11 Melatonin Benefits and Information

 

Melatonin dosage - Dr. Axe

For millions of people, melatonin might be the answer to avoiding another terrible slumber. We know that sleep is highly important to maintaining the health of the entire body and warding off acute and chronic health issues. But what is melatonin? It’s actually a hormone that is responsible for setting our sleep-wake cycle, so long as you have the proper melatonin dosage.

 


11 Melatonin Benefits 

1. Natural Sleep Aid

Melatonin for sleep is by far its best known usage as a natural remedy. When it comes to sleep trouble, conventional medical treatment typically involves pharmaceutical drugs, but these medications frequently lead to long-term dependence and come with a laundry list of possible side effects. This is why many people want to find something more natural to help them have a more restful night’s sleep.

Research suggests that supplementing with melatonin may help people with disrupted circadian rhythms, such as people who work the night shift and people who have jet lag. Melatonin supplementation may also help individuals sleep better who have chronically low melatonin levels, like people with schizophrenia, who have poor sleep quality.

2. Potential Treatment for Breast and Prostate Cancer

Several studies suggest that low melatonin levels may be associated with breast cancer risk. To determine melatonin’s effectiveness at stopping tumor growth, one group of researchers evaluated the action of melatonin dosage on the growth of breast tumors in vitro (using human cancer cells) and in vivo (using mice). The researchers found that melatonin may inhibit tumor growth and cell production, as well as block the formation of new blood vessels in estrogen receptor-negative breast cancer models. This 2014 research shows melatonin’s potential as a therapeutic agent for breast cancer. Another study looked at women who were taking the chemotherapy drug tamoxifen for breast cancer but not seeing any improvement. With the addition of melatonin to their treatment regimens, researchers found that tumors modestly shrank in more than 28 percent of the women.

Studies also show that men with prostate cancer have lower melatonin levels than men without the disease. One study published in Oncology Reports aimed to verify whether melatonin might modulate the growth of androgen-dependent prostate cancer cells. The results demonstrated that melatonin can significantly inhibit the proliferation of prostate cancer cells.

Combined, these studies show melatonin’s great promise as a potential natural treatment for cancer.

3. Decreases Negative Menopause Symptoms

Melatonin supplements have been shown to improve sleep problems experienced during menopause. In a study of perimenopausal and menopausal women ages 42 to 62, within six months of a daily melatonin dosage, most of the women reported a general improvement of mood and a significant mitigation of depression. The findings of this study appear to demonstrate that melatonin supplementation among perimenopausal and menopausal women can lead to recovery of pituitary and thyroid functions toward a more youthful pattern of regulation.

This is great news because it shows that melatonin can help decrease common negative perimenopause symptoms and menopause symptoms, like sleeping problems.

4. Heart Disease Helper

Multiple studies suggest that melatonin has heart-protective properties. Specifically, research shows that when it comes to cardiovascular health, melatonin has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. It also can help lower blood pressure and cholesterol. It seems to have cardioprotective properties via its direct free radical scavenger activity. Overall, the protective abilities of melatonin may be able to help reduce and treat cardiovascular diseases.

Melatonin notables - Dr. Axe

 

5. Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain Relief

Fibromyalgia symptoms include long-term and widespread pain in muscles and connective tissues, without any specific cause. A randomized, placebo-controlled study of 101 patients with fibromyalgia syndrome evaluated melatonin’s effectiveness at reducing symptoms. It found that patients experienced a significant reduction in their symptoms when they took a melatonin dosage either alone or in conjunction with the antidepressant fluoxetine (Prozac).

The group who took only melatonin was given a daily melatonin dosage of five milligrams while the other group took three milligrams of melatonin and 2o milligrams of the antidepressant.  Other studies suggest that melatonin might be able to help with other chronic painful conditions, like migraine headaches.

6. Immune System Strengthener

Research is showing that melatonin has strong antioxidant effects and may help strengthen the immune system. A 2013 scientific review calls melatonin an “immune buffer” because it appears to act as a stimulant in an immunosuppressive condition, but it also behaves as an anti-inflammatory compound when there’s an intensified immune response, like in the case of acute inflammation.

7. Eases Jet Lag

Jet lag is a temporary sleep disorder experienced by air travelers who rapidly travel by plane across multiple time zones. It happens as a result of the slow adjustment of the body clock to the destination time, which causes sleep and wakefulness to be out of sync with the new environment. Supplementing with melatonin may be able to help “reset” your sleep and wake cycle when you experience dreaded jet lag.

8. Better Outcomes for Autism in Children

Research has shown that melatonin can help children with developmental issues like autism. This is important, particularly with autism rates on the rise.

A 2011 scientific review published in Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology evaluated 35 studies that had melatonin-related findings involving autism spectrum disorders, including autistic disorder, Asperger’s syndrome, Rett syndrome and other common developmental disorders. After reviewing the numerous studies, researchers concluded that melatonin supplementation in autism spectrum disorders is linked to better sleep parameters, improved daytime behavior and minimal side effects.

