Hormone Balance

Emeralds, Rubies, Minerals and You

More than half of all Americans take Vitamins on a regular basis. But what about minerals?

Did you know that you can arrest a cold just by taking calcium? Cancer cells can die when there is sufficient copper and zinc in the body. Manganese is needed for proper pituitary function. The pituitary is the master gland that controls the hormone system in both men and women. Zinc is vital for prostate function, immune function, and zinc is required for the production of stomach acid used for digestion.

Vitamins are co-factors that allow and assist in all the small processes that contribute to the function of each system in the body. Minerals provide the building blocks of the cells of the body, or act as escorts to other nutrients.

There is an elaborate dance that goes on at a cellular level. The foods we eat, consisting of carbohydrates (starches and sugars, vegetables and fruits), proteins (meats, fish, poultry, eggs), and fats (oils and butter), are broken down by enzymes, assisted by vitamins. Then they are absorbed into the blood system for transportation to areas where they are reconfigured into the various cells and fluids of the body.

The body is a gigantic factory that produces endless products on an hourly basis. Minerals are the building blocks used to form the structure of the cells. But remember that nothing in Nature acts alone. For example, calcium must be in a matrix with other minerals, such as magnesium and phosphorus, so just taking high levels of calcium won’t give you strong bones.

Salt and potassium are minerals used to allow nutrients to pass into cells, and cellular wasteproducts to pass out of cells for elimination. Sulfur is required for detoxification processes in the liver.

Other minerals are needed in trace (tiny) amounts, but pack a big wallop in terms of benefits. Iodine is necessary for thyroid hormone function, chromium helps regulate blood sugar, and iron carries oxygen in red blood cells. Our cells are like fish. They live in a salt sea and they need oxygen to “breathe”. http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-and-supplements/tc/minerals-their-functions-and-sources-topic-overview

Vegetables are great sources of minerals, since they draw the minerals up from the soil, but the minerals must be in the soil in the first place. Chemical farming methods that destroy and strip the soil, along with chemical fertilizers, create the giant tasteless veggies that are sold in supermarkets.

All natural forms of foods contain minerals, including dairy, eggs, whole grains, nuts and seeds, meats and fish. Minerals are alkalinizing, but there must be sufficient stomach acid for minerals to be digested and absorbed.

Our modern diets of processed foods and sugar are woefully deficient in minerals. If you are stressed, suffer from weak bones, have difficulty sleeping, losing weight or healing from rashes or acne, you may be mineral deficient.

The quality of the mineral supplement is very important, because some forms of minerals are easy for the body to utilize, and others are not. The best minerals are those found in food sources, so this is another good reason to eat organic food from trusted sources that enrich the soil as it is farmed.

Some minerals will keep the body hydrated, so drinking water alone may not be enough in hot weather. Kids often eat the most depleted diets, when they are desperate for minerals as their bodies are growing. How much ADHD might be mineral deficiency? And a hydrated body is also a younger looking body, because the skin needs the right balance of minerals to be plump and firm.

Let us know if you are concerned about your own mineral balance. We have a zinc test you can take, and there are other ways to check your mineral balance. I have seen minerals make a world of difference when a deficiency is corrected, from improving serious conditions like Celiac (severe allergy to gluten) to improving energy or even lifting depression.

There are more than 4,000 naturally occurring minerals on earth. Some are considered precious gems, such as emeralds and rubies. But none are more valuable than the minerals that you need in your body to restore and maintain healthy body function. http://science.nationalgeographic.com/science/earth/inside-the-earth/minerals-gems/

Our dreams and spirits may be not of this world, but our bodies are rooted in the ground. There is a reason we refer to Mother Earth. She nourishes us, when we let her, so we can live the dreams we make.

 

 

 

 

Staying Strong For Men

When women age, we can talk about it freely because women are allowed to be concerned about their hormonal changes, their faces, and figures.  For men, the problems of aging may be just as concerning, but not so easily discussed.

Just like women, men have a need for hormone balance. The adrenal glands (those tiny but mighty glands sitting above the kidneys) make the steroid hormones that allow us to run faster in danger, monitor libido, and determine energy levels. Men and women both make hormones out of cholesterol. Then the cascade of hormones proceeds into progesterone, DHEA, testosterone and estrogen. Estrogen is lowest on the hormone chain, and estrogen is formed from testosterone.

