Autoimmune disease

Seven Reasons of Why You May Be Tired

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Seven Reasons of Why You May Be Tired

Feel tired all the time? Having a hard time waking up in the mornings? Do you need a jolt of caffeine to get going? You may be experiencing “adrenal fatigue”, an issue where your body has difficulty meeting the demands of everyday stress, or life. Signs and symptoms of “adrenal fatigue” may include Persistent fatigue Headaches with stress, or regularly come on in the afternoons Frequent colds and flus; weakened immune system Allergies Slow to get going in the morning Craving sweets and stimulants Feeling lightheaded, shaky, or irritable between meals Eating to relieve fatigue Difficulty sleeping; or frequent wakings in the middle of the night Dizziness when moving from sitting to standing Low blood pressure Other Let’s look at a few possible reasons for your adrenal gland involvement. 1. Eating too much sugar and processed carbohydrates. When you eat sweets or starchy foods it causes your blood sugar and insulin levels to rise and then drop quickly. In response, your adrenal glands release the stress hormone (cortisol) to help those levels stay balanced. Repeated rises and falls of your blood sugar levels directly impact your adrenals. As a result of this exhaustive cycle, you may reach the state of“adrenal fatigue”, where you now suffer from perpetual low blood sugars, or reactive hypoglycemia. Aim for a lower glycemic, whole foods diet that does not spike your blood sugar, as well as healthy fats, protein, and plenty of fiber. 2. Using caffeine and other stimulants. Caffeine, energy drinks, cigarettes, diet pills, and other stimulants cause extra release of stress hormones and can further exacerbate the adrenal glands. 3. Overtraining. Exercise is vital to good health, yet over-exercising can aggravate the body, and taxing the adrenal glands. If your performance during workouts is suffering and you feel tired afterwards, you may actually be overdoing it, or exercising at the wrong time of the day for your body, this can further aggravate the health of your adrenal glands. 4. Food intolerances. Eating foods that trigger an immune reaction also has the capacity to tax adrenal function. One of the more common food intolerances is gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye, barley, spelt, and a few other type of grains. Dairy, eggs, soy, corn, and yeast are a few other common foods that can lead to inflammatory processes and impact your adrenal glands. Doing an elimination/provocation diet can be very helpful. In some instances, certain lab tests can also be useful in helping you decipher which foods you are sensitive to and should avoid. 5. Gut infections. It is not uncommon for many people to have gastrointestinal infections that include overgrowth of yeast, fungus, and/or bacteria. Many people may have these infections for years and not know about them. These chronic infections, however, can lead to chronic inflammation in the gut and the body, which leads to increased stress on the body and can further impact your adrenals. 6. Unmanaged autoimmune disease. Autoimmunity is when your immune system attacks your own body. For example, when the immune system attacks your thyroid gland (Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism), the pancreas (Type I diabetes), or the nervous system (multiple sclerosis).  Unmanaged autoimmune disease keeps the immune system on at all times, and this overactive state causes chronic inflammation. This perpetual inflammatory process leads to an increased stress on the body and its tissues, which can further aggravate the adrenal gland involvement . 7. Brain inflammation. Chronic inflammation in the body from poor diet, chronic stress, or autoimmune disease can also inflame the brain. Common symptoms of brain inflammation include brain fog, low brain endurance, poor memory, or slowed mental acuity. Contact us to learn...

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Protect Your Brain from Inflammation

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Protect Your Brain from Inflammation

The brain is an extremely malleable organ that is constantly being influenced by our environment, diet, experiences, thoughts, and emotions. What makes the brain vulnerable is the process of inflammation.   This is because the inflammation in the brain slows down communication between neurons. Inflammation in a knee, ankle, or elsewhere in the body typically results in pain. An inflamed brain, however, does not necessarily hurt. Instead, a common symptom of brain inflammation is brain fog, and people complaining that their thinking feels slow and disconnected. Other symptoms of brain inflammation may include memory loss, depression, anxiety, and other types of neurological disorders. Brain inflammation The factors that cause brain inflammation are often the same factors that cause inflammation elsewhere in the body, and stem primarily from poor diet and lifestyle choices. If you have any digestive disorders—stomach pain, constipation, diarrhea, heartburn, gas, bloating, multiple food sensitivities—you may be at risk of brain inflammation. The following are some of the common factors: Food intolerances, particularly to gluten. The brain has been found to be the tissue most often affected by a gluten sensitivity. A diet high in sugar Blood sugar imbalances (low blood sugar, high blood sugar, or diabetes) Leaky gut (a damaged gut wall that allows undigested food, bacteria, and other pathogens into the bloodstream) Unmanaged autoimmune disease, such as Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism Chronic inflammation elsewhere in the body Hormone imbalances. Estrogen deficiency in a woman can exacerbate brain inflammation. While progesterone has been shown to be very therapeutic after a brain injury. Poor blood flow and oxygenation. Factors that can reduce oxygenation of the brain include anemia, smoking, poor circulation, blood sugar imbalances, chronic stress, and high or low blood pressure. Supporting brain health The factors that support brain health are the same factors that support your body’s health: whole foods diet rich in antioxidants essential fatty acids, especially omega-3 fats sufficient vitamin D regular physical activity and adequate sleep healthy social activity stress management and healthy lifestyle choices Contact us to learn how we can help improve your brain health, reduce inflammation, and support your health...

