Don’t Let Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis Zap Your Energy

A diagnosis of Hypothyroidism, or underactive thyroid, means that your thyroid gland is not producing high enough hormone levels to carry out its many roles in the body.

 

Thyroid hormones play roles in a wider range of physical functions than most of us realise, so when those hormone levels get out of whack, the entire body can be affected. There can be a number of reasons this happens, ranging from nutritional deficiencies to radiation, with one of the more common reasons being an autoimmune condition called Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis.

Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis Is More Common Than You May Think

 

Affecting approximately 10% of women over the age of 30, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis is the most common cause of hypothyroidism. Some studies put the incidence of Hashimoto’s as high as five percent of the overall population.

What is Hashimoto’s?

 

The condition gets its name from the Japanese physician who first identified it in 1912.  It’s important to understand that Hashimoto’s is an autoimmune disorder.  In other words, with Hashimoto’s, your immune system somehow perceives that your healthy thyroid is a threat to your wellbeing, and attacks it in response.

 

Autoimmune disorders like this can be frustrating since they often don’t have a direct, easily identified cause. They can also be tricky to diagnose. In fact, up to 60 percent of people who have a thyroid issue don’t know that they have it.

 

Who Is At Risk Of Hashimoto’s?

Women

Certain conditions can make it more likely that you will develop Hashimoto’s. For example, women are from five to eight times more likely to develop the disease.

 

Previous Autoimmune Disease

Your risk is also highest at middle age. Having other autoimmune disorders (such as lupus, celiac disease, or rheumatoid arthritis) can also make you more vulnerable.

 

Gluten Intolerance

Some research has linked Hashimoto’s to diets high in gluten.  Although gluten doesn’t directly cause Hashimoto’s, gluten consumption does seem to increase the risk for autoimmune disorders in general. And interestingly, people with celiac disease are three times more likely to have a thyroid problem.

 

Stress

Other research suggests a link between chronic stress and Hashimoto’s. This connection could be due to the interaction between stress and our immune systems.

 

What Are The Symptoms Of Hashimoto’s?

 

The symptoms of Hashimoto’s often build slowly, which is why they often go unnoticed. As the thyroid experiences more damage, many people find they become increasingly tired. In fact, overwhelming fatigue is one of the most common complaints with this disease.

 

You may also experience a long list of frustrating symptoms, including:

●     Weight gain

●     Muscle aches

●     Thinning hair

●     Dry skin

●     Constipation

●     Fertility problems

●     Poor cold tolerance

●     Depression

●     Memory issues

●     Hoarseness

●     Low libido

 

●     Slow heart rate

●     A lump at the base of the throat, due to an enlarged thyroid

 

Many of the symptoms listed above are easy to blame on other health issues - even simply growing older. However, the long term-effects of Hashimoto’s can greatly affect your quality of life. And over time, low levels of thyroid hormone can lead to elevated cholesterol levels. That’s why it’s important to seek help if you suspect Hashimoto’s.

 

How Is Hashimoto’s Diagnosed?

Many conventional medical doctors run just one test for thyroid problems - Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH). However, because thyroid problems can be complex, the result doesn’t always provide an accurate diagnosis. High TSH may well indicate that the body is trying very hard to stimulate an under-responsive thyroid gland, however it doesn’t tell us why. And a normal TSH result does not rule out more complex issues.

 

For a thorough evaluation of your thyroid health, more in-depth testing is often required. After all, your body works as an integrated unit, and TSH is just one piece of the puzzle.

 

Help! I am Having Trouble Managing Hashimoto’s. What Can I Do?

 

Hashimoto’s is typically treated with a thyroid hormone supplement to restore the body’s levels. However, many patients have difficulty finding the exact level of supplementation to alleviate their symptoms.

 

A holistic approach aims to address the root cause of the autoimmune condition, in addition to supporting the thyroid and using thyroid hormone supplements as needed. This usually means making improvements to your overall health and balancing other hormone levels to support the whole system.