9. May Ease Tinnitus

Research suggests that melatonin may serve as a natural tinnitus treatment. Tinnitus is a condition that causes noise or ringing in the ears. For many people, tinnitus symptoms eventually go away as your auditory sensations and nerves near your ears adjust, but for those who are dealing with tinnitus for a long period of time, it can lead to other health issues like anxiety and depression.

10. Relieves Bladder Dysfunction

Melatonin receptors are found in the bladder and the prostate. It works to prevent elevations in levels of malondialdehyde, which is a marker for oxidative stress. Through the reduction of oxidative stress, melatonin helps to combat age induced bladder dysfunction. It also limits bladder contractions and induces relaxation, helping to relieve issues like overactive bladder.

 

11. Helps Relieve Stress

Melatonin levels change when you are experiencing stress. Stress decreases melatonin concentrations at night and increases melatonin production during the day, which is due to the increase of cortisol, the stress hormone. Melatonin can help to relieve stress by controlling the level of stimulation experienced by the body.

If you are feeling anxious, melatonin helps to ease anxiety symptoms like daytime fatigue, drowsiness, insomnia and restlessness. It also promotes a calm mood and it supports brain function.


Melatonin Interesting Facts

  • Melatonin is a hormone secreted by the pineal gland in the brain.
  • The precursor to melatonin is serotonin, a neurotransmitter that’s derived from the amino acid tryptophan.
  • When it’s dark, the secretion and production of melatonin increases.
  • When it’s light, the secretion and production of melatonin decreases.
  • Jet lag, shift work and poor vision can disrupt melatonin cycles.
  • Caffeine, tobacco and alcohol can all lower levels of melatonin in the body.
  • Young children have the highest levels of nighttime melatonin.
  • Blue light emitted by screens (TV, computer, phone, etc.) suppresses melatonin levels, making it more difficult to fall asleep.
  • Melatonin can be helpful for children with developmental disabilities like autism.
  • Some foods that naturally increase melatonin production include oats, bananas, tart cherries, walnuts, pineapple and barley.
  • Daytime exercise and light exposure promote regular circadian rhythm of melatonin and help ensure higher levels at night.

How to Use Melatonin and Proper Melatonin Dosage

You can easily find melatonin at your nearest health store or online in a number of forms: capsule, tablet, liquid, lozenge (that dissolves under the tongue) and topical cream.

Can you overdose on melatonin? As with any medicine or supplement, it’s possible to take too much melatonin. Most doctors and researchers recommend no more than five milligrams per day, but recommendations can vary by person and condition.

Melatonin pills are a very common selection, especially the sublingual lozenges designed for rapid absorption. Another option is topical melatonin, which is said to help skin quality as well as sleep. Researchers have found that melatonin penetrates into the outer layer of skin, reinforcing the skin’s capacity for repair, renewal and revitalization during the night.

There’s currently no recommended dose for melatonin supplements. It’s important to know that people react differently to taking melatonin. For people who are very sensitive, lower doses appear to work better. For sleep troubles, you should know that the right dose of melatonin will have you sleeping well with no daytime tiredness or irritability, so if you’re always tired, melatonin is a great option to reverse that trend.

It’s always a good idea to start off with a very low dose of melatonin and see how you do. You can follow supplement directions on the label or consult an expert if you are feeling unsure.

Melatonin Dosage for Children

Melatonin for children is sometimes helpful. If your child has a neurodevelopmental disorder that causes sleep trouble, your doctor may prescribe melatonin. It’s also used to treat symptoms of ADHD, autism, cerebral palsy and developmental disabilities in children. However, higher doses of melatonin in young people may cause seizures. It also  interfere with development during adolescence because of potential effects on hormones. Always consult a doctor before giving melatonin to a child.

Melatonin Dosage for Adults

For jet lag: 0.5 to five milligrams of melatonin by mouth one hour before bedtime at final destination has been used in several studies. Another approach that has been used is one to five milligrams one hour before bedtime for two days prior to departure and for two to three days upon arrival at final destination. (16)

For circadian rhythm sleep disorders in people with and without vision problems: a single dose of 0.5 to five milligrams by mouth before bed or as a daily dose for one to three months.

For delayed sleep phase syndrome: 0.3 to six milligrams by mouth (with five milligrams being most common) daily before sleeping for two weeks to three months.

There are many other melatonin dosage suggestions for various health concerns based on scientific research, traditional use and expert advice.

When it comes to melatonin dosage for sleep, people commonly take a pill too soon before bed, decide it isn’t doing the job quick enough and take another. Some people also wake up during the night and take another melatonin dosage. Although this might not cause any serious problems, this is not the right or safest way to use melatonin because the more you take the more likely it is that you’ll experience unwanted side effects.

If you have cancer, you should always speak with your doctor before taking melatonin.

Melatonin dosage guidelines - Dr. Axe

Melatonin Possible Side Effects and Interactions 

Is melatonin safe? It’s quite safe when taken by mouth for short periods of time. It can also be safe for some people to take it long term. Melatonin has been used safely for up to two years.