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Glutathione: Help Manage Hashimoto’s and Support Fertility

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Glutathione: Help Manage Hashimoto’s and Support Fertility

Modern life delivers constant assaults on our bodies in the way of industrialized and processed foods, environmental toxins, chronic stress, lack of sleep, and even electromagnetic frequencies (EMFs) from cell phones, computers, and power plants. These and many other assaults can trigger autoimmune reactions in the body. These reactions can lead to developing autoimmune disease, like Hashimoto’s, or hormone disruptions in the body that lead to infertility. Our best defense to protect health and repair damage is to shore up glutathione, the body’s master antioxidant and detoxifier. Although the body naturally makes and recycles glutathione, modern life can overwhelm this system, depleting us of this vital compound. Glutathione as an oral supplement is not well absorbed by the digestive tract, but is well-obtained intravenously. However, most people are not able to dedicate enough time to receive regular intravenous drips of glutathione. Fortunately, many nutritional compounds act as building blocks to glutathione, and can help raise and maintain its levels inside and outside of cells. Optimize glutathione levels in the body The following nutritional compounds have been shown to boost glutathione levels that can help manage autoimmune Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism and support fertility: N-acetyl-cysteine is a precursor molecule to glutathione, and is a bioavailable building block. Alpha lipoic acid helps recycle glutathione already found in the cells. Milk thistle helps boost glutathione levels. Methylation nutrients–methyl folate (5-MTHF), methyl B6 (P5P) and methyl B12 (methylcobalmin)–are methyl forms of B vitamins can help boost glutathione production and recycling. Selenium helps with the production and recycling of glutathione in the body. Vitamin C helps to increase glutathione levels. Diet and lifestyle also affect glutathione levels. Sulfur-rich foods such as garlic, onions, broccoli, kale, collards, cabbage, cauliflower, and watercress can help boost glutathione. Exercise also boosts glutathione; aerobic exercise daily and strength-training two to three times per week. Preserve glutathione levels in the body One of the most important ways to maintain your glutathione levels is to reduce stress on your body. Glutathione’s job is to protect the cells, whether it’s from an autoimmune disease, sleep deprivation, or the toxic ingredients in scented detergents and fabric softeners. Healthy glutathione levels reduce your risk of developing chronic and autoimmune disease as well as food and chemical sensitivities. It is also helps better manage Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism and support fertility. Use the following techniques to preserve your glutathione: Find out what your food intolerances are and remove those foods from your diet. An elimination diet or a lab test can help you determine which foods stress your immune system. Eat a whole foods diet. Processed foods and fast foods contain chemicals, additives, genetically altered foods, antibiotics, hormone disruptors, excess sugar, and many other ingredients that are harmful to the body. Get enough sleep. Sleep deprivation is very stressful. If you have sleep issues, it may be secondary to something else. Contact us to find out what may be contributing to your poor sleep. Avoid common environmental chemicals. These are found in shampoos, body products, household cleaners, lawn care products, and so on. Minimize your exposure to EMFs, which are a source of “electrical pollution”. Cell phones, computers, WiFi, and other electronics. These are harmful to the body’s natural defenses (ie immune system), as well as responsible for hormone disruptions (ie...

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Fatigue, pain, depression, or infertility? Could you have autoimmune hypothyroidism, or autoimmune reactions in the body?

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Fatigue, pain, depression, or infertility? Could you have autoimmune hypothyroidism, or autoimmune reactions in the body?