 

Supplements For Hashimotos’s

Supplements that may help include:

●     Selenium

●     Vitamin B12

●     Zinc

●     Ashwagandha

 

Lifestyle changes To Support Thyroid Health

Good habits can have a positive effect on Hashimoto’s, including:

 

●     Reduce the amount of sugar that you eat (and drink)

This includes sugar substitutes, which have been directly linked to Hashimoto’s. Artificial sweeteners can lower the number of “good” bacteria in your gut, which can negatively impact your immune system.

●     Watch Your Gluten Intake

Gluten and autoimmunity are interconnected, so it is a good idea to reduce the amount of gluten in your diet. Quinoa and rice are both good replacements, as are gluten-free crackers made with flax seeds. Keep in mind that the goal is to add variety to the diet, so avoid replacing all gluten products with a highly processed corn based version.

●     Focus on natural, high-fibre foods

Because of the important link between gut health and immunity, keep your gut in top shape by consuming enough fibre to keep things moving.

●     Reduce stress

Yes, that’s easier said than done in today’s busy world! However, it’s also important to remember that looking after your own health (even if that means cutting back on your responsibilities) will ultimately make you better able to look after your loved ones and your other responsibilities. As the saying goes, you can’t pour from an empty cup, so taking care of yourself is step one in taking care of others.

 

 

If you recognize the symptoms of Hashimoto’s described above, or if you’ve been given a diagnosis but are having trouble managing your symptoms, let’s talk. Together we can get a handle on your energy levels so that you can start feeling like yourself again.

 

 

Resources

 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6221534/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28829155

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30060266

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6688766/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15650357

https://www.gastrojournal.org/article/S0016-5085(15)00767-2/fulltext?referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov%2F

Distractions: What’s the Cost to Your Wellbeing?

MIGRAINE BRAINE

Here’s a challenge: Can you read this article from beginning to end without being distracted? And how will any distractions affect your ultimate understanding of the subject? The answers might surprise you.

 

We tend to think that distractions are a normal part of life, but it’s often a valuable exercise to take a step back and consider the impact of constant interruptions. Why is this important? Like most people, you have a lot to accomplish every day. You also have goals you want to reach. Perhaps you want to work towards greater health, making a bigger impact with the work you do or improve your relationships. And not being able to focus can impact your ability to reach those goals.

 

The Hidden Cost of Distraction

Interestingly, many people argue that they are more efficient when they are busy and multi-tasking. And in fact, researchers have found that we do actually work faster when we’re faced with a lot of distractions. That may be because we subconsciously feel that we have to overcompensate for the interruptions.

 

Higher Anxiety

However, studies have also found that the cost of distractions affects something far more important than your productivity: your wellbeing. That’s because distractions make you feel more stressed and anxious. And higher levels of anxiety can affect every part of your body.

 

Lower Accuracy

As well, being distracted can affect your accuracy. It makes sense: Your brain can only handle so much input at a time. However, what is surprising is how little it takes to derail your focus and affect your accuracy. As little as three seconds of distraction (the time it takes to glance at your phone after it beeps) can affect your focus and, in turn, your accuracy.

 

Distraction Recovery Time

The effects of even short distractions like that are startling. One study found that it takes an astounding 23 minutes and 15 seconds to regain your focus after an interruption. Let’s put that in perspective for a moment. How often does your phone ring or beep while you’re doing something else? If it takes over 20 minutes to recover from every notification, how much of your day is spent in “distraction recovery”? And does the loss of that time affect your long-term health and your goals?

 

Altered Memory Function

Consider what happens when you are looking things up while you watch a movie. Do you really follow the plot as carefully? Do you remember the details of the movie as well? Science suggests that you don’t. In fact, researchers have found that the way we remember things has changed since the advent of the Internet. Our memory functions have been altered.