Some people experience vivid dreams or nightmares when taking melatonin, and taking too much melatonin can disrupt circadian rhythms. Other possible side effects of melatonin include headache, dizziness, daytime sleepiness, short-term feelings of depression, stomach cramps, irritability and decreased libido. For men, breast enlargement (gynecomastia) and reduced sperm count are also possible. If you experience drowsiness the morning after taking melatonin, try taking a lower dose.

Pregnant or nursing women should not take melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone so if you have a history of hormonal-related health issues then you should only use melatonin under the supervision of a doctor.

Melatonin can decrease the effectiveness of some medications while actually decreasing side effects from others. In general, these are some possible medication interactions to be aware of:

  • Antidepressant medications
  • Antipsychotic medications
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Birth control pills
  • Blood pressure medications
  • Beta-blockers
  • Blood-thinning medications (anticoagulants)
  • Interleukin-2
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Steroids and immunosuppressant medications
  • Tamoxifen

Speak with your doctor first before taking melatonin if you have any ongoing health concerns or are currently taking any other medications.

Never drive or use machinery within five hours of taking melatonin. If you take an excessive amount of melatonin intentionally or by accident, seek medical attention immediately.


Source Adapted: http://bit.ly/2w5U3Jq

 

Well Here I am! Its been awhile

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Well I was thinking this morning about how I haven’t written on GGG for awhile now my apologies! I seem to have a problem in my life where I fixate on things and when I do something its all or nothing. I feel like I am the only one with this issue sometimes. For example one week I will be all about blogging and then the next sewing projects, then onto the next…..It’s honestly frustrating at the best of times.

 

I am currently on the rise again with my weight. I am embarrassed and ashamed. That why I have been hiding from blogging. I have to admit it. Its no surprise really as I am back to eating the worst of the worst. This is my standard move. Lose weight gain it back more then before, feel like a failure, eat more, depressed….repeat. I am up 20 lbs from my loss of 50lbs last year at this time and well I need to get a handle on this thing! In addition to the weight gain, my migraines are back, I’m so tired and miserable.

I am going to make some changes again in my habits and hopefully get back on track.

My husband is still battling with his MCS Disability and while he has good days and bad I think that he has found some supplements that are working for him! That is all good news, some progress is still progress. This is another reason I really need to get back on track with the cooking and cleaner eating. When I eat poorly there is less healthy options in the house for him and that is a strain to add to his condition.

Well I will see what this week brings and try to start blogging again as I do know that it helps my mental state.

Thanks for reading as always and take care!

 

8 Health Benefits of Turmeric

turmeric

 

 

Turmeric, also known as Curcuma longa, is an ancient spice that has remained popular in India and Asia since 2,000 BC. The spice belongs to the ginger family and is a prized component of the culinary traditions of these cultures. Turmeric imparts a vibrant yellowish hue to curry dishes, and the spice is used as a natural dyeing agent for cloth.

Curcuminoids are the main phytochemicals that give turmeric its most impressive and wide-ranging health benefits. Amazingly, over 9,000 medical and clinical research studies have evaluated turmeric and curcumin and yielded a wealth of positive information.

There are three main phytochemicals in the curcuminoid family that are responsible for turmeric’s health benefits: diferuloylmethane (or curcumin, the primary curcuminoid responsible for turmeric’s vibrant yellowish color), demethoxycurcumin, and bisdemethoxycurcumin. In addition to these three chemicals, turmerone is a potent volatile oil found in the root.

Research has shown that these curcuminoids communicate with 160 mechanisms and pathways in the body to support a wide range of processes, including brain health, cardiovascular health, tissue health, and more.

8 Health Benefits of Turmeric

Turmeric provides an abundance of antioxidants capable of supporting cellular health, but what does that mean for you? Here are some of the most well-researched benefits of turmeric.

1. Promotes Balanced Mood

A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study published in the Journal of Affective Disorders reported noticeable and promising results with turmeric for supporting a balanced mood. Two groups were studied. The first group received curcumin daily, while the other received placebo. After eight weeks, the mood and anxiety score tests completed by all of the participants showed significant symptom improvements compared to placebo. Could turmeric be a potential new option for stabilizing mood?

2. Helps Wounds Heal

Cut your finger? A study in the Sept 2014 issue of Life Sciences found that the curcumin in turmeric offers beneficial properties that appear to accelerate the wound healing process by soothing irritation and oxidation. As more research evaluates turmeric’s ability to support the body’s natural healing abilities, the breadth of applications could be enormous.

An exciting study in the October 2006 issue of Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry demonstrated the efficacy of a topical turmeric application for wounds in rats. The results showed that turmeric supported collagen synthesis rates, improved wound contraction, and increased tissue strength and cell proliferation around the wound. Turmeric also showed antioxidant properties that helped the healing process.