Does your doctor tell you that your lab tests are fine and you’re perfectly healthy? Have you been to a number of specialists, clinics, and numerous healthcare practitioners to help you with your health challenges? It could be that you have autoimmune Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism and don’t know it. People can develop an autoimmune reaction to virtually any tissue, enzyme, or protein in their body. Autoimmune disease, or autoimmune process means that the immune system has failed to distinguish between foreign invaders, which it was designed to attack, and its own body tissue, which it was designed to protect. In other words, having autoimmune reactions is similar to that of having “allergy to oneself’. In the case of autoimmune hypothyroidism, the immune system attacks and destroys the thyroid gland. Symptoms of autoimmune disease vary depending on which part of the body is being attacked, but they often include chronic pain, chronic fatigue, brain fog, poor neurological function, chronic inflammation, digestive problems, poor mood, and infertility. Other complaints of Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism include cold hands and feet, depression, weight gain, constipation, and the list goes on. Undiagnosed autoimmune Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism A common clinical presentation of people with undiagnosed autoimmunity is a set of symptoms that seem irresolvable, despite “normal” lab tests and scans. What may be happening is that you have an autoimmune reaction to your thyroid causing hypothyroid symptoms, but the condition is not advanced enough to be diagnosed as a “disease.” Or you may have been diagnosed with hypothyroidism and treated with thyroid medications, but the autoimmune process goes undiagnosed and unmanaged. Datis Kharrazian, DHSc, DC, MNeuroSci, author of Why Do I Still Have Thyroid Symptoms? and Why Isn’t My Brain Working? explains that people can have symptoms for years or even decades before being diagnosed with an autoimmune disease. Undiagnosed autoimmune disease A person may have trouble controlling blood sugar despite a good diet because of an autoimmune reaction in the pancreas. However, not enough tissue has been destroyed for a Type 1 diabetes diagnosis. Or a person can have symptoms of multiple sclerosis, but not enough tissue has been destroyed for it to show up on an MRI. Or persistent and severe adrenal fatigue could be the result of autoimmunity in the adrenal glands not advanced enough to be diagnosed as Addison’s disease. This is not to say you should assume a health problem is autoimmune in nature, but when it is persistent and stubborn, it is a possibility to consider. Testing and managing autoimmune Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism Fortunately, we have autoimmunity testing today that can screen for antibodies against multiple tissues to determine whether an autoimmune reaction is causing chronic pain, or fatigue, thyroid symptoms, or infertility. Antibodies are proteins that tag a foreign compound for the immune system to destroy and remove. When you produce higher than normal levels of antibodies to certain parts of the body (it’s normal for old and dying cells to be tagged for removal), this means you are having an autoimmune reaction against that tissue or enzyme. When a person presents with chronic thyroid symptoms, screening for an autoimmune reaction can help us determine whether Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism plays a role. If so, we then know we can work on balancing an overzealous and improperly functioning immune system. Also, if your test shows an autoimmune reaction but you have no symptoms, you now know that proper diet and lifestyle choices will help prevent the progression of autoimmunity. Avoiding gluten is especially important for those with autoimmune Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism, as numerous studies link the condition with a gluten intolerance or celiac disease. If you have autoimmune Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism,...

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Coffee and Hormones

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Coffee and Hormones

Do you have stress in your daily life, hormone imbalances, infertility, or Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism? Do you start your mornings with a “treasured cup of coffee?” As far as your body is concerned, that lovely and seemingly harmless cup of coffee could be tantamount to getting mugged or running from a hungry lion. The physiological reactions caused by caffeine are the same reactions triggered by fear, worry, or acute stress. Morning fatigue and adrenal glands imbalance We are meant to feel rested and alert in the mornings. Waking up and feeling unable to get out of bed, or needing a large cup of joe to get going may suggest a hormone imbalance, specifically when it comes down to your adrenals. The adrenal glands sit atop each kidney and release a hormone, called cortisol. This hormone keeps your body regulated during times of stress, supports blood sugar and the immune system regulation, as well as metabolism. Cortisol also plays an important role in the sleep-wake cycle, so that you feel tired in the evening and alert in the morning, and are able to sleep soundly through the night. In fact, the health of the entire body relies in part on sound adrenal function: immune health, digestive operations, brain function, and more. Proper adrenal function also plays a critical role in thyroid regulation and hormone balance (needed with fertility and overall hormone health). Depending on caffeine is a sign of adrenal imbalance. A morning cup of coffee stimulates the adrenal glands to release “fight-or-flight” adrenal hormones. This raises your heartbeat, dilates your pupils, tightens the muscles, raises your blood pressure, slows blood flow to the stomach, and releases glucose into the bloodstream. Together, these effects on the central nervous system boost energy. The body designed this response to help us get out of a dangerous situation by either running or fighting. However, these days, many use the same response just to get ready for work each morning. Coffee affects hormones Giving up coffee is hard and can come with unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. This is partly because caffeine also stimulates the release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that activates the “pleasure and reward” centers in the brain and is associated with addiction. This also means over time you need more caffeine for the same effects. For the person suffering from adrenal dysfunction—producing too little or too much of adrenal hormone—caffeine can intensify your adrenal problems, which can worsen your thyroid issues, impact fertility, and worsen autoimmune disease. Although it gives you energy, it’s a short-term fix with long-term consequences making an existing problem worse. In addition to taxing adrenal function, caffeine can cause sleep problems, irritability, anxiety, and high blood pressure. It’s also a diuretic that can deplete you of important minerals and electrolytes. Because coffee makes many people sleep poorly, they feel terrible in the morning and drink coffee to get going, which makes them sleep poorly in a self-perpetuating vicious cycle. Restoring adrenal function is foundational to managing many health issues in functional medicine, including chronic disease, autoimmune disease, hypothyroidism, obesity, blood sugar imbalances (insulin resistance or hypoglycemia), fertility, and other disorders. Coffee affects Hashimoto’s In some instances, with autoimmune Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism, caffeine can actually worsen autoimmunity. This concept is well-discussed in Dr. Kharrazian’s book Why Do I Still Have Thyroid Symptoms When My Lab Tests Are Normal? This isn’t to say coffee is all bad. Although some studies show negative consequences from caffeine, others show its benefits. As with many things in health, it is something that must be considered on a case-by-case...