An enzyme called aromatase causes the conversion of testosterone to estrogen. Aromatase can surge when too much sugar, alcohol or refined carbohydrate is consumed, spiking blood sugar. As more fat accumulates around breasts (man boobs) and belly, the fat can also produce estrogen, adding to the problem. http://blogs.christianpost.com/health/is-your-testosterone-turning-into-estrogen-5890/

All cells in the body have hormone receptors on them. For men, testosterone should be more dominantly parked in the cells. If there is too much estrogen, then the male sexual characteristics diminish. Muscles turn to fat and the prostate can enlarge. Too much circulating estrogen is a risk for prostate cancer. http://e.hormone.tulane.edu/learning/docking-receptor-binding.html

Higher amounts of circulating estrogen increase risk of stroke.  Estrogen dominance, which is the ratio of estrogen to testosterone, is a risk for heart attack and thicker arteries. Low testosterone levels can be associated with depression and anxiety. http://www.webmd.com/sex-relationships/low-testosterone-8/default.htm

Statin drugs decrease cholesterol, which in turn can decrease testosterone levels. This may lead to Erectile Dysfunction caused by low testosterone. Statin drugs have also been associated with higher risk of Diabetes Type II. Sufficient healthy fats in the blood keep blood sugar levels more balanced.

You can monitor your testosterone levels through blood or Salvia hormone testing. Another simple way is to have a zinc taste test. Adequate zinc is needed for testosterone. We offer all of these tests at Well Body Clinic.

We also have herbal DHEA and testosterone boosters, in cream and tablet form that will encourage the body to make more testosterone. A detox program for weight loss, or a Blood Sugar balance program, will help you kick the carb habit, stop the snack cravings, drop weight and lose the excess belly fat.

Lifestyle choices may influence your testosterone levels. Avoid excess alcohol, sugar and grains. Eat sufficient protein, but make sure it is digested well; so digestive enzymes can be used. Get plenty of cruciferous vegetables like kale, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and Brussels Sprouts to help the liver metabolize excess estrogen. Get moderate exercise and sufficient sleep. (Maybe Mom was right all along.)

No matter what kind of a job you have, life itself is an Olympic event and those who train for it usually come out ahead of the crowd. Breaking old habits is never easy until the new habits have replaced them.

For Father’s Day, and every day, stay strong and ready for the next event. Healthy guys are sexier. And out-running your kids is always satisfying.

Happy Father’s Day to all the great men in our lives.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why You Shouldn’t Exercise

Imagine a health practitioner telling you not to exercise!  I cannot count the number of patients who tell me that they know they should be exercising more, but they just don’t make the time, don’t like it or have a health concern about the exertion. So, exercise becomes another stressor in their lives. They know they should exercise, and they may feel guilty because they don’t.

About half of adult Americans over age 18 exercise three or more times per week. http://www.statisticbrain.com/percent-of-americans-who-exercise-regularly/  In cold weather locations that statistic may drop lower as the temperature drops.  60% of Americans have jobs that require them to sit most of the day.

Some good news is that many people in sedentary jobs are getting more exercise. http://www.askmen.com/news/sports/people-with-sedentary-jobs-get-more-exercise-says-study.html  But if you are hitting the gym after work, you may not be helping your self as much as you think.

Working out, by weight lifting, cardio, biking or other specific types of exercise is only part of the picture. Men, in particular, may be able to lose weight by increasing exercise. But women and older men will find their weight climbing if they rely on exercise alone. Considering the amount of obesity these days, more exercise is not the answer.

Instead of trying to carve out time to fit in a trip to the gym, consider just getting more movement throughout the day. There are a number of movements you can incorporate at your desk. Check these out http://greatist.com/fitness/deskercise-33-ways-exercise-work The point is to get your body moving.

Good health is about blood and nutrients moving through the systems and reaching every cell. Then waste products need to be transferred through the detoxification channels for elimination. Think of your body like a city. Food has to reach distribution locations and garbage must be picked up and disposed of. Stop or inhibit either inflow or outflow channel and protest, riots, revolutions, and deaths will occur.

