What You May Not Know About That Cough And How to Fix It

Between the smoke from the fires in California, the flu virus that is making the rounds, and the general increase in allergies and asthma, you are probably seeing a lot of coughing. If someone around you is coughing, or you are coughing, it can be annoying. Is it allergies or something contagious? Your doctor may be confused as to the source, but prescribe antibiotics "just to be sure".  Coughing is a natural response to clear the lungs. But it is also painful, irritating and disrupting. It is also a sign that your body and immune system needs help, regardless if the cough is due to smoke, pathogens, or allergies.

We think of lungs as a means of getting oxygen, but the lungs do more than that. Oxygen molecules pass from the tiniest branches of the lungs into the blood to get carried to the trillions of cells in the body. The cells give off carbon dioxide as waste, and the blood carries the carbon dioxide back to the lungs so it can be exhaled. Lung tissue and airways become swollen and blocked when we breathe smoke or other tiny particles. That impairs oxygen transfer and causes build-up of carbon dioxide waste. Lung tissue can then become permanently damaged if the particles you breathed are not removed. So, breathing in dirty air is one of the reasons we cough. And the whole body suffers at a cellular level when breathing ability is impaired. Did you know that the lungs would cover the surface of a tennis court if laid out flat? And the average person breathes of 13 pints of air every minute? https://lunginstitute.com/blog/never-knew-breathing-facts/

Using antibiotics for coughs has many liabilities. Viruses don’t respond to antibiotics. Respiratory infections, or sinus infections, may be fungus or candida based. Antibiotics will make these infections worse, and cause a deterioration in health generally. Many pathogenic bugs are now resistant to antibiotics, requiring more and stronger antibiotics. Every time you take a round of antibiotics you are harming your immune system in the long run. Yes, the damage can be undone. But it takes time, dietary changes, and a precise supplement program to really undo the damage. Check your tongue in the mirror. Your tongue can tell us much about your health status. PDFhttps://www.google.com/search?q=what+does+a+healthy+tongue+look+like+in+chinese+medicine&rlz=1C5CHFA_enUS779US780&tbm=isch&source=iu&ictx=1&fir=_yoabvb5rwi9tM%253A%252CZEFFP11ZMrdPkM%252C_&usg=__jTL3oacMrFvB6FJvjRuJ7bm4ROA%3D&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwinxpDlzeLYAhVH4IMKHd6pDREQ9QEIdDAR#imgrc=DZy-K8UraUse1M:
A coated tongue indicates candida overgrowth, a pale tongue is blood deficiency, and a red-tipped tongue may indicate that your intestinal immune system is weak and your gut flora are not producing B vitamins. We have known since the 1940’s that the antibiotic drugs appeared to destroy the helpful gut bacteria that produce B vitamins. https://academic.oup.com/nutritionreviews/article-abstract/1/6/175/1872985?redirectedFrom=
This is not to say that there is never a place for antibiotic use. Antibiotics can save lives and must be used for certain deadly conditions. But even then, there is always the liability that there is collateral damage to the symbiotic gut bugs that populate the human intestinal wall.
The good news is that you don’t have to reach for antibiotics, unless the situation is dire, because there are highly effective solutions that will handle coughs and respiratory problems, and boost your immune system for the long term, making you healthier and more resistant.
Adding strong herbal remedies to your personal pharmacy can knock infections out, whether they are bacteria, viral, or fungus based. And we now know that many critters like to mix with other types of critters. So, an infection may have more than one component. And there is some evidence that bugs can morph to a different type inside the body. This is a principle of natural medicine that dates back to early 20th century. It is largely ignored by the Western Medical Establishment, the same people who brought us antibiotic-resistant Super Bugs, and still prescribe antibiotics without firm evidence of bacterial infection.
Standard Process and MediHerb are becoming leaders in the field of immune building, both for acute and immediate help, and long-term rebuilding of a compromised system. I was recently fighting off a flu, using my old stand-by Congaplex, augmented by Thymex and Calcium Lactate. I was not quite rising above it, so I added in Andographis from MediHerb, and in one day was beating it. MediHerb has recently released some other herbal preparations that can be used to wake a sluggish immune system and make it snap/pop to address virus, bacteria, parasitic and or fungal or mold organisms. The secret is to stay on the remedies long enough to reset the whole system. Add healthy nutrition, and you may find yourself stronger than you have been in years.
And since we now know that gut flora has some communication and feedback to the neuro-endocrine system (where the nervous system and hormonal system connect in the brain) more energy, mental clarity, and general feeling of well-being may result. Some of your daily struggles may be a result of your body being burdened with hidden infection.
This is cutting-edge science. Check out what the International Life Sciences Institute is discussing at their upcoming seminar on Nutrition and the Ageing Brain in Madrid, Spain,
“Microbiome (gut flora/bacteria) and Immune Status: Impact on Brain Function.” http://ilsi.eu/event/3rd-workshop-on-nutrition-for-the-ageing-brain/ It takes about ten years for research to be recognized and implemented in doctors’ offices. So, you are ahead of your doctor on this subject.
If you are suffering from any non-optimum body conditions, consider that your immune system may need a reboot. Even weight and metabolism can be affected by infections and impaired gut flora. Bloating and constipation are common signs, but there are many others that you may not recognize, such as chronic sinus congestion, skin problems, irritability, fatigue, and coughing. Contact me and I can help get you on the right program. With the increase in types of immune challenges we face today, a strong immune system can save you from years of suffering and inferior health. The right supplements that are real medicine for the immune system can turn your health around.