 

How To Prevent Distractions

If you would like to minimize the impact of distractions in your life, it’s important to recognize the distinction between a needed break and a distraction. A break can be a good time to recharge and clear your mind. We’re typically more productive after we have stepped away from work for a bit. Breaks that are planned usually provide an incentive to work hard. In contrast, a distraction can come out of nowhere.

 

Although we tend to think of distractions as out of our control, we can take steps to reduce them.

 

1.   Take Control Of Your Devices

Yes, we all rely on our phones - but do we really need to be notified every single time something happens? This is a personal preference and will depend on your situation, but it helps to be aware that you can customize your phone’s notifications. For example, parents are often reluctant to turn their phones off in case their kids need them, but you can adjust your settings so that all but a few specific contacts are muted.

 

It’s ok to let people know that, starting now, you may not respond right away to email or text messages. If you get a lot of email at work, a good habit is to set aside specific times for checking your email, for example once every two hours or in the morning and at the end of the day.

2.   Turn Off Your Notifications

It might feel like an adjustment at first to do away with the little red dot that tells you how much has been happening on Facebook, Twitter or in the news, but you’ll soon realize that you don’t miss anything important. You simply gain more control over when and where you get information. (It might help to remember that the ultimate goal of the apps on your device isn’t to keep you informed - it’s to make money by grabbing your attention.)

3.   Schedule Your Breaks

It’s important to take a break when focused on a lengthy task. You’re less likely to be distracted and stay on task if you schedule a bit of time to relax - see it as a reward if that helps. Regular breaks can actually make you more productive! However, those breaks should mindful ones, not filled with more things begging for your attention. So take a walk, meditate, or even have a quick nap. The important thing is to clear your mind.

4.   Train Yourself To Regain Focus

Now that you understand how long it can take to regain your focus after each distraction, make a conscious effort to get back on task faster!

 

Does The Way You Live Your Life Make It Harder To Pay Attention When It Matters?

It’s also important to look at how aspects of your lifestyle can affect your focus. If you’re rested and healthy, distractions may not impact you as much as they would otherwise.

 

Simple adjustments like introducing a 10-minute-a-day meditation practice, or going to bed 30 minutes earlier, can positively impact your ability to focus and improve your response to interruptions.

 

Outside Influences That Can Affect Your Focus

If you have tried all the tricks and still find it difficult to stay on task it might be a good idea to check in on your health. Many imbalances such as thyroid problems, hormonal imbalances and nutrient deficiencies can lead to “foggy thinking” and slow response times.  The good news is, we can help you to uncover these issues with a proper health assessment that includes lab tests.

 

How are distractions affecting your health? It’s something to think about.  if you have been making efforts but still find it harder to focus than before - brain fog, forgetfulness, there could be more factors at play so give us a call!

 

 

Resources

https://www.ics.uci.edu/~gmark/chi08-mark.pdf

http://www.yalescientific.org/2013/05/is-google-ruining-your-memory-the-science-of-memory-in-the-digital-age/

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/mental-downtime/

Fatty Liver: Natural Tips to Restore Liver Health

lIVER HEALTH

Is Your Liver Sluggish? Restore Its Health and Get Your Vitality Back:

You might think that a sluggish liver is something that only heavy drinkers or fans of fried food have to worry about. However, conditions like fatty liver are becoming increasingly common among people who don’t drink much alcohol at all. In fact, fatty liver affects up to 25 to 30 percent of us.  And its effects can be far-reaching.

 

Hepatic Steatosis

Let’s start with an important distinction. It is true that alcoholics are more prone to fatty liver, or hepatic steatosis. When a problem drinker has too much fat in their liver, it’s also called alcoholic fatty liver disease. Perhaps not surprisingly, in non-alcoholics this condition is called non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

 

What exactly is a fatty liver?

A simple explanation is that it happens when fat accumulates in the liver. Your liver is an organ that metabolises the fat in your diet, and it's normal to have some fat in and around it. But excessive amounts can lead to inflammation. That can lead to scarring, and if left unchecked, cirrhosis, which carries many health risks. The end result can be eventual liver failure, which can be fatal. In fact, it’s the 12th most common cause of death in the U.S.

