We are facing troubling times in the world of economic uncertainly and financial chaos more people are coming to me with adrenal fatigue as a reaction to stress. This video blog addresses what adrenal glands are (almond sized glands located above your kidneys) responsible for helping your body deal with stress. Stress can be either physical (like running a marathon, exercising, pain) or emotional (economic conditions, divorce, sick spouse, an unreasonable boss). The accumulation of stress will essentially wear out your adrenal glands after awhile and this video talks about some tips on how to ensure your body can deal adequately with the emotional stress that the holidays and an uncertain economy can have on your body and health.
Feeling tired and wired at the same time (like too much caffeine after an all-nighter)
What to do:
Reduce stress by eliminating the stressor if possible
Manage stress by moderate exercise (if not too tired), meditation, yoga or tai chi
Eat high protein snacks and meals.
Eat frequently, usually every 2 hours BEFORE you get hungry to manage your blood sugar
Nutrients or herbs like ashwaganda, vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), siberian ginseng, licorice root tea are all helpful for the adrenal glands.
Take naps if you can and feel like you need to.
Eat a protein snack before bed (about 1/2 hour) in order to minimize waking in the middle of the night.
Minimize caffeine and sugar. These will make the problem worse and only give you a temporary boost. I usually tell my patients no sodas, juice, coffee or black tea. Some are even sensitive to chocolate so if you eat a lot of chocolate, keep it at a minimum.
This video describes how your GERD may be due to low acidity in the stomach and how to fix the problem so that you are no longer relying on acid blockers and antacids.
Common Causes of GERD:
Hiatal Hernia: My belief that many people's GERD is made worse by low acidity of the stomach which makes the effects of a hiatal hernia worse. If the hiatal hernia is very bad surgery may be recommended to fix the problem. However, before you go to have hiatal hernia surgery, make sure that you have exhausted all other avenues of treatment because there are many who go through surgery only to find that the problem still exists. Many people will have hiatal hernias and have little or no problems associated with GERD or reflux. So you may be in a category of patient that will benefit from other approaches.
Low Stomach acid: see video for full description. Suffice it to say, I've found this to be the majority of the problem, especially with older individuals.
Food Sensitivities: IgG food sensitivities, not usually food allergies are a culprit. Many people do not know about their food sensitivities because the reactions are delayed (2-72 hours delayed). People with IBS, inflammatory bowel disorders and GERD will all respond well to identifying and eliminating foods that they are sensitive to. Common foods are daily (usually cow dairy as opposed to goat or sheep dairy), eggs, corn, sugar, wheat and citrus (particularly oranges).
Natural Solutions to GERD:
Apple Cider vinegar: 1 Tablespoon with 1/4 cup water prior to each meal and significant sized snack. You may not be able to do this while there is active ulceration or gastritis. Give it a try and if you feel miserable then stop until the irritation has healed.
L-glutamine: an amino acid that heals the lining of the digestive system. Consult your doctor for appropriate dosing.
DGL: deglycirrhizinated licorice
Aloe Vera gel
Zinc Carnitine: very effective on the healing and rebuilding of the mucousal layer of the digestive system, especially in cases of stomach or duodenal ulcerations and in esophageal ulcerations. Used in Japan for years as a primary treatment for such ulcerations.
Autism spectrum Disorder or ASD is highly treatable and many symptoms are reversible if dealt with early. Pediatricians often are not familiar with or less aware of the options available to parents with autistic children. Defeat Autism Now! (DAN!) is an organization responsible for linking parents with treatment resources, scientists and doctors who can help your child. Check out our first article on this subject here.
Find a DAN! doctor in your area to treat your child's symptoms. The DAN! website has a great resource listing. Tomorrow...vaccinations and autism.
Today we are describing how to do a contrast shower treatment to help with your colds as well as helping prevent colds and flus when you are feeling something coming on. With all of this wild weather, ice, rain, snow, it is so easy to catch a cold and be out for a week. Most of us can feel when a cold is about to hit so taking preventative measures can make your next cold much more mild or go away before it starts. Check out yesterday's post on other tips to stop your cold or flu in its tracks.