Does Weight Loss Start in Your Head?

Did you decide that 2018 would be your year to lose weight? What if losing weight is not really about working out more, or calories consumed, or the type of diet you are on? 
Of course, if you are eating a particular regime strictly, and you are being successful long-term, this post won’t apply to you. You may have already mastered the head-game about food. But most of us are still pawns, at the mercy of our culture that serves us up fast food on every corner, serving sizes of candy, soft drinks, and pastries that could feed 5 people, and restaurant portions fit for an elephant.
Humans are very complex. And so weight loss may not be simple, or it would not be such a “big” problem for so many.
We all know about “stress” eating, when people eat because they are worried or confused. But there are many other triggers that cause us to over-eat. Knowing those triggers can help you to avoid the traps you may be falling into without realizing it.
Trap Number One is the See-food trap. We may well be hard-wired to reach for food we see. After all, it is only in very recent history that so many people have had an abundance of food around them. Seeing food and smelling food starts a chain reaction in our neuro-endrocrine systems, in our brain and our hormonal systems, that causes us to react, by first wanting, and then reaching for, food that we don’t need right then, and especially for food that is not really food at all. Does anyone think that donuts are actually food?!
So, one thing you can do is put away all foods that tempt you to eat them that are junk or snack foods and sabotage your diet. Throw out all the junk food in your cupboards. That includes your desk drawers at work. If you cannot do that because of the family, make an agreement that all snack and dessert foods will be put out of sight.
You may have to make a pact with your colleagues at work, also. One study showed that employees eat less candy if candy jars have lids instead of being in open containers. At one of the studios in Burbank, all junk food dispensers were removed. Ask that donuts and cookies be covered in the lunchroom. Or better divide the lunchroom so that junk food eaters have one section, and health-conscious eaters have another section. This is a matter of out-of-sight, out-of-mind, out-of-mouth.
Trap Number Two is going out to eat. Don’t eat at your desk. Get out, take a walk, meet friends. But bring your lunch from home, or eat at a restaurant that has healthy options and lots of protein and salad choices. See if the people at your table will agree to skip the bread basket. Share entrees or order appetizers. Decide before you go out that you will skip the carbs, such as the bun with your burger, or eat veggie and protein meals. Not only will this assist weight loss, it will also make you more productive in the afternoon. Don’t bring food that needs to be microwaved. Take the time to prepare a lunch that will carry you through the afternoon. This takes some planning and extra time to prepare, especially to avoid that sandwich with bread and cheese. Try lettuce wraps, and add good fats with bacon and avocado. One slice of cooked bacon is 43 calories. One ounce of cheese is 100 calories, and it usually takes more than one ounce to create enough cheese flavor for you to notice. Concerned about the fat in bacon? A small amount of fat will keep your blood sugar level through the afternoon. Which leads us to…