3. Eases Aches and Discomfort

An impressive study completed and published in the March 2014 issue of the Journal of Clinical Interventions in Aging examined the effect of turmeric on knee discomfort. Results showed that turmeric experienced relief on par with more conventional options. The turmeric group, however, seemed to enjoy more relief from joint stiffness. Those taking turmeric reported significantly fewer side effects than those following mainstream-oriented action plans. A double-blind, placebo-controlled study in the December 2011 issue of Surgical Endoscopy looked at turmeric supplementation on postoperative discomfort and fatigue. Patients taking turmeric experienced significantly less discomfort compared to placebo.

4. Encourages Balanced Blood Sugar

A novel investigative study published in the Nov 2014 issue of the Journal of Endocrinology looked at the effects of curcumin on insulin-producing cells within the pancreas called Beta cells (or B-cells) and Islet cells, in relation to imbalanced blood sugar. Researchers addressed B-cell lines and human Islet cells with preparations of turmeric and observed positive benefits.

5. Soothes Irritated Tissue

Turmeric is valuable in helping soothe excess irritation. The swelling response is a healthy and natural mechanism the body uses to usher soothing compounds during times of crises or repair. It’s believed that most people in today’s toxic, stress-laden environment are under constant pressure and the tissue in their body is irritated, red, and swollen as a result. A review published in the 2007 issue of Advances of Experimental Medicine noted the soothing effect of turmeric is likely exerted through its ability to inhibit enzymes that irritate tissue.

6. Loosens Stiff Joints

A randomized, pilot clinical study published in the November 2012 issue of Phytotherapy Research set out to determine the effectiveness of turmeric for active joint discomfort. One group received the standard-of-care medication while the other received turmeric. Patients were given symptom score sheets to assess results. Turmeric outperformed the other option on all levels and was relatively free of adverse side effects.[11]

7. Encourages Normal Lipid Levels

Turmeric’s ability to encourage normal lipid profiles has been hypothesized and studied since the 1990s with varying levels of benefits. Some studies show an impressive reduction in lipid profiles for turmeric-supplemented groups. One randomized, single-blind clinical study published in the November 2011 issue of Phytotherapy Research investigated turmeric’s effect on lipid levels. Group participants were given either curcumin from turmeric in small or large servings; a control group was given vitamin E only. After just seven days, the results proved statistically significant. Small servings of turmeric produced the most favorable and balancing effects on lipid profiles.

The results of a seven-day trial showed the curcumin-supplemented participants had better lipid profile numbers. Most importantly, these studies show that turmeric is consistently safe and has very low risk of side effect.

8. Supports the Stomach Lining

India has long used turmeric in curry dishes as a taste and color enhancer. One reason for its longstanding popularity is because of its soothing properties on digestion. Researchers tested the protective effects of turmeric on the lining of the stomach against acidic preparations used to induce stomach ulcers. A preparation containing turmeric essential oils was administered before the ethanol and it was observed that turmeric protected the cells in the stomach and damage was reduced. In addition, turmeric also appears to offer some impressive protection for stomach ailments.

Supplementing with Turmeric

There are a lot of turmeric supplements on the market; some better than others. Only purchase organic products from reputable companies. Because turmeric is so popular, there are many low-quality products produced under questionable circumstances. If you’re in the market for a turmeric supplement, we recently released a liquid turmeric extract. I’m really proud of it and the feedback has been incredible.

Source: http://bit.ly/1E6H6IX

How to Soothe the dreaded sore throat

 

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It’s scratchy, tender and swollen, and you dread the simple task of swallowing. But you must swallow, and when you do, you brace yourself for the unavoidable pain.

If you’ve got a sore throat, you’re in good company; everybody gets them, and 40 million people trek to the doctor’s office for treatment every year.

The mechanics of a sore throat are pretty simple. It’s an inflammation of the pharynx, which is the tube that extends from the back of the mouth to the esophagus. The leading causes of your discomfort are:

  • Viral infections, like colds or the flu. Often accompanied by fever, achy muscles and runny nose, viral infections can’t be cured, but their symptoms can be treated. A sore throat from a viral source will generally disappear on its own within several days.
  • Bacterial infection, especially from streptococcal bacteria (strep throat). Symptoms are much like those of a viral infection but may be more severe and long lasting. Often a bacterial infection is accompanied by headache, stomachache and swollen glands in the neck. A strep infection is generally treated with antibiotics because permanent heart or kidney damage can result. Culturing the bacteria is the only way a doctor can determine the cause of the sore throat.

While those are the primary reasons for a sore throat, there are others, including:

  • Smoking
  • Acid reflux
  • Allergies
  • Dry air, especially at night when you may sleep with your mouth open
  • Mouth breathing
  • Throat abuse: singing, shouting, coughing
  • Polyps or cancer
  • Infected tonsils
  • Food allergy

A sore throat can be a minor but annoying ailment, or it can be a symptom of a serious illness. Causes range from a stuffy nose or a cold to strep throat, a bacterial throat infection caused by Streptococcus pyogenes. Since untreated strep throat can lead to rheumatic fever and scarlet fever, it’s important to get medical help as early as possible into the illness. Along with producing severe soreness in your gullet, strep throat may be accompanied by fever, body aches and pains and malaise.