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Detoxification: Reduce inflammation, increase fertility, and improve autoimmune disease

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Detoxification: Reduce inflammation, increase fertility, and improve autoimmune disease

  I believe ‘health’ is a verb, it is something you do! Health is a journey, a process, and most importantly – health is a lifestyle. Optimal health is not an option. You can do a short-term detoxification program and feel great, yet the real long-lasting health benefits come from a long-term commitment to yourself and your health. I believe that a healthy lifestyle is a daily commitment and requires a regiment of a daily “detox”. To me, “detox” is defined as “movement”. This applies to every tissue, every muscle, every system, every emotion, and every cell in the body. Lack of movement leads to dis-ease. Clean water, clean food, regular exercise, and every lifestyle choice that you make on a daily basis affects your body in either creating movement or creating stasis (i.e. lack of movement). Detoxification Detoxification is the process of clearing toxins, or waste from the body. It is the process of neutralizing and transforming toxic substances into less harmful elements, and clearing excess mucus and congestion. Many of these toxins come from our diet, drug use, environmental exposure, and others, which may lead to both acute and chronic health issues like autoimmune disease and fertility. Internally, fats, especially oxidized fats and cholesterol, free radicals, and other irritating molecules can also act as toxins. Poor digestion, colon sluggishness and dysfunction, reduced liver function, and poor elimination through the kidneys, lymphatic system, respiratory tract, and skin all add to increased toxicity. Optimizing all basic functions of the body, helps to facilitate its normal pathways of elimination and detoxification. Given the appropriate environment, both internal and external, the body has the innate ability to heal itself. The basics of proper nutrition, exercise, rest, fresh air, and sunshine allow the body’s own healing to occur in stages. The body’s own wisdom is the true healer. Environmental Effects on Health We live in a polluted world: our environment, our food, our water, our homes, or the lifestyle choices that we make. I believe there are proactive steps you can take to minimize your exposure, to reduce your overall toxic load, and to help improve your health. Our primary sources of exposure come from both our external, but also our internal environments. Accumulation of toxins can lead to body aches, fatigue, weight gain, or premature aging. Toxicity may also worsen arthritis, cancer, and degenerative diseases. External Sources Pollution inside our homes, the food we eat, as well as the large numbers of medications that most people ingest. Eating and drinking out of plastic containers, using the microwave. Ingesting foods that have been grown with pesticides, drinking unfiltered water. There are studies and surveys of the metropolitan areas in the United States that have discovered high levels of prescription medications in drinking water. The list goes on. Internal Sources Our internal sources that contribute to the overall toxicity, include fermentation and putrefaction of foods, both of which are forms of chemical reactions resulting in conversion of substances (e.g. proteins, carbohydrates, others) into other forms of compounds. Toxic thoughts or emotions can also accumulate as waste inside the body and exacerbate health issues. The list goes on. Lifestyle Poor nutrition places a tremendous stress on the body, which results in the accumulation of toxic wastes. Adding caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, or any other recreational drugs overwhelms the system and the bodies accumulate even more toxic material. The list goes on.   Our 3-phase detoxification program helps to facilitate the excretion of toxins and support your body’s natural state of homeostasis (i.e. ‘balance’). It helps to reduce the overactive immune system, similar to that of...

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