 

Of course, for most of us, the consequences of a fatty liver aren’t as severe. However, a fatty liver can take a big toll on your overall well being and energy levels.

 

Symptoms of Fatty Liver

 

Dull Ache Behind the Ribs

Have you ever felt a nagging pain in the upper right quadrant of your abdomen, the area just behind your lower rib cage? That can be a sign of liver problems. The pain is often felt as a dull ache, but can progress to include nausea or vomiting.

 

Chronic Fatigue

Here’s another question: Do you ever feel chronically tired? If you feel as if you can’t catch up on getting enough rest, or that you just don’t have the energy that you used to, you might want to investigate your liver function. After all, your liver is responsible for processing the nutrients from the food that you eat. When it’s not functioning properly, you could miss out on valuable sources of energy.

 

Because these symptoms can be easily dismissed, it’s important to see a qualified practitioner if you suspect a sluggish liver, as proper testing such as a blood test and sometimes ultrasound are necessary to diagnose the condition or put your mind at ease.

 

Causes of Fatty Liver

Alcoholism

The “classic” cause of liver problems is excessive drinking. However, more people who are experiencing fatty liver symptoms aren’t heavy drinkers at all.

Obesity

So, what’s to blame? In a word, obesity. That’s largely because obesity creates the kind of inflammation that leads to your liver storing fat. The connection between fatty liver and obesity isn’t a simple matter of how much you weigh. It’s also connected to where that body fat is stored. Fat that accumulates around your belly is more likely to signal liver issues.

 

High Sugar Diet

A diet high in sugar and simple carbohydrates can trigger liver issues as well. Although you may have thought that a high-fat diet would be the prime culprit, simple carbs are equally at risk for creating a fatty liver. That’s because a high-carb diet can lead to inflammation as well as creating conditions in your gut microbiota that promote fat absorption in the liver. In particular, drinking too many sweet drinks is a major cause of liver fat accumulation.

 

Treating Fatty Liver

 

Weight Loss

Studies have found that the most effective way to treat fatty liver is to lose weight. Even a small amount of weight loss can help reduce inflammation, improve fat metabolism and improve liver function.

 

Healthy Nutrition

A whole-foods, low-carb approach to dropping extra pounds is often effective. Strategies that have been found to help liver health include:

  • Consuming lots of fibre to improve elimination
  • Drinking antioxidant green tea
  • Choosing healthy monounsaturated fats, which are found in foods such as avocados, olive oil, and nuts
  • Adding plenty of nutritious and anti-inflammatory green vegetables such as broccoli
  • Choosing fish high in omega 3 fatty acids, such as salmon and sardines

 

At the same time, you should limit:

  • Alcohol
  • Sugar
  • Red meat
  • Refined white carbs such as white bread and white rice

 

Exercise

In addition, exercise can help lower the levels of fat in your liver. Interestingly, the benefits of exercise happen even if weight loss isn’t the end result.

 

Low-intensity cardio, high-intensity interval training, and strength training have all been proven to be effective. The most important thing is to be consistent with the activities you enjoy.

 

Supplements to Support Liver Metabolism

Several supplements show promise in treating fatty liver, including milk thistle and berberine. Discuss these with your Naturopathic/Functional Medicine doctor to make sure that they are right for you.

 

 

Your liver is amazingly resilient, in fact it is the only visceral organ in your body that is able to regenerate. A full liver can regenerate from as little as 25% of the original liver! Taking action to protect the health of your liver will help to protect your energy levels and prevent more serious health problems down the road.

 

If you have been diagnosed with Fatty Liver Disease or If would like to go over the lifestyle changes that can help prevent liver damage, Give us a call we can help.