If you have these symptoms, or if you have a sore throat lasting more than two or three days, it makes good sense to see a doctor. For mild sore throats that accompany a cold or allergy, there are soothing remedies using common household items that can stand alone or work side by side with traditional medicine to stifle that soreness.

Gargle raspberry tea. Raspberry leaf tea can make a great gargle. (To make, pour 1 cup boiling water over 2 teaspoons dried leaves. Steep for 10 minutes, then strain. Allow to cool.) If you also have a fever, the gargle can be used as a fever-reducing drink, too. Do not drink any liquid you have used as a gargle.

Gargle with sage. This curative herb is a great sore-throat gargle. Mix 1 teaspoon in 1 cup boiling water. Steep for 10 minutes, then strain. Add 1 teaspoon each cider vinegar and honey, then gargle four times a day.

Gargle with turmeric. Try this gargle to calm a cranky throat. Mix together 1 cup hot water, 1/2 teaspoon turmeric and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Gargle with the mixture twice a day. If you’re not good with the gargle, mix 1/2 teaspoon turmeric in 1 cup hot milk and drink. Turmeric stains clothing, so be careful when mixing and gargling.

Gargle with warm saltwater. If you can gargle without gagging, make a saline solution by adding 1/2 teaspoon salt to a cup of very warm water. Yes, when your mother told you to gargle with saltwater, she knew what she was talking about. It cuts phlegm and reduces inflammation. Dissolve 1/2 teaspoon salt in 1/2 cup warm water, and gargle every three to four hours.

Gargle with Listerine. Another good gargling fluid is Listerine mouthwash. If you share the product with anyone else in your household, don’t drink straight from the bottle; instead, pour a small amount into a cup (and don’t share that, either).

Other remedies to try are a steamy shower, sipping warm liquids, taking an anti-inflammatory (ibuprofen) most of all get lots of rest and feel better soon!

 

Learning how to crochet can do more than you think for your mental health and happiness

Smiley-On-Top

Arts and crafts are more than just a fun pastime, they’re truly healing and restorative and are actually very therapeutic. In fact, the healing benefits of crocheting (and knitting) are numerous and range from simply calming you down and easing your stress to potentially relieving depression and reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

Crocheting doesn’t just help you if you’re the one who’s sick – it helps the caregivers around you, your friends and family that help you, love you and support you. It’s also a very good craft to pick up as a hobby for group therapy sessions, as you’re healing together in a group without having the focus completely on you. There are so many benefits of crocheting, so whether you’re stressed out and can’t sleep or are doing your part to help slow down Alzheimer’s, you’ll be doing yourself and your health a favor.

1. Crocheting reduces stress and anxiety

When you’re feeling stressed or anxious in your daily life, take some time for yourself, pick up some yarn and your hook (or your needles), and spend some time being creative. By crocheting and allowing yourself to be creative, you’re taking your mind off of whatever’s been nagging you. By focusing on the repetitive motions of individual stitches and counting rows, your mind is able to be more relaxed and free from anxious ideas and thoughts.

2. Crocheting helps with insomnia

By focusing on something that’s easy, repetitive and soothing, like crochet projects, you can calm down your mind and body enough to let you fall asleep. So the next time you’re tossing and turning in the middle of the night, don’t get frustrated, just pick up a work in progress!

3. Crocheting helps ease or relieve depression

When you do something we like, our brains release dopamine, a chemical that affects our emotions and functions like a natural anti-depressant. Scientists now believe that crafts, such as crocheting, can help stimulate that dopamine release to allow us to feel happier and better about ourselves.

4. Crocheting reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s by 30-50%.

Crocheting can reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s by 30-50%. By engaging in cognitive exercises and stimulating your mind, you can slow down or even prevent memory loss. Whether you plan on challenging your memory by learning a new stitch or technique or simply by reading and working up a pattern, by getting a little crafty, you’ll be helping preserve your memories.

5. Crochet builds your self-esteem.

We all want to feel productive and useful, and by working up a project to give as a gift or sell at a craft fair, we can do just that. Though we don’t craft just for the compliments, a little bit of external validation by someone buying your finished item or your gift recipient wearing that crochet hat you made all winter long can truly give us the self-esteem boosts we need.

6. Crocheting acts as a form of group therapy.

For those who seek therapy benefits in group settings, crocheting can be supremely beneficial. By placing the focus off of the patient and only the crochet project itself, it provides all of the previously mentioned health benefits of crocheting plus a sense of community and togetherness. By working in a craft, those in a group can immediately have some way of relating to the other group members, and it may help function as an ice breaker for more seriously conversations. Even if you aren’t actively seeking therapy, you can benefit from the sense of community that crocheting can bring.