Trap Number Three is late afternoon energy drop. Our adrenal-cortisol levels, and our blood sugar levels, drop in late afternoon. https://adrenalfatiguesolution.com/cortisol-levels-change-throughout-day/ That can produce an energy crash that makes us reach for food. The crash may be worse if sugar or refined and processed foods were eaten earlier in the day. First, drink enough water to keep your cells hydrated. Especially if you drink coffee, which causes the kidneys to work harder, you cannot use thirst to determine if you need to drink more. Cells need sufficient water to be able to move out waste and toxins, and uptake nutrients. Keep protein and fat snacks available. Nut butter with a piece of fruit might work. IF you can keep your blood sugar more stable, you may find that you can make it to dinner and not over-eat. If you can keep ingredients for a protein drink handy, this is a smart solution.
Trap Number Four is snacking in front of your computer or television. http://thescienceofeating.com/2016/07/13/6-reasons-you-should-not-watch-tv-while-eating/ You might eat simply out of boredom, or habit. Try some mild exercise, nothing too strenuous that will interfere with sleep. Play a game, go for a walk, or read a book to break the habit if you have been accustomed to eating after dinner. The body does better if it does not have to process food constantly, so fasting between dinner at 6-7 and breakfast the next morning, gives the body a chance to catch up. You should be hungry and ready to eat in the morning. If you are not, you may be eating too much at night.
Trap Number Five is fear of hunger. This causes eating ahead of hunger because of worrying that there won’t be food available at the time. Some people eat right at bedtime for fear of waking hungry and others eat between meals.  Keeping blood sugar stable by eating healthy fats and proteins should help. The body also gets used to eating frequently and it may take some time and patience to get used to not eating as often. If you are at all overweight, your body does not need to eat as much food as you are currently eating. Your waist should be smaller than your hips, for men or women. If it is not, you are over eating.
Trap Number Six is delaying weight loss until a better time. If you delaying losing weight because you are under stress, don’t.  It is even more important to eat healthily when you are dealing with stress. And avoiding sugar and carbs may help you to sleep better, and keep your hormonal system more balanced, which will only help you cope better with stressful events.
Trap Number Seven is getting too little sleep. The metabolism slows down and the body craves more energy (usually sugar and processed foods) when you don’t get sufficient sleep. If you find that you are hungry at night, try going to sleep earlier. Your body may be simply tired, and that is interpreted as hunger. People who get too little sleep are often adrenal-fatigued, and that will affect blood sugar levels. There is no substitute for good sleep.
So, you can see that the nervous system and the hormonal system are responsible for regulation of all body functions, including weight loss and weight gain. Knowing how to manage this system gives you tools to modify your habits, without as much struggle against cravings and energy crashes.
A Detoxification program, or a Blood Sugar Balancing program can help jumpstart weight loss, improve mental clarity, sleep, skin and digestion. Find out how this can be part of your winter reboot by emailing me or making an appointment to see me. Text 818-863-6346 or email anne@annedunev.com
Make 2018 your year to realize your goals and dreams. Healthy weight maintenance can make rest of your life more pleasurable when focus and clarity and steadfast energy help you to achieve
what you would like most out of life.