 

 

Sources

 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23273500

https://www.wjgnet.com/1007-9327/full/v23/i36/6571.htm

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6163009/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27581063

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18317656

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120422162417.htm

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Don’t Let Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis Zap Your Energy

By WordPress | May 26, 2020 | 0 Comments

A diagnosis of Hypothyroidism, or underactive thyroid, means that your Read More …

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Distractions: What’s the Cost to Your Wellbeing?

By WordPress | May 26, 2020 | 0 Comments

Here’s a challenge: Can you read this article from beginning Read More …

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Fatty Liver: Natural Tips to Restore Liver Health

By WordPress | May 19, 2020 | 0 Comments

Is Your Liver Sluggish? Restore Its Health and Get Your Read More …

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Sensational Skin

By ncurby | Nov 17, 2019 | 0 Comments

Reverse Sun Damage Summer was fun while it lasted, but Read More …

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Go Bananas!

By ncurby | Nov 17, 2019 | 0 Comments

A Favorite Super Food From a protective standpoint, bananas are Read More …

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Combating Chronic Inflammation

By ncurby | Nov 16, 2019 | 1 Comment

Inflammation Is The Body’s Response To Injury And Disease Like Read More …

Read More

Sensational Skin

FACEBOOK LINK GIRL

Reverse Sun Damage

Summer was fun while it lasted, but unfortunately you are now noticing the subtle aging effects the sun can have on your skin. Even with the use of sunscreens, it is hard to avoid UV exposure during the summer months. Winter is the perfect time to refresh your look with the many treatment choices designed to reverse the effects of sun damage.

chemical peels, micro-needling, dermabrasion and cosmetic Botox® and fillers.   Angela Evans, Plastic Surgery Nurse Practitioner and Licensed Esthetician, says “The combination of sun exposure and dry summer heat can leave skin with a dull finish and splotchy pigmentation as well as fine lines and wrinkles.”

Skin texture and pigment problems are underestimated when it comes to adding years to your appearance, and both can be improved upon through in-office procedures and nutrient supplementation.   Resurfacing the skin can be done by a micro -needling treatment or chemical peel, which strips away the superficial skin layers.

Micro- Needling or a medium depth peel offer the best results when it comes to making an impact on the fine lines and age spots, however these procedures have more down time. A series of lighter peels has the benefit of less down time, but more subtle results. Facials, microdermabrasion or light peels should be a part of routine skin care. However, they do less to impact wrinkles and splotchy pigmentation or age spots.

 

Go Bananas!

A Favorite Super Food

From a protective standpoint, bananas are high in a variety of compounds, many of which are antioxidants. While blueberries, acai, and other fruits get more time in the antioxidant spotlight, bananas are especially loaded with these compounds, thereby helping to reduce premature aging of the body’s cells. Alpha linolenic acid, one of these compounds, demonstrates significant antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer activity. Alpha linolenic acid also boosts immune function and enhances blood circulation.

Bananas are a great source of the super-protective compounds kaempferol and quercetin. These compounds have been extensively studied, and are known to protect cells, reduce inflammation, fight numerous types of tumors, protect nerves, enhance blood circulation, and reduce the risk of a number of diseases. So even as you are slicing bananas into your morning cereal, these compounds are ready to impart serious benefits to your overall health.

Bananas also contain high amounts of rutin, a compound that complements the activity of vitamin C, and helps to maintain strong, flexible blood vessels. Rutin also possesses antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties.

As much as bananas are protective, they are also very significant mood food. They are excellent sources of the two important brain compounds dopamine and serotonin. Dopamine is the primary “reward” chemical in our bodies. When we do something and feel a sense of satisfaction, that satisfaction is the effect of dopamine in the brain. Dopamine helps to protect against some kinds of neuro-degneration, including Parkinson’s disease. Dopamine demonstrates numerous benefits for the brain, helps to strengthen the heart, and enhances circulation.

Serotonin, on the other hand, may be the best known of all brain chemicals. Serotonin is our so-called “feel good” neurotransmitter. Serotonin is absolutely essential for mood, and is the target of numerous antidepressant drugs. Some of these drugs work to increase serotonin production, while others help to maintain serotonin in the brain for longer periods of time. Of all its many known functions, serotonin is powerfully antidepressant.