7. Crocheting puts you in control.

Whether you feel helpless as a caregiver watching someone struggle or you’re the one struggling with your own illness or problems, crocheting is a way to put the control back into your own hands – literally. By choosing to craft, you are in full control of everything, from the type of project you’ll be making, the color and type or yarn and even the type of crochet hooks to work with, and that makes a difference in feeling like you have a say again.

 

Source: http://bit.ly/2qfUZZu

 

All about the miserable” Carb Flu”

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If you’ve ever dramatically reduced your carbohydrate intake, you might have felt it already: it’s that first few days of headaches, brain fog, crankiness, and constant, dragging exhaustion. At some point, you know the magic is going to happen and you’ll start feeling like a human being again, but the transition period is really rough. It feels like having the flu (hence the name), only you’re not sick; you’re just cutting carbs. Low-carb flu can include any of the following:

  • You feel fuzzy and foggy, like your brain just isn’t working right. You might have a pounding or throbbing headache.
  • You’re exhausted, cranky, and irritable for no reason.
  • Going to the gym feels like an insurmountable challenge. If you do make it, your performance is completely down the drain.
  • You’re ravenously hungry, tearing into everything in sight.
  • You’re craving anything with carbs – bagels, pasta, pizza, sandwiches, mashed potatoes, candy…

So what gives? Isn’t Paleo supposed to make you feel better, not worse?

Yes it is – and yes it will, eventually. But for some people, there’s an initial period of adaptation while your body switches tracks. Here’s how it works:

At any given time, your body can be burning either fat or carbohydrates for energy, but given a choice, it’ll start with carbs. If you eat a mixed meal (say, a potato with butter), you’ll burn the carbs first, and then start working on the fat.

Metabolic flexibility is the ability to switch back and forth between carbs and fat for energy without a problem. This is how healthy humans are set up. If you eat a potato with butter, get up, and go along with your day, you’re metabolically flexible. First you burn through the carbohydrates in the potato; then you burn through the fat in the butter. Finally, several hours later, you notice hunger gradually increasing and get up to find something else to eat.

If you eat the potato with butter, and then an hour later you need some crackers because your blood sugar is tanking and you’re snapping at everyone in the room, then you have impaired metabolic flexibility. Your body burned through all the carbs, but the switch to burning fat is difficult – so it stores the fat and demands more carbs for energy. If you eat the crackers and just keep providing those carbs, the cycle keeps repeating (while you gain weight from all that stored fat).

This impaired metabolic flexibility is clearly a problem – it’s a hallmark of diabetes and related metabolic disorders. Paleo is all about restoring metabolic flexibility, to avoid these problems, but unfortunately the low-carb flu can sometimes be a side effect of that. Initially, your body is going to throw an “I want carbs” tantrum – that’s the crummy, run-down, “low-carb flu” feeling. Eventually it’ll get the message and switch over to fat-burning mode, but sometimes it takes a lot of tantrum to figure it out.

Make no mistake: this stinks while you’re doing it. It’s not actually starvation, but it’s pretty close. But here’s the good news:

  • Low-carb flu is not inevitable: it doesn’t happen to everyone, and there’s a lot you can do to make it less miserable or even avoid it altogether.
  • It doesn’t last. Yes, it’s awful in the short term. But that short-term pain is a door to long-term gain.

Low-Carb Flu and Paleo

And now for the million-dollar question: do you have to put up with this to go Paleo?

No! For one thing, not everyone will get anything like the low-carb flu even if they do reduce carbs in their diet. Metabolically flexible people can adjust carbs up and down within a wide range and be just fine. It’s only people with impaired metabolic flexibility – people like diabetics, for example – who really get the worst of the “flu.”

Even for the unlucky ones, though, the misery isn’t inevitable. The first thing to remember about Paleo and the “carb flu” is that Paleo is not a low-carb diet. It can be low-carb, but it doesn’t have to be. Paleo is about eating the foods we’re evolutionarily suited to eat, not about any particular macronutrient ratio.

For people who are metabolically unhealthy, a low-carb version of Paleo can be very therapeutic, but you don’t have to go from 0 to 60 overnight. A better strategy is to step down gradually. First, try plugging a day or two of your current diet into any nutrition calculator online, to see how many carbs you already eat. Then start slowly pushing that number down while increasing fat and protein intake. Try to replace grain carbs with Paleo carbs as much as you can, but don’t be afraid to eat those potatoes! This will help your body adjust without the need for a brutal week of “carb flu.”

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You can also do all kinds of other things to help make the transition easier, and reduce or avoid the “low-carb flu” altogether.