Coffee vs. Tea

Drinking coffee is as American as apple pie. You might think we invented the stuff, with a coffee house on every corner.
Green tea has become the first choice for the health food crowd, and coffee is often considered risky. Coffee packs more of a wallop due to the higher caffeine content. Although green tea does contain caffeine, the antioxidant content may provide an acceptable trade-off. But is coffee unhealthy?
What is the truth?
Coffee acts as a stimulant by blocking a brain chemical called Adenosine. This increases other brain chemicals called Dopamine and Norepinephrine. These increase the firing of neurons, which means a temporary increase of brain activity. This may be why coffee can lower risk of neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
Coffee contains small amounts of B vitamins and minerals. Studies show that coffee drinkers have a reduced risk of Type II Diabetes. It may be the magnesium and chromium in coffee that helps regulate blood sugar levels. So, it is not necessarily the caffeine that is beneficial and decaffeinated coffee seems to have similar effects. Coffee also seems to protect the liver and decrease the risk of some types of cancer. https://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/coffee-new-health-food#1  It lowers the risk of heart arrhythmia and decreases the risk of stroke in women.
Coffee may increase blood pressure, so the benefits must be weighed against the risks. Moderate coffee drinking appears to be safe during pregnancy (2 cups per day) but higher amounts may have an association with miscarriage. https://www.livestrong.com/article/128501-negative-health-effects-drinking-coffee/ Coffee may cause dehydration, which can stress kidneys and interfere with the removal of cellular wastes. So, if you choose to drink it, be sure to also drink water and take a trace mineral supplement. Trace minerals are the ones you need in smaller amounts, like manganese and copper.
White, green, and black teas are all derived from the leaves from the Camellia Sinensis plant. The younger leaves are white. An oxidation process turns the leaves green, to brown, to black. The flavor becomes richer, but the antioxidant level drops. 
The antioxidant level is also determined by how the tea is prepared. Black tea requires short steeping in very hot water. White tea requires longer steeping to release the antioxidants. Green tea is best prepared when steeped in cold water for two hours. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/12/151216120154.htm
White tea contains the least amount of caffeine. It also contains the greatest health benefits in the form of polyphenols, which have immune boosting properties. Women who drink tea may see a reduction in estrogen levels and therefore cancer protective since some cancers are sensitive to estrogen.
If you are sensitive to the caffeine in coffee, that may indicate an issue of weak adrenals. Add sugar and both your adrenals and your blood sugar may be adversely affected, spiking and then crashing. Stevia is a safer choice for sweetening tea or coffee. And if you prefer cream in your coffee, adding butter, coconut oil or MCT oil avoids the dairy. MCT oil is medium-chain triglycerides, which refers to the type of oil. Coconut oil contains MCT, but also contains other types of triglycerides. Triglyceride is a scientific name for fats. Eating triglycerides in the form of coconut oil will not raise the level in your blood. And may increase your "good" cholesterol and lower your "bad". Your brain needs a lot of good fat and oils, and your heart and brain are buddies, so don't worry about eating unrefined natural fats. It is the sugar and bread that gets yo and cause the tire tummy and heart risk.
Regardless of whether you like coffee, tea or both, I always encourage people to seek out organic versions, since the non-organic coffee and tea plants are heavily sprayed with pesticides.
Both coffee and tea are really water-extracted herbs. Both have some benefits. Having practiced for many years in England, I have seen either one become addictive, so use wisely. Knowing your own body’s reactions and sensitivities is often the best guideline. This only comes with eating real unprocessed foods so that you can gauge the difference when your body protests. 
These delightful herbal beverages have shaped our culture and our history from the days of the East Indian Company to the Boston Tea Party to the presence of Starbucks in most towns in the U.S.A. And there are many strong opinions about coffee vs. tea. Oliver Wendell Holmes said, “The morning cup of coffee has an exhilaration about it that the afternoon or evening cup of tea cannot be expected to reproduce.”
My advice-find the healthiest way to enjoy them (or not) for yourself. I love both. Organic, of course!

Wonder If You Are Eating Too Much Sugar?

You may already know the answer for yourself! In a perfect world, sugar consumption might be zero refined sugar, and only a little fruit or naturally occurring sugar like honey or maple syrup. Non-sugar sweeteners that are healthiest would be Xylitol (made from birch trees) Stevia (from a South American plant leaf) or Monk Fruit.

But we live in the real world and refined sugar is more plentiful than sand on a beach, it seems.  So, how do you know when you are eating too much?

First of all, there is no question that Type II Diabetes is caused by eating too much sugar and refined carbohydrates, such as white bread. https://med.stanford.edu/news/all-news/2013/02/quantity-of-sugar-in-food-supply-linked-to-diabetes-rates-researcher-says.html


What this study showed is that you can cut calorie consumption and lose weight and inches. But it is only by cutting carb consumption that you can cut down your insulin and triglyceride (blood fat) levels.

Sugar and carbs (think flour, other bread grains and pastas) are passed into the blood stream through the intestinal walls in the form of glucose. Glucose levels trigger the pancreas to produce insulin. The insulin knocks on the “door” of your cells and gets the cells to allow some glucose to pass through the cell wall as fuel for the cell processes. Each type of cell has a job to do, and they all need fuel to act as eye cells or liver cells or skin cells.

In Type II Diabetes the pancreas does not run out of insulin. Instead the cells become resistant and refuse to open the door, kind of like how you would feel if the same salesman knocked on your door three times a day. The result is that there is too much sugar roaming around with no place to park, so the sugar gets shuttled to the liver and made into triglycerides, or fat. That fat gets stored at your waist, hips or thighs. And, without much sugar making it into your cells as fuel, you will feel tired.