This is the first of a two part series about how to reduce the risk of developing a cold or flu. Isn't it frustrating that most of us know that a cold or flu is coming up yet we often feel helpless to do anything to stop it. Here are some quick tips to help stop the development of a cold or flu quickly and easily. Here is the summary:
Take Vitamin C
Get a lot of sleep
Stop all excessive sugar intake
Stop mucous producing foods (dairy products, orange juice and bananas)
Hot/Cold Contrast Showers/Baths (see tomorrow's video blog for details)
In this video blog I talk about why not to use NSAIDS (ie: Tylenol, acetaminophen, ibuprofen, aspirin) as the first line of defense against a fever. The fever mechanism is a normal immune response to bacterial or viral infection and works best if left alone. Allow your child or yourself to run a fever, I know it's uncomfortable, but it really helps you recover from colds and flus much more quickly. Tomorrow I'll talk about my favorite natural things to do for cold and flu prevention.
In this video blog I talk about how to prepare for a visit to your doctor for maximum efficacy. If you are suffering from something don't go to your doctor unprepared. Think of your doctor visit as a co-management case. Your doctor is helping you get better. You should bring any and all information that will help her figure out what is going on and how to treat it. Make sure you have a list of questions so that you are clear on what is going on. Ensure your doctor takes the time to explain everything to you. What she is considering, why one thing might be possible and another not etc. Don't allow yourself to be bullied by time constraints on your doctor's part. If you aren't getting sufficient answers or are getting answers that don't feel right or are too severe, make sure you get a second or third opinion. The leg you save might just be your own. If you aren't able to establish a good rapport with your doctor, find another one you can talk to. It will make a difference in the outcome. Know that there is almost always a solution to your problem. Just because your doctor doesn't know the answer right now doesn't mean that he or she can't find the answer or that someone can't help you.
This video blog talks about a lot of possibilities that your doctor might not consider when you go to her with fatigue complaints. Make sure you are armed with adequate information and don't let your doctor ignore your very real complaints.
I also forgot to mention on the video that heavy metals contribute to fatigue usually through suppression of immune function. Food sensitivities or food allergies also will contribute to brain fog, migraines and fatigue. Usually these two things play a role in the exhaustion but are only contributing factors, usually not the only underlying cause.
This video blog discusses how to ensure that your doctor tests your thyroid more completely than just TSH. This will help hone the accuracy of where your thyroid function goes awry. Make sure that you as the patient understand the finer points of thyroid testing and how adrenals might play into your weight gain and fatigue. This video will help empower you at your doctor's office so that you can feel better more quickly. Part of the vibrant living ideal is to have plenty of energy and to wake refreshed with undisturbed sleep. The goal of these videos is to help you understand how to get to that place. Also see yesterday's video on why your thyroid medications might make you feel worse.
Here's a troubling situation...you are fatigued, you are gaining weight, cold, exhausted and constipated. Your doctor tests you for low thyroid function and has figured out that your thyroid is lower than expected. You are prescribed synthroid or something similar and you then feel awful after taking it. You feel anxious, edgy, have heart palpitations, can't sleep etc. Your doctor can't figure out why you aren't tolerating the medication. They give you anti-anxiety medications to go with the thyroid medication to ease the feeling but you still fell awful. In this video we talk about why this is the case for some people. Adrenal fatigue. Make sure your doctor checks your adrenals.
Blood tests for adrenals are not usually sufficient. Adrenals are best tested using a saliva test. This way your doctor can track how your adrenals are functioning throughout the day and pinpoint specifically when your adrenals are most weak. This can also tell your doctor if you are trending up or down in your recovery. Also, tomorrow's video blog describes what your doctor should test for to ensure complete thyroid testing. Just the TSH is not sufficient.