  • Don’t reduce carbs unnecessarily. There’s no point to being low-carb for the sake of being low-carb! If you’re struggling with low energy and other flulike symptoms longer than a few weeks, maybe it’s not an adaptation period; maybe your body just does better with more carbs. That’s fine too. Don’t try to force yourself into a low-carb mold if you just weren’t cut out for it.
  • Get enough electrolytes. Salt deficiency and potassium deficiency can cause some of the same symptoms (especially exhaustion and exercise apathy); there’s no reason to make things worse!
  • Get enough fat. It is physiologically impossible for protein to be your primary calorie source. Your body will just stop metabolizing it, and you’ll end up starving even though enough calories are technically going into your mouth. Don’t do this! If you’re going to lower carbs, you absolutely must increase fat to match.
  • Exercise if you can. This review found that exercise was a great way to improve metabolic flexibility – but in the throes of carb withdrawal, a trip to the gym is probably the last thing on your to-do list, and that’s fine. Instead of forcing yourself through a workout when you’re falling asleep on the squat rack, put exercise on the back burner, and add it back in to maintain metabolic flexibility once the “flu” is over.
  • Drink plenty of water. Dehydration will just make the headaches worse, and it’s hard on your whole system.

Summing it Up

Not everyone gets the “low-carb flu.” In fact, many metabolically healthy people seem to skip it altogether, or else just get a very mild dip in energy levels for a day or two. So don’t go into Paleo assuming that you’re going to go through a week of horror before you get to the good part: it might not even happen!

On the other hand, people with impaired metabolic flexibility do often get a kind of “flu” from dropping carbs. This really stinks, but you can make it stink less by lowering your carbs slowly, getting plenty of water, salt, and fat, and giving yourself a break until it passes. Remember: Paleo is not a week-long fad diet; you can afford to take 2 weeks to ease into it for the sake of long-term sticking power. You also don’t have to do a low-carb version of Paleo if it doesn’t make you feel good; there’s no carb police hovering over your shoulder ready to pounce if you look sideways at a potato!

Ultimately, a hellish week of “carb flu” shouldn’t be the Paleo price of admission. You shouldn’t have to take vacation time just to change your diet. So if you’re in the throes of the low-carb blues, don’t just suffer through it; take a second to stop and think what you might do differently to make the transition less rocky and more sustainable.

 

Source: http://bit.ly/2osaSbI

And When She was bad, She was Awful…..My reboot back on track

So lately I have been letting myself slip back into old habits although I may seem like a rock at times. I achieved my weight loss goal recently about 3 months ago with the Ideal Protein method as supervised by a nutritionist. I was dedicated and determined that this is going to be the last time I ever yo yo’d back again. But lets not forget my past. I was and still am a junk food addict.

Some how, I have be rationalizing that its OK to have a bite of this here and a bit of this there. One day turns into a few and then a week and now I have been right back to rock bottom again. Binge eating in my car, no one see’s and whatever I think, the weight is slowly returning. I have been disregarding the pound or so that is back but now I m up 5 lbs and the other night I finally had my ultra drug….PEPSI.

That’s nothing you say. Well for me its everything 5 lbs will turn into 10 and then before I know it Ill be up 40 lbs again and then more…its always more. I needed to be honest. I needed help and fast. I can’t get hold of myself, I have been trying and failing. I contacted my nutritionist and we have decided together that I will start a reboot to get back into control of my habits and break that cycle again. I will be documenting my reboot these coming days so I can remember how to get back to health again.

I am so proud that I could get help this time and not let it go and fade away like I usually do. There is still some fight in this girl after all.

 

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DAY ONE – BACK ON TRACK WITH IDEAL PROTEIN

Day 1: 5

On track – YES

Cravings – YES, and when I am wanting to eat my healthy veggies I am feeling very repulsed. My brain says it would rather starve then not eat junk food. I am definitely not out of the woods in addiction. Headache, Tired. All the normal withdraws. Tomorrow will be worse I know.

My Day 1 Looked Like

Ideal protein foods for Breakfast, Lunch and Snack.

Lunch had a large multi- greens salad with olive oil/vinegar

Dinner: Roasted Chicken and Broccoli

2 coffee’s and Water, water, water……..

Tomorrow is another day!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dealing with MSC Disorder. (Multiple Chemical Sensitivity) in our family

 

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Within the last year my husband has been diagnosed with an extreme MSC disorder from the Toronto Womans College Hospital.  I thought to educate people on this matter would be informative and answer many questions for others.

Multiple chemical sensitivity can include a wide range of symptoms, which some people link to their environment. It’s also known as Environmental illness, MCS disability or idiopathic environmental intolerance.

The symptoms are wide-ranging. They include headache, fatigue, dizziness, nausea, congestion, itching, sneezing, sore throat, chest pain, changes in heart rhythm, breathing problems, muscle pain or stiffness, skin rash, stomach and gastric issues, confusion, trouble concentrating, memory problems, and mood changes.

Possible triggers that set off his symptoms vary a lot, too. They include tobacco, coffee, cleaning products, essential oils, smoke, auto exhaust, perfume, insecticide, new carpet, chlorine, and so much more. In his case, clove oils, and the mint family are the worst offender.

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There is no question that high doses of some chemicals make people sick and that irritants such as pollution and cigarette smoke worsen conditions like asthma. How very low levels of chemical exposure affect people isn’t clear.Some doctors suggest it’s an immune response similar to allergies. Others say that the symptoms stem from an extreme sensitivity to certain smells. It’s possible that conditions such as depression and anxiety play a role, too.