And while many foods are loaded with beneficial compounds, bananas are one of the truly great foods. Rich in vitamins B 6 and A, bananas are the most popular fruit in America. Yet in addition to their great flavor and ease of use, they also demonstrate very significant health-imbuing properties. Often the first solid food of infants, bananas offer a great way to take in easy to digest nutrition, enhance digestive health, protect the body from a host of ills, and elevate mood. You could easily make the claim that in bananas, we have one of nature’s most perfect foods.

 

Original article by Chris Kilham. Chris Kilham is a medicine hunter who researches natural remedies all over the world, from the Amazon to Siberia. Chris advises herbal, cosmetic and pharmaceutical companies, is a regular guest on radio and TV programs worldwide, and is the author of fifteen books.

Read more at MedicineHunter.com

Combating Chronic Inflammation

INFLAMMATION

Inflammation Is The Body’s Response To Injury And Disease

Like when you have swelling and redness around a wound or twisted joint, or fever while your immune system battles an illness. In the short run, inflammation can be helpful. Howevever chronic inflammation has been linked to a range of conditions, and some evidence indicates lifestyle  – including what we eat – may contribute to inflammation. “The role of chronic inflammation in various diseases – obesity, Type 2 diabetes, arthritis, certain cancers – is fairly well-accepted in the scientific community,” says Whitney Linsenmeyer, an assistant professor of nutrition at Saint Louis University and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “Naturally, people are looking towards dietary changes to reduce inflammation and promote overall health and immunity.”

 

Anti-Inflammatory Diets Help Heal The Body

Experts say eating patterns with the most science behind them, like the Mediterranean diet  and the DASH diet (the acronym stands for dietary approaches to stop hypertension), are your top choices for an anti-inflammatory diet. They include a broad range of proven-healthy foods you probably have been told to eat since you were young, which research indicates are also anti-inflammatory foods. Here are some anti-inflammatory foods:

Antioxidant-infused fruits and vegetables

  • Broccoli, kale, oranges, berries, and cherries
  • Red and orange peppers
  • Citrus fruits and winter squash
  • Green leafy vegetables, such as spinach, kale, and collards.

Whole grains that are a great source of fiber

  • Oats, quinoa, brown rice and barley
  • Raspberries, apples, and broccoli
  • Beans and peas

Omega-3 fatty acids & Other Healthy Fats

  • Omega-3-packed fatty fish like salmon, tuna, sardines, mackerel and shellfish
  • Nuts (especially walnuts)
  • Plant oils like flaxseed oil and olive oil
  • Avocados
  • Herbs and Spices
  • Tumeric and ginger
  • Cinnamon, cumin, chili peppers, garlic, clove, rosemary, sage and oregano,

 

Sugar Causes Inflammation

The main food that people following an anti-inflammatory diet should avoid is sugar. The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends limiting calories from added sugas to 12 teaspoons (for a 2,000 calorie diet) per day. By comparison, the average American consumes about 17 teaspoons of sugar daily, and many have much more than that. Additional foods that should be avoided include:

  • processed meats.
  • trans fats, found in fried foods.
  • white bread.
  • white pasta.
  • soybean oil and vegetable oil.
  • processed snack foods, such as chips and crackers.

 

Think “Balance and Consistency” When Comes to Fighting Inflammation

Having a glass of wine with dinner isn’t discouraged with diets like the Mediterranean. But drinking in excess can increase inflammation. (The U.S. Department of Agriculture dietary guidelines suggest having no more than one drink per day for women and two daily for men.) If you’re trying to reduce inflammation and improve your health through diet and lifestyle, you need to consider everything you eat and drink. Look at the big picture of your lifestyle.  Having a couple of salmon meals a week, and then smoking and taking in excess alcohol, be overweight and (not) eat any fruits and vegetables is Not going to reduce inflammation.