Too much of any food group (except pure fat) can be converted into blood sugar. So, over-eating is also a risk factor, just as it is for Diabetes. There are carbs in dairy products, nuts and legumes, too, and these can also easily be converted into glucose (sugar). Our digestive processes break down every thing we eat into the following: proteins break down to amino acids and peptides, fats break down to fatty acids, carbs break down to glucose (sugar). Food also contains nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, enzymes and fiber.

Sugar circulating in the blood causes inflammation, which damages arteries and may be one of the prime causes of heart disease. Cancer cells love sugar. They don’t love green vegetables, healthy fats and protein, which act to balance blood sugar.

So, the first sign you are eating too much sugar is excess fat at waist, hips or thighs (or any place else you don’t want it.) The second sign is that you are tired, despite a full night’s sleep. Or you may be tired because you are waking up in the middle of the night and unable to go back to sleep.

Feeling okay most of the day and then crashing at three of four o’clock is another sign you are eating too much sugar.

Too much sugar can cause frequent urge to urinate. Of course, this may also be a sign of irritation or a beginning infection, but if you chronically need to urinate often, day or night, check your sugar intake.

Frequent urination will cause dehydration, so excessive thirst may follow. And skin may become very dry. Sugar will break down collagen in your skin, so deep wrinkles on the face is another symptom of high sugar intake. Puffy ankles, with purple veins and damaged skin, is also a sign.

Indigestion may be a sign, because sugar will alter the ph (acid/alkaline balance) of the stomach, so that stomach acid is not high enough to digest protein and other foods. Also, minerals will not absorb if stomach acid is too low, so other deficiencies can develop, such as osteoporosis or cavities in the teeth.

Brain fog is another symptom of excess sugar. The brain is very dependent on balanced blood sugar, as is nerve flow. Unwarranted irritability is a sign of sugar imbalance. If you are crabby in the morning, consider what you ate the day before. Don’t skip breakfast, but eat protein early in the day.

Nerve healing does not take place if there is too much sugar in the blood, and that is why Diabetics are at risk for blindness and leg wounds that won’t heal.

These are just a few of the signs, but you can see that sugar is at the root of many common and serious health problems.

It is recommended that women eat no more than 24 grams (6 teaspoons) of sugar daily, and men only 36 grams 9 teaspoons). That is the equivalent of one cookie a day for a woman. Most Americans are eating that much sugar just for breakfast if they are eating grains and cereals.  One soda contains 39 grams. Remember it is not just sugar itself, but also breads and pastas and rice that break down to glucose and raise sugar levels in the blood.

Doing a 10-Day Blood Sugar program can break the sugar habit. Eating more fat and increasing minerals may help. Drinking more water and herbal tea helps to keep you hydrated.

Just like alcohol, you have to take sugar habits one day at a time. If you decide to have a non-sugar day (think no desserts, treats or breads/pasta) keep yourself busy. Eat plenty of protein and fat so you feel satisfied. Know that it may be a real challenge, and don’t get discouraged. Bodies are like children. They can throw tantrums if you deny something they want. Remember who is in charge, and that constant indulgence does not build health, character or confidence. Take it slowly. Parties and events may be extra-stressful and tempting. Read the labels for carbohydrate content of the foods you buy in the market and be prepared to be shocked.

Get your hormone balance checked. Weak adrenals may be caused by excess sugar over time, but taking adrenal support may improve your stamina to change your diet and lifestyle. Menopause or pre-menstrual days are particularly prime for sweet and chocolate cravings. Chocolate made with stevia may see you through. I like unsweetened carob. Still has a lot of carbs, so not a free lunch.

Not everyone has the same response to carbs and sugar. And not everyone who is thin or skinny is healthy. But maintaining a healthy weight is partially reflected in your hip waist ratio. If your waist is smaller than your hips, that is a good sign. A more definitive test is from blood work. Check your fasting glucose, which should be under 100.  The A1C number is another test for risk of Diabetes and that number should be below 6. Email me if you would like more information about this. anne@annedunev.com

Let me know if you are concerned and we can make a personalized program for you. As with most other aspects of living, there can be a long-term reward for your short-term sacrifices.

Life is much sweeter when you are healthy and feeling good. So, treat yourself well.