Once a social, productive man has gradually become unable to tolerate being in offices, schools, hospitals, and public places such as shopping malls, movie theaters, restaurants, libraries, etc. You can imagine how isolating this would be and difficult to explain to people who just don’t get it. It is a lot to take in and adapt to in a new lifestyle for all of us.We are doing fine thou, day by day we learn more about this condition and adapt as we go.

 

An honest blog…Where am I going in my life?

Today is the day for writing a honest post about a few things. Currently in life I am in a position where I feel a bit torn and maybe a bit overwhelmed at times. Here is where I am at. I work at a wonderful job as a server at a local family restaurant  which I adore. They treat me as part of their family and that means the world to me. So I can count that out as any source of confusion in my life.

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I am by nature a very artistic and creative person, but in that aspect I think that I can appear flip floppy with my hobbies and other investments of time. For the last 10 years I have been making cakes and confections, hand painted fancy works of edible art that I take pride in and I was convinced I was destined to become a professional baker at. I have tried and failed a few times at my own go at expanding,  and it quickly becomes overwhelming,  taking an enormous hit to my self esteem and then it becomes too much for me and worsens my anxiety. So lately I have felt myself cringe at the thought of one more order.Is this it for me? Am I done? I don’t really know for now it is going on the back burner in my life.I can tell you that it pains me to even write all this, I mean I feel like I am a failure.

 

I started Green Grass Grove as a blog for myself to vent, to educate and to grow personally. I think that it has changed me. Dealing with my husbands chemical sensitivities disorder has taken a lot out of me and personally,  I want to help him become strong and healthy again. I have been schooling to become a certified nutritionist and now I am pursuing other avenues to  learn to create my own line of 100% Natural, unscented products including soaps, toiletries and cleaning products. As always in my creative nature I want to share my experience and craft with others and when I am there I will do so proudly.

My best friend who is always a amazing source of encouragement and advice is my rock. She is so assuring of my decisions and always has sound ideas on how I should approach things. She commented last evening about how people are generally so wrapped up in themselves that they are often to busy to even notice thing things that you find to be a mountainous source of anxiety. I thought for awhile last night and she is completely right.

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Ultimately the choice is mine and for now this is the way I am headed. This is what makes me happy and want to be excited about and I think that what I am going to focus my energy on. Its never about getting rich with me, its about expanding my horizons and learning.No explanations needed to anyone. I only have to answer to myself and that’s what I am going to do.

I value and input and comments on this post. Thank you :o)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is coffee bad for you?

To the age-old question “Is coffee bad for you?”, researchers are in more agreement than ever that the answer is a resounding “no.” A new study published in the journal Nature Medicine found that older people with low levels of inflammation — which drives many, if not most, major diseases — had something surprising in common: they were all caffeine drinkers.

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“The more caffeine people consumed, the more protected they were against a chronic state of inflammation,” says study author David Furman, consulting associate professor at the Institute for Immunity, Transplantation and Infection at Stanford University. “There was no boundary, apparently.”

In the study, Furman and his colleagues analyzed blood samples from 100 young and old people. The older people tended to have more activity in several inflammation-related genes compared with the younger group — no surprise, since as people get older, inflammation throughout the body tends to rise. Chronic diseases of aging, like diabetes, hypertension, heart problems, cancer, joint disorders and Alzheimer’s, are all believedto have inflammation in common. “Most of the diseases of aging are not really diseases of aging, per se, but rather diseasesof inflammation,” Furman says. The more active these genes were, the more likely the person was to have high blood pressure and atherosclerosis.

What’s more, even among older people, those with lower levels of these factors were more protected against inflammation — and they had something else in common too. They all drank caffeine regularly. People who drank more than five cups of coffee a day showed extremely low levels of activity in the inflammatory gene pathway. Caffeine inhibits this circuit and turns the inflammatory pathway off, the researchers say.

The goal isn’t to make every trace of inflammation disappear, the scientists stress. In fact, inflammation is an important function of the immune system, which uses it to fight off infections and remove potentially toxic compounds. But with aging, the process isn’t regulated as well as it is in a younger body. “Clearly in aging something is breaking down, and we become less effective at managing this inflammation,” says Mark Davis, director of the Stanford institute. “But now in this paper, we identify a particular pathway that was not associated with inflammation before. We are able to point, with a much higher resolution picture, at aging and the things that should be markers for inflammation.”

The key will be to figure out when the inflammatory response starts to spiral out of control. In an upcoming study, Furman and others will soon investigate the immune systems of 1,000 people; he hopes to use that information to develop a reference range of immune-system components to tell people whether their levels are normal, or if they’re at higher risk for developing chronic conditions driven by inflammation.

In the meantime, following the example of caffeine-drinking adults with lower levels of inflammation — by having a cup of joe or two — might be a good idea.

 

Source:  http://bit.ly/2mGe2ai