds like you may be constipated. The question you need to ask is why. Is it because of illness or are you eating an unhealthy diet? Pooping fluffy pieces or something closer to brown pee equals diarrhea. Again, the important question is why. Unfortunately,  IBS patients suffer frequent bouts of diarrhea and are often afraid to engage in life because of the constant fear of embarrassing accidents.                                                                                         
Using the expression “I feel like crap” can actually be fairly accurate. Your brain and digestive tract are intimately related. As a matter of fact, the gut is often called the second brain. So when your emotional health is in the can it may very well have everything to do with your poopy poop process. By creating a sort of electrical circuit between your brain base and gut, your Vagus Nerve, the longest of your cranial nerves, tells your brain when food has been ingested and digested. Any interruption in this circuitry can cause serious problems like a loss of muscular function in the stomach and intestines, sending you running or doubled over in pain.
Although your body has many subtle ways of giving you signs about your health, your stool carries perhaps the biggest load of information. Color, consistency, sinking or swimming, all attributes are important. So, what is your poop telling you?

Finding the Cause of Your Peripheral Neuropathy

Trying to explain what peripheral neuropathy is, and how finding the cause of your peripheral neuropathy is essential to your successful treatment, may seem daunting in the space of a blog post. At times it can be a very easy condition to address and fix, but more frequently it is very complex.

Peripheral neuropathy means the nerves outside of your spinal cord are damaged. Although often related to diseases like diabetes, the nerve damage ultimately comes from one of five things.

Five common causes of Peripheral Neuropathy:

1. Nerves are not getting enough nutrients (fuel) to stay healthy.

2. Nerves are not being activated, or used enough to stay healthy.

3. Nerves are being deprived of oxygen.

4. Nerves are being compressed, and from the point of compression on down, they are dying because of a lack of fuel, oxygen or activation.

5. Or, you are suffering from a combination of all of the above.

Depending upon the cause of your peripheral neuropathy, and which nerves are affected, you will eventually have symptoms like pain, tingling and numbness predominately in your feet, but it may spread to your hands as well. As nerves continue to die these symptoms will worsen and start to affect other tissue. The most commonly affected is the cerebellum, the part of your brain that controls eye movement, balance, and coordination of movement, so it is not coincidental that along with your peripheral neuropathy you may also have trouble balancing.

Try this test: stand in a relaxed manner, putting more weight on your left foot, then try to place your right foot on the floor directly in front of the left, touching the right heal to the left toe. Were you able to keep your balance? Now switch sides and try again? You should not wobble.

Pain is a normal, natural and essential sensation for your body to experience. It tells you something is wrong. Medications may truly give you relief from your pain symptoms, but relief only occurs while taking the medication; it masks symptoms for as long as you continue taking it. When you stop, you are still left with the underlying condition – your peripheral neuropathy. It has not been cured. And what’s worse, the entire time your symptoms and pain were being masked there is a good chance your nerves degenerated further. The purpose of medication is to change your brain chemistry NOT find the root cause of your symptoms. How will you ever regain healthy nerves if you don’t find which of the 5 causes of peripheral neuropathy you are suffering from?

Patient A and Patient B both suffered from peripheral neuropathy. Both had symptoms that were continuing to worsen. Patient A was 57 and Patient B was 62. Both were on Lyrica to minimize pain yet, their pain was slowly increasing, especially the burning foot pain at night.

Patient A suffered from diabetes and blood tests also revealed macrocytic anemia. Both conditions can deprive nerves of adequate fuel and oxygen. Knowing 2 of the causes of peripheral neuropathy are a lack of fuel (nutrients) and a lack of oxygen to the nerves, a fairly simple treatment plan was developed for Patient A. One which got his blood sugar under control and supported the efficient transport of oxygen rich blood. Within 4 months Patient A related that his peripheral neuropathy pain was gone, his use of Lyrica eliminated, and his blood sugar which was 160-180 with meds before treatment was reduced to 85-110 after treatment enabling him to decrease is diabetes medication by 75%.

Patient B, also diabetic, presented a more complex case. In addition to his diabetes, his initial examination showed he was suffering from loss of “wide diameter afferent neurons.” These nerves, when healthy, block pain. With this information treatment was directed to stabilize blood sugar and improve activation of these “wide diameter afferent nerves.” It was explained to Patient B that this treatment would take longer to see results. Five months into the care he related an 80% reduction of pain intensity and he was able to sleep at night with no pain.

Even though their peripheral neuropathy symptoms seemed the same, it took a careful individual assessment to find the underlying cause or causes in each case. Finding the cause of your peripheral neuropathy is the first step in a successful, drug free plan to improve nerve health and live a pain free life.

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