Symptoms in the body that you may be ignoring daily are protests from your internal “citizens”. Ignore them and they become riots, which is the first line of illness or disability. Revolution occurs when serious disease sets in and will lead to cellular deaths, and eventually may bring down an entire organ, system or the body itself.

So, next time you grab a coffee and head to the gym, stop for fast food, or have a few drinks with friends, think about the needs of your citizen cells. Exercise does provide much-needed training of muscles and improves circulation of blood and lymph (the white blood cell/immune protection system). But if you are not eating enough healthy nutrients, you are placing a greater demand on the body, which may deepen deficiencies. Every single thing your body inhales, digests, or absorbs through the skin is either beneficial, neutral or toxic.

Life is a marathon event, and training for it does involve keeping muscles strong and keeping joints flexible. But concentrate on your daily food first, get up and get moving throughout the day second. Add specific exercises third. Achieve an ideal weight for your body, but don’t make the mistake of thinking you can do that by working out alone. The number of calories burned with exercise is usually not enough to cause significant burning of excess body fat.

What is your ideal weight? The goal to reach for is not numbers on a scale, but a waistline smaller than your hips. If you are holding excess weight at your waist, consider a blood sugar stabilizing program, and adrenal/hormone supplements. The Japanese government has imposed new laws that penalize people who do not meet the guidelines for waist to hip ratio determined to minimize risk for Diabetes Type 2. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/13/world/asia/13fat.html?_r=0  Sugar dis-metabolism in diabetics is also a risk factor for cancer and heart disease and is the real cause of obesity

My dad was often asked what kind of exercise he did to maintain his trim figure throughout his elderly years. His answer, “I push myself away from the table.” Great training advice for all of us. 

Can Overwork Ruin Your Health?

 

There is no question that Americans work longer hours, and have less vacation time, than their European counterparts. This makes us industrious and ambitious, right?

Maybe, but there is a downside, also. Just as with athletic and sports performance, the body needs to be able to recover from anything it does. If working long hours means getting too little sleep, and the stress becomes chronic, overwork may contribute to long-term health problems.

These days you can take work with you everywhere you go, and it takes some discipline to shut down. The blue lights from our electronic devices can interrupt sleep patterns, even when we shut them off for the night. The electro-magnetic influences created by all our electronics may be more taxing than we realize. Some studies indicate that the cell phones and computers are having a disturbing effect on cellular function. The electromagnetic field they emit passes through almost anything, including walls, and interferes with the normal waveform patterns of the body. We don’t know all the effects of this, and may not for many years. No one is regulating these energy fields. The best thing you can do is protect yourself, or balance any damage. Interference at a cellular level has serious potential. http://www.consumerhealth.org/articles/display.cfm?ID=19990303201129

If work is keeping you up at night, due to stress or putting in long hours, your health is at risk. No matter what many people claim, only a very small percentage can sustain themselves on less than seven hours of sleep. Studies show that sleep deprivation shows up in poor performance on tasks, and slower reaction time when driving. 

Long working hours, with insufficient recovery time may increase your risk of heart disease and Type II Diabetes. According to a Finnish study of people from 14 countries, people who worked longer than a 48-hour week were more likely to abuse alcohol.

People also tend to over-eat, particularly high calorie carbs, when tired and stressed. The body is asking for some relief, and the fastest and handiest is the junk food so readily available.

When both parents are in stressful jobs, family life may suffer, as may the quality of life for our children. Families must use daycare, there is no one preparing nutritious meals, and less time is spent together, possibly disrupting the moral and character development of our children, putting  more stress on families.

It has been said that 80% of the U.S. population has stressed adrenals, and the other 20% are in denial. One of the most important things you can do to help your body weather stress is to support your adrenal glands. They have everything to do with immune health, heart health, sleep, blood sugar balance, weight, muscle strength, and libido.

We now have an adrenal scorecard available. Call or email and we will send it to you and you can evaluate your own adrenal health, or that of a loved one. Then we can help you find the adrenal support that will safeguard your health. Ask for the Stress Assessment when you call. This is a good way to help someone you care about to see how stress may be negatively affecting their life.

Keep track of how you spend your time. Carve out more for walks, family, massages and funny movies. Don’t watch the nightly news, and cut back on caffeine. There are a dozen small things you can do to help your body recover from the demands you place on it. And we